Hell Week, Part 1 – Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – Days 194/195/196/197

Posted on 17th February 2013

Sunday ten AM it began. I pushed myself out of bed and headed to Platt Student Performing Arts House to help post bills around campus. We pasted them over in every residential building, across campus, and also began social media efforts to encourage people to buy tickets to the upcoming performance of “Office Bass: A Corporate Musical”.

From there it was off to the Annenberg Theatre, our performance venue. It has deep significance to the Glee Club as we were the opening act on one of Philly’s finest stages and are thus one of only two amateur groups allowed to use the space for performance. The other being Penn Singers, the light opera company which some of you may recall, I was involved with last semester for the performance of “Legally Blonde”. Once in the theater, I unloaded my costume into the change rooms and began helping to build the set.

While helping out I was introduced to Yueyi Zhou, a member of the PGC band, and we struck it off immediately, going on a brief walk to find and help unpack the truck. After a while of talking we came to a shocking surprise that we shared a certain mutual friend. Details are a little private so again, send me a message for more info!

After lunch, rehearsals started and didn’t really stop. Dinner break was far too short, even though I was late getting back after other clubbers dinner’s arrived late and held me up too!

Rehearsal tonight finished relatively early, despite large amounts of work being left unfinished. Midnight and I was back home, getting a little work done before my two midterms on Monday and Tuesday.

Monday was a struggle. At nine, I was up and already at the labyrinthine David Rittenhouse Labs for a physics review session, after which I spent around thirty minutes with the professor trying to work around my problems. Unfortunately as was to be seen later in the week, it didn’t have much of an impact on my grades. Next up was revision for my 1:30PM midterm, so I ended up skipping Networking to get some more time in. The professor who I ran into wasn’t too worried, but I wasn’t super pleased to be missing out on class. The Security midterm was pretty easy for the most part and the two questions I didn’t know how to answer I ended up getting thoroughly wrong, but that wasn’t such an issue on midterm of it’s length and fairness.

My lab was at four pm and it went really well today! We learnt about stacks and queues using a real world abstraction: paper plates! The students task was to write an algorithm first in pseudocode and then in Java to build a queue out of two stacks. Using plates I believed helped them to grasp exactly what was going on and pretty much everyone in the class succeeded. Following that I followed up with a little theory on how to implement the algorithm using the ‘call stack’  and touched on a few systems coding details just for their interest.

My evening wasn’t much to talk about, straight rehearsal from immediately after my recitation all the way to one thirty AM tuesday. Struggles. I was a little tired at this point, however I was keeping up!

Tuesday started off as a disaster, though I didn’t realize it then. First thing in the morning was my midterm and I walked in more exhausted than I realized and this meant my mistakes on the exam were monstrous. I felt pretty good about having understood it afterwards and thought I’d managed to scrape by on it. Thus, I went to lunch at Hillel in a decent mood, before spending two hours in the afternoon fast asleep before it was back up again. I jumped up and out to do a walkshift ‘flyering’ on locust walk (handing out flyers promoting the show). I was on shift with Rigel Swavley and this meant I had an excellent time chatting as I gave away my wares. I also noticed that overplaying my accent was highly effective as marketing technique along with creating a personal connection with people as they walked by. Right from my walkshift it was off to rehearsal again. This time till two am. At two am it was late enough to call someone special back in Melbourne. Then I passed out on my bed.

Wednesday was back to regular classes but with the added pressure of a team project submission due in the evening. Thus, all my day outside of class was spent working on the Networked Systems project. Not to hard but coordinating the group was a bit of a struggle. Additionally, by this point, I was almost a walking ghost, thanks to the combined stresses of regular Penn life combined with the upcoming show. Rehearsal were running really late and the show still wasn’t quite together. All regular life concerns were being thrown out the window, sleeping in my clothes, eating poorly, things that I should’ve watched more carefully to try and make the week a little healthier. Wednesday night was another late one, well past 2AM and the next day was going to be really big. The longest stretch of singing in my life (but quite enjoyable nonetheless).

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