Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Free Teacher Wall Shwag

Go order yourself a free National Poetry Month poster!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Audition report

I just got back from my audition for the Shakespeare Festival of Dallas. I think it went pretty well. I ended up going with the Two Gents monologue that I did this past summer. I learned a Henry V monologue, but as I was practicing it this morning it just wasn’t ringing true. I knew I needed my NITS buddies to workshop it with me, so I ditched it and stuck to familiar material.

I walked in and stood before a panel of ten or so people. They’re casting the summer shows (Romeo and Juliet, Love’s Labour’s Lost), the fall show (Macbeth), and two staged readings at theatre festivals in the spring (Titus Andronicus, The Rape of Lucrece), not to mention some sonnet reading program they’re doing in April. They’ll be casting four billion people, so I’ll be a little ticked off if I don’t get anything.

I announced my piece and dove right into it. Hopefully I was the only auditioner who took off his shoes and had a tug-of-war with an imaginary dog. I stood up at the end and quickly put my shoes on, and they asked me to sing something (apparently, LLL will have music). I didn’t have a song prepared, so they asked me to sing “Happy Birthday.”

Fine. “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear—“ Who? The song has to be sung to someone specific! When faced with a difficult dilemma, I opted to take the low road.

“Happy birthday dear Anna Nicole Smith, happy birthday to you! And many moooooo—oh, right.”

Enormous groans are good things from people casting a play, right?

Monday, February 19, 2007


Oh, how I wish I lived closer to Massachusetts.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Week One, Again

My school is on trimesters, so we just started a new term this past Monday. Since I teach a one-trimester class, that means I got a whole new group of kids. I’m not entirely sure why, but things are going incredibly well.

We did some tableaus and some small group communication exercises, nothing very complex so far, but the kids are totally into it. They’re silent and attentive during check-in, and seem genuinely interested in what others have to say. I only have to say “quiet please” or “listen up” once for it to happen. When we did tableaus the kids put their all into it, and after the lesson when I talked about how the tableaus are like this class, and that we all contribute to the whole even if it’s just in a small way, there was hushed reverence. Kids are actually walking into class and saying, “What do we get to learn today?”

I swear, I can hear Rod Serling narrating in the back of my head. Next week they’re all going to pull off their masks and reveal they’re aliens or Hitler or something.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Revisionist History

Last week, one of my perpetual class clowns was walking around class with his shirt half off. When I told him to fix it, he informed me that he was not wearing a shirt. He was wearing a toga because he is Julius Caesar. "Do you know what happened to Julius Caesar?" I asked. When he replied in the negative, I told him to look it up when he went to Library. When he returned, his "toga" had turned back into a shirt. "What happened ,Julius?" I asked, " I don't want to be Caesar anymore. That guy got stabbed like 100 times. Those guys were bad. I wonder what they looked like?" It took every ounce of willpower I had not to answer: "well, they wore hoods and dark sunglasses...and I think there was a guy in a hotdog suit." I miss my fellow conspirators.

Audition help

I’m auditioning for Shakespeare Festival of Dallas in a few weeks and I don’t know what to do for my monologue. SFD is auditioning for their two summer shows (Romeo and Juliet, Love’s Labour’s Lost), and an October show (Macbeth), and two staged readings at a local theatre festival in the spring (Titus Andronicus, The Rape of Lucrece).

It’s pretty much impossible to find a monologue that’s “appropriate” for all those shows. Should I do something funny or serious? I did my Two Gents monologue (the one that some of you saw this summer) for a SFD audition in 2005. I got called back, but not cast. Do I do it again? They’ll probably remember it, with all the physicality and taking off of shoes and everything. However, they do request the monologues are in verse, and that one is prose. That didn’t stop me two years ago, but still.

In addition to the Two Gents speech about the dog, I’m also considering one from 4.2 of Othello (“Had it pleased heaven…”), 4.1 of Shrew (“Thus have I politicly begun my reign…”), or anything else you guys suggest. I’d rather not do a monologue from one of the plays SFD is doing this year.

So, any ideas? If you were in my place would you do a comedy or a tragedy?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A Happy NITS Giggle When I Least Expected It

I'm about to fall into a hole for the weekend. The Fake Kid Government (TM) will soon begin its yearly State conference. I'm short a couple of advisors this year, and so I'm going it alone with a small group of my kids.

I have other duties at the conference and so today I was warning a couple of my girls that I wouldn't be as available. We talked about the ins and outs of the weekend and I ended the conversation with a warning: "You need to be doubly responsible for yourselves, ladies. Remember that, because if you mess up, I'll cut you."

I need to emphasize that these young ladies know my sense of humor and that my threats were said in the most loving way possible.

So one of the girls falls into the giggles.

"You're adorable! How funny! You'll cut us!"

Her friend cuts her off and sends me into my own giggle fit.

"You think she's joking, but I've seen pictures of her from the summer. She can work a dagger. She'll totally cut you."

Sunday, February 04, 2007

O How much my grey cloude has lifted...

So I had a mini phone interview with a principal Friday morning. I think I've decided to lean toward middle school (if I can find a position) and am likewise leaning toward charter schools. They demand academic rigor from their students while offering the necessary support to the teaching staff to help students reach those goals. That's something that many schools (especially in CA) cannot say.

All that being said, if anyone hears of a position, I am more than willing to relocate!