Friday, June 15, 2012

when i grow up

You might forget that I'm actually over here as a teacher, and that's an easy mistake because I sometimes forget that, too. Especially when I fly in for two days, and then we hit the road for four. So today was my first day of actual teaching. And I enjoyed it! We hold class in the students' flats. They have two nice front rooms, so Kate takes one and I take the other. It's fun to teach here. We see shows and then we get to discuss them. We pull them apart and decide what worked and what didn't; it's a great way to learn and I wish I could translate this experience to the Orem campus. But I can't, and so my second wish is that all of the theater students there could come here. It's pricey for them, I know. But there's nothing quite like it! It's education on a whole different level.

In between classes I needed to run to the High Street to buy a new phone, and Nick came with me. While we were waiting at the bus stop he started talking like this girl:

And that was all it took. I have been talking like that for the rest of the day.

"Lerts terk the nermber nern burs to Hermmersmerth!"

"Merterlder! Mer fervoret mersical! Bersed on the berk ber Roald Derhl!"

That kind of thing. Trust me, it never stops being funny to me, and never stops being irritating to everyone else. But I honestly have been talking that way for about ten hours.

After class I went with Kaitlyn, Steven, Nick, and Daniel to the Science Museum to see an exhibit called Universe of Sound: The Planets (o ma gersh! Urniverse of Surnd? The Plernets?!) There is no feasible way for me to describe this exhibit and make it sound exciting. But it was. I loved it. Basically, the exhibit uses touch screens, movement-based interaction and planetarium-style projection to make you feel like you are part of the 132 member London Philharmonic as they play each of Holsts' Planets. I thought it was really, really cool. You would watch the strings play, and then move into another room and watch the bassoonist. Daniel, who is an expert musician, was able to follow the score with the orchestra. Later we lay on the floor and watched all the parts together projected all around the room. It was hypnotic and exciting. And strangely calming. Really cool. But I'm also a huge nerd about classical music (see: Bela Bartok statue.)

To prove this nerdiness, here I'm am conducting the "virtual" orchestra. Boy, I really got into it.

But I'm not the only one getting into it! This flautist had really crazy eyes.

We met up with Rob, who we exchanged with Kaitlyn (who meets people literally everywhere she goes) she made friends with a girl from Germany in the museum and the two of them disappeared to see the city for themselves. The five of us headed to the Saatchi gallery near Sloane Square to see a photography exhibit called "Out of Focus." And let me tell you, this thing was anything but. It was an exhibit of really freaky and bizarre looking people who were way too in focus. Here's a few examples!

The exhibit was only one room, but there was plenty more to see! I loved these awesome photographic cutups of films stars from the golden age:

I also loved this giant room. The floor looks deep, but it's actually just an inch of black oil and it's reflecting the ceiling. A massive optical illusion! Isn't that cool? I think Alex Ungerman saw this years ago and described it to me. It only took me four or five years to finally see it. Super cool! I also loved this cryptic picture of the Queen so much that I bought a postcard. Nick thinks she looks dead. I never thought of that.

After the Saatchi we grabbed bikes and pedaled home through Chelsea. The weather was fantastic; the traffic was not. We had some near misses behind Herrod's but they were more funny than deadly. I eventually stopped at Thai Square and had dinner there. I love that place. It's tasty and so small. I always feel like it's a calming hub in the middle of Exhibition Road. I listened to the girls in the table next to me talk about Portlandia, and I wanted to jump in so badly. I wanted to throw out some quotes from the Women & Women First bookstore ("hit the print" "hit the print") but I didn't.

Tonight we saw the new musical Matilda, based on the Roald Dahl book. I had heard nothing but raves about it so I went in feeling judgy and skeptical. I came out an absolute fan. It's one of the sweetest, funniest, and most surprising musicals I've ever seen. I can't wait to get my hands on it. It's going to be huge in Utah, folks. Agatha Trunchbull is played by a man named Bertie Carvel, and he was hysterical. Not super campy and over-the-top, but sort of subtle and snide and terrifying. And there was this song where the kids came out in swings and sang the most beautiful song about growing older, and I teared up. I missed my kids.

We walked home through the city tonight; these students hadn't really done that yet. We passed through Trafalgar Square and even took in the secret rooftop bar. Perfect photo ops. Then we walked down The Mall and through St. James park which, for some odd reason just before the Olympics, is all dug up. This group is really great. They are sweet and kind and funny and I like them.