The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

The Saga of the Sophomores and the Great Can Competition! November 17, 2017

Filed under: Kid Kraziness,Lovin' Life,Whatever — DDKlingonGirl @ 10:54 am
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Hello, all!  Life has been quite an adventure since I returned to teaching.  There have been days and moments where I have wanted to run away and become a sheep herder in Tibet, but there have also been moments when I think I really do enjoy these kids and their enthusiasm.

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Take today, for example. The school is collecting canned goods for… you know… some reason.  Thanksgiving, maybe?  Or possibly just for the local food pantry.  That part doesn’t really matter.  The point is, they have known for a week that we were supposed to be collecting cans.  They have been reminded repeatedly, but up until YESTERDAY they only had about 20 cans.

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It’s important to add here, that there are serious rewards in the picture if they meet their collection goal. Incidentally, their collection goal is for each class (each grade- Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors) 250 apiece for the basic reward of a faculty-student volleyball game with pizza and soda.  The ULTIMATE goal, however, is that if the whole high school collects 2000 cans total, the principal will get a pie in the face.  This, obviously, is something that they find motivating.

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So again, up until yesterday they only had about 20 cans.  Today, much to the delight and yet surprise of the faculty, particularly yours truly who has been nagging them for days, they have suddenly decided to become competitive.  Kids showed up before school lugging full backpacks and WalMart bags.  One girl went to the store and bought one hundred cans on her own. They have been counting and re-counting, guarding jealously against sneaky upperclassmen who claim to be collecting the goods and then steal them and add them to their own tally.  They have been calling their parents and begging them to bring more canned goods, but most of the students who brought some today have just raided their own pantries.  I can easily envision dozens of moms getting ready to make supper tonight, standing in front of open pantry doors, staring upon dusty empty shelves and screaming, “(Insert Sophomore’s name here) WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH ALL THE FOOD!!”

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Basically it turns out these are good kids after all.  They showed up a little late to the party, but their honor is at stake here, and they are finally coming together and determined not to be bested by the other grades.  Except it turns out they still fall in the category of ‘give-em-an-inch-and-they’ll-take-ten-miles.” Several of them have formed a gang and are currently hiding out in my classroom taking full advantage of the fact that this is the last day before Thanksgiving break.

*

Until next time!

D.

 

Apologies: Another Opportunity to Grow October 3, 2014

Hello all.  This is a follow up to my last entry.

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My last post hurt my friend.  I didn’t mean it to, but it did.  I failed to point out a few important facts.

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I didn’t mention that she was not beating me out for these roles on purpose, trying to take them from me for no good reason.  I failed to point out that she began taking music lessons literally before I was born.  I failed to point out that she has been involved in theater and music since she was in high school, that she has done community theater off and on for years, that she has a degree in music, that she has taught music and acting every day of her career, and that she has yearned to be onstage her entire life.  I posted her picture of her in her first breakout role with ALT because I am proud of how awesome she is.  Despite the fact that I have held my talents and abilities up against hers and found them lacking through my own ridiculous insecure nature, I am proud of her.  She’s amazing to have as a friend.  She gets applause when she merely walks in to audition.  She is loving and kind and friendly and caring, and she’s a wonderful person.  Nothing in my previous post was meant to imply anything different.  She has wanted to be onstage like this her entire life.

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I have only been involved in community theater for a year and a half.  I auditioned mainly on a whim a year ago, but I have always wanted to sing.  All I ever wanted to do as a kid was to sing and be a mom.  I used to stand in my bedroom for hours, singing along with cassette tapes of my favorite singers, pretending I was giving a concert.  The acting thing I have always thought would be fun, but I always felt like I would never be able to actually make anybody believe I was a different character, so I never tried to do it before.

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My last post wasn’t really at all about her. It wasn’t meant to be, anyway. It was about me and how I have to decide how to deal with not getting what I want and how to know where to go with the knowledge that I am not as good as I want to be. It was about me dealing with a newly discovered issue, (as if I didn’t have enough already) and trying to figure out what to do about it. She just happened to be the person who cast the spotlight on the lesson. If it were one of our other much more experienced theater friends rather than my best friend, it wouldn’t be nearly as obvious that it was something I needed to realize and learn.

