Thursday, September 3, 2009

I Hid Under the Porch Because I Love You

I'm not always sure how to punctuate my post titles. All caps? Sometimes it looks right, and sometimes it looks weird. Here are some things:
  • I finally saw Up. Kent is right, those Pixar movies really deliver. The short that preceded the movie and then the film itself were almost unbearably adorable. Without so much as a word of dialogue you get hooked on the couple in the beginning. I think Doug the dog might have been my favorite character throughout the whole thing. "But I'm not the Alpha...OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH..." So funny. Loved it.
  • I love the first week of school. The first day of each class especially, because professors always let out early. This is even more true of my graduate courses than it is of my undergrad ones. And it was the same way over at Claremont. Professors run through the syllabus, ask for questions, then dismiss. Takes about 20 minutes.
  • Starting in the winter, I have a lot of cool research opportunities. One professor in the business school asked me to help out then, and she does stuff looking at negotiations, ethical decision making, psychological consequences of power, and some other things. I contacted a professor in the political science department and in the summer he needs a head research assistant for a large scale study that he's doing on group discussion and deliberation. His stuff is really awesome because he collaborates with Princeton, so his studies have a lot of prestige. But this semester? Not anything really, but I guess that works out because I need to really just focus on my thesis.
  • Grad school is very different. At least grad school for someone in my kind of track. I only have 2 classes this semester, and I'm a full-time student. So people hear my schedule and are like, oh that sounds great! You only have class for like 4 hours a week. Yeah, that's true, but the difficulty lies in the fact that the focus of my program and degree are not the classes. It's all about the research I do, which is entirely self-directed. Not only do I have to search out and contact any and every professor that I think might have interests that coincide with my own, but then I've gotta do everything on my own to get it going. It's not harder, just different. It requires a lot of self-discipline which I'm short on a lot of times. I do great with deadlines and pressure, but applying my own? That's really hard for me to do.
  • This guy I blog-stalk wrote a post yesterday that made me feel a lot better about my summer. He's doing some graduate degree up at Stanford, but went back to LA for the summer. In his post he mentions this:
    Screw the fact that I will have done nothing, nothing this summer that has been successful. Fail at two jobs? Check. Fail at two relationships? Check. Fail at my summer reading list? Check. Fail at prepping my thesis? Check. Fail at applying to stanford MBA? Check. Fail at studying Chinese? Check. Fail at losing weight? Check. Fail at getting dress company going better? Check.
    I didn't even do that bad, so I must be doing pretty good, right? I read 8 books while I was home, did at least some work on my thesis, and did cut some weight. Work and relationships? Not so much, but I'm feeling good where I'm at now.
  • There are a TON of things to look forward to over this next month. Airborne Toxic Event is playing in two weeks and nobody seems to really know or like them except for me, but The Ataris are playing here, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Colbie Caillat and Howie Davis, and then to top it all off, Strung Out is coming here at the end of October. It's a totally random mix of shows, but I think they'll all be great. Plus...the Salt City Derby Girls are having their championship bout September 26th. Who are they you ask? The local roller derby team. I've been wanting to watch one of these things for the longest time, and my schedule finally meets up to where I can see one. Want in? I think it'll be really funny. They have one in Orange County too, but I just never got around to it.
  • There is a Bacardi commercial that I thought had a really catchy song, and the guy I blog-stalk from above posted their video so I finally figured out who is the band that sings it. Well, they're coming here on Monday. I may like the song for only the 30 second snippet that's on the commercial, but it's only $7 for the show. Can't be worse than $7, right? Here's the commercial:

    And here's the song:

  • Really? On my drive up here on the part I was awake, I was looking at the mountains and terrain and I felt like hiking and camping everywhere. I saw the sign for the road/highway to Bryce Canyon and I wanted to veer off and go exploring. This weekend I'm floating down the river with some friends, and I'm kind of really excited about it. I wanna run the Y. About church...
  • I couldn't love my ward more. Aside from the fact that it's HUGE, the people that are here are just so awesome. It really is like an all-star collection of young single adults. Even though I know a good amount of people back home, I didn't feel the kind of welcome there that I did here when I came back to church. Well, that's not entirely true, but what was surprising was how much it came from people I wouldn't have expected it from, you know? People that I thought I hardly even knew were really excited to see me and that's always a nice feeling.
  • I'm realizing that I need church responsibility. When I was in Chile, there was this awesome stake president who used to quip, "If I weren't the stake president, then I'd go inactive!" I used to have no idea what he meant by that, but now I do. Again, I do much better when I have church obligations placed on me rather than just doing stuff on my own. My bishop approached me and said we needed to meet because he had something in mind for me. I asked the Sunday School President if I could teach soon now that I'm back. I saw my Elders Quorum President and told him that I needed to be assigned a companion and people to home teach. I'm even thinking that now's a good time for me to see if I can start working in the temple. It's just nice to feel driven in that direction.
  • If there is anything that California did for me, it was to help me feel rejuvenated. I can't remember the last time when I've felt so motivated and excited about all the areas of my life. It's a really great feeling.
  • One thing I don't like, though, is the tone. I went to institute last night, and they have two members from the stake teach the class. One is a girl, and the other a guy. The girl just had that tone, you know what I'm talking about? It's like an urging for you to feel the spirit kind of tone. The guy didn't have it at all. I guess I just appreciate people who are real. And not that she wasn't, but just that it feels a little disingenuous when people use that tone. I guess I just don't understand why the speech pattern someone employs when they teach about the gospel has to be something other than what they would use in their normal everyday conversation. Does that make sense? Obviously your subject matter is different, but that doesn't mean that the way you talk has to be. When you talk about spiritual matters, it should just be woven into your conversation and character. It shouldn't have to be something like switching into a different role. It almost feels patronizing when people use that tone. I don't like it.
Anyway, lots of good things going on. Now that I've sufficiently wasted enough time, I'm going to go find something else to do.

Peace y'all, and be blessed!


Dave said...

I agree about the "tone" of some people when they teach a lesson. However, I would say that when I speak of some spiritual things (I think due to the very nature of the subject) I tend to speak with a bit more reverence. At times that can mean a lowering of the volume of my voice or a heartfelt plea for those hearing my voice to understand that which carries eternal importance. I think where I agree with you is when someone thinks that simply switching to those tones indicates they are being spritual--much like the way a light switch functions. It's really interesting how easily it is to spot someone who is being disingenuous.

Oh... and amen to the church responsibility thing. Amen. The Lord knows that too and that's why President Hinckley said every member in the church needs a calling.

Silvs said...

I see your point. Being reverent does sometimes require a shift in speaking patterns, but I guess what I'm talking about is the thought that simply changing the tone of voice brings the spirit. Actually being spiritual brings the spirit.

I'm still not explaining myself well.


kent said...

what is all this spirit talk? you guys are both completely missing the point. 'up' was a fantastic movie. im disappointed it took chris so long to see it, but i am happy he got around to it. its a shame some people passed on the movie since it really was one of the best movies of the summer, if not the best. the talking dogs were genius and so spot on. just brilliant.

Caitlin said...

I have turned into the worst commenter ever and I owe it all to Google Reader. That song is so darn catchy.