Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Today is not going very well. In fact, this whole week has been a hard one, and it's only Wednesday!
Monday started with the usual dump load of assignments - teachers saying "My class is the most important, so forget your other studies and do 1291029 hours of homework for me", or others saying "I'm leaving town this week, so I'm going to leave you tons of busy work. Have fun." My favorite was "If you don't like this subject, you're daft. In fact, everyone should study this subject all day long, so I'm going to force you into groups and you'll research together outside of class - cause I know you all just have bucket loads of time."
Of course, none of my teachers actually said those words, but they were heavily implied. I know they're doing they're job, and helping us learn (I've certainly learned more in these past few days than I ever thought possible), but that doesn't make it any easier. Work is still work, and no matter how much it needs to be done - you can't quite force yourself to enjoy it.
After you're done - after you've received the grade - you usually get this wonderful feeling of accomplish, and you leave with so much added knowledge that all the hours of pain and struggling are worth it - and the summer of sleep to follow makes up for all the nights of unrest. Unfortunately, I have yet to reach that point. Right now I'm still struggling to stay standing.

I had a huge test in German yesterday. I spent lots of the weekend reviewing for it, but only lightly. It was more like skimming through it - because I really wanted to get more work done in my online classes this weekend. So Monday afternoon, after all my classes were done, I sat down on my couch and began to study for real. After a late night of various homework assignments and German review, I went to bed, only to wake up again early in the morning for my 8am Shakespeare class. After that class I immediately found myself a secluded corner of the library to finish my German study. 4 1/2 hours later I left for class and took the exam. I felt prepared - not only had I studied heavily, but most of these chapters I had learned in high school, so it was just a matter of returning to previously learned material. I took my time and felt pretty confidant when I turned it in that I had at least managed a B. Today, I signed online to check my score - 70%. I literally felt my heart fall to the floor. That was NOT what I was expecting at all. I was hoping it would at least be higher than an 80%. Luckily, I know my German Professor lets us look over and correct our own tests so we can raise our grade at least 1 grade letter - but I was planning on being able to use that grade letter to raise my 80 to a 90. I will most likely still pass this class at the end of the semester, but I'm not at this school to pass classes. I'm at this school to do better.
I have another short vocab quiz in my German class today that I am not ready for at all, because I spent all weekend studying for the other test, and the rest of the week doing the things I'm about to tell you more about.
Oh yes, there's more. That was just one little test.
In my Humanities class I freaked out all evening over a photo project I thought was due before midnight Friday night, even running to various stores to buy equipment to fix my memory card so I could turn in the assignment on-time, only to find out that the teacher had canceled the assignment during the one day of class I missed that week, and that he had failed to update his syllabus online so I had no idea about it.
Then he proceeded to announce that there was a video project due this Friday before midnight, and that since I was gone when they assigned groups that I someone else put me in one. This girl is really nice, and the other partner in our group I would assume is as well, but I don't know either of these girls well - because they NEVER come to class. And I mean almost never. Their seats are right behind mine and they're almost always empty. Granted, I've missed quite a few of these lectures too, but I always talk to the professor about it, or ask someone in class what I missed, and I haven't missed even half as many times as these girls. And now I have to do a project with them. To make matters worse, today in class he told us that it is now due tomorrow at midnight. I haven't even had a chance to talk to these two girls in person about the project yet, let alone meet with them (their seats were empty again today). So I told them (via text message) to meet me tomorrow in the library so we could start and finish this project. Hopefully they'll show, and the one girl I have met will tell me what the topic is for our project, because I don't even know - as she picked it the day I wasn't in class. Otherwise I'm just going to make something up on my own and turn it in.
In my Shakespeare Class we've been working on our own film adaptations of any of his plays - that was going well for the most part, until I hit a major road block in my story development, and had to redo the whole project from the beginning.
In my Book of Mormon Class my teacher signed up to be in the Nauvoo Pageant for the next two weeks, so he left us a TON of work to do while he was gone. I love learning about the Book of Mormon and all (in fact, I love all these subjects I'm studying) but I really have no time for it, especially since it's the end of the semester and ALL my teachers are giving us more and more to do.
So for this Book of Mormon assignment, we have to read 3 Nephi 24-25 and literally analyze everything about them. I've looked up every footnote, followed almost every topical guide reference, read the chapters in the Institute manual, and the Seminary manual - plus both teacher manuals for each of those classes. I also uploaded the Sunday School lessons on them, and found cross references, bible dictionary sources, hymns, quotes, talks and other various media linked to the chapters - and I still have about 10 more of his "study skills" to go before the paper is done. His sample paper was 7 pages long, I don't know how I'm going to make mine under 10 pages at least! There's too much he wants us to look into. I've already spent hours on this paper and I've got hours to go. It's due tonight at 7.
To top it all off - I have a group presentation for this same class today at 4:30. Luckily it was a group thing, and unlike my Humanities class, I got placed with some of the top students, so we were able to finish the power point relatively fast on Monday. We even had a weird topic - translated beings - but we conquered it like pros so I'm not too worried about this one.

