Monday, April 25, 2011

crystal balls and palm readings

people keep asking what i am doing now that school is over.

if i had a "big picture" answer, i promise i would have shared all those lovely details.

for now i am...

chilling with jewels until i go on a road trip home with heather
doing projects at home and hanging with the fam

planning out the hour-to-hour movements of our trip to paris & london
catching up with friends

making up for lost time on my 52 books in 52 weeks challenge

reading random blogs
soaking up all available sunshine

figuring out which crystal ball will actually give me an answer to people's "what are you doing now that you're done with school" question

We Did It!!

Someday soon, I hope to write down a few anecdotes about the end of graduate school, but for now, here are the highlights of graduation. Those perma-grins are not posed - Jewels and I could not stop smiling. After all, we're done with homework, 2am study sessions, and pinching ourselves to stay awake in boring classes. I can't pretend I'm not going to miss being a student, but for now, I'm still basking in that recently graduated glow.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rinse, Wash, Repeat

Ten years ago this June I walked up and down the aisles of the Concord Pavilion as one of Clayton Valley High School's graduating seniors. Five years ago this month I walked into the Marriott Center as one of the optimistic English Education graduates of BYU's School of Humanities. And tomorrow I will cross those walkways over North Campus Drive again, this time with a blue, black, and white hood to accessorize my cap and gown and with my sister at my side. Five years ago I looked down from the my place in the sea of undergraduates and focused on my friend who was sitting on the "floor" of the Marriott Center and was graduating with her Masters in Public Administration. Never in a million years would have I guessed that I would follow in her's funny how life plays out....

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Need Some Help To Send Cameron Off

Good morning everyone- If you haven't heard already, Cameron has been called to serve in the Arizona Phoenix Mission, English speaking! He reports to the MTC on May 25th. His "farewell" will be on Mother's Day (May 8th), and we are trying to track down the sheet music for Dustin Gledhill's "One Voice" to sing that Sunday. It was part of the 2004 EFY "Stand in the Light" songbook. That songbook is currently out of print, and there are none available through things like Ebay or the Amazon Marketplace. Now comes the favor for all you past EFY attenders or counselors- if you have a minute, please check all that piano music you have lying around your house to see if you have it. The Hutchins singers will be eternally grateful if you can track it down, copy it, and mail it to us. Thank you for your help and congratulations Mr. C!! (Master Cameron is one of Mae's favorite playmates when she comes to California as evidenced by all the random pictures we have from her visit in January - Love them both!)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hate List

Hate ListHate List by Jennifer Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Like I seem to say too often, I should have reviewed this book when I first finished it, when my reaction was more visceral and less removed. If half stars were allowed, this book would be a 3.5, but I rounded instead of down because of how honest Brown's portrayal of teenagers is.

"Hate List" if you ask the author is not a story of school shooting. It is a story about a girl named Valerie who happens to have a boyfriend who brings a gun to her high school and changes everything in a matter of minutes. That said, it is hard to feel like the story is about anything, but a school shooting, or rather the aftermath of a school shooting. The book follows Val through her senior year while flashing back for part of each chapter to what happened the day of the shooting or the months preceding it.

I don't know why I voluntarily subject myself to books like this. "Hate List" is disturbing and sad, and yet, I can't seem to resist stories that seem to be about overcoming exceptional loss. I'd recommend it, but it's definitely not for the faint of heart or those who have nightmares about news stories. This story touches too close to home for many who teach, who watched in horror as the events at Columbine unfolded, or who already have a hard time sending their previous children to school. That said, I've already handed it off to my sister, so take my contradictory recommendation with more than a grain of salt. And as always, happy reading.