About This Blog
A blog about my life, universe, etc. At any given time you might find something endlessly interesting or just me ruminating on something else, which no one (not even myself) finds interesting. That's the way blogs go, I suppose. Anyway, I was eleventh in line, and you weren't. Hah!

About Me
Columbus, OH
Political Score:
Temp @ JPMorgan Chase
Ohio State University
Political Science, International Studies
High School: Home Educated
Reading, standing in line for things, writing, research

About My Family
My mom is a
lawyer in Pickerington; my stepdad and dad are computer guys, and my stepmom (who works with my dad) is an engineer. My sisters are, in order of age, a photographer, an artist, and a person too young to have her own website. My brothers are, in order of age, living up north, and again, a person too young to have a website. At some point soon I'll be collecting links for my aunts, uncle, and cousins. ^_^

Message Services
(Please see the notes below the Comment Policy before sending me a message)

My CafePress Designs

Even More CafePress Designs

Star Wars: Episode 3 Line (Hollywood)
My Star Wars Line page

NaNoWriMo 2007:
My Novel: Cipere Lumen

Official NaNoWriMo 2006 Winner

NaNoWriMo 2006:
My Novel: The Manatee Conspiracy

Official NaNoWriMo 2006 Winner

NaNoWriMo 2005:
My Novel: Beyond the Cliffs of Kefira

Official NaNoWriMo 2005 Participant

NaNoWriMo 2004:
My Novel: sul Okyar tir taTz'ileea

National Novel Writing Month

Sunday, January 20, 2008
Primary 4 Lessons 5 through 7  
So at the YSA meeting I was asked to make posters and my lesson work here got delayed. I should have the PDFs here tomorrow. At least from now on I'll finally be ahead of schedule!

2008 Senior Primary (Book of Mormon)

Lesson Five - Lehi and His Family Are Led through the Wilderness

Church-Approved Materials
Related Gospel Principles Chapter: Faith In Jesus Christ
Guide to the Scriptures Entry: Liahona; Nephi
Related Gospel Doctrine Lesson: #5, "Hearken Unto the Truth, and Give Heed Unto It" (Class Member Study Guide)

Useful Articles from the Friend:
Keeping Promises (a Sharing Time page including instructions for a "roller box" illustrating the Liahona story)
Compass of Faith (a Sharing Time with paper figures of Lehi's family, and a dot-to-dot picture of the Liahona.)
Journey to the Promised Land Game
"Do You Know" (a version of the broken bow story with a question in the middle, to see if the children know what happened.)

Lesson Six - Heavenly Father Commands Nephi to Build a Ship

Church-Approved Materials
Related Gospel Principles Chapter: Obedience
Guide to the Scriptures Entry: Obedience
Related Gospel Doctrine Lesson: #5, "Hearken Unto the Truth, and Give Heed Unto It" (Class Member Study Guide)

Useful Article from the Friend:
Nephi Builds a Ship (a Sharing Time with many ideas for teaching this story)

Lesson Seven - Crossing the Sea

Church-Approved Materials
Related Gospel Principles Chapter: The Holy Ghost
Guide to the Scriptures Entry: Holy Ghost
Related Gospel Doctrine Lesson: #5, "Hearken Unto the Truth, and Give Heed Unto It" (Class Member Study Guide)

Useful Articles from the Friend:
Keeping Promises (a Sharing Time page including instructions for a "roller box" illustrating the Liahona story)
The Holy Ghost is Real (an interview with Elder Craig A. Cardon)
The Witness of the Holy Ghost (an interview with Elder Robert S. Wood)
Being Smart (a story about being prompted by the Holy Ghost)
Help from the Holy Ghost (a poem)

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Saturday, January 19, 2008
Primary 4 Lessons 2, 3, 4  
The transition on Millennial Star still isn't done! My apologies for missing last week -- I'm making up for it by doing several weeks in advance today and tomorrow; I hope to get lessons 5-7 up after my YSA meeting tomorrow night. To be honest, I was sort of surprised anyone actually used my stuff. ^_^

I am putting all the PDFs on one page on my Geocities site for now, to make the links easier. They're organized by lesson; let me know if it doesn't work well for you all.

