Archive for November, 2006

shamelessly stolen from a fortuitous google result

Posted in etcetera on November 17, 2006 by drbolte

I found a new blog.

It’s pretty cool, although I realized just now that I didn’t bookmark it. Idiot.

It’s Friday. I’m at work, sitting in a windowless room, exhausted and counting down the 84 or so minutes until I get to leave, so what else would I be doing but procrastinating?

This ought to help in that capacity. Plus, unless this is your first time around these parts, you know I love this crap. It must be my deep and abiding inner arrogance, to think that anyone cares what I think about these things…

Explain what ended your last relationship?
Define relationship.  Mainly? A sudden realization that, wow, this was never going to work or make me happy. Luckily? It was before it really ever got off the ground.  But that was a while ago.

When was the last time you shaved?
Yesterday, I think.

What were you doing this morning at 8 a.m.?
Bashing my snooze alarm one last time.

What were you doing 15 minutes ago?
Trolling the internet for fun things to send in a package.

Are you any good at math?
Uhm, no.  Never. Except for algebra–I just get algebra.

Your prom night, what do you remember about it?
I was excited.  I looked cute.  I spent hours on my hair, only to realize in pictures that I should have left it down.  Dinner at my house. I made placecards.  We spent like a total of 45 minutes at the dance and danced twice. I was IN LOVE with my date…sadly. I always managed to choose badly until recently. We went and watched movies at his house afterwards with the couple that doubled with us.

Do you have any famous ancestors?
Supposedly, I’m related to William Dawes, who was like the second-string Paul Revere during that important night.  Our family is pretty proud of that.
 

Have you had to take a loan out for school?
Oh yeah. Although, for 10 years of school, I’m not doing badly. Yeah for AmeriCorps and my dedication to public service.

Last thing received in the mail?
The Ensign, my In Style bill, and a couple of other bill-like things. 

How many different beverages have you had today?
Water.  That’s it. 

Do you ever leave messages on people’s answering machine?
Yes…but I basically hate it unless I know you well.  Then I’m fun.

Do you draw your name in the sand when you go to the beach?
Not routinely, no.  I think I’ve done it before, though.  I am more sad, though, that I can’t manage to remember how to successfully build a sand castle. Does one either have to be a child or the mother of one in order to remember?

What’s the most painful dental procedure you’ve had?
Definitely getting my wisdom teeth pulled.  Horrors–since I was awake. I was shaking–and I don’t shake.

What is out your back door?
Don’t have a back door.  My door leads to the parking lot.  My metaphorical back door? Leads to high school teaching or a life as a pastry chef.

Any plans for Friday night?
Dancing it up in Orlando.

Do you like what the ocean does to your hair?
Absolutely not.  Salt and my fine hair=big sticky, crinkly mess. 

Have you ever received one of those big tins of 3 different popcorns?
No. I don’t know what I would do with one other than use it as a footstool. 

Have you ever been to a planetarium?
Of course. I’ve even taken students to the planetarium. I haven’t been in a while, though. 

Do you re-use towels after you shower?
I do.

Some things you are excited about?
Feeling smart about my dissertation, even momentarily. The prospect of getting a letter from my best friend.  Falling in love…someday, I hope, soon.  Life in general is pretty exciting.

What is your favorite flavor of JELL-O?
I can only tolerate Jell-o in small doses. It scares me.  The only one I really love is my mom’s cranberry jell-o Thanksgiving concoction.  It’s yummy.

Describe your keychain(s)?
Teal carabiner, all scratched up from use.  A blue “We’re glad you’re here” plastic keychain that I got when I moved up to grad school from my apartment complex.  I’ve kept it because it just seems hopeful and kind to see all of the time. It also reminds me that, yes, I’m supposed to be here.

Where do you keep your change?
In my car, in one of the cupholders. At home, in a little pot that says it holds the ashes of my problem students.  All quarters, however, go straight to the laundry fund in a wooden box.

When was the last time you spoke in front of a large group of people?
Bore my testimony a couple of weeks ago. That was probably 80-90 people, easy.

What kind of winter coat do you own?
I live in Florida.  While I own a winter coat, it is likely three sizes too big now and resides in a closet in North Carolina.  I own a black fleece jacket and a orange hoodie. I need to invest in some sweatshirts since, apparently, 65=cold now.

What was the weather like on your graduation day?
It was nightmarishly hot for all.  On my undergrad college graduation day, since I had to sit in the heat in my cap and gown, my family was legitimately afraid that I was getting the first signs of heat stroke.  High school was at night, so it wasn’t SO bad. I was already in Florida for my first grad school graduation.  Who wanted to go anyways?

Do you sleep with the door to your room open or closed?
Open. Always. 

Breakthrough

Posted in Church, etcetera, Life, School on November 17, 2006 by drbolte

Today was a Superwoman day.

I got up on time. I packed a healthy lunch in less than a minute. I went to class. I had FUN in class–and realized once again that I love what I do.  I talked to my mentees, who seemed to express appreciation for my approach, which I had been questioning a little.

I went to the Institute and studied my scriptures and the lesson for this Sunday.  I didn’t expect to do that, but I realized that I could do something really productive while I was eating. I studied a word from my Patriarichal blessing that has always perplexed me–and learned a little something. It wasn’t anything earth-shattering, except in the sense that I don’t actually do examinations like that very often, and it was nice to do.

I studied for three hours straight, finishing my book and actually making some headway into the theoretical focus of my dissertation.  I found a couple of amazing things that made me really excited–and I felt, for the first time in a long time, that the pieces might actually fall into place.

I met with the sister missionaries for a while to discuss the sisters in our ward. That was fun–I love having sisters in our ward!  I can’t wait to work with them more and more.  Seeing them makes me wish, at times, that I had served a mission–and makes me look forward even more than I already did to the mission I will serve when I am gray-haired and a grandma.  That will be awesome–and wow would I love to be a CES missionary!  That would be so amazing.

Today was the kind of exhausting but exhiliratingly productive day that I hope to have every day. I did well with my work. I balanced what I should be doing for church with what I should be doing for school.  It gives me hope that I can do it every day.  No accident, of course, that this was the day after I had prayed earnestly to be able to do exactly that.

And in the midst of all of this? People were so kind to me–it’s so great to realize that people care and are thinking about you and are willing to serve you.  It’s an amazing testimony that the Lord is mindful of us.  I have had a lot of those moments over the past week…moments that assure me that I am loved and known and blessed far more than I deserve.

I’ll admit, though, that I’m looking forward, a little, to getting more work done this weekend but balancing that with some quiet AND some fun.  Go Gators! 🙂

Infinite second chances

Posted in Church, etcetera, Life on November 15, 2006 by drbolte

So I had a rough day yesterday.

Have you ever had moments where you know, you just KNOW, that you could be an amazing person? That you could rise to the occasion and you be this magnanimous, incredibly generous version of yourself with just a few simple choices?

And you utterly flop?

That’s the short version of my yesterday. I was stressed out in lots of ways and I fed off of the stress of the person that I so wanted to support.

I was momentarily a freak.  It was not pretty.

I was pretty upset about it all day, thinking that I had messed up and that I had ruined something important.

But late in the day, after I had prayed about it and done all that I could do to leave it in the hands of the Lord, I got a second chance.  In all the ways that I had been a freak before, I was not.  In all the ways that the previous communication was not good, this one was fantastic.

It was everything that I had hoped and prayed for, the perfect version of what I thought I had messed up earlier.

As I was doing laundry this morning, hiking across the parking lot in the early morning quietness, I got to thinking about what a marvelous blessing that second chance was.  But more importantly, I got to thinking about how my situation–as important as it was to me, because it really was–is just a microcosm of what the Lord does for every one of us.  He is a Lord of second chances–infinite second chances.

In every way that I mess up, He makes it up.  At every moment when I need to be that most splendid version of myself, He offers a way to do it.  When I want to grow, He makes it possible.   His tender mercies always answer my prayers in the ways that are best for me.  When I’m afraid or upset or broken-hearted, He shows me that I need not fear or mourn because He has provided for me people and situations that heal. And most importantly, He takes my burdens and my fears and my anxieties on Himself so that I can see more clearly all of the amazing possibilities of my life.

When I don’t see them the first time until it’s too late?  He offers me yet another opportunity, as if to say “It’s okay.  You couldn’t do it that time? I know that you wish you had. I see your sorrow. How about now?  Let’s try it again.”

He is the kindest Brother I could have.

And when I finally do something right? When I finally master that moment I flubbed so completely before? That’s an amazing feeling.

A truly amazing feeling–like my Heavenly Father and my Savior are literally smiling at me, pleased with what I’ve done.

To feel that so clearly and so powerfully like I have over the past few hours as I’ve been thinking about this is just a small bit of what I want to have someday.  To return with honor to my heavenly home.

I’ll need a lot of second chances to get there, though.

