Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"Maybe I'll Be a Teacher", and other life musings

Maybe I'll be a teacher. Maybe that's actually what I want to do with my life. There, I said it.
Ever since I started working at the school, I've started thinking about getting a teaching certificate. I want to do something truly beautiful with my life. Something that I don't have reservations about, something uplifting and enobling. Maybe teaching is that something. Until this point, I never really thought I would enjoy teaching in a school. I guess now I get to find out. I'm so blessed with the chance to teach at my current job. I think it will be very enlightening, and show me if teaching is really the path that I want to pursue. I love working with the kids. I love it when they tell me stories and ask me funny questions. I love it when they ask me for "two tiny band-aids" and draw me pictures. I love it when they try to guess how old I am. I love it when they show me their art projects and ask me to edit their essays. I love that job. So, maybe I want to be a teacher. I guess I kind of already am.
In other news, I want to start blogging about food. I LOVE cooking. Tonight I made a mixed green salad with walnuts, goat cheese, grilled nectarines and a balsamic reduction. It was amazing, if I say so myself. Shouldn't I be documenting these things? I think so. Expect some sweet (literally) posts in the future. Until then, dream of crisp salad and warm nectarine goodness.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I'm back!

Surprise!!!! How long has it been since I've written on this thing? Haha. Three and a half years have passed since I last attempted some kind of digital record of my life. How do I even sum up? Here are some highlights. I served a mission in the Alpine German-Speaking mission (Austria and Southern Germany) for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from June 2010 to November 2011. That experience has been the greatest privilege of my life thus far. You can read about it here: mission.carlidowns.com. I met unbelievably strong and wonderful people, learned German, lived in the Alps, and came closer to my God. It was a very sacred time in my life, and one that I intend to build the rest of my life upon.
Today was big. I attended the last class of my undergraduate career. Next week I will graduate with a Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance from BYU. This was my dream. When I was a freshman, I would beg the Lord every night to please let me get into the vocal performance program. I had no idea how amazing the coming years would be. I had no concept of how breathtakingly beautiful and artistically fulfilling my study abroad would be. We just had a reunion. 4 years have passed, and we are all still great friends. Who could have known? Who could have guessed that my time in Vienna would lead me to missionary service? I first felt prompted to serve a mission while sitting alone in the Strassenbahn headed to church on a rainy Sunday in Wien. I won't write the details here. It's an extremely sacred part of my life, but if you ask, I'll tell you about it. Since my mission, I have had amazing musical experiences. I played the role of Pitti-Sing in The Mikado last June. I also played Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte last October. I loved every minute of it. I loved the challenge of that role, getting into Dorabella's heart and head, exploration through acting, the costumes, the wigs, the makeup, all of it. Now I'm graduating. I gave my senior recital on April 5th. I loved giving that performance. I felt very connected to the pieces I sang. I told some stories of my life, though the audience surely only picked up on a few. I sang about darkness, light, love, loss, and Vienna, of course. I'm so grateful for my experiences, and look forward to whatever the future holds.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Life through a tube of toothpaste

Hello all! So, it's been a while since I've posted. Oops. It's funny how life gets ahead of you, isn't it? We just finished our production of Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffman. I feel like we put on a good show, and I learned so much in the process. This was a challenging show for me on a lot of levels. First of all, it was in French, which is the language I have the least amount of experience with, so that was an adventure. It is also a very complicated show, and so fitting the whole thing together in my brain was a task in and of itself. I also understudied the role of Nicklausse in all of the spare time I had, which was very difficult, but also extremely rewarding. I now feel much more competent and capable of learning roles in the future. Over the past few weeks, I felt like my life was being squeezed through a tube of toothpaste. There were so many deadlines, expectations to meet, tasks to accomplish, people to give my attention to, and places to be that I felt like it was all building up behind the small opening of my 24 hour days. Emotions ran high, and time ran short, but I made it! The show was a success, and now I can catch up on all the other facets of my life. I was lucky enough to have my dad and brother come out for the show. It was really nice to see them, and I am excited to go home for Christmas! I feel like I am always analyzing how I feel about my musical life, and I keep coming up with the same conclusion. I love performing, and I love to sing, but it is hard. Luckily for me, I can do hard things! Haha. I am learning that to be a good performer you have to give so much of your being over to the music and the passion behind it. Sometimes it gets overwhelming, but the reward is always worth the effort.
In other news, fall is in full swing! I love Utah in the fall. The colors are lovely, and the air is crisp and clean. It's supposed to snow tomorrow though. Gross. I love my life, and I hope to update you on it again very soon! Alles liebe!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sappy and nostaligic ramblings

Hello all! Once again I apologize for my long absence. I am back at BYU! Woo hoo! I am living in my old apartment, and it is very nice to be back. My computer is dying, and I only have time for a short update. I am taking classes this term, and things in general are going well. Naturally there have been some bumps, but that is to be expected. I have been thinking a lot lately about change. I was thinking about how my life has developed over the last two years. Two years ago I never could have imagined that I would be where I am right now. If you had told me that I would get into the school of music, I would have hoped you were right, but at the same time I would have been afraid that it was all just a sick joke. Then if you had told me that not only would I get into my major, but I would have the chance to learn German, live in Vienna, and sing there for three months with some of the most talented people on the planet, I would have absolutely never have believed you. I have had so many beautiful experiences, but more importantly, I have been fortunate enough to make friends with the most wonderful people imaginable. I am grateful for all the people in my life, and for the growth and support that I feel. My path has taken many unexpectedly fantastic turns, and I know that there are many more on the horizon!

Friday, April 24, 2009


I have been home for just over 24 hours. Wierd. My trip back to the states was fairly uneventful, is a positve thing in my book when it comes to flying. It has been great to see my family, but I am definitely going to miss Vienna. I will miss quiet, dignified beauty of the city, and the goodness of the people. Vienna taught me that beauty is all around - all you have to do is notice it. I am so grateful that I got to experience the music of Vienna. It was wonderful to step away from my everyday life and fall in love with music again. Not that I ever fell out of love, but it was nice to re-group and affirm to myself that yes, I am doing the right things with my life. I am coming away from this experience inspired not only as a musician, but also as an individual. I have learned that life doesn't just fall into your lap. You have to actively seek out opportunity, and then once you find it, be brave enough to take it and magical things can happen. Now that I am home, I think the challenge will be to avoid falling into a complacent routine. I want to keep experiencing and learning new and beautiful things. I promise that I will fill in the holes in my blog. There are all sorts of adventures that I haven't talked about yet.! However, right now jetlag is exacting its revenge, and I have to go to sleep. Bis bald!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Oh, the places you'll go

Since the last time I posted I have been to Prague, Budapest, Salzburg, Mauthausen, Melk, and Duernstein. Wow. I promise that I will blog about all of these trips! Right now I just have time to say that I am having a spectacular time in Europe, and I can't wait to share all of my adventures with you! Here are a few pictures. Maybe by posting these I will assuage some of the neglect that my blog is undoubtedly feeling.

Laura, Britain, and I up on the castle hill in Salzburg

A cemetary at Mauthausen concentration camp

The monestary at Melk

An awesome staircase inside the monestary

Me and the lovely Austrian countryside. This was taken up by the ruins of a castle.

Until I have more time, this will have to do! Auf wiedersehen!

Monday, March 9, 2009

I'm back!

Sorry I've been slacking! I have been sooooooo busy! Here is a general rundown of what I have been up to: I went to Schoenbrunn palace, which was great. It was beautiful, but kind of quirky at the same time. It had a bunch of smaller rooms that all had very specific purposes. For instnace, there was a whole room dedicated to brushing the empress Elizabeth's hair. It took four hours. Woah. There was another room that was decorated with pictures that Maria Theresia's children had drawn, which was neat. I would post pictures, but they wouldn't let us take any! Sad. After the tour, Joseph, Emily, Naomi, and I walked around the grounds for a long time, which I really enjoyed. The weather was brisk and windy, and had a little bit of an ominous feel about it. That doesn't sound like that much fun, but it really was. We walked up the hill to the Gloriette, which is where they were going to build an even bigger palace but didn't because they ran out of funding. From there we had a nice view of the city. We also meandered along the tree-lined paths and came upon some very interesting monuments. There was one that looked like Roman ruins, but clearly nothing had stood there before. They just build the monument to look antique and dilapidated. I also went on walking tour four this week. We saw the monument to the man who inspired Hitler's anti-semetic ideas. He was also mayor of Vienna, which is why he has a statue. They would never build a statue to him for infecting Hitler. We also saw a part of the old city wall that surrounded Vienna, along with all sorts of neat buildings. Yay! Outside the Museum of Applied Art I saw a banner for a photography exhibit about the poverty in Americus, Georgia. Ironic, right? Who would have though that I would see a sign for an exhibit about GA in Vienna! It was kind of a wierd moment. I also saw a man who had been stabbed in the subway last week! It was intense. I was coming home from FHE, and I took the U2 to the U4 in Karlsplatz. When I got to the U4 platform, I could tell that something wasn't right. As I got further onto the platform, I saw a bunch of drunk people stumbling around. More than usual, anyway. I though that was kind of wierd, but I kept going a little further. Then I saw a man lying on the ground. Another man was kneeling over him, and tearing his shirt off. As he ripped the fabric away, I could see blood streaming down his chest from what looked like a stab wound. This theory was corroberated by Sister Vincent the next day. She had come onto that same platform right after this happened, and she told me that by the time she got there they were announcing what had happened over the intercom. I did not stick around long enough to hear those announcements. I was about to call 911, until I realized that I did not know the Austrian equivalent of 911! I should probably find that out. There was a man who called it in though. I saw him talking to emergency personell as I left. I exited that platform, and took an alternate route home. Tomorrow I am going to a Monestary that is just outside of Vienna. I will give a full report tomorrow night! In other news, I am going to Prague this weekend! Hooray! We leave on Thursday afternoon, and I am so excited about it! Well, that is all for now. Alles Liebe!