Lesson Two - Nephi Follows His Father, the Prophet

Church-Approved Materials
Related Gospel Principles Chapter: Prophets of God
Guide to the Scriptures Entry: Revelation
Related Gospel Doctrine Lesson: #2, "All Things According To His Will" (Class Member Study Guide)

Useful Articles from the Friend:
Lehi's Journey To the Promised Land (game - you will need the original magazine for the board, if you don't want to make your own.)
Courage (a Sharing Time idea, including a Scripture Heroes puzzle, and some activities related to lessons two and four of the Primary 4 manual)

Lesson Three - Obtaining the Brass Plates

Church-Approved Materials
Related Gospel Principles Chapter: Obedience
Guide to the Scriptures Entry: Obedience
Related Gospel Doctrine Lesson: #2, "All Things According To His Will" (Class Member Study Guide)

Useful Articles from the Friend:
Nephi Gets the Brass Plates (a mixed-up picture game)
Scriptural Giants: Nephi's Courage (the story of the Brass Plates in relatively plain English)
Brass Plates Code (funstuf decoding activity, scroll down)
Friend to Friend with Earl M. Monson (talks about how nervous he was to be called as a bishop and how Nephi inspired him)
Friend to Friend with Lowell D. Wood (talks about how Nephi inspired him)

Lesson Four - The Tree of Life

Church-Approved Materials

Related Gospel Principles Chapter: Free to Choose
Guide to the Scriptures Entry: Agency; Temptation
Related Gospel Doctrine Lesson: #3, "The Vision of the Tree of Life" (Class Member Study Guide)

Lehi's Dream (w/illustrations)
Lehi's Vision (matching activity, near the bottom of the page.)
Friend to Friend with Jeffrey R. Holland (he talks about the iron rod and a time he got lost)
Courage (a Sharing Time idea, including a Scripture Heroes puzzle, and some activities related to lessons two and four of the Primary 4 manual)

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Saturday, January 05, 2008
Oh, Come With Me to Primary!  
I found out yesterday that I will definitely be teaching the Book of Mormon this year to our ward's eight-year-olds (well, half of them.) I'm very excited - through a confluence of circumstances, I've always missed the Book of Mormon courses in Seminary and Gospel Doctrine; I've always studied the Book of Mormon on my own. So, I'm going to be collecting links and creating activities for my own class, and thought, hey, why not publish them here on M*, too. For those who don't know, this will be my fourth year of teaching in Primary.

Let me also take the time out to put in a plug for the Senior Primary teachers' group on Yahoo. It's quiet now, but hopefully it'll pick up soon.

FYI, the theme for the year is "I Am A Child of God;" I usually do some activities based on the yearly theme as well as the monthly themes, though I don't have any in lesson #1 because it's a big topic. But don't be surprised to see some of that sprinkled in there in the future. Oh, and the future weeks will be better, as I'll have, you know, time to do them. ^_^ Anyway, on to the stuff I collected.

2008 Senior Primary (Book of Mormon) Lesson #1: The Book of Mormon, a Gift from a Loving Heavenly Father

Church-Approved Materials
- Related Gospel Principles Chapter: Scriptures
- Guide to the Scriptures Entry: Book of Mormon
- Our Heritage Entry: Establishing the Foundations of the Church
- Related Gospel Doctrine Lesson: #1, "The Keystone of Our Religion" (Class Member Study Guide)

Useful Articles from the Friend:
-- Mormon & the Book of Mormon (a short explanation of the origins of the Book of Mormon)
-- Make your own plates (shows the children clearly the parts of the Book of Mormon and who wrote which plates.)
-- What Happens in the Book of Mormon (I will be using this to help the children build our first timeline project)

Outside (non-official source) Stuff

PDF Activities & Helps (made by me, hosted on my Geocities site till we have a spot for them here)
-- Memorization Activities: Moroni 10:4, 8th Article of Faith, Joseph Smith quotes
-- Supplemental Activity Ideas: Hardships (matching hardships suffered by various prophets who helped bring the Book of Mormon to us;) Who Did What (matching Book of Mormon names to what they did;) Righteous or Wicked (I say, e.g., "King Noah," they say "wicked.")

Outside Resources: (not made by me)
Book of Mormon map (just shows where things are in relationship to each other.)
Book of Mormon timelines

Note: For the first few months of 2008 I will be attempting to follow the following schedule, publishing each lesson help file about two weeks before I will be teaching that lesson to my class. Our Stake Conference is always two weeks after General Conference, but given that my job as a Primary teacher is actually easier in those weeks, I will probably take the opportunity to get ahead and thus compensate for the weeks where I have to prep our class Sharing Time in May (and later, in November.)

This week - Lesson 1: The Book of Mormon, a Gift from a Loving Heavenly Father
This week - Lesson 2: Nephi Follows His Father, the Prophet
This week - Lesson 3: Obtaining the Brass Plates
Jan 13 2008 - Lesson 4: The Tree of Life
Jan 20 2008 - Lesson 5: Lehi and His Family Are Led through the Wilderness
Jan 27 2008 - Lesson 6: Heavenly Father Commands Nephi to Build a Ship
Feb 03 2008 - Lesson 7: Crossing the Sea
Feb 10 2008 - Lesson 8: The Prophet Jacob Is Confronted by Sherem
Feb 17 2008 - Lesson 9: Enos Prays
Feb 24 2008 - Lesson 10: King Benjamin Teaches His People
Mar 02 2008 - Lesson 11: Abinadi and King Noah
Mar 09 2008 - Lesson 45: The Book of Mormon Is a Witness of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Easter)

Comments and suggestions are always appreciated!

