When I left Tualatin to come to BYU, Mr. Malone gave me a graduation present and two pieces of advice:
Read for pleasure at least ten minutes every day.
Do something that you wouldn't normally do.
Actually, he gave me a lot more than that. He was the one who suggested at the end of my sophomore year that I ought to join the newspaper staff (for which he was the adviser). Aside from dropping intro-calc the second semester of my senior year, that was the best decision I made my entire high school career. Not only was I able to hone my writing skills, I discovered an outlet for my immense grammar knowledge as I gained a love for copy editing. By the time I was applying to colleges I didn't know what I wanted to major in, but the editing minor at BYU was quite appealing.
When we graduated, Malone gave each newspaper staff member a book (he's an English teacher, and I would expect nothing less) he felt they would enjoy or identify with. The book he chose to give to me was entitled The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary. I do not know why he decided to give me this particular book, and I doubt he remembers the choice, but I found the stories fascinating. While it took me a year and a half to get there myself, the English Language major encapsulates that book and it was really just a matter of time before I discovered it myself. His influence as a teacher and a friend directed me toward my education choices more than any other factors, and I would not be going to Emerson College without the support I received from Mr. Malone so many years ago.
Because of this, I feel compelled to act on both pieces of advice he gave me along with the book. While I have done fairly well with the first, even after living in Provo for four years and Jerusalem for four months, I have not yet done something that I feel qualifies as "something I wouldn't normally do." I have my routine, and while I've done things that take me out of my comfort zone, I don't think they count. Somehow in my mind I've created a deadline to fulfill this particular piece of advice---the end of August, the end of my time here at BYU. So. What is something I ought to do that I wouldn't normally choose to do for myself?