Friday, December 5, 2008

forward motion

I've come to realize that in my life I am either moving 100 miles an hour or I am not moving--- there is no inbetween for me.

Since junior high I've found myself making daily schedules, which generally have little to no free time penciled in. After my last disastrously stressful 20 credit semester I though this time I'd take it easy with 12 credits. Even though I had inteded for this to be a nice chill semester, it has ended up as my usual crazy life. I quickly found things sneaking into all of my planned free time. My calling in the Relief Society, my job, being a Koch Scholar, clubs, committees, and of course friends and family have filled my time.

None of the things I'm involved with are bad. It's just a lot of stuff. Right now I am pretty burnt out. I've averaged about 3 hours of sleep a night this week. I'm getting down to the end. I have no more classes to go to, but I do still have a 12 page paper for my Law Politics and War final, a 20 page paper about Sarah Palin to edit for my Parites and Elections class, and 2 monstrous- comprehensive finals.

I really don't love how busy I am, but I suppose it is better than the alternative, which is not moving.

This week Elder Wirthlin of the Quorom of the Twelve Apostles passed away. I decided to re-read talk from the last conference, it was one of my favorites. The tag-line in his talk is my new motto: "Come what may... and love it!" It's easy to get down on life when I am so stressed, but this finals week I am trying to love it. I was reading 2 Nephi 4: 16-35 tonight and just felt so happy. I'm realizing that it's really all going to be ok. Rather than falling apart I need to smile and move forward.

While I need to learn to maybe move a little slower in life, for now I'm just learning to love it, all of it.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Catalyst (Anna Nalick)

Two Points for Honesty (Guster)

Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Judy Garland)

Such Great Heights (The Postal Service)

I Can Go The Distance (Hercules)

Don’t Look Back in Anger (Oasis)

Geek in the Pink (Jason Mraz)

Snails (The Format)

WHAT IS 2+2?
99 Red Balloons (Goldfinger)

Miles Apart (Yellowcard)

Honestly (Zwan)

Shine (Anna Nalick)

The Luckiest (Ben Folds)

Brilliant Dance (Dashboard)

Turn Around (The Kingston Trio)

Darling Je Vous Aime Beaucoup (Nat “King” Cole)

The Lord is My Shepherd (LDS Hymn)

If I Had a Hammer (Peter Paul and Mary)

I Wanna Grow Old with You (Adam Sandler)

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends (Beatles)

End of the Road (Boys II Men)

Drowning (Dashboard)

For Good (Wicked)

I’m Too Sexy (Right Said Fred)

Champagne Supernova (Oasis)

With or Without You (U2)

Loneliest Girl in the World (Cary Brothers)

Let That Be Enough (Switchfoot)

Demons (Guster)

The Freshman (Vervepipe)

Catalyst (Anna Nalick)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

sunday night office shift

I am in a fabulous mood tonight. Sure, I'm stuck in the office til 10 and since no one comes by on a Sunday night I'm incredibly bored, but I'm still in a good mood. All because, yesterday I got so much done! I got up early (well early for a saturday, which is before noon :D) I did tons of homework (research, reading and paper writing), I cleaned my room and got my laundry done-- there is no better feeling than knowing that I have clean socks to wear tomorrow. I am now on my 11th hour in the office this weekend. After 6 hours last night I was tired and frusterated, but I've managed to make it through the night with a little help from my friends.

As a closing note to tonight's post I'd like to thank all the little people who made tonight's office shift bearable:
Kris Lange for playing the random question game with me
Aldo for telling me Brent Guy was fired-- and Justin for suggesting Stew Morrill take his place
Sharolee and Tess for texting me
The ward prayer crowd who said hi on their way there and on the way back
Jon and Ben for giving me something political to debate about
Everyone who recently updated their profile picture or status on facebook (for me to stalk)
and last, but certainly not least, Ms. Kelsha Bundy who texted me this joke :
why don't kangaroo mom's like the rain?
Cause then the kids have to play inside!

Thanks all!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

are we human or are we dancer?

