June 30, 2017

What is a Bulldog?

The past several days I've been immersed in the work of finding Bulldogs.  It's not always simple to find a lost dog.  I wish I could just xerox a photo and staple it to a telephone pole for passers by to see and call my number.  I'm looking for special Bulldogs.  The ones who graduated in 1987 from Provo High School.  Through a series of unfortunate events I find myself the point-person to look for those of my graduating class. I didn't run for office during my Jr year, I was appointed by one person while I slept on eastern standard time and woke up to my phone sending me contact information.  At first I was surprised, but I think my appointer knew I would take this on and now I really have no choice.  I'm actually grateful for the chance I've had to catch up with people I once knew.  It's been a lot of fun along with a lot of headache.

There are many missing still.  Every time I find one I get so excited though.  I finally got smart and figured out via a tutorial from the inter webs how to scan a document and send it in an email to all the contacts I have in the system.  T was away at the time so I had to learn myself how to do it.  So that has been productive to get the Bulldogs working for me.  Still I'm like Oscar Schindler with a desire for more.  I must find one more!  Laundry, dishes, and grocery shopping are pushed aside while I scour the internet for missing Bulldogs.  The email pings and my heart sings every time a new RSVP comes in.  Is it a yes? A no? A maybe?  I respond with a heart/like and comment "YAY!" or some other word of encouragement to every yes, encouraging them to continue.

Looking at names I brush the cobwebs from my brain and remember myself in high school.  I read the comments in my yearbook that is old an falling apart (much like myself as of late).  I didn't know a lot of those people well, I just wasn't shy about asking for signatures.  My kids see how many I have and think I was popular.  I never saw myself that way.  I remember looking in the mirror and thinking "who even are you?"  I had a lot of hesitation as a teen.  I wasn't one to try out for everything or form a club.  As a 48 year old I am much more comfortable in much more skin.  I look in the mirror now and know that what I see matters much less than what I do.

The surprising thing is as I fill out my own 'Bulldog Bio' and decide what I will share about my today self with my yesterday classmates I realize that most of my interests had their beginnings in high school.  I was part of Mr Lindsay's high school choir and I didn't know then that I could sing.  Today I love to sing and I don't mind telling you that I have a decent soprano voice.  I learned to sew in home economics and that is a skill I still use today.  I look around and not many people today know how to sew, and I have Mrs Price to thank for that.  I am a bit of a francofile and love all thinks Franacais.  I finally went to France with my family for the first time last Summer and I thought often of my French teacher (for 3 years) at PHS, M. Burnah.  Yes he might have given too many shoulder rubs in class but he really knew how to teach French.  I love art!  Thank you Mr Jones!!!  I can spot a Matisse or a Van Gough from across the museum thanks to that man.  I still remember the slide show test he gave us where we had to identify artists from Picasso to Marie Cassette, Degas to Toulouse-Lautrec.  How Grateful I am to that man who inspired my love for good art.  Mr Rutter & Mrs Brown taught me how to write and express myself.  I'm still an avid reader and part of a monthly book club.  I might have been all of those things without those good people teaching at PHS.  But I know my life has been enriched because of those caring teachers.  So even though my photo is not on every other page in the yearbook with clubs I joined or offices I was elected to, I know who I am today.  I'm a Bulldog! Proud to be litter-mates with the class of 1987!  Beat 'em.... YA! Beat 'em.... YA! Beat 'em YA! Beat 'em YA! Beat 'em YA! YA! YA!!!!!

May 03, 2017


This week it's Teacher Appreciation week at my daughter's elementary school. With 5 kids under my belt, I've been through many teacher appreciation weeks.  I have a bit of a snarky attitude towards this week.  Why are we as parents being assigned a specific time to appreciate our child's teacher?  Not only are we assigned a designated week to do our appreciating we are also told how to show that appreciation.  Day one is 'give your teacher a flower' to show your appreciation.  Day two was a note, today is day three and it's 'give your teacher a snack' tomorrow is office supplies.  I mean really.... what says I appreciate you more than pencil lead refills or post-its?  I've always participated because I don't want my kid to be the one who is heaven-for-bid unappreciative.  But I'll be honest and tell you that I do it with an attitude. I do appreciate our teacher, I just don't appreciate being told I have to show in assignment form.  Next they'll be grading us on how well we showed our appreciation.

My last child is special.  I mean they are all special in their own way but she has the blessed opportunity to be last.  She may have come this way but it's also part of where she falls in the family.  She needs to fend for herself more and she does.  Is it this way because I'm older and tired, because I just don't care about the stuff that I know doesn't matter,  or because I'm spread thinner? I'm not sure the reason.  Eliza has street smarts.  She doesn't come to me as much as my 18 yr old does for help with stuff.  Bless her, she just figures things out on her own.  She reminded me this year that it's time to bring a flower to the teacher.  And she didn't ask me to go buy a big bouquet from the florist either.  There were plenty of those emerging flowers-first out of the cars at the drop off line Monday morning.  No, Eliza simply asked "do we have any good flowers blooming in our yard this week Mom?" She planned to pick and arrange them herself with a wet napkin and foil to hold them until they got to school.  She chose bleeding hearts and azaleas and they were stunning in their simplicity and uniqueness.  She wrote a note on paper from the printer folded it in half and drew a nice piece of pencil artwork on the front for note day (without a reminder!!!).  Heartfelt words from an 11 yr old.  Today when I returned from the middle school drop off she was holding a sheer fabric bag of salt water taffy from our Spring break trip to the beach.  She'd found a mini heart shaped wedding card from some stash of cards and told me she was going to use it to write her note on if that was okay with me.  I couldn't help but think how I've been doing teacher appreciation week wrong for so many years.  Why was I stepping in and doing it for them without real appreciation?

Eliza has shown me how to appreciate a teacher.  How to appreciate a self sufficient child.  Audrey is always accusing me of showing favoritism to my youngest child and this is a prime example of why.  She does things so I don't have to.  I appreciate my cleaning help in a similar way.  When she comes every two weeks I have a love that goes beyond the check I write that I don't have to vacuum dog hair off the impossible to vacuum steps to the garage.  I think with every step I take up to the kitchen how much I love Fransisca.  When people help me and do things so I don't have to do,  I get a bit giddy.  The other day Troy organized the tupperware cupboard.  I wanted to take him right then and there.  Instead I texted him a sweet thank you the following day.  It seemed more appropriate.

I think humans need appreciation and one of the best ways to show this is to do something for them that they didn't expect.  I know Mother's Day is coming up and there will be expectations met or unmet.  But nothing beats a kid who saves you a trip to the store.  I wonder what office supply day will bring?  I can't wait to see what she'll come up with..