Monday, August 25, 2008

so it begins. again.

So, here I am with an hour left in my 11 pm - 2 am shift in the computer lab with a little time left after learning the names of some of the mountain ranges in Spain. I thought that one of the more productive uses of my time would be a quick run down of my classes and the goings on of the past few days.

Friday - woke up early enough to get everything put into my car and mom and dads car, and drove to Logan and unpacked. It was really nice this time to be the first one in the apartment and have first dibs on anything I wanted. I got the bed I wanted, the cabinet I wanted and even the roommate I wanted. Doesn't get too much better than that - especially after last year where I just randomly bought a contract and jumped into a place where my only option was to fill in the cracks where the others hadn't overflowed. Our roommates (besides Nate, Jake, and Brian) are Seth (back for a month from his mission to Brazil) and Derek (back since last monday from chicago). Good kids.

Sunday - Church was fun after a lazy morning, and dinner at Nate's house was exceptional. I stopped by the farmer's market on Saturday and picked up some corn and Nate barbecued a delicious tri-tip roast and made a killer rhubarb crisp to go along with it.

Today - I for the first time was able to say that I am truly grateful that I don't have a 730 english class m-w-f. My first class starts at 930, and as it turns out I know at least a few people in each of my classes, so it's going to be pretty fun. Biology and Chemistry are the only two classes that really worry me, and my Spanish and Math classes are going to be somewhat enjoyable I think. (Even though my math teacher is from lebanon and speaks with a semi-crazy accent and my Spanish teacher speaks with the theta and vosotros ((for those of you who know what that means and how it is just pollution to a perfectly good language and makes it almost impossible sometimes to understand him)) and turns out to be quite the LDS poet. Go figure.)

I spent a grand total of $100 on my books for this semester. Say a few hail maries for Life saver.

I work some crazy shifts in the computer lab (mainly just this one until 2 am) but I can't really complain because I got all of the hours I asked for, and I got all of the important times during the week off as well.

That's about it. Probably more than most of you wanted to read, and probably not enough for others.

I think more than anything I am excited just to be back in the extremely social environment of my apartment complex and meet new people and make new friends. I thrive on social energy, and it is definitely more prevalent here in Logan than it is in Idaho.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Olympics

This one's pretty detailed. I think I'm going to number my list as to not cause confusion.

1 - What's better than every country in the world sending their best to battle it out on international TV? During the other 50 weeks of 2008 and the ensuing years until the next olympics, international differences will be settled by diplomats and summits, but for these two short weeks hegemony will be determined by who's faster/stronger/better at badminton. (not even kidding. watch it, and you'll be a believer.) Everyone says that the olympics are all about sportsmanship and world unity, but who trains 24/7 and travels across the world to lose? No one. You say that you train and go to the olympics just to prove to yourself and your family that you're capable? Here's your gold star, now you're going to get stomped by someone who's there to win.
2 - How cool is it to be an American and watch the USA completely dom everyone else? Sure we don't win every event (girls team gymnastics) but at least we don't cheat (that chinese girl is totally 12).
3 - Beach volleyball.
4 - Michael Phelps.
5 - The instant connection you feel with anyone who is from your country. Even people you've never heard of before become your best friends if they've got your flag on their back. And - after that connection is forged - your desire for them to own everyone else. (refer to #1)
6 - Crystal Bustos - her sick homerun, and also her uncanny resemblance to that girl scout in the movie dodgeball that is disqualified for taking beaver tranquilizers.
7 - Watching other teams try to play the redeem team.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Catch Up

Blogging regularly is obviously not my strongpoint. Oh well.

Today at work a few more people quit to get ready for school. It seems like all summer I've just been waiting for summer to end so that I can keep moving forward, and that wish is about to be granted. Part of me wants to feel bad that most of the crew is leaving at the start of the school year, but the other part of me (the part that is excited for school) (the bigger, more dominant part of me) is numb to that. School is a welcomed break to the monotony.

All of that aside, I noticed a few things today at work I found noteworthy. First things first - quote of the day. When I exchanged pleasantries with an older gentleman today, he told me that he was doing, "just right." Not well, not badly, "just right." I thought that rocked and took a mental picture of his tropical-print shirt and polished dentures so that when I reach that age, I'll know just what to do to achieve just-right status.

