Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Big difference.

So it's only my first day of grad school, and I still have 4 more classes to go to and get a feel for but I already notice a difference.
It was near the end of my second 3 hour class and I'm writing down all these thoughts and ideas I have about teaching and how I want to be a good teacher, and what I can do to be a good teacher, lesson plan ideas, how to get to know the kids... so many thoughts and I'm writing them frantically down. I don't want to forget. And then I realize. Never ONCE did this happen in my undergraduate degree. Then I thought, "Is this the difference when studying a masters degree or did I just not do so well with my undergrad?"
Needless to say, I'm very excited... and now I'll list why. (remember it's only been one day)

1. my college is really concerned about my education. It's awesome.
2. my co-hort is filled with the most diverse group of people I've ever been around. I'm so excited to learn from them.
3. I already am getting ideas of how to be a better teacher... many more days to go until I get to be one.
4. everything I'm learning is applicable.
5. I see the possibilities of me being a much better scholar.
6. lots of awesome perks that are obviously paid through my tuition. :)
7. I thrive when I'm around people and have goals to work on.
8. I'm going to become an expert in time management. I wont survive otherwise.

"... learn what [is] expect[ed] of you, make a plan to do it, act on your plan with diligence, and then share with others how your experience changed you and blessed other."
- Elder Henry B. Eyring, Act in all Diligence

This is my plan on how I'm to be successful!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Have peace.

Jeremiah 29: 4-7
4 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon;
5 Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them;

6 Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.
7 And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.

I was struck by these vs. of scripture. Here are the Jews taken into captivity, Jeremiah, their prophet is no longer with them, but is able to send letters to them to give them direction. In this letter he informs the people that they will be in captivity for 70 years. Not such good news. But what I love most is the direction from the Lord.
"Look you're going to be in captivity for a while so why don't you build houses, plant food, get married, and have children. But seek peace and pray to me and you shall have peace."
So their situation is less than ideal, nevertheless the Lord wants them to just continue to live life and make the most of it. I just loved it. Simple advice that I know we hear all the more often. But I just was touched by the situation of these people and how often we too can find ourselves in our own captivities. No matter what it is that is less than ideal in our lives. And how the Lords advice I'm sure would be the same to us today. That we should just accept our state and trust in the Lord that maybe this is what he wants for us right now and to progress our lives the best way we're able. As we do that and seek for peace and continue to pray the Lord promises that we shall have peace.
Pretty wonderful if you ask me.
I love the scriptures!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

How to: Handle Stress

My 'how to' for today is one I'm currently trying to figure out. Something I probably should have evaluated a long time ago but it hasn't been till resent past years that my body is no longer able to handle stress well.
How do y'all handle stress? I took a stress management class my sophomore year of college, I should maybe go back and find my book and read through my notes. Which of course I kept. You never know right?
Here's what I've learned about my stress. When I have a deadline for a project I work very well. Television was a good job for me. So when I'm able to focus on the project at hand and get it done quickly... ta da! I'm good.
Not good... when I'm faced with ongoing stresses. My body doesn't like it much and it doesn't react well. I don't like it.
What worries me? The fact that I'm starting a masters and have been told it's really really hard and a lot of work because they condense a lot of information into a short program. So I then start thinking of how busy I'm going to be and how I'll have no time... blah blah blah. We've all been there right?
So... Here's my first discovery of de-stressing. I had an awful day at work this week and I came home and went outside and laid on the grass. I enjoyed just laying there with nothing to do, in nature, looking through the trees to the clear blue sky. After 15 minutes I felt great! So maybe I just need nature breathers... I tried it again the other day. Same result.
What have y'all found helps when you just feel you've had enough? I'm totally open for suggestions and I think that I'll test each of them and then get back to y'all how they worked and maybe find more suggestions.
I have no doubt that we're all faced with our own stresses in life. So maybe we can all figure out how to make it that much easier for each other.

