31 October 2013

Seraphie's Room: A Regular LC Halloween Day

Today, Short Story was indeed the most tangent filled and wonderful of classes I have had this semester. We went from discussing the short story we had read called "Don't Cry" by Mary Gaitskill to watching a youtube video of Joshua Bell in the D.C subway to watching a video of a flashmob symphony playing "Ode to Joy" in front of a bank in Barcelona. If you have not watched either of these they are incredibly beautiful and insightful and you should check them out. Our class was spilt into many opinions about the Joshua Bell video: some thought it was sad/"chilling" that so few people stopped to listen to a world revered musician and others in the class thought people were justified in not stopping to listen, because people had to get to work/might not care for classical music regardless of who is playing. Food for thought!

Campus Living in Halloween Attire

After my intriguing 8am class, I dropped by our dean of students office for a donut treat and ran into the Campus Living staff. Needless to say this is hilarious and LC students you should vote for them to win best costume! The tennis player, Charlie, was my boss from last year when I was an RA in Akin, but the soccer star, Whitney is my boss this year in Copeland.

Last weekend was one of the most fun and content filled weekends I have had in a long time. Not only did I turn 21, but I got to see my family. While I feel very supported here at LC, it was nice to go home and be surrounded by people who truly love and will always care about me.
Left to right: Seraphie, Sammy and Hannah Allen
The picture below of me and my sisters was taken this weekend at my family's traditional Harvest party. I am the one of the left! Coming back was difficult and I hate school at this moment, which is strange for me, because I never have felt that before, but this was one of the best weekends ever.

Anyways, keep it real folks and Happy Halloween! Also, I think everyone should know I got a twitter account last night, which two months ago I was utterly opposed to, however, I was taken up by the tide! My username is Seraphe_Larose if you are interested in sending a tweet my way :-)



ps This is my costume for today...
Picture taken by Dean of Students: Anna G!

29 October 2013


A small plane blasts along a purple line on a back screen. Every one hundred frames, it flips over the line and continues in the same direction. I have ninety minutes to write a program in C that will produce an identical little movie. Tests in Jeff's classes are always like this. I don't bother to bring a pencil. Other computer science classes have normal tests. They're conceptual. More abstracted. Short answer questions about data structures or program speed. What is unique to context-free grammars? I should know that. I prefer Jeff's tests, where the test is limited by its nature to what I need to know.

I just finished another midterm -- the one that asked about context-free grammars. I finished it early, so I made my way to the library, where I'm now awaiting my next class. French. No test there.

Izzy, pictured, does not remember doing this.
And I don't remember taking it.
The poster in my room curls. I've tried what I can. I taped it down for a while. It's a giclée. I don't know if that means it's safe to iron -- but I have no iron so I don't know why I'm thinking of that. It depicts a deity from a video game. Painted -- "painted" -- in the style of another character, a painter, in the game. The godly leviathan gave her inhuman powers. And she misused them. I love the poster.

We're moving on to three dimensions in Jeff's class. I can draw wireframe polygons. And move them. Rotate. Zoom. My creative powers are manifest. Knowledge has granted me dictation of objects. I am the leviathan now.

A grammar is effectively context-free when it has the ability to use recursion, by the way.


Hello dear readers! I’m back. This is big news because it means I survived all of my midterms! I can’t say that I feel great about how I did on all of them, but there’s not much I can do about that now. Right now, I am more concerned with the course registration for next semester. I signed up for Exploration and Discovery already, which is the second half of the yearlong first-year seminar. I am in the section called The Ancient City, which I am really excited for because I love ancient history. I am also thinking of taking a class called Ancient Greece for the same reason. That one is in the History department. Then I still have two or three more classes to pick. I am still not really sure what I am going to major in, so I am glad I still have room to explore and take classes in different departments. The Lewis and Clark schedule is great for those of us who like to experiment!
                I had a fairly uneventful weekend except for Saturday morning, which was amazing because I got to get off campus for a little while and talk to some people who don’t go to Lewis and Clark for a change. My friend Mayadah and I went to the Lake Oswego Library for a club I am in called BuildOn and got to talk to the community members there about our work. BuildOn is an international organization that builds schools in developing nations in order to help impoverished communities gain literacy and basic health education. We ensure that equal amounts of boys and girls attend these schools and that the community has a huge part in building the school and keeping it running. It is a cause that I am extremely passionate about. BuildOn advocates everything I value – gender equality, education, and independence. This year, we are raising money to build a school in Nepal. Once we raise the money, we will fly to the town in Nepal over the summer and spend two weeks there living with host families and helping lay the foundation and make bricks for the schoolhouse. I am so excited! Lewis and Clark is just bursting with globally-minded opportunities like this, and I wish I had time to participate in them all. So on Saturday, I had tons of fun telling people about this cause and ended up earning some donations for the school too.
                If you want to know more about BuildOn, click on this link and read the write-up on my fundraising page! There's a neat video there about what we do. As always, you can contact me at jessicakostka@lclark.edu if you want to ask me any questions about Lewis and Clark.
                Have a good week,



In Germany the semesters work a bit differently than they do at Lewis & Clark. Wintersemester is from the beginning of October until the beginning of February (with a few weeks off for christmas) and then there are two months off from the beginning of February until the end of March before Sommersemester, which is from the beginning of April until the middle of July. So we didn't actually start our classes until a few weeks ago.