I am obsessed with the new Killers song Human. It is amazing. After listening to it 15 times today I decided to find out about the lyrics. After a little googling I found out that the lyrics are a reference to a comment made by Hunter S. Thompson. He said that America was raising a generation of dancers. (I couldn't find the exact quote). Thompson was a well known journalist who commit suicide in 2005. I haven't read much of his stuff, but Hunter was well known for spending time with the Hell's Angels and writing articles and eventually a book on the things that they did. Thompson is the creator of Gonzo journalism, which is where the journalist is so involved in a story that they are the central figure in the article.

The best way to describe Thompson is through his words, so here are some his most famous quotes:

Myths and legends die hard in America. We love them for the extra dimension they provide, the illusion of near-infinite possibility to erase the narrow confines of most men's reality. Weird heroes and mould-breaking champions exist as living proof to those who need it that the tyranny of 'the rat race' is not yet final."—The Great Shark Hunt, 1979

"We are turning into a nation of whimpering slaves to Fear—fear of war, fear of poverty, fear of random terrorism, fear of getting down-sized or fired because of the plunging economy, fear of getting evicted for bad debts or suddenly getting locked up in a military detention camp on vague charges of being a Terrorist sympathizer."—"Extreme Behavior in Aspen," February 3, 2003

"The Sixties were an era of extreme reality. I miss the smell of tear gas. I miss the fear of getting beaten."—Independent on Sunday, October 12, 1997

"Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism."—Rolling Stone, February 15, 1973

"I feel the same way about disco as I do about herpes."—Speech, University of Colorado, 1977

cleaning checks

It seems like every week this semester I have become more busy. The readings are piling up, the papers and projects are neverending and I still have work, my church calling and friends to factor in. This morning I had to register for next semesters classes. It took me a very long time to figure out exactly which classes I should take. (definitely managed to fit in a yoga class!)

After talking to my advisor this week, I found out that I could graduate this May if I wanted. To do it I would have to drop my minor and the honors program and start working on my thesis immediately... It still makes more sense for me to wait and graduate next December, but I was pretty tempted. Especially after my long day filled with classes, meetings, SI, homework and cleaning checks. It would be so nice to be done in May. Although, if I were done then I would have to decide what to do next.

I'm starting to check out grad schools and law schools. There are actually a couple of schools that would let me get a masters in gender studies with my JD in just 4 years, which would be pretty sweet. But it would be 4 more intense years of school, which seems like a lot....

I feel so old. Talking about grad school and law school. I can't believe how close I am to be done with my undergrad. Earlier today I was thinking about my freshman year, I can't believe it's only been 2 years since I first got up here. It's crazy how much can change in just a couple of years. I've definitely learned a lot at school.

Anyway, that's enough of my late night rambling. Here is a random video that is very entertaining. How many of the pictures can you recognize? Billy Joel Video

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day 2008

Finally election day has arrived. This 2+ year campaign has finally gotten to me. I'm sick of the poll numbers, the ads and the signs. I'm tired of forwards telling me that Obama is a terrorist and a socialist, and that Mccain is a rage-a-holic and an elitist.

In all honesty I think Obama is too liberal, he lacks experience and his foreign policy is weak.
While I don't buy that Mccain is a true "maverick" he does make rash decisions, i.e. Sarah Palin. While he entered the race as a moderate, he sold out in order to gain votes from the conservative base.

I went back and forth and back and forth on my decision of who to vote for. I looked at third party candidates and found no one worth voting for--

I did finally pick someone and I feel ok about that choice.

Now I'm just anxious for the results. See I'm not cheering either candidate on tonight, just waiting to hear who will be president. If polls and things are all right, Obama's got it in the bag, however I wouldn't be surprised if things were closer than expected.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Return to the Simple Life

This weekend was Fall Break! Me, my sister Maren and my cousins Hannah and Mallory loaded up my car and drove to Ashton, Idaho to my Aunt Dede and Uncle Jeff's house. We spent the weekend playing with my cousin Jace (age 7) and my cousin Hilary (age 22) When we were younger Hannah, Hilary and I were very close. So this weekend we decided to remember the good times.

