Tuesday, March 31, 2015

[5] The Snake

     I have a pet snake. She is crazy awesome. I've had Ruby for about a year now, and dang has she grown! I love reptiles more than anything in this world, besides my wife obviously. It is a strange fascination I have, and I just recently realized why. I was watching a video today about very large snakes, and the presenters were asked what had gotten them into large reptiles, and they had mentioned how each had an obsession with dinosaurs when they were younger. I realized that I had the same obsession! When I was little I was fascinated by bugs, catching lizards, my family owned all sorts of animals, including snakes, amphibians, fish, birds, etc. I was doomed to have an affinity for animals, and somehow reptiles became my obsession.
     My wife on the other hand, didn't own any animals besides a turtle. When she was introduced to Ruby, Ruby was just a tiny little noodle. Now after Ruby has grown to over three and a half feet and as thick as my forearm, Shani loves her! My wife asks to cuddle with her, she holds her all the time, accompanies me to the park so we can show her off, they are best friends. Her love for Ruby I'm sure will convince her to let me continue growing my collection.

[8] I reflect

So I am reflecting on my personal narrative. That is what I will be writing about in this post. It was cool! I wrote about when I got ripped apart by a piece of barbed wire when I was 13, and the resulting scar I got from it. Writing this was really awesome, as I somehow still remembered basically everything that happened and the order it happened in, even though it was more than 7 years ago. Writing this personal narrative required that I dig deep to find those emotions from when it happened, and somehow put those on paper. Narratives like this are interesting, especially for me since I don't write anything down in a journal or anything. When I write stories like this, I have to remember everything only from my brain, not relying on any other information than what I remember. This may be a bad thing however, since in this instance with the barbed wire I was pretty high on pain meds so my memory may be a little clouded. This experience was cool, since I had to remember so much, and I definitely liked it the best out of all our papers since it was very easy to write. Bye!

[7] Scarface

  What had happened was so fast that I didn’t have a clue as to what was unfolding around me. My vision was blurry, and Dylan was almost crying as he screamed out, “HELP! Holy crap this is bad. This is bad!” I thought, I must have hit a branch or a clothesline, but this was much, much worse. I felt fine, as though nothing had happened until Dylan said, “Brian look at your hand!” As I brought my hand away from my face I saw the blood that was seeping out between my fingers and down my arm, slowly dripping into my yellow jacket. The pain was so unbearable I thought it would never leave my face.
               It was a calm, cool morning in the woods near Flagstaff, Arizona. After a night of camping in shelters that our troop had quickly erected from logs and tree branches, the walk back to the real campsite was a journey back into paradise. I was eager to get back, as was Dylan, our pack leader. We stopped a few times along the way to marvel at all that was around us. The rushing river to our right, the brushing sound of the wind floating through the trees above us, and to our left, Mother Nature giving us a spectacular show as a diamond-back rattlesnake devours its morning meal. It was a beautiful day, and this morning alone made our one week long trip into the wilderness worth every ounce of work we put into it. We were young boys then, only thirteen years old, ready to explore and take in all that this trip could give us.
               We made this overnight trip on our fourth day of seven, and it was one way for all of us to earn a very important wilderness survival merit badge. Everybody in our troop received a little bit more training in that area than they wanted or expected to get. After we passed the rattlesnake eating its chipmunk, we knew we only had about one hundred more feet until our campsite, so Dylan and I decided to make it a race. I ran like a cheetah, and as we climbed the steep hill that was before us, I looked down at my feet to make sure I was steady and in the lead. I reached the top of the hill, looked up, and SMACK! Something very hard hit me in the face and I felt as though I had been clotheslined by a tree branch. I put my hand to my face and started to reassure everyone, “I’m okay guys. I’m okay. Let’s keep going.” And I felt perfectly fine, until Dylan cried out, “Brian you’re bleeding! Look at your hand!” I pulled my wet hand from my face and noticed that it was completely covered in blood. Blood had been seeping through my fingers very quickly and dripping into my favorite jacket. At that moment Dylan reached into his backpack and started wrapping my face in the gauze that was in his first aid kit. My vision was blurred, my hands were bloody, and I could barely walk because of the pain. At this point, this was the worst thing that had ever happened in my life. To add on top of the pain and all my discomfort, when we returned to camp the camp leaders wouldn’t even allow me to eat breakfast.
               My scoutmaster arrived later to tell me that he would have to take me to the hospital in order to get stitches. I had never had stitches before, and the thought of it scared me right out of my mind. We loaded into the truck and took off down the road to get me to the hospital. The drive there felt like I was on the Indian Jones ride from Disneyland, and with every turn and bump came a jolt of pain. While we talked, my scoutmaster told me how lucky I was that it had hit me where it had. He looked at it before I had the bandages put on, and he told me, “It was only about an inch below your eye. If you had looked up a split second later, it would have ripped your eye out.” I felt extremely lucky, and strangely his words calmed me down a bit. We arrived at the hospital after about a half hour, and I waited for what seemed an eternity in the waiting room, eating saltine crackers and drinking my juice box. A very cute nurse later approached me and asked, “Would you like to see what you look like?” Being the thirteen year old boy that I was, I replied with a resounding, “Heck yeah I do!” I got out of the bed and followed the nurse as she led me into the bathroom. Looking into the mirror, all I could think of was how cool it was. Looking closely into my gaping wound, I could see muscle next to loose skin, all a deep red from the blood, and a tiny sliver of stark white cheek bone.
               The plastic surgeon was ready for me, and I was led back into my baby blue hospital bed. He poked my face a few times with a needle that contained the anesthetic, and within seconds I couldn’t feel the left side of my swollen face. “You’re going to feel a bit of tugging,” the surgeon said as I lay awaiting the pain that was to come. I closed my eyes and felt a small pinch. But no pain! My worst fears were passed, and the doctor went right along with what he was doing. Within a minute he was done, and I was on my way back to my friends who were anxious to see what had become of me. I arrived back at camp and was greeted with many cheers and yells of excitement. Everybody was very happy to see that I was doing okay. After seeing the red crescent underneath my left eye, Gary said, “Welcome back, Scarface!” and the resounding laughter from the other boys was a clear indication of agreement on my new nickname.

