Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Vacation!

Ok, so this post is not about Provo. Sorry about that. This post is all about how great it is to be home after my first semester away.I get to sleep in my old bed, in my room with the mural that I painted. I got to set up the Christmas tree (at 10 PM December 22nd). This is only because no one else wanted to.they knew that I would do it- like I do every year.

Mom and I are making a new blanket for my dorm room- not that there was anything wrong with my old one. Making things for me is one of the ways Mom can show that she's thinking about me. She made most of the dresses and skirts in my closett and almost all of my extensive costume collection.

I get to cook my own food and spend time with my family in Tucson and Phoenix.

My hall feels a lot like a surrogate family when I am away, but we all get homesick.

Today I applied for a job for winter semester, and a job as an RA next year. RAs live in the residence halls as advisors/babysitters to the freshmen.

Merry Christmas and happy New Year.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


So I finished my finals today. I did okay.

Finals week in college is a lot more stressful than it was in high school.

For one thing, High School finals only last two days. In college, they run all week. In high school, you take finals in your classrooms. College finals tend to be in big lecture halls and such. I took two finals in lecture halls:

Each one of these seats has a little fold-out half desk. Squished in with tons of other students, it's hard to concentrate. But that's okay. There really is no other solution. But I'll tell you this, it is enough to make one miss the testing center.

During finals week, we have 24 hour quiet hours in the freshman dorms, and NO visiting hours. Go figure. What? Do they think we're all studying?

Several of the boys in our ward are leaving on missions instead of coming back in January. We wish them the best of luck, and will miss them in our ward.

Merry Christmas to all. I am so excited to be going home tonight. I will try to post some pictures and post more over the break.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving continued

Helaman Halls was deserted. Most people go home. I am too cheap for that. Other people have family in Utah who they stay with. While I have lots of family in Utah, I also have a term paper which has eaten my life and will continue to do so until December 7th. I stayed here.

It doesn't really make sense, but it seems as though most everyone here has family in Utah. Do LDS people gravitate towards Utah so that they can be together, or are more of us descended from pioneers that I thought. None of the family that I know here have their roots in Utah. (Not that all of them are LDS). Utah is not nearly as Mormon as it used to be, still, Utah is our cultural and administrative capital in a way. It is the home of Temple Square and frog eye salad (which I promise is not made from frogs).

I view BYU as a sort of petri dish, where Mormons (and non-Mormons)from all around the world come together and interact. We get to see that the church and its members are the same no matter where you go. Different languages and cultures just enrich the whole.

So I was a little sad this Thanksgiving to see the place so deserted, because I love the people here (even though I was locked in my room on a few of those days, venturing out only for meals).

Conclusion: Thanksgiving makes me thankful for all the days that aren't Thanksgiving. ;) And also for my Family- especially John, Uncle Ken, Aunt Shannon, Deborah, Angie, and their families.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving and real snow.

It snowed last week. We made a snowman and named him Cosmo.

The worst is yet to come, I know, but for now we have a lot of fun playing in the snow, the three times we've actually had snow. This is the only time it has stuck long enough to play in.

My brother John came down on Thanksgiving to visit until Saturday. We had a blast getting lost, driving up to the mountains to make snow forts, and celebrating Thanksgiving with Uncle Ken, Aunt Shannon, Deborah, Angie, and their families.

I am really glad that he came up to visit me. I'll try to post more later but it's visiting hours and I have to go visit the guys in our ward.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Sorry it's been forever. I have three papers to work on right now. But not today.

So in Helaman Halls we have sports. They are usually not very organized. It's all up to the students.Some examples (and I will eventually take pictures)

Ultimate Frisbee.

You guys know this game. It's football with a Frisbee. There is a perpetual game going on at Helaman Halls. Night or day, weekend or weekday. Usually, if you walk outside, you can see them. I don't play. But I've seen it get pretty intense. Girls sometimes join in. But mostly kit's guys, often barefoot in the frosted grass.


I promise that I am not lying. They run around on broomstichs with a kickball for a quaffle and volley balls for bludgers. One person (the snitch) hides and the seekers have to find, the catch them. I will take pictures. I think they have a game every Saturday.


The men's competition just ended. They were all really into it. A lot of girls came to watch. Our Bishopric came to the final game. One of the Halls in our ward won. Some of the teams had team jackets or neon colored uniforms.

Basketball and Volleyball

We have courts for each of these games, and people play at all hours... well at least until midnight when the courts close.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Every Tuesday we have a Devotional. Usually it’s a professor or a visiting politician or something. BYU shuts down for these. Every Tuesday at 11:00 The Cannon center, the Testing Center, the Bookstore, the Creamery and basically everything else closes. There are no classes at this time. Mind you- not everyone attends. Many (especially those who live off-campus study instead).

When an apostle comes- we get pretty excited. Everyone knows, and many come early to get a good seat. When the Prophet comes (a very rare event) it’s a madhouse.

Today was one such day. We found out that the Prophet was coming yesterday in the newspaper. People- even on Halloween it was a hot topic. Everyone was so excited.

Some people camped out in the rain to be first in line to save seats for their friends.

I got to the Marriot Center at 9 to same seats. The line was already through the tunnel singing tunnel, and in the next 30 minutes it stretched down the bridge towards the rest of campus. There we were, in the rain with our umbrellas, waiting to hear the prophet speak.

It was a wonderful devotional. President Monson is so funny and he carries such a strong spirit with him. I am thankful for the strong and simple testimony that he shared with us. All of us will remember this day for the rest of our lives.


Sorry it's been so long- Midterms attacked in full force. I thought that I would tell you about Halloween at BYU.

Halloween is a big deal here. I don't know what it's like at other Universities, but I have a feeling that we are (as in most things) over the top compared to most schools.

Group costumes are always fun here is a picture of my group this year. I was White Queen.

Other groups I saw:

a whole box of crayons
A whole mess of Harry Potter characters
Mario and his girlfirend or wife Princess Peach
Mexican guys
Adventure Time characters
Tron characters
Napoleaon and Kip- They looked Amazing!

Individual costumes that I wish I had pictures of:
Rosie the Riveter
A Roman Centurion
Luke Skywalker
A very convincing Jack Sparrow
A Rubix Cube
Gandalf the White
Dr. Who
and some sort of crazy decked out anime character with a giant white wig that almost touched the floor

I was also Charlemange when I was by myself.

Halloween decorations are in ever building and most every hall. (except Budge 3200 who had Christmas lights ALL over).

Some of our decorations:

Mom came to visit for parent's weekend and helped me make spiders from pipe cleaners.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I wish that I had pictures.

I ran into some kittens yesterday living under a bush next to the Jesse Knight Building.
They were quite young, old enough to be away from Mom without issue, but only by a few weeks.

I couldn't get close to them, but I had hoped to come back later and get them adopted. However, (perhaps luckily) another girl who had also been looking at them got there first. She has a relative in the area who has agreed to take them.

Conclusion of this story: Caroline called a whole bunch of people for the purpose of looking into this problem. I'm looking into the possibility of instituting a catch-and release program here at the "Y" (getting the cats fixed so that they don't "multiply and replenish" our campus). My current dilemma: where would I release them?

Anyone have any ideas or helpful hints for me? (or a humane trap- I know dad has one)


Friday, October 14, 2011

Homework or Cats? Cats.

We have feral cats on campus. I have seen them before. Usually you don't get a very good look at them. Poor BYU students- we all live in BYU-Contracted housing where there are no pets allowed. Freshmen especially tend to miss their animals back home.Grace and I always talk about how much we miss our cats.

So today I met up with one of these feral cats and it made my day about 10,000,000 times better. Not that I was having a bad day. Cats just make things that much better all the time.

When I came to meet with him (dubbed a "him" because a bunch of boys found him- but we went back and forth for a while)there was one boy watching, but not coming very close. I came in and started petting him. He purred very quietly and rubbed his face into my hand. Friends of the first guy brought some bologna from the creamery and we fed it to the cat.

