Friday, July 31, 2009


After dinner in the dorm cafeteria tonight I went to the commons room in my dorm and while I was reading your blog (yes, YOURS), the ice cream bar that I stole from the cafeteria totally melted.

So I stood over the trash can and slurped it out of its package.

Yes, I totally did.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

So there ARE some fun things...

For example, today we had to write sentences using the new vocab for ch 12, and I wrote the following. The bold words are the new vocab.
My day off was great! I missed class, and I didn't learn about the death of my teacher. I was appointed to speak at her funeral.
My teacher even laughed when she read it, and that was kind of a triumph for me. :)

Also, one of the students in my class is still in high school (!!), and she's considering going to college in Scotland, and we had this big (tangential) discussion today about how people in many (most?) other countries don't take great care of their teeth, and she was kind of disgusted. Then later we were answering conversation-type questions, and another student said, in answer to one of the questions, that he ended a relationship once because the girl had Scottish teeth. :) hee hee :)

So it's not ALL totally heinous and painful. :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My rules for the next ten days

1. Don't panic. You ARE capable of learning this stuff, and you know your mind shuts off when you panic.

2. FOCUS. On Arabic.

And that is all.

Monday, July 27, 2009

WAY more panic today, people!!

So we have two weeks left of this Arabic program, and I alternate between the following:

1) 12 days and 10 hrs until I'm with my nieces and nephews - WAHOOOOOO!!!


2) Oh. My. GOSH. I am going to fail in life and die. In five minutes.

See, 2 weeks in this program is HALF A SEMESTER of Arabic left to go. That's a LOT of material. And I STILL don't have a very good grasp on the material from the last two weeks, so I have LOTS of catch up and LOTS of keeping up to do.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009


...apparently the prayers of the internets are not effective :P ;) because my sister and her husband have decided to send their kids to public school.


They bought a plane ticket - for ME! - from their town to our parents' town!! So this means that I get to drive across two states with them and their kids and then fly back across those 2 states. And lest you think this would NOT be a fun way to spend YOUR vacation, allow me to remind you that this means that instead of two days with them, I now get THREE AND A HALF!!! WOOOHOOOO!! :)

Arabic, on the other hand, is SERIOUSLY giving me the people's elbow to the face these days. I am WAY behind, and sentences that are supposed to mean something to me...don't. I'm tempted to just "survive" for the next 11.5 days of class...until I remember that that equates to more than half a semester, so I really just need to kick it into gear and catch up and keep up. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Studying vocab

So I think I've mentioned that I have a lot of vocab to memorize. I haven't? Well, internets, guess what?


It's a frightening amount, and I struggle to get it for every chapter. I have tried different things to help me to remember the sound and the spelling of each word, and since it's always a struggle, I have felt like those things weren't necessarily helping.


The chapter that we're currently in? I'm TOTALLY not getting the vocab down, and I realized that it's because I changed my studying a little bit. I didn't do for this chapter a technique that I have done with previous chapters, and I can tell that my grasp of this vocab is weaker because of it. So I'll do it today and hopefully I'll know the vocab in time for the test on Friday AND so that I can USE it in conversation, which really is the point of vocab anyway, eh? :)

It just reminded me that sometimes in life we don't realize how important the "little things" really are, and we don't always know how much they are helping, BUT THEY ARE. That one vocab study technique? I wasn't sure it was helping until I didn't use it for one chapter, and THEN I realized how much it helped. It makes me wonder what the "little things" are that I am doing now that are keeping me sane (or as sane as I am ;) ), and I want to make sure I don't neglect any of them. They ARE helping. :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The stars have aligned...

...and my fingernails are ALL the same nice length AT THE SAME TIME.

I know, it's like a little miracle.

Aren't you glad you came to read my blog today?! :)

So I've come up with two analogies to explain the almost scary cheerfulness that I've been feeling since Monday morning, despite the bad news. Are you ready? Here they are:

#1 - Emotional foreclosure. :) Too much to handle, so we reset the counters.

#2 - Computer freaking out - let's reboot.

Or maybe, really, I just needed to cry and let out some of what I've been bottling up for the last 6 or 7 weeks.

Either way, I'm feeling much better, and I think I'm going to survive. :) Only 13 more days of Arabic class! :)

And on another happy note, my roommate for next year and I turned in an application for a really cute duplex!! YAY! :) I may even get to move my stuff in before I head west for family time! :)

And I talked to my sister again today, and it turns out that since Sunday they have revisited the question of continuing to home school their kids rather than send them to public school, and if they go the home school route the first day of school in the school district won't matter and they'll be at the reunions longer! I know they need to do what's best for their kids, but would it be too much to ask for the entire internet to pray that they'll decide to home school, so I can spend more time with those kids next month?? That's a valid reason to make important decisions about your kids' education and future, isn't it?? ;)

Monday, July 20, 2009

The proverbial straw

Through all the stress of this summer - the Arabic program, the personal stresses, the housing stresses, and let me again mention the Arabic program - there have been 2 things that have been keeping me going through this Arabic struggle. One of them was the family reunions at the end of the summer - one-and-a-half or two weeks with ALL my nieces and nephews. I have been holding on to that as if it would save my sanity these past weeks, and it has.

And last night I found out that one sister and her four kids will only overlap with me at the reunions for TWO DAYS. They just found out the day that school starts in their new school district, and because of that and the end date of my Arabic program, we'll only be together for two days.


I am heartbroken.

I sat in my car last night and sobbed and sobbed and beat my steering wheel and yelled in frustration and sorrow and anger - about this HUGE disappointment, on top of everything else I have been dealing with this's just too much...and so I think that that bit of news was more than my already-beaten-down little psyche could handle - nothing else will register, and this morning I went to class more cheerful than I have been in days. I can't handle the thought of that small amount of time with them when I was looking forward - for eight months!!! - to so much more time together, so I think I am suppressing the pain and disappointment to the point that it doesn't exist or can't hurt me anymore.

Except when I think about it for more than 2 seconds. Then the tears start again.

I know life isn't supposed to be fair, but after eight months of looking forward to time with them - only TWO DAYS?! Puh-LEASE!!

It's a good thing I'll be with my other two adorable nieces and my other two fabulous sisters and my wonderful parents for longer than that - missing ALL of them would kill me for sure. I just wanted us all to be together for a while...

So Life, if you have any more disappointments or pain in store for me, could you hold off, please? Even just for a couple of months? I'm pretty much operating at capacity right now.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Getting settled in, maybe? :)

So the past few days of this Arabic program I feel like my life has settled into a pattern, and that's a nice feeling. I usually get up early and study, shower quick, grab a quick breakfast of 2 bowls of cereal with fruit and 2 glasses of orange juice :), and go to class. I study vocab on the way to lunch, eat lunch, study vocab on the way back to class. After class I usually walk some - on the bike path or just around - and sometimes call a family member to chat. Then I study / read / nap, then dinner, then studying, then bed. I've been sleeping consistently about 5-6 hrs, which is not a ton, but I'm surviving, and it IS a consistent amount of sleep each night, which I hear is good for you. And I've been consistently reading my scriptures, and spending some good time pondering and writing in my scripture journal and my regular journal, which I also hear is good for you. :)

I have had quite a few days of class recently during which I _didn't_ want to die, so that's been a nice change. :) I'm getting into the habit more of studying and learning and struggling through. Today on the way to class I was panicking a little because this is day 2 on chapter 6, and I STILL didn't have all the ch 6 vocab mastered, and I knew we'd have to actively USE it in class. And I was thinking how frustrating it is that it takes me 3-4 days to be comfortable with each new set of vocab, and yet we only spend about 2.5 days on each chapter, so I'm not comfortable with it by the time we move on to the next set. But then I had a thought that stopped me in my tracks - I DO get comfortable with each set of vocab. !!! :) :) So even if it takes me 3-4 days, it DOES happen, and so these new words ARE and WILL slowly work their way into my vocabulary. I was relieved when I realized that - I've been beating myself up that I can't absorb and assimilate this vocab as quickly as we move through it, but I DO get it eventually, and that was a very satisfying feeling. :)

I also had an AWESOME moment in class today when _I_ was right and the punk kid who is REALLY smart and always seems to be WAY ahead of the rest of us was NOT right, and he complimented me - TWICE! - on figuring out this new concept. :) That was a good feeling, and it's nice to feel like even if there ARE things that I don't catch on to as fast as him, and even if my vocabulary isn't as good as his, and even if he doesn't have to look words up to remember the short vowels, and even if he did memorize the ENTIRE chart of plurals...I am NOT an idiot, and I feel like I proved that a little bit today, to him and to me. :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Today was a good day. :)

That's pretty much all I have to say, but it's true. :)

I spent all afternoon and most of the evening with some dear friends, and got to vent my stress and discuss solutions and get good counsel.

And I talked to my mom and dad, and was reminded again of why I love them and of how excited I am to see them in just...TWENTY-SEVEN DAYS!! :) :)

Monday, July 06, 2009

Time flies when you're...drowning in Arabic??

So a quick update. Or not so quick - "wait 'til I get going!" (Name that movie to further solidify our friendship...)

Housing: My apartment has been sublet. WOOHOOOOOO!!! That saves me $1200. :) :) Well, $1198, plus utilities. :) I'm very relieved to have that taken care of. This does mean, however, that since I no longer have another home, I officially live in the dorms, for the first time since 1995. :) And I officially park my car at the institute building. :) And I officially have one check left, until I unpack my boxes at the beginning of September and find my next book of checks. So if I tell you "the check is in the mail," it just ain't true.

Arabic...yeah, about that. It's still stressful, I'm still not where I would like to be with it, but it's LOTS better than it was last time I posted, so that's nice. :) And the attitude adjustment that I SERIOUSLY needed? I got it. :) A small part of it had to do with remembering that I ALWAYS take a while to get adjusted to new situations. So I was not adjusted to this intensive Arabic thing, and was feeling bad that I wasn't just loving every second of it. I'm still not loving every second of it, but now I'm feeling more like I will, eventually. :) Of course, the quickest I've ever adjusted to a new living situation was about 2 months...and this is a two-month program. :) So hopefully I'm adjusted and happy before it's over. ;) But I got an 87% on my last test, and I thought I'd done much worse than that, so things aren't looking too bad right now. :)

And people - it's week 4!!! That means that by the end of this week, we'll have done an entire semester of Arabic - CRAZY!!!! It also means I'm almost half done with this program. I know it's just Monday of week 4, but for some reason the weekends are slow and the weeks just FLY, so I feel like it'll be Friday before I know it.

And I went to an AWESOME fireside last night! I was reminded of how much I have to learn, to do, and to BECOME in order to be like my Heavenly Father. (But not in a panicked, stressing out, way, right, E? ;) ) So I'm more motivated than I've been in a while to really WORK at being who He wants me to be. It's a good feeling. :)