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Of course they are hoping that at the end of the years, you’ll have gotten used to having the Prime account and so will pay the $79. Still, it’s a great deal and could certainly save you some money for the year. I’ll be signing up immediately after posting this.
While getting the chance to live in Hawaii for several years would have been nice–well, no, not so much “nice” as frakin’ fantastic–and while the Theatre Department at U of Hawaii has a very strong Asian theatre component that interests me, I will not be taking their offer. In large part, the decision comes down to money. A month ago I spoke to a faculty member there and was informed that they couldn’t guarantee assistantships on a year-to-year basis and that there was no real hope of tuition waivers. As excited as I had been about moving to Hawaii and studying there, this news meant that, unless I found a wealthy sugar-mama damn quick, studying at the University of Hawaii would not be possible.
I really love Hawaii and have had the opportunity to visit there three times in the past. Kauai in particular has affected me deeply and it is hard to explain just how much the quality of the air there can serve as a mental and emotional balm. Of course, U of Hawaii is not on Kauai, and each of the islands have remarkable differences. Still, I have experienced as sense of quiet and peacefulness while on Kauai that I believe would translate to any of the islands. However, I don’t love it to the extent that I’m going to take out the amount of Stafford loans necessary to live and study there and add them to my already uncomfortably large student loan debt.
That said, Pitt will offer me a better program in any number of ways, not the least of which is the fact that I very much want to work with Dr. Bruce McConachie in the exploration of how cognitive sciences can be fruitfully used by scholars to understand performance. As scientists learn more about how our minds meaning from the ocean of raw data surrounding us, the applications to performance are both exciting and hugely important for the future of performance scholars and artists. I have always been an admirer of science–in a profoundly lay-person, non-mathematical way to be sure, but still, a great admirer. Neuroscience and cognitive science will never provide all the answers necessary to understand the enjoyment of a play or a dance (or, for that matter, the extreme anger that many people exhibit toward mimes), but as we learn more about our minds and cognitive processes, turning away from such knowledge in blind allegiance to paradigms past is not going to move theatre, or the understanding of theatre, forward.
There are a few scholars who are starting down this path, and Dr. McConachie is in the vanguard of this group. The opportunity to really delve into the questions that the cognitive sciences raise for theatre and performance scholars will help both scholars and artists understand performance in new ways, and I genuinely want to be part of that conversation. Additionally, I expect these questions will stretch my brain into new configurations and patterns.
Exactly what I want from a learning experience.
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