Friday, September 11, 2015
Tell us about your best day of school ever.
I really tried to remember something from my days in public school. And while many images came to mind, nothing stood out as "best day of school ever." So I'm going to briefly related two days I remember from college.
I was in the Finance program at Westminster College. In late April 1992, I was sitting with a dozen or so nervous classmates in the basement level of an old building on campus. There was a surprising amount of natural light in the room due to it well placed, and rather large, windows.
It was the scheduled time and date for the final exam for 'Cases in Financial Management'. The last class final before I graduated. We had all been given a list of two cases we could study and be prepared to expound upon the week before. We had had study groups and made late hours making as much preparation as possible.
The instructor walked in, a huge bear of a man with white hair. He put his briefcase on the desk and asked if we were all ready for this. Other small talk ensued. Then, he suddenly said, "Oh, wait just a minute," and he left the room again. Figuring he was just going to retrieve something from his office, be began to chat amongst ourselves again.
Scant several minutes later, he walks in with 3 or 4 pizza boxes and sets them on his desk at the front of the room. Gently pushing the boxes towards his students, he said, "There's your final!"
Amongst the squeals of delight and silent prayers of gratitude that rose up, he said, "I figure you've spent a week studying this case. You've discussed it thoroughly. You've already learned everything you can from it. Why sit here and spend a tense couple of hours writing about it in a little blue book?" Ok, maybe those weren't his exact words. But give me a break? This was 23 years ago. The spirit of what he said is definitely there.
The second experience, also from my college days, had little to do with any individual course.
I had auditioned for, and gotten a part in, the college's production of "The Importance of Being Earnest". (That's a whole other story for another day or two.) It was the Sunday before we opened, and we all gathered in the lounge of the theatre. All of the actors, that is. The director was nowhere to be found.
We tried every other door in the building and the way into the room where the stage was located was locked. We tried calling the director, who was also the college's lone theatre professor.
Thinking we couldn't let the rehearsal pass without any actual rehearsing, we decided to do a line-through in the lounge. Now remember, this is the old college standard of "The Importance of Being Earnest", set amongst the well-to-do classes of England well back in history. We all did all our lines with accents more suited to the American southern states. Twangs and drawls abounded.
In the actual play, 'Bunbury' is an excuse that the male lead uses to pop into or out of London to get away...you know the thing, he can't stay for supper because his friend Bunbury has taken ill and he must pay the pour soul a visit. As his two worlds (London and the countryside) begin to paint him into a corner, he blurts out that Bunbury has been taken off by a sudden chill while in Paris. All that background is to set up the fact that in our transplanted version 'cousin Beauregard' was taken off suddenly in Atlanta by syphilis.
Ok. Looking at it in the last paragraph, yes it does seem a little strange. But back we were blowing off steam. We opened in three days and the director didn't show up for rehearsal. We knew she was eccentric, but really. Anyway, I have rarely in my life laughed as hard as I did that night.
And the professor? We found out the next night that she had overdosed on some kind of drug and would be in the hospital for a while. The college really did well by us, pulling in locals with theatre experience to help get the show off the ground.
WE WILL NEVER FORGET! 9/11
Would you share a memorable good experience from your school days? Thanks!