Tuesday, September 28, 2010

LDS Feminism

I am Mormon. And I'm also a feminist.

My two identities do not contradict each other; instead, I am able to rejoice fully in the divine nature of my womanhood because I understand it within the framework of the Gospel.  Ultimately, the Church celebrates the beautiful synergy of man and woman. That is why you cannot attain the highest degree of glory without being in a healthy, loving marriage where both members are equal sovereigns.

But sometimes, when I talk about my feelings as a female in the Church, people hush me and say quietly that I better be careful because I'm started to sound like a feminist. Well I don't want to be silent anymore.

Feminism, the belief that men and women are equal, is a faith-affirming truth. Church leaders have repeatedly stated that men and women are equal but different. However, sometimes it is the lack of adequate discussion regarding this very difference that creates erroneous perceptions of discrimination against females in the Church or generates misplaced feelings of resentment among women. Faithful, righteous LDS women struggle because nobody has pulled them aside and told them that it is ok to ask questions about the priesthood or that it is normal to wonder if they can have a family and a career. They fall away angry and hurt not because they don't want to believe, but because they don't know how to believe and still be comfortable with their feminine identities.

Feminism is not, and should not be, a taboo topic within the Church. Instead, women should be encouraged to have open, honest conversations about what their femininity means to them and how to understand their roles within the greater Plan as mothers, daughters of God, and divine individuals.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Purple Tablecloth

Today while packing up at Kaplan's free practice test event, I folded a purple plastic tablecloth.

I concentrated on the ridges already there, trying to divine what the original tablecloth folder had in mind. Did she want it folded lengthwise inward first? Or maybe she flipped it outwards along the width. Biting my lips, I folded it over and over again, feeling that I was intruding upon my predecessor's tablecloth-folding territory and making too many of my own grooves.

All of a sudden, one of the Salt Lake Kaplan center ladies came over and eased it out of my hands. She rustled the tablecloth, clumsily connecting corner to corner, and shoved it away in the container. The edges didn't even kiss. She laughed, "Oh my goodness, you're not one of those OCD girls are you?"

I vacillated between shock and confusion.

Me with OCD? What is she talking about?

It just never occurred to me that I could fold this piece of purple plastic so casually, completely disregarding the perfect symmetrical ridges that somebody's flawless folding had imprinted. Her total indifference almost seemed . . . sacrilegious.

So, when her back was turned, I took it out and folded it again.

p.s. Today I learned that I hate selling. But unfortunately, I'm very good at it.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Satirical Look at the US Immigration Issue

For some reason, the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship and Border Security asked Stephen Colbert to testify about US immigration issues.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Comparative Advantage

I spent four and a half hours on my econ homework today. And this was easier than my previous one.

In econspeak, this subject just isn't my comparative advantage.  While I'm furiously scribbling class notes, trying to breathe life into the PPFs and the indifference curves, the guy behind me keeps a running commentary on the professor's handwriting, poses and answers his own rhetorical questions, and chuckles at how easy this class is. The opportunity cost (OC) of me doing econ homework is so much higher than this slick-hair guy's. In that time, I could have written a political science paper, done my laundry, washed the dishes, blogged, baked some bread, ate said bread, and wrecked havoc in my room - all while watching a movie.

I bet that my friend Andrew Woo, econ guru slash TA, could even blog about this faster than I could. After all, all he would do is use the marginal product of labor and divide the beta by the alpha to obtain my OC of doing homework versus that of the commentary dude and then wrap it up with a clean relative supply/demand graph.

Piece of cake.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Plans

It's decided. Two days in Budapest.  Two days in Vienna. Three and a half days in Olomouc. One and a half days in Prague. And a whole ton of flying in and out of Paris.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

On the ears

I've been listening to the Carla Bruni pandora station. 
It's been a little soft jazz, a hint of folk, and a touch of foreign. 
Try it - you won't regret it.

Friday, September 17, 2010


It's been a tough couple of days.

Every time I wanted to blog about how I was feeling, I hesitated. And faltered. Somehow, my sunshine-yellow blog background didn't make space for anything not optimistically bright. I saw no resolution, and was not particularly seeking one, but that meticulous green bow on the top corner pressured me to provide a neat solution. I was stuck in a funk, but couldn't write about it because I had boxed myself in with a funny/ cheerful/ travel-crazy / mildly sarcastic blog personality that didn't allow for those days when I just want to be dead serious/ dramatically sad/ unreasonably whiny/ stressed out of my mind.

So here it is: it's been a little rough.

And I have no idea why I'm feeling this way either.

Perhaps it's my darn thesis. Maybe it's the anxiety of not knowing exactly what I'm going to do in the year between graduation and law school. Or probably it's just the never-ending to-do lists, the things I inadvertently forget to put on my list, the jobs I feel pressured to accept, the piles of work, the conversations I need to be having but never seem to have time for.

Who knows?

But two quotes from this week really helped me.

From Sister Beck at Regional Conference: "It's not about perfection. Instead, it's about precision and prioritization."

From my Organizational behavior textbook: "People with negative attitudes concentrate on all the things that they can do better. People with positive attitudes know that the best solution is the one that is good enough."

I guess it's time for me to conquer my perfectionist demons again. And along with that, my thesis.

Bring it on.

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Turpan Neighborhood

One of my favorite things to do in Turpan, Xinjiang, was to wander around the neighborhoods.

The beginnings of a smile. 
She was so shy.

Every family has a vineyard behind their house.
You've never had grapes until you've had these.

They saw me peeking into their house and motioned for me to come in. 
I was even offered some fried noodles and tea.

This is Abba. 
She showed me around her house and played hide and seek with me.

Amazing dancers.

Czech MUN?

If you were given an opportunity to go to these places over Thanksgiving, would you say no?




And maybe even Paris.

I'm starting to find it hard to refuse.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Professor Matchmaker

In my Doctrine and Covenants class today, we were asked to fill out a yellow sheet with our personal information. There was a column asking about our relationship status with four check boxes:

Single (actively looking)
Courting (dating exclusively)

While we were passing our sheets over to the end of the aisle, I couldn't help but notice that the guy next to me also scribbled down "I'm single and perfectly lonely" (it was underlined multiple times).

He should have been in my Honors Thesis class instead. A boy introduced himself as a sports-loving male. The professor then asked every other girl in our class whether they liked sports. If yes, then he would make a grand gesture of offering up the embarrassed boy in the corner as a possible husband. I think Lonely Boy's problems would be solved if he was writing a thesis. The Honors Department should use that as a selling point.