March 2012

Brief Checkup

Alrighty, so spring break just went down. Got back from my trip last night. Three buddies and I drove 18 hours starting at Midnight last Saturday to make it to Death Valley before sunset the following evening. It was a magnificent trip. Camped in Death Valley for a while, hung out on some large Dunes, explored some mines, ran down craters. Good fun.

Now I’m back at L&C and still have not had a moment’s rest. Good grief. I woke up this morning to a knock on the door by a friend inviting me to go get a haircut in Southeast Portland. We ended up at this swanky joint called Rudy’s. It was a fine haircut and a very hip barbershop, but I can’t help but question how much of the pleasant atmosphere was part of the bill. Anyways, then we headed over to some food carts and picked up some prime sandwiches from the nicest gentleman. As he prepared our meal, he talked to me all about his aspiration to open up a full restaurant and all the logistics surrounding the menu and location etc. Good conversation, I’d say. As soon as I got back on campus from that little excursion, I ran into some other friends who had just gotten back from their College Outdoors Trip to Redwood National Forest. They were on their way to a walk downtown to catch Hunger Games. They invited me and I accepted. Of course. Even though I still have a philosophy paper to write and this blog entry to complete. Poor, pitiful me. (In case you’re interested, Hunger Games did not impress me. Everyone else thought it was JUST BRILLIANT though).

I can’t wait for classes to start, though. I’m eager to learn some new stuff. As insincere as that last sentence sounded, I was actually being genuine and I legitimately want classes to start back up. I know, crazy huh? Too much desert sand has sent me over the edge, or perhaps it’s just the top notch education I’m receiving here at this place of higher learning (See what I did there?).

It’s interesting coming back after a week. I went to check out the progress on Holmes Hall, the new dorm being built which I hope to live in next semester. It’s practically done! Woohoo.

Anyways, not much else to report on for now. I’ll be back very soon, I promise, to let you know how first week of classes and whatnot go. I know all of my avid readers are anxious to hear more.

Ta taa

 

31 March 2012 Comments Off on Brief Checkup

We Accept Her, One of Us…

368 days ago, on March 23rd at 5:37 p.m., an e-mail arrived in my inbox congratulating me on my admission to Lewis & Clark College.

My entire college application process was a rotation of joy and terror. First, joy at the thought of transferring and finding a school to fit my personality and nurture my interests. Then, terror at the actual application process (something I had not really had to face as I applied to SBCC). Next, there was joy at the completion of my applications and the ensuing terror of awaiting the decisions. I only applied to two schools, UC Santa Cruz and Lewis & Clark, so the stakes were high. There was a rush of joy with my acceptance to UCSC and a continued panic as I anxiously awaited Lewis & Clark’s decision. Finally, there was the immense joy of my acceptance to Lewis & Clark and the terror of having to make such a dramatic decision about my future.

As transfer students can testify, it is not as though the school you choose is an irrevocable decision you’re forced to stick with regardless of how it all turns out. However, the decision of where you attend college is a big one. It asks students to analyze themselves in ways they may not have had to before. Do you want your school to be in a city, near a city, or far from one? Do you want a small, medium, or large school? What do you think you’ll want to study? Suddenly students are given choices, and that’s not really something that comes into play as much in other school experiences. With these choices come a feeling of responsibility. You can’t blame your distaste for the school you choose on anyone but yourself (unlike your hatred of chemistry, or math, or whatever class you hated but had no choice in taking in high school). The decision of where you go to college is an opportunity for great success or disappointment. Done right, you have the chance to find someplace that is an amazing match. Whether you’re looking for a place that pushes your comfort zones or allows you to be entirely yourself without fear of any threat, you can find a place that’s right for you. This pressure to find the right match can be stressful. I hope to help you all realize that there are ways to approach it that help the task be a little less daunting. With the right approach, you can maximize the joy and minimize the terror that come with deciding the first step of your very broad future. Your experience in college is made up of an elaborate web of choices. This is just the start of what is hopefully a wonderful journey.

 

Take this experience as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and how you best face decisions. It helps to know yourself the way schools ask you to as you decide where to go. You learn a lot about yourself by finding out what is essential to your enjoying and experience. With that in mind, if you need a little help in making your decision, take the following qualities and rank which are most/least important to you:

-Location (State, Region, Distance from home, City vs. Town, etc.)

