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Spring break was incredible this year. Here is a little overview of my amazing trip!
Saturday, March 24th
Andrew picked me up from school after my track meet (blog on that later) we turned North on I5, ooops. Turned around… and… now we were headed in the right direction! We were off! We listened to some good road trippin’ music and talked for a few hours until will pulled into our first destination, Beachside State Park! We were right next to the ocean and we fell asleep listening to the waves and croaking frogs
Sunday, March 25th
Awoke, ate some oatmeal (with walnuts, bananas and brown sugar). Then we wandered to the beach. We were so close! We played on the shore for awhile, managed not to get too wet! Then we packed up camp and headed out for the rest of the day’s adventures. We drove south along the Oregon coastal highway and we stopped at Devil’s churn and played by some tide pools. Andrew poked one with a stick but didn’t get his desired results. We headed up to an information place and looked for whales! We sadly couldn’t see any, but someone said that there were a bunch in the bay not too long before we got there. After this, we went on a great run along the Oregon coastal trail and then through some old growth forest. It was gorgeous. Andrew out-sprinted me to the car and won (it didn’t count of course because I had raced the day before and had the excuse of tired legs). We continued south until we got to the Heceta head lighthouse and we hiked up to check it out. It was gorgeous but it was pouring rain. We were just a little soaked but we managed to warm up quickly in the car. We pulled into our campsite for the evening, Umpqua lighthouse State Park, to set up camp. That night made a ton of chili and cornbread. We wandered to the lighthouse which apparently looks like a disco ball and saw a really great sunset. It was a great day.
Monday, March 26th
We had a really beautiful morning! The sun was out and we made some really great breakfast quesadillas. After moseying around the campgrounds for a little while we packed up once again and headed south towards Bandon. On our way to Bandon we stopped at Eel Lake and walked a short way around it. SO BEAUTIFUL. The sun was shining and the lake reminded me of small inland lakes back home (Michigan). We saw a little sandbar and a perfect log in the sun so we waded out and soaked up some sun for a little while before continuing with our trip. When we got to Bandon we went for a run in some serious headwinds. The run was saved by the pretty dunes and the fact that it felt so good to stretch our legs. We wanted to go out for seafood while we were on the coast and we found a really authentic place to do just that! The place was called Griffs on the Dock. It was literally “on the dock.” Andrew had his first crab and only flung crab bits around a little. After dinner we were heading to our campsite for the evening but had to stop at Cape Blanco first. Google pictures. It was so incredibly gorgeous. That night we camped in a really windy campsite by Humbug Mountain.
So this is getting pretty long. I will make a part 2 soon.
The weeks will not stop flying by! I wish I could just reach out and grab them, but every time I try to do so they slip through my fingers.
Spring Break came upon me so suddenly that I had to pack rather quickly, which is not something I like to do. I’m a pretty methodical person, and rushing was kind of terrifying. But I was able to remember everything and hop on yet another 7am plane to DC.
My mom picked me up from the airport, which was unusual. My dad is mostly in charge of that on account of my mom becoming way too emotional, and sure enough, she started bawling at baggage claim. It was oddly reassuring, though, to see that she had missed me so much, for even though it hadn’t been too long, I realized that I missed her the exact same amount.
I had especially missed her cooking. I know a lot of people say that their mother is the best cook, but I legitimately mean it—my mother is the best cook to ever live. It’s just the truth. Last time I was home, she had shattered her shoulder (ahh!), so I missed out on the usual home-cooked food. This time was much different, and all the more delicious.
None of my friends from high school had the same break as me, so I went to visit some of them at a school a couple hours away from home. It was great seeing them, but it was so so weird seeing them in college. They were the same people I knew and loved, but altered. I wondered if they perceived me similarly. Anyways, I had a super wonderful time, but it made me appreciate LC, like a lot. At their school, most of the kids live on campus because it is in a pretty rural area. This means that the parties are all on campus, and that the entire school (basically) goes to the same one. The party that was happening the night I visited happened to be a “Tight & Bright” party. Yikes. The only “Tight & Bright” party that you will see take place on the LC campus will be 100% ironic—just the way I like it. So there were probably 400ish kids trying to get into this tiny cramped apartment that had no lighting whatsoever except for a black light. Everyone was grinding up on each other and I felt so uncomfortable! At Lewis & Clark, parties are not about dancing up on someone, they’re about getting to know people. There have live bands and cheesy games and everyone is so nice and wants to have a conversation. No one wanted to even speak to each other at the T&B party. It was dubstep and silence. Weird weird weird.
Coming back to Lewis & Clark was that much better. It was a deep breath of fresh air. I realized that these are my kind of people; the ones who want to have talks about the Middle East, not the ones who want to bump and grind. I’m so happy to be back here, and it’s sad to see that there aren’t that many weeks left. I suppose I’ll just have to make the most of them.
