Sunday, September 06, 2009

day of rest...

(this is a long, potentially boring post. it's purpose: to inform friends, family and distant relations of my current situation, and to give reason for my seeming disappearance from the world.) 

i love sundays when i'm in school. by the time today (sunday) rolled around, i thought i might die of exhaustion. how blessed, this day of rest!

i honestly do not know how it is physically possible to do all that i'm expected to do this semester. it's only been a week and i feel like i'm in way over my head. 

here's what i've been up to:

yes, i'm 24, and yes, i bought a leotard, tights and pink ballet slippers last week. i have always wanted to be a ballerina. i was planning on auditing this class (meaning i get to take the class without having to take tests, do assignments, or even show up if i don't want to... but i also don't get credit, which i'm okay with since i probably have too much of it) but i recently learned that i won't be able to move onto the next level of ballet (and the next, and the next...) unless i take this class for real. that means i have to fully participate, and attend a ballet, and learn about a hundred french words. and since i plan on actually becoming a ballerina finally, i have to ensure that i can take the next class. 

political science
i've heard people call this class "Poli. Sci. 666" which frightens me. apparently it's hard. it's a writing class combined with political science and statistics. we write, and write, and write, and write, and analyze things. my first paper is due this wednesday, and there's one due every week after that. i think i've read more about grammar in the last week than i have in the rest of my life. it's going to nearly kill me, and i can't wait. i'm scared, but i've heard this class makes you a dang good writer. a writer that knows better than to say stuff like "dang good."

the second year begins... this class takes a new approach to learning arabic. now they basically tell us that the responsibility to learn arabic rests on our shoulders. we don't have to turn anything in. ever. but we have at least two hours of homework to do each day. we're graded on the time we put in, and how effective it is (based on our speaking ability). it's completely up to us though. no one cares how many assignments i've done; all that matters is that when i get off the plane in cairo next summer, i'll be able to get myself an apartment... in arabic. (by the way, we were planning on a four-month study abroad to Amman, Jordan next summer, but they have gone and switched locations on us, and now it's Al-Qahira (cairo)! i can't wait. as far as personal interest, this class is by far the most important to me. i love it, and i love having an egyptian teacher this semester. 

middle eastern history (till 1800)
this class is taught by a man who speaks arabic, greek and latin. i love it, but there's a lot of reading. i was late in registering for it, and subsequently have an entire book to read before tuesday. history isn't my strong point, and i'm nervous about this class. i have a hard time retaining historical information when i read 100 pages of it in a day, and i'm not too keen on writing research papers, which this class also consists of. so, hopefully i'll at least find myself a good study group or something. 

also known as persian... farsi is spoken in iran, afghanistan, and tajikistan. i fell in love with persians (iranians) on my mission (namely koorosh, farnoosh, afsar, and soraya) and even begged my mission president (on my knees) to be able to learn farsi on my mission. he consented, and then i realized it would take more than a farsi book of mormon to learn it. but alas! i now have the resources! it's been a long time coming, but here i am. apparently byu offers 4 classes in farsi, and i plan on taking all of them. i wish i could just learn languages as a major. why must i learn history and politics? this class is amazing. it's taught by a persian married couple (mary and hooshang). they're probably in their 60s and they are hilarious. i seriously laugh through the whole class. oh, and they bring us snacks so we don't fall asleep. i love them. luckily, the alphabet is similar to arabic (there are four extra letters in farsi) but as far as vocabulary and language structure... completely different. farsi is indo-european, whereas arabic is semitic. interesting, isn't it?

writings of isaiah
i registered for this one late too, but i'm just auditing it, so i'm really not behind. it's taught by ann madsen, and she is a brilliant woman. i'm so excited about this class and can't wait to get back into the old testament. it's been a while (since jerusalem) since i've really gotten into it, and i miss it. 


besides byu classes, i'm also taking a "middle eastern dance" class (think belly dance) through the covey arts center here in provo. my friend from the jerusalem center (stephanie) is taking it with me, and i am so excited! i'm mainly looking forward to the recital which will be held on november 4th. it should be very funny. i'm also an officer in the middle eastern studies and arabic club here at byu. i'm excited about that too. we get to plan awesome functions, such as hosting The Honorable Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein, Jordanian Ambassador to the United States next wednesday. he's giving a lecture on campus about US-Jordanian diplomatic relations. should be good. i'm also hoping to become an arabic tutor through this club, and getting a more advanced student to be my tutor. give a little, get a little, right?


well, that's the update on my life as of now. it's insane. i have had a couple days where i honestly had no time to eat lunch or dinner... i've learned now to have like four granola bars, apples and oranges in my bag at all times.

my main goal this semester? find the truth in the statement, "what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger." it'll be a long semester. w'al-hamdalallah! 

i'll see you all at christmas.



  1. WOW! Sounds crazy. BYU was such a stressful time, but oh, so wonderful. I took Ann Madsen for Isaiah, too. She's actually friends with both sets of my grandparents. Have fun! There's no other time in life like it. I'm in such a different stage right now, but it is fun remembering back to those times.

  2. Anonymous9/06/2009

    oooh, sounds busy. enjoy it. this is the craziness you will miss when you are done.

    and i was so excited to hear about your closet office venture, and it reaffirms my decision to go ahead with ours as planned. thanks for sharing.

    ooh, and post some pictures if you think of it, i would love to be inspired by your space. we would have to remove our closet door to make room for the chair as well and i'd love to see that in action!

  3. i miss you. i wont see you at christmas, so that means you should email me.

  4. holy moly you are busy! sounds like you've got lots of fun classes, though. good luck!

  5. i've already booked november 4th off so i can attend your belly dancing recital. do you wear your getup to class?
    is there a ballet recital? i'd like to go to that too.
    you can just major in a language, can't you?
    where is cario? is that a country?

  6. haha, brittany, in response:
    -i'm glad you're coming to the recital.
    -yes, i wear my getup to class (genie pants and hip-janglers) it's awesome.
    -no, there isn't a ballet recital, but ill show you my moves if you want.
    -you CAN major in just a language, but you can't do just arabic at BYU. it has to go along with religion, history and political science.
    -cairo is the biggest city in the middle east. it's is egypt.