two kinds of camp in one weekend
I interviewed (again) for a position of responsibility yesterday. I find out today if I got it, or if I have to interview (again) for the new school (sigh). The build-up this week has been very positive, and I'm glad of the opportunity for personal growth, but knowing that the news is coming makes me about as nervous as I can be without screaming and fleeing the building. And I still have one more class to teach. Joy.
In preparing for this interview, I made a list of personal qualities that I feel bear upon the job at stake. It made me realize that I have been genuinely experiencing a period of explosive personal growth. Just about every area of my life has been expanded and improved. Like that gross character Jack Nicholson plays in "The Witches of Eastwick" says, it's likely the result of the triple D: death, divorce or desertion. I also wonder if it's simply the extra energy I might have given to a second child, had there been a Burt for me.
Last weekend I escorted Blake to Beaver! Camp! in Hawkley Valley. We are extremely new Beavers - we joined this calendar year and Blake isn't even invested yet - but I knew that this was going to be our camp as soon as we heard about it. I think I may have loved it more than he did, and he really loved it. Constant food, bunk beds, snow and fires. Hiking, tobagganing, playing inside, reading quietly. He loved having people around him at all times, and he loved how late it all got before lights out (midnight! my stars!) I did a lot of knitting, and talked to the section leaders, and bossed other kids around. It was heaven. Intense, tiring and wet, and Monday had to be an isolated day at work just to decompress, but it was wonderful.
When we got back from camp! I took a short but angrifying nap (naps don't make me happy) and got ready for my theatre date. Mom bought me tickets to "Little House on the Prairie: the musical!" to honour my deep love of the books, but her neck was acting up and so Mason went with me instead. This meant that we had a chance to go Winterliciousing at the Biergarden, which is serving a trout and lentil main that is worth writing a valentine to. We were in excellent moods when we arrived to the theatre, but all was ruined when the play started.
It's not that I don't like a good, cheese-filled oat opera. (Mmmm...cheasy oats...) I like "Oklahoma." But this was so painfully written that I had to start taking notes during the first half, just so that involuntary snorts of disgust and loud bursts of inappropriately-time laughter were somewhat restrained. From the notes:
- first 15 minutes incomprehensible but not their fault; I couldn't stop rolling my eyes long enough to concentrate on the story
- good score; wretched book
- wow, these lyrics make "gonna paint a wagon / gonna paint it fine" look deep.
- Riley as cowboy: "I'm looking for a man. A Sales Man."
- definite Nathan Fillion vibe to Pa
- just starting to wonder if all those insane chances Pa took in the books were a result of a death wish
- Ma, square dancing with her skirt above mid-thigh?? I'm pretty sure the girls only saw their mother's knees when they emerged, squalling and bloody, from between them.
- Melissa Gilbert can't sing, which is not her fault. So why didn't they cast appropriately? Not fair to make her the cash draw and then surround her with 10 year olds with stronger voices.
- um, is Nellie supposed to be a direct steal of Galinda in "Wicked"?
- has anyone on script duty ever been bullied by an actual girl? Ever?
- this is simplified to the point of idiocy. I'm going to start drooling in self-defense.
- bothering my neighbours by laughing loudly at sincere lines
- it's like they through all the dramatic highpoints into a blender, with a scoop of ultrasincerity that reads as gay camp
- it's like they fed all the books to a dog and then used whatever it barfed up the next day.
- um, girls betting on ponies? Without their mother disowning them forever? Since when did they move to Gomorrah (or worse, Kansas City)?
- um, where did the sudden post-colonial self-consciousness emerge from? I don't remember Pa waiting for the government's permission to start stealing Indian land. Did they need something to fill time instead of using the actual story?
- blind sister taken out in public, encouraged to gamble instead of buy candy, then left to fend for herself during a wheat fire? Does that make sense to anyone?
We left at intermission, which must have been a tremendous relief for the people around us. I've read "The Ghost in the Little House," and I'm perfectly aware of how a bare-bones life story was used as part of a right-wing polemic to justify extreme self-sufficiency. Ultimately, there's no point in complaining that the story was changed to suit modern sensibilities; this story was never published in its original form and became popular because it comforted a society ripped up by the World Wars and hungry for a time of strict Puritan rules, the possibility of living outside them on border societies, and the promise of prosperity from a continent that already seemed played out by the time Rose ran her mother's manuscripts through her typewriter.
Yes, I suppose I do spend a lot of time thinking about this stuff. At least I gave everyone a break and left early.
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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*