Paperclippings Blog: February 2008

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I pray because I believe, and I believe because I pray.

Joseph Walker--Deseret Morning News

Utah, United States

Kelly is the mother of 5 adorable kids--4 boys and a girl. The girl came in a package with a boy (twins). Kelly is married to a charming young man who lives and breathes computers. They are also guardians for three nieces and a nephew.

She is active in the community having served as PTA President of a local elementary school, on the board of the Salt Lake Mothers of Twins, as a district round-table trainer with the Cub Scouts, as a volunteer for Sidelines (a support network for Women on bed rest during pregnancy) and she and her husband are active in the LDS Church.

Read more about me...

My City of Heroes level 50 hero

Salt Lake LDS Temple Centennial with a full 3D model of the building in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. This Single Image Stereogram was done at the 100 year anniversary of the building's completion.

Printed at 18x24 inches.

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"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

Helaman 5:12

Courtesy of Scott Kurtz


Thursday, February 28, 2008

The teacher I remember best

On the first day of the 10th grade I sat in Mr. Walker's College Algebra class for the first time. As the year went on I learned that this teacher was no ordinary math teacher.

Jim Walker was a tall gray-haired man who walked with a slight limp. He almost always wore a white lab coat while teaching. He said he was a full time sheep farmer and a part time teacher--though he taught full time. He hailed from a fairly unknown small town in the southwest corner of the Salt Lake Valley. But this is not what made this teacher stand out among the others.

He stood out among other teachers due to his enthusiasm for teaching math.

That first year I got a taste of this enthusiasm as we solved polynomials and memorized digits of pi (at least the first 5 or 6 digits) and learned the quadradic equation. Interwoven into our lessons on the Pythagorean theorem we learned more about who Pythagoras was. We learned about how Pi (3.14159265...) came to be defined. As his students we made it a goal to calculate the digits of pi out 100 digits.

In 11th grade my schedule would not accomodate the regular trig/analytic Geometry class so I found myself (along with 2 others students) in an independent study math class held in Mr. Walker's class room during his off hour. I barely passed math that year. But, oh, we still had fun with Mr. Walker.

On occasion he would ask us to run down the hall to the vending machine to get him a Coke or some other soft drink. The first time he asked us to go we gladly took the opportunity to escape the classroom for a few minutes. On the way back that Coke was tossed and rolled and otherwise well-shaken.

On this particular occasion he was onto us. He deduced what we had done and tapped the top of his soda to lessen the severity of any explosion that might occur due to our little "shake-up."

A few weeks later the same request was made. Again, we all jumped at the chance to get out of class for a few. And again, that Coke was tossed and rolled. But this time, due to being obsorbed by correcting Calculus examination papers, he paid little attention to the abuse to which we had subjected that aluminum can.

Needless to say, the Calculus students found a sugary substance on their corrected math tests the next day.

But all this was still only a taste of what this teacher was about. My senior year found me in Mr. Walker's Calculus class. There were 16 of us in his class that year-- 8 boys and 8 girls. This was a class we could get college credit for if we took a test at the end of the year and passed it.

Though I struggled to wrap my brain around that daunting subject, I thorougly enjoyed the class. Though there were days when I really didn't like doing calculus, I always loved going to Mr. Walker's class. I probably paid more attention to his lessons because I enjoyed the class than I would have if I had dreaded going to that class.

As the final advanced placement examination loomed, Mr. Walker gave up a Saturday or two so that we could have a couple study sessions. These were times where we could cram our hearts out with the benefit of having the teacher there to answer questions or review a difficult problem. Perhaps it was the pizza he provided or the real need to study for the exam, but nearly every student was there for those study sessions.

In late summer 2001 Jim Walker succomed to cancer. I attended his funeral. In 2004, just before Christmas, I moved to that small town in the southwest corner of the Salt Lake Valley that was home to the teacher I remember best.

Mr. Walker's home town is not so small any more and his legacy lives in his son who sits on the city council in this once small town.

NOTE: Jim Walker's son is no longer on the city council, but his daughter in law now teaches math at Herriman High School.  Right here in our not so small town.


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Monday, February 25, 2008

MY first flight

My dad had a friend when I was younger who had a private pilot's license. One day, when I was just 2 years old, my dad took me with him on a airplane ride with this friend. I remember getting into the plane. I remember that the plane was a small light weight plane with only 4 seats.

We took off from Salt Lake City's smaller airport. I can't tell you what the take off was like. I just remember being way up in the air. This is where my memory kicks into high gear.

The fact that we were way up in the air settled quite profoundly on my 2-year old self. I remember being completely aware of the ramifications of our position in the clouds. When an airplane turns it does not simply turn like a car. It tilts. So when our plane tilted so that MY window was pointing down this 2-year old got a "little" uneasy.

It was at this point that my little self said, "DON'T TURN THE PLANE UPSIDE DOWN!!!!"

I remember it well!


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Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine Poem

By popular ( some) demand, here is the poem my 'shweetie' wrote for me on Valentine's Day this year.

In my heart you sit upon a throne,
And save me from benighted life alone
Spent in fruitless wand'ring, tossed and blown.
My love is strong because you've always shown
Me how to really see.

The time required to know just what to do
And how to end the old for something new
While holding all the time to what is true
Will help me strive and then become what you
Believe me now to be.

...and he's all mine!!


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Friday, February 08, 2008

Why vote for McCain???

I will be the first to admit that I do not like McCain. I am not happy with yesterday's turn of events. Nonetheless, I give you one reason to vote for McCain. It's called the war, baby, the war!

In yesterday's speech to the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) Mitt Romney let us all know that he was bowing out of the race.

""If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror," Romney told the crowd."This is not an easy decision for me," Romney continued. "I hate to lose. My family, my friends and our supporters ... many of you right here in this room ... have given a great deal to get me where I have a shot at becoming president. If this were only about me, I would go on. But I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, I feel I must now stand aside, for our party and for our country."

At first I was doubtful that McCain would be supportive of our efforts in the war. Then I read what Patrick said over at Born again Redneck. He quoted McCain:
"Senator Clinton and Senator Obama will withdraw our forces from Iraq based on an arbitrary timetable designed for the sake of political expediency, and which recklessly ignores the profound human calamity and dire threats to our security that would ensue. I intend to win the war, and trust in the proven judgment of our commanders there and the courage and selflessness of the Americans they have the honor to command. I share the grief over the terrible losses we have suffered in its prosecution. There is no other candidate for this office who appreciates more than I do just how awful war is. But I know that the costs in lives and treasure we would incur should we fail in Iraq will be far greater than the heartbreaking losses we have suffered to date. And I will not allow that to happen."
I especially liked what Patrick said of this, "Of course I know that McCain is a double-dealing two-faced lying politician but he's OUR double-dealing two-faced lying politician and maybe - just a small maybe - us Republicans can hold his feet to the fire. " Emphasis added by me. We cannot do that with the Democrats.

Hillary or Obama will have us out of that war faster than you can blink an eye and you think things are bad now. McCain is right on this is Mitt.

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