Monday, January 31, 2011

"Is Life Shiny For You?"

That's what an Irish girl in my class asked an American classmate today in Reading Theatre as general "How are you today?" and I thought it was such a cute, happy expression!

Today started early (well, early for me.) I woke up later than I wanted, at 7:30, and ten minutes later, was out the door to meet Laura. Where were we going, you ask? Silly, we're theatre kids- we were going to freeze ours butts off outside a theatre for two and a half hours, hoping to get tickets for tonight's showing of King Lear!

We fought our way onto the tube- morning rush hour is just about as fun as afternoon rush hour, as it happens. Finally, we reached Covent Garden around eight, got to theatre... and there were already about twenty-five people, maybe more, in line waiting for the thirty available tickets. First of all- why were that many people sitting outside a theatre a eight a.m. in the freezing cold?! Were they insane? No, they're just theatre people. The two women on either of us, at least, were both actors, and I don't doubt that a good percentage of the others were, too. There was also the attraction of a very famous actor (who I've never heard of) playing the title role.

We took our places at the back of the line and figured that if everyone got one ticket, we'd be fine. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. The women ahead of us was getting four and I'm sure people further ahead were getting more than one. Still, we decided to sit it out, even though sitting on the stone steps of the store we were in front of was really cold.

The people at the head of the line were obviously ticket-stalking pros. They had sturdy chairs, blankets, and lots of things with which to entertain themselves... and they needed hours of entertainment because, as we found out later, they had arrived at 4 a.m. Yeah. I love theatre, but only an audition is going to get me out of bed before four (yes, I have.)

Everyone in line was very nice to each other, holding places so people could run to the nearby cafe and get coffee and breakfast to go. I brought my Nook along and made the mistake of reading The Postmistress when it started getting really tragic and needing to cry. I tried not to though, since my tears would have frozen to my face. (Actually, I'm exaggerating- it's been a lot warmer these past few days, thank goodness. I don't know if I can handle that kind of cold until March.)

So we waited there until 10:30, when the box office opened. When the person about eight places ahead of us left the window, they announced that they were sold out. So no ticket :( I wasn't too put out; as I've stated before, I'm not a fan of King Lear. But I'm sure it still would have been a good experience.

The street we were sitting next to.

On a different note, I have been becoming increasingly annoyed in my RT class. Our teacher is quite young- a Ph. D. student- but a very good teacher for the class. However, a lot of my classmates are quite rude to her; if she expresses an opinion, they shoot her down before she can even finish her sentence. And while this is a critique class, they don't do this to their fellow students; they at least let us finish our sentences. The same students constantly challenge the assignments.

The big drama today was that a girl had come into our class from the other section of the same lecture and was distressed that our teacher wanted our theatre program (or here, "programme") project to look fairly artistic and creative. She assured us that it would not affect our grade; she just wanted to see us put in the artistic effort. Unfortunately, even this statement caused the girl to protest that this was unfair; her original teacher just wanted a document and she wasn't going to accept someone who made an artsy program getting a higher grade than her. Our teacher repeated her statement, but then two students who had been there since day one joined in the protest. The girls sitting around me and I were just shaking our heads, wondering what the problem was. Our teacher had made her point clearly, but the one-sided debate went on for a good ten minutes, and then was brought up again later.

I don't get what was so hard to understand and why some of my classmates refuse to respect our teacher. No matter an instructor's age, if they're your instructor, you need to practice at least common courtesy around them. Apparently Americans have a bad reputation for treating teachers poorly, but I can say that I have never seen that kind of behavior in a college classroom. Most likely, it's just the students; God knows we have enough problem students in American universities... but maybe ours just don't even both to come to class.

"The good news is, we're all born innocent. The bad news is, we all end up driving on the freeway." -Stephen Tobolowsky


Courtney Weatherby said...

That is REALLY frustrating.... Just out of curiosity, were they international students or English? One of the things I noticed while I was in China was that a lot of the international students figured it just didn't matter if they were rude or skipped class because they were only there for the semester or year, and it wouldn't directly affect their grades or relationships at their home institutions. I know that Americans usually have a reputation for being rude, but sometimes I just can't fathom it, because some of the students from other countries just didn't seem to understand being respectful to people.

Rachel said...

Actually, they were all English students! It was only a few, and most I've met are very hardworking (some of the people I was sitting with- who were just as shocked as I was- were English.) At least with Arcadia, they really scared us about doing our work while here... they exaggerated a lot, too, as I'm discovering.

Mrs. Flury said...

First, appreciation for maternal wisdom . . . Now, respect for teachers. I love this blog!!!

Unfortunately, it seems your rude classmates are demonstrating how difficult it is to learn anything when one has a bad attitude. Do you think an open mind is more important than a superior intellect, even in educational situations?

Anonymous said...

Here is an idea... when they start to cut her off, say I am sorry but I would like to hear the rest of the sentence. Maybe they don't even realize they are doing it ( I am being sarcastic) and will be surprised they are doing it. ;0)
if they are good, you could give them a sticker or a piece of candy.


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