Thursday, April 5, 2012


This will be my final post on this blog, because as of Saturday, I'll no longer be A Southern Girl in the Land of Potatoes. This is one of the most bittersweet moments of my life. Tomorrow, I'll walk across that stage and the next day, I'll leave Rexburg not knowing when, if ever, I'll return. This place is an arctic tundra, barren wasteland, but it truly has been the best 4 years of my life. I've made friends and memories that I will have for the rest of my life. I have been so lucky to be in school here, and I can't believe how fast the time has flown by. I have attached here my final assignment for ED 461, a one page paper convincing my teacher why I'm ready to student teach. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. 

A Southern Girl in the Land of Potatoes Ready to Astonish the World

           Little Women has been a favorite story of mine for a long time. I feel like I really relate to Jo March. She absolutely loves her family, yearns to travel, and has big plans for her future. I have all of these things in common with Jo. I love my family, I’ve now traveled across the country to get an education, and will continue to travel throughout my life, and I still have big plans for my future. These plans have greatly changed over the course of my life, but one thing I know is that I am ready for my future to begin. Student teaching is my next step.
            In the 4 years I’ve spent at BYU-Idaho, I’ve learned so much. I’ve taken classes about math, science, literature and the like, but the ones that have taught me the most are the ones that have made me realize that I am meant to be an educator. That is my path. It doesn’t matter if I end up in a school or elsewhere; this is what I am meant to be doing.
            Throughout this semester I have grown as a teacher, more than I knew I could. I learned ways to manage a classroom, got experience creating lesson plan units, and got the chance to work in cooperation with two other great pre-teachers. I am so grateful for those experiences, but the biggest help to me this semester was being able to make an impact on the students in my class. Sure, there were only four of them, but the fact that I KNOW I was able to help one of them specifically makes me so happy. The experiences I had in the Frontiers classroom weren’t always easy, but they were so worth it. Seeing my impact on at least one student’s life is why I chose this profession.
            I’m ready to be a student teacher because I have learned all that I can from books now and I have to get out and experience it. That’s how I’m going to know what the future holds for me, and honestly, I can’t wait.
            Now, back to Jo March and me. In the musical adaptation of Little Women, Jo expresses how she feels about her future in the song “Astonishing”

Here I go
And there’s no turning back,
My great adventure has begun.
I may be small
But I’ve got giant plans
To shine as greatly as the sun
I will blaze until I find my time and place
I will be fearless
Surrendering modesty and grace
I will not disappear without a trace
I’ll shout and start a riot
Be anything but quiet
Christopher Columbus!
I’ll be astonishing at last!

I have adopted this philosophy for the next chapter of my life. Maybe not fully, I’ll most definitely be keeping my modesty and grace, but I plan to be astonishing in whatever I do.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Big Three...things that happened to me this week

I can't sleep, so I figured I'd give you the low down on the AMAZING things that have happened to me this week!

First off, starting in August, I'll officially be a Jackrabbit! I'm pleased to announce that I'll be student teaching at Mesa High School, in Mesa, AZ this fall! It was my number one choice, so I'm really glad they picked me. I've been looking online at the stuff there is to do in Mesa and it looks so awesome! They have museums and an aquarium (I love me some fish), but most importantly, temperatures above 20 for the ENTIRE fall, which makes me as happy as a kid on Christmas, or me on Christmas, really.

This looks a little Hunger Games-esque, right? You go Mesa High, may the odds be ever in your favor.

Secondly, earlier in the semester, I lost a library book. I know what you are all thinking, "tsk, tsk, and you call yourself an English Education major." I was disappointed with myself, I couldn't believe I lost it. To top it all off, of the plethora of books I could have lost, it was one I didn't even remotely want to actually read. It was for a class. I scoured my apartment looking for this (insert expletive here) book and couldn't find it anywhere. So, I sucked it up and braved the judgement of the people at the circulation desk at the David O. McKay library and other students that would no doubt criticize me quietly to themselves or their significant other, about how irresponsible I was for losing a library book. I paid the $25 and took the walk of shame back to my apartment, feeling so dejected. OK, maybe I'm exaggerating a little here, but I only do it to explain how deeply upset I was about losing this book. 

