February 2010

Super Cool Party People

Hey guys, another weekend and another sunny day! The weather has been treating us fairly well for the end of February the plants are starting to come alive and the it has been sunny enough that I remember what it is like not to have to carry an umbrella around all the time (and then I forget to bring my umbrella and get soaked because it started raining unexpectedly…). Yesterday (Saturday) was the first annual spring fling which was pretty fun. It was held at this new place called the Left Bank Annex which is very new and modern. The downside was that the floors were concrete which made my legs super tired after dancing for a couple of hours. They did have pretty awesome bathrooms though…they have the new fancy hand dryers that seem to suction the water off your hands which was cool (what can I say, I anne1.jpgam easily entertained). My roommate and I got there a little early and the dancSo random, but this the Sacagawea statue last year in the snow!Platt Dormitory during the snow (my old dorm)ally get going until about 10:30, but Anne and I got to practice a little tango and “silver waltz” (I feel like an old person when I do it, but it is really fun). The theme was “masquerade” and they even provided sequin masks for those of us to lazy (or busy) to get one of our own. But of course, after about an hour most of the masks lay forgotten on the tables at the back of the room.  I learned one important lesson, I should not stay out until 2 am. I realize that one reason that going out so late is so unappealing is because I am not a very nice person when I have very little sleep (just ask my roommate). I was talking to my mom on the phone Sunday morning in the lounge and some guy comes in and tells me to shut up and shuts the door…It was 11 am…I was pretty mad, it is not my fault someone stayed out too late last night. Oh well, the joys of dorm life, I am sure that I will have forgotten all about it by tomorrow.
I realized on Tuesday that my life has reached a new low. Wind Symphony was cancelled and I got all of my homework done so I was doing a little research for my upcoming presentation on Scottish government (for my overseas trip) and I found my way to the BBC’s Democracy Now page which broadcasts the British House of Commons. So, I decided to watch a little bit of their debates and I have decided that they are way more exciting that the Senate. They all squish onto these green benches and when they agree they all shout “aye” and when they disagree they stand up and grumble. It is really interesting to compare how the British system is different than the US system, and it provided an evening of entertainment for me.
This weekend was a break from Scotland meetings, so I compensated by reading a bit of this travel guide. It is so overwelming trying to decide what all I should do because it seems like there are so many options. One thing I am really excited about are what they call “Parliamentary Debates” at the University. It seems like it is essentially an all night debate among “political parties” formed on campus that goes throughout the night including a break complete with beer drinking (which is legal in Scotland). I am trying to imagine forming a coherent argument at two in the morning and it does not sound fun. Although, it does remind me of the Filibuster in the Senate. Though, I guess when you filibuster you just have to keep talking, you can read the phone book (or so I hear) which I am sure makes it a little easier than attempting to out reason someone late at night. Well, I better be going, I have a paper to work on and more econ graphs to study for my exam, hope everyone has a wonderful beginning of March!
Libby

28 February 2010

Cast your wreckless dreams upon our Mayflower…

Hello again! It appears that I’ve quite a bit of catch up to do. So, here goes…

 

Quite a bit has happened since my last post. I would apologize for not posting as often as I should, but so much happens here, it just gets so easy to get lost in how wonderful it is to be here. Well, first order of business, I guess: what have I seen?

 

Well, theatre has played quite a huge role recently. I have seen so many shows at this point that I really am starting feel that I can make powerful decisions on what I like, don’t like and what I think I could potentially use for thesis. The incredible amount of art, music and theatre that I am going to here is really helping me to get to know myself, and helping get a sense for what I think I need and want to create. I can honestly say that I am starting to feel that I have the potential to have a unique and valuable creative mind.

