Category: Central Washington.

Sunset BBQs

I feel like I spent the entire day doing Spanish homework.

In reality, I spent the morning eating a delicious bowl of oats as I  skyped with my sister. Then I spent from noon to 4:30pm catching up and getting ahead in my Spanish. I diligently looked up unfamiliar words and wrote them down in my notebook. I’m trying my best not to embarrass myself in class anymore.

While I did my school work, Charlie fiercely hunted a q-tip he stole from my dressing table.


I took a break at 5pm to go to the department BBQ.

I’m very proud of myself. I avoided the meat and did not feel guilty. Instead I just loaded my plate with salad and veggies. I also made a green monster at 3pm to make sure I’d get veggies and other nutrients in case the BBQ was a bust.





Can you see the gorgeous sunset? The sky was filled with brilliant oranges, pinks, purples, and blues.

I’d say it was a successful Sunday. I still need to nail down my lesson plans for tomorrow, but I’m thinking of just leading a discussion on the material. I’ll figure it out. 😉

My brain is not in the game — yet.

School is back in session.

Both yesterday and today it was 40 degrees when I left the apartment. I’m going to need to invest in some more long-underwear. Sheesh.

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This parking lot is usually full, but since I walk to school so early, it was nearly empty.

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The theatre building is also a ghost town when I arrive. Having an 8am class sucks, but no one tells you that teaching at 8am also sucks.

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The office is also very quiet, which is a welcome change.

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So Spanish class is just as I remembered.

I think it’s going to be my most stressful class this quarter. It’s been six years since I last took Spanish and I’m jumping into an intermediate class. Not good! The teacher called on me today. Let’s just say, it did not go well. I’m going to be doing a lot of studying this weekend!

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Charlie’s pretty excited school is back. It means he gets to cuddle with me when I study in my office.

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Unfortunately, my brain’s not in the game yet. I spent a bunch of time reading this afternoon and nothing was sticking. Get with it, Brain!

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The bad news for Charlie: He lost bedroom privileges for the nights when I have to wake up at 6am — Sunday-Wednesday. He hasn’t quite put two and two together to realize that when he knocks stuff off my dressing table or tips over my lamp in the middle of the night, he’s getting the boot out of my bedroom. He’s just lucky he’s cute.

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One last thing to be thankful for — tomorrow is Friday and my Spanish class which is supposed to meet Monday-Friday, will not be having class on Fridays, ever. Yay! Three day weekend.

Random Thoughts

Add this to the list of things I never thought I’d say:

I would like a few more months of summer.

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Sometimes I wish I could buy some flies and let them loose in my apartment. They provide so much entertainment for Charlie.

A hunter at work.

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My advising meeting went well. This next year is going to be crazy busy — thesis writing, teaching, classes, and PhD applications!

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Ugh. I made a mess of my bank account today. It wasn’t really my fault and in theory things should be fine, but I need to call tomorrow and double check.

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I went to the Bite of the Burg for a bit this afternoon. All the local businesses get together and welcome back the students with free samples and information about their businesses.

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The highlight was definitely roasting marshmallows over by Mountain High Sports, although I smelled like campfire for the rest of the day.

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Classes start tomorrow! I’m nervous.

One More Day of Freedom

It’s only 9pm, but I am heading to bed shortly. I’m aiming to get up at 6am tomorrow, so my body can adjust to reality that summer is over and 6am wake ups are going to be a regular occurrence.

I’m trying to see the bright side of teaching at 8am and be more productive in the 9-5 hours and hopefully be able to relax and go to sleep early on a regular basis. I figured out this summer that nine hours of sleep makes me happy, but I don’t know if it’s do-able. I don’t have any afternoon or evening classes this quarter, so maybe my goal is possible.

School is almost back in session. Classes and teaching starts back up on Wednesday! But today, we had our first official meeting today regarding our teaching assignments and plans for the upcoming year. There is a lot to do in the next nine months! More importantly, we are definitely going to the ASTR conference, which stands for American Society for Theatre Research. It’ll be a great thing to put on my CV, hopefully a great networking opportunity, and we are presenting some research (which we have yet to do…).

In other good news, the university is officially behind the grad party that one of my classmates is organizing. It’ll be happening at Brix Wine Bar (pictured below). The idea is to get grad students out of their research caves and let the different departments socialize. We did one last year and it was mostly a success, but this year we have the university behind us and we are doing it early on in the school year. Maybe I’ll meet some new people after all?

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After the meeting on campus, the fabulous theatre grad students walked downtown to grab some cheap appetizers at The Tav. Their cheese and tomato quesadilla was delicious and only $3!