Comment what's helped you most and I'll write a follow up post on the results!
Thanks for y'alls help!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Nostalgic Nuisance

I'm nostalgic. I also love dates. So putting those two together I can usually remember specifically the date that major events and sometimes not so major events happened. More often than not I find myself picking up my journals and going back a year or two from the current date. I think it's fun to see what was going on. So this week takes me back to an eventful week a few years ago. Okay 7 years to be exact. (Meg can you believe it?!)
(this is not an actual excerpt from my journal. But pretty close, I just reread it. Enjoy!)

Aug 17 2004
"Well I'm sitting in LAX and I just can't believe what I'm about to do. What am I doing? I'm going to CHINA? What am I doing? Here we are a bunch of strangers all sitting silently waiting to get on a 15 hour flight to the other side of the world. I think we're all a little weirded out. No one is talking to anyone...
Well the plane ride was... not awful. But surely not something I'm looking forward to again. They gave us these little travel bags. COOL! We open them up and there is a sleep mask, tiny toothbrush and toothpaste, a small comb, and a sticker that you put on the top left corner of your chair to tell them if you want to be woken for the meal or left sleeping... I should have put the sticker there even though I didn't sleep. Not too sure what we ate. But I'm pretty sure that seafood was one of the sides in a very questionable looking Chinese tv dinner type plate. Also FYI when flying on a Chinese owned airline, don't expect to be watching American movies. Although watching a movie in Chinese makes for interesting entertainment especially when the 'couple' of the movie in the end meet on a beautiful bridge in bright colored robes on stilts and then end up falling off of them into each others arms and falling to the ground. Not sure where that came from. There was no flying, or stilts in any of the other parts of the movie. I wish I had taken an Ambien like Meggie did. She slept the whole way. Except the one time she woke up all confused and laughing. Now that was a good moment!
It was a bit weird getting off the plane in the middle of the night and walking into an airport where everything is Chinese. And what's with the big fat penguins dressed in different clothes. I'll have to figure that out.* It's quite relieving when you see a Chinese man holding a sign that says ILP teachers! Hurray!
Getting to our hotel was an adventure. Their freeways have no room on the sides if there is an accident, but they do have people cleaning the freeways with no space between them and the cars going like 80 miles an hour. Okay so I couldn't tell how fast the driver was going because it was in kilometers per hour.
Shanghai is huge and colorful! It's crazy seeing Chinese everywhere. There are a few signs in English but mostly just Chinese. The high light of the bus ride was when our driver when down a one way street in down town Shanghai. Yup.. that caused a back up. Especially because it's a two lane, one way road, that is very narrow. He had to do like a 6 point turn to get around. People were honking up a storm. They honk a lot here. I don't like it.
Finally we got to the hotel. The lobby is gorgeous we're thinking 'oh yes! A nice bed!' Seeing as I didn't sleep on the plane and we're now 14 hours ahead of what we're used to... I have no idea how little sleep I'm on. Well the lobby may have been nice but the rooms, not so much. But I didn't care I just wanted to lay down. I walk over to the bed put my bag down on the floor and jump on the bed ready to finally feel relaxed. Note to self and others. NEVER jump on a bed in China. They are wood blocks covered with a thin layer of padding. So the image my friend witnessed was a exhausted Cami so happy to see a bed then jumping full force only to land hard on her side and then writhe in pain. Followed by large outbursts of laughter.
It's gonna be a long 4 months if this is how my bed at school will be.^"

* The penguins to this day I don't know what they are. I saw them everywhere. I developed a fetish for them just because they were a mystery to me. I have two DVD cases with them on it, and a stuffed animal of one. So weird.
^ My bed I slept in at the school had been broken by whomever used it before so there was a give in it. But I still had to train myself to sleep on broken wood for 4 months. Upon coming home and sitting on my bed I was in awe of how comfortable a matress could be.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Exodus 20:16).

A situation arose this past week that caused me to think about the principle of honesty.
I think I used to think of it merely as when asked a question 'always tell the truth. don't lie.' That was kind of it's extend. I wish I could admit I've never lied or been dishonest. Something I'm most definitely not proud of in the slightest way.

Almost two years ago I was apart of a lesson in church about Honesty. My heart was changed and since then I've done my best to be honest.

Back to this event this past week.
I told a coworker, who is my superior and good friend, about a funny conversation I had on gchat while at work. Two things happened 1. he didn't think it was funny, even though it had my cousin and I crying with laughter and 2. he told me we weren't allowed to use online chats. BLAH! That is something they forgot to mention when I was hired. It's been so nice to pass long days! And the days can get LONG! GRRRRR! We've resorted to emails...

So every time I want to chat to friends I think "What if today he asks if I did chat online? I don't want to have to lie. So I better not do it." Right there! This is my new understanding of honesty. Preventing the situation from even happening that would cause me to lie! Prevention! I love it! Okay so I know this isn't a new idea that has never been discovered, but I love how much sense it makes. It's also why I never drive more than 5 over the speed limit, I don't want to have a reason to worry if that cop is going to pull out and pull me over. He's gonna grab that speed demon next to me!

I thought about the peace of mind that comes when we're honest. Most of the time it's just us being honest with ourselves. Our integrity. What we do when no one is looking. So I thought about the simple change that is brought placed upon me when I KNOW the rules. I didn't know I was breaking a rule about online chats, I do now. Now I have a choice to make to either follow them and be honest, or not.

The same principle applies with God's laws, or the commandments. What a responsibility I have to follow those! Thanks to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ I know what they are, I've been told by many in authority what I should do... Am I going to do it? I sure want to be able to. Just like I don't want to have to lie to my friend if he by chance asks me if I chatted online, I sure don't want to have to face the Lord and confess (because lying will be impossible) that I did things knowing I shouldn't have. Because that day will come...

Now the more people I've told the more I'm held accountable! Thanks for your help! :)

*Between calls I'm allowed to use the internet and do most of anything. I'm not just NOT working.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Unavailable Irony

So seeing as I'm single, I spend time reflecting if there is anything I can do to do better, to help with my lack of dating life. I could blame it on all the males around me that for some reason just seem like morons who have no guts/desire/drive to take a cute, fun girl on a date. So yes I do put part of the blame on them, however I too take responsibility as well.
I've determined that for some reason I don't come off as being available. Not really sure what causes this. I was talking to a male friend about it last week and I told him my theory. He took a step back, looked me up and down and said, "Yeah I can see that. Here, now try acting all shy and scared." So I immediately close up and don't look him in the eye and act all shy and stuff. His response, "Well it worked! I'd totally come talk to you."
After laughing a bit, I told him that I wasn't going to take this tactic. Because let's face it, I'm not shy. Never really have been. Sometimes I'm not as outgoing but I'm not shy by any means, so I don't feel comfortable 'acting' shy to get a guy to ask me out then he finds out that I'm not that way... well it probably wont work out too well if I'm not being myself.
Turns out that guys aren't the only ones that think I'm unavailable, I talked to a good female friend of mine who said the same thing "I just think, well she's got a lot of friends she's probably busy." I reassured her this wasn't the case and that she and I could spend more time together.
So I'm sort of stuck not really knowing how I can help this situation without changing who I am....
Now for the Irony of it all.
I was approached by a young man at church on Sunday, we'll call him Ron. Ron and I have talked a few times and gotten comfortable so it wasn't weird having him come up to me. We talked for a minute then he asked me out for Saturday! Brilliant right?! I say well done Ron! Well done! Now for the Irony part, this week and next I'm working two jobs, leaving me literally with no nights free. Then the next week I begin my Masters program. Not really sure how free I'll be then. So I had to regretfully decline Ron's invitation. I was really bummed, he seems like a quality guy. But what was I to do?
Then after thinking about how a guy finally asked me out, to my face, I thought, well maybe I should suggest we do something another time? So I plan to go to ward prayer that same night and talk to him there... Turns out Ron must have been not too happy with my reply, he avoided talking to me the whole time I was there. So I thought, well I guess I wont do anything about it now.
After reliving the events to my best friend, she asked if we rescheduled. Someone else asked if I did that too! I didn't know that was a rule!! It makes sense but in all honesty I'm not very experienced with this type of thing.
So rule #8 when a boy asks you out and you can't go, suggest a night you can go.
Gee thanks for telling me all you married folk out there! :)
So I go from being perceived as unavailable*, to literally being so. Ahhh life! Pretty funny when you think about it.

*This is just a theory. I don't really know if it's true. But it's a far better theory than thinking there is something wrong with me. I've done that before... That's bad and usually not true.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Best friends

What makes a best friend?
Is it that you spend all your time with them?
Is it that you trust them?
Is it that you want to tell them everything going on in your life?
Is it that they understand you? And even if they don't understand you, they want to support you in  your decisions so you'll be as happy?
Is it the fact you have something in common?
Is it because they bring out the best in you?
Is it because they 'get' you?
Is if because you're going through the same things at that time?
Is it because you've experienced hard times together?
Is it because you've known them for so long you just can't help but keep them apart of your life?
Is it the fact that they make you want to be better?
Is it the fact that they simply care about you and want to know what's going on in your life?
Is it the fact that you can totally be yourself and know that you'll still be accepted?
Is it because you know, that no matter what you do they will always love you?
Is it because they make you laugh?
Is it because they listen to you ramble on and on about the same things that go through your head?

I think it's all of the above and more. Because I've got 'best friends' that can fit each one of these.

Here's a shout out to best friends! Those still in your lives and those from the past! For all the hours spend laughing, crying, and listening. For all the time spent caring and making memories. For all the stupid inside jokes. Here's to the late nights on the phone talking about bad dates, or great dates. To all the friends who don't give up. To best friends that will drive 100 miles just to spend a few hours with you. Ones who were in your life for a short time or for a lifetime. To all those who drop everything the minute you call. For all the encouragement and support. For all the big and small moments in life shared. For all the sacrifice involved. For just simply being there.

To those of my 'best friends' reading this. No matter where we are now, know that I'm forever grateful for you. Know that I've always felt so blessed for the friends I've had in my life. I've always offered a prayer of gratitude in behalf of those friends the Lord has placed in my life. Turns out I kind of like having people around me and being apart of my life. I sure do love you and always will!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hey Blog!

Hey Blog! How you doing today?
So we've now been involved for a little over 4 years I think. Wow, has it been that long? It's interesting to go back and see how our relationship has progressed. You've been with me through all the good times and bad too, now that I think about it.
I'm happy with how we've progressed. We used to only be involved in football games and movies and tv, now we have much much more to talk about. I enjoy our time together. And you have such a good memory that all I have to do is click, click and I can see what was going on in my life. You're so nice to remember so well.
Today blog I've got a lot on my mind. Well not a lot of things just a few things that end up having me think a lot.
I'll just talk about one though.
I'm going to be a full time student again Blog... It's been over 4 years since I've been a full time student. This is going to be weird. And I'm not just venturing to be a full time 12 credit student, I'll be around 19 credits this semester... EEK! But you know what Blog, I'm really excited. I'll tell you why.
I am someone who loves to be busy. I love having places to go and having my day full. But even  better a day full of worth while things.
I do so much better when I have short term goals to work on. School is the best. 4 months! It's perfect.
I'm looking forward to a social environment again. Work gives me none of that!
Turns out I love learning. LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Especially when it's something I can use and apply.
Let's see why else am I excited...I think that'll do for now.

So there's just one thing that is on my mind these days... along with... dating, boys, friends, family, Dallas, health, progression, cycling, health, disneyland...and football on occasion.
But I'll spare you details on all those things... BORING!

Thanks Blog! Have a good day!