Monday, December 20, 2010

ASU

I have been attached in some form to ASU for the past 5 years.
Today, the first positive thing happened to me in regards to that school...
I got a reply to an email (I sent 10 days ago) from Mathew Keller. The first line brought happiness to my life:
"I am pleased to inform you that your late fee appeal has been approved as a onetime courtesy, and future late fee appeals will not be considered."
The phrase "I am pleased to inform you" has not accompanied ASU in any of our interactions.
  • Like when my shoe broke the first day of classes and I was walking around on one billion degree sidewalks. The blisters that were close to follow sure as heck didn't say " I am pleased to inform you that we will be here causing you major pain for the next month!"
  • The dastardly substitute counselor that told me to take Portuguese 313 (when I really needed 316) didn't say "I am pleased to inform you that because I told you the wrong class to take, you now get to stay one more semester and pay us even more thousands of dollars!"
  • When the price of campus health insurance changed they didn't send me an email saying "I am pleased to inform you that we have tripled the price! You can now pay over 900 dollars a semester to get the most restrictive health care on the planet!"
  • My last required class that was out at the west campus didn't say "I'm pleased to inform you that you will have to drive over an hour each direction twice a week costing you even more in gas money!"
And the reason for the appeal in the first place...
  • Instead of taking my co-pay when I went to the ASU chiropractor in May, they decided it would be better to bill me via my asu.edu email account. Seeing as I graduated, I have no need to check that account. Needing to send official transcripts ($15 each x 3) I logged into my asu account. To my surprise, there was a big fat red hold on my account and they wouldn't send out my transcripts. After calling 6 different numbers and getting transferred at least 4 times, I got to talk to someone who could tell me why I had a hold. I had a $3o fee for the Chiropractor and $45 of late fees. The voice on the other end of the phone definitely didn't say, "I am pleased to inform you that since we were morons and didn't mail you a bill until we had charged you $45 of late fees, you now get to pay $75 for one lousy chiropractic visit! :) "

I now have one positive memory to walk away with, from the great Arizona State University.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What's wrong with me... why am I applying for Grad School

I am applying for Graduate School and I had to write a statement of intent. It took me a long time and it was an eye opener for me. With that being said, I am going to share with you the statement I wrote.

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I could never understand the words astronaut, fireman, or ballerina when they were paired with the word passion. A fifth grade classmate, Miguel, had an endless supply of passion when it came to all things NASA. He dreamt it, breathed it, and endlessly talked about it. As my ten-year-old mind observed his exorbitant amount of passion, I wondered where I could find something to make me feel like that.

Needless to say, I have been on a quest to find the one thing I feel passionate about. I worked hard through high school so I would be sure and not pass up an opportunity to find my passion. Once high school got out, I thought I would have found what I was looking for but it didn’t exactly go how I had hoped. I continued working hard not to close any doors but it was a good thing I didn’t need to declare a major at the community college. I took the widest variety of classes you could think of and followed the Lord’s promptings when I made my schedule each semester, and I found a reoccurring pattern--communications. I took numerous communication classes and loved each one of them. It wasn’t anything that undeniably pronounced a future profession for me, but it was the first thing, since fifth grade, that I had loved.

Much to my chagrin, even though I found a passion, I continued to flounder around trying to narrow a passion into a career. In the middle of my floundering, I served a mission and thought for sure I’d come home with a firm path to follow. Alas, I still wasn’t sure how to narrow down communication, so I worked hard and took as many different emphasis classes as I could, everything from event planning to non-profit work. My senior year at Arizona State University, I decided to take the opportunity to do an internship. With the struggling economy, it was hard to find an appropriate career defining internship, so I decided to intern for Mesa United Way. It was an amazing experience to work with a non-profit and find joy in the service of others.
Consequently, I was able to find a full time job with a local non-profit, which is supported by Mesa United Way. For the last year, I have had the chance to work in the development department of a large local non-profit and by not working directly with clients, I have been able to see, hear, and report success stories, statements of impact, and even more importantly, the needs that are out there. I have seen hundreds of kids go through our community youth programs and recognized a need for able, competent, and understanding adults for the youth to look up to.

