Monday, November 25, 2013

a thing of beauty

I just feel like posting a poem from one of my favorite poets: 

When You Are Old

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

Take what you want from this.
Read too much into it, if you desire. 
That's the beauty of a poem. 

My kind of study break

Little do my roommates know what I do when I'm home all alone and have just finished grading a bunch of papers.

I crank up my music on Spotify, and rock out. 

Like, hardcore, dance like no one's watching (because no one is), and singing "What Makes You Beautiful" to my reflection in the mirror as I practice dance moves.

 I. am. awesome.

To prove I'm right, I put it in a song.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The sound of your November Downtown*

It's a cold, grey, shades-of-winter day.

That means I'm listening to Joshua Radin,

drinking warm lemon chai with honey,

and dreaming of Thanksgiving Break.

* "Winter," Joshua Radin

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Remember, remember

Today is a memorial day. 
It's the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. 
A four-minute speech that changed the world and gives us something to aspire to. 
Words of hope. Inspiration. Dedication. 

It is important to reflect and remember, because it helps us to reconsider where we're going and who we really want to be. 

There is so much to be said . . . too much to be said well. But I think that reading Mr. Lincoln's words is enough to help us remember the sacrifices of the past, which were made to give life to the hopes of the future. 

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Side Notes

When I'm bored in class, I doodle in the notebook margins.

I usually draw flowers, or odd cube-shaped things, and I'll write down song lyrics, Russian phrases, or I'll write my own commentary on the class.

Actually, what I usually end up writing is "I am tired" in every language I know.


Another thing I write in the margins are funny or quirky things my professors say.

The winner this year is definitely my U.S. History professor--his stories and outlooks on life are hilarious. I've decided to share the love and include a few of the "Best of" from this semester:

(Talking about students who organize papers well): "It leaves the professor saying, 'This person not only deserves an A, but a hug.'"

"I'm an academic. I edit as I talk."

(Talking about how difficult is is to find offices in the Religion Department at BYU):
"It actually tests how faithful you are. You can't find what you're looking for without inspiration."

"Mountain Dew without caffeine? That's like buying a house without walls--it defeats the purpose."

"It's my invention called Cran-Dew. But I can't tell you what's in it for two reasons. One, it's highly addictive and you'll never be able to go back, and two, it's my plan to product my idea and become a millionaire and if I tell you, you'll steal my idea."

(Talking about how well-received Woodrow Wilson was in France after WWI and watching the footage):
"I mean, Wilson already liked to think that he was God's chosen . . ."

"As soon as we get tenure, we [my history professor and another history professor who played in a band] are totally going to have a 'History of Rock 'n Roll' class."

(Talking about the Baby Boom): "So you are the 'boomlets.' The children of the Baby Boomers."

"I try my best to hide it, but at my core, I'm a self-defined nerd. I get fired-up over things that make other people's eyes glaze over."

Yep, there's a reason this is one of my favorite classes.


I recently finished a project at work where I looked through old Great Works response papers and found the best ones to use for examples and got rid of bad examples.

Let me just say, there were a few papers that left me wondering, "Really? This was in the pile as a good example? How did it sneak in here?"

Like this one.

[The student* is writing about Electra and about the inevitability of fate which factors into the play.]

"This point is illustrated by the grotesque murder of Clytemnestra being justified as fulfillment of a fate granted by Apollo. This reminds me of my high school days . . ."

What, wait?! Hold the phone. This reminds you of your high school days? What, are you confessing a murder to us in your Great Works paper? Did you grow up in inner-city Los Angeles? Did you kill your own mother? Do I need to call the FBI?

". . . this reminds me of my high school days where I would procrastinate assignments instead of giving in to the inevitable reality that I had to complete the assignment."

Um, no, sir. That is not a good comparison. Matricide vs. homework procrastination. Hmm. Let me think. Yep, still a no-go.

Ah, the joys of editing. You never know when you'll strike comedy gold.

*I have no idea who wrote this paper--his name wasn't on it. So if you come across this blog post and realize that it's your paper, I'm terribly sorry if I offended you.

. . . but thanks for the laugh, anyway.

I love my birthdays, every one

Once upon a time I had a birthday.

And I had a birthday party and it was awesome. 

We made Russian pancakes (blini), played Soviet music, sang Russian and Swedish birthday songs, and I was surrounded by friends who love me.

Can life get better? I submit it cannot.

However, I'm really, really bad at taking pictures at parties when I want to talk with people and eat delicious food, so I didn't get any pictures of the party.

But lucky for me, I have a sister who took some great pictures . . .

. . . of herself. (I didn't see these until much later. But I love them.)

Well hello there, Katy. 

Gotta love birthdays. And sister selfies. 

Breathe. Just Breathe.

I've just made it out of the eye of the storm.

Fury, thy name is mid-terms.

But now I can breathe. Which means that I'm finally getting back to the blog, making observations, and doing all those other things that I've been meaning to do.

Can we just talk about how this fall has been glorious? Simply stunning. Perfect. Lovely. It's like Provo has welcomed me back with open arms and asking me to stay.

We'll see how I feel in winter.

But for now, just . . . it's beautiful.

I've always been an autumn girl, and autumns like this remind me why.

Also. The sky this morning--breathtaking. Pink underbelly of morning.


Life is meant to be lived deliberately.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Everyday Mormon Women Guest Post

So, I know I've been MIA for a little bit. Mid-terms are a beast and I really do have ideas/pictures to post, so don't worry . . . it will happen. :)

BUT. One of my new friends asked me to contribute to a new blog she has started called Everyday Mormon Women. I'm really excited for this project and think that great things will come from it. If anything, it will show different voices from Mormon women, which I applaud.

I was honored enough to have Lindsey ask me to be the first writer to contribute to the blog! So, you should check it out here:

Click here for my deep-ish thoughts.

And keep going back to the website. It will only get better, I think.