Monday, September 01, 2003

Labor Day Weekend officially ends in just under four hours and the reality of the Academic Year begins again--for the 29th time for me at MIT. I was hired as a part time designer for a co-curricular theater program in 1975 and became full time in 1987 when theater was formally pulled out of the Literature Dept. (where theater is all too often placed in colleges and universities) and merged with Music. My career at MIT was made, as I suspect so many others have been, because I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time with the desire and the ability to settle a crisis. It was just at the time when Theater Arts was being formed and I was brought forcefully to the attention of the senior faculty member in charge of making the whole new structure work. When I placed on his desk the successful resolution to an impasse that might have caused him serious trouble for months, I was a made man and was appointed Technical Coordinator for Theater.

Going with MIT was the best thing that could have happened to me. My friends in the profession never fail to be astonished that there are performing arts at "Math and Science Central," but where better? In the highly pressured MIT environment, the arts provide an alternative experience and also provide some "gray area" issues for students who all too often are led to believe that there is only one "right answer" and only one acceptable procedure. When they come to us, they go at the arts with the same energy and focused attention with which they approach physics and engineering--which is exactly what the arts require.

Tomorrow is a 7:30AM to 9:00PM day as we work on getting our students registered, attend opening day meetings and host an Open House at our design and production center to introduce new and returning students to our operation. I am going to have a bit of trouble getting into harness as I am coming off such a great weekend at my partner's place. Fewer of our friends were able to come this year for the Work and Play but we got far more work done than ever before. I think it was just that the "right" guys showed up. We made a natural team and had a great time of it. There is such pleasure about working with gay men toward a common goal and, when the job is finished, getting to throw your arms around each other to share a kiss and full body embrace.

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