"The 13th article of faith: a recipe for dating success. The ladies seek after these things *kisses biceps *" -Foreman
Question #89436 posted on 04/25/2017 1:56 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board Alumni,

So, what have you all been up to? Any life updates worth sharing?

-Curious

A:

Dear Curious,

A few highlights:

Family: There's a new Littlest Master (for those counting, there's now Lil' Master, Littler Master, Even Littler Master, and Littlest Master).

Hobby: I co-host The Protagonist Podcast* where each week we discuss a great character in a great story. We have had Board writers on as guests, and will do so in the future, I'm sure. There are well over 100 episodes now, but if you're interested in trying an episode, some of our 5 most downloaded episodes* are:

#101 The Town of Cicely, Alaska in Northern Exposure
#99 Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye
#86 Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables
#88 The Joker in The Dark Knight
#83 Calvin and Hobbes in Calvin and Hobbes

Some other episodes that might interest readers:

#64 Niles Crane in Frasier
#70 Peter Pan/Banning in Hook
#84 Lizzie Bennet in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
#105 Christmas Special 2016 #115 Corner Gas
#110 Earl Sinclair in Dinosaurs
#112 Becca Mitchell in Pitch Perfect
#114 Vin in Mistborn
#117 Sam Gerard and Richard Kimball in The Fugitive
#120 Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson in Parks and Recreation

Books: I edit a series of essay collections about superheroes. You can find lovely volumes on Superman, Wonder Woman, the X-Men, the Avengers, Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, and the Justice League. And there are more coming next year. I also wrote a book about the X-Men and co-authored a soon-to-be released book about Frasier.

Mystery Project: I was flown out to LA to be interviewed as a talking head for a documentary. I don't know how much of this project has been announced, so I'm leaving it vague for now.

-Humble Master

*Please feel free to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or any other podcast listening app and leave us a review :)

*We have absolutely no idea why these five are our most popular episodes. If you can discern a pattern, please tell us.

A:

Dear C:

I got married and jet-setted off to a whirlwind honeymoon tour of Edinburgh, went to grad school and cocooned in a love bubble, got published, and Hillary's election ensured low anxiety levels and good backup insurance options.

Jinx, I got dumped, panicked and deferred grad school, dated a dude for a month in the summer and then got dumped again, sort of got back together with my boyfriend, and in the most meta thing that has ever happened to me, ran after The One That Got Away when I won a ticket to see the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend herself, realized that I can't see myself living in Los Angeles right now, and the Scott Michael Foster lookalike (Yog can confirm) came to Utah to at long last say that he loved me/he didn't like hurting me/I should just go to grad school? so we should move on. (INTJs for the win this round.) 

In the meantime, I have been working at my unfulfilling but respectable tech writing gig for over two years now. #emotionallyunstablepeoplecanbegoodattheirjobs #feminism  

I was recruited to even more unfulfilling and dull gigs, poured a ton of womanhours into my resume and networking, and have really shifted my perspective of what I think will fulfill me and my place in my industry. It seems that I'm a person who has to learn lessons the hard way. America, I feel ya right now. 

My search for the happiness MacGuffin has convinced me of one thing: the narrative we sell single Millennial women is broken. Art that explores that is my jam. I'm going to a YA book festival in Santa Monica solo because why not, and looked at this answer and think I should take the advice of Matt Kirby who told my class to "finish the d*** book" two years ago. 

Huh. 

When was the last time you were truly happy, eh? 

---Portia

A:

Hello Kitty,

Is nothing a good enough answer? It's pretty accurate. After graduating I went home for a bit and then started graduate school. First semester was OK and second semester I got super depressed! So very much a whole lot of nothing.

-M.O.D.A.Q.

