18 November 2013

On Hiking and Dancing

Hi all! It's Jess again. Quite a few cool things have happened around here since I last posted for you. First, there was the Race and Ethnic StudiesSymposium, which I mentioned in my last post and I know that several of my fellow bloggers had a bit to say about it as well. That’s because it’s such a cool and all-inclusive event! Most of the events are incredibly popular and you actually have to get to the auditorium early to get seats. There were several events during the day, including a presentation of some student research and theses that related to the theme of race. It was definitely an educational experience, both for learning about race and for seeing what kind of research I’ll be able to do later on in my academic career. My friend Hannah, who is the RA for my dorm, Akin, did her presentation on the oral histories of native peoples in Kotzebue, Alaska, her hometown. She’s a SOAN (Sociology and Anthropology) major. Also, a history major told us about her research on language immersion schools in Portland and a psychology major discussed tattoos and national/racial identity before I had to leave for class. I also attended a lecture called “A Hip-Hip Theory of Justice” as well as the Race Monologues, which were incredibly moving. I had never had the chance to hear someone talk openly about their race and their experiences before, since there wasn’t a lot of diversity at my high school.

Saturday was incredible. First, I got to go to the ocean with College Outdoors! My roommate Sully and I had been anticipating this outing for weeks. My friend Maddie also went, but besides those two I didn’t know anyone who was on the trip, so I got to make friends with a whole host of people I never would have met otherwise. On the way there, we told stories, which were very diverse since the majority of the people on the trip were from countries outside the US – Russia, Germany, Japan... Naseer told one about a haunted house back home in Algeria. Maddie had a great one about a kid who lived with his mean cousin that beat him up all the time. This kid had a really tough life, despite the fact that he could talk to snakes (how cool!), until one day, a giant man showed up on his eleventh birthday to give him cake and tell him he was a wizard! Okay, so maybe it wasn’t too original, but a good story deserves retelling. Everyone’s a Harry Potter fan, right?

I’ll let you have some pictures so you don’t get too bored with me rambling on about race and diversity and stories and wizards. Enjoy the Oregon Coast!

That's me in the middle, with Shiho on the left and Sully on the right.

Down to the beach for a lunch of sandwiches, cookies, apples, and granola bars...

...and a nice game of Stuff-at-stuff! It's pretty simple. You just throw stuff at stuff. Such as rocks at a stick in the sand. I played it during my backpacking trip as well. It was mostly rocks at trees then.
Now for the scenery (my favorite picture):

And last, but not least, there was Fall Ball, which my friends and I got ready for right after I got back from the hike. It was a blast! Dancing is such a great way to relieve stress. It was such a liberating day of hiking and dancing and eating and being with good friends and making new ones. I'll leave you with the obligatory photo booth pictures (I'm in the sunglasses in the first picture). Have a good week, and don't forget to ask me any questions at jessicakostka@lclark.edu.