April 2012

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

And in the End

The love you take is equal to the love you make

With an ever-growing fear of mortality and my eventual demise (laugh not, ‘tis true! I spent my adolescent years desperately wishing I could become a vampire. And none of that Twilight crap. I’m talking the original queen of vampires: Anne Rice.  ANYWAY.) I always wonder if I’ve made enough of an impression on people and places. I wonder, will I be remembered? Will I be missed? With the final days of my college years dwindling in number, I find myself looking around an institution that has changed over the past years as I have. I’ve had friends come and go, I’ve come and gone,  and I wonder, will I be remembered by my professors? I hope so. I’d like to think I’m a noteworthy individual, not just a percentage for the school’s retention rate. I’m my own success story, not the school’s.

I’ve taken the education offered to me by Lewis and Clark, and made something more than just a diploma and improved knowledge. I’m a different person than I was when I started,  I don’t know exactly how I’m different, but I’m improved, refined and truer to form. I’m closer to the ideal (but we all know that ideal is unobtainable, RIGHT KANT?!) I’m going to travel the world again, I’m going to TEACH.  The education of young minds will be, in part, my responsibility. I don’t always see myself giving back to the community (I hear that phrase so often…) but this Fulbright will be me doing my part.  And that’s a good feeling.

Graduation is 10 days  and 18 hours away. This is the end of an era, kids. And I don’t just mean my era. It’s our era. We who started our LC journeys in the fall of 2008, those of us who stuck out all 4 years— we are the end of an era. You may not know it, but this school is changing. And not just little things here and there like meal plans and new dorms (though that thing is HUGE. It sticks out like a shiny new monster.) I’m not talking about print balances and big name bands at school-sponsored concerts (that was siiiiickk! Despite what the naysayers say!) I mean change that matters. Not offering beloved, impactful, cherished professors tenure despite overwhelming student approval; a growing emphasis on athletics and the assimilation of “athlete culture” into the LC norm— students at Lewis and Clark College ought to be students first and athletes second, not the other way around; emphasis on ratings, retention rates and donations: I did not go here because of what the Princeton Review told me, I came because being at the school on several visits spoke to me. More importantly, I didn’t STAY because of ratings. Why do we have to pander to the needs of students that leave, instead of harvest and cultivate the wants and needs of those who STAY? RIDDLE ME THAT ADMINISTRATION. LC is losing its identity. Its changing. Its losing what attracted me in the first place: small, very liberal, intellectual, global-minded students, professors that felt more like mentors and friends than employees…

Take it as you will, form your own opinion about this school, just know that old traditions are being replaced by new, an old breed of student is leaving the halls to fill with a new. Am I bitter? Slightly. I look back positively on my experience here, but already I’m filled with a nostalgia I can’t shake, a yearning for better times. Not because of graduation, but because of  the “positive direction Lewis and Clark is heading”  Jeff Feld-Gore. Positive? Does that mean what we had before was negative and undesirable? I disagree with you, Jeff. I disagree wholeheartedly.

Tune in next time for a less philosophical and pessimistic entry.

 

25 April 2012 Comments Off on And in the End

“May the odds be ever in your favor.”

Hi folks,

I’ve spent the past month or so trying to gather responses from a group of fellow students about their dorm experiences so that you can use them to inform your own dorm decisions. I didn’t quite get a perfect, complete set or as many responses for each dorm as I’d hoped (in an effort to give you a nice, broad idea of each dorm from many perspectives), but I’ve done what I can with what I did get. I hope that you find the more in-depth information about each dorm helpful as you make your own housing choices. I wish you the best of luck in choosing your dorm preferences, and I wish you even more luck when it comes to actual roommate/housing assignments.

All photos featured here are provided from the Campus Living web pages, including some taken as screen-caps from videos. Click the photos to view the Campus Living page for each dorm.

Copeland

 

Shannon B. (’15)

Q: What has been a pleasant surprise about your dorm?

A: The showers are great. Seriously, it gets very hot very quickly. Not to mention the water pressure is actually phenomenal. I don’t feel like a dirty college student at all! Furthermore, I was unaware that there was a stereotype about the people of Copeland until I arrived at LC. I found this stereotype to be false though. Not all the students who reside in Copeland are athletes. There is actually a great amount of diversity in the building, thus allowing for me to feel at home.

Q: If there have been any unpleasant surprises/experiences about your dorm, what were they?

