25 March 2011

Good Things Come to Those who...Wait 'til Midnight

Here I sit in the HBLL, otherwise known as the BYU library, pounding out my research paper for my Holocaust class. It's nearly midnight and my eyes are burning and my stomach's growling, and did I mention it's Friday? Yes, I am THAT hip and cool. I'm going on 5 straight hours with no Modern Family break. I'm pretty proud of myself. However, I am allowing myself a blog break to share some good news. Despite the wretched day that it was (welcome to the last 3 weeks of the semester!), God has thrown in a perk here and there, enabling me to smile through all the frustration that comes with the end of the school year.

1.) I woke up this morning and didn't even feel depressed that BYU lost last night against Florida. I was certain I would wake up to find wives and children mourning in the streets and all American flags at half-mast. But I'm just pleased and extremely proud that they made it to the Sweet 16 and had an incredible season. Love ya, Cougs:)

2.) I work with a Romanian girl. We're writing a teacher's guide for the Romanian 101 class next Fall Semester. We were working on it yesterday at her house and she made SARMALE (deeee-lish Romanian specialty: pork and rice wrapped in pickled cabbage leaves, boiled and topped with sour cream) and like any normal Romanian, she loaded me up with leftovers and I ate them for lunch today. HEAVEN.

3.) That Enlightenment exam essay (a.k.a. party in the Testing Center) I wrote about forever ago? I finally got my grade back: A :)

4.) For the Innovative Instruction Competition, we were supposed to hear back today if we are among the finalists. Noon: nothing. 3 o'clock: nothing. 7 o'clock: nothing. I kept checking my email like every 4 minutes. What the heck! Our entry was the BOMB! We were sure to be a finalist! Well, 10:50 pm rolled around and the email finally came. Verdict: affirmative! We present our stuff/charm the judges next week. So, instead of writing about Mihai Eminescu's anti-Semitic poetry like I should be, I have spent the last half hour planning on how I'm going to spend (or save) the $750 that will be mine all mine if we win this thing.

The library nazi just came on the intercom. They're kicking me out. Peace!

18 March 2011

What's Been Growing in my Fridge...

So when I got home from my mission, I wanted to take an easy load of credits. You know, a relatively chill semester and smooth adjustment back into academia. Ok, basically I just wanted free time to catch up on 18 months worth of missed movies.

Well, as usual, things didn't go quite as planned. The mere 13 credits I registered for were the worst possible 13 credits I could ever have picked. And I took on a crazy job (which I love, but it's a rat race) AND my boss convinced me to take on THIS: an Innovative Instruction Competition, put on by the School of Education here at BYU. It's like a business plan competition---which I used to attend annually for the free t-shirts (Katie...help me out here)---but instead of a plan for a business, it's more like a plan for a teaching curriculum. I've been wanting to get into education reform, so I couldn't really turn down the opportunity.

A team of three other girls and I have been working all semester on this project. For the love of the subject, but yes, mostly because we FREAKIN' WANT $3000 AND iPADS! The finalists are announced next week. Here's to SUCCESS!

Oh wait, you want to know WHAT it is we invented??? Check out our video pitch here. We're just a lil' bit proud. The links to some of our materials (some cool stuff, but mostly boring stuff for the judges) are here.


PS: Lani, you're totally in the video without your permission! Don't sue me. I wanted Jimmer to be in it, but his press schedule was booked. You were the next best thing:)

17 March 2011

Tribute to St. Patrick

To any of the O'Brien women who read this:This is a shout-out to Dark Horse, Benny from Rattle the Boards, George "Dubya" Walker Bush, the leprechaun that stole the drunk man's jacket, (I'll even throw in the 2 Scottish guys in London), and all the strapping men that make Ireland so...special. May I point out that 3 of the men mentioned above were from one pub. In Ennis. Ennis breeds the best, I guess. Katie, I hope you remember all of this as well as I do, hah. This song is from Benny to you:)

I love you, Ireland. And the fact that you don't have any snakes because St. Pat got rid of them all. Which is why he's a saint of course. I love your impossible roads and your stony walls and your hills (and rolling down them) and your music scene and your dancing and your pub food and your sheep and your people and their outrageous stories. And I can't wait to come back to you this summer! CHEERS!

08 March 2011

The Answer for World Peace...

FLASH MOBS! (Um, yes, I seriously believe this)

Watch us in the student section, flash mobbing the heck out of the Marriott Center at BYU's last home game this season. We did it during a time-out in the 2nd half. PURE JOY! If you try really hard, you can find me (hint: I'm not wearing white).

03 March 2011

Hi, I go to BYU! I have values!

The BYU basketball game last night? I don't want to talk about it.

I do, however, want to talk about the BYU Honor Code. For those who are not aware, Brigham Young University enforces a strict code of conduct---one that is laughable to most students and alumni from the stereotypical "party hard" college scene. "It's college! Let it loose! Go crazy! Try everything! because it's your last chance to do so before entering the full-fledged adulthood that graduation thrusts upon you." As if graduating from college somehow makes you an adult. If you're a student, you know what I mean. If you were a student, you know what I mean. If your only exposure to college life is from watching ABC's "Greek," you know what I mean. I've heard enough of my parents' college stories and see enough "what I did this weekend" photo albums of non-BYU Facebook friends to know that I'm not getting the same experience. Am I bothered by that? Heck no. I wouldn't be at BYU otherwise.

What's in the Honor Code, you may ask? I'll lay it out for you:
Be honest
Live a chaste and virtuous life
Obey the law and all campus policies
Use clean language
Respect others
Abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse
Participate regularly in church services
Observe the Dress and Grooming Standards
Encourage others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code

Jimmer Fredette and I were both made fully aware of the Honor Code before choosing to come to this university, and we willingly signed it upon acceptance. In fact, we re-confirm our commitment to it every year we are enrolled. So, why is half the sporting world all up in arms because BYU kicked Brandon Davies off the basketball team when he broke the Honor Code??? Yes, he was our starting forward. Yes, he was good. Yes, it sucks that he's suspended for the rest of the season (if not forever). But those are the consequences for breaking the rules, and props to BYU for actually upholding theirs.

"But BYU is ranked #3! They are projected to be a #1 seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament! They even have a good chance at being a final four contender!" I bag on schools like USC because of the amount of corruption in their sports programs. So I would be completely hypocritical if I wished BYU had let this one slide or had simply turned a blind eye.

So why is everyone so shocked that BYU let Davies go? Especially at such a critical point in Cougar basketball history? Honor Code haters like sports editor Andrew Sharp seem to have forgotten that THIS IS OUR RELIGION, people! BYU is a private religious institution run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Its students come here because they want to adhere to higher standards and live around those who do the same. No one forces them into it. I could have gone to Ohio State, but---believe it or not---I still wouldn't drink and I still wouldn't have sex! Weird. BYU wouldn't exist if no one supported its standards. But people do. By their own free will and choice.

Here are some wise words for you: Regarding the Honor Code (and its critics), legendary BYU football coach Lavell Edwards said, "I don't know that those not inclined to understand, will ever understand." It's true. You see what you want to see.

Not every sports writer is an Honor Code hater. Many have expressed their admiration for BYU sticking to its guns. Read this, because it's classy, well-written, and I agree with everything it says (and obviously you care about what I do or don't agree with or you wouldn't be reading my blog).

To BYU: you have my respect. To the basketball team: GO GET 'EM, COUGS!