Thursday, December 10, 2009

quote mania

Today, today, today! I had my LAST class of this semester. Needless to say, I'm ecstatic (I will be more ecstatic in a few days after I've taken my finals) but Jessi and I were so happy today that on our way home from class we called our little sister Hailey to sing her happy birthday (it's not her birthday) and then we kicked the icicles off everyone's cars... yeah, good times. AND I'm wearing yellow tights and a green coat (Elf, anyone?)

So anyway, I've come to terms with the fact that I'm a nerd. I was reminded of that fact yesterday when I had my last transatlantic literary history class, and I was sad. Yes, I was sad. It's kind of ironic, because this class had given me more stress than any other class I have taken thus far. But it was definitely worth the pain, and I feel like a much more legitimate English major. In honor of the wonderful learning experience this class has been, I'm going to share a few of my favorite quotes:

"When it becomes necessary to do a thing, the whole heart and soul should go into the measure, or not attempt it." Thomas Paine, Rights of Man

"Poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge; it is the impassioned expression which is in the countenance of all science." William Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads

"Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting.
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home..."
William Wordsworth, Ode: Intimations of Immortality

"Oh! lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!"
Percy Shelley, Ode to the West Wind

"There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colors gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
To look down to Camelot."
Tennyson, The Lady of Shalott

"When I am in trouble, eating is the only thing that consoles me. Indeed, when I am in really great trouble, as anyone who knows me intimately will tell you, I refuse everything except food and drink."
"Jack: I'll bet you anything you like that half an hour after they have met, they will be calling each other sister. Algernon: Women only do that when they have called each other a lot of other things first."
"Then a passionate celibacy is all that any of us can look forward to."
Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

"And from right to left along the lighted shore moved a wild and gorgeous apparition of a women... she was savage and superb, wild-eyed and magnificent... her face had a tragic and fierce aspect of wild sorrow.... Suddenly she opened her bare arms and threw them up rigid above her head, as though in an uncontrollable desire to touch the sky, and at the same time the swift shadows darted out on the earth, swept around on the river, gathering the steamer into a shadowy embrace. A formidable silence hung over the scene."
Joseph Conrad, The Heart of Darkness

"We must have you married before you are educated beyond eligibility." Tom Stoppard, Arcadia

"It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude." Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation." Henry David Thoreau, Walden

"And you that shall cross from shore to shore years hence are more to me, and more in my meditations, than you might suppose." Walt Whitman, Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

"I would prefer not to." Herman Melville, Bartleby, the Scrivener

"This world is not conclusion...
Narcotics cannot still the Tooth
That nibbles at the soul"
Emily Dickinson

"One could do worse than be a swinger of birches."
Robert Frost, Birches

"I was of three minds
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds
A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
are one. "
Wallace Stevens, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

"Besides the neutral expression that she wore when she was alone, Mrs. Freeman had two others, forward and reverse, that she used for all her human interaction." Flannery O'Conner, Good Country People

is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.
Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
and I eat men like air."
Sylvia Plath, Lady Lazarus

okay, I apologize for the comprehensive list of quotes that might be interesting to only... me :) if you made it this far and are still reading, congratulations! Please tip your waiter on the way out.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

tick tock, tick tock

Before my mission, I wasn't the type to keep a planner - I had a planner, mind you. I supported Franklin Covey and bought a nice planner with lovely planner pages. Well, I ended up wasting my money and becoming disillusioned with Franklin Covey and the whole idea of planning my life down to the half hour. Then I went on a mission. At the beginning of every transfer, I received a shiny new planner. By the end of the transfer, after 6 weeks of daily abuse, the planner was all sorts of trashed, the severity depending on whether or not it was a rainy transfer. By the end of my mission I was a planner addict. The first few months after I got home, I didn't have a planner, and I almost went crazy. So I went to Target and picked out a cheap green planner that I could trash without Franklin Covey breathing down my neck. And thanks to my planner, my life is a little more organized.

I don't really know what my point was. I started thinking about time in general, which made me think of day planners. Then, day planners made me think of all the deadlines I have in my life right now. 2 days until my next literature test. 1 day until my Book of Mormon paper is due. 2.5 days until this week's grammar exercise is due. THEN I started thinking about countdowns! Which are much more exciting than deadlines. 36 days, 1 hour, 45 minutes until Christmas (I'm a little more obsessive about that one). Christmas is more than a month away, but guess what is just around the bend....

SIX MORE DAYS until I go home for Thanksgiving break. Bring on the tofurky!!!

Okay, gross. I don't eat tofurky. But it's always great to throw in a nice vegetarian joke.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Do you ever have those periods in life when you are so overwhelmed with life that you stop making decisions altogether, and end up buried in a veritable mess of deadlines and irresolution? Well, that was me over the last couple of weeks. It really took a toll on me, so much that I didn't realize it until a friend told me the other day that she thought I was a lot more temperate than I actually was (code for: you are being really moody) :)

I took a little time to think about it, and I realized that I felt really direction-less, despite having my school life for the next year or so all mapped out. I was also feeling stress of what to do with my life after school, stressed about money, etc. etc.

I think it all started when I went to go register for my classes for next semester. Despite the fact that I registered the second I could, and being a senior (technically) gave me priority, almost all of the classes I was planning on registering for were full. I know people will add and drop classes until the beginning of the semester, but I'm the kind of person who likes to see a set in stone schedule as soon as possible. So I stewed about it for awhile, and shopped around for some different classes. As I was reading into some different classes, talking to my professors, and praying for a little guidance, I found classes, different from those I had originally wanted to take, that I feel will actually be more beneficial to my learning experience. I don't have everything completely set in stone quite yet, but I feel a lot more at peace about what I have figured out as of now.

Also, a more recent decision of mine has been to minor in Spanish. I received an email from the department saying that the next grammar class I would have to take after the one I'm in now is no longer required for a Spanish major/minor. That made me realize that to do a Spanish minor I would just have to take 3 more classes, which I definitely can do. So that's another thing I feel good about.

Lastly, and perhaps the most exciting, I finally turned in my application for the London study abroad program for next spring. I have been going back and forth with the idea of going since the beginning of the semester. On one hand, it's an amazing, once in a lifetime experience that would be a dream come true. On the other hand, it's so expensive. I finally thought "screw the money!" and submitted the application. If it's supposed to happen, it will happen.

Basically, I have learned that things have a way of working out, even though it's not what you think it will be in the beginning. So I'm going to continue to take things one step at a time :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

summer, por favor

I came to a realization when I got up this morning to go running. When I have to wear more than one layer of exercise clothes to run, it's TOO COLD. Time for the indoor track.

Winter is just around the bend here in good ol' Provo, and I can honestly say, bring on the summer. I want it back. Someone told me that it was going to snow tomorrow, and I about had a nervous breakdown. It's OCTOBER, for crying out loud! Winter here goes from November to March (ish) and that's completely unfair to me. That's five months.

I am completely aware of the fact that it hasn't even started to get really cold. But I'm a desert girl, so I'm already wishing for the warm summer sun.

BUT I am also trying to be a positive thinker. What DO I like about the cold?

*hot chocolate
*winter accessories
*watching snow (not driving in it, or being in it, just looking at it)

that pretty much does it.

PS random quote of the day: "The amount of women in London who flirt with their own husbands is perfectly scandalous." [Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest]

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

out of the mouth...

In a desperate attempt to stay attentive in my grammar class, I started doing what will certainly be a daily tradition - I began to take note of all the crazy/hilarious things that my professor was saying. This experiment isn't entirely limited to my grammar professor, he is just the craziest one I have right now. So expect frequent updates!

class 10/13 Prof. Manning, English Grammar

"...and since you have an adjective in your pocket, throw it in there!"

while talking about our biases towards traditional grammar verses an in-depth analysis of word and phrase categories: "our biases are like our paper mache helmets; if you never go into battle, you'll never be disappointed."

explaining that obscure grammar exercises will never be used in real life: "it's like chin-ups. You never want to be in a situation in life that you have to do a chin-up - they are used only in exercise. In real life it means you're hanging off a cliff or something..."
as well as "you will never do the "downward dog" in real life. No....? OKAY that was just a joke for those people that do yoga." (I thought it was funny) :)

"HOW in the name of heaven and grammar can there be two specifiers in a row? It's just impossible!"

class 10/14 Prof. Christianson, American Literature

student: "did Emerson actually write poetry, or just write about it?"
professor: "yes, unfortunately."

...and that's just in two days... :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

I should be doing homework!

and instead, I write poetry. Here is my brief moment of peace before the test material madness...

Fleeting moments of peaceful exhalation

Intermittently interrupt my quickstep days

I pause

Peering past the plaid crowd

Into the towering cumulus drifting low

On the horizon, previously unnoticed

And quickly passed over

I quicken my step to keep up

With the general public

Passing over the moment

The billow drifts

No longer unnoticed, but forgotten

Until the next fleeting moment of peaceful


Intermittently interrupts my quickstep day.

Monday, October 5, 2009


It was a beautiful thing to click "submit" as I turned in the paper that has consumed my life this past week. It's never a good thing when my teachers say "we're expecting you to spend 25-30 hours on this assignment." Those are the times when I kick myself for being an English major. The assignment? To write a historical/biographical analysis about one of the texts from this unit. The text? "My Kinsman, Major Molineux," by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It included a YEAR of research, I spent hours swimming in the depths of the BYU Library website. But all that matters now is that it is DONE!!!

So what do I feel??

So now I can enjoy five minutes of peace before I start studying for my two tests that I have this weekend. What else is on the agenda this week? Melville, subjunctive Spanish, sentence parsing, 1 Nephi, and more. Oh, the life of a student!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Stick It to the Poetry Professor

Towards the beginning of this semester, I wanted to add a "writing poetry" class. Since the semester had already started, I had to contact the instructor in order to add the class. I received an email telling me that I would be able to add the class on these conditions:

That I was aware that this class was an INTERMEDIATE poetry writing class. That I regularly read contemporary poetry in collections or anthologies, and that I have written 5 or 6 poems that a published poet or professor of poetry deem to be "promising." Also, I would need to be able to recognize imagery and help other students recognize if the images and poetic devices in their poetry work or not. If I was not up to this level, I would find this class VERY difficult.

Wow. I like to write poetry. But that was about all the qualification I could claim. I was discouraged; I have taken a basic creative writing class from BYU, which I really enjoyed, so I was excited to be able to further my interest. But apparently, there is a jump from basic creative writing to the official "writing poetry" class that I wasn't aware of and I don't know how to make. At first, I thought of just bagging the whole poetry idea - I mean, I don't have to have credentials in order to write poetry, right? But as I kept thinking, I enjoy it enough that I would really love the opportunity to continue learning. So whether it kills me or not, I WILL be taking that poetry class at some point. Take that, Professor Susan Howe.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Shocking Lack of Prose

After a good amount of time as a mainly poetry blog, I decided that what it lacks is a little less melodrama and a little more of my life. I will be posting the occasional poem, but I want to be able to write more about what is happening in my everyday life. So..... here you go!

My first topic of conversation is this:

I am currently enrolled as a student at Brigham Young University. I am an English major, due to my love of literature. Although it seems like I'm a forever student, there is finally a light at the end of the university tunnel - I am a senior, and I should be graduating sometime next year. Yay life!

With the start of classes this semester, I enrolled in an English Grammar class, mainly because I was exploring the idea of doing an Editing minor. After less than two weeks of class, I am sure it will become the bane of my existence. Let me explain by first giving you an exert from the preface of my "Grammar for Grammarians" book: "Grammar for Grammarians covers four distinct approaches to English grammar. Prescriptive grammar emphasizes questions of usage. Descriptive grammar categorizes the parts of speech and sentence types in English. Generative grammar attempts to discover more abstract underlying regularities in syntax that apply to all languages. And contextual grammar explores the way that sentences and larger texts are actually processed by readers and listeners..." Falling asleep yet? At this point, the course content has failed to intrigue me, and the only redeeming quality is that the professor is entertainingly crazy and reminds me of Dwight Schrute. And who knows? After parsing sentences for a whole semester, I might actually be converted. But it's not looking promising!

Good thing I have my 6 credit Transcontinental Literary History class to save me. :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Last Chapter

The last few moments
or hours
or days
go by
like leaves of a book
caught in the wind
you want to read
and cherish every word
but come to"the end"
entirely too soon
and you are left

but thanking God
that in memory
you can reread
the whole thing
over again.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

stained glass

disjointed flecks
of shattered glass
tainted from reflections
of what is
grotesque reality, mirroring
yet distorting life
shadows of truth darken
the door
of an already

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Ricocheting off the walls
of my inner self
beating, temptation
finally finds no place
to settle in
swept away by a
long breath out
I am at peace, today

But the page turns
and with tomorrow’s sun
despair dimly
Seeps in, soaking
into my veins
but the heart
always beats, and
ever beating, the constancy
and I rest.

Until a time
when in a moment
frustration finds me
weak. Gripping muscle,
resistant tension
almost triumphs,
yet I find a
strength. A strength
that is almost
not my own
the moment is gone,
and with its leave
comes hope

Withstanding, overcoming,

Monday, June 15, 2009

June 2008 (sky series) :)

Dawn Fights

When the sky wakes, morning
breaks. Strobes of colored light
interrupt the night
dawn fights, piercing
with purple lights
rays of red
make the head
yellow front line
rosen rays attack -the battle
against black. An array of
finishes the raids and
morning stands

Gradual Descent

With gradual descent
horizon cloaks
brightness of
sun, light whispers
colors masked
by sweet shade
inky fingers,
darkness creeks in
smooth persuasion
twilight shrinks
subtly seductive, night

Friday, May 1, 2009


rivers of unfinished conversations
run their course over
unended phrases
splashing along with 
unspoken words
unterminated thoughts
into oceans of
immense possibility...

Friday, April 24, 2009

The End of October 4, 2009

The following poem was quickly scribbled on the back of an envelope in a bus, as I was observing the wonder of the sun sinking into the ocean.

Just moments after the sun
is swallowed by
the endless stretch of sea
a few shreds of light
hold onto the darkening sky
the water, colored with an odd
but brilliant shade of blue
glimmers as if lit beneath
by the sinking sun
the last murmurs of day
whisper up
through the water's shield

Subtly the brilliance fades
as the sun makes her way
to the other horizon.