Tuesday, October 4, 2016

School Impact

      While contemplating which stories have most defined my life, it took only a few brief moments of introspection to realize how vast a role going to school has played for me. From the time I was in Kindergarten, up until now, as a senior undergrad, going to school has been central to everything I have done and become. It is for every memory that I decided to capture pictures illustrating my days of school and what it’s felt like to have so many learning opportunities whether they were happy, sad, or otherwise.

     For the first picture, I decided to represent my years in school K-12; at first I had a hard time thinking of a time that could easily define my years as a grade-schooler. When I was a kid, I lived and breathed for recess. Playing on the playground, running around kicking soccer ball in the fields, and playing with my friends were what tied everything together and made my learning experience enjoying. In the picture, myself and one of my best friends, who I met back in sixth grade, are posing and playing on the playground- totally at ease and happy to be there.

     In the second picture is a representation of my first year at Utah State University as a Freshman. It’s blurry, I hardly remember it; but, it was fun, it was easy, and it was full of the freedom that comes from moving away from home for the first time. Being surrounded by strangers was oddly exhilarating for a girl as shy as I used to be.

     The third picture depicts my sophomore year. That year was extremely hard and extremely dark. Almost all of my friends left college- going to other schools or other countries far away. It felt like every waking moment I was huddled over my books, laptop, or calculator. Studying engulfed my life as an Accounting Major, and I truly hated every monotonous minute of it.

     Naturally, my next picture would have been of my junior year of college; except that I made a rash decision. I decided to leave and serve a Christian mission for my church; like my friends, my own mission took me far away- Japan, to be exact. That’s when my life started to get brighter. I left everything that I had known and loved behind and learned through the school of personal experience. It was like a whole new world, and it was in those years away from school that I learned to truly be myself and to chase my own dreams.

     Eventually the time I spent learning and teaching in Japan came to an end; I returned to study at Utah State again. However, this time I did something so drastic that my dear dad almost cried- my major was changed. In a lot of ways, it felt like I was starting on a new path in school even though the progress was apparent. The fifth picture depicts that new trail; there was dirt, twigs, and difficulty along the way, but it was liberating to finally be studying a subject that wasn’t thrust upon me. Back then, it seemed like there was still a long way to go to reach the top.

     In the sixth picture, I am at the pinnacle of my senior year- sporting Aggie blue and standing in the new Huntsman hall. The wall behind reads: “Accomplished Alumni,” an aspiration of mine as a senior in the Business School. Many of my days are spent in the business building, studying ardently and filled with day dreaming more ambitiously than ever before.

     The last picture represents my future after school. I’m seen standing again with my best friend; and surprise- he asked my dad for permission to marry me the week before  this picture was taken! As for now, I don’t know what the trail up ahead consists of, but my life in school, and the people who I met and became friends with along the way have made me a happier, healthier person-  the person that I had always hoped to be.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Why Is Swearing So Bad Anyway?

      Lately, I have been surprised to find myself finding humor in swear words and becoming more tempted to think and use them. Now that I’m an adult, it has been exponentially easier to be exposed to poor language through conversation, novels, and media of every kind.
   Unfortunately, it was surprisingly simple to lose sight of why filtering my language was necessary in the first place. In a short space of time, expressing exactly what I thought and felt in any situation seemed appealing, even if it was with coarse language. The idea of expressing yourself honestly isn't inherently wrong; however, I recognize that using swear words in order to do so was contradictory to what I was taught from my youth. After some reflection, my mind and heart became more open to examining both the "why" and “why nots” of swearing; overall, it was a humbling, repentant, and inspiring experience.
       Retrospectively I’ve come to realize a few things. First, being encouraged to refrain from swearing is in no way equivalent to having my mouth taped shut. We are free to say exactly how we think and feel without using overly strong diction that will hurt, embarrass, offend, or upset someone else. Filtering our choice of vocabulary is as much of a choice as not filtering our vocabulary; the difference is that it takes a lot more self-control, respect, and love for others and God to prevail in that endeavor.

     Secondly, by not reverting to the carnal, common, natural harsh words used by most men and women today, we will be able to have cleaner and more virtuous thoughts. In Doctrine and Covenants 121:45 it says, “Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly. Then shall they confidence wax strong in the presence of god.” Isn’t it worth a little more self-control in phraseology to be able to comfortably stand before God? The alternative thought makes me shrink. Why would we let any destructive habit, be it swearing, or something else, potentially incapacitate our ability to live with God again someday? Again, this idea is about more than a swearing habit itself. It’s about our mindsets. It’s about thinking clean. Acting clean. Being clean.

     President Hinckley put it this way, “A filthy mind expresses itself in filthy and profane language. A clean mind expresses itself in language that is positive and uplifting and in deeds that bring happiness into the heart.” (Be Ye Clean, 1996)

     That statement may branch out into other questions- is swearing always used in negative contexts? Is foul language always used in short bursts of uncontrollable rage, revenge, spite, or envy? Honestly, the answer is no. That’s not always the case. Sometimes inappropriate terms are used in joking for laughs. But isn’t laughter good? Doesn’t it make us happy? Doesn’t laughter always equal happiness? Truthfully, no. I have found that the kind of comedy that needs cussing to make it funny isn’t very uplifting humor. More often than not, it is vicious, sarcastic, or demeaning. I believe that we would all feel better about ourselves and our peers if we refrained from using foul humor just for the sake of laughs.
     President Hinckley again elaborated in his talk from twenty years ago, “Be clean in language.
 There is so much of filthy, sleazy talk these days. I spoke to the young women about it. 
I speak to you also. It tells others that your vocabulary is so extremely limited that you cannot
express yourself without reaching down into the gutter for words. Dirty talk is unbecoming
any man who holds the priesthood, be he young or old."

     That comment feels no less painful than a time-wizened doctor ripping a band-aid off! It stings, but only because it’s true; despite all of the advancements and progression in the world today, there is still a lot of filth and sleaze. But why would we want to contribute to that? I believe that we can each express how we truly feel in a smart and polite manner without reverting to swearing. Rude, crude, and lewd language is unbecoming to any child of God, not just priesthood holders. Because Heavenly Father created us, He loves us, and He wants us to be our best selves. We absolutely cannot be our best selves when we are reaching into the gutter for words.

     In the words of President David O. Mckay while quoting E.D. Boardman,
“Sow a thought, reap an act,
Sow an act, reap a habit,
Sow a habit, reap a character,
Sow a character, reap an eternal destiny.” (Conference Report, April 1962, 7.) His idea can be applied to the vocabulary that we choose to use every day. If we sow better words into our daily language, we will be able to have better thoughts, better actions, better habits, better character, and ultimately better destinies. In the long run, something as simple as not swearing can make a significant difference in our lives. By not swearing, we can better ourselves in countless ways.

     “And finally, pick up a commandment you are still struggling with and give it an honest chance to bless your life” (“Purify Our Minds and Spirits,” Ensign, November 1980, 38–39). After delving into the topic of swearing, I have come to understand the impact and ramification of my words. I hope that my research, study, and prayer can help others to understand the impact of not only their mindsets, but the way they think and speak.

      Despite all of this exploration, I can’t help but think that sometimes swearing at someone may be kinder than other choice words we consciously incorporate into our daily verbiage! Each of us should try harder to be a little kinder with the words we use.

     In closing, I mentioned before that as a kid I was frequently offended, even judgmental of others who swore. I realize now that stance was just as wrong if not worse than almost getting into that habit myself. In a beautiful primary song sung frequently by my niece when she was a toddler, “Jesus said love everyone. Treat them kindly too. When your heart is filled with love, others will love you.” Jesus loves me, and he love you too. He loves all of us. We can feel his love and be more like him as we choose to love others as he did in all that we do and say.