So, on top of those 4 classes I'm supposed to be doing my online classes, which average in at about 4 hours a chapter. Needless to say, I'm exhausted. I even slept on my couch last night, because I stayed up so late doing homework that I didn't even make it back to my room. I may sleep there again tonight - it was really comfortable.

Last complaint - I promise: to add to the ball of fun this week has been, I've been doing all these homework assignments and projects on a computer with a broken screen that need to be periodically taped to keep from blacking out - and likes to randomly flicker just to keep things interesting. A computer for which I do not have the time or money to fix, so I'll just have to live with for the rest of the semester.

Also, I ripped by jeans today. My belt buckled accidentally got caught in the door on my way to class.

I'm sorry this post turned more into a rant about my life instead of something fun and uplifting - but I needed to let off some steam, so I can make it through the rest of this week. I know that when I am done (in just 3 short weeks) that I'll be able to embrace that welcomed rest and enjoy my 7 week break, but until that time I'll just keep working.

Time to go back to my Paper. I'll end on a happy note.
That'll give me time to practice and make headway in my online classes! Which I am, believe it or not, looking forward to. That and movie night on Friday, which my brother will be having with me whether he wants to or not. I could use the break, and the pizza.

Monday, June 27, 2011

a letter to a friend

Dear Friend,
Life is hard. Life is painful. Life go through it day in and day out, struggling to survive. Some days, everything seems to come against us. Some days we feel as if there's nothing out there worth waking up for. Some days we crawl back into bed, and wait for the hours to pass us by.
Some days...
But life is also sweet. Life is also beautiful. Life may be life, but it is also birth. beauty. creativity. power. imagination. dreams. knowledge. We are so often blind to the wonderful things life has to offer, because they are so frequent, so destructive, so...strong. We allow them to overpower us, make us feel weak and broken. It is so easy to crawl back into bed and forget the beauty that surrounds us.
But when we wake it is a new day! When we step out into the world it is a new chance at living! Every second of every minute of every day is a new chance! We were sent here to learn and to grow. To experience life! To live each new day to gain moments - moments of pain, moments of pleasure, moments of growth, moments of understanding...
There are few things I believe to be true - and even fewer that I know are true. I know that the world is full of more beauty than not. I know that there is no soul greater than another on earth - that we are all human. But most of all, I know that God loves you, that his son died for you, and that you are his beloved child.
Please, if you never learn anything else in your life learn this -
You are a Child of God. You were sent here with a divine purpose. With each new day you are given a chance - a chance to start anew. We are not perfect, we are not meant to be. We are only meant to try. If you try every day to be a little better, live a little wiser than you were the day before, then you will have lived a life of progression; you will have lived a life of perfection. You will have lived. Do not pass through life without living.
If I could wish for anything in this life, it would be for you to know how special you are; for everyone to know...If I could wish for anything - it would be for you to taste the joy and happiness I see every day. I am not perfect; I am not even close. It is only through the divine love of God and his son Jesus Christ that I find happiness in life. It is through them and it is through you, his children, that I have reason to live.
God loves you. Please never forget that.
He loves you, and will never leave you alone.
- Madeline

Sunday, June 26, 2011

steve and the chili bowl

So I planned my funeral today. Everyone is going to wear white, and tell funny jokes about me. I want tons of smiles the whole day. I don't like sad people. And there'll be lots of ice cream and everyone's getting a free sunflower. Funeral potatoes are a must - with extra cheese, and if there aren't children there slurping jello then I'll consider the whole evening a flop.
I hope we get to watch our funerals from Heaven. I'll be the one sitting up top on a bean bag, watching the show - throwing popcorn at anyone who isn't celebrating my life.


