19 March 2013

BuildOn dinner

Hello everyone!

This semester has been extremely intense with work and school work and club activities.

In addition to being the Spanish Club president, I am also very involved with a group on campus called buildOn. Last year when I was a curious new freshman and went to the club fair at the beginning of the year, buildOn was the first club I signed up for. I think I have talked about it a bit before, but for those of you who don't know - buildOn is a national organization that has chapters in some college and other places, such as the one we have here at Lewis & Clark.

BuildOn's mission is to "break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations through service and education." Last year I, along with 13 other students from the LC buildOn group, traveled to Mangulu, Malawi to build a school for a community there. We fundraised all of last year and made enough money to fund an entire school. This year, our group is sending 7 people to Haiti to build another school.

This year, as well as last year, one of our biggest fundraising events was the dinner that we hold in the spring. This year we had a local Cuban restaurant, Pambiche, cater our event. The food was absolutely delicious, we had two musical performances, and Tom Silverman (the Global Chapter Manager) came and gave a wonderful talk about the organization.

This is the song that 4BC wrote and sang for our event!


It was a great event that people worked really hard to make happen and I think we were able to make a lot of money towards the school. We still have a little ways to go but we're almost there.

Spring Break is next week and I am now just trying to get through this last week before I head up to Vancouver, BC with my friend! I'm very excited for the break and to travel a bit.

Hope you are all well!

Email me at drussosavage@lclark.edu if you ever have questions!


18 March 2013

Jamming with our ukuleles

I had my first performance with the ukulele orchestra on Friday night! I'm pretty sure that was one of the most fun nights I've had here so far.

We were performing for an event hosted by the Divest Coal campaign. The goal was to show the student body that the campaign is still going on- they got a bunch of petitions signed at the beginning of the year, but not many people were aware that they are still working on the campaign. The uke orch kicked off the event, and it was really fun. The audience seemed to be really into it!
I was dressed as a miner
After us, there was an a capella group (Section Line Drive) and three student bands (Katie Kuffel Experience, Cymatic Circle, and Hop on Hold Tight!). I'm impressed by all of the talent these students have! 

Most people here seem to have something that they really care about, which is amazing to see. For a lot of people, it's more than one thing. Music, social service, science, theater. Sunday, I went to see the theater department's production of 4:48 Psychosis, which is a complicated and extremely touching piece about mental illness. It was really, really well done.

And people manage to balance all of these activities with challenging school work. I kind of feel like I'm juggling everything while riding a unicycle. I had twelve hours of homework this weekend! Things can definitely get really busy, but it just makes it that much more fulfilling when you manage it all.

Please email me at rekidder@lclark.edu with any questions about extracurriculars, managing schoolwork, or sloths (or anything else).

14 March 2013

Happy Pi Day!

Hey Potential LC-ers!

The happiest of Pi days to you all! What's that? You don't know what Pi day is? Well, it's 3.14. The first three digits of the mathematical value (π).   In honor of this auspicious day, in Olin (academic building for chemistry, astronomy, physics, and geology, so science!!) there was much much free pie. They got it from Bannings, the 24 hour pie diner near campus. I didn't actually know in advance that this was happening, so when I walked into Olin (I was there to see one of my professors during office hours) and everyone was walking around with pie I knew I stumbled into something good. I headed to the source of the pie only to be stopped at the door by a physics professor who demanded I tell him three equations with Pi in it. When I successfully did so, I was admitted into the most magical of rooms, filled with all of the kinds of pie. I deliberated between chocolate cream and cherry for quite a while and eventually settled on both. Thus equipped with pie I went to my prof's office and he told me pie jokes. 

I have just finished with my midterm 3 weeks. It was a bit hellish, but I got through it. Now we're being rewarded with some sunshine. Here's a secret about Portland; our academic year spans the cloudy and rainy season. HOWEVER, the sunny beautiful days are pure magic. I can't even describe the wonder of a clear sunny sky over campus, how we have class outside and everyone is in the best of moods. This last weekend to celebrate the (almost) end to all the tests me and a good friend took the Pio Express (our free bus) downtown and then the Portland Streetcar up to 23rd Street. We went to Salt and Straw and got the BEST ice cream. I had the salt and caramel. I'm still dreaming about it. 

So that's it for today. I have an essay to write this weekend and will head downtown again Saturday to the first farmers market of the year! I might pick up some thai food at my favorite food cart and then hunker in for the day to study and write!

Send me all your thoughts and questions to smiller@lclark.edu, I love hearing from you!


12 March 2013

Easy is as Easy Does

I was going to start this post writing about how midterms are stressful, and then I realized that my last three posts have all been about midterms. This season is long! For the most part, I think it's safe to say that midterms will be pretty much done after spring break, which starts at the end of next week (though I have a test the day after I get back from break, so maybe that isn't quite true).

We are registering for classes in the beginning of April, so I've been doing a lot of planning. I am thinking I am going to double major in environmental studies and Hispanic studies, so I have a lot of classes I need to take. I met with my Spanish professor yesterday, who approved my four year plan for the Hispanic studies portion of my life, and I met with my advisor today to talk about general advising. I'm going to meet with my environmental studies professor next week, and hopefully he will give me the go ahead for the environmental studies classes (which there are a lot of). I came into college with a pretty set idea of what I wanted to major in, which has been helpful, since I was able to start planning early. Scheduling, especially with a double major, is really complicated, so the earlier you start thinking about it, the better.

However, don't be worried if you don't know what you want to do! Almost everyone I've met here came into school without any idea of what they wanted to major in. You're encouraged to take a variety of classes your first year, across a range of topics, to see if anything sparks your interest. That's the beauty of a liberal arts education- you have the ability to take classes in different disciplines, and even once you choose to major in something, you can continue taking classes across the board.

I've been too busy with school stuff to do much outside of my normal activities, but I did go downtown to study this weekend. It was sunny! So, of course, I took pictures.

This week, I have my first performance with the ukulele orchestra! If you're going to be on campus Friday night, make sure to stop by the co-op (under Tamarack) from 7-10pm! Divest Coal, a campaign run by LC students, is having a concert then, including us (we perform first), Section Line Drive (an a capella group), and some student bands.

If you want to talk or ask me questions, please email me at rekidder@lclark.edu. I check my email way too much, and will definitely get back to you!


05 March 2013

Mega Weekend

Last weekend was extremely busy, but it was one of the most fun weekends I've had in a while. Especially after all of my tests last week, it was nice to have non-studying related activities to do.

Friday was my brother's fiancée's birthday, so I went over to their apartment and hung out. It was just us and one of her friends, who I'm going to be a bridesmaid with at their wedding this summer. It was fun to meet her, and we all went out to dinner then ate cake and watched TV. When I got back, I joined some of my friends in their dorm and we made FUN da-Middles (which I had never heard, of but I guess are nostalgic for some people. They're essentially cream filled cupcakes).
make-shift kitchen in the dorm room
Saturday was the international fair. I live in Akin, which is the multicultural dorm (and has a lot of international students), so I had to help out in some way. I got up extremely early (8 AM on a Saturday!) and helped put up streamers and fill balloons. Then, during normal brunch hours, people ran booths from all over the world. The food was great, and there were some really cool performances. There more more performances later, but I didn't get to go because I had to do my homework.
One of the performances- they sounded really cool!
On Sunday afternoon I went birding with College Outdoors. We drove into Washington to a national wildlife refuge, and did a driving loop as well as a short hike. We saw some really cool birds (and other animals)! An owl, some eagles, a crane, some swans, a heron eating a snake, a coyote, a tree frog, and a bunch of nutria (including one that was albino). I'm planning on signing up for some more CO trips. They're really fun, not super expensive, and give you a chance to get off campus and explore what's nearby.
the birding group
And now, we're back in the swing of the week. I had another midterm on Monday in E&D, but I have a good feeling about it. I still have an environmental studies midterm to take next weekend. The season is wrapping up, though! We only have a few more weeks until spring break, and only a little more than a month after that until the semester is over. Then some of you will come here! I'm both amazed and saddened by how fast this year has gone by. It's been great, but I can't believe I'm already almost a quarter of the way done with my time here.

As always, email me with any questions (or videos of cats- this is my current favorite) at rekidder@lclark.edu. Have a good week!