Friday, September 30, 2011

Fab Friday Fav Five!

(totaly borrowed this idea from Melinda because she is simply Ah-mahz-ing!)

Favorite things about FALL.

#1. This right here takes the cake for fall! I LOVE the leaves changing. Always have! I can't get enough of them. Sometimes I get a bit too distracted while driving and trying to take them in all at once. LOVE THEM!
#2. FOOTBALL!! Makes everything better!  
#3 Back to school time! Come on it's so much fun!

#4. Pumpkin Flavored Treats! Shakes, cookies, breads, pies, yummy yummy things!

#5. Putting on a light jacket at night when it gets chilly!

Saturday, September 17, 2011


How often do we have opportunites to truly get to know other people? How often are we exposed to new individuals and their experiences and have an opportunity to learn from them and their past? Something we have been discussing in school is this idea behind each individual having a 'funds of knowledge.' Each person has something to offer based upon thier past and what they have learned.
I have now been in this masters program for only three and a half weeks. In those three and a half weeks I have not only gained a deeper apprehiattion for the role of educators but also 28 new close friends. Going to school is enjoyable. I look forward to seeing my classmates. Each of us has a past. Some are from different countries and they are completeing this rigorus program as english being their second language. I applaude them. The level of respect we have for one another is inspiring. And there is no feeling of competition. Instead we are filled with the desire to help one another do better. It is pretty impressive.

I heard a talk this past weekend given by an apostle talking about Tolerance and mutual respect for all. I'll include some comments he made.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks:
"all persons are brothers and sisters under God, taught within their various religions to love and do good to one another."
President Gordon B. Hinckley:
"Each of us [from various religious denominations] believes in the fatherhood of God, although we may differ in our interpretations of Him. Each of us is part of a great family, the human family, sons and daughters of God, and therefore brothers and sisters. We must work harder to build mutual respect, and attitude of forbearance, with tolerance one for another regardless of the doctrines and philosophies which we may espouse.”
Dr. Alwi Shihab, an Indonesian Muslim scholar, elaborated that idea in these words:
“To tolerate something is to learn to live with it, even when you think it is wrong and downright evil. . . . We must go, I believe, beyond tolerance if we are to achieve harmony in our world.”
Relying on the teachings of the Quran, Dr. Shihab continued:
“We must respect this God-given dignity in every human being, even in our enemies. For the goal of all human relations—whether they are religious, social, political, or economic—ought to be cooperation and mutual respect.”
Living together with mutual respect for one another’s differences is a challenge in today’s world. However...this living with differences is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us we must do.

In society we can see the lack of resepect that exisits. No country is void of this empidemic. However, what these brilliant men speak of is possible. I am seeing it in action. What a great place this world would be if we could all embrace these feelings and mutual respect for one another.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Things I'm being deprived of...

-Reading Blogs.
-Posting on my blog!... I know y'all are all missing it so much! Yes you! The one who is still reading me.
-Eating dark chocolate... I'm going through with drawls.
-Movies... I'm so far behind! I purchased a movie the week before school started. It still has not been viewed!
-My friends... You still out there friends? Luckily I've got my freaking awesome co-hort. Three weeks = best friends!
-Meals... Thank goodness for peanut butter and sandwich thins, protein drinks, and granola bars. YUM!
-Current Events... What's going on? All I talk about are things in relation to education. So although I'm learning a lot about diversity and funding in the public school systems and how to teach better, turns out there are other things going on in the world.
-Down time... If I have any it's filled with reading. And then more reading. And then writing papers. And then re-writing the papers I wrote. And then more reading.
-Running errands with my mom and helping her watch my niece.

Now onto the things I've gained...
-Like I mentioned before, an awesome co-hort. I don't know why I'm so lucky. A day does not go by that we don't laugh and complain and just support one another.
-An appreciation for teachers. There is so much that goes into educating young people. I've had some pretty great teachers growing up.
-New insights and appreciation for people. There are some amazing individuals out there.
-The ability to manage stress effectively. I'm not sleeping all that well, but at least I'm not losing my mind.
-A better view of the type of educator I hope to become.
-A stronger testimony of a patient father in heaven, helping me to do what seems impossible.

And things that haven't changed...
-Saturdays watching college football... Go Utes!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Follow up How to: Handle Stress

Alright y'all so remember this post about how to figure out ways to handle stress? Well, thanks to Malory for contributing as requested. I'll have you know that I did in fact notice my breathing these past two weeks. It did help just to take a step back and get some good old oxygen in. But I thought I'd share something that I found interesting.
So I have a real hard time falling asleep. That's when my brain goes into high speed Internet mode. So many thoughts start running through my head. It's like a bad dream that when you go back and try to explain it to someone you don't understand how suddenly your mom turned into a giant teddy bear in your dream. So each night when I lie down I just got swarmed with thoughts. At times it leads to unwelcome anxiety. I've tried many things to calm me down. Music, a movie, book, saying a prayer, writing in my journal. All seem to help. But nothing really does the trick.
So the other night I am thinking about homework and all the stuff I have to accomplish in the next few days. And my heart rate rises and I feel it coming on and a thought comes to mind... "just embrace it!"  I thought, hmm. Okay I'll just think as hard as I can about all this and put all my frustration into it. So I did. I just thought and thought as hard as I could. I put all my stress into that thought. You know what happened? I fell asleep.
Not sure why this worked so well. But I'm sure glad it does. I tried it out a second time the other night. Same result! Finally after at least a decade of dealing with insomnia I've found a solution! Kind of weird... but let's be honest. It's me! Nothing new there about weird things.

To be or not to be...

Okay so there is not any real reason for the title of this post... It is just what came to mind.
You want to hear how much fun I had in class today? Well not hear. You will have to read it. But still I hope you enjoy.
So today we got our papers back and our professor wanted to go over some basic grammar with us. Now we all acknowledged how sad it was that we, graduate students needed one. But we were all happy for it. Our professor took us through some basic things and there was a lot of talk and chatter going on. I noticed that she did not once stop us. She did not ask us to stop talking. She just continued to answer questions and get her lesson taught. Until one point she stops with a big smile on her face and said "I've never experienced this much talking and exciting during a grammar lesson. And I taught English for 10 years. I love it!" We all were grateful for the corrections.
So after this we were put into groups and asked to write a summary of the things that we learned from our assigned readings. With this summary we were to apply the grammatical elements we had just discussed.
My group was formed and we got all our information down into strait forward sentences. We were all asked to present our reviews so we had this awesome idea!! We, my peers and myself, were going to be the sentences. I was volunteered to be the punctuation along with another girl. Then there were two other girls who were the words in the sentence. We got really excited about this idea!
The first group went and we all discussed more punctuation things and their topic. Then two more groups went. We only had five minutes left in class! We were all getting so sad that we wouldn't be able to present our amazing sentence structure!! Our professor announces we have time for one more group and we jumped up!
Well our presentation was well received. Especially when another girl in the class helped be a colon. You know, one of these " : " How did we accomplish this you ask? Well I squatted down in a ball and the other girl jumped over me and yelled "freeze!" then landed right next to me.
Once we finished the whole class was laughing and our professor said "I get it now!"
We thought it was a great way to wish everyone a happy labor day weekend!
Grad school is fun!