The Power of Words

English: A multi-volume Latin dictionary (Egid...

Never underestimate the power of your words for good or ill.

I had a teacher back in high school who told me I couldn’t write well.  Those few words not only smashed what little self-esteem I had at the time, they led me to get out of her class and avoid all English classes in college.  Whenever I took a new class in college, I looked through the syllabus and knew that whatever term paper or essay we had to write, I would fail.  I tried to calculate how much the paper was worth and if I could still pass the class even if I got an F on the paper; if the paper was worth too much, I dropped the class and found another.

Fast forward 10 years.  I had avoided taking the university’s Freshman English by taking a Philosophy class that satisfied the same requirement.  But now, I had to take the Advanced English requirement and the only option available to me was a writing course.  I couldn’t get out of it and still graduate.  So, I signed up for an Independent Study class knowing that if I could just pass, at least I would graduate.  Also, through Independent Study, at least I wouldn’t come face-to-face with the Professor whom I knew would be disappointed in me.

The first few papers, I got B minuses.  Not bad.  At least I could pass and move on with those grades.  Then, I got an e-mail from the professor.  She told me she knew I could do better.  She gave me specific points on each paper I had written where I could improve so I could get higher grades on the remaining papers.  She gave me her personal e-mail (instead of having to always go through Independent Study) and office phone number so I could get in contact with her to ask questions. She told me she believed in me.

The power of those words remained with me.  Someone thought I could actually write an academic paper well.  Really?  Me?  Okay.  . . I was skeptical because of the beliefs I had carried for so many years.  But, I tried.  I followed each of her points of advice and wrote her many e-mails asking advice and questions.

The next few papers I got A minuses.  Me!  A minuses on papers!  I couldn’t believe it!

Then I took the final.  By this point, I had actually come to believe my professor.  If I worked hard enough and really thought about the process of writing, I could do well.  On a test with several mini-essays and two full-page essays with no time to edit, I got 100%.

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I have been thinking back on my college career a lot lately since I am going to have the chance to “walk” in graduation in just over a month.   I will be forever grateful to that professor.  Although I wrote her a heartfelt thank you note, she will probably never really know the impact she has had on my life.  That simple e-mail to me changed an outlook I had on myself for 10 years.

Thank you, Professor, for believing in me.  Thank you, Professor, for TELLING me you believed in me and being there to support me.  You have truly changed my life.

The power of words is real and huge.   Telling someone they can’t do something can change their life.  Telling someone they CAN do something can change their life.  What do we want to be telling our children, our family, and our friends?  My hope is that we are using words that will uplift and encourage.  This is something I’m going to try to do better. . . will you try with me?

New Song: We Are Also Serving Him

In my last post, I mentioned that I had entered a piece into the Church’s Annual Music Submission and that I would share it with you in July.  Well, I couldn’t wait to share it with you.  I’ll still let you know if anything happens with it in the submission (which is HIGHLY unlikely, but nonetheless, I entered) in July, but for now, it’s here for free for your use.

I entered the piece in the Relief Society music category–it’s an original piece based on Matthew 25.  It is written for a women’s choir with soprano and alto parts (and a few times, it splits into 3 parts).  I hope you enjoy it!

“We Are Also Serving Him” Sheet Music

Listen to a WAV of “We Are Also Serving Him”

 

I’m Still Here!

Just wanted to quickly post and let you know that I’m still here and am working on some music for your use that I will post soon!  The last few weeks have been a whirlwind around here!  I finished writing a Relief Society piece that I submitted to the Church’s Annual Music Submission, and I will post that as soon as I hear back from them (probably July).  Shortly after I submitted that song, I came down with a bad cold that quickly turned into pneumonia, so I’ve been trying to heal from that.  Also, I have been doing some music transcription work for a sister who found me on LDS Composers Directory.  So, as you can see, I’ve been busy, I just haven’t updated on here for a while.

I have really enjoyed transcribing the music, and would love to do it for anyone else that has the need.  I can transcribe piano/vocal music  into printed form either from an MP3 or WAV file or from previously written down music (e.g. you wrote something in pencil and now want it in a more professional format).  My rates are very competitive to other transcription services out there, so let me know if you’re interested (go to Contact Me) and we can chat about rates for your particular project.

That’s it for now, just wanted to let you know to keep checking back.  I’m re-arranging my 2 Easter pieces on here into piano solos, so those will be the next songs I post!

See you back here soon!