Thursday, March 31, 2011

HIV/AIDS


I'm doing a project about HIV/AIDS and I found this great quote that made me love President Obama even more.

If condoms and potentially microbicides can prevent millions of deaths [from AIDS], they should be made more widely available. I know that there are those who, out of sincere religious conviction, oppose such measures. And with these folks, I must respectfully but unequivocally disagree. I do not accept the notion that those who make mistakes in their lives should be given an effective death sentence. Nor am I willing to stand by and allow those who are entirely innocent - wives who, because of the culture they live in, often have no power to refuse sex with their husbands, or children who are born with the infection as a consequence of their parent's behavior - suffer when condoms or other measures would have kept them from harm.
-Barack Obama

Friday, March 25, 2011

Newel K. Whitney Summit


Yesterday I had the opportunity to help host the Newel K. Whitney Summit on campus. It was so much fun and big of energy draining day. It is weird, but it slightly reminded me of Get Connected - only more grown up and important. I was able to host Bruce Jensen, the Vice President of Communication at Intermountain Healthcare. He was such an amazing presenter and communicator. Really a great example of a successful communication major. He encouraged everyone to pursue a higher degree, which was great for me because I've been really debating whether or not I should continue on after school.

He also spoke about branding yourself. What message do you convey to others, and what message do you want to convey? This is something that really hit me hard. I don't know what type of person I am. I feel that I'm inconsistent with the things I say and do, and people I meet in varying circumstances would say very different things about me. I need to work on this big time.

There were some other great presenters that I really enjoyed listening to - but really Brother Jensen was the best one there. I felt truly blessed to be able to interact with him.

For our summit we had breakfast at 8:00, presentations at 9:00, 10:00, 11:00 and a luncheon at 12:00. There was a campus tour at 1:00 and a forum at 2:00 followed by a reception. After the day we were all ready for a nap! I really would love to do it all over again though. Such a rewarding experience, and like Get Connected, all the work you put into it throughout the semester really does pay off in the end.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Days


It has been 13 days since I last logged into Facebook. Lent is going well. I am really enjoying the time I have free from Facebook. I've replaced it with the Ensign (sometimes) and that is also going really well. I'm loving the articles and insights I get from reading that inspired magazine.

In other days - it is only 19 days until I go to Hawaii. I'm so excited! I made paper chain countdowns for Julie, Valerie and myself today. So amazing! Hawaii is going to be the best time of my life. I really need to talk to Dave Borchardt soon about our trip. I can't believe how soon it's coming up.

So if Hawaii is only 19 days away, the end of the semester is 17 days away. I'm not ready! I have SOOO much to do it is unbelievable. The only reason I have time to blog today is because I'm filming a teaching demonstration for work today, so I'm stuck in a class where I don't have to pay attention. But even though I'm not ready for the semester to end since I'm so unprepared, I am VERY ready for my classes to be over and to start new on my last semester! Wahoo! Pretty soon I'll be done with school forever! That is until I start a graduate program - but I'll worry about that later. :)

Other day countdowns: 1 day until the Service Fair, 2 days until the Newel K. Whitney Summit, 3 days until my Natural Disasters field trip, 4 days until my vocal recital, 9 days until my final presentation for my senior project, 10 days until April Fool's Day, 11 days until General Conference and 18 days until Stuart and Jessica's wedding. What a list of countdowns!

Monday, March 21, 2011

When to be Honest


Honesty is the best policy – or so I’ve heard. Being honest, however, can be difficult when you know that a little bit of lying could really help you out.

This isn’t just a random thought – but actually a few weeks worth of contemplating what to do about my taxes. Last year I made about $6,800 in wages – but I made $10,000 in scholarships and grants. Of that $10,000, only $5,000 was used to pay tuition – so that leaves me $5,000 of taxable income from my scholarships.

I spoke with two accounting majors about this issue. One told me that most students do not claim their scholarships – and will never be audited by the IRS. That was a great answer, and I was excited to get a huge tax return. But then I talked with my old roommate Johnny – one of the most honest guys I’ve ever met. He told me that although the IRS will not audit a student, I should report my scholarships on my taxes to be completely honest.

So I did. And my tax return dropped from almost $600 to $277. BUT, I feel so much better that I told the truth on my taxes. A simple little form that probably wouldn’t make that big of a difference to the economy or government spending, but it helped me have a clear conscience.

So now I agree; honesty really is the best policy.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Long Chats

I just wanted to say that I love long meaningful talks. Seriously it makes my day.

That's all. :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Glasses

So I've recently decided that I'm looking for a girl with glasses. I love 'em! Since I was little I've always thought girls with glasses were so good looking. Now that I have no prospects for dating - I thought I would make this one of the things I look for. Kind of ridiculous, but I think I'd love to go on a few dates with a Velma.
I also think I want to have glasses similar to Buddy Holly.
His are pretty sweet, and maybe I'll catch the attention of some odd, nerdy girl who has the same goal as I do. We'll see how that works out. :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Campaign


Every other semester there are student body elections at BYU-Idaho, and I've been privileged enough to campaign for several of the greatest candidates to have ever run. This semester is no different. I'm campaigning for Blaine Burton - who is great. I don't want to talk about him or his platform, but rather how much I've enjoyed talking to people.

Going around from complex to complex and wearing Blaine's name around campus really makes me so much more positive and friendly. I really believe in what he stands for and I really want him to win - so I'm trying my all to be nice and reach out to everyone. It's shocking how much of a difference it makes when you put yourself out there. I'm loving it.

One thing I noticed that is especially different is that I say hi to everyone and I'm genuinely nice to them. It doesn't always happen like that for me, but campaigning has given me a reason to be happy this entire week. So if you guys are students of BYU-Idaho and you haven't voted yet - polls are open through Friday at 5:00. Get out there and let your voice be heard!

Computer Error

So here is an embarrassing story that many may enjoy. Today at work I was working on my computer - looking up a few book ISBNs and all of a sudden the document that I am on starts scrolling up and down and up and down. I have no idea what is happening so I X out of them. But then everything else I have open up start freaking out as well. My coworker starts saying that another coworker may have downloaded a virus - and so I'm all panicked that I have a virus and so eventually I shut down my computer.

So then I try and turn on my computer and it's just making this annoying beeping sound. Kind of sucky since all the work I had to do at work was on my computer. So I call the help desk and they come down about an hour and forty-five minutes later. He sits down at my computer for about a minute and a half and says he's all done. I ask what the problem was and he says, "Your return key was jammed." How embarrassing. I seriously could not stop laughing at my stupidity. Glad that I'm getting paid the big bucks. So after that I was able to log into the computer and get back to work as if nothing had ever happened.

The end.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Giving It Up

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. This means that the tradition of Lent has begun. I haven't always practiced this particular tradition, but I felt like this year I could really benefit from giving something worldly up to come closer to Christ. So I've decided to give up Facebook. Seems kind of childish and not really a big sacrifice - and really it hasn't been difficult - but it is great knowing that I'm sacrificing something that was a normal daily activity and filling my time in other ways.

But really I didn't want to talk too much about my element of Lent, but the actual tradition that it is. I've learned a lot about it. Oftentimes people replace their vices with things that bring them closer to Christ. Many people spend the 40 days fasting and praying and strengthening their relationship with their Savior. I am really interested to see what this experiment does for me - and I'm sure I'll update about my progress and overall change in attitude. Until then, HAPPY LENT!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Landslide

Tonight I watched the Glee episode entitled "Sexy" - maybe a bit more racy than most of the episodes, and it was almost not worth it. But then they sang Landslide by Stevie Nicks and the inappropriateness of the show completely left my mind.

This song is so amazingly perfect for me. There are so many decisions to be made at this time in my life and really it is difficult. But these decisions are so essential to my growth as an individual. I'm actually truly grateful for the opportunities that lay ahead of me - and I know that I'll be able to make those decisions correctly - even if they are sometimes painful.

One of the common phrases in the song is "I'm gettin' older too." I've actually never really thought about my age as a starting point, but it really is. This is my beginning and I am now able to move forward with the knowledge that I'm old enough to make my own decisions - and I'm experienced enough that I can trust my decisions to be the correct ones. Thank you Stevie Nicks for writing such an amazing song, and thank you Glee for bringing it to my recollection.



Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Eye Contact

One thing I am not able to understand is the lack of eye contact from students on campus. Recently I've been in a grumpy mood and I thought that a great way to overcome this would to be nicer to strangers. Normally I have an apathetic attitude towards strangers, but I really thought that if I were to be cheery to strangers, that attitude would transfer to the rest of my life. But there is a trend on our campus of dodgy eyes. Nobody likes to make eye contact. I guess I had never noticed it before since I was among them, but now that I'm trying to embody the "Spirit of Ricks" I've become disappointed with the lack of a friendly gaze every once in a while. So my new goal is to change those awkward look downs and sideways glances into an opportunity to greet a new friend. We'll see if it works - and I'd encourage you all to do the same.