The Not-So-New-Anymore Semester

So I started classes and I'm officially settled into the apartment. I'm still trying to find the right groove for everything I'm doing this semester, but it's coming slowly. Here's a quick summarization of my opinions regarding my classes:

  • ELang 322 Modern American Usage: This class is actually really cool and deals with the English language and how it's used. It's for my Editing minor and I really like it. I always think of Grandma and her love of semantics--she'd love this class! I'll definitely have to tell her all about the cool things I'm learning. One of my textbooks for this class is the Webster's Usage Dictionary and I love it! This class definitely takes work, but it's not overload.
  • Bio100 Biology: Um, I think I'll pretty much hate this class. Believe it or not actually, I do think biology is an interesting science and probably my favorite out of the sciences, but the way the Bio 100 class is set up and taught, I feel like we're being treated like middle or high schoolers. (Not that there's anything wrong with middle or high schoolers, but I'm done with that). We have weekly TA labs (like in most large GE classes) but they call them "Small Discussion Group Sections" which sounds like a bunch of fluff to me and almost all of our assignments are done in teams. We have to write this huge research paper in teams and I feel like I'm back in high school. I've decided though to stop complaining and just stick it out. (However, can I just vent for a moment about the fact that in my textbook, which we couldn't buy used and can't sell back by the way, had a paragraph that started like this: "One of the final things to mention about evolution." That's it. Who edited this book anyway?? Anyone in their right English mind would know that's not a complete sentence. Sorry, just had to get that out there).
  • RelC431 Doctrines of the Gospel: I really like this class. It basically takes doctrines of the church and puts them into context of the Plan of Salvation and we use all four standard works to understand concepts like The Nature of the Godhead, The Nature of Truth, etc. It's really good and I feel the Spirit so strongly in that class. It's easy, but so rewarding!
  • Engl291 British Literary History 1: I really like this class too. It deals with British literature up until the 1500s, so we cover a lot, but I like it. It's one of those survey classes so we barely touch the surface of things, but I still like it. Right now we're in the middle of medieval literature so that's kind of weird and it's a lot of reading, but I like the class.
  • Engl293 American Literary History: I like this class too. It's a night class, so it's only once a week, but it's pretty good. It's a smaller class (unlike my British Lit lecture class) so there's a lot more discussion. If I space out the readings over the week, it's not so bad, however the 2 1/2 hour block on Thursdays can get kind of long sometimes. (Note: it gets out at 7:40, so that's perfect for making it back to my apartment in time for "The Office" which premiers on Thursday!!!)
  • Music321R: This is just the non-audition, non-major orchestra and I love it! We don't sound good now, but hopefully that will change as the semseter goes on. I really just love playing and especially in such a laid back atmosphere. I'm taking it with my friend Erica, so that also makes it more fun as well.
So apart from class, I'm volunteering in the Publication Lab in the library because I want to and because I need a semester project for my usage class, I'm volunteering again at the Slate Canyon Youth Detention Center, I'm an FHE mom this year, Katelyn and I go to the gym 3-4 times a week, and I'm working, so I'm pretty busy all around. I'm slowly finding ways to make it all work. I'm actually really enjoying the gym; Katelyn and I joined 24 Hour Fitness and so far we're quite please with everything. It's cheap, there are no contracts, and the facilities are nice. I don't feel like a moron when I go to work out, which for me is huge. We started weights this week and put in some cardio as well, so I feel pretty accomplished and gross when I'm done!

I like my ward a lot. They're nice and older, but still fun. One of the things I actually really like is that we don't have ward prayer on Sunday nights; instead we have Tuesday Night Dessert Night which is pretty fun and doesn't take up your Sunday nights. I'm still getting to know people, but I'm starting to feel like I fit in so that's always a good feeling.

Tonight I'm playing the hermit card and staying in. I just got back from work about 45 minutes ago (it's about 8:10 now) because we had the Physics Homecoming Alumni dinner so we all had to stay late. Katelyn is going to hang out with her friend Viktoria, and Stacy and Julie went to the Spectacular, so it's just me and I'm more than okay with that. I've been sick with a cold all week and I have some around-the-house things I need to do, so I think I'll pop in a movie and relax a bit while still be semi-productive. I want to get to bed a bit earlier than usual tonight because I want to officially squash this cold and I haven't been getting too much sleep this week. I'm hoping all my weeks won't be as crazy as this one, so we'll see. I did have a lot of meetings for various reasons all week and normally it won't be like that so I'll see how next week goes. It kind of freaks me out that midterms start in only a couple of weeks--I don't feel ready to take tests yet!!

Well, I'm off to do some ironing and winding down, but before I sign off, here are some pictures for your enjoyment!

Okay, so this is our "desk" where we put stuff including a printer, lamp, and file holders. There are also a couple of shelves below where we put our textbooks.

This is the view of our room from the bathroom door and it pretty much includes everything. To the right of the picture is our closet and to the left is the door. Pretty much that's it.

This is our vanity area. The mirror I found at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and we each have a drawer in which we keep our makeup and hair things. I love the lamp there and it's a nice little place to get ready in the morning. (I hope you enjoy my own tired self in the mirror ;) )

This is part of our bathroom.

These are the wall stickers Katelyn found that we think look like bubbles on our wall. We like it for our bathroom.

This is our kitchen. To the right of the picture is our washer and dryer.

This is our living room. We want to get a floor lamp to give the place a bit more ambiance and we're going to paint and hang that mirror someday soon. The footlocker is an excellent coffee table and storage area!

This is probably one of my favorite parts of the whole apartment: the minutiae wall. Mom made the memo board for my birthday and we arranged everything on our first day here. I love the whole wall because it's a great place to put pictures, reminders, flyers, and everything really. I also love "minutiae" above everything--it makes me happy. :)


The Hate Text Message

Okay, so I know it's been a while since I've posted and I'll do a separate post of my assessment of the semester, but I just have to tell this story. So yesterday I got this text message from a number I didn't recognize and all it said was "Revelations 22:18." So, Katelyn had her Bible with her and looked up the reference and thinking that maybe it was some inspirational verse to edify my day, I was sorely mistaken when Katelyn read aloud: "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book." Whoa. Putting this into some kind of context, it seemed to be a very condemning verse I'm assuming based on the fact that I'm LDS and that this person (whoever it is) is referring to the Book of Mormon.

When I got home that afternoon I loooked up the area code, hoping to find something enlightening about who it could be (I texted them back and just asked who it was, but I never heard back) and the area code (505) was from New Mexico. This didn't help me in the slightest. I was online a little later messaging Rachelle and recounting my tale of the Hate Text and she provided me with something very illuminating (normally I'd just let something like this slide and not worry about it, but after this bit of information my curiosity about it all was piqued), but in order for this to make sense, here's a bit of history.

Over the summer, I dated this guy Jon (the guy in the Little Mermaid pictures) and he's not LDS, but at the end of the summer we agreed to not keep dating and I gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon. We're pretty similar in our basic beliefs of Christ and such, so that was a nice way in which we could relate and we'd had a few in depth conversations about what I believe etc. This school year, he was accepted to this school called 24/7 which sounds like a fundamentalist type of institution, one which I wouldn't be surprised if (and almost expect) anti-Mormon propaganda to be taught. This is not good.

Back to the story...

The first thing I thought of when I received that text message (and the first thing Katelyn, Rachelle, my mom, and Emily thought) was this school. When you look at it, it would be pretty bizarre for someone to just randomly text a phone number this reference and have that person be LDS. Probably not a coincidence, right? Anyway, I was messaging Rachelle and she mentioned that Jon's new friend at this school is from New Mexico. Ah...now it all seems to be falling into place. The connections just seem too odd to be purely coincidential now. So I called the number. Surprisingly someone answered, but I was really confused because whoever answered was speaking in a very affected Texas accent and rambling on and on about something and then ended by saying "I must have the wrong number" (he must have the wrong number?!?! I was the one who called!!) and hung up. Weird. I called again about 45 minutes and was able to leave a voice message (by the way, the voice on the answering machine had a slight Texas twang, but nothing like he was talking when he answered) and all I said was "Hi, my name is Charlotte and I received a text message from this number a little while ago and was just wondering who this is. Obviously you have my number, so you can just text or call. Thanks, bye!" I kept my voice very casual and polite, but I probably won't hear back.

Point of this whole story being 1) that's just weird and 2) it's scary to me how strongly the Adversary can deceive and distort. I'm hoping that Jon wasn't involved in this happening, but I just don't know. He's been weird to me on the phone ever since he got there and I just hope that the Spirit can touch him in a way so that he's not deceived. The actual message itself doesn't really bother me and I laugh at that part of it (I do enjoy calling it a Hate Text), but what bothers me is that one of my good friends is probably involved and obviously deceived. That's what's sad and disturbing. I don't feel threatened myself, but I hate to see Satan work in those I care about. It's frightening yet unsurprising to see how far he'll go to discount truth.


feeling chaotic and disconnected (translation: this post will be long and potentially disconnected like my mind)

So I realized I haven't posted in almost 2 weeks, but honestly this last week was one of the craziest of my life. Here's a quick recap to be followed immediately by short anecdotes and moving sagas.
  • My last day of work was the 22nd
  • The next day (Thursday) I went to the zoo with Rachelle, Ben, and Jon followed by a picnic in the park, and seeing "Hairspray"
  • My birthday was awesome! (Thank you notes should be winging their way toward their intended recipients this week)
  • I packed
  • I moved
  • I'm still unpacking and trying to make order of complete moving chaos
So after I finished work, I was able to take a couple of days and relax and hang out with friends and I started hardcore packing on Tuesday (mind that's only 2 days before I left--I cut it kind of short). The first order of update business: my birthday. My birthday was on a Sunday this year and normally I go on some kind of shopping trip for the occasion, so this year the shopping excursion happened on the preceding Friday. It was a little more low key than in previous years; I went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and treated myself to a dock for my iPod, went to the Sketcher's store and bought the pair of shoes I've been coveting for months and months, and went to Forever 21, leaving that store with 3 new items of cute clothing. It was most successful!

My actual birthday day was pretty mellow and laid back. I slept in a little bit, had my signature Froot Loops for my birthday breakfast, and then the day got a little more interesting. Rachelle was asked by a lady in our stake to come and ask questions as an investigator to the Relief Society (which I thought overall the whole situation was weird), but it went over okay--better than I thought! Then I headed over to my friend Chris's house because it was his farewell and such so I stopped by to say bye and to chat for a while. We had my birthday dinner, cake, and just hung out for the rest of the day. I received many exciting presents, a few of which came from fellow bloggers! Thanks so much! I'll be sending out thank you cards this week. One of the funny things though was Grandma made the wrong cake; I always have yellow cake with white fluffy frosting but much to my surprise when Mom passed me my piece of cake it was chocolate! I love chocolate cake so it wasn't a big deal and I didn't say anything, but I did think it was funny. :)

I started packing only a few days before I left so it was a busy few days but I got most of it (after making my new bed last night, I realized I left my blanket at home--I expect a package to be coming soon with odds and ends I left behind). We drove out to Provo on Thursday and settled into the hotel and then headed over to my new apartment and boy was I in for a surprise. I honestly don't know what I was thinking six months ago. We really didn't look too closely on anything--this is probably the smallest room ever and the smallest apartment. Good grief. The only way to have the beds in the room is to have them bunked and the bunk beds that were there when I first brought in my stuff were completely dysfunctional. The lower bunk (the one I'm sleeping on) had only about 2 feet in between the mattress and the top bunk so it was like a cave and I would probably have gotten a concussion getting in and out everyday. Fortunately Mom, being the concerned parent, called the landlord and voiced her concerns, so last night they brought in a new bed so now I will no longer have to dwell in a cave. I wish I would have taken a picture because I don't know if I can convey the retardedness of this bed.

The past couple of days have been so busy and so chaotic I've almost lost my mind a few times. I've woken up early and then proceeded to run errands, unpack, try and figure out how to fit everything in the room, and start things off with the new roommates on a good note. I wasn't sure how things would pan out with the new roommates (Julie and Stacy, both juniors), but after a good dinner and conversation with them tonight, I don't think we'll have any major problems. I just want to get settled enough to start normal life. Katelyn and I still have a lot to do with the room, but we'll work on it tomorrow and hopefully it will be fully functional by the time classes start.

In regards to my work schedule, I only wanted to work 15 hours this week, because working 20 last year was just too hard, but Nan (my boss) said that she needed everyone to work 20. My thoughts after that were to keep this job until I could find another one that would let me work less. However when Nan started plugging in my hours according to when she needed me and my own school schedule, it ended up I'm only working 17, so that's a good hour compromise and I have Tuesdays and Thursdays completely off. We'll see how it goes when I actually start, but it's looking good and I definitely didn't want to look for a new job.

So today I found out I left my camera cord at home, so that should be back to me with my blanket hopefully later this week. Point being, I can't upload pictures right now, but I'll do that ASAP!

P.S.--An additional housesitting compensation update: when I got my check in the mail a couple days later, she gave me $150 instead of the $50 I asked for--score! With that extra (I called again just to make sure she didn't misunderstand), I feel like she wasn't offended or anything by my phone call--all is well!
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