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Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 31

Being Easter and all, I really wanted to write a beautiful post about Christ and His atonement. But instead, I spent all day will my family celebrating Christ. My favorite of our Easter traditions is our symbolic dinner that reminds us if Christ. But I also enjoyed watching all my little cousins search for eggs, playing hymns on the violin, and my mother's cinnamon rolls. Easter is such a great holiday. It is great because of family, but it is even better because Christ lives. What a wonderful truth that is. He lives.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Just a friendly reminder that I love oreos

My sister showed this to me. Never seen the movie, but love the scene.

Map Animals

I am home for Easter weekend in beautiful warm Vegas City. In our study at my parents house, we have a world map wallpaper plastered up on one side of the room. Don't think that means I know geography very well, but I do know where all the hidden animals are. My brothers and I would sit around looking for all the different types of animals we could see. And now that I am sitting here alone typing away, I really miss those two boys. These animals remind me of them.

Norway, Sweden, Finland, and all those other Northern European countries is a beaver jumping off a rock into Europe.

Italy is a slug.

North and Central America is a jumping kangaroo - Northeast Canada is the head.

There is a upside down dog doing a flip over the Hudson Bay.

Africa is a horses head (it is facing south).

The Obsqaya Guba Bay is a running man without a head.

Iceland is a little guppy fish.

Maybe there are more, but these are just the typical agreed upon map animals in my house. Ask my brother about the diving beaver and he would know what I am talking about. This post goes out to them.

Friday, March 29, 2013

More Poetry for Annasophia

Today in English 7, those kidlets were supposed to write poems using literary devices - simile, metaphor, symbolism, personification, alliteration, hyperbole, onomatopoeia - are the ones they learned. So I decided while they were writing, I would model for them and write under the doc cam. Herez it is:

My sister's smile caught me for a moment;
Just at the park on any other nippy November afternoon,
We'd been tossing our wishes and secrets in the air
like bumbling a beach ball around at the park.
That smile could have lit the whole neighborhood,
the whole city, the whole entire Clark County.
That smile was talking to me:
Saying something as beautiful as the sunset that painters try to paint
or as gentle as the movement when light touches a wet pond.
Her smile said: I am Sophie,
your sister and best friend
for as long as the mountains snow
and the sea waves crash
on the beach we always go to in April.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Wet Sports Bra Syndrome: The fact that you will freeze from your sweaty wet sports bra until you finally change. This often occurs when lifting weights or eating immediately after running and before changing into more modest attire.

Track Wind Phenomenon: During track season, no matter which direction you are running around the track, the wind always seems like it is blowing against you - in your face pulling tears out of your eyes.

And we had yet to come up with this one here ------->

This happens when you are so tired on a run, and the grass looks so inviting. You just wish you could lie down and take a nap, but instead, you just keep running, running right along side that grass, just wishing you could lie down. Okay, so did it once. And so has this girly. Too tired to run on, she takes a small rest before dragging her running shoes back home. Ya, so she is posing, but it is actually a real thing. Sometimes running makes you really tired.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Yonder four years ago I was not a big nickname user. Sure, I called my siblings by their nicknames, but I can not think of anyone else who had that privileged. Okay, sometimes, rarely, I called my friend Makayla a little shortened Makay. But I always called my friend Liz, Elizabeth even though more people called her Liz than anything else.

Things have changed. Sarah Edwards is Sare; Sarah Darby, Darbs; and then there is my roommate Sarah whose initials are S.A.Y: so I call her Say - or Say-Say - or even Say-Say-Felipe - sometimes just Felipe. Faith is Faithy. Candace is sometimes Candy-Candy-Candace. Nikki became Nic. Kathryn: Fafryn. And Carolyn turned into Carolyn-a-lyn, or Carolyn-a-lyn-lyn, which is sometimes Lyn-a-lyn, and sometimes Lynie.

Why was I not a nickname user before??? I love it. Nicknames mean so much more than just referring to that person. When you call someone by a nickname you are saying their name and saying you love and care bout them at the same time.

