Saturday, August 15, 2009

Our Hawaiian Adventure

So many of you don't know what made us decide to come out here to Hawaii for school. There are those obvious reasons that brings everyone to Hawaii on vacation, surfing, hiking, weather, and the gorgeous landscape. We really do live in a paradise.

Amber did not have a clue that I had ever thought about coming here when we got married and to tell you the truth I didn't really even consider it until after we were married. When we first moved into our apartment in Citrus Heights our brother in-law Phil hooked us up with Direct TV for the summer as a wedding gift. One Sunday I turned on BYU-TV (which I should probably watch more often) and watched a devotional given by the University Archivist and Associate History Professor Matt Kester. I only remember a few of the things he talked about but what I remember most was that I got this strong desire to come here and study History. Brother Kester talked about one of the missions of the school being World Peace and he talked a little bit about his life as a young surfer. It was then that I decided on being a History major, I had played with the idea of teaching already but it was that day that I really decided to go with it (I hadn't taken a single history course in college before that moment).

So I applied, to both Provo and Hawaii, all the time doubting I would even get into school here since there are only a little over 2400 students. I was hoping I would get in but thinking I had a better chance at Provo (all the while never even wanting to go to Provo). I was first accepted to Hawaii and I was so excited. I couldn't believe that I got in, then we waited for a few weeks for Provo to get back to us. Amber would have preferred Provo so she was hoping I got accepted. But come on, that would have been such a horrible dilemma to put me through; Hawaii, where I would be able to surf again and connect better with professors because of the smaller classrooms, Or Provo, where Amber wanted to go and a lot of friends and family live nearby.

Well I wasn't accepted to Provo so that made the decision so much easier on me. Amber was supportive of me even though I knew she was bummed about the move.

We moved here and it has been all blessings all the time. We are so grateful for all the blessings we have received. Amber was able to find a job during the winter semester right when we got here then she applied and was accepted to the Social Work major and started in the spring. She is on track to graduate next summer, before me. We have made many new friends and have learned so much. Right when Amber was accepted to school we got into the on campus housing which saved us around $200 a month, then Amber got a job as a RA which allows us to live here rent free.

I started my full time job a couple weeks ago in the University Archives and it is the perfect job for me as a History major. My new boss is Matt Kester, the surfer from the devotional, and he is a rad boss. The Archives has potential to be a really boring job but I work with some really cool guys and I have a cool boss. Yesterday he took all the Archival Assistants to get ice cream.

Amber and I have grown a lot from the experiences we have had here and I can truly say that she is my best friend. We grow closer everyday and we laugh a lot together. She is hilarious! I love her and am so grateful that she puts up with me. We have had a blast these last 8 months here and we are really looking forward to the next year and a half of life on our Hawaiian adventure.

Amber and I at the PCC for the winter ball.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Weird Dream

So I don't usually remember my dreams but this one is stuck in my head so I thought I would share it. I found it quite comical after waking up but it seemed like a nightmare while I was asleep.

All I remember was all of the sudden coming to the realization that I was in the nude in an extremely crowded building. I think I was at a church or something, which makes it that much worse (or better depending on your point of view). So I realized that I was naked and I start running through the heavily populated hallways trying to escape then all of the sudden I forget that I am naked. I go about my normal business and then I again come to the realization that I am naked. The whole dream just kept repeating itself. Right before I woke up a random friendly person gave me a towel that I wrapped around myself.

Anyone else have any crazy dreams?
If you are wondering about the picture's relativity to the story, there is none.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Little Video

It is nice to go on walks every once and a while around the temple. It is being worked on right now and will not be open for another year but just being on the grounds gives us a little taste of paradise.

Last Saturday we worked on the farm for a little while and it is much harder work than I thought it would be, I came away with a nice little blister on my left hand. Our building is the closest building to the farm and the temple so it doesn't take very long to get to either.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I was Runnin (Forest Gump)

So some of you know that my parents are crazy enough to run a marathon and they just emailed me their training schedule. Running has never been my thing but if my parents who are almost double my age are capable of running a marathon I should probably try to keep up. (It is sad when you have to try to keep up with your parents when you are 25 but come on just look at my parents)

So I started training this week and I have to say things are going well. The humidity here makes running a very cleansing activity.

