On my second day of orientation at Tufts, I managed to find my way to my sanctuary: the theater department! I’ve been a ridiculous theater nerd for approximately twelve years now, so finding my people was extremely exciting for me. While conversing with some of the drama faculty, they told me about a class called First-Year Showcase. This enigmatic class was described as “a first-year’s introduction to the drama department,” in which we get to meet the faculty and partake in two productions! After hearing a passing faculty member exclaim: “You must take this class!” I was sold, and after a riveting class enrollment day, I secured my place in First-Year Showcase. When I got to the first day of class, however, I quickly learned that it was so much more than just an introduction! The class allows first-year students to try their hand at a new aspect of drama, for example, if a student has typically been acting on stage, they can try being backstage on run crew. It also allows freshmen to participate in a production without the stress of a rehearsal schedule while settling into Tufts, which I’m finding extremely helpful. We also get to meet numerous guest speakers, who are extremely cool, and some more advanced students who can answer our questions about college and Tufts in general. Most importantly, there are surprise squirrels strategically hidden throughout our lecture PowerPoints, and as soon as one appears, the class must yell: “SQUIRREL!” in the style of Doug from the movie Up.
However, the most refreshing element of the class was by far the first recitation. In this one hour and fifteen minute class period, we came together as a class to design our “sweatpants of shame” and “shirts of shame,” together creating “the vestments of shame,” as I like to call them. Essentially, we are required to bring “rehearsal clothes” to each recitation. These clothes must be flexible and liberating, allowing the wearer to move freely and partake in physical exercise during the class period. If someone forgets rehearsal clothes, he or she must don the vestments of shame for the class period. These clothes have iconic phrases, such as “SHAME!” or “Sorry mom,” or “You had one job,” complete with glitter and pirate stickers. Clearly, the pants radiate disappointment and dishonor. After the creation of the vestments of shame, I thought “what on earth could possibly follow that class period?” I quickly learned, as our next project involves ripping magazines and creating a coherent collage out of them, representing a fairy tale of our choice. As someone who is terrified of arts and crafts, I thought this project was going to require Herculean effort from me. I was quickly proven wrong, as I ripped away at People and The New Yorker to create a stunningly original interpretation of Jack and the Beanstalk, complete with Jennifer Aniston and Anne Hathaway. How did they get there? Through the magic of First-Year Showcase.
This class is just one of the incredible experiences I’ve had thus far during my first two weeks at Tufts. I also partook in Global Orientation (colloquially referred to as “GO”) which made settling into college much easier. I met some fantastic upperclassmen who helped me out with the transition and notified me of all the important things to do during first semester. I also had two great orientation leaders, who we lovingly refer to as “mom and dad,” and they were also instrumental in creating my joyous experiences at Tufts so far. Here’s to an incredible four years on the hill, and Go ‘Bos!