This week was VERY busy for me. I had tons of homework, lots of meetings with professors and classes, and I've been going to lots of new events. That said, I had one major new experience this week (in addition to three less-major ones) and that experience was: actually performing my poetry in front of a crowd!
Now, technically I have read my poetry in front of audiences before, but this was the first time I did it at a Sarah Lawrence Open Mic. There are Open Mics at my school every other week, at the Black Squirrel (a student hangout location that serves milkshakes and stuff), and it's fun to go to them. People read poems, sing songs, do standup comedy, and all sorts of other stuff. But this week, the theme was Harry Potter, so I knew I had to do something.
In my junior year of high school, I wrote two Harry Potter themed poems, "The Lightning Struck Tower" about Dumbledore's death, and "Department of Mysteries" about a Ministry worker's depression. So I signed up to perform, printed the poems out, and rehearsed them at Thursday night dinner. Then I headed up to the Black Squirrel and hung around while the Activities Council set up the room with house flags and lights.
It started at 9. All the performers were amazing- one sang a Harry Potter song he wrote, there were a couple of really talented cover singers, and the two kids that normally do comedy did a Harry Potter trivia giveaway. And obviously, any time there's Harry Potter trivia involved, I'm going to try my best to win, so guess what I won?
A SLYTHERIN FLAG YAY. (I'm a Slytherin, by the way, despite my Ravenclaw tendencies. Pottermore sorted me there and I figure JKR knows best. Plus I am pretty ambitious.) (also I know the selfie looks a little awkward. This is because I am holding a flag.)
Anyway, I was the fifth performer. I wasn't SO nervous because like I said, I've performed poems before, but once I got up there under the lights with the microphone I did get a little nervous. But I think I did rather well and afterwards a couple of people told me they liked my poems so that's good. :)
So, all in all, this new experience was a fun one. I think I'll perform more at Open Mics. Why not? There aren't usually that many poets performing anyway.
As for the other experiences of this week: I attended a talk given by a visiting Yale professor, Dr. Elijah Anderson, called "The Cosmopolitan Canopy," after his latest publication. It was very interesting and intriguing. Basically, he put forth the idea that there are certain spaces in society, which he called "cosmopolitan canopies," where people get along and hatred is forced to take a step back to make way for kindness. But occasionally, there are rips in this canopy when people commit what he called "acute moments of disrespect" towards others because of their identities. This summary isn't really doing justice to the whole talk he gave, but you can Google Elijah Anderson to find out more about his work. He studies ethnography, and a lot of his work involves going out on the streets to interview young men, particularly young black men, about the problems inherent in living in violence-ridden areas.
The other new experience I had was watching a new movie, which was technically for class, but I enjoyed it so much I'm going to recommend it. It's called Lagaan, and it's a famous Indian movie which tells the story of a village during the Indian Raj that gets challenged to a bet: if they beat an English team in a game of cricket, they won't have to pay taxes for three years; but if they lose, they'll have to pay triple taxes. It's a very well-made movie (although very long), has great musical numbers, and makes interesting commentary about the racial tensions during the Raj through a fun-to-watch film. So, watch it.
Basically, this was a really fun, busy week. Next week's Saturday post is going to be slightly different: I will summarize my new experience of the week, but I'm going to be doing a post for the TCWT Blog Chain. More on that next week.
Thanks for reading! See you Wednesday for a regular blog post.