Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Six Stages of Critical Thinking According to my Own Understanding

            As I mentioned in my last post, I had to read this article  for an assignment. The students were asked to summarize said article and place ourselves into one or more of the six stages and share reasons why.  This is what I came up with:

                "For this assignment, I would like to summarize the six stages of critical thinking as explained by Richard Paul and Linda Elder.   To simplify the understanding of my own mind, I will touch on just a few traits of each of the six stages of Critical Thinking. For the first stage I use some examples of characters that I think fall into that stage.  The rest of the stages I will compare to motherhood as an example.
                "The first stage is called an Unreflective Thinker.  Some of the traits of the unreflective are saying things without even thinking about them.  For this I would use the example of Rose Nylan from the television show The Golden Girls. Rose often tries to relate stories that come off as irrelevant.  Often she is treated like a ditz but does not even realize that the other three are often having a laugh at her expense.  I also believe that many hotheads and bullies fall into this category.  They act before they think.  An example of this would be Yosemite Sam from Looney Toons or the character of Biff Tanner from Back to the Future.
                "A challenged thinker becomes aware of flaws in his or her thinking but doesn't quite know what to do with it.  Children don't come with instruction manuals.  Each one is different.  A mother has to figure that out.  Putting Gary in time out may be more effective on him than with Steven - who doesn't seem to have a problem with sitting in the corner with his face against the wall.  The mother has to figure out what discipline method will work on Steven.
                "A beginning thinker recognizes flaws and becomes aware of a need for development.  The mother may go through several methods of discipline before she learns that if she will just compliment Steven on everything that he does right, she has won him over.  Steven continues to soar after each compliment.  Unfortunately, it only works on Steven.  It doesn't work on Gary.
                "A practicing thinker is one who has formed habits or is starting to form habits.  A practicing thinker has intellectual humility. I think many mother's possess this kind of thinking.  They have to.  She has one method of discipline that works for one child and another for a different child.  Oh, but then Angel comes along.  Mom has taken steps with both Gary and Steven and is learning with each of them.  She knows how to get on each of their levels - not just to discipline but to communicate and to teach.
                "An advanced thinker is one who has developed good habits and is knows that she can make improvements. Mom has taken the time to teach their habits to all of her children.  Gary and Steven have become teens and Angel has two more siblings.  Mom is skilled at cleaning house as well as her five children.  She has taught the older ones to assist with chores and one another. 
                "The accomplished thinker is one who strives to improve. She knows her strengths and weaknesses. She  includes each of her family members and listens to their opinions and gives options and will come up with a variety to help with point of view.
                "I have been in at least the first three stages.  I think I have mostly been in the challenged or beginning stage.  The way I think at church is far more advanced than how I think from day to day.  The  way I think as a student is not the same stage as my church or day-to-day thinking.
                "I think the stage that describes me the best as a student is the beginning thinker.  I have been a student before, but it has been a while. It think it takes me longer to process and understand information. I know I have flaws. I think I recognize most of them. I am not at all humble about accepting critique, but it is something that I would like to work on.  I would also like to be more observant and be aware of my surroundings rather than to always have the situations pointed out to me.  I would like to be a discoverer.
                "I know there are advantages to each stage.  I know real life people who fall into each of these categories.  I think a good critical thinker values the input and opinions of others, but will still weighs the odds before finding a satisfactory end result.  The critical thinker is concerned about team work and communication.  "A critical thinker will formulate a question, gather information, apply information, consider implications and explore other points of view" (Agoos, S. 2016).
                "It is my desire to set some goals: 1) Accept constructive criticism that I may change my flaws and improve upon my critical thinking.  2) I can train myself to become more observant that I may better analyze a given situation.  I can accomplish these long-term goals by asking more questions and form habits by being with more observant people. 
                "For the most part, I think that all people tend  to go through at least four of the stages.  Often we are going through two or three stages at the same time - as I mentioned with church and school and just day-to-day.   Before I complete my bachelor's for accounting, it is my desire to have achieved at least one of these goals. I will have moved from one stage to another and continue throughout each stage"

Paul, R. Elder, L. (2007, July 23). The Critical Thinking Community. Retrieved from Critical        Thinking in Every Domain of Knowledge and Belief:     and-belief/698
 TEDEducation. "5 Tips to Improve Your Critical Thinking - Samantha Agoos."YouTube.      YouTube, 15 Mar. 2016. Web. 27 July 2016

          Our topic for this week's discussion has to do with emotions.  The research I have done thus far has given me an opportunity to work on the last goal  that I made, and that is better observance. 

          According to this emotional quiz, I do not do well at recognizing the emotions of others.  If I continue my research I can become more familiar with the signs and be able to recognize the emotions of others and thus become a better observer.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Maybe it's me . . . Missing the Boat

To "miss the boat" is to miss the point of or fail to understand: 

               Several years ago I was working for an employment agency in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The agency had sent me on a temporary assignment to state's Department of Family and Child Services (DCFS) -  a department seemingly to be more dysfunctional than many of its clients.  I was told the assignment would be for only a couple of months - but I was there for almost two years and off and on for almost the next five.

                As I recall, I made a suggestion of sending out letters to newly adoptive parents or potential adoptive parents - I can't remember the reason - but in my mind it seemed like it would be a start for whatever it was the department was trying to accomplish.  I was asked to write the letter and send it to the chair of the department who actually worked in a different building (I think there were three locations for the DCFS workers who were supposed to function as one, but that didn't happen) to meet his approval.

                I printed the letter on the stationary with the departments letter head - the same stationary I had used in the one-two years I was assigned.  I explained to the chair why I was sending the letter and what I was trying to accomplish.  And did it meet his approval?  His feedback was less than productive.  His response was to the letterhead itself. (As if I really had control over that - I wasn't even a state employee!) The letterhead on stationary bore the name of Governor Norman Bangerter who had served as governor from 1985 to 1993.  I don't recall what year it was.  1994? 1995?  Mike Leavitt was the governor from 1993 to 2003. 

                It's true that I hadn't bothered reading the letterhead at anytime  I had ever sent anything out.  I had no reason to.  The stationary had always been handed to me along with a list of instructions on what was to be done with it. It didn't even occur to me that I might be using old stationary.  Apparently, it was never updated.  Again, that was not my fault.  I had no control over the stupid letterhead.

                I remember feeling annoyed by his response - totally missing the boat on the content of the letter. The words that needed to be sent out - regardless of the stationary! I took this matter to the secretary who laughed at the error that had been made for well over a year and a half.  In this post I said it had been two mayors.  Perhaps the mayor's name had appeared on the letterhead as well. I don't remember.  All I remember was feeling frustration as the issue at hand was not addressed.  And okay, I was a little bit amused by the error of the department.

                Recently there has been a similar situation which triggered this situation.  But first let me back up a bit to set the stage.   As I mentioned in this post, online schooling  hasn't appealed to me. I would like to get a part time job just so we have a bit of extra income. However, jobs seem hard to come by in this particular area where I live.  I've applied to be a cashier at several places, but the idea of being on my feet all day does not appeal to me.  I'd rather have a desk job.  So I have decided to go back to school (online) to get my degree in accounting.

                Roland signed me up to start classes on June 27 - even though I said I wanted to wait until after school started for Jenna.  Nevertheless,  I was told that my classes would start June 27 - which they did - without me.  A glitch in the system put me two days behind. 

                The courses run for only for weeks.  Each week the student is expected to participate in discussion, turn in an assignment and fulfill an assessment (which is usually a quiz or sometimes another assignment) Thus there is much reading material and/or video required.  I am a visual person.  I like someone to show me what keys to punch and explain why.  It takes me a lot longer to process words from a manual than just one week.  So the classes do move quickly.   Thus far I seem to be doing well, but still frustrated with the reading part.

                So I'm taking this required Philosophy class because knowledge in one's major is not enough (in my case knowing how to do bookkeeping or spreadsheets) is not enough.  A student (potential employee) needs soft skills to be part of a team (employer, co-workers) and so we have to learn all of that - which is a good thing and probably should be addressed at every college.  Employees need to learn how to work with one another and maintain professionalism in the workplace.

                There is no video.  There is this article given as a reading assignment. I think it reads almost like Dr. Seuss (except without the humor) I have not even made it to stage 4 and my brain hurts.  What the heck are Richard Paul and Linda Elder even talking about? There have been many times during my adult life that I have asked my brother, Corey, to read something for me and then explain it to me in English.  I emailed him the website and pleaded that if he had the time, would he please read and explain.  He did.  Corey has helped me out of binds a countless number of times.  I feel like I owe him more than just gratitude.

                The instructor does a live lecture each week and then makes the video available to whatever students couldn't/didn't attend and also a refresher for those of us who did go live but still need to stop and rewind.  As I had a ton of questions, I tuned in for the live lecture and asked and answered some of the questions.  The session was very helpful.  Corey called right after the session and gave me even more insight - which I really so appreciate so much.

                Corey found the article dry and hard to get through, but he was able to explain it to me. We were both able to give examples of TV or movie characters or real live examples that we know. That's how I wanted to do my assignment - by giving the examples that helped me to better understand what the each stage represents.  I was hoping to find just one movie or program to base my characters on, but ended up using examples from many sources. I picked examples of what I thought each stage represents for stages 1 to 3 but somehow felt stuck finding an example for number 4. 

                There were tears in my eyes over the frustration I felt in not being able to convey what I wanted in a formal assignment.  I know that my posts are often too wordy and I fly off the handle and move on to non-related subjects, but my writing on this blog is informal.  I still didn't know if my understanding was accurate.

                Roland, who tends to have a great understanding of many things, asked if he could assist.  I told him that his explanations are often more confusing than what I am trying to understand - which I think is why I was so excited about his comparing underwear to primer (which I mentioned in my last post)  as it seemed such a simple explanation.  I told him what it is that I was trying to accomplish and he made suggestions on how I could better format the paper or correct the grammar (he likes to change as he goes; I wait until the entire document is finished to do a spell check) and not to put the assignment in first person (which normally I don't, but was asked to include my belief about which stage I think I'm in and why - meaning it would be in first person) and giving me critique that yes, was necessary - but I had planned on correcting all of that after my thoughts came out. I was looking for critique with the content and not the format itself.  That is what made me think of the first story that I shared.   I have felt like a failure at communication for so much of my life.

                I ended up going a different direction altogether.  I still don't know about the accuracy of my understanding, but I did the best I could with my own comprehension.  I am waiting for my assignment to be graded.  Perhaps I will share the results.

                Meanwhile, I have finished submitting everything that needs to be graded on for this week.   Instead of waiting until Monday (which starts my second week of class) I decided to pry into week 2 to see if there was anything I could try and process in my mind to perhaps make myself more prepared than with this week (in case it was/is as confusing as the "Critical Thinking" article) One of the suggested examples given for the discussion was to assess this test or one like it.   

                I didn't realize the detail involved.  341 questions! Glad I got that early start! The great thing about having taken the suggested emotional test was seeing the growth and change that have taken place in my own personal life.  The website did not give me the end results, nor do I plan on joining the site or pay for the results.  Just knowing what my answers would have been less than two years ago  as opposed to what they are now is a revelation to me.  I have grown more than I had thought and have become a better and happier person and continue to strive upon improving myself.   I'm certainly a lot more relaxed. I like who I am.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Paint, Hoes, Firetrucks and Blueberries

            Last week our ward hosted a service project at the high school. There were three areas that needed attention.  First and far most was the shed/ticket booth.  That needed to be primed and painted.  Second, weeding of the grounds - particularly over by the restrooms and track.  Third, power wash the bleachers. Ron appeared to be in charge of said activity.  He gave the assignments and we all went to the areas we had been assigned.

            There were six of us painting the shed.  Roland took over with delegation.  He has always been a "take charge" kind of guy.  Those who showed up to late to the activity  just assumed that Roland was in charge.  I was impressed with how Roland conversed with an eight-year-old from our ward (geographical boundary within the church) explaining what we were doing, why we were doing it, and how it would get accomplished.  The eight-year-old in turn asked questions that Roland would answer.  I loved the way he explained about the primer and the paint.

            Roland told him that the primer would have to dry before we could paint.  Why would we need paint if we already painted? (The primer itself was a drastic improvement upon the shed that probably hadn't seen paint since the day it was built) Roland explained to him that the primer is needed to go underneath the paint.  He asked the boy to think about the way he got dressed in the morning, and if he put underwear on before or after his outwear.  The boys just laughed as he answered and Roland compared the primer to underwear needed for the paint.

            There was one youth upon the latter trying to get the final touches.  The rest of us gravitated to areas two or three to see what we could assist with.  I tried pulling weeds, but as the ground as quite tough, I went to find a hoe to break it.  I chopped into the earth with a spaded hoe and felt like a field hand.  The work seemed endless until shortly after someone brought another bunch of hoes to all of those who were assisting.

            This is the kind of hoe that I have used and seen.

 I had never seen this kind before.  I didn't understand its value.

            One of the youth taught us old fogies how to use this weird looking hoe.  And you know what?  It was easier.  For those of us who had never experienced anything like it, it was kind of fun.

            My time in the "field" was short lived.  When the primer dried, I returned to assist with the painting.  By then more youth had joined us as well as the full time missionaries.  (I don't where Elder Morris was from but I don't think had ever seen a paintbrush before)  Even the principal of the school assisted.  We had a good turn out and got a lot done.

            We'd been looking forward to my sister and her family arriving and staying with us for a week.  We were hoping they'd make it to the pool party that our ward has after the service project.  Unfortunately they got off to a late start.  I think we had finished our service project before they had left their motel room in Idaho.

            Kayla and Bill have three children: six-year-old Anna, four-year-old Gary, and two (well almost) year-old BJ.  Of course there were several stops  made between Utah and Idaho.  They had hoped to arrive in Boise on Friday night but did not arrive until after midnight  early Saturday morning.  Kayla said she had just gotten the last child to sleep before dozing off herself.  She said that it felt like she had been asleep only three minutes when the fire alarm went off and all people from the motel were evacuated. (That was roughly 2:00 am)  No one knows why the fire department was called.  The kids were excited about the fire truck.  It did put a damper on Bill and Kayla's plans however.

            More stops until finally they arrived at our house just after 10:00 and straight to bed.  They went with us to church on Sunday.  The first thing on our agenda for Monday morning was blueberry picking.  Last year we would move from bush to push accumulating only two or three pounds max.  This year the blueberries are thick and ready to fall off.  From just six bushes we had over 24 pounds among the eight of us.  Well, I don't guess all eight of us were picking.  BJ was dropping blueberries into his mouth rather than in his bucket.  Gary refused to allow his blueberries to be weighed with everyone else's.  He needed to keep them separate as they were his and he was proud to have picked them all by himself.

            Roland and Bill took BJ drove to the big city of Roseburg (as Bill forgot his camera - which is actually worse than a typical teenager being without a cell phone) while Kayla and I took Gary, Anna and Jenna to the park before heading home.

            Each day we had blueberries in one form or another.  Blueberry pancakes, blueberry syrup, blueberry cobbler, blueberry muffins, blueberries from the bag . . . . there are still a lot of blueberries.  Gary took his home with him.  I don't know how many got eaten before their return.  Kayla said she needed a recipe as many of the blueberries got squished - I don't know if from Gary's bag or from the frozen ones we sent.  I'm guessing the latter. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Mother's Work is Never Done - Even a SuperHero

          I've always felt a sense of admiration to my sister, Kayla.  I suppose my admiration increased during this last weekend when her family came out to Oregon to visit our family.

          Wonder Women flies in an invisible plane.  She can ward off bullets with her bracelets.  But we have never seen her clean up after a two year old hurricane or try to reason with a four year old or change diapers.

          Sue Storm can turn invisible and sneak up on criminals.  She fights for justice along with her pals from the fantastic four.  It's impossible for Kayla to even try to become invisible as her children are always calling, "MOMMY!"  She is the leader of the fabulous five.

          Supergirl can fly through the air to catch falling victims.  She defends the innocent.  We never see her wipe the table or sweep the floor just to have to do again. The only time it stays clean is when ALL the children are asleep.

          Mothers don't often get or take credit for being superheroes - but many of them are.  It takes a superhero to keep up with a two year old who doesn't have all the words but does his best to communicate (for example, he may hand you his sippy cup so that you can test it to see the straw is not working properly) and gets frustrated when you don't understand - just as surely as a mother gets frustrated when she doesn't understand why her child is crying though most of the times she can figure it out . . . eventually.

          It takes a superhero to keep up with a four year old who wants to explore the great outdoors - and hey, if mom is busy with brother and/or sister, that's okay.  The four-year-old has feet and he knows how to work a door knob by himself.  He'll go outside without leaving his itinerary.  Often, little brother will follow.  But that is no guarantee that they will actually stick together once they are outside.  More than not, they will each go in a different direction.

          The superhero mom has many obstacles and challenges.  Some change from day to day.  Some don't ever seem to change for her. One of the examples of the non-changing obstacle (or seemingly so) is having to constantly climb over the long six year old and her toys that are always in the hall, no matter how many times she is told to move herself and the toys.

