I am the oldest cousin on my mom's side. Tyler, my cousin who is slightly younger, and I were the best of pals, confidants, and more often than not, conspirators in dastardly plots. We perfected the manipulation of the younger siblings and cousins. We were the brains behind many activities that generated parental and grand parental frustration: hanging from the stairs upside down in the basement, tearing the sofas apart to make mazes and play gerbals, using paper towels and plaster of pairs to make masks that ripped eyebrows off in their removal, ect.
Every summer we would all congregate at my grandparents house for a week of pre-adolescent capers. We would usually spend all day at a sports camp, hosted by BYU, or some other kind of summer camp designed to give parents who are accustomed to a whole kid-free day a break from the constant requirement of child entertainment.
The most memorable summer was when Tyler and I were enrolled in a science camp.
(I know you are thinking, "this girl is the biggest nerd ever" but I don't care. It's true, I am a nerd, I've embraced it and am learning to love it)
Anyway, the name of the camp was "beef heart, sheep eye and cow tongue." Within a week we were planning on dissecting all of these things. In retrospect, I think that is really gross, but at the time I was so excited I could barely contain myself.
On the first day of class we showed up and were given a white box. On the top of the box there was a black and white label with a cartoon of a cow looking very happy (clearly he no one told him that we would be cutting out his tongue and very carefully filleting it) and our names written in black Sharpie marker. The box was a foot and a half square and about 8 inches deep. I opened it and was thrilled by its contents: rubber gloves, test tubes, tongs, goggles, a lab coat, a rack to hold out test tubes and a spiral bound book filled with experiments we could do at home.
I'm sure the class was really interesting, and I even remember bringing home the lens of a sheep's eye to show my grandma, but the best thing Tyler and I got out of that class was the box of scientific treasures.
The best experiment we ever did, was on my sister. We made her eat a whole sleeve of saltine crackers, and then pee into a cup. We then did experiments on it to determine what she had eaten. I guess it was a redundant experiment because we knew in advance what she'd eaten.
Anyway, the love of doing experiments has stuck with me.
My latest experiment is more in the social arena than in the scientific.
I've decided that I am going out to dinner with a different person once a week. I'm starting with the girls in my social circle that I don't really know all that well. I think it is really important to make really connections with people instead of just hanging out in a group. I want them to know that I care about them and I am there if they have a problem. Its always fun to do things as a big group, but it is only one-on-one that you really get to know someone and really become friends.
Anyway, last night I went out with Em. She is such an interesting girl, and surprisingly a lot like me. She went to BYU and understands the importance of working hard and doing things well. I was a little apprehensive because she dated the mail man (from about two months ago) and almost married the kid before I hung out with him. I didn't know what she thought about the whole thing. Anyway, I was dumb to think that she'd care at all about that stuff. It was a really fun night and it prompted me to make an addendum to my experiment.
I am going to try to open up to these people; let them see my weaknesses as well as my strengths. I have a really hard time admitting that things don't always go as planned for me. I hate admitting that I get lonely.
So that is my latest experiment. I have no idea what the goal is, and no way to measure the findings, but at least it is in action. It should be interesting, even though there is no dissection involved.