Bastille Day

My roommate Desiree and I were up pretty late talking Sunday night, and by the time we went to bed it was already past midnight and into the next day–July 14th.

Happy Bastille Day! I exclaimed.

In honor of the day, we listened to Le Marseillaise while marching about patriotically and getting ready for bed.

French Flag
French Monument
French Fries

Fast forward a few hours. The air conditioning in our apartment decided to call it quits while it was 90+ degrees outside, and we were all laying around lazily, trying to find motivation to move our do something other than wallow in the heat.

Let’s celebrate Bastille Day and liberate some people!

So we ran across the street to where the boys in our ward live and stormed several apartments, Desiree shouting to the inhabitants of the apartment that they were free while I sang Le Marseillaise in incomprehensible syllables of gibberish.

Why yes, we did look this epic.

After returning home, I looked up the information for Bastille Day on Wikipedia and found out the raid on the French prison in July of 1789 only released 7 people.

7 people. How anticlimactic.

After being disappointed for a while about France’s inability to pick a proper day to celebrate their country (calm down, I’m just kidding), Desiree gave me a little boost.

Think about when we went to apartment #1, and only Kyle was there. Did we falter because there was only one prisoner? Of course not! We freed him just like we did the others, and think about how much he appreciated it!

(Note: Kyle tried to ignore us and kept writing to his missionary brother. But I’m sure somewhere deep…deep…really deep down he appreciated it.)

And so we sang Le Marseillaise one last time before we started planning our next celebration:

July 31st.
Harry Potter’s birthday.
Wingardium Leviosa.

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Life Lately

I know I made a brief list for my last post, but there are so many things on my mind that I couldn’t possibly write about each one without boring you out of your mind. So here’s the Reader’s Digest version:

  • Did you ever read the jokes in the back of Reader’s Digest? I did. To this day I consider those cheesy jokes the source of my sparkling wit. Those and my dad’s lame ones, of course.
  • Pändo is basically my favorite band, and I got to sing with them. Twice. Booyah.
  • I find great fulfillment in what I consider to be intellectual conversations. I’m sure most of the things I say make me seem dumber than a fence post, but talking out my thoughts and ideas with someone who is willing to talk with me is a great feeling. Also, what is the IQ of a fence post?
  • Life is short.
  • Sometimes your best friends get married. But even if and when they do, you’ll still be best friends and take ridiculous pictures by the duck pond to relive the good ole days.
  • You may not be taking classes, but life is still busy. So busy the only time you have to write a blog post about our thoughts is 1:20 in the morning.
  • Great hair days.
  • John Williams is the man. I had a dream the other night that I was being chased by a dinosaur in Jurassic Park, but John Williams’ music started playing and the dinosaur was so mesmerized by the beautiful music, I was able to domesticate him and ride him around without him eating me.
  •  Music, huh? And literature. And history. And art. And just…life. Excuse me for love bursting all over the place here.
  • Heritage. From both your ancestors and even the people who have had a big influence on your life. I am surrounded by so many wonderful people. Love burst again.
  • Sometimes you take really good pictures with your really good friends. But then you make it your profile picture on Facebook and all of a sudden everyone thinks you’re dating. Oops. But just to demonstrate:
Like I was just supposed to NOT make this my profile picture??
  • Being a responsible adult is hard work. But if you go to Wendy’s late at night to get dinner in the form of your favorite fries because you forgot to eat, it can be fun, too.
  • Commuting to work.
  • Reading the General Conference issue of the Ensign is amazing. This is my most recent favorite, and even though it’s to the priesthood holders, I think we can learn a lot from our roles in our Father’s kingdom.
  • Why do the British spell it favourite? Or colour? Don’t their spellings make them seem even more pretentious?
  • America!
  • Parallel structure and this post’s complete lack of anything resembling it.
  • We never had a season they like to call Spring in Arizona, and I have just been loving the beautiful weather and green mountains. Mmm.
  • Gilbert Blythe and the rule that bosom friends can hold hands whether their husbands are out of town or not.
I’ll take one to go, please.

I already have a bosom friend, though, but thanks for asking.

  • Piles of laundry
  • How much I love education. I recently sat through a teacher training for a private school. Like, on my own. And, like, I kind of wanted to be there. Voluntarily. And I thought it was really interesting. I think I must be in the right major–yay!
  • This post was supposed to be short.
  • Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. But sometimes that’s ok, and life is even better than you could have imagined it. Thanks Heaven for that. And I do.