A: Unpleasant: Copeland can be pretty loud. There is a large party scene in the building. Luckily I don’t live in the part that seems to be craziest. Also, since my floor is all girls there isn’t usually a lot of traffic passing through. This is nice because our hall is quiet, but sometimes I wish there were more of a middle ground of loud/busy and quiet/empty throughout the building.

Q: How would you describe your dorm to incoming students (what attitudes are there, what types of people, etc.)?

A: Copeland is great for social students. There are a lot of people and a lot of places to explore. The rooms are a decent size. The building really becomes a community – largely in part to the great RA staff, but also because the building is on the outskirts of campus.

Q: What has been your favorite dorm activity?

A: My favorite dorm activity is piling as many people as I can onto my bunk bed and watching a movie or tv show on Friday nights. I also quite enjoy the community builders the RA staff puts together.

Q: How would you say the typical person living in your dorm spends a school night? What about weekend nights?

A: I don’t know if there really is a typical way to spend a night in Copeland. Many students do homework, others spend time in the lounge watching movies or tv, playing pool, or just talking. Often times there are get togethers in the dorm rooms, but there isn’t really a set night for when those occur. Weekends are spent socializing. A lot of people go downtown, others watch movies in the common rooms. It is a diverse mix, but includes activities pretty typical for college students.

Q: Any additional comments you’d like to make?

A: Copeland is wonderful!

Stewart

 

Emily R. (’15)

Q: What has been a pleasant surprise about your dorm?

A: Walk in closets!

Q: If there have been any unpleasant surprises/experiences about your dorm, what were they?

A: Living next to the street it can get pretty loud at night… I remember at the beginning of the school year when it was really hot and I wanted to keep the windows open for fresh air I was often woken up by cars on the street. I’ve gotten used to it as the year has progressed, but it is still somewhat annoying…

Q: How would you describe your dorm to incoming students (what attitudes are there, what types of people, etc.)?

A: Upper Stewart is very quiet. I pretty much only see people when passing in the halls. I usually smile at them, but nobody ever really says hi. It’s strange at times. Lower Stewart I believe is a little more friendly, and a lot of my friends live down there. It’s a little louder, but in general I think Stewart is just a quiet place, which can be good or bad, depending on your personality.

Q: What has been your favorite dorm activity?

A: Waffle Wednesday! Although… I don’t usually end up getting a waffle because there are so many people and I don’t feel like waiting. But I like hanging out with the people that come. Also, I don’t often attend Stewart dorm activities just because I do not hang out with a lot of Stewart people. Those people that I do hang out with from Stewart don’t usually join in the activities either, we pretty much do our own stuff.

Q: How would you say the typical person living in your dorm spends a school night? What about weekend nights?

A: In my dorm I think the people are probably doing homework… but I can’t be sure because I never see them. People usually camp out in their rooms I think, or go somewhere else if they are looking for something to do.

Q: Any additional comments you’d like to make?

A: I would not recommend Stewart for somebody who is looking for a lot of social interaction from their dorm… I don’t mean that to sound mean, because there are times when I am really glad to be in Stewart because it is quiet at night and I never have problems getting homework done. Stewart is good for people who are looking for a laid-back dorm life. I am not saying that if you live in Stewart you will have no social interaction. I have other friends from Stewart, but generally for greater social interactions, I go to a different dorm.

Odell

 

Unfortunately, I was not able to get a response from an Odell resident (affectionately known by some as an Odweller). However, I will answer on their behalf to the best of my abilities. Out of all the dorms not my own, I probably have spent the most time in Odell. If you have additional questions, send them my way. I’ll answer them as I can, and if anything is beyond my means I’ll nag a friend in Odell until I can get you the answers you need.

Grayson A. (’13), non-resident

Q: What has been a pleasant surprise about the dorm?

A: I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how inter-connected Stewart and Odell are. I hadn’t picked up on that when I read the school’s information on the two residences. They’re actually physically connected to one another by the Stewart-Odell “split”. I think the relationship between the two dorms is really positive for both. Odell’s liveliness and emphasis on inclusion with their activities can be great at encouraging socializing and involvement from Stewart residents, and the respectful and mellow attitude in Stewart can have a helpful effect on the actions of Odell residents.

Q: If there have been any unpleasant surprises/experiences about your dorm, what were they?

A: As a non-resident, I think the only surprise that I would have found challenging as a resident would be that the majority of the students in Odell are freshmen and sophomores, with very few upperclassmen. I imagine that as an incoming freshman or a sophomore transfer student, though, this could be a definite positive.