When you study abroad with Lewis & Clark you can either decide to do a language intensive program or a culture based program. The Munich program is a language intensive program which means that all of our classes are conducted in german. We are also highly encouraged to speak german in our free time with the other people from our program etc. Although it is difficult sometimes to have all of my classes in a foreign language, I definitely think my german has become so much better since I arrived in the beginning of September.

This Wintersemester I am taking 5 classes.

1. Contemporary German Literature

This course is really difficult but is actually one of my favorite courses. We have a list of German books written within the last 20 years and we will be reading them all throughout the semester. They are connected in the fact that they all are addressing Identity and how Identity is multifaceted and can be expressed in many different ways. We started off by reading Wladimir Kaminer. He emigrated from Russia in the 1990's to live in Berlin, Germany. It was really cool to read some of his short stories because he wrote about his experiences as a foreigner in Berlin, which is what we are going through right now.

2. Art through the Ages

This is definitely my favorite course here. It never takes place in a traditional classroom but rather is always in a museum. For the past few weeks we have been at the Alte Pinakothek. The paintings that we have seen so far are from the 15th and early 16th century. Every day we spend about an hour and a half on three to five paintings and just talk in depth about them. We mainly talk about the symbolism, content, and composition. It's wonderful because instead of sitting in a classroom looking at pictures of paintings we can actually stand in front of the real paintings. It makes a world of difference.

3. Culture and Civilization

This course is about German culture and civilization just as the name implies. Right now we are talking about the German school system. We are going to talk about the German government etc. later on. It is mostly just a conversation based course. We talk a lot about our opinions on how the German and US systems differ and what we think works and what we think doesn't.

4. Advanced German Review I 

Advanced German Review is a continuation of the class we all took during Vorsemester. It is basically all about German grammar and language. We write essays, work from a grammar book, and will give a presentation about an article that interests us in a German newspaper. Just your basic language class.

These previous four classes that I am taking are offered by the Lewis & Clark Institute in Munich. We are also able to enroll in any classes that we want to at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. It's an extremely large University and so therefore has thousands of course offerings. If not literally thousands, it sure seems like it.

5. Italian I

One of the reasons I decided to go to Lewis & Clark was because it has a Foreign Languages major and because it has such wonderful study abroad programs. The one thing I wish it had was Italian though. And I am so excited because this year in Munich I am finally able to take an Italian course through the LMU. It's great because it's taught in German, which might seem hard but it's actually wonderful to learn another language in a language you're learning. It helps me understand German better as well.

28 October 2013

A Relaxed Week.

   Hello all, welcome back to my blog! Last week was pretty good. Like the week before, I had nothing major due. So, like last week, I took time for leisure. I spent some time hanging out with friends outside. For some reason, there has been less rain then in my previous years here. The whole week was brisk and sunny. I love autumn and I am really happy that we are getting such a nice one this year. I used the weather to go downtown and walked around with my friend Scott. Scott is on the tennis team with me. He is a Chemistry major, and only a few credits away from earning an English minor. He is a solid dude, and one of my best friends here. While we were downtown, we went to Powels and got some books. I think we spent a good three hours there. I ended up with a cool history book about China, and he left with a sci-fi novel (I didn't catch the name). It is really easy to get caught up in Powels, the place kind of swallows you. 
   Last week, we had a birthday in my hall. It was Tommy's birthday. He lives on the lowest floor in my charge. Whenever a birthday comes around, I get the whole hall together to celebrate. We usually all pitch in for a cheap gift, and I attempt to bake something worth eating. I made Tommy brownies. To play it safe, I got the box kind. They turned out pretty good. Tommy's friends also made him a cake. So we ended up with way more food than we anticipated. Fortunately, most people stepped up and selflessly took seconds and thirds. Birthdays are my favorite kind of hall event. It is a lot of fun to bring everyone out from their rooms, eat baked goods, and sing. Overall, I would say Tommy had a good birthday. I think we have another birthday coming up on Wednesday. I think I will make cupcakes.
    The weekend was also a pretty fun time. Me and my girlfriend, Madeline, went to a pumpkin patch on Sauvie Island. CAB (Campus Activities Board) ran a shuttle for campus to the Island/pumpkin patch. The best part, it was only five dollars (talk about a cheap date!). Anyway, we chose pumpkins and then spent some time running around and getting lost in a corn maze that they had there. It was a pretty great afternoon. When we got back we carved the Pumpkins back in her apartment. Madeline is an RCA. That means that she helps upperclassmen with jobs, internships, and resumes. Basically, she helps people with real world things. The added bonus, at least for her, is that she gets to have an apartment on campus. Our pumpkins came out pretty cool. Madeline is the artsy one, so her pumpkin easily beat mine. It looks like a real jack-o-lanter. Mine, on the other hand, looks like poorly-proportioned Picasso (in a bad way). Despite my bad pumpkin, it was a pretty great way to spend a saturday.
  In case you were wondering, this is Madeline. Anyway guys, I hope your weeks have gone well. Good luck with the upcoming week. Keep it real,



Hello, readers!

