23 April 2013

Out With a Bang

I just had an amazingly busy weekend! It didn't leave much time for homework, but luckily I was a little bit ahead so it didn't take too long to catch back up.

Friday night I just relaxed in my room and did some work. One of the things I had least anticipated before I came to college was the small amount of alone time you get. Everything becomes a social event, and if you're introverted (like I am), it can be hard to find time to decompress. Because it was Friday, people were out doing things so my room was pretty quiet. It was a well-needed night in. I also started to pack a little bit, which was bittersweet. I'm really looking forward to being home (even though apparently there was a snowstorm there tonight) and being done with finals, but I am honestly in love with this place. I can go on and on about how gorgeous it is, how nice everyone is, how great my classes and professors are, and how happy I feel here. I couldn't be more confident in my decision to come here.

My activities on Saturday and Sunday are just examples of why I love it here. I woke up early (for a Saturday) on Saturday and walked over to Sequoia, the College Outdoors building on the graduate school campus. There, I met with a group and we drove about an hour away to Scappoose Bay, which is off of the Columbia River. We kayaked around for most of the day, stopping for lunch about half way through. It was really pretty, but unfortunately I don't have many pictures of it (cameras are hard to use when you're in a boat!).
I do have a picture modeling the beautiful outfit we all got to wear, complete with a skirt to keep the water out, a PFD, a wetsuit, and a paddle jacket!
It was a long day and I'm still kind of sore, but it was amazing. I've never really been kayaking before, although I've done a lot of canoeing. It was pretty therapeutic. We saw some eagles and osprey, some beaver-chewed logs, and a lot of water!

That night was Spring Fling, which is a dance/concert of student bands that happens in the spring. The school rents out the Chrystal Ballroom, which is a really cool venue downtown with a floor that has springs under it, so it bounces (I think I talked about this in my post last fall about Fall Ball). I didn't go, because I'm not a huge dance person. Instead, my friend Gaby and I dressed up in random clothes we felt like wearing but don't a lot of the time (I wore overalls and she wore an awesome dress), and we went downtown. We treated ourselves to McDonald's milkshakes and fries (which was ironic because we just learned some pretty bad things about the french fry industry in environmental studies, but we were hungry and don't have too much money so we went for it). Then we went to a glow-in-the-dark mini-golf place that's pretty close to the bus stop. It was really fun!

My sleeves glowed!
 We were both pretty bad (sorry, Gaby), but it was refreshing because we both always go mini-golfing with people who are way better than us.

Sunday I went on another College Outdoors trip. This time, we went to the Columbia River gorge to look at wildflowers and waterfalls.
These flowers are 100 years old!

We all got to match in these beautiful blue shirts and tan pants.
The spray from the waterfall was so strong that we were all soaked just from standing next to it!
 It was also an amazing day. One of our leaders, Joe, knew an insane amount of things about the history of the area and about wildflowers. I learned a lot about the geology of the gorge, and about all of the flowers we saw.

During the hike, my roommates for next year went and chose our room. We unfortunately had an extremely high number (1220 out of about 1300), so there were pretty slim pickings by the time we got to choose. We ended up with a quad in Forest (Manzi! Maybe we'll be neighbors!). We wanted a room in either Holmes or Hartzfeld, both of which are sophomore-and-up dorms, and we honestly hadn't even considered living in Forest (mainly because you just put down your top three choices on the form). At first I wasn't sure how I felt, but it's growing on me. I've heard good things about the community within Forest, and I'm looking at the longer walk as a way to get more exercise into my day. Our room is going to be pretty big, since it's a quad. Forest is available to all students, so there's a chance we will be neighbors next year! I'm sure it's a great dorm, I just don't know a lot about it.

Last night, after I got back, I just did some homework then went to bed. Today I had classes, and afterwards I sat outside for a long time. It was super sunny and a ton of people were outside.
You may know Sam! She hosts prospies! We ukulele'd it up in the sun.
I did homework there for a bit, played my ukulele, then went to dinner. Afterwards I had ukulele orchestra, which met outside, and since then I've been catching up on homework in my room.

If you have any questions about anything, email me at rekidder@lclark.edu!