RealJobs: Saya April Hillman

I knew I had a jampacked day, so I made myself go to the gym at 7:30AM.  I rushed home at 8:30, showered, blogged about being unhappy with my weight, and triple-checked that I had everything I needed for Day One of teaching blogging to high school students, at School #1.  School #1 is an alternative high-school on the South Side, for students who didn’t make it in a “traditional” high school for various reasons [teen pregnancy, violence, homelessness, poor academic skills, etc.]; most students are from high-poverty communities.  External hard drive with Powerpoint presentation, flash drive with Powerpoint presentation in case external hard drive failed, a USB cord, a firewire cord, a few other cords just in case neither of those cords fit the school’s laptop, and master copy of the six-page handout for the students, check.  Grabbed a carrot cake cliff bar and a glass of milk, and at 9AM, ran out to my car to navigate the Chicago streets, hidden beneath twenty-inches of snow.

What is usually a twenty-minute drive was about thirty-five.  I hurriedly made copies in the school office and had just enough time to collate and staple before the bell rang and my digital media students trickled in.  Our class joined with another class in the computer lab, and I co-taught a class of about thirty students.  A few technical difficulties made for a slow and frustrating third period, even though I had planned and planned and planned.  Let’s hope next class is better.

Got home about 12:15.  Responded to thirty-something emails, most concerning my current project, Fear Experiment.  Find a printer who’ll donate printing of our show’s playbills!  Coordinate people coming out to School #2 later in the day [Are snacks allowed?  Who’s bringing the music?]!  Track silent auction donations!  Update ticket sales!  Gobbled down some lunch.  Made sure I had everything I needed for Day One of Fear Experiment dancers coming to School #2 to teach dance to my students, and by 2PM was out the door.  School #2 is in a high-poverty community on the West Side.

2:45PM, took my fourteen middle-schoolers to the computer lab where they responded to emails from their Fear Experiment partners [each kid has one dancer and one improviser partner, whom they email and blog with, as a way to get communities who don’t normally interact interacting].  We had to rush through emailing, as four of the dancers arrived at 3PM; for the next hour or so, the kids learned part of a routine that they’ll be performing in April, in front of 700.  Great time had by all, both adults and students!

Home at 5PM.  Clean up and prepare for twenty people coming over at 7PM for improv rehearsal [I’m coordinating the dance aspect of Fear Experiment and participating in the improv part].  Answer more emails.  Do more administrative work for Fear Experiment.  Quick salad and cup of coffee.  Ah, doorbell rings!!
Improv class.  Lots of laughs.  Lots of being willing to be silly, which is awesome, as it’s only Day Three, so we’re still strangers for the most part.  But nothing like sharing embarrassing moments while you dance, by yourself, in front of everyone, to bring a group of people together.

9PM, some of the group goes out for drinks.  I’d like to go but am wiped.  And it’s only Monday.  Back to the home office.  More emails.  More administrative work.  Haven’t lesson planned for tomorrow, haven’t worked on any of my other projects.  To bed at 11:30PMish.


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