Thursday, April 16, 2009

The plus sign and other new experiences

On the way from Athens to Sofia, my brother and I are staying in a hotel in what I believe to (probably) be Southern Bulgaria. I'm not quite sure because I am just following for this amazing adventure. Well, he was having difficulty getting the hotel on the telephone and so asked me to call them. Did you know some phone numbers have a + in front of them? Insanity. I found out that that actually meant a + sign today. One shows up when you press the 0 down... or at least, on english phones.
So after a bit of trial and error and some help from Bristol I get the hotel and my pronunciation of my name (Sara) is so bad the guy has to pass me off to someone else. I have a very thick American accent. To my surprise, and my relief he does not collect my credit card information over the phone. He asks what kind of room I want: a double for one night and what my name is. He tells me it'll be 60 and he'll see me on the 22nd.

No credit card number and security code. No cancellation fees?

You'll see me on the 22nd?


Lost Heart

One of my favorite lines of a Lost & Found song is this one

"My heart don't care what your heart has to say, I can break it myself, yeah, thanks anyway"


Sometimes it's Sunshine, Sometimes it's Rain

I like the effect good weather has on people (and their facebook statuses).

It was rainy here today in the most Londonish of ways.

Holiday from Real

In my last entry I mentioned my official arrival in Ohio was scheduled for May 15th. For those of you keeping up with facebook statuses, my finals are/were this week. Due to an overwhelming amount of people wondering where I would be for the rest of that time (also known as a suggestion by my sister... no one was actually wondering), the following is a timeline of my adventures to come...

16 a.m. Roommate left for St. Louis, feels like she is just out visiting a friend
16 p.m. Finish writing last paper of
17 High Tea/Play Reading/Goodbyes/Packing
18 Fly to Athens and meet up with my brother
21 Andrey (Justin's undergrad roommate) and his gf, Marta meet up with us
22 The four of us drive to the Temple of Delphi and then continue driving
23 We arrive in Sofia, Bulgaria
26 I fly to Prague, Czech Republic (Country #3 where I don't speak the language)
27 I am staying a day in Prague to get train and bus tickets sorted. I will hopefully meet up with my friend Sarah from the program during this day.
28 I travel to Kostelecke Horky for the first day of my work camp

13 I return to Prague and catch a flight to London
14 I stay in London, pick up my luggage and hopefully see a show with a different Sarah from the program who is staying in London
15 I fly out of London Gatwick and into Cleveland, OH with a layover in Cincinnati, OH
17 I fly out to New York
18 My interview with the program I am studying with
19-20 Interview(s)
21 Fly into Cleveland, Ohio

After May 21st I am unsure as to what my summer holds. Feel free to send me encouraging emails or fb message because I will love to read them when I have internet access. When that is, I make no guarantees.

I am really sad to leave London. I am quite attached to it and do have hopes to come back. I realize it is really difficult, but difficult does not mean impossible. One can never be certain of all that the future will hold...
A year ago if you had asked me what I would be doing after my semester in London I would have told you, "going home and hopefully getting employed," and yes, that's true, but there is so much more. I am beyond excited. I am so blessed for these upcoming opportunities! Sure, the language barriers make me a little nervous, but an excited sort of nervous. It's especially great to get the chance to spend time with my brother. The fact that it is in Athens is just mind-boggling. I don't think it will hit me until I'm there... if at all.

Well, before I can even get there, I must first finish this paper. 2500 words and a lot of brainstorming to go...


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Beep. Beep. Beep. PSA....

Discussion between my mom and I last night:

Me: I'm getting sleepy and tomorrow and the next night are going to be late nights so I should get sleep
love you!
see you eventually ;)
Mom: ok- love you eventually lol better be around May whatever the date was
love you. then eventually lol

She's funny.

I changed my flight today so I now have an official return of May 15th at 5:45.

For the Record: It happens even here.

So today I had my performance final. It didn't go so well. I got nervous, forgot my lines and then got upset about it. All the no-nos... and to think, I went the entire semester without once getting upset in class and then now, on the last day, the day of the final.


Not to mention I started to get panicky. Blah. I think it was especially frustrating because it's been awhile since I felt that way and I thought I kinda "had it beat," if you will.

I'm not typing about it to go on and on about it, but to simply acknowledge it.
I was so worried that going home would cause me to resort to this and I was doubting our scene... and well, then it happened. Sure, lots of things probably played into it, but all that matters is that it happened. I felt a certain way and didn't deal with it in the best way. Okay. Next time? Well, I have no intentions of taking another performance class so it will never be quiiiite the same circumstances. But, all the same, breathe early enough to not get there and try your best to remember how fortunate, confident and loved you are. You are fine. You will be and no matter what, it's not the end of the world. If it is, well you should probably say a prayer and have a bit more fun with it :)

I came back, took a nap and am now feeling better. I received noticed about another summer position I applied for being already filled... It happens, I just guess I won't be working for the circus this summer. Bristol and I went to Londis to get water and sweets and then came back and talked a bit with Sarah (Mama) a bit. I killed some time down the hall and now I have intentions of being productive.

