Friday, March 27, 2009

Them Donaldsons yet again

I use to hope that I was adopted, but because of my height I could never entertain the idea very long. I did however wonder where I got my good looks. When I was about 16 I met my great Aunt Carol. Even though she was probably in her 70's, I felt I had finally found my look alike. Now, we have different noses, but does anyone recognize a face shape like mine? Click on the photo to see it larger.
P.S. The oldest woman in the photo is my great-grandmother. Yes, the very one who had 10 kids after the age of 30. (I think the two shorter men are from great grandpa's first marriage.) My grandpa is the third from the left sporting a thoughtful smile.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


So the first time Stephen and I talked about kids when we were dating, I simply said I wanted a big family. I was thinking at most around 8. I've heard that once you have kids you usually want half as much. So I thought, hey, who knows if I'll even want one by the time we're done. When I asked Stephen how many he was thinking it was a modest18. I guess this picture of the dugger family must have been in his mind:
I responded by asking him how many wives he was planning on having.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Continuation of the last couple posts

Well since Stephanie has encouraged me to write more (and it doesn't take much for me to be flattered into continuing) I will expound on my last post.
The danger I see from putting an over emphais on intelligence are the following:
  • When we start valuing intelligence too much, we just might start to get bored easily with people who don't provide stimulating conversation. We find it charity work to talk to people that though they could have something fascinating to tell us, but we brush them aside as dull.
  • Not only do we enter the rat race, but we bring our children along with them. We feel that they have to do everything from speaking French, Latin, and Chineese by the time that they're in 3rd grade or their future at a happy contented life is doomed.
  • We alienate ourselves from each other. We start seperating ourselves into smart groups and less than smart people groups. As our interaction amongst ourselves decrease so our horizions and insight.
  • While there are some things we can do to increase our intelligence, they are small. Individuals can, however, devote themselves to working hard for learning's sake (such as not blogging when you should be writing the 65 pages you still have to write before the end of the semester) or engaging in charity.
  • One other problem is that because intelligence is something that should not necessarily be hid, it can if not used properly just promote the showing off and honors of men.
  • Tower of Babel. Sometimes when we push intelligence we start thinking we can do it on our own and we need to remember we need God's intelligence. Everything he gives us is a gift so we better not feel too comfrotable with the idea.

As I write this I don't want it to be an attack on intelligence or intelligent people. That's not at all what I would want to be the result. Rather intelligent people are a dream come true (come on I'm married to one), but there is more to life than just intelligence and I think that is a message (but not that there is more to life than Stephen and food).

These are all the ideas I had and I admit I'm still searching for a feedback on the topic so feel free to write what you will.

Okay Stephen and I are going to finally get to that date night of ours, so I'm a goner.


by: Edward Rowland Sill (1841-1887)

      The royal feast was done; the King
      Sought some new sport to banish care,
      And to his jester cried: "Sir Fool,
      Kneel now, and make for us a prayer!"

      The jester doffed his cap and bells,
      And stood the mocking court before;
      They could not see the bitter smile
      Behind the painted grin he wore.

      He bowed his head, and bent his knee
      Upon the Monarch's silken stool;
      His pleading voice arose: "O Lord,
      Be merciful to me, a fool!

      "No pity, Lord, could change the heart
      From red with wrong to white as wool;
      The rod must heal the sin: but Lord,
      Be merciful to me, a fool!

      "'T is not by guilt the onward sweep
      Of truth and right, O Lord, we stay;
      'T is by our follies that so long
      We hold the earth from heaven away.

      "These clumsy feet, still in the mire,
      Go crushing blossoms without end;
      These hard, well-meaning hands we thrust
      Among the heart-strings of a friend.

      "The ill-timed truth we might have kept--
      Who knows how sharp it pierced and stung?
      The word we had not sense to say--
      Who knows how grandly it had rung!

      "Our faults no tenderness should ask.
      The chastening stripes must cleanse them all;
      But for our blunders -- oh, in shame
      Before the eyes of heaven we fall.

      "Earth bears no balsam for mistakes;
      Men crown the knave, and scourge the tool
      That did his will; but Thou, O Lord,
      Be merciful to me, a fool!"

      The room was hushed; in silence rose
      The King, and sought his gardens cool,
      And walked apart, and murmured low,
      "Be merciful to me, a fool!"

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The glory of God is intelligence?

Perhaps this is a continuance in a way from my last post.

So what is my bone to pick this time?

Well this time I am not articulating any argument I have heard recently in class from the words of some great theorist, rather it is because I have not heard this issue that I write.

Let me preface the rest of my blog by saying that I am probably of average intelligence, average work ethic, and average moral standing. The only non-average thing about me is perhaps my height, length of my tongue, and my love for cranberry juice and plaid. My few, yet ever faithful readers might well question whether this post is not just me manifesting my own insecurities of intelligence; they may well be right. Yet at the same time I feel some authority because I am average, or in other words I have experienced both sides. I see what it means to have people think your smart just because you're in graduate school, and at the same time I see people who might find me less than intelligent if they heard my Portuguese.

