Let's Go Fly a Kite

Sariah and I flew kites this afternoon after class. I was running on four hours of sleep, and Sariah wasn't doing much better, so the pictures are pretty goofy.

As you can see, I suffered a saintly martyrdom at Sariah's hands. I also cut my finger on my string.
We've got one week of class left, and this is probably our last true hurrah. I've got a 6-pager, an 8-pager, a 2-pager, and my finals to do. Not to mention checkouts for my building! Yikes!

The Fur Hat---

--One of several books required for my Russian History class this term. This book has been my nemesis, and it just so happens to be due tomorrow. I couldn't find it in the bookstore at the beginning of term, so I assumed they would order more copies of it. This was putting a little too much faith in the textbook department, which is notoriously short on required copies of books. So I went to Barnes and Noble. No luck. I went to the BYU library. Checked out. The Provo Library. Sorry. The Orem library. I wish. I looked online for a digital copy. There is no such thing.
Then in despair, I bowed my head.
"There's no such book on Earth!" I said.
"But wait," I thought,
"The book I've sought
May yet be borrowed from a friend..."

And it just so happened that, remembering that a Russian History classmate was in the building around the corner from me, I paid her a visit and providentially obtained the dratted book. Hurray! It was actually an entertaining read, though a little scandalous for BYU I must say.

The main character is a writer in the USSR and only writes about decent, heroic people who sacrifice themselves for the welfare of the state. Anyway, his writing isn't all that good, as might be expected, though he compares himself favorably to the glorious Chekhov.

Anyway, to make a long story short, the Writer's Union is giving out fur hats to its members, with reindeer fawn hats to the very best, marmot to the next best, muskrat to the lesser writers, and rabbit to the rank and file. Our hero, wanting his deserved reindeer hat, or at least marmot, goes to the office, and instead of reindeer, is brushed aside with a hat not even made out of rabbit, but of tomcat. The rest of our book has our hero out seeking his revenge, which involves mental instability, biting someone, and having a stroke. Through apparently random events he is finally awarded a reindeer hat, and then being vindicated, dies promptly. Just in case you were wondering.

In other news news, I have obtained three more of my twenty textbooks today, bringing the total up to four. One of the books had the words "Thank you!" written all over its box and on the invoice inside. Apparently a used bookstore in South Dakota really appreciated my business. My most exciting textbook, my Novum Testamentum Greek and Latin side-by-side edition has yet to appear, but its time will come. Meanwhile, I will content myself with the English version.

I'm looking at this blog thinking that it deserves better, having lain abandoned for almost a year. We'll see if we can't wipe the dust off and get it going again, just in time for the new school year.

The First *Real* Week of School

To begin--this is the time of year that I've been afraid of since school started. This is when the care-free, idyllic summer mode withers like a fallen leaf and is blown away by the first blustery days of autumn. School has officially begun.

Some of it is because the Add-Drop week is over. "Mwa ha ha," the professors collectively cackle is their office-lairs, "We have them now! No one on a college budget can ever pay the ten-dollar drop fee, and even if they could, the W on their transcipts would follow them FOR-EVAH!! MWA HA HA HA HA!!!" *lightning crashes*

Thus, we are at their mercy, and they suddenly seem to know it, piling the homework, quizzes, and a few ill-considered opinions-as-facts (yes, we have a few of those, even at BYU) onto their now-captive students. This may sound a little uncharitable of me toward college professors, but please remember, I plan to join their ranks someday... *lightning crashes again*

But to tell you the truth, I can't honestly, wholly apply this caricature to any of my professors, per se. My world history teacher is a graduate student, a heathen, and rather too impolitic for my taste. He is very fond of getting quite deep into a very controversial, often irrelevant topic, and then saying, "Oh, but you know, maybe I shouldn't get into that right now. Moving on..."

I try to sit near the back and avoid eye contact with this guy, because even though looks really can't kill a person, when poorly aimed, they probably could kill a grade.

On Tuesday, we had a campus forum, wherein one of the Irish Tenors, a Ronan Tynan, spoke to us about living life to the fullest. "Put your foot to the floor," says he, though he has no feet. He's a singer, a medical doctor, and a double-amputee paralympian. His talk was amazing, AND he sang for us TWICE! (squee!)