Anyway, the shows I’ll discuss for this post have been pretty good. I’ve seen things ranging from major West End musicals to small Fringe productions to brand new productions from up and coming playwrights starting make a splash on the London theatre scene; all of which have been very exciting. The first show I saw was a production of a relatively new show by a popular UK playwright named David Grieg called Midsummer. It was held at a place called the SOHO theatre in a very small and intimate space. The stage was strangely complicated and cluttered filled with a multitude of things that made me curious to see how they were going to be used in the show. My favorite thing about Midsummer was how funny it was. Until then, we hadn’t seen a show in London that was very funny and for quite a few moments in the first half of the play I found myself struggling for breath from laughter. The play is centered around a man and a woman in Edinburgh who appear to have nothing in common except for how unsatisfied they are with their lives, and grow together over the course of the play after a one night stand. I thought that the play had many wonderful moments amid the at times trite story-line and musical accompaniment, and overall I really enjoyed it. I think that I should perhaps look into some more plays written by David Grieg. Another Fringe shows that I saw that week was a strange dance and theatre compilation piece that examined people when their own survival or the survival of a loved one is placed in jeopardy called Breathing Irregular. It hopped from storylines such as a family helping a father having a stroke, a woman having a baby alone at home, a husband helping his wife who is choking, etc. It was a fairly intense show (that, luckily for my sake, ended happily) and I was really fascinated by the director’s impeccable observation and recreation of human body language. I thought that it was a very successful piece. Other Fringe shows I saw that week included a funny Oscar Wilde adaptation play called Arthur Savile’s Crime (full of blinding wit and ironic comparisons) and a more modern piece by playwright Neil LaBute called The Shape of Things (a play that is actually being done for the senior projects this season!) which was about the costs and motives of changing someone’s life.

Talking about this much theatre brings me to an amazing day that I had during this particular day: the day I experience THEATRE OVERLOAD. Yes, it’s possible. The day started with an incredible group tour of the esteemed Royal Opera House at Covent Garden. It was a humbling experience to be in such a huge theatre and artistic venue. Convent Garden is such a huge venue that it is able to revolve around 10 productions all during the same season. We got to see everything from the auditorium to the ACRE of stage space (yes, you read right, AN ACRE), the shop, costume storage and backstage. Aside from any of our backgrounds, the content stunted all of our artistic imagination. We were even able to sit in and watch a snippet of a ballet rehearsal for the theatre’s sell out production of Romeo and Juliet. I can’t wait to actually see a production here. After the tour (as if it weren’t awesome enough) all of us headed back to an equally huge and historically valuable venue in London: the Royal Albert Hall. Dave, our group leader, had scored us matinee tickets to see Cirque du Soleil’s touring show, Varekai. I was very familiar with the show and had actually seen it live before when it came to Portland. I was equally impressed by the INCREDIBLE artistry, skill and execution of the acts by all the artists. The set was also just as breathtaking as I remembered it; designed to take you into an otherworldly forest complete with tall metal poles that performers climbed atop of and swung back and forth on and a rickety spiral staircase that took the cast to the very ceiling of the immense hall. Artists emerged from holes in the floor, out of the darkness, flew above your head dressed in peyote inspired costumes. It was a barrage of color and heart-stopping feats of gymnastics. While I do believe that the show has suffered from touring for so long, both on the fronts of retaining an already abstract storyline and keeping high quality vocalists, I still think that it still retains much of its original magic. I have been quite attached to Cirque du Soleil since I was a child, and I think I always will be. In short, I still loved the performance. As if Cirque wasn’t already an assault on the senses, to top the day off, I headed over to the Lyceum Theatre in the West End to see The Lion King. I liked the show, but was a bit unimpressed with the lead singers (except for the actors who played Rafiki and Nala who were fantastic). I think that, like Varekai, the show has suffered from playing for so long and that the casts have been done over so many times that some of the acting and music was a bit stale. I also knew that I was going to a show that was designed to be extremely accessible and would have many elements of, how do I go about saying this…cheesiness. Oh well, I didn’t go particularly for the music or the storyline. The reason I wanted to see it was because it had been transformed by one of my favorite directors, Julie Taymor.  I loved all of the infusions of Africa into the story and the set was absolutely gorgeous. My favorite scenes included the dance of the lionesses, the opening procession and all of the unique puppetry involved to bring a strangely new but familiar landscape to life. It was a fascinating night of theatre, but by the end of it I was completely WORN OUT. What a day.

On the music front, this also offered some surprises this week. The group went to a fantastic performance at the Barbican Centre by the infamous New York Philharmonic. They did pieces by Hayden, John Adams, Schubert and finished off with a piece by Berg. I enjoyed the concert, but what I really took away from it was a fascination with the work of John Adams. I think that I am going to look more into him in the future. However, the music highlight of the evening was easily a concert I went to in Shepherds Bush near the end of the week. A friend and I went to go see a band that both of us really like called The Low Anthem. They are a folk/blue-grass/old American music group from Rhode Island. I knew that I was going to enjoy the concert, but I was blown away even more than I thought I was going to be. They played all of my favorite songs by them (including an astoundingly beautiful rendition of my favorite song of theirs called “Oh My God Charlie Darwin). Something remarkable that can be said about every member of The Low Anthem is that all of them play an astounding variety of instruments. All of them hopped from the drums, to guitars, to vocals to bass and a huge assortment of strange instruments and sound makers in between. Ranging from beautiful ballads to barn burners to old American folk tunes and spirituals and even a soundscape constructed from cell phone speakerphone distortion made by the audience (it sounded like thousands of electronic crickets) it was one of my favorite musical experiences in London yet, and was one of the best concerts I have ever been to.