Q: How would you describe your dorm to incoming students (what attitudes are there, what types of people, etc.)?

A: I think that Odell’s pretty broad in terms of the types of people it draws in. Some traits that I’ve come across with everyone I’ve encountered there is a general willingness to welcome and include people regardless of what dorm they actually live in. There’s a pretty solid effort on behalf of the RAs to engage their residents and have activities. I also think, as I mentioned, that the interaction with Stewart has a really positive effect on the general tone of the dorm. It’s also worth noting that there’s usually a good balance between work and play.

Q: What has been your favorite dorm activity?

A: As a visitor, I’ve joined Odell for activities with crafts, movies, and even an adorably quirky evening in which the SOAA Area Director Charlie Ahlquist read aloud from Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as we all munched on Willie Wonka candy and sipped hot chocolate. I think that last one may be my favorite, simply because I loved how tight-knit it all felt. People from all throughout SOAA were sprawled in the Odell lounge and Charlie brought in a fancy armchair just for the occasion. His dog Lux lounged near the chair, often stretching out for better scruffles from students. Each character was given a new voice as Charlie read aloud, and the falsetto for the women was particularly humorous. It was just a cozy, homey evening. That was definitely something I could appreciate in the midst of stress and work, and I especially appreciated that there was that effect regardless of whether or not you were actually from Odell.

Q: How would you say the typical person living in your dorm spends a school night? What about weekend nights?

A: From the information gathered from friends, I can say that this, too, is pretty diverse among Odell. Weeknights seem to usually be a balance of fun and work. My friends typically spend most of the school nights doing homework, with exceptions made for favorite TV shows or interesting on campus activities (plays, concerts, speakers, etc.). Weekends are all over the place in terms of how people choose to spend them. Some students go downtown, others take part in activities on campus, and there’s almost always at least one group of people making use of the lounge area for fun activities, video games, movies, or TV shows.

Q: Any additional comments you’d like to make?

A: I love Odell and would definitely recommend it to incoming students.

Akin

 

Melanie T. (’15)

Q: What has been a pleasant surprise about your dorm?

A: A pleasant surprise I found living in Akin was the community here. I knew I would find some sense of community with my neighbors, but because Akin is so small, the whole dorm knows each other! We all eat dinner together, hang out together, see movies, go downtown, everything. Living in Akin has given me a family here on campus that I always look forward to coming back to.

Q: If there have been any unpleasant surprises/experiences about your dorm, what were they?

A: None mentioned.

Q: How would you describe your dorm to incoming students (what attitudes are there, what types of people, etc.)?

A: Akin is home to both international students as well as international minded individuals – people who want to explore the world, learn language, and learn about culture in general. Everyone is very friendly and welcoming – people want to know about you and care about what is important to you. Quite literally, everyone’s doors are always open.

Q: What has been your favorite dorm activity?

A: My favorite activity that my dorm has done together is when we get to cook in the Bon kitchens for the Multicultural Fair and the International Fair. We get to cook into the night, get a behind the scenes look at the Bon and have fun together while making delicious ethnic food!

Q: How would you say the typical person living in your dorm spends a school night? What about weekend nights?

A: On a typical night in Akin, people study in each others rooms, listen to music, and some nights people are cooking in the kitchen which makes for a great study snack! Weeknights and weekends, we also watch movies, people play video games in the common room, and granted, there is the occasional party on the weekends. I like to think we have a good balance of work and play!

Forest

 

I did not receive a response from the Forest residents I contacted, sadly. I believe, but may be misinformed, that Nick (my fellow Real Life Blogger) lives in Forest. I recommend you try contacting him with any questions about the dorm. If he isn’t actually from that dorm, then maybe he at least knows someone who is… So sorry to not have more information for you all.

Howard

Ryan K. (’15)

Q: What has been a pleasant surprise about your dorm? 

A: The location on campus is fantastic! It is centrally located relative to everything on campus and has quick, easy paths to classes and Templeton. Seriously though, the location is excellent and it has bigger rooms than Platt (which is the adjacent, sister-dorm of Howard). 

Q: If there have been any unpleasant surprises/experiences about your dorm, what were they?

A: Not really a surprise, but fellow hall mates do not have the cleanliest kitchen habits. It is not unbearable, but it is rarely completely clean. Probably a common theme among college students though.

Q: How would you describe your dorm to incoming students (what attitudes are there, what types of people, etc.)? 

