Wednesday/Thursday – Day 53/54
Posted on 16th September 2012
Wednesday’s significance was again to be found in the evening activities.
First up was the “whine and cheese” event and first rehearsal of the Penn Glee Club. This event featured newmen, oldmen and alumni, gathering together for snacks, socialization and, to complain about the drinking age. In the years prior to the subsuming of the Glee Club under the official university banner, alumni would bring wine to drink with the newmen. However, sometimes traditions must change and this was one that fell to the wayside.
After a good while of mingling, we sat down with newmen at the front, oldmen at the back, and listened to a few speeches about the club. The most significant of them being the talk from the president and past president of the Penn Glee Alumni Club. He talked about the how singing binds us together and how we’ll learn so much more than just performance during our time as members. Of how the friendships made never fade and of the tap-dancing to come!
We were then handed the sheet music to five of Glee Club’s most important songs but, before we could get started we needed to warm up vocally. Our director Erik who had been a member of Glee Club for thirty-two years, asked us all without humming, without talking or any vocalizing, to sing a concert pitch A on the count of three. Amazingly, we did it near perfectly, with very little note fishing. A few standard warm up exercises followed.
Following that, we sung through all the pieces, trying to sight read. Once the newmen were even asked to sing it by themselves! The rehearsal ended what seemed to quickly and I was sad for it to end thus begrudgingly I tramped back up to my room.
I returned to my room to work for a while only to later receive an SMS: “I hope you’re coming to the 9:30 dance call! – Sarah”. By the time I received this message it was already 9:28 and I raced down to Platt again without evening changing into dance clothes.
The dance call was contained a very faced paced routine that we were to learn on the spot, and unfortunately for me, my dancing has never been good and without the practice from recent performances, I was terrible. I felt quite embarrassed at my terrible execution or non-execution as it was of the routine and knew at that point that I was not going to be receiving a large role in the musical. Luckily, with all the time commitments I already had, I wasn’t desperate for one anyhow.
Thursday had two events worthy of being written about. The first was the Penn Engineering Careers Fair that I embraced with gusto. I met with representatives from many of the worlds largest technology and engineering firms (Google, Facebook, Hulu etc) but was most impressed by a start up called Twilio that handles some of the backend work needed to support Whatsapp and other internet-telephony applications.
The second event that I will cover in short was my bus ride to Toronto. After a stop by the Hillel for some smores, I left campus at about 7PM, not realizing how close I would be cutting it to get to my 7:30PM bus on time. I made it by catching a cab and soon began my twelve hour trip to Toronto, ON. First transfer was New York City at 9:30 where I went for a bit of a walk. Down past Penn Station, past the Port Authority to grab a bagel and revisit the O Neil theater, my old haunt from waiting for the book of Mormon. I briskly returned to get caught in the maze of the Port Authority Terminal and again, only just made my bus.
That bus ride was long and uncomfortable, with the seat next to me taken up by a lovely Chinese student from NYU. A 4AM stop off at Dunkin’ Donuts woke me up from a half hour nap, and the visit at 6AM to Border Control didn’t help. Finally at nine-thirty I arrived at Toronto and was most glad to see Steven Silverberg, Sarah’s dad, waiting for me.