Language arts live– alive!

How is it already the weekend? I love Fridays because I don’t have any classes so I get a chance to catch up on work, sleep and relaxation. (Which I definitely won’t have any time for this weekend, with concerts and clambakes and what not!) But I wanted to be sure to post about this awesome fiction reading that i went to on Wednesday, which was a part of the Language Arts Live series that I wrote about last year. The series is co-curated by my advisor, and she arranged for me to meet the author for lunch before the reading. It was so exciting!

The author, Courtney Eldridge, is this amazing woman who is so full of energy that I had the most upbeat, rich-in-conversation lunch so far this year. I’d done a little bit of reading before meeting her, and checked out the website for her most recent project, Saccades. The website describes and features her process for writing a Young adult novel which focuses on communication and relationships for teenagers in the age of high technology. Basically, this book is set right smack dab in the way I spent my teen years– online and exploring and discovering. When we got to lunch, I was ready to jump right in and talk about her project… I felt like a total stalker at times, but whatever… sue me, I read the website closely! It was interesting!! She spent so much time contacting teen artist online to help with her process by contributing images and playlists, and it seems to have really shaped how the story developed. I was in awe, truly, that a non-teenager would really “get” the connection that teens feel with one another using the internet as vessel for communication, creating art, and building relationships. I’ve been there– I’ve had my parents or other adults just totally misunderstand what internet can do for young people. And it’s not their fault, it’s just that the technology is growing so fast, and the access teens have make it their tool to explore the entire world. It was wonderful to hear Courtney say that she didn’t believe what people say– that kids these days are passive, dumbed down, uncreative, numb… She saw in them art, and creativity.. and reached out for collaboration. After the lunch ended, I was so thrilled because the project seemed so ambitious and new; it reminded me of what one of the Language Arts Live speakers last year, Brian Kim Stefans, said: that with digital fiction, authors/artists are constantly reinventing the genre. So yes, Courtney isn’t exactly the same as Stefans…(check out the post here!) but what she is doing is adapting, and making use of the changes technology is making on society. AH. So. Cool. She might be my new hero..

Anyways, that night at the reading, there was a great turnout, and I got to see a different side of the author– the celebrated, published, and HILARIOUS Courtney Eldridge. After being introduced, she explained that she looks at her stories in print and wants to make little changes after so many years, but it’s in a humble, pleased way. She read two stories for us– the first, “Fits and Starts,” was about writer’s block and detailed a list of unfinished or abandoned pieces using the most delightful wandering stream of consciousness. There were many things said in that story which hit very close to home, like “I don’t have to feel alone because I have a list” (i’m neurotic about making and checking off to-do lists). A hilarious story about a bad date’s wrongful assumption that a story beginning was a threat to castrate him, her insistence that you can’t talk about cheerleading without talking about cowboys, and her sure-fire cure to writer’s block, the threat of “dancing” her story, were also included in the piece.

The second story had my entire row of students, mostly upper class, female english majors, doubled over in our seats, cracking up the entire time. The story, “Sharks,” was a go-between of a speaker and her friend about an irrational fear of sharks in swimming pools. Even Courtney started to lose it at times. I really, highly recommend reading this story, because my writing about it cannot do it justice. It’s in her collection Unkempt, pick it up! But I will leave you with this– No pool is safe.

That’s the extent of my notes on the reading– it was really lovely and I’m definitely going to get the collection and then give it to my mom because I know she will love it. (Unless you already have it, Mom…? Do you? Hi! Hope your vacation is going well!)

Have a lovely weekend!

Busy Bee

Wait, how can it really only be barely two weeks into classes? I feel like this semester is already two months in! I’m so busy (but then again, when am I not?) that trying to get all my work down and go to all my meetings and rehearsals and plan everything seems like a herculean feat!