               After gathering my things, I said one last goodbye to everyone who was there at camp with me. I had the option to stay, but after all I had been through I was extremely tired. I was out cold less than a few minutes after my father and I started driving, and before I knew it we were back home. The next morning during breakfast we talked again about how lucky I was. My dad said he was very glad that Dylan was there to help, and that he was so prepared. He said to me, “Dylan was ready to do what needed to be done, and that may have saved your eye. You’re lucky he was there.” I couldn’t agree with him more. I then mentioned how I wished the barbed wire had hit me above the eye, so that I would have an even cooler vertical scar like Anakin from Star Wars. Even so, I was more than excited for school to return so I could show off my new scar to all of my friends.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Look Sister Steadman, no hands!

When I first began writing this project, I thought it was ridiculous. I didn't have anything in mind that I thought I could right about, I had no way of finding information about my family, and I had no motivation to do it. Now, after I had found a subject to write about, I've taken a deep interest in it. My subject relates directly back to my Dad and his loss of a twin in his teenage years. I've done some research on the subject and I never knew how hard something like that could be. I've never met him obviously since he died way before I was born, but I feel a connection to him. This subject is very emotional and kind of hard to write a research paper about since it is difficult to write about something so devastating while just stating the facts. My paper and my attitude has changed a lot since the very beginning, and it has definitely changed for the better.

"Is the grieving process really harder for people who have lost a twin than it is for those who have lost another family member or close friend?"

It has been proven that the loss of a twin is harder to come to terms with than any other loss in someones life, with the exception of a spouse. Twins form close bonds from the time they are within the womb, and there have been many cases of twins who lost their twin before birth who still have a sense of loss, and were very irritable as babies.

"Why should we put a focus on twins and their losses?"

