My folks just flew back yesterday; it was amazing having them here and we really took full advantage of the time together. We drove up to Boulder and Cheyenne (yes, I know Boulder is south, but any time you’re hauling up a sheer cliff face counts as “up” in my book!), watched Jane Eyre at the Lyric Cinema, hiked along the Poudre River, sponsored a kiddush at my shul, and oh my God, the food this week. For those of you who know Ft. Collins, the seared tuna with mango salsa at Coopersmith’s and the pumpkin bread french toast with rum butter sauce at Rainbow were particular favorites. Om nom nom.

More than that, I got to introduce them to all the amazing people I’ve been telling them about for the past three years–my friends inside and outside the program, the community at my shul, and the teachers who’ve really been mentors to me. It was so important to me that my folks get at least a taste of why I adore all of them and see who I am out here (which is very different from who I was in New York).

And, of course, they got to be there for my reading. While my program has a number of venues for students to do less formal readings earlier in the program, I really hadn’t felt ready to share my work before this. Partly, I felt really vulnerable about my work and didn’t want to show it to anyone unless I had to, and partly, it felt really clear earlier on that I had a lot of work to do on revising these stories; that they weren’t ready to be shared any more than I was ready to share them. But I really felt by this point like the stories in my thesis had really come together in a good way, I was thrilled about them, and I wanted everyone around me to be just as excited as I was about them. So I just got up there and completely rocked it. I used every trick I ever heard my parents discuss about public speaking to keep the audience interested, and I think the fact that I was so excited and in love with the story came through and got passed to the people listening. It felt so joyful and perfect, and five minutes after I finished I wanted to go up and do it again!


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