A:

Dear Kvothe,

Well, first and most importantly, the universe gave me to best birthday present ever when Patrick Rothfuss and Lin-Manuel Miranda announced that they would be working together on the "Name of the Wind" movie/TV show

Okay, now that I've gotten that out my system... I currently work at Goldman Sachs as their in-house NSA, which means I get to read all the emails. Work sometimes takes over my life so that's...great... I recently took up rock climbing, which is great. I also run a lot now. Since retiring I've run two half-marathons, and I am doing Ragnar in June. I spent a month in New York for work, I went to Spain and Mexico. I am heading to Italy and Switzerland next week (woohoo). I got Tinder. Then deleted it. Then downloaded it again. Then deleted it... the cycle continues. Oh, I also kissed someone for the first time in like six years (not due to Tinder surprisingly). I lost 12 pounds. Hiked a lot of things, biked less things, and had lots of adventures when I wasn't working... yeah... I work a lot. But hey there are some potentially exciting changes coming down that pipeline in the next year. Or grad school. So that's cool.

Yep that's my life. 

Sincerely,
The Soulful Ginger 

A:

Dear Doctor,

I got married. To Spectre. Which, if you read the Board, you already know.

I've been dealing with severe depression and anxiety since the beginning of July last year. There's a lot I could say about this, but I won't.

My car got stolen two weeks before our wedding, which meant we had to buy a new one a week before...and after we signed the paperwork, the stolen car turned up that night. We ended up getting rid of that car and keeping our newly purchased one.

My parents are moving for two years to London for my dad's job, which means we get some of their furniture and we get to babysit their piano for two years.

I just got cleared to have an emotional support dog, which is great because our new townhome wouldn't allow pets otherwise and I definitely need a dog. 

And yes, we just signed a three year lease (which is really weird to think about) on a townhome that basically has everything we wanted.

-Tally M.

A:

Curious,

It seems that uh...let's see...a guy named ah...Donald John Dump? Ah, I mean...Trump. Yes, Donald J. Trump has become president of the United States. How curious!

-Adequate Adam 

A:

Dear Paprika,

I'm still working in Human Resources. I had a chance to change jobs to a job I wanted much more, but, for various reasons decided to stay. Now the reasons I stayed are gone and I'm in a weird place of having no clue what to do career-wise. It's not the best.

Quilting is still my main non-travel hobby. I picked up English Paper Piecing, which is the best, and not like regular paper piecing, which is what Dragon Lady does and I have no idea how she has the patience for it! I had plans to steal her Harry Potter quilt once it got finished, but then I totally forgot to do that and she donated it to her kids' school. Missed opportunity. The quilt I'm working on right now looks like this and I will never finish it.

I traveled an acceptable-ish amount (turns out quilting is way more expensive than I thought it would be, and that's kind of eating into my travel budget!). I went to Cancun with my parents for their 50th wedding anniversary. My sister and her family didn't go because she was afraid her children might get kidnapped at the resort -- which she assures me is a totally valid, rational fear, and if I were a mother I would know. Then the entire family went on a Disney cruise in the Eastern Caribbean as a make up trip for my sister's family since they were sad they missed Cancun. Also I visited my birth dad's family in Michigan. Then in December I took sort of an impulse trip to Spain and Morocco, which was a lovely time of year to visit.

Oh, and I recently went to NYC which is one of my favorite things. I saw Anastasia, Dear Evan Hansen, Amelie, and The Great Comet of 1812.

In order, I didn't love Anastasia. They took out Rasputin (and he was the BEST PART, right?) and tried to make some weird love triangle between Anastasia, Dimitri, and the KGB agent who replaced Rasputin's role. This is on my list of least-favorite things I've seen in NYC. The love triangle was stupid, the acting was overly-cheesy, the new songs weren't memorable, and the plot had SO much holes. Like, instead of saving Anastasia's life, Dimitri waves to her in a crowd and we're supposed to believe she remembers that event, but when she talks to her grandmother it's all, "I'm not sure I'm really Anastasia, but you don't have a family, and I don't have a family, so we might as well just be family."

But the little girl who played Young Anastasia may have been the cutest thing I've ever seen, and the staging was really cool given it's such a small theater. In any case, I still regret using a show time on that one. Though, in fairness, I saw it in previews. Maybe they managed to change the entire show to be less awful these last few weeks?

Dear Evan Hansen might be the most fantastic thing I've ever seen on Broadway. It's funny, sad, poignant, touching, and all of the other emotions. Thanks Ace for INSISTING I see that one even though I knew absolutely nothing about it. It's now very high on my list of favorite Broadway shows. It addresses issues of suicide, loneliness, and isolation so well. I wish everyone could see it.

Amelie was super cute! Phillipa Soo is amazing. It was light and funny and the music was memorable. I've never seen the movie it's based on, so I have no idea how it compares. I loved the stage, so I immediately came home and made a quilt based off the stage floor. I was only bothered by the fact that Amelie wouldn't be able to get away with any of her hi-jinx if she weren't super attractive. Everyone would realize she was insane and would write her off. Oh, and the girl who played Young Amelie was also SO dang cute!

And Great Comet was interesting. I didn't think I'd like it. I only went for Josh Groban, who was, of course, amazing, but I ended up loving the music. The staging is SO cool. It's a very interactive setup. It's a show I haven't been able to stop thinking about. I absolutely want to go back and see it again -- which is true of most any show I see... Except Anastasia... And Young Frankenstein. That show was also terrible.

And that's pretty much it. No major life changes, just random little things.

-Marguerite St. Just

A:

Dear George,

I'm deployed, fighting a violent extremist organization that people in college in 2007 and/or 2012 may be familiar with. I might only have one day worth of answers this year, we'll see, the internet here is not too reliable.

We're finally making the big move to North Carolina, a move I have been talking about for three years. This means I got my dream job and I finally get to jump out of airplanes for a living! We have a house lined up and we're working on selling our home in Utah. Does anyone want to buy a house in the geographic center of the Salt Lake Valley?

Dr. Smeed

A:

Dear Mort,

I got married again last June (to the same husband without ever divorcing him).

IMG_0044.JPG

I then spent an additional 5 weeks in China starving and throwing up in KFC's squatty potty because... 

I was pregnant! Baby boy was born in December about two weeks early, but healthy as can be. He's basically the cutest. 

IMG_4777.JPG

I also got a job teaching fifth grade dual immersion. It's been a real challenge, but most days it's awesome!

That pretty much sums up my life.

 

-Azriel

A:

Dear Curious ~

Since last April:

  • I said goodbye to my family's bestie family who moved to Nicaragua. It was really sad for us, but also happy, because it's what they've been wanting to do.
  • Got called as the YW president (to replace my bestie that moved to Nica.)
  • Yellow 2.0 learned to take pictures on my phone without it being unlocked. 
  • I got a personal trainer and worked out consistently for several months. And then stopped almost completely.
  • We spent a week at a cabin in Island Park. Church included sitting on the grass outside for the sacrament for 45 minutes because there wasn't any room inside either of the two chapels!
  • Yellow 2.0 turned 2!
  • Dragon Baby turned 7!
  • My bestie sent me a large bowl of succulents for my birthday, 90% of which are still alive and thriving to this day!
  • Dragon Baby got brave enough to do a zip line BY HERSELF.
  • I got brave enough to repel down a cliff, attempt waterskiing, slid off the slide on a houseboat, and successfully body boarded. (BIG DEAL, FOLKS!)
  • Brother got married!
  • I dejunked a significant amount of stuff in my house, and can't really tell at all.
  • Bought a hammock for my back yard!
  • Went to Girls' Camp for the first time in 10+ years.
  • I lost my Apple Watch at Girls Camp and wanted to weep.
  • Yellow found it a month later in the bottom of my sleeping bag which I had held upside down and shook and found nothing!
  • Spent a week in Lake Powell, then spent the next week and a half feeling like I was still rocking on a boat. I don't recommend that.
  • Left Yellow 2.0 with babysitters TWICE for a week or more each time so that the rest of our family could do family vacations he just isn't old enough for yet.
  • Went through the worst period of depression/anxiety I have ever dealt with in my entire life, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. And although this is only one bullet point of many, covered a large chunk of my year.
  • Got an Instant Pot and learned to make cheesecake. Yummy, yummy cheesecake.
  • Started a date night rotation in my babysitting co-op and have dated Yellow more than any other time since probably we were dating.
  • Niffler Baby started preschool with the same teacher Dragon Baby had. Her name is Mrs. Smart and I just love that.
  • Dragon Baby started 2nd grade. [sniff]
  • Both girls participated in a gymnastics recital.
  • I started playing Pokemon.
  • Once again participated in an indoor/outdoor mini golf tournament where all the holes are made by family members, and we all dress in Halloween costumes to play it. On Labor Day.
  • I made and canned grape juice for the first time ever by myself.
  • We dressed up as Pokemon and Pokemon trainers for Halloween.
  • We actually got family pictures taken.
  • Yellow broke into my parents' house.
  • We did Christmas at our house for the first time ever. Just our little family.
  • Spent the rest of Christmas in Idaho at a condo and at my parent's house.
  • I went back to work one day a week.
  • Niffler Baby turned 5!
  • My white fluffy cat discovered it's fun to roll around in pink sidewalk chalk and looked like a Lisa Frank drawing in real life.
  • We got really good at bathing said fluffy white cat.
  • My kids all got small snow shovels and learned to shovel snow.
  • Discovered Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, and kind of love it.
  • I finished a Harry Potter quilt (that I've been working on for 2.5 years) and donated it to Dragon Baby's school library, because I am awesome. (Picture in this question.)
  • At Dragon Baby's request, I cut out pictures of myself with letters on each one to spell out Happy Birthday, glued them to toothpicks (like cupcake toppers), and put them in German Pancakes for Yellow's birthday, because I am his favorite thing. It is the most vain crafty thing I have ever done, and I laughed hysterically the whole way through.
  • We discovered Paint Notes on You Tube and kind of love them.
  • Yellow's sister got back from her mission!
  • We got all of us passports!
  • We took our girls on their first airplane rides and went to Nicaragua for over a week!
  • I have peered into the mouth of an active, erupting volcano.
  • I have hiked around a non-active volcano in both a cloud forest and a rain forest.
  • I have visited an ocean beach for the first time IN MY LIFE.

