Seattle Rock n Roll Course Preview!!!

[brightcove vid=97904212001&exp3=73238579001&surl=http://c.brightcove.com/services&pubid=17216891001&w=625&h=351]

Here’s the link for the video: http://seattle.competitor.com/features/rock-n-roll-sea-course-preview/

This video shows the 26.2 miles that H and I will be running on Saturday. I am SO EXCITED. I love the tunnels and bridges! Plus we run along lake Washington for several miles. The hills don’t look too scary either. Be warned, the video is a little trippy… 🙂

Like waiting for Santa…

In a couple hours I am leaving Ellensburg to go to Seattle. By the time I go to bed tonight, my family will be sleeping in my apartment with me! I am so EXCITED. These past couple days have felt like the anticipation of Christmas — the longest couple days.

I’m so happy that they are coming. I haven’t seen them since the end of December! This is the absolute longest I’ve ever gone without seeing them. I’m a little knowing that they will be leaving in a week, but I guess I should just forget about that till the time comes.

Saturday is the marathon. Oh my goodness. I’m so worried. And excited. And terrified. And in pain thinking about it. And excited. I came to the conclusion that one of the reasons why my training has been so tough/ torturous, is that running in Ellensburg is miserable. There’s no where to run to and no sense of accomplishment. In Florida, being able to say that I ran through seven different cities on my run was part of the fun and adventure. Or like H did, how she ran from mile marker 1 to mile marker 20… now that is cool! Plus, running around here is a lonely business. I rarely see people running, let alone out and doing stuff. So while my training was not fun, I think the excitement of the rock n roll atmosphere and 26.2 miles of running with H will be enough to get me through it. I mean, I did run 20 miles… if I can do that, I can do this!

Other than cleaning my apartment in anticipation of my family’s visit, I’ve also been reading and watching a lot of tv. You should check out Lie to Me, Conviction, and Dexter. All available on netflix instant-watch. Sidenote: I don’t understand why anyone would have cable any more. There’s no need when you have netflix and hulu! Anyway, I finished Dexter season 3 today. That show is so good, but it also makes me terribly uncomfortable. I can’t think of any other tv show that makes me as anxious and uncomfortable.

Okay! I’m gonna go try out a new pasta recipe and hope that time passes quickly!

Hello again!

On Monday I completed my first year of graduate school. I finished my grading, submitted the grades, and received my own grades. I survived. I more than survived. I love grad school. There’s no doubt that it totally consumes every aspect of my life when school is in session, but I am not complaining.

Since Monday, I’ve done a lots of nothing. Going to the gym. Sleeping. Reading. Watching tv and movies. It’s fabulous. This evening I even sat outside at Starbucks and read till my skin smelled like the sun and turned pinkish. Then after eating dinner, I moved a chair outside my apartment door and continued reading till the sunlight disappeared around 9:15pm.

I’m going to try and get my blog back up and running this summer. I know I’ve been slacking, but without a rigid school schedule to occupy my time I’ll have time to blog.

One other big thing – I will in fact be going to London to do thesis research this summer. I don’t have any details about the trip at the moment, since I only found out the trip was possible about a week ago. Right now I’m aiming to go in September, because flights are significantly cheaper and I’ll be staying for about a week.

The change in circumstances allowing for my London trip, will also allow for a trip back to Florida this summer — which was previously up in the air. I’m looking to come home sometime in August.

Other than that, I will be in awesomely lame Eburg all summer.

Anyway – details to come and blogging will resume.

Here are my lists of summer activities…

Things to do in the next week:
1. Operate on my vacuum.
2. Final long run – 6 miles. Ha. 🙂
3. Start the “No More Trouble Zones” strength training challenge.
4. Read Death of a Salesman for play reading group.
5. Laundry!
6. Spruce up the apartment
7. E-mail a bunch of people.
8. Get started on my summer school reading.

Things I will be working on this summer:
1. Thesis Research – London Trip Prep
2. Relearning Spanish – I need to be ready for 2nd year Spanish in the fall.
3. Study for and retake the GRE
4. Research and start application process for PhD programs
5. Reading as many scholarly books and plays as possible.
6. Work on grammar.
7. Lose 10 lbs.

Things I am looking forward to:
1. THE ROCK n ROLL MARATHON!
2. My family’s visit … duh!
3. My birthday.
4. Florida! The beach! FRIENDS!
5. A’s visit to the 509.
6. LONDON!
7. Movie marathons and lots of time to sleeeeeep.

Plays to read:
1. Goodnight Desdemona, Good morning Juliet (reread)
2. Death of a Salesman (reread)
3. Cloud 9
4. Top Girls
5. How I Learned to Drive
6. Six Characters in Search of an Author
7. Long Day’s Journey into Night,
8. Our Town
9. A Streetcar Named Desire
10. Waiting for Godot
11. Glengarry Glen Ross
12. Fences
13. AND MORE!

