Friday, July 29, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

I'm the hero of this story. I don't need to be saved.

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I can't sleep. So I might as well blog I suppose.
Today Camille gave a talk. It was brilliant. She's so cool.
She talked about something she learned at Girls Camp from Writer's Cubed (a writing group). They talked about being the hero of your own story. Camille kind of recapped. She said: "We are all the heroes of our stories. Because of this we have to make important decisions and develop over time, while carrying a burden no matter how big or small." She emphasized that we need to be careful about the people we choose as secondary characters in our stories. Secondary characters are the people that we choose to be closest to. This kind of stood out to me because I've been pretty sad about a couple of friendships that didn't end up working out. I realized that I am really grateful for the secondary characters in my life who stick with me through the thick and thin. I guess friendships that last are pretty hard to come by so when they do last, it's definitely something to be thankful for and they are people that we shouldn't just take for granted.
It's been a little bit of a rough couple of weeks for me and I'm just so grateful for everyone who puts up with my emotional craziness haha.
So thanks to those secondary characters in my story. You know who you are. I really appreciate everything you do and seriously don't know where I'd be without you.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Emma Watson

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Well, tonight I'm going to the midnight showing of the very last Harry Potter. I'm pretty excited! It better be good though. Speaking of Harry Potter, I've decided Emma Watson is a pretty cool person and probably my favorite actress. As one of my facebook friends said: "What a girl, that Emma Watson. She's classy, smart, beautiful and seeks to make a positive difference in the world. Good to see growing up in fame hasn't demolished her, at least yet." I agree. Here's an article about how hard it was to go to school at Brown University and be an actress/model at the same time. She put her education first though and I think that's pretty admirable.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Egyptian Revolution: Adel El-Daba's Personal Account

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I just got back from hearing Adel El-Daba (Chair, World Languages Department, Cairo American College) speak at the BYU Kennedy Center. He talked about his experience with the Egyptian Revolution. He said that he didn't want to talk about why it happened, the before, or the after he wanted to talk about what was happening in the moment of the revolution. I thought it was really interesting that he focused a lot of his talk on the unity that the revolution brought to the people in Tahrir Square. He said you could see Christians and Muslims praying together and women were seen as more of equals during this time, they were treated with more respect. So with their differences aside, they all stood together, in the cold, barely getting any sleep, people getting injured badly, but they were unified in their goal and this made them all stronger and willing to stand tall. The way he described it was really emotional and inspiring. He was a brilliant speaker. He also talked about the people who died for this cause. He saw a man, newly married, who was bleeding and about to die and this man told his friend not to leave Tahrir Square but to keep fighting (I don't remember the exact words) and then Adel El-Daba said that this really struck him and he knew that those people who died for this cause were one of the main reasons to keep fighting for it. Then he sang some verses from the koran for those people and it was really captivating. I think Arabic is actually a really beautiful language. I admire the Egyptian people for having the courage they did and still do to bring about a change for their country that will last forever. Pretty cool, I must say.

Biases aside...

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So this is a silly post. Yesterday I was bored, so like many young adults/teenagers put in this sort of situation, I started browsing Youtube. I actually came across a couple of things that took me by surprise.

1. People have been terribly cruel to Rebecca Black. I think Friday is a terrible song that was written badly and is meaningless beyond repair but really, why is everyone blaming Rebecca Black? She's not the best singer but she isn't the worst either and I, personally, would probably never buy an album or a song by her but really the cyber bullying towards her has gotten pretty out of hand. Death threats--really? Over a stupid song that she didn't even write? And I think under no circumstance should anyone tell someone that they should become anorexic to be pretty. Or that they should cut themselves until they die. That's just plain cruel. I think sometimes people are mindlessly hurtful towards someone over the internet because they don't actually have to see the reaction. On the other side of those comments was a little 13 year old girl who was shocked to read how many people said they hated her for singing that song. What? Ridiculousness.
Anyway, here's a video of Rebecca making fun of the great "depth and meaning" hidden in the song Friday.

