Happy Friday! As you read this we are (hopefully) being joined by a lot more readers, because today is the day my pal Dan Pearce is launching me on his giant blog called Single Dad Laughing. I’ve asked him to route everyone over to blogisode one of Thirteen and Three which I think is the best introduction of who I am, what I’m doing here, and (more importantly) how the Beaz came to be. Just in case any one wandered over here instead, hi, welcome, and go here to start this story or you will be amazingly confused.
Regular readers! Hello! Didn’t Charlotte do a good job last night? That turkey sat down and pounded out that blog post in about 20 minutes. It takes me about 20 hours out of a 24 hour day (possible exaggeration) and that kid just burped and had a blog post. Proud of her. Hated that picture of me. Do I really touch my face and hair when I’m nervous? I just thought I worry-cleaned. Maybe it’s a thing I do when I’m driving, since I can’t mop and drive at the same time. Oh, and for those of you who asked, yes, she got her book.
Ugh, and by the way, the mice are still in our apartment. I…..can’t……deal.
But, I am NOT going to complain about New York or anything tonight, because I am going on a date with Brynn O’Malley to the uber swanky Cafe Carlyle on Madison Avenue to see Jessica Molaskey and John Pizzarelli play and sing some jazz. Does it GET any COOLER or more New York-y than that? No. Last week I went to high tea at The Plaza. The moral of this story is having friends who do nice things like take you to fancy places in New York City helps a person remember that New York City isn’t all mice infested apartments and used condoms. There is the other part where the 1% live. As penance for my fanciness, I feel like I should take the fancy cookies that came with my coffee to the people occupying Wall Street.
And on the opposite end of the spectrum, here’s one more good New York City story (while I’m on a roll). I went to a restaurant called New York Burger and Co. (they have a turkey burger that is a “mini” size–basically just bigger than a White Castle and very Weight Watcher’s friendly), and while I was there, a homeless guy walked in. My antennae went up in that way that any New Yorker’s does, mostly because we’ve seen homeless people who are mentally unstable go off their rocker in restaurants if you don’t give them money as they beg from table to table. I put on my steely New Yorker face and prepared to make a quick exit. He walked up to the counter and said:
“I’m so sorry, but I am homeless and very hungry. Could I have something to eat?” I was like, uh oh. This isn’t going to go well at all. About a minute later, the manager came over and handed him a giant burger. The homeless guy said, “Thank you very much. Would it bother you very much if I ate it here?” and the manager told him it was fine, and the guy sat down and ate slowly and enjoying every bite. Just like that. All kindness and gratitude and no drama. New York City has a heart, y’all. Don’t let me complain about it too much.
Time warp: I am now back at home, in my pajamas and ready to go to bed after a great show. Charlotte is watching some horrible show about pythons and snapping turtles. I need to get out of here, so I am writing f-a-s-t. Let’s get back to school!
So have I scared you all away from ever taking an online course? I know, I know, I made it sound terrible. I left you hanging about the e-mail from my professor (we call her Dr. K.) and here’s what it said: she asked me–essentially–to quit working so hard. She said it in a really nice way, but she felt like I was answering so much and so thoroughly that there “wasn’t space” for the other students to answer. I was going to get an A in the course, and would get it even if I stopped posting like a crazy person.
Let me put this in layman’s terms for you because I find it unbelievable. I WAS BEING SUCH A GOOD STUDENT I WAS IMPAIRING OTHER PEOPLE’S ABILITY TO BE A GOOD STUDENT. We’ve come a long from academic probation, baby. So hey, listen, no need to tell me to back off twice, I was like, okee dokee, unchained myself from the couch and re-taught myself how to walk. Before I move on past this class, I have two things to say about it. First of all, Pride and Prejudice is much more than a love story, it is a sophisticated and in depth look at the society of England and how the classes marry and abide by entails. Why am I telling you this? Well, because a high light of my life came during this class when I got to teach Rob Meffe what an entail is (basically it is a way that women were cut out of inheritance by passing property and money to the closest male relative, not a woman. Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice deal with entails and inheritance, and at the core have strong feminist themes). Anytime I know something and Rob doesn’t it’s a shock and a reason to celebrate. And it never happens.
Second of all, I wrote my favorite paper for this class, all about marriage and the feminism of Jane Austen, and I called it “Marital Musings From A Spinster” because Austen–probably because she was so ticked off that women weren’t really allowed to marry for love–never married, yet she wrote the quintessential romance novel of all time. This is the paper I got the $25 gift card for that paper, and I’m pretty sure I bought Charlotte and Beatrix books with it. Which is as it should be, because they pretty much lost a month with their mother while I took that class.
Thirdly, I later (live and in person) met the professor, Dr. K and took her to lunch and to see Arcadia on Broadway. It was very fun and she even taught me things about Tom Stoppard during intermission. Which is exactly what I wanted. I ended up loving her class and I even kind of understood Blake. Kind of. All in all, well worth a month of misery for three credit hours.
So let’s get back to CCM for a minute. As you remember, I was not getting my degree from Pace, I was transferring everything back to CCM and doing a lot of praying that they would accept it. Here’s the deal. None of the classes I was taking really lined up with what was missing on my transcript, because no two classes from any university are exactly the same. It’s like trying to sell a Honda as a Toyota. They’re similar, but not the same. Truth? I needed to kiss a lot of booty to get my degree.
Throughout the year I was diligent about keeping in contact with CCM, which was a good thing because I had a lot to do. I had to reapply to the university, get accepted into the Musical Theater department again, re-open all my 20-year-old files and transcripts, wait for various boards to approve grade changes, and so on, and so on, and paperwork to infinity. At a certain point in time, it became very clear that there were a few classes I just was not going to be able to fulfill, including: one quarter of Theatrical Makeup, a dance class, and a quarter of a performance class. After some e-mails back and forth, Aubrey decided that he could grant me credit for these classes if I came to Cincinnati and performed the following:
“You must sing a song while putting on makeup and doing a dance step.”
I’m not kidding.
And he wanted me to perform it in front of the whole musical theater department.
Look. I needed my degree, and I needed it fast, because I’d decided to apply to grad school in Playwriting. So I agreed to embarrass myself in front of 18-year-olds. I arranged to come during Charlotte’s spring break and tried to come up with something to sing. While putting on makeup. And doing a dance step. As a 40+ year old woman. Horrifying.
(To read the conclusion of this story, go here)