Friday, September 27, 2013

Today

Today I went to work and had a good shift! There were 7 girls but they were all controllable so that was good. Then I got off and ran over to apply for a job and take a Stats 121 test. The internet at the Testing Center is apparently not a thing so I had to run around to find a connection and then apply for this job. The job would be a full time position at the detention center I work at and would mean an awesome pay raise so I'll cross my fingers! Some people have had to pull some strings so we'll see if it works out. If not then I still have the part-time job there and the part time with Alpine so I'm safe. And I got an A on the test! They still need to grade the written portion but at least the multiple choice went well!

Then I saw my friend Scott, whom I hadn't seen in a few months and we helped his sister-in-law take care of her twin baby boys, they were ADORABLE. They just smiled and giggled the entire time. Didn't quite make me baby hungry but it did make me think that I will be bale to handle having babies someday. someday. But seriously, they were so cute! So sweet! Then Scott and I went to Village in to grab some food and now I'm here typing. Time for sleep!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Massive Headache

I have a headache.

And a neck ache.

And a back ache.

What is happening?

But today was pretty good in spite of that! I had a nice temple trip, went to a Stats Lab, went to a few appointments and then a Stats Lecture. Then I went to Ben's place and got some stuff to make me stop aching.

Until then I need ot write for a few more minutes. What have I been thinking about lately that I want to put on here? ummmmmm I'm thinking about getting a Discover card to start building points. I think I'll pay off my Wells Fargo card and then get one.

Also, I've been thinking more about going elsewhere for grad school. I'll still apply at BYU and U of U but I'm feeling more and more like somewhere else would be right for me. We'll see!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Keeping Busy

For some reason today I have been arguing in my head all day about if being busy is good or not.

I like being busy. I think this stems from a time when I was really sick for a few months and couldn't be very productive. Now two jobs and full time school is sometimes not enough. This thought was especially prominent today as I was walking out of my Stats class and recalled that the last time I took a Stats class (this Stats class) was when I was sick. I hardly attended class, did very few of the quizzes and never went to lab. That was a crappy time of life, I tell you. When something beyond your control is holding you back, keeping you from doing what you want and is making you feel useless... well it's a crappy feeling and leads to other crap. Some of the poorest decisions of my life came from that time. This time around I have a 117% in the class.

But today I was thinking about what else came from that time. Gumption, drive, ambition. I will never be in that position again (knock on wood) and I will never come close to the dark pit of "life" I was living at that point. The big question, though, is "am I still running away from that?"

And I actually think that I am. I think that I made so many poor choices, surrounded myself with undesirable people and let those people tell me that I was sucking at life. Wouldn't you want to get away from that place?

So now I sit here and think "shouldn't I want to be more social?", "where did that desire go to be around people?" and "why am I so happy without it?"

I think the answer is in the nature of my line of work. I work with people all day everyday and it's great! I love it! I get to meet and talk to all sorts of interesting people! I LOVE listening to what they think and have experienced. I love that we're all different and better yet, that we're all fighting this fight. Everyone that I talk to whether it be a client or co-worker has something mind-blowingly interesting to say and I thrive off of hearing it.

And thus my need for people is filled! I have filled my life with awesome and partake of the fruits daily.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Doing What You Do

It is very true that I need to go to bed but it is also true that I need to write for ten minutes to have it count for my homework. So I'll write about today:

Today was a good day even though it was packed full of stuff. I went to work this morning and had an interesting but good shift at Slate Canyon. Then I went to my other job and tutored a kid in math that I was pretty sure I didn't know how to do, turns out I did! The crazy thing about being a mentor is that you don't specialize in anything so any homework they whip out you need to know how to do. I haven't taken a math class since my calc class during my senior year of high school so... that always makes me nervous. But I was able to help him!

So after an 11 hour work day I wondered why I didn't feel like dying. And then I realized that it's probably because I like what I do. My line of work is cool because I'm just a resource. A lot of the youth that I work with are really lacking resources and I'm happy to be one for them. As a mentor I divide my time as follows:

Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Spiritual

It's from a training I had on a well balanced life and it also spells PIES.

