Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Popsicle in July.

I told my friend from AZ that I was tired of the heat.  I feel like a popsicle that's perpetually melting, and all of my juicy goodness is dripping away.  I should have known better than to complain, especially after experiencing Phoenix heat.  My friend explained how she left raw cookie dough in her car while she went to work.  When she finished her shift, there were baked cookies on her dashboard.

Despite the heat, this month has been busy, emotional, crazy, but fun.

We actually kicked off July on a bittersweet note.  Brigham recently left for his mission in Quito, Equador.  He is currently learning Spanish in the Mexico City MTC.  For a while, I didn't even like it when people talked about Brigham.  I felt like a crater had been blasted into my heart.  I miss him so much, and I am proud of the example he is setting for our family.

Our 4th of July started with a bang, of course.  We had three nights of fireworks in a row.  We went to Provo to see the fireworks that accompanied the Stadium of Fire show.  We also watched Manti's fireworks on Temple Hill.  On my favorite night, our dear neighbors put on a show for the block.  My neighbor joked that I should write about how the box tipped over, fireworks came flying at us, and they broke a window.  Needless to say, it wasn't our neighbor's fault, and it was the most exhilarating night of my life.  As everyone was screaming and running away, I thought I could hear my mom muttering, "Made in China. Of course."

I went fishing with my dad.  We found a new fishing hole that's up Ephraim Canyon, but until he got his truck, he was unable to get the steep, sandy terrain.  This fishing hole is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.  The weather is perfect, the air smells delicious, and tall, colorful trees surround the spot.  The fishing is great, too.  After experimenting with a couple different baits, we constantly got bites and left with our limit of four fishes, each.

Can't get over how amazing that view is.
On July 11th, I had the pleasure of getting my wisdom teeth removed.  I didn't even know I had wisdom teeth until I went to the dentist a couple months ago.  The surgery went quite well, and I vowed that I would leave the office with dignity.  But against my previous wishes, my mom recorded me in my drunken stupor.  Apparently, I managed to conduct a symphony, I said a bad word and apologized for it, and I talked about my research and philosophy.  And to top off the ordeal, my dad showed the video to his colleagues at work.

I've made a lot of progress on my thesis.  The process is just slow.  I have a great thesis chair who has been helping me with every step.  Whenever I send him my work, he says that my claim still needs sharpening.  And even when I feel like I have sharpened my claim so that I've fashioned a weapon, he asks that I sharpen even more (see my favorite memes below: my motivation vs. my reality). I've been thinking about my roles as a student and a teacher.  When I read my students' work, I am able to determine if their thesis requires narrowing immediately.  But the beauty of my program is that I still have learning to do, and when I have a hard time seeing how my thesis can possibly be narrowed down, I have great teachers and mentors who help me.  I tell my parents constantly—I have learned more in one full year of grad school than in all of my years getting my undergraduate degree.

Last on July's forecast: Mammoth Lakes, Yosemite, San Francisco, Redwood National Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Great Basin National Park.  

I cannot wait to share stories and pictures after our trip!

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