readings for one class

1155 pages! No sweat. I'm totally used to the grad school reading load by now.
I was quite pleased that it was under $100 and even more pleased that someone else printed them for me. My only regret is that I didn't pay for hole punching. Ha ha. Ha.


reading old journals

I'm reading through my old high school journals tonight, surprised at how little has changed. Some stuff still doesn't make sense, and somethings that I promised I'd change are still part of me.

Here's a good one, circa 8th grade:

April 6 2002

...I want to list my favorite things. So here goes:
  1. Sleeping in a nightgown
  2. Looking at the stars
  3. Warm bread straight from the oven
  4. Playing with my baby bunny
  5. Taking my hot feet out of tight pointe shoes after a long hard class
  6. Traveling to California
  7. The first fresh days of spring
  8. The smell of a Christmas tree
  9. When you've had a nice hot day in Disneyland, and you have a pink lemonade and some fresh cool fruit
  10. When you get a haircut and your neck just breathes....
Some real revelation from sophomore year:

March 25 2004

I have been out of it all day. I woke up at four this morning and grabbed a huge bag of sunflower seeds. Sat down at my kitchen table with a spoon. 
I have decided that people generally are not evil....

And nothing sums up the hormones of adolescence better than this gem of a poem:


Tall, dark, handsome
So mysterious
Defined chin
And cheekbones
Golden floppy hair
Sticky, warm brown eyes
Every time you open your mouth
I imagine you saying,
"You sex kitten."
But all I hear is,
"What did you get for the magnesium problem?"


gender and body dissatisfaction

"It is estimated that about one-third of adolescent boys desire a thinner body size, and another one-third desire a larger and more muscular body.... Similarly, estimates of the number of boys who engage in weight loss strategies range from 21.5 to 50%, and the number of boys who are trying to gain body bulk ranges from 21.2 to 53.8%...."


Ricciardelli, L. A., & McCabe, M. P. (2002). A Longitudinal Analysis of the Role of Biopsychosocial Factors in Predicting Body Change Strategies Among Adolescent Boys. Sex Roles, 48, 349-359.


first day of classes

First day off classes today. I was just a minute or two late after getting lost on my way to the building. I sat down, and pulled out my legal pad and pen. Wrote "204B - Sept 27". Classes? Already? Doesn't feel like it should be starting yet but, by the same token, it should have started a month ago.

My appetite is suppressed. I wonder where it went. I don't feel sick, I just don't have any desire to eat. I'm not depressed. In fact, I'm genuinely content. But here I am blogging and picking at a bag of popcorn, thinking about a study I read that talked about how women in general prefer their bodies in the morning because their stomachs are empty. Have I internalized all this reading?

I'm not the type of person that really cares about body image. There's that quote by someone I can't recall about how "the body is an instrument, not an ornament." As long as I'm healthy, I'm happy. But belief does not necessarily get translated into behavior.

The stats professor asked us to rate our quantitative aptitude on a scale from 1-10. I put 8. I like stats. When he started explaining the basics of statistics and methods, I could feel my muscles relax. He's speaking my language and giving a speech I've heard several times before. He also asked us to rate our anxiety about the course on a scale from 1-10. I put a 2. Low anxiety for sure... but who isn't somewhat anxious about any class?

Like most things on my blog, this had no point. Just thoughts... and a great way to procrastinate for 10 more minutes.

To answer your question, Heather, yes! Speaking of which, I pulled out the "textbook" when my sister and I were talking about the Federal Reserve. I'm going to make sure she takes your class. :-) I have told you that my older sister thought it was one of the most useful classes she took, right?

Romeo and Juliet

Ah, I love this song. 
If you've never heard it before, don't watch the music video first. :-)
If you have, then by all means enjoy this relic from 1980.

Bike or walk?

Thanks to UCD Mobile, I can see how long it will take me to walk to my class tomorrow. Wow. A mile!

Most people around here would bike. But I think 40 minutes of walking on Mondays sounds nice. I can use that time to stop and smell the roses, think about my thesis, and maybe chat with people on the phone.

I'm quite happy that the quickest route is through the arboretum. Gorgeous!


Sushi with Sarah!

First, before I go off on photo tangent about sushi,
Sarah's birthday present!
Six bottle cap magnets! So fun and easy to make.
In Carole King's Tapestry Bowl

And then we decided to go get sushi and cocktails! This was my first time ever having sushi... and it was delicious. We went to Mikuni. And the food photo rant begins...
Gluten free menu!
Cocktails! Sarah got something strong.
I got something girly that tasted like key lime pie.

The Black and White is in the foreground - seared albacore with onions and jalopenos and some sort of amazing sauce.
In the background is raw salmon on rice. Really interesting texture... a kind of buttery goodness.
Our role - the GF4 (gluten-free 4?) with tuna and a tasty barbecue-type sauce on top and steak and avocado in the middle. Was it good? There was avocado. I think that speaks for itself.
One of the highlights of the night was when I was telling her a story with probably no point, and a train passed by. As it did, I lost my train of thought. Just in case you were wondering, I am a cheap, happy, and distractible drunk!


Ditch Your Laptop, Dump Your Boyfriend

Here's a great NYTimes article that you should send to any college freshmen you know. Sage advice from grad students!

It got me thinking about advice I would have given had the Times asked me for some thoughts...

A goal for each semester was to have every professor or instructor know my name by the time I turned in my final. In large classes, this can be difficult, so you'll have to be creative. At the liberal arts college I went to my freshman year, it was fairly easy. I was the only person from Utah so naturally, people had questions. My biology professor would frequently ask me questions during lecture about plant life in Utah. Everyone else asked if I was a polygamist's wife. At the University of Utah, this was more difficult, so I would go to office hours or, probably my finest moment in undergrad, argue with the professor about his methodology. The blogosphere may like to know that the professor I argued with and I continue to email back and forth to this day. :-)

Get to know your TAs. Most of them are fabulous, though exhausted, people.

The mark of an educated mind is to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Paraphrasing Aristotle.) Take classes that challenge your opinions and beliefs. I took an economics course where I found I disagreed with many of the students and the instructor. But, for hours a week, I sat in that lecture hall and played with the conservative thoughts. In the end, I kept most of my beliefs with the understanding that things are far more complicated than I thought they were at the beginning of the semester. I think that the purposes of education are to (1) teach you how to think and (2) teach you that you really don't know much at all.

Don't turn in a paper that you haven't proofread and don't turn in a paper without some sort of thesis statement. I can usually tell what sort of grade I'll be giving a paper by the second page. If you need help with editing/proofreading, most universities and colleges have writing centers. If you need help with a thesis statement or other paper specifics, well, that's why we have office hours.

Enjoy it! You get the opportunity to learn from the experts. Don't be afraid to disagree and don't be afraid to change your mind.

from Theavy

Theavy and I had lots of classes at Highland together and we bonded immediately. She would always take notes in Cambodian and I thought they were gorgeous (what a beautiful alphabet, right?!). So I asked her to write in my yearbook in Cambodian. The only problem... I can't translate it. But it's one of my favorites.

Sadly, I haven't seen her since her 21st birthday. We ended up in a course at the University of Utah together. It was so fun, even though the course was about death and dying. I miss her!




I was going to go for green as my theme for the quarter, but Target forced me into buying pink (I refuse to go white or black). And they match my little... whatever it's called.
Couldn't they have been neon melon?

P.S. My presentation is over and I think it went well! I got some great ideas on how to include BMI and pubertal timing!

five albums I can't get enough of

1. Donde estan los ladrones? by Shakira
I listened to this while grading all those papers a few weeks ago. My favorites are: Moscas En La Casa; Donde Estan Los Ladrones?; Inevitable; y Que Vuelvas
2. Fantasies and delusions by Billy Joel, performed by Richard Joo
One of my favorites to listen to while studying or relaxing. Favorites: Air, Op. 10, "Dublinesque"; Invention in C Minor, Op. 6 (I love inventions... those were my favorite things to play way bach when); Suite, Op. 8, "Star-Crossed", all three movements; and Waltz #1, Op. 2, "Nunley's Carousel"
3. Cradlesong by Rob Thomas
The newest Rob Thomas (as far as I'm aware) album. All the songs flow really well together. My favorites are: Mockingbird; Getting Late; Cradlesong; and Her Diamonds
4. The Dana Owens album by Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah sings some jazz standards and other great songs. My favorites: Moody's Mood for Love; Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (compare with Cannonball Adderley's version); Hello Stranger (love the organ... makes me laugh); and Baby, Get Lost
5. Teaser and the Firecat by Cat Stevens
My favorite Cat album... I think. Don't hold me to it. Here are my favorites: How Can I Tell You (possibly the best love song ever); The Wind; Bitterblue; and Peace Train



Behold! My presentation for Friday. Feedback/comments/critiques welcomed and encouraged. It is a timed presentation, each slide will be projected for 50 seconds. And I know my name isn't Natka Spaetzle. But I wish it was!

My name is Natka Spaetzle and today I will be presenting what I worked on this summer. **I'll have more to say about particulars of this project that I won't bore you, Dear Blogosphere, with**
Body dissatisfaction or satisfaction is influenced by a number of factors, including: body image, or the cognitive representation of one's body; experiences during adolescence, including biological factors like pubertal timing; and other socio-cultural and interpersonal influences like parent-child and peer relationships as well as media influences. Some researchers also suggest that temperament may play a role in body image and dissatisfaction.
Surprisingly, little research has been done on the effect of romantic relationships on body dissatisfaction. This surprised me because body image issues and dating or romantic relationships often develop alongside each other during adolescence. What little research has been done has found that dating status predicts self-rating attractiveness, such that those involved in romantic relationships rate themselves as more attractive. There are several limitations in the previous research. Most research on body dissatisfaction has been done with White samples, typically female, from undergraduate populations. Only a few studies have taken ethnicity into account, usually focusing on White and African American women.
In the present study, I asked: Does dating status and body dissatisfaction differ between ethnic groups? How are dating status and body dissatisfaction associated? Does the association differ across ethnic groups?
I had two hypotheses. The first was the reported serious relationships would be associated with lower levels of body dissatisfaction. This hypothesis was based on the previous research and the notion that serious dating relationships would include social support and possibly social status that would decrease body dissatisfaction (and possibly global self-esteem). The second hypothesis was that there would be no differences between ethnic groups. Although there may be cultural differences in norms of appearance and dating relationships, I hypothesized that relationships would be similarly meaningful across cultures.
My sample included 1307 high school seniors (17-18 year olds) from a number of high schools in the greater Los Angeles area. Approximately 37% were boys and 63% were girls. The sample was ethnically diverse (about 9% were White, 16% were African American, 42% were Latino/a, 11% were Asian, and 6% were multiethnic). The students reported their ethnicity and dating status and answered twelve questions about their satisfaction with particular body parts (e.g., chest and arms for boys, hips and general body shape for girls). The body dissatisfaction items came from the eating disorder inventory and body esteem scale for adolescents and adults .
The participants were given several options for their dating status. "Serious" encompassed married or cohabiting, not cohabiting but spending multiple nights together per week and not living together but being in a serious, committed relationship. "Dating" adolescents were dating one or more people casually. Most previous research has only looked at dating versus not dating adolescents or adults, but I separated them into three categories because I think there are some qualitatively different characteristics of casual dating relationships versus serious relationships. As we can see above, 42% of the adolescents in this study reported being in a serious dating relationship, 19% reported dating, and 39% reporting not dating. There were no gender differences in reported dating status.
This is where it gets interesting! Ethnic group differences in dating status were qualified by gender. There were no statistically significant ethnic group differences among boys. However, multiethnic girls were significantly more likely to be in a serious dating relationship than Asian, Latina, African-American, or White girls. And Asian girls were significantly more likely to report not dating than Multiethnic, Latina, African-American, and White girls. [Remember this figure, followers? It was easier to create the second time around.]
Body dissatisfaction differed by ethnicity, as has been found in previous research. African-American girls reported less body dissatisfaction and Asian girls reported more body dissatisfaction than girls from other ethnic groups. Latina, White, and Multiethnic girls reported similar levels of body dissatisfaction. African-American boys reported significantly less body dissatisfaction than Asian boys but both groups reported similar levels of dissatisfaction as White, Latino, and Multiethnic boys.
Body dissatisfaction differed by dating status for girls and boys. However, these effects did not differ by ethnicity. Girls who were not dating reported significantly more body dissatisfaction than girls in serious relationships. No differences were found between girls who were dating and girls in serious relationships or who were not dating. Boys who were not dating reported more body dissatisfaction than boys who were dating or in serious relationships. To put it simply, girls appear to need to be in a serious dating relationship to see a "bump" in body satisfaction whereas boys get the "bump" whether they are casually dating or in a serious relationship. [Note the language in the last sentence is quite causal to illustrate the point more clearly -- but you should not be convinced that anything causal is going on here... it's correlational!] + Should these figures be more like the one up a slide?
Findings support the hypothesis that culture may inform dating behaviors and body dissatisfaction during late adolescence. However, potential consequences of not dating hold across ethnic groups. Support and other social and emotional benefits may explain why being in a serious dating relationship predicted less body dissatisfaction.
I think one of the most important findings from my study was that Asian teens are particularly at risk for body dissatisfaction. This finding will hopefully inform policy and programs aimed to help youth with body image issues.
The next steps are to look at how satisfaction and happiness within relationships affect body dissatisfaction. I hypothesize that adolescents who report being satisfied and happy in their dating relationships will have lower levels of body dissatisfaction. Then I plan to look at warmth, mild hostility, and extreme hostility in their dating relationships to see how those characteristics affect body image. I predict that adolescents who report warm dating relationships will have lower levels of body dissatisfaction. Finally, I plan to study adolescents' interethnic dating relationships and how those types of romantic relationships affect their body dissatisfaction.
You've got questions. I probably have answers!


