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A year fits into just three little boxes…

My friends, here we are in the fabled last week of my first year of college. With nearly all of my finals under my belt, I am sitting in my room, watching my roommate pack up everything on her side of the room, while all of my stuff is img_0019.JPGstrewn about my half. To think that I will have to condense all the physical evidence of the milestones of this year into three measly cardboard boxes to return to in the fall is a task both daunting and cathartic.

Since I’d really like to never have to think about finals week again, I’ll just tell you that they went alright and I am anticipating mostly good, and a couple satisfactory, grades. I’m just so glad to have my sanity back!

CB1CB2CB3CB4CB5Last weekend was kind of the last hoorah for me and my friends, all together at LC and in Portland before we had to plunge into the murky depths of finals, packing up, and shipping out. It began on Thursday, the last day of classes, with Critical Blast. Critical Blast is an annual event at LC to celebrate the last day of classes, the coming of summer, the year in review- bands play, kids BBQ, tie-dye, get rid of junk and clothing accumulated throughout the year, pick up other peoples’ swapped junk and clothing, and do a lot of hugging and reminiscing and skipping and dancing and enjoying life. Many of my friends performed and the event went late into the night, moving into the Co-Op after it got cold and dark.

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The next day, Friday, was May 1 and my boyfriend, Dylan (who is currently a sophomore) and several of his friends were all  signing leases on the houses they will be living in over the summer and next fall. While some upper classmen choose to stay in the apartments on campus, many who have grown comfortable in Portland choose to move off campus into the city to pursue the opportunity to assimilate more into Portland culture. Dylan and his four roommates/friends found an adorable house in the Hawthorne area of southeast PDX. That night, after grabbing some burritos at Cha Cha Cha’s on Hawthorne Blvd, my friends Natalie and Lauren and I walked over to the house for a housewarming party (for which I had baked some delicious banana bread). Many of our friends came over for the shindig, as well as some juniors and seniors who live in the area, and we danced the night away.  The house is in such a great location- right off of the main strip of Hawthorne which has lots of cool little shops, cafes and restaurants as well as a generally hip young vibe. Let’s just say the clerks at Fred Meyer are much more likely to look like they walked out of a Wes Anderson film here. Many of my friends ride their bikes between here and campus, but it’s also really easy to catch the 14 Trimet bus downtown after taking the RAZ shuttle from campus, and vice versa.

On Friday afternoon I will head to the airport, though not to fly home this time. I’ve decided to spend the summer with my sister at her home in Pittsburgh, PA. I got a paid internship with a historical society there that is working on archiving photos of Pittsburgh’s history of the steel industry. I’ll also be working some kind of serving job or barista job to make some money to be spent on books, bus passes and other such necessities in the fall. One thing I am looking forward to in the Pitt, besides spending time with my lovely sis, brother in law, and niece, is a trip my sister planned to go on a ghost tour in Virginia! CreeepyAWESOME. On a more serious note, it will be strange not going home- three months is a long time and, being the California girl I am, summer just doesn’t seem like summer without spending days at the beach, getting salty and sandy and toasted in the sun, hiking the golden hills, visiting Big Sur, bonfires, camping… yet I am embracing this time as a new adventure, an urban summer is something I have never truly experienced. I will miss my friends at home, but I have devised that this is all part of my diabolical plan to get them the heck up here to Portland for a visit next semester! I will be returning to Portland in mid-August, a couple weeks before school starts again to reunite with all my friends staying here over the summer and hopefully to make a trip out to the Oregon coast! While it isn’t the golden paradise back home, the Pacific ocean is the Pacific ocean, and, in my experience, it is life-giving tonic for the soul.

I have so enjoyed sharing my experiences with you all as I have grown, changed, been challenged and inspired, discovered and established myself here in the Lewis & Clark and Portland communities. I do not know yet if I will be writing next year, but please know that anytime over the summer and even beyond you are welcome to email me with your questions, concerns, favorite Dan Savage quotes, the excitement of bubble bath rediscovery, or if you happen to know of anything cool to do in Pittsburgh…

2657_175229050436_743660436_6432579_4029659_n_2.jpgLove always, Kathryn kkucera@lclark.edu


5 May 2009