it’s been a little over a week since arcadia finished, and since this was the same time last semester that we had auditions (literally the monday before finals week) I felt like this symmetry would be a great homage to the play itself, as well as my experience with it.
my journey with this production began with an audition I hadn’t originally planned on attending for a show I knew almost nothing about. callbacks were scheduled for the most stressful night of my semester and I felt, with some degree of certainty, that I would not get the part. so when I went to the callboard on the second floor of gibson, that rainy day in december, and found my name on the list, I nearly cried from shock and excitement.
over winter break, I read the play any number of times, tried to start understanding my part in the mammoth of a show, and fell in love with it. rehearsals started the second week of the semester, with a two week bootcamp including table work, accent coaching, a number of mini-lectures from experts in the fields of study the play concerned, and a lot of hard work. I lost touch with some of my friends from last semester during this time, missing the crucial reconnecting moments that can make or break friendships freshman year; however, I also started getting to know a new sort of family. our cast became quite close over the course of the show. andrea played my mother in the show, but also listened to me offstage as I exclaimed and complained about my boy problems. our director brendon, pushed us as students and as actors so that our characters and performances were the best they could be.
it was a lot of hard work, almost double the amount of time regularly spent on shows here at washington college. we had rehearsals for two and a half hours tuesday-friday and four hours on saturday or sunday. granted we weren’t always called every day, but we enveloped our self in the world of Arcadia.
this semester has been a lot of firsts. I was in my first production at wac, with my first lead role ever. I dated someone for the first time at school. I broke up with someone for the first time at school. I went to my first birthday ball and my first lacrosse game. I played sports for the first time on an intramural team. and now I’m nearly done with my first year of college.
I can’t believe it’s almost been a year.
it’s weird to think that i’m already three-quarters of the way done with my freshman year of college. with spring break next week, I’ve taken to reflecting and organizing my thoughts about going to school here.
my first semester was one of sky-high ups and lows as far down as they come. I struggled with social anxiety and feelings of depression, but at the same time, I experienced moments of elation that surpassed all those before them. I felt anger and disdain towards people in a capacity that i never had before, and an overwhelming sense of appreciation for the people around me. I learned a lot about myself and who I wanted (and didn’t want) to be.
and this semester has turned everything in on its head. i felt incredibly lost at the beginning, and more tired than I have been since junior year of high school. there were a lot of friends I lost, but even more that I gained. this semester I found a community of friends, and discovered a sense of belonging, something I’ve been searching for years to find.
but washington college isn’t heaven. it’s not the fields of elysium or a castle on the clouds. it’s not magic, it’s a school. and it’s what you make of it. I’m lucky I guess, that I found a school that feels like home. to be honest, there are a number of people who don’t feel the same way I do. and I want to be candid:
this blog is biased.
and it’s not because I get paid for it (i do) but because it’s hard not to write about the things that make you happy. it’s hard not to gush about a school that made you feel better about education than 7 years of public schooling. because as much as this blog is to share my school, it’s also to share my life. when i look back, years from now, i’d rather remember the good and not the bad. i’d prefer to look fondly on the nights spent stargazing or how amazing my experience at birthday ball was, rather than a bad night of drinking or fighting with my friends about trivial matters.
washington college isn’t for everyone. it was perfect for me in ways that might drive a different student up the wall. wac is a small school, it’s intimate, a little laid-back at times, a little rowdy at others. maybe it’s because I’m still a bright-eyed freshman, but i like to think that over the next four years washington college is a place where i can continue to feel like I can be myself.
unfortunately, i was having so much fun on saturday that I didn’t get very many pictures of birthday ball. well, i say “unfortunately” but isn’t it a good thing? to be enjoying yourself so much and to be so caught up in the moment, you don’t even think to take pictures because you know that it will stick in your memory for years?
a couple of weekends ago, i meth two wonderful girls named holly and julie, and let me just tell you they are two fantastic amazing wonderful people. i kinda love ‘em a lot. anyway, we spent most of the day together. starting with the lacrosse game against Goucher, i chilled with them and some of the KA brothers (pretty cool guys) and we enjoyed the sunshine and clean air of a winter giving hopes for spring. after the second half, we shifted from the bleachers to the hillside and there’s really only one word that sums up how fun that was: puppies. a lot of people that bring their dogs and there are a lot of dogs that are only ten weeks old and the cutest freaking things ever.