Wish me the best.
All else is well.

Love to you <3

Sunday, April 12, 2009

No brunch, just prayers

I pass the same church every day I take the tube anywhere. It is called St. Paul's (but not the famous one) and on the way to the South Kensington Station. On Sunday evenings around 8:00 there is a large group of young people outside. On Wednesday nights there tends to be a group of people who appear as though they may not have a "proper home". There are always people and they always seem very friendly. I have wanted to go to a service at this church since Midterm break, but things just kept coming out. Sometimes I would be in another country and other times I would just keep sleeping or go to a different church... or forget what time the service was. Well today, on Easter I finally made it to this church and I only wish I had made it here earlier.

There were chairs on the outskirts of the worship hall and some couches forming three sides of a rectangle (leaving the area where the pulpit and band were open) inside of the chairs, but with a large walkway. Then in the middle of that rectangle were seat cushions... lots of seat cushions. I arrived at eleven. That was what time the sign said the service said to start. Eleven was actually when there was brunch to buy. I bought some food and sat down on one of the seat cushions on the floor. I began flipping through a nearby Bible and watching the little ones interact in their Easter outfits. There were a lot of young people in the congregation, but some old as well. Eventually the service began and it was like a nice mix between chapel at Hope and my home church... without the pews. The sermon was good, just a nice Easter service. We prayed a lot and took some special time to pray for the people recovering from the earthquake in Italy. We sang quite a few songs, some I knew and some I didn't, but all very nice. And you could feel people singing around you. It was a very warm feeling. I even went up to communion barefoot; I was comfortable. When the service ended the leader invited everyone to stay as long as they wanted (which people did) and if you would like someone to pray with or for you to come forward and someone from the Ministry team would pray for you because that's what they like to do... and when he said it, he meant it. I sat about for a bit as the music continued. People got up and talked with friends. I flipped through the Bible a bit and prayed, prayed a lot. Sometimes you just need to... and sitting in an open sanctuary on a seat cushion is a good way to go about it. Then, I put on my flip-flops and walked back to my residence hall.

As I walked back the air smelled as it did when I left in the morning. I craved my mom's breakfast casserole as the smell of Easter brunch floated out of homes and restaurants. It was a wonderful start to a day spent on attempted (and not necessarily succeeded) studying. I hope yours was renewing in its own sense.

Note: The only thing the service was missing was a bit of:
"Go In Peace, Serve the Lord"
"Thanks Be to God"

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Maybe, just maybe... The Pull.

So I wrote the Holy Saturday post below and then moved location. As I was sitting in the 6th floor lounge Bristol came back from a night with her good friend, Stevie.
She had been sitting at a bus stop near Sloane Square, waiting for a bus (her feet hurt) to take her back to the dorm when she saw a nice-looking mid-age man locking up the church across from the bus station. He locked up the gates, getting ready to go home to get a good rest before the celebration for tomorrow. He walked past her and gave her a slight nod. Then he walked back and saying, "you probably don't want these, but-" offered her an Easter candle and a program for the next day's service. Despite not being religious, she said thank you and took the two. She had felt a pull, the pull we had talked about just a night or few ago. It is the connection of human beings... and Something Greater (or at least, in my belief). Then he got into his car and as he began to drive away, stopped and rolled down his window. He said, here, here's something you'll really appreciate and offered her a Cadbury Egg.

Oh Holy Saturday, perhaps that is what you are about. Connection amongst people... because so often, we are suspended in doubt and that is all that we seem to have... even though that is where you are the most present.

Clouds and Trust

It's gray in London today. It's the sort of gray that I thought it might be all the time. Not symbolically, but it's been grayer since Amy left It is as if it just came out so we could enjoy the town and now when I should be productive it grays up. I feel bad for anyone trying to take "Easter pictures" though. Perhaps it will be better tomorrow.

Holy Saturday, the Saturday after Good Friday and before Easter has always perplexed me. What are you supposed to do? I'll be honest, I did not go to Good Friday service. I really thought about it, but-- well, the excuses don't matter. I really don't usually go to Good Friday services. To be quite frank, they intimidate me. I can only remember one in recent years and it was at my home church and I think it was good to go, but it left me a bit off. It was quite intense. It's important to play that in your mind, to know what sacrifice was given up for you (if you believe, that is. If you don't, sorry to hear my rambling) and what shame and hurt existed. But, I think it can be just as valuable to spend a bit of time in reflection. Back to Saturday... It's called Holy Saturday because it's before Easter, but in a way I feel like it was a bit of hopeless or hurting Saturday. Obviously that'd be no name to call it by now, but to watch someone who you believed was the Son of God, the Son of your Creator go through that pain and public humiliation. The next day must have been sorrowful.

