1.25.2011

Condie

Ever since Condoleeza Rice came to speak, I have heard so many people refer to her as "Condie." Is that acceptable or normal? Are we allowed to call a secretary of state by a nickname? Is she ok with this? Just wondering because I think it is odd.


Well let's rewind to my high school years. I was in AP Government & Politics and so I would sometimes watch C-Span. I wasn't allowed to watch TV after school but if my mom wasn't home, sometimes I would turn it on. I remember getting really into two things: Justice Alito's Senate confirmation question thing, and then Condoleezza's appearance before Senate for the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks from 9-11. I remember Charles Schubert (Democrat from NY) was asking her a question and just being a bit snooty and then she came back with this fantabulous answer. She wasn't even nervous at all (or at least didn't act like it) and presented her thoughts so nicely with such feminine poise.

Ever since then I have thought she was awesome and have even felt like I know her a little bit. When I would hear her name in the news or see pictures of her in the newspaper, I would seriously think, "Oh my friend Condoleezza just out doing her thing- changing the world." (Note: Even though she's my "friend," I don't call her Condie. Should I?)

Now fast forward to a couple weeks ago at BYU. We normally have our devotional/forum on Tuesdays but she is such a big deal that we moved around our campus schedule so she could speak to us on a Thursday morning. I knew it wasn't going to be broadcast so I had my pen, notebook, and back up pens prepared so I could glean all I could and share it with the good people of cyber-space.

My notes of her words:


  • Headlines and history's judgement are rarely the same. 
  • After September 11th, everyday was September 12th and now we still need to defend out country beyond our sanctuaries and reach out to help failed states heal. 
  • Nowadays, the large and powerful countries are not the dangerous ones.
  • (In reference to Afghanistan...) Despite the hard work, we have to complete the job. 
  • Every dictator fears the moment when the people will go against them (she was talking about the electoral process in the U.S. and how dictators live in anxiety and rule with fear.)
  • (On the economy...) Growth is led by the private sector: risk taking, innovation, creativity can not all be funded by the government. The government is a foundation to make innovation happen. 
  • (In reference to China and their power growth...) Can a country that is so afraid of the internet and free thinking really be the one to lead the growth of knowledge?
  • Our (U.S.) role in the international system is special. We have a constant renewal of energy with all of our immigrants. We need our immigrants because we want energetic and ambitious people to join us. 
  • (In reference to her grandfather who became a Protestant clergy so he could have a scholarship...) My grandfather knew that education would give him a different life. As educated people, you have special responsibilities. 
  • If you are good at English, take more math. If you are good at math, become more engaged in the arts. Overcoming and mastering something that is hard for you is good. We are caught up in our own territory, geography, and language. 
  • When she is lacking in optimism, she reads the biographies of the founding fathers. 
  • It is fine and good to ask questions and to want to know the full range of human knowledge. 
  • Find your passion while you are here studying at Brigham Young University. This isn't just what you are studying, but find out what you're excited to do every single day. 
  • At a university, world's open up to you that you never would have imagined.
  • You have a responsibility to be optimistic about where you're going when you have been given so much to move forward with. 
  • Whatever is wrong with the world, it would be worse without the leadership. 




So there we have it. Pretty incredible woman. Everyone I have talked to about it thought she was absolutely wonderful. She also talked a lot about family and heritage, Russians, and playing the piano. She started off with telling us about how nice it is to be out of D.C. now. She reads the newspaper with her breakfast and says, "Hm, isn't that interesting?" and goes on with her day.
And now for my soapbox. Sometimes I feel like as a woman I can not amount to anything until or unless I am married and have kids. And I do think that is the most important thing a woman can be doing with her time, it isn't the option for everyone. And being in my last semester at the Y, my plan of those pursuits are seeming like less of a near reality.
So that is just another reason why I think Condoleezza is great. She isn't married and while I have no idea what her man stories are, etc.  It is nice to know that she is still powerful and has still has done so much for our country, even if it is not in the traditional ways. Go Cougs!

1.20.2011

Nephi & Lehi

One more thought about the More Good speaker tonight.
He said,"There is great power we posses in being 'ordinary'."
Love that.

It reminded me of one of my favorite scriptures, Helaman 11:19. The preceding chapters are about Nephi (not the one in 1 Nephi- I think this is Helaman's son), his leadership roles and all he is working on to further the spread of the gospel. He is given the sealing power and many revelations. Then comes verse 18:
And behold, the people did rejoice and glorify God, and the whole face of the land was filled with rejoicing; and they did no more seek to destroy Nephi, but they did esteem him as a great prophet, and a man of God, having great power and authority given unto him from God.
And then verse 19.
And behold, Lehi, his brother, was not a whit behind him as to things pertaining to righteousness. 
Good stuff. No comparison, no competition. Both wonderful men moving the work forward.

The Bookstore

I already told this to the bulk of my blog readers: my sister and my roommates. But I just feel like it must be shared on cyberspace!


Today at the bookstore I bought an awesome Charley Harper calendar. The above image is on my wall as we speak (isn't is just darling?). So I am waiting at the register, the one by the magazines on the west side. As I approach the check-out line and the lady scans my calendar, I gave her my form of payment.
 I said, "This is one of those Visa gift cards and sometimes it doesn't work so just a warning... it may only have some left..."
Then the girl who is behind me in line says, "Oh that's fun is it a wedding gift or something?"
I immediately start laughing and said, "No, I wish."

Time out.
Rewind.
No, I wish? Seriously?! Did I really need to say that to the girl at the check-out. It was like a reflex. I wasn't even thinking. It just came out lightening fast. I felt like I was on Gilmore Girls, that's how fast this dialogue was going.
So then I continue, feeling awkward. "Actually it is from my boss."
Girl in line: "Oh that is really cool. You have a great boss."
Me: "Thank you."
And I walk away.

Thank you?! It's almost like she was trying to be excited for me that even though I wasn't married, I certainly had a cool boss. And I thanked her for it? So odd. After I walked about 3 steps away, I replayed the conversation in my head and had a good laugh. My sister said, "Well I guess we know what you really want." I felt like I was that witness at the end of Legally Blonde when they are asking questions rapid-fire. Too funny!

Love Anne Taintor

I am feeling a bit hyper, thus I might as well type- not sleep

I rediscovered something about myself today. I have memory anxiety. What does this mean? Whenever I learn something that really blows my mind, not just something in class but some real knowledge and truth that I know is going to affect my life each day, I have to save it. In my sister's favorite book, there is a section about saving books. Rather than thinking that we need to keep every book that has ever affected us, we just need to assimilate the life lessons into our life. We don't need the actual writing, just glean the goodness and let it change you.
Love this journal my dear friend Lindy gave me.
designer's site
Lovely theory, but I am not so good at this. Most of the books that really affect me I have had to return to the library. So instead of just letting go and moving on, I hand-write the sections into my journal that I really like.  You know, just in case I need it.
And tonight I needed it. I was talking to a friend about people in our church who struggle with homosexuality. Over the break I read "Goodbye, I love you" by Carol Lynn Pearson. Luckily, I had written down a quote from her book that perfectly explained the point I was trying to make.
But even though I have all this information at my finger-tips (and I have a fairly photographic memory of where it is in the book and next to which sketch...) sometimes it is hard to just say things for myself, because there is always someone you can quote or refer to.
Why am I thinking of all this? Tonight I went to some stake's institute and the speaker is the president of the "More Good" foundation. I am still not exactly sure what they do, but their purpose is to get more positive Mormon exposure online. They help people create LDS themed websites and they post lots of videos on YouTube and if they see anti-Mormon content that breaks copyright laws or twist information, they contact the organizations being violated so they are aware. Then they can get the misperceptions out of cyber-space. Interesting, right? Well he said a lovely thing (he said many lovely things), "We must change perception before you can make the invitation."

This reminded me of my days on Heritage Tours. When you graduate, our high school seminary offered a 3 week bus trip all over the U.S. to church history sites. Everyone in the group was challenged to give someone a Book of Mormon. I was nervous about it all 3 weeks. When you gave a Book of Mormon away then you got to go to the front of the bus and tell everyone about it. I wanted to be that person. Who doesn't love attention?

This is Rachel (and me)
Clearly our best photo
So anyway, one night my friend Rachel and I were chillin' at a hotel in Pittsford, NY.  We got talking to the attendant at the front desk. Let's be honest, he was really cute and we were asking him a bunch of questions and possibly flirting it up. We talked to him for quite awhile and learned a lot about him. I remember that I always tried to steer the conversation to religion or about Mormons. Anyway, we ended up running up to our room to grab a Book of Mormon and we kept trying to give it to him even though he didn't want it. It was bad news. And I felt really disappointed that we were bad missionaries and we wouldn't reach our goal.
Well, I have thought about that night quite a bit and am grateful for the lessons I learned about the way to not preach the gospel. I haven't been too exposed to people of other faiths because I grew up in Utah, but I like this idea of the "More Good" foundation because it is more about just clearing our name and clearing the air rather than forcing someone to take a book and reach the quota for the day. Another thing the foundation president said: "Mormonism can be complex and difficult, what can you do to help people make sense of it?"

So there may be some subtle changes to the blog. Just FYI.

1.17.2011

Dreams

It is 6:55 am, I just woke up. I have some work to do but I have to document something.

Here they are deciphering stuff. I chose this picture because I just love Ellen Page, and her outfit. 
So I saw Inception over Christmas break. It was all that I expected: crazy, mind blowing, etc. And ever since then, I can't stop thinking about my dreams. A couple days ago I woke up and remembered 3 dreams rather vividly and I couldn't help but wonder "did someone lead me to those other dreams?"

That is the background, this is the foreground.
Last night I had a rather crazy dream. I was with my roommate Charlotte and my friend Kelli (who is currently in the MTC- go missionaries!) and we had just arrived at the Conference Center. We were on the very right hand side on the terrace level. As we were walking down to our seats, I said to Charlotte, "Where is Sarah (another of our roommates)?"
She said,"Oh she was hoping to come but turns out she has dance practice at 10 am, and you know how her teacher is."
So it was just the 3 of us there to watch the young women's general broadcast at 10 am. As we're waiting for it to begin, I notice my dad sitting on the stand next to Pres. Eyring. For some reason I was fairly calm and collected.
Charlotte said, "Isn't that your dad?"
"Of course it is. He always wears a green dress shirt under his suit."  (For the record, this is not true.)
I also noticed that his tie was really loose. Like way too loose. As in, the knot was nowhere near his neck.
Then I started to get concerned.
But, then when the broadcast was supposed to start (you know they do the little minute countdown) suddenly President Eyring started to play some musical instrument. Then somehow my dad pulled out what looked like a cornet, some other guy on the stand had a trumpet, and another had a trombone.  They started dancing and playing their instruments all over the stand.
Needless to say, the crowd went wild.
At first I didn't know if I ought to join in, clapping and hollering in the Conference Center?... totes inappropriate. But after I saw Sis. Beck cheering (she was the YW president) then I felt ok to cheer. Suddenly, my lil' sister Lizzy replaced Charlotte and Kelli and they were nowhere to be found. But Liz and I ran to the front to cheer on our dad.
When he saw that we were coming up, he left the stage (in the middle of the song) and comes from the back-stage with multiple boxes of flowers. He puts them up by the other guys and they start tossing them towards the crowd. (For the record, the audience shrunk to more of a de Jong concert hall size rather than the Conference Center-- I know, quite the transformation right.)
So my dad starts throwing the flowers to us, and a bunch of the young women from our ward were suddenly surrounding us. Some of the flowers were lovely. But some were lettuce leaves with that terrible flower dye. Ya know how Memorial day arrangements have those white carnations that are sprayed that very unnatural blue. That's what we were dealing with here.
I don't know if they figured hey, some people in the distance will just see the colors and the lettuce and assume they are flowers... it was interesting.
So then Lizzy and I were like, dad come sit next to us so you can watch the rest of the broadcast.
But we had driven separate cars so he could keep his performance secret from us, so he decided to drive home and beat the traffic.