A: Howard has a pretty good range of students, though I do not know of any international students living in Howard. The Outdoor Pursuits theme offers great opportunities for any Howard dweller, but in no way defines the Howard community. Overall, the atmosphere is laid back and friendly. If you are looking for a happy medium between the rowdiness/liveliness of Copeland and the quite, separated atmosphere of Stewart/Odell/Akin, Howard is perfect for you.

Q: What has been your favorite dorm activity? 

A: Holiday dinner parties together before Winter Break, which included dradle gambling for Mike & Ike candy.

Q: How would you say the typical person living in your dorm spends a school night? What about weekend nights? 

A: Most weeknights consist of hanging around the dorm and/or studying in rooms, the lounges, or outside if the weather is nice. Opportunities for movie nights and television series mini-marathons in Howard or on the big-screen tv in the Platt lounge (which is just across the bridge) exist on any day of the week and can easily be organized or joined. On the weekend, most students are at various activities around campus, off-campus/downtown, or studying in their rooms or the lounge. The weekend nights are usually quieter than weekdays because less people are physically in Howard, which offers peace and quiet or a great place to invite other friends over to for movies, games, and such.

Q: Any additional comments you’d like to make? 

A: Because Howard is relatively small and stands on its own from other buildings (except for a bridge to Platt), there are plenty of windows in Howard, so lots of natural light brightens the rooms and halls. However, if you are looking for a more dungeon-like atmosphere, the Howard basement floor is smaller and offers a comfortable and private escape for some students. As of right now (which may change), a Designated Smoking Area, or DSA, is located between Howard and Platt. This can be a positive for some students, as it provides easy access to a place to smoke or hang out, given that there are almost always people there. It can also be a negative however, because the group of people hanging around the DSA can be loud late at night and sometimes a faint smoke smell carries over to Howard. This can easily be negated by closing your windows, but if could be a serious issue for you, it is worth considering. Generally, the DSA is a neutral to slightly positive part of Howard because it offers a constant social hub and I enjoy the occasional cigar. A good dorm experience is influenced by three aspects in my opinion: your dorm room itself, the floor/community, and the location on campus, all of which Howard is top notch in my book.

Platteau

 

Alas, the Platteau residents I contacted did not get back to me, either.  Fellow Real Life Blogger Abby has mentioned Platt in her posts, so I believe that is where she lives. Send her your questions and hopefully she can take care of them or at least point you in the right direction.

Hartzfeld

 

Emily N. (’14)

Q: What has been a pleasant surprise about your dorm?

A: I didn’t realize until I had lived here for a bit just how nice it to have a roomy dorm room–lots of space for clutter to accumulate, but it’s still much better than being cramped and feeling claustrophobic. Suite-style living is also a pleasant change from communal bathrooms. Sharing a bathroom with only three other people feels a lot more like home and gives you more privacy.

Q: If there have been any unpleasant surprises/experiences about your dorm, what were they?

A: The construction noise has been a pain, but that won’t be a problem for students next year, luckily! It’s a also a bit of a walk from Hartzfeld to the other side of campus where classes are, so that’s something to keep in mind if you want to get to and from classes quickly.

Q: How would you describe your dorm to incoming students (what attitudes are there, what types of people, etc.)?

A: As far as I can tell, Hartzfeld is pretty diverse but people seem to respect each other. In my experience, people do tend to keep to themselves here, though…there wasn’t a lot of community, at least in Hartzfeld D.

Q:What has been your favorite dorm activity?

A: N/A…

Q: How would you say the typical person living in your dorm spends a school night? What about weekend nights?

A: I would guess there’s a lot of studying going on, but sometimes people seem to be socializing and having fun too. There’s a band in C, I think, that I hear practicing a lot, so that’s fun!

Q: Any additional comments you’d like to make?

A: Nope! Hartzfeld’s a cool place.

 

Replace “Residence Inn” with your dorm of choice. Don’t replace the elephant at all, because it is adorable.

 

‘Til next time,

Grayson

24 April 2012 Comments Off on “May the odds be ever in your favor.”

“We’re leaving together, but still it’s farewell….”

Hey everybody,

As I’d expected, things have been crazy, crazy, crazy since Spring Break. It is, indeed, the final countdown. Every class has assignments that have to be squeezed in before semester’s end, so all sorts of work is popping up out of nowhere. It’s definitely been stressful, but I’ve managed to fit in some breaks now and then (though not as many breaks as my friends would like, since quite a few of them have been hassling me for being such a recluse).