This weekend I went on my third College Outdoors trip in a month. It was a leadership training trip to the coast for people interested in student coordinating, and as with most CO trips, it was wonderful. We started out the weekend with a tour and scavenger hunt in Sequoia, the warehouse on south campus where CO keeps all of their gear. We then went to the coast and spent the next day learning about CO policies and receiving training about how to lead and teach well. We did a small hike to the beach and got to hang out by the ocean for a while.
The weather was also really nice, which was a definite plus.
When we got back on Sunday, we learned about the post-trip process and cleaned up all of our gear. Then I had the whole afternoon to study for my climate science midterm, which I had this morning.

Midterms are still going strong. Besides the climate science test, I have a group presentation and a rough draft of a written assignment due in climate science lab tomorrow. I have an environmental studies midterm on Thursday, and I'll have to finish whatever we do in lab this afternoon before class tomorrow. We're reading the beginning of Don Quixote in Spanish, which is also a lot of work (but enjoyable). I also have a short paper due in international affairs on Wednesday. Last week, I had a paper due in Spanish, my concentration due in environmental studies, and a quiz in international affairs. It's a lot of work, and I'm carefully walking the line of balancing my schoolwork with doing extracurricular activities like CO trips. I have one more CO trip I'm signed up for next weekend, then I should have some more free time. I think midterms are close to being done for a few weeks, which will also be nice- I'm expecting my next few weeks to be a little bit less stressful.

Finals are only 6 weeks away, which is frankly really scary. I'm not too scared about the finals themselves-- they'll be stressful, and it'll be a frantic few weeks leading up to them-- but after they're done, I'll be halfway done with sophomore year! This year is already going way more quickly than last year, and second semester last year went faster than first. It's almost time to register for next semester-- luckily, I have my classes all figured out-- and in February my application for my semester abroad is due. Then summer, and two more years. It's crazy how quickly college is going, but I'm enjoying every bit of it. I have so many opportunities to become involved in various things, and I'm definitely growing as a person every day. It's interesting to look back at who I was when I graduated high school, when I went home for winter break last year, when I went home for the summer, and when I came back here this fall. I think one of the most important traits in a college is its ability to foster your growth as a person, which Lewis & Clark definitely does.

I hope that all of y'all that are currently applying to schools are doing well and aren't too stressed (I also hope that for the rest of you, but those applying to college get a special shout out). Early application deadlines are soon, so it may be almost over for some of you. You can do it! I promise it will be alright.

If you have any questions or just want to talk, please email me at rekidder@lclark.edu.


22 October 2013

Floating Homes and Life Stories

Hey everyone!!

As I said last week, I was so excited to go on my Forest Staff retreat this weekend. 

Conclusion: it was everything I could have hoped for and more!!! We were on a floating home about 20 minutes away from school and got to disappear into the fall beauty of a forest-enclosed river that backed on train tracks. 

Favorite memory: Friday evening after I cooked dinner for the 11 of us, we went outside with tea and hot cocoa on the dock, lit a bonfire and fluctuated between laughing through stories and jokes and enjoying the silence and slight sway of the dock from the river.

Our main activity was sharing our life stories. Each of us talked for about 1 hour with all eyes on us as we gave our narrative. Talk about deep connection! It was a fantastic experience but honestly, it's making it a little difficult to be back :/ I didn't get much (ok, any) work done over the weekend and...

This week I have: a midterm, presentation, chapter test and 2 papers all due by Friday, plus the QRC (Queer Resource Center) which I am the program coordinator for is having a meet and greet on Thursday with Boba tea! If I make it through, I will be thoroughly impressed with myself :) 
New interests:
The graduate school I want to go to: The National College of Natural Medicine, is just starting to offer a 1 year program in a Masters of Science in Nutrition! Totally up my ally! So I'm looking into (obsessing over) that now! Updates to come :) 



P.S sorry for the lack of pictures this week, I'm going to try and make a video for next week!

Seraphie's Room: The Colors of Fall

                                               Fall Colors 
Fall leaves
Besides being an October baby, I love this month, because of all the fall color changes. This weekend I collected bright red and yellow leaves from the parking lot outside of Copeland. I brought them up to my room and found the biggest book I owned (The Penguin Opera Guide) and put each leaf in a different section and squeezed the pages tight together. In two weeks I will hang the leaves all around my room and their color will hopefully stay until I take them down for winter break.

                                                             Seraphie's Room
View from my dorm window
Uniquely, we have had two weeks full of sunshine! It is important that you value the sunshine in Portland, because you never know when you might see it again. The picture on the left is the view I have from my dorm window. While living on the fifth floor of Copeland can be tough, I love the privacy and the view of the trees.  
 Emotional Roller Coaster
There are weeks where there are just so many tests, essays, and meetings that by the end of the week you can't remember anything you did. Last week was one one of those, however, I do remember the roller coaster feeling of high and low emotions. As a resident advisor, we tend to encounter all the wonderful, hectic, and sometimes unsettling situations our fellow hall-mates experience. There are times when people come into your room with all the smiles and others times in all tears. I had a few intriguing and personal conversations with individuals this week and as I continue to reflect over those, I feel blessed to be trusted by such amazing people. This sounds kind of dramatic, but life in general can be incredibly hard at times and as I have found more and more at college it is very important to have a support system around you. Looking back on my first year at LC, I was completely unaware of the resources available to the student body and I could have suffered many less griefs. From my experience people at LC really care and are more focused about the health and well being of an individual than their amount production or whatever. Anyways, I apologize for the blabbing, but I could not mention last week without all of the emotions I experienced.

