From Spring To Spring: My work-study experience

It was at the end of the fall semester of 2016 that I applied for a work-study position in the English and Communications Department at my college.

My ENC1102 professor, whose class I had just taken, worked in the office. I thought he was wonderful and we had a good rapport, so I figured he’d put in a good word for me.

As a little something extra, I brought the latest issue of Bella Grace magazine in which my poem had been published.  I wanted to show that I was the real story, the genuine article (puns intended)–that I loved what they loved.

I say, there is something about showing your professor your accomplishment that pertains to their field of expertise that makes you all glowy. It’s sort of like making your parents proud. Maybe the kid inside us never grows up.  Even though I live in my own home, with a husband and child, I still don’t quite feel like a grown-up–I just happen to be mature for my age.

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For four semesters, I worked with four awesome people (and met many more awesome people)–people who were there for me during the most difficult times in my life.  In the transient world of restaurant and retail, I felt my work-study family was my first true “work family.”

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This spring, I took two math classes so I could stay on one last semester.  (If you are scheduled for less than six credit hours in your major, you are ineligible for the program.) Even though that was totally nuts, leading me to spent eighty-plus hours in the math lab, I completed my greatest accomplishment: I passed both classes with B’s.

For me, that’s just about as good as it gets.

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Work-studying in my favorite department (History, Language, and Social Sciences would’ve been my second choice) gave me time to think about just what it was I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

It was my Benjamin Braddock moment–without the complication of a Mrs. Robinson (or, in my case, a Mr. Robinson. I am married, after all).

Though I will likely have to commence my professional career as a medical assistant, it was because I went back to school to major in Health Information Technology that I learned that there is a place for me in the professional writing world, beyond journalism, beyond literature.

There are needs to be filled, and I know where to look for them now.

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Great Sources for Children’s Songs

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Singing has always been one of my favorite things to do in the car (when I’m not listening to talk radio) and in church; so naturally, when I had a child, I wanted to sing to her, but not always old country tunes or church hymns (though we do the latter on Sunday night after I read to her from the children’s Bible).  I loved “Wee Sing” as a kid, because kids sang the songs, and the lyrics and melodies were easy to remember.  Whenever my family watched the Olympics, I loved listening to the different anthems, and chorus was one of my favorite classes in high school (even though the teacher asked me to please lip sync during performances).  When I was a little girl, “Meet Me in St. Louis” and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” were two of my favorite movies, and part of that was because of the music.  Some movies like “Pocahontas” and “Rent” were only good for their singles.  Music in movies is like poetry in motion (pardon the cliché), and I’ve found many greats in the motion pictures.  How different would “The Graduate” have been without that awesome soundtrack?

There is just something about music that stirs the soul, and though I am hardly musically inclined (a sheet of music is like an unreadable map to me), I love it, and I wanted to instill in my daughter a love for it, too (it might even help her in math later, so I’ve heard).

  1. “The Wee Cooper of Fife” (the song the children in the schoolhouse are singing in “The Birds”).
  2. “Tammy” (from “Tammy and the Bachelor”, with Debbie Reynolds; though I would say this song is more appropriate for a little girl).
  3. “Early One Morning” (the first couple of lines of this song were sung by Pollyanna and Nancy when they were delivering calves foot jelly to the poor, but those two lines stuck with me and I googled the song), finding this wonderful link so I could hear the entire melody (I had to go to a separate site to find the lyrics):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OAyS8OK9J4
  4. “Que Sera Sera” (the classic Doris Day song, from “The Man Who Knew Too Much”).  This is a very sweet song.  The refrain of “Skedaddle Skidoo” (also sung by Doris Day in “The Tunnel of Love”) is cute, too.
  5. “Popcorn Popping” was a song I learned when I served a calling in the nursery when I was LDS.  It’s great because it has fingerplays to accompany the words.
  6. In the 1944 WWII film, “Since You Went Away”, two young lovebirds are walking through a farm, singing, “Oh, my darling Clementine”.  When I looked up the actual “campfire” song, I was surprised at some of the lyrics, but from Mother Goose (like the “Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe” who whipped her children, which is considered child abuse today) to Stephen Foster (whose songs are just all in fun and were written in a very different time), you’re going to run into some objectionable words and phrases.
  7. HooplaKidz on YouTube is great (and free).
  8. The soundtrack from “The Sound of Music”.  My parents bought my daughter a xylophone, and it’s great for demonstrating “Do Re Mi”.  I often love to incorporate many of Hannah’s “favorite things” (Oprah and Maria von Trapp aren’t the only ones!) into the song.
  9. Christmas songs!  “Away in a Manger” is like a lullaby.  I like both the secular and the religious, though I only sing the secular at Christmastime.  (Christmas is in December; Jesus is for all seasons.)
  10. http://www.theteachersguide.com/ChildrensSongs.htm.  Great site for lyrics, but I have to go to YouTube to get the melody.  Who ever knew there were so many verses to “London Bridge”?  I made up sign language for every verse, which has been terribly fun.  My daughter bounces and claps whenever I start a song with a dance of the arms and hands.