Friday, August 27, 2010

My mother called herself a Retard... does that make me a retard Jr.?

We all have areas where we feel inferior to someone who is perhaps more skilled in that category. My younger brother is much more skilled at the Piano than I am, and my friend Kaelynn is a far better runner. When it comes to math, I feel like a second grader could succeed more so than myself. But likewise, If someone wants a portrait drawn or a batch of cookies whipped up, I'm confident I can do so with the end result being satisfactory. Fact. No one likes to feel stupid. No one likes to feel like a "retard". ... Retard? We throw this phrase around so loosely as an insult towards someone that has done something dumb. I'll admit I've done it before, I think most of us have, but how correct is this statement? I do not think anyone really means offense by it, they are just saying they are performing less adequately then they should.It's very unfortunate that that connection is made to those with "special needs". Something has dawned on me recently. I think that those that are diagnosed with retardation, are not retarded at all but rather everyone else that is considered normal, are the ones that perform less adequately. look at the way those with down syndrome treat the people around them. They are kind, and happy. They don't dwell on the imperfections of the world but rather grasp what's truly important, people, joy, ect. and when they aren't happy, they do not stay upset for long. Imagine how wonderful the world would be if we were all like that! I recently saw video about a remarkable medical mystery regarding a girl with severe autism. She throws tantrums, slaps her surroundings and is not even able to speak or communicate, until one day she sits at a computer and types. She types beautifully worded and intelligent thoughts to communicate how she feels. She explains that she is a prisoner to her body, and though she knows right from wrong, she cannot control her impulses. Carly, this remarkable autistic girl explains that her brain is wired differently than others, it appears to me that she is in fact, far more superior to the average person intellectually and because of this, It's too much for her mind and body to handle. She has extreme sensitivity to sounds, smells, taste, and touch, it's like mental overload. If I were able to be aware of all the conversations, sounds, and smells around me at once, I'm sure I'd go crazy too! I read a journal entry I'd written last fall while at school after I'd observed a blind man on campus. one day I was sitting in a building trying to figure out a math problem. In walked a blind man whom I'd seen around campus a lot. He was a music major, and from what I've heard is very talented. He had a walking stick but as I watched him, I noticed he hardly used it at all. It was incredible! I sat in awe as he weaved himself between the tables to take his seat. He did not even stumble. In my mind I recalled how I'd run into a chair on my way through that very same route earlier. I continued to do my math and began getting frustrated with what I was doing, I put my head in my hands and tried to calm down. Then I looked up. The blind man was staring at me. I know he couldn't SEE me, but he was looking directly at me tables away. And then, he smiled. I don't know what he was smiling about, But it felt like he was smiling at me. In a world so busy, I found it ironic that sometimes I can feel invisible to those around me, and here I was left with the impression that this blind man, was the only one who was aware I was there. Perhaps it was with his acute hearing that he heard me sigh or softly groan in frustration, but the fact of the matter was he was lacking the most obvious senses in which most people notice others, and yet he knew I was there. Normally, it's easy to think that I have an unfair advantage to those that are blind, because I can see however, it's with this experience that I can't help but conclude that blind people do in fact see more than I do, just not with their eyes. People in general are simply amazing, but I've begun to admire so much more those that we cast aside as disabled. I make mistakes, we all do, but frankly if someone wants to call me retarded I do not believe I am worthy of such a compliment. I'm currently an Art education major, but I think I've realized that what I really want to do is work with the special education department. Thoughts? Who knows, maybe this is just a phase but we'll see how it all turns out. Here is the link to that video I mentioned. Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jq--75v4lI8

Tuesday, August 3, 2010



Natalie: What do you want for dinner?
Me: corndogs.
Natalie: there's only 2 left.
Me: That's okay, I only need one.
Natalie: How about Spaghetti?
Me: I hate spaghetti.
Natalie: great! We're having Spaghetti!

Thus is my life.

20 minutes later.... My mom and Natalie bring Spaghetti noodles up from the basement. I kindly take them (and put them in my shirt, desperate times call for desperate measures)

10 minutes later...
Me: Mom, I really don't want spaghetti.
Mom:That's fine, you don't have to have spaghetti.
Me: If I take the Spaghetti noodles out of my shirt can I trust you won't make Spaghetti?
Mom: Yes.
Me: Then why is there water boiling?
Mom: Because I'm making spaghetti.
Me: Then I'm not taking the spaghetti noodles out of my shirt :)
Mom: Ok, then you can explain to everyone at Dairy Queen why you have spaghetti noodles in your shirt.

Fail. (touche mom, touche) Score: Mom: 1 point. Natalie: 1 point. Valerie: 0 points.

5 minutes later..
Natalie walks in the room.
Natalie: Mom, where's the spaghetti?!
Mom: I don't have time to make it..
Me: MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA BECAUSE IT'S STILL IN MY SHIRT MUAHAHAHAHAHA
Natalie: Mom, you have failed!

current score: Mom: 1 point. Natalie: 1 point and Valerie:10 POINTS!!! The world is mine!!!

