In January I posted a blog discussing my upcoming crash course in watching an infant, Isla was only 2 or 3 months when I started spending my Monday and Wednesday afternoons with her. I had two motives when I volunteered to watch Isla this semester; 1) to help a dear friend and a new mother out and 2) to become more knowledgeable/experienced with infants, just in case I am ever blessed to have one of my own. Of course, that would mean marriage, and who knows if that is ever going to happen?
Today I watched Isla for the last time this semester. I have to admit I do feel more comfortable around infants. I am not sure I could be a full-time mother but I am definitely more prepared than I was in January. I still marvel that Leslie actually agreed to let me watch her baby. Someone so inexperienced. Although I am not certain where life will lead me post-graduation I certainly hope to see more of Ms. Isla in the future. I feel like we have a bond, I'm sure that's just me, and I am sincerely going to miss our walks.
I normally walk Isla in a park located across from the Museum Studies Program, however, since the weather has turned warmer, I started taking her down to Lafayette Park. Here I bore her with interesting facts about the history of the park. This never fails to work its desired effect; making her fall asleep.
Our first stop, naturally is always the White House, where we say, "Hello," to the President.
Then we make our way slowly to the statue of Jackson, where I remind her that President Jackson was an Indian fighter and an egotistical bastard. He drove the Cherokee from their lands, overturning the Supreme Court's ruling in Worcester v. Georgia, and encouraged Congress to allot over six thousand dollars for the design and construction of White House stables. These stables were designed by Robert Mills, whose work I actually adore.
It is very important we teach our children correct history and that is one of my favorite things about watching Isla; our history lessons.
Like I said, these lessons always put her to sleep. I snapped this photo today while we were walking through the park. For you ladies who think men are not attracted to women with babies, oh, think again. I've had a few men speak to me, who would have never noticed me otherwise. Of course, its really Princess Isla they want to see, cause she is so dang cute.
After our walk we usually come in for some yummy breast milk. Jacqueline snapped this photo while Isla was on my lap. Doesn't she look cute in her little dress? Auntie Amber got that for her.
Although there were some tears, they dried almost immediately when Momma returned from class. Its amazing how much children love their mothers. I love watching the interaction between Leslie and her baby. Plus, she is such a good mother. I don't know how she manages juggling graduate school, being a wife, and then a mother, but she does it beautifully. I only hope I can be half the mother she is one day. Thank you my friend for sharing your daughter with me this semester. Its been an adventure I will never forget.

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Marine, Sailors and LoLo...Oh My!

When they announced there was going to be a dance at the Naval Academy a few weeks ago in Ward Council meeting, I couldn't stifle a squeal, which drew the attention of the Stake Presidency, the Bishopric and every other person in the room. I didn't care. Have you ever seen the movie Annapolis? You'd have to be asexual or something if you didn't get a little turned on by thoughts of dancing with men from THE NAVAL ACADEMY... IN UNIFORM! I have always had a soft spot for men in uniform, to put it mildly, and last night I couldn't resist taking advantage of getting my photo taken with a few.
My first victim was a mid-shipman named Kelly. He was polite but stiff. I can't handle that. So, after a few minutes with him, I decided to join Rae Rae on the dance floor. Scott was kind enough to drive us up and he looked so good, ladies, in his tux. To top it off, he wore glasses, and you know how I feel about a man in a bow tie and glasses.
During a breather, Rae spotted a cute Marine at one of the tables, standing all alone. Naturally, I had to get a photo with a Marine. Duh, they have the best uniforms in the military. This is Craig. He is mechanic who works on the President's helicopters, which I find really hot. He is from Southern California and will be in Annapolis for the next four years. After that he plans to work for Lockheed Martin, which is where my Grandpa Elliott worked, or NASA, which is where my Uncle Jerry's father worked. Either way, I can totally relate.
In addition to being a gentleman he asked me for my email address. He promised to give me a tour of Annapolis. No worries, ladies, I don't expect him to follow through for a minute but it was still sweet that he offered. Just don't ask me how old he is.
Ditching Craig, but only momentarily, Rae and I returned to the dance floor to find Anne and Tara. Mike came over to join us and we couldn't resist snapping a photo with him. Its not everyday that Mike decides to bless us with his presence. Everyone looked so good last night as this photo demonstrates. Just wish Steph could have been there too.
The first time I met Mike was on a bus ride to Ohio. Thinking he was way younger than myself, I wasn't very kind to him at first. Then I made him read scriptures to me, which he has since forgotten. Just as well. So, to make up for being unkind to him in the past I surprised him with a kiss. Actually this was the second, and Tara captured it much to my delight, with her camera. Thanks Mike for being such a good sport and for dancing with me.
After hours on the dance floor, I joined the ladies for some R&R. Deciding I needed to take some more photos, I snapped this one of Anne and Tara which is totally hot. I love Anne's hair and Tara looks fabulous in every photo she's in. Wish I could say the same.
I couldn't take one of Tara and Anne and not get one of Rae and Cherie. Cherie is one of the coolest ladies ever and it was so fun getting to hang out with her last night, something that doesn't happen often enough. I am excited to announce she will be joining us at Captain Pell's on the 18th. Doesn't Rae look stunning in her new top and haircut? As for Cherie, her hair always looks great.
As we were leaving, Rae requested I get a photo of the doors from the outside. It was so hot on the dance floor we were steaming up the doors. Whoever said Mormons don't know how to have a good time has never kicked it with Mormons. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect evening. The DJs were great (playing Beyonce, not once, but twice), and I danced and danced and danced. This morning I feel like singing, in unison with Eliza Doolittle, "I could've danced all night."

