Friday, April 23, 2010

Rachelle Graduated Today.

Congratulations are in order, but really, I'm just going to miss this girl.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I've decided to stay home.

It's okay if you think I'm crazy, but I am so excited about spending the summer in Provo.

I called the Library of Congress back today and told them I wasn't coming.

Maybe next summer.

And you know what? I'm going to have a blast of a summer!!

There are just so many things that I want to do this summer, and going to Washington only covers a fraction of them. Staying here I get to accomplish so much more! So it really is a good thing. And I'm happy. 

Monday, April 19, 2010


What does one do when she is offered a great opportunity that she doesn't know if she should take?

The Library of Congress called today. Paid internship.

But I had wanted to stay in Provo. You know, save money, take tests (Praxis for history and English and GRE), party. I applied for the internship secretly hoping that I wouldn't get it. 

Crap. What do I do now?

Alexander the Great.

So much to love.

Greek History. Professor Peek. Macedonia. Alexander the Great and his amazingness. Check out this letter. Alex wrote it to Darius, you know, the ruler of Persia. But this letter was written and sent AFTER Alex had already conquered King Darius III and his armies at the Battle of Issus. He's just rubbing it in. And demanding respect. Go Alex.

"Your ancestors invaded Macedonia and the rest of Greece and did us harm although we had not done you any previous injury. I have been appointed commander-in-chief of the Greeks and it is with the aim of punishing the Persians that I have crossed into Asia, since you are the aggressors. You gave support to the people of Perinthus, who had done my father harm, and Ochus sent a force to Thrace, which was under our rule. My father died at the hand of conspirators instigated by you, as you yourself boasted to everybody in your letters, you killed Arses with the help of Bagoas and gained your throne through unjust means, in defiance of Persian custom and doing wrong to the Persians. You sent unfriendly letters to the Greeks about me, to push them to war against me, and sent money to the Spartans and some other Greeks, which none of the other cities would accept apart from the Spartans. Your envoys corrupted my friends and sought to destroy the peace which I established among the Greeks.
I therefore led an expedition against you, and you started the quarrel. But now I have defeated in battle first your generals and satraps, and now you in person and your army, and by the grace of the gods I control the country. All those who fought on your side and did not die in battle but came over to me, I hold myself responsible for them; they are not on my side under duress but are taking part in the expedition of their own free will. Approach me therefore as the lord of all Asia. If you are afraid of suffering harm at my hands by coming in person, send some of your friends to receive proper assurances. Come to me to ask and receive your mother, your wife, your children and anything else you wish. Whatever you can persuade me to give shall be yours.

In future whenever you communicate with me, send to me as king of Asia; do not write to me as an equal, but state your demands to the master of all your possessions. If not, I shall deal with you as a wrongdoer. If you wish to lay claim to the title of king, then stand your ground and fight for it; do not take to flight, as I shall pursue you wherever you may be."

My favorite part is bolded, btw.

These are the kind of gems that I get to read when I study for my history classes. Can any other type of studying be more fun?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

It's A Beautiful Day

I woke up with that U2 song in my head. I slept in, looked out the window at the sunshine, and started cleaning my apartment, all the while humming that song.

I cleaned the kitchen, living room, bathroom, and my bedroom. It was lovely. I decided last night that I needed to make my lazy, non-motivation streak end. Because when I sit around for a while doing nothing when I actually have LOADS to do, I hate it, and it is just so frustrating. So this morning, I put an end to that.

After cleaning, I went to two bridal showers, one right after the other. I love bridal showers. And you know what? They both had AMAZING food. So classy. The second shower, though, was just absolutely adorable. It was a tea party and we had little tea cups and yummy drinks. And chocolate covered strawberries and cucumber sandwiches. It was divine.

I then made my first trip to the grocery store in approximately three weeks. Let me just say this: I was OUT OF FOOD. I have been eating the same dumb stuff everyday because it was all I had left. And I even rewarded myself at the store by purchasing some new cleaning supplies. I finally got some Pledge so I can polish up my surfaces!

And now... I'm at the library. I'll be here all night. Well, until midnight when the library closes.

Wish me luck. I have way too much homework. Boo procrastination. It only causes stress.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Audrey as a high school student

So, in my teaching writing class we have been talking about grading.  I've had a very easy time relating to the material and discussion because if there was one thing on my mind in high school, it was grades and looking smart. And that isn't really an exaggeration. I was obsessed with them. So, I thought I would let my blog readers in on my high school grade (and school in general) obsession. If you knew me in high school, just sit back and laugh at my past insanity.

And I present....

Audrey's life as a high schooler (WARNING: this is the story of arrogant little high school Audrey who thought she was smarter than most people and wanted everyone to know. Now, I just think it is funny).

1. The habit of checking my grades on PowerSchool. As a sophomore I checked my grades at least once a day. Usually more. Everyday, after eating lunch, I would hand my watch to the nearest friend and tell them to time me while I checked my grades in a minute or less. I would then dash away, run to the computer lab, log on, look at all my A's, log out, and then dash back to wherever I had left my watch and friend timing me. Now why did I do this? I don't know. I liked checking my grades.

The following years my grade-checking only increased. Multiple times a day. I always just wanted to make sure. And I wanted to see new scores posted. I wanted to look at more A's. A is for Audrey, you know. 

2. Compulsive need to get only A's. I had goals, okay? And sometimes I had to use my powers of persuasion to get those A's. In health class sophomore year, I failed the quiz on the male reproductive system. Why would I ever want to study for that? It was awkward and I was immature. Needless to say, when I checked my grades in a minute or less the next day, my grade had dropped to an A-, and the semester was coming to an end. I PANICKED.  I went to Mr. Bair and told him the situation. He told me to make up my own extra credit, do it, and then he would see how many points it was worth. So you know what I did? Made the man a QUOTE BOOK, complete with cover, graphics, binding, and multiple pages of awesome quotes (He put quotes up on his board everyday...). And you know what else? I got an A in the class.

One time I got a C on a paper for Mrs. Smyly in AP Lit. TERROR, right? I was traumatized. I will forever hate the book it was about- Josef Conrad's Heart of Darkness. The book was dumb anyway.

I failed a test one time in Mrs. Suddreth's Algebra 2 class. I had been absent for color guard and didn't know we were going to have a test somehow. Luckily, Mrs. Suddreth allowed re-takes. I retook the test after studying and got 100%. BAM.

Mrs. Smyly almost gave me an A- once. I cried. And freaked out. I found out that Kennedy Clayton was getting an A- too, but that Mrs. Smyly had bumped her up. So I talked to Mrs. Smyly. I got an A. BUT, it was such a close call that at the end of the quarter when they passed out money for 4.0s, I kept the paperclip that attached my $10 to the report card. It is still in my wallet. It is a symbol, okay?

Do I feel guilty about complaining and doing extra credit to get a couple A's? No, not really. I worked DANG HARD in high school, and I deserved those A's. Plus, in this specific situation with Mrs. Smyly, I had missed enough participation points to drop me the grade because I had gone to Provo with my family to take Andrew to the MTC. But she wouldn't excuse it and give me back the points. But hey, I made her see reason.
So Mrs. Smyly gave me a lot of stress about my grade. And man, the participation/attendance point issue was a struggle. I remember one particular instance where I stayed home from school all day because I had THE FLU, but I got out of bed and went to Smyly's class. I couldn't miss the points. I probably infected everyone in the class, but dang it, I got my A.

3. History classes. They were pretty much my favorite thing. Honors World Civ, AP US history, and AP European history. The best classes at Dixie High. Thank you Mr. Wegkamp and Mrs. Howell, you are fantastic. You are the reason I am going to school to be a history teacher.

I used to study so hard for those classes. I went in to take the tests without having any questions and I always knew everything. (So different from now might I add).

K, I just want to paint a picture for you here. This is what happened before and on test days in those classes.

First, review games. What could possibly be greater? My excitement for these review games was just ridiculous. I HAD TO WIN. I studied for the reviews, okay? They were usually the kind of games where the teacher asks a question and then teams of 4 or 5 would have to buzz in and then give an answer. And extra credit was usually attached. I was obsessed with extra credit. I didn't need it. I just wanted it. (In fact, I used to work extra hard on Mrs. Howell's assignments and color code the outlines just so she would write "wow" at the top of the page and give me a "+2" next to my score.)

Okay, imagine a review game team for AP US history composed of me, Braidy Bundy, Kennedy Clayton, Moe, and Jen. It was a DREAM TEAM. And we fought hard. We argued our answers and the scores, told each other what to say when it wasn't out turn... all for points. We had the knowledge... sometimes the rules just went out the window a little bit. One day, when our team was accused of cheating in AP Gov, Braidy was like, "Well, if you're not cheating, you're not trying!" Okay, Braidy, you are awesome. I mean, sometimes things got heated, but I couldn't help it. I wanted to win.

Me and Braidy were together in AP Euro too. And we always won. Well, most of the time. But I was a ferocious review game player. I would get nervous before class, but would just be so excited. My competitive edge would come out and rear its head, and I would attack, leaving a pile of bodies whose brains contained less historical knowledge than mine. It was so great.

Second, after review games came... the test.

I remember one particular instance- and I kid you not- two girls in my class actually asked if they could touch me before the test. They were joking, but seriously. That was ridiculous.

In World Civ and AP US the pattern for tests was the same. We took a multiple choice test, turned in the scantrons, and then wrote an essay. While we were all furiously writing those essays, the teacher would go and run the tests through the scantron machine and quickly determine who had the high scores.

Then, at the end of the class period, when every one was turning their essay in, the names of the high scorers would be read aloud. And honestly, I looked forward to this part the very most. I was just so excited to hear my name read aloud and written on the board again. I honestly don't remember a time that I didn't get one of the high scores. I don't think it ever happened in world civ. Might've happened in AP US. Not sure. But I fed off that praise. It only served as motivation.

4. What else? I did homework all the time. When I was in the school musical every year, I would spend much of rehearsal and actual performance time sitting in the hall outside the auditorium studying- trying to catch up on the missed days of school for matinee performances. I was crazy. One time Mr. Saxton mentioned my devotion to schoolwork to the rest of the cast, recommending that they do the same. I glowed.

The summary of this high school obsession with being smart and getting the best grades? It was stressful. Unhealthy, even. It was compulsive. (I did have a lot of fun in high school, though. I just had to make time for it. I loved high school significantly more than the average person, I would say.) I would even go so far as to say that my need to get good grades was directly tied to my self-worth. It blocked insecurity and made me feel important. I needed those good grades to feel good about myself. I really think that is true. I used to wonder to myself, "what would I do if I got an A-??" And my answer would be, "that's not possible. It won't happen. I just don't know what I would do." The whole idea just freaked me out. I would start panicking just thinking about it. I had to only get A's, and I HAD to be valedictorian.

Luckily, I was successful, and if anything made the struggle and stress worth it, it was sitting on the stand at graduation and cracking jokes during my speech.

After writing this, I have a small idea forming... what if I could apply this devotion, focus, and fantastic study skill to school NOW? What if?

Nah, I'm far too lazy these days. I've realized (and am more healthy now) that I don't need straight A's to be happy. Life, I've come to learn, is about so much more than that. :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

American Idol is back.

Up until this week, I've been kind of frowny about this season of American Idol. Part of that was because I've rarely had time to watch it, and when I did, I was only able to watch some contestants.

WELL, this week I managed to watch all three hours. And now I remember why I love American Idol.  Boys with hot voices. Yep. I've already purchased Lee Dewyze's cover of "Hey Jude" (One of my all-time favorite songs... it was the centerpiece of my Beatles phase in high school), and I am one click away from adding "Jealous Guy" by Casey James to my iTunes American Idol collection (I currently have every David Archuleta song, all the performances from Matt Giraud last year, and a couple of Adam Lambert. My one regret is not ever purchasing David Cook's "Billie Jean.")

Anyway, here are the songs for your listening pleasure.

Seriously, listen to these.

