Month: February 2016

The Role of the Family in Society: Safeguarding Nations and Cultures

The Role of the Family in Society: Safeguarding Nations and Cultures

I grew up just a few houses down from our town cemetery. Both my great-grandparents are buried there, plus a few other relatives. My grandfather is in the American Legion. For the past eight or so years, he has organized the Memorial Day program in […]

Eliminating Problem Behaviors through Behavior Modification

Eliminating Problem Behaviors through Behavior Modification

You’ve seen it at the grocery store—kid asks for candy, mom resists, kid throws a fit, mom gives in. While this situation may be the reality for parents on some trying days, it’s helpful to understand what’s behind this childish behavior. You wouldn’t want to […]

Museum of Art

Museum of Art

I think as we get older a lot of us lose the intense sense of curiosity we had as children. (It really was a sort of sense with how natural it was.) That deep fascination with the world around us just kind of gets put on the back burner as we get older.

One of the ways I try to reignite this flame is by taking on an activity or a task that I don’t naturally think about doing. One such activity is going to an art museum whenever I get the chance.

I’m not an art enthusiast by any means, but once I get in the zone and flow of a museum, I could take in the pieces on display for hours. Sometimes it’s because I’m just taking the art in for myself, or it’s because I’m reading every single plaque to try and figure out what it is I’m supposed to be looking for in the piece in front of me.

If you’re looking to reignite that sixth sense within you, I would suggest taking a trip to the Museum of Art here at Brigham Young University. They have such an incredible array of exhibits and activities going on constantly that I’m sure you’ll end up finding some of that childhood fascination bringing itself back to life.

One event in particular that I always love going to is their Art After Dark night. Typically the first Friday of every month, Art After Dark is a free event in which you get to see a new exhibit at the museum, consume some good food, and even get some free entertainment (typically a live band). It’s a really great way to spend date night, family night, roommate night, or I-want-some-alone-time-but-I-don’t-want-to-seem-anti-social night.

Plus, their famously delicious Cafe is now open later on Fridays if you want to indulge your taste sense as well as that curiosity one I mentioned before.

Make sure to check out the MoA’s events page here.

Get Creative: 36 Ideas for “Creatives” and “Non-creatives” Alike

Get Creative: 36 Ideas for “Creatives” and “Non-creatives” Alike

Have you ever thought of a project, but you were too afraid to start? I have a seven-year-old niece who has probably created more things than most people do in their lifetimes. Once, she made a fish tank out of paper and even devised a […]

Loving and Learning from Children with Special Needs

Loving and Learning from Children with Special Needs

I’m coming to the end of a one-block (seven-week) BYU class on special education for elementary school students. Not only have I learned more about various disabilities—cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, ADHD—I’ve also learned to see the great potential in children with special needs. Before […]

Mastering Dating Anxiety

Mastering Dating Anxiety

Having been a member of the Provo, Utah population for nearly four years, I’ve had a firsthand witness of this college town’s dating environment. I’m here to tell you: it’s an anomaly wrapped in an enigma. People want to date, and yet it terrifies them (often with a crippling fear); they want to get married, but the very idea of marriage gives them nightmares. It’s a vicious, mind-numbing game of what to do and what to say and when and how.

I’ve kind of held on to my normalcy about the whole dating ordeal. While I do have my moments of fear and doubt, they are few and far between. I’m not a dating expert by any means, but keeping some things in mind when it comes to my dating life seems to keep me grounded. So, I thought I’d share a few of those things with you guys.

Dating is meant to be fun.
I know I mentioned this in my last dating post, but it still holds true two weeks later (and even after this post it will continue to hold true). Look at it this way…

Your typical Friday night is probably spent doing something with friends, whether that’s watching a movie, going out to dinner, or playing pranks on your other friends. Why does a date have to be any different? You’re spending time with a friend, getting to know them and having a great time while doing so. Maybe you end up having a fantastic time and that date turns into a second date, and then a third, and so forth. Maybe it doesn’t. Either way, your Friday night was spent having a great time with a great person. And if they were a not-so-great person, at least you have a good story on your hands, and possibly a person to prank next Friday night (don’t actually, though).

Rejection is a lame excuse.
indexMaybe there’s a less harsh way to say that, but I’ve always appreciated it when people just tell it like it is. Consider it a favor.

You—a wonderful person in your own right—do not need to fear rejection. It’s a part of life and is not just exclusive to dating. We are meant to learn and grow from it. If you ask a girl or a guy on a date and they say no, or they avoid you afterward, please don’t let it get to you too much. Honestly, they don’t deserve you. If they do not have the decency to give you a chance, or if they have given you that chance, but are not kind enough to let you know that they care about you and don’t want to commit the dishonest act of leading you on, please move on. It’s really that simple.