Birthday Week
Birthday Card!
This week is bound to be much more exciting and fun, because it is my birthday week! I turn 21 on Friday and could not be more thrilled. While I am not a big alcohol drinker, I love having birthdays where I am allowed to do new things according to our laws. I am going to celebrate by going home for the weekend and having a party with my family, friends and significant other. I am really looking forward to it, not to mention presents! Although it is early, I got the cutest birthday card from my favorite aunt and uncle today.

21 October 2013

Midterms, Midterms, and More Midterms

I feel like I just finished my first round of midterms, and already the second round is upon me! This week I have a Spanish paper and a revised concentration for environmental studies both due on the same day, on top of the typical day-to-day work I have every week. Beyond that, I have a climate science test on Monday, and I have to be planning my schedule for next semester.

Luckily I got to get away from all my work for a bit this weekend- I went kayaking with College Outdoors! I'm a bit sore, but it was gorgeous. It's been really sunny here (though the fog has been crazy in the mornings!), and the water was like glass. We saw a lot of birds, and got to experience the tides in the Columbia (the hard way- some of us had a bit of an issue getting our kayaks through the water because the water lowered while we were in the bay).

So much fog!
Saturday night, after I got back, I got to perform with ukulele orchestra at Once Upon a Weekend! It's an amazing and hilarious event that the theatre department puts on once a semester. A prompt is released, and students have a few days to write a short play (usually about 10 minutes long). Then 6 plays are chosen, and directors are cast. Students audition for roles on Friday and spend Saturday preparing- each play has a short time slot in which to get ready. Then, at 10 pm on Saturday, they perform the plays. Ukulele orchestra played, as did a bunch of a capella groups and the improv group. It was really funny, and everyone was super talented.

Please email me with any questions! I know the early action deadline is approaching in a few weeks, and you'd be surprised how quickly the later deadline can approach. My address is rekidder@lclark.edu.

Hey Dudes and Dudettes,

     Welcome back to my blog! A lot has happened since my last post. Most notably, last weekend, I saw Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar do a show. It was really awesome. Kendrick is one of my favorite rappers, and he didn't disappoint. Before the show I heard people say that Kendrick is not great live. It is true that he did not have any crazy lights or dancers, but, he was still awesome. He played M.A.A.D city, Poetic Justice, and Swimming Pools. They were all awesome I liked it because he just stood there and let the songs speak for themselves. I feel like thats the best way to do it.
      The concert was in Seattle, so that makes two weekends in a row that I've been up there. I had a real nice time. Seattle takes a while to explore. I spent two full days just driving around and visiting all the sites. It is a really cool town, and I still don't think I got in all the exploring a wanted to do. However, in the end, I think I like Portland better. Seattle is really big, and, while I like big to a certain extent, I don't think I would rather visit that feel rather than live in it. For me, Portland is the perfect balance between big and small. I describe Portland as a series of towns that ran into one another (historically that is actually what happened). This creation means that Portland feels small, and it is really easy to find different cultures around the City. Each section has its own merits, and I like the ability to jump in-between them.
       Last week was a pretty easy week in terms of school. I told you guys last time that I had just finished all my midterms. The great thing about midterms is that, once their done, you are free from stress for a while. So, last week I got to spend some time reading and doing research not required for class. Currently, I am reading Game of Thrones. It is a great book/series. Up until last week I had only seen the T.V. show. I think the books are just as good, if not better. I also did some research/reading on the Chinatown in San Francisco. It is really interesting to track the history of places, and Chinatowns are really interesting places to study.
       In my extra time last week, I also started captain's practices. With the season over, the team needed an opportunity to practice, so, twice a week Kevin (the other captain) and myself run a practice. We usually just hit a little and play doubles. We don't need much more than that, because we also make sure that everyone on the team plays at least two matches a week. I don't know how much the practices will help come season time, but I think they can't hurt. So far, they practices have been really fun. I was happy to see that most of the team could work diligently outside of the eyes of the coaches.
      Well, thats about it on my end. I hope you all are having a good life wherever you are. I'm trying to set up some sort of inbox so you guys can message me with any questions. Until then, just hope that I magically answer them on here. Allright, keep it real.


Multicultural Fair!!

            Hello all! How was everyone’s weekend? Mine was pretty exciting. My dorm, Akin Hall, was in a bit of a whirlwind during Friday and Saturday because of Multicultural Fair. Multicultural Fair is a really fun event that our dorm puts on every year (since we are the international/multicultural themed community). About a month in advance, different groups are organized based on what culture they want to represent and then they come up with recipes, presentations, and decorations for their table. On Friday night, all the members of all the tables were in the kitchen of the dining hall cooking massive amounts of food. I helped out with the Alaska table along with my friend Hannah, who is also the RA (Resident Adviser) for my floor of Akin. We made Eskimo ice cream, which is normally made with caribou fat, but we made it with Crisco! It was pretty simple to make: just that, blueberries, and sugar. My arms got really tired from whipping it up. Food processors are for the weak! We're doing it the Alaskan way. That's what Hannah said anyway. She's from Alaska; she'd know.

           Meanwhile, my friends over at the Hawaiian table made delicious coconut pudding.

