When I’m not in class, I’m usually in the Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching, which is one of Puget Sound’s primary sources for academic support for students. I’m work as a French tutor and as a Writing Advisor, so I’m there a lot. I love working there: it’s helped me grow as a student as well as helped me improve my teaching skills. Teaching writing, real writing, not just grammar and sentence structure, is a lot harder than it might seem. Trying to communicate these concepts has really broadened my perspective concerning the writing process, as well as helped me improve my own skills. Sometimes there are days when the job is difficult, but what I’m learning makes it worthwhile. It has helped me identify some of my own career goals, namely that I really do want to revisit the liberal arts, academic environment at some point in my life, only as a professor or faculty member.
Also, sometimes I get do really cool stuff (even cooler than talking about writing all day, I know) like go see plays in Seattle with my liaison classes. Some of the freshmen seminar classes are assigned to a specific writing advisor for more specific kinds of help, should they ever need it. My seminar was going to a play in Seattle, and the professor invited me along. So on Wednesday, I went to see Mary Stuart, by ACT (http://www.acttheatre.org/Tickets/OnStage/MaryStuart). Mary Stuart was the tragic Queen of Scotland who was executed by Elizabeth I after nineteen years of imprisonment. To illustrate how much a giant European royalty nerd I am…I actually REread a biography about Mary Stuart this summer. One of my first beloved historical fiction novels was about Mary and one of her fools. (It was called Queen’s Own Fool, by Jane Yolen and Robert Harris. If you’re interested in royal history, this is a must-read).
On the way to the play, we had a little bit of excitement when the back tires of our bus blew out. Luckily, our bus driver was great and got us safely to the side of the road where we could wait for another bus. The theater seated us late, and we ended up only missing the first half hour (our bus driver was a wizard who got us from the I-5 to downtown Seattle in record time…) I was so glad we made it! The play was incredible…suspenseful, tender and heart-wrenching, and I didn’t even mind the historical liberties. I did spend intermission telling my friend all about Mary and how she was implicated in the murder of her second husband and and then married his murderer and most likely did play SOME role in plotting against Elizabeth… The acting was powerful, the writing was brilliant and the music was creepily haunting. I had goosebumps the entire time. I even had to cover my eyes at one point (I cover my eyes A LOT during movies and plays…so maybe this isn’t the best way to measure how intense this play was…but believe me…it was INTENSE).
It was such a lovely evening, and when I got home I didn’t even mind my giant pile of homework that had patiently awaited me. Midterms are looming…essays and presentations and, oh yes, the question of what I am going to do for the rest of my life, but for right now, it will wait until tomorrow. I got to see some great theater for my job, at school…you can’t beat that, in my opinion.