Thursday, September 16, 2010
An Old Fashioned Girl in College
Emmaline is into her third week of college, and everything is going well. She enjoys her classes and her teachers. I like to say that she is majoring in P. E.--Personal Enrichment--because the bulk of her classes are music and acting. She's taking music theory, sight singing and ear training, private piano, private voice, and starting Friday she'll be taking opera workshop.
Before classes started, I thought that maybe she should "dress down" somewhat from her normal style so as not to draw unwanted attention to herself, but she didn't change, and it has not been a problem. I took the photo above as Emmaline was leaving for school yesterday. She has long admired what she calls the "frizzy bangs" and up-dos of the 19th century. She achieved that look yesterday by accident and was pleased with the result.
When Nathaniel saw the picture, he said, "She wore that to college?!!!! Why don't you just put her in a time machine and send her back where she belongs?" I laughed, but his strong reaction kind of worried me. I was afraid that Emma might get some negative comments or face ridicule from the other students. Happily that was not the case. When we met in the afternoon to journey to Scottish Country Dance ball prep classes, she said that she had received a lot of compliments on her hair. I was relieved.
She has gotten some politely-asked questions. The young man who sits next to her in music theory has already asked her if she is Pentecostal. She said, "Why? Because I have long hair and wear dresses?" He answered in the affirmative, and she assured him that she is Catholic. Other students seem to think she is older than 17 because of the way she dresses. She doesn't fit neatly in the little freshman box, but no one seems to hold it against her.
It's interesting to see how the way she dresses affects some things. She volunteered to be the "raw material" in a machine skit in her acting class. She had to go down the manufacturing line as other students "crafted" her. What product did she become? A teapot. That was decided on because one of the students said her flowery dress reminded her of a tea cosy. When Emma got to the end of the line, she did the "I'm a Little Teapot tip-me-over-and-pour-me-out" move. When she told me about it, I immediately remembered a photo of her on her bed when she was about three years old, "reading" her "I'm a Little Teapot" board book. Oh, how she loved that book and song! I had no idea at the time that it was college prep.
One of the most surprising things that has happened occurred on the first day. The acting class students had to do the "trust" exercise, where each student falls backward from a height, trusting that his fellows will catch him. The usual prop for the students to fall from was not in the classroom, so the teacher said that they would just use chairs. Emmaline pointed out that there was a kind of platform attached to the wall that was about four feet off the ground. The teacher said, "Fine. You go first." She promptly climbed up there and fell backwards into the waiting arms of her classmates.
But here's the strange thing. There are 25 other students in the class and not one would do what she did. I always thought that Emma was too trusting; that was one of the reasons I was so worried about her going to college. Now it has been confirmed.
In an upcoming skit, she is to be Little Red Riding Hood. I wish that fairy tale would quit coming up in relation to Emma! I've already written about a bad experience she had with a Hispanic man who tried to get her in the "woods" of the mall.
Of course I'm not worrying. I found out that Jesus is her seatmate in her English class. What could go wrong?