I gave a talk on forgiveness today (or yesterday). It's been a while since I've talked in sacrament, but it's not been very long since I've last spoken. I'm pretty much a master at never letting my trap shut - so it was quite simple filling up the 10-12 minute slot, in fact I think I went over a few minutes (though it's hard to tell in the Chapel these days. They still haven't fixed all the clocks on campus since that thunderstorm on Friday).
I love how you always get picked to speak on the topic you're terrible at. It makes you feel like a complete hypocrite the whole time you're preparing it. What makes this worse was I got to pick my topic - and I still picked the one that I failed at. But I learned a lot in the process, and the talk went well - at least, I didn't see anyone dozing off, though that could have just been because my face was plastered to my notes the whole time...

In other news - I spent the majority of my day today going through all the photos I took in the past few months. I'm really good at taking thousands of pictures (of the same thing) and then storing them away and never looking at them again. I figured if I'm going to stick with my goal of never doing homework on Sundays, I might as well spend the day doing something productive. So today I started editing and deleting - and I made it through a huge chunk of them! Who knows, someday I may even start scrapbooking! :) Haha, yeah right. I wish. I'd never have the time for it now, and life only gets busier.

I have started cooking a lot though, and if any of you out there have killer recipes that you'd like to share with me I'd love to hear them! Granted, I'm still a vegetarian, so if it has meat I'll have to substitute, but I doubt I'll be a vegetarian my whole life, so any recipes is okay by me! And I love making smoothies, so especially if you have a great recipe for a fruit smoothie!  I love my new blender. His name is Steve.

My mom promised me a family cook book months ago, but she keeps forgetting to give it to me, and whenever I'm home I forget to pick it up. So for now I'll have to keep looking things up online and inventing recipes of my own. It's quite fun actually. Anyone who's ever seen me cook knows that I like to improvise when it comes to spices. I made a chili a few days back that left your mouth watering, but BOY was it good. Actually, that was the same day that I was literally scared by my own shadow. I almost dropped said chili bowl when I turned around and saw it. Crazy.

I got two surprise phone calls this week from my two favorite girls - Kay Shaeffer and Acacia Farnsworth. It was so wonderful to talk to each of them, and both phone calls literally turned my day around. Not that they were terrible days or anything before, but it made them 10000 times better regardless. Both Kay and Acacia are like the sisters I never had, and I'm super lucky to have them in my life.

God really does answer prayers. I'm so thankful to have such a loving father in Heaven looking out for me. He keeps me smiling when life gets hard, and I'd never be fully dressed without that smile.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

impulse shopping

I learned a very, very valuable lesson today (well, now yesterday).
Never - EVER, go shopping with me when I am in a bad mood. I will literally try to buy everything I see.

Being female, I am prone to mood swings, and on occasion they can be pretty crazy. I know most people think I'm happy all the time - and while I do try, I still have momentary moments of weakness. I like to call them my 'shut up and eat ice cream' moments. On rare occasions I'm so desperate I turn to chocolate chips and goldfish...though, not necessarily together, or in that order. Today (at about 9:14pm) I had a moment. It was a sad moment. A very sad moment. I wont go into details, but I was having technical difficulties, and being the girl albeit very childish me that I am, I threw a fit. Luckily the fit was mostly on the inside (mental punches to the head that rendered me speechless for sometime), so no small children were harmed in the making of this breakdown. Unluckily for me, however, I have recently entered into 'sugar-free' negotiations with my mother (we're not even touching sweets until Sam's wedding), so I was unable to turn to my trusted friend, Mr. Ice Cream. Instead I turned to my not-so-trusted brother Paul, and my very-much-trusted friend Aubrey.
After much driving around and talking to a few nerdy (yet attractive) men, my problem seemed to be solved. They sold me the device that would fix my mishap - and for only $13! - but I was still in such a weird mood that they probably could have handed me the same object and told me it was $30, and I still would have bought it. As I walked out of the store I almost stopped to buy other pointless items, including a Justin Bieber Poster, dangley ear rings, and a Harry Potter sticker book. We stopped at Broulim's before returning home to buy some fruit for a smoothie. I walked out of Broulim's with fruit, humas, yogurt, new plates, tp, some biodegradable tupperware, Q-tips and a new blender. I almost bought a bridal magazine and a pack of bobby pins while waiting in line, but was able to restrain myself.

It is now 1 am, and I am still in a very weird mood. The smoothie was great, and I love my new blender, but I think I may have felt better if I had bought the sticker book and bridal magazine. Better yet - a sticker bridal book. A Justin Bieber sticker bridal book! Do they even make those? That would be awesome.

