Doesn't this look adorable?! And it looks so well-made too. I can't wait for it to come out.
I've been thinking a lot lately about babies. I wrote my term paper for my Philosophical Writing class on the medicalization of childbirth, and a few of my friends/family have recently had babies/are pregnant. I also think that being in Provo has definitely heightened my maternal instinct. I was once very anti-having babies. But it seems now that there are so many resources available for women to have kids and be good moms and go to graduate school and have a career. Honestly, I'm kind of looking forward to it.
So when I need to go to the Wilk and I'm south of it, I usually shortcut through the bookstore. I usually walk a little slower past the books just to see if anything will catch my eye, and there's one book that, every time I pass by it, makes me kind of uncomfortable.
It's written by an LDS author, and (put most simply) it's about a woman in an abusive relationship. But the cover is what gets me. This book is being sold by glorifying a scared woman with a man's hand covering her mouth. Perhaps I'm oversensitive, and perhaps maybe the publishers of this book aren't sensitive enough. I would like to think that a story about a woman in a violent relationship would employ a more empowering cover--representing her freeing herself from that relationship. But no. This publishers use the actual violent aspect of the relationship as the "good" part, the part that will sell books.
But here's the thing. I'm all about spreading awareness about domestic violence. I think women in bad situations can connect with characters, even fictional characters, in similar situations and find empowerment. I'm sure reading this book may help some woman find a way out of her violent relationship. But the cover. The cover.
So I'm considering writing a letter to the BYU Bookstore and the publishers of the book. To the bookstore: pull the book. To the publishers: consider printing it with a different cover.
I took the Myers-Briggs test recently, and turns out I'm INTJ: Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Judging. Apparantly INTJ's account for 1-4% of the population, and we're characterized as "masterminds." After reading about the characteristics of INTJ's, it's kind of scary how much they describe me. Here's some bullet points about INTJ's:
We have a quiet self-confidence, and others may see this as simple arrogance.
We know what we know, and we know what we don't know. (I will tell you straight up that I know how systematized, formal logic works, but I couldn't tell you a thing about engineering.)
We are typically perfectionists, but are rather pragmatic about what we're perfectionists about. We constantly ask ourselves if what we're doing is worth doing.
We can't stand irresponsibility and slackers. If you aren't living up to your commitments, we lose a lot of respect for you. This includes both peers and superiors.
We typically like to stay in the background in group settings, but if we see a need for better leadership, we'll step up.
We are inherently socially unconventional, but we simulate some form of conformity to get along with people.
We have little patience for irrational social rituals, such as small talk and flirting, and we prefer people to just make sense.
We are typically very private and naturally impassive.
While we have a lot of confidence in our knowledge and abilities, we have little confidence when it comes to interpersonal relationships.
When we do connect with someone, we're willing to put a lot of time and effort into developing and fostering relationships, and are characterized by good communication skills.
We have a low tolerance for spin and rampant emotionalism.
We work best independently and when given creative freedom, and we enjoy spending time working out unique solutions to complex problems.
We have a strong desire to express ourselves through our own intellectual designs.
Because of our naturally private nature, non-INTJ's may see us as distant and reserved.
Two weekends ago, I went to Biola University (Bible Institute of Los Angeles) with some friends for an interfaith Mormon/Evangelical dialogue and conference. It was pretty cool. They had some scholars, both LDS and Evangelical, speak. I definitely learned a lot about Evangelicals and why we’ve always had a rocky history with them. One thing one speaker said really made sense: Evangelicals focus a lot on how the Bible makes rational sense, whereas Mormons focus more on personal experience with the Holy Ghost, and this is the biggest obstacle to overcome on both sides. However, apparently there’s this move from modernism to post-modernism among Evangelicals where more people want to rely on the Holy Ghost. Pretty interesting stuff. I’ve been going to some local interfaith dialogues with some friends in Provo, too. I think being able to explain your beliefs and why you believe them to someone else is really good for reinforcing them in your mind. I’m kind of also realizing how much I still need to know before I go on a mission. The dialogues were a little intimidating; sitting at a table with people whose nametages read "Biola," "Fuller Theological Seminary," and "Wheaton College" was definitely a wake up for me to know and understand as much LDS Theology as possible.
