Sunday, October 23, 2016

On Problem Solving

Hello hello! Sorry it has been ages since I've been on here. Seriously this semester has been crazy town. But I have a chill week ahead so I thought it was the perfect time to update the old blog. Today I want to talk about problem solving!

I am a dance teacher at Center Stage Performing Arts Studio and boy do I love it. Seriously, I have to pinch myself when I think about the fact that I teach and choreograph for a living. Best job ever!

Anyway, at the beginning of the school year this season, my students were having a bit of a tough time showing up to my ballet class on time with their tights on, buns in their hair, or their ballet shoes on their feet.

Now, if you're not a dancer, it is important that you understand how crucial these things are to the classroom environment. There is a certain reverence around the ballet world. It's a classical art form dripping with prestige. It is so challenging, and so riveting, it's expectations are exceptional. You simply cannot be late. If you want to grow, you simply have to come prepared.

I relayed this information to my students, and reiterated what my expectations would be for them throughout the year, and they were quick to give me excuses. Excuses like, "My last teacher let me out late!" or "I was in a private before this," or "I forgot my bag at home!"

My response to them was simple.

Problem solve.

If you have a teacher before this class that has a tendency to let you out late, and you know that I won't accept tardiness, what are you going to do? Are you just going to give up? Take the negative consequences week in and week out for an entire year? (they have to do wall sits for me if they are late or unprepared.)


You're going to problem solve. You're going to think ahead. You're going to check your bag before you leave for school, you are going to attend the earlier class already dressed for ballet. You are going to use your mind to fix the problem.

To my students credit, they only needed one week of my chastisement to come to class ready to work. They are hungry and committed and improving each week. It is a pleasure to watch them grow, and their preparation has a hand in this progress.


This past Sunday I woke up and immediately realized that my car was completely out of gas. I had to drive to Salt Lake that day and would definitely need the gas to make the trip. I thought to myself, "Well the ox is in the mire, I'll just pick it up on my way." Directly after that thought I heard my own voice in the back of my head saying simply:

"Problem solve."


My own anecdote used against me. How much more reverence and respect should be surrounding the Lord's time than my ballet class time. If I demand preparation and commitment from my students, how much more should the Lord expect from me on His day.

Now I don't think that getting gas on Sunday is a huge deal or anything, but I recognized in that moment, that it was a small way that I could show the Lord that I was prepared to learn what He was going to teach me. It's less about what I shouldn't be doing, and more about what I should have been doing.

If I want the full blessings that the Lord has to give me, I need to enter the Sabbath prepared to have the spirit with me. Certainly my students could learn just fine if they came into class fifteen minutes late, and I could forgo a few details that will help make my Sunday truly the Lords day without it being a big deal. BUT the full breadth of the Sunday experience as well as the full breadth of the classroom experience, can only be had if one is ready to learn.

My mind took these thoughts of preparation for the Sabbath and went spinning with ideas of problem solving.

"If you keep waking up on Sunday with an empty tank of gas, problem solve. Set a new habit of going to the gas station before you head home from hanging out on Saturday nights."

"If you are having a tough time feeling the spirit on Sunday mornings, problem solve. Set a pattern of obedience and ask the Lord for help in coming closer to him throughout the week."

"If you are having a tough time remembering an important thing that you learned in sacrament, problem solve. Take a notebook and pen with you."

"If you are having a tough time having the desire to enjoy all three meetings, problem solve. Pray to the Lord to fill you with the hope and happiness of the gospel."

The Lord expects us to give Him His time. He has valuable lessons to teach us that will allow us to grow and to become better.

Let's all work harder to problem solve and strive to be ready to learn what He wants to teach us.


Also, I got to cover the final presidential debate this past week and it was awesome! And crazy. But awesome. Here is a picture of me in front of the MSNBC stage having the time of my life.

BFF Halloween Party

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