The Latest Posts
Whoa. Whoa. I survived the gauntlet of Finals! It was a close call, but here I am, and it’s Day One of summer break. I start work in less than a week. It’s probably my last summer working as a preschool teacher, because The Plan is that by this time next year, I will be graduated and for-reals employed.
Here’s the Top Ten quick and dirty rundown of what happened in the last few weeks.
1. Senior Plays – I went and saw four of the six plays that the senior theatre majors directed. My favourite was The Secret in the Wings, a surreal performance combining fairytales, children’s perspectives, and dreams.
2. Take Back the Night – We had an outdoor concert featuring Telepathic Liberation Army, Kusikia, and Magic Johnson. It was a little mizzly (that’s mist/drizzle for you non-Portlanders) but they played anyway and we danced anyway. Between sets, I covered a wrenching Andrea Gibson poem called Blue Blanket (viewer discretion advised!), and a few of my friends on the Apocalips Slam Poetry Team spit a couple of their original poems. We also had a candlelight vigil for survivors of domestic and sexual assault, followed by a march in the dark around campus, chanting “it’s not fair, it’s not right, the streets are ours, take back the night!” Afterward, I co-facilitated a Rubberwear Party in which we all learned about safer sex and sexual consent. One of the awesome founders of It’s My Pleasure came out again for the sex toys portion of the evening. Considering it was at 10pm on a Friday right before Finals, we had an awesome turnout! Probably because we bribed people with Voodoo doughnuts. It was so successful that we’re going to do it again in September!
3. Stumptown Comic Fest – I finally got to go this year! I brought along copies of my recently-completed Sex Talk comic and passed it out to anyone who would take it. Some artists even traded me their legit merchandise for my photocopied three-page packet. I got to meet a few of my favourite comic artists, including Canadaland’s Kate Beaton. It was rad. I’m currently submitting my Sex Talk comics for potential publication by DIY publishing industries and a few progressive magazines.
5. AcaBOOM – Five of our six a cappella groups performed in a two-day concert series called AcaBOOM. Section Line Drive just released their first CD, entitled Is Love Alive? and I actually cannot stop listening to it. I love a cappella thiiiiiis much. I posted a few of the songs on my youtube channel.
6. Date – Mel and I went a date to Hoda’s Middle Eastern restaurant. It’s in SE Portland, so we figured we wouldn’t see many LC students (who tend to cling to the West side), but we were wrong – there were four or five LCers hanging around Belmont. After dinner, which gets thumbs up from both of us, we took public transit up to 23rd Avenue in NW Portland and had tea at our favourite little tea place, Tea Chai Té. We played Sorry! and drank rooibos tea until they closed and kicked us off the comfiest couch in the world.
7. Finals – almost killed me this year. I had two sit-down exams, one presentation, one take-home exam, and three final papers. The most insane day, I spent from 10am to 3am solid studying, with breaks for food and physical movement only. I found that ten minutes of hula hooping and doing push-ups in the middle of my room every hour or so was a good way to get things flowing again. But man, it was rough. I’m glad it’s over, and I hope next semester is gentler!
8. Cleanup – As an RA, I stay a few days after students are supposed to be out of the residence halls, doing Closing. That means I get to clean up after everyone else! Hooray! For some reason, whoever was in charge of clearing out the communal fridge in our kitchen this semester decided that the best way to do that would be to empty everything onto the counters and then just leave it there. It took like three hours to clean the kitchen to my satisfaction – but then again, I have high standards. The lounge accumulated a pile of stuff people didn’t want, so I bagged it all up and hauled it off to the donation center on campus. Super special secret about how to pay for college: salvage abandoned things at the end of the year and sell them! You would be amazed what things people leave behind.
9. Graduation – happened. And I got sunburned at Commencement. I clapped a lot and rolled my eyes less than expected. It’s so weird to think about the fact that I’ll be the one graduating next year. I swear I just started college! What is this senior year devilry? Freaky!