-Enrollment size

-College’s attitudes, emphases, etc.

-Majors or course offerings

-Housing (on-campus, off-campus)

-Student activities

-Athletics

-Social life

Now, take your choices and see how they compare with this information I’ve put together on Lewis & Clark. Also take into account previous blog posts provided by myself and fellow Real Life Bloggers, videos from the Lewis & Clark Youtube channel, articles from the PioLog, and whatever other credible accounts you can find of our fine school. With all of these, you should be able to get a pretty good idea of how much you’d like to be a member of the Lewis & Clark community. All figures here regarding enrollment are taken from the LC website. The rest are my impressions of the school.  As always, I welcome any questions from prospective students, parents of prospective students, or anyone who would like to know more about Lewis & Clark College. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail.

Having been in this position myself, I can honestly say that I know how daunting this might be for some of you. Your being here on this blog and trying to get information is already a huge step in the right direction. Find out all that you can about the schools you’re considering. Tour, visit classes, spend the night, talk to students, and do whatever you feel would help you understand whether or not a school is right for you. I wish you all the best in your decision making process. For me, Lewis & Clark has been the best fit I could have possibly found. I hope that it can be the same for you.

 

Originally, this post was going to be a video. However, my computer has apparently decided to form a plot for world domination. The audio for the test videos I made was more than a bit unnerving. A little sample to amuse you all:

Also, here is an older video you may not have already seen with some of the reasons that I decided LC was the right school for me (and yes, I chose that thumbnail as a gift to you all):

‘Til next time,

Grayson

26 March 2012 Comments Off on We Accept Her, One of Us…

Whew. Finally seeing the finish line

I can finally take a breather. Between track and school, my week has been swamped. Let’s start with track. Last Saturday was the best meet I have ever had, literally. I set personal records in all 3 of my events. I PRed by a meter in hammer, a little under a meter in discus, and just over a meter in shot put. In shot put, that is a 3 foot and 11 in PR. For those who cannot understand how huge that is, let me just say, that is HUGE HUGE HUGE. The feeling that I had when  was back at school Saturday was like I was on top. Literally at the height of my track career so far. This weekend we are at home for our one home meet of the year. I am so excited.

School is going well also. In computer science I finished another awesome program the other day two days early, I finished a Spanish project three days early, I got a B+ on my history of Rome midterm, and to top it off I just finished with a math midterm. Luckily this midterm was a take home, open note, open everything test for Calc 4. We were given 24 hours to complete it and there was only one (1) question.  . .  . 17 pages later I was finished with this one problem. I know it seems crazy that I am excited about that, but it is true. It was so rewarding to finally be done with it.

Next week is Spring Break. I am not going home, but I will be leaving campus for a short while. Midday Wednesday I will be, hopefully, travelling to Tacoma, Washington to see my younger brother up at the University of Puget Sound. It is going to be great.

 

Well, I don’t have anything else for you guys as of now. Please, if you have any questions let me know and I will do my best to get them answered.

 

Have a good week,

Matt

21 March 2012 Comments Off on Whew. Finally seeing the finish line

Post-birthday Ponderings

Not much time has passed since my last entry, but so so much has happened!

I realized that I never updated you guys about Sunburn, or my birthday weekend!

The whole weekend reminded me how lucky I am. My friends were great—each of them made me something truly special and/or delicious! We were able to celebrate my birthday, and my friend’s, by going to Sunburn, which, I’m not going to lie, had a weird start.

When we got to the gates there was a lot of security. It made sense to have it there, for there were legitimate celebrities coming to campus, and I’m sure that their security people wanted to make sure that nothing bad would go down, but it was odd seeing them. Lewis & Clark is a trusting community, and I’m sure that I don’t speak for myself alone when I say that I was incredibly put off when I saw them. There were checkers before the doors, at the doors, and past the doors. They didn’t even allow cameras inside! I thought this was a little strange (it’s a concert, of course we’ll want to take pictures!) and when my friend was forced to go all the way back to her dorm to put away her tiny little camera, I got a bad taste in my mouth. But once we all got inside, all of us with our SpongeBob birthday hats on (I think I’ll save mine forever), it was great! We came in at the end of The Thermals, and had some time to wait before GZA performed. After him, Gogol Bordello went on and KILLED IT. They were so wonderful—even my professors talked about them the next week.  There weren’t that many people there when we arrived, but by the end of the night Pamplin was packed! I loved dancing with all my friends, because I haven’t gone to a concert with all of them in a really long time. Having people you adore around you makes everything better.

