Matt’s Campus Journal
Well, here we are. We are at the finish line. The point in the semester when everything becomes a funnel has come. We’ve spent 3+ months learning everything we are told to learn. Writing everything we need to write. Deriving everything we need to derive. And not, it is time to remember every problem. Remember every note we ever took. It is time to form that study group we meant to form back in February. It is time to review that problem we thought wouldn’t matter. It is time to ask our professors questions that 4 months ago we never knew could be asked. How do we use the Calculus of Variations to find this ODE? What did Sejanus have to do with the reign of Tiberius? Why do we use printLine(String) instead of System.out.println(String)? This time has come. Next week is finals week. Last week was my Athletic final for the semester. I took 10th in Shot Put and Discus. Next Week is my Academic Finals week; one final everyday from Monday to Thursday. The following is my finals week for RAship. My residents will be moving out and I will have to make sure everything is in ship-shape. It is crunch time. The time has come to be stressed but I cannot. Too many people are counting on us to perform at our peek. And so is the life of a student at Lewis and Clark College.
Until Next Time,
Matt the RA
So, this post will be in reply to an email I received over the weekend. I was asked about campus life. This includes the cultures dynamics and what it is like living on a small campus. I will first address what it is like on a small campus.
Living on a small campus cannot truly be appreciated until you are on one. There are benefits to living on a small campus that you cannot dream of on a larger campus. For me, the most important thing is the ability to get to know a bunch of other people. LC boasts about what great diversity we have on campus culturally, but I think it is more important to think about the different academic we celebrate. At larger schools there are so many people fighting for the required classes that they are filled with 70, 80, 100+ people. It is very difficult to learn about a subject from a grad student who hasn’t taken the class in 3 years. It is very hard to hear in those huge auditoriums they cram students in. One cannot learn when packed like sardines. At Lewis and Clark the largest class I have ever been in was 35 people. A 35 person economics class taught by a professor with PhD after his name is a much better environment to learn than that of a larger school. And this class is an outlier by a long shot. Most of my classes in my two years here have been between 15 and 25 students. We all have our own desks (elbow room) with power outlets in the ground no more than 5 feet in any direction in case you brought a lap top. Another benefit to your education is the availability of professors to talk 1 on 1 with you. With fewer students, professors have more time to help each student. You will understand how important this is when you have you first calculus test or your first essay. Professors here go above and beyond in order to make sure you learn. They want you to learn. I go to football because I love to play; they come to work because they love to teach. They love looking into a student’s eye right after the topic finally clicked. When that light goes on in their mind teachers feel successful.
The dynamic on this campus is in a period of transition. Though this is not the only definition of an LC student, it can be used to find a separation on this campus: are you a student athlete? Before this single question put you in one group or the other with minimal mixing, but this year there have been motions to shift this. Athletes have, not all but many, moved out of Copeland (which is generally filled with athletes) and into the other dorms complexes. I will personally be trying to bring these two cultures together next year. LC wants students that are open to other people culture. African culture, music culture, Baltimore culture, athletic culture, or snowboarding culture are all things that people here want to value and support. The Campus Living Mission Statement says that it will celebrate the “wisdom of diversity” and that is the truth. This campus will be closer than ever by the time I leave here.
If there are any questions on any of this please do not hesitate to ask.
Until next time,
AAAAHHHHHHHHH. 2 and a half weeks left. I have an 8 page paper due soon, math is confusing as ever, and Spanish is just horible (see what I did there?) RA pressures are setting is as I have to do a major program for the student body. I think I am going to do a stress relieving program, such as creating personalized stress balls for finals week. This weekend I have 3 major RA responsibilities in a 3 day span. On Saturday my RA staff team is helping host the Fiesta de Salsa. This is an annual event put on by the Spanish Club to promote Hispanic culture on campus. On Sunday I have to help with the student body’s room selection. This is the weekend everyone, not incoming freshman, chooses their room for next year. Luckily, I only have a two hour shift. Then, next Monday Copeland is having her Hall Dinner.
It is tough coming back from Spring Break with only 3 weeks left. This is why spring semester is harder than fall. In the fall semester we have fall break ad thanksgiving holiday off to relax and catch our breath. Spring semester only has Spring Break. Fall has about 2 three-day weekends, spring has none. It is an enduring process, but by the time summer comes, it is much welcomed.
So, I am going to leave this post a little differently than usual. I want to open this blog up for questions for my last few posts. Please ask me questions about anything at all. What are finals like? What is it like to play a varsity sport? Be an RA? Campus culture? Anything, I would love to answer any questions you may have.
Until Next Time,
Well, it is finally over. Our one week divider between “I have enough time to learn everything” and “OH crap, there is no way.” Spring Break was awesome this year. It started with a track meet at LC (finally.) It was awesome. I started with a nasty crash in the hammer, but after that I did fairly well. Professor Paul Allen of the math department came and watched the shot put and discus competitions. I love that professors are willing to come out and support their athletes. It shot put, I qualified for the NWC Championship meet.
Then, on Sunday I watched 11 straight hours of a Ken Burns documentary on the American Civil war of the 19th century. That was amazing. Monday and Tuesday I spent the mornings practicing and the evenings with my lovely girlfriend. It was very relaxing. We got the opportunity to watch Red Tails. It was a good movie, but not the best acting. Wednesday morning I practiced again, and then got on board the Amtrak and headed for Tacoma, Washington.
In Tacoma I visited my younger brother at the University of Puget Sound. It was awesome to see him in his environment. I went to his work in the morning. Met some of his team mates (he plays football for UPS.) Friday morning I was back on the Amtrak and headed for Portland. That was a long travel day because we had another meet on Friday. I went from the car, to the train, to the bus all in a 3 hour span.
This track meet was at Willamette. That was another solid performance. I threw 2 personal records for the second straight week. My parents were at this meet too. It was nice to hang with them in between my throws.
Now, we only have 3 and a half weeks left for classes. That is not a lot of time. I have to learn a piano piece early because our final recital is the same day as the NWC Championship meet. I have a 7 page paper due for my Ancient Rome Class. I have to finish a program for my final project in Computer Science. I am not too worried about Spanish. And then there is Calc 4. LLLLLLLL. And that’s how I feel about that.
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,