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: ‘Til next time

Hello everyone,

I am writing to you from the living room of my brother Padgett’s house, because I am officially moved out. I finished hauling my mountains of belongings down to storage late last night thanks to the help of Padgett and Eleanor. It was brutal packing everything up on Thursday and getting it all down to storage, but thankfully that’s all done. Unfortunately, the time crunch of getting everything academic done and all of my personal belongings out left little time for goodbyes. Everyone had things to get done, and there just wasn’t much time to stop, breathe, and say our goodbyes. Thankfully, I will see many of those friends again next year. Some of them, though, will be abroad all year. I don’t know when we’ll see each other next, but I hope it’s soon.

My high school in Arizona has a tradition in which students all rose to the next grade during the graduation ceremony. Juniors are allowed to turn over their senior rings and became seniors, while the sophomores are declared juniors and the freshmen become sophomores. On Sunday, as I am in the air on my home to Santa Barbara, I will be thinking of this tradition as the Lewis & Clark seniors go through the process of graduating. On Sunday, I will officially be a senior. I will begin the mental preparations and revelations that come with approaching my final year in college. It has been a long, unconventional process for me, and I have trouble wrapping my head around the idea of its being over. As I wrap my head around the idea of college being nearly over, you all are probably coming to terms with the fact that college is nearly beginning. I intend to focus on the excitement of new experiences, new people, and new challenges that come with leaving what I’ve become familiar with and forging a path for myself someplace new. I encourage you all to do your best to fall into a similar frame of mind. There is sadness, absolutely, with leaving what you know and love for uncertainty. But that uncertainty can also hold the promise of something so different and incredible. You may not have thought to choose every part of what your life will be like here at LC… your roommate might not be who you always pictured yourself living with, or your classes might not be what you’d wanted, but I hope that you find (as I often did) that even the parts you didn’t pick are just as they should be.

I’ll admit that my glowing view of this year in retrospect is influenced by the fact that I am no longer at LC. It is already missed, in my eyes. However, I would argue that even as I went through the stress and strain that was this year, I loved Lewis & Clark. Taking away the moments of panic and the all-nighters has simply left more room for the love of this place. My year at LC has ended with an immense sense of appreciation for the school, and I wanted my year of blogging to end on a similar note.

Now, I do hope to come back to this blog periodically over the summer with notes on getting ready for next year and how to approach classes, NSO, etc. However, I think you and I both need the time to really appreciate what we have now and to understand what next year is for us before we can start getting ready for it. Check back when you’re ready for next year, and hopefully I’ll be ready, too.

All the best,

Grayson

4 May 2012 Comments Off on ‘Til next time

: Countdown to Conclusion: Finale

Well, I’ve had my last night at Lewis & Clark.

It was as great as I could have asked it to be. It started with me and my friends driving to the Hawthorne food carts—in my opinion, they’re some of the best. We immediately flocked to Herb’s Mac and Cheese, which was great to see, because it moved from its previous location and we thought we had lost it forever! I got my usual, mac and cheese with garlic, tomato, and mushroom. So good and so cheap! Some other great carts were there, including an ice cream one that served maple bacon ice cream!

I held off of the ice cream, though, because our next stop was Pix—a great pastry shop/cafe. It was a small place I had never been to, but it had a great ambiance and such good food! I got a mango mousse, but there were some great looking macaroons that I could not resist! The tea was great as well. It was all so perfect, and so Portland. I know that I won’t have nights like that back home, and I really cherished it.

My friends really made the night special, though. I feel like even after 8 short months we’re basically at the point where we can read each others’ minds. In a great way. I’m going to miss them so so much—most live in California, with some Midwest and East Coast scattered in there. Hopefully I’ll get to meet up with the East Coast girls at some point this summer! Four months will be too long to go without bein’ a goof with them!

This year has been great. I’m not sure what I expected college to be like, but I’ve loved my experience. There are going to be rough patches, moving away is a big transition, but they do not outweigh the great. I will always remember my Portland days and nights, milling about Powell’s, finding weird restaurants, blaring Destiny’s Child. I will cherish my Lewis & Clark memories forever, as cheesy as it may be. It’s true.

I need to go to bed now, unfortunately, instead of hanging out until the late late hours. I leave at 5 in the morning tomorrow. Bright and early.
See you later Lewis & Clark. I’ll miss you more than I can say.

3 May 2012 Comments Off on Countdown to Conclusion: Finale

: Countdown to Conclusion: Part 3

I stand by what I said about packing, I really do enjoy it, but THERE’S JUST SO MANY THINGS! I’m basically done now, and have moved all of my boxes. All there’s left are my suitcases. Unfortunately, my bedding is going to be taking up the majority of them.

