Not afraid to look foolish

Temple Rome has a sort of talent show every semester called The Jam Session. Gianni, the Activities director at Temple Rome, told us sadly that last semester there weren’t enough volunteers to have a show. I figured I would pitch in somehow. I told him I would either play the ukulele and sing or else I would do a belly dance. He wanted me to do both. Of course.

I started practicing Ukelele in February and it was becoming evident as time wore on that I wasn’t getting any better. Despite my love and belief in Amanda Palmer’s Ukelele Anthem, it was taking me much more than an hour to learn to play. So when David came over for Spring break, I had him bring my belly dance outfits.

I put together some music using Garage Band. I edited a nice Hossam Ramzy tune down to three and a half minutes from the original five minutes. I figured I could manage three and half minutes without collapsing.

And I practiced. At least four times a week I would run through the routine in my room. I’m glad I was practicing in a small space because the stage was much smaller than I was planning for and I was able to modify my moves on the fly after the dress rehearsal. I was sure I was making a fool of myself, but if I don’t have the guts to look foolish once in a while, what am I doing on this planet anyway?

But in the meantime, I’ve been very anxious about my studies, we’re at the point in the semester where every subject has a final project, paper, exams or some combination thereof. I’m feeling melancholy about leaving Rome, but homesick at the same time. A close, but far away, friend lost her father over the weekend. On the day of the rehearsal and the performance I could feel myself holding back tears over every little thing.

But once I showed up and the show started, I was pumped. It went well. My dancing left a little to be desired in my opinion, but my costume was fabulous. I set myself up with three veils that I worked off one by one. No one notices if my arms and hips are in sync with my beaded fringe flying and my veils fluttering about me. It was fun, there was much cheering and now I have immense relief that it is over. I’m so glad I did it.

I got to know meet other students who weren’t in my classes, felt like a part of this short-lived community we have here and Gianni has said that we will look back on the videos for this in a few years and cry about what a great time we had at Temple Rome. Heck I’m crying now, it’s a great time and it’s coming to an end. There will be photos…..later.

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