06 October 2015

Forest Harvest Festival

RA's do not just exist to make sure people are following College Policy.  Instead, the vast majority of our job is to make sure that students are happy here, and that they have fun in creative and new ways. In fast, this weekend, I was able to do just that.

I live in Alder, with is one of the Residence Halls in the complex Forest.  All of the RA's in Forest put on a festival this weekend called the Forest Harvest Festival.  It was to celebrate Fall, and all of the wonders that come along with it.  Each building brought something different to the festival, with RA's and residents working together to create whatever they were going to bring.  Students from around campus stopped by to eat festive food, decorate, hang out, and have fun!

My hall baked sweet potato pies, and apple pie cookies for residents to eat!  They were super tasty! I only got to share a piece of pie with a friend they were eaten so fast!  Two of the other halls, Ponderosa and Manzinita (or Pondo and Manzi as we call them), brought things to decorate.  Pondo brought watercolors and coffee filters to make fall leaves, while Manzi brought an insane amount of tiny pumpkins to color and decorate.

Residents and RA's having fun decorating and listening to music.

We even hung up fun decorations!

All and all it was a successful weekend filled with fun, friends and food! This was one of the larger community builders or programs that we as an RA staff team have put on.  I've had a couple others that were smaller with just my hall or even just my floor (since there are 2 RA's for each hall, each on one floor). If you have any questions about RA life, programs, or anything relating to L&C, do not hesitate to ask.  You can contact me at jprovost@lclark.edu.  

Have an awesome week and enjoy Fall!

Weekend Visit

Last weekend my girlfriend Ava came up to visit me and spend the weekend here in Portland. It was perfect timing since last week was a bye for the football team, so I had nothing to do all weekend but spend time with her. It was a really nice break from all the work I have had.

Since she landed early in the morning when I still had class, my friend Mikey was generous and picked her up from the airport. Once I was done with class, I got back to my dorm as fast as I could where she was waiting for me. Since I was done with classes for that day, we  went to eat lunch at the Trail Room, one of the two places to eat here on campus which serves mostly pizza or hamburgers.

After eating lunch, we both decided to take a nap before heading to downtown Portland. Getting downtown is very easy here at Lewis & Clark. They provide a bus that comes usually every  hour  to transport students  to either Fred Meyers, a grocery store, or to downtown. Once it drops you off downtown, you are about two blocks away from the city square and a big mall. Ava and I always like to head down there to walk around and look at  all the stores. My favorite is the Nike store, which is three stories and has a lot of cool stuff.

After spending most of our afternoon down there, we went to our favorite restaurant, Buffalo Wild Wings. We both love going there because it has a variety of  of wings and sauces,  and it’s a nice place to sit down to eat and watch football. After that we got back on the Pio, what the bus is called here, and headed back to school.

The next day we wanted to go somewhere we hadn’t been before. So Ava began to look for something for us to do. She had mentioned she wanted to head up to the International Rose Garden, so we got directions and set off to find it. It was much easier to get there than we initially thought. Once we got off the Pio downtown, we got on the public train called the MAX, and took it all the way up to Washington Park, where the rose gardens are  located. Once we got there though, we found out the Oregon Zoo is there as well! So instead of going to the rose gardens we decided to go into the zoo instead. It was really awesome to see all the animals there so close up. I even got to see my favorite animal, a cheetah! The coolest thing for me was being able to see the animals up so close because the San Diego Zoo separates the animals from the people more.

After the zoo, we didn’t really do a lot more. We just wanted to relax and spend time together. It’s always nice when she gets to come up here. Other than her visit, I’ve only really been working on classes and football. This past Monday I had two midterms for Organic Chemistry and Physics. Since it is Fall Break this week, I don’t have classes on Thursday and Friday so I’ll be able to relax a bit.  I will be probably catch up on work, sleep, and prepare for our upcoming game at George Fox. My parents and brother are coming up to see me and catch the game, so it’ll be nice to spend time with them.

That’s all I have for this week. I will fill you in on how our game goes this weekend. Also, here are a few pictures from the zoo.


Fruit bats just chilling.

The Beginning

Hey friends! My name is Mali PetersonWood. I am a first year student attempting to make the smooth and exciting transition into college. As this is my first blog, I thought I would give my readers the chance to get to know me a bit more.

