Thursday, March 10, 2005

Didja ever notice?

First of all, a quick shoutout to our newest blog member Howie G. Welcome to our humble abode.

Okay, so I’m sitting here in my Personal Financial Planning class and we’ve got a guest speaker. Now, my regular complaint about this class is that it sometimes feels like a Sunday School class with a little bit of financial information thrown in. Well today, we’ve got a guy here who is apparently meant to talk to us about portfolio management, but he’s now spent over a half hour talking in a rambling fashion about his conversion story. Fascinating stuff in the proper context I suppose, but kind of frustrating here in class. It makes me think about the problem with church speakers in general. Not General Conference speakers mind you. Those guys usually write tight well-organized talks. No, what I’m talking about is the standard talk you tend to hear from the special guest General Authority at the end of Stake Conference. These guys speak so much that they tend to get up to the stand and just improvise. They talk about the other speakers. They talk about the “beautiful chapel.” They talk about various minutiae. And then, at the very end, they make some brief spiritual point and sit down. Then everybody leaves talking about what a great speaker he is. This always bothers me. It seems lazy and pointless. Man, if you’re going to talk, write a talk! Or if you’re gifted with some improvisational skill, at least have a general direction to what you’re talking about. Whoa, I think this guy is finally getting to the topic at hand. Maybe I’ll go back to listening.


Blogger Howie G said...

Ah the BYU. I shudder to think of all the uplifting classes I missed out on by attending a different University. I forget that guest speakers can go on about any spiritual topic during any class there. One of my only experiences at the BYU campus was when I was 15 for a language fair (I know, I was a nerd. "Was" being the key word, I swear). I remember sitting in a very nice lecture hall listening to some old dude talk about how important it is to learn a second language and how proud he was of everyone there for learning about new cultures and people. Then he began speaking about blessings that come with living the gospel and learning new things. I recall that he made some nice points, great for a church meeting, but weird for a university setting. I wonder if sometimes speakers at BYU digress into spiritual matters out of a subconscious obligation -- that they feel they should relate what they are saying to a gospel topic because of where they are. Again, I am sure that their thoughts are often quite nice, but I wonder if they are given becuase they should be said, because of the place and the speaker's assumptions about his audience. These speakers likely assume that their audience wants to see the "greater purpose" to their topic -- how a life in the finance sector can seamlessly meld with life in the gospel. Likely, the audience just wants to learn about some new things in finance and how to find jobs like the speaker has.
A shout out back to Jason Work and everyone else on the "Off the Table" slate.

3/11/2005 1:43 PM  
Blogger Izdatyel said...

On a semi-related...OK, pretty much unrelated note, I grew up a U of U fan, went to the U, played for the U (the sax, not linebacker), and only grow stonger in my Uteness with time. One of the personal conflicts, at once meaningless and meaningful, this has caused - (sorry BYUers - it's not an internal Mormon vs. Ute loyalist dichotomy; in this regard I simply see myself as following the prophet. It is certain he attended Utah. Further, he has confirmed it in a public forum - giving it an officiality. To be sure, he did not say it on Larry King - which would, of course, make attending the U official counsel, or on "60 Minutes" - giving it the stamp of "commandment." But nonetheless, He's confirmed it publicly - and that's enough for me) yes, the conflict my Uteness has caused is that, aesthetically and generally, my favorite color is and has always been blue. Don't get me wrong - when the Utes are playing the Y, or anyone for that matter, I don't have the slightest aversion to wearing/displaying red over blue. But still, I'm naturally inclined to wear blue, have a blue blog, listen to the blues, etc. etc. Sorry, I know this is ridiculous. But whenever I choose blue as the color for anything, I have to wince as a little part of me inevitably reminds "but you're a Ute!"

3/18/2005 3:24 AM  

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