I probably lost a gallon of sweat on my short run.

She will probably deny it but I am sure Amber was turned on by her extremely sweaty husband walking in totally soaked wearing short shorts that show off his skinny white legs. After walking in the house I walked around in circles and stretched. Then we watched So you think you can Dance, the end.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Just an Update

Amber and I finished spring term today and it is a relief to be done for a while. Amber is going to have to start all over again on monday but I don't have to go back until mid-september. I will be working this next week as a driver for BYU taking kids to the airport and picking more up. It will be good to work and have a break from school. I am sure that I will be excited to start school again come september.

As most of you know Amber got a job as a Resident Advisor for our apartments which means she works 19 hours a week and instead of getting paid we get free rent. It is a very competetive position and we are really blessed that she got hired. We have been really blessed since we got married and especially since we moved here. God blesses us with tender mercies all the time and for that we are grateful. I got a calling a week and a half ago as 2nd counselor in the Elder's quorum presidency. We like our ward a lot, everyone is really nice and there are a ton of Brazilians so I get to practice my portuguese on a weekly basis.

So that is an update on our life here in hawaii we just got back from the gym and we need to get to bed. Night Night.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Easy A vs. Higher Education

I used to pride myself on my ability to BS long papers and fill pages with practically nothing. This has been the result of many years of page requirements and professors that didn't mind BSing. Unfortunately my ability has been called out by one of my professors and it is being reflected in my grades. I have yet to receive an A on a single assignment.

What has happened and what should I do? I have a dilemma. The professor is really smart and I feel like he pushes me and I learn a lot. People have told me that this professor prepares people for Grad-School because he expects a lot out of you. There is no regurgitation of other people's ideas in his class, you are expected to develop your own idea. So he prepares me for grad school. Unfortunately in order to get into grad school I need to earn the grades that will make me competitive. So either I take more of his classes and lower my GPA but learn or I take classes from other professors that grade easier.

I am not saying that all my other professors are easy A's. They are also difficult but this one professor is on another level. I am usually really good at reading the professor and determining what he wants for me to earn an A.

Do I focus on the superficial grades that will help me get into Grad school or do I focus on getting the best education possible and sacrifice my perfect GPA? But then how can I get into grad school without that GPA.

What do you guys think? Does this post even make sense?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Education is Freedom

One of my classes this term requires us to read 5 different books on Nationalism and Globalization. Both topics are very interesting but currently I am reading one of the Globalization books. The book that I am reading right now is called Development is Freedom. The argument is well summarized in the title but to clarify it is speaking of economic and social development leads to more ability to exercise agency.

I think because I am going to be a professor I automatically gravitate to the idea of education being an extremely important aspect of progression. The book argues that a more educated populace participates more in the community and also brings more economic prosperity. Since I agree with this conclusion I am extremely confused with the country and its policies.

It seems ridiculous to me that teachers receive such a low salary when their occupation is so important to the progress of the community. Did you know that the flight over Manhattan of Air Force One was for a picture? I heard that it cost tax payers either $3,000,000.00 dollars or $300,000.00 dollars, I can't remember exactly but both seem a little steep when we have a trillion dollar budget deficit. Where are our priorities here? Photo shop is way cheaper. And why do we need pictures of Air Force One flying over the statue of Liberty?

Amber wants me to come to bed now so I am ending this but I just had these thoughts so I thought I would share them. We need some serious change in this world if we want the world to be a better place.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thank you for your comments; side note: I got a Job!

