UTC has gone into crunch mode now. All the projects are due, papers need to be written, and tests need to be taken. And it seems like they're all choosing to take place on the same couple of days. How kind of them! But amidst all the crazy of the end-of-semester-goings-on, I managed to have a pretty great weekend, and I thought I'd just share that with you.
1. Thursday afternoon, I went to paint pottery with a couple of friends, and let me tell you--that is relaxing. The place is calm with just quiet music playing in the background. There's something comforting about the brush strokes, about the attention you have to pay to your work without really working your brain too hard. Three coats for everything you paint. I'm not really artistic in the drawing/painting sense, but I can paint a decent piece of pottery. I highly suggest finding a place like this in your home town. They have all sorts of pre-made pottery pieces to choose from, so all you have to do is go at it with the paint!
2. I went to my first concert band rehearsal in 2 years on Friday. No, I'm not in concert band. UTC's band is quite small, and they don't really have a lot of wiggle room for scholarships. While I love playing oboe, I knew band would take up a lot of time, so I've only dedicated one day a week to orchestra in the past. However, the oboe professor here contacted me and asked if I would help in playing the 2nd part for the Lord of the Rings Concert next Tuesday. Now, this isn't the score's music. This five part piece was inspired by the books and composed by a dutch artist. I really love the music, and I was already a little familiar with it; MHS band played two of the movements for a competition my senior year. Plus...it felt good to be rehearsing with a full band again.
3. Friday evening, I was very honored to receive a scholarship from the English Department! My parents came down, and we enjoyed listening to the head of the department speak about graduating seniors, the other awards, and the AMAZING english faculty we have here at UTC. My dad commented, and I agree, that all of the faculty members seem to be their own person, there's no two quite alike, even if they are in the same concentration of writing. Which is great. I'm very blessed to have landed in such a strong, supportive program.
4. TODAY, Chattanooga Writer's Society, my creative writing club, hosted Newbery Honor winning author Vince Vawter at Star Line Books. So technically, this was my first official public Author visit to organize, and it went splendidly! Mr. Vawter and his wife were so kind and open and gracious! He had such a nice way about him and was truly inspiring. His debut novel Paperboy, which he wrote after retiring from a 40 year newspaper career, tells the story of a boy who takes on his friend's paper route. Only problem is he has a terrible stutter that petrifies him when he tries to speak to his customers. It was so interesting to hear Mr. Vawter talk about his own experiences with his stutter and how now he loves traveling across the country to talk to people despite his stutter. He had some great stories and some great advice. My favorite quote from today: "Write a book that has a reason to exist." Those words just really stuck with me. I think my book has a reason to exist, and I hope others will believe so as well, in the very near future.
That's all I've got for now. It's been a very long, exhausting, draining week. All this excitement's got me completely worn out. So I think I'm going to wrap up this blog post by saying
Paint pottery. Revel in the good memories. Appreciate your department. Take in every experience with every author. Keep your ears open. Buy books from Star Line Books.
Never let anyone tell you that you can't be, or do, whatever you want. Only you have that ability, and you shouldn't say it to yourself. Because if I can write an entire book, and Mr. Vawter can have his book translated into a BUNCH of different languages, then you can do whatever your heart desires without the opinions of anyone else. So go out and do good!