For Cathleen Flanagan, life’s a stage and she’s in the director’s chair.
The secondary education, history major is also pursuing a minor in drama education. Last year, on top of a full class load, Flanagan took it upon herself to direct a production of Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House.” Flanagan says the experience was both challenging and rewarding.
“I was able to be more involved in my education and take an active role instead of just being behind the scenes as a student,” Flanagan says.
Students taking an active role in their education is a hallmark of Montana Western and Experience One. Flanagan also says the flexibility X1 provides allows students to take on projects like directing a play.
I was able to be more involved in my education…instead of just being behind the scenes as a student.
“I actually wouldn’t have been able to direct the play [without block scheduling],” Flanagan asserts. “There is just so much going on in a play; it’s so time consuming. By just having one class I was able to balance it really well.”
The play took five weeks to produce and gave her a full understanding of what it takes to produce and direct a play, something she hopes to do as a teacher. Perhaps more importantly, she says it gave her confidence.
“Just knowing that I could pull it off gave me a lot of confidence,” Flanagan says.
For her major, Flanagan is combining her loves of teaching and history. Her uncle is a historian who has published four books on history in Montana. Flanagan is particularly interested in late 18th and mid 19th century history, which she says greatly shaped the modern world.
“History has always fascinated me,” she says. “There is so much information out there, and it’s shaped everything that is going on now.”
For the present, Flanagan has her sights set on spring 2010 when she will graduate from Montana Western, setting the stage for a very promising future.