Hey everyone, it’s been a while.

I’ve moved from Salt Lake City, after finishing my Associate’s degree in General Education with part of that including a wonderful study abroad trip to Japan for 3 weeks. I’ve been very very busy lately.

I moved to the St. Louis, Missouri, area to live near a couple of friends. Took me about a month, but I’ve just started working, manufacturing silicon wafers for microchips. Super crazy-cool stuff. The work I’m actually doing so far hasn’t been mindblowing, but the process is incredibly awesome. The shifts are long, 12 hours, but I get plenty of time between for ‘weekends’.

The plan so far is to get rid of all the debt I’ve accrued over the past couple years, finishing school on a part-time income and going to Japan at the same time has not been kind to my credit cards. Now that I’ve started this full-time job, I have to decide what I’m going to do with myself. I spend a lot of time alone still, haven’t had the money to do much. That combined with the fact I messed up my back pretty bad somewhere along the line, makes me less than mobile these days. I hope to get some insurance soon and get feeling better.

I am on my ‘weekend’ today, started work last week. I’m working an interesting schedule these days. having a bit of self-reflection after reading some introspective webcomics and listening to the Plain White T’s. Just thinking about things I want to do in the future. Maybe I’ve accomplished a lot in the past 4 years, but I’m not sure. Last time I talked to my dad, a few weeks ago, I felt like there was a breakthrough. We talked about work and pay, and his concerns for some of my siblings. I felt like there was some kind of mutual understanding that I had moved on from being just his son, to more of an equal, of a man with his own domain. I found out that my sisters are working, more than I am, even though I will be working 48 hours every other week. They’re doing home care with two different clients, one of which is a night shift, as well as taking nursing and EMT classes. I look back and I wonder, did I have that kind of drive, ever? Was it something like that which pushed me to leave the Crick? Maybe I could have stayed, I will never know. I don’t regret leaving the FLDS behind, but I wish I could have more of a relationship with my family sometimes. It’s tough. We relate on next to nothing. I have somehow become a pretty liberal person, open to many ideas about race, sex, nationalism and patriotism, politics, and the like. My family is still completely in the ultra-conservative, anti-government, Ron-Paul and country music. Makes it difficult to speak with them.

Anyway, this has been a ramble by yours truly. ‘Til next time!

Spring Break update

Hello everyone! It’s been a little while since I’ve written on here, and for that I apologize. I’ve been working my tail off and haven’t found or made the time to write. I planned to write after the holidays, but that didn’t happen. So, what’s happened in the past… three and a half months? Well, I finished Fall semester with decent grades: A in English 2010, A- in International Culture and Literature, and B in Reason and Rational Thinking. I’ll post some links to some of the writing I did for these classes here, if you’re interested in checking them out.

English 2010 writings:

This is my first portfolio main essay, it addresses some of my experiences with education. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ctMoTCY1miOrLBx2TorLnl7H3m0TDJBDOPmvXYJkZZE/edit?usp=sharing

This is a shorter essay that also went with my first portfolio, also talking about education. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1J9qXzryfn-6oFMyNPNSo3xbB9zRH07PgXM3-VAGwAXw/edit?usp=sharing

Second portfolio main essay is about technology and how it affects us today, and that’s here. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jCpYqmdIqle-weKXTzWlKeF-Pzua6G0GgdSZ8CGFDek/edit?usp=sharing

Second portfolio smaller essay, about where I want to be in 10 years. (That’s actually changed since I wrote this, and I’ll talk about that in a bit.) https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BEWm8U-yVnMovVNwwCEZ7ImkyVu6VXlZiF5Ca2H0W4s/edit?usp=sharing

My third and final portfolio main essay, which is about institutionalized polygamy in US society. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-j_R3iefQO7LnO5N3r7HMi4Xrr1et0FUR9z5TTYcWso/edit?usp=sharing

For my Intl. Lit class, I wrote a few things, the first is an essay about being the ‘other’, and for it, we had to become the other, and then respond to that ‘other.’ This was actually a pretty hard assignment. It’s hard to become the other and even harder to respond to it. I didn’t feel like this essay was done very well, but I’ll post it anyway. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1l5z6KGTok7fO8i9AmaGd3aHlk_wn0hcUbiGm_knzO3Y/edit?usp=sharing

