Lose and Gain.
"All Shane does for school is act all day."
This is a true quote from a seventh grade boy at a youth group Ministry Teams performed at a week ago. Of course to me, this boy’s statement was pretty funny because I know the many papers that I still need to write before the end of the semester and all the other homework; sometimes I wish all I needed to do was act all day. I do understand, however, this boy’s perception of what a Theatre Major does; it’s not too different from other people’s perception. I may know what really goes on in the Theatre Department I can honestly say that Theatre Classes are a little more interesting than others.
I have a class called Survey of Contemporary and Modern Drama; this class is focused on modern pieces of Drama and requires a lot of play analysis and then discussion. A group of fifteen dramatic and opinionated Theatre Majors mixed in with about six English majors all asked to share there opinions on Plays and Themes within Drama, needless to say the discussions can be pretty interesting. And while there are many times us theatre majors are able to push each others buttons, I feel very blessed to be able to spend so much time with this group of people.
It’s just so easy to take for granted the people I have around me and the opportunities that being at Sterling gives me. It’s amazing to think that not only am I allowed to be involved with performing but I have also been given the opportunity to write for the stage as well. In fact, my play “The Doorway to The Shine” is scheduled to be produced and staged next semester!
Soon, I won’t be at Sterling; I won’t have the community or same opportunities I do now. It’s hard to comprehend and also a little frightening, I just hope that I can appreciate what I have here while I have it. So, I may not know exactly what’s going to happen after I’m done here. I don’t know if I will be able to support myself through acting or writing; I honestly don’t know much of anything. However, I do know that even if I utterly fail at life after Graduation it won’t change anything. I could be the worst playwright or actor ever but I would still be loved just the same by God. I could be a total joke and have absolutely nothing of value to offer society and no friends but my Father will still be my Father.
It’s comforting to know that God’s love for me is not dependent on my own strength.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you…"
1 Peter 1: 3-4
One day, I will lose this College but I will never lose what I’ve learned at this college; and that’s the grace of God.
The Glass Menagerie.
You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.
Many of us have heard our parents or teachers tell us that statement at some point in our upbringing; and while the statement may sound a bit cliche it is such an important lesson. The truth is what you want to happen is simply just not how things work out a lot of the time.
So there I was this past December looking at the newly posted cast list for “The Glass Menagerie” and in desperate need for someone older and wiser to look me in the eyes and say those hard to swallow but oh so important words.
I was mad, I didn’t get the part I wanted. Boo Hoo yeah I know. Poor Shane didn’t get the part he wanted at the School where he gets the opportunity to not only further his education but also be involved with an artistic process that he loves. Essentially, I wasn’t starting the process of this show on a very good footing; but along the way something changed.
Last night, after the final evening performance for “The Glass Menagerie” and in my opinion our best run through of the show I finally decided that I would not have wanted this process to go differently than how it has gone. I’ve learned so much through this experience, been able to grow as an actor and be a part of something that I really love.
I didn’t get what I wanted, but I got what I needed: a chance to create on the stage.
That’s priceless, that’s theatre.
Not too long ago Sterling looked a lot like the Planet Hoth From Star Wars; we even had two days out of school! This is a picture of a group of us that braved the snow to frolic around the Football Field! Strangely enough, today the temperature got to around Seventy degrees so I’ve had the best of both worlds in a short amount of time.
Where’s my Ton Ton?
Enter into the Interterm.
Sterling College is a very unique place.
We have strange customs with shoes, doors, ring “ceremonies,” and now the weird tradition of “The Interterm.” For those of you that don’t know, Interterm is a condensed semester between the Fall and Spring Semesters. Students can take up to four credits and go to a three and a half hour class everyday for about three weeks.
In a way, Interterm is like a practice run for students before the “full” spring semester begins. Every one of my friends that go to some other college respond to the idea of Interterm with the same quizzical eyebrow raised face,”Huh, that’s interesting.”
Not only is interterm interesting, it can also be treacherous so I have developed a step by step survival guide to interterm.
1. Most interterm classes start at 8:30 so you must avoid the temptation to stay up as late as you would normally.
2. Remember that the Sterling Students who did not go to Interterm have not fallen off the face of the Earth but rather decided to continue being really lazy or continue making money at an at home job.
3. Be prepared to make yourself a sandwich in the Cafeteria, because of the lower population of students the number of meal options in the Caf. are fewer.
4.Make sure to choose an interterm class that you think you will be able to be engaged in for three and a half hours.
5. Make the most of the awkward classless afternoons that you now have in interterm. I suggest playing monopoly, clipping your finger nails, writing a novel or I guess even doing homework… if you’re really desperate.
If you abide by these rules that I have set up you may just be able to survive the mysterious Interterm and ready for the spring semester.
I don’t want to be that guy.
That guy that has a personal countdown to Thanksgiving Break. the one that loses all motivation the week before a big break and just shuts down. While I cannot say that I have made the full transformation into being “that guy” yet, I can say that my focus levels are pretty close to “E” at the moment.
Where did it go?! Why is it gone?! Was it ever even there?
Maybe I am just one of those guys that feels like he needs a pre-break break to fully prepare for a nice relaxing week. That is one theory, or it could be that I am just incredibly lazy.
It’s probably the latter.
