Kayla Aronson’s Campus Journal

“This Is My Winter Song To You”

There is a lot of STUFF going on right now.  I think that is the best way I can describe my life right now, but it’s all good stuff.

Carolyn is in the middle, with Kelsey and Tessa!  The witches had great hats!Rewind: “Dido and Aeneas” the Opera was incredible!  I was blown away by some of the vocal talents we have here!  The entire Opera was overall a great production.  It was unique, engaging and very interesting since I had just finished reading the Aeneid in Exploration and Discovery.  Carolyn was a witch (and did a fantastic job!).  It was so cool to see my friend on stage!

Katie and I on the JacksFor Thanksgiving I went to Santa Cruz California and stayed with my Grandma Carol.  It was so  relaxing, 75 degree weather, the Ocean, and the food!  I loved making my own food or helping prepare the food.  My friend Katie wasn’t going home for Thanksgiving, so she came with me!  It was awesome to have a great friend there, with family that I hadn’t seen   in a while in a wonderful place.  Playing around...

School:  I have three papers, all about interesting things, but all going on at once.  Quick descriptions of each - E&D: I’m looking at prayer as it is portrayed in the Aeneid by Aeneas and in the Bible by Moses and Jesus.  Bible in Lit: I am comparing the story of Jesus’ anointing as it is told in the Gospels of Mark and Luke.  I am focusing on the image of a woman anointing Jesus.  Within each Gospel there are big differences (this story is found within all Gospels but there was so much stuff going on I had to pick two, and even then it will be hard to fit in all that I want to say into ten pages).  Poetry:  I am looking at a William Stafford poem called Watching The Jet Planes Dive.  At the Library they have Stafford’s entire poetic life, by that I mean they have all of his journal entries, all of the drafts of his poems – it is incredible.  So I am looking at all five drafts of this poem following images throughout them, looking at how they progress and change to make the final version of the poem complete and how they support my interpretation of the poem.  Very cool stuff.  So they are all awesome papers, but just a lot of stuff!  And of course there are still other readings for my classes, so again, more stuff!  But things like Agape, Knitting Club, having breakfast with awesome friends, sleep, or going out to coffee with friends are keeping me grounded. 

I just want you all to know that I made my bed today.  This is a very big deal.  I did all of my laundry from break, cleaned out my closet, cleaned off my desk, changed my sheets and made my bed  perfectly.  It was very nice to walk into a room where all of my stuff is in order, and I am less stressed in general because of that I think.  Plus my bed looks very classy.  Please admire it.

This weekend I am going to be gone at a Young Life camp called Breakaway Lodge.  I’ve been involved with Lake Oswego Young Life while I’ve been here and it is time for ourdscn0438.JPG winter camp!  I am so excited.  I will be doing Work Crew for the weekend, which means doing dishes and setting tables, stuff like that.  I did a Work Crew for a month   two summers ago washing dishes and it was the most incredible month of my life, so this weekend will be a good chance to revisit that a bit, relax, and rock out my three papers.  Oh yes.  Unfortunately there is so much that I am missing!  Dance Extravaganza, a Choir concert, a Saturday night Choir concert/Church service with lots of singing, and just being on campus for my second to last weekend!  Wow did time just fly this semester.  But Winter Camp will be incredible, and I will (hopefully) have enough free time to get some work done.

 Oh! Tomorrow!  More good stuff! For World AIDS Day Carolyn and Kelsey put together a program in which a guy from Cascade AIDS project is coming to L&C to speak!  I am very excited about it.  For more info check it out here.

Have a great week everybody,


“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”  ~e.e. cummings

3 December 2009


So when your brother calls you from home then there must be a good reason for it.  Just like all good little brothers, Garrett proceeded to tell me that he was going to a Trans-Siberian Orchestra Concert.  Without me.  Because I’m in Oregon.  Thanks Garrett.