For two and a half years, I have been the Young Women’s president and that has given me a lot of experience working with adolescents. This age group has never ceased to amaze, frustrate, and engulf me with the love of Christ. With the opportunity to be surrounded by tomorrow’s adults, I have been blessed to find my passion. Working with, guiding, supporting, and being a mentor for adolescents makes me who I am and defines how I live my life.

For these reasons, I am pursuing the opportunity to further my education at Brigham Young University to become a psychologist for adolescents.

I plan to follow the suggested guidelines to finish the Clinical Psychology PhD program in 5 years. During which, I will specialize in working with adolescents. I will work hard, study, and dedicate myself to becoming the best Psychologist I can be. Once I have finished the program, I will be able to work with and support those in need. I will go to work everyday with a skip in my step because I have found my passion and am feeling that passion every day with each client.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

This time last year...

I was planning a trip to Paris.
Since I am not planning a trip to Paris now, I am going to reminisce about last years trip.



There was a little drama getting here though. The flights coming into Arizona from London were late because of heightened security due to a terrorist attempt in London last week. (Seem familiar? Last time I was in London we had to come home early because of a terrorist threat.) So, they had to switch our connecting flight in London to Paris, which left us getting into Paris a few hours late. When we got to the hotel, there was no one here. It was closed, closed, closed! Then we caught the attention of a person inside and the driver talked to him in French, he was just a tenant though and couldn’t help. Luckily the front desk guy was upstairs somewhere and heard the commotion and came to help. He got us a room but it only had two beds so we waited and he squoze another one in there.

Our Hotel Room


Once we got rolling, we went the speed of light. A sight seeing trip wouldn't be a sight seeing trip without a pass on the red double decker bus. So, first things first, we rode in around the whole city without getting off so we could get our bearings about us. That really did help a lot with the sense of direction. We rode around on the top to get the best view, but it was freezing!!!



View from the Top

We then got off at the Arc de Triomphe. The bus stops on the Avenue des Champs Elysees and the Arc is in the center of a ginormous round about. We saw people in the center of it but we couldn't figure how to get over there... The geniuses that we are, we walk completely around it before we realized we had to take a staircase down, go under the street, and then resurface on the other side. Well, at least we got our exercise for the day!

The Arc de Triomphe

I loved Notre Dame! It was so nice and beautiful. Art may not be my biggest thrill but I love architecture (not that I know anything about it, it just fascinates me). We walked around in and out side of Notre Dame, and we were a little hungry... so we got the most amazing street food, baguettes and crapes with nutella. Mmmm, I'd have it no other way! I could have eaten that for every meal (what am I talking about, I think I did!).





Crapes!!!

What a night!!! It was New Years Eve and we wanted to stay up and see the show at the Eiffel Tower. So we found a good view and camped out. After a while it got freezing so we decided to walk around and get close to the action (more to do with a little prodding from some Parisians). We walked around for what seemed like hours and we were 3 of what felt like millions at the base of the Eiffel Tower. There was music playing and festivities everywhere, but when midnight came... no fireworks. We felt so jipped! We stayed out all night for nothing! Plus we then had a long ride home (since we stayed outside the city center).

The subways were free for the night for the celebration, which meant they were insane!!! I can't even tell you, I am surprised we weren't killed or molested right there in the subway. It was so packed with people, no one would have even known. Well, after backtracking a few times we finally got to the bus depot near our hotel and just had to catch one last bus. . . we waited there for hours and no bus. We didn't have money to call a cab and we didn't even know how to talk to them or where to tell them to pick us up if they understood English. Finally, after we couldn't take it anymore, (you see it was freezing!!!) two gentlemen came in and were waiting. So, I got the courage to ask if they knew English and if they knew when the bus was coming. They had no idea; the schedule was all screwed up because of the holiday. I asked if they could call us a taxi. But they couldn't get a hold of any that would come out to the station we were at. . . By pure power of God, a taxi driver was off duty dropping off his family to catch a subway and the men we'd made friends with convinced them to take us to our hotel. He wasn't too happy about it but he did it, and he didn't charge us. (He didn't charge us because he picked up a drunk guy on the side of the road and made him pay for our trip!)



