Benny Joanne Mark NYC journal


New York City
June 25 - July 29

Sunday June 25
We left new jersey at 10:15 and got to Barnard at about 11. i checked in, learned i had a roommate and went on a tour of the campus. I then went with my parents to a little grocery store down the street to get somethign for lunch. we ate in riverside park, and then went to a meeting for parents and students at 2. at some point we went on a search for the books for my classes, and only found the two for dance. oh, and i got a tiazi from starbucks:) there was a barbeque at around 4 and my family sat with my roommate, pam's family to eat. then our families said goodbye and we were all left unsure of what to expect. we had our first suite (half of our floor) meeting at 7 and then joined the other suite on teh forth floor to play some kind of nyc jeopardy. afterwards tehy shoved us full of ice cream before going to sleep.

Monday June 26
In the morning we had a meeting about safety and the school's policies adn things like that. not soo exciting. after lunch we had a discrimination workshop, which i don't think was as awful as most people made it out to be. i'm not sure it accomplished what it was supposed to, but it was kind of neat. i acutally think it would have been better to do later int eh program when we knew eachother a little better. at night i went on a neighbourhood tour and then a trip to Tom's Restaurant, which is teh place used as the outside for the restaurant in seinfeld.

Tuesday June 27
We started our classes today. at 9:30 i was in room 229 milbank for Theatre Production in NYC. the teacher came across as being very friendly and approachable and just fun. we started by introducing ourselves and talking about where we're from and why we're takng the course and stuff like that. (i'll do more later...talking with clare :)) then we sat in a circle and got an idea of what we'd be doing for the next 5 weeks. The last thing we did was go around in a circle reading a monolgue if we had one. that was the end of my first theatre class...and the last time i'd see my teacher for a week cuz she had stuff to do at home in washington. I dont' remember much from my first class of Ballet to Breakdancing (ie. dance history...) The teacher asked us all what other course we're taking. We handed in out little essays we were asked to write about "what dance means to us." I think we probably acutally stared class. Oh, and we had a lecture about not saying "like" every other word. that was acutally a big thing in that class! we were given teh syllabus for the class and learned that we had a lot of reading ahead of us for teh class. I spoke with Chelain about possibly trying to get tickets to Rent or another show for friday night, and she said she woudl think about it. i was goign ot be seeing matt and whoever else was there on friday so i just needed to find someone from teh program who woudl go down with me so i could go back up! At night i got to see staci :) :) :) she arrived a little late cuz her can driver coudlnt' find the intersection i gave her. we had a really great time together. we went to Ollie's for dinner and we talked there. then we went back to elliot (the residence) and i brought her canadian smarties and ketchup chips...and she seemed to enjoy them both. so, we talked and talked and talked and talked and talked (you get the picture). there were some slight problems with how she was going to get home, but they got solved and, at curfew, she left to wiat for her mother outside. i never acutally found out if she got home ok, but we've been in touch since so i assume she did!

Wednesday June 28
Field Work sign up...YAY! Ok, that's slightly exaggerated..or soemthing like that. This was the most disorganized morning i have ever had to sit through. Let me explain what field work is first. a bunch of companies and organizations and other work-related places offered ot take in students from our program to show them around and tell them about what they do and how they could get into working there or something similar to that. there were also some that were more volunteer was really very varied to suite everyone's interests. this is waht we did every wednesday. so, this first wednesday we had to sign up. at around 9 (we had to get there at 8:30...they had another idea of how this would work but we all yelled at them that it wasn't fair so they resorted to this...) we pikced a number between 1 and 180 out of a hat and waited. and waited adn waited and waited. finally they explained that we would go up in order of our numbers, starting with a different number each of the 4 times, and we'd sign up for our fieldwork. problem was if you were at the end there were never many choices left at all...and the popular ones usually were the ones with the least number of spots. I ended up being pretty lucky cuz someone asked if i'd switch my number with hers after the first one, so i got my first choice for the first three weeks and still was signed up for somethign i watned to do for the forth week. the field works i ended up with were Present Company Theatorium, Make-a-Wish foundation, NY Philharmonic, and the Harlem Restoration Project where we would be taking care of kids in teh day care program. That afternoon we had the option of taking part in a bunch of workshops, and i was going to go to one on writing college application essays, but i really wasn't feeling well by the time it was to start, so i just stayed in my room. I went out to get my reader for theatre...$40 worth of photocopies...sheesh! I think i also had some homework to do...or soemthing like that! Either way, i spend most of the remainder of the day in my room sleeping or reading.