Well, I’ve done it. Come October 1st I’ll be teaching English in Graz, Austria for the 2012-13 school year. I was awarded a Fulbright! AHHHHH HOORAY! I’ve been counting down the days until I heard from the Commission, knowing it would come sometime in April. The e-mail arrived Friday morning, and was the first thing I checked that day.
Dear Ms. Heinrichs,
I am pleased to inform you that the Austrian Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (BMUKK) has notified the Austrian-American Educational Commission (AAEC) that you are a candidate for a U.S. English language teaching assistantship for the 2012-2013 academic year.
The best e-mail yet. I didn’t realize how much I wanted this position until I had it. I found myself beaming, walking to school with near tears in my eyes as I thought about my future. That’s the thing: now I have a future. I don’t have to fumble my way through answering “What will you do once you graduate?” I know what I’ll do now, I’m going to teach English for K-12. (That’s right, Kindergartners…) To anyone that doubted my German degree, IN YOUR FACE.
There is so much to do before I start (sending letters, contacting my schools, applying for residency, looking for an apartment…) but it’s so exciting. Every time I think about what’s ahead of me I smile, or squeal, and feel so…hopeful. Today in class a friend congratulated me, and as most of the class was assembled, someone asked what for. I told them the news and received a hearty round of applause, joined with well-meaning congratulations. I’m not one to be short on words, but I could only smile stupidly, mumble thanks and sit in my chair, continuing to beam. I’m happy. Really happy.
SO HAPPY OKAY?!
I’m even in the news! Well, LC news.. I answered some questions for this article. I also rambled on about a few other things not mentioned so here’s my full questionaire:
1. Can you describe your Fulbright award, where you will be traveling, and what you’ll be doing while you’re there? (I know sometimes placement isn’t decided until later, so if that’s the case, feel free to be general here.)
I’ve been placed to teach English in Graz, Austria for K-12. Not
only will I be facilitating an intercultural dialogue between students
and myself, I’ll also be furthering my own personal growth with the
German language. German is my passion, and I’ll be living “the
dream” for at least a year.
2. What drew you to studying a foreign language? What excites you about the idea of teaching English in the country you have been placed?
Language thrills me. My sophomore year at LC I found myself
discovering similarities between German and Spanish, delighted
with every cognate I came across. I knew then that languages
were for me. With each new language I study (German, Spanish,
Norwegian…) I find a new voice. I find new ways to hear, think,
express and ultimately create. Language is creation; it’s art to me.
Teaching in Austria will let me look through another lens of
Germanic culture. I’ll get to use the language I love, while at the
same time be challenged by something new. The dialects alone
could keep me busy for months! Also, I hope to maybe instill the
same love of language learning in some kid in a country thousands
of miles from where I call home. Globalization can be a very cool
3. Have you participated in any study abroad trips during your time at Lewis & Clark? If so, what was that experience like?
I studied in Munich, Germany for a year and grew
academically and personally. I had the time of my life (no, really!) I
discovered what I love there, which is language. I was given
independence and simultaneously found somewhere I felt I
4. How do you think your Lewis & Clark education has contributed to you seeing yourself as a citizen in a global community?
Part of the lure of LC was the emphasis on study abroad: I liked
that. I want everyone to travel to experience the world, not just see
it. I found a second home abroad, one that I am overjoyed to be
returning to again.
5. What are your plans for the future, and how do you think your Fulbright experience will figure in those plans (graduate school, travel, future careers, etc?)
I don’t have a career in mind. Not yet. I only know that this Fulbright
opportunity is bringing me back to Europe, giving me the chance
to improve and refine my German, and hopefully set me up to be
a permanent ex-pat. That’s all I want. Maybe I’ll fall in love with
teaching, maybe I’ll fall in love with Graz. I don’t know where I’ll
end up a year or more from now, but I’m certain Fulbright will have
something to do with it.
6. Any advice to share with other Lewis & Clark students applying for
similar awards in the future?
I didn’t realize how much I truly wanted this opportunity until I
read the acceptance email. If you think, just maybe, Fulbright is
something you want to strive for, do it. Don’t let the fear of the
unknown ever hold you back.
My home to be!
That’s all for now. I have a mini-mountain of work to attend to. 25 days left until graduation!
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,
Sometimes you come across a website that just gets you y’know? I’ve found several myself but, here’s a webcomic (I use that term loosely) that makes me giggle as well as ponder the deeper meanings of life. (…Not really, no)
ENJOY. (I have an hour to kill between classes and lunch so, this is how I kill it. STAB STAB INTERNET LAUGHTER.)
From the mind of Natalie Dee: