Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wisdom Wednesday

My wisdom today is the wisdom of one of my dear friends who passed away last week.
WW3o- "No guarantee of tomorrow. How long you gonna live your life, letting moments pass you by?" Brycen Blackburn
As to why death is such a common theme in my life the last few years, I will never understand. Brycen was such a good kid and friend, and I will always remember all the good times we had together. Last week I felt like the whole world was against me- things went awfully. When telling my friend, Corey, all of this, and how I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get away from school to go to his funeral. He simply told me that if it was supposed to happen, it would. Corey is the king of perspective, and I am so grateful for this sparks of wisdom. With his words on the back burner, I juggled 5 tests and quizzes, homework, volunteering, work, and after a lot of rescheduling and re-planning, I finally made it to Idaho Falls on Thursday. The weekend was a blur. It was a blur because of all the tears and sheer emotion I was subject to, but at the same time it was so cleansing to be with those people who understood what I was feeling and who were struggling right there with me. I love my IF friends so much. After the funeral, we decided Brycen would have wanted us to go have fun, so we went dirt camping. It definitely was enjoyable, and good closure to a straining weekend. My wisdom? Follow Brycen's.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Meet my boyfriend

Ok it's no secret any longer.. I'm seeing someone. His name is J. Reuben Clark. We spend many late nights together, he lives close to my dorm, and he gives me the peace and quiet I want when I need it. Oh, did I mention he's into law? Did I mention he's a building? Yeah.. Let's just say I have a love affair with Law Library.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wisdom Wednesday

Wisdom Wednesday 29- Tomato Soup
I don't have the time or energy to expound. It's just good and it's been missing from my life for the last 18 years.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Lessons from Walmart

Walmart has become a motif in my life lately- I go there every other day it seems. Last night was no different, as we had little to do, Corey needed fishing line to hang some plants (long story) and I wanted chocolate chips. (which I didn't actually end up buying) As we ended our adventure and pulled out of the parking lot, Shane spotted a guy sitting by the road. He was holding a sign that said, "Need Work", and then went on to list his abilities and work experience. I looked and didn't really give it a second thought, but Shane did. The next thing I knew, we were flipping around, and he was digging through his wallet for some cash. "He looks like a descent guy. You guys want to get out with me?" Corey and I both jumped out of the car and followed Shane, as he made a B line for the corner. If there is one thing BYU has taught me so far, it is that campus is full of people much better than I. I am lucky to be able to call some of those people my friends.
As we approached, Shane greeted the guy, and started making conversation. Suddenly we were enveloped in the life of the guy, Paul, as he told us his story. He'd come from Ohio looking for work, had no family, and was sleeping on a hill by Walmart where raccoons kept him company. He'd had no luck finding a good job, and he was just trying to get by day by day, hoping that he' d be able to find some kind of work. He'd been doing construction all his life, but was getting too old for the physicality of the job. He goes to the Provo library every day looking for jobs on craigslist, but sometimes can't afford to go because it costs a dollar to use the internet. He gets around by walking and riding the bus, and then sits at Walmart and waits. He showed us the leads he'd gotten from people that day, phone numbers to call, people to talk to, and Shane also gave him some info on jobs he'd had working in Orem. As we sat and talked, it was so interesting to see the way people are as they drive by a homeless person. Some would yell out, "get a job!" and others would honk, yell, or stare. He showed us the rock he was sitting on, and told us that someone leaving Walmart had tried to run over a homeless guy sitting there awhile before. We saw the tracks of the car, the broken up rock, and I just kind of wondered what kind of a person would do that. I mean, seriously? While some people were a little less than accommodating to Paul, others stopped and gave him a few bucks as they passed. The gratitude exhibited in Paul's voice as he said thank you showed how truly thankful he was for the little money he had. "Now I can do my laundry!" he exclaimed, and repeatedly told us that we must be a good luck charm for him that night, because people were never so generous. We talked to Paul for a good 45 minutes or so, and then our meeting was cut short when Paul spotted a policeman pulling someone over. He folded up his sign, put it in his bag, and said the cops didn't like to see him with his sign out. He told us how thankful he was that we came and talked to him- he obviously didn't get a lot of social interaction- and when someone did talk to him, they were in for an earful.
While all this was going on, I thought about how I could help Paul- I didn't have any money on me, food, or anything. I mentally went through my wallet, accounting for the items I had in there. Then, suddenly, I remembered I had a pass along card a missionary at BYU had given me this summer in my wallet.( A pass along card is, well, a card that has a picture, like of Christ or the temple, on the front, and on the back there is a number to contact missionaries if you're interested in investigating the LDS church.) I pulled it out, and as we talked, I debated as to whether or not I should give him the card. Surely he knew about Mormons- he was in Utah! Our conversation with Paul went on, and I made up my mind that I would give him the card. As we shook his hand and said goodbye, Shane handed Paul a 5 dollar bill, and I handed him the card. "Sir, I don't have any money to give you, but I do have this card. I don't know how much you know about the LDS church, but they might be able to help you- I know they've helped me in my life. If you're interested, call the number on the back." Is what I told Paul as I handed him the card. He turned it over in his hands, and asked me what the building was on the front of the card. "The Nauvoo Temple," I said, "isn't it pretty?". He said, "Oh, yes, Illinois!", thanked me, and put the card in his pocket. We said goodbye, and got back in the car.
Missionary deed for the day? Done.
As Corey, Shane, and I drove back to campus, we talked about Paul, his circumstances, poverty, and I reflected on my life a little. Looking back, I have concluded that I am not proactive enough in my life when it come to helping people. I think about doing good things, but I don't act. Action is all that matters. From this experience I learned 2 important lessons:
1. I am going to be more mindful of the less fortunate. It is all too common that I shrug them off. Many are victims of circumstance, and I have been given way too much to think I don't have a little to share with others.
2. I am going to carry a pass along card in my wallet from now on. Although I have no idea if Paul will actually look at the card ever again, I would like to think that now he is a step forward on the road to employment and in learning the gospel.
Funny the lessons you can learn at Walmart..

