Monday, May 31, 2010

on to the next

I just finished reading The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I had a professor tell me that I wasn't a true English major until I read it- so in honor of Salinger's passing earlier this year I finally took the plunge. And I have to be honest- I wasn't that impressed- at least not for what a big deal it's supposed to be. It was good- it just wasn't great. Partly I think because I couldn't I couldn't really relate to Holden. I liked the stream-of-consciousness-esq writing style, but Holden is just so cynical. It was kind of depressing. But at least now I can say I've read it and be a true English major.
The next book on my list is Night by Elie Wiesel. I attempted to start it once but I got depressed and sad and couldn't make it past the introduction without crying so I went on to something happier. It's not a big book at all- 120 pages, and typically I could plow through a book that thin, but I have a feeling I might end up dragging this out. I can only take so much.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

oh what do you do in the summer time...

I've been pondering how I want to spend my summer. Technically this could be my last summer in Provo- probably not, but maybe. And I don't want to risk missing out on things. So here's my summer to-do list:

Saturday mornings at the Provo Farmers Market
A trip to the Hale Center Theater to see To Kill a Mockingbird
Afternoons at 7 Peaks (weather permitting- cross your fingers!)
Saturday trips up to the Gateway, Bruges Waffles and Frites, and Gourmandise Bakery in Salt Lake
Playing tennis at BYU's outdoor tennis courts
Go see Paul McCartney in concert! (see post below)
Possible trip to California/Disneyland
Dinner group on Tuesday/Thursday
See Carrie Underwood at Stadium of Fire
Thursday evenings in July/August will be spent at the Twilight Concert Series (free!)

It should be a fairly good summer- I have to live it up while I have the chance!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

let the count down begin

It's official. I am going to see Paul McCartney on July 13. I can not wait! Thanks Candace and Dan for letting me tag along!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


ain't she a beauty?

I want a bike. In my ideal world I would ride all over Provo on this beautiful thing. I'd go to the park and read, I'd go to the farmer's market, the swimming pool, friend's houses, the Provo library. The sun would be shining- but it wouldn't be too hot. I'd be in a summer skirt with my hair blowing in the wind. The tassels from my bike would be blowing. I'd be ringing my bell. There'd be fresh fruit in my basket and a good book. But right now it's raining and dreary. And the bike I want is $500. Therefore, I don't think this beautiful fantasy will be coming to fruition. But a girl can dream.

In other news- Paul McCartney is coming to Utah in July. Tickets are $50-$250. I want to go
so badly. Paul is my favorite Beatle! And this is totally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The only problem is I don't have anyone to go with. Any takers?

Friday, May 14, 2010

a decision

It's no secret that I'm itching to leave Provo. I would take almost any opportunity to go explore some other unknown place or land. Because of this I decided that I wanted to do my semester of student teaching in Washington DC. I fell in love with it when I went a few years ago with my Pops. It's a magical place to me, and I felt right at home as I wandered the streets alone. I've had some good friends do internships in DC thru BYU's Washington Seminar program and they just loved it and raved about living in Washington D.C. My friend Kristen even got to attend President Obama's inauguration. And I have been anxiously awaiting my turn to go live in our nation's capitol and enlighten the minds of youth in the ways of great literature and writing. However, I have decided that I'm not going to go. It slightly breaks my heart. But after lots of agonizing, some pro/con lists, discussions with friends and my professor and some great insight from Elder Scott, I have chosen to do my student teaching in Utah. While the deadline isn't until September to apply, I had to let the English Department know about my decision ASAP so they could decide about placements. So there it is- I will be staying in Provo. No Washington D.C adventures for me. At least, not yet.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

a love letter

dear b.y.u. and the nice people who give money to b.y.u.,

you are amazing. your letter today made me smile. in fact i was so happy i pretty much started to cry. i'm my mother's daughter- what can i say? thank you for being willing to pay for ALL of my tuition for fall/winter semesters. i was kind of getting worried as to how i would pay for everything seeing as how from january-april i won't have any sort of income- student teaching is taking over. but then you sent me a lovely note- congratulating me on receiving a scholarship. oh happy day! right away i called my beautiful mother, and she was happy too. because if i didn't get a scholarship i would have been on the michael and holly dunn scholarship- but i think this is better. and i'm pretty sure they think so too. so thank you. it's nice knowing my hard work has paid off and that i have one less thing to stress over and worry about. i promise that if i ever get rich (which is highly unlikely seeing as how i'm going to be a teacher and all-but maybe i'll marry rich) that i will happily donate some of my hard earned money to this lovely institution so future educators will be able to survive when they go through their semester of student teaching.