Fast forward to Thursday morning. After class, I arrived at home to continue the purging of all of my worldly possessions as I prepare to depart from Rexburg, in T-minus 7 days, but who's really counting? Under my bed I have a giant plastic tub of boots. Before you scoff and think to yourself, what a girl, think about where I live and the disgusting brown, but should be white, substance that covers the ground here 99% of the months I'm in school. Now you understand the need for my "box 'o boots," which, by the way, I cannot wait to be rid of. As I was sifting through these boots, I spotted a purple laminated book. My heart leaped a little bit. That, is NOT an exaggeration. I immediately called the library and asked if I would be able to return the book and possibly get a refund. Low and behold, this girl is $19 richer. Hot dang.

Lastly, and to me this is the best of the three, so I hope people didn't stop reading halfway through my melodramatic library book mishap. On Tuesday, I got a call from the nice people in the Disney College Program office. And I really mean that without even a hint of sarcasm, they are really nice, but that's not the point. The woman told me that before I arrived next month (cough, cough 24 days), she needed to talk to me about the role they want to put me in to make sure I was "receptive" to it because it is so different from any other attraction.

Now, if you know me at all, you know that I'd be happy cleaning up vomit as long as I was doing it at Disney World, believe me, I've done it before and I'd do it again. In fact I got a Guest Service Fanatic card once and under the reason for the award, my manager wrote, "Keeping your smile while cleaning up vomit." But I digress. The point is the place makes me incredibly happy, and it didn't matter what she said, I was receptive. Little did I know, what she said was going to make my day. 

Since, I've got you all hanging on the edge of you seats... I'll continue to explain our conversation. The woman told me that only 2 roles where college program participants are informed of their placement before arriving, mine and one other attraction (which she did not divulge). Over the phone, she explained to me that the responsibility sets and skills needed to work in this specific location were more challenging, and that's why they had to call and ask if I am Ok with it. This attraction has the highest amount of spieling, even more than Safari, or Jungle Cruise, or Great Movie Ride, which I didn't think was even possible. Additionally, I'll be using a lot of skills that I've learned in my education class, which is why I'm extra pumped.

Ok, ok, I've kept you all guessing long enough. Drum roll, please? This summer, I'll be working at Innoventions in EPCOT! I don't know why I didn't put the pieces together before that this would be the most choice place for me to work. For those non-Disney folks out there, Innoventions is a series of educational, interactive, hands-on activities geared towards families with kids ages 10-14. Some of the activities include "Where's the Fire?" an interactive activity informing guests how to prevent house fires. Another one is a technology that puts you into a video game! This place is basically off the chain. I'm so honored to have been chosen to work there. 

Other things that make me excited about this role:

- The hours are AWESOME. Innoventions opens in the morning with the rest of the park, but always closes at 7:00 PM. Everyday. No exceptions. Not even EMH. 

- It is totally and completely indoors, even the greeter position is indoors. That means in the middle of the summer when it is over 100 degrees outside and 98% humidity, this girl is gonna be cool in her regulation, free from contrasting colors, logos and designs, smooth and polishable black athletic shoes. Can you hear the Hallelujah chorus? I can.

- Finally, and again, this is the best one, I still get to be in the Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow. I love EPCOT. It really became a home to me last summer. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved working at Animal Kingdom, and it still has a very special place in my heart, but EPCOT is different. There is something about that place that makes me happier when I'm there. I listen to the music from EPCOT and whatever the problems of the day are, they just go away. If a place can have that kind of effect on a person, that is where they belong. I belong in EPCOT, it's where I fit :)

On to the countdowns...

5 days til my parents get here
6 days til graduation
8 days til I'm home
17 days til I bawl my eyes out at Les Miserables with Kathy and Memaw
22 days til I drive to Florida to hang out with Brooke
24 days til I check in for my CP
and roughly 125 days until I student teach

My life is so exciting right now and I can't wait to see what else is in store for my future!!

A Southern Girl About to Graduate From a Pretty Rad School in the Land of Potatoes

Monday, March 26, 2012

It is now 3:00 A.M..

and I'm only half way through my research paper. My brain is totally fried, but I'm not tired. I don't think I can do anymore tonight. Good thing we're peer reviewing tomorrow in class and I only have 5 pages. Is it April 6th yet???

A Burned-Out Southern Girl in the Land of Potatoes

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pat Benatar, Fake Margaritas, and Belly Dancing

Today was incredibly productive! I've finally caught up on most of my school work. Except for my 12 page paper for English 201, which, to be honest, I'm not too worried about. I can pretty much hammer that out this week and revise this weekend. I guess that's one of the perks of being an English major!

