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“Of the Wonderful Kind”, a play by Claire Hately

You wanted to see a picture of me in a onesie, riding a unicorn and weilding a light sabre? Why, yes, I can accommodate that:

One of the fun things about being at Quest University is the diversity of student “majors”. Students don’t actually have majors; instead, they choose a “Question” that they focus much of their last two years on. Most of the students I have working with me have a Question that’s focused somewhere in the physical sciences, although some are a bit more diverse. One of the ones that is entirely out of the physical sciences is Claire Hately’s question, “How Can We Keep Creativity Alive?” For her keystone project (the project that all students do by the end of their tenure here), she wrote and is now producing a play entitled “Of the Wonderful Kind”. The one performance is tonight.

The play takes place in two locations: first, in the bedroom of an 8.5-year-old boy who’s created a startling and potentially world-changing invention for the next day’s school science fair. Second, inside the mind of that boy, as his confused imagination tries to deal with growing up. The play is quite funny and lasts about an hour.

And, yes, I play the 8-1/2 year old boy. Everybody else in the play is a Quest student, and is 24 years old or younger (mostly 4 or so years younger). So, naturally, I was the obvious choice to play the little boy…! Claire herself plays the role of my little sister, and various other students play my mother, the Nymphs of the Night (faeries who carry on like drug dealers), Jesus, as well as various characters in my imagination including a train conductor, the psychotic favorite doll of my little sister, a couple of cats, a foul-mouthed and wryly philosophical toad, a bevel of hard-drinking poker players, a kindly old train conductor and his assistant who turn evil, and, of course, Cowboy Bill, the flying cowboy who does nice things for people but never stops to ask for any thanks.

Sadly, I’ve had a cold since last week, so I’ve sort of lost my voice. But, I’ll make it through.

The view off my balcony

I just moved from Nashville, TN to Squamish, BC, where I’m starting teaching at Quest University.

Moving is always painful. There’s the administration of it all, of course, and the sadness of leaving friends and community behind. And, there’s all the boxes, the packing, the unpacking. This move is complicated by the fact that we’re moving into a much smaller place (housing costs in Squamish are much higher than in Nashville!). We got rid of a lot of stuff in Nashville, but getting everything unpacked is still turning out to be a bit of a puzzle.

There are some advantages, though. Squamish is in a beautiful location in British Columbia, on the highway between Vancouver and Whistler. There’s this massive cliff face (called “The Chief”) overlooking the town– and a harbour on the other side. We’re in an apartment building, and below is a picture I took at 8:20 PM yesterday from our balcony. It had been a cloudy day, but it wasn’t hazy (as it had been the previous day). Some of the low clouds were hovering below the height of the Chief, which made for quite an impressive sight.


Click to embiggen a bit