Monday, February 28, 2011

Spring or Reading Break, which is it?

As "Reading Break" comes to a close and everything returns to normal on campus, all the students are looking back on their reading breaks wondering what they did with their time. You don't really have a choice because if you run into someone you didn't see over the break you have to ask them (it is the social norm). Then you play a game of one upping, one person will probably talk about their trip to California or Hawaii and the other will talk about how they became more aquainted with the stacks in the library basement as they prepared for their term papers. They'll tell each other that the other person was better off "I wish I had studied and written papers" the first will say, and then the other will respond with "No! I'm so jealous you got to lay on the beach in Hawaii for a week, I'd much rather see the sun than write that history paper!"

I've had multiple versions of these conversations today, with variances on the places where people went or where they studied, and it has got me thinking. What do we do with our free time on reading break, is it beneficial or could we use our time better. And is there a balance when it seems like people seem to be on opposite sides of the spectrum.

Personally, I know I could have done more this break. It was more of a Spring Break (plus cold and snow) than a Reading Break. I did very little Reading and a lot more Breaking. Being a theatre student and in a production, I had rehearsal on Saturday all day (9-5), and then immediately following rehearsal I booked it downtown Vancouver and watched an amazing (required) 3 act play. I got home at nearly midnight and so it didn't really feel like a break yet at all. So come Sunday, I was ready for a break. So me and three others skipped church, caught a ferry and headed for the island. There we stayed  at a professor's house for a couple nights and had an amazing time. It was incredible to see my professor interact with her family and be able to see her incredible Christian character at work in her family. It has caused me to deeply respect her even more than before. While we were there we got to take a backstage tour of the Chemainus Theatre, including their rehearsal space and shop space. From there we went to my hometown (or as close as I have to a hometown) Galiano Island. We rented a cottage there for a couple of nights and really got to relax and bond. I grew way closer to the people I went with and loved spending time with them.

We got back on Thursday morning. You would think I would take a hint and get to work. I didn't. I thought it was a great time to take 24 hours straight to write as much of a play as possible. 24 hours later, I had written one act of a play and was content. Then it hit. I have 2 critiques to write, 2 CHITS (similar to critiques), 12 journals entries, a sound design project, a scene to rehearse, and a sonnet to have ready for Wed, and I haven't done much of anything. So I spent a while doing work, went to bed, and then Saturday flew by, and Sunday I went to church and helped two friends move. So it was Sunday night when I realized I should have done more homework during READING break. Whoops.

Now, the rest I got, I NEEDED. I have no doubt about that, but perhaps I didn't need to waste so much other time. Perhaps I could have found a happy medium. And that's how my second reading break ended. Wait, I forgot to say I satyed up till 2:30 in the morning working, got up at 9, finished working, and then my reading break ended.

And on our break we listened to the sermon online. We didn't miss the sermon, we just chose to hear it at a more convenient time. But we did listen to it! Promise.

So what do you think? Should Reading Break be a break from reading and a time for rest or a time for reading where we can not stress about going to class? I'm still undecided. I know I personally needed the break, but now I'm wishing I hadn't left so much to the last minute.

Til next time,

Friday, February 18, 2011

University's Worst Transgression: Procrastination

This week procrastination has really caught up to me, and if you're in university (or even high school) I'm sure you've been in the same boat. While I tried this week to get things done ahead of time, I still ended up with a horribly busy Tuesday night with more work than I could possibly accomplish while getting sleep. So I made the decision to do a Denny's night. Everyone at TWU knows that a Denny's night means you're going to be up late and need a lot of coffee.
Well I went to Denny's, did my paper work, and then started working on my monologue for my voice and movement class the next day. Turns out I am really bad at memorizing Shakespeare at four in the morning. Plus when I only getting four hours of sleep I am incapable of remembering it.
So Wednesday afternoon I was standing doing some breathing exercises when I all of a sudden felt sick to my stomach. It wasn't just a quesy feeling, it was an "I'm gagging because I'm so close to puking" moment. This feeling of almost puking lasted a good hour until a friend of mine pointed out that I had low blood sugar. I then realized I had forgotten to eat since 11 pm and the only thing I had that morning was a Red Bull. At the same time, it was my turn to share. I realized I couldn't remember any lines past the first two and said "I'm not prepared to present anything".
Here are the lessons from my story:
  1. Don't leave half of a twelve hour project until the night before
  2. Remember to leave time for yourself to sleep (especially if you need to remember facts the next day, such as an exam or scene)
  3. Remember to eat! Especially when you're tired and your body needs nutrition even more.
  4. Don't ever rely on Red Bull.
I recovered just fine and went to my Technical Theatre class following Voice and Movement (with food), and by the time I got to rehearsal I was just jimdandy.

Denny's runs are inevitable for me, I am by nature a procrastinator and I love working at Denny's. But because I know this about myself, I will try to leave less homework until the last minute, especially memorization.

