Thursday, April 29, 2010

Innocent Love of a Child... Illistrated in Sweeney Todd...

In the musical revue coming up, we will be performing two songs from the musical Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street - "Worst Pies" and "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd." Because I'm hearing these songs all the time, I have had other songs from the same musical stuck in my head, especially "Not While I'm Around," which exemplifies the innocence of a child who wants to protect the person he loves most, in this case, Mrs. Lovett who had become a kind of mother figure to Toby. It is the sweetest song ever.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Alice: the Brooklyn Baby

Rehearsals for this year's musical revue are in full swing. On Friday the 30th and Saturday the 1st, we will preform a number of skits and songs from various musicals all tied together with hilarious MC skits revolving around the idea of Broadway on a Budget. One of the girls who plays a character named Alice in an introduction scene for "It's a Hard Knock Life" was gone the past two rehearsals so our director had me fill in for her. I had so much fun creating a history for Alice so that I could portray a well rounded character. She was left on the stairs of the orphanage when she was three because her mother died and her older brother couldn't take care of her. Since then she has washed the bathrooms and cleaned the kitchen for Miss. Hanagan everyday; complaining only when everyone else got into it. Not that she didn't have anything to complain about, she had plenty to complain about, only she didn't like to be the first to moan and whine. The thought that was always on her mind was that she would never find someone to marry because she had mismatched clothes and calluses on her hands. I gave her this really fun accent that my friend Cady described as a Brooklyn Baby accent - she basically just sounds like an uneducated little girl, which for the most part is true. I really like this new character, but no one will get to see her since I was only filling in for rehearsal. Maybe I should just be her one day at school or something...?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What Too Much Coffee Can Do to You...

Whenever I go to Peet's, I pass a sad looking woman who sits outside with three or four empty large coffee cups and a bag of Lays Barbecue potato chips. I have said "good morning" to her every morning for the past few days, receiving only a head nod and a smile in return; except for yesterday...

Yesterday, I saw her in front of Sweet Affair instead of Peet's, although annoyed that such an avid Peet's lover would betray the wonderful taste of Peet's various blends of coffee, I said "good morning" as I had every other morning. I was pleasantly surprise when she responded with "Good morning. How are you?" I responded and asked her how she was doing expecting to receive a "fine thank you" in return, but instead she actually told me. This is basically what she said:

"Yesterday, I started chocking on my coffee in Peet's and the short-little guy who works there got angry with me and called the cops. They don't like me at all, there. I sit there and all they do is stare at me all the time - they are watching me trying to suppress me. A few years ago, I saw a woman being dragged away by a stalker in this very parking lot, and I tried to save her. Another woman who was with me called the police on her cell phone but the Peet's employees took the phone away from her and told them that everything was fine. Later that month, I saw that stalker on the news as a murderer! Those people at Peet's didn't even care! They're all friends with Madden in Sacramento, you know, and they are trying to suppress me. I try to help people and all they want is to keep me quiet. Peet's is trying to push their political agenda by suppressing those that really care about national security."

By this point, I didn't know what to do. This women clearly drank too much coffee; so, I said, "Well, I hope today goes better for you" and left. It was the oddest conversation I have had in quite a while.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

JSB Dress = Giant Hassle

Every year my school holds a Junior Senior Banquet in place of Junior Prom and Senior Ball. I understood that this year I wasn’t going to be able to attend because my family didn’t have enough money to pay for the event with Senior Retreat, graduation, and college right around the corner. Of course, this year, the Exploratorium in San Francisco will be hosting JSB. Those who attend will have the opportunity to explore all of the exhibits while enjoying the company of all their friends. I was a bit disappointed.

Then one day, one of my friends Andrew asked me to review a poem he had written. Since I read his writing for him all the time, I suspected nothing out of the ordinary. As I read the poem and slowly realized that it was about me and our friendship, I looked up to see him standing in the middle of the student center with two dozen roses asking me to go with him to JSB.

Today, I finally took my JSB dress to school with me in order to get it approved by the Dean of Women. Since Faith was having her dress approved as well, I put my dress with hers in her car for safekeeping. During break, Faith moved my dress into the College and Career Center for fear that her dad might leave campus, but when I went to pick my dress up at lunch, the career counselors and I could not find it – my dress was MIA! We looked all over campus – in the Dean’s office, in the student center, in the teacher’s lounge, in various classrooms – but it was gone. Later during sixth period, Faith realized that when her father’s meeting had ended, she moved my dress into his office! Now all is well - except that I have to wait until tomorrow to get my dress approved, but that also means that I get Peet’s coffee from the Plaza.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Life of a Nanny...

When I was eleven, one of my cousins worked as a nanny for a family with three children. She enjoyed her job because the kids were well-behaved and she earned a good amount of money. I adored kids, I still do and always have, so I thought that playing with kids all day and getting paid for it was a lovely substitute for working at McDonalds or something, especially since I’ve worked with kids at summer camps and loved it…unfortunately nanny-ing and camp counseling are drastically different.

