27 January 2010

Minority Report

On Friday we arrived home from work and school to find a letter from the UC San Francisco Medical School. You may recall that we did not apply for medical school at UC San Fran, so we were thus surprised to have a letter from them. Did they see Scott's scores and want him to apply? Why in the world would one of the best medical schools in the country be contacting us? (I know, we are thinking real optimistic... or just sarcastic as usual)

Well, we tore the letter open and this is what it said:

We are pleased to announce the UCSF School of Medicine Post Baccalaureate Program for 2010-11. This program is designed for individuals who have completed their undergraduate degrees, but have continued interest in pursuing application to medical school. We are seeking individuals from disadvantaged or underserved backgrounds who have unsuccessfully applied to medical school and those who have not yet applied to medical school. We are sending this notice to you, because you name is on the AAMC Minority Medical Student Applicant Registry...

Ha! I started laughing almost uncontrollably. As many of Scott's friends and family know, he is a bit on the ghetto side of life, though he is far from being an ethnic or racial minority. He has a seperate rap music playlist on his iPod, and Scott can often be found with a tilted hat and baggy jeans on his days off. I started thinking, maybe he's convinced himself that he IS ethnic.

"Scott, did you tell med schools that you were black?!" I asked, half-serious. He said he didn't, and tried to think of other reasons why he is on the minority list. LDS? Most likely not. LDS white male is probably one of the more common applicant statuses.

So no clue WHY UCSF thinks we're special, but we'll take what we can get. *wink wink*

P.S. LOL, just for Matt and Amy, find pictures of Scott's cornrows here!

25 January 2010

The Typical Sarcasm

I thought you might enjoy the opportunity to eavesdrop on our lunchtime conversation today. If you can imagine, this is what a typical conversation is like with Scott.

After visiting the Harold B Lee library on campus to check-out Writing for Magazines by Cheryl Wray (recommended to me by a BYU Alum), Scott and I settled in to eat our lunch in the recruiter room at my office. Scott was reading his class assignment of chapters in The Odyssey by Homer, while I read the introduction of my library rental. The author shortly introduced the subject and then thanked a few contributors for their "unflappable support." This is where the story begins...

"What do you think is the definition of unflappable?" I asked Scott, imagining to myself a group of penguins or flamingo trying with all their might to fly, knowing of course that the image was far from the actual interpretation.

"Birds without wings," Scott answers as he continues to read his homework on the computer.

"No, it doesn't. Can you look it up for me? I'm curious."

So Scott pulls up the definition online, and with a straight face says, "Unflappable: not easily flapped."

"That's not what it says!" Silence....

"Okay," Scott smiles knowlingly, " Not easily upset or confused. Origin - the birds."

"Hon, that's not what it says," I say, perturbed.

"No really, that's what it says. The birds."

"Huh." My bad. It is pretty hard to tell when Scott is being sarcastic.

"Just kidding. Origin is reference to Harold Macmillan of Britain." I shake my head in disbelief at Scott. The nerve! So I continue reading.

After Scott had finished his homework assignment, he started telling me about his plans for the rest of the day, but I really wasn't listening intently.

"I'm going to class, and will be done at 3:00 PM." Scott began, waiting for some response from me. "And then I'll have to take a test...." I'm sucked into the beginning of the book. No comment. "Oh and honey, I'm pregnant," Scott slips the last line into the list of his plans.

"Did you think I wasn't paying attention? Nice try, Silly Duck!" I kidded.

Scott looks at me seriously, "Schnooks, don't make such unflappable comments."

Haha! My husband makes me laugh every day.

18 January 2010

DiGiorno House Party

We had our DiGiorno House Party this weekend, and let me tell you it was an adventure. In December, we applied to be a host of the DiGiorno Game Day Believer party on Houseparty.com.

