Showing posts with label talents. Show all posts
Showing posts with label talents. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Trading Treasures and Wheelin-Dealin’


Randy has always been charismatic.  Often he has conned others out of favors based on his charm.  One time in fifth grade, someone dared him to wear a dress onto the playground.  Of course Randy needed incentive and said he’d do it for five dollars. 

Randy wore the dress for the entire recess – but there had been a commotion about it.  Roland was called in and learned all what was involved.  Randy ended up having to give back the money on Roland’s orders.

When the boys were older, we had a family home evening on the talents.  To each boy we gave 20 dollars and told them to go multiply. 

Randy purchased 20 candles the following day.  He took his 20 candles from door to door and sold his one dollar candles for three dollars each.  And he would use his profits to purchase more candles until he had doubled his money and had made 40 dollars with the twenty.

Jenna was a cute baby.  People would melt whenever she would smile.  Many thought she was so cute, they would give her money – mostly elderly looking grandparents, but there had been a few that were obviously not old enough to be grandparents.  I remember hoping that it wouldn’t last – as it somehow felt inappropriate when she became older. 

Like Randy, she has charm and charisma and is somewhat of a wheeler dealer.



My Jenna left the house with a bag of rocks – most of them had been given to her several years ago by the neighbor next door.  She came home with a bag of toys.  Some surprised me.  In her collection were two bracelets, a bendy flower, a care bear, two plastic animals and a Barbie.  She had gotten the care bear for her cousin, Anna.  But why on earth would she want a Barbie?  We had given those up because she never really enjoyed playing with him.  She said she got it so she would “fit in” with her seven year old friends.

The thing I have been most surprised about is how much time she has spent playing with Barbie and combing out Barbie’s hair.  And this morning she brushed her own hair.

Okay, who are you and what have you done with my daughter?  Jenna’s favorite Disney princess is Merida.  Merida has unkempt hair – or so it seems.  Merida is not typical of girly stereotype.  She admires Merida for not giving into pressure.  And there she is on the couch combing her Barbie and setting her down so that they can both watch television together.  Interesting.

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Fourth Grade Emcees

          Each year in May the dual immersion students will put on a program with songs and dances in featured language.  Last year there were two students from the fourth grade who had hosted the program.  They may have in previous years, but last year was the first year I had noticed them.

Jenna had come home last month to ask me what it means to “M.C.”  I told her M. C. stands for “master of ceremonies” and asked her why she had brought it up.  She said that she (along with another student) had been picked to M.C the dual immersion program performance.

She said she wanted to learn some jokes to tell.  We went to the library and found three or four books that were either too “over the head” or just very lame.  And so she turned to the Internet and found four or five that she thought might work.

She handed me an invitation earlier this week.  The performance for the parents was yesterday.  I wasn’t aware – although she had given me an invitation.  I looked at the back and front but was not aware of the message inside.  And so I missed it.

I walked with her to school today and stayed for the 2nd program that they had preformed for the rest of the school.  They did a nice job.  I didn’t hear any jokes though.  I don’t know if they told them yesterday or not.

I left after the fourth grade had performed their two numbers.  I took a walk behind the SLCC campus and walked passed for bus stops before approaching the one that would take me to TRAX.  It was a nice walk lined with sidewalk (something that is severely lacking in my own neighborhood)

After I got off the bus and walked towards the train, I noticed several UTA police cars and police patrolling the area.  It was kind of freaky as I was just reading from “In My Hands” about a Polish girl in 1941 leaving Russia and entering German-ruled Poland to take the train to a part that is still Poland and is standing in lines patrolled by guards.  I personally think she should have stayed in Russia, but then it would certainly be a different story. But then I'm not even halfway into it.

I don’t know how many citations were issued.  There were five policemen and I heard one comment that they had cited the same people just five years ago.  Had to have been a different location though.  Fairbourn station wasn’t up at running five years ago.

I have to return to the school to pick up not only Jenna, but also a classmate of hers.  They are going to have a play date.  Do you still call them that when the children are ten years old?  Noreen is in for a treat today.  Her mom usually picks her up in a truck.  But today she’ll be riding the bus with Jenna and me.

