Sunday, October 16, 2011

All-State Choir

This year All-State Choir was directed by  none other then 

*drum rolls*

Mack Wilberg!

He was such an amazing guy :) He is such a cute, little, old man. He told us we were amazing each time and gently pointed out what we needed to work on. I felt as if I was just improving each time but never did something wrong.

But not only was the director amazing but I learned a couple of new things about the Lehi Encore teens. 

So here goes:

Tanner: He likes to pop up randomly in pictures. Is a gentlemen. Helped Ali balance her way across some bars and is just a silent watcher. And his voice is just . . . amazing. I heard him sing for the first time and gosh . . . Why didn't I know him before?

Brandon: Knows table manners that can rival the Kings. His fashion sense is superb. And he can sing really, really high. Amazing falseto.

Jo: . . . He has a duck blanket . . scarf-thingy . . . He has no fear. Oh and a range just like mine. A soprano.

Ryan: Is a germaphobe racist. Just kidding it was just a joke . . . No he such a gentlemen and gave me his coat. Ryan is a cool guy, keeps it together. But I saw him lose it on Friday. He was on something that day. 

Graylon: Lent me his coat also :) I felt like such a princess that day. He loves pictures and no matter how much he says he hates them, he knows he is a studmuffin.

Sam: He is a quiet boy. And doesn't want to feel like he is intruding into our Encore group even though we wanted him to. He is such a gentleman and is genuinely polite.

Becka: Such a sweetie. She can be harsh though so watch out Encore. She's got a firecracker spirit. 

Rachel:Dear sweet Rachel . . . She loves the merry-go-round and pretending to be a mannequin. She refuses to take coats from people even though she is shivering like a chihuahua and it is thrust in front of her . . . :)

Cassidy:Such a little hottie. Can't take compliments but I know on  the inside she is pleased :) When put with Ali and Tanner they can get really . . . hyper. But we love them and enjoy their their humorous ways.

Tanesha:Likes to be alone sometimes but also she has a motherly side :) She takes care of everyone and tries to make sure they are all unified.

Ali: Loves making double-chins at the Camera :) When put with Cassidy things get crazy but again We love them! Encore wouldn't be the same without your humorous ways :)

Asian Buddies!

Yes. We fit 6 people on a 2-sitter.

Studdmuffin Encore Boys

 Gorgeaous Encore Girls

Just an example of how Tanner just pops in pics.

Rachel my literature buddy

Lessons I wish I knew as a child

I lived in Taiwan for 7 years. For many this isn't news. For others yes I did. My father had gotten a job teaching English there so we moved there when I was one. I attended first grade there, learning English and Chinese at the same time. I spoke both fluently and did really well at school. During the day I went to a private school and learned Chinese. In the afternoons I went to the English school my father taught at. 

What lesson comes from this life experience?

Well let's look at what I know now.

I am studying Chinese currently and am struggling. Tones are no problem they come naturally but the grammar is heck. Why didn't I keep up with Chinese growing up? Why? It would make my life so much easier right now.

I asked my parents that question. They simply replied: "You didn't want to". 

I didn't want to? Why? This question was directed at my past-self. My 8-year old self who moved back to the U.S. and started to forget the language she grew up knowing. 

The answer was simply because I wanted to fit in.

I was thrust from a world where I was adored for being a half-white child to sheltered Utah where Asians and Blacks and other ethnicity's are stared at because of their uncommon occurrence. I was teased for looking different. Hands pulling back their eyes to make them look squinty. Babbling words flying from their mouths, attempting to speak an Asian language making them sound like babbling baboons. Then there was my accent. Sooner or later it would have disappeared but I worked hard to make it not noticeable until it disappeared altogether in a short period of time. 

I was trying so hard to fit in. To erase a part of me that couldn't be erased. 

I felt stupid and incredibly insecure about what I looked like and who I was. In my mind I was a walking pariah to life. This continued on through life. For so long it flowed through my mind. Even when everything was okay, it wasn't. 

I don't know when I gave that up. Probably as I was exiting my "Ugly Duckling" stage. I crawled out of the gulf of misery and decided no more. I know who I am and no one, absolutely no one can change that. 

I am proud to be Asian. I'm proud to be Hmong. I am proud of these squinty eyes and plain brown eyes. I am proud to be me. 

So this is a sort of letter or tribute to my past self. I wish you knew this. I wish you understood it at that young age. But we are human. And as humans we learn and grow. We develop and we allow challenges to either change or undermine us. I'm proud to say I allowed mine to help me grow and change. And this lesson I wish I knew as a child hasn't undermined me in a long time. This lesson as a child I wish I knew is one I now know. 

