Friday, April 22, 2005

Blogger wouldn't work yesterday, so I just posted yesterday's, below. We went to see Arcadia. Since Rudy's illness, Bob has been coming home after work to feed the animals and let them outside on the days when I spend a long day on campus. So, we had to alter our usual plan, which is to eat out at a nice restaurant between work and the evening's entertainment. Instead, we went to the cafeteria on campus, which (despite what students say) has decent food, much better than college fare when I was a student.

But we were pressed for time even at that, the wait times at every food window took forever, and we both would up throwing away most of our soup. Then, the play got started very late because there was a long line of people still buying tickets. It was a very long play, the seats in the theatre are worn and not comfortable, and for the first half, we sat in front of some students who clearly didn't want to be there, and they had no clue about the plot, so they made rude remarks. They were whispering, but it was distracting. We moved after intermission.

I'm assuming the students had been somehow prepared in class beforehand, but I could be wrong. Or maybe they didn't go to class the day when the play was explained. I don't think forcing students to go to something like that as a course requirement is a great idea. They don't get anything positive out of it, and their behavior is irritating to those unfortunate enough to be sitting nearby. I believe a menu of choices is a better idea. I do that with a book review in my class, and being able to select from a list engages many students in a way I rarely witness for other assignments among any but the most serious students. It says a lot about the benefits of the progressive approach, even if sometimes I wish the idea of learning was exciting enough, without having to be dressed up with powerpoint, video and sitting around cross-legged in a circle. (I was going to write "theatrics" but last night made it obvious that falls short too.)

Anyway, even under those annoying circumstances, the performance was excellent, one of the finest I've seen at the university. It was well-acted, the costumes were great, and the writing was thought-provoking. I am not sure how the actors remembered all the complicated lines! The last play, the student-written one, had a terrible script, so I'm glad this is how the season ended.

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