The world is your oyster!: April 2012        
 
                 
     
       

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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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Vegas Virgin No Longer

Last week, I was a Vegas Virgin. Now, I can no longer say that.

Sunday morning was a bit of a stress-fest with keys getting lost and plans being delayed a few hours, but we eventually got ourselves on the road and set off! 


Our fearless driver!




I made mix CD's for the trip. Not gonna lie, it kind of gave me anxiety as I was making them and every single song was chosen with the utmost care. I tried to imagine all of my friends laughing and singing along enthusiastically as if we were in some 50's convertible car commercial, and if I couldn't picture it, the song didn't make the cut. The result is some pretty rock-awesome mixes, you guys. 

We made it to Vegas just in time for dinner at Steve's sister's house. She has literally 2 of the cutest kids I have ever seen, ever, so we hung out there for a little bit, and then got ready to hit the strip, just to look around at night. 






Tony Stark stood in front of this very statue. The beginning of our fame?

Vegas is an interesting place on a Sunday night. The crowds are thinner and more hungover than on a Friday or Saturday, but the signs are just as vibrant and demanding. Everywhere, something is flashing in your face. There's always a bigger, brighter, or flashier sign. There's always a bigger jackpot. (There's always a bigger crackpot.) Smoke trails around you, unintentionally symbolizing the way money and dreams and clothes disappear so quickly around here. 

Despite all the smoke and glazed expressions, I did enjoy the following about Vegas at night:

*the lights
*the awesome spray-painter guy
*the statues
*the Bellagio fountains

Vegas is also an interesting place on a Monday morning! Winnie, Christine and I took our sweet time getting ready, which was too bad for Steve, whose nephew woke him up at 7 with a freezer pack to the face. 

We had Earl of Sandwich for breakfast / lunch, and that was one of the best decisions ever made in Vegas! 


Then we went to the penny slots. You have to put in $1 but then you can play a ton! At least I think you can....I didn't really understand the game, but I got $1.57. I took that little voucher and went to the next penny slot machine.  


And thatttt machine paid for my Earl of Sandwich! And gave me an extra $9 besides! Which I did not even mind. Thank you, Las Vegas. I knew I liked you. 

Vegas has a lot more to offer, too. We got an exclusive demonstration of how different sodas are made upstairs in the Coca Cola store, and also tasted sodas from all around the world. Some were delicus. Some were egregious. I guess you could say the same about a lot of things. 


We also found a free 10-minute 3D movie at the M&M store!




Palm trees are basically my favorite plant in the world, and there was an abundance of them in Vegas. Did you know that each palm tree costs $300? Sometimes I like to count them and figure out how much a specific street corner cost somebody. Maybe it was paid for by the people who played the penny slots and lost?



We bid farewell to the sparkling city and continued on our way to the Golden State: California!



Peggy-Sue was the first person to welcome us. We saw about a million signs advertising this cute little 50's diner and HAD to go! 


The second person to welcome us to Cali was a Finnish movie star. Actually, there were three of them! And they picked the booth right behind us to shoot their oh-so-famous gonna-be-a-big-fat-hit documentary of Peggy-Sue's Diner. Steve talked to them as if they were normal people. I stared at them as if they were movie stars. And I might have spent my meal leaning really far back, trying to get in as many shots as possible. 


We rolled into Steve's neighborhood in La Canada (pronounced The Canada, if you're a real local of the area) late at night, under a thick cover of some weird fog conjured up by Winnie's wish for a world full of clouds. 

You may not understand the following list of quotes, but try to enjoy them anyway:

"I feel like I'm in Seattle right now, where it rains 367 days out of the year. 
.....because there are 367 days in the year. Because it rains so much, that they get an extra 2 days in the year. 4 days? 3?"

"I just want some cream to rub on my....areas."

"You have to shower. What if someone sees you on TV, in hi-def, and they're like, daaaaang!"

S: You would pick that magazine. 
H: I picked it because it's political! And I'm intelligent.
S: You picked it because of the boobs. You have been all about boobs this weekend!
W: I guess you just always notice what you don't have?

