The Shape of It

Describe something you learned in high school.

In past blog posts, and in my memoir, Immaculate Misconceptions: Tales of Catholic School, I’ve talked about how freshmen Biology ruined science for me, and then I had an inspiring teacher who turned me on to literature and art. So I don’t need to repeat myself. Again.

So today I’m going to depart from that and talk about something perhaps more obscure. Geometry. It’s likely one of those subjects that people take and say, “Why do I have to know this? What practical use would it ever have?”

As it turns out, it had great practical application for me. Welcome to Stagecraft, in which you will need to draw groundplans! And later, welcome to Directing, where you will need to draw groundplans! So hand me that ruler, protractor, compass, and I am ready to go!

I won’t go into too many specific details (since I don’t really remember them), but let’s say that the drafting compass made drawing those lines for indicating which direction a door swings very easy. And whatever other specifics I learned in high school I absorbed into habit over the years so when I sit down to draw a set, I have the mental muscle memory to assist me.

The PowerPoint slide from my lecture on Design/Tech, using my What The Butler Saw groundplan as an example.

How about you—key lessons in high school? Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to like and follow!

Published by stephenschrum

Associate Professor of Theatre Arts; interested in virtual worlds, playwrighting, and filmmaking. Now creating a podcast called "Audio Chimera."

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