April 2009

I killed the NYTimes crossword today.

The last month of school has been such a roller coaster in virtually every respect. I feel like a small child trying to hold on to a wily kite on a high wind as all my energy, thoughts, and plans are propelled toward the summer and next term. Yet, here I am- still in the midst of final projects and tying up loose ends of this semester. MUST. STAY. FOCUSED.

Many wonderful things have happened in the meantime. I shall try to be concise in my recollection of them:

1. Sunburn

Sunburn-the annual music fest put on by LC’s radio station- was a grand success. This year, the kids at KLC worked harder than ever, partnering with LCMC (Lewis & Clark Music Coalition, another student group on campus that organizes shows) to raise more funds and thus bring more bands and more publicity to the show. I couldn’t believe the company I was in all day, rushing water bottles back and forth and muling bands’ equipment from place to place. The highlights for me were Stag Bitten, a female-fronted punk threesome from Portland. They were such nice, down-to-earth people, and had incredible energy when they performed. I also loved Experimental Dental School, a girl-on-drums-boy-on-guitar duo from Portland whose sound is in the vein of Deerhoof. They have an entire album for free to download on their website, so check them out. Another band to keep an eye on was The Whines, a three-piece 90’s-ish bad-A pillar of rock’n'roll angst. Finally, it was an honor to be able to watch, let alone get up close and personal, with Pierced Arrows, a band comprised of three members- two of which used to make up the majority of the legendary punk rock Portland native, Dead Moon. It was an exhausting but extremely memorable day. You will all have to make it next year for Sunburn ‘10!

2. Classes

I have registered for my Fall term classes and I am so excited for it to come now! On the agenda: French 201, Culture and Power in the Middle East, American Novel Now, Gender and Sexuality in the US, and Yoga! I have also officially declared my major in Sociology/Anthropology in light of the fact that I am planning to be the SAAB representative for the So/An department next year! This means that I will sit on a board of 12 (?) other students who review proposals by other students for research grants. SAAB presents students with an amazing opportunity as undergrads to go out on the field and put the things they’ve been learning about  to practice- without the limitation of lack of funding. It’s really exciting to be able to hear about some of the amazing things LC students are doing, and to be able to support that.

3. Campus Life

Yesterday, my future room mate (my dear friend Hanna, who takes many of the amazing photographs I post on here) and I went to the circus that was the housing lottery. We have decided to reside in Forest Hall, in Upper Alder 204 with a lovely view of the forest on south campus! I am overjoyed because nearly the entire floor is occupied by friends of ours- except for a few rooms that are reserved for freshman. Perhaps we shall be neighbors?

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Over the weekend, my friends Lauren and Hayley played a show (as their band Cindergarden) with Portland’s Wampire in KLC. Good times were had by all. Also, we turned it into a costume party, the theme being “domesticated animals”. I was an ostrich. This past weekend was also Admitted Students weekend and I’m sure I saw many of you about campus. Summer is fast approaching… I am filled with anticipation.

Bonne chance to all, and thanks to those of you who have emailed me. I am happy to answer your questions about the school as best as I can. If you feel so inclined, shoot me an email about nationally celebrated holidays unrecognized by the federal government, your experience on campus if you visited over the weekend, or anything else that suits your fancy. kkucera@lclark.edu

20 April 2009

OK stop DoTs!

Hey pals, how are you?  I am well.  Finals are approaching, that’s good-ish.

I’ve been house-hunting with my friends Nick and Amy.  We plan to live in Portland over the summer and live off campus next year (they’re graduating, so I guess they don’t really have a choice).  That, school projects, and work are basically all I do right now.  The last few weeks of the year are always really busy for events because all the clubs and organizations who procrastinated on their event planning try to have one more big event before the semester ends.  The sound techs have lots of work coming up.

Campus has been pretty sunny lately.  I recommend you come for a prospective student tour soon if you’re planning to.  The closer to finals, the less every-day-life the place becomes.  Regardless, even if you do end up touring during finals or the Summer, it’ll still be worth it to come look.

