February 2009

achy and sleepy and bored

This past week was a bit difficult for me, mostly because I was sick.  By Thursday, I had a 103 degree fever and then spent 2.5 days in bed.  It was less than ideal.

On a good note, next weekend is Parents/Family Weekend, and I think some of my family might drive down from Tacoma to visit, so that shall be fun!

Also next weekend, there’s performances of The Blue Room (the Spring play) and a showing of the movie Milk in Council Chambers.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a whole lot of news about this week’s happenings, as I spent most of it trying to thwart my illness.

I do know that there’s a dance tonight hosted by Black Student Union, with the theme “Divas and Hustlers.”  Those of us out of the loop were really confused why people weren’t getting offended, but apparently it’s a reference to a Beyonce song.  So, I guess that’s okay?  I don’t think I’m going to attend (I’m socializing in the Forest Hall CLC’s apartment, with some friends and the RD’s cats and ferret), but it was really well-publicized and the posters looked cool.

The Music Coalition has locked down a pretty popular Portland musician for a show in April.  The artist’s name is probably not appropriate for the admissions department blog, but here’s a hint: Star*****r.  From what I’ve gauged thus far, the LC peeps are pretty psyched for this show.  You know a band’s good if they can gain a following while having the F-word in their name.

Now playing in my ears:  “Estrogen Oxygen Aches In The Teeth Again” by Loudermilk

28 February 2009

What do YOU think of the new Black Lips Album?

Prince covering Joni Mitchell’s “Case of You” is arguably one of the weirdest things I have ever heard…

In other news, life is rolling along as usual. A few cool things have happened here and there in the past week: in spite of the craze of my overly packed schedule, I found out today that I managed to make the Dean’s list! This is just evidence that there is definitely time to do everything and try anything in addition to the demands of one’s academic load at Lewis & Clark.

On Friday we had a beautiful sunny day, and after classes there was a mass migration of students to South Campus to bask in its loveliness, play guitars and drums, throw Frisbees, and climb trees.
Over the weekend, I saw a couple of shows. One was at a house in Northeast PDX- a band whose drummer was also its singer and, at times, seated guitarist stole the show. There was also a guy making some beats with a soundboard and three floor toms lined up in front of him that was really fun to dance to. However, in the crazy crowded house-show-ness of it all, the names of both of the bands completely eluded me. I promise that if I find out more info, I will follow up on that. Portland is acclaimed for its music scene, and it is perpetually amazing to be living where music history is happening. The latest Portland band I have become fond of is The Dead Trees. Lovers of bands like Little Joy ought to check their Myspace and listen to the shoulder-swaying, ankle twisting grooves. Also, for those of you in the Bay Area, they will be playing Noise Pop on February 28.

For my Qualitative Methods of Research class, I have to conduct an ethnographic study as my final project. I have decided to study the vegan community in Portland, specifically through the lens of a vegan grocery/convenience store called Food Fight! located downtown. I will keep you updated on my progress and adventures! Check out their website, if you feel so inclined. They have some pretty cool stuff, including vegan caviar and vegan ice cream. www.foodfightgrocery.comyhst-17800188898367_2044_563297.jpg

Best of wishes, friends. As always, feel free to send me a pigeon about anything from dream-déjà vu to sushi to dreadful first films by now-famous directors (ahem, Peter Jackson and “Bad Taste”). kkucera@lclark.edu

26 February 2009


Well you know it’s spring time when you wake up to a fresh layer of snow! The morning row was a bit chilly to say the least. Last weekend though, the weather was more beautiful than I’ve seen it in a while! And friend and I took the train on Friday up to Seattle to see some friends and my family. I spent Saturday morning rowing out of my old boathouse under the gorgeous sunshine, and the view of the Cascades was absolutely breathtaking. Overall it was a great weekend, and really nice to have a change of scenery. My little sister drove us back down to Portland on Sunday (unfortunately we missed the Oscars). My friend had gone up to visit some friends at UW, and she said it made her appreciate the size and community feel of Lewis & Clark.

Being off campus made the weekend fly by, and I can’t believe it’s already Thursday! Last night my roommate and I went out to dinner at a Lebanese place called Habibi. This is probably my favorite place to eat in all Portland; the hummus is delicious, they have vegan/veggie/meat options, and the owner is so awesome! He will always drop by your table to chat and make sure you’re doing alright. The restaurant is located on Morrison and 10th, and I highly recommend it to everyone I meet!!

Same old, same old on the school front these days. I don’t ever have tests because I’m a philosophy major, so I generally just have papers to write all the time. Going out to the Cheesecake Factory this weekend with my group of girls, and it’s always a fun time when we get together!

Until later,

26 February 2009


Between being sick once again and my never ending course assignments, I have been unable to write for the past couple weeks; but I’m happy to say that I am back!!! (YAY)… School has been hectic as usal but fun at the same time. Since I’ve been back, I’ve privileged …yes privileged to be able to take part in so many amazing on campus events, so I’ve had no time to be bored. One of the most commendable ones I must say was the LC Slam Poetry club’s week long festivities… Amazing those guys and gals are extremely talented; I know I would never be able to write such creative ideas on paper even if Emily Dickinson herself helped me.  I’ve also been enjoying the BSU’s (Black Student Union) ongoing events for black history month. You learn so much .. well I know I have….

