02 April 2014

An Old Nemesis Returns... Also, Dancing

I suppose I should post something more than Music Day, huh? How about a brief and rather haphazard recap of my second semester of college?

Well, the semester started off with me feeling guilty and angry at myself and basically wanting to quit. I hated being here and I hated being away from my family. But then I started to develop some friendships here. Plus, dance class happened...

See, the college is just beginning to foray into dance classes. This semester, they were offering tap, jazz, and ballet. Of course, I registered for all three. This equals six hours of dance a week, in two three-hour chunks. I was perhaps more surprised than anyone that I can actually physically handle it (most days, anyway...).

Also, at the beginning of February I ended up in the emergency room because I couldn't breathe. Despite the fact that I was struggling even to talk for lack of air, I almost had to demand the prescription for the inhaler. Yay for The Great Canadian Health Care System.

The last week of February was a break week, so I went back home and took all the dancing back at the dance school there (which, by the way, I'm being allowed to rejoin when I get back to Alberta in mid-April so I'll be in The Nutcracker with them in June), however, on the day we were driving back to college, I developed a sore throat. No big deal, I thought. There had been a sore throat going around my family that week anyway. But by the time I went to bed in my dorm that night, I recognised all too well the unique ball-of-razor-blades-in-the-back-of-my-throat feeling. The next morning it was still there. And the next. And the next. In fact, it was nearly three days before I could finally get a ride into town to see a doctor so I could get the prescription for the antibiotics I knew I needed (the rattletrap remained in Alberta at the decree of my mother, so I couldn't drive myself). By that time, I was half-dead. I hadn't eaten (due to the agony of the mere act of swallowing) in four days, and I had two papers due. I managed to get the one done (in a rather thick Tylenol haze that did absolutely nothing to kill the pain), and I got an extension on the other. I managed not to miss any classes, but every second that I wasn't in class or in the cafeteria trying desperately to eat something, I was socked out on my bed. Last time I had strep throat, I was able to live a normal life (except I couldn't swallow a blessed thing), but this time it completely wiped me out. I have never been so tired in my entire life as I was for that week and a half.

So due to spending a week and a half dying of strep throat, I got behind on a 2500-word paper and memorising the entire book of Ephesians -- both due on the same day. The latter project was worth 50% of the course grade (hey, it is a Bible college...). I'll spare you the gory details, but let's just say I'm bracing myself to fail two courses this semester.

Also, I have a (completely unrelated) word of advice for you all: never get shin splints. They hurt like heck. And I can't even really complain too much about shin splints because at least I can eat through the pain of shin splints... you can't eat through the pain of strep throat. But back to my word of advice: if you do get shin splints, never ever ever run on an uneven cobblestone sidewalk. Even if you're late for choir. Don't do it. I did last Wednesday and I'm still paying for it a week later.

This weekend is performing weekend around here: dance rehearsal on Friday, choir rehearsal and dance show on Saturday, choir performance on Sunday. Yesterday was the last day of dance classes... I didn't know that till I got there. I thought there was going to be one more, but alas...

It's funny how the world seems to stop when the dancing is gone. It's only temporary -- by the end of the month I'll be rehearsing Nutcracker in Alberta -- but dancing seemed different here. Maybe it was the group of people, maybe it was the fact that it was six hours a week (in Alberta I'm usually only taking maybe two and a half hours a week because that's all the courses at my level that the school offers), maybe it was the fact that I learnt so much about myself and where my weaknesses (and strengths) are as a performer, maybe it was because I was doing more than just ballet. But it was different -- I don't know if 'richer' is the right word for it because the dance school I'm at in Alberta has a very rich community as well, but here in Saskatchewan there was a different feel to the whole experience. Maybe it was learning how to work with a completely new group of people. I've been with the school back home for over five years, so we're all pretty close friends already. To have to learn to 'read' a totally new group is a bit of a challenge because you can't coast into it (I mean, not that I would ever do that back home, of course... *cough*). I don't know. Basically what I'm trying to say is the fact that it's basically over is making me immensely sad and I miss it already. A bunch of people from the dance classes here at college are either moving, graduating, or changing plans and not coming back next year, so that means that we will never again be all in the same group, dancing together. Back home everyone comes back to the school every year (you might lose one person every couple of years), but not here... dance doesn't consume most of these people like it does me. Their lives go on. But mine kind of stops when the dancing does. It's like the breath is snatched away. Maybe that's why I need to do choreography so much -- it's a way of dancing, even if it's just mentally, and I need that. I don't know why... I just do.

I will update on the choreography side of things later, when I have more time (because despite all odds, I've actually completed almost three dances this year and sketched out lots and lots of others). Right now, though, I need to go to bed, and I also have to somehow manage a 2500-word paper over this performing weekend. Then finals, but as long as I study, I should be okay. (Famous last words...)

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