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And I also realized, amazingly, I have never felt like I was in direct competition with anybody, much less someone who was my best friend. And it’s not like it is a direct competition between me and her, but the reality is this theater thing is somewhat of a competition and I’ve never really even been in ANY competition. I’ve never been in sports or really done anything that was individually competitive like this.  It’s just that I’m new to competition on the whole.

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I’m really, really sorry, Mama T.  I’m new to all of this, and it’s no excuse, but I’m on the right track now.  Forgive me.  Love you bunches!

Until next time,

D.

 

 

Note to self: Grow, Darn You! Learn Something, Here! October 1, 2014

Hello, all.  It’s been a while, I know.  Life just gets away.  Computer problems at work, changes on the horizon there; keeping the Offspring in line, which is a full-time effort; continuing personal efforts with weight watchers, low carb eating, etc.  And today’s featured program, filed under the category, “Probably Should Have Figured This One Out Years Ago.”  Well, ok, there is likely a ton of stuff that falls under that category, but this one in particular is titled ‘How an adult deals with not being as good as she wants to be at something she wants to be good at, while someone close to her shines at it like the freaking Dog Star’, alternately titled “But Mommy, Why!?”

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So I tried out for another theater show this weekend, the show I mentioned in the previous post.  There was no character I was desperate to play, but I thought if I were going to try to be in this show, there was one character I thought I had the best chance to get.  So I tried out, and for the second show in a row, was beat out for the role I wanted by… wait for it… my best friend.

Her breakout role... Madame Thenardier in Les Mis.

Her breakout role… Madame Thenardier in Les Mis.

 

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I mean I really gave it my all this time.  I sang a character song that required me to attempt to have humor, and choreography, sort of, and to walk out on stage with a pillow under my shirt… it was just a complete step out for me.  Then too, I had to do a partner audition where I read part of the script with someone else, which was actually pretty funny.  The other actor and I had never even met before, and we were reading a part of the script where the characters are being very flirty and sexual.  So there we are, up on stage, pretending to play a kinky variation on the game of Twister, and he puts his hand on my rear end, and the whole audience of fellow auditioners was just ROLLING.  It was great.

 

Gooch

This was what I sang- It’s from the musical Mame.

 

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The next night I had to sing part of a song from the show, something I had never really heard until I looked it up on YouTube the night before, and I did the best I’ve ever done, volume-wise.  I pushed it, I belted, I sang loud… my music teacher best friend said she was so proud of me.  We did a few other readings, and auditions were concluded.  I approached the director and tried to explain that I had been hoping for a particular role, but she had never asked me to read that part.  I said I had been trying to decide whether to even ask her to let me read it, and that I knew the character had to dance a sort of tango-like dance and I knew I wasn’t that great a dancer.  Then I told her about how in one show I was involved with, they had to do some creative editing to help cover the fact that an actress cast specifically as a big dance character actually was not a strong dancer.  I was TRYING to say I was sure I could learn it if she wanted to let me read the part.  Unfortunately I think what I communicated was, “I wanted this role, but I can’t dance, so you might as well not cast me.”  That really kills me, because when I first started talking, she did say she had considered me for the role.

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Anyway, I have been rolling the situation around in my head, thinking about how there must be some sort of lessons I am meant to learn from all this.  As I mentioned earlier, I felt pretty discouraged with myself for the fact that this lesson is coming up at this late point in my life.  It feels like most people learn this sort of thing by high school or college at the latest, this lesson of how to deal with someone else (especially a best friend) being better than I at something I really want to be good at.  In high school my best friend and I were a lot alike.  We both were among “the smart ones” and our GPAs were always within a few tenths of each other.  She was on the academic team but I didn’t really care to be.  We both sang in the choir, but neither of us was just mind-blowingly better than the other, although she had had a lot more time in choir than I.  We were similar physically so no competition there.  I’ve always envied her sense of style and her ability to decorate and accessorize, but I’ve never envied it enough to make a priority to improve myself in that area.  Oh, and there was one guy in high school I liked who seemed to date, chase, or flirt with every single one of my friends except me, but that was a different type of thing.  Similar, but not the same.  (And that same situation has arisen in the theater as well.  The crush is pretty much resolved, but the feeling of, I don’t know, just sort of insult maybe, is still there.)

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My two younger sisters had their own things they were good at, things that helped make them feel special.  Middle Sis is an athlete and Baby Sis was good at art and music.  She had taken lessons and had been in choir practically since she was a fetus, but I always thought each of us was good enough at singing in our own way.  I was somewhat envious of her opportunity to have taken lessons, but we weren’t competing in any way.

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Since high school and college I have never had a friend or other person in my life who was better than I at something I REALLY wanted to be good at.  It’s just never come up until now.  Yesterday was pretty rough.  I was feeling pretty bad about things, wondering how I was going to handle this, what I was supposed to do to learn the lesson the Universe so obviously wanted me to learn.  What options did I have?  Just quit altogether?  Flip the time-turner and pretend I never heard of Ardmore Little Theater and take up stamp collecting or something?  Nope, I couldn’t handle that.  I love the place too much, and I enjoy most of the people, and it has really created an opportunity for self-growth and development.  (For proof, see current situation!)  Should I just be more choosy about the roles I try out for, waiting until something comes along that I just desperately want to play, prepare really well and just hope I get lucky?  Well, yeah, I could do that.  But it wouldn’t be completely satisfying.  I suffer from FOMO syndrome.  Fear of Missing Out.  I like to be there, I like being involved, I like feeling like I’m part of a team, a group.  So only setting foot in the theater once in a blue moon when they had a show I was strongly interested in just wouldn’t be enough.  My philosophy is if you’re going to be involved, be INVOLVED.

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So what other options were there?  Decide I was just not good enough to be an ONstage presence and resign myself to only being involved behind the scenes?  Managing, tech crew, etc.?  Sure, I want to learn all that stuff- I still want to learn the lights and the sound board and the fly loft and all the things.  But never ever being onstage again?  Never singing for an audience?  Never conquering the nerves and the lack of confidence that keep me from really shining at auditions?  Nope.  Couldn’t handle that either.  I want to gain enough experience to see if I really love it.

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Finally, what I came up with was this:  If this theater thing is for me, as The Golden Goddess (see Meet the Cast) told me yesterday, “not a hobby.  It’s a passion.” then I need to work on getting better.  I need to pick the brains of my friends at the theater and ask for feedback and critique and advice on how to get better.  I need to maybe take a few lessons and try to improve my technical singing skills.  I need to, as another dear friend told me, “make them see that you are impossible to overlook.”  Can I just say I love him for that? 🙂  So that is what I plan to do.  I’m going to talk to people.  I’m going to listen.  I’m going to observe and learn and soak up.  And then I’m going to get up there someday and land the roles I really, REALLY want.

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Mask win Oscar

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chasing my own star!

Until next time,

D.

 

The Dirtiest Thing I’ve Ever Written (Part 2- the REALLY Dirty Part) August 5, 2011

Hello all!  Thanks for sticking with me for this long story.  Where were we?  Oh yeah, we picked up our race packets.  We flashed our IDs and were handed our free race shirt and a large envelope containing marketing materials and the most marvelous thing- our race numbers!  You know, the little bib thing you pin on your chest that has a number on it?  I got one!  It even had my name pre-printed on it.  There was also a little orange rubber strap with a little box on it that I was told was our timer chips.  This racing business is serious, see, and these little orange thingamajigs go around our ankles or on our shoelaces, and they capture our race time!  Who knew?  (My entire team did, of course, because I was the only 5k virgin in the group!) 

