How Not to Date According to Twilight

My roommates and I take turns picking out movies when we decide to watch a roomie movie.  Last time it was LB’s turn, I told her to pick one she hadn’t seen (between the four of us, there are a lot of movies at this place!).  So, of course, I had to pick one I hadn’t seen because LB told me to.  So, I picked one we had that I hadn’t seen (I’m a movie buff, I guess you could day, ‘cuz I watch a lot of different stuff just to watch them.): Twilight.  I didn’t read the books or see any of the movies.  I had been surrounded by readers/fans when the movies first came out and stuff, and frankly, I didn’t get it.  But I figured I might as well give it a chance.  Give it a chance, I tried.  Consequently, I laughed through a lot of it because of its ridiculousness.  Thus, the list was born.

How Not to Date According to Twilight:

1. Never date a vampire.

2. If he sparkles, run.

3. If he says he watches you sleep, it’s time to get a restraining order.

4. If he’s always ice cold, he’ll never warm your heart.

5. If he’s faster than the speed of light, he’ll never be able to run with you.

6. If he thinks your blood smells better than other blood, make him bleed.

7. If he is able to stop a speeding car with his hand and doesn’t have an “S” on his chest, he’s a freak.  Or a vampire.  Refer to tip #1.


Keepin’ it Real,


That’s Not My Intro

I sometimes laugh when I write because I think it’s funny stuff.  Sometimes when I write, well, okay, I’ve just been in a silly kind of mood lately.  The piece I thought to compose has rhythms that spell “epic” in Morse Code.  I think of different lyrics for songs I hear and I like to transform the pre-existing to apply to whatever I’m doing of thinking of.  Which is fun.  Until you are assigned to write a paper for school.  A real paper.  My attempts at starting my paper where not a college-level quality, so I scratched them.  “Come on, Anna, you’ve been doing these for three years now!”  Maybe, but I’ve had a summer packed full of more writing than that, my style.  You’re curious now, aren’t you?  Yeah, I’ll share my attempts with you.  I feel like a lot of my inner (nerd) self was revealed here, and I’m okay with that, for now, after getting that out of my system, I can write a real paper!


Anna Olson

Synopsis of Music Education History

Voice. Percussion. Brass. Woodwind.  Long ago, the four families lived together in harmony as each evolved to be like the instruments we see today.  Then, everything changed when the Americas were discovered and the United States became settled.  Music altogether was forgotten about as the people of the new nation had other things to worry about.  Only the Avatar, teacher and master of all four instrument groups, could stop this indifference.  But when a newly settled country needed him most, he vanished.  Though music found its way into churches, its use was limited, and the Voice Group began to rise.  Out of the Voice Group came attempts of teaching by Fransiscan Friars who began teaching noted music.  Hundreds of years later, a new teacher was born, a non-instrumentalist named John Heinrich Pestalazzi who brought the Rote Method to teach singing.  And although the method was good, it didn’t use the affective domain.  Sometime later, Lowell Mason came and brought with him the Note Method, which used all three domains, the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective.  He brought with him the Utilitarian Philosophy, which serves a function of teaching and believes that performance comes from teaching.  Music Education has a long ways to go before it is of a perfected philosophy.  But I believe, Music Ed can change the world.




Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start!  When you read you begin with A, B, C, John Tufts began the rule of do, re mi.  Moved around by Charles Aiken, do, re, mi.




Once upon a time there was music being birthed by composers who became great such as Josquin, Palestrina, and Byrd.  Meanwhile, America was in the process of being discovered, settled, and explored.  Music in America did not have the new birthing that it did in Europe, but was limited in its use, except in churches.




A long time ago in a galaxy we call home…

Synopsis of Music Education History

Anna Olson

            It is a period of limited music use, except in churches.  The Franciscan Friars have struck the first note in 1603 by coming up with the first noted use of teaching music against the evil Music Indifference.  As a result of a few being taught music in church, the Bay Psalm Book was published, the second book published in the United States.  Years later the first Singing School began, followed soon after by Singing Societies.  During these developments, two dissident musician teachers brought forth their PHILOSOPHIES AND METHODS, armed with enough vision to teach an entire nation.  Pursued by the function of performing, Lowell Mason develops a philosophy in which the performance comes from teaching; the utilitarian philosophy emphasizes teaching as it raises money through performances to save music departments everywhere.




