September 15th, 2002

anime night

Twelfth Night

Last night, Joan and i went to an OUDS (Oxford University Dramatic Society) production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night at Mount Holyoke. My high school put on a production of Twelfth Night my junior year (the director wrote in my part, attendant to Sir Andrew) and i love the play, but i’ve never seen any other production of it.

This production was really good. They made terrific use of simple sets (mostly wooden arches) and had great costumes. Sometimes i couldn’t understand what the actors were saying, so i was very glad that i already knew (at times i found myself mouthing along, actually), but mostly they did very well. The people playing Sebastian and Viola looked very similar, though Viola was a significant bit smaller.

I kept picturing the people we had and comparing to the people in this production. Joan was a big fan of a lot of the guys, but i wasn’t very taken with any of them (in a physical attraction sort of way). And of course i nitpicked about ways in which the productions differed. For example, when Sir Toby is straining for characteristics to recommend Sir Andrew to Olivia he says “He’s as... tall a man as any.” That was funnier in our production because our Sir Andrew wasn’t particularly at all, whereas in this production he was tall. In general in this production he looked much more dorky and weak, much more being taken advantage of for Sir Toby’s entertainment than in our production. And Antonio and Sir Toby didn’t fence in this production; they just draw their swords (well, Viola and Sir Andrew’s swords respectively, really). We actually brought in a guy to teach Maura and Suzy to fence (or some approximation thereof), which was so fun to watch, and i was disappointed that they didn’t do it in this one.

Sir Toby was a lot randier than in our production, which was fun. He obviously wanted to get with Maria, but he slapped the guys on the ass and stuff. It was fun. And there were times when the Duke showed definite attraction to Viola-as-Cesario, which was cool. At the end when he says “Come, boy, with me; my thoughts are ripe in mischief” he so obviously wants to fuck Cesario. When Antonio and Sebastian part after Antonio has given Sebastian his purse, they embrace and kiss. Now, i’m well familiar with the fact that people used to speak more effusively than they tend to now, and that men often embraced like they shake hands today, but in this production they fairly obviously kissed for real. It was the sweetest, most tender moment in the entire play. You could almost hear a collective murmuring “Aww” from the audience. But then when Olivia first tells Sebastian she wants him, his face says he is so all about bedding this woman. What up? Why add in that text between Antonio and Sebastian if you’re going to play it that Sebastian is all about hooking up with Olivia? And it adds a note of tragedy to the end because while the twins get paired up and most everything ends happily (except for Malvolio, of course) Antonio is just standing alone.

We walked around Mount Holyoke campus a bit, both before and after the play, though it was dark out. Very pretty campus. We didn’t see all of it, of course, but it looked like all nice brick buildings. I don’t think they have a pond, though.

We transferred at Hampshire, and had a half an hour to kill there, so we walked around. There was a swing hanging from a tree! So of course we had to swing in it. And then we ran in the field and Joan quoted Midsummer (which she’s reading in her Shakespeare class). We walked around the housing part of campus, and it looked like a lot of little apartments, with TVs and refrigerators and everything. According to their Jolt, though, they do have “dining commons.” Regardless, Joan’s totally in love with the campus, and we both think we should take a class there next semester. Oh, and there was a picnic bench outside one of the houses with a bunch of people just chilling. At 11:30 on a Saturday night. Very cool.
you think you know...

church, take two

Since we got home late last night, i’ve been tired all day, despite the occasional nap, but i went to church again anyway. There was an actual single sermon, but i seem to have spaced for that as well as for the children’s message. Oh well. It was mostly a nice service, i think.

At the end of the service the pastor did the cares and concerns thing and anyone who wanted to could share prayer requests. One woman, i think her name was Joan, asked us to prayer for her family who is in Iraq. As she spoke i started crying. Just silent tears running down my cheeks.

Coffee hour was nice. People don’t mob me to greet me, but i do seem to find nice people to chat with. And the pastor’s wife (Jenny) is so enthusiastic and friendly. They had the photo albums from their trip out. Very nice. They saw Dar Williams perform in Glasgow! And they’re actually friends with her, which is so cool i think. And i learned that her new album is called The Beauty of the Rain and is due out in January.

I definitely like this church and am totally going again next Sunday. Peter (the pastor) said they’re going to be doing the baptism of the children of Anna Murphy and Wendy... i forget the last name. I may have misheard the first names, but i would swear it’s two women. Oh how i heart Northampton.

I also like that no one has pressured me to join a Bible Study or anything. Last week Peter asked me if i came from a Baptist background (since this is a Baptist church, after all), but mostly people ask me if i’m new in the area and then when i tell them i’m a sophomore at Smith they ask me what i’m studying in, what i’m majoring in, where i’m from and stuff. Nice to have people interested in what i’m like as a person. It feels a little odd, though, because it’s so much like in the house here -- What’s your name? Where are you from? and so forth. I’m learning to be social.
angry - books

some sanity

My grade for my Russian literature course is based on 3 things: class participation, and 2 10-page papers. I don't have much to say about anything we've read so far and don't even really like Pushkin (the author we've been reading). A good grade in this class is not gonna happen. It's gonna be like Milton all over again. So i'm just gonna drop the class. I'll still attend (and do the readings) 'cause i am interested (yes, i'm a massive dork), but i will be getting no grade. There will be no obligation, no stress, related to that class. I can handle this. Layna thinks i should take the Women Mystics course this spring, and i have heard many good things about Liz Carr (the professor), so i think i may audit it. 4 regular classes (incl. one off-campus, preferably at Hampshire), 1-credit self-defense, and auditing Women Mystics. That sounds like a reasonable plan for next semester.

"Let go of all expectations." -Jennifer Walters, Dean of Religious Life here at the Bubble, at Convocation