So with all this craziness in the world, my teachers have been getting creative with their assignments. Many of them post discussion boards about ways that we’re staying safe and sane, switching constantly between fun videos to make and deep conversations about the current state of the world to have.
For drama, our last two performances were canceled for a show we worked so hard on and never got to fully celebrate. Since then, our director has been assigning us stuff that he thinks will cheer us up, and holding multiple zoom conferences so we can all see each other from time to time.
This week, he gave us a different kind of assignment:
“So, I’d like to make it official- I want you to write a monologue about the first two weeks of your Safer at Home experience. Write and perform a monologue about the last two weeks, and perhaps what the next six weeks might be. You can write this from your voice, or you can create another character and have them speak for you. I will not share them with the class if you ask me not to. What are the high spots, the low spots, what do you miss and do not miss? Try to keep it to within three minutes. Memorize it or don’t, just present. You can have it taped next to your computer if you like, no one will see it. ”
I got so freaking excited about this assignment, you guys have no idea. I locked myself in my room for hours, working on it and recording it a million times over. But finally, it came out to this.
Two weeks ago, a virus snapped its fingers, and the world was placed on pause.
People lost their jobs, schools shut down, and the streets of major cities went dark. The only ones who keep the world going are medical personnel, grocery employees, and custodians. Those who can, like teachers and students, work online and at home.
Theme Parks, shopping centers, and social gatherings around the globe shut their doors and canceled their events, leaving us with nothing much but a ghost light.
The government did much to shut us down, but very little to give us hope. What we know is this: The virus is spreading rapidly all around the world. There isn’t a cure yet, but we’re working on it. Do your part, and stay inside.
We do a lot to keep us occupied until the evening news comes on, but for the most part we drive ourselves crazy, wondering when we’ll get the answers we need.
The world has been flipped upside down. And yet, it still spins the same way.
Some ignore the mandates and treat the shutdown as an extended spring break. Others selfishly stock up with more than what they need. But…we all live in the same fear.
Somehow, the world has kept itself spinning. But, time all together has stopped. And, in some twisted way, that time is a gift.
No more back to back rehearsals for shows that perform within hours of each other. No more late nights, staying up for hours, working on the homework that is already overdue. And no more days that run from six in the morning to eleven at night, when the only reason you get to go home is to restock and refuel.
Days are now filled with writing words of love and fear that you, for some reason, just can’t keep to yourself anymore. Filled with hours of phone calls with your friends and family, to make sure they’re okay and to keep yourself connected. And filled with walking your dog six times a day because you just need to feel some brush of light and cool breeze.
The first few days of the shutdown were a glorious and much-needed pause and reset. But, these days, there is almost too much time to think. All that time prompted me with this:
What happens when we return to the world that goes at full speed?