Sunday, March 13, 2005

Another Week Whirls By

Since my return from Wales, the weather has shifted from snow to springtime with a mischevious abruptness. Daffodils, crocuses, snowdrops, and their many-colored cousins emerge in hesitant force and, after a day or two of wary glances at the clouds floating oh-so-innocently across the sky, decide winter has gone for good and devote their full energy to reflecting the gleaming sunshine and dancing in the breeze. This was the ninth week of the spring term, and I have only one more week of classes before a month of Easter vacation is upon me. Time has sped by so fleetingly, I must be having fun. And indeed I am, of course. The past week has brought all manner of excitement.

I had a presentation in Writing for the Theatre on Tuesday on Dogs Barking, a play by Robert Zajdlic, which went quite well. On Wednesday, I went book-shopping in Brighton for my Science Fiction class, which was quite a fun experience--rode the train out there and spent about an hour wandering through the maze of cute shops and cafes they call the Lanes, doing as much scoping-out-in-preparation-for-upcoming-visitors as actual book-shopping. Then I came back to campus for a spontaneous hot chocolate and conversation with Sara, later joined by Gavin. I dashed home to prepare a hasty salad for our potluck to celebrate the last Skeptics of the term, where we discussed the Trinity. And although, as Skeptics always does, we had to conclude long before we had heard nearly everyone's full viewpoint nor reached any type of conclusion, there were some very interesting and insightful points raised. Among them the idea that the reason we view God as existing as multiple Persons is that we observe Him in many different places (in ourselves, throughout the universe, in the person of Jesus) and each time we observe Him, He's not just a force or fragment, but a full Person. If that makes sense. (But if you're interested in hearing more about that point/the discussion, let me know and I'll be happy to expand.)

After Skeptics a few of us headed over to watch The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, by Bertolt Brecht, a very interesting play which he wrote in 1941, while in the process of fleeing to America from Nazi Germany. It's basically a transparent allegory of Hitler's rise to power, in which a gangster named Ui gains control of Chicago, and later begins to expand into the neighboring city of Cicero, through the compliance of the blackmailed but outwardly respectable political leader Dogsborough, by promising to protect the members of the Cauliflower Trust from the outbreak of vegetable-related violence suddenly spreading across the city (at the instigation of the very heavies he is offering to provide protection). It must have been an enormously daring piece of theatre at the time it was written, although the villainizing of Hitler and those who allowed his rise to power seems a bit trite with modern historical hindsight. Still, it was a good bit of theatre, well-written, surprisingly funny, and entertaining to watch. My one quibble was that, in keeping with the spirit in which it was written, I think Brecht would have preferred the story to be applied (as it certainly could have been) to more contemporary political situations, rather than so strictly related to its original WWII background. Otherwise, though, very interesting indeed.

Thursday I went to a lecture put on by the astronomy department about the use of galactic clusters in gaining deeper understanding of the Big Bang, which ended up being way over my head, but which was impressive to watch in large part because the lecturer, having become confused about intended time and thus mis-scheduled her babysitter, was forced to give the talk while simultaneously keeping an eye on her 18-month-old son, who toddled around at her feet exploring the projector and waving around a pointer stick. A very vivid demonstartion of the type of woman able to juggle both motherhood and a serious scientific career.

On Friday I met with my Creative Drama group and, as the result of a flash of inspiration I had received about our project the day before, we finally began writing what I think will be the basic outline of our final production as it will eventually end up. It's an interesting combination of a loop of stylized "daily life" interactions (people walking along, buying coffee, greeting each other, holding open doors, missing busses, crossing streets, etc.) interrupted by a dream sequence with a series of visions of differing degrees of realism, all revolving around the potential importance of seemingly insignificant moments and tiny interactions. It's kind of a combination of the various techniques and storylines we've considered throughout the process, and I think it will be really effective once we've got it all put together. We're thinking of using video projection and city-street sound effects as well. So I'm pretty excited that that seems to finally be coming together.

Also on Friday I went for my first run since Camp last August, which felt so nice. It's a great place to run because there are beautiful trails here starting the moment you get off campus or even before. I'm hoping my getting into shape for Running Camp this summer can thus begin a bit earlier than usual. After my run, we had our usual Friday afternoon discussion group, this week's chapter being on Sin and Grace and the meaning of the phrase "As in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive." Again, if you're interested in a recap of the discussion, or in getting involved in it yourself vicariously through me, I'm happy to oblige. After the discussion I spent a few hours sitting out in the windy sunshine reading Player of Games (the Iain M. Banks book I bought in Brighton for SciFi) before heading out to watch some of my new friends walk across glowing coals for charity--quite a sight to see, but apparently not the slightest bit painful!

Saturday eight of us headed out to Gavin's for a six-mile walk in the countryside, with a stop midway through at a pub, and tea with scones and other goodies (although they say "scons", claiming that only the most "posh" of people call them "scones") while we watched ENgland beat Italy in a rugby match once we got home.

Just a bunch of little events, really, but it's been a while since I've written so I wanted to let you know what I've been up to, in case you were wondering. And don't worry, I only very rarely consider the fact that most people have stopped commenting on my periodic posts to be an indication that nobody's reading them anymore--I figure some of you are still out there, reading in silence and going on your way. Alternately, I'm writing for my own memory's sake and the grammatical practice. Which is fine too. But if you are still popping in for an update every now and again and would like to let me know as much, a quick comment never fails to bring a smile to my face.

In any event, I'm looking forward to my upcoming month-long Easter holiday, peppered with such excitement as visits from Kate and Amy, a trip to Rome, and a week in Ireland with some of my flatmates and their friends. My love, as always, to all of you, wherever you are and whatever you're up to, and I hope all is well in your life.


Blogger Dad said...

I'm still reading and enjoying your posts. Love, Dad

3:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello to my lovely reed! When and where will you be in Ireland? If it happens to fall between the dates of April 8 and 13 we might be able to concoct a curly girl reunion! I miss my little nuthatch, but am glad to hear that things are going well. A girl in not-so-far-away France sends sunshine, cinnamon lollipops, trafalmadorian nutmeg-sprinkled christmas cookies, and laundry room leprachauns forever and ever.

11:37 AM  

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