Both Teacher and Student

Week 1 Was Actually Quite Overwhelming

But by the looks of my handy dandy bullet journal (that was a Blues Clues reference for all you who aren’t millennials) tells me otherwise. It is a bit of a barren week. I will say I had a surprisingly heavy load of homework for week one, but I managed! Actually, it seems to me as if I just procrastinated like a classic college student does. I was doing something late at night on Thursday because it says here that I was moving through Friday with 5 ½ hours of sleep under my belt. What fun. Sunday, I went to church in heels forgetting it was a 2-mile walk from the train station. Not one of my finest moments. But what was funny about that, was that after service I was on my way walking to Kepler’s Books (a bookstore) and I hear my name yelled from afar. Aunt Lindsey, her husband, her baby, and her little on Gracelynn were all packed in the car at a red light! You know you’ve become a local when you know people on the street.

I went to church in heels forgetting it was a 2 mile walk from the train station.

Thank You

This thank you goes out to Charlie and the rice sock you sent me! His name is Fred and he has a happy face drawn on. This rice sock, Fred, has been the best thing since sliced bread. Pop it in the microwave for a minute or two, throw it on your pillow or under the covers while you brush your teeth, and when you go to sleep it feels like you’re laying in a pile of sheets that just got pulled out of the dryer. It’s heavenly, really it is. So if anyone struggles with always being cold, especially while sleeping, get yourself a rice sock friend. He/she/it (I don’t want to be exclusive) will never disappoint you. Just like Fred. Fred is the bomb.

So Many Fascinating Plays! Actually Just Two

This week I read A Raisin in the Sun and The Bacchae, two completely different plays talking about two very different things. If there was one thing I wanted everyone to read right now, it would be A Raisin in the Sun. And if you think it has a happy ending, your ignorance is showing. This is a stunning show about a low-class multi-generational family of color that has been given a check worth thousands of dollars as inheritance because of a recent death in the family. All wanting the best for their family, it quickly becomes clear how each dream for a better life conflicts with another. No matter what they do, the oppression of societal whiteness and climate control is there to stop them.

I Was Volun-told Into a Paying Job

Volunteered / Volun-told. Get it now? This story is a God thing. (As my grandma puts it). You may remember me talking in the past about a woman, Shelene HueyBooker. Shelene was the SCU Gospel Choir director last year, who has now founded a performing arts school under the non-profit organization, Youth Utilizing Power and Praise (YUPP). Earlier in the winter break, Shelene told me she was starting this school called Light it Up School of Ministry Infused Arts (LIUSMIA) and asked if I was willing to assist the teachers who were teaching the Musical Theatre and Acting classes. I said sure! Well on Tuesday I got a text from Shelene. It said, “Hey sweetheart! So now I specifically need you for a class. … My acting teacher had to cancel out. You start Monday!” I thought, “OH. WELL OKAY!” So I wrote a syllabus, which was quite something, figured out lesson plans, and everything was approved by the end of the night. They loved it! Talk about a CRAZY weekend! So now, on top of school and three shows, I am teaching acting to youngsters from 7 – 12 years old, all myself! I have never been so intimidated and so excited before to do, for the first time, everything I’ve dreamed of doing, all at once. Worshipping, teaching, and acting all at the same time. And I’m only 19 years old. I can’t even begin to describe how truly humbled and dumbfoundedly amazed I am at the path God has put me on thus far. I decided over winter break that I wouldn’t sign up for any extracurricular activities (including shows) and instead I would watch for what God presented me with. I decided that letting God choose for me what He wanted me to be doing was probably a good idea to try out. And wow, did He blow me away. I am doing everything I love and I deeply, deeply care about every project I’m doing. All of my classes are exceptionally rich, and they are challenging me to dig even deeper and listen even harder. I never thought I would get to a point in my life where I have a 6th month contract (they’ve already mentioned wanting to extend it) teaching wonderful children how their God-given gifts can greatly change the world through acting, but here I am. Here I am giving a Bible lesson to kiddos and connecting it to theatre. Here I am writing lesson plans every week. Here I am getting paid to be in a show to engage children’s imaginations. Here I am getting paid to change the hearts of little ones. Here I am getting paid to be involved with my first equity (AEA) show. I have never loved my life so much. And there is still so much more to come. Looking back, my dream was to graduate high school. I never thought about how going to a university would be possible for me. I never thought making a career in the arts would be possible for me. I never thought I would have the confidence to teach. But I’m doing all of these things. And I’m getting high grades and flourishing. And I’m fostering exceptionally meaningful relationships. And I’m eating well. I’m dancing and building muscle every day. I’m actually getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night. I’m reading the Bible every day. I’m journaling every night. I’m full of so much love and giving energy. I’m going to church. It’s amazing what happens when you put God in the driver’s seat. Funny how that works. I don’t know where this is all going to take me, and I don’t know what is going to happen next. But knowing that I have no control over it, and the best driver in the universe is the one who’s steering? I’m not too worried. I’m instead living in every moment I’m given. I’m smiling at the cook who assumes everyone is going to pretend he doesn’t exist. Because of that, all the chefs know me now. I’m making conversation with people I see in Benson every day and you would not BELIEVE the stories and connections I’ve made. I’m so thankful, and so honored, and oh so marvously taken care of.

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