I finished my Senior Writing Seminar portfolio today. It took me from around 9:30 am to 4:00 pm, but it feels so great to have it done! While I was making it I really came to realize how much I've writing I've actually done in college. A LOT. That's how much. And I didn't even include everything in my portfolio! Even though it felt like I was never going to finish all of the formatting, I'm really glad that I had to do that assignment. I'm pretty dang proud of it! If you'd like to peruse it, you can find it at:

Next, I worked a lot of kinks out of my Senior Research Paper. It's still nowhere NEAR perfect, but I'm definitely feeling better about it.

Now that I've talked about all of the boring stuff...

My health has made a complete turn around. All semester, I've been feeling nauseous and tired everyday and this weekend I finally found out why. I realized I haven't been taking the right amounts of insulin because my doctor changed all of the settings on my insulin pump when I saw her in December. So, I changed my settings back to they way I had them programmed and it has made a WORLD of difference. I have insane amounts of energy and I feel great!

I also got this neat app for my iPod called Diabetes Buddy which allows me to track the amount of carbs I eat everyday and the amount of water I drink, and it's a place where I can log my blood sugars, and I can tell it if I exercise. It's pretty sweet.

Speaking of exercise, I now actually have time to workout and I love it! For the past 2 days, Jennica and I have been doing dance workout videos from Netflix! (I know it's kind of lame, but we are totally loving it.)

Now to explain the title of this blog.

Firstly, we were watching The Voice today and two girls had "battle-sing" We Belong by Pat Benatar which brought back awesome memories of seeing her live at Universal during the summer of 2010. I absolutely LOVE her. She is a goddess of song. I wish I could have even an ounce of her fierceness when I perform. She's amazing even now, she still sounds incredible.

Secondly, Crystal Light has this new line of drinks that are flavored like alcoholic beverages. I guess it's for summer, or Mormons who don't drink, but like the taste without the alcohol. So, a few weeks ago I got Mojito flavored Crystal Light and it was delicious. Mouth watering even. Today, I got the Margarita flavor, not so. It's ok, but I was just really wanting it to be super tasty like the Mojito one, but alas, I was disappointed. Next time I'll just stick with the one I know I like.

Lastly, belly dancing. As I mentioned before, Jennica and I have been doing some dance workouts this week, and I got all kinds of excited when I saw on Netflix, "Egyptian Belly Dancing for Beginners." I immediately texted Jennica to tell her we were all over that tonight. Yeah...about that...we were all over it for about 7 minutes and then we realized it wasn't fun and we kind of hated it. So we did a dance party workout video instead, where the host said, and I quote, "Welcome to our dance party, no RSVP required!" Gosh, I just love those workout video instructors, you could feed all the rats in New York City with the amount of cheese that those ladies dish out. "Shake those hips, it's your time to shine!" "If you don't squeeze those buns, no one else will!" haha, thanks ladies, I'll keep those little gems in my back pocket for the next time I'm feeling blue.

Anyways, like I said, today was great! Despite the fact that it was freezing today and I've pretty much decided that Rexburg weather isn't going to make up its mind about whether it's spring or not. I'm not going to worry about it anymore because in 18 days, I'll be in beautiful South Carolina where the temperature is a balmy 80 degrees. Love it. Can't wait.

Thanks for reading!

A Southern Girl 18 Day Away from Beautiful SC Weather But Until Then, Freezing Her Patootie Off in the Land of Potatoes

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Soundtrack to My Family

Today, I REALLY missed my family. More than I usually do. Not sure why, I think it is just because I am so dang close to being back with them. I guess also because this is the longest I've been without seeing any of them. I've had Holly here every semester up until now and Kyle was here last semester. When I'm in Florida, I'm close enough to drive home or hop on a plane for an hour and a half. But here, well, here I'm far away and I can't do anything about it but call on the phone every once in a while when I'm not busy with school. So, today, I came up with a small solution to my problem. It is a playlist on my iPod called Family :). I would now like to share with you these songs and why they made the cut.

1. Dreams by Van Halen- Two words: Power Rangers.

2. Prologue to Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone by John Williams- My family and I (Holly excluded) are the most Harry Potter obsessed people I know. We went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter the second day it was open to celebrate my mom's birthday. We are diehard Potter fans for life. Also, this is what plays when my mom calls me :)

3. Through the Fire and the Flames by Dragonforce- Back in the good old days, Holly, Kyle, and I would play Guitar Hero ALL NIGHT LONG. This was a favorite.

