Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
- I love stats! - I wrote an entire 30 page research paper (with the help of Giulia), which included analyzing 30 animated films. Minus the stress and pressure of time restraints, I loved it.
- Insta-friends are the best kind - I have a cohort of 10 students in my masters program. We are all super different with different personalities, however, we all get along great. And, being new to Utah it was great to get 10 friends without even having to work at it. We all know that if it were up to me, I wouldn't have worked at it and therefore wouldn't have had any friends.
- It is useless to try and not be a night owl- At the beginning of the semester, I tried to go to school early (since most of my classes were later) to get my work done and get ahead in classes. That was the biggest failure of my life. I then changed back to my old ways, staying up until at least 2 am everyday, and the fruits of my labor were so much greater.
- There is a threshold to my patience - I would consider myself a patient person. However, if I am stressed, sleep deprived and haven't had enough alone time, I become super irritable. (SORRY)
- I'm gonna do my thesis on something related to animation- I really enjoyed my research project on animation and feel like I have started on the path to know a lot more about it, so why not make it my thesis! One less thing to stress about.
- I have commitment and attachment issues- Actually, when I googled my symptoms it said that I have Commitment Phobia and Attachment Disorder (and yes, google is the right place to go to get psychological diagnosis).
Some of the symptoms I have always known I have: slow and careful to get friends (usually I'd rather not have them), it is rare for me to really like a guy and if I do it is easy for me to talk myself out of it (just give me a week or two), it is a constant battle to convince myself to want a family of my own (my worst fear is that I will marry a guy and he will die leaving me alone or that I will have a child at it will die and I will lose myself in depression).
Symptoms I've learned this semester: I have an internal debate every time I am invited to do something with our group (the more time I spent with them the more I will be attached and when you're attached it is harder to move on), I don't even like to keep my text books because they will end up being outdated, I don't like to take photos of me in a group because I will then have to associate that place with those people and once it seems I am close to someone I have to pull myself away or I end up feeling totally smothered.
I was asked this semester if I had my heart broken or some sort of bad experience to make me this way and as far as I knew, I hadn't. As I notice more and more of my issues, I have given a lot of thought to what would cause me to have these fears and act this way. Then, a few nights ago, I remembered a time when I was about 10-years old, my little sister was about 4 and we shared the bottom of a white metal bunk-bed. One day, she was attacked by a dog. I didn't see it happen but I remember her screaming and I remember seeing my mom hold her with blood all over the two of them. My dad drove to the hospital as my mom held her and us three kids stayed home with my grandma. I remember that night being horribly long and scary. She had tons of stitches and puncture wounds on her face and head but she was alive and had no lasting problems. I know this was traumatic for me because as I look back, for months after, I would hold her hand while she slept and cry myself to sleep as I imagined how I could've lived without her. (Just writing this is making me feel like I need paper bag to breath into.) This is the first instance I can think that I felt this fear of someone leaving me, and I guess it just stuck with me.So, in a nut shell it has been a great semester. I am mostly looking forward to next semester. Truly, the only thing I am nervous about is that another semester with my insta-friends will inevitably lead to getting even closer :)
Monday, November 14, 2011
I am a research assistant for Professor Callister at BYU. There is a group of us (2 professors, 1 librarian, 2 grad students and one undergrad student) who are working on a project about non-profit organizations.
I spend ten hours a week researching articles about, from and to non-profits. I read them, take notes then report back. Another aspect is that I research actual non-profits and see what they are doing to fundraise specifically using social media. I have such a vast array of ideas, thoughts and suggestions that I feel like I could start my own non-profit one of these days...
Today, I spent some time on twitter (@chelsie_akers) looking up some organizations. Two really stood out to me: Charity:Water and Room to Read.
|Photo from Here|
There fundraising is impressive because 100% of what you give goes to fund the water projects.
Even if you make a credit card donation and the CC company takes a % they will use their private funding to pay that % so it truly is 100%.
|Photo from Here|
Saturday, November 12, 2011
So what does it mean that I woke up at 12:30pm today?
The only conclusion I could come to, is the fact that I don't have any passion. None at all. I have never once leapt out of bed at 6:30 in the morning. Even when I was serving a mission for my church and I was required to wake up at 6:30, I not once leapt up. It was more like a slow droop to the ground where I then proceeded to say a prayer which was intermittently disturbed by a few more minutes of sleep.