Thursday, September 17, 2009

if you don't walk like most people do...

I have this theory...
At some point in their lives, everyone has secretly wanted to ride in a wheelchair.
Today, that desire was fulfilled!
haha don't worry, Mom, I am not a paraplegic. While walking to the Wilk today, Corey text me and asked me if I wanted to rent a wheelchair for 2 hours. Basically it's Accessibility Awareness week, and so you could try out being disabled for a little- we raced, went to class and sat in the first row, and learned good tricks. My arms are tired
Happy Accessibility Week :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wisdom Wednesday

There is one thing I look forward to every Wednesday- Eric sends me letters.
Every single Wednesday I wake up, check the mail, and there it is, without fail. His English gets worse every single week, but his stories get better and better.... for instance, losing all his stuff in the airport, racing drunk guys so they'll listen to his message, or getting hit on in church.
Before I go any further, I should probably clear up who this person is. I met Eric Roisum about... oh, 4ish years ago through my cousin in Idaho Falls. We hit it off, and to this day I consider him one of my best friends. Right now he is serving an LDS mission in Rosario, Argentina, where everyone there loves him. (Well, that's what he says..)
Anyways, my wisdom of the day...
WW28- Write to missionaries
I think college is making me a little more self centered, sadly, because I am constantly thinking about my own desires. It's good to hear from someone who is on a completely different tangent of life-doing service and loving every minute of it, not thinking of himself, and carrying out the Lord's work for the well-being of Argentina. It's refreshing.

... and with that note, I am off to buy Bob Dylan- or a poster of him, that is. BYU is having a poster sale, and I've been thinking about him all day... I couldn't decide if he was worth 7.50, so I hid him behind John Lennon. Cross your fingers that it was meant to be and that he is still there! :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Hare Krishna

I've come to find out that it's kind of rare when I get to escape campus, so last Saturday when the opportunity arose to go to India Fest at the Hare Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, I jumped on it! Call me crazy, but I really like learning about other religions. For instance I wear a lucky Buddha around my neck daily, I now know the Hare Krishna chant, I recently bought Tibetan prayer flags for my dorm kitchen, and I actually know what the yoga lady means when she says "namaste" at the end of class. It's just fascinating to me, and a few months ago when we drove by this huge castle-like structure in the middle of farmland in SF, UT, I was intrigued. I found out it was a Hindu temple, and right away I knew I needed to go in there and experience that place!
The opportunity came last week when I was reading the Daily Universe. There it was! The ad for India Fest. I basically counted down the days until Saturday the 12, and then I dragged a few friends with me to experience India for a little. It was so great!
The temple itself is quite an interesting place. You take your shoes off before you go in, and then right inside is a gift shop. This made us all laugh kinda hard. As you walk upstairs there is a big open room with a statue of a monk and other ornate decorations all over. Up there was Hare Krishna music, dancing, and meditation. We ate some good vegetarian Indian food, and t
Here we are!
We got there a little late, so I'm not sure exactly what the premise was of this celebration, but at 9 PM there was the burning of the effigy Ravana.
Fiery darts were thrown...
And Ravana was a thing of the past. Everyone cheered, and then there were fireworks!
Not pictured: the lamas in the background were going CRAZY and running all over the field. Spitting, probably.
Not going to lie, these were some of the best fireworks I've ever seen!
After the burning we were going to leave, but then we got sucked into THIS
A Hare Krishna dance party. Man, I wish our temple had a plaster of paris amphitheater!
Basically this picture is a good representation of what went down at dance party.
After we finished singing "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare" about a trillion times (hence the reason why I've memorized it haha) we took some pictures with Ganesh.
And that, in a nutshell, was my vacation to India!
... and I will be returning for Llama fest and Holi! (Basically you throw chalk at people. So excited!)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wisdom Wednesday

So it's Thursday, I know, but my wisdom pertains to what happened on Wednesday, so I think it's justified.
The hardest part about college is telling yourself you must go to sleep.
I think the earliest I've been the bed while here has been, oh, maybe 1:30? The fact that I am an extreme night person does not help this situation, either, so to put things in perspective for ya'll, just look at this figure: 3 nights= 12 hours of sleep.
I've learned 2 things about sleeping and college.
1. All the fun happens at night.
2. If you go to bed, you will undoubtedly miss out on that fun.
Last night was no exception. After a full day of classes, work, homework, an OwlZ (yes, with a Z) baseball game, Walmart, and a plethora of donuts, I finally collapsed into bed around 2. Yeah, that wouldn't have been so bad if I wasn't supposed to be at work at 6 AM. Working at 6 wouldn't have been so bad if I wouldn't have woken up at 7:17. Not good... so now it looks like I need to readjust my ways.
So, my wisdom today is more like a goal for myself.
WW27- Alyssa, go to bed. Or set multiple alarms. Or stop working before the sun rises. (Or a combination?)
And with that, I am off to figure out my PDBio homework at my teachers office hours.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Picture this:
Eyelids closed, blankets around your cheeks, light streaming in through a window whose rays you cannot see, but can feel. Waking up naturally, opening your eyes, and realizing you are in your own bed. You're home.
That is what I experienced Saturday morning as I began my first weekend homebound from college. Ahhhh it was great. I mentally jotted some of my objectives for this particular weekend as Courtney and I drove to the city of trees Friday night. They were
1. To eat too much. Check.
2. To go to the gym to counteract all the ingestion. Check.
3. To sleep all I wanted and wake up natural
ly every morning. Check.
4. To hang out with the family and do what they did. Check.
Sometimes the simple expectations are the easiest to meet! Labor day weekend was splendid in all these facets, plus more.
Saturday was full of Payton's football, fast food, bi
rthday shopping, much time spent in the car, and a party at the Hruby's house.
Sunday was Mom's 29th Birthday. We celebrated all day by doing what she loves best- going to church! However, we had to open presents, first. This was her favorite gift ever in the history of her 29 years.
the Snuggie. In fact, not only was it a Snuggie, it was zebra. Let's just say Kourtni has the best worst birthday present ideas ever.
After church, we ate some good dinner, she was showered with more gifts from a plethora of adoring friends, and we ate cake- not any kind of cake, though... better than ANYTHING cake!
We proceeded to take some more pictures...
(ps. my head isn't really that big.. I was just way further forward than everyone else, alright?)
It was great. To wrap up the celebrating, Lindsay, Mom, and I did Mom's other favorite thing ever- go on a long walk/trek/10 k. She is not human. However, it was a good time, and shout out to Mom- You're great. I love you! ... and your protein powder you insisted I take back to school spilled all over the back of Courtney's car.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wisdom Wednesday

So, I am loving college life! Things are going really well, and I'm keeping my head above water when it comes to homework and such... for the most part! (if you consider staying up til 3 AM finishing Spanish while all your roommates are already in REM "head above water" haha)
I am so far liking classes, and the careless days of summer are officially OVER! In addition to going to 3 or 4 classes every day, I've gotten roped into volunteering at Provost Elementary every Monday, and I'm working about 18 hours a week, and I'm trying to fit the gym and friends to this mix. Whew. It's fun, but I feel like I've got a lot on my plate after a summer of waking up naturally most days, and then facebooking my life away! I've missed the structure :)
And you know what is the best part about this structure? My new planner!
WW26- Attend New Student Orientation. It's awful, but you get a FREE BYU Planner that all others must buy in the bookstore.
As I have said before, there is nothing better than writing down every detail of your life in a planner. I've tried phone calendars and icalendar, but they don't hold a candle to my new agenda! I like writing things. I like looking at my handwriting. I like pens. Those are three things loves that cannot be fulfilled when using electronic planners... and I don't plan on converting anytime soon.