Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Death of a Camera

You probably noticed in my last post that I actually took the picture of my room (I know, that might be a little on the "Duh." side). Well, that picture you see of the bulb-less light was the last good picture my camera will ever take. *sniff* Yes, it is a very sad thing.

Apparently the inner workings of the camera have lost some of their connections. Immediately after I took the picture I noticed that neither the zoom nor the menu buttons did anything, anything at all. This poses some problems: I can't zoom, obviously; I cannot edit any of the settings of the camera; and, most importantly, I cannot delete any photos without putting the SD card into a computer and doing it manually. That means that the random photos I have saved onto my camera's internal memory are permanently saved there. And are irretrievable. So sad!

So this post is just going to be a trip down memory lane, so to speak, to revisit some of my camera's most wonderful achievements. Please ignore the atrocious arranging that Blogger insists on using for my pictures, but think instead on how each of these pictures was taken by my camera. Let us take a moment of silence as we remember with fondness how well my little camera fulfilled the measure of its creation.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day!

I realized after my last post that there is a lot about this program that I just didn't put into words. Like how I live in a totally crappy place called Southgate.

Do not be fooled by the adjective it gives itself on its website - "relaxed luxury" - for there is nothing relaxing nor luxurious about this off-campus dorm. There are two different locales within Southgate - the normal dorms, and The Lofts. The Lofts are two story, more private, nicer apartments that we do not have the privilege of enjoying. The dorms themselves are bigger than the normal dorms you might find in other universities. We do get private bathrooms (full bathrooms, complete with showers) and a good bit of wiggle room. What we do not get is a light in our bedroom. Nope. No light.

My room from my bed.
Oh wait!! In case you didn't quite see where my light should be, here's a better view above the door.
Bulbs anyone?

The picture just can't quite do justice to the deplorable status of light in these rooms; this little non-working light above the door is the ONLY light in the room! And ours doesn't even work!! We've had to constantly use a lamp that my roommate J.W. bought at Target. I ended up taking the bulbs out of our actual light and trying to replace them from the bulbs in the hallway. I figured that if they wouldn't fix the lights in our bedrooms, they would surely replace the lights that are supposed to be on 24/7 in the hallways. But then, sadness! The bulbs in the hallway are different. They didn't fit our room light. :'-(

But anyway, on a better note, we went to the Rez today! The Rez is a recreational area at a lake, owned by FSU and used by students and family. FSU Law School bussed all of us little undergrads over there this morning, we played a bunch of teamwork games that actually were fun, and then spent a few hours playing at the Rez. We had the option of going on the lake, playing football, playing volleyball, climbing a rock wall, swimming, etc. So I picked the one thing available to me that I had never done before: I went kayaking! It was a ton of fun, and I now feel like I should buy a kayak if I ever move to a location that has a bunch of lakes and rivers. We then played volleyball, where I made some fabulous shots by kicking the ball (translation: I suck at volleyball and ended up treating it like soccer).

By the time we got home at 4 o'clock I was exhausted. I ended up being domestic and folded my laundry, cleaned up my part of the room, then collapsed on my bed for over an hour. I still have a large part of the evening open to me, so I think I'm going to head over to Walmart and buy Catch Phrase and see if I can get anyone to join me in a no-alcohol-required-but-fun passtime.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hello from FSU

I must say, not only has it been a while since I last posted on this blog, but the post that I ended with last time left it looking like I was going to return as some newly-formed Apollo, complete with rippling abs. Reality, however, is normally satisfied with the mundane; I have no rippling abs to report. But I do have another major update: I'm in Tallahassee!!

I've been in Tallahassee now for almost a week. Let me tell you: Florida State University is about as similar to BYU as a kitten is to a cobra. Or a table. Florida State is, of course, a university as BYU is, but their focus at the student level is almost antithetical (if that's a word). Now before I go any further, let it be known that I do not in any way speak lowly of FSU. It's a great university that's just a bit different from my own. I hope that I do not step on any toes by publishing this to my blog (Becca understands, I'm sure).

BYU students generally have a source of motivation - and dare I say, hope? - that lies in the independent region of the heart. The combination of the Church, the Honor Code, and the expectations of faculty and staff cultivate a deep sense of responsibility and wholeness within the students that they usually don't even recognize, and yet it produces an ingrained type of maturity. They're motivated by their grades as are students at other universities, but they are emotionally motivated by activities and friendships that are inherently wholesome. At Florida State such a motivation must come solely from themselves and their choice of lifestyles. BYU students get recharged by simple, fun, social activities that only really involve each other (and a game). Interestingly, a good number of FSU students recharge by going to a club or bar nearby campus where they participate in sociality, but under the cloud of alcohol.

I have to say, after seeing groups of my new friends here go out to bars or nightclubs three times so far in the first week of the program, their motivation and/or "recharge" is a pretty dang shaky one. On a personal note, it also leaves me somewhat alone during those times. But never fear! A number of the students here have also begun to express their distaste (at least) for such frequencies to establishments of alcohol, and I have begun to find some wholesome relaxing and recharging even here. A few nights ago we stayed up for a while playing Taboo (what a blast), the next night Uno (halfway in Spanish), and last night we went to a 10:00 o'clock showing of Iron Man with a trip afterwards to Sonic - and we all had fun! I don't think they believe me when I mention that this is what I do every night at BYU and still manage to have a ton of fun. Granted, alcohol wasn't entirely avoided - most of the Uno players were drinking white wine - but overall it was not a major part of our fun.

Anyway, I didn't want to spend all my time writing about the imbibatory differences in our college cultures.

This program is harder than I thought! We aren't being graded or anything like that, and our days are only from 9 to 3:15, but we all end up taking or wanting to take naps by the time we're through! We have two classes a day that we attend: Legal Writing (which is more like Legal Analysis) and Law Class. I know, the latter sounds almost comically generic. Legal Writing is a lot of fun; so far we've learned a ton about different kinds of laws and how they're applied to cases. This is the class that will have us present 8-minute oral arguments in a mock court session at the end of this program. The Law Class is an intense perusal of appeals covering the different types of law that are available for study. We've glanced over Torts, Insurance, Evidence stuff, Negligence and Personal Injury, with a large number of cases left to study in next three weeks. So far I can tell you that my least favorite law subject is Insurance law. Ew.

Overall, I'm having a blast out here! The days are hot, humid, and long; all the flora is a living green color, with all the trees adorned in spanish moss (the blackish gray moss that hangs from branches); and the people in this program are smart, different, good people that are making the same decision I am: is law school for me?

Tomorrow I'll go to the Singles Ward and figure out how they deal with entertainment stuff here in Tallahassee. :-D