But you have to earn the right to call someone by a nickname. My name is Michaelanne, but my family almost exclusively calls me Mike. But don't you go calling me Mike unless you mean it. My roommates, teammates, and close friends also call me Mike, but if you only just met me on the street, I would not tell you that was what I go by. You have to earn it; you have to mean it; but when people do start calling me Mike, I really love it.

Here's Lynie and me just hanging out on our backpacking trip Freshy year.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What 100 dollars can do

The first time I ever cried for happiness was when I gave my aunt a hundred dollars to help her pay for a law suit. I was eight years old, and we were parked in one of those overflow dirt parking lots out in the desert, when I slid on out of my grandmother’s big ‘ol SUV to head into the store. Without thinking, I picked up some money tumbling along in the wind, but when I looked at it, my mind didn’t believe my eyes. It was One Hundred buckaroos.

Now some people think it is stealing to take money off the ground; I didn’t think so, but we turned it in anyway being the good people that we like to think we are. The lady at the desk refused to take it. “You found this blowing out in the desert?” She raised those thin eyebrows. “Honey, no one’s gonna come lookin’ for this.”

My parents said they would keep it safe for me, ya know, until I knew what I wanted to do with it. Somehow, I knew it was special, and I wasn’t about to just give it away to the toy store. A few months later, we had this dinner for my aunt because she was dealing with this law suit and all. Being eight, I didn’t know much of what was going on, except that she wanted custody of my cousin or something like that. I’ll admit that when my mom suggested I give the Benjamin to my aunt to help her out, I wasn’t exactly what you might call thrilled. But I knew it was a nice, maybe even the right thing to do.

I had seen people cry because they were happy before, and I knew that was why she was crying when she opened the card. It was anonymous, but she knew. Her Thank-You folded in between our hug, and suddenly I was crying too. The tears felt different though; they were warm, and my insides were exploding with light.

I knew right then and there, no doll or toy or bike could have made me that happy. It wasn’t even happy, it was pure, untainted joy.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Lovin' me some middle school

Today I wore my black polka-dot skirt: the one that was a Christmas present back in the twilight days of my middle school experience - oh so classy. I put it on, sassed it up with a belt, and was on my way to teach middle school. Just lovin me some middle school I guess. I tried to imagine what my students would say if I told them about my vintage skirt. Do I have a really old skirt? or yes, I am just a really young teacher. Either way, this skirt has made its full circle.

Brown with Black and strips a polka-dots.
This would make my grandma Joanie shiver.
After deciding I wanted to be a teacher, I thought I wanted to teach high school, but for my practicum experience, I was assigned seventh grade. But, lately I have been thinking more and more that maybe I actually want to teach middle school. I always knew I would enjoy it, but honestly, I think I might even prefer it.

1. The kids are so stinkin funny. They do the cutest, strangest, most innocent or spacey things and it just isn't a big deal.

2. I love seeing them rise to the occasion and accomplish some pretty monumental stuff. Hold them to a high standard and they will rise to the occasion.

3. There isn't this huge distinction between class or social status or even coolness. They are all pretty much just sittin their little touches in my classroom, all interacting with each other on the same level - more or less.

4. They are just starting to grow into their unique selves; which is beautiful.

5. They still love to learn. Even those who say they don't love to learn, still love it. I can see it. They can't help but be interested in the lesson. Okay so there are still those who put their head on their desks and fall asleep, or those who throw little pieces of paper across the room all class period, but I can see it in even them, they can't help but learn something. The curiosity hasn't been beaten out of them yet.

So maybe, just maybe, don't hold me to it yet, but maybe middle school is for me. Helpin those sassafras students become life-long learners, or at least doing my best to head them in the right direction.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Way back on December twenty-fifth, I received these sticker nails as a gift. You're all jay-jay-jealous I'm sure; my sister was too. So then around thirty minutes past midnight last night, my angle roommate, Say, let me lie in my bed while she stuck these to each of my fingers and filed away the extra sticker with a pretty flimsy nail file. She loves me. We both got tired and she only finished one hand. Then she fell asleep in my room-roommate's bed because Faithy is out of town. So this morning, I skittled up to church one hand flowered, the other not. nbd - I slide. Why am I even blogging about his? Because I have roses on my nails, that's why; and just like my fat fingers in this awk pic, I am rockin' the sticker nails. And yes, I am twenty-two. Still young enough to get away with it.

Secondly, here is a shy-shout-out to my ward. If you are a YSA student around these parts, you are going to want to move into my ward. Beluga the best ward evs.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Thoughts From Dolls

The fact that it snowed yesterday has nothing to do with this blog post. And neither do the Nilla Wafers I ate last night that remind me of my grandma and being a kid at her house. But last night as I was eating these nilla things, I watched some Pixar short films while snuggling up in bed (with Salami). Most were cute, but this one was creeeppy.

Growing up I had two shelves atop half of my bedroom, lining the wall. I loved, like really loved, dolls, so I filled the shelves with all different sorts of them. I loved dolls from other ethnicity and dolls with lots of accessories. Just to prove my point, I am going to admit that I had an American Girl doll house that my dad made out of wood. Often, when I would have my little friends over for sleep overs, especially my couz Paige, they would say how creepy it was that I had these dolls staring down on me all night. That one with the cloak? No matter where I go, she is still looking at me - they would say. Okay, they were not creepy; what is so scary about a sweet little doll? Except when one randomly fell off the shelf - now that did make me jump - but I liked to pose some of them standing up which sometimes made them a bit wobbly.

 I think maybe I wasn't sketched out by them because they were my own dolls. I knew each of them: their personalities, likes and dislikes, temperaments; because I had created them; they existed truly in my head. What an interesting idea. For two reasons:

1. Whenever we create something it does exist first in our head. This Pixar short first had to be created in someone's head. And why did they create it? What does it mean to them? When I watch it, I also use my eyes and noggin to create meaning. What does it mean to me? What does it mean to you? Blowz my mind. (EMD*)

2. On a more spiritual side of things. God knows us each perfectly, and he created us. Maybe that is why he can see us not as we are now, but as we can become. He sees our divine potential and worth. Perry cool stuff. To find out more about the LDS (or Mormon) church, go here.

*EMD refers to English Major's Disease and often happens when English teachers think everyone is going to love literature as much as they do, among other symptoms. Coined by Dr. Chris Crowe.

Friday, March 22, 2013


It is hard to think of something to write when you are sick and already have to remember all the other little things that have to be done. So I took Tani's advice: I googled writing prompts.

Write a list of things you would do to entertain yourself if you didn't see a soul for seven days.

1. read
2. write
3. make up songs and sing them really loudly
4. sleep
5. study French
6. run
7. climb trees
8. go on walks
9. research random topics
10. write letters

Alright, so my life would be beluga boring without other people. Sometimes I think all that matters in life is relationships, but then sometimes I cite myself for caring too much. if possible. But really, even the best activities turn flat when done solo for too long. So I guess I gotta live with people; I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Young Coconut

I am craving this right now. What I wouldn't give for some dried young coconut. If you have never tried this, I would suggest quickly buying some. so. good.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

on shaving

It's the weirdest. I heard the French don't do it. Is that true? 'cause hippy-horrah, I am going to France. The strangest part of it occurs not more than 700 meters from my front door - the BYU testing center. That is, if you are a boy. I have heard about people being turned away because of that afternoon stubble even though they shaved that morning. so ridic. k but here comes the outlandish part: the BYU testing center sells razors. s-e-l-l-s-r-a-z-o-r-s. For just one dollar you can jiffy on over to the restroom and tidy up your face. Strange, but whatevs. Ya know, I think I am going to get me one of those testing center razors, for keepsakes or maybe as a white elephant gift, or maybe I just want one okay? I don't know why since I hate shaving, but, I mean, I still gotta do it, so why not season it up with my very own testing center razzzor. #yesigotobyu #yesitisthestrangest #yesiloveit #bestcollegeever #gocougars #arehashtagesevergoingtogetold

On a absolutely and completely random note. Here are two of my favorite people who don't have to shave. I love them.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sore Throats

I can stomp on sore throats like a boss, and it all started when I was sick in January and got a sudden desire to heat up water and add lemon and honey. I used to have hot lemon water with a little bit of sugar, but honey, I once heard, is actually a food medicine. I mean, I promise, I did think up this honey-lemon tea thing myself, but turns out a lot of other people did too, just google honey and lemon tea. But do a lot of other people have giraffe mugs like this? Not a chance.