I was born in Addis Ababa, the capital of the beautiful country Ethiopia, which is located in the horn of Africa. At the age of ten months old, I was adopted by two very loving parents and moved to the States. Currently, home for me is the small city of Sonora, located in the mountains of Northern California, just two hours from the breathtaking Yosemite National Park.

Currently, I play for Lewis and Clark's Women's Soccer team, as a defender, but am out due to a recent head injury. My major is undecided, but I'm leaning toward something in the Pre-Health filed. In my free time, I enjoy representing LC as an Admissions Ambassador which involves hosting prospective students and giving guided tours (which will begin in my second semester) eating strawberries and watching Netflix. My favorite shows are Law and Order: SVU, How to Get Away with Murder, and The Office. I love Italian food, looking at pictures of elephants, and on occasion, painting my nails.

While I'm at L&C, I want to become fluent in Spanish, study abroad in Thailand, be successful on the soccer field, learn how to garden, and most of all, expand my international knowledge of current world events/challenges.

A few things I wish to see and conquer during my first year in Oregon include: 
Mills End Park (the Worlds Smallest Park)

Thor's Well 

Attend a Portland Thorns Game 

Portland Food Carts 

Voodoo Doughnut 

Silver Falls 

Sunflower Meadow 

One piece of advice for all students when looking to find the right college, is to be completely happy with the choice you finally make. 

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day

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To a Transfer, from a Transfer

Hi all! My name is Jay Chu, and I’ll be representing the life and experiences of a transfer student at LC! Since this is my first post to RealLifeLC, I’ll start off with a short bio and then jump right in to a few things!

About Jay, and how he might apply to You!

After a 3-day mountain biking trip near Hope, Alaska
I was born and raised in the south bay of LA county and spent much of my time growing up going back and forth from California to the small island of Shikoku in Japan, so you can be sure to see that theme come up in my posts. As I mentioned before, I am a transfer student who spent his freshman year at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and part of sophomore year at San Diego Mesa College (a community college), and I’m excited to help other prospective transfer students take a sneak-peek into the experience here. My previous school was much larger than LC, so for those of you curious about choosing an LC-sized college, I will also be reflecting on making that transition from a large to a small community in my future posts. Besides weekly highlights, I’ll also be blogging about what I love doing, namely, outdoor adventures, cooking, martial arts, and cooking. For those interested, I am also an Environmental Studies major (one of the most unique programs in the country) and a Japanese minor. To my surprise, LC is not only allowing me but encouraging me to go term abroad next fall. So you can see, there is so much to look forward to, so please stay tuned as I will be posting every week!

I’ll start off with my experiences so far transitioning into life at LC specifically as a transfer student. It’ll be one of the most info-heavy posts, but there is valuable opinions and info! Enjoy!

Starting a New Life at LC: The Transfer Experience
It’s the beginning of October over at Palatine Hill Rd., and the summer is giving away to a beautiful fall of colorful leaves and clean crisp air. Up to this point, my life so far (as with all transfer students) has been filled with advisor meetings, Pre-Req clearances, new faces, a new campus, and fresh starts, and as you can predict, this can be a really stressful time because of the extra burden of transfer responsibilities on top of work. However, I have been enormously supported by the people and offices here that are devoted to the success of us transfers; having come from a large university catering to over 15,000 undergrads, I was shocked at how much help was available for any aspect of life at LC. If you have a question or problem, you can bet that LC has someone or people to help you out, and as transfer students, this is HUGE! No matter whether you're transferring as a fresh/soph/junior, regardless of your age, if you have kids, or if you spent the last 3 summers volunteering abroad, the folks here are happy to help you. For the LC community, being a transfer student isn't about who you were or where you were previously, it's more "Where are you now, and how can LC help guide you to where you want to be in x years?" From day 1, LC encourages transfer student to transfer student relationships by creating all-transfer orientation groups, and it's refreshing to see other non-traditional students navigate this new world. If you are following through with advisor meetings in the first month, you will feel grounded and confident your new life here. I won't lie, it's a lot of work, but the difference is that at LC, there are enough resources and staff that your hard work will generate the results for you to move forward in your academic career. I can't emphasize enough how organized, prepared, and knowledgeable the staff here are, and to graduate in the time you want to, having these resources is very much welcome. As we move into the fall break, I can confidently say that myself and the other transfers have very much found a loving and comfortable new place to call home.