(cross-post from M*)


Thursday, December 06, 2007
Faith in America - the speech  
Liveblogging the Romney speech, yay.

-- President Bush (the first one) looks good for a ninety year old.

-- I did not realize that the first Governor Romney was a friend of the Bush family. Apparently he worked on the Points of Light thing.

-- Dude, Mitt is going grey. We're turning all our best politicians into old men years before their time, anymore (the crummy ones, who stay corrupt city councilmen, obviously not so much.)

-- Everyone likes everyone at this level of politics. I swear it's like watching a fraternity reunion sometimes.

-- World War II versus the Baby Boomers. Heh.

-- Islam, China, Government Spending, Foreign Oil, and Family Breakdown. I think they must have done polls to determine which five issues to talk about all the time: the message control is tighter than ever this year.

-- Woot! Quoting John Adams, yay!

-- Dude. Has it really been almost 50 years since Kennedy's speech?

-- I just realized that journalists must have had this speech at least an hour ahead of time. The captions are perfect.

-- I love this: "A President must serve only the common cause of the people of the United States." Apparently the audience does, too.

-- "Some people believe that such a confession will sink my candidacy."

-- "These are not bases for criticism, but a test of our tolerance."

-- "No candidate should become the spokesman for his faith" is now the MSNBC headline (a second ago it was "I believe in my Mormon faith and endeavor to live by it.")

-- A President Romney would be much more pleasant to listen to than President Bush has been. We should have more public speaking classes in this country.

-- Apparently Romney feels okay with losing the atheist vote.

-- Not to mention the ACLU endorsement.

-- "But I will not separate us from the God who gave us Liberty." Dude, it's like they're channeling the Enlightenment. Someone must have been reading a lot of old pamphlets. Especially the Adams party (Madison, Sam Adams, etc.)

-- "We believe every single human being is a child of God."

-- Again with the quoting of John Adams.

-- He's reused Thompson's claim about no other people having sacrificed more lives "for liberty." (it's arguable, though I wish they'd stop saying it.)

-- "America must never falter in holding high the banner of freedom." Doesn't want the non-interventionist vote, either.

-- MSNBC is using the Adams quote "Freedom and religion endure together or perish alone" as their headline, and attributing it to Romney. Heh.

-- He just referenced Anne Hutchinson! And Roger Williams! And Brigham Young! In one paragraph! It's actually... totally appropriate, given the banishment/journey for religious freedom thing.

-- "Not as a matter of policy, but as a matter of right." Thank you.

-- Ooh, a hit on European secularism. And established religion.

-- And hating on jihad-as-violent-conversion. Good. Makes me think he might actually know the difference (it's not always clear with some of the candidates) between that and the word jihad, which means lots of things.

-- "We do not insist on a single strain of religion."

-- I am SO sure they pulled out the 1765-1800 Adams archives for this. I suppose it's to be expected, the man was governor of Massachusetts, after all.

-- "Any believer in religious freedom has a friend and ally in me."

-- There should be a moratorium on standing ovations. They make crummy television and are an invitation for candidates to make themselves look stupid.

-- Related: I am SO glad Romney doesn't grin like an idiot when he's pleased with something (cf. Les Miles.)

MSNBC mostly likes it.

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Monday, December 03, 2007
2008 Primary Theme Stuff  

There are a lot of cute designs on CafePress that directly relate to the Primary theme for 2008 ("I am a child of God," Pslam 82:6.) Some are even in Spanish, which is pretty awesome, if you ask me. Makes me want to make one in Russian.

But there's a shortage of designs for boys. The "Soy un nino del Dios" design I linked to above does come in an English version, but that's about it; I tried creating a version of my "I am my father's daughter" design for boys, but it was just too girly for my tastes, and I didn't really know what a "manly" look would be anyway.

There are some designs out there which boys might like (you have to wade through the adoption-related ones, though.) But really, it seems like the "Child of God" idea leans towards girly designs. I wonder why that is?

I'll probably post specific designs later on this week. It will be fun, I swear.

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Saturday, December 01, 2007
I really need a job.  
Okay, this is just me whining here. Move along if you just don't want to hear it. Because I really need a job.

I need a job in the sense of "I had this babysitting gig last month and they paid me $75 and through intrigue and miserly behavior I managed to stretch it out till today when I had to buy conditioner and now I've got quarters." I need a job in the sense of I designed, like, thirty things on CafePress in a week and a half, and practically jumped out of my seat and sang when my commission total rose above $25 (I should get a check in February.) I need a job in the sense of I am now so depressed that looking at my long list of company HR sites to visit makes me want to convert to Catholicism and become the kind of nun who lives in a cloister and makes bead crafts.

