Sunday, December 16, 2007

Let it Snow, at least for today.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. That is the best way to describe what is going on outside right now. It started last night around 7 pm and has not stopped since. There is probably close to a foot now. Even so we ventured out and made it to church. I probably would not have gone but my room mates were very persistent. I am glad that I got to see the Christmas program. I was in the choir but it seemed like they had enough people and not very many people to watch, so I decided to sit in the audience and enjoy.

I finished finals on Thursday. Yeah! I am not sure how I did but I am done for better or worse. Now I just have my road trip home to look forward to. I am driving home with Maggie on Tuesday. It might be a bit treacherous but the weather forecast looks good for Tuesday and Wednesday. I hope it stays that way.

I feel like it is really Christmas now that I have time to think about it. On Friday I went to Greenfield Village, a small museum village started and sponsored by Henry Ford. It was really cold but a lot of fun. We walked around the village, rode in a Model T, rode a Merry-Go-Round and sang Christmas carols while fire works went off. It was truly a great way to start off the Christmas season.

I would like to wish all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


While this word has many meanings, the meaning that best described how I felt today during church is this one:

awkward: Marked by or causing embarrassment or discomfort: an awkward remark; an awkward silence.

We had three speakers today. The first speaker I would characterize as semi-awkward. The second totally so. I usually color a little during church to help me focus. Today my coloring became a necessity, keeping me from reenacting the scene from the BYU Pride and Prejudice when she throws a book at the speaker. To demonstrate how awkward it was, the terms freakin and screwed were said from the pulpit. I colored many a picture that day trying to give an outlet to the stress I was feeling.

On a more positive, less awkward note, last night was our wards Christmas Dinner and Dance. It really is just an excuse for people to dress up fancy and relive high-school awkwardness. There it is again, that word. Anyway it was a lot of fun. I ate a lot and danced a ton, even though I don't really know how, and just had a good time.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Snow Day

Today we had a snow day and church got canceled. I don't know that is was actually bad enough to cancel church but the forecast was more extreme than the actual storm. Instead of going to church I made prank phone calls and watched Home Alone. I guess I should have been more productive.

I am going to visit the Creche exhibit tonight. It is an amazing display of literally hundreds of nativity scenes from around the world. It has been going on for 25 years and this is the last year. I volunteered at it yesterday in the African room but didn't have time to see the whole display. I am glad that I will be able to see in its last year.
Merry Christmas

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Last weekend was my week of culture. Friday I went to Caetano Veloso, a Brazilian signer likened unto the “Bob Dylan of Brazil” more for his fame than genre. Then Saturday I went to Jason Bergman’s graduate recital. He is a friend of my room mate and plays the trumpet. Finally my cultural experience was rounded off by Yo Yo Ma Saturday night. it was exceptional.

This weekend was characterized by a lot of studying with one break being the Jessica Allen Ping Pong Open. This is a most prestigious open that took place at the Ann Arbor Institute of Religion on Saturday night. Unfortunately, even though I coordinated it and am it's namesake I did not win the singles championship nor the mixed doubles. However I did have a lot of fun.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fall Break

I have a lot of pictures to add with this entry because I went on an awesome road trip for fall break. Fall break is the greatest ever. Coming from a school that didn't have a spring break let alone a fall break I feel like Christmas has come early. I took the two days off of school to see more of this neck of the woods. Maggie, my roommate, and Ashley, a mutual friend, took off last Friday afternoon for Niagara Fall and upstate New York. We stayed Saturday night in Niagara.

All three of us officially love Canada now and want to hook up with a Canadian Mounty but unfortunately did meet any real ones. Niagara was beautiful and after touring there for the day we spent Saturday night in a cute little bed and breakfast. We pushed two twin beds together and all fell asleep on them watching American Dreamz (dreams with a Z).

The next morning we had an amazing breakfast. There were awesome hash browns cooked with chives and some really good blueberry pancakes. Carolsue, the owner, was a hoot. She actually has a house in Michigan too and her daughter went to UM.

After we checked out we visited some falls near out bed and breakfast. It is amazing to me that just a little hike off a road can lead to an amazing water fall. I am use to beauty like that requiring a ten-mile-round-trip hike. After those falls we hiked up Watkins Glen. It is about a mile hike up a gorge along a dozen of so really pretty waterfalls.

Later that day we drove up to Palmyra to tour the church history sites. We went to the Hill Cumorah, Smith Farm/Sacred Grove, Palmyra Temple and the bookshop where the Book of Mormon was printed. It was all really amazing. The Sacred Grove was beautiful especially with the leaves starting to change colors. It was not hard to see why Joseph Smith would chose a place like that to pray.

Sunday night we spent at the house of a sister from my mission, Kirsten Trefflich. Her mom is such a great woman, so nice and caring.

Monday we did the Women’s Rights Tour in Seneca Falls. It was great. That town is really lovely too. In fact every town I went to seemed lovely just like in the movies. We finished the sight seeing part of the trip with a visit to the Whitmer farm where the church was organized.

Finally we went shopping. I think every good road trip needs some shopping.

Now my trip is over and it is back to the real world. Midterms, Yeah!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Walking through Campus Listening to Ipod

At the risk of being one of "those kids"—you know, the ones that walk around with headphones on all day and seem oblivious to immediate surroundings—I have to share a story. I have often wanted my life to have a soundtrack and listening to my I-pod while walking through central campus is the closest I have come. One particular day stands out. I got to school early as usual, about 7:15 am, when few people are out; I was listening to The Eternal Vow from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon by Yo Yo Ma. That song is amazing! The world seemed at peace at that moment. The hundred something pages I had to read didn’t seem so insurmountable. The Prospect of 8 hours of class that day didn't instill its usual dread. Karl Marx said that “religion is the opium of the people." While I don't agree with that that moment my drug cocktail was a song mixed with a misty autumn day in Ann Arbor. It was delicious.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A spiritual connection

to my faithful readers, if I happen to have any faithful readers, I will warn you this week is my pondering of spirituality and social work.

This week I have enjoyed making connections between gospel principles and what I am learning in social work. In my classes we talk a lot about strength based practices. This means you focus on a person’s strengths to help them with whatever issue they are facing. I realized that this practice is like what Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ do for us. They love us unconditionally but not for who we are, but for who we can become. In the same sense they focus on our strengths and potential. Our strengths because they know that will help us reach our potential

This was poignant today because in church we talked about charity. I had the thought that strength based practice is a form of charity, looking for others strengths and potential, no matter what might be going on in their life. Since charity is the pure love of Christ, when we show Christ-like love, i.e. strength based love, we have charity.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Vehicular-Squirrel Slaughter (VSS)

This is not a real criminal act but it might as well be for how sad I felt after I committed VSS. Here is what the police deposition might look like if I was ever to be taken into custody for this crime:

It was lovely afternoon Friday September 7, 2007. Earlier in the day it had rained, perhaps causing unrest and a little depression among fury little creatures. I was driving home on Dexter road with my roommates, Margaret Bennett and Stephanie Rhodes, and as we were nearing our destination of 595 Landings Blvd a small woodland creature, which I identified as a squirrel, ran into the road from the right side. I swerved to miss him/her/it but because traffic was approaching in the other direction the creature suddenly started and turned around. It was right then that I felt a small bump and the creature met its maker.

Needless to say I was very startled and disturbed. After the screaming stopped and the laughing of my roommates subsided, I got a little teary-eyed. I am okay now but I feel a tinge of sadness every time I see a squirrel, and I swear they give me the evil eye knowing what I have done.

If any one has any comforting word to offer I would be most appreciative.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

A week in Ann Arbor

This last week was a crazy roller coaster of emotions. Before I even got to Ann Arbor I got stuck in a three hour traffic jam outside of Chicago due to flooding. It was then I really questioned my decision to go to school in Michigan. All of these thoughts of self-doubt came up as I also worried about asphyxiating in my car because of all the stagnant running vehicles around me. After three hours I got out of that and made it to Ann Arbor much later than expected.

I got into my apartment the next day, Saturday. My apartment is a little further from campus than I expected. I was a bit down about that for awhile, but my spirits were rallied when I saw all the games of bear pong I would miss out on.

After two days of orientation and a day of field experience I am excited to start classes on Tuesday. The one damper being that Michigan lost its opening game to some no-name team. Well I think a lot of people know Appalachian State University now that they thrashed Michigan. I wish I could muster more regret for my team but I am quite apathetic. At least the boys soccer team won, and that's what's important