This was the last day of classes, though we still have two afternoons and evenings of concerts. (I’m going to three tomorrow: opera and musical theater, dance, and orchestra.)

Frank suggested two books: The situation and the Story, by Gornick, and Reality Hunger: a Personal Manifesto by David Shields. He told us to keep up with our blue books. Either he or Peggy handed out a long list of suggested books on the writing craft. (I’ll copy it for Saturday’s blog.)

Jonny talked to us about stage fright. He said that anxiety is normal; we would have something wrong with us if we weren’t anxious about speaking to a crowd. However, he had a number of suggestions for not letting that anxiety interfere with performance. We had our own “recital” this afternoon, with everyone reading aloud, mostly from things we had written, and he tried to prepare us for it. He pointed out that problems could arise from poor perception of such things as volume or imagining problems, and pointed out that reading things we had written would be more stressful that reading others’ work.His positive suggestions included re-channeling energy to the performance, positive visualization, don’t be afraid to pause and take a deep breath if you choke up, and above all practice! Read aloud to another. Finally, if you choke up before a performance, tense and then relax all of your muscles.

Peggy wound things up and had us ask questions of all faculty and fill out class comments.

I hope to put some pictures up later, but I’m still having camera problems.