I've sent resumes and brilliant, agonizingly enthusiastic, I spent half an hour re-reading this to make sure it didn't sound desperate cover letters out by the dozen, and other than two OSU administrators who (likely as not) remember me from my time as a student, I haven't had any response at all. Oh, I forgot the auto you stink email from McGraw-Hill, which came about thirty hours after I hit "submit." I was grateful for that message, by the way. There are jobs which OSU's HR site thinks I'm still up for, which have been in "Application Referred" status since August. The only job I've been offered was an 8-day mail room spot from a temp agency, and I had to turn it down because they required Sunday work. I have the HR websites for the top 40 Columbus employers (yes, Daddy, including all the governments -- even Southwestern City Schools is on there,) as well as Craigslist, CareerBuilder, Monster and Jobster on my daily rounds. I email resumes for legal assistant and student adviser and administrative lackey and pretty much everything else, except for call centers and food service (and those are excluded only because I know I won't last long.)

I've started looking at Lansing jobs. I'm considering Salt Lake City. I'm fasting and praying for a job this weekend, and pretending that my self-centered attitude doesn't make me feel guilty. I can't make myself fall asleep at night anymore, and I'm about an inch away from deleting my resume and moving into a cardboard box on High Street out of sheer frustration. Glargh.

I really, really, really need a job.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007
CafePress Madness, Part Three (The Danger Zone)  
So we started out with my lovely non-political, geeky, happy, writerly, snuggly goodness type designs. Yay. Unless you get offended by made-up swearing or are a Wolverines fan, you're probably not miffed.

Then we took a look at my LDS designs. If you are an "OMG Cultist! UR so going to Hell!" type, go away. If you're LDS, you might find them cute (or hideous, whatever,) and the rest of you probably don't care much. Phew.

But now we have my authentically make-people-mad-for-the-next-year stuff. Half of which I came up with either because I was annoyed or amused by something I saw somewhere. Word to you folks who are going to send me nasty letters: I don't think any of the Democrats are Satan. I don't think that Hillary is in league with the devil. I do think it's a sad commentary on our political culture that the "Hillary/Satan 08" design, which I came up with on a lark, is my highest-selling logo to date, and it's only been there for 9 days. The Spoiler Free one, which had been king, has been up for over three years now. Sigh. On the other hand, this makes me think there's probably a market for crazy candidate hate out there. Depending on how much more desperate I become, you may soon see nutty anti-SuchandSuch slogans on this post. I mostly think it's funny.

I am an (increasingly marginally) pro-Mitt person, though that's always subject to change. With my political designs in particular, I'm often responding to ugliness in what other people have done. I hate, hate, hate a lot of the political designs on CafePress: they use poorly chosen images, they pick nasty fonts, they don't seem to care about readability, and they're often pretty insulting. My conspiracy t-shirt is probably the most direct commentary on what I've seen there.

Oh, and I'm totally freaked out about the idea of us going more than thirty years with the same two families occupying either the Presidency or the Vice-Presidency. No American under the age of 45 has ever voted in a US Presidential election where neither a Bush nor a Clinton was on the ballot. That's just creepy. So I made the "28 More Years" ones.

By the way, for the curious, the shop-builder that I use only lets you link to individual products (instead of whole stores.) You can get to the full list of things with each design by clicking the item, though (there's a link on the next page.) So it's not like I only made, say, a single tile coaster with the "Faith" logo, and just the black shirt for the Cylon Overlord one. That would be crazy, and inefficient, and wouldn't explain all the hours I spent making alternate versions of each design to fit on all the different products. Phew.

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CafePress Madness, Part Two  
So in my last post I put up all my easy-to-figure-out, non-controversial, not-likely-to-garner-evil-comments designs. That was simple enough. Now to enter the murkier waters of... LDS themed designs!! Stupid anti-Mormon comments won't even get a polite response from me this time, people.

As you can see, there are all kinds of fun designs -- I have two CTR ("Choose the Right") logos, some funky (almost?) ugly art with the text of Moses 1:39, an "I Am A Child of God" sort of logo specifically for girls and women (I'm still trying to come up with a "manly" looking one for the guys,) an FHE (family home evening) logo that I'm really rather proud of, a faith one that I mostly did out of a desire to make a good-looking sun (I don't think I'm quite there yet...), and a sort of sloppy yet hopefully cool block with the text of the 13th article of faith. There will probably be more designs added to this collection over time -- the system I'm using will, niftily enough, update this post automatically with any changes. Yay!

I wasn't kidding when I said I needed a job, though. Nine designs (technically, the tenth -- the Moses 1:39 one -- has been floating around waiting for me to use it for about two years.) One week. Yeesh. Oh, and there's one more post coming!

[edited to add: I also have a Christmas design in there! Not specifically LDS, but I wanted to keep all my "religious" stuff in one post... yeah.]

