Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The BYU Hipster

In real life*, hipsters are people in their twenties** who believe in nothing but cigarettes and tumblr accounts. They come from upper-middle class, suburban homes with parents who love them, but they choose to make passersby think that they were raised by Courtney Love in the sewers. The only music they listen to sounds like acoustic poop, although sometimes they like things ironically, like early '80s pop bands. Hipsters exude an attitude of humble superiority: "I'm not good enough to shower or shave my smoldery*** neck beard, but I'm better than all of you, and that's how low you are." Somehow they are drowning in apathy while simultaneously caring too much.

BYU Hipsters? Yeah, they are all of this (except for that part where I talked about the cigarettes!) but worse: they want to seem like all they care about is Jack Kerouac and scarves and greasy bangs, but they've been on missions and go to church and take religion classes and are thus just pretending to not care about their lives and God and finding their eternal companions.

*Outside of The Bubble

**Anyone who looks/acts like this over the age of twenty-nine is pretty freaking sad. Anyone looking/acting like this under the age of twenty...well they still have the chance to grow out of it.

***Yes, sometimes certain girls are attracted to certain neck stubble.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Suburban Cowboy

This, not so rare breed of BYUers, would like nothing more than to believe that he is rare. That he is a dying breed of those infected with stickittodamaneosis, pioneering the way for outlaws everywhere. Because he has a mustache.
Toeing the Honor Code line, this bad-a shows that he's too wild to be tamed by the Strength of Youth pamphlet and he must let the wild out. By not shaving his upper lip for 6-8 weeks.
The Suburban Cowboy comes in many shapes and sizes though, or rather, his hairy manifestation of glory does.

The Tight Rope Walker: this guy's mustache is so daintily grown, and well coiffed, that it could only belong to some well-balanced Frenchman, but somehow you caught him coming out of the MARB before devotional. Most likely, the Tight Rope Walker knows that his mustache isn't doing him any manly favors and he'll either try to testosterone it up by wearing Timbalands and flannel, or he'll shave it off before the testing center even bats an eye.
The Cornsilk: to call this man's mustache a mustache is like calling a Prius a muscle car. It usually consists of wispy, yellow strands that are reminiscent of the material used for Charlotte's Web. No doubt the Cornsilk also has a complex about his transparent manmark, and will often refer to the waif above his lip as his "stache." Tagging it in pictures on facebook, tweeting about it, taking it out to dinner and a movie, etc.
The Rotten Whiskers: this brand refers to, but is not limited to, the hipster. Thinking it's so avante garde to come to school in an aura of his and others' filth, the Rotten Whiskers is very often found with Subway breadcrumbs, Tomassito's marinara and chocolate milk from the vending in his mustache. All at once. If you plan on kissing the Rotten Whiskers, plan on going on a diet too because every smooch with them is like a square meal.
The Border Patrol: this mustache grows so full and so proud it's all you notice when you see it on campus. It comes in so thick that it's clear it was bred only to instill fear in all those it looks upon. A word of caution, even though this mustache will replace the need for hulking muscles and vulgarity when you're trying to get a parking spot, it soon starts to take over the host and has been the demise of a few good men.
And last, but cerrrrrtainly not least is The Lumberjackpoliticiandad: this golden specimen embodies everything facial hair should be. It makes the user look like he could knock down trees but pick up puppies, like he could land a football scholarship but also a business deal. There aren't many instances of the Lumberjackpoliticiandad, but when you do see one, feel free to give them a standing ovation and everything you have in your wallet. They deserve it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Answer Whisper-er

We all know about the self-appointed spokesperson of each class: loud, answers every question with Hermione Granger-esque enthusiasm...but you may be relieved surprised to hear that the Human Footnote isn't actually the smartest member of the class.

Stop doodling and/or daydreaming. Listen. Do you hear that faint hissing that seems to be emitting pungent fumes of accuracy? Wait for the professor to ask another question. Now do you hear and feel that sweet correctness caressing the back of your neck? These full credit-deserving vibes of truth are coming from the Answer Whisper-er, who knows the right answer to every single question, even when the professor asks something weird and/or unclear and everyone is just sitting there in silence. However, the AW will never ever say this correct, potentially air-clearing and tension-relieving response any louder than a whisper--although he or she will occasionally raise his or her voice to the level of a mutter if someone is doing something loud, like coughing or digging loudly through a backpack or popping balloons.

While it may be flattering that he or she has chosen you to be the sole keeper of the secret of his or her brilliance, we are all experiencing real pain as we sit here, avoiding the stare of the professor who now knows that we didn't do the reading. We're college students; we feel enough sadness when we have to pay our utilities bills or when we see that the Skweez text is for Hot Dog King. Relieve us of this preventable misery and just say the answer, and please make sure to use your outside voice.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Small Town Hero

The Small Town Hero is the epitome of a big fish in a little pond. Except coming to BYU makes their little pond look like a divot in the sidewalk when it fills up with sprinkler water. So because they were the only multi-cellular being, they grew up being treated like a god.

They got a front page story in the local newspaper for things like: "Local Teen Learns To Breathe With His Mouth Closed--Onlookers Impressed" which makes them extremely disappointed when they're walking across the JFSB courtyard and the crowds don't part like the Red Sea. This guy/girl has also been Homecoming King/Queen ever since they hit puberty. Which is actually quite an accomplishment when you consider the award winning livestock they beat out. They'll also have exceeded expectations in all athletic arenas because they were the only kid within a hundred miles that hadn't lost a major limb to a farming accident.

This deified upbringing comes to a quick halt when they enter the pearly gates of BYU and are faced head on with their own mortality. The first few weeks of the semester they're still walking on air; answering every question the professor throws out, dating anything that moves, bearing impromptu testimonies during every hour of church. But it's all over as soon as they take their first test/write their first paper/get rejected by their significant other/get slapped by the bishop. After reality is forced to check the STH hard, they usually disappear and you never see them again. They either fade into the homogeneity of BYU, or they can't take being anything less than an idol so they run back home to West Armpit USA where the town will throw them a parade every time they take a crap.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Party Pooper

It's 2:00 in the afternoon. You are freaking starving, and you won't be home until at least 4:00. But wait! You forgot that it's presentation day in class! And look--one of the groups forgot to do any real work so they brought treats for the class! O frabjous day! This will tide you over until dinner! How did they know you'd need this so much today...

And then the pretty, well-dressed b-word next to you curtly shakes her head "no" before passing the treat plate to you because she is a Party Pooper. Now what do you do? Taking the treat automatically contrasts you to her: on one hand, we have a girl who knows when to say when. A girl who possesses self-restraint. On the other, we have a girl with a weakness for Halloween cookies. A girl whose whole shopping list consists of those (delicious) circus animal cookies and Cheez-Its.

You sit there with the tray, frantically weighing the pros and cons, knowing that no one actually cares whether or not you take a cookie, but also knowing that this could be a turning point for you--the moment when you become a healthy person! One of those yoga-types, who never drinks soda and thinks dessert means granola...

But obviously you take a cookie; you really are hungry. But thanks to the Party Pooper, what was once a glimmering tender mercy now tastes an awful lot like shame.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Fish Out of Water

Once you beat the first level of a BYU education, the GE's, you advance onto the next boss: the classes in your major. These classes typically take place in one or two designated buildings. We English majors, for example, rarely leave the JFSB. Our engineering friends stay close to the Clyde. That's the way it is; that's the way the world works.

However, Cecil occasionally likes to stick it to us and schedules upper-level classes in a totally random building. Finance majors get lost in the labyrinth of the JFSB, Physics majors walk all the way over to the Tanner, one time I had a lit class in the's all very uncomfortable.

One can always spot one of these Fish Out of Water because they will have constant looks of bewilderment and unbelonging. They will have grit-teeth-clenched-jaw, Inspector Gadget-when-he's-reading-a-telegram-eyes, and nervous-Andy-Samberg-eyebrows as thoughts like these race through their brains: "Maybe I should just drop this class and delay graduation a semester," "Where did all these members of the opposite sex come from?", and "Where are the %&*#ing bathrooms?" The FOW can also be identified if everyone he or she passes gives him or her the ole stink eye because they have all sniffed out the pariah whose brain is emitting fumes that reek of alternative education.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dorm Raiders

The BYU dorms are a very special place. Other than being the grounds for various creameries, (which hold the crown jewels of BYU: graham canyon ice cream in half-gallon form) as well as the palatial, new (ish) Cannon Center, (where you can get unlimited bowls of Marshmallow Mateys at any time of the business day) the dorms also serve one minor function as the holding pen for freshmen.

Most guys, upon returning from their 24 month sabbatical, forego the little cougar kittens cooped up in Helaman, Heritage and Wyview, instead choosing somewhere a little more mature for their feeding grounds. Like Liberty Square.

But not the Dorm Raider. This guy finds something irresistible about the freshness of the produce at the Dorms. Maybe it's that he can still smell the glory of high school on them, or that he can't stand a girl that actually has a major, something undeniably draws him to those youthful corners of campus.

This guy ranges from 21 to a hair under 30, and he can always be found in the common areas of the dorms, setting himself apart from the freshman "King of Helaman Halls" by using his mission skills to actually talk to the girls, rather than just trying to look awesome in front of them while playing around with their "buddies." You'll also be able to discern the DR by the fact that he'll be hiding his MPB with some sort of hobby-mirroring headpiece (i.e. baseball hat, snowboarding beanie, cowboy hat, barely-legal-semi-pedophilic-girl-hunting hat...) More likely though, you'll find him around the various dining facilities, trying to bat his eyelashes enough to earn him some of that Dining Plus those poor freshman girls don't know what to do with.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Loud Mouth Liberal

As an English major, the majority of my professors have been less conservative than one might expect a BYU professor to be, which is great because I enjoy hearing a little sarcasm and swearing in class. Some of my classmates, however, feel the need to prove their own left-leaning ideals and then get the professor to praise them, or give them A's, or adopt them, or carry them around the JFSB hallways on their shoulders (a feat only a few English professors would actually be capable of...our men are typically not of the broad-shouldered variety--see Male English Major).

If the professor references Obama, there will literally be at least one Noise of Approval. This NOA can be a positive-sounding grunt, a thoughtful "hmm!", or an "mmm-hmmm" one might hear in one of those Tyler Perry movies.

If the professor references the war in Iraq, or any conservative politician, even if he or she has just the slightest bit of disapproval in his or her tone, the LML will laugh so freaking loudly that it will probably suck a year off of your life like that machine in The Princess Bride does.

There seems to be a desperation at BYU to prove one's non-BYU-ness. To prove his or her uniqueness, the LML chooses to shout his or her non-Republican opinions from the peak of Y Mountain, hoping to send Provo into an outrage. Big deal if you're a Democrat. You're still a white, twentysomething Mormon like the rest of us.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Syllabus Jihad

This student's religious zeal for the syllabus is so intense that they print it out the second it goes on blackboard, read it, memorize it, and tuck it into bed with them before finally getting it to the first day of class.

Then, because they view the syllabus as greater than or equal to the Constitution of the United States of America, they will not stand to see one tiny infraction in their scripture.

Professor: "Ok, so we're going to be doing two papers in this class--"

The Syllabi Jihad: "I object! The schedule states that the second paper is due on Wednesday November the 31st, a date which doesn't exist on any Gregorian calendar isn't that right professor?"

Professor: "Yes well I was getting to that, my TA made a mistake, Wednesday is actually the 30th which is when the paper will be--"

The Syllabi Jihad: "Overruled! And where is this alleged 'final study guide' that is promised in section C para. 1? According to the last time I checked blackboard, approximately 12 minutes ago, there is no such thing. Can you elaborate?"

Professor: "But the final's four months away, I didn't think you'd need it--"

The Syllabi Jihad: "Aha! So you admit you weren't thinking? Perhaps there was some substance abuse that impaired your thought process? I don't need to remind the ladies and gentlemen of the jury about the incriminating photos of said professor seen with caffeine-laced Coke in the Cougareat?"

[Professor breaks into uncontrollable sobbing]

The Syllabi Jihad: "I have no further questions."

At least until your next class when it starts all over again.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Tourists

Ah, summer. I remember the days when this meant daily rendezvous(s) to the pool, Otter Pops, sunburns, baseball games, and "Even Stevens" marathons. For those of us living in Provo, however, such summers are merely distant memories that feel almost mythical: we pasty-skinned twentysomethings are all in class/working full time/job-hunting full time, and "Even Stevens" was canceled years ago.

There are still people on BYU campus who are enjoying the sunshine, and these people are the Tourists. This is a pretty broad category, for it includes not only EFY kids but also the freshly-graduated 18-year-olds and their families. The future Zoobies are easily spotted by their flop sweat and terrified eye twitch(es)...or maybe that was just 18-year-old Jordyn.

One will also have no trouble identifying the families of these freshmen ready to soar their wings and mingle with the EQG and the King of Helaman Halls. If this is their eldest child, the parents will be the ones asking a kazillion questions and shouting about how the campus has changed so much/little since they were here. In true LDS form, the entire flock of fourteen kids will be in tow for the entire Wilkinson Center tour, starting with the Bookstore, where they will demolish the CTR ring section before heading straight to the CougarEat, where they will push eight tables together to enjoy their Teriyaki Stix. The final stop of the tour is the bowling alley, which the parents save for last because it's what will most effectively convince the thirteen other kids that they also want to come to BYU. I know it's why BYU is the only school I applied to!

The Tourists leave a trail of disgruntled students behind them--pale, tired students hunched behind their laptops and books, hating that some people actually get a summer vacation. Follow this path of sad undergrads, find the family, and if you volunteer to help herd the children, maybe they'll buy you some Graham Canyon.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Tanner Super Hero

For all those that have seen enough men in ratty, intramural championship shirts, mixed with khakis and athletic sandals, taking a little field trip over to the Business school to gander at the Tanner Super-Hero can be an ultimate Quantum of Solace.

This guy deals with money for school and therefore gets to dress like he's starring in Casino Royale Marriott edition. In a perfectly filled out suit he looks like an icon for the American dream (with liberty and sexy for all) and you want to give him the Goldneye. But just like Batman, Superman, Spiderman and all the greats, the TSH cannot always be this pinnacle of business perfection. There comes a time when he has to assume his Clark Kent role and take off the suit. And with it go his super powers.

Watching the TSH walk through those windowed halls is the perfect topping for your chicken pesto panini (RIP market place cafe), but as he's gliding down the stairs, glowing with business-savvy-manliness, you become very aware of how unworthy you are to be in his presence. You start wishing you had at least turned on the lights before you threw on your BYU sweats this morning, because upon closer examination they have remnants of a frosty on them, and might be on backwards.

Not all the money majors can be the TSH though, and the way they these unfortunate others fill out their suits, (or the lack thereof) remind one of the times in Middle School when your "friend" would eat a starburst and then fold back up the wrapper and offer it to you--just the frame without any of the sugar. But even these empty starbursts are better than nothing, because every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The JCer

Outside their natural habitat of the Jerusalem Center, this specimen is easily identified by the pants that were once baggy enough to be Kearl-Kosher, but now, 98.6 peanut butter/chocolate pitas later, are as snug as a bug in a rug. Or by the fact that they are always walking through the city on gender non-specific group dates, or by the feet, neck, watch and ankle tanlines they wear like battle scars.
Once spotted, they will respond to any of the following: "Mormon," "BYU," "Utah," or "sooo beautiful"... but they will probably give you a "la shukran" or "nien danke" in return.
They love having decisions made for them like what classes to take, when and where to eat, and even when and how to go to the bathroom ("Do I need my wad?"). They're also known to put anything and everything in a pita (eggs, cucumbers, yogurt, headsets, water bottles...)
Don't ask The JCer what time it is--they won't know. Instead, ask how many hours it's been since lunch, or how many hours until dinner. This makes much more sense to them.
The JCer also has quite a flavor for ancient architecture and won't get an apartment without a cistern. Or a mikveh.
But the real distinguishing feature of The JCer is that they won't be able to stop talking about the amazing people they met and the life-changing experiences they had during the last four months. And when they are telling you all about them, make sure to pay attention or they might snap their fingers in your face.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Propagandists

Interactions with these people always result in Honor Code violations. No, they're not prostitutes or people who force boys to grow beards, they're the club representatives shoving those tiny colored papers in your face as you try to make your way to the Cougar Eat, forcing you to lie through your teeth and thus betray your honor and promise to attend the dance/service activity/blood drive. And don't get me wrong, it is great that we have a college campus where people are involved in Things...but don't we have any sort of environmentalist club? Are they not opposed to this immense waste of paper? NO ONE keeps these flyers. If I ever see an exceptionally conscientious student who carefully places one of these notices in his planner rather than in the trash or in that random, unused pocket in his or his backpack, I will do consecutive somersaults all the way from the JKB to the MARB. Plus I never remember what the flyer is actually advertising because I'm too focused on the cute guy that gave it to me (which is a separate issue altogether: convincing poor stupid girls like me that he only hands ads for his volleyball game to the girls he likes? For shame) or on the candy that was taped to it.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Waldo

This person first comes on your radar because of one defining feature that makes them pop out from the rest of the herd on campus. This defining feature can be anything from an attention grabbing hairstyle to a rather unforgiving facial feature. But the Waldo can also just be an extreme example of how hot Mormons really are—a personal favorite.

After the Waldo has caught your eye, BYU’s campus shrinks from 40,000 (?) to that of a small-town high school, in that you can’t go anywhere without seeing the Waldo. Suddenly you are on the same cross-campus-walk-schedule as they are, and you can spot them faster than any red and white striped turtleneck (no matter how cute Waldo's little red beanie is). And when you’re using Photo Booth to make sure you don’t have keyboard marks all over your face after your supra-laptop nap, the Waldo will somehow pop into the back of your frame like big foot in camping pictures.

If the Waldo is of the hot variety, you’re always sure to spot him/her at your most attractive moments, i.e. with Taco Bell dripping down your chin, or just after you’ve taken a nasty slip on the ice that makes everyone around you look at you with what they think is sympathy, but comes across as ridicule.

If by chance you end up interacting with the Waldo for realzies, they are almost never the same person you’d envisioned them to be (i.e. they actually have a voice, and if they are of the hot variety they’re not that interested in being the father/mother of your unborn children). This personality swap usually leaves you feeling like the heroine from a 1960’s drama where someone yells “it’s like I don’t even know you anymore!”

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Facebook Terrorist

You innocently sign on to Facebook five minutes into your Humanities reading after a hard day's work. "Jeepers!" you exclaim. "50 notifications! I bet everyone commented on my hilarious Overheard @ BYU post!" Au contraire, young Padawan learner. Every single one of these notifications is from that person who you're pretty sure was in your ward that one semester a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away: he/she answered 40 questions about you, tagged you in 8 of those friend-character-personality grids (in his/her eyes you are Charmander and the snuggliest of his/her Facebook friends), and sent you 2 messages about the event he/she has invited you to. The FBT has veni-vidi-vici'd your Newsfeed so thoroughly with his/her 2,000+ tagged photos, 100+ photo albums, and constantly updated statii that he/she makes Leonidas look like a Miamaid at her first stake dance*. Even if you don't remember where you met the FBT or how you know him/her, you know absolutely every thing about his/her life. Basically the FBT serves as a reminder of why everyone hates Facebook and why, after three hours of stalking, you should really just get back to your homework.

*Okay, what I'm going for here is that the conquering skills of a big, sexy warrior look like the unadulterated fear of a 14-year-old girl next to the profile-annihilating abilities of the FBT. Sometimes my metaphors are pretty reaching.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Point Mongerer

You've just blasted through a test that consisted of a painful mix of regurgitation of information and BS-ing*. It's one of the few times you didn't have to trek all the way to the Testing Center just to feel bad about yourself, so all you want to do is get out and watch a reality show on CMT to remind yourself that you're lucky to be literate.

The last thing you want to do is spend one more second agonizing over question 67 and whether you should have chosen "all of the above excepting b, d, and f" or "none of the above excepting a, c, and e". But, your professor wants you to learn from your errors by catching them yourself (which means he/she really wants to go home and watch CMT too). So you're stuck. But grading is easier than actually test-taking right? This should be painless. Plus, you're sure you got 67 right.

Cue the Point Mongerer

This person has not let one point slip through their writer's bump-ridden fingers since the PKU test tak as a newborn and is not going to start now. As soon as the professor gets to one of those "choose the best answer" questions the PMer has his/her teeth gnashed and is willing to rip away every lost point from the professor. They're like a vulture working on day-old roadkill, but more disgusting.

The PMer will also come under the facade of showing how righteous they are by asking questions like "Do I still get it right if I didn't dot the i with a perfect circle?" or "Would Heavenly Father give me the points if my pencil went out of the scantron circle?"

By the time the PMer has sucked the soul out of your professor and everyone else involved, you've missed My Big Redneck Wedding. And you got 67 wrong.

*By the Spirit-ing. Of course.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Karma Chameleon

The Karma Chameleon* is always ALWAYS seen at any given dance party. It may take you a second to place him, but it's not because he's a No Face**--on the contrary, the KC is typically pretty hot. It's just that he's usually wearing some sort of cloaking agent, such as giant aviators or a fake Burt Reynolds mustache. The theme of the party doesn't matter; he is always dressed to nines in a costume so thorough he could have conceivably paid for it to be custom made--but he didn't! He went to DI the day of the party and somehow left that glorious institution with JNCO pants for the '90s party, a neon spandex onesie for the Neon dance, and a Members Only jacket for the '80s party.

This is the most fun-looking person you will ever see in your entire Provo career--colorful, hot, dancin' crazy, always surrounded by members of his entourage...but beware: he is either a 28-year-old who still has Undecided as his major or a freshman waiting for his mission call.

*name chosen because it sounds colorful and has retro, '80s connotations
**A No Face, by definition, is a person who looks different and unrecognizable every time you see him or her, kind of like Jerry's girlfriend who looks totally different in certain lighting in that episode of "Seinfeld". He/she could be perfectly attractive, just lacking in any definitive features. Trust me--it is a real affliction.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Salt Lake Center-er

The SLCer is extremely hard to spot initially, because their whole purpose is to look as if they go to BYU Provo like any other Zoob, when in reality they live in an alternate universe filled with carpool lanes and easy classes. Like Canadians, they live among us with so few outward differences that they almost seem like one of us, except for the huge fact that: they. are. not.

At FHE they'll announce that they go to BYU and they'll complain about Physical Science and American Heritage to further the facade, but what we don't know is that they're not living in BYU housing so that they can live close enough to class that the walk there doesn't have them waltzing into the MARB, panting hard enough to have just furrowed a small field. They live among us, making the hour long drive, the one that took our pioneer ancestors months (uneducated guess) to do by hand-carts, to go to their classes, all so they can get the BYU experience [cough, marriage], without actually going to real-BYU.

But there are some tell-tale signs to differentiate these "students" from your real peers:
Never have a major
Never seem to have had professors you've ever heard of
Unusual griping and moaning about high gas prices because they use so much of it on their commute they might as well be pouring it over their cereal
Generally skittish when conversations about ACT scores and high school GPAs come up
A light in their eyes that wasn't ripped from their souls by the demons that are generals credits at real-BYU.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Piano Man

The Piano Man is under the impression that we are all in the mood for a melody, and that by serenading all of us sitting in the Wilk Terrace, he's got us feeling alright. I probably shouldn't judge a person who is just trying to bring his candle out from under that bushel and cultivate his talents, but how many times can one endure the same three Jon Schmidt songs?

As he plays, the PM is seemingly shielded against all the winces and eyebrows raised in his general direction, probably because he is basking in the admiring glow of the female stranger sitting beside him with her Teriyaki Stix rice bowl, swaying and singing the words to the "Viva la Vida/Love Story" masterpiece he's pounding out so passionately. Even though they think they're alone in their Chris Martin/Taylor Swift love connection, all of us lunching in the Terrace were forced to be a part of this moment as soon as he sat down on that bench.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Truebluecoug

This guy is such a big BYU fan that he comes dangerously close to violating the second commandment with how much he loves that bronze cougar in front of the stadium. He feels the deep need to express his school pride on non-game days and is only one more Oklahoma game away from wearing a tie with his Cougar United shirt to church. But this worship of the Lord's school doesn't seem blasphemous to him because he considers the fight song a hymn, BYU slogans to be doctrine and game plans to be divinely inspired.

At the games you'll find that when the truebluecoug isn't putting his heart and soul into every crowd-involvement that the Jumbo Tron throws at him, he's talking about the athletes like they're his best friends and/or spouses, i.e.: "Well you know when Max passes like that it's because he had Cheerios for breakfast". You'll also be able spot the truebluecoug because not only is he the one at the games with the painted face and the stupid hat, but he's the one with the newborn baby that has the painted face and the stupid hat.

Newborn or not, you know you'll find the truebluecoug doing his part to help his team by heckling, which usually includes:
Citing scripture to inform the opposing team* why they will be destroyed
Giving the ref the finger**
Softcore cursing from the 50's like fiddlesticks, dagnabbit and H-E-double hockey sticks.

Sitting in close proximity to a truebluecoug at any game is almost enough to make you feel like one of those curmudgeon-season-ticket-holders sitting on their cushioned seat they bought after they got their hip replacement, yelling at the stupid kids to just sit down already.

*aka Satan
**their CTR ring finger

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Candidates

You're innocently walking to the Wilk, hoping that Sugar and Spice hasn't run out of Graham Canyon ice cream, deciding whether or not you'd be deemed Telestial if you took a nap in the library instead of going to Devotional, when suddenly you are blinded by all the colors of Donny Osmond's Technicolor Dreamcoat. Has the circus come to town? How did all these balloons get here so quickly? Packs of smiling, shiny people gradually come into view, and all is clear: tis the season for BYUSA elections.

BYU is always full of friendly, high-fivin' dudes and dudettes, but around election time, the BYUSA-ers become a gaggle of Tracy Flicks. Cutthroat and immune to any embarrassment, they will stop at absolutely nothing in their quest to be in charge of BYU parties make a difference. Nominees will reestablish contact with one-time acquaintances from their Helaman Halls Elders Quorums. They will shove tiny flyers down strangers' throats and refuse to take, "I actually don't have a second, I have to...pray..." for an answer. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these candidates from the swift coercion of their apathetic peers with the help of their bright, catch-phrase'd posters.

Don't worry, we'll consider voting--provided there's a free t-shirt and possibly some of that Graham Canyon in it for us.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Library Goers: Fifth Floor

With every step you take on your ascent to the fifth floor of the HBLee (pronounced AY-ch-blee) you are renouncing all intentions to actually do anything homework related. Don't even pretend to pull up your research paper or any scholarly sources, maybe just set out a textbook that makes you look like you're capable of making lots of money and/or children in the near future.

Where on the other floors you need at least a furrowed brow to make it look like you're completing some brilliant assignment (when in reality you're facebook chatting), on the fifth floor there are no facades, but it is a floor where the only way you will be hushed is in a cute and flirty manner. On floors one through four you'll probably get a few crusty eyes for ruffling a bag of sun chips (garden salsa variety), but the fifth floor is the land of the socialites, home of the procrastinators; a place where the streets are paved with sideways smiles and mutual acquaintances.

Let it also be known that the fifth floor is a black tie affair which means that your lucky study sweats are not permitted. Always dress to impress [translation: you're going to have to drop those ironclad dress and grooming standards--Ugg boots make any skirt length look practical no matter how cold it is outside]. But most importantly, this is a floor of regulars who have devoted their study habits to memorizing who comes and goes on this floor, and lamenting to each other how it's "sooo not right that In-N-Out is in Utah now..." If you're going to "study" here expect to be on Academic Probation by the end of the semester. But hey, you'll probably get a few Color Me Mine dates out of it.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Library Goers: Fourth Floor

The upperclassmen social scene starts heating up on the fourth floor of the HBLL...well, "heating up" is sort of a stretch. It's not as much of a sexy "Laguna Beach" episode as the fifth floor is, but there are definitely lusty, wandering eyes belonging to people enrolled in 300-level courses. These are people who wish they could be as open and free with their libidinous urges as the freshmen below and the Don Juan Triumphants above, but alas, they know that their futures depend not on hot makeouts betwixt bookshelves but rather on their grades. Their passionate feelings are thus forced into submission, which is why on the fourth floor you will rarely see any of those "oh-what's-that-you're-typing-on-your-computer/now-my-arm-is-around-you-while-I-am-bending-over" moves, tables with more than four people, or MASH game papers. No, these are serious students who want to be around other people and to look at those other people, but they know that they have far too much work to do.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Library Goers: The Third Floor

Walking across Brigham Square, you'll often find yourself making a mental confession of all the homework you didn't do when you were at your apartment and you suddenly felt it was vitally important to look through every one of the pictures tagged of you on facebook to make sure there are none that make you look unnecessarily uncool/homely/unspiritchal, or any other quality not on the list of ideal spouse qualities made in YW/YM, just in case that hottie from the ward (whom you haven't added yet because you don't have enough mutual friends and he/she might find it creepy that you know his/her first name, last name, middle name, and date of birth) wanders across your page and decides he/she can't live one more day without you. Anyway, until that day comes, you have to diligently study as if you really cared about your GPA and not just your FEC (future eternal companion). So you decide your penance is to find the darkest, most solitary armpit of the library and camp out there until you know the stuff so well you could go head to head with the Human Footnote.

But then there's the 3rd floor.

Thanks to the ironclad security of dainty Art History majors in navy blue pants, we must all pass through the Golden Gate of the 3rd floor to reach any quadrant of the library. Which means you must go through the gauntlet of the No Shh zone. Walking through this, newly extended, area of frivolity with a backpack full of unfinished homework is like walking in front of the Great and Spacious Building. Hearing the laughter and seeing the gleaming smiles of these wanton men and women who have majors that necessitate "group projects" and "team presentations" makes you want to throw your Norton Anthology out the window and join this world of social academia. Inevitably seeing multiple people from past wards/classes/Area 51, you hold tightly to your BYU Testing Center pencil like it is the Iron Rod, and close your eyes to make it through to the stairs. If you don't do your homework now you'll be up all night doing it in the one corner of your apartment that gets decent wireless but zero heat. With the end in sight you quicken your pace, but wait, did you just hear your name? Well you better go say hello.

4 hours later you realize you haven't even turned on your computer.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Library Goers: Second Floor

The second floor of the Harold B. Lee Library is home to the Periodicals Section. The only difference between Periodicals and the Cannon Center is that you don't need your Dining Plus card to get in. Every table is chock-full of freshmen engaged in freshman activities, such as:

-taking pictures of themselves and/or all of their friends on Photo Booth on their shiny, brand new Macbook

-feverishly copying their roommate's Book of Mormon notes minutes before the midterm

-trying desperately to think of the perfect iTunes library name for the shared network...maybe this was just me. The best ones I've ever either been told about or seen for myself were "I'm easy" (followed by a phone number) and "iPood".

-fake-studying while actually trying to catch the eye of the King of Helaman Halls, who only studies in Periodicals--except for those few occasions when he can be spotted in the No Shh Zone

DISCLAIMER: As a freshman, thanks to the Periodicals' social scene, I made a lot of my freshmen, just accept that you have these cultural obligations and give in to them. Also take an upperclassman out to a Dining Plus-paid lunch.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Library Goers: First Floor

People found on this floor of the library mean serious business. With little to no cell service they are not going to be found updating their twitter with awesome little anecdotes like "OMG totally studying in the librarrrrrrry!! hahaha come joinnnnnn! =D" and if they have a computer, you will never see the soft glow of facebook's blue and white grace their screen.

No, these students are seasoned BYUers and are either married or are so caught up in the rapture of the celibate life of study that they've left the sexually-charged-chaste-tension that is the rest of BYU and have entered Grad school. You'll usually catch these students with materials that no other student has access to (i.e. a Bible printed on the original Gutenberg press, or the lost 116 pages of the Book of Mormon).

Studying down here requires a furrowed brow, writer’s bump, and most importantly: the lack of a libido.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Elders Quorum Groupie

Every ward has one: the girl who is hopelessly devoted to the Cool Guyzz. And okay, who among us hasn't crushed on an EQP at least once in our lives? The difference is that this girl has absolutely no shame. None whatsoever. Refer to this sample conversation:

EQG: So I saw on your Facebook that you like "The Office". I do too. Can I come up to Budge Hall and watch with you and your friends?

EQP: Yes? [thinking] What is this girl's name...

EQG: Great! It's a date! And I already have your number from the ward directory so I will text you about it, and, just in case, I'll write on your wall. Please respond on my wall so people know I interact with boys.

[ten minutes later]

EQG [text from her to him]: I was reading your wall-to-wall with [other boy in ward], and I saw that you guys are going to the dollar theater tonight. I'll be there.

Now, this is an exaggeration*, and the rest of us always stare in disgust at her grossly forward ways at ward prayer...but deep down we burn with envy because at least she's talking to them.

*no it's not