مرحبا عليكم!

I study languages.

Thursday, December 31, 2009


I'm a teenage university senior.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Last night I welcomed Christmas Eve with my best friends. We call ourself the Friendship (F-ship for short) and all seven of us have been best friends since junior high (or before). We're kind of a package deal. People know us as a collective unit. In all honesty, these girls are my family. ♥
The night comprised:
- a tumultuous trip to Wal-Mart for last-minute sibling gifts and dramatic New Year's makeup
- the collective purchase of a ridiculous 90s chick flick
- the consuming of many mini oranges (whatever they're called)
- the starting of said '90s flick at 1:30 AM
- the finishing of said '90s flick at 3:30 AM
- plentiful girl talk
- falling asleep on the couch together
- waking up to a beautiful snowfall

Merry Christmas. Thank God for friends as beautiful/wonderful/perfect as mine.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


A survey of the literature for my Evolutionary Psychology and the Arts class, which, now that the booklist is out, promises to be more interesting than I expected.
(p.s., man, i'm blogging up a storm today. these things happen when you have zero pressing engagements.)


It's almost 2 PM, and I'm still in my pajamas with no makeup on. I just built a gingerbread house with my little sister, and snow is falling outside. Once I get ready and shower, I'm heading to Barnes and Noble. Idyllic, eh?

[saw this on fb & had time/the desire to fill it out (!)]

10 things I want for Christmas:
1. No homework/work/obligations of any nature. (Check)
2. My family. (Check)
3. My friends. (Check--except the roomies; I miss you guys!)
4. A spot in section 11 of next semester's physics lab. Come on, someone has to drop it...
5. MCAT prep stuff. Call me boring, and I'll call you impractical.
6. A luscious anthology of short stories.
7. A new purse; mine's getting old.
8. New music
9. New clothes
10. Wall art

9 things I enjoy:
1. Cello, pianos, and violins
2. Soft blankets
3. Peppermint ice cream
4. Red velvet cupcakes
5. Having expendable time
6. Baby laughter
7. Savory crepes
8. Compelling literature
9. Live musicals

8 things I do every day:
1. Compulsively check my e-mail
2. A crossword puzzle
3. My makeup
4. Talk to myself
5. Plan out my day
6. Smile
7. Eat something chocolate (even if it's just one M&M)
8. Facebook (don't pretend you don't)

7 musicians I like:
1. Regina Spektor
2. Bright Eyes (or Conor Oberst alone)
3. Rilo Kiley
4. Ingrid Michaelson
5. Kings of Convenience
6. Postal Service
7. Glee cast!

6 things that will always win my heart:
1. Intelligence
2. Sincerity
3. Wit
4. Musical talent
5. Eloquence
6. Ambition

5 favorite things:
Movie: A Beautiful Mind
Song: The Call (Regina)
Book: The Poisonwood Bible
Food: My mom's chicken enchiladas
Season: Winter

4 smells I enjoy:
1. Vanilla
2. Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies
3. Sunday roast
4. Snow clothes (if you ski, you know what I mean)

3 places I want to go:
1. Antarctica (I'd name a city, but I don't think they have cities)
2. Moscow
3. Mumbai

2 favorite holidays:
1. Thanksgiving
2. Easter

1 person I'd marry on the spot:
1. Taylor Lautner (I kid, I kid...)


I'm not a 13-year-old girl or a 32-year-old shutin, but I do read My Life is Average.
I read it for the same reason I compulsively read blogs written by people I've never met. Think about this: For the first time in the history of the world(!), we have a collective medium in which any person from anywhere can express his or her opinion about anything. Yeah, 90% of people probably should just keep their mouths shut. But that's exactly why I like it. I have a penchant for New Historicism, and I believe the Internet contains some of the most interesting forms of sub-literary cultural expression.

Now that my interest is justified, I can tell you that the only "story" I've ever submitted to MLIA was published! :-) I won't tell you which it is, but I will say that it is one of very few that is grammatically/conventionally perfect. Plus, it's actually funny (and not fake), which is why I submitted it.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Finishing at 101.84%, I top my entire Physics 105 class. Take that, gender-biased pre-med male colleagues who write me off as a scientist because I'm blonde and female. Take that, stupid nerds who yell out obnoxious comments to sound smart in class (please explain this to me; those kids are, without fail, retards, and when I feel particularly vindictive, I love popping their moronic bubbles).

p.s. ooooooooooohhh.

Fascinated, I showed this to my dad. Confused, his only response was, "Why would you do this?"
Because it is awesome, Dad, because it is awesome.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Christmas Break Goals
in any given order, except for number one, whose place at the top of the list assures its importance:

1. Rewatch Season 5 of Lost
2. Finish my book and at least three more
3. Write missionary letters (My poor friends! I write once and they never hear from me again)
4. Finish my plethora of summer research applications (I'm applying to 12-15 universities)
5. Solicit two stellar letters of recommendation
6. Get over this crazy cold (I haven't been sick in years; why start now?)
7. Host a fabulous black tie New Year's event
8. Pick up (and pore over) my new set of textbooks
9. Pick up both Glee soundtracks (or receive them for Christmas*)
10. Reclaim my pre-college dominance on the piano
11. Enjoy sun, shopping, and a basketball tournament in Las Vegas
12. Catch air on a snowmobile over the Continental Divide
13. Practice Arabic so I don't lose what marginal proficiency I've earned
14. Enjoy the holidays with my family :-)

Already started: 1, 2, 6, 14
Already finished: 5, 11

I love Christmas!