I have an interview on the 9th to be an EFY counselor in San Antonio. I'm way excited for that, and I hope I do well enough for them to want me. I remember EFY being a really good experience for me, and I want to help other kids have a good experience, too. Who knows, maybe I'll have some misfit 17-year-old in my group who listens to weird music and doesn't really care about school, and I can help her realize that you CAN be yourself AND be follower of Christ. I did it, so anyone can.
I've been working on a paper that I'm submiting to BYU's Religious Education Student Symposium. I wrote it last semester in my Mormon Women's History class, and I've been adding to and editing it for submission. It's on the influence of the Relief Society Magazine on the standardization of LDS Female Culture. Should you ever find yourself in Periodicals in the BYU library, look through issues of the RS Magazine. It's such a trip.
One and a half more weeks of school left. Today's my last official day of Thanksgiving break, and I'm a little overwhelmed with everything I have to get done (4 philosophy classes=papers from heck), but I'm excited to go home for Christmas.
...It's the day we try desperately to get enough done as to not feel completely overwhelmed during the subsequent week.
So I'm planning a day of non-stop homework and studying. I have a ton to do this week, and everything will be made exponentially better if I at least get everything done due up to Wednesday. We'll see...
OH! So I am officially an official print journalism major in the official department of communications in the official school of fine arts and communications. Woo! I feel really good about this major, and I feel even more good about pairing it with philosophy. For the first time in a while, I feel like I'm figuring out my undergrad. Now I just need to get my GPA up and start studying for the GRE to make sure I get into a good grad school.
Also, I love that Provo is being cool and staying warm so far this fall. Thanks Provo!
So the last three weeks have been pretty miserable for me. I've felt pretty lonely and distant from those around me, and I've been completely overwhelmed with the amount of school work I've had. I'm also falling back into that unhealthy compulsive perfection I seem to get myself into every once and a while.
About an hour ago, I got a less-than-desirable grade on a midterm.
So I walked out of the testing center into the rain. The rain. Probably the most metaphorical symbol of despair I can possibly think of. But I had remembered a blog post I read recently on a friend's blog about how one day when she was walking home from campus in a rain storm, trying to stay dry, she noticed another girl who openly accepted the rain by letting herself be soaked by it. This influenced my friend to open up to it, too.
So that's what I did. I closed my umbrella, put down my hood, and pushed up my jacket sleeves. Right after I did this I looked to my left and saw the biggest, most vibrant rainbow I had ever seen in my life arching over Y Mountain. I pulled out my cell phone for pictures, which simply do not do it justice.
I immediately though of the first line to a primary hymn: "I like to look for rainbows whenever there is rain."
God blesses me with so many good things, so many rainbows, that I simply overlook. Sometimes it takes loneliness, anxiety, and rain for me to notice all of these blessings. I just have to be willing to open up to these blessings, especially when there's rain.
I wrote this a while ago. It's not great, but I thought it was pretty good for what it is.
I'm not waiting for prince charming. Prince charming is supposedly going to rescue me, but I don't need to be rescued; I'm quite good at rescuing myself, thankyouverymuch. I'm not waiting for prince charming because I like smart, witty, and sarcastic, and charming is overrated. I'm not waiting for prince charming. I'm waiting for prince flawed, Prince imperfect, Prince vulnerable, to share in my flaws, imperfections, and vulnerabilities. (Because, let's be honest, I'm no princess.) I'm not waiting for prince charming. I am, however, waiting for someone. Someone to love me more than he loves himself; Someone to be young with; Someone to be old with; Someone to spend eternity with; Someone with whom I will create worlds and universes without number, In a perfect, beautiful, egalitarian eternity.
Can I just say that I really, really enjoyed the Relief Society broadcast last night?
I got home from studying on campus at about 5:30, and caught some of the football game on tv. One of my roommates informed me that the broadcast started at 6 (I had forgotten about it entirely), and I was admittedly a little upset that I was going to miss the rest of the game for what I thought was going to be more rhetoric along the lines of: My dear sisters, we need to be better wives/mothers. We need to support our husbands/priesthood leaders. Mothers who know have scrapbooks for all 10 of their children. (Just kidding, I love sister Beck.)
However, I was very pleased with all of the talks and their subject matter. No calling to repentance. No implications of seperate by equal with men. No guilt. Just women talking about being women. And President Eyering's talk on the importance of the history of Relief Society? Golden.
