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Family Story, Child Mobility, Team Building, and a YouTube Sensation

Here are some of the topics coming up this week on the “Kim Power Stilson Show” (3pm Eastern/1pm Mountain)

Tues., June 24:

Tom North, the author of “Yours Mine and Ours,” shares his personal story about the famous film made in 1968, then remade in 2005, about two families merging together to have a total of 18 children. Did you know this story was based on a real family? Award-winning author and speaker, Tom North, was one of the kids in this crazy family. Though, according to him, it wasn’t one big happy family, as the movies depicted.  

Wed., June 25: 

Debby Einatan, founder of Upsee, shares her story about the mobility device that lets children with motor impairment stand and walk with the help of an adult.  

Pam McMurtry, the Holiday Diva, will share some ideas on ”Prairie Princesses and Pioneers.” 

Thurs., June 26: 

Jessica Frech, YouTube sensation and singer-songwriter, will share her story and her EP of songs with inspiration messages about doing good in the world.  

Fri., June 27:

Dr. Rob Bogosian, founder of RVB Associates which drives results oriented coaching, will talk about helping leaders and teams build potential.  

Missed a show?  Click on "shows" and scroll to the "Kim Power Stilson" show page.

Distant Love

by Maddy Richards of “The Matt Townsend Show” on BYU Radio

People say real love can make it through anything. That it’s stronger than…even distance. I’m here to tell you that while this is true…it’s easier said than done. It doesn’t matter if it’s romantic love, friend love, family love, or even a more general love. . . distance can be one of the hardest of all. It can strain it, change it, fade it, and sometimes ruin it. 

I’ve had my fair share of experiences with distant love – from my dad going out of town on business, to spending a month in Europe away from all of my friends and family, to moving away to college, to my best friend going to Japan for two years and only being able to talk weekly. 

Loving across a distance has taught me a few things about love in general and how to make the long-distance relationship work. Here are a few of the things I have learned:  

1. Love takes work. It doesn’t come easy, it’s not simple. And it’s not meant to be. Love is hard, because the only thing harder is being alone.

2. Communication is the only way to survive. Things are easily misinterpreted across a distance. Being honest, straightforward, and kind in your communication is the only way to make it work. Ignoring each other will be your downfall. Don’t do it.

3. Trust is key. If you don’t trust someone before they are a long ways away, that mistrust will only grow. Work on the trust in your relationship constantly, and work on being more trusting instead of trying to protect yourself.

4. EVALUATE. Have a weekly or monthly discussion about how your love is doing, what you need from the other person, what you can do better, etc.

5. Don’t be afraid to feel. It’s important to let yourself feel things, and then after all the emotion is gone, you can evaluate it. It’s also important to talk about emotions with each other in the most calm, loving way possible.

6. Don’t be annoyed with the other person. This is HARD. If you are getting annoyed, be the most kind, sickly sweet person alive. It’s the best way to force yourself to be there for the person who is driving you nuts.

7. Make time!! This can also be hard, but when you have time to give to the person, DEVOTE IT TO THEM. When you’re on the phone, make sure you’re talking and listening, not doing a million other things. 

8. Be supportive from afar. Do what you can to make sure they know you are there for them, no matter the distance. 

9. Set the rules. Make rules of what both of you are comfortable with while you’re apart. Maybe you want a text every few hours, maybe you need to set rules about going out at nights or what movies you watch, etc. The important thing is making sure the other person is comfortable, and that you are comfortable with what they’re doing as well. If you disagree on something, find a compromise. After all, isn’t your love worth it?

10. Be happy. Maybe this isn’t the ideal situation. But don’t keep waiting until the day when the distance is done. Figure out what’s great about NOW and why you can be happy TODAY.

Sometimes, it’s hard for me not to count down the days until I’m reunited with my best friend again. But then I look at all the things I’ve learned about love, and I’m thankful for the chance I’ve had to be separated. I look at how our love has become stronger, more ready to take on anything, and I’m thankful. 

Distance is never easy, but if you want the love to work across the distance, you just have to try.

Sing a Song of Sales

by Julie Rose, producer of “The Morning Show” on BYU Radio

“I’m free! I’m free! I’ve closed out the world, I’m free,” belts a woman on stage, admiring herself in a mirror. 

It is 1969 and this is the 1969 American-Standard Distributors convention.  You’re here to learn about the latest toilet and sink innovations. 

“My bathroom!” croons the woman on stage. “My bathroom is my very special room where I primp and fuss and groom.”

Welcome to the world of industrial musicals, where major corporations like Sears, Ford and American Standard hired professional composers, lyricists and performers to stage full musical productions like “The Bathrooms Are Coming!” and “Diesel Dazzle” for use at company meetings and industry conventions. 

How I wish I’d been a corporate salesman back then. Or, even one of the marketing minions in a Mad Men-like agency dreaming up the plot line for a musical to tout the versatility of silicone, the latest line of Keds sneakers, or the miracle of electricity.

That last one came with its own double-entre-laden ode to electrical current: “Please don’t alternate,” purrs a woman with a sultry voice over a bossa nova beat. “Please don’t vacillate. Please don’t start to purr and let your current variate! Cause I need to feel your spark, constantly.”

GE commissioned that musical (called “Let’s Go Fly a Kite”) from Broadway legends John Kander and Fred Ebb, the team behind “Cabaret” and “Chicago.” It was the show that first turned Steve Young onto the industrial musical genre. (He was trolling record shops for “unintentionally funny” music to feature in a segment on the Late Show with David Letterman, for which he writes.)

Young became obsessed with tracking down more recordings of these little-known industrial musicals. He met many of the composers and performers. (The woman who sang “My Bathroom” married another cast member of “The Bathrooms Are Coming” and danced to the score at their wedding!)

The best of these musicals are compiled in a new book by Young and Sport Murphy called “Everything’s Coming Up Profits: The Golden Age of the Industrial Musical.”  And since Young shared some of his favorite tunes on “The Morning Show” this week, I cannot get them out of my head! They’re so catchy and fun and well-written, you almost forget you’re swaying along to a tune about tractor. 

They’re corny, to be sure. But Young says these industrial musicals embody an age when hope for prosperity and the American dream were in full bloom.  A time when a woman could sing about being a farmer’s wife, proud that her husband has a Diesel tractor and now his business is growing. He’s no longer “a one man operation.”  He’s always got a smile on his face and he has time for the kids and they go on vacation. See, the industrial musical wasn’t just about talking up the new product or sales strategy.

“Composers have told me about watching from the wings as managers and dealers just had tears streaming down their faces watching this stuff, because a really well-done song that hits home and tells them, ‘You guys are doing the job and we know it and appreciate you,’ that was powerful,” says Young.

Times have changed, to be sure. This week on “The Morning Show” we also talked with Dick Bolles, who wrote the best-selling book, “What Color is Your Parachute?” more than 40 years ago. It’s still an indispensable guide for job-hunters. Sure the internet has changed the way we apply for jobs, but the best way to get one hasn’t changed, says Bolles: Decide what you like doing and where you’d like to do it. Then go convince that company to hire you. 

What’s really changed since Bolles wrote “Parachute” in 1972 is the relationship between companies and their employers. There’s not as much trust as there used to be, he says. People can’t count on having a job at the same company for their entire career. They can’t count on having a pension in retirement. They can’t even count on retiring at 65, anymore.  

No wonder it’s hard to imagine a large corporation today getting anything but scoffs from employees for staging an industrial musical to rally the troops at a company meeting. 

And yet . . . 

“I do think that we might turn the corner and get back to a world where America manufactures stuff and feels like we’re charging ahead and walking into a better future,” muses Young. “These shows were often a part of that feeling. I don’t know if we’ll ever see a return to exactly this stuff, but I hope the spirit of it will reassert itself.”

Me, too.

Fun and Games

by Julie Rose, producer of “The Morning Show,” on BYU Radio

Hey kids, don’t look now, but we’re learning stuff!

“You literally trick the kids into learning,” says professional magician Brian South. He’s created a curriculum showing teachers how to use magic in their classrooms.  He taught us a thing or two while in The Morning Show studio this week. 

“It’s called a memory peg,” South explains. “The kids will remember the lesson because of the trick.” (Incidentally, he teaches Sunday School and says his students always remember last week’s discussion topic because he uses magic with every lesson.)  “Kids must be banging down your door to get in your class!” chuckled Morning Show host, Marcus Smith.

The fact is, we learn better when we’re having fun. A new card game called “My Gift of Grace” uses the same concept. 

“We recognized the need to help people have difficult conversations related to living and dying well,” says Jethro Heiko, co-founder of The Action Mill which designed My Gift of Grace. “We’re taking something we’re really good at – playing games – and using it to help us do something we’re not good at: talking about death.”

The Action Mill team discovered the need for a game about end-of-life issues after interviewing doctors, nurses, hospice workers and funeral directors.

“People need permission to have these conversations – to voice their wishes about dying – and the game gives that permission,” says Heiko. 

Like other card games, My Gift of Grace has elements of chance (a coin toss), elicits stories from players and, yes, has winners and losers.

Both Heiko and magician Brian South are using their skills (games and magic tricks) to facilitate greater understanding.  I think that’s what we’re doing at The Morning Show, too.  On a daily basis, I find myself mentioning in conversation something I learned from an interview on The Morning Show

South mentioned on The Morning Show this week that he lies in bed at night happy at the thought of school kids laughing and smiling in class because of a magic trick he taught their teacher. 

Is it too cheesy to admit I lie awake at night excited, thinking about the conversations we’ve had on The Morning Show and eager for those we’re going to bring you? 

Because I do.  

P.S. Speaking of fun and games, watch magician Brian South blow our minds live on The Morning Show

Do You Cringe or Pick up the Broken Sword?

by Kim Stilson, host of the "Kim Power Stilson Show," on BYU Radio

There are some days when I hear the word opportunity, I cringe.  Not today. That word can mean more work. Today a friend of mine shared this poem. It caught my attention and I wanted to share it on this blog. It was written by Sir Edward Rowland Sill.

He was an American Poet and author born in 1841 in Windsor Connecticut, orphaned at an early age and brought up by his Uncle. He graduated from Yale, wrote for the New York Evening Mail and was a professor of English Literature at the University of California.  He wrote many verses including his highly praised, “The Fool’s Prayer.” Yet this is the poem of his I want to share with you today. 

“Opportunity” by Edward Rowland Sill

THIS I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream:--

There spread a cloud of dust along a plain;

And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged

A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords

Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince's banner

Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes.

A craven hung along the battle's edge,

And thought, "Had I a sword of keener steel--

That blue blade that the king's son bears, -- but this

Blunt thing--!" he snapped and flung it from his hand,

And lowering crept away and left the field.

Then came the king's son, wounded, sore bestead,

And weaponless, and saw the broken sword,

Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,

And ran and snatched it, and with battle shout

Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down,

And saved a great cause that heroic day. 

Now, instead of cringing at the word opportunity, I cringe at the thought that in the past I may have chosen the route of the first knight. I hope that I pick up the tools and talents at my feet like so many of the really cool humans that are guests on my radio show, and charge forward to save the great cause at the end of the day.

Lost in Translation

by Julie Rose, producer of “The Morning Show,” on BYU Radio

I wish you could have seen how animated Kei Ikeda was in “The Morning Show” studio this week. 

When he talked about the struggle – as a deaf student – of keeping one eye on the professor, one eye on his sign language translator, and one eye on his notes (impossible unless you have three eyes!), Ikeda made a sign like his head was exploding. 

That’s when the importance of BYU’s Project Signglasses really became clear to me. Ikeda can’t contain his excitement over working on the project: helping create the software to put video of a sign language interpreter right on to the lens of a specially-equipped pair of glasses. No more looking from one to the other. A deaf student can look at the professor writing on the board and simultaneously see a sign language translation of the lecture. 

The technology is exciting, and even nifty. But the real story is the human one, says “Morning Show” host Marcus Smith.  “You can explain the tech stuff in five minutes. The heart of it is how it will change the lives of young people.”

Ikeda nearly teared-up reflecting on how hard his own hearing mother worked to help him learn to read as a youngster.  “I’m so grateful to her,” he said, through his interpreter Jodi. 

Getting the human story of current events, science, and society, is what we aim for on “The Morning Show.” It’s a luxury for most of our guests to settle in and spend 15, 20 – even 30 minutes talking about their latest research or life’s work. They enjoy it. We learn something. Hopefully you both learn and enjoy.  That’s the heart of it.

Summer Is Here

by Maddy Richards of “The Matt Townsend Show” on BYU Radio

Summer is here! With this new-found freedom it’s easy to feel like every day is about play, fun, and sun. And in some ways, it should be! Unfortunately, I learned through summers of working, and now, going to school, that summer isn’t always full of carefree days.

There’s a fine balance of work and play that is always a part of our lives, and I think in the summer we should let the play part come out a little bit more than normal. Here is a list of some of things we did in my house and what I’ve realized while being on my own, that will help make your summer fun, and also productive!

1. If you want to sleep in, sleep in! But before you leave the house, make your bed, get ready for the day (unless you’re leaving the house to work out!), and do one chore.  

2. Lay out in the sun and have fun, but don’t just do nothing! Bring a book you’ve been meaning to read, catch up on the news, write some thank you notes, or do some work while you soak up some rays!

3. Plan a part of the day that is for you, where you’re not distracted with responsibilities. Maybe you’re going to watch a movie and not deal with anything else, or go for a walk or a hike. Perhaps you’ll catch a quick nap. But plan something that allows you to focus on you!

4. Plan activities, but also plan the things you need to accomplish before you go. By making a reasonable to-do list that shows the things you need to get done before you go play, you’ll go to the bonfire or party knowing there’s nothing else pressing that you need to do!

5. Make goals for your summer. If you really need to spring clean your house, make that a goal! If you have a certain number of books you need to read, or math problems to do to keep up for next year, make them a priority! You’re more likely to do things if you write them down and force yourself to participate!

Have a great summer! 

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