Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
next summer, for 3 months, doing a field study (basically independent study. i'll be creating my own syllabus and such--so reading and writing mucho)
oh, and i almost forgot to mention. i'll be there for the OLYMPICS! i'm such an olympic nut. i love the olympics almost as much as i love england. i love my life.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Last night I realized at about midnight that I still had a redbox movie I needed to return, so my roommate Paige was kind enough to accompany me to the nearest redbox to return Captain America, and when we got back I had the sudden urge to make guacamole. It didn't come out of nowhere, because I had three ripe avocados waiting to be eaten, but making guacamole at midnight isn't something I usually do. Well, since I've been in grad school I'm up at all sorts of odd and unearthly hours, eating irregular meals and such. So I guess it wasn't that unusual. Just not a typical midnight food. Anyway, I didn't have any onions so I improvised with garlic (not as good as onions, but it worked), threw in some lime juice, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, basil (I didn't have oregano, which I usually use) and yum. Paige and I ate it with blue corn chips while talking about centipedes and other things, and it was quite a marvelous time.
And today, after my first two classes, my friend Laura and I decided to go get food while working on an assignment for the Intro to Grad Studies class. We got banana chocolate chip bread, which was good (but not as good as Laura's), and sat next to each other and worked on our assignments. It doesn't sound like anything monumental, and it wasn't, but there's something peaceful about being right next to a friend and, even though we're working on our laptops, sharing food and talking. We talked about her gratitude for a patient husband, and my hope for a husband someday who is also patient. We talked about marriage, and that it's such a miracle when it happens, that it makes sense that it happens for some sooner than for others. And so on.
Maybe what I'm getting at is the gift of companionship. Being single and twenty-six could mean being bitter or hopeless that I'm not married. I've tried on that idea and it doesn't fit very well, because I can't ignore the fact that I have so many things to be grateful for, like the companionship of wonderful friends to eat good food with, or the hope that someday I will get married, because I definitely want to get married. I'm just happy with where I am in life and what I am doing, so there's no need to pine. But there is always a need to hope.
Meanwhile, I am also grateful for slippers and essays by GK Chesterton.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
This week was typical for me (full of stress, but still happy), but it was a bad week for my baby sister. Well, she's not a baby, she's sixteen. But she is the baby of the family, which means when she gets hurt then she has five older sisters to beat up anyone who tries to cross her. I only wish it were that easy, though. I don't really need to get into the meat of it, but imagine being betrayed by almost every single friend you have in one week, and you would get somewhere close to what my sis went through this week. One particular friend, who has in the past been my sister's really good friend, I shall simply call Regina George in this post. She has been especially vicious, talking about my sister behind her back, hosting parties several times without bothering to invite my sister. For these and other reasons Regina is, to put it mildly, a wench.
Anyway, I don't understand why my sister has been thus treated by her "friends." It is, of course, in the nature of older siblings to protect and defend their younger siblings to the death, but listen to this anyway: how many sixteen year olds can carry on an intelligent conversation about subjects like politics, music, history, and literature? how many have memorized the entire Declaration of Independence when they are twelve years old? and read most of Shakespeare's plays? and remember off the top of their heads that the 10th Amendment is about the states' rights? and play the piano like nobody's business?
Not too many teenagers are quite that bright. And it's not just that! She has so much integrity! and faith! and determination! and I don't usually put this many exclamation points in one post!
I'm not trying to rant. Then again, maybe I am, because another one of my sisters was very hurt and disappointed by a good friend this past week too. And I don't think there are many more things on earth that make me angrier than that. I guess it's just hard because I've been through similar experiences, and I know how much it, well, sucks. But I know that it was in such times that I grew closer to my family, and realized how grateful I was for parents and sisters and dogs and cats and books and mountains and chocolate. And new friends. The "tender mercies" of the Lord, in other words. It was in times like those that I found scriptures like this one:
"...have patience, and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions." (Alma 34:41)
and this one:
"They friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands." (D&C 121:9)
So maybe instead of spending my time railing on my sisters' terrible friends, I could spend time encouraging, and uplifting, and giving hope. Because I turned out okay, right? If I could do it, then they certainly can, who are smarter and nicer (and better looking) than I am.
Regina George is still a wench. Arg, changing for the better is not always easy.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Cleaning checks. Let me tell you what I think about them:
Ahem. Cleaning checks are absolutely ridiculous. That's all.
Well, not really all. My roommates and I are pretty clean already, so it's not like cleaning checks are a huge ordeal, but I would rather clean when I want to clean. Plus, mid-week cleaning checks? really? por favor!
Anyway, so back to palm reading. I got my palm read last year when I was in London--I simply couldn't pass up the quintessential gnarled gypsy woman reading palms--but I felt a little ripped off because she spent the first five minutes of my palm reading chasing down a guy who had taken pictures of her booth and forcing him to delete them. And then fetching security to make the guy delete the pictures. By the time she got back to me, she was so grouchy I'm pretty sure I didn't get my money's worth.
Granted, I don't buy that palm reading is accurate, but I'm curious enough about it that I want to go again. In short, I'm still a little bit obsessed with it. Anyone want to join me in my next palm-reading adventure?
Monday, October 31, 2011
It ended up fine, and I think (hope) my students enjoyed my alternative (aka, impromptu) lesson plan. They just didn't know how completely awesome it would have been if the computer actually had worked. Boo.
Speaking of boo, I decided that I am a total Halloween scrooge. I am not a fan (ever) of decorating with spiders and ghosts. So, bah humbug. Well, I partially take that back. The only good thing about Halloween is Thriller. No, I'm not just talking about the song (although that is a part of it); I'm talking about Odyssey Dance Theater's production filled with dancing skeletons, Frankenstein's monster, zombies, and river dancers getting picked off by a sniper. Morbid? yes. Delightful? also yes.
And also, I do like creepy things (not like slasher creepy, like Edgar Allen Poe and the Bronte sisters creepy).
Maybe it's just the arachnid decorations and strange people dressing like fairy tale princesses. It's like what they say in Mean Girls: "Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress up like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it." Not that I see too much of that at BYU. I did see one guy walking around sans shirt though (that's about as scandalous as it got today). People seriously spend so much time (and money!) on Halloween costumes--I don't really get it. One of my students said he was disappointed that I didn't dress up today (he said out of all his professors, I was the one he expected to see dressed up. whatever that means), and I refrained from ranting. Even though I was totally in the mood to rant because the computer wasn't working.
So you might just have to disregard everything I say here because it's just a spawn of today's technology hatred.
Thank you for reading my rant. I'm going back to reading now.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
I have been struggling to adjust to life as a grad student, which surprised me because I thought I'd get right into the swing of things. It has been more difficult that merely swinging in and catching on. I have a feeling it's because between the time I graduated with my Bachelor's last December and started with grad school this September, a lot happened. I dealt with a lot of disappointment and frustration, directly related to the health struggle I've had for the past couple of years. I guess it showed my narrow-minded view of how trials and opposition work in this life, because I was so over my health problems that I thought it surely was time for me to get better and never have to deal with similar issues again. Obviously naive, yes, and I was so disappointed when instead of going away completely, my little problems decided (rather maliciously, if you ask me) to stick around for who knows how much longer.
So I think I've just had a hard time trying to put all of that on the back burner suddenly to start a completely new phase of life. I'm the kind of person, I think, who does best focusing on one thing at a time, which is probably why I hoped so much that my problems would just go away when I started grad school. And by pushing health to the back burner, I've not taken care of my body as well as I should thus far. I've never been a professional time budgeter, so this is indeed a challenge.
Thankfully, I'm up for a challenge. I always say that I like change, and that I can adapt well to change, and I'm sure that will be the case this time. I'm just taking a little while longer adapting to this change.
With that said, though, I love being here and learning so much and being around like-minded people who are in their own ways as obsessive and nerdy as I am. I love teaching my freshman class even when they occasionally act like twerps.
And I love that even though this past Monday was such a terrible day, Tuesday was so much better, and the rest of the week is looking up. Praise the heavens!
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
anyway, back to being tired and now understanding if/why my professors would be annoyed at me. on one hand, i could get more sleep and not get my reading/papers done, or i could keep doing what i'm doing and complete the reading and assignments but be too tired to participate in class. because when i'm really tired, i'm afraid that if i make a comment in class it will make no sense.
it's quite the conundrum.
also, this. a couple weeks back i had what i deemed the busiest week and a half of my life. i did manage to complete everything, but as i got a paper back from my fairy tale class, i realized that i succeeded in some things better than others. i didn't do as well in the paper as i had hoped, and i actually talked to my professor this morning and it sounds like it was one of the "roughest" of the bunch, which was discouraging to me because i'm not exactly used to being on the bottom. my fairy tale class intimidates me anyway because there are a lot of intelligent people who use big words and are outspoken about everything. and then there's little introverted me :) but as i was talking to my professor, she did say that my idea was one of the most creative, but the execution of it was where i lacked. so there's some encouragement mixed with a gentle push in a more productive direction. she said she understood about my being introverted and not commenting in class, because apparently she was the same way as a student.
so i just need to get more on the ball. and find time where there isn't any, so i can get everything done AND get enough sleep to be coherent in class. i'll get right on that.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
oh, and i just turned in an analysis paper for my fairy tale class... i was comparing grimm's cinderella to the animated film anastasia. it was fun, but i struggled with it, big time. i had a revelation as i was sitting at the computer banging my head violently against the wall (just kidding, i really wasn't doing that): i am so glad i'm in the creative writing program. i had a hard time deciding whether or not to do the english master's or the creative writing mfa, because i would really love to study transatlantic victorian literature (: but, as i was writing this analysis paper, i decided that i'm in the right spot. i love literature but i don't think i could handle writing critical analysis papers for two years... i'd rather write essays about CHOCOLATE! yup.
anyway, it's late and i would love to go to bed but i'm going to do some homework. then it's buenas noches para mi!
(oh, and look at me! blogging two days in a row! or at least close to that... either way, i pretty much rock!)
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Yes, it is true, teaching is rewarding. Especially when you can be your students' FAVORITE.
Oh, and PS, my essay workshop went really well. Excited to revise!
Sunday, September 11, 2011
All the while, I tried not to think about the gross amount of reading I was supposed to get done over the weekend, and for the most part I succeeded. After all, homework will always be there, but I won't always be in Capitol Reef!
I also had a huge epiphany while I was there (well maybe not huge, but it was a huge relief to get it): I had been working on an essay in my head for a couple of months and actually working on it for about a week, but I was struggling a lot trying to tie everything in together. One of the writing exercises we did in the middle of a hike helped inspire me with an idea to finish my essay. Unfortunately, when I got home I had to rush to write it because I had to email it to my class pronto, so I didn't get as much time to finish it as I would have liked. Ah well, the point of writing workshops is to give you ideas to revise and improve your essay. I just hope what I sent wasn't cheesy or overdone. I'll know on Tuesday! Anyway, my epiphany helped me to finish it, but I'm still nervous because I have this misconception in my head that with this essay, because it's my first in the program, I will be trying to justify my existence in a creative writing master's program. Completely unwarranted, I know, and I tried to shrug off the feeling because it was giving me stress and was probably the reason I had such a hard time writing.
Oh well. I guess I'll find out come Tuesday if I need to pack my bags. ;)
And one more thing.... coming home from the retreat, I was so tired after finishing my essay that I dropped into bed without even unpacking anything, and my room is a total disaster because I didn't have time to clean it before I left. I will definitely have to clean it before I get anything done, because I can't do anything in a dirty room! Bleh, I'm overwhelmed by my dirty room and loads of homework.
Wish me luck!
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
So today I made something wonderfully yummy. The idea wasn't original (it came from Jessi), but I made a few changes to truly make it my own. Here goes:
Bread (I used homemade wheat bread, but I'm sure it would work with any type)
Jam (I used strawberry)
Thinly-sliced fruit (I used strawberries, although bananas would be fantastic as well)
Basically, put the peanut butter, jam, fruit, and chocolate chips in between two pieces of delicious bread and grill it (like a grilled cheese). It gets all melty and gooey and absolutely fantastic. And it's so easy!
Okay, I sound like a commercial. Or the food network. But seriously, you should try this sandwich.
Monday, September 5, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
The essay, as a literary form, resembles the lyric, in so far as it is moulded by some central mood—whimsical, serious, or satirical. Give the mood, and the essay, from the first sentence to the last, grows around it as the cocoon grows around the silkworm. The essay-writer is a chartered libertine, and a law unto himself. A quick ear and eye, an ability to discern the infinite suggestiveness of common things, a brooding meditative spirit, are all that the essayist requires to start business with. (Alexander Smith)
Noun: A person, esp. a man, who behaves without moral principles.
Adjective: Characterized by a disregard of morality.
Call me a libertine all you want, as long as you call me an essayist first. Not that I am without moral principles or have a disregard of morality, (I hope in reality I am quite the opposite of a libertine) but that I disagree with you, Alexander Smith, as to that specific definition of an essayist. That said, I think essayists try to step back from the world a bit to try and see how everything connects, so the tendency to stand apart could lend itself to being a law unto himself. Interesting thought, and I'd love to grapple with that idea in my head for awhile.
So I want to start business being an essayist, as Alexander Smith says. I think it takes practice to have a quick ear and eye, and to discern the infinite suggestiveness of common things. You have to "stop and smell the roses" as the old cliche entreats. However, I don't completely buy the validity of this particular cliche. "Smelling the roses" is insufficient because most of the time you can smell roses by simply walking by them; you usually don't have to break you stride to enjoy their aroma. Truly discerning the infinite suggestiveness of common things requires more commitment than deep inhalation. Annie Dillard in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek essays about staying in one position, unmoving, for hours in order to catch a glimpse of a shy animal (the name of the actual animal escapes me at the moment). Now that is commitment. It takes patience.
I've never been the most patient person, but I guess it depends on the situation. I'm definitely a more patient driver than I used to be--I used to get so annoyed at people who cut me off or drive too slowly, then one day I cut someone off and realized suddenly that the driver I cut off was probably cursing my name for my apparent lack of courtesy. I had become the kind of person I get annoyed at. So I decided to be more patient towards other drivers because I hoped they would also give me the benefit of a doubt when I do stupid things. (Notice that I didn't resolve to be a perfect driver so I could then look down my nose at the rest of the fools on the road with less-than-perfect driving skills. I found it easier to forgive others' driving faults, and keep my own intact.)
Also, I was so nervous to start teaching my Writing 150 class that after the slight awkwardness of the first day, I hurriedly decided that I was doomed to being forever awkward teacher who is always terrified of her students. Then the second day of teaching came along and I realized that I really will enjoy this, and if I am awkward then I'll embrace it and allow myself to have faults. Slight awkwardness in a teacher is not always a bad thing. Some of my favorite professors have been slightly awkward in one way or another. Being completely "normal" is uninteresting and dull, anyway. (Not to mention the fact that it's impossible to even define what "normal" is.) So my conclusion is that I should be a more patient person and not freak out. And not merely smell the roses but stand completely still for hours in order to catch a glimpse of a small animal.
By the way, I can already tell that I'm going to have a hard time not neglecting my other classes in favor of my essaying class. But that's why I'm here, so shouldn't that give me license to care about some things more than others?
I survived my first week of grad school/teaching little freshman without any major panic attacks.
....And I just spent $10 on a couple ounces of cardamom, which means I need to make yummy Indian food (like the Indian rice pudding with cardamom, coconut milk, pistachios, and golden raisins that my sister Lori and I made a couple weeks ago. HOLY COW, so good.)
Oh, yes. and lots of chocolate. Time to try the truffles I've been thinking about lately. Anyone up for taste-testing?
Monday, August 29, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
Saturday, July 30, 2011
- i was helping one particular gentleman on the phone one day; he was calling because when he and his wife came to the show, we had given them the wrong receipt on accident and he thought he was being charged $100 more than he really was. so i got his information and put him on "hold." (i say "hold" because with our phone system if we put someone on hold, it drops the call, so when we say that we're putting them on hold we're really just muting the call so they can't hear us, but we can still hear them--which is important in this story.) anyway, so while i was looking up his information and i can hear him talking in the background, and i hear him say "come on, this isn't rocket science" (talking about me). just to let him know i could still hear him, i unmuted the call and said "yes, i know, sir, but i have to look up your information to make sure you were charged the right amount." he seemed embarrassed after that. (i would be too)
when it happened, i was mad at first (don't insult my intelligence; i'm the only one allowed to do that) but then i realized how comical the situation was. i was really glad that i heard him say that because when i called him out on it and he realized i could hear him, hopefully he felt sheepish enough that he would think before mouthing off to another customer service representative.
i guess think was a bad example of a laughable situation, but i thought it was funny.
speaking of funny, i'm now going to reminisce about when tuacahn did "jospeh and the amazing technicolor dreamcoat" (for the third time), and we had enough funny that season to last for the rest of my life:
hi, can i get tickets for "joseph and his amazing shorts?" for "joseph and his electric coat," or "joseph smith and his coat" (only in utah). oh, and this was my personal favorite: "jose and his colored garments," (the guy had a brooklyn accent and said "hey, i'd like tickets for 'jose and his colored garments, or whatever the h** it's called; sorry, honey, i'm from new york." so just imagine a guy with a 65-year-old smoker voice with a brooklyn accent saying that and you get the idea.)
oh, people. how i love them.
Friday, July 29, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
I must study politics and war that my sons have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.John Adams, in a letter to his wife Abigail