Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Life Is Like That - Tracy Krauss

I am a teacher and I live in British Columbia. If you follow the news, you may know that BC teachers have been in contract disputes with the provincial government for over two years. At the time of this writing, the latest development is a lockout where teachers are restricted to working with students during class hours only. This means no time spent with students during lunch, breaks, before or after school.

Big deal, you may say. Well, for me it is kind of a big deal. I teach Drama. This means that the June show which my students and I have been working on for months now, has been cancelled. To say that I am upset is an understatement. I take a lot of pride in my work and many of my students are like my own children. My senior class and I co-wrote a two act play called MURDER ON THE PARADISE EXPRESS - a murder mystery with a supernatural twist. I have had many of these kids as drama students for the past five years and for some it will be their final show before they graduate.

We came to a compromise and are allowed to perform two matinees, but trying to set everything up and fit in the necessary rehearsals - all within 'class hours'- is a huge challenge. I am trying to remain upbeat, mostly for the kids' sake and my motto remains: "The show must go on!" (Although it will be a pared down and somewhat unpolished version.)

This is a huge valley for me, but I am hiking doggedly up that hill.

As for a peak, I managed to stay within my deadlines and finish a contracted story for the COLONY ZERO series that I am collaboratively writing with six other authors. It is a Sci-fi series set 800 years in the future and has been a wonderfully energizing experience. SINS OF THE FATHERS releases on June 4. (Volume 5 in the COLONY ZERO series)

As writers we experience peaks and valleys on an ongoing basis. Rejections, writer's block, computer crashes... Contracts, good reviews, a new book published... The journey is never smooth and it is certainly unpredictable.

As a final thought, I hope each of you that are attending Write!Canada this year will find refreshment and inspiration. I wish I could be there... but I have 25 Drama students waiting in the wings...

Tracy Krauss is a multi-published author and playwright living in Tumbler Ridge, BC. For more visit her website: http://tracykrauss.com


Peter Black said...

You're certainly placed in an unenviable position, Tracy. It does seem like a 'downer' in the midst of your numerous writing 'uppers.'
The thought struck me, however, that you might well experience an unexpected triumph regarding the performances of the play. There will likely be some surprising growth in the students involved, and you may discover a new dimension of your craft, too! :) ~~+~~

Susan Harris said...

I empathise with you, Tracy. I've had to "work to rule" before but it did not affect me the way it affects you. Praying that there'll be an unexpected turnaround, that your dedication will appear even brighter in this dark environment.

Tracy Krauss said...

Your encouragement is much appreciated!

Ruth L. Snyder said...

Tracy, thanks for sharing some of your ups and downs. I can only imagine how disheartening it must be for you to be bound by these rules when you just want to teach and showcase what your kids can do. I'm looking forward to reading your new release :) May God continue to strengthen and encourage you each day as you ride the waves.

Kathleen Gibson said...

Tracy, speaking as a past frequent participant in live theatre, I ache for the keen disappointment you and your students are facing. All those lost hours! I'm so glad you could at least do the matinees, but.... Congratulations on continuing to press into your writing goals. May God keep you pressing into excellence...or at least moving past one picket at a time!

Donna Mann said...

I hope you and your 25 students blow them away and they realize how important these kinds of experiences are in young people's lives, as well as dedicated teachers.

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