Wednesday, December 8, 2010

thinking about food

When considering lunch and other food options, I plan on buying items that are mobile or convenient. I've had to do that in college and during the last couple transfers of my mission. In total, that has consisted of about seven or eight  years of my life. Nowadays I plan my lunches based on whether or not they're healthy and can fit in my backpack. And cheap.

I wonder what kinds of foods I'll eat when I am done with school. I'll go to work and continue with the tradition of packing a lunch. But some day I will stay at home and be a mom, in which case I can consider lots of other food options.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Sometimes I get into impromptu lectures with friends. I rarely enter the discussion with any particular point I want to make. As the discussion continues on, I see how incidentally my thoughts lead up to a main point rather well. Here is how my thought pattern evolved in this particular instance.

The other day I was talking to a friend of mine about a guy who is interested in dating her but she can't decide if she wants to date him. However, she spends quite a bit of time with him. I wondered, "If this girl were crazy busy and had no spare time to see this guy, would she still make time to see him? If it meant sacrificing in other activities in her life (like sleep) would she still do it to spend time with him?" At this point it really isn't a sacrifice for her to see him.

She thought about it for a minute and I suggested it was probably more of a rhetorical question anyway.

She has dated this guy once before and decided she wasn't into him the first time. I said, "I know I can't make this judgment call and you're clearly struggling to make it yourself, but it seems like you made your mind up about him the first time around when you weren't lonely that you just weren't interested in him and now that you're lonely it is easy to go back to him."

I then shared a similar story about a guy I went on a few dates with in February. After a few dates I knew I didn't want to date him. I made the decision when I wasn't lonely not to date him. But then I found myself lonely a few months later and thought, "maybe I should give him a second chance" but quickly stopped myself from pursuing that thought because I would have been making the decision when I was lonely.

Then something I learned from Dr. Israelson this semester popped into my head. He said, "Never make decisions when you are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.HALT is the acronym." The idea is that you are letting short-term, temporary conditions influence long-term outcomes.I would add that the only decision you should make when under these conditions is to either go eat, cool down, find a group of friends, or sleep.

In this instance, I asked my friend if loneliness was really the right reason to be spending so much time with the guy. Probably not.

I could have never planned out such a discussion leading up to a widely-applicable point like HALT.  

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The changing face of education

In my religion class last night, a fellow student made an announcement: "Hey, I am passing around a signup sheet for you to put your email if you want to collaborate through google docs about the exam 1 review sheet."

My teacher had no idea what the student had just said. "Is that English?" he asked. "Oh, its technologese."

Twenty years ago, the internet was not the primary resource for research in higher education. Maybe among faculty, but students typically did their research by searching physical bookshelves in libraries.

Today, students search electronic bookshelves that are customized to the particular search they are performing, whether that be search engines or databases.

Email was not the primary form of communication among students and professors. Today, we dont know how we could ever communicate with a professor without email. Office ours are hard for students to attend given today's over-crammed, fast-pace culture. Students are no longer only full-time students. They are full-time students and full-time workers or parents. Maybe even all three.

Study groups were the way to go when preparing for exams. While this is still the predominent form of group exam preparation, a new method is emerging and that is google docs.

Said student in my religion class created a google doc and we can all access it. He typed up all the questions with enough space in between for all of us to type everything we know about each question. This allows for a much more comprehensive smattering of information. If you were having pen difficulties during one topic and missed taking notes, and the student to your left doesnt have the notes because they were asleep, you're not out of luck. go to the google doc and see what everyone else had to say.

I am sure there are many more ways in which higher education has changed over the past few years, especially with the incorporation of new technologies. However, this is all I can and choose to think of right now.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Few Theories on Happy Valley

I was talking to a friend the other day about dating and marriage in Provo. Here are a few highlights.

From most of the students I've interacted with in the time I've been at BYU, we all agree. There really aren't that many people getting married all the time.