         Saturday was the BIG DAY! There was so much food. I was in heaven… I think my personal favorites were the Moroccan couscous with onion and raisin sauce and the Austrian apple bread pudding with berry compote and the French crepes with Nutella and bananas. Delicious. Akin does food like no other. In addition to the food, there were a few dances performed – one by the Gumboot Club and one by a random group of students from Akin who decided to put on a Chinese zodiac dance. I wasn't in either of them but they were fun to watch. In addition to the country and location tables, my friend Robert had a Ska culture table and he told passersby about the history of the music genre and taught them how to "skank" (which is the name of the Ska dance). Overall, it was just a really good time and tons of people came to taste the food and hear about the different cultures. Lewis and Clark is so much more diverse than where I used to live and I enjoy being a part of a community like that.

          I'll leave you with a few pictures that I took of the Latin American table and Robert’s Ska table. Have a great week everyone!

20 October 2013

Germany Video

Hello everyone!

So I am a very amateur videographer. I wouldn't even call myself a videographer because that's how amateur I am. However, I have captured a few moments from my first month here in Germany and thought I would share the video with you all. I hope you enjoy!

Germany - Vorsemester

Until next time,


17 October 2013

What fall break?

This week has flown by, we got back from Fall Break just four days ago but it feels like we never left the grindstone.  Don't get me wrong, the little reprieve last weekend was much needed and much appreciated.  The extra two days off allowed me to catch up on some work and finish one of my photography projects.  This week we are back at it.  My classes are busy as ever and cross country is still going strong.  Before I forget, let me quickly recap my fall break.

Thursday morning I had a difficult workout with the cross country team.  We ran around Oak Bottom park across the river in Sellwood.  It was a great morning run!  The rest of the day I caught up on some house chores, laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc.  Friday was more relaxed, I did homework at Dragonfly coffee shop in NW Portland.  Saturday and Sunday were pretty standard, filled with running, homework, work in the dark room, sleep and spending time with friends.  A solid couple of days but not quite as relaxing as I had hoped it would be.  Other friends traveled to places like Arizona, Reno, Seattle, and the coast but I am happy with my break spent at home.

This week was the Environmental Affairs Symposium, a bunch of very intelligent and articulate speakers came to campus to answer questions and ask even more questions.  The title says a lot about the content of the discussions this week: The Nature of the Unnatural.

Saturday I have a cross country race at McIver State Park, near Estacada OR. Right now that just means an extra layer of stress this week but the beneficial type of stress.  It will be fun to race at our home invitational race!  I'll let you know how it turns out!

16 October 2013


Samantha Bee is performing here soon. I've gotten a hold of VIP tickets. It's very exciting. She's a funny person. I've received the tickets because I'm on SAAB, a board that primarily gives grants for academic projects we determine are worthy. It's a pretty nice student resource.

I work on the law campus at their computer help desk. I occasionally help people. Most of the time I make sure there's paper and toner in the printers. But that takes only minutes. Really, most of the time I just do my homework.

A girl just  me if I could install printer drivers on her laptop. I was glad to be asked, since it's such a simple process for me. But she was running Linux. So no drivers for her.

Then someone asked to borrow a pencil sharpener. Nope. Don't have that either. Use a pen, dude.

Get away from me
This never happens in college. We did this as a joke.
A reporter will be spending the night in Holmes, the dorm I live in, tomorrow (a lounge within Holmes is pictured to the right). She doing some kind of article on the place's sustainability obsession. I love Holmes. The kitchens are nice. The accent colors on some of the walls are fun. But the blow dryers don't work. They just blow air. They do this for the same reason we're discouraged from taking the elevator. And the same reason the toilet paper holders are designed to stop turning after three squares have been pulled — three squares, that is, of single ply. The building is so insecure about its carbon footprint that it dares to inconvenience me. Hopefully this journalist will have enough integrity to be annoyed by it during her night here.

I'm having surgery on Thursday. I'll be under anesthetic for multiple hours and will miss class. But at least I'm finally using the insurance the school requires, even if it does only cover eighty percent of the operation.

Feel free to contact me with questions at jamesfischer@lclark.edu.

15 October 2013

Seraphie's Room: Back On the Grind

I came back from fall break yesterday (Monday) and immediately was reentered into the flurry of LC life! I had many things on my schedule today including two outside of class lecture events: Literary Agency (all about the publishing world) and A Civil Conversation: Oregon's School-to-Prison Pipeline. Both were extremely informative and thought provoking. As an English Major, I am now highly considering a career in publishing and want to look for an internship this summer to learn more about it.

 Since I was just discussing my English Major,  in my English 300 class, we have started Ulysses by James Joyce (we will be reading this for 5 weeks and it feels like an initiation into a frat), one of the numerous short stories I've read for Short Story 200, but my favorite thus far, Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin and in Gender in Relationships 300, The Myth of Mars and Venus: Do men and women really speak different languages? Outside of class, I am just starting Fight Club and a new Scifi book that I can't recall the title of at the moment.

ACLU Event, 2013
The second event I attended today was The School-to-Prison Pipeline event was a panel held at the Waypost Coffeehouse & Tavern in NE Portland about 15 minutes driving from campus. The panelists had some extremely good things to say and I hope that the Ray Warren Symposium, I am helping to put together, will be as educational and activist minded as this panel. An overarching theme all three panelists discussed was the clear racial inequities in disciplinary processes within k-12 schools. These disproportionate numbers expose the result that when students who get suspended are many times more likely to drop out of school and or get into trouble with the law. So when students of color (especially high among black kids) are disciplined on average so many times higher than white kids that is a problem--a pipeline so to speak. If you are interested in more here is a really cool article about the local Portland Public School system. 

