By dint of working very hard and pushing myself, I got the dang exam all written. And the three take-home forms. And the grading keys, which is essential to do ahead of time, to make sure the problems are actually workable and will give the solution I "expect."
(From the If You Can't Be a Good Example, Be a Terrible Warning department: I once had a stats prof who gave take-home, computation exams. BUT. He didn't test-work the problems before giving us the exam and he once gave us an UNSOLVABLE problem. As in, we all worked on this problem for like six hours a piece, and then decided to break protocol and ask the other people in the class if they had completed it. No one had. And then, after we all turned the exam in with the thought of, "Well, we're hosed," he admitted that he wrote an unsolvable problem. Granted, this was a more-advanced class, and it was on beyond t-tests, but still - I like to make sure things work before giving them to my class).
(Also - "by dint of" - does any American speaker of English actually use that? I only know it as an "English" translation of some French construction - which I have now forgotten. But of course the English phrase sticks in my head, and even though it may be archaic, it still fits some situations, so I use it.)
But yeah. That's an exhausting day's work. I finally closed my office door after my office hours were over because I have a couple of very help-requiring (or rather, think they require lots of help) people and sometimes I need a few minutes to attend to my own work.
I DID go to "Much Ado about Nothing" Saturday night. It was pretty good. (Beatrice, in particular, was very good, but I think picking a "weak" actress to play Beatrice would be a real mistake, so probably the part goes to the most experienced woman in the company).
My one complaint about the theater it was in stands: they have the stage imperfectly miced (mic'ed? micced?) and you can't always HEAR people. And these are young actors (a number of them college freshman) who have not yet learned to PROJECT.
(Heh. When I was a small child, partly to help me overcome my shyness, my parents enrolled me in "improvisational drama" classes - "improvisational" because this was, after all, the 70s, and because it was thought that young children might find learning lines by heart daunting. One of the things I learned in that class and have never forgotten was how to project my voice. If anything, I suffer from a bit of a booming voice that people can hear TOO easily; sometimes I have to remember to tone it down.
Not sure if the class helped my shyness any, but at least I can make myself heard as an adult)
The play was, as far as I could tell, not a reset. (I think years and years ago, I saw a version that was set as post-WWII). The sets were very nice -sort of a generic "Italian Villa" style, and the set designers made effective use of those "flickering LED candles" (which must be a real boon for things like stage design - they're inexpensive, they look enough like real candles to be convincing, they give pleasant mood lighting, and they don't pose a risk of fire).
Dogberry was very good (what I could hear of him - he was one of the freshman players). He rode around stage on a bicycle and dressed in a form of motley - a tunic with all kinds of "medals" and "awards" on it. And something rather like clown shoes.
The story strikes me as a bit more ridiculous than some Shakespeare comedies (Falling in love with someone because other people told you they were in love with you?) but, as I've said before, on the whole, I prefer the comedies to the tragedies. (I realize it may be "shallow" or childish of me, but: life contains enough tragedy in real life. For my entertainment, I'd rather have comedies. And "true" comedy - where people wind up happy at the end, and anything that was wrong is made right).
As is typical (and maybe as is generally typical of Shakespeare today), some of the male roles were converted to female roles. Verges was played by a woman (actually, a woman I had had in my Gen Bio class!). Conrade was a woman. (a "lady," as she dourly insisted - she was wearing a very long severe dress and a sort of cloche-like hat). The most effective transformation, I thought (so much so that when I got home and looked at my copy of the play, I was a bit surprised that it was originally a man's part) was Leonato becoming Leonata, and being assumed to be a widow. (It worked very well at the end - the "Prince, thou art sad, get thee a wife, get thee a wife!" included Benedick sort of shoving the Prince in Leonata's direction, which seemed a very effective addition to me).
And, what the heck, Lynn did this, so I will too:
1. Curtains or blinds?Both, actually. I like the privacy that blinds give (and the ability to block out the Eye of Sauron that descends upon southern Oklahoma for about six months out of the year) but I need something a bit softer and prettier than just blinds.
2. If you could have any job in the world, what would it be? Honestly? One where I was universally loved and appreciated. Which means a job that doesn't exist on this earth. I suppose I'd like to be a pattern-designer or something like that. Or an opera singer or a stage actress. Lack of talent is just one limitation to any of those, however.
3. Describe your personality in five words or less. Responsible. Anxious. Compassionate (perhaps to a fault). Clever. Diligent. (Yeah, I know. I'm rather boring, deep down.)
If you won a million dollars, what would you do with it? Again, presuming that I get the full million - I'd first hire a good financial consultant so I didn't squander it. (Though somehow, a million sounds like a lot less than it once was). I'd give a chunk of it away to various deserving groups. I'd put aside some in savings - not long-term retirement-type savings, because I'm already doing OK there, but shorter-term, "what if the roof breaks" kind of savings. And I would spend some of it. I'd get a tablet computer or some other fun gadgety device. And some more bookcases. And, I don't know. Yarn. Or maybe hire someone to do some of my work for me so I'd have more time to enjoy the yarn and books I have now.
Or, alternately: I'd invest it in bringing another decent grocery store to town. The Green Spray is nice but they lack some things. We don't have a natural-foods store here, really, maybe that's what we need - a natural foods/local products type of store. Or I'd invest it in bringing a "real" bookstore to town. Not sure that either of those businesses would succeed, given that a lot of people seem to believe that having a wal-mart means we have everything we need, but it would be fun while it lasted.