Thursday, October 30, 2008

Acting Students

I started teaching acting at NOVA Community College. They're a great bunch of hams.
Here's a couple pics of my Acting 1 students.

Here's Marina and Syed rehearsing their scene. Yes, I was taking pictures when I should have been listening closely. I know, I'm horrible. But they're just so cute I had to take their picture!

And here's a big group of hams hamming it up. I gotta say, there's a HUGE difference between my nursing students and my theatre students--like night and day. But I love that I get to work with both brands of crazy. It makes life interesting.

Next semester I'll be teaching 3 theatre classes! Bring on the bacon!

On the Street Where You Live

This is the Potomac River. I took this pic from the George Washington Memorial Highway. I was driving home from visiting teaching. Right now I am soooo happy to be living in such a beautiful corner of the world. It almost makes it worth the traffic!

And this is the street where I live. Coming home is such a treat!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Seeing and Recognizing

I remember a moment on my mission where we were watching this gorgeous little 2 month year old baby girl stare at the sides of our heads. We realized that she was looking at very specific things--and not just staring off into space--when she started to smile. It was so clear that she was looking at something that we could not see.

The scriptures say that "Mine angels (are) round about you, to bear you up."

My companion and I smiled.

The baby's mother said, "What's she smiling at?"

We answered honestly. And somehow our answer made total sense to everyone in the room. Of course she could see angels. She had the purity to be able to see.

I think about that kind of purity a lot. Since that day, I've thought about how in our innocence we are able to see the things of God. Clarity comes from obedience. Illumination comes from virtue.

But I learned today that there is a difference between seeing and recognizing.

We can see in our innocence--but it is only through our experience, that we are able to recognize what we see.

So in our mature and fallen state we are able to recognize the things of God.

But can we see the things of God to recognize them when we've lost that innocent purity that we had as new babies?

Adam says in Moses: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my ctransgression my deyes are opened, and in this life I shall have ejoy, and again in the fflesh I shall see God.

I am so grateful for the experiences of this life that allow me to have joy in this life--and allow me to see and recognize God--even in my weak flesh.

What a beautiful blessing it is to be born and to live!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pumpkin Party

Welcome to our Pumpkin Party!

We hope you have a wonderful time! Please eat any of the assorted pumpkin treats. We have pumpkin hot chocolate, courtesy of Clarissa!
This is Morgan, our beloved Choir Director (best in the world), Sarah Jo, Christian, and of course, Jesus. He loves our parties! (God loves us most when we cook with pumpkin.)

Unfortunately, even with all the pumpkin grub to eat, Sam couldn't stop from nibbling on Audy's ear. Poor guy. What an appetite!
Andrew and Zach, always party animals!

And here's my roommates, Clarissa and Sarah. (Yes, that's the same girl who made the hot chocolate.)

What did I make you ask? Well, I'll tell you!

I made pumpkin cupcakes!

You simply take a 15 oz can of pumpkin and mix it with a golden cake mix and some chocolate chips. Put the mix in mini muffin tins and bake at 375F for 20 minutes, or until done.

Voila! A tasty treat!

You too can have your very own pumpkin party!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Learning to Love the Nights

Yesterday was a wonderful day.

I wasn't perfect, but I had a nice day.

At the temple, I saw a couple of people who seemed like tourists. It was a son and his elderly mother visiting the temple for the first time. They were from somewhere in the UK.

Inside the temple, I began to contemplate the importance of night and day. Both the light and the darkness are important parts of life. Every month, whether it be serious pms, or hypermania, or whatever--every month I go through some pretty predictable phases. I'm either very energetic and all pistons are firing at once--so much so that I can hardly sleep because my brain is zipping along--

Or, I'm incredibly sad. I am tired. I am hopeless, etc.

I am hyperaware of what's happening with my body. It helps me to get through the various phases. If I'm sad, it's good to know when my period is going to start so I can temper my very real emotions with a little bit of outside knowledge about what's happening hormonally. It helps just knowing that I'm not really a horrid ugly person, but that my hormone levels have just dropped significantly and that they will begin to rise again when the period starts.

Last month, I began to clean the house the day before my period started. It was the first time in what seemed like the longest week ever that I had the energy to do anything, and I wanted to get something done!

So, back to night and day.

As I sat in the temple, contemplating the creation of night and day--I had a different thought.

Normally, I see the creation of night and day as a symbolic representation of our own capacity to choose right from wrong.

But yesterday, I began to see how day shimmers in comparison with night. I saw how night truly sets off the day.

Our life is made of peaks and valleys, but without the valleys, there would be no peaks.

If life were constantly a state of dusk or dawn, we would never appreciate the difference between a bright sunny day and a dark night.

There is beauty in the reality of the night. Night brings us to our knees. It is the time where we ask for strength, where we remember our Father. And after we have received our strength to get through the night, some of that strength carries us into the daylight. Suddenly, not only is life sunny and happy, but we have a reserve of power that carries us into the good times and makes us unstoppable.

The point is--embrace the nights for all that they give to us.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Doing Difficult Things for Yourself

I'm going through an interesting in phase in life.

I have become the sole manager of my time.

When I was a little kid, I stayed up late, if I could--but my mom wouldn't let me.

I love to sleep in, but I couldn't--because I always worked jobs that started at 8am.

I was never the source of my own self-control. I had obligations to other people that I needed to fulfill.

Now, I'm in this odd place in life where I 'm the one who decided what my obligations will be. I can stay up as late as I like because if I want to, I can stay in bed until 4pm. I don't teach class until 6pm.

There's a lot to be done though, and it is difficult to discipline yourself without outside constructs. Somedays I'm better at it than others.

Last night, I still stayed up until 2am watching House. I worked from 10am-11pm without much of a break. So, I am certainly justified in sleeping in today.

But, I am trying to give myself the same respect that I give to others. I will respect other's time constraints--but I won't take care of myself.

So today, I woke up at 8:30am. I am doing laundry. I am going to the temple. And I'm going to prepare my lecture for tonight. It takes A LOT of self-control to go to the temple when you could just as easily curl back into the sheets and enjoy some much needed rest.

I don't know what any of this means--but it's an odd paradigm shift for me. I think it will take some time to truly embrace self-control for my own sake. But, today's a start.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I won something!

Yesterday morning I woke up at the crack of 7am! I had a conference I needed to attend in Richmond, VA--which is about a 90 minute drive from DC.

I've never been to a conference that wasn't theatre related and theatre people will be casual as often as humanly possible. So I wasn't sure what to wear.

I finally decided to go fancyish with black slacks, a purple button down, and pearls. I figured I could take out the pearls if things were casual--or leave them in if things were fancy.

I didn't want to shower because I was supposed to have left by 7am to be there by 8:30am. Instead, I put a little more make-up and deodarant on and did my hair in a Sarah Palin french twist. Voila!

On the drive down I almost fell asleep at the wheel. I slapped myself silly the last 20 miles and sang loudly to "Take me down to the paradise city where the grass is green and the girls are pretty." But nothing was working.

Downtown Richmond was nice, expect for all the poor people running around. Holy cow batman. It's bad. But I imagine it could be worse. The Marriott was pretty. I got to breakfast and the other professors from Stratford were very kind. It's my first big conference with everyone and they were very nice.

The workshop I attended was given by Scott Fitzgibbons of the Pacific Institute. He was great! I sat next to the water pitcher and the little dishes of hard candy. I was in heaven! The hard candies were wonderful and the water made these awesome droplets on the velvet table cloths that wouldn't absorb. I would just roll water all over the table. Awesome.

After the workshop, we had a big ol' banquet. The conference was for all the career colleges in Virginia. They began to call out names to come and sit at the head table. And they called my name! Apparently, I'm teacher of the year at Stratford University this year.

It was such a cool surprise! I had no idea!! It makes me all giddy inside.

Each school got to submit their winner and then someone from the school would present on that person. The woman giving the speech about me had never met me, so she just read a speech that the Dean had given to her to read. It was awkward, but really flattering.

We ate the best filet mignon I've ever had. Scrumptious!

And then I went to visit all the text book vendors and got 10 free books!!

It was the best conference ever!!

And I did NOT fall asleep on the way home. I had to call my mama!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Obama Roasts McCain at Al Smith Dinner

And in the spirit of fairness--though McCain takes the cake--here is Obama's turn on the stage.

My heart is happy now. Laughter really is the best medicine.

McCain at Al Smith Dinner

I just about died laughing. This made all the negative politics all better.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bedroom stuff

Here are the pictures of my new bedroom. I'm so happy to share photos!

I painted the paintings in my new quest to find other artistic outlets. They're pretty amateur, but I sure had fun playing with paints! The bedspread is a little grandmaish but I wanted textures.

Philadelphia Freedom!

I miss my photo editing on my old computer. I love the mac for the speed, but help me I can't figure out how to keep photos straight on this new fangled machine. Good grief I hate learning new things.

Here's the link to the photos on facebook. Philadelphia!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

List of things

During the past week I did the following things:

1. I drove to Philadelphia with an old friend from the mission.
2. I visited Ben Franklin's grave.
3. I visited Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell!
4. I fell in love with Philadelphia.
5. I had a great rehearsal Saturday afternoon. We got through 10 scenes in 3 hours. Kapow!!
6. I have been figuring grades for 6 classes.
7. 6 classes. Research papers. Tests. (This deserves another line.)
8. I went to a fireside in the DC Temple. This is the biggest temple in the world. It was wonderful!!
9. Choir practice.
10. Emailing and arranging for extra rehearsals.
11. I met up with old friend at a banquet with his parents for his grandpa's POW camp reunion. It was really cool. I was with total strangers, but I had a great time.
12. I signed with a talent management company so I don't have to find my own work. Wahoo!
Lots going on! I'll post pics later.

Friday, October 10, 2008

RESPECT find out what it means to your GRADE

It's been a very busy week. It's the last week of the fall quarter. I should be grading online classwork right now, but I just finished grading 18 journals, term papers, and final exams. I'm going crazy.

I had a student tonight who showed so much disrespect for me and for her fellow classmates. She took phone calls and walked in and out of class during the other student's presentations. She had the audacity to complain about not being respected. What is the deal? Why is it that the people who complain most about being disrespected are the most disrespectful people?

It took everything in me not to yell at her tonight. Luckily, I have a class full of people that I love. The funny thing is, she's transferring to another school because she thinks things will be better somewhere else. Ha! She has no idea how much I tried to help her. Oh well. Whatever. If I'm still bugged, I'm going to egg her house tomorrow night. Or maybe I'll just lower her grade. (tee hee . . . the power!! mwa ha ha ha)

This morning I had a great audition for a Geico commercial. Afterwards, I went to lunch with my friend Rebecca. I LOVE this girl. We connect in amazing ways. I just love her. It was so good to catch up over Thai food. There's nothing better than Thai food and good friends!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Stream of Consciousness during Debate (grrrrrr.)

My friends, I'm sick of this election.

Obama and McCain need to smile a little. Neither of them were frontrunners in this election this time last year. Both men are a month away from possibly being the president elect. That's more power than I'll ever have, God willing.

Smile! Apparently you're both incredibly people.

I'm reading Trevayne by Robert Ludlum. This is a book on corruption in Washington--written under a pseudonym after the Watergate scandal. It's making me hyper aware of the kingmakers that run our country. It's scary.

Frankly, if both of these men keep their promises, all our problems will be solved.

So why is everyone being so negative! Stop trying to follow-up. Dang it!! I hate this debate.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Know Thyself

Yesterday, I cleaned during the 1st session of conference, and painted 3 new paintings during the 2nd session. I felt like I wasn't quite getting all that could have out of conference--but I am like a child and need something to hold my concentration.

But today is Sunday, and today I can concentrate without help. I sat on the couch with my little notebook, ready to take copious notes. I settled into the pillows and woke up to hear Pres. Monson quote The Music Man about living for today.

I have to remember that there is a method in my madness.


According to the calendar, my monthly visitor should have descended upon me on Wednesday.

And according to this calendar, I cried over stupid things and felt the world closing in around me. I ate enough chocolate to feed a small country, finished off 2 half gallons of ice cream, and I've gained about 10 pounds in water weight.

But no monthly visitor.

My visitor helps me to cleanse. The aches and pains purge my body of the excess water and all the toxic gunk that affects both my physical and emotional health.

I woke up this morning in serious need of sanctification.

And so, I turned conference on my computer and proceeded to clean the outer vessel, while the word of God blessed the inner vessel.

I started by putting away laundry, then took out the trashes. I mopped the floors. I scrubbed the stove. I scrubbed the floorboards, cleaned the fridge, and finally--pulled out the touch up paint and went around painting all the scuffs in the house.

After 2 hours, I felt sanctified.

And to encourage a more thorough cleansing--I drank 3 fiber drinks today.