Friday, January 30, 2009

Thinking Green.

I enjoy using air dryers because they make me feel good about myself. The other day I was in the bathroom thinking, "I'm a good person. I'm saving trees by using the air dryer." I smiled and savored the self-righteous moment. Just then, a man exited a bathroom stall and walked out the door behind me.

"Oh."

He saved paper, electricity, and water.

Friday, January 23, 2009

One More Reason to Do Good in School

My freshman year was an important learning experience for me, but it wasn't without a considerable price. Two-and-a-half years later, I'm still paying for the decisions I made as a lazy 18-year-old.

I did not take classes seriously during my second semester at BYU (in part because I was discovering how much I disliked computer science) and earned the stamp of "ACADEMIC WARNING." I felt awful, but I figured that I would come back after my mission, study, and return to "good" standing. No big deal, right?

Today a woman came to my Portuguese class and announced that the study abroad program was seeking to fill two openings for classes in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The program would be at the end of this summer and would last approximately six weeks. I requested more information and began the application process when I got home from work.

The more I learned about the program the more excited I became. I've wanted to go to Brazil ever since I began communicating with Brazilians, but before now I hadn't done any more than dream about it. The prospect of studying abroad changed things. It seemed reasonable and within my reach. Could I really make it there by the end of the year, and further my education at the same time? It sounded like a dream come true.

These thoughts were going through my head as I began filling out the application. Then, I read the following words and my heart sank:

"International Study Programs will not accept applicants who are not in good academic or Honor Code standing at Brigham Young University."

Will not accept. Good academic standing. Brigham Young University. The words ripped at me like claws tearing at a healing wound. I understand that the application process is what it claims to be and chances are that I wouldn't be accepted anyway because of my past grades, but to be denied the privilege of being considered was depressing. Maybe I can work something out. I don't know.

In the meantime, I have a GPA to raise. This certainly gives me more motivation to study more this semester.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Life

Kylie, my five-year-old niece, screamed with delight as we slid down the cabin driveway on a broken, gray sled. When the sled came to a stop Kylie jumped off my lap and with the most sincere enthusiasm, yelled, "Let's do that again!"

I picked up the sled and with slightly less energy, followed her up the hill. She walked proudly with her chin pointed to the sky. Her eyes were not aimless, but focused, as in deep thought. She stopped and turned towards me, and said with a smile, "I'm living the life."

:)

Yes, Kylie. You are.

Thinking of things in Lime Canyon.

It's 12:40 AM and it's been a long weekend, but Patrick says I need to update my blog. So here I am.

I commemorated Martin Luther King (Jr.) day by going snowmobiling in the mountains, where there was an impressive lack of colour. There were a few brown (or were they red?) pines, and a lot of gray scrub oaks, but the majority was white. A bright, endless, sea of white. It spread in every direction, washing out all the other colors, or perhaps absorbing them.

The sun shone brightly and we felt its heat as we rode through the canyon. The snow felt it too and began to melt under its influence. Here and there, little patches of snow fell off of trees, exposing the hidden branches. Blades of grass broke through the layers of ice and reached up toward the sunlight. Senses said that spring was coming, but reason told me that senses was lying. He told me that soon it would snow again, and all this would be forgotten. "Colours and Snow," he said, "cannot exist at the same time."

"Why not?" I asked.

"There are laws of nature that must be obeyed," said reason. "We follow seasons, and seasons doesn't like to mix things."

"Well it sounds like seasons is just lazy," I said.

"Maybe so," replied reason, "but seasons has power. For now, you ain't got nothin' but a dream."

Time passed. Days, months, seasons. Then something happened. Seasons changed. Something, someone, disciplined seasons and seasons began acting like the people wanted seasons to act. Something, someone, some people, somewhere, changed the very laws of nature. Seasons works harder now, but now, all year long, there is a beautiful balance of snow and colour.

"Well, reason, what do you say to that?"

Reason paused, then sighed. He looked up at me, shrugged his shoulders, and said, "Sometimes the dreamers get lucky!"

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Not-so-subliminal messaging

So I walked in Walgreen's tonight and playing on the radio was "I Wanna Be Sedated."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mike vs. The Computer

It's Friday night and Mike just got home after an enjoyable night out. He turns on the computer and opens the web browser.

Mike: "I just want to check my e-mail before going to bed."

The browser loads and Mike begins to navigate.

suddenly...

computer: "*click!* zmmm POWER OFF."

Mike: ...?!

Mike tries to turn the computer on, but the screen remains blank. After a few failed attempts, he gives up and goes to bed.


The Next Day


Mike: "Ah.. it sure is great to sleep for nine hours! Computer, are you ready for the day?"

computer: "No."

Mike: "Aw, come on. Please? I need to write a paper."

computer: "Sorry, I don't feel like doing anything today."

Mike: "Neither do I, but we're in college now and so we have to be responsible."

computer: "Hahaha."

Mike, in an effort to be responsible, drives to his parents' home to solicit the help of his father. His father touches a few things and presses the power button. The computer starts up and runs normally. Could it be running properly?

No.

After running for a few minutes, the computer dies without warning. Fortunately, this time it is more willing to start up. Perhaps it is intimidated by the presence of Mike's father.

Father: "You have an old anti-virus program. Let's try installing this new one."

Mike watches the screen with great anticipation as the installation begins. Everything is running smoothly until...

computer: "click."

the computer dies again.

Mike, his father and the computer: "That's not good."

The computer now refuses to load the operating system normally. Mike starts the computer in safe mode.

computer: "You know, I'm pretty sick and things are just getting worse. Maybe you should just let me die."

Mike: "Shouldn't you be fighting for your life?"

computer: "Perhaps, but what happens after I die?"

Mike: "You'll be replaced by a more cooperative machine."

computer: "American-made?"

Mike: "Most likely."

*pause*

computer: "Then I'm fine with dying."

Mike(angrily): "Why? Because you know I'm going to replace you?"

computer: "Well, Someone's got to save the economy!"

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Transition of setting, not lifestyle.

I thought about my life today as a student and compared it to my life as a missionary, and I decided that life hasn't changed much, which pleases me. While the setting and priorities have changed, many things haven't. A routine is still followed, study is still important, service opportunities are still prevalent, and the greatest joy still comes from helping others be happy.

Likewise, failure to do these things results in the same feelings of incompleteness and loneliness experienced by a missionary who has failed to reach his potential. The mission is, in a very real sense, training for life. It is not a detached experience but a pertinent learning process preparatory to the plunge into adulthood. I reflect daily on how wonderful the last two and a half years have been, and how they have helped prepare me for the present.

Let's continue, full speed ahead!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Be kind, but don't be *too* kind.

On a scale of 1-10, I'd say life is pretty darn good! Classes have begun, new friends are being made and old friends have been remembered, and my snow tires are performing like the very persistent gappers of Frip (which I am reading for sociology 111). Well, my tires don't attach themselves to goats, but they stick to the ground real nicely.

I was feeling so good today, in fact, that I forgot that I was in the dark and dreary world and had a somewhat-embarassing moment. I was talking with a girl from my ballroom dance outside after class had ended. It was snowing softly and she said that she had to walk home.

"Oh," I said, "Would you like a ride?"

A little surprised, she stammered, "but it's the opposite of where you need to go!"

"It's not a problem," I replied, not catching the hint.

"Well," she said, "It's pretty outside. I'll just walk."

It was immediately after I said "okay" that I understood what had just happened.
"Aw crud." Maybe I'm still more of a missionary than I thought.

I don't think I'll be dancing with her next week. Ha.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Test of Time.

After a perfect weekend, it's time to start classes. I hope I can prove that I've changed since I was last here. Keep me in your prayers. And if you don't pray, you can think of me during a tribal dance.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

More Gems from the Archive

Happy New Year! Much has happened in the last week, but for now I want to share some extraordinary papers that I found while packing my things today. All grammar and spelling mistakes have been included.

Vocab 9

A common grade-school English exercise is to write summaries or short stories using a list of vocabulary words. It's good, in theory, but forcing so many unrelated words into a single page often produces ridiculous results. Vocab 9 is a prime example.

Romeo and Juliet has some difficult lines, but can be summarized. For example, Romeo tells the nurse to stay and get the tackled stair. What he's saying is meet at a rendezvous point and get a ladder. Poor nurse at this time was teased. The men mustered around her. Juliet thought that the nurse could come at supersonic speeds. Boy was she wrong. When the Nurse returned, she gave a plausible excuse. Juliet grew impatient, because the Nurse wouldn't give her a rejoindery. Whenever the Nurse started to talk Juliet would intervene. This Nurse was old, It seemed like she was unprecedented. After Juliet entreated the nurse, The nurse finally explained. Later In the play, Nurse tries to explain again. Juliet is bemused. When Juliet finds out Tybat's dead, she is irresolute about the situation

Little: The Smart and Dumb Monsters

Written 20 October 1994

Once there were two monsters. One was dumb and his name was Ed. The other was smart and his name was Ned. They always argued who was smarter. Ed thought he was the smartest because he could count to one. Ned knew he was smarter because he could count to a hundred. Even though they argued they were friends.
Scaly Potter

Doodles like this were far too common.



Ghost Writing: Halloween

It's disturbing for me to see that this story is so similar to the ending of The Castle.

One Halloween night a long time ago. Some kids went trick or treating. Their names were mike and eric. when they got home there was nothing inside the house only walls, carpet, and ceilings. They went to a neighbor, but when they went in a monster anserwd the door and said go away! They ran, ran, ran. They saw a haunted house. They went to a witches room. She said your things will be