A Day in the Life

Here's some honesty: one day in college sometimes feels like an eternity -- not because it drags on and on, though. Rather, our days feel so long because we have so much squished into them. There is so much learning and so much laughing and so much reflecting and so much enjoying to do. There are so many classes you want to take, so many people you want to talk to. When in college, you really have to use every minute you're given, and you grow as a result. So here's what today looked like for me, a typical English and theatre major trying to make the most of her Monday.

8:00am

I start my Mondays with ENG202: American Lit II with Dr. Dengler. True, 8:00am classes are the worst form of punishment for any God-fearing college student and should be avoided at all costs. However, I don’t usually have trouble staying awake for this one (even after a weekend when most of my homework was put off to a late, late Sunday night because afternoon adventures in Oak Grove, the nearest state park, were more compelling). English is my major, so reading and discussing Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, as we did today, is my jam – even though I did oversleep and, in turn, have to forego my travel mug of overly caffeinated tea.

9:00am

Up next? HHP014: Voice and Body Warm Ups with Teresa Ter Haar, a course geared towards theatre majors who will need lots of physical and vocal diversity to best portray any character they’re cast as. This class is half a credit of fantastic. Sometimes we’re doing Pilates or Tai Chi. Other times, we’re testing out new tongue twisters or going on a prayer walk around the neighborhoods surrounding campus. Today, we experimented with choreographed dance, and since most of us don’t have extensive prior dance training, we also experimented with laughing at ourselves.

10:00am

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This is kind of a catch-up block for me. Sometimes I go outside to journal or doodle. Sometimes I head back to my room to drink a cup of tea and grab books for my afternoon classes. Today was a torrential downpour, though, so I opted for homework in the theatre pod. There’s free coffee and free popcorn and free company in there, so why not? I started on a few assignments, but I mostly laughed with some of my friends and professors.

I also realized that I had forgotten to wear a red shirt today, which sent me into a panic. My Core145: Modern Western Culture class is in the middle of a French Revolution simulation, and my character is a section leader amongst the citizens of Paris. Thus, my character hates the monarchy and often sparks revolts when the National Assembly passes constitutional amendments that obstruct the general will. And according to the rules of the game, if my fellow section leaders and myself are wearing red when we riot, we earn more points and have a better chance of killing conservative faction members. Best. Project. Ever. Am I right?

Lucky for me, I was already camped out in the theatre department, where people are more than willing to help with costuming. Laura, our technical director, unlocked the costume shop for me and helped me select a dashing red jacket from the 1970’s. If I’m going to behead the King, I better do it in style, am I right? Josiah Wallace, another theatre professor who had been playing with his props in preparation for stage combat class, then allowed me to borrow his fake dagger for the afternoon. I’d need weaponry to truly lead a successful revolution. Makes perfect sense, right? No. It really doesn’t. It is weird and quirky, and it also made my day.

11:00am

Time for a staff meeting. Today, all us female RAs ate lunch together, shared prayer requests, and planned for the rest of the year. Next week, we’ll be having a Melon Madness event for all underclassman girls, complete with all sorts of summery fruits and drawings for summery-themed gift baskets -- towels, sunscreen, DVDs, nail polish, etc. And while we were planning, one of my fellow RAs and I used my newly acquired dagger to temporarily usurp power from our boss Kim. With crazy props come crazy adventures, I suppose. And as evidenced by the photo, we all really take our jobs seriously. (In actuality, though, the fact that we all were able to keep a straight face in the same photo is a miracle -- we spend a lot of time giggling together!)

12:00pm

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My noon block holds TA365: Theatre History I with Teresa Ter Haar. Today, we broke off into pairs to workshop our term papers. We each picked an individual topic at the beginning of the semester, we’ve spent the past weeks researching, and now it’s time to synthesize all our findings into a single, coherent paper. I’m focusing on the purpose of theatre through the ages while other classmates are looking at the evolution of lighting design, theatre’s ties to the historic church, medieval pageant wagons, etc. As evidenced by my classmates’ poses, we all feel quite studious when diving into this fascinating stuff.

1:00pm

Time for my Core145 French Revolution simulation, moderated by Gamemaster/Professor Culpepper. Today, my group sparked two riots and killed 40 conservative delegates, despite Lafayette’s best attempts to keep things civil. We did have the upper hand, though. Before class, I caught President Hoekstra in the hallway, and he signed a petition in favor of my group taking off the King’s head. How could Layfayette argue with President Hoekstra’s word? (And how fun to have a President who knows his students by name and is willing to invest in their coursework.)

2:00pm (This time slot is not pictured because, though I'm an American female, I am not a professional selfie taker. All my attempts turned out blurry.)

I may be done with class, but my day is far from over! Now it’s time for Read What You Want, which is an open time for English majors and other Englishy-types to get together and share what sorts of creative pieces they’ve been working on recently. I shared some poetry, another friend shared one of her poems, another friend read from one of his favorite graphic novels, and we talked all things literature.

3:00pm

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I would have like to head back to my room to relax and work on homework there for a while, but riding a scooter in the rain isn’t the most pleasant experience. Hence, homework in the library with friends and a really nice view of the rainy day -- hooray for a library with fantastic windows!

5:30pm

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I love food. I love people. I love eating food with people that I love. So dinner in the commons? That was ideal.

6:00pm

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This week, the theatre department is performing Neil Simon’s Fools, a comedy about a Ukranian village that has been cursed with stupidity and a foreign schoolteacher who tries to lift the curse, but falls in love with the Doctor’s daughter instead. We’ve been working on this show for about two months now, and we had our first dress rehearsal tonight. And truly, I am beyond excited to take the stage with this cast this weekend! We’d like to think we’re pretty prepared, and we’d like to think we’re pretty funny. If you want to prove us either right or wrong, reserve your tickets now. We have a show on Thursday and Saturday nights at 7:30, and a Saturday matinee at 2:00.

10:00

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Released from rehearsal, I could go to the grille, get food, and hang out with friends. I could go to the library, finish some homework, see who’s around, chat with whoever’s working the desk tonight. I could get together with some friends to go long boarding or to go get ice cream. I could go to the rec center and work out. I could head over to the apartments and see which upperclassman friends did some baking on this rainy Monday. There are so many options…

But I’m going to head back to my dorm. I’ll leave the door open, and I'm sure some residents will stop by to share stories from their day – they almost always do! Otherwise, I’ll catch up with my roommate over a cup of tea and try to be in bed before midnight. Some homework might happen in there. Some journaling/doodling might happen in there. Some dance-partying while brushing our teeth will definitely happen in there – there’s nothing better! And lastly, some Bible-reading and praying with my roommate will definitely be a part of our pillow talk. I really look forward to those moments.

Mondays are pretty insane, but Tuesdays only hold one class at 11:00, Bible study in the afternoon, play practice in the evenings, and swing dance club at night. Hence, tomorrow will be more relaxed (and hold more time for all the homework I was assigned today).

So Monday, you were insanely busy, chocked full of so many activities. But Monday, since each of those activities was something that engaged my full person, something that I truly wanted to participate in, today was good.

Here’s to the rest of the week, and here’s to the two remaining Mondays of this schoolyear!

 -- Annie