I’m sure we’ve been inundating you with literature and phone calls and who-knows-what about how sweet LC is, so I’ll spare that here and offer this: here are some tips I have for you guys as you decide where to go to college (whether it’s at LC or elsewhere):

1.  Tour the campus.  You’ll get the spiel about how great the place is, but even better, you’ll still be able to assess for yourself if it’s the kind of place you’d want to spend 4 years.  Take things you hear on a tour with a small grain of salt.  I know nothing you hear on the L&C tour will be a lie, but I also know that some things are different than they’re portrayed.

2.  If you know which area of studies you’re interested in, attend a class in that discipline during a campus visit.  If you don’t know, attend one of the larger 101 classes so you can get a feel for what a “normal” lecture is like at that school.  Furthermore, if you do know what you want to study, it can be helpful to contact a professor or two from that department and ask any questions you may have about studies in that particular field.

3.  Do not break college policy during a campus visit.  Just don’t, please.  If you’re caught, it will at least lead to an embarrassing conversation and at most can get you trespassed, un-admitted, and/or arrested.

4.  Contact random students on Facebook or via e-mail.  While I’d like to think (and I do think) that anyone you contact, college-selected or otherwise, will tell you the truth about the campus, it was very useful during my college search to circumvent the usual channels for contacting “real” students at the school and just just did a Facebook search for students at L&C.  You’ll get varied responses, and some people will be more willing to help you than others, but it’s a good way to get unfiltered information about life on campus.

5. Negotiate financial aid.  This is not to say that you should play hardball with your aid, but rather that if money is the thing stopping you from enrolling at your first choice, contact their Financial Aid department, explain the situation, and ask for an appeal.  Some places are more willing than others to talk, but it never hurts to ask. I know L&C’s Student Financial Services department has been willing to hear out my family during times that my Financial Aid package wasn’t meeting our needs.  I would assume that most colleges of similar size and type to L&C would be similar.  Most people don’t know that a financial aid package is not always automatically final.

6. READ THE STUDENT HANDBOOK.  You can almost always find the college’s handbook by searching its website.  Sometimes it’s a bit hard to track down, but it’s definitely worth looking at.  Luckily, L&C’s is right out in the open. Regardless what you hear about life on a campus, it’s good to know what the school’s rules *actually* are.  You don’t need to become extremely familiar with all aspects of the college’s policies, but I highly recommend at least reading the Drug and Alcohol Policy (even if you are entirely substance-free, this policy will likely affect you directly or indirectly in some way while you’re at college).  Some other policies that may be of interest: Parental Notification Policy, Search and Seizure Policy, Smoking Policy, Technology Policy (aka “what does the college do when they get a Cease and Desist from the MPAA because you’re a media pirate” policy), Skateboarding Policy, Parking policy.  While there certainly are policies that exist but are not as enforced as others (I am not referring to our Drug & Alcohol policy, by the way), it is good to know the rules by which you’re agreeing to abide upon enrolling.

7. (once you’ve selected a school) Be HONEST on your housing/roommate application (and turn it in quickly!).  I can’t speak for all schools, but I know that at L&C, the only people who see that sheet are the staff in the Student Life department who are responsible for pairing up roommates (usually the RDs do this).  If you smoke, say so.  If you’re messy, say so.  If you like to stay up until three AM, say so.  If you intend to “party,” say so.  Furthermore, if you have an aversion (even a politically incorrect aversion) to interacting with a certain type of person, it can be beneficial for you to volunteer that information on your roommate selection sheet (and note that you are volunteering it solely for the purpose of housing selection).  At L&C, That information stays private and will not be used against you in any way.  The more the Residence staff know about your habits and personality, the better fit they can find for you.

Hope that post helps.

now playing in my ears: “Attack On Tir Asleen” by Kane Hodder

16 April 2009

Soo Why LC???

