April 2009

my recycling bin is so impressively full that i feel it would be a cop-out to empty it now

Hi Real Life readers!

Video is incoming.  I’m having some technical difficulties (misplaced an important cable), so in the morning, I’ll track down an SD reader, cut my footage together, and hopefully have the video posted by the afternoon.


This week’s video topic is the game “Ninja,” which an increasingly large group of students play by the reflecting pool every Saturday at midnight.  More info on that when I stop failing at technology.

Spring Break came and went.  It was pretty enjoyable for me; I hung around on campus for a few days, just sort of chillin’—like you do—then on Monday I went to the hospital for a followup with my doctors from my little spleen debacle.  Good news (if you like me): I am recovering as expected and will almost definitely be fine!  After the appointment, I packed up my laptop and a huge pile of dirty clothes and headed back to the greater-Tacoma area.  Laundry at LC costs money (like it does at most colleges, except Whitman *shakes fist*), so I find that it’s worth it to lug my clothes back home with me if I’m planning on making the trip.  It really only saves like $1.75, but it makes me feel like I’m beating the system so I do it anyway.  So, I spent the rest of the week hanging out at my house, loving my family’s many pets (3 cats: Hidey, Cleocatra, and Quatriéme; 2 dogs: Wilbur and Padmé Queen of Naboo Young [nerd alert]; and 1 Netherland dwarf rabbit: Bootsie).  On Sunday, I waited at home until around 11:00pm, at which point I picked up my pal Angela from the Sea-Tac airport and we drove back to school with another friend, Dylan; we arrived at around 3 AM.  So, that’s how my week started!

That evening, my friend Jess and I went downtown for some füd at Noodles and Company, located across the street from Powell’s Books.  After the slurping, we attended the Ratatat concert at the Crystal Ballroom.  I had never seen them perform, and I had a great time.  Others who remembered seeing them play smaller venues Ratatat performing at Crystal Ballroom.  Photo credit: David M Nelson (flickr.com/photos/davidmnelson)were less impressed.  Oh, well.  Perhaps the most entertaining part of the evening was that I ended up giving 9 people rides back to school in my station wagon… five of whom I’d never met.  So, that was cool (for an interesting tidbit of Oregon traffic law, check out ORS 811.215.5).

Since then, I’ve mostly been studyin’.

There was a debate/information session for the candidates of the upcoming student government election tonight.  It had a pretty nice attendance, and there were a lot of great questions, many directed to candidates of the only contested office: Chief Justice of Peer Review Authority (a group of students who, in lieu of an administrator, have the authority to hear cases regarding policy violations and assign appropriate sanctions).  The most hotly contested topic of the evening was the issue of whether or not to allow RAs to run for—or be appointed to—positions on PRA.  I’ll leave the political opinions out of this post, since it’s ultimately up to student vote, but I’ll just say that there were many arguments made for and against such a stipulation.

Gearing up for some busy times ahead!

Credit where credit’s due: the Ratatat photo used in this post was taken by Eugene-based photographer David M. Nelson.  Check out his Flickr.

Now playing in my ears: “The Refrain” by Extra Life

2 April 2009

April Showers Bring…More Rain.

The countdown has begun as we dive into our last month of classes! I’m not sure if I should be excited or stressed at this point, so I’ve settled on somewhere in the middle. Though I can see many drafts and rewrites in my (not so distant) future, I’m still standing on solid ground when it comes to grades and classwork. Besides finishing two long papers (15 pages and 3,000 words) and learning 34 pages of Brahms in German, my weeks ahead don’t really look half bad. This is more than I can say for most of my peers though as I can see some of them on the edge of implosion from stress levels. But no worries! Everyone always tends to get through the final weeks faring better than they originally expected. It’s just how things work.

I’m getting ahead of myself though. We all were given a much needed reprive last week as Spring Break descended upon us. I, on the other hand, would have to categorize my Spring Break as being…incredibly demanding and draining!! I got to spend the first weekend up north in Seattle, but come Tuesday morning it was back to campus. The crew team made up the majority of students on campus last week as we upped our work load to two-a-day practices down on the Willamette. We made some huge strides in terms of speed and cohesiveness, but that of course comes at a cost; time not spent on the water was time spent eating or in a deep sleep. Though my body still feels a bit exhausted, I had no homework and enjoyed the mindless repetition of eat, sleep, row. On Saturday we travelled up to Tacoma for our first race of the season. All around we had a pretty solid showing (despite the rain’s attempts to drown us all). For more details on the week/race/day to day practices, visit the L&C Crew Blog! I also hosted a prospective rower/student over the break. She had already committed to L&C but it was great to see her get so excited after seeing the school itself. I could also tell that this school would be a perfect fit for her and I’m looking forward to having her as a teammate next year!

