The Taggart Family -- Life, Family and Friends

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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

This blog is a record of events in the life of Joseph Taggart and his family since his spinal cord injury while body surfing in Guatemala in January 2006.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

How Does He Do It?

Law School Study: How Joseph Does It
We thought it might be interesting to share how Joseph manages to actually physically accomplish what is required of a 1st year law student. The biggest challenge is reading the text books and taking notes.

Text Books = 10,213 Pages, This Semester!
The 16 text books contain that many pages, they should at nearly $1000 dollars. How does one read them when you can't handle the books or turn the pages? The answer, thanks to this amazing age we live in, is to DIGITIZE them. If you pay for the book, many publishers will provide a PDF version. For the others the school provides the scanning into PDF files. So now that you have 10k pages of digital text. . . how do you read them.

Big Screen Monitor
Joseph found a good deal on a computer monitor and Tim mounted it vertically on his desk. Joseph can now drag the documents from his notebook computer to the large monitor to read the documents.

How to Take Notes
Thanks to the wonders of Speech recognition software, Joseph is able to dictate his notes and written assignments and print them out. The software he uses is Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 Legal. He previously used the standard product, but the 'legal' version recognizes the Latin phrases and special legal vocabulary.

Trackball Mouse
Joseph is able to use the trackball mouse on his notebook computer and can type one letter at a time with his handy artificial digit made from a pencil with eraser. He calls it "Pedro", named after Napoleon Dynamite's sidekick (he was wearing his "vote for Pedro" T-shirt when he and his occupational therapist figured it out). He can beat his dad at speed-texting with it.

Notes for Class
After printing out his extremely well organized reading notes, Mom helps by putting the pages in plastic sleeves in the case he carries to class on his lap. He is able to turn the pages with 'Pedro' and is as well prepared as anyone.

Gloria: Birthdays and Scrapbooking
Gloria enjoyed celebrating her sister Diane's birthday in Logan this week. It was fun to get together with the kids and grand-kids. They also celebrated with Barta, Gloria and Diane's step-mom who also had a birthday last week.

Gloria and Elizabeth enjoyed a Girl's Weekend scrap-booking together in Ogden with friends and family. They accomplished a lot and had a blast.

Goodbye Red Toyota
The family said farewell to the 1996 Toyota Camry which Tim has been driving to work in since 2000. It sold, not on or Craigslist where it was listed, but on Facebook when he mentioned the posting on the other sites. A brother of one of our missionaries saw it and is giving it a good home. Don't we love Social media!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Torts, Trikes, Trinidad and Turning Leaves.

Joseph is fully engaged in schoolwork. A normal day includes most of the day at the University and the entire evening reading and taking notes. His class schedule includes: Torts, Legal Research, Legal Methods, Contracts and Civil Procedure. He loves all of them except Contracts. His class has had several experiences to familiarize everyone with the potential areas of emphasis. A couple of weeks ago they did a "Big 4 Tour" of the biggest law firms in the city including Kirton & McConkie and Ray Quinney & Nebeker.

Faculty Recruitment Committee
Joseph has been asked to serve as a member of the Faculty Recruitment Committee for the law school. He loves being engaged with life and all it's opportunities.

The Bird family is enjoying the waning warm days with wheels aplenty. With Gavin on his big wheels and Cheyenne on the scooter, Ethan leads the way on his new garage-sale bike which he can ride without training wheels! We just had to include one of Gavin's 2nd birthday portraits.

Tim's most recent interview for the Mormon Channel was with Emrol Gould, the stake president of the newly formed Port of Spain Trinidad Stake (read about it here: Stake in Trinidad & Tobago). This is the first stake in the West Indies Mission.

Tim's earliest interview on the Into All the World program with the mission president in Russia Samara has been posted. Here is a direct link to the MP3 audio: Tim's Randall Bennett interview.

Turning Leaves
Gloria shot this great photo in Sardine Canyon on the way to Logan this week. The leaves are just beginning to turn. Full glory awaits.

Tragedy at BYU
Wouldn't you know when a wonderful neighbor gave Joseph and Tim tickets to a BYU game it would be a crushing defeat for the Cougs? It was beautiful weather and a great day for football, just not for BYU.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Twin Towers: We Remember
It has been 8 years since the tragedy that occurred with the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11/01. Joseph was in Brazil and Tim and Gloria were in Belgium visiting the Bokrijk historical village near Turnhout, They saw the coverage on TV in a restaurant and watched the second tower come down live. The wonderful video done by AV for the Church is an uplifting way to commemorate the date.

C. O. B. Tower
The first definite sign of Summer's end is in the photo Tim shot at the Church Office Building this week. The Christmas lights are going up! When you have thousands of trees you have to start early.

It's a Tower of Love
The COB has been a tower of love in AV the past few months as Jennifer Dutson one of Tim's Production Coordinators in the AV International Section and Joshua Talbot one of Tim's Production Assistants fell in love. This week they were married in the Salt Lake Temple. They are a wonderful couple and we wish them all the best (Josh is looking for work elsewhere now, got a good job?).

Downtown Towers Rising
It is amazing to see how rapidly the new city center projects are moving along. Tim did a quick photo merge of how the former ZCMI Center area looks from the food court windows looking west. The amount of parking will be amazing.

South Temple Street has been torn up for months. a couple of weeks ago Tim took a shot of the entrance ramps to the underground parking levels below the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and the new City Creek Center. The second photo shows they are now getting the massive forms and re-bar ready for the concrete ceiling that will hold up the street above. The video that follows is a 3D fly through of the project. For more info see the Downtown Rising web page.

Monday, September 07, 2009

A Nephew with Class too.

Ethan begins Kindergarten
Joseph's nephew has joined the school crowd as he began Kindergarten this fall. He is so excited. He really like's his teacher and especially loves riding home on the big yellow school bus.

Law School Review
Joseph is enjoying school as well. He is reading and taking notes by the hour and likes his classes. "Torts are cool" is the watchcry.

It's All Happening at the Zoo
Saturday the Bird family came for the weekend and the whole gang went to the Hogle Zoo. It is always so fun to go with the kids. Gavin, who just turned two, was continually saying "Whooooaaa!" He was impressed with everything. We all enjoyed it.

Cup Qualifier in Salt Lake
Joseph and his friend Emelia went to the USA versus El Salvador game Saturday night at the Rio Tinto Stadium. The place was packed and the crowd was raucous. It is great to be able to witness this level of play in Utah. It was a sweet victory.

Congrats to BYU!
What a victory, BYU beat the number 3 ranked team in the country Saturday in the first game ever held in the brand new US$1B+ Cowboys stadium in Dallas Texas. Matt Hall was also named the national offensive player of the week. Way to go Cougs! We should also mention that Joseph's alma mater (the U) beat Tim's alma mater (USU) this week.

Gavin's 2nd Birthday
The baby Bird just turned TWO. Both sides of the family gathered at the Taggart's home Sunday afternoon for dinner and opening presents. Gavin is totally into CARS and received several. Apparently he likes cake too.

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