First episode —> here.

During the last three or so weeks, I have had the privilege of working with some of my fellow students as student director of the school play. I did get to do a little directing, but for the most part, I assisted the actual directors in whatever they needed me to do, whether that be filling in for an actor who couldn’t make it to the rehearsal or jotting down notes to be used later. It was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. I wanted to be involved with the play when I heard what it was going to be, a rendition of The Hound of the Baskervilles, original by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, though I was originally anticipating Sense and Sensibility, which would have been SO AWESOME. I wouldn’t have been okay with anything less than Sherlock Holmes, though.

Anyway, the combination of getting to hang out with a bunch of my friends for nine hours every week, not having to ride the bus home, and getting to help put on a fantastic production was worth all the time I spent away from my Chemistry homework. It’s really interesting, though, that I’m almost not sad to see this go. It was a lot of work compressed into a very short amount of time, during a period of my life where I was experiencing a lot of stress from school that I’ve never experienced before. It was a lot of fun, but I’m glad that it’s over now so that I can have physical therapy on days other than Mondays. Not that Mondays were particularly horrible or anything, but there is this old guy who goes to therapy on Mondays at the same time as I have been and he disrupts the flow of the physical therapy place just enough that I feel less… relaxed, in a way. He’s probably super nice, but… whatever.

Not to mention, during the play, I got to work with our school’s new drama teacher and a very knowledgeable friend of his. Everyone loved our last drama teacher, including me, but there’s just something about our new guy that I like a lot. First of all, we just call him Chris because… I don’t know, that’s just his name and we’re allowed to call him that. I’m always a fan of teachers who let us call them by their name because I feel like it lets them accept the students as capable almost-adults and I really like it when teachers treat me like I’m an eighteen and a half year old senior rather than a fifteen year old sophomore.

Our former drama teacher was really cool and he knew a lot about teaching through experience and how to run the auditorium, but Chris seems just as capable to me and his fresh perspective has already helped our school in a way I never thought was possible. Our auditorium is so extremely old and… let’s just say “poorly built.” Having been performing on it since I was in the sixth or seventh grade, I have gotten used to the fact that it’s impossible to project any sound at all off that thing. In order to make the sound travel to the back of the house, we had to cram almost 100 orchestra students onto the stage with a sound shell behind and play our absolute loudest. Yet Chris and his friend, Tim, set up a pretty simple sound system that allowed our actors’ voices to be heard loud and clear in the lobby without even having to tape microphones to their faces.

I guess you’d have to be a performing arts student at my high school to understand what a big deal it is to be able to hear anything at all in our auditorium, but believe me, this feat is no small accomplishment.

Also, spending a lot of time backstage just felt so comfortable to me. I did a lot of moving from end of the stage to the other, making sure that people had what they needed and being there in case something happened that I could help with. It just seemed like a completely different environment to me. I spent a trimester in the stage tech class my sophomore year with our former drama teacher and it just seemed like a strange place where I stayed out of the way and only did what I was told. It could just be that I was a sophomore, unfamiliar with the whole high school thing, but Chris has turned our auditorium into a place that feels more like a home than the well-oiled machine that it was when I was a sophomore.

There was a huge class and everyone had a specific job they were in charge of doing (mine was sweeping the stage…. fun stuff) and the stage was a place to be respected and continually tip-toed around. The drama class seemed to be filled with serious-type people who didn’t really accept outsiders into their little world.

It’s a little hard for me to explain without going into a tedious amount of detail, but there you go.

Yesterday morning, I took the AP Chemistry test, the only test I’ve ever felt anxious about, believe it or not. The ACT didn’t seem particularly important to me because my brother got a decent score on it and he doesn’t care about anything. I’m not allowed to talk about it, really, but I think it went better than every scenario that my anxiety thought up for me during the weeks leading up to it. Today in class was a completely different atmosphere than it was. Before, we were studying and preparing like mad and now, for the last month of school, we aren’t going to be doing anything rigorous at all. We’ve already learned everything that the text book had to offer, so all the learning we’ll be doing will be purely experimental.

This does mean that we’ll have to go to school an hour early every Tuesday and Monday, but we get to bring food and we’ll be potentially setting things on fire or blowing things up, which is enough to excite our class into waking up at whatever time our teacher wants us to. Going to school an hour earlier doesn’t really bother me as it actually means that I get to sleep in fifteen minutes longer than when I have to ride the bus.

Anyway, I’ve talked about AP Chemistry a lot in past posts, so I won’t go into great detail, but it’s been an incredible journey. Hopefully I won’t totally chicken out of Chemistry classes in the future. It’s an awesome field and I’ve always had this crazy dream of being a scientist but I’ve never had the guts to pursue it until now. Pretty much my only dream at this point is to get a job where I can wear a lab coat all the time. I don’t care what field of science it’s in. I’ve been doing Chemistry for two years now and it’s been super duper fun, but I also can’t wait to get back into doing other types of science. Human biology was fun, so maybe I can mix that in with my Chemistry and hope it’s soluble (lame chemistry joke).