Besides the 18 months I was required to wake up at such an ungodly hour, I have only woken that early for really good reasons: an early college class (lets face it, I was late every time and ended up with a B because of it...), an exercise class (the only reason I was faithful was because a friend was doing it with me and I couldn't let her down) and black Friday (no explanation needed. Oh, except it was probably earlier than 6:30).
I really can not think of anything that I love enough to get me out of bed at 6:30?
Maybe, when I figure it out, I will be a grown up!? Let's just hope I can figure it out before I graduate... I guess if I don't there is always a PHD to be had...
What would make you leap out of bed every morning?
Friday, November 11, 2011
My entire life has been me living in hot places. Until now... I moved to Utah and committed two winters of my life to the snow. Or rather two years of my life to a masters program at the good ol' Brigham Young University. The move has been great and has given me many new experiences, the most exciting so far has been fall (the season).
Even though I am having a great time up here, my bliss was quickly shattered last Tuesday. What, you might ask could shatter the bliss that one finds in Utah? Freaking rain! I hate rain. The rain here is so dainty and cute but still, it makes you wet. Being the Arizonan that I am, I had no idea how to prepare myself for walking around in the rain. When I got to school, parked, walked to the library and got to my research meeting I was soaked! What the crap? How was I the only one wet up to my knees? How had everyone else forged through the same rain and not got a drop on them? That, my friends is a question that I may never know the answer to. However, my solution was to come home and promptly order me some boots.
I had given the thought to boots knowing that snow is in my near future so I had some styles in mind that I liked. Unfortunatly, those tastes lead me in the direction of Nordstrom... I did however find a few that were marked down! Of all the cute marked down boots to choose from, I had to make a decision and it was made due to one word WATERPROOF.
Yes, I bought the Sorel 'Tivoli High' Waterproof Boot.
Original Price: $139.95
Sale Price: $99
Not the best steal of my life but if I'm gonna fork out food money for the next two months on a pair of boots, at least I saved 40 bucks. And they're cute!
Monday, September 26, 2011
This time, I made only half the amount. (And I regreted it the rest of the week...)
Salsa was always so scary to me. It was a road I was afraid to go down because what if it were bad!?
It was super easy. These are the ingredients I needed:
1/2 red onion
1/2 yellow onion
juice from two limes
2 large bunches of cilantro
4 whole jalapenos
I went to the Superstition Ranch Market in Arizona and here in Utah, I went to the Sunflower Market and piled all the fresh produce into my cart. Then, I waited in line, checked out, paid, placed my ingredients into reusable cloth bags and headed home.
|Thanks to my mama, I have a multi-use Ninja blender that works great for such a project|
After I cleaned all the ingredients, I cut everything into 4ths so they could fit into the blender/food processor. I had to do multiple turns in the blender to make such a big batch. As each ingredient got chopped up, I placed it into a large bowl. Once everything was in the bowl, I mixed it up thoroughly then tasted it on a chip to make sure the salt was good.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
The thing I remember most about that trip was our visit to Mt. St. Helen.
It is a popular tourist site and with construction and fog, we ended up waiting a long time to get to the visitors center. As we waited and slowly inched our car up the mountain, there were road bikers climbing up the mountain and whizzing down the mountain on each side of us. (Come to find out, it was the annual "Tour de Blast". ) As I watched those bikers, I wanted so badly to become a biker and do that one day.
|Adam, Michael, Me & Hannah|
Thanks to grad school and having to think about a thesis, I have been trying to focus on what makes me happy, what I am passionate about and what are my dreams. I had given up on so many of them that I felt like I didn't even have any. One dream that fought its way out from the back of my mind was biking.
This is just a start, but maybe one day I can go back to Washington and do the Tour de Blast. It'll take a lot of work so I better be over all this giving up crap!
From their website: here
Mile 0: 500 ft. (Toutle - Starting Line)
Mile 11: 1,000 feet (Sediment Dam)
Mile 16: 1,400 feet (Hoffstadt Bluffs - Pit Stop)
Mile 24: 3,000 feet
Mile 27: 3,800 feet (Elk Rock - Pit Stop)
Mile 34: 3,159 feet (Coldwater Ridge - Closed)
Mile 41: 4,314 feet (Johnston Ridge - Pit Stop)
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Friday, September 9, 2011
In most cases I am not a very emotional person. Today though, every time I got in my car, I cried. I cried because I remembered where I was that day. I cried because I remembered how I felt that day. I cried as I heard people re-telling how their day was in New York and at the Pentagon. I cried as a 12 year-old talked about her father, a first responder, whom she doesn't remember because she was only 2 when he died. I cried out of guilt for the ten years I have taken advantage of the freedom, shelter and safety that I feel.
