crazy little thing called life.

The weather promised me snow for today and all I got was cold rain. Not cool! I’m sure I’ll be complaining about the snow soon, but for the time being, I’m anxiously awaiting my first snow experience. I want to build a snowman! I’ve never seen snow falling from the sky, or at least not in my memory.

It’s funny, it’s still hotter than ever in Florida and yet, it doesn’t even seen weird that it’s in the 30s here. It’s like I’ve forgotten all about Florida’s lack of fall/winter.

I can’t believe that six months ago, April, I was in rehearsal for Altar Boyz, waiting to find out if/which grad school I’d be going to and my life completely up in the air.

A year ago, I was about to run a half marathon with my sister, having raised $8500 together for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I knew I needed to think about and apply to graduate school, but I hadn’t started the process. Heck, I’m not even sure if CWU had presented itself as an option.

Now, here I am living over 3000 miles away from all my friends and family, officially a Washington resident, living on my own, and currently adjusting to grad school. How radically different my life has become in just a year! Crazy!

One thing I’ve definitely realized is that graduate school is absolutely, nothing like college. I’m not complaining, I love it. It’s just so much work, so much reading and so much independent learning is required. Whereas college is more about (in my opinion) learning to function as an adult, growing socially, and oh some school — graduate school is about developing yourself and career in your desired field, working in that field, learning and doing lots of research. There’s always work to be done.

I’m very thankful, because I’ve realized that my education at FSU gave me a great background. I’ve taken theatre history classes in Western theatre from Greeks to the present, American theatre, African theatre and performance, Gender, Race and performance and even a play analysis class. Where I lacked production experience from FSU, I made for up it with my AS internship. I was able to witness and be part of the rehearsal process for such a variety of professional productions. I think it’s even better than had I been actively working on productions at FSU, because it was real world theatre with real world problems.

My point to all this? I might have absolutely no social life at the moment, barely enough time to clean my apartment or do laundry and I need to remind myself to go to the movies and the gym every now and again… but I love my life. I’m so happy with where I am and what I’m doing. So while I might complain every now and again, I’m doing what I want!

* * *

Up next… my trip to Seattle: weddings, zombies, Iranian theatre and Uggs!

Show and tell!

Several of my theatre classes take place in a room called the puppet lab. One of Central’s retired professors was a puppeteer (btw, that word looks so strange, but it’s spelled right!) and even had connections with Jim Henson. I guess he used to teach workshops on puppet construction, etc. and still does every so often. Anyway, we get to learn in this really neat room. Well, on Wednesday we were spending time in there in between classes and I saw this sign:

IMG_0600

Too funny, in my opinion. 🙂

* * *

This is also becoming a real concern on campus. Not good. I can’t imagine missing a whole week of grad school and not failing that quarter, which scares me so much. I need to stay as healthy as possible.

IMG_0596

* * *

I love Jason Mraz. I’ve been listening to his live album: Tonight, Not Again. It’s brilliant. He’s incredible live, which you can’t say about a lot of popular artists. If you haven’t heard Tonight, Not Again or don’t have it… let me know. Everyone should experience it. 😉

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXeepWH1OEg]

* * *

If you’ve never heard an episode of This American Life. Do yourself a favor and go listen to this episode, Act V, immediately. Seriously, one of the best ever. My amazing dad made an mp3 out of the live stream so I could listen as I ran. I didn’t want to stop running. I wanted to run the entire program, which would have meant an hour of continuous running and I didn’t have the time to do that. Also, I think my body would have hated me afterwards. Anyway, it’s about a group of prisoners that perform Hamlet. I can’t do the story justice, so go look at the summary or better yet, listen to the actual story.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?episode=218

* * *

Funny police blotter stories from Kittitas county.

– A vehicle was reportedly covered in Crisco in a parking lot on Central Washington University’s campus.

– Cattle were reportedly in the roadway on Red Bridge Road.

– A man was reportedly setting up a table and handing out anti-President Barack Obama items on Chestnut Street.


Thirty horses reportedly ran out into the roadway on Cove Lane.

* * *

And a picture of Charlie in his most annoying hiding place.

IMG_0562

A typical weekend.