We pulled out all the old toys and games. We looked at the "My Littlest Pet Shop" toys and the "Little Kiddles" that we played with when we were little. And then... we got out the old board games. Who knew I'd still jump when I play "Don't Wake Daddy" and that I'd still not have the patience to figure out the real rules to "The Game of Life". We even tried to remember all of those silly girls camp games.

Saturday morning we got up and drove to where my family goes camping every summer. It was a beautiful Autumn day and the weather was suprisingly warm. We got to sit on my favorite rocks, my mermaid rocks. For as long as I can remember whenever we play in the river I always lounge on these rocks, when I was little I would pretend that I was a mermaid. So here are all the girls sitting on the rocks :)

After a few stressful months of work, school and a very active social life, I was in desperate need of a break. This weekend was perfect. We slept by a woodburning fire place. We ate delicious home cooked meals. We played games, visited with family, remembered old inside jokes and started a few new ones. It was nice just to stop thinking about papers, tests, research, residents and sporting events and just look at the Tetons (the view from Dede and Jeff's house is incredible).

It was a nice reality check of what is really important in life and a reminder to stop every now and then and smell the roses, consider the lillies, and/or fly a kite :D

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Love Your Body Day

Today is national Love Your Body Day.

Dove did an international study asking women how they felt about themselves. Only 2% of women thought that they were beautiful. I was shocked. We are bombarded with images of super models and celebrities who have such unhealthy weights and we are told that this, this unatainable image, is beauty.

So today, instead of looking in the mirror and counting the things wrong with you, smile and realize that you are beautiful!

Dove put together a series of ads following their study, you can watch them all at[cp-documentid=7049560]/. This one is my favorite, a nice reminder to not be so self-critical:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I Chose Lois

I have 3 older brothers and as a natural consequence of this my entire life I have been subjected to nicknames. Some of these nicknames I’ve liked and others make my cringe. When I was little they called me KK and katydid, neither of which was too bad. When I was 6 the names went downhill, for a year or so my brothers called me Francis and Wishbone. They often teased by calling me Katherine or worse, Kathy. I hated all of their nicknames and would get very upset when they called me those names.

One night I somehow adopted the nickname of Lois. I have a very vague memory of this having something to do with the TV series Lois and Clark, but I really don’t remember the specifics. Somehow this name caught on and while at first I disliked it, I quickly realized it was much better than the alternatives Francis or Kathy. My brothers adopted the name easily and it soon became my identity. I was Lois. Maybe it’s just coincidence that I am majoring in journalism now, or maybe the Lois Lane reference is what led me to this career path.

When my brothers gave me the nickname they were too young to realize the benefits of it. Later in life all 3 would go on dates with girls named Katie, and 2 of the 3 seriously dated girls name Katie. It was a clear and simple distinction, those girls were Katies and I was Lois.

Over the years my brothers have had fun with the name, well mostly my oldest brother Justin. It began with the simple rhyme “nois, Lois” and adapted into games and funny texts rhyming Lois with everything from tow trucks “Tow-is, Lois” to Enya songs, “Orinoco Flow-is, Lois”.

The nickname which originated from my brothers quickly spread. My cousins and my brothers’ friends all took up the nickname. My sisters-in-law refer to me as Lois now and I fully expect my nephew to call me aunty-Lois when he learns how to talk. Often times people don’t realize that I am both Katie and Lois. My family once had some friends visiting and their grandson, who was only 4 looked at his grandpa, who had just called me Katie and said, “Grandpa, that’s not Katie, that’s Lois!”

My most memorable Lois experience was my senior year while on Orchestra tour in San Francisco. We walked into the hotel and throughout the lobby there were giant posters which said LOIS all over them. At first I thought it must stand for something, maybe some weird environmental group, but then I got into the elevator and was surrounded by elderly women who wore Lois name tags. It was an international Lois conference! Just for people named Lois. The next morning at breakfast I explained to them that Lois was my nickname, they were thrilled that I wasn’t just a Lois by birth, but that I chose to be Lois. One of the Lois’s whispered to me “you know Lois stands for ‘Look Out I’m Sexy.” I still have my Lois pin that they gave me.