After not so serious consideration I have decided to continue posting on our blog. (I say our because we are sealed as one but Amber doesn't post anything.) Thanks to your comments I have more motivation to post. Rob I like the fact that this can serve as my journal so it doesn't matter if no one reads it now. It is clear that some people do read this and thanks to Alec's suggestion I now know all the details on everyone who visits my blog through google analytics. (That word just made me think of Arrested Development, "analyst" and a "therapist," an "analrapist.") So I continue my documentation of our life in hawaii.

Oh yeah, I got a new job as a Manny (a male nanny) Cache is the cutest 7 1/2 month old son of Logan and Jennilee Calkins. I watch him on monday, wednesday, and friday while his parents are at work and school. As you can see life is rough here in hawaii.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Does anyone read my posts?

So I am trying to figure out if I want to keep adding things to our blog. Is there any way to see how many people enter my page? I just don't want to add anything if I am the only one reading it. I am also trying to think of topics other than surfing and waterfalls that people might be interested in. Any thoughts? Did anyone even read this?

Sunday, April 26, 2009


So it has been a while since I posted anything here. I usually like to write more when I blog but it doesn't look like I have much time. We live on campus now and school is keeping us really busy.

I posted this video on facebook and it is in our slideshow at the bottom of the page but I have a feeling that most people don't look at our slideshow even though I update it with new pics every time I take the pictures off our camera.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Purpose of Education: to learn or to jump through hoops?

In my experience in education I have often been perplexed by the ultimate goal that some professors have in mind. There are many different examples of the motives behind assignments that I have noticed. While studying at Folsom Lake College I believed that it would be profitable to study spanish and sharpen my speaking skills.So I enrolled in the most advanced spanish class they offered which was intermediate. During this spanish course I participated, earned high grades on tests, and spoke often with his professor in spanish. I proved that he understood the topic. Unfortunately the point of the class was not to learn, the point of this particular class was to jump through stupid hoops devised by professors. A workbook with mindless repetition of activities designed to help one learn the concepts of the class was also a requirement in this course. In a particularly busy week I failed to do some of the workbook assignments. When the test arrived I was still capable of getting an A on the material from the workbook. During the semester the spanish Professor even asked if I would become a spanish tutor because he understood that I had a decent understanding of the topic. To my dismay at the end of the class I found out that I had earned, according to the professor, a B+. When I asked the professor why it was that I received a B+ he noted that I had failed to complete some of the workbook assignments. It was extremely frustrating that the point of the class was not to learn spanish and prove it through tests but to do the pointless assignments.

Because my current goal in my education is to become a college professor I am trying to gain as much knowledge as possible about teaching and education. When classes focus more on jumping through hoops just to satisfy requirements instead of learning I feel they have fallen away from the true purpose of education. I have become a prolific BS'er because of page number assignments. To get your point across in a clear and concise manner within a page of writing is more difficult, in my mind, than filling page after page with empty writing just to satisfy a page requirement. There are instances when I understand the importance of having page requirements but instead of putting a minimum there should be a maximum and if a person is able to fulfill the assignment in less than the maximum more power to them.

My goal as an educator will be to increase the knowledge of my students and help them learn. Not to make them jump through mindless hoops after proving their knowledge through tests or essays.

This picture has nothing to do with the post but Amber and I went on a hike to this waterfall yesterday and I thought it was a cool picture. I love hawaii!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

No, I don't just surf all the time.

Contrary to popular belief, I am not at the beach all the time. Most of my days are spent at school and reading for school. Currently I am enrolled in 5 classes including three upper division history courses. I have a Book of Mormon class that is extremely easy because all I have to do is read and go to class to get an A. My second class is an Early Modern Europe. My third class of the day is an eternal marriage class that also requires very little effort. The next class is a class on the History of Buddhism that is taught by a professor who is a well known scholar on Buddhism. Finally, I end my day in a class that discusses the way Christ is viewed by Christians (Non-LDS) throughout history in art, literature, and music. We just finished reading Mere Christianity.
I don't go to the beach everyday and the days that I do go usually include at least 4 hours of reading and writing. Right now I am reading 7 different books. Who'd a thunk a History major would have to read so much.
Studying at this University has been quite enjoyable so far and I look forward to the future classes. I have already registered for my spring term classes which include a class on modern Nationalism and Globalization and the class that I am most excited about, History of Surfing.
It is much more fun to post things about what I know not many people get to experience, mainly living 2 minutes from the beach in Hawaii. As my good friend Alec wrote on his blog list about our blog, "WARNING: Only visit if you are ready to be jealous because they live it Hawaii."

