Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Next to normal

Next to Normal playbill Today I got itchin' to see a show, but not itchin' to spend a butt-load of dough. I scratched my itches. By visiting theatermania.com, I obtained a promotional code I then used on broadwayoffers.com to buy two tickets to "Next to Normal," an award-winning musical on Broadway. It's a mostly heavy but sometimes funny show about a bipolar housewife and her family. Great singing, music and acting. And I got teary a couple times.

One week from today I will be attending a first-year class called Careers, as a teaching assistant. At SOM, second-year students TA first-year classes to help the professors monitor participation, grade papers and do whatever other logistical things might need tending to. It wasn't until I was chatting with the other TA's about how we were going to do the schedule that I realized/remembered how short our quarters are; Careers is a weekly class that meets first quarter, and it only meets seven times. Breaking it down, this is a pretty well-paying gig.

Two weeks from tomorrow, I start my classes. In the musical's spirit of approaching normality, I have decided to round out my business courses by enrolling in Theory of Media, a grad-level film-studies course. We are allowed to take classes outside the business school, so I decided to take advantage. I will be dropping something to make room for it. Looks like it will be very interesting. Here's a description:

In this course we consider some of the main issues in media studies, including the relationship among commodity, artwork, and networks of exchange;media and public sphere; the analysis of radio and television; alternative or counter-hegemonic conceptions of media; and the viability of the concept "media" itself. The authors we discuss include Marshall McLuhan, Walter Benjamin, Bertolt Brecht, T. W. Adorno, John Grierson, Stanley Cavell, Roland Barthes, Guy Debord, Jürgen Habermas, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Fredric Jameson, Raymond Williams, Jean Baudrillard, Régis Debray, and Arjun Appadurai. We also look at works by Dziga Vertov, Seoungho Cho, Vsevolod Pudovkin, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Humphrey Jennings, Jean-Luc Godard, Ken Loach, Jon Alpert, Chris Burden, Richard Serra, Guy Ben-Ner, and many others, alongside television shows like The Honeymooners, It Could Be You, The X-Files, and Good Morning America.

This is admittedly not the most relevant course in the world, unless indeed I go into media management and wish to strike up an academic conversation. Regardless, it will be fun, and a good chance to explore more of the campus, meet new people and exercise different parts of my brain.

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