The Stroke of Midnight

We went to the Louvre and we stayed for hours! We were so tired only half way through but we had to get everything in. we got to see so much. I really am not the biggest art person but it was fun to see some famous stuff!


After hours of walking, it was nice to take a seat on a river cruise. I get pretty seasick and therefore, wasn't really looking forward to this part of the day. However, It was so cold outside and our feet were so sore from walking around the museum all day that that it was a welcomed relief to sit and enjoy a different angle of the things we'd seen on the bus.


The Pyramid

Mona Lisa

Vénus de Milo

The Winged Victory of Samothrace

After hours of walking, it was nice to take a seat on a river cruise. I get pretty sea sick and therefore, wasn't really looking forward to this part of the day. However, It was so cold outside and our feet were so sore from walking around the mouseum all day that that it was a welcomed releif to sit and enjoy a different angle of the things we'd seen on the bus.

Cruis'n the Seine

Next came the Musée d'Orsay. Of all the art museums I have been to in my life, I think it was my favorite of all. It had amazing architecture and I loved how you went in and out of different rooms so it wasn't just one long hall. We waited for hours outside in the cold because it was Free Sunday! But it was worth it! I really enjoyed it.


Le Bal, James Tissot

Oh, today was one of the most fun days!!! We went to Disneyland Paris. It was freezing and snowing on and off all day, so there were few lines. We went on all the big name rides and took our time to just enjoy the day. It was so magical, when we walked in thy had fake snow/bubbles falling down Main Street to greet us!!! Oh, if I could live at Disneyland I would!

Main Street

The TeaCups
(I get sick on them, but I will ride them for the sear fact that they make cool photos)


Mickey Mouse Hamburger

A long day of lines, baguettes, the amusement (aggravation) of two parents trying (or not) to keep their children at bay while in line, and finally an elevator ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower. It was better than both the Sears building and the Empire State Building. It wins for it's sheer view. How gorgeous!!!




What a View

Today was AMAZING! We spent the whole day at the Chateau de Versailles. Every step we walked I was in amazement! I loved every second of it (my feet didn't though). It was amazing because you got to walk around the entire estate and it's grounds. Oh, it was something you'd see on a movie (or probably have!).


Out Front

Hannah and me

Or last day we fit in a few things that had been out of the way, and there fore pushed to the end of the line of things to do. We ran to the Basilique du Sacré Cœur. My favorite thing about it was that while on the Eiffel Tower, we could see Sacé Coeur up on a hill in the distance. It was really neat to see and we enjoyed it even though it was freezing!!!

Tom's in Paris

Carousel

Our final stop on the way home was Moulin Rouge. It was fun to go just to see it. But, we were ready to go for sure!!!

Last stop...

I know that it will probably be a while, but I am planning my next over seas adventure to be Portugal. When I go there, maybe it won't take me a year to get photos up!


Friday, October 29, 2010

I just dove into poverty...

One day I was driving along in my old non-functioning Volvo s80 and it hit me, I am getting a new car. I wrote down how much I make a month and subtracted all the bills I have. I don't have too many because I am technically living with my parents. So, after all my bills were paid I figured I could afford a car payment. (It's been 6 years since I've had one) That's all I could afford though. I had to talk myself into poverty because if I did it I knew all my fun extra spending would be done for. Driving a reliable car that didn't take $50 to fill won me over. Plus I figured since I will always be straddling the poverty line I better not get used to having a little spending money.

My new joy in life is a 2007 Prius. He is black and so so nice! He can stay silent under 5 miles an hour! I love it even though I know Dave Ramsey would be way disappointed in me...

Monday, October 18, 2010

God works in Mysterious Ways!

