Sunday, December 14, 2014

Student Feedback

The semester is coming to an end. Along with the end of the semester comes end of the semester surveys. The surveys are to help us know what we're doing well and what we could do to improve not only as a company, but as individual instructors. Yesterday we had a work meeting and as a small little Christmas gift, my manager went through all the surveys and typed up for us the positive feedback from the surveys. She then printed it out and gave us our individual copies of student feedback. The comments really made me happy inside and I wanted to type them out so I could reference them later. I thought my blog would be a good place to put it. I'm very grateful to the students for this feedback because it helps me stay motivated. I put a lot of effort into my job and I'm glad that my students are appreciative of it.

My students:

1. She was helpful and explained concepts well. Also she was willing to help in lab and after class. She went over things a second time if needed and explained in different ways to help others understand. She is Fabulous and helpful!
2. Kristy is perfect! :)
3. Kristy was great! She really helped us to understand difficult concepts in a kind way. Was very grateful I took this course. Thanks!
4. My teacher is comparable to my mom. When I was 14 I got my Eagle Scout. I mean my mom got my Eagle Scout. Kristy basically made it impossible to not pass this course. She is by far the best teacher I have ever had. She taught me so well she basically passed the course for me.
5. Kristy was great. Very helpful.
6. Very patient and makes difficult problems so easy! My only regret is that I didn't take this course sooner! It has helped boost my confidence in my academic skills immensely. I actually understand math! Something I never thought I would say. Thank you!!
7. It was very amazing. Getting me to the final was extremely hard. I really hope I pass.
8. Always helpful and always answered emails fast. Thanks.
9. Awesome.
10. Helped me learn when I thought I would never.
11. Kristy has been the most knowledgeable and helpful math teacher I have ever had. She knows how to simplify concepts and always answers my questions without getting frustrated.

Lab students:

1. Very helpful in the lab.
2. Great teacher, great handouts, great reviews.
3. Love your review on midterm 3.
4. Great at the review!
5. Very clear and helpful.
6. Very nice, thoughtful.
7. Very smart.
8. Helpful.
9. She deserves a raise. $$$

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Bullies and Trials

I keep seeing articles shared on Facebook about stories of preteens, teens, and adults who committed suicide as a result of being bullied. I don't read all of these articles because they make me sad inside, but they have made me think a lot lately about how people can be plain mean sometimes and also how everyone goes through very different personal trials in life.

Personally, I haven't struggled with bullies too much in my life. I have, however, had friends who have felt bullied. One of my closest friends wore a back brace in high school and she has told me experiences she had with bullying because of it. It's made me realize how prevalent a thing bullying is.

Lately I've been pretty wrapped up with myself. I've been missing opportunities to reach out to others. I've been so caught up with my own trials that I've been less aware of the trials others are going through, or the severity of their trials. These articles that I keep seeing have been sort of giving me a bit of a reality check that even though my trials suck, there are worse ones out there.

A few nights ago I was writing in my journal and the first line I wrote was: "Am I happy?" The last few weeks have been emotionally draining and I've felt like everything in my life exploded at the same time. 2014 was a tough year. Most days I was fine, but some days I'd let the feeling of defeat overwhelm me. That particular night was a day when I really wasn't sure if I was happy. I sat with myself and asked, "Is happiness a choice? Are emotions choices?" When I found out Trevor died in a car accident, I didn't choose to be sad. It was a natural reaction and response. Trevor's death is still hard on me. I still feel sad about it. But the conclusion I came to is that while emotions themselves are reactions, it is a choice to let an emotion take over your state of mind. I can choose to dwell on the sad aspects of his death. Or, I can accept the sad aspects and choose to focus on the memories. Or how grateful I am for his impact in my life. Or how the Lord needs him on the other side more than I need him here. There have been a lot of stressful things going on in my life, but there have been happy moments too. The problem I have had is I've let happiness be a reaction, but not a state of mind.

I am going to work hard at developing a better attitude. That's one of my goal for the year 2015 - not let my trials, struggles, disappointments paralyze me. I'm going to try harder to be a happier and more selfless person.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Do Boys Love Girls?

This is a serious question I ask myself from time to time. Do boys love girls?

I have been through quite a few relationships, but only a select few of those I considered to be closed and committed relationships. I have a problem with allowing myself to be someone's girlfriend. The thought terrifies me. The way that I see it, once you are officially someone's significant other, one of two things will happen: either you will get engaged and married and live happily ever after (that last part is questionable), or you will break up and likely never talk to each other again. Am I being dramatic? No, I think I'm being honest.

There have been times in my life where I really felt loved and cared about by a boy. I loved and cared for him as well and quite frankly I was convinced that for once in my life, the change in name from 'boyfriend' would be 'fiance', not 'ex'. But I don't want this post to be focused on that boy. Because the bottom line is that the majority of the relationships I've been in or witnessed have one thing in common: failure.

I've already explored with myself the question if love, itself, exists. I believe my conclusion on that question is that yes, love does exist.

The question I've been pondering as of late is if a man can feel pure and true love for a woman. And I want to strongly emphasize the word love. Love does not equal lust. That is an obvious statement, but I think a dangerous thing in relationships is when two people convince themselves that they love the other person, but things quickly turn into lust. Justification occurs. Feelings get hurt. People feel used. Things end in tears. Hearts are broken. This isn't always the case, but I think it is extremely dangerous for dating couples to get too involved physically or sexually because lust can become confused with love. There are multiple reasons why I believe sexual relations should be saved for marriage, but when you become intimate too early on in a relationship, I think weak emotional bonds are formed.

I know I sound bitter, and probably slightly irrational. I also know I shouldn't let my negative thoughts consume me and ruin my perspective on marriage. Our experiences shape our opinions though. Our experiences have an effect on our thoughts. My experiences with men and dating have made me feel disappointed and sick inside. I have been losing faith. I have been losing hope.

Now, there isn't a single event that has triggered this rant. Rather, there have been many events and many evidences to feed my growing belief that most men are selfish, inconsiderate, and unable to truly love women. If a glimmer of love manifests itself, it doesn't last. I can't take movies and literature seriously when it involves two individuals falling in, or being in love. In love. Perhaps that is the expression I feel disdain towards. Being in love is temporary. Occasionally couples might oscillate in and out of love, but it is never a constant and sure feeling or phase.

Aside from the concept of being in love though, I still am hesitant to believe men can simply love women. Love requires sacrifice and selflessness and an anxious concern for the care and well being of another. I don't see this evidenced in "real" life.

I feel discouraged and disappointed. I want to believe in love. I want to believe someone will honor, cherish, and love me one day. The truth of the matter though is I don't believe it. I can't. I'd like to hope my feelings about it will change, but I'm tired of trying. I'm tired of being hopeful and then my hopes getting crushed. So though I still ask the question: "do boys love girls?",  I feel that the answer is sadly "no".

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Ash Ketchum

My last 2 Halloweens were not very exciting. Last year I didn't dress up, I just went to my friend's house for dinner. The year before that I didn't dress up either. I just watched Inception with my boyfriend.

I've been wanting to dress up like Ash Ketchum for awhile, but I always waited too long to put the costume together. This year I was determined to follow through with the idea. It was a success!!

The first thing I worked on was the accessories because I knew that if people had no childhood they wouldn't really understand who I was just by my outfit. I had to give them a clue I was from Pokemon.

I found a green backpack online for pretty cheap, bought some yellow and tan felt from Walmart, and glued it on with some tacky glue. Simple enough. (The glue took forever to dry though!)

The Pikachu stuffed animal was tougher than I thought. I had a hard time finding one that I really liked(one that actually looked like Pikachu and was cute enough that I'd want to keep it).

I was pretty proud of the Pokeball. I bought a clear, plastic Christmas ornament from Michael's, painted half of it red and half of it white, use some electrical tape for the black stripe, painted a quarter white and glued it to a giant black button, and then glued that to the ball. I had most of those supplies already lying around, so I only had to buy the ornament (which was about a dollar).

Now the outfit... At the early stages of me deciding I was going to be Ash, Jenna (my roommate) and I walked to a thrift store down the street and hunted around for a shirt that was the right color blue. Jenna is actually the one who found it for me. It was a blue work out jacket from the women's section. I found a white dress shirt in the little boy's section. At first I cut the sleeves off the jacket and cut the sleeves from the white shirt. It was my intention to sew the two together. What you need to know about me though is I have no sewing machine and I can't sew by hand to save my life. I unpicked it all, bought a new white shirt, and decided to wear the jacket as a vest. The tricky part was figuring out how to hide the rest of the white shirt though so that only the jacket was showing. My solution was to pin the white shirt back and tuck it into my pants from the back. Wearing my backpack helped to hold it down too. Putting the yellow on the jacket was easy enough. I just found a cheap spool of yellow ribbon and used that.

The hat and gloves. I wanted to make those by hand. I found a red hat at the thrift store and bought it along with some white and green felt. I spent probably an hour trying to make it work,  but I just ended up frustrated and annoyed. I tried to search for green gloves myself too, but I swear to you every store I went to did not sell gloves in the right color green. I ended up buying the hat and gloves online (they actually came together) and I'm glad I did. It looks much better than anything I could have done myself. 

Black shirt underneath, easy enough. Jeans, easy enough. Black sneakers, easy enough. Brown belt, easy enough.

