Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pure Inspiration!

Today I had an amazing opportunity to see one of my educational heroes, her name is Erin Gruwell.  For those of you who've seen Freedom Writers know who I'm talking about, for the rest of you let me introduce you to this amazing woman:  Erin was a first year English teacher in 1994 at a pretty rough school in Long Beach, CA.  She'd grown up in suburban California and with her first step into the classroom she realized she had absolutely no idea how to teach the kids in her eighth grade class.  So I don't ruin the movie for you, I won't give too many details but lets just say that Erin was able to tap into their lives and make a difference.  

The reason I've chosen to blog about this today was Erin was at UVU today.  She spoke to an audience full of University faculty and staff and students (both at the university level and high school/jr high) to tell us about her story.  Throughout the course of her lecture, I'm not going to lie, there were several times that I was moved to tears as I thought of the horror of the situations the kids in her classroom dealt with on a daily basis.  At the end of her speech she left each of us with a challenge to make a difference; not necessarily by standing in front of a tank as other brave patriots have, done but by changing the life of the one.  She said something that's stuck with me today and I hope will stick with me for  the rest of my life, "most people don't need a handout, they need a hand up."  Meaning that there are people who are in need of help, but rather than providing them with a couple bucks, provide them with an opportunity to overcome their current circumstances and rise to a higher level or life.

Today I've been re-motivated to be a sincere friend.  To stand up for the one who is different, who is ostracized, who needs a smile and needs a friend.  My challenge to you is to make a difference, however you see fit.  Oh... and to watch Freedom Writers. :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

TV Dinners

The funny thing about TV dinners is the have the ability to make everything taste the same.  The miracle behind this happening goes as follows:
Step 1:  Peel corner of package off for ventilation
Step 2: Put in microwave on high for 3 minutes (seems plenty long to me, but keep reading)
Step 3: Take out of microwave, and remove the rest of the lid.
Step 4: Stir and put back into microwave for an additional minute.
Step 5: Again stir the screaming hot liquid that for whatever reason doesn't LOOK hot.
Step 6: Indulge.

Okay, okay... so maybe my stupidity plays in a little here, but according to my experience if something isn't bubbling or steaming (which this meal wasn't) it's not hot. WRONG-O WRONG-O!  I placed one of these delectable looking raviolis into my mouth.  I should have spit the dumb thing out, but there were co-workers around.  So I did what anyone in my shoes would have done and started to chew to swallow.  This was also a mistake, because all of the cheesy goodness that I should have been indulging in was burning every taste bud in my mouth off! 
Moral of the story: next time you're running late, skip the TV dinner and buy a bagel instead.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Smile for the Birdie!

Last weekend I tagged along with my sister and her adorable family while they did family photos.  Well, I guess I didn't really tag along, I had a very important job: to get her three kids to look and the camera and genuinely smile.  You might be thinking this would be simple.  Saying "smile" or "cheese" should do it right?   
Wrong-o, wrong-o!  
 I'm pleased to announce that I did a marvelous job, even though I haven't seen the photos.  However my sister seems happy with them, thus my attempts were a success!

After everything was done with the whole family they did some individual shots, which I wasn't so successful in the smile dept. so Mommy got  that job while Daddy and I played with the other two kiddos.  (Best job ever!)  As the day continued the oldest of the kids started to get sleepy, so I piggy backed him back to the car.  The photographer got some great ones of us.  Let me know what you think. :) 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I'm a Big Kid Now!... we'll almost.

To My Dearest Fan Club, 

I'm assuming you're only reading this is A) you find the same sick fasination with reading other people's blogs that I do or B) you are bored out of your mind.  Either way, I hope it provides you what you're looking for.

I can hardly believe it! It dawned on me today that I'm really  graduating!  I know I've blogged, or blabbed (take your pick) about this prior, but it seems like such a surreal concept.  I counted the other day and I've been in school for 19 years (this April), I'll spare you the math... that makes me 23.  I can't tell how I really feel about it yet.  Some days it's so exciting and others it's nothing short of a terrifying though.  I guess it's cause my future is so uncertain.  

I'm looking at jobs everyone, like adult jobs... no longer is my hope to have a part-time job, but rather to become an asset to society an join the work force.  Weird.

I'm not sure what persuaded me to check my graduation status, but it says 95% complete right now.  As soon as October 25th rolls around (and permitted I pass all my classes between now and April) I'll be able to walk with the class of 2011.  Bizzar!!  

I guess that's what has been going through my mind today.  It's been a humbling experience.  Yesterday I had a conversation with ...someone(s)... that helped me to recognize that while it's good to dream big, it's important to also see reality.  Translation:  I'll be applying for teaching positions in UTAH starting in April for the fall of 2011. (Eek!!) So, if you know of any schools that will be looking for teachers, let me know. :)  In the mean time, I'm trying to not pull my hair out as I juggle classes, working and somewhat of a social life. 

Funny how life works out, huh?

You're truly, 
Brittish Knees

Monday, October 11, 2010

My Stinkin' Thinkin': A Hodge-Pogde of Random Thoughts

It's funny how when we're children we often think of how wonderful life will be as we grow up.  Indeed life is wonderful.  I get to choose what I want on the menu, buy a car, attend the University of my choice, pick a career, buy that new hot pair of shoes, or purchase that candy bar in the checkout line that taunts me every time I go through the grocery store line.  Don't be mislead though, along with all of the freedoms and experiences we also attain the crappy things also tag along.  Things like insurance (both health and automotive), adult jobs (which I suppose could be good and bad... at the moment my lack of one presents this to be a draw back of adult life), and DRAMA.  All of which are things I despise. 

In lieu of these lovely decisions that are rapidly entering into my future I've been investigating jobs I could apply for.  Immediately after graduation my goal is to have be hired as a counselor to the EFY program and work somewhere on the east coast for the summer.  (Bliss, I know!)  After the summer comes and goes I'm hoping for one of two things to happen:  1) Some awesome, fantastic jobs will fall into my lap ... I meaning that I'll have worked hard and scouted it out or 2) I'll feel comfortable enough and have a strong desire to start a teaching career.  If neither of these things happens, which I'm assuming (but not hoping) will be the case... I'm not so sure what I'll do with my life.

It's funny, I never pictured this phase of my life to be this way: unmarried, happy with being single, an almost college graduate and looking for a professional job.  I guess the one thing that provides me comfort is knowing that I've been promised blessings and if I live up to my end of the bargain they'll come... probably not in my time but they will come. :)  Yeah for putting trust in He who's got it all worked out!!

The last month or so has been quite... eventful: Shaun got his mission call, which is still setting in;  Marci got her's shortly after Shaun, which I'm ecstatic about, yet very sad to say good bye to one of my best girl friends for a year and a half, oh!  Hayley (my more or less sister) also got her call.  It's the month of missionary calls I guess. This has brought this odd sadness/elation all combined into one emotion.  It's a little like taking table spoon of salt on a deliciously fresh peach; yucky but absolute bliss all in one bite.

On a little lighter note, I got my field assignment which will be in a first grade classroom (I'm very nervous, but also excited about it).  This is also the classroom where I'll be doing my student teaching this spring... the spring prior to graduation... the graduation that makes me a responsible adult.  Weird.

I've found myself struggling this semester, not academically, but more just finding that umph to get back into the swing of school.  For whatever reason, this has been particularly difficult for me.  (I think it's an awful disease that's been going around our cohort called, senioritis, nasty little bugger.  Haha.) I'm banking on the hope that when we get into the schools I'll be more driven to really absorb all I can in class rather than dreading to attending.  *Please please PLEASE!!*

Today I also started looking for "big kid jobs."  What a scary thought.  As I was looking into rantings of various districts in places outside of Utah it gave me the same feeling you get as you get ready for a date with a guy you're nuts about: crazy excited but also incredibly nervous and a little sick.  This experience has been a little bit of a newsflash to me that my adolescent years are very much over and it's time to move onto being an adult, not just a college student, but an adult.  Honestly... I'm not sure how much I like the idea of that.  I guess only time will tell.

I guess what it really boils down to is up until this point in my life I never really planned for the future... well at least not like this.  I always assumed my life would have taken a different path (okay, so it was marriage) however it seems as though this was a blessing.  I've had a chance to explore parts of the world that I otherwise wouldn't have, I've met awesome people and made some life long friends.  I've grown so much emotionally and spiritually and if nothing else I'm incredibly grateful for the series of events that brought about that growth; despite the tears and frustration, but not to forget the joy and elation  that often accompanied them.  My stinkin' thinkin' has lead me to believe that I'm nothing short of blessed.  Despite my daily, weekly, monthly, and annually struggles I've got a warm bed to sleep in, a family who loves me and a career ahead of me that will bring me satisfaction and joy for the rest of my working career.  Luck me! :)

Well, whether this all made sense to you or not doesn't really matter to me.  The point of this was to unload my brain of all the things that have been causing me joy and excitement.  Hopefully it was a little bit enjoyable to you, if not... well you're the one who kept reading.  Until next time,

You're semi-faithful blogger,
Brittish Knees

Friday, October 1, 2010

Faith or Fear?

This morning I was in my Institute class where we've been studying the Doctrine and Covenants.  The question my teacher posed to open the class discussion was to think of five reasons why I need the Atonement of Jesus Christ in my life.  My initial thought was because I'm a dork and do things I shouldn't (not really bad things mind you... but just things I shouldn't) daily. 

As our discussion finished and the class was wrapping up someone brought up the concept of having enough faith in the Savior and our Father in Heaven to do what they would have us do.  (Did that make sense?  Hope so.)  That really struck a chord with me.  I'm quickly approaching a crossroad in my life (graduation, getting a big kid job, mission?, dating??, moving out again, etc.), where I'm faced with several decisions that can and will play a major role concerning my future (see list above).  It became clear to me today that while I've made what I thought would be the best decision (mind you decision making in general is kind of a downfall of mine, in general), that my rational behind making them was of a very selfish nature. 

Thus today my frame of mind has been changed.  Today I'm looking my fear (of life) in the eyeballs and have made the decision that I'll conquer it!  BAM! ROASTED!!  Today I commit that I'm going to move forward with faith rather than fretting in fear.

On a liter note: Yesterday I was sick with that crappy cold that's going around and wanted to die in my bed as I was listening to John Bytheway (don't mock me).  But today I'm surviving work and my head only feels like a balloon with a perturbing stuffy nose (on only one side... how does that work??).  Huzzah!!  Welp, at least I'm getting the bug over and will be done with prior to Field...  :) 

Welp, use hand sanitizer and even if you're sick, be grateful cause it means your alive. :)