Oh, and also, Kara is kind of scary and Ellen isn't that funny. I mean, normally she is, but not really on American Idol. But I love Randy and Simon. I just don't like the new blood. And Ryan Seacrest is my favorite.

And, David Archuleta is am.a.zing. He just is.

Rhianna, couldn't you have picked a different song last night? There are SO MANY other good songs on your album. Why did you pick "Rockstar 101"? "Cold Case Love" and "Firebomb" are both WAY better.

Jason DeRulo, you are cool. But that "In My Head" song is kind of annoying, because really, the message is contradictory. And I liked the michael-esque spikes on your shoulder.

Another thought-- why is is that I suddenly become blog crazy at finals time? It happened last semester too. I blogged like everyday. I think that it's because blogging is just one more way to put off doing my homework. Yep, that's probably it. Plus, when I'm studying, I'm thinking critically a lot more. haha.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


(I'm not exactly sure I'm using that word right)

But. I realized something today.

Imagine that you are blind. And you have to go to the bathroom, like, really bad. And somehow your seeing-eye dog knows how to get you to the outside of the bathroom. Somehow. So, you're standing outside, and you just know that there are two doors somewhere in the vicinity. How are you supposed to find them? And when you do, how do you know which one to use?

So, we all know that the doors have little braille letters distinguishing the men's and lady's rooms. But how is the blind person supposed to find the tiny braille letters? 

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the issue. Braille letters on bathroom signs are USELESS because blind people cannot see where the braille is located. Did you ever think of that?

They just have to feel around everywhere for however long it takes- most likely until they've already peed their pants (remember, the hypothetical blind person had to go really bad)- until they find the braille and can decide which door to use. And then, they have to find the door handle. And then the toilets. And then the sinks. The soap. The paper towels. And then the door again.

This is a very sad, bad situation. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New discovery

 I learned today that reading poetry while on a machine at the gym totally works. It can be just as productive as listening to music while working out.

You know why?
meter. pacing. rhythm. beat.

You see? It's like the same as music. You just have to read it right. And when you do, it can push you to work out at a steady, fast pace.

Who knew I could survive without an iPod? Yay poetry.

The problem is finding lots of poetry with a quick enough pace. I'll have to search.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

It's April, the second best month of the year.

Just some things of late:

1. New favorite music: Adam Lambert, almost the ENTIRE For Your Entertainment album. Except, I don't listen to the title track. It's, um, not uplifting. But the album is super fun. I actually like to listen to it while I do homework. Weird, I know. I never used to do that. But I love to now. "If I Had You" and "Pick You Up" are my favorite songs on the album. Except I really like "Aftermath" too.

2. I went to St. George this weekend. Dani came with me. :) She loves St. George now, and that makes me so so so so happy. Because I love St. George. And I want everyone I know to love it too. But while I was home, we had a picnic on the Sugar Loaf, went to the Art Festival, watched General Conference, celebrated both me and Elise's birthdays, celebrated Easter, showed Dani around St. George (yeah, I took her to the high school), went to Dairy Queen with Moe and Jen, and drew a picture of a pig for Elise to hang up in her bedroom while my sisters made headbands. It was a fabulous weekend of happiness and sunshine. And St. George. What could be better? Btw, Elise redecorated her room, and it looks AMAZING.  I'm so jealous of that's girl's decorating talents. She is so creative. Anyway.

3. Elise made me a shirt for my birthday that says, "I would've picked Duckie," on it. Pretty in Pink is one of my favorite movies, and Duckie is like my all-time favorite movie character. The girl, played by Molly Ringwald picks the dumb supposedly hot boy over Duckie, the sweet and quirky best friend. And well, I would've picked Duckie. And now I can declare that to the world when I wear my shirt.

4. My cousin Nicole is coming home from Hawaii to visit in May. We're going to set up the Harry Potter shrine and have a party. I'm SOOOOOOOO happy about that. I love that Harry boy. And Nicole. :) When I was home this weekend, and I showed Dani my room, I pulled out some of my old Harry Potter stuff. Dani thought I was a FREAK. I showed her my binder of editorials about Harry Potter that I printed off the internet and annotated in order to keep track of theories and devise my own. And then I showed her my character files. I have index cards with details of all the characters on them. She thought I was a weirdo and said she would have to re-think our friendship. haha. I told her that she had just underestimated my obsession. I mean you can only say, "yeah, I love Harry Potter" so many times, and people still just don't get it. It's funny, too, because while I was dating Josh I kept thinking, he just doesn't understand my obsessive nature... it'll be funny when he figures it out. Unfortunately or fortunately, I don't know which, he never figured it out.