Through the years my friends and my little sisters have given me numerous other nicknames including: Kat, Kate, Caffeine, Katarina Strofakova, Red, Kiki, Reeves, Reevers, Lowenstine (an adaptation of Lois), Fat Face, Katherine Hepburn and Kathy (only my sisters can ever call me Kathy). But none of these nicknames means as much to me as Lois does.

As a little sister, being teased is something you learn to put up with, at the time I resented the nicknames, but now being teased by brothers is something I miss most about being away from home. No matter what happens in my life whether I am a wife, a mother, a lawyer, a teacher, or even if I become president of the United States I fully expect the name Lois to come with me, because it is part of who I am.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Top 10 Favorite Movies

My Top 10 FAVORITE Movies:

10- Love Finds Andy Hardy-- Mickey Rooney is hilarious and Judy Garland is such an amazing singer. It's really a charming movie.

9- My Best Friend’s Wedding-- Julia Roberts at her best. The scene in the restaurant where they all sing 'I Say a Little Prayer for You' is simply hysterical.

8- The Mighty Ducks-- All 3 really... those movies are pretty much my childhood, I once watched the 2nd one 7 times in one weekend, I can still quote the entire movie.

7- Breakfast at Tiffany’s-- This movie is classic in every way. Drinking milk out of goblets, window shopping at Tiffany's and of course singing Moon River on the fire escape.

6- To Kill a Mockingbird-- It is one of my favorite books and the movie is really amazing. There is a reason Atticus Finch was the #1 movie hero of all time.

5- Mr. Smith Goes to Washington-- This movie, like the one before it, is a reminder that people are good. That even though corruption is everywhere, people can rise above it. I think this should be required watching for every politician in Washington.

4- Better Off Dead-- "I know it's bacon, but what have you done to it?!" "I want my 2 dollars" "Sorry your mom blew up ricky." Seriously one of the most funny movies ever made.

3- Elizabethtown-- This movie is just different, which is why I love it. It stayed away from the cliche "romantic" gestures that are in most chick flicks and really re-invented the whole idea of love. If someone made me a road trip like the one in this movie, my life would be complete.

2- Dan in Real Life-- Everything about this movie is awkward and yet refreshing at the same time. Steve Carrell is a genius.

1- The Goonies-- No matter what mood I am in I can always watch the Goonies. It is an action/adventure/comedy/romance/drama/extended cyndi lauper music video. Really all I have to say is "Hey You GUYS!"

Honorable Mentions that didn't quite make it: Italian Job, All the President's Men, Anne of Green Gables, Mulan, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Karate Kid, Heavyweights, August Rush, Cinderella Story, Babysitter's Club, Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, Pride and Prejudice, She's the Man, 10 Things I Hate About You, Indiana Jones, and Back to the Future.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Rainy Days

This weekend was amazing! Friday night I went to the Utah State vs. BYU football game, it was so good! I know we lost by 20 points, but what people don't understand is that scoring twice was a miracle. First of all BYU is a really good team and second we're not. The stadium was packed and we were all there to see if Utah State could do what UCLA and Wyoming could not, score... and we were amazed as we scored, TWICE! I'm proud of my Aggies. Let's be honest, I'd still go to games when we don't score because I like to sing the Scottsman (one of our fight songs)and our crowd is just too funny (big sign in the usu section said, "BYU- keeping ugly girls from Utah State since 1888) :D

After the game I went to Olive Garden with friends, my older brother, sister in-law, nephew and my little sister who came up to visit. After dinner my sisters and some friends stayed up late dying hair and watching the Sound of Music (such a great movie). I finally got to bed around 4.

I woke up bright and early, 8 am, Saturday morning so I could hit the last farmer's market of the season. I loaded up on fresh fruits and came home to make breakfast for my friends and family. The rest of the weekend has been spent cooking, cleaning and watching conference with friends and family. It has really been great. There were many conference talks that touched me and I feel reenergized and excited about life. I am so blessed with good friends and family. Even though I got no homework done all weekend, I'm feeling great about life.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Used Bookstore

Every morning I wake up around 8, my days are filled with classes, homework, work, friends, family and research. I usually get to bed around 1 and then I get up the next day and do it all over again. Life has fallen into a very predictable pattern, and I have no real complaints. I love everything I am involved in and am finding plenty of time to hang out with friends. Somedays I feel like the energizer bunny though, the day just keeps going and going and so I go right along with it.

