Sunday, August 28, 2011

I'm Starting to Feel Pretty Legit...

So, a week or so ago I started to read War and Peace. Let me just tell you how awesome the book is. With most books nowadays, you get a sense for where the book is going as you start it. Many times the books start out with no background and you are plunged into a rising climax throughout.  Finally you get to the end of the book and within the last 10 pages your hero (or heroine) becomes victor and there is a cheesy resolution that says "all will be well."  For example: Hunger Games Trilogy: how in the world is Katniss going to "live happily ever after" the heck she went through.  Harry Potter also ends abruptly with a fast-forward to when they all have 11 year-olds. I always felt a little empty, as if there should be something more. However, in books like Great Expectations or Grapes of Wrath, I always ended with a feeling of ... its hard to explain.  Appropriateness? The ending matched the climax. The characters in of Mice and Men lived a more realistic terrible life, and the story ended with them living a terrible life.  Maybe that is what new series are missing: realism. I'm not saying these weren't great series, but they do miss something that the old classics have.

In the classics, the background to the climax is just as important, and for me, just as entertaining.  It holds no glimpse or hints to what the climax is going to be.  I'm about 10% of the way into War and Peace (which is a significant accomplishment noting its 1455 pages).  So far, all that has been written about are a couple of elite Russian families, their gossip, and high-class parties.  However, the politics and "drama" that goes on is fascinating and hilarious.  However, I still do not know where this is going. (Maybe I just haven't been so aware this time around).

Anyways, to the point I was getting to in this blog post.  I was sitting there today reading War and Peace when I was hit with those sudden realizations.  You know them.  For example: "Holy cow, I'm living in Europe!" or "I'm in college for real!" or "I'm actually a missionary!" etc.  Today's was: "I'm actually reading War and Peace! I am soo legit!"  How many 22 year-olds even want to read this huge book.  I don't know if I've ever read a book 1455 pages long.  I'm really excited to continue. Also, I bought it and started it because I wanted to be able to say I read it.  I mean, it is harder to get any more legit in the reading world than saying you read War and Peace.  However, I'm not just reading it, I'm loving it!  I can't wait to start again.  I just woke up though, so I decided that I should not try reading it when I'm half asleep.  That's when I blog.

Just an update on my life right now:

School starts tomorrow and I am soooo not ready for it.  I have been in school since April 2010 non-stop.  That is ridiculous and I'm never doing that again.  Believe you me.

I'm teaching Gospel Doctrine in my ward and I looooove it. Seriously, it is the best calling ever. I love reading up on the lessons and studying the chapters, even if sometimes I procrastinate a little bit.  (Like planning today's lesson at 12:00am).

I just got done with a week and a half of Freshman Mentoring Training/New Student Orientation. It wiped me out completely.  I had to take two naps during NSO to keep myself alive, and I slept much of this weekend in preparation for school/work starting tomorrow.  However, my students are AWESOME!

I've become really addicted to books over the summer, like ridiculously so. Some of Michael's friends came over last night wanting to go to Borders, and so for the second time in a week I got in the car and traveled to the 50-70% storewide sale.  I came home with 7 books!  I have like 15 I need to read still, I'm in the middle of like 4 series, and I'm reading War and Peace, but I can't stop buying!  Especially when I got 7 for about 5 bucks each.  If anyone wants to get me a birthday/Christmas/I love you present: I need a bookshelf. A big one.  I have one that has two levels, but it is way too small for my books, let alone adding my roommates' books. Once I get the bookshelf: gift card to Barnes and Noble (because by that time, Borders will be out of business).

I've started playing soccer regularly again with Cy and it is AWESOME!  Some days I am just terrible, some days I'm just plain awful, but it is a lot of fun.

My weird roommates finally moved out a couple of weeks ago, and Charlie and Michael moved in. Hallelujah.  We already have had a lot of fun, including going to Borders, trying to find a cheap bookshelf, watching Jenn jump in the pool with clothes on (my shirt, btw), and more. This is going to be an awesome semester. Looove it.

Anyways, the pretty much my life.  Kid History posted their 6th video today, so check it out.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

More on Relationships

So, it is pretty late.  I have a work meeting all tomorrow and I should be sleeping, but I couldn't stop thinking about this.  I decided that instead of letting it all jumble up inside my brain, I should just put it all down.  A. - I can organize my thoughts by doing this and B - I can get to sleep easier.

So, the girl I was dating and I decided to end our relationship this past week.  It was a mutual breakup and thankfully there are no hard feelings (or at least on my end)...  We still talk and have fun - I feel like we are really great friends.  The past couple of months have been great for me.  She was awesome, but in the end we were looking for different things right now.  As I told her, I felt like it was the right girl at the wrong time.

