Don’t Miss the Experience

I really love General Conference.

I not only get to be spiritually fed and uplifted, I also get some of the best power naps in the world….usually taking place Sunday Morning. (I’m not perfect).

This conference was particularly good for me. As you all know…or maybe don’t know. My cutie bum husband and I left our Utah bubble and moved to Las Vegas. We moved for teaching jobs.

These past couple months have been great and also have been very difficult for the both of us. Different experiences we have had have left me exclaiming often, “We are not in Utah anymore.”

Many days I wonder what in the world I am doing here. Many days I really miss Utah (especially Logan) and want to pack up immediately and move back. Many days I don’t want to go back to school and deal with all the issues the students have and oh man….the kids here have too many.  Many days I wonder why I ever became a teacher and left my parents’ basement.

The world here is out of my comfort zone. Every day is out of my comfort zone. I have struggled with faith in the good feeling Stephen and I got when we were offered jobs and decided to move.

But then, conference came and I received the answer and comfort I needed.

I don’t remember who said it exactly and it might have even been a sentence put in my mind by the spirit but I believe it was Larry J Lawrence who said, “Don’t miss the experience the Lord is trying to give you.”

Don’t miss the experience the Lord is trying to give me in Nevada. Don’t miss the experience the Lords is trying to give me with 250 twelve and thirteen year old hormonal machines that carry grenades of drama with pins pulled and teasing to go off at any moment.

I don’t know what the experience is or what I need to learn, but I do have renewed faith that I am where I am supposed to be and I am not going to miss the experience.

Don’t miss yours.

P.S. I invite you to listen to Elder Lawrence’s talk for the first time or for the second or third time. It is a really good one. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/watch/2015/10?lang=eng&vid=4529180007001&cid=9

Today

I was bit by a dog today.

I was just minding my own business, walking back empty handed from the mailbox when all of the sudden there was small furry little rat attacking my foot. Oh wait…that is a dog. Well that ferocious little dog decided to attack my delicious looking foot while I walked by (as if the previous mailbox dejection wasn’t enough).

You might think that I must’ve done something to provoke it but no. The threat on my life was random and very uncalled for.  I guess she was furious I said hi to her owner and not her as I passed by on the sidewalk.  Oh poor Lucy, (that is the dog’s name. Found it out after I walked away, trying not to limp or let the little devil find joy in my pain)…I was just saying hi. It didn’t break the skin but boy those sharp tiny teeth hurt.

Maybe that was heaven trying to dissuade me from wanting a little pup of my own. That backfired. The constant ache in my appendage is just a reminder that I need, I mean, want one of those little guys around.

This one….I want this one…..

The best of times…the worst of times…

Monopoly.

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One moment you are sitting pretty, up high on your golden stallion with 75% of the properties until with one unlucky roll you land on Boardwalk with 4 houses. Yeah…your opponent only has 25% of the property and only one color set but one unlucky roll and you find yourself mortgaging your beloved B&O Railroad or your favorite St. James Place. Back down to the bottom. Viciously hoping that you’ll pass go without landing on income tax due or hoping to get doubles three times in a row to spend a precious few rolls ‘safe’ in jail. Once you were at the highest high but now you’re at the lowest low; frustrated at how lucky your opponent is getting as he skips all your properties again and lands on chance or community chest. “Advance to Go” it reads.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME??

Suddenly, a few rolls later, his luck runs out. He rolls doubles and he lands on Ventnor (Yes it is spelled right…I always thought it was Ventor) Avenue with a hotel, happens to roll doubles again – Snake eyes – lands on Marvin Gardens also with a hotel (duh…same color set) and suddenly you are back in business!!!

HALLELUJAH!!!

….oh wait…just landed on Boardwalk again….

Yep…that’s how the game goes…2-3 hours (if you’re lucky) of an emotional rollercoaster that can leave relationships on the brink of disaster.

Monopoly has become one of my favorite games to play with my hubby. You’d think that with my familial track record (such as Dad flipping the game board because he was so mad) that playing would be similar to driving into the danger zone but I find it all quite irritatingly fun…if you can call it that. Anyway, we were given the electronic version as a wedding gift (we registered for it….the person who gave it to us wasn’t trying to put a strain on our relationship….geeze…) and we have played it quite regularly since. So if you want to play you have to come visit us in Vegas…..

Yep. You read that right. Vegas….Las Vegas, Nevada. We moved there….well here….cause I am here. And here is the rest of the update of what has been happening lately.

Stephen and I both have teaching jobs and we are pretty excited to start another new adventure. It’s been a crazy and a fantastic 4 months.

There are a few pretty big life changing moments that happen to a lot of people throughout their lives such as graduating from college….

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Check!

….um…getting married!

Stephen and Sara's sealing held in the Mount Timpanogos Temple and reception in Springville, UT, 2 June 2015 (Nathaniel Ray Edwards)

Check!

Let’s see…..moving away!

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Check!

…and…starting a career!

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Check!

All 4 of those life-changers have been happening to me in 4 months. Pretty wild, right? If that was getting adult enough we have had to start our own car insurance, internet, renter’s insurance, change names, get car titles, get our own place, and play lots of monopoly and lots of Pokemon….Gotta catch’em all….

Luckily we still have a little bit of time to get our own cell phone plan. Then we will REALLY be adults.

Aside from all the times I have lost at Monopoly, it really has been the best of times.

So for now I will leave you as we begin our new adventure. More exciting posts to come in the future! 🙂

Muchos loves!

lucy wilde

-Me

P.S. Today I finished watching the show “The Office” for the first time. And I am a little embarrassed to admit when the last episode was about to start, I started crying because it was going to be over. I guess I was a little attached to the characters…..I’ve never had that happen before…..  #JimAndPam4Ever

Course Synthesis – Almost A Teacher

This is it!

It’s the end!

Well…almost the end….

In one more semester I will graduate and be able to start a teaching career!

But now comes the hard part. How am I going to incorporate all the awesome things I have learned (mostly what I’ve learned in SCED 4200 because it’s the most practical and beneficial education class I’ve taken) into my teaching?

I don’t want my Physical Education classroom to be typical. I want it to be a place where the students not only learn skills but where they learn to be physically literate, meaning, they understand and can incorporate the psychomotor, cognitive, and affective parts of PE and can apply them in their own life.

The first thing to consider when teaching is how to make sure I integrate critical literacy. As a Physical Education teacher I can make students aware of social issues concerning health, nutrition, and exercise. I can show them multiple perspectives to new fads, television shows, and other PE related news in the media so that they can learn to come up with opinions and do research on their own instead of relying on the solely on the media for their information, which oftentimes is incorrect.

In my physical education classroom I plan on presenting health, nutrition, and exercise ideas in a myriad of ways. First, I plan on teaching them the skills necessary to be successful in physical activity. This will be done through the use of demonstrations, videos, and other technologies such as apps like Ubersense where the students can compare themselves with professional athletes and see how their technique matches up. Videos and physical demonstrations will allow students to see what the exercise or the skill is supposed to look like so they can then replicate the movements.

I will also be teaching my students vocabulary so they are able to use correct terminology that allows them to be more specific and clear when talking about exercise skills, health, and nutrition.

In order to reinforce the terms that they learn, students will be asked to communicate through writing and oral discussion. I plan on having the students keep an fitness blog where they can present ideas and can communicate with each other about their ideas online. Some of the things I will ask them to write about include new exercises or workouts that are coming out or is something they are interested in getting involved with, writing as from the perspective a muscle being used throughout the day, how they felt after exercising that day and what they did for their workout, etc. This way they will be able to practice using the vocabulary they have learned.

I also plan on reinforcing vocabulary through oral discussion and debate as we research and discuss controversy in the Physical Education field. We will use small group discussions, class discussions, and partner discussions. As students are practicing skills I plan on having them use verbal cues to help them learn the technique. These cues will be things that they can tell to each other to remind them of what they are supposed to be doing.

Not only do I want my students to be able to express themselves through writing and discussion but I want them to be able to find the information to discuss through reading. I plan on having a wide variety of texts available to my students about a many topics. Some of the texts would include texts about specific sport skills, sport psychology, biographies of athletes, histories of sports and other past controversies like blacks in baseball, exercises, etc. They would also include all levels of reading from picture books to academic journals and research. This way as students are researching different ideas or writing reports about different sports, they have a lot of resources available to find information. I want to be able to help them find a book that is related to PE that interests them. I want to provide my students access to anything from rock climbing skills to visualization of performance to conditioning.

It is my hope that my students will be able to better navigate the worth of nutrition, health, and exercise better as I try to use different modalities to teach them according to their needs. By not only using kinesthetic learning experiences but by including writing, reading, vocabulary, and other types of instruction, my students will be able to become critically literate in Physical Education. They will be able to be active individuals throughout their entire lives which is the point of having PE classes.

Play Ball! (Connecting School and Home Experiences)

Sports and athletics have always been a big part of my life. I have five sisters and no brothers. My dad, who is an avid sports fan himself, taught us girls to play. I remember my dad nailed bases into our front yard and we would play baseball when we were younger. He also had a basketball pole cemented into our driveway and we spent a lot of evenings playing around the world or lightning. My dad didn’t ever let us win at around the world and to this day, I think only one of my sisters has beat him. She was lucky. I loved playing with my dad and learning how to do each of the skills. As I got older I started participating in city league teams and absolutely loved playing. I was a fast runner and picked up sport skills quickly. Also when I was little, I could be found teaching “school” with my stuffed animals in rows and a whiteboard.

I think the experiences I had growing up let me to excel in PE and gave me a love for teaching. As I got older I decided that I wanted to do something I loved for the rest of my life so I figured I would be a PE teacher.

From my own personal experiences, I know that being successful while doing physical activity skills is important for enjoyment in PE. I can make it possible for all skill levels to find success in the gym. I can also incorporate the interests of the students and their own background. If some have experience with uncommon sports, such as yoga, rock climbing, cycling, or zumba, I can incorporate those activities and have the student share their experiences. Finding out about the students’ backgrounds with physical activity can help engage them in the skills we are doing.

The Writer (Affective Dimensions of Writing)

It’s funny…I’m sitting here, and I can’t think how to start writing about my experiences as a writer and the affective dimensions of writing. Who knew writing about writing would be so hard?!

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The beginning is a good place to start…well…as close to the beginning as I can remember. As a child I drew on the walls. I had to express myself somehow and paper wouldn’t cut it. I wasn’t very big but I had a huge imagination. The walls were my canvas but for some reason my mom didn’t understand that. She didn’t appreciate artistry and writing as much as I did. Go figure.

I would consider myself to be a writer but mainly for my own personal use and I usually go through phases where I write a lot but then don’t write anything for an extended period of time. As I have grown older, I stopped drawing on the walls (to the sanity of my mother) and I now keep a journal and a blog and I generally just express my musings of my mind. I’ve also been known to use my witty writing in 160 characters or less on Twitter. Witty and concise….not everyone has the ability to do that.

Please enjoy this reading break while you listen to a song called “The Writer” by Ellie Goulding. (If you feel the tragic necessity to skip the reading break, you can scroll past the song continue reading. Even better, you can play it and read the rest at the same time! #Multitask – Yes, I threw in a hashtag in my blog post. #HashtagLiteracy #Communication)

In school I really enjoyed the writing assignments that required me to analyze a literary text and then I was able to express my interpretation and ideas of the text. There is a little bit of structure to the assignment but it allows me to have a lot of choice with the assignment. In school, I definitely do better and have more motivation when I have a choice. The assignments I didn’t enjoy were research papers that were less about opinion but more about fact. The facts are important and are needed in developing an opinion but I don’t enjoy only presenting the facts themselves. I like including my opinion as well.

I think writing in my content area would be mainly free-writes in a journal where they would express how they felt about different activities we did in class or how they were feeling emotionally, physically, and mentally and how it has affected their day or week. I will also let them share their opinion about different health topics we cover in the class. The students wouldn’t be graded so much on form as they are on content. Their writing would also include writing personal fitness plans where they would be able to choose what they wanted to do for fitness improvement or in an activity they would like to begin participating in. I think the important thing is that the students have some interest in what they write and that is has some application in their lives.

Affective Dimensions of Reading

Ah reading….I just finished a weekend full of reading. I spent the entire day Saturday and a few hours on Sunday reading a book called Words of Radiance. It was amazing. I finished reading it and the only thing I wanted to was to read the next one. Unfortunately, it isn’t out yet.

I would classify myself as a good reader at times but I would also classify myself as a bad reader at times. When a book interests me, I am a good reader. I think about the text and comprehend it quite well. I love to read fiction and fantasy books that allow me to use my imagination. I also like to read nonfiction books that are written with more of a casual style. When I read these books I would consider myself to be a good reader. When the book is uninteresting to me I don’t understand much of it at all. I usually end up reading and re-reading a lot of passages. I am not a good reader when the book is boring.

I really enjoy reading when I have a choice in what I read and when I read it. During school I didn’t enjoy reading often because I felt forced into doing it. My family and friends encouraged me and still encourage me to read by suggesting good books. That way, I get to pick and choose what I read and find myself enjoying it much more.

I can foster a climate in the classroom where students are interested in reading by allowing them to choose the books they would like to read based on something they are interested in within the discipline. If the students are interested in a specific sport person, they can read a biography on that person. If the student is interested in the effects of nutrition on the body or on the performance, there are many interesting and fun to read books on the subject. One huge factor is allowing the students to choose. They need to own it and with a choice, they are more likely to take ownership of their reading and see themselves as good readers.

Introduction for SCED 4200

My name is Sara Sorenson and I am a Physical Education major and a Spanish Education minor. I learned to speak Spanish on an LDS mission in New York City. This is one of the reasons I decided to go with a Spanish Minor. It seemed like a good idea to take a skill that I had developed and use it for a job. I love playing sports and I like teaching others to play so that they can enjoy them as well. I really enjoy running and playing softball. I ran track and cross country in high school and now participate in half-marathons. One big reason why I want to teach Physical Education is so that I can give students the skills necessary for them to live active and healthy lifestyles. Many people want good health but don’t have the ability or literacy to be able to maintain it. Literacy to me is the ability to function independently in whatever discipline is being used. There are many different types of literacy depending on what the person needs.

Finding the Christmas Spirit this Season

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat. Here’s to put a penny in the old man’s hat.

Christmas is indeed coming my friends and as we focus on finding the perfect Christmas gift, the lights, the traditions, the boxes, the bags, watching “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and other fantastic things that I love, as has been told to us many times, it is important to find the Christmas Spirit.

Usually I’m not too concerned with it. Call me materialistic. I’ll admit it. I am. I get caught up in all the hustle and bustle. But this season is a little different for me. I’ve had a lot on my mind about giving a gift to Christ. One, because I’m trying to be more vulnerable and two, mainly because of this video that I saw of a beloved Christmas carol. If you haven’t had the chance to watch it/listen to it, please take the time to do so before you continue. If you have had the chance, watch it again. It is SO worth it.

I first watched this when I was on my way home from Alabama. Let’s just say this trip to Alabama was very spiritually enlightening for me especially as it comes to vulnerability. When you have yourself to keep you company for a million hours (or 12) you definitely get a chance to ponder things. Anyway, the first time I watched this video I almost cried. Ever since I served a mission I have become the biggest cry baby. Everything makes me cry. I teared up during “Father of the Bride Part I and Part II” the other night. I bawled during, “Warrior.” Yeah…this girl likes to cry during the cheesy relationship stuff (familial, friendial, or loverial…It doesn’t matter and yes, I just made those words up). I digress.

I almost cried because of the message of the song that I finally figured out after 20+ years of listening to this Christmas song. In this song the little drummer boy is distraught because he is invited to go meet the newborn King but doesn’t have a gift to give him. The others are bringing their finest gifts to honor the King (I only assume that the “others” are the 3 wisemen…gold, frankincense, Myrrh…seriously…I’d be distraught too. I can’t keep up with fancy gifts like that..I’m a poor girl too!) and he doesn’t have anything that is fit for someone with the status of a King. But what the little drummer boy realizes is that he has a gift to give, albeit simple. He can play his drum and not only does he play his drum for the new King, he play his very best for the King and you know what that King did (said like the little black boy in the Trigon commercial, “You know what he did?” Look it up if you haven’t seen it. So cute!), he smiled at the little drummer boy. The newborn King smiled. He accepted his gift and not only accepted it but was well pleased. I LOVE THAT!

This Christmas season, the gift that we can give is our best, and you know, it doesn’t even matter if our “best” it isn’t our best. If we give any effort, any effort at all, we will be pleasing the Beloved Son of God. That is why He came to the world. That is why we need His Atonement. He makes whatever gift we give, whatever effort we put forth, much greater than we can imagine and even seen at the time. We might be able to give the fancy gifts of gold, frankincense, or myrrh. Or, we might be like the little drummer boy who could only give his lowly talent. We are enough WITH the strengths and weaknesses we have…not despite of them, but because of them. We are enough. Who knows how beautiful to the musical experts the sound of the little drum would have been. But to Christ, the boy’s gift was the most beautiful of them all. This little drummer boy was vulnerable and the newborn King smiled upon him and his little drum. It doesn’t matter what “drum” you have, let’s be vulnerable and play our “drums” for the newborn King this season and throughout this next year even though we may not feel like our playing is good enough. Remember, it is enough because you are enough, I am enough, we are enough. This is how I have found the Christmas spirit and this is how I am going to try to keep it throughout the season and throughout the rest of the year. Dear friends, I’m going to be vulnerable. Join me.

And in case you needed some more Pentatonix Christmas in your life, here is another song of their’s that I love. I confess that sometimes I listen to it during the summer time…and in case you were wondering (I know you were), my favorite part of this song is where they sing “From Everywhere.” Ah! So beautiful.

Starting Out on a Journey

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As many of you may have noticed I have developed a sort of obsession, you could say, with the word, “Vulnerability.” I was introduced to this word by my friend, Tyler, and this TEDtalk, a year or two ago and it has something that has been on and off my mind ever since. It wasn’t until recently that I developed a greater understanding of what vulnerability means. I finished a book called, “Daring Greatly,” by Brené Brown (the very same woman who gave the TEDtalk I linked above).

I learned my simple definition that I had come up with wasn’t quite right. In fact, I was quite wrong. I had completely misunderstood what being vulnerable is all about. I can’t say that I have perfect definition of what it is, but I have a better understanding. The realization of how wrong I was, was quite unnerving for me. I was actually waiting for a flight to Alabama when it hit me. I basically started crying in the airport…not full on crying but I was tearing up pretty bad and my nose started running. Learning that you have had the wrong idea about something hurts pretty bad, but hey, recognizing that you aren’t vulnerable is a good start to becoming vulnerable, right? So, there, in the wonderful city of Vegas, I decided to make a change. I was going to work on being vulnerable. It is not an easy process and it terrifies me. It is one of the scariest things I have decided to do.

So, as I work on being more vulnerable with my relationships (family, friends, etc.), I decided I was going to be more vulnerable with my music. I’m not the greatest singer or songwriter out there, and I am not even close. I feel very inadequate and unskilled but it is something that I love and it is something that comes from my heart. I know that there are many of you that will like it and many who won’t like it, but as is quoted in “Daring Greatly,” Theodore Roosevelt said, ” It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…” I am going to dare greatly.  I am nervous. I am scared. I am horribly freaked out about it, have no idea to how to really get started, and am going to need a lot of help but I am going to do it. And if I fail, I will fail like a champion because I have dared greatly. If the only life my music and vulnerability changes is my own, then it is worth it. I challenge you all to do the same. Let’s dare greatly together, and maybe, we can change the world…at least for ourselves. So, for starters, you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Spotify.

If you want to learn about it, I recommend watching the TEDtalk and reading the book. My post can only give you a small idea of what being vulnerable is. Like I said, I am still learning how to practice it in my own life. So, read the book (I have it if you would like to borrow it). Watch the TEDtalk. Dare greatly.

P.S. Now this isn’t to say that I won’t take ideas on how to better my music. I have so much to learn about singing, playing the guitar, writing songs, etc, that I will take any help that I get. So, if you have any ideas, want to get involved, or jam with me, let me know!

P.P.S. Thank you all so much for the support you have given me thus far. It is humbling to think that there are others who believe in me. Thank you. Thank you for buying the songs on iTunes and for sharing them with your friends.

P.P.P.S. I have to give a shout out to Jason Jones with Art City Sound for helping me record my songs. He does a fantastic job and is so fun to work with!