Physical: Do pushups, situps/ crunches and squats with each kid (will hopefully make me super buff)

Intellectual: Help with homework and other academic goals

Emotional: Ask for the worst and best part of their week

Spiritual: bring something funny to life their spirits

So that's why I do what I do and actually like it at the end of the day.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Another Discussion on God

I get a lot of opportunities at work to talk about God (with my co-workers, not with the youth). This morning my friend Amanda and I were working together and one of the teachers came in just to chat and see who was on the unit. He's 26 and has 3 kids and I can't even tell you how crazy I think that is.

Anyway, we got talking about how having difference religious beliefs in marriage can make things really hard. His wife is fundamentalist christian and he was LDS but is now atheist/agnostic. We started talking about our experience with God and what He means to us. I love these discussions.

He is really smart and feels that everything has an explanation and desire evidence for things in order to believe in it. Obviously that's going to cause some problems in terms of believing in God since substantial evidence is hard to come by. He has been labeled as "too smart for your own good" (in my opinion a cop out label given to him by people who are too afraid to admit that science and religion can very much exist in the same sphere. Just yesterday I attended a lecture about the many crossroads in history between science and religion. They have always existed together and always will.

I feel like I am getting better at articulating my feelings about God but it is always a little difficult since God is pretty dang complex. I reminisced on my own experiences struggling with God and who He was. I went through my doubting stage and asked questions. And then did this crazy thing where He answered! We should never be afraid to doubt because doubting breads curiosity, curiosity breeds questions and questions give the answer a chance to materialize.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Godly Debate

http://www.upworthy.com/a-debate-between-an-atheist-and-a-christian-has-quite-a-surprising-result

The above link should take you to a debate between an atheist comedian and christian comedian.

I love this little debate. It's the only debate I've seen in quite a while that I really enjoyed! No mudslinging, no disrespect (more about their own sides than each other's) and of course the jokes along the way are great. I've only watched it twice and am in Stats so I can't listen to it right now but I'll sum up what I remember:

The debate itself is only about 7 minutes long but some great points are discussed.

1) It's possible to have two very different beliefs but still exist together. Just don't be a "dick" about it.

2) Both christian and atheist beliefs have a spectrum within themselves. There are fundamentalist christians and fundamentalist atheists. These are the groups that were given credit for causing the greatest disruption.

3) I enjoyed the idea expressed that we don't even know the Christ that we worship. Yesterday a friend told me that his religion professor shared a different interpretation of the scripture where Jesus tells the Pharisees and Sadducees to search the scriptures. Apparently if you take it back to the original translation, He's actually telling them to get their noses OUT of the scriptures and get to know Him. I love that. Because this is my blog and I can articulate things the way I want to I will say: I am tired of the eagerness to show everyone how much we know about the scriptures. Show me how well you know Christ by acting like Him.

4) I loved how the person expressing the atheist point of view very casually states that if God appeared right then he would just apologize and accept that he was wrong. Is that not what God is looking for? Humility? He is not determined to shut God out but has tried his best and can't quite fathom God's actual existence. His explanation is great "I tried to help people, I didn't know if you were real." and then he points out that God is hopefully not a sociopath. I believe that God wants us to find Him not because He needs more attention but because He has so much to offer us if we work with Him.

God is great!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Lumineers!

Alright, now I think we're back on track for happy posts. Sorry folks, things have been stressful! What can I say?

I can say that I went to a Lumineers concert last night with two lovely ladies:

Kira (whom I just met last night) and Kjirstin (whom I met in the MTC and LOVE)
Everything was running smoothly until the wind picked up and lightning was happening in the distance. So the first opener (who was great) got to do their set:

Nathaniel Rateliff

But Dr. Dog was cut short. We were really wondering if Dr. Dog was going to end up being a big black guy but no. It was a couple white guys from Philadelphia but they were pretty good.

