my creative writing class is really great. we have finished our poetry sector and I am really stuck on it. I've never really used poetry before, but find myself thinking in its form and free verse. it seems to express things in a way I never explored before. I thought I'd share one I am workshopping. inputs would be greatly appreciated.

to Chelsi

I went there today. Where the breathing
is stale and moist fumes of fever

Yes, I went there today for the first time
since the last time
I saw you. And I knew
that today,
I would not see you there.

But I remembered that last time
I saw you there. There
in that room of lockers stained
with army brown.
How we
talked of little sisters
as if the pastel stone corridors were
a sofa and coffee table.

My mind did not permit
me to fix my heavy eyes on the brown
skinned girl whose starching white
ribbon planted itself in the ink of your hair.

And when I went there today
I could not waltz to the
site where I last glimpsed your careful
figure, chiseled with labor
before it lay lifeless through my weeping
view in that pricey black
rectangle of fate.

I went there, to that place
where I last saw you.
And those wet odors tiptoed into me
like your memory sometimes does
in the afternoons.



ivy elizabeth
is here.
and is welcomed into the world.

what I will consider my first niece.
congratulations erica + chris.



my Religion 234 final--growing a plant.

oh my little blog.  I'm so sorry. it seems my most worthy thoughts these days are not worthy of you. they come on regular days, the good ones.  while my days here have been quite ordinary, I am still feeling propelled rather than settled. only a few things that have come my way:

I love my roommates.  they are so sweet and we are all different but similar enough that we get along to an admirable degree.  I hope you get to know them all better, because they are uber cool girls. pink sticky notes on the mirror are not a rare occurrence and I wouldn't beg for more.  

school is fantastic, as is TAing--which consumes me.  it is easy to forget what parts of my life count toward graduation.  one of my professors told me that when you get a university education you learn more about you than about any other thing you are actually studying. no hand of mine could ever have typed a better mission statement for this, the old college try. life is evermore confusing.  I am learning about me as a TA.  about how improbable it is for me to be one, but how much people believe in me.  it is empowering and overwhelming to be the basin for so much outsourced faith.  and above all, it is pushing me to be better.

again, graduation seems like such an obsolete term.  I finished and entered my application to my tentative major--Print Journalism.  but I feel farther from a career destination than I ever have in my 3 semesters here.  still figuring out what I want to do.  maybe that's why they call it a dead semester

when I graduate though, I am hoping to take with me far more than a degree--a concept you all understand.  those personal, spiritual, academic, and social aspects of my life seem so tangled.  and it's time I started sharing them.  please forgive me, little blog. I promise to do better.

a belated congratulations to mommy marta.  that has got to be the cutest little boy I've seen in the blogosphere. 

tree top flyin'

this photo was taken in April, but I wanted to personally invite you to my dear sister Emily's blog, Tree Top Flyin'.  it is a wonderful log of her travels around the country slash world.  definitely worth checking out. 


charlene is leaving.

Charlene is leaving on her mission today. and oh how she will be missed.  but she is going to be a great missionary and a good friend to the Philippines. love her dearly.


341 mckb.

my first day teaching 3 lab sections went great.  and I have made the executive decision not to blog about my TA experience.  it will be safest for everyone and is the only alternative to privatizing my blog.  but it went well.  thank you for your faith in me.  

that was the recurring theme for me this week. pacing between confidence levels that led me to final self doubt. but I learned that so many people believed in me. and that made all the difference.  in turn, I believe in 'my' students. a lot. 

I taught my classes at 8, 9, and 10 am yesterday and walked up the giant hill to my classroom in giant high heels.  wearing a pencil skirt with a--dare i say--blouse, I drew attention to myself on a friday morning.  I was glad after classes when I could walk the 5 minutes down the giant hill and change into jeans and a t-shirt.  back on campus, I blended. and I loved it.  being mainstream is worth a million times more than standing out. 

I have, so far, had a typical BYU weekend.  although I sometimes dread it, I can endure the weekend with enjoyment with such pleasant company.  

my roommates Riley, Ariel, Jess. 



today and yesterday have been all about validation. yesterday was pure proof of why I am here. validating choices I have made concerning leaving home have not all ended successfully, but have been so worth it

the last hour (12pm - 1pm)  of my life has, too, been all about validation.  I attended the class I will be TAing for (attending lecture is mandatory for TAs, so it is essentially like taking the class over again).  every minute of it was substantial proof of why I have been putting myself through miserable butterflies and relentless feelings of inadequacy and insecurity.  I looooove this class. so much.  more than I love BYU, if you can believe it. but it is the same kind of love. but this love will last me much longer than that love.  but enough about love. I am just so excited.  professor H. gave the TAs "quite the introduction," describing the group of us standing in the corner as more like graduate students at an ivy-league school (which I totally contest!) who went through rigorous courses and an even more rigorous hiring process (which I totally attest to!). but wow.  my heart was pumping a million miles an hour.  but it wasn't a nervous, nauseous heartbeat.  it was strong and clear and distinct. I am so excited. 

some students came up afterward with a random question and I was caught off guard.  I need to be more expecting.  even walking into the auditorium was slightly surreal.  I think to myself I need some sort of objective view of all this. but--I have one.  I took the class less than a year ago with no intentions of becoming a TA.  I have a semester worth of objective examples of what it looks like to be a student in relation to my TA. that is why it's so hard for me to put myself in that situation.  I can't get the two views--me as a student and me as a TA--tangled up enough.  they are too separate.  

because of the way a number of things--time, school years, offices, hiring committees, etc.---work, it is easy to lose sight of things.  I started this whole thing 6 months ago and have branched out my thinking so much that the goal was lost. but today, I was reminded (shamefully, with tears streaming down my face in remembrance) of what the goal is.  I found out I will not be able to use media in teaching my classes: no power points, no video clips, no photos. I was panicked yesterday at the idea of being so boring! but as professor H. lectured just an hour ago, I remembered the vision, the objective, the goal that pulled me through the class when I took it, that pulled me through the 2 terrible pre-requisites for the TA job, that pulled me through the rigorous hiring process, and the same aim that will pull me through this Friday morning at 8, 9, and 10 am as I teach my first lab as a TA for American Heritage--sheer passion for the course. 


first day of school.

this vacant bathroom had pink tile. I loved it. 

today was a great day to say the least.  everyone was pleasant and jittered with a first-day-of-school skip in their step. the unaltering blue sky matched the mood of all who marched along BYU's campus today.  I was utterly content

really. school was so fun. I loved it.  I love BYU like I never thought I would. I love it the way people I hate for loving it love it.  I love it annoyingly and oppressively. I love it the way people (I) love America.  it's wrong. I know. it is. but I love its existence and reasons for existence and the people who run it and whose idea it was to start it.  mostly though, I love it here. 

I saw a million new faces. on the first day of 9th grade M.R. put a note in my locker; the first line reading "lookin' good this year." the poor kid.  all that filled my head this morning as I passed unfamiliar features but that old familiar BYU countenance was--lookin' good this year.

I was so happy to be reunited with sister Kate. so happy she was not somewhere in the southern United States. I was reunited with old friends. and some unexpected ones too. encouraging words from fellow-TAs were welcomed and phone numbers of old-ward members were exchanged.  

I ran into the grad student from Russia who conducted my orchestra class 1 year ago, last fall.  I can hardly believe he remembered/recognized me. he was so so so so kind.  he acted like we were old friends.  in class, in front of 150 undergrads, he was awkward and timid.  but now, he made me feel like I belonged in the Fine Arts Center--where I most certainly do not belong. his next move, however, I never saw coming.  he encouraged me to audition for the philharmonic symphony! I thought he was just being nice, but he was dead serious.  so so nice. uncomfortable with such an idea, I squirmed physically and verbally. he turned the table back on him and invited me to an upcoming showcase he would be conducting.  he made me feel my existence was worth something and I jotted down the date of his concert in my planner. 

12 noon - Religion C 324 - LDS marriage + family.  
this class is being taught by a really excellent professor and a pretty big BMOC. he's funny and smart and I'm looking forward to a semester of it. as a disclaimer he added, and I will too, that this is no marriage prep course. 

1:35 pm - English 218R  - creative writing. 
covering poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction, this class is exactly what I'm looking for: a workshop to improve my writing skills and explore my options as a writer slash future journalist amid rule-book limitations of news writing.  admittedly, I'm looking for validation. the grad-student teaching the class prompted us to write for a few minutes with a question too cliche for my taste: "what is love?" we first wrote abstract answers like, "love is a beautiful emotion."  after which, he demanded concrete writing e.g. "love is the yarn wrapped carefully around wire hangers by my grandmother who would give them to us for Christmas because that's all she could give." describing love as something concrete and image-filled.  and he recited this nearly perfect poem. I am really excited for this class--mostly because the words creative and nonfiction are involved. 

4:00 pm - International + Area Studies  - introduction to international development. 
full of 60 very diverse (in major) students, I am taking this class by way of recommendation from an old friend who is now in Canada. I am taking this class because I care and want to care more about the developing world around me.  and if I can write about anything news-worthy in a journal or magazine, I would love to inform the domestic public about  developing both underdeveloped countries abroad and underdeveloped regions here at home.  this class is merely the first step on an uncertain but intriguing path.  

this, my first day of my second year of college, was excellent. I was able to help some freshman in the bookstore and run into some underclassmen from high school and spout off my intertwining social dramas in the presence of others that made me feel the words: I'm a pro. 


I rode the bus for the first time on September's first day yesterday. from Salt Lake to Provo.  it was an enlightening and calming experience.  Kate + Parker recently had a conflict with a man on the subway in San Fran where Parker got his lights punched out. (not really I have just been itching to use that phrase since I heard about the incident).  Kate has been reinforcing her theory: don't give anyone the benefit of the doubt in those kinds of situations. I sat next to an older man in corduroy pants and a corduroy shirt.  for some reason, I was most comfortable when I was surrounded by young people.