Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Moving Forward - September 14, 2009

Auditions for the Savior of the World performance at the Conference Center went well. I really liked the feeling that was there during the auditions – we opened with prayer and each of the directors sincerely thanked each of us for coming with the pieces we had prepared. We sang, did cold readings from the script (which meant we didn't have much time to prepare), and then it was over. I thought that I heard in passing that callbacks were this last weekend. I didn't get a call. But, whatever it means, I'm happy. The Lord asked me to go to the auditions and be willing to take any part. He didn't say I had to be in it. If they cast me as a lead, I'll be happy. If they cast me as an ensemble/chorus member, I'll be happy. And if they don't cast me at all, I'll be happy.

I started teaching part-time this week. I'm teaching a group of home-schooled students in Draper. My students range in age from 12 to 16... and in physics expertise from ignorance to having already memorized Newton's laws. It's definitely a different world than Riverton High – where I had a massive budget, equipment galore, and school resources beyond what I could ever use. My current class meets in a small, empty room next door to a real estate office. So Thursday, after I summarized every subject possible in physics that we could cover, we took a field trip and pushed my car in the parking lot – I taught them, using real-life examples, how force and acceleration are related. We even went so far as to address their driving habits (for the 16-year-olds) – showing that fast acceleration uses much more gas than does slow acceleration. Their assignment for this week: choose topics from the subjects I mentioned in class that they want to learn, tell me their learning styles (physical, verbal, musical, etc), and let me know what kinds of assignments they want (experimental, theoretical, etc). Even with 8 students, their answers are going to be across the board – one student really wants to learn Astronomy. Another wants to understand Quantum Physics. Another would just like to be actively doing kinematics. Another wants the theory behind it all, and another wants to build things without necessarily knowing the theories. Wow. This will be a great experience as I try to put my own beliefs about teaching into practice!

I had the realization that I need to take graduate school entrance exams in order to get into most graduate school programs. I think that I want to study Organizational Behavior... which would mean that I'll need to go to a business school, even though I'd like to apply it to the world of education. I've known that, and it's been tickling the back of my mind for a while, but I finally looked at the application deadlines online and was shocked to see that the first round of admissions ends at the beginning of October. That's in only a few weeks. Most people spend months getting ready for graduate school tests – I had a friend who essentially stopped dating his girlfriend, going to social activities, and became inactive at Church so that he could study for his graduate school exams – for months! And I have 18 days before I take the GMAT. I checked out a few books from the BYU library on GMAT preparation and have already read a few hundred pages. I guess I'll just have to pray that my memory retention skills will be as good as they were when I took the standardized tests that got me into BYU.

Looking back on this summer, there are lots of projects that I've started... but not a whole lot to show for them. I finally finished my book Watching Cookies in the Oven, but it's been sitting at Deseret Book for over 10 weeks. My friend who publishes with Deseret Book told me to wait six months before withdrawing it. We still haven't found an illustrator for Ten Days Until Forever. I also haven't found an illustrator / designer for my card game. I was in Pirates of Penzance... but it's over now. I worked at the MTC and created the Welcome Orientation – but that's only 15 minutes long. From one perspective, it looks like I did a lot and got very little accomplished... but from another perspective, I feel like this past summer was just fine. I had felt, very strongly, that I needed to talk with Richard Heaton – the director of the MTC. That led to my volunteering there – another strong impression. I woke up one day and felt impressed to try out for the Pirates of Penzance, and then the Lord told me I could decline a role as long as the director didn't offer me the lead. She did. Each decision I made because I felt a compelling reason to do so – and even though I may not completely understand what I needed to learn, I know that the Lord has been with me. And He will continue to be at my side. I would probably go back and make the same decisions and learn the same lessons in life. As it says in the scriptures, if I am striving to do everything right, only the best things will happen in my life. All things shall be consecrated for my good.

Each of us has a life made of our decisions in the past. It may seem like we are going nowhere fast, but sometimes the Lord simply wants us to be patient – or He may want us to help others along the way. If we will look at our life going forward (instead of backward), and actively strive to make the right decisions for tomorrow, He will be at our side. He will go before us and prepare the way, and bear us up in times of difficulty. Be happy! Press forward with faith!

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