Sunday, November 6, 2011

Berlin and Center Stage

Well, I have just returned from Berlin, which was a really great experience for several reasons. I was one of the chaperones sent with the first half of the 11th grade class, though I was not assigned my own particular "P group," or my own group of students to look after. Instead I sort of floated with different groups as needed, helping out whichever teacher was in charge, and going to whichever exhibits or museums they did. I had some choice in the matter, which was nice, though not always, of course. It was a really fun trip, though also busy, and a little stressful at times. it's difficult to be a good chaperone (or a good teacher/supervisor, etc) when your language skills are not up to par. Making very basic language mistakes while attempting to tell a student to be quiet, or to stay with the rest of the group, etc, tends to detract some from the weight of your authority.

Anyway, the trip was good, and I saw and heard a lot of interesting things. Berlin is a fascinating city; you can see evidence of its history, conflict, and change on almost every corner. I would love to go back there some day and just wander around for a while. I'm not a big fan of structured trips, so the schedule of the Klassenfahrt got a little irritating to me, in some ways, but we ended up having a bit more free time than I expected. Of course, that also meant that I hadn't really planned or looked into what I would like to do during that free time, so I mostly bummed along with other teachers. I did go see Blue Man Group, which was really neat, but I would not pay that ticket price to see them again. I would see them again, for a lower price, but I bought the tickets regardless of the price, in this case, because I figured I probably won't get a chance to see them again. They put on a really unique show. Music, comedy, general strangeness. I would have LOVED to have been the audience member they pulled onstage. They're a very funny group.

I came back to some bad news, as well, though. One of the students from Center Stage I had charged with finding out whether or not another student was planning on continuing to come or not emailed me and said that Julia would not, in fact, be continuing with the group. With the three members that came to me the week before Berlin (the day I had printed the scripts for The Importance of Being Earnest, a show which requires at least 8 people) and said that they would not be continuing with us, and a student who was on the Berlin trip with me as well has said she probably won't, either. So now I've gone from having a cast of 9 and a show picked out to having a cast of 4, and no show. So guess what I'll be looking for this week? -_-