Thursday, September 27, 2012

a thought on teaching

for the past few semesters, i've tried to convey the expectation to my students that getting an A means more than just meeting the minimum requirements of the course or even of the A itself. i want my students to actually earn their As, which means meeting with me beyond a single conference or going to the writing center or having multiple peers review their papers.

this semester, more than others, i have students who are concerned about earning that A. last night i met with three students after 6pm because that was when i could meet. they wanted my feedback so they could turn in A-quality work, and they were willing to sacrifice some of their tuesday evening to do so. i grumble about having to traipse up to campus after a long day at work when i don't technically "have" to be up there, but really i'm glad to help my students achieve their goals.

have i said that i love teaching?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

high heels and headbands

one thing that held me back from getting a blog for awhile was the burdensome task of choosing a URL.

{insert quintessential courtney phrase}

there's a lot of pressure in that! once you've got a URL, you can't really change it. you're stuck with your decision. 

"sophisticated simplicity" i came up with pretty fast. i love that da vinci quote, and i love the talk from president uchtdorf that quotes the quote. i still love the concept, and hopefully it applies, in a least a small degree, to what i try to do here. 

eventually, i bit the bullet: highheelsandheadbands. i mean, i love high heels--anyone who knows me will tell you that one of my favorite things to do is put on a new pair of heels as soon as i get them home. i love headbands, as many witnesses can attest. on two separate occasions, years apart, i have won awards for having versatile and attractive hair accessories (which has also made me think that i need to be better about letting people get to know me so they can find something to look at beyond my headwear). i figured these two things would be timeless, would always describe me. 

not so. i still like those things in theory--not so much in practice. 

i guess this is less a commentary on my failure to choose a URL that i would like two years later than one on how much my style and, in some ways, my personality, has changed in the past couple years. i was just thinking today, i'm glad i've kind of figured out my style. but then i thought, who knows how long this will last, though?

so i think i'll stick with highheelsandheadbands. it's alliterative, which is always a plus. and maybe there is still something in those two things that is quintessentially me.

Monday, September 24, 2012

sunday drive

yesterday, emily, tess, meredith and i decided to drive the alpine loop, since we hadn't really done it before and it seemed like the colors would be perfect. although the trip ended up being a little longer than we expected and we were all ready to get out of the car after about two and a half hours, the drive was beautiful, and i for one was still in awe by the end.

my camera isn't super high quality, which means my pictures aren't either, but here is some photographic evidence that we went on this lovely excursion.

Friday, September 21, 2012

why i like fall: reason #27

new episodes of my favorite shows.

i'm pretty sure i've addressed this in a past post, but, watching the new episodes of the office and parks and rec today reminded me again just how great this time of year is.

gotta love fall.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

thoughts on wednesday

i was going to call this "hump day thoughts" but then decided not to and then decided to just share my thought process anyway.

yesterday i had sixteen conferences with students. one way i know the semester is officially underway=conferences. then once those start, it feels like they never stop. but, miracle of miracles, all of my students yesterday showed up, for the most part on time, and they all had drafts. that almost never happens. and most of the drafts were pretty darn good. have i said that i love teaching?

i read this article on the @ symbol yesterday. it was awesome.

my brother posted this video on my wall last night and then promptly sent me a text that said "check out the vid i put on your wall." i did, and within the first 30 seconds of viewing i was clapping my hands in delight. taylor swift + hanson=all of my wildest dreams coming true.

i am so glad i'm getting paid on friday.

if anyone knows of a house south of campus that will have four spots for girls come winter, let me know. it is becoming more and more apparent that the four of us need to move in together asap.

and, last thought, thought that's always in the forefront of my mind, why is dating so dumb?

happy wednesday!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

it's things like this that make me want a husband and baby so bad...

this's been on my mind since i first heard the album, and it is so beautiful. "a father's first spring"--scott avett's thoughts on being a new father and how he felt about his new daughter. i especially love the line "i was a child before the day that i met eleanor."

Monday, September 17, 2012

on embracing your weirdness

i've had several conversations with people about this lately, and i feel like i can finally contribute something to my blog.

i always thought that, if i wasn't successful in dating, which i have to admit has been the case for basically all of my adult life, that meant there was something wrong with me, something that i needed to change about myself. when i say change here, i mean change some of my personality traits, like i thought maybe i needed to be different, be more flirty or laugh less loudly or like different things. i believed that there must be something about me that was holding me back.

as i've gotten older, i've gotten away from that, at least when i think about myself and dating. i've come to believe that it is more a matter of timing than of having to change yourself in order to be more "dateable." i realized that i don't need to try to be anyone else when i'm actually pretty awesome in my own right. now i just need to find the guy who also thinks that.

but it recently came to my attention that i still apply my former flawed logic, that not dating means you need to change something about your personality, to other people. i know a couple people who are very awkward, to the point that it is sometimes hard to be around them. and all this time i've been thinking that, if only they could get over that and be different, change something that is such an inherent part of them, they'd be so great and people would for sure want to date them. and how lame is that of me? i remembered, again, that it's all about timing, finding the right person at the right time. so, that guy who bugs me--i need to remember that he's not for me, and that's okay, but there is someone out there who will love all of him and embrace all of that stuff that drives me crazy.

