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
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
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.
44 new students on Monday.
I think I may have the best job ever.
Friday, August 20, 2010
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
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.