Friday, October 19, 2012

The Search is Over

After I graduated with my Masters, I spent five months applying to jobs.  I had started applying a full four months before graduation.  It took over 160 applications, and ten interviews.

Today I received the wonderful, long-anticipated phone call:  I will be teaching English full time at MacArthur Middle School, in Ft Meade.  I am thoroughly excited, and feel that all my dreams are coming true.

First I got the girl (Rachel)
Then I got the experience of a lifetime (Oxford)
Then I got the job (MacArthur)
Next, will I get published.....

:-)

Monday, October 8, 2012

A great Saturday

This past Saturday, Rachel and I drove to the MD Renaissance Festival, where we met her cousins and uncle.  The day was great, especially because of all the people we spent it with.  Met my friend Sarah there, and then had dinner in DC with Rachel's best friend Heidi and her brother.  It was good to have a day of fun, and to enjoy the suddenly cool fall weather (mmm, warm cider).

video

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sigh...

Been a year since one of the best weeks of my life, my week abroad with Rachel...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Rachel's Birthday

I took Rachel to Colonial Williamsburg for her birthday.  We spent two nights at a resort, and then a day in the Colonial city.  It was nice, and she had never been there before.  The people we spoke to were all very entertaining, yet extremely knowledgeable.  We toured the Capitol, saw a number of smaller shops, and then  saw a production by a group of actors discussing theatre history from the period and putting on scenes.  After that, we went to the Burton Church and the Governor's Mansion, where Patrick Henry spoke.  We had a nice dinner at Chowning's, before a ghost pirate tour.  All in all, a lovely day.  I forgot my camera's battery, so our pictures were only taken with our phones.  These are my favorite pics.




Friday, August 17, 2012

From Beach to Rock

Last week, I had off from work (not by choice- camp got canceled).  The first few pics below were taken during that week.  On Friday, Rachel and I drove to South Bethany Beach.  Rachel had family friends, Barb and Jim, who asked us to stay with them at their beach house.  They requested that I not take their pictures, so there are none of them below.  Barb and Jim, along with their dog Duncan, were wonderful hosts and extremely kind and generous.  I am looking forward to going back to the beach house.

On Saturday, it was cloudy, but Rachel and I went to Bethany, at the northern edge of the boardwalk.  We relaxed and had a great day.  On Sunday, we drove to Assateague Island, home of wild horses.  We were walking back to the parking lot when we were mobbed by a group of horses, they were great to see.  We then relaxed at the beach on Assateague.  On Monday, we went shopping and then started a game of mini-golf.  The weekend came to an abrupt stop when Rachel got a call about her mother.


video


The remainder of the week was difficult, as I try to be Rachel's "rock".  Her mom is dying, and the hospice care providers told us it will be any day now.  It is difficult to watch someone deteriorate in front of you, but death is one part of life that will come to us all...

  

Monday, August 6, 2012

Renn Faire

I have actually reached the limit on my Picasa free web album storage space, however want to keep uploading pictures.  With that goal in mind, here is a photo album (shown in movie form) of a trip Rachel and I took to opening day of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire.  The theme this year is Shakespeare vs. Marlowe- a good idea, though one-sided at the fair, since they only showed Shakespeare scenes/plays...




video

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Olympics

The Olympic opening ceremonies focused heavily on a large green mound, which represented Glastonbury Tor.  That was cool- especially considering I was there just last fall!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Summer Writer

Haven't written in the blog in a while, but have been writing a lot lately. I finished the second draft of my novel and have shown it to a few people for comments before I start submitting to agents. I've also started re-working a play I had written with the hopes of submitting it to Fringe festival next year. I'd originally wanted to submit two plays, but I feel like my play Going Nowhere (formerly titled "Stuck") isn't quite right for this particular festival.

 In the spirit of writing, here is a haiku about today's lovely weather:

A summer wind blows 
Gently through a sea of smiles;
Golden sun shines down.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

NY Anniversary

Rachel and I met last Memorial Day.  We've been together a year, yet have traveled internationally, been living together since just after New Year's, and are "engaged to be engaged."  She is the love of my life, so I wanted to treat her right for our anniversary.  I told her we were going to New York  She arranged the bus tickets, while I arranged everything else, and I kept everything that we were doing a complete surprise until the day we did it.