In any case, I’ve wedged out some time now to fill you all in on the goings-on around campus and in my life.

I’ve often recommended that prospective students check out the Pioneer Log online (piolog.com) to take in even more perspectives on the school. This is especially relevant given that last week the PioLog put together a very special issue for Admitted Students Weekend. Some of the articles are available online here, here, and here. The issue is really great. If you were able to visit that weekend, I hope you had the chance to pick up a copy. If not, keep your eyes on the website and check back to see if/when the PDFs of the pages are uploaded (featured in the left hand column of the front page).

In other LC news, one of our alums recently received a Pulitzer! It’s amazing to attend the same school as someone awarded so prestigious of an award. One of the elements of Lewis & Clark that impressed me as a prospective student was all that had been accomplished by students and alums alike. The school website’s News section and the PioLog were both great sources to learn about all of the school’s accomplishments. Currently featured on the school site are the impressive eight Fulbright Scholarship recipients (including Real Life Blogs’ very own Kat) and our recent Pulitzer winner Matt Wuerker, who is a PioLog alum as well. I recommend you poke around the LC website to see some of the impressive work LC community members have done on campus, in Portland, and around the world.

Now that everyone’s living arrangements have been settled for next year, I finally know where I’ll be living! I’ve been planning since March to live with a friend who is going to be an RA in the apartments. As such, we’ve wound up in a four-person apartment in West (the dorm in which I currently live). I don’t know my other two roommates, but the way my friend has spoken about them makes it sound like it could be a really nice fit. We’re planning on having a roommate-bonding voyage to buy some pet fish at the start of the semester. I like the kind of tone and attitude that that activity indicates about how we all want to live.  It’s nervewracking to think of being in any living situation different from the one I’m now accustomed to, but I also think there are some great possibilities in it. I look forward to expanding my social circles while also having a safe place to retreat to when I’m drained of all social capacity. I’m mostly pretty positive about being in West again, too. It’s nice to have the comfort and familiarity that comes with here (and the ease of moving in/out), but I also was excited for the “adventure” of trying out someplace else. I’m pretty happy overall with how everything worked out, though, especially considering the terrifying period of limbo I went through trying to figure out some sort of housing solution. I’d say what I’ve ended up with is pretty close to perfect.

These past few weeks have consisted of a lot of setting up for next year and beyond. I’m all signed up for my classes for next semester. There was some minor chaos due to the sudden changing of course times, leading to my only being able to take one of the two courses that I really, really needed to. I was able to work it out and push one back to my final semester, but it was definitely panic-inducing. I was able to end up with a great schedule anyways, though. I’m signed up for Apocalyptic Imagination, Islamic Origins, Community Psychology, Photography I, and Yoga (in which I may or may not stay enrolled).

Apocalyptic Imagination is with the same professor I currently have for Christian Origins. I’m very, very excited. The course material itself sounds extremely interesting (we’ll be looking at different manifestations of apocalyptic traditions and the contexts that caused them), and I have had such positive experiences with Prof. Kugler. If you have the opportunity to take a class from him, do so. He’s so engaged in the material and is the most communicative teacher I’ve had so far here. He checks in with how students are doing and genuinely cares about your responses. Throughout the semester, he has altered the course trajectory to better fit our needs, and that’s been really remarkable and made such a huge impact. I’ve loved his class and can’t wait to take another. The school offers a program in which students can treat three of their professors to a meal in the Bon. I invited him to lunch and was able to have a really great discussion with him. I’m considering applying for a Fullbright English Teaching Assistantship position in Cyprus, and he was very helpful in informing my decision. It was also fun for me because his daughter will be attending LC as a transfer student next year, and I was able to give him some inside intel. to pass along. It was really just nice to have the chance to talk with him outside of class and get to know each other better. I don’t know that many students take advantage of the Friends in Fields program, but they should. It’s nice to feel like you’re able to give something back to your professors (even they like free food), and I absolutely endorse the program’s efforts to bring students and faculty closer together. Both parties can gain a lot from open communication, and I think this sort of program can really encourage that to happen. So, when you have the chance to bring a professor with you to the Bon, I encourage you to do so. I’m here to tell you that it can be a really positive experience.