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A Few Reasons Why...

I love my field! Not only do our professors deliver amazing lectures, some more amazing than others, but they are totally entertaining. I will sincerely miss my class discussions at GW. I am not sure I will ever receive the attention and praise in the professional sphere that I did in the academy.
To honor a desire Professor Tiller expressed in one of our early classes, Eve, made a shrimp tiara, for him to wear during our last class. The photo above was my attempt to capture a close-up of the shrimp. Notice the frog, included for a touch of masculinity.
This was also the last class Erik and I would ever have in our graduate careers. I don't think I could have asked for a better one. It was a balance of debate, lecture and fun. Although Jacqueline snapped a photo of us I decided not to include it. I didn't want to embarrass Erik because I look really bad in the photo.
The crowning moment: Anna is tying the tiara on. Eve made sure the tiara was adjustable for comfort. Professor Tiller is the King of Preservation Policy. Isn't his smile the cutest?
At the end of class he decided to tie it around his chin. We all agreed he looked like a pioneer; making him the King and Pioneer of Preservation Policy.
I am not sure if its really registered; the fact that I am almost completely finished with my graduate studies. My time at GW has felt like the refiner's fire. Every semester was difficult for different reasons. However, looking back I don't think I would change a thing, in regards to my education. I have associated with people I will never forget and life will not be the same without our weekly interactions. They say change is inevitable. I guess that's true. Thankfully I will have lots of wonderful memories to keep me company long after my time at GW is through.

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Single-wide Living

My Planter

My nealy patio

Patio in perspective

Hiding my sunflowers

I grew this!

Why it doesn't bother me

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До свидания

Boris Yeltsin was born on February 1, 1931, in the Ural Mountain region of Siberia, where Yuri and Tonia escaped to during the Revolution, in Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago. In 1955, he received a degree in construction engineering from Kirov Ural Polytechnic Institute. In the late 1960s, Yeltsin entered local politics after joining the Soviet Communist Party. In the mid-1980s, he was called to Moscow by new Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to run the construction agency. In 1990, Yeltsin quit the Communists, tearing up his party card in public to protest Gorbachev’s slow pace of reforms.
Boris Yeltsin was elected Russian President in 1991 and 1996. He was the one who engineered the final collapse of the Soviet Union and Russia’s transition to a free market. In 1999, Yeltsin resigned, handing power over to Vladimir Putin.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton stressed Yeltsin’s achievement in a television speech on Monday: “He believed that democracy was the best system. I think it was in every fiber of his being.” (Courtesy of Kommersant)

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Such a Time as This

Yesterday morning, while I was quietly getting ready to leave my apartment, these thoughts came into my mind, "What if today is your last day? Are you ready to go? How would it happen?" I told myself I was not prepared but hoped God would accept me anyway and walked out the door.
As many of my friends know, my Monday and Wednesday afternoons are devoted to a blonde, blue-eyed angel named Isla. Jacqueline has graciously agreed to allow me to babysit Isla in her office, while she tries to work. Jacqueline has been a tremendous help to me this semester as I desperately try to anticipate the needs of a five-month old infant.
As I was watching Isla on Monday, Jacqueline informed me about the first shooting at the Ambler-Johnson Hall on VA Tech's campus. ( My brother's fiancee's last name is Ambler) I was dumbfounded. I can't comprehend why an individual would want to inflict pain on another human intentionally. There is so much suffering in the world already. Why create more?
I thought I was stubborn, but I have met my match in Isla. This little princess loves the outdoors and expects me to walk her, despite the temperature, until she falls asleep. Monday was no exception. After returning from our walk, Jacqueline told me there had been another shooting and the mortality rate was 32; 33 counting the shooter. Naturally, my heart ached for the families and friends of those affected. During such a time as this, one searches for the appropriate words, or seeks to do the right thing. I often feel lame and incompetent as I seek to comfort those who mourn for loved ones departed.
Although I have plenty of complaints regarding GW, I have been impressed by the outreach our university has shown the VA Tech community. Today, Jacqueline and I surrounded a banner, signed by a multitude of fellow students, that will be given to VA Tech as a symbol of our support. We also received a maroon and orange ribbon (VA Tech's colors) to wear in honor of the fallen. Tonight the student body is gathering for a candlelight vigil in Kogan Plaza to discuss the tragedy and remember those taken.
As the media continues to release information about the victims I am humbled by the stories of courage and selflessness being reported. Two stories in particular touched me. These I have included below, courtesy of CNN.

Liviu Librescu, 76, was a Holocaust survivor who, his son said, will be remembered as a hero. He "blocked the doorway with his body and asked the students to flee," Joe Librescu told the AP. "Students started opening windows and jumping out." The elder Librescu, a professor at Virginia Tech, was recognized internationally for his research in aeronautical engineering, the head of the Engineering Science and Mechanics Department at Virginia Tech told the AP. He was born and received his advanced degrees in Romania.

Ryan Clark, 22, was known as "Stack" to his friends in the Marching Virginians college band. The Virginia Tech senior came from Martinez in Georgia and was a "true example of 'The Spirit Of Tech'," according to a message posted on the band's Web site. He majored in biology and English, and carried a 4.0 grade-point average, according to the coroner in Columbia County, Georgia. Clark was a resident assistant at West Ambler Johnston Hall, the dormitory where he and another person were shot dead at 7:15 a.m. Monday. He had been planning to pursue a doctorate in psychology with a focus in cognitive neuroscience, according to the Marching Virginians Web site.

I am not sure why events, like this, occur. I don't know why a 4.0 student, and a holocaust survivor had to die in such a horrible manner but I am comforted by the words of author Nikki Giovanni, who spoke at the VA Tech memorial service today,
"We are sad today, and we will be sad for quite a while," said Giovanni, an English professor at the southwestern Virginia university. "We are not moving on. We are embracing our mourning. We are Virginia Tech," she said. "We are strong enough to stand tall tearlessly. We are brave enough to bend to cry, and sad enough to know we must laugh again."

Like Marshall before, those in the academy are confident this institution will rally, and prevail. May God strengthen and bless them as they seek to do so. Go Hokies!

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As BG's graduation looms, I keep promising her that I'll post and I keep wanting to post about my education. For those of you unaware, I have been to just about every single college in America. I finished high school in 1995 and I haven't been able to find a college that works for me since then. Sometimes I gave up trying but I always come back to thinking it's important to finish my degree. Why haven't I done it then?

I'm so glad you asked.

It's because I get bored. I don't do well with standard semesters. They are long, drudging, boring, slow, horrible weeks and by week 5 I'm boredboredbored. It's not that I don't learn things when I'm in class. It's just that I can learn them faster at home with the book. I always thought it would be great if they would just give me the book, a person to ask questions and let me take the tests. After all, if I could prove that I had the knowledge--why did I need to be in class? Clearly that's not a typical arrangement.

So, there I was. College after college of trying and trying. It was a bit insane, actually, trying the same thing and expecting different results. I kept thinking that if I was medicated (for ADD) or if I just had professors I liked or if I just didn't have to work--then! then, I'd finish. I'd be able to do a full semester.

I'm here to tell you, traditional education is not for everyone. And I am a "not everyone."

I went on this way for years wasting money and time until someone said to me, "Maybe college isn't for you." and I thought to myself, "No! No! I have to finish!" It was such a strong reaction that I surprised even myself. After all, it was the source of horrible frustration and embarrassment that I wasn't able to finish. I was educationally impotent and it was just as embarrassing.

Then I moved to Montana. When I got here, I decided that I was going to try again. One day I was talking to Sandra about my options and she said, "I found a great place to do my Masters. I'm so excited." She asked me to look at it to make sure that she wasn't missing an angle. She knew that I'd tried every type and flavor of university (including online, for-profit) and she knew I could spot something fishy.

As it turns out, Saundra is just as smart and careful as we all give her credit for. The school she was considering was Western governors University. It's a not-for-profit, accredited, totally online university that allows you to work towards your degree based on a series of objective exams. Which you can take in ANY order on ANY timeframe you choose. When you're ready, you test. And you can do as many classes (tests) in a 6-month period as you'd like. For one, flat-rate tuition fee.

Do you hear the angels singing? Because I did.

So, on March 1st I started classes with WGU. And I've finished 3 classes so far. A nd I have another test to pass on Monday. I'm flying through undergrad credits based on information I already have. Not sissy information. Not crappy tests that are made to be easy. Kick-butt tests that require me to study, remember and stretch to pass. But I pass them.

I get to study anytime I choose, test anytime the testing center is open and get all the help I need with the coursework. The program is scheduled to take me about 3.5 years. But, based on my progress so far, I'm going to be done in about 2-2.5! I'm doing it!

I know that most of you are traditional university students and I so respect you for being able to do that. But it's not for me. But that doesn't rule out education in general and that makes me thrilled that Al Gore invented the Internet.

All Hail Al.

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Perry's Un-Birthday Party

I am not sure how it happened, but it did. We missed Perry's 39th birthday; February 26th. So, Rae rallied the troops and we celebrated over dinner at Rock Bottom Brewery. The nachos were pretty good, could have used more beans, and my cobb salad wasn't bad either. I snapped this photo of the birthday boy. Notice his eyebrows are raised even when he is doing something simple, i.e. sipping water through a straw.
This is Kim, one of the most photogenic people I know. Rae and I love to play around with our cameras when we're out. Kim and Rae both make faces for the camera, something I can't do with any measure of grace. We all agreed that this photo of Kim was super cute.
Photographic evidence to show I was present at dinner. You can barely see Kate's jean jacket and her right arm on the left side of the photo. To respect Kate's wishes we are not taking her photo unless she OKs it. I totally understand. I just wish my friends would erase photos when I asked them to. Love you Steph and Rae.
One more photo of the birthday boy with Rae Rae. While discussing upcoming birthdays we determined Rae's is the next party we will have to plan; June 4th, followed by mine on July 1st; Kim's September 10th, and Kate's in October. Steph will be "21" in November (13th) so we will be doing something extra special for her. So many things to look forward to in 2007. Even if the year is not lucky we will make sure its exciting.

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Sucker for Scooby

As my friends already know, I don't have a tv. I haven't had a tv the entire time I have been in graduate school; 32 months. When I tell my friends this they are like, "I could never live without a tv. How do you survive? Aren't you bored?"

One great thing about moving to the Halstead is the gym. Each machine has a built in tv screen and cable access. I never fail to take advantage of this opportunity to watch the boob tube.
I have a few standard channels memorized that I navigate during commercials. The premier channel is VH1, then CNN, Oh, AMC ESPN, and occasionally CMT. However, today Cartoon Network was playing Scooby Doo and I couldn't resist. One of my guilty pleasures, is Scooby Doo. I love Scooby Doo so much I would prefer to watch it over, I don't know, but a lot of programs. Seriously, everything about it is super groovy, from the music, to the ghosts/villains to the characters. I love the way Scooby and Shaggy always have the muchies because they are tokers, a fact not mentioned in the show, but nonetheless true. I love the chemistry between Daphne and Fred. Just get together already. I also love how the show totally hypes on stereotypes. So I guess, as the title suggests, I am a sucker for Scooby.

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Stacey's & Scrabble

Last night a few of the gang got together for games at Stacey's Coffee Shop or Cafe. I am not sure what the official name is. When I first moved to DC in January 2005, Ms. IB had connections to the place. She used to hook us up with the best hot chocolates ever! For those who know Steph, she is notorious for being an excellent cook. I especially miss her omelets.
One of the great things about Stacey's is the live music. Last night a man, originally from Kentucky, played a few covers and some old coal mining songs. It was the perfect performance for someone with my background. I would yell and scream occasionally, I am a strong advocate of audience participation when deserved, and I think it made his night. Others may disagree though.

