October 2008

Obligatory introduction post

My name is Cary. I am from Bonney Lake, WA (but I say Tacoma because it gives me more cred, plus I went to high school there). I am a Junior at Lewis and Clark College.  I have been declared as a Mathematics/Computer Science major for two years, but I think I’m going to switch to the more focused Computer Science major.  Over the weekend I decided that I think I want to minor in Religious Studies (does it get more “liberal arts” than that juxtaposition of fields?).  So, that’s me academically.

Extracurricularly, I’ve got a lot going on this year.  I’m a CLA (most of you may know that position as ‘RA,’ Resident Assistant, or any number of derisive nicknames).  I like to think of myself as being available as a resource for my peers, but I imagine there are some people who probably just think of me as the person who has to take the beer away and bust up the underwear party.  Oh well.  I am also the deputy chair (“Vice President”) of Activities Congress (you’re probably noticing that, for whatever reason, LC just can’t conform to otherwise universally-accepted naming conventions.  Don’t ask me why).  AC plans many of the large events during the school year: homecoming, casino night, concerts, magicians, large-scale dance parties, etc.  It is a pretty awesome job.  As the deputy chair, I get to sit as a voting member on ASLC Executive Council.  Executive Council is pretty much the highest body of our student government here; we manage various subcommittees, control a large budget for student-related use, and listen to the concerns of anyone who wants to bring something before us.  It’s pretty much your usual student council gig, except with more money and more power than at a high school.

Perhaps my favorite extracurricular activity is my seat on Music Coalition.  This is a subcommittee of Activities Congress that manages a budget in the tens-of-thousands with the sole purpose of putting on pop/rock/rap concerts.  I’ve been doing it since my freshman year and have personally had a role booking, setting up, and/or sound engineering for bands such as Blue Scholars, The Helio Sequence, Schoolyard Heroes, Scissors For Lefty, The National, The Shaky Hands, Langhorne Slim, Jason Webley, The Dimes, Munly, Metal Shakespeare Company, and many others.  These are concerts that are entirely student-organized.  We contact the bands, we book the spaces on campus, we do the preparations, we run the lights and the sound, we do everything.  It’s such an awesome experience.

I do a lot more here, but those are the areas in which I’m currently most active.

If you have questions about a specific group or position here, I can probably find out info, but here’s a short list of other stuff I have done, just so you know where I’m coming from and what I might be able to field questions about if you happen to have any (I apologize if this reads like a résumé, but I don’t know how else to convey the information succinctly):

*Campus Living Advisor (aka “RA”) ‘07-present
*Information Technology (Help Desk operator: ‘07-present, Network/Tech Support: ‘08-present)
*Sound Engineer ‘07-present
*Platteau Student Art Center general manager ‘07-‘08
*Platteau Student Art Center web administrator ‘08-present
*Theatre Scenic Technician (building sets) ‘07-‘08

*Activities Congress
*ASLC Executive Council
*LC Music Coalition
*Improv Club
*Programming Club
*Go (the board game) Club
*Pirates of Palatine Hill (official LC World of Warcraft guild)
*semi-regular contributor to the Pioneer Log student newspaper.
*this blog

I’m hoping this is the only post that I make that will be this uninteresting.  In the future I plan to have much more of your typical “blog” format (hopefully with some cool videos… at LEAST some good photos)  I figured I’d just get all that information into one post in the beginning.  I’ll probably talk about all those things more at some point, so be ready.  I’ve already got another post pretty much done, still grabbing photos and videos to make it spiffier!

Feel free to e-mail me at cyoung@lclark.edu or find me on the Facebook.

13 October 2008

Hot Yam! The first blog of the year…

The first blog. Sigh. Where to begin? Though it is only a month and half into the semester, I feel that in order for you to join me on this journey, I must bring you up to date. And with my artistically disheveled mind, lists, often scrawled on multicolored Post-It notes and slapped all over my desk, save my life. So here is a list for you:

The 5 Most Memorable Moments of My First Month of My First Semester of My First Year of College:

 1)  Bicycle Love.
My lovely blue bicycle!The bike culture in Portland is fascinating. Everywhere you turn on campus and downtown you see a two-wheeled beauty whizzing past. I have an adorable little vintage beach cruiser back home in California, but it wouldn’t stand a chance on the hills and gravelly paths around LC. The bus system here is very efficient, and can take you pretty much anywhere off-campus. However, once you are downtown, making your way around Portland on foot can be rather time-consuming. As soon as I got here, finding a bike was essential. Finally I found a man on Craigslist who restores vintage bikes and he had a 1975 Huffy road bike just my size! My friend Karl and I took a bus out to Beaverton to pick it up and I am completely smitten. We cleaned off the rust with a bit of steel wool and replaced the brakes, and that sky blue baby is as good as new. I have already enjoyed getting to sleep in five minutes later since I don’t have to walk to class in the morning!

2)  Exploring Hawthorne

Hawthorne SunsetA couple of weekends ago, a group of friends and I took a Trimet bus out to the Hawthorne district of Portland. This is one of my favorite parts of Portland just to go and hang out or to shop.  I have found the best vintage here and a record store at which I found a great Leo Kottke album. Photo by Logan Fields.We ate at a delicious Thai restaurant called Vege Thai. Everything on the menu was vegetarian, including soy shrimp and soy chicken! My friend Logan and I split pumpkin curry with brown rice. And squash-darn*, that was the best pumpkin curry I ever did have! On the way back to the bus stop, we popped into a local produce market and bought some fruit and honey sticks. Dinosaur Eggs

3)  Open Mic Night

Singing at Open Mic in the Platteau!In the basement of Platt-West lies the Platteau, the student-run art center on campus. It is equipped with a dark room, a ceramics studio and dance room, as well as a piano and a small stage. Open mic nights are held here pretty frequently. I went to the first one as an audience member but I was too chicken to sign up to play. However, I was so inspired by the talent and acceptance of my fellow LC students that when the second open mic rolled around, I worked up the courage to play a song. I played “Born” by Over the Rhine. It was really scary, but I was glad I had done it in the end. Gareth!

4)  Dorm Life

Our door at the moment.Living in a building with hundreds of other people your age is an adventure in and of itself. One such adventure that sticks out so far is the dance party in the Ponderosa basement (in Forest). My friend Dick is a talented amateur DJ and he manned the computer/iPod while kids created a makeshift rave by wearing headlamps and dancing furiously about to MGMT and M.I.A. The result was a very sweaty basement and an unprecedented amount of dance-induced delirium.Girls’ Night! Life in the dorms isn’t always crazy, however. Last night was the first night of Fall Break and some girlfriends and I spent it sitting on the floor of my room, listening to Joni Mitchell and Hot Chip records while drinking tea, talking, and painting our toenails. Girls’ Night IIMysteriously, this evening did end with a dance party to A-ha’s “Take On Me”…

5)  Poetry Slam!

The slam poetry club at LC, “Apocalips,” arranged for the Junkyard Ghost Revival tour to make their first stop at LC. The Junkyard Ghost Revival is a spoken word group consisting of Derrick Brown, Buddy Wakefield, Anis Mojhani, and my favorite contemporary poet, the amazing Andrea Gibson! The amazing Andrea Gibson!The poets switched off performing their pieces, accompanied by Timmy Straw, a local musician whose music was beautiful, challenging and moving. Timmy Straw.We were front and center, and our minds were thoroughly blown by the entire show! My favorite, of course, was Andrea’s performance of “For Eli.” Check it out!

So… sorry this was so long. But look at the bright side: I have posted lots of pictures, and now you are all up to date. Posts from here on out will be shorter and more detailed. Stay tuned! And, as always, feel free to email me and exchange curry recipes, wax poetic, or ask about why calling someone a ferret as a term of affection can easily be misconstrued.  kkucera@lclark.edu

*a pun, relating to the inclusion of pumpkins in the squash family

9 October 2008

It’s My First Time!!!! Writing a Blog that is…..