Everyone has been asking me how I came about finding this sponsored party, so I will tell you. I receive e-newsletters from Kraft with recipes and coupons about once a week. Well in one of the December newsletters they mentioned how you could apply to host a DiGiorno football party and receive tons of free stuff. I thought to myself, "We throw parties all the time. Why wouldn't I want a company to sponsor them?!" So I applied and was accepted as a host. All we had to do was invite around 10 - 15 guests over to our smallish basement apartment to eat DiGiorno pizza and watch a football game. Of course, I was probably accepted too because I mentioned that I blog about everything in my life. So that's more advertising space for DiGiorno beyond the 10 - 15 people in my house. In exchange for this advertising space, DiGiorno would send us a package with six coupons for free pizza at the party, coupons for all of our guests, and some DiGiorno swag.

A week ago Kraft shipped our boxes of free goodies and coupons for the party, but unfortunately for us the box didn't arrive until 2 hours before the party started. Luckily I wasn't relying on the box to keep the party going. I had gone to the store and purchased supplies for football cookie decorating, cesear salad, and games. We had also invited our guests to bring their favorite football game side dish. So we would have a party with our without DiGiorno, but it was definitely better with the pizza!

The food was fantastic! There were so many options of pizza to choose from, like Tuscan Chicken thin crust pizza or Ultimate Meat Lovers (which was a big hit at this football party). Michelle and Erik brought some sweet chocolate chip cookies along with their sweet little newborn Brynlee! And Jordan, Jandee, and Isaac brought a saucy guacamole dip, which was a perfect game day addition.

I stayed in the kitchen for the whole party, which was a pleasant retreat from my normal football game boredom. Baking the pizzas took quite the rotation schedule. Scott enjoyed announcing each new flavor of pizza as it came out of the oven and into the hands of our guests. "Next we have a Stuffed Crust Pepperoni pizza... On our left you will notice the last piece of Pepperoni and grilled pepper thin crust. Come and get it!"

When half time came, we gave the boys a very difficult football rules quiz, authored by DiGiorno. Out of 10 questions, the highest score was a 5. I had wrapped up some prizes for the winners of our various DiGiorno games. We also had a three-column football BINGO game, created by yours truly, and football cookie decorating.

We had a blast! Thanks to everyone who came and ate all that wonderful pizza. In the end our guests have confirmed that they do believe - It's not delivery, it's DiGiorno!

Next up on Houseparty.com, we have applied for the Turkey Bacon Brunch party. Mmmm... bacon. Can't wait to see if we can be hosts!

13 January 2010

Brain Overload with Craftiness

Last night I had the most difficult time falling asleep because my mind was racing a hundred miles an hour. That usually happens to me at night (see #5). I have business ideas or lists of things I need to do. This time my mind was racing because I have had an Itch, with a capital I, to be very crafty. I've had this itch since November or December but have yet to scratch it.

I've tried pacifying this urge by doing what I do best, RESEARCHING, and created a draft email to save and access wherever I go with all the links to activities I want to do. I justify not doing these projects because I don't have the resources - no sewing machine, no paper or fabric, no skills. Yet the yearning to craft lingers on and I continue to add sites to my blog roll and links to inspirations in my email.
Here's what I've got so far...

Pleated Bag pattern from Bolsa Chica (want to make bag like the above that I found on etsy)
Homemade Recycled Girl Dress on Craftser.org
Flower Brooch from Sew Ritzy Titzy
(I ended up giving this as a kit to my sister-in-law to make, thinking I could be crafty through her... still itching)
Tissue Paper Pom Poms from Martha Stewart (for hanging or bows on packages)
Straight Edge Vase from Natural Home Magazine online
Gnomey Hat from Hello Yarn, kind of adorable! I can totally picture this on my new best friend Casey or little Grahamers!

CHRISTMAS ideas from the beginning of the itch in November/December
Paper Pinecone Ornament from Stamping Starlette
Cookie Sheet Advent Calendar from Teresa McFayden
Christmas Wrapping Paper Wreath from The Red Thread Blog
Moravian paper stars from The Starcraft, this family has a whole etsy business making these weaved stars!

Sites I NOW follow because of their crafty genius:
Dollar Store Crafts
Marta Writes
Pretty Ditty (oh! So chic)
The Alexanders (This is actually my co-workers sister-in-law, who has the cutest ideas)

This is THE ONE I found last night and could NOT get over.
Katie Did Journal
She lives in NY, has the most adorable kids and makes them amazing clothes. Like this dress.