10. Next Year – I will be an RA in Forest. If you’re an incoming first-year female-type student with any sort of interest in feminism or gender studies or identity politics, consider requesting to be housed in Forest, and specifically in Spruce. My floor in Spruce is the all-girls floor, and I’m hoping to construct it into a sort of feminist collective. Don’t worry, there are plenty of guys living upstairs, it won’t be like living in a nunnery. (If you already sent in your housing stuff, email the director of housing, Sandi, at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell her you want to be in Spruce on the all-girls floor.) Also, I scored that internship I applied for at SMYRC. Next year I’ll be the Bridge 13 intern, traveling around Oregon on Mondays to do Safe Spaces trainings. It is basically going to be Awesome On Wheels.
I probably will not be blogging for Real Life next year, but I’m always available via email to field questions, compare thoughts, and keep it real. email@example.com
ok, so I am back for a quick word, sitting here in my room after a long day of studying attending the Poli Sci bbq (which was totally awesome, great food, fun times and a good way to end the year–a few minutes to pretend finals don’t start in two days!). Anyway my Presidential professor showed us this awesome web site wordle.net which essentially does text search and makes words different sizes depending on usage…so during my procrastination I was playing around, so here is my blog, or my year in wordle!
You know its finals when…
- You walk into the Library at 8:45 am on a Thursday and all the tables are full
- Your friends who never study are caught with books in hand
- People constantly have a slightly panicked look about them (at least if you’re me)
- Cleaning your room no longer seems a necessity
- Professor’s offices are the place to be on a Friday/ Saturday afternoon
Ok, I am out. But that should give you some idea of what finals are like, all of the sudden now is the moment to finish projects and remember everything you’ve forgotten. Reading days are turning out to be quite busy for me this year. Tomorrow is the annual Political Science department bbq, Sunday I have my Scotland meeting and I am working in the Math Skills center for a couple of hours, and oh yeah I have to study…
So I am feeling a little frantic at the moment, but as long as I can make it through until Monday and turn in my take home final for Presidential Politics I will be on the downhill side of my second year of college.
Sitting here taking a break from studying has led me to offer some advice to future college students—fire alarms are bad, we all hate them, especially when we have wet hair or were in the shower…(yes this happened Thursday night where as I had to stand outside for about 20 minutes in the cold). So, for the advice part—don’t burn things, if you are cooking watch your food and if your food starts smoking don’t just leave it, open a window because burning popcorn/toast/any other food will cause the smoke alarm to go off which will make your hall-mates strongly dislike you if they find out the culprit. Speaking of making people dislike you…I also advise remembering that the Library is a quiet place to study, not have a phone conversation or chat with your friends about your new boyfriend. This will make everyone much happier and save you having to be glared at or mentioned in the Pioneer Log’s backdoor “you caught my eye” section [the section of the paper where people put funny “ads” for people they “like” though really the only way to get in is if you have friend who thinks its funny…the quote in question said “You: Upperclassmen complaining about noisy freshmen in the library. ME: keep your own classmates in check before you talk crap”]. Tragically they don’t post the backdoor on the Pio Log website, or I would link you there.
Anyway, since this is probably my penultimate blog entry (I have always wanted to use that word in a sentence) I thought I would offer my list of college essentials for the Freshman year
1. Plate/cup/bowl/mug/fork/spoon, or just general kitchen items. I didn’t think I would need them, and then my roommate and decided to get ice cream one night and let me tell you the bio-degradable spoons in Maggies are not the same.
2. A bookshelf (or milk crate) if you live in a dorm that doesn’t have shelving (like Stewart Odell Akin etc) after storing your books in a big stack underneath your bed for a couple of months you will begin to wish you had a better way to store them (unless you’re my roommate who doesn’t use the bookshelf for books she actually needs for class—not my style though)
3. Room decoration—you might think oh one posters enough, or who needs a white board, but after a while it will be sad just staring at white walls, or you will miss a friend and wish that you had something for them to leave you a note with
4. Desk lamp—some rooms (like those in Platt) come with desk lighting but most just have overhead lighting and a desk lamp is essential if you have a roommate who goes to bed early and you find yourself needing to write a paper at 2 am (not that that would ever happen…)
5. Under-bed storage is also good if you have a lot of clothes, or it is just a good place to store food and other things you might not need all the time but want to have around.
6. Stapler—you have no idea how many people have come to class without a paper stapled because the ones in the library are all broken—and some Profs dock you points for not having papers stapled, so better safe than sorry, have one in your room
7. A word on refrigerators—they are not necessary, my roommate and I did not have one last year and survived just fine using the hall fridge. But, you do have to worry about people taking your food—which totally sucks but happens. So you can get a fridge and not worry about it or you can put your stuff in paper bags, staple them shut and write your name on them. That way #1 people think it looks sketchy and #2 people know that you will know if they take your food. I also have a microwave which I don’t use very often, but it is kind of nice to have around sometimes.
Okay, so that is my list, I hope that helps…I remember how overwhelming packing is. But the good news is that if you forget anything Fred Meyer is a short 10 minute bus ride away and you get pretty much whatever you might need.
Hope everyone has a good week—sorry for the boring blog post, but my mind is on finals and packing up to go home.
Hey readers, I’m waaaay too backed up with final papers, projects, and study sessions this week to do a proper blog entry, but I’ll catch you all up during Finals Week, when I will actually have a good bit of free time when I’m not sitting for exams.
In the meantime, here is the link to the big comic strip project I’ve been bantering on about for the last month. It’s called Sex Talk: a comic about communication, consent, & gettin’ it on. It’s SFW (safe for work), meaning there’s no profanity or nudity or violence, but the concepts may be more appropriate for a mature audience.
Dear Weather Gods,
Why do you hate us so? I would be much obliged if it would be sunny and nice this week and cold and rainy the week after.
Well, tragically I don’t think my letter is going to work, but it is so unfair that it is supposed to be cold and icky this week and warm and 70 next week when me (and the whole population of LC if they are smart) will be locked inside dorm rooms and classrooms scribbling away in blue (green) books hoping to maintain (or save) their grade. So that is pretty much what my next to weeks look like, lots of studying for math and econ and not much time to enjoy the weather which is supposed to be getting better every day.
Today was probably my last hurrah before finals begin, my roommate and a couple of friends went to see Oregon Ballet Theatre today and had a great time. This time it was at a different theatre, which it turns out is right next to another concert hall, all very confusing, but luckily we had directions. Anyway, this time instead of having orchestra seats so close you could see the sweat we had the highest seats in the highest balcony so we were right in front of the light guy (who waved at us!). It was pretty hilarious, although the Newmark is pretty small and very vertical (and vertigo inducing) so we had a really good view and had no problem seeing anything. My roommate was sad because we didn’t get to see any “ballerina love” as she termed it. Last time we saw two of the dancers holding hands back stage which was adorable!! But, we did get to see that on the ceiling of the theatre there are stars all over the place, it was kind of weird because it almost gave the effect of being outside. Overall it was really good, we saw one world premier which I would love to watch again, but alas finals are calling me.
Last week was interesting…in my Presidential Politics class we had a debate about the electoral college (I was arguing for ending the system along with 2 other people) and things got a little heated during the question and answer session on Wednesday. I was honestly a little frustrated because it was dominated by a few people…but it was kind of fun and a good chance to flex my debating muscles and not have to listen to a lecture for once. It is kind of scaring me that I only have one week of classes left, that means I actually have to start remembering everything in that class that I have forgotten, though we do have a take home final which is nice. Take home finals are kind of a terrifying thing to hear about. Professor Eisinger (who is no longer here) was infamous for giving insanely long final exams. My final for American Gov 103 was 32 pages long (though it didn’t have to be, I think most people did 15-20). I have this problem where if someone gives me enough time and no page limit I will write forever… But luckily I have not heard of another Prof who gives finals like that. If there is one, I don’t think I want to take his/her class…
I am starting to get a little sad because I realize that I won’t get see most of these people until next January because I will be in Scotland next fall. One of the downsides of studying abroad, but I am excited about the experience and hope my web cam will be enough to keep me in contact with my friends. Though I wonder how much I will hear from my roommate who will be in Africa. I am sure she will be very busy hugging lions and not have a lot of time to be sending e-mails to friends and family.
So, for now, all I can hope is the weather gods comply with my request and send me sun tomorrow and clouds when I need to concentrate so I can make it through finals (and packing sad thought). I hope that everyone else is having a great end of April and enjoying spring (if it is spring where you are)!!