5. I have two and a half weeks left of school. I am so utterly excited I can't even say. Summer is going to be relaxing and fantastic, and I will just get to lay out in the sun all day. Except for when I have to go to work.

6. Rachelle is graduating and moving out. That's going to be weird. Not living with her, I mean. I'll miss that girl.

7. Vanessa and Kennedy are coming home SO SOON. I am so sosososososo excited. I have to admit, I've been very much a failure at writing to them, but that doesn't mean that I don't love them! I do, I promise. Vanessa is coming home the 15th, and Kennedy the 21st. So like a week apart. That means that I'll have to go to St. George to homecoming TWO WEEKENDS in a row. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but it'll be all right. I do love St. George. The real problem is that it'll be right in the middle of finals. Oh, and I won't have money for gas. I'll just have to figure that one out.

8. I love reading books. I started a book blog at the beginning of the year. But it's private. And it only has like 6 posts on it. But it's super fun to write on. I can say whatever I want about books, and it doesn't matter. But I really do love reading. I had forgotten how much I loved it until this semester in my adolescent literature class. I have some new favorites: The Chocolate War, A Separate Peace, and Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones. Check 'em out. Read 'em. I do have to say, though, The Chocolate War is slightly controversial. I loved it. I read it in a day. But I was one of two students in my class who liked it. So beware, I guess. Rachelle liked it okay. She had some slight issues with it. Nothing big. But if you read it, make sure you let me know what you think. It's an interesting read.

9. Jen's baby is adorable, and Moe's is growing inside her. I love babies. And I love when my friends have them.

10. I finally saw Invictus in the dollar theater. I. loved. it. After like the first ten minutes, I turned to Dani and said, "I really like this movie." Cause I did. It was already super interesting, and I couldn't wait to watch the rest of it. It was a good one. Now I just have to see Blindside. I know, how in the world did I go so long without watching these movies?!??! I have no idea. Sports movies are like my fave.

11. Speaking of rugby, I love it now. Dani and I went to a rugby game last weekend, and it was SUPER COOL. Kind of scary because all players were getting in fights and stuff, but it was just so interesting! I kind of seemed like there were not rules. Like, players would punch each other and not even get in trouble! What kind of game is this?!? In Invictus they described it as "a barbarian game played by gentlemen." And football is "a gentlemen's game played by barbarians." Loved that. So, yeah, I just gotta find me a rugby player.

12. I'm in pretty much last place in my march madness competition. I was SOO winning at first... oh well. Maybe next year. Dumb upsets.

13. The color festival was last week. I love colors.

14. I found some new funny blogs to read. There is this one called the Daily Apple, and there is a random topic everyday to read interesting facts about. Like today, it was candy bars. I actually really like it. And if I read it everyday, then I'm bound to beat everyone at Trivial Pursuit and Jeopardy some time in my life. And that is the goal, right?

15. Did you hear about the people in Texas who are trying to take Thomas Jefferson out of history books? I'm not sure how valid that sentence is, it might not even be true. But we talked about it in on of my education classes, and I was shocked. And then there was something about it in the Daily Universe, which isn't exactly your most valid source. So I looked it up online, and all the reports were contradictory and confusing. So now I'm just hoping that good old TJ will stay in history textbooks forever, and everything will be back to normal. 'Cause we can't lose that guy.

16. I want a new build-a-bear. It'll be a koala named James Monroe. You know, the guy from the "Era of Good Feelings." Oh wait, that might have been James K. Polk. Oh well.

17. I need a hair cut.

18. There is a baseball game tomorrow. I'm going to it. Why? Because I love baseball games.

19. Did I already say I'm excited for summer?

20. I should go to bed now.