As Kate pointed out, one of the employees had a strange resemblance to Mike Myers from the So I Married an Axe Murderer days. I didn't catch his name but one thing's clear; the kid loves Fluxx. When he saw the box on our table he picked it up and said, "he knew we were cool because we played Fluxx." Duh.

This is a photo Rae snapped of me, per my request, after I won the only real round of Fluxx we played. Although I don't care for the game, I won by accident only, it was nice to win one round of something. We began with a few rounds of UNO and I totally sucked. Everyone wins at UNO. Everyone but me. So Fluxx, needless to say, saved my self-esteem. Here is a photo of the reigning Scrabble champ. I like this photo because, with his eyebrows raised, Perry looks like a Scrabble champ. It also shows off his blue eyes, which I never noticed until I took this photo. Perhaps, instead of calling Perry, "Per Per" we should call him "Mr. Blue Eyes."
After closing Stacey's down, we headed back to my place for another round of Scrabble. Rae and Nicole shot pool while they waited for Perry to finish his turn. Instead of shooting pool I watched 8 Men Out which is an incredible movie about Shoeless Joe and the Chicago White Sox, who I think were the Black Sox at the time. Not really sure about that though. Anyway, it is stacked with an all-star cast and the eye candy is not bad either. I love men in uniform! If anyone is interested in watching it, I would totally be game for joining you.

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Christians Can't Clap

When I was a student at BYU I constantly attended musicals, plays, concerts, etc. in the HFAC on campus. Not only were the events super cheap they were a great thing I could do solo or with friends to break the monotony of schoolwork. I also dated a bass player in the symphony so that helped. Since I have been a graduate student I have not had the time or money to attend cultural events at Lisner auditorium on GW's campus. That is not to say I have not attended events elsewhere. I have seen a few plays at the Kennedy Center and last Chinese New Year Steph, Rae and I went to a dance recital at The National Theatre. Despite this, I made a goal that before I graduated I would attend a performance in Lisner.
A few weeks ago I noticed an advertisement for last night's Jars of Clay concert. I have listened to their album Much Afraid for the past ten years so I figure, "What the heck. Might as well." Tickets were super cheap and I landed two seats in the third row from the stage.
Knowing Kim and Rae were probably not Jars fans I invited Joy, pictured above, who was also familiar with their music to come along. It was awesome!
Growing up my brother and I had a Pentecostal babysitter for a time. Her name was Marsha Matheny but her brother and subsequently us, referred to her as "PC," "Porkchop." When my mother worked on Sunday mornings Marsha would take us to her church, cause there was no way in, well you know, that she was setting foot in a LDS church. Not only did Josh and I find their services a little strange sometimes they were downright amusing. I don't mean to demean or belittle other faiths. I know what it feels like and would never want to hurt others' feelings. However, coming from a religious culture where reverence is emphasized instead of clapping, shouting and dancing it is not surprising I would find evangelical services a little foreign.
Purchasing tickets for a Christian rock concert I never anticipated I would find myself seated next to a couple who was drunk of their a--. How lame is that? What kind of person gets loaded for a concert about Jesus? You have to be a serious lush to do something like that. Not only was the guy totally pushing his leg up against mine but he reeked of booze. It was so disgusting I thought I was going to vomit. His girlfriend was so out of it she didn't even notice.

Although Joy and I shared similar beliefs in Christ as our fellow audience members we were definitely outsiders. This was made apparent by the audiences' inability to clap in rhythm to the music. Surprising considering the importance of clapping in evangelical worship services. Another thing we found interesting was the swaying and praying during the rock songs. Jesus taught that we should pray always--yes, but it was a little odd seeing people sway, pray and wave their hands at a rock performance.

Now that I think of it though, I often pray at concerts too. My prayers are a little different as I whisper, "I hope they play x song," to myself. Last night the concert gods were not listening to me because Jars left the stage without singing Hymn. If your ears have never experienced this song you haven't lived. I will try to find it on You Tube and post it later because its divine. Sometimes I feel closer to God when I listen to that song than I do listening to church hymns. The lyrics are really beautiful.

Another beautiful thing about Jars is the band members. Joy and I decided she had dibbs on the lead guitar or keyboardist while I got the lead singer or the other guitarist. They were all married, so really, we couldn't go there but they sure were nice to look at. Their looks coupled with the Superman/Wonderwoman cartoons made the whole thing worth it. Thanks Joy for sacrificing your night to join me on another adventure. I hope its the first of many concerts we'll see together.

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Something That Made Me Smile

After requesting an update on my love life and then giving a list of suggestions on how to improve it, my boss, whom I absolutely adore, relayed a really nice compliment.
Many of you know that since I transferred to the Human Sciences PhD Program I am only working ten hours each week. My schedule is pretty flexible; I pretty much come and go as I please. This often results in a slight disconnect between my boss and I. So, when I saw her on campus yesterday I had to stop and give her an update on my progress regarding assigned tasks.
The only problem in stopping was it forced me to interrupt a conversation she was engaged in with another faculty member. Apologizing repeatedly for interrupting I quickly proceeded to give Gail a quick update. She laughed and agreed we would talk about it more the following day; today. I waved goodbye without even introducing myself to the other faculty member.
Well, Gail told me today that as I was walking down the street this faculty member said something similar to, "Wow. She has some of the prettiest hair I have ever seen."
My initial reaction, of course, was, "Really?" To which Gail laughed and said, "Yes. They thought you had beautiful hair and you do." I love Gail. Not only is she a genius, she is the director of a PhD Program, mother of six, wife of an architect named Sam, (I love that name) and is on several committees. She is the coolest supervisor ever and that compliment came at the perfect moment. I may not be the brightest bulb out there, nor the most shapely, or glamorous but thanks to Manuel and my Momma's genes I can't complain about my hair.

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Metanoia or Metanoya

Every six months Mormons across the globe gather around their televisions, radios, computers, in their stake centers, or chapels to listen to the First Presidency, General Authorities and other General Auxiliary leaders address them. These leaders present 20-30 minute speeches or "talks" about principles of the gospel, i.e. faith, repentance, baptism, the nature of the Godhead, etc.
General Conference is divided into four, two-hour sessions. Two are scheduled for Saturday with two more on Sunday. LDS men gather for an additional "Priesthood" session on Saturday evening. Serving as a missionary on Temple Square, I always looked forward to Priesthood session because the Square would overflow with men dressed in white shirts and ties. Ladies, it is an event not to be missed, especially if you are LDS.
As I was watching Conference on Sunday afternoon, Elder Russel M. Nelson, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke about Metanoia or Metanoya. Fascinated, I intently listened as Elder Nelson explained metanoia (a Greek verb) means a change of mind, knowledge, spirit and breath. The change metanoia describes always refers to a positive change. Metanoya is used as a noun. Metamelomai subsequently means to have remorse or regret; it is therefore a feeling.
Last semester I took a class at the University of Maryland. One of our first assignments was an etymology project. One of my dorkiest characteristics is my affinity for dictionaries and thesaruses. At BYU Ramses (Kim knew him too) and I used to sit on the couch every Sunday and play the dictionary game. He would randomly select a word in the dictionary and we would spend the next thirty minutes using the word, appropriately in a sentence. The next week we would try to remember the word chosen the previous week before finding a new one. I miss the dictionary game and hope to find someone who will play it with me again someday. Yeah, I'm a dork.
In all honesty, I truly appreciated Elder Nelson's perspective on change. Mormons are always encouraged to "stand a little taller and be a little better." I have decided that one thing I need to work on is changing my spirit. I need to show forth more love when I speak to people. I have noticed that I often give members of the opposite sex a difficult time. My words can be acerbic and demeaning, at best, even though I don't really mean for them to be. Ok, that's not entirely true.
I often justify my behavior with thoughts of, "well Catherine, in the Taming of the Shrew acted in a similar manner and she eventually changed. I'll change, too, when I'm ready," or, I may say to myself, "well, I only treat men that way when they do or say stupid things. Besides, it seems the kinder I am to men the less they appreciate me," but that's not really true either.
This life we are taught, is a time to prepare ourselves to meet God. If one really thinks about what that means, they must simultaneously realize there is no justification for treating another unkindly. If God really is a loving Heavenly Father who longs to bless, forgive and comfort us, which He does, then how can I, who longs to be like Him, demean others? If Heavenly Father speaks to us with a still, small voice shouldn't I do the same?
Don't get me wrong. I am not saying I will alter my voice to mimic the sing-song voice many Mormon women use while giving talks or teaching Sunday School, however, I am honestly going to attempt to change the spirit of my conversations to be more positive and uplifting; especially when talking to men. I KNOW this will not be easy but I am determined to try.
Besides, change is good. During a time when change seems to be my watchword why not add something else to the mix? One never knows how long the time for change will last?

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