Friday, October 11, 2013

IL CP Gathering Day Four

Our day yesterday. Wow. 

We did start off the day in the usual way: wake up, get up, make-up, eat up, wash up, pack up. But after lunches were safe in their coolers, Austin gathered us around to discuss some of the tactics we should use when interviewing people on Friday (today). We reviewed the difference between being a sledgehammer versus a crowbar, an approachable and unapproachable way to ask a simple question, which questions can come across as more innocent and welcoming as opposed to queries that seem to doubt the presence of our interviewee’s noggin. Needless to say, the conversation was really rather fun and quite informative. Drew asking questions the wrong way could be a paid attraction, just for laughs. Austin then split us into six groups of three, tried to figure out how we could get enough professional-esque cameras to go around, and then sent us on our way so that each of the groups could privately practice interviewing for today’s performance. Jenn loves role-playing, and the practice went even better than normal because she was teamed up with her brother, Josh, and her friend, Emily. In a stretched-out thirty minutes, we rehearsed being the devil’s advocate. I was an energy-circle-of-life meanie, Josh somehow successfully pulled off the transcendentalist/nihilist nice-guy stance, and Emily performed a solid humanistic social relativist. So so much fun. 
Most of our motley crew

But all good things come to an end, and at Drew’s bellow we slid out from under the willow tree and back into the living room to analyse what each of the groups did and learned during their practice times. That analysis was just as helpful as the talks before the practice! Being able to hear different perspectives, techniques, and suggestions from a group of varied but united people is always a win, don’t you think?

But back to the “up’s”: round up, close up, pile up, drive up the freeway and into St. Louis. And this is where the wow begins. We pulled up to a eleven-story building that sported a bus hanging precariously over the highest ledge, a roof with a ferris-wheel atop it, windows with metal slides shining all the way down, and the coolest work of swirly scrap iron projecting its tendrils all along the front of the building ~ like rusted ivy. Better yet, I saw people ~ people ~ climbing on that ivy! Soon that people could be me!!! I have never been so eager to be a monkey, all zoos aside, and climb to my heart’s content. Rest assured that we were springing into the museum. Oh, yeah. This place was a museum. The City Museum they call it because of the way every piece in and outside of the building is recycled and donated material from St. Louis. A really innovative architect junkie (shoulda been a CPer) designed a place where a city can show off its trash and provide a bewilderingly delightful playground to both kids and the kids’ adults. Brilliant, I know. Ridiculously fun, I attest. Ready to go again? Without a doubt!

First we hit the skateless skate-board park. You know those loopy smooth woody-but-not-wood platforms that you see in 90’s movies? The place where the disturbed teenage of the plot goes to release his frustration with his overbearing parents? Yeah, one of those parks but without the disturbed teenagers and without the skate board. Just you, your team, and your shoes. Running parallel, dashing madly across and up one of loops, swinging like Tarzan across ropes and being reminded once again why you don’t have upper-body strength, going back to the loops and the giant walk-along pencil to stretch your lugs. Coming across a hole in the wall that turns out to be the rabbit-hole into a rat-maze. Scraping up your knees so badly and looking for more ways and places to do the same thing. Looking up and seeing kids crawling above you in an open wire casing. Knowing that you are by golly gonna join them. And then you do join them. Well, there’s another way to scrape your knees! And having a marvellous time. 
I will let other people tell you about the giant hamster wheel. Mhm.

I really could go on and on and on about the City Museum, but I will have to stop because so much more happened than I could ever hope to tell in a fun-sized blog post.  That is why there are picture-takers and G+ photo albums. 

Once we were all lost and found in jungles and caves, we rejoined each other at the museum entrance and pointed our noses to the St. Louis Arch, “a symbol of western exploration and expansion that marks the spot of Lewis and Clark’s departure to chart the unknown.”  There. We took a few pictures, and then a few more pictures, and then the five “one more” pictures, and then followed our stomachs to the Old Spaghetti Factory. 

That restaurant is such a beautiful place! Brick and dark wood and heavy fabrics in light colours with those nifty chandeliers. The smells were lovely pasta smells, cheesy and garlicy and oh, so delicious. The people were nice, too. Jael was lovely company, so bright and happy even though we were all exhausted after our afternoon of kiddishness. Naomi perked up right quick after her Fabulous or Awesome or Whatever It Was Chocolate Oreo Shake. Josh joined her. Apparently the perfect blend of Chick-fil-a’s Cookies n’ Cream shake with the right smidgen of chocolate wonder. Politics and Pasta consumed, Spumoni cleaned off of its silver dishes, and yawns rolling, we went home. 

Home to laugh and talk. Home to sing and sleep. Home to bewail the fact that we only had one more full day left of this being home! And home to rest rest rest until today. Which post comes later. 

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