Archive for September, 2006

good hair = hotness?

Posted in Life, The Single Life on September 20, 2006 by drbolte

I have good hair again.

I worship at the altar of my hair guy.

I trust him like I trust few others–I put my fate in his hands and let it roll. And I’m never unhappy.

My new picture has gotten quite the reaction on Facebook–I was called gorgeous and “hott”–something I never thought would happen to me!

My reaction? How can I be this cute and still SO single?

Maybe this hair will send me over the edge. 🙂

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straws and some seriously overwhelmed camels

Posted in Church, etcetera, Life, School, The Single Life on September 18, 2006 by drbolte

I lost my mind yesterday.

And I did the typical girly thing–I called my mom and cried for two hours. Not a pretty cry either, a few glistening tears and a quivering chin. Oh no. This was the batten-down-the-hatches, call-in-the-EMTs-because-she’s-about-to-hyperventilate sobbing that only happens when you’ve truly reached your limit.

It was deeply cathartic. Mom knows me so well, and can talk me through almost anything.
So why the freak out?

I am responsible for a lot right now–more than I ever have been. I feel that really deeply. And I have a more complex, well-rounded life–work, school, church, social life–than I ever have before. I am deeply grateful for that, of course, because it means that I’m doing something right. Unfortunately, I feel really unequal to the challenges that brings into my life lately. My mom tells me that I do everything 180% all the time–I’m 180% there for my friends, 180% dedicated to being perfect in my work, 180% committed to my callings, 180% desiring to do my best in everything that I can do.

When you’re trying to do 12 different things, all of which you feel really strongly are important and essential to your life at that moment, at 180%…well, you get it. The math just doesn’t work.

So I wallowed for a while. And then, because she’s amazing, Mom and I worked out an action plan.

(Let me just stop here and say that any amazingness that I display in a crisis must certainly be genetic, because my mom is a rock star. Actually, any amazingness at all must be because of her…)

Mom used a great analogy that I really like but had never even thought of before. She said that I have all of these projects on my plate, so, just like any other “job,” I need to ask my Boss which ones I should prioritize. I love that idea–it seems so simple (by small and simple things…), but I’d never thought of it.

So I did that today–I asked Heavenly Father, who is the best, most loving Boss ever, which projects I should focus on today.

And I got an answer.

And I followed it.

And today is a better day. I don’t feel overwhelmed. I still feel weighted, a little, but not nearly as much as I did. I feel focused, and directed, and like I will be given everything that I need to succeed if I just keep asking.

And yesterday, when I was freaking out?

I got a lot of support from the quietly amazing people in my life who make me grateful every day that I have friends like them. Everywhere, amid the loud buzzing of my own frustration, were quiet voices expressing confidence in me, letting me know of their love and consideration, and giving me support. It came from surprising sources, in some circumstances, and continues to be quietly and unobtrusively appearing in my life.

It makes me know, more than ever, that my Heavenly Father loves me. He must love me to bless me with all of those people, you know?

So I’m managing today.

That’s worlds better than yesterday.

the meek…shall stay home on Friday night

Posted in The Single Life on September 15, 2006 by drbolte

So I’ve decided something.

The girls are taking control.

I’m so everlovin’ tired of waiting for the guys in our ward to ask girls out. It’s preposterous. They don’t do it–it’s a one-stop expressway from hanging out to deep relationship, and what is that about? I don’t like it. I want to get to know lots of guys. I want to keep my options open.

So, a few of us took control. We planned a group date. We asked the guys. We’re planning everything.

It’s going to be fun.

I’m done with this whole waiting around junk.

I’m amping up my game. I’m flirting when I want to flirt and I’m planning what I want to plan. Our RS presidency wants to plan a cheesy speed dating activity to encourage a new attitude–mainly, that dating doesn’t have to be such a flippin’ big deal. According to some of the guys that I’ve talked to, they like it when girls share some of the burden of the dating initiative.

What’s the worst that will happen?

I highly doubt that anybody’s going to think that I’m a stalker for asking them to do something with me, so the worst that will happen is that they’ll say no.

Okay. Big deal. I can handle that.

I’m hoping tonight will be silly fun. I can guarantee that I’m going into it with no expectations except to have fun. Usually, when I have no real expectations, things go well.

Girrrrl power!

delusions of idleness

Posted in Life, School on September 14, 2006 by drbolte

So, I’ve done nothing today.

Yesterday, I went to office hours, had a meeting with my team teachers, and checked out some books. I graded drafts and planned my lesson for today.

Today? I taught. I didn’t even fill up all the time. I let them out 15 minutes early. I did, however, make them laugh a couple of times and scared the life out of them about their papers. That, I suppose, could be construed as success. I also did three loads of laundry.

So, I guess it’s specious to say that I’ve done nothing.

Yet, I feel as though I’ve done nothing.

But, here’s the thing: I don’t really care.

This week has been a week of feeling like junk and sleeping on the couch a lot. I’ve ditched all three Institute classes that I was supposed to attend this week to do just that.

I don’t really feel badly about that.

I have this behemoth hanging over my head, though–mainly, a set of three reading lists to do by October 1st, which is quickly coming down the road like a Mack truck about to smack me down–but I’m not worried about it.

I don’t know if I’ve achieved a Zen-like acceptance that all will be well, an embrace of confidence in my own abilities, or if I’ve left reality for the happy place where the shoemaker’s elves do all my work for me.

I’m hoping for the former, but fearing that it’s the latter.

Maybe I’ll clean. It’s REALLY beginning to bother me that my house is in the constant state of almost-chaos, even when it’s clean. It’s like one sneeze or stiff wind will send everything into a catastrophic collapse. The desk I’m sitting at is a perfect example. It’s driving me nuts, but it’s been like this for weeks because, honestly, cleaning seems like it’s this perpetually unsatisfying endeavour. I do it, and then stuff gets dirty again and I have to do it again. Sometimes it is deeply unsatisfying to only have that “ah…done!” feeling last for like three hours. And yet, I still feel like I need to do it, because the peace of the Spirit is in my home in richer abundance when there’s order there.

Which frosts my cookies sometimes, but I get it.

Hmm. Cleaning. That’s doing something, right?

Argh.

They like me…they really like me!

Posted in School on September 13, 2006 by drbolte

Got my evaluations back from this summer’s first stab at teaching Brit Lit.

They were surprisingly good, on par with the evaluations I get in my more successful writing classes.

The constructive criticism was all the stuff I had already decided–too much reading, too much work, not enough time for papers–but I was teaching it in 6 weeks rather than 15, and it was my first stab at it, so all in all I think it was successful.

That makes me happy, since teaching lit is actually what I want to do with my life.

I think it’s strange sometimes to step out of the self-deprecating bubble that I live in and see things from another perspective. The TAs that I am teamteaching with this semester said that I am a good discussion leader–and I think that I am crap at it still. It’s the thing that I struggle with most–lecturing, I can do. Group work, no problem. But leading a sustained discussion that doesn’t die a horrible and painful silent death or that doesn’t degenerate into an argument?

That’s hard.

But maybe I’m better at this whole deal than I think I am.

Of course, if I was, I wouldn’t have spent the last hour and a half wasting time rather than reading student papers like I should be doing.

One step at a time, I suppose.

Grilled cheese and orange juice

Posted in Life on September 11, 2006 by drbolte

No, I’m not still high from the Gator win and, therefore, centering all of my food choices around an Orange and Blue theme.

I have a scratchy throat. I’m tired. And I want some comfort food.

I was up until 3:30 last night talking on the phone. I had intended to go to bed early, to begin my “get out of this crazy night owl ridiculousness” routine and heed the prophet’s counsel to go to bed early and arise early.

I think it will help me get focused and get into a routine.

I think it will help me get things done.