They named the cat Akon because he was from "the ghetto". I have decided to name him Zeezrom- because, as the LDS people will know, Zeezrom was a bad guy in the Book of Mormon, made clean through repentance and went on to be a great missionary. Perhaps, like Zeezrom, this cat will be "made clean" and find a new life.

So, despite the paper that I need to finish by Monday- I came back to play with Zeezrom and take some pictures.

He's a Manx, as you can see in this picture. The boys maintain that his tail was bitten off by a Coyote.

We played with the string on my keys and the light reflected off of my camera.

This guy scared him off with his roll-ey backpack.

He looks just like Charlemange:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Switching Majors?

My opinion on this changes every day.

I am (right now) majoring in History Teaching. My adviser suggested that I think about switching to Teaching Social Sciences. I am now thinking about it every day. I can't escape it.

In the grand scheme of things, I understand that this will not significantly effect my life as a whole- especially since it is such a subtle change. I admit that I am a bit afraid to switch. Though everyone says not to be.

Mom says that I shouldn't switch- because she feels that I should stick to what I care most about. But really what I care most about (when it comes to my career) is teaching at all. I love the social sciences (though out of them, history is my favorite). Mom also says that being specific to teaching will make me more impressive and better qualified. Teachers that I have talked to say that I am more hire-able if I can teach a variety of subjects. With my English teaching minor and Teaching Social Sciences I can teach:

any High School English class
US History
World History
World Geography
Human Geography
and Economics.

Right now I want to switch. Though if I do, there is the matter of a senior thesis, which for history majors (like me right now) is certain. I understand it a little, and we all take part in a similar project. If I switch what shall become of me four years from now? I guess I can take whatever they throw at me.

What do you think?

Snow on the Mountains!

I should have posted before now, but with midterms and term papers I do what I can.

So last week we got an intense storm. The mountains disappeared!

When the clouds departed, there was snow!

There has been snow since then- but in different places every day.

It feels like December here. I keep thinking that I should be preparing for Christmas, then I realize that it is October.

Yesterday, for Family Home Evening, my "family" and I decorated cookies for Halloween. I stole a tradition from back home and made the cookies into Jack-O-Lanterns. I had to use a mix and pre-made frosting. Mom was right. They were a little gross. I learned a very important lesson.

Repeat after me:

I will ALWAYS Make my own frosting.

Good job. I'm glad that we've agreed.

I will post about Halloween soon. It's pretty intense.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Promised Pictures of the Promised Land

Some Halloween Decorations:

Today in the rain:

Welcome to Zion!

I'll start with a nod to Miranda, who inspired me to do this. Admittedly, Provo Utah is not as cool as Rennes, France. It is, however a different world. Here I am in the heartland of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and at BYU no less. We're not in Kansas anymore.

I'll catch you up on what's going on.

For those who are not LDS, I'll explain. Not everyone in Provo, or even at BYU is a Mormon; however, there are more of us than you can shake a stick at. ;) There are meetinghouses everywhere. There is a Temple in almost every town, in fact, just last Sunday, it was announced that the old (burnt down) Provo Tabernacle will be fixed up and dedicated as the SECOND PROVO TEMPLE!!!!! It's a far cry from Arizona, which I still consider to be thoroughly saturated with Mormons.

Apart from the overwhelming influence of Mormon culture, there are other diiferences between Provo, Utah and Phoenix, Arizona. The weather here is fantastic, and we get cool things like fall colors, Creamery ice cream and BYU's poetry reading series- where cool poets come and read their work to us.

This last month has been overwhelming, but manageable. Everyone here is really considerate and I've made new friends in my classes, my residence hall, at church, and in my Family Home Evening group.Schoolwork has been challenging but not impossible, I have more reading but also more time. I signed up to tutor in an Adult literacy program called project READ. I do not have a student yet.

I started seeing Fall Colors last week!

The mountains become more orange every day. On Monday my Family Home Evening group played capture the flag in the rain (our group lost). Today it rained again and there is snow on some of the mountains.

Halloween is right around the corner. I put up decorations yesterday. I've heard that it's a big deal here.

I'll add more pictures that I just took in a while.