The morning after Sunburn my friends and I went out to brunch at this deli that I’m obsessed with, Kenny and Zuke’s. I ate way too much food and was able to take over quite a bit of leftovers, which is always a good thing. The rest of the day was spent reading, but it was sincerely brightened when I found out that my parents sent me flowers and a cake! That night, my friends surprised me by somehow getting candles, finding the cake, and singing me happy birthday in the lounge. When I commented on the abundance of candles, one of my friends responded “Well we had to put on twenty!” For a second I thought she was kidding, because it sounded like far too many, but then I realized, no, I’m nineteen now (and then there was one for good luck, of course). I’m getting old.

I know I’m not actually old, but it is a little scary. I feel like my life is moving at insane speed. My first year of college is almost over. WHAT? Have eight months truly gone by since I boarded that plane at Dulles? It feels like just yesterday I was finding out who my roommate was and stalking her on Facebook. It feels like just yesterday I was in my orientation group.

This won’t be the last time I reminisce, that I promise. But it’s just so weird to think about. Time is flying by, and I’m not sure how I feel.

20 March 2012 Comments Off on Post-birthday Ponderings

“Hmmm, difficult, VERY difficult….”

Hello readers,

From what I can tell based on my perusal of the Admissions page, more and more of you know your Lewis and Clark fate by now. Transfer students, I know you all are able to apply throughout a pretty liberal timeline, and your results are similarly free-form in terms of timing. My acceptance e-mail came approximately a month after I’d submitted all of my application materials. So, fear not if you haven’t heard back immediately. Admissions work takes a lot of time, and you should probably be glad if yours is going a little slower. It means that the committee has had the time to really look over your materials and assess who you are. My dad works on the admissions team for the school where he teaches, and I know that the really good applicants tend to call for more attention. People are more inclined to read something thoroughly if it’s of interest, so take heart if you don’t receive an instantaneous response. Additionally, your information has to make its way through a slew of committee members. Those of you who process through quickly may be just as exceptional as those who get through slowly (because, honestly, if you’re admitted to LC you’re exceptional no matter what), it’s simply a matter of how your file passes hands.

My own acceptance anniversary is fast approaching. I’ll be taking you guys through the ins and outs of my decision to attend LC over other schools then (so get excited).

In the meantime, I want to acknowledge one component of my acceptance that I know that those of you considering coming here will experience: Where on earth do I want to live once I get here?

It’s a huge decision to make, in that the community you choose to place yourself in can have a huge impact on your experience here as a student. Whether you need someplace socially stimulating, accepting of your lifestyle, or one that gives you opportunities to explore ideas outside of your own, all of these factor into what you want from a living situation and how you choose from what LC has to offer. In the case of transfer students, some of you have additional options, like off-campus living or the apartments.

With so many options in where you can live and such a narrow idea of what they’re all like, it’s hard not to wish for a Sorting Hat to make the decision for you.

….STEWART!!!

That being said, I think it’s worthwhile to try and frame the vast options in a more positive light. The fact that there are so many dorms with such different elements to them isn’t a downside. It means that you have options and can hopefully find a place that’s a surprisingly good fit. That being said, I do wish that as a prospective student I’d had a better feel for each dorm. Luckily for you all, that’s what I’m here to provide. Keep in mind, I live in the West apartments. My experience with the other housing options are purely from visiting or hearing about them from friends. Still, I hope that giving you some additional information may help you along your way. Later on, I’ll be asking friends for more comprehensive information about their dorm experiences, but I’ve come up with a little something to hold you guys over until then. If any of the descriptions spark your interest, click the dorm names to access the Campus Living page for that dorm.

You might belong in Akin,

The dorm where culture’s key,

There, International and US students,

Live in harmony.

Or maybe you’re for Stewart,

The dorm of wellness and health,

A strong sense of community,

Gives this dorm its wealth.

