Tag Archives: slc

Photography Fridays

So on Wednesday I saw that the mountains looked really nice, and so did the sky during sunset. Why is that? The gross inversion that envelops the city every year. Let’s admit it. It looks pretty but it’s a killer. Since I couldn’t leave campus after 5PM due to work, I snagged my camera and took pictures of the mountain ranges to the west and to the south. I’m glad I did. I found out that I wasn’t the only one wanting to take pictures- a few other people were doing it, too!

Please do not repost this image. Copyright belongs to me.
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Christmas Party!

My RA decided to throw a holiday party today. It starts in about an hour, and I’m waiting for the friend I invited to get here. She texted me that she’d be here at 6. I’ve got to text her after this post.
For the holiday party, there’s going to be a white elephant game being played. It had to be between $5-$10. I’m anticipating getting a gag gift… My hopes aren’t too high for a roomful of college students. I, however, can give handmade gifts, and a handmade gift it is!
I made the Brain Waves Beanie from Liz McQueen. It was quick and only took a day of doing absolutely nothing and watching Cake Boss to make this guy. I elongated the pattern because I like a little slouch. It’s red, white, and black, the colors of my university. I wasn’t thinking, “Hey, these colors are the university’s colors!” At all. Seriously. But it worked out perfectly!
I’ve got a little turret from the Portal series (anyone play that?) modelling my hat. His name is Mrs. Nesbitt, and he had a change of heart. No longer will he shoot whenever something moves. Mrs. Nesbitt models hats now! It’s fashionable, didn’t you know?
I don’t hate you…
 
I ended up wrapping the hat in newspaper. I get free newspapers in the dorms, so I’m dubbing newspapers “college kid wrapping paper” because it’s so inexpensive!
Go make this beanie! It’ll look super nice.

Thinking about my future again

For my City as Text class, we went on a walk around the Normandie Heights AKA Harvard Yale neighborhood. My group decided to go back there after the Miller Bird Refuge excursion because we really loved the houses around it. My reason for going back was to look at the houses. In another post, I posted some pictures of the houses in the general area. Brick houses are something I’m fond of. New England brick houses are even better. I found some spectacular looking houses.

Looking at these houses got me thinking about my future again. I’m usually not one to fantasize about my future in too much detail because I’d rather not be disappointed when my future does happen and it’s not what I imagined. But this neighborhood… It’s someplace I’d like to live. Maybe not right away, but it’s something to work up to. I see my future going a little bit like I’m living in an apartment initially, because that’s all I can afford. Work, pay rent, and be happy in my own little apartment. Someone moves in with me, helps pay for rent, and we exist peacefully in that little apartment. Then I get married. I probably won’t move from apartment dwellings right away. But then future husband and I get dogs. A Corgi and a Golden Retriever, and we need our own house with a backyard and plenty of running space for the dogs. I can start to garden. I’ve always wanted to garden. Grow my own and eat fresh veggies. Anyway, start off in a small house. Or maybe I’ll get one of those big houses right away, so then I won’t have to move and leave my garden behind. And when I have kids, we’ll live in a nice house already.

I’ve spent more and more time recently thinking about my future. And I don’t mind this at all. It makes me feel more secure. Makes me feel like I have something to look forward to. Best thing? I do.

ESLC orientation training complete!

Back in September, when I was wandering the job fair, I came across a booth. “ESLC,” it said, stating that its goal was to teach English to refugees in Salt Lake County. I talked to the woman there for a bit, picked up a flyer, and signed up for it. I paid the $45 fee after sitting down and talking it through with my parents. They said it was my choice how to spend my money, and if I wanted to pay the $45 for this, I could.

Well, $45 is a lot of money for a student with no job and trying to live off of what allowance is allotted to her. I decided to take the plunge. ESLC asked for a minimum of 100 hours commitment, approximately 6 months. The woman told me that after those 100 hours, they could write me a recommendation letter for the JET program. That’s what I want to do after college. One hundred hours for a program I’m not even going to go on for another three years? Forty-five dollars for a letter?

That better be a damn good letter, I thought, and decided to make the commitment to stay with the ESLC all 4 years. It’s my personal commitment, and it’ll help me for what I want to do with my life.

Last Saturday and today I attended the orientation, and it was brutal. Their usual orientations were on Tuesday and Thursday, 3 hours long, for 2 weeks. I can’t make Tuesday and Thursday because of classes. So I signed up for the Saturday orientation. I learned that meant 7 hours at the ESLC center from 9-4, learning as much as I could about teaching English to emergent speakers. I learned about the various methods I could use, what levels the students may be at, and what I could anticipate. I learned that lesson planning stresses me out, but that it should get better with time. I learned that despite the fact I’m very much a one-on-one person, I can’t do one-on-one because I’m not comfortable going into someone else’s home. I learned helping others gain their US citizenship, or teaching in a small group, is something I can do. I learned that the people at the ESLC are there to help, and they’re willing to accommodate.

All of that, during a 12 hour orientation held over two days, I learned.

I found out that I didn’t stress out over learning all of this. Usually, when I learn a lot of information without having time to digest, I started freaking out. How would I organize myself? Am I going to remember this knowledge? The fact I didn’t majorly stress out may mean that I am actually dedicated enough to calm myself down.

At the end of the orientation, it was an immense feeling of relief to not have to go anymore. It was also a relief to get the cheesy little certificate for finishing the training. I am now able to teach English to refugees as a volunteer with the ESLC. I’m taking a step in the right direction. I can rest knowing that I am helping myself  grow right now and I’m setting myself up for my future. This piece of paper is cheesy and is probably insignificant to most other people, but to me, this is a piece of paper with a lot of meaning. I’m going somewhere.

 

First snowy day!

The Huntsman Center in all its snow-covered glory!
 
This is kind of a big deal for me. Having lived in Florida, Hawaii, and Nevada, I’ve only seen snow when I visited Mt. Charleston (when the snow is hard and packed), when I went to Park City for winter break (but it wasn’t the first snow), and the one freak time in Nevada that resulted in a snow day but it didn’t snow since. The other few times it snowed in Nevada, I was in California. So those days don’t count for me.
When I woke up this morning, I looked out my window. It’s a habit. Usually gives me an idea of how to dress up. And I saw snow. Actual, honest snow with snowflakes (hail, some people called it, because it wasn’t flaky, but it turned into snow later) outside my window. I took my camera with me while I walked around. It’s not every day you get to see beautiful snow like this, and I think there’s something to be said about the first snow of the year.
I’m the only ‘foreigner’ in my room, meaning I’m the only one who lived somewhere else prior to coming to college. One of my roommates looked disappointed because she couldn’t wear what she wanted to that day. Another said, “Oh, it’s going to be one of those years.”
…’Those years’????
The TRAX station
 
I had a moment to myself to evaluate some of my thinking, while I was doing an assignment for my IT class. I realized how important it is to carry around a camera with you in your daily life, because you never know when you’ll see something beautiful. Sure, if you don’t have a camera, you’ll take a picture with your mind. But do you know how faulty the mind can be? It’ll start putting in details that weren’t originally there or you’ll forget things. In pictures, everything is exactly as it was when the picture was taken. Nothing’s changed. I should start carrying my camera around more often. I don’t give a crap what the other students think. I like taking pictures. So I’ll keep taking pictures while I still can, because those are important to me.
I will leave off with some more pictures! Enjoy.

Miller Bird Refuge

For a class, a group of friends and I hopped on a bus and went to the Harvard Yale neighborhood. We got lost trying to find it (and then as we came out of the Refuge we found out that the spot where we got off was the true entrance of the park). However, it was a beautiful place! Especially since it was all decked out in fall colors and the leaves blanketed the paths.

We were right next to Red Butte Creek, and the stream gurgled very happily the entire time.
You know, despite being called the Miller Bird Refuge, we only heard birds the last fourth of our walk. A friend speculated it was because the birds had all gone south, if they knew what was good for them.
I took a ton of pictures. My mind was actively working the entire time we were there. I’m writing a story, and this seems like a perfect place to draw inspiration from. I think I’ll come back here at one point and take some time to write. This is an absolutely gorgeous place in the fall. I want to see it in winter, spring, and summer. I also want to go back with my boyfriend, N. It seems like the perfect little retreat, and, because I know that he enjoys nature as much as I do, he will appreciate the beauty of this place.
A place I’d like to sit and write.
 
There were very few animals. Only in the last half or so of the walk did we hear birds chirping or see a snake. A snake! My roommate screamed and ran forward, but when we saw the snake, it was this little thing, not a cobra. He was such a cutie, but the only guy in the group went to grab it (probably to see what kind of snake it was), and the poor thing freaked out and tumbled down the hill. I’ve never seen a snake tumble down a hill. It was a little sad.
Near the actual ‘entrance’, there was a random lamp post. I immediately yelled “NARNIA!” and decided I should come back in winter (after it snows) to see how the lamp post looks. I’ll definitely take a picture of it then.
The Harvard Yale neighborhood is actually on the class list for the next walkabout, and I really want to go to this neighborhood. It has gorgeous architecture, and I’m honestly in love with the style. I’ve always imagined my future to be in a house of a similar design. Brick, quaint, and cute, with ivy on the sides and a nice enough yard to have a garden. Some of the houses were one story, some were two. They all had the same style, but the design was just different enough from house to house that it didn’t seem cookie cutter at all! Much different from my neighborhood in Nevada.
Aren’t they beautiful? Someone did bring up a good point, though. She loves these houses, but she probably wouldn’t be able to live in them because they’re so small. In my opinion, I’d stay in the smaller houses initially, but when my family grows, a slightly larger house (like the first two) would be best. But having to clean a two story house sounds like a lot of work… Let’s see, shall we? These is the kind of house I see myself in, living with my husband, two dogs, and my kids, while gardening and being very peaceful. I’m idealizing my life, I know. But what a life that would be.

Nightmare on 13th

Today, a group of friends and I went to Nightmare on 13th, a haunted house on 1300 S and (I think) 300 E. It was super fun! Except I don’t scare easily, so I ended up being ‘protector’ to the ones who were easily scared.

Nightmare on 13th was very entertaining, and much better than Las Vegas’ Fright Dome. Admittedly, both of them relied on jump-scares, but the Nightmare actors were much more well hidden, so it was more difficult to see them. In addition, they employed all sorts of lighting and different techniques to provide scares. One of the places had a red light, and it was impossible to see the sides of the room. Hidden at the sides were actors who went up and down, only to pop out at random places to scare the person. Then there were mazes, with actors in the mazes who would scare people if they came by. It was really, really, good. Fright Dome used strobe lights as their main scare factor, but all it succeeded in doing (for me) was giving me an eyeache and headache.
Overall, it was enjoyable haunted house! Much better than Fright Dome. I enjoyed it very much.