Tuesday, April 21, 2009


It’s spring!! We reached a scorching 75 degrees today, and I have noticed something new this week. People seem to have more skin here in Pullman, Washington—or at least more people seem to show it off here. I know I don’t live in Florida, Arizona, or California where this problem would be much, much worse, but considering the fact that I’ve lived in Provo, Utah, for the past four years, my eyes have seen more skin than all those four years combined.

As Tracy and I were walking home from WSU campus yesterday, we saw a group of girls lying out on a lawn in the middle of campus in bikinis tanning. Tracy and I looked at each other and whispered, “We not in Provo anymore! That’s for sure.”

It definitely made me conscious and actually proud of my modesty. I admit some thick tank tops or cute summer dresses are cute and a little tempting, but I know I don’t have to show off my body to feel beautiful or attractive.

What I am used to seeing in Utah. (Just kidding. It's not this bad!) I don't think it would be appropriate to post pictures of what I see on campus now. I might attract the wrong crowd. haha

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Five Things Thing

My sister Karen "tagged" me five times to do this five things thing. But I'm actually happy to do it. It's fun to think about my responses as well as read the responses of others.
So here we go!

5 things I was doing 5 years ago:
1. finding myself as a junior in high school (this process is ongoing)
2. singing with every available moment
3. playing volleyball
4. applying to BYU (the only university I applied to)
5. dreaming about the future (particularly my future love story--Tracy was already at BYU waiting for me to get there. haha)

5 Things on my to do list today: (Today is busier than some other days.)
1. teach my English 202 class and tutor in the WSU Writing Center
2. work on my music collection
3. make fajitas for dinner
4. make cookies (and of course eat half the dough myself)
5. worry about Tracy (This week, he has three more labs to teach, geophysics homework, a geophysics test, lab papers to grade, and some other assignments that I can't remember)

5 Things I would do with a million dollars: (the Bare Naked Ladies's song is in my head when I answer this one: "If I had a million dollars, I'd be rich.")
1. go to Britain for as long as I can
2. save for a house (who knows where we'll end up!)
3. pay off all our debts (for school and our car mostly, but also all the unofficial donations)
4. travel to Europe
5. go to Britain again and again :)

5 Places I have lived: (other than Pullman, WA, and College Station, TX, this summer)
1. Provo, Utah
2. Rapid City, South Dakota
3. Ithaca, New York
4. Great Falls, Montana
5. Mesa, Arizona

5 Jobs I have held:
1. magazine writer (so what if the articles were only 500 words long and the total pay of the articles will be $200!!!)
2. store clerk at Pioneer Book
3. BYU Writing Center tutor
4. WSU Writing Center tutor/teacher (they prefer I say that I "facilitate" not teach, but I really do)
5. Religious Studies Center editor (one of the best experiences I've had. I hope I get to use those skills elsewhere)

5 things I want to be doing in 5 Years:
1. starting a family
2. editing for a magazine or book publishing company
3. learning French or Latin
4. living in a somewhat permanent location
5. living my life to the fullest!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Geology 101 Field Trip

This past Saturday Tracy drove and helped supervise a field trip for his Geology 101 students. I decided to go so I could spend more time with him, learn more about the geology of the area, and do something fun outside (I don’t get out much).

I was surprised because of the locations where we stopped. They weren’t spectacular in terms of magnificent rest stops where you have a mini Grand Canyon. We stopped by what at first looked like a dirt pile, road side rocks, sandy hills, and a waterfall. Little did I know what cool things we would find.

Obviously, there are highly technical and complicated explanations for all these things. I'll just comment on a few that I remember and that I find especially interesting.

Tracy was the first one to race up the hill to take a closer look.

Note the rippled sediment.

Tracy with Dr. Wilke.

This is pillow basalt. But don't be fooled by its name. It is not soft. Do not sleep on the rocks.
This is Brian, one of Tracy's fellow TAs, pointing at pillow basalt.
The white streak is ash from Mount St. Helen's. This ash traveled about 350 miles. I wanted to take some home but didn't.
Untouched sand.

From the moment Dr. Wilke finished his little discussion about sand dunes, students and TAs began jumping and flipping off the steepest parts. Some of them were really steep—much steeper than the pictures make them look. Among these dune jumpers, Tracy decided to jump so he’d roll down (we’ll call it a double axle). He momentarily regained footing but kept running and ran right into the neighboring dune—landing with a beautiful biff. Everyone cheered for the bravest jumper. I laughed and cheered, feeling silently proud of my sandy husband. Luckily a student caught his graceful jump on her camera. Here is a link to the video on Youtube.


Walk it off.

During Tracy's flight down the hill, he lost the van key. We went back and luckily found it on the surface of the sand dune. Whew!

Tracy is sandy but relieved that we found the keys.
The elusive keys.
Us at Palouse Falls.

Once we got to Palouse Falls, it was raining fairly hard. The falls are huge!!

The bowl shape (called a plunge bowl) was formed by the ancient lake the size of all the Great Lakes combined when it was drained in a few weeks. That is not a long time to get that much water drained.

Note the bowl shape.

You probably can't see it, but the crack on the other side of the river matches up perfectly with the crack on this side. They are called joints--not doobies. This geological feature cannot be smoked, even though it shares drug-related terms. :)
As we were taking this picture, a student said we should use it for our engagement pictures. A little late for that, honey!
We had fun and learned a lot.