Lee Yang’s Campus Journal

I am so close to being done

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.

13 April 2010

The last month

It’s been a long while since my last update, and I sincerely apologize. A lot has been going on these last few weeks – most having to do with school. Tackling thesis is an experience of insanity that I will never be able to forget and perhaps one that will haunt me for the rest of my life. No, I’m kidding, sort of. I’m just really bummed that students have not wanted to participate in my research, which I guess itself is a supporting argument for my thesis. But I’m learning a truckload. I’m surprised my poor poor brain can still process new information. Aye. In more positive news, there is a little more than a month of school left. Well, that’s hardly news to all us seniors who have had graduation on their mind since the beginning of this penultimate semester. Oh and did I mention thesis? Haha. Okay, real positive news this time. I found an internship in LA that entails me helping place music in various movies and TV shows, which coincidentally is one of my three dream jobs. Naturally, I screamed really really loud when I found it.  I mean I still have to apply for it, but just the fact that the opportunity is out there, so vividly and almost within-my-grasp is worthy of celebration. Look at me, dreaming already… it’s so needed, though. Facebook friends’ status updates have informed me that quite a few of them have already found jobs, or accepted into graduate schools, basically having already solidified plans for the next few months or years of their lives. Lucky!! I’ll get there, soon.

Been seeing a lot of prospective students visiting campus lately. It’s beautiful, no?

28 March 2010

An international affair

I have pictures again!  team north america!recipecoconut oilmixerbutterrrrrrmaking green tea cookiesall the performers

This past Saturday saw 45th Annual International Fair at Lewis and Clark. It’s an event that celebrates the diverse group of cultures represented at this school. Food and made by our very own international students are served in the first half of the day and a showcase extravaganza takes place in the afternoon featuring song and dance from all over the world. As an international student, I helped make food for the North America group. My entire Friday night was spent on making these Canadian desserts called Nanaimo bars, and even though I didn’t get the chance to taste the fruit of my labor, all the feedback have been positive. It almost makes me feel guilty for using 15 blocks of butter and more than 50 cups of sugar. Haha. I know that sounds like it’s a lot but we were also making massive amounts of these bars. Though we did joke that we should call them heart-attack bars. Check out the pictures!

The performances in the afternoon were a joy to watch. All the hard work people put into choreographing and rehearsing these intricate dance and song numbers finally paid off.  And I’m sure Maisha will talk about this in her update on Friday, but her girlfriend Melissa took part in a preview of a French play the department is putting on. Unfortunately I think only a  handful of people in the audience actually understood what was going on, but from the little that I did understand (hello, four years of high school French!) it seemed really great. My favorite performance, however, had to belong to my friend Daniel Bae, who danced and lipsync’d to a Korean pop song while accompanied by a large group of back-up dancers (also LC students). It was AWESOME. I’ll try to get a link to a video so you guys can see.

You can always contact me at lyang@lclark.edu with any questions you might have about LC. :)

Until next time!

8 March 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

It’s only been three weeks since school started? Say what? It feels like a semester already. Of course I’m exaggerating but really this semester is going by very slowly. And I am so grateful for this – whatever prolongs my absence from the real working world… I need. This week has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride, but the issue at hand isn’t really appropriate for this space. But know that there was a peaceful rally and a few student forums involved, and hopefully we’ll see some changes to the school’s policies. I guess you will have to come to this school to find out. My shameless and “subtle” plug for this school aside, isn’t this about the time you guys are hearing back from schools? Or am I entirely off and you guys are just getting started on your applications? Either way, I am here to answer your questions. So far I’ve been able to help a few people with their questions (yes, there is wireless internet all over campus; no, this is not a clothing-optional campus, unfortunately), but I remember during my application process I messaged a few LC students on MySpace and that was really helpful (yes, MySpace the social networking site… I’m a fossil, I know!) So yeah, you can e-mail me at lyang@lclark.edu and I’ll give you all the dirty details about this school. Kidding…kind of.

I guess the reason it seems like this semester’s been going by so slowly is because of the sheer volume of the work I’ve had to do. Not only do I have my regular (and rigorous as always) academic schedule to worry about, now I have an internship that consumes upwards of 20 hours of my time per week and a thesis that I’m growingly increasingly apprehensive about. For my internship at the NW Film Center I’ve been making movie posters. Lots of niche-ized posters that we send to various organizations in Portland so they can help us promote the movies at this year’s Portland International Film Festival (PIFF), which kicks off this Thursday. So if you live in Portland are super super into movies, especially international cinema, go! You can find the schedule at http://www.nwfilm.org Better yet, if you’ve been severely affected by this wack economy, get in touch with me and if I’m working at the specific movie you’re interested in I might just be able to pull out some money-saving magic….

Until next time.

