The Assignment

December 27, 2012

The Assignment

Currently, my first block is a Guided Study class that takes place in Mr. Nott’s room. I’m there as a member of NHS and I tutor the kids in the class that struggle with completing their homework. It’s actually a lot of fun. I’ve had a few really, really great classes in my High School career, and this class is certainly up there in my favorites.

The kids are great. Mr. Nott is always fun to be around. I’m learning a lot from the experience. And I’ve also been given a very special Assignment.

Mr. Nott offered to let this Guided Study class double as an Independent Study class for me and I jumped at the opportunity. An Independent Study in Drama? Can you say: “Dream come true”? So, Mr. Nott started assigning me plays to read on the side. So far, I’ve read Death of a Salesman, Equus, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds, and The Runner Stumbles. And they’ve all been really, really good. I suppose that shouldn’t surprise me. A man who’s spent his entire Life working in the dramatic arts probably has a pretty great idea of which plays are good and which are bad.

I remember the first day of class when he proposed this idea to me…

“Brian, I was thinking about assigning you a few plays to read…try and see if I can get you interested in studying theatre.”

“Oh, that’s what I was planning.”

“Good. Good. Then I’ve got a few plays that you’ll need to read before going off to college.”

“That sounds great, Mr. Nott.”

And since then, I’ve read four plays. And I can’t wait to read more. Probably the best part about reading these plays is that they’re always coupled with discussion sessions that Mr. Nott and I have when none of the kids need help. We pull two chairs together, sit down, and try to unwrap the layers that surround each of the plays…

I don’t really know how to describe those discussions. I know for a fact that Mr. Nott is an excellent teacher because he knows exactly how to phrase questions in a way that the answer always dawns on me like this beam of light from the heavens. Sometimes, the answer becomes so obvious and so clear to me that I start to laugh. I can’t help it. It’s always the same. It’s this weird feeling of realization I get as I finally understand what the playwright was trying to say and I get a little giddy. And I laugh. But his questions are always asked in a certain order and said in a certain way that I’m guided to the answer that I must have somewhat known all along but I never would have realized without Mr. Nott’s help.

It all kinda reminds me of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The way that Charlie receives novels from his English teacher and he reads through them and turns in essays for all of them. Luckily, I don’t have to write essays about all these plays. Nor do I have to read entire novels. It’s pretty easy to burn through a play in just a few hours. A novel is a much larger task.

Anyway, I’m so happy that Mrs. Stanton (the NHS advisor) placed me in that Guided Study class. I’m so happy Mr. Nott is taking the time to kindle the fire of my interest in theatre.

I can’t wait to see what play he’s going to give me next.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

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