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The pandemic has shuttered every possibility of performance in any venue includi

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The pandemic has shuttered every possibility of performance in any venue including the NBA, NHL, MLB, UFC and Broadway. It makes us realize how fragile humans are when we have no immunities to a disease that mutated twice to jump from human-to-human with such virulence. Slowly but surely we are coming out of it. The danger of infection persists and we are unsure when sports and live performances will return. The effect of social distancing will be pronounced. Those of you who are Health Science majors can see the challenge in facing a catastrophic health crisis, a living example of an unimaginable scenario and a case study in epidemiology. The university has urged us to place classes are going online if they aren’t already. We are fortunate in that regard as this course moves forward relentlessly. Needless to say, we will have to make an adjustment to the requirements for this assignment. In an age of contagion, is public performance even possible? Hence, you may write from memory about an event you attended in the past (even the recent past before the pandemic shuttered most public buildings). Memory can be a very good tool because this assignment asks for your sense recollections. Memory is much better than watching on TV, phenomenologically speaking. Memory consist of sense memories distilled from the experiences of sight, sound, taste, touch and, of course, smell. You will often remember the difference between the smell of nachos and beer at a sporting event and the sweet scent of perfume at a dance concert. You’ll remember the difference between carpets and chandeliers at a theatre venue or the concrete and steel of a corporate stadium. If you watch on TV, most of that is lost and you might end up reporting on the game or show rather than mining the interior landscape of your own sense memories.
This assignment asks you to attend and report on one athletic competition and one artistic performance. The ‘live” nature of the event is important, and watching a TV version won’t suffice. Many students miss the core of this assignment. You should read “Sensing the Stadium” before you begin and be aware of the phenomenological properties as you perceive them – not whether a sporting event contains performance elements. That is what you learned in the beginning of the semester. This assignment asks for deeper layers of analysis. I want you to experience the arena or stadium. If you are taking this course in a three-week or summer session and you are away from campus, you may wonder where you are going to find events to attend. There are a few seasonal events like a pageant, a concert, a ballet or even a high school basketball game that won’t cost you a lot. Be resourceful! We are surrounded with events during this season. Some students have tried to write from memory, but your memory often lacks the sense memories of experiencing the event live. Thus, it will take more effort now that you have to write from memory since COVID-19 has made large public events impossible for the time being. You should focus on your personal experience:What did you see? Where did you sit? What were the sensations of sound, smell and sight? What were participants wearing? How did you react? What happened? How did the crowd respond? In what sense was it a performance? Was it worthwhile? The report may be short paragraphs that reflect the student’s original reflections on deeper and more complex questions. Post your review to Canvas (400-600 words). In order to get between 90 and 100 on the assignment, you must meet the deadline and report on your attendance at two events and write a brief comment comparing the two. You must also review two of your peers’ posts and comment. These will be assigned to you automatically by Canvas. The peer reviews count for 10% of your grade. To earn between 80 and 90, you must attend and comment on one event and meet the deadline. If you don’t meet the deadline or review only one event, your grade will be less than 80%.
Here’s an example from my own experience at Fenway Park in Boston. “The streets were teeming with fans wearing the team’s colors, the aroma of hot dogs and sausages wafting in the air, the smell of stale beer and peanuts as you walk through the ticket gate under the stands, and the visual sensation of seeing a field of bright green freshly cut grass with meticulous sidelines and batters box against a sea of wooden seats and a high green left field wall with bright lights above it, unlike any baseball or Little League field I had ever seen and it was in the heart of the concrete city. It was quite unlike entering into the Imperial Theatre on Broadway where ushers were dressed in jackets and ties, handing out programs and escorting us to our seats where we sat until the lights dimmed and a hush came over the crowd as the curtain lifted on an imaginary world. The baseball crowd cheered and booed, the theatre crowd laughed, cried and applauded. The sensations were different, although both were filled with engaged spectators in rapt attention.”
Put your name and the word count at the top of the page. Give your essay a title. Make sure you italicize titles in the paper (i.e., name of show).

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