Mar. 25th, 2011

katernater: (sherlock • (smug))
Man, Friday really snuck up on me this week. I'm glad it's here, though, and that I've got a chance to breathe over the weekend. The first week of classes was very busy, but I am very happy with how things are progressing. I know I've only been at my job for one full term (and even that term was truncated due to all manner of weather disasters, scheduling gaffes and transcendental brik-a-brak), but I feel much more comfortable going into the second nine weeks than the first. I'm starting to figure out what kind of teacher I am and what activities work for my students. And a couple of times this week I caught myself in a moment of fulfillment in my job -- whether it was participating in a game of charades (that somehow devolved into obscure bathroom humor) at the new student welcome party, or sitting with my colleagues at lunch and having a of couple students come up to say how excited they were to begin the new term with us. It really makes me feel part of something that matters.

I'm planning to take it easy this weekend. I've got taxes to finish (the process is confusing, even with TurboTax, so I exiled the folder to the edge of my kitchen table last week) and I will probably do some laundry and a bit of cleaning but, other than that, I'm going to watch movies, write, and flesh out that new original character. I don't know if this speaks to my process (or my slightly unbalanced sense of imagination), but whenever I think about creating a new character, I like to imagine physically interviewing them in my head. A lunch meeting, for instance. I imagine that I am sitting in a cafe, preparing to meet this person for the first time. I look for details. Is it raining? If so, did the person arrive with an umbrella, or were they running between awnings? Someone with an umbrella might be very detail-oriented; a controlling personality. A character who arrives soaked to the bone could be more laid back -- or generally underprepared. And, just like a normal interview, I go through a series of questions in my head. I can get a pretty good gut feeling about a new character based on their answers. Sometimes, the most obscure things become important character details. For instance, whether or not the character is wearing a two- or three-piece suit. To me, the latter suggests an increased focus on outward physical appearance and status; the former is a more practical, contemporary silhouette. Accents, gestures, eye contact: every detail is a method of honing personality traits, of paring down the abstract to a precise, fully-fleshed character. Plus, it's just a fun mental exercise to see how detailed you can be. (It's also the surest and quickest way to get me to fall asleep these days -- exhausting the right side of my brain usually means that I'm out before the first appetizers arrive. 'Better than counting sheep, I think.)

I also want to take advantage of the weekend to finally watch "Christopher and His Kind" and (at the very least) the first episode of "Downton Abbey." I think I'm running out of steam for tonight, though. Gonna' pack it in for the night. There's a Poe film series being shown at one of the local theaters tomorrow -- "The Fall of the House of Usher," and one other starring Vincent Price -- which I do not want to miss. I've got to make sure that I'm up and awake in time to make it to the theater. I guess I'm busier than I thought I was this weekend.

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