"We need to just, stop having each other's backs."

"I'm gonna staple your face."

Obviously, it was a wonderful time :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I'm a Happy Girl


Today, I was walking along, just heading back home in the rain after taking my finals. A boy I have never seen before was walking towards me. When we got close to each other, he said:

"You look really happy right now."

I didn't really know what to say, so I just said: "Thanks!"

Why did I look so happy? I don't actually know, but here are some possibilities.

I was wearing these. My mom gave me these boots. And I am FEARLESS when I see puddles and I am wearing these boots!


This week is finals week. I actually love finals week.....no one believes me when I tell them this, but believe you me: I love finals week. And this page is really funny and accurate.

In 2 days, these cute people will be coming to see me.

In 6 days, I will be waking up here.

In 7 days, I will be on this show.

In 8 days, I will be here.

In 9 days, I may run into this guy.....

.....this girl......
....him.....

......or her. Since I'll be walking all up on their streets.

In 10 days, I will be here.

Okay, I guess I know why I looked so happy.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Menstruating Monsters Approaching

Last night, I was at work at Coldstone. I stood behind the register, cheerfully ringing people up. Customers scooted through the line, cheerfully ordering their ice cream.

"This looks so good!" one girl said to me as I rang her up.

"I love that kind!" I agreed.

"I'm going to be having cramps for a week because of it, but whatever," she added, holding out her credit card.

My hand froze mid-credit card grab. "Are you lactose-intolerant?" I asked, a little alarmed.

"No, just when I'm menstruating, I get really....." she trailed off. "Why am I telling you this?"

I laughed and took her card. "That's okay," I said, "I get it."

"You know what I mean?" she continued. "Just with your cycle, you sometimes really shouldn't eat ice cream that is drowning in caramel and other yummy stuff, but sometimes you just really want it."

The receipt printed. "I know what you mean!" I assured her, handing her the receipt. "Can you just sign there?"

She took the pen. "I still don't know why I told you all that...." she said, signing the receipt.

But in real life, I didn't even mind that much. She was actually one of my favorite customers of the night.....maybe even of ever.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Aimees

One day, I was sitting in my apartment at Raintree, just hanging out, doing homework maybe. The door opened. Chelsea bounced in, and behind her, a person with poofy hair followed.


"Hi!" the poofy-headed person said. She flashed a huge smile at me. "I'm Aimee!"

"Heather!" Chelsea said, also smiling hugely. "This is Aimee! She's my friend!"

"Hi!" I said. Their smiles were contagious. "I'm Heather -"

"I'm so happy to meet you!" Aimee said. (I believed her. She was practically giddy about it.)

For a few weeks, I just knew Aimee as Chelsea's friend. But then, she moved into our apartment, and she became my roommate, and then my friend too, and then one of my very best friends. And now, she is one of my very best friends.....who is one year older!

Aimee is one of the funniest people I know. She is constantly making me laugh, and something else that is great about her is that she also laughs a lot. So sometimes I feel like I'm really funny when we are hanging out.
When we were roommates in Raintree, we had a lot of fun together. One time, we had a girls night with Chelsea, and we all went to see Dear John at the dolla theater. The movie sucked. The company did not. So we tried again, another time, with New Moon. This time, we all wore our respective boyfriend's clothes. Both times, it was worth the dollar, because we at least had fun hanging out with each other :)

Aimee is always supportive of my ideas. I don't know why, because a lot of the time, they are not that great. Like this one time when I really wanted to check the mail, but it was raining, so I couldn't go by myself! Aimee pulled on mismatching boots and a jacket and off we went. She is so accommodating.

Another time, I wanted to do the Bikini Body workout for our Girls Night. Aimee did it with me. I loved it. She hated it. She only just complained a little bit, but she did it with me!

We also took super-fierce pictures together. She loves America's Next Top Model, and I like it, so usually when she is around, I get hooked on it again. The results are, obviously, worth the time spent on it.

