28 February 2014

Seraphie's Study Abroad: Flight Woes and Brisbane

 Flight Woes (sorry just have to get this out)
I've now officially missed my first flight ever! Yay me! Was I late? No. Did I have a pass printed? Yes. I printed the attachment they sent me when I bought the ticket. After taking the airport train, which costs $20 bucks each way, I made it to my flight area a hour ahead of time. I say down, hooked up to the free wifi, texted Alicia for while and then looked at my ticket. I noticed it didn't have a seat number on and I thought that was weird, so I went to the front desk to ask for a seat number and they said "I am sorry, you didn't check in 45 minutes ahead of time, you are not going on this flight." Mind you, we still had 30 minutes before departure. After trying to use hysteria and tears at the poor ladies, they still wouldn't let me on the flight. I even thought about sneaking on the flight, so snuck around behind the back when this guy asked me if I was okay. I explained my situation and then asked him what he thought my chances were of sneaking on, he said I could probably get past the ladies, but they do a head count on the plane and would realize there was one too many... Well after that hope was dashed, I tried to calm myself down. They said they could put me on the next flight for $85 the next morning. Obviously I took this as my last option. So my rant to all of you is to make sure you "check-in" EARLY! Don't be my poor soul who claims ignorance as a dumb American and still isn't let on. If they send you emails to check-in online even if you can't print, do it!!! Some of you are probably laughing at me and rightly so, but be warned, one day you will miss a very important flight and it will suck and you will NEVER make that mistake again.

On another note, I've now been in Brisbane for 2 weeks. I was flying out to Sydney tonight to attend the Mardi Gras parade. I will be posting about this soon! Luckily I will still make it for the parade tomorrow.

Brisbane
Brisbane has been a nice change from out fast pace and full schedule in Sydney. While I miss all the easy access to things people our age do, I am living with an awesome host family!


Family
Jane and Kristiana are a young couple who live in a leafy suburb in a lovely Queenslander style house. They enjoy walking, gardening, good food and music. Kristiana works in financial literacy education and Jane is an Electrician who runs her own business. Their house is adorable and is in prime location for me to get to school. I have many windows, so my room is spacious and full of light. I've learned so much more about Australia and it's current culture from them than any lecture we've had yet. Jane makes my lunch everyday, which I've tried to tell her she doesn't need to, but she insists on being a good host. I've felt incredibly welcomed and feel honored to be a part of their family.  

Ultimate Frisbee
I've also joined an Ultimate Frisbee team! We are a co-ed team called the Poachers! There are some amazing players and some new players, so skill wise I am in-between. The season goes from February to April, so I will have to leave them part way through :( Two of my super nice teammates have been giving me rides, because the field we usually play at is across the city! We have games on Monday nights and I can tell how much I have improved just after two weeks. 


School
Our school schedule is the same as Sydney. We have lectures Monday-Friday in the mornings and sometimes have excursions during the afternoon. Today we had lectures on "Australia's Relationship to the World" and "Australia at War." We then did a field trip to the Toowong Cemetery, where our lecturer pointed the different monuments and their complicated meanings. We witnessed the usual erected war monuments commemorating the ANZACs, but we also saw a monument that was erected in protest to the war. 


The Temple of Peace: controversial war monument


Written on the Temple of Peace
Written on the Temple of Peace
















As can see from the pictures, there is a hard glass casing around the monument. With the recent upsurge of patriotism in Australia, some people have vandalized this controversial site. This monument was especially controversial in its time, because it went against the standard opinion of idealizing war and the deaths of the soldiers.

Father and daughter remembered (this wasn't part of the war deaths, just interesting)
Fun
Yesterday, a few of us went down to a place called South Bank. Basically, it is a fake beach (don't be fooled by the picture) set up along near the river where anyone can come swim, hang out, tan for free. I've been there 3 times now :) 

Lex Corwin's Picture from the afternoon

Well, I think this is enough news for now! I will be posting Mardi Gras stories sometime soon, so stay tuned! If anyone has any questions, especially students looking into Lewis & Clark and the abroad program feel free to email me at sallen@lclark.edu.

Seraphie

PS: Today was also the 3rd Annual Performance of For Colored Girls back at Lewis & Clark, which I was bummed to miss, but proud to support even from across the world. Happy last day of Black History Month!

27 February 2014

Break and Internship

So the past two weeks have been more exhausting than I had originally thought they would be. I started my internship at the Gymnasium (20 minutes from my dorm including walking and subway time) last tuesday. It's been pretty great so far actually. The first day was a bit of a mess because a few of the classes I was supposed to sit in on had substitute teachers and so the student's didn't do much else other than watch movies and individual work.

Most of my internship has just been sitting in the back of the room and observing the different methods teachers use in the classroom. So far I haven't seen much difference between high school here and high school in the US. The only real differences are that Gymnasium, as they call high school over here, is from 5th grade to 12th grade (it used to be until 13th grade). So a high school here is pretty much just an American middle school and high school put together. Teachers have to teach two subjects though and they teach all different grades, which is completely different from what my high school teachers had to do. Most of my high school teachers had one or two grades they taught and just one subject.