OK, so the pics are kind of random, but I thought I would give all you future freshman something to look forward to. The Pirate Festival happens in September (and yes people dress up) so this is my roommate and I in our pirate splendor. The other picture is from last semester, on the day before my last final I came back to find water dripping from my ceiling in a big bubble….disaster, ended up with my mattress on the floor and water dripping into the bucket all night. So, I will pray that by posting this picture it will somehow magically not happen again this semester (well maintenance fixing the roof last winter might have prevented it too…)
—FYI I have never heard about this happening to anyone else…I think that perhaps I am just cursed!
It’s scramble time. I don’t have much to say this week because mostly I’ve been saying No. There’s tons of awesome stuff going on in April, but my final projects and papers are such a powerful force that I’m snatching every bit of unstructured time to get work done instead of going to all of the awesome stuff that’s happening. I totally brought this on myself – it was my brilliant idea to do a series of comic strips instead of a research paper as my final Gender in Relational Comm project. While it’s way more work, time-wise, it is exponentially more rewarding for me than a paper would be.
I finished the first two pages of my comic series and printed out thick stacks of them at the on-campus Copy Center. On Sunday, I’ll trundle around campus and stick them everywhere, guerilla art style, but with Administrative approval. The comics, which are called “Sex Talk: a comic about communication, consent, & gettin’ it on” are a humourous approach to teaching my fellow community members why consent is valuable, how to do it, and ways to do it creatively. I structured the pages so that they are sequential. The first page covers the basics, the second page delves a little more deeply into theory and complexity, and the third page presents alternative ways to do consent besides the basic Question: Would you like this? Answer: Yes/No script. I don’t have the comics online yet, but I’ll get them up once I finish inking the third and final page.
Along with the comics, I’m co-facilitating a Rubberwear Party next Friday as part of Take Back the Night. The Rubberwear Party is a combination consent workshop, safer sex lesson, and toy introduction. The Forest Area Director David and I just sat down and banged out our agenda, which features a movie clip and some quality parlor games. One of the founders of Portland’s independent feminist shop, It’s My Pleasure, will be doing the toy piece of the evening after the parlor games. It’s gonna be so good.
At some point, I probably ought to start my other final projects. I’m writing a paper on something to do with feminism and Catholicism in my Women in US Religious History class, and I have yet to solidify my topic and to collect my sources and about two weeks in which to do it. And our Queer Studies professor finally assigned the last paper of the semester, which is an intriguing prompt about female masculinity that probably won’t get any attention from me until a few days before it’s due because I’m so consumed by this Comm comic-and-workshop project. (I have to write a series of synthesis papers on the project as a whole; it doesn’t end with the comics and the Rubberwear Party.)
Course registration wrapped up this week. Here’s my lineup for next semester: Statistics, Psychology of Gender, Feminist Theory, and… Rock Climbing! I’ve loved having a PE the last two semesters, so even though I don’t need the credits, I’m going to keep taking one PE class per semester to keep my endorphins in shape. I think it’s a great plan.
Last weekend I did something not academics related! I participated in Spring Into Action, a large-scale community service day whereby members of the LC community propelled themselves into all corners of Portland for a bit of good ol’ fashion volunteer work. I vanned to the Q Center with my classmates Ian, Ginny, and Kira; an international student from Japan I hadn’t met; an alumnus staff member; and a sociology/anthropology professor. We processed a big chunk of the 3,000 books that had been donated to the Q Center’s library – we entered the books into their online cataloguing system, stamped them, labeled their spines, and shelved them. It was a little bit tedious, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need to chill out a bit. It was really rewarding too, because we could see just how much progress we made.
Now to make some progress on my schoolwork. Hello, weekend. Let’s be homework buddies.
“The Waste Land”
April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
That precisely sums up my feelings about April, it is long, cruel yet full of the promise of beauty (though I don’t pretend to be an expert on analyzing Eliot). April is a tough month for us LC students, the weather is finally starting to get beautiful and just when everyone wants to sprawl on the lawn with a good book (or a guitar if that’s your kind of thing) and enjoy the sunshine. But it is, alas, the month of research papers, final projects, take home finals and last minute exams. I just turned in my big research paper on the 1964 election there was big “event” if you will about the due date. I finished the paper at 10 am on Sunday morning and spent the rest of the day relaxing and not checking my e-mail after 5pm. I wake up Monday (the due date) to find an e-mail that the due date had been extended to Wednesday. Now, my story not that exciting, but one of the other girls in class told the story of how she stayed up all Sunday night until 5:30 working on the paper only to find out later in the morning that the paper had been extended and another girl hadn’t even gotten the e-mail. That is a lesson for all of you future college students: check your e-mail a lot, because if you don’t you might miss a deadline extension or the knowledge that your 8am class is cancelled for the next day.
I am actually doing pretty well for April, unlike last semester I have yet to have a stress attack about all the work I have to do. But that probably has something to do with taking a math class and econ, which is hard, but does not require projects or essay writing (at least in 100). Other than writing papers (and reading my e-mail…) I have been trying to enjoy the sunshine and good weather as much as I can. My roommate and I decide to take an impromptu break from studying math (we weirdly had tests on the same day) and ran up to frolic at South Campus. South campus is where the grad school is and is a good place to take a walk in the woods or lay on the grass in the sunshine and admire the hills or the garden. South campus (affectionately known as “South”) is a short walk up the hill (and super close if you live in Forest) and is a fun place to avoid studying for a few minutes.
We also had the end of the semester hall dinner for SOA (Stewart, Odell and Akin dormitories) where we ate good food on fancy plates and had drawings for prizes. Our AD (area director, the “adult” in charge of the complex) is hilarious and writes amazing e-mails (one e-mail was all written as if the college was a fiefdom “In our year of the college two thousand aught 9 etc.). Anyway, he would read to us all the particular facts of the prizes (made in China, delicious chocolate covered goodness) and I won a rubber duck that lights up when you touch the bottom. At first I was a little disappointed about only winning a duck, but Charlie said that I would find it entertaining and I have discovered that it is true.
Tomorrow is also the concert for the Wind Symphony and I am starting to get really nervous, I have a couple of solos and I hope that I will not freak out and forget how to play (not that that would happen, but it is my irrational fear). I am excited for the end of the semester and hopefully a lot of people will come. There are also a bunch of other end other semester concerts and senior thesis presentations going on and it seems like I am forever seeing signs and posters about senior projects. Okay, that’s all for this weeks update, and for everyone who is still agonizing over college choices remember that I am always available via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and would love to hear from you!!
Don’t let April get you down!
It is really strange to think that it’s been almost four years since I began this crazy journey called college. During these past few weeks, memories of last four years keep playing themselves out in my head. It’s like I’m looking through a camera… and the shutter is snapping in really rapid succession… the individual frames of memory freeze and seduce me with their promises of friendship, love, laughter - but only briefly. It is only a figment of my imagination, after all.
I want to share one of the earliest of such memories. About a month before freshman year started, my would-be roommate, Josh, and I began communicating on the internet via AIM . For some reason, the topic of our height came up, and in the spur of the moment I decided to tell this 6′1″ stranger that I was 4’11”. Just for fun. I still remember his bewildered face from our first real-life encounter with each other, when he walked into the room and I stood up to greet him. Yeah,, all 5 feet 7 inches of me. His eyes got a little bigger, and his mouth curved into a sly grin. “You’re not a midget!” he exclaimed. In his voice was a sense of relieve, mixed with a tone of amusement, and of familiarity. My door-in-the-face strategy (what up social psychology!) helped me break the ice, and gone was any sense of social awkwardness, as we were both thinking the same thing: we’re in college now!
To be continued… in my series of reflexive posts.
Last weekend was Easter! Mel and I made Noon Berenji cookies, which were dangerously delicious. They’re primarily butter and sugar, but I can eat them because they’ve got rice flour instead of wheat flour. Win! While I was in the middle of punching the dough into flower shapes, one of my residents popped in dressed in a full-body Easter bunny suit. It was completely terrifying and NOT OKAY. But we gave her a cookie and she went away.
When we went to dinner at my aunt and uncle’s house in Salem, Mel and I were introduced to my cousin’s cousin, who is visiting from Thailand. We had a really good time trading holiday explanations. Trying to explain how the Easter Bunny has any sort of connection to the resurrection of Jesus was kind of impossible, so we moved on to talk about other traditions, like the Tooth Faerie. Apparently in Thailand, when you lose a tooth you’re supposed to make a wish and chuck it somewhere you won’t find it. That’s cool and all, but I like the tooth-in-exchange-for-money system better.
