When I got back to Utah, I noticed pamphlets of Education Week going around. The week was fun, full of motivation and a real spiritual boost. I figured it was time to start applying as many of the principles I learned as possible to make myself a better person.
One of the seminars I attended was about making college scholarship material that would be reusable on several applications and "wow" the panel/committee who decided who got money. One of the things the brother talked about was rephrasing to make accomplishments/roles sound impressive while keeping them honest and not puffed up.
For example, if you were a Laurel class president you could say:
"I was president of the local chapter of the largest organization in the United States for women ages sixteen to eighteen".
Sounds good huh?
I had been invited previous to that night to take a midnight hike up Mount Timpanogos-- one of the largest peaks in Utah-- and try to hit the summit to watch the sun rise. When I was sitting on my couch with a book in hand and a box of truffles in my lap this sounded plausible. Sure I could hike 18 miles, though I had never hiked that far and hadn't even done a short hike in about 6 years.
So off I went, thinking this would be so much fun. Let's just say this was a tall mountain. A very, very tall mountain. (Or as that brother would have put it, it was a high peak of a challenging distance.)
One of the guys in the group was very patient, coaching me along as everyone else went up ahead, to meet the other half of the group who had camped out for the night. I thought I was doing okay until we started to hit some rocky ground. "Okay, we have to go up this slide of rocks," he said, after scouting out where the trail picked up. As far as I was concerned it wasn't where it was supposed to be.
I started to implement the idea of rephrasing the comments. As I prepared myself for the steep climb up the loose rocks, I thought, "I will ascend the stony way."
Later, as we were getting closer to Emerald Lake and my feet felt like lead, my legs like rubber, I told myself, "I am unbalanced and at a loss for energy."
As everyone else went the last couple hours to the summit, I used someone's sleeping bag and slept in a little shed built by the glacier lake. Instead of worrying about the hard, concrete floor, I changed the content to "a quaint little one room cabin on the edge of an exotic body of water."
After a few hours of rest, I got a head start to where a couple of people were waiting for us to meet up with them. While giving me directions, one of the guys told me to walk along the edge of the cliff. I asked him politely if he would tell me to “take the path along the ledge,” instead.
Through this method of easing the terminology I was able to make it safely back to civilization with the knowledge that I probably shouldn’t have tried hiking Mt. Timp in the first place (what can I say… hindsight is 20/20).
Still, in the process I think I was able to prove that 1)what you learn can apply in all areas of your life and 2) It really does matter how you say things!