If you’re not confident enough yet to look at this situation in this light, then take on the mindset that that person has done you a favor. They have taken away an obstacle that is holding you back from meeting the person you’re actually supposed to end up with. I have a friend that often says, “Those who are married had to have a 99% failure rate before they found the one they married.” Keep that in mind when she doesn’t send you the post-date text you were expecting.

It’s all about your attitude.
If you want to date, just do it. That’s really what it boils down to. You gain nothing by complaining about it and everything by having a positive attitude about it—just like with anything else. You’re the one that’s in control of how your love life plays out, and that’s meant to be an exciting, enlightening experience, not a crippling one.

Get out there and make it happen, champ. You got this.

—Jazmin Cybulski, Stance

The Fundamentals

The Fundamentals

When I was in third grade, I started playing Jr. Jazz. I was pretty excited—I’d get a cool jersey (that fit like a dress), a trophy for participation (gold!), and treats after every game. Those were the things that initially motivated me to play. As […]

Provo Library

Provo Library

One gem that seems to often be looked over in our community is the Provo City Library. It’s an incredible sight because of its beautiful architecture and rich history, but there is more to this historical site than just looks. The library holds awesome functions […]

The Power of Inquiry Learning

The Power of Inquiry Learning

When kids write biographies, as I discussed in my last post, they engage in thinking of questions, asking them, and getting feedback.

family-reading-921279-galleryWhat is the power of asking questions? Think about it—you just spent a second feeling curious about the answer to this question, and you read on to find out more. Children—and all learners—discover and remember more when they are curious about finding out the answers for themselves. This type of learning is called inquiry or discovery learning.

Moving away from traditional telling

As a student or a child, how many times have you sat through a lecture without participating in any way? Do you remember anything from that lecture?

How would it be any different for children who hear, “You need to sit quietly,” “You don’t fold it like that, it’s like this,” or any other phrase that is more of telling than inviting to learn? We might say that this is the kind of thing that goes in one ear and out the other.

Elder David A. Bednar has expressed that teaching is more than talking and telling. As teachers help children to become active learners—which includes asking questions and helping children ask questions—they will better remember and understand concepts.

How does this advice apply to parents? In a recent BYU forum address called “The Power of Not Knowing,” Liz Wiseman describes her struggle with rounding up her three young children—the “6, 4, 2 combo pack,” as she refers to their ages—and the constant telling what to do to get ready for bed: brush your teeth, get in your PJs, pick a book. Complaining to a friend, she received the advice to speak with her kids only in the form of questions. Intrigued, she began that night. “Kids, what time is it?” “Bedtime?” they chorally responded. “What do we do first?” “Brush our teeth?” She was surprised that they knew what to do and she didn’t have to tell them to do it. Start the video around 31:30 to hear her experience.

Helping children become active learners

In my elementary education classes, we learn a lot about helping children learn through inquiry. Inquiry includes asking questions and helping children ask questions, express their own ideas, and try things out for themselves.

 Powerful questions. Teachers in various settings quickly learn that there are different types of questions to ask learners. Some questions shut down conversation because they only invite a yes or no answer or one-word answers. Rather than looking for one right answer, powerful questions invite many different responses.

baking-452298-galleryOne of the benefits of helping children discover their own questions, as the YouthLearn initiative suggests, is that “when students choose the questions, they are motivated to learn and they develop a sense of ownership about the project.”

Discussion. Eighty percent of what we learn is through discussion, as one of my professors frequently reminds students reluctant to participate. Involving children in discussions—whether about academic or family-related topics—will help them increase their confidence in having opinions and in interacting with others.

 Hands-on learning. Some classmates and I interviewed students all over our university campus about the best way to learn science. The overwhelming response was that students learn science best through hands-on learning—getting in there and doing it, rather than reading about it or only watching demonstrations.

Here are some ways that parents can help their children ask questions, discuss ideas, and learn in hands-on ways:science inquiry

  • Go for a nature walk or to a museum and model how to ask questions about the surroundings.
  • Ask children, “What do you think about . . .?” and listen to their answers.
  • When young children ask questions you don’t know the answer to, find a book or other resource and look up the answer together.
  • Help children try out daily tasks by modeling first what to do and having them practice. Refrain from telling them what is wrong, but encourage them to try again.
  • Show children a picture or an object and ask what they know about it and what they want to know about it.

—Leah Davis Christopher, Stance

Images credited to LDS Media Library. Link to license here.

Get Insured: Build Relationships

Get Insured: Build Relationships

When I spoke in church on Sunday, and the phrase, “Marriage is the best self-help program,” spilled out of me, I realized how fixated with self-help I really am right now. Yes, as a 21-year-old, I’ve already started reading self-help books for fun. But I believe it’s […]