Married life as a college student
This post by Alli pretty much sums up married life as a college student. Except in my case, it’s “writing code” instead of “writing research papers”. And substitute my wife’s name for Andy. Yep.
The debilitating curse of perfectionism
Sometimes I tout perfectionism as a laudable trait. Most of the time I think it a terrible curse. Like it or not, I wrestle with it. Cecil O. Samuelson titled his devotional address this morning “Be Ye Therefore Perfect.” His premise: perfectionism is debilitating. Worthiness is divine, he said, but that is not the same as perfection. We won’t be perfect any time soon, and...
Apples of Gold
Discovered a wonderful text in Proverbs the other day: 25:11 “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” I love that imagery. I did a casual search for commentary on that verse and found some on http://bible.cc/proverbs/25-11.htm. Here are a few notes from those commentaries: “Fitly” may mean “on its wheels”. As Clarke’s...
Time to Think →
Wrote a post about the necessity of having time to think independently, disconnected from cyberspace. Go read it on Global Constant.
With any major decision there are cautions and considerations to make, but once...– Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence,” Ensign, Mar. 2000. As quoted by my friend Cale.
Sister Hall (the BYU Concert Choir director) has a phrase she uses sometimes: “On-purpose singing.” What she means by that is singing with proper technique and focus such that your singing sounds, well, like you did it on purpose. It’s easy for experienced singers to just sing without trying to make it beautiful. It just sort of happens; it might be decent, but it doesn’t...
Beginnings and endings
I moved to a new apartment this weekend, and I love it. It’s smaller than my old one, but there are only four of us. That makes it seem a lot bigger per person. Plus, I have enough bookshelf space in my room for all my books (or at least all the ones that I have with me at school), which was not the case at the old place. Wonderful! It’s been a new beginning for me. I’m still...
Sister Hall said something in rehearsal yesterday that struck me. It went more or less like this: The higher the level of artistry in a performance, the fewer people appreciate it. The opposite is also true. That’s why Living Legends and Young Ambassadors are always sold out. That’s why Men’s Chorus is always sold out. And that’s why BYU Singers and Concert Choir will...
Concert Choir concert April 7-8
The semester is almost over, and it’s time for the final concert of the season for BYU Singers and Concert Choir. The concert is this Thursday and Friday in the de Jong Concert Hall at BYU. As is my custom, I’ve written a few unofficial program notes to help you prepare for the concert if you’re planning to come. The Concert Choir will be performing three sets, which are as...
Dutch/Indonesian peanut sauce
I had great success tonight making some Dutch/Indonesian peanut sauce. That sauce, together with chicken and rice, was one of my favorite dishes to make when I lived in Holland. There, you can buy the sauce in the store as a very thick paste, to which you add water. Unfortunately, the only place to buy that here in Utah is at the Old Dutch Store in Salt Lake. Seven dollars is a bit much to pay for...
Priorities and time management
Two weeks ago, I was approached by a friend of mine who is in the beginning stages of creating a startup. Two other of his friends (one a programmer, one a businessman) were already on board with the idea. He invited me to a meeting to discuss the design of the project. I went and was excited about the idea. But there was still something looming over my head: time. I’m probably about as...
BYU Combined Choirs with Dr. Copeland
I’m so excited for this week’s concert with the BYU combined choirs and a guest conductor, Dr. Philip Copeland of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In preparation for that, I’ve written a few program notes for you to read through. If you want a 2-for-1 code, RSVP on the Facebook event page. The Concert Choir (which I sing in) will be performing three pieces, and...
I took a few minutes this afternoon in the Harris Fine Arts Center to stop and look at the Casey Childs exhibit. Most of his works were paintings or charcoal drawings. One of them in particular, a charcoal portrait titled “Arnie,” stood out to me. Arnie’s face is worn and wrinkled. He looks to be a man in his late 40s or perhaps 50s. The eyes betray sadness, and it almost seems...
"The Perfection Syndrome" and measurability
I read a great editorial this afternoon in the Daily Universe called “The Perfection Syndrome”. Jade’s thesis is summed up pretty well by this excerpt: Perhaps the most annoying of pointless criticisms come in the form of self-righteousness. BYU students are recognized around the country for our high moral values. We don’t have to deal with the same roommate immorality and...
O Love That Will Not Let Me Go
I savor the privilege of singing in the BYU Concert Choir. Each day at 2:00, I get to set aside everything I’m working on, everything that weighs me down—all the worries and annoyances and troubles of the world. All these I set down and leave outside as I enter the Madsen Recital Hall. Often quoted is the passage from Mozart’s Magic Flute, “Within these hallowed...
Proof by induction
In the CES fireside tonight, something that Elder Christofferson said struck me. His talk was about living life day by day and letting tomorrow take care of itself (not at the expense of proper planning, of course, but by not worrying too much about the future). At one point, he related that to working toward a goal. If you have a goal, you only need to worry about whether you can keep it today....
Some goals for 2011
Happy New Year! This is a wonderful time of new beginnings, and I’ve set a few goals for myself for the year. Jay McCarthy mentioned something in his post this morning that I think is worth repeating: One thing I realize now is that it is better to set goals about what you will do than what you will accomplish. I do have an end in my [sic], of course, but the means is the measurable...
Time to breathe
Christmas break is always a nice, well, break. Especially being in college now, any break is the figurative manna from heaven. And breaks between semesters are the best, because they mean that there’s no possible way I could have homework that’s due when I get back. Thanksgiving falls into that category of intra-semester breaks, as it was filled with paper-writing this year. But...
It is important to know, when you feel down, that many others do also and that...– Gordon B. Hinckley, “Strengthening Each Other,” Ensign, Feb. 1985, 4
Strength of character
I follow a Twitter account that posts quotes from Neal A. Maxwell every day. The quote this morning was particularly striking to me: We’re vulnerable if we can be taken by a wave of emotion, invaded by an impulse, roughed up by resentment, or engulfed by selfishness Most of the mistakes we make and later regret weren’t premeditated—we make them in a moment of weakness. When...
Teachers and friends
We all need teachers and friends. I’ve been reading a talk by F. Enzio Busche, and Emeritus Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It’s called “Unleashing the Dormant Spirit”. Here is a piece that struck me this morning (emphasis added): But the real part of us, or the real me, the spirit child of God, on the other hand, is the author of our...
A new beginning
I haven’t written on Instance Variable since January (unless you count the copy machine picture from March). I’ve been wanting to try out this Tumblr thing for a little while now. And reading blogs from a few of my friends (see here and here) inspired me to start back up again. Part of my motivation is to get better at keeping a record of my thoughts in a public form. I share a lot of...