My favorite quote  from tonight's lecture, "A rising tide lifts all boats."

Stay tuned,


Fall Break and Beyond!

Fall frolicking and fabulous fun in California!

What better way to celebrate midterms being (mostly) over than going away to beautiful Santa Rosa, CA with one of my best friends and fellow blogger, Seraphie! Something I'm so grateful for is the accessibility to a whole new side of the country--I never would have been able to spend a 4 day weekend in California had I stayed in Maryland! 

What did we do!?

Delicious meals, sight seeing, trips to San Francisco, tours of vineyards, outdoor baths and lots of R&R. My favorite part was actually a night in with her mom, homemade cookies, good music, dancing, and a really interesting discussion about religion. 

This is a picture of the beautiful bay that seemingly everyone is from- I see the appeal! Seraphie and I having a great time...she's already prepping for her Batman halloween costume!

So...break's over, what now? 

Well, back to work! I have a really cool project for my health psychology class which I'm super jazzed about! It's a behavior modification project and mine involves incorporating mediation into my daily routine. I am currently collecting baseline data on my mood and (mostly) stress and next week I start the meditation-updates to come!!

I'm most excited for this weekend because it's STAFF RETREAT!!! My lovely Forest staff team (refer to last week's photo) and I are going to a floating house on the Willamette River and spending the weekend bonding and sharing stories. 

Until next week :)


Astronomy and Fall Break

I am just going crazy about my Deep Space Astronomy class right now. It’s the most poetic science to me – quasars and parsecs and questions posed in class like “Where does a thought exist on the space-time diagram when you’re not thinking it?” It has no timeline! We've covered the history of cosmology from ancient Greece and Babylon to medieval Christian influences to the spread of Islam to Newton and Kepler and now we’ve arrived at the mind-blowing concepts of the curvature of space-time and the formation of galaxies. The math is tricky for me but I love everything else. It’s inspiring. I am not sure where to turn next in my studies though. Metaphysics/philosophy or physics or keep on track for English or anthropology? History? Classics? Can I just study everything? Well, the answer to that last question is as close to yes as possible since L&C is a liberal arts school and there is plenty of room for all my experimentation. I think I might take a calculus class next semester in case I do want to pursue physics further. We’ll see. There’s a lot to consider.
                Isn't cosmology fantastic?

                Since it was fall break for part of last week, I’ve also been watching Doctor Who too much lately. Seriously, it’s a supplement to what I’m learning! J It’s science, I swear! Along those lines, my fall break was fairly laid-back, but I did go out to Portland twice, which was fun. My roommate’s older sister was visiting from California so the three of us and my other friend Sarah went out for Mexican food one night and Japanese food another night (Shigezo, again, since it’s so close to the bus stop!). It was all delicious. Speaking of Portland, here’s a picture from that one time when we went downtown and it was really beautiful and sunny and warm! It’s sunny now, but delightfully cold (my kind of weather). I told my roommate Sully and my friend Kat to strike majestic poses as if the waterfront was the most beautiful thing they had ever laid eyes on!

                …and the Saturday Market…

                Hope you are all doing well! My next-door neighbor India just came by and gave me a Snickers bar, so you could say I am certainly doing well. Sweets are a huge part of my life here. The dining hall (or as we say, the Bon, which is short for Bon Appetit) has amazing baked goods like moist and delectable vegan brownies and yesterday there was pumpkin pie with whipped cream! Mmmmm…
                Questions? Don’t forget to email me at jessicakostka@lclark.edu!

                Until next week,

Differences between Germany and the United States

"One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things" - Henry Miller

Life in Germany is a lot different than life in Portland, Oregon and from the United States in general. It's obviously not too different because it is a first world country and many people here speak English, however there are many small differences that I have found between the two countries.

I love Munich. I also love Portland.

The weather is pretty similar between the two places (there is a lot of rain). Right now there is beautiful foliage here in Germany and in Portland, at least this time last year there was also beautiful foliage.

Portland this time last year
View of the Englischer Garten from my window in Munich

I think once it comes to winter though it will be something else. Here I am expecting a lot of snow (something that coming from Vermont I am very much looking forward to). In Portland the weather in the winter is a constant grey drizzle. Which is fine and dandy and good for studying and not too cold so I actually have grown to kind of like it. I am looking forward to being able to look out my window and see a pile of snow though. It's already much colder here than in Portland, but with snow I will be able to deal with the cold.

I think a big part of studying abroad is seeing the differences between your host country and your home country and to see them as nothing more than differences. The way we do things in America is not necessarily the "right" way or the "good" way it's just different. Same goes to how things in Germany and in other countries are done. Also the more you see the differences the more you realize how similar two countries and two peoples are.

So here is my list of differences between Germany and the United States. Not having to do with anything in particular, just observations.

