I know this isn't usually the day that I post, but I have some extra time tonight and actually want to post. It might make it more interesting to read when I don't view it as a chore. Also, now that I know that at least my dad and Alyson (who already knows exactly how I spend my days) are reading this, I'll try to make it more interesting for you two (I'll even try to put it in paragraph form). And it wouldn't make me sad if more people commented. Tell your friends. It'll catch on.
It's been one crazy week. So I'll get started right away.
I saw two plays this week. On WednesdayI saw "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the Globe. As many of you know, and as the only two who are actually reading this blog certainly know, I was in this play my first year at UPS. I played Hermia. We had to reread this for class, and although I could've certainly gotten away with not reading the play, I chose to anyway. I'm very glad I did. It revitalized my love for it. It really is a masterpiece. I did have one problem with rereading this play thoough. Istarted to realize all the ways I messed up the part. I started to think about how I could've played up a certain moment while playing down others. It's funny. They always say that live theatre is never the same twice and that it's impossible to relive a moment. I guess that's even true within my own head. But reading the play was great fun as was seeing it. If any of you ever get the chance to read or see this play, definitely do it. It's beautiful. My new thing is that I would really love to direct my own "Dream" one day.
The other play I saw was on Tuesday. A group of us got student concession tickets (which basically means you get good seats for about 20 pounds less than all the old fogies around you) to see "Six Characters in Search of an Author." This was originally written by Pirandello, but this production was refurbished by Tom Stoppard. And I loved it. I seriously enjoyed the twist they took me through in that theatre. I liked it much better than i liked readin that play in Theatre History 2. They did some really interesting Multi-media things, which I expect we'll be seeing more and more of in our theatres. Another cool thing: the guy who plays the Senator Palpatine (sp) in Star Wars was the dad in the production. Hooray for West End theatre!
We also did some cool excursions in our classes this week. On Wednesday, for our Britain Today class, we went to Greenwich. We took the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) line there. I was surprized to discover that Greenwich is only like 20 minutes away from the very center of London. The ride out there was pretty cool. The DLR is a driverless train that is above ground. Sort of like Chicago's "L," except without a driver. So maybe it's a little bit more like a roller coaster without the loops. Driving through the docklands is interesting because it's the area of London that is always in constant transition. It's seen a bunch of poverty, and, as a result, it's population and make-up is constantly changing. Right now it's going though a huge revitalization. They're building a bunch of expensive right-on-the-water homes and offices. It looks a bit like a city from the future. If you had plopped me there on my first trip to London (before I had seen anything else), I would not have guessed I was in London. Maybe somewhere in the states in 20 years. It was really interesting-- a big contrast to what I see everyday on my way to class and back.
Greenwich itself was actually intersting as well. We went to the National Meritime Museum there. They had a bunch of cool exhibits about EVERYTHING to do with the sea. My favorite exhibit was about the movement of ideas, goods and people across the sea. So it talked about immigration and migrations and slave trades and how ideas about all these things moved across the sea and changed the history of the world. On our first day in our Britain Today class, the professor had a map and asked us to point out what we noticed about Britain. And the most obvious, and last mentioned, quality was that England is an Island. It's surrounded by the sea. And I think that importance is proved in this museum. (There was also a cool Observatory that had a beautiful view of the city).
On Thursday, for our Playwriting class, we went to the Imperial War Museum. We spent pretty much the entire time in the Holocaust exhibit. And we didn't even finish in time. It's a really intense exhibit. There is just SO much information. I started to realize while walking through that exhibit, that America knows nothing about this war in comparison to Europe. We may know the dates and the numbers of casualties and the causes and effects. But we know nothing of the experience. We've never had a war fought on our soils (at least recently). We've never been invaded. Nazis didn't come and take over our streets and knock down our government and dissolve our borders in just a few weeks. It just sort of took my breath away. I have no idea what that would be like. I left the museum just thinking over and over, "How could this have happened?" Of course, they explain how it did happened in the exhibit. It's just so unbelievable. And it's weird to think that it wasn't really that long ago. If you're ever in London, I definitely recommend taking a day for this museum. I will certainly be going back while I'm here.
In my drawing class we went to the British Museum. It's so cool that museums are just public places here. It's like a park-- only it's got centuries of history within it's walls. It's so much a public space that I ate my lunch in the covered courtyard... a packed lunch. Anyway, we drew some Greek statues. After having been to Greece, I'm of two minds about this exhibit. I definitely see that these things should belong to the countries where they originated. But a lot of the museum people see it as the world's museum. I do think that more people get to see them while they're in London, but it's still a little bit iffy in my mind. Anyway, we drew the statues and all the little kids came and looked at us. It's always a bit awkward to draw in such a public place because people will come and stare at you and point at you and chat with you. It's hard to get used to, but it's how you become a real artist, I guess.
In other news, my Oyster Card failed on Wednesday. My oyster card is what gets me on all the buses and tubes and trains, paid for by my program. My program director described it as "a key to the city." And it really is. You start to realize this more when you suddenly get locked out. Oyster cards, I guess, can sometimes fail. This means they stop scanning into the machines for some reason. This usually happens by the card being close to a cell phone of a credit card. The odd thing is, that I've been really careful to keep it away from those things. But nonetheless, my card didn't scan on Wednesday morning. I had to go talk to the window helper. And he told me to call the number on the back of the card. I had to get to class, so I bought a ticket (which is astoundingly expensive). I called the number when I got to school. They marked my card as failed and they're sending me a new one. In the meantime, I've had to buy my own way around. They'll be sending a refund form with the card. So hopefully I'll be getting a full refund on this-- because it is not cheap to get to and from the city several times each day. I started to realize how fast you can get used to relying on this transportation. Hopefully I'll get my card pretty soon.
We celebrated Jessi's (my host sister's) birthday on Friday. She turned 11. We lhelped her decorate cupcakes the night before. She had a few friends over and I realized that I've forgotten completely what it's like to be eleven. Lot's of screaming. And I can guarantee that guys would never guess what girls actually do when they get together. Probably more like what I assume guys would do when they're together i.e. stuffing as much food as possible in their mouths, and comparing arm strength. It was a loit of fun though. And it was super cute. We had lots of food and chocolate fondue. I noticed all this trouble Anne was going through to make this the perfect party for her little girl. She made a beautiful cake and cooked all the food. I think I got a tiny glimpse of how rewarding being a parent can be. She was completely happy to do all this work for her girl. It was cute. I want to be able to do that someday. What better way to learn how to be more like Christ than by having and serving children. I know that my parents have done so much for me. There have been many birthdays and holidays and regular days where my parents have displayed perfect charity in serving me and my siblings-- giving us what we need and a lot of what we want. I'm really grateful for all the memories and examples my parents have given me.
Later that night, four of us got together to watch the VP debates. This election is so important, and I'm glad we have the chance to really change where our country is headed. There's a chance to change the way our country is viewed by the world. And there's a chance to help a lot of people. We are so blessed to be able to vote for our leaders. All I want to say is that you hold a lot of power in your vote. You've got the power to make real things happen. This vote affects you and all the people around you. So I don't care if you hate politics-- learn what it is you want for you and for your friends and family and then get out and make that happen. Get out and vote!
In quick other news, I'm going to be going to Prague this month for 5 days on our mid-term break. I'm very excited!Wow. I did a really long blog this week. I'm impressed if you read far enough to hear me rant about voting. Good job. Pat yourself on the back.