Dr. Dog (?)
 And then the lovely Lumineers were able to play but they had to be moved up to the balcony. I feel like the Great Saltair just didn't plan well because they also do indoor. But instead of preparing after all the weird weather we've had, they set up tables and things on the indoor stage. So the Lumineers were sent up to the balcony but unfortunately after 5 or so songs they had to shut it down. The Saltair is probably getting a bunch of hate mail.
The Lumineers
 But my buddy Miley had a good time and that's really all that matters.
Miley sighting!!



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

No One But God

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4LbWF8iYiA&feature=youtu.be


So yesterday I had obviously had a pretty craptastic day. Actually it was a good day other than the stress of feeling disapproved of. But today my friend posted the above link. It's short but very powerful. Specifically about why mothers do what they do for their kids who don't see it but it also can span to life in general.

I was so frustrated yesterday because I'm not looking for approval, I'm just not looking for disapproval. Really, I just want to be left alone because when I'm left alone I can see my blessings and enjoy them. It's when I share them with others and they downplay my victories that I get very frustrated.

In this clip she talks about cathedrals and why architects paid so much attention to detail even when no one would see. "Because God sees." I'm grateful that God sees the details of my life, the ones I have made beautiful and the ones I've really botched. He gives his input but He knows how to communicate with me. He knows not to tell me that I'm doing something wrong but to tell me that I can do better because I'm better than whatever mistake I make.

I don't know what life is supposed to be like exactly except that there's supposed to be joy!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Growing Up

I don't even know what that means... I find myself being extremely childish all the time and yet my life looks pretty put together.

So what is it? I am constantly torn between these two things!

I am on a great track for my education, finishing up the bachelor's and moving onto an MSW sometime in the next few years. I've been blessed with internships and jobs that are a great springboard and have so much support from those jobs and internships, I am SO grateful.

And then there's the childish side of me that wants to run away and be left alone. I'll be open since this is a blog read by the elite (a nice word for a few people... basically no one!) I am doing everything I can to be responsible but still run away.

Some great things have been paragliding, concert going, skydiving, dancing. Now the real world stuff is coming like- go to Costa Rica for a month to do a social work program, be homeless for a few months to save money for grad school, cut my hair really short, not think about the implications of my actions even though we live in an area where people STRESS ALL DAY EVERYDAY about what their every little action means. The truth of the matter is that no one cares. So why not do it?

Here's the unfortunate thing- I'm a guilt prone person. If you tell me that I'm not doing something right then I really listen and if you tell me AND guilt trip me for it then I'm just going to end up a mess. Soemthing I'm working on but it's after years of letting the guilt sink in instead of puching it aside and doing what I want. What can you do?

Well, you can go to Costa Rica for a month, be homeless for a few months to save for grad school, cut your hair really short and not think about the implications of your actions.

The funny thing is I'm not implying anything.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Selling my Apartment

2375 W 510 N

Contract good until August 2014
This is a 3 bedroom townhouse and 2 of us are moving away! One room is slightly bigger than the other:

Bigger bedroom: $275
Smaller bedroom: $265

Utilities depend on usage. Usually $50 to $60 

2 level townhouse 
Downnstairs: living room, kitchen, storage, laundry room and half bathroom
Upstairs: 3 bedrooms and BIG bathroom upstairs with a BIG tub

2 other girls share the 3rd bedroom

Comes with washer/dryer, dishwasher, microwave, fridge.
A roommate who is staying also has a TV. 

Plenty of space. Room for storage. BYU and UVU are both a close drive. Bus stop is a block away. The church is a block away. Quiet area. Don't need a parking permit and there is always parking available in the parking lot. No risk of getting a boot or being towed for you or your guests.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hello Seattle

In no particular order (nor size nor format apparently) Here are pictures from the Seattle trip!

