Thursday, May 3, 2018

April 2018.

Ephraim is a beautiful place to be during spring and summer. Each time I drive home, the green grass looks startling against the mountains, and farmers' crops are starting to flourish. And during these spring months, I want to adopt every baby calf and lamb and try to avoid the thought that they could grace my dinner plate. Just last week, my mom and I were stuck in the most delightful traffic jam:

Since the weather is nice, we spend a lot more time in the backyard too. I'm more fond of our chickens, even though I still think they look disgusting. I've even named them, but I'm thinking that it's foolish to get attached. A few have died within the year, including Brigham's favorite, Goldie. Don't worry, we're not terrible at taking care of chickens. They're just old, and they seem to miraculously produce more eggs whenever Dad entertains the idea of slaughtering them and buying new chicks. Lately, our dog Ellie has been grazing with them, probably because chickens are the only species with whom she doesn't feel threatened. She has the IQ of a rock.

This month has been busy but exciting. I supposed you could say that I'm officially an ISU Bengal. Benny the Bengal is not the most threatening mascot, but then again, neither is Cosmo. I registered for Fall 2018 classes, and I am so thrilled to be back in school. I also applied for housing contracts, and I will be moving to Pocatello in August. It's been great living in Utah, but I'm ready for a change. My parents are probably ready, too.

While trying to work out my schedule for ISU, I finished teaching another semester of classes at BYU. These students were great, but I was feeling a little burnt out by the beginning of April. My students informed me that I actually had ratings on I was delighted to find that I only had one terrible review from a kid who didn't even spell my name right. And I'm delighted to say that I know exactly who wrote that review, and I'm not a bit sorry that he hated my class. I actually started teaching for spring semester yesterday. I wrote my students a kind email explaining how this class is not for the faint-hearted since it moves twice as fast as a typical semester. And then, I was dismayed to find that a handful of kids dropped my class after the email was sent. Oops! But I'm really excited about this new crew. The first day went great, and they actually laughed at my jokes. This, of course, is terrible for my ego, and I flatter myself into thinking that I might be funny. But seriously...nobody ever laughs at my jokes on the first day of class. God must have been feeling particularly generous that day.

I finally finished some preliminary revisions of my thesis (I'm about a year late), and I thought it was decent enough to send to a scholarly journal. I expect that I'll receive a response within the next eight weeks, and, of course, there's always the possibility that the chief editor will tell me that my draft is absolute garbage. Which might be true. But regardless of her decision, I'm proud of my work and how much I learned during the revision process.

The last week of April was good... nearly perfect, in fact. Snow College held graduation, and the commencement speaker was Sister Sharon Eubank, a woman that I unashamedly idolize. I had the pleasure of spending an evening with her. Actually, I SAT NEXT TO her, and I ATE WITH her, and I TALKED TO her.... AND I HUGGED HER. That woman is breathtakingly articulate, wise, compassionate, and validating. As she spoke to other guests, she gave them her undivided attention and made them feel like they mattered. I would like to say that I was cool as a cucumber, but I couldn't stop fidgeting, and I kept on babbling about my aspirations and how we would enter through the gates of celestial glory, hand-in-hand. The last part might be an exaggeration, but we had a lovely chat, and she made me want to be a better person. Thanks for hooking me up, Marci!

The next evening, we drove to Salt Lake City to see the Utah Symphony perform Shostakovich. We blew a tire and drove on a spare, but luckily, we arrived at our destination unscathed. The conductor of the symphony is Thierry Fischer, and he's excellent. He's so animated as he conducts the symphony, in a way that I don't think is excessive or distracting. I talked him up so much only to find that my mom didn't care for him—"What meter is he conducting?" But we loved the performance, especially the piano concertos. I had goosebumps, and I'm pretty sure my jaw was on the ground the whole time.

On the last day of April, I went on a mini road trip with my dad. He had to go to Bryce Valley HS and Escalante HS to try and recruit juniors and seniors to attend Snow College. Whether or not his team's efforts were successful remains to be said, but at least our drive was beautiful. We drove by Grand Staircase National Monument, as well as Capitol Reef National Park. We stopped at some scenic views and saw petroglyphs on some of the rock formations. I've always liked going on drives with my dad, and sometimes I fear that I talk his head off, but at least I play the music and podcasts that he likes.

Can you spot the petroglyphs?

Earlier, I mentioned that my last week in April was nearly perfect. I feel like I cannot adequately finish a blog post before mentioning an embarrassing moment. Currently, I help with the music in Primary, and I made a ball that's covered in different, silly ways for the kids to practice their songs. 

On one side of the ball, I wrote "plug your nose" and thought that drawing a picture of a nose wouldn't be too difficult a task. I was wrong. I ended up drawing a cross between a piece of broccoli and a phallic symbol. I was so mortified and tried to mask the obscenity by including including a mustache and some eyeballs. But now, it just looks like broccoli/phallic symbol with a mustache and eyeballs. In an environment that's full innocence and purity, I'm discovering that I'm more of a corrupting influence. I can NEVER say, "Suffer the little children to come unto me," because I drew a penis ball for singing time.

Love, Bekki

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