Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Turkey Awareness Day

Happy Turkey Awareness Week!

It's that time of year that I love so dearly. Truly Thanksgiving is one my all time favorite holidays as is Valentine's but that will be left for another blog another day. I can hear the question, "Why is Thanksgiving your favorite?" Why not?!

First of all, this holiday is completely built around the most magnificent feast of the year. All day one can enjoy the mouthwatering aromas of delicious dishes, some of which are only created for this special occasion. A full day spent in the kitchen, dusted with flour and busy as all get out, heavenly to me!

Don't forget the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! I love getting up to watch the Rockettes (a dream job!) and see the latest Broadway shows open the parade. How fun to see the giant balloons glide on by with ornate floats right in tow. And after the parade one should always watch "It's a Wonderful Life" or "Miracle on 34th Street" (The original only, please.) to get yourself started in the Christmas spirit!

Somehow in my house the kitchen has always been the one room everyone flocks to. Study parties were spent at the kitchen table where the plate of homemade cookies was just in arms reach. Suppers with family friends gathered around sharing the latest stories, discussing the weather or getting into heated debates requires a full belly and a steaming cup of Daddy's coffee. Afternoons spent gabbing with Mom about life took took place while she got supper on the table. Even some of the less happy moments of learning life's lessons took place right in that very room--so many different moments in one special room. There's something about a kitchen that brings people together, but more so on this particular holiday.

I love how unique the holidays are for my family. I hardly think my mom realizes just how much I adore our quirky get togethers and nontraditional traditions. For over a decade my family has been gathering with fellow family friends for Thanksgiving, rotating between every one's house bringing each family's favorite dish to share. Dressed casual attire and in a laid back mood, we enjoy a giant meal together catching up with one another in what has happened in the last year. Most often we engage in some sort of game afterwards--Mancala, a game I made Sarah play with me often, was first introduced one chilly Thanksgiving evening. Always there is laughter freshly served along side a scrumptious slice of pie. It's simply bliss to be around such wonderful friends.

The best part of this day is how conscious I am of all my blessings. In the run around of the passing weeks I often forget to pause and think how lucky of a lady I really am, especially these last few months. Don't get me wrong, there are those moments where it hits you like a flying freight train and you can't help but be thankful for the things you have. Thanksgiving allows a person to vocalize it a bit more and put more thought into what treasures we have in our lives.

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Hope your holiday is full of great food, good moments and thankful thoughts!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ponderings from a Graduate Student

In recent months I've been approached by many students interested in learning more about the MFA program here at school. Having been a student within the department the last three years and now current MFA student as well as a school ambassador for the last four years, I'm probably the best person to talk to. I'm practically a walking billboard for my university and dance department.

That being said I am always pleased to sit down with students and visit with them about the program, how it works and all the benefits involved Recently I was contacted by a someone inquiring about the program and I had to take a few days to sit and ponder my response.

Somehow this person was interested in being a part of the program, but repeatedly exclaimed how they were tired of school and all the work involved. Jaw dropped and eyes wide, I couldn't believe this person was truly asking me about a GRADUATE program for their MASTERS and at the same time telling me they did not want to put forth the work involved. Perhaps she did not understand what a masters program entails...

This program has been a good swift kick in the pants this past semester. I have 12-14 hour days five days a week. There isn't a single night I go to bed before 11:00/12:00 (Unless I forgo homework to catch up on sleep) and my to-do list is constantly being added to. Weekends are spent catching up and working ahead to stay on top over everything so that when Monday rolls around I don't feel like the I'm running in circles without a head connected to my neck.

Now, when put into those terms you might be thinking to yourself, "Why would you put yourself through such mess?" A friend of mine recently told a story of her roommate who takes 2 classes during the week, does not work, has no hobbies and exclaims how she wishes she could do more but that would "stress her out." Excuse me, but in life a little rain must fall and you have to get through those hard yet stressful times to get to those good, sunshine days. It's the way the world works so put on your big girl pants and get over it.

Here's the funny thing, amidst all that has been going on I still love what I do. Love it. The friends I've made keep me laughing when I want to sit down and cry or pop someone over the head. Choreography helps me work through creative frustration and learn more about myself and what it is waiting to be discovered. Classes challenge me to do better and better to earn the grade, not just slide by. I love it, every little piece.

Bottom line is that whatever stress or busy time that comes my way is one more hurdle to challenge myself to reach my goal: getting my masters. From there? Landing a job teaching in a university. For anything you want in life, truly desire you have to work for it. So yes, I will push through the hard times knowing that in almost one year I will successfully have in my hand a degree that I worked for, that I earned and absolutely deserve.
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