I have to say, however, Sister Thompson gave the best one.
One thing I've always loved about being alive is being outdoors. Experiencing God's creation as He intended it can be beautiful and grounding. I grew up with family summer vacations consisting of camping, and with two boy scout brothers and a boy scout dad, I was instilled very young with a wonderful awe and respect for nature.
Think about the Gospel, and how many important events happened in the stillness of nature: Joseph's prayer in the Sacred Grove, Christ's atonement in the Garden of Gethsemane, and Adam and Eve's Celestial-like life in the Garden of Eden. I have a very firm belief that God uses the beauty and power of nature to help us feel more connected to Him.
Tonight I had the opportunity to go to Provo Canyon for a bonfire and marshmallow-roasting a professor of mine put together for his class. Feeling the damp grass between my toes while looking up at the stars (something I don't get in the city), I experienced that feeling of connectedness with God.
Sometimes I feel closer to God when I'm in nature than I do anywhere else. I'm reminded of a line in my favorite book, The Poisonwood Bible:
"Do you think God wrote it all down in the English King James Himself? When I want to take God at His word, I take a peep out the window at His creation. Because that, darling, He makes fresh for us daily, without a lot of dubious middle managers."
So, yesterday was my birthday. And, honestly, I couldn't have asked for a better birthday weekend.
Friday night: vegetarian potluck/co-birthday party with Alyne. Probably the best potluck the club has had thusfar. Saturday: lunch with old roommates, manicure, Timpanogos storytelling festival with friends, and BYU beat OU. Sunday: totally chill. Read a lot, watched some movies, and discovered that my new favorite movie is Phoebe in Wonderland. Also, Cait and Tim had their baby on my birthday. How rad is that. Today: no school
As I enter a new semester, I've been thinking about why I involve myself in so much. Two majors, a minor, a job, and president of a club. I've consistently taken 16-18 credit hours each semester since starting BYU, and feel the need to hurry through my undergrad to get on to grad school and a career. I'm counting down the months until I get to turn in my mission papers.
I realized why I do this.
I'm scared to death that, since I'll be expected for the rest of my life to take care of kids and a husband, I need to cram as much self-fulfillment as possible into the short time I have left. I'm going to be honest: I really don't want kids. Like, really, really, really don't want kids. Were it not for the fact that loneliness isn't that much fun, I probably really wouldn't want to get married, either.
So I flew into SLC on Tuesday, signed a contract with Fluer de Lis, moved in Wednesday, and here I am. It's a little pricey, but everything is way worth it. Also, I am currently eating a delicious hummus sandwich. Be jealous.
I'm still really looking forward to class starting. I'm also doing some pretty cool stuff next week. I signed up to take the Rosarch Inkblot Test for a psychology professor, and I'm getting $10 for doing it. I'm also interviewing for a position as a research assistant for something that I'm still not entirely sure about. Some professor's secretary called me and said another student reccomended me for the position, but didn't give a lot of information. If it's paid, I'll have to cut back on my hours TAing. We'll see.
I don't have a whole lot to do this weekend. Already bought my books and school supplies. The only thing I'm doing is making a gift for Tim and Cait's baby shower on Sunday. Speaking of which, I'm going to this adorable fabric shop on Freedom and 5th. Seriously, go there.
Ever since I started first grade, I've always gotten really excited as the summer comes to a close and school approaches. I think most kids did up until, I don't know, high school. But for some reason, I still get unreasonably excited for school to start. Perhaps it's because I'm ready to be immersed in learning again? Perhaps it's because I'm a little bored and need more to do? Perhaps it's because buying school supplies is more interesting to me than buying anything else? Perhaps it's because I've bought a ton of cute clothes this summer and am looking forward to wearing something other than a Purple Cow shirt everyday?
E) All of the above.
Also, I spent a good part of yesterday cleaning out my closet.
It might not seem like that huge of a difference, but I ended up with four bags of trash, two bags of recyclables, and two bags for Goodwill.
(I realized I hadn't really blogged about anything other than working out, waiting for school to start, and hating my job)
So a while ago, the Church added virtue to the list of YW values. FINALLY!!! I got really tired through my years in YW of all of the "stay away from sex/porn" talks directed only to YM. It's nice to know that the Church is finally acknowledging that teenage girls are in fact developing a sex drive and need as much guidence as teenage boys, and that pornography can become as addictive to women as it can become to men.
