Monday, June 17, 2013

Too School for Cool

 It's happening. I knew it would eventually happen, but now that I am here it just doesn't feel right. I've been a student for seventeen years.

 In all honesty, I don't remember much of those four-five years before I entered kindergarten, so school as really been all I've ever known in some ways. Sure, I'll admit that there have been those days where I whined about homework, tests, teachers, etc. but all in all I really always loved school.

Even now as I walk across campus for what might be my last time as a student, I love the feeling that I belong here. I love the backpack on my back, the books in my hand, sitting at the desk and unloading my water bottle, notebook, and pen automatically. I thrive on the "I'm-in-the-zone" writing phase where words seem to pour out into 5, 10, 15 page papers as time ticks by. The wonderful feeling when you press the "print" button and realize you just added something to the world.

Looking back on it, maybe I was a bit too school for cool. I was a student first and foremost. I didn't do many wild and crazy things like most college students. Perhaps I missed out...but I think if I had it all to do over again, I know I still would have given it my all. I'm here to learn after all, and I certainly learned a lot. In the classroom I learned how to think and analyze, I learned how to not be afraid of research papers, I learned about the world, I learned about the sky, I learned about the gospel, geology, politics, history, the scriptures, literature, art, music, photography, film, folk dance, tap dance, marriage, child development, mythology, and the list goes on and on.

But perhaps the better list is the list of what I learned outside of the classroom. To do it complete justice, I would have to blog about each bullet point separately and add many more bullet points, but here goes nothing;
  • I learned about friendships- the ones that stick together through all the hard times and make every day worth while.
  • I learned about families - the way they rally together to help one another and the way I've totally taken for granted the amazing family I have. 
  • I learned about myself- I came into my own- so to speak. I discovered my identity outside of "the singer," "the nice girl", or even "the student." I have passions, dreams, hopes, fears, and all of them create a special me. 
  • I learned the joy of Zumba dancing and cooking
  • I learned how to lip trill :) 
  • I learned that it is ok to be spontaneous every now and then. 
  • I learned that I'm stronger than I thought 
  • I learned the power of hope and faith in the midst of trials 
  • I learned that I can overcome fears 
  • I learned the joy of frozen grapes and British herbal teas
  • I learned that I can juggle work, school, friends, family, exercise, sleep, and do it gracefully!
The list goes on! It's sad that my career as a student may be coming to a close, but they say that Every New Beginning Comes from Some other Beginning's end. So here's to beginning something new. Something unknown and exciting. At least I can find comfort in the knowledge that I'm bound to continue learning and growing even outside the classroom. So here I am- Jennifer Thorup BYU Graduate! 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Weddings, Weddings, Weddings...

"Human Nature is so well disposed toward those who are in interesting situations, that a young person, who either marries or dies, is sure of being kindly spoken of" - Jane Austen (Emma)

I have had the pleasure of reading an Austen novel a week for class this term. Interestingly enough, each novel has ended in about the same way my weeks have a marriage! Since the end of April, I have received, and covered my refrigerator with, 11 wedding invitations. Granted, I was not able to attend all 11 wedding receptions, but during May I averaged at least one a week. 

Despite being single, I actually love weddings. I remember once accompanying my mother to a wedding reception of someone I apparently met when I was three. I had no emotional connection to them at all, and yet as I stood there watching the father of the bride toast his beautiful daughter, I began crying. No--weeping. A lady next to me passed me a kleenex asking how I knew the bride (Surely assuming I was an intimate relation), but I didn't have the heart to explain that I didn't know her at all. 

Still, it's not just the beautiful observation of two people wholly in love. It is the total package: the food, the flowers, the dress, the music, the dancing. I love LOVE and a party completely in celebration of love is my idea of a great time. I like the little wedding traditions, but in all my wedding-going days I have never caught the bouquet.

Since I would be attending so many weddings this season, I decided to challenge myself to attempt to catch the bouquet at each wedding I attended. For the first few weddings, I played with the various positions of "in the front", "the middle", " the back", "the side", etc. in hopes of discovering the secret technique. I did this without positive result. 

One wedding I reached my arm in front of another girl with the knowledge that I could easily snatch it from her path if I wanted, but it was the bride's best friend and maid of honor! Isn't it more fitting for her to catch the bouquet than me? 

Bouquet after bouquet was tossed and each time I came back empty handed. Finally, at a dear friend's wedding I saw my chance: There I was, in the back with no one around me to compete against. What were these other girls thinking pushing to the front? The bride has always been athletic and she is going to have a great toss. I just knew that it was finally my turn. The bouquet left her hands and (as if in slow motion) made a perfect path toward me. I felt the flowers in my fingers and saw my long awaited victory, but before my fingers could wrap tightly around the bouquet, it was gone. 
Out of nowhere a young boy had darted toward me and snatched the bouquet out of my grasp taking off in a dead run into the gardens. (Did that seriously just happen?) 

Another bouquet was tossed as a "do-over", which of course went to a different girl and I stood there dumbfounded wondering how in a split second I had gone from feeling the flowers in my hands to watching it snatched away by a little boy running into the distance. 

Maybe it just isn't meant to be. I'm not going to be the next one married. Maybe it's because I am not aggressive enough, and perhaps that is the very reason I am not the one tossing the bouquet. Who knows. 

My dear friend Jane Austen has pointed out that "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." (Pride and Prejudice) And Yet, 'There certainly are not so many men of large fortune in the world, as there are pretty women to deserve them" (Mansfield Park). 

I have at least one more wedding left and one more chance at the bouquet, but if it's not my time that is alright. I'm enjoying the weddings and getting some great ideas for one of my own in some future date. Check out what i've gathered for my own perfect spring/summer wedding. Wish me luck on the bouquet toss!