Cuhrazy right! When I first woke up, I had no idea why I had that dream. But now as I type it all out, I am sure the biggest influence was watching music man with the family last night (Dad's choice).

                                    

Also, I am sure it helps that I saw Sis. Beck on the stand when Condoleezza Rice spoke at BYU the other day (I'll save those details for another post. She deserves her own, because it was one of the most enlightening and motivating meetings of my life.)

Sarah Jane's photo at Kelli's farewell. (She is on the far left)
I am sure it helps that I am having withdrawals from my dear friend Kelli who recently left on her mission. And I think the Sarah and Charlotte situation may have been because all of my roommates have been out of town this weekend, so I came home and was with Lizzy...  (Sorry Shayna, maybe you'll be in my next dream!)
But I can't explain the setting. 
Conclusion: Dreams are powerful and quite creative. 

1.08.2011

My very last college semester

Well the time is fast approaching for me to leave the good ol' BYU. I have quite the exciting line-up for my last few months. My schedule includes:

  • entrepreneurship lecture series 
  • intro to film
  • business practices of graphic design
  • social entrepreneurship
  • motion graphics
  • individual directed study with the head of the art department 

It has taken quite awhile to finalize, but I am pumped. On facebook a few months ago, I put up the status update: "Best class taken at BYU?" Several of my friends mentioned intro to film so I thought I would check it out. I decided that I am way influenced by the shows I love.


Oh Kathleen

For example, everyone knows that I secretly (and not so secretly) want to be Kathleen Kelly from You've Got Mail and that I thought my college experience could look somewhat like Rory's in Gilmore Girls.

Lorelai II
So even though I am not Kathleen or Rory, I figure that my life will always include movies and series of some kind, so I might as well take a class to know how to analyze the things I watch.
My entrepreneurship lecture series is just 1 credit to finish off my business minor. I wanted to take the women's entrepreneurship class but it conflicted with my schedule. Tragic.

I am already loving my business practices class. It is nice to talk about real life and planning instead of just the fluff of design. It will also be rather convenient to be talking about how to get a job while I am beginning the search to find something awesome.

The social entrepreneurship class is going to be so awesome. The teacher is Warner Woodworth, who has created several groups to help educate people in third world countries. He is a professor of organizational behavior and so he uses business principles to apply to the "social sector" the area of the economy that is not taken care of by either the private or public sector. The first time he did this class, they created Help International- which is a program that 2 of my dear roommates joined. Kelli went to Guatemala and completed an internship teaching women about hygiene. At the same time Aly went to Uganda and helped build sun ovens and teach about hygiene.
I know next to nothing about any of this stuff, but I think it is going to be great. How can it not be when this is our textbook:
How to Change the World by David Bornstein
Last class is motion graphics. This is going to be suh-weet. I am not totally sure how to even define motion graphics but it is a combo between print design and animation. It is more about giving life to text. For example, if you have been to the Carl Bloch exhibit at the MOA, you may recall a room of moving text and images in the first room as you enter. Well my teacher created all that goodness. He is a design professor but he knows oh so much about technology, motion, and interactive media. He is pretty much the best, not to mention my favorite design teacher. Here is a little sample of what he did with some BYU students before:


Typophile Film Festival 5 Opening Titles from Brent Barson on Vimeo.


And this is something he created on his own:


F is for FAIL from Brent Barson on Vimeo.


Beautiful right? I am so going to love Winter 2011!