Other than that though 7th graders are 7th graders no matter where you live. They are so incredibly talkative and don't really pay attention in class at all and are more preoccupied with social life than their academics. So far my favorite grades have been 6th grade and 11th grade (mostly because they seem to be the most respectful and attentive. They also seem to participate the most).

I've had 4 offers from 4 different teachers asking me if I wanted to teach a class some time and I'm actually currently preparing to teach an 8th grade English Class two Tuesdays from now. I'm a bit nervous because I was in that class most of the day today and there are a lot of troublemakers. They didn't really listen to the teacher at all and they talked through the entire class. I think it will hopefully be ok though because we are just going to be talking about American Sports, and I can use their textbook which has some exercises in it already -- I just need to get them interested and to participate.

Other than my Internship there really hasn't been much going on in my life. I wake up at 6:30 every morning to be able to get to the school in time and so that means I'm pretty much going to bed at the latest 10 but preferably 9, because I am now officially an old lady.  I love my sleep I really do. I don't really know how I ever got up consistently that early in high school after going to bed so late (at around 2am) also consistently.

Anyways, it's interesting to see how high school is taught here and makes me really think whether or not I want to be a teacher. Right now I'm leaning towards yes, but I'm still not positive. The Munich Program through LC though is really awesome because if you want to do an internship it's pretty much a given that you will get one. All you have to do is submit a short 5 page proposal with specific places in Munich where you may want to do your internship (which includes a resume and a letter of intent etc.) I have another friend on the program who is doing an internship working with horses, which is pretty awesome. Apparently she has been present as some foals have been born.

As always let me know if you have any questions or just want to talk. My email is drussosavage@lclark.edu

24 February 2014

Yoga Coast Retreat

Wow. What an incredible weekend. I just got back from my College Outdoors yoga retreat, and feel so rejuvenated. I’m probably going to let the pictures speak for themselves as much as possible on this one, but I’ll just preface them with this. The trip involved a lot of self-reflection, and with all my stress left back on campus, some deep emotions were able to float to the surface of my thoughts. Being around a group of passionate, energetic, spirited people in an incredibly beautiful place, I felt like I truly belonged. Like as long as I just took a deep breath and smiled, I could belong anywhere in the world. I felt so liberated – completely present and aware of myself, so certain and so carefree. I was reminded of how glad I am to be where I am in my life right now – in Portland, going to Lewis and Clark, surrounded by people with such similar interests yet such diverse lives. Yoga, journaling, nature, good food, and good friends all added up to sheer happiness for me. So many good vibes right now. Everything has fallen into place.

Sarah, Caia, and Dani enjoying a brief sunny spell.

We saw some bald eagles off this point.

Our beach.

The trees on Saturday's hike.

Mayana being ridiculously photogenic with her dreadlocks and hula hoop.

A bit of partner yoga and acrobatics.

Ajna showing off her zen headstand.

Proof that I wasn't the only one who was really, really happy to be on the trip.

Well, I hope you enjoyed these pictures! I have to get back to reading Herodotus - our primary source for my Ancient Greece class. The shenanigans that the Greeks got up to never cease to entertain me. 

Any questions? Just email me at jessicakostka@lclark.edu!!

Jess

Waiting

One thing I've learned to do lately is wait. All of you who are applying to college are learning the same thing- waiting is tough, and drags on and on. I remember when I applied to school, it felt like forever before I heard back from anywhere- even though I heard back from my first school in November.

After I applied to college, I naively thought that I wouldn't have to apply for anything for a long time. I was wrong. Last spring I applied for the job I had last summer. Last summer I applied for my job as a biology TA for this fall. Last fall, I applied to co-chair ENVS Symposium. This year, I've applied to study abroad, and for multiple scholarships. Luckily I don't have to re-apply for my job this summer. Now I'm in this weird period where I'm done with my applications but have a while before I hear back.

I think it's kind of convenient my application deadlines fell when they did, because now we're getting into midterms (I have two this week). It means I can focus on studying and other schoolwork. Work is definitely ramping up in my classes- though we have less than a month until spring break, which is crazy to think about, because after that we only have a bit more than a month left of classes, then less than a week of finals, then we're going home. Each semester is going more quickly than the last, which is exciting but also kind of scary since it means I'll be graduating relatively soon.

Related to future-planning, my roommates and a couple of other friends and I are planning on renting a house next year!

My roommates. Every holiday we make a holiday "family" card, and this is our Valentine's day one. We're pretty cute.
We have a good lead on one house, which is exciting. I'm excited to cook for myself and have a private bathroom! The dorms are great, but also sometimes it's nice to not share a bathroom with 15 other people.

If you have any questions or comments or anything, feel free to email me at rekidder@lclark.edu!

