Saturday, February 28, 2009


Last year, I became really involved with the Hunger Banquet at BYU. The Hunger Banquet is this two-night event that attempts to display real-world global wealth disparity using food. So each guest is randomly assigned an income level and then seated an feed according to that income level. 60% of the guests will be seated on floor sharing a plate of rice and beans with five other people, and then only 10% will be seated at a table eating a three course meal. Along with being served food, or not, there is entertainment and a keynote speaker. It is an evening that provides, for a moment, a oppurtunity for others to suspend their privelages that they were born with and be born into something new. Paradigm shift, if you allow it to be. And what is most amazing is that this event is completely student run! After the Hunger Banquet last year, I became co-president of the club that sponsors it, Students for International Development. For the greater part of this semester, I have been intensley working on this year's hunger banquet, and it is going to be bigger than ever. This means that we will raise more funds for organizations around the world that are attempting to address the issues of poverty and hunger. I really believe in this event. I believe that organizations, now, more than ever, need the support of really good people. So I am using my blog as a shameless promotion for the Hunger Banquet. If these reasons aren't incentive enough, I am master of ceremonies and it would mean so much to me if you came (assuming you live in the provo/salt lake area).
March 6th & 7th in the Wilk Ballroom
Tickets sold at Wilk Info Desk $7 or $6 with college level textbook (to donate).
please, please, please come, it will change you.

In other events....

I am presenting my summer research from India at the Inquiry Conference this Friday, March 6th (yes, same day as the Hunger Banquet, don't even worry about it) at about 2:20pm in 238 of the HRCB. If you can come, I would love to show you what I did over the summer.

Also, I went to Washington D.C. a couple of weekends ago to visit George Washington as potential grad school and loved it! can't you tell in this picture how excited i am?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I Believe that Love is the Answer

NPR has this great segment called "This I Believe." It is basically a five minute program that features people saying what they believe. I think this one is particularly inspiring. It has tempted me to write my own 'I believe essay', which I did. If you don't have time to listen to the five minute audio clip, can I quote for you some things that this seven year old kid believes.

"I believe God is in everything.

I believe we're all equal.

I believe we can help people.

I believe everyone is weird in their own way...

I believe people should not give up.

I believe love is everywhere.

I believe that God helps us to have a good time...

I believe war should not have started.

I believe war should stop.

I believe we can make peace."

I have listened to this podcast a bunch of times and everytime I want to cry because the words are so beautiful. And when I am listening Tarak say his beliefs, I feel happy, I feel like the world is a vast canvas for innumberable amounts of good to be performed. I believe in happiness.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Reality Check

Last weekend, I went to the Sundance Film Festival with my peeps. It was my first time. The whole time we were jokingly acting like we had seen a celebrity. We went through dinner, a viewing of some short films and then hot chocolate and there were no celebrities to be seen. At the very last stop we saw, or rather I saw, Joseph Gordon-Leavitt. Sound familar? Not really. He's the boy off of Ten Things I Hate About You and the 3rd Rock From The Sun series. I recognized him and I actually felt a connection with him, because I had watched 10 things so many times. Heath Ledger, sigh, rest his soul. So after much encouraging from Philip and Briana, I mustered enough courage to go and talk to J G-L(shortened for convienince). I was so nervous. I walked up to him and interupted his conversation with his friends to say the following:

Syd: Hi, can I tell you a story?

J G-L: Sure

Syd: Ever since Heath Ledger died, rest his soul, my roommate and I have decided to quote Ten Things I Hate About You forever. So I just want to say I have been using your phrases for about a year and you are an inspiration.

J G-L: I'm Joe

Syd: I'm Sydney. Remember when you said "i'm back in the game..." yeah I say that one a lot. Can I take a picture with you?

J G-L: Sure

This the picture. The girl on the left is not a celebrity (although you may think so because she is wearing fur) she is my friend Briana
And then I tried to small talk but all I could talk about was movies he was in and it was so lame. He is a real person and so am I. And it's strange that I feel any sort of connection with him when all I know is his face and the persona he depicts on screen and from his jacket I can tell he supports Obama and that his hair is greasy but what does that say about a person? I only felt nervous because I had glorified him as a celebrity. What are celebrities? Why do they have any sort of prestige?