Saturday, March 03, 2007

An unexpected vacation

Didn't intend to take a day off official work today, but ended up doing so anyhow. I woke up rather early in the morning (but too late for breakfast), spent a few hours in bed reading Anthropology books that weren't actually homework, then went to rehearsal for the drag show where we finished choreography for our act on Friday. I'll be borrowing my costume from Eric Gallimore; more disturbingly, we borrowed some of our choreography from N'Sync (no, we're not doing a boy band song).

This will be my third time in drag; I enjoy it the same way I enjoy making costumes for Halloween. It gives you a chance to be someone else for a while. I'm not a huge fan of the hypersexual tones that seem to accompany the idea of "drag" sometimes; I think my group manages to pull off the drag aspect in a funny way that doesn't need to drip exaggerated sexuality in order to work, and I like that. It's just one musical number (and then - okay, we are MCing the show) but it's a chance to put on a skin that's clearly not mine, and it's fun to play with that.

Rehearsal was followed by a yearbook photo shoot with the OSA crew for which I alternately wore a suit and jumped around like a fool in an orange scarf, which came with the somewhat less enjoyable task of lugging my props - a stack of heavy engineering books - to all three non-dormitory buildings on campus looking for a table that could approximate a board meeting room. We finally settled on the upper level of the dining hall and made our corporate motto "Killing babies is profitable," right beside the pie chart that showed the rising revenue from ammunition sales. A black and white photograph of that bored board meeting will be shown beside a huge full-color one of us running, jumping, and hoisting each other, posters, banners, books, and miscellany outside. That's the idea, at least; we're still looking for a funky caption.

Spent some time with Candidates, spent more time reading, spent a few hours watching a most excellent production of The Importance of Being Earnest (way to go, FWOP!) and now I'm back to the reading. There's plenty of it that I've got to do; I'm not doing any of that, but instead reading books I want to read right now. (So these are books like Educating the engineer of 2020, the common place of law, and social robotics, which could hypothetically sort of be homework... but they aren't. I'm reading them because I want to. It makes a difference, darn it.)

I wonder what my life would have been like had I been allowed to unschool myself in fourth grade. I wanted to, but my parents said they couldn't handle it, so I continued to go to school. But to be able to read, just read and pick up random projects because I wanted to, not to be beholden to somebody else's syllabi - it sounds so strange as a way to learn, and it seems strange to me that this should sound strange. Wouldn't that be a great way to learn? Wouldn't that be a great way to live?

I still have this crazy notion of someday working part-time in a bookstore (just for cash... and a book discount), living in a crappy little apartment to save money, and just spending my time learning completely and utterly random things. An utter "waste of my education." It would be the best sabbatical I could ever imagine.

Back to my moratorium on productivity. Off to tinker with websites. Then to go back to reading. And then, I suspect, it shall be time for bed.


Nikki said...

I'm not a huge fan of the hypersexual tones that seem to accompany the idea of "drag" sometimes

I'm with you on that one. Then again, I would be, wouldn't I? You guys are going to be awesome. And ever so slightly cute.

Kimble said...

Instead of the working in a book store for money and a book discount, could I suggest a normal engineering job and a good library system? I think that's what a good portion of the class of '06 do now. I know I'm learning a lot, and it has the added benefit of actually using the degree you spent four years being given for free.

edowd said...

As someone who was effectively "unschooled" for two years in middle school, it may make a great way to learn a bunch of random, interesting things, but I think it's a better way to spend a vacation than a longer time - but maybe that's just because I am notoriously bad at focusing on or actually accomplishing anything.
Also, as someone who works at a bookstore in order to keep my family out of any more debt than we're already in, there are much better jobs that are much more conducive to fun and random reading - it's probably a better idea to get a nice, normalish job that involves seeing occasional sunlight and breathing dust-free air most of the day, and then stopping by a used bookstore after work .

With that said, I've read some books I never would have picked up if I hadn't had to shelve them. And it's anthropologically interesting, at the very least :).