25 October 2016

Half Way Done

The semester is halfway over, which is crazy to think about. The past two and a half months have flown by here at Lewis and Clark. So far school has been keeping me extremely busy, and I have to stay focused most of the time. This past week I was finally able to complete the last of my midterms, so it feels really good to have that finally over with. It was for my Political Science class, and I think I did okay on it. I am not too sure though, since that class is something outside of what I normally take. However, it fills my International Affairs requirement, so I am taking it because I thought it looked easy.

Other than that class, all my other ones are chugging along. The main thing that helps me manage my time here is coming to the library, where I can sit down and do my homework without any distractions. It is open 24 hours a day on the weekdays and only closes for about 12 hours or so on the weekends. The library even has study rooms so that you can meet with groups there or study with some friends. I really enjoy going there because it forces me to just focus on doing homework.

This past weekend we played the University of Puget Sound. The game was super close. We jumped out to a 14-3 lead, but then gave up a couple touchdowns. However, we battled back and made the game very close. Even though we lost, we were super competitive the whole time and were always engaged in it. I feel like this game showed how far we have come as a team. The atmosphere around the team is incredibly confident, and we all feel like we can get a win this week. It was nice, also, after the game, to see a classmate of my brother’s from high school who plays on the Puget Sound team. His parents were there at the gamel, and it was fun to visit with friends from back home.

This next weekend is Homecoming and Family Weekend. My parents and grandmother will be coming from Southern California, so my brother and I will get a second dose of home!

That’s all I have for this week.

Studying in the library. 

Our friend Isaiah from home in the middle, my brother Alex on the right, and I 

23 October 2016

A Biologist in a Cybersecurity Competition?

One of the nice things about attending a small school is that you’re guaranteed to have friends with a wide range of interests.  There is no way that all your friends will be entirely within your major (unless you decide to make only one friend). One of my better friends is a CS (Computer Science) major who is excellent at cybersecurity; she convinced both me and my roommate to participate in NCL (National Cyber League), a cybersecurity competition. Despite the fact that we know nothing about cybersecurity and have minimal background in computer science, we both agreed after being assured that it’s intended as a teaching tool and even those of us with no experience can join. This weekend was the first time the stadium opened.  It starts with a preseason game to separate the participants into brackets based on their skill level. The preseason game lasts for a week so I still have awhile to finish the challenges, but I have a pretty good start so far. Six of us hung out in a classroom yesterday working on the challenges and I really enjoyed it.

See the little orange dot? I'm doing pretty well seeing as I know nothing and haven't finished yet.

The other thing I have been working on this week is the upcoming fire show. Every fall we host a Halloween show known as the Dance of the Damned and this year we’re doing the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This show will be called “Once More, with Fire” after the episode’s title of “Once More, with Feeling.” In case you didn't notice, we have members who like bad puns. Anyway, we held two extra practices this weekend to work on our choreography and it’s turning out pretty well so far. I’ll admit though, these songs will be stuck in my head for at least the rest of the semester. I can already sing along with other people’s parts and my roommate was humming at 3am last night...

Want to ask a question? Shoot me an email at ameliaberle@lclark.edu

Midterms and Fall Ball

Hello All,

With the Presidential Election just around the corner, L&C held a viewing of the third and final debate in the Council Chamber, a smaller theater in the student center.  The school had shown all the previous debates, and each time the auditorium was packed.  There were efforts from political clubs on campus—College Democrats and College Conservatives—to register L&C students to vote, and it sounds like a large group of students were registered.  It was very interesting to see students so excited about politics!

Midterms are on Monday—tomorrow—for me, so most of my time has been spent studying for those.  However, Fall Ball was on Saturday, and it was a blast.  It was held at the Crystal Ballroom, a local venue for concerts, and was incredibly fun.  Many students attended, as there were offerings other than just the music.  There was good food, a photo booth, and a great DJ.

For those of you who missed my first couple of posts, I finish each post with a cheap joke, as I believe humorous puns are the spice of life.  Additionally, I add a “Song of the Week” in order for you readers to get to know me more personally.

Cheap Joke Sunday: What did the buffalo say to his child when he went off to college?

Song of the Week: “Drum” by MØ

I’ll be posting weekly on the Real Life Blog, on either Saturday or Sunday.  For any questions, comments, or cheap jokes you’d like to share with me, you may contact me via email at zack@lclark.edu. 

Days of the Week

Hi friends!

This weeks been really good and didn’t actually go too slowly. I had my last set of midterms last week so this week it’s been a pretty standard week. I’ve been able to just focusing on classes, extracurriculars and work - it’s been a typical college student life.

Monday nights I go to the Pugilism Club. I think I mentioned it in one of my earlier posts, but it’s a club where we learn all sorts of really cool self defense and fighting skills. Depending on who comes we learn different things ranging from boxing, kick boxing, Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu or Taekwondo. I had always wanted to learn how to box and learning martial arts is really interesting. This semester it’s been a bit different since two of the three original leaders are abroad, but we’ve been able to bring in some other people. For instance, this past Monday we had James Gamet. He’s an undefeated and world renowned fighter and trainer. We learned a boxing combo and then how to do a jiu jitsu joint hold.

Muay Thai kicking with Jay (some of you will recognize him! He was a blogger last year)

Tuesday nights I go to Hip Hop Club - both the beginners group and the performance group. In the beginners group we just finished learning a dance to “Closer” by the Chainsmokers and started a new dance to Rihanna’s “Right Now”. It’s a really great group of people, choreographed by two current LC students. For the beginner’s group there is no previous required knowledge of any dance, it’s just a fun, safe, and unjudged place to learn how to dance and feel confident.  The performance group is working on a dance we’re all working together to choreograph and hoping to perform at the end of the year with the accapella groups. (Not yet confirmed, but that’s the hope :) )  

Wednesdays are normally Dance X, but we got the week off and I went downtown to do some homework. My friend met me downtown and we went out for Ichiban sushi :D Ichiban is a super cute hole in the wall sushi place that is very inexpensive but still really great quality. (It’s on the corner of Burnside and 6th).

The rest of the week was normal classes and everything, chem lab on Thursday and bio lan on Friday. In Chem lab we’re finishing up understanding what makes a nucleophile worst or better for completing an SN1 or an SN2 reaction. (I still don’t understand >.< but a great thing about LC is I get help at the SQRC every week and I have a SAAB (Student Academic Affairs Board) tutor that will help me one on one. Bio lab we moved on to hexapods and dissected an Orthoptera (a freaking ginormous grasshopper) and we’ve begun our independent projects.

Last night was FALL BALL! :) I normally don’t go to these types of things but I had a really fun time last night. I worked a volunteer for a shift and actually got to go for free too. It was my first time being in the Crystal Ballroom. There were two floors, the first one was Lola’s room which had a photo booth and food and just a bunch of places to hang out and sit if the music was too loud. Upstairs is just a giant dance floor, we had LC student DJs the whole night. I just danced all night and has a blast :)

Fall Ball!

This is getting really long so sorry folks! If you read it all thanks :)
If you have any questions feel free to email me at ksaylor@lclark.edu
Cheers and happy Sunday folks! 

19 October 2016

How to Get Involved with College Outdoors 101

Hey friends!

So, as promised, this post will be all about how I got involved with College Outdoors and how you can too!
Rigging up in the morning
If you work for CO as a trip leader you will most likely begin to either work in Sequoia, our warehouse, or the office. It's good to get familiar with Sequoia in order to do all the trip pack outs as well as just understanding how to checkout/checkin gear, kitchen things, and other things that I really don't know too much about, sorry! (I am definitely not the right person to be asking about Sequoia since I've never had a shift with them.) Working in the warehouse is really cool though and theres a ton to learn since it's HUGE. The joke is (and if you ever come on an LC tour, you'll hear this), you could walk into the warehouse for a trip in your underwear and with a toothbrush and we could fully outfit you in everything you need for any of the dozens of trips we offer. If you work in the office you'll learn how to sign people up for trips, make payments, build trip binders, organize the logistics of trips, do some PR work on Facebook and Flickr and a ton more.

I started off by going on a New Student Trip, which is the summer before you begin your first year (either freshman year or as a transfer). They are a bit pricey, but when you break it down you're paying for all the equipment, the food, the guides/leaders, the transportation and if you have a "base location"- like a cabin then that shelter too, and it is very much worth it. Also, a good thing is that the ASLC (The Associated Students of Lewis and Clark) will offer financial aid to those on Federal Financial Aid, so you can go for half price. Like I've said in previous posts, I went on the Deschutes Rafting. It was sooo incredible! We rafted about 100 miles with a lot of drifting and a day of all white water rapids (this is the day stretch you do over the weekend trips). The slower days were great to get to know your guides and your fellow NST buds. Each night we would stop and make camp, we'd cook our own food and pack up and rig the boats each morning.

While you're on the NST it's great to talk to your leaders, they're students who also work with College Outdoors. They can answer all your questions about college outdoors, classes, professors, college life, and anything just general transition stuff. Take this chance to get involved and help out (you will anyways and begin to learn how to do things so it makes things run smoother). But this is really how I got my job. I helped with rigging a lot in the morning and just by talking to leaders I learned how to tie the knots, how to work with the stove and little things about packing out. If you step up and show that you're interested and you are eager to work then you might get recommended to work with CO.
Leader Ladder

If you don't go on an NST, or even if you do and you want to start working as a leader the first step is to become a Student Coordinator. It's the first step in the leader ladder.

To start, go online and fill out an application to become a Student Coordinator (SC) and a trip preference form: https://www.lclark.edu/programs/college_outdoors/about/volunteering_leadership/trip_preference_form.php
     Once you've done that, depending on your availability how things match up with preferences and other coordinator applications you'll likely lead at least one trip during the semester. As a SC you'll be learning how to do a pack out, check vehicles, understand the trip binder and other basic how-to's of college outdoors. Check out the Leader Ladder picture (posted above) and it shows a general list of the steps/requirements it takes to move up the ladder as well as the benefits of each stage. For instance, if you're an SC you go on the trip for half price. So, if you have federal financial aid and you're working as an SC then you get to go for 25% of the original price.

So I'm currently still an SC, just because I had to wait to get my Wilderness First Responder (which is offered through the school!) until this year - which I will be doing in January. However, I also work in the College Outdoors office.

Sequoia Warehouse!

I've just put a whole load of information on y'all but if anyone has any questions about College Outdoors, or anything about LC in general, feel free to email me :)


18 October 2016

Timbers Game

This past week, if you haven’t seen the weather news, was a crazy one for Portland. Oregon got hit by a rather big storm that was the remnants of a typhoon in the Pacific. So we even got more rain than usual, and even some really strong winds. On Friday night apparently, a large branch fell off a tree in the middle of campus. That isn’t the first time a tree has fallen over here on campus. My freshman year some rather strong winds snapped a tree in half, but no one has ever been hurt here on campus.

With the football game being away this weekend, we really missed the worst of the storm. The place we were playing really didn’t have such crazy rain, which made it nicer to play in. While the rain wasn’t an issue, the wind sure did bite through the clothing anyone had on. Unfortunately it was another tough loss this game. We had some unfortunate breakdowns, but there are still four games left this year, and we are all working our hardest to get a win.

For the past month or so the Campus Activities Board has been selling tickets to a Timbers game. The Timbers are the local Major League Soccer team here in Portland, and Lewis & Clark buys  tickets and then sells them to us for a cheaper price so that the students can attend these games. So two of my friends, my brother, and I all decided to buy tickets to go see the game this past Sunday. This is the third year in a row that I have been to see the Timbers play, and it is always a lot of fun. Our seats were near the Timbers Army, which is the season tickets holder section. These fans chant the entire game and don’t sit down even when the team is playing. It is a really electric environment to be in, and it makes the games a lot of fun. It is even more fun when the Timbers win, which is what they did on Sunday. If you ever fly with Alaska Airlines, make sure to wear some Timbers gear so you can board earlier!

Other than the rain that has been persistent this week, everything is going well. Until next week.


View of the stadium 

The Timbers Army is off to the left in the picture. 

Alex and I after this game. 

Black Belts and Birds

As one of the L&C’s general education requirements, all students need to take two semesters of some sort of PE.  This semester I’m taking Pukulan (a type of martial art) and my entire class was invited to come to the studio and witness a black belt test. Five of us in total made it to some part of the test.  (The tests are forty-eight hours long so not all of us were there at the same time).  It was amazing.  There were two testers and they had each trained for at least six years to reach this point.  Their forms were impressive and fast-paced and each successfully completed the test.

I was there both Friday and Sunday evening, once for the start of the test and once for the end.  Friday they went through a lot of forms (and broke a lot of boards), but my favorite part was the fighting.  Everyone got to fight and all of us white belts were paired up with black belts (though they weren’t allowed to hit us so no worries about getting hurt).  It was so much fun.  Mostly we were using blocks and parries to keep their attacks from coming through, but we also took turns attacking.  Everyone fought at once so there wasn’t any pressure from an audience and we all had a great time.
Unfortunately it was pouring rain so I wasn’t able to bring my camera.  Here are a few photos that I got of the gorge during a break in the downpour instead.

I hope all of you had a drier weekend than I did. Feel free to email me at ameliaberle@lclark.edu if you have any questions.