Okay, so I realized before I went on and on about all the possible meanings of Holy Saturday maybe I should look it up and see what the ever-so-trustworthy internet says about it. I found this site. It may or may not be viable, but until skimming over it I think I had, for a moment, forgotten that Saturday was Sabbath. Of course it was Holy Saturday, everyone was quiet and in reflection, because it was the day of rest, just as every other week, but for many this Day of Rest was different. And that was why the women coming to the tomb with spices was such a big deal... it was not okay to do this on the Sabbath....

Today I went to see a show called Tusk Tusk by brilliant, established (her first show, which she wrote at 19 went to the West End) Polly Stenham. It was at the Royal Court Theatre (my favorite venue because of what they put on and how well they do it. It's highly subsidized, but they are able to put on magnificent pieces of work for small audiences as a result). It was about- It was about- It was about... okay. So I retyped that sentence a zillion times. It- it was about a lot of things. And if it wasn't sold out and if you were in London, I would tell you to go see it. You might be able to get some standing room tickets if you move fast-- and it'd be worth the standing. They have an intermission. Today, I didn't want an intermission. I didn't even have to pee. I just wanted the show to keep going. it was the story of 3 children alone in a house waiting for a phone call. They had each other. The characters had been forced to grow up (for the most part). Part of it made me think of the Boxcar Children, which took away from the intensity, but that was only once. They made numerous great references to Where the Wild Things Are that just hit home quickly. It is one of my favorite books.

The connection of the play to the Holy Saturday?
Needing something to believe in. Going through so much, but trusting, trusting in... And not always having as strong of a Faith as it'd be ideal to have... and when that faith goes out the window, what do you do? You keep going. You trust in something. We need that Something. It is greater than us. We are not enough without it. I mean, we can only be so much, but the rest of it is made up...

Ah, there is so much more to be said, but all in all, I hope you all have some peaceful time to reflect.

Go in Peace.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The elephants will forget to remember what you said


I just applied to my 15th job for the summer...

This one is a circus :) Let's hope for the best!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Only in Dreams

I just woke up from a much-needed to sounds of people in the hallway. I was having a dream about the people I was friends with at the start of this program going to the beach without me. I wonder what this means?

I guess I had forgotten about the beach. I bet it'll be nice enough for the beach by the time I get home... I think I'll go.

I have almost no plans for my last weekend here. Isn't that strange?
I think I had too nice of a time with Amy here :)

It was so strange when she left. I still felt at home, but just as if...
Well, I don't know. All I know is that it was wonderful having her here. We went running. We walked around a bunch. It was so beautiful out. We were truly able to enjoy London. We also had plenty of adventures, including a trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon.
I am endlessly grateful for good friends.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Coming Up Soon: New York

A few days ago I posted on fb that I was officialy accepted into the GLCA NY Arts semester for Fall 2009, but didn't really specify what that meant. The link is to their site.

GLCA= Great Lakes College Association.
It is a group of smaller colleges that coordinate domestic and abroad programs. It is to create large opportunities for small schools. Their program in New York organizes full-time internships for students in the arts: dance, theatre, visual and musical. They have program housing in Chelsea* which houses all (or at least all that desire to live there and fit) of the arts students.

When I first applied to Ohio Wesleyan and Hope this program was one of the main reasons I was drawn to them. I had always hoped to spend a semester in London and one in New York, but it didn't truly hit me until I received my official email that yes, this was really going to happen. I am truly blessed and have a great group of supportive friends, family, professors and co-workers and that have helped me in a zillion ways to make this possible.
As you can imagine, it was a bit chaotic applying for this program while already off-campus, but my professors writing letters of recommendations sent them right in and my professor who coordinates the program at my school sent in all my information right away. Plus my good friend Rachel took care of a bunch of things and turned in forms for me. Plus my parents and siblings calming my worries, haha. It couldn't have been made much easier! Thanks!!

The next step is the interview. Now that I am in the program I need to find someone to intern for. Based on your CV/resume and letter of intent that you send in with your application the program sets you up with internships they think will fit the skills you possess and the ones you intend to develop. I am currently in the process of discussing with the program coordinator where I might interview. I return to states around the 13th of May and will go to New York to interview the following week. The program then starts at the beginning of September and finishes in mid-December like a typical college semester. This program will count for my Theatre 495 which is needed for my theatre major.

Many people have suggested I do this internship in the Spring so as not to lose my contacts from networking. However, there are a couple of classes which I need to complete for my degree which cannot be taken in the fall. As a result I will spend the next semester in NY and then return to Hope (after being gone just over a year) to finish my BA in theatre. After that... well, we'll have to see...

If you would like to visit me in New York, I would love that. New York is much closer than London... <3