Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sun Devil Takes Cougar Town.

Okay, obviously I don't mean the show, Cougar Town.  Ew.

When I was 17-years-old, it came time for me to decide where I would attend college —Brigham Young University or Arizona State University.  A lot of people ask me, "What made you choose ASU?" I would like to say that I received a vision from the Spirit... but I didn't.  I just chose ASU because my brain told me to, and things worked out swimmingly, as I thought they would.

ASU is often ranked among the top party schools in the country, and pre-lecture conversations ranged from getting drunk, getting arrested, and getting...well... other stuff.  I saw a half-naked man on campus, and I thought I had entered into the moral cesspool of hell.  Some of my professors had filthy mouths, but they managed to incorporate expletives in lectures in such a way that it sounded articulate and sophisticated.  And yet, with all of the shenanigans, I loved school.  I liked the atmosphere, I liked having the LDS Institute right on campus, and I liked feeling like I was a normal person in a normal school.

And then this happened....

I suppose now you could say that I'm bridging the gap between the [Sun] Devil's school and the Lord's school.  I knew that I wanted to attend graduate school.  I only applied to BYU because they have a grand spanking English M.A. program.  Thankfully, I got into the program, and I completed my first grad class.

Now.... I feel like a semi-normal person in a not-so-normal school.  The environment is so different to me.  First of all, campus is beautiful.  The school must invest a lot of money into landscaping because lawns are lush and green, and flowers are blooming everywhere.  At ASU, it was a privilege to sit next to some dirt and a dead cactus.

And of course, you have the whole spiritual thing going on.  I like it — I really do... it just took me off guard when I heard the class next to me begin the lecture with an opening hymn and a prayer.  I saw people with garments sticking out of their shorts and shirts.  In the course evaluations, the survey asked me if the class strengthened my testimony in Jesus Christ and the Gospel. (Is it blasphemous if I say... NOT REALLY?!)

AND THEN.... my professor invited us over to his house for a final discussion and dinner.  I have never ever EVER, been to my professor's house, so I felt weird, and intruding, and unprofessional.  AND THEN... my professor asked me to give a blessing on the food.


I have never said a prayer around my school classmates or my professor! I felt frazzled, and as I prayed, I wanted to punch myself in the face because I forgot to bless the food.  Duh.  My other classmates were totally relaxed and composed because this is normal to them, but I felt like I was standing naked before a congregation.

Needless to say, this will be a new experience for me, but I am excited to be at this university.  I suspect the not-so-normal aspects will resume normalcy for me.  Also, I noticed a greater sense of camaraderie among my classmates, which was different but welcome.  So, friends, if you happen to be attending BYU and you see a bumbling girl...gawking at things she perceives to be strange, go and greet her.  It's probably me.

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