Sunday, March 28, 2010


Birthdays are funny things.

I was thinking today about one of my favorite short stories, "Eleven" by Sandra Cisneros. I love this passage: 

"What they don’t understand about birthdays and what they never tell you is that when you’re eleven, you’re also ten, and nine, and eight, and seven, and six, and five, and four, and three, and two, and one. And when you wake up on your eleventh birthday you expect to feel eleven, but you don’t. ... You feel like you’re still ten. And you are—underneath the year that makes you eleven.

Like some days you might say something stupid, and that’s the part of you that’s still ten. Or maybe some days you might need to sit on your mama’s lap because you’re scared, and that’s the part of you that’s five. And maybe one day when you’re all grown up maybe you will need to cry like if you’re three, and that’s okay. That’s what I tell Mama when she’s sad and needs to cry. Maybe she’s feeling three."

I can relate to the little girl in the story today. The only difference is that today I'm 22, not 11, so that gives me twice as many years to swift through when I act a certain way. And I'm figuring out the the more years you have layered under your age, the more complicated your actions get.

Sometimes, I get nervous to graduate because I don't know what's coming next, and that's the part of me that's still 18. Sometimes, I see Ryan and I get butterflies and don't know what to say, and that's the part of me that's still 13. Sometimes I drive like I'm 16, and I still feel like a 6-year-old playing house. 

Today I went to Primary with my niece and I did the actions to the songs. That's the part of me that's still 7. Right now I'm procrastinating my homework like I'm 17. 

I really feel like I'm still 21. And I am — underneath the year that makes me 22.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What I live for

I know no one likes a grammar-Nazi schoolmarm. But I still kind of love finding grammatical (our punctuational) mistakes  in writing that completely change a sentence's meaning. Case in point — this question on my assignment today:

How do side effects of Paxil effect consumers buying potential? 

I didn't know that consumers could buy potential. Where can I find some? And how much does it cost? 

Yes, that made me laugh. Yes, I thought I was clever when I spotted it. Yes, I spotted the wrong "effect," too, for anyone else who noticed.
And yes, I'm a TOTAL nerd.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Everything I need to know I learned at Falls Valley

Blame it on my pending graduation, but I've waxed a bit philosophical about my education lately. Mostly, I've remembered Falls Valley Elementary School and the priceless lessons I learned as a little girl.

Last week, I was in the testing center painstakingly filling out my Scantron sheet. I always fill out the bubbles with obnoxious precision — I can't bring myself to mark them with light dots, and I find it equally annoying whether I go outside the line or fail to fill the entire circle. Why do I do that?

And then, I remembered. A long-stored memory pushed its way to the front of my mind with all the speed I wished the answers to my test questions could muster. I remembered sitting in Mrs. Holcomb's second grade classroom — the one that opened up to the coat room and also Mrs. Pickett's classroom on the south side. Mrs. Holcomb always had the date written on the board in numbers/dashes form (you know, 3-16-10), and I would always write "95" at the end of the date. I couldn't wait to be in 96. I thought the number 5 looked fat.

But the thing I remembered at that  moment in the testing center had nothing to do with fat numbers or coat rooms. I remembered Mrs. Holcomb teaching us how to fill out bubble sheets for our big Iowa Basics test.

She put three bad examples on the board. In one, the circle was filled, but too light. In the next, the circle was filled, but the mark spilled over the edge. The last showed a bubble incompletely filled, and Mrs. Holcomb explained that the computer might not read these marks properly. I decided right then  to never miss a question on a test like this because of something as silly as inappropriately filled Scantron bubbles.

So there I was, 15 years later, in the testing center at BYU-Idaho one month prior to receiving my bachelor's degree, and I was filling in the bubbles with ridiculously diligent accuracy. I'm sure I learned a lot of other things in my second grade class that I use every day — double-digit addition, for example — but most of those lessons apparently didn't take as well as that bubble-filling lecture. If I missed any questions on that test (or any other I've taken since '95), it wasn't because the bubbles were improperly marked.

Thank you, Mrs. Holcomb.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The rest of the story

You know how I didn't vote for "Marc" because "I don't even know Marc"?

Yeah, he definitely won the election.

Shows what I know.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Secret

What's the best part of SRC elections week? Color-coded, Times New Roman-ed "campaign badges" that look like name tags? Being assaulted in the Manwaring Center? Poorly Photoshopped campaign posters?

None of the above.  Answer: Awkward moments

I thought I had the best idea ever: vote early, and you are home free through the whole week. That way, you have an infallible excuse to rush past all the fliers pushed at you. Platform-pushing campaigners can't argue with "I already voted!"
It's not fool-proof, though. I tried it on Monday, and instead of out-smarting all the lobbyists, I just found myself in a really, really awkward situation.

GIRLS: No. Are you running?
ME: (laughing at their naivity.)
ME: (feeling pretty smart) Yep! Sorry.
CAMPAIGNER: Did you vote for Marc?

I don't even know Marc. And I don't know this guy, either. But you can't just say "No," because that's rude. In my search for words, I inadvertently managed to say something even ruder.

ME: I ... don't ... think I know you.
CAMPAIGNER: All right ... see ya later.

And of course I've seen him twice. It must be a law of the universe that the people who witness your most embarrassing moments haunt you. At least till campaign week is over.

Happy voting!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A winning equation


plus this:

= my quote from Tuesday night's American Idol.

Ellen: "Most people would say, 'Don't take on such a big song.' But they also said 'Don't mix sleeves with a blanket,' and look at the Snuggie. It's huge!"

Love it.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Highly Recommended

I mentioned a couple posts ago that I love being a comm major. Here's reason #2,782: Out textbooks tend to be more of the Barnes & Noble variety and less of the Rip-Off Bookstore variety. Case in point:

I read this for my Media Management class, and it was outstanding. I think the main reason I love it is because it's written for everyone — not just business owners, not just advertising creatives. It teaches about how to make ideas stick, and everyone has an idea they need to stick.

If you are a mom trying to teach your child not to hit, this book is for you. If you teach a Sunday School class, this book is for you. If you are a leader of a group or if you like to tell stories or if you are giving a sacrament meeting talk or if you write fiction or if you just really, really want to help someone remember something, this book is for you.

Try it. I think you'll like it.