AUGUST 28, 2019
I’m back in New York. The flight was not the most comfortable given I had a window seat on a sixteen hour direct flight. Give me an aisle seat any time.
I finished the second draft of my dissertation proposal last Monday and submitted it to my chairperson. It feels nice to be able to say second, even though I can’t confidently say it was thorough editing on my end. But the fact that I read through the finished document more than three times and made sure I found all my spelling and grammatical errors (thanks, Grammarly) is actually a huge step from my more…carefree days.
Before I left the Philippines, I was part of a reading.
Right now, I’m involved in a joint research project run by one of the professors in the Educational Theatre Program, Joe Salvatore, and Elisabeth King from the International Education and Politics Program. I’ve never worked as part of a research team, so I feel out of my element (I embarrassed myself yesterday during our meeting by being very unprepared), but I’ll get my act together; I’m lucky that my colleagues are all very understanding. I’m learning a lot from them.
Apart from this, I don’t exactly know what this semester has in store, apart from passing my dissertation proposal and all my ethics clearances, both here in New York and in the Philippines. For a while, I was convinced I was going to audition for this show in school, but given I’ll be devoted to my dissertation in the next couple of years, maybe it would be a good idea to just take it easy. I have to think about this.
AUGUST 12, 2019
Where did the month and a half go?! In July, my hands were kept full by the devising project I mentioned below, alongside two workshops I facilitated in Immaculate Conception Academy – Greenhills for two senior high IB classes on the Theory of Knowledge. One of the students (who belonged to the class where gender stereotypes were the topic) wrote in her reflection:
“This was the first time in the school year wherein I actually enjoyed the activities and it made me less stressed even when there were a lot of assignments already…Thanks to today’s TOK class, I’ve learned a lot more on how our opinions should be respected and that we won’t always agree on certain things. Despite all this, we have to try and understand those around us without judging them.”
I have to acknowledge, however, that my older sister teaches Theory of Knowledge, so the students were probably hesitant to be critical of the session and/or of me.
The highlight of August–and perhaps the entirety of my socially-engaged artist practice–is the arts workshop I helped facilitate in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur, Mindanao. I’ve been profoundly changed by it, to say the least, and my world has yet again expanded.
This summer has been incredibly good to me as a practicing artist. I even have a reading coming up this Friday.
What it has not been good to is my dissertation proposal. Insert mixture of laughing and crying here. I’m hoping to get all my work done before I leave for New York next week Monday.
JULY 1, 2019
I hope my sense of confusion during the first half of this year (i.e., the many displacements I felt as an international student) leads to a clearer sense of direction in this latter half. I also hope that I cultivate the energy and the discipline to see my own projects through (including my dissertation proposal).
Being home feels good. I am facilitating a student-led devising process with recent graduates from Ateneo de Manila University. The piece will be presented in the Asia Pacific Bureau Theatre Schools Festival in Hanoi, Vietnam this September 2019. I’m also meeting with folks from Museo Pambata and the Philippine Educational Theatre Association this month about projects for next year.
JUNE 17, 2019
Narrascope was great and am inspired to incorporate all that I’ve learned into what I do. I’m flying to the Philippines tomorrow for a cousin’s wedding as well as to prepare for my dissertation, which will be based in the Philippines. More on this soon. I’m not looking forward to sixteen hours in a flying metal box, but I am looking forward to being with family.
JUNE 13, 2019
I will be attending Narrascope from the 14th to the 16th of June in Boston, MA. It’s a conference about games grounded in story, mostly of the digital sort. While this isn’t exactly “my field” (although I personally play and read about games regularly), my gut tells me there’s a lot to be learned in relation to interactive theatre. I’ll be documenting the experience in Instagram.
Also, I was in two shows for the past three weeks.