Despite that lovely phone call from home, my Dad (Along with significant-other Jennifer)  visited this past weekend!  It was definitely good to see them, but I think they needed to see me more than I needed to see them.  Not in a bad way, but I am settled and very happy here.  What was awesome was having the ability to show them around my new home and for them to meet my friends.  When they got here we camped out in Maggie’s Café for about three hours and a few friends came down.  When parents come to visit, then there is always a  FOOD aspect involved.  It is pretty wonderful.  At most of my meals at the Bon I am unintentionally a vegetarian.  Not like that is a bad thing, but I am used to more protein through meat sources in my diet.  We ate at Manzana Saturday night and I had a burger.  Dang it was wonderful – my first burger in three months.  The Trail Room does serve them, but I do not eat there much.  The second night we ate at Bamboo Grove Hawaiian Grille as suggested to me by Kelsey.  (Hint for anyone in the Lake Oswego/Portland area: this place is amazing!!)  I literally received half of a plate of meat.  Chicken to be exact, and it was so good!  This was the “small” plate by the way, and I should have had left-overs, but I ate it all.  Whoops. 


In the school realm of life things are getting busy.  Exquise Corpse Poem, as created by my classI have three papers that I am working on, all of which are about interesting things, but three papers = work!  And you know how in High School you could just kinda BS your way through papers because you already knew all of the information and you could just regurgitate it onto paper?  Well, I can’t do that anymore.  For example, in Exploration and Discovery I will be writing my final paper on prayer as it is portrayed in Genesis, Exodus and Matthew versus in the Aeneid.  I am looking forward to it very much, but again, lots of work will be going into that paper before writing it.  Thankfully I love the library here, so I am alright with spending many dscn0393.JPGextended hours in it. 

Quick side-note:  I was able to register for all of the classes I wanted to for next semester!  I have been so fortunate with that.  So I am signed up for: Spanish 201, Intro to Sociology, E&D, and The New Testament. 


One of the highlights of this week was last night’s poetry slam with the Elephant Engine High Dive Revival.  I saw fellow blogger Maisha there who was sitting in the very front, so hopefully her pictures are less blurry then mine – I’m sorry about that!  But it was an incredible performance.  I wish I could contain in words all of the emotion and passion those four men conveyed within their poems, but it would be impossible.  Slam poetry is a performance.  Many poems were read with music in the background.  Everything about the way each poem was presented allowed dscn0382.JPGthe audience to further connect with the poet and what he was saying.  Themes were many, varying from redemption to self-image.  But every single one was beautiful.  Please, if you are able, listen to poetry.  Not just read it, but listen to it.  When poetry is  verbalized it takes on a whole new life.  Watch THIS and THIS and take it in…

Send me your words!


“A poet should give to any nothing a local habitation and a name” -Shakespeare 

18 November 2009

Oh, the places you’ll go…

Getting things in the mail is always a great thing, but when the thing you get in the mail is a pre-ordered CD that you forgot about, it is awesome!!  I had bought the new Switchfoot CD  switchfoot-hello-hurricane-album-cover.jpg when it went on pre-order, but I did not realize that it was coming so soon.  Unfortunately, my computer is being odd and it is not uploading the songs, or playing them for that matter.  I have about four successfully uploaded, but it makes a weird clicking noise when I try to play the CD.  Hopefully I will figure out why soon so I can listen to the rest of the songs!  Well that’s not true, I’ve heard most of them thanks to YouTube, but still.  Having them on my iPod will be much better.

I came to L&C not fully knowing what I wanted to major in, but seriously considering majoring in English and becoming an English teacher.  My mail box!While this track still sounds good, I am finding myself looking at the Religious Studies department more and more.  Through my Bible in Literature class and the reading of the Bible in my E&D and even through reading the Koran in Bible in Lit. it has sparked a new interest.  One field that I had never really thought I could study.  The other option that I’m considering is SOAN.  I took a Sociology class my senior year of high school and had a fantastic experience, so I am giving the Intro to Sociology class a shot next semester.  I have heard good things so far.  Plus, even if I am not interested in that as a Major after the class, just having taken the intro class allows me room to take higher level classes and some of them sound so interesting.

My potential class load for next semester looks like this:  Spanish 201, Intro to Sociology, the New Testament, and E&D.  My E&D is about “Exploring the Auditory Experience”.  I am very excited to take it – we have gone on tangents in my Bible in Lit. class talking about how oral culture has affected the writing of the Bible and the poetry relating to it.  It is a topic that I am interested in, but do not know how to explore.  But now I will have an entire class based on it!  I am so happy that worked out.  I really liked the sound of a lot of other E&D classes though, check them out here.