the stranger... bowl.

Today, I walked by Armadillo Music and found two of my favorite albums on vinyl for $0.99. I've been wanting to display some album art in my apartment, so I decided to get them for art only, as I already have both on vinyl... without scratches. Somewhere, sometime I saw a bowl made out of a record (thinking Urban Outfitters?). So I decided to give it a try. It was easy... here's how to do it!
With your oven preheated to 225*F or thereabouts, put an oven-safe bowl upside-down on a baking pan. Top it with a vinyl album of your choosing. Place the stack in your oven for 5 minutes.
Here's what comes out! You will be able to touch the vinyl, it's warm but not hot, and mould it as you wish. I made mine a little flatter.
And there you go! Now my keys have a happy friendly home! If you want to make it food safe, there's an extra step involving clear lacquer... you'll have to Google for more instructions.

$0.99 of sweet entertainment!


day of travel + my grandmother, Lady Gaga fan

SLC Int'l enthusiastic travelers.
Windoze fail at Las Vegas airport. :-)
I gambled a dollar... and lost a dollar.
But it was the funnest buck ever!
A high tech Star Wars penny slot machine!
The usual. Peanuts and Bloody Mary mix.
Pretty clouds... somewhere in California!
Pretty lake... somewhere in California!
Home, Sweet Apartment.
Already decorated for Halloween! Thanks, Mom!
The best part of the day (second to booking my Thanksgiving flight):

My mom and I had lunch at my grandmother's house, we drank Diet Cokes, of course. After I was finished with my can, I rolled my hair up in it and turned to my mom. She and I laughed. 
My grandma said, "I saw somebody do that lately... on TV, I think." My mom and I both said, "Lady Gaga?" "Yes, yes, Lady Gaga. She's wonderful!"

You'd be surprised, too. I asked, "You haven't seen one of her music videos have you?"

No, she hadn't. Lady Gaga had been on one of the late night shows talking about Don't Ask, Don't Tell. My grandma and Lady Gaga have the same opinion on the matter. 

I think Lady Gaga would be proud to know that she has at least one Utahn fan over the age of 80! More proof that my grandma has always been hip!


last night

I thought about what I wanted to do my last night home. I like to go on nighttime drives, up past the capitol, to see the city lights. I also thought about giving some late night phone calls to friends to see if they wanted to hang out for a bit.

But what I really wanted to do was lay outside on the trampoline, staring at the stars. Then sit on the deck enjoying the autumn wind, listening to my mom's wind chimes and petting my oh-so-adorable-and-soft bunny rabbit. So that's what I did.

The view is spectacular of the city, unfortunately this little video doesn't quite do it justice. However, the wind chimes sound perfect. :-)

I leave tomorrow afternoon, with a layover in Fabulous Las Vegas. Then the quarter will start and... posting on this blog may become sporadic.

For now, two favorite songs about Salt Lake City: