Thoughtfulness

Sometime during the process of writing my final paper two weeks ago, I decided to take a picture of my bed:

And then I thought the picture would go well with a gift some friends brought me this evening. They attended the Shakespeare Festival sometime during the week of finals and found something that made them think of me. I guess when someone says that they want to have Shakespeare’s babies, or that she and he would have beautiful genius babies, it’s not exactly forgettable. And because of this pillowcase, I’ll always remember my nights with Shakespeare.

Thanks so much for this. You’re the best.

Yes, I’m Overblogging Today, But I Really Foresee Zero Time in the Next Eight Months or So

So, I just now looked up my grade for the Shakespeare class I took during the summer term. I looked on AIM, which just displays the grade. Then I had to go onto Blackboard to see the breakdown of the assignments. My brow is still moderately furrowed.

My progressing reactions:
What.
Wait . . . what?
Really?
Huh.
What?
Wow.
Huh.

Then, I raised my hands and sort of pumped my fists. I was prepared for worse.

Those who have heard me talk about the class know what my issues were. I loved reading the plays. Shakespeare is a genius, and I know our babies will be beautiful geniuses. The class discussions were fun and I often whispered amusing things to myself about the plays and about certain classmates.

I had pretty much procrastinated the last three assignments:
-2-3 page performance review of Midsummer: this was mostly about the comic timing and physicality of the performance. I commented on how it felt as if Shakespeare and I Love Lucy had collaborated, and it was funny and wonderful and yada yada yada. I skipped class on Friday, August 5, to work on this, and even though it wasn’t a dense or demanding paper, I was kicking myself for putting it off for so long.
2-page article summary about Macbeth: so I found this article about Lady Macbeth’s soliloquy asking to be unsexed to prepare herself mentally and emotionally for murder. And the author proposed that she was really asking for her menstrual period to stop; the more she was like a man, the more capable of evil she could be.  She connected medical terms with motive and the sciency part totally drew me in. I wrote this Sunday night, after finishing my final paper. The article was fun to read, and I enjoyed summarizing it and giving my opinion on the author’s stance.
-8-10 page final paper on King Lear: I basically tried poking holes in the idea that this is a purely pagan play. Not groundbreaking, and it has been done a trillion times before. In my opinion, one of the crappiest pieces of crap I have ever written. I sat on my bed on a Sunday (with the paper due Monday at noon), with textbooks and journal articles stacked/strewn next to/around me, and I shook my head with every paragraph that appeared on the laptop screen, with every completed page. It finished close to nine pages, and I checked the works cited page, and I proofed the paper itself to check for typos and incomplete thoughts and bad transitions and other instances of crappery.

So, I turned all three assignments in on Monday, August 8, and those papers didn’t leave my hands with the feeling that I did a good job, but only that I had finished them. Which is good; I was grateful not to worry about them anymore.

Then I took the final Wednesday morning, August 10. I worked through it in about 2 hours and 15 minutes, and we had a 3-hour time limit. It seemed to go smoothly for the first hour and forty-five minutes, and then all of a sudden I was all, “Aw, man, there goes my attention span,” and I didn’t try to focus for too much longer. Also, I was going to St. George that day, which was clearly more important than some old final exam.

So, the grades were submitted Friday, and I’m going to talk with my professor so that I can understand exactly what happened. And if I’m dong some things right, I need to know what they are and keep doing those things.

Also, I don’t know if I’m fundamentally okay with being rewarded for procrastinating. Do I just chalk that up to part of the overall college experience?

Sweet Sorrow, or Ticklish Agony?

Today is the last day of my Shakespeare class. I have so much to say, but maybe I should save it for the class/teacher evaluation. It’ll be a great exercise in being diplomatic.

We’ll be wrapping up Macbeth today.

Oh, snacks! I always ate snacks in class, mostly when we watched movie clips of the plays we studied.

Sometimes granola bars. Sometimes fruit, which mostly were apples and bananas. I ate an orange once, but I peeled it before class.

One time I did fall asleep while watching a movie clip. It wasn’t quite fair though; someone had passed around cookies during class, and I had crashed from the sugar.

Watching movies was fun. Laurence Olivier, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Kenneth Branagh. Also: Keanu Reeves as Don John. Makes me laugh.

I also did a crossword puzzle during class last Monday. But I was also paying attention. It’s not that Shakespeare doesn’t engage my brain, because he does. Really. Again, I’ll save it for the evaluation.

The lectures and the discussions were always interesting. I often took notes and tried to follow and connect ideas between the text and the conversation with vague prompts.

And it was an adventure trying to follow the text without knowing the specific act, scene and lines. You know how I’m always up for an adventure.

Today, I will be eating an apple during class, and I’ll do today’s NY Times crossword. We’ll probably also go over what will be on the final, which is on Wednesday.

But I’ll turn in the evaluation tomorrow. That’s when it’s due.

Now (Again) I Can’t Sleep (Still)

KING LEAR
Be your tears wet? yes, ‘faith. I pray, weep not:
If you have poison for me, I will drink it.
I know you do not love me; for your sisters
Have, as I do remember, done me wrong:
You have some cause, they have not.

CORDELIA
No cause, no cause.

I worked on a final paper today for my Shakespeare class. While rereading certain parts of King Lear, I realized that I have lived this passage.

And tears surprised me.

So.

Dad.

Thanks a lot, LANGUAGE

So, I was reading Macbeth and came across this line from Lady Macbeth:

Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be
What thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature.
It is too full o’th’milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way.
(1.5.13-16)

And, since I’ve been listening to a lot of the Indigo Girls lately, the following song came to mind.

Also, the play freaks me out. A LOT. The song does not. That one phrase–“milk of human kindness”–is probably the only intersecting point between them.

I guess that I’m just looking for any excuse to post another Indigo Girls song. And talk about Shakespeare.

Do I really need an excuse?

Anyway, here’s the song.

Songwriting. Countermelodies. Harmonies. I love it all.

Love Will Come To You

The website has the lyrics in the format below.

guess i wasn’t the best one to ask me myself with my face pressed up against love’s glass to see the shiny toy i’ve been hoping for the one i never can afford the wide world spins and spits turmoil and the nations toil for peace but the paws of fear upon your chest only love can soothe that beast and my words are paper tigers no match for the predator of pain inside her i say love will come to you hoping just because i spoke the words that they’re true as if I’ve offered up a crystal ball to look through where there’s now one there will be two i was born under the sign of cancer like brushing cloth i smooth the wrinkles for an answer i close my eyes and wish you fine (i’m always closing my eyes wishing i’m fine) even though i know you’re not this time (even though i’m not this time) i say love will come to you hoping just because i spoke the words that they’re true as if i’ve offered up a crystal ball to look through where there’s now one there will be two dodging your memories a field of knives always on the outside looking in on other’s lives i say love will come to you hoping just because i spoke the words that they’re true as if i’ve offered up a crystal ball to look through where there’s now one there will be two and i wish her insight to battle love’s blindness strength from the milk of human kindness a safe place for all the pieces that scattered learn to pretend there’s more than love that matters

Here Goes Today

I spent the day reading King Lear and listening to the Indigo Girls. Most of it at the same time. By the time I finished the Shakespeare, I thought I was going to die of a catharsis overdose.

Some versions have Edgar performing the last lines; others use Albany. There is significance in either character, but I like it better when Edgar speaks last; I feel a stronger sense of justice. I mean, there has to be something after nearly everyone dies. (NOT A SPOILER; IT’S A SHAKESPEARE TRAGEDY, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.) Here are the lines:

The weight of this sad time we must obey,
Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.
The oldest hath borne most. We that are young
Shall never see so much, nor live so long.

And, the Indigo Girls. I’ve been listening to their self-titled album from 1989, and I can’t get enough of their songwriting. All the time. While I like all songs from this album, “Love’s Recovery” stands out today. In my mind, King Lear and this song connect, but I can’t quite explain how, other than I decided to experience them together today. Plus, I just spent three hours at Borders looking at books, and it didn’t even feel like I was there for that long. It was great.

Indigo Girls – Love’s Recovery (ctrl + click to open in another window)

During the time of which I speak it was hard to turn the other cheek
To the blows of insecurity
Feeding the cancer of my intellect the blood of love soon neglected
Lay dying in the strength of its impurity
Meanwhile our friends we thought were so together
They’ve all gone and left each other in search of fairer weather
And we sit here in our storm and drink a toast
To the slim chance of love’s recovery.
There I am in younger days, star gazing,
Painting picture perfect maps of how my life and love would be
Not counting the unmarked paths of misdirection
My compass, faith in love’s perfection
I missed ten million miles of road I should have seen
Meanwhile our friends we thought were so together
Left each other one by one in search of fairer weather
And we sit here in our storm and drink a toast
To the slim chance of love’s recovery.
Rain soaked and voice choked like silent screaming in a dream
I search for our absolute distinction
Not content to bow and bent
To the whims of culture that swoop like vultures
Eating us away, eating us away
Eating us away to our extinction
Oh how I wish I were a trinity, so if I lost a part of me
I’d still have two of the same to live
But nobody gets a lifetime rehearsal, as specks of dust we’re universal
To let this love survive would be the greatest gift we could give
Tell all the friends who think they’re so together
That these are ghosts and mirages, these thoughts of fairer weather
Though it’s storming out I feel safe within the arms of love’s discovery

A Midsummer Dream

“Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.”

–Prospero, The Tempest

So, the Shakespeare Festival was fun. The play was quite good, and I’ll probably not write a lot about it. It pleased and amused me. The drive was exhilarating and I sang along to my iPod, and the roadwork along I-15 didn’t even annoy me.

Click on the rodent to see what I did after the festival:

Or, check out the slideshow.

I tried to decide whether I would have enough time to do some exploring, since I was already in southern Utah, and since it’s the summertime, and I was feeling rather energetic today. Still. The play finished around 4:45, and it would take about three hours to go home, and I needed to finish a paper for class and clean my apartment for cleaning checks tomorrow.

Cedar Breaks National Monument wasn’t even 30 miles away. I headed east on Center Street in Cedar City and the let the winding roads take me into the sky. Occasionally as I climbed, I would look at the valley expand below me and the height triggered my acrophobia, so I would try to refocus on the road. But then I’d always look back at the valley. I liked the thrill.

You guys, Utah is so beautiful. Today was one of those rare days I wish I had a car just so that I could bounce around the state and feel (especially) small against this great big magnificent world. A surreal backdrop on the grandest stage. Floating in a false consciousness.

And then there’s the price of gas.

Today was absolutely worth it, though.