Thursday, June 25, 2009

Farewell, King of Pop

I was sad to hear that Michael Jackson passed away this afternoon. I was at work when I read the breaking news that he had gone into cardiac arrest. By quitting time, Michael Jackson was already gone. He was a musical legend and revolutionized the music industry. It's amazing when I think of how successful his career was, starting with Jackson 5 and how he was so successful on his own. He lived in the spotlight but died as a recluse.  I talked with a guy the other week who started a company that had exclusive rights to broadcasting Michael Jackson's upcoming "comeback" performances in London over the internet. I guess not anymore. If only his heart could've beat it. Sorry, that was bad, really, really bad. But in all seriousness, he made a mark in history and he's in a better place now, where he won't ever have anxiety over his looks again.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Taking Tests

It started with the ACT, but didn't end there. I feel like I'm the worst test taker in the world. I feel like my test taking abilities aren't a proper reflection of what I've actually learned in school. I'm not sure if I'm over-analyzing, under-analyzing, or just plain ol' unlucky, but the last two finals I took just buried me. I'm sure reading this juxtaposed with my last post you feel I had it coming. The funny thing is, that's the final I feel the best about. I'm not sure how much stock I should put into feeling good about a test though. I felt pretty good about the two finals I took today and ended up getting C's on both of them.

One test was open book with a three-hour time limit. I thought I found every answer word-for-word in the book and submitted my test thinking, "I actually think I got 100% on that one." Or 72%, either way, right? Then I decided I needed to study hard for my next final. I put in a solid six hours only to get a 70%? What the? I'm pretty sure I'm supply and demand curve dyslexic. Oh well, the classes I'm behind in now are behind me now. Hopefully I wasn't the only one that bit the dust and it will all work out in the end.

At least the bookstore wasn't buying back any of my books. That was awesome.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Studying

Studying is a funny thing. Sometimes I'm in the zone and could study nonstop for hours. Let's be honest though, that's happened like once. Usually I need to have some snackies, like baby carrots, to keep me company and help me stay awake and focused. I think overall I'm a good studier, but there are some days, like today, when I feel like I could think of any excuse not to study. The internet doesn't help either. I'll be sitting at my computer trying to think of what to type next for a final ethics paper and I'll think, "Hmmm...I wonder if anyone has sent me an e-mail in the last minute and a half." In my distracted defense, after checking my empty inbox I usually only read a few online newspaper articles, watch a few YouTube videos, or write a blog post and then I go right back to trying to finish the ethics sentence that I started 45 minutes earlier.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Moloka'i

***WARNING***
This post is not intended for the faint of stomach!
The sunset looks like absolute paradise, right? I thought so, too. It's a picture of the island Moloka'i, part of the Hawaiian islands. What you might not know about the island is that it has a quarantined colony of lepers inhabiting the northern tip of the island, Kalaupapa.
When I went to Toronto a couple of weeks ago, Bishop Wilson told me a story about Moloka'i. He said that his grandfather bought a house on the island after he retired; so, when Bishop Wilson was about 20 years old, he went with some of his friends to visit his grandfather for about five weeks during the summer.

The island was only inhabited by lepers on the northern tip, which was separated from the rest of the island by a mountain. The colony was only accessible by boat or by riding a donkey up and down the mountain, so there was no real danger of getting leprosy for everyone else on the island.

Bishop Wilson's grandfather was a dentist, so everyone called him Dr. Matkin. People were constantly asking him for medical advice and wanted him to help the lepers until they found out he wasn't a medical doctor. His grandpa did hear some interesting stories while he lived there, though.

Apparently, leprosy kills the nerve endings on fingers (I'll use fingers to represent any affected body part) and then that decay spreads to the rest of the finger until it finally falls off. One doctor had an idea that he might be able to save fingers. Because diseased fingers were attached to dead nerve endings, he thought he could take fingers that had just fallen off and save them by reattaching them to the hand and connecting them to nerve endings that were still alive.

The doctor went to the leper colony and explained his plan to the lepers, that he thought he could help them to save their fingers. He told them to call him immediately if one of them had a finger that fell off so he could come and try to reattach the phalanges.

He waited for about a week, but no one called him. He went back to the colony and saw that a lot of people had lost fingers during the week, which made him mad. "Why didn't any of you call me?" he asked. "Don't you want to try to save your fingers?"

"We do," the lepers responded, "but the problem is, we don't know when our fingers are falling off. It seems like we just look down one day and they're gone."

They couldn't exactly put their fingers on it. So, they decided to start watching for each other to see if they could detect where their fingers were falling.

As it turns out, rats were stealing them. Rats could smell the fingers that were about to fall off and would swipe them from the slumbering lepers. When lepers arose the next morning they would approach the day with one less finger.

*dry heave*

Sort of made me feel bad for telling jokes and the leper in the hot tub named Stu and the leper that couldn't take a shower because he forgot his head and shoulders.

It also made me realize how disgusting and crazy leprosy actually is. When I think of the Savior healing the ten lepers, I am dumbfounded that only one returned to thank Him for releasing him from the grasp of the contagious and degenerative disease.

So, I hope you enjoyed my story of Moloka'i and that it wasn't too gruesome for you. It could have been worse, though. I actually did a Google image search on leprosy to see if there were any good pictures to use, but I never should have done that.

Seeing those pictures was almost as disturbing as watching the Born Without a Face documentary on TLC.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My life during my blogging hiatus

I officially when AWOB (absent without blogging) for the last few weeks. But, I have been garnering a bunch of blogworthy stories, so you should expect a splurge of stories in the next little while.

Quite a few things have happened since I last posted, though.

First, I was hired as a marketing intern for Extra Space Storage. This is the third internship I've done with them, so it has been fun to see another aspect of the business.
Second, I went to Toronto to see a family from my mission get sealed. It was incredible!
Third, Spring term at BYU is almost kaput. One more week. Booyah!
Fourth, I started a band with my cousin and some other friends.
We played at an open mic night and got a lot of compliments. Then, we were invited by the club manager to play at Battle of the Bands, which is a week from this Wednesday. I'm pretty excited about it. I'm singing and playing rhythm guitar (p.s. rhythm is a great hangman word) and we have another guitarist, a bassist, a keyboardist, and a drummer. I feel like it should be drummist. Anyway, we're playing a bunch of songs I've written over the years and this is my first time playing in a band, so it has been really fun hearing my music come to life.