Category Archives: School

Public Notice

Attention all bicyclers, skate boarders and long boarders on the University of Utah campus this fall.

The next one of you that encroaches my personal space at high speeds, or has the audacity to yell, “move” or “get out of the way,” will find yourself promptly removed from your transportation device and you will be firmly planted on the pavement (I will not aim for the grass).

The University of Utah enrolls 26,000+ people, not to mention the numerous faculty, employees and visitors, and enrollment was expected to increase by 4-5% this academic year. This means that you have to slow down and be respectful of the pedestrians who do not share your passion for endangering others.

You’ve been warned!

Thank You


Posted by on August 31, 2009 in Local, People, School


This Semester's Reading List

My two week vacation ends in 6 days when my final semester at the University of Utah begins.

Fall promises to be pretty busy with five classes (15 credits) plus a one credit hour Day Hikes class that I need to take to get me to the minimum 122 credit hours needed to graduate. So far, two of my professors have not posted their books for Fall. But my other professors are making up for it!

My reading list so far:

Communication 5150: Dialogue and Cultural Studies

  • The Deep Democracy of Open Forums: Practical Steps to Conflict Prevention and Resolution for the Family, Workplace, and World
  • Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny
  • A Public Peace Process: Sustained Dialogue to Transform Racial and Ethnic Conflicts

Anthropology 4171: Myth, Magic and Religion

  • Amish Society
  • The Camphor Flame: Popular Hinduism and Society in India
  • The Island of Menstruating Men: Religion in Wogeo, New Guinea
  • Women as Ritual Experts: The Religious Lives of Elderly Jewish Women in Jerusalem

Philosophy 3640: World Religions

  • Living Religions

Yes, this coming semester promises to be chock full of fun! I plan on spending many long hours at my special place in the Marriott Library. Ah, the library, my home away from home. But I still have one week of rest and relaxation so I’m going to enjoy it!

Not that I don’t enjoy school, I actually enjoy it quite a bit, I’m simply stating that the last week has been nice and I’m glad that I’ve got another before things get hectic.

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Posted by on August 17, 2009 in Education, Life, School


Overheard in the Classroom

Student: Didn’t the Ottoman Empire conquer India too?

Professor: No, the Mughal Empire and Ottoman were contemporaries, so there was an overlap in time but not in territory. The Ottoman’s didn’t expand past the territory of the current state of Azerbaijan and parts of Iran.

Student: Oh, so the Ottoman Empire just came to the left of the Mughal Empire?

Professor: (Confused) Um, sure…

Yes, they walk among us and they graduate with little certificates that make them think they’re smart.

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Posted by on July 28, 2009 in Eyes+Sharp Stick, School


Three Day Weekends

Don’t we all love three day weekends? I know that I do. Right now, I have them! Yep, that’s right, for the remainder of my undergraduate career (the next six months) I get to have three day weekends. Being able to plan your schedule so that you’re only sitting in class four days a week has its perks. In fact, it’s leading me to the conclusion that I need to be self-employed after I graduate, so that I can keep this marvelous schedule indefinitely!

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with working Monday thru Friday, but come on, Monday thru Thursday is soooooo much better. Yep, self-employed it will be. Now to find that perfect employment opportunity…
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Posted by on June 6, 2009 in Life, School


If You Need This Much Help

Then there is NOTHING that can help you study better.

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Posted by on May 19, 2009 in School, StumbleUpon


Busy, And Stuff…

So, you’ve noticed how posting has been sporradic, at best, recently.  Well, let me fill you in on what has been going on.  Now that Spring Break is over, school has kicked into high gear with preparation for final exams and papers.  I started my job with the Census Bureau two weeks ago and, though only prep work is happening right now, things will get really crazy when I start training Listers at the end of the week.

I’m all registered for the Summer 2009 semester.  15 credit hours  (two of which are intensive, read short.  One of those being only two weeks long) Will keep me plenty busy from May 15 – August 5.  
We’re still getting over colds.  At least one person in our house has been sick since the beginning of February, with only a short break in the middle.  This cold and flu season has been murder on us.  
Oh, I almost forgot.  I need your help.  I have a 10-15 page paper due in one of my classes and I’m having the darndest time coming up with a topic.  For this paper we have been asked to

…take a position on a specific or narrow issue within the broad topic of conflict and resolution, and to argue for that position…

… it is very importatnt that you identify a narrow and focused position… (e.g., do resolutions to interpersonal conflicts, such as apologies, funciton as well at the collective level?).

I absolutely love, read hate, it when professors do this.  “Pick a topic, any topic within the scope of this class, and write on it.  Oh, by the way, the paper is worth 50% of your grade so don’t screw it up!”  And yes, this paper is worth 50% of my grade for this class.  

So, what suggestions have you?  Conflict and resolution, on the individual or group level.  
Here are the suggestions that I put forward (and no, my brain was not working because the subject is soooooo broad)
Q. The role of fear in offense vs defense.  We know, or believe to know, the role of fear in defense, as it appears to be a tool for inciting people to action (fight or flight).  But maybe I could look at it from the other side, how fear makes people act offensively.  However, the more I think about it, the closer that those two positions sound to being extremely similar.
A. (Professors written response)  I think you could consider writing a paper about fear and its role at multiple points in conflict. There is a [sic] literature on the physiological aspects of fear (and how close they are to the physiological aspects of anger) – look for work by Robert Levenson and his colleagues; there is almost certainly research on how threats (and the fear they presumably induce) are connected to the initiation of conflict – a topic we’ve discussed in class, and which might also be linked up to the collective level phenomena of pre-emptive strikes.
Q. In regard to international problem solving, many believe that multi-lateral discussion is the best method to use when reaching agreements.  Does multi-lateral pressure in international negotiations exhibit the same behavior as peer pressure among teenagers?
A.  This is harder to guide you on; particularly the analogy issue. For example, multi-lateral discussion may be valued for a variety of reasons, including the representation of multiple standpoints on an issue, and the engagement of the relevant vested interests. I’m not sure that the phenomenon of peer pressure has those elements – perhaps most especially the first one. If, on the other hand, you’re asking whether group dynamics  might have overlap in those two very distinct contexts – sure… the sense that groups are vulnerable to particular kinds of dynamics in their deliberations and discussions (but for teens, peer pressure also unfolds in many ways that are not ‘located’ in the discussion space, but in other places).
Any ideas will be helpful.
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Posted by on March 29, 2009 in Blogging, Family, School


Patience And The Payoff

As many of you know, my position at the mortgage company who shall not be named was eliminated back in December and I’ve been looking for work since. After three months I was honestly starting to lose hope. The job market is uber saturated with qualified workers and I was finding that my school schedule was getting in the way of receiving a job offer, because there are plenty of other people who do not have that schedule conflict. My schooling has also interfered with collecting unemployment benefits, as the State claimed that my schooling makes me “unavailable to seek and accept full-time work.”

We were getting frustrated. About a month ago, Tammy and I realised that if I pushed myself this year, and completed 31 credits in two semesters, I can graduate from the University of Utah in December, 2009 rather than August, 2010. We decided to make this our goal and see what would happen. While still looking for work, Tammy and I have been living off of savings, student loans, and the kindness of our family. We can not express our gratitude for the help that our family has given us.
After making the decision to try and complete my B.A. by the end of the year, I found information about Utah’s Displaced Worker Training Program. This is a wonderful State program where, if a worker has been displaced through no fault of their own, as I have been, and the worker is seeking training for another job, which I am, the State will assist the worker in paying for that training. We submitted all of the paperwork and have been waiting for over a month for the State to make a decision concerning my acceptance/nonacceptance into the DWTP.
Well, all of our patience, prayers, and hard work have paid off. Last week I started a new job with the U.S. Census Bureau. For the next three months I’ll be training and supervising Listers as they canvas addresses in order to update the Census Bureau’s maps and address lists for the 2010 Census. But wait, it gets better.
Yesterday we received a telephone call from Lindsay, our State employment specialist (case worker), informing us that I have been accepted into the DWTP and that we’ll be receiving assistance for the Summer 2009 semester!
After three monts of being unsure about our future, Tammy and I have finally received the answers that we, and our families, have been praying for! When thinking about the past three months, what has or has not been happening, a couple of scriptures come to mind.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Ether 12:6
And now, I, Moroni, would… show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.

Each day, Tammy and I are being given more and more direction concerning the path that the Lord wants us to take. We are being allowed to move forward with choices and then learn whether or not those choices were good for us, and that’s how it should be. I’ll keep you updated with what happens as we move forward.

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Posted by on March 17, 2009 in Life, School

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