A Scientific Field Guide to the Lyrid Meteor Shower

So, you want to experience the beauty of nature by observing the wonderful Lyrid meteor shower! Well, you’re in luck, because it’s happening right above your heads! Here are some tips for having an unforgettable night:

  • Travel up Provo Canyon to Vivian Park of President-Monson-almost-burning-down-the-forest fame
  • Bring blankets and sweatshirts, because it’ll be a little colder than it is in the valley.
  • Get to the park, step outside, and realize it’s so overcast you can’t even see the moon.
  • Lay your blankets out anyway.
  • Listen to someone recount a scary story from their mission about gypsy butchers.
  • Get upset when you realize he just made it up.
  • Listen to other not-so-scary stories.
  • Eat pretzels.
  • Pretend like you can see the skies above you while being serenaded on the guitar.
  • Attack the person who tells you that you can’t harmonize to save your life.
  • Apologize profusely when they end up with a bloody nose. (TOTALLY an accident!!!)
  • Watch as 4 roommates wrestle it out. (Clarification–4 BOY roommates. Although does this surprise anyone?)
  • Apologize again for the bloody nose. (Actually, just repeat this every minute or so until he gets sick of hearing it. But then keep doing it because you really are sorry.)
  • Wrap it up and go home. There’s nothing to see here.
No, really–there’s nothing to see. It’s still too cloudy. Go home. You have finals tomorrow.

(Oh, and Kyle–I am so sorry for the bloody nose!!)

Stream of Consciousness of a Student in the Library on a Saturday Night

Disclaimer: This is boring and monotonous and if you are my mom you should probably just stop reading now so you think I’m a productive citizen. But if you don’t mind complete senselessness, please–read on.

8:56–Descend the stairs to the second floor. No cell phone service. I am completely alone.

8:58–Walk through the stacks to find a decent cubicle. Glance at the titles on the shelf. Multi-variable calculus? I have reached the deepest, darkest part of the universe. There is no escaping now.
9:06–Sleep starting to sound good. I’ve been here for less than 10 minutes. How will I survive?
9:08–Internet non-functional. All hope is lost.
9:09–A sign of life. I hear something across the room. But it’s hidden behind the rows and rows of bookshelves. Friend or foe?
9:11–Internet non-functionality storm has passed. I can begin work again. 
9:16–Try non-work. Turns out the guy I’m in love with in Divine Comedy is married. Not point in living. Go on without me.
9:21–Someone is legitimately playing the Jaws theme song down here. I am not even kidding. This is not a joke. My life is about to come to an end. Tell my mom I love her.
9:22–I should have worn sweat-pants.
9:25–Oh my gosh, there it is again. And I think it’s getting louder. Seriously, I am toast. What possessed me to come to this evil place??
9:32–Wondering what it is about the internet and cats.
9:33–Oh great, now my stomach’s growling. Why weren’t you hungry 3 hours ago when I had time to feed you, body? WHY??
9:36–Do commas go outside the parentheses or inside? Thank goodness for Google…
9:37–Outside and after, it turns out. Interesting….
9:38–Ah, that does look better. As you were, Google.
9:41–Currently having deep thoughts about our country’s current education system.
9:42–Just kidding. Found more cats.
9:48–Does anyone else ever have trouble with Microsoft Word formatting? Can’t it just read my mind to do what I want??
9:49–Forget you, Word. I’m going to get a drink of water.
9:51–Most interesting book I found on my drinking fountain field trip: The Big Book of Fungi. Followed closely by The Geology of Kansas. 
9:52–Also, the only thing I could think about while getting water was that dumb Jaws theme song. I need to get out of here. I’m losing it. Big time.
10:00–How many revisions does a student need to go through on a 2-page personal narrative, for heaven’s sake? I don’t want to read them all!
10:09–Losing will to live.
10:12–The silence is doing nothing to convince me I’m not stuck in time and space. Someone should at least cough or something.
10:13–Just realized I need a model text for some examples. Be right back, little cubicle. I’m off the the Young Adult section!
10:25–What an adventure! I rode the elevator to the 4th floor, which was creepy. The elevator, not the floor. I passed through the music library and the Asian Collection the the big mural in the juvenile section. Which apparently does not carry Harry Potter. Boo. But I did find some good mentor texts. Yay! As I was walking back, I found some picture from El Alhambra and paused to reminisce. Good old-fashioned nostalgia will get you every time. Then I came back on the elevator. Which was less creepy than the other one. Phew…that was a lot of excitement. I might pass out now.
10:29–Pass out from hunger, that is. *whimper*
10:35–What do you mean 9th graders are too old for a refresher on coordinating conjunctions?? Please, Common Core State Standards…just work with me on this one.
10:43–Guess I’m going to have to settle for semi-colons, dang it. Who wants to learn about semi-colons, anyway?
10:45–That announcement about the materials desk closing gives me a heart attack every time. Can you say panic attack?
10:56–Welp, I think it’s about time to give up on this. To blow this popsicle stand. To put an egg in my shoe and beat it. But mostly to go home and eat a snack and go to bed. This unit plan is getting closer!
Wow…you really read that whole thing? Again, I apologize. That was…interesting.

All The Things I Carry

It’s getting to that time in the semester. The time when you can feel finals creeping closer. When your professors decide to have the major project of the semester due on the same day. And when you realize you don’t have nearly enough weekends to cram it all in. That’s when the weird dreams start.

Last night I was climbing up the HFAC stairs, but they were never-ending. They just kept going and going, and I wasn’t sure of my destiation, so how did I know when I needed to stop?

And then All The Things started coming.

