St. Joseph’s Villa – Week of November 30

I think this week was one of our stronger weeks thus far.  First of all, this was the first time that we were able to have a (fairly) smooth run-through of our entire scene.  Certain students, namely Kristina and Tristan (who unfortunately will no longer be attending), come with a ton of enthusiasm every single week.  I’ve learned that these students are essential not only because it of the direct benefit of having students that are passionate in the material, but they also provide an example for other students.  For example, when the class gets off track, I can make a somewhat off-hand comment praising Kristina for her dedication and focus, which seems to bring the competitive spirits of other students out.

I also want to take the time to thank Timone, who in the last few weeks has been incredibly helpful.  Our greatest struggle throughout the semester has been maintaining the students’ interest in the material not only on a minute-to-minute basis, but also on a week-to-week basis.  It is really difficult to keep students in attendance every week and to convince them to come back after weeks that are not all that encouraging.  Timone has been instrumental in bringing these students without a natural enthusiasm for the material back to us.  This week, for example, Timone scolded a collection of about three students who have been coming to a few sessions here or there, missing them when it is convenient.  Timone was not upset with their lack of attendance, but with their lack of transparency, as they were not honest with Timone in their reasons for missing.  This conversation inspired those students to rejoin our rehearsals as one even apologized for their inconsistent attendance.  With these kids, trust is massive.  I have no authority over them and I am in no position to suggest how they should or should not spend their time.  Thankfully, they do trust Timone, and for this reasons he has played an instrumental part in rehearsals.

Finally, I just want to comment on how excited I am about the upcoming production.  Primarily, I am excited to see the manifestation of a steadily growing interest in the material throughout the semester.  It is a really rewarding process when you start teaching a class with no appreciation for the subject, only to find a few weeks later that their interest is growing, and that you may be the reason why.  I think that literature, particularly in play form, is being lost in our generation and to be honest, it makes me really sad some days.  I find a certain amount of solace in the fact that I was able to instill, even if in the most minute way, some love for literature back into the world.