I also wrote a couple poems which I’ll share as well. The first is based off an article we read in the class, called ‘The Trouble We’re In’ by Allan G. Johnson. It was quite interesting and, along with the rest of the class, has fundamentally changed the way I view the world today. At any rate, here’s the poem I wrote based off that. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-lynY46WPDBN0BT1S9Q6QU1Tg246TJ7pN-pHS3Xfks4/edit?usp=sharing

The last poem and piece of schoolwork I’ll be sharing with you is something that is original, but was given life by reading some of the older Chinese poems, which all focus on a single image to show a general idea. It doesn’t have a title. https://docs.google.com/document/d/13I5B-9BQX1Tz0X0QW9qiciwpL5HBxd39YjvhA3g6u3M/edit?usp=sharing

Alright then! That’s last semester’s work. I had a really good fall semester, challenging, but rewarding. Then I went to work over the break and was caught completely unawares for the current semester. I had to drop a class this time around, just wasn’t ready for the workload. I’m taking Biological Anthropology, Intro to Geology, and…. *drumroll* International Study Abroad to Japan this semester. This is a huge deal for me. Ever since I left the FLDS, I’ve wanted to travel to Japan, and I’m oh so very close to doing it.

The study abroad program is three weeks of various studies and excursions at Shitennoji University in Osaka, Japan. We’ll be taking classes on meditation, the tea ceremony, flower arranging, calligraphy, and various other Japanese cultural arts. We’ll also head over to Kyoto and possibly Hiroshima while we’re there, so that’s pretty exciting. After the three weeks, myself and two of my classmates have opted to stay for five more days, and we’re going to be heading up to Tokyo for that time. It’s going to be, well, f**king awesome.

For someone like me to get to Japan is a huge win, and a massive undertaking. I’ve been stressed about financials for the better part of three months, and this has not contributed to my success in school so far. As I mentioned before, I had to drop a class for the first time. I’ve also had some pretty bad stress/anxiety attacks, but I’m working through it. It’s just very hard to maintain buoyancy with current bills while still saving up a couple thousand dollars for travel expenses.  I’ve managed, through the aid of student loans and my tax return, to pay for the airfare and lodging. Just not sure what I’m going to be eating while I’m there… If anyone has suggestions on how to make around $1500 in a month and a half, while still maintaining grades, or wants to help me with expenses somehow, I’d really appreciate it.

The other two classes I’m taking are… alright. I’m not doing so well in the Anthropology class, the teacher’s style and my learning style aren’t meshing very well. I’ll be lucky to pass it with a C. As for the Geology class, I’m actually enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. Who knew the study of rocks was interesting?

When I mentioned something about changing where I want to be in ten years earlier, here’s what I’m talking about: I’ve been heavily considering switching my major to an Associate’s of Science in General Education from an AS in International Studies. I’m just not sure what I want to do anymore. I think I want to learn how to do machining or welding or something with my hands. I’m also frustrated at the amount of time and effort that has gone into my schooling so far, with the only results being more debt and eating mac n cheese. I’ve almost got enough credits to do the AS in gen eds, so I think I’ll just cut it short and then take some tech school classes. I’m trying to maintain mobility and solvency, and that’s really damn hard without much parental support.

In summary, sorry about the lack of update, some stuff from my previous semester, I’m going to freaking JAPAN, but need some help buying food while I’m there, and maybe my future isn’t as set as I once thought it was.



Pre (?) Holiday update

This is a little late to be called truly pre-holidays, but it’s still early on in the Christmas frenzy, so I’m calling it that. I’ve been up to quite a bit in the past month and a half, I think. I moved into a new apartment closer to school and work, which is awesome. I get my own bedroom, and my own bathroom as well. That’s really nice.

School has been going pretty well, I don’t think I’m getting perfect A’s, but I’m going to pass my classes. Which is all that really matters at this stage. International Literature has been one of the best classes I’ve ever taken. ever. It’s a “diversity” class, and relating literature to how we interact with “others” in our society is immensely interesting to me, considering my background. It might seem a bit strange, but I’ve definitely found an interest and possibly a passion here. I like the class so much I’m considering taking more classes in this vein from the same teacher. My other classes are… eh. They’re there.

In more exciting school news, I have applied and been accepted for the three week long Japan study abroad, which will be taking place next May. Just gotta do a little fiscal finagling and I think I can have funds to cover all the expenses. I’ve been wanting to go to Japan for a very long time, and this is going to be a once in a lifetime experience, as well as kind of a test run to see if I will pursue studying or a career in Japan. I’m really looking forward to this.

