Monday, February 27, 2012

A Special Thanks for a Special Man.

When you are a "lifer" at the same school for 15 years, it stands to reason that as you grow older and reflect on those formative years you realize just how much the person you've become has been shaped by those very halls you walked, friends you made, and teachers who painstakingly took the efforts to teach you not only their subject matter, but also about love, life, service, and how to stop socializing ALL THE TIME so that you can accomplish your studies.

When one of those teachers is a special man named, Mr. Ford, he deserves a special thanks.  Unfortunately, he may not know any of this, but I found that what makes me happiest in life is remembering those around me and being grateful for them.

So, even if it is a little too late, a special thanks is in order to you Mr. Ford, for you...

  1. helped me to actually enjoy getting to school at 8 a.m. for your first period "study hall" even though I'd been up since 6 a.m. for an early morning Seminary class because you always greeted me with a smile and a listening ear for my next dramatic story.
  2. taught me that history, is in fact, NOT bunk. You taught me to LOVE history. Not just like history, but LOVE it. I learned to love history so much I would be convinced to take Mrs. Cooper's AP History classes in 11th and 12th grade.
  3. and your teachings I wanted to continue my passion for history and politics and studied for a History Minor in college.
  4. taught me to appreciate political satire and cartoons.
  5. taught me what a lexicon was and added several new words to my vocabulary every week...even if I didn't always want to learn them. I am grateful now.
  6. helped me memorize all the words to "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel (although you didn't know that) because they were framed on your wall and I would memorize them when I got distracted in class.
  7. comforted all of us in your class on September 11th when we sat in the room frightened, watching the planes hit the WTC towers.
  8. gave me a place to go to for lunch at times when I just needed to get away and chat when I needed to vent or escape.
  9. taught me how to be responsible by not going easy on me and teaching me that much was expected of me, but I was very capable of reaching those expectations.
  10. taught me to channel my inner creativity and laugh at myself...
(A preview, of a video we once did for one of his class assignment...)

Unfortunately,  I learned that Mr. Ford passed away today. And so, I am feeling nostalgic for home, high school, and those who've helped me get to this point in my life.

He is a great man who taught so many, loved so many, and was greatly loved for his contagious smile and personality.  

"The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower." Psalm 18:2

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Six Degrees of Seperation - Karl Rove and Melanie Griffith

If you've never played Six Degrees of Seperation with Kevin Bacon, you should. Play here at the Oracle of Bacon. Basically, the idea is you connect Kevin Bacon to any other celebrity (or 2 random celebrities) and there will be no more than 6 connections. The FEWER the connections the better.

So...we are going to play that today here on my blog. Except, instead of Kevin Bacon we will use me as the link. And, instead of random celebrities we will use Melanie Griffith and Karl Rove.

Now, I'm not even going to try to deny it. I love meeting celebrities (as evidenced HERE and in future posts). I know it's pointless, stupid, ridiculous, and they put their pants on one leg at a time just like us, but I can't help it.  I mean, I did spend my fair share of time at the Sundance Film Festival each year in college, in addition, to getting my hands on as many backstage passes and charity events as I could, and stalking around LA and NYC, to name a few. But even more than meeting celebs I love when they love meeting me.

And with that bit of information...let's play.

We shall start with our D-List celeb Melanie Griffith.  If you don't know who she worries. You probably just didn't grow up watching Working Girl and Now and Then over and over and over again like I did. But, perhaps you know her from her dashingly charming husband, Antonio Banderas. 

So, there we were on our usual vacay relishing in the tradition my dad and bro started - tricking me into thinking they've spotted a celeb.  1 of every 2 times they actually do spot a celeb there thus, I'm 50/50 on believing them. When they told me they ran into Melanie Griffith though I brushed them off.  I mean, couldn't they at least make up a celeb I'd care about?

The next day, my sister, neice, and I went white water rafting (Yes, contrary to some people's opinions I LOVE the outdoors).  We loaded the bus and were waiting for the other adventurers when I found myself watching this particular woman boarding with her family (sans husband). I laughed to myself as I saw her REALLY big lips and thought of how funny it was that she looked like Melanie Griffith.  The stranger took her seat behind me with her daugher and I suddenly felt this tap on my shoulder.

"Hi, I'm Melanie." She said in her little mouse-ish voice extending her small hand for me to shake it.

"Hiiiii...I'm Katie" I responded whilst simultaneously glancing over at my sister who was giving me that weird look of why-is-Melanie-Griffith-so-interested-in-chatting-it-up-with-my-little-sister face.

"Have you ever been on this raft trip before? What can we expect? I'm a little nervous." Mel asked. And with that we were close friends. And by close friends, I mean I've never spoken to her again, but we did all have an enjoyable day rafting the rivers of Colorado together and created many memories.

Alright, so we've got my connection with celeb #1 down.

Next up...drum roll please...Karl Rove. (Ok, CELEB may be a little of a stretch...we will call him a political celeb)

Christmas 2010. On my flight home for the holidays.  I notice this older man in a cap continually looking at me. I smile because I feel like I recognize him too, but I can't quite put a finger on it. 

And then...I hear that one obnoxious passenger on the plane, "Look who it is ladies and gentlemen!  We've got Karl Rove on the plane! I'd love to switch seats so I can sit next to him! I'd love to ask him ALOT of questions." And the radio personality didn't quiet the entire time until we touched down.

I approached Karl (2 rows behind me) just as a friendly gesture to say sorry for the obnoxious man in the row between us.

"Hi. Mr. Rove. You may not remember me, But..."

"Katie, right? You're (insert dad's name) daughter. I thought I recognized you. I noticed you when that guy in the Ireland shirt dropped you off at the airport (my buddy Stephen has NEVER been more thrilled that Karl Rove knows who he is) but I couldn't tell if that was you or not."

I was SHOCKED. I mean, SHOCKED. I had met this guy for maybe 10 minutes at a 4th of July/birthday party 4 years back. I certainly DID NOT expect him to remember me.

Pics from aforementioned party.

 Anyway, we chatted for a bit as we walked to collect our luggage and then said our good-byes. I went to greet my Uncle who wass picking me up when suddenly, Mr. Rove returned.

"Hey Katie, our luggage is over at carousel 2 if you want to join me."

My Uncle is in a little shock and asks, "Is that Karl Rove and did he really just direct you to where you can pick up your luggage?"

"Yes. Yes it was."

I don't think I have ever been so cool in my Uncle's eyes. 

Everyone else around us at baggage claim kept whispering, "Whoa! That's Karl Rove, but wait...who's that girl?" It made me laugh. 

So there you have it.  My two new friends, Melanie and Karl, now have an even shorter link in Six Degrees of Seperation than any they had before. Me. If all 3 of us are ever at a party together I'll be sure to introduce them.

(Oh, and a quick shout out to my roomie who wanted the world to know that she and Karl Rove both went to the same high school AND university. Which she learned thanks to Morgs #braggingrights)