So much culture! Week in Review 22/3 -29/3

Finally! A week where I both feel like I did a lot of things and where I actually remember the things I did! About time, here we go

classes.
But to start off, let’s look into *~the future~*, the course catalogue has finally been put online, and so as soon as I found it I immediately spent about forty minutes arranging my perfect schedule for next year. And I gotta say it turned out pretty great. To start off I’ll be taking Old Norse with my minor advisor Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I’ve been excited for this class for about a year now and it’s going to be my first course that actually directly relates to what I want to do in graduate school and beyond, namely Viking and Icelandic literature and archaeology. Plus I’ll get to really get to know my advisor who I haven’t actually met yet.

Next up, on Tuesdays and Thursdays I’ll start my day with German. I’ll either be taking Topics in German Culture and Society: Reconstructing Culture in Germany and Austria after WWII, or a Seminar on Language and the German media. The first is a 300 level and the second is a 350 level and I’m not sure which is the better level for me and I won’t know until I can find out for certain how many weeks of German classes I can fit into this summer. Unfortunately they’re at the same time so I can’t even register for both and drop one after trying both. I thinking I’ll register for the 350, and looking at past behavior I’ll probably just stick with that even if it is a bit too high a level for me. But hey, that’s what I did with French and that worked out just fine.

Class number three will be at UMass, it will be my first off campus class when you ignore Greece and France. It’s called Research Techniques in Physical Anthropology and I’m super pumped because it will make my basically self designed physical anth concentration really legitimate and teach me stuff that will actually be relevant to the type of anthropology I want to do. Plus it gets me off campus on Wednesdays and since it ends at 5:15 I’ll get to eat at UMass once a week and I ‘be never heard bad things about their dining hall. Though honestly, I am slightly nervous about an off campus class simply because I really don’t want to miss out on Mountain Day! But these are the risks I have to take.

Finally, on Thursdays I’ll have my last class, my senior seminar in anthropology called the Politics of Language. This topic is super interesting to me, we basically get to chose a case study and explore the politics surrounding minority and majority language rights. I’m already thinking about exploring the dynamic between Finnish speakers in Sweden and vice versa or looking at the Sami language across the entire region. I’m basically able to explore my preferred region through the lens of a super interesting topic. Huzzah! I’m also probably going to take horseback riding again, but not for credit this time. I WANTED to take springboard diving, but the times don’t work out. Oh well, maybe in the spring.

theater
The big reason that this week was so culture filled was because I went to the theater not once, but twice! Both times for free (thanks as always to Smith).

On Wednesday it was an evening of dance at the Théâtre National de Chaillot. If you are familiar with the Pavilion at Trocadero where the best views of the Eiffel Tower are to be found, the theater is the building on the left of that plaza when you’re looking at the Eiffel Tower. I hadn’t been to this theater yet and arriving there at night with the tower all lit up made me very happy to have this opportunity. Anyway, the piece was called Not here/Not ever (yes in English) and was choreographed by a Tibetan choreographer named Sang Jijia with the dancers of Carte Blanche, the national contemporary dance troupe of Norway. It was only in Paris for three days, and the dance explores experiences of space and time through repeated segments and changing relationships between the dancers. It was interesting to see all the influences come together, there were definitely sections that borrowed strongly from a Chinese dance tradition and others from a Nordic tradition. I really liked it but it is certainly an acquired taste.

The second theater outing was in Crèteil, in the banlieues in the east of Paris. I’m going to start out with a plug here, the show was Mary Stuart and it is one of my favorite pieces of theater. If you like powerful women in politics, medieval British history, or just really good theater you should check out this play by Schiller, it was originally written in German but has been translated into English plenty of times. Ok, plug over. Moving on to the actual show, it was produced by a Dutch troupe called the Toneelgroep Amsterdam under the direction of Ivo van Hove. (Side note: if you like very interesting contemporary theater, you should check out Ivo van Hove) Consequently it was in Dutch with French only subtitles. This one was only in Paris for two days.

The play itself rotates around a fictional meeting between the imprisoned Mary Stuart and her cousin, Queen Elizabeth. Everything that makes political drama interesting comes into play, power dynamics, image, religion, love. All the actors wore contemporary black suits and dresses until the final act, where Mary wears a period gown to her execution and Elizabeth wears the white gown pictured below, but only the front half, when she turns you can see the period undergarments, showing that this image is just that.

2015/03/img_0695.jpg

This representation really hammers home that these two women and everyone around them was really playing the game of politics and looking towards how they will be remembered by history. It was probably my favorite play I’ve seen this year.

in other news

I booked hotels for Spring Break yesterday, I’m already planning travel videos for my channel for that week and my Scandinavia guide book is basically living on my desk. I’m so excited for this trip. And next week is Easter, and room draw. I’ll definitely be posting stuff me pictures of Easter candy because it seems to be pretty great going by the supermarket displays. And in progress news, I’ve been mostly keeping up with stretching everyday. It helps that I decided to do my stretches every time I’m watching YouTube. I watch a lot of YouTube and I’m seeing myself getting closer to my splits everyday.

So that’s my week, I hope you had a good one and I’ll write again soon<3

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