Showing posts from 2012

Christmas Miracles

So during the month of December, I make frequent references to Christmas miracles. At least once every couple of days, I exclaim, "IT'S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!" And even when the Christmas season is far past, I still suggest that all miracles are Christmas in nature. So here are some recent Christmas miracles in my life.

I got all A's except for one A- this semester, which ensures a full tuition scholarship for when I come back from my mission. This is a miracle because I scored just short of what I thought I needed on my finals to get A's. The extra Christmas spirit lingering in the air must have bumped them up.My family got to be together on Christmas this year. For the first time in the three years. And for the last time in four years due to my mission and my little brother's. But we got to be together this year and it was marvelous. Logan missed out on the picture, but he was still there:)I am going to Germany in 39 days. If ever a Christmas miracle happened …

Berlin. In case you forgot.

In case you forgot, I'm going to Germany in just over three months to serve an 18 month mission for my church. Sometimes I forget that too. And by that, I mean I never forget that fact of my life. Ever. Like Ever. However, my thought process is not "What should I eat for breakfast? BERLIN!" or "How long will it take me to write an 8 page paper? BERLIN!" I do not answer every question with Berlin and if I did, it probably wouldn't be in all caps all the time. That just sounds exhuasting.  My thoughts go more like this: "What Berlin should Berlin I Berlin eat Berlin for Berlin dinner?" and "I Berlin did Berlin really Berlin well Berlin on Berlin that Berlin test." Life at BYU has become joint with upcoming life in north-eastern Germany.
You probably Berlin think that's really distracting and are wondering how I'm focusing on anything else. Like school. And the 48 pages due in my German class next week. I will tell you my Berli…

How to get elected into public office

It’s that time of year; the time for neighbors to become enemies and soccer moms to become a little more vicious. Time for political bumper stickers, rants against the current president of the United States on Facebook, and promises no one intends to keep. It’s presidential election time.
And mission call time. But I’ll hold off on that for a couple weeks. TBA.
Back to the presidential election.
If you’re ever interested in running for office (why you would want to be a politician I’ll never understand), definitely keep reading, for I have all the secrets for obtaining and maintaining office.
These lessons come from a study of US history as well as ads I've seen or heard. Special thanks to my US History professor, Mathew Madsen, for his excellent lectures and political advice. He’s definitely been my favorite professor this semester and would be an excellent coach for anyone interested in getting elected. In the 1830s. So here it is.
·Promise to lower taxes. Even if you know you won’t …

Chocolate Tasting

Preface: As a freshmen mentor, I go to my students’ class about once a week. This week, I picked a great day to attend. Not just because the professor (who is brilliant) gave everyone a square of Amano chocolate, but because I had a fantastic talk with life during the class too (not aloud of course; I’ve learned my lesson there). Anyways, my students are working on a “Great Works” response, which is a reaction to some great piece of art, literature, or drama, but they didn’t really understand how to do that.
So what is the solution to this misunderstanding? Eating chocolate! Correction: Tasting chocolate. Which is completely different. If you don’t know the difference right now, you’ll soon know. Chocolate tasting is an art like wine tasting; it takes considerable effort, time, and precision to make valid judgments. The students read a chocolate tasting guide (found at and then their professor gave everyone a piece of expensive, …

Sophomore Girl Syndrome

It's been a month.
Because I promised to write something happier and less cynical than usual.
And that's been a daunting task.
Because as it turns out, life is hard.
When you're a sophomore girl at BYU.
And you decide to make one long run-on sentence into twelve fragments.
Because you're allowed to do that to add flair to your writing.
I think it shows voice.
Or that you're a non-conforming Indie kid.
Or are related to one.
That last one would be me.
Anyways, we're moving on to full sentences for a little bit. I almost started this sentence with "because," but then I remembered my promise from 5 seconds ago, so don't worry; it's a real sentence. So life at BYU is still good (adj: satisfactory in quality, quantity, or degree), but it is also still hard. Here are some reasons why life is hard for most sophomore girls at BYU, though some are specific to me. You'll know which ones.
All of your guy friends have abandoned you for two years to do some…

Pets that Peeve Me

Contrary to common belief, pet peeves are not actual animals nor do they have anything to do with Harry Potter. I know, you are shocked. Really, it's just a figure of speech. The word in German is Haupt√§rgernis, which is like a major irritation. So sever any connections you have between domestic animals and this word. Here are a few of my personal pet peeves:

People asking how you are. I know everyone does it and I do too, but it's the worst question in the world. The answer is always a lie. Always. Someone asks how you are and you say, "good" (or "well" if you have good grammar). There's the occasional "great" or "wonderful," but they generally remain positive answers. Because people don't really want you to bring up how terrible your life is in casual conversation. But for some reason we still ask. Possibly to feign interest in your emotional well being. Anyways, it's just a stupid question to ask if we already know what the…

How to be Socially Happy Again

Well, it's been a little harder adjusting back to college life than I previously thought.
Don't get me wrong, I still love being here and know that this is where I belong right now.
It's just different from last year. A lot different. If last year were a type of bird, it would be a flamingo. This year, it would be an ostrich. That's how different they are.
So I've kind of stayed in the cave that I burrowed into this summer and I'm in the process of digging myself out right (using only spoons). Here is my plan of action for how to be happier and more social:

Smile lots. At random people. Even if they're an awkward couple and I'm by myself. (don't smile creepily though; only normal smiles are permitted at this point)Say hello to people I pass on my runs.  Make friends with new roommates (we haven't really been home together so I feel like I don't know them yet). Extra credit: share something personal. I usually don't do that. Even when I…

Summer Reading

I know, I bet all of you have been dying to know all the books I've read this summer. Maybe it hasn't been the thing you've looked forward to most about August, but you're interested. Unless you're not and then you can stop reading now and might I ask why you clicked on this blog in the first place?
You thought I read a lot of books last summer, but I went a little crazy listening to books on CD to make my housekeeping job more interesting. So here it goes. Brace yourselves.

Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall (recommended by my good friend Jamie. It was about someone growing up in FLDS faith and how she got away and helped me understand the mindset of those who are a part of groups similar to that)The Little Russian by Susan Sherman (I'm still fascinated by Eastern Europe and Russia int he 1920s, 30s, and 40s; this was a historical fiction novel about someone from that time)Jane Austen by Carol Shields (I was beginning my Austen craze and watched a bunch of the BBC…

Things I like about Indiana

So actually my brother Taylor started this list. But I liked it and decided to write it on my blog so that the whole world can have a taste of Hoosier Terre Haute and my family here. Some are about Indiana, but most are about the Woodward side of my family. My grandparents just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary so a bunch of my aunts and uncles and cousins and cousin-in-laws were here.

The way my grandpa always tells too many details and it bugs the daylights out of my grandma. Today she told me that he skipped the days of school where they taught kids how to write short sentences.The way that my grandpa always walks hunched over. Kinda like my brothers. They'll be lucky if they turn out like him though:)The way my aunt April says "hey listen to this" when she wants people to hear a funny story. It's like a loud speaker announcing an anecdote.The way that you can escape the billions of people at family gatherings when you need some alone time.How you don't…

Why I sometimes feel like a robot and how I know I'm not one

That sounds like a good title of a book.
 But here is why I've felt like a robot more days than not this summer:
I work all the time doing the same thing over and over again. A robot could definitely do my job. But I'm glad they hired a semi-human being like me to work.I have created very few new relationships or friendships this summer. And robots don't have friends.I haven't written any papers all summer. And robots can't write good papers, which is why they don't go to school.I've listened to dozens of books this summer almost mechanically. And even though books are a human invention, the way I've been going through them you'd think I was a book-reading robot. So when I'm feeling like life is kind of pointless and wondering why robots (and goldfish) even exist and where their motivational for life is, I remind myself that I'm a real human being. Here is how I know I'm not a robot:
I took an acryllic paint class this summer and absolutel…
I'm going back to my lists.
Hopefully that doesn't mean I'm regressing.
But they're safe.
I'll throw in a few paragraphs here and there if I'm feeling adventurous. With verbs and nouns and adjectives and adverbs.

