Monday, October 29, 2012

It was only 1 week?!

A lot happened this week, and for anybody that actually reads this blog, I figured a) I'd remind you that comments, and emails, and likes (on facebook) give motivation to write, and b) update you on this week, and our married lives.


The first news that came through was that my childhood love (oh, who am I kidding, my greatest love until I met Lejana ;) ) the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center was officially closed by the Alpine School District. Let me back up a little bit.

A couple months ago, the Space Center was closed by the Alpine School District for electrical repairs that needed to be made in order to bring it up to code with current electrical standards. That repair takes more money than the Space Center has, and the ASD is willing to part with, and so the Space Center was (at that time, permanently closed). They planned to possibly open up a math, reading, and writing center... Or something else. The intent was to close the center. They said the simulators have no educational value.

Me, hard at work. This is a briefing at the Space Center, giving the
instructions before the kids enter the simulator. Painting the
overall picture to help them understand what they are supposed
to accomplish in their mission. These missions teach more than social
studies, science, and math. They teach problem solving, communication
and many other important life skills. 
The Captain gives instructions to his Operations and Helm
officers in the old Galileo Simulator.

I'm not sure whether or not the District has continuously shifted their stance, or whether they struggled to clarify their initial position- but since their official announcement, they have stated that they intend to keep the simulators open, and better the Space Center. I believe that the community has played a huge role in this continued shift of position; the phone calls, emails, and demands of the community to the district have helped them realize the importance of the simulators. Their educational value is incredible. I would like to share my favorite story that illustrates this point:

In the summer of 2008, right before I left on my mission, I wrote a story for the Voyager simulator. That story is now known as "Silhouette" (it's original title was "Beneath Us a Shadow", but Silhouette sounded better). The story is one that pits the crew against a man named Stanton Everett who has been identified as a terrorist. He is slandered in the worst possible way during the briefing, and their objective is to capture him, and hopefully that will dissolve his terrorist cell. But Stanton isn't really a terrorist, the country who asks for help to capture him is trying to get him arrested so that he won't alert anybody else in the Galaxy know what they are planning. A good plot, and the kids love the plot twist (usually). 

But I wrote the story because several friends of mine committed suicide in that year, not because I loved the plot; and having talked with their families, and their friends, it was revealed that these friends I'd had had chosen to follow the crowd, instead of what they wanted in life. And, in the realization that they weren't who they wanted to be, and the mess they were in, it was easier for them in their minds to just end everything. I told this story in detail after every mission. I begged the kids to stand up for what they wanted to be- told them that this mission was to teach them that even though it wasn't popular to side with Stanton Everett, who wasn't really a terrorist (but only they find this out in the mission, everyone else beats on them, and frustrates them), that they had stood for what they believed in, and in doing so saved their country in the story. Then I related it to their lives, and how important it was to not fall into the folly of my friends.

Several campers emailed me, wrote me letters, and found me on facebook to tell me how much that story had meant to them, and how they'd never looked at it from that point of view. That is what they learned at the Space Center. Something that can't really be TAUGHT in a classroom. Simulation- putting the kids through the experience: that is teaching.

So please, if you would, like this page. Support us in our mission to teach kids through the power of doing, teaching them to see things in a way that teachers, and parents can't do alone. And don't just join- participate. Become an active participant in this endeavor to save something that really makes a different for children in Utah, and will make a difference across the globe:


James Harden is one of my top 5 favorite players in the NBA right now. Why? Because I think he has tons of talent, his excitement is fun and catchy, and I envy that beard of his. So why is he in my list of the week?! Because he got traded from my favorite team in the league (OKC) to the Houston Rockets because he's an idiot.

Great player, bad decision making.
He left OKC because they wouldn't give him a quadrillion dollars. Once you're in the millions, it shouldn't matter, but whatever. Instead of wanting to win a championship, he can now go suck in Houston for a couple more million. I totally see the logic...


We (as in the BYUH Seasider basketball team) played in our first scrimmage this week at the University of Hawaii. We played well, and learned a lot (if you have more questions, I'll answer them, but that's all I'll say online). I wore my wedding ring on my shoe because I thought it was "cute", and thought Lejana would like it. When I untied my shoes at the end of the scrimmage, I put the ring on the desk in the locker room while I showered, AAAANNNNDDD.... I left it there, and we haven't heard back from them as to if they found it or not :( I miss my wedding ring. I hope it wasn't stolen....


Last night, we were evacuated all across Oahu for the potential of a tsunami which was caused by an earthquake in Canada. This tsunami was to hit us Saturday night at 10:28. Lejana and I ran to the church with a makeshift 72 hour kit for both of us (the church was high ground, exactly 100 ft higher than our house, and exactly 273 feet away). At 11:00 the waves had upped from 4 inches to 14 inches, and that was it. After all the alarms, the fanfare, the media... 14 inches is all that made it to us, and I am so grateful. Other islands were hit much harder, and I am so happy to not have had any damage to our property, or each other!

The newspaper this morning posted this photoshopped picture of what this would do to Honolulu.


Last Sunday Lejana and I sat in Gospel Doctrine (the fancy name of our Sunday School class) and were minding our own business when Brother Haverly of our bishopric popped his head in, and walked towards us.

"I understand that you can play the piano," he said to me. I said, "Yes, and the organ if you need," with an air of confidence... Oops.

A typical primary program- not ours, you can tell this is
a Utah ward because everyone is white... but all the same,
I think I saw every single one of these facial expressions today.

He informed me that the pianist for the primary was overdue with the baby she was supposed to have had two weeks prior, and that they were in desperate need of a pianist. I bit my tongue, thought "what have I done", and then happily agreed to help the primary out.

So after a week of practice, I only butchered 1 of the 11 songs, and two others were C grade, but besides that, it was a screaming success, and I made it through with no issues with anxiety or anything else, and they asked me to help them out again next week :)! I'm very excited, we have an awesome ward.

So that wraps up this week. It's been INSANE! But, there is the week. I will do better at posting throughout the upcoming weeks, it's hard to find things that are entertaining to write about, so I'll work a little harder. For now, I'm going to lay next to my already sleeping wife, and get some beauty sleep so that I can function tomorrow. Peace!