8 February 2010

a loaded smile

The Not-So-Serious:

Remember the music video I filmed last semester? (Of course you do, I couldn’t shut up about it.) Well I finished it over break and it is now available on YouTube! I got my friend Steph to wear a (cheap) blonde wig and be Lady Gaga, and my friend Becca to also wear a wig to act as Beyonce. The result is colorful, hilarious, and I’m really proud of what we did. It already has more than 2,500 views on YouTube! Check it out by clicking the link below!

 lady gagamv2.JPGbeyoncebecca as beyoncegaga (steph) at a party

Lady Gaga ft Beyonce - Telephone 

The Serious:

At long last, the last semester of my undergrad years has cometh. For three and half years I have listened to people telling me how weird and surreal it feels to be on the verge of graduating, and I never understood what the big deal is. I do now. And I know some people say freshman year feels like only yesterday… but for me it seems like ages and ages ago that I first stepped onto this campus as a first-year. What does this mean I don’t know for sure. What I do know is that it’s bananas how much has happened in four years – and I have a lot to show for it. I mean, I’ve learned to like to read and write, I now watch serious movies, and I don’t hate rock music anymore. I guess this is where I get sappy and I say how much I’ve grown…HA. No, I’ll spare you since I already did enough of that in the last post. Instead I’ll bore you with what I’ve been up to for the first two weeks of school.

 cubicles!!!!industrial lighting!!!film postersmy workspace

Let’s see…oh I’m overloading again. 20 credits this time: 3 classes + thesis + internship. Yeah, I’m scared. And I guess a little bit excited too. But mostly scared. The best part of this semester so far has been definitely my internship at the NW Film Center (check them out at nwfilmcenter.org). It’s been a crazy load of work – 14 flyers due by next Wednesday crazy – but it’s also my first real step into the working world. It’s serious business. I’m there 16 hours a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Sometimes weekends if I have to be at a film screening. The line-up for this year’s Portland International Film Festival (PIFF) looks insannne and I’m so psyched because I don’t get to watch too many foreign films normally so this is going to be a great break from my once-again crazy academic schedule. Here are some pictures I took at work today.

That’s it for this week. I hope you guys enjoyed the music video. And definitely feel free to send it around!!

-Lee

P.S. You can always catch me at lyang@lclark.edu

 

28 January 2010

New year //

The smooth sounds of Fleet Foxes coming from the earphones deceptively implanted in me the permission to lounge around, but in five minutes I had to take a final exam that I had forgotten about until the day before (who does this?!).  It was the Monday of the week before finals started – well, the week before reading days – and the looming paper and project deadlines occupied all of my thoughts. I knew I would have to get an ‘A’ on this exam so I could move out of the ubiquitous gray zone between the A and the B. Unfortunately this gray zone has become a regular thing. The flipside is that my grades will be a surprise!

So, because I had forgotten about the exam until the day before, I spent all night in the library cramming every little bit of information I could into my poor brain that’s already been overwhelmed by my 21-credit course load. My stomach made a noise. This one sounded like a lunch-time grumble. I looked at my cell phone – oh hell, it’s 1:45. I had five minutes. There were two books and a dozen or so printed PDFs sprawled out on the table in front of me, and while I usually took my sweet time with packing things up, I was out of that hole by 1:47. Don’t believe what my professors and friends say; I AM capable of hurrying.

I silently congratulated myself for my success at cramming as I darted from the library to the academic building, while strategically routing myself so as to avoid the sufficiently awkward exchanges, maybe with that guy I met Freshman year on a random weekend adventure, maybe with that friend-of-a-friend I used to sit with in the Bon. Brief as these encounters are usually, time was of the essence here. God, I could really use a cigarette.

But I did not even make it onto the staircase before I came across…well, this:

hipster irony

Poster-glued in the dead center of the wall in front of me was this statement on white paper that is so structurally simple yet so symbolically powerful in reminding me of all my past frustrations with this school that the years have helped me get over. It is not about Gucci Mane. It’s an instance of hipster irony at its finest, and it made me remember my rant about LC after watching Juno (”I hate people who talk like that!“). And when I turned my nose up at the guy on the dance floor who wore pants five sizes too small and glasses that were way too big for his face, not to mention lens-less. Snicker-worthy maybe, but that was it. There is so much hate in this world. Why muster up the energy to hate on the people and things that really don’t matter to me. Really. I can stand to grow up a little, in every aspect, in every meaningful way. So, here’s to growing with the new year.

24 December 2009

Sarcophagus

Wanna know how I feel right now? Like I can conquer anything. This is false. But I just survived the worst night/day combination in all of my three and half years here at Lewis and Clark. No, nothing exciting happened. I just had a lot of school work to do. Two papers, two presentations, and two finals to be exact. They were all due today. That Art History final pretty much occupied all of my time, since there were 200 or so images to memorize (+ their significance and period/dates). At 9’o clock this morning, I walked in to that classroom and knew I was going to ace it. And I did, or at least I B’d it. I’ll be happy with either grade. Amazing class, but a butt-kicking final for sure…. But it kinda sucks that spent all of my time on Art History that I literally had no time for my five other projects. But I managed to pull through…somehow. I got an extension on the presentation, so I’ll be preparing for it tonight, plus two short reflection papers and one four-page reflection paper of my PioLog experience, and studying for another final for tomorrow. Laying them out like this looks bad, but I honestly don’t feel the least bit of stress. I’m on a weird high… I’m pretty sure this is what triumph feels like.  But I’m not done yet. Here is to a glorious tomorrow.