moving forward, after the game, julie and I brought our stuff to holly’s room and then went to hang out at talbot. I made tea (and got some weird looks from some of the brothers) and we grabbed chinese before heading back to get ready.
the dance itself was spectacular. the decorations were amazing, the dj was on point, and i was there with people that make me happy.
can’t wait for next year!
p.s. realised that this is has been in my drafts for about a week, so sorry for the late post. :\
okay, let me clarify. it’s not that I haven’t been truthful. it’s just that, i’m not going to pretend that it’s incredibly easy to blog about college life. college is hard. in many ways it’s easier than highschool, true. for example, learning in classes devoted to topics you get to choose on a schedule that you get to orchestrate makes learning hella easier; however, the material and schedule is definitely time consuming.
my first week back was
a little very anomalous. we had a snow day the second day of classes and a delay on wednesday, it took a while to get the ball rolling and back into the groove of things. and yet I was ready, coming back for my second semester, I had a foothold that was absent in the fall; I had friends to come back to, a defined schedule, and classes that I had been excited for since advising day. I relaxed with some friends over the weekend and spent time recovering from a cold I developed just before the semester started.
this week was an entirely different picture. it’s only been two weeks and already I feel like I’ve been home for a month. rehearsals for arcadia started on tuesday and have been going every night since then. every morning I wake up, go to the gym (if it’s a tuesday or thursday, usually), go to class, go to work, go to dinner, go to rehearsal, do homework, go to bed. it leads to late nights and tired mornings. but i love it. not the no sleep part, believe you me, I love my sleep, but the consistency and the honest dedication. I’ve been surprisingly diligent about my homework in an effort to retain a spot on the dean’s list, something that I didn’t strive for last semester and honestly didn’t even know I wanted.
but it feels good. I feel good. never in my life have I felt so incredibly at home or accomplished. I’m being provided with opportunities that I never went looking for and couldn’t be more grateful.
this blog is hard. it’s hard sitting down and talking about your life to an audience when you’re not quite sure if whether they care or not. but when I look back in four years and get to read about the start of my college journey, I don’t think there will be anything more satisfying.
i realise i haven’t really posted much substance the past couple weeks and that’s because i haven’t really been able to find time to not only write, but collect my thoughts about what to write about.
because let’s face it, one of the iconic experiences of college is the biannual finals week. a week of papers and exams and no sleep and lots of stress and even more coffee. but what people don’t tell you about is the precursor to finals week: hell week. now okay, finals week is rough. but the week before is just as bad and sometimes worse. it’s when you have your last round of classes and (at least in my case) the papers you’ve been working on all semester.
let me break it down.
monday: french review, grw final revisions of script and first run through, acting monologues. work in the office as usual, then procrastinating the papers due wednesday and working on creative writing revisions. auditions for arcadia.
tuesday:easily the most stressful day of the semester. head to creative writing and do written revisions. print the final scripts for grw final scene and rehearse for about an hour. work on papers. eat foodstuff. head to callbacks for arcadia (!!!) and work on papers in between auditions. chill at callbacks from 6:00 to 10:30 as stress levels rise, but feel like the callbacks went well enough. work on papers until 4:30 in the morning, decide that sleep is necessary to continue and do so.
wednesday:wake up around 8:00 and grab a coffee before heading to my french classroom. sit in there writing my research paper until class starts. do french class. then continue writing paper and revising up until 20 minutes before the deadline. submit. breathe a sigh of relief and prepare for the final grw scene. perform awesomely, but then get assigned another paper. sigh with frustration then go to acting. after acting eat lunch and go to work. after work go to dinner. then have coffee with a friend also stressed about finals stuff. work on creative writing revisions.
thursday:last day of classes. finish creative writing revisions and go to class. class ends early and lunch goes long. buy krispy kreme doughnuts. go to work. breathe sigh of relief and hang out with friends. meet a lovely cat.
