Friday, June 25, 2010

Ahem...Pardon my Soap Box

Since I was old enough to drive I have been puzzled by road construction.

Today, as I was driving to Dallas, I hit three different traffic jams because the freeway was "under construction" and had closed one of the two lanes. However, it is not the closure of the lane that makes such a situation a citizen of my pet-peeville. Rather, it is the absence of workers or actual work at these sites. Two of the three congested areas I passed through this afternoon looked like the abandoned gold mining towns of the 1860s.

So, my question is: if you don't have the man power to finish the project in a couple of weeks/months, why close down the lane? In any other form of business, such extended projects are thought to be absurd. Consider the doctor: oh, sorry, I'll have to put your stitches in one year from tomorrow; or the farmer: well, I don't think I'm going to plant your favorite crop for another two years. Most businesses are driven by consumer demand, therefore naturally responsible to get the job done. Well, on the same note, we pay the tax dollars to repair the roads. Why don't we demand more?

Could someone please enlighten me on this situation? Until then, I'll step off my soap box.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My current state:

So I'm going to Utah. Nuff said.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

To the Director of Mosquito Incorporated

Dear Sir,

I wish to file my complaints against the prejudice demonstrated by your domestic and international employees. I write this letter to serve as a testimony against the unjust actions of your blood collectors.

1st Offence: Alfalfa Fields, Sanpete County, Utah:
When I was just a nymph I followed my father into the beautiful green alfalfa fields; my duty was to help him by unhook the ball from the socket in the irrigation pipes. Yet, as I did so there was a constant buzzing in my ear. Soon the humming turned into gnawing small bumps appeared on my skin. I found my job difficult as I tried to scratch and unhook the pipes simultaneously. At first, I figured if I treated your folk nicely they'd would leave me alone after a year or two; however, they only increased their demand for the volume of my blood. I escaped your collectors in 2002 when I left for college. Still, on the occasional visits to fields since then I find your employees more vicious, as if I had offended them by my absence.

2nd Offence: Sao Leopoldo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil:
I arrived in Brazil about five years ago. I planned to serve others and go about doing good. When I moved to a new city, Summer was showing itself to the city of Sao Leopoldo. My apartment (described by the Elders as the best ever) had a moldy fridge, no dresser or closet and only one bed. While I do not blame my poor circumstances on you, I do use it as a framework to show how heartless your employees were to me in my helpless state. The first evening I spent there, the heat was unbearable; yet, to make things worse the familiar buzzing and gnawing returned like a childhood nightmare. I had about 20 bites by morning. My colleague (native to the country) none. The following night, I received 100 more! Your employees refused my pleas to "go away!" They caused me embarrassment as the natives believed I had pugas (fleas). Still, the person I lived with continued to receive no bites. Luckily, I was saved by a fan and blew your employees away.

3rd Offence: Stillwater, Payne County, Oklahoma:
Now, it has been many years since the last serious offence. For the past four years I have been nibbled on occasionally, but I have not minded making occasional donations to your company. Yet, when I decided to go play soccer with my friends last Saturday, once again your collectors seemed to select me above the rest. I received more than 10 bites in less than an hour and have been relentlessly scratching ever since. I have bumps on my arms and bumps on my legs. Since then I have noticed I receive more bites as I walk to work in the morning. I must demand that such injustice cease. I have paid my dues, please remove me from your collectors list.

The victim of your employees,
Tamra Watson

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Because I asked...

I'm sure one of my readers has experienced the beginning of a bad day. Sometimes it rolls out of nothing: the whole wake-up-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-bed syndrom. Other times, its justified by unrealistic expectations placed on oneself or another in authority. Its during these times we want to find the nearest exit equipped with automatic doors.

I was heading for the exit door this morning; the biggest reason being I have not let myself sleep long enough this week. Yet, as I paused for my morning study, I asked for some help--something to give me the motivation to press on and remember I was capable of doing all things as long as I had the help of the Lord.

I logged on to, for just a moment and watched this encouraging video.

Not only was this video encouraging, but it also reminded me of a strategy I used as a missionary in Brazil. Like Elder Holland, I used to envision myself as an older person encouraging my younger self. I like him used to say:

"Don't you quit! You keep walking! You keep trying! There is help and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don't come until heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come."

"Trust God and believe in good things to come"

For all that have bad days, there is help around the corner. Oftentimes all we need to do is veer quickly from the self-destructing exit door of self-pity and look towards the heavens to ask for help. We may feel uncapable, unworthy or unwilling.

Yet, there is help, "for with God all things are possible" (Mark 10:27).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Because Being a Watson Means Something

Recently I had the chance to get together with some friends and play some games. I began the night playing Skip-Bo and eventually joined another game called, A to Z, which I soon discovered is like playing Scattergories on too much caffeine. There were two teams, boys verses girls, and the game began instantly competitive.

For the first round, the girls had 30 seconds to name things to describe us, using the letters A to Z. I, instantly screamed out "Watson" as an adjective. While the guy-team accepted the descriptor, it became the example of mockery for poor-words used for the rest of the game.

I admit the first few times Watson was mentioned mockingly, I brushed it off. However by the tenth time I was starting to feel my blood rush to my cheeks and my heart beat accelarate. One can imagine my shock as I heard these words shoot out of my mouth:"If you say that one more time, you're going to see the Sanpete Girl come out in me."

People gave me some blank stares, my bishop muttered for me to calm down and I felt a bit surprised I had threatened someone I barely knew. As I pondered the experience later in the evening I realized the reasons for my anger.

The word "Watson" to me holds so much more meaning than a regular adjective. Its dictionary meaning reads: son of the leader of the army. In a way, I see my family as part of an army. One who believe duty and honor are important virtues not to be forgotten. Watsons have fought for freedom, both political and religious. Watson believe in getting a good college education. To be a Watson means you learn how to work hard to get the job done, regardless of how many hours it takes.

Still, when I think of Watson, I think of all the amazing people I know who bare the name. My parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandmas and grandpas; and it has been their amazing examples that have taught me: To Be a Watson Means Something.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Falling in Love and Saying Good-bye

In my life I have often wondered why we fail to recognize how much we love someone or something until the unanticipated good-bye approaches. This month marks my one-year anniversary at Oklahoma State University, land of orange t-shirts and cowboys.

Prior to moving to Stillwater, Okla. I had never seen campus, nor did I anticipate how beautiful it would be. I spent this morning wandering campus and taking pictures of my favorite spots. I hope to cherish these scenes forever, as I look to say good-bye to Oklahoma State University in December.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I sat through a class this morning and discussed the diffusion of innovation theory; more simply defined as the power of planned change. According to the founder, Everett Rogers, planned change has 5 steps:

Awareness: spreading the knowledge about change
Persuasion: helping others to form an attitude
Decision: adoption or rejection of change
Implementation: execution of planned change
Confirmation: acceptance of consequence--reward or punishment

The largest or smallest changes in the world use to some extent the thoughts outlined in this theory. However, each starts with the awareness: a knowledge of the need to change.

Knowledge is powerful. With it, one can convince the non-healthy person to start eating right, help the misbehaved child learn manners, or bring tumultuous nations to peace. Sometimes knowing the "why" behind the "do" can perform miracles. I think that is why the scriptures declare, a man cannot be saved in ignorance. For life eternal is to KNOW the only true God and his son Jesus Christ.

How often do we truly seek knowledge? I don't believe knowledge is necessarily connected with a higher education. One can have a four-year degree and still be clueless in knowledge. For to obtain true knowledge once must actively seek to know and apply truthful principles. For example, consider the child learning how to speak. The first couple of words they learn are simply people or objects: mommy daddy, kitty, tractor; they learn to speak by observation and repetition; however, when they finally connect the meanings to words, they learn application. Words like NO! and MINE! become powerful in application.

How many of us in adulthood have forgotten the power of application? To read or talk about something and use it to our benefit; not necessarily to achieve prestige or a wonderful grade, but to serve our fellowmen. To be curious for curiosity sake.

I think such an attitude brings about true and long-lasting change. For knowledge applied is power.