For the past month, it feels like I””””ve been living on stage. From 6:30 until about 10:30 on Sundays through Thursdays I found a way to momentarily forget all my other commitments to assignment due dates and social obligations and transform into another character onstage, complete with an entirely new set of goals and dilemmas. However, after the stage manager enthusiastically shouts, “See you all tomorrow actors!” and I step out of the warmly-lit Balch Theater and into the cold unforgiving Michigan night air, the weight of all my unfinished assignments suddenly hits. “You going to the library with us?” one of my fellow co-actors would ask. Thinking about an unfinished paper or upcoming Spanish test, I would nod and drag my exhausted body across the street to the library.
Acting in a play at K is obviously a huge commitment and sometimes it””””s hard to get all my homework completed. I””””m used to doing my school work during the evening and finishing in time for an appropriate bedtime with enough time to check Facebook every five minutes. The rehearsal schedule obviously does not allow for such cushy study habits, thus forcing poor me to think of more creative ways to complete all my assignments. I””””ve started to notice that there are all these tiny wedges of time that I””””d never utilized previously. Normally I wouldn””””t bother with the thirty minutes between my classes, but now those thirty minutes seem like valuable work time. However, these wedges don””””t provide nearly all the time I need, thus I””””m continually braving the late hours of the library to complete my homework.
Writing an essay or completing a worksheet isn””””t a problem for me at night, but reading a book can quickly cause my eyelids to gain ten pounds and send me into a deep slumber. I can read books during the day, but somehow the act of reading past my bedtime is almost impossible. All of my classes this quarter require a large amount of reading, thus creating a perfect nightmare scenario. I somehow managed to keep up with my reading – sometimes, I might have fallen a day behind but I always caught up. Reading The Odyssey was a different beast though. The thick intimidating book possessed the magical power to knock me out instantly. Apparently my friend Grace, also an actor in the play and also enrolled in Classical Mythology, suffered from the same problem and we thought of a brilliant solution.
I””””m sure listening to the book on tape was not what our professor wanted from his students, but it was the only way we could avoid letting our eyes glimpse at that poison text. To keep ourselves even more active and awake, we acted out the dramatic narration, miming the actions of the characters the best two exhausted students could at midnight. We got a lot of strange looks from other students in the library, but the sweet victory of finishing the reading eclipsed the embarrassment. So when people asked me the next day, “Was that you I saw jumping around in the library last night?” I take it as a compliment to my resourceful study habits.