SMC playwright wins regional competition

first_imgWhile most students spent their winter break relaxing and recovering from the stress of finals, Saint Mary’s senior Emily Schmitt received some surprising news that made her break more interesting than usual. In December, Schmitt won the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival’s (KCACTF) Region III full-length playwriting competition for her play “San Luis, 1989.” The play was read at the Region III festival, held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign January 3-7. “My play, ‘San Luis, 1989′ is an example of staged journalism,” Schmitt said. “This means that it is based on a true story that I conducted extensive research on.” Her play addresses issues of racial bias and government corruption in regards to poaching in San Luis, Colo., in 1989. Schmitt first learned about the story of San Luis through Susan Baxter, professor of theatre and journalism at Saint Mary’s. Schmitt and Baxter were paired together through a Saint Mary’s Student Independent Study, Teaching and Research (SISTAR) grant project, a program that provides funding for teams of students and professors to conduct research. Schmitt and Baxter collaborated intensely in their research of San Luis, making two trips to Colorado and discussing ways to bring real life events to a stage. “I am working on a book which teaches playwrights to use journalism theory; Emily is my case study,” Baxter said. “We could not be more grateful to Saint Mary’s. If not for SISTAR, the play would not have happened.” Baxter said the selective honor has gone to a graduate student in an MFA playwriting program for the past 10 years. Despite the success of the play thus far, Schmitt said she encountered challenges throughout the process that sometimes made it difficult to persevere. “The biggest challenge for me writing this play was simply not getting discouraged,” she said. Writing a play is a very lonely process, and after the fifth or sixth draft, you start to feel like it’s never going to work.  I call that the ‘dark place’ of the writing process.” But Schmitt said pushing past the isolation and struggles strengthened her skills as a playwright. “After [the ‘dark place’], something always gives way and the words start flowing out,” she said. “That is the best part of writing for me.”­ Baxter agreed that in spite of the obstacles Schmitt met, she was still able to develop as a writer and learn throughout the writing process. “Emily is a self-starter, so I did not have to work very hard at all,” she said. “She jumped in and tried every technique I threw at her.  Not all was useful, of course, but both of us learned mightily from the process.” Schmitt applied to several schools to earn her MFA in playwriting but will not be informed of acceptances until late February. In the meantime, her work with “San Luis, 1989” is not finished, as the play is currently in consideration for two national playwriting awards. “My play is currently competing with the other regional winners for the [Michael Kanin] National Student Playwriting Award,” she said.  “I am also up for the National Partners for the American Theater Playwriting Award, which is granted to a new and original voice in playwriting.” Regardless of the outcome of these awards, Schmitt said she is pleased with how things have turned out so far. She said she hopes more people will become better informed about the issues surrounding San Luis addressed in her play. “The best part about winning this award has really been spreading the word about what happened in San Luis,” she said. “Winning this award is a huge testament to the political power of the stage.”last_img read more

Pesticide credits

first_imgCertified pesticide applicators need reecertification training and continuing education credits to maintain their licenses. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension has planned pesticide applicator recertification classes for May in Albany and Gainesville.The Albany class is set for May 21 from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at the Dougherty County Extension Office. The Gainesville class will be held at Lanier Technical College on May 24 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.Both classes cost $45 for those who register by the early deadline. The Albany class registration fee rises to $55 after May 13 and the Gainesville class rises to $55 after May 16.Certified applicators can earn five hours of Georgia Commercial Pesticide Credit in categories 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 31, 32, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39 and 41 for attending each class. Private applicators can earn up to two credit hours.Experts from UGA Extension and the Georgia Department of Agriculture will teach the classes. The Dougherty County and Hall County offices of UGA Extension are sponsoring the recertification training sessions. For a complete schedule or to register online, visit the website For more information, call (770) 229-3477 or send an email to read more

Peru and Ecuador Agree to Speed Up Mine Removal and Execute Anti-Drug Plan

first_imgBy Dialogo March 07, 2011 The foreign ministers of Peru, José García Belaúnde, and Ecuador, Ricardo Patiño, agreed in Quito on 3 March to speed up mine removal along the border and execute a joint plan against drug trafficking in that region. “We’ve asked the defense ministries and armed forces of our countries to speed up” the removal of anti-personnel mines “as much as they possibly can,” Patiño said at a press conference with his Peruvian colleague. He added that the two defense ministers, Javier Ponce (Ecuador) and Jaime Thorne (Peru), will meet “in the next few days to define the needs” related to that task, which began in 2003 with support from the European Union (EU) and the Organization of American States (OAS). “Perhaps it’s necessary to commit more resources, more equipment, more training, more people, but the longer the mine-removal process goes on, the greater the risk that those mines shift due to weather issues,” the Ecuadorean minister warned. Ecuadorean and Peruvian military personnel are carrying out the mine-removal work as part of a peace agreement signed in Brasilia in October 1998. That pact established peace between the two countries, which had maintained a long-standing territorial conflict that led them to fight several wars, the most recent in early 1995 in the Amazonian Condor mountain range. The foreign ministers also agreed to implement a “joint plan of action” against drug trafficking, smuggling, and human trafficking in the border area, which stretches from the Pacific Ocean to the Amazonian jungle, García Belaúnde indicated for his part. That initiative was agreed on in 2009 but has not yet been executed, the Peruvian foreign minister recalled, indicating that authorities from both countries will meet no later than 15 April for that purpose.last_img read more

Heaslip ready for Welsh test

first_imgJamie Heaslip shelved any fear that three cracked vertebrae would end his RBS 6 Nations campaign to complete his remarkable recovery to face Wales. Ireland’s most-capped number eight has long been famed for his ability to avoid injury, but now the Leinster stalwart can add quickfire recoveries to his catalogue of Test powers. Joe Schmidt’s side can take a giant leap towards their second Grand Slam in seven years with victory in Cardiff on Saturday, and Heaslip is in confident mood after beating his back problem to reclaim his starting berth. “I don’t personally listen to outside sources, I listen to our trusted medical team and they gave me some very good guidance,” said Heaslip of hints his back injury could have ended his Six Nations. “I live in a little bubble of day-to-day week to week so it makes life easy for me not to look too far down the line. “It was an injury where I had to go day by day and every day was getting really, really good and progressed really well. “We mapped out a really good, clear plan, in terms of ticking the boxes in recovery and I have ticked them along the way and now I’m good to go. “It’s great to be back, it’s not the easiest of things to stand on the sidelines being held on a leash a little bit, that was probably for my own good, but it’s great to get the opportunity to wear the jersey again. “I’m a stubborn git and Joe knows that better than anyone. Press Association The British and Irish Lions number eight wound up with three fractures after Pascal Pape’s crude knee to his back in Ireland’s 18-11 victory over France. The 31-year-old trudged out of the latter stages of that February triumph in Dublin, amid claims his Six Nations would be halted prematurely. “I want to live life at 100 miles an hour and sometimes that’s not the smartest thing to do, and all the medical staff and backroom staff were great in helping me get back on my own two feet.” Paul O’Connell will win his 100th Ireland cap in Wales, equalling Mick Galwey’s record as the nation’s oldest Test captain, at exactly 35 years and 145 days. Lynchpin fly-half Johnny Sexton is fit to win his 50th Ireland cap after hamstring trouble, as Schmidt’s side bid to close in on the Grand Slam. Cian Healy will also win his 50th cap if called into the fray from the bench, with Ireland gunning for a record 11th Test win in succession. Ireland boss Schmidt insisted he had no doubts on fly-half Sexton’s fitness, with the Racing Metro man having beaten his race against time to feature in Cardiff. Munster fly-half Ian Keatley is expected to travel with the squad as precautionary cover, given the Irish provinces are not in Guinness Pro12 action this weekend. Kiwi coach Schmidt also hailed evergreen lock O’Connell as the binding force of his side’s growing determination as he gears up to join Ireland’s century club. “Johnny’s had a very good run into the game, and he’s had no problems right through that,” said Schmidt. “I guess you’ll worry about all the players, about some returning from injury and if they get a knock and get compromised. “You can’t calculate for that, but you can make sure you have the cover prepared and ready to go. “There’s a part of Paul (O’Connell) that would love to play forever, but he’s pretty excited about right now too. “He’s been a fantastic leader, and we’ve got a group then who lead with him and the other players lead themselves.” France lock Pape was slapped with a 10-week ban for his agricultural challenge on Heaslip on attempting to enter a ruck as Les Bleus struggled at the Aviva Stadium. The Stade Francais second row had an appeal against that decision struck out, even though Heaslip fully accepted an apology sent via Twitter. Pape may now already have played his last Six Nations match, given he is set to retire after the autumn World Cup. In the immediate aftermath of the skirmish, Heaslip admitted he did not fret over the severity of the problem – instead taskmaster coach Schmidt’s training-ground orders blasted through his head. “At the time I just thought it was bloody sore, and I told myself ‘get up’,” said Heaslip. “I strangely heard Joe (Schmidt) in my head screaming at me to get up. “I didn’t know if it was a knee or a shoulder. “I tried to get on with it, but it stiffened up and I had to come off.” last_img read more