Friday, August 9, 2013

Dear Future Fourth Grader

Every year I have my students write the students that I'm going to have the following year. It's always a little scary the first day, especially for many that are having their first boy teacher! Usually I do this with a few weeks left, but this year it ended up getting pushed to the last day or two. Even though they rushed through and were mostly distracted at this point, I still got some great responses. If you ever need a pick me up, become a teacher! Typing this up got me even more excited for the new year!

My favorite part about 4th grade:

  • You have Mr. Horan thats amazing he is the funniest wierdest teacher ever.
  • Is Mr. Horan because in my opion he's the best teacher in the forth grade.
  • My favorite is Mr Horan becase he is nice he does not yell.
  • Fourth grade is AWESOME!!! Mr. Horan is AWESOME!!!
  • Expect awesomeness.
  • Everything!
  • Playing football with Mr. Horan.
  • has to be Mr. Horan

My favorite part about Mr. Horan:

  • is he is really funny and laughs alot. He is really nice, (nicer then all the other teachers)!
  • Is that he would try his hardest to make us happy.
  • Is that he do NOT yell.
  • He dosen't yell.
  • Is that he's funny and nice.
  • He is so nice and he never yells.
  • He is an athlete.
  • Everything about hem.
  • His laugh.
  • Is that he's funny, nice, cool he's the best teacher in the world.
  • He never yells and he is so calm too. If the class is good than u will get an award.
  • He plays kickball with you. He is awesome fast!
  • He is relly nice and likes sports.
  • His personality.
  • All his ways to remember things.
  • He has a good sence of humer and hes really good at sports.
  • his awesomeness.
  • That's hard (not) he's funny.


  • Just be good and you'll have the best year.
  • Don't talk.
  • Keep quiet so you don't lose all your class points. Pay attention to the math lesson because he might end it early.
  • #1 pay attention you won't want to miss a single word he says. #2 Mr. Horan loves strawberries.
  • Stay on task do your best and you will be on task.
  • Do not talk! Have fun! Read!
  • Be good. Go above and beyond. (Be a little funny). But most of all earn as much horan bucks as possible.
  • I hope you have a great time here. I also hope 4th grade is your best year just like mine was. I hope you know your times tables for buzz.
  • Read when u are supposed to, try to get A's, you can talk but only when u are supposed to, make good friends.
  • Be good and the teacher will like you.
  • Pie is yummy, impress teachers, don't be like me.
  • Be good, don't talk, and organize.
  • Always listen, be quiet, follow the rules, try your hardest.
  • Don't be scared!

Some of my favorite things we did this year:

  • Math and, science.
  • Mystery Skype, cause you get to see other people from other states.
  • Rendezvous
  • Reading buddies.
  • Field day, everything was fun.
  • Rendezvous, math, P.E., lunch.
  • No missing assignment reward days.
  • Rondayvos, Mr. Horan, recess.
  • Camp Floyd.
  • When the mountain man came.
  • Wood burning.
  • Buzz.
  • Pioneer day.
  • End of year dance.

I could never get Mr. Horan to tell me:

  • Answers on the end of the year test.
  • To tell me the internet password.
  • Why I couldn't sit by _____.
  • If he is republicin or democatic.
  • The school wi-fi, his phone #, his address.
  • Nothing I ask him questions and he always haves a answer.
  • Who he voted for in the election.
  • Who he voted for.
  • Where he lives.
  • Were he lives.
  • Who he voted for.
  • Who he voted for.
  • If he liked Obama or Romny.
  • About his love life.

