Saturday, May 30, 2009

Don't Pretend Like You're Not Excited I've Posted Again So Soon

I'm a time waster. Every day I just sit around and do nothing, wasiting my time. However, that is about to come to an end. Tonight, because sleep is eluding me once more, I made some goals for myself. These goals focused on using my time better for a happier, healthier life.

I decided I need to manage my time better to prevent the waste. To accomplish this I've made myself a schedule that includes waking up at 8:00am for breakfast (the most important meal of the day) and Pilates, taking an hour for lunch during which I will study my scriptures with purpose and start journaling (because unless this counts I'm a failure at that) and getting to bed by 11:00pm every night. I've decided I need to start going to FHE on Mondays, that I really want to start dancing with the local Halau again (that takes place on Tuesdays) and I've even reserved Thursdays to continue my family history like I mentioned in my last post. I've also made goals to get out of La'ie once a month, go to the beach once a week (to play, to mediate or just to get some sun), and to start studying for my Praxis exam and PLT (teacher tests). I spend hours just clicking away on my computer. I really need to stop throwing my life away. These goals are how I'm going to do combat that bad habit.

BIG NEWS! I'd like to report a new addition to the family. Jefferson Davis (no relation to the Confederate President) was conceived tonight as a result of my insomnia. Don't worry, I'm not knocked up, I've just finally planted the seed paper that the school gave out (seed paper=recycled paper made with seeds mixed in, you know, to help the environment). Jefferson is named for Thomas Jefferson, founding father and agricultural enthusiest. He felt every citizen should own land so now I do. It's a little bit of land that I stole from the school and placed in the cut off bottom of a water bottle, but it's mine. Stolen land... Classy I know; I'm sure he's smiling down on me in approval. I took the dirt from some loose earth around one of the newly planted palm trees. I figure, in Hawaiian culture, the land belongs to no one so it's not really stealing. Besides, I'm going to plant Jefferson somewhere on campus before I leave so I'll be giving it back eventually. Let's just hope that that seed paper actually will grow something. Otherwise I'm going to be sorely disappointed. Hopefully in a week I'll be blogging about his "birth." Raising Jefferson on my own will be tough, but I think I have what it takes to be a good single Mother to him. Afterall, he's just a plant.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Past, Present and Future

I am SO tired, but I HAVE to blog about today! It was too awesome of a day to not record right this moment how I'm feeling.

Firstly, I received my official placement for my Observation & Practicum and Student Teaching. I will be working with Anna Logan in her 5/6 grade resource room at Hau'ula Elementary School. HOW FREAKING AWESOME IS THAT?! I mean, it's real now. I'm not just studying anymore. I'm going to be in a classroom three days a week working with real students obtaining my license. In a year from now I will have already finished my 20 days of solo teaching and I'll be applying for jobs... like real ones... like ones that come with a salary and benefits. I mean, to even begin O&P I have to join the teachers' union. It's like I'm a real adult or something.

It was funny. Sitting there, waiting for them to hand me my letter, I thought I was going to barf all over the place out of excitement. Then, however, our department chair started talking about all of the tests we have to take and it sunk in that this next year is going to make or break my future career. This isn't like business where you just graduate and go get a job somewhere and figure it all out. If I don't do well and don't get licensed these last four years were basically for nothing. How intimidating is that?! Needless to say my stomach flipped over and I now found myself ready to puke out of fear and anxiety.

I think Heavenly Father new I needed some help because he made sure it was pouring down rain after the meeting. Having ridden my bike there sans umbrella, I had to pretty much wait it out. Doing so enabled me to see my Academic Advisor, Sister Ching (LOVE THAT WOMAN). Working out my schedule kinks and talking with her about what I have to do before I graduate immediately calmed my nerves and pumped up the excitment once more. I only have to take three more tests to obtain my license (I thought it was more like 5), the tests aren't as long or as crazy as I thought, I've started applying for graduation, and apparently Sis. Ching knows Anna; she told me she is a crazy awesome teacher whos won all of these awards and that I will just absolutely love her. There is nothing more reassuring than knowing my CT (cooperating teacher) and I will work well together. Plus, all I have to do is get my psych minor signed off and get measured for my cap and gown and my graduation application is complete. If that's not a wake up call I don't know what is! AHHHHH IT'S SO CLOSE!

To top it off I had an awesome evening on the temple grounds with my dear friend and Relief Society President, Christelle Passil (from New Caledonia), during which we stopped by the family history center and were blessed with the spirit of Elijah. Being in there and starting to find out who my family is and where we come from... I think I've been bitten by the geneology bug. The best part was that it was all totally random and on a whim. We were just coming home from some official Relief Society business when we thought we'd stop for a bit. Three hours later we have decided we're going to go every week and start getting our business done. The whole thing made the idea of forever families so much more tangible, like finding their names and info made me so excited to do their work (if it hasn't already been done) and some day meet them on the other side. I am so blessed to live so close to these resources and to be surrounded by good people with whom I can learn and grow.

Another long post, I know, and I am sorry, but wouldn't you be bursting at the seems if you had a day as eventful as mine?

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Boy Who Lived

This is a long, long post, and I'm sorry, but it's hard to express the love that I have for that skinny, bespectacled, Voldemort fighting, young man known as Harry Potter. I began reading the series when I was about 11, which is, by the way, the exact same age Harry is when the story begins. The first book had me hooked. I wanted nothing more than to have Hagrid knock on my door and tell me I was a wizard. In fact, I secretly hoped that Jo Rowling got it wrong and that it was on your twelth birthday you found out you were magical got accepted to Hogwarts. Needless to say my twelth birthday left me with the stark realization that I was a mere muggle and instead I waited on bated breath for book after book to come out.

I am sure that a large amount of my attachment to this series stems from the fact that I literally grew up with Harry, but, one cannot deny the awesome power of these stories. There is a reason they are so popular. Jo Rowling presents a detailed, fanicful world full of magic (pun fully intended), one which readers young and old want to be a part of, and reading them all back to back as I did opened my eyes to just how powerful the series is. Not only are they exciting and engaging, but they are intelligent pieces of literature that have a deeper meaning. All of things contribute to their coolness factor.


Firstly, the books are like a giant puzzle. Events in the seventh book are connected to and hinge on plot points that occured in the very begining of the storyline. You see each book's plot woven together in the end, with characters you thought mattered very little to the story doing their part to defeat Voldemort. I tell you, it made me emotional to see everything come together like that. The first time I read the seventh book I cried for like the last hundred, two hundred pages because of it. That is silly I know, but it was gut wrenching to be standing there with Harry, surrounded by so many people so willing and ready to do their part, give up their lives even, to stand up to such a dark and powerful force. Even greater is the understanding that everything Harry has lived through has prepared him for this one moment where he must give his life... it is moving to say the least.

The Potter-verse is that captivating because Jo writes in such a way that the places in her world, like Hogwarts, Diagon Alley and the Burrow, come to life. You could drop me into the Ministry of Magic and I could find my around no problem. I'd be happy to take a weekend at St. Mungo's and volunteer, not to mention spend a Christmas holiday at the burrow. How she paints her world allows it to come to become reality in my imagination. More importantly, it's appealing. The wizarding world is how the real world should be, I think. I mean you can fly for crying out loud! The books have kick "a" characters, too. Because Jo knows them so well, they might as well be real people. She writes with with such detail and nuance. Remus Lupin, Rubeus Hagrid, Minerva McGonagall, Molly Weasley, when compared to the trio they are minor characters, but I adore them none the less. Don't even get me started on Snape and Dumbledore. I literally wept when Dumbledore died and then I wept again when I had to read through all of Snapes memories. What heartache!