                Another exciting thing that happened this week was that a good friend of mine visited me and some of my roommates from her own study abroad program in Strasbourg, France. It was lovely to see her again and catch up on the amazing things that had been happening to all of us since the end of last semester at LC. Me and my roommates did our best to take her to as many fantastic things we could in London and some of the highlights included cooking up a storm in Metrogate (with such amazing dishes as gumbo, burritos and the chocolatiest cookies ever made), taking her to a huge Sunday service at St. Paul’s Cathedral and seeing Wicked in the West End!

               

                Well, that’s all for now. Until the next post. Which should be…soon…I hope…

 

-Jon

 

Musical present of the week:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKUo1HHfpUY

 

A beautiful song and a beautiful music video.

28 February 2010

juice and memory

chamomile with honey, while blogging. So meta!I attempted to do homework outside in the rather cold sunlightI am drinking endless cups of tea. Sickness, you will not defeat me! My whole body is displeased with me right now, partly from the virus-induced sore throat, but mostly from a brutal ab conditioning in Women’s Self Defense yesterday. I don’t understand how our workout convinced my ribs to pretend to be bruised, but today even simple ab-related tasks like moving from a sitting to a standing position require the use of my arms to hoist me up. I am pathetic. And I’m kind of enjoying it, in a weird way.

almost 30 people tried out this year for the Vagina Monologues, and the Womyn’s Center found parts for every single one of themJahnavi and Caitlin are both theatre kids so their performance was extra greatThe Vagina Monologues were last weekend and excellent! All of the monologues were exceptional, and I recorded a few of my favourites, which you can watch on my youtube channel. (Unsurprisingly, the monologues are not suitable for all listeners.) Of course, by the time my absolute favourite one rolled around, with Jahnavi and Caitlin performing The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy, my camera had run out of juice and memory space. Bah!

we got to sit at the bar because everywhere else was fullIndian food, yum!Solas changed colours a lotI think Solas means light in Gaelicthe fiddler in particular was way intense, she kept snapping bow stringsWith my camera freshly recharged and emptied of content, I went to the Portland Solas concert at the Aladdin Theatre with my mom and dad. Solas featured a fiddle, a banjo, several types of flutes and whistles, and an accordion. Some of the songs were wordless, some were in English, and some were in Gaelic. It was a good time. We also went out to dinner at a fancypants Indian place called Vindalho. It’s always a little tricky for me to go to restaurants because I can’t have wheat, dairy, tomatoes, or citrus. I eat a lot of rice these days.

the community gardens on campus are beginning to sprout!it’s been an exciting mix of rain and sun lately, I love itOn Sunday, the Dating Doctor visited campus to distribute what he called “dating advice” and humour. A lot of students loved the program, but I found it troubling. I felt that his humour was derisive and that his advice was essentializing, heteronormative, and unhealthy. So, as is my propensity, I am launching a campaign to teach students about effective communication and the importance of consent in relationships. First, my friend Allison and I co-authored an article analyzing and critiquing the Dating Doctor program. Second, I will contact the Doc himself with my criticisms and suggestions for how to improve his program. Third, I am assembling a Consent Workshop & Rubberware Party as part of Take Back the Night, an annual activism event hosted by the Womyn’s Center in April. As part of the Consent Workshop, I’ll be creating several different full-page comic strips about consent, mass-reproducing them, and posting them guerilla-style all over campus episodically. To cover the cost of ink, paper, and printing, I’m gonna apply for an Arts & Entertainment SAAB grant. Conveniently, all of this will count as my RA residential education program for April, and it will also count as my final project in my Gender in Relational Communication class. Excited much?!

Some of the funding fell through for the spring break trip to Costa Rica, but now I have more than enough to keep me busy all the way through spring break at home.

My email inbox eagerly awaits your questions. maisha@lclark.edu

27 February 2010

Tick, Tick, Tick Boom!

