January 2012

The School of Rock

Well, we are finally back into the rhythm. On drums we have classes guided us. On keyboard we have homework. Bass guitar played by my Pamplin sports routine. Lead guitar is my lovely residents. And singing lead vocals we have James Hetfeild (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUfSym5Pb5s&feature=fvst) or so it seems. The most recent change to my schedule is that I am going to put off my independent study for a semester. Advised to do so by Coach Mike of the T&F team, I know this is the right decision. Let me tell you why (there is a lesson I promise.)

So, I am currently taking 18 credits. Largest load I have ever had here on campus. Calculus 4 is proving to be the hardest math class I have ever had (yes, including Discrete mathematics. It’s worse than this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aa8U0nL-KXg) Computer Science 172 isn’t too bad, but I am super stressing about the final project. Spanish 102 is still just a foreign language class I don’t want to take anyway. Ancient Rome has a [whole bunch] of reading. Piano = Awesome. And track is going well. That said, adding one more class, especially this one, would be the last straw to break the camel’s back. “Matt, when will you ever have time to take this class that you really want to take because you love the subject and really really want to improve these skills designed into the class?” Great question Loyal Follower (Micah . . .).

Well, after this semester I will only have 48 credits left before I can graduate. Excluding the possibility that I will leave early due to my athletic obligations, I know that I will have 4 semesters left. That is 12 credits a semester. With the amount of elective credit I still have to earn outweighing my other requirements I know that I can easily fit in this class into another semester. Next fall seems to be the best time to fit it in.

The Lesson: Plan out your collegiate career (as best you can) with your advisors as soon as you can. Paul Allen, my advisor, and I have spent much time talking about the classes I need/want to take. We have developed more than one program for me to follow. Lesson 2: Take the AP test. Coming into college with credits allows you to: A) leave early and save money or B) take fewer classes each semester and be more involved. The $80 is completely worth it.

Well, that is all for now. I would like to thank my loyal followers for asking such good questions.


Matt the RA

31 January 2012 Comments Off on The School of Rock


Look, moving pictures not just words!


Enjoy, my little crumpets, enjoy.

Namaste.  (I’m taking yoga. I’m allowed to say this now, right?)

30 January 2012 Comments Off on Friendcrush

A busy (but awesome) outlook for the semester.

We have completed two weeks of school already and I am very excited for the semester ahead!  This spring I am taking the history of modern Africa, the second semester of intro physics, microbiology and an independent study course. Along with being a member of the Track and Field team, the SAAC (student athlete advisory committee) representative for ASLC (Associated Students of Lewis and Clark, i.e. student government) and hopefully interacting with the animal club as much as I have time for! Whoo… yeah, I definitely have a busy semester ahead!

For my independent study I am working in the Binford spider lab on campus and I will be studying the genus Loxosceles specifically. I will (hopefully) help piece together these spiders’ evolutionary history in the Caribbean! My work will be one small piece to a very large and complex puzzle that many collaborators are working to assemble, specifically Dr. Greta Binford (Oregon professor of the year!) and Ingi Agnarsson a professor at the University of Puerto Rico.

Loxosceles reclusa, the brown recluse, a North American relative of the species that I am working with

Here is a website with more information if you are interested on the island biogeography project!  http://www.islandbiogeography.org/caribbean.html


Sidenote: Has anyone seen Lewis and Clark’s website’s front page lately?!? Seriously? It is so full of awesome achievements!

  • A student is directing a super bowl commercial at 21 years of age. The youngest director of a super bowl commercial ever! Watch for it!
  • We were rated at the top of the Peace Corps Top Colleges List
  •  U.S. News & World Report ranked Lewis & Clark 15th in the nation for liberal arts colleges with the best undergraduate teaching
  •  We have Oregon’s professor of the year, Dr. Binford!
  • The women’s basketball team is ranked 7th in the nation for division III schools!

I would not be surprised if there were many more awesome things going on. Way to go pios!


29 January 2012 Comments Off on A busy (but awesome) outlook for the semester.

Graduation (noun): The award or acceptance of an academic degree or diploma

Now then, how to get to graduation-time without realizing in a sudden panic that you’re a few credits short? Watch my video and inform yourself on the basics of graduation credit requirements:

Video description:

Graduation requirements can be difficult to piece together. This video offers the basics, as described by a current Lewis and Clark student and Real Life Blogger. Using information directly from the Lewis and Clark Catalog and website, I have put together the basic facts that you should know as you go into planning your academic path at Lewis and Clark. Consult with the Registrar’s Office (e-mail address in the video) for questions specific to your own circumstances, but I hope this video helps give you a general sense of the graduation process.

Music: Teardrop– Civil Twilight (in case you wondered)

Or, catch yourself up on my earlier video regarding General Education requirements for graduation:

Video Description:

Using information pulled directly from the Lewis and Clark College catalog (http://docs.lclark.edu/undergraduate/), I’ve created a video for you covering all the key information to know about General Education Requirements for graduation. Of course, for the official information and specific questions, I recommend you consult the catalog or contact the registrar. However, I hope that this video will serve as an excellent guide to the ins and outs of LC’s General Education Requirements. Some of this information is geared especially at transfer students, while other elements are relevant to all types of students.

To spice up the video a bit, I’ve added some music. The music featured in the video is the recently-released single “Forever Yours” by Alex Day (in case you were wondering).


‘Til next time,


28 January 2012 Comments Off on Graduation (noun): The award or acceptance of an academic degree or diploma

DayQuil. Aaahh! Fighter of the sickness. Aaahh! Champion of my life.

