New Year's Resolutions 2012

This year has been a whirlwind for me. In the spring, I ended the school year by saying goodbye to two of the best roommates I have ever had as they moved out. One graduated and now works for a local newstation. The other is student teaching in a nearby city. I have only seen them a handful of times since April and everytime was like Christmas!

Over the summer, I stayed in Provo over the summer for the first time instead of going home. It was just Danielle and I in the house we rent. I kind of liked it. Danielle is my best friend and a wonderful roommate and we had some very peaceful evenings. I also biked up and down the Provo River numerous times–I came to love Provo in the spring/summer. I was also an EFY counselor for the first time ever. The best job I have ever had.

The fall came with some bumps. Danielle and I got 3 new roommates, some of which we clash terribly with. Just different personalities than we have. We have some fun times though. I had decided not to date anyone or go looking for boys, but I found myself in a wonderful relationship nonetheless. I lagged a lot with my habits–sleeping, procrastinating, eating, working out, etc.

Here are last year’s resolutions:
– As always, I will keep a GPA higher than 3.7
This I succeeded in. I ended the semester with my highest GPA yet: 3.93, giving me an overall GPA of 3.78!
– As always, I will work out 5 days a week and keep my ideal weight.
I did wel until the summer, then going back and forth from EFY, I kind of failed and definitely failed in the fall.
– I will do more charity and service this year.
I began indexing and love doing it–an easy way to do temple work and civil service at the same time.
– I will BE the right person – the kind of friend I want, the kind of homemaker I should be, etc.
I think I have done well with this.
– I will continue stepping out of my box socially.
I definitely stepped out of my box in the summer–not only within my apartment complex, but as an EFY counselor as well.
– I will study Welsh for at least 1 hour a week.
Eh, I did join a Welsh reading and translation class for the fall.

So, I did ok on my resolutions. However, I think that this year, I will try something different because this year will be full of changes to my life anyway:
I will not have New Year’s Resolutions.
Instead, I will have New Year’s Goals. You see, the reason we never keep our New Year’s Resolutions is because we aren’t held accountable for them. But goals are SMART.

S – specific, significant, stretching
M – measurable, meaningful, motivational
A – agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented
R – realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented
T – time-based, timely, tangible, trackable

So, here are my 2012 Goals:

~ Attend all FHE’s on Monday nights.
~ Do 100% Visiting Teaching for the whole year.

~ Study and do my best as to keep a GPA of 3.7 or higher
~ Study Welsh for at least 30 min each week.
~ Read for myself at least 20 min each day.
~ Blog at least once a week.
~ Work on my novel for at least 45 min a week.

~ Workout/run 5 days a week.
~ Maintain my goal weight (sorry, you don’t get to hear that!)
~ Cook 1 new meal a month using a new recipe

~ Read my scriptures every morning.
~ Go to the temple at least once a month.

So, I know it seems like a lot, but they’re all little things. Wish me luck!

Mary Christmas

Tonight is Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas everyone.
My family has a tradition. Every Christmas Eve, we watch the Nativity Story.
It is a very good movie and although it does portray miracles and angels (which I love and appreciate), it also tries to explain the star scientifically. But besides that, I just think it is an amazing movie with an amazing plot. I think the actors do a great job portraying their character and letting us get to know these biblical people on a deeper level.
My two favorite, of course, are Joseph and Mary. I love how Joseph is portrayed in this movie–a young man in love, always trying to do what is right and honorable. He is such a sweetheart.
And Mary. Last year, but especially this year, Mary has caught my eye. We really don’t know how old she was when she gave birth to Jesus, but we do know she was pretty young. How extraordinary that Heavenly Father would chose someone so young, but then again, he works wonders through the young.
But Mary, she must have had so many questions and ponderings, which this movie does a great job exploring. Why her? When will she know her son is the Messiah? Will she and Joseph be able to teach him anything? Did she ever fully understand her son’s destiny?
Today on the radio, I heard this song. Watch and read the lyrics.

What an amazing young woman, full of faith. Mary, did you know this was your son. How wondrous our Lord was? As a mother, can you imagine her joy when Jesus performed miracles, when he taught, when he loved? What was she thinking when she held Him in her arms for the first time? Pure love. That is the bond between Jesus Christ and his mother.

Christmas Break!

So sorry for not writing for over a month! I have had a super strenuous end of semester. I am a history and English teaching student. This semester, I have been doing my practicum (basically, pre-student-teaching).

I have been periodically going to a local high school and teaching American History and Ancient Civ classes. It was really exciting to see the lights going on in their heads. Especially when one student compared Emperor Jusitinian of Byzantium to Hitler. Genius!! They really seemed to enjoy a break from their real teacher. I have also created a unit plan for my English teaching class for Shakespeare’s “A Winter’s Tale.” I also had to create a practice Teacher Work Sample, including a unit plan on Slavery for my history practicum.

But, beside just working hard on teaching projects, I have had a few other snags or distractions this semester.

I haven’t ran since about October.
I have new roommates with different personalities than previous roomies—Meryl and Ale, I miss you two dearly!
The house has been a continuous stress.
I have gotten a boyfriend.

Justin. My boyfriend.

I enjoy this distraction!!!! He is the best boyfriend I have ever had.

But as that is, no working out, eating out a lot, late nights, early mornings, forced nights in the library, procrastinating, videogame playing, dates, etc. have happened this semester.

I am now officially a college student, with college habits.
Not the best of semesters habit-wise, but definitely a very happy semester.

Since it is Christmas break, you will be seeing a lot more posts from me!

Our Darker Side

One of my favorite Disney characters is Maleficent. The evil fairy of Sleeping Beauty. The Queen of all evil.

There are numerous other bad guys that I love. Why is that?
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog explores the bad guy. How he is really a good guy and the good guy is really the bad guy.
Why do we have a tendency to explore the darker side things? Why do we feel the want of dark power, the intrigue of mystery?
What is it that causes the villains to be evil, to be against the hero? What happened in their past to lead them to this stage? What are their thought processes?
How about Mirage from Incredibles, who has a weakness for power.
What about Meg from Hercules who sold her soul to Hades for true love, only to have it turned on her?
What about Harley Quinn? Harlene Quintzel was interested in the thought processes of the villains of Gotham City and became Arkham’s psychologist. However, during her sessions with the Joker, she came to understand him, hate Batman, and love the Joker. She became Harley Quinn to give Joker laughs and lift up his day.
It is this that I want to discover with my main character in the novel that I am working on. I am so intrigued by this prospect of good turning evil. My main character has power beyond anything else and is expected to save the world, but to save her love, she turns to Darkness. I can’t wait to write it.

History and Literature

I am a history teaching major and an English teaching minor.
My entire life as been so deeply embedded in these two subjects and I can’t imagince life without either one. In fact, I can’t imagine either subject without the other.

History is a form of story-telling. Has been since the beginning of time. The oral tradition was just that–a way of telling stories before written language. However, it was more than just stories, it was a way to pass down geneology and information as well as myths and legends.
Throughout time, history has influence literature, but literature has also influenced events in history.

I love both subjects so much and am amazed when people can’t see the connection between the two. I can’t wait to become a teacher and teach both subjects. I want to be abel to create an integrated class program. A class for both history and English. A high school version of Humanities.
I feel that is the best way we can learn about ourselves.

History is a novel for which the people is the author.

(Alfred de Vigny, Réflexions sur la Vérité dans l’Art)