friday:reading day. also known as sleeping day. literally sleep until lunch and then go to work. not much to do besides stamping. my lovely boss (aundra. aka the best boss ever) gives me a christmas present and lets me leave when I get an email telling me that the cast list for arcadia has been posted. tells me to text her with the news. run over to gibson and up the stairs. see people smiling but try not to get my hopes up. get the role of thomasina in the professor directed spring semester show. cry from excitement and many hugs and phone calls are exchanged. rehearse for final scene. grab some books from the library and go to WACapella (who were fab as frick). hang out with some friends over in reid and eat pizza and read fairy tales.
saturday: sleep til noon and realise i’ve misplaced my id card. decide to have coffee for lunch nap for an hour and then rehearse and then nap for another hour and a half. try to work on french oral exam review and final grw paper. end up failing miserably and talking to people in the library instead (thanks ian). grab dinner using id number and chill.
sunday:SNOW! wake up before noon (11:50) and continue trying to do work, but SNOW! grab some stuff for acting final and then try again to study. decide to make cocoa instead and head over to a friend’s dorm to exploit their microwave. head back over to hynson and study until the realisation dawns that cocoa makes you sleeping and needs to be supplemented with coffee. make a pot of coffee and take it back to hynson. study until 3 in the morning. semi-productive evening.
monday: wake up, grab coffee, head to toll. stay in toll until dinner working on french oral exam work with my partner. brain hurts. head to reid and chill there until the r.a. invites us down to the director of student service’s house (carl crowe) for some homemade cookies. eat the best cookies ever and then get to campus for midnight breakfast (a.k.a. dinner) work on christmas presents.
tuesday:wake up, grab coffee, head to library. review french notes with partner. grab lunch then go to oral exam. goes well enough. study more for french written exam
wednesday:manage to wake up in time for french exam, then spend the day drinking tea with the ever lovely dana before rehearsing one last time before the exam. decide that cookies are a good idea and eat some of those.
thursday: dawdle about the library trying to work on final paper. make a bit of progress. go to acting final and do alright. eat some dinner. finish paper. sleep because finals are finished.
friday: pack up. eat food. head out.
and that is my lengthy account of the week. doesn’t quite account for the stress and tiredness, but there’s a level of bonding that comes with the communal stress. there is no judgment for falling asleep wherever it may be. personally, i fell asleep in the library, rehearsal room, and a number of other people’s rooms. stress affects a number of people in a number of ways. patience is key, as is knowing when a quick nap is more useful than trying to push through that paper.
winter break is lovely so far but honest to goodness, i’m already looking forward to going back to campus.
hahhaahahaha. no it’s not. it’s very real. i have two papers due tomorrow that happen to be large portions of my grades. and callbacks tonight. and a performance piece to present tomorrow. and callbacks tonight. did i say that already? and french to study for.
the research paper might just kill me.
fuddy meers and losing my keys and blitz ball, breakfast for dinner and movie night… busy busy weekend to say the least. it feels weird to say it, but as much as I groan about the start of a new week, it’s nice to have structured days. my routine is significantly more specific than it was even a few weeks ago, so it’s nice to know what I’m doing and when. working for aundra in the office has also been wonderful, because it’s an every day consistency, and hopefully one that will continue into next semester, seeing as my schedule is virtually the same.
which leads me to… registration.
i have no problems with stressing about advising or knowing what classes I want to take. for some reason, I tend to know what I want and have a gut feeling and I go with it and things work out. but when I landed the second to last spot for registration (1:30) i was worried that I might not make it into the classes I wanted. my advisor (dale daigle, only one of the coolest people ever) assured me that I would have no issues, but I was still concerned. i didn’t really have any back up classes and the other classes i wanted to take either weren’t offered this semester or were already filled. my worries were in vain though, because I got all four of the classes I wanted (schedule post to follow).
work’s been pretty good too. I’ve been stuffing envelopes and handwriting inserts and filing, pretty mundane stuff, but I love talking to the other people in the office. and really, I enjoy it. I spend so much time handwriting things into notebooks, so it’s not all that different.
anyway, I should finally be getting a new phone wednesday or thursday, and I’ll be able to post more photos and blog more consistently and actually communicate with people, so that’ll be nice.
any one of my friends who’s spent time with me at night (and to be fair, a decent amount of strangers) knows that I have this kind of… infatuation with the stars. now, I’m not to good at picking out constellations (yet) but really just the mere sight of them is just so moving. and like, we have stars in northern virginia, but there’s also enough light pollution that there aren’t all that many. so when I came to chestertown, which is a little bit in the middle of nowhere, even with the well lit campus, the stars are so numerous and so beautiful, sometimes I just stand there.
now this had a point, because the past three or so days, my love affair with the stars has led to some interesting encounters. on wednesday, for example, lily, caitrin, and i decided to go to mcdonalds but after we got food, we just kept driving. the music was going and we were singing and it was a beautiful night and soon enough, we wound up at a little beach (don’t ask me where) and we got out of the car and sat on the cold sand and stared up at the sky. the waves lapped at the shore and that was really the only noise. until a car came up rumbling with some bass thumping music and we didn’t want to find out who it might be. so we hightailed it back to the car and drove back. at that time it was only about 10:00, so i wandered around campus until I found a dark enough spot and lay down on the brick and called my brother, while stargazing. a couple people asked to make sure I was okay, and when I was, they told me to have a good night.
last night was another one of those stories. there were a decent amount of people stumbling about in their costumes and I wasn’t quite ready to go back to my dorm yet, so I found a spot, again on the brick path (because the brick is less wet than the grass) and lay down to watch the stars and listen to music. a fair number of people checked to make sure I wasn’t passed out or almost passed out, but my coherency and insistence that I was fine meant that they left me alone. until one of my friends came over and then was joined by a decent number of people. i figured I’d been stargazing long enough and I’d seen a shooting star, so that was nice.
whoo. stars. i love them.
but strangely…. not for virginia.
last weekend I went on a trip to some… less rural parts of maryland, namely towson and baltimore. I was invited by my lovely friends lily and caitrin, and honestly, we had so much fun.
and even though I was only gone for a day and a half, I was really struck by how much I missed campus, by how much I missed home.
because it is 12:15 at night, after my first full day back in virginia since school started, and while I missed the little things like my local coffee shop, wifi that connects automatically, and getting decent thai food, there isn’t too much about home that I really missed. And right now there are quite a few things that I really miss about campus. I miss my friends being a stone’s throw away. I miss the mattress topper on my bed. I miss fritz. I miss the cozy blue light that ze leaves on while I’m starting to fall asleep and ze’s still tumbling. I miss complaining about the food. I miss my classes. I miss middle porch. I miss all the stars… I miss a lot more things than I thought I did.
here at home the list is pretty short. I went and saw a movie at a nice theatre, drank some good coffee, saw some friends, and saw my family. I’m excited to go to a proper mall, and I’m excited for church, but that’s kind of it.
maybe it’s luck, or maybe it’s just me, but I’m glad I found a place that feels like home.
so it’s been a week and a half without my beautiful laptop Peter, and i’ve been using computers all over campus to fill the void. this baby right here belongs to my lovely roommate fritz (who I love with all my heart and is letting me use ichigen while she attempts to complete george blagden’s sudoku puzzle). lily, kaitlyn, and the library have also contributed their computers to the cause. gwen (my phone) has been holding up, but her battery life runs quick and i know she misses peter as much as I do.
if you’ll pardon my peculiar habit of naming technology and treating my devices like living, breathing, beings, we can move on to fun exciting stuff.
i got to meet azar nafisi yesterday.
now, i didn’t finish ’reading lolita in tehran’ but i really really enjoyed what i did read, and i always love to hear authors talk about their works. azar nafisi didn’t necessarily talk about her book, but what she talked about was so much better. because she was talking with such passion and strength about the republic of imagination and the necessity of literature. i don’t think i can properly convey how in love i am with her atm, but it is to the point where I took notes. and that right there is a feat in and of itself.
following the lecture, there was a book signing and she signed my book and I had her sign my notebook and when I told her I was a writer, she told me to send her some of my poetry because she would love to read it and I was freaking out. hardcore fangirl freaking the frick out. i love her.
(also she drew a little caricature using my name and there will be pictures soon)
anyway, here’s hoping that peter returns soon because i miss him so much.