My question is why our obsession with intelligence. Perhaps I am hypersensitive being surrounded by university friends and foes, but there is something disturbing about the emphasis that is given to intelligence. While I believe intelligence is a gift of the spirit, I believe that our emphasis on intelligence within the Mormon culture has gone too far. Yes, we believe the glory of God is intelligence, but what does that mean? Does it really mean our academic success? Does it really mean our ability to memorize and regurgitate, or even to critique and analyze an argument? To be witty?

Or does it have something to do with following after the light and truth God gives us?

This blog is obviously classifying intelligence in the traditional sense of academic intelligence. I realize that there are arguments for other kinds of intelligence such as physical or spacial etc. I agree, and yet why do we have to make sure everyone is considered intelligent for legitimacy?

Perhaps simplicity in more than just our clothes isn't so bad.

While I am not by any means saying we should stop trying to be smart, I am saying that perhaps as a culture (of which I am a participating member) we care all too much about this when we should be caring about something far more important and of greater value.

The point: righteousness does not equal intelligence.

I have not written half of what I want to on this subject, but the rest will have to be saved for another day.

the end.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ode to spell checker

When I was a child I told my long-time friend Stephanie of Schumanns one day when we were walking home that when I was a goddess, I would make a world of hedgehogs. Surprisingly, I no longer have this desire, and hope I will not be held accountable for my childhood fantasies, but would not mind in the learning process of world creating making a couple full of happy hedgehogs. It's funny that now, when I imagine the kind of world I would want to create, the importance of spell checker comes to mind. Yup, random, but true. Yes, the idea of a world where people don't have to suffer for their inability to spell or catch grammatical mistakes has also passed my mind quite frequently. Frankly, I think there's a reason my ancestors were coal miners, even if they had had the opportunity to go to school past the 4th grade, they never would have made it far without spell checker. That is, if they were anything like their descendants they have produced. So three cheers to spell checker and for the girl who always got out the first round of the spelling bee---yes me.

Okay speaking of me, I have found a new favorite poet. For those of you who enjoy, I will post her blog site. Oh and yes, I really am that self-centered enough to finally post this when there is a post dedicated to me. hehe.

okay, back to work. I've got 23 minutes before my ethnography paper is due and Stephen (who is correcting it next to me) just said "Rachel, I think it's illegal to try and re-write the English language." Sigh. Well, obviously he would not benefit from my world with spell checker, perhaps he'll have to stay behind in hedgehog land.

the end.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Them Donaldsons

Since about half the people who read this blog are Donaldsons, and the other half should only hope their children marry into the clan (or well rather the Donaldsons want them to marry into the clan), I thought I would write some of the great things about being a Donaldson.

15. All Donaldson men, and in-laws, look nice in the plaid shirts they get each year at Christmas.
14. El Paso, No Nobis, Big Iron, Good King Wenceslas, and Beautiful Savior and three cheers are interchangable at all major events (major events being defined as any event with food.)
13. Spontaneous rolling up our pants to show off our "Scottish legs" to all our visitors.
12. It's not "chores" it's "child labor." It's not "the yard" its "the end of the land." You're not "spoiled" you're a "MAP" (Mormon American Princess), and the kk.
11. Bible names or names that end in e (Mary, Elle, Hyme, Amme, Abby, Maddy, Clarity, Jonny, ugly etc.)
10. Sin of sins? Letting a guest go hungry. We force feed any and everyone who comes to our home. While this might be more of a pain for those who made the mistake of eating before they came, or awkward like it was the first time Stephen came to my house after our first date and dad brought out the dessert of cottage cheese, strawberries and bananas.
9. Compost or die.
8. Seeing random people of your life without invitation show you some nasty sore, scar, or bandaid and say "this is what your dad did to me last week."
7. 5 phone calls a week from sisters checking to see if you're pregnant and tell you to stop wanting it so much and THEN you'll get pregnant (just kidding, I love you guys and will beat you up if you stop asking)
6. Threats of violence (see #7).
5. If you want to talk to someone you call from where your at instead of going to find them "RaycHEEEELLLLL"
4. Buckaroo Bonzai, We're No Angels, and Evil Roy Slade.
3. At every family get together with more than 2 boys, there are jumping contests to see who weighs the most, whose the tallest, and who can jump to hit the tallest beam in the house. This is then carried on to the next generation in the following way:
2. Monthly updates on children's height, weight, head size percentile. I don't think I remember one of the updates that did not have at least one of these in the 95% if not all three.
1. Guilt at being just about the coolest clan this side of Timpview Dr. (Cranneys excluded).