Saturday, October 27, 2012

Becoming the Tubanator

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Cami who came to own the title of "Tubateer," after all "Tuba player" has too many syllables and "Tubist" ... well... it's not exactly the classiest title in the world. My private Tuba teacher, whom I shall refer to as Gandalf,  loves this title to the point of referring to it at least once every lesson. I like hearing it myself, so I don't mind. Gandalf has suggested that now that I am in college I should create a new alter ego to work towards.
Gandlalf: "Something Arnold Schwarzenegger-esk..."
Me: "The... Tubanator?"
Gandalf: "Perfect! How do you come up with these so fast?"
I try, I try.
Anyways, up until this past summer I had been playing three-valve and four-valve B flat Tuba, but in college you are supposed to play C Tuba, preferably five-valve for intonation sake. So in the two and a half months of summer I had to forget everything I knew about B flat Tuba and replace it with C Tuba which was a little challenging for me. I also had to incorporate my thumb into my fingerings for my lower register which is great for intonation sake, but still difficult when your hand it used to moving a certain way.
Sorry, I'll skip to the good stuff that you will actually care about now. Thanks for hanging in there!
My hand hurt a little in this process because I was building muscle in my thumb and metacarpals, but I didn't think too much of it. Then, after I started school, it slowly started to get worse until all my knuckles and metacarpals hurt. Suddenly all of the pain seemed to go into my middle knuckle and at this point I was like, (please imagine me saying this in the middle of a field, staring up at the sky, and shaking my fist- to get the full affect of the quote)  "WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! CAN'T I JUST PLAY MY TUBA IN PEACE?!"
A few days later, this would be last saturday to be exact, the pain went back to being everywhere else in my hand so I decided to take Sunday off and give my hand some time to recover. That seemed to have been a good idea because on Monday my hand didn't really hurt. After I finished practicing, I looked at my hand and it looked a little swollen just below my first finger. I pressed it a little... no pain... I tapped it a little... nothing... I slapped it a little... still nothing. Then I flexed my first finger and thumb *POW!*
Alter Ego attained. Just call me the Tubanator.
In case you didn't notice it in the above picture, I'll point it out for you:
I'm pretty jazzed about this Hulk-hand thing. Not gonna lie.
I still feel like I'm more of a Tubateer than a Tubanator, but maybe it'll grow on me on day.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Conference Thoughts...

First of all, I checked facebook right after the first session of General conference only to find that no less than ALL of my friends will be going on missions in the near future and that people had already begun to make memes about it. The meme above was the best one I saw.

My thoughts? I am so elated. I think that it will be great for some young men to serve missions right out of High School. It will be amazing to the rest of the world that we are depending on such young people to do the Lord's missionary work, but that's great! The more people ask about it the better! Also, this lower eligibility age for women will hopefully get ride of the hilarious but horrible Sister Missionary stereotype.
It may shock you that I think this, but I also believe that it is important for us as Latter Day Saints to get married sooner rather than later; not to rush into marriage, but not to wait if you already know that it's right. I think that by lowering the eligibility age, especially for sisters, will help to achieve earlier marriage. As the world goes farther and farther away from prioritizing marriage and family, we must do all we can to move in the reverse from the world. Once again, not to the point of rushing and making foolish decisions, but being able to act on faith though the decision may seem hard to make. Now sisters can serve a mission and come home to find many an eligible bachelor their age, and elders can come home to find a return missionary of their own, too.
Sorry to change subjects suddenly, but I also want to talk about Elder Oaks' talk. This is exactly the talk that the whole world needed to hear to clarify- for the members and nonmembers alike- where the church stands on public issues. It is a talk that I will definitely read again in the Ensign. Children are so important: not only will they populate the earth after we're gone, they are an essential part of the family unit. We are all put into families in order to learn how to love first by being the son/daughter and sister/brother, and then by becoming the parent. It is through the family that we can learn to have the kind of love for everyone around us that our Heavenly Father has for us.
I loved everything that Elder Oaks said, but in particular, I loved that he said, "children dealing with same-sex attraction need loving understanding and not bullying." The world needs to know we believe that, and even more importantly we need to know we believe that. Too often, we are quick to condemn and late to love. Love must come first. To have it any other way would be a sin against God and his  commandment to love one another as He has loved us. Love must come first. It is one thing to respect a person and another to accept their actions as righteous. Acting on same-sex attraction is wrong, but it is also a trial that people are given. Hurting someone physically or emotionally will not help them through their trial. Loving them, understanding them, encouraging them, and teaching them to rely on their Redeemer will help them through whatever they are facing. Love must come first.