Overall, I would say there have been several fantastic updates to my life, and despite having a really terrible portion of my year, it's good to see that I also had a really fantastic portion of my year, too. 

~ Dragon Lady

A:

Dear Curious,

I went to a few Asian countries last summer. I cannot recommend Thailand and Cambodia enough if you ever find yourself over there. Went to China to teach English, got a new job teaching 2nd grade at a different school in Utah, lost that job within a week because of "low student numbers," and consequently was left searching for a job 3 weeks before school started on the other side of the world. Had a little bit of a breakdown in China because I was jobless and panicking. Anyway, came back to the States, got a new teaching gig in Provo LITERALLY 3 DAYS AFTER LANDING and 1.5 weeks before school started because I'm boss. AND I'M STILL LIVING IN STUDENT HOUSING BECAUSE I CAN'T ESCAPE. 

Even though the beginning of this year was super stressful (so many tears y'all,) I cannot describe the difference between my last school and my new school, more specifically with my principal. My last principal was less than stellar and really did a number on my self-confidence. My new principal is amazing and truly believes in me. I actually feel like I'm teaching this year and it's amazing. 

Uhhh let's see. I'm going to Japan and South Korea this summer since I'll be teaching in China again. I will finally have my car paid off in August so that's like an adulty thing I'm proud of. 

-Ms.O'Malley

A:

Dear Curious,

Since last Alumni week:

  • Took engagement and wedding pictures for a friend. The wedding pictures were stressful and I doubt I'd do it again, because I am not a professional wedding photographer.
  • Mavengirl learned how to walk. It's weird to think that a year ago she wasn't doing that.
  • Survived a 6-month funding crisis where we weren't sure whether or not Mr. Maven would have a job. Do not recommend.
  • Participated in a Mr. Holland's Opus-style surprise orchestra concert for my high school orchestra teacher.
  • Helped make cakes, cookies, and cupcakes in my friend's bakery.
  • Went to Tally M. and Spectre's wedding reception and reunited with/met a bunch of Board writers. They're cool people.
  • Mavenboy started pre-school. He loves it and I love the two day, two hour breaks from two kids.
  • Went to Jackson, Wyoming, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton National Park with Mr. Maven. Kid-free vacations = the best.
  • Bought a minivan. This goes against everything I ever said about cars I'd own, but Mr. Maven approves because he can fit his homemade pinewood derby track in the back. However, it is nice to have two cars.
  • Sewed my kids' Halloween costumes. Reaffirmed that I am not a seamstress.
  • Tried, unsuccessfully, to get my hands on an NES Classic for Mr. Maven. (Nintendo, sometimes you're the worst.)
  • Went against everything I'd ever said about cars I'd own and bought a minivan... Mr. Maven approves because he can fit his homemade pinewood derby track in the back.
  • Our ward split for the 3rd time since we've lived here. Hopefully we're done with that for a long time!
  • Mavenboy started Primary. Thankfully it's going better than I thought it would.
  • Through pure luck, got a Nintendo Switch. Beat Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Loved it. Now to find all the shrines...
  • Found out we're having Mavenbaby #3 in the fall. Excited, but frustrated with how much health care costs. [Insert rant about how universal health care is probably the best option and the GOP needs to stop being babies about it.]

