29 October 2014

A little of this, a little of that


I'll start this post by explaining the Consent and Sexual Misconduct workshops I peer-facilitated during the first month of school. Lewis & Clark began a program that every first year and transfer must complete called the Pioneer Success Institute (PSI); for about six weeks groups of the same twenty students meet to have discussions about a wide range of topics. Each of these meetings is led by a faculty or staff person except for the Consent and Sexual Misconduct workshop which is led by peers, such as myself. We discussed what consent means, LC's sexual misconduct policy definitions, prevention and bystander intervention, and lastly gave students resources on and off campus they could use if they needed it. It was extremely challenging, though rewarding, to facilitate these discussions. I think it is so important that Lewis & Clark students have consent and bystander training. Sexual misconduct should not be something we tolerate here and I think ensuring every incoming student has at least a baseline understanding of the problem can do wonders for preventing sexual assault here. 


I think pictures are the best, most interesting way to share my life at Lewis & Clark is through pictures, so here goes! Here are some things I've done in the past month.




The women's cross country pre-race huddle before the Willamette Invite

Some of my friends and I went to the Gorge for a hike for my old roommates birthday!


Hiked to "the Punchbowl." We swam to the waterfall and it was SO COLD! I grew up in Northern California and swim in the Pacific all the time (not know for it's lukewarm temperature), and this water took my breath away.


This is me trying to warm up after swimming in the Punchbowl

My dad cam to visit! This is him by the reflecting pools (note the prime studying location)


My conversational french class took advantage of the beautiful weather and had class outside


Hiking on a beautiful trail in the Gorge. So nice to get off campus and get outdoors!

My favorite study spot: the Albany courtyard































27 October 2014

Portlandia

This weekend my girlfriend, Ava, came to visit me. I was so happy to see her! I hadn’t seen her since our game at Whittier. On Friday, her flight landed at 8:15 p.m., so that meant a long ride downtown and figuring out the public transportation system. My first step was to take the Pio Express downtown. Then I was able to take the Max (part of the TriMet transportation system that takes you all around the city) out to the airport to pick her up, which I had never used before. It was so remarkably easy that it shocked me. Once we were finally reunited, we got right back on the Max and traveled back downtown to get some dinner.

Now Portland has such a wide variety of places to eat, from little food stands that line the street to fancy restaurants. So naturally we went to Buffalo Wild Wings. What can I say? We both love wings! It was a nice dinner that we used to catch up with everything that has happened at our schools.

The next day, after my football game, we went downtown to explore the city. The first place we headed to was Voodoo Doughnuts where they say, “The Magic is in the Hole!” It has strange but delicious doughnuts and people will hold their weddings there.  If you have never heard of it or been there, it is definitely a place you need to check out. Appropriately, right across the street from it is the “Keep Portland Weird” sign. Now through all this, Ava was constantly taking pictures and enjoying the view. While we were waiting in line for doughnuts, a very Portlandia incident occurred. As we stood there, a group of people dressed up as zombies and dancing to music passed us. They were dancing for some reason, but I didn’t get a chance to see what it was. Ava attends San Diego State University which she says is very “normal,” so seeing that was definitely a different experience from San Diego!
Outside waiting for doughnuts!
The unofficial motto of Portland. 

After Voodoo, it was on to the Nike store to browse the store and see all the cool, latest designs. We would have bought the entire store if we could have. A-lot-of-wishful-thinking-in-the-store later, we were off to the next store. Eventually we meandered our way to the bus stop and got back up to campus so that she could meet a few friends, and we could both relax for the night.

Early the next morning, we were back downtown to explore more! Sunday there was a half marathon titled “Run Like Hell,”  a Halloween-themed event. It was so funny and interesting to see all these people dressed up in Halloween costumes and running in them. The best one I saw was a man dressed in a leopard suit! After people-watching for a bit, we walked through a park along the Willamette River. After a while, we became hungry and discovered a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant called Brunch Box. It had all sorts of delicious breakfast food, but Ava and I both ordered grilled cheese sandwiches!  We did a lot more sight-seeing before Ava had to leave and say goodbye. It was a very good weekend, and I can’t wait for her to come back!

Until next time, guys,
Remington Campbell

P.S.- Here are a few more pictures! Oh, and Ava took all the photos. She is way more artsy than I am!



Life is Good

Sometimes I think of how I started the term not speaking a word of Japanese except for maybe “sayonara” (goodbye). And I look back, and I think of how cool it is that now I can sort of have a conversation in a language that was totally foreign just a few months ago. And reading hiragana, katakana, and little bits of kanji is really rewarding. I call my mom on Skype and show her what I’m doing in class and she’s just like: “WHOA. You can read that?” It’s a cool feeling. Here’s the whiteboard I was practicing kanji on:


We're learning the symbols for numbers and time and days of the week and all that good stuff.
And here is the super entertaining to-do list I made on Friday:


(for those who don't speak Japanese, it says PARTY! -----> lol jk, I'm studying)
(for those who do speak Japanese, yes, I know I misspelled the last bit)

Besides just in Japanese class, I can tell that Lewis and Clark has enhanced my skills in general. I feel as though I’m a hundred times better at communicating than when I arrived here just a year and a few months ago. My discussion-based classes have really improved my oral skills, and I just feel so much more comfortable with talking in general. I love the engaging conversations I have here, both in and out of the classroom, both with my professors and with my peers. And I’m excited that my writing skills seem to be developing further as well. My professors, especially in the English department, have always been great at giving me feedback so I can improve on my papers. The trick is to be concise, make a clear path of words for your reader to follow, and let your passion for what you're writing about shine through.