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CafePress Madness, Part One  
So, in a bout of desperate "I don't have a job and I have lots of energy and I need to do SOMEthing" mania, I've been creating designs for CafePress. Lots of designs. Lots and lots and LOTS of designs. Except for the "I Heart Rebel Scum," "Spoiler Free", and "Follow Me To Primary" designs, all of these were created in the last eight days.

Those are all my non-LDS, non-political designs: my Ohio State stuff (referring to Jim Tressel,) one for Pickerington (after I noticed that I didn't like any of the other Pickerington designs,) four writing-related ones for NaNoWriMo (the Latin one means "I joined, I wrote, I won,") one literature one (I heart Orwell!), one photo I took in Salt Lake City, and the geek collection: three Battlestar Galactica designs, one Star Wars design (rebel scum, get it?) and one generic geekery Spoiler Free one, which until this week was my highest-selling design ever.

More on my other designs in a bit. Suffice to say I really need a job.

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Saturday, October 13, 2007
2008 Election  
Does anyone else wish that we could see a Lieberman/Someone-Like-Cheney-Was-Circa-1992 ticket? Anyone? Sigh. I can't come up with a setup as good as the VP opponent set we got in 2000, out of this bunch. I don't like or admire anyone running. How depressing is that.

(Yes, this is what I'm doing on a Friday night. That's pretty depressing, too...)

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Saturday, July 21, 2007
Harry Potter 7  
A few, mildly spoilerish thoughts about Harry Potter 7. Note: I received my book at approximately 12:20am, having woken up at 7am the previous morning, driven across three states, and not even stopped to go to the restroom before walking into the bookstore to claim my spot in line. I got home around 12:45, got the car unloaded and my PJs on by 1:15am, and finished the book at 7:15am. So, six hours again, thanks to not needing to stop to do the dishes. Now for some spoiler space.














If you're still reading...

Apparently the 'shipping wars weren't only important to the fans. I have to admit, I didn't have a ton invested; the fact that she was careful to spell it out was... amusing. ^_^

I take back all the nasty things I thought about the people who thought Snape was good for reasons I thought were stupid. Snape-Loved-Lily people: it wasn't in the books, but it was in JK's heart. I commend your mind reading skills, and/or lucky joint wishful thinking with the author. If I'd written the books, I wouldn't have done it, but she did, and that's what counts.

However, I mock relentlessly all those who were convinced Snape was Evil From The Get-Go. Here I go, mocking you now: BWAAHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!

Ahem, that wasn't very nice. And yet... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!!!!!!! On his own side, indeed!

At least "scar" was in the last line, right?

Fanfiction makes serial fiction much more difficult to stay in love with.

In particular, I kind of like the "Psychic Serpent" and "Roman Holiday" renditions of HP5-HP7 better than Rowling's. Sigh.

I find myself not needing things to be as prettily wrapped (with the satin bow, etc.) as I thought I needed them -- to say nothing of how much Rowling apparently wanted to provide them. Dude. 19 years later? I really didn't need to have the matter of who becomes a teacher at the school spelled out like that (by the by, it was who I suspected it'd be: she doesn't want to show married teachers, it seems, and there was one "good" kid singled out as inherently unromantic and unlikely to reproduce from the very beginning of the very first book.)

The Red Hen collection was more on target than I was, and deserves an A-/B+ (and that's only because she was so very far off on a Certain Ship, the matter of Grindlewald, and alas, the Battle of Hogwarts.) Dude, she even predicted the vision quest! I thought she was loony, but there it was!

My predictions, which I splashed all over the place, were about fifty percent right. I am particularly proud of my assertions at the Volokh Conspiracy, especially the bit about students not dying unless they got in the way of something they were told to stay out of (I'm going to get sniffly the next time I read Chamber of Secrets.) I was, however, unspeakably lousy at predicting the deaths of adults, and basically only got Dumbledore, Pettigrew, and Voldemort's eventual fates correct. On the other hand, every major character under 18 who I was *sure* would survive, did. And I don't follow birthday notice updates.

OH YEAH! And while my dream of Red Hen's Secret Agent Percy was totally ruined, he still came out all right in the end! WOOOOOOOOOT!

Sad about the lack of "good" Slytherin kids, though. Sheesh. And let's just not talk about how hard it would be to rebuild that society, given how it'd been ripped to shreds, because apparently JK Rowling doesn't much care about that stuff.

I bet the "last chapter" she'd had written up forever was that little short one (another of the Red Hen predictions, actually.) It makes sense, her saying she was trying to make the rest of the books "live up to" that.

Firefox doesn't know how to spell "Voldemort," "Pettigrew," "Dumbledore," "Snape," OR "sheesh." What the heck is up with that?

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Saturday, June 02, 2007
Family Business  
1. I found someone who's quoted Grandpa Parker: Wreath Laying at Frank Ryan's Grave". The lines following the mention of "The New York Jewish International Brigader Max Parker" are almost a word-for-word rendition of what Grandpa said about the day he was captured, in the Al Tocar Diana recordings/booklet.