Other than that, mom life remains mostly the same. I'm constantly cleaning up messes but feel like I'll never catch up on housework, we go to lots of play dates with other moms and kids, and I do my best to smile instead of scream when things get frustrating. I do get a lot more invitations to product "parties" (I'm looking at you, LipSense and Lularoe), but I still don't know how to say "MLMs are the worst" politely. But looking back on everything I've done, even though life as a stay-at-home-mom is hard, it's clear that there's been a lot of good to balance out the difficult, and maybe one day I'll appreciate the hard days too.

--Maven

A:

Dear Curious,

Keeping it brief and to the point, after a considerable amount of stress and anxiety in getting it done I am happy to report that I have a *climbs up a ladder, holds up the megaphone to mouth* PhD!

Always a challenge, some things that contributed to the aforementioned stress were: Having a journal request additional experiments (involving a trip to Brazil to look at patient samples) before my major manuscript could be published. Having my generally terrific mentor go out of the country unexpectedly the week before my dissertation was due to my committee ("I'll look over your chapters on the plane ride home!" is not a reassuring thing to hear) (Note: she somehow ended up doing this to the very next person in our lab to graduate. Troubling habit.) Having a committee member with a lot of clout and opinions very publicly disagree with the rationale and interpretation of a series of experiments (and argue against the inclusion of an entire chapter). I said I was keeping it brief and, believe me gentle reader, I absolutely am. 

Things are doing well family-wise. In terms of hobbies, I've recently started learning to play the ukulele and my baking skills are, if I may say so, definitely something to write home about. 

- Dr. Rating Pending Ph.D. (who shouldn't complain too much about people with clout and opinions because, in this community, I think that describes me pretty much to a T. If it turns out I don't have clout, NOBODY DISABUSE ME OF THIS SELF-DELUSION)

A:

Dear Curious,

I bought my second house last year, and am still a pretty darned successful realtor. No children yet, alas, so I'm mostly hanging out with my awesome wife and dog and living in Provo pretending that I'm still a child. I game more now than I think I ever have before, you see.

I went to Japan last year, which was my wife's first overseas trip and was a ton of fun. I'm still writing books and enjoying doing so, and generally I'm quite satisfied with everything. My wife works on campus so I still visit all the time and get overwhelmed with nostalgia, as well as being struck by how quickly it's becoming unrecognizable to me.

Everything is happening, and nothing is happening. I want to sell all my possessions and hop across the globe with my wife, but so far I haven't sold her on that plan.

  ~Hobbes

A:

Dear friend,

A lot of things are the same. I'm still a music teacher, still married to my rad husband, still live in Provo. But I've had some pretty good adventures in the last year. I went snorkeling in the Dominican Republic and saw Les Mis and Matilda in London. I went on the most impulsive vacation of my life to Harry Potter World. I grew a vegetable garden and only about half of it died. I went on a weeklong road trip with my in-laws, without my husband, and it was terrifying and I got really homesick but I also got to see Mount Rushmore and the Badlands and golf-ball sized hail, so that was pretty good. I went to 4 different family reunions. I got snowshoes and a camping hammock and have made good use of both (not at the same time though. Snow hammocking sounds terrible). I convinced my husband that we needed to move, so now instead of living in a teensy, gross apartment that constantly smells like pot and cigarette smoke and probably has mold in the walls, we live two blocks away in a medium-sized, pleasant apartment that smells like new carpet. So yeah, life is pretty great, I'd say.

