Aug 26, 2007

I'm Home!

by Marsha Ward

Last night I returned home from Provo, Utah, where I attended BYU Education Week. I had a great experience, and here are a few of my observations and highlights:

  • 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!
  • 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, Elodia Strain, and meet Trina Boice, who I profiled here last week.
  • 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 from Payson, Arizona, and back again. I cemented relationships with dear sisters in my congregation.
  • 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 check it next.
  • 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. I also saw "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. Marsha, you've ignited a fire. Each year I talk myself out of BYU education week because I don't like crowds - but you made it sound so fun! And I do love to learn! Thanks, lady. Rene

  2. Marsha,
    Thanks for sharing Education Week with us. I've always wanted to go. Maybe some year, I'll get a chance, too.

  3. I'm happy you had such a wonderful experience at Education Week. I treasured every minute of the two opportunities I had to attend. I enjoyed Andrew Skinner, Doug Brinley, Gary and Joyce Lundberg, and a class last year on "Light and Truth." The other class that fascinated me was on brain development from conception through adulthood. Incredible! I like your list of what worked and what you will do differently.

  4. Every year before I started teaching I said, "Some day". That some day will have to wait as Ed. Week is always at the beginning of the school year, and who can leave a class of new students for an entire week? I'm glad you shared with us your experience. Until I retire, I 'll have to live vicariously through others.

  5. Remember when education week traveled to various stakes each summer? I loved going to them here in Mesa, and if the date for a class was not convenient, I could catch it in Scottsdale or Phoenix. Haven't been to one at BYU but, Marsha, you make me want to. Loved your comments about pregnant women and flip flops and roller totes. Reveled in the classes, and wondered how many wheel chairs abounded. But if I can hike in Havasupai, I ought to be able to handle BYU. I'll store your advice, just in case.

    Thanks again, Marsha. You're wonderful.g


Thank you for visiting. Feel free to comment on our blogger's posts.*

*We do not allow commercial links, however. If that's not clear, we mean "don't spam us with a link to your totally unrelated-to-writing site." We delete those comments.