Happy end of February! Feeling stressed anyone? Its midterms, at least here on campus and it is a little bit of a tense time. I am preparing for two midterms and a paper, and let me just say the word “margin” is infiltrating my everyday day life. Though I was pretty excited b“Aerial” view of the rose gardenecause we were talking about Congress and the President and this bit of procedural move that Congress can use to avoid a filibuster and I opened the paper before class and there was an article about the Senate using this tactic to get the healthcare bill passed. I was excited because sometimes it seems like what we study has little bearing on the real world, so it was nice to be able to apply knowledge from class to something that is going on in the real world. Besides the stress of midterms my classes are going well, except for my Differential equations test…I felt horrible when it was over because I did not finish all the problems. Though I felt a lot better when I heard that others had felt the same way about the test and did not finish either. One important thing I have learned in college is that one bad (or not so good) exam score is not going to be the end of the world. I try not to get too stredscn0167.JPGssed out because in the end if you can do well on the final you can usually make it out okay. Speaking of stress…I went to a lecture on stress and stress management which was pretty interesting although it was a little silly in the beginning. We started out with an exercise where you concentrate on a raisin and look at it and examine it. The guy leading the exercise told us to examine our thoughts about the raisin “you may even be wondering why I am looking at a raison?” So true, I will admit that I was having a really hard time not laughing! But I held in my laughter and it was interesting because in that time you notice things that you wouldn’t have noticed before. Long story short, it can be good to tArtake a step back and examine an everyday task/ object and not just race through life as fast as possible.
One hilarious (or not hilarious if you are me) thing about the past week is that these little birdies keep waking my roommate and I up at 5:30 in the morning, at least a full hour and a half before it is necessary to rise. My roommate wrote a funny status update on her facebook “Dear Birds, Why did you wake me up this morning an hour before I had to get up? I don’t care how much you love life, and need to express it by chirping at 6:30 in the morning. Screw you and your cheerfulness. Love, Anne” Pretty much sums up my sentiments about the whole thing….This weekend is the first Annual Spring Fling and I am pretty excited. The dance is a ‘masquerade’ but I didn’t have time to make a mask so my roommate and I are just going themed…70s for Anne and 20’s for me (at least that is the plan). Other than, studying and enjoying a Sunday without a Scotland meeting….Hope everyone is enjoying the end February!
Libby

25 February 2010

rain = more flowers!

purple!!Alas, the sunshine is gone.  i took full advantage of it though and spent all day Sunday outside on South Campus.  Well, I guess it’s not gone, but we’re definitely not experiencing clear-blue-skies-and-get-a-tan kidscn0689.jpgnd of sun.  cool stained glassThe rain is back, but there are flowers coming up everywhere!  I was walking through the Manor House gardens after class today and had to stop to enjoy the fragrant air.  It is just so gorgeous! 

Anyone watch LOST?? My friend Joshua got me addicted, thanks a lot Joshua.  I had never watched it before, but so far I’ve watched all of the episodes from the current season and I’ve seen about 6 from the first and second seasons.  Joshua is a Lost genius, so I go to him with all of my questions, which are never-ending at this point.  So between Lost and the Olympics my T.V. time this semester has gone way up.  However, it has turned into fantastic bonding time with the other kids in my hall.  There are on average, about eight of us that spend our nights in the lounge watching the Olympics and doing homework.  Thankfully, this past week I did not have any papers or midterms, using T.V. to regroup has been a good thing.  Finding new ways to refuel is always a good, healthy thing, as long as you can balance them with homework, which so far is going well.

U U YOGURT = BEST PLACE EVERSide-note: Carolyn and I went out to Zeppo for dinner and then U U Yogurt after!  It was awesome and if you are in Portland or visit Portland, please visit U U Yogurt.  It is nothing short of wonderful.  And to get off campus with friends = amazing!  You get to choose your combination of soft-serve yogurts, 8 choices, then you get to top it with your choice of about 30 ingredients.  Oh my goodness.  I had chocolate, raspberry and a little bit of vanilla yogurt and to top it off I had peanuts, reeses, chocolate chips, strawberries, raspberries and hot fudge.  So hanging out with Carolyn was wonderful and so was dinner and the yogurt.  You should try it!!

Anyway, back to school: wedscn0677.jpg had these awesome “Meet Your Major” sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday.  During two time slots each day at night there were about five different sessions I could’ve gone to.  I went to the Religious Studies one and then the English one Tuesday night.  At both of them I had the opportunity to talk with current students of that major, eat pizza (woo) and I got to talk with professors in each department.  Talking with current students helped me get a sense of the community in each department and I LOVE both of them!  I am thinking that I will be a Religious Studies Major and an English Minor!  Exciting!  This is not set in stone, but that’s my track, and those meetings only confirmed that.  

