What changes in a decade?
In two decades?
I graduated high school in May 1999.
A month after the Columbine shooting.
A few months after Bill Clinton was acquitted.
Seventh months before the Y2K freak out.
Two and half years before 9/11.
Boy bands and Ricky Martin were all the rage.
We partied like it was 1999.
(Well…someone did. Not me so much.)
Now it is July 2019.
Mass shootings are abundant.
The current president is being investigated.
The boy bands are touring again.
People still do the Macarena.
There was a reunion last weekend that I opted not to attend.
The pics look like everyone had a great time.
They partied like it was 2019.
(Like 1999 but 20 years older.)
During high school, I was heavily involved in the theatre department and in fall of 1999, started work on my BA in Musical Theatre at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. While there, I taught acting classes for young kids and worked the musical theatre camp the college offered in the summer. I spent a couple years as the Education Director for the Lincoln Community Playhouse. I ran a high school theatre program for six years.
July 2019 brings my third summer of teaching with Flatwater Shakespeare Company’s Little But Fierce, a theatre education program with a Shakespeare focus.
These past two years, I’ve directed the program and write much of the curriculum, while hiring teaching artists and doggedly seeking funding to make theatre education an option for kids of all backgrounds.
I’m 38 years old.
I have a BA in musical theatre.
I am a certified Language Arts teacher in Nebraska.
I taught for six years in a classroom, but this marks–what?–18 years of teaching in and through the theatre?
I’m the same height I was when I started 6th grade.
I have to exercise on purpose now though.
I’m a far better human in this decade.
I’ve been through hell and come out the other side.
I love more fiercely and spend my time more wisely.
And I still do not care to go to the party.
But I DO note the time.
Time to reflect and make connections.
Sometimes I feel every bit of those twenty years.
Sometimes it’s completely unbelievable that so much time has passed.
Because everything changes in twenty years.
And yet…here we are.
A bunch of kids looking for acceptance, striving to be better, growing and gaining and failing and falling and getting up again.
38 ain’t so old.
Here’s to the next twenty years!