It’s class registration time! After a bit of a tussle, I got into Psych Statistics. While Stats isn’t necessarily my first choice as far as enthusiasm goes, I registered for it during the first round of registration because it will fill up faster than any of the other courses I want to take. Stats is a prerequisite that a lot of classes require, so competition is steep. If all goes according to plan, by this time next week I will be successfully registered for Feminist Theory, Psychology of Gender, and Yoga. With a potential two-credit internship tacked on, that’ll bring the tally up to 15 credits total. Sweet.
This week, I’m devoting two of my evenings to the Red Watch Band program. It’s a national by-students for-students training course that teaches youth how to recognize and respond to signs of alcohol poisoning. The idea is that students looking out for other students can help reduce the number of alcohol-related deaths that occur nationwide on and off college campuses. We round off the program next week by getting a free CPR training! Good deal, since I need my CPR certification updated for my summer job.
I am increasingly exploiting my waking hours to work on my comic strip project. The first page is sketched, but that means that I still have two more to sketch, then inking, scanning, copying, printing, and distributing. It’s a lot to do, and I’m supposed to be ready for the distribution stage by next Sunday. With just over a week to complete all that, I’ve gotta get crackin’!
Hey prospective students! College selection is a lot like speed dating. Send your best getting-to-know-you questions to me at email@example.com. And if you see me when you visit campus, say hi!
Hey all, how did it get to be April? It seems like it was only yesterday that I was filing new applications in the admissions office and now the decisions have been made and it is up to you to choose! So I thought I would divert from talking about my life for a moment and give you some information that you might be dying to know about Lewis & Clark. LC prides itself on being open to debate, for example Paul Wolfowtiz was on campus on Monday discussing democratization. LC is a pretty liberal school and Wolfowitz is not much loved by our students he was well received by the campus. People were very respectful, not one person booed, or called him a liar or tried to yell at him over political issues. I was a little disappointed in Wolfowitz’s speech, he seemed to be trying to keep his message so neutral that no one could possibly disagree with him. That was kind of a let down considering it was supposed to be a debate. But, students asked some good questions and acted in a very scholarly demeanor.
On a rather unrelated note I thought I might share a bit of “college” lore with you as some of you are new pioneers. As some of you may know LC is built on the old Lloyd Frank estate, the Manor House (admissions and the President’s office) was once a grand home for Frank and his family. So, the campus is beautiful (someone very famous designed the gardens) and has been around long enough to have some legends. One legend I hear about all the time (and some students who live in Forest Hall swear that it is true) is that there are tunnels that run from the top of campus were the dorms are to the classroom buildings. Some claim that you can enter the tunnels and walk all the way down to the classrooms without getting wet. Now, of course the professors say that this is a gross falsehood, and no one can confirm there existence, it is a nice idea. Another “legend” is of the Japanese Baths that are supposedly located in the Forest dorms. There are supposedly jacuzzi like baths in the basement. This legend seems to have a bit more truth to it, though I have never seen them and I am still a little skeptical of their existence. Now there are also the ghost stories (see earlier posts) and the best story of all. Apparently a women named Mrs. Akin donated a lot of money to the school upon her death with the conditions that there would never be any fraternities or sororities (still true) and that they would serve ice cream at every meal (also true, usually 5 or 6 flavors and some sorbet). That’s all I can think of for the moment, but these are some of the favorite stories told around the dorms.
I also thought I would clear the air about one gross falsehood I read the other day on a college guide that Lewis & Clark is a “clothing optional” campus, this is NOT true, it may have been once upon a time, but not now and not in current memory. Another myth about LC is that it is full of hippies, well there are all kinds of people at LC, maybe we have a couple of hippies but it is certainly not the majority of the population as some people might like to say. What I can say is that there are a lot of diverse people on campus and there is niche for practically anyone. While that may sound kitschy, it has been my experience.
OK, so that is all for now, but I thought I would start taking photos of the different dorms that I can make my way to give you guys a better idea of where you might like to live. It is also good to see what the halls look like when real people inhabit them. I hope that no one is stressing out too much about college picking, but I hope to see some people on admitted students day, you might meet my roommate who is a tour guide!