So I realized I really only complain about school on here and no one knows about all the good stuff, so I will do a little of both this time :)

First of all my teachers in my major seriously all rock.  They are amazing and really go out of their way to make things easier for all of us students.  I have one teacher, Wayne, he teaches my senior seminar class that we have to take that is basically a joke, all about resumes and portfolios and giving presentations.  Well I was supposed to give my presentation last Wednesday and the Monday before that Matt's granny died :(  And of course her funeral was at the exact same time as that class.  So with no time to switch days with anyone my teacher completely switched his schedule so he could teach the class that day instead of me giving my presentation. So nice!  One of my other teachers is quite possibly the best guy EVER.  This is my second time having him for a class, the first time was last semester but I met him over a year ago.  He lives literally a few blocks from where we live and picks me up and gives me a ride to school every day that he can.  AMAZING.  Remember that to get to my school it is a 45 minute drive up into the mountains? And he wont let me help with gas.  AMAZING. So not only has he saved us BILLIONS of money in gas and car miles, but he continues to try to make things easier for me.  He asked what we were planning on doing once the baby gets here, I told him I would probably skip a few days of classes and then go back to school the following week and we would have Matt's mom watch the baby.  He said he wanted to try to figure out a way for me to go to my classes online.  I said not to worry no biggie, it will only be a month.  He insisted and has come up with multiple ways and is willing to help the other teachers who are  not as technologically smart as him so that I can do their classes via webcam or whatever also.  AMAZING.  And he told me that he found a little rule in the school book that has a "family leave" section where it says that the school has to let people with newborns off for a good amount of time and need to provide someone to keep them updated  in all their classes.  So basically he rocks and I might not have to go to school when the baby comes.

Now the sucky stuff.  My online religion class has been going great, until Monday when we got an email saying we ALL did the assignment wrong.  Now if I were a teacher and ALL of my students did the assignment wrong I would just assume there was something wrong with the directions.  But of course this teacher is perfect and there couldn't be anything wrong with her instructions so she told us we all had to redo the paper.  So I have been DREADING rewriting the stupid thing because I don't know what she wants so in the end I decided to add a few sentences to clarify some things she thought were confusing and to write her an email instead.  The email was pretty bad.  Matt told me not to write because I was so angry (crying) and I would say some things that I probably don't mean and she might hate me and give me bad grades the rest of the semester.  I was willing to take the chance.  This is what I wrote:

I have spent every day since I got the email saying how bad our film reviews were trying to rewrite the review.  I have decided that I am not going to completely redo my paper (which according to your comments I should do) but I am going to fix a few of the things you suggested.  I feel like I followed the guidelines you wrote down 100% and I deserve a better grade than 75.  If you read each of my paragraphs and see how they fit with your guidelines you will understand.  Paragraph one was supposed to be OUR overall impression of the movie and we were to identify key characters.  I did exactly that.  I told MY impression of the film and you wrote "Strange opening for a film review.  Most people do not go to the movies for that purpose, do  they? "  In MY opinion (which is what you asked for) yes they do go to the movies because they relate, that is why girls generally like romantic movie, because they want to be able to relate.  The second guideline was to summarize the plot, you said 2-3 sentences.  If I lost points, this is where it would be because I didn't keep it to 2-3 sentences, I honestly don't know how to do that with a 3 hour long film.  And this is where the links come in that you sent to us.  You told us to read those examples so we would know what you were looking for.  I did that, and I read many other reviews trying to get a better picture.  To me every single review I read was basically the second guideline, which you said to keep to 2-3 sentences.  The third guideline was where we talked about religious aspects of the movie.  I did that and this is your comment  " Too much synopsis and not enough"  I don't know if something messed up and for some reason I didn't get the whole comment or if you meant to do that trying to get me to think? Either way I don't know what's wrong with that paragraph because I talked about religious themes of the movie.  The fourth guideline was to be about our evaluation of the film, which again is what I did.  You gave bullets of different things we should mention, like costumes and music…. I did that and you wrote that it was choppy and I jumped from one subject to another.   I definitely agree that I jumped from one subject to another, but I did that to complete the fourth guideline and evaluate all the different parts of the film.  You did say that I didn’t give specifics, and backup what I wrote, which is true and I will rewrite that part with examples.  The last guideline is to bring it home and guide the reader.  And I didn’t get any info back on that paragraph.  I honestly have tried to rewrite it but I really don’t understand what you want.  I feel I did exactly what was asked and my only other option is to write a “film review” that follows what other film reviews look like, but then it wouldn’t follow along with your guidelines.  It would be completely the opposite because the whole paper would be spent on guideline 2 which is supposed to be only 2-3 sentences.  I have decided that I wouldn’t get any better of a grade doing it that way because it isn’t what you asked for and I can’t rewrite my paper because I don’t know what I would have to change other than the few more examples and making guideline 2 only 3 sentences.  I am not trying to be rude or disrespectful but I really don’t have any idea what you want because I feel like my paper is what you asked for in the first place and I don't think it is fair for me to have to redo the whole thing when I did exactly what you asked for.  I will fix those parts that need more, but I’m not going to rewrite the whole paper because I don’t know what you want.  And if the whole class did it wrong, which is what you suggested in the email, then I think your guidelines must be written wrong or confusing for all of us to have done such a bad job.  
Kim Triplett

Was it too horribly mean and crazy pregnant lady hormone filled?
This is what she just wrote me back. 

