Thursday, December 12, 2013

It's a Beautiful Day for Good News, Volume 1

Earlier this year, I started a semi-regular newsletter to friends that I call "It's a Beautiful Day for Good News." It's intended as my counterpoint to regular news outlets that would have you believe that the world is a scary and dangerous place, filled with rape, murder, abuse, fraud, and robbery around every corner, and 95% on fire at any given time. I can't watch the news anymore, because it depresses me to an intense degree. So, every so often, I gather stories that are refreshing and inspiring, about people doing lovely things for others, and it has been recently suggested (by my awesome brother) that I include this in my blog here. The motion was seconded, so here we are.

This first installment is made up of stories that I've shared through the newsletter previously, but I love them so much, I offer them here.

Seattle is planning to create a city park, wherein they will plant edibles that are free to anyone:

The Friendliest Restaurant in the World:

The Jiffy Mix company may not be perfect, but it's still a role model:

This little guy is pretty awesome, the way he pieces together where his dinner came from. Also, I applaud his mother, who really listens to him and respects his choice.

If you haven't heard about Caine's Arcade, you absolutely must go here. It's one of my favoritest stories ever, ever, ever.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Dramarama Presents: Works-in-Progress

I love the term "work-in-progress." It means, "I know it's not finished, but I want to share what I've got so far."

I used it a lot last night, when the fourth- and fifth-grade Dramarama acting students presented readings of scenes that the third- through fifth-grade Dramarama Playwrights worked on in class earlier this fall. The playwrights were the directors and narrators of their own plays.

This whole thing was an experiment in curriculum for me. I'd never offered a playwriting class before, and then, to attach it to the acting class was kind of risky. But the students did super, and I was very proud of them.

As families were arriving, I gathered the students at the front of the room to chat. "Is anyone nervous?" I asked. Several hands went up. I asked the lone boy, a fifth-grader, why he was nervous. "I'm afraid my voice will crack. Sometimes it does that." I smiled. Puberty's a struggle.

Every single student, actors and playwrights, had family members at the presentation. That is a wonderful, inspiring thing. 4:00 pm is a difficult time to get working adults to attend anything, and surely not everyone who wanted to come was able to, but there was not a single student who didn't have someone there to support them. That's thrilling.

I've posted a photo of the playwrights earlier, so here are the acting students:

I love my job.