Secondly - I was reminded of a few things from the people magnet book that I blogged about before. In one section it talks about the importance of being a good listener and how to change listening strategies depending on the gender of the speaker. It says that women feel like you're a good listener if you empathize with them and do your best to justify their feelings, whereas men expect solutions to problems and unless a plan of action is suggested - they feel like you're wasting their time. And, if you try the opposite strategy on the opposite gender, you'll lose friends. Totally true. (at least in a retail setting.) Try it sometime. If you're already a good listener, you probably already practice those techniques. Good times.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Blue Dinner Rolls

So, it turns out that blue dinner rolls taste exactly like white ones. Who would have known?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

People Magnets

So, I just finished reading all I want to from a book called "How to be a People Magnet - How to Find Friends and Lovers - and Keep Them for Life" by Leil Lowendes. I think that this book was partially what triggered my interest in watching how people act. I know that the work is definitely copyrighted and that I couldnt make random copies of it and try to sell it, but I thought that it would be beneficial for everyone involved if I pasted some quotes from it to the blog. And, after reading them, you'll never be able to approach social situations the same way. If you look for the things she talks about in normal every day encounters, you'll see it works. Most of it is common sense, but it's fun to read her interpretation.

Before People Magnets speak, they ask themselves,
“What is my listener thinking and feeling right now?”
Then, whenever appropriate, they speak from their
listener’s perspective. For People Magnets (PMs), scowls
turn to smiles, dullness turns to delight, and no turns
to yes!

As they go throughout their day, People Magnets
miraculously transform nonpeople into VIPs with an
extra moment of eye contact. They give the painter an
extra pulse of the peepers. They give the seamstress an
extra shot of the shutters. In an eye blink, they alter the
encounter from ordinary business-as-usual into a special
one. At the end of the day, the twinkles in their smiling
eyes will probably have added up to less than one
minute. But it makes a world of difference in how
people respond to Pms.

When People Magnets say “thank-you,” they give the
pleasure that the word intends by explaining why they
are thankful. They give every thank-you a little
padding. Big smiles are always the PMs reward.
It is transitory, yet it contains the potency of an
embrace. It is ephemeral, yet it invokes strong
subconscious emotions. People Magnets use the trifling
touch tastefully and judiciously to create a subconscious
excitement between them and the people they touch.
Fifty percent is visual, 30 percent is
sound, and only 20 percent comes from someone’s actual words.
Reply first to the body language, then to the sound of their voice, then lastly to their words.

People Magnets listen with their hearts by watching
people carefully to see how they feel about what they
are saying. PMs listen to their gestures, listen to their
fidgeting, listen to their skin flushing, listen to their eye
contact, and listen to everything else they can see about
the person who is talking.

You don’t need to go around posing all over the place or
you’ll look like just that, a posie. But you do need to
start paying attention to how you move. Strong
masculine movements are in. Have a good stride.
Courteous movements are in. Stand up when she comes
back from the ladies room to the restaurant table.
Protective movements are in. Offer the lady your arm
when you cross the street. Loving movements are in.
Straighten her collar or adjust her hair after putting her
coat on.

Clause #17:
React Faster, Answer Vaster
I’ll practice the “winners’ ” conversational style:
1. keeping the energy level up by not allowing long
2. talking longer or giving longer answers to
questions, and
3. throwing the conversational ball back to the
other person by asking a question.

The secret lies in the questions we ask ourselves. Your
brain is a colossal computer. You ask it a question, it
will find an answer. If it doesn’t find an obvious one, it
keeps searching and searching and searching—even if
it has to go back to when you were two years old. Still
no answer? Well, the brain is so determined, it will give
you an answer, even if it’s the wrong one. To have total
control over their minds, PMs learn how to ask the
right questions.

Or keeps you on track with your dreams when you falter, or
believes in you when you’ve ceased to believe in yourself. “A friend
is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back
to you when you have forgotten the words.”

People Magnets know if they want dynamic friends
drawn to them, they must keep growing. When people
become too predictable, boredom sets in and the
relationship suffers.

To draw more friends and lovers to me (and/or be
a better friend and lover to those I have), I will
consciously grow my gifts in all areas—appearance,
knowledge, finances, personality, prestige, and, most
importantly, character.

I will open my eyes, look around, and find someone
way less cool than I am (or someone who is not as
accepted by my peers as I am). Then I will reach out
and genuinely befriend them. I’ll let some of my
stardust rub off on them.

Wow, there's a lot more quoted than what I thought. I just went through and whenever anything stuck out to me, I copied and pasted it. Pretty interesting, eh? Definitely some things to consider. It's interesting to me that a lot of the ways we are treated by others are conscious choices that we make for ourselves. And, it is also very interesting that a lot of how we feel is just our perception of other's actions that we usually over analyze.