The world is your oyster!: March 2010        
 
                 
     
       

These are a few of my favorite things:

summertime
pina-colada flavored italian ice
ribbons
sisters
i.n.s.t.a.n.t...o.a.t.m.e.a.l.
dance parties
pearls
flamingos
America
missionaries
s.u.n.g.l.a.s.s.e.s.
playgrounds
dressing up
love :)
     
       

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My name is Heather.

I am 22 years old.

I am an East Coast girl
who also loves Utah.

I love my life. How could I not?

The world is my oyster :)
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Monday, March 29, 2010

RIP Taylor??

From the day I walked into the Verizon store and spotted my baby blue Chocolate 3 a year and three months ago, I knew we were going to be close. Now, my phone is dead. I can't revive him anymore. He has bleeped his last feeble bleep. I am distraught.

It's true, what they say: you never know what you've got til it's gone. I never realized how much I depend on my phone until it was gone. Today and yesterday, I've been an absolute basket case.

I've always been very nice to Taylor, and honestly, he's always been very nice to me, until about a week ago. We've been through a lot together. I have several pictures on him that I value a lot. I have a considerably large inbox where all my important txts are saved. Every night, he sings me to sleep with my favorite songs.

A week or so ago, he decided to stop charging. I guess if I'm going to keep going with the phone-human analogy, I should say he just stopped eating and drinking. I had to practically force feed him, my phone painstakingly propped up on a book, the cord held firmly in place with two ponytails. For a while he swallowed the nourishment. Then, he just stopped altogether.

Fighting back tears for my friend, I brought him to the Verizon store on Saturday to see if it was Taylor or just his charger. It was Taylor. They backed up my contacts just in case he died and didn't come back to life. On Sunday, that's exactly what happened. Taylor.....was no more.

Today, I went back to the Verizon store. A snarky mustachioed salesman laid out my options: I could either buy a memory chip ($25) and a new phone, the same model ($50), or I could use someone else on the plan's upgrade and get a new phone, but a different model (like $20-$120, depending on which model I chose), OR I could get a new battery that may or may not work ($40). I went with the last option, because if the battery didn't work, then I would get my money back and try a new phone ($75). Also, I would be able to keep all my pictures, songs, and txts (priceless).

On Wednesday, I will be getting my new battery in the mail. I am crossing my fingers that after this, Taylor will come back to life. I miss him a lot.

By the way, his name is Taylor because I had a picture of Taylor Lautner on the front display. Just him and his ten-pack. Mmmm.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Directional Incompetence

I have never been particularly good at directions. I think I could count on one hand the number of times people have called me to ask for directions, and no one calls back a second time. I am just really bad at knowing where to go. When I was home and driving, I knew how to get to Caitlin's house, the mall (where I worked, thank you, not because I was a shopaholic), my school, Rita's Italian Ice, and the church (on a good day). Now that I am in Utah, and not driving, I literally do not know how to get anywhere.

If you think I'm kidding, maybe this will give a better sense of my ineptitude.

Towards the end of my first semester at BYU, I had gotten pretty good at taking the bus. One day while waiting at the Wilk for the 832 bus to arrive and take me back to Wyview, I was talking on the phone to my dad. I saw a bus approaching. It was the 831. I thought to myself, "I shouldn't get on this bus." Then I got in line, flashed my bus pass, and sat down. I didn't realize my mistake until about ten minutes later, when I had ended my phone call with my dad. As the bus hurtled through unfamiliar roads, I mused to myself, "Hmmm. I don't remember this street. I should really learn to be more observant." Suddenly, my whole stomach tightened as I remembered that this was the 831 bus, and not the 832. Furthermore, I had no idea where I was. My mind was reeling. Should I get off at the soonest stop and try to walk back to the Wilk? Should I talk to the bus driver? Should I just wait until we made a full circle? I felt panicky as I frantically texted everyone who might be helpful. Gathering my thoughts a little bit, I decided I just had to muster up my courage and turn around and ask whoever was sitting behind me for help. They were probably nice, right? They would totally help. I forced myself to smile and turned around to meet my savior. My smile froze on my face when I looked into the bloodshot eyes of the stringy-haired stranger sitting behind me. Piercings dotted his whole face, which was sagging with a vacant expression. His eyes briefly locked on mine; I reiterated my smile and turned back around. "GET ME OFF OF THIS BUS!!!" was all I could think. Eventually I made my way to the front and explained my dilemma to the busdriver. She dropped me off at a stop that 833 shared with 832 and told me that the 832 would be there in about five minutes. Thankfully, the 832 arrived right on schedule, and I was home within the half-hour.

On a trip to New York City over the summer, I got horribly lost. I ended up in some ghetto area of New Hampshire, where people wouldn't stop knocking on my car window to see if I needed directions. I don't know how they knew, but I was too scared to say yes. I said no and kept driving. I called my mom and received a call about ten minutes later from my friend Alyssa's dad. Having grown up in New York, he knew the area well, and stayed on the phone with me for a solid hour while I navigated my way back to the freeway.

It is my second year here at BYU and I still ask people where certain buildings are, especially at the beginning of a new semester. Last year it was even more of a problem; even when I knew where I was going, people would stop me randomly to ask if I needed help in finding my way. I just found out how to get to the Creamery on 9th about a month ago. I can get from Raintree to Wyview and that's about it. If I miss the bus, I have no choice but to wait for the next bus, because I literally do not even know how to walk to campus from Raintree. A good sense of direction is just not something I was blessed with.

A few weeks ago, I signed up to be a mentor for Provo Youth Mentoring. I was involved in this program as a freshman, when I needed service hours, but last semester I just didn't have time. This semester my classes start pretty late in the day, so I figured I could fit in some service. I was assigned a student at Rock Canyon Elementary School and instructed to spend an hour every Wednesday morning from 10:30-11:30 mentoring Channer.

The night before my first day, I spent two hours poring over GoogleMaps, mapquest, and the UTA bus schedule. (The first half hour was spent figuring out if Rock Canyon Elementary (RCES) was north or south of campus, and north or south of Raintree.) I figured out that I could take the 833 bus from the Wilk at 9:50, get off at a stop closer to the elementary school, and walk the rest of the way.

After all this planning, I missed the bus and decided just to take the bus back to Raintree and walk the rest of the way. Luckily, my roommate Crystal happened to be home and offered to drive me. Once at the school, I discovered that Channer had moved in December. Instead of mentoring him, I just volunteered in kindergarten. It was a wonderful day and I was excited to go back the next week.

The next week, and the week after that, I found excuses not to go again. I was just too stressed, too tired, too late. Sorry, kindergartners....I really liked you!

This week, I was determined to go. I woke up at 7, finished my homework, printed off walking directions, and, at 10:15, started towards the school. I was sure it wouldn't be hard. After all, I had already been there once, when Crystal drove me. It was a nice morning and I was feeling confident as I walked briskly up the hill. I even felt confident enough to multi-task and called my dad to chat. He was in a meeting, so I called my mom. She was about to go shopping with some other ladies in Young Women's, so I quickly told her what I was doing. She said, "Oh, how good of you. You can totally find it. You have a good sense of direction."

This sadly misplaced confidence in my innate abilities became glaringly obvious twenty minutes later when I still hadn't found the elementary school. I had, however, found a lovely middle school, after backtracking twice. Thoroughly discouraged, I took another left turn and found myself back at Raintree, just in time for the 11:42 bus to campus.

I guess the poor kindergartners will just have to wait another week.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Gumption? Hullo?

When I went home for the summer, I spent a few days recovering from two long semesters and one very long flight from Utah to Maryland. Kelly and I set up camp on the couches in the living room, slept until noon, ate food and chatted all day, watched Ugly Betty and the Office until 4 in the morning, and occasionally looked for jobs online. But it was just a few days. This is perfectly normal for two healthy college students.

Unfortunately, my dad didn't see it that way. He tried anxiously to be patient with us at first. But then....okay, maybe a few days became two weeks, and he became concerned. I remember one morning in particular, at about 10:30, waking up to a familiar monologue. My dad was sitting by the couch, talking animatedly at me. He said all the usual things: "This isn't normal, Heather. I mean it." "You've got to get up, and get out there, and get a job." "Come on, sit up, come on." There were the occasional interjections: "Oh my pillow! Heather, Heather stop! You're drooling on my pillow!" As I opened my eyes and wiped my mouth, I vaguely remembered getting the same speech the day before, and the day before, and probably the day before that. But then, my dad said something new: "I've never seen you like this. It's like you've lost all your gumption."

Fast forward to this semester. Well, first -- fast forward to two weeks after this speech. I had one full time job, two part time jobs, and one very very part time job. Now, fast forward to this semester. It's probably been the hardest semester for me yet, where classes are concerned. I'm taking 16 credits, and, even though I've taken this many before, it wasn't this difficult. My classload this semester is full of classes that are much less interesting than my classes in previous semesters, and much more rigorous. In short, I don't want to learn about the things that are turning out to be more difficult to learn, making it even worse.

I started out with plenty of gumption. Winter break was a nice refresher for me. I went home, played with my family, visited some friends, and came back ready to tackle the new semester. I tried to be interested in my subjects. Most days, my classes don't start until 12, but I tried to get up at about 8 or 9 every morning to study and work on other things I needed to get done. I signed up to be a mentor at an elementary school. I got a job at ColdStone. I was overflowing with gumption!

Then, suddenly, something happened.....midterms. All of a sudden, school decided to hurt my feelings. Last week, I was slammed with five tests. I was also asked to give a talk on Sunday. As an FHE mom, I had to plan an activity for this Monday. Furthermore, my laptop was stolen on Tuesday, right out of my apartment. Oh, and the mailman told me he hates me and thinks I'm ugly.

I'll recover, I told myself. I can come back. There's still time before the semester is over. After one particularly bad test on Monday that might as well have been a list of derogatory comments on my appearance for how good it made me feel, I called my dad. He told me how pretty and intelligent I am, per my request. I felt better. I went to bed that night, determined to wake up the next morning at 7 to get ready for a group meeting for a project at 8. I knew, as I closed my eyes, that I would wake up to a better world. I woke up at 7:30. Hmmm. That wasn't really what I had planned to do, now was it? I hurriedly threw on some clothes and make up and miraculously made it to the bus stop in time for the 7:42 bus. I went to my group meeting, then to my floral design class, and then to the library for a nice nap in the fourth floor bathroom with all the couches. I went to my New Testament class, had lunch with Kelly, studied, and went home. I felt pretty good about how well I was recovering so far.

On Wednesday, I intended to wake up at 8 to give myself time to clean for cleaning checks, do my homework, and go to mentoring. I told Aimee and Chelsea both that I need to be up at least by 9, and if they would be so kind as to yell in my sleeping face if I wasn't, I would greatly appreciate it. They gladly obliged, but somehow, I didn't get out of bed until 9:30. By the time I had gotten ready and finished my homework and cleaning, it was too late to go to mentoring, and too early to go to campus. So of course, I decided to take a little nap before going to my first class. It was 11:41 when I woke up again, and I had missed the last bus until 12:12. I considered my options. It was a nice day, and I could walk to school. (I was sure I would be able to make it if someone gave me directions.) My other option was going back to sleep. Which option do you think I took?

I had to drag myself out of bed at 12:35 to get to the bus in time to get to my 1:00 English class. Chelsea reminded me that it was Saint Patrick's Day and picked out a green shirt for me to wear, so I sluggishly changed my outfit and stumbled out to the bus. From there, my day did improve. While on campus, I was very productive. When I went home, I was determined to continue in this streak of gumption.

Sadly, my natural me won, and I ended up at Kelly's apartment, making and eating cookies, chatting, and wandering Raintree with some boys who were considering moving in and had requested a tour. I went back to my apartment and spent about two hours on facebook and other time-wasting websites. I finally eeked out some homework at one in the morning and went to bed.

This morning, my 9:30 floral design class was cancelled (thank goodness). I planned to take the 10:42 bus to campus to work on some homework before my 12:00 New Testament class. I hope no one took the 10:42 bus hoping to see me there, because they would have been sorely disappointed to know that I was still in bed at that time. In fact, I was in bed until about 1:05. All I could think as I sat up and called out, "Hullo??" to my still-at-home roommates was:

Whelp. Guess it's gone again.