Yep.

Aimee is super-sharing. She is so domestic - she can make anything, tortillas or chicken dumplings or parmesan broccoli or syrup or lemon raspberry cupcakes or cake cookies. And she doesn't just make delicious food. She shares it, too! She always took care of me when we were roommates. She still takes care of me when we are not roommates, by giving me rides to work or bringing me yummy foods she made or sending me encouraging txts (or having her husband txt me funny things) or putting candy all over my bed after I fall asleep on a particularly bad night.

Aimee is a life guard sometimes and also a swim teacher. Therefore, she gets suuuuper-tan and super-blonde in the summertime. And I spend lots of time being jealous of her. I've never seen her teach swimming, but I know she is great at it. Aimee has awesome management skills and I'm so happy that she switched her major to Elementary Education. She is going to be such an amazing elementary school teacher! We are going to share lessons with each other all the time.

Aimee is always happy for me when something good happens to me. She is also such a good listener. She's just good at talking to people and getting them to talk about themselves (and especially their farts). Sometimes, I go into our conversations thinking, "Okay. This time, we're going to talk about Aimee." And then the conversation goes something like this:

me: Tell me about bla! How did it go?
her: It was fun! How did this go?
me: It was great!
her: Did this happen?
me: Yeah! (elaborate)
her: Oh awesome! What about this?
me: Oh! (elaborate more). How was this for you?
her: It was okay. Hey, did this ever happen?
me: No...(elaborate).

Do you see what I mean? I don't know how, but somehow she always turns the conversation back to me. She is selfless and encouraging and kind. She is smart and hardworking and hilarious. She got the hottest bridals taken I have ever seen. I love her! And I think she deserves everything good in the world :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dreams Come True

It's hard to pinpoint when exactly I decided I wanted to be a teacher. I can remember being excited to start school, after hearing about all of Kelly's adventures. I can remember coming home on the last day of school with worksheets that my teacher had left over from the year, determined to save those worksheets for the day that I had a class of my own. I can remember coming up with elaborate lessons for FHE. I can remember telling my teachers that I wanted to be a teacher when I was older.

So it started early - sometimes, I even think it started before I was born. It's the one career I've ever wanted to do. It's been a dream of mine ever since I can remember.

When I was accepted to come here, to BYU, I took a few minutes and browsed casually through the catalog of classes required for an Elementary Education major. The classes all sounded amazing! Teaching math? Teaching science? Instruction and Assessment? These were skills I had always known I would have to develop. I was thrilled to get started.

And then, all of a sudden, I was in a classroom. First-graders were calling me Miss Connor. I wasn't just majoring in Elementary Education anymore; I was teaching.

My classmates talked about doing an internship, where they would have their own classroom, for a whole year. They would get half-salary. They would teach all day, every day. I thought about doing an internship, then thought about not doing an internship. I reasoned that I wasn't ready for that much responsibility. I needed more time to learn how to teach.

I made my decision. I was going to do student-teaching, not an internship.

Sherri, my facilitator, had different plans. She urged me to reconsider. She said she would strongly recommend me for an internship. She gave me the forms.

So I thought about it, thought about my dream, and wondered if maybe I was ready. I had wanted this my whole life. Shouldn't I at least try?

I filled out the forms. I called Joy. I went to an interest meeting. I signed up for an interview. I picked out an outfit. Two days after I made my decision, I found myself sitting in a room in the District Office with Charlotte, Raylee, and Jessica sitting on my left. Eighteen principals and facilitators shuffled through papers and sipped water as they mulled over a decision that would change my life. A bald man with great teeth and bright blue eyes directed the interviews.

I had spent the morning fretting and putting on lotion and lip gloss and going over practice questions again and again. Now, sitting in that room, I noticed that my foot, which hadn't stopped jiggling since the internship meeting, dipped casually up and down as if I was sitting in a hammock.

Our interviews ended and we went back to school. The secretaries asked us how it went. We smiled and acted confident, and went to lunch. The day progressed just like a normal day.

