Friday, September 22, 2006

Sooooo. . . coold. . .

OK, Summer as I have known it went up in a puff of smoke Saturday last. My roommate, who is from North Carolina, and I looked out the window. What did we see? SNOW! IN SUMMER! What the heck is going on??

Now, it's not like we're complaining. In fact, we were both extremely pleased, and we rushed out to try our snow gear out. The people who had lived in snow looked at us with open contempt as we went about jabbering about the snow. Their loss. I must say, though, it's been pretty wet (it's only been raining lately, no snow). I definitely enjoy it, since my hometown would routinely combust during the summer, so this is quite the change.

Aside from the weather, things have been pretty exciting. I am, however, going to stop giving multi-day recaps, since it bores me. I will merely focus on specific events that entertained me.

On Monday, we got our papers back in Civ I. The TAs bled all over my paper, and gave it a "C." My outrage soon turned to embarrassment as I read their comments. What was I thinking!? Oh well, it just gave me inspiration to blow them away on my next paper, which I turned in yesterday. That paper was a bit of a panic, as I went to the Writing Center (WC), and the consultant completely tore apart my logic. I quickly fixed it, printed it out, and arrived at class right as it started. Oy! I'll be going to the stress lab next week, that's for sure!

In other news, I got a Honors Writing consultation with the professor, who told me, in no unclear terms, that I just wasn't a story-teller. . . yet. He gave me some exercises to do, and I went away feeling surprisingly uninsulted, even with the fact that he insisted on listening to my voice mail when my phone rang during our conversation (it's his rule).

Yesterday, my friend bought three pounds of galvanized wire. He says he's going to build a six foot Eiffel Tower statue out of it. He's the first to crack.

There's so much to tell, but I can't bore you all. I just wish everybody could have access to education like this, and I intend to make it my life's work to work toward that ideal. Until then, I'm just grateful!

Right now, I hear the marching band practicing our fight song. My floormates are throwing a football against the wall, and I'm going to a poetry-reading in the mountains in an hour. My life is so much fuller than it has ever been, and I intend to keep it that way! I thought this would be the prime of my life, but my Comparative and International Development professor, who is in his fifties, says that his life has just begun! But, more on him later. And, I'll have pictures too; right now, Blogger's having problems.

Here's my qoute of the lifetime:
"Jesus Christ is like the sun: when the world gets in the way. . .

there's darkness."

Friday, September 15, 2006

Die Sonne Scheint Noch

The title is a quote. These words were the last of Sophie Magdalena Scholl, the only female member of the White Rose, which was a non-violent anti-Nazi resistance group in World War II. She was caught distributing the sixth of a series of leaflets criticizing Hitler and the Nazi party. She, her brother, and Chistoph Probst were tried and executed by guillotine within four days of her arrest. I hereby pronounce February 22 to be White Rose Day, as it would commemorate the first of many punishments doled out against members of the movement. To honor their memory, I suggest wearing a white rose, or at least a white boutonniere.
From left: Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl, and Chrisoph Probst
I just saw a German film called "Sophie Scholl: The Final Days," which shows her crime, arrest, trial, and execution. It was astounding and left one shocked at what evils humans can commit, but at the same time, left me with sure conviction that hope always survives.

Before viewing the film for the second time, today my Civilization I class watched a movie called "The Triumph of Will." It was, in essence, an old Nazi propaganda film reel, and it made me ever so forgiving of the German people. We were watching it to analyse the impact of language. Truly, it would have been so easy to be sold on Hitler's views; it would have been easy to overlook his extremeness. If I was fed fodder like that film everyday, I wonder if I would have been fooled. I was also shocked to see just how American the whole thing seemed. Sans the swastikas and German language, it could easily have been an Army recruitment advertisement of some sort. Heck, the Hitler Youth looked exactly like the Boy Scouts of America!

It makes one think: How often are we sold on our own propaganda? Do we really think about it? After all, just because this is America does not mean that we won't have our Hitlers. I wonder if a similar fiasco might happen here. What is the common man or woman doing to protect themselves against the lies our politicians will inevitably continue to whisper to us?

I'm currently working on the blog which explains my classes and such, so be patient. It's pretty long. Right now, though, I'm concerned for the welfare of society. The roots for World War III are being laid as we speak. I can't say where they are laid; I can only guarantee that they are. We need to protect ourselves. It would be a shame if, when the thread by which the Constitution hangs finally snaps, America is the chief cause of said war, like the Germany of old.

The title, by the way, means:

"The sun is still shining."

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Some pictures and some commentary

All right, I've got some pictures. I'm going to try and do this chronologically, but it may be off.

This is Y Mountain as I drove into Provo.

This is my dorm room right after unpacking. I assure you, it is no longer this neat.
Here's the sign welcoming one to BYU.

If you can't read it, it says "Enter to learn, go forth to serve."

To the left is one of the coolest hats I've seen worn in public. Where can I buy one?

This is my roommate. In the grand tradition of my life, he is much taller than me. (If you knew some of my friends, you would understand.)

The cheerleaders at the beginning of New Student Orientation. This was a three-day introduction program for new freshman and transfers. The cheerleaders and marching band followed the movie about the very inspiring stories surrounding the founding of BYU. It's very fascinating and can be found here. Let me just say, that Karl Maeser is one of my new heroes.

This is the Maeser Building, which is where the Honors Program is located. More on that later.

This is a statue in the atrium of the Joseph Smith Building. It's very inspiring in there, and I intend to make it one of my study spots. Fun fact: their are baptismal fonts located in the JSB, for those who decide to join the Church while attending BYU.

This bit of hardware is located in front of the Eyring Science Center. Believe it or not, it is the exhaust apparatus of an underground nuclear facility. I'm not joking. BYU has many underground laboratories, such as atom-smashers, etc. At least, so I am told. But this is indeed part of a small-scale nuclear power plant.

This is my Y-Group. They're all in my same area of academic interest. We're all geeks.

This is Professor Sowell. This guy's awesome. He's in charge of the Honors Program. This was taken during a Q&A session at the end of a meeting about the program. We broke the fire code many times over fitting every one into the Varsity Theater. Hundreds of students were interested. I was sold within the first ten minutes. The details and requirements of the program are found here, if you're interested in what I'll be doing for the next four years. Use the links at the left of the screen. After the meeting was a banquet, where a live jazz band played and we were served pork chops and mashed potatoes.

This is from a volleyball match played against Stanford. We crushed them most decisively, with a 15-point lead in the fourth game. It was pathetic. I made the mistake of sitting in the cheering section, where we stood for the whole hour-and-a-half. Then I rode my bike back to my dorm. Not fun. By the way, a moment of silence in grim acknowledgement of BYU's defeat by ASU.

Finally, this is Cosmo the Cougar. He is the single most awesome mascot in all of Athlitismos Kollegioy. I'd love that job! I hope to soon get a picture with him.