So remember when I said I would be crying this week because of the amount of work I have to complete… Well although those tears haven’t made there way down my face as yet, I’m pretty sure  by tomorrow afternoon my eyes will be all puffy lol….. The one thing I dread about classes are presentations. I get too nervous and I stutter and once I’ve lost my train of thought I start to blabber and say things that make absolutely no sense. Well “luckily”, I have a presentation on Friday (that I haven’t started preparing for as yet he  he) and I have a midterm tomorrow…. The joys of college.. I know..At least for the presentation I have my other group members so the work isn’t entirely on me and for my test tomorrow my friends are going to be studying all night!!! So with the help of others I might just succeed. This week I’ve compiled a list/ my top ten reasons for attending LC… I thought they may be helpful for you all since I know this is the crucial decision making period for L&C…. I’ll list my top 10 reasons and hopefully you’ll see why it is such a great school. Hopefully you haven’t heard all of these before…… Oh if you would like to email me.. I received a few last semester but none this year… Please email me any questions at all… I like reading emails they make me happy for some reason lol… tfm@lclark.edu.. Oh and Congratulations to all of you who have been accepted to Lewis and Clark!!

In no particular order………

1.       I GO HERE!!!! YAY ME =)

2.       Liberal Arts= Helpful to those who are unsure about what they want to do as a career… Already picked one?? So did I before I came here, but studying different fields while getting my degree in Communications has been extremely interesting…. Doing the same thing all the time is BORING!!

3.       Approximately 70% of Lewis & Clark Students receive some form of Financial Aid… In addition to that after your freshman year you can apply for tons of scholarships that the school has to offer.

4.       THE CITY PORTLAND!!! It’s not only just a gorgeous campus but it’s also in a fantastic city. Portland has something to offer for everyone…. one of my favourites.. their restaurants… Great for dates (Not that I would know) lol…

5.       The People: Ok this is my story… I felt at home as soon as I stepped foot on this campus for the first time… Everyone.. and I mean EVERYONE was so hospitable.. At first I thought it was an orientation thing.. but no they really are like that in real life… Also everyone’s so different here you’re bound to find a group of friends that who you’ll probably be calling your family for the next 4 years.

6.       State schools start all the way in September and take too much time out of the summer… Plus Winter Break is shorter… Uhmm need I say more??

7.       The small classes…Honestly one of my favourite things about LC… Although yes it is true you can rarely skip classes for most courses.. You’re not just a number here you’re your own person.. Which to me makes an enormous difference and is especially helpful in terms of discussions and trust me that is something we all need to know for the working world.

8.       51 countries are represented at Lewis and Clark. We’re like one big melting pot J

9.       Overseas Programs… I’m going to Australia in the Spring of 2010… and I never thought I would be able to say that….

10.   Because at Lewis & Clark you can be you and not worry about it!!!

15 April 2009

Another Wednesday.

Unfortunately I’ve caught the bug that has been circulating through the school for the last couple of weeks. My roommate seems to be getting better, but I woke up yesterday and today with an incredibly sore throat and intense congestion. My days are pretty full as it is, so waking up sick makes it a little bit harder to get through the day. The thing about college is that sometimes you get so involved in things that by taking a day off it really throws things off. Hopefully I’m feeling better by the weekend for racing, but until then I’ll just plow through.

This weekend we were down in Eugene racing on Dexter Lake. For the first time in the last 10 years it was sunny and warm, and none of the races were delayed due to wind! It made the day very efficient, and all around things were good. Our team placed at least one boat in the top 3 in 7 out of our 8 races, which is not too shabby! This coming weekend we’ll be heading up north to Lake Stevens, Washington for our conference championships. We switched some things up in our line-ups this week and I’m interested to see how that changes things in racing. I personally am really excited because the lake is about 10 minutes from my house so my whole family is coming! My grandpa is coming to watch too which I’m really pumped about because after about 9 years of my family being involved in crew, this will be the first time he’ll be able to see any of us race! I’m looking forward to it being a great weekend (and hopefully sunny, too!)