Photographed by Kelsey Foster

How did she get the skirt to be like that?
Check out this FANTASTIC Christmas decoration she made!!

I have creativity envy big time, and am procrastinating the day of my repentance.

P.S. Added at new blog to follow today :) The Idea Room... so stinkin' cute!

09 January 2010

Dedicated to Eng 218R Sec 070

"May I interrupt? I vill need to leave eiraly. Very early. Furty minutes from now, actually. I thought you should know," proclaimed a skinny female student in my creative writing class on Tuesday. Doesn't she know that you don't need to excuse yourself in American university classes? Or maybe I am just unaccustomed to the practices among English majors.

I had registered for a writing class in hopes that I would learn more about technical writing and format to help me to pursue my most recent dream of becoming a freelance writer. I've already taken a Grant Writing class and feel fully prepared to contract for future grant proposals. Now I just need to master creative non-fiction and submit to national magazines, or regional for starters. But it was apparent from even the first few minutes of my English 218R experience that this class was not the right fit for me.

Walking in the room a little late, coming straight from work, there was only one seat left in the classroom. The half table desks had been moved from their rows into a circle around the room, with the only remaining seat being in the middle of the circle. Of course, as I was late, the middle seat was mine.

"You can sit in the center. Or if you want, you can move the seat by me," the prose teacher offered. I had the option, then, to sit either in the middle of the group or in what little space there was between the teacher and the screen projecting the professor's iMac contents. I chose more anonymity and moved my chair off to the right side of the teacher. Seated, I had time to look around the room at my classmates and professor as he continued to introduce himself.

The creative writing teacher was wearing a gray vest, long sleeve white shirt, and holey jeans, almost as if he had raided my dad's leisure wardrobe. But unlike my Alaskan dad, this professor spoke with a slight lisp and an accent that reminded me of Drop Dead Gorgeous or Strange Brew. In fact, his face looked a little like Rick Moranis. Professor Rick pushed his clear, aviator style, magnifying bifocals back to the arch of his nose as he read the syllabus out loud.

"I teach the course as art and as vital to society, not as hobby/craft,"Professor Rick explained. "Some of you may be thinking this isn't the right fit for you, eh." How did he know?! "If that is the case," he continued, "then you can leave now. It might be a bit embarrassing, but at least you'll be gone." One girl got up to leave. I admired her integrity and new-found time, but stuck to my promise of anonymity. After all, what if it got better and I was just making false assumptions. I had two more hours to find out.

The professor continued to describe the future assignments and readings. The class would be spending the majority of allotted course time workshopping pieces that select students would bring to class. Assignments also included a writers journal and portfolio final. One student asked, "Should we submit that in a binder?" I wasn't sure what assignment she was referring to, since at this point I had decided that the class outline did not mesh with my goals and had thus started to take notes of my surroundings for my next blog post. "I use stone tablets, but then again I am older," Professor Rick replied.

Professor Rick did have his funny moments. He described how when he was in school he was first registered as a computer science major but switched after HIS first creative writing class to be an English major. With his new ambitions, he submitted a short story to an essay contest at BYU and won. "It may seem like I'm bragging... because I am..." Well, I laughed, anyway.

Most of the students were listening intently as the professor outlined the course. Some were even vocally excited by the prospect of workshopping their writings or going to the library to research assigned readings. The students with square glasses frames were swapping stories across the room of former English Dept author readings or their favorite screenings at the international cinema, which the professor referred to as the best kept secret at BYU.

It was about at this point that the Russian classmate packed up and left early. I sighed, and looked over to the other side room where a Sophomore girl was staring off into the distance. What was she looking at? I followed her gaze to the clock above the door - one hour and forty minutes to go. Dang!

Out of a class of twenty, there were only three students that I estimated were going to drop the class or sleep through it. Pink-shirted Sophomore girl, Hugo, seated (more like slouching) next to her, already with drooping lids, and myself. No need to estimate for myself though, so I stopped taking descriptive blog notes and started thinking of excuses to go home, save myself time, and start cooking dinner.

Luckily, the teacher decided to end the class early, having sufficiently reviewed the syllabus and assigning the next week's workshop authors. His last words to us were, "Get thee hence!" And that I was. I was the first out the door, still putting on my coat.

