Have you ever had one of those periods of time where you were being pulled in 17 different directions at once. I just went through one of those. Between the horses, the clinic and my Drama class, I have been running non-stop for about the last three weeks.
I know what some of you are thinking right now. “Don’t you teach math?” Not exactly sure how I got stuck with drama either, but there you are. The math teacher, who has not even acted in any kind of live performance since playing the evil stepmother in Cinderella in the third grade (you really can’t count the vacuum cleaner ballet or any of the other crazy things Sandy Pritchett got us to do on stage because they were just silly—didn’t Will marry Meghan once to the sounds of the big bopper?—not acting) is teaching drama. This is the second year I’ve taught it. I learned two things last year: a. pick an easy play—last year’s play involved lots of chaotic running around in the last scene and we never really did get it all right, and b. do whatever it takes, up to and including endless nagging/bribery/torture to get your students to memorize their lines early on—they can’t learn to act or project until they know their lines.
I’m not exactly sure how it worked out that I spent 4 days attending a Buck Brannaman clinic, then returned and had to perform our play two nights later. We originally had it scheduled for a week later, but there was a conflict with the board meeting and since the Superintendant’s son was in the play, it just seemed polite (not to mention politic) to reschedule the play for a night when he could be there. When I finally came to and realized what a horrible conflict this would create for me, it was too late to do anything. Those of you associated with schools in any way know how absolutely jammed up and crazy the last month of school is, what with science camp, 8th grade trips, walk-a-thons, Memorial Day Ceremonies, proms, spring sports finals/banquets and graduations/promotions from every grade conceivable (honestly, I think we overdo this just a wee bit? Kindergarten promotion? Really? I guess you have to be a parent to understand this one) so anyway, our date wasn’t going to change whether I liked it or not.
Last night was our performance. The kids did a great job! There were the usual few miscues, but for the most part everyone had it down pretty well. Even my most shrinking violet was able to speak up and act some. With any luck, we will get an English teacher who can teach drama next year and I will be able to go back to hiding in my classroom surrounded by my graphing calculators and dodecahedrons. I would really like to go out on this success, although I have to say that I am kind of starting to get the hang of it.
So, today, I can get back to living my life without this huge metaphorical boulder hanging over my head. I keep getting e-mails asking when I’m going to write about the clinic. It may take me another two weeks to do it justice, but I am working on it now that I am able to: a. sleep and b. stop nagging kids to memorize lines.