Thursday, January 23, 2014

Who Are You? A Topic for Each Week of the Year {Week 2: School}

Since I'm a couple of weeks behind, I'm going to write the next couple of posts over the next couple of days. That way I'll be on track to finish the last week of December instead of the middle of January.

2. Where did you go to school? Did you have any memorable teachers? What were your favorite subjects?
Cyprus High School graduation 2005. From left to right (I'm in the middle): Traci Sell, Kate Brown, Kyle Powell, Cami Nelson, Marla Oveson, and Faith Peterson
I started school at Pleasant Green Elementary in Magna, UT. I went there for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade. I remember enjoying going to school there, but I don't remember much about any of my teachers. I have a vague memory of running into my kindergarten teacher (whose name I can't remember) at a store somewhere and being overly excited about it. And I think in first grade my teacher was Mrs. B. Johnson and my second grade teacher was Mrs. K. Johnson. Or vice versa. I remember liking all of them, at least.

After second grade, Webster Elementary, another elementary school in Magna, closed down because it was really old and wasn't handicap accessible. They didn't build a new elementary to replace Webster, so instead, they shifted all the boundaries around. So from third grade on, I went to Copper Hills Elementary, which was close enough that I was no longer bused and could walk to school. When it was warm outside, my friend Brindi and I would ride our bikes or roller blade to school. I didn't liked walking, but I did like it when I could do something more fun to get to school.

I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with elementary school. While I really enjoyed school and learning, I didn't have a lot of friends, and I got made fun of a bit. So the social aspect wasn't awesome, but I had a lot of teachers that I really loved. In third grade, I started the GT program (gifted and talented), which meant my time was split between two teachers. I had Mr. Brown for part of the day, and I LOVED him. I thought he was the funniest person ever. He taught us a rhyme that I still think about if I ever need to know what 8x8 is: "8x8, drop it on the floor, pick it up it's 64." For the other half of the day, I had Mr. Gregerson for the GT program. We all knew him as Mr. G. I loved Mr. G, too, which was a good thing because I ended up having him for the next four years. In fourth grade, I had another split class. I had Mrs. Pereira, I think, and Mr. G again. Then in fifth and sixth grades, they changed things around so that GT kids only had Mr. G and we stopped switching around.

Elementary school was really when I decided that I wanted to do English-y things when I grew up. Mr. G was very focused on creativity and the arts. We had time set aside every day to write stories. Sometimes we were just writing whatever we wanted, and at other times we had certain requirements we had to fulfill. For example, when we read The BFG by Roald Dahl, we had to write a story using at least ten of the words Dahl made up for the story. My stories always ended up being way longer than the page limit because I couldn't stop writing. 

I then went to Brockbank Junior High, where I learned to enjoy math more, mostly because of Mrs. Pienezza, who was the best teacher ever. She was this really intimidating woman who was really loud, and most kids were terrified of her. But all three of my siblings had had her before me, and she had been to my house for dinner a couple of times when my mom was PTA president, so I knew she was all bark and no bite. I also enjoyed Ms. Shafer's English class. She was a really eccentric teacher who definitely had her favorites, and I wasn't one of them. But that didn't keep me from really enjoying her class.

I then went to Cyprus High School, which is where I really started participating more. Two of my siblings had been in choir there, so I grew up watching them performing and wanting to do the same thing. So at the end of ninth grade, I steeled my nerves and auditioned for Show Choir, and made it. I loved every second of it, and that was where I started making some really good friends and developing a more mature singing voice. Mr. Moore was the choir director, and he pushed us hard. He was also my German teacher. I loved both choir and German, even though I had a bit of a rocky relationship with Mr. Moore. I made the audition choirs my junior and senior years too, and I took German through my senior year as well. 

In my senior year, I also auditioned for and made Play Productions, the advanced drama course. This was an especially big deal because I had never taken a single drama class before then. Basically all of my friends were in drama, so it made sense for me to get drawn in eventually. I loved the class and my teacher, Mrs. Smith, so much that I was quite upset with myself for not auditioning earlier. I was in Much Ado About Nothing, Cinderella, and a one-act play about World War II that was one of the best experiences I've ever had. That was where I learned just how much I loved performing and being on stage.

I also had Mrs. Roach for English my senior year, and she really helped solidify my decision to study English in college. I loved writing and reading and even editing my classmates' papers, and that was where I started seriously considering becoming an editor. 
Me and my niece at my high school graduation, 2005.
I then moved down to Provo to attend BYU. It was really the only university I wanted to attend. My grandpa, my dad, and my brother all went there, and I wanted to be part of that. It was the only school I applied to, so I count myself quite lucky that I actually got in. I declared my English major from the day I applied, though in my first couple of semesters, I also considered linguistics and vocal performance. But I stuck with English, and eventually added my editing minor. One of my favorite professors was Prof. Howard, who taught Music Civ 201 and 202. They were some of the hardest classes I took on campus, but I enjoyed them so thoroughly that I would study for hours on end for the exams. I was determined to ace those courses. Other favorites were Prof. Walker, who taught Bible as Lit and Modern English Lit; Sister Black, who taught Church History; and Brother Gardner, who taught a few of my editing classes, including Magazine Editing. He made me really love editing. In his classes, I knew I was pursuing the right career.

I graduated in December 2008, and I walked the next April. I was able to walk with my brother Matt, who had just graduated with his Masters degree. It was cool to walk with Matt, but it didn't feel quite as exciting simply because I had already been graduated for four months. But I loved going to BYU, and I'm so glad I was able to have that experience.
Me and Matt at the Cougar.

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