A Disagreement with Modernising

When my dad was my age, all one needed for a really good job was a Bachelors degree. That little piece of paper could practically guarantee a job, with good benefits and a nice salary. As has been said in many circles, the Masters degree is today's equivalent, as the Bachelors is now the equivalent of the high school diploma. You practically have to have one of those to work at Pizza Hut.

I have a Bachelors degree (although I don't get my diploma until this summer, but lets stay on topic). Somehow, when I was approaching graduation, I thought this would get my foot in the door at a lot of places I wanted to go--at least in the local market of boring everyday jobs. I was told time and again that this little piece of paper was all I needed to make it in the world.

Let me correct a few perceptions.

Just having a degree doesn't do it anymore. Companies are expecting--for their entry-level jobs!--at least two years of experience, a degree in the field, not to mention a good resume and excellent interview. They want expertise, professionalism, and some other characteristic that a simple degree just doesn't bring. I'm talking about entry-level receptionist and administrative assistant positions. It makes me want to scream sometimes--how is anybody supposed to get those two years of experience, when no one will hire them in the first place?

Personally, I'm circumventing this ridiculous situation by getting a different certification, but I find it highly discouraging that I spent four years in college, only to spend six weeks in a class to go into a completely different field. I think that they should at least warn you that you're spending your time, effort and money on something that essentially does nothing for you.


Surrogate mother

This week, I've been staying at my parents' house in Orem, taking care of my 'niece' Elaina. This little one has been through the mill. She was born a month early, with DiGeorge's Syndrome. She had heart surgery when she was about a week old, which meant she was at Primary's for nearly the first month of her life. She came home for a couple of days, caught RSV and went straight back. She spent three more weeks at the hospital, then finally was able to come home. Two days later, her mom was diagnosed with Influenza A. The doctor told Hollie not even to be in the same house as her kids, so she called my parents and asked if they could take the kids, which they did. Elaina is still on oxygen, as you can see, as well as an oxygen/heart monitor, so her movement is pretty limited. Hollie's parents came to stay with my parents for a week to help take care of the baby, and when they had to return to Nebraska, I came down from Salt Lake to stay through the remainder of Hollie's illness to take care of Elaina and Ben.
Elaina is the most darling baby in the world, and so sweet-tempered. She's been giving us some scares--some of her medicine upsets her stomach, so she's been throwing up. The first time it happened, they had to call the paramedics because she stopped breathing and turned blue--but they got everything sorted out and she was okay. Yesterday, she spit up three times in the space of 24 hours, so we took her to the doctor. He gave us some pointers to keep her from doing it, but really praised us on her care, said she was doing great. The really scary thing is that it comes up through her nose as well as her mouth. It just looks more terrible than it actually is, and it's no fun for anybody. We have to suction out her airways, replace her airtubes because they get spitup in them, we usually have to change and bathe her because she gets it all over herself--its just a lot of fuss that nobody really enjoys. Hopefully she won't do it anymore!

The really funny part is our dog, Suzy Q. Now, this dog has always been pretty protective of Ben, Elaina's five-year-old elder brother. Whenever Ben goes out to ride his bike, Suzy runs right along with him. She loves playing with him. She's only about two years old, and having Elaina in the house has really mellowed this dog. As you can see, she's become Elaina's Nanna--she is SO protective. She'll just sit there next to the baby's bouncer for hours, and she's always sniffing and watching Elaina. It's so cute.
Caring for Elaina has been a real joy. She's such a pleasant baby--even when she fusses she's just so cute, you just want to make her happy. She's at the stage where she's starting to focus on things with her eyes, and she's really getting expressive with her eyes and face. She's gaining more control of her hands, enough to push me away when she doesn't want to burp! Soon she'll be able to push her binky back in her mouth when she drops it--which is all the time. Caring for Elaina just makes me want my own babies, and right now!


Disappointment versus Devastation

I got two rejection letters today, one from UC Irvine and one from the University of Delaware.

Okay, so of course I'm disappointed. I really wanted to go to grad school. I'd be one of the first in my family to do so. It would have been a great experience. But I'm not devastated. My mother held me like she expected me to cry when I told her, but I didn't cry. Maybe I will later, I don't know. Frankly, I'm just glad I'm not waiting around anymore. Waiting to hear was even worse than knowing the answer.

Now, I can move on with my life. Where I'll be moving on to, I have no idea. I'd kinda been hoping to go to grad school so it would occupy the next three years of my life and I wouldn't have to make any big life-changing decisions. But alas, HF never makes things easy.

Next week is my last class in Phlebotomy. I have to pass the final exam, complete an externship, and then I'll get my certificate and be a phlebotomist. So far, I find it entertaining. Whether I can do it long term, I have no idea. But it's a place to start.

I am spending the summer in Pennsylvania again this year. At least I'll get a little theatre in 2008, even if its the weird version of my art that PGSA offers. I think it'll be fun, and help me not feel like an utter failure as a theatre student.

Realistically, looking back, I thought I'd be married by now. I still hope that will happen in the relatively near future, but as HF has taught me again and again, I can't stake anything on it--I just have to wait, and do what I can in that area to make things happen. Eventually it will work out.

So, yeah. I'm a little directionless right now, but I have hope and limitless possibilities (except, of course, that I'm limited from grad school!) I can go in any direction I choose, I just have to do that--choose.


Temp Job

Standing on your feet for eight hours is not fun.


