Category Archives: she works hard for the money

Why I won’t be wearing a gown to Commencement, and other Obie-ness

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I ❤ you Obieland, but my sentiments exactly.

So my commencement is the 30th!  I’m psyched to show off my school to my family and my family to my school.

Commencement comes at the end of a long senior week full of partying and festivals.  It’s held in Tappan square, the main park-thing in the center of town.  The night before exercises is Illumination- where they hang up tons of lanterns and everyone parties.

All of the lights, all of the lights

We used to have to pass through Memorial arch, which commemorated those Oberlin missionary students who died in the boxer rebellion, but now it’s optional:

It used to be somewhat of a tradition that graduating students walk under the arch during graduation.

As controversy and protest are also a tradition at Oberlin, some students took issue with the presence of missionaries in China in the first place. These students would walk around the arch instead of through it.

Every year as commencement approached, there was often a display in A-level to inform students about the details of the dispute.

It’s also possible to go over the arch, by chimneying up the columns. This has been an option taken by graduating students from time to time as a meta-commentary on the issue.  (from Oberwiki)

Down with colonialism!

We’re also not required to do cap and gown.  Apparently, we were the last on the boat to adopt this custom when it came over from England, and we did away with it relatively quickly.

Pomp, in the form of the Academic Procession, became an integral part of the ceremony in the early 1900’s. By 1909 there was a standard listing for the “Academic Procession” and in 1913 the “Honorary Marshal” was added. Caps and gowns were worn beginning in 1903 by the students and in 1907 by the faculty. It was not until 1970 that the custom was abandoned by the graduating class. That class voted to abandon the cap and gown protesting that they were elitist symbols and that the rental money could be better used elsewhere. Most of the class contributed money to community organizations. The action came as a shock to “traditionalists.” It is worth looking in some detail at the history of academic dress at Oberlin in relation to this nostalgic outcry.  (From the Oberlin Archives)

Oh Oberlin, this is why I ❤ you!

Here’s a link of graduation images (with extra commentary) from the alumni magazine.  I heard that some kid wore a bear suit to graduation one year, which doesn’t surprise me, considering we have both bathrobe boy, fez kid, and Kalan, a recent grad and Obie legend who wore a cow suit on occasion, and who showed up to commencement in “ski googles, paint-stained overalls over his bare chest, and an American flag as a cape”.

We are Oberlin. Casual Mondays.

I was thinking of wearing my kimono (that I bought in Japan) to graduation, but it’s probably going to be warm outside, and the kimono’s silk.  I think I’ll wear mom’s Mexican dress instead.  Either way, I’ll be representin‘!  Maybe I’ll be like the grad below, and wear an awesome wreath!

Maybe I'll be like this grad, and wear a wreath instead...

This is my last week of classes!!!  WOO WOOO!!! I’m only six class periods, three papers, and a presentation away from being finished.  When I get my degree Imma be like this:

Click the pic: This is me in three weeks

And it doesn’t even matter that after graduation Imma be like this:

So what about you, cyberfriends?  What was/is your commencement like?  What were/are your school’s traditions?

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Exclusive: A missing monologue from Dog

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The following monologue was cut from Dog.

I wanted a Tennessee Williams style narration, and I wanted to investigate the nature of memory itself.  Sadly, I couldn’t figure out how to weave more narration into the show and had to get rid of it.  Hopefully it’s going back in at some point- I don’t think the memory-play/unreliable narrator structure works quite as well without it, and it really is beautiful (if I do say so myself).

If anyone wants to use this monologue for auditioning purposes, etc.  please leave a note in the comments section before you do.

This is spoken as Charlie re-sets the room at the top of Scene 1.  There is an overturned mirror in the room among the general disarray (please refer to Dog part 1 on youtube)

Charlie:

When I left this room for the last time, I promised myself I would remember everything the way it was.  I knew so little truth then, I wanted to hold on to what little I noticed while I was here.  Stupid, I know.  I forget more everyday.  It’s natural- time passes and slowly you forget what things were like.  The color of the walls, the smell of the motel soap, what you were wearing when she kissed you.  So you invent new things, fill in the gaps.  But some of it remains, clear as water.  I remember the bathroom smelled like piss, the walls were dirty and the desk had one wobbly leg.  I remember sitting side-by-side on the bed, touching her shoulder.  I remember that stupid wind-up radio, the first snow, the fight, the other fight, the sound of the door slamming, the steady, confident red of the coke-can, how she shone when I looked at her.

And my memory strings it all together, the false and the true, and I worry them like a rosary.

He places the mirror in its place on the wall.  A woman’s laughter is heard, faintly.

I remember the laugh.

Japanese emoticons rate my BEST DAY in a loooong time ⊂二二二( ^ω^)二⊃

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So here’s what happened to me today (technically yesterday, 4/4), with emoticons rating the good v. bad news:

d(*⌒▽⌒*)b woke up to a voicemail that said I made it to the interview stage of the fellowship I’m hoping for! NY theater workshop’s emerging artists of color (playwrights division). If I get it there’ll be a stipend and everything! I was karate-chopping the air all morning!!! The interview is next week via skype. Wish me luck!

(╬ ಠ益ಠ) Stupid speedy Khan (see post: Khan Legacy) is trying to ruin my life with her pooping in the sink/oven/evading two mousetraps while getting the bait. Gotta call the landlord to bring in the big guns.

☜(⌒▽⌒)☞ Mom sent me a letter to translate. It’s from my cousin in Japan. Everyone’s alright! Even the relatives in Fukushima! Thank GOD!!!

ヽ(´▽`)/ I was super productive on everything. I’m up way too late, but still!

┏(・o・)┛♪┗ ( ・o・) ┓♪┗ (・o・ ) ┓♪┏(・o・)┛♪┏(・o・)┛♪┗ ( ・o・) ┓♪┗ (・o・ ) ┓♪

Right now, life is good. YEAH LIFE!

After the Storm: musings with a post-show cold

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I came home yesterday looking like this

So now it’s over. Thank God, thank my family, thank my friends, thank snickerdoodles, and thank sleep for that.
Don’t get me wrong- Jerusalem of Gold was a worthwhile experience. I met so many wonderful people, learned how to sing, and learned how much I like working collaboratively with new plays.  I became a better cook in my spare time.   2 out of 3 performances got a standing ovation, and there’s talk about the show going to NY Fringe festival.

But this past week was one of the MOST stressful weeks of my life.  Usually hell week (aka tech week aka the week a show goes up) is very hectic and stressful, but this was probably the first time when hell week was considered the least of my problems.  To put it gently, my Oberlin support system upended itself, and I was struggling to deal with that.  I’m still trying to figure the balance between taking care of others and taking care of myself.  How does one responsibly put oneself first, anyhow?

Now I’m able to turn my attention to other pressing issues like my senior paper, my unemployment status, and cleaning my house.  But first, my body says as it rocket-launches rhinoviruses strait at my face, sit your big butt down and get some rest.

So here I sit on the lazyboy in my house, bundled up and drugged up because of my usual post-show cold, with an uncharacteristically blank look on my face.  When my housemates came in and saw me they started laughing because my expression was so dead.  It’s crazy how much a show takes out of a person.  I spent an entire week trying to live for two and a half hours of stage-time.  Which goes to show: I need more vitamins.  I need more rest.  I need to get paid for this.