Your half-Hmong, half-White friend,
唐雪莉,  Sarah Enoi Torgerson, Kablias

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sarah Torgerson: You are one of my favorite people in the whole world. You're so nice, except to some people, and I would never ever want to be on the receiving end of your anger. I love your blog. Remember that sleepover over spring break when we watched Mr. Vampire? That was awesome. You should send me a list of good Asian dramas to watch.

This is what my beloved friend, Miranda Jarman wrote about me. She is so right :) but not in a conceited kind of way. I am a nice person but you really don't want to be on the receiving end of my anger. It's pretty deadly. I have given bloody noses before, teeth-shaped bruises, and a wounded ego. 

But don't think I'm evil or anything it's just this: I do not like bullies. And those physical violence happened in my dark days of Elementary school. 

Notice I don't use the word hate. I love everybody, I really do. However, there are some people who make me twitch and want to thrash. But I will never hate. Only ever dislike . . .

Still not good but I'm am working on the whole disliking people thing. But then we are all human and not everyone gets along with everybody. 

Now a day's I attack with words but only if I ever see you hurt someone else. 

Anyway's on to other things. 

Miranda I'm glad you like my blog. It makes me so happy when I find out someone reads my blog :D I'm glad I can be on your list of favorite people in the whole entire world. I am honored to be on that list. As for the sleepover . . . how can I forget? Lazy Asian, me, and you had tons of fun making eggrolls and watching Mr. Vampire.

As for Dramas . . . here goes the list:

-Devil Beside you (Chinese and one my my favorites)
-Boys over flower (Hot Korean guys, need I say more?)
-It started with a kiss (Girl loves boy, boy doesn't love her . . until the end)
-You're Beautiful (Yet another epic drama with hot Korean boys :) Jeremy is my                                     favorite)
-Sungkyunkwan Scandal (My most favorite actor is in there)
- A Millionaire's first love (Made me cry, really good)
-200 pounds beauty (Inner beauty rules!)
-The Gumiho's Revenge (Enraptured me until the very end. Very emotional)
-Nine-Tailed Fox (Romeo and Juliet Korean style)
-Personal Preference (hehehehe I love this one)
-Goong (Two hot princes pining for the love of one girl. One's a jerk and one is sweet. Which one does she go for?)
-Tamra the Island (Don't know what to say about this one. It's just good.)
I can name a lot more but these are must-see's for right now and all that I think of. Hope you enjoy!

Your asian friend,
Sarah E. Torgerson

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Before I grauduate. . . .

So many of you have heard that I am a good-girl. I am. I really am. I have not done anything "bad". When I did (Encore Debut Prank) I ended up getting candy for them. Apparently that prank didn't count because of that kind action. So I compiled a list of things I want to do, to experience before I graduate. I hope people will help because it won't happen without your help.