Hello dear readers,

So sorry for the delay in posting, but I’ll do my best to get you up to speed. Let’s see, the semester started with snow and cold, and now I’ve wound up with a wicked cold. The snow was amazing. I hadn’t been sure if I’d prefer snow to rain, but now I know that I definitely do. It’s much prettier and much less wet, both of which are major pluses in my book.


Quick, do the cliché snow pose!

Last semester my schedule was pretty imbalanced towards academics and didn’t really allot as much time as it needed to for everything. I’ve switched things around this semester and seem to have found a much healthier balance between academics and extracurriculars, while still also staying within my credit needs. I’m taking Cognitive Neuroscience, Christian Origins, and Drugs and Behavior as my academic courses. Additionally, I’m receiving credit for Women’s Chorus and the Pioneer Log and I’m taking a Beginning Piano class (which Matt, a fellow Real Life Blogger, is also taking). My schedule feels much more balanced and I’m feeling much better for it.

Classes have been pretty interesting so far. Cognitive Neuroscience is fantastic. I’d been really looking forward to the class, and I’m so happy that it doesn’t disappoint. The lab component, while daunting, is also very interesting. We started labs this week, and the first assignment was to dissect a sheep’s brain. The actual structural components are very interesting, but I’m a bit hesitant with a scalpel. Thankfully I had a partner to help with that piece, and the experience of actually seeing all of these neurological components that I’ve learned about was really valuable. I didn’t really know what I’d be getting into with Christian Origins. Until now, I haven’t taken any Religious Studies classes, so I didn’t really have any relative experience to go off of. After a few sessions, I think the best way to describe it is as sort of a History and Literature class. We start with the historical contexts in order to eventually end up looking at the literature. I like the premise of the class, and I’m kind of glad to feel out of my element. College is the place to explore these kinds of things and feel shaky about them but not threatened by them. I’m looking forward to pushing my boundaries some more. (I’ll be sure to remind myself of this if/when I end up panicking just before our first paper, which is coming up very soon.) Drugs and Behavior isn’t quite what I expected, but it still should be interesting. I had known going into the class that it could end up being either about pharmaceutical drugs and their effects (which I had hoped for) or illicit drugs, their effects, and addiction. In either case, it would be an interesting class, I had simply hoped a bit more strongly for the former. Instead, it focuses on the latter, which should be interesting as well. I’ll be excited as we get deeper into the material and focus on specific drugs instead of background information. Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with my academic classes and I’m extremely pleased with the distribution of work and class time. My schedule just seems so much smarter than how I’d had it last semester. (Insert sigh of relief)

My non-academic pursuits have started off well also. The PioLog releases its first issue of the semester this Friday, which is exciting. Women’s Chorus is getting ready for the Anti-Valentine’s Day concert, so mark your calendars for February 10th. I love the pieces we’re doing, and I am really looking forward to the concert. It should be a ton of fun. Piano has been good for me as well. I took it some as a child, and it has been nice to start again. As a singer I didn’t really receive the technical training that many musicians do regarding music reading, etc. So, I decided that piano would be a great way for me to work on those skills while also learning a new instrument. The work in class can be a little overwhelming and fast-paced, but I’m generally pretty pleased with my progression and growth during at-home practice sessions. I have high hopes for my end-of-the-semester skill level.

In terms of my extracurricular extracurriculars (also known as my free time), I’ve been pretty busy. At the start of the semester, I went with a friend to see Beauty and the Beast in 3D. I’m not usually a 3D movie-goer, but I also couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see Beauty and the Beast on the big screen. I adore it and always have. Even better, they used the older version (without the added scenes, etc.). It was an unexpected, pleasant surprise. The whole movie was fantastic, but I think the 3D probably best enhanced the final battle scene. If you’re a Beauty and the Beast fan, I recommend you go see it. It’s an experience worth having, especially if you, like me, can’t remember having seen it in a theater previously. This past weekend, I went out to Los Gorditos with a friend and then went to Glowdeo. Glowdeo is a dance hosted by the SOAA (Stewart, Odell, Akin, Apartments) RAs. It’s sort of a rave-rodeo. Western attire is encouraged and there is a mechanical bull, but the room is really dark and filled with glowsticks. It’s an interesting fusion of themes. I liked the dance, for the most part, but I wish I had known more of the music. It was more techno & dubstep, and I’m not well-versed in either. Nonetheless, I had a great time with a bunch of different groups of friends. I’d say it was a success overall. It’s been nice having some more free time throughout the week to actually do things with friends. Being sick has hindered my social life this week, but I think I’ll have a more diverse social life this semester, which will be nice.

I’m working on a few follow-ups to my previous logistical video, so keep an eye out for those (I’ll post links when they’re ready). In the meantime, I hope all of you are doing well. Stay healthy, stay happy!

As always, feel free to approach me with any questions you may have. You can e-mail graysonarango@lclark.edu or comment below.

‘Til next time,


26 January 2012 Comments Off on DayQuil. Aaahh! Fighter of the sickness. Aaahh! Champion of my life.

Big Mama

It’s five to six and I won’t be done with school until 9 or so URGHHH. I have a film screening at 7 which I must attend. We’ll be watching this:

I believe I’ve seen bits and pieces of it on the television but never in its entirety. It may be a long evening.

On a brighter note, here’s a really great jam:

I ought to make a video myself, but, I haven’t the time at the moment. I’ve been a very busy little academic. SO BUSY I SAY. But on the bright side, yoga soothes alllll worries. ALL OF THEM I SAY.

I’m snoozy. This post is mildly incoherent.


Today I also “researched” all the Oscar nominees and realized I MUST SEE at least 5 films before February 26th. It may be a trying task. I SHALL TRY AND PREVAIL.

Including, but not limited to: A Cat in Paris, Beginners, Monsieur Lazhar, W.E., The Iron Lady


I want to go home.

24 January 2012 Comments Off on Big Mama