As much as I love everything I'm involved in there is one thing I've really missed the past few months and that is taking time for myself. I get plenty of time to hang out with friends and do fun things, but I feel like I never get to just go off on my own and so yesterday after class I got in my car and decided to check out the used book store I drive past so often. I ended up spending 2 hours in the store looking through old books.

I love used bookstores. Every book has a story, not just the one written within, but also where it came from and how it was used. I love looking through the classic children's books. Inside most of the books you can find a scribbled name and sometimes a phone number for lost books. I always wonder where those children ended up and how their once treasured books landed in the bookstore.

I spent a good 20 minutes looking through old history textbooks. It's funny to see how history has changed. The books I looked at were very politically incorrect. They reffered to Native Americans as the "red people". When talking about dinosaurs or the first people it was very careful to make broad and general statements that would not try to disprove creationism, Darwin wasn't even mentioned in these books.

One of my lifelong dreams is to have a personal library that has shelves filled with used books on every subject and from various time periods. It'd be cool if I had some of those ladders on wheels to get to the top shelves.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

God Grew Tired of Us

Today I had the amazing opportunity to hear John Bul Dau speak. John Bul Dau is one of the Lost Boys of the Sudan. He is the co-author and subject of the book "God Grew Tired of Us" and the film of the same name. His speech was incredible and I just want to write a little bit about what stood out to me. He began by explaining a little bit about his history. He was chased out of his home and he and a large group of boys ages 8-15 stuck together as they endured horrific trials.

He explained that one day they reached a river that was filled with crocodiles. They spent a few days trying to build a rope swing, but before they could figure it out a militia came and opened fire on them. Boys jumped into the water. Some drown because they couldn't swim, some were shot, some were eaten by crocodiles and a lucky few made it across. John was one of the lucky few. They survived by eating anything they could find and had to drink urine to stay alive. John explained that he had been saved by the Almighty God and by his perserverance. He told us, "you must never give up." He could have given up so many times, but he never quit. He compared his commitment to keep going through everything to the students. He told us not to give up studying. It's hard to compare studying for a test to swimming across a river with crocodiles, but he managed to do it.

John was fortunate and was brought to America. He told some funny stories about seeing snow for the first time and going to a grocery store and seeing whole aisles of dog and cat food, he couldn't imagine a country having enough wealth that they were able to feed their animals like that. That is something that I have definitely taken advantage of in the past. As John compared his life now to what it once was he explained that success comes with struggle, they go hand in hand.

At the end of his speech he opened it up to questions and people asked him about the current situation in the Darfur. He explained that the real problem in the Darfur is that they don't have schools and hospitals, they don't have clean water. When you have nothing you fight, if they had hospitals and schools that would be destroyed by fighting they would stop. John then explained his goal. He talked about the earmarks in congress that everyone keeps complaining about. He said, 300 million dollars to the state of New York will make little difference to the people in New York. 300 million dollars in the Sudan could change lives. He wants to build up the Sudan and once peoples' needs are met they will stop fighting.

Overall I was incredibly impressed with John Bul Dau. He was very inspirational as he encouraged to keep going, to never stop fighting. It's easy to get discouraged, but as long as we stick to it, we can overcome all obstacles.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

political commercials

I'm a teachers assistant in a media class. In this class the students learn how to critically analyze the media. As part of their reading this week they had to look at a site that has political ads for presidential candidates dating back to the 1952 election. I was looking at them and got totally sucked in, they are hilarious.

Click to Watch Political Commercials

The best are the old ones with jingles, Eisenhour and Kennedy's are my favorites. Also the daisy ad, the KKK ad, and some of the more controversial ones in the 70s are fun too. Anyway thought you all might enjoy a look at how politics have changed in the past 56 years. In my opinion, I wish we'd go back to the old school cartoons with songs, I feel like that's much better than the stupid innacurate attack ads we get nowadays.