1.Slow dance with someone under the stars: this has always been my dream. it doesn't have to be with that special someone. it can also be with a friend. non-the-less i want it to happen.
2.Nibble on something new: i can be a picky eater from time to time. i want to eat something that is totally out of my comfort zone. experience new foods and just be daring for once in my life. spiders are a big no-no though.
3.Take a hot air balloon ride: this is definitely a joint effort activity. but i can imagine myself riding freely in the wind. yes i am scared of heights but i am willing to overcome it for this joy ride.
4.Play flashlight tag: i know this is a childish goal, however understand that i want to just have fun right now. i have played boring old tag and freeze tag. i want something new and in the dark! adds more excitement that way :)
5.Go cosmic bowling: i suck at bowling. two girls with a broken toe and sprained ankle can vouch for me. i am also very awkward when i go up to bowl the ball. not a pretty sight. anyways it is an experience i am willing to go through humiliation for!
6.Eat ice cream for breakfast: i have never done this. i have health-nuts for parents so i'm ready to bring out the kid in me.
7.Try another hair color for a day: . . . i'm still debating this. i'll probably just do a strip or wear a wig. i can't do that to my hair.
8.Fill someone's room with balloons: this just sounds fun and spontaneous! it'll just be something you can tell your kids you did and it would make someone's day :) unless they are a balloon-hater in which case they needed it because obviously they did not have a childhood . . . 
9.Plant flowers for those who come later: i want to be remembered but not in a . . . popular way. just in spirit or to let those who go to lehi high that there had been others who had come before them and they made it. just like they will.
10.Plan a monthly friend outing: it doesn't need money. just a stress-relieving activity that will benefit everyone.
11.Wear pajamas all day: again childish but i have never done it. but it will happen.
12.Go on a blind date with no expectations: . . . don't ask why i am doing this. but as far as i know it is going to be fulfilled soon. oh boy.
13.Take command of the stage: one word . . . encore! but it doesn't have to be lead. singing back is very fine with me :)
14. Graduation vacation: i want to take a road trip with just me and a friend. it'll be fun but before that happens #39 has to be fulfilled.
15.Walk to class a different way: a stupid goal i know but you never know what you are missing or what opportunities could arise because of that small choice.
16.Try every flavor of jelly bean: it has been my dream for a long time :) and yes even the nasty vomit and booger ones . . . but i won't swallow it just try the flavor . . . 
17.Prepare to celebrate: if i do something good i want to reward myself. but only if it is something that normally doesn't happen and a educational goal that i want to do.
18.Read for fun: when was the last time it happened? yeah way back in middle school. so i'm starting now.
19.Stay up all night to talk: i did that once . . . only to find out my dear cousin sleeps with her eyes open at times. but i want to have a conversation about everything and just create an experience to remember.
20.Start my own library: i love books and i care for them like it's a baby. i want more and when i'm rich i will have a million-dollar library :)
21.Set a date for a rendevous: this isn't necessarily a date. just a fun activity to do without money at a park or to just hang out in the canyons. 
22.Go out on a limb: basically a random an in-the-moment act
23. Become a film-maker or photographer: just a dream i had and would just like to do.
24.Rent the classics: they're classics we all have to see them. that's all there is to it.
25.Have an all-chocolate day: i will be sick the next day but it is a fun challenge :P
26.Do people-watching: i have done this before (i know i'm a creeper) but it's a fun pastime.
27.Have a picnic: :)
28.Invite friends to a late-snack buffet: i love buffets, showing off my cooking skills, and late-nights . . . sometimes . . . so here is the combo.
29.Enter a writing contest: i have always been too self-concious of my writing so here goes!
30.Save memories in a scrapbook: i love art and keeping memories. simple as that.
31.Enjoy someone else's music: i hate rap but i'll endure it for a day to see what is "hip" these days because i don't keep up at all. i listen to scores, chinese, insturmental, classical, and . . . basically everything but rap.
32.Go to church with a friend: learn about other cultures and churches and gain strength in yours and understand the world better.
33.Play cards: childish yet again but i have only ever played go-fish . . .
34.Take a crash course in manners: i thought i had manners. but then i went to olive garden during all-state and sat next to brandon. i need way more lessons.
35.Howl at the moon: childish and stupid in one but hey it's spontaneous and it just sounds fun :)
36.Become a treasure hunter: someone can set up a hunt for all i care. i just want to "discover" something :)
37.Tangled lights: seen tangled? you know those lights? well i'm making one and setting it out on the lake :D
38.Learn to cartwheel and whistle and roll my r's: i struggle but i'm willing to learn!
39.Learn self-defense: i have been good so far in round-house kicking people who scare me but there will come a day when a big, scary man will try to kidnap me. then when i do my ninja moves on him i'll break my toe. no, it will not happen. ever . . . 
40.Laugh a lot: i want to be a happy person and be remembered as one. and i will be. i'll make sure of that :D

More will be added as time goes on but for now these are my hopes and dreams of creating memories that will last a lifetime. And that aren't illegal or will make me feel guilty . . . 

With much love to my blog readers,
Sarah E. Torgerson

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Everything is going to be okay . . .

So my life has been hectic. Between school, thinking about college, home duties, and getting laid off from my job I have stress upon stress built on top of me. Yes you read it right. I got laid off my job . . . It was hard and frustrating. I walk into the store 15 minutes early for my shift and work for five minutes. Then I get called to the back. I had this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I knew what was going to happen. But I denied it until the battle of know's and denial left me feeling numb. Then as she said "We feel you weren't good at customer service Sarah." A new feeling came up inside of me. A feeling I had not felt in so long because of how sick it made me feel. Anger.

I hate that emotion. I feel as if I have to focus my energy on the source of my anger and not on life. It wastes time and energy and is never worth it. But that was how I was feeling at that moment. I stared at her, smiled and told her "It's alright I already have another job prospect. Thank you." I turned around, grabbed my bag, holding back tears of humiliation. The other girls knew. They had known when I walked into the store what was going to happen and they sneered at me. What made me even more angry was that "customer service" was an excuse. Another girl was hired. Daughter to the manager of the building. Hired on as an Assistant Manager as a first job. Bad customer service was a lame and sad excuse to lay me off. 