Woah. The girl spending the night on our couch is already asleep! Crazy! She just got here like 10 minutes ago! I wish I fell asleep that fast...and now I'm just stalling, cause I don't want to go to bed, and I know I'll need to when I end this post.

Ugh - Goodnight world. Thanks for still turning - I appreciate the gesture.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
  Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
  But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
  Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
  And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
  If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
  And treat those two impostors just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
  Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
  And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
  And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
  And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
  To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
  Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
  Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
  If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
  With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
  And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

the art of e-mail

As I was studying our great American Heritage today in my usual corner booth at the Library, I was struck by two thoughts - #1. I really am an 'American', in every way shape and form of the word, and, #2. Nobody e-mails anymore, at least, not like we used to.
Of course, e-mail has little to nothing to do with the American Revolution, which was the chapter I read in my book today, but the thought crossed my mind all the same. So, putting my study aside I wandered over to the fancy apple computers they've got set up in the library and logged onto my gmail account. It only took one glance to realize that none of the messages were worth reading - except my daily "word of the day" mail (today's word was 'babel').
I miss the days of long replies and silly stories. It was nice to tell someone (when you had time to tell them) how your day went - all the ups and downs about school and life and boys, and then open up later and find a lengthy tyrannical reply on the horrible school systems, or the stinky boy who dumped so and so today, or how this character in this show was cute, and this one sandwich that tasted great...I used to have conversations with people every day through the convenience of e-mail. Now, not only do I avoid talking to people in public, but I don't even give them the courtesy of my cyber voice - nothing longer than a status update, anyway.
I signed onto my old yahoo account while my thoughts perused over the past, and I came across 15 saved drafts, all half formed messages to others, and all bringing smiles to my face. Some of my favorite lines were "See...that is why I e-mail you. Because your e-mails are completely retarded and make me feel better about myself." or "Seriously, no joke. If Alex Rider was a real person, I'd marry him." In one message I had to ask my friend what a 'stoner' was, and in quite a few others I used the expression 'poo head'. It's funny how easy it was to pick out the messages from middle school (all the aforementioned ones) and which ones I wrote more recently, just before I switched to gmail. You can tell a lot about a person by the way they write - and art I am learning more and more about every day. In fact, today I realized how much I used to write every day, and how the majority of my development as a creative writer happened while online - sending messages to friends, writing story plot lines and asking for's a part of my life that I've lost over the years, and I plan to bring it back.

So after this long and ridiculously boring tangent you're probably thinking "That's nice Maddy. You rediscovered e-mail. Good for you. But who cares?"
Well, I do. Which is why I wrote about it. So shut up and have a nice day.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I want to be one of those old grandma's that's still flying strong after 90 years. Well, obviously not today - I'd prefer to live those 90 years first, but someday. And when that day comes, I'm throwing a huge birthday party with the worlds biggest ice cream cake, and you're all invited (so long as your heart's still tickin'. Sorry, but I'm not having the party with rotting corpses. It'll attract flies and they'll eat my cake.)

Friday, June 17, 2011

why I should never think aloud

It's been a long time since I've kept a steady blog. A lot can happen in a long time. At least, that's what losers want you to think. Cause really, in the grand scheme of things, time is irrelevant, so I guess it wont matter how many times the earth has rotated around the sun since my last post. In eternity this'll just be a hiccup in 'time'. Maybe we should just say a moment. This will be a moment in the universe. The moment when Madeline Powell sat down and began writing. And in that moment, you'll realize you could have found plenty of other worthwhile things to do, rather than read this, but you chose to read this anyway because you, my dear friend, are awesome.

And who knows, maybe it'll help me find sanity. Or insanity. I guess I'm okay with either. Writing always seems to help me sort out my thoughts...well, really all it does is let me look at them on paper instead of in my head - and while they still look as insane in ink form as they do in dream form, it does keep me from squinting a lot, lost in thought, having to answer inquisitive queries about my mental sanity. It's easier to delete blog posts, or throw away heaps of paper, than it is to delete ideas from the brain. Unfortunately once you've come up with an insane thought, it likes to hang around for a while. Usually by the time you can get rid of it you've done a whole slew of things you wish you hadn't. Or you're holding a bowl of ice cream and an 'A' paper, and you realize you should have insane thoughts more often.

Ain't life a crazy little conundrum?

Ah, but we love it anyway.