Roos and 'mus

By jessica bellamy

What a week in Hay!

Let’s see if I can summarise some highlights…

There was the lesson with Year 7 drama where we tried reconstructing out of thin air and our imaginations the secret life of Hay’s quite unknown Olympic swimmer from 1921, Theodore Tartakover. The Year 7s came up with some pretty good possible histories for the mystery man, including Theodore’s side-job to pay his very expensive protein powder bills. Apparently Hay’s historical Olympic hopeful was a street wrestler whose matches would take place on the roof of the Post Office. He was also a stamp collector, so I guess he could kill two birds with one trip into town.

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With the Year 9s, we had a session where I taught them about dramatic action, also known as the tactics employed by a character to get what they want. When you phrase it that way it doesn’t sound quite so scintillating to a room of fourteen year olds, so we tried a new tactic to try some transitive verbs in the flesh. Heightened emotions abounded as I challenged the students to imagine showing up to their favourite band’s concert in Melbourne only to find that their BFFE had left the non-transferable ticket in her desk drawer back in Hay. How do you convince your BFFE that you’re still going inside to see Niall and Harry, even if she’s stuck outside in the cold? How do you still make sure you get a lift back to Hay at the end of the night?

Friday’s session with the Year 10s was particularly interesting. You may know that Hay Memorial High School has “memorial” in the name because it was founded as a tribute to Australians who fought and who died in the World Wars. The school boasts an excellent war museum, and we spent an afternoon in there gathering thoughts and inspiration to capture the mood of the place. Mrs Gardam gave us insight into the personal stories of many local soldiers. I can’t wait to see what the students share of their writing next week.

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To end this big week, I drove out of Hay on Friday night to attend Outback Theatre’s annual theatresports fundraising night. The 120km drive boasted constant roadside signage warning of kangaroos. I saw lots of birds, a bunch of cows, but not one roo. Apparently this was good luck; you don’t want to make one-on-one roo contact on the highway. You know what else I learnt? You DEFINITELY don’t want to run into an emu.

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Theatresports was a hilarious, high-energy night where I got to meet many Deni locals and see how funny they were thrown in the spotlight. The winners were the Blue Team, but it was a pretty neck-in-neck competition all round.

So there you go – that’s what this week looked like. And we’ll see what stories and roo-sightings my final week in Hay might just hold.