It’s 2019, so let’s have another progress update! I’m sad to admit that I don’t have much to show for most of 2018 because of home improvement projects and other real-life odds and ends that needed my attention, but throughout it all I kept reading.
Most of that reading had to do with Shakespeare, so when my friend Hrefna decided to organize a session of SCAiri talks (TED-like talks on SCA subjects) at a recent event, I jumped on that bandwagon as a potentially better venue for teaching Shakespeare than an hour-long class. Long story short, I gave two presentations — one on All’s Well That Ends Well and another on Pericles, Prince of Tyre.
In retrospect — I think the format worked really well. The biggest struggle for me was fitting everything into the required 15-minute time frame after I added at least one slide for each scene. With practice I was able to get it all into one high-energy, fast-talking presentation each. The lesson learned, however, is that in the future I should stick to a broader summary so I have more time to focus on major plot points and issues that deserve more attention. And, as Hrefna kindly noted, I could improve my future presentations by spending more time looking at the audience than at my slides. 😉 (Thanks, Hrefna!) Some of that would be fixed by focusing on broader issues, since the time crunch meant that I was trying to speed through my slides, which necessitated more eye focus on them than they would have if I could have spent more time on each slide.
Before the SCAiri talks came up, I had been working my way through Timon of Athens. This is another play which I might turn into a class or presentation someday. I can see some elements that might still resonate today, particularly the focus on material generosity as an attempt to buy love and how it’s exploited by greed. My progress in reading the play has been a bit of a slog, however, and one that was put on hold while I worked on these presentations and took a holiday break into Jane Austen and some of her fanfiction.
While I should just finish that (I’m seriously into Act IV or V by now, I think), I might get distracted yet again for another project that will take me into Orlando Furioso. I haven’t read it at all yet, though I’ve been asked by another friend about participating in a project related to it, so…time to get reading! From what little digging I’ve done so far, it sounds like an epic Renaissance soap opera, so I’m looking forward to it. More on that later!