I'm too tired to make them look nice and everything but it was a really great trip (albeit to short). I've found it usually takes me about 2 or 3 days to get settled into a vacation and this trip was four days long (including 2 days of driving) and BYU was all messing up my plans for when I got back so I was trying to resolve that as well but WHATEVER!

I didn't get pictures of us at the lake (where I learned to wakeboard!!) but some people put those on facebook so we're covered.

It was a fun drive up and then we got to spend the day running around downtown Seattle and then I got to see Erika who is and will always be fantastic!!!!!! We enjoyed swimming in a lake and soaking in the hot tub after.

Then was the wakeboarding day where the family we were staying with rented out a lake (because you can do that?!) and we just enjoyed a day in the sun.

Then the trip back where we planned on being back by 10 and got back at 2 :/ and then I had to get up for work at 5:30. Whoops. Worth it!

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Today I'll Write About....

probably nothing again :/ writing everyday is hard!

I did just read an interesting article on the decay of ethics and morals in America that was interesting. Earl Shorris compares it to the decay in the human body when dying because he had a close call with death.

Read the article here:
http://harpers.org/archive/2011/12/american-vespers/5/

He had some pretty interesting quotes:

Each of us, in reveries, comes to see his own life as a grand and revealing metaphor of the world: a breath becomes a decade, a cough replicates a war, a birth betokens the invention of language, and illness explains the fall of nations. But the metaphor fails. Death is only a spur to life, not life in a different guise. In the months of recovery, I reconsidered the value of my life. While I was among the missing, the world did not come to an end, the loss of me was unremarked.

Modern scientists tell us how somewhere near the bottom of the order of living things, immortality reigns. It exists in cells of malign intent and perhaps in the hydra, that strange early-metazoan beast seen under the microscope by generations of high school biology classes. With this in mind, I now conceded to nature that the essential engines—heart and mind—are inefficient. We are condemned to entropy, losing our heat like cups of tea left too long while a poem is read or the Mets give up two in the sixth. Call it decay.

(After talking about the presidency of Ronald Reagan): Perhaps I had missed a clue. It could have been this: Reagan’s “kitchen cabinet” assured me during the convention that their man did “not read books. He reads reports.”

Without ethics, politics has no limits. America broke the rules of living systems, and lost its balance. All the oxygen flowed to a smaller and smaller section of the body politic. The history is brief and unquestionable: close to toppling, the society momentarily pulled itself upright, and then became even less ethical, less balanced, more endangered than ever as a lawless financial system came back from death, and like a foolish patient after a heart bypass operation, continued in its old ways. With no ethical component to national politics, President Obama could deliver his 2011 State of the Union speech without ever mentioning the word “poverty,” although one in every five American children lived in poverty. Without a commitment to Hutcheson’s idea of the greatest good, which is at the core of the original American philosophy in Jefferson’s drafting of the Declaration of Independence, this may no longer be the brilliant experiment. If happiness is for the few and it produces unemployment approaching that of the Great Depression, then the shadow of evening is here.

Jessie again: Pretty interesting! I am tired but maybe I'll give more commentary later.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Just Another Tuesday

I don't have much to write about today.

I woke up, walked to school with Ben, had lunch with my friend Alex and went to my Stats lab only to find it canceled (which was totally fine). Then I went to Ben's place and did some homework, took a really nice nap and then went to a mentoring appointment with a girl who is trying to memorize the capitals to each state which involved pneumonic devices and other mind tricks such as "anna and mary are police in the land!" which means Annapolis is the capital of Maryland. FUN!

Now I'm back at Ben's and after doing some grocery shopping we're watching the latest Star Trek movie.

Benedict Cumberbatch!!!!!!!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Organized Religion

For some reason organized religion has come up a lot in my conversations lately.

So now I am going to use my allotted time today to talk about why organized religion is a bitter-sweet, struggle-solution, deterrent-enticement.

I feel like God is sending me a bunch of people who have problems with organized religion because that's exactly what I've struggle with for about a year and a half now. God is clever.

