Oh so stylish

I’m so flattered to get a Stylish Blogger Award from Deborah. It’s good to be appreciated, yeah? I have to say, I was shocked to learn that Deborah is several years younger than me, since she seems to be infinitely wiser and more eloquent than I am. Check out her blog here and this post in particular – when I read it, I knew we were destined to be friends. Or at least blogosphere friends who sit near each other at church sometimes.

Now then…because I’m a stylish blogger, I get to tell you new Roni-centric things. This will be tricky since I just wrote a post of little-known facts about myself. But here goes:

1. I started college as a linguistics major. During my sophomore year, I switched to Family History. Halfway through sophomore year, I switched to English. Then I got sick and left BYU for a while. When I was looking at coming back, I decided English wasn’t for me. I wanted to make a difference in the world and although grammatical errors DO need to be corrected, I felt like there was something bigger in store for me. I researched a lot of non-profit organizations and a lot of them wanted employees and even volunteers who had a BS in sociology. This fact + learning that a sociology degree at BYU is only 35 credits = switching my major again.

2. I am terrified of the movie Harry and the Hendersons. Let’s leave it at that.

3. I loved math in second grade and I did math in chalk on the sidewalk in front of my house. One day some high school kids walked by while I was out there (we lived across the street from the high school) and said, “Oh, isn’t that cute. She’s practicing math.” I was sure they were being sarcastic (growing up with 3 older brothers makes you extra-aware of sarcasm), and I was humiliated. I tried to hate math after that. It didn’t work; I took calculus in 11th grade and again in 12th just for fun.

4. My favorite drink is the kiwi martini at Spark here in Provo. They have a full-service non-alcoholic bar. The Romgi and I like to go for their lunch special (3 courses for $10) whenever we can trick someone into watching the Bwun for us.

5. The first time I remember NOT finishing a book was when I was about 15. I had grabbed some random books off the fiction shelves at the library, and I hated one of them so much that I returned it when I was about halfway through. I don’t know what it was called, but the main character died in the first third of the book, and it went through 2 more main characters by the time I stopped reading. I vaguely recall the cover having a faded pink and teal border.

6. Once during the summer after high school my parents were gone for the weekend and I decided I wanted to bake a cake. In a springform pan. I’d never used a springform pan and I actually had no idea how it was supposed to work. For whatever reason, I thought the best solution was to go door-to-door down my street asking my neighbors if they knew how the pan fit together. When I got to the house of an older couple I remembered from years before, the husband answered the door and I asked if his wife could help me. He replied that she was dead and had been for several years. I went straight home and gave up on making a cake.

7. I hog jr in the mornings. She’s all smiley when she wakes up and I feel like I’ve earned some time having her to myself.

Finally, I’ll pass my Stylish Blogger award on to some other blogs I’ve been reading lately. (Please note that these are all real people I actually know. There are lots of lovely blogs I’ve started looking at, but since I don’t know the authors, I feel a little weird writing to tell them that I gave them an award.)

  • Melissa of Griffiths Gazette is my visiting teaching companion and I’m not sure if she knows I read her blog. Does that count as stalking? Well, we’re about to find out.
  • Katie of When I Grow Up, I Want to be a Mommy [Blogger] is my cousin, and right now she’s training for a half marathon – something I definitely never could (or would) do.
  • Megan of NickMeg.com and I went to middle school and high school together, so we probably know way too many embarrassing stories about each other. Also, I’m jealous of her life. It sounds way more interesting than mine.
  • I’m just going to put in a plug here for the Romgi (of Romgi the Enigma) because, you know, that’s the sort of thing spouses do.

To sum up, the powers that be have declared these 3 conditions for accepting your award:

1. Thank and link to the person by whom your award was conferred (that’s me).
2. Tell your readers 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award on by linking to blogs you’ve recently discovered.

Enjoy, and thanks again, Deborah!

Jürgen Habermas

WOW, guys. Juggling two kids and five classes has been easy compared to reading some of Habermas‘s work.

I’ll try to give you a better summary after we have an actual class lecture on Habermas tomorrow, but the basic idea I can get out of the 20 pages I read is that he came up with the concept of two main components to all societies: system and lifeworld. Understanding this part wasn’t too bad; the lifeworld is kind of the informal setting for our norms, and family is a big part of the lifeworld. The system is the political and economic formal institutions of society. But then the excerpts got into a very academic and theoretical discussion of how politics work – how we influence politics as citizens, how the mass media interacts with politics…and the second selection I had to read was really way over my head. I’d like to tell you what it was about, but it was full of sentences like this:

[The mass media] free communication processes from the provinciality of spatiotemporally restricted contexts and permit public spheres to emerge, through establishing the abstract simultaneity of a virtually present network of communication contents far removed in space and time and through keeping messages available for manifold contexts.

Anyone care to translate? So far my classes really haven’t been too challenging. I’ve had some struggles with the other critical theorists we’ve discussed in this particular class (Contemporary Sociological Theory), but Habermas…sheesh. My brain needs a break! I think I’ll finish reading How to Train Your Dragon now.