Sunday, January 25, 2009

5 years isn't too long... right?!

I remember the day well... I packed up everything I owned and stuck it neatly in the back of our family's pickup truck (with room to spare) and drove with my mom down to Provo, UT which would become my new home. And Provo did become my home until I could complete my undergraduate education. This process took me a total of 7 years, and I think they were the greatest 7 years I've ever had during the 21st century...
I've gone back through the archives, dusted off some journals, and compiled some pretty neat facts and statistics from my time as a BYU student. Enjoy!

-I graduated from Davis High School in Kaysville, UT in 2001. I have no idea what my rank in the class was or my final GPA. I also don't know of another High School in the country whose mascot was the "dart".

-I attended only one semester at BYU (Fall 2001) before being called as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I served in said calling for two years in New York City. It was an awesome experience and I loved it!

Me, my companion Elder Holmes, and the sister missionaries in my district visiting the Brooklyn Bridge.

-I originally started off as a student in the Mechanical Engineering Department, but had a sour experience with a professor who convinced me that Civil Engineering was the place for me! I switched to the CE Major after 4 full semesters of classes.

-I made a goal when I first got to BYU that every semester I would take at least one class that was "right brained" so to say. This came about because I quickly realized that if I am doing nothing but math, science, engineering, nnumbers and equations all day I would quickly go insane. Having a different sort of class helped to exercise a different region of the brain, and thus keep me from going nuts. I managed to succeed in this goal every semester that I was in BYU. As a result, I took some pretty sweet and interesting classes, for example:

-Shakespeare (ended up being one of my most memorable and favorite classes)
-swimming (took that class 3 times!)
-Dance (I learned swing, salsa, waltz, and the Cha Cha. I ended up in the top 5 for the Dancesport competition in the Waltz!)
-Isaiah (as in Old Testement)
-World Religions
-Art History
-Weight training (you should see my biceps now! You'll need a magnifying glass though...)
-Human Biology
-beginning gymnastics - where I learned how to do this:

Yes, yes, I known my legs aren't straight and my toes aren't pointed, but this IS a beginners class.

- I ended up graduating school with 177.5 credit hours earned. My final GPA was somwhere around a 3.4. 26 of those credit hours where from AP classes that I took in highschool. Those mostly got me out of some tedious physics and math classes. Another reason for the high number of credits is 16 credits of spanish that recieved from taking a test (como se dice "bathroom" en espanol?). The spanish language was thanks to my time as a missionary in New York.

- Counting my time as a missionary in New York, I lived in 20 different locations. Solely as a student, I lived in 12 different location. The longest time that I was ever in one house was17 months. Needless to say, when I hear the words: "
move" and "pack" I shudder and get a nervous tick in my eye.

- I worked the entire time I was going to school, sometimes up to 3 jobs at a time. I also never worked less than 20 hours a week. Here are some of the things that I did to help pay for school:

-Domino's Pizza (I held a record with my buddy Jordan for making some 90 pizzas in an hour)
-Computer technician, building and repairing systems.
-Carpet repair and Installation (me with a bunch of razor sharp carpet knives... I went through a lot of band-aids)
-Lawn aeration (a business I started with my little brother. I made like $600 in two days, and realized I don't want to aerate lawns for the rest of my life!)
-Bicycle repair (was let go after 2 1/2 weeks because they didn't have enough work for me to do, and never should have hired another person! Either that or I smelled funny, but I'm going to stick with the first one) (I reviewed and suggested personal stories to be filmed and shown on TV shows like Oprah, Dr. Phil, and others like it. We looked to reunite people who hadn't seen each other in a long time on television)
-Computer Forensics. I worked on troubleshooting and providing customer support for software that law enforcement could use to gather forensic evidence off cell phones. I worked for two companies (who shall remane nameless on this blog) I left the first company after about 2 months due to a pretty hostile work environment and went to company #2. #1 sued me thinking I was going to take company secrets and sell them to #2. We settled out of court, but I have since been soured to the idea of working in the field of computer forensics!
-Polynesian Dancing. (Aloha Catering and Pacific Sound Productions. We preformed at Luaus all over Utah and Salt Lake County, even as far as Idaho. Extremely fun)
-Utah Valley Tactical Action Games (this is the kind of job where I said to myself every night after getting home "If I could only figure out how to provide for a family with this job, I would never do anything else, and you would never find a happier man!" I worked with my brother-in-law Josh for 4 years as a referee and instructor for a mobile outdoor laser tag company. During the summer and fall times, we usually had at least one game per weekend with as many as 3-4 games per week.

This is with Craig, my little brother, who also joined on as a ref. Hooah!!

-Picture Framing. (An invaluable skill that I love doing, and will continue to do for the rest of my life!)
-Engineering Intern (both for the Utah Dept of Transportation and for a Private Company, Burns & McDonnell) The latter took me to Chicago during the summer of 2008.
-Teacher's Assistant. (If you want to know Engineering Statics like the back of your hand: be a TA and teach it to others.)

- I tavelled outside of the United States for the first time. I went with 17 other students in the Civil Engineering Dept to 4 cities in China (Beijing, Yichang, Shanghai, & Hong Kong) to study megastructures. Did you know that there are more 40+ story buildings under construction in Hong Kong than there are 40+ story building altogether in Manhattan?

On the 86th floor of the incomplete ICC Tower in Kowloon, Hong Kong. Across the bay, to the right of my head is the 2IFC Tower, which is the tower Batman jumped off in Dark Knight.

-I Ran my first Marathon ever in St. George, Utah, and learned two things: 1, I've never felt or known more pain than in the last 1.5 miles, and 2, I loved it and can't wait to do another!

-I participated in the Wasatch Back Relay for the fi
rst 4 years of its existence. You get a team of 12 people, and over the course of 24 hours or more, you run a relay from Logan to Park City, Utah, a distance of about 176 miles.

-I managed to run, and sometimes bike, up the road to the squaw peak lookout up Provo Canyon every winter that I was there. It's one of my favorite runs ever!

-I participated in BYU Luau every winter I was at school as well (that would make 5 times!) I danced in the Hawaiian, New Zealand, and Tahitian sections.
From left to right: Me, Naomi and my Bro-in-law brother Jacob, after dancing in the New Zealand Section.

-I met and fell in love with Naomi Uda. Boo-ya! I even convinced her to marry me! We got married in August of 2005. We Rock! (see top of blog for a good picture of us!)

-We had our first kid in January of 2008 (she actually turns 1 tomorrow)! Her name is Brooklyn, and as the Chinese proverb goes, there's only one cutest baby in all the
world, and every parent has it! Yup, she is THE cutest little girl in all the world.
-Well, there is more, but since this is long enough, I think that's enough for now! Now that I graduated from college, I packed up and left Provo, but this time it took me a tad more than a pickup truck to load everything out!
This picture does not include the Airbus 380 that was used to transport Naomi and Brooklyn to Chicago!


Brian Hanks said...

Nice flips! I wish I would have taken that gynastics class...

california smiths said...

Very fun to read. Provo is a wonderful place to make memories and start families ;)

Ioane said...

Wow you've had a lot of great experiences in the last seven years. The best one being that you married my sister. Good job. Also great flip. You looked pretty proud of yourself walking to the camera afterward and you should be.