Organized religion is great because it's constructive, organized and efficient. Jesus, himself, appreciated order. Imagine all the ways Christ could have come to share His love with the world. He could have been a good deed doer, a voice of reason and a miracle worker and that would have been enough, right? But there was something else He decided to do during His short time on earth and that was to call 12 apostles, give them His priesthood and establish His church. Why do that? To give order and to organize. The apostles He called did not earn their positions nor did they deserve them but He called them and they followed. What a beautiful idea. The only reason they were apostles is because He called them and they followed. Through this organization Jesus showed us the proper way to be baptized, worship His and God and follow the prophets that He called and still calls today.

Organized religion is a not great thing because it breeds corruption. Organized anything does, really. When something is organized it means that there are different sections, categories or assignments and when human differentiate they tend to segregate or find it their place to create castes. I have yet to see an organization that defies this. Because we are human we love to label and we love to categorize. Where there are different categories there are different levels of power.  In religion it can be as simple as "sinner" or "saint". Anyone is a religion that worships God knows that He is the supreme judge but when we all get together and into each other's lives we... forget that. As I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the majority of my experience is in this faith.

I will we short and discrete because what I've seen is not really important, I just want to make it clear that this idea didn't come out of nowhere. I've had experiences of my own and in the lives of my friends I see people who mistreat others (and sometimes in BIG ways) and then glory in their diligent church attendance, bask in the light of their temple recommend or raise the bar on their righteous-o-meter by fasting even more often than is asked of a member of the church (how impressive?). Through my struggles of coming to know who God is I've found a loving Father in Heaven who is happy for us if we take advantage of things like church on Sunday, fasting and prayer but sees through the facade if at the end of the day you can't treat another human being with honesty and dignity. None of us is perfect at this but if the problem is on-going then maybe it's time for some self-reflection.

Now, for my favorite conversation about organized religion that I've had lately. It was with one of my coworkers with whom I love talking about religion because it's always a conversation of respect and toleration for the other's views. Just really healthy sharing of ideas.  He is non-denominational christian and the other day we were talking about the nature of God and people and got on the topic of organized religion and how it can quickly become selfish and corrupt. Knowing some about my faith he asked "and what about men who go to the temple to become their own god?"

Honestly, this was one of those experiences where my passion almost took over but luckily I took a deep breath which allowed for the peace of the Holy Ghost to enter and answer more articulately then I could have. The problem with his question wasn't that it was over-simplified or incorrect, it's that it was a true and valid question. We may not phrase it that way but do we worship God and follow what He says to become more familiar with His power or to become more powerful?

My answer came out something like "Any person who enters the temple or gains knowledge of God to become his own god will never achieve it anything like it. It takes much more humility than that. We don't go to the temple to become our own gods we go to the temple to learn more about our Father in Heaven who desires, just like a good, caring father on earth, for us to learn and become more like Him. We do believe that we have the potential to become like God, I won't pretend that we don't but it's because of the love that God has for us and that we have for him the motivates us to progress and become like Him."

And then I was done. He appreciated the answer and the clarification and I appreciated the experience. While it seemed like I was answering his question God was actually answering my own. I may always struggle a little bit with the decisions that people make in organized religion and I may never really feel comfortable but I know why it exists. Because God loves us and wants us to be like Him. Lucky for us He's organized a way for that to happen.

Friday, September 6, 2013

I have nothing to write about

Day 2 and I'm out of ideas...

Ummmm I woke up this morning and went to work at Slate Canyon. Then Ben and I were going to get some Indian food but I'm saving up for too many things and am flat broke... so he made Indian food instead!

I got a little more organized for my other job and then had an appointment for my other job. I went out to a home where there were 5 kids in the home 2 who had been foster kids and were then adopted and then 3 who have been there since June and they are planning to adopt them as well. And all of these kids had CRAZY amounts of energy! At one point the littlest (a 2 year old in a pink dress) grabbed my face and said "hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii" it was about the cutest thing I've ever seen. She later broke my state ID badge but it was ok because the second it broke she said "Sorry! sorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorry!"

