Saturday, May 28, 2011

And so the time has come . . .

You know the Beatles song. We've all sung it. And laughed.

Now, of course, some of us are actually living it. Living past it, in fact. It happened to me this week. I'm now officially older than the John Lennon / Paul McCartney "When I'm Sixty-Four."

This week I turned sixty-five years old. Sixty-five. Official retirement age. No longer older middle aged. I've officially moved into "old."

Old. O L D. Hard to wrap one's head around that concept. O L D.

I remember quite clearly in 1968 when I first signed on for a tax shelter -- to come due in the very distant future of 2011, when I would turn the ancient age of -- dear lord -- 65. I simply couldn't fathom just how far away 2011 actually was.

The 40+ years since I first thought about turning 65 have simply flown by in a nanosecond. Once I was 21 and thinking I'd never actually see the year 2011 -- and suddenly this week, I turned 65 years old. How did that happen to me?

Shocking. Utterly shocking that I could live to be THIS old.

Hubby, thankfully, was willing to feed me for at least another year. I got this for my birthday.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Wonderful Afternoon at the Theater

See the serious look on Mr. Ibsen's face over there on the left? That's about how Hubby looked when the UMKC production of Peer Gynt started Sunday afternoon. Twenty minutes later Hubby's head was tilted back and his mouth was wide open -- the only good thing was that he wasn't snoring. A couple of well-placed pokes were called for periodically to keep him from embarrassing the family during the production.

It was a glorious play, not-withstanding Hubby's sleeping during the first act. The Repertory Theater at UMKC (University of Missouri at Kansas City) had updated and scaled down the original Ibsen work that during Ibsen's lifetime was deemed unstageable. Instead of producing all five acts with 50+ actors and the entire play spoken in verse and five hours in running time, UMKC had the foresight to use only five actors -- and Peer Gynt himself was a rotating role -- with only two acts and a two+ hour running time. We had been advised from the beginning not to try and make symbolic sense of the action but just enjoy the ribald beauty and sly use of humor for the play. Updates included modern language and topical humor. Half the audience was in bewilderment while the other half was in heaven. About half the audience left at intermission. The other half gave a standing ovation at the end of the play. I was part of the ovation crowd -- Hubby kind of just coasted along. During the second act he got more into the humor of the play.

Give Hubby credit. He knew what he was in for before we went to the show, he knew he was attending with a lover of symbolism and irony and he came along for the ride. It may have been a modernized version of the 1850's play but I can now count myself one of the few people who has actually seen a production of Peer Gynt. And I loved it!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Finals Finally

I dragged into the last of the first of my grad classes last night.

Confused? I've been that way all semester. Let me see if I can straighten out that sentence.

My Thursday class held its final session last night. I have one more last class to attend on Saturday morning - the other three hour class of the semester. The assignment for last evening was to present a part of our big project to the class. Except, of course, I have taken an incomplete in the course so I can start, write, and complete the project in June once teaching is over for the year. The prof asked me present information on co-teaching (for which I won the award way back in December). I presented, it went well, and at the end of the class, the professor announced that anyone carrying an A in the class would not need to take the final exam. I sighed and waited to be told that because I hadn't done any of the major project, I must take the exam (I do have a mid-level A for the work I've completed -- 94.75% of the grade). Patting me on the shoulder, the professor said to me, "You're currently carrying an A. No need to take the final."

Imagine me running through the hallowed halls of the office building that houses the Pitt State metro campus pumping my fist wildly in the air and singing "DO-DA, DO-DA! Of course I didn't do that, but I did create the scene in my brain. I hugged the woman! "Thank you for your patience! And thank you for NOT making me take the dreaded final. I'm forever grateful!" I exclaimed as I dashed out of the class -- just in case she was about to change her mind.

For the first time since February of this year, I didn't carry a dreaded weight right in the pit of my stomach. Oh, that's a lie. The weight is still there because two projects have to be completed in June -- but it's a lighter weight and I could sleep the night through with this one, not wake up and worry and plan how to survive another test and another weekly assignment.

For the Saturday class, I did complete the Intervention notebook -- one of the two big projects for that class (the other one is waiting until June). On Saturday we present lessons from the notebook but I've already been graded on the book -- got 100% on it. My lessons have been copied and stapled since the start of May so I'm ready to go for Saturday morning.

To celebrate, Hubby has arranged for his family's house on Chesapeake Bay to be ours for the middle of July. All I have to do to be ready to go is complete two large projects in June. One will go easy -- but the other one is a huge sink hole of misery. Still once teaching is over, I can write at midnight and sleep at noon -- and that always makes me a better student.