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Today's word on journalism

May 8, 2009

The Last WORD


The Fat Lady Sings, Off-Key, Drools

At about this time every year, like the swallows to Capistrano or the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio, the WORD migrates to its summer musing grounds at the sanitarium —St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose.

The reason is clear, and never moreso than as this season —the WORD's 13th —peters out.

It's been a fraught year of high palaver and eye-popping transition, both good and not-so-much. An interminable presidential campaign saga finally did end, and in extraordinary and historic fashion. Meanwhile, the bottom and everything that's below the bottom fell out of the economy, with families, homes, entire industries and —of particular interest to WORDsters and the civic-minded —dozens of daily newspapers ("I don't so much mind that newspapers are dying--it's watching them commit suicide that pisses me off." --Molly Ivins). . . all evaporating. What replaces them, from the individual to the institutional to the societal? Are we looking at a future of in-depth Tweeting?

As any newsperson or firehorse knows, it's hard to turn your back on day-to-day catastrophe --we just have to look at the car wreck. But even the most deranged and driven need a rest. As philosopher Lilly Tomlin once observed, "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."

So this morning, as a near-frost hovered over northern Utah, the unmarked van pulled into the driveway and the gentle, soft-spoken men in the white coats rolled the WORD out of bed and into a straitjacket for the usual summer trip to St. Mumbles, where the blathering one will be assigned a hammock and fed soothing, healthy foods --like tapioca, dog biscuits and salmon --while recharging the essential muscles of cynicism, outrage, sarcasm, social engagement and high-mindedness, in preparation for the next edition.
Summer well, friends.

Speak up! Comment on the WORD at

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Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Planning a wedding during finals

By Megan Wiseman

Stress is a key element to the college experience. With studying, working, friends, dating and eventually finals, it's no wonder why college can seem daunting. As if the average college student doesn't have enough to worry about, some students choose to add more chaos to the mix by planning a wedding while still in school.

"I have no motivation," said Ashley Wilkey, 23. "Most students lose motivation towards the end of the year; try adding getting married to that. I don't want to study, I don't want to go to class; all I want to do is worry about planning my wedding with my fiancÚ."

Wikley's original plans were to move home to St. George for the summer and then attend Utah Valley University next fall so she could finish up in her dental hygienist program. That all changed when things started to get serious with her fiancÚ and fellow Utah State student, Matt Parker.

"It was either him or my career," said Wilkey. "I wanted him so I changed my major and now I'm staying up here."

The struggles did not end at a major change for the future couple. Packer is going on a study aboard that was previously planned, which will put him in South America 11 days before the wedding is scheduled to take place. Wilkey says that she will be doing most of the planning on her own and will consult Packer on the major decisions.

"I've told him that we don't need to keep in contact every second," said Wilkey. "As long as I know I'm the number one person in his life right now, I don't need to talk to him constantly."

This summer Wilkey won't have only her own wedding to worry about. Her roommate and long time best friend, Mollie Jewkes, 23, is going through the process of planning her wedding.

Jewkes will have her fiancÚ with her this summer, however while she is attending school in Logan, he resides in Nephi, making the wedding preparations at bit difficult.

"I'm from St. George. My fiancÚ isn't up here and I'm trying to plan my wedding," said Jewkes. "It makes things a little difficult."

Describing various parts of her wedding and trying to communicate the vision of her big day to her family and fiancÚ, Paul Sparry, are the biggest set backs she said.

"I spend a lot of time on the phone and there are a lot of miscommunications," said Jewkes. "How do you describe the exact version of antique blue and how it looks on your vision of a bridesmaid dress when you are talking over the phone? It's impossible."

Jewkes said that sometimes she feels like she could make decisions on her own, but her fiancÚ wants to be a part of the process which drags the situation out. She's grateful for a supportive fiancÚ, but having to wait until each weekend so she can drive down and meet up with him to make small decisions has become somewhat tedious.

"I haven't gotten in any fights with Paul," said Jewkes, "just little inconveniences. This big stuff happens with my family. We are more on separate pages and it's harder to understand what each person is talking about."

Jewkes has been trying to keep things on good terms with her family because she is hoping for a day that can be focused on her family and won't be rushed.

"We have taken certain steps to make our day less chaotic so we can just relax and focus on each other," said Jewkes. "We're going to take our pictures the day before so we aren't spending most our day in front of a camera."

Both girls are trying to get as much done as possible before the wedding but are finding out that planning most of the details are going to have to wait until the first couple months of the summer before their July 11, Wilkey, and June 30, Jewkes, weddings.

"I'm just glad school is ending," said Jewkes who is graduating this spring. "It's going to be nice to just be completely done with school so I don't have that element of stress anymore. I just want to focus on my new life and my future with my husband."

Wilkey, who will still be in school next fall, says that she thinks school will be easier with married life.

"It's hard because all we want to do is spend time together right now," said Wilkey. "When were married we wont have that factor as much because I know each night we'll come home to each other."

Wilkey advises that even though it can be stressful planning a wedding during school it's important to spend time together and appreciate it.

"You're only engaged once so why not enjoy it?" she said. "Just enjoy the time before you get married. You'll never have it again. Don't become to stressed out and let the wedding get in the way of appreciating each other and the fact that you are about to spend the rest of your lives with each other."

Jewkes said that it's important to realize that things are going to go how you want them.

"You can have your dreams and in some cases you will get what you want," she said, "but for the most part things don't go exactly how you want them to. It's not worth ruining relationships with your family and friends. I know girls who are still living with the reputation of being a bridezilla even though their wedding happened a long time ago. It's not worth that image and the extra stress."

Even though school is already full of plenty of stresses, it's possible to plan a wedding and enjoy time with friends, family and fiancÚs. With the right planning and enough support, wedding preparations can be a stress that is looked back on as an enjoyable experience that adds to the excitement of the actual day.

AH
AH

 

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