My Monday

Posted in Uncategorized on November 13, 2006 by drbolte

My pants are too big.  I suppose this could be a considered a good thing, but it annoys me at times.

There’s too little time where I feel productive before I get interrupted by something else that’s worthwhile.  I need to carve out uninterrupted time. Luckily, I’m being forward thinking about that.

My jacket is too short, or at least it is today.  See comments about the saggy jeans. 🙂
The hours at work were way too long–especially since I wanted to be doing so many other things that seemed way better than sitting in a booth like a veal (or so it felt).

My mind buzzes too much about things of no consequence–or of every consequence.  I’ve been told I think too much.  Days like this are all about thinking.

My friends are too kind–far too kind.  I am being supported on every side…and it was exactly what I needed today.  Not surprisingly? It began after I reached out to try to BE a friend.

My life is so blessed.  I am surrounded by blessings–literally–and I am sure that I don’t recognize even half of them.

Change is hard. EVERYTHING is changing.  The snarky, stubborn side of me says “bring it on!”  The rest of me wants time to stop just long enough for me to catch up a little.

Playing with Heart

Posted in etcetera, Life on November 11, 2006 by drbolte

I’m watching the Gator game. It’s a little disappointing.

They seem to NEED to be the underdogs, to need to come from behind to win. They make mistakes. They fumble. They miss the cues they need. They’re far from perfect.

But when they achieve those moments of greatness and glory–the jump pass of Tim Tebow, for example, a few weeks ago–they just exude fire and spirit. Nothing can top it, nothing can really explain it–but it’s magnificence in action.
When they really want it, those Gators play with an amazing kind of heart.

I wonder if I’m not like that–if I just mess up and force myself into situations so that I have to rise to the occasion, to really dig deep and play my game with courage and raw emotion.

I contemplate this because, when I was talking to my mom last night, she told me to do something really scary that requires a kind of belief in myself that I rarely have. Don’t get me wrong–I have confidence in myself. But in certain areas, in particular situations, I am not at all confident. I think we all have those particular areas where we shine and feel completely comfortable (the number of areas that fit that description for me, lately, seem to be dwindling).

This is not one of them for me.

I’m honestly a little surprised she told me to do it, but I know that she’s right.

In some ways, I feel like my life right now is like the end of the third quarter when I’ve been flubbing my game a little. Not badly, not anything irretrievable, but if I really want to win, I have to do something dramatic.

I’ve got to create a jump pass situation.

I wonder if I can do it–in a lot of areas, I wonder if I have the heart to take back the game and to create these moments of magnificence that I need.

I think, this week, I might.

Now if the Gators could just suck it up already. Sheesh.

Less than I am

Posted in Church, etcetera, Life on November 11, 2006 by drbolte

Life is messy sometimes.

I said this in my testimony on Sunday, and I really mean it.

Sometimes life is all about the crayon going outside of the lines that you’ve drawn for yourself–and realizing that it’s beautiful anyways. Or realizing that drawing with the bronze crayon is okay, even though you’re coloring tree foliage. That somehow, even though it doesn’t make sense, it still looks beautiful when you’re done because you put your whole heart into it.

I don’t like things that don’t make sense.

I like things to go my way.

Why I haven’t learned, yet, in my life that looks nothing like I planned it when I was 18 and wanted to be married by 20 and the mother of 12 kids, that the Lord has a plan for me that I have absolutely NO conception of, I don’t know. I think I might be a little hardheaded.

I am not very good at submitting, without question, to the Lord’s will. I question a lot. I don’t like that–my selfishness coming out and wanting what I want when I want it, even when the still voice in my heart tells me with the loving words of a tender parent that, actually, it’s not the right thing for me. Even when I know that submitting is the right thing, it’s still such a struggle for me.

I wonder if it will ever be different.

I wonder if I will ever be able to cheerfully submit to anything the Lord sees fit to put in my path.

I wonder if I’m any better at it than I used to be.

I hope so.

Right now? I think I’m trying to choose if I’m going to be more or less than I know that I am.

I’m praying for more. It would be nice to rise to the occasion. I actually think I’ve done a lot of that lately–conquered some of my demons and done what I knew I was supposed to do, including swallowing my rather sizable pride, because I knew it was the right thing to do.

Is that submission? I don’t know.

Wouldn’t true submission mean that you never question why?

If it is, I’m not sure I’ll ever get there completely.

Because, sometimes, I would just like to know now rather than later.

I write, therefore I am?

