Jess Asbridge’s Campus Journal

Oh technology…

Not much new to report since my last post. I soaked my phone in water on accident, making my broken phone count up to two in the past couple of months. It’s an unfortunate event, and it made me realize how dependent I am upon my cell phone. I have also begun to reconsider whether the convenience factor is worth all the trouble they cause.

On the rowing front, things are going quite well. We’re finally out on the water…oh the joy! Unfortunately the cost of this is some frozen limbs post-row, but it’s worth it to finally get back into a boat. Also, because of new class schedules our coach was able to schedule a new practice routine for us, including a later wake up time and the entire practice being well lit, which is a plus for everyone involved. Though I am currently in a war with most of my personal pieces of technology, there is one piece of equipment that I have recently accepted with open arms. The crew team is now in possession of an HD video camera, which we previewed the results of after practice on Monday. The quality of our video is infinitely better, leading to better on land analysis and translating into better technique on the water. All in all, I’m very happy it’s now the spring crew season and things are looking very promising in the months to come.

Choir is also becoming one of my favorite activities. We met for our sectional last night and I feel that I’m getting so much better each time we meet. Our first concert is going to be next Thursday! I haven’t performed (musically) in front of an audience since piano recitals in elementary school, so this will be an exciting experience. We’re performing three pieces, one of which is in Serbian, so I’ve also been trying to memorize some new words this week. I think I’ve got it down though, so I’m really looking forward to our performance.

My roommate’s family is coming to visit this weekend. It will be fun to see them again, as well as meet her sister who lives in Austria. Doesn’t look like it will be too hectic the next week or so; looking happily to just work through my regular routine. As always, send me any questions or ponderings you may have: asbridge@lclark.edu. I’m really good at responding to emails!

Until next time,
Jess

4 February 2009

Getting Down to Brass Tacks

Despite Mother Nature’s pathetic attempt yesterday to trap us all in for another snow day, things are up and running full steam ahead here on campus. We’re working through the second week of classes and already my professors have lovingly given me massive amounts of work. After much debate, I have made the executive decision to take only three academic classes this semester. For my major I’m taking Recent Continental Philosophy as well as a 400-level course on Skepticism. On top of this I snagged a spot in the popular “Rock and Roll Novel” class. When looking at my course load, the phrase “lots of reading” comes to mind, and already I can see that is an understatement. So far things have been really interesting, and I really enjoy all of my professors, including two I’ve never had before. Here is an unintentional brown nosing moment, but I highly recommend all of the philosophy professors to anybody who is interested in the subject. Unlike possible stereotypes, none of these people are boring and stuffy, but instead actively engage students with the materials. I’ve come to the conclusion that my practice of sometimes falling half asleep in class is not because of the class itself, but in fact a direct result of very little sleep and an exceptionally difficult crew workout in the morning.

Speaking of crew, today was our third official practice of the spring. Inclement weather prevented us from being on the water yesterday morning (forming into a giant icicle? no thanks!), so we’ve been tearing it up in the weight room and on the bikes and ergs. For those not well versed in rowing terminology, “erg” is the nickname for the ergometer. This “machine of death” as some affectionately have termed it, is the indoor rowing machine which is set for time/distance/etc which then gives you a number based upon a standardized system telling you how fast you would be going if in a boat. There are many more complexities to this system, and I could go into more depth, but it would take a while. Tomorrow is our first water practice, and I’m really looking forward to it! There is honestly nothing compared to being on the river in the morning, with the sun rising over the city, and feeling the calm intensity of an amazing workout.

Along with my three classes and crew, I’ve also joined the Women’s Ensemble. We had our first sectional practice last night, and it was alot of fun! I’m still really rusty on my sight reading, but I’ll get the hang of it eventually; it’s going to be a nice change of pace from my usual schedule of classes and sports.

That’s it for this post! I’m off to read and most likely snuggle in for a nap. As always, if there is anybody who wants to discuss “the L&C experience”, I’m available via email: asbridge@lclark.edu

Until later,
Jess

28 January 2009

Keep On The Sunny Side

As I sit here at my desk eating Red Vines, I think back on all I have learned (or didn’t learn) over this semester. I feel like my brain might explode from all the philosophical theories, French verbs and significant religious dates. Today and tomorrow are devoted to getting all the mush upstairs turned into a coherent and organized train of thought, which I will then turn around and spit back out into a couple of blue books. Feels to be a daunting task, but I’ve done it before and I know I can do it again. It’s all a matter of getting down to business and focusing in.

On the bright side, my extracurriculars have been a fantastic distraction! Today was the SAAC sponsored Annual Dodgeball Tournament. We had such a great turn out of teams, and the champions of the day were, not surprisingly, the team of coaches! They fought hard through hours of a double-elimination tournament and in the end were victorious. Simultaneously accross the gym, SAAC hosted the first annual athletics Garage Sale. We asked coaches to donate anything that they no longer needed for the sale, and boy did they deliver. Myself and the SAAC co-chair spent the past week collecting and inventorying over 900 items! I would have to say that this was the most successful combination of events that I’ve seen since I’ve been at L&C. Perfectly timed for the holidays, there were tons of students and staff who showed up to peruse through tables of old gear; some of it was even from the late 80’s! The money that we made from the event will be split: some goes to SAAC for funding future events, and the other portion will be added to our coin drive. At last night’s end of the semester SAAC meeting we voted on our coin drive money being donated to the local Boys & Girls Club. We worked with them for the carnival and hope to continue to keep the connection up in the future. By donating our proceeds to them, we’re spreading the good name of L&C in our community, while also supporting a really fantastic group! Check out the athletics and SAAC websites for more details and pictures from these events and more!

Well, my Red Vines are dwindling and I can hear my notebooks calling at me to be reviewed. This is my last post of the semester but I will be back again in January, fresh off a lovely month long break of relaxation!! After Tuesday I will have days on end to answer any emails sent my way. So if you’re reading this and feel like hearing more about L&C or anything I’ve talking about, feel free to email me at asbridge@lclark.edu. Happy Holidays!!

Until Next Year,
Jess

11 December 2008

Final Stretch

One of the greatest things about Thanksgiving this year is that it came at the perfect time. As of today I only have two more weeks on campus until I leave to go back home! Unfortunately it’s also the last two weeks I have with my roomie because she is heading off on the L&C London trip this spring. There is also much to do between now and then. We’re starting to wrap things up in most of my classes; final reading assignments given, term papers starting to be due, etc. Tonight there is a student-athlete mentor/mentee “study break”. We are going to all gather together and give study pointers to our overwhelmed little freshmen mentees, as well as enjoy some fabulous root beer floats! Lewis & Clark does an especially excellent job of providing resources for students who need help academically. There are various centers and groups to help tutor or give advice, along with all of the profs (at least all of mine) available to help with one-on-one issues. I feel like this idea gets promoted quite a bit, but it really is true that you’re not just a number in a system when you go to a small liberal arts school. You can choose to not reach out if you don’t feel you need it, but having all these resources available is immensely helpful either way.

Since I don’t like to dwell on my impending and very nearly mountainous schoolwork, I will recap my lovely Thanksgiving break. On Wednesday after class my roommate, two friends and I left school for our trip home to Seattle. An hour and twenty minutes later, we crossed the border into Washington. Rush hour is not so great, but we had some good mixes of music to listen to in order to kill time. Pictures from the drive: DrivingI-5 North; Portland168 miles; My little sister was spending the holiday in NYC, so my friend (adopted for the weekend) and I had the lovely task of driving her to the airport Thursday morning at 4:30am. Needless to say, there was much napping once we go back to my house. Mostly all of the extended family was packed into our house for the holiday (including an adorable new baby!!) and it was such a fun day! I am a fan of almost all foods Thanksgiving, so I especially enjoyed the whole eating part. It was sad to leave everyone and come back to school, but with such little time between now and the end of the semester I think it will be easy enough to handle.

Until later,
Jess

3 December 2008

Time flies…

…when you’re having fun! This weekend was one of the busiest ones of the semester so far. SAAC hosted two events: powderpuff football and the fall carnival. Also, my best friend and her sister came to visit me for the weekend! On Saturday we went downtown and watched my friend’s boyfriend in the UNC football game versus PSU. It was quite an exciting game, and cheering for the visiting team was an experience. I love football games, but man oh man was it cold!! On Sunday was the much anticipated FALL CARNIVAL! The student-athletes totally rocked this event. We had almost every team represented, and the booths were super creative! Unfortunately someone (not us) dropped the ball on the publicity end and we did not get the participation that we were hoping for. Those 7 kids had a great time though, and the athletes just ended up playing at each others’ booths. Being that it was our first year, I think it was a success because everyone came through enthusiastically on our end. It is going to be an annual event, so I am positive that it will continue to grow. All that time and effort that I put into it seemed at first to just be all for nothing, but then I saw the athletes mingling and playing with the little kids and I knew we had accomplished our goal of bridging some gaps. All in all I had fun putting it all together, and I know that it’s just going to get better as the years go on.

Things on the homework end have been a bit quiet, still. It’s like the calm before the storm. I’ve been assigned two longish term philosophy papers, so I’m going to spend some of my break wrestling with Epicurus, Aristotle and Nozick. On that same note…it’s almost Thanksgiving!! I leave tonight to drive with my roommate and some friends up to Seattle. We’re adopting one of my good friends for the weekend and I’m excited for her to see my life away from L&C. I’m sure I’ll have some interesting stories from the weekend to share. Now I’m off to eat some lunch and pack up all my laundry (I never pass up an opportunity to do free laundry) before I head off to my last class. What am I thankful for? Well, right now I’d have to say my fleece blanket because it’s freezing in my room!

Until later,
Jess

26 November 2008