27 February 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy

So lately I have been so incredibly busy, with classes, Spanish Club, work etc. These past couple of weeks I have had multiple midterms, and studying for them has taken up a lot of my time. This past weekend though, was really great. It gave me some time to do other things beside study which was nice.

On Saturday Spanish Club had the festival for Carnaval, like they celebrate in Brazil and in some Latin American Countries such as Peru. We couldn't celebrate it just like they do in those countries obviously, however we did have a lot of fun. We made lots of hispanic food and played music, danced, and put on masks, beads etc. It was lots of fun!

Then on Saturday night the Women's basketball team had their final game in the Northwestern conference so I went to cheer them on. It was a lot of fun, although we did end up losing. There were so many students and people from the community who came to cheer on the team. It was really wonderful. Although they didn't win the conference, the team is still going to the NCAA championship and is hosting the first game this friday in Pamplin. I plan to be there too! Hopefully they will win!

On Sunday I went downtown with some friends and ventured into SE Portland to a restaurant called Slappy Cakes. When we got there we were told that there would be around an hour wait so we went and found a coffee shop where we could study at for that time. When we got back we were all so incredibly hungry and so the food was extra delicious. Slappy Cakes is a wonderful restaurant that serves pancakes as well as other breakfast food. What's different about this place though is that you order the ingredients and then you get to cook your own pancakes on a griddle that is in the middle of your table. It was fun as well as delicious and I think that's why I liked it. Definitely recommend going here! But maybe make a reservation ahead of time...

At Lewis & Clark there are definitely times where you are going to feel overwhelmed by homework and work. It's great because students are really engaged in their school work and invested in learning, but some times it's really important to go out and explore the Portland area and relax a bit as well. So that is what I did last weekend and it was great.

This weekend Lewis & Clark has the annual International Fair, in which I will be walking in the Fashion Show for. I will post more on that in my next post!

Hope you are all well.

If you have any questions about Spanish Club, German, Foreign Languages etc. let me know! My email is drussosavage@lclark.edu

26 February 2013


This post is going to be short, because I am super busy with midterm related studying.
Last weekend some friends and I went downtown to see Warm Bodies. It was really good (though I had already seen it with my brother). I recommend it if you're into the cute-zombie thing.
Downtown at night!
Today I had a Spanish test, which was really stressful. It's a literature class, so the tests are set up a little differently from any other Spanish test I've taken before. We had to take some of the works we've read and analyze their themes, while explaining how they fit into their respective literary periods. I couldn't study too much for it before yesterday, because I was working on a presentation about french rap. Tomorrow, I have a French test, and a proposal do for E&D about what I'm going to write about for our final research paper.

Luckily, I have the weekend to look forward to! Friday is my brother's fiancee's birthday, so I'm going to hang out at their apartment. Saturday is the International Fair, and because I live in Akin, I have the responsibility of helping out (I'm putting up streamers!). Sunday I'm going on a birding trip through college outdoors. It will be busy, but fun- though I have an E&D midterm that I have to try to find time to study for.

I hope you all have wonderful weeks, and email me at rekidder@lclark.edu if you want to talk!

Just taking a moment...

Hey from Watzek Library!

It is midterms. I have a paper due Thursday that I am slogging slowly but surely through and it looks like it'll be another late night. I got pretty stumped on this paper earlier but luckily the writing help center is open until 10pm. It is invaluable to have that kind of resource as it gets late at night and the frustration rises.

Anyways...to briefly give my mind a break from the paper and remind myself that this is an awesome place (midterm stress is just part of the package) I wanted to share one of my favorite things about this school. In the last 20 minutes just sitting here at a computer I have heard conversations in Arabic, Farsi, Japanese, Spanish, French and Russian. The conversations have been between people studying a foreign language and also native speakers. It's pretty fun to be around all of it.

Speaking of other languages....this weekend is the international fair! I'm going to be a volunteer and help do set up etc. It is a great event with lots of AMAZING food. If you're visiting campus this Saturday make sure to go to brunch. You're in for a treat. What other place can you find food from all over the world in one place?? I'm looking forwards to it.

Ok, short post but it's back to work now. I have a little more to finish tonight and then I can go home.

As always please send me your life philosophies and questions to smiller@lclark.edu


19 February 2013

Tis the Season

Hello everyone! We have reentered into the season of college visits! I've seen a lot of tours and prospective students these last few days. I really enjoy hearing the tours as they walk by me, because I swear I learn something new every time. Example: a few days ago I was sitting in the chaired area in lower Templeton, next to the KLC (our school's radio show) office, when a tour guide (illustrating the variety of shows KLC has) said that last year a student got a show the same time as her little sibling's bed time and read them stories (you can access the radio from anywhere at klcradio.com). I encourage you all to visit- you can eat lunch, sit in on a class, stay overnight, have a tour, go to an information session... I know that schools send you a lot of information, but I think visiting is the best way to really get a feel for a school, its campus, and the types of people who thrive there.

The highlight of the weekend was that my friend's friend from home came up to surprise her. We managed to keep it a secret, and Saturday morning I went downtown to pick her up from where the MAX (the light rail running from the airport) dropped her off. My friend happened to be on the shuttle coming back from downtown, so they had a little reunion right on the bus. Her being here really gave me an insight to what makes LC different from other schools, because she goes to a larger state school. Each type of school is right for different types of people, but there really are a lot of differences between schools. Our classes here are way smaller than at her school- my largest class I've had (Bio 141, which is an intro class and one of the biggest on campus) had about 120 people in it. That was the size of her smallest class. Also, her school is in the middle of downtown, so her dorm is just like another large building. LC's campus feels really secluded, which I personally like because it gives it a nice sense of community. Plus, there's a free shuttle to go downtown, so it's easy to get away.

Other than that, it's been pretty normal around here. It's somehow been really sunny a lot recently, so I've been spending a lot of time outside. Today, after my class ended at 1, I sat under a tree and finished almost all of my homework. I'd like to say I got a tan, but that may be stretching it a little bit.
Flowers! I'm from Minnesota, so flowers in February is really exciting
My classes are going well, though it's around midterm time, so I've had lots of work to do. Extracurriculars are going well too. My favorite activity is probably ukelele orchestra. We meet in the basement of one of the dorms, and last practice there were a bunch of mattresses down there that some people made into a mattress fort (yay, college!).

Email me with any questions or comments or cat pictures! rekidder@lclark.edu.

Busy is as busy does

Hey All!

And midterms are just around the corner....They really creep up on you. One minute it's the normal constant flow of readings and essays and then BAM. Midterms. Next week is going to be an interesting one...For now I'm trying to get a head start on all the work I need to do before starting to study/write my heart out.

One of the questions I get most often from perspective students is how many hours do I study a night? This is often very hard to answer since it greatly varies on what classes you are taking. All classes expect different amounts and kinds of work. Different people also spend different amounts of time of homework. There are so many variables that I can't give a concrete number. For me it even depends week to week!

For example, as an art minor focusing in ceramics I have spent a fair amount of time in the art building in the ceramics studio. When a project was due soon it was generally not uncommon for me to spend 6 hours in the studio working. That kind of working feels very different than writing a paper but is often a larger time commitment. Tonight for homework I have probably around 50 pages of reading for Art History and Origin of Life in the Universe  combined; both those are for tomorrow. I also have homework to turn in for Origins due Friday that I got a start on today. For Thursday I'll start on the around 80 pages of reading for my Anthropology of Violence class (plus a response based on the reading), and 30 or so for Social Theory. I also need to show up for Social Theory with a working thesis for an essay due next week. I also need to work on my resume and start applying for summer internships.

This week is not too busy homework wise. Like I said next week I have a lot going on, all on top of the normal work load. It's often unrealistic to do everything assigned. Part of being in college is learning where to focus your time and how to prioritize. Some reading needs to be done very in depth and some can be skimmed.

So, short post today, as you can see I have a bit of homework to do and I need to eat dinner at some point! Hope you all have a great President's Day-week. As always please e-mail me at smiller@lclark.edu with any questions, musings or comments!


11 February 2013

Study Music

As I'm writing this, I'm jamming out to the Les Miserables soundtrack on Spotify. I recently rediscovered that Spotify exists, and have been using it way too much. I can only listen to music sometimes when I study, though. It depends what I'm doing- if I'm reading, especially if it's in Spanish, I need it to be completely silent. Otherwise, I don't internalize anything that I read. If I'm writing, quiet music (especially with no words) helps me concentrate. I didn't know this about myself until I got to school, even though I had to think about it before I came.

Roommates are hand matched based on a form you fill out and send in (if I'm remembering correctly, you send it in at the same time as your acceptance forms). The form has a lot of general questions about your habits- when you go to bed and wake up, do you like music when you study, how messy you are, what kind of music do you like, etc.

If you are like me, you're probably pretty concerned about roommates. About six months ago, I was anxiously checking the mail every day, waiting for my roommate letter to come. I want to emphasize that, for the most part, the school is VERY GOOD at making these matches. Almost everyone I know is happy in their situation, and has things in common with their roommate(s). The few people I do know who have had roommate issues have been supported by their RAs and ADs and they've gotten the problems sorted out. There's an entire campus living staff dedicated to make your experience in the dorms a good one.

My advice to applying for the dorms and filling out your roommate sheet: be honest. In part because I didn't know a lot about myself, and in part because I was worried they wouldn't find someone compatible and wanted to be flexible, I was very ambiguous on my form. It worked out fine (my roommate is great), but it could have ended badly because I wasn't very specific. I answered the questions very vaguely (eg "I can study with or without music, I can deal with a really clean room or a kind of messy one, I can go to bed whenever"). Honestly, I didn't know what I liked, but I encourage you all to think about it.

My other advice is to know the residence halls. I know people in almost all of them, and they're all happy. I'm going to put a little summary of what I know about each hall below, because someone did that for me when I was applying and I found it extremely helpful.

SOAA: All the rooms are pretty large and have walk in closets. I live in this complex, so I'm biased, but it's my favorite. It's also (with the exception of the apartments) right next to Templeton and very close to the academic problems.
Stewart: The health themed dorm. It's chemical free, and everyone I know there is really nice. They also have a small gym in their basement.
Odell: Doesn't have a theme. It's pretty small, and is attached to Stewart. They have an awesome library.
Akin: This is where I live! It's multicultural themed- I've met so many people from all over the world. We definitely have a really tightly knit community, especially within the floors. We chill in the hallways a lot. I think it's the smallest dorm. We're involved every year in the multicultural fair in the fall, and the international fair in the spring.
Apartments: You have to be a junior or senior to live in these, unless it's a language community- but I don't know of any freshman that's lived in a language apartment, especially their first semester.
Platt-Howard: These two buildings are connected by a little bridge.
Platt: Platt West is art themed, and East doesn't have a theme. The doors in west (I don't know about east) have chalkboard paint on them. The building also is home to the Platteau, which is an art area- for both performing and visual arts. I've been to a couple poetry slams in the Platteau- it's a really cool place! I believe there's also a dark room and an pottery area.
Howard: Part of Howard is outdoor pursuits themed, and the other part doesn't have a theme. People who live in outdoor pursuits get half off on college outdoor trips, which is an awesome deal.
Copeland: This is the biggest dorm on campus. It has a bunch of wings. Most athletes live here, but so do a ton of non-athletes. The rooms are fairly large, and everyone I know there is happy with it. There are some female-only floors, but I think most are coed. My friends who live there have a really nice view of the woods outside of their window.
Forest: Consists of Alder, Manzanita, Juniper, Spruce, and Ponderosa. Each building is pretty small. My only experience with Forest is showering in one of the buildings during my NST, and ukelele orchestra meets in the basement of Juniper. But from what I've seen, it's nice!
Sophomores and above can also live in two other dorms: Hartzfeld and Holmes. I've never been in Hartzfeld, but I've heard it's cozy. Holmes is really nice, and right now I'm planning on trying to live either there or in Akin again next year.
For more information about the halls, look here.

Continuing on the theme of residence halls, last week my friend Gaby and I led a community builder! Most of the halls have community builders on a regular basis. They're just activities held in your hall that people can come to and hang out at. We made valentines, and decorated cookies.
Flashback to elementary school valentines parties!
The rest of my week was also good. Classes continued as usual, I went and tutored at an elementary school (it went well! I'm excited to go back), we played some sick tunes on our radio show, and belted out some sick tunes on our ukeleles.

Please email me with questions! My address is rekidder@lclark.edu.


09 February 2013

Jerry from Ben & Jerry's Visits! And more Spanish stuff..

This week was so incredibly busy. On Wednesday Jerry from Ben & Jerry’s ice cream came to Lewis & Clark and spoke in the chapel about entrepreneurship and starting a business. He was a very funny man and it was really cool for me to be able to hear him talk because as you may know they started their business in Burlington, Vermont and I myself am also from Vermont! The chapel was basically full with students and faculty who wanted to hear him speak and afterward they gave away free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in an ice cream social sort of event. It was great.

I also had a lot of Spanish Club events that happened this week. Thursday was the Residential Language Communities Open House. Every year people who want to live in the language communities can come and visit the language apartments in February and ask any questions they may have about the apartments as well as get a tour around to see where they may be living the upcoming year.

Gardenia, the Language assistant and my roommate from Peru made some incredibly delicious food for the open house. She made some homemade guacamole, a type of mashed potatoes, corn with cheese on sticks and a type of Venezuelan food called tequeños. Tequeños are basically fried puff pastry with cheese in the middle. I don’t know how that sounds but they were incredibly delicious especially when dipped in the guacamole.

Because all the other language apartments were also having their open houses on the same day, a few of them shared their food with us as well. The French apartment made wonderful Madeleines and the German apartment made German meatballs as well as really delicious pretzels.  I love living in the Spanish apartment because I am able to be fully immersed in the Spanish language and culture as well as try new Hispanic foods and recipes. Not only that but other language apartments surround me and I am able to also learn from them and share food with them. It’s wonderful.

Hope you all had a wonderful week!

Bis später!
Hasta luego!

See you later!

06 February 2013

And here we go!

Hey All,

Wow, the semester has gotten started with a BANG. Ok, not a huge life-changing event kind of bang that happens all at once, but a slow and subtle bang. Like thunder. Slow and loud thunder. The first week is always full of syllabi (is that the plural of syllabus?) and  new classes, it lulls you into a false sense of security. Come week two, it's nose to the grindstone (which always sounded monumentally unpleasant). Right now my nose is being ground but I'm a taking a minute to update you about my life! Here's what I'll do. Instead of the boring, what are you taking bla bla I'll just run through my day. That should give all y'all a good idea of what's going on.

I woke up around 8am, took a shower, ate two fried eggs and a fruit smoothie and biked to campus. I live about 3 minutes biking from school, right on "the hill". My first class of the day was Western Art: Pre-Historic to Medieval. We're talking about the Ancient Egyptian New Kingdom right now.  We were discussing if there was a "standard" of art in ancient Egypt and looking at the different ways people were represented and the continuity of that representative style throughout their civilization. Also, this will blow your mind, did you know that from Cleopatra's perspective the pyramids were older to her then Cleopatra is to us? That is more time passed between the construction of the Great Pyramids at Giza and Cleopatra's lifetime then between us and Cleopatra. Pretty cool stuff.

I then headed directly to my next class called Origins of Life in the Universe. It is SO interesting. I am not majoring in any hard science nor do I have an interest in studying astronomy, biology, chemistry or what have you, but this class? Wow. The class is designed for non science majors and let me say, it is the perfect combination of "doing science" (aka it's not that dumbed down) and just super interesting fun science time (aka it's not as hardcore as a for-majors class). Today we talked about the formation of elements in stars via solar fusion. There was only Hydrogen and Helium and the rest of the elements were formed from them because of the intense heat and pressure at the heart at the core of stars. As a plus, to demonstrate how a star forms (spinning gas goes faster and faster as it is compressed) our professor got on this spinning device and actually had someone spin him. When he pulled his arms in, he went faster, therefore spinning gas spins faster as it gets smaller and more compressed. It was a great visual example and we got to watch our professor spin! Also pretty cool stuff.