2. I've found the booklet online! It's a PDF and it's a little messy, but it's free. They've also got the album in MP3 format for sale.

3. I'm in the process of ordering copies of the video interviews done with Grandma Parker in 1986, and the librarian at NYU is looking to see if a CD has been made of the 1960s interview with Grandpa that they have a reel-to-reel master of. I'm also trying to find out if the "Molly" Parker that is stated to be in several photographs in an SCW collection is actually Grandma Parker (I think it is -- they were taken in Los Angeles, in 1982, and a Max Parker is also listed in one of them.)

4. There's a list of American Jewish volunteers in the SCW out there that lists Grandpa Parker as "Max A. Parker." I didn't think he had a middle name?

5. There are only a few days left to order graduation photos of me. I'm still sorting out the distribution of the ones Mom bought, but she only bought the one pose. Anyone who wants a copy should email me before Sunday night, as Monday's the ordering deadline.

I think that's all I've got at the moment.


Sunday, April 01, 2007
Law School Admissions: Essay Prep  
So, I'm working out some basic positions before I actually go ahead and write my law school admissions essays. This is not just background information/positioning, however: I tend to get mildly freaked out by the chapters in law school prep books which bear titles and themes such as: "We lawyers all hate it here, please get an MBA instead." This stuff is supposed to make me feel better after encountering naysaying; it's very narrowly focused apologetics, essentially.

I'm not posting because I need to post something (though I do) or to brag about how swell my thought processes are, but rather in hopes of getting comments from the learned blogging community (which is heavily populated by lawyers.) So, feel free to comment.

Why do I want to go to law school? (philosophy)

I want to go to law school because I believe it will prepare me for a worthwhile, yet sustainable, career, which will give me opportunities to both make the world better and pay off my student loans. Moreover, I am well-suited to the practice of law, both temperamentally speaking and in terms of the topics and methods which interest me. And, though it's true law school cuts off some options, I feel it is of more broad application than a PhD in international studies (said PhD is not excluded from future possibilities, anyway -- especially seeing as how I'll be working to stay published.)

What do I want to do with a law degree, once I have it? (plans after law school)

I would like to help other people through a system that is both complicated and often illogical. While my ideal job would be something along the lines of helping Eastern European businessmen and bureaucrats build and become better able to succeed in a Western-style free market/democratic society, I am also moved by the cause of ordinary citizens in the United States who simply cannot be expected to devote the resources necessary to understand and utilize the legal system effectively. Therefore, I am open to local prosecutorial positions, opening my own private practice, joining a small firm, or working for a public interest organization, if the opportunity arises (unlikely, but possible.)

Specific plans include expanding on the work I'm doing for Mom, as far as creating educational materials are concerned, and becoming certified as a public defender. I also intend to serve as an example to the girls and young women at church, as a woman with professional obligations and intellectual interests who still retains both her faith and her committment to the church.

Though I find it unlikely that I will find the practice of law intolerable, I may come to a point where I can't make enough from private practice (allowing time for family and outside interests) to make it worth my while. Therefore, I also intend to seek part-time teaching opportunities in paralegal education programs at local community colleges, with an eye to potentially taking up teaching work at a law school in the future. To that end I will also strive to publish both informally (via a blog) and formally (1-2 articles per year).

Moreover, I will continue to seek education in outside areas, both through outreach programs (e.g. BYU Independent Study) and through regular participation in outside academic groups and cross-disciplinary groups (such as the Mormon Studies in the Humanities Association.) And, I will continue to work on my language and cultural skills: before I attend law school, I will visit Eastern Europe for the purposes of gaining a TORFL rating, and will continue to work on my Russian skills while in school. Later, I may add other languages as necessary, and will continue my association with various organizations focused on the area.

What do I want to do while I'm in law school?

While at law school, I intend to publish at least two articles for law review/journals, to work as a research assistant for a professor, and to join the Federalist Society, the J. Reuben Clark Society, and the local Bar and Inn of Court student sections in my community. I also intend to compete for a place on Moot Court and Law Review, and to devote at least 500 hours to pro bono or public service (this works out to about 5 hours a week -- or about 10 hours a week in the 2nd and 3rd years.) I will also continue my non-law school activities: participating in YSA, attending church, and fulfilling any callings that may present themselves. And I will likely continue to support my mother's private practice, doing research, public relations, and copy-editing.

What helps me stand out from other candidates intellectually?

I am tenacious and I have the courage to face the unknown -- I am dissatisfied with not knowing, and willing to put forth considerable effort to resolve any questions or uncertainties I uncover. I believe in being sure, of finding the truth, and of behaving as though both history and human knowledge matter to the real world -- because they do. I also have various other intellectual gifts (including a gift for words,) and I strive to use all of my abilities for the good of those around me.