my comrades (the people i talked to about this issue) and i did decide, though, that there is something to be said for bettering yourself. we hear about aligning our lives with that of the Savior, and that is where self-improvement takes place. there might not be one ideal personality, but there is one true way to live your life. we can always be working to develop the attributes that are embodied in Jesus Christ. as one of my friends put it, the change is principle-based rather than trait-based. i know one person who had a reputation for being kind of mean and cold, and i think this person realized that was holding him or her back from being really happy. so, this person consciously worked to become more positive and friendly. and the change was amazing. i don't know for sure, but i think this person really did get happier and, to a degree, more successful in dating, or at least more confident that everything works out eventually.

to sum up: i'm not going to expect people to change their personalities anymore, and i'm going to keep reminding myself that there will be someone someday who is willing to accept all my weird things. that's one of my worries, too, that guys will think my weird things are too weird and won't be able to get over that i don't drink juice or that i can't even look at snakes. but that's dumb, because there is someone for everyone, no matter how trite that sounds. and, i'm going to keep doing the things i can to become more like Christ--the only way to be truly happy, with or without a man.

i'll end this with one of my favorite quotes. i can't remember if i've posted it before or not, but it's too perfect for this subject to not share again.

that dr. seuss, he really knew what he was talking about.

photo dump from summer

as i was going through my camera last week, i discovered that i had taken a few more pictures this summer than i realized. so, pretty much for my own purposes, here is some evidence that i had fun this summer. which i did.

lake powell sunset cruise. remember how i meant to do a whole post on lake powell? yeah, that never happened.

siblings! also, how you look after you've been at lake powell for a week.

the cave we went in where bats flew around us

me and berk. apparently he didn't want to touch me or something? he's leaning so far!

beach house

at the twilight

joshua james

delightful weekend: part three (down home barbecue)

for some reason, i love spelling out "barbecue" way more than abbreviating it to "bbq." i mean, "bbq" has a time and a place, but "barbecue" looks so much prettier.

anyway. we already knew i was weird about word things. so on to the business at hand.
(note as i am finishing this almost a week later: this got a little away from me. i guess i got really busy last week or something?)

sunday, i needed to stay in provo to sub for gospel doctrine (loved it) and berg needed to teach in her relief society, so we headed up to nsl with emily around 4:30. finally we were reunited with everyone, including meredith and tess. at home, we all took turns at the piano, playing our favorite tunes.

the highlight of the night was our epic taylor swift sing-a-long, followed by watching nearly every t-swift video ever produced. that girl just gets it, man. she is so great. i don't think i'll ever get tired of her, because she knows what's up.

on monday, we lazed around for the better part of the morning, talking to mom and running errands. eventually we started prepping for the barbecue, which for me meant de-shelling hard-boiled eggs and turning them into delicious deviled eggs. brett arrived just in time, and the festivities began.

family barbecues are the best, you know? burgers you buy at a restaurant are almost never as good as they are when they are crafted by mom and grilled by dad. you can't beat that. and then everything else is always scrumptious as well. and then, when we are full to bursting, we sit around the table or around the yard, out in the late afternoon sun and shade, and talk, just spend time together. i love that. i can't wait for my own family barbecues.

this particular labor day i also took a walk up to the golf course, which i'm ashamed to admit i'd never done before, and it's literally (really, literally) right behind my house. then, we topped off the great food with an amazing chocolate bread pudding that mom and i realized we weren't having enough of in our lives.

basically, it was a lovely end to a lovely weekend with people i love. and\, it was a great way to wrap up the best summer. because after labor day, you can't really pretend that fall isn't coming fast and hard.

this picture borrowed/stolen from emily, who was the only one to document this great day :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

delightful weekend: part two (swiss days)

i have memories of swiss days going back to when i was a little girl. they always include aunt liz and mom, which is kind of funny. i remember them talking about swiss days as if it were a sacred event.

i've gotten some blank stares as i have told people that i went to swiss days this weekend, so i'll tell you a little bit about what it is. in midway, utah, just west of heber city, there is a big celebration every labor day weekend. this started as a celebration of the harvest back in the 1940s, but now it's a pretty big deal. people come from all over to eat swiss tacos, listen to the entertainment (we were regaled by yodelers), and, most importantly, peruse the wares that various vendors sell at the fair. maybe some people go to swiss days for other legitimate reasons, like to celebrate their swiss heritage. i go to look at all the cute and sometimes weird stuff. the vendors set up tents through the midway town square, and for those two days, the town square is packed with potential buyers.

as i've gotten older, i've come to appreciate swiss days on my own. it's fun to see all the different little shops and hopefully find something cool to buy. i didn't think i was going to get to go this year, so i'm glad mom decided she would come down so we could go together.

interesting/cool things i saw at swiss days:
  • one shop selling signs made of cut up license plates and another selling "humorous clocks." clearly, these are niche markets.
  • three grown women dressed as witches. apparently it was for the parade?
  • a million kids with these foam bows and arrows. these were the big seller, presumably because of the recent coolness of archery. (katniss and the u.s. men's archery team would be proud.)
  • things i could most definitely make myself and am therefore not willing to shell out 20 bucks for. if i want to mod podge a piece of decorative paper with a cute saying on it onto a wood block, i think i can handle doing that on my own.
we ate a yummy swiss taco (well, yummy once i picked off all the onions...), and i ended up buying two adorable pairs of button earrings. i can make and will be making these on my own, but the fabrics were too cute to pass up.

 aren't they awesome? i realize that the pictures are not totally compatible, but there you go.

mom bought a new collar for the dog, a tie for carter, a pair of earrings, a necklace, and patterns for some fun pincushions. a successful shopping day all in all.

when we were ready to be done wandering around the square, jayne was kind enough to let us chill at her house, which is close to the action but removed enough that we weren't annoyed at everyone. it was from jayne's porch swing that we watched the rainstorm that plagued the people who were still out examining the swiss days goods.

it was a great afternoon. i've been wearing my earrings for four days straight. i'm glad we got to go, mom!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

listening to...

i watched the decoy bride today on netflix, and it was pretty good. i mean, david tennant, scotland, kelly macdonald's awesome scottish accent. what could go wrong?

this song came on near the end. it is so beautiful. i know i'll be coming back to it.

(this is just a lyrics video. nothing cooler on youtube, so still listen to the song if you don't want to endure the video.)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

best compliment ever

student: do you watch the office?
me: i do.
student:...pam beesly...
me: haha yeah
student: [nodding] yeah, i can see it. you're cool like pam.

almost as awesome as when i heard a neighbor shouting out of his house last night around ten: "hey, what setting do i put it on to dry a full load of garments in one shot?"

my food cravings

i get some weird, random food cravings. and i don't mean once in awhile--pretty much everyday i have some weird food craving. i'm not sure why this is. some have suggested pregnancy, but it's definitely not that. it's possible that i just love food and am thinking about it a lot of the time. maybe i'm crazy. but whatever the reason, once i get that craving, i won't be able to stop thinking about it if i don't satisfy the urge soon.

some of my recent cravings include:
slab pizza. this is a frequent one, as well as the catalyst for this post. i'm really wishing i had a slab of chicken cordon bleu pizza right now.
sour candy. mostly sour patch kids. i don't know what it is; sometimes i just get in that crazy candy mood.
chocolate chip pancakes. a couple months ago, inexplicably, at 11pm, i had to have some chocolate chip pancakes. so i rounded up some of my dear friends and we headed to denny's. craving crisis averted.
crepes. there are just those times when i want a crepe, dang it. i've had the awful waffle in my head for days because i can't wait to go back and get another crepe. the nutella! the fresh whipped cream!
burgers. i don't get this one too often--my fragile constitution can't take big juicy burgers all the time. but every once in awhile, one of those big juicy burgers really hits the spot.
sandwiches. my love of sandwiches is well-documented. i get the sandwich craving probably once a week at least.
ice cream. my sister and friends know that there are times when i just declare "i need some ice cream. right now!" and then i either run to the store or to coldstone or to dairy queen and enjoy some delicious ice cream.

so there you have it. some people think i'm pretty weird, but really it's just that i love food.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

delightful weekend: part one (sleepover at emily's)

almost none of this weekend was planned. it just ended up being awesome, which is probably a testament to how many great people i have in my life right now.

this is going to end up being more of a list than anything else, because i could go on and on about everything we did. so i'll try to be more brief. also, why am i the worst with taking pictures of stuff? that reason alone makes me want a smart phone really bad. but anyway.

  • emily, sloane, and i have been trying to schedule some time to watch felicity (post forthcoming--it's taking me forever to get all my thoughts organized about this crazy show.) for some time, especially since i finally caught up to them. friday was the appointed day. i went to emily's after class, at 4, sloane brought this amazing cupcake something-or-other ice cream, and we watched an episode before sloane had to leave.
  • meredith and tess met up with us and we headed to cafe rio for dinner. it was delicious as always. after dinner we made the trek to costco, where such glamorous items as toilet paper, water bottles, and vitamins were purchased (passive voice used intentionally to protect the identity of the buyers.

  • here the festivities really began in earnest. we decided, on the way home from costco, that we might as well have a sleepover since we really just wanted to hang out with each other anyway. so we gathered our sleep essentials and reconvened. emily and i have been talking about watching amelie and making rice pudding for ages, so we finally did that. amelie=beautiful and funny and happy. homemade rice pudding=creamy and sweet and one of the best things ever. 

  • then, it was getting pretty late, and at first i thought things were winding down. but emily was determined that we should make a lip-sync music video, and that lead to a little game i like to call "fun with photobooth" and a lot of taylor-swift-music-video watching.

  • finally, we went to bed. i did wake up in the middle of the night to the crazy lightning and thunderstorm that was happening, but i swiftly fell asleep again. when we woke up, we decided to go visit tess at work at the awful waffle. i love a good crepe, so i was pleased with my nutella and strawberry creation. and the whipped cream made me want to die. it was so good.

this concludes part one of this series. stay tuned for more exciting news.