Utah State University: A True Story

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Little wonder how I ended up attending Utah State University. Because if you had asked the 18 year-old me, she'd have had an entirely different version of where her storybook life was headed. And while I may/ may not be a bona fide "True Aggie," my USU experience was genuine in other regards.

USU is where I had my first asked-out-by-a-guy date.
(And where I subsequently rearranged my walking routine so that I could pass him on campus every Tuesday and Thursday.)

USU is where I learned how to set up my first email account.

USU is where I learned to successfully stalk my middle-aged history professor and fantasize over his embroidered cuff monikers.

USU is where I discovered Seinfeld (five years after it was off the air).
USU is where I discovered how to master transport of groceries on a bicycle.

USU is where I formed opinions broader than my own and attended a lesbian poetry reading.

USU is where I formed the Gerontology Student Association.

USU is where I listened to a modern day prophet.
USU is where I listened to music so beautiful it made me cry.

USU is where I decided to serve a mission.
And where I later discovered He had other plans for me.

USU is where I gave up spring break because I adored my ladies so much.
USU is where I gave up chocolate for an entire year.

USU is where my parents got their degrees.
USU is where I moved five times in one year.

USU is where I worked out problems digging in the earth.
USU is where I discovered caramel Italian sodas.
USU is where I sewed pioneer clothing and volunteered on a 1910 historical farm.

USU is where I almost got arrested.
USU is where I dreamed of becoming a world renowned poet.
USU was where so much of my story began.

It was with an optimism reserved for the young and fairly naive. (Recalled most vividly by Pollyanna journal entries.) It was epic highs and crushing lows.

I remember being ready to graduate young and get married at the sensible age of 25. I remember thinking it was a place I never wanted to leave.

I didn't.
And I did.

In a way,
this was only a chapter...
with the rest of the story still being written.

Whoa, Slow Down

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Did someone press the fast forward button on March?

Either way, this little ditty is part of my seasonal transition.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

I get antsy easy.
My grandma is always saying, No grass grows under your feet.
Maybe I'm just irresponsible and it's a phase I'll eventually grow out of.

I'm undertaking something that keeps beckoning to my soul.

Yesterday, I had a lengthy (2.5 hr) interview. Yeah, it pretty much sucked.

Today, I started answering questions to a required addendum.
2. How do you feel about the use of pesticides and/or herbicides? Please explain.
Studies have repeatedly shown that using such substances contributes to soil depletion, are harmful to the environment, contribute to poor health among low income workers, alter pollinator ecosystems, and negatively impact crop palatableness. My gardening experience leads me to believe that there are enough alternatives to pesticide and herbicide application that those methods should be implemented whenever possible, thus promoting sustainable agriculture throughout the world.
3. Are you a vegetarian? Are you willing to work on projects related to raising and slaughtering animals?
I am not a vegetarian, although I have given up red meat altogether. Understanding the cycle from pasture to plate is a fascinating and often misunderstood process and I would be happy to work on these types of projects. (Maybe I should have just had them read this.)
4. Would you be interested in receiving training for, and working in, beekeeping programs? If yes, have you ever been stung? What was the reaction?
Absolutely! (Too strong?)
I had the opportunity to receive an intensive training through my Master Gardner extension program, but I was unable to attend and have been intrigued about beekeeping in both rural and urban areas ever since. I have been stung once, while trimming yew hedges, and only had a sore red swelling for a couple days. (Applying a mud pack seemed to alleviate my symptoms.)

So begins phase three of a very looong process.

Ps. Did I mention I'm scared as s*%t?


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How long halt ye between two opinions?

1 Kings 18:21

Writing It Down

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It could be the return of sunshine.
Hel-lo, lover!

Or perhaps I'm still basking in the glow of a fantastic weekend.
(Wound up entering a bajillion drawings at the Travel & Adventure show.)

Maybe I'm simply anticipating this coming four day weekend.
(Family. Isn't it about taking time off when they come out to visit you?)

