Jess Asbridge’s Campus Journal

A List of Lasts

It’s hard to believe that this is the last Real Life post of the spring semester. I can think back on all the days where time seemed to creep by, but now in comparison it’s like everything is in fast forward. I’m not even a senior, but I feel like I’ve been saying: “This is my last [fill in the blank],” quite a bit in the past couple of days, so I decided to compose a short list:

-My last (and first) big choir performance until next spring! Unfortunately I’m still trying to find a recording of our performances, but no luck so far. On Friday we performed in Evans Auditorium on campus for a completely sold out audience! The Women’s Ensemble went first with our “Four Songs” by Brahms, followed by the Orchestra with a piece by Mahler. After intermission I was able to snag an empty chair and watch the Orchestra and Cappella Nova perform Mozart’s Requiem; such an epic and beautiful piece! Sunday’s show at United First Methodist Church downtown was better overall, but also included an impromptu and poorly timed serenade from the church bells during the final intense moments of the Requiem. I hope to maybe join a choir while I’m abroad, and really look forward to singing again at L&C next spring. Our conductor is one of the most amazing people here at L&C, and her energy and enthusiasm for what she does is positively unparalleled. All in all it’s be a fabulous experience.

-My last race of the season! After taking a break last weekend from racing, the crew team heads down to Sacramento on Friday for our final big race of the spring season. This is a huge regatta, including Division I, II, and club teams from up and down the west coast. Our women’s team did not perform as well as we wanted at our conference championships, so we’re gearing up for a mighty throw down come Saturday. I’m also excited because our winning pair is getting the chance to race, and being that this is an important regatta, we’re going to pull out all the stops in showing what L&C crew can do with speed. Plus it’s going to be really really fun!

-My last week of classes until January! Ok, this one isn’t totally true because I will still be a full-time student while abroad in Ireland. But it’s my last week of classes at L&C until my final semester ever, and it’s kind of a big deal. I think that I can say with confidence that I have had the BEST professors of my college career thus far, packed all into this one semester. Through their teaching I have discovered some new things about myself. Even just working on my final papers for philosophy have showed me what I am capable of achieving in my understanding. For once I’m actually proud of the work that I’m turning in, and I hope that my final grades reflect this significant change.

-Final SAAC meeting! At least, as secretary. I’ll miss being this involved in the fall, so I’ll probably make up for it tenfold next spring. I’ve made so many friends and connections through SAAC and working/being in athletics that I can’t imagine what I would be doing without it. It’s sad to see the senior athletes go, but I’m ready to be the one to fill their shoes and leave my mark.

I guess next year as a senior my end of the year list will be more sincere in its finality, but it’s still nice to feel this sense of closure with things. And then that feeling fades and I start thinking how unbelievable it is that this fall I’ll already be a senior, and I’m going abroad, and I’m living off campus in the spring. All this new independence is a bit overwhelming, but at the same time it gives me some really fabulous things to look forward to in the next year.

Other than that, I have no more reflections or parting thoughts. My mind is almost at the point of being completely drained from all the hectic last minute details of these final weeks. As always, I am happy to respond to any questions that people might have about L&C or life in general as a college student! Feel free to contact me at any point during the summer or next year at asbridge@lclark.edu.

Happy Summer,
Jess

29 April 2009

Concerts & Racing & Papers, Oh My!

This will be a short post of highlights, as I have a million things on my plate right now and, sadly, not enough time to relax and reflect! First of all we’ve been experiencing some glorious weather this week and it’s made everything seem much more pleasant. I got to sit outside with one of my classes, and though I got a little sunburned, it was still a beautiful time. Last Wednesday, SAAC held our annual community outreach day - we spent time a Riverdale Grade School playing with kindergartners and 3rd graders in their PE classes. I haven’t had that much fun in a while. I got to be with 12 kindergartners and it was non-stop action for an insane 45 minutes. Those of us that were involved had a blast (including the kids!) and we hope that SAAC can continue to make this possibly a once-a-month event in the future. In crew we had our conference championships on Saturday in Lake Stevens, Washington. It was a bit of a drive, but a good bonding experience for our women’s team. The men ended up placing 3rd overall in the conference, which was awesome, but the women’s side didn’t do as well. A teammate and I had a strong win in the women’s pair event, but other than that it was a day of less than stellar performances. We’re hitting the water hard this week as we have a weekend off from racing and are trying to cut down the team to the final 8 which we will take to California. It’s an exciting week of intrasquad competition, but exhausting for all athletes involved as there are 10 of us fighting for only 8 seats. On the singing front, this weekend is our much anticipated performance weekend!! The Women’s Ensemble is putting our finishing touches on the four pieces by Brahms, and Friday night in the auditorium on campus is our first performance. On Sunday we head downtown to the United First Methodist Church where we will have our final performance. I’m really looking forward to showing all the hard work we’ve put into these, and it’s going to be a fabulous show.

Well I’m off to finish up some reading for Thursday classes and then get to bed. I’m beginning to feel the mental strain beginning to build in these last two weeks, but it’s all a matter of being extra productive and just powering through the home stretch.

Until next week,
Jess

22 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

Hello, Spring!

This weekend was one of the greatest weekends of the semester, but it was also filled with many ups and downs. I’ll start (as I tend to do) with a discussion of the weather. On Saturday we had our race on our “home” course of Vancouver Lake, yet we were delayed for two hours by some intense fog. It was so thick that when standing on the beach, the whole lake was obscured starting about 10 feet in front of your face. Eventually things cleared up and the regatta was off with a bang. And then Mother Nature pulled out all the stops and we were bathed in beautiful sunshine and flat water for most of the day. I actually got a sunburn, if you can believe that!

On the rowing front there were some impressive highlights during the course of the day, but I personally take pride in the Women’s Varsity Four race. We beat a fast Division II team in both the heat and the final and it felt so fabulous to clinch that win being somewhat of the underdog. It got me really excited for future races in that boat. This weekend we head down to Eugene for a regatta that is forecasted to be cold and rainy, but I’m looking forward to some more quality racing nonetheless.

Yesterday I had an unexpected day of rest as my one class was cancelled due to a philosophy conference. I spent all day relaxing, reading for Thursday’s classes, and watching TV. Sometimes it’s a much needed break, especially as we’re winding down into crunch time. My poor roommate woke up sick today and I’m really hoping that she gets better soon because it’s really hard to be sick at the end of a semester. I also hope she doesn’t pass it to me! As for finals, I’m still not too worried, but it’s getting to the point where all my papers are starting to form a pile in front of me. 

There are also two SAAC events this month that should be great successes. The first I’m currently working on with my co-chair, it’s a community outreach program at the local grade school. We’re planning on taking L&C student-athletes down the hill next Wednesday to spend PE class time playing games with the kids. I think everyone involved will have alot of fun at this event! SAAC is also planning a tournament of “Pio Pong” during one of our reading days. Essentially it is a single elimination tournament styled like the popular game of beer pong but played with sports drinks. The whole day if focused on promoting healthy living, so we’re also bringing in a speaker to talk about making healthy and smart decisions. Not only is it going to be very valuable information to hear, it’s going to be an exciting event with a positive and fun spin on healthy lifestyles.

That’s all for now - off to choir rehearsal! We’re really getting into the nitty gritty of these Brahms pieces, and it’s sounding awesome.

Until later,
Jess

9 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,
Jess

1 April 2009