I appreciate your taking the time to write. 

I would have, as I indicated, been pleased to have worked with you this week on your review.  Several of your classmates took me up on that offer and I think we made real progress.

At this point, you have made your decision about what you want to do and placed all of the blame on me and I do not see that you are interested in dialogue.  But here is my two cents.  Indeed, if you read my grading guidelines I will agree that you fulfilled the assignment.  That is what a C grade means and that is what you earned.  The question was how well you fulfilled the guidelines and that is where there was room for significant improvement.   Again, that is where I would have gladly worked with you this week to explain my comments more fully if they were not clear to you.  One of my duties, in a senior level course, is to demand that you work at a level appropriate to that designation.  I did not see that in your review.  I read a paper that merely met the requirements.

You suggest my guidelines are not clear.  The only grades below a C were for people who did not meet the requirements of length or left out a significant section.  My comments to the class were about my disappointment that the writing and construction was overall not at a level that I would expect from people enrolled in a 4000 level course.   And I attempted to give you some significant feedback to assist you in becoming a better writer.

One of the things we all must do to improve at anything is to accept constructive criticism.  I have editors who are quite stringent with me as a professional writer and while I sometimes chafe, I also know that their interest is in making my work the best that it can be.  For me, the most striking aspect of your email is that you are more invested in writing me from a defensive posture as opposed to learning and growing as a student.  I have found you to be engaged in the course and working well and I would have liked to have seen you stretch here and be your best as opposed to defend something that I am 100% certain is not your best work.

She could have been meaner.  But she could also have told us that guidelines wouldn't earn us an A because I know all of my other teachers would give an A for fulfilling what the assignment asks for.  Bummer.  And to make it all worse, that is my best writing because I suck at writing and I hate it and I will never be better at it, so I guess I will end up with a C in the class.  At this point I don't care.  I will be done soon :) P.S. Matt got his diploma for his associates in the mail today :) He just went to Walmart to buy a frame HAHAHA.  He deserved it.

So for Valentine's Day Matt got me some books on making cakes and some stuff for decorating them.  We ended up taking a night making and decorating cupcakes then we delivered them because they tasted so bad HAHA But they looked pretty cute!  Here are some pictures of them.

See the one on the bottom right?  It was ugly, reminded me of mustard.  We gave that one to the missionaries.  I was attempting to make some cute frosting decorations and it was way too hard, the frosting was so hard that we had to use both hands to try to get it out of the little opening so next time we will buy frosting instead of making it ourselves.

See the three undecorated ones?  I kept those for myself :)  We had some rainbow chip frosting that I put on them.  Much more tasty!

We also gave the missionaries the creepy black smile one.  Matt made that one.  Creepy.  See the nice red flower? I've got skills :)

I also did a little quick crocheting a while back when I had time, I have some other things I made back in the day also that I need to take pictures of, but I haven't so I will late.  But this I made for a friend's daughter.  It was her birthday present.  

Little pregnancy update:

Everything is going great.  I am apparently HUGE.  I get comments ALL THE TIME about how big I am and they can't believe I still have over a month left and there's no way I'm gonna last that long.  That's annoying.  But the Dr says the baby is right on in size so everyone else is stupid and I am fine.  But I do feel like I weigh a thousand pounds.  I have gained 40 pounds since the beginning and seem to be gaining 5 more each time I visit the Dr every two weeks, which probably isn't good but oh well.  The baby kicks LIKE CRAZY!!! It seems like he never sleeps because he is moving around SO MUCH and most of the time he hits me in the ribs, it is quite painful.  Matt says we are gonna have to give him NyQuil every night so he will sleep a bit.  I'm starting to think that might be true.  But don't worry we wont.  I am also doing good, no problems still :) All of my tests are always negative and everything is completely normal.  If anyone wants to pray for us to have him during spring break that would be much appreciated :) It would make our lives easier.  

Alaina and Mitchell Dooley  – (February 18, 2012)  

Awww I'm so sorry about your religion teacher! Isn't it funny how religion at byui is so different from a different school? If it makes you feel better I found tons of grammatical errors in your teacher's email reply. So ha! The cupcakes are adorable! I can't believe you only have a month left! It goes crazy fast when you're not the one pregnant! You should post a picture :o) I can't wait until you're HERE!!! You're coming in September, right? Or is it April? I wish it was April but it might be September, I can't remember....

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