doctor, lawyer, fireman, teacher?
When you ask kids what they want to be when they grow up you get one of those 4 answers.
When I ask the missionaries that revolve in and out of my house for dinner, at least 50% give me the “I have no idea” line. Occasionally, I am impressed at some of the answers, like an Elder we had recently who was very passionate about ceramic arts. But, I also get some kind of comical responses like the Elder who said he would really like a job that “worked with the whole economy”. Trying to politely suppress a chuckle, I pursued it a little, wondering if indeed the next fed Chairman was really sitting at my dinner table, and asked if he enjoyed statistics and math, he responded with an emphatic no, he hated those subjects. Obviously, he had never shared his “plan” with any career advising adult.
I bit my lip and shoved a forkful of enchilada in my mouth to keep from launching into a passionate diatribe on the travesty which is young adult educational/career preparation in our society. (My stern motherly advice to my sons is before you go a mission you will have a good line you tell people when they ask this question at dinner appointments so it doesn’t seem like you went on a mission because you didn’t know what else to do).
Today’s Up Close:Living Single post comes from Courtney, who enjoys long walks on the beach, sunsets, picnic lunches, holding hands in the rain, but hates being set up when the qualifications of the male in question are that he is single, still breathing, and LDS–so let’s just not go there. She received her B.A. from Utah Valley University and her M.A. from Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland and now works with the Mormon Chapter of the Foundation for Interreligious Diplomacy. While Relief Society is definitely her favorite place to be, Courtney is very much enjoying her teaching calling in the Young Women organization where she is trying to teach a healthy balance of live your life and prepare to be married in the temple. She blogs at A Life Under Construction.
You’ve read the books and seen the films. You’ve sat with your friends and watched, re-watched, and watched again as Colin Firth emerges from that lake. You’ve laughed at the wit, the silliness, the truth, and the improbability. Then you have closed the book or finished the movie with a sigh. You know, though I haven’t mentioned a title or her name, of whom I am speaking, Jane Austen.
Recently, I have noticed my own uneasiness with a few of the characters portrayed by Austen (and others). It is a discomfort that I have never before felt, and that has nothing to do with the “happily-ever-afters” that inevitably belong to certain characters. Perhaps it is the fact that I’ve finally passed one of those birthdays - one of those where upon a switch is flipped, resulting in a real difference of feeling. It is the spinster role that has me now watching with unease.
I was at my 20th High School reunion last week. It was strange and wonderful and a little creepy all at once. I walked away with renewed relationships and with a heavy dose of disappointment in myself. Continue reading
A few Sundays ago, a group of us was brainstorming ways we could help the sisters in the ward live more providently in light of the current economic crisis.
“Teach them to can!” a person offered.
“Create a Relief Society recipe book!” another said.
“Tell them to stop applying for secret credit cards and then hiding the statements from their husbands!” one cried passionately.
All good ideas, yes (in particular the last).
Finally, I raised my hand. “Encourage women who haven’t finished their degrees to go back to school!” I said with enthusiasm. Continue reading
I opened the latest issue of Segullah on a cold day in a new land surrounded by boxes and space, lots of them both. “Here,” it said on the front cover, running up the left side of the page. “Here,” it said going down on the right. I read it from cover to cover; and as usual, I cried not from sadness but from the realization (again) that I love to hear how other women create the mosaic of their life.
Jacqui Larsen kindly agreed to feature her art in this issue. She begins her artist’s statement with this quote, “As a life’s work, I would remember everything— everything, against loss. I would go through life like a plankton net.” —Annie Dillard
Jacqui’s plankton net is, if I might say so myself, mighty beautiful. What some might turn into scrapbooks or family history or junk drawers, Jacqui turns into art. She says, “In my work, fragments of handwriting, musical notes, blueprints and discarded texts act as artifacts, proof that we are passing through a chain of mornings.” Passing through a chain of mornings is what Jacqui and I were doing as we slowly got to know each other over email. Here’s a few snippets of our conversation:
What are your artistic impulses? Continue reading