Perhaps the reason for this "everyone gets married" perception is that there are roughly 32,000 students at BYU (probably double the amount at most of the other universities in Utah) and if you factor in UVU and BYU students living among each other, that figure jumps to about 65,000. Then there are all the singles living in Provo/Orem who are not enrolled in school. The number just keeps getting bigger.

Dont you think there might be more people getting married in Provo because the population of young, single people is much larger than other cities? I'm willing to bet the proportion, compared to other college towns, are a little more equal than people want to admit. In short, maybe simple population is a variable people choose to overlook.

On a typical night in Provo, not a lot of us are out on dates. We're all hanging out, doing homework or working. Or sleeping. BYU is academically very demanding and a lot of us have to do homework on the weekends to stay afloat, sacrificing part of our social lives. A lot of BYU students are content to hang out with roommates or friends instead of going on dates. The social life at BYU can be absolutely great.

My friend pointed out the problem is that we're too content with hanging out, doing homework, or anything else that isn't dating. Why would one really want to go out on dates (and deal with the stress of dating) when the social life is great? When homework is less stressful than dating? When you've gotten no sleep all week and only care about crashing?

It seems like people  who get together at BYU do so as an afterthought--kind of like they just backed into it one day on accident. Some of us arent deliberately meeting people and dating.  We have a group project for a class and by the end of the semester we ask a girl out in our group cause we got to know her through the project. We meet people accidentally through class, work, ward, friends, etc.

Most BYU students will agree that marriage is important to them. But is it a high priority right now? Not for a lot of us. Maybe when we move out of Provo into cities where there isn't as good of a social life (or distractions of work and homework), we'll feel getting married is more of a priority and put forth the effort. Or maybe some day we'll just wake up and say "ok I'm ready to get serious about this dating stuff."

But for now, church leaders and others tell us we need to get married but we have a lot of reasons why we're content to just not date and move in that direction. 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My first day as a GA Reporter

This semester I will be writing for the Daily Universe as part of my Comms 321 lab experience. Later today I will be assigned to a beat. Yesterday, we were advised that we would have a better chance of getting on a particular desk (metro, campus, sports, arts and entertainment) if we volunteered to cover a story before being assigned to a beat. Thus, yesterday and today I am a general assignment reporter by my own choice. I volunteered on the Metro desk because thats the desk I really want to write for. It would give me a chance to interact in the community as a regular reporter, rather than covering campus news.

One of my initial thoughts as I began thinking about the story assigned to me (Obama and Mormon approval ratings) was, "Well, I have no contacts because I'm not assigned to a specific beat." Already I am feeling the necessity of contacts and connections with people in the beat. I see how relationship building will be essential. 

I had no idea where to go with my story. There was a Gallup poll recently released about Obama's approval rating among the major religions in the country, and Mormons had the lowest rating, at 24% approval. I asked my editor what exactly I should do. She said to get the reaction of some students. Its a reaction piece. It will be 12-15 inches. I haven't even been oriented on the software we use to format our stories, so I'm relatively clueless on how long 12-15 inches is. My editor said it is about a half page single spaced. Roughly.

One of the DU advisors talked about dressing professionally for interviews. She said they have had people call into the DU and complain about how sloppy the reporters were when they showed up for an interview. Independently, earlier yesterday I felt that if I am going to be approaching people for the paper, I should look slightly more professional then the average college student. So I tried to dress a little more nice today for my interviews. 

I dont feel official yet. I'll get my press pass later today (hopefully) and then I will feel better. Anyone can just walk up to you and say "Hi I'm a reporter for ______ paper. Tell me what I want to know" and it just seems like your source just has to trust you. And I mean, granted, fabricating a press pass probably wouldn't be so hard. But I would just like one to feel more legit. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

savor life

When you get to be my age and single, you feel like life is going in slow motion at times.

