Wednesday, July 17, 2013

On Top of Cotton Candy

"Looks like we're on top of cotton candy!" Martie, the elderly woman seated next to me, exclaimed as we ascended above the clouds.

Crystal looking out the window of the plane
I met Martie when I found my seat on the plane next to Crystal, a W&L cohort member. Martie, noticing a big group of teenagers all traveling together, proceeded to ask us if we were participating in a program. We then discussed basics about the ILC, W&L, and how grateful we are to be participating in such an amazing program. In a bit, Martie and I moved on to talk about the plays that we had recently seen at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. We focused particularly on one play, The Unfortunates, which is hard to understand without a lot of context, but was beautifully directed. I was really excited to get the chance to discuss this play with someone who had experienced the same feeling of awe as I had after seeing the play. I thought it was a little crazy, but interesting, that even though we are parts of two completely different generations, we both enjoyed a play that most people in both of our age groups generally dislike.

Later, as we saw flight attendants passing by, Martie explained that when she was a stewardess, the women had to be a certain weight, and anyone exceeding 130 pounds, "wouldn't cut it." I found this completely demeaning and unfair, but Martie wasn't the least bit fazed by it. I think it is so interesting, and very relevant to the course I am about to begin, that not very long ago, women had so little rights, and in some parts of the world, they still don't. I hope that in this program I can learn more about how to change that.

After our first flight, we had a layover, and got on another flight to Providence. This time I sat next to Sonya, another W&L student. Rushing onto the plane, we didn't notice that the seats we had chosen didn't have a window! It was a dull, dull flight. Before long, we forgot about the window and were both lamenting about how much we miss our cats (and our parents).
Sonya really wanted a window...

Once we got off the plane and into our car (which is a huge, white van in which we could barely fit our suitcases) I started to realize how truly hot it was. On the plane, Martie had told me, "you're going to roast!" and at this moment, I realized that she was right. It was hotter than I'd even imagined!

In the car, we passed a lot of interesting people and sights, including architecture, which, because of my architect father, I have grown to appreciate. I saw a Shakespeare theater building, and as an aspiring playwright and director, I could not help but take a picture. Noticing all the different sights and people walking about made me remember something Martie had said on the plane: "Rhode Island is extremely white. There are only white people there." But looking around, I found that it is actually a very diverse place. I noticed right away that I have seen so many different types of people so far. Providence definitely isn't as diverse as the Bay Area, but it is more so than I expected after Martie's comment.
Shakespeare Hall!

When we got to the hotel, everyone was immediately surprised at how elegant and fancy it is. It is definitely not what we were expecting. When I got up to the room that I share with Sonya and Julia, I was exhausted. The day had been overwhelmingly stressful for me, and I wished we could go to sleep soon.

Instead, we walked to a nearby burger place to get dinner. The food was delicious... But I couldn't finish it. It was just too much. Sonya would not let me forget that, and even took a picture of me with my half-eaten hamburger trying to guilt trip me into forcing myself to finish it. I prevailed, and left it on the plate, untouched.

Overall, I think that our first day in Rhode Island went exceptionally well, and I can't wait to experience more.
Sonya was exhausted!

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