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13 August 2009 @ 10:46 pm
Ashland 2009, Day One  
Sean drove me out to DeAnza this morning at 7:30 so I could get on the bus to Ashland. (The trip is actually a class at DeAnza, and I'll have to do a little bit of homework to get an 'A,' but I hope it'll be a really fun way to raise my GPA. Plus, travel!) We left the school promptly at 8. The bus wasn't too crowded, so I was able to get a row to myself. I stretched out and promptly fell asleep. When I wasn't dozing, I was listening to an audio version of Alison Weir's Innocent Traitor, a 16-CD novel about Lady Jane Grey's brief life and nine-day reign as Queen of England.

Looking around the bus at my classmates, I quickly realized that I was surrounded by people over sixty or under twenty. Companionship might be difficult on this trip. Oh well...I'm a loner anyway, it'll be fine.

At the first rest stop, one of the teachers pointed out my roommate, a nineteen year old who was also traveling on her own. I made a mental note to try and eat lunch with her at the next stop, and went back to the bus to sleep some more. (I had been up super late the night before, too hyped up on nerves to settle into bed. I was pretty wiped out.)

Teacher J talked about Ashland and Shakespeare a bit as we continued to drive, but the second half of the morning was mostly sleeping. The seats of the bus were blue, with rainbow-colored fish printed on it. My face rested against a multi-colored flounder.

We stopped in Redding for lunch. We were doing well for time - running about half an hour early to our schedule. I wanted to find my roommate and see if she wanted to eat together, but she'd already disappeared. One of the under-twenties complimented my glasses, which was an interesting if odd way to start a conversation.
He: I love your glasses.
Me: Oh, thanks.
He: I would totally love to have glasses like that. Maybe I'll buy those next time instead of these cheap wire glasses.
Me: That's...great.

He and I ended up eating lunch together at a Japanese restaurant. Let's call him Luigi. It was a little awkward, since I have no social graces whatsoever and he has a habit of staring at you while he eats. This wasn't so bad when I was talking - eye contact lets me know the listener is paying attention, after all - but it was really awkward when I wasn't. A bit uncomfortable. I spent a lot of time with my eyes glued to my bento box. But he seemed nice enough, and we did share some interests. I tried to encourage him to talk as much as possible, and he rambled on about martial arts, gardening, anime and school.
We didn't really discuss literature, which you might expect considering we were going to a Shakespeare festival.
He'd say things like "I've never seen beef teriyaki before. I've never heard of beef teriyaki before. What a great idea!" even though he'd previously been talking about Japanese food like he ate it all the time. It was a little weird. I couldn't tell if he was putting me on, or if he made a habit of exaggerating his knowledge on subjects. He also tended to sneak these awkward little compliments into conversations that made me wary. I can't remember anything specific, but the end result was I was getting the "He's interested in me" vibe, and that was unwelcome because Luigi was not my type at all.
Anyway.
I bitch, but it was nice to have someone to eat with. We went back to the bus chatting.
For the remainder of the trip, Teacher J put a DVD of The Reduced Shakespeare Company on for us to watch. That was funny. Luigi invited me to sit next to him, so I did. Our humor didn't line up very well. He laughed at things I didn't find especially funny, and he was silent when I snickered at something I found clever.
This will sound harsh and mean, but by the end of the bus ride I had downgraded him to "back-up friend" and decided I probably wouldn't hang out with him much during the trip, preferring to spend time alone if necessary.

But Ashland!
We arrived around 4 and it was beautiful and sunny. We were staying at Cox Hall on the Southern Oregon University campus, and I was excited to see the dorm rooms because I didn't get the dorm experience in college. My roommate Ally and I started chatting and it looked like we'd get along just fine. After a quick orientation the teachers handed us our theatre tickets and meal voucher, and we were free to find our rooms on the second story.
My room, 202, was right next to the stairs. Very convenient. We each had a narrow little bed, a desk, and a wardrobe. I have to admit, I can't imagine living in such a room for a whole semester. It was tiny. But for five days it would be just fine!

Dinner and breakfast were included in the trip - thus the meal voucher ticket. We went down to dinner and there was a salad bar, dessert bar, ice cream machine, sandwich bar, pizza station and a hot entree area. You could get as much food as you wanted, but you only got one trip through the cafeteria, so Ally and I loaded up our trays with as much as possible. (It's a wasteful system, because everyone grabs too much food and so much of it gets thrown away.) The food wasn't exciting, but it filled me up.

When we finished eating, it was barely 6:30 and our first play, Macbeth, wasn't until 8. Ally and I decided to walk the mile and a half from the dorm down to the theatres. If we had walked briskly, I imagine the trip would have taken no more than forty minutes, but we dawdled so much that it took over an hour. We were constantly stopping to take photos of houses and admire gardens and look in shop windows.
(The houses in Ashland are really, really cute. I took a lot of photos of the cottages we passed but I'm not sure I'll post them because it's not that exciting.)

We caught the tail end of the evening's Green Show, a free performance sponsored by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I don't know who the singer was, but she was singing "Taylor the Latte Boy" which I have heard Kristin Chenowyth perform. Then we shuffled into the Bowmer Theatre to watch Macbeth.

I wrote a LOT about Macbeth in my book blog, Fashionista Piranha, so since this entry's already pretty long I will recommend you click on over there if you want to hear about hte play.
COMMENTARY ON THE SCOTTISH PLAY IS THIS-A-WAY.

The bus was waiting to take us back to the dorm after the play ended. My roommate went back out with some of the other under-twenties to get Taco Bell (the only food place still open) so I wrote some notes down for Macbeth, since there would be a discussion about the play the next day. Then off to sleep - I was just wiped out, even though I'd spent much of the day snoozing on the bus.
 
 
 
Paul Linh Nguyenanimekid on August 28th, 2009 07:03 am (UTC)
Sounds like you had a good trip =)