10 minutes later...
(Me: Mom, i need that picture you took for my blog.
Mom: oh here, now you can download it.
Mom proceeds to pull a whole camera and downloading cord out of her purse! Who does that?! And what else does she have hidden in that tiny purse?! only a mom... only a mom.)


After i download the picture:
Me: Dang I look naaaasty in this picture.
Mom: Yes you do!
Thanks mom... thanks.
current score Mom: 1 point. Natalie: 1 point. Valerie: 9 points (-1 for unattractive photo :) Again... thus is my life.

5 minutes later a girl in the ward that i don't know shows up for Beehives. My mom introduces us as such...
Mom: This is my daughter Valerie. She's 19 and goes to BYU-Idaho, she's just home for the break. and yes, that IS 2 lbs of spaghetti noodles under her shirt.
Me: Now you are just trying to rank up your points!
well done mom... 5 points.

5 minutes later, Steven comes home.
Steven: Why is Valerie's chest in a rectangular shape?
Me: Why do you gotta point it out?! ... i didn't want spaghetti for dinner.
Steven: oh! okay :) (makes sense)... Steven doesn't like spaghetti either. Win :)

I know what you are thinking... (actually, hopefully you have better things to think about... but if not..) you are are thinking what did they end up having for dinner?!
Mommy made corndogs :) (2 points Valerie) and a yummy spinach salad!
...wait... you like salad?! so do I !!! here's the recipe, it's a must try

Summer Spinach salad (compliments to Lisa Slarks)
1 small package slivered almonds
1/4 cup sugar
cook together until sugar coated.
2 large bunches of spinach, cleaned
2 cans mandarin oranges, drained
Sliced red onion
fresh fruits- strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, raspberries or grapes!

mix dressing in blender-
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp paprika
6 TBls grated red onion
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Dry mustard
3/4 cup canola oil
1-2 Tbs poppy seeds

current score: Mom: 6 points. Natalie: 1 measly point! Valerie: 11 points and a corndog. Yes.
I think I'll take the spaghetti noodles out of my shirt now...

Sometimes it's okay to eat ice cream and run.

Often, we look back on "easier" times in our lives and think, "remember those days when all I had to worry about was...". Come on, we all do it. When I was in fifth grade I'd look back and remember the good ol' days when my biggest concern was if I'd finish playing barbies in time to catch my favorite episode of Rugrats. When I was in High school and was working 2 jobs thinking life couldn't get harder, I'd look back to the days of middle school when I could finish all my homework in class and played with friends everyday. And now that I am in college, I envy the days when I actually had a job and could finish my homework before going to sleep at a decent hour. It was at a young age that I realized after graduating from high school, comes college and after college comes real life (and taxes!) and it just continues to get harder until you die. Wherever we are in the journey, we want to be at that next step, and then once we get there, we miss the past when things were simpler. I think we can all agree that we always want what we can't have, and once we have it, it loses its appeal. Now I'm not in school until september and knowing what I now know, I'm uneasy about what's to come. I currently go to sleep at 2 and wake up at 10, get stressed when my work outs don't reap results or am overwhelmed with frustration when I burn my baking endeavors. I miss my boyfriend and am not getting as many hours at Dairy Queen as i'd like, but since I know that it only gets harder from here, I think I'm doing a much better job of appreciating the trials I'm facing at this point in my life. It's only going to get crazier when school starts and on top of needing to work, being concerned with my grades and health... something is clear. Everything works out. always. Not always in the way that is ideal or convenient, but always in a way that is manageable. I have a heavenly father who is mindful of me and how frustrated I am when I gain a pound or bomb a test, and though sometimes I want to be upset, the fact remains that I know despite shortcomings, he is still mindful of me. I can't pout when I know everything will always work out! it's hardly fair ;) I once heard a quote in a movie that said "I've done some research, and statistics show that 10 out of 10 people...die. So really, why worry?" ...why worry. It's ok. It's hard to bomb a test, you studied so hard for, so cry. dwell for a few minutes, go for a walk to calm down (or bake cookies if you are me) and then move on! because mourning the lost success will not change the outcome. Yesterday I woke up, went for a run and ate ice cream. I watched a movie with my friend, and then worked out some more because I felt guilty about eating the ice cream. I love baking and since I took a culinary class suddenly think that I'm just naturally going to be good at it. I decided to make eclairs (easier said than done). After trying to get the batter correct for an hour, I was called into work, and burned the eclairs. I cried. I was frustrated, felt inadequate and very unaccomplished. So after work, I ate more ice cream! (and here i wonder why i'm not losing weight haha) but ya know what? This morning the craziest thing happened... the sun rose! It's true! The world kept turning, the newspaper man still dropped off the paper, and my eclairs were still burned. This is what I learned. Sometimes the eclairs are going to burn. Sometimes it's ok to eat ice cream and run. Because despite whatever happens on one day, the next day is a chance for a fresh start. Just because I don't know how to long divide well, doesn't mean that tomorrow I can't learn to do long division well! It's a beautiful thing. This post ended up being a lot longer and more random then I intended so for that i apologize... maybe I should take my own advice and save it for the journal! With that being said, I think I'll go work out :)