Its neighbor dorm Odell,

Is full of mirth and fun,

Not themed, like it’s SOAA mates,

But welcoming of everyone.

 Forest forms a lasting bond,

Amongst its many halls,

Strange that such a large compound,

Can come together like it’s small.

Hartzfeld, for the independent,

Hartzfeld, for the strong,

Hartzfeld, for self-reliance,

Perhaps it’s here you belong.

Copeland, for the social butterflies,

Activities always abound,

Boisterous halls, and plenty to do,

Someone’s always awake and around.

Platteau, where the artists go,

A safe place for all things great,

It welcomes artists and non,

To imagine and create.

Maybe you’re meant for Howard,

Close to all pursuits,

Full of diverse interests,

A great place to put down your roots.

Whatever dorm you may choose,

You’ll find it warms your heart,

For home is where the heart is,

And you’ll love LC from the start.

‘Til next time,

Grayson

19 March 2012 Comments Off on “Hmmm, difficult, VERY difficult….”

Tales From Palatine Hill

Great weekend. Let me tell you about it.

I get out of class on friday eager to forgo thoughts of the brutal week still lingering in my peripherals. I had seven meetings with professors in four days. For God-knows-what-reason, sometime either last sunday or monday I had a minor panic attack about plans for the rest of my life and concerns as to what I am going to do RIGHT NOW to make all my hopes and dreams possible. Callous stuff, man. Anyways, I frantically emailed everyone I could find contact information for to speak with them concerning majors, study abroad trips, internships, resume help, general education requirements, etc. Long story short, I have the next eight years of my life planned perfectly. I am going to be SO successful and live SUCH a charmed life.

Now, it’s the weekend. Friday night, after I give a tour to a particularly friendly bunch, I head back to my dorm to sit idly and fraternize mildly until dinner time. Enter Dinner. Food was below average but, fret not, conversation compensated. Dang, that was some sweet alliteration. Be proud of me. Post dinner, me and some homies decide to head to Bodine 300 which is a lecture all in the biology building. We watched Midnight in Paris on the large projector screen. Solid film, Owen Wilson is the man. It ruined my opinion of Rachel McAdams, though, I now want to marry her slightly less. After the movie, we head back to the hall and discover that some other homies had acted on the terrific idea of wrapping oreos in choco chip cookie dough and baking it. They were warm and delicious. I ate many.

Then we found a group willing to construct a fort in the main lounge. As we sat in the darkness, we read poems to each other and talked about life ‘n such. It was nice. Everyone decides they want to go to sleep around midnight or one. I wasn’t fellin the sleep vibes, however, I go hard. real hard. I stumble across the sister of a girl on my hall who was visiting for the week. She was by her lonesome and looking a tad despondent. We strike conversation and end up end up getting involved in quite a bit of shenanigans (good, clean shenanigans of course. No sarcasm, either. But, like, seriously, no sarcasm). At some ungodly hour, four I think, two other buddies come into the common room looking for something to do. What happened from there, I can’t say. It wasn’t bad or wrong in any way, just, in the interest of not incriminating myself  to a particular party, I won’t say. Know this, however, it was delightful and joy making and grand.

Then I fall asleep.

Then I wake up.

Then I go to Saturday Market. with friends.

We follow a parade of people following a man in a carriage yelling things and playing music.

We get food.

Pretty tired, I finally get back on campus. As soon as I step off the bus, I run into my buddy who is on his way to Tryon Creek (State Park across the street from campus). He invites me for a hike. I accept. We stroll until dinner time. Beautiful day, truly. Dinner was tasty. We then head to the house of a keyboardist for this band we shared a bill with at the Ash Street Pub last thursday. Super nice guy. He was putting on a house show which was meant to show off some of his other bands. Great music. It was kind of a funky party in the sense that there were adults there in addition to their kids (ages: 23-25). We’re all 18, so  it was a bit of a trip, but we totally dug it. Good fun.

Now it’s Sunday and I needed an excuse to not do my homework but still feel productive. So, here I am, writing to you all about my charmed life. Hope you enjoyed the mismatched anecdotes and irrelevant stories. I’ll be back at ya soon with more tales from Palatine Hill.

18 March 2012 one comment so far »