I've decided to go ahead and do the personal progress stuff for the new value, even though I already got the YWR award.
I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. For some reason, I've lost my ability to make friends, at least the way everyone else makes friends. I don't know what happened in between high school and college. Maybe during the whole adaptation to a college life, I lost my ability to be social and comfortable and secure. Sometimes I overdo it, try to seem too outgoing, and end up regretting it later because I'm sure the people I was with thought I was a complete tool. Or I underdo it and fear people think I'm arrogant rather than plain shy.
So I've gone through two years of school with plenty of acquaintances, but I want to make -real- friends this year. People to call and hang out with. People to do stuff with. People who invite me to parties. So I was thinking it would be a good idea to make a list of things I could do to put more effort into making friends.
1. Be willing to put myself in situations where I can meet people 2. Take more of an interest in other people 3. Smile more 4. Remember that people are just people; no one thinks I'm weird by default, and everyone is up for making new friends 5. Introduce myself to people I sit next to in classes 6. Stop fearing rejection 7. Take initiative and invite other people to do things 8. Find small things that make me happy; if I'm in a good mood, I'm more likely to be friendly 9. Don't seem desperate for friends (even though I really am) 10. Pray for help with all of this
"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud became more painful than the risk it took to blossom." --Anais Nin
So being in the car for 20 hours + moderate stroll all week + eating like crap and not really metabolizing anything = a disappointed Shelley.
I downloaded some new songs for a new running playlist. I also decided to start running at a slower pace to see how much longer I could go. Let's just say .3 mph makes a huge difference. I've gone from running a solid 5 minutes to running 1.5 miles in 20 minutes. Not perfect, but better than I've done in a while. I don't know if I'll be able to do a 5k before school starts, but I'll definitely find something at BYU. I'm also planning on taking advantage of the indoor track in the SFL so I can run in the colder months.
Also, I feel ridiculously good after running 20 minutes.
Katy Perry - Hot n Cold
Britney Spears - Circus
Rihanna - Disturbia
Fall Out Boy - Hum Hallelujah
All-American Rejects - Move Along
Switchfoot - Dare You to Move
Metro Station - Shake It
Daft Punk - Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
will.i.am - Brand New Day
U2 - Beautiful Day
Sublime - Santeria
A total of 40 minutes, which is a good time for a solid warm up and run.
Who knew it could be this cold in the middle of July? I thought I was done with cold at least until Provo this fall.
We've basically toured around all of the LDS and Community of Christ stuff. Carthage Jail wasn't nearly as depressing as I thought it was going to be. We went to the Red Brick Store today, and going up to the 2nd floor was probably my favorite part of this trip so far. When we came back down, a woman asked me what was upstairs, and I answered that there were some rooms with some historical artifacts, and she was like, "oh, so it's not very important, huh?" And I was thinking, "uhm, it's only where the Relief Society was organized and where the first endowments were done before the Nauvoo Temple was finished AREYOUKIDDINGME."
We also saw this kid who plays Joseph Smith in the Nauvoo Pageant do a reenactment of parts of the King Follett discourse. That was pretty rad. We're going to the Pageant tonight.
I don't think I'm going to get on the scale for at least a week after we get back. I have not eaten healthy in the least bit the last few days, and although I took advantage of our hotel in Kansas's fitness center and went running yesterday morning, I haven't been as active as I should be.
So I have this week off from work. I'm going to Nauvoo, Illinois with my family for a family reunion. I'm pretty excited mostly to just get time by myself to chill and read. I'm not, however, looking forward to the drive.
I've also been doing so good with eating well and exercising. I've lost 7 pounds in the last 3 weeks. Go me. I average about .3-.5 pounds weight loss every day (I know I shouldn't be weighing everyday, but whatevs), so by the time I go back to school, I should be around 125. I also have a plan to lose another 10 pounds over the semester. 115 is perfect for my height, and I'm looking forward to it.
I've been taking quite a few vitamins every day, and I definitely think they've been helping me lose weight and generally feel good. Every day I take:
A general multivitamin (100% of vitamins A through E, iron, and folic acid, amongst other things)
Lutein (macular degeneration runs in my family)
Exactly 50 days until the first day of school. Soooo excited.
