Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Almost Famous

Last Wednesday, while in line to buy water before heading to my Victorian Women class, Sy from Kaplan called to let me know that NBC might be coming to film my SAT class on Sunday (that's this past Sunday). While I was incredibly excited that the world would finally get to see how wonderful I was, I was also unexpectedly nervous. My mind abuzz, I rehearsed what I would say to Meredith Vieira or some other newsy-type and imagined how smart they--and America-- would think I was. Oh, and what an opportunity to show people that I care about students and give myself a little credibility.

When I went to tutor that night, Sy told me that I might be interviewed. At that time I assumed that it would not actually happen and it didn't. NBC did come to the center on Sunday and film, but just the class next to mine. And the students in that class. And the people in the front office. Ok! Everybody except me! So I'm exaggerating and was actually glad that they didn't film me because I had a cold and didn't feel well, but I can still complain. Or fake complain. Or do whatever I do to create comraderie and communicate with people.

If you would like to see where I work and the people I work with, tune in to the NBC nightly news on Wednesday, September 20th. Zaheer, aka Z, will be part of the segment as a fellow SAT teacher; we were dressed alike that day in our gray Kaplan polos and black pants, so I suppose you can add "and see what Brooke was wearing that day" to the list of what you're seeing except for the fact that the outfit's on a tall and good-looking Indian-American man. But whatever.

Aside from that, my schedule's been totally crazy. There are grad school issues that I don't feel comfortable talking about on the internet (so email if you're curious) and a major schedule restructuring in the direction of me having more time for school. One of my ESL students has returned to Korea, I'm only babysitting one day a week instead of two, and it looks like I won't be teaching SAT classes on the weekends anymore. Thankfully, I don't have to work everyday until the end of October now! But I'm still kinds bummed that no one's asking me for autographs.

Monday, September 04, 2006

My Little Slice of Southern

Have any of you seen a show on MTV called "Two-a-days"? It's a show about Hoover High School Football team in Hoover, AL. Shock and Awe! MTV's in Alabama (poor MTV). Anyway, I thought it was funny, and since I've had some down time over the past few days, I've caught some of it. It's what you'd expect, mostly boring high school relationship drama intersperced with fooball coaches saying repetitive and appaling things. Oh, and some impressive smacking noises that happen when they show scenes from practice. As expected now that MTV's a reality network, there are plenty of people who are way too hot for their age, but the funniest thing that happened was a seemingly mundane activity--going to a restaurant.

Having recently seen The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (as I prefer to call it, instead of the trivialized title: Talledega Nights), I fully understood the complexity, truth and humor that surrounded these Hoover High youngsters during their trip to the local Applebee's. Surely, it is one of the only close, cheap restaurants that could tolerate groups of high school students with cam corders in addition to the MTV camera crews, but that doesn't make it any less funny. Chain restaurants are an epidemic in the South, and it's really time to deal with it.

In addition to that (Confession: Applebee's was my favorite restaurant in middle/high school. Don't laugh, it was a big deal when we got an Applebee's in Dothan.) there was a trip to the bowling alley and a loveable, teddy-bear guy named Goose; these things are also close to my heart because I too would go to the bowling alley to hang out--didn't even like to bowl and sometimes just sat there--and had a crush on an aforementioned type of guy names Moose. There's a kind of romance to never knowing a guy's last name, or real name for that matter. But that sounds like a more sordid story.

In Which I Confess New Self-Knowledge

Ok, so orientation went well. Busy but not too long days with lots of fun people. The Drew staff and professors were absolutely wonderful, and the English department proved to be the most exciting as far as new students and cool professors that showed up to various events. I got to be Superfriendly Brooke (people usually assume I'm in the mode anyway--must be the accent) and socialize and hobknob with deans and such, so that was fun all by itself.

And speaking of things at orientation that benefitted me personally, I rediscovered how much I love being in front of a crowd. There were welcomes and introductions to give, but the highlight came during a Q&A lunch on the final day. I had organized the event and planned to do the 7 or 8 speaker intros, but this quickly turned into an MC job for me. Some of the speakers were drifting in because of their other engagements at undergrad, theology, and faculty orientation, so there was some dead time that needed to be filled with me, me, me.

It started innocently enough with some extra announcements and questions but soon turned into a full blown comedy thing complete with jokes, random stories about softball and cute men, and even raffle prizes. I would like to give you more details, but I was so high on the experience that I don't remember most of it. (Ok, some of this is an exaggeration, but not much.)

That evening I found what will surely be my future career: bartending. We had a pub party that night and Madera (orientation co-chair) and I were behind the bar as to give others a chance to mingle. Don't feel bad for me though 'cause there was free beer only a half step away all night. And let me tell you, me+red cowboy boots+free beer+picking all the bar music+flirting with new and old students alike=one heck of a good time.

Everyone seemed to get a kick out of seeing me behind the bar and commented on what a natural combination Brooke and Bar were. They said I did a great job, and they thanked me and tipped me, but that could also be a result of the beer I gave away...