Monday, March 03, 2008


When I got to my room, I found that Janie was in there with her ironing board all set up and a huge pile of ironing she was working on. It looked like a bunch of men's shirts, so I didn't ask her about it because really I didn't want to know. The Jesus-flavored pop music she was singing along to didn't seem terribly conducive to appreciation of Shakespeare, so I just said hi and dropped off my things and took my copy of Hamlet to the study room at the end of the hall.

My sister April was there in the study room at a desk with a bunch of books open.

"Hi, what are you in for?" I asked her.

"I have a paper to write for my European History class. And you?" she asked.

"I have to read and understand Hamlet by Monday morning," I replied. Read the rest of the story ->


James said...

I'm really enjoying this story. Can't wait 'til next tuesday.

There is one thing that sort of jumped out at me and made me . . . appreciate some of the differences between USU and BYU. Beard cards?!?! Seriously? I knew BYU pretty much treats their students like preschoolers, but I didn't know the professors went through the same sorts of things. That sounds like some sort of brilliantly absurd satire of fascism or something. Mark Twain, maybe.

As for your offer to add me to your Outer Blogness roll, I'll get back to you on that. The blog I have now was sort of my initial "toe in the water" of blogging, and is probably going to go away. Now that I know better what I want to do, it can be rebooted into something better and more awesome.

C. L. Hanson said...

Thanks James!!!

It may seem like a crazy satire, but extending the rules (such as for beards) to the faculty is very real. They also have to abide by WoW rules (like alcohol and coffee) even at home. At least that was the case when I attended back in the early '90's.

As soon as your blog is ready, just leave the URL in a comment here -- I'll be happy to add you to Outer Blogness (as well as subscribe myself as a reader). :D

Anonymous said...

Whoa -- confessions to the bishop get filtered to the Honor Code people?? I thought I knew about all of that stuff (including the beards!) but that's one that threw me.

Although I did, of course, know that there are many many fine and upstanding young BYU stalwarts who nobly turn their neighbors, classmates and roommates in....

Anonymous said...

Oh, I forgot to say, I'm enjoying this as well, and am waiting to see what next Tuesday brings!

C. L. Hanson said...

Thanks Robyn!!!

I'm not sure how much the information sharing is official, but I can tell you about my personal experiences that this chapter is based on:

First of all, the anecdote April and Andrew tell of their religion class is a true story. In a religion class I attended, the professor recounted exactly what I've written here. Needless to say, I was floored -- not that they were doing this, but that they were so open about it, as though it were a perfectly reasonable thing to do. Keep in mind, however, that one's continuing enrollment is based on getting an ecclesiastical endorsement from one's bishop, so any interview with the bishop can potentially influence him to make decisions about your worthiness to continue attending BYU. Having the bishop send problems like this one directly to the Honor Code Office is a natural extension of that policy.

My other personal (second-hand) experience this is based on is what happened to my (real-life) BYU boyfriend. (I'm planning a post about him for later this week.) When I met him, he'd recently re-enrolled in BYU after having been expelled. He told me his expulsion was based on information he had given in counseling sessions that he thought were confidential.

So it seemed perfectly reasonable to me -- in a fictional story -- to have characters recounting the same sorts of things that were recounted to me back then. (The beard card story is also based on a true story -- I hope I don't get anyone in trouble by saying that...)

King Aardvark said...

Wow, this really sounds like a police state. Did BYU have concentration camps or gulags? Because it wouldn't seem out of place if it did.

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey King Aardvark!!!

Hmm, well there's the MTC...

J/K ;^)

But seriously, expulsion is sufficient punishment at a university, they don't need to lock people up. On the other hand, it's well-documented that they used shock (aversion) therapy to try to cure homosexuals. I don't have any links for this off the top of my head, but I'm sure people here can provide them.