Keeping with the theme of promoting family endeavors, check out this article about the Church my Mom writes grants for!  The Church has a new program that helps victims of prostitution.  I met with my Advisor, Mary today and talked with her about classes for next semester, and also about findithe path to south campusng an internship.  My goal is to find an internship at a place like Kwanzaa here in Portland, and knowing that this city is so service-oriented, I am confident that I will find a place if I dig around a bit. 

At the Intervarsity conference my friend Yan had the idea to have an international Jesus night full of songs and stories to unofficially kick off L&C’s International Fair (which is next weekend!!!! I’m so excited!!!).  So this Sunday night in the Akin lounge we’re opening up the mic to anyone who wants to share stories, sing songs, or shlook at all the people outside!! and yes, this is winter!  :)are Bible verses in English or in a different language.  In Agape we have about twelve languages represented!  How incredible is that?  So, Sunday night will be a time to share some of those languages and our cultures with everyone who wants to hear. 

Women’s figure skating long program on tonight!  So I’m off to rock out some homework before then, but, please feel free fill my inbox with your questions about L&C, college decisions, LOST, rain or sunshine, or your favorite type of flower.

SUNkaronson@lclark.edu

“Give me a museum and I’ll fill it.”

- Pablo Picasso

25 February 2010

Weeks of excitement

Throughout the week there have been an overwhelming amount of exciting both in school and out of school.Valentines Day just passed, which is always either an incredibly dreaded or anticipated holiday of the year. This year was a very pleasant Valentines day.This poem made me smile, so I’v decided to share =)

 

Love maketh its own summer time,

‘Tis June, Love, when we are together,

And little I care for the frost in the air,

For the heart makes its own summer weather.

 

Love maketh its own winter time,

And though the hills blossom with heather,

If you are not near, ’tis December, my dear,

For the heart makes its own winter weather.

 

 None of the cultures at Lewis & Clark  go unnoticed. Which is why cultural holidays are largely celebrated. This week the Bon (the schools cafeteria) held Africa Night. It was so exciting! When the students walked into the bon they were surrounded by African themed food and African music. Halfway through the dinner the fashion show started which featured traditional clothing. The students also spiced things up by having a house dance tutorial on stage. A group 20 students put aside their shyness and “shook their groove thing” on stage.

Immediately after dinner Kemiyondo Coutinho held a preiew of her play, Jabulile. Although it was only a preview, it was both very capturing and moving. When speaking with Kemiyondo I asked her to give some insight on Jabulile. This was her response. 

To have a voice is something that we are seldom grateful for. To be heard is something we often don’t perceive as a benefit. For many women in Swaziland this is their one dream. The opportunity to be heard or even be allowed to speak is something that has been taken away from the women of Swaziland. “Jabulile!” gives them this chance.One cannot help but notice the constant optimism on the faces of the street vendors of Swaziland. I know that being a woman in Swaziland is not the easiest life and yet there is no trace of this on the faces of these women. I wanted to know what lied behind that smile. I started talking to the ladies about their lives as well as the lives of the women that surrounded them. From this, the character Jabulile was born. After hearing their stories, I was not only greatly inspired but, I also had the chance for them to be heard. I had the chance for people to understand what lied behind their smiles. I had the chance for people to listen to their story, I had this chance and I was determined to make it happen. Their stories were so distressing yet they told them to me with such optimism for the future. They woke up every day with a smile in order to get through the day. These ladies had an unknown strength. They dealt with issues that no-one should have to go through and yet they still managed to put on a genuine smile on their faces. They were true heroes and it is to them that his play is dedicated to. 

This past weekend the campus has a lovely/ exciting visit for the “love Doctor”. While I was walking around campus I heard someone mention this lecture atleast four times a week. David Coleman is considered the real life Hitch. The movie, which features Will Smith, is based on David’s line of work. During the lecture he completly went over the Do’s and Dont’s of all of the stages of relationships. David was very candid in his delivery which, in my opinion, is exactly what we all needed.  He encouraged us all to check out his website.

dsc02124.jpgdsc02122.jpgjabulileposter1.jpg 

23 February 2010

Fun!

