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lots of concerts

Many apologies for the later-than-normal entry, but life seems to keep throwing me back into the hospital….

It’s finally sunny and warm out, which is awesome.  The un-awesome part for me and a few other lucky individuals is that the sun and warmth also means seasonal allergies! So I’ve been rather miserable lately fighting off the symptoms of that.  It all culminated last night with a visit to the ER when my wheezing turned less from wheezing and more into “I’m having trouble breathing.”  So, Seth and Jess were kind enough to accompany me to the hospital, where I got hooked to all sorts of cool machines and was given plenty of Albuterol.  They decided to keep me overnight to make sure I didn’t have any health complications that would affect my still-healing spleen.  So, I didn’t really get any sleep last night.  My pal Amy came and got me around noon, and I basically got back to my room and fell asleep immediately after (which is why I’m only getting around to posting now that it’s 2am the next day).

Aside from that fun rehashing of past events, the week went pretty well.  Last weekend, LC was rocked by the likes of Church and Portland electronica juggernaut Starf***er.  As usual, I helped set up and prepare for the show.  Both bands were exceptionally nice and courteous and everything went very smoothly… a welcome change of pace from the Minus The Bear headache of a few months ago (which, once again, was mostly caused by stuff on our end, not theirs).  It was an evening full of dancing and good times.

Saturday night, Amy and I went to the Portland bar/venue Holocene to see a concert which I had won tickets to via a promotion on Holocene’s facebook page.We saw impressive sets from Portland’s Swim Swam Swum and The Shaky Hands. As well as an I-don’t-know-what-to-make-of-this jam session/collaboration between The Shaky Hands and bluesy guitarist Sigmund Henry.  Overall, it was a pleasant evening with some great rock ‘n’ roll and people-watching opportunities.

Oh, but the concertgoing isn’t over yet… on Monday, Amy, Nick, Lillie Mae, and I headed downtown to the all-ages punk club Satyricon to catch folk-punk gods Defiance, Ohio.  The show was $7 and featured 4 openers, including Drunken Boat, a well-calibrated Portland pop-punk group.  Defiance, Ohio basically blew us away.  It was definitely one of the best, most exuberant concerts I’ve attended.  It also beats Gogol Bordello as the smelliest, but I eventually got over that.  Defiance, OH are way into the DIY punk thing, so they attract a motley crowd of people from all sorts of unwashed Portland subcultures.  It also means, however, that all their merchandise is especially cheap.  I bought 5 full-length CDs at that show (3 Defiance, OH and 2 Drunken Boat) for under $25.

Long story short: PORTLAND HAS SO MANY COOL VENUES WITH SO MANY COOL BANDS.

Since last Wednesday, academics have been picking up.  Many seniors are turning in their theses, which means it’s both stressful and relieving time for much of the student body.  My classes are gearing up for final projects/finals.  There are also a *lot* of events occurring.  The last month or so of every semester is packed with events that clubs and groups want to have before the break, so there’s usually something going on every evening (and day).  Perhaps most notable this week is LC’s annual International Affairs Symposium, which is a multi-day event full of guest speakers, lectures, and debates.  Not everyone attends, but it’s one of our biggest events each year, so everyone at least knows about it.  Sometimes the most anticipated portions of the symposium attract crowds that fill up Council Chambers.  It’s safe to say that students from all academic disciplines pay attention to the symposium and scour its schedule for interesting speakers.

In Computer Science, we’ve been working on writing programs that implement hash tables (Algorithms) and genetic algorithms (Artificial Intelligence).  There’s been a lot of coding lately, which I particularly enjoy.  There’s nothing like working on a project and getting your program to run as intended.  I really enjoy the collaborative focus that many of the LC Computer Science courses allow students to have.  That’s not to say that we do all of our work together all the time, but in most of my CS courses, the professors allow people to work as teams on assignments rather than as an individual (not unlike software development in the real world).  I particularly enjoy that approach to teaching computer science.

I can’t wait to be allowed to skateboard again (still can’t from the spleen thing).

It’s class-selection time for Fall ‘09!  I don’t know when the incoming freshmen get to select courses, but for the returners that time is now.  I signed up to take an International Affairs course.  It’s always good to choose first the class that’s most likely to fill.  I’m also looking at taking Introduction to World Music, Introduction to Electronic Music (this one will be sweet), and Computer Network Security (commonly known among the students as “hacking class”).  Still mulling over some options to round out the schedule.  Anyone got ideas?

If you’re coming on a campus visit anytime soon, make sure you stop by the Hoffman Art Gallery on campus (next to/down the hill from the library) and look at all the senior art majors’ projects currently on display.  I don’t think the tour goes into the gallery, so you’ll have to do it on your own time, but it’s definitely worth it!

Now playing in my ears: “The Things We Won’t Let Settle But Let Set” by Defiance, Ohio

9 April 2009