          The superhero mom often has to wrestle at least one of her children to eat a proper meal.  Sometimes the bribes that worked yesterday won't work today.  Of course the rules are different for every child and as they don't come with instruction books, supermom has to figure them out.

          In Kayla's case, she also has her husband to deal with.  For the most part, Bill is very supportive.  He will change diapers, run errands, take off work to be with family.  Bill is also a clown.  Endless kidding, major teasing.  He doesn't always know when to quit.  It's most annoying, especially when it feels like he is undermining her method of discipline.  Anybody who knows my sister and brother-in-law and family would agree that Bill is Kayla's toughest "child" to break.

          Daddy is fun, and he will seriously do anything for his children.  But mommy is definitely the one to comfort.  The children are unaware of her super powers.  They just know that mom will protect them and love any of the hurt away.  Daddy's jokes don't always get rid of the "bad guys" like mommy's super powers do.

          Moms may not be able to ward off bullets with their incredible bracelets.  They might not have capes that assist them in strength.  Their superpowers are far greater than those of the comic book world.  So many mothers operate on so little or no sleep. 
          Kayla and Bill use a "time out" as a method of discipline.  Each child has to sit in a corner or by the wall for a minute for every year of age.  I know several mothers who wish they could have a "time-out" just to get in a power nap.

          I don't know if Jenna has ever thought of me as a super hero.  I don't think I am.  But maybe.  I don't think I have the same superpowers as Kayla.  I figured that out before this last week. 

          Mothers (well, mommies) are superheroes.  That's all there is to it.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Ode to My Garden Pants

                   When I was looking for shorts,
                   you were there for me. 
                   You were longer than
                   what I had wanted.  Oh,
                   but you were so comfortable. 
                   When I had you on,
                   I barely even knew
                   you were there.  Well, that is
                   until you started to stain. 

                   I had tried cleaning you. 
                   I really had.  The stain
                   was just too stubborn
                   . . . or so I believed
                   Gradually you became my garden pants
                   as you were stained anyway,
                   what was a little dirt (as I mention in this post)
                   You protected me from the heat of the sun.
                   I appreciated that.  You must have had
                   connections with the sun. 

                   It removed the stains that
                   I could no longer find.  Still
                   I kept wearing you each week
                   when we'd clean the church,
                   each week we worked in the garden. 
                   I am so sorry you got torn
                   over the years.  It was
                   bound to happen.  I had you
                   for many years.

                   I still had you when
                   we moved to Oregon. 
                   I no longer worked in the garden. 
                   I did a rather pathetic patch work
                   on you and made you my
                   paint pants - which may have been
                   a demotion rather than
                   a promotion.  How sad
                   you looked. 

                   Still you continued
                   to serve me. 
                   I may have not noticed you still -
                   except for that stupid patch. 
                   That actually became annoying
                   after a while. 
                   You continued to rip -
                   well at least one leg. 

                   I hadn't noticed until today -
                   until I went to take your picture -
                   that you were also torn
                   just below my left cheek. 
                   The sun wasn't even out for
                   the last day you were worn.

                   There is a tear in my eye
                   as I toss you in the garbage can. 
                   You were so good to me. But you
                   have fulfilled the measure
                   of your creation. 
                   Good-bye, dear friend.
                   I shall surely miss you.

                                                                                    - kfralc

Friday, July 15, 2016

Making Dreams Happen - even if there're obstacles

          I LOVE the movie "Cool Runnings" - a movie that depicts marathon runner, Derice Bannock, going for his Olympic Dreams.  And when the obstacle of running into other track members knocks his dreams off course, he looks for an alternate way to take him to the Olympics.

          He discovers an "has been" Olympic athlete who had received a metal for a bobsledding competition.  There's no snow in Jamaica, but Derice (with the help of the ex-Olympic star) forms a team of members who are willing to learn bobsledding so that they may enter the winter Olympics.

          The show, of course, is probably only 5% accurate, if that.  The real "Derice" had very little training before the Olympics.  He said he saw a bobsled for the first time in September 1987 here and here

          It doesn't make me appreciate the movie any less.  I love the depiction of going for your dreams - even if you have to altar it because of whatever obstacles may fall into your path (in Cool Runnings, the obstacle was being disqualified for the summer Olympics due to the falling of the runners)

          One of my very favorite quotes comes from Cool Runnings when Derice learns that the medal had been taken away from the character (played by John Candy) who coached them.

          Derice (as well as all of us) is told: "... a gold medal is a wonderful thing, but if you're not enough without one, you'll never be enough with one."
          Last week Roland and I watched the movie "Eddie, the Eagle" also only about 5% accuracy - at least according to Michael "Eddie" Edwards which you can read about here and here

          Eddie's goal was to be an Olympian - not necessarily to win - but to be.  The movie depicts him as being clumsy and one who is unable to make the cut at so many sports.  There are several obstacles which he tackles all throughout the movie (as well as in real life).  When he runs out of money, and can't seem to keep up with the high cost of the sport, he finds a job that includes housing and helps him keep up with the expenses of ski jumping - something he feels qualified for as England had never had a representative in ski jumping before.

          Like Darice of "Cool Runnings", Eddie asks to be coached by an Olympic has been (which did not occur in real life) and finds himself competing in the Olympics that exact same year as the first Jamaican Bobsled team.  That year (1988) the Winter Olympics were held in Calgary.

          I loved the determination of the character of Eddie Edwards, and even the real life Michal Edwards.  There were obstacles that he had to overcome, but his persistence paid off.  Oh no, he did not walk away with a medal in any place.  His jump was not that great comparatively - it didn't matter.  He was the first ski jumper to set any kind of record for England and it seemed to be that was all that mattered.

          Suppose the obstacles would divert you in a whole new direction.  I thought of Jill Kinmont and Diane Ellison.

          Jill was a promising young skier who had looked forward to participating in the 1956 Olympics.  She was on the cover of Sports Illustrated on January 31, 1955.  That same week she had a skiing accident in Alta, Utah. (see here) She did not make it to the Olympics at all. 

          The movie portrayals of Jill Kinmont in “The Other Side of the Mountain” and  “The Other Side of the Mountain Part 2” are probably more accurate to her life than the two examples above.  She couldn't even walk anymore, let alone ski. Her dreams changed. 

          Jill lived 52 years longer than she was told that she would.  She graduated from college.  She struggled to find school that would allow her to teach.  She made an impact on those that she taught and I'm sure made a difference in the lives of each that knew her.

          Diane's dream was to go to the Olympics as  a gymnast.  She had to come up with a way to pay the expenses of gymnast lessons herself (see here) She was taller than the other girls who were in the class.  She was referred to as "Big Bird".  She excelled and went on to perform in several competitions.  

          In 1981 Diane was asked to join U.S. Professional Gymnastics Classic.  During a workout  she had decided to make a move without her spotter.  see here

          I hadn't known Diane until after the accident.  She always seemed to have a positive attitude.  I did not know her well, but I did enjoy spending time with her when the situation allowed.  I remember being a passenger in her car once.  It was different to see her operating the van with just her hands (as there has been no movement in her legs)

          Like Jill Kinmont, Diane also graduated from college and found a teaching position at a school district in Salt Lake (actually the same school district that Jenna was schooled in until we moved to Oregon) She has given over 400 volunteer firesides, has been a motivational speaker,  She says that ironically, one of the biggest aids to her recovery was gymnastics. (see here)

         I also love her biography Don't You Dare Give Up by Renon Klossner Hulet .  I think it's a great resource for not giving up - despite the obstacles.
I would like to end this post with one of my daughter's favorite songs:



Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Patriotic Turn-Around – Thank You Everyone

         Several years ago, my brother Corey presented a patriotic program to the Relief Society of the ward we attended.  Great program.  One that I had tried to recreate – though it didn’t go as I had planned.

         I have the original tape that Corey had made – somewhere.  I couldn’t find it and so had to recreate one.  He said he hadn’t saved the program and so I had to recreate that as well.  Rely upon my own research instead of his.  Though I believe I had it easier.  Today we have access to several sources on the Internet.  Corey used the card catalog and spent HOURS putting the program together.

         I recorded music, though I didn’t like the quality (or lack thereof) of the recording as the volume changed with each song.  I had asked Corey if he and Joh could/would record songs for me (I still have never heard the two of them singing together) and so he created a YouTube video with most of the songs I’d be using.

         My plan was to give a brief description of the song and have the sisters guess what song I was describing, and then I would play a piece of the song.  I had handouts with lyrics to pass out at the end of my program

         I rehearsed with the tape.  I rehearsed with Corey’s video.  I was happy to go either way and couldn’t quite decide which way to go. But then a blunder that took place last week helped me decide.
         Jenna and I were in the Church parking lot.  She had wanted to shoot baskets, and I had brought my script and tape player to practice the performance.  When Jenna walked toward me, she started singing along with a song, she seemed stumped as a verse she wasn’t familiar with started to play.    I decided to rewind the tape for her so that she could hear from the beginning – and then the tape garbled.  Quite badly.

         I could have just found another tape and rerecord everything.  But I had my back up.  Or so I thought.  I figured even with Roland’s “slower-than-molasses-in-sub 0-weather” laptop, I would have Corey’s recording and instrumentals ready to click on when it was time.  It didn’t even occur to me that the Church has blocked the use of YouTube from their wi-fi.  It makes sense when I think about it.  Problem is, I didn’t think about it.

         No tape. No wi-fied YouTube.  Now what?  Pass out the handouts BEFORE the program and ask for audience participation (which was a success by the way) and play it by ear.

         It actually turned out quite well.  It was a good turnout and the sisters really seemed to enjoy themselves.  They wanted to sing.  And they kept singing.  I think they enjoyed singing more than if I had just played.

         I’m grateful that they were grateful for the time I had put in and that each enjoyed herself.  I thank Corey for the time he took also.  The sisters were impressed that he had taken that time for me.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Sun Appears to Set in the South

        I've always been direction-ally challenged - a feature I inherited from my mom, I'm sure.  In Salt Lake I actually did know which way was east, which way was south - but outside of Salt Lake?  I am ALWAYS turned around.  It seems that I have been even more turned around living in Myrtle Creek and Tri City.

        Pacific Highway runs parellel to I5 - an interstate designed to run north and south - and does - for the most part.  Between exits 106 and 108 exists some really sharp curves - almost like traveling in a circle.  Those run east and west.  So Pacific Highway runs east and west.  I finally have that figured out after having lived here for over a year.

        The weather is not near as hot as it was last year.  I like the cool temperatures of summer.  It's one of the reasons that we moved here.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  I LOVE Oregon.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Smiling about "Joseph" stories

        We have spent the weekend watching "Joseph" (with Paul Mercurio and Ben Kingsley)

and "Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dream coat" (starring Donny Osmond)

and I was reminded of humorous stories related to theatre or inaccurate Bible portrayal.  Some of which I have shared on my blog already.

        The first Sunday in October of 2012 (the year I had started my blog)  I had select a children's from the BYU channel for Jenna to watch.  It was an animation from the old Testament about  Joseph and his brothers.

          As she is watching the story of Joseph, Jenna had asked, “Mom, is this the same story as “Little Joe” from “Veggie Tales” 


          “They don’t have French accents though”

          “This version is more accurate than Veggie Tales. ”
original post found here

      Long before I had started my blog, or before I was even married, my brother Corey had the opportunity to audition for a stage version of Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dream coat.  

        While the production itself was to be held at Kingsbury Hall (in Salt Lake) the auditions were being held at a local High School because the musical director was that high school's choir teacher.

        So Corey went to the high school.  He got there early because he is always early.  He was asked if he was there for auditions.  He said he was and he was told to fill out an application.

        He thought the application was weird – unlike anything he had ever filled out before.  It was asking for things like his GPA.  He filled out the application and went to the theatre to audition.

        After his name was called, he presented his music to the piano player and was asked which part he was auditioning for. He answered that he was there to try out for one of the brothers and proceeded with his audition.

        After belting out the song he had chosen, the choreographer (or was it the conductor?) said, “You’re not auditioning for 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers', are you?”

        Corey said that he was there to try out for "Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dream coat".  But since he had been early and had quite a youthful appearance at the time (he was in his early 20’s I believe) it was assumed that he was there to audition for the high school musical try outs that took place before the “Joseph” auditions started.

        I was (still am) really quite proud of my brother and had been telling my co-workers that Corey would be playing Issachar in the musical, "Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dream coat" (David Osmond played Joseph in that version)

        One of my co-workers heard me say, "Is a Car"  and wanted to know why my brother would be playing the part of a car.

        I smile each time I watch the video "Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dream coat" - my then youngest niece appeared to have a crush on Donny Osmond and watched the video over and over (and probably wore it out)

        When our family had gone to a theatre to see a parody on "Forever Plaid" (which Corey has also been in) and "Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dream coat". Candy dressed up and looked so cute in her dress and hat.  She was so excited to see this production - not understanding that it was a parody.  I remember watching her watch it with such a bewildered expression thinking that the cast was doing it wrong.  It was really funny to watch her.