Friday, August 3, 2012

Gle Mhath!

My internet has been a tad squirly, but I’ll try to give a brief rundown of the adventures I’ve had on Skye.

Here's an idea: become fluent in Gaelic (pronounced GA-lik for Scotland), get an MA in Gaelic Drama, act in Gaelic dramas, and go around Scotland teaching drama in Gaelic, thus promoting the culture and the language.

This course at Sabhal Mor Ostaig has been a delicious adventure, taking turns I would never have expected.

One of the best things about this course and the way this College is set up is how you get to just chill with people from the community. The Gaelic world is its own kind of subculture. It’s a tight-knit community, I have come to find, and I feel privileged to have been given the chance to visit.

We have taken a few day trips. One was to Eilean Donan Castle, often called the most picturesque castle in Scotland.

With Jacqueline, another member of the Acting course

Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan

Wednesday, some of us took a boat to Knoydart, the most remote village in the British Isles. It is accessible only by foot or by an intense 14-mile hike.

The scenery here is so lovely, it is almost hard to realize that I am actually here, looking at it, boating amidst it, and walking in it. It’s almost like when you’re in a very dangerous situation and everything suddenly becomes distanced from you. I feel as if I am looking at giant postcards all the time.

On the boat on the way to Knoydart

Last night, we had a Celidh Dance, where the different groups presented things and there was country dancing. It was a hoot! Many of the students doing the short courses are actually 30s+, so this has been a neat change from my usual University experience, in that I wasn’t friends with just the twenty-some-odds, but rather everybody and anybody.

As far as the course has gone, it has been a challenge, not so much from the drama end of things, but from the language end. Fortunately, everybody here is very patient and kind and they want you to learn and succeed. While the course was bilingual, we worked in Gaelic texts, devising theatre based on Gaelic poems or “improvs” where we wrote our own Gaelic scripts. It was extra hard to memorize, because it is not pronounced the way it looks. I had to memorize sounds, with only a basic idea of what I was saying. This took up so much focus that I didn’t really focus as much on the acting end as I normally would, but I’m interested to see how this informed the theatre work anyhow; I will save you all the detailed theatrical analysis of it all.

When in Scotland, do as the Scots do: drink the national beverage: Whiskey!