March 6, 2010 Margaret Atwood is most famous for her novel The Handmaid's Tale. I haven't read it, nor have I read any of her work, but I was nonetheless excited to hear that an author of her caliber was going to be on campus. Many of my friends who went to her lecture Thursday night said that her monotone voice and poised, almost regal, mannerisms made for a really interesting presentation. They also said that the combination allowed for her dry sense of humor to be that much more effective.
Friday morning she held a small-class discussion in Root for Comp Lit, English and Creative Writing students. The chair of the Comp Lit department - the wonderful Nancy Rabinowitz - introduced Ms. Atwood, and I laughed at the similarities and dissimilarities between them (to understand what I mean, you need to take a class with Nancy when you're here. While Margaret Atwood appeared very calm and composed, Nancy is absolutely crazy ... which is why everyone loves her). Thoroughout the class, students asked interesting questions relating to her books and literary theory. It was a really cool experience!
And now for my next topic. I'd like to give a big shout-out to Mikayla Irle and Maeve Gately for breaking out of their comfort zones and performing in the student-directed musical Thoroughly Modern Millie! I applaud their interest in trying out new things — I'm not sure if I would have the courage to be in a musical (my eighth-grade premiere in Into the Woods as a tree was enough for me, and my second-grade role as the fabulous Wendy in Peter Pan was just too long ago), mostly because I'm a terrible actress and not a great singer. Their performance was today, and it was great to see my friends take part in it! I enjoy seeing people break away from the confines of their alleged "roles" on campus because that's part of what college is about. Someone suggested to me recently that next year I should try out for the Vagina Monologues, an annual play put on by the Womyn's Center. Maybe I will!