A little over a year ago I said a prayer.
I prayed for the opportunity to help someone.
I have been so blessed in my life. I have love, health, family, shelter, God, direction, goals, dreams, hope and faith. Knowing that my life is for the better because of my blessings, I felt it was my duty to, in a sense, pay it forward. Those are the thoughts that preceded this plea to the Lord to guide me to someone in my life who I could help in any way He needed.

This prayer changed things. The first thing that it changed was me. Since I was praying for this opportunity, I decided that I had to do my part by talking to others and being receptive to the needs of those around me. At that time, I had a co-worker who was a real nice, outgoing, and happy person. He was the last person I thought would be the answer to my prayers.

As I got to know him I saw that what I knew of him was just an outer shell of happy. I remember times that we would talk for hours and what I saw in him was unhappiness. The way he explained his life felt like he was following a path he didn't really want to be on but didn't know how to get off or which path to get on if he could find a way off.

I am LDS/Mormon and have worked my whole life to find my personal beliefs and discover that God has great potential for His children. The plans I know He has for me are above my highest expectations. Finding this out for myself has given me purpose and drive. So, as I sat and talked with my friend it was overwhelmingly sad. How could someone with such a good heart just let his life pass him by because he didn't know any better.

Ok Lord, you answered my prayers and showed me someone who needs help but now what am I supposed to do?

I prayed a lot the months that I was trying to help my friend. The Lord blessed me to see a glimpse of the great man my friend could be if he made the decision to leave the path that was easy, to one a little more rocky but definitely more rewarding.

This friend of mine has parents who belong to our church and he was actually baptised when he was 8. Shortly thereafter, their family stopped attending church. They were taught of Christ and standards to live by, but as my friend grew up he lacked the opportunity to grow his faith. Through much persistence and some bribing, he started going back to church.

It has been an amazing experience to see someone come to life through faith in God and Jesus Christ. He changed. His outer shell of happiness became a core of happiness that exuded out to those around him. After many steps, challenges, changes and prayers he became a new person. He is actually getting ready to serve a mission for our church and will leave in a month.

I bring this story up because yesterday, his 17 year old sister got baptized. People get baptized all over the world into all different religions every day, but hers was especially special to me because I could see the answer to a prayer I made over a year ago.

As I sat in a crowded room of friends and family, I looked at my friend and his sister and I had a very special moment. The thought went through my head that God must really love them and there is something special about them, because out of everyone in my life, God chose them to be helped. In no way am I tooting my own horn for this, I just mean to say that God had me thinking one sleepless night about my blessings, which lead to me praying to be able to help someone else, which lead to me making this new friend, which lead to his life changes, which lead to his sister getting baptized, and countless other thing God was then able to do that I don't even know about. Then, I thought if God loves the two of them that much, He loves all of us THAT much, and He loves me that much.

Needless to say that last night was very special for me. I have a strong faith in our Heavenly Father, but last night as I had that thought and feeling I just knew He loves us.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What is a Gus?

Change is good.
At least that's what I keep telling myself.
And that is why I am changing my blog's URL.

I started my blog two years ago, Tuesday August 12, 2008.
I had every intention of blogging every Tuesday, so I put my URL as
Thoughtful-Tuesdays.blogspot.com.

Well, as my favorite line of a song says "the road outside my house is paved with good intentions". As good as my intentions were, it didn't happen. Chalk it up for another failure...

So, as to rid myself of the weekly reminder of my failures, I have decided to change my URL. I know that I may lose readers for this, but it was a much needed change! (Plus, according to Google Reader, I have 13 followers... so hopefully I can keep the whole bakers dozen!) I am sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, but I think this is exactly what will spice up my blog and motivate me to become blogher worthy for next year.

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When you see:
Mind of A Gus
You may think, "what does it even mean?"

Today, my blogger friends, you will find out.
{However, I am quite sure I probably know all 13 of you followers and you'd already know, so this would just be a waist of both my time and your time, but in the event that there are readers who I don't know, I will commence my explanation.}

Growing up I loved to watch the classic Disney Movie, Cinderella. In small ways I related to Cinderella and loved to fantasize that my ending would end up like hers. {Still, to this day, I would love to have a shower via a soaked sponge twisted in the air above my head by two beautiful blue birds.}

I'll cut to the chase because there is no real need to go on and on for my love of that film. I will instead call your attention to one character that I also related to {even more so than Cinderella}, Gus Gus: the newly initiated, naked, chubby, and unacquainted mouse.


