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Shakesperience 2017: One of The Best Weeks of My Life

Katarina Margaret Baasner a English Major, minors in Drama, History and Women's and Gender Studies student at Mount Allison University.

What a week this has been. This trip has been such an incredible experience. I have absolutely loved this experience. I was so excited to have had this opportunity to take part in this trip. When the Mount Allison Dean of Arts sent out the information about this course I was really excited. I immediately Face Timed my mom and dad and I said to them there is this really interesting course that Bishop’s University is offering called the Stratford Shakespearience. I said that I was an English major who loves theatre and it is one of my passions. I asked them if they would please consider signing me up because I feel it is something that would benefit me and expand my learning experience. I kept on working hard to convince them because this is something that I really wanted to do. I went on Jessica’s website because I wanted to learn more about her and I was doing lots of reading and saw that she seemed like an incredible professor and the opportunity to study with someone who has accomplished that much would be amazing. I just wanted to meet her in person because she seemed so cool.

When my parents said yes and that I was able to take part in this course I was just so happy. I was so thankful for this opportunity. I was anxiously waiting in anticipation for this course to start because I couldn’t wait to meet everyone and be able to see all of the shows and just take part in everything that was happening. This course exceeded my expectations. I was a bit nervous because I did not know anyone doing this course or Jessica (the courses professor). From the beginning everyone was just so welcoming and kind and wanted to get to know me. It didn’t matter that I was from a different, University, people would still talk to me. I love being around people who have similar interests as me and who I could have long conversations about Shakespeare and theatre and literature. Not everyone can have a long talk about Shakespeare because they don’t like it or don’t find it interesting. I am so glad that there are people out there like me who love this kind of stuff. I believe this course is important to have, because it makes young people like and appreciate Shakespeare more. And it exposes people to the world of theatre and how there is so much variety and how there is not just one thing that can be performed on stage. It is important for young people to be interested in culture and Shakespeare and show that it is still relevant today. Too many people are wrapped up in social media and technology that they don’t make the use of the opportunities that are out there to read literature and see more plays. I am fortunate that my parents always gave me books growing up and took me to see theatre. I just feel like this exposure makes me a better-rounded person.

This is exactly what this course does. It exposes you to a wide variety of literature and culture, which I believe is so important in the growth and development of University students. I think that the maple league university’s is a great idea. I love how they are all smaller schools because I think they have very similar ways of teaching and working with students. I love how when a course is created it is offered to other schools because chances are there are students at the other universities with similar interests as the students from the school who is offering the course. If this course were only offered to Bishop’s University students I would not have been able to take it and have this amazing Shakespearience. Jessica was an amazing leader for this course. In my opinion she is the heart of the Shakespearience. This course would not be possible without her hard work and dedication and passion for Shakespeare. You need a pretty incredible person to spend a week with University students in Stratford. There could not be a better person than her leading this course. I definitely plan on staying in touch with Jessica after this course because she has become a very strong role model and inspiration in my life.

I believe one hundred percent that this course should be an annual event. What you get out of this course is so rich and worthwhile. You get to study from an outstanding professor who loves Shakespeare and has so much knowledge about this topic. You get to meet new friends with your similar interests. You get to spend a week in beautiful Stratford where I wish I lived permanently. You have the opportunity to see professional theatre and do workshops and meet with actors, which most people don’t get to do. You are able to discover Shakespeare in a new light and be able to fully experience what it is all about. Overall it is probably one of the best weeks of my life. I will definitely be promoting Shakespearience at Mount Allison to anyone I think would be interested. I will stay in touch with all of my Shakespearience friends and plan to visit all of them again someday. This course has honestly changed my life and made me realize that studying English and Drama is what I am meant to do. I really want to teach Shakespeare someday. If this course if ever offered again someday I would love to take it. This course made me love Shakespeare even more and it is something I highly recommend to all Shakespeare lovers. You will not regret taking this course. It is my new favourite University course. I am so glad I got to be part of the first ever Stratford Shakespearience. I am eternally grateful. Thank you so much to everyone who was involved in making this course come to light. I am so happy that I got to take it. I just love this course so much and I can’t wait for our reunion.

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