Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy Windsday!

I thought that Pooh's phrase was quite appropriate this week. It is blowy here in Provo! I made the mistake of wearing a skirt to campus today, and both it and my hair were being whipped around all over the place every time I stepped out the door.

I got to go to the Timpanogos Storytelling Conference last weekend.  I committed serial neglect of my homework, harp practice, room cleaning, and responsibilities in general in favor of going down to the Provo Mariott conference wing for two days to rub shoulders with the best of the business. It was so much fun! The storytelling community is like a family. I didn't feel intimidated around the professionals or the other storytellers. They were all so friendly with me, and a couple took me in like a long-lost daughter. I had a great time and learned so much. I did workshops on story programs for kids, telling ancient myths, using storytelling in the classroom, working with masks, creating different characters, telling family stories, telling ghost stories, and more. The tellers who told and gave keynotes were amazing. One was Noah Baum, who is from Israel and uses storytelling to help people see each other's perspective and resolve conflict. My mom and I went to the Orem Library to hear her tell on Thursday night. There were tall tale tellers, ghost story tellers, personal story tellers--every variety. I was convinced yet again that if I could get away with donning a cloak, strapping harp to my back, and becoming a wandering troubadour for the rest of my life, I would be perfectly happy with that career. As it is, there isn't much money with troubadours these days--there wasn't back when they were popular--so that is that. Still, I have come to love storytelling these past years, and I look forward to putting what I have learned this week to good use.

My friend Bethany and I sang and signed a song in Sacrament meeting yesterday--"I Stand All Amazed." It turned out beautiful. My lesson went pretty well (thank Heaven--literally), and after that I caught a ride with Mariel and Jordan down to Riverton for my cousin Henry's ordination to the teacher's quorum. I missed the ordination, but I did get there for the party--and the bestowal of the green tie upon Henry. The green tie has been flying around the family for as long as I can remember. Legend has it that Grandpa Foster passed it on to one of the boys, and it was so ugly that none of them wanted to keep it, so it started being passed between them from time to time. I don't know who started giving it away on special occasions, but that has been the way of it since. It had gone into hiding for a while, but then resurfaced in Uncle Wayne's briefcase on the first day of work after a big promotion last month, and now it is with Henry. I love the Pullan family--we are a fun bunch. At any rate, it was a great afternoon--good food, lots of family and friends, and rich chocolate cake. If the celestial kingdom looked just like that when I get there, I would be eternally happy.

Today, as I said, was blustery. I wore green for St. Patrick's Day and made fruit smoothies for breakfast--my favorite. I made it through a long day in time to go to dinner at the Bishop's house with my FHE group. I am now exhausted, so I will sign off. I have been very stressed with not much sleep these days, which is a poor combination. I intend to get in a full eight hours tonight if I can get away with it. :)

TTFN! Ta ta for now!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

College Life: a Photo Essay (sort of)

This is life, in Provo, in the English Education department, in theater, and in

Sometimes I do things like this:

This is called a sentence diagram. This one was two weeks ago. Guess what? They get more complicated every day. My teacher assures me that I will not have to teach anything remotely this complicated to my students. Thank the heavens above.

Sometimes I dress like this:

Or like this:

I did my play a week ago--"I am Jane." It turned out great, in spite of the frequent disorder and difficulties with casting. We definitely had the Lord's blessings. We were able to tell that beautiful story to a lot of people--the last night we were putting extra chairs in every place possible. We dressed up like angels and pioneers, told stories, sang gospel, and all in all shared our testimonies in song and dance. Also, on one night was had audience members like this:

Yes, that's right. That is President Uchtdorf. His wife and daughter were there as well. When I came out of the bathroom from doing my makeup and saw him standing there, I about died. My fellow actress Malasia and I were looking at each other with eyes the size of dinner plates, whispering ecstatically: "Is that--" "Yes!" "That's HIM?!" "Yes, it is!" "Oh my gosh!!!" etc. Pres. Uchtdorf came into the cast room and shook hands with all of us, and was a very good sport about taking pictures afterwards. It was amazing to have him there. What an honor!

Outside of that, it's same old, same old on the college scene. I am working furiously trying to keep up in all my classes. I gave a mini lesson in my grammar class that went less than stellar, and performed in a scene in my acting class that went far better than expected. Every day has its ups and downs. I visited J. Reuben Clark law school on Wendesday night to explore whether I am interested in getting a juris doctorate at some point (the answer: right now I'm not sure. LSAT, anyone?) I also went to ASL club (always a treat). I even got to visit the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit in Salt Lake on Thursday night. Well worth the trip if you have the time--it was absolutely amazing. I was in heaven--two full hours to relive my Jerusalem dreams and remember everything I learned about Hebrew, ancient tels, and pottery shards. The boy I was with (Parker) was a very good sport.

I went to ice cream with Hannah, Mariel, and (in their cases) accompanying boys. It was a lot of fun, even more so because chocolate ice cream was involved. I absolutely love my cousins--they are truly my best friends. We only miss having Amanda around the complete the foursome. :)

I also went to help my mom out with Piano festival this weekend. Have I ever mentioned that my mom is superwoman? It's true! The amount of work and service that she manages to accomplish from day to day and year to year never ceases to amaze me. My life's ambition would be fulfilled if I could become even close to the woman that she is. She has taken on so much responsibility with piano festival because she values music and giving those opportunities to the kids in our community. I was glad I was able to come help her out. It was a very successful year. Well done, Mom.

That is all for today. I am about to go off and watch The Incredibles with my friends upstairs for our weekly Disney Sunday movie. I promise to write more faithfully this time. I hope.

Adios, mi amigos i familia!

'Til next time...