Wednesday, February 22, 2006

up and making body armor

Tonight, I can't afford to sleep. It's around 3:30AM as I type this, and it looks as though I'll be pulling an all-nighter, or something close. My Intensive English class, along with the other Intensive English classes, is doing a ten-minute production as part of the end-of-term ceremony. In our case, we've elected to do two very short skits.

One skit is an English-language version of a classic Korean folk tale, "The Tiger and the Dried Persimmon." The other skit is a Kevin original: "What to Do with a Dead Kevin." In truth, "Dead Kevin" is not that original: it's essentially a five-minute version of "Weekend at Bernie's," in which a dead body-- mine, in this case-- gets abused.*

The class I teach, Level 2 Intensive English Conversation, has been the best this term as far as attendance goes. We still have about 9 out of 12 students coming. Other classes have been lackluster-- not because of the teachers, all of whom are doing a great job in my opinion-- but because the groups themselves seem a bit sleepy and unfocused. I've heard plenty of complaints from my colleagues about their students, and I sympathize: I've had my share of lackluster classes, too. This semester has been a lucky one for me.

The attendance problem is relevant because some other teachers are having trouble scaring up enough people even to be in their productions. One class, for example, has dwindled from about a dozen people to only three regular attendees-- a sad contrast to last summer's Intensive English attendance rates, in which all teachers had over 80-85% attendance the entire term.

I have no idea what the class of three people will be doing on Thursday, nor do I know what other classes will be doing. I think the Level 4 class has had low absenteeism, and it's my understanding that they're planning a rather large production, just as we are. Ought to be interesting.

So I'm up tonight, crafting a tiger mask, because I'm the tiger in the first skit. I'm also up making body armor, because I get stabbed in the second skit. The body armor was supposed to consist of a huge rectangle of inch-thick hard rubber, plus a three-inch layer of foam into which a student could ram a knife, but when I tried on the prototype armor before midnight this evening, I saw how ridiculously huge it was-- basically a big, nasty rectangle bulging out of my tee shirt. Even with padding, the rectangle would have been too obvious. So I've scaled the armor down, dispensed with the rubber shielding, substituted a plastic tray, and mocked up a bag of "blood" (for rehearsal purposes, it's tap water). See photo below:

We're having a dress rehearsal Wednesday morning, and another one Thursday morning. The production happens for real on Thursday afternoon, at 2PM. If you're interested in watching me die, bring a bunch of friends and come on over to Smoo's Social Education Building. I'm not sure which room we'll be in yet, but you can check for that info in Room 206. Those folks know everything.

Back to my mask- and armor-making.

*Come to think of it, "Weekend at Bernie's" would have been a hell of a lot funnier as a stage play. As a movie, it was pretty damn lame.


1 comment:

R said...

Weekend at Bernies is the best movie ever made Kevin - and you know it.

Repent immediately and ask the dead ones forgiveness!