jennifer l. dunn

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

the world through pictures

I love the NYT sometimes. They had a brilliant idea that they recently posted on their website. They had readers from all over the world take pictures at the exact same time and day and send them in. I think it's brilliant. You can view pictures from all over the world of people doing everyday activities- and I think that it's just such a simple idea but it offers great insight into the world around us and into the lives of strangers I'll never meet and places I'll never go. It's entitled "A Moment in Time" and if you have a few extra minutes I think you should definitely take the time to explore it and look at some pictures.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Today I REALLY want to go to Greece. Like really, really want to go. Isn't it gorgeous? Sadly, it would drain my bank account to simply buy the ticket- let alone travel around Greece. And there's the little factor of school, tuition, rent and groceries that keep seem to be getting in the way.

by popular request

And by popular request I mean one request. This is for you Angela. :)

Sensational Summer Reads:
1. The Giver: Lowry
-I find this book fascinating- it is a very interesting commentary on the future of our society
2. Number the Stars: Lowry
-This was one of my favorite books as a kid- it's a very quick read and I love the perspective
3. The American Scholar: Emerson
-In my senior seminar my professor briefly mentioned this essay and I was reminded of how much I love it. The first time I read it in my intro to American Lit course it blew my mind. Some people think Emerson is too pretentious but I just love him.
4. The Kite Runner: Hosseini
-Not for the faint of heart. I think this book deals with some amazing themes and if ever in a position I would love to teach this book. It gave me some really good insights and enlarged my perspective of the world- especially of the Middle East. There are some rather violent and graphic parts just as a warning but they are vital to the storyline.
5. Because of Winn Dixie: DiCamillo
-This pretty much sums it up. And I quite liked the movie.
6. Fugitive Pieces: Michaels
-I read this book in my Postmodern Lit class and fell in love. This is perhaps the mostly beautifully written book I have read to date. The language and imagery is simply amazing and the story line is deep and moving.
7. Tuesdays with Morrie: Albom
-When I first started reading this book I didn't know it was a true story- when I found out it just made me love it that much more. Morrie is the cutest man with some great insights into life. It's a short and quick read but very valuable.
8. Ella Enchanted: Levine
-A childhood classic. Don't let the movie deter you if you haven't read it yet. It's a fun and easy read.
9. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Series: Brashares
-I saw the movie first and then decided to read the books. Bridgette can annoy me sometimes but overall I really like these books and I think that the best time to read them is summer- since that's when they take place! There are 4 books but I think the first is my favorite.
10. Leaves of Grass: Whitman
-I've been dying to lay outside and read Whitman and soak in the sun and soak in his words simultaneously. He's definitely one of my favorite poets. I think he does a great job touching on what the people of the time value.
11. The Hunger Games Series: Collins
-Very compelling reads- I got the first two books for Christmas and couldn't put them down. I think I read them in two days. Original and interesting. Very plot driven. The third and final book comes out in August and I'm quite excited.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

a poem for thought

When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer

HEN I heard the learn’d astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

-Walt Whitman


I really like recommending books to people- partly because I love when people recommend books to me and give a good explanation for wanting me to read the book, because then I feel compelled to find out why they liked it so much. And so- I am going to give a few book recommendations.
I just finished reading The Book Thief by Mark Zusak. It was so good! It is a little on the longer side (550 pages) but is extremely compelling. It starts off a tad on the slow side but quickly picks up. I loved this review in the NYT. The last paragraph is beautiful and really gives a good summary of some of my feelings about this novel. A few things I love about this book:
1. It's original- I LOVE books that are original and give me a new outlook or perspective.

2. The narrator is Death which I think is brilliant and fascinating.

3. It's set during WWII in Germany (and I'm fascinated by WWII) but gives a new POV than is typical for books about war- especially WWII.

4. Zusak is a great writer and this book has some great literary merit.

5. It's unlike anything I've ever read before- very postmodern- there are illustrations (-ish) and stories within the story, and the time line is a little bit skewed.
Read it!