 

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So we had time to kill before our heat, and we took pictures and sat in the car trying to soak up the cool air and get un-nervous.  (I was, anyway.)  Then it was time to line up and we were herded into what can only be called a chute, grouped under a tent and crowded together like so many sheep.  Some guy was giving instructions over a bullhorn, but I couldn’t hear a single word he was saying.  I’m deaf like that.  Then we heard the start siren and we were off!  I’m not sure how many people were in each heat, but I’d bet it was at least 75.  We jogged off down the path.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up the jogging too far into the thing, but I wasn’t going to start off from the gate walking!  So we went down the straightaway and around a little curve, where we encountered our first obstacle, a minor one considering what was to come.  It was a tire run, where there were maybe about 10 or 12 tires laid out for us to run through.  Did that with no problem, although I wasn’t breaking any speed records.  I was terrified of rolling my ankles or twisting my knees, because they are my weakest points.  I came to finish, not to finish first.  So we cleared the tires and on we went. 

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Middle sis and Bro-in-law had long since left me and the youngest behind, because hey, Sis is a fitness instructor and her hubby is in the second best shape of the group.  They amaze me- they ran almost the whole time.  So anyway, we continued the course.  Now I might get these somewhat out of order, but this is basically everything we went through.  I think The Wall was next.  It was a big plywood reinforced wall with ropes hanging down.  The idea was to use the ropes and climb up and over the wall.  I got up to the second knot on the rope, which translated to about 2-3 feet off the ground, and I had to let go because I had somehow caught the rope between my second and third fingers, and I was about to break one or both of them.   Not a good thing!

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So around the wall we went, down through a little patch of mud, down into a ravine, a dry creek bed sort of thing.  We plowed along through there for a while, and it was difficult because the rocks made it very treacherous for weak ankles.  Finally we came to the next obstacle, which was similar to the rope wall, except it was the side of a ravine and it wasn’t straight up like the wall.  There were ropes hanging into the ravine, which were anchored to trees on the upland.  This was fairly intimidating.  Youngest sis went first, climbing up and over the edge with relative ease.  I tried to let the three skinny girls behind me go first so I might not embarass myself, but they said “We’ll let you.”  Which I think meant, ‘We want to have a good time laughing at your big butt climbing that ravine wall.’  But either way, I got a running start, grabbed that rope and powered on up the wall of dirt.  Sis was there, cheering me on, as I tried to figure out how to get my legs or feet up over the edge.  Finally I was able to get a knee up.  I jumped up and let the obstacle have a little of my rage as I called it a not so nice name.  “That’s right b****!  Woooo!”  Yeah.  I got a little carried away.  I hope the three skinny girls didn’t think I was talking to them.

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Next, I think was the spider web, a bunch of small ropes crisscrossing the trail, that you had to crawl through.  This wasn’t really hard at all.  Then there was the section they referred to as “Over/Under” which was a series of waist-high walls followed closely by barbed wire things you had to jump over and then crawl under.  Next came a frame with a bunch of tires hanging down that you had to kind of beat your way through.  Somewhere in there was a series of three mud pits you had to go down into and come up out of, one after the other.  Later there was a pond to wade through, about chest deep.  Toward the end was a cargo net, which was like a big playground swingset frame covered in rope net, which you had to climb up and then back down the other side.  This particular obstacle was pretty scary for me- it was pretty high and shaky, and when you got to the top, the hardest part was figuring out how to get one leg over and then turn it back toward the net while trying to keep your footing on the other foot that was still standing on the backside of the net!  Quite an adventure.  Then came the hay bales, the big round kind, that you had to run and jump and scramble over, and finally a long hike to the finish line crawl, where you had to army crawl through the mud under the flags to get to the end.  There was supposed to have been a fire jump in there somewhere.

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All in all it was a great adventure and I really loved the opportunity to push myself and see what I could do.  The obstacles were not quite as scary as I was afraid they would be, and the walking/jogging in between was more the test of my endurance.  I may or may not do it again.  There is a similar event scheduled right here in my hometown in October.  Odds are, I will find myself once again slogging through mud pits with close friends and family cheering me on.  We shall see.  For right now, this …

My Beautiful Sisters and Me- Mud Warriors! RAAAA!

… will be one of my greatest accomplishments!!!

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Until next time,

D.

 

PS- The mud on my face was less from the race itself and more from me giving myself a ritual ‘mudding’ like hunters do that ‘blooding’ thing with their first kill!  I did it when I crossed the finish line and got my medal.  Here it is, btw:

The Spoils of Victory!

 

 
The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Shawn L. Bird

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