Though I tease about it, that hour that I was in Eng 218R was well worth it. I think those square glasses kids are really going to excel! And Professor Rick said something that I think will be a good addition to the blog, not to mention fun! He suggested that we start an eavesdropping journal, listen to people when we are out at restaurants or events and write our favorites lines. Eavesdropping is one of my many talents. Why have I never considered this before? Done and Done!

And for my first eavesdropping entry, I submit to you this conversation I overheard in the airplane going from Seattle to Sitka. Having landed in Ketchikan, one young man decided to strike up a loud conversation with his row mate, a young woman from a maritime academy in California."What does 'maritime' mean?" the young man asked. "It means I'm learning how to work on merchant ships or with the navy." "Oh!" the young man exclaimed, "then you must be BUFF."

07 January 2010

Graduation, Here We Come!

We may not have gotten into medical school yet, but at least we now know that Scott is officially graduating in April!

I received a call at my work phone as Scott was walking out of his college advisement center. "First, I got into my classes." Scott was referring to his last two GEs that he had mis-scheduled this semester. "Which two?" I asked. "Theater and Media Arts History and History of Philosophy." Those may sound intimidating, but they are not as daunting as Scott's other options of Advanced World Literature, and Western Humanities. We all know how much Scott loves to read... "Secondly, I'm holding in my hand the receipt from applying for graduation."

Scott knows how important it is for me to get out of BYU as fast as possible. So he saved the best news for last there. I feel like forming a conga line.

Can you believe Scott didn't want to pose for a picture with his graduation receipt? I had to practically force my blogging lifestyle upon him in that Kodak moment.

06 January 2010

The Trouble with Med School Apps

... is that they stink! And that's the kindest word I could think to use for this process. What started in June 2009 with excitement in anticipation is dragging on through possibly March or April with now more questions and pondering. Don't get me wrong, medical school for Scott is still our first priority and focus, though some people may not believe it from the looks of things. We have yet to receive any positive encouragement from schools. No interviews scheduled yet - Only letters of rejection. As you can imagine, it is difficult for one's optimism and prospective future to continue to receive rejections, which is why we haven't posted updates up until now.

Voici the current map of schools with accompanying legend of decision signage .

You may notice, as we have, that there are no awesome neon green "i" icons signifying an interview. Schools still left in the race to give us hope are, in no particular order:

Ohio State
Oregon Health Science University
Kansas University
ATSU (Osteopathic)
RVU (Osteopathic)
University of New England (Osteopathic)

We've been told this part of the process (waiting) is the worst from many who have gone before us to medical or dental school. I'll tell you what was really the worst though - having a conversation with one of Scott's former companions at a mission reunion party where he described his interviews and admissions to several schools. I felt like crying bawling right there in the middle of the restaurant at the table of former elders.

But you know what? Despite this dismal appearance and others telling us to consider a new career, I stick to my belief that we will end up where we need to be. Whether that is medical school this year, or experience before school to help Scott narrow down his field of interest, I know not. Still, I'm betting on med school this year, because with eight schools left and Scott's compatabilty with osteopathic theory, there have to be good things in store.

04 January 2010

Goodbye Sitka, Hello Citrus!

We left our sleepy Sitka vacation Dec 30 on Alaska Airlines with our bags checked all the way to Sacramento. But the vacation didn't stop there! Oh no! Big Curt and Matt joined us as we drove from Sacramento to Visalia to meet the rest of the Chandler/Kartchner/Thornock/Radmachers for the New Years weekend.

Steve, Sara, and Addyson live on magical acreage of farmland where the fire burns warm in their home fireplace, citrus grows outside the front door ready for picking, and there is plenty of room for Scott to become obsessed with taking the dog out for a run by using a quad.

The other beauty of living in seclusion on a significant holiday weekend, is the ability to have a large bonfire in the backyard and light off fireworks the size of the cop car that would have been coming our way if we hadn't been so hidden in a field of walnut trees.

Visiting Visalia has confirmed my dreams of living on a farm and creating a little refuge from the world, with life providing enough lemons to make an awesome lemonade! Or fresh squeezed orange juice. Or boysenberry jam...