I really, really, really, really can't wait to go back to school. I need to feel nourished by academia again. I also can't wait to be done with Purple Cow. This semester will probably be the easiest to leave for because I don't have to say goodbye to Brad this time. Buh, seven more weeks.
Ate today: golden grahams w/ milk; peach; chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream (added up to probably 2 servings); no sugar added moo bar; cheese quessadilla with black beans, pico de guillo, and sour cream
Active today: 20 minutes on treadmill; pilates 20 minutes; stretching 10 minutes; walking around various stores for a few hours
I really need to stop eating junk food so I can eat bigger quantities of healthier stuff.
I also bought a book I've been meaning to read for a while: Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman. I read parts of it for my principles of journalism class last semester, and enjoyed it. It's about how public discourse is being replaced by entertainment and the fragmented "news-of-the-day." I've only read the first chapter, but I'm liking it so far. He wrote it in 1985, and not only is it still applicable today, it seems like the internet has added more fuel to the fire of Postman's fears than anything could have in 1985.
Ate today: (It was fast Sunday, so no breakfast or lunch.) Baked potato with butter, sour cream, cheese, and natural sea salt (with the skin); strawberries and peaches; corn; brownie sundae
I didn't work out at all today. I was planning on at least stretching, but so much for that. I don't feel bad for the brownie sundae though. I think I'm going to make Sundays my guilt-free chocolate days.
So I recently discovered ELF Cosmetics. And they're pretty awesome. They're really inexpensive (almost everything is $1) because they don't spend a lot of money on packaging or advertising, they get really good reviews on mua, and they don't test on animals. Seriously. How rad is that?
I just bought some stuff online, spent a total of $24.95 (that includes shipping), and got all of this stuff:
All for $25. How awesome is that? You're lucky to find just 2 cosmetics that add up to $25. http://www.eyeslipsface.com.
Also, I got my hair cut today. Nothing too dramatic, just a few inches off and re-layered. I really like it. I also bought some stuff on the cheap at the Body Shop from the $2 bin. And I made brownies for Brad. So after all of my over-the-top girlishness today, I mowed the lawn.
Ate today: mixed veggies and spring rolls from Panda Express with sweet and sour sauce; pretzels; 1 slice homemade veggie pizza; no sugar added moo bar; 1.5 brownies (plus some batter on the side of the bowl)
Active today: walked around the mall; mowed front and back yard (total of 1.25 hours); treadmill walk/run 30 minutes; pilates 20 minutes; stretch 10 minutes
Not bad. I could have done without the brownie, and I wish I would have woken up in time to eat breakfast and get my metabolism going, but overall I'm happy with today.
Work, working out, eating healthier (or trying to), losing 20 pounds (really trying to), writing to/missing Brad, looking forward to school starting.
I'm getting my hair cut tomorrow. I seriously need it trimmed.
Ate today: cinnamon chex with milk; salad with spinach, red onion, tomato, egg, jack cheese, and honey mustard; ice cream (chocolate with oreo, peanut butter, and hot fudge....ugh, but so good); diced peaches; no sugar added moo bar; too much water to remember.
Active today: work 9 hours, treadmill walk/run 30 minutes, stretch 10 minutes, pilates 2o minutes.
I did good except for the ice cream (that's what I get for working at Purple Cow), and the fact that I got home from work too late to eat a real dinner. But I didn't have any soda today, and I think that's a pretty good accomplishment.
I think it's interesting that giving up meat wasn't a problem at all for me. I don't remember it being very hard at all, and I only craved a few things (mostly chicken) for about a month. But it's so hard for me to say no to Coke and Dr Pepper. Hmm...
I have to be up in 3 and a half hours to get ready to go to Lubbock for a family reunion. How exciting. At least I don't have to work this weekend. I also plan to finish Three Cups of Tea, which I've been looking forward to reading in time increments greater than 5 minutes.
I don't know why I stay up so late. Jerry Seinfeld has a joke about night guy and morning guy. Night guy will stay up late, knowing he has to wake up early, but thinks that part is morning guy's problem. And morning guy always hates night guy. Morning Shelley always hates night Shelley.
Also, I really dislike some of the people I work with. Particularly management. I really can't wait to go back to TAing in the fall.
So Brad told me that his mission president was fairly lax on the kind of music he and his companion are allowed to listen to. I really like a particular type of religious music; somewhere between MoTab and EFY. This is what I came up with for him:
Vocal Point - Nearer My God To Thee
Vocal Point - Praise to the Man (Vocal Point is an a capella group from BYU)
Sufjan Stevens - Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
Sufjan Stevens - Transfiguration
Marvin Goldstein - Because I Have Been Given Much
MoTab - I Know that My Redeemer Lives
Tiffany Fronk - As Sisters in Zion (Brad really likes this song....go figure...)
So I made this masterpiece for my dad today. It was a little tricky, but totally worth it. I thought I'd take a break from my usual type of entries and tell my readers how to make an ice cream cake.
A box of your favorite cake mix
At least a gallon of your favorite ice cream (you want to get more than you think you'll need. After all, leftover ice cream poses much less of a problem than not enough ice cream)
2 cans of your favorite frosting
3 round cake pans of the same size
Anything you'd like to put on top (fruit, sprinkles, etc.)
So after getting all of your ingredients, here's what you do:
Let the ice cream out to thaw for 20-30 minutes. Line one of the cake pans with plastic wrap and spread the icecream in the pan. Make sure you get in all of the corners and that you make the top as flat as possible. Cover with foil and put in freezer over night.
Grease and flour the other 2 cake pans. Prepare and bake the cakes according to the box.
After the cakes are completely cool (I let them cool over night), frost the top of one of them and the bottom of the other.
(This part goes fast) Get your ice cream pan out of the freezer. Carefully slide the plastic wrap out of the pan and turn the ice cream upside down on top of the top-side-frosted cake. Peel off the plastic wrap. Take the other cake and put it frosting-side-down on top of the ice cream.
As fast as you can, frost around the ice cream. This can get tricky because the ice cream will start to melt and the frosting will slide off. If this happens, just add more frosting and smooth as much as possible. After you've frosted around the ice cream, put the cake in the freezer for 10 minutes just to let the ice cream freeze a little more.
Take the cake out and frost the entire thing and decorate as desired. *note* if you want to use fruit to decorate, save it until right before serving. I made the mistake of putting strawberries on top and freezing the cake, thus freezing the strawberries and rendering them inedible.
After the cake is decorated, put it back into the freezer until serving. Cover any leftovers with plastic wrap and re-freeze.
You can't really go wrong with ice cream cakes; everyone likes them. They're fairly easy to make, but the trick is frosting the cake quickly.
I recently saw Errand of Angels, a fairly-new LDS movie which tells the fictional story of a sister missionary in Austria. Overall, I thought it was a pretty good movie. But there were some things I didn't particularly like.
What I did like:
The independence of the sister missionaries from men. There were no elders or mission presidents that had to save the day. The only mentionings of males in the mission field were when the mission president sent a letter to the set of sister missionaries congratulating them, and an elder baptizing someone. Other than that, the sister missionaries were portrayed as strong-minded, capable, and independent.
The scenery. Seriously, I want to go to Austria now.
Character development. I always like movies that make me hate one of the characters at one point, then love them at another.
What I didn't like:
The one sister missionary that was portrayed as bossy and lazy was overweight, wore no make up, and dressed like a grandma. The "nice" sister missionaries where thin, dressed fashionably, and always had their make up and hair done.
In every other missionary movie, there's always one elder whose plot line includes a girlfriend back home. Why did none of the sister missionaries talk about a boyfriend back home?
I thought it was a pretty good movie, worth seeing, but reinforces LDS cultural gender stereotypes a little too much.
Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, Tune my heart to sing Thy grace; Streams of mercy, never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise. Teach me some melodious sonnet, Sung by flaming tongues above. Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, Mount of Thy redeeming love.
Here I raise my Ebenezer Hither by Thy help I’ve come; And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home. Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God; He, to rescue me from danger, Interposed His precious blood.
O to grace how great a debtor Daily I'm constrained to be! Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, Bind my wandering heart to Thee: Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love; Here's my heart, O take and seal it; Seal it for Thy courts above.
I've loved going to church since I've been home. I think not being at BYU has made me realize how much I take Sunday church meetings for granted. I also think being at BYU made me forget how much I love family wards. The kids in the singles ward tried to get me to come to church with them at the beginning of the summer, but I didn't want to. There's something about family wards, screaming kids, old people in testimony meeting, and twelve year olds trying to look like they know what rows to go to when passing the sacrament that makes me feel at home.