I left that class with my head spinning (get it? spinning?) with the awesomeness of it all and headed to the library. I took the next 4 hours to finish reading for tomorrow and write two reading responses. One was for my class called The Anthropology of Violence (I'm proud of this so I'm going to share it: our professor assigned 200 PAGES of reading for Thursday and I did it all. Gahhhh). In that class right now we're talking about the Hunger Strikes in the 70's in Ireland. I also did a response for art history. Nothing too fancy, just a discussion about an article we read. I was a bad person and ate a sandwich in the library while doing my work. Just don't tell anyone! I then wrote a proposal for my final class, Social Theory, for how and when I will write certain papers. Our professor realizes that everyone has very different schedules so instead of assigning a fixed due date, he's letting us decide when to do the paper. Once we tell him when he's going to hold us to it, this is just a way for us (who are all upper level Sociology/Anthropology majors) to work when we can.

After the library fun I biked home and had some snacks. I watched an episode of The West Wing (*note: it is very important to take some "me time" every day. Just one thing that is fun. My thing is my afternoon snack and TV time) and kicked back for a bit. I then was picked up by my friend who volunteers for the Campus Activities Board (CAB) and worked on my Origins of Life homework while she set up for an event. The event we were there for was a talk by Jerry from Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream! It was really interesting and afterwards we all got free ice cream. I then called my mother to say hello (everyone remember to call your parents/guardians sometimes!). Since my friend was staying on campus to work in the library I went to the Campus Safety office and they gave me a lift home so I wouldn't have to walk alone at night.

That brings us to now. I'm eating some dinner and writing this (rather long) account of my day. Tomorrow will be another fun one, in addition to class I'm tutoring for Spanish and giving an admissions tour in the afternoon!

As always send me your questions comments and concerns to smiller@lclark.edu!


05 February 2013

Another Week

This semester is already going at its own pace! Winter break seems like a distant memory, and my classes are in full swing. I've somehow gotten in the habit of doing my homework really early, so I have evenings free to chill- I'm surprised at my productivity. We'll see how long it lasts. I'm also more involved in extracurriculars this semester than last, so I feel busier, but it's a good feeling. I decided to join the ukelele orchestra, which is super fun. I'm a newbie at the ukelele, but I'm learning a lot from the group. I can now sing and play "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz AT THE SAME TIME, which is a big feat, for me at least. Baby steps! Here's a video of the orchestra playing last semester:

I also am tutoring once a week in Northeast Portland at an elementary school. I haven't started yet, but my first time is tomorrow! I'm excited to meet the kids I'll be working with. I had to take an online course on how to drive a van in order to get there, which was a little nerve-wracking, but it's all good. Finally, I have a radio show (y'all should listen! 10 AM PST on Sundays!) that I do with two of my friends. We play danceable music and read bad lyrics aloud and talk about art. It's wonderful.

This weekend was really nice. On Friday, I went downtown with some friends and we went to Tartberry (the best frozen yogurt ever). I don't know when the last time I went downtown and didn't go to Tartberry was. Then we walked around and ended up at the river. We decided to cross the Hawthorn Bridge because it was right there, and it turned out to be a good decision.
We walked all the way to Southeast!
 It was sunny on Saturday, so I got to do my homework in one of the gazebos by the reflecting pool. The pool isn't filled yet, but it was still gorgeous. I was reminded of how lucky I am to go here. It's amazing how secluded campus feels, yet you can get to the middle of downtown in 25 minutes.
You could see the mountain!
That night we went downtown again, and ate out at a vegetarian restaurant. Then, of course, we went to Tartberry again. Sunday was mostly devoted to homework. The highlight of the day was when we went to dinner at the Trail Room (the food area below the main dining hall), then went and got dessert in the bon because we had an extra meal. Somehow, we felt like rebels.

As always, email me! My email is rekidder@lclark.edu.