Saturday, January 31, 2009

sundance 3

standing for "comfort zone" not "cubic zirconium"

I've grown up my whole life in Utah. Fruit Heights, Utah. Turns out, Fruit Heights, Utah is 98 % Caucasian and mostly LDS. I am in school at BYU, which, it turns out, has a similar demographic. except that all of the people here are in school, not spread throughout different ages, etc.

The point is. This zone is very comfortable to me. I love knowing that everyone believes the same thing as me. I love knowing that I don't have to worry about using the terms "RM", "FEC", and "DTR" without anyone blinking an eye or looking at me like I'm crazy. Well, I had a few people looking at me crazy just a couple of weekends ago. And here's why:

My bestie, Lauren, and I decided that since we both love films and vacations, that we would volunteer at the Sundance Film Festival. We wouldn't have to miss a day of school, we would spend two glorious weekends chilling in Park City, and we would get to see 10 free films! I was so excited to meet directors, actors, and producers, and be part of the cool indie-film culture.

Little did I know (or expect), but that culture included a lot of very...shall we say...interesting people, doing interesting things. See, growing up in Utah, I have never been in a situation where people I am personally acquainted with are drinking alcohol. I had never been offered a drink, let alone in a place where everyone (literally) except me and Lauren was drinking. I know. Call me a babe in the woods, but it's true. I live a sheltered life.

So, after work one night, some people invited us to their place for a "drink". I had to, for the first time, tell them that I didn't drink. I was a little nervous, because I really wanted to fit in with them; I liked their style, personalities, and company. My nervousness was eased when they informed me that they had guessed that I was Mormon, and had already purchased some Ginger Ale. I laughed at their guess, and we became instant friends for the rest of the festival.

Most of my fears about being around drunk people include lewdness, crudeness, rudeness, and pressure to do distasteful things or things that my moral compass points away from. Thus, in this new situation, I was still somewhat cautious. However, as the night progressed, I found that, minus the slurred speech and lack of focus, my friends' respect for me did not seem to dwindle. They asked some frank questions (e.g. "So, you've really never had a sip of alcohol?" or, "You're serious. You've never slept with a guy?") which I answered honestly and with a sort of respect for my new friends who had no concept of the paradigm from which I came.

Although I was nervous when I first realized (unexpectedly) that I was soon going to be in a position where I would have to defend and stick to my morals, my discomfort quickly faded as I found that I could have fun without being drunk, without participating in the drugs that were there, and that I could still have friends without agreeing with what they were doing.

And, while they thought I was pretty strange, they just shook their heads and welcomed me into their already strange lives.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

sundance 2

i discovered this little gem when i saw rachael yamagata live. i love the cello and the thoughtfulness of the piece. it makes me so calm; i seem to always be taking big, deep breaths that are so sad. it's beautiful.

this recording is better, but you can't hear the cello as well, which is such an amazing part of the song.

come back to utah, please, rachael, and bring your beautiful, soulful voice.

Why don't you call when you say you will my dear
Is it because I don't belong to you anymore

And why don't you come when you say you will my dear
Do you really think it will work out wrong

And you've been lost
And I've been saved
Is that what comes from giving away

Maybe in time you will come back along to greet me

What if I leave
What if I leave
What if I leave
What if I leave

Why don't you call
Don't you miss me at all
Left a long
Long time ago to where the weather was better for his kind

Why won't you play
You've gone and left your face
I may be a fool all along but I never understood these rules

And every street calls your name
A whispering ghost of neighborhood flame
Maybe in time you will wake up to find you're free

What if I leave
What if I leave
What if I leave
What if I leave

So I grow up longing for another
With the windy city left behind to my lover
Will you ever know the way I cry
You were gone that day so you may have missed my goodbye

And sometimes in my dreams I hear you say
"If you really care you won't go away"