I broke down crying as soon as I got into the car. My phone coming into my hand on instinct and dialing my Best Friend and Cousin's number. Voicemail instituted more tears. As I drove home my phone rang and my cousin answered my prayers. We just breathed through the phone for a long period of time. Just knowing she was there made me feel much better. She left me with the advice of praying. Praying about everything and having some of the load lifted off. It was cold but I went to a park and sat on the swings. Crying about everything stupid in my life. School, College, and how life takes so much effort. However as soon as I said that prayer, a warm hug was given to my soul. I was bitterly cold from the rain physically but on the inside I was warm. 

I then could think coherently and I though hard. For the pst two weeks I kept having this nagging feeling that I needed to apply for another job now. I told that feeling it was stupid and that it needed to go away. It didn't. It nagged even more. Then I had my mother nagging me. So I applied for another job. Then I got "laid off". It definitely wasn't a coincidence. God knew this was going to happen and he warned me. I am glad I listened to that nagging voice and the voice of my mother. 

For me when I break down, I can't do it alone. However, I hate dumping troubles on other people. I like listening to others and helping them but I hate doing it to them. So I sat alone at the park. Then I had an overwhelming urge to pick up my phone and text my friend. A friend who I had not talked to in so long. A friend who I considered a jerk at the moment. But I texted him and we ended up meeting at the park. We talked about life. And it ended with me crying into his arms for an hour in the rain and setting sun. 

That was an answer to my needy prayer at that moment. I needed someone to hold me and Heavenly Father sent someone. Was it my first choice, oh no it wasn't. However, it happened for a reason. Maybe to rekindle our dying friendship or to let go of the title "jerk" I had placed on him. Maybe both.

I write this not to have pity but to send a message. Everything will be okay. I had known this from the beginning and never doubted it but at the moment everything was just let out. Life is an endless ride. Cliche simile I know but it's so true. All we can do is go about with our lives filled with hope and dreams. All we can do is become the best we can be. All we can do is live. I don't want to look back on life and remember falling apart and becoming angry at everything that happens to me. I want to remember being a happy person who had an outlook on life that was annoyingly bright. I want to be remembered as being a joyful, quirky soul. I will just laugh when someone puts me down. I won't argue back. It's not in my nature. It takes too much effort and besides, I don't care. I know who I am. And no one can change that. This "laid off" business was just a minor setback. I broke down and released long-kept tension. Now I am free-flying and I'm going to succeed. I'm going to live life and I'm going to love it.

So my dear blog readers. Live. Find your purpose. Get you patriarchal blessing. Who you want to be and what you can be is posted all over that piece of white paper. Read it. Cherish it. Live it. 

Feeling better,
Sarah E. Torgerson

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Young Men and General Conference

So who else was spiritually enlightened. I especially thought that the talk by Elder Jose L. Alonso on time and prioritizing was specifically for me. General Conference is not just a time to sit back and be lazy while listening to old men talk. It's about listening to what our Heavenly Father has to say to us. He wants us to achieve and if church doesn't work then General Conference sure as heck will. It's like a two day boot camp for our soul. But one question has always lingered . . . . . 

Why do boys get two two-hour sessions every year while the girls only get one 1 1/2-hour sessions? 

My dad simply explained that boys need more enlightenment then girls. This sparked annoyance and amusement in me. 

Annoyance because I want to hear more talks. I love listening to the General Authorities talk. 

Amusement because of the difference between topics discussed at the sessions. For the girls we are praised and told how amazing we are. Then given advice on how to be even better. For boys it can be summed in this: "You suck! Man up! Go on missions! Date girls you losers!" Of course it is told in much gentler yet firm tones.

All I have to say is I hope you young men know how awesome you guys are. Yes I trash some of them, you can be so irritating sometimes but the young women do notice your good attributes. We see you pass the sacrament and admire your clam demeanor while doing so. You truly have good things to say and we take them to heart. We hope you go on missions. It is our one wish because we want to marry a return missionary in the temple and if you don't then . . . you get crossed off our list of prospective husbands. 

We only wish that all those listed above go with you to school. Sometimes you change your personalities for school and church. It bugs us and makes you unattractive. Please stay the same at school as you are at church. It makes you very attractive. 

Along with other prayerful girls,
Sarah E. Torgerson