For Fun

Fun nights, full stomachs!
I’ll always add a “For Fun” tidbit for my posts. This past week, my friends and I organized a sushi-making party for a birthday! Thanks to LC’s close relationship with Japanese universities, we have many Japanese exchange students on campus, and it’s a great first time experience with Japanese or East Asian culture for many first year students. The common rooms and kitchens in Holmes Dormitory are well-suited to host these events. The party was loads of fun, so this weekend will be another party focused on a special Japanese festival food called Takoyaki!

Please feel free to send and all questions/comments to jaychu@lclark.edu If I don't have the answer to your question, I will find someone who does!

05 October 2015

Staying Busy...

Hello, it's Nicole again! Happy 1st week of Halloween! I'm a big fan of Halloween and have already started decorating my on-campus apartment.

Otherwise, I haven't had too hectic or exciting a week. I've been doing a lot of planning for some on-campus events that are going to be very big. The first is the Acapella OUTLoud Concert in honor of Coming Out Day. The event is hosted by the Queer Student Union and includes performances from all four Lewis & Clark acapella groups. I was responsible for organizing the groups' performances, recruiting other talent, and designing the poster - which we will start posting around campus this week. The second event is with Spiritual Que(e)ry and Mystical Groves - two spirituality-centric student organizations. This event is our 2nd Annual Art Show, and this week we just started putting a call out for student art. In the next week, we will look at reaching out for featured off-campus and local artists to also include. It's a lot of work, but I'm excited to see these events moving along.

And it's not just my club work keeping me busy. I also work some hours at the main dining hall on campus (called "the Bon" by students), and at Maggie's, the campus café. My favorite shift is my shift at Maggie's, simply because it's a lot more laid back, and we have great music playing. I work the late Saturday night shift, so it can get a little busy from time to time as students get their fix of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and chai lattes, but this particular Saturday was unusually busy. The change in pace was a bit tiring, but I felt proud that I felt that I've finally got the hang of using the milk steamer and can now make really good lattes. Also, even the busiest shifts are a lot of fun, since I see a lot of friends come through the café since it's so popular, and also my coworkers are a lot of fun to work with. Customers will often see us singing along to the songs on our playlists as we work.

For me, though, the real highlight of the week has been my English elective, "Film Adapting Fictions." I'm really glad that Lewis & Clark has so many interesting and fun classes - this one is no exception. The class has been focused on exploring novels that have been adapted to movies, in particular horror, suspense, and noir stories. We've studied Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho," and just recently analyzed "Double Indemnity" - a classic noir novel and film. Studying film noir has really been fascinating to look at it's historical influences, and then seeing how film noir as influenced later genres. As a big film fan, it's been creatively inspiring to explore film theory, from German expressionist influence on film noir, to the influence of audience spectatorship in horror films. Even though I am an International Affairs major, getting the opportunity to take an elective like this has already made this semester one of my favorite academic experiences at Lewis & Clark.

So while this week has kept me largely on campus, I plan to make this up to myself by participating in some cool on- and off-campus events this week. As we have no class on Thursday and Friday because of Fall Break, I am sure I will have a lot of time for adventures.

Until next time!

04 October 2015

Fall Festivals

“Happy first day of Halloween!” 
Not everyone is quite as excited about the season as the person quoted above, but fall has begun and Lewis and Clark students are celebrating in various ways (most of them involving free food).

The grill works!


Yesterday (Saturday) L&C’s German Club celebrated Oktoberfest outside of Tamarack (Forest Hall’s lounge).  While it lacked the alcohol typically associated with Oktoberfest; everyone present had fun with attempting to get the grill to light, the sausage roast (once the grill was in working order), and the lively conversation between friends.

Pumpkin painting at the Harvest Festival


While I wasn’t able to attend myself, many students were able to support our teams during the football, volleyball, and soccer games this weekend.

Forest Hall Harvest Festival

Today outside of Tamarack there are many happy Lewis & Clark students painting pumpkins, roasting s’mores, eating pie, drinking apple cider, and making fall decorations.  I now have my own (slightly crooked) pumpkin decorating my bookshelf.

My junior jack-o'-lantern

What I’ve Been Doing

In addition to the two festivals above I have managed to do a few other things this week.