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Things to do for tomorrow:

  • buy play-doh (I’m using it in the class I’m teaching)
  • do laundry. I still haven’t done laundry since getting back from London. Yikes.
  • clean my apartment. I need to start the quarter off on the right foot.
  • put the finishing touches on my syllabus. I found out I’ll have 29 students in my class. I’m trying to scale things down, so I don’t die from all the grading.

I also have an advising meeting, Bite of the Burg, and help out at a meeting for new grad students. Busy, busy.

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Yee-haw

Cowboys and indians, oh my!

The day started out by watching the Kittitas Country Fair Parade. Admittedly, I did not expect much. Parades are generally lame, in my opinion, but I was surprised by both the number of floats and the number of people who turned out to watch the parade. Where do these people hide every other day of the year?!

Whoo!

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Horses!

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The CWU Wildcats mascot. Considering I’ve never actually to been to any of the events here, this was the first time I’ve seen him.

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We saw tons of rodeo pageant queens. I think if you win the rodeo pageant you’re obligated to appear at rodeo events for the rest of your life. Seriously. There were a million rodeo queens trotting by on horses. I even saw one from 1949! Also, I guess the queens make appearances at other local fairs and rodeos, because it wasn’t just Kittitas county winners.

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And after each group that involved horses, they had little kids on manure duty. The kids looked so excited, I don’t think they realize how crappy their job was.

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We actually had a lot of fun watching the parade, taking pictures, and adding silly commentary.

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More horses! Horses, horses, horses!

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Horses and Yakima Indians.

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While I was surrounded by cowboys and indians at the parade, I couldn’t help but think about another indian tribe — the SEMINOLES!

Today was the first day of college football and the Seminoles kicked things off with a major win against Samford. I vow to watch as many games as possible this season. My plan is to either plant myself at some sports bar and convince the them to change it to the FSU game orrr more likely, go to the gym and watch part of the game on the TVs there.

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One more parade picture, for good measure.

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From there, we tried to go to the farmers market, but it didn’t happen this weekend. So we went to check out the fair instead. I don’t think I’ve ever been to the fair (or at least I can’t remember the last time I went…).

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Trying on cowboy hats was first on our list of things to see.

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I actually think that the straw cowboy hat works for me… who knows, maybe I’ll buy one and start sporting the look.

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This guy was walking around with a faux cow…. Not sure why.

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We avoided eating any bad fair food, but they did have rootbeer floats advertised and it was very tempting to pass up.

Next up… Frontier Village. It reminded me of Heritage Park from Florida. They took these original houses from their locations in Kittitas county disassembled them and then reassembled them board for board on the fairgrounds. Each of the buildings were manned by docents who share lineage with the original owners. Pretty neat.

The doorways were very short. Why is it people have become taller in the past century? Is it because we are eating more theoretically nutritious foods? Hrm.

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Then we checked out the animals!

Chickens first. This girl raised her chicken from an egg. She was very cute and friendly. The girl, not the chicken, well the chicken was sort of cute too.

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We got to pet some of the chickens too.

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Next the cows!

But first we watched them bathe the cows. There was one who was very unhappy to be sprayed down. It was moaning and drooling the whole time.

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I’m sort afraid of big animals. A suggested that I bow to the cow, like a hippogriff. It did not allow me to pet it, so I moved on. 😉

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We also found this kid, just chillin, surfin’ on his iphone, while resting on the cow. Ha.

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After the fair, we made a pitstop at Safeway and returned back to the apartment. Since then we’ve been chilling here, like that boy, except without the cows.

Actually, all the walking we’ve done these past few days have made my legs tired and sore! Who knew.

On the agenda for tomorrow — check out Roslyn, the Roslyn farmer’s market, maybe the wind turbines and more relaxing. Seattle on Monday. A flies home on Tuesday and I fly to LONDON on Wednesday!

Eburg: one year later

One year ago, almost to the day, my life was on the verge of being turned upside down. If you remember, my mom and I flew out to visit Ellensburg to see the life I’d already committed myself to. It’s a good thing I didn’t hate it immediately, because there was no turning back. After our brief trip out here, I flew home, packed my car with all my belongings, Charlie and my dad and I hit the road to Washington.

To see my initial reactions to Ellensburg and Seattle click here.

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So after a year of living here, what do I think about this place?

Well, I’m glad that I’m only committed to living here for another year AND that Central doesn’t offer a PhD program. I’m ready for a change of scenery and some chain stores! [No Target, no Publix, no Chipotle, and no local Borders is starting to kill me.]