It’s been a pretty eventful couple of weeks. Between school, work, and my (broken) social scene (ha!) I haven’t had the time to sit down and properly write a blog post. Where did we leave off last time… oh yeah, the start of the Portland International Film Festival. It’s already been a week since the kick-off, and apparently this year’s festival has thus far been a real success, with most of the movies being sold out in advance. Naturally, the marketing department (me and three others) has been working hard to make this all happen. Just last night, I carried bundles of festival schedules and walked all over downtown Portland to drop them off in bars. It was a little bit humiliating, considering all the folks in the bars were having themselves an excellent Friday night, while I awkwardly asked the manager, “Hi, is there space here for me to put this bundle of schedules?” Walking around for an hour and half kinda really sucked… but I guess I got some good exercise. I’ve been getting so fat…ha. It’s okay though, because later on in the night I got to have my share of fun. My friends and I went to this bar/club called Someday Lounge. They played a whole lot of 80s music, and even though I’m not usually a fan, the DJ spun some REALLY awesome tunes. Reminded me a lot of Daft Punk circa-Homework. Then we moved the party to another club called The Tube. This one was more hip-hop and Top 40, which is what I’m used to, but I’m increasingly finding how uncomfortable and out-of-place I feel at these places. Especially when everyone is grinding - to slow songs, to fast songs, to Ke$ha - LOL I don’t get it, but I also don’t get a lot of things. But really, Old Town on Friday nights always has the best examples of quality human interaction.

Moving on to school… Last week I wrote three papers. I am a little apprehensive about the one I wrote for the Gender Studies class. I argued in the paper that queer theory actually has less “potentiality” than gay liberation thinking – which is kind of the exact opposite of what the textbook was saying given the linear progression and the differing social and academic contexts. But really, the Western post-structuralist nature of queer theory is so limited in its applicability to queer issues in non-Western countries. But that’s just my opinion – you will find that if you pick any humanities major, the theoretical classes will be full of back-and-forth debates between academics who try to win a contest of “who can come up with the most abstract ideas!!!” In my paper for my rhetorical criticism class, I analyzed the speech Obama gave to diffuse the controversy caused by his former pastor’s anti-US remarks (Hi, 2008!). I am also a little apprehensive about this one because I actually deconstructed his sentiments to “reveal” that his non-race-focused rhetoric has hurt the ongoing movement to eradicate racism, even though his speech was to address racism. He had the nerve to justify resentment towards affirmative action! You can’t have equality when inequality is built into the system. But I’m going to watch what I say and stop here before I get too political and get told to tone it down haha. It’s always funny to think how much my views on so many issues have changed since high school, or even freshman and sophomore years.  

Okay okay, I’ll stop here. And I apologize if my post didn’t make much sense… I’m too lazy to go back to correct my grammar and perfect my points. It’s a Saturday afternoon, and I’ve got a date with homework!

20 February 2010

Star-Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers

“A New Method”Hey everyone, sorry for the late post. Technical difficulties plus my forgetting what day of the week it is has led me to a Friday post instead of Wednesday. Oh well, more news for me to tell. Last weekend was crazy busy. My mom came to visit on Saturday and we went down to the Outlet mall in Woodburn and hadOnce Upon a Weekend “Bloody Brawl” lots of fun. My mom was also excited because spring has almost officially sprung here on campus. It kind of weirds me out because things are starting bloom (chamelias and the bulbs) which is weird because things don’t start blooming until about May in Bend. If only this really meant it would be warmer…On the upside we have had an unusual run of sunny days this week, everyday since Tuesday. It is funny, LC students are kind of like moths to a flame, when it is sunny everyone migrates to the many grassy areas and plays Frisbee (or their guitar…). Sunny days also happen to coincide with lots of absences from classes (not that anyone would think of skipping classes to be outside—at least that’s what people tell the Professors). But back to my weekend…I also went to once upon a weekend which is a transplanted LC tradition. One week prior to the show a topic is released and aspiring play writes write a short play (this semester was Lewis & Clark Students, and last semester was revenge) and then a panel picks a coupAccapela group “The Ravine Academy”le of plays. Then, madness ensues, there is a quick casting session, the actors get two days to learn their scripts and only two hours to rehearse. This all culminates in a performance Saturday night in the Black Box. Future students be warned, it is always a packed event and those who don’t get there early end up sitting on the floor (read—me and my roommate). My favorite play was called “A New Method.” A student enters the Library, takes her shoes off and proceeds to write in the book. An argument ensues and much laughter is had about the penchant for LC students to go around without shoes. I don’t really understand this practice, I personally love shoes, but I once had a guy in my class give a presentation on gun rights without shoes on hmm, not quite my thing, but whatever floats your boat! The play “Shout Out to the New York Times” also was pretty good, it was a kind of spoof on an article in the Times about how many colleges (LC included) have more guys than girls, so the play gave dating advice to the girl looking for a man in short supply… The pictures are from the plays and also from the Acappela groups that performed (Valentines themed from the anti-Valentines concert on Thursday).
Sunday was again pretty much devoted to my Scotland trip, I couldn’t convince myself to get up earlier than nine, so I had to do a little homework and then learn about Scottish Geography. I also made my boyfriend Pizza for a treat (I am not a big fan of Valentines day, but I thought a break from cafeteria food would be nice), and he did not seem all that convinced that I could make it. But all takes is some Trader Joes pizza dough, sauce and pre-shredded cheese and you have it made! (pun unintended, but amusing). This weekend I am hunkering down to get through some midterms, Differential Equations is up first on Monday, and then I get about a week to study for Econ and Poli Sci. Right now Econ is going to be the death of me, it is not something that comes naturally to me (quite tragically) and I have to study a lot!  With all of that said, I better leave off for this week, hope everyone is enjoys their weekend and the sunshine (if it is sunny where you are. If not, think about Florida!).
Libby