4. Theme from Jurassic Park by John Williams- Many Friday nights in my youth were "Jurassic Park in the Dark" nights. My family absolutely loves this movie. We can pretty much quote the whole movie. "You will remember to wash your hand before you eat anything!!"

5. Jai Ho  by A. R. Rahman- When we were on a cruise last summer, there was a Bollywood themed show. It featured this song and so after the show, we would play this song when we were getting ready in our cabin.

6. Good Vibrations by the cast of Glee (originally Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch)- While I was at Disney one summer Holly and Kyle created a hilarious video to this song. Also, Holly really likes to rap Finn's part.

Now they start getting a little more individualized

7. End Credits from E.T. by John Williams: This December right after we got back from school, my family went down to Orlando to go back to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter on vacation (see what I mean about the obsession??). When we were at Universal, my dad and I rode E.T. Adventure together while everyone else went to see a show at Islands of Adventure. It was really fun to be able to do something just the two of us.

8. February Song by Josh Groban: This summer, I really wanted to go see Josh Groban in my hometown, but I didn't know who I could get to go with me. My dad agreed to go, even though he didn't know anything about Josh Groban. So, I gave him all of his albums and now he loves Josh, too. Too bad he got food poisoning and cancelled the concert.

9. Take a Bow by Rihanna: This one is mostly because my dad LOVES this song. It is so funny when he sings it and dances to it. PLEASE!

10. I Wanna Rock and Roll All Night by Kiss: This one is for my mom. When Kyle first got Guitar Hero, she wanted to play this song over, and over, and over. I got sick of it then, but now I have this great memory.

11. Reunion of Friends by John Williams: This is Kyle's favorite theme in all of the Harry Potter movie music. We played the Lego Harry Potter video game together this summer, so this song brings back some great memories as well.

and finally...

12. Hollyann by Boston: Wonder if you could possibly figure out why I would listen to this one! This is the song my sister Holly Ann was named after. After talking to her on the phone today I think I listened to this song 5 times on repeat.

Obviously music is a big part of my family's life, which is why this comforts me when I miss them. So, now all I have to do is grab my iPod when I miss them and I'll be reminded of all of the fun we are going to have in 31 days when I get home!


A Nostalgic Southern Girl in the Land of Potatoes

Sunday, March 4, 2012

It's really happening...

I can't believe I'm getting this close to being done with college! I take the English Praxis on Saturday. For those of you non-education majors out there, the Praxis is an unnecessary test that pre-teachers take, asking them obscure questions about things which, they will be able to look up in a book to find the answer to in their future classrooms. I'm freaking out a little bit, don't know if you could sense that. Mostly because this week is also tech week for Over the River and Through the Woods, so I'll have to be in the theatre for long hours at night AND it is also the week before we have our live Disney College Program Presentations on campus. So, I'll be juggling class, homework, tech rehearsals, Disney recruiting stuff, and studying for the Praxis. I've got a bunch of flash cards made, so hopefully if I spend every minute that is unaccounted for studying I'll feel more confident about this test :/

On a more positive note, I took pictures for my graduation announcements today! It was freezing outside, so I'm really grateful to my roommate, Jennica, who braved the cold and took the pictures for me. Here is the final, edited picture that will go with my announcement. It's really happening. I'm really graduating!!!


A Southern Girl about to Graduate in the Land of Potatoes!!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Deep breaths and Disney music

So, being a senior in college is hard. Who knew?? I feel like maybe this is the reason I've been in college for so long because if I had to do what I'm doing right now 2 years ago, I honestly don't think it could do it. But anyways, update on my life:

I got my (tentative) student teaching placement!! As of right now I'll be student teaching in Mesa, Arizona at Mesa High School. I wanted to teach at a middle school, but I guess there aren't any in Mesa that take student teachers from BYU-Idaho, so I'll deal. First off, getting this all sorted was such a mess. It all started when I was talking to my friend Scott who saw on i-learn that his placement was posted, so of course I darted to my computer...I've only been waiting 3 years to find out where this crazy thing called student teaching would take me (though I was pretty much positive it would be Mesa because I had been in to the Field Services Office on more than one occasion to discuss with them my need to student teach in Mesa). So, when I pulled up my i-learn page I was so excited and nervous and once I glanced on the screen, irate. Almost to the point of tears. I saw four letters, not M-e-s-a...


