Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dream Decoded

I am in a fantastic mood. I woke up with a line from a Billy Ray song stuck in my head. "Dreaming in color, living in stone cold black and white." You all know I love me some classic BRC, but I'm also happy because of the accuracy of those lyrics. Yesterday was perhaps the most stone cold black and white day of my existence. Not that it was a bad day, it was just literally black and white. I was looking at textbooks for 9 hours. Then last night I had maybe the most colorful dream that I can remember. I always tend to have weird, detailed dreams. But I always dream about things that could actually happen under the right circumstances. I don't dream about "magical" stuff. So to dream about traveling back in time was abnormal for me. Let me tell you about it...
I was with David and Jessica. Jess was playing on her phone and somehow we were suddenly in the 1950's. (I don't know how I knew the decade, but I did.) We had to meet people at the Point of the Mountain (in 2011) so we needed to figure out a way to travel geographically as well as getting back to present day. David had the genius idea to take a train. We found a train station, and we hopped in the very back car because it only cost 16¢ to ride. (I had my 2011 wallet and cash, so we could have afforded anything, but David was being frugal). There was an African American woman on board as we got on and the train conductor told me I had to pull a curtain between myself and her. I felt so bad as a complied, but I apologized to the woman as I pulled the curtain across, and I made sure to only pull it out partially so we could still see one another. She got off at the next stop. David told us to get off at a stop which was apparently downtown New Jersey (?) in the middle of a huge shopping complex. Jessica was working on getting her phone to transport us back to 2011 and I told her to wait, because with the change in prices from the 1950's we could find some vintage shoes for super cheap, but in the entire store I couldn't find any shoes. And that's how my dream ended lol. 

Anyway, I always like to look up meanings when I have particularly detailed dreams. I usually go to dreammoods.com/dreamdictionary. I feel like it's the most accurate, but I probably just feel that way because I can successfully contort their meanings to fit my life. That was especially the case with this dream.

These are the symbols I pulled out and their meanings:

1. Time travel: To dream about time travel indicates your wish to escape from your present reality. You want to go back into the past or jump forward to the future to a period where your hopes are realized. This dream also represents your romantic tendency and or your desire to romanticize everything. Okay. Present reality = finals. Yes I want to escape. And all I keep saying to people is that I wish I could restart the semester or just jump ahead and be finished with finals. Also, yes, I romanticize everything. I always have.

2. Train station: To dream that you at a train station represents a transitional period in your life. You need to take a short break to reassess your situation and determine your path and goals.Uh, supra.

3. Frugality: To dream that you or someone is cheap represents your own feelings of inadequacy. You are not fully acknowledging your own self worth. I think I'm good on the self-worth bit, but definitely feeling inadequate right now. 

4. Train: To dream that you are on a train symbolizes your life's journey. It suggests that you are on the right track in life and headed in the right direction.  Alternatively, the dream means that you have a tendency to worry needlessly over a situation that will work out in the end. Goes without saying.

5. Racism: To experience racism in your dream indicates that you may be too judgmental and discriminatory in some situation in your waking life. Perhaps you have falsely pre-judged someone. I've talked to a lot of people about this but most recently my dad: I hate how law school has turned me into a mean, judgmental person. I am constantly trying to assess where everyone else is at in order to make myself feel better. I hate it, and I'm sure that's what this portion of my dream dealt with.

6. Shopping: To dream that you are shopping symbolizes your needs and desires. It also represents opportunities and options that you come across in life. To dream that you cannot find what you are shopping for suggests that you are trying to find a solution to some life problem. Ha. I would really like the solution to the problem of law school, but just like those vintage shoes at a killer price, I don't think it's something I'm going to find in the near future!

So, now you all have an unwanted deeper look into the mind of Wendy. How do you treat dreams of your own? Do you buy into dream interpretations or simply look at your dreams as an escape from waking life? I'd love to hear! 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Why I'm grateful

This Thanksgiving is definitely different. It's the first time I've been away from family for the Holidays, but I thought I was adjusting pretty well. I had big plans for studying today. Additionally, Jen brought a packaged Thanksgiving dinner to the law school this morning when we met to take a practice test, which was so thoughtful. I had declined two invitations for dinner, because in my mind if I wasn't having Thanksgiving with family I didn't really see the point in having it anywhere. I don't mean that to sound as depressing as it does. I know I had options, but I was okay declining them. But that's what made Jen's gesture so thoughtful. It was the perfect substitute.

After a morning of studying I came home, played with Zipsie and spent some time online before I was going to start studying again (even though my dad informed me it was "sacrilege" to be studying on Thanksgiving). However, I got a line from You've Got Mail stuck in my head ("Happy Thanksgiving back"), and I wanted to watch the whole movie. Only problem is I don't own it. I ran to Walmart, but apparently they don't sell it.

On the drive back to my apartment I started to notice how full everyone's driveways seemed. It was the first twinge I'd felt about missing Thanksgiving. I got home and I was lacking motivation to study as I allowed myself to continue thinking about everyone that was enjoying the holiday with loved ones. I reminded myself that I'd had those opportunities and had chosen to make other plans.

Then I got a phone call from a number I didn't have in my contacts, so I let it go to voicemail. Turns out it was my Bishop, inviting me over for Thanksgiving. (I had accidentally mentioned to a member of our Relief Society presidency that my plans for the night included studying at my apartment.) I called him back and at first declined the invitation as I'd done with others. But he was persuasive.

I didn't realize how badly I wanted to be a part of a normal family Thanksgiving until I arrived at his house. It was a relaxed atmosphere, and my Bishop and his family were so welcoming and hospitable. There were several visitors for dinner, and I think we all felt right at home. We had a great meal, shared things we were grateful for, and followed up with board games and card games and (my favorite) Scrabble games.

This post isn't at all what I had originally planned. I was going to simply list some of the many things I'm grateful for, but I think it's appropriate to end by saying that missing my family today reminded me of how grateful I am for them. But beyond that, I'm so grateful for a family in Omaha that took me and others in this Thanksgiving. That gave us a family outside our own. That exhibited the feeling of love and service that should accompany the Holidays.

I'm grateful for the friends I've made in Omaha. I still marvel at the sequence of events that brought me to this area of the country. When I'm being honest, I know there is only one viable explanation: God loves me. How thankful I am that He does. How happy I am that despite my constant prayers, I didn't get accepted to Penn State. How proud I am to be wearing another shade of blue in this phase of my life. Somehow, on the first day of orientation I sat directly behind three boys, roommates, that were BYU grads. Oh, and one of them happened to be the Bishop's son. And at that exact same time, unbeknownst to me, Kate was sitting somewhere behind me meeting Jen. Then we divided into small sections and Kate and I were the only girls in ours, so we paired off immediately. And at that exact same time, Jen was in a different small section meeting Toby. And now these six people make up my study group, members of my ward, fellow BYU football fans, and my friends. And I can't adequately explain how grateful I am for them.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Awesome!

I try and save these posts for Wednesdays (middle of the week and all that jazz), but I couldn't wait. Today has just been too awesome!

Awesome things today!
Getting videos of my niece dancing. She's got her dad's coordination and her mom's creativity, which makes for some pretty awesome moves
video

Reading Exodus 14:13 in Institute , "Fear ye not, stand still, 
and see the salvation of the Lord..."
Randomly catching the below tweet on a friend's Twitter feed, which I found hilarious
Nodding off in Legal Research--In the second row. 
Clearly visible to the professor--and not caring
Getting an email from Jameson
Still laughing over my post on Facebook and Twitter yesterday 
(and I'd like for you to weigh in):
Do you or do you not think Bo Pelini looks like the guy from Ratatouille?

Common theme: Making myself (and Kate, I think) laugh throughout Civil Procedure
Great Con Law review session with helpful memorization tactics:
Making plans for this weekend when it's only Tuesday
Eating leftovers for dinner because I actually made a real meal last night
Remembering I had a bottle of Dr. Pepper in the fridge
Changing into sweats and slippers as soon as I walked in the door
Realizing that a November with an average daily temp of 56 degrees is what my elementary teacher taught me was a season called Fall
Catching my birthday time
 


 
Did you have anything awesome happen today? Please share!
 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Wear Blue

When all of the news broke about Jerry Sandusky, I worried about my role as a Penn State fan. I quickly conceded the fact that even though I was surrounded by Huskers fans, I couldn't in good conscience wear my Penn State apparel as I had planned to with the game coming up this weekend.

But then I realized something: being a Penn State fan is not the same as condoning the actions of a man that harmed children. Supporting my team is not the same as supporting the administration that should have gone further to protect potential victims. So today, I woke up and resolutely put on a Penn State hoodie. Because I'm a loyal person. Because I'm a passionate person. Because letting Jerry Sandusky alter my view of an entire institution is letting him win.

So today, I wear blue.