So innocent and happy, full of gumption and love.


Poor guy, he just didn't know the ways of the world.

The clincher for knowing Gus and I are MFEO {Made for Each Other} was when he went outside to pick up some corn kernel and had to pick them all up. He got his little chubby arms so full, he had to use his teeth to balance everything.


Yes, he had good intentions to take the food back and not have to go through the trouble of distracting cats, dogs, and chickens so often. But, good intentions don't always have good outcomes...

As, you can see, he lost all but one lousy piece of corn that probably won't even fill his tummy.

I have always been a go-getter. I was raised to have high expectations and not settle for mediocrity in myself. This lead to accelerated high school classes, concurrent college classes during high school, band, religion studies, a job... As a direct result to that, I always was in a hurry and had a lot of things to carry. Books, a flute, Scriptures, my work uniform, lunch... so a common sight was me walking from one class to another, or my car to the lockers, loaded so high with my needed paraphernalia, that I often looked like Gus Gus.

I still tend to keep myself fairly hectic all the time, and when I am too overwhelmed I recall those days and claim that I feel like Gus Gus.

Thus, I am a Gus.
And my random posts are what you'd find in the Mind of a Gus.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Euphoria

I just had the perfect moment of euphoria.
This moment came as I got in my car to come to class tonight.
It had rained all day and finally got down to 69 degrees so I decided to sport a sweatshirt for the first time this season. That alone could have evoked my moment of euphoria but it wasn't.
Bath and Body works just came out with their fall line of scents which means that I could get a refill for my car air-freshener and I got "Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin".... mmm

Can you imagine that?
Cold and rainy,
Sweater attired,
and Christmas sent filled nostrils!

It was perfect... until I looked down and saw an all too familiar sight


Check Engine
No Oil Pressure stop car now
No Gas

Need I say that the distance between euphoria and dysphoria is small! ! !

New York, New York!!!

Two months ago, I was in New York City with my dear friend Camille.
We went for the BlogHer conference that was held in Manhattan.
As you know from reading my blog, I am no devout blogger and really had no place with an entire hotel full of die-hard, devout, multi-weekly bloggers.
I did learn a lot and walked away wishing I had the motivation to blog more.
Our days were jam packed with blog related workshops, panels, food, and parties. You might ask why I went... well, my heart has a firm devotion and love to Broadway. As busy as we were, we found time to sneak out, stand in line, and buy tickets to at least one show.

After a very confusing confrontation with the ticket booth lady, Camille and I walked a block back to the hotel with our tickets in hand.

Our sneaking, waiting, and confrontationing, was well worth it because we got student rush tickets to Promises, Promises. This is a very new show and only few have seen it. We were privileged to not only see it, but see it in New York with it's original cast.
WHAT A STEAL!!!


Bazinga! That is not the real steal we walked away with... After the show, Camille and I waited along with hundreds of others to see Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes in person.


There, in the blue shirt is Sean Hayes himself.
and....

yes, this is her in the flesh!
She signed my Playbill and said "you're welcome" in response to my feeble "thank you".

This in an experience of a life time and it only cost me 30 bucks!!!

1/4 of 100 years old

This morning I was thinking what to write in a Birthday card to my dear friend Camille. And it reminded me that after high School, we went to Disneyland together. It was the best time I ever had at Disneyland. No lines, eating pp&j while under the protective roof of Pirates of the Caribbean, eating Rosa's tomatillo salsa in the car, pulling over for imagined flat tires, finding random dentures, eating free oranges, and splurging to eat at the Blue Bayou.

We said that we wanted to make a tradition of coming when we were 25 and then every 5 years after.

I am turning 25 this year.

That sudden reminder brought a waft of melancholy over me today.

I remember the imagined 25 self and to see the actual 25 year old self is a little...