So I kind of freaked out tonight when my parents ask me to make a phone call to HP about my laptop. And here would be why.
I hate calling people I don't know on the phone, and sometimes people I do know. I don't like not being able to see their faces.I also feel like I'm interrupting peoples' lives, even toll free numbers where people get paid to answer phones. I don't know why, because if they didn't want to talk to me, they probably wouldn't answer the phone.I sometimes get asked questions that I don't know the answer to. Actually, many times. And not knowing answers makes me nervous. Which brings us to a psychological issue of not wanting to show weakness and frailty. And this will ultimately lead to my downfall. Poss…

Insert witty title

It's been a while.
But don't worry, I haven't had a lot of interesting thoughts.
Or interesting events come up.
My summer life has consisted of running, working, and watching Psych. But two of those things are dwindling, for I ran a half marathon on Saturday and I only have three more episodes of Psych left on netflix.
Work has gotten better since I started listening to books on CD while I clean though and my summer reading list has sky rocketed.
You would think that my existence would seem more and more pointless the more days that I continue on like this. BUT tis not so, for my brother returns in two days from his two year mission. Every five minutes someone screams out how soon his return is and then we carry on with our normal conversations.
This excitement is enough to make anyone's life better though.
That and I'm getting out of my cave more and interacting with other humans.
Therefore, my abilities for speech are much better than they were a month ago. 92…


My life is currently made up of countdowns.
10 more rooms to clean.
3 more check outs at the hotel.
3 weeks until my half marathon.
10 weeks of work left.
3 more months until school starts.
1 year until I can turn in mission papers.
And the most pressing countdown is....29 days until Taylor returns to our family!

The present has never been my favorite time, but usually I'm more fixated with the past rather than the future. I get caught up in grandeur castles, foolish aristocrats, and humble peasants from hundreds of years ago, but now, I just can't wait for things to come.
Clocks keep ticking in my head; waiting for the alarms to go off puts me on egde and probably raises my blood pressure. Good thing I run. And tragically gave up sugar until the half is over.

So, I'll continue counting down, because I'm totally capable of that math.

The Inquisition

I often talk about the men that live in my head. I think they deserve some more mention right now.
So I have a couple dozen dead people (sadly only three women: Catherine the Great, Elizabeth I, and Jane Austen) that sit upstairs while drinking coffee, smoking cigars, and discussing philosophy. They often argue with each other and try to help me make decisions.
No, I'm not a schizophrenic. They really existed and have simply left their personas behind.
Sometimes they give good advice. Sometimes, not so much.
I keep them around anyways.

The purpose in explaining the above was to tell you (ambiguous pronoun...who knows who I'm talking to) that there has been a Spanish Inquisition up there.
But not in a religious, bloody manner.
I started a job at a hotel this week and everyone who works there speaks Spanish. Except me. I know four Spanish verbs and a smattering of nouns, but that aids me little, especially when the other ladies don't speak English. Only one of the men in my head is…

Love Stories

I approve of love stories whole heartedly.
I just think we go overboard sometimes.
I've been home from BYU for over two weeks now and my social interactions in Colorado Springs have been slim to none. But I've grown so accustomed to spending a lot of time with friends all the time (they're called roommates) and attractive guys with sparkling personalities that I don't know how I was satisfied with this life before I left. Granted, I had friends at school and from sports, not to mention my bordering on unhealthy ardor for my classes at school, but my social life was at its prime during my freshmen year of college.
To make up for the lack of human friends here, I've buried myself in a myriad of books and movies.
Yes, my Jane Austen dosage has been too high. Yes, my history books have been somewhat neglected, unless they contain some kind of love story too. Don't judge. Actually, it's ok if you are judging. I probably would.
Love stories are great because…

Sleep Thoughts and Historical Footprints

Write about the things that keep you awake at night.

I firmly believe that people have their deepest thoughts right before they fall to sleep. Unfortunately, we forget them by the morn and start the cycle all over again the next night. Society could have progressed a lot farther by now if we only remembered the things that we thought about at night.

However, I doubt few people think about the things that I do, or maybe I'm just flattering myself. I do think about some normal things: family, love, marriage, what I need to do the next day... Lately however, I've been thinking a lot about my historical footprint. Yes, laugh all you want, but I wish so dearly that others might have left more evidence of their existences and even a window to their souls. So many people are lost, not because they weren't incredible or brilliant, but simply because we have no record of them. Their diaries, lists, notes: time has eaten them.