Today we have our Community Outreach program with SAAC down the hill at Riverdale Grade School. We’re joining in on their PE class for the last two classes of the day, which are kindergartners and 3rd graders! Even though I’m not feeling 100%, I still think that playing games with kindergartners for an hour will be a refreshing break.

As always, feel free to send me any questions or comments at asbridge@lclark.edu. My coach has been connecting me with some future prospective rowers which has been great, but I’m also more than happy to chat with anyone else as well!

Later,
Jess

15 April 2009

a lovely sliver of citrus

gumball machine in my uncle’s office at his churchbleeding heartsMuch like unearthing that pint of mango sorbet I stored in the communal freezer three months ago and forgot about until last week, the realization that we only have two and a half more weeks of classes is simultaneously terrifying and exhilarating. I have a superhuman amount of work to pack into the remainder of the month, and then I’m gonna hit summer running.

these have an unspellable name but they’re so prettyEaster eggs I dyed with my familyFor Easter weekend, my parents rescued me from campus and drove me home. I stayed there just long enough to get a whole night of puppy snuggles on the couch before my mom, dad, and I committed ourselves to the five hour drive to Wenatchee, Washington to celebrate flowers and eggs and chocolate with the extended family. On Saturday, I experimented all sorts of techniques for dying eggs. Turns out, salt works much better with watercolours than it does with vinegar-based dyes. Oil makes fun things happen, though.

Passover Seder tablewe were the Frogs tableunleavened Matzah bread, a boiled egg, horseradish, and parsley for SederPassover roughly coincided with Easter, and Lewis & Clark hosted its annual Seder dinner on Tuesday. Any on-campus event that serves all its attendees cheap sugary wine in the name of religion is a successful event in my books. We sang songs in horribly mangled Hebrew, trippingly recited prayers and paragraphs, cheered for a skit featuring camelbacks and slang, and whapped each other with stalks of green onion. Each table was decorated for the plagues from the Passover story, and my table had frogs! (I walked out with an eyepatch from the “Darkness” table, too.) My favourite part of Seder is the orange slice on the Seder plate – the story behind the orange is that some significant and misogynistic Jewish man at some point in history got miffed and basically snarked, “There will be women rabbis when there is an orange slice on the Seder plate!” So, of course, we include a lovely sliver of citrus to remind ourselves that women are allowed to be rabbis now.

The intersections of gender, history, and religion are particularly fascinating to me. I just found out that I have been selected to Co-Chair the Gender Studies Symposium next year, and one of the potential Symposium themes we discussed at our meeting yesterday (we start planning the GSS over a year in advance) was gender and religion. We’re also toying with gender and psychology or medicalization or disability or health or…

I am meeting with one of my potential academic advisors next week to really get the ball rolling on my self-designed Gender Studies major plan. Class registration is this week, and as a sophomore I get shafted as far as registration priorities go. The Astronomy class I want to get into already has a waiting list, and the Spanish class I need has only three empty chairs. Basically, I’m a little bit doomed. I don’t get to register until tonight. Hopefully if I make the waitlists and if I show up to classes on the first day looking all eager and studious, the professors will let me stay. Most professors at Lewis & Clark are pretty good about letting extra students into their classes if you can pass yourself off as Serious Cat.

Mallard ducks chillin’ on campusThis upcoming weekend is what is colloquially known as “Prospie Weekend,” although I think Admissions calls it “Admitted Students Day” or something else official. I’m going to be caught up conducting a parade of extra tours swollen with more people than usual; trying to condense my final Qual Methods project into a cohesive 15-page ethnography; and spinning a half-hour presentation for Monday out of my final 8-page Judaism paper that I haven’t even started writing yet. Oh, and it’s Stumptown Comic Fest this weekend, which I will probably miss since I’ll be drowning in tours and homework. I’m looking forward to having no homework come May!

You got thoughts, I got ‘em too, let’s juxtapose them and see what happens. maisha@lclark.edu

15 April 2009