The Power of a Compliment

If I see someone dressed cutely, or their hair looks nice, or I see them doing something sweet, I compliment them. As a writing tutor, I first compliment what they do well before going into constructive suggestions.

By doing so, I know I can reach out to them and make them smile. I smile at them as well. I enjoy smiling. 
Today, that small, random act of kindness I try to provide was returned to me. I wore one of my favorite skirts today: ankle-long, very full, black and white skirt. As I was walking to the library, a 9-year-old girl came skipping up to me with a smile on her face. Even though I had my headphones in and I was watching the clouds as I walked, she still said to me, “I love your skirt.” I immediately turned to her and said, “Thank you.” 
That was about 20 minutes ago. I am still smiling. So sweet, and it made my day.
Emily Dickinson wrote this poem that has inspired me to compliment and smile when I feel the need, even to strangers.
“They might not need me; but they might. 
I’ll let my head be just in sight; 
A smile as small as mine might be 
Precisely their necessity.” 
My challenge to you: try to smile or compliment at least one random person a day. It will make their day AND yours!

Long-suffering and Patience

I’ve been thinking about this the whole day–what it means to be long-suffering and patient, two traits I’ve never really acquired in my life. But, it’s become apparent this whole school year that it is something I need to work on.

Whether it be friends, roommates, homework and tests, work, relationships, or family, it matters not. And trust me, I’ve had issues in all of these this school year.

This year, I have been trying to improve myself. I read the Ensign more often, listen to the talks in church better, read my scripture every morning, and practice. True, I am not perfect nor do I succeed everyday. I have to keep reminding myself to be more patient and in doing so, I will become long-suffering.

Alma 13:28-29 really helps keep things in perspective for me. I am trying to be better.

I live with 4 other girls, 3 of which don’t really do their dishes nor clean up after themselves. I hated doing their dishes all last semester. Then, my mom suggested I look at it as a service opportunity and have an attitude of service while doing them. I have begun to do that. True, it sometimes still irks me that after two days every single dish in the house is dirty again, but I just pop in my iPod, roll up my sleeves, and do the dishes.

I’m getting better with relationships as well, whether friends or family. If there was a trait I didn’t like, I would make it known and if someone let me down or made me mad, I would try (although not successful for long) to hold a grudge. But, I’ve been trying to think–why should I be mad or disgruntled? I love them. I should be patient and long-suffering. After all, it is just grapefruit.

I am still working my way there. I have to remember to constantly remind myself how and why I should improve myself. I need to remember what I am ultimately working for.

But, I am getting better and that knowledge makes every step easier.

Food Service and Me

Tonight, I worked concessions for the volleyball game. It was very busy and chaotic–our lines were continuously long because our team did so well, we had a new worker, and our registers kept going off line….and I got like 3 new burns on my hands. However, I still enjoyed it. I love working concessions.

My first job was working at CiCi’s Pizza Buffet when I was 16. In retrospect, it wasn’t the greatest working environment ever, and the management was really bad. However, for a first job, it was great! And the perks! I ate for free and my family ate for free. It was also a very busy environment, especially with school fundraisers, so I got used to working fast pace and multitasking.
I worked at CiCi’s until I graduated high school. Then, I got a job with BYU Concessions. I have held that job for 4 years now, and gotten numerous raises and promotions. I am one of the most experienced workers there. When I am on the schedule, my peers don’t have to worry. I love working Concessions.
During football and basketball, I manage different stands, ran by local restaurants or non-profit groups for fundraising. During all the rest of the sports, conferences, etc, I manage one stand and work inside it as well. I love doing it. However, the worst part comes at the end of the night. After we clean up and do ending inventory and count our money, we have to put it all in a Excell spreadsheet and see if we balance under 1% variance. If you don’t, that means recounting money and recounting inventory. It means freaking out and worrying why. But, the worst part is making sure to read the receipt correctly and put each of the correct net deposits, net sales, etc, etc in the correct cell. I have been doing this for 3 years and it still freaks me out. It still worries me that I will put the wrong number in the wrong cell and mess up the whole equation and be hundreds of dollars off. But, tonight, I wasn’t…I was .53% off–missing $7. I was good.
Although I want to be a teacher and then a stay-at-home mom, I want to manage or even own a restaurant sometime in my life. I love working fast food, but I don’t want to make it my career. It is more like a hobby to me and I want to keep with it. Making the food, interacting with customers, the fast-pace, and just managing is fun. I really want to own a restaurant someday–I hope I really do!

