“Creative Pulse - Out of My Shell Part 2”
Charlene Brett takes her 2 children and 2 golden retrievers into the backcountry for a backpacking weekend and survives a terrible overnight thunderstorm. Charlene calls her story “A Backcountry Weekend Adventure”.
Charlene Brett is a K-5 teacher in the Bitterroot Valley and has been teaching music for 14 years. She is a fan of the great outdoors and enjoys escaping into various high-mountain lakes in both Montana and Idaho in the summer to fly fish. When not backpacking with her family (or her 3 “mom” friends – “Moms of the Traveling Backpacks”), you can find Charlene hiking on her property with her two female golden retrievers and her tortoise-shell cat …who thinks she is a dog. On those cold Montana evenings, she enjoys working on 1000-piece outdoor image-style puzzles.
Jessie Novak is an indoor person who goes on an outdoor adventure with her sister Stephie in Lewis and Clark Caverns. Jessie calls her story Finding Joy.
Jessie Novak is an art teacher, quadruplet, and enthusiastic dog mom. Growing up outside of Missoula with her 3 siblings and father, she realized that the only ways to control the chaos of life was living in a small town and teaching, so she decided to do both. She relocated to Billings, received her teaching credentials, and quickly moved to the other end of the state to a tiny town called Noxon. In a town where everyone knows everyone, she teaches K-12 Art, hikes, attempts to grow a large garden (when there isn’t 6 feet of snow), and spoils her fur-child Peggy Sue rotten.
Sydney Holte lands a student teaching gig in India and an unfamiliar green sauce causes her great gastrointestinal distress on her first day of student teaching. Sydney calls her story Green Sauce.
Sydney Holte was born and raised in Minnesota and now teaches elementary music in Billings, Montana. She enjoys camping and fly fishing whenever she can with her husband, Jacoby. Singing and musical theater have always been a large part of her life as well. She loves canned goods, peeing in lakes, and drinking coffee before the sun rises.
Transcript : Creative Pulse - Out of My Shell Part 2
[00:00:00] Marc Moss: Welcome to the tell us something podcast. I’m Marc Moss. We are currently looking for storytellers for the next tell us something storytelling event. The theme is lost in translation. If you’d like to pitch your story for consideration, please call 406 203 4683. You have three minutes to leave your pitch.
The pitch deadline is August 20th. I look forward to hearing from you soon. I’ll call you as soon as I get your pitch. If you’re not the type to share a story and you want to attend the event, you can get limited edition printed tickets. At Rockin Rudy’s you can also get digital tickets at tellussomething.org
we acknowledge with deep respect and gratitude that we are on the ancestral lands of the Pendlay Salish and Kootenai peoples who have stewarded this land for countless generations, their profound connection to the earth and its resources. Has left an indelible mark on the landscape. We now call home in recognizing their enduring legacy.
We are called to be steadfast stewards of this land, nurturing its diversity, [00:01:00] preserving its ecosystems and upholding the principles of environmental sustainability. May we honor the wisdom of our ancestors and theirs and embrace our responsibility to protect and preserve. This precious land for future generations.
This week on the podcast,
[00:01:17] Charlene Brett: the thunder starts rolling and it’s echoing off all of these walls back and forth. My dogs are getting terrified. They’re like, can we go in the tent? Please? We’re scared. Please let us in. So we all, we bail into the tent because the rains come in and the rain instantly starts pouring.
[00:01:33] Jessie Novak: And I know where this is going and I don’t like it one bit. My brain is saying they’re going to shut the oil lamp off too. And it’s gonna be really, really dark. And boy, was
[00:01:48] Sydney Holte: When I’m doing the thing that I’m nervous about, the feeling goes away. But this time, the feeling in my stomach did not go away.
I was still feeling
[00:01:59] Marc Moss: Three storytellers [00:02:00] shared their true personal story on the theme, Out of My Shell. Their stories were recorded in person in front of a live audience July 16th, 2023 at Bonner Park Band Show. The storytellers you’ll hear in this episode are all educators enrolled in the University of Montana’s Creative Pulse program, a graduate program of the University of Montana that Creative Pulse embraces critical thinking, processes, and habits of the mind, enabling the participants to develop Refine and integrate these processes into their own thinking and learning abilities as well as those of their students.