Or, it could be I'm still a little giddy about seeing my secret (shhh, don't tell)
crush on my morning commute.
(And we even had a decent, albeit short, conversation. Despite one person sitting, the other standing, and unspoken haven't-had-my-morning-coffee-yet public transportation rules.)

But if I dig deeper, I think this happiness has a little something to do with taking time to Write. It. Down.

It's only been a week.
And I only do it at night.
But I'm doing it.
And honestly, gratitude in writing changes things.
It just does.
(Glad I had the foresight to listen, and heed, a dear friend's advice.)

Winter No More

Friday, March 5, 2010

While it isn't officially spring yet, my heart thrilled to see the first signs of budding forsythia this afternoon. It caught me a little off guard. Because just like that, the seasons change. It reminded me of an old newspaper clipping pasted in my grandmother's scrapbook; when, as a second grader, I was asked what spring meant to me. My response was, and still is, "Spring is the beginning of new life."

Ruminations on Institute.

Monday, March 1, 2010

This past week I had a profound epiphany. It was one of those moments where the heavens parted and I was left stunned. Really. I'd like to think that my spirit has been vaguely aware of the intricacies behind this moment, but I'm glad I was there, last Tuesday night, left to soak in the indelible meaning of that moment. While I tried to maintain composure, tears were inevitable, as the instructor's question gashed open a wound that I thought had healed.

You see, we've been studying the talks of Elder and Sister Holland. Enough said, right? Well I had been anticipating our discussion based off this talk that had once been my adolescence staple. (No I wasn't in the Marriott Center when the talk was originally delivered, as was the instructor giving the lesson, but I do recall reading it for the first time.) And while
the conversation could have gone in a multitude of directions it didn't. It was focused and intense. Touching on individual experiences and our collective convictions. Which, to be honest, I've struggled with the last couple years.

Two pieces that stuck out to me:

1. Choosing to live in the confines of an abstinent life while still being a sexual being is a reality. Sometimes a bleak reality that is rarely spoken of. (Note: Nodding heads affirmed that I, and the woman who shared this truth, were not the only ones that struggle with this reality. Not by a long shot.)

2. We are actively expressing our procreative powers everyday, whether we are in a covenant relationship, or whether we are safeguarding this power for a future expression.

Did you get that? Everyday. Wow. It's not just about repression. It's about incredible control. The self-control that in this life will ultimately lead to a continued expression in another realm. This holds a lot of water for me. Yes, there have been occasions when I could have walked away from my personal obligations. Left my covenants at the door and simply given in. It may have been easier. I'll never know for certain. And however I may regret the circumstances surrounding those situations, I have never regretted staying firm to what I believe is the crux of this Law.

But such a total, virtually unbreakable union, such an unyielding commitment between a man and a woman, can only come with the proximity and permanence afforded in a marriage covenant, with the union of all that they possess--their very hearts and minds, all their days and all their dreams. They work together, they cry together, they enjoy Brahms and Beethoven and breakfast together, they sacrifice and save and live together for all the abundance that such a totally intimate life provides such a couple. And the external symbol of that union, the physical manifestation of what is a far deeper spiritual and metaphysical bonding, is the physical blending that is part of--indeed, a most beautiful and gratifying expression of--that larger, more complete union of eternal purpose and promise.

This, in part, guides my decision to live a chaste life. I find solace knowing that the law of chastity, the law I chose to abide, is a deeper reflection of total union. A reflection that is deeply personal and in many ways comforting.

Your Comments

Make blogging diverting.
But how to respond?

Do I comment on my own blog in response? (And if I do, do gentle readers even check back or follow the thread? Not that I expect you to.)

What about sending an email as a follow-up?

Since afternoon tea with each commenter is hardly an option, I'm at a loss as to what the proper etiquette is. What do you do?

10 Things I L-O-V-E March

1. Environmental Film Festival.

2. Live Theater.

3. Bagpipes.

4. When Siblings Come to Town.

(Who just so happens to bear an uncanny resemblance to Evan Lysacek.)

5. USBG Production Facility tour.

6. Green.

7. Women's History.

8. Passover.
9. Relief Society Birthday.

10. Persephone's Return.

(Or what some call Spring!)

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