Therefore, every time I try to clean my room, I cannot bri…

Crazy Things

12 months. 385 crazy things. Go.

I make friends with people who don't shun wierdness and enjoy the adrenaline rushes that come with doing stupid things. You might ask, what ridiculous things do I do? Well, seeing as today was my last day of classes this semester, I'm celebrating twelve months of frivolity. Here we go (brace yourself for another list; I know I swore off lists, but they're so enticing...). We'll start off simple.
Graduated high school. Barely:) First TP experience after going to a high school play. Success.Decorated someone's car with a bunch of "Just Married" nonsense (while supposed to be at a state tennis tournament. Double Success). I really wish I had a picture of this because it was possibly one of the funniest things I've ever done.Made an epic history cake for the history department.
Chalked a myriad of houses (Thanks to those people who took pictures and posted them on facebook asking who did it. Thanks also to the person who ca…

Topic: Possession

People have an obsession with possession. Since all the men in my head love social critique, I'm usually in favor of condemning many parts of society, even when I'm a part of it. Material obsessions do digust me, but I think a larger problem is the desire to own people in a sense. The little Freud upstairs takes me back to first grade, where I remember playing tug of war with some other girls over my best friend. MY best friend. She was mine. Not theirs. Middle school, too, was a time where I struggled to keep my best friend away from envious other potential best friends. But why couldn't she have more than one best friend? Or why couldn't I?
Maybe it's because we have problems with sharing. We have to share our toys, so we learn to hold onto our people. And when someone else is holding onto the same person, my little Pope Urban II tells me I need to fight them off and take hold of as many people as possible. You see, those men in my head are often pretty selfish. …

Topic: Spring Fever

Write about spring.

Spring Fever has definitely hit Provo hard this past week with our balmy 50 degree weather. Pants have turned into shorts, apartments have spewed forth their inhabitants on the front lawns where everyone wants to study, and peoples' hormones have heightened, leading to a 300% increase in relationships. I admit I love spring (yes, I do love things, and not just because Rousseau told me emotions are good). I love being outside and being able to run and play sports in short and wearing flip flops and feeling sunshine on my face and most of all, I LOVE GREEN GRASS! Is there not a more pure sign of spring than little green guys poking out from the earth? I say unto you, nay! There is something magical (yes, I also realize that I think lots of things are magical. Thank you Harry Potter) about new life (or recycled/hibernating life?) that just makes me smile.
Usually springtime means tennis too, but not this year, which is really sad for me. I actually really miss pl…

Topic: Winners and Losers

Briefly describe your thoughts on winning and losing.

Well, the Machiavelli in my head is shouting that we celebrate winners in history, whether they be good or bad. And then Rousseau is saying we're all losers because of nasty civilization, and Karl Marx wants to change those words to "haves" and "have-nots." But those are my plagarized thoughts.

I like winning, as most people do. Rarely do people walk into BYU's testing center and say, "I hope I bomb this test; it will be so humbling!" I want to win board games, sport competitions, and others' affections, and leave tests quivering after I finish them. There is that part of people that just wants to be the best, though how big they let that little person get is up to them (yes, I do personify every thought and feeling and picture them as funny little people inside of us). My roommate Charlotte and I keep starting fights that we can't win, but I almost think that's why we start them, bec…

Topic: Books

Briefly describe your feelings concerning books.

Sometimes I think I love books more than people, though in the end, human beings end up winning (usually). Books are magical. Words take my breath away. The fantasy and imagination of fiction expose the depths of human thought and I am continually amazed at the stories that our brains can weave. There is something incredible about words taking you in and out of several different worlds and leaving you with intense feelings about those experiences. I love the stories of real people too; I probably spend too much time with history books, and the people who see me leave the library with fifteen books about the Soviet Union must no doubt think I'm crazy. But really I just like books more than most people do. I'm obsessed with gaining as much information as will fit in my head, and so yes, I will bring my copy of "A History of Intellectual Thought" to the doctor's office and strike up conversations with my comrads about …

Topic: Holidays

Assignment: Write about your least favorite holiday.

