Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Graduate

“Ben, what are you doing?”
“Well, I would say that I am just drifting….here in the pool.”

            To celebrate my recent graduation from college I felt it appropriate to watch the 1967 film The Graduate.  In this film Dennis Hoffman plays Ben Braddock, a recent college grad that is lost after graduation and is worried about his future, sounds familiar.
            I have seen this movie before but as I watched this time I understood Ben in a way I have not before.  He is unsure about his future.  In one scene he tells his father he is scared for his future, that he wants his future to be…different.  I find myself in a same situation as Ben. (Except for the having an affair with an older married woman part, we differ in that regard.) Graduating from college is a scary step into the world.  For the past 25 years of my life I have been a student, which has been my identity.              After I finished college and left the study halls behind I no longer had the identity of a student.  I understood the world through the eyes of a student and graduation was always a far off distant reality that I never liked to think about.  Not only did graduation come, it flew at me like a baseball to the back of the head, a locomotive steaming past me at a hundred miles an hour, and I am still trying to stop my head from spinning.
            In the beginning of The Graduate, Ben is not sure what to do with himself.  His friends and family want to know what this college track star is going to do now that he is done with school.  He feels the pressure of their expectations.  There is a scene in the movie where Ben’s father forces him to show off his new SCUBA diving suit to some friends.  Ben, dressed in the suit, somberly flops the giant flippers on his feet as he walks from the house to the backyard pool, all you hear is his breathing through the respirator, and then he jumps in the pool.   The scene ends with him sitting in silence at the bottom of the pool, completely defeated, trapped under the weight of societal pressures and his own uneasiness.  I feel that same uneasiness about my future. 
            The rest of the movie involves Ben searching for his future and at the end it isn’t entirely clear if he has found it or not. I am drifting in the pool, but hopefully I am drifting forward.  I may not have found my future yet but unlike Ben I am confident that I will. And there is one other thing that I know for sure; things would be much better if I had Simon and Garfunkel as the soundtrack to my life.  

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

A little video I put together for Thanksgiving 2012

I've spent the last 4 months with all of these people.  They are some of the best people I've meet.  I am grateful I got have Thanksgiving with them in DC.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

What is there to do during a hurricane?  Well last week during Hurricane Sandy two fellow interns at the Barlow Center made cinnamon rolls. 

My friend Bethany and I went out to snap some shots of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy here in DC. 

This umbrella was one of the many victims of Hurricane Sandy

There were many storm gates down all over the city

Mary Poppins?

Sandbags, anyone?

Boat Graveyard

Broken Street lamp

This fallen hero is just across the street from the Barlow Center

Monday, September 3, 2012

Wendover, Nevada

            Wendover Nevada.  An oasis of flashy lights and unrepentant self-indulgence, it is crammed against the Utah border calling gamblers and bored BYU students to her gilded lounges and slot machines.  My first impression of the town was that it was trying so hard to be like Las Vegas but was failing horribly but I was quick to realize that town didn’t care about it’s lack of class, it wasn’t trying to be like Vegas, it only existed as a cheap and easy escape for people and she wears that badge with honor. 
            On a return trip from San Francisco I found myself stopping in Wendover for a meal before I made the last part of the journey home.  As I sat in Burger King eating my meal I thought why would anybody come to this town.  But then I thought I am in this town and if I have a reason for being here, they must have reason for being here too.
            I looked around the restaurant and saw all kinds of different people, old people, a family with young kids, and two police officers.  I thought all of these people also have reasons for being here.  They each possess events and stories to tell about their lives.  I thought about what has happened in their lives that brought them to this Burger King at the same time as me.  Something that for me was impossible to know.  Their lives are full of experiences, some good and some just horrible.  They have had their lifetime of experiences and I did know a single one of them, except for maybe the experience of eating a cheeseburger in Wendover, Nevada. 
            I arrived here in DC about a week ago.  I fought into Baltimore and rode a group shuttle into the district.  The driver threw my bag into the van and I climbed into the back seat.  The air conditioning was running at full power, it was freezing.  There was just myself and two other passengers on the shuttle.  As we drove down the freeway I thought of two things.  I couldn’t believe how many trees there were in Maryland; I was shocked to see so much green after living in brown for most of my life.  And I also thought of my two co-travelers.  Just like the people in Wendover I was intrigued by them, I wondered what had happened in their lives that lead them to be on this shuttle.  I wanted to talk to them for hours and learn every little detail of their entire lives.  But instead I sat quietly in the back row of the bright blue SuperShuttle van and watch the green trees go flying past my window. 
            As I reflect on these two moments I realize that everybody has his or her own stories to tell.  Everyone has experiences that make them who they are, but more importantly I discovered that I am interested in those experiences.  I want to know the stories that people have to tell and then I want to share them with others.  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Here is the link to a story I just finished for BYU Radio. Check it out and share it with other people.  It was a lot of fun to make.  I hope that you enjoy it.