Let me tell you why my favorite animal is a giraffe.

1. They are very gentle creatures. I fed them once, so I would know.
2. They are beautiful. How many animals have patterned coats? Well, a few, but not as cool as the giraffe.
3. They are graceful; it is beautiful to watch them run.
4. They have purple tongues. Okay so maybe that isn't that weird, but it was when I was ten.
5. Rumor has it that people can ride giraffes. Fine, I have never seen or heard of such a thing first hand, but there is evidence on the internet aka the source of all knowledge.

But if you aren't cool enough to have a dad that stuffed your Christmas stocking with a giraffe mug, then any ol' mug will do when you are brewing honey and lemon tea.

And yes, that is a little mini giraffe bathing in my tea.

Monday, March 18, 2013

World Running

I am trying to run all the way around the world. Yes, the 24901.55 miles around the world. I started in Utah, and in 2009 I was in Boston (Hiiii Zander!); by the 18th of July, 2011, I was in Rome (always wanted to go there); I made it to Afghanistan on the 16th of August 2012, and to Nepal on the 2nd of December of that same year. So then, I stopped competing for BYU and training with the team. I spent two months just sitting in Nepal, wriggeling my toes around in the grass and lookin' up at Mt. Everest. Then I started running again; I mean, I still had 15571.55 miles to go #notevenhalfway #theworldissobig #run4lyfe

But, here is the catch, since I have started running again, I haven't logged any of my miles. I mean it was oh-way-to-easy to just have my coach keep track, but now, well, it is hard. Out on a run, oh what is that? Well why don't I just hop-skip off the route and see...feel like doing hills over and over again? want to race that random, unassuming person on the other side of the street? want to run around the block ten times? down the street and back? as far as I can see? without a watch? without a plan? Oh, let me tell ya, oh so tempting! and why not? Welp, I am trying to run around the world, that's why.

Check out this up front and personal page of my journal. Sorry it is backwards, I took the picture with the front camera on a tablet, just for kicks, giggles, and ring pops. I drew this map and have been mapping my progress until it halted in 2013. I need a new record keeper to log my miles. Any takers? Anyone?

Also, here is my beautiful team at the beach after a race. They will be my team forever.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Braid

So I am a pen snob, pen connoisseur, pen snob. When I have a Pilot G-2 sweeping beneath my fingers, uhm-hm, I am figure skating on paper. They are très expensive, but they are worth it. I am worth it. My handwriting is worth it. The 05 sized tip rocks this world with its precise little curvy y's.

Speaking of Y's, why do I keep eating this store bought, homemade oreos? Sarah brought home a huge bag left over from her work. Faith and I took one bite and she threw her's away. But, guess what, the more gross cookies you eat, the better they start to taste. You can count on that statement right there. Or maybe they have drugs in them or poison. Do you ever feel like you are being poisoned? Me neither.

Back to pens, a trusty G-2 just ended it's career in my many notebooks. Respectable career, I would say; unlike those pens that only work half the time you touch them to paper. Today in one of my meetings, a guy I know made a pretty chill analogy about that. We don't want to be like those lazy pens that only work when they feel like it. We are depending on them to write when we need them. Like so, God is depending on us to be ready and willing when He wants to use us to be instruments in his hand. If we are not ready or able, He can easily just use another pen, another person, but we will miss out. Let me just tell ya, I want to be a G-2. That pen you can always rely on to get the job done and do it well.

