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A New Semester of Opportunities

Emily Anne Gibson prepares to leave Carnegie Mellon University behind, in preparation for a study abroad experience at St. Catherine's College of the University of Oxford.

Emily Anne Gibson
"You can never be overdressed or undereducated." - Oscar Wilde

Once again, the summer has gone by, and instead of calculating the cost of travel from New Jersey to Coney Island, I'm calculating the cost of textbooks. Back-to-school sales at Staples signify that it's time to stock up on pens and steno pads. Summer is great, but I'm going to be honest – I love school, and I can't wait to re-enter academia.

I've spent the past two years at Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, PA, where I have a full schedule, studying history, English, and dramaturgy. My days are typically filled to bursting with literature classes, rehearsals, and late-night research, along with my numerous extra-curriculars. I'm a flutist in the school's Kiltie Band, a member of a human rights organization, and last semester, I was the president of the university's new Muggle Quidditch team. My schedule's always tight, and each semester is like learning a new dance. There is something invigorating about the college life that I always miss just a couple weeks into vacation.

This fall will be different. For one, I won't be at CMU. I went out to Pittsburgh to visit, and I cannot express how strange it was to be on campus, poking my nose into the library, but knowing I had no classes. And I won't have any classes, not until October 7, when my term at St. Catherine's College of the University of Oxford begins. I have the wonderful opportunity to study abroad this semester, and I will be going to the school I've dreamed of since I was five years old. My flight to Heathrow Airport doesn't leave the States until September 25, though, which makes this five-month summer almost unbearably long.

I haven't been idle, though. At the end of May, I started my first summer internship as an education and dramaturgy intern at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. I spent the next three months in a state of such business that STNJ almost gave CMU a run for its money. That internship ended halfway through August, but I remained at the theater to work as the dramaturg on the upcoming production of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, a project for which I am deeply grateful and terribly excited. These are both experiences that I will be talking about more in-depth in my next article!

I am a returning blogger for TMU, having kept a column this past spring. This time, since I'll be writing most of it from across an ocean, the column will be full of new and different kinds of articles. I'll be seeing theater in England, taking part in the student productions at Oxford, and studying dramatic literature. I can't wait to explore the differences between American and British theater and gain new perspectives and tactics for tackling dramaturgy.

I am excited to be writing for TMU again and eager to share my experiences with you, my readers. This blog will be updated every Monday with a new quote, a new article, and a new chance to start a discussion about the world we all love: theater.