Liz's Times and Seasons
Sunday, May 15, 2005
The load of tomorrow, added to that of yesterday,
carried today, makes the strongest falter.
Salutation to the dawn
Look to this day!
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence:
The bliss of growth
The glory of action
The splendor of beauty,
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision,
But today well lived makes every yesterday
a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day!
Such is the salutation to the dawn.
From Dale Carnagie's book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
Saturday, May 14, 2005
After months of trying to get answers to my questions about what in the world I'm supposed to be doing in grad school and what I need to do to meet requirements, I finally got an advisor who understands that the root of the word "advisor" is "advise," and he's actually willing to fill that role. So I finally got most of my immediate questions answered, and discovered that I have two years left of grad school, which isn't a major problem (as long as I can continue to receive scholarships and such) since I like school and it will keep me busy and help the time pass more quickly while James is on his mission. In fact I should be done with school just a few months before he gets back, which will be perfect timing.
The main thing slowing me down is the need to demonstrate reading proficiency in a foreign language, since the language I have chosen is Chinese. Although serving a mission in Taiwan helped me develop speaking proficiency, the 600+ characters I've managed to learn just don't cut it for reading proficiency. (To be truly literate in Chinese, one must know about 3000 characters.) And since they don't offer the classes I need during the summer and you can't really take different levels of language classes simultaneously, and I have to take four classes to reach the required reading proficiency. Also on the bright side, there's a class that I really want to take that's not taught until Winter 2007.
The other joy of having a good advisor is that with his and another professor's help I've gotten a better idea of what I want and can do for my thesis. By studying Asian American literature, I can indulge my interest in Asian/Chinese culture, and also my interest in memory and the way people choose to remember things. Since most Asian American lit revolves around the way in which Chinese Americans "remember" or imagine Chinese culture to be, it will be an excellent way to combine my two interests. And as the professor pointed out, most people who are studying Asian American lit have no real experience with the actual culture, so that is somewhere I will have an advantage.
I have also agreed to be the head editor of one of the BYU literary student journals, Borrowed Earth. So it's going to be a busy two years!
Monday, May 09, 2005
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Confirmation, graduation, and so on
It occurs to me that I never mentioned Cy's confirmation. James got to confirm him in church the day after his baptism. It was his first time performing that ordinance and giving a blessing, so he was a little nervous. However, the spirit was there and the blessing was beautiful!
Friday was James's graduation. It was a long day! We started out with a brunch at Maire Calendar's with his mom's side of the family (his cousin also graduated on Friday). It was yummy and entirely too filling! I was only able to finish a fourth of my food by the time I ate salad and cornbread. After that we went to the U for a reception for graduates, they had tons of good food there, including strawberries and cheesecake, two of my absolutely favorite food. Then that night we went to the convocation for the College of Engineering (a little shorter than commenment). I'd never been to a college graduation before and it was quite the experience! After taking about a dozen and a half pictures we headed to his aunt's for dinner (I was surprised to discover that I was actually hungry enough to eat some after all I'd eaten).
After that I headed to my uncle Jed's house to babysit overnight while he and his wife used the free hotel pass he'd won. The two youngest were the only ones home and they are adorable. We spent most of the morning playing with food storage (stacking cans and transporting potatoes back and forth), a huge plastic car with a matress in it, and a large cardboard box. I couldn't get them to play with any of their toys for more than about 10 minutes at a time. It really makes me wonder why we ever buy kids toys!
Once their parents returned James and I headed to Brigham City to meet my old roomies for lunch in celebration of Camille Tomer's graduation. We were late so we didn't get to sit by them during dinner :( But we did get to talk for a little while afterwards. Then James and I spent some time visiting with my friend, Shiree and her husband, Cory. We finally headed back to James's house around 7:30, where we decided to unwind from a long day of travel by reading Preach my Gospel (since James was supposed to have read two chapters for his mission prep class by Sunday). After we finished the two chapters we ended up having a really good talk that lasted until about midnight (as usual) :)