That brings me to the third thing I love so much about Harry Potter: the themes. When you are young they are just exciting stories about magic, but as you grow up you understand what it is Jo Rowling is trying to communicate. The importance of equality, the value of unity against inhumanity and oppression, the possiblity of redemption and repentance, the power of love and family (in all forms), the significance and magnitude of agency, Jo's stories have all of these heavy themes intricately written into them and when they create the story's climax you cannot help but cry for Harry and for the whole wizarding world. First tears of empathy come as he calls on his dead parents for strength, next they fall in support as he calmly and knowingly faces Voldemort. When he chooses to return to this life and fight once more I can't help but offer a watery smile in pride at how far he has come and finally tears of happiness pour out of my already tired eyes as he triumphs, rising above the most powerful wizard on earth, fighting for right standing side by side with characters I love so dearly.

I know, "it's just a book," but to me it is so much more. To me it is an escape, a place where I can fight side by side with Harry for the things I value most in life. It is a place where I can leave behind homework deadlines, financial problems and loneliness in favor of having a butter beer at the three broomsticks or taking in a game of quidditch with some of my best friends. You might think it's weird, maybe even pathetic, but instead of being ashamed of it, I consider it a blessing that I can so fully engross myself in the written word. It definitely makes the real world so much more exciting. Thank you Jo for those beautiful books! They have changed my life!

So True!

This is mostly just for Brit and Camille, but you're welcome to look and enjoy too.



This came from graphjam. A site which you should definitely check it out.

p.s. A post about the awesomeness of Harry Potter is coming soon.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Melancholia...

...I has it.
Every post I pour out my heart, sharing my secrets, my desires, my adventures, my sorrow, opening up to you, my readers. Are my thoughts and feelings ever acknowledged? No! Do you care enough to comment? No! Why I just documented an amazing experience and none of you blinked twice at it. I am heartbroken; heartbroken I say! What kind of friends are you? You make me sick! Is it too much to ask for a little validation from the people I respect most? I think not! Shame on all of you!


p.s. In case you couldn't tell, I'm an attention whore who desires your comments on my blog. That's all...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A True Hawaiian Adventure

I went on the greatest adventure yesterday! Last Monday afternoon I sat indoors working. As I was lazily admiring the beautiful weather through a rather large, panoramic window, I realized just how long it had been since I had been on an adventure. This realization did NOT make me happy, so I decided I would go to the beach that weekend. As I repeatedly found myself trapped indoors, however, simply going to beach was not enough and it evolved into something greater: going snorkeling. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted something even grander, and soon snorkeling had become going out to Goat Island.

Mokuauia Island, as it is properly called, is a small island about 700 feet off the coast where Malaekahana Bay and La'ie Bay meet. It's a protected bird sanctuary (various species of birds nest in the foliage on the island where they can reproduce undisturbed by other animals and people). This means that you cannot venture out into the middle of the island, but the beaches are open to the public and you can even walk around the entire thing if you like. To get out to the island we walked across the reef at low tide. We wore flip flops, however, instead of shoes (rookie mistake) and so it took us a little longer to walk across, as we tended to slip or lose our shoes, but we made it and we had an AWESOME time.

Once there, we went swimming in the crystalline waters of a small lagoon, combed the beaches for little treasures and hiked the circumference of the island. It was so interesting to see how the land had developed, untouched by human hands. There were smooth, sandy beaches, jagged cliffs, tide pools and shelves of lava rock where enormous crabs lived. Vibrant green foliage dotted with purple and yellow flowers that grew right out of the sand and old, weather beaten trees, stripped of their leaves, lined our walk. Everywhere you went you heard the birds singing and the sounds of the water hitting the shore. It was a vivid reminder of what this world has to offer if only we are willing to look.

Our adventure was breathtaking! Here is just a peek of what we had the honor and blessing of experiencing.
(for a more humorous detail of events, see Ben's blog--the link is on the sidebar)