Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

27 August 2006

Final Two Days of Orientation / A One and a Two

Friday morning all of the first years went to CPR training, which takes something like five hours (i.e. forever), though to be fair, the instructors recognized our age and made it calm and cool.
After the CPR class, Roomie, Amy and I had a meeting with the woman who is going to be teaching the class that we are supposed to TA. Her name is Beth and she is our next door neighbor. (You didn't misread. She literally lives next door to me in the brand new subdivision. There are three inhabited houses here and my next-door neighbor is my boss. Grr.) This meeting was supposed to—I don't know—acquaint us with what we're supposed to be doing for the class and go over the syllabus, yadda yadda yadda. It went for nearly three hours, which was okay, but also a bit much. We're going to be assisting a class called Introduction to the Theatre for Non-majors. It is a huge class taught in three separate sections (each of the MA's gets one section) and each of the sections has, quite literally, 180 students. We're not doing much in the class itself. We have to lecture once over the course of the semester, but we are the graders for the class and we are supposed to be available for questions from the students (who are mostly going to be freshmen and sophomores.) Oh yeah, and I have to remember not to sleep with any of them. The class is laid out a bit weirdly. She's teaching the intro students Oedipus Rex in the first week and How I Learned to Drive in the second. The rest of the class is kind of all over the map. We're doing Othello, Fences, Into the Woods, A Doll's House, Millenium Approaches, Betrayal, Top Girls and a whole bunch of other stuff. The weird part is that the class doesn't cover O'Neill, Miller or Williams at all. I think it's really strange, so... we'll see how that goes.

On Friday night we went to what the second- and third-years call "safety meetings" at a bar called The Warehouse. It looks very seedy, so my new friend Ryan and I immediately dubbed it The Laramie Project. But the bar is fun and it's good to have regularly scheduled down-time. They have them every single Friday night around the same time. And draft beer is $2.50. There was another party on Friday night, too. Most of us went to a get-together at the house of one of the PhD candidates. There was fairly good food and lots of drama (it has already begun: theatre people of all ages are obsessed with drama—it's very fun and most of it centers around sexual tension, which you know I support.)

Yesterday we had a work call in the newly refurbished Lab Theatre on campus. All of the grad students from all of the years showed up and we all worked on the theatre for a solid six hours. I haven't worked like that on a theatre in I don't know how long and I am sore like a motherfucker today. I got totally filthy and by 4:00p when we got sent home, I showered and crashed.

Ryan and I decided to browse Tallahassee's gay scene last night, so the two of us went out to the only gay bar in Tallahassee. It's laughably called "Brothers," but the scene was kind of fun in a Tallahassee way and the drinks were cheap.

Last night I also found time to watch Edward Yang's fabulous Yi Yi (A One and a Two), which is a film about a Chinese family thrown into turmoil by the sudden stroke of the families matriarch. The film is subtle and Yang's camera keeps a patient distance from each of the characters, allowing the film to feel more like a quiet observation of real life than anything else. It's a moving, beautiful portrait of Chinese life at the turn of the new century. It's poetic, calm and beautiful with a lovely score that punctuates the film rarely but knowingly. 2000 was the year when Asian cinema began its real resurgence in American culture with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and In the Mood for Love. Yi Yi got numerous accolades when it came out and I had skipped it up until now, but a new Criterion Collection edition just came out and I felt compelled to rent it. Very highly recommended.