Sunday, July 17, 2011


Here's the truth: I'm not loving teaching primary. I don't like that both Hayley and I are teachers, but we're not in the same class. we're not even in the same primary group--she's in senior primary, I'm in junior. I don't like that I came in in the middle of the year, so I didn't get to be the one who lays down ground rules. I don't like that my teacher companion guy is old enough to be my dad, we don't relate to one another, he's gone all the time, is sometimes mean to the loud kid in our class, but doesn't discipline at all. I'm annoyed with the one kid that won't shut up the whole time and the girl that can't seem to keep her dress down. I'm sick of rushing through lessons that no one listens to, just to get to the coloring so they'll focus on that one thing.

I whined about all this to Hayley today, and she gave me some great advice on how to teach kids. She was sympathetic to my complaints, and understood that I want to talk to the primary presidency and have us be put together, but I think we'll hold off on it. It may not be easier to try to teach class with Mikey (we both just take him to sharing time since we're there at different hours), and if this is how we were called, maybe I need to figure out what I need to learn from this calling, and what I need to teach these kids. She pointed out that a coloring page may be age appropriate for them, but there are ways to get them to pay attention. It was a very helpful conversation, and while I still wasn't super excited about church today, I felt armed with some new tools to teach.

In class today, I did some massive positive reinforcement and it was awesome. They payed attention, they were reverent, and while I still somewhat rushed through the lesson, we got through the whole thing, and only spent ten minutes on the coloring (as apposed to the 20-30 minutes that sometimes happens). Sure, the one super talker kid wasn't there, but if the rest of them are that good next week, he'll start falling into line. I'm hopeful and actually enjoyed church today.

And I wanted to share this with you. While looking online for a coloring page, I found this gem. As you can obviously see, Jesus is the mysterious hooded one, God is the shirtless, bald guy with great abs, and the Holy Ghost is the fiery one like God, but with blank, hollow eyes. Just as I imagine the Trinity to look. Surrounded by stars and planets, like superheros. ...but to avoid parents getting all up in my grill about false doctrine and whatnot, I decided to go with something else. Hope you got a kick out of it like I did.

So here's hoping things continue to go well!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tales from first class

I've been on a few business trips lately that were given very short notice. This usually means the flights are sold out and expensive, and all that is left is a first class seat. In addition to my first time ever in first class, I wanted to share some experiences I've had. To keep it somewhat shorter than to what I may be prone, I'll give them to you in bullets. The bullets will be followed by narrative, so if you get bored, you can skim.
  • First class will change you. The first time I flew first class, I felt bad. Like I was trying to be someone I'm not, that I was slighting my fellow middle-class Americans. When they gave me a meal, I still ate it, but could NOT look at the people in coach sitting behind me. I noticeably avoided looking behind me (which is odd, because I never look behind me on a plane anyway, but this was so deliberate). I was the last seat in first class. The second time, I noticed that there were 4 other iPads up in first class. I have one, so I felt like one of the elite. I enjoyed the beverage service before the flight began. I left perfectly good pieces of melon on the lunch plate because I could. I also pitied the poor saps that had to board after me, and thought about how sad it must be to have no leg room back in coach. The saddest part is that now that my last-minute flights are done, I'll probably never ride in first class again, and I'll again be put next to a large (not chubby, but large) 6'4" dude, and try to keep my arms folded in an attempt to not touch him at all during a three hour flight (yes, that did happen).
  • Everyone has a twin. In a single night, in a single restaurant, I saw the twins of a girl I worked with at my first out-of-college job (and almost waved to her and went to ask her what she was doing in Austin), a girl I knew from my freshman year of college, and a guy I knew in high school. I'm not exaggerating. Just so you know I'm not lying, the names of the real people are RB, Hayley (yep, she spells her name like Hayley), and Ryan. The doppelgangers could have stood next to the real people (the people I actually know are the real ones. Obviously.), and passed as twins.
  • It is weird to eat at the bar alone and not order alcohol. But what else do you do? You can take up a whole table for a server, and get your one meal. They have to do all the same amount of work, but for half the tip, because it's just a party of one. The bar, on the other hand, is full service like a table, but it's the freakin' bar. And you're the weirdo that says, "Now that you've explained the great, happy hour deals on shots, beers on tap, and colorful mixed drinks, I'm going to go a head and order a water." When eating alone, I often get a soda solely because I feel I owe it to the server to get something that costs money so their tip will be bigger.
  • Austin, TX has lots of christian rock stations, Latin stations, and country stations. I surfed through the radio stations and found a TON of christian rock. Or christian talk, with rock mixed in. I'm not going to lie, I sat and listened a while. If I lived there, I may or may not want at least one on a preset. Just for kicks. On a related note, there are also tons of country music stations and Hispanic music stations. And only two alternative rock stations, and one of those has poor reception. The one that I've taken a liking to has a British lady on the morning show, and likes to play a LOT of Hoobastank. I heard no less than three Hoobastank songs on the way back to the hotel one night.
  • Everyone obeys the speed limit in Austin. Seriously, there are very few that speed. In SLC, people go 75 mph on the freeway and don't bat an eye, and if you're not going at least 5 over, EVERYONE is passing you. In Austin, there are sections where the limit is 55, and everyone complies. I like it. It may be because they have a zillion cops on the roads. All the roads. At all times.