Wednesday, August 03, 2005

brace for impact

My drama class doesn't look like it's shaping up into anything with a shape. The play's gonna be a disaster at this rate. I feel a bit like George Peppard's cowboy character in that awful movie, "Battle Beyond the Stars"-- the scene where he's playing a harmonica 30 seconds before his powerless ship smacks into a planet. My drama class is the ship, and I... I am George Peppard.

Funny how the simplest things are hard to accompish with these students. I told them to show up. Today, about 90% of them did, but like college students everywhere, a few saw fit not to come because of the rainy weather: "Ooh. Rainy. Can't possibly make it to school."

I've repeatedly told my students not to wear nice clothes to drama class, because they know their characters are going to end up on the floor: dying, collapsing, rolling around in their own dung, seizing in pools of their own (or someone else's) vomit-- whatever the parts call for. And do my angels listen? Some do, bless 'em. The rest give in to their fashion-plate whimsy, as they did yet again today, and it fucks me off, as my Kiwi buddy John would say.

Today's class had some good moments, though. The students thoroughly enjoyed a brief detour into stage fighting: punches (jabs and hooks today; everyone was hitting like a girl), slapping, and how to collapse and die without crushing your knees.

At the end of the period, I was one tired fucker. My Wednesday is always the hardest day: I begin at 7:40AM (70-min class), do a 10:50-noon conversation class (acquired a load of new students today), go for three hours (1:10-4:10) with a 10-minute break in between, then finish off with my 90-minute drama class. True, it's still not as grueling as a hagwon schedule, but when you add on the lesson planning, well... it's a long dingle-damn day.

Upshot: Barring a miracle, I'm staring at a theatrical fiasco. Haven't broken it to the students yet. Can't discourage them. Will keep plugging on, making do with the fragile, unstable material I have to work with.

Jesus H. Vishnu preserve us.


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