Thursday, July 30, 2009
I have a box of puppets
I left ASU with two things. A husband and a box of puppets.
Jason and I parked off campus and pulled our bikes off the rack behind his car. He with his Schwinn and me with my light blue, sparkly Huffy. He rode off to Biochemistry or Organic Chemistry or something of that sort, while I pedaled onto the fine arts building to my Puppetry and Children class. (I actually miss my days at ASU when I speak of these things!)
As an Elementary Ed major you are required to take some fine art electives. I had colored, read picture books, and sung my way through my classes thus far. Why not try puppetry? I love to craft, so making puppets would be fun. If only that was all there was to it.
Imagine an older man, maybe late thirties. Imagine him with the curliest blonde ringlets of hair you have ever seen. Then imagine that man believing puppets and puppetry was the most serious passion and mission in life. That man was my puppetry instructor. He was a stickler to every small point of his puppeting grading scale. He was the one who was going to bring me to a whole new level of public humiliation than I had ever before experienced.
Because puppetry is not only the creation of puppets (very small part of the course), but it is the art of being a puppeteer! It is voice, script writing, performing, and passion! It is talking in a high whiny voice and flapping your hand around like an idiot in front of a class of thirty other adults. My instructor was so serious about his art, that if you did not put on a believable act of voice-whining and hand-flapping and idiot-looking, he would dock points. And he was not friendly about it.
But once you get past the embarrassment and feeling like an idiot, puppetry can be a beautiful thing. I soared through my class (while only having to do two or three extra credit assignments to get the coveted A in puppetry... and my instructor's approval). And let me tell you, using a puppet in front of a class of twenty first graders is a lot easier than in front of thirty adults. And it's even easier in front of one one-year-old who thinks everything is funny.
And a one-year-old looks a lot cooler playing with puppets than an adult does...