Community and belonging has always been one thing I've loved about being Mormon. I don't agree with the majority of Mormons on a lot of political/social/etc. issues, but I still feel so embraced by this community.
I sit up on the stand with my mom because she plays the organ and my dad is in the Bishopric, so if I sat in a pew I'd be alone. Also, I enjoy people watching. I love watching families interact with each other, siblings teasing each other, and pinpointing the exact moment everyone stops paying attention to the speaker.
Even if all of the doctrine that the Mormon church professes weren't true, I wouldn't leave it. I love the people way too much.
I seriously can't wait to go back to school. Is that crazy or what? Not that I don't love being home (because I do), but I'm really excited about my classes and everything with the Vegetarian Club and my blogsBYU project I'm starting and getting accepted to the communications department (I know I am) and a whole bunch of other crap. I feel like my sophomore year was exponentially better than my freshman year, and I'm hoping my junior year will follow that trend.
I've been buying a lot of crap lately. I got my eee pc in the mail yesterday. It was only $250 and I wanted a computer to take to campus with me because my hp pavillion makes my backpack weigh about 200 pounds. I also had to completely restore my system because everything crashed, but I upgraded it to 2 gb ram and 320 gb hard drive. So my computer(s) are pretty much awesome.
I need to save an additional $500 for clothes before I go back to school.
Also, I'm finally learning how to drive. It's about time.
So after discussing this with a friend on Friday night and with a group of people in my principles of journalism class tonight, I realized that I'm not the only one who thinks a certain way about this.
There's a huge dichotomy in college student culture in Provo. On one hand, you have the "Zoobie" culture, which includes BYU students who live in the BYU Bubble. They go to all the BUYSA-sponsored events and dances, and find their identity on campus.
On the other hand, there's the Hipster culture in Provo. This culture seems to try to distance itself as much as possible from the Zoobie culture. Think downtown: Velour, Sego, Coal Umbrella, etc. I even have a name for how people who identify with this culture dress: DI Kitsch.
I've felt like, since I've come to BYU, I kind of have stakes in both cultures. However, it's hard to be in both because they seem so polarized. I always feel really, really uncomfortable when I wear a BYU shirt or jacket to a show at Velour or Muse Music because then I won't fit into that too-cool-for-BYU Hipster scene.
I love the school I go to, but I also think Provo has a great downtown culture. But since I think the former, I never feel welcome in the latter.
...from how ridiculously stress-free they're going to be.
Seriously. I only have four actual finals to take, and one of them is writing a 4-page paper in class. The other three are actual tests. One of my classes has a final paper, which I just need to tweak my rough draft and I'll be done with it. And the other two simply don't have finals.
So a post over at The Exponent II Blog is discussing three different types of feminism within the framework of the LDS Church. I think this topic is fascinating and would like to expound on it.
I think there are times when I fall under each category, but I feel I balance most in between pragmatic and idealist feminism. I'm pragmatic in the sense that I understand change needs to be slow, and specifically regarding church, I learn to pick my battles when someone says something I disagree with in Sunday School or when someone claims that Mormonism and feminism and mutually exclusive. I tend to compromise, especially on issues regarding family and woman's role as wife and mother.
On the other hand, I'm definitely an idealist. There have been very painful times in my life where I wished, more than anything, that we could all just understand that men and women have the exact same divine potential and that our differences are only temporal in nature.
My idealism is what keeps me faithful; my pragmatism is what keeps me going to church.
However, I can be a cynic. There are times when it seems to make more sense to believe that women are some how inherently inferior to men, and that I some how need to find a way to be okay with eternal subservience. I've been thinking about this a lot lately within the context of man and woman's intelligences and genders being coeternal with God. If gender is a law that God Himself can't transcend, then how are there differences? What in the beginning (for lack of a better, non-temporal term) caused women to be so different from men that we're inferior?
I have an analogy about my testimony in that it's like a bookshelf. I have lots of books, and some of them I really like and will read them over and over again because I understand them (like Christ as my friend, or Joseph Smith as a prophet). Other books, however, I've glanced at the table of contents or flipped through the first few pages of each chapter and realized that there's no way I can understand them. So I put them on my shelf for a future time when I'll be able to understand them. Women's seeming inherent inferiority to men seems to be growing by volumes, but perhaps one day I'll be able to pick it up, read it, understand it, and be okay with it.