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Body Surfing

So this past week I have been able to go body surfing quite a few times. For those of you who have never gone body surfing I will first say I'm sorry, it is one of the most amazing feelings you can ever experience. There is a beach that is located about a mile and a half away that is called pounders beach. The wave crashes right up on the shore and comes in with a lot of power. It usually just closes out and you get a short lived drop then a nice little pounding into the sand if you aren't able to sneak out the back before it crashes on you.
The beauty about body surfing is that you can do it without having to buy any equipment. I do recommend getting some fins to help you catch the wave but you can usually get those for pretty cheap (or just have a best friend who is a beach lifeguard here in hawaii and can get nice ones for free). I just run down to pounders then body surf for about an hour and run home. I have been trying to get to the beach everyday this past week even though it has been pretty overcast. It was so cold that I wore pants a few days in a row, and a long sleeve shirt.
Anyways, body surfing rocks and it is easily learned. There is a competition at the famous Banzai Pipeline at the end of this month and I am thinking of entering it just for the free t-shirt. If anyone wants to sponsor me there is a $20.00 entry fee.
(I am just kidding about the sponsorship.)

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Nice Evening Together

After returning home from an awesome day surfing at Goat island I grabbed my beautiful wife and we decided to do family home evening out of the home. We had a nice little dinner at subway where we split a $5.00 footlong (it was surprisingly just enough, I usually eat a footlong by myself). We then walked to the beach with a towel and our sweatshirts and spent about an hour talking about life and watching the waves. We discussed how important it is to enjoy life in the moment always taking advantage of today (which isn't that hard considering where we live). After sunset we decided to come home and enjoy some ice cream (mmmm). This has been another wonderful day in paradise.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

This is the marvelously expensive grocery store that is just down the street from our apartment. It is the most expensive grocery store in the world. $7.00 for a gallon of milk seems pretty ridiculous if you ask me. Luckily we joined the grocery stores "club" and milk is now on sale for $4.50. Unfortunately milk goes bad, otherwise we would stack up.
But I can't complain, I live in hawaii, my school is awesome, my wife is amazing, and I go surfing with my best friend on tuesdays. Oh yeah, and look at the sunset behind Foodland. I know, glorious life. Even though it is really expensive to buy groceries it would be even more expensive to eat out all the time. We have been doing really well about eating at home. Last night we had Chicken, mashed potatoes, Broccoli and Cauliflower, and some fruit on the side. And yes, I made it all before Amber returned home from work, and the house was clean. I am doing all that I can until I get a job. Well I would write more but we have to go to the beach with some friends and have a party in this beautiful 75 degree weather.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Our Apartment

Our studio is 600 square feet and it is located on the top floor of this three story house. We have a view of a lot of Laie including the temple and the beach, two of my favorite things. I look out at the ocean about 10 times a day. Our bed is made up of two different twins that we have pushed together and put up on cinder blocks.

We were living out of our suitcases for the first 2 1/2 weeks but now we have a bookshelf that we use as a dresser. It is nice to be out of our suitcases. We have two chairs and that is what it means to be fully furnished in Hawaii.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Leidecker Fam

Phil, Hayley, Philip, Parker, Marley. Nephi, Jessica, Noah, Diego, and Evander

Rachel and Brian

Jarrod, Jennifer, Jonah, Eli, Malachi, Isaac, Madelyn, and Abram in the belly.

John, Meagen, Reddick, Ryken, and Daxon.