Peace,

-Stego Lily

A:

Dear reader,

Yayfulgirl and I moved from Utah to San Luis Obispo, California last September for my master's degree at Cal Poly. It's been a good change for us, even though we spent the first month here living out of hotels. It's also been a very good academic experience so far, but I'll leave that part for other answers. My mental health has been a mixed bag and I've spent the past four months putting off a trip to a psychologist to find out if I have some additional undiagnosed issues, so that's been fun, but for the most part I've been coping pretty well.

Oh, and in a completely spur-of-the-moment decision last month, we got a cat!

my name is kat.jpg

He is approximately 50% sleep and 50% psychotic meowing ball of fur. I'm convinced he has some sort of daily destruction quota which he has to meet in order to avoid a severe cursing by the Cat Gods. We leave out old newspaper ads for him to shred, because the alternative is watching him rip up our carpet. Our living room is basically a permanent war zone.

adorable monster.jpg

He's also the loudest, most vocal cat I have ever met. Does he want food? MEOW! Does he want attention? MRROW! Did I just get home from class? MYOWWW! Is it four in the morning? MMMOW! Has it been too long since he made any noise? MROWR!

It's okay, though, because he literally squeaks when he's tired. So far, he seems to like us and we love him despite his destructive tendencies.

-yayfulness

A:

Dear Cat,

I officially passed my 3rd year tenure review!

It was a bit anticlimactic because I forgot that the decision was due until I got the phone call and most people at my institution pass their 3rd year review, anyway, but it's good to have that officially in the bag. On to 6th year (i.e., the one that really matters)!

- Katya

A:

Dear Curious,

In what apparently is becoming a tradition in my family, I decided to go back to school. I'm currently at Portland State University for a Computer Engineering undergrad. For perspective my BYU undergrad was in Psychology.

I am dreading losing my parent's insurance when I turn 26 in September - thank goodness my university has fairly decent coverage available.

I have spent an unholy amount of hours playing Mass Effect: Andromeda in the last month.

Still un-married, still no girlfriend, still super duper gay.

That pretty much sums it up.

-Watts

A:

Dear Curious,

Sauron's still grinding away at that dissertation, and I'm grinding away at my Master's research thesis project. I'll be graduating in less than a month with my MA in Marriage and Family Therapy with a specialization in Clinical Art Therapy, after which it's looking like I may launch into private practice (under supervision, until I accrue enough clinical hours to get licensed). My research was accepted to be presented at the American Art Therapy Association conference in November. I also went skinny-dipping for the first time ever in the Pacific Ocean at night (it was painfully cold). Sauron, on top of finishing his PhD, is also working on several creative projects, including a science fiction comic and a screenplay that's being actively developed with a couple of producers at a small independent film company.

Our two shorties are not so short anymore, as they're both now at a convenient elbow-resting height. They're losing lots of baby teeth, reading novels late into the night, making stop-action movies with their toys, and handling Blu-Ray discs responsibly—meeting all those milestones of a well-developed child.

We still live in Los Angeles, and we're still not sure where we'll end up, but it's a good life.

Thanks for asking,

Waldorf (and Sauron) 

A:

Dear Curious,

I wonder if anyone will read this far down?  Well, since I last participated in alumni week I have:

  • Graduated with my master's degree
  • Adjuncted at BYU for 3 years
  • Started a new full time job working as a research and development specialist in the molecular pathology department of a clinical laboratory.  I was 7 months pregnant when I interviewed.
  • Had baby boy #3, who will be two years old by the time this question posts
  • Left the church (a decision that was not made quickly or taken lightly)
  • Bought our first house...in the heart of Utah County
  • Disgruntled has been to Afghanistan 3 times and separated from the army after an 8 year run (and is doing basically the same thing, just as a civilian now).
  • As of last week, I was selected by the Navy!  I'll be in the reserves as a medical officer.  Kind of crazy for a 31 year old female with kids, but I'm crazy excited.
  • And I'm finally leaving the country, I'll be in the Netherlands celebrating 10 years of being married when this posts.  Yay!