These two experiences today have reminded me of a lot: That I DO pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and that I need to do more to show that allegiance and my appreciation for those who are more consistent at it.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
I have loved every second in Utah. It is like a postcard
everywhere you look and it is amazingly cool!
I am in a small graduate program for communications. There are ten of us in the program and we all have the same classes together and all of them are in the same classroom at the same oblong table.
I am taking my first computer programing class this semester and was trembling with trepidation as I walked through the door and found my seat in a sea of computer geeks. Before class even started I was anticipating how to drop the class. I signed up for it because I felt like in this day and age any computer help would be good. What the heck was I thinking!!! To have to learn something completely new on top of the function overload in com grad studies... I didn't know if I had the stamina.
The professor got up and introduced himself and I could barley pay attention because I just had to find a way out of this self inflicted torture. Then, he said "if you have no idea what you are doing, what computer programing is and wonder how you are going to make it through the semester... you are in the right class." Then the light bulb went on! "This is a class for dummies not professionals!"
I was just a fraction less neurotic as I walked into each of our Com classes. I was able to apply the same thought from the computer programing class to the graduate program and tell myself that "this is a class for dummies, not professionals!" Now, please don't take offense. I don't think any of my peers are dummies, but I do feel like, for the first time in my academic career, that we are all pretty much on the same playing field.
I have always loved learning but am always slow to pick up on new things. This always left me feeling behind and lesser than my class mates. Oh, how I remember the timed multiplication tables and how I felt so inferior to everyone in my 4th grade class. But once I got a hold of the concept of multiplication, I was making the same time as all the rest of them!
I am so glad that this last week hasn't been a repeat of the 4th grade. I feel like we each have our strengths and not one of us is on their way to finish 100 multiplication problems in less than a minute, but instead we are each going to steadily pace ourselves to the end.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Everyday on my mission I would stop and talk with young people at the bus stop or walking down the street. Through just a short conversation with these people I was able to feel not only their great desire to know more about God and Jesus Christ, but Heavenly Father’s love and desire to have them as part of his fold. Disappointedly, these people always refused a visit. They did so not out of disregard or malice, but because they literally didn’t have the time to have a meeting. They worked all day then took night classes all night, the only hours they were at home was after college at 11:30pm until they were out the door at 6am to head to work. The truth was being held back from them because they were too busy. I swore to myself that I wouldn’t let that be the case for me anymore.
Since I have had that experience, I have worked less hours and focused on my family and schooling. Consequently, my family relationships have gotten stronger and each semester for the last two years my grades have been better and better. As I battled the grades from my carefree days, I was able to graduate with an above average GPA. I will be starting this program with a passion to do my best and without past grades to battle with, making me an ideal scholar for the communication department. Any award of scholarship would be a great stepping-stone in helping me keep my promise to myself and to reach my future goals.
Financially I am in need of assistance because my parents are unable to support me through my college pursuit. They are both public school teachers; my mother teaches high school English and my father teaches second grade. Growing up in a household that believes “if there’s a will, there’s a way,” has taught me to reach for the stars and not settle for mediocrity. Through their example I have learned that I can make a difference in the world and have been placed on this path, hopefully, to do just that.
Thank you for this opportunity to be in the communication department and for taking the time to consider me for financial assistance.
Monday, May 16, 2011
I have been here in Virginia for a month now!
I figure it is about time for me to update my friends and family so I will jam as much in as I can...
I am working for a company named Moxie Pest Control. I am a door to door sales girl and I am actually enjoying what I am doing. (That could have something to do with the fact that I have only been here 4 weeks, ask me again at the end of week 8 and we'll see how I feel.) I work with a group of 25 sells people and each of them are amazing in their own individual way. It is great to get to know them and feel part of such an instant family.
We work until about 10 or 11pm each night Monday-Friday then on Saturday we get off between 4 and 5. So, essentially we work really hard and have a day and a half to fit in all the playing we can. (Which isn't too much because we are always so tired from the week.)
We've gone down to DC a few times to see museums and monuments.
I drove down to the DC Temple one Sunday. It is hard to get there during the week so instead, I just went on Sunday and read my scriptures there. It was quite beautiful.
