diary entry

Book of Mormon Class:


There’s this beautiful word in the English language: water. It means life coming from the sky, it means dancing and surfing on it’s edge. (go on with this idea) (do this with many words)


There’s this word (wo) that means waking up in a place that you realized you would never be before. 


There’s this word (water) it means jumping in puddles, and running along the edge of the ocean.


I don’t know how to do this.


Personal Scripture Study


I keep becoming dumbfounded at this idea that changes can happen to you, that you can be baptized by the Holy Ghost, that you can even receive your calling and election and be saved in the Kingdom of God, and not know it. How is this even possible? I would think that something so major and some profound as this would be unmistakeable. Wouldn’t it be like Hollywood depicts it? Fireworks and suddenly you are arrested in your motion, you are thrown to the floor, slapped in the face, your body pulsating and almost affects you like drug withdrawals. Is that what I am expecting? Something to grasp me in the jaws of a seizure or epileptic fit. Something that feels like the height of orgasm? Is that what God feels like? One would think so. But I guess that I am mistaken when I am searching for this. That is not my God. That is not the man that I am seeking after. I am not seeking after someone who will eternally exhaust my body with overloading sensations like acid trips and orgies. That is not my God. My God is a God of peace. My God is someone that is so perfectly designed, organized, and qualified, that he recedes into the background and hardly even exists. He is the snowflake that contains eons of beauty within it. He is a small moment. He is the joy in a small smile. He is the gentle touch of a soft withered hand of a lover on a bench in the park. He is not the riveting experience and excruciating pain of death and gore and blood and violence and war. He is not even the hair tickling my cheek. He is the hair that is not tickling my cheek. He is the wind that is not blowing. He is everything that is calm and still and peaceful and truth that is unmoving, unwavering and stable beyond all belief. That is the God that I love. That is the experience that I am searching after. Those are the eternal burnings that I want to exist in. The silence imperceptible, hardly even noticeable fire of peace. 


Researching Context for Memoirs Class


    I wanted to research three contexts of information that I think would enhance my understanding of “This Boy’s Life,” but not only that boy’s life, but my boy’s life as well. I think that understanding context is something that has helped me heal and understand myself. It wasn’t until I’ve compared my context to others at the time I was married, that I came to really understand the circumstances in which I was raised. And a lot of the questions that arise have to do with three specific people in my life: my mother, my step-dad and my biological father. Interestingly enough, the circumstances correlate quite closely, but not exactly, with Tobias Wolff’s own mother, step-dad and biological father. 

    First I wanted to do some research into the world of single mothers. Tobias Wolff’s mother was single. There must be some psychological research on this. Here I go to research it as one of the three main contexts that I want to explore:


    I don’t think 

    To me one way to look at context to talk about the setting, the backdrop that can’t helped but be a noticeable part of the production, even if it is in the background. But I want to look at the context from the Latin root of the word The word context come from the latin con meaning together and texture meaning to weave. I want to look at the things that are weaved into the meaning, things that are weaved into the struggle, things that are weaved into the fibers of Tobias Wolff himself. I don’t believe that I can reduce Wolff to a study or a cliche, but if we look at the empirical data that surrounds a child of a single mother, an abusive step-father and a neglectful father, then we can begin to understand Wolff’s other fibers that are weaved into the fibers of his parental relationships. 

    First I want to talk about and show studies about children of single mothers. One study conducted at Iowa University noticed that “mothers’ dating dating behaviors directly influenced the sexual behavior of adolescent boys,” but that the “mothers’ attitudes of sexual permissiveness influenced daughters’ sexual attitudes and behaviors, but not sons’.” I find this study to be particularly interesting given the scene in “This Boy’s Life” when Wolff is consoling his mother after she was, what felt like, date-raped. The article also suggests “that adolescents in single-mother households are made more aware of their mothers’ sexuality than those in intact two-parent households because of their mothers’ dating relationships.” This is also apparent since Wolff has to assume the husband role or some sort of mature role to understand and help his mother cope with her dating relationships. The article then concludes that “parent and child may be simultaneously encountering similar developmental tasks.”

    In another study we find out the relationship between adjustment to changes and coping with stress to be affected by whether the child has a single-mother or two-parent household. The study said that “single mothers reported higher levels of stress for their adolescents than did mothers from two-parent families . . . The differences in overreporting and underreporting may reflect that single mothers themselves experience more stress than do mothers from two-parent families”