Sunday, October 23, 2011

Yosemite: What are men?

What are men to rocks and mountains? - Jane Austen

Bridalveil Falls

Vernal Falls

This past weekend was fall break and my friends and I went down to Yosemite National Park. My family visited the park several years ago in the summer and I fell in love! I had no idea, however, how gorgeous the park would be in the fall! The colors were amazing, and it only got down to about 40 degrees at night. We spent three days in the park and luckily, we were able to camp right in the park as well.
Cathederal lake

Mirror Lake
Our campsite!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Oktoberfest 2011

We went up to Oktoberfest Saturday up at Snowbird in SLC. It was really fun! We obviously didn't take part in the beer drinking, but had a good laugh or two over our water-jug drinking.

We did a little polka dancing and photo taking, and we ate snitchel and sauerkraut. All in all it was just great to be out with friends. AND the mountains were beautiful with the changing fall leaves + a little snow.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Save the world

Sometimes I feel like all they want me to do is save the world. You can do it they say, on very very little pay. Look how efficient we are with our tax dollars!

Most of the time I just pack up my positive attitude and carry on my way, and do the best the I can. Sometimes I have a day like today. A day where I say to myself, you know, I just might try. It's worth a try.

I have a student in my class that most would label as a typcial Latina high school student. She is very pretty and can work that angle. She skips her classes a lot and is failing half of them. I understand her teachers' frustration with her, how can you help a student who doesn't come to class? But I know the girl behind that mask.

She doesn't understand English half as well as people thinks she does. She masks her lack of language skills by not talking, it is easy for her to skip a class where she doesn't have any idea how to do the work. She has a fractured foot she is limping around on, because her dad doesn't have health insurance. She takes care of her three little brothers after school while her dad is at work. Her older sister, her best friend and role model, (who didn't graduate from high school) just ran off with her abusive boyfriend and baby to Mexico.

I care about this girl a lot. I've had her in class now for two years and I am going to do what I can to help her pass this term. I am going to talk to her teachers, help her with her homework, and be her friend. I am going to help her translate the entire Declaration of Independance into "modern English," and explain to her what lines like:

"...a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism..."

means. I am going to because I'm paid to, but more importantly because although I don't need to--and can't--save the world, I can care, and I do.

If we all looked past the exteriors of others and helped where and when we could, what a wonderful place the world could be.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Zippers Zippers ZIPPERS

Do you ever muse on strange things when you are stressed out? Do things suddenly become fascinating that you have never considered before?

My stress level is up to my eyebrows this week, and while sitting in a teacher-training conference at BYU—suddenly--the most fascinating thing on earth was the zipper on my hoodie!

Zippers, zippers, zippers ZIPPERS! Who invented them? Who came up with such an ingenious idea? Who thought of making little metal rivets to sew into clothing to keep it together?

What a fascinating sound zippers make as they go up and down, up and down, up and down, up and down, UP AND DOWN, UP AND DOWN.

How curious that you can bend a zipper back and forth and back and forth and it neither breaks nor comes undone!

Curriculum design, what? WHAT? Ooooppppsss.

Zippers: In 1851 Elias Howe (according to Wikipedia) invented the first zipper, but didn’t market it. He was too excited about the sewing machine. A million other things happened and then in the 1930s the B. F. Goodrich Company made zippers popular with their wonderful rubber boots. Who knew? Zippers as we know them in clothing didn’t become popular and normal until 1937 when the French (of course) thought they would be a wonderful addition to men’s trousers.

And there you have it!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Gone With The Wind: I'll Never Finish You!

As part of my goal to pursue the passion of reading and being well read, I made a few reading goals this year, and have accomplished them. Here is what I have been reading with various degrees of adoration, like, nuetrality, dislike, and disgust:

Read 5 Books on the BBC Best Books list:
1- Atonement - Ian McEwan
2- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
3- Good Night, Mr. Tom - Michelle Magorian
4- Matilda - Roald Dahl
5- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglass Adams

Read 5 Books on the AP Book list:
1- Capitan Corelli's Mandolin - Louis de Berienes
2- Madam Bovary - Gustav Flaubert
3- Medea - Sophocles
4- Much Ado About Nothing - William Shakespeare
5- Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut

Read one "church" book:

1- However Long and Hard the Road - Elder Jeffery R. Holland

Read one of the books of The Book of Mormon in Espanol:

1- Ether

Dabble in Non-Fiction:

1- Enrique's Journey - Sonia Nariza
2- I am Narjood, Age 10 and Divorced - Narjood
3- Burned Alive - Saoud
4- The Happiness Project - Gretchen Rubin
5- The Geography of Bliss - Eric Weiner

Read one Adolescent Lit Series:
1- Fablehaven - Brandon Mull

But my biggest reading struggle of the year? GONE WITH THE WIND. Scarlett O'Hara is a narcissist and I don't want to hear one more time how lovely her plump arms are, or her tiny waist. The fact of the matter is I started this book in June and it's October and I'm still only about 3/4 of the way through. And yes, I am one of those strange beings who have to finish a book once I have started.

Anyway - provided I ever finish Gone with the Wind, what should I read next?