Saturday, March 26, 2011

Made my day!

So, yesterday my English professor returned my second essay. I was anxious to hear how I did on it, after all it was my first article analysis. I'm beginning a research paper and looked forward to hear feedback that may help improve my writing.

When she placed my essay face down in front of me and whispered in my ear "please stay after class to talk with me", my heart sank. Did I really do that poorly? UGH! I turned my assignment over and found the typical rubric with the score 15++/15.

She went over the scoring in class and it slowly sank in that I had received an excellent grade. WOW!

After class, the professor told me it was one of the best student essays she had ever received and encouraged me to fix something on the citation page and then submit it to the Presidents Awards (which was due by 5pm that day). She told me I am a good contender for first place. Yes, me!

That's all I needed to hear! I mean, it doesn't even matter IF I win. It was only a month ago that I told Michelle, a friend on campus, that I have never thought of myself as a good writer. So, to hear that I have something a professor deems as "publish worthy" is just drop-jaw-amazingly-great NEWS! Of course, now I probably need to stop being careless on my blog... or you won't believe it!

What a boost! It just makes me wonder: What else can I do?!?!

I can't wait to find out!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

A day in the trenches

What a day! My tongue is still numb from the too hot herbal lemon "tea" I drank this morning. It was suppose to numb my sore throat, but my tongue got in the way. I'm drinking Vitamin Water Zero's like my tongue is actually on fire. Trying to drown the germs; I'm going to pretend it's working.

English class was a bit better than normal. The thing I hate about that class is that all the kids (my classmates) do not talk. They are as unsocial with one another as I have ever seen a class be. 30 kids (counting myself, haha) and silence. So, I'm sniffling and blowing my nose into wads of stiff cheap toilet paper, the type that public restrooms stock, and nobody in my group of 8 will read the Journal. We are discussing peer-reviewed articles and how scholarly journals are composed. The assignment is to pick one of the articles inside. My group hands the Journal "Criminology" to me. I cough into the inside of my elbow and blow my nose. "Really?" I asked in a croak. Silence. Yes, really. So, I flip open to the first article. In a congested nasal voice I read. Cough, read, sneeze, read, blow nose, read, and the kids look on as I read about a link found between the homicides of strangers and capitol punishment and media attention. I hope none of these kids are in my literature class next semester. SIGH.

I study all morning to re-take my math test. It's the first test I've had to re-take, I got a 77% the first time around. I am really good at forgetting the negative sign or copying the problem down wrong. It's very frustrating. So, I study and I feel ready. I'm going to get a hundred and that will put my overall class score back to 99%. Nope, I got an 84%. That is such a bummer! It's not a horrible score, I suppose, except to me. I'm still at a 92% overall, but that is just too close to a B (89%). I really need to learn to give myself an occasional break, you know? So, I'm working hard at holding my head up, which now feels like a bowling ball. My muscles ache, and I wish I could climb into a deep tub filled with hot water and bubbles. I need soothing music and some pretty smelling candles, even though I don't think my nose is working right now.

So, as soon as I do a research assignment, drop Scotty off at Jiu Jitsu, pick up Caitlin from volleyball practice, pick up Scotty from Jiu Jitsu, fix the family dinner, and study for my government quiz I'm going to treat myself to that tub soak. I hope I can stay awake long enough, LOL!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Worm Guts

So, I'm enjoying the fresh air the rain brings. It is invigorating, especially in the cool morning temperatures! I love how much good the rain brings. It brings freshness, bathes the earth, waters the grass, plants and beautiful flowers. It provides us with a very needed resource: water.

Of course there are some not so pleasant things about rain... the frizzy hair, the wetness, the big puddles, umbrellas, mud and... the worm guts all over the sidewalks here at BSU, from being trampled among thousands of feet. It felt a little bit like navigating through a mine field (with less consequences, of course, for the miss step). At some points I chose to carry my rolling bag, thankfully it is lighter today.

Thinking about these poor worms and the ugliness of the worm guts, I thought it was too bad rain brings them out to the surface. How like real life that is. Real life brings so much joy and good into life and... "worm guts" too. We have to navigate around them; sometimes we can't avoid them and cringe our way through every step.

We all have our share of "worm guts" don't we?

A nice lady opened the door for me here in the Liberal Arts Building. She and I got into what Caitlin would call an "inappropriate conversation with a stranger". (Caitlin is of the opinion that I talk to strangers too much. I enjoy striking up conversation with people I don't know and find it friendly; it embarrasses her.) Anyhow, we talked about the worm guts and she observed, "I walked through the park to get to campus this morning and the birds are having a great time!"

That made me smile. How very optimistic those birds are and what full tummies they must have! I think I need to concentrate on seeing the good in "worm guts." Although, that's not an announcement that I'm going to enjoy "eating them".

I'm sure if we look at the "worm guts" in our lives, those things we don't like and try to side step, we can find something good from the bad. It's not easy; "worm guts" are unsightly. But, carefully we can walk through life and avoid most of them and be sure to clean up the rest. The big key is smiling through every step!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Be Kind to Yourself

I read something today that reminded me of something I wanted to start doing on my blog. I am reading an incredible book by Toni Sorenson called "Defined by Christ".

I cannot say enough great things about this book, it has nourished me from page one. She says:
"The adversary loves to remind us who we are not. Not pretty. Not smart. Not strong. And his destructive voice might not be the only voice we hear. Satan is skilled at recruiting other people to reinforce his cruelties and those who supposedly care more about us - and they are the ones who inflict the deepest wounds. I wonder how often we say unkind words to people without realizing the damage we are doing to their spirits. I wonder how often our tongues are on the errand of evil without even realizing it... The most destructive thing we can possibly do in life is to make another person doubt his worth and identity as a child of God. The very most productive thing we can do is to help ourselves and others realize that as children of God, our worth is infinite." (page 52)

A few weeks ago I decided that I was going to start treating myself better. I was going to change the negative self-talk I sometimes experience into positive self-talk. I was going to be better at ignoring the whisperings of Satan and those he has influenced to criticize me. I know I am worthy of love and kindness. I am going to treat myself as I deserve to be treated and learn to see myself as my Savior sees me.

So every day I plan to do at least one thing kind for myself AND give myself one compliment.

I'm not sure I will post them all here, I'll have to think about that, but I will post today's...

Today I am being kind to myself by NOT allowing myself to be negative about writing an English paper. I doubt my abilities to write papers but, I am going to challenge that thought by reminding myself that I have scored 100% on all 7 papers I have turned in since going back to college this fall.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mr. Darcy takes second place

So, I wasn't going to read this book for Book Club next week, but my friend Lisa told me it was one of her favorites!

I am so glad I read it because it is now one of my favorites too! It is very rare to find someone as endearing as Mr. Darcy, however, Captain Elliot beats Mr. Darcy hands down. What a rare find. Do men like this actually exist? I'm not sure.

Read this book if you like humor and clean romance. You will not regret it. It's also full of heartache and sadly, I relate to much more of Sarah's struggles than I wish to be.

Time to return the book to the Library, but this one I'm going to have to buy before too long!

Wish they would make it a movie!