What helps me stand out from other candidates socially/culturally?

I am a Mormon in the Midwest, who has stood in line for Star Wars, grew up a Unitarian Universalist, and has lived in 5 states. My grandfather served both in World War II and in the Spanish Civil War; my great-grandparents fled Eastern Europe as children. I'm also an INTJ if you care about stuff like that, and I was even born on a cusp!

What are the mistakes or blemishes on my record?

I have some very serious loan repayment issues which I am working to resolve. I also have a lot of gaps in my employment/school record, there's a six year gap between the last quarter I took as a full-time student and my graduation date, and most problematically, I have a small number of "fail" and "C" grades that require explanation.

What are the strengths on my record?

My GPA in my majors is far higher than my average GPA, and my average GPA is .2 above the median at my university. My LSAT score is quite high. I have done something "real" outside the world of college, though admittedly, nothing of a "professional" nature.

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Friday, March 23, 2007
So, it's done...  
I've actually, really, truly, here's-your-diploma-now-listen-to-a-speech graduated. I swear, it's true.

I've made the following sentiment my signature at LUN:

A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.

^_^ More to follow later.

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Saturday, March 03, 2007
What Romney Actually Said  
People are annoyed (I was at first, too) about what Mitt Romney may or may not have said during his CPAC speech, which immediately preceded a speech in which Ann Coulter embarrassed herself, conservatives, and the entire human genome (as is her custom.) Some have said his comments were along the lines of "woohoo! Ann Coulter's on right now, yeehaw I loves me some Ann Coulter!" Others have said no, he said something more like "Haha, they're scheduling that crazy loon to talk after me, I just love it when they get gentle, loving moderates to talk more often!!"

I invite you to judge for yourselves which is the more accurate paraphrase. It's in the second paragraph of this 8-page PDF. ^_^

EDIT: note, I'm still looking for audio/video to see what he said, as opposed to what he planned to say. It seems that liberal commentators all heard "yay for Coulter" and pro-Romney commentators heard something close to the planned remarks. I'll update this post if I find anything.

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Monday, January 08, 2007
Let's sing Ohio's praise...  
Even at grossly inappropriate, bizarre, and/or giggle-inducing moments. Yes, yes, I know, the big game is tonight, and yay for national championships (though an even bigger yay for Big 10 championships, which can't be gamed by journalists nearly as well as the BCS is.) I too hope the Buckeyes win, and indeed at this very moment I sit waiting for word from my Political Science advisor (at Ohio State) about graduating (from Ohio State) this March, and moreover I am currently wearing a VERY scarlet t-shirt from my year in Block "O", which reads "TRESSEL'S TROOPS."

But I must stress that any time I find myself singing along to the prelude hymns at church, and realize halfway through the first tune that the organist is playing Carmen Ohio, well... let's just say that even die-hard Buckeyes ought to recognize that there is a time and place for everything, and church is not really the place for expressing your collegiate athletics fandom. I mean, she wasn't even trying very hard to disguise the tune -- the family sitting behind us also picked up on it right away, and in fact their younger daughter and I (quietly) finished the chorus out loud, after we stopped giggling.

Of course, the child in my class who used our "draw something nice" time to color a page which was not just OSU-themed (I'm so glad Crayola's "basic colors" now includes grey,) but also featured the names of our two local high school teams, too, would do well to realize that, too. On the other hand, he's 7 years old, so I'm going to cut him a bit more slack than the grown-ups.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006
So, it's been a while...  
And honestly, I'm really a little too busy to be blogging, but I got a couple of comments in my email today, and I was taking a break from noveling or studying (I'm in Russian 104! I could very well graduate soon!) And I thought, hey, why not blog a bit.

Today I'm going to do something really easy: compare the April 2006 General Conference citation rankings to the Top 25 General Conference Overall Scripture Rankings I did earlier this year.

First, the top citations for the 2006 conference talks, reverse alphabetically arranged within each instance category (and with previous Top 25 General Conference Overall Rankings in parentheses):

4 Instances
D&C 58:42 (39)
D&C 115:5-6 (471)
1 Peter 2:9 (110)

3 Instances
Moses 1:39 (1)
D&C 59:9 (23)
D&C 13:1 (49)
BM Title Page (148)

2 Instances
Mosiah 18:9 (130)
Moses 7:62 (455)
JS History 1:17 (45)
Helaman 5:36 (N/A)
D&C 84:44 (267)
D&C 81:5 (193)
D&C 132:19 (179)
Alma 5:14 (80)
Alma 42:30 (N/A)
Alma 42:15 (425)
Alma 42:13 (N/A)
Alma 34:32-34(316)
Alma 34:16 (N/A)
Alma 12:32 (N/A)
Abraham 3:25 (176)
2 Nephi 9:45 (N/A)
2 Nephi 32:5 (425)
1 Corinthians 15:29 (43)
1 Corinthians 13:11 (N/A)

