Friday, April 6, 2007

I'm Tired Y'all part 1 of 5

Sunday night I stayed up too late, as always, preparing for the class I teach on Mondays in spring semesters at Piedmont Community College. It seems I should be able to prepare more in advance, but I never really do.

Monday morning, I got up early to finish preparing. It’s an hour drive to get to PCC, and that day, I had to get there early to give someone a makeup test. I always get some Subway "to go" on the way, and the students joke about my coming into class each time with the same items on my person: my backpack, my waist pouch, my file box, and my Subway dangling in its clear bag. We can’t eat in the classroom, because it’s a new carpeted Foley studio, so I have to keep the sandwich in the bag at the back of the room on the AV cart which holds the TV that is useless ‘cause someone lost the remote. On our hourly breaks, we can eat in the hallway.

Our Foley stage is irregularly shaped, like a good sound studio should be, to reduce reverb. But it has cinderblock walls instead of that foamy egg carton stuff, and this is not good. I suppose putting up the foam is on the “to do” list, but this is community college where they have to fill out a requisition form and wait until the next budget cycle. Also, one of the angles between walls is very acute, which is not good. All the angles should be oblique. This acute angle is covered by a piece of plywood which is painted to look like the walls, so on first glance you think all the angles are oblique. But if you stand next to the plywood and talk, you can hear your own voice reverberating in the triangular space behind it. So I don’t make any claims about the effectiveness of our Foley stage. In fact, I have not used it in our class because this is the first year we have had it, and we have spent all our time so far on location recording. Our stage does have pits for Foley “walking,” with carpeted wooden covers over the pits that rock and thump when you step on top of them. Being in there is like being on a space station, with that reverberating ring to your voice, the shifting floor, and the thumping to your walk. I do that 5 hour class, from 12:30 to 5:30, lightheaded from tiredness, and by the time its over, I am totally beat. And I stayed late that day too to put together sound gear for this weekend’s student movie shoot.

On the way home on Mondays, I meet my dance partner for mind-flaying practice of our routines which we are memorizing for the big test in silver level American ballroom. Most Mondays I can hardly bear to think any more, but this is a chance we have to practice, so I do it. She is very patient with me in my zoned-out state those evenings.

1 comment:

Phil said...

Mind Flayer. Damned if that doesn't take me back.

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