What if I leave
What if I leave
What if I leave
What if I leave

What if I leave
What if I leave
What if I leave
What if I leave

Monday, January 26, 2009

sundance 1

films i saw.
  1. Thriller in Manila. documentary about the famous fights between Muhammad Ali and Joe Fraizer.
  2. Shorts Program III. Included "Instead of Abracadabra", "Hug", "2 Birds", "Nobody Knows You, Nobody Gives a Damn", "Pencil-face", "Countertransference", and "Concerto". Most good. Some unnecessary scenes. If you want to see Instead of Abracadabra, i have it, so let me know.
  3. 500 Days of Summer. So good. Fox Searchlight. Coming to theaters in July. nuff said.
  4. Glasshouse. About a women's shelter/center in Tehran, Iran. Meant to extend to all cultures and people. Addressed suppression and confidence of women. Also, interestingly enough, paired with a short about an FLDS woman who is married to the same man as her sister. Entitled "Sister Wife".
  5. Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. Lots of buzz about this one, but it was only so-so. i'd have to read the book before i analyzed it any more.
  6. Arlen Fabor. Another romantic comedy. but indie style. more predictable than 500 Days, I did really enjoy it, though. laughed and cried. over-use of the F-word, easily.
  7. Boy Interrupted. About a 14-year-old boy who commits suicide. usually, suicide films are full of "if only we would have" or "i wish we had done (blank)". this film was not like that. instead, it was riddled with the love that the family had for their son/brother, the understanding that bipolar disorder is a disease, and must be treated (with lithium). The family did a Q & A afterwards, and it was very touching and genuine. loved the film. loved the family.
  8. Parts of: Tyson and Louise-Michel
I think that's all... but i'm not sure. if i think of more, i'll add them...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

making a statement.

experience, interests, and goals
I have spent many semesters in the research lab, working on everything from studying ribosomal stalling in E. coli (Dr. Buskirk, August 2008–January 2009) to genome mapping of C. quinoa (August 2005 to December 2005) and studying one of its natural products (January 2006 to April 2006, and summer 2007). I am interested in further research in so many fields; these fields include molecular medicine and drug design, study of type I collagen, microfluidics and cancer detection, and microfluidics in general. I took a graduate-level chromatography course, and microfluidic biological separations really interest me. Ultimately, I would like to teach at a university, community college, or junior college and perhaps do research in a field that I am familiar with and interested in.

enter to learn, go forth to serve
I have had many opportunities to serve at BYU. In fact, one of BYU’s unofficial mottos is “Enter to learn, go forth to serve”. One of the most unique volunteering opportunities I have had has to do with religion. This may seem apparent, as BYU is a highly religious university, but I grew up knowing only my Latter-day Saint neighbors, and never exploring other faith traditions. Luckily, I was able to take a course called American Christianity, in which learned about many different Christian traditions. I even had the opportunity to meet and dialogue with people of the Evangelical Christian faith tradition. I have learned so much from my Evangelical friends and neighbors, and now that I am the student director of BYU’s interfaith hosting program, I get to spend even more time working with and learning from my Evangelical friends. I help them plan visits to BYU with their students, where we gather to dialogue (with the intent of understanding) about our different faith traditions. Learning about people that are different than me and growing from those experiences is something I will continue throughout my whole life. Beside this singular experience, I have also had opportunities to mentor at-risk girls at a local middle school, participate in BYU’s homecoming festivities, mentor at-risk fifth and sixth graders at a local elementary school, volunteer as a host for New Student Orientation, and help with political grass-roots campaigning in Provo.

motivation & background
I have been fascinated with science from the moment that I started to connect the genetics lesson in my seventh-grade life sciences class to my younger brother's bone disorder. For his entire life, I had always been reminded by my parents to "be gentle with Greg" and to "not play rough" with him because his bones were fragile. Greg has a mild form osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), an autosomal dominant genetic disorder that causes dysfunctional type I collagen to be produced and therefore brittle bones. He has had over 25 breaks in his 14 years of life. Most of his breaks have been minor, but some have required multiple surgeries. I didn't really have a concept of the cause of his difference; until seventh-grade, that is. As a seventh grader, I wasn't aware of the fact that a study of the life sciences would lead me to extensive knowledge about the fundamental, biochemical causes of OI, but I was fascinated with the world of cells and the DNA that made my brother different. My interest in science continued to be fueled by many other things, including a summer biology class, summer research involving flagellar motors at the University of Utah (summer 2004), and a biotechnology course (that included lab work) my senior year of high school.

At one point in time, however, I wasn't sure biochemistry was for me. The biochemistry major required quantum mechanics and three semesters of physics and I did not have the math background for some of those classes. One day, I sat in Dr. Wood's office discussing this decision with him. I met Dr. Wood while working on a research project, and he had become one of my most trusted teachers and mentors. As I shared my reservations with him about committing to the biochemistry major, he said, "Kate, don't be a wuss." His frank honesty surprised me, but I knew that it was because he had the vision to see that not only was biochemistry what I was good at, but that it was what I was truly interested in and fascinated by.

After three years of college, I have realized (thanks to Dr. Wood) that my initial fascination with cells and DNA has matured into a passion for biochemistry and understanding on a molecular level. This passion was recently manifested as I completed a long day in the research lab. I worked all day on an experiment, applying many of the skills and much of knowledge I had gained. At the end of the day, I reflected with satisfaction on the hard work I had carefully carried out. This satisfaction was the same that I felt as I completed my quantum mechanics and physics courses; a feeling that reminded me of my love for biochemistry and the way it affects not only my life and the life of my younger brother, but the lives of millions of others. My drives to feel those same feelings of satisfaction and to understand processes on a molecular level are what inspire me to pursue a doctorate in chemistry or biochemistry. I know that it will be a lot of work, and that it won’t be necessarily easy. In fact, understanding chemistry isn’t what I would ever call “easy”, but the moments when lights turn on, connections form, and experiments work have been worth every late night, every scramble, every fear, every prayer, and every single tear.

