Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Bret and Katrina

My cousin, Katrina, was married this weekend in the Manti temple to Bret Jenkins from Logan. Katrina wore her Mom's wedding dress, which is very cool. That dress is like 25 years old and it still looks beautiful. The Manti temple was cool too, a little out of the way though, in the middle of no where. I like seeing all the old temples, it makes me think of the pioneers who built them who worked so hard to build them. Congrats to the happy couple!

Merry Christmas!

We had a busy past few weeks with the end of the the semester. Robert got sick during the last week of classes, but we also had fun putting up our Christmas tree. Thanks to Steve who let us borow his tree for this Christmas.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Of the Beginning

By Susan Elizabeth Howe

O Daughters, I will speak
of excellent things. The opening
of my lips shall be from everlasting,
from the begining or ever
the earth was.

When darkness was upon the face
of the void, we were there.
When there were no depths, we
exploded against the bleakness
of density.

We watched the gassy sweep
of the galaxy, loved the forming sun
for its light, for its patience,
the stars for their distance
and immensity.

As Earth swirled in its sphere
we were centripetal. As seas
gathered together, we touched a finger
to the face of the deep.
As clouds meandered

into the sky, our cheeks moistened
in the mist. Bedrock settled
in our beds, and from us
soils learned to nourish.
We saw matter

organized-- hills everlasting, fountains
of the deep. Matter inspirited
as flower, fish, bush, beast,
all bearing egg or seed.
These we gathered,

enfloding spheres of truth within
ourselves, prepared with wisdom,
the wisdom of God, the God of light,
the light of the daughter
and the dawn.

Friday, December 09, 2005


Yesterday was the last day of class for BYU! While this is exciting it still does not mean the end of schoolwork for the semester. In fact, school willreally go on as it had for me for another week because most of my classes only meet once or twice a week anyways. The past couple of weeks going to class has become more of an annoyance than major work. But, the ray of light is that I have already completed all the work for two classes, so I just have four more to finish up next week. Rejoice!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Traje

This summer I lived in a little town in Guatemala called Ixtahuacan. The lifestyle is extremely different than what I enjoy here in the United States. The women spend most of their day in the family compound preparing meals, cleaning, or weaving. It surpised me how much time these activities take. For me, preparing meals and cleaning is something that distracts from my daily tasks, but for them it was their main responsiblity.

When they had time, they would weave. The weaving is so intricate that it took them weeks or months to finish something. The shirt that I am wearing in the picture, a huipile (spanish) or p'ot (K'iche'), took two months for my host sister Maria to complete (she is the one standing next to me in the picture). First she had to buy the threads in the market. Then she strung the white thread out in many parallel lines and connected them to her backstrap loom. Then she put the color thread onto sticks and wove the design line by line.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Robert is a Strong Republican!

My husband Robert took the test. Here are his results.

You are a

Social Conservative
(33% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(81% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Strong Republican

Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Monday, November 21, 2005

I am a Totalitarian?

Chris Sandberg had this test linked on his blog so I took it. Here are my results. It says I am a totalitarian?!

You are a

Social Conservative
(33% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(31% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on OkCupid Free Online Dating
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Art of Writing

The art of writing is one of the greatest blessings we enjoy. To cultivate it is our duty, and to use it is our privelege.--Joseph Smith

I went to a Humanities Departement lecture today entitled "Is Writing Worth It? A Dollars and Sense Analysis" by Kristine Hansen, a professor in the BYU English Departement. It was really interresting to hear what she had to say about the worth of writing in the job market. She said that something like 40% of employee's time in industries that I did not expect to have a lot of writing was indeed spent writing. Furthermore, $3.1 million is spent anually on increasing employees writing skills. Writing in the job market has become a commodity!

Then Dr. Hansen talked about writing at BYU. She showed the results of a study that her and some colleagues did about the writing skills of students who had not taken freshman writing because they had AP credit, students who had AP credit and still took freshman writing, and students who took freshman writing because they had to. Students who took freshman writing and did not have AP credit scored an average of about 5.10, students who had AP credit scored an average of 5.42, and students who took freshman writing and had AP credit scored significantly higher, 6.47. She used this to argue that students should still have to take freshman writing even if they have AP credit.

I did not take freshman English because I had AP credit. The univeristy has seen the results of Dr. Hansen's study, but does not have the resources to add more freshman writing classes, so they do not require that everyone takes freshman writing, but they do strongly recommend it. Consequently, I considered taking freshman writing, but my roommate took it and told me it was a waste of time. I am personally happy with my decision not to take the writing class because I feel that my time was better spent elsewhere, even if I did see a small increase in my writing skills. I think there are other factors that influence a person's writing than merely taking or not taking a class. I don't think I am at a disadvatage because I did not take the class.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Mormon Cinema

There are a few new LDS movies out in the theatres right now. First, New York Doll, a documentary by Greg Whitely about Auther "Killer" Kane. Kane was once in a rock/punk band called New York Doll in the sixtied. After they broke up he hit rock bottom, but eventually joined the LDS church. The documentary catches up with Kane as he is working at a Family History Center in California, still dreaming of the reunion of his old band. Lo and behold, Kane gets a call from a man in Great Britian who wants to get the band together for a performance. This film started out at the Sundance Film festival and has been getting great reviews.

Another movie out right now is the second God's Army movie, States of Grace. Although it is called God's Army II its not really a sequel, it doesnt have the same main characters. States of Grace takes place in the same mission in California and deals with some issues that have not been dealt with in LDS cinema. While still lacking compared to mainstream cinema it is nevertheless a milestone in LDS cinema.

I hope you get a chance to check out these movies and see what you think of them for yourselves!

Monday, November 14, 2005

An Apology

And I have been writing something
Which will likely enough be read
By our children's children
After we all are dead;
And must I think I should have been
washing dishes instead?
--Lula Green Richards (excerpt from An Apology)

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Only Girl!

With my little brothers Posted by Picasa

Melarie Posted by Picasa

BYU and Life as a Newlywed

Nov. 11, 2005

Yesterday I went to the Tanner Building and signed my life away for another four months. I declared a business minor, which means instead of graduating in Arpil from BYU I will take a few more classes and graduate in August. Rob is about to accept an offer with an accounting firm in L.A. for a summer internship so I will likely take those classes online in California. It's kind of difficult to plan a career when you have to plan around two people.