Saturday, November 10, 2001

lots of interesting unusual exposures today. first congressman john lewis came to speak to us. i really enjoyed it on a visceral level: he's got wonderful presence and a wonderful voice; he told stories that he'd clearly told a thousand times -- i mean, they're history; i mean, i actually learned about them last semester -- and he told them well.
afterwards someone who was not as enthralled by a longshot had some legitimate complaints. she didn't like that he was so political (i.e.: safe,) that he focused entirely on the history of the movement and his involvement w/ dr. king. still, i was invigorated. for me, it was enuf.

then i went to rehearsal where another one of the cast members cried. this is such an intense play. i mean, i think khadijah and i handled it well, and she's not the first, but still: i get taken aback when i see how easily the actors are personally/emotionally affected by the material. (we also had an upfront conversation about how non-black i am. she said it was okay, partially b/c jews initially came from africa. that last part was of course silly and meant as a joke. still, i felt obscurely a couple degrees closer to comfort. altho i've been much more comfortable progressively as a whole. anyway.)

then i went to the class matters workshop. (it's about how class ... matters.) almost all of co|motion came, which was fun. not so fun, alternatively: during the first exercise, we had to go meet people we didn't know and explain why we were taking the workshop. i began telling one girl, pretty frankly, that as i'd gone to an all-white mostly-middle-class skool, swarthmore is as diverse a community as i've ever really been in. instantly she said, "i'm horrified." i guess i could have been thankful that she was being frank but i found it just unpleasant: like i'd made myself vulnerable and she'd responded by spitting on me.

most of the people, however, seemed nice. other quirks surfaced as we played the principal game (before which elizabeth told me i had a skeptical expression on my face so i made a conscious effort to look openminded and optomistic.) the game itself was interesting, if not too subtle. each participant was randomly assigned a cup of poker chips, each worth a certain number of points, and a badge, either triangle, circle, or star shaped. we had to make deals w/ each other -- you couldn't make even trades -- and the goal was to get as many points as possible.
actually i think i'll discuss the outcomes and repercussions tomorrow. tomorrow the program goes from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. it will be intense, i imagine. but hands-on stuff always makes time pass more quickly.

afterwards co|mo came back to the barn. we hung out in my room, where a fun dynamic reigned for awhile and sometimes i was overcome by flashbacks to unsuccessful sleepover parties of years past. in general i think we had a good time; i was just very sensitive to mood shifts and people being uncomfortable. i tend to get hostessy at such events, which is why i sometimes avoided hostessing them in skool. it makes me stress too much and then not enjoy myself. but we bonded, no fights broke out, and no one cried, so by standards of years past, it was remarkable.

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