26 April 2020

Sophomore Year Highlights

Hello everyone!

I can’t believe it’s the last week of classes. Honestly, overall I’ve had a great semester and generally great sophomore year (minus corona virus making school online...). I got to try so many new things and I feel that I've grown a lot in both my academic and social life.

Here’s a rundown of some of my highlights from this school year:

Fall 2019
  • Being an NSO leader
  • Going backpacking in the Mt Hood National Forest
  • Climbing at Smith Rock for the first time
  • Competing in the Portland Boulder Rally and getting 3rd place in the women’s recreational category
  • Going to Vancouver with my friends for Fall Break
  • My family coming to visit for a weekend
  • Fall Ball

Spring 2020
  • Celebrating my birthday with all my friends
  • Dance Y rehearsals every week
  • Started my new job at the library and got to know new people through it
  • Friends from out of town coming to visit
  • Hanging out in the Portland spring weather

I am so excited for the future of my college career. I cannot wait to meet new people, write my thesis, and explore new activities and opportunities. 

This past week has been filled with classes, meetings, and making things like kimchi and pad thai. Yesterday, my brother and I built a little outside play area for our guinea pig. Today I ran my first half-marathon which was very exciting. I was signed up to run in the Bend Half-Marathon race that would have occured last weekend. I'm looking forward to running more half-marathons in the future and maybe even a full marathon soon. 

Stay safe and stay informed,

Sarah

25 April 2020

Reasons I'm Excited for the Fall

Social Sciences | Lewis-Clark State

At this moment the future brings a lot of uncertainty and stress, but in the moments when I set that aside, I'm really excited for next school year. I know that even if things are a little weird and modified so that we can be safe, things will still be good. And I want to focus on that and share some of my optimism, so here in no particular order and some things I'm looking forward to:

Lewis & Clark CollegeBeautiful summer weather!! Lewis & Clark is a gorgeous place no matter what time of year it is, but it's especially pretty when all the flowers are in bloom and the trees are leafy and green. And the summer weather of august and the beginning of September is also wonderful because the rain is not yet in full force. It's the perfect time to lounge in the grass after seeing friends for the first time after the summer

Moving Into a New Dorm I have lived in 2 different quads in the same building for the last 2 years, but ext year I am getting a single in a new building (not sure which yet, but a new one) and I'm just looking forward to moving in and getting to decorate and set my things up in just the perfect way and make myself a new cozy little room.

Design Thinking and Con Law Classes There are also some great classes I'm excited for. I'm taking one of the con law classes this semester and it's challenging but I really like the professors, Lochner, I feel like I'm learning a lot. And the design thinking class is actually a theater class that is outside my usual area of study but it's for an art credit and I think it will be really fascinating and I enjoy doing thing outside my majors

Seeing My Friends  Of course this is always exciting after the summer, but I think it will be especially great next year because we will have all be apart for almost 6 months, and I also have some friends who were abroad this year who I haven't seen since Christmas, and I'm looking forward to seeing them

El Salvador - Student Leadership and Service (SLS) - College of ...Leading an NST with SLS It's not set in stone yet, but I'm applying and hopefully getting the position to lead a new student trip with student leadership and service for incoming new students. I'm really hoping NSTs can happen like normal because they are a great starting point for everyone's college journeys, and I'm excited to be a part of that beginning

Watzek at 50 - Libraries - College of Arts and Sciences - Lewis ...Fall at LC I know I said I was excited for summer weather, but the fall is also gorgeous and I just love watching the leaves gradually change color as I walk to class every day. And feeling the seasons change is always enjoyable to me, especially when the trees around the reflecting pool turn such amazing colors
Watzek Library - Visiting Us - Lewis & Clark
Studying in the Library Being stuck at home has really made me miss the library, and having the freedom to study there whenever I want. It truly is a nice cozy place to get on one of the macs and do some work, and to find a little nook to read for class. And I miss the be and flow of people though the library as classes go in and out throughout the day, it's a great place.










The Housing Selection Process





I have really enjoyed living on campus and choosing what room I'll be in every year is always an adventure. For me picking out my housing and then getting to move in has been a really fun and exciting part of college. Below I'll outline the housing process and my experiences with it.

Housing as an incoming first-year student 
Alder Hall

If you're a student who is already committed to L&C you might have already started down the housing journey by submitting your deposit and paperwork. As you may know, all first-years and sophomores are required to live on campus (with a few exceptions). It's nice to be going through the same process as everyone else around you. You get to fill out a form with your preference for building, and what type of room you want to live in, the most common types are doubles and quads. You also get to send in a questionnaire about what kind of roommate you want and what kind of roommate you are.

I spent forever looking through the LC campus living website looking at different dorms deciding which buildings to put as my preferences, and it's crazy tot think back on a time when I wasn't familiar with all the dorms in person. When I first got all this paperwork to fill out I was so excited and a little bit nervous about who I would be living with and where I would wind up. I signed up saying I was ok with doubles or quads, and I'm so glad I signed up for a quad because that's where I got placed and I really loved it. I was really anxious at first when I was put into a quad but actually living in one turned out great, I loved having a bedroom and a main room, and my roommates were all fantastic.


Housing as a rising sophomore through senior

After your first year experience housing sign up is a little different. Things are set up so that you pretty much find a roommate for yourself and then you go through the housing sign up together for the most part. The basic contract and deposit are the same, but then you get to choose your specific room. First, you and your roommate/s turn in your paperwork and draw your numbers, then those determine when you get to pick a room. Then a week later you're assigned a time to go into stamm to pick out from large maps of the buildings where you want to live. It's nice to be able to pick your specific room because you can try to be close to a kitchen or to get the view you want. This year is a bit different because housing was supposed to be assigned after all the craziness of coronavirus hit us, but usually that's how the process goes.
Alder Hall

There are more housing options open the older you get, for juniors and seniors the apartments are an option, and there is a slightly different process for that signup. And there are some halls that are open to sophomores and up, like Holmes which is the newest dorm and very nice.  Next year for my junior year I'm trying to get a single in Juniper or Holmes. And I'm already enjoying daydreaming about what my room will look like and how I will decorate it. Juniper is almost all singles and has nice kitchens, and holmes also has big singles so I'm really hoping to get into one of those. Things may be a little crazy next year, but I'm still glad I'll be on campus, because I really love living there.

If you have any questions or want to talk about life at LC please email me quentin@lcalrk.edu


Changing Time as a Community


The last few weeks have been a roller coaster of changing plans for me. First my spring break plans were upended, then classes went online, then we were asked to leave campus and I moved home, and then my study abroad plans have changed  Given that these uncertainties caused by COVID 19 may continue for another year or longer, I thought I would talk about why this experience has made me really grateful to go to a small school in these crazy times. 


Right now the biggest challenges to my carefully laid plans have been cancellations of my study abroad programs. First, my trip to Spain in the fall was canceled by the program provider, and then I was going to go to Mexico for a full year until wound up deciding to cancel the full year abroad and stay on campus for more stability and safety. 

Thankfully the study abroad office was there every step of this decision process and they have been so great and responsive and helpful to me. First they sent me a very apologetic but informational email about the Spain program. Then I was able to email back and forth with them regularly to ask all the questions I had. They were so responsive and I got help from several people in the office helping me work through all the different plans that I thought might work for me 

My Professors

While I've been going through this process of changing my 4 year plan, my professors have been amazing resources for me. I emailed several of them asking for their advice and thoughts about what might happen with study abroad programs and what I should plan on doing. They were all really helpful and supportive and I appreciated hearing from them to help me decide how t change my plans because of coronavirus. 

Aside from advice on my future plans, my professors have also been amazing about changing their classes and being flexible about online education.  It has been tough to switch to online classes but the transition has been made easier because we're all in the experience together, even out professors, and they have been good about checking in with students and changing the class plan to make sure it works with everyone. 

Vice President of Student Life 

Our vice president of student life has also been an amazing leader throughout this process, and I'm fortunate enough to sit on her student advisory committee and be able to work with her directly and voice the opinions of students. It has been really reassuring to hear about the administration's plans as they are being developed. I am grateful that our Dean of Students has an advisory committee and really cares about getting input from students, and I can see that our voice is being heard. 

They've also been working hard to put together an online resource center for students now and to help keep everyone connected over the summer. I hope that over the summer we will continue to figure out how to grow closer as a community even at a distance. I know the office of student life is working hard to make that happen, and I'm happy yo have my small input on how we can make that happen. 

If you want to talk about L&C or if you have any questions, please feel free to email me at quentingaul@lclark.edu 


19 April 2020

Learning to Write a Grant Proposal

Hello everyone,


I hope everyone is doing well. There are 2 weeks of the semester left now and I only have 7 days of classes remaining. The picture on the left is of the beautiful flowering tree at LC 1 year ago this week. I am not stoked about having to do finals online and not surrounded by my friends and peers. In my art history class we have a big paper due as well as an exam, in my religious studies class we have a short paper due and a final exam, and in my international affairs course we have a final project to do. I miss not being able to spend reading days together with my friends studying and hanging out. There’s always fun events that happen during finals on-campus to help students take their mind off the stress for a little while. On Wednesday the rising juniors all signed up for the rest of their fall classes. I was able to get into all the classes I wanted to, which was nice. I am really looking forward to them. Friday was the annual Festival of Scholars celebration at LC where classes are cancelled for the day and everyone attends panels, presentations, and performances celebrating all the awesome research and things students have done. They were able to move the celebration to an online version and I attended one of the panels where I got to see my friend Emma present her history thesis.


This Thursday, during my Social Justice in the Global Economy class, we all presented our grant proposals that we have been writing for the past two weeks. The grant proposal project was essentially our midterm for the class. Our professor, Elizabeth Bennett, pushed us to write a real evidence-based grant proposal for an initiative of our choice that would bring social justice to the global economy. I really appreciate opportunities to do projects like these that reflect real world skills such as grant writing. We spend lots of time in the class learning about the system and the issues in our world. It is awesome to be able to actually apply that knowledge to a project that is meaningful beyond just the classroom. My group wrote our grant proposal about revitalizing the ILO’s original program for the economic and social empowerment of returned victims of human trafficking. We actually started out with a different topic and proposed funding a transnational slavery intervention task force - but we got a C on our rough draft and decided we really needed to come up with something better, more specific, and concrete. In only 2 pages, all groups had to identify the social injustice, discuss alternative interventions, propose their intervention, justify it and the outcomes, discuss positive and negative externalities, identify indicators of success in 5 and 10 years time, and identify possible challenges or risks of failure. This was definitely not an easy assignment but it is one of the coolest projects I’ve done in college so far. In class on Thursday night, all the groups presented to each other and had to answer questions/defend why their intervention was the one that should be funded. By the end of it all, my group’s project was the one that “won” and we got an A on the final draft which was nice too. 


This week I’ve been doing some more cooking and baking. For lunch the other day I made fried rice. I also made a peanut noodle dish and yakisoba this week. I’ve also been making more sourdough bread. Today I dropped off a loaf I made at my friend’s house. On Friday my good friend Veronica dropped off some bubble tea she had made and we also swapped books. I encourage you, if you’re interested and have the means, to create something (food or maybe a craft) and drop it off at a friend or family member’s home (while maintaining proper social distancing measures of course). You can send a little positivity and care to someone else (and you can busy yourself for an hour or two while you make the thing). 


Stay safe and stay informed,


Sarah

17 April 2020

Economics Can Be Fun... I Promise!

I'm in the zone. My hands are flying above my computer keys like the hands of a mad pianist. It's exhilarating. Thirty minutes later, and I'm done with my environmental resource economics homework. I sit back to survey my handiwork. The task was to uncover the potential flaws in the arguments presented by Sunrise PDX, a youth-led movement to stop climate change. They opposed the Oregon Senate Bill 1530, which was a cap & auction system that was meant to mitigate in-state greenhouse gas emission. Here's a quick crash course on cap & trade: it is a system that distributes permits to polluting firms (i.e., fossil fuel electricity plants), allowing them to pollute up until a certain point. The total number of permits distributed establishes the limit or the cap. Firms are permitted to trade among one another, depending on how much they need to pollute. Annually, permits are removed from the system, incentivizing polluting firms to seek alternative energy sources or better technology. Perfect. You're an expert now!

One of the desires of Sunrise PDX was "banning fossil fuel expansion and creating a 'cap' without a 'trade.'" In theory, this is an admirable goal. In practice, things are much more complicated from an economic standpoint. Using the concepts learned in class, it became apparent that the group didn't take into consideration the price elasticity of demand for energy, which is price inelastic. What does this mean? It means that if they were to ban fossil fuels without enough of a transition to alternative energy sources (i.e., renewables), then prices for energy will rise, and demand for energy won't change very much (because it is a necessity). As a consequence, the cost of energy will eat up a greater proportion of disposable income, especially for lower-income earners. The result is a "regressive" policy" that would surely receive public backlash.

I think deconstructing arguments like the one above is an incredibly valuable exercise in applying concepts and developing critical thinking skills. By deploying my knowledge in this way, I feel more confident in reading policy prescriptions to judge whether they make sense from an economic standpoint. At the same time, however, I empathize with Sunrise PDX because they are arguing for something commendable and significant in the context of our fight against climate change. If anything, maybe my analysis could be of value to them in the future!

12 April 2020

Looking Ahead

Hello everyone,


Juliana's piece in Dance Y
Week 3.5 of social distancing at home in Minnesota done. Happy Easter to those who celebrate it and happy Passover as well. It’s clearly spring in Minnesota as it was 70 degrees and sunny on Tuesday and has now snowed all day today. There are only 3 weeks of classes left now of spring semester which is kind of crazy. It’s all gone so fast. I am looking forward to classes being over because trying to concentrate and be productive at home is hard. However, I’ll miss getting to see classmates digitally every week. This weekend would have been Dance Y at Lewis & Clark. 

On Wednesday, rising juniors registered for their first class and then we register for the rest of our fall 2020 classes this week. I signed up for Math 105 Perspectives in Statistics to satisfy my math gen-ed requirement. I’ll be signing up for 3 or 4 other courses later this week which are: International Relations Theories, Religions of the NW, Human Rights, and maybe Islam in the Modern World. I am really looking forward to all of these classes. I’ll be finishing up the international affairs major during my junior year and will continue working on the religious studies minor. 

I am super excited to announce that I will be an Admissions Fellow for the 2020-21 school year. The Fellows team works with the admissions counselors and staff to plan and run all the events, interview prospective students, give info sessions and tours, and much more. I am grateful to have this position and I am excited to be even more involved in Admissions at Lewis & Clark. 

Obviously nothing is certain about the future because of COVID-19 but we all still have to keep planning and living our lives because tomorrow will come. We have to hope for the best but also prepare for the worst and be rational. That being said, I am really excited for my junior year in whatever form it takes place. I signed my first lease and have a house to live in that’s near school. I am hopeful to be involved in many things as usual next school year: NSO leader, CAB Vice Chair, IA symposium committee member, Engagement and Outreach Coordinator for ASLC, Dance X/Y, and other things.   


Stay safe and stay informed,

Sarah