1. The escalators in the Ubahn (subway) go both ways and they are motion sensored. This saves on energy which is great.
2. Cars are in general a lot smaller here than in the United States, and just not as common. Most people take public transportation, bike or walk. 
3. Nakedness is a lot more acceptable here. We went walking in the Englischer Garten a couple of weeks ago (when the weather was still nice) and there were people just walking around everywhere naked.
4. People here not only can start drinking at a younger age but they are allowed to drink in public and walk around with beer bottles etc. in their hands on the ubahn, on the street and in the dorms.
5. There is no wifi in the Stustadt (where we live), but rather we have to use an ethernet cable. I am contemplating buying Wifi just so that I will be able to contact home more easily on my iphone however the Ethernet cable works just fine. The only difference is that you can bring your computer everywhere on the Lewis & Clark campus and have wifi. Here in the Studentstadt we can only have our internet work on our desk in our room.
6. People smoke a lot more than in the United States, or at least that I have been accustomed to. I also might have been spoiled because at Lewis & Clark there are designated smoking areas so if I want to avoid smoking I can. Here though people smoke, even in Biergartens/restaurants and around people eating food.
8. People here don’t ask you how you are doing when they walk by you but they always say hello when they walk by or get on to the elevator with you and always say goodbye when they leave.
9. You have to always ask for still water at a restaurant because if you just ask for water they will give you sparkling water, also water always costs money – there is no such thing as ordering a glass of tap water for free.
10. All of the sidewalks are split into two lanes, one for pedestrians and one for bikers. If you are in the bike lane you better move because the bikers will get mad if you are in their way. I learned that the hard way. 
One of the hardest things I have found to be about studying abroad is not the language or the classes but just the comfortableness of everything. In a few months everything will seem as though it has been this way my entire life but right now things like going to the grocery store and not knowing exactly where I can find everything or getting a bit lost when I get off the subway and am looking for a new place that I have never been before can be a bit disconcerting and uncomfortable. It's also, however, new and exciting and fun to explore.  Stumbling upon new foods, going to museums, and getting lost in town and finding something that I wasn't expecting to find can be some of the best moments.
As always feel free to contact me with any questions about studying abroad, life in general at Lewis & Clark, application process, or anything else you want to talk about. My email is drussosavage@lclark.edu 
Take care,

14 October 2013

Fall Break

Hello readers,

School just resumed after a fabulous four-day break. A lot of people left campus, either to go home, visit nearby cities like Seattle or Vancouver, or to go camping. I ended up staying here, which I don't regret at all. My break was pretty busy!

Break started after our last class ended on Wednesday. Right after I got out of Intro to International Relations at 4:30, I met up with some other environmental studies students to work on our concentrations. Environmental studies is a really cool, interdisciplinary major, and unlike other majors, you can't simply sign a form declaring it and be inducted into the program. Instead, you spend the class that I'm currently in (ENVS 220, usually during the fall of your sophomore year) designing a concentration around a specific area of interest. If you're double majoring, like I am, you still fill out the concentration proposal form, but in reference to how your two majors may be relevant to each other. Instead of the proposal, minors write a paper connecting their major and environmental studies. Our first drafts of our proposals were due on Friday, so a few of us got together to try and crank them out before we were too far into break. That evening, I played some music with some people, then spent more time working on my proposal.

On Thursday, some friends and I decided to throw a "dinner party" of sorts. We went downtown to get groceries, then came back and cooked for most of the day. We decided to eat and cook in Holmes, which is the newest dorm, since they have a really nice (and big) kitchen (and a family-style dinner table). Because one of my friends who came is vegan, we tried to make as many things vegan as we could! We made a lot of food: pasta, tomato sauce, challah, chocolate-avocado cupcakes, monkey bread, salad, and artichoke dip (and we bought sparking apple cider).

The initial table settings. Everyone brought their own plate/cup/silverware, but I folded cheap paper napkins to make it semi-fancy.
The group! Minus Emma, who was taking the picture.
Friday I went downtown for a few hours and grabbed lunch at the food carts. I recommend trying one (or more) if you're ever in Portland- they're really tasty, there are a lot of options, and they're usually pretty cheap. After I got back I watched a lot of things on Netflix. I'm currently working on making my way through Breaking Bad, and I also watched an amazing Disney Channel Original Movie with one of my roommates.

I dedicated most of Saturday to getting my homework done, but I had a surprisingly small amount to do. I was in the library for a good chunk of the afternoon, but afterwards two of my roommates and I went downtown to get pizza. We also got ice cream.

On Sunday my brother and sister-in-law took me apple picking. It was a really nice day, and felt very autumnal. The orchard was full of families and was also selling pumpkins and Halloween decorations. It kind of made me miss being home for fall, but luckily LC gets pretty festive, especially around Halloween.
The orchard!
Tonight is the beginning of the Environmental Affairs Symposium. The opening event is at the zoo, which is really exciting. As soon as I get out of ENVS lab, I'm going to get on a shuttle to get to the zoo. I won't get back until late tonight, so I'm trying to finish all of my homework early.
If you have any questions, about the environmental studies program, things to do around Portland, or how to make vegan challah, email me at rekidder@lclark.edu.


