20 October 2014

Enjoying nature

The semester is officially half way over.

Wait, what? Already? It seems as if it was only a week ago that I was moving into my room and trying to adjust to an entirely new life. Now school is in full swing. I have a biology test this Friday and a chemistry test next Wednesday. It's going to be an enjoyable few weeks in the library!

Another big part of these classes also the labs that are scheduled once a week. My favorite is my biology lab!

In bio lab, we are conducting studies on the effect of ivy in the Pacific Northwest. Doesn't catch your attention right away? Let me elaborate on the subject for you. Ivy was introduced here around 200 years ago as a garden decoration. Since it grows so quickly, it rapidly reproduced and invaded local forests. One forest where this is happened in particular is near the Lewis and Clark campus in Tryon State Park.

So for my lab, my group and I decided to do a study on the effects of ivy on native plant species. This means we have to go out into the forest in Tryon right next to campus to collect data for our experiment. Now being from a desert, I love being out here in the forest. It really is amazing to step outside and not melt away in five minutes.

So this past week my group (Anna Colando, Kelley Koeppen, and I) made a trip down to Tryon to inspect for plots of land that contains ivy. We made about a 30 minute hike down to the park, trying to navigate our way there without getting lost. Upon our arrival, we began mapping out the trails and started searching for ivy near the Nature Center. After about an hour of trying to search for ivy on three trails, we only found the tiniest scraps of ivy. Defeated for the day, we made the long trek back up to campus and called it a day.
Hiking in Tryon!


Kelly (left), Anna (right), and I in search of Ivy.

The next day we talked to our professor, and he told us we had been searching in the wrong area! In hindsight we had a good laugh, but my feet were a little sore the next day. I will definitely let everyone know the results of our experiment when we figure it out!

Until next week guys,

-Remington Campbell

P.S.- Here is a cool picture I took of campus the other day!

Walking by the Reflecting Pool on a rainy day!



Scheduling Shenanigans

Well, I can’t think about my King Lear paper anymore, so I’m going to take a break and write about something other than chaos and baseness and nothingness and fools and madmen. Instead, let’s just talk about day-to-day life at Lewis and Clark.

One great thing about college is you have a lot of freedom to choose your schedule. I particularly like how this term has turned out in that regard. Although in previous semesters I have had classes starting at 8am and 9:10am, this year, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I don’t start class until 11:30am! However, I usually don’t sleep in that late. I’m a light sleeper, so I usually wake up when my roommate starts moving around to get ready for her early classes. 

This morning (Monday), I got up when she left at around 9am, and right away I went out for a run. It’s so nice to be able to get that done before I even go to class, because I'll probably feel like I don’t have enough energy later in the day. I run at Tryon Creek State Park, which is right next door to campus. Today, it was raining. Of course it was! This is Portland, and it's October. Being in the rain is just something you get used to. It’s important to do all the things you would normally do despite the weather, and not use the rain as an excuse not to do things you enjoy. At least, that’s how I look at it. 

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed my rainy run, and afterwards, I shot an email to my mom to just check in and say hi, and listened to music. I always go to the dining hall at 11am as soon as it opens for lunch, so I have time to eat before Japanese. To give you some perspective on how small the campus is, it only takes me one minute to get from my room to the dining hall, and about five minutes to class (three if I power-walk). Then, Japanese, yoga, and philosophy are all right in a row, and I’m done with class for the day! So now I’m back in my room, and it’s time to study and catch up on my non-academic to-do list (like writing a blog entry J ). I feel like I have plenty of time to get everything done today. Of course, my Mondays are nothing compared to my Thursdays, when I have class from 8am until 12:30pm and then again from 1:50pm – 3:20pm, plus yoga club, and other events that might be planned, but I personally think one super busy day each week is a price I’m willing to pay for other, easier days.

Along those lines, my main concern right now is my schedule for future semesters. On Wednesday, I have my advising appointment where I meet with a professor in my department (English) to talk about academic matters. I need to decide what classes I’m taking next term. I will definitely take the second half of the English survey – Major Periods and Issues in English Literature – and another English class (probably Poetry Writing), and Japanese 102. Then, I still have one spot left over which needs to be filled. As it stands, I will probably not be able to fit my runs in before class anymore... Oh well. And since I’m a sophomore right now, things are really getting down to the wire in terms of long-term planning for the rest of college. The two big issues I have right now are declaring a major and applying for study abroad programs. I know I’m definitely an English major, but I still need to talk that over with my advisor, actually submit the major declaration form, and make a four-year plan. And since I’m studying Japanese, I’m hoping to study abroad in Japan. I’m not sure where in Japan I’ll go, because we actually have four different programs at Lewis and Clark that go to Japan, but I know I am going to go in the spring of my junior year. My backup plan is to go to Australia or London. I’ve always known I wanted to study abroad. Whether or not I would was never a question up for debate. The only question was where to go. I actually think that was a real reason why I chose Lewis and Clark over other schools. Lewis and Clark just has such an international focus. Here’s a link to all of our awesome study abroad programs!

Sorry if this entry was boring. I hope it was at least slightly informative. It’s just that most of what is on my mind right now is logistical planning, and schedules, and suchlike, so that’s what this entry ended up inevitably being about. I’ll write about something more “fun” next week! Like poetry slams and Bill Nye the Science Guy!

Any questions? Email me at jessicakostka@lclark.edu.


Jess

18 October 2014

And then there was... free time?

This last week was the Environmental Affairs Symposium!

It feels weird to say that, because I've been working on it for the last 11 months. We put a lot of time into it. Weekly (sometimes more often) meetings, lots of emails over the summer, talking with our keynotes and facilities and the venue we used for our keynote event- and now, after three days, it's done.
our fantastic logo, designed by some fantastic students
It was definitely a whirlwind. Monday evening we were supposed to have a movie event, but because everyone had just gotten back from fall break and because we hadn't been as good about publicity as we could have been, and because everyone was busy with midterms, we ended up canceling it due to low turnout. Tuesday was our keynote, which was held downtown at Ecotrust's Natural Capital building. It was a really cool venue, and we had pretty good turn out. The keynotes, Paul Robbins and Lesley Head, were amazing, and presented some extremely interesting research. Wednesday the keynotes presented again, about interdisciplinary studies, and were present for a lunch. Wednesday afternoon students presented academic sessions they'd been preparing since last spring, which included panelists from throughout the Pacific Northwest. Lesley and Paul both attended some of the sessions, as well. Thursday we held the last of the sessions, and then had our closing banquet. The banquet was bittersweet, but it was nice to be able to celebrate all the work we put into this.

On top of Symposium, I had the chance to catch up with and see a couple of friends this week who I haven't seen for a while. One of my friends, and a fellow co-chair of Symposium, is gone this semester since he went abroad on an environmental studies program to Japan this summer. He came back just for Symposium, and it was really fun having him here. This afternoon he came over along with a few other environmental studies friends to play ukulele at my house. I also had a friend from home come visit this week, and it was fun to show her around campus and introduce her to my friends here. On top of all of that, another friend from home is coming next week. It's so great to see people I haven't seen in a while, but it makes me sad that I can't see them more often.

Now that Symposium is over, I feel like I've had all this free time dumped on me. Up until Symposium, I was busy catching up with work because I had to leave for a couple of weeks earlier in the semester. Just as I got caught up, it was Symposium week, which rendered me incredibly busy. Now that it's all over, I'm not quite sure what to do with myself. I don't have that much homework this weekend, so I've been enjoying watching a lot of Netflix (Gilmore Girls! And the Mighty Ducks 2, last night) and as I already mentioned, playing ukulele.

And, the semester continues! I had a midterm last week (surprisingly, my only one this semester), and I have a drawing project due Monday. Next week my friend is visiting, Halloween is the week after that (protip: if you eat on campus, go to the Bon for dinner on Halloween. They go all out!), and two weeks after that is my birthday! Then Thanksgiving is only two weeks after that, and Finals only two more weeks after that! My, the time flies.

If you have any questions, please please email me at rekidder@lclark.edu! I welcome any and all questions!

-Rebecca

13 October 2014

Fall Break

This week the school had Fall Break, which started on Thursday. Thankfully there were no classes on Thursday and Friday! While most people went home for Break, I stayed here on campus since we still had a home game for football.

While everyone was back home, I was still waking up early in the morning for practice. I know, total blast right? Well without classes, it was an extremely awesome extended weekend. With only football in the mornings, what is a college boy supposed to do with all this free time? If you guessed sleep you are spot on. It was great

Actually besides catching up on all of my sleep, I did find a way to keep myself busy. Wednesday night the Portland Timbers, the local Major League Soccer team, was playing and since I have never been to an MLS game I really wanted to attend. Fortunately, these past two weeks Student Activities has been selling tickets at a cheaper price to the students of Lewis and Clark! This is one of the things I love about college. There are so many different things that are easily accessible, whereas where I am from, there isn't a whole lot you can do.

So Wednesday after classes ended at 2:50, I took a nap. Well, the game wasn't until 7:30 so I had a little bit of time to kill. When I woke up from my nap, I went up the Bon (what the students call Fields Dining Room and pronounced bone) for dinner. Then my friends Mike Downey, Dylan Stacy, my roommate Jake Anderson, and I hopped on the Pio (the bus system the school provides). The Pio is a really great service we have here. It transports us downtown to SW Salmon St, which is in the middle of the city.

Once we reached downtown, we all stopped to grab a bite at the the food carts near the stadium. Then it was off to enter the the stadium, Providence Park! Let me tell you, the city of Portland knows how to support their sports teams. The entire place was a sea of green and white (Timbers Colors). Our seats were near the end of the stadium on the side of one of the goals, allowing us to see the entire field. Now on the opposite end of the stadium from us was the noisiest section of fans, the Timbers Army. I'm pretty sure my chemistry professor was among the rowdy crowd, which I think is awesome. Everytime the Timbers scored (they won 3-0 by the way) the entire crowd went nuts! I lost my voice from all the yelling. Also, throughout the entire game, the Timbers Army never once stopped chanting. Seeing that makes me want to go back every time to their games.
Dylan, I, and some random people behind us. Go Timbers!

Our view from our seats! Not too shabby. 

The Timbers game was definitely was the highlight of my fall break. After that, time flew by. I relaxed after practices and even got to play a little Xbox. Saturday was our first home game! After over a month of only road games, it was such a strange experience to wake up in my own bed after a good night of rest and have a home game. Unfortunately, we lost 44-7 but we have been looking much better. Then Sunday I watched football games all day with my friends.
Watching football with my friend, Drake Cain, in Copeland hall. 

So my fall break was a very successful restful days. Now I just have to make it to Thanksgiving!

Until next time everyone,

Remington Campbell

P.S- Here are a few more pictures from this weekend.
Penalty shot for the Timbers! Gooooaaaallll!

First home game. Go Pios!

Pretty awesome seats. 

Fall Break and Fall Festivities

Something that occasionally bothers me about being at college instead of at home is the relative lack of seasonal cheer and festivities. It feels like I leave during the summer, and then I spend four months at school just doing school things, and then I come back home and suddenly it’s Christmas time. I find myself asking: where did autumn go? So since it’s been fall break the last few days and I had some spare time, I decided to spice things up a bit and make sure I don’t miss the season this year. I bought things like apple cinnamon spice tea, candy corn, some fall decorations, and things to make toasted pecans. My roommate also got a pumpkin for the windowsill. 



Now, it’s officially autumn in Akin Hall!


And beyond our cozy room, the dining hall serves a lot of seasonal desserts like pumpkin mousse and carrot cake and maple cookies. Maggie’s, the on-campus convenience store and café, starts advertising pumpkin lattes and suchlike. Sometimes people go to a pumpkin farm on Sauvie Island nearby where there’s apparently a corn maze (though I’ve never been). Sometimes people dress up for Halloween and come to class in costume. Last year, I was Rose Tyler from Doctor Who. I don't know about this year though.

My roommate went home for the break, so it’s been pretty quiet. I actually didn’t feel like I had that much homework, but maybe that’s because it was the kind of homework that didn’t feel like homework, you know? I’m reading King Lear for English right now, and it’s just so much fun that it’s not work. I’ve read it once before, and I’ve seen a production of it at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, so I’m already sort of familiar with it. It’s fantastic to just slowly meander through it again and tease out all the details and themes and really get to know the characters. I love being an English major… Here’s an example of something we read and discussed in my English class a few weeks ago.



It’s a poem called “The Wanderer” translated from Old English. It deals with ideas of transience and the fleetingness of life and, as my professor says, it has a very ‘post-apocalyptic’ feel to it. Very melancholy, very eerie and haunting. To be honest, I actually didn’t get that much out of it on my first reading, but my professor led such a wonderful discussion that I learned a lot from him and my classmates, and even ended up contributing to the discussion. By the end of class, the poem ranked among my favorites. Reading literature and poetry is so much better when one gets to discuss it afterwards.

If you have any questions, email me at jessicakostka@lclark.edu. I'm happy to answer them!