Monday, September 22, 2008

a blog of my own.... finally

Ok so many have complained that my blog is lame, truth is I'm not sure which blog they've been looking at, because in my journalism career at Utah State I have had to create 4 different blogs each with different requirements. So now that I'm out of those classes, I've decided to adapt one of my class blogs into a real blog... although I'm still not sure what a real blog is. Oh well maybe I'll figure it out.

Today I was thinking about the tender mercies in life, and I've found that since becoming a poor college student it is increasingly easier for me to find happiness in the little stuff. Take tonight for instance, my friend made me some homemade chicken noodle soup. It made my whole day. It was delicious and a total relief not to have to worry about cooking after a very long day. I feel like often it is easy to focus on the negatives in life, but today I'd like to recognize the good, so here is a random list of things that have made my days this semester:

-watching the bats at 2nd dam
-floating the canal
-front porch sittin'
-guitar nights
-laying on the front lawn
-aggie ice cream
-random visits from friends at 2 am... :)
-movie quote texts
-the leaves in sardine canyon
-shortened readings
-intelligent political conversations
-having my very own CLEAN bedroom
-the posse
-hastings dvd sales
-free laundry cards
-the happy birthday kyler song
-the SNL skit with Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton
-teaching class
-planning trips to wisconsin, canada and hawaii (all paid for by USU!)
-going to a class taught by Justice Scalia, of the Supreme Court
-the Logan Temple
-going for drives in Logan
-talking on the phone for hours
-clean socks
-the daily show
-the combo meal
-poetry and a beverage (pobev)
-James Taylor songs
-playing my cello
-new friends
-old friends
-tres leches
-m&ms on sale
-Koch Scholars dinners
-pasta bar
-weekends home
-the monk dance

The list could go on and on, I am really so blessed. Pretty much I love life :) I am super busy, but I feel like even with all my responsibilities I've found a nice balance in life. Anyway that's all for this blog attempt, maybe I'll post again soon.

Friday, April 18, 2008

just pick a candidate


How many times must we go back and forth in this seemingly never ending primaries season? I'll admit when the primaries first started I was glued to CNN. I stayed up after each caucus to watch the results come in, but once the GOP dropped down to McCain and Huckabee I became increasingly disinterested in the race. McCain was a shoe-in so that race was over. Since the Democrats have dropped down to Obama and Hilary I figured it would be a matter of days before they just picked a candidate and started campaigning against McCain. But alas, the race goes on.

Not picking a candidate at this point in the race is probably the stupidest thing the Democrats could possibly do. McCain is building party support while Hillary and Obama are squabbling and growing more and more dislikable by the day.

The Democrats are really just giving the Republicans more time to build a case against Hillary and Obama. Granted they already have plenty of dirt on Hillary, but the extra time to dig up stuff on Obama is surely appreciated.

The Democrats are going to have a harder time finding "dirt" on McCain. While he is not the most likable of men, he is a war hero. There is a certain respect that comes with that. Attacking a man who spent years as a prisoner of war is just petty and will make the Dems look bad.

If Hillary or Obama truly cared about the party they'd drop out and let the other start campaigning. The Democrats seem to assume that George Bush's failure in office equates to an automatic win for the Democrats, but that's just not the case. I think McCain has a fighting chance if he can pick a strong VP and can pick up some of the more moderate voters.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

textbook woes

As the end of the semester approaches I am becoming increasingly excited for the minute I get to sell back my textbooks and walk away with a large wad of cash.

I spent $350 on textbooks this semester, a record for me. The most upsetting part of this is that I only ended up using 2 of the books, the rest were really unnecessary.

As I go to sell back the books I am braced for that awful moment when they'll tell me my poli-sci class won't be taught again next semester so that textbook is worth nada. Or my personal favorite "a new edition has been realeased so you get nothing!"

As a 'starving college student' money is a precious commodity, and when I am denied money because someone decided to take a new picture for page 256 it upsets me.

This year the Utah legislature voted to get rid of the tax on textbooks, I am extremely grateful for their decision and am excited to save a few buck next semester.