And now what everyone is worrying about right now, or so it seems, the holidays. I really don’t like holidays. That may seem strange coming from someone who was… deprived of many holidays. We never celebrated Christmas, birthday celebrations were low key, and by the time I was 12 or 13, July 4th, an October harvest festival, and Thanksgiving were no longer community-wide events due to Warren Jeffs’ decrees. I guess a lot of people see that we didn’t have these holidays growing up, and are like, “oh these poor kids, we need to show them this joy that they’re surely missing!” I don’t feel that way at all. I don’t like Christmas, it’s a massive waste of time and energy in my opinion. I don’t think there really needs to be some kind of holiday to gather friends and family together in the case of Thanksgiving. I like the food, but then again, Thanksgiving is kind of one of the only holidays that hasn’t been commercialized. That may have some to do with it. I just feel a huge disconnect between this supposed joy or tradition or whatever, for holidays, and what I actually feel. I’m used to working over the holidays, I don’t really have like, a family to go to in the case of the holidays, I don’t have really a strong connection to any church, or a sense of community out here. And the thing that blows people away I guess, is that I am not bitter about this. I don’t care that I don’t care about putting up a Christmas tree or blowing hundreds of dollars on fireworks for the Fourth. When I was asked what I wanted for Christmas the first time I was out here.. I didn’t know what to ask for. I already had what I needed, and all of the things I wanted were very expensive. It’s just interesting that people forget that the FLDS is an entirely different culture, and that I don’t have the same traditions as the typical American family. And that I’m totally ok with that.

Anyway, end rant. I’m really looking forward to finishing this semester in the next couple weeks, and I really look forward to the next semester and Japan. See you around!
EDIT: I almost forgot to post this link! This is the latest 20/20 special on the FLDS. The family portrayed here, are my mother’s cousins. Suzette is my mother’s aunt, and she went to school with my dad. Interesting stuff! http://abcnews.go.com/watch/2020/SH559026/VD55250801/2020-1123-breaking-polygamy-secrets-of-the-sect


So. School started about a month and a half ago. I am taking some reading and writing heavy classes this semester, English 2010, an International Literature class, and a Critical Thinking class. So far, I’m surviving, but I am not getting A’s. This school thing is a lot harder for me right now compared to high school, where I just kind of floated through, getting A’s and B’s. I’m really terrible at writing. Reading some of my blog you may disagree, but there’s a reason why I don’t post here very often. It’s hard to organize my thoughts into something coherent at times. And having deadlines makes it even worse. I’ve submitted my first of three portfolios for my English class, and I didn’t do one of two smaller essays, because I couldn’t think of what to write, and I am extremely proficient at procrastination and avoidance.

My International Literature class is extremely interesting, however. The teacher uses different world poetry and prose to address issues of privilege, race, gender, among other things, in US American society. For someone who hasn’t really been fully exposed to the US culture, it’s interesting to learn about these things. And in some cases, confusing and frustrating. We have questions on the different readings that we do, and some of them ask things like, “how is x thing different in US culture”. I DON’T KNOW. It’s an interesting way to learn about “our” culture. By learning about the prejudices and stereotypes that we have in the US.

The Critical Thinking class is pretty neat as well. Learning about different argument types and structures, what an argument actually is, fallacies, logic, and other things that pertain to arguments and critically analyzing them. It’s good stuff.

Also, in the last few months, I’ve switched jobs. Now I work at a shipping company, loading little brown trucks that deliver all of your favorite things. I am up at 3AM every weekday, and work until about 8:30. Then school twice a week, with classes starting at 10. It’s an alright schedule, and the work pays better than my previous retail job, as well as being consistent, so that I can know what to expect for hours and pay. But I’m living in a three-bedroom apartment with two people, so my rent is really high. We plan to move sometime before the end of November, but having such close margins on finances means that I end up not doing anything outside of school, work, and gaming.

I’ve been really scrimping and saving besides the rent situation, because my school is offering a three-week study abroad to Japan next spring that I’m really trying to go on. I can do it, if I am able to save all of the money I get from Pell Grants and other student aid. Which ends up with me trying to live off just under $800 a month, and over half of that going to rent. Another couple obstacles for Japan that I haven’t worked out yet: one is my job, and the other is that I have to find out if I need health insurance in order to go to Japan. I haven’t contacted my job yet because I don’t know if I’ll even be able to go yet. Health insurance is expensive. That,plus passports, personal expenses, etc etc. It’s going to be a bit of logistical finagling.