Welsh Language

People always ask me why I study Welsh. What real world application does this cool, but strange, and almost useless language have? I mean, not event the Welsh speak Welsh all the time. They all know English.

Well, I’m a historian.

To me, it’s fun rediscovering an endangered language. When I went on the Welsh Study Abroad in Summer 2010, we visited Tintagel in Cornwall. We spoke to a few of the shop keepers, trying to see if they knew any Cornish, which is a closely related language to Welsh. They didn’t–Cornish has gone extinct. By learning the language, I am helping to preserve it from becoming another dead language.

Welsh is a gorgeous language. To the beginner and non-speaker, it sounds like guttural, Germanic elvish. Which, it pretty much is.

Welsh is a Celtic language. The Celts originated from the Rhineland, then migrated to the British Isles. There is a lot of “ch” (guttural hhkkkhhhh sounds–think Hanukkah), there is a weird LL sound (saying “th” and lah at the same time).

But, it is also “elvish.” Not only is it one of the numerous languages that Tolkein used to create his Middle Earth languages, but it is also an old language, the language of the druids, the language of the bards. Both of these were high revered social positions. They were the entertainers, the praisers, the heralds, the propagandizing politicians, the seers, the prophets.

The Welsh language, spoken correctly, and by natives, is a beautiful language. It is known for its poems. Ever since medieval times, there has been a national festival every year celebrating the culture and language of Wales. It is called the Eisteddfod. This is a major celebration, and I went to it in 2010. Poets from all over Wales come to compete in Welsh poetry–which is FAAAAAAAAAAAR too complicated to explain! (You thought English poetry was hard, try writing good, publishable Welsh poetry.) The highest honor is to be in the  Gorsedd of the Bards–meaning you are as good as the Medieval bards.

I love to listen to Welsh singers–their songs are astoundingly beautiful. You might recognize this song:

I have already decided I am going to sing lullabies to my babies in Welsh.
However, the main reason I am learning Welsh is BECAUSE I am a historian. I want to be an Arthurian specialist, as well as a Medieval Britain specialist. Most Welshmen spoke fluent Welsh at the time and the bards most definitely wrote and sung in Welsh. Thus, knowing the language will be of use to me.
 Besides, it is just a gorgeous language, full of mystery and history.

Daunting

I have this thing: when I learn a new word and like the sound of it, it becomes a “phase” for me to continually say it as often as I can. However, there are a few words that just stick with me for the rest of my life.

My first, and most important favorite word is…..
Daunting.
Dictionary definition: fearful and intimidating.
I first learned this word in 7th grade English. It was part of our weekly vocabulary. Only, this week, we had to make mnemonics on flashcards to study for them. When I looked up the word in the dictionary, I understood it easily–it’s an easy word. And, it sounds like “haunting”–which is spooky! Thus, I came up with mnemonic. On the front side of the notecard was the word daunting with a tombstone and a ghost. On the otherside was the definition. 
From that day on, I loved using the word daunting.  
Daunting, daunting, daunting.
Daunting
Daunting
And, since I learned the word in Virginia, with a teacher who most definitely had a Southern accent, it became 
Dhaaaaaaauuuunting. 
A long drawn out sound, a gasp, a sigh of fear, of giving up. More meaning to the word.
So, if you hear me say “daunting,”  you know it is my favorite word.