I hate Valentines day. And not just because I'm single. I think it's mostly just an excuse to spend more money and be more commercial than we already are. People shouldn't need a day to tell someone that they love them; we should be constantly reminding the people around us that we love them (though I probably wouldn't be opposed to a Friendship day). So I hate the consumerism and the shallowness of Valentines Day, not to mention those disgusting tokens of love people carry around all day. We don't all need to see that someone loves you; keep that personal please. If there was ever a day to experience being blind for a day, it would be Valentines day. I'm also a PDA hater. And I guess I hate Valentines day too because I'm single, but it's not like I have a real positive view of relationships currently. So I might loathe this day even if I had a boyfriend. Apparently I just like to hate things right now…

Topic: College Experience

Everyone needs to do some free writing every once in while (thus my break from list format; I actually might never go back to lists). Sometimes the best listener is a piece of paper and a trusty pen.

Assignment: Write for five minutes on your college experience thus far.

I loved college when I first got here, even if I was really sad about saying goodbye to Colorado Springs and childhood. And I still like it a lot, but I want to go home more too. The problem that I've had this semester is general discomfort with myself and my shell. I have come to realize that I live in a cave of hypotheticals and I often fail to recognize reality from the dancing shadows on the wall. I have always been a thinker and a dreamer, but when it comes down to something happening directly to me, I'm hopeless. I don't act. I hide in my shell or my cave and I pretend the actual problem is hypothetical. So the problem with that is that real problems aren't solved with hypothetical solutions. An…

Why grammar is important and even beautiful

It's an art. There are rules and exceptions. You can sound really stupid or remarkably intelligent when you master grammar.Yes, most of the time we know what you're trying to say. But it makes you look lazy if you are twenty years old and never bothered to learn the difference between "there," "their," and they're." You should have learned that in second grade.Good grammar makes your writing clearer and more beautiful; sometimes a paper really needs a good semicolon.Learning the rules allows you to play with grammar. While sentences that start with a conjunction are usually frowned upon, you can use them for an extra kick. And then people will think you're creative.As shallow as it may be, people will take you more seriously when you speak correctly, and they will judge you when you use an adjective instead of an adverb for describing how you did something. Or maybe just I will. Good grammar and good diction compliment each other; if you have o…

I'm difficult to date because...

I don't open up very easily about my feelings. I'll talk about anything except those things.I like lots of people and I find value in everyone, which makes it difficult to classify where really liking someone begins.I think too much and try to be rational and objective about love.I empathesize with others and want to hear about their feelings, but don't want to think about my own.I feel too many things at the same time, which is one of the reasons I don't probe too deeply because it's just too complicated.I'll try to detatch myself if I feel too close to someone so I don't get hurt.I use a lot of history metaphors to describe how I'm feeling and those can be hard to understand.There are at least twenty little historical characters in my head telling me to do different things, so if you're trying to woo me, you'll have to convince them too.I'm not like most girls in many ways. You can probably identify those differences if you know me.I'v…

Why I actually hate lists

Most of my feelings don't fit into nice even listsPeople don't belong on lists; they belong in our mindsThey remind me of things I haven't doneLists are detatch themselves from peopleThe work is never donePro and con lists always overlap until you don't know what's a good thing and what's a bad thingThey're kind of addictingThere are better ways to measure things and classify themI'm more of a free writer. What if I change this blog into a free-write vent session?

Why I can't focus on the present

I signed a housing contract at the Colony for Fall/Winter this coming year, which makes me think I'm moving in there soon. (actually 8 months away...)My brother Taylor is living at the Colony next year too, so if that is soon, then he will also soon be back from his mission! (actually 5 months away...)I'm trying to figure out what I really want to do with my life, which involves making sure I'm in the right major(s) (even though graduation is 3 1/2 years away...)I'm planning classes for those intended majors so I'm trying to set up next year's schedule already (8 months away...)I'm trying to figure out possible opportunities for employment this summer so I can come back to school! (3 months away...)All the boys in my ward are getting their mission calls and they leave in next six months and will be for two years! (so 2 1/2 years until they come home...)Tomorrow never comes (one day away)

Things that stress me out

School assignments (papers, tests, etc)MoneyJobs (or lack thereof)SleepMessy housesFuture careersMajors and minorsMaking decisionsNot knowingFriends leavingThinking too much