We had a wonderful time!  We wandered the city a lot (she'd never been as a tourist, and it's been a long time since I've been purely to sight see), went to the Top of the Rock, played chess in Central Park, and saw three shows: an off-Broadway parody of the Harry Potter books (hilarious), a jazz show at Birdland (wonderful) and one of my all-time favorite musicals: Wicked.  We had tons of great vegetarian/vegan food, and an overall wonderful experience.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Photo Contest

Today, CUAbroad announced a photo contest for students who traveled abroad during the past school year. Students had to submit three photos, which get voted on. I have so many photos I love, but ended up submitting the following:


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Graduation

At long last my college days came to an end, as I received my Masters of Arts degree in Theatre Education on Saturday.  The MATE program has been wonderful, I have learned a great deal, made some great friends, and feel fully prepared for a career in Theatre Education.  I also got to go to Oxford last fall, as part of my graduate work, and of course had the time of my life there.

The ceremony was nice, albeit a bit long, and my family went to a lovely dinner afterwards.  The pictures in the slide show come from my camera (used by Rachel), my mom's camera, and I borrowed a couple of pics from my advisor Rosalind, who was snapping away as well.

Just three days after Graduation, today, I received my first request for a theatre teaching interview.  I have been applying to positions, counties, and schools for the past three months, but this timing was good.  The interview isn't until June, and is at a public school in Waldorf.

I am thrilled to have my degree, thrilled to finish with a nearly perfect GPA (only one A minus in my grad career), and thrilled to be done with graduate school and college!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Wish Come True

Last Summer, right before leaving for Oxford

This blog might sound a little corny, but sometimes wishes do come true, even if it takes a while.  I was a romantic for a long time, yet never had a date on Valentine's Day or my birthday (today).  For a decade my birthday wish when I blew out candles was always the same.  As cliched as it sounds, I wished for true love.  Well, now it has finally come true, as I am with the love of my life Rachel.  It took a while, but in the end my dream was realized.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The End in Sight

Tintagel

With only two days left as a student teacher, finished work in my Education class, and the upcoming performance of Stuck, my MA thesis, the end is in sight.  It has been a long climb, both through undergrad and graduate school, but this will be the end of my degree-seeking schooling.  I am very excited.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Easter

Had a lovely Easter at my parent's house. Rachel is wonderful with my nephews, and my mom made a delicious (Italian) dinner. Overall a very nice day.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Remembering

I had a dentist appointment and he asked what I had been up to over the past few months.  I told him my time abroad was the best time of my life.  Sometimes it is simply nice to remember...

Glastonbury Tor

Monday, April 2, 2012

Idioms and Spring Break

Spring Break is finally here!

Idiomatic phrases are interesting.  My grandmother, for instance calls AAA, the "three A's" and not "Triple A". Rachel showed me an idiomatic phrase I hadn't really noticed when giving me directions.  All of her directions are to "red lights".  This is what she calls traffic lights (whether red, green, or yellow- they are always "red lights").  I find such things quirky but fun.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Thoughts

I apologize for not updating this more frequently, I have been far too busy.  Now it is almost Spring Break, and things are winding down.  Cabaret, which I designed, is over.  Learned Ladies, which I helped with, opens next weekend.  And I only have three weeks of student teaching (around two weeks off for spring break) left.  Things are looking up, and I am very happy.

Still, a couple of disappointing moments.  First, Cabaret.  This was the first time Rachel had seen one of my set designs.  It was also the first time I've been to a show I designed, which I hadn't been around at all during any of the building (usually shows I design that I see are built while I'm there).  Frankly, the set looked poor.  They used primary colors for spray paint that didn't work.  There was a mis-communication about the height of one major set piece, which ended up being built far too short.  And the performance I attended with Rachel was frankly a bit of a mess.  I am looking forward to bringing her to a show I am completely in charge of, and can really impress her with.

 
My second comment is on Hunger Games. I liked the trilogy a lot, so took Rachel to the movie as our date week for this week.  As I sat watching the movie, the man to my right had his phone out texting during the entire film.  The screen of this guy's phone was very bright, and very distracting.  Behind us were two babies, who added quite a bit of crying.  Meanwhile, in the film itself, there was a ton of hand-held camera use and fast cutting.  The first fifteen minutes of the film made me so dizzy that I had to look away every few minutes.  I know this was a choice to help the audience get into Katniss's head, but honestly the camerawork and editing were distracting, and I felt they took away more than they added.  Overall, very good film though.

It's hard to sound negative in a blog, when everything in my life is going so well.  Just got a summer job at Imagination Stage, student teaching's winding down, and my co-operating teacher's planning a trip to London.  She's asked for advice on where to go, which reminded me of my wonderful time abroad.  For that reason, I've decided to start adding some of my favorite pics to blog entries, just to remind me and my readers.  Here are two:

Not my favorite pic, but appropriate for this blog- a statue in Delft, which I thought was the Cornucopia from  Hunger Games

Almost time for the Olympics...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

When it Rains...

It pours.



This week, I collected major assignments from all of my classes, and am working with an extra class for another teacher. On top of that, I received both of my comprehensive final essays (Comps) and a major Lit Review essay for the education classes. Feeling swamped... Stephen Colbert had a guest this week who discussed how all internships should be paid. He went on to explain that it was unfair to expect work from anyone without paying them. This is interesting. As a student teacher, I am working full time for a semester and am not paid. Instead, I had to pay for the opportunity to student teach, and paid my university over 30 thousand dollars for the "privilege" of student teaching. In other words, I paid more than I would have made for a semester's worth of work. This is a very strange system, and I personally have felt discouraged a number of times for doing all of this work without pay.

And back to the grindstone...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Winter Escape



On Saturday morning, Rachel and I drove to Luray for a three-day retreat with a group of 36 Young Adults (20s and 30s) from several Unitarian churches in the DC area.  Rachel was one of the organizers, and I helped as well.  It was a wonderful experience, although the two of us mostly did our own things, and didn't participate in too many of the workshops.  The group was divided into two houses in Shenendoah Park, up in the mountains.  After settling in, Rachel and I went to Luray Caverns, which I hadn't visited since I was a young kid.  Rachel had never been to caverns like that at all.  We had fun.  Then we relaxed in the hot tub.  Sunday began with a worship service, but we skipped the other workshops to hike around the woods.  We baked some cakes for everyone, then had a talent show (I sang) and dance party.  On Monday, the mountains around us looked pretty, covered in a bit of snow.  After the closing activities, Rachel and I drove to a winery before heading back home.  It was great to meet so many fun people, and though short, it was a nice break.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

All You Can Eat

Yesterday I had my first day as a substitute since starting as a student teacher.  It felt weird going from 93 minute classes of 15-20 students who all respect me, to 40 minute classes of 35 students who had no respect for me at all.  Still, the day wasn't too bad, and I did speak to the principal, as I'm in the process of trying to get an actual job.


Last night, I was invited to the premiere of Wooly Mammoth's play "Civilization: All You Can Eat" (logo above).  Interesting play about consumerism and capitalism, though it did start slowly.  I enjoy going to these premieres (though I have to change my name to "plus one") with Rachel, and it's fun to talk to the director and actors after the show.  Now, I'm in Luray, Virginia on a church retreat with Rachel and about 20 other people our age.  More details on that to come...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's day



I'm not normally a supporter of commercially invented holidays, but seeing as I am thoroughly in love...  Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Full Time

Today was my first day teaching all of the theatre classes at McNamara. I have already been working my way into teaching full-time, and now am at that point.

The day went very well, the students responded very enthusiastically to the lessons. In the Intro classes I had used Human Slide Shows to introduce script writing, and today shared an original scene that I wrote in Oxford. They also brainstormed ideas for their own scenes, which they will be writing next class. In Acting I did a fun classroom activity where the students are "born" and rapidly age to 7 years old, as a way to demonstrate given circumstances and characterization, as they begin scene work.

Student teaching is great in that you get to teach in your subject, while still receiving feedback. It's not so great in that you get to work for a full semester, full-time, without any pay, and instead have to pay your university tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege of student teaching. In fact, given that last detail, I'm sometimes surprised anyone becomes a teacher.

Honestly, it is rewarding, and I like encouraging students to engage with material in a meaningful way.  However, it'd be nice to have an actual teaching job.  Yesterday one student said "Mr. M- you're like almost a real teacher."  "Thanks," I replied.  "That's almost a compliment."

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Long and Winding Road

Yorktown did not work out as a student teaching position. The teacher there wanted me to observe for four months, with no teaching. I spent a week going through three schools, trying to find an alternate placement. It was stressful and frustrating. I am finally at Bishop McNamara High School, a Catholic school in Prince George's County, MD. I will be student teaching in theatre with the wife of one of my teachers at Catholic. It's been a long and winding road to find a placement, but I do feel that this one will work out.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Student Teaching

This is a year of great learning, as I spent the fall semester having the adventure of a lifetime abroad, and returned to student teach. It was a difficult financial decision, as it means a full school year without work, but hopefully the choice will pay off. After many months and much confusion surrounding possibilities of student teaching I have received a placement at Yorktown High School, in Arlington, VA. I will be student teaching with Carol Cadby, who I met several times at workshops she presented at Catholic. I am anxious to begin my student teaching, a little nervous about the semester, and at the same time, eagerly looking forward to May when I am finally finished with schooling, and can begin an actual career teaching on my own.