Our room went from a warm red to a pale white in about three hours. Our posters and Christmas Lights made the whole room glow, but now it looks empty. Our coffee maker, hot water heater, speakers, maps—everything—gone. I’m getting flashbacks from moving in.  I just want to cover the walls; they look sad and alone.

But the white is soothing, too. It feels clean. It feels like a transition. And it is. I cannot believe that my freshman year of college is over. It does not feel like it’s been an entire year since I decided where I wanted to spend these four years. Now there are only three left. That seems crazy.

I’ve heard upperclassmen say that time goes by faster every year. On May 3rd next year, will it feel like a year since the end of my freshman year? Will it feel like I’ve been out of high school in two years? Or will it feel like a couple of months?
Actually, I don’t want to focus on that! I just want to focus on packing, and on spending time with my friends. We’re going to the Hawthorne food carts tonight, which will be great! I plan on eating A LOT, since this will be my last fill of Portland food for a while. Then I think we’re going to try to watch a movie in the Platt Main Lounge—there’s a giant TV in there.

After that I can be sad about leaving. The walls and I will grieve together.

3 May 2012 Comments Off on Countdown to Conclusion: Part 3

: When Grayson was in Egypt’s land, let my Grayson go…

Hi there everybody,

Depending on your pop culture knowledge, you may or may not be able to tell that I watched Ferris Bueller this weekend. There was plenty of work to do as well, but I found myself in dire need of a break one night, so I wound up watching a movie with friends. It’s a pretty good movie choice to balance out the desire to not be in school (Ferris) with the utter gloom of having to work so hard in school (Cameron). I usually relate pretty strongly to Cameron’s fusion of fun and wallowing, and the other night was no exception. I’m definitely feeling the stress and pressure of Finals Week. It’s hard to balance everything out and not panic about what’s to come. I’m having trouble focusing on what is at hand instead of bracing myself for something that doesn’t happen until I’ve finished two other things. I have exams in four of my classes (Piano–which was last week, Cognitive Neuroscience, Christian Origins, and Drugs & Behavior). I’ve also got assorted performance requirements to fulfill and papers to write, so it’s a lot to juggle time management-wise (especially when you try and jam reasonable amounts of sleep in there. My schedule is just not having that.)

I had my Cognitive Neuroscience exam today. Blessedly, it was not cumulative, but that did not make it much better. My professor’s last name is Watson, which (unbeknownst to him) sets my brain off with Sherlock Holmes references more often than you’d expect.

From “Otters Who Look Like Benedict Cumberbatch”

Today’s exam, I found myself flashing back to one of the first (if not the first) Holmes/Watson scenes in the first of the new Sherlock Holmes movies. Holmes, in a fragile state, says:

“Gently, Watson. Gently.”

Watson responds with no tenderness whatsoever. Today, as I braced myself for the inevitable horror that was to come, I thought to myself, “Gently, Watson. Gently.” Alas, my fate was the same as Holmes and the exam was anything but gentle. I’ve always had trouble getting ready for these tests and today was no exception. I had studied, but I had not prepared. It’s frustrating to spend so much time and give up so much sleep on something and to not do as well as you’d hoped. I don’t like leaving exams without some sort of confidence, but that was the case today. I’m hoping that the rest of my grade will ease the blow of this exam so that I end up with some sort of middle-to-low B. It’s not the best, but this class was a real challenge for me, and I’m proud to have made it through relatively unscathed. Whatever grade I get, I can at least know I worked hard to earn it. My philosophy on most academic pursuits applies here as it does to just about everything to come this week:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up on the agenda are two essays to write with the very little sleep I have in me and preparation for a makeup piano solo performance. On top of that, I have to find some way to ready myself for my non-cumulative (THANK GOD) Drugs & Behavior final by tomorrow night and my cumulative (WHYYYY?) Christian Origins final by Wednesday. Throw in the panic that comes with looking at my quite-full room and trying to wrap my head around how to un-fill it, and it’s a busy week.

I know that many of you who are incoming students are facing similar trials right around now. I hope that you’re all managing the stress alright and finding ways to keep yourselves motivated (like, say, reminding yourself of how awesome LC is and that you get to come here next year). If you’re feeling run down and are in need of a boost, you can always try my secret weapon:

http://youtu.be/btPJPFnesV4

Once again, I wish you all the best and hope the week goes well for all of you.

‘Til next time,

Grayson

30 April 2012 Comments Off on When Grayson was in Egypt’s land, let my Grayson go…

: Countdown to Conclusion: Part 2

Things are beginning to slow down, finally. My French oral did not go terribly at all—in fact I feel pretty good about—and I’ve done three of my eight-page papers! It’s slowly coming together, which is great because now I need to focus on packing!

I’m generally an obsessive packer. I start at least a week before I need to, and yet I somehow, every time, manage to forget something mildly important. I want to start packing now so that this does not happen this time, since no one will be able to just send me my forgotten object!

It’s crazy how many things I’ve accumulated since I got to Lewis & Clark. A lot of the stuff is junk, it’s true, but it’s junk I want to keep! Of course I’m going to bring home the half-torn poster from The Branx from the time my friends and I saw Dan Deacon! Obviously I’m going to bring home my ticket from seeing Jim Lehrer speak at the Schnitzer!

Besides the memorabilia, I have a LOT of books—an inevitable occurrence when you live so close to Powell’s. Those are going to cost a lot of money to ship, but what if I want to read them (again) over the summer? No way I’ll abandon them!

Packing is the most overwhelming task now that papers and presentations are slipping away.

My obsessive packing is going to be difficult this time around, because I really really do not want to see my room empty. When I take my posters down, when I pack the tea boxes, and the shoes, and the books…what will be left?

It’s weird to think that someone new will have my room next year, but it is something my roommate and I have been thinking about a lot recently. How many people listened to “Help!” in our dorm before? Probably a lot. We weren’t the first, and we most likely won’t be the last.

It’s odd that a short time ago, we were the new kids on campus. Now a slew of new people are coming, and we’ll be sophomores. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m an Overnight Host for Admissions. Because of that, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a good amount of people who have been accepted as part of the class of 2016, and let me congratulate you if you are one of those people!! From everything I’ve heard about you, and from every one of you I’ve met, you are making up one of the best classes of Lewis & Clark. Seriously. Every girl I’ve hosted was just so interesting, and so nice, and so COOL. I know I’m bordering on gushing, but I’m really proud of Lewis & Clark for accepting such great people.

I know May 1st is coming quickly, so if any of you have last minute questions about LC, please don’t hesitate to ask. Which college to attend is a big decision to make, one that you should definitely think about. Hopefully I can help!

26 April 2012 Comments Off on Countdown to Conclusion: Part 2

: Wrapping It Up

“Tis the week before summer. That’s to say: life = craziness. All the freshmen are working on their end-of-the-semester E&D research papers. I, however, am one of the fortunate ones to have been placed in Norah Beck’s “Mostly Mozart” class. We had to make a video project accompanied by a 5 page paper instead of one 12 page paper. We just finished filming today. HOORAH. Group projects are truly a drag. They’re nice because one is given the chance to meet and spend time with people they may not spend time with otherwise. Besides that, however, there aren’t too many other redeemable qualities. But in the event that there are, they are shadowed by the logistical bummer which is scheduling. It is almost literally impossible to get 5 college students to be in the same place at the same time. Besides the burden of the project which included writing music, a libretto, choosing costumes, writing essays and filming, scheduling proved to be the largest obstacle. I’m not complaining, by any means, well, actually I am, but heck. Such is life. All of this is part of what it takes to be a successful human being who will prosper with 2.5 children and a white picket fence.

It feels kinda groovy to have one year of college under my belt. That’s really all I have to say about that: it just feels groovy. You too will understand this sentiment in slightly over a year from now when you are completing your first two semesters. At that point, I expect an email commending my insightfulness.

Currently listening to the newest Shins album, not really even the shins, just James Mercer with the same band name. Regardless, it is out of control. It was given to me by a friend along with a gang of other music that has been assisting me in neglecting my studies. Music sharing and stealing is so easy in college. I seldom have to even break the law anymore on torrent sites, not that all my old favorite hubs are even still around (RIP btjunkie). Oh SOPA. That reminds me, in the event that any of my loyal followers of this blog care even the slightest about my personal life, I am pleased to inform y’all that I intend to head to law school after my time here. Not something I ever thought I would pursue, but here I am. Lewis and Clark opens up a world of possibilities…

Speaking of stress, the housing lottery process was quite the grueling experience. Of course, I’m being hyperbolic, but still, it wasn’t fun. My three roommates and I all pulled TERRIBLE lottery numbers so we had a poor selection when our time came. First and second choices were out of the question at that point but we ended up with one of the largest quads offered in Forest. I’m pretty pumped on it. We’re going to throw some CRAZY par…. study sessions. Yep, lots of work to be done. Except actually there will be quite a lot of work to do next semester. I just figured out my schedule. 18 credits doesn’t sound like a lot but the time commitment can be out of this world. True, one of those credits is sailing which I am absolutely STOKED for, but, heck that’s four hours out of my week. I have other things to do. At least I’ll be getting a lab requirement out of the way (not by means of sailing, that’s different). Labs are a hefty undertaking. We meet four days a week in addition to a lab once a week. Gr. Again, such is life.

26 April 2012 Comments Off on Wrapping It Up