This afternoon I ended up in this super cranky mood. It came out of nowhere, although I suspect it had to do with my frustration over the amount of school work I have. Anyway, I decided it was finally time to kick my butt into gear. I went to the gym and ran! I haven’t run in months, but it felt SO GOOD! My little heart loved the change, too. I ran evenly, at a steady pace with good form for 30 minutes and then walked for another 5 to cool down. Afterwards I felt so much better mentally and physically. Not that I didn’t realize this before, but it’s incredibly important for me to include exercise into my daily routine, even if I’m buried under massive amounts of reading… for my own sanity. Also, because the life of a theatre studies grad student means lots of time spent sitting reading or writing, I need to get my blood flowing every now and again.

Post-gym I headed over to safeway and picked up ingredients for tex-mex soup. Dinner was delicious! I’ll have leftovers for days thought, but it’s all good.

Last night I actually escaped my apartment and saw Fame with several of my other grad students. The movie was actually better than I expected. Totally teen movie and one of the key plot points bothered me, because it seemed unrealistic, but other than that, it was great. Plus, I *love* dance movies. It was awesome to get out and do something non-school related. I have to admit, I’m going a bit stir-crazy. I need to learn coping mechanisms — immediately.

After the movie, I resumed life as a grad student and did more research for my assignment due Monday and entered grades for one of my TA classes. Such fun!

Today I worked most of the day, but I did go to starbucks to read. I figured it’d be fun to people watch/look for cute boys and get out of the house to accomplish work. When I was at the register, the girl asked if it was still cold outside, to which I told her, it actually felt nice, compared to the past few days. The conversation ended up me saying that I was from Florida and this girl used to live in Jacksonville, went to UNF and worked at Freebird Cafe. How weird is that!!! I found it amusing. 🙂

Well, back to work.

Trying to find my rhythm.

You know the quickest way to kill a conversation? Tell someone you’re getting your masters in Theatre Studies.

I went to fitness yoga on Tuesday, thinking that it’d be good to clear my head and get out of the house. Although, it only stressed me out more, since I ended up losing three hours of reading time. Anyway, somehow in a class of about 40 people, I chose the part of the room where all the guys also decided to set up their mats. So, a couple of the guys were commenting on how all the men in the room were grouped together and it would probably end up the smelly corner, and I commented “lucky me.” It led to my talking to the guy next to me for a minute and here’s how the conversation went:

*we’d been talking about yoga and other stuff*

guy: so why’d you move to washington?
me: to go to school here.
guy: undergrad? what’s your major?
me: no, i’m actually getting my MA in theatre studies.
guy: *blank stare*

end of conversation.

Seriously. You tell people that you’re interested in theatre studies and they don’t get it, they don’t care and they drop the conversation. It’s actually quite funny. It’s okay, because I GET it. I CARE and I find it interesting.

It’s technically the end of week two of classes. I still love it. I can’t quite pinpoint *what* I love, which irritates me, but the classes and discussions are awesome. I wish we had longer class time. For instance, our history class is an hour and twenty minutes, but we talked with our instructor for an hour after class. We continued the discussion, talked about what we want from the class and program and she eased our fears of being behind and/or inadequate. She is already a favorite of mine. She’s very down to earth and realistic about class and theatre. I love it.

This week (and next week) I have been desperately trying to find my rhythm. Now that I know the work load of grad school, I need to find a strategy to keep from becoming overwhelmed. Mondays are super rough. I’m on campus from 8:30am-10:00pm, when I get home I’m so tired and hungry, that reading just isn’t a reality. Tuesdays are catch-up day, but I can’t do four classes worth of assignments, so I really need to be constantly working ahead. Then it’s back to long Wednesdays, not quite as long as Monday, but still tiring. I think my strategy will be spending Thursday/Friday on Mondays work, then Saturday/Sunday on Wednesdays assignments.

The weather drastically changed this week. It’s been highs of the 50s and 60s. Is it too soon for me to be seriously cold? How am I going to manage actual cold? Oh my. I need to find time to go to Yakima and I need to go before there’s snow on the pass. Apparently the first snow of the season already fell this week. I also need to decide if I went to get snow tires or tire chains… I’m leaning towards chains, since they’re cheaper and I guess required for driving I-90 back to Seattle. I’m not planning on driving outside of Ellensburg in the snow, but you never know.

So much to write about…

One of my fellow grad students is taking his children’s theatre class to see a show at the Seattle Children’s Theatre and offered to let any of us tag along if we’re interested. I’m definitely going to go!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E55doJrYJ7M]

I also found out that my winter break will actually be a break. We won’t have lessons to plan, materials to prepare or books to read for our own classes. That’s exciting to hear. I’m looking forward to seeing all my friends and family. There are things I miss about Florida (the beach, dunkin’ donuts, I’m sure I’ll miss warm weather by december) and lots of people that I miss… but I’m not homesick and I’m thankful for that. It’d be much harder to focus on school if I were homesick all the time.

