Saturday, April 2, 2011

Three Beautiful Things x 3 03/30/11-04/01/11: UltraSound, Lola, Karma, Chins Up, Awake, Values, Crackle, Taxes, Baseball Names

1.  When I saw the nephrologist a couple of weeks ago, he was a bit shaken by the drop on my kidney function and wondered if something else, in addition to the chronic disease I carry, was going on.  He ordered an ultra sound and today I found out nothing more is going on:  no blockage, growths, shrinkage, etc.

2.  I love Franka Potente in "Run Lola Run".  For the 100th time (it seems) I showed "Run Lola Run" to my Surv. of World Literature class and just the sight of Franka Potente and knowing how fully she embodies the fierce devotion of Lola to her boyfriend Manni made me tear up as the movie began and I loved seeing the movie again. 

3.  One of my students pointed out that in "Run Lola Run" there's no such thing as karma that determines how the same story being re-enacted three times turns out.  Yes!  She is so right.  This movie is looking at other forces at work that determine our futures.

4.  The cast and production team of "The Taming of the Shrew" has faced a lot of adversity:  interfering work schedules and illness have been the two main culprits.  It's been hard to do all the work we've needed to do on particular nights.  I'm deeply impressed, though, by the positive attitude of the cast and production crew and of Sparky, our director.  I've been involved in plays where people weren't so positive:  they blamed others for things, pointed fingers, let their nerves get frayed. The director ragged on the cast.  I don't see that happening here:  actors are encouraging each other, keeping things positive, offering help to one another, smiling, joking, being playful, having some hugs, arms around shoulders --good stuff.  Sparky stays relaxed, encouraging.  The play is growing and this growth moves me. 

5.  Maybe, just maybe, I started to convince my WR 121 students that writing does not have to be onerous.  It's doesn't require abject suffering.  WR 121 is not boot camp.  We can have fun.  Buddha came into play in WR 121:  Be awake.  I'm trying to help my students de-mystify writing.  Be awake.  I can be of a lot of help, but we can't act like we're in a prison together in this course.  We've just got to get on with the business of learning how to read, think, be awake, and write.

6.  When, through an article by Steven Reiss, my WR 121 students start to let the idea that happiness might depend most fundamentally on knowing our own values and living in accordance with them, I can really see, through the looks on their faces, that this is an argument that helps them get Socratic inside:  they start to do some self-examination.

7.  We pushed through "Taming of the Shrew" from beginning to end.  In the past, I've found that when a cast and crew does this, it's the turning point.  It's rough, but we got to feel the whole play and we know now we can play the whole play.  It'll keep getting tighter, more fun.  Many parts of the play crackle right now.  My character sees the whole play and when that crackling happens, it's really fun.  Soon, the whole play will crackle.  I know it.

8.  I'm a year behind on my 2009 taxes for a variety of reasons, many I'm not proud of.  I think I have them done now.  That, my friends, is a beautiful thing!  I'll review them one more time, join with the Deke in signing them, write a check, and mail them off.  Sunday will be 2010 day.  No more of this year late stuff.  I gotta kick this late tax return habit -- I've had it for a long time!

9.  I've known Wucky for over fifty years.  We've both been following baseball all these years.  I can drop a Bert Campaneris allusion or he can drop a Cesar Tovar and I can joke about David Clyde or Atlee Hammaker and we each get the joke.  I can do the same with Rocket.  It's really fun.

No comments: