Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Poetry

Reverberations

With coy expressions they smile,
Knowing the secrets of their past.

The stories, which they do not tell
The memories which only they share.

Dreams realized and rewarded

Penitence of a life delayed

They sing.

*I rarely write poetry, and it is even more rare for me to show it. But, any thoughts or advice on this poem would be helpful. I keep thinking of just deleting it.

S-L-I-C-K

The world of Logan was covered in a thin sheet of ice today. And I was late.

With 7:30 breathing down my neck, and knowing that I needed to be on time for my students, I put a hustle in my bustle. When I reached the hill I go up I realized how icy the ground was and before I knew what happened I was on the ground, thinking "how did I get on the ground?" A girl then emerged from the bushes, like a paid spy to see humiliating acts, and said "it's icy huh?" and began to laugh.

Duh.

The rest of my way to school was spent sliding across ice-because, I kid you not, I had more control gliding than walking or shuffling.

So, as to be expected, when I went to my class I asked how many people slipped. 7 students raised their hands and I felt like I was in good company. Until I asked how many actually fell to the ground.

That award apparently only goes to me.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hello-my name is Santa.

Last night I assisted in composing a fake letter from Santa for my roommates little sister. This evil craft was requested by her mom who said, "write a letter from Santa to your little sister so she stops crying and throwing tantrums." And so we did. We threw in some cliches about how only little boys and girls get presents and blah blah blah listen to your mom....you get the idea.

And now I feel like I've wronged the spirit of Christmas.

Because of this guilt, I confessed to my friend what I had done. She told me that when she was growing up her mom never let her believe in Santa, the tooth fairy, or Easter bunny. I said she didn't have a childhood.

Her reply shocked my world.

She said her mom never promoted seasonal fictitious creatures because how do you tell your child to believe in something they can see and have them find out it is a lie and then expect them to believe in Christ, a man who they can not see.

Maybe she has a point. Maybe I won't pretend to be Santa anymore.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Time

Happy belated Thanksgiving.

I'm thankful for time.

The time I get to have after I've made a mistake to see that it was a mistake.

The time to see my views morph, change, become frustrated, be different than what I've been taught, and be different from what I read.

The time to spend with friends who show me why the world is a place that I want to be a part of, instead of just resenting it.

The time to experience pain so that I know of the reality of the atonement.

The time to teach and see it help others learn about the world.

The time I have to read and learn.

The time to just chill with the fam, while trying to figure out politics and football.

The time I have to enter discussions that sometimes end well and sometimes don't.

The time to view the beauties of the world that God has made.

The time to see my friends change over years and decades and still be friends with them and use them for fashion advice and just advice in general.

The time to experience other cultures and countries.

The time to dream.

The time after a lie to realize that's not who I am.

The time to see the talents of others.

The time to learn how to rely on others.

The time to change what I have done wrong.

The time to learn who I am.

The time to find love.

The time to help save the world.

Lucky for me I have time to be a better person every day.

God bless.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

C.S. Lewis


I have been meaning to do a post on C.S. Lewis after an incredible symposium from a traveling scholar. His name is Christopher Mitchell and is from Wheaton College. He's amazing-too bad I ruined the tone of the presentation.

Mitchell did a great job of explaining how Lewis was born into a loving family, which was destroyed by his mother's death and his own trip to what can only be the stereotypical scary boarding school. He didn't enjoy it.

So, he got mad at God. Lewis was mad that God didn't exist. He was mad that God might exist. He was mad that if God did exist then it was unfair that Lewis got the life he had, and that he wasn't asked whether he wanted it or not. Thus, Lewis became an atheist.

Lucky for Lewis he was an oxford prodigy who did very well in his studies of the classics. Throw in World War II for life experience, and Lewis began to rethink religion. Eventually some of his most athiest friends became Christian, and so too did Lewis.

What I found interesting was that Lewis recognized that his education was based in the intellectual ideas of naturalism (you know....Darwin). Well, what Lewis claims is that there is such thing as an arch of humanity, or myths across cultures that reflect the most deep human truths. This he calls imagination. The unexplainable. And that is where one finds religion.

After doing a lot of research on myths, Lewis delineated on the true myth which is frequently alluded to in all cultures and that is Christ's atonement (this was verified by the history channel's show yesterday which talked about how almost every religion has a redemption story and a good vs evil theme). Though, he makes note that conversion is more personal and the moment of conversation is almost impossible to express in words.

Lewis is brilliant.

And he claims that those who aren't Christian are such because of two reasons.
1. Chronology of snobbery (the idea of disregarding the information of past generations)
2. Lacks a satisfactory theory of knowledge (something Lewis deeply related to)

Ok, so how I changed the tone.

After this amazing lecture on Lewis someone brought up how Lewis--the creator of The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe hated children!-can you believe that? Anyway, I referred to a documentary called Shadowlands about how he really didn't like women much either. Keep in mind this is front of many many people.

Now, the presenter stops, says twice that it was a really good question, and quickly disregards talking about Lewis' relationship with women. At that point he was done taking questions....oops. (FYI it was 45 mins after the presentation was supposed to be finished).

My friend just said "way to go Sarah."

Anyway, I heart the presenter and C.S. Lewis (though I wish he liked women and children a little bit more.)

Mitchell also said that Lewis, as an atheist during conversion, said that the literature that spoke the most to him were works by authors who had religion in their lives. It was as if they had tapped into a deeper meaning, and after this realization, look at the works Lewis produced: The Great Divorce, Mere Christianity, and The Screwtape Letters.

Lewis said this about it "A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading."Great literature reflects Christ.

A quote to leave you with "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. "

PS: Happy Sunday-and I am way excited for the new Narnia movie.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Miracles are happening.

Logan has a downfall that drives me crazy. It doesn't have radio stations that I like....oh wait, it actually only had two stations: spanish polka and contemporary 90's rock. I hated both of these so I had to resort to listening to the only cool cd in my car-Phil Collins (because I always forget my ipod). I now know all of the lyrics to "I'll Be In Your Heart." Well this morning I got in my car and I heard the faint buzz of K Bull 93.3....I cocked my head and I kept driving. The closer I got to main street the clearer the music began. Yes my dear friends, I now have radio in my car. All of my presets work. Hallelujah. And now i'm just praying that it's not just a result of the weather up here...which was my friends rationale. One thing I don't get though is why not everyone is talking about this. I think it's a miracle and no one has even noticed. Lift up thine eyes Logan friends.

In other news BYU beat the Aggies last night in basketball and it was a great game. I was sad I didn't go but a bunch of us grabbed dinner and watched the cougars roll. Jimmer-will you marry me?

Thank you cougar fan, and formally employed student, for making my day with that thought. Just like the big brother who doesn't know there is a rivalry with the younger son, I am still shocked by the rivalry that USU is convinced is happening between the "other blue school."

Monday, November 15, 2010

'Arry Potter?


For those who follow my blog-you will remember my post about zombies vs humans. Well I have found a college game to trump all games....

Harry Potter's famed game Quidditch is real. Or at least it is really being played. Here are some of my highlights of how the game is played:

One guy is dressed in yellow and is released as the snitch and immediately starts to hide (for some reason this just creates images of some squirrely old man behind a tree...but to make the game cooler I am choosing to think a Jude Law look alike is really drifting between large rocks, trees, and the yacht he wants to take me away on).

Instead of bludgers there are people carrying kickballs and throwing them at other people.

Each player has to keep a broom between their legs.

The game is ended once someone tackles the person in yellow.

If you don't believe that this really exists, go to the official association quidditch website here. Apparently it's sweeping the nation and is at like 64 different colleges.

The Harry Potter movie is coming quickly and my midnight ticket is purchased. I am so excited. Now all I have to figure out is how to learn how to write like J. Rowling. She's my hero. It's not uncommon for me to claim that she brought back literacy to the masses....a claim I'll stand by until I die. She's done more for literacy than basically all English teachers combined. I heart her. To all the unbelievers-Hogwarts exists.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Turns out one of my eyes doesn't work...and i'm dyslexic.

I'm dyslexic--did you know that blogging world?

Please quickly get rid of the stereotypes of dyslexic people that you are conjuring in your head (it's a little rude).

Ok, just to be fair it's a self diagnosis of being dyslexic but i'm literally 99.9% sure it's true and here is why.

I can't spell. Originally, I wanted to blame my teachers but that's not entirely fair and my mom is a kindergarden teacher and you think if I could be taught how to spell she probably would have tried it. Anyway, I have never been able to spell and it's frustrating and embarrassing. It's not just normal frustrating and embarrassing, it's like "you're a college English teacher and you can't spell? Higher education is going to the dogs" embarrassing. But, never one to be deterred, I decided to do what I love, which is to teach, read and write, and enter a profession that mandates one impossible skill-spelling.

So about an hour ago I was sitting in my office talking to the other instructors and saying that I can't spell and it's beyond just not being good at it. It's an irreversible problem. So, to convince them I turned to the internet (which of course we can trust) and found one of the most hilarious and descriptive article by a writer who is incapable of spelling but other then that is very successful. After a lot of mocking from editors from the Washington Post he went to a specialist and got tested. Turns out he has a mild form of dyslexia.

In the article he wrote "I have some of the symptoms of dyslexia: horrible spelling, serious difficulty remembering names and numbers, a failure to learn the rudiments of a foreign language in spite of two years of college French and a summer in Normandy. But I'm missing the big one -- profound reading trouble." If I were to have written this same statement I would have said this "I have some of the symptoms of dyslexia: horrible spelling, serious difficulty remembering names and numbers, a failure to learn the rudiments of a foreign language in spite of three years of ASL in college and three years of French in high school. But I'm missing the big one--profound reading trouble. In fact, that's one of my strengths."

Apparently, what he and I have is " the underlying threads of dyslexia, but you've (WE'VE)compensated for it really, really well. When you (WE) have time, you (WE) do well. But when you have to do things very quickly, it's not automatic. Your autopilot, for spelling and for reading, just isn't there. As a youngster, Shaywitz says, I (WE) was probably getting just enough information and pleasure from reading to push through some amount of dyslexic drag. And the more I (WE) read, the more compensatory tricks my brain wired into itself until I (WE) became fluent, at least under relaxed conditions. It's only when the heat is on that my (OUR) reading goes a little wobbly and, even more often, my spelling collapses in a heap.
--emphasis added.

If he has dyslexia, based on the symptoms, I do too.

If you too are interested in self diagnosis, or a hilarious read, go here

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Humans vs Zombies

(I did not take this pic...you can find it on google images)

There is a new disease infecting USU. It's worse than swine flu, and far more entertaining. It is called humans vs zombies and it has 800 participants (like, that is the real number on the website). Basically every freshman on campus starts out as a human and slowly gets infected by being touched by zombies. The only way to ward off the zombies is to stun them with sock balls or nerf guns (which, fyi Cache Valley is completely sold out of). It lasts a week long and at the end of the week the winner is whoever stays a human. The students can only play outside so basically students are running around like mad to get indoors. While traveling outside of classes they travel like packs of rats with nerf guns and identifying bandanas. It's pure madness, and entertainment. I have never been more on board for a college campus game. It makes you remember that college is cool....(or at least colleges that let students do things, unlike BYU sometimes).

In response to the exciting conversation of humans vs zombies in class, I brought up the exciting event of voting (which I did by absentee ballot). The response? 25 blank stares, and 3 students asking about voting for what. It broke my heart. Apparently the democratic process doesn't exist to zombies...or humans for that matter.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hallow's Eve

In preparation for my own future at Hogwarts (featured below) my roomies and I had a Harry Potter marathon to celebrate the night of ghouls while preparing for movie number 7 to come out...
And instead of celebrating the coveted world of Harry Potter I found myself missing my old world....
My mom once said that everyone has little experiences in our lives that are like gifts, and you need to enjoy them and remember them but remember that they are gifts and you can't repeat them. Mom-that's a depressing idea.

I want to go back to London because it feels like i've been away from my home for too long.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

R-E-S-P-E-C-T (to authors)


Getting an MA means that you get to hang out with English people all day long. This is always a pleasure, but one of the most delightful things about it is the expectation to go to all of the English activities that you would never do in undergrad because it wasn't cool and you had friends other then those in your program. Well, now things have changed and I am very pleased and surprised at the exposure to great authors that USU has been able to attract.

Of the many speakers we have had come I have particularly liked two. I read How the Irish Saved Civilization years ago (thank you dad for being the historian that you are, and for keeping Boarders in business with all of your purchases). Cahill's presentation was about his books in the series about the hinges of history. It's really interesting to hear authors talk about what they love and their perspective on their writing. Cahill is very religious and his talk was very political, particularly about creating a world of hope and faith by stopping war (which he claims has never helped any country). He's also a little profane...which keeps the audience engaged.
Today the speaker we had is the poet of South Africa. She's legit. Think of any award and she's won it. Think of any conference and she's presented there. She lived during the apartheid system and the bantu education act and many of her poems are about growing up in that system. After apartheid was abolished and South Africa was slowly redefining itself HIV struck, and with poor governmental reaction AIDs got incredibly out of hand (with currently 1 in 10 individuals having HIV--most women and mothers). This is particularly interesting to me because I am in a class that is very centered on African writers and their connection with Langston Hughes.

Here is a taste of her writing, and the context of the poem is a reaction against the AIDS epidemic and the young children who are forced to quickly become adults and help to sustain the family.

The head of the household

is a girl of thirteen
and her children are many.

Left-overs, moulting gulls,
wet unweaned sacks

she carries them under her arms
and on her back

though some must walk beside her
bearing their own bones and mash

when not on the floor
in sickness and distress

rolled up in rows
facing the open stall.

Moon and bone-cold stars
navigational spoor

for ambulance, hearse,
the delivery vans

that will fetch and dispatch
the homeless, motherless

unclean and dead
and a girl of thirteen,

children in her arms,
house balanced on her head.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Livn' Logan

If you haven't been keeping up with Gilmore Girls for the last ten years you're in luck. You can now get all of the seasons on DVD and it is a must do. Anyway, GG has the greatest opening scene full of gorgeous fall colors with a rustic church in the background. It really capitalizes on everything from back east that I want in my life. The city they live in is Stars Hollow and there they do quirky, small town activities. Who knew that Logan was basically Stars Hollow.

(Just in case you want to watch the opening scene here it is...for the story of Logan continue to scroll)

In Logan there is this activity called The Pumpkin Walk. Approaching the walk there are swirling lines of people waiting at giant pumpkin cut outs sparkling with lights at dusk, with children running amuck and adults whispering if they should have brought better coats or shoes.

On this walk different groups bid on creating a charming pumpkin scene. This years theme was animation and so most of the scenes were from pixar movies. It was delightful.

The hens were cool but I wish I had a pic of the rabbits...which were amazing.


Here are my roomies and I just kickin' around with a witch who was able to take a break from her duties at Hogwarts and chill with the Loganites.

And with the free cookies at the end I found myself committing my future falls to the pumpkin walk.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

true murmurs....

Remember the time that you hiked to the lake? It was about after mile 7 that I wanted to turn around, with my legs longing for the body of a marathoner and my eyes casting glances to the dirt trail which promised to take me home. We could have all turned back, without apology or explanation. We had gone long enough to tell others that we had experienced nature, hiked, travelled, and lived.

But we knew we hadn’t reached the pearl of the mountain, protected by steep terrain. The scene of the lake could be etched into our memories, or breathed into our souls with the feeling of the frost touching our lungs and the view reshaping our connection with nature.

So we walked and continued, and in continuing we were delighted and delightful.

And the lake was there, as promised. Just witnessing the pines (subjected to an existence of struggling in a desert) gather life from the pond during that fall was enough to give confidence to our own future, where we live in an equally dry and desert world. It was beautiful and grand and special because we-step after step, curse after curse-reached it. And it was more beautiful for it.

This view, with struggle and drive and hate and love was earned and to share it or pretend that others would ‘get it’ or feel the poison of envy from it cheapens it like the cheapness of a used love poem employed by the boy in his third serious relationship.

Sometimes I feel like there is an expectation in our digital world of facebook updates, twitter feeds, instant news, gchat, and texting to create a connection of information between those close to us, but more often than not with those distant, foreign, and losing the glow friendship.

The whoring of information will cheapen any experience.

Information gleaned from friends or given freely, like a rare lake found, should be protected through the bonds of friendship and not publicized with every blog post.

I think we forget that information doesn’t have to be shared to be real; increased value is given to that which is rare.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Life should be loved because of moments like this.

This post is not proverbial, deep, poetic, or revealing.

Instead it is one of the funniest things I have ever watched in my entire life.

You must watch it (plus it's like 30 seconds long).

Kudos goes to my grad buddy Matt who did a presentation on using youtube in the classroom and showed me the new love of my life.



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Construction

As I was walking back from the library after getting my hot chocolate (which is oh so needed to get me through the cold afternoon, the cold office, and the head cold I have) I paused at the sight where the new agriculture building is being built.

There stood a man, mid forties with the lines of life beginning to forge their permanence next to his tired eyes, standing in his new leather shoes and pressed shirt (missing only the tweed jacket for a stereotypical professor).

He stood and watched, leaning on tip toes to see the hole which is claiming the center of campus. There he patiently waited to witness the dump truck and the digger work in their predictable symbiotic relationship to delve deeper into the earth.

After 24 years of schooling, the fascination he had with construction as a four-year-old still shines.

Simple pleasures my friends, simple pleasures.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Who I want to be when I grow up

I may or may not have the smartest brother around.

He's quoted in the Times, LA Times, Business Week, MSN, and a bunch of other cool magazines. (As a writer I feel like he is living my dream. If I wasn't so happy for him I might be jealous.)

Congrats Nick!!

Find his quotes here

PS-Not only is he the number one researcher in a study concerning MRIs he is also humble, charitable, nice, and pretty funny. So I suppose the point is--I am proud to call Dr. Orme my brother, not only because he is experiencing his five minuets of fame, but also because I know him as a great friend, brother, and doctor.

PPS-As if the world didn't have enough lawyers I am proud to say that the state of Utah just accepted its newest (and probably best) member. Congrats to my brother Matt for passing the bar exam. I envy his life of searching for a new house, and his gorgeous wife and baby. His dream is one that I won't see for a solid ten years (that's a decade)! Maybe this just means I will have to expect more free dinners from him.

PPPS-As an after thought, my mentor thought my thesis idea was excellent and now I get to start creating a proposal. Woot Woot--watch for me in NY Times someday (the only cooler newspaper that I can think of that Nick isn't mentioned in....)

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Poof

I was warned about two things in Logan.

Tied-dye shirts and the poof. I have had numerous experiences with both, but this post is dedicated to the poof.

If you don’t know what the poof is you must come visit. Northern Utahans (I just had to look up if that is really what natives of Utah are called, and we are indeed Utahans) love to sport the high volume poof in their hair. The style is simple. You take straight, beautiful hair and ruin it my ratting the under layers, destroying them (and possibly the atmosphere) with hair spray in a can, and then smoothing the top. Thus adding 4 inches of height.

I was talking to my roommates about the poof and Annie said “everybody poofs.” As if that statement alone isn’t funny enough, I couldn’t stop thinking about the book “Everybody Poops,” a childhood classic. I digress.

Anyway, I look around and it’s true. Virtually 80% of the girls up here are sporting the poof proudly. It seems unspoken that there is a competition and the one with the most poof has the most power. Poof=power. An odd equation, but one which the Loganites (I didn’t look up that name. I am choosing to believe they are called Loganites because it sounds fantastic) hold to. Sometimes I sit in class and look around at the poofs, because it’s hard to see the professor due to said poof, and I just think about how much work the poof is. The irony of it all is I spend all morning attempting to rid myself of my natural poof, a product of very curly hair, and am always a little disappointed with the inevitable remaining poof. In my world poof= girls with a inferiority complex whose fake nails are always too short for them and their Aeropostal shirts have been dried one time too many. But alas, there is the small voice inside of me that, for .5 sec thinks, I’m so glad I have natural (or any sort) of volumne in my hair.

I often wonder if the poof is natural though--or if they have invested in the ever classic tv infomercial of the bumpit. This invention, which comes in three sizes, allows for the unnatural look of the poof (sometimes referred to as the bump-hense bumpit) to be done in mere minuets. Thank you inventor--for further delaying the progress of women in Logan.

If you're wondering how a bumpit works I've added instructions.


The point of this post? To pledge to never intentionally poof and to keep a healthy perspective of how ridiculous the poof is. This could be a challenge because I am surrounded by it daily. Will you make the pledge?

Monday, September 13, 2010

English 1010-The First Assignment

I thought I that I might let you all in on what I currently spend all of my time doing. Teaching. As most of you know I teach two freshman English courses. I had to teach this assignment that allows them to choose their own songs and write an essay about why the songs are important to them. I didn't love the topic of this assignment, but it seems like the students enjoyed it. Anyway-I thought I might post my example here so you can see what the students are, ideally, supposed to create.

My Ramblings in the United Kingdom

Sitting on the stain colored carpet in Bath, England the tears began to swell. I had just spoken with my brother about his second child, Marie, and had heard the phrase that we all knew was coming. She had passed away and her funeral would be the following week. That night, as I feel asleep, the song “When You Come Back Down” by Nickel Creek flowed through the white cord of my iPod into my mournful heart.

The lyrics told what I was unable to begin to think about “you got to leave me now, you got to go alone.” Marie, a child who hardly was able to experience the world, was leaving alone. And though I knew she was in pain, the thought of her death seemed incomprehensible. Leaving the arms of my brother was her only option, and the calming cadence of the song with the lyrics which said “I’ll be the other hand that always holds the line, Connectin’ in between your sweet heart and mine” helped me realize that our relationship still existed. She would not be forgotten. And now, having returned from living abroad, and with the passing years of Marie’s death, I still find myself listening to Nickel Creek and remembering Marie. The song “When You Come Back Down” has transformed from a song once easily neglected and forgotten, to a contemplative experience with focused thoughts on Marie.

Lyrics of songs have a way of helping to remove me from my life, and transport me to an experience and make it immortal. This has happened on numerous occasions when I listen to the Braveheart sound track. In a whirlwind of memories I find myself removed to a hike in Scotland.

After a long bus ride, where 40 of us were herded into a shaky double Decker bus, we were glad to be dropped at the base of a tall crag outside of Edinburgh. With this as my first experience in Scotland, I gazed at the rock face on the north side with respect and admiration.

This crag, detailed with golden bushes and thriving thistles, stood majestically as we began our ascent. Slowly, but determinedly, we rose with the swells of the wind toward the peak. As we approached the top, overlooking a scene previously only experienced in books, I was converted to the beauty of the highlands. Silently my gaze turned to the walled city and with the far distant hum of bagpipes, I fell in love with Scotland. The aged castle, with ivy and brush trying to take back the mark of man, stood in the distance. The guards were being changed. Scotsman dressed with their regalia, stood with pride while spectators watched. While absorbing the view, once claimed exclusively by my ancestors, my friend took me to the top where she and I listened to William Wallace’s “Freedom Speech” given to the Scottish Army as depicted in the movie Braveheart. Following the speech, we listened to the song titled “Freedom.”

This instrumental piece is intended to reflect the history of Scotland’s independence, with the crescendo’s matching the speeches arguing for freedom, and the almost forgotten bagpipes in the background representing the influence of Scotland. The song effectively creates a movement of passion and love for the Scotsman’s drive for their own freedom. The piece creates a surge of emotion and love for the land of the thistle.

When I reflect on my time in the United Kingdom I have a littering of memories. Some of these memories are vague and fleeting, but those that are associated with songs are captivating and create a picture that is as clear as yesterday’s memories. Nickel Creek helps me to remember the experience of Marie’s death, and experiencing the soundtrack of Braveheart in Scotland have allowed for more powerful memories which remain far longer than experiences not associated with music. The songs have transportive qualities, which allows for me to relive the experience, and over time I find myself appreciating the experiences more because of the interplay between the two.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Why the movie The Holiday has ruined my life



As many of you know, I have a true love for the movie The Holiday. But, unfortunately, upon further reflection I have realized that it has ruined my ability to have a normal relationship/day.

Part of my love for The Holiday is due to the many attractive individuals. Thank you Jude Law for breathing. How in the world is one supposed to exist in the world of Logan city with expectations of individuals like Jude Law. As of right now I have yet to met any Judes and instead many a non-Jude. (Karli agrees but wants to mention that it's also hard without David Archuleto around....Just to clarify the two are in completely different leagues.)

Additionally, the movie has mixed romance with my love for Christmas. It was a very shrewd trick of the directors of this movie to mix ones love for the holiday scents and smells with relationship love. So, not only does this movie make you miss having a boy but combined with Christmas you miss the feelings of the best season of the year.

It ruins my day because whenever I see movies staged in the UK I go into my regular post-london coma of sadness. And then, on the flip side, they show California and it makes me want the sun. real bad.

In other news-

My rommies and I just broke into singing Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" and no one said a word. Love it.

I'm lovin' the pic of Jude above.

I had a great Labor day weekend with many Provo parties and a lot of football talk.

I'm still surviving grad school.





Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A rare picture.

This photo is taken by the very talented Kylie Nixon and I am in love with it. The girls and I met up for dinner in SLC. Thankfully Logan is within driving distance of most of my friends. It makes all the difference in the world. I was describing my friends to my new roomies and they all commented on how successful they are and gorgeous. If only they knew how true that is.


Highlights of my life in Logan:

Teaching students who looked absolutely terrified in the first five minutes of class but by the end were discussing what types of skis are the best for this season and who will be the national football champion. (Clearly related to English)

Roommates who are just fantastic. I mean, they like Glee and bashing on boys, and I like Glee and bashing on boys, so basically I feel we're a match made in USU heaven.

Cafe Rio that has this amazing thing called taco Tuesdays where you can buy a pork taco for $1.50. I almost wanted to cry I was so happy.

Realizing that I am still a BYU cougar with the following events.

1. In my institute class my professor asked where I was from and when I said Provo he replied "we like you so much more for choosing us over BYU." My retort "I graduated from BYU and am still a cougar at heart." Though this phrase was a lot creepier said aloud than anticipated I gracefully accepted the boos from the class. Who knew there was a rival between USU and BYU...apparently only USU.

2. When BYU just announced their independence I got a grin on my face that hasn't left. I proceed to tell my roommates all about it. They didn't really care but they loved my enthusiasm.

Life is good.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Paradise



This blog of mine is not a book review, I promise. I read far too many books to have the small sampling here be a credit to the books that I digest, but, sometimes books are so powerful that I can't stop thinking about them and so I have to write about them.

I realized that This Side of Paradise was such a book when I was at a restaurant talking with Rebbie last night and I had my hands in the air in exclamation and admiration. Regrettably, I can not take that moment back but it doesn't diminish the love I have for the book.

I have known the author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, for some time. Yes, I know that I don't technically "know" him but I'm relatively well versed in his work. For instance, my favorite quote is from his book The Great Gatsby where it closes saying, "And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

This Side of Paradise is currently one of my favorite books-of all time. I tried to start this book four years ago, at the beginning of what would be some of the most definitive years of my life. I couldn't get past page 60 (partly because the book was broken and the pages were falling out, but mostly because I couldn't relate to the context). I am so grateful I attempted again when I did.

The book is a recursive glance into the protagonist years as a college student and his transition on. What a fitting theme. It talks about lost love that can never be repeated, the friendships that come to define us but have faded, intellectual growth, questioning of systems, the mistakes of youth, and a love for the loss of innocence. The brilliance in the book though is showing that it is not the innocence that is missed, but the action of losing it.

I believe in the saying that the worst thing for a book is a plot--because it takes away from the art of writing. This novel does not have a strong plot/story line, with its skills lying in the realism of the writing as well as deep, humanistic themes. (So, you really have to give this book a chance, the ending is worth everything and more.)

I am so in love with the way that Fitzgerald writes that I can't stand the injustice that I am giving his novel by attempting to describe it in such incomparable terms.

I would recommend this book to anyone, but I would strongly recommend it to any recently graduated college student who can relate to the development of Amory Blaine.

To close, Fitzgerald wrote "His youth seemed never so vanished as now in the contrast between the utter loneliness of this visit and that riotous, joyful party of four years before."

A toast to the party of four years ago.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Late work?

I have somehow tricked USU into thinking that I am capable of teaching two 1010 English courses. Jokes on them. Anyway, I had to make a syllabus today for them and seriously sat for 80 mins trying to decide a late policy. Do I want to be the cool grad student who gets how annoying homework is and let the students turn in late work or do I go for the hard-nosed no late work ever policy. Well, I wrote down that if they turn in work late they can receive up to 50% credit. Any thoughts on what I should do? Your guess is as good as mine.


44 new students on Monday.

I think I may have the best job ever.

Friday, August 20, 2010

ruminating.


Yesterday the rain fell, and it was as if the world was being washed of its pains and sufferings. The scars left by the roads temporarily relieved by the waters furious flow. I sat at my desk watching the lighting change, feeling the temperature drop, and I was temporarily removed from work in deep, contemplative thought. But as I watched the rain, I witnessed social networks change their focus to talk about the rain, their love for the rain, and their excitement in the weather. The Provo blogging world took hold to give their own cadence to the conversation of rain and to again experience the rain through writing.

But is it the rain that causes the excitement? Could it be the change in pressure system and hydraulics that really makes people want to talk about it? Is there romance in the rain or is the beauty in the change. The beauty is not in the precipitation, but in the newness of the experience. Just as after a hard winter we rejoice in warmth, or we flirt with fall as the colors on the leaves change, or we can’t help but talk about the rain in the dry desert, we love the drama in the change. Weather being a never ending play with new sets, directions, failings, and characters.

And as the play of the weather unfolds so does each day, each season, and each new school year. The change in the weather that causes the excitement is like the change in each of our lives. And just as the feeling of knowing rain is coming without feeling the drops, instinct claims controls and whispers that change is forthcoming.

I feel that change is coming. I hope it’s as pleasant as the rain.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Nature vs girl


There are a select few, never ending, conflicts in this world that always have, and always will, dictate conversation, make history, and give the dreamer hope in the future. Examples of such are good vs evil, Israel vs Palestine, maple donut vs the chocolate donut from 7-11, diet dr. pepper vs dr. pepper, English vs math, glasses vs contacts, and the list continues. My own polar conflict is nature vs me.

Nature. Just the name makes me think of the fights we have been in throughout my life. It started out as an innocent fight—I didn’t want to go to girl’s camp because I had a hard time sleeping on the ground. Nature’s intuition felt my dislike for it and promptly I fell into a lake. At this moment I knew nature was a bully. Nature, a very unforgiving foe, then sabotaged my love for my cabin by having bats in the rafters and in my room. This was when the true divorce happened. I hated nature, and it was too big for me to do anything against it but to loath it. My hatred only increased with the sun rash nature so lovingly gave me in Lake Powell. Two years later, thinking that both nature and I had grown up and that the feud was over, I went rock climbing down in Moab. Nature, along with Johnson & Johnson sunscreen, gave my eye a crazy reaction and sent me back to the hotel.

This decade long feud, one which I thought would always be a thorn in my side, was mediated this weekend. I hiked a mountain. I didn’t just go on a hike-I hiked Timpanogos and went camping in the woods with a hammock (first time real camping-woot woot). I went with two boys who are legit hikers and though I know I slowed them down, they were saints to help me experience nature in a positive way. We started at 7 and got to emerald lake at 10. There we made camp and then woke up at 4 and hiked to the summit to see the sunrise. We then came home at around 11. I am happy to say that nature and I got along splendidly. I picked up some trash littering her mountain side, while she only gave me a giant blister, sore body, and sunburned lips instead of the very likely broken neck.

Will I ever hike Timp again? No. Will I tell everyone that I have done it? Yes. Will I start getting in shape now because the hike helped me realize that my heart needs a little more cheerios and a little less chocolate cake? Hopefully, but probably not.

Anyway, it was a great adventure and I highly recommend any girl to convince Devin and Chris to take them on an adventure. Fun guaranteed.



Tuesday, August 3, 2010

let them eat cake


If I could start my life over I would be a professional cake decorator. Attempting this cake in t minus two hours...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I'm going to America...

As summer is nearing a close, I thought I might document some of the trips I went on this summer. Many college students spend their summers traveling abroad—but, having done that (and not being able to afford it again quite yet) I experienced the US of A. and have thus far been to 11 states. Here is the best and worst of each state.

Mandi and I flew out to Michigan to pick up our dear friend Erica who had just graduated college and needed to get back to Zion, which meant driving her car home. We flew into Detroit, Michigan and started our trek.

Michigan:

Loved: Ann Arbor is such a gorgeous college town. The school itself breathes history and richness that is beyond wealth. It’s a mix of education and status ranking…and money. The buildings were architecture gems with the music school being the shape of a piano, and the library having leather upholstered doors and great rooms similar to Oxford and Cambridge. Big plus, it had squirrels everywhere. It was so fun to see where Erica has lived for the last four years. The food was great, her friends were better, and this trip cemented an 8 year friendship.

Loved less: Detroit was a very sad city. We went to an art exhibit in a very abandoned part of town which had put creepy stuffed animals and junk in abandoned houses. If you want to experience recession, walk over to Detroit.

Indiana:

Loved: Truth is I had completely forgotten that we drove through Indiana so I loved how short the drive was.

Loved less: How sad the forgotten people of Indiana must be when they realize their state is neglected.

Illinois:

Loved: Chicago! It was such a fun city, and so fun to experience it with two of my best friends. We walked down millennium mile, had deep dish pizza, went shopping, and took the most amazing boat tour. It’s a boat tour that goes on the Chicago River, and describes all of the architecture. The buildings there are amazing, and it’s rumored that Oprah was hanging out there when we were there too.

Loved less: That we didn’t get to spend much time there and that I was driving into the city with a stick car in stop-and-go traffic for 90 min.

Iowa:

Loved: The rolling hills and the sunshine.

Loved less: That I didn’t get to see the corn fully ripe in these fields. I am sure they look beautiful.

Nebraska:

Loved: Getting out of that city.

Loved less: The b&b we stayed at. True story, we rolled up far into the night on a deserted road to find a very secluded house, with possible murderers lurking in the bushes, and realized that was where we were sleeping for the night. It got far worse when Mandi and I looked into our room and saw the 30+ clowns who were looking at us with menacing glares. Once the music box with murder themed songs started to play we considered ourselves dead. It’s amazing we got out.

Wyoming:

Loved: Experiencing the true west. Dirt, dirt, and more dirt.

Loved less: That we were still driving at this point, a drive which took us 24 hours in the car. Good thing we had podcasts, music, and as always a political/controversial conversation happening.

All throughout the trip we realized we were missing the other member of our posse-miss Kellee Marie Cook. She was in NYC doing an internship. She was there with two other candy shoppers (Reb and Ky) and I knew that I had to get out and party with them. So after I got home I was off to NYC!

New York:

Loved: Seeing my friends who I had missed more than anything. Loved the beach, the Broadway show Jersey Boys, food (Max Brenner, La Esquina, Stardust, Grimaldi’s , Brooklyn ice cream….the list could easily go on).

Loved Less: Cooney island freak show, the price of taxis, the heat of the subway, and not being able to buy everything I saw in the stores.

After New York, Ky, Kel and I hurried off to meet my parents in D.C. The only way to travel is the megabus. Yup, that classy bus was a $15.00 trip, and 5 hours of road-tripping fun.

Maryland:

Loved: One of my best friends was from this state and I always heard stories from him about it. I loved driving through and seeing how green it was.

Loved Less: How short the trip was and how much I wanted to see there.

D.C. (technically not a state…)

Loved: Everything. I felt like home. I loved the vibe of the city—politics, shopping, politics, and people who wear really classy clothes. For those who didn’t know, I was obsessed with the show The West Wing, and am even more so now. I loved having ky and kel there and randomly Erica was in town so we went to dinner. (Big shout out to Mike and Dottie for housing us and letting me hang out with them there!) Loved hanging out with my parents, seeing museums, using the great underground system, and shopping in Georgetown. We went on a great tour of the capitol and just hung out!

Loved Less: That I knew I had to go home. New goal: move there.

Virginia

Loved: Driving through a little bit of the state that will, eventually, become my home.

Loved less: That we just drove through it.

Pennsylvania

The triplets (a term ky, kel and I gave ourselves) went with my parents to Gettysburg.

Loved: Having a dad who literally knew everything about everything there. Loved experiencing the sacrifice of the soldiers during the civil war, and loved the prose of President Lincoln. Loved laughing with Ky and Kel, all of us college graduates and still sticking around with my rents.

Loved Less: That the tour took a really long time (like 6 hours) and though I love learning, it was a bit much.

America is BIG. Trust me, I drove across it. These trips were great because of the fun cities and things to do, but mostly because of the amazing people in my lives who I got to experience them with. As my friends start to get married, and with me moving in August, it was so fun to be able to do such cool things with them this summer. Making memories that will last a lifetime, and being able to truly appreciate the incredible influence they've had on my life makes me wonder if USU has anyone who is half as incredible to spend my time with. So, on to planning future trips that will be just as exciting.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

HBLL



This is it--the library. Notice the frazzel look of me and MJ. We are tired of being here. This is officially the last time i'll be here studying (or as would be true to form not studying) as a BYU student. I am about to go and take my last final. Go COUGARS! I heart it here.

**Note the abandoned pair of scriptures on the desk in the picture. Classic cougar act. Also, I was very tempted to take a picture of a little girl who was running around here with her faced painted like a cat. Love it. Love her.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Villanelle

He Is The Way, The Truth, The Light


The one with whom we must unite,

Brother and savior to us all.

He is the way, the truth, the light.


As mortals we discern our lives, finite

And dared to bring about His fall

The one with whom we must unite.


And to the blind, he gave them sight

And saved the sinners, one named Saul

He is the way, the truth, the light.


He served, and saved, and faced his plight

Never one to falter, or to fall.

The one with whom we must unite.


The man who sacrificed his right,

Christ hung and gave his life for all.

He is the way, the truth, the light.


He offers us, each one respite

If we but listen to his call,

The one with whom we must unite

He is the way, the truth, the light.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ode to Snow

Placing a pause on life, lying dormant we watch
the reveler of earths contours fall
Slowly
Determined.
Hushed tones with visions of renewal. we ‘re exposed
to purity,
Peace.
Seemingly passive aggressive nature against life breaks
and shines as a tool of renewal.
Flocked trees threaten to destroy layered perfection.
The guardian of white rabbits,
amending the scars of farm work.
It stays with silent temperance.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Creative Writing

I am in a creative writing class and so I think I will occasionally put stuff I write on my blog; hopefully to receive criticism of how I can become a better writer.

I actually think this piece is pretty entertaining. If you want to read something amazing, similar, and better written read the vingette titled "My Name" by Sandra Cisneros found in her novella House on Mango Street.

Sarah (with an H) no middle name Orme

To quote my mother, “can you believe they named their kid Abcde? How in the world will any of her teachers ever know how to say their name or spell it? I feel so bad for kids that get weird names.” This conversation of weird names rolls around every fall when the smell of sharpened pencils and new clothes are flowing through the neighborhoods as children ready themselves for school. My mom, a kindergarten teacher, joins the ranks of many educators who look with disgust on names that have difficult or weird spellings and bizarre pronunciations. Every year a select few of her students are chosen as victims of the conversation of weird names, followed by the discussion of how inconsiderate it is of parents to tag their children with titles that seem more fit for a suitcase in Switzerland than an American name. This, being the background of my own personal name giver, explains why each of the Orme children has names that are located within the rankings of the most popular names through the ages. The children in our family are named Chris, Nick, Matt and I follow the litter with the well-known, over-exploited, Mormon name Sarah (with an H of course).

I dare you to sit in a public classroom in Provo, Ut and call the name Sarah. Guaranteed three girls will look of at you. Ok, it’s probable that the name Sarah does not have this dense of a population but it often feels like it. Rarely do I find myself in a world of being the only Sarah. There are many of us around. For many, a shared name is not that big of a deal considering you have a middle name. Well, I don’t. It is possible that I am currently the disappointment of my father because I have yet to marry-completing his claim that girls don’t need middle names because their last names feel that gap. My gap of a “no-middle-namer” is currently larger than ever. And to be honest, it is bizarre that the culture I have grown up in makes it seem like women don’t need a middle name because they get a new name eventually. I fear to continue with this thread of thought because it may turn into a “women deserve the same thing as men” and as not to let this topic deluge into that, I will just make mention again that I have an empty line, an absence on a page, where many fill in their middle name.

To recap—I have an all to common first name and I lack a middle name. Optimistically you would believe that the fates would grace me with a unique last name. One in which I can own as a unique part of my identity. Well, this reliance on fate, karma, or good-will is falsely put. My last name is Orme. The history is that there was a Welch rock named the rock d’orme…a rock that looks like a snake. After living in poverty in Europe we came to America searching for our fortunes and wound up in Provo, Ut, snuggled next to an all-familiar city. The neighboring city is named Orem. Seriously. This wanna-be-Provo city has confused anyone asking about my last name like platypuses are confused about what type of animal they are. Anyone who pronounces my last name will automatically ask if it is like the city, or ask if I own the city, or inquire if I know that there is a city like my last name. To complete this picture of confusion with the city, as I was student teaching last semester I heard giggling from the back. Finally, I asked the boys what they were talking about and they replied, “I think it’s so funny that you go by your title. Maybe you can bring your sash and crown next time.” The students address me as Miss Orme and had for a week legitimately believed I went by a “scholarship fund” award; a beauty pageant winner. Laughing, I took this as a compliment to my beauty and talents and explained to them why the city I hail from, Provo, is better than Orem.

To commoners without the name Sarah Orme, it may appear that though the name has seemingly common elements it makes up what is probably an uncommon name. That is what I used to think until a BYU student named Sarah Orme started working for my dad in the ASB. Call her a doppelganger, call her a replacement child for my father, or call her a BYU-I student who transferred to Provo, only to stay here for a semester before she got married and moved away. We became commonly confused.

What is in a name? To some it becomes more than an arbitrary title but a part of an inherent identity. This mentality, I believe, is wrong. Though there may be cities with my name, 785,170 women with the first name of Sarah in the United States, and a former BYU student with my exact name I have developed a relationship with my name, which I have come to love. Though I was named after a courageous women who crossed the plains, evading death in the Willie Martin Handcart Company, and though there is a book written about Sarah plain and tall, and though there is a women sitting with the sash of Miss Orem proudly portrayed, I am not one of them.

I am Sarah (with an H), who lacks a middle name, and who almost shares a surname with a neighboring city. I am a woman who is excited to meet those with similar and different names and to know them not for a tag, title, or need of identification for the U.S. census bureau, but for who they are. For people are people, names are just a way of helping them to remember which person is being referenced. A name is not an identity; it is a representation of the human need for separation and categorization. Happy for those with unique names, happy for those who like their names, and congratulations to those who paid $200.00 to the state to change their names. For me, I will keep my name and look expectantly to the future for confusion that my name will, without question, produce.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bucket List

They call it life's "bucket list." A system of wants, wishes, and dreams that will hopefully be realized within one's life. This post is not intended to mention all the things on my list, some being far too embarrassing or private to share, but I think I will mention some realized, some in the making, and some (hopefully) quickly approaching.

Those realized:

Teach seniors in high school
If you think that wise guys, or any other stand up comedy club is funny you clearly have not hung out with 18 year olds about to graduate. They are so funny. The sarcasm is so rich and if you're willing to laugh at your own mistakes all you do is laugh the day away. I truly love them so much and am going to miss them. Highlight of the day "what are you doing after graduation?" he replies, "go on a mission." I pause and say "that's great, but what about after?" He gives me a look of confusion and says "I don't know..." Truly, I don't think he realized life exists post mission. So funny.

Ramble around London
My study abroad gave me opportunities to travel that I never would have dreamed. I frequently think about the used bookstores that stole my heart, or the chocolate that made me gain 10 well-worth it pounds. I found friends who will last a lifetime and memories that will make me jealous of my 20 year old self for the rest of my life.

Graduate from BYU
Well, I'm walking in April for good or for bad. It's a result of a lot of early mornings and late nights of studying to graduate but I think it was worth it. Too bad I have to go to spring semester and take a religion class......choice words are going through my head directed at the religion department (probably not good for Karma).

Those in the making:


Go to graduate school
This week I committed to go to Utah State University to get my masters in English (emphasizing in rhetoric and composition). They also have me teaching two classes of freshman English in the fall and then two in the winter. Welcome to teaching RMs that are my age. I really am so excited! It's close enough to home to visit but far enough to start to stretch my wings. Plus, I feel really good about it. I think I'm supposed to be there---this being the only thought that is getting me past the fact that it's in Logan. Plus, I get to teach (see item #1).

Live with my best friends
After years of convincing, Mandi finally succumbed to moving in with Kellee and I. To top it off I made a new best friend, Rebbie, and was able to continue the London experience with my bunk buddy Ky. Luckily Ky is friends with Mary so we truly have North Ogden represented and have created a family of friends.

Wear my hair curly
After years of insecurity about curly hair, I have been forced to get over it because I have to be at school at 7 am which means that I have ten minutes to get ready for school--the perfect amount of time to put gel in my hair and run out the door. Luckily the feedback has been good.

Those quickly approaching (hopefully):

Living back east
I have always wanted to live back east, and though it is not being realized now I am hoping that maybe during the summer after my first year of graduate school I will be able to do an internship there. Keep your fingers crossed.

Taking a creative writing class
I love English (which most of you know) and I have never taken a creative writing class. This skill, when learned, will hopefully realize my dream (which is also mentioned on whatwhitepeoplelike) to write a book. For all of my faithful readers I promise you a signed, first edition copies.

Getting Married.....
Mostly I just am sick of first dates....so this is my solution, for now, to get out of them (jk).

Well there is a quick update for you all.

Loves,
S.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

St. P's Day



Happy Saint Patrick's day. You are very right, as I am sure you are thinking that today is not, in fact, St. P's day. Additionally, you're right because I am not catholic and really don't care (usually) about saints' days. But, this years March 17th was so great I wanted to blog about it (blog being the measurement of truly great days). I taught, which is no surprise, but half way through the day I decided to walk down to the copy room. Understand that the English department are full of the snobs of the high school. We see ourselves as the 'true' educators, those with esoteric knowledge the we attempt to shove down the throats of 18 year-olds who only want to graduate in two months--and consequently don't care about English. Anyway, I forget what high school teachers are really like outside of the English wing. But this day helped me to remember. I stumbled upon a teacher who is a short little man, and was wearing a giant green hat, died red hair, a three piece green outfit, completed with fake ears which made him look like a 100% certified, out of the shire, leprechaun. All I could say was top of the morning and rushed off to find the last copy of the Luck of the Irish from blockbuster. One of the many reasons high school is the funniest job I've ever had. And, don't forget, by job I really mean indentured servant to the state of Utah because I spend 60 hours working without pay.

To close the day in St. P-day celebration, my roommate is a keyboardist to a Celtic band (true story) and they had a concert where they followed a bag piping band. It was fantastic...until they tried to make us do Celtic dancing which didn't go over so well. Maybe next time.....


Anyway, I was reading poetry a few nights ago and I stumbled upon this little poem which I think describes Rebbie to a T. And the other creative people in my life.


Arthur O'Shaughnessy.
1844–1881

Ode

WE are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers, 5
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world's great cities, 10
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire's glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure 15
Can trample an empire down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth; 20
And o'erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world's worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.