Thursday, November 25, 2010

Live in Thanksgiving Daily

I was reading in the Book of Mormon this morning and came across Alma 34, verse 38:

". . . and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you."

How perfect for today. And every day, really.

I truly am grateful for the many blessings God has given to me: my family, my friends, a healthy body, the gift of music, the extraordinary opportunities I've had to learn and grow and experience life, and the Gospel. His mercies abound, and I am reminded constantly of them--especially in the small and simple ways--from the beauty of a sunset to the touch of a child's hand; from finding a cell phone charger to finding peace in this world. He is truly mindful of us, and there is great reason to be thankful.

I'm also grateful for Thanksgiving. Of course it is a wonderful time to see family and friends and eat delicious turkey and scrumptious pies (mmm), but it also helps me to remember. It helps me remember how I've been blessed, how my family has been blessed, and how, I believe, this country has been blessed. And I want to live my life so I can bless others, as well . . . so they can have something (or someone) to be grateful for. "Because I have been given much, I too must give."

Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. There was a really interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about how gratitude is good for your well-being. I believe it. Another reason for why we should "live in thanksgiving daily".

I think you would enjoy reading it:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Severe Weather Warning

Today I got about half-a-dozen with that message--"Severe Weather Warning"--from texts, phone calls, and e-mails telling me that a severe blizzard is coming our way.

It's about at the Point of the Mountain right now. And I'm kind of excited.

The best part? I got a partial snow day! Because BYU campus closed at 3, I didn't have to go to my last class. Instead, I'm at home, safe and sound, awaiting this "blizzard to end all blizzards." It's supposed to be the biggest storm since 2001. And I hope that people drive safely tonight. In fact, I hope most people that traveled today are already home.

I've never had a snow day before. I've lived in Utah for about twelve years, but I've never had a snow day. I've always wanted one, to go play outside in the snow and make snowmen and go sledding in our backyard and come inside for hot chocolate. It's fun to play in the snow any day, but it just sounds so much better to do on a school day.

Now I finally get a snow day! . . . well, a partial snow day, but I'll take it.

I'm breaking out the hot chocolate tonight.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Grace Period Has Ended

I think I'm a pretty good TA, for the most part. I'm friendly, and I enjoy helping students out during my office hours or after class. And I think, for the most part, my students like me. I like to think so, anyway.

But I think a few of them probably hate me right now, and will immortalize me as "that blankety-blank TA."

My students got their papers back today. The papers that I graded. I think I did a decent job; I graded as fairly as I could and I felt good with the scores I gave them. But that doesn't mean everyone will be happy with the grades they got.

I could feel the tension in the room as I handed their papers back. Some of them were holding their breath (I know I do it, too, when I'm waiting for a graded paper), and they would either let out sighs of satisfaction and/or relief; or their breath would suck in quickly, as they were dealt the blow of a low grade.

I've been on that end before. It's not fun to get a score you don't want.

And I know what ensues. Curse the class. Curse the TA. Curse the TA's dog. I am probably the subject of many dorm-room rants right now.

The Era of Good Feelings has ended.

But I have other things to worry more about than freshmen cursing my name and my posterity.
I'm studying for a German test right now and I have a Gulliver's Travels presentation and an English 295 research paper on Mildred Pierce, and a History test to study for, too. Too much to do and too much to enjoy than to worry about irate freshmen (although it might be rather funny to listen to their rants, I think . . .).

Time for Deutsch lernen.

Monday, November 15, 2010

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving

This is one of my favorite poems. Thank you, Gerard Manley Hopkins for your beautiful words:

Pied Beauty

GLORY be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tear Down This Wall!

This November 9th marked the 21st anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall!

What an extraordinary day. I truly believe that it was a miracle. This story of freedom still stirs my heart and brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it or watch videos like the one below. (Which my friend, Jen, used on her blog. So thank you, Jen!)

By a chunk of the Berlin Wall at the Duxford Airfield

I am so grateful for freedom.