- steen

A:

Dearest,

In the last year, I have:

  • Graduated from medical school
  • Visited Japan
  • Explored the Philippines
  • Moved to the American South
  • Begun to rock climb outdoors much more
  • Gotten back into triathlon shape
  • Started wearing bolo ties

And so on and so on.

--Dr. Pilgrim, MD

A:

Dear Curious,

Hey, I'm back!  This is weird.

I'm still working my same boring job, still hanging out with Andy and our dog Chevy.  We bought a piano, which I'm super psyched about because I haven't played in a year and I'm super rusty.

Biggest thing: Andy was accepted to medical school and will be starting in July.  He didn't get into his first choice school, but hey, he got in somewhere, and it's still a really good school!  We're staying in the same general area, so we don't have to move across state lines again, but we will have to move closer to the campus this summer, and I'm not looking forward to that.  

So we're really just getting ready for that sweet, sweet feeling of crushing debt, aw yiss.

-April Ludgate

A:

Dear Reader,

My wife had our second child and first son. At precisely this moment, our firstborn daughter became a monster of limitless proportions. If our son weren't the easiest baby in the entire world, we'd only have one child and I'm not sure which one it would be.

In consequence of this, we decided to take a pay cut, leave my job (which I love), and move across the country to be closer to my family. This is a move that I never anticipated (imagining that I'd be staying at my job for years to come) and it strikes fear into my heart every time I think about it. Stay tuned for results.

-The Man with a Mustache

A:

Dear Curious,

My firstborn son has recently turned two, and his brother's on the way in July. My wife is still the best. I bought a house last May and enrolled in the Indiana University online MBA program in March. When I changed wards, I was released as ward clerk and now, drum roll, I am again ward clerk. 

At my job as an oil refinery engineer I have been through all sorts of excitement, with a mix of losses (guesstimating a few bags of concrete might be needed for a critical path job when the right answer turned out to be over 50 tons; oops), draws (we bought the entire U.S. stock of a certain stainless steel bolting material and were still 60 bolts short on a very urgent need, but turned out we could buy something even better for $2,400 a bolt, so we did...day saved-ish), and wins (successfully got approval from all three required engineering managers for my request to delete our bathroom sign standard drawing, with which we had approximately zero compliance despite it being an official engineering standard since about 1999--noncompliance resolved!). With that record I guess it's no surprise that I got promoted to a supervisory position at the start of this year, managing and mentoring other (mostly new) engineers. That's fun, and if I keep it up I may rise further up the ranks as they continue to search for something that I can do successfully.

I have also been to 8 national parks/monuments in the last six months, which has been pretty cool. Chaco Culture National Historical Park is awesome--you heard it here first.

~Professor Kirke

A:

Dear Cat,

I'm done with BYU! I'm done with BYU! I'm done with BYU! I'm done with BYU!  I graduated last year around the time of the last Board Reunion, excitedly skipped my graduation ceremony to work overtime at my new job (which I love more than a person should love a job), and during every finals week since I've done little shimmy-dances of happiness when I remember I don't have to take any tests in the testing center.  Oh, and BYU delivered my diploma to me in the mail covered in dirt and damaged by rain, which I feel like is an accurate metaphor for how I felt post-graduation.

Other than that, I've gotten 4 ear piercings that I dutifully waited until finishing BYU to get, bought a car, started practicing yoga, paid someone to decorate my first non-BYU living room, bought my own non-tiny TV, and made buckets and buckets of like-minded friends.  On top of all this, I have officially broken free of my financial dependency on my parents and therefore our relationship is much calmer and happier than it has ever been.

Life is beautiful in Neverland,

-Yog

A:

Dear George,

I feel totally vain because I've mentioned this in like three answers already, but I'm just so excited about it: I'm graduating this summer with my master's and will be starting a PhD program in California in the fall. The decision to go on for a PhD has come with a lot of doubt and anxiety, but I'm hurtling headlong toward it nonetheless. 