2. So... apparently Justin Bieber actually has a really good voice? I don't like his music because it seems to be made up of meaningless pop lyrics and catchy beats. His ego is probably about three times the size of him. He's mostly only popular among girls 14 and younger. I found a video of him singing before he became famous though. So, I guess I can recognize that even though I dislike his music, that boy has some real musical talent. Yes, he still sounds like a girl at age 17. It was cute when he was 12 but now it's kind of weird. Also, he wrote an autobiography. Yes, in addition to a whole movie dedicated to him he also has a whole book... oh my. But here's an excerpt from the book you might enjoy.

I am not converted to fanaticism for either Rebecca Black or Justin Bieber, these are just two realizations that came along while browsing the internet. 

Anyway, maybe I should stop browsing Youtube when I am bored and do something productive instead... Like decide my major? Nah.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Just like the good old days.

So, it seems I am a terrible blogger these days. That's probably because I have nothing to say since nothing interesting has happened in awhile. Yesterday was a pretty fun adventure though, so I think I shall write about it.

The Farewell
Jamie and I left at 9:15 in the morning for Salt Lake City so that we could attend John's mission farewell at 10:30. We wanted to have plenty of time to get there since we weren't sure where the church was located and we thought we might get lost for a bit. It was a pretty fun ride actually--Jamie and I haven't really talked much since moving home so it was nice to catch up. We ended up not getting lost at all and found out that the farewell was actually at 10:50 so... needless to say, we had quite a bit of time to explore Salt Lake City before church. After visiting duck ponds with no ducks, seeing tourists at temple square, marveling at the odd assortment of outfits there, and hiking uphill in our Sunday best... we arrived at John's farewell a little late (figures).

I don't remember much of the other two talks that were given, thanks to Matt who is the most distracting person to sit by during any sort of meeting, but I did try very hard to pay attention to John's talk and he delivered it beautifully. We were all so proud of him. He's definitely one of the most spiritual guys I know and he tries so hard to be the best he can be. It's pretty inspiring, really.

The Luncheon
After the farewell talk we all headed over to John's backyard where we ate a traditional Brazilian meal of beans and rice. He was called to the Dominican Republic but I guess beans and rice are pretty much the same wherever you go. John's family seemed pretty nice and his backyard was full of fruit trees which apparently made Jamie hungry because after she saw the peach tree she kept talking about how she just really wanted a peach. We took lots of pictures because we don't get to see those friends much anymore and since John is leaving for two years. Jamie drew a lovely picture of John and wrote on the back "For my plan C... in case A and B don't work out." I think John loved it? Maybe?

Temples and Museums and Pie
We decided to go to Temple Square for awhile so we walked around the visitor's centers and we ran into a sister missionary who was pretty cool. She was from Kiribati and she talked to John, Matt, and Hiram for a long time about being a missionary. She was way nice but at the end she told us she wanted one number of a non member friend from each of us. So we all looked at each other nervously, knowing we didn't have any to give because our non mormon friends are not mormon because they don't want to be. Seeing our hesitation, she told us to pull out our phones and go through our contacts because that might help us remember who our non mormon friends are. So we started going through them and I accidentally said Conrad's name to Jamie because I read it on my phone and it sort of slipped out. I didn't think she'd heard but she did and she took my phone and wrote down his number and I was pretty sure he would not be interested but it was the only number she got from us so I felt bad but now I am afraid Conrad is going to think I'm trying to convert him or something! So I'm debating whether I should call him or not. Hmm. But really being at Temple Square was a good experience and it reminded me how much I want to go inside someday. It's just beautiful and the grounds are beautiful and I love it. Also, I love that statue of Jesus (in the picture on the right).

We walked over to the Church History museum
which was kind of the best part of the whole trip. After going through the whole main level of the museum we went upstairs and stumbled on the kids' part of the museum. It was so fun! They had a boat you could catch pretend fish from, cloth dolls, large blocks to build castles with, skirts and vests to dress up in, some tortilla game Jamie and I were awesome at, etc. It was way fun. We built a pretty cool castle-ish thing with the blocks and we were trying to take a picture of all of us by it but the camera wasn't working. We were setting up the camera one more time or something like that and this little kid just ran really fast right into the castle and punched it all down and then ran really fast away. I thought it was pretty hilarious. We didn't feel like rebuilding it though so we just held some pieces up for the picture haha. And that triangle on Hiram's head is actually Matt.

We visited Matt's house (he has a really really nice house) and ate some caramel apple pie. I wish we could hang out with these kids more often. I miss them all.