Also, speaking of the Gospel, I found this great scripture that reminds me of being an ambassador of Christ, always standing as a witness for Him, not just in what we say, but also in what we do and how we live. From the Book of Mormon: Alma 17:11

I know I never related this gross cookies. Eating them does remind me of a story my grandma once told me. She once, as a little girl, refused to try chocolate. Yes, let's take a moment to get past how cray-cray this is. She was afraid she wouldn't like it because well, it was just a strange brown blob. Of course, she now realizes her foolishness. Likewise, I have really been enjoying these cookies that I once didn't love, but now I see their greatness.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

S. P. E.

The trick is to never let anyone know you are stressed, and have a billion things to do; make everyone feel like you have all the time in the world for them.

This is Sarah's secret rule number 243, which refers to the rules of how Sarah lives her life without even knowing about it. She doesn't even know about the rule book.

I have been thinking about that lately because recently, my life has felt so out of balance. In fact, right now I am sitting on the floor, next to a pile of unfolded laundry, with the Bible open to James on my left, and my nature poetry notes on my right, my phone open in my lap, and my running shoes over in the corner, wagging their tail, begging to go out. I am supposed to be heading out to take that midterm, but instead, I am blogging.

And thinking about Sarah. I am glad I have really cool friends. The kind that would jump in front of mucky-snow splashes for you, keeping you dry.

And since I am about to take my poetry of the natural world from Romantic era to present midterm. Here is a poem by Robert Frost.

Dust of Snow

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of the day I had rued.

Bye-bye Winter! Welcome Welcome SPRRIINNNGGGG!

Friday, March 15, 2013


Once on Campus

1. I was walking toward the HBLL and cut only just slightly on the grass. One step, one foot, on an already dead grass piece. Thought nothing of it. Walking toward the west doors, I notice an old man, with a cane, slowly hobbling toward me, his eyes locked on me. I slowly walked up to him smiling. Such a cute old me. "Don't walk on the g-grass!" He snapped. seriously so cute. "Okay, thanks," was all I could choke up while trying not to laugh. Fellow campus walkers, respect this old man's grass!

2. You know those stairs that plummet down toward the SFH and RB? An everyday journey for me. Once, a poised, nicely dressed man stood at the top with a stern face. "Enjoy your descent." He said evenly. I cocked my head, "Why thank you." I probably mimicked his tone and started down.

These two things, they are only the least of it.

Even my cousin thinks this is weird.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

If it wasn't for Stacy

Right now Stacy is mushing dogs around my apartment. I am looking over at the girl who has eyes like Egypt and nylons the color of smoke. The pseudo-oreo cookies my roommate brought home are dancing around the kitchen. The air outside is breaking. My picnic basket is trying to talk about last summer, but I put my hand over its mouth. The painting on my easel tells me its waiting. And the dryer is monching on my clothes or it's laughing. And the keys on this key board say oh please, stop your pushing, it's time for bed, so go to sleeeppp!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Acetone or Non-acetone?

I have always been a firm believer of acetone nail polish remover. Especially because it works probably 76 times better than non-acetone and is exactly, to the T with the i's dotted, the same price. Why would anyone walking on the world ever buy non-acetone?

1. Because they have little kids and they don't want the acetone to ruin their carpet. My mom pointed this out to me. Okay, fine - but what is more important, carpet or humans? haha, just kidding Mom. A little bit of luxury isn't worth ruining your carpet.

2. Because it ruins your nails!? What? Yes, Exactly four weeks from this coming Monday someone told me that this lethal substance, acetone nail polish, ruins your nails. And it is true because the internet said the same thing. I'm not shy; I am a frequent nail polish removerer. My nails seem fine, but, well, what if??

So today, or probably tomorrow - definitely not until Saturday, I am buying myself a pretty bottle of non-acetone.