Jess



Fall Break

Hello everyone!

I just got back last night from my fall break trip! I went home to Minnesota, and it was wonderful. This was my first year going home for fall break, and even though it was short, it was very nice.

Wednesday I finished up my last class at 5:30, so I went to hang out by the bus stop until it came around 6:15. Lewis & Clark has a very convenient shuttle service downtown that runs about every hour. The bus, or as students call it, the Pio (short for Pioneer Express) makes stops at Fred Meyer, a grocery store, as well as downtown. It also has flag stops along the way, one of which is right next to my house. A couple of times a week I ride it to and from school, usually when I have too many things than I can carry on my bike. Wednesday was one of those days, since I had all of my drawing supplies.

Anyway, I was waiting for the Pio, and as it turns out, so were about 100 other people. Everyone was really excited and amped up because it was officially fall break, so there were a lot more people heading downtown than there usually are on a Wednesday. When the Pio came, I tried to squeeze my way on, but it was too full. This was a little stressful, since I had to make a plane, but I called my friend who had generously offered to give me a ride, and she agreed to pick me up on campus and run by my house with me so that I could get my bags.

Eventually I made it to the airport, at which point I flew to San Francisco before taking a red eye home. It was a long time to spend in a plane, but getting home was worth it. I spent Thursday just hanging out at home and catching up on sleep. That night all my Minneapolis cousins and aunts/uncles got together for dinner. Friday morning was spent running some errands, and after my sister got out of school we drove up to Duluth. Duluth is a really pretty port city on Lake Superior. My family used to drive up to the North Shore of Lake Superior every fall, so it was fun to do it again.

Saturday we drove further up the North Shore, getting pie, stopping in shops, and hiking around. It was really nice. That evening we drove back down to the cities. Sunday morning I hung out some more at home, and I left in the afternoon.

Gooseberry Falls State Park in Minnesota. The fall colors were very vibrant and nice.

It was a really nice break, and was needed. This week is going to be insanely busy- it's finally Environmental Affairs Symposium week! We are kicking off the event tonight with an "Anthropocene in Movies" event. Tomorrow we have the keynote event downtown, and we have student run sessions throughout Wednesday and Thursday. Then, we have our closing banquet!

On top of that, one of my friends from home is visiting me, and I have a midterm on Thursday.

Even though I'm busy, I always have time to answer questions! Feel free to email me at rekidder@lclark.edu if you have any questions.

-Rebecca

07 October 2014

España, Qué Bonita


    I was going to talk about my classes and applying for Fulbright, but instead I just want to talk about Spain. I participated in two LC study abroad programs: Seville, Spain and Strasbourg, France. I went to Seville my sophomore year and it was amazing, glorious, and delicious. I cannot describe how much I enjoyed it. Every time I speak Spanish, I feel a visceral joy because I am reminded of Seville, my friends there, and the moments when I learned each new word. 

This weekend, I was asked to talk to the next group of students participating in the program. Lewis & Clark hosts pre-abroad meetings to help students get ready for the trip, which gives them a chance to talk about their hopes and fears besides all the logistical stuff. I got to relive my experience when I talked to them about what to go and see:
 (La Catedral de Sevilla)



about making friends:


(Other LC students and I hanging out with our Spanish speaking partners, "Intercambios," during La Feria, a spring festival when everyone wears traditional flamenco clothing. I'm on the left, wearing a dress that my Spanish friend Cristina let me borrow.)


(LC students just before our flamenco party at El Centro Norte Americano, our school)


about what to eat:

 (My friend Nick and I about to eat some paella. This was a serving size for two, hence Nick's uneasy expression)













and what to do during free time:




(My roommate Charlotte and I in Chefchaouen, Morocco during Spring break)











(Doing homework at a river café, a typical afternoon in Seville)


I talked about the problems I faced there too. It was, of course, difficult in the beginning, when I was struggling with the language. I started Spanish at LC, and I went to Spain after only 3 semesters of Spanish class. For the first month I was pretty silent, and there were some interesting and funny mess-ups and confusions. But, being there was the best thing that could have happened. After going abroad, I progressed so much and now I am comfortable, happy even, when I speak it.

Here is a link to all the study abroad programs at LC:

http://college.lclark.edu/programs/overseas_and_off-campus/programs/all/

You will not be disappointed!

Also, if ya have any questions or want to know more, e-mail me at marissaburke@lclark.edu !