-Rebecca


18 February 2014

College Outdoors and Research Papers

This is going to be a shorter entry, unfortunately. I am trying to get ahead in schoolwork over the next few days so that I can afford to take the time to go on my College Outdoors trip this weekend. I can’t say enough about College Outdoors. I’ve been on a backpacking trip and a hike (both of which I posted about last term) and just yesterday I went ice skating in Beaverton. College Outdoors provided transportation, and I rented ice skates and got to skate for just $5 in total. It was a lot of fun, and I only fell once! I also got to make some new friends. One of them – Piper – was quite a good skater. She had a lot of experience in figure skating and impressed us all with spins and tricks. I’ve found College Outdoors to be one of the best ways to meet people that I wouldn't have connected with otherwise, and I think it’s a wonderful program.

The trip that I’ve got lined up for this weekend is a yoga retreat on the Oregon Coast. We leave on Friday after dinner and we’ll drive about two hours to a lodge that is a part of an unused Girl Scout Camp called Camp Kiwanilong. While we’re there, we plan to do a lot of yoga, including some meditation and calming self-reflection, as well as hiking on the beach. We'll return to campus on Sunday (hopefully not too late, since I'll have a lot of work to do). But for two days, I won't have to think about my work. I can’t wait to just relax and have a little vacation, especially since the weather is supposed to be nice. Jamey, one of my friends from my backpacking trip in August, is leading the trip, which is going to make it even better. I’ll bring my camera so that I’ll have a few pictures to show you next week.

Well, I have to get back to work now. Right now, I am sifting through some books I ordered from the library. They were pretty rare, but Watzek library has this neat inter-library loan system that lets you get books from all over the Pacific Northwest and beyond if Watzek doesn't have the book you need on campus. Why the pursuit of hard-to-find books? Well, as I might have mentioned before, the second half of the required freshman class – Exploration and Discovery – is about learning to do research, and the class I’m in is called The Ancient City. The topic I proposed for my paper, which is a semester-long project, is the origins of astronomy in ancient Mesopotamia. I am really interested in how, by observing phenomena such as eclipses and the motions of the Moon and planets, astronomers tried to find meaning and order in the universe. I plan to relate it back to the course topic of the ancient city by showing how with celestial divination, the central temple of the city attempted to predict things like floods in order to economically regulate the collection and redistribution of grain. I am really, really stoked for this paper because it combines my fascination with astronomy and my love of ancient history, especially the rise of agriculture! I love that I can choose my research topic so freely and have support from my professor. So, that's why I had to hunt down all those obscure books on cuneiform writing and temples and astrology.

This entry turned out to be longer than I anticipated, but I just like writing so much that I can’t stop. Have a wonderful week, and if you have any questions, email me at jessicakostka@lclark.edu!

Jess



17 February 2014

much environment, wow


I've had such a long day, I feel like I'm thinking in Doge. I can't think in complete sentences at all, but I'm just about done with my work for tonight, which means I can go to bed soon, which is great.

Despite how tired I am, it was a good day filled with a lot of environment-related things! It started with a field trip to the Columbia Slough. Half my environmental studies class met there around 9:30, just as it started raining. We sat under a gazebo and learned about the history of the slough, which we were supposed to learn last week but didn't because of the snow days. It was really interesting- it divides an industrial area from a residential area. The slough used to be a floodplain and be faster flowing, and the industries would dump all their waste into it and it would magically float off down the slough and disappear. Now, there are levees up to keep the Columbia River from flooding the area, which is important because things like the airport are there. Because of this the slough is much slower-flowing since it doesn't flood anymore. There are also stricter regulations, so the industries aren't dumping nearly as much stuff into the slough. However, it's still really dirty- it's actually a Superfund Site.

After we learned all this, we got into canoes and paddled around the slough for a while. This did my heart good, because I'm really into canoeing at home and go every summer (I actually attended a camp for a few years where I did trips, the longest being three weeks). I was even complimented on my paddling skills, which made me happy. The canoeing was also kind of sad, though, in part because the water was really dirty (you could see oil on top of it and trash floating all over), and in part because it started hailing while we were on the water.

Can you see the hail?
I think my happiness from being in a canoe outweighed my happiness of being hailed on and being cold and wet and saddened by the pollution, which really says something about how much I like canoes.

After we got off the water, we ate lunch and came back to campus. I had to rush to get over to Tryon, the state park by campus. I'm starting to volunteer there, and I had a training today to become a nature center host. The position is a lot more intense than I originally expected, including duties like answering phones and answering people's questions about the park, and selling items in the nature center. I learned a lot during the training and am eager to start doing it regularly.

I then rushed back to campus to work on an econ assignment with a classmate, before rushing over to south campus (the graduate school) for a workshop for College Outdoors. The workshops focused on cultural competency, and was informative and well taught. Then I ate pizza and came back to my room, where I've been doing homework (including submitting a session proposal for ENVS Symposium) until now.

So, a day filