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hallelujah, she’s a rollin on home

Spring is coyly clutching Portland its lovely pink fingers, gradually pulling it into a full bloom embrace. And I am falling in love. Flowers, and- oh! – the smells! This is not to say, however, that I am sad to be leaving campus for spring break. Hallelujah! It is, in fact, that time, my friends and not a moment too soon. Midterms, papers, and stir-craziness galore results in an ungodly need to break free and blow off some steam, to regroup before facing the stress of the tail end of the semester when we return.

dscn0169-1.jpgdscn0175-1.jpgdscn0206-1.jpgOn Wednesday, inspired by Thoreau’s transcendental experiences described in “Walking”, which we just read this week for my Exploration and Discovery class,  I decided to channel all of my mid-midterm stress/energy into a trek through Tryon Creek State Park. Marvelous!

Tomorrow, I will be heading down the west coast on the Coastal Starlight Express, the Amtrak train with service from Portland to San Luis Obispo. I am going to be spending most of my break at home snuggling with my mom, going to the beach with my besties, and eating lots and lots of food from Trader Joe’s and local burrito joints. The voyage home is half the adventure for me, though, because the cost of the land-bound tour of the beautiful west coast is that it will take a complete TWENTY-FOUR HOURS for me to get from PDX to SLO. I’ll report on the experience, and whether it is one I would like to repeat. Either way, I am looking forward to the bragging rights. On the way back up the coast, I am planning to stop in northern California for a couple of days to visit my friend, Katie, who goes to CSU Chico. Then, once back in PDX, I am going to be SO happy to be reunited with my LC friends who will also have returned from their respective spring break adventures. (For example, several of my friends who are on the KLC board are currently representing KLC at SXSW; others are spending time at a grandparent’s cabin in the San Juan Islands in WA; others are venturing to the redwoods, Vancouver, and the Bay) I am hoping to make it back in time to go to a punk show at a house in northeast PDX that sounds like it will have an AMAZING line-up, including Portland’s own Tragedy.

2603_141437190436_743660436_6267625_4731152_n.jpgToday my class was cancelled and it was beautiful and balmy outside. My friends Hanna, Hayley and I ventured downtown because I had scheduled to interview the owners of Food Fight! Vegan Grocery as part of the research for my ethnographic project for Qualitative Methods of Research. We turned the task into a day on the town, pit-stopping at Stumptown, Portland’s famed independent coffee company, for espresso and croissants.n567882041_1469669_688926.jpg Then we used the buses to cross the bridge into southeast and strolled about the cute Victorian homes in the neighborhood near Food Fight! to snap photos of the birth of spring. It was a lovely day spent with friends, and the folks at Food Fight! were so down to earth and funny. Of course, we took advantage of the impressive snackage they offer and picked up some chips and root beer for the voyage back to campus.2603_141437175436_743660436_6267623_4679319_n.jpg

2603_141437185436_743660436_6267624_2670892_n.jpgI know you are all starting to receive your letters from the college, and I want to wish you guys the best of luck! Remember to listen to your gut when making your final decisions and please visit us! Or just feel free to write me any ol’ time about how funny the “see food” joke is, how nearly sexual the experience of achieving beautiful three-part harmonies with your dear friends can be, or how my taking the train home for break is one more uncanny thing to add to list of similarities between Hogwarts and LC! kkucera@lclark.edu

20 March 2009