Monday, April 19, 2010

What Shines Through

Funny how writing something down really gets you thinking about it. I think it was my teacher Mrs. Steadman that said writing something down makes you really think it through thoroughly. Well, when I wrote my post about all the books that I remembered reading as a kid, I couldn't get the Chronicles of Prydain out of my mind so I went and checked the books out and whiped through them again.

It was really interesting to look at these books with more of a critical perspective. They definitely aren't adult books, they just lack the complexity, but I was surprised at the themes and ideas the author presented. I don't think I've ever read a better description of the qualities of a great leader in any other book besides maybe the scriptures.

I realized that these books stuck with me because they helped me see what true character is like.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I started out this blog with the idea that I would like to share all the good ideas I hear about, read about, or think of. In part, I think the blog does this.

I discovered a couple things, as I've written this blog, that surprise me. The first is that the many of the best ideas haven't been thought of yet and it seems I'm more interested in these ideas than ones that have already been thought of. I find myself asking a lot of questions with good ideas as unfinished answers. Maybe I should have titled my blog "In search of good ideas."

I also found that life is more inspiring when you write about it. Putting something down on paper (or in HTML) helps me organize my thoughts about whatever I'm writing about and, many times, brings a smile to my face. Writing my thoughts and sharing good ideas has helped me enjoy life.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

In the Eye of the Beholder

According to logic, I shouldn't be an English major. All my AP classes in high school were math oriented except for AP English, in which I did not excell. I've always had a mind for math, and my parents just assumed that I would follow in their footsteps.

This past week, for Easter, we went and saw grandparents and cousins on both sides of the family. When my mother's side found out I was an English major, they gave me some looks that said, "Are you sure?" I know they only say this because they love me. Interestingly enough, when my dad's side of the family found out, they were clapping me on the back and saying stuff like, "Wow I'm so excited for you."

One reaction was not necessarily better that the other but it intrigued me that there would be a difference. What are the factors that caused my mom's family to be so apprehensive? What made my dad's side so flamboyantly receptive?

Our Greatest Inheritance

In my Tagalog class today we read and discussed an essay entitled "Ang Ating Pinakadakilang Pamana" which means "Our Greatest Inheritance." The author talked about what he thought to be the greatest gift our forefathers have left us: literature.

He went on to say that all the other stuff like technology and art and culture are great gifts but the literature left behind by our ancestors is on a different level. His reason was that when we read literature, we can go with the author and experience what they experienced. We get to know them by their writings.

This makes me think of journal writing. I've read the journal of one of my ancestors and I can tell you that what this essay talked about is true. I really got to know my ancestor through his writing.

I'd agree that this is "our greatest inheritance."

Itchy Fingers

I love to play the piano. I'm not very good at it but I could play for hours and hours on end and I sometimes do.

I don't know if there is such thing as a musical paradigm but I think I grew up in one. Both my parents sing well and we've always had a piano (which we beat the crap out of over the years). Growing up, singing and fooling around on the piano has always been part of what we do to connect as a family.

Nowadays, if I go too long without the harmonious chords of a piano, I've noticed I start getting itchy fingers. When I get itchy fingers, I can hardly walk by a piano without giving into the urge to sit down and play.

Origin of the Species

We are going through a unit on evolution right now in my Biology class. It has been pretty crazy to see all the evidences there are for how life has and is evolving.

There's stuff like little leg-like structures in snakes, the diversity of dogs (who all have a common ancestor), fossils that show different links between species, and things like wisdom teeth and appendixes that don't have any specific function. All these things point to the fact that animals and humans have common ancestors which they evolved from.

Ok, so do I believe all of this? It's difficult to say because there is so much I read from the scriptures that contradicts this world view. I'll figure it out someday.

Monday, April 5, 2010

New Life

The most memorable message of this Spring's General Conference for me was the testimony Pres. Monson bore about the Savior's Ressurection. Whew, what a talk!

Afterwards, I just thought to myself that I could have sat through 8 hours of static if I knew I would be able to hear his message at the end. Luckily, I didn't have to do that and all the other talks were great as well but I think I'll not forget the prophet's testimony.

I was struck by the fact that we will all die. That seemed to be a focus of his message. We will all die and go to heaven (or elswhere *gulp*) someday. I guess if you try to live with the end in mind, you'd probably make better choices with the time you have left.

Overshadowing our imminent death is the fact that we get to live again!