I think we may take the same route which I did this morning.  I will ask them how quickly they would like to get back to the house.  I’ll let them make the decision.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Awards for Just Trying Out


I remember having volunteered last year for the school fundraiser during which time the children held a talent show.   I don’t remember any talent shows in the years prior.  That didn’t mean they didn’t exist.  But I’m guessing last year may have been the first. 

         I don’t know how long it went for – at least two hours, I'm guessing.  It felt like it went on for longer than that.  And though there were a lot of truly talented children, it seemed there were some that needed work.  Kudos for them to having the guts to stand on stage and perform when some of it was actually somewhat difficult to watch without cringing
 

         This years talent show has stipulations.  Only three acts or group of performers from each grade would be selected.  The time limit for each act is three minutes. 
         I asked Jenna if she’d be trying out.  Her initial response was “no” but then she said she was invited by a “popular” group to preform with them.  One was going to sing, “Let it Go” while the other five performed a dance.  For whatever reason, the group of girls went from six to four to three to two – whether any of those originally involved had auditioned or not, I don’t know.

         Jenna ended up auditioning with a friend who hasn’t had the best self-esteem since Jenna has known her.  I was happy to hear that Jenna was still enthusiastic about auditioning and assisting her friend at the same time.  Anna sang, “Roar” while Jenna acted out the lyrics. 

         I don’t know how well they did.  Jenna said there were four auditions just from her class – or the two classes involved in the dual immersion.  I don’t know how many others tried out for that grade.  But they did audition.  Their act was not selected.  But I am so happy to see certificates from their instructors issued to each student who took the opportunity to try out for the talent show.  Their effort was rewarded so hopefully they won’t be discouraged for the next talent show.

         Jenna really does have and has had very awesome teachers who encourage learning but also encourage having fun.  I’m happy that Jenna has been pushing herself.

Monday, October 8, 2012

“Go Ahead . . . I’m Napkin Man”


My brother Corey has many talents.  One he started early on was with drawing comics.  He would entertain himself for hours on end drawing his comics and then reading them. 

          One year he received a giant drawing pad and a green ballpoint pen for Christmas.  He had filled the pad in less than two days.  By day three, the pen was out of ink. 

          One of his comic series I think was similar to “Spy Vs. Spy” - which eventually turned into a game between him and my brother Patrick, though it did not last long.

          Patrick read one of Corey’s comic strips and imitated his style as he added to it and killed off the characters in different ways and Corey would always resurrect them.  Some of the deaths were challenging to overcome, but I think it was fun for both of them for a while.

          The funniest comic that I remember happened after my dad had had a series of strokes.  I don’t even know where we were – perhaps on our way to the airport to see Corey off or maybe when we had stopped off for lunch on our way to the MTC.

          I don’t know what made Corey feel the need to draw during that time, but he had drawn a caped superhero on a napkin with the caption: “Go ahead.  Blow your nose in me.  I can handle it.  I’m napkin man” and then gave his drawing to my dad who obviously needed a napkin.

          I don’t remember if my dad laughed about it or not.  I think so.  I laughed.  I thought it was funny.  I still smile when I think about this unique memory.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Houdini Could Toss a Basketball


          We had a bear-sized dog come live with us before we were married and were moving Roland and the boys into the house.  He was an older dog who had come with his own name – but if he hadn’t, we would have named him Houdini as he was an escape artist.

          The first year we lived in Kearns we had gone to a Cinco de Mayo [taste of Kearns] celebration.  The boys (Randy specifically) had wanted to enter Houdini  in a contest but didn’t know what category.  They ended up entering him in the fluffiest – we were among the first to arrive and hadn’t had the opportunity to see the one we knew would take first place.

          Best trick really would have been the best option, but I don’t think the boys had a ball with them (as I recall we had just walked to the High School where the celebration had taken place) otherwise Houdini would have put all the other animals (even more so, their owners) to shame.  For the “tricks” that were performed were not all that impressive – and each animal had to be rewarded for his unimpressive talent – whereas Houdini could bounce a basketball off his nose and didn’t need a reward.  Being able to play with the boys was reward enough.

          Houdini could also catch a baseball in his mouth.  It seemed so odd that this overweight tailless dog had so much talent. From what I have captured on video tape, Houdini always had perfect aim.

          Houdini has been our favorite dog of all the dogs that we’ve had.  We miss him tremendously.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hidden Talents

We all have gifts and talents that are perhaps unique to other people, perhaps the same, perhaps what sets us apart. Some talents just seem to come naturally while others are mastered or simply given up on.  Unfortunately some talents go unrecognized or are lost due to lack of sharing.

          Jenna is really great with math.  I pushed her into believing that it is awesome so that she might understand it on her own.  She starts third grade next year and I’m thinking it may become too complex for my brain.

          Math is something I didn’t figure I would ever ask her brothers to assistance for. Math is just NOT their forte.  Actually I am more confident in my own math skills than I would ever be in Biff’s.  His talent lies within animal charmer and puzzle awareness.

          Lately Jenna’s math homework has consisted with fractions.  The example showed the shape being broken into other shapes (ex. A hexagon divided into 6 triangles) The first two problems showed two shapes – the first was two to six times bigger than the second shape – the fraction.  Jenna drew lines over the first shape to make shapes equal to the second (ex – 2 triangles in a square).  The first two problems had shapes that could be drawn into the first shape in equal amounts.  It was the two shapes on the third problem which threw both of us off.


          As I was trying to find the second shape (diamond/rhombus) inside of the first shape (a trapezoid) I just wasn’t getting it.  Biff came into the room and I handed him the paper and asked him to figure it – knowing full well that he would have it within seconds – which he did.  Oh, so obvious.  A diamond and triangle made up the trapezoid – or three triangles.  The second shape was 1/3 of the first shape.  Certainly we would have gotten it eventually – but not near as quickly as he did.  How awesome is that?

          We had discovered Biff’s “hidden” talent the day that Jenna brought home a puzzle ball – which she broke apart before I could even look at it.  Roland and I struggled with the six pieces trying to turn it back into a ball while Biff had put it together three times in less than one minute (while Jenna enthusiacally broke it apart each time and eagerly watching Biff put it back together again)

          Jenna has been able to draw and cut out perfect looking hearts since she was three. I still have a hard time with hearts – unless I am tracing a heart shaped box or template.  Drawing and cutting are not talents that I possess.  I have always admired those that draw well and those who continue to make it a talent.  I think all of my family members draw well.  My brother’s wife and children also have artistic talent.

          And then there’s the talent of making friends – having others drawn to you out of respect or pleasure.  This is a talent that seems to come naturally for my husband, my sister-in-law and youngest son.  Others struggle with trying to make new friends or socialize at all.  But it is a talent that can be developed.

             There’s the talent of being able to recognize and utilize the talents of others.  One of the best examples of someone who possessed the talent of being able to recognize and utilize the talents of others was Roger Bushell, who was a flight lieutenant with the 601 Squadron in the British military.



          Roger had many talents – academically, athletic, his passion for flying and a talent for defending the accused. When he was sent to an “escape proof” prison camp in November 1942.  His master mind is what inspired the movie, “The Great Escape” which included many details that were actually used among the prisoners under his direction.

          He was able to scout out and utilize the talents of every single prisoner – even those who claimed they wanted nothing to do with his plan.  Some (such as the character “Hilts”, a prisoner portrayed by Steve McQueen) were certain they could escape without the assistance or aide or the other 300 – 600 who planned to escape out the tunnel.  Bushell also used that to his advantage explaining that if the soldiers kept their focus on the “Hilts” of the camp, they may not notice the teamwork taking place into digging and building the tunnels among other things.

          It’s important for each of us to share our talents with others.  To give and take and learn from and appreciate one another. I hope one day to recognize and utilize others’ talents as did Bushell.  What a marvelous gift!