Charlie, school, and spring?

Let’s travel back in time for a moment…

Spring break. Charlie loved being lazy for a week… there was lots of napping and movies to watch.

Even some playing ON the tv, much to my vexation. Notice the packing tape that surrounds my tv. It’s highly attractive [sarcasm] but at least it prevents Charlie from using the tv as a jungle gym.

When spring break ended, Charlie and I resumed our studies. Here he is learning about the well-made play.

And theatre in Spain from 1490-1700…

And theatre theory in Germany to Hegel…

Then he got tired, so I continued reading about French theory in the late 19th century.

Oh and it randomly snowed several times in the past week. We actually had a mini-blizzard last week. The snow didn’t stick, but it was crazy windy and snowing sideways.

In between the random snows, it does seem to be spring. I took this picture of day-lilies for my mom. 🙂

After my exhausting 10 mile run on Sunday, I made this fabulous pizza! Tomatoes, red bell peppers, spinach and a mixture of Italian cheeses. Yummy.

When Charlie’s not bouncing off my walls, quite literally, he is such an angel.

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…

Summer Skedge!

I wish I knew what my summer plans are, but unfortunately I’m still in the process of hammering out the details.
[Blog title borrowed from my fabulous former roomie.]

Here is what I do know:
CWU classes end June 4th. Final exams are June 8th-11th. Grades are due by June 15th. What does that mean? I’ll be having my students take their final exam on the 3rd of June. As soon as I get the syllabi from my own classes, I’ll know when my freedom really begins.

My summer ends September 22nd, when classes resume.

June: H and I are running the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon on June 26th. Theoretically, my family will be coming out with her and we’ll have a sort-of family vacation the last week in June.

After the marathon/family vacation my summer is relatively open. As soon as classes start back up, in a couple days, I’m going to write a research grant proposal. I need money so I can go to London and research my thesis. The thesis topic that I’m aiming to work on for my masters requires a trip to London to do some research with primary documents. IF I get this grant, I’ll still need to figure out expenses and such. IF I do go to London, I doubt it’ll be for more than a couple of weeks, just because it’s so expensive to stay there. SO… Even with a potential trip to London, my summer is still pretty open.

Beyond thesis research, I need to do some serious research on PhD programs, since I want to apply in the late fall. I also need to work on relearning Spanish. Other than that, I’m open.

I’d like to visit Florida at some point. Maybe even around the same time that A will be visiting? I’d love to have visitors come here. I know A is thinking of either coming in June, although that is looking tricky, or August/September.

So ideas? Suggestions? What am I forgetting? Blah blah blah… I’ll post more, as I know more.

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.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Don’t pinch Charlie, he’s sporting his green for the day.

My silly father sent this to me. I think I prefer an orange Charlie to a green one.

Green will always make me think of St. Pete High. I miss all that crazy school spirit. Go Green Devils!

Psst – This is my 100th blog post!

And here’s a brief history lesson for the day… Who exactly IS St. Patrick?

Patrick, St (5th cent.), ‘Apostle of the Irish’. Patrick was born in Britain and brought up as a Christian. At the age of 16 he was captured by pirates and spent six years as a herdsman in Ireland. He turned earnestly to God and received a Divine message that he was to escape. He persuaded some sailors to give him passage to Britain and returned to his kinsfolk, a changed man. He underwent training for the Christian ministry and went from Britain as ‘bishop in Ireland’ (his own phrase); he spent the rest of his life there, evangelizing, ordaining clergy, and instituting monks and nuns. He wrote a moving account of his spiritual pilgrimage, called his Confession, perhaps in response to an attack on his character. Discussions on the chronology of his life have focused on the statement of Prosper of Aquitaine that Celestine V (422–33) sent Palladius to be the ‘first bishop to the Irish believing in Christ’. It is argued that Patrick’s mission cannot have been much later than 431; from this the date of his birth is inferred and his death put c.460; others argue that he lived a generation later and died c.490. The canons attributed to him and the ‘ Breastplate of St Patrick’ are not his work. Feast day, 17 Mar. See also St Patrick’s Purgatory.

“Patrick, St”  The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Ed. E. A. Livingstone. Oxford University Press, 2006. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  Central Washington University.  17 March 2010  <http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/ENTRY.html?subview=Main&entry=t95.e4375>

Patrick, St (c.390–c.460). Christian missionary bishop of Ireland.

