The State of the Finch

This has been a year of beginnings and ends, floundering and flourishing–a year of memories.

The adventures and misadventures of this year:

  1. I visited Mary Baldwin College for the first time, and fell in love.
  2. I developed an entire unit about A Thousand Splendid Suns for my senior students.
  3. I chatted with Michael Attenborough about As You Like It
  4. I was attached by a rabbit and have the scar to prove it.
  5. I met my neighbors for the first (and last) time as well all worked to dig out our cars from the snow.
  6. I got my students really engaged and interested in The Tempest and me, on my second to last day in the classroom.
  7. I called 911 for the first time.
  8. I buzzed the side of my head for an asymmetrical haircut.
  9. I spoke to my classmates about change and identity at the baccalaureate service.
  10. I said goodbye to Messiah College.
  11. I moved home.
  12. I experienced desperation and kindness in the search for a summer job.
  13. I danced like a monster at weddings and had no regrets.
  14. I fulfilled my childhood dream and became a “bologna cooker.”
  15. I said goodbye to my younger brother in thirty seconds as he left for West Point.
  16. I cried looking at the Milky Way in the mountains of Colorado.
  17. I went to the emergency room.
  18. I learned the basics on drumming.
  19. I applied to one grad school, and got in.
  20. I moved to Staunton Virginia, a year after I first visited and told myself I would one day live there.
  21. I was a bridesmaid and cried like a cliche romcom character.
  22. I not only played Hamlet in a scene, but thanks to amazing scene partners and a superb director, I got to explore him.
  23. I saw more lovely theatre than ever before, and have every intention to break that record this year.
  24. I cried listening to a lecture about Bottom in A Midsummer Nights Dream.
  25. I met brilliant Shakespearean scholars and didn’t make a complete idiot of myself.
  26. I shared a meal with two strangers because there were no more tables open.
  27. I was in a staged reading within a month of being in VA.
  28. I found that my classmates were more inspiring, challenging, and affirming than I could have ever imagined.
  29. I had a countless number of lazy days with my better half Alison.
  30. I played Dutch Blitz until I hated my entire family.
  31. I ran into the ocean with my four favorite people on Christmas Eve.
  32. I laughed until my sides hurt at a comedy show in NYC.

This has been an incredible year. For the majority of it, I have felt compelled to remind myself “Yes, this is real.” But more than my situation–where I live, what I study, etc.–the people that surround me take my breath away. The kindness, intelligence, humour, and humanity that I see around me astounds me. Without all of the people in my life, caring for me, checking in on me, encouraging me, this year would not have been the year it was. So thank you to all of those who have been with me through this year; I look forward to the next.

 

Thoughts On Gun Control

(Newly updated and tragically still relevant.)

According to the LA Times, since Sandy Hook there have been 144 shootings on school campuses across the nation, as well as numerous other acts of mass violence not on school grounds. If I reacted strongly to each time such a tragedy happened, I would not make it through the day.

Along with the death and pain from mass shootings, a huge number of people die and are injured in smaller altercations that have no need to escalate to deadly force. And adults and children are accidentally being injured and killed by weapons weekly.

Continue reading Thoughts On Gun Control

Cats and Dogs and #NotAllMen

Dear Man Who Catcalled Me,

Yes, I heard you.

I heard you the first time you said I was “looking good,” so there was no need to repeat yourself with increased volume. I thought my intentional indifference and quickened pace would let you know that I did not find your words flattering, but you still insisted on telling me how “fine” I was and that you “loved” me. Continue reading Cats and Dogs and #NotAllMen

ASC: The Winter’s Tale

To commemorate the lovely productions from this season, I’m going to be documenting my thoughts for each of the shows (hopefully). Here is the first:

In staging William Shakespeare’s genre-defying play The Winter’s Tale, companies face three main obstacles: the bear, the time, and the statue. If the production successfully addresses those problems with a coherent and committed cast, the production flourishes. Luckily for audiences at the American Shakespeare Center, guest director Jenny Bennett crafted a heartwarming and heartbreaking fairy-tale, that barely flinched at the imposing challenges. Continue reading ASC: The Winter’s Tale

#WhimWord: Leaf

Her friends complained. Her parents nagged. But she did keep a job, if nothing else. She was fine, and she said it frequently enough to convince herself, if not others. No veiled recommendations or blatant admonishments penetrated her fog of routine.

But one evening, retracing the daily path, she heard the leaves crunch.

Beneath her feet, obscuring the concrete, was a blanket of gold, cadmium, and vermilion that taunted the limitations of language. The crisp air stung her lungs. Her knit scarf soothed the wind’s bite.

She hadn’t noticed, but something broke her, to let such miracles go unnoticed.

Looking Back and Forward

Revisiting my undergrad for Homecoming confronted me with the reality that I am a college graduate. Wandering through the library (one of the things I miss most aside from the people and where I spent the majority of my time) simultaneously felt like being home again, and like I did not belong anymore. Continue reading Looking Back and Forward

#WhimWord: Glow

After three hours of driving on the snaking mountain highways–away from the responsibilities and expectations and noise that crowded life on the plains in the city–the air became thinner, cleaner, and clearer.

The final length tested the limits of the town car; roads were pockmarked with the scars of winters past; slopes were steeper and longer than seemed reasonable; towns were gone in the blink of an eye. Continue reading #WhimWord: Glow