Oh, if you ever decide to come to (or visit) Lewis and Clark, make sure you plan your trip so that you can be here for the next a capella concert. This guy named Jon. Oh yeah, he blogs, too. Well his voice is possibly one of the best I have ever heard. Think Iron and Wine, but more crisp. And I hope it isn’t creepy that I’m writing about him on here. The other groups were good, too! I always enjoy Section Line Drive’s Holiday Medley.

What else…

Oh, my laptop broke last week. That’s right. Right before finals. I lost a bunch of notes and I couldn’t finish a final video project for a class, but luckily I had already made one earlier in the semester so that was covered. Today I got a phone call from the fixer-uppers and apparently it’s ready to be picked up! Best timing ever. Not.

15 December 2009

Dear Time,

Please slow down.

Sincerely yours,

Lee

a viewthe housedeers!ethan and bellabella and busterfattyon a walkwalk 2hahahahNo seriously. I want this semester to slow down. It is already after Thanksgiving and I feel like it’s been less than a month since my very first blog post all the way back in the beginning of October. What is it that they say? That time flies when you’re having fun? Oh right… I think by having fun they really meant ‘working hard.’ Next week I have an exam on Monday, a paper due on Tuesday, a paper due on Thursday, and another exam on Friday. Oh and three other papers to write for the week after. Plus a whole bunch of internship application deadlines to meet. Oh, and final exams. But maybe, just maybe, I’ll manage my time really really really well and the next two weeks will go by smoothly. I’ve done it before… and I’ve also failed at managing time. When it comes to this sort of thing I’m very 50/50. But this time I’m not just going to try, because that’s just setting yourself for failure. I’m going to do it, with the help of my awesome day-planner, which is possibly one of my most prized possessions…ever. And it only cost $2.99. Get one.

I’m also thinking of applying to be the forum editor for the Piolog. I engage in fair bit of magazine reading in my spare time… with Esquire being my favourite. The articles in it are always well-written, semi-witty, and speak to my interests. I like that it doesn’t focus too much on ridiculously priced designer fashion like GQ, or tips on how to be a burly, burly man like Maxim (by having a lot of sex and/or drinking a lot of beer, preferably doing both at a bar). Although, my subscription to Blender did recently convert itself to Maxim after Blender went out of business. So maybe someone’s trying to tell me something… but back to my interest in Piolog. I have a few interesting ideas that I think Piolog should adopt, for example, a tongue-in-cheek “how-to” guide on how to fit in at LC… ha.

Anyhow, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. My housemates and I went down to Ethan’s house in Days Creek, OR, which is about 4 hours away from Portland. Ethan’s parents cooked up a delicious Thanksgiving meal and I was very thankful for their hospitality.  I am also thankful for a few special people in my life, as well as these things: my mom, Erik, food, shelter, clothing, Adam Lambert’s new CD, and the many opportunities I was born into/given/stumbled upon. I have it pretty good, and I hope by next time this year, those who currently aren’t as fortunate will have turned their fortunes around, and I’ll have acquired the ability to compose coherent sentences.

For now, I leave you with pictures from our trip to Days Creek.

P.S. Did you know that Obama went to China last week? Well he did, and he straight up told Premier Hu to cool it with the Internet censorship.

 

28 November 2009

So I just got back from Fall Ball. What a wild night… this year’s event was definitely the biggest out of the four years I’ve been here. My roommate said it’s because of the changing demographics… with all the hippies slowly being phased out and the Abercrombie-wearing freshmen from SoCal slowly taking over. I don’t know if this is entirely accurate but there is definitely some truth in it. I didn’t mind at all; it’s more fun when people are up to date with the current music and can bust out from memory all the moves from Single Ladies… or at least attempt to. I was most definitely guilty of this tonight! Haha. I really went all out with my dancing, and I’m glad I did because it was probably my last school dance EVER.  It’s kind of surreal that I’m graduating in just a few months. Speaking of which, I’m going to spend all day tomorrow working on internship applications. Volunteering at the homeless feeding center really put things in perspective for me. Soon I will no longer be protected under the umbrella of education, and will have to face the harsh realities of the real world. To be honest, just thinking about it scares me. So let’s get back to the topic of Fall Ball. I was rushing when I left the house and forgot to bring my camera, but everyone else brought theirs so I’ll post some pictures when they get uploaded.fall ball awkwardness

This past week was kind of a blur. I celebrated my birthday on Thursday with some friends at this restaurant called Henry’s Tavern. The food there is moderately priced and fairly delicious, but the company of my friends was what really made the night for me. My mom sent me a card in the mail saying she wished I were home so she could make soup for me. I don’t know why I’m admitting this here, but her letter made me tear up a little. I miss her a lot, and can’t wait to go back in a month to see her and my 1-year old baby brother, Erik. I guess I’ll post some pictures of him. Who doesn’t like a cute baby?

 ERIK

Erik 2

 

Until next week!

taylorswift.gif

Lee

lyang@lclark.edu

22 November 2009