She was adorable.

Oh, wait. I just remembered an interesting thing that happened today that made me think. I was having lunch with some of the girls and another lady that works with me as well as a teacher who works at the center came and joined us. I recently found out that the man is 26 and has 3 kids and I thought that was INSANE since that's a lot of kids for someone that age. I'll be 26 in less than a year and a half and I CANNOT imagine having that many little babies running around. I expressed that to him and commended him on his ability to survive when the women who had also joined told me that she's 23 and has 2 kids.

The conversation could have ended here and I would have been amazed but then she told me that she's in the middle of getting a divorce. She started talking about how the 2 year old doesn't really understand but her 5 year old can definitely tell that things are changing and that seeing dad is no longer an everyday, although regular, occurrence.

I felt really sad for her and her kids. I mean, what else do you feel? Then the man who had joined us piped in and shared that he's been married for 6 years but the past year has been extremely challenging. For him the problem was that both their families has an assortment of LDS, non-active LDS and christian fundamentalist. His wife is a fundamentalist and he is actually not religious. I asked if it was really hard having different religious beliefs and he said yes ESPECIALLY since he was a few years into the marriage before he decided to let go of religion. Again, what do you feel but sadness?

Honestly, i don't know how I feel. I have an idea in my head of what I want my marriage to be like. Strong but allowed to struggle, giving but receiving, push but pull but to be honest the way I feel I want my marriage to be has only really solidified in any sense over the past few months. I'm 24! I will not judge, I will not be so bold as to make assumptions about something that I don't understand but I have to admit, I'm glad I've had time to figure myself out before marriage. It's an on going process that hopefully never ends but there are certain characteristics, habits and beliefs that I am glad I learned about myself before asking someone to sign up for the ride!

So I guess that is enough unorganized rant for today! See you tomorrow!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

ENGL 312

So BYU has been making my life super hard lately and I today I won what will hopefully be my last battle for a while.

Since I'll be really busy with work I needed a class schedule that not only put my classes at the right times but... gave me the right amount of work... so... very little...

I had to sign up for an English class and after finding a few classes that would fulfill the requirement I emailed every professor telling them that this class was the ONLY class that I could fit into my schedule. I assumed that at least someone would let me skip the whole WaitList process and I was right! I had 2 or 3 teachers just let my into their classes.

And then I found Persuasive Writing with Jeffrey Windsor

He did not immediately add me but his ratemyprofessor reviews were awesome and it was at a really great time I thought I'd check it out. On day one he says there are no tests, just papers. He understands this class is just a general. Writing assignments will not be crazy. You do not need the textbook. The final paper will basically write itself. 

I needed this class. 

After class I went and talked to him about adding me and he said he probably could but he'd have to wait and see. 

Meanwhile, after some schedule shifting at work there was one other class that I could take that was at a slightly less convenient time but was more applicable to my major. Something about Writing in Social Sciences. Whatever. I didn't go to that class, assuming that I could make it into Persuasive Writing and then got a mass email that started like this:

Dear Best Students in the World (But Not of the World),

After encountering a somewhat rocky start today, I wanted to clarify a few things and sooth your minds a little. I got some feedback that I might have made this class seem too intimidating today. So first I want to remind you that you are made for this class. You know much more than you think you do about good writing, and I believe you will surprise yourselves with how much you improve throughout the semester. I will be like a coach for you as we start small with short, simpler assignments, and we will gradually build our proverbial writing muscles until we are lean, mean writing machines!

I immediately knew that I needed to get into Persuasive Writing or my life would surely end.

After stressing a bunch about it I went to the class today and he let me in! YAY! So much stress gone.

But as part of his class I have to read about 20 minutes everyday and write for about 10. Thus this post with more text than usual and no pictures. I will be writing every day for the next semester. So you may get a whole bunch of nothing but I will get 100% on this assignment!

I am exhausted. Time for nap.