Saturday, October 30, 2010


Daryl Larsen's Facebook status is the inspiration for this post. Referring to band tour and the culmination of four years of hard work in marching band, he said he " has never cried so hard." The number of people who understand this comment in full is limited to those who have lived through the experience of being a senior on fall tour.Other groups have similar experiences, I'm sure, but I'm honestly not sure anything achieves quite that same level as the Timpview Marching Band. When you stand up in that meeting as a senior to give your final words of advice/counsel/farewell/gratitude, you literally feel like your association with these approximately 100 people is over. Even though you know that you at least have 3/4 of a school year more with them, not to mention the rest of tour, it feels like you may never see them again. And so I understand why Daryl would cry so hard because I've been there. I may not have cried, but I came very close when I looked over and I saw Kayla Hunter crying her eyes out as I was speaking. I almost broke down, but somehow I managed to stay composed.

Anyway, that's not really the subject of this post. Mostly, I want to reflect on what I said when it was my turn. I alluded to the film Remember the Titans, specifically the halftime speech of the state championship game where Julius speaks out and says "as a team, we are perfect." I related that to the chance we had as a band the next day in our shows. I knew there was not a chance in the world we would play every note exactly right and our spacing would be perfect the whole time and we would hit our spots dead on. Live performance doesn't allow that. No aspect of life allows for perfection. We live in an imperfect state. But I do believe perfection is possible, you just have to change what the definition is to be more appropriate.

Consider, for example, a "perfect" score on the ACT. A 36 is not indicative of answering every question correctly. Instead, it just means you did well enough to meet the requirements necessary for "perfection". Perfection in this sense is not flawless execution. Rather, this idea of perfection entails merely meeting the demands of a particular situation to the highest possible degree. It takes the ideal perfection and applies it to this mortal, corrupt, imperfect state in which we reside.

I am not suggesting we do not strive for flawless performance. Ideal perfection is the ultimate goal. It is only in striving for ideal perfection that we can achieve real perfection. Like the Ideal Gas Law, ideal perfection is not entirely applicable to the reality of this state, and reality often falls far short of the ideal. But as we go through life, let us take greater strength in our moments of perfection. We do have them, and we should be encouraged by them. I know that for me, the second show we performed that day was perfect. I missed notes. My spacing was not exactly right the whole time. But the show, on the whole, was perfect.

UPDATE: As I learned in my Intro to Greek and Roman Literature class, the Latin and Greek roots for perfect mean to be completed, come to the full potential. Nothing about flawlessness.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Life in Japan

I now see a problem I didn't see before. I am already up to age 6 in my recounting of my life. This has only provided me with three blog posts so far. I won't be able to make it two months if I keep going this fast, and I will likely go faster as experiences become too ordinary to share. In other words, I will once again be without material in about a month. It's a good thing that then the holidays start coming up...

Alright, now it's time for Japan part 3.  I don't remember a whole lot about first grade in Japan. I do remember learning arithmetic on train cars. I remember going to a bike and pedestrian safety meeting. I remember P.E. Playing the Japanese version of dodgeball was the best. They do it so much better than we do here in America. I also remember serving lunch. The way they do that in Japan is that they have a cart that comes to your classroom and the students take turns serving up the food. No cafeteria area involved. I vaguely remember recess. We played soccer most of the time, and I played goalie. I was pretty good at it, too. Of course, that was when I played on a regular basis. Then I came home to America and my skills declined rapidly.

One of the most shocking memories was Japanese lessons. Not that anything particularly shocking happened with the lessons. It was more with how I got to the lessons. You see, the teacher lived across town from us, so the only practical way to get there was to ride the train, and Mom couldn't be there every time to escort me. Usually I had an older brother with me, but on occasion I rode the train by myself. Can't you see it? A cute little 6-year-old white kid who barely speaks any Japanese riding the train to get to his Japanese lessons. As my parents have since remarked, they were "insane" to let that happen.

Recreational life in Japan was interesting. The big thing we did was went to parks. They have the best parks in Japan. Most of you are familiar with Edgemont Elementary's spider-rope tower thing. Now imagine one of those at least three times that size. Yeah, that's right. Awesome. Of course, my favorite was always the roller slides. They made huge, long slides out of those little roller things they use in woodworking to support long material. They were so fast, and they just went on for forever. Of course, as great as the playground equipment was, it was no comparison to the Mowaki Ruins. That was, by far, my favorite place in Japan. It was basically a huge network of tunnels. Best place for hide-and-go-seek or tag. So much fun. I have to wonder how my parents dealt with driving to all these different places; I can't imagine driving all over a foreign country dragging along seven kids that do not do well together when they have to share the same space for several hours. They were just amazing, even if it was just a severe bout of insanity that allowed them to be so.

Monday, October 25, 2010

School Days

OK, sorry about that last post (the one I deleted about the BYU-WYO game). I will henceforth cease all blog activity related to BYU sporting events. I figure if you guys aren't at the game/watching the game/listening to the game/reading about the game from a more reliable source such as a newspaper, then you probably don't care about the game, much less what I have to say about it, especially considering that I know for a fact 1/3 of my "followers" don't understand the sport of football and the other 2/3 may or may not comprehend the intricacies of the sport. Luckily, I had that epiphany last week, so I still have material to write about to keep Dania placated (although it seems ironic to me that she would be unhappy with me for not having posted since Thursday when she hasn't posted anything on her blog for a week).

But, anyway, my school days in Japan. Obviously, I don't remember every detail. I was, after all, only five years old at the time, and, as great as my memory is, it isn't perfect. I do, however, have some cherished memories which I will share as best I can. It's funny how they are all flooding in now that I'm trying to think about them...

First day of school for me we went on a picnic. Mostly all I remember is getting on the wrong bus and being with the wrong class on the way back, so I was permanently changed into that class. I remember the teacher putting the different colored paper into my little flower-shaped name-tag.

Other memories: playing on the playground that first day and being one of the most popular kids. It's amazing how many friends being the white, blond kid got me. Of course, my favorite playground activity was scaring all the girls away. In some ways, I haven't changed much. I also remember planting sweet potatoes (what Americans call yams, but are not, in actuality, yams) in the garden area. This early experience may be what set me up to be so manly later on in life...

One of the best memories I have is the day I fell in the pool. It was wintertime, so the pools were all iced over. We, being the kindergarten-aged boys that we were, decided it would be a fun game to see who could knock the most ice off the surface of the pool using our feet. My competitive nature, of course, could not accept defeat. Consequently, I overreached myself and slipped into the pool. In full winter gear. Heavy coat, sweatshirt, snow pants, boots, everything. Put all that stuff on and try to go swimming in it. Good luck. By rights I shouldn't have been able to get out of that pool nearly as easily as I did, but I had no problem at all. As soon as I fell in, I was able to right myself and get to the edge. At the time, I didn't realize the importance of this, but now I see it as a miracle.

Yeah, that was my preschool. We had a little graduation ceremony at the end of the school year, and then I went on to do half of first grade. This post has gone on long enough, so we'll cover that in a forthcoming post.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Childhood Memories Part II

I just discovered another hidden benefit of relating childhood memories on my blog: Jazmyn Hall will have material to write for my biography. Killing two birds with one stone is really a nice way of doing things. Today we are going to go over some of my more distinct memories from my year in Japan. Yes, I did spend a year in Japan. I am still surprised by the number of people who don't know that about me; it's not like I hide that. In fact, it's pretty much the first thing I say after people learn that I am young for my year in school. But I digress.

In my sixth year (when I was five years old for those of you who are math challenged), my family decided to move to Japan. My first memory of this experience was sitting out on the lawn in our fortress of luggage waiting for the airport shuttles to come pick us up. Then we took the long ride up to the airport, where we ate at a...was it Burger King, McDonald's, or Wendy's...I'm not sure. Anyway, we ate burgers and got on the plane and went off to Japan (after stopping at Los Angeles and waiting forever in the Korean airport; never, ever take 7 kids and make them sit in a crowded airport for several hours surrounded by kids who don't even speak the same language as they do). I also remember waking up in the middle of the night that first night because of the time difference and because the humidity was unbearable. Seriously guys, for a child that had lived in Utah all his life, taking him to Japan was almost cruel and unusual punishment. That much water should not be allowed to be in the air at one time.

Anyway, the next big thing I remember is trying to get me into school. In Japan they don't do kindergarten like they do here, but I was kind of old for their preschool, and my parents didn't feel comfortable putting me in first grade in a Japanese school when I could barely say hello in Japanese. We went to several different schools, and my parents eventually decided to put me in the preschool.

And that's long enough for now. Tune in next time to hear David's tales of preschool in Japan.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Early Morning Epiphany

So this morning as I was lying in my bed trying to get back to sleep following a temple trip with Dania Frandsen, Nick Lewis (who, by the way, is an excellent baptizer), Bro. Lewis, and Emily Lewis, my mind was struck with a thought: although I don't have experiences worth sharing that occur on a regular basis, I can share events from my past. So today we will start with one of my earliest memories.

I take you back in time to December 22, 1997. Those of you familiar with my birth date will recognize this as the day I turned 5 years old. Nothing particularly special about five, of course. No real rites of passage. Unless you are me, which I happen to be. You see, when I was five years old, my parents decided that it was time to finish the destruction of my baby blanket. I loved my baby blanket. It was the best. I took it everywhere. You know Linus from Peanuts? He has nothing on me. Sure, he's a thumb-sucker that takes his blanket everywhere, but he does not chew his blanket. Yes, I chewed my blanket. By the day in question, my "blanket" was a bunch of material loosely held together. But it was still my blanket, and I did not want to give it up. My parents were determined, however, so they lit the fire in the fireplace. They instructed me to take my blanket and throw it in. I wanted to be a big boy, so I obeyed without much complaint. I tossed it on to the flames, and my parents closed the fireplace door. I sat there and watched it burn. I wanted to reach in and pull it out. After all, this was my blanket. What right did my parents have to make me destroy it? I wanted to keep it! But no, my parents had spoken, and I obeyed. Luckily, I found a replacement in our closet shortly thereafter, but it was just never the same. My blanket could never truly be replaced. Consequently, December 22, 1997 has forever been etched in my memory.

No, I have no deeper meaning to convey with this anecdote. You can analyze it and find meaning if you wish, but, as for me, I'm just writing something to keep Dania happy with me.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nicholas Lewis: A Tribute

Today is the last day I will see Nick Lewis before he leaves on his mission. In a few short hours, I will bid farewell to him for the next three and a half years. That is a sobering thought. When next I see him, we will both be returned missionaries working on our respective majors and searching for eternal companions. A new stage of life is beginning for him, while this stage I embarked on a few months ago continues. At this time, I want to publicly thank him for all he has done for me. I realize he will never read this, but it needs to be said.


You are my best friend. I love you to death. I am so glad we followed in the footsteps of our elder brothers and became fast friends. I look forward to a continuing friendship for many years.

How can I express what you have meant to me? You have been one of my best examples. Few people could be the example you have been for my life. You do everything so well. Every day, you inspire me to be a better person. Someday, I hope to be able to stand and say that I was as good a person as you already are. You are going to be a great missionary and bring the joy of the gospel to many people's lives, even if only through your smiling and eager face.

I love you. I will miss you. I hope to join you in the missionary field of the Lord's work as soon as possible. Your example has inspired an even greater joyous expectation in me to enter the MTC.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Harry Potter Book 6 1/2

With the most recent bout of Harry Potter craze caused by the imminent arrival of the seventh movie in theaters everywhere, I thought I would share a little something my family wrote in the lull between the release of the sixth and seventh books:

Harry Potter
And the Mack Truck

Written by N.W., M.P., D.C. and D.O. Sorensen

One day, as Harry Potter was making his way along Diagon Alley before the start of the new school year, he noticed a commotion up the street. He saw wizards and witches scurrying this way and that, trying to get out of the street. Suddenly, the crowd in front of him cleared, and he saw a big Mack semi-truck heading toward him at full speed. Harry only had time to recognize the driver as Voldemort before he was crushed by the speeding automobile. The great wizard had come to his end at the hands of Muggle technology. Unfortunately for Voldemort, at that moment Neville Longbottom happened to also be on the street. He mistakenly identified the big Mack truck as a Big Mac truck, and swallowed it whole, Voldemort and all. Thus ends the legacy of possibly the two most hated wizards in the history of the world.

Yes, it is simple and not well written. But it's not a whole lot worse than the actual book, and I prefer the plot over what J.K. Rowling wrote.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I guess I better put a flower behind my left ear...

I am going to be posting on this more regularly now. I understand now that I do not have this blog just to make a really good friend happy, but to make my future wife happy. Yes, apparently Dania is going to somehow win my heart and convince me to marry her. Part of her plan includes spending "personal loving dancing instruction time" to help me realize how fun dancing can be. I'm not sure how this is going to work out, but I have done my best to dissuade her and she remains persistent. Let me relate the story...

We were in Nick Lewis' car on our way to tunnel singing (which you all should come to, by the way).  We were talking about the three categories of David's personality: those that drive Dania insane, those that make her sad, and the rest that she just loves (this last is the smallest category, I think). We had discussed earlier in the day why I didn't take a girl to Homecoming, and this was the perfect example of an aspect that makes her sad. She insisted that she would teach me how to enjoy dancing. I said that I had already attended a dance hosted by her, so how could she show me any better than that? She responded that she hadn't spent "personal loving dancing instruction time" at that dance. Suddenly, David was very afraid.

So we continued on our way, Dania trying her best to convince me. She brought up that the point that there are two types of dancing: the type that makes you look cool and the type that the entire point is to make you look like a fool. Will tried to help me out here and intervened in the conversation, switching the subject to learning how to do the cool type of dancing. Unfortunately, Dania then said that when she got married she would take swing dancing lessons with her husband. Nick, being the great friend that he is, told me that I could never get married to Dania, who immediately refuted that statement. The "personal loving dancing instruction time" was brought up, reinforcing my initial fear of the phrase. Dania doggedly pursued the notion that she was going to marry me. When I said I was suddenly glad I was leaving later for my mission, thus giving Dania more time to find someone else, she said she would go on a mission while I was on mine and it would all work out. I then postulated that I would likely have at least a few weeks to find a wife between when I got back and when she did. She responded that she would get injured/sick and have to come home early. You can imagine my shock and surprise at the level of commitment (or at least you can if you know me, and if you are reading this you probably do).

Looking back on it, I see the errors I made. I upset her by 1) not posting on this blog regularly enough, and 2) not appreciating dancing. I presented wooing me as an extremely difficult challenge. I should have known that would only encourage her. Gentlemen reading this blog: learn from my mistakes. Steel yourselves. Learn to be tactful. Often, a lack of tact will help your cause, but sometimes, as illustrated here, it turns out to do the opposite.

So yes, all you other ladies out there, I am taken. Against my will, my heart is no longer mine to give out. My condolences to your broken hearts, but I wasn't expecting this any more than you were.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

BYU Football

OK, I'll admit it: I have been slacking off on this lately. However, it's really hard to write a blog post when nothing goes on in your life and you have nothing to complain about. Luckily, I had an epiphany just now, and I have decided to do a basic rundown/evaluation of BYU football every week (or at least the home games). Sports are a big part of my life, so I might as well include them in my blog.

This week, BYU played host to MWC-foe San Diego State. After last week's humiliating lost at Utah State, I did not come into the game expecting anything good. I expected another result similar to the last four. I was proven wrong. For the first time in a long time, BYU's defense came out on fire, getting a three-and-out on SDSU's first possession. Jake Heaps then methodically led the offense down the field, and, after a stunning fake punt, BYU started off the scoring for the first time since Air Force. SDSU got the ball, and on their first play threw a pick to Brandon Ogletree. Suddenly, I was feeling a lot better about BYU's chances in the game. Heaps managed to get the offense in for the touchdown, and BYU went up 14-0. The rest of the first half was less eventful, and BYU went into the locker room up 14-7.

At this point, the BYU Marching Band put on a show, which I'm sure was excellent, but as I was sitting in the north bleachers, I couldn't really hear.

In the second half, SDSU did a good job of playing catch up. They held BYU to a field goal, and responded with a touchdown of their own. At 17-14, the game was looking up-for-grabs for the first time. Luckily, BYU got some big returns from J.J. DiLuigi and was able to score again, giving BYU breathing room at 24-14. SDSU would score again, but at that point it was just a matter of running the clock out for BYU, which they were able to do effectively.

Some thoughts on the game: Heaps is starting to look more comfortable and is making much better throws. I think part of it has to do with switching in Marshall and running a wildcat play every now and then. It gives Heaps a chance to sit down and cool off, as well as getting the spotlight off his back for a few much-needed minutes. The defense seems to have returned from the limbo they were in. Bronco seems to have lit the fire underneath them again. I judge that by the way Brian Logan reacts. He is a very spirited player, and the defense feeds off him. It showed tonight as they performed much better, especially against the run, then they have in recent weeks. DiLuigi may be the star running back, but Kariya is a workhorse who gives the Cougars some much needed power in the backfield, allowing them to have a consistent running game. Josh Quezada also looked impressive tonight, making me reconsider my opinion of him as overrated. Overall, a much better perfomance on BYU's part than I had come to expect this season. Go Cougars!