It's nice to just go to a movie sometimes. We can still get out of our work clothes and just sit and relax. Needless to say we've seen a movie two of the weekends: The Fast Five and Thor. Of the two, I would say I liked Thor better but watching The Fast Five with a bunch of boy fans, made it impossible not to like.
Those were some of the fun things that I've done. As for the personal side, I have had some great things happen too! Most of you know that I was accepted into the Masters program at BYU for Communication. Well, just this last week, I was sent an email from Dr. Thomas telling me that I was granted a half scholarship and that I was accepted for an assistantship with another professor for the fall semester!
When I started looking back into school, I never in my wildest dreams wanted to go to BYU but through a long process of prayer, I knew that was where the Lord wanted me to apply. With it being such a competitive school, I didn't think I would get in and I could just kinda laugh at the Lord for making me do such a silly thing. Well, for some reason he really wants me there. He not only got me in but he keeps sending me these little jabs, "you know you can't go anywhere else if you get a scholarship." "I can make it even harder for you to pass up by giving you a job too!" "Who's laughing now?" Needles to say, there is really NO doubt that I am supposed to be at BYU come August... Wish me luck!
Another success since I have been here is with my health. Most of you all know that I was sick a bit before I left. I had an ulcer and was sick all the time... Well I went on an organic detox diet with the ladies from work (at A New Leaf) and it made me feel a lot better. I haven't had any health issues since I started on it. It was originally just for a month but I am still going strong and am feeling great. When I weighed yesterday, I was down a total of 20 pounds! I am so proud of myself for being so good. I have never been successful on a diet before. I think the difference of this one is that I am afraid that if I do give in and eat things I am not supposed to, I will end up sick. And when my paycheck rests on my daily performance, I can not afford to be sick!
There you have it! That is what I am up to. I am missing everyone but most especially Rachel and Nathanael. Beijitos fofinhos!!! Te amo.
Friday, April 22, 2011
A few years ago, I was on a road trip just a few hours shy of the one I had in front of me. On this trip, I was most comfortable in my best friend Kyle and his wife Camille's F- something amazing truck. Although the accommodations were exemplary, I found myself a with a bit of motion sickness. During my short bouts of consciousness (sleeping is the only remedy for motion sickness), I foggily remember two men talking to each other about the strangest topics such as the Hells Angels and totem poles. Even though the memories were only foggy, I remember thinking that this could be something interesting. Once these memories surfaced, I talked with Camille and asked what the heck we were listening to. She changed my life. She introduced me to Josh and Chuck, two men who are now a part of my life. Josh and Chuck have a podcast "Stuff You Should Know".
Knowing I get a little sick from such long rides in the Fury, I was not adrenalized with the idea of 4 straight days on the saddle, so I made sure and prepared well: I downloaded 195 of their podcasts, 2.8 days worth of material. We made it through at least 25 of them! An informational, humorous and random podcast was the perfect thing to pass 6 states and 36 hours with. My dad and I were able to enjoy ourselves and really get to know Josh and Chuck pretty well.
The trip was pretty uneventful. We drove, switched, filled up the gas, drove, switched, filled up the gas... repeat a bagillion times. The Night Fury impressed us all and on one tank of gas got 429 miles! I think it took a little under 7 tanks of gas to go 2299 miles. Thank goodness I got me the Night Fury and not some other gas guzzler.
It is taxing on ones body to be cooped up in a car all day. Then adding the fact that it was raining, hurricane style, for three days in a row meant that I was clutching all my muscles and so tense as I held a death grip on the steering wheel. So, each night we stopped at a motel (thanks dad) to rest our little bodies. I'm not gonna lie, the motel 6's we stayed at both had a really bad smell to them, but heck all we needed was 6-8 hours to sleep so their job was fulfilled.
A long road trip with a person is a big commitment. My dad is the perfect road trip partner. It was great to be with him for 4 days. There aren't many people in the world that you could take a 4 day road trip with and not ever once get sick of them or annoyed by something they do, my dad is that man. He should be a professional road trip companion. (I don't know what type of road trip companion I make, but I know I am not nearly to his caliber!)
Needless to say, the three of us got here safe and sound. Then 18 hours later my dad was on a plane headed back to the good ol dry city of Mesa Arizona while I stayed in the freezing wet city of Centreville Virginia.
Love you dad!