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."