It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of discovery, it was the age of loss, it was the melodious epoch, it was the tuneless epoch, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the harmonious spring, it was the off-key winter, they had everything before them, they had nothing before them.  There were the Singing Schools to teach people how to sing; there were the Singing Societies to perform and show off people’s singing.  In both cases it was clearer than crystal to the singers and the listeners, that things in general weren’t going as they should.  John Heinrich Pestalozzik introduced a key philosophy and method called the Rote Method; Lowell Mason later introduced a key philosophy and method called the Note Method.


Ahh!  Well, there you go.  It is a far, far better thing that I do to write and submit a real paper; it is a far, far better feeling inside of accomplishment instead of just giggles, I’m sure.


It still makes me smile, Anna 🙂

Smiley Saturday: Analogies

Have you ever thought about analogies?  They make a hard-to-picture scene imaginable, like seeing a movie you have only listened to in the car because you’re driving and can’t watch it.  Even with play-by-play of someone who’s watching it doesn’t do justice when you see in the rear-view mirror jaws dropped as they’re watching.  Analogies make even the weirdest subject, the one that is hard to understand, comprehendible.  Like in theory, when we always referred to a V-I chord progression as the bride and groom.  It is a perfect authentic cadence!  Sometimes, in the middle of the song, the bride would flirt around in a V-vi or V-IV6 deceptive cadence, but always would return to her groom in a V-I cadence.  See?  You don’t even know what I’m talking about, but you get the basics!

I’ve been using a lot of analogies, frankly, because I like them.  I usually go a lot deeper than a one-sentence analogy, but any sort of analogy is pretty cool.  When I googled “anaologies” I found several blogs containing the same list of the “Annual English Teachers’ awards for best student metaphors/analogies found in actual student papers.”  I found one blog that listed 25 funny analogies, cited as “the winning entries in a 1999 Washington Post humor contest, and there are more than 25.”  (That’s where the following list is from.)  I laughed really hard, as one who keeps laughing hours later about the same thing; over and over again she laughs in the silence or sobriety of a moment.  Prepare yourselves:

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a ThighMaster.

2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.

5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.

9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.

10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.

12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan’s teeth.

16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.

18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long it had rusted shut.

19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

So, I thought I’d share some of my own analogies.  I was actually looking for the perfect analogy when I was writing a paper in high school, so I made a list:

  • I’m as happy as. . .
    • A tornado in a trailer park
    • A mouse in a cheese shop
    • A dog in a squeaky-toy store
    • A bank robber in a jewelry store
    • A rabbit in a garden
    • A crow in a corn field
    • A geek at a Star Trek Convention
    • It needed this like. . .(it didn’t)
      • A pencil needs ink
      • A rabbit needs rabies
      • Soybeans need aphids

So, compared to the previous list, these aren’t that great.  I’ve actually referred back to this list a time or two, although my writing has become “more sophisticated,” like a basketball player who’s gotten taller.  Sometimes when I’m writing, I go for clever stuff that makes you think but laugh when you’re thinking along the same lines as I was when I wrote it.  Then it’s like Jesus’ parables: only for those who are actually listening/reading.  Sometimes, though, I realize it’s better to make sure your readers understand what you’re saying, like a teacher who puts notes on the board in legible writing, with enough time to write them all down before she moves on.

Do you have any clever analogies?  Let’s hear ‘em!

Smiling, like one who squishes up their face when looking into the sun, Anna =)^2

The Case of the Speech Writer

So, I was thinking back to my past stories, and I thought this one deserved to be shared.  Some of you may have heard this many times….but others haven’t heard it at all.

NOTE: As you read this, think of different voices for each of the characters.  This was my creative expression speech 2009.  Took me to sections!


                She came to me with a case.  They usually do.  Said a girl had been causing a ruckus in the neighborhood, which was hard, because she lived in the country.  At least four people had been mentally troubled as of late because of the happenings. Five, including herself, a counselor who saw these things everyday.  Said the girl had not meant trouble, but was merely writing her speech.  But I thought otherwise.  It’s my job.  I’m – a private eye.

                The name’s Thursday.  JoAnne Thursday, but around here, I’m known as detective 09072454.  This was a tough case, but I knew one like this would come my way one of these days.  This was, THE CASE OF THE SPEECH WRITER.

It started out with her first attempt:

It was a dark and scary night . . . (dark because it was 10:30 and the lights were off, scary for effect).  I sat in the basement, notebook and pen in hand, trying to write a speech.  I jumped as I heard the step creak, and I looked over to see a shadow descending down the stairs.  Some suspenseful music started to play, and suddenly, out jumped—my sister?  I mean, MY SISTER!

“Ahhh!” I screamed.

“Ahhh!” she screamed.

“Ahhh!” I screamed.

“Why are we screaming?” she screamed.

“For effect,” I shrugged, using my non-screaming voice.

“Why?” she asked, also in her non-screaming voice.

“I’m trying to write a ‘Horror Speech.”

“Um, Anna,” she said, “try again.”

From there, things got worse.

Once upon a time, in a land not too far away, there lived a girl who was 5’5” AND A HALF, had blondish hair, bluish eyes, and was a senior in high school.  She must be an extraordinary girl, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing my “Fairytale Speech” about her.

So anyway, she was sitting in her tower one day, trying to write her speech, when the evil dragon came barging in, demanding a walk.  Rolling her eyes, the girl went to get the leash, but was stopped by an evil witch.

“Where are you going, my dear?” the witch asked, evilly.

“Oh, you know, to get the leash to walk the dragon.”

“Would you like a snack first? You must be hungry after thinking so hard in your tower.  Would you like an apple?”

“No thanks.”

“How about a banana?”


“Orange?  Melon?  Grapes?”

“Sorry—I’m a vegetarian.”

It was then that I noticed a troubling trend.

“Are we on third street or are we on fourth street?” an old lady asked her husband.

“I don’t know.  Let’s look at the map,” he replied.  He got out the map, and then proceeded to check all of his pockets.  “It looks like I forgot my reading glasses . . .”

“Oh, dear, how will we ever find our way?”


“Oh, Captain, can you help us?  We’re trying to find our house.  It’s blue with white shutters, and it says ‘Hanson’ on the mailbox.”

The Captain looked around for awhile until he figured it out. “Right this way, Lady,” he said, escorting her back up her driveway.  “Home sweet home!”

“Oh, Captain Obvious, thank you!  How can we ever repay you!?”

“No need, old lady.  I am merely doing my heroic duty, making sure the people of this town are safe from being lost and confused.  Making sure all the people are safe from being robbed…and…other bad stuff.  Making sure all the people—(a scream is heard)—and I’m off!”

Then, the unthinkable happened.

“But, Anna, how could you leave me?” cried out the blue-ink pen.

“I’m sorry, but I had to.”

“How could you?  How could you ever write another speech without my smear-less, water-saleable ink?”

“I’m sorry, but the black-ink pen is –“

“BLACK-INK PEN? You’re leaving me for THAT?”

“I’m sorry, but it just looks nicer on the page.”

“What?  I thought blue was your favorite!”

“It was, but . . . I’ve moved on.”

“Moved on!?  What about me?  I will never again let my ink write for another soul!”

“I’m still sorry, but the black-ink pen is more dramatic— perfect for my ‘Soap Opera Speech!’”

“Never again . . . never again. . . NEVER AGAIN!”

Finally, it got to a point, where things could not get any worse.

“So tell me, sister, what exactly happened?”

Sister: “I was so scared!  She was sitting in the basement, lights off, and she just started screaming!  I didn’t know what happened!”

“Do you think there’s a reasonable explanation for this?”

Sister: “All I can think of is . . . her speech.”

“What about you, witch?”

Witch: “She was fantasizing in her tower again.  Wouldn’t even stop for a snack!”

“And then what happened? Why?”

Witch: “She even made the ‘walk’ with the dragon more of a run because . . . she wanted to get back to her . . . SPEECH!”

“How about you, old lady?”

Old Lady: “Well, she ensured the introduction of the Captain and myself, but then she had to cut it short by screaming.  And we were just starting to hit it off!”

“Wasn’t your husband standing nearby?”

Old Lady: “Well, sure, but that doesn’t mean anything.  She just wanted to move on to the next genre of her speech!”

“And blue-ink pen? Why, you look like you’ve been crying!”

