Saturday, February 22, 2014

French Language Certificate

I found out this week that I’m going to have to the tests for the French Language Certificate by April if I want it to show up on my transcript….well, this is assuming I want those scores to show up on my transcript….but for some reason I just can’t bear the thought of doing all the coursework for the certificate and then not finishing it because I’m too scared to take the tests.

So I’ve pulled out my old French vocabulary notebooks and my old textbooks to study in little odd moments in my day. I’m remembering how much I really do love this language, it has this magic to it that I’ve forgotten. I had to go to Paris to find that beauty but I’ve realized that I’ve missed it. It's been fun bring these words back into my life again. So I’ll be reviewing word-by-word, conjugation-by-conjugation for the next month in a half....let's hope April doesn't come too fast!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Why I leaving the cooking up to other people......

Let's just say I like eating food....when other people make it. When I'm in the middle of doing all that stirring, cutting, onion-crying, pre-heating, I'm always asking myself..why? Why I am cooking? This is taking so long....but I have this weird thing where I like looking at cookbooks and watching cooking shows and now with Pinterest I like collecting pretty looking recipes. But for some reason, those pictures always make it look so easy and so lovely to spend an afternoon making something delicious-looking.

This week I decided I was going to try making this:

Four easy steps to this lovely bread-broccoli thing. Uh-huh. Well since I didn't have croissant roles and just some scone bread this is what mine came out of the oven looking like:

Let's just say I had to do some explaining to my roommates...since they wanted to know what in the world that was....I wasn't sure how exactly what to tell them! A non-braided bread thing? The real  question do I store this thing?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Picturing Asia

I got an email about entering a photo contest called “Picturing Asia” but it’s been sitting in my inbox for a few weeks. “We would like to give you the opportunity to tell a visual story,” they told me. A visual story. But I didn’t know if I could pull out that visual story right now, the one those pictures tell me, and just me. Those stories are so nicely lined up in rows of shiny photographs, but they seem so far away now. Those little photos all have their own smells and sound and chorus of eight-year old Chinese children yelling “Teacha! Teacha! Teacha!” at me and waving paper cranes in my face.  And sometimes it takes too much effort to live in nostalgia.

But for some reason I’ve been thinking about those visual stories lately. I’ve been worried that I’m going to forget some of them. I’m worried that I’m going to forget that little part of myself I found in Asia. I’m worried about losing that story I wrote in China with my experiences. I’ve been worried that it’s slipping away because it’s so far away from my life of homework and BYU and Americanness. But sometimes that little four-months-of-Asia experience surprises me and comes out when I’m least expecting it. Like this week, when I was walking down the hall of the JKB and I heard a whole group of voices speaking Mandarin. I don’t know how to speak Mandarin but I know those sounds. I don’t know what those sounds mean, not any of them, and yet I know those sounds. They sound like dirty train station waiting rooms and chopsticks and those beautiful slippery noodles that swished through black sauce and steamed up around our faces. They sound like women gossiping next to the bus windows, they smell like that long hallway where we lived. All those sounds were right there in the JKB and I couldn’t stop smiling. These American boys were making those sounds, these young BYU students, and I was so happy to find them. I sat on the bench and listened when they weren’t watching me. I was so glad that China was still there, deep down, deep inside of me and that it hadn’t forgotten me. I’ve been missing my China. Two years and six countries later and that’s the visual story that keeps asking me to tell it again. So here they are. Here are a few visual stories that have had the dust brushed off of them.