With all of this talk of schedules, of course the topic of studying abroad came up for my epic “four year plan”.  Here is my dream as of right now: study in Morocco the spring of my Sophomore year, spend that summer in Uruguay with some family friends (I haven’t confirmed this with them… but this is still in “dream” stage remember) and then study the fall of my Junior year in Valparaiso, Chile.  Mt. Hood from campus!I am not expecting this plan to remain concrete, but this is a vision.  The other option (in order to deal with the Spanish language requirements for studying in Chile) is to spend that Sophomore year slot in the Dominican Republic, which would also be awesome.  Ecuador, Vietnam, Cuba and China are also options… so where I go from here is still unclear.  But it is a very good problem to have.  Next step is to go talk to the Overseas department tomorrow and then talk to the parental units.  Also, it is so incredible to be surrounded by friends that have or will be studying abroad soon.  I cannot get enough of their pictures and stories.  Having a community that supports my desires to go abroad is making me even more excited.

 It was my friend Jen’s 21st birthday on Monday!  Happy Birthday Jen!  Carolyn made Jen a beard cake (cake decorated like a face with a giant beard - Jen really likes beards) and I went over to the Alder main lounge with a group of friends to celebrate.  Jen spent her birthday in meetings, in class, and doing homework.  I don’t think that that was how she was planning on spending her 21st birthday, but it was awesome to eat beard cake with her!

The papers that I have written this year have been about some of the most interesting things.  The prompt for my E&D paper was basically this: listen to two different recordings of the song “Amazing Grace” and, using the song and one or two of the books we have read, answer this question, “Is seeing a good thing?”  …ready, GO!  So I get to go anywhere I want within those guidelines.  I am using the history behind the song as well as the chord progressions within the song to support my thesis, along with text from the book Flatland.  Part of my And with that I am going to go to Copeland (my friend Kelsey is having a tea party) and then with some caffeine keep working on this paper.

I know this is college-searching season Seniors, so please, let me know if you want to talk about something other than colleges.  I mean it.  But, that said, I would be more than happy to converse about college, whether it be Lewis & Clark or not.




“We are once in a lifetime” -Switchfoot

12 November 2009

Poetry in Autumn

On Tuesday my RA, Carolyn and I made pumpkin bread which was definitely the highlight of my week.  My Mom sent me a mix from Trader Joe’s and some white chocolate chips, and when combined they are simply amazing.  My favorite though is when you heat up the bread a little bit and then eat it with peanut butter and honey.  So good!!dscn0116.JPG


Chase Twitchell is going to do a reading tonight in the Manor House.  This is awesome because 1. Any excuse to go into the Manor House is a good one 2. We read a few of her poems for my Poetry class, and I really like her poetry 3. Poetry to me is extremely personal, regardless of the subject of the poem.  Every poem has hundreds of stories or meanings behind it, and to hear the original author present the work and then give some background is always a treat. 


As you all know, Halloween was last weekend!  This was the first Halloween that I haven’t trick-or-treated.  Yes, I trick-or-treated in High School, and it was awesome.  This year I borrowed Karen’s shark-towel-thingy to be a shark, and Maggie painted the backs of my hands like a mouth, uvula and all.  When I put my hands up on my face it looked like a shark’s mouth.  I thought it was pretty clever, especially when I spent no money on my costume.  Carolyn was on duty, so I hung out with her and helped her prepare for the party in Stewart.  I crushed peanuts and Oreo’s with a Wolfgang Puck Soup can for carmel apples, and there were pumpkins to carve – it was a great party.  I then went to hang out with my friend Jen because she was on duty in Forest.  All around it was a great night.


On the homework front everything is pretty mellow.  I have one paper going for E&D and another will come soon for Bible in Lit, but right now it is nice to have a sort of break.  Saying that, I know that a flood of homework will be coming shortly, so I am enjoying this time and relaxing. Also, time off does not mean that I am not doing anything, there is still homework every night, but just not as much.


I’m off to Agape, my scarf is almost done and Mt. Hood was out two days in a row!!  dscn0248.JPGAs always, let me hear your musings.