Oh! This week I volunteered to be a student representative on the Graduate Council. I’m really happy about this opportunity. It’ll be great for my resume, I’ll get an inside look at how the graduate department functions and hopefully have a say for my own theatre department and fellow grad students. My first meeting is next week.

I truly believe that the two years I spent out of school have helped me improve as a student dramatically. I needed the break and I needed to miss school. Now, I’m ready to be back and ready to be the student I know I am. Sometimes I wonder, who is that person? I’m talking out in class, offering ideas, suggestions and leading discussions. I’m asking questions. I’m volunteering for committees. I’m putting myself out there… and most importantly working really really hard to not procrastinate and instead, work ahead. I’m going to succeed with flying colors in grad school and I’ll get into whatever PhD program meets my needs.

I’m going to try and blog a bit more consistently, but like I said, the beginning of the week is rough.

Happy [almost] Friday!

Holy Moley!

I’m definitely not in Florida anymore.

Here’s the weather for St. Pete right now.

9:45am. Sunny. 84 degrees, feels like 92.

Here’s the weather for Ellensburg.

6:45am. Partly Cloudy. 37 degrees, feels like 31.

(I tried to take pictures from weather.com, but my computer wouldn’t cooperate. Stupid.)

Oh my. I’ll be putting my jackets to good use today. The highs are supposed to be in the 60s all week. Last week they were in the high 80s/low 90s.

Happy Monday everyone!

Don’t forget to be awesome!

… Like my parents, who mailed my all my binders full of plays and papers, as well as a box of clothes and a box of miscellaneous stuff to complete my apartment. I now have curtains for my bedroom and office, just need curtains for the living room. Charlie also says thank you for sending his scratching post. He definitely prefers scratching vertically, not horizontally.

IMG_0585

Also, on the AWESOME list is kc. She sent me a totally sweet FSU decal, to hopefully attract the attention of FSU boy and to help compensate for the loss of my FSU license plate. 🙂

IMG_0582

This made my Saturday!

I pretty much spent my weekend doing homework. Friday night, read and organized my apartment. Saturday, I got my WA drivers license and read all afternoon. Then today, I cleaned my apartment, did laundry, grocery shopped for the week, finished reading and made a seating chart for 220 people. Talk about fun, man, oh man.

I see a trend developing with grad school — I will be reading in every free moment I have, for the rest of my academic career. Although, I do think I figured out my strategy for success. I’m underlining and taking notes in the margins of the readings, to help me remember the questions I have for in-class discussions and I make funny comments to amuse myself. Ha. I actually enjoy the reading assignments, they’re interesting and provoke lots of questions. I’m looking forward to classes tomorrow, because I love class discussions. It’s neat that all my classes seem to bleed into each other. It’s less like having four separate classes, and more like one giant class spread over multiple sessions. For instance, a question I posed from one of my readings for research methods, I answered myself when I did the reading for history.

Anyway, one person described grad school as finals week, every week. I need to be constantly working ahead, if I want to stay afloat. None of the dreaded P-word… (shh! procrastination!) I have to give up my old ways. If I can work diligently on Tuesday, there’s a nature hike I want to go to, but Mondays I’m on campus all day and then Wednesday is another rough day, which leaves Tuesday as the only time to do reading. I hope I can get things done in time for the hike.

IMG_0568

Okay. Time to unwind and get some sleep before my very very long monday. Yahoo.

I survived!

I made the right decision. I’m very happy with the program here at CWU and I feel like it is the perfect place for me. The whole program focuses on preparing (and over preparing) students for a PhD program, so that when we get there, we aren’t overwhelmed. I have a lot of work on my plate already and I’m a little (or a lot) stressed about what is required of me. BUT all of my professors are supportive, educated and want us to succeed. I feel like I might not have the tools I need now, but by the end of the quarter I will have all the tools I need to succeed. There is a plan in place to help us transition from undergrad to grad level work. I’m going to be okay.

In other news, apparently graduate students read about 1500 pages a week. No, that’s not a typo. Ahh. I am the SLOWEST reader ALIVE. I need to figure out a strategy and ASAP.

I wrote down all the due dates in my planner last night and it looks like a massacre. Something’s due almost every day. Yikes.

More to come later, I just wanted to tell everyone that I’m alive, happy and so thankful to be back in school!