Posted in etcetera, Life, The Single Life on November 3, 2006 by drbolte

Meaning, can you really get to know someone via email? Can a friendship begin via email…and is it viable as a real relationship? Or is the world of cyberspace too fraught with mystery and places to hide? Past interactions of mine have skewed towards “YES!”…but I wonder.
I am wondering how much of who I am is reflected in my writing. For those of you who know me, do my blog entries sound like me? Or are they more stilted, formal, or depressing than I normally am? I have always thought so…but now I wonder.

I think that maybe not everybody is like me, if I am really transparent in my writing. Maybe I shouldn’t assume that everybody can reflect their personalities in writing. Maybe that’s actually way more of a gift than I think it is.

What do you think?

AHEM. That’s not a rhetorical question.

No more witty titles…

Posted in etcetera, Life, School on November 2, 2006 by drbolte

I was trying to be all cute with my “system failure” title. I was trying to allude to Lost (David, I bet you got it!) and to be all metaphorical.

I shouldn’t have tempted Fate. Or Satan. Or whoever is just COMPLETELY messing with me and my life right now.

I went home from Institute, turned on my computer, and POOF!

Actual system failure.

Well, possibly not that bad. I think the screen just busted, since I can hear the thing turning on but just can’t see it. So, I’m off to Orlando tomorrow to the Apple store to get myself a new computer. Right now I am sitting in the scarily abandoned 4th floor of Turlington in the English grad lounge, having had to send an email to my fellow teachers letting them know that I would be gone tomorrow.

Sigh.

So, whenever I’m trying to be cute and tempt the Fates, or the devils, or the whatever-it-ises…just slug me in the head. I don’t need the extra stress. I really just don’t.
In other news, I cried to my mom about my computer and my completely messy house and my general state of idiocy and failure, and I feel a little bit better. Her analogy of eating the elephant is good, but I told her I felt like I couldn’t even nibble at it. Her response? “So maybe you can’t. Right now, you just can’t. That’s okay. Just do everything you can do.” She reminded me of the scripture of not running faster than you have strength. It made me feel just the tiniest glimmer of hope.

And optimist that she is in times when I am the virulent pessimist (it’s usually the other way around…although I know right now you wouldn’t see Miss Mary Sunshine as part of my nature…), she told me that maybe my dead computer was a good opportunity for me to scrub the heck out of my house tonight. I can’t feel guilty about it–the thing is broken! And it’s a good excuse to bring order back into my world.

Plus, I’ve got to find my cable modem installation kit. Heck if I’m going to be without blogs, Facebook, and email for longer than I have to be!

So, all is not lost, I suppose. And maybe I’ll actually get some birthday shopping done tomorrow that I was going to have to find time to do (around the birthday boy) this weekend.
YES! Multitasking!

Oh! And when I got to the mailroom tonight, to drop something off for tomorrow’s class, I found out that I actually get to teach literature next semester (ENC 2022–in case anyone’s wondering).  YES!  The most awesome blessing ever. I’m so excited–I might get to teach some Jane Austen.  Holy moly, that would be like heaven on a stick.

Okay…yeah, things are looking up.

System Failure

Posted in Life, School on November 1, 2006 by drbolte

I am a miserable failure.

It’s just true.

I am unable to keep up with anything–and it can’t possibly be that hard.

But I can’t manage to do it.

If I’m working on RS stuff, then I’m neglecting cleaning my house. If I’m supporting a friend, I’m neglecting my school work. If I’m cleaning my house, I’m neglecting my family.

I really am not sure how I went from being a relative success to being a complete failure in such a quick time, but darn if it isn’t happening all the time now.

I’m really tired. I’m really tired of exams looming over my head. I’m really tired of feeling like nothing gets done well and having so much to think about that my brain literally can’t contain it all. How do guys do it? How do they compartmentalize so easily? I can’t do it–everything bleeds into each other in this big mass of responsibility.  It’s like…see? I can’t even think of a good analogy, and that’s saying something.

I really need a vacation from my own life…is it Christmas yet? Of course, it’s not like I won’t be working during Christmas–but I won’t have any social pressure or church responsibility or anything else that will distract me.  Or so I say.  Of course, Mom and her friend are trying to set me up with somebody over Christmas…

No vacation for me until after exams are over. So, blogging over for today. This, along with my 2 1/2 hour sojourn in the Institute (where I really went with every good intention of getting things done), constitutes my vacation from my life. Funny how I don’t feel any more rested or refreshed.

Heh.

Wow, do I suck. If I make it successfully through to exams without completely imploding or literally failing out of school, I will be way more blessed than I deserve.

I need somebody to save me.  Does that happen in real life?  🙂