Also on Tuesday, deciding that I needed a little empowerment, so taking a deep breath, I decided to cut my hair, and then give blood immediately afterward. I walked up to the sign-in desk, signed the papers, and then the phleb pricked me and took my blood pressure.

"Your blood pressure is a little high...Are you nervous to give blood?" he asked.

"No, not really... I just got my hair cut, and it's always a little traumatic for me." I replied honestly. I'm used to the sensible scissors of my mother, and as a result, I have a hard time trusting my hair to strangers. The phleb laughed at me. Sigh.

Here's the new 'do:

Between RAing, class, and homework, my fun time has become extremely sporadic, so I'm just glad I enjoy the work as much as I do. Sometimes, fun and work even get combined. Last night, as part of becoming better friends with my neighbors, I had a movie party while I was on duty (which is perfectly kosher, don't worry). One of my good friends, Emilie from the other stairwell, and my roommate Emily watched the DVD of Emilie's high school performance of Les Mis until three in the morning. It was really funny, and I'm afraid my mother (who is a big fan of the musical) would not have approved, as we couldn't help laughing at all the wrong parts, such as the final barricade death-scene. You would have laughed too when one of the students, being shot on one end of the barricade, ran all the way over to the other end of the barricade just so that he could sling himself over his favorite wagon wheel and die there with his tongue hanging out. Somehow, I don't think that was what Cameron Macintosh had in mind.

Anyway, that's the news. Until next time on TAAOA!

The Y

So today started out like any other day, which shouldn't have lulled me into complacency like it did, as Saturdays have never been ordinary since I got back. Anyway, I slept in, did laundry (at which time I ran into Jared, who is another RA, but he'll come into the story later), read my textbooks like a good little girl, and generally lazed about.

Then, Sariah texted me. "Do you want to come hike the Y with us?" she writes, and I, never having hiked up to the Y and feeling like a complete nerd because of it, agreed happily. Even more happily, Jared came along too. Here's us--

So in order, Jared, I, Sariah, Sariah's old roommate Kristi, and Sariah's new roommate Christine (our photographer here) hiked the Y today. It was warm, very dry, and very fair, and over all, very comfortable. The only problem was that it was grueling! It was harder than I ever would have thought to get up that silly mountain, not that I consider myself to be especially fit or expert in the art of climbing mountains, but still. I hiked all over North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kansas mountains all summer. You'd think I'd be able to handle this no (or at least very little) sweat! Ugh. I had the excuse of moving from sea level somewhat recently, but it was still discouraging. We got there, though. I have proof--

Here's the north end of campus. Just above the pretty black-eyed Susans is the Marriott Center and the bell tower, and just above and to the right of that is the stadium full of people for the UCLA game (which we won, 59-0. Woot! BCS!). Every once in a while, we could hear the announcer's voice drift our way on the breeze, and the crowd cheering was very loud at some points. We figured that they were cheering the many touchdowns. Beyond all of that is the vast freshwater Utah lake, which makes East Toho look like a swimming pool, though it's still not as big as the Great Salt Lake.

That's the news. I forgot to tell you that our sink exploded in the middle of the night on Tuesday. It was severely backed-up and smelled like sheer nastiness. So I tried to call emergency maintenance, but they didn't answer, so I called the police. For a few hours, the resulting handyman had our kitchen torn apart, and not even his 25-foot snake could clear it. Finally, another dorm, Heritage Halls, started flooding (some silly freshman hanging clothes on the fire sprinkler head, most likely), so he had to leave, but I took a picture--

It was actually even worse before he was done, but it was weird being the plumber paparazzi, so I contented myself with this. He finally fixed it the next morning, but I was gone, so I don't know what kind of heavy equipment he resorted to in the end. It was desperately exciting, though.

Well, that's all for today in TAAOA. Take care!

A Lark In the Dark

So there we were--my roommates Dahea and Emily plugging away at their books, and I hovering around my computer, doing nothing constructive. Suddenly, like a sweet siren call, all at once we heard the wild, warm voice of Night. It seeped softly as a sigh through our open apartment windows on a mild summer breeze, mingling with our breath and casting the study-fog from our bleary brains. The voice was coaxing us, cajoling us to set our good sense aside, take up our highest spirits, and become reacquainted with shadow and shade. For a merry hour, the crickets sang with us; the stars, breathless in their wheeling course, paused to wink at our laughter; and the falling dew kissed our light feet.

