I took lessons at University of Puget Sound where they had a very well organized group of teachers. They had 2 formal concerts every year and tons of kids participated from throughout the Seattle area. I'd only been "playing" my violin for about a month before the recital was scheduled. Instead of coming out onto stage and scratching through Twinkle Twinkle, my teacher thought it would be best to just bow.
So, I dressed up in my most fancy outfit and waited by the side stage door. When it was my turn, 5 year old Katie proudly walked out onto the center of the stage made a formal, Suzuki-style bow, turned around and left the stage in glory.
For the next few years I marked my progress on the violin through those concerts. And, as rewarding as it was to play a piece I'd worked on for 6 months perfectly, the really memorable part of the recitals were the treats.
After the music was over the kids all ran through the halls of the UPS music building to the designated refreshment room. Each family had brought a plate of cookies for celebration and post-concert mingling. Well, to me, this was a cookie/brownie/rice-krispie treat FREE FOR ALL!
I'd load my little plate up with as many chocolate covered, sprinkle coated cupcakes as I could balance and with the wild-eyed frenzy of a escaped inmate cram them down my throat. The need for haste arose because in about 3 minutes my mom would enter the room and demand that I only have 1 cookie from the table. What she didn't know wouldn't
Those happy positive memories have instilled deep in my soul the love of a potluck dinner. I just love walking around seeing all the awesome/strange/creepy dishes that people bring to a potluck. I love heaping my plate with random bites of food and being pleasantly surprised by someone's offering.
Today is my work Halloween potluck and I'm just about to run out the door to sample the fare. Here's hoping I don't come back with a raging stomachache! I've never really been able to exercise self control at this type of thing.