At Summer Camp: every activity is scheduled, and it’s virtually impossible for children to get bored because the activities out number the days they spend at camp. The counselor has complete authority over the child because they are in a new environment away from their own home. The kids switch to different leaders and groups through out the day to insure new surroundings and opportunities to make friends.

Nanny-ing: the children are in their comfort zone; they have the advantage of knowing more about their house and rules than the nanny because they live there. They know how to use this advantage too by saying “My mommy and daddy let me do that,” or “It’s okay; I do it all the time.” They see their toys and books and games every day; therefore, they become bored quite easily. If it’s an only child, the nanny is the only other person to entertain him or her. If there are multiple children, they are likely to get into fights and arguments.

Today, this theory of mine became more apparent to me as I spent seven and a half hours child-sitting one extremely energetic, imaginative five-year-old boy Mateo. As soon as I arrived at his house at 8:30 this morning, he and his fiery red curls were bouncing all over the house building castles and playing pirates. In no time at all, his legos, books, and toy cars engulfed his living room in an ocean of primary colors and wheels. After spending fifteen minutes convincing him that he couldn’t build a spaceship as big as his house out of coloring books while stopping to define every other word that I used, he finally agreed to sit quietly and watch the Jonah Veggie Tales movie. Of course, I had to sit right next to him in one of those armchairs that’s made for one and a half people; this situation worked out fine though since he’s about the size of half a person.

After feeding the child, I decided that we desperately needed to escape the house or else the next lego I stepped on would fly out the window. As we walked to the bus stop down the street, Mateo bombarded me with questions about buses and why the bus could pick us up at his house and why I couldn’t drive his mother’s car and how did the bus know where to take us and how did we know which bus to ride and what does the word “certain” mean etc…etc…etc…

Once we arrived down town, I thought surely some frozen yogurt would keep him busy for a little while. He wanted vanilla, so I asked for a small vanilla and a small blackberry to which he exclaimed, “I don’t want blackberry! I don’t like it! I only like vanilla, and that’s all I want!”
I tried to quiet him saying, “I know, Mateo. I got you vanilla.”
“But – But you just said, ‘Blackberry’,” he replied genuinely confused as to why I would order a different flavor than the one he wanted.

We sat down on a bench in front of my favorite fountain next to my favorite store and attempted to enjoy our frozen yogurt when suddenly, his yogurt dripped the tiniest pencil tip drop on his finger and he freaked out. “No!” He cried. “No, Marci! The yogurt – the yogurt – it’s trying to get me!” He quickly yet gently set the yogurt down and ran a few steps away from the monstrously evil yogurt.

After this failed attempt for some brief solitude, I decided to take him to the bookstore – BEST IDEA EVER! He was perfectly content listening to me read children’s book after children’s book. I knew there was a reason I liked this kid.

The entire trip home, he retold me all the stories that I had read to him with amazing recollection of the smallest details. Then we played with Lincoln logs for an hour until his father arrived and relieved me at 4:00.

I am exhausted.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Great Couple of Days

My advanced drama class is filled with a lot of crazys (what drama class isn't?). We thoroughly enjoy pulling little pranks on Miss Nelson (the American Literature and Writing teacher) and making up excuses for field trips. Boleslavsky once said that actors should be well versed in all areas of fine art; therefore, we decided to go to the Legion of honor Museum in San Francisco yesterday. The day entailed singing songs on Bart, praying on the Muni bus, and walking in the pouring rain. My friend Cady and I enjoyed perusing paintings by Van Gogh and Manet. Our favorite was "The Girl with the Broken Pitcher" by Bouguereau. The young women portrayed stared at us with sad eyes as though she only wanted acceptance and love. We decided to name her Tess after the main character in Thomas Hardy's novel Tess of the d'Urbervilles.Then on the journey from the museum to the bus, we all got soaked in the pouring rain.

Today, my Bible class had the privilege of traveling to Todos Santos Plaza in downtown Concord in order to survey what other people believe. One of the women (Genia) that my classmate Jen and I surveyed believed in Christ's sacrifice, but thought that we are saved by works. I asked her if she had ever heard about God's grace and forgiveness. As I witnessed to her, I knew God was speaking through me. Urged by the Holy Spirit, I asked Genia if there was something bothering her that I could pray about for her. She began to tell Jen and me about how she was pregnant and in a bad relationship. She knew she needed to get out of said relationship, but she was worried about getting into a similar situation. I asked God to give her His peace and that she would know how much He loved her. After I prayed for her, she gave both Jen and me hugs.

When we arrived back at school, I checked my e-mail and found out that I received a job at Mount Hermon as a Day Camp Counselor this summer. I'm immensely excited! These past two days have been full of God's blessings!