Thursday, February 24, 2011

If I might be so arrogant...

I was talking with Brandon about how my Utah's 4th seat story made the front page of the Daily Universe ( today. I was kinda excited. My first thought as I read the headline was "wait, that's something I wrote about" and then I checked the byline and realized "hey that's my article!"

I know it is just the BYU student newspaper. NBD. But what makes me excited that it was published is how competitive it is to get your article in this newspaper. Here is a link to the editorial written by the editor-in-chief about the decision-making process of what 5 articles make the front page every day: . In a nutshell, on any given day, I am competing with 70 reporters to make it into one of four or five slots on the front page. So its competitive at times. And I rely on my editor to try and "sell" my story well. Actually, my editor attempts to sell around 20 advanced reporting students's stories, so its not just me who relies on her selling skills.

Anyway, I feel grateful for the stories of mine that have been published this semester and for everyone who has helped me put my articles together. It truly involves a lot of chefs in the kitchen and they deserve more credit for their knowledge than I do for simply spreading the word through articles.

Advanced print reporting students learn more about story structure, and how to get better sources for articles. At least thats mostly what I've learned halfway through the semester in my two advanced writing courses. Lets hope I learn more the second half of the semester.

Anyway so I was sitting in the newsroom the other day and I called one of the state senators about a story I was doing. Some of the "intermediate" reporters were a little shocked that I would be so bold as to call a senator. I might be interviewing Mark Shurtleff, the state's attorney general. NBD. I guess once you've spent a semester in the program, you realize the following: your sources can be people other than students/professors, people with big titles will talk to you and there can be a logical organization to how your story is written.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Old blog

Here's the map of how I got to this blog post. friday night, danielle and i watched the social network. then we became obsessed with mark zuckerberg. i was reading the time article about him from last year. there was a mention of myspace in it and i wanted to go check out myspace. logged in and poked around for a bit. found my old blog from before the mish. I decided to put one of my posts up on this blog. It was written Sept 22 2006. Enjoy!

    reading brandon's blog about his summer got me thinking about mine. so here goes. my summer vacation has been one of the better ones i can recall. in may, it was all about spending as much time with kristina as possible before she left on her mission. i have been friends with her since 6th grade so she has always been a good friend and anchor for me. we both moved to ogden our freshman year of college so she was even there for me when i tried to get away from everything i knew. we went and hiked adams canyon with annie, craig and meredith. that was great. wish i had hiked more. well, actually, there was that hike with nick, scott and a bunch of other people when we went to elephant rock. thats a nice hike to do. i hope i do it again in the fall before i leave. oh and then there was country swing dancing with kristina, brad, scott, and nick. and that time i went "country" dancing with dallin. and kristinas 'non drinking drinking party' when she turned 21. anyone want some water?

then there were the times i'd hang out with brandon. well, we hung out more in the spring than we did summer but we can pretend. times like the coffee break and andrews big 21. heck, me and brandon went a few years without talking much at all, and then becoming tight again was pretty cool. it was fun to reconnect with eric and hang out at his apartment. the last time i had talked to eric was seriously like four years ago when we went and saw the ring in the movie theater. hanging out with brandon and his friends was fun. we should have hung out more.

in june, my mom, sister and i all took a girls trip down to cali. that was the best trip ever. i love cali and really miss it. even though i've lived in utah longer than california, being down there felt more like home, it felt more natural. even though i didnt know my way around. but thats ok. while i was in cali i got a call from dicks saying they wanted to hire me. so as soon as i got back from cali, i was filling out my paperwork there and started back up like three days after getting home from the trip.

i didnt know what to expect with working at dicks again. the only person i knew there still was cindy and everyone was in high school. but, all the employees in the front end turned out to be incredibly nice. everyone is friends there. most everyone gets along great with everyone else. it was just a fun place to be. and i met nick, the little bro i never had. fourth of july is all i have to say. good times with nick and ryan. then there were the long chats and the drives in my car, and playing at the park late at night. getting fast food late at night. staying out really late. killing the tires on my car. looking at the stars. watching movies or just tv. driving though mcdonalds backwards! more long chats.

at the end of august, jake left for his mission. that wasnt exactly the happiest time for me this summer but i was really glad that he got to finally leave. he will make such a great missionary. and me and brittany became pretty good friends through the whole experience. cali chicks do it better! oh that reminds me of the two interesting dates i had with nate... and then how he was talking about me at the sparkmans house. that was great. the world keeps getting smaller and smaller.

other random things that were great this summer, going for my first ride on a bullet bike was great. the concerts we went to, doing the ziprider at park city, going camping up in tremonton. tpb for life! getting my mission call this week was amazing. but i have another blog about that so i wont get into great detail here.

meeting dustin in the latter part of may was great. i only knew him for about 3 weeks but he was awesome. i am sad that things didnt work out with him, but i wouldnt be going on a mission if anything had happened. him and one other guy have given me a pretty good indication of the kinda guy i want to end up married to some day. but the other guy tends to think he is a jerk most of the time so he wont usually admit hes such a great guy.

anyway i think thats about all i can think of for this summer. it was a good one. thank you everyone who was apart of it!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Fast Sunday

I haven't gotten up to bear (bare?) my testimony in probably a year. Half the time, I don't have the desire to. The other half are times when I am boxed in on each side with six people to my left and six to my right. I'm serious. This happens so often. And I usually don't want to go through the process of climbing over everyone to get out. I'm sorry! I always try to sit in the middle to be considerate of others. I hate when I have to climb over other people so I try and reduce that for other people as much as possible.

But. Today I only had one person blocking me from the aisle. That was primarily what sparked my desire to get up today. Because it would be convenient. Yes. I said it. So I am waiting for my turn to go up on the front row of the chapel and thinking about what I want to say. I don't know what it is about that podium but when I get up there, I have to speed through all my thoughts as fast as possible or else I will forget everything. I don't get too nervous speaking in front of people but I do worry I'll forget everything I want to say. But, I didn't want to just get up and rush through my testimony like I always do. I wanted there to be a trace amount of conviction behind what I was saying. So I took the risk of not remembering what I would say. I didn't sound very eloquent and I stumbled over a lot of thoughts but at least I feel I was able to feel what I was saying rather than just say it.

I didn't want to adjust the microphone because they had so many technical issues with it earlier in the meeting. So I left the microphone where it was...and it was higher than my eye level. That's okay. I got the indication that people could still hear me so I proceeded to speak. Timidly. Making eye contact with the mic a few times. Anyway so I finish my testimony and sit down. Brian, a guy in my ward, stands up and I realize the mic is midway down his chest and I realize, "oh my gosh. I am so short. The mic was at my eye level when I stood there but its level with his chest." It caused me to wonder...could people even see me over the podium?

Needless to say, it was a contender for one of the best fast and testimony meetings I have experienced. The testimonies were all so strong and full of conviction and sincerity. There was such a  strong peaceful feeling. There wasn't a single person who was getting up just for the sake of getting up to check it off their list for the month. But I feel that is so often the case in testimony meetings. Anyway so usually I zone out during testimony meetings but today I was acutely listening to all the testimonies. The next thing I know, I look at the clock and its 9:55 am. Sacrament usually ends at 9:35 and I am usually the first one to notice when a meeting has gone 10 seconds over time. But today I was just so encapsulated by the testimonies that I had no thought or desire to watch the clock. It was beautiful. People are beautiful.

In Relief Society we learned about fasting. It was very appropriate. We started out talking about how two means counts as 24 hours and got into a discussion on length of time. It was mostly a positive discussion on the benefits of fasting longer. Then a friend of mine asked if there was an official statement about how long to fast. She suggested we shouldn't become like the Pharisees where we get so concerned with counting the hours that we lose the spirit of the fast and what our actual focus is on. I appreciated that.

My ethics class had a discussion about this. In the church, the leaders have to teach principles as black and white. They give us the ideals partially because if they were to teach us the grey, they would have to go through every possible shade of grey and what scenarios and conditions it is okay to not meet the ideal. And that could take a lifetime or more to spell out.

Elder Hafen gave a wonderful talk about the ambiguity that exists between what is reality and what is ideal. I feel that as christians, it is our responsibility to figure out how to deal with the fact that we are given principles in black and white and we have to find out how to apply them in grey situations.  Here is a link to the talk. It is an absolute must read.