This is why this is going to be your best year ever:

  • 4th grade was my favorite grade because of the fun things we did and an awesome teacher Mr. Horan. He is cool, funny, and nice plus really fun. Trust me, 4th grade is great, don't be scared and have fun, but be good or else you'll get a piece of tape or your class will have extra homework!
  • Because you have a funny nice teacher he never yells he never gets mad. Mr Horan is the best teacher ever.
  • Because you have Mr. Horan!
  • Mr. Horan is the best and he is not mean.
  • You have a cool guy teacher.
  • Mr. Horan never yells, class money, he's funny, it will be awesome trust me!
  • Because Mr. Horan is a great teacher.
  • Because of Mr. Horan he's the best teacher a kid could ever have.
  • Because I had the best teacher EVER!
  • You are going to have a really good time. Mr. Horan never yelled once!
  • Mr. Horan is one of the best ever. Hes so fun and cool and awesome and nice.
  • Because you got Mr. Horan!!!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Not my normal upbeat post

There are times that there is no other way to get your feelings out than to put pen to paper, or perhaps more pertinent to my particular preference, keyboard to computer. The past two weeks I've gone from one adventure to another. Today was really the first time that I felt like I was back in the real world, and the real world slammed me pretty hard.

It all began when I got to church and our ward was doing a special fast for a member in our ward boundaries who was dealing with health problems. There were many who testified of miracles they have seen, and I know I've seen many in my lifetime as well. Then there was a girl who talked about some health problems she had been having. She went on to explain that she had been told it could be one of two things, and she had been praying than something was wrong with her heart, as opposed to the other option that wouldn't be as easy to fix. She later was told by the doctors that it wasn't the heart, and she explained how she had to deal with this extremely painful experience recently because of what she has.

During this fast and testimony meeting my mom was on my mind, because she died a year ago this past August. We did have many miracles along the way, but I found myself getting a little frustrated again that she was taken prematurely. I began to wonder why some people have these miraculous healings, and others like the girl that bore her testimony, have to go through so much pain and suffering. We had ward fasts, she was given a blessing that, from what I understood, said she would live to see both of her children married and have children.

If there was a person on the face of the earth that it would seem God would want to have around, it would be my mother. She served more in her short lifetime than most people could do it two. She was a woman of great faith and never wavered for a second. She always had a smile on her face right up to the end. If she wasn't going to be healed, then why did she have to go through the past year or two of her life that were so painful and hard.

Did I not have enough faith? Did any of this have to do with me I began to wonder. I then began to look back at this past year, and I know I've struggled at times with that constant faith I'd always had. I was so sure that things were going to work out, that it kind of crushed me when it didn't. I was never willing to accept that she was going to die, I believed our miracle was going to come. I kept putting off our final family photo that she wanted to have, I didn't want to do anything that was any sign of her life coming to an end.

I remember her telling me one day that her goal was to make it until my birthday, August 26th, only to have her tell me a week or so later that she didn't think she would be able to make it until then. However her passing was an extremely peaceful experience. I really did feel the peace that the gospel brings. The support that our family and friends in Orem gave was overwhelming. My roommates, a few teachers from my school, as well as several of my other friends came to the funeral to offer their support. I was very grateful for each of them, they were heaven sent.

However, today I just missed her. I felt extremely alone, and wondered why God had left me comfortless. I wanted to leave after Sacrament, because of all of the emotions and feelings that had come back to me, but I felt like I would be blessed for staying.

An hour later I was in EQ and for some reason we were having another get to know you lesson. I hate it when we do these, especially today, because what I really needed was to feel the spirit, or to be left alone. (Which I guess is weird since I hadn't liked how alone I had been feeling completely alone earlier, but who says feelings have to make sense?) We were told to find someone we didn't know as well and get to know them, then later we would introduce them to the rest of the group.

As I said I hate these lessons, although at least you actually got to know someone this time, unlike several of the ways they have done them before. As I said, I just wanted to be left alone, so I just sat there hoping I could avoid the whole thing. I sent out a tweet on Twitter asking people to tell me something about themselves and I got 5 responses, so I felt like I was doing alright.

Not a single person came up to me, and I was the only one left alone. Invisible, as I usually am at church. Then the teacher, who is also in the presidency decided to do his duty and make me a project. He asked me what my name was, I've been here for 3 years, and asked me some general questions. He is a great guy, and actually someone I look up to, but it just wasn't what I needed after how I was feeling. We then went through the room and introduced the person you met. I got up and left and went outside and sat under a tree instead. I made it through church without crying, but I truly felt alone.

