Jess Asbridge’s Campus Journal

2 days…

…and counting! The days are just flying by as we finish up our last week before spring break. It has been a flurry of tests and papers, and though I’m not quite done with it all I can still feel things wrapping up. The only items left on my “To Do” list are a presentation on Friday and a paper that I will finish on the train ride home. Soon I get to spend a relaxing weekend at home and in Seattle before I head back down to sunny Portland and crew practice over the break. Sadly, our bad weather luck ended up cancelling our dual race against Willamette University, so our first official race will take place in Tacoma, WA on the last Saturday of the break. Though there is alot to be done in the next couple of days/week, the sunshine was out today and it always puts me in a more positive frame of mind about things.

Because of schoolwork piling up, I’ve been keeping my free time relatively low key this past week or so. Every minute that’s not scheduled is time for me to take a deep breath and relax. Though the work has increased, my classes are still as enjoyable as always. I’ve gotten more comfortable with the atmosphere of my Rock and Roll Novel class and find myself speaking my opinion more often. I had a really positive meeting with the professor today as well, so things are going well. I now wish I had time to add an English minor onto my philosophy major, but with only one semester left on campus that’s basically impossible. That to me is a perfect example as to why the whole liberal arts education can be a fantastic idea. In scheduling yourself with a wide scope of different classes, there is bound to be one department or professor that surprises you. It’s also nice to find that my academic interests aren’t as narrow as I was beginning to believe they were.

The Women’s Ensemble is learning four songs by Brahms, and with that comes some interesting language lessons. German is not a language that I have any particular adoration for, yet I’ve decided that it’s fun to learn it in a musical context. Our concert is coming toward the end of April and the pieces are really beginning to fit together in our rehearsals. From what we’ve got so far, I can tell that with a bit more polish these songs are going to be somewhat epic.

I’m now off to bed so that I am rested for my 5:30am wake up and practice. As always, don’t hesitate to send any questions or comments my way at: asbridge@lclark.edu

Until next time,
Jess

18 March 2009

It’s laundry day!

Beautiful sunny skies in Portland today, but unfortunately a bit breezy and chilly. Mt. Hood is an epic sight on days like these. It’s been awkwardly snowing off and on this last week, but I’m holding out for March 20th. I think it should be a natural law that once we hit the first day of spring it’s not allowed to snow anymore. Ok ok, I know it’s unrealistic with living in the Pacific NW and all, but I can always have hope right?

I didn’t post last week because I literally had nothing to say. Sometimes everything in life aligns just right so that you have the most boring week of monotony ever, and that seems to be the case for me recently. But to make up for that, I did have a fabulous end of the week/weekend! It was Parents Weekend, and though my family didn’t come down, it was still fun to see everyone with their parents. Some people look so much like their mom or dad it’s shocking. I also saw quite a few grandparents!! One of the events of the weekend was an a cappella concert featuring The Merry Weathers and Section Line Drive. I’m always very impressed by the talents in our singing groups, and by the talent at our school as a whole! I haven’t made it to one yet, but last year I attended quite a few Open Mic Nights and was blown away with what I saw and heard.

Also this weekend, I had some quality friend time. On Saturday night I found myself in the Forest complex having a dance party with friends. I have to admit that it was one of the best nights I’ve had with them in a while, and we all discovered my roommate’s insane knowledge of 90’s pop music to be the highlight of the evening. It was definitely a nice way to relax as papers are beginning to pile up again. I’ve always found “midterms” to be an odd concept in that they happen at different times for different people, and everyone tends to have more than one round of them. Apparently the term “test” isn’t foreboding enough these days.

Crew practice has been going really well (albeit quite cold), and despite an intense fog on Friday our time on the water is feeling very solid. Things are really coming together nicely, but I can tell people are getting antsy for racing to start. This Saturday will be our first competitive test of the season as we dual Willamette University at our home racecourse of Vancouver Lake. If anyone is in the area that morning, they should come check us out!

Spring break is coming soon and I think everyone on campus is looking forward to this. The crew team has the first three days off as a mini-break before we come back and have two-a-days and another race on the 28th in Tacoma. While I’m planning on heading back up to Seattle for the first weekend, our men’s crew team is planning a three day canoe trip down the Willamette River from Eugene to Portland. Should be an exciting adventure…talk about some team bonding!

That’s all for now! Like my subject says, it’s laundry day today and I have to go get my clean sheets out of the dryer…

Until later,
Jess

11 March 2009

Snow…again

Well you know it’s spring time when you wake up to a fresh layer of snow! The morning row was a bit chilly to say the least. Last weekend though, the weather was more beautiful than I’ve seen it in a while! And friend and I took the train on Friday up to Seattle to see some friends and my family. I spent Saturday morning rowing out of my old boathouse under the gorgeous sunshine, and the view of the Cascades was absolutely breathtaking. Overall it was a great weekend, and really nice to have a change of scenery. My little sister drove us back down to Portland on Sunday (unfortunately we missed the Oscars). My friend had gone up to visit some friends at UW, and she said it made her appreciate the size and community feel of Lewis & Clark.

Being off campus made the weekend fly by, and I can’t believe it’s already Thursday! Last night my roommate and I went out to dinner at a Lebanese place called Habibi. This is probably my favorite place to eat in all Portland; the hummus is delicious, they have vegan/veggie/meat options, and the owner is so awesome! He will always drop by your table to chat and make sure you’re doing alright. The restaurant is located on Morrison and 10th, and I highly recommend it to everyone I meet!!

Same old, same old on the school front these days. I don’t ever have tests because I’m a philosophy major, so I generally just have papers to write all the time. Going out to the Cheesecake Factory this weekend with my group of girls, and it’s always a fun time when we get together!

Until later,
Jess

26 February 2009

Cough, cough, cough

It’s that time again for the campus to come down with every sickness known to mankind. There’s an obvious decline in class attendance, and Fred Meyer might have already run out of Kleenex. It seems that I have come down with a case of sleepitis (though this is mainly caused by my idiotic desire to work out in the morning) and my poor roommate has the early signs of the flu. So we’re all stocking up on Vitamin C and Nyquil, hoping to ride out this wave of the plague relatively unscathed.

On a much brighter note, this weekend brings with it some time off for the crew team. I’m taking the opportunity to train it on up to Seattle to visit my parents/sisters and friends who go to University of Washington (affectionately known as U-Dub). Though I do really enjoy Portland and L&C, it is necessary to sometimes change locations and see some new faces and places. For those searching for a larger city, Seattle is conveniently located 3 1/2 hours north by train or car (if you can hitch a ride). There are also lots of opportunities for students to get off campus in otherways through College Outdoors. I’ve never had the chance to go on one of these trips, but I have many friends who have and they absolutely loved it!! I highly recommend looking into one of these awesome outdoor adventures.

I know I promised some pictures, but all I did last weekend was see a movie and go out to dinner. Not the most exciting or picturesque photos to be sure, but once the weather warms up a bit I’ll be able to show off the beauty of this campus in the spring. Now I’m off to class, and then to choir where we’re learning some new songs for our April concert!

Until later,
Jess

19 February 2009

Hit It, Maestro!

I just got back from the Valentine’s Vocal Concert, and now I have to gush over how awesome it was! I performed three songs with the Women’s Ensemble: Stepsister’s Lament, Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier, and Niška Banja. It was a good mix of fun, morose and scandalous. The a cappella groups, choral ensembles and duets were also all beautifully performed. I never realized that there was this whole little niche at L&C. I also can’t say enough great things about our conductor Kathy FitzGibbon. She is one of the most positive and encouraging people I’ve met here at L&C, and her energy is so contagious. The more I branch out in my activities, the more I’ve noticed that this school is full of some wonderful people.

Crew is in full swing at this point; braving the icy waters of the Willamette by the light of the rising sun. Today I rowed with a girl who was trying out crew for the first time. Though I almost froze to my seat, I was so incredibly impressed by her progress at the end of the practice. She seemed to really enjoy it and I’m so excited to see some new people joining the team! This is going to give us alot of depth, as well as just be a blast.

As a side note, I just have to mention that people who plan on cooking in college should learn how to do so properly before arriving. Tonight we had our third fire alarm due to food being burned to a crisp. Now, I do admit that I have been the culprit once myself (hair straightener incident), but cooking popcorn just seems like a life skill that is to be mastered before the age of 18. It should be a requirement - pop a bag without nuking it and you get into college.

My classes are going well. It’s about time to start turning in the first round of papers, so I’ve been working on some of those in between reading. My favorite assignment so far has been from my Rock and Roll Novel class. We had to make a list of the top 10 best and top 10 worst songs of all time. It turned out to be quite a challenge. Other than that, schoolwork is feeling routine again and like always I’m looking forward to the weekend.

I will attempt to get some pictures of my weekend activities and post them next time. Send me any thoughts or questions!

Until later,
Jess

12 February 2009