My team for Biology 141 (Explorations in Ecology and the Environmental Science) is studying the effects ivy has on the behavior of birds.  It is rather early in the study so we don’t have much information yet, but it has been quite enjoyable just sitting in the woods listening to the birds and taking a break.

Opal Creek
I recently became the student coordinator for the College Outdoors Fall Break Trip to Opal Creek. Which means that next weekend I get to go back to the beautiful Opal Creek Wilderness and spend time hiking, playing games, identifying plants, and exploring one of Oregon’s old growth forests. We had our pre-trip meeting last Thursday and I’m counting down the days until it starts. My New Student Trip was there and I can’t wait to go back.

If you have any questions feel free to send me an email at ameliaberle@lclark.edu

03 October 2015

College Outdoors Adventures

Another week of school has come and gone, and anticipation for fall break is paramount. Next week, we only have three days of classes, and then we essentially have a four-day weekend. I’m possibly going camping with my friends for one night, but besides that, I’m looking forward to not having any super concrete plans. It’ll be a nice change of pace.
There are plenty of options when it comes to finding things to do for break. A few of my friends are taking the Bolt Bus up to Seattle. Some people drive or fly home to see their families. Some people just stay on campus and relax. Also, College Outdoors has fall break trips for students. I know some people who spent the four days kayaking and camping at Waldo Lake last year. We’re actually renting gear from College Outdoors for our camping trip. Their rentals are a great resource for people who don’t just happen to have tents and sleeping bags lying around.
Not only does College Outdoors have trips for fall break, they also have spring break trips, both day hikes and overnight trips on weekends, and new student trips for incoming first-years. My new student trip, or NST, was one of the most unforgettable experiences I’ve had at LC and I would highly recommend going on one if you can. I went with eight other students on an eight-day backpacking trip in the Wallowa Mountains of Eastern Oregon. It was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’d never really been backpacking before, and although I’m a fairly athletic person (or I was at the time J), I definitely struggled. Long days, high altitude, heavy packs. But it was so worth it to stand on top of mountain passes with new friends, to recite poetry around the camp stove after dark, to make trail pizza on the side of a mountain, to wake up with the sun and eat delicious chocolate chip pancakes, to experience quiet moments in the forest.

This is the meadow camp where we stayed for two nights. Above it was this mountain that my friend Ben and I decided would be a great idea for the group to climb during our “rest” day. “It’ll only take a few hours,” we guessed. Famous last words.

If you look really closely, you can see our tents down there.

Turns out that what you see from camp is a false summit. We kept pushing on. Did I mention there was no trail? There was another false summit, and then another. We eventually made the collective decision that it would be unwise to keep going. After a grand total of eight hours, we made it back to camp only to find that an animal had eaten the dough we’d left out to rise for dinner. That night, there was an insane storm with lightning and rain and winds that tore our tents off the grass and sent them flying down the meadow. It was quite a day. It’s the kind of thing you look back on and say: “Wow, after that, I can do anything.” And the next morning was the sunniest, most beautiful day you could imagine.

 How many students does it take to transfer a trail pizza onto a plate?


Our trip leaders made sure that everyone had an honestly life-changing experience. That’s another really cool thing about College Outdoors. There’s lots of opportunities for leadership. You can get certified as a Wilderness First Responder, be a student coordinator, be a trip leader or assistant trip leader, and gain lots of skills. Personally, I prefer to just go on the trips and not have all that responsibility, but if you have an interest in wilderness leadership, College Outdoors is a good option for you.
I’ve also been to the coast a few times with College Outdoors, which was really fun and much more relaxing. 

A November day hike. It was a little rainy but not too bad, and College Outdoors provides tons of rain gear if you don't have it.

February yoga retreat. We stayed in a cabin and hiked and did yoga and it was fabulous. 

That's me. Whoo!

Anyway, that's enough reminiscing. I should really go on another trip sometime but I haven't had the time, I always seem to have a conflict when the yoga trip is happening, and that's the one I really want to do again.

I'm going to go do actual homework now. I'm currently at Maggie's, which is the convenience store and coffee shop on campus. You can get espresso drinks and snacks and stuff there with cash, cards, or the flex points that can be a part of your meal plan. It's a pretty good place to study if you prefer a more lively environment than the library. More background noise. 

If you have questions, feel free to email me at jessicakostka@lclark.edu!