I have been trying and surprisingly succeeding in becoming immersed with all my classes… Well that was until earlier when I found out I have a midterm on Monday  for my Rhetorical Criticism class… now this I was unaware of…. (Always look at your syllabus)… So now even though I have plans to attend the BSU’s dance this Saturday.. I have to somehow schedule in time to study for my midterm and two papers. I know you don’t have to tell me.. I have it altogether… J and the strange thing is I know I will somehow manage to do all of that plus my additional homework for next week… maybe multi-tasking….

As for the rest of my classes… Well I adore my dance class; it’s the only class that gives me the opportunity to express myself the way I know how to. It’s instinctive and challenging at the same time, but overall a really good class to be in. French is well French…. I just recently had my first film assignment in my documentary form class (I love that class)… definitely one of the most interesting classes I’ve taken so far at Lewis and Clark.

Next week I will have a ton of updates and picture for you guys (I know I haven’t posted any pics since last semester)… My friends from the Netherlands are here to visit for 10 days and the International fair is next week… as well as my roomies play “The Blue Room”…. too much stuff to tell you about… But I will indeed have updates…

Peace & Love


25 February 2009

the problem of unlively Fridays

I have been weaning myself off of poetry and relearning how to do homework. Midterms are hiding just round the next bend, so it’s about time to reacquaint myself with the library and my professors’ offices. Accordingly, this entry is academics-heavy.

ceiling art in the Co-OpBut as a last thorough dose of poetry, I went to the Daniel Beaty one-man show in the Chapel last week. BSU (Black Student Union) hosted Daniel Beaty as part of Black History Month. It was a genius performance. I also went to the Co-Op for Third Thursday and negotiated crowded seating with other students to hear Jonah perform his musical excellence. Boys who can play instruments and sing make me all sorts of happy.

In Utopias and Distopias on Thursday our professor kicked off the class with this verbatim gem: “So, I was thinking we could bump the reading schedule back by a day. I would like you all to watch a distopic film and come to class on Thursday prepared to discuss it. It’s a fairly recent film, some of you may have heard of it – it’s actually a kids’ movie, produced by Pixar… it’s called Wall-E…?” So yes. I get to watch Wall-E for class.

making onigiricutesy Japanese stuffFollowing our discussion on Japanese mothers and obento in class on Friday, our Gender professor cooked rice and we made onigiri with ume boshi – it was an unexpected and delicious lunch. For a Gender Studies professor, Linda is hilariously domestic. She brought in lots of cutesy Japanese things too.

roadtripping to Mt VernonAsk Not film screeningrainbow cakeThis weekend I roadtripped to Mt. Vernon, Washington, (an hour north of Seattle). As representatives from Lewis & Clark College’s United Sexualities club, five of us (Ian, Claire, Kenna, Allison and I) tabled at Mt. Vernon High School’s Over the Rainbow Festival. Ian had started the Gay-Straight Alliance as a student at Mt. Vernon, and last year’s Over the Rainbow Festival was his baby; this year’s Festival was its sequel. We didn’t end up spending much time sitting behind our designated table – the panels and workshops were far too fascinating. I sat in on “Families Under the Rainbow,” “Safer Sex,” and “Coming Out Stories.” We also got to meet the filmmaker – he flew in from Oakland, California – of the documentary Ask Not, which was the featured event of Friday night. And at the cakewalk, we won two cakes! (We gave one of them away to a group of middle schoolers who hadn’t won any.) We arrived back on campus late Saturday night after a lot of singing along and dancing in the backseat of Ian’s car. (Paul Simon is surprisingly danceable!)

On Sunday, my mom drove to campus and I interviewed her at a nearby coffee shop for a Gender class project. The assignment is to elucidate the nature of stereotypical household gender roles in our own families: who cooks, who is responsible for car maintenance, who buys birthday cards.

Last week I met with Linda, my Qual Methods professor (who is also my Gender professor), to discuss my final project proposition. Proposal approved! I plan to collect Coming Out stories from students who identify as non-heterosexual. I will be examining patterns in the language students use to disclose their sexual orientation to different people. It’s pretty cool that something I would do out of curiosity – collecting Coming Out stories – counts as a legit ethnography in a Sociology/Anthropology class.

I also met with Sylvia, my Judaism professor, last week. In keeping with my favoured gender lens, I am planning to write my final research paper about the role women have had in writing midrash about female figures in Jewish literature. Sylvia has already started emailing me sources – she is practically compiling my bibliography for me. When I met with Sylvia, we also discussed the problem of unlively Fridays. I suggested that we start doing a discussion-based format where students bring in a question from the reading to lubricate the conversation a bit. She liked the idea, and now Fridays have been reformatted accordingly.

dinosaur sculptureMonday was Maisha’s Social Obligations Day. First, I finally got my webcam properly configured and I spent two hours in the middle of the day skyping my friend Emily, who is living in Germany as part of the LC year-long Munich program. Second, my buddy Kowalski (he just graduated and was on the East Africa trip with me last semester) was visiting Portland from DC, so a bunch of the East Africa kids and I got together and swapped stories over cups of chai. Third, I took the Raz downtown and met up with my friend Celia, who goes to PSU. We grabbed dinner at the Pita Pit and then raided Ross for new shoes – we walked in the door 15 minutes before closing and walked out ten minutes later with three pairs of shoes between the two of us.

I just received notification that I got accepted to the LC Alternative Spring Break programme to San Francisco! That means I’ll be volunteering with HIV/AIDS organisations and communities in SF for a week instead of kicking around campus or home. I’m stoked.

Email me your love and confusion! maisha@lclark.edu.

25 February 2009