Have you ever stopped to think that the things you've watched or read in any given week might be connected? That even the most obscure TV show and a YA novel chosen on impulse could, when combined, reveal deeper meanings about the other, the world, and you?

Yeah, that sounds complicated -- or just too deep to be cool... The reason I pose these questions, is that it happened to me. By surprise. Last week. I became a student of my own life. Here's an introduction to an article series I'll call:

How 'Lilo & Stitch" (and Two Other Works) Transformed a Teacher into Student.


Part I: "Lilo & Stitch"

It was late afternoon, work done for the day, and I was curled up on the couch-- an over-twenty-year-old, senior in college, weeping as I watched a little terror identify his need to belong.

Part II: "Stranger Things"

Arguably, one of the best new series of the year, but much more than I bargained for. Forbes wrote a terrific article, "5 Reasons Why 'Stranger Things' is the Best Netflix Original So Far," but nowhere on the list does the subversive, applicable and potent thematic content play a role in the show's reliability or potential for lasting impact. Probably because that's not summery, at all.

Maybe that's why I can't stop thinking about little William, a pretty yet terrifying experiment, Eleven, or the effervescent Barbara. If you want to have a summery year, I'd probably rule it out.

Part III: When the Rain Stops Falling

As part of Theatre training week, the Production Staff reads through the shows appearing in the next season. On Saturday, we read, "When the Rain Stops Falling," a play by Andrew Bovell, and Australian film, TV and playwright -- Time Magazine's "The Best New Play of 2010."

I was kind of prepared for this one. Dramas are all alike, aren't they? Sad, cathartic, depressing even, and maybe just a little slow at times.

But then, maybe I was surprised when a fish fell out of the sky. Literally, it happens. This play is complicated, incomplete, cruel, needy, bursting with imagery, begging to be heard, having nothing -- yet -- everything to say when it was too late, just like me, and basically everyone I know. How could I know this play would actually be about me, my family? Not the details, not even the specific kinds of brokenness...but I was still there.


How can a story of an alien who ropes two sisters into a intergalactic security crisis, a small-town supernatural disaster with monumental consequences and an award-winning Australian legacy play intersect with the life of a girl who grew up with a large family in the Bible Belt, spent her teenage years in Alaska and is now schooling in rural Indiana?

Simple. They just did. August, 2016.


Step over the threshold into the next season of your life equipped with a learner's questions.

What have you seen? What have you read? What have you felt? What has your life been teaching you? Learn your own lessons well. Why be afraid of depth? None of us are as whole as we seem.

More to come! Look for it Monday, September 5.