It gives you a better chance to be "seasoned" when you do get married.  the slow motion of it allows you to savor every moment of your single life. also, to live it up. make the most out of being single. love it. savor it.

what will you do to season yourself?

how will you savor your single years?

develop hobbies? create memories? get an education?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

studying for finals at the library w10: observations by Katie (ok the title for this post isnt a katie original but it fit.)

it is so wonderful that school libraries stay open far longer than typical city public libraries (9pm). the HBLL stays open till 2am during finals week. it is good for people like me who do better studying late at night and need a quiet environment void of distractions.

going to the library is good because it eliminates nearly all possible distractions, such as:
1. noise. going to the deep recesses of the library provides an environment where there is practically no noise at all. no people traffic to grab your attention.
2. cell phone. no reception down at the bottom of the library.
3. food. its far more inconvenient to get food at the library. it takes you at least 10 minutes and two flights of stairs to get out of the 1st floor of the library. so you arent going to leave unless you are really really hungry. but as i learned very recently, you can have food in parts of the library. so you can create that distraction for yourself if you want.
4. usually you can go to the library and not be distracted by friends, family, or roommates. however, i recognize the fact that the longer you attend BYU, the more likely you are to run into someone you know at the library. potential distraction.
5. slight fatigue. the chairs are usually hard enough to prevent you from getting comfy, which promotes sleepiness.

perhaps the only distraction i can think of facing is that of getting mentally or physically fatigued. thats about the time i usually lose focus, give up and leave. one time i experienced the distraction of staring at the books on the shelves nearby. that didnt last very long though.

do not try to study anywhere on the third floor, unless you thrive on a moderately high noise level. people... i know you can have food in the no shh zone. but if you are in one of the recesses of the library where silence is expected, will you please please please not ruffle wrappers creating unnecessary noise? at least go make your noise on the third floor.

most people take off their shoes while studying. hey, why not be comfortable while there? a few times i've seen people who lie on the ground under/next to the desk they are studying at. not sleeping. just studying. it gets uncomfortable sitting in a hard chair for so long, so i dont blame them.

my first night of studying in the hbll, i observed occasionally (and by occasionally i mean once every two hours) a student just randomly perusing the aisle where i was studying (note: no reason for traffic where i was). i wondered, "why is this random student walking over here. they have no reason to be. either you're walking this aisle to get to a desk, or to leave a desk and this student is doing neither."

my second night gave me enlightenment on the matter. i had been studying for about two hours and noticed the guy in front of me studying calculus was MIA but all his stuff was still there. i concluded he must have gone for a walk. i figured, i've been sitting for awhile. a walk will be nice. i will get a little mental break and boost blood flow. so i found myself wandering the perimeter of half of the first floor and wandering in aisles that dont warrant frequent traffic (just to get more distance in my walk). suddenly it hit me why i would see random students walking past me every now and then: they were walking in my section of the perimeter, just as i had been walking another section of the perimeter.

i've been spending time at the library in 3 hour blocks. maybe i'll bump it up to more? occasionally when i plant myself down at a desk, i'll observe the people sitting in the proximity (usually no more than two people). I feel kinda guilty when i arrive at the desk after them and leave before them. the guilt increases when i get there after them, leave before them, and they are studying calculus. my heart really goes out to you mr calculus man.

fire alarm went off fri night at 9pm. i'm down on the first floor of the hbll. in the very far south west corner. the exit is on the 3rd floor north section. the alarm sounded. i had a moment of conflict because everything you ever learned about responding to a fire drill was to simply get up and leave your stuff behind. but, all my notes for all my classes to prepare for all my finals were spread out on the desk. conflict: should i do what i've been taught and risk losing all my notes to prepare for finals? or take an additional minute to grab my stuff?

my rationale: it was going to take me at least 5 minutes just to get to the library exit. if it was a really bad emergency, what is one more minute going to make? either i'm toast or i'm not. so i grabbed my stuff. good thing, because i got out of the library with my life and my notes, and no harm. never found out why the entire library had to be evacuated.people waited a half hour to get back into the library.

ding dong: it is now 10:45. the circulation desk will be closing at 11 pm. if you have any materials you need to check out, please make your way to the circulation desk. (something to that effect). anyone else jump out of their seats when this bell rings? so silentI experienced the message one hears as the library is about to close on sat night. Good thing i didnt plan on studying past midnight tonight. in order to encourage you to "exit the building immediately" they blast annoying music throughout the library. tonight it was the blue man song. actually, people were laughing about the song. and exiting the library very quickly.

some big fat guy walking into the no shhh zone with headphones singing, "well.... my girls in... the next room..." completely unaware of how quiet it actually is. me and two other students at computers all started laughing. so great. i love it when you and another person (or people) can laugh at something without speaking a word to each other.

interesting how i only set foot in the library last semester about three times (two for a group meeting and once for work purposes...never to study). i avoided the library in previous semesters. I have a feeling i will be spending  a lot more time in the library this summer. it will be my home away from home. 

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Interesting things I found

I have made it a common event to post interesting links onto Brandon's facebook wall. Today, I have found a lot of interesting stuff. There is too much to simply post in a status update, and I know better than to flood the news feed with 12 status updates containing all this stuff in individual entries. These thoughts prompted me to decide I should make better use of my blog. tons of articles written by we the people of provo an interesting attack on ( no longer exists) buy at your local Walmart. Eat bread, help the environment this guy is almost as hard as Chuck Norris Speaking of Chuck Norris... I will check this place out at some point. Chocolate. Need I say more? If you're bored here in Utah more stuff to do if you're bored in Utah I dont think I can adequately explain why I think this site is interesting

I've begun running again. I think I started about three weeks ago. The other day I ran 2.3 miles. I typically run 3-4 times a week, depending on various conditions (reminds me of Stats 221 "Check for conditions: SRS? Normal Distribution?") I ought to write a blog on how Stats 221 changed my life (possibly for worse).

Referencing that link earlier in this post about running rules, I thought I'd quote one part that was particularly interesting to me:

My dog, a shepherd mix named Cooper, doesn't care where we are or what time of day it is, or even what the weather is like. He doesn't know what his resting heart rate is and rarely bothers to wear a watch. He just loves to run. And every time he does, his face and his body telegraph one simple message: This. Is. AWESOME. I'm runningrunningrunningrunning!

The "Run Like a Dog" Workout (Including Warmup and Cooldown) Walk 8 seconds. Trot 4 seconds. Stop. Sniff. Sprint 7 seconds. Freeze. Walk 5 seconds in any direction but forward. Stare 9 seconds. Lunge at rabbit. Double back, walk 3 seconds. Urinate. Repeat six times. Collapse on rug.
So there you have it. It could work. It incorporates variable speeds. Interesting enough that I dont think I could get bored so quickly.Speaking of getting bored while running...a few weeks ago I decided to run on my parents treadmill. Boring: the scenery didnt change. The couch was right there and I was feeling especially fatigued after a 7.1mph brisk jog lasting 3:36 minutes. You try running when you're super tired and the couch is calling to you, taunting you.
This summer I plan on running a 10k (Provo City Freedom 10k in July) and possibly a half marathon.
Thanks for reading! Good night and good luck!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Out of the box thinking, and other stuff.

The out-of-the-box idea

here's an idea. think of god as a corporation, rather than an individual. there can be one "god corporation" in a specified geographic area (however large you want to define it). Say that "god corporation" has all the answers to everything and knows everything. And say "god corporation" is made up of hundreds of individuals who specialize in knowing about certain things. Each individual might not exclusively know all the answers to everything, but they might know all the answers about one subject.

i guess i was just sitting pondering while studying statistics and thinking it just seems so impossible for one being to know literally everything. but i'll be the first to admit that my reasoning can be rather flawed. I don't claim to have all the information there exists to really make a valid assumption. just a thought.

Moving onto my next subject of pondering....

Theory 1
it seems people are most susceptible to raging hormones and emotions from their early teens all the way to approximately the age of 23. Some a little younger, some a little older. it seems like during those years is when a person has the greatest chance of forming these reactions into habits of behavior.

Theory 2
there are certain growth experiences a person can have during the latter part of these years that can refine the person's natural impulses to respond with high and damaging emotions. These experiences can include serving a mission, serving in the military, or going to prison. The person consciously works to suppress the outward response to those urges. In doing this constantly over a long period during these formative years, a person can potentially prevent themselves from creating a habit of high emotional behavior.

Let it be known that I am not suggesting:
  • a person will automatically be refined of these potential characteristics if they go through some sort of growth experience as previously mentioned.
  • a person cannot refine their character through means other than those mentioned.
What I am suggesting, as merely a hypothesis, is that maybe those growing experiences accelerate the ability of a person to create habits of behavior that are less abrasive, if they so choose. Those long periods of designated time to some growth experience (military, prison, mission) create more scenarios for the individual to practice the behavior they want to emulate, thus forming the habit quicker.

Idea number 3

Awhile back I had this thought, but I am recording it now since it has not been recorded previously. When a person experiences a relationship breakup, there are one of two generally possible outcomes: really bad, or good. We all can think of an example of a really bad breakup.

Might I suggest an example of a good breakup. Two people agree to quit dating with no intended harm to the others' feelings. They aren't entirely motivated by selfish desires.

Lets examine the really bad breakup scenario. It might be easier to "get over" the ex due to a number of variables. These include:
  • They had some major character flaws that you simply overlooked during the relationship
  • The relationship had major problems at any given point
  • They were such a jerk in the actual breakup that your feelings for them are forever destroyed
But when none of these conditions exist, it may not be quite as easy to "get over the ex." My theory is that in this latter category, when the relationship was good, the person was good, and the breakup was good, that you don't necessarily "get over" the ex. It might be more likely that you learn to live without the ex. The feelings don't entirely go away, you just learn to file them away in the archives rather than keeping them in active work in progress.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

to run...or not to run?

Well, I ran nearly my whole mission cause I needed some form of exercise. I came home and quit running for about a year. Then last May I decided to train for a 5k. I did an 8 week training for that race. I ran in the Provo 4th of July Freedom Fest and it was super fun. My dad came and watched me run. I finished in about 33 minutes. Then I stopped running.

Fast forward to January 16, 2010. During the past 6 months, I've thought a lot about running. I knew I wanted to start running again nearly that whole time. I just lacked the motivation. One thing that really helped was my faithful electronic visiting teacher of running: It kept sending me newsletters to my email every month and I would occasionally skim through the titles of articles. I dont know how this particular newsletter hit a motivational nerve for me. I really wanted to start after the holidays, but not like everyone else. So I staggered myself a little. We're two weeks into January and the super-unmotivated people are probably quitting their running by now.

So, I went for a run this morning. It was a brisk, oh, 21 degrees outside. Not the most ideal temperature for starting up running again. My lungs are weak enough as it is; compound that with the cold air and you've got trouble. After .5 miles, I was ready to be done but I kept going. If there is one thing I do know, it's that beginning runners tend to run too fast. So I kept my speed down and just focused on distance. I completed my mile in 10:47 minutes. Not terrible. I dont think I ever got down to a 10 minute mile when I was training last year. But boy could I feel the difference in my lungs.

I came home with muscle cramps and had to remind myself of how to prevent those. Ah, the joys of starting up running again. Luckily my real training doesn't start for two more weeks, so I have the next two weeks just to get in shape enough for my training. Haha as funny as that sounds.

I have a lofty goal for the end of my 12 week training (starting in two weeks) and that goal is to run a half marathon. That will be the first weekend in May. Here in Provo. And then I'm excited to plan on running in the Freedom 5k again. Or maybe I'll do the 10k. Thats a thought.

Running to be continued Monday.