The only certain information about St Patrick’s life comes from his one surviving letter and from his autobiographical Confession. His authorship of the ancient Irish hymn ‘The Breastplate of St Patrick’ is unlikely. In later legends, he becomes a miracle-worker who drove the snakes out of Ireland. The same legends, concerned to make him the sole ‘apostle of the Irish’, exaggerate the scope of his missionary work. His place of burial was not known, allowing Glastonbury to claim possession of his relics. Feast day, 17 Mar.

“Patrick, St”  The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. Ed. John Bowker. Oxford University Press, 2000. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  Central Washington University.  17 March 2010  <http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/ENTRY.html?subview=Main&entry=t101.e5535>
Have a safe and happy day everyone!

I love books.

Oh man, graduate school is not helping my addiction to books. My bedside table is overflowing with books that I’m in the progress of reading or want to start soon, some of which have been sitting there for months. Also, no longer are the books on my to-read list simply chicklit, now it’s this strange assortment of non-fiction, another side effect of grad school.

I’ll be happy if I finish just a few of the books on my list:
– Will in the World by Stephen Greenblatt
– Hamlet in Purgatory by Stephen Greenblatt
– The Empty Space by Peter Brook
– A History of God by Karen Armstrong
– The Catholic Church Through the Ages by John Vidmar
– Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing – Mignon Fogarty
– About Kane by Graham Saunders
– Cool Britania? Edited by Rebecca D’Monte
– Sin and Syntax by Constance Hale
– Theatre of the Oppressed by Augusto Boal
– All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris
– The Guinea Pig Diaries by AJ Jacobs

Yikes! I’ll be honest that there are some other books kicking around my apartment that I’m trying to read… Clearly I either have too many interests or ADD when it comes to reading.

Adding to my book addiction, I recently acquired a Kindle. I’m still a little torn about the idea of e-books, because I love the feel and smell of books. I also love collecting books and you just can’t collect e-books. Anyway, the last two books on my list above I bought as Kindle books. I started reading them both yesterday and surprisingly it wasn’t all that weird. The experience is nothing like reading books from the computer, which in general, is great. It is a bit disorienting since there are no page numbers and you can’t gauge how much of the book is remaining by holding the book in your hand. Then today I discovered that I can convert my journal articles for school into Kindle files. This is amazing news! I hate trying to read 20+ pages of articles on the computer and now I can load them to the Kindle and cruise through them. Amazing.

Now, if only I could be sitting on Treasure Island reading my books.

Spring ahead.

A yelled at me for not updating my blog. So here I am, updating my blog.

It’s almost spring break. I feel like I’m on spring break already… and yet, I have a 10 page conference paper hanging over my head and a 3000 word teaching journal. Ugh. I originally told myself that I’d start working on the paper today and finish it by Wednesday evening, but I didn’t do an ounce of research today. Therefore tomorrow I’ll be working more diligently in order to make my self-imposed deadline. The plan is to wake up between 6am-7am, shower, get coffee, grab my book out of the office and get started reading and writing. The sooner I finish this paper, the sooner my break REALLY starts.

Everyone else went somewhere for spring break, but to be honest, I’m happy about being here. I ended up the cat sitter for everyone. I told them I’d do it as a favor, but some sort of compensation would be nice. Anyway, I’ve decided that I’ll combine my cat sitting duties with my daily runs. I’ll run to the cats and then run home. It seems like a good use of time and it forces me to go for a run. A win-win. Cats aside, I’m enjoying the thought of a week with no real responsibilities. Hopefully I’ll be super refreshed and ready for spring quarter when classes start again. I do want to go to Yakima or Seattle as soon as I finish my paper. I need to drive a little and get out of Ellensburg.

What else?

– I went to Charter and canceled my cable services. I’m down to just internet. So far it’s been painless and the thought of saving money makes it worthwhile.

– I think I’ve discovered two areas that I want to specialize in for my studies. I’ll discuss this more later.

– I was really worried about my paper for dramatic literature. This quarter has been so crazy that I literally wrote it in one day (as did my other classmates). I also worried because overall I question my abilities as a writer (I need serious grammar help!) and the topic wasn’t my favorite. Well, this is the feedback that I received. Ignore the caps, that’s how the instructor differentiated her writing from my writing.

EXCELLENT! YOU WRITE VERY WELL, THIS WOULD BE AN “A” PAPER. I LOVE THE WAY YOU CHOSE THREE ARTICLES AND WORKED YOUR WAY THROUGH THEM.

That definitely made me feel great. 🙂

– I saved $30 at the grocery store today and I bought all sorts of healthy things to eat. Now that the stress from the end of the quarter has dissipated, I’m working to turn my eating habits around and lose some weight.

There’s a lot more to report on, but this will have to suffice for now. Time for reading and bed, because tomorrow I WILL put a major dent in my conference paper.