I think it will help me not waste time.

I’m sure it will help me get sufficient rest.

But, that ship sort of sailed this weekend. Because, when I’m on the phone with one particular person, I talk for hours with no regard for any of my responsibilities.  We bond. It’s great.

But then, the next morning, my trash is kicked.

It’s not like I didn’t sleep–I did.  I slept for like 7 hours.

But I guess it wasn’t enough.

Because I feel not so good.  I don’t feel terrible, but I don’t feel great.
And now I think I’m not going to get anything done today.

I had grand plans. I was going to read a ton during my downtime at tutoring, go to the bank, get quarters, and do an enormous amount of laundry.

I always feel peaceful when my laundry’s done. It’s piling up. Oh, what I wouldn’t give for my own washer and dryer.  I hate community laundry rooms. They’re so inconvenient.

But now I think I will be good to even get to the drugstore to get some OJ and some throat stuff.

Ugh.

I’ve got to grade, too, and plan for tomorrow’s class.

But I’ve got a big week, and I need to be sharp. I’ve got a fun date on Friday planned and I’m probably going to Orlando on Saturday to support an awesome person in doing something amazing and wonderful.

Plus, I suppose I should do some work and stuff.

Ugh.

Think good thoughts for me!

Gator Nation

Posted in Life, School on September 10, 2006 by drbolte

I’m definitely a Gator now.

I don’t know why I was so hesitant. I suppose, when I moved to Gainesville, the whole “Go Gators!” thing seemed so…virulent, like a really pervasive flu bug that just keeps reinfecting whole populations. I didn’t want to just roll over, abandon my Wolfpack, and become a Gator. It seemed like a betrayal of sorts.
But tonight I went to my first Gator football game. I was decked out in Gator gear–blue and orange, even to the top of my head. I sat with a bunch of people from Institute, several of whom knew that it was my first game and were pretty invested in making sure that I was getting the full experience. It was awesome. I knew I would have fun with those kids. And some of them are RABID fans–and that was fun to watch. That passion is pretty contagious.

But what was really hard to predict–honestly–was being in The Swamp (that’s the enormous stadium that dwarfs any other building on campus–it seats more than 90,000) on a game day. It’s not that I hadn’t seen the stadium before, because I frequently walk through it to get to my office.

But tonight, when I walked in as a fan to my seat near the 20 yard line, it was electric. The players seemed so close and it was pretty amazing to look around and, with a very few exceptions, see a sea of blue and orange around me. It was awesome in the truest sense of the word.

UF students don’t take football lightly. UF fans don’t take the Gators lightly. We stood for the whole game–the entire student section stood, on their seats, for the entire game. There was amazing energy, and when the Gators scored (and they did…six times), there was high fiveing and screaming the likes of which I’ve never heard.

A friend of mine likened his love of Gator football, and the peace that comes over him when he gets near the stadium on game day, to how a drug addict must feel when he gets his next fix. I’ll admit that I thought he was a little nutty when he called the ticket to a Gator game his “pearl of great price,” but I think I might sort of get it now.

There’s a community in the Swamp that you don’t feel anywhere else on campus. Sure, every Gator is connected, but we’re all so disconnected in so many ways–I’m a grad student and a TA, which means that I am involved in much different activities than the freshmen that I teach and the friends that I make in Institute, who are all actively engaged in so many distinct activities.

But being a fan transcends all of that. When you’re screaming bloody murder because your team just trounced their opponent, nobody cares who you are or what you do. All that matters is that you’re a Gator.

Of course, the reality of my world came crashing in on me when I heard one of my student’s names announced after a defensive play. Apparently, there’s a star in my midst. Who knew?

Back to reality in the 4th quarter, I guess. But I’m pretty excited to have had this experience. And way more upset than I was initially that I didn’t get season tickets.

Next year, I guess.

But in the meantime, I’m pretty excited to own some blue and orange, because now it means something to me.

Now if the Wolfpack could just stop sucking…