In His Service

Today, my brother entered the LDS Missionary Training Center, in Provo Utah. He was set apart last night as a full-time missionary, for the period of 24 months. He is to serve in the Washington, D.C. South Mission.

This a pretty big step in the life of a young Mormon man, perhaps the biggest step before marriage itself. For most of the men I know, their mission helped them truly define themselves as a person. For all, it bettered their lives.

My brother is a pretty unique individual. He's suffered from ADHD his entire life. He's outgoing to a fault, and talking to him usually feels like sitting through a lecture of some kind--either science or history, most often. But underneath his rather abrasive exterior, he's a good kid. He cares about people, even if he has a hard time showing it. And he works hard--nobody can fault him for that.

I'm pretty proud of him. I worried for a long time that he wouldn't go. I still worry that it'll be hard for him--I know it will be hard for him, especially the MTC. But when I got to put on his nametag for him and looked at that little "Elder Mechling", I about burst with pride. My little brother is a missionary!

I'll be honest--watching the missionaries go forth, watching the videos, and being in that place--it made me want to serve a mission, in a way that I haven't felt for months. I don't know if this is a real desire or not, I'll have to give it time. But regardless of whether I go or not, I think missionary service is one of the sweetest things on the planet.

So, kudos to all missionaries--past, present, and future--and hats off to everybody else who thinks they're cool too.


Want to go back!

Yesterday, Dixy and I went with my mom and my brother to The Mayan for lunch. They have a show which includes young men diving off a rockface into the pool below. This started us talking about our own diving experiences/preferences, which led us to talking about the time last year that Dixy, Melissa and I went to Sand Hollow and went cliff jumping.

We did a lot of fun things in college, and we had a lot of outdoor adventures, including trips to Red Cliffs, Sand Hollow, Kanarraville Falls, Zions and others.

Dixy and I, upon reflection, decided that we need to go back this summer, and revisit the awesomist places on Earth. Anybody want to come?


I've been in mourning for the past few weeks, because life has really sucked. A myriad of things have made it so, and I've let the despair of it degenerate me into someone nearly unrecognizable from the passionate, over-involved girl who left Cedar City two months ago.

The conclusion that I've come to (that I am still trying to come to grips with) is that life is made up of the little things. I keep waiting and hoping for some big, miraculous something to happen. I keep expecting life to get better, for something to happen to make it so. But that's not what life is about. Getting the best job in the universe, getting married, getting into grad school--these are things that happen only in the rarest of circumstances, and though they do change your life completely, they take you on a path you're already on. So in order for them to happen and make you happy, you already have to be on the path.

Life is in the little things. It's in the evenings with friends, it's in the little triumphs at work, its in the good books or movies, its in the simple sensation of a good life. It's in the good meals cooked, its in the time spent. It's in the hobbies. It's in the pictures taken. It's in the people, the places, the sights and the smells and the random adventures at nine o'clock at night or two in the morning. Its the little things.

I've heard it before. I think I've even said it before. I'm still working on accepting it. My life in college was made up of big things--shows, mostly--that were all-consuming for more than just me. So scaling back my life to these little things to find meaning is hard. It's hard to brag about the pizza you made last night when your friends and family expect 'great' things from you. It's hard to live life with--apparently--nothing to show for it. So I have to accept the value of these little things before I can be at peace with life--but I think that once I do, I will be content.


Culinary Experiments

And dangit, I forgot to take a picture like I intended.

Tonight, Dixy Christopher and I made a pizza. Dixy used a family crust recipe (I will see if I can get it later.) Then we smeared on tomato sauce (Dixy was a little disappointed later on when she realized I hadn't spiced it--note for next time.) Then we had a "Mexican blend" of shredded cheese, courtesy of Mom and Costco. Next came some Canadian bacon. Then, for Dixy and I came pineapple chunks, and for Dixy and Chris came mushrooms. All three of us included sliced olives, sliced tomatoes, and chunks of asparagus, with a few leaves of spinach on top. Fortunately, Chris did not add any bananas. Then we sent the cheese-storm over the top of it all.

Baked for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees to a crisp golden brown crust. The whole thing exploded a bit--I would recommend a deeper pan for next time.

It was delicious. The asparagus turned out particularly well (since I've never had it on pizza before.) The crust was excellent, and the whole concoction was delightful. I'm not usually one for "combo" pizza, but this turned out really well. I would definitely recommend the experiment.



I've been in denial over the past few weeks about exercise. In all honestly, I typically despise going to the gym. I feel like if you want to exercise, you should do so be actually doing something, not just trundling on a treadmill or a standing bike. You should actually go jogging somewhere, or play sports, or go swimming. The fashion of going to a gym most often escapes me.

However, I have undeniably done neither. I just don't exercise at all. This is where my denial comes in. I have been firmly telling myself for the past two months that I don't want to exercise, how I'm perfectly happy just being fat and lazy.


Today I woke up with an absolute craving to exercise. I wanted to go to Taekwondo, I wanted to go bike riding, I even found myself wanting to go to the gym. I guess you can deny your body a basic part of life for only so long before it just goes crazy.

Point and case: if it's all you got, the gym's not so bad. I would still prefer "real" exercise, but at this point I'll take what I can get, eh?

My Newest Addiction

And hopefully it subsides, since I just finished watching Season 2 (the only season I currently have access to.) Just so you can judge my addiction--I started watching it Saturday night. Mmm...addicted? Yeah.