Monday, November 19, 2012

Guest Blogger, Thanksgiving Edition: Meet Pianist, Piano Teacher, and Home-Schooling Mother of Four, Sara Swim Turley

Sara is all too familiar with tight places.
With Thanksgiving this week and the holidays on the horizon, I feel a little melancholy for my family out west.   And when I think of family coupled with Girls in Tight Places, I can't help but think of my Arizona-dwelling sister-in-law Sara Swim Turley, mother of three of my nieces (one of whom has Type 1 diabetes) and one of my nephews.  Born and raised in Salt Lake City.  Sara has been homeschooling her two oldest kids from day one.   She has juggled these responsibilities while making sure her kids have a full spectrum of experiences, including sports and music.  A musician herself, Sara holds a master's degree in piano performance and pedagogy from Arizona State University.  This Thursday, she will be hosting Thanksgiving for not only her own family, but three members of her soon-to-be-arriving Utah family, plus my own mother, who will be experiencing her first Thanksgiving without my dad.  When I asked Sara what she was cooking, she said, "The usual, but this year--speaking of tight places--I'm not going to make my pies from scratch like I usually do.  Same with the rolls."

1.  Are you in a tight place? If so, what are you trying to do about it?

Hard to narrow down the range of my tight places.  The rooms in my house are tight.  There's never enough time to go around.  I'm trying to adjust some things, and we've dropped some things this school year, like the children's choir and the weekly homeschool enrichment classes.  I also lost two piano students, due to them moving away.

2.  What do you want to get done this year?

I hardly ever get time to think about that question.  I make lists but never get to them.  I never have time to think what to do beyond just getting everyone through the day.  But I've been practicing the piano again.  I learned an entire Brahm's piece--Op. 118 No. 1--and I would love to learn a couple more from this set and have a lesson with my old piano teacher [from high school and the University of Utah] when I go home to Utah for Christmas.  I also have a goal to pick up the violin again and practice with my oldest daughter.  She's about the level I was when I stopped.  But I need a new bow for my violin.  It's warped, so before the end of the year, I'm going to order a new bow.  At the end of her Violin Book 4, there's a Bach piece for two violins, and so I thought it would great to play it with her.

3.  What inspires you?

I don't feel inspired a lot, because of all of the demands on me.  I feel more depleted than inspired.  When I am inspired it's from my really great friends, who have lots of great skills.

4.  What's your favorite legwear?

We don't wear socks/tights out here in Arizona.  Capri pants.  You can wear them all year.  Throw on a sweater in January and you're fine.