London and Its Lit and Shakespeare R&P Together…

I didn’t get the chance to write up about yesterday… Well, yesterday, so I’m including that fairly uneventful day with this one for the sake of convenience for everyone!

So, yesterday morning we talked about the Taming of the Shrew, going over what we thought of the performance and how they had interpreted the text. If I enjoyed this play before, I probably enjoyed it just a little bit more with the additional discussion after the fact! It’s really interesting to see how differently some people perceived the performance, despite how clearly they portrayed their take on the text. It’s all one, though, because I personally enjoyed it despite my previous hatred of all things Taming of the Shrew. In the afternoon portion of the class, we started our discussion of Henry V, which should prove to be a very interesting and engaging performance! It’s one of the histories, and though the histories have never been my be-all end-all favorites, I really enjoyed this one. It was really nice to continue my knowledge of the Henriad from high school into a college atmosphere, and I think tomorrow’s performance will be very engaging (though male dominated because of the text and nature of the action).

There was also a barbecue with some of the Kingston students after that, and I had a lot of fun playing football (or soccer) and other sports with the British natives… Might have gotten my pants completely covered in mud, and my legs a bit bruised, but I had a lot of fun doing so. We actually played a game I haven’t played since middle school, namely where one person throws a ball into the air and assigns a point value to it, with whoever catching it receiving the points. It’s really simple but really fun, and I was actually really good at it! I might have accidentally slammed into a couple people, but I got hit more than enough times to make up for that! I went to bed bruised and a little residually dirty, but happy.

In London and Its Literature this morning, we discussed a lot of poetry about London, obviously! I was familiar with a couple of them, particularly “London” by Blake, but I was happy to be exposed to all of them. I don’t read a lot of poetry, but what I do is mostly traditional stuff, like what we covered in class. In the afternoon, we visited Samuel Johnson’s house, which was really fun and a little bit funny. Samuel Johnson wrote a monumentally important dictionary, which was regarded as the standard for nearly 200 years, and his house is a reflection of the mid-1700′s. There were some really beautiful pieces of furniture, and I particularly loved Johnson’s sense of humor in some of his dictionary entries. For instance, the definition for “oats” is: a grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people. He has several others which are equally witty, but I’ll let you look on the internet at the other entries. As a theatre geek, probably the most fun part was trying on period clothing and laughing at the cumbersome undergarments. The dress I tried on had what I called “saddle bags”; two structured lobes were attached by a belt around my waist in order to make my hips and legs look wider. It seems really impractical considering how minimalist undergarments and clothing is nowadays, but it was the norm for the period and, therefore, was nice to experience.

The past two days have been really nice, and fairly low-key. I hope to change that with Henry V tomorrow, but we’ll see about that. For now, good night, world at large!