The kids and their cousins got to see a statue of Po from Kung Fu Panda on our recent tour of BYU.
I never thought that touring BYU was a family activity until we did it as a family about 9 years ago. But it turned about to really fun for my husband and me to point out to our kids all the memories of different buildings we had from our student days. We both graduated from there, as well as my mom and dad, my grandma, and all of my siblings and their spouses. My dad and brother are professors there now. So were are a big BYU family. (I have leaned towards BYU-I though as a better school for undergrads, you can see my post here about that.)
Anyway, recently I went on another tour, this time with my younger set of kids (the older ones are at BYU-I or on a mission) and their cousins. We got to use golf carts this time, which was a huge plus since it was so hot. The golf carts gave us shade and also let us save energy. Plus that’s what got my mom to come join the tour with us, is the promise that she wouldn’t have to walk the whole time.
The kids got to see a statue of Po in one of the buildings, which is there because a BYU student worked on Kung Fu Panda. I learned a lot about the campus. It has changed so much since I graduated 25 years ago.
For example, did you know that the Harold B. Lee Library is the most insured building in the church? I guess because it has so many wonderful books and special collections, including the private letters of famed Hollywood legend Jimmy Stewart.
And that there are robots in the basement of the Kimball Tower to simulate women giving birth, so the nursing students can practice on them? And that BYU has around 33,000 students, making it the largest private university of on-campus students? And that rock in the shape of a ball by the Joseph Smith building is worth $1 million!? I still don’t know exactly what that rock is all about, I zoned out on the first part of the tour guide’s descriptions about it. Also, every single new building that is built is funded entirely from private donations.
The whole tour got me more excited about learning and using all of BYU’s amazing resources. Five years ago I made a list of some of the resources here. Whenever I go back to visit BYU, as much I love academics, a wave of relief floods over me that I am no longer a student there with a list of “have-tos.” You know, that’s a list of what I have to study, read, and write as a formal student.
I am so grateful that I got my bachelor’s degree there, and that for 25 years since then I’ve been making my own lists of what I want to read, listen to and write about. Then when I do so I don’t have to feel like I am stealing time from homework. I fantasize, however, about going back and getting a master’s and a PhD, after the kids are out of the nest.
I already subscribe and listen to the podcasts of the BYU speeches, but what more is out there from BYU that I can use at home? I wondered. (Besides the list I wrote that I mentioned above that is here.) So I came home and started poking around the Internet and the app store on my iPhone. I found this cool app from BYU called the BYU Kids’ Book Finder. It helps you find books to read to your kids or to encourage kids to read on their own. Here is what the web site says about it:
Well-known professors of children’s literature, Drs. Michael O. Tunnell and James S. Jacobs, have spent years compiling this diverse list of children’s book titles. They have taught university-level children’s literature courses for a combined total of more than 60 years. Over those years, they also have written numerous professional articles and books about literature for young readers, including their popular textbook Children’s Literature, Briefly.
So go get the app today, in the app store on your phone. I am looking forward to using it!