$2000 tuition. Three words: seriously freakin' awesome.
Resources for students. High-end technology, free counseling for everything from how to pick a major to how to get into grad school to how to deal with a spouse with pornography problems, and almost everything free.
Community. I love that holding doors for the people behind you is a universal unspoken rule here.
Curriculum. I feel like BYU gets a bad wrap that they don't teach things that matter or pick and choose what to teach. But when I learned about how organic evolution could have easily fit into divine creation in Bio 100, I knew this was the place to be.
Divine Comedy. Three words: seriously freakin' funny.
Professors. I've yet to have a professor that I don't feel like appreciates my thoughts and opinions.
Recently, there was a letter to the editor in the Daily Universe in which the author spoke of girls sunbathing in the quad of Helaman Halls. Innocent enough, but these girls were *gasp* wearing short shorts and tank tops.
What harlots! How dare they even own such clothing! Didn't their mothers teach them better!!
The author then accused these girls of being pornography, and that they were detracting from him preparing to serve a mission.
Obviously, I have a few things to say about this.
I was lucky that, through most of my years in the Young Women program, I had teachers who taught me to dress modestly out of respect for my body for God. I hadn't heard the whole "you're pornography if you don't" until I was 16.
The idea that girls should dress modestly simply so they aren't pornography (which, by the way, tank tops and short shorts showing shoulders and knees are pornography?) perpetuates the idea that women should make decisions and take actions only with how they will affect men in mind. This concept is part of the whole idea that women are only here to serve men.
As I'm sure the Daily Universe has received an overwhelming wave of letters responding to this particular letter, I'd like to respond to the author here.
Dear Sam Speer, I was completely unaware that you aren't the gate keeper of your own sexuality. On behalf of my gender, I apologize for not being more responsible for your thoughts. You are absolutely right; girls have the ability to control your actions. We'll be more careful in the future. In fact, I'm in the process now of writing to the Honor Code Office asking for burkas to be mandatory for all female students.
...when you're over your head with things you need to do, and you take a 2-day productivity marathon to try to get things done, and you do.
And so you end up with this free time and you don't know what to do with it.
I think this calls for some Ben and Jerry's and a movie.
Also, explaining logic to students is frustrating in two very different ways. 1) I don't understand how 205 students don't understand proofs. There are some premises, you alter those premises with some rules, and you get to a conclusion. Not difficult. 2) I never learned this 305 stuff when I took it. We never proved x=x; we were given an equality introduction rule that let us assume x=x. What's up with that.
But relearning things like Cantor's Theorem always excites me. Something greater than the infinite set of natural numbers? The universe is broken!!
I feel like I should blame someone. Not the philosophy department; they didn't do anything wrong. BYU Administration, maybe? Maybe I should write a letter. Maybe I should, out of principle, transfer to UVU.
Or maybe, and most likely, I won't do anything.
I'll just pass by that office like no one important was ever there.
I'm taking amazing classes. I have amazing professors. I have an amazing opportunity to go to an amazing school. I'm the president of an amazing club that has the potential to do amazing things. I have an amazing job. I work for an amazing professor in an amazing department. I go to amazing potlucks, meetings, mass bike rides, and book clubs.
But so much of me feels so unfulfilled because of my inability to connect with other people.
Being alone somehow far outweighs all of the amazing things.
So after crying in a McDonald's bathroom in Orem after walking 5 blocks in knee-deep snow only to miss the bus back to Provo and possibly miss a class, all of which was made 100x worse because I was freezing and my shoes were filled with snow and water, I decided that was quite possibly the most miserable I've been in a long time.
Weather has a pretty intense effect on my mood.
But I'm not going to let this snow win. This wet, cold, God's curse that covers the Earth will not win.
Things which make me very happy right now: -The fact that all of my classes are really, really awesome. I feel like I'm going to learn so much more this semester than just how to make an A in a class. -Turns out a grade in one of my classes was wrong, bumping my overall grade in that class from a B+ to an A-. -My coat keeps at least my upper half very warm. -Heaters and blankets -I have so many ideas for the vegetarian club. I feel like we'll accomplish a lot this semester.