Blue-ink pen:  “She set me down, and picked up . . . the BLACK-INK PEN!  How could she?”

“Why? What was the reason for all this?”

Blue-ink pen: “She wanted to be more dramatic when she was writing . . . HER SPEECH!”

Witch: “Yes, it’s her fault!  All because she wanted to write that stupid speech!”

Sister: “Why did she have to write a speech about that?  Couldn’t she have picked one topic and have stuck to it?”

Old Lady: “You’re supposed to be nice to the elderly, not set them up just to knock them down again! Dumb speech!”

Blue-ink pen: “Never again . . . never again. . . NEVER AGAIN!”

It was then that I stepped in.  I would not let this speech writer make another move.  I finally found her in her room, laughing, with the black-ink pen in hand.  She had meant trouble the whole time, just as I had suspected.  She would never again mentally trouble someone because of her writing.  At least not in this speech.  But I knew that all along.  After all, I’m—a private-eye.

That’s So Funny!

There are many different kinds of humor.  Various inclusions may include jokes, one-liners, or stories.  There is dry humor and there is witty humor.  Personally, I engage in jokes (knock-knock jokes and forgot-the-punch line-jokes most commonly), stories (sometimes I remember where I’m going and sometimes I don’t), and one-liners (these are usually delivered sarcastically in burn-form or perhaps cleverly).  I actually can’t describe my humor that well, but my timing isn’t always right and sometimes I do indeed forget the punch line.  Christina?  Her timing is magnificent!  She has a great memory, and can quote funny lines from shows she may have seen once.  (I misquote a lot, too.  Another problem with my humor.)  Laura?  She says  funny things unexpectedly.  I love both my sisters, and I love their humor!  Of course, our humor stems from Mom and Dad’s.  I remember…MOST supper-table conversations ending in laughter, many times with a liquid of some sort coming out of a nose.  Yes, everybody has their own sense of humor.

Reactions are always funny to watch, as well.  There is the “Oh!  I know this one!” smirk in which the listener either sits back and lets the teller finish or interrupt and finish it for them; the pause after the punch line before the listener starts the laughing that comes with the “I get it!” phase; the laughter that comes at the right time at the end of the joke; or the boo-ing of a “That’s not funny” or “I didn’t like that” kind of joke.

Humor is a funny thing, let me tell you.  Pranks?  As long as they aren’t mean are hilarious.  The ones I do on my own aren’t that great, pouring water over someone’s head at the beach, abusing my control of the hose at a car wash, or putting ice down someone’s shirt at a banquet?  But I am always ready to aid in one, such as hanging pictures from magazines all over the rooms of the staff ladies in their suite.  I don’t even mind being pranked, as long as they’re fun.  Finding a random desk in my room and some empty milk jugs?  Being shot with a water gun or hose (numerous times)?  And here, on Project, there are some funny pranksters.  And we have four more weeks.  We shall see what else happens along those lines!  (Reactions may vary: Read label insatructions for warnings)

But the winner for best sense of humor?  God.  By far, he takes it.  I don’t know HOW he does it.  Okay, well, he’s God, so it’s not that hard for him.  I admit, many times my reaction   lands in the “Aww, really?” type of thought, but sometimes it rests in the pause before laughter of amazement.  Sometimes it’s the reaction as to that of a prank.  One that you acknowledge it’s cleverness of.  Like when I was wondering what on earth he could be up to, giving me MS (this was after I handed it over to him and acknowledged he did it for a reason), and he is glorified by my story!  I have seen more reactions to the goodness God had done and is doing through MS here than I have ever.  Or like when I was panicking about being out in the sun all day on Saturday?  He sent me to the kitchen, doing dishes for four hours.  I ask the Spirit to speak through me when sharing, and I am asking complete strangers the deepest of questions or conversations that I couldn’t even tell you, because it wasn’t even me talking!  I never know what’s up, but God is laughing at me, saying, “Hey, check this out!” and bam, he pulls a quick one.  Rachel told me a story of a man who was having a terrible day, he goes to work, and everything goes wrong.  After work, he drives to the beach, asking God why he’s having such a terrible day.  And then, a bird poops on him.  It’s all perspective, and things in life just happen all the time.  Little things that we don’t acknowledge.  Yes, God is the funniest being there IS.  You just have to SEE it!  And then, of course, laugh with him.