20 February 2010

steps in grown-up-ification

when it’s sunny, everything is more exposed, from shoulders and knees to Mt. Hoodthis is one of my favourite trees on campus, it’s all lit up at nightChinese New Year in the Bon means playing with ink and brushesthe halftime student government versus administration game is serious businessRavine Academy singing their a cappella classic Tainted Love, Shelby and Kim soloingsticky notes are great encouragementOnce Upon A Weekend is obviously a very formal eventCollin, crossdressing as a rather flighty librarianthis one act featured a self-proclaimed ambiguous and exotic accentthis one act was called The Further Adventures of Two Brave Young Explorers and Their Tag-Along Kid Sisterhey there, tub of paint, it’s nice to meet youthe paint colours we used are “plum frost” and “Peruvian violet”I did the detail-y border work with one of my artist brushesmy mom doing the rollerworkthis wins the Most Creative Poster of All Time awardLook what I finished sewing this week! Think I could sell it for $20?

The Madness is beginning to crystallise. The Gender Studies Symposium is less than three weeks away, and there is an inverse correlation with its proximity and my sanity. Most everything is coming together, with a few major detours (Alix Olson canceled her Friday night show; we won’t be hosting the AIDS Quilt this year), and I’m excited to see everything fall into place in the coming weeks. Ten months ago, this symposium began life as the tiny spore of an idea, an innocuous little thing that sounded a lot like “hey guys, let’s do something about the science of gender, we haven’t done a science theme before!” And lo, now we have a fully laden three-day symposium featuring everything from sex therapy workshops to presentations built around subjects as divergent as Darwinian feminism and the medicalisation of pretty much everything. So this week, I finally got round to officially notifying all of my professors that I will be missing three days of classes in mid-March due to my annual affliction with Gender Studies Symposium Madness. My professors are being wonderfully understanding – my Religious History professor even offered to extend a paper deadline for me so I don’t have to turn it in halfway through the Symposium.

Midterms and their accompanying battery of papers and assignments are hurtling toward us. I turned in my first Queer Studies paper on Thursday. Our class took over a third of the group study rooms in the library on Wednesday night. It was a big ol’ queer party. Which of course I avoided; to minimise distractions, Mel and I bottled ourselves up in a deserted, accidental balcony nook I’m not sure I could find again if I tried. The paper prompt was “How does ‘queer’ function in the debate of gay liberation versus ‘queer’? To what extent do you agree or disagree that it opens up space for potentiality?” We both finished our papers around 1am. Not too shabby!

I seem to relegate my not-so-academic activities to the weekends. Last weekend was the Anti-Valentine’s Day concert, Once Upon a Weekend, and the last home girls’ basketball game of the year (we won!). There is a completely excessive number of videos from the a cappella and choir performances on my youtube account – go nuts! I also recorded the second half of what turned out to be my favourite Once Upon a Weekend one-act play. Once Upon a Weekend is a once-a-semester tradition of theatrical overload: students have a week to write scripts based on a pre-selected theme (this time it was “O, Pioneers!”), the scripts are cast on Friday, students have two hours of rehearsal time on Saturday, and then on Saturday night they perform to a bursting-at-the-seams Blackbox theatre. It is, by its very definition, a magical one-time occurrence.

Now that I resemble a responsible and mature adult, it’s time to convert my childhood bedroom at home into a grown-up person room. Over winter break we sold my old furniture – the twin loft bed my parents built for me when I was nine, the child’s desk – and bought the ingredients to bake a new room to accommodate my adult sensibilities. On Saturday, I trekked home to help paint my walls a very responsible and mature colour: purple! I’ve never painted a whole room before, so it was good life experience. Next steps in grown-up-ification: assemble new bed obtained from Craigslist and sew duvet cover. Domesticity: I rock at it.

