Jess Asbridge’s Campus Journal

An Accordian And A Saxophone

It’s another typical fall day in Oregon: chilly and foggy. I don’t mind it too much though because I love being able to wear my warm and cozy clothes. You can tell that we’re moving into winter though because there are barely any leaves left on the trees these days. Luckily L&C is immersed in Evergreen trees, and they live up to their name quite nicely.

Saturday was the much anticipated Fall Ball. It was held at the Crystal Ballroom, which I had never been to before, but it was a fantastic venue for a dance because the floor bounces! Everyone agrees that it was so much better than OMSI last year. And most people love an excuse to get all dressed up, so that was fun too. I have some friends on Activities Congress and I know it was somewhat stressful to put it all together, but in the end they hosted a great event (Crowd of Dancers). My advice for those of you new to L&C is, even if you think you’re so over the whole school dance thing…nobody’s too cool for Fall Ball, and if you get your friends to go with you it’s a blast (Me and a friend).

Sunday was a homework day for me. I’ve had alot of little things to do on top of regular work, but it still feels like I’ve been having a pretty low key couple of weeks. Tonight I sign up for my last three classes for next semester. In my first round pick I got this really cool class called The Rock and Roll Novel. At least two of my other classes will be philosophy courses because I’m starting to finish up my major, but my last class is still a mystery to me – I’ll decide tonight based on whatever is available. Every year I make the mistake of finding a bunch of really interesting classes before registration, but they inevitably get chosen by people registering before me, so I usually end up with some unanticipated electives. It always works out just fine though, so I’m not worried in the least.

I thought I’d also share some fabulous news! I have been working with the school to get a non-L&C study abroad program approved, and since I’m going senior year, I also had to petition some graduation requirements. Well, I heard on Monday that everything has been approved and I get to go abroad!!!! I’ll be studying in Galway, Ireland for fall semester at the national university there. I’m so happy, I can’t even put it into words. It’s going to be fantastic!

Last little note: on Friday night I was working in my room and some guy was standing in the parking lot playing the saxophone. I thought it was a bit random, but he was pretty good so I was enjoying it. Then another guy comes along with his accordion. Before I knew it, they were playing together outside my window! I couldn’t help but laugh at such an odd occurrence and think that L&C is such a quirky school sometimes.

Don’t hesitate to shoot me an email if you want to hear more about these happenings or others: asbridge@lclark.edu

Until later,
Jess

19 November 2008

The ABCs of Activities.

I realized today that there is too much alphabet soup on this campus. In an effort to make speaking and writing more convenient, we have shortened everything down to just a few letters. But I happen to be a proud member of one of these groups, and my letters are SAAC. This stands for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and it is made up of at least two representatives from each of our 19 varsity sports. I represent the women’s crew team, obviously, but I am also the group’s secretary. Basically my jobs include taking meeting minutes, sending out emails and updating our fabulous SAAC website. We act as the liaison between student-athletes and everyone else, as well as put on events throughout the year. We have a dodgeball tournament, host BBQs at football and soccer games, and put on a community outreach event, among other things.

I believe that it is an important part of being a student to get involved in anything you can. There are so many groups on campus that provide these opportunities that pretty much any interest is covered, and I haven’t done this but I’m pretty sure it’s relatively easy to start your own group too! One piece of sage advice that I would give new students: GET INVOLVED! Whatever it is that you want to do, it is way more fun when you do it with a group of people. It may seem lame or scary or whatever at first, but in retrospect you’ll regret not joining in. I got hooked into SAAC last year with the promise of free pizza every two weeks. As an athlete (or even as a college student in general) how could I pass that up? I’m now an integral part of the group and spend a lot of my time helping plan the fall carnival for our community outreach event. As scary as this sounds, I sometimes even have dreams about it…..maybe I’m too involved? Either way, it’s something that I enjoy putting time into and it has made this year much more hectic but also much more fun!

