I taught at EFY this week and got back tonight. The first day of teaching was kind of intimidating because there were only 3 teachers, and the other two besides me (him and him) have both published books and talk tapes and fancy stuff like that, and I– well, I have a blog and I can teach a mean FHE lesson . . . ugh. Plus I had some technical difficulties with my slide show, and when mentor #1 gave me constructive feedback for my first day of lessons (which I asked for), what he said was absolutely true and stuff I already knew about my teaching style (99.5% doctrinal, .5% entertaining), but because I was already feeling a little insecure, I interpreted it to mean .5% interesting. I worried that I wasn’t holding the kids’ attention. He told me today he had a dream last night that I was offended by his feedback and didn’t show up for the second day of classes. I wasn’t. I appreciated it. And I showed up. It helped me tweak a couple of things for my last two classes that I think made them better. I bought a smokin’ new outfit to wear for that first day of teaching (smokin’ modest of course). I loved it until I actually started teaching. The cute hot pink blouse happened to fit under my armpits in such a way that it was like a giant receptacle for nervous sweating and I had the hugest, wettest armpits all day long which was all kinds of not awesome.
Day two went much better. I made sure to wear about five levels of clothing plus a blazer to contain my failing antiperspirant. I taught about two of my favorite topics– missionary work and the Atonement. The morning devotional given by the aforementioned mentor was about not comparing ourselves to others, which frankly was a tender mercy for me and helped me re-establish my confidence in myself. I was a little more emotional than I like to be (I came home with one of those cry-headaches), but I just can’t help myself when I start talking about stories from my mission, and hello, who can be all straight-faced and emotionless when you’re testifying about the doctrine of the Atonement and how much the Savior loves us? I got some neat feedback from some of the youth and was able to walk away knowing the Lord had helped me to answer some questions and build some testimonies, so I felt good. I’m always traumatized by the EFY experience; it stretches me a lot in a good-but-hurting way. I tell myself that if one or two youth were improved by something I said then all the worry and angst was worth it.
So that’s it. I will now recover by loading up all my children in a pop-up camper and retreating to the mountains for four days. Yeah right, if recovery equals taking a worn-out body and mushed-up brain and making them worse. It’s okay though, some good memories will be made and Matt will let me take a nap every day. Right, honey?
Thanks for tuning in to the completely non-essential mid-week report. Carry on.