Thursday, July 28, 2011

BYU-I Report

I've been swearing to Brandon for the last several weeks that I wouldn't do this again next year because it stresses me out so much in the days (weeks) leading up to it, but now that I'm here again and enjoying the process of teaching my classes and interacting with the good women who bother to show up and listen to me ramble, I'm already thinking about how maybe next year our family could combine my three day teaching spree with a trip to Yellowstone.

I can see the Tetons out my window from Saren's in-law's farmhouse in Ashton, Idaho--about a half hour from the university. That's where I'm staying in the evenings with Saren, her family, and her Swiss sister-in-law who came along for the ride and the conference. (I've had so much fun getting to know her! I wish I could hear the life stories of just about everyone I meet. There are so many fascinating "ordinary" people in this world. No one is really ordinary though, right?) It's such a peaceful place to be in the mornings and evenings--here at the farm--before running around campus all day long. It reminds me of my childhood and the farm in Iowa. The sounds, the smells, the pace of life in the country. I can hear the cows lowing outside my window just now, and the wind blowing through the trees. I wished I had a camera tonight as I watched the fiery sun melt into a completely flat landscape. And I wish I had just one more day to "stop by" Yellowstone myself. Old Faithful is only about an hour and a half from here.

But back to the conference.  I have 3 classes for the youth, and 6 for the women as part of the "Mom Track"-- classes especially for mothers, with the additional perk of allowing mothers with nursing infants to attend. (None of this mothers and babies banned to the hallway business!) And every class has mothers with babies in attendance-- it just warms my overly sensitive heart. Mothers with babies in arms need support and a place to stimulate their mind and soul more than anybody!

The classes went well today, though the moms took more work loosening up than the youth. I had a blast with the youth! So interactive, which is what I like. I can't handle lecture style. It makes me nervous and uncomfortable, and I'm just sure everyone is trying to stay awake if I'm the only one doing all the talking. I really like to get people thinking and talking. It's just so stinking fun! To have an idea I'm excited about, a venue to communicate my thoughts and ideas, and people equally excited to show up, listen, and give me positive feedback? It's a weird little high for me.

I need to go to bed. 3 more classes tomorrow. Wish you were here! Maybe next year. (We'll be going to Yellowstone after . . .)

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