At this point I’m in a lull schoolwork-wise but there’s still the impending doom of term papers, tests and then…….dun dun dun FINALS! Seems crazy that the time has just flown by and we’re almost halfway through the year. I can’t wait to see what the spring will bring, but right now I’m just focused on Thanksgiving break. We’re adopting one of my friends for the weekend and a bunch of my family members are coming into town. It’ll be interesting to see how we’re going to fit 14 of us (plus one baby) into the dining room. It’s going to be great! Until then, though, I’ve got about two weeks ahead of me filled with plans and homework. Despite the lovely rain and grey weather, I’m attempting to keep a positive attitude about it all.

Later,
Jess

11 November 2008

Welcome back, rain!

I think I’m understating when I say that this has been a crazy week so far! To begin with…Halloween. I’ve decided that Halloween is just an excuse for people to wear spandex or a cape and not be judged for it. Personally, I wear spandex almost everyday for crew, so I can understand the appeal to that one. Unfortunately it was raining, so most people didn’t wear their costumes to class, but I did actually see a few creative ones throughout the day. There is a Costume Contest every year and this year one of the swimmers won as Michael Phelps. I say props to him for wearing a Speedo all day long and not freezing! That evening my roommate and I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer and ate candy. I do believe we had one of the calmest nights, but it was still a good way to wrap up the week.Saturday was filled with exciting sporting events. In the morning I drove out to Blue Lake Regional Park to watch my best friend compete in the Big Sky Conference Cross Country Championships. I haven’t watched her race since middle school, so it was really awesome that she got to travel out to Portland to race and I got to be there. It was rainy and blustery, but was so fun to watch. I also got to spend time with her family, which also means another free lunch! Yay! Later that day some friends and I drove down to George Fox to watch the L&C volleyball team take on the George Fox Bruins (full game recap). And man oh man, it was one of the most intense games I’ve ever seen! In case you’re unfamiliar, volleyball plays the best 3 out of 5 sets, so when George Fox won the first two sets we were looking for our girls to make a big comeback. And that is exactly what they did. After winning the third set, you could just see it build their confidence and they pounded on the other team with a fury for the last two sets. I’m pretty sure all of our fans lost our voices from all the screaming and cheering. I don’t think much of the student body has any interest in our sports, but in a way this makes the community of athletes so much tighter and more supportive of each other. I transferred from a DI school where the athletes were given money to play, and our basketball team was treated like gods. I think one of the fantastic things about playing for a DIII school is that we’re not out there for the money or (especially at L&C) the glory. We play for the love of our individual sports, and I think this was shown by the volleyball team on Saturday night.

Though I do love sports, sometimes I actually do other things too. I didn’t have much homework on Sunday so my roommate and another friend and I went shopping for Fall Ball dresses. Last year Fall Ball was at OMSI, and I had a blast! It is hosted by our Activities Congress, and I think this year they’ve got the kinks worked out and they are going to put on a great event. It’s going to be held at the Crystal Ballroom, and I’ll do my best to put up pictures afterward. I think that most of the student body would like to think that they were “too cool” for a school dance, but Fall Ball is something that most people have a pretty good time at.

My last exciting event happened last night. As everyone knows it was the election, and the majority of the L&C student body supported Obama. I didn’t even have to watch the reports to know that Obama had won because our school just went nuts. I live across from Templeton, and after everything was announced, people came pouring out, screaming and cheering and running around. I heard someone say today that, “it was the most historical election ever and we got to make it happen! That’s so cool.” and I think that sums it up the best.

Until later, Jess

5 November 2008

Out and about

     The great thing about living near downtown Portland is the proximity to basically anything fun you might want to do. It opens up so many opportunities and adventures, being able to get off campus. During the crew season I get to be on the river every morning, and that in itself makes my campus experience so much larger. My parents came down this weekend to watch our races, and therefore I got a free lunch on Sunday! We went to the OG (Olive Garden), and I’m sure you can all attest to the fact that the breadsticks are one of the best things in life. That same night some friends and I went out to dinner for a friend’s 20th birthday. This particular friend is from the great state (or country) of Texas, and all she has been craving for a couple of weeks is a really good steak. Thus, her mom paid for all five of us to get steak dinners at the Chart House. The restaurant is situated on the hill and overlooks the river and the Sellwood area. All I can say is that it was pretty much an amazing meal with some fantastic friends. Eating out is one of the better reasons to get off campus for me. It doesn’t take all day, but it’s a good change of pace from the usual dining. This weekend my friends and I are planning to drive to George Fox for the LC volleyball game. My roommate is on the team, and they are doing so well that we figured it would be fun to go cheer them on. I will try to post pictures from the game next week. Though I do enjoy campus life, it’s always nice to mix it up a little and go on some adventures. It’s not just limited to upperclassmen with cars though; transportation in Portland affords a good opportunity for getting off campus. Between the RAZ, the MAX, streetcars, and many walking accessible venues there is no way that you couldn’t find something fun to do downtown.

     As mentioned earlier, I had some crew races this weekend. We finished up our weekend with two back to back regattas, the Charlie Brown (hosted by LC) and the Portland Fall Classic, in which juniors, masters and collegiate teams all competed. Each of these were approximately 5k in length. Both Saturday and Sunday our team represented L&C very well. Our novice rowers proved that, yes, they are in fact bad asses, by winning multiple races. Our varsity teams also faired quite well both days and held our own against some larger crews. This means that we are going to have some great depth and competition this spring! For more detailed info about the team and its happenings from our head coach, visit the Pio Crew Blog 

     Here’s a picture of our varsity women’s four from the Sunday’s Portland Fall Classic. Though it was windy and the water was choppy, we still ended up finishing first! All in all it was a really fun race and we had an awesome time out on the water.

Women’s Varsity 4+

Later, Jess

29 October 2008

Layers make life warm.

Like the rest of the student body, I am currently in the depths of my midterms and I can definitely feel it taking a toll on me. I would have to say that my most difficult midterm so far is from one of my philosophy courses. Surprise surprise, right? For the most part, when I read Plato I tend to feel that he just needs to get to the point. But that’s the way it is with those crazy old philosophers. Thankfully we’re moving into new material which I understand a little bit better. Overall my classes are really interesting and like I said before, I’m really looking forward to next semester! (If you want to know more specifically about the classes I’m taking, feel free to shoot me an email at: asbridge@lclark.edu)

Sadly, we are in our last week of crew practice, but it is going quite well so far! Yesterday we did pieces on the erg (indoor rowing machine) with the novice (brand new rowers) women and I was so impressed! These girls took a huge step in their progress towards being fast, and I think they are really ready to race this weekend. I think everyone else on the team is feeling the anticipation as well. I know I am for sure; my last midterm is due on Friday, so I’m looking forward to a good weekend of races and relaxation.

On a different note, I think I can officially say that IT’S FALL!! I actually had to break out my wool jacket yesterday. It’s such a beautiful time of year in Portland. Though I’ll have to admit that I do miss all the amazing colors and mounds of snow from my freshman year experience of a New England fall and winter. The mornings are getting quite chilly, and it’s just a matter of time before our boats start to get iced over during practice. I find myself grabbing an extra pair of socks each morning so I can double up!

Generally, my idea for my blog posts was to pick somewhat of a theme, using it to guide my writing and help give a better picture of life here at L&C. Apparently this time my topic is the weather….lame, I know. But honestly, for those of you who have never experienced weather in the Pacific Northwest it is always good to get an understanding of it. For myself especially, choosing a college revolved a lot around location. You have to find a good fit. I’m thinking that for the most part people are happier with what they are used to, but my roommate from Florida is still in Pennsylvania, so who knows.

Next on my schedule is a lunch meeting with one of our athletic administrators and some fellow athletes. We are planning on hosting a fall carnival in November for local elementary schools kids. It will be run by L&C student-athletes and sponsored by our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), of which I am secretary. We are still working out all the kinks, but I think it is going to be a great event that shows our community that student-athletes do more than just walk around with ice packs. More to come on this event when we get closer to the date!

Until next week,

Jess

22 October 2008