Wednesday, February 2, 2011

First Day of Classes

Since I wasn't smart enough to put pictures and text in the same post... I'll supplement the photos a bit with this post.  I successfully completed my first day of classes.  I'm certainly going to get my ass kicked for the next three months.  Here was my schedule today:

7:30 Breakfast
9-10:50 Movement
I left aching in places that I didn't know I even had.  This is such a cool class, taught by a dancer and circus-school graduate named Claudia.  She's German and lovely.  Many of the kids here attend conservatory schools (BU) on a regular basis and have much more technique and training than me, but the environment is very supportive and there is no feeling of competition or not living up to someone else's expectations.  I feel no sense of being inadequate and look forward to progressing at my own pace, which the teachers are very encouraging of.  I won't go into great detail about the fabulous exercises we did in such a long class, but there are a lot of ensemble-oriented things that I'm already looking forward to bringing back to the Charcoal Pony improv troupe.

11:10-1:00 Voice
Another fabulous class.  Similar to movement in that I have the least training but I look at that as having more of a chance to absorb new things and grow.  This teacher is one of the nicest men I've ever taken a class from.  He's very interested in our different backgrounds.  He is very worldly and has mastered many different breathing and vocal teachings, all of which I'm excited to experience.  When introducing ourselves I finally revealed to him and my peers that I'm a traditional dance caller (contra and square) and there's now motions for me to teach contra dancing one day during the semester perhaps on a weekend.  It's an exciting prospect... I may just have to do that.

For both these classes I've really enjoyed being around other dedicated artists.  We're going to get very close throughout the semester, literally and figuratively.  It's nice being able to touch each other without people giggling or getting squeamish and to have a supportive audience even when you're running around the room screaming like a lunatic, or whatever the exercise for the moment may be.

1:00-2:00 Lunch
Yes... it's still delicious.  Pasta with every meal.  Thank god for movement!

2:30-4:30 Philosophy
It's really interesting to have an intense academic class with only theatre majors.  Normally at school you can tell who the theatre majors are because they're the ones that always have something to contribute to the discussion.  Well... that's everyone in this class.  I think to an annoying degree.  The discussion doesn't really go anywhere when everyone is trying to one-up the last person with their own two bits... but it is better than the opposite; not having anyone participate.  I'll be missing tomorrow's philosophy class to go into town and get my "Permit of Stay."

5:00-7:00 Italian
I love a language class where the teacher only speaks the language you're learning, and you're expected to do the same.  I'm hoping I will move quickly through this with my French and Spanish background, and if today was any indicator that should be the case.

8:00-9:00 Dinner
Even fishsticks are better here.

So... Needless to say, I'm wiped.  This conservatory schedule leaves little time for anything else and will take some getting used to.  Thus far I'm loving it.  I was planning on heading to Florence to hang with cousin Chris this weekend but I think I'll actually be going next weekend instead.  He and Julia are skiing with friends and here in Arezzo there is an antique market that happens once a month that I hear is something awesome to behold.

At the grocery store last night I bought a bottle of authentic Italian wine... I'm saving it for Friday night to celebrate my first week, assuming I can still move by then.  I can already feel my muscles locking up.

Apparently the only other American students in town (not with ADA) are about 25 kids from University of Oklahoma.  The general word from the staff here is to make sure that we distinguish ourselves as better than them somehow... But don't worry Pops!  I'll be sure to be friendly if I find some this weekend.

Love you all.  Hope to get a phone soon, but probably not until Saturday!


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