   In my life, my opinion of swearing has reached both ends of the spectrum. From being really offended as a kid when people would utter even the mildest obscenity to my current state of thinking that such obscenities displayed an openness of thought, mind, and humor (despite trying to refrain from swearing myself.)

I'm Not in Utah Anymore

     I remember stepping out the door the first morning of living in suburbia Hannan, Japan like it was yesterday. It was so humid that the air reeked with water from the ocean, people, and the random rain forests that seemed to wind their way through the little neighborhoods and up into the mountains. Little did I know, stepping out that intricate glass door, that I would be waltzing into a world different from anything I had ever known.

     It all started with the old man on the beach. At around lunch time, my Japanese companion and I were taking a nice bike-ride past the beach. We had been visiting every hospital in the town that day, trying to find a man whose information everyone refused to entrust us with. However, with the beautiful weather and the casual breeze from the sea to keep us cool, our rotten luck in finding our friend didn't really affect us. At least, not until we ran into the old man.

     As we rounded a natural bend in the side-walk, we came to an abrupt stop at a red light. That's when I first saw him... The toothless little old man peered at us, squinting from in the blazing sun. Without any warning, he enthusiastically started waving his arms and yelling indiscreet words at the top of his lungs.

     Realizing that we were the only other people on the street, I became a little concerned... What was this total stranger doing waving at us in the first place? I was taken aback when the old man victoriously raised the objects in his hands to show them off to us. In one hand, glinting in the light, was a gigantic spear that looked comically too-big for such a little man to be carrying, but what was in the other hand threw me off even more.

"Gaijin! Sore ha tako da! Sawatte kudasai!!!" (Hey foreigner! This is an octopus! Come feel it!!!) The strangeness of it all took a suddenly gripped me as I apprehensively asked my friend, "Why is he asking me to feel his octopus? Should I touch that thing? Why does he even want me to touch that?!" Sister U. lightly laughed and made a comment about how I should respect elderly folks' wishes. So without further ado, I trudged towards the neon orange net, weary of the gigantic tentacles and glazed over octopus’s eyes that lurked inside the old-man's bag. Slowly, trying not to process what it was I was about to do, I reached out and touched the octopus.

     Before I could even register how odd our situation was, the old man laughed and hopped about from foot to foot in glee, ranting to himself about how the octopus was now "lucky." Then, without further ado, he waddled away without another word.

    That was the first of many times while living in Japan where it hit me that I was "Not in Kansas anymore." Let alone the conservative, sheltered, middle-of-nowhere place that was my hometown in Utah.

Thursday, October 15, 2015


     I love my family- they are the best of times and the worst of times. Through thick and thin, they are the glue that holds everything together and I don't want to live a day without them. I have been taking inordinate amounts of videos of my nieces and nephew since I've been back from my mission to Japan. Luckily this blog has plenty of space for random videos.

     The first is just a casual stroll on a walking path- nothing really special or funny. It just makes me smile to realize how alike my niece and I can be sometimes with being a little shy sometimes.

     The second is Kayli's gymnastic antics before I left on my mission... Timidity marks her every step, but every gymnast has to start somewhere. I'm glad she fell in love with an activity that helps her come out of her little shell.

     She's a silly girl and loves primary, especially the songs. Occasionally the words are about as jumbled as a Boggle board, but her favorite hymn when she was younger was "I Stand All Amazed."

     Having cute little pets has always been another favorite part of growing up.  From Dusty and Shadow
to Cocoa, Pepper, and now Bell. It's fun to see
what those little puppies have been able to learn!


Monday, February 25, 2013

Speaking Up

  The overwhelmingly brisk scent of pine trees fumigated my lungs, bringing with them the smell of memory. Every summer before this had been the same as the last, weeks and months of battling my looming boredom. Friends back home scoffed and reminded me frequently that summers were meant to be enjoyed and to bask in the sunlight. Living so close to the Great Salt Lake dampened my spirits; every breath brought with it swarms of disgusting mosquitoes.
     Clenching my teeth for hours on end to avoid inhaling all the bugs wasn’t exactly my idea of fun, so summers typically meant a lax schedule of wasted time. Every morning, like every summer, was just the same as the last. My alarm clock went off at precisely six a.m. each day, where I would jump out of bed groggily, change into my swimsuit, grab an arsenal of pool equipment, and ride along the scantily inhabited streets of my hometown to swim team practice. It was like the world was bound and determined to stop my ability to speak. When my mouth wasn’t cinched shut to avoid eating insects, my breath struggled for gasps in between evenly spaced front strokes. Mom and Dad worked full time, so my brother and I held the reigns completely when it came to how we chose to spend our time. Mitch was constantly absorbed by the shallow lure of blasting vicious aliens on our colorful TV screen; so frequently, that I could’ve sworn that the creatures would somehow take their pending vengeance on him. Summers seemed a long and quiet ordeal and so devouring books by the shelf full became my sedentary solace. The library was full of witty, independent, and adventurous companions that kept me company.
     Stories enthralled me, the brave characters knew who they were and always knew what to say. As a fourteen year old girl, I yearned to be like them. To let words sprout from me the same way they seemed to in my mind. Like every typical storybook protagonist, I seemed to know who I was inside, confident, opinionated, and strong-willed.  Yet, a sense of stifling shyness coupled with my generally peaceful conduct kept my mouth shut no matter how many thoughts raged inside of me. Thoughts could be dangerous when spoken, like fire silently threatening to run wild. Wasn’t controlling words the key to dousing the passionate flames of encompassing thoughts? Besides, people only care about your opinion if it’s the same as their own.
      The drive to Lake Lyman seemed to stretch on forever.
“Are you girls ready to have a good time?” the bubbly camp leader chatted casually as us teenage girls looked lazily out over the endlessly flat expanse of Wyoming highway. Were we truly prepared to be miles away from even a shred of civilization? Were we really ready to sleep in dust-filled spider-infested cabins? Were we honestly enthusiastic for no electronics or showers? The car exploded into voices, shrilly sarcastic laughs, and pained groans.  My eyes widened in surprise at the string of complaints emanating from my neighbors and friends. I remembered girls’ camp last year, the exciting crackle of fire as we listened to vivid ghost stories as they came to light despite darkness of the surrounding woods, the wafting smell of melting chocolate oozing between crispy marshmallows, and the freezing blast of water as I’d boldly jumped into the leech-filled lake, fully dressed. My daring dip hadn’t been for attention, it was simply meant to encourage the other girls not to be so afraid of accidentally falling in. Why would I waste words on petty promises and simpering soothes? Despite all the summer reading, I failed to believe that words could be stronger than actions.
     Slightly perturbed by the various complaints I sighed to myself.  An urge to disagree flared inside my thoughts, but a wave of conscientiousness rolled in unexpectedly.  When had disagreeing gotten me anywhere?
     After passing through thickening rows of pine trees and bumpy dirt roads littered with fragmented rocks, Lake Lyman loomed before us. A gentle breeze swirled across the lake, creating rippling waves with soft white peaks. Looking across the lake, I could see a large wooden lodge peaking through the tree tops. If I hadn’t known it was there, it might have blended in naturally with its surroundings. Vibrant wildflowers seemed to soar to the heavens, glistening with colors as bright as the clear sky above. I hastily hopped out of the car, anxious for a breath of fresh air and freedom from the cramped car. Sound permeated the forest, birds of every kind called to each other from the treetops, and the quiet lapping of water against rocks tickled my ears. I was awed to silence at the beauty around me as I trailed my friends to our assigned cabin.
     Shortly after unpacking our sleeping bags, we headed to opening flag ceremony to properly begin our week of camping. Benches scattered the hillside, forming a half sphere around the stage made from wooden planks. Seemingly out of place, microphones jutted out in preparation for the camp leaders’ upcoming pep talks. Hundreds of women emerged from the forest and sat around me on the benches, their smiles shone as brightly as the spiritual mottos they wore across their clothes. Various ball-caps from the audience below created a sea of color. A murmur went through the crowd as a woman bounced confidently onto the stage. Sister Cook stood, microphone in hand, and beamingly scanned our faces.
“Welcome to another year of girls’ camp!” she exclaimed, the radiance of her deep voice boomed. Some of the younger girls whooped in anticipation, while I and the other older fourteen year olds smiled knowingly.
“We have so many exciting events planned for you all now that we’re settled into our cabins. As a reminder, we will pass out schedules to each of you. Please be where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there, and most importantly, have fun and be safe!” As if on cue, I clapped in unison with my fellow campers to show support.
“Now to get started off properly, let’s begin by standing together as our youth leaders raise the flag of the United States of America.”
     I stood up quickly to reverently remove my hat. The flag represented freedom, God, hope, sacrifice, and most importantly the example my father, a soldier, had set for me. Attention was automatic; respect for the relic seemed innate as I stoically observed with silence the careful handling of the weathered flag. Suddenly, I was pulled out of my soundless reverie. The high pitched voice of a young girl whispered almost indecipherably above me.
“Should I take my hat off?” she casually asked the adult next to her. Inwardly I laughed at the younger girl, self-assured that she would learn as I had that removing her headwear was a sign of respect.
“No, women don’t have to take their hats off for the flag.” She chortled.
     More than ever I wanted to speak out, my mind exploded into a million different thoughts at once. Heat rose to my face, rapidly threatening to throw off my calm composure.
“Think of all the sacrifices women have made to be able to have a voice in our country, to vote and progress! Think of all the women who have never and will never have your same opportunities. Was that all in vain? The flag’s red stripes represent the blood of our guardians, the lives of my father’s friends who fell under fire; did they just die for men alone? We should be proud to be women; we should be proud of our flag." My hands wobbled indignantly, but my mouth never betrayed my turmoil. Words were at the tip of my tongue, so close, so ready to defend the importance of women to America’s history and future. Downcast, I bit my lip; such a fiery outburst would only create a scene, destroying the meaning of the flag ceremony even further. There were so many feelings I wanted to convey to change that little girl’s impressionable mind. Yet somehow, a final wave of silent conformity flooded bitterly into my mouth instead; I stood in silence as the flag rose up.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Handmaid's Tale