Overall, this costume wasn't too difficult to put together. However, I am glad I planned ahead because I had to order a few things online. Also, it gave me time to experiment and make it look exactly how I wanted it to. I was so excited to get to wear it. We had a costume contest at work that lasted Wednesday-Friday, so I had multiple opportunities to wear it (which is good, because it's hard justifying spending money for something you only wear one night).

I went to a Halloween party hosted by some of my cousins. It was up in Salt Lake City and all I have to say is I have never felt more painfully single in my entire life. I rode up with my cousin Sara and her husband Taylor, but we picked up Sara's friend and her boyfriend on the way up. Before the party we went to Chipotle for $3 burritos and met up with another of Sara's friends and her husband. I was the 7th wheel, which was pretty dang awkward for me. The party was fine, it was nice seeing my cousins and actually going out to do something. However, I am pretty sure that 85% of the people there were married. And the rest of the people there came with a boyfriend or girlfriend or a sibling. So like I said, I have never felt more painfully single in my entire life.haha

When I got home, Jenna and I talked for 3 hours straight and it was nice ending the day like that (although I was suuuuper tired when I woke up this morning.) While we were talking though, we kind of goofed around and did a little Ash Ketchum photo shoot, which was pretty funny.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Emergency Doctor Appointment.

Earlier this month something crazy happened to me. I woke up with a strange pain in my side/back. I'm actually rather surprised I didn't blog about this fiasco earlier (okay, maybe I'm not so surprised. These last 2 weeks have been pretty off for me. You know that scene in Twilight where Bella is sitting on a chair and the camera spins around her as time is passing? These past 2 weeks have somewhat resembled that... Okay, no, I take that back. We'll just say I haven't been very motivated lately and have kind of been in a weird trance. Not depressed. Just a little down and discouraged.)

Let's get on with this story, shall we?

I woke up and got out of bed and had a really hard time breathing. The best way I can describe it is it felt like I was pinned up against a wall with a giant truck pushing into my chest. This didn't seem normal to me. When I yawned, sneezed, or took a deep breath it felt like some stabbed a pitch fork through my back, piercing my left lung. And twisting or bending even the slightest bit was excruciating. It is nearly impossible to find subs last minute at work though, so I still went. I was about 2 hours into work when I realized the whole not being able to breathe or turn thing was interfering with my ability to function well at work. I talked with my manager, found people to cover my remaining shifts, and then I called the doctor.

I don't go to the doctor very often. Sometimes I feel like it's a waste of time and money; which was the case in this situation. I came in for my appointment 2 hours after I called to schedule it. They made me do the standard procedural things. Made me stand on a scale (and raised an eyebrow to see how underweight I am. I raised an eyebrow too because I've been assuming I weigh 7 lbs more than what that scale told me.)  Asked me questions about current prescriptions I take. Took my blood pressure. Asked me questions about my physical health. Blah blah blah. I tried my best to explain the pain I felt, but the nurse lady had a very condescending vibe and I just felt stupid.

The doctor came in. Technically he was a Physicians Assistant and I almost immediately regretted setting up an appointment with him. If I were to summarize my appointment with him it would be this: He thought that I had rib dysfunction, but he didn't know for sure. I could do stretches to help and I should put some heat on the area that hurt.

I left feeling annoyed. He reinforced my dislike of going to the doctor. It was a waste of money in my opinion. Also, I felt sad that I couldn't go to work. I didn't feel sick and I had the energy to teach, I just couldn't twist (which I do all the time when teaching) and breathing was a problem too. When I got home I decided that I would make an appointment with a chiropractor, so I spent some time researching and finding someone that I could trust. I ended up going with a referral and he was great, so I'm going to put his name here to give him credit. His name is Ronny Andersen. He works in Lehi at Andersen Chiropractic.

I had 3 different sessions with him. And unlike that Physicians Assistant, he didn't make me feel stupid. He validated my feelings and confirmed that there really was an issue. I had a dislocated rib. Don't ask me how it happened because I have no clue. I just woke up with it. He told me that I probably twisted funny or something happened a few days before. The only thing I can think of was that 3 days before I was throwing a football around with James. But I don't remember doing anything rough or twisting funny. Just waking up with a dislocated rib doesn't make sense though. Unless someone beat me in my sleep, which is highly unlikely. Anyway, he popped my rib back in place and he did some therapy work on it and after the third session I was completely back to normal.

I have to be honest - I was really scared to go to the chiropractor that first time. I'd never been before and didn't know what to expect. There was some fear involved - afraid it would hurt or that I'd be worse than before. But I didn't hurt much at all (maybe because I built myself up to believe it was going to hurt really bad.) But the point is, I believe in going to the chiropractor now (at least to Ronny Andersen).

