I'm back because mostly none of you people are on the wonderment that is facebook and also because in order to read all of YOUR stuff, I have to come to this site anyway. And since I'm here, I might as well post.
Let me talk about my year for a sec, kay?
We have finals this week, commencement on Saturday.
This year has been nothing short of crazy. I suppose I thought that if you can survive college, graduate school, thesis performance and writing, and you then had the fortune to find an actual job, the hard part was over.
Oh no, my friends.
Oh ho ho ho ho no.
A brief list:
1) Move and have a baby. This is difficult.
2) Later, baby develops a mass on her neck. Doctor A, "I don't know what that is, but race down to a specialist now!" Specialist A, "I don't know what that is, let's scan it!" Specialist B, "I don't know what that is. I can't tell from the scan! Go see another better specialist." Me, "Is it cancer?" Specialist B, "Probably not." Specialists C & D, "It's an effing absessed lymph node. No problem." Three days in the hospital and Little E is back to normal.
3) Class preps are like turning in a reasonably major project every time you have a class.
4) Fighting with students because the person you replaced on the faculty was their dear friend and personal hero and you are, well, a complete jackass.
5) People looking at you like you've got a growth coming out of the side of your head everytime you say, "Yeah, I kind of like Shakespeare."
6) Redoing a theatre curriculum in your spare time (12am-1am).
7) Writing a new Shakespeare minor in your other spare time (1am -2am).
8) Grading (2am-3am).
9) Coordinating a theatre renovation.
10) Spending the college's money (i.e., on a production or a theatre renovation) when the college is going through the throes of something.
11) You find out your graduate advisors shielded you from some of the real political machinations of a college after you acted like a jerk to them.
12) Telling your students that "effort does not equal excellence" when many of them come from a culture where they're told that if you work hard, you can do anything. Go Iowa.
13) Feeling lied to.
14) Dealing with a sometimes soulless corporate mindset.
Seriously, though (not that that wasn't serious).
It's been a very busy year. New theatre curriculum. New Shakespeare minor. New May term project where students are sharers in a company. Gearing up to play Richard in RIII and Jaques in AYLI with Pigeon Creek. New theatre renovation. Black box renovation. Four shows and a Christmas festival. Grant proposal. New faculty orientation. Watching students respond to you with incredible work. Finding time to do anything. Watching my wife give birth to a perfect baby. Watching said baby get a sense of humor.
It's been difficult -- perhaps the hardest single year I can remember -- but it has been rewarding beyond measure.
For those two of you who've wondered why I haven't written since before the Blackfriars conference -- and then, only briefly -- it is because the faculty life extinguishes all hope of seeing daylight.
Okay, that's a slight exaggeration.
August 20ish: Theatre camp.
One week later: Classes start.
Three weeks later: First show opens.
One week later: Twelfth Night begins rehearsal.
Three weeks later: Attend Blackfriars Conference.
During Conference: Actor playing Toby Belch quits production.
10 days later: Actor playing Fabian and Valentine quits production.
4 days later: Twelfth Night opens.
10 days later: Waldorf Christmas festival begins rehearsal.
Yesterday: Christmas festival ends.
All of this means a day at which work begins, if I'm teaching that day, at 8am and ends at 11pm. If I'm not teaching, it's usually 11am to 11pm. Not counting grading, of course.
And all of this is in addition to, you know, a baby. Nan's been getting up with Elliott overnight (slowly approaching once per night. Keep your fingers crossed) and I get up for the early morning duty. Little E is now 50% larger than she was at birth.
Yay for this.
We're headed to Rochester for Christmas and Little E's baptism that our dads are doing. Then to Indy for a bit, then back here. Whoot.
I'm coming to the Blackfriars conference. Now the question: when do WE hang out?
The fun thing was that Arkadina was played by Frances Barber, who played Cleopatra at the Globe all the M.Litt folks saw last year. She is also playing Goneril.
I also saw the Balthasar from the atrocious Romeo and Juliet.
Nan is overdue. We'll induce starting Friday night if baby doesn't come on her own.
Twelfth Night production begins in a week.
I'm teaching one class, producing the tech for this show and directing 12th Night. When you work for a college -- I'm not sure about state universities and things like that -- you have to spend half your time over again learning a new field which is the field of higher education/assessment. You have to learn and be ready to use things like "goals and outcomes," "measurables," "7 Principles of Quality Teaching," "Life-Long Learning," etc., etc.
It's fun to be on faculty, but it is like learning an entirely new field of research, jargon, etc., etc.
Nan is 37 weeks today.
My job these days is to build something that looks like a 1954 Hudson out of EMT conduit and welding supplies.
More details, but I'm going to start a new blog about my first year as faculty. More later. Swamped to the max.
I need help in developing the "essential" Shakespeare/Original Practices book list.
Useful titles are about original staging practices, pronunciation, or are exceptionally edited Shakespeare volumes.
Videos are good, too.
Just finished a new employee lunch where we ate food and got our picture taken.
I think I've mentioned that our college president is a former NFL lineman and is possibly Paul Bunyon's grandson. I am intimidated.
I'm also recovering from Theatre Camp, which is this sort of a marathon. We renovated a theatre space, changed over a prop room, struck a set, and started peeling paint from a floor. We also auditioned people for the first show and held technical interviews.
Tonight, Nan and I are doing our first of two "how to have a baby" classes in Mason City.