02 June 2010


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?


  1. well, don't tell your mother I suggested this, but you could follow in Kirsti and Erica's footsteps and go skydiving! I can't even believe I said that!

  2. Or - have you hiked to the top of Timp yet? Taken a horse ride down Bryce Canyon? (I never thought horses were your favorite so you wouldn't normally do this) I will keep thinking.

  3. Come back to independent Study!!!! We miss YOU!!!

  4. My cousin teaches paragliding at the Point of the Mountain....and does tandem rides if you don't want to learn to do it yourself.