Sunday, September 28, 2008


Despite my already-heavy class load, I actually added one on this week, the advanced hip hop class on Thursday nights. I was told that the class was at the level and speed of people who are/ want to be professional hip hoppers, so I avoided the class. A few of my roommates and friends take it though, so I poked my head in the other day - it looked super-fun and like something I could handle, so I took it this last week, and it was awesome! The summer between HS and college, and between freshman and sophomore year, I actually took a lot of hip hop, and wasn't bad at it. There was a lot of stuff that was super new to me in this class, like house dance (basically super-funky and energetic movement to house dance music). I had never heard of such a thing and people thought I was crazy - I thought it must be an up here thing, but it turns out not - I was looking at the Zenon fall class schedule, and they now have house dance classes - definitely going to have to take them! I feel like I handled the class really well. It was really kind of hard energy-wise to add on a class at the end of the week, but I am so glad I did, and I am definitely going back.

As for the job, I started on Sunday with an orientation. Our theater is within the Epcor Center, a complex that has within it six different theaters/ organizations and is located downtown - pretty sweet! I left resumes several places in the complex, and got my job with Alberta Theatre Projects, a producing theater that focuses mostly on contemporary works that focus on Canadian history, issues, etc. They also have a big family holiday show and a new works festival - quite varied. I had orientation on Sunday, which was for paid front of house staff as well as volunteers. We got a tour of the evac routes, and the rest was just reviewing policy. I had my first shift last night, and I arrived 45 minutes early on my own accorded because I was worried that I had not yet seen the theater or know the seating chart, where the bathrooms, are etc! The head usher, Andrea, is super sweet and showed me around, oriented me with the seating chart, answered all my questions, and I felt a lot better about being let loose on the patrons that night to provide customer service. It has been so long since I have done anything customer-service oriented (about tw months!), which has felt strange considering that for the last year, I dedicated hours to the stuff. I was surprised to find last night that I had really missed it - I enjoyed seeing people to their seats, making small talk, handing out programs. It was nice to see that I actually really do like to give people an enjoyable experience, when it comes to something that I appreciate myself. Another sweet part about the job - we get to watch the show. So basically, for the majority of my hours, I am being paid to watch theater - awesome. I pay insn't so great (minimum wage), but it is the arts, and it sure it better than nothing. I had a great time last night, and I am looking forward to/ already feel welcomed into a community other than DJD, so it is nice to have somewhere else to go, to belong, to which to contribute.

I just finished another FANTASTIC sociology book - "The Great Good Place" by Ray Oldenburg (PHD Sociology from the U!). The book is about what he calls 'Third Places.' IE, you have home and work as two main places in your life, and there was a time where it was quite common for people to have a 'third place' like a pub or coffee shop or bistro, within walking distance to home or work (most likely home) that would serve as a wind-down, but mostly a chance to be connected to your community in an informal yet deep kind of way. He describes how the onslaught of suburbia, whose structure and ideology does not allow for such third places or for them to be walked to, as a major player in the disappearance of these places and this kind of lifestyle. It was a super interesting read that I just plowed through. It certainly made me further wish to not have a car when I return home, and made me realize how much I have appreciated having a pub, gorcery store, liquor store, all the necessities, within walking distance. When it comes down to it, having a car can often be much more of a hassle than a convenience. I mean seriously, why hop in your car, park, then walk to the place you are going when you could just walk?

Since 'Rise of the Creative Class', I have read 'The Life and Death of Great American Cities' by Jane Jacobs (this and the previously mentioned book came out of the biblio from Creative Class), and 'The Irresistible Inheritance of Wilberforce,' fiction about a man who inherits a wine cellar and becomes consumed by its contents.

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