A Tale of Two Cities (with Students!)

This is a guest post by Anne, my muse, she writes the following: So my musee thinks that I should write a blog entry for him. The muse is not amused, but here goes.

Last Saturday, Le Marquis was fighting off a virus, and didn’t feel like going to the High School play, “A Raisin in the Sun”. He missed a good show! I had read the play back in the day, when I was a high school student, but seeing it live was much better. The students did a great job, and I didn’t detect any muffed lines or technical difficulties. It’s always fun for me to see the student thespians, as sometimes the characters they play are so different from their own personalities. In addition, some of the actors are very shy and reserved in real life, so it is even more rewarding to see them on stage. I know I didn’t have that kind of courage to even try out when I was that age. Bravo!

[I heard on NPR this week about a sequel to “Raisin”, called “Clybourn Park”. In this two act play, the first act is set immediately after the conclusion of “Raisin”. The black family has moved the white neighborhood of Clybourn Park. This act deals with the problems that they encountered while integrating. The second act is set fifty years later. Clybourn Park is now a rundown neighborhood. A white couple has just purchased the house. They encounter pushback from the all black neighborhood that is fighting gentrification.]

Wednesday, Joanie and I joined the Science Book Club on the yellow school bus. We rode to Springfield, Illinois to see Rebecca Skloot, author of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”. Henrietta Lacks was a poor, black woman who died of cervical cancer in 1951. A sample of her cancer cells was taken without her knowledge. This sample became the first human line of immortal cells, and paved the way for many breakthroughs, including the polio vaccine. The book is a very good book, and the students were excited to meet the author. Ms. Skloot interspersed her talk with passages from the book. She also updated us on the status of the Lacks family and the foundation set up to help them. After the talk, she answered questions from the audience. Then there was a book signing in the lobby of the auditorium. She graciously agreed to pose for a picture with our group after she had signed all the books. We will have a dinner discussion next Wednesday at the high school. I’m interested to see the students’ reactions. I dozed a bit on the way home, and it was far too noisy to hold a real discussion.

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