Having school and work be essentially my only in-person social contact is really taxing. I’ve spent the last few days, which were Fall Break, inside, playing Borderlands 2. I’ve put nearly 100 hours into the game in the past 3 weeks. It’s a great game, and I love it, but I seriously need someone to hang out with. Making friends is hard when the only groups that you could get to without much expense are people that don’t really care about the same things you do.

One of the commenters on my previous post asked if I attend church right now, and the short answer is: no. I don’t. In this phase of incredible self-discovery that I’ve been going through for almost the past 3 years, I really have moved away from all religions. I have many acquaintances who are non-denominational Christians, and they are really great people, but I don’t understand how they can really believe in some of the things they do. People talking about how Jesus has somehow done things for them in their lives… I don’t buy it. I had to pull my own ass out of the mud by myself, I highly doubt Jesus had anything to do with that. I try not to share my opinions on these matters very often because they may seem extremely harsh, but I really get annoyed by people talking about miracles n shit all the time. I see reality a lot more objectively. Kind of a rant there. Sorry if you’re offended.

So, yeah. That’s what’s been happening lately. School, work, gaming, Saving for Japan. And, a little bit of social neediness that I haven’t figured out how to fill yet.

Safety Net Annual Conference, and Update

Hey there! I know it’s been just a liiittle bit more than a week, but I swear I haven’t forgotten about this blog!

Last Friday I went to the annual Safety Net conference, just to see what it was all about. It was very interesting to see the different “camps” trying to get their viewpoint heard, as well as those who were obviously new to this “scene” and its predjudices. There were some presentations on Attachment Theory, which I found extremely interesting. I could definitely see some of the issues that insecure attachment brings, in myself. That is something I find interesting, because for an FLDS kid, I had a very “normal” and supportive childhood. I’m the oldest of eleven, I have five brothers and five sisters. My dad doesn’t have plural wives, which is a bit of a surprise to some. As the oldest, I had a lot of privileges that many other FLDS youth did not have. I was able to keep my own bank account, and had my own cell phone by 18. But still, I find myself with some of the typical insecurities that a majority of kids from these fundamentalist Mormon communities have. Thankfully I haven’t been affected so much that I have that “need” to become addicted to harmful substances, as many kids have. I feel like this gives me a unique perspective on the plight of FLDS youth. Being one myself, I can relate to many of the things that happen with them, and understand why they do the things they do, but I have never had issues with alcohol, drugs, or sex. Somewhere along the way, I have found the drive to get through school and figure my life through more healthy coping devices.

Some of the presenters at the Safety Net conference were really pushing for decriminalization, and although I bring it up, I don’t really know the answer to that question. Would decriminalization actually change anything? that’s my question. There were the Dargers who wrote the book “Love Times Three”, a positive account of an independent polygamist family. And from what I could see, they seem to be well-adjusted individuals. But I could also tell that they were possibly trying just a little too hard. There was also a representative from the Kody Brown family, of Sister Wives notoriety. (and his cameramen). Once again, I wonder if he was just told what to say. Listening to people argue for polygamy is a very interesting thing to me. Because I’ve seen every argument before. Everything from “It’s an alternative lifestyle” to “Mind your own business” to “People practiced it in the bible, it must be good!” And none of these arguments stack up in my mind against some of the hard numbers. How can you say polygamy is good with only consenting adults, and then put people in a situation where they don’t really have much of a choice? What about the fact that the birth rates are 50/50 for male to female? Back when I was in the FLDS “Priesthood Schools” then they actually told us that there were more women in the world because the Lord had designed for polygamy to be the way of life. So, that was interesting. There is a wide range of individuals in polygamy. From the very strict hardliners such as the FLDS and the Kingston group (they scare me even more than the FLDS), to the more open communities and independents such as the AUB/Allred group and the Centennial Park group, and the Dargers. I don’t know what the solution is to the polygamy issue, but I was glad I was able to attend the conference and see some of the internal workings of maybe the possibilities of discourse.