I made the Dean’s List again this year, which means two things: 1.) I got good marks last semester and 2.) LC rewards good grades with fancy food. I was invited to Dessert with the Dean, and I was really excited to go, because hey – free food! I let them know about my dietary limitations – no dairy, wheat, citrus, or tomatoes, like you’d want tomatoes at a dessert – and they assured me they would provide something for me. But then the day of the Dessert they emailed me the menu, which most definitely was not Maisha-friendly, and I got all bummed out. So Melissa made me surprise cookies! With oat flour and flax seed and dairy-free chocolate chips, so I could eat them! I have the best girlfriend. My room still smells mildly of cookies, which is arguably the greatest smell ever invented.

The much-anticipated Vagina Monologues are tonight! I didn’t end up being able to print t-shirts, but not for lack of effort. The emulsifier fluid in the Print Shop is messed up, so until the Print Shop kids order new emulsifier, printing cannot really be done. I tried to burn a stencil three separate times with the existing emulsifier, adjusting the exposure time and the opacity of the design, but it never worked out. But hey, I learned the principles of how to use the Print Shop! Future printing will happen. Until then, I’ll just keep sewing shirts to satisfy my crafting appetite.

Hey prospective students! If you’re visiting campus and you see me, say hi! Ask questions, make mistakes, get messy at maisha@lclark.edu.

19 February 2010

sun sun sun sun sun sun sun

bluuuuuue skystudying in the Manor House gardens!  how many people get to study and look at Mt. Hood at the same time, I mean, really…spring!awesome tree with lots of shoes in it in Forestmore shoe treeWatching the Olympics!  With homework and chips :)dscn0663.jpgmore olympic watchingPioneer Square downtown (During the JTR conference I had to go back to campus for my RA interview, and I took the Pio express and the MAX to get back to the hotel, so this is a pic while waiting for the MAX)dscn0633.jpgI love the sun!  It has been shining since yesterday and it has been more than wonderful.  Monday I took a twenty minute rest laying out in the sun by the reflecting pool and today I did homework for two hours outside.  I might even have a bit of sunburn…  but probably not.  Either way, it has been wonderful.  If you need rest, I highly recommend taking a nap in the sun.

Natural energy has definitely been needed this week – it is midterm season!  Woooo so creative naps/study breaks have been utilized.  One of those has been watching the Olympics!  I learned the history of Early Christianity while watching the snowboard half pipe.  Yes, I could’ve learned it much faster by just camping out in the Library, but hey, the Olympics need to be watched, and second, it’s great bonding time with friends in my hall.  But I actually did some work that’s the good thing.  Added stress/work in school means an increased amount of intentional hang-out time with friends.

Like last week with my Dad’s habanero paste, I have a new “family-member-in-the-news” to brag about… my Grandma Rose!  She owns a business in Buffalo, MN called Second Hand Rose.  Here is a blurb off of her blog website: Rose’s depression era upbringing provided her with a “make do, can do” work ethic. Why not make do with “junk” and “less than perfect”? We rehab old furniture and home décor, create one of kind items, use splashy colors, have a sense of humor and never let a good idea go to waste! Between sales we repair, repaint, reupholster & re-invent.”  Here at L&C, there are some seriously talented DIY-ers, clothing makers, inventors and artists (among many other talents) so it’s cool to see my Grandma taking advantage of her creative juices like so many people do here. 

So last summer I was an assistant coach for my High School’s summer lacrosse training program.  I mainly taught 8-9 year old girls the basics and then spent some time with previous teammates helping them improve their skills.  This summer I will not only be assistant-coaching again, but also I will be the director of the K-3 program!  I am so excited!!  I will get hang-out time with friends I haven’t seen in a while and I will get to teach girls how to play the sport that I love.  I think this will be a pretty awesome summer.  I will be doing other things too for the record, but that’s just a recent highlight on my summer-life plans. 

It’s prospective student time!  If you come to campus and see me, please feel free to call me out.  It will only be really awkward for a few moments I promise.  I’m ready for your questions! 

p.s. I hear back about becoming an  RA March 1st (!!!!!) Which is in ten days… not like I’m counting or anything…

Kayla

karonson@lclark.edu

 

“A day without sunshine is like, you know, night” –Steve Martin

19 February 2010