10 October 2013

The First Post

        Hey Everybody, welcome to my first post! I'm exited to share my life at LC with all of you. Since this is my first post, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Carter Gee-Taylor.  I come from Colorado, growing up mostly in the Boulder area. On campus, I work as an Resident Advisor. I help students with whatever they need, and build community in our halls. I am also a history major. I love the history program here. I think it is well managed, and the professors are excellent. I really enjoy deconstructing the past, and I find it an intellectually rewarding task. I also participate in a cappella.  I enjoy singing, and I think that singing with other people is the most fun. Finally, I am captain of the men's tennis team. Last year, our season turned out pretty good, but I hope this year we make our team even better. I enjoy the grind of athletics. I think it provides structure and a needed release from the stress of college.
       This week was a short one. We only had three days of class because of fall break. Today is the first day. We get four days to recuperate and get caught up with school. Today, I plan to relax. I had a workout this morning and I have practice in the afternoon, but, other than that, today will be a day of reading and watching Parks and Rec. Tomorrow, I plan to head up to Seattle. There is a great, cheap, bus that runs from Portland all the way to Vancouver, Canada. It stops at all the important places in the Northwest. Previously, I used it to visit friends, and spend a couple weekends with my buddies in Vancouver. Tomorrow, I am using it to visit my friend Emmet, it is his birthday. I am exited. I think Seattle is a great town, and I always have a good time when I'm up there.
       Before fall break, I spent a week bogged down with midterm tests and essays. It is hard work, but good work. I am taking one class where we delve into the history of Islam in Europe. Last week, we wrote an essay on the Crusades. We had to weave together accounts from the Holy war and decide what actually happened. It was pretty fun, and I really enjoyed writing the essay. I also wrote an essay for a prison inside-out class. This class is special. Instead of learning in a classroom, we go into Columbia River Correctional and learn about Crime and Punishment in a class of students and inmates. It is a really eye-opening experience. The essay I wrote for this class dealt with the changing definitions of reform in our prison system today. While it was a tough week, it was a good one. I think work at LC is rewarding. It really stretches your mind, and allows you to see things differently.
      I'll let you guys know how my trip goes. Maybe I will have time to take some pictures of the sights so any non-Noerthwesterners can get a feel for how it looks up here. For know I'll just give you a picture of myself, so you can put a face to this blog:

I'm the guy on the top middle. I have black hair. This is me and my staff team from the move in day last year. Alright, thanks for reading. I'll catch you all next week.


09 October 2013

Thank you for sharing.

First, I want to say a quick thank you for visiting this blog and checking it out.  I've read some very cool stories from my fellow Lewis & Clark-ers here as they share a bit about their lives with the big scary Internet. 

Ok. This is the beginning of my blog so I'll start by telling you a bit about myself.   My name is Kaitlyn Throgmorton, I am a senior International Affairs major at LC.  I grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado.  I have a younger brother, he's 20 and in his second year at a small junior college in Montana.  Moving away from home and away from my family was difficult for me but Portland is the best place I could have asked for to end up.  Lewis & Clark provides a community on Palatine Hill and Portland provides a million fun things to do all the time.  I really enjoy exploring the city but also getting out of the city into the beautiful landscape that is the Pacific Northwest. Because of LC, I've been able to travel abroad two different semesters.  I spent one semester in Australia and last spring I was in Morocco (but I'll tell you more about that later).

One big part of my life on the Hill is the cross-country team.  This is my fourth year on the team and I absolutely love it.  Portland, especially the Hill atop which is LC, is a fantastic place to run.  Tryon State Park is about three blocks from campus and has become my safe haven, my release, my happy place while at LC.  Last season was the first time any LC XC team earned a spot at the National cross-country race.  We went and it was a crazy, intense, exciting, and painful experience.  We are trying to earn that spot again this season, working hard now so we will be able to compete against other teams in our conference and region during competitions in October and November.  Last weekend we went to Indiana for the pre-national race.

This week is Fall Break.  We have a four-day weekend and it is much needed.  It’s been a crazy busy couple of weeks and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed.  I’m really looking forward to having a little bit of extra time to sleep and catch up on homework this weekend.  I also have plans to go to the farmer’s market, go on a day trip to the hot springs, hang out with my housemates, run, eat doughnuts, and watch a movie (all things I haven’t had much time to do in the last couple weeks).  

So that’s a brief snapshot of my life.  I’ll tell you more in the weeks to come. 
Thank you for reading!

Welcome to my blog!



My name is Chelsea Burwasser and I’m a junior here at Lewis & Clark. I grew up on Long Island in New York but moved to Baltimore, Maryland with my family about 5 years ago. I am a psychology major here and also taking pre-med courses. I am pursuing a career in Natural Medicine and hope to go to the National College of Natural Medicine here, in Portland. 
I have really enjoyed my time at Lewis & Clark and in Portland so far. 


I’m a second year resident advisor in a dorm called Ponderosa in the complex Forest. I’m involved in the Queer Resource Center, Portland Hillel, Student Health Advisory Board and I teach students in the kickboxing club which is part of LC Fit Club! My favorite aspect has definitely been being a resident advisor! I love the connections I get to make and the training I have and the confidence it gives me. I was in the wellness dorm, Stewart, last year which was also an amazing experience. 

This is my current staff team!! May the Forest be with you :)


I’ve had time to go to some concerts (Kimbra and Pentatonix were my favorite!), restaurants (Portland City Grill is so cool), shops (Tea Chai Te), Saturday Market (which is awesome!!), plays (Spring Awakening), and I plan on visiting a lot of farmer’s markets this year! I try and get off campus once a week and so far have stuck to that pretty well this year. 


The picture I posted is from this summer when I road tripped with a friend and fellow RA from the East Coast. We stopped in Utah at a dinosaur park, I know, I know, awesome-and had some fun with all it had to offer. Anyway, fall break is this week and I’m going to California with one of my best friends! I’ve never been there and am really excited! I’ll let y’all know how it is next week :) 

Until next time,