Tonight I’m planning on watching my roommate perform in the French play “On Purge Bébé”. I went to see the same friend perform last year and it was really funny. Though my French language skills are fairly limited and I have already run through the script with her a couple of times, I will still probably only understand the general plotline of the play. Either way, I’m still impressed that they can learn so many lines in another language and I honestly really find that the acting itself is one of the most entertaining parts of the evening.

At this point I’m looking forward to the weekend and our next crew race! L&C is hosting 17 different schools at the NCRC Invitational this weekend at Vancouver Lake and hopefully (knock on wood) the weather holds!! Other than that it’s just business as usual. Feel free to contact me with any random questions or comments at asbridge@lclark.edu

Until later,

1 April 2009

the excuse to avoid showering

The whole ASB group at the BART station. We missed our train.me on a Muni busApril is officially known as the Month of Insanity. I am cowering underneath a lingering midterm, several large final projects and research papers, the AIDS Summit, class registration, and extra tour guiding shifts. Oh, and I have a mysterious disease that has transformed my tonsils into patchy moons. I delivered myself to the on-campus health center for labwork at 8am on Monday morning to find out if I’ve got strep, mono, or tonsillitis, but all results were negative, which equals drink lots of Emergen-C dude, you’ve got a virus.

packaging food at Project Open Handhelping move stuff for AIDS Housing AllianceMaddie helping move a broken vacuum cleaner for AIDS Housing AllianceStacks of wooden frames in a basementa sample Crack Pack, like the ones we assembled for SF AIDS FoundationSpring break was cool, but not exactly a mindless hiatus like I probably needed. I was in San Francisco with eight other LC students on the Alternative Spring Break HIV/AIDS Volunteering trip. Our group spent a portion of every day working with one or two HIV/AIDS-related organizations in San Francisco. Some of the organizations sat us down and told us about what they do and why; others put us to work. I especially liked working with Project Open Hand, where we stocked their on-site grocery center. I started off in the cooler, stacking broccoli! With Project Inform, I got to call health clinics in Georgia and offer each clinic information and resources pertaining to the National HIV Treatments Hotline. With Visual Aid, we descended into the bowels of a gutted SF house to sort and count nearly one thousand rough wooden frames. For our work with AIDS Housing Alliance (or “a-ha!” as it is colloquially known), we helped staff members load and unload a U-Haul with office furniture and knickknacks – they were moving office buildings. At SF AIDS Foundation, we assembled three giant plastic tubs full of “crack packs,” which are Ziploc baggies full of items that can reduce the spread of HIV amongst people who smoke crack. The crack packs are distributed at needle exchange sites, and are part of a “risk reduction” model of aid.

me in the CastroAllison and me trying to work a tire swing at Buena Vista parkWhen we weren’t schlepping boxes or dialing long-distance or sticking things in bags, we explored the city! By the end of the week we were pretty adept at navigating Muni (the public bus system). We did Haight, the Mission District, the Tenderloin District, the Wharf, the Castro, China Town, Japan Town, and Golden Gate Park. It was wonderfully sunny, so it was a bit of a bump to come back to Portland drizzle on Saturday night. Eleven hours was too much time in a van, too, even with Disney songs to accompany us. At rest areas, Isao and I did cartwheels to loosen up.

me on Haight StThe AIDS Summit is eating my life. It’s happening next week, and there’s still a lot to arrange. It’s coming along well, I’m just getting really nervous about how much time I have to pull everything together between now and next Wednesday. Much of the groundwork I laid this year can be used again next year, so hopefully that will ease the process for whomever is planning the AIDS Summit in 2010.

I had the recurrent revelation again that I actually do not want to major in SOAN (Sociology/Anthropology), I really just want to major in Gender Studies. Accordingly, I am talking to both of my advisors about the possibility of self-designing a Gender Studies major. It just makes so much more sense, since as a self-designer I could potentially do an internship with a local organization instead of writing a thesis – thereby launching me into the career world straight off the diving board of graduation. The tricky part is that class registration is next week, so hypothetically I need to have the rest of my schooling figured out by my advising meeting on Thursday of this week.

on a bus in SF. It originally says “Please Move Back.” I like this version better.It’s April Fool’s Day, which became very real to me when I walked into the bathroom at 8am, shower tote in hand and yawn in mouth, to be greeted with all our shower curtains missing. I took probably the fastest shower of my life. Missing shower curtains encourage efficiency! Or an acceptance of body odor. Since, y’know, college kids really need the excuse to avoid showering.

I’m going to go see Wicked with my mom tonight!

Got questions? I’ve got answers! Email me at maisha@lclark.edu.

1 April 2009