Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Love and Family

I've been thinking about the value of the family a lot lately- mostly because of Proposition 8, but also because my ENG 250 class has had that theme for awhile now. I love my family and I am so excited to raise a family of my own! I am a little nervous about the future since marriage will no longer only be between a man and a woman in the next few years, maybe decade. Families will be affected when the purpose of families is devalued. I believe that by the time my kids are growing up, gender will not play into any importance anymore.

I don't have a lot to say right this moment, but I'll add on to this post later.

For now, here is a sweet Christmas story by Pearl S. Buck:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


This is a poem we're reading for class:

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red:
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound.
I grant I never saw a goddess go:
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
~William Shakespeare, Sonnet CXXX

It sounded terrible when I first read it, since you usually compare your love of someone to beautiful things like roses and sweet perfume, but then I kept reading it over and over. I realized that he says in the end that he cannot compare his love for her to anything because it is so rare! It's so romantic and different than other love poems. I guess I love it because it is the most realistic love poem I've ever read. I'm such a sap for chick flicks, love songs and poems, but I really love this one because it speaks about true beauty and they way really love is. Carl loves me for me, not because I'm tall and have blonde hair and blue eyes (ha. i am the complete opposite). This is how love really is. Shakespeare really understands love. By the way, I read somewhere that "reeks" is used differently in the Elizabethan era than it is now, where it is usually defined as "stinks." It's using it as emanating. Also, hair back then was referred to as "golden wires."

Here's a good definition of love by Shakespeare (sonnet cxvi):

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Last week we spoke of death. It made me realize how much I want to improve in myself and all the things that are worth more on focusing like spiritual learning verses academic learning. If I focus on the former, than the latter will come :)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Who's the Bad Guy?

We had an interesting class today in ENG 250. I liked class overall, but I was bothered by a story my teacher shared.

The theme for today was "Traditions and Education". So we talked about the purpose of traditions mostly and why we should keep some and weed out others. Some traditions are done just for the sake of traditions, but don't exactly have any reason to back them up. Well if it's just for fun, then it doesn't really matter, but basically we need to continue building up good traditions in our life and constantly making sure that we are benefitting from them- not somehow hurting ourselves or others in the long run.

Now back to my teacher's story: he transitioned topics from traditions to sacrafice and told us about a particular class of his a few years back. There was a student who was from somewhere in South America and she came from a rough background. Her dad had passed away, her mother had cancer, and I think she was even a convert. She came to BYU-I and although she was bright, she was failing my teacher's class because she didn't go to class often and didn't complete all the assignments. There was another student in the class and he stayed after class one day to chat with my teacher. Some how the subject of the South American girl came up. That student, who currently had an A+ in the class, offered his passing grade to trade for the girl's failing one because he didn't mind re-taking the class. My teacher thought that would be fine, but he wanted this student to see what the class thought first. The next class period, the boy asked the class what they thought of him trading grades with the girl. The teacher said much contention arose because half of the class agreed and the other disagreed. Some said that it was fine, others argued that she should have to face the consequences of not preparing for class. So, he gave the opportunity to any students who wanted to participate and asked that they just slip a note under his office door. He got 7 notes: 1 was a note stating the girl should not get the A grade, 4 were from students with "ok" grades, 1 was from a 4.0 student, and the last from the guy who started it all. Apparently the guy had an extremely low GPA overall and this class was his only A ever. My teacher concluded this story as an analogy to the atonement of Christ, His sacrafice for our shortcomings, to Justice and Mercy, and as always, how we need to be a little more giving and willing to sacrafice. I agree with the last statement because I truly believe that we all need to have more charity in our lives.

But here's my thought: I wouldn't give up my grade for someone's failing one. Does that make me the bad guy? Because I sure felt like it when my whole class seemed to be nodding in agreement and thinking how courageous that student was. The atonement is to make up for our short comings, but only after we have a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and are trying to be the best we can be. He makes up for that last stretch. There has to be a balance of justice and mercy. Justice would have been failing the class, and mercy would have been the second chance to re-take the class, not taking someone else's passing grade. I do not believe that the atonement makes up for our irresponsibility, like not attending class or finishing assignments. That is laziness. The atonement is a really amazing gift to us, but I just did not agree with my teacher's analogy.

I am so grateful to have a husband who comforts me when I feel like an outsider in my class :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Following Popular Trends

I did it. I've created a blog. I try so hard to avoid popular trends to somehow distinguish myself among the masses and yet, I almost always convince myself to jump on the bandwagon eventually. I did it with myspace, I did it with facebook, I even did it with the iPhone. So here I am now, typing away, feeling slightly guilty because I succumbed once again, but also savoring this new moment of creating my first blog entry.

I've mostly created this for the purpose of my ENG 250 class, but I've seen other bloggers use this as a "garage sale". I think I'd like to use this for staying connected with my family and friends mostly. Being newly married, I imagine some friends or family members would like to know more details on my new life.

We'll see how soon I decide to retire blogging :)

Like I mentioned earlier, I got married to my best friend, Carl Leder, on April 19th, 2008. He's great. I love him! Technically, this blog is supposed to be "ours", but Carl will admit that he's definitely not quite the "blogging type." We met in the BYU-I 1st ward last September (2007), called it "love" after a month, and naturally got engaged the month after. We probably could have been married that December as well, but I think both my family and I needed the 4 month engagement- I was only 19 afterall. Outside of the LDS culture, a year long engagement is normal. 4 months is short! Getting married at 19 is supposed to be a poor choice. Nonetheless, I think everyone was happy on April 19th this year when Carl and I were sealed for time and all eternity in the Oakland California LDS Temple. It was truly one of the happiest days in my life. Life was great then.

Life is greater now! I've been married for over 5 months now and spent my first married summer living and working on the east coast! I have been a west-coaster, california sunshine kind of gal my whole life, and though I thought Idaho was rough my first year at college, Washington DC redefined "rough" for me. Carl and I lived in the DC area (Silver Spring, MD) right after we got married. We drove there from Oregon in about 2 1/2 days and started working right away with Pinnacle Security. Carl installed home security systems, while I was one of the office managers for that particular office in the company. I say that DC redefined rough for me because it was so different and frustrating than any other place I've lived or even visited. The drivers were scary, we were part of a minority in race, the Church was not as strong as it is in Idaho or Utah (or even my home stake!), and of course we didn't know anybody or have any family close by. Over the course of the summer, we toured practically all of DC and the surrounding area and I ended up really enjoying the experience in the end. However, if I end up living on the east coast again, I'd prefer to be in the country :)

I don't know who will actually take the time to read all of this, but I've enjoyed writing tonight- and if it's only me, I'm okay with that because that's just one more thing on my list of little pleasures in life.