Monday, April 27, 2009

Review Calculus

Firstly, a monstrous congratulations to JB and Steve whose fabulous friends certainly know how to throw a wonderful party. You two are lucky to have found each other and it’s a privilege for all of us who get to bask in the reflected light of the love you both radiate.

Secondly, here are a bunch of links to reviews and a feature that you probably have read already but just in case you missed out: here’s Ms. H on “Trailer Park,” Ms. H on “Annie,” and Ms. Wren exploring “Park” a little more deeply.

Finally (for today), as I was looking over my review of “Annie” this morning, I realized more distinctly than I ever have before that there is a certain calculus that goes into my critical writing. To give you some background: the best writing training I ever had was the first Public Policy class I ever took. Every week during this class, we students were given background material on some issue of the day and, no matter how epic the topic might be – environmental protection vs. business development, gun control, the abortion debate, etc. -- we had to distill the essential elements into a one-page position memo.

The professor for this class was a fascinating and brilliant man named James Vaupel – his excitement about his subject was such that he constantly paced back and forth across the front of the classroom, talking quickly, gesticulating wildly and always with a big grin on his face. He taught certain methodologies for applying structured analysis to unstructured subjects. But mostly he demanded that we be distinct and choose our words with economy and precision.

Anyway, this morning I realized that, while it may not be exactly systematic, there is a certain methodology – and even a kind of math – that goes into putting my reviews together that on some level grew out of what I learned way back then. In the next day or so, I’ll describe how that plays out with particularly reference to my review of “Annie.” If you think this might be vaguely interesting, stay tuned. If not, well, you might want to stay away from the blog until Thursday-ish.


JB said...

Thank you Dave - We loved having you celebrate with us and look forward to seeing some T-Line's at our upcoming nuptuals. Sorry you missed the duets!

Dave T said...

I am too! Oh well, I was glad that I was able to make it at all. You both look lovely and happy -- good luck with the often crazy-making run up to the big event!