Well, I feel like the wrong time was all my fault and here is why: I am way too selfish.  I was mulling it over in bed and thinking what really went wrong.  Well, I was way too into myself.  I couldn't make up my mind about anything, and when I did come to conclusions, it was always about me.  What did I want?  What did I need?  Rarely did I think about anyone else.  It was awful.  I've noticed I do this in most of relationships, be them romantic, familial, or just friendly.  I'm a selfish person and do not think of others much.

How is this harmful?  Well, apart from the obvious reason, I started thinking about my mission and how I came to truly love the people.  It was all about serving them.  I realized that there were some of them that I would never have got along with or tried to understand except that I had learned how to love them through serving them.  I tried to understand who they are and help them in any way that I could.  By doing this, I grew a strong form of love that will never die.  I miss them so much.  It was hard to leave them and it is hard that I can't stay in contact with all of them.

Unfortunately, I returned to being selfish when I got home from my mission.  I keep to myself in all my relationships.  I don't do the whole give and take thing. Realizing this now I feel like I'm a terrible person.  I ruined everything. Why couldn't I ever say "I love you?"  Because I've never taken it upon myself to serve anyone.  I have left it to circumstances. I never tried to develop a love.  I think it is because I've been tainted by worldly views of "love" and relationships.  I always felt that I would know when I would meet someone that I "loved."  Well, that just doesn't happen to me.  Is love an instantaneous emotion?  Maybe for some, but it something that I have to develop and I just didn't put the work into it.

Now I know something that I have to work on in all aspects of my life. How can I serve others?  This will help me to become the man that I would hope is marriageable. I promise to myself and all the girls that I may date in the future that I won't make the same mistake again.  Sure, I won't be perfect, but I am going to make sure that service is my priority.  I just wish that I could go back and do it over again.

So, from this last relationship I realize that she was practically everything I wanted.  Smart (amazingly so), funny, beautiful, classy, spiritual, hard-working, and just a great friend.  I'm sorry that I had to ruin it by my selfish nature, but you know what: It is a learning experience and I am just grateful that she is willing to still be my friend :) So, guys, you better treat her right or you will have to answer to me. :P  and that is only half kidding.

So, guys and gals, do yourself a favor.  If you want to be in a great relationship, wake up and start to find ways to help your other one.  Make them happy and live for that happiness.  If you "lose your life" in theirs, you will "find your life" will always be with them.  (Is that sacrilege to twist the scripture in that way?)  Lastly, I give this MormonMessage so that you can understand a little about what I'm talking about.  The Apostle's story is so awesome and something I want to emulate for the rest of my life:

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sitting in Physical Science

My teacher is reviewing the whole term and my mind is really refusing to concentrate on anything he's saying.  Plus, I really don't want to learn about quarks and the particle/wave duality of life.  It is interesting, but I don't want to learn about it for the rest of my life.  Maybe there will be some point that I will have this burning desire to know about atoms, but right now I don't.  I do, however, find astronomy quite interesting and I really want to find a way to travel throughout the universe and land on new planets.  I think that would be AWESOME!

You know, I think I have this very skewed perception of the development of technology.  Somehow it seems very difficult to accept that Einstein and people before him understood such properties of life such as the atom before we even had colored television and the internet.  Also, since I've grown up using the internet, it seems weird that it hasn't been around much longer than I have. With the amount of innovation occurring digitally with new phones coming out every month that are better than the old ones they just put out, it is as if they have researching this stuff for hundreds of years!  However, it could just be that they are barely tweaking old products and selling them for hundreds of dollars more just to get more is what the pharmaceutical companies do.

Just a couple of fun things you should know about what is going on in my class:
-I just sneezed and then started to breathe...and it didn't work.  I just started coughing and coughing and coughing.  I'm pretty sure most of the people in class were looking at me.
-There is a really weird kid about 3 rows ahead of me touching his friends scruff really awkwardly.  (Yes, they are both males.)
-There is this game to see how many people can drop their iClicker during class.  I swear it happens everyday at least 5 times and it is really, really loud.
-I'm not sure how many people are really paying attention.  The two guys on my left and right are drawing pictures, the guy and girl in front of me are flirting, half of the people behind me are sleeping, and who knows.
-Someone always fails at the quizzes that we have.  Even though he is telling us the answer, someone will put down the obvious answer.  Only once has the whole class got it right.

Anyways, it has been a while since I posted anything so I figured I better get something in soon.  Have a great day.  Later, since both Cy and Jill have left me and I'll have lots of free time tonight, I'll probably write another post or two...  Ciao.