{Actually, it was never written, but that didn’t go with the alliteration. Please pardon me. ;) }

. . .

So I originally typed all of this to go in my “Three Years Later” post that will be published Thursday (a reflection upon this school year). But my Pageant reflections ended up way too long so figured I should just dedicate an entire post to my Pageant experience.

Thus this post.

So here we go…

 

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Sometime during the second week of school this past fall, I missed a phone call from one of my past professors, and then received a text from her, asking me to call her back. Curious about why she might be calling me, I quickly pressed the phone icon and called her back.

My professor told me that a girl who was chosen for our university’s yearly pageant had dropped off, and ATPE was next on the waiting list. Since ATPE {our campus’ branch of the Association of Texas Professional Educators} had chosen me to be their representative the previous spring, she said the spot was mine if I wanted it.

Stunned, I told her I would love to have more information about it. She told me to call Taylor, the pageant’s director, and she would fill me in on more details.

We hung up, and I started jumping up and down, shrieking like crazy. I called Taylor right away. She told me that the pageant would take place mid-November and we would start having practices in a few weeks. Practices would be Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, from 5:45 to 9. I would need to find an evening gown, choose a talent, and pick a platform.

Next I called my mom. “I would be SOOO busy, Mom. With my work/class schedule I’d be going from 8 am to 9 pm straight on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But I really want to do this!”

She knew how bummed I had been in the spring when I was waitlisted, and so she told me to go for it.

Eak!! :) :) :)

All but one of the other 19 girls who participate in Pageant found out they were in it in the spring. It was just Miss Freshman Class and I who had found out we would be in it this late.

I felt behind… and kinda stressed

Mom and I went on an IHOP breakfast date, and discussed what I could do for my talent and platform.

Each contestant would receive one minute and thirty seconds to preform their talent.

I was stumped at what to do. I don’t like singing by myself, I can’t dance, and playing the piano would terrify me. We decided that I would take a blog post and turn it into a Spoken Word.

I chose this post that I wrote after I lost my job last spring: Lord, I Praise You.

(Unfortunately, I had to chop out a bunch of that post to fit into the 1.5 minute time limit we had. And now, reading over the full post feels weird to me, since the edited version is so ingrained into my head LOL! This is the edited version.)

Next we discussed my platform.

My university’s Pageant isn’t like most pageants, in that it isn’t a beauty pageant. It’s more like a “character pageant.” (Yay for Christian universities!) Each contestant chooses a platform that if they are chosen to be “Miss *Our-University’s Name*,” they will carry out.

On the day of the pageant, before the actual show starts, each of the contestants deliver a five minute memorized speech about what she would do if chosen to be “Miss *Our University’s Name*.

Sample platforms include, “Raising Awareness of Human Trafficking,” “Serving Veterans” or “Encouraging Children with Disabilities.”

Mom and I concluded that my platform should be “Encouraging Middle School Girls to Embrace their Identity in Christ.” Long, but encompasses something I would love to do if chosen to represent my university in the spring.

Now I needed to find my evening gown.

There’s a tiny dress shop in a mall in Austin where I found my senior prom dress. Plus, one of my best friends lives in Austin. It was a no brainer to me that my friend and I should go shopping together in that store for my dress.

And I have decided that someday I’m taking said friend wedding dress shopping with me someday. Because, she found my dress in less than 30 minutes! Yay!

 

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My dress!!

 

Pageant Practice was amazing!

I entered the six weeks of 9+ hours of practice per week commitment with determination that I would allow this time to fill me up instead of drain me.

I’m an introverted-extrovert, so I knew these brief times with a large group of people could either energize me or exhaust me. I chose to tune my mindset to the former.

Pageant practice was a great way for me to meet new friends. It was a great way for me to learn more about Jesus. And it was a great way to grow in confidence in myself. Speaking of which…

Y’all. I learned how to walk in heels. Considering that I had never worn heels in my life, I felt quite accomplished when I finished our first “heel practice.” (Where literally all we did was march around the auditorium and up and down stairs to the balcony to Megan Trainer’s “Me Too.”)

I think one of my favorite parts of practicing for Pageant was getting to see all of my new friends’ talents.

Several girls danced. One girl dressed up like Elsa from Frozen and did a magic trick to make it snow. A girl transformed the “Prince of Bel Air Theme Song” to match our university. One girl did yoga. A couple of girls did American Sign Language to songs. Several girls sang.

I think my favorite though, was a girl who sang a duet with herself.

What she did was have half of her body be Anna from Frozen and the other half was Hans, and she lip synced to “Love is an Open Door.” Her Anna side would face the audience when Anna sang, and her Hans side faced the audience when he sang.

Brilliant!

 

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With Hans/Anna and Elsa! :)

 

Another favorite of mine was when one of my friends acted out the scene from Tarzan when Jane returns to camp after just meeting Tarzan, and recounts the whole tale to her dad. “And Daddy! They took my boot!”

It was hysterical! And she won “best talent” too :)

 

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Her boot-less foot!

 

The Thursday before Pageant, a banquet was held in honor of the contestants.

It was pretty much like a fancy tea party… but with iced tea and chicken fried steak.

Loved it!

At the banquet, our organizations (who we represented in Pageant) gave us “thank you” gifts, and our directors gave us letters of encouragement that our friends and family had secretly sent in for us.

Reading all those encouraging letters brought a stream of tears to my eyes. Realizing how much “my people” love and support me was a huge “win” in my book.

 

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My beautiful table arrangement, courtesy of my University’s branch of ATPE

 

Pageant day arrived, and it was gone in a blur.

That day we…

  • Had individual interviews with the three judges
  • Delivered our memorized platform speech.
  • Gave a show!! In which we…
    • Preformed our talents
    • Did two group dances (one of which was in our evening gowns and heels!! AND I DIDN’T FALL OVER!!! #Success!)
    • Had an “Evening Gown Walk” where we pretty much walked back and forth on stage in heels (without tripping…) and looked pretty whilst the MCs read our bios.

 

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Lunch before our Platform Speeches

 

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During my talent (Picture taken during rehearsal)

 

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Group shot in our dance outfits (Pic taken during rehearsals)

 

All of us engulfed the winner in a giant, jumping, group hug after she won :)

All of us engulfed the winner in a giant, jumping, group hug after she won :)

 

Then after the show there was a reception where we got to hug our friends and families.

And eat cake and stuff ;)

 

After Pageant, with some friends who came :)

After Pageant, with some friends who came :)

 

Family :)

Family :)

 

I loved every minute of Pageant, and cried immensely to see it go.

My new friends and I decided that #PostPageantDepression is a real thing.

Pageant might have ended, but my new friendships did not. We’re all in a giant group text, so we keep in touch that way. (20 girls in a group text… not overwhelming at all.. ever… *whimpers softly*.)

But what’s amazing to me, is that within this group of 20 girls, there was like 0 cattiness. ZERO. Minimal drama, if any. Friend, that pretty much never happens. We were so blessed to have fit together so well. :)

ALSO! I’m going to be rooming with one of my new friends next semester, so that’s a MAJOR plus to this whole thing!

 

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Future Roomie!!

 

Annnndddd… My Pageant gushing is now over. Lol, this is why Pageant got it’s own post ;)

2 thoughts on “The Post about Pageant that was Never Published

  1. Megan

    Wow that sorta thing doesn’t exist down here so I was really intrigued by your title. It looks like so much fun.
    I was thinking it was gonna be one of those stupid shows with girls strutting around in bikinis but yours actually looked like something substantial. I love your ball gown! You looked beautiful.

    Reply

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