The Master of Arts in Integrated Arts and Education is completed over two consecutive summer sessions, plus independent studies and a final project. Our first story comes to us from Charlene Brett, who takes her two children and two Golden Retrievers into the backcountry for a backpacking weekend and survives a terrible overnight thunderstorm.
Charlene calls her story, A backcountry weekend adventure. Thanks for listening.[00:03:00]
[00:03:02] Charlene Brett: I’m a music teacher, and I love what I do. But… But as all teachers do, we live for summer. And I live for adventures in the summer. And this particular summer, I was talking with my oldest daughter Abby and my middle son Craig about going on a backpacking adventure. And we were going to leave my husband and my youngest son Tyler behind.
Now Abby is 15 and Craig is 12 and, and what you need to know about them is, is Abby is very independent, sort of headstrong daughter. of mine who’s like, yes, mom, let’s go. We can do this girl power and, and my son Craig is like, he likes to do that stuff, but he will always kind of step back and observe first and think about it and before he just jumps right in.
So I have two different personalities, but they’re both good. They’re like, yeah, mom, let’s plan this trip. So All week long, we’re [00:04:00] thinking about where we should go and we decide we’re going to go to Baker Lake, which is down in the southern end of Darby and sits in a circ at the base of Trapper Peak.
Trapper Peak sits at about 10, 100 feet in elevation and Baker Lake is about a thousand feet underneath that. And like I said, it sits in this cirque. So we’re like, hey, that looks cool. It’s only a mile and a half into it. And since we’re going to leave on a Friday late afternoon, that would be a good hike for us to get into and get into that lake and get set up.
I talked to my husband. He’s like, yeah, you can do this. You can do this. I’ll stay home with Tyler. All is good. You go for it. Well, all week long, on social media, and on the weather reports, they were calling for major thunderstorms that weekend. Ah, Montana weather. Montana’s bipolar. Look, it’s a blue sky, it’s beautiful right now, it’s going to be like that on this weekend too.
There’s not going to be a big thunderstorm. [00:05:00] All week long, social media. Better not do anything, there’s going to be a big storm. So we decide we’re going to wait until Friday and we’ll make that decision as to whether we should go or not. And Friday comes along, it’s the afternoon, the kids get off their job and we’re like, hey, what are we going to do?
I look outside, blue sky, not a cloud in the sky. Let’s go. So we throw our backpacks in, my little Toyota minivan, the mom van, and we hit Highway 93 and we head down to Darby and we hit the trailhead. And we start hoofing it up the switchback. It’s about a thousand foot elevation gain like in the first half mile.
And we’re huffin and puffin and we got two Golden Retriever dogs are with us, the ones that love going hiking, Bailey and Finley. And we get up to this beautiful overview and we’re looking at the valley below where we drove up the road and the sun is, you know, the sun is setting behind us and it’s casting this beautiful golden color over that valley and it’s [00:06:00] just gorgeous.
And we’re kind of looking at each other like, so glad we’re doing this, this is really cool. And for me, it was like a moment of. This weekend, this backpacking trip is a moment of, like, empowerment for myself that I can do this. I can take my kids on a backpacking trip on my own and it’s going to be okay.
Alright? So we’re providing some sort of, like, I don’t know, extra security or something that I’m proving to myself I can do this. Then we finish on the trailhead and we get to the lake. And we jump up to, or we climb up and there’s the head of the lake and it’s that first view of the lake when you finally get there.
It’s just gorgeous. It’s calm. The water is calm and the sun is setting behind all these ridges that um, circle around the lake and you can see Trapper Peak up off to the left and there’s a campsite right there that’s not taken. So we’re looking at this campsite and thinking, well, yeah, you know, it will be okay.
My dad. Always taught me to look around at the different options [00:07:00] before you choose one. It’s okay. There’s these rolling granite boulders, big boulders, because you’re up in the high country. And they’re colored, these beautiful colors coming down, it’s just gorgeous. These rolling boulders that go out to the lake that would make a perfect spot for the kids to jump off or dive off and swim in the water.
And I’m looking around and I see this one little patch of dirt. Where obviously other people have put a tent and right behind that is a really big tall dead tree a dead snake and I think Mom always said don’t put your tent under a dead tree in case a windstorm comes along We don’t have a choice if we’re going to take this campsite and those rolling boulders come right down to that and I’m thinking well if there is a thunderstorm then That rain might come down to our tent Let’s look for another spot.
Well, kind of look across the lake and you can tell that there’s this glorious campsite across the lake. It’s already [00:08:00] taken. Lucky ducks got the really cool spot. They’re set up over there and, and kind of look to the left and to the right of the lake and, and there really isn’t anything else. So this is our spot.
And it’s starting to get dark and we haven’t had dinner yet. So we set up our tent. I had a brand new tent from REI. I loved it. Little four person backpacking tent. Got the footprint to go with it. Smart. Set that baby up. It went up so easy. Made dinner, cooked some popcorn, I always pop popcorn on my backpacking trips.
Watched the fish jump in the lake, did a little swim to get all that sweat off from the hike. Watched the stars come out, it’s beautiful. When you’re up in the backcountry and you don’t have the light pollution, the stars just shine so much brighter. So we’re telling stories, pretty soon we are off to bed, it’s kind of a cold night.
No sound of rain or anything over the whole night. The morning we wake up, that sun is [00:09:00] coming into the tent. And if you sleep in a tent and you’ve ever had the sun coming in the morning, you know that feeling of warmth that comes. You’re just kind of snuggled in and just like, Oh, but I got to get up. So we finally get out of bed and we’re talking about different things that we’re going to do for the day.
Of course, I love to fly fish. I’m going to be fly fishing most of the day. My kids love to swim. And then they’re fishing a little bit too, but they’re spending more time swimming in the water and throwing sticks for the dogs and whatnot. And we’re walking around the entire lake, we’re checking out the stream at the back of the lake, we’re looking at the wildflowers.
And I’m looking at the sky again and I’m thinking, what an awesome weekend. There’s not a cloud up there. Bipolar weather in Montana, right? And during this time, this day, there had been some day backpackers that had come up to the lake. And spent some time, there were two different groups, and of course there’s this other campsite, and they’re doing fishing, and me, I’m thinking, I’m up here with my kids, but [00:10:00] there was a sense of security knowing I wasn’t the only adult up there.
So the day goes on, those day packers head out, and I’m kind of looking across the lake, and I notice that the other group of backpackers is packing up. And I’m thinking, hmm, starting to feel a little bit uncomfortable, you know, ah, we’re good. I got this. I can do this. There’s not a cloud in the sky.
Looking up at the peaks. It’s beautiful. Trapper Peaks. Amazing. I want to hike it someday. Don’t know if I can. Those backpackers head out and we have the lake to ourself. And there’s something about that, too. Like, it’s ours. We can be as loud as we want, we can do whatever we want up here. We’re not going to disturb anybody else.
So we head back over to our campsite, and we’re kind of settling in a little bit, getting ready for dinner. And the wind, just like right now, is picking up. Remember I said this lake sits in a circ at the base of Trapper Peak. [00:11:00] And that wind is coming in and it’s picking up really, really fast. And it’s starting to circle around the lake.
And I look up at the ridge tops. And the darkest, blackest clouds are just coming over the ridge in all different directions up there. And I thought, oh shit, here it comes. And it looks like it’s going to be a doozy. And when you’re up there at 9, 000 feet and you’re in a thunderstorm in the mountains and you’re all by yourself, you’re thinking, What the heck am I doing up here?
Maybe I shouldn’t have come. Maybe I should have like listened to my parents and stayed home. The thunder starts rolling and it’s echoing off all of these walls back and forth. My dogs are getting terrified. They’re like, can we go in the tent, please? We’re scared. Please let us in. So we all, we bail into the tent because the rains come in and the rain.
Instantly starts pouring. The dogs are snuggled up next to me and they’re whining, they’re looking at me like, Mom, what are we going to do? And my [00:12:00] kids are kind of terrified and we just break out in laughter because what do you do when you’re freaked out? You start laughing. And so we’re laughing at each other and I’m sitting there praying, Oh my god, I hope we make it through this storm.
I hope that dead tree behind us doesn’t fall on us. The wind is really bad. In fact, the wind becomes so bad that the tent poles are starting to cave in on us. And so the next thing you know, my brand new tent, right? I’m not going to let this windstorm mess it up. We’re playing Twister in the tent. And we’ve got arms and legs stretched out, and we’re pushing out on those tent poles, and we’re trying to hold it, and I’m trying to keep the dogs calm, and I’m looking at my kids going, it’s going to be okay, we’re going to make it.
In my head I’m thinking, what if something happens to me? Do they know how to get out of here? Are they going to know what to do? Do they know where I put the keys to the minivan? Can my daughter drive down that hill?
Plane twister, hole in the nose, and finally my daughter [00:13:00] looks down and she sees these major ripples and bubbles in the bottom of the tent. Flowing from one end to the other. And she goes, Mom, look. And I went, Oh, crap. We’re going to have wet sleeping pads. We’re going to have wet sleeping bags. We’re going to have wet clothes.
It’s going to be a cold night. What am I doing? What am I doing? And then we laugh, and we sing, we have this crazy song that we sing, it goes, Sunshine and happy days, blue skies are all around us. And it’s meant to be off pitch because it’s like supposed to break the tension, right? So we’re singing that in the tent.
My daughter zips open the tent door, and pulls it back open, and we look. And there’s a five foot wide by about two inch deep river of rainwater running underneath our tent. And out the other side. I was like, [00:14:00] crap. We’re going to be wet. We’re going to be soaked. And we laugh, I’m trying, and happy, you know, and it goes on.
The storm finally subsides, and I assess the situation. Things are dry. Close up the tent. In fact, it subsides a little bit. We get out and we’re kind of checking things out. The tree is still standing. I close up the door. We settle in for the night because we’re not going to pack out in the dark. And I just tell him, okay, if we make it to the morning, we’re going to throw everything in our backpacks.
I don’t care how it’s organized. It’s just. I always organize my backpack really well. I don’t care how it’s organized, and we’re going to get out of here. We sleep. Well, they sleep. I kind of wake up off and on. You can hear the pitter patter of the rain, and every now, thunder boomer, and rain, and thunder boomer, and then finally the morning comes, and I open up the tent door, and it’s just a drizzle, and I’m like, hey kids, let’s go, back it up, we’re getting out of here.
So we’re stuffing things in, and getting ready to hike out, and on the hike [00:15:00] out, I’m thinking, Maybe it would be wise to invest in some sort of like S. O. S. satellite telephone or Garmin device. But then I was thinking, everything was okay. We did it. We had a great adventure. I have a story to tell and I live to do it and I’m more powerful for it.
And we made it home and we told our story.
[00:15:31] Marc Moss: Thanks, Charlene. Charlene Brett is a K 5 teacher in the Bitterroot Valley in Montana and has been teaching music for 14 years. She’s a fan of the great outdoors and enjoys escaping into various high mountain lakes in both Montana and Idaho in the summer to fly fish. When not backpacking with her family or her three mom friends, moms of the traveling backpacks, You can find Charlene hiking on her property with two female golden retrievers and her tortoise shell cat, who thinks she is a dog.
On those [00:16:00] cold Montana evenings, she enjoys working thousand piece outdoor image style puzzles. Our next storyteller is Jessie Novak. Jessie is an indoor person who goes on an outdoor adventure with her sister, Stephanie, in Lewis and Clark Caverns. Jessie calls her story, Finding Joy. Thanks for listening.
[00:16:20] Jessie Novak: I’m a quadruplet. That means that my parents had Four babies, on the same day, at the same time. I know, they’re blessed. Lucky them. The first thing I get asked when people find out that I’m a quad, is your siblings must be your best friends in the world, right? They obviously don’t have siblings. I will say, my sister Steffi, who’s in front of me, is my favorite person in the world.
We are polar opposites. Two sides of the same coin. She’s taller. I’m short. She is very outdoorsy. [00:17:00] I’m an indoor girl. Step has every credential under the sun. She collects them like they’re candy. Again, I like to stay inside step and I decide that in the summer of 2022, we were going to go on the great Mid Eastern Montana Road trip.
We were going to create, or recreate, a trip that we went on when we were little. Lewis and Clark Caverns. Now, we hop in the car in August. It’s hot, it’s sunny, surprisingly not smoky. We got very lucky. But, it’s August in Montana. It’s construction season. This drive that normally takes three ish hours. I’m a passenger princess, I don’t drive.
Don’t correct me. Took [00:18:00] six hours. In the heat. Stop and go construction the whole way. For those of you who have never been to Lewis and Clark Caverns, you drive up a mountain. And you hit the lodge. That’s home base for all of the tours going through the caverns. You have to check in there. They give you a wonderful little ticket.
And they tell you, if you can’t make it up that trail in 30 minutes, you don’t get to go on your tour. Because you’re not in physical, enough physical shape to go up and down the stairs in the caverns. Well we figured, we did this when we were 6 years old. We’re 23, we’ve got this. We’re gonna go do this, and we’re gonna rock it.
Steffi is the most prepared person I’ve ever met in my life. To the extent where she’s a little bit of a hoarder. She has water, sunscreen, snacks, band aids, extra snacks. [00:19:00] I show up. With snacks. No water.
No hat. Just food.
So we’re starting to hike up this trail. You gain about a 150 feet or so in elevation in a very short time span.
It’s hot, there’s no trees, and there’s nowhere to sit down. I’m dying. This is not what I remember. This is not what I signed up for. And Steffi’s walking next to me, like this is the best day of her life. She’s having so much fun, she’s singing songs, and I’m getting passed by six year
olds. It was perfect.
We made it up to the entrance to the caverns in 29
got to go on our tour. That’s money saved. When they take you [00:20:00] into the caverns, it gets very cold very quickly. And when you’re like me and you’re sweating like crazy, you get freezing. I’m not prepared. I didn’t bring a jacket. I stole Steffi’s.
It was great. When you go into the caverns, the first thing you remember if you go as a child is there is a natural slide. It takes maybe 30 seconds to get down, but it is the coolest thing in the whole wide world. Especially when you’re six. When you’re 23, 24, It’s a little less exciting, unless you’re Steffi.
Then it is the coolest thing in the world, bar none. She looks at me, and she says, Jesse, we are going down this slide. I say, absolutely not. I’m an adult. I’m not prepared for this. She says, we’re going. No way in hell. [00:21:00] So Steffi goes down the slide, and I can hear her giggle the whole way down. And I can picture the look on her face of pure joy.
I’m a party pooper, I took the stairs. Yay! More stairs! When you get to the very bottom of the caverns, they tell you a story about a man who was stuck down there for three days. Without electricity, and with a teeny tiny oil lamp. Oil lamps, if you don’t know, don’t put out much light. That’s okay. It’s the 21st century.
We have electricity. So we thought, We’re getting told this story. Our tour guide’s super into it. Very dramatic. He’s acting it out. And he says, we’re gonna reenact this. I’m gonna turn out the electric lights. And use this oil lamp to light up this huge[00:22:00]
Cavern. So you know exactly what it was like to be stuck down there for three days. I’m terrified. I don’t do heights. I don’t do the dark. In the caverns, if you fall, you fall for a thousand feet. And it is dark. There is no natural light. Steffi thinks this is the best. She is nerding out. She’s doing a little happy dance over in the corner.
I’m frozen. I don’t want to move. I don’t know where I’m
Power goes out. And the oil lamp lights. Puts out more light than you think it does. Which isn’t saying much. As they’re finishing the story, they’re saying three days this man was stuck down there. Three. And I know where this is going, and I don’t like it one bit.
My brain is saying, they’re going to shut the oil lamp off too, and it’s [00:23:00] going to be really, really dark. And boy was I right. He blows the oil lamp out, and I am frozen. Not
breathing, not blinking.
And in the dark, I feel Steffi’s hand grab mine. And stay there for the longest two minutes of
Our tour guide turns the electric lights back on and tells us have a wonderful day after that traumatizing experience, you’re on your own.
Be free. Go up this flight of stairs and enter the real world again. So we do. There’s nowhere to go. You can’t turn around. Steffi is doing her little happy dance. This is so cool. This is so much fun. I’m terrified still. Absolutely traumatized. Walking up these stairs trying not to touch anything, trying not to look over the edge.[00:24:00]
Steffi almost bonks her head because she’s too busy looking at me and laughing rather than watching the stairs. When you exit the caverns, there’s an airlock system so you don’t let the bats out. One door opens, you go inside a hallway, and the other door shuts. And then another door opens, And you go outside.
Steffi held my hand all the way through that door. She knew that I was terrified and shaking like a leaf the entire time. Stepping out into the sunlight was probably the most freeing moment of my life. It’s bright, it’s warm again, which I complained about earlier. Never again. And Steffi’s right there beside me.
We snap our obligatory selfie, cause I went outside and I need to prove it. And we [00:25:00] continue walking back towards our car. Steffi is not ready to go home. I’m over it. This is already not what I signed up for. And she decides, we’re going to keep going on our adventure. We’re going to go hike to the Ringing Rocks.
And now every single summer, we go on a trip. She hasn’t picked this summer yet, but she’s going to. And I know that no matter where we go, she is going to be with me, holding my hand, and it is going to be amazing. The best.
[00:25:35] Marc Moss: Thanks, Jesse. Jesse’s an art teacher, quadruplet and enthusiastic dog mom growing up outside Missoula with her three siblings and father. She realized that the only ways to control the chaos of life was living in a small town, and teaching. So, she decided to do both. She relocated to Billings, Montana, received her teaching credentials, and quickly moved to the other end of the state, to a tiny town called Noxon.[00:26:00]
In a town where everyone knows everyone, she teaches K 12 art, hikes, attempts to grow a large garden when there isn’t six feet of snow, and spoils her fur child Peggy Sue rotten. Coming up after the break.
[00:26:13] Sydney Holte: When I’m doing the thing that I’m nervous about, the feeling goes away. But this time, the feeling in my stomach did not go away.
I was still feeling really queasy.
[00:26:24] Marc Moss: Stay with us. Do you have your tickets for the next Tell Us Something live storytelling event? You can get your tickets online at tellusomething. org. Better yet though, why not pick up some limited edition printed tickets? These tickets are the same price as the online tickets and feature the beautiful artwork used on the posters.
Artwork for the Lost in Translation event was created by Bear River Studios. These special tickets are available exclusively at Rockin Rooties. Get your tickets now at Rockin Rooties or get the digital version at tellussomething. org. Alright, back to the stories. [00:27:00] Closing out this episode of the Tell Us Something podcast is Sidney Holt.
Sidney lands a student teaching gig in India and an unfamiliar green sauce causes her great gastrointestinal distress on her first day of student teaching. Sydney calls her story, green sauce. Thanks for listening.
[00:27:21] Sydney Holte: I’ve always loved to travel. I love being in uncomfortable moments when I’m traveling out of my element. And a big part of loving traveling is I love to try new foods. I love to try foods that I’ve had before, maybe with a different spice or cooked in a different way. But I also just love trying new foods in general.
That’s a big part of why I love to travel. I was 21 and I was trying to decide where I was going to do my student teaching. And I was presented with an amazing opportunity to do my student teaching in India. And of course, being the person [00:28:00] that I am, I said yes, and I got on a plane in February to fly to India for four months, and I land in New Delhi.
It’s in the middle of the night, midnight 1:00 AM somewhere in there. And. I’m overwhelmed in the best of ways. I step out of the airport and instantly I smell incense. But I can also smell a lot of garbage. And I can also smell street food with spices that aren’t my normal spices, like turmeric. And I can also smell a lot of urine.
So, it was an overwhelming amount of smells in the best of ways. I could… Here, in the middle of the night, the mosques and bells going off, I could hear people chanting prayers over what seemed like a giant megaphone. And they did not tell me how the traffic would be in India. There are these roundabouts in [00:29:00] New Delhi that have like six or seven lanes, and there’s lines on the ground like there are here.
They’re just suggestions for where to drive.
So, people would go in these roundabouts and hit each other like real life bumper cars. And, uh, they would just continue on. Uh, so, it was overwhelming in the best of ways. I was in New Delhi for about three days, and then I traveled to where I was going to be doing my student teaching.
I had to travel about seven hours
on a train north of New Delhi, and then it was like a switchback up this mountain in a taxi. And… I’m, I’ve always been a little prone to getting car sick, so this, I, I had to tell the taxi driver several times to slow down, please. Um, so we get there, and it’s this, on top of this gorgeous mountain, it’s in the Himalayas, it’s these beautiful, [00:30:00] huge trees like this, and I met by my mentor that’s going to show me around campus.
And she shows me around campus and shows me where I’ll be living for the next four months. And the houses that the employees stayed in were anywhere from really close to campus to Three quarters of a mile away. My house that I was going to be staying in was about a half mile from campus. So half mile walk in and half mile walk after school.
And I had been at Woodstock International Boarding School for about two or three weeks and I was starting to get to know people a little bit, and I was invited to a party. I was like, great, I’m starting to get to know people, I’m feeling pretty good about it. And so I go to this party, and there’s food, and drinks, and there’s a new food that I have not tried before.
It’s fried, but it’s not pakora, I had tried pakora, [00:31:00] and there was… This green sauce next to it. So I try one, and I don’t know how I like it yet. It’s not, it doesn’t taste like cilantro. It doesn’t really taste like parsley. It has some different flair to it. So I try another one, and I try another one. I’m still not convinced if I like it or not.
So about four or five I tried, and then I finally decide that I don’t like it. And my stomach is feeling a little upset from eating it. And I don’t, I don’t really think much about it. I carry on. The next morning was a big day for me because I was going to be teaching my first lesson without any help from my cooperating teacher.
So I wake up and I’m feeling really queasy. I’m feeling really nauseous, really anxious about. Teaching this lesson, but I think, okay, I’m feeling queasy. It must just be because I’m anxious. So I continue getting ready. I start my half mile [00:32:00] walk into campus and I’m gradually feeling more and more. Yucky. My stomach really doesn’t feel good.
And I get up to the classroom and I’m doing a lesson with 7th and 8th graders on xylophones, and I start teaching, and you, normally, for me at least, when I’m doing the thing that I’m nervous about, I, The feeling goes away, but this time the feeling in my stomach did not go away. I was still feeling really queasy, and I get this urge to sneeze.
Oh shit, I just shit my pants.
And I shit them big. Poop is
running down my legs. And I was wearing tight pants that day, thankfully, and they were black, but I am…
Clenching my butt cheeks so that my poop doesn’t run onto the floor as [00:33:00] I’m teaching 7th and 8th graders. And I
don’t want to excuse myself
to go to the bathroom because I don’t want my cooperating teacher to think that I don’t care about teaching this lesson.
So as I’m going around helping these kids on xylophones, I’m just squeezing my butt tighter and tighter so that my poop doesn’t… End up on the floor.
I finished the lesson, and waddled my way back to my house,
and changed my pants, and all is well. But thinking back to this experience, I can’t help but think, if I can teach my very first lesson with poop running down my legs, then I can probably teach in most situations.
[00:33:56] Marc Moss: Thanks, Sydney. Sidney Holt was born and raised in [00:34:00] Minnesota and now teaches elementary music in Billings, Montana. She enjoys camping and fly fishing whenever she can with her husband, Jacoby. Singing and musical theater have always been a large part of her life, too. She loves canned goods, peeing in lakes, and drinking coffee before the sun rises.
Pretty great stories, right? I’ll bet you have a story to share and I’ll bet that you have a story to share on the theme lost in translation. The next tell us something live event is scheduled for September 28th. The theme is lost in translation pitch your story for consideration by calling 4 0 6 2 0 3 4 6 8 3.
You have three minutes to leave your pitch. The pitch deadline is August 20th. I look forward to hearing from you soon. I’ll call you as soon as I get your pitch. Tickets for Lost in Translation are on sale now. Limited edition printed tickets featuring the artwork of Bear River Studio are available at Rockin Rudy’s or you can get your tickets online [00:35:00] at tellussomething. org. The Tell Us Something podcast is made possible in part because of support from Missoula Broadcasting Company, including the family of ESPN radio, the trail one Oh three, three Jack FM and Missoula source for modern hits. You want to 4. 5 learn more at Missoula broadcasting. com. Thanks to Float Missoula for their support of the telesumming podcast.
Learn more at float msla. com and thanks to the team at Missoula events. net. Learn about all of the goings on in Missoula at Missoula events. net. Next week in the podcast, I catch up with local author, Rick White. Just way back there
[00:35:39] Rick White: in the heart of the subway, Bitterroot National Forest. So, yeah, we were at the end of the road and, um, off grid
for, for three weeks.
And it looked like me scribbling furiously and, uh, on a yellow legal pad and then transcribing onto a, uh, a hundred dollar typewriter that I’ve sent at the [00:36:00] antique mall beforehand so that I could… Translated into print.
[00:36:04] Marc Moss: Rick and I chat about the story that he told live on stage at the Wilma in Missoula, Montana in December, 2019.
[00:36:11] Rick White: So I had a few letters behind my name. Those letters and what they signify to
what I had earned or what I thought I had earned
mattered less to my students than did the name preceding them, which was not so shield.
[00:36:25] Marc Moss: The theme that night was tipping point. We also talk about podcasting, writing his artist residency. And storytelling. Tune in for his interview and listen to his story. On the next, tell us something. Podcast. Thanks to Cash For Junkers who provided the music for the podcast, find them at cash for junkers band.com. To learn more about, tell us something, please visit tell us something.org.