Have a great week,



“There must be chaos in one’s soul to birth a dancing star”dscn0118.JPG


5 November 2009

Orange and black, ATTACK! ATTACK!

So tonight I am caught in my bed with a mild headache and am missing reverse-trick-or-treating!  Agape is going around giving candy to people tonight, in costume of course, and I am stuck in bed.  Not cool.  But a group did stop by my room twice!!  Carolyn made cupcakes (I have yet to eat it…) and Kelsey and Jen delivered one to me!  Later they made their official stop and handed out candy to my roommate, and came in and said hello again.  I think this headache will go away with sleep.  So I might actually be going to bed at 9:30.  Awesome!

That being said Halloween is definitely stirring – RAKE, Random Acts of Kindness, Ect. Decorated pumpkins and put them around campus.  They have self-affirming messages on them like “smile” and “breathe”.  Finding them around campus was my small adventure of the day.  There are some very talented artists and climbers in that group (how did that pumpkin get up there?).  I am going to be a shark for Halloween!  My friend Karen has this towel-thingy that has a hood on it with shark teeth, eyes and a fin.  I think they were made with the intention of making it easier to dry little kids with towels after a swim, but hey, I can enjoy it too!  There have definitely been some creative costumes.  Jessica and Rachael from Agape both dressed like doctors and together they made a “pair-of-docs”!  I needed about six clews to understand that one, but I love it.

With a bittersweet ending, Crew has come to a close, for now.  The fall season ended on Sunday with the Portland Classic Regatta.  I rowed in the Women’s Open Eight, and it was a fantastic row.  We were focused throughout the entire thing and as a team we had portland-fall-classic-2009.jpga great time.  On the way back we hooked up an iPod to the speaker system in the boat and got to listen to music on our row back!  It was great to end the fall season as a team.  Orange and Black, ATTACK! ATTACK! is our Crew cheer, and it is even fitting for the Halloween season.

Today my midterms are done!  I feel good about my E&D test, and I am just going to go with it.  No stress, it’s done.  I met with my advisor, Mary today about what classes I should take next semester.  There is a new class on the origins of the universe that is taught by four professors (from the physics, geology, biology and chemistry departments) which is catching my interest.  However it is at the same time as the New Testament class that I want to take.  Another idea is to take the Intro to Sociology class so that I get a taste of the two departments that I am thinking about majoring in.  This semester I am in two English classes, and if I take a Religious studies class and a SOAN class then I will have a good knowledge of what I want to do in the future.  It is a very good problem to have!  Also, I am not guaranteed to get into the classes that I want to, but either way I have a good game-plan.

I am going to go to bed!  Those words sound so wonderful right now!  In college, make sure to get enough sleep, especially if you are sick.  I am going to listen to my advice and peace out.  Questions about ghosts, lions, tigers or bears?  Send them my way! 




‘Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world.
~William Shakespeare

p.s. For some reason my computer is not letting me upload some awesome pics to this blog, so I will get that sorted out and then let you see them!  Sorry!

28 October 2009

Leaves = slippery when wet

So finally Portland has begun to exhibit the characteristic that I was warned about, the rain.  I must admit though, right now I really enjoy it.  Maybe after a few months I’ll change my mind, but currently it is very refreshing.  The air is so clear and it seems like everything is vivid green - when nature gets a constant drink of water it certainly likes to show off.  Even this morning at 5:15 rushing to the Crew vans, when it was pouring, it wasn’t terrible.  Rowing in the rain was quite the experience though, but as a team I feel like the combination of waking up at 4:50, pouring rain, and this being our last week together for the fall season truly made us all come together.  This morning, despite being SOAKED and cold was fantastic.  Two cups of hot chocolate at breakfast definitely helped.