     In “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood, Offred’s past life is unveiled throughout the novel. Atwood uses Offred’s memories to contrast the once-free America with the now dystopian theocracy it has become. While there is much to fear for the female inhabitants of the new “Republic of Gilead,” the females reading “Handmaid’s Tale” have even more to fear. Striking parallels are made between Offred’s memories of her former life and the lives of women living in America today. This use of parallelism leads us to wonder: could our country really become like this in the future? Offred’s recollections of her best friend Moira and World War II documentaries are used to imply what could happen to people if freedom and humanity are stripped away.

     When she is feeling especially unhappy about the way her life has changed, Offred remembers her rebellious friend Moira. Moira was an active feminist, and notably, lesbian. She typified everything that Gilead was trying to annihilate with her defiance of the norm. Whenever Offred felt opposed to something that was happening, she wished that she was as brave as her old friend. Yet, no matter how terrified she was by the public hangings, and the ever looming threat of Serena Joy and the women that kept her in line, she was still more terrified of the consequences that would befall her should she rebel. Despite the slogan “nolite de bastardes carborundorum,” (Atwood Ch 9) she could not find the courage to fight against her oppressors and continuously let the “bastards” grind her down. Towards the end of the novel, Offred discovers that Moira has become a prostitute for the commanders to maintain her life. Despite all of the sentimental memories of her friend’s nonconformity, Moira has also cracked under the pressure of the new regime. Atwood uses the broken spirit of a once strong woman to portray her themes: no matter how strong someone is, if there is no hope for free will, there is no hope for life. If fanatics are allowed to take over society, they will force their thoughts and ideas on everyone and freedom, happiness, and individuality will become obsolete and nonexistent.

     Once the Government of Gilead and select few who have power take over, women are confined to their homesteads for a majority of the day. Rather than brooding over the prospect of the future, Offred’s thoughts tend to turn to history and how it relates to how she currently lives. At one point, she reflects over a documentary that she had seen in the past; it featured a Nazi guard’s mistress talking about their relationship. Offred takes this memory and compares her own relationship with the commander to it: “He was not a monster, to her. Probably he had some endearing trait… How easy it is to invent a humanity, for anyone at all. What an available temptation” (Atwood Ch 24). Throughout the novel, Offred justifies not only her own inaction, but the actions of others no matter how evil and wrong they are. Even though the commander selfishly manipulates her to break the government-imposed rules, she still allows herself to start having feelings for him. She justifies that he is really just as unsatisfied with his own life as she is with hers, even though the commander holds all the power and she has to endure the never ending presence of fear every day. Offred’s reflections lead us to ponder our own justifications in life: how long will we wait before we fight against the evils that others inflict on us?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Story of an Hour

     In the short narrative “The Story of an Hour,” author Kate Chopin depicts the life of Louise Mallard, a woman who has heart problems both literally and metaphorically. Upon learning of the death of her husband, Brently Mallard, she becomes unexpectedly exultant, relishing in the idea that she is free at last. However, Lousie’s long-awaited release from her husband’s expectations become very short-lived, and in turn, lead to her own death. Through the use of third-person-limited, Chopin is able to bolster the agenda of her satirical writing by portraying an hour filled with pointed adjectives, the recurring theme of freedom versus oppression, and the use of situational irony.

Shortly after hearing of her husband’s death in a tragic railroad worker incident, Louise retreats to her room alone. Although she weeps at first for Brently’s death, it is not long before Chopin reveals that her protagonist isn’t truly upset. As Louise slumps into her “comfortable” chair, it was as if her eyes were suddenly opened to the Earth’s beauty. Descriptive phraseology such as “the delicious breath of rain was in the air,” “…countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves,” and “there were patches of blue sky” (Chopin Paragraphs 4-5) paint an eerily happy scene after such a tragic accident. Traditionally, rain is used as a symbol of gloom and sadness, yet because of the cheerful diction that Chopin uses, the natural elements foreshadow the fact that Brentley’s death is considered a relief to his confined wife. Although death usually causes heartbreak, Louise is finally able to feel like her heart is as free as the birds’ that she hears chirping outside her window.

     Within the last few paragraphs of “The Story of an Hour,” Louise’s happiness turns into fantasying. Despite the fact that she supposedly loved her husband “sometimes,” the idea that she is now free to live her life without his scrutiny becomes too much for her to handle. The thought that “There would be no powerful will bending her in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature,” (Chopin Paragraph 13) illuminates Louise’s opinion on her husband’s death and illustrates Chopin’s dysfunctional theme: no matter whether it is out of love or spite, marriage is just a restrictive punishment both physically and mentally. Because of her husband, Louise was burdened with unattainable expectations and limitations throughout her life. Ultimately the restrictiveness of her marriage led to her twisted satisfaction at the prospect of Brentley’s demise. Rather than being permanently confined to her gender role, Louise was briefly able to envision the beauty of her new life.

     In the end, Louise’s learns that her husband didn’t actually die in the railroad calamity. After all of her dreams of freedom, the prospects of being able to live out her own life are quickly shattered. She is so shocked when Brentley returned alive and well, that her heart gives out and died completely. Ironically, the doctors tell everyone that she died due to the joy that she felt at the sight of her perfectly-well husband. However, Louise truly died because of the overbearingly sad realization that she wasn’t actually free after all. The “heart trouble” that she had endured from the beginning was not as physical as the doctor’s had presumed. Because of the repression that she had faced during marriage, Louise ended up dying from the final fatality of her ambitions and dreams.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Response to Barbie Doll

Barbie Doll

This girlchild was born as usual

and presented dolls that did pee-pee

and miniature GE stoves and irons

and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy.

Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said:

You have a great big nose and fat legs.She was healthy, tested intelligent,

possessed strong arms and back,

abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity.

She went to and fro apologizing.

Everyone saw a fat nose on thick legs.She was advised to play coy,

exhorted to come on hearty,

exercise, diet, smile and wheedle.

Her good nature wore out

like a fan belt.

So she cut off her nose and her legs

and offered them up.In the casket displayed on satin she lay

with the undertaker's cosmetics painted on,

a turned-up putty nose,

dressed in a pink and white nightie.

Doesn't she look pretty? everyone said.

Consummation at last.

To every woman a happy ending.

~Marge Piercy

     In the poem “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy, an unnamed girl is reared from birth in the ways of “true-womanhood.” As she endures the scorn and criticism of the society around her, she is ceremoniously provided with all the tools and toys that any conventional girl would need to understand her preordained gender role. From dolls that “pee-peed” to “wee” cherry lipsticks, her paradigm and place in the world begins on a self-critical and self-destructive path. Through colloquial language, parallel diction, and gruesome hyperbole, Piercy warns us of the potentially tragic destinies of any girl who attempts to grow up in the midst of society’s overpoweringly stereotypical pressure.

     Piercy’s tone throughout her poem is modern, blunt, and to-the-point. Rather than leaving the reader to ponder and question what the meaning to her tale is, her language usage is meant to send the same chilling message to everyone. The unnamed girl is provided with many modern things that girls continue to be enamored with today, causing a disturbing connection between female readers and her main character. In description, it is made clear that she has a “great big nose and fat legs,” which ultimately becomes more important to the critical society around her than her more enduring traits: good-health, intelligence, wit, and plentiful sexual drive. Because of the description, we fully understand both sides; the general public cruelly negates all that is good about her as an individual, which wears her down into a state of constant apology for that which once made her unique. The modern language used in “Barbie Doll,” creates a connection to our modern world, where the story of a degraded girl becomes a means by which Piercy can effectively teach everyone how fragile the human mind can become under too much criticism.

     Parallel diction is used throughout “Barbie Doll” to emphasize Piercy’s main points. In the beginning, the phrase, “You have a great big nose” demonstrates the lack of approval in the girl's appearance. By and by, “everyone” sees her physique as an issue. Eventually the]is overarching disapproval of her peers leads the girl to becoming so overly concerned about her minor physical differences, that she ends up committing suicide over them. The repetitive use of the word “everyone” and the phrase “fat nose and fat legs,” illuminates the true meaning behind Piercy’s satirical poem: we can’t live a happy life if we try to please all of the “everyone’s” in our lives. Much like the girl whose confidence was worn away like a common fan belt, when people conform by changing who they are for the sake of their peers approval, they will end up losing and destroying themselves.

     The image of a girl cutting off her both her legs and her nose is both extremely disturbing and grotesque. However, the extremities of such brutal imagery leads us as readers to reflect on the extremities and lengths that society can go to itself to force us into conformity. At the closing of the poem when the outside pressures of the world have ultimately caused the girl to kill herself, we fully understand the levity of humanity when it comes to how utterly we can destroy each others’ confidence. The sad ending of “Barbie Doll” leads us to question ourselves and the way we are living: is being “fat” honestly the worst thing we as humans can be? Is trying to look perfect or please everyone truly more important than the gift of life itself? As we visualize the case of this poor girl who finally ends up cutting off her limbs in a final and desperate attempt to make everyone else happy, the answer to society's’ questions become rhetorical.

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Life For the Past Little While

     Heya readers! I don't know if there are still any of you out there; these past months have been crazy, busy, hectic, fun, surprising, and an over-all whirlwind that has prevented me from posting anything in my blog. The time has been flying through my fingers faster than a speeding bullet. Well, that must be how it is for all of us poor "starving" college students. Whoever started the rumor that freshman typically gain 15 pounds within the first year of school was seriously misinformed; in the first two months I ended up losing about 15 lbs. Hooray, I guess?

     Honestly, the past few months have been more of a learning experience for me than any other experience in my life. After living with my family for eighteen years, it was quite a shock to move away into a dorm apartment with seven complete strangers. Let's just say that it's been enlightening, terrifying, and wonderful to hear what other people think and believe; so often it's different from what I've learned growing up. My family had rubbed off and become so much a part of me that I had almost began to believe that we were "normal"... Nope! Apparently the family tradition of waking up before eight o'clock because of my early-bird dad is not very common. My roommates were almost horrified when I woke up at 8:10 the other day, "You actually slept in for once, Jojo?! That's impressive." Yeah, some old habits die hard.

    That's not all that's different though; the music is different, the food is different,and the weather is more unpredictable than a two-year-old's temper tantrums. This must be what the early settlers felt like when they reached the Americas... Everyday is unexpected, great, terrible, moving. Some people disregard the traditions and morals that I've held dear to me thus far in my life. Some encourage me to keep going and to push through it all. Sometimes I feel a rift when others think differently, but I'm learning to accept this blend of differences in background and history. College has become a testing ground to see if I can keep my head above the opinions of others, to stay true to myself while trying to learn and grow with those around me, and ultimately to try and maintain my own sense of individuality despite the influence of the crowd.

As for what I've been doing with my life is another story. Many of my friends have been leaving on missions to serve as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Some of the best days of my life up at the university have been the times that I've spent reading those missionaries' letters. I couldn't be more proud of them for sacrificing two years of their lives in such selfless service. Way to go guys! Admittedly, I check the weather in Tijuana every single day. It always brings a smile to my face to see that a certain missionary friend is getting plenty of sun while I'm shivering under all this snow.

     Lots of my time is spent learning new things. A few months ago, one of my neighbors taught me how to crochet hats; we've undertaken the task of trying to make 100 hats for children with cancer. I can't wait until we're done! Along with becoming quite the mad-hatter, I'm also attempting to learn an instrument that is also slowly driving me mad. The majestic and nearly-impossible-to-convert-to organ. After only a month into the school year, my bishop called me to be an organist... I had never touched an organ in my life, and so I was pretty scared at first. Despite the initial shock of being asked to learn to play a fourth instrument, I've found it to be a humbling experience. To all of you who laugh and think that the organ is just like the piano, keep dreaming like I did, it's much harder than it looks! There's no sustaining pedal, and the grand organ is so loud that a single wrong note becomes glaringly obvious. However, learning something so different has been a good experience for me. It makes me appreciate good musicians who make playing instruments look so easy!

     Surprisingly, my first finals week in college wasn't too bad. Not to belittle the woes and struggles of my classmates, but the college tests weren't much harder than high school AP tests... Actually, high school was much rougher in my opinion! Christmas break was a lot of fun, and I spent a lot of it with my cousin Alexis and her friend Joe. The three weeks that we had off were a riot; we all slept in late through the morning and stayed up playing games, teasing each other, telling tacky jokes (okay, okay, that was just me,) and watching some funny and weird movies that I'd never seen. There's never been a break that I've enjoyed more than this last Christmas. I'm really going to miss them when they leave on their missions this year!

     Anyways, I'll get back to blogging when I have more to say. It felt so good to write again!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Soccer Reffing Nostalgia

     My favorite games to ref were the little first grade boys. It seems to me that age six is the peak period of absurd language usage. There were two particular instances with those six-year-old boys that still make me chuckle. Sometimes there's nothing that you can do as a ref but stand there and silently laugh and groan inside.

     The first experience was when a rather blunt little boy in a blue jersey came sprinting across the field towards me. I don't know whether he thought I was on the opposing team, or rather he had been told of the conniving, evil referees, but either way he was not happy to see me on his field. He bobbed across the grass like a little baby rabbit, jerked to a halt in front of where I stood, stared up at me while blocking the sun from his eyes, and then called me "booger ears!!!" in his high pitched voice.

     Well, that surprised me for a second! Booger ears. How original; that must be a newly adopted insult. That definitely wasn't used when I was in elementary school. Really, when I was younger I was lovingly called "shrimp" or "four-eyes" for being short and having those gigantic coke-bottle glasses sliding down my face all the time. But the term “booger ears” was unique. It was actually really funny to see that tiny little guy call me names, thinking that he might do me some damage with his mastery over the English language. Well, ten points for creativity kid! Seriously, even when they're being hostile they're cute; what's up with that?

     The second incident was equally hilarious, if not more. Before the game started, two boys from opposing sides decided to exchange some cripplingly challenging banter to drive each other beyond the point of intimidation. A taller boy from the orange team strutted to the center line, mockingly glaring and looking down on another boy from the other team who looked to be about half his size and smirked, "Hey, you, we're going to beat you!" Not missing a beat, the smaller kid jeered back, "Oh yeah? Well, not if I can do this!!!" and without further ado, he scrunched his eyes and rolled them into the back of his head until only the whites were visible. The big boy looked stunned for a second, and seriously, I could practically hear the cogs in his head screaming, "what?!?" Oh how those kids made me laugh!

     Now that I think about it, it wasn't just the boys who were comical, the girls were equally adorable, and I have fond memories of their silly comments too. One day a girl with flaming red hair approached me, her huge brown eyes a whirl of complete awe. She looked up at me and asked in incredulity, "how do you keep track of all of this?" I pointed knowingly at my stopwatch and said, "This little instrument helps me keep track of the time, I just have to watch the game and blow this whistle if a rule isn't followed." The look on her face was priceless; it was if her whole world had been shifted. Lesson learned: a stopwatch truly is a magically magnificent object that can undoubtedly change someone's world.

     Isn't it great how kids are so easily amazed? Their innocence can make even the smallest and seemingly meaningless things in life have a purpose. I'm going to have a lot of fun being a parent in the future; needless to say, I will definitely be jotting down the funny things that those children say!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Favorite Quotes

Well, it seems like many people have become aware of the fact that I love quotes! I search for them, use them often, and read them to find inspiration, guidance, and the occasional laugh. It's about time that I share some of my favorites! Lots of time and effort has been put into this compilation of these quotes, and believe me I'm sure there are more out there. However, after a few hours, this turned out to be six pages long. Brevity is the soul of wit, I will not make it any longer than it already is.

After the work was done in typing them all up, I've divided them into four categories: Quotes from Authors and My Favorite Books, Quotes from Songs or Singers, Miscellaneous Quotes, And Quotes from Famous People.

These are Alphabetical by first name. Enjoy! Let me know what your favorite is ~<3 always="" br="" jojo="">

Favorite quotes from Authors and My Favorite Book Quotes:

Alexandre Dumas

“Now I’d like someone to tell me that there’s no drama in real life!”

“Happiness is like those palaces in fairy tales whose gates are guarded by dragons: we must fight in order to conquer it!”

“There is neither happiness nor unhappiness in this world; there is only the comparison of one state with another. Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss. It is necessary to have wished for death in order to know how good it is to live… the sum of all human wisdom will be contained in these two words: Wait and Hope.

Ayn Rand

“But I still wonder how it was possible, in those graceless years of transition, long ago, that men did not see whither they were going, and went on, in blindness and cowardice, to their fate. I wonder, for it is hard for me to conceive how men who knew the word “I,” could give it up and not know what they lost. But such has been the story, for I have lived in the City of the damned, and I know what horror men permitted to be brought upon them.”

“For the coming of that day shall I fight, I and my sons and my chosen friends. For the freedom of Man. For his rights. For his life. For his honor.

Cassandra Clare

“Sarcasm is the last refuge of the imaginatively bankrupt.”

“The meek may inherit the Earth, but at the moment it belongs to the conceited. Like me.”

“Have you fallen in love with the wrong person yet?”
Jace said, “Unfortunately, Lady of the Haven, my one true love remains myself.”
…”At least,” she said, “you don’t have to worry about rejection, Jace Wayland.”
“Not necessarily. I turn myself down occasionally, just to keep it interesting.”

“One of the Silent Brothers is here to see you. Hodge sent me to wake you up. Actually he offered to wake you himself, but since it’s 5 a.m., I figured you’d be less cranky if you had something nice to look at.”
“Meaning you?”
“What else?”

“It wouldn’t be my move,” Jace agreed. “First the candy and flowers, then the apology letters, then the ravenous demon hordes. In that order.”

“There was a small wooden gazebo built over the water; Isabelle was sitting in it, staring out across the lake. She looked like a princess in a fairy tale, waiting at the top of her tower for someone to ride up and rescue her.
Not that traditional princess behavior was like Isabelle at all. Isabelle with her whip and boots and knives would chop anyone who tried to pen her up in a tower into pieces, build a bridge out of the remains, and walk carelessly to freedom, her hair looking fabulous the entire time.”

“You know,” Gabriel said, “there was a time I thought we could be friends, Will.”
“There was a time I thought I was a ferret,” Will said, “but that turned out to be the opium haze. Did you know it had that effect? Because I didn’t.”

“Let me give you a piece of advice. The handsome young fellow who’s trying to rescue you from a hideous fate is never wrong. Not even if he said the sky is purple and made of hedgehogs.”

Charles Dickens

“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”

C.S. Lewis

“Numbers don’t win a battle.”

Dr. Seuss

“Be what you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

E.E. Cummings

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”

Gail Carson Levine

“Step follows step, hope follows courage, set your face towards danger, set your heart on victory.”

Gaston Leroux

“Erik is not truly dead. He lives on within the soul of those who choose to listen to the music of the night.”

Jacques Prevert

“Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it.”

J.K. Rowling

“It is our choices, Harry, that show us who we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

“Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.”

“I’m never wearing them,” Ron was saying stubbornly. “Never.”
“Fine,” snapped Mrs. Weasley. “Go naked. And, Harry, make sure you get a picture of him. Goodness knows I could do with a laugh.

“Mr. Moony presents his compliments to Professor Snape, and begs him to keep his abnormally large nose out of other people’s business.
Mr. Prongs agrees with Mr. Moony, and would like to add that Professor Snape is an ugly git.
Mr. Padfoot would like to register his astonishment that an idiot like that ever became a professor.
Mr. Wormtail bids Professor Snape good day, and advises him to wash his hair, the slimeball.”

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”

John Whittier

“Of all the sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘it might have been.’”

J.R.R. Tolkien

“All we have to do is to decide what to do with the time that is given us.”

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”

Mary Shelley

"Oh! Be men, or be more than men. Be steady to your purposes and firm as a rock. This ice is not made of such stuff as your hearts may be; it is mutable and cannot withstand you if you say that it shall not. Do not return to your families with the stigma of disgrace marked on your brows. Return as heroes who have fought and conquered, and who know not what it is to turn their backs on the foe."

Oscar Wilde

“Be yourself; everyone else is taken.”

“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”

“I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I’m saying.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”

“When it’s dark enough, you can see the stars.”

Rick Riordan

“It takes strength and courage to admit the truth.”

“Be careful of love. It’ll twist your brain around and leave you thinking up is down and right is wrong.”

“Dance you guys!” Thalia ordered. “You look stupid just standing there.”
I looked nervously at Annabeth, then at a group of girls who were roaming the gym.
“Well?” Annabeth asked.
“Um, who should I ask?”
She punched me in the gut. “Me, Seaweed Brain.”
“Oh. Oh right.”

“It seemed weird calling a teenager ‘sir’ but I learned to be careful with immortals. They tended to get offended easily. Then they blew stuff up.”

“Dream like a podcast,
Downloading truth in my ears.
They tell me cool stuff.”
“Apollo?” I guess, because I figured nobody else could rhyme that bad.
He put his finger to his lips. “I’m incognito. Call me Fred.”
“A god named Fred?”

Shel Silverstein

“I will not play at tug o’war.
I’d rather play at hug o’ war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.”

Tom Clancy

“Nothing is as real as a dream. Responsibilities need not erase it. Duties need not obscure it. Because the dream is within you, and no one can take it away.”

Vivian Vande Velde

“She sighed. Loudly. “Physical appearance is not what is important.”
Yeah right. Tell that to any girl who hasn’t bothered to put on a presentable shirt or fix her hair because she’ only running into the grocery store to get a quart of milk for her grandmother, and who does she see tending the 7-ITEM-OR-LESS cash register but the guy of her dreams, except she can’t even say hi- much less try to develop a meaningful relationship- since she looks like the poster child for the terminally geeky.”

Wayne W. Dyer

“You cannot be lonely if you like the person that you are alone with.”

William Shakespeare

“A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.”

“Men should be what they seem.”

William Shedd

“A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” William Shedd

Quotes from Songs or Singers:

Alexander Lloyd Webber

“Slowly, gently night unfurls its splendor. Grasp it, sense it, tremulous and tender. Turn your face away from the garish light of day, turn your thoughts away from cold, unfeeling light, and listen to the music of the night… Close your eyes and surrender to your darkest dreams, purge your thoughts of the life you knew before. Close your eyes, let your spirit start to soar, and live, as you’ve never lived before!”

“Too many years fighting back tears. Why can’t the past just die? Wishing you were somehow here again, knowing we must say goodbye. Try to forgive, teach me to live, give me the strength to try! No more memories, no more silent tears, no more gazing across the wasted years. Help me say goodbye.”

Taylor Swift

"In fairy tales you meet Prince Charming and he's everything you ever wanted... The bad guy is always wearing a black cape so you know who he is. Then you grow up and you realize that Prince Charming isn't as easy to find as you thought. You realize the bad guy is not wearing a black cape and he's not easy to spot; he's really funny, and he makes you laugh, and he has perfect hair."

“Romeo save me, I’ve been feeling so alone. I keep waiting for you, but you never come. Is this in my head? I don’t know what to think.”

“I’ll bet she’s beautiful, that girl he talks about, and she’s got everything that I have to live without… He’s the reason for the teardrops on my guitar, the only one who’s got enough of me to break my heart. He’s the song in the car I keep singing; don’t know why I do.”

"I'm in the room, it's a typical Tuesday night. I'm listening to the kind of music she doesn't like, and she'll never know your story like I do... 'Cause she wears short skirts; I wear t-shirts. She's cheer captain, and I'm the on the bleachers; dreaming 'bout the day when you wake up and find that what you're looking for has been here the whole time."

Walt Disney

“A dream is a wish your heart makes when you’re fast asleep.”

“No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true!”

Miscellaneous Quotes:


"When you kiss your honey and your nose is runny, you may think it's funny, but it'snot."

Groucho Marx

“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana!”

Murphy's Law
"The chance of the bread falling buttered side down is equally proportional to the cost of the carpet.”

Favorite Quotes from Famous People:

Abraham Lincoln

“It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”

Albert Einstein

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”

“The difference between genius and stupidity is; genius has its limits.”

Ben Franklin

“Well done is better than well said.”

“Hide not your talents, they for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?”

“We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

Dale Carnegie

“Remember happiness doesn’t depend on who you are or what you have, it depends solely on what you think.”

Dorothy Parker

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity."

Eleanor Roosevelt

“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is mystery. Today is a gift; that’s why we call it “the present.”

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

“Well-behaved women rarely make history.”

Marilyn Monroe

“…sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Thomas Szasz

“Two wrongs don’t make a right, but they make a good excuse.”

Monday, July 11, 2011

Keep the Commandments

     Yesterday I had yet another eye opening lesson in church that lifted my spirits. It was about being a good person and trying to please God by obeying his commandments. That seems to be a major point of many Christian religions that deters people. Why would God restrict people so much if he sent us down here to make our own choices? Some people mockingly call it an oxymoron.

     But just think about it. How many tests have we had throughout our lives that have had certain simple rules to them? Some seem rather trivial, yet we don't question them. Don't write with a red pen, be prepared with your assigned homework next class period, and for goodness sake never forget your binder, lined paper, and plenty of pencils.

     Why then, when we so regularly follow ordinary rules, do we question what God asks of us? Commandments aren't in force to restrict us, and it never hurts to follow them. I know that I have a hard time following rules, countless times I've fallen below the standards that I've set for myself.

     The Parable of the Kite helped to remind me of how easy it can be to go astray, and how God with always help us despite our inconsistency in following his few rules.

The Parable of the Kite

There once lived a girl, so faithful and true,
With so much potential, so much she could do.
Her favorite past time was spent in the park-
Flying her kite, from dusk until dark.
Her father had built it, a bright, sturdy frame.
It seemed to hold up when the strong whirlwinds came.
It had a long tail, and what joy it could bring,
As it flew through the air, tightly held by the string.
Her father had warned her, to hold on quite tight,
The trial of the wind could put up a big fight.
This daughter grew restless, just watching it fly,
She wanted to see it soar deep in the sky.
One day she decided that it wasn't fair,
To punish this kite, and to hold back the air.
This kite deserved more than the same point of view,
If she just let it go, it could fly away too.
Because she was struggling- life was so hard,
She longed for the freedom to let down her guard.
Rules and commandments were causing such strife,
They just held her back, there was much more to life!
In just a brief instant, she cut off the string,
She took a deep breath as the air caught the wing.
It spiraled, it turned, and quite soon she had found
Her precious kite mangled and crushed on the ground.
She then heard her father, his voice calm and true,
My Child, these commandments are given FOR you
To help you and guide you and keep you in flight,
Just as the string has preserved your invaluable kite.
I love you. I need you. You're precious to me.
If you keep my commandments,
They help make you free!
Free to fly high, free from the sorrow,
Free to awake without guilt for tomorrow.
My daughter, please know that I'm sending my love,
I'll guide you; I'll hold you with strength from above.
As I hold your string, I won't let you down,
I promise, in heaven, that you'll get your crown!

Stacy Schofield Hair

On another side note, I believe it's also important to not be high and mighty about the way you live or what you believe. Sometimes it can be easy to be stuck-up and arrogant when you see how fortunate and blessed you are... Don't forget to spread your blessings to others.

"I dreamt I was a butterfly, or was I a butterfly dreaming..."

Lit wings
Awed, I reach out to her,

Diamond drops cascade down.

Pale shimmering;
Somehow she cannot see
Her Wings.

Entrancing; I lift her chin.
"With such wings you can fly!"
I try.

She wipes her tears.
Downcast wings start to

Enrapturing in her
Found Wings."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I ended up rewriting and creating a few poems today; although I prefer to put my poetry on my private blog, sometimes it's nice to share it. Some part of me feels as if poetry is just so personal. Reading a poets work is like stripping a writer down to her core and glimpsing the soul within.

Truth be told, I've never considered myself to be a great poet, even though writing poetry is one of my favorite hobbies. Lately I've been writing a lot more than usual


Do I Dare to Dream?

I now stand silently at a forked road,
But do I dare to Dream?
My sun-filled soul screams to be free,
My heardened heart whispers conformity.

But do I dare to Dream?
Still, the question gnaws at my fleeting hopes.
My heardened heart whispers conformity,
Wishing answers were as light as leaves.

Still, the question gnaws at my fleeting hopes;
My sun-filled soul screams to be free...
Wishing answers were as light as leaves,
I now stand silently at a forked road.


My Advice
Mind not the past, not a thing can change;
You are unique, don't think it's strange.

As often as ever give love to all;
Don't be rude, that may be your fall.
Vicarious living- steer clear away
I know only you can lead the way.
Calm yourself, don't let life pass by
Every piece of advice- a hypocritical try.


Mouths gasp in wonder-
mystical lights dance in tune,
breathless concourses wonder
As God creatures glow.
Brighter than cool, darkened nights-
Seas of fireflies ignite

(Free Verse)

It was bright Red,
My blush.
My jacket.
My racing, pacing blood.

It was Halloween night,
Supposedly scary.
Supposedly different.
Supposedly dating was easy.

It was my first date.
Just couldn’t wait.
Just teenage ‘”fate.”
Just Dad driving us, embarrassingly.

It was so fast.
We were unprepared.
We teenagers assumed our calm.
We were fearsome pirates for a night.

It was a dance.
Who remembers the songs?
Who saw our discomfort?
Who knew we were stifling our immaturity?

It was an awkwardly normal door.
Why the sudden silence?
Why the bashful hug?
Why the inwardly sung victory?

(Diminishing Hexaverse)

Fade to Night

When Day fades to Night,
Eyes give up their Plight.
Turning in Sweet Sleep;
Then, the Poet Dreams.
Banishing Logic.

Songs in the Dark,
Strolls through the Park.
Soar above Life,
Without a Strife.

Walk Alone.
Fly Free.
No Home.

Give in,
Dreams win.



Regained Memory

Gone, Diminish
Confusing, Forgetting, Regretting
Name of Kids, Place of Keys, Clear Sight, Lucid Mind
Encircling, Penetrating, Remembering
Vivid, Immense



Eyes enraptured enveloped
Toe touching toe
Hand holding hand
Mouth meeting mouth




Libra's Charm

A small speck of dirt on my floor
is worse to me than brutal war.
Gritty grime and nauseous noises;
ruin perfectly prime poises!

Once you're put together we'll talk,
I'll watch your details like a hawk.
Oh, us early birds get the worm;
if you are late, you'll make me squirm!

Foul bluntness never held my charm,
radicals cause so much alarm...
Life should be like a golden scale,
Beautiful balance never fails!

If you'd like to see more of my poetry click on the words in quotations "My Poetry on PoetrySoup" I hope you guys liked this post!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Man in the Glass

Recently I decided to create a graphic to depict my favorite poem. It's called "The Man in the Glass." by Dale Wimbrow

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to a mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn't your father or mother or wife,
Who judgment upon you must pass;
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one starring back from the glass.

He's the fellow to please, never mind all the rest.
For he's with you clear up to the end,
And you've passed the most dangerous, difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may be like Jack Horner and "chisel" a plum,
And think you're a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum
If you can't look him straight in the eye.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years.
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be the heartaches and tears
If you've cheated the man in the glass.

Monday, May 30, 2011

This I Believe

     I believe that the colors brown and black clash terribly. It makes me cringe when my dad wears sandals with socks, and it makes me wince when boys brag about being able to fit into their sister’s pants. However, I believe even more in the idea that no matter what you choose to wear, that the most important thing is that you feel comfortable in those clothes. I believe that the greatest lesson for anyone to learn is how to be unashamed to be themselves whoever that self may be.

     I believe in the cognitive theory. I believe that the most important thing in a human’s life is the ability to think. There truly is nothing save thinking makes it so. Our thoughts influence how we interpret the world. What we think majorly influences how we face our personal challenges and goals in life. Whether these thoughts are positive or negative can impact everyone for good or ill. One person’s thoughts (or lack of) can change a world.

     I believe that there is no such thing as a perfect family. I believe that the family is a lot like playdough. Playdough is loved by everyone; it makes life a lot more bearable because it provides both fun and comfort to us. It comes in all forms, shapes, colors, and consistencies. If it isn’t loved and cared for, it will become hard and crusty, and if the playdough isn’t doing its best to stick together, it falls apart. Playdough can be formed into any assortment of figures; none of them are perfect; they are all different and artistic in its own sense.

     I believe more than anything that the world is a good place. I believe that hardships and tragedies can drive good people to do bad things or force them into unfortunate circumstances, and it is really sad. But I believe that it is important to try not to judge anyone no matter what they do or what they look like. Life is hard; all you can do is be good to everybody and try to imagine how their shoes feel.

     I believe that no matter how rough a situation is that people can transcend their circumstances and rise above the deck of cards they’ve been dealt. I don’t believe in chance; I believe that life is a masterfully crafted challenge that we can allow to make or brake us. I believe that we have an unlimited capacity to overcome obstacles and to succeed in life no matter what happens.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I Know That Our Redeemer Can Help Us Overcome Fear

     At the beginning of this week, I was asked to give a talk on my favorite scripture or hymn... I laughed on Thursday when my favorite was mentioned in a talk by the New Stake president for seminary graduation. In this case, I hope that some things bear repeating.
     I’ve gained a testimony of the truth behind Doctrine and Covenants Chapter 6: 33-36 in my seminary class, these verses read:

“Fear not to do good, my sons [or daughters,] for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap; therefore if ye sow good ye shall also reap good for your reward.
Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail.”
It goes on to finish:
“Look to me in every thought, doubt not, fear not.”

     I know what the word fear means through personal experience, but, I wanted to get a more “scholarly” translation for my talk than “the feeling we experience when we see an enormously gigantic spider crawling around on the walls of our lovely abodes.”

     According to the wizened Microsoft Word dictionary, fear is “an unpleasant feeling of anxiety or apprehension caused by the presence or anticipation of danger; an idea, thought, or other entity that causes feelings of fear; or a concern about something that threatens to bring bad news or results.

     The new graduates of the Bridgecreek Ward have much to fear. I feel confident in saying that I’m not the only one that’s felt afraid about the rise in tuition and the cost of living, or about majoring in something that will complete me or finding the right person for the same purpose. I’m not alone in being afraid to move away from my family and how it will feel to miss them and the amazing leaders and teachers that I’ve had here in this ward.

     But if there’s one thing that I know for sure, I know that I’ve had a class at Davis that has completed my experience as a high schooler and prepared me to face these fears, and that class was seminary. Seminary has taught me how to face my fears for the future head-on.

     Last year in seminary I was faced with a fear that I had never had in my life.

     Brother Burton asked me light-heartedly if I trusted the Lord. I firmly replied “yes...” He then asked me if I trusted him and the seminary class that the Lord had placed me into.

     Not really understanding what his questions were leading up to and feeling the heat of the stares of my fellow peers, I confusedly replied “yes” again without a thought. I was even more flabbergasted when he chuckled and asked me if I could prove my trust. With a knowing smirk, he took a blindfold out of his pocket and gestured for me to blindfold myself.

     It was then that I knew that he wasn’t asking for empty answers, he wanted solid evidence about my affirmations
“If anything bad happens to you, promise me that you won’t sue me?” he laughingly joked. I’m almost sure that my voice shook as I quietly replied that I’d take responsibility for my actions, no matter how crazy they might turn out to be with this whole blind-fold business. After I had tied a blindfold over my tightly clenched eyes, Brother Burton helped me step from a chair onto the top of my desk. The room was so silent you could hear a pin drop.

     A moment later, he calmly asked me to put my arms to my sides and fall backwards off of my desk.

     My heart beat faster; I knew full well the repercussions of falling straight back onto the hard floor from this height. If there was nothing there to catch me, it would definitely cause me pain. If there was nothing there to stop my fall, my back might break, which would not only hurt, it could potentially cause paralysis. Alright, it was only a few feet up, but I was a little afraid of being injured... But more prominent than my fear of injury, was my determination in proving that my words weren’t empty, I wanted to allow my faith and trust to overcome all my fears and worries. So without further ado, I fell backwards into the darkness, having no idea if I was going to have a soft landing. Needless to say, I am still happily intact.

