Friday, September 25, 2009

Food for Thought...

A friend sent me this video, and I thought it was so interesting that I had to post it. ENJOY.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Brother, My Keeper

Today is my brother Kenneth's birthday. He turns 31. In honor of our 24 year long friendship, I thought I'd recount some favorite memories with him.


*playing hide-and-find, especially when Kenny hid between the book shelf and the bed and we couldn't find him forever.

*going on secret missions to clean the house, complete with code names.

*creating a HUGE poof pad in the family room that consisted of all the blankets and pillows in the entire house, and then we spent over an hour doing flips and tricks onto it.

*Getting trapped on a rock in the blackberry patch because Kenny wanted me to try to get the berries up there. Thanks!

*finger painting on the sliding glass door in the family room with shaving cream to the inspirational sounds of Gregorian chants on the record player. Sorry about the smell, Mom and Dad.

*building sandcastles at just about every beach we went to. My favorite was when we made the Salt Lake Temple and people thought it was a mission and that the angel Moroni torn from a paper cup was a cross. Hmm, we've got to work on our design a bit.

*listening to bed time stories (usually stories from the Bible or Book of Mormon) a la Kenneth. He always added a bit more spice than the scriptural accounts.

*Kenny trying to take care of me when I had a tummy ache by rubbing my stomach. Sorry about how that one ended up, Ken!

*the letter he wrote me one time while he was on his mission that made my day and was just what I needed to hear at that moment. To this day, that small event sticks out as one of the kindest things someone has done for me, and is an example of how the Lord uses us to answer each other's prayers.

*Falling asleep to the sound of you playing the guitar because the sound traveled through the heating vent.

I could keep going forever, but suffice it to say that writing this list has reminded me what a wonderful brother I have and how much fun he adds to my life! More than that, though, he always looks out for me and takes care of me as best he can. I always know that I can go to him if I need anything.

Love you Ken!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's a Bird..It's a Plane...It's a KLUTZ!

After my last post, several of you asked how I answered my students when they asked about my most embarrassing moment. The truth is that I told different stories to different classes because I couldn't decide. As most of you know, I am a self proclaimed klutz and proud of it!

Today, for your entertainment, I will tell you what I consider to be my top three stories, and I want you to vote. Which do you think is worst? (Or best, as the case may be, since I think these stories are hilarious and I don't really get THAT embarrassed very easily.) In order to keep my influence over the voting as insignificant as possible, I will tell the stories in chronological order.

#1: The Classic "I've-fallen-and-500-people-just saw" Act

It was my senior year of high school. I had finally gotten the role in the school musical that I wanted. We had practiced, prepared, and had a great run of the show so far. It came down to closing night--the last time I would perform a play on my high school stage. The crowd had been really responsive that night--easy to please. But, I was about to give them more that they had bargained for.

I was on stage with three other girls performing a tap number. We were all doing our synchronized moves when, all of the sudden, my tap shoe slipped out from underneath me and...THUD! I went down, face first, onto the stage. I got up quickly and finished the number, and, truthfully, it wasn't until I was off stage that I fully comprehended what had happened. I thought for a moment, maybe it wasn't that bad and no one noticed. No such luck.

As friend after friend...and finally even my director...came up to me to ask if I was okay ("I saw that awful fall!" they would say), it sunk in that, YES, I really had committed the most cliche stage act ever--I had just fallen on stage in front of 500 people on closing night of the spring musical.

#2: The Attack of the Chain-link Fence

At the school where I work, we occasionally have fire drills to review with students proper emergency procedure. I'm sure this is common practice at just about every school across the nation.

During one such drill on a particularly cold October day, I felt badly that my students hadn't had time to get coats before filing outside into the frigid air. Trying to figure out a way to help them keep warm, I exclaimed, "Come on kids, run in place! It will keep you warm." To demonstrate (because I'm sure they really needed the visual), I began running in place. Unfortunately, I was standing really close--too close--to a chain-link fence. Much to my surprise, my high heel shoe got caught and I went crashing to the ground.

My students gasped, unsure of how to react, and the teacher next to me, who hadn't been looking my way, heard the gasp, turned around, and yelled, "Oh my gosh! Are you okay?!" I was fine, though for the rest of the year my students never let me live it down and constantly reminded me, "Be careful of that cord, Miss Wright...Don't trip over that backpack, Miss Wright." They got a kick out of it!

#3: Flirtation Gone Awry

I have really bad teeth. So bad, in fact, that I have had four root canals. It's all because of my bad dental genes that this story even exists...not that I blame you, Dad :). I had just had a temporary crown put on one of my front incisors when I gallivanted off to a Young Single Adult retreat in the mountains the weekend before school started last summer. It was a great activity and I had a good time going to classes...and flirting with the boy I liked.

On the closing day of the retreat, I was eating a carrot at lunch (irresponsible with a temp crown, I know), when I felt the crown pop off! I ran to the bathroom, hoping that I could just slide the crown back onto the stub of the tooth. No such luck--I had broken the tooth itself! I searched out a friend of mine who was a dentist and he advised me to drive home and see if I could get in contact with my dentist to fix it before I started school Monday (because a missing front tooth would have made a great first impression).

I made arrangements to leave, but I needed to tell the boy I liked that I was leaving early because he had been planning to come back down the hill with us. I placed the tooth precariously back in my mouth so I wouldn't look like an idiot talking to him, and went to find him. So far, so good. I had a plan to get it fixed and everything would be all right.

Except, life couldn't be that simple. While I was talking to him, the tooth FLEW out of my mouth. And I mean FLEW! It skittered across the picnic table where he was sitting and fell onto the ground. Embarrassed, I dropped to my knees looking for it. The boy joined me, and we began crawling around, searching. We couldn't find it, and people began to notice and want to help.

"What are we looking for?" they asked.

"My tooth," I replied. "Don't ask."

Finally, he found my tooth and held it out to me. As I reached for the tooth in his outstretched palm, I thought to myself, this can't be happening. I am not getting my TOOTH back from the boy I like.

The good news is that I did get the tooth fixed and my life did not end in an embarrassed heap on the ground of that campsite.

SOOOOOO....WHAT DO YOU THINK? Which one wins the prize?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Interviews with Seventh Graders

SO, every year I do an interview project with my seventh grade students. They interview each other and then write a magazine article about the person. It's a great way for them to get to know each other, for me to get to know them, and for them to experiment with writing. Now for the exciting a practice for the interviews they conduct of each other, I always let them interview me for 10-15 minutes. It's the one day each year that I let them ask me any question (almost) and I let them get to know me. Plus, by doing so, they practice the skills I want them to learn anyway.

Here are the top 5 entertaining questions I got today:

5. What is your most embarrassing moment? (EVERY class ALWAYS asks this one)

4. What conditioner do you use? (REALLY?)

3. Are you Russian? (...not sure how he guessed)

2. How did you meet your husband ("I don't know. I'll let you know when I find him.")

And the kicker...

1. Are you married? If yes, do you like him? If no, do you want to be? (Seriously, what kind of a question is that?!?!? How was I supposed to answer? ... "Umm, no, I'm not married but if I ever do get married I hope I like him. And, yes, I would like to get married, but please don't try to set me up. I'll find my own dates.")

Once again, seventh graders never cease to make me laugh! Just thought I'd share!