Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hare Krishna

It's been a very BYU weekend. Yesterday I wore a suit since I was doing my orientation at the MTC. Walking around in church clothes for college always makes me feel like I really am at BYU. It snowed, which was unfortunate, since I wasn't really dressed for snow. We always open our chemistry class with a prayer, and the kid that said it was grateful for the "moisture". Just the fact that we were praying in chemistry is pretty different, and i've never heard any one outside of utah give thanks for moisture.

So after that I walked up to the MTC, buying the most worth-while umbrella i've ever had. I've never been so happy to have an umbrella. Orientation was good, I'm pretty excited, i think it's going to be a really good experience and a really good job. After that I walked down in the really very beautiful snow, and went apartment shopping with my roommates. We'll probably move into a different place for fall semester, but we found some cool places, so that should be fun. After that I played games over at Chatsworth until 1:30 and then headed home.

Today we went to the Festival of Colors. It was crazy, I had seen some pictures before, and it is every bit as intense as the pictures make it look. I wish I had taken more pictures, but I was more than a little worried my camera would die from all the color dust. Then we went to wendy's.

Before (with Llamas):


Life really is incredible, I'd recommend it to a friend.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

White Collar Worker

I got the job at the MTC! I finally got a hold of them after a couple days of phone tag. So that's pretty exciting. This is going to be the first, legitimate, non-restaurant job i've had in my life.

In other news, i got my adademic plan from the biology department, and it looks like i'll be able to graduate in fall of 2013, which isn't bad at all. My two tests yesterday went well. I think i'll be able to make it through the end of the semester without getting lazy and giving up. I just have a couple little tests and then Finals, and then it's summer. I'm pretty much ecstatic.

So things are still going well, life is good.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Waiting for an invitation to arrive...

Today is a stressful day, 2 midterms, and i'm going to find out any second now whether or not I'll get the job at the MTC. When I was doing my first midterm, for my proofs class, I somehow didn't notice that pages have 2 sides and ended up really really crowded for my last couple proofs. Now I'm studying for my jazz midterm that i have this afternoon. It's just lucky that tonight it's taco tuesday.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I opened my laptop and found we were at war.

The world is such a strange place. I had a companion, Elder Mateer, who liked to try to make me trunky my narrating my life and thoughts in a british accent, asking myself "Whom shall I marry? Where will we live? What should I study at BYU? etc" So i was reading my biology book today, and the chapter on animal behavior was divided up into sections:
Who should I mate with?
Where should i live?

It made me laugh. I also learned that salmon, after spending all their life out at sea, swim back upstream to mate and die. I knew they swam back to mate, but I didn't realize they died there. It's so poetic.

On my end, life's great. I'm very close to getting a job at the MTC. I've had 3 interviews, and i'll hear back on tuesday whether or not i'll get the job. I've been reading through a lot of my old journals from high school. I tend to forget how much of a whiny teenager I was in high school. I'm glad that's passed.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

For Posterity

I just realized i completely forgot to write down one of the more interesting things that's happened to me recently. So I went cross country skiing with Lindsey, Kevin, and his then girlfriend Ann. We went up in Big Springs Hollow, which is advertised as a nice easy trek across a 'winter wonderland'. Having never been there before, and the directions being somewhat sketchy, I think we got there with an impressive lack of trouble. It was a beautiful day, but we were just a tiny bit late getting out. Between the four of us, I had the only cross country skiing experience, having been once before. So it definitely wasn't the most expert of adventures. However we were all in good spirits as we started skiing up hill. We got to a beautiful meadow just as the sun was getting behind the mountains, as as we continued our climb, it continued to get a bit darker. We finally reached the peak and started our descent, and some of us, notably lindsey, were starting to get concerned about the lack of light. As we arrived in the second meadow, it was getting pretty hard to see. By then, all of us had fallen down several times, and we were tired. We skiid across the meadow, and the trail sort of split up into a bunch of different trails, some disappearing into the bushes, others going across the meadow, in one direction, others heading the other direction. After skiing around quite a bit, we realized we were lost. in the dark. In the mountains. in the snow.

I say we were lost, that's not exactly accurate. I knew exactly where we were, and where we'd been, I just wasn't sure where we were going, or how to get there. The trail made a giant loop, so we decided we should just turn around and go back the way we came. I say we decided. It would be more accurate to say that everyone else decided and despite my obsessive desire to get us found, I had to concede that i didn't know which direction to go and it would be a lot safer to turn around.

So we began our climb back up hill, which wasn't so terrible, although it was, by then, pitch dark and freezing cold. Kevin and Ann got the worst of it, since they didn't have snow pants, and kevin had given his gloves to Ann. Things only got worse when we started going down hill. It turns out, without light, it's pretty difficult to not fall down, especially as you pick up speed. After falling down several times, we decided it would probably be best to walk. So our cross country skiing adventure ended with us carrying our skis across a snowy meadow, which by then felt a lot more like a freezing wasteland than a winter wonderland, and back to the car. Kevin's hands were basically completely frozen, and he and ann were understandably miserable.

I have to say, I had a great time. I don't think it counts as an adventure unless you get lost and have to end up walking home in the dark and several people leave with hurt feelings. The mountains at night in the winter are so absurdly quiet and peaceful, I honestly didn't mind staying a little longer than I'd planned.

Afterwards I looked at the map (that we had wisely not brought with us) and we were so close. I was about 15 feet away from the trail that would have gotten us home in about 15 minutes, before i missed it and we eventually turned back and soldiered on for another hour or so. I didn't know that at the time, of course, and actually thought we needed to go in a completely wrong direction. Someday i'd like to go back there and not get lost, but that'll have to wait, at least until i find more people who will unwisely trust my sense of direction.

So that was fun. In other news, life goes on. I officially switched to a biology major, it sort of feels like I changed who I am. when i introduce myself people will no longer say, "wow, you're good at math!" they'll say, "cool, so do you want to become a doctor?" and i'll kindly tell them "no, i'm going to be poor."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How does a duck know?

Today I got a 100 on my bio midterm, and I was so excited I decided to celebrate by changing my major to biology. It'd actually been in the works for a little while, but before taking the test I thought to myself, if I get a good grade, I'll take care of it. So after, high off academic excitement, I braved the long, 30 second walk to the advisement office, and now i have an appointment tomorrow to talk about my future. I could have just changed it without talking, but it seems like it's worth having a conversation when i'm changing the course of my whole life. Today's been really good actually. Turns out they made a small error on my chem midterm, so instead of a 95 like i thought i'd gotten, it was a hundred also. And the professor is going to add 6 points to the score, which averages my other midterm up to a hundred also. I haven't made straight A's since I was in middle school, it's pretty fun.

Monday, March 7, 2011

It's not so good to ride right through.

So it's raining rather a lot outside, and it's rather cold. I don't think i've ridden my bike much in the rain, it's really not very pleasant. At first i was like, "this isn't so bad, i can choose to enjoy this." Then I learned several things:

1. Glasses are not conducive to seeing while riding a bike in the rain, nor do they effectively keep rain from hitting your eye at roughly the speed that you're traveling.
2. Bikes, especially when moving down hill, pick up enough speed to make cold drops of rain surprisingly painful.
3. If you leave a helmet locked to your bike, and it starts raining, not only will it get wet, but the foam will absorb quite a bit of water that will slowly drain out when you strap it to your head.
4. Never underestimate how much water your back tire can put on your back side.

But luckily it was all down hill, I had my warm ski gloves, and i don't have to do anything else today but sit in my warm house in warm, dry clothes while I eat food and do homework and maybe listen to radio lab, if the mood strikes me.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Four Fluid Ounces

Today I had an epiphany. I've been sort of whining about how I have 2 midterms practically every week. But what if, out of my 5 classes, instead of having 2 every week I had 4-5 every every other week? That would be terrible.

Speaking of optimism, I've never liked the half-full/half-empty comparison, because i think it's really a question of directionality. If i'm filling a tank of gas, when I'm half way there, it's half full. When i'm letting the air out of a tire, when it's half done, it's half empty. If you are driving from Provo to Mississippi, and you're cruising through texas, you wouldn't say, "we're halfway to provo!" that'd be silly. If you want to be a pessimist, it's really a question of adverbs. "We're only halfway there" vs "We're already halfway there." Even then your relative optimism depends on how badly you want to get out of texas.

Doesn't it seem like it's about time we think of a more perfect allegory for optimism? Mathematically of course, we should all be optimists, since .5 rounds to 1.

The moral of all this is, of course, that I should be studying chemistry for my midterm tomorrow.