Speaking of nail polish, once my perfect lil' sis got mad at me and decided to punish me by pouring nail polish remover on my bed, in a little polish-remover lake right below my pillow (piilllooowww). Okay, so she was five, but my parents took away all her nail polish for multiple-who-knows-how-many years. Now she paints my toe nails whenever I go home to continue paying off her dept, or maybe she does it just because she loves me...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Because I don't actually have time to blog

Things I need to accomplish in the next two hours:

1. go to the store
2. not fall asleep
3. make some dinner
4. do some reading assignments
5. make a list of my goals for France
6. tidy up the apartment
7. read my scriptures
8. do my laundry
9. water my plant
10. text a picture to my sister

Things I have already accomplished today:

1. Finishing my AQ paper
2. Going to all four of my 75 min classes
3. Visiting 4 girls in my ward
4. Blogging
5. Returning some borrowed books
6. Enjoying the weather
7. Throwing out some rotten potatoes
8. Getting the mail
9. Doing some poetry reading
10. Did I mention finishing my AQ paper?

Monday, March 11, 2013


Once when I was a little chickling, I was sitting in a patch of clovers (not) watching my brother play soccer. I had recently seen seen an episode of Reading Rainbow : ) where they had searched through a 5' by 5' square of clovers to find a lucky four leaf gem. So I decided to try my luck. I searched through each regular three-leaf flower, carefully separating them out, looking at each one individually. And guess what, I am not kidding, I found one. So you know what I did with it? I put it in my pocket to show my mom when I got home. A four-leaf clover in my pocket. When I got home to show my mommy, my four-leaf clover, dead and crumpled, was not much of a treasure. So...I threw it away. yes. I am crazy. I once found a four-leaf clover and I threw it away. cray-cray-ka-cray. You are just going to have to believe me.

Here is a completely random picture of me with an owl. #readharrypotter4lyfe

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Mini Salami

I know this is weird. I know you might judge me. Just listen to my story.

My roommate got married last summer. And before she got married, her fiance and her would carry around a huge, obnoxious beanie ball. A beanie ball is a beanie baby that is puffed up in a huge stuffed ball. They would bring it everywhere with them, even their engagement pictures, out to dinner, wherever, and pretend it was their child. Weird. I know.

They named it Salami  Here is a picture. He is about the size of a large beach ball. Then one day, she bought me a mini version of Salami. Same picture, only small enough  in fit in the palm of my hand. So I started sleeping with it. I, who has never slept with a stuffed animal in my life, started sleeping with Mini Salami. K but listen, he just fits so perfectly in the palm of my hand or in between my chest and arms, or lotz of other places too. To make a long, not so long, story short, I love sleeping with Mini Salami. Still do it. Every night actually. I will hold him in my arms all night long. I move positions, throw the covers off the bed, but in the morning, I will still be all cuddled up with Salami. Okay, I know this is weird. I'm weird. I still love Salami.

My old roommate who got married has no idea that I do this. Although I am sure she would get a kick out of it.

My current roommates semi-love it and want mini beanie ballz of their own.

My study abroad directors (yes I told my study abroad class when they asked for a strange slash embarrassing story about myself) think I should bring it to Paris, to help with culture shock. I wasn't going to bring it, but they convinced me. I bought Salami's ticket today.

A few random other people that I have confessed this to, think I am weird. Valid. I am.

I'm just going to revel in my weirdness.

Here is an awk pic of me in my pajamies with Salami.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Climbing up a rock slide

Swinging from trapeze ropes

Treading water

Running against the wind

Drowning in a mountain of papers and books

However you say it, I am slipping behind. so. much. school. work.

Friday, March 8, 2013

What Thinks Christ of Me

I love this talk, What Thinks Christ of Me, so you should all check it out no matter what your religion. It answers a simple question: Mormons are Christians.
 But I also think it is a question all Christians need to ask themselves, or even all people.
           Does my life reflect what I believe?
Here is a video version of the same talk: Click here! Personally, I always enjoy hearing an apostles voice more than just reading it.

The Church is true! It brings so much happiness, but don't take my word for it...find our yourself!

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Let me tell ya, it feel great to be doing something, everything that you love. Last night I was getting way into the lesson plan and frankly getting way lost in it, so I am going to talk to my professor today and I can't wait to hear what he thinks. Then I dropped my books and went on a night run with a friend. Ate blueberry muffins. That speaks for itself. Did some sloppy handstands with my roommate. Studied under my electric blanket until I feel asleep. Woke up before my alarm. Went on a run with some old teammates. Granola for breakfast. Headphones with classical music means paper writing time. Never been so engrossed in a paper before. Exceeding the page limit requirements. It is probably going to be almost 60 degrees today. Life's not perfect, but it is pretty good.

Of course, life isn't always swimming in a lagoon. When I was on the cross country team, my motto was "Hard days hard, easy days easy," and it could be shortened to "Hard-hard; easy-easy." When I was in the middle of a really hard workout I would say that over and over again in my head to remind myself that it was time to work hard. "Hard-hard, easy-easy, hard-hard, hard-hard." It even flowed with the rhythm fast breathing.Then on easy days I would have to remind myself to take my recovery miles slow - easy days easy. Now that I am thinking about it, life is like that too. (What a surprise; running is seriously always just like life.) Some days are hard, some days are easy. Maybe the trick is just loving the hard and loving the easy. It will still be both hard and easy, but one thing is for sure, life will be loved. Sometimes, Life needs some lovin'.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

English Teachers are Weird

During our practicum class we were trying to convince our professor that everyone needs grammar because everyone needs to communicate no matter what they choose to do with your life. He was playing devil's advocate  and so our discussion got pretty charged. We were so sure that students needed to learn communication skills in order to be successful that we even ventured to say that a homeless beggar on the streets uses grammar, the conventions of the genre in which he is communicating - the cardboard sign, etc. After class, here is a real life texting conversation between me and my classmate Tani.

Tani: I was telling Melissa about our discussion about beggars and she said mimes don't need language! Haha I think we should bring that up next week. :)

Me: of course mimes need language!

Tani: When's the last time you heard or even saw a mime use language? I mean I guess they have to communicate ideas, but they do it completely through...miming. I can't believe we're even discussing this. People must think English teachers are so weird. :)

Me: well what about sign language? mimes are not that different. language really is just communication...and mimes communicate, and they even communicate through a shared code, or language, of mimes.

Me: also, yes we are so weird

Tani: Okay true I see your point. But the real question is, do they need grammar?

Me: hmmmm good question...if grammar is simply the conventions of a language then yes...just like a beggar needs grammar. mimes need to know the limits and channels in which their communication can flow...but then again that might just be intuitive bc it hits on human nature and experience. k we really are so weird

Tani: Seriously. But I'm probably going to be thinking about this all afternoon now...

Me: i actually love it...which makes me even weirder

Tani: I guess that's why we are going to be English teachers, huh?

Me: yep! #bestjobslashhardestjobever

Tani: :)

What do you think? 
           Do mimes need grammar???

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Spencer from French

A few years ago in my French 201 class I met this kid named Spencer. He was funny and nice and a little bit different from what I would have expected. In French, every other second we pair up to talk aka practice our French, and he was always my partner because somehow we always sat next to each other. I liked him, thought he was pretty cool, and was pretty good at French too.

Then he stopped coming to class for a week, which is a big deal because in this four credit class, we were there every day. I got kinda a bit worried about him, but I didn't have his number to shoot him an are-you-okay-or-what's-up text. When he came back, I asked him where he had been (I asked him in French of course ;). He told me had gotten very sick and had been in the hospital all last week. Glad he was better, we got back to talking in French. Until he stopped coming again.

Was he okay? At the hospital again? Why didn't I ever get his number? It would have been perfectly reasonable to think that maybe he withdrew from the class. I mean, he had missed over a week, and French 201 is no springtime picnic. I hoped that had been the case, but I couldn't help but worry that something worse had happened. I hoped he was okay, but also realized that if he had passed away, I would not have even known. I would keep on living my life the same if he had dropped the class or if he had died. The thought bothered me, and I worried.

That was about two years ago. #tbt2011

The other day I was walking on campus, just thinking about nothing, maybe humming, and I saw Spencer. He was just walking out of a building, like he probably did every day, with his backpack over his shoulder and a beanie on his head like he always did way back in French class. I smiled so big at him, you probably wouldn't have been able to get the sunshine off my face. Of course, he didn't really remember me, so he gave me kind of a funny look, like "why are you so happy? I mean it is cool that you are happy, but you just look really happy and you are staring right at me." I was really happy. Just that feeling you get when you realize that someone you thought might have possibly been dead is alive, well, and breathing.

This slice of life had a cherry on top.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Blanket Electric

Last night I fell asleep on the floor with my electric blanket wrapped around me. Let me tell you, if you live in the snowy mountains and you don't have an electric blanket, it is time to invest. Electric blankets are the Hate how cold it is when you get out of the shower? Suffering from wet-sports-bra syndrome after a run? Not want to get out of bed in the morning? Electric blankets are better than all space heaters combined. The truth of the truth is that my Vegas native mother bought me the blanket when I first moved to Utah, and I didn't use it for three years. That's right boys and girls, three years. I finally opened it when it got below zero, yes, beellooow zzeerroo for multiple weeks, not days, weeks, in a row. Honestly that electric blanket saved my life, and my roommates' too because they probs would have died from how much I would have complained about how cold I was. Now I use it basically every day and try to force every and all visitors to try it out too. Believe me, it's a dream. Warning, if you come over to my place, we might force feed you oreos, wrap you in the blanket E, convince you to play Dixit, and probably send you home with dinner.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Stanley Kunitz

In my poetry of the natural world class we were studying the nature poetry of Stanley Kunitz, and this quote stuck out to me: "to be human is to know yourself to be living and dying at the same time." I am not sure what I think about this quote, but it definitely made me think. One of my American literature professors would always say that each breath that we breathe out is an exhale closer to death, but breathing is also one of the most fundamental things associated with life.

A good friend of mine is a deep thinker and has quite a reflective blog. When he graduated from college, we wrote about his lament of all the things, mostly the people, he left behind. He said that we wishes that he had begun these relationships knowing there was an end to them.

Is there an end to our relationships?

I have a particularly hard time with losing people, but I don't think that I want to start every relationship knowing it will end. Cherish the moments together, yes, but always be anticipating when things will end? Are we always dying? Are relationships going to end? Honestly, I am not sure. So I might as well always live and love as if living and loving are never going to end, and even if they do, I don't think I would change my mind.

When Hamlet said, "To be or not to be?" I like to think this is what he was talking about.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mountains to Climb

I came across this blog post about Utah and the snow piles. And it made me think about this church talk about overcoming challenges. And then it made me remember my high school cross country teammate Lauren Lucas.

Once, near the end of summer in Vegas, yes scorching hot Vegas, we were doing hill repeats, just for fun, because we are overachievers, and because we told ourselves we were going to take state that year. And after a few repeats, when we were at the top, one of us looked over at the foothills of Black Mountain. Maybe because anything would have been better than running up that hill again or maybe just because a mountain seemed easier...

"Look at that mountain; let's run it," someone said. So we did. Let me tell you right now: Running up mountains is one of the most rewarding physical experiences. It literally feels like you are pulling yourself, and each other, up to greater heights. So we sat there, looking over the Las Vegas valley, looking at all the next mountains we were going to run up. We told ourselves we could run up anything, and I still believe that sometimes.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Third Graders

Today I subbed in a third grade class. I was in the classroom looking over the lesson plan when the class walked in. The first thing a girl said to me was "I get really itchy. I have eczema." And so the day began. Third graders are probably one of the cutest species roaming around. My favorite part of the day was at recess when they were playing on teams and they all put their arms around each other. They even pulled the shy kids in. They love each other, poke each other, tattle on each other, throw things at each other, but they really are so eager to be good and to learn. And my absolute favorite thing is reading to them. I love when I close the book and they beg me to keep reading. Maybe when I am a high school teacher I should bring some third graders in to teach my students a lesson. Love to learn and love to love.

A little girl drew this for me.