On a more personal note, I’ve been doing a lot of construction work lately, that’s one reason I haven’t updated this blog. Working about 12 hours a day with my construction job and my retail job combined makes for a tired yehaa. Unfortunately, I don’t know how long this construction job will last. The pay isn’t bad, but it’s very inconsistent. My first paycheck was 3 days late, and I didn’t even know my pay rate until I received the check. Not good when I’m trying to make some rent and other things happen. I’m trying to find something a little more consistent for the next two months until school kicks in and I can get grants and loans to cover costs. Just the never-ending struggle of juggling finances. I’m feeling a lot better about it though, so maybe getting out of the house and out working has helped my mood, even though I’m ridiculously tired whenever I’m at home now…. haha. Thanks for reading, and catch you in the next couple weeks?

Weekly update

I’m going to try to update this blog about once a week as long as I’m not in school, so here goes.

This last week has been a pretty wild rollercoaster of emotions. not for any particular big reasons, just all of the little things that wear a person down. I’ve been thinking about where I want to end up in a year, 3 years, or even 10 years… and what I want to do isn’t lining up with my admittedly pessimistic/realistic view of where I think I can be financially. This fact has been really making me angry at the world, and I wish it wasn’t so. I want to be finished with my Associate’s degree by next summer, but that is definitely not going to happen if I have to go to work full time, and if I don’t do that, I’ll be crushed by the weight of my bills. I have a car in my name that my parents use, but are almost behind on the payment, and I have no way to pay the payment either. I don’t want to be an ass, but if they don’t pay it soon, I’m going to have to sell it just to get that loan out of my name. I have a bit of credit card debt, probably around 1500.00, and I owe 600/month for rent, out of a 20-hour a week job. plus living expenses. I’ve started to apply to full-time construction work, but I’m afraid my current job will hold me back until I quit it because of availability issues and the inherent inflexibility of construction work. I don’t really feel qualified enough to get any other jobs, however. *sigh*.

On top of the job issues, there are other things as well. I’ve been feeling extremely lonely and distant, the only people I ever talk to are usually through the computer. I want to have friends, but I’m not sure I have or am willing to expend the energy necessary to get them. And most of the energy drain comes from the financial issues mentioned above. Sometimes I just feel completely impotent, fighting against the world as it slowly smothers me. What does it take to be happy out here in the world? People say money is irrelevant, but I’m not finding that to be the case. Others will say to live in the moment, but I hate to pay consequences later. I feel like I’m stuck between now and 6 months into the future, with no way to resolve the issues. I don’t think I’m ready to take on the world, and yet I’m expected to. It’s all I can do not to turn into a 5 year old and scream about how life isn’t fair.

It isn’t all bad, though. I have been putting out resumes, even though I do it reluctantly, I really don’t want to do full time work. I’ve got a response on one, hopefully I’ll get a better paying job soon. Maybe one day I’ll be able to take care of myself. For now, I just want my mommy.


Rant and Update

Sorry for not posting in like, a year or something, but I’ve been busy with life and stuff and haven’t found the push to write until today.

I just want to kind of rant about some stuff and ask a few questions of the world at large. I was sitting at Wendy’s a few minutes ago, just thinking, and lately, financial stuff has been a big issue for me. I came to the realization that none of my friends that are around my same age are financially stable in the sense that they could take care of themselves. Most live with their parents, or if not, live from check to check. I decided not to take college classes this summer, and I wonder if I may have made a mistake because I won’t have access to school funding and loans, which will most likely come to bite me in the ass later anyway. I’m a twenty-something, left what is basically a religious cult 2 years and one month ago, and I’ve been struggling financially ever since. I realize this is not unique, but I just wonder at times if I’ll actually be able to make something out of myself in this world? The odds are stacked so high, I often wonder if it’s even worth trying, or if I should just drop out of school, go back into construction where I know I can make a decent paycheck, and be happy with what I can get. I’m tired of struggling, and it’s even harder with no real parental support. I don’t want to sound like a tool, but I sometimes wish I could still be coddled. as it is now, I have so little motivation to do anything, I end up sitting in my room waiting for something to happen. It’s kind of a pathetic existence, but I don’t really feel like I can change much about it. Plateaus in life are the worst.

In other news, a belated Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. I talked to my mother on Friday, and actually had a nice conversation with me. She said that she knew that I love her, which really makes me feel good about that. I’ve completed 5 semesters of college, with only 2 or possibly 3 to go, looking forward to getting my Associate’s next year sometime. I’ve decided to take this summer off to kind of recuperate and gather my thoughts, though. The last math class I took was pretty shaky, and I may have to re-take it. I’ve got big plans, I just hope to be able to bring them to some kind of fruition. until next time!