Well, maybe it wasn't so romantic as all that, (nor as shamelessly alliterative) but you get the idea. I grabbed my camera, and we headed out to have fun with the extended exposure. What? You want to see? Well, here--

A fallen star...

As you can see, love was in the air. We took turns with the flashlight drawing shapes and laughing until our other roommate Jordyn showed up, and then we took a group portrait.

We were so slap-happy by that time that we couldn't even stop laughing to take the picture. From left to right is me, Dahea, Emily, and Jordyn. What a crew.

So yeah, sometimes I feel like it's mostly work and not enough play for me, but it's fun to run around irresponsibly once in a while and get perspective on things again. Until next time on TAAOA. ;D

Back In the Saddle Again

I keep having the song, "Back In the Saddle Again" run through my head, which is fairly expressive of my mood at the moment. However, Gene Autry, while exulting in the moment of his return to cowboy glory, never sang about how sore he was the next morning. You get out of practice, and it can twinge a little when you get back to it.

So it is for me. I'm dog-tired already, but happy as a clam, to tell you the truth. BYU is my place--my 'hood as Chris would say, and I'm so glad to be in school again. It's grueling, but school inspires the utter contentment that can only be achieved by hard work.

My professors are great. Today, my Latin teacher, a Dr. Peek, is a hoot. While trying to describe the difference between an objective genitive and a genitive of possession, she gives us a whole story about how she hates her children's pet rat, and, now that it has developed a tumor the size of its body, how she is plotting its demise. For a few delightful minutes, we (all nineteen of us Latin nerds) discussed the most sensitive ways to dispose of a child's pet which has passed its usefulness. What this has to do with genitives, either objective or possessive, I haven't quite figured out, but it was fun nonetheless.

Professor Bott, whom I have for Church History, is his usual brilliant, eloquent self. I know I'll truly enjoy his class.

My other classes are a little more mysterious to me at the moment, because I haven't had them as often. I think they'll be interesting and productive, though.

Other than everything, not much is new with me. I'm enjoying the beautiful weather we've had this week. Those of you in Florida know how lovely a crisp, dry, end-of-October day can be. We've had that kind of day all week, ever since a front went through. Not nearly as exciting as Florida weather, but nice. Speaking of exciting weather, good luck with the upcoming hurricanes! Yikes! I hope they miss you guys.

Well, that's that. I've gotten some requests for photos, which I will oblige as soon as I get time. Until then, until next time in TAAOA!

Here's Hoping

Happy Labor Day!

Unfortunately, I have to work, the buses don't run, and half of campus is closed. Sad.

Anyway, we've had quite a storm for much of the day, and the temperature has plummeted forty-five degrees since yesterday, and there is now snow on the mountains. Long sleeves in August? What is this world coming to? ;D I've really been spoiled by the Florida summer. In March, when it finally got back above freezing, we all wore our shorts and short sleeves. Now, when the thermometer hovers around 50, I'm all bundled up. Oh yeah.

There hasn't been much new lately. I suppose it's the deep breath before the plunge. I'm extremely excited about school tomorrow, which ought to be very interesting and entertaining. I love first days, because you don't really do anything except watch your professor stand up front and go over the syllabus. I think some would call that boring, but I see it as a chance to scope out the professor without the distraction of actually having to pay attention. To a lecture.

Also, the syllabus can really give you the lay of the land when it comes to that professor, especially if you take the time to read between the lines. For example, say you see this on a syllabus: "I have a strict cell phone policy. If you fail to silence your phone and it disrupts my class, you will be asked to leave." This can usually be translated as "I am in charge of this class, and you will bow to my will in all things."

However, if you get something like this: "I understand that you have lives and obligations outside of this classroom, and that you may receive calls while in class. With this understanding, please silence your cell phone and step out if you need to take a call." Something like this means, "I am a benevolent facilitator to your learning experience, and understand that however valuable the material I cover is and will be to you, it is still merely one of the many facets of your interesting lives, and will always be regarded by me as such." I just love those professors.

I already know I have one of those benevolent-facilitator types, as I have had him before, but what of the others? I suppose it's the luck of the draw. Here's hoping I'm lucky.

Until next time in TAAOA.