While I’m talking about crew I should tell you all that the regatta this past Saturday in Tacoma was fantastic!  We didn’t win any Regattaraces, but as a team we won.  What I mean by that is by experiencing what a race truly is (for 4 of the Varsity rowers, including me, this was our first race!) we now have a platform to build off of for this Sunday’s race, and also we kept up a great morale and had fun.  I also got to see my friend Erica!!  She goes to Pacific Lutheran in Tacoma, so she decided to bring herself and five friends - in Kayla and Erica reunited in Tacoma!the picture I am to the left and she is the next one to my right with the awesome rain boots.  I am thinking I might need to purchase some of those…

This week feels like a cool-down week.  Last week was so crazy with papers, tests and of course, homework.  There’s always homework.  But this week I am managing to have time to nap and knit between things instead of squeezing in every minute of homework just to stay ahead.  Yet it is only Wednesday night, and I have a recitation of a poem tomorrow for my Poetry class (I chose William Blake’s “The Little Black Boy”) and two tests next Wednesday.  So while I still have a ton going on, it is so nice to just chill and breathe for a while.  After Agape I went over to  Kelsey’s  (one of the people I went on the Fall break trip with) room and we just talked, and I wasn’t worried about homework or getting up early - just good bonding time.  Those need to happen more often, I think.

For Thanksgiving I will be going to visit my Grandma in Santa Cruz, California and I just bought my ticket today!  My friend Katie will be joining me too!  She is from Alaska and wasn’t planning on going home, so I invited her to come along.  It will be an awesome trip.  Another cool thing is that my other friend, Kaylie that Katie and I know through rowing lives in Santa Cruz, so we are planning 10720_1141865982567_1104962502_30368225_3073148_n.jpga day where we can show Katie around.  The connections I have made while at L&C so far have been so incredible. Think about this: Me, from Minnesota, has a best friend from Fairbanks, Alaska, and is having Thanksgiving in California and going to meet up with a teammate that just happens to live there.  Wonderful!

The only bad part about relaxing is that often times I enjoy it too much and forget about important things like sleep.  So, I’m off to bed, but I hope that you all are enjoying this week regardless of the weather conditions you happen to be in!  As always, I have more stories, and e-mail me with yours and we can chat.


“Do or do not, there is no try” -Yoda

21 October 2009

Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet

The leaves are bursting with color, the rain is sporadic and inevitable, and I am remembering the joys of drinking peach tea in the morning.  It is now time for my favorite season of what I call jeans-and-sweatshirt/sweater weather.dscn0051.JPG

Fall Break was last Thursday and Friday!  I had the privilege to go to the Coast with some friends – Carolyn and Kelsey, whom I met through Agape, invited me along.  We fake camped at a Kabin (that’s right, with a K) at a KOA, which is exactly what we all needed.  Each Kabin has a fridge, a TV, a conveniently located fire-pit and full bathroom/shower combos about fifty feet away.  I love real camping, but we all needed real beds and no stress regarding campsites.  There were six of us, and three major meals over the time we were staying there – we went out for lunch - we split up the meal making.  Don’t get me wrong, the Bon is alright, but a home-made meal is something to be appreciated and to get excited about.  Night one dinner: Carolyn and I made chicken, garlic bread, and corn by wrapping it in tin foil and sticking it in the fire.  Breakfast: Brandon and Will made the best French toast I’ve ever had.  Please look the picture and be very jealous.  Yes, those are fresh picked blackberries! dscn0054.JPG

Lunch: we went to a fish market/restaurant combo in Waldport.  Kelsey and I split fish-and-chips and a clam chowder bread bowl, both of which were fantastic.  Dinner two: That night we had “Authentic Italian Food” night and that was under Kelsey’s control (she spent last semester studying abroad in Italy!).  We had shrimp, garlic bread, and asparagus.  Ethan and I learned how to make and roll gnocchi!  Kelsey also made a Gorgonzola cream sauce for the gnocchi.  I wish I was having that for dinner tonight.  We had s’mores for dessert, but not your ordinary s’mores – remember Carolyn’s incredible cookies I told you about last week?  Well, substitute in two of Carolyn’s cookies for the graham crackers, then add chocolate, a marshmallow and peanut-butter!  Glorious.  The following morning we had cereal for breakfast, nice and painless.  Yes, I ate a TON of food over the course of that trip, but hey, I was on vacation!  I did to a lot of other things besides eat, so look to the right to see evidence of that.  I think they give a good view of how much fun we had, I’m so happy that I had the opportunity to spend time with some awesome friends.dscn0037.JPG

I guess I should tell you one thing about school, since that’s kind of why I’m here… so, for my Bible in Literature class one of our options for a paper was to write a modern version of a Psalm, (like Allen Ginsberg’s poems, Psalm III and Psalm IV) and then write an analysis of it.  I finished one on Saturday and thought it was pretty good, but then I went to Church at Imago Dei on Sunday and had to rewrite the entire thing after hearing the sermon on living into God’s story.  In the long run, this was very good because my Psalm is now much better and I learned a lot by writing it, but I still had to take more time out of doing other homework.  I’m glad it happened though.  Oh, and a poetry mid-term tomorrow, but I’m not stressing about it – it will be good.  