Everyone assumes that since I’m living in Washington, somehow that means that I’m living in Seattle. Sadly, that is not the case. I think living in Seattle would be far more exciting. Unfortunately, Ellensburg is nothing like Seattle. It hardly rains here [and I LOVE rain]. Eburg is a solid two hours of mountainous driving from Seattle. Eburg doesn’t have a liberal hippy population — this is a strictly cowboy and hay bailing town. The age demographic is heavily skewed toward 18-21 year old undergrads and families. And most importantly, there isn’t much to do here.

It’s so SMALL! Yes, it’s beautiful.

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Yes, it’s very safe here. [Here’s an snippet from the police blotter… “Five cows were reported in the roadway on Naneum Road.”]

Yes, I can go walking at night or leave my windows open when I leave for vacation.
Yes, most people know each other.
What’s not to love?

But umm, I’m bored.

The local residents seem to resent the university students, so Eburg doesn’t really embrace the university population or allow for development that would cater to a younger population. Eburg COULD be an awesome college town. A happening place. But it isn’t. All the town events are geared toward families and locals. The First Friday Art Walk is pretty lame. We’ll see about rodeo weekend. Apparently the rodeo and fair, which are happening this weekend, is THE BIGGEST event in Eburg. It’s the 19th biggest rodeo in the country. Who knew?

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So with all my griping, do I regret my decision to move here?

Absolutely not. It’s an experience. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes boring.

It’s all part of growing and being here has definitely made me appreciate Florida. When I left Florida I had absolutely no intentions of ever returning, but now I miss the state, the beach, my friends, my family, even Tallahassee. Being at Central helped me to appreciate and value my education at FSU, which I previously had taken for granted. To be honest, I almost wish life here was a bit tougher. Maybe that sounds silly, but dealing with life in a big city like Seattle might have forced me to grow more as an adult.

This next year won’t be as new and exciting, since I doubt there is much adjusting to Ellensburg left to do, but it will be a big transition year. In the next year I’m going to be retaking the GRE, relearning Spanish, writing my thesis, applying to PhD programs, hopefully being accepted to a program, moving [most likely back across the country], hopefully doing an internship somewhere, and then finally starting over once again in Fall 2011. Thankfully with the PhD program I’ll be settled in whatever location for five-six years. I’ve been moving every year or so since I started undergrad! I can’t wait to stay put, although part of me does fear I’ll get bored wherever I land. Oh well, now is not the time to worry about things like that!

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Stress!

This week has been stressful. UGH. I’m so happy that it’s the weekend and I’m even happier that this weekend looks fairly easy work-wise. Remember that silly trip to London that determines my summer plans? Well, the main cause of stress revolved around writing two different grant proposals to make that trip happen. Thankfully I did the bulk of my research back in December, so this week I simply needed to edit and revise my thoughts. I’m actually quite happy with how my proposal turned out and I ended up with a new direction for my thesis. Weee! I’ll find out around mid-May if I got either grant and from there my summer plans will be determined. Scary.

The other big piece of news from this week is I might be presenting my history conference paper from last quarter at a university wide conference. Basically, I hate reading allowed, let alone in front of an audience but it would be fantastic experience and great for my CV.

Charlie celebrated his second birthday on April 3rd. My little son is growing up and definitely going through his terrible twos!

I had the scary realization this week that at some point I became a teacher. It’s so weird, I don’t feel like one… but clearly I am since I teach Intro to Theatre four days a week.

I’m currently obsessed with the tv show Veronica Mars. I know, it’s sooo 2004, but man it was a well-written show. Clearly my lack of cable hasn’t been an issue, especially since netflix keeps adding tv series to instant-play.

Marathon training has been kicked back into gear. Over spring break I did less running than I planned, but I did go to the gym almost every day. I realized that I can read from the kindle as I run on the elliptical. My desire to read distracted me from actually going out and running. I’m working on fixing that. Two weeks ago I did a long run of 6 miles and last week I went out and ran 10 miles. This week I’m supposed to run 14. I’ve made the deal with myself that I can run/walk if needed, so long as I actually complete the distance. I’m hoping this week’s run goes smoothly, I bought new shoes (I was long overdue) and shot bloks. I’d been forgetting to take nutrition mid-run, so maybe that’ll help keep my energy level up. I’m still fairly worried about completing the marathon, but I’m getting pretty excited too.

OH. It’s official. My whole family is coming to visit for a week at the end of June. My parents will be here to support H and I during the run!

Update next, a pictorial look at the past month…

Quarters

Two quarters down, four more to go.

My first quarter of grad school, fall quarter, center on readjusting. Readjusting to school life and life in Ellensburg. Winter quarter was just plain busy. I team-taught two classes and was enrolled in four of my own. I wonder what spring quarter has in store for me. My course load will be heavy again and I’m teaching all by myself. Scary.

My schedule:

Directing I – This class is really why I’m scared. I have ZERO directing experience, but I think it’s important for me to understand the mechanics of directing. If I’d like to pursue dramaturgy, which I think I do, understanding what goes into directing and the director’s perspective will be useful for me. During my undergrad, I took a classed called “Directing Encounters” at FSU. The concept of the class was fantastic, but the instructor was CRAP. Basically, instead of providing us directing opportunities, he did everything himself. So I’m worried that my lack of experience will be a huge disadvantage in succeeding in this class. All that being said, the classes that have forced me out of my comfort zone (acting, voice, even directing encounters) have proved to be the most rewarding. That’s what I’m hoping.

Theatre History Modernism to Contemporary – I am very excited about this class. My interests tend to lie more towards contemporary theatre and this is the area where my thesis focuses. Also, one of our textbooks focuses on postcolonial theatre, such as African theatre and Latin American theatre. Yay.

Analysis and Criticism – This is another class I’m concerned about. I’m not entirely sure what this class will entail beyond reading lots of theory. Theory can be intense, so I’m sure this class will be difficult.

Finally…

Dramaturgical Practicum – Again, I’m not sure what I’ll be doing exactly. We will be doing some sort of dramaturgical work on Urinetown, which CWU will be producing in the fall. Right now I’m signed up for two credit hours, but I’m debating whether or not I should drop down to just one credit.

On top of all that, I’m teaching Introduction to Theatre and helping with Theatre Appreciation and Film.

I’m also writing a grant for a summer research. I’m going to write more about my summer plans in another post….

All in all, I don’t think this quarter will be any busier or scarier than the previous quarters. I know how to manage grad school work and teaching, it’s just a matter of perfecting my time management skills.

weekend wrap up

The graduate party was a smashing success! I’d say we had about 50-60 people there at a few different points and a variety of departments made appearances. I talked with people from biology, geology, psychology and history… that I’m aware of, haha. The question is, will we get people together to do this some other time? The theatre students were talking and if we formed a dramaturgy club, we could host other parties like this.

It was great to get out of the house and socialize, but I had glorious plans to get up at 7am the next morning and getting home around 12:30am made me 7am wakeup quite painful!

The past weekend my productivity level was quite low. It’s gonna hurt me down the road.

I did tackle my taxes though! w2, 1099, 1098-t, 1098-e, 1040, special c… ugh! Thankfully it looks like I WILL get a rebate and not owe money, like I was fearing. My wonderful father is going to have his tax person check over my work before I actually submit it. Perhaps I’ll even be able to get a bit more back? I won’t hold my breath.

Speaking of my wonderful father, I called him today to tell him how much I appreciate him. The jacket he found for me is amazing. I absolutely love it… it feels like wearing a down-comforter. He also is sending me a printer cartridge. My cartridge died right at the beginning of school and now I have to run to the library whenever I need to print. There was something else he’s done recently, but I don’t remember now. Anyway, he’s pretty awesome. As is my mom. I love her too. I tried to call her and tell her that, but my snotty (:-P) little sister told me she wasn’t home.

I should be feeling way more stress than I am right now. That’s scary. I have two weeks left of my own classes, which means two conference papers, a dramaturgy casebook and lots and lots of grading. My class (that I teach) did vote today to move the exam up, so it looks like I might be free and clear for nearly 13 days! Weee.

Ugh. I need sleep. Tomorrow I need to go see if I can work a deal out with Charter, the dumb cable company, so my rates don’t skyrocket. I also feel bad for the USA kicking Canada’s butt in the Olympics. I probably shouldn’t say this too loud, but I was sort of rooting for Canada…. at least to win the medal count.

Okay.

Over and out.

fabulous finals and fabulous grad students

I’m done. Sorta. Mostly. Almost. AHHH!

My students are taking their final in the morning, which means I’m going to have 50 papers to grade, but NO MORE WRITING FOR ME!

I wish this feeling of anxiety would go away. I would feel so much better if I felt as FREE as I am. I suspect that my relief will come when grades are posted, since that is what I’m most concerned about now.

Anyway… since my papers are done, I get the pleasure of returning my library books…

So. Much. Fun.

Have I mentioned that it’s literally freezing outside? I slipped on ice this morning. Also, I discovered that the cold weather that will make your nose run, will also FREEZE the snot in your nose. SCARY. I had a slight moment of panic because I was worried that my nostrils might freeze shut. Thankfully that did not happen.

One of my classmates had us get together for a group picture in the office the other day… so I present to you, the four fabulous theatre studies graduate students!

Okay. That’s all for now…

PS – did you notice the snow falling on my blog? Isn’t it exciting!