Speaking of writing, I officially declared my English major on Friday! Whoo! Other exciting things that have happened lately were going to a poetry slam, going to a concert called "Arranging the Cosmos" put on by the music department,  going downtown to the Saturday Market and eating tamales, starting to watch Avatar (the cartoon series, not the movie) with my roommate, taking a nap (!), and, most importantly, seeing Bill Nye the Science Guy speak on campus! That was such an incredibly cool experience. Unlike many of my friends, I did not grow up watching Bill Nye’s show (because I was homeschooled in elementary school), but I still had a little bit of exposure to it. So I was excited, but not as excited as some other people going into it. However, the atmosphere was so contagious that I was amped up and totally stoked to be there almost immediately. Honestly, it was like a rock concert in the gymnasium. When he came onstage, everyone was just screaming their lungs out, stamping their feet, and chanting “BILL BILL BILL BILL!” His speech was so interesting, and he was so charismatic (albeit slightly awkward), but the best part was the question-and-answer section afterwards. He said some really cool stuff about the place of art in a world that emphasizes science, and talked about the value of science education, and even discussed his stance on GMOs. I think everyone was interested in hearing about that, what with certain bills in Oregon being voted on in the next few weeks.

This picture is courtesy of Lewis and Clark - I wasn't lucky enough to sit this close!



Well, I am going to practice Japanese some more now. Any questions? Email me at jessicakostka@lclark.edu!

Until next time,


Jess

P.S. I'll just leave you with some pictures I took of campus during a break in the rain...



PDeXploring

Hello again!

This last week I had a friend from home visiting me, which means I got to do all of the touristy things that everyone who's been here longer than two weeks claims to be above, even though they are great.

She came in on Tuesday night, so we didn't get started with our adventure until Wednesday. I planned Wednesday so that we could spend all day on campus. I had class most of the day, so I showed my friend Watzek, our library. It's a beautiful building, and my friend (who is very critical of libraries) liked it a lot. I took her on a tour of campus, and brought her to my environmental education class. We grabbed dinner in the Bon, had ukulele orchestra practice, and went to the Acapella OUTLoud! concert in the chapel. The acapella concert was put on to celebrate coming out day, as well as raise money to help homeless LGBT youth. Overall, I think my friend got a good taste of what life on the hill is like.

Thursday she stayed home while I went to my class in the morning, then we headed downtown to eat at the food carts and go to Powell's bookstore. After Powell's we went shopping at Buffalo Exchange, a thrift shop next door. We also stopped by the central library downtown (like I said, she enjoys critiquing libraries), and met a friend downtown for frozen yogurt.

Friday we stayed home and watched old musicals with another friend who came over. Around 10 PM we decided we wanted to go an adventure, so we went downtown again and went glow-in-the-dark mini-golfing at a place downtown called Glowing Greens. I took her to VooDoo donuts after that, since I think you get more out of the experience if you see the midnight-on-a-Friday crowd.

Saturday, her last day in Portland, my housemates took her downtown to the Portland State University farmer's market and to Saturday Market (where you can find a lot of crafty things) while I went to Tryon Creek State Park to help with their nature center program for children.

I'll step away from telling about my visit with my friend for a second to talk about what I'm doing at Tryon. For my environmental education class, we have a 20-hour practicum in or near Portland. I'm at Tryon, helping with their education program. On Friday morning I went over to the nature center and shadowed a nature guide doing a program about slugs for 4th graders. I learned a lot about teaching kids, as well as about slugs (they have 27,000 teeth!). Saturday the nature center had an open classroom where kids could come and see the animals and learn more about slugs. I ended up holding a snake for most of the time, and bonded with a little boy who had been afraid of snakes until he started interacting with the one I was holding. It was a cool experience.

Anyway, back to my friend- I met her downtown, and we grabbed dinner before she headed off to the airport. The rest of my weekend was a blur. Saturday night Bill Nye (the Science Guy!) spoke on campus. He was a really engaging speaker and it was a lot of fun. Sunday I went downtown again to go to the Portland Art Museum for my drawing class. We had to draw a couple of things from the current exhibit about World War I, and write a paper about the exhibit. After I finished up there, my housemate Annabel and I went to NW Portland to study at Tea Chai Te and get ice cream at Salt & Straw. Overall, an adventurous week.

Before I sign off, enjoy a couple of pictures of how beautiful campus was this week!
a double rainbow on Monday
Mt Hood this morning
Remember, email me if you have any questions or just want to know more about LC! My email is rekidder@lclark.edu.

-Rebecca

26 October 2014

Fulbright and Some Australians


Hey all!
      I have been incredibly busy, so sorry for the late post. It seems like I am doing just as much work unrelated to my classes as I am doing related to my classes. I am happy to say that I finished my Fulbright application last week, during our fall break. YAYAYAY! It took a long, long time, but it's all done now. Do you all know what Fulbright is?
 
 For those of you interested in foreign language, international affairs, or promoting cultural understanding in general, this is a huge opportunity. I have been teaching English to immigrants and refugees for a few years in SE Portland, and it has completely influenced how I want to use my foreign language skills. Teaching them has inspired me to apply for the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Colombia. There are a myriad of programs offered in hundreds of different countries to travel to through Fulbright. It is extremely competitive, but LC has a good track record of Fulbright scholars, so it is definitely worth a try. Last year twelve LC students and alumni were recipients. It seems like LC's ideals line up with Fulbright's, so keep that in mind during the college application process. I have included a link at the bottom of the page if you're interested.

Besides applications, thesis prep, and all the academics happening at my house, my lovely housemate Katherine Jernigan had three Australian friends visit. She met them during the LC Australia program. They stayed forever (just two weeks), and they were so much fun! Here is a picture of them exploring LC:

I hope you're all well and not stressing too much about college applications.

Here's the link for Fulbright: What is Fulbright?

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