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blossoming of skirts

blossoming tree on campus that we climbed laterRachel and other students slacklining on campusQualitative Research Methods class held outside in the QuadrangleGreek CuisinaSpring has landed. There is a sudden blossoming of skirts and bare feet and mild sunburns. Professors tend to be skeptical about students’ requests to transplant class to the sunlight because they think we won’t pay attention. Every class I’ve ever had outdoors at Lewis & Clark has been one of the most productive class periods of the entire semester. I think we put on our best, most engaged behavior when we have class outside so that our professors will let us leave the classroom again on the next sunny day. My Judaism professor let us hold class outside on Monday morning. On Tuesday, Collins went hunting for an outside power outlet so that we could discuss Writing Women’s Worlds outside (one of the students in the class is partly deaf, so we pass around mics that come on a cart that has to be plugged in), so we ended up on the cobblestones in the Quadrangle. Three hours later in Utopias/Dystopias, we (jokingly) went on a quest to find an idyllic Utopia, and also ended up in the Quadrangle, but on the grass this time.

waiting outside the Keller with my mom before Wicked startedWicked set, before the showOn Wednesday (which was rainy), I saw Wicked with my mom at the Keller. It was super good! Elphaba and Glinda were wonderful, but Fiyero had a pathetically whiny singing voice, which was no good at all. My mom and I went out to dinner at Greek Cuisina, too. I love falafel probably more than is reasonable.

My girlfriend Kenna and I escaped campus on Friday for dinner at Sansai. Sushi is my one exception to vegetarianism, and man, it’s a tasty exception. Ambling around after dinner, we looked at our watches and realized that if we had any chance of making the next shuttle we needed to run. We missed it by half a minute, so we called one of Kenna’s friends who has a car and bribed him to come rescue us so we would get back to campus in time for the Starf****r show.

Starf****r show on campusLu’au hula danceStarf****r was crazy! I accidentally got caught in the mosh pit, and rowdy six-foot-tall hipster boys smashed me into a collection of contusions. Starf****r, which do not normally spell their name with asterisks, are a local indie rock group that have lately gained quite a following, and for good reason – they’re stellar. I love that Activities brings events like that to campus.

Hawaiian song at the end of the Lu’auLu’au musical performanceTessa, blurry Ali, and me in that treewe are silly on SaturdaySaturday was the Lu’au. In between Hawaiian foods for dinner in Pamplin Sports Center and the traditional and contemporary Hawaiian performances that followed, some friends and I climbed trees and generally photosynthesized. My favourite Lu’au performance was the firespinning. (Jeremy offered to teach me how to blow fire a few weeks ago, but I’m not so keen on filling my mouth with lamp oil, even if only momentarily.) The dances were great, too – some little Portland kids even did a choreographed dance, and they were way awesome. And I loved watching Gabe dance! Lu’au rehearsals abducted him for the last two months, so I’m excited to have him back in my life now.

AIDS Memorial Quilt displayed in Council Chamber Foyer for the 2009 AIDS SummitI just found out that we won’t have a final exam in Qual Methods, which means I can focus all my Qual energies on constructing my final project, an ethnography of Coming Out stories. I still need to type two of my interviews and then do some pattern-finding and conclusion-writing, but it’s coming along well. Much better than my final research paper for Judaism, which ground to a halt somewhere around the collecting sources stage. I always get everything done in the end, though.

The AIDS Summit starts today! We’ve hit some mild turbulence getting off the ground, but I think everything’s gonna fly in the end. At 8.30 this morning, Josh, Liz and I hung up four panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt in Council Chamber Foyer. Tonight is a safer sex workshop in Tamarack, tomorrow is our Keynote and a biology of HIV session, and Friday is a showing of And the Band Played On on the bigscreen in Council Chamber.

As always, fire your thoughts my direction, maisha@lclark.edu. Very few readers email me, and it’d be cool to know that you’re one of them.

8 April 2009