     I have a testimony that if we are exercise courage and are unafraid to look for the good things in life like the gospel and seminary, that we shall all “reap” rewards greater than we can possibly imagine.
There is much to fear out there in the world, but with the knowledge that we as members of this Ward of people who have a love of the gospel and our Savior; I know that we can overcome any fears that we may have. “Let Earth and Hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail.”

     In church we constantly joke about the typical “seminary answers:” read your scriptures, pray, go to the temple, keep the commandments, etc. etc. Sometimes we fail to recognize how important they are. Earth: aka the modern media, the radio, our friends who encourage us to follow all of these demeaning “fads” that mock who we are and what we stand for, and Hell, a whole third of the host of heaven is pitted against us solely for the purpose of scorning the faith that we cling to, are both currently combined against you, and they would love to destroy you.

     Yet, if we are built upon this little rock, these simple little seminary answers, prayer, scripture study, visiting the temple, keeping the commandments; Earth and Hell cannot prevail.

     I’d like to finish by reading the second verse of my favorite hymn.

     I Know that My Redeemer Lives
“He lives to grant me rich supply. He lives to guide me with his eye. He lives to comfort me when faint. He lives to hear my soul’s complaint. He lives to silence all my fears. He lives to wipe away my tears. He lives to calm my troubled heart. He lives all blessings to impart.”

     I personally know, with all of the bones in my body no matter how short they may be that our Redeemer lives. He loves me, he loves you, and if you will follow him and put all of your trust in him that he will not only wipe away your tears, that he will help to erase all of your fears. Have faith in him, have charity for others, and have a hope in the future that he has lovingly provided you with. I proclaim these truths to you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Endings and Beginnings

     This has been a crazy month; honestly, the last three years have been crazy in and of themselves. It's hard for me to believe that I'm about to move on in life and graduate from high school. This post isn't going to be very entertaining or beautifully symbolic, but I believe that the things that have been happening in my life are worth a little lamentation and reminiscing.

     The month of May really has been a month of beginnings and endings for me. I've been brought to tears for multiple reasons; it was really stressful with AP tests coming on, the usual friend troubles, and thinking about going away to college college. It's hard to believe that in less than three months I will be moving out of my house and away from my family. But luckily most of my tears have been out of happiness, and I've thanked God every day for my fun life, because things are turning around. Admittedly someone who didn't know me very well could easily think that I've been developing a bipolar disorder with all these ups and downs.

     I grinned as I put my pen down after my final ap test (which was English language.) Somehow at the end of the test, my packet managed to have eleven pages worth of essays scrawled inside, ready to be sent out east and graded for potential college credit. The very last ap test that I'll ever have to worry for in my life is over.

     I grinned again several times as I played in my last soccer game; recreation soccer has been the most consistent sport in my life since Kindergarten, and now it's over for good. Soccer has been such a motivator for me to be active physically. My coaches have been amazing, it's crazy to think that I will most likely never play my favorite sport on an organized team again. Not only am I through with soccer playing, but I've also reffed soccer for the past three years; now soccer season is officially over I will never have to ref another soccer game in my life! No worrying about whether or not I make the right calls, no more worrying about parents complaining, no more worrying about coaches screaming in my face, no more worrying about the more snobbish kids getting angry at me. It's a truly amazing feeling of accomplishment and freedom that I've felt these past twenty four hours since my last reffed game!

     It's been an amazing beginning. Now I have new friends and my first boyfriend ever. Now I'm packing up my room to move away for the first time. There are so many new beginnings! I'm beginning a new life filled with more happiness than I've ever had before. I am so excited for life, it is truly going to be a good run. Through it all I'll remember my hard-working past, the good times, as well as the bad times so that I can progress and learn even more.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A.P. English Literature

     I haven't posted a blog post in a little over a month. Fortunately, I can't attribute this to personal laziness. Lately I've become totally consumed with studying for my three AP tests this month: AP Psychology, AP English Literature, and last but not least, AP English Language.
Although I haven't posted much writing on my blog, practice essays have become a ritual of my daily life for the past week.
Yesterday I timed myself to a random poem prompt for the literature test; it took me a half an hour to dissect two poems and scribble my own piece of mind on the paper.
I'm going to type out the two poems that the essay was written about, along with the instructions and my own essay in the hopes that it might some other struggling souls going through AP English Lit or Language.

Total time--2 hours

Question 1
(Suggested time--40 minutes. This question counts as one-third of the total essay section score.)

Carefully read the two poems below. Then in a well-organized essay compare the speakers' reflections on their early morning surroundings and analyze the techniques the poets use to communicate the speakers' different states of mind.

Poem 1:

Five A.M.

Still dark, the early morning breathes
a soft sound above the fire. Hooded
lights on porches lead past lawns,
a hedge; I pass the house of the couple
who have the baby, the yard with the little
dog; my feet pad and grit on the pavement, flicker
past streetlights; my arms alternate
easily to my pace. Where are my troubles?

There are people in every country who never
turn into killers, saints have built
sanctuaries on islands and in valleys,
conquerors have quit and gone home, for thousands
of years farmers have worked their fields.
My feet begin the uphill curve
where a thicket spills with birds every spring.
The air doesn't stir. Rain touches my face.

Poem 2:

Five Flights Up

Still dark
The unknown bird sits on his usual branch.
The little dog next door barks in his sleep
inquiringly, just once.
Perhaps in his sleep, too, the bird inquires
once or twice, quavering.
Questions--if that is what they are--
answered directly, simply,
by day itself.

Enormous morning, ponderous, meticulous;
gray light streaking each bare branch,
each single twig, along one side,
making another tree, of glassy veins...
The bird still sits there. Now he seems to yawn.

The little black dog runs in his yard.
His owner's voice arises, stern,
"You ought to be ashamed!"
What has he done?
He bounces cheerfully up and down;
he rushes in circles in the fallen leaves.

Obviously, he has no sense of shame.
He and the bird know everything is answered,
all taken care of,
no need to ask again.
--Yesterday brought to today so lightly!
(A yesterday I find almost impossible to lift.)

2005 Free Response- Poetry

In "Five A.M." and "Five Flights Up" the respective poets allude to their own interpretations pertaining to the dawning of a new day. "Five A.M." is a flowing and metaphorical description that interprets the mysteries of allusions from the past, signifying that every day is a mystery to be embedded into the past. However, Five Flight up is a more literal interpretation. The poet uses broken enjambment and colloquial language to create a portrait of a less interpretive world as the poem explores how mornings begin, which in turn, complements a more modern state of mind.

In Five A.M., the poet uses personification to make his interpretation of the world come to life. "The early morning breathes a soft sound..." and "Rain touches my face." Not only create a tone for figurative interpretation, but also appeal to the senses of not only sight, but touch and sound as well. The poet creates rhythmic meter with long sentences with little to no breaks in between lines. This flow adds to the effect and tone of the mysterious allusions portrayed in the second stanza. The poet communicates a state of mind in which he or she views every morning as a scene of beauty, mystery, and unanswered questions as the author is enveloped in eloquent natural surroundings.

In the poem "Five Flights Up", the poet conveys the morning as a literal happenstance that is easily observed and can be described substantially with little to doubt or question. "Questions- if that is what they are-// answered directly, simply, by day itself." The poet then proceeds to use adjectives to describe how the morning appears to the world. Using enjambment, the poet creates a sense of blunt description, leaving the impression that like the poem's sentences, a morning lacks any eminent complexity and can be interpreted with little awe or wonderment.

"Five A.M." is a masterpiece communicating a mystery, surrounded by the dawn of a new day, defined by the personification of Earth's elements, complemented by flowing parallel syntax, and completed with allusions tracing back to the history of former mornings. "Five Flights Up" is a literal interpretation of a morning that is self-explanatory and presents itself bluntly through the use of juxtaposition, visual imagery and modern language that conveys the morning as a predictable, direct, and simple element to the every day flow of a provincial life.