Exciting weekend plans: I’m competing in my first regatta!!  It is more of a practice/race scrimmage against Pacific Lutheran, Willamette and Puget Sound.  The line-ups will be figured out the day of, so I’m excited but anxious to hear which boat I’ll be rowing in.  I don’t even know if I’ll be rowing port or starboard yet.  The regatta is in Tacoma, Washington, meaning we need to leave here at 5:30 am - wonderful.  My friend from high school, Erica, goes to school at Pacific Lutheran and she is coming to watch!!  I am so excited to see her!  Along with the racing, seeing her will make waking up that early totally worth it.  I woke up for practice this morning at 4:50am and what a gorgeous morning it was.  The moon was bright and the city just glows.  I’ll get a picture of the city for you to see soon.

            Well, I’m off to study before dinner at 6:24 and then Agape tonight!  Sounds like a great way to end this day.  


Have any questions about my stories, the college-search whirlwind, pancakes with peanut-butter and jelly, or Plato’s Phaedo?  Send them my way!



p.s. I’m going to start doing a quote of the week section - I would be happy to share your favorite quote if you share it with me first!

  “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” –Winston Churchill

14 October 2009

Today is a good day

Hey everyone! 

Today was such a good day.  It began at 4:50 am, yes truly 4:50 am, when my alarm woke me up for Crew.  How can waking up that early be worth it?  Well, watching the sunrise is definitely part of it - experiencing the sun light up the world in the morning makes me feel like I am witnessing something only a select few get to see.  Plus I am rowing with some incredible girls, their dedication to the team and to the sport is inspiring to me, so inspiring that I actually get out of bed at 4:50 am! Which, for me, is a big deal - I’m definitely not a morning person.  I stole acrew.jpg picture off of my Coach’s blog for a little taste of what it looks like.  I only started rowing about a month ago, and it is crazy to think that I could pick up a new sport in College.  

This day was also good because all of my classes went well, I had a Spanish test, we’re talking about Isaiah in my Bible in Literature class (which has 6 people in it!  Crazy awesome) and Exploration and Discovery is always a wonderful mix of philosophy, literature and good stories.  One of the best things that happened was that  I helped made cookies!  My RA is a master at all things related to baked goods (definitely a good thing) so she I joined her and two other friends for some good old fashioned chocolate-chip cookie making.  Making food is something that I truly enjoy and need to find time to do more of while here.

These last two weeks I found myself doing homework a lot more than I had been.  This is due to the fact that I did have more homework (I get to write my own Psalm!  How sweet is that?!), but also because this wonderful thing called Procrastination is creeping back into my habits.  I’m working on it though.  One of the ways I deal with the homework load is that I move around when I do it.  So I will start in the Library, move to Maggie’s, to the Trail Room, and if it is nice outside then I will do my homework in the gardens behind the Manor House.  It is not everywhere that you can read The Bible or study Spanish and look at Mt. Hood! (Or look at Mt. Hood when it is not covered by clouds that is…) It’s a good system.

How could I forget?  It’s fall break!  Meaning that I’m going to the Oregon Coast tomorrow!  I am so excited to spend a few days with some new, great friends in a gorgeous environment – what a perfect way to spend the break.

It still blows my mind that I am here, in Oregon, at Lewis & Clark.  I have been knitting, rowing, eating vegan brownies, eating marionberry muffins and having peanut-butter and jelly on my pancakes (best thing EVER).  I have talked with people from Rwanda, Wisconsin, and Jamaica.  Everyone here has thousands of stories to tell. I hope that the stories I share with you will allow you to see into my life here at Lewis & Clark.  As always, e-mail me if you have any questions or comments!  I’d love to hear from you.


Until next time,




7 October 2009