For now I just need to decide what to do with the cash I'll be getting from my textbook sales... let's be honest, it'll probably go with my tax return and be blown on one of the fabulous trips i'm planning to take this summer.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

my hero

There are few people whom I would call genuinely accomplished. I live in a generation of people who are complacent with mediocrity. There is one woman I know who never ceases to amaze me. My great great aunt Adina.

Adina is 100 years old. She was recently married, this is her 4th husband, she has outlived the other three. Last summer she had her drivers license renewed for 5 years with no restrictions.

She goes ballroom dancing twice a week. She goes to the old folks home to dance and entertain them. Many of the people in the home are 20-30 years younger than she.

She always dresses in the brightest colored clothing, with great turquoise jewelry, her hair always in place.

Adina has taught me the importance of being a lady. She has written a book on the topic.

Adina is an amazing woman, and what amazes me most is her great love for her family.

I hope that I take not only her longevity genes, but also her great passion for life.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Aggies like Facebook, especially its groups

Aggies like Facebook, especially its groups

By Katie Reeves

Sometimes I Accidentally Check Myself Out in the Eccles Center Windows. Two hundred twenty-three Utah State students have admitted to this by joining the Facebook group of the same name. This group, like many other Facebook groups, helps to unite USU students and build a more cohesive campus.

There are nearly 9,000 people in the Utah State network on Facebook. These people include students, alumni and even a few professors. While Facebook is primarily used as a social networking site, to help people keep in touch with friends, many Utah State students use Facebook to keep up with classes.

Aldo Gomera said, "I was doing a marketing research for an e-commerce project and I selected random people from my friends list to send them a survey."

Many students use Facebook to ask classmates about upcoming assignments and tests. Some classes even create groups to help the class communicate with each other. Facebook can be a great way to contact members of a study group or classmates, if you don't have e-mail addresses or phone numbers.

One of the best aspects of Facebook is the groups. There are hundreds of Utah State and Logan based groups. There are groups supporting different sports teams. There are six groups alone dedicated to JayCee Carroll and several more dedicated to the men's basketball team.

There are groups for clubs, like HURD and Student Traditions Arts and Activities Board (S.T.A.B.) These groups use Facebook to advertise events. It only takes a few minutes to create a Facebook event, and it is really easy to invite hundreds of people to that event. These events help remind people of upcoming parties, games, and other activities on campus.

There are also groups based on where you live. There are Facebook groups for every on-campus housing area and nearly every off-campus apartment complex as well. This allows people to get to know their neighbors better and helps build the community.

There are Facebook groups for nearly every major on campus. There are also groups which connect students from different schools who are studying the same subjects. This can be really helpful for students who need some extra help or who just love talking about their major.

Some groups are dedicated to keeping the traditions at USU alive. There is a True Aggies group and a group called Howler Power, which has helped keep the new finals week howl tradition alive.

Some of the USU Facebook groups unite students in causes. One group, "I think the Merril-Cazier Library should have 2 entrances!!!" is a place where students can complain about having to walk all the way around the library just to get in.

While some people see Facebook as a place to goof off and waste time online, others see it for its possibilities. Hannah Abbott said, "I think it's extremely useful. It keeps us updated on what's going on around us, and helps us feel more connected to the student body as a whole."

Whether you use Facebook as a way to relieve stress and catch up with friends, or if you use it to discuss a team project, it is useful tool for college students.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Dark Continent

I have been thinking about my education a lot lately. While I feel my pre-college education was excellent in most aspects, there is one area in particular that I feel was left out.


This “dark continent” was almost entirely left out from my elementary education. By the time I got to junior high, I had learned in school that Africa was a continent. I knew that black people lived there. I had heard the terms starving children, AIDS and third-world but I didn’t really understand what those meant. I thought that Africans were not civilized and lived in huts. I had learned a little bit about ancient Egypt and The Lion King taught me what types of animals lived there.

Through junior high I didn’t receive much more information. In 9th grade geography I learned the names of all of the countries in Africa.

High school was different. I was a member of the debate team and as we debated UN Peacekeeping Operations I learned about Rwanda and about the genocide in the Darfur. I had learned about the Holocaust at least eight times in my education, but I had never learned about the genocide in Rwanda that occurred when I was in elementary school. Additionally, I had no idea there was an ongoing genocide in Sudan.

