Friday, August 24, 2007

BYU Education Week

My time here in Provo, Utah, is winding down, but I've had a great experience. These are a few highlights:

  • Seeing/meeting some of my favorite authors at bookstore signings: Rachel Ann Nunes, Michele Paige Holmes, Matthew Buckley, Annette Lyon, Nancy Anderson, Lael J. Littke, Carroll H. Morris, and Elodia Strain. Today I get to meet Trina Boice, who I just profiled here last week.
  • Provo during Education Week surely must have the highest per capita incidence of pregnant women in the world.
  • Women will wear flip flops or sandals instead of sensible shoes for walking over miles of hard concrete if they have a nice pedicure to show off. I didn't have one, so I chose sensible shoes, then bought a pair of NothingZ to wear the last two days. Very cushioning, very light!
  • Attending a class given by Janice Kapp Perry and having her refer to a dear relative of mine. I hadn't known that she wrote the first verse of "The Test" to honor him.
  • Learning about Islam at the feet of Daniel C. Peterson. His dry wit is delightful!
  • Getting into a Kevin Hinckley class by the skin of my teeth. Except for the couple behind me, I was the last one admitted.
  • The wonderful trip up from Payson, Arizona. I cemented relationships with dear sisters in my congregation, and I expect another terrific trip back down tomorrow.
  • Learning the fine art of changing your mind at the last minute about attending a class and having the adventure of going into another one. Most of the speakers are new to me, so I wasn't predisposed to have to attend any one class. Next year, I suppose, will be different, now that I have some favorites.
  • Walking a ton of miles. I'm putting my scale on notice that it had better show a significant weight loss when I get home.
  • Finding out what to bring and what to leave home next year. Bring a couple of hangers, leave home the pillow. Bring mayo, leave the extra blouse. Scissors are always handy. The water is drinkable, so I don't need a bunch of water bottles from home. A half liter bottle will refill more easily from a drinking fountain than a 24-ouncer. Get a map of the Wilkinson Student Center and take it with me each time I go there. Helaman Halls have mini refrigerators in each room, so leave home the huge coolers. Internet is available. A wheeled tote is essential to me. They sell wheeled totes at the bookstore annex! Since we did the bring-your-own-food thing instead of buying a meal ticket, it would have been nice to remember to bring napkins and enough paper towels. Wipes would have been nice for a multitude of uses.
  • Meeting friends from the past, some as far back as the 1960s.
  • Meeting new friends. I kept running into one women, and we finally exchanged email addresses.
  • The musical performances. I've attended "Take the Mountain Down," a wonderful country/bluegrass version of the story of the prodigal son. Tonight I will see "The White Star," a new Doug Stewart play with music by Janice Kapp Perry.
I think I understand now what brings people back to Education Week, year after year, because I've resolved to return again. There's an energy, a spirit here that draws a person in. Whether it is spiritual or emotional, physical or cultural, I can't tell, but I don't think it matters. There is plenty of all of the above draws for everyone who attends. The next Education Week takes place August 18-22, 2008.

Put it on your calendar.


  1. This sounds like so much fun. One of these years I'm going for sure!

  2. I've never been to Ed Week, but I've hit a few classes at Women's Conference, and if they're anything alike, I know I'd love it!

  3. Marsha,
    You've almost convinced me to give it a try. Almost. Except that it means no chance to write for a week, and leaving my dog, Corky Porky Pie, behind.

    Oops. Oh yes, and my husband, Russ, too. :)

  4. Thanks, ladies.

    I've spent most of my life ignoring Education Week, except for local "Weeks" that have been discontinued. I've never been to Women's Conference, either.

    Now, however, I'm convinced that I need to schedule this event into my life. I got a lot out of the energy and smiles of those around me. I even found time to write, C.L., so that's not an excuse. Of course the husband can come to Education Week, and many couples make it a 'date vacation,' but sadly, the dog will need other arrangements.

  5. You've convinced me too, Marsha. Thanks.

  6. Anonymous5:42 PM

    How did you like "The White Star?"

  7. Anonymous asks how I liked "The White Star."

    Frankly, "Take the Mountain Down" was more fun, and has stayed with me longer. At this distance in time, I'm wondering if I ever even 'got' the significance of the title.

    It was a nice enough theatrical experience, but I probably won't seek to see it again anywhere. I don't think it deserved the standing O the audience insisted on giving it. I suspect it drew sell-out audiences because of the names attached to it. I have nothing against them, certainly not! I just wasn't in the right frame of mind to see it as a future classic of LDS theatre.


I welcome your comments.

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