Thursday, March 24, 2011

Plotting Osric - my "web presence"

I've taken to talking about Osric as if he's a real but separate person, and I have a feeling that he'd be utterly delighted at the week-long focused attention he's been getting on my blog. (He was a bit miffed he didn't get quoted on the secondary blog that Danika, our Twitter director, has created for high school students and teachers interested in following the action. I passed along the message to her. It was the least I could do for the guy.)

I should mention that I've never studied drama, although my husband will testify that I'm a bit of a ham. In elementary school, I was in all the school-wide operettas. Thankfully, my mother still has most of the plays on what was then the new-fangled VHS tape technology. Once I got to high school, I took a drama class and I tried out for the school play. I was required to sing as part of the audition. I was unprepared, so I sang the first thing that came to my head. That was, unfortunately, a Caribbean song that was banned from the airways when it first was played in the 1960s due to the ribald nature of the lyrics. I was in grade 9 at the time, and completely mortified and horrified. That pretty much ended any aspirations I had of "doing" drama.

I think teaching is a lot like acting - you need to engage your audience, make your viewers believe what you need them to ("this is REALLY important to learn and SO not boring") and want them to connect with you emotionally. I took my Intermediate Certification and I chose my teachable subject to be drama. I took the AQ course in the summer and it was one of the best classes I ever participated in. It was fun, mentally engaging, and so useful! I think I went a bit overboard when I scrawled graffiti on the board "in character" - a guest lecturer came to do some "drama with music", and the visiting instructor was not as good as our regular teacher; I channeled the annoyance into my character (we were riffing on the poem Richard Cory and we were characters in the inquest and my character, a old school chum of Rick's, was pretty mad that the leader of the inquest - the visiting drama coach - wouldn't let the poor man rest). If my drama AQ instructor is reading this, then sorry for taking things too far. If any of my Twitter Hamlet cast mates are reading this, then I promise not to go overboard by challenging strangers to a duel or something similarly crazy.

Speaking of the Twitter cast - the other players are absolutely incredible! I love the Wikileaks and the security camera footage and news reports that people have created. It has inspired me to try and rise to the high standards they set. I'm nowhere near as technologically talented as they are, but I started up a Goodreads account for Osric. It made me think of those "RAFT" differentiated learning tasks we're encouraged to provide for our students. I couldn't just post any ol' book I was reading - I had to think about whether or not Osric would actually read this book, and what take he'd have on it. He deliberately does not place any stars on his reviews, because he wants to hear what others think before he commits to an opinion. I need to do more things, so if people have any suggestions, please let me know.

One final observation: on my own personal Twitter feed, it listed other people it thought I should follow, as @Osric_2011 was one of them. He'd love it!

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