All of a sudden I had my backpack. A minute later, I had my jacket it my hands. Then some books. Then some tambourines. (Yes, I currently have more than 1 tambourine. And you thought I couldn’t get any cooler.) Another backpack was added in there, as well as a brown paper sack and BYU Bookstore bag full of Swedish Fish.

All along the way, people kept trying to talk to me as I struggled to carry All The Things. Some people were just thanking me for doing such a great job and told me how wonderful I was (oh, stop it 😉 ), but others, the more perceptive ones, asked me what was wrong.

What’s Wrong? I would think as I struggled to adjust the second backpack so it would hang off one shoulder and hang in front of me. Can’t you see All The Things I’m carrying? 

But they would just stand there, trying to talk to me while I juggled All The Things. Eventually I would get so frustrated, I would leave. But I couldn’t leave because the stairs just kept going. And going. And going.

I wish I was joking, but this is actually what I dreamed last night. I think I have problems.

Thirsty Thursday

Sometimes I’m bad at blogging.

And other times I feel so guilty about it, I write about something lame so I don’t feel bad that my last post is 3 weeks old.

This is not one of those times.

Because this topic is not lame.

What I have to write about today is something that has becoming increasingly important to me as the semester has continued. It’s a Provo YSA 9th ward tradition that has been passed down through the Belmont generations and landed squarely in my lap. It’s a celebration of life and happiness, and a responsibility I feel firmly on my shoulders.

It’s Thirsty Thursday.

My lovely neighbor Olivia started this tradition last year. She would announce it at ward prayer every week, using the same old spiel:

Hey, guys. So Thirsty Thursday this week at my apartment. I’ll have cups and sharpies, so you can write down all your sorrows on your cup and then drink them away. I know, it sounds weird, but it’ll be fun! Bring a drink to share.

I have to admit that last year I was a total Lame-o and did not really socialize that much with people in my ward. Which is lame and I regret deeply. But I started going over the summer and thought–wow! This is fun! Olivia is one of the coolest people I know! I wish I could be like her!

Little did I know, I would have the opportunity to be like Olivia would be coming very soon.

Disclaimer: I am in no way implying I am as cool as Olivia. It would take me years to reach that status of awesomeness.

A week or two before school started, many of my summer friends left the ward, including Olivia. On our last Thirsty Thursday, we bemoaned the fact we would no longer be able to gather once a week and share our sorrows with our friends. We hoped that we would all be able to get together still, but let’s be honest–it’s hard to be friends unless you have some sort of consistent activity to invite those you love to partake in the simple pleasures of life with you.

Foreshadowing

When I was talking with my new roommate Desiree about Olivia’s unreachable level of coolness and how we wish we could be like her, Desiree had the thought: Hey! Why don’t we take over Thirsty Thursday?

Psh–why hadn’t we thought of this before!

The first Thirsty Thursday was nerve-wracking. 10 minutes to the appointed time, I broke out in a cold sweat. What if no one came? What if there weren’t enough drinks? What if everyone thinks that I’m an impostor and not nearly cool enough to do Thirsty Thursday? When people started showing up, I acted like I hadn’t just had a mini panic attack and started playing hostess.

As so often happens to me, it turns out my episode was completely unwarranted. People came, there were enough drinks for everyone, and all the chatting among friends meant that I didn’t have to do any awkward-silence entertaining.

Thirsty Thursday was a hit.

And so, every Thursday at 9 o’clock, you can find our apartment filled with friends, sharing sorrows and drinking away their woes. I understand that at most college campuses, Thirsty Thursday has a very different connotation than our little ward tradition does. But in the 9th ward, we get together not to drink away our sorrows, but to celebrate the blessing we have in the great friends around us.

So if you’re ever free on a Thursday night, drop by Belmont 16. You’ll be glad you did.

Home Away from Home

Here at BYU, people will often introduce themselves with their major and say, “Yeah, I live in such-and-such a building.” This does not mean they actually sleep in this building (although they may) or eat in this building (although they may) or have parties in this building (although this is entirely possible as well). It simply means they spend a big chunk of their time there. Chemistry majors, for example, usually claim the Benson building as their “home.”

Music majors like to say they “live” in the HFAC.
As an English major, I have several homes.

JKB
JFSB
And I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to work at this wonderful building for almost my whole BYU career:
Smoot Administration Building
(Or the X-Wing, according to a friend. As in one of these.)
I’ve never really been able to consider any of these places my “home,” though. I figured I was just doomed to be one of those campus homeless people who doesn’t really belong anywhere. Just yesterday, though, when I went for Women’s Chorus call-backs, I walked into this place.
And I was home.
I know I write about Women’s Chorus all the time on this bloggy blog of mine, but after feeling that sense of belonging the minute after walking in the Madsen Recital Hall, I once again realized how my participation in Women’s Chorus has been the best part of my BYU career.
That’s right. The Best.
I love feeling like I have a “home” with 180 other girls, with a fanastically amazing director, and the Spirit as we sing all kinds of songs. My upcoming semesters is going to be the craziest one yet, but the part I look forward to most is having the opportunity to use Women’s Chorus as my daily sane-pill–taking a break to do the thing I love most.
Here’s to my fourth and final year in Women’s Chorus 🙂