Thursday June 29
Regular classes really started today. we had a supply teacher in theatre, as we knew we would. we did some really...umm...odd warm ups. they weren't necessarily painful or what i felt could have been useful...they were just strange. i wasn't really able to move the next morning because of a lot of them. we spent most of the class on warm up and stretching and things like that and then we played some little games as a group. in dance we started right into baroque dance...and i believe that was about it. Chelain told me she didn't htink she wanted to join me friday night, i asked Pam and she said she would. devorah also somehow latched on to the idea, which was perfectly find with me :) At night i decided i'd waited long enough to see Times Square, so that's where we went. Let's see..i think i was with Pam, Chrissy, Jade, Devorah and Anne...though i'm not really sure any more. we just went and walked around for a little while, stopped in a few stores, and then went back to barnard. it wasn't much, but enough to make me really happy to be where i was and with the people there.

Friday June 30
Theatre was more of the same today. well, except that i couldn't do half the warm up because of what we did the day before. but he understood that. we had a short quiz in dance before heading off for a tour of the metropolitain opera house. i found most of it to be quite interesting, but it was a little long. we randomly saw Sascha Radetsky, who played Charlie in Centerstage, walking down one of the halls. we saw a few set designs, a bunch of costumes and pieces of sets in the process of being made (all for the opera company, not ballet). i acutally started talking with people in the class today too. i ended up smooshed next to Eling in an elevator, so we started talking. i foudn out that she's from japan and was one of very few people who had acutally been to toronto. we were told that saturday woudl be the last day of the ballet company's performances for the season, but that there are tickets left and they have student discounts. this interested me and i heard Erica tellig someone else that she woudl like to i took a chnace and asked if she would want to come down the next day with me. let me tell you, this was probably the best chance i've ever taken...or at least close to it. i ended up talking with erica for most of the remainder of the tour. when we were finally let out, i left as soon as i coudl so i coudl meet everyone at the nederlander...and to my surprise, when i got there, no one i was supposed to meet was there yet...and i was a half hour late. there were subway delays, which was why pam and devorah were late...and matt's bus was usual. sarah was there, though, so the four of us went to get food and then returned to wait for matt at the theatre. pam and devorah went over to tkts to see what tickets they could get for us, and returned not long after with tickets to Footloose. Actually, now that i write that, i'm not sure of the order things happened, but it was something like that. Matt finally arrived and when i saw him i put down what i was eating and went to give him a hug. pam asked if that was matt and i sarcastically answered no. he went to get food but said he'd be back, so i sat down again. pam then asked if it wasn't matt, who was it...she thought iw as being serious! she coudlnt' figure out why he looked so much like the guy in teh picture if it wasn't him! anyway, that was kind of funny. we made our way over to Footloose not too long before the show was to start. there was a lot of really loud screaming near the beginning of the show, but i assumed that was just because the show was nearing it's closing date so there would be more enthousiastic people more often...then i remembered that dyann was in ny. i slowly started noticing the huge amounts of applause and cheering that arose every time jeremy came out or sang or i knew dyann was definitely there! at intermission i went in a dyann hunt...and i think i scared her! she thought i was someone who she didn't like who she knew was there...until she turned around and saw my face :) we talked a little and then went to watch the rest of the show. after the show i realized that i needed to get in touch with sarah (which i auctally didn't end up doing...) so i waited a while (and ended up being a cast member's toy...i don't really understand either...) andthen pam and i went over to rent to see if anyone had sarah's phone number...but devorah wanted to get people's autographs, so she stayed behind at Footloose. it ended up taking us a lot longer than we expected to hike teh 4 blocks, so we came back to find devorah sitting outside the theatre all alone :( the three of us then began on our treck back to barnard...k, it's not really a treck, but that sounds like more fun than a boring subway ride...

Saturday July 1