I didn't feel like I had anyone to talk to, not even God. I went back in for choir, but I just didn't have a lot to offer at that point. I was tired, I was hungry, and I was alone. Nobody even sat by me in choir either. I know I sound very whiny, and I know I have no reason to complain about my life. I am so privileged, and have so many blessings. I've started to make some really good friends here, and it has been so nice, but once again feelings don't always make sense.

I came home feeling like I was alone, that my faith was insufficient, that not only did my mom not make it to see me married while she was alive, but she may never get to see it even in death. I didn't feel like I brought anything of value to anyone around me, and didn't make much difference in this world.

Luckily I woke up from a nap, had a great dinner, spent time with my amazing family, and had several of my Twitter friends send me some encouraging words and felt a lot better. On my way driving home I listened to Carry On, by Fun. They have always been one of my favorite groups, and may be my favorite concert I've ever been to. I was introduced to them when my mom was going through some of her worst times, and several of their songs make me think of her. I know that as I carry on, and continue to walk with the faith that I have, that all will work out in the end.

I know that families are forever. I am grateful for the peace that the gospel brings. I know that as we keep putting one foot in front of the other, and endure to the end, that we will reach things great than we can imagine. As we put our faith and trust in God, things will work out for our good, even if we can't see it at the time. Trials are here to make us stronger and give us experience. In Sunday school, a girl shared an analogy of trials and getting jobs. She said that many jobs ask for two years of experience. What we are going through right now, may not make a lot of sense to us at the time, but we need that experience for something in the future.

I'm so grateful I had my mom as an example. She taught me a lot about faith, enduring to the end, and service. I hope that I can honor her by living in her example, I'm sorry I lost focus and faith today. I just miss her sometimes, and I'm sure I'll never stop.

'Cause here we are
We are shining stars
We are invincible
We are who we are
On our darkest day
When we're miles away
Sun will come
We will find our way home

If you're lost and alone
Or you're sinking like a stone.
Carry on.
May your past be the sound
of your feet upon the ground.
Carry on.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Pitch Imperfect

So this one time I was forced to watch a movie called Pitch Perfect... Don't worry, as you will soon notice I kept my mind focused on what is really important, our Jazz! Pitch Perfect is about an epic journey of an all girl a cappella group trying to win the big competition thingy. (I'm pretty sure that is its official name)

It begins as a rebuilding year, there are only two veterans remaining from the previous team. They have a certain way that they do things, and a very important tradition. They fill their remaining slots with a lot of young players, who will be their core for years to come. Each brings something special and has something different to offer. The majority of them are not complete players, but they all bring something special to the table. Together as a team they compliment each other beautifully. In different songs, several people are always able to step up depending on what is needed in the song.

With their vets leading them into the competitions, their predictable play gets them second place in regionals. It was safe, they knew what to do, and it had been proven over centuries of competitions. They don't take any chances, or try anything new. It does get above-average results, but nobody enjoys watching them. There just doesn't seem to be a lot of excitement or urgency in their performance to really take that next step.

One of the new recruits has some great ideas, but she's a little different. (I assume she grew up playing tennis and Starcraft) She tries to add some spice and improve upon what was tried and true. It doesn't work at first, and they end up finishing one spot below where they needed to advance, say 9th place.

I don't want to spoil this amazing movie, but things were not pretty for a while after that. Things may look pretty bad for our Jazz, but at least we aren't making snow angels in vomit yet. In the end the team is turned over to the rising stars, and the result is pure magic, magic, magic. (Erving not Orlando)

It's been hard being a Jazz fan this year. Many of our local sports teams are great at getting us excited for the coming year and doing what needs to be done to sell season tickets. They get many of our hopes up with their talk about how we will be better by subtraction, (Bell, Howard) as well as from within. Surely all of our young players will have only improved!

We have had a system that is tried and true. We had some vets who were given the reigns this year and were going to lead the way. We also had some great new talent, and were told we were going to have a season full of beautiful Jazz harmony.

