Sunday, December 19, 2010

The First Gift of Christmas

I really don't think I can ask for anything more.
I have the craziest, most incredible friends that a girl could ask for.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Small Dose of Perspective

"You were recommended to help run the last leg of the relay that began with Adam and Eve because your premortal spiritual valor indicated you would have the courage and the determination to face the world at its worst, to do combat with the evil one during his heyday, and, in spite of it all, to be fearless in building the kingdom of God.

You simply must understand this, because you were born to lead by virtue of who you are, the covenants you have made, and the fact that you are here now in the 11th hour.

Now the glorious but sobering truth is that, in spite of your eons of premortal preparation, the day ahead will at times "wrench your very heart string," as the Prophet Joseph told the Twelve. If you've hoped to passively, comfortably live out your lives, let me burst that little bubble once and for all. Now, please, do not misunderstand me: This is a magnificent time to live! It is a time, said President Spencer W. Kimball, when our influence "can be tenfold what it might be in more tranquil times." The tranquil runner wants to run the last leg of the relay.

But the last days are not for the faint of heart or the spiritually out of shape. There will be days when you feel defeated, exhausted, and plain old beat-up by life's whiplash. People you love will disappoint you--and you will disappoint them. You'll probably struggle with some kind of mortal appetite. Some days it will feel as though the veil between heaven and earth is made of reinforced concrete. And you may even face a crisis of faith. In fact, you can count on trials that test your testimony and your faith.

But He recommended you and me. This is the last leg of the relay. This is when He needs His strongest runners. That is who you are, and it is who you have always been."

(Sheri Dew, BYU devotional Dec 9, 2003)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Musings on Public Restrooms

It is Saturday and I am on campus. It is about 1:00pm and, on a scale of 1 to 10, my motivation to study for finals is at a -5.

So, instead of being productive any longer, I will tell you some things I have been thinking about lately...about public restrooms.

You may think that I am a little crazy for thinking about public restrooms, but I kinda spend a lot of time in them lately. I am honestly never home - that is what finals do to you.

So, for your reading pleasure, here are some personal observations (pet peeves?) on a very public place that really should be personal.

Sanitizer is NOT Soap
When I was in China we introduced one of our Chinese classmates to hand sanitizer. We put a drop of it in her hand and she rubbed them together tentatively, slowly. The look on her face said that we might as well have spit in her hand and told her that it would make them clean. She didn't buy it. "How do you know they are clean?"

A very fine question. While I believe in the anti-bacterial power of a substance that is 70% alcohol, I always left feeling a little unclean. Hand sanitizer should be used when there is no soap and water - and when you get to a place where you can properly cleanse your hands - you should do it. That being said, the sanitizer dispenser at the door does NOT COUNT as washing your hands. And even if it did, what if you get into the habit of not washing your hands and one day you walk out the door and there is no handy dispenser? Stay with what your mamma taught you and keep washing your hands.

Caution: Automatic Faucets
Speaking of habits. The Tanner bathrooms really mess with my head. There is an old wing and a new wing in the building on campus that I like to call home. In the new wing, everything is automatic. In the old wing, everything is, well, not. That means that when I wash my hands in the old wing, I put my hands under the faucet and wait for the water to turn on. When I am in the new wing, if I lean forward to look in the mirror, the faucet starts pouring out water and it freaks me out. every. time.

A Bathroom Stall is NOT A Telephone Booth
Is a call ever important enough that you have to take it in a public restroom? And if it really is that important, aren't you a little worried that the person on the other line will hear toilets flushing in the background? Or aren't you at all bothered by the fact that we are all in a tiny space and at least one another person in the room is overhearing every single word you say? Oh, your not? Well then, by all means, keep talking in the bathroom.

Hide and Seek
I am not really sure where this comes from, but I hate seeing people in the bathroom. (maybe because people don't walk into my bathroom when I am at home?) Don't get me wrong, like any normal female, I have no problem going into a public restroom with a pack of friends, but if I walk in there by myself and I hear the door opening behind me, it is like the gun just went off at a race and I will find my way into the nearest stall and hide like I was running from the cops. I must not be seen. In the same vein, if I am washing my hands and I hear a toilet flush. I will dash out the door, paper towel in hand, and avoid at all costs seeing whomever was just finishing their personal business. I like to think it is a respect thing, but I really have no idea.

Emergency Feed
To wrap things up with something a little more positive, HRH posted this a little while ago and I thank her for it. Even if public restrooms are strange, often uncomfortable places, at least they are well prepared in case of an emergency:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Almost There!

My teammate Morgan and I have been singing "Almost There" from The Princess and the Frog for the last several days now. It is 1:23am. One bowl of brownies and ice cream and 4 chapters of The Help on audiobook later, I am almost done with the 26 slides I have been working on pretty much all day for our big presentation tomorrow! This presentation counts as the final for 3 1/2 of our classes. Yikes! It is just a tiny bit important. BUT WE ARE ALMOST THERE! In a mere 11 hours we will be in our last minutes of Q&A. I can't believe that I have almost survived my first semester of grad school!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas at the Tanner

I walked into school this morning and this is what I saw:

There was an adorable little elementary school choir putting on a concert in the Tanner atrium. Apparently they come every year and put on a concert for the Tanner staff before their big official concert. Good thing I am friends with the staff here...
Between this and our MPA Ugly Sweater Christmas party yesterday I don't know how I am supposed to concentrate on my last 2 weeks of school! As the children sang today:

I picture my self on a snowboard
Not sitting here bored...

Count down to Christmas vacation?

13 days

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Sick and Afflicted

So, you might recall just one or two posts ago how I managed to sprain both my ankles to some degree almost 2 weeks ago. Well, to add insult(or infection) to injury, I got incredibly sick Saturday evening. This led to my barely surviving through sacrament meeting at church on Sunday and what was most likely a very incoherent closing prayer from yours truly. The rest of the evening, and most of the week, continued as follows:

Sunday Evening
More Sleep
No School
The Dark Knight (with Jess who was also sick)
More Theraflu
More sleep
More Theraflu

I am pretty sure that I am now fairly familiar with what hibernation feels like. I am also fairly sure that I have consumed more theraflu than is legal in the state of Utah - and that is by no means a bad thing.

However, I will also tell you that visits from friends mean more when you are sick than they do when you are healthy, Camilla's grilled cheese tastes like heaven (when you are sick or healthy).

And getting better is the greatest part of all! Finally being able to swallow without wanting to die and be able to walk somewhat like a normal person again? Priceless