We shouldn't necessarily focus on twins, but we cannot lose sight of the fact that they suffer more than the average person who has lost someone. They have a more powerful psychological bond with their twin, and they are more susceptible to depression, sense of loss, among many other issues. In some cases they need special care and special outreach to ensure that they recover.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

[4] About Myself

For this post, I'm just going to talk about me. I feel the need to try and be super insightful, as you may have noticed in the last couple of posts, but that's just not who I am. I feel much more comfortable just writing about who I am.

I'm a 20 year old BYU student who just married the love of his life, crazy animal lover, aspiring wood worker, and an uncle of 22. I love my family and my new little family I've got, they are basically my life. I try to live my life to the fullest, taking one day at a time and trying to not take anything for granted. I'm not the hardest worker in school, because I mainly feel as though it is a waste of my time when I could be elsewhere learning specific tasks for which I am suited. 

My family and my wife are the main reasons I'm where I am at today, and I owe everything I am to them. That's just a little about me.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

[3] The Power Of Media

At the very start of the semester in my writing class, we were tasked with reading a talk given by Elder David A Bednar, entitled "Things as They Really Are." In this talk, he talks about the dangers of social media, and other virtual worlds such as video games and role playing games. I'm also in a mass communication class and we talk a lot about the effect that social media can have in our lives. I just like to touch base on this principle, that social media and games can take over our whole existence if we choose to permit it.

I myself play video games. I don't spend a lot of time on social media, but I do enjoy sitting down and playing games with my friends. I would say that in our day and age, a large majority of people, especially young men, are guilty of playing games at least occasionally. When it gets to be a problem, as was mentioned in the talk, is when it starts to become our reality and we lose sight of what is really important. There was a story about a man who spent so much time in his "Second Life" video game, that he actually ended up having a virtual affair with a woman who he had never met outside of this game. It goes to show that too much of any sort of media or entertainment can be a bad thing

I like to relate this to many different aspects of life, as this can happen with anything. Gambling, watching TV, getting too worked up over a sports team, etc. These can all be debilitating things that when abused will lead to an unhappy life and a whole slew of other problems. As long as we can keep reminding ourselves of what is real and we can continue to have some perspective, we will be alright.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

[2] Sickness

So for the past week I have been sick. Nothing major, just a cold mixed with a minor migraine and whatnot. I felt like death this weekend. For whatever reason, this weekend was really bad. Maybe it was being out in the snow up in Midway twice over the past week and a half, maybe it was just my time to be sick this season. Regardless, it was terrible. I woke up from a nap on Saturday and I was so delirious that I thought I was a computer motherboard.... I told Shani that I would rather have Ebola than experience what I was currently going through. Obviously that was an exaggeration, but regardless, I was not doing well.

During my time of horrible horrible sickness, I have learned a few things. I've learned a few things about life and the way people operate, especially relating to aspects of our innate human nature that we can't really turn off. I had learned a bit about love and the effort that those of us will put forth for those we care about. On a lighter note, I learned about the dangers of taking too much medication, and I learned that I really, really don't like being sick.

While I was sick, I took it upon myself to make sure that I didn't get those around me sick. I made sure to wash my hands often, I would sneeze and cough into my own shirt and avoid facing others, I even kissed my wife less! What led me to do this? I bring it all down to the fact that even though I don't have a personal connection with those around me, I understand the feeling of being sick and I don't wish that on other people. It's an ingrained human emotion I think, to not wish others pain. Yes, there are exceptions to this, like mentally ill people, or those who have wronged you, but the point I'm getting at is that we are all engrained with some sense of common courtesy. I find that interesting.

While I was sick, Shani took care of me and tried her best to nurse me back to health. Despite my out of this world analysis of my own state of being, she was doing a wonderful job. I can't help but be thankful that she was there to take care of me while I was coughing all over the place, and being generally all around gross. Love makes you do things like that. Love also makes you walk two miles on ice just so you can be there when your brother proposes, and love makes you say yes to a proposal even when it is freezing cold outside.

Sickness is a major annoyance, but the lessons that can be learned when you have a whole bunch of time alone with your thoughts is priceless. Pay attention to your own thoughts and write some stuff down. You'll be surprised about some of the stuff that you come to realize.

P.S. I started writing this post a few days ago, so I'll be writing another one tonight. Sorry 'bout it.