Until next time,

Monday, February 14, 2011


This past week has been so crazy for me I don't even know how to describe it. I had two sick days which put me quite a bit behind schedule and then on top of that I have already been slacking more on my homework than I should've been. I normally will be blogging at least twice a week from work but because I was sick I didn't end up going in.
The worst thing about being sick in University is knowing that for every class you miss by being sick, you are taking an automatic hit to your grade. You will rarely be able to learn everything from that class that you weren't in. You just automatically miss out. Yes, professors are understanding and they want to help you come back from it, but there is only so much that they can do.
It is now 1:07 in the morning and I am now nearly finished a project that is due on Wednesday. Because I have a midterm on Thursday that I need to study for so I need to get everything else out of the way first.

On top of my sickness and coming back from all the homework that suffered, I have also been going through some extremely high highs. The past couple weeks I have been struggling with my relationship with God and I didn't even know why. I just sort of stopped working on it without realizing. When I realized it I got mad, but started working on it again. I have come back from most of it and have been talking with God more but I miss where I was a few weeks ago before I unintentionally let my relationship slip. Like I said I am recovering from it, and today in church I had a good conversation with God.

In other news my entire world has been shifting. This semester I have noticed that the major people in my life has changed significantly. I have grown extremely close to a few people who I wasn't as close with last semester and I have grown apart from a couple people as well. On top of this I just found out last week that the house I live in during the summers and christmas break is up for sale. And when my foster family buys a new house there won't necessarily be room for me. I do not blame them at all for their decision, however, it is timed extremely poorly for me personally. I am going away to London for three weeks (I know, poor me) and they are planning on moving either the day before I leave or a few days after I come back. This means that when I come back from London I am officially an adult. I will have no safety net for me to fall back into. I need to have my own place. I am lucky enough to have a job lined up for the day after I get back from London (God is so good!) but I still need to find a place to live. There are a few options I haven't entirely explored that I'd like to still, but I still don't know everything. It seems like God has prepared my life for huge changes over the next few months that I don't even understand yet. It seems like everything that I have been holding onto is slipping away and everything I didn't expect is happening. I'm sure that God's plan is bigger and better than I can understand from my perspective, but for now it's kind of scary.

In other news, rehearsal for The Bacchae (which opens Mar 23rd) is going amazing! I can't express how happy rehearsal has made me. It has not only been extremely fun, but challenging as well. I've figured out over the past few weeks that I can't imagine my life without theatre in it. The show is coming together so well that all I want to do when I'm offstage is watch the show. I will post more about the show later when it's not so late.

Till next time,

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Second Year - Second Semester, thus far

This semester has already become one of the craziest semesters I've had so far at TWU. My homework load is increased, I am in an upcoming production that requires around 20 hours of rehearsal a week, I'm involved in a discipleship group, and I have a lot going on within my personal relationships.

The only thing that makes this semester different than the others, is the fact that all my classes are from my major. I love every class I'm in, even though a couple of them really annoy me at times. I'm learning sooo much it's incredible. There are days where I wake up and run from class to class to class, grab a meal and run to rehearsal without a break. This is the furthest I have ever made it into a semester without pulling an all nighter. Everyone knows that all nighters are a university must at one point or another, but last semester alone I can remember probably around 10 times, however, I'm sure there were more. I know the Denny's staff by name and have favourite booths and servers, and by the end of the semester had gotten to know their schedule. Also, I have skipped only one class by choice for a personal reason (and the prof excused me for it).

I guess the thing that makes a huge difference on your work load is whether or not you truly like the classes you are in. Last semester I was in classes that I wanted to truly like, but I didn't and it made my life really difficult. Something I have learned at TWU is that life is too short to try to be someone else, don't be who you think society wants you to be, don't be who you think your parents want you to be, be you. Be who God made you and love it.

I came into Trinity Western as a Pre-Med student who was convinced they were an introverted science nerd. Turns out I'm not an introvert, I'm not sciency by nature (but I can still do sciences), and I'm not really a nerd (except for my love for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but that's a whole other topic). I now describe myself as an extroverted theatre fanatic. I was so determined to be the guy who overcame a terrible life and got a job in one of the most respected and revered job fields, that I forgot to look at who I was. There's no doubt in my mind that if I set my mind to it I could have pursued medicine, but it's not what I'm supposed to do. Just like a lot of science students could pursue Theatre if they wanted, but if they aren't truly passionate about it they'll fall flat on their face like I did in the sciences.

While I wasn't going to touch on my ability in the sciences, my pride will not allow me to leave it be. I'll just say that for everything that I completed I got a good mark. However, because I wasn't enthusiastic for the courses there were a couple things I didn't do to the best of my ability. I'll leave it at that.

Theatre is what I love, if it's not what I end up doing then I'm certain God has other plans for me. Six years ago I didn't even think I could go to university, now I'm at an amazing Christian university studying what I love. Obviously God's plans are bigger than we can imagine.

If I can encourage you in any way today, I would say do what you love. Because if you don't love what you're doing, you obviously aren't going to want to do it

Till next time,

P.S. NEW GENERATIONS opens tomorrow night at TWU's SAMC Theatre.
You can buy tickets here!