I wear blue because the young men who have worked their hardest to get to #12 have done nothing wrong

I wear blue because I love being asked my place of birth and getting to write, "State College"

I wear blue because grilled stickies and a glass of milk is the best order you could possibly place at a diner

I wear blue because my dad's journalism degree led to the greatest stories he tells

I wear blue because standing in line at the grocery store in Magna, UT, behind a man in a Penn State hat gives me the confidence to make small talk with strangers

I wear blue because one of the best fireworks shows I've seen happened while I sat on the grass outside Beaver Stadium

I wear blue because the best memories I have with my uncles and cousins happened inside Beaver Stadium

I wear blue because I've never been to Disneyland and I don't care; my childhood summer vacations were spent in the actual happiest place on earth

I wear blue because the lion head at the center of the mat on which my brother wrestles every day represents his hard work and drive to succeed

I wear blue because my heart still breaks a little every time I think of that law school waitlist

I wear blue because I've spent countless Saturdays listening to my tone-deaf father sing the beautiful words, "Forever true to you, dear old White and Blue"

I wear blue because I will continue to sing with him


Monday, November 7, 2011

non·fea·sance /nänˈfēzəns/


I’ve had more than one professor quote Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. when he said, “This is a court of law, young man, not a court of justice.” They usually pull this quote out when someone is answering a question based on what they think a party should do and not necessarily what the party must do, legally. The point is that the law is sometimes unfair and not a perfect means of effectuating justice.

I get it. I recognize that if judges began deciding cases based on what their gut told them was morally right our legal system would crumble. But that doesn’t mean I’m happy with the fact that sometimes courts fall short of delivering justice. Do I understand why? Yes. Do I realize it’s something I’ll have to put up with throughout my career? Unfortunately, I do.

But I want to leave all that logic behind for just a moment. Instead, I just want to be sad. I’m being taught all about how morally questionable actions, if legally protected, create no liability in the amoral actor. It makes sense in theory. But today I felt bombarded by real-life instances of moral ambiguity that have me reeling.

Our Torts reading for today included a case against the Church. A mother and her son were sexually abused by a ward member (this case might sound familiar to some of you Utahns; it’s pretty recent) and they sued the Church, claiming the Church had knowledge of the abuser’s propensity toward sex crimes and, therefore, was negligent in not warning the plaintiffs of the harm he posed. You don’t need to know the law to know or predict the outcome of this case. It was dismissed, because the Church owed no such duty to the victims. I don’t think the Church acted questionably here, so I don’t want you to think that I do.  I would like to believe that no one had information that they legally could have shared but instead withheld. But isn’t it sad that even if they did, they wouldn’t be culpable?

The whole idea in tort law that you have no duty to act to prevent harm makes perfect sense, legally. But something about it makes my soul sad.

To further that sadness, let’s talk a bit about Penn State. The Wall Street Journal Law Blog has a good article about what’s going on. It’s tragic that a historically significant coach like Jerry Sandusky could turn out to be so terrible. But that tragedy isn’t having the biggest effect on me here. Yes, I appreciate what Jerry Sandusky did to create “Linebacker U,” but I have no personal feelings about Sandusky. If he’s guilty, I hope he receives the sentence he deserves. What’s breaking my heart is knowing that an institution in which I have invested so much faith and love and loyalty is now appearing unscrupulous, to put it mildly. In my very rudimentary opinion, the legal issue coming out of State College is not so much Curley and Schultz’s failure to report what they knew as it is their perjured statements. But what’s bothering me more is Joe Paterno’s role. I firmly believe that JoePa acted appropriately when he took the information from that graduate assistant and told Curley. I am inclined to believe that maybe he really didn’t know the gravity of the situation. I’m certain that JoePa has no legal guilt here.

But still...

There’s this image in my head of a picture of myself when I was less than a year old. I’m sitting on my dad’s shoulders, holding a Penn State football, wearing a Penn State shirt (that I’m sure referenced the ’86 National Championship). From that moment until now, Joe Paterno has been my hero. I have deferred to him on all decisions Penn State. Is he too old to still be coaching? If Joe thinks no, I think no. Should McGloin start over Bolden? If Joe thinks so, I think so, too.

So I guess it makes sense that it literally breaks my heart to think that maybe, in this situation, Joe Paterno didn’t do everything he could have. It makes me ill to see that man slip, even a little, from that pedestal. It shakes my very view of the world to think of my hero as anything less than heroic.

Needless to say, I’m struggling. I’m sad. And that’s all I know about where I stand right now.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Study Group Stress Relief

It's Saturday and we've been here for 8 hours with a lot left to go. So, we're doing the only logical thing to do when your brain dies...write random pronouncements on the white board.