Lydia and Mom

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Our Story Together

Well I guess I will tell you all how we met. Since I am writing the story it will obviously be from my perspective. In October of 2005 I saw Amber at the stake center at a YSA fireside and I thought wow that girl is gorgeous. I went straight to investigating whether or not I knew someone that could introduce us and I did so we were introduced and I found out she was 17. That was the end of that for me at that time. There was no way that I as a 21 year old could date a 17 year old. Fast forward to May of 2007. If you do the math she is now almost 19, which is totally legal. I saw her at a dance on a friday in early May, I didn't even talk to her I just saw her and remembered her. The next night I saw her at a party and this time I talked to her, danced with her, felt totally nervous around her, and at the end of the night I said, "We should hang out sometime" and she said "yeah." Then she left and I didn't ask her for her number. The whole next week I was kicking myself for not getting her number because she seemed to be at least a little interested but I was just a wuss. The weekend finally arrived and it was my birthday weekend so I was feeling lucky. Friday night passed with no Amber sighting. The next day I met a girl at Folsom Lake that was cute and I was able to flirt with her no problem. I kept thinking to myself. Why can't I be like this when Amber is around? So that night I went to a party for all the people who had b-days that week and who walks in? Yeah, Amber Leidecker. So the entire night I was in the same room as her, talking to her a little but totally at a loss for words. It was ridiculous. The entire night I followed her around and again I didn't get her number. I drove home that night really angry at myself for being so weird. I was totally bummed that I didn't get her number but I was leaving the next wednesday to So. Cal to sell alarm systems. I thought to myself, "she'll be married by the time you get back." Sunday night I was talking to my Mom, telling her the entire story about how I can flirt with other girls fine and be totally cool around other girls but when Amber comes around I get this weird feeling and I am totally self conscious of everything I say. As I was telling her this story I received a text message from a number I didn't know, "Hey Jason, this is Amber. I hope you don't mind I got your number I was wondering if you wanted to hang out before you leave." I thought it was a joke. I thought it was one of my friends messing with me. The next day I texted her back saying. "Yeah, how's tuesday night?" So I took her out on a date and the entire time I was nervous and kept telling her. "I'm not usually so nervous, I don't know why I feel totally intimidated by you." All of my plans fell through. The place we were going to eat was closed at seven, by the time we found another place to eat and finished our meal the miniature golf place was closed. So we ended up walking around roseville automall talking about life and looking at cars. It was pretty humiliating for me and I thought she would never want to talk to me again. Obviously she did, probably because of my amazingly good looks. We spent the next few months writing each other and talking every once and a while on the phone. We had our first kiss at sunset overlooking lake folsom, I told her I loved her and she waited two weeks to say it back and I proposed to her where we had our first kiss on January 18th 2008.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Life in Hawaii

This is my school. Over 70 different countries have students here.

We went up to North Shore and saw this sea turtle sunbathing. I have seen quite a few during my frequent surf sessions.

The Polynesian Cultrual Center was pretty sweet. We got in for free because I am a student here.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Graduating to the Blog universe.

Blogging, it is very interesting to me how technology can bring us closer together but at the same time remove physical interaction (unless you consider typing physical, but then what about talking on the phone is that physical, I guess it is more personal than typing). I know that through facebook I can see what is going on in peoples lives but I never have to talk to them. Just a quick comment on their wall and I am involved in their lives. Is there something wrong with that? Is it a waste of time? I don't know, but I look at this as a way to scrapbook but actually have people see the scrapbook instead of putting it up in the book case only showing it to someone when it gets noticed. Amber is a huge scrapbooker and this is a debate that we have been discussing for quite some time now. Is it better to be able to hold the pictures and turn the pages? Does writing something down with your handwriting make it more personal than the cold typed letters we see on the computer screen. Is anything lost from handwritten to typed? So I am trying this blog thing out but I am not sure how often it will be updated. Maybe it will be just another thing I do in my pick up the computer routine, check my email, check my facebook, check blackboard, check the surf report, and check my credit score. We'll see.