Friday, January 9, 2009

gusts can ruin all sorts of weather.

i guess gusty is okay. i just am not such a fan of the wind. especially when it is capricious and unpredictable for no good reason.

that being said, i love san francisco. one of my favorite cities. maybe because it's the first city that i was old enough to enjoy. none the less, i love the golden gate bridge, the fog in the morning, and the endless options of cuisine. now that i'm really old enough to visit and enjoy a city, i'd love to go back. here are (in no particular order) some more cities i'd looove to visit:

  1. Boston. loads of history, beautiful college campuses, and of course, the famous clam chowder.
  2. New Orleans. amazing architecture, and of late, amazing struggle. gumbo and jambalya in excess. hurrah.
  3. Chicago. I've loved the idea of this city ever since we flew out of it a few summers ago and saw fireworks going off over the pier. plus, tons of shopping, the Chicago museum of modern art, and of course, delicious pizza.
  4. New York. Of course, this seems like a given, but there are some things that i want to see there sooooo badly. one is Julliard. for some reason, i think i would love to see a beautiful campus like that, one that produces and attracts the amazing musicians of this country. i'd also love to see a broadway show, or at least walk down broadway. central park, too. i would love to just take a book and my notebook and sit all day in beautiful weather, watching people walk by and around just going about their business.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

school starts. again.

so, another day of school starts tomorrow. thankfully, i'm not dreading this one as much as semesters past. here's why:
  1. i'm taking three (3) religion classes. that's right. they are as follows: christian history, new testament (with sister fronk-olson, which i'm suuuuper excited for), and islam and the gospel.
  2. i'm volunteering at the sundance film festival. what could be better than spending two weekends with one of your besties and seeing amazing films, rubbing shoulders with producers and directors, and being in park city? nothing, i submit.
  3. i'm singing in university chorale. i absolutely love and miss singing in a choir, and i'm so happy to go back to it.
  4. i'm so excited for the interfaith hosting program. can't wait to renew old friendships and make new ones. i love my evangelical friends, and learn so much from them. i only hope i can help them in some way as well. it's a beautiful thing to be able to share in the search of truth.
  5. this is officially my last semester as an undergraduate at byu. hard to believe, but true.
  6. international cineman is rumoured to have an excellent lineup this semester. it's not up yet, but once it is, i'll let you know what i'm going to see.
  7. the marriage of two of my closest and dearest friends, michelle and preston. also, possible road trips, and visits from my bff elise and her husband, christopher.
so, all in all, it's going to be an excellent semster, by my estimation. we'll see at the end how it turns out, eh?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

draft, 1:23 am, no subject

i have sad news too. more like a sad story.
once, i had this friend. i thought that we were good friends; we spent hours and hours talking; i felt comfortable around him.i felt like i could ask him honest and frank questions, and that he would listen and answer me honestly and frankly. he made me want to be a better person. i wanted to listen more and talk less when i was around him. when i didn't see him around, i would notice his absence and would miss his company. i wondered if one day we could be more than friends, but i was determined to be patient. he knew that i loved spending time with him and that i was interested, so i wanted him to decide whether he was going to make a move or not. i also knew that he dealing with some hard issues and that he probably needed some time before taking any big steps.

when Christmas break came, i was sad to hear little, if anything, from my good friend. we had a short phone call, and that was the last time i heard from him, despite a few text messages that i sent his way. i missed asking him questions about every which thing, and i missed just being around him. i missed smiling when i was with him, and laughing when he teased me.

now that Christmas break is over, and classes are about to start again, it is inevitable that i'll see him. i'm wondering whether we'll even be friends, let alone more. i'm not hoping for much, just to be able to talk like we used to and to be able to stay friends, at least.

what do you think? any good ideas from that direction?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

missed connections.

I saw you at Market Street Grill and Oyster Bar in Cottonwood on Tuesday night. I was at a wedding reception of a close friend with my mom and little brother. I wore a red long-sleeved tee shirt, a black skirt, and pearls; I have blue eyes and dirty-blonde, short hair. You are named Joshua and seemed to be the head waiter. You had beautiful eyes and a sparkling smile. We made eye contact and smiled when you brought me a pink lemonade. I would have left my number on a napkin if I had a pen. My name is Kate. Let's not miss each other next time, please.