Its already been a MONTH?? It seriously feels like I just left home to head back to Portland and now its actually fall break!! However, this semester has gotten off to a pretty good start for the simple fact that we had an entire month of sunshine.. YAY!!! I never experienced that last year here so it made this little island girl extremely happy… maybe a bit too happy if you ask me. I spent much of the first few weeks lounging on the grass located in front of my dorm while “attempting” to do homework, which rarely ever got done until I went inside. Weird enough, I’m pretty relieved the sunny days have started to fade since my work load has gotten more intense, my study habits should really be following that pattern as well.

If you’ve already checked out my about me, you probably get the gist of who I am (if you haven’t… why not?)… But since this is my first post, I wanted to do one of the many things I do best =)… talk about myself.. just a little bit. A part from living in Kingston, Jamaica for my entire life and listening to Bob Marley I kind of like to partake in a lot of other activities. As a matter of fact, just last week I attended two events being held at LC that I personally feel attached to. On Monday I accompanied my fabulous roommate as her date (she told me to say fabulous by the way I don’t say stuff like that), to a reception honoring the twenty-one United World College -UWC scholars at Lewis and Clark. Yes I know you don’t have a clue what that is.. it’s ok I didn’t either before I came to LC. In a nutshell, the United World Colleges are a bunch of really awesome high schools located in different regions of the world that promote not only diversity but also aid students with the understanding and appreciation of different cultural interpretations, all while getting a really good high school education. My roommate who is from Uganda and two of my closest friends from freshmen year all attended the UWC in Swaziland; so technically if UWC’s didn’t exist some of my best frienships probably wouldn’t either, and I don’t even want to think about that!

The other event I attended was a gathering for students of colour to meet with past students of colour, which was held during good ol’ alumni weekend. And guess what..I met someone from the graduating class of 1961!! I wasn’t even thought of back then!! There’s  just something about hearing an alumni’s story that interests me a lot, I think that’s the sole reason I enjoy working for the Annual Giving Department as a phonathon caller. But a part from that Lewis and Clark has done a great job in trying to promote diversity around campus and their efforts have definitely not gone unnoticed. Well as I mentioned it is fall break and there’s lots to do… So I’ll check in next week.. Oh feel free to hit me up on my email tfm@lclark.edu, I will answer your emails, I hate it when people don’t answer mine so I make it my duty to not fall in that trap…. Have a good wekeend guys and gals!!!



6 October 2008

Time to relax.

Hey all!

Well, so much has happened in these past weeks that I don’t know where to start. It’s already fall break and it’s hard to recap all that I’ve done. I guess I should start at the beginning. I moved into school two weeks before everyone else for sports and student-athlete mentor training. All I can remember from this was being way too hot. My roommate and I had our fan on 24/7 for the first couple of weeks. I was born and raised in the Pacific NW, which translates to me being a complete wimp when it comes to the weather, though I do love the rain.

Getting started in the first days of classes was the same as always. I did the typical confused college student routine for a couple of days, and came out with a group of classes that I was actually, and still am, really excited about. Somewhere in the midst of all the new stress and activities, I was also able to reconnect with my close group of friends from last year. They are the greatest and make my time here at L&C so much more interesting and fun. The other day we all went to the Oregon Zoo. Soooo cool! It reminded me of going to the zoo as a kid. We also found this really fantastic Lebanese restaurant downtown. I spend most of my free time with my friends, so stay tuned for more on them in future posts.

Pictures from the zoo: The group at the Oregon Zoo! ; Penguin! ; Green snake ; Giraffe hat

On the 15th it was time to start the fall crew season. We have now been practicing for three weeks, and since we are the only team on campus that has two legitimate competition seasons, we also have races. Our first was a duel on Saturday versus Willamette University on their home waters (The Willamette River). It was low-key but a good chance to get out against a team in our conference and see how we have been progressing since we started up again. It was also some of the most uncomfortable conditions I’ve ever raced in; rowing against a fast current and a head wind doesn’t exactly equal Olympic speeds. Right now we have the week off and are working out individually, gearing up for our last two weeks and three races. The team itself has morphed into this awesome group of rowers - our incoming freshmen have integrated amazingly, and I am so excited for what we can put together this spring (The Women’s Varsity 8+).

Short and sweet, but that’s it for now. I’m currently enjoying my break at home in Snohomish, and I’m going to take this opportunity to go snuggle in with a good book.

Later, Jess

6 October 2008