My gumption, that is. I really think it's gone. Today marks the second day in a row that I slept through my 12:00 class. HOW PATHETIC!

Tonight, I had quite a bit that I needed to get done. I made a To Do list and turned on Chelsea's laptop. (Since mine was stolen, my roommates have all been super-nice about letting me use theirs whenever I need to. It is making my life a lot easier!) Then, something that shouldn't be so surprising to me happened: I wasted more time. Chelsea came home right when I had started being productive and asked if Aimee and I would like to go see New Moon in the dollar theater. I did want to. It started at 10:05. I could finish my paper, go to New Moon, and get back in time to get to bed at a decent hour.

I didn't finish my paper by 9:40.

I went to New Moon.

How could I refuse? Aimee and Chelsea were ditching their boyfriends, and we were all wearing our respective boy's clothes. Furthermore, on the subject of clothes, Taylor Lautner doesn't wear many in this movie. I can look past Edward's pale chest and sadly lopsided nipples because of this fact alone: Taylor has 10 ab muscles. I counted. This was definitely an event I had to be apart of.

And now, here I am. It's almost 4 in the morning and I am blogging. Blogging.

Of course, I have had good intentions throughout this whole ordeal. Tomorrow, I plan on waking up at 9 and taking the 9:42 bus to campus. I will meet with my group from 10-11, work on my application for the Writing Fellows from 11-12, and go to class from 12-2. I will eat lunch with Kelly and then study until who knows when. We will see how well this plan works out, I suppose. If my gumption continues to be MIA, I really can't be held responsible for my lack of motivation.

Thankfully, I have at least been getting all my homework done. When I am actually awake, I do my assignments. I just did one before writing this blog, in fact...a writeup for my humanities class. The assignment was to pick 3 sins and assign creative punishments to those who commit them, in the style of Dante. Here's what I came up with:

Sin #1: drawing graffiti. People who do this would have to spend eternity trying to graffiti a building while someone bumps their elbow every 2 seconds, messing them up repeatedly. If they get frustrated, someone else will spray spray paint in their face.

Sin #2: stealing a college student's laptop. People who do this would be shrunk down and put inside a laptop keyboard while the college student they stole from types out their term paper.

Sin #3: flirting with missionaries. People who flirt with missionaries would be sentenced to the nunnery. They would spend eternity in a convent, getting smacked across the face every time their thoughts drifted to boys. Also, all the girls whose missionaries ended up marrying a girl who flirted with him while on his mission would flick rubber bands at the flirting girls.

I think those are pretty appropriate punishments. I can't say I've been personally affected by graffiti, but I feel a much stronger connection to the other two sins.

Let's talk about sin #3 for a minute. (I mean, why not. Four hours of sleep is totally enough to function on.) I have seen a growing trend recently that bothers me quite a bit. It's called, missionaries marrying girls they met on their mission. In every case, they will insist that they didn't do anything wrong. There was no flirting while they were on the mission. Things just turned out the way that they did. They were perfect for each other. The circumstances that they met under are inconsequential, since they didn't start dating until after the mission was over. And who am I to say that this isn't the truth for every one of these couples? I really can't. I'm just saying, it's a growing trend. And as someone who sent off a missionary, even if I'm not waiting for him, I am annoyed by it.

Believe me, I understand the appeal of missionaries. As 19 to 21-year-old boys, they are right about my age. Typically, they are good boys, in tune with the Spirit, happy to serve others, good at talking to people, hard workers. They walk around or ride their bikes a lot, so they're probably pretty fit. They keep their hair a respectable length and never look too scruffy or unkempt. And there's two of them.

So, that's great that you didn't flirt with him. That's awesome that you just really connected over the scriptures. Good for you abiding by mission rules as you purely lusted after the cutie with the name tag.

But if all those things are true, then why the hey are you two getting engaged three weeks after he's released?

This is why I included flirting with missionaries as one of my sins.

Well, I guess I'm going to bed now. Wish me luck in waking up tomorrow?