I've loved BYU, but I am so ready to move on. Campus is too full of old ghosts for me—of people I used to know, of ways I used to think, of things I used to do, of who I used to be. It'll be good to get away. But maybe I'm just running from my troubles?

Yours, &c.

Heidi Book

A:

Dear,

I still teach high school English: same school, same classroom, same two courses. I still mostly like it. I'm hired again for next year, and 4th year means I'm no longer a probational teacher, I think. It also means I won't have to go to new-teacher meetings anymore. Yesssss.

I still live in the same little house with my only friend from high school. We watch Star Trek projected on the wall while we eat our Blue Apron dinners. We speak the language of quotes gleaned from 15 years of near-identical movie tastes. Sometimes we go to the park to try to catch Pokemon, but that's getting more and more infrequent. It is perhaps too comfortable a setup. 

I aged out of the singles ward and now go to a family ward. It's a little off-kilter there, and I like it pretty well.

Despite the fact that I have done no work at establishing a garden for this year, my pepper plants from last year are trying to go again. I guess I should water them or something.

I got a Roomba. My floor is much cleaner than it usually is.

What a whirlwind of a year, eh?

-Uffish Thought

A:

Dear Curious, 

Everything is different. Mostly in a good way. I left a great job in journalism for marketing nearly a year ago because, long story short, the outlet I was working at became corrupt and journalism jobs don't grow on trees in Las Vegas. But I'm happy! I have a fantastic job that I'm good at, was promoted to a director-level position a couple months ago and get to work with wonderful people every day. And in a city I love! 

Once I left journalism, I got involved in activism, campaigned for Hillary and then somewhat unwittingly found myself leading a chapter of a major national activism organization. So most of my time outside of work is spent planning marches, organizing rallies, scheduling phone banks and the like. I just got back from lobbying in Carson City a couple weeks ago. 

Other than that, I go to a lot of shows and a few festivals a year. I just saw Bon Iver last week, and I'm super excited for Brian Ferry, Tears for Fears and Depeche Mode throughout the summer, on top of the couple of shows a week I usually hit. I still haven't finalized my festival schedule. I'm also working on an essay collection and I'm a little stuck, but that's life. How do I get any sleep?

Oh, I guess the thing that's not different is my severe commitment issues and crippling relationship anxiety hasn't improved at all, so I'll probably die alone. 

Cheers! 

Anomalous 

A:

Reader's Digest Version:

Got married (did that before leaving Board)

Graduated with Ph. D. in Chemistry from UC Berkeley

Adopted two kids, then had two more with my wife. (One of those stories where the couple couldn't get pregnant for years, gave up, adopted a baby or two, then inexplicably (okay, not inexplicably inexplicably) got pregnant while not trying anymore.)

Decided that college professor wasn't career for me, now teach high school science in rural Central Washington State.

Now finishing 7th year of high school teaching. Planning on doing it for many years to come.

Wife started selling Harry Potter themed crafts on Etsy. Business is booming.

Der Berliner

A:

Dear Curious,

I'm still doing the whole medical resident thing in the Midwest, although now that I have graduated from intern to senior resident, life is a whole lot more chill. Now instead of being the one answering a million pages and running all over the hospital trying to take care of patients, I'm the one sitting down calmly in the resident lounge telling the intern exactly how they need to be answering their million pages and running all over the hospital trying to take care of patients. It is the sweet life. In my spare time, I've been trying to finish reading the same book since Christmas, and I also broke my foot on vacation earlier this month!

Mah husband Laser Jock is not sure if he will be joining the Board reunion but he is enjoying some very interesting and fulfilling work at a company that he likes and in his spare time takes care of his broken-footed wife.

- Eirene

A:

Dear cat-killer,

Here's the shortish list of stuff I've done since last year:

  • Had another baby boy!
  • Graduated with a master's degree in Geographic Information Technology
  • Gotten my first full-time job
  • Moved to the Salt Lake Valley
  • Spent a lot more time working on creative pursuits
  • Got a short comic published
  • Been a scoutmaster
  • More or less consolidated a transformation of my political views

Kinda boring now that I look at it, but I've had a pretty good year. It feels good to be done with school and have a little bit of stability.

-Inverse Insomniac