Wednesday, November 22, 2006
It was my first year attending Education Week at BYU. The few years previous I had stayed at our friends house, babysitting, while my parents left before dawn and came home looking like they had finally been voted off the island. For some unknown reason I found this terribly appealing and I anxiously awaited the year that I turned 14 and was eligible to attend. For those of you who have not been fortunate enough to attend Education Week, let me explain one thing; Education Week, while wonderful and uplifting, has the innate side effect of sucking a persons will to live. It's what your week would be like if you tried taking 40 credits each semester. It's like the tour de France of classes, but without the shorts. It's like that scene in the Matrix where Keanu "learns" kung fu, except that you don't know kung fu. You don't even know your own name. And by the end of the day, all your capable of is slinking back to your car and praying that your auto-pilot will take you someplace with a recliner.
Most of the week had been spent listening to analogies about dating and football, and scribbling illegible notes in a water damaged notebook. On a whim my Mom and I attended a class together, what it was actually about I have no earthly idea, but apparently it sounded enticing at the time. What I do remember is a story the speaker told about a support group that uses laughter as therapy. But instead of watching funny movies or telling jokes, they participated in a group activity guaranteed to produce loud, obnoxious, unrestrained laughter for the enjoyment of all. Sitting in a circle, the would in unison recite the mantra "Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. . . " until the entire group had broken form and were laughing of their own volition.
Needless to say I found this wildly funny, and in my Education-Week-induced-delirium I spent the next several minutes trying (unsuccessful) to muffle the sound of my hysteria. For a few moments I was under the misapprehension that I might get away with it, but It wasn't long before my Mom realized that I wasn't having a seizure. After trying (unsuccessfully) to shush me without attracting too much attention, the inevitable happened. It only took one sideways glance at each other, and soon we were both shaking with full 6.0 magnitude. Somehow, despite our obvious knack for inconspicuousness we attracted the attention of several other students surrounding us, and just as an earthquake begins at the epicenter, so did the ripples of laughter begin with our inability to contain ourselves. It started in the back corner of a classroom that holds 900 people, and within seconds it had traveled all the way to the podium where the speaker was forced to pause in her dialogue and question (unsuccessfully) what was happening. That did nothing to quell our fits of giggles, and in the end we had to mutually agree not to look at each other throughout the remainder of the class for fear of an aftershock. We were unsuccessful.
Friday, November 03, 2006
A while ago I was kindly reminded that I have neglected to include one of my most infamous experiences as an incompetent person. And since I have no online-shame, I'll share this experience with you as long as you understand one thing; I've learned my lesson. That said, allow me to set the scene.
The year was 2004, a crazy year for me at BYU. I had been keeping myself busy with school, work, tutoring at a nearby high school, and trying to start prank-wars with my nocturnal roommates. Things had been going well, and my roomie Nicole and I had decided to go out to dinner. We sat down, and were pleased to see that the restaurant was not very crowded and that we could talk undisturbed about what was going on in our lives, and how we were coping with living in Provo. Dinner came and we talked some more, and throughout the meal I began to notice a buss boy clearing the tables near us. For some reason he seemed very familiar, and I was sure that I had seen him somewhere before. At the time I was working a job on campus which required me to help many students in person. As a result I was constantly making claims that I had seen someone before, and that I somehow I knew them. Nicole was no stranger to this, so when I mentioned that I recognized the buss boy she rolled her eyes as if to say "here we go again!" And indeed we did.
After we had finished our meal, and after much debating, Nicole convinced me (in that special way that only Nicole can) that I should leave a note with my number for the cute buss boy. "What the heck!" I thought, "what's the worst that could happen?" Silly Janay. So quickly I scribbled a note on my receipt hoping that our waitress would take pity on me and hand it over to the desired recipient. Note: I want to point out that it was not even an option that I would actually TALK to this guy, because anyone who knows me know that I don't talk to guys, particularly if I'm interested. I'd much rather ignore them to make sure that they don't know of my interest . . . and it usually works. I can honestly say that most guys I'm interested in have no idea that I even exist, so . . . success!
On the way home Nicole and I were laughing about my "daring" move, and began to wonder why we didn't do things like this more often? I mean, we are in Mormon town here, most of the guys we're going to meet are going to fulfill at least our BASIC qualifications.
A couple days later I got a phone call. He told me his name and that he was from the restaurant; I had no idea what he was talking about, but I played along like I knew exactly who he was and eventually my inherent intuition kicked in.
The conversation was going well, albeit very awkwardly, when he asked me "so how old are you?" that's when I knew something was wrong. I was feeling very young at the time so I told him that I would be 21 in a few weeks, and as soon as I said that I realized my mistake. My suspicion's were confirmed when he told me that he also had a birthday coming up . . . he's 17th birthday. Worse than knowing that I had just hit on a minor was when I realized where I knew him from.
He was a student I tutored at the high school for troubled teens.
For once I realized that my inability to approach people of the male persuasion had saved me from potentially an even MORE embarrassing situation.
The conversation ended with asking me to call him back sometime (though preferably before 9pm if possible). After I hung up, I looked over at a curious Nicole and said "THIS is why we don't approach guys Nicole, because of things like this."
Needless to say I never tutored at that school again.