Monday, June 23, 2008

So Do You... Like Me?

The beautiful Summer semester of 2008 is unfortunately coming to a close. Final grades permeate our thoughts, work wants to know if we can stick out the seven week break and relationships need to be determined.

As a TA, all three of these points of stress are wrapped into one, but specifically, the latter. I love being a TA, and I'm really enjoying my "mentor teacher." He is flexible with the hours, appreciates my work, and doesn't just use me for my immaculate paragraph body either. He values my PowerPoint's. I think he really likes me.

The awkward question is inevitable, though. At some point, I am going to have to ask him if he wants me to be his TA next fall. How am I supposed to approach this? I'm an English major--my words don't work too good out loud--I thought an email would be better, but figured it would be kind of tacky. Do I lay it out there, tell him I think we are a great match, that I want this thing to last until Christmas? That's a very vulnerable position in which to put myself. What if he doesn't feel the same way? Should I move on to the more challenging, but mysterious Brother Allen, saving myself from humiliation and beating him to the punch?

I'm not the only TA suffering from this problem either. A few of the girls won't be here this fall, but are returning in the winter. How do they ask their mentor teacher to wait for them? "I understand that you need a TA while I'm gone, but will you be available for me when I get back from home?" All these questions, right at the time of finals. Of course.

If ever there were a time to have the ability to read the mind of a man.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Insert Dam(n) Joke Here, Marathon

Breakdown of the marathon:

Mile 1: Overly-joyed, overly-loud overly-white people celebrate the kick-off and first mile in one, large Mormon battalion.
Mile 2: Children lined the road and gave us high fives. For the first time in a while, I want kids. The crowd thins out
Mile 3: The twins set a pace that I follow... hard breathing gives way to chest pains, chest pains give way to side-stitches and side-stitches give way to me setting my own pace and making Jane Kristine and black and turquoise dots in the far distance.
Mile 4: Just got passed by sexy mom, not feeling too bad though.
Mile 5: It's getting pretty warm: I take off one of my shirts.
Mile 6: Sexy mom lifts up her shirt to wipe her face. I put my shirt back on.
Mile 7: Not able to have kids even if I want them anymore.
Mile 8: My arm is bleeding? How and when did that happen?
Mile 9: Just got passed by a grandma... still feeling alright. She's pretty fit.
Mile 10: There's human hope, there's eternal salvation, and then there are the mile 10 oranges I just ate.
Mile 11: Just got passed by woman twice my age and BMI.
Mile 12: For humility's sake I pick up my pace.
Mile 13: I've forgotten what walking is like.
Mile 13.2: FINISH at 2hr. 11 min. How am I ever going to accomplish anything without groups of people applauding me at every 10 minute interval?

Looks like I've peaked at 22!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cruel Irony

Sometimes the hardest questions in life are answered by ourselves.  Sort of like when I asked, or rather, posed the theory that romance is difficult to harness, and then followed it with a public testimonial of my poor habits of hygiene... on the internet.  

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm Flossy

I believe that people are brought together by the acknowledgement of their weaknesses. I don't think that a group of people are going to "come together" by each shouting praises of the last greatest thing they did. Well maybe some people, but not the kind of people I love to associate with. I believe that people really bond when someone reveals something they do, or don't do, that everyone else secretly does, or doesn't do and is waiting to not feel guilty about it. That one thing that everyone hates, but thinks they have to love, the one thing that probably should be done every day, but gets done perhaps once a week, or maybe even month. So...

A word on flossing: I think flossing is great. I think it perpetuates not only good dental hygiene, but also good organization, self-discipline, and self-respect. I don't floss that often. I'll leave it at that. When I floss, it's always under the intention that I will continue flossing everyday until the last day of my life. Flossing, for me however, always turns out to be an isolated incident.

I think many people are like this. In fact, I think the only person who actually flosses regularly is my Dad because he is a saint and he can't stand to lie to the dentist when he asks him if he has been flossing on a regular basis like the rest of us. "Yes I brush three times a day, yes I floss, no I don't know why my gums are bleeding right now." That's the drill. Anyway, I usually like to bring up the no-flossing thing because I think people appreciate it. However, I was with a group of "people" once and as we were sitting around the Fazoli's table, we got on the subject of flossing. I offered my one and only gem of human unification: who flosses, come clean now so we can all like each other a little better for our inadequacies.

I don't think one group of people have looked that way at another person since leprosy. Apparently I had picked the one group of four average people who floss on a daily basis and wouldn't hear of anyone behaving differently. I tried to call them out on their lies, but one of them had floss in his wallet. I immediately retreated into dentist office lie mode and didn't make anymore revelations the rest of the night.

Since, I have tried to make my self-disclosures a little more conservative and crowd-based. Sometimes it's best to do your homework beforehand, like checking the wallet of the guy with immaculate gums before becoming conversationally intimate about our habits of hygiene.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Rock, a Hard Place, and Somewhere I Don't Want to Be

Romance is (or so I am told) an abstract, beautiful enigma that drives so much of everyday decisions that it's probably damaging to everything from the construction of our homes to the destruction of our economy. Something so powerful shouldn't be abstract, though. If it decides so much of our choices, it should have some concrete explanation. Recently, I have found that a piece of it (dating and courtship), has just that: a science, and a history (chemistry and a past relationship if you will). The concrete facts of dating are not much easier a pill to swallow, however, because it is as follows:

Dating in America (or England, not picking favorites) began with the girl in charge. A man would come to the girl, on her territory (her home) and would do all the activities she chose. You know, all the greats: Her playing the piano (yawn) reading poetry aloud to him (yawn again), or perhaps, them singing a duet together (combination yawn and shudder). After she seduced him (or bored him) with her musical talent, he would propose; but only if she allowed him to do so. This is option #1.

Then a shift happened. It was the industrial age and men were at war, and women could Do It! (Rosie the Riveter shout out) and were working in the factories. When men came home from the war, the women did not want to give up her newly found position in the world, and dating became a low form of prostitution. Let me illustrate: Men made more than women in the workplace and could afford the nicer things like movies, games, and dinners. Women wanted these things because they felt entitled to them. They, however, could not afford it because their wages were exponentially lower than that of their male counterparts. Thus prostitution was born: Man buys woman an expensive dinner with his inflated masculine salary; woman repays with whatever form of sex is expected at the time. This is option #2

Today, there has been a mass rejection of both these earlier options and the single race has now produced what has been warned against, has been degraded, has been feared by General Authority and Relief Society alike: Hanging out. It is the woman no longer wanting to sing, but no longer wanting to prostitute (how dare she), and instead playing Rockband and watching movie after movie with large groups. This is option #3: Reject message of the First Presidency and never get married.

Weighing the facts and options, it seems as though the evolution of romance has caught me in a Catch 22.