Analyze This!

You know those days when you sleep a long time but just can‚??t seem to wake up? Today is one of those. I‚??m hoping taking a brisk walk will help energize me because I have mucho paper writing and reading to do today.

However, I did want to share an amusing dream that I had this morning. Basically, I was taking a ‚??Food & Culture‚?? class from Emeril Lagasse who had no clue what he was doing as a teacher. In the class we were supposed to have read a particular book and he was trying to start a discussion but really didn‚??t know how. After class he asked for my help. My advice: prepare at least 2 leading questions for the class and break up the group into smaller groups of 4-5 students and have them discuss the book, which would hopefully then create a stronger discussion when the whole class came back together. He thanked me. I left.

Then, at some point I was ordering espresso from a Starbucks-like place. Naked.

Hmm‚?.

My best wishes for you on this, the year’s most Shopping-est day. The joys of unrestrained capitalism, greed and marketing campaigns.

What Grad Students Talk About

I realized last night that the majority of conversations I have ever had as a graduate student are not deep, intellectually exciting conversations about the meaning of theatre and life and art … rather they are about 1) being overworked 2) bitching about how graduate school sucks up your life 3) details of assignments 4) departmental politics 5) career planning 6) the mechanics of teaching.

Sometimes we talk about what shows we’ve seen.

Sometimes we talk about our personal lives.

Sometimes we talk about nothing.

Very very very occasionally we talk about what theatre means, really means, to ourselves and to our society.

Why are we doing this if we aren’t excited by the ideas, by the concepts and theories. Hell, excited by our very learning. And if we were excited wouldn’t we talk more about the substantive aspects of theatre and learning and teaching?

Or is it just me?

Resisting the mundane and tiresome elements of life requires a great deal of fortitude, an open and energized mind and a freshness of spirit. Is it possible to retain such attitudes in a PhD program?