It was through my own personal research that I learned about these tragedies.

My senior year, my English teacher required that we read Cry, The Beloved Country. This novel by Alan Paton was about poverty and crime and South Africa. The novel really opened my eyes to a situation I had never really heard about. I knew who Nelson Mandella was, I knew what the word apartheid meant, but I really had no concept of what happened there.

I think it is deplorable that my education essentially left Africa out. I studied World War II nearly every year beginning in 5th grade. I read Anne Frank’s Diary several times for various classes. I can tell you all about Auschwitz, Nazis, and D-Day. But it wasn’t until this year that I could really tell you about the estimated 800,000 Tutsi people who were slaughtered in just three months in Rwanda.

That’s not to say that I don’t think we should study the Holocaust. I think it is one of the most important events in 20th century history. However, I do think we need to teach it with a purpose. We said we would never again allow genocide after the Holocaust, but we continue to see genocide and acts of genocide in places like the Darfur.

My big question is why? Why do we leave Africa in the “dark”? One of my goals is to help increase education about Africa. I truly believe that if people learned about Africa from early ages and if we talked about it on the same level we talk about other world conflicts, then maybe we would see change. We study the past and often think “I wish I could help” or “If I was there, I would have helped”. Well there is a lot to be done now; there is still a lot of conflict in the world.

We shouldn’t have to wait for a celebrity to wear a t-shirt before we hear about a crisis in Africa.

Friday, February 1, 2008

presidential candidates

Well, it's that time again. The time for great American late night talk shows to focus all their attention on the few people who are left vying for the spot as Mr. or Mrs. President.

With the writers strike still underway the talk show hosts are milking the campaigns for all they are worth. Leno had John McCain on last night with surprise guest Rudy Giuliani. Colbert and Stewart are picking out the candidates "best lines" from the debates and mocking them to death.

Meanwhile Letterman sticks to his classic top ten list with guests like Barack Obama "promising to appoint Mitt Romney Secretary of Lookin' Good."

While the writer-less comedians are enjoying the ridiculousness of politics, one of these mocked individuals is going to become the President of the U.S.

I consider myself a person who is well informed and who has sound political opinions, and yet I am having a very difficult time finding a candidate worth giving my vote. The Democrats are down to just two candidates and while the GOP has a few more, there are only two front-runners.

So let's look at our options. In the left's corner we've got Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Obama is young and brings a fresh look at politics. Clinton repeatedly tells us she has 30 years experience. Unfortunately, it is in their "strengths" that I find their weaknesses.

Obama is young and has very little experience. His senate record shows that he votes straight party. I have no idea what he'll do as President. His track record is too short to get a feel for what his direction would be. He's a self admitted drug user and while many brush this off, I think it is worth noting.

Clinton does have a great deal of experience, but it's not all good experiences. As first lady in the 9o's, Clinton was given control over health care reform. Her plan was rejected by the American people and by congress. I find it humorous that health care is now such a big part of her platform. Of course the GOP wants Hillary to get the democratic nomination, they have stockpiles of scandals to pull up. They are keeping it quiet now, but as soon as she gets the nomination all hell will break loose.

On the Republican side I don't know if there is a better option. Mitt Romney answers nearly every question with the response that he would "consult" others and decide on the best action from there. While this sounds great, a president willing to consult others, I'd like to know who he is planning to consult. Once I have a list and can look at their political ideologies, then I might have an idea of where Romney stand on the issues, until then who knows what we'll get. With his history of flip-flopping it's really hard to tell.

John McCain has a long and consistent history. While I disagree with him on many of his policies, I like that I know what he'll do in office, which is more than I can say for other candidates. The biggest concern with McCain though, is his age. If he wins the presidency he will be 72 when he reached office. While many are concerned with him dying or going senile, my bigger concern is that he won't focus on issues relevant to my generation.

Most likely, one of these four candidates will become the President of the United States. It's hard to believe that we are this far in the process and these are the options with which we are left. I guess when it comes to my vote, eenie-meenie-minie-moe will be the best option.