That word never upset me more than at that very moment. I was all kinds of out of sorts. So, after sulking and seething and complaining, I finally decided that I'd call them in the morning and give them a piece of my mind. I SPECIFICALLY told them I needed to go to Mesa, Arizona because that way I would be able to remain a Campus Representative for the Disney College Program under the same recruiter (my amazingly funny boss John), so that he could write me a recommendation for the Professional Internships I want to do at WDW after I student teach. They were messing with my life and my dream. I was NOT alright with that. They were gonna hear about this. So, I called them, and after jumping through several hoops and filling out a few more forms, I now have my tentative student teaching placement in Mesa. Whew! And it is honestly such a relief.

Next thing, I LOVE MY JOB. As a Campus Rep I get to relive all of my awesome Disney experiences by telling other people how great the program is. We have a lot of limitations on campus here at BYU-I, which makes our job as a Rep Team more difficult, but we still get it done and have such an awesome time doing it! The season is in full swing now since our recruiter is coming in 2 weeks! We still have so much to do and honestly, sometimes I worry we won't get it all done, but we always do and we do it with flying colors. We were one of the most successful Rep Teams in the country last semester, and we are working hard again to keep that true of our team this semester. My goal is to make it onto the list of the top 50 reps this season. That would look so amazing on my Professional Internship applications, so I'm really working as hard as I possibly can!

Now, onto my classes. Deep breaths. That's all that is getting me through them right now. Well, that and listening to music from the Disney Parks as a consistent reminder that in approximately two months I will be back in Florida. I will be away from the snow and biting wind, but more importantly away from English majors who can't help to act superior to everyone else because they are applying for law school or because they feel cultured because they are well read or because they are an editor-in-chief of a FAKE magazine that we are being forced to write for a class. Note to these people: get off your high horses. You are trying to "impress" the wrong people with your snooty attitudes. We are your peers, we don't care what score you got on the LSAT or why you believe you are the best thing since they put the pocket in pitas. Save that for your grad school admission interviews and spare us the headache of listening to you drone on about how excellent you are. We know. You told us yesterday. Now that I have fully gotten off the subject of the classes I'm taking...

Rhetorical Studies: Tons of busy work and we are in groups creating our own magazines. My group's is called The Understudy and it is about overlooked and under-appreciated films, actors and theatre productions.

Senior Writing Seminar: Again, tons of busy work and little projects. I'm team writing a paper on how the graphic novel Maus helps increase literacy in 8th grade boys. I love partner papers, you only have to write 8 pages. It's awesome. Love it.

Directing: At the beginning of the semester it was my largest cause of hair loss, but now that we are done with assignments of reading 4 chapters in our textbook and discussing them in class, it's a lot less stressful. Now we are spending a big chunk of our class time rehearsing the scenes we are directing. I'm directing a scene from The Show-Off by George Kelly. Then I'm also in two scenes, I'm playing Mama in A Raisin in the Sun (yes, I'm still white. no, we are not doing it minstral style in blackface) we are just taking the scene out of context a little, we're basically going to be poor southern women. The second scene I'm in is from Proof, in which I play Catherine, a mathematical genius that could be on the verge of mental illness (cool, right??).

Reading in the Content Area: Basically I finished that class today. I was in a group of 3, all of us are English Ed. majors and we had to come up with 2 separate week-long units in our content area. At the beginning of the semester we had the students write their own stories that we then made into comic books, which was really fun and they loved it! Then this past unit we focused on Dr. Seuss books and used them to improve the students' literacy skills. Today, we had an early birthday party for Dr. Seuss (it isn't until March 2nd). It was a fun unit. We had one really rough day, but other than that it was really successful.

I'm also taking English 201, but that's basically not worth mentioning other than the fact that I have Brother Brugger, he seriously is the best. But, the class is essentially a bunch of English classes I've already taken condensed into one course for the foundations program.

Now that I've given you the Reader's Digest version of my life for the past 2 months, I'll stop bombarding you with my life and get back to the massive pile of reading I have to do and continue to remember that in approximately one month and a week I will be walking across a stage in a cap and gown having my very last great day at BYU-Idaho.


A Southern Girl Taking Deep Breaths and Listening to Disney Music in the Land of Potatoes :)