For now, though, lets focus on one of the many commitments I have going this semester: Fuddy Meers! The student directed show is an independent study that my friend Michelle is directing for her theater minor. I love being in Michelle’s shows (this is my third!) and ever since freshman year, she has been pining to put on the crazy, awesome, full-length show. For an idea of what the plot looks like, check out the wiki. I’m playing the role of Claire, the 40-something amnesiac. It’s an interesting role, unlike any i’ve played before. First of all, the age is one I haven’t even been close to– however, I’ve found that because she wakes up with no memory each morning, in reforming her identity every day, my Claire is able to be youthful and fresh. Then again, who knows, it’s just my take on it!

The cast is really wonderful, we’re having a ball at rehearsals, although it’s kind of scary because we open in about three weeks! Because of the short time line, we have a LOT of rehearsals and the expectation for lines being memorized is sped up to…well..now. A week into rehearsing! (Sorry Michelle! I’m trying! I’ll work on them right now! Hi Michelle! Hi Michelle’s mom!)

So that’s a sliver of the busy schedule that is my life right now. Michelle is keeping a blog for the independent study that can be found here. Read it! I’m sure there’ll be weird photos of me being a 40 year old and generally being a weirdo jumping around the black box…

Other big things this weekend:
-WRBC is bringing DR DOG to Bates Saturday! It’s time for me to step up the publicity ASAP because this afternoon show is sure to be a crowd pleaser, and we want as many people as possible to make it out!
-The Bates Outing Club is having their annual Fall Clam Bake this sunday at Reid State Park! Beach chilling, lobster cookin’, lots of batesies… Always a great time! And, since it’s the BOC’s 90th anniversary the invitation has been extended to alums. Getting up at 8 to go set up should prove… interesting, though, especially the morning after Dr Dog (where I’m sure I’ll be packing up equipment well into the night when the concert ends!)

Lightening update, my head’s all over the place (but do you blame me?) Gotta dash, WRBC board meeting calls!

Firsts Week of Classes, check!

The first (official) weekend of the semester… and it feels just like home already. I’m already freaking out about getting to all of my meetings, rehearsals, and classes as well as doing all the reading and homework I’ve been assigned.

My schedule this semester is really convenient. I don’t have any morning classes, which really gives me a chance to take advantage of the earlier hours that some students spend still sleeping. Wednesday was my first installment of what I’m sure I’ll be considering a pre-1800 english massacre. I have two classes, Shakespeare and English Literary Renaissance, in a row. In the same classroom. If I don’t die, I think some other possible consequences could be: I start speaking entirely in iambic pentameter, utilize a lot of ‘thee’s and ‘thy’s and ‘thou’s, become welded with my desk, or decide to open a Shakespearean acting company. Not to say I’m not excited– as an English major, it is just these types of classes that really rouse my mind and get me thinking. My professors are passionate, intelligent, and very aware of the material, so I guess, truthfully, I’m just looking forward to the literary double feature.

That night, I had an officers meeting for the Outing Club. We all were really psyched to be planning a full fall calender of BOC events, including the bi-annual Clam Bake and the advance outing to our lean-to.

Next up, Thursday: Human Reproduction. The final requirement! This will be the last science class I ever take, and I’m going to be honest and say I’m pretty interested in the syllabus of the anthro/bio class. It was super hard to get into, a fight until the finish, but it looks like an great science class with relevant information for real life. Also, the professor is a new mother so she will definitely have a unique take on the information.

My hardest class, or at least the one that has me shaking in my boots, my class on Ulysses, is held Tuesdays, so I have yet to attend the seminar. The professor sent us an email though, which was so artfully written that I almost didn’t notice the 200 pages of reading we were assigned… awesome!

But I’m really pleased to be in the middle of the rush of school again. I can’t wait to be set in a routine where I get all of my things in order.

By the way, the leaves are already turning! The most beautiful time in Maine is here!

BACK AT BATES! Junior year

Got up this morning, loaded up the car, drove for a few hours, lugged bags, boxes and trunks, BUT I MADE IT! Junior year, so it begins!

Here’s Schuyler and I before we left this morning