Islamic Origins should be really interesting. I’ve heard great things about the professor and have an interest in the material. I definitely see the value in trying to understand a culture and religious practice by really looking at where it came from, and from there we can start to think of what would have to happen for it to become what we think of it as today. I had been planning on taking the class in any case, but it just so happened that I had forgotten I was missing an International Studies requirement. Thankfully, this class fits that need and is something I’ve been looking forward to taking. I love when things work out like that.

Community Psychology is my Senior Capstone course for my major. I had struggled for a while about which capstone to take. I had planned on taking a neuroscience-related capstone, but found out that none of those are offered my senior year. It was difficult to adjust and I was frustrated, but I managed to find something that should suit me pretty well. Community Psychology focuses on learning about ways to implement psychology within the community around you. The large project of the class requires you to assess your community, find a problem within it, and come up with/implement a program to resolve your target issue. I like the idea of actively impacting the community around me, and I like the idea of helping people. I can see myself being far more passionate about this sort of project than a literature review, so I think the class could really work for me.

I was in a bit of a bind once I had to let Biology go to take Community Psych. (the timing dilemma previously mentioned). I suddenly only had 12 credits’ worth of classes I wanted to take and I needed to take at least 16 in order to stay on track for graduation. I had spent a long time looking through the catalog for things that fit my schedule and sparked my interest, but options were pretty limited. There were plenty of classes that I would have liked to take, but they all conflicted with something else I was resolute in taking. Finally, I decided to go ahead and sign up for Photography I.  I took black & white photo in high school and loved it… mostly. I’m a huge fan of shooting photos, developing, and printing. I’m not such a fan of critiques. I guess it’s just hard for me to have something so subjective be treated objectively. I understand being faulted for not doing something right procedurally, but it always bothered me when I would be criticized for my content. It’s a problem I’ve had in many art classes. I don’t have the most confidence in art courses, so lining myself up for judgment isn’t the most comfortable thing in the world for me. At this point, I’m thinking of taking this class for credit/no credit. That way, as long as I’m getting the work done, I don’t need to worry about what everyone thinks of it. As long as it’s decent enough to earn a passing grade, then I can just carry on taking photos the way I like to. I want to do everything I can to make this class for myself, not for my GPA.

A far more pleasant complication to my schedule has come about due to the fact that I have been hired for the position of Copy Editing Chief for the PioLog. It’s a very exciting opportunity that I’ve been preparing all semester for in anticipation. It’s a bit scary to take on such responsibility, but I have faith in myself. I’ve worked hard this semester to learn as much as I could from the graduating Copy Editing Chief, and I think I’ve soaked in as much as I could have. The position will take up some time, for sure. It’s a large factor into why I didn’t want to take four reading-intensive classes. I’m hoping that the flexibility of shooting/developing times for Photo will make my schedule a bit more manageable. I’m expecting busy weekends of receiving stories, busy Mondays distributing them to my copy editing staff (now THAT’S a new thing to say/type), busy Tuesdays going over edited stories, and busy Wednesday nights editing the paper as it’s finalized for print. At the moment, the excitement outweighs the anxiety. We’ll see how the balance shifts once I’m actually working… Speaking of working, any of you with any interest in working for the PioLog should contact them. There’s work available for writers, photographers, illustrators, copy editors, and more. Get in touch to find out what’s available.

In addition to that new job, I’ve also been hired as an NSO Group Leader. So, for those of you who will be attending LC as new students next year, I look forward to meeting you all. It should be a very fun experience for everyone, and I’m so happy and excited that I get to be a part of that again, this time as a Group Leader. NSO was a huge contributor to my life here at LC. Many of the friends I made were the result of NSO activities, so I encourage you all to engage with the community. Even the silly events you don’t really have much interest in can result in long-lasting friendships. NSO is a great chance to get to know the school and your peers when you still have time to really involve yourself in things. This is the best opportunity in the year for you to really focus on your social life. Take this time to get to know roommates, hallmates, and complete strangers. You’ll thank yourself later.

Given the fact that my homework has taken away from some of my blogging, I thought it only fair to share some of my work with you. The endless essays and reports probably won’t be of much interest to most of you, but you might get a kick out of the Outreach Project I put together for Cognitive Neuroscience. Our task was to create an educational book on the brain for children of any age range. Some people worked in groups, but I wound up flying solo and working on much of this over Spring Break. The final touches took place last week, and here’s the end result. My book is called Pat the Brain, and it’s a neuroanatomy book made of construction paper and felt. Enjoy!

 

‘Til next time,

Grayson

24 April 2012 Comments Off on “We’re leaving together, but still it’s farewell….”