I left the elementary school and went to the Writing Center. I left the Writing Center. I started walking home. I got to my door and reached for my key. My phone started buzzing; Joy was calling.

I took a breath and answered the phone.

"Hello?"
"Hello, Heather? This is Joy, how are you doing?"
She's asking how I'm doing, I thought. That has to be good, right? She would just cut to the chase if I didn't get an internship.
"I'm good, how are you?" I asked.
"Fine, thank you," she said.

I waited.

"Heather, I'm calling you with some good news."

My knees felt weak.

Do you remember how you felt, the morning after your first kiss? Do you remember that feeling when you woke up, and all your memories came flooding back, and you wondered if you were lying to yourself, but you weren't, because it really was real, and that wonderful thing really actually did happen....

That's how I felt the next day. I woke up smiling. I spent the whole day smiling. I wanted to tell random strangers that I was a teacher. I wanted to scream.

Because Jordan School District picked me, and Sherri and Kathy want me to come back and teach at their school, as a second-grade teacher, next year.

"I'm calling to tell you," Joy had said, "that Jordan Ridge - " my school! " - has offered you an internship for next year teaching 2nd grade."

I couldn't even go inside my apartment when Joy was talking to me. I pressed the phone up super-close to my face, so my ear could slurp up every word she said. I thanked her over and over. I pulled out my key, went inside, and collapsed on my bed. My roommate thought I was crying. (I wasn't. Just hyperventilating a little bit.) I called my mom. I fell on the couch. I fell on the floor.

I guess that's just what I do when my dreams are coming true :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

You are the Beast, Ms. Conner

Once upon an April 4th, I woke up, got dressed, and went to school, just like on any other day. Only it was not any other day. In fact, April 4th was the last day of my practicum in 4th grade.

Here's how my day went:

7:45 Raylee, Jessica and I arrive at the school. We deliver muffins and thank you cards to the office staff and our wonderful facilitator, Sherri.

8:25 Hi 4th graders!

9:00 I teach a math lesson on circles. We learn about the angles in a circle. We draw imaginary circles around ourselves and point to the important angles in the circle. We play a superhero game.

10:00 Science

11:00 Lunch

11:45 Read-Aloud

12:00 Paper-mitt puppet performances. I taught a unit on fractured fairytales this semester, and it has been such a success! The kids have loved it, I have loved it, and it has been super-simple for me to plan and teach. After weeks of hard work, they all had completed paper mitt puppets that they could be proud of.

12:35 Balloon game! Each student tied a balloon on each ankle. We all went outside and the balloon-popping commenced! The goal was to be the last one left with balloons. Thinking back, it was kind of like the Hunger Games. Except much less brutal. And far fewer tears were shed.

1:20 Time to go! I gave each student a lollipop, a handwritten note, and a hug. They gave me a book that everyone had written notes in. I also got an Easter egg, two lotions, a pack of teacher pens, a sign celebrating my awesomeness, and a cookie. These students are so sweet and I'm not going to say I cried as I said goodbye to them, but let's just look at my track record.

Last day of teaching piano: Cried.
Last day at Club Libby Lu: Cried.
Last day of high school orchestra: Cried.
Last day of Kindergarten internship: Cried.
Last day of church in my freshman ward: Cried.
Last day of nannying: Cried.
Last day of church in my ward before Disney: Cried.
Last day at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique: Cri-i-ied!
Last day of 4th grade: What went down is anyone's guess.

Anyway, here were some of my favorite notes:

"Miss Conner I give you good luck for next year. I hope you like these notes. We loved your teaching. You made this last year the best year. You have a good time. I'm going to end by saying. Good Bye."

"Dear miss Conner, thank you for givving us all the things you have done if you Do get a job in this school or any school Pleas write Bake sincerely, Emilee"

"Dear Miss Conner, I love student teachers and you are one of my favorites. Good luck"

"Dear Miss Connor, I loved learning about circles and I also liked it when you were my adult supervisor at the field trip, flower power forever"

"Dear Miss Connor, I'm glad your teaching in this school for 2nd graders I will stop by every day after school :)"

"Dear Miss Connor, You are awsome. You taught us alot of stuf like: facherd ferry tales and cirkles THANK YOU MISS CONNOR!!!"

"Dear Miss Conor, It has been AWSOWME haveing you this year I hope you do good teaching 2ND grade! I will REALLY miss you good luck hope you have a good time on spring break! -LOVE Noah"

"Dear Miss Conner, Thx for giving me the note and helping me and here is a Joke: a old lady fell off a ship and a whail came over and said we are family even though your fatter than me from Aleigha"

"You are the Beast Ms Conner."

"Dear Ms. Conor I hope you go and teach 5th grade becaus I would want to be in your class because you are really really nice Peace out!!!"

They are SO CUTE and I'm so glad I will get to see some of them next year!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Minions and Muppets

Now that Nicole is visiting again, it seems that I should probably be finished blogging about the last time she visited by now. So, as promised, here is Part 2 of the Visit d' Nicole: Minions and Muppets.

When we left of, the three sisters were happily lounging on the couch in my apartment, watching Surf's Up on a Friday night. Saturday dawned with bright new adventures, beginning with a trip to the Pizza Pie Cafe with some really awesome and attractive people. Let me tell you, that was a good choice. If I didn't get a free meal at Tucano's every year for my birthday, I might have to go to PPC instead. The dessert pizza alone is enough to get me in the door and $7 poorer. Also I made some delicious pasta sauce.

Those in attendance: Kelly and Dahl, Nicool and I, Philipe, Jared, Troy Toy, Winnifred, Christine, the infamous MP, Steve Johnson.


In case you're wondering, Steve and I randomly match on a regular basis. It's weird, and neither of us has an explanation.

We ate for about 2 hrs. It's times like that, when I'm sitting at a table in the Pizza Pie Cafe with 12 slices of pizza on 3 plates in front of me, that I feel like I really live a charmed life. And a fat one. But whatever.

After PPC, Kelly, Nicole and I had some girl time! We went to the dolla theater and watched The Muppets. We felt a little disappointed. We encouraged all the people, via our blogs, not to watch it. We cheered up because it had, after all, only been a dollar for each of us.

Then we walked all over Provo. It was such a beautiful day and we were happy to spend so much time walking and talking with each other.

It seems like all day, we just walked from meal to meal. We hung out at my apartment for a minute, made an amazing video for an amazing sister, and then walked to the Creamery on 9th for kids meals.

Here is the video:


Based off of this video:


For this girl:

Christine joined us for both the movie-making and the kids meal eating. We had a great system for eating our kids ice creams at the Creamery, called everyone took a bite and then passed their ice cream to the right. Try it sometime if you are not afraid of germs and love a variety of ice creams :)



The fry sauce was a cause of great frustration.

The next day, Sunday, we went to Lindon for Jordan Lee's mission homecoming. She was Kelly's roommate freshman year and is so sweet. We love her and it's happy to have her back in Utah!
And then, Nicole left. (I am not that sad about it right now because she is meeting me for lunch in 5 minutes, so it's not like she left forever.) It was so fun to have her! She is hilarious and of good report and praiseworthy. If you don't already have a testimony of that, you should probably get to know her better :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Poker Face

Dear Teacher,

You aren't fooling me. The semester is over in a week. You don't have time to grade every outrageously time-consuming assignment you've inflicted on us with a fine-toothed comb. I'm calling your bluff, and I'm making my margins 1.2 inches on all sides. And I'm not single-spacing my paper, I'm 1.3-spacing it. And I'm putting 3 spaces after each comma and period, and I'm printing it off without re-reading it.

And I'm betting I'll still get an A, because you won't have time to read through the whole thing. And besides that, you have been grading everyone really harshly the semester, and we both know you don't want to fail everyone.

Love,
One of your more supportive students