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we haven’t committed any lasting damage

Anna painted a heart on my faceThe Clothesline Project display on campusThere should be a yellow warning sign that says Schoolwork Crossing, and the end of the semester should heed it. Even though we’re about to bump hard into final exams, there is a negligible decrease in the number of cool events going on around campus. It’s tricky to balance all the last assignments of the year with all the other things happening, but I can stuff writing three essays and taking two final exams into the next week.

Diva Day performanceWhat Makes YOU a Diva?Wednesday was a great day for abandoning homework for the afternoon. The Womyn’s Center hosted the Clothesline Project, the only Take Back The Night event we decided to do this year. Most of the shirts in the Clothesline Project display were hand-lettered by members of the Raphael House, a local Portland women’s shelter. I like the Clothesline Project because it raises public awareness about sexual and domestic violence through creative survivor empowerment.

Anna painting her foot pinkI made rainbow handprints and Anna fingerpainted my cheekIn the afternoon, the first of the Senior Thesis plays (written and/or directed by graduating theatre majors) was held outside. Modeled on the Vagina Monologues, “Diva Day” combined interpretive dance (click for video), anecdotes, and experimental theatre. Oh, and all the actresses wore silly giant representations of Diva Cups over their costumes. Afterward, the audience members and cast had a dance party and painted their answers to “What makes YOU a Diva?” onto a big banner. My friend Anna and I painted our hands and feet and danced across it. We accidentally left smeary footprints on the ground, but the paint was both washable and nontoxic, so I think we haven’t committed any lasting damage.

Anna is the best kind of dork when discarded clothes are there for the donning!On the subject of Anna, she’s a phenomenal performance poet and musical artist. She said it’s okay I share some of her awesomeness with y’all, so here’s a video of her performing an original composition at the Platteau Student Art Center’s Last Open Mic of the year, and here’s a song she recorded in a studio with better audio quality than my digital point-and-shoot can muster. The Open Mic on Friday was three hours of story-reading, ukulele, high-energy girlrock, poery, and original compositions plus covers of such favourites as Tegan & Sara, Sufjan Stevens, and Nickel Creek.

Nothing Compares To You playbillIt’s a good thing I like experimental theatre so much, because when I showed up at the mainstage for Nothing Compares To You, another Senior Thesis play, I had no idea I was in for such a spectacularly nontraditional performance. For the entire hour-plus show, the audience was herded around the set (no seating!) from scene to scene by two silent and bescarved actors. The somewhat anachronistic scenes at first seemed entirely unconnected, but by the end they were geniusly intertwined. One of the best performances I’ve seen, like, ever.

Les & Eva Aigner speaking about their experiences surviving the HolocaustAfter the Diva Day performance on Wednesday, I went to a talk by two Holocaust survivors. Eva and Les Aigner, who now live in Portland, regularly speak publically about their experiences as Jews in the ghetto and in Auschwitz. Even though Les said he felt like the luckiest man in the world for having survived the Holocaust, the talk sure put my last 25 pages of essay-writing into perspective!

I went out to dinner at Oba! with my parents on Saturday night. I was glad they were picking up the bill – the food was so good but pretty expensive for someone on a college student budget. Also, this time of year is one big conglomeration of Prom Nights, so the restaurant was flooded with high schoolers pinned to corsages and zipped into schmancy dresses. I’m so relieved that that particular rite of passage is behind me! They all looked really excited, though. Awww.

I can has A in ur class? This LOLcat created at icanhascheezburger.comI gave my final presentation in Judaism on Monday morning on the subject I’m writing my final research paper on, the Lilith legend. I made a pretty powerpoint and everything. Last week in Qual Methods I presented my ethnographic findings regarding how students tell their Coming Out stories to the class as well. Even though I got into a fight with the printer and showed up to class without a speaking outline as planned (tip: don’t wait to print until five minutes before class, it will bite you in the rear), my presentation went smoothly and my professor said I was cohesive and organized. I can has A in ur class?

one of the electronic music pieces at the concert included live flute and guitar accompanimentOn Monday night I went to the Electronic Music Concert. Students from all sections of the Electronic Music classes played their compositions. Some pieces had accompanying music videos (everything from self-filmed raps to classical remixes set to psychedelic fractal art), and some had live performances, including live musical accompaniment and John’s fire-juggling.

I already have a fun summer reading list all worked out. I’m so excited to go home and walk my dogs and bike and play with toddlers at the preschool I work at over break. I hope they’re hiring again this year – I still need to call during business hours and find out.

This is my last Real Life Blog entry for the semester! Your emails will still find me over summer, so definitely point your questions toward maisha@lclark.edu. I’m happy to ramble at length about whatever you wanna talk about.

28 April 2009