Overall, it was quite the experience. I don' recommend dislocating a rib. It's not a pleasant feeling.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Revisiting Poetry

Once upon a time I wrote this poem:

I've missed the writer side of me lately. It's not as if I was ever an incredibly amazing writer, or songwriter, or poet. However, I did put in a lot of thought, emotion, and energy into my literary work (ha! That sounds too formal.)

Here's my point: I want to be better.

I want to be better at blogging. Typing out my thoughts helps me to articulate and formulate what I'm thinking. When I'm sitting around with random, unorganized thoughts, I feel lost and groggy and frustrated.

I want to be better at songwriting (which is basically poetry to a tune). Music is my way of expressing myself. It's my way of accurately summarizing my feelings about a situation. It's a way to channel my emotions into something productive.

I'm tired of what I've been doing lately - just existing.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

I knew this day would come.

Today is my friend Trevor’s birthday. But no matter how many October 4ths pass, he will never turn older than 23. I wonder how he’d celebrate his day if he were here.

I had a dream about him last night. I tend to have very vivid dreams, and while I do remember the majority of them, sometimes I don’t feel they’re worth sharing. This one is different though. Sure, I could sit here and analyze the meaning of it, but mostly I just want to share it because talking about him helps me to hold on to him. He was too important to me to just let him go. When I think about him I start to play the song “Long Live” by Taylor Swift in my head. It’s not a well known song, but I really like it. The part that stands out the most in my mind is this:

Can you take a moment
Promise me this:
That you stand by me forever,
But if God forbid fate should step in
And force us into a goodbye,
If you have children some day
When they point to the pictures
Please tell them my name.
Tell them how the crowds went wild
Tell them how I hope they shine

Anyway, before I get to the dream I just want to say how much I miss him. Granted, I know that we weren’t as super close after his mission as we were before and during his mission, but some people just have a significant and deep impact on you. Just as there are some college buddies you stay in contact with most your life, Trevor is a childhood (can I call it that? We met when we were 14) friend that I feel similarly about. Sometimes I miss him so badly it literally hurts; I can’t breathe and I feel like someone has stabbed me in the heart. I don’t express this out loud because I know people don’t know how to respond to it other than saying, “I’m so sorry.” or giving me a hug. But to be honest, the only people I feel comforted by through the expression of a hug are my parents because they knew Trevor and his impact on me, and they loved him very much as well.

I like to express myself through music, and I have been trying to write a song about Trevor for months now. One day I will finish it. Sometimes I just settle with lyrics or with the piano when I write songs. Trevor doesn’t deserve for me to settle. I want the song to be genuine, and I want to make sure to accurately capture just how I feel.

In my dream, I knew Trevor had passed away. But I was walking down the street and I saw him. I ran up to him and gave him a hug and asked him how it was possible he was there in front of me. He seemed confused and asked me what I meant. I told him, “I saw them lay you in the ground. I don’t understand how you are here now.” He told me not to question it.

We didn’t really talk, and I was too fascinated by the fact he was there that I didn’t really mind the silence. He told me he wanted to show me something. We walked through a field with some trees, and I looked up to see we were at the bottom of a steep hill that had a road at the top. We walked a little further and he gestured for me to look closer. I saw a red car that had clearly fallen off the road and tumbled down the hill, hitting trees on the way. He showed me the dents on the car on the passenger’s side, and as I pressed my had against the dents, I saw a video clip in my head of that car sliding off the road, Trevor inside, it crashing through the trees, and his head smacking against the side of the car. I saw his dad in the driver’s seat crying and yelling Trevor’s name and trying to shake him awake. The image scared me and I looked over to Trevor and noticed some markings on the side of his face.

“Trevor. You died, didn’t you? I mean, I was at your funeral. How are you here now?” I asked him, now in tears.

“I just am,” he responded.

Somehow I magically ended up back in Provo and I ran up and down the streets telling everyone I knew that I had seen Trevor and he was alive. People called me crazy and told me it was impossible to see someone who had died. I shouted at them that I knew it was true. After awhile, people thought I was having a mental breakdown and told me I needed serious help. I ended up going home to my family. My dad tried to console me and told me I had every right to miss Trevor, but that he really was gone and there was nothing I could do to bring him back.

But Trevor showed up. My family started crying and gave him a hug and we didn’t understand how he was there, but we didn’t care. We were so happy to see him. My family told everyone that I wasn’t crazy, that Trevor really was back.

I didn’t get to spend any more time with Trevor because sadly, I woke up at that point in my dream. Though I forced myself back to sleep, I wasn’t able to pick up where that dream had left off.

Sometimes it is hard for me to accept that he’s gone. I’m not ready to allow reality to sink in, though it’s flooding me. I know he’s gone. I don’t want him to be, but he is. My heart is forever going to miss him.