* This star denotes a Hint.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


My best idea this semester?
I made a completely anonymous TA evaluation for myself and sent it to my class.

It's both frightening and liberating to see what people REALLY think of you. My first (and favorite) question is "Describe Jessica in one word."

Responses so far (verbatim):

Hmm...perky? I don't think I've ever had that said about me. It's a quality I kind of hate. Maybe it's a result of nerves. I always wanted to film myself teaching so I could see how I sound. Maybe my anxiety comes off as perkiness.

Answers to the other survey questions reveal that I apparently explain things well, grade fairly, and that I'm not annoying. 100% of all respondents replied "Extremely true" to "Jessica cared about me! and "Jessica is a nice person." :-)

Positive comments so far:
"She seemed like she knew what she was talking about/knew the material really well."
"She is always smiling and lets us know straight what we need to know."
"She was really great at giving feedback and always wrote the right answer on our quizzes."
"Very approachable and kind."

And the negative side:
"Ummm...she tends to not explain more." (What does this mean?)
"I don't even know."
"Nothing! she was great!"

And an interesting one that someone wrote for positive AND negative:
"Was seen but not heard in class."

Well, I teach lab, not lecture...
I'll keep you updated as more people take the survey. In the words of Kronk, "That's one more for exotic bird bingo. I am loving this."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Want to be impressed? Really, really impressed? Check out the first song here.


Monday, December 14, 2009


I splashed into finals week today, submerging myself in physics and surfacing only to breathe in my perfect score. I love the little Testing Center messages when you're flawless. Congratulations! Perfect Score! Wonderful! They're very gratifying. I think I'd be even happier with my score, though, if I cared for physics at all. My physics class is a great example of why I'm sick of university-level science. It's huge, and the only reason I even come to class is for the iClicker quizzes and because I can't help but hold onto some stupid hope that one day, I will learn something I couldn't have gotten faster from an equation sheet. I space out or do other homework while jotting down necessary equations, and then I do all my homework right before the online deadline and don't think about the material until the exam rolls around. I've never had a physics class, so I guess I'm "learning" how to do physics, but believe me, I'm not learning anything. I learn through discussion, through intellectual arguments and trial and error and hands on work. Formulaic estimations get me nowhere. Ugh.

FACT 1: I love science. Pathophysiology gets me so excited I can barely form complete sentences.
FACT 2: Science classes suck. They're huge and no one cares about you. Plus, pre-meds annoy the crap out of me. And no, I'm not pre-med per se; I'm pre-MD/PhD. The difference is FACT 1.
FACT 3: English classes suck even more than science classes, which is why I'm an English minor and not an English major. If I haven't posted about this recently, get ready for the Airing of Grievances (Festivus?), because I have two English classes next semester.
FACT 4: Arabic classes rock.

Arabic has catalyzed my intellectual expansion for the first time in years; through intensively studying a non-Latin, non-traditional language, my volume of knowledge has honestly ballooned. I've cruised along in math and science classes for too long without really having to give much thought to anything, but in Arabic, time spent in class doesn't consist of someone telling me things I already know.

I also had a job interview today. I don't know whether they liked me or not. I talked too much, I think.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Some guy outside the Bookstore just handed me a free apple. I devoured it happily and without question. Maybe I should be more careful about eating things given to me by people I don't know.

I'm currently sitting on a table in the Wilk terrace, and the guy across from me is having an intense relationship conversation with his male friend on the phone. I'm happily transcribing everything he's saying. It's a great typing exercise; plus, it's hilarious. I didn't know guys got advice this intensive from their friends.
Try this on for size (BYU exclusive!):

"If she starts kissing more than one person at a time, are you okay with that? You've gotta decide, man. And you've gotta warn your girl about that, if you decide to 'let her loose,' in a sense. Say, like, I'm going to only date you, that's my decision. But as far as you go, don't hurt me. I have to ask that. But you've got to make up where that boundary is. I'm not trying to say it's this way or the highway, but you do have to protect yourself to a point...Cause that's what it is, it's a feeling. First of all, does she have authority through received promptings for your life? No. So what was it? It was a strong desire of hers. Because she didn't want it to be exclusive. Well, it's so easy for me to sit here and analyze all of this stuff, but it comes to my own life, and it's like, shoot, I'm such a screwup. Maybe you can say, 'You don't have to call it exclusive, but I'm going to call it exclusive. You just keep me informed so I don't feel cheated.' Maybe she's just gotta work it out in her mind. And that's a good middle ground. I think girls are a little bit more accustomed to that, because they're the ones who are asked out."