Thursday, March 19, 2009


I have recently been enjoying a less-than-normal work load. My students are working hard on group projects and presentations, so I am mostly giving them class time to work. What all this means is two things: (1) less material to prepare for each class period and (2) almost no assignments to grade.

I have decided to turn this brief break into a personal spring break. Since I don't have the benefit of a full spring break, I couldn't celebrate by taking off to St. George for a few days. Instead, I celebrated by making spring decorations, of course. This morning I finished work on an idea that has moved through several phases throughout the last few weeks. You can see the necessary mess of the creative process below.

But the mess was worth it, because I really love the resulting pictures that are now representing the "seasonal" section of our living room.
And, lest the front door feel left out of the spring celebration, I made a wreath with small, colorful flowers and dried eucalyptus leaves ("so [our] apartment will smell mossy").
NOTE: Five points goes to the person who can name the movie from which the mossy quote was taken.

Friday, March 13, 2009

remembering chemistry

My sister-in-law pointed out (to my embarrassment) that in my last post, I made a small mistake. CO2 is, by current word and science standards, referred to as carbon dioxide. (You know, the "2" makes it "di.") No, our fire alarm does not have a CO2 monitor. I am sure our plants wouldn't mind a monitor to make sure they're getting enough CO2 to do their photosynthesis thing, but what I was actually referring to was CO, or carbon monoxide.

Ah, chemistry. I have, yet again, been reminded how one oxygen molecule can make such a difference.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I came in the door today at 2:26 p.m. and heard a small but piercing *beep.* I figured it was an indication that something was unplugged or plugged in for too long. So I went about normal coming-home business (using the bathroom, perusing the mail, getting papers situated), and the beep went off a few more times. So I decided to find it.

It is the fire/CO2 alarm. And it has constantly beeped every 30 seconds for the last two hours. I tried hitting the silence button to no avail. I can't decide if the steady beep is an indication that the monitoring controls are working or if it is an indication there's an overabundance of CO2 in the air. Does the steadiness trump the piercingness? Or the other way around?

Either way, I might just have to take this situation to extremes--and live without CO2 monitoring for a few hours. For the sake of my slowly growing headache.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

current thoughts

C.S. Lewis's description of a "humble man" has provided me with inspiration for how to interact with others:

"Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call 'humble' nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all."

Monday, March 2, 2009

Why Hello, Kitty!

Tonight a Taiwanese teacher uploaded a bunch of toy models his students made in T-Splines (the design software my company makes) onto our website forum.

I thought these were fun (click to see more images).

Storytime with Trish

Teaching the neighborhood kids about the virtuous life of St. Francis of Assissi at our ward choir "family home evening."

What a cute wife!