Next, we try to balance the two rankings -- since some of the scriptures cited more than once in 2006 weren't on the Top 100 lists by book, they didn't have a preexisting ranking. I arbitrarily set their ranking as 2,500 -- the lowest ranking from my previous all-time list was in the upper 600's. Then I divided the 2006 ranking (4 instances = 1, 2 instances = 3, etc.) by twice the all-time ranking ([2006]/[2*AllTime]). That way the best-ranked 2006 citations (given a rank of 1) which had the best all-time ranks (in this case, we're talking about D&C 58:42, obviously) would have the largest resulting score within its own citation group, but not (automatically) the highest score overall The top 25 for 2006 are, thusly:

1. Moses 1:39 (Pearl of Great Price) [Top 50]
2. Amos 3:7 (Old Testament) [Top 50]
3. Matthew 5:16 (New Testament) [Top 50]
4. D&C 59:9 (Doctrine & Covenants) [Top 50]
5. John 10:16 (New Testament) [Top 50]
6. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (New Testament)
7. John 3:5 (New Testament)
8. 1 Corinthians 15:29 (New Testament) [Top 50]
9. Joseph Smith History 1:17 (Pearl of Great Price) [Top 50]
10. Matthew 6:33 (New Testament)
11. D&C 13:1 (Doctrine & Covenants) [Top 50]
12. Alma 5:14 (Book of Mormon)
13. John 14:26 (New Testament)
14. Matthew 11:28-30 (New Testament)
15. Matthew 3:17 (New Testament)
16. D&C 58:42 (Doctrine & Covenants) [Top 50]
17. Matthew 25:21 (New Testament)
18. Ephesians 1:10 (New Testament)
19. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (New Testament)
20. Mosiah 18:9 (Book of Mormon)
21. Daniel 2:28 (Old Testament)
22. 1 Corinthians 2:9 (New Testament)
23. 1 Corinthians 11:11 (New Testament)
24. Luke 18:22 (New Testament)
25. Acts 3:19-21 (New Testament)

Note that this isn't the same as putting the 2006 citations in order by their all-time rankings (to illustrate that, I marked the 9 scriptures which appear on the Top 50 all-time ranking.) Note also that, if you thought this year was a bit heavier than normal on the New Testament, you're right:

Book of Mormon (2 Top 25 entries, average of all ranks: 16)
Doctrine & Covenants (3 Top 25 entries, average of all ranks: 10.33...)
Old Testament (2 Top 25 entries, average of all ranks: 11.5)
Pearl of Great Price (2 Top 25 entries, average of all ranks: 5)
New Testament (16 Top 25 entries, average of all ranks: 14.3125)

Now, you could argue that by folding in the all-time rankings, I'm essentially eliminating the true up-and-coming citations (especially considering that no scripture was cited more than 4 times in 2006, and not even the Pearl of Great Price all-time ranking goes down to just 4 citations.) On the other hand, this largely eliminates any bias from one speaker repeatedly citing the same scripture (with no one else following suit;) unless at least two or three other speakers have had the same impulse. Since I already provided the "more than two citations in 2006" list above, I've decided I'm not too worried about this problem. Similarly, I'm not using the pure citation rankings today -- I'm using the combo ranking, which takes into account placement on the Scripture Mastery lists (either the old one or the new one.) Again, the point is "stuff that would be really really good to study, especially in light of 2006 Conference citations" and not just "stuff that gets cited a lot," for which you can visit the BYU citation site and get the answer right away. ^_^

I am a little annoyed that my list isn't a perfect "all the 4-citation scriptures in General Conference Overall Rank Order" display, but again that would be easy to calculate from what I've put up there. I like this weighted list the best, since it points out that 3-citation, #1 overall-ranked Moses 1:39 beats 4-citation, 39th-ranked D&C 58:42, which pretty much meshes with what I'd guessed would be appropriate.

[final note: I was waiting for the October 2006 conference to show up on the BYU site before doing this, but it's November now and it still isn't there and hey, I wanted to put something on the blog already. I'll just redo this exercise whenever it shows up. ^_^ Also, be aware that there's a beta version of the scripture index -- but it doesn't seem to include any 2006 data at all, not even from just April, so I didn't bother with it today. When they add the 2006 data, I'll start messing with comparative Journal of Discourses and General Conference citation rankings; unsurprisingly, Moses 1:39 remains king of that contest, with the top rank in the JoD/GC combined ranking -- but shockingly, it drops off the Top 100 altogether if you just look at the JoD! Daniel 2:44, not cited at all in April 2006, and ranked 49th in the GC ranking, is #1 in the JoD ranking and second in the genuine all-time ranking.]

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Because only so many people can be eleventh in line.