Don’t judge me! I am just so overcome with thankfulness this season that I cannot help but spend all energy on sidewalk prancing and Christmas Carol singing. While the prancing isn’t exactly going to prepare me for the Math Exam that I have tomorrow I believe that it is good to take the time and stop to smell the decomposing leaves on the ground sometime.
Why should we not? We are loved by our Heavenly Father, we are redeemed by Christ and we are still breathing.
Prance away you turkeys,
Maybe it’s not so bad.
Those moments of stress, the times in our lives where all we can focus on is the seemingly infinite list of obligations and tasks to get done; they are not that bad. Now, do understand that this statement of mine is coming during a moment of relative leisure. I still feel that the moments of intense stress that we all seem to hate so much and remove from our lives can be great opportunities to appreciate life for what it is.
Why is it that everything has to be calm and peaceful for us to appreciate our life? Is it possible that even the rushed moments of stress and anxiety can bring about a greater understanding of the gift we have all been given?
Last night, working on one assignment while juggling in my mind other deadlines and responsibilities I realized that even these points in time are something to remember. How could I complain? I am at a great school, learning about things that interest me, being challenged to do things that will make me grow; the things that bring all this stress into my life may just be the things that make my college experience more worthwhile.
Stressful times are just like any other, opportunities to learn. So while I may not be saying “Oh yeah! I want to be really overwhelmed with all these things!” I do know that the crazy college moments won’t last forever and I should grow from them while I can.
I wasn’t very excited to do “South Pacific,” in my mind I felt it was too old and not relevant enough to modern audiences. However, as I have had the opportunity to work on this show with my cast mates I can honestly say I am very glad our directors chose “South Pacific.” There are some very great themes within the show that still ring true today not to mention it has some high energy numbers that I get to be a total goof in. I would love for people to come see our performances tonight, tomorrow and Saturday! There is nothing like Musical Theatre people!
This is the Song That Never Ends.
It has arrived.
After two years of looking pretty ridiculous with an oversized Tux Coat I finally broke down and bought one that actually fits me. This means that tonight at Sterling Choir’s Composer Festival I will be able to focus more on the notes and less on how I could use my Coat as a tent.
Every year Sterling Choir rehearses the work of one specific composer and then that composer comes to Sterling to direct us singing his music. Past composers have been Joseph Martin, Mark Hayes and Jackson Berkey. This year we have been going over the music of Composer Craig Courtney and yesterday we started rehearsing with him. I love getting to work with the composers on their creations because I am able to see where the music I am singing came from. The composers often tell us what the events were that surrounded the creation some of the songs.
While singing, it makes such a difference to have a picture of how the song came into being. All the composers we have had at Sterling compose spiritual music so it is amazing to get a glimpse of the prayer of another person through the music they put together.
While not all of us are composers, I believe that we should all consider what song would be created out of our present situation. Would it be thankful and joyous? Or would it be dark at the beginning building up to bright realization of God’s provision?
Whatever our songs may be, it’s important to realize that through Jesus Christ we have a song that we can all sing. It is the song of Jesus’ Light that transforms every note and every melody.
No longer wearing a tent,
Campbell Hall seemed creepy and old to me the first night I stayed there. I was a Junior in High School and it was pretty late as I was walking through the old building to my host’s room. Now, as a Junior in College I am saddened by the fact I will be leaving this creepy old building in only a few semesters. While Campbell isn’t the most attractive dorm on Campus I absolutely love living here. I think the main reason I love Campbell is my Campbell Brothers. Campbell Hall is a weird collection of men from different places and with very different personalities that somehow have fun whenever they get together. Last night Campbell had a Campout night in Campbell Lawn with tents, hammocks, frisbees and Campfires. Sitting around the campfire last night listening to Reid Goffigan play guitar, I realized just how much I am going to miss Campbell when I leave Sterling and how far I have come from being creeped out by it to absolutely loving it.
Shh, It’s Private.
When I was thinking about school I didn’t think much about the specific kind of school I wanted. I just looked around for what felt right. My decision for SC was very much intuitive. I suppose that’s simply how I do things at times. However, now being in my third year at Sterling I am able to put words to the things I was feeling as a prospective student. The first word that can describe Sterling is “personal.” Being a minuscule Private College, Students are able to become much more familiar with the student body as a whole. Of course not everyone knows one another and are friends, there is comfort in being in a small community. I like the fact that Sterling is the kind of place you could just wander around the dorms and pop into an open door and start a conversation with someone you don’t know but have seen around. The personal relationships I’ve been able to make with my professors are blessings that I’m still learning to appreciate. It’s nice being in a department with thirty five other students rather than 350. Another word that could be used to describe Sterling College would be “warm.” Unfortunately this is not a literal warmness (winters can be pretty cold), It’s more of a welcoming spirit in the community. I’ve had many faculty and students take a vested interest in how I’m doing Spiritually and how The Lord has been working in me. I don’t feel like just a number at Sterling, I feel like I have a name. Private or public didn’t matter to me much senior year of High School, but now that I’ve experienced Sterling I’m thankful for the advantages it brings. Sterling certainly isn’t perfect but I think that the strong community on campus helps with many problems. Sterling is pretty cool but be quiet, it’s private. The master of horrible jokes himself, Shane