Monday, July 07, 2008

A Letter from Myself

OK, OK. In case you are wondering, it is no longer below zero here--despite what my perpetual last blog entry might indicate. No, we are actually inching up into the 80's. (I love the summers here in Wisconsin!) And so, at the request of my many readers (all six of you), I am venturing forth with a new blog post for your reading enjoyment.

I've been trying to organize all the zillions of little documents I have on my computer. Being both a writer and a history aficionado, I love to write lots of stuff and then stash it all away for historical purposes. The result is, well, folders on my hard drive full of documents I haven't read in years. It's easy enough to just ignore them, but lately I've been wanting to make some sense of the mess. So I've been going through them.

And interestingly enough, I just found a letter with ideas for reviewing songs in Primary to help the kids prepare for the upcoming program. I've been serving as the Primary chorister in our ward for the past couple of months, and the program is looming ever closer and I've been wondering how we're going to get those sweet kids to regurgitate all those songs in an efficient manner. And, of course, we don't want them to just regurgitate them, but to love them and internalize their messages. We have about 20 minutes a week to teach them 9 songs. The calling can be fun, but the challenge of getting them to sing all those songs well enough to perform in sacrament meeting can be daunting.

Anyway, this is the third time in my life that I have served as Primary chorister. I also served as the stake Primary music leader in our student stake in Salt Lake City several years ago. So, although callings can always be a challenge, this one is at least something I've encountered before and worked through multiple times.

Well, back to my little story. So I found this letter with the music ideas, and I eagerly read it through looking for "new" ideas for keeping the songs from getting boring as we review them. I was wondering where it had originally come from when I read the signature at the end:

Katie Parker
University 3rd Stake Primary Music Leader"

It was a letter from myself! Little did I know when I wrote that letter nine years ago for the music leaders in my stake, my "older self" would be reading and appreciating the ideas in it as well.

My younger self had no idea what life would be like for her in nine years, but she would have been pleased to know that she and her family did finally move out of student housing into a real house with a garage, a yard, and storage space. She probably would have been stunned to know that they would be living in Wisconsin, but happy that things were going well and that Wisconsin is a beautiful place that doesn't get too hot in the summer. And, of course, she'd probably have been flabbergasted to learn that she would be serving *again* as Primary chorister.

In case you're interested, I'll be posting the music review ideas separately at a later time. Stay tuned...and welcome to my time warp.


HOWARD'S said...

It's amazing what we can learn from our "younger self", as you put it, if we just listen. I like to go back and read my journal entries every so often and that's fun.
I've served as primary chorister as well. It was a lot of fun but challenging and took a lot of preparation! It was so nice when they actually sang for everyone and did such a great job!
Good Luck and welcome back!

Katie Parker said...

Thank you!! I'd forgotten you'd served as Primary chorister. I'm sure you did a fabulous job. It can be a tricky calling, that's for sure. But it can be a lot of fun. Right now we're working on "Called to Serve" which is one of the coolest hymns/Primary songs *ever*! In fact, it's so cool that even the kids figure our right away that it's cool, and they love it immediately.

Carroll said...

When my husband and I moved from the Minneapolis area to Green Valley, AZ (south of Tucson), I went through scads of folders full of lesson plans and talks. I was often amazed at what I'd written--so eloquent and moving I hardly recognized them as my own work. Makes me realize what we all can do when inspired!

Katie Parker said...

Isn't it cool when you run across something like that? Sometimes it makes me feel very good about my abilities as a writer. (Other times I wonder if it was a fluke.)

Hey Carroll, I didn't know you had lived in the Minneapolis area. We're about an hour and a half outside of the Twin Cities, in western Wisconsin. Our stake center is in a suburb of St. Paul. Small world!

Shirley Bahlmann said...

Oh, wow, that's like a spooky book idea in itself!
I love Primary.

Katie Parker said...'re pretty good at those spooky book ideas, Shirley!

I have to say I'm loving Primary more and more all the time. Getting to sing "Called to Serve" repeatedly doesn't hurt, either.

Anna Maria Junus said...

I recently came across the poetry I wrote as a teenager...

And I still liked it.

Katie Parker said...

Hey, that's pretty good! I saved a bunch of stuff from when I was a teenager. Some of it is OK. Some of it deserves to be thrown out the window (but of course I still keep it).

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