We are lucky as Jazz fans to have been blessed with so many years where we were very successful, and often over-achieved.  Even with our 26-56 year, or when we were predicted to have the worst team in history, we stood by our team. One thing I have always felt defined our team was that we outworked everyone else, and played with a lot of heart.

However the pitch pipe was never passed on to the young stars. We continued riding our vets into some very predictable basketball that was often underwhelming.  We caught glimpses of what was coming, yet it never did.

I feel that for possibly the first time we are under-achieving. I think that hurts me more than the losing. Maybe it's my own fault for thinking we were going to have improved. Shame on me for thinking maybe we could get a 7th spot, or win a playoff game or two this year.

Sometimes I believe the Jazz organization believes that we as fans care so much about winning, and winning now, that we wouldn't have understood taking a step back this year. You can't have one foot in rebuilding, and one in the playoffs. I believe that Jazz fans can be some of the most intelligent out there, and we all understand that sometimes you have to take a step back to take a few forward. This will most likely be the case next year, and I know I for one am fine with that.

My only questions have been that if this is the case, why not start the process this year? Why play all of these players who are going to graduate our choir next year and move on with their lives? If the players don't act like they care about winning must win games in New York, Houston, or Dallas, why should I care about them? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

I am, and will always be, a huge Jazz fan. This season is what it is, but maybe it's time to pass that pitch-pipe and start preparing for next years regionals. Our Pitch Perfect season may not be too far away. I just hope we get to end this season watching a team that has that heart and pride that I've always loved. You do that, and we will always love you, just the way you are.

Monday, February 11, 2013


1984 was a great year, we drafted John Stockton, BYU won the National Championship, and I was born. As I continued to grow, my love of the Jazz grew as well. If you look at my journals as a child they are filled with statistics from Jazz games. (Who would have known the internet would have kept track of all of that for me...)

I remember joining Jr. Jazz and the excitement I had when I would get to go to that one Jazz game a year! Just as exciting was when a member of the team would come locally and we could meet them and they would talk to all of us. It was such a simple thing for them to do, to take an hour or two here and there, but it meant a lot to us.

The Jazz made it cool to pass, they valued hard work and dedication. Players would come here and have the best years of their career. It was team basketball. We weren't always the most talented, but you knew we were going to give our all.

I was able to meet every Jazz player during the finals runs. My dad even won tickets to the game that John Stockton broke the steals record. Later I was even able to get John to autograph my certificate from the game.

There are moments that you will never forget. John Stockton making the shot to send the Utah Jazz into the NBA Finals will always be one of mine.

My fond memories do not conclude with Stockton and Malone, but continue to grow today. I am as big a fan as ever. Technology has brought us together in ways I could never have imagined. I may be doing a Google+ Hangout with David Locke in the morning, tweeting during the game, and then listening to the @utahjazzpodcast after.

Not only do we have more access to other fans, but to the players as well! They might even wish us a happy birthday! (Although the RSL team had the edge on that one)

I love this team as much as ever. I love that when it would have been easy to follow the Warriors model and tank, our team would rather develop a winning culture and play in meaningful games. While many teams are unbearable for me to watch, we still play team basketball. Even with injuries, we haven't gone down without a fight. All of our players have weaknesses, but I feel like they are truly trying to work on them, and to use the strengths that they do have. Our end of games have been a little scary, but we have come through almost every time.

Those values that I loved as a child, hard work and dedication, are still just as important. It's team basketball, it has to be we don't have a star. We aren't the most talented, but you know we are going to give our all.

Is out team perfect? NO! However, I am still proud to call the Jazz my team. Our team is full of great guys, guys that play the game right. We have a coach that has been able to keep everyone together, even with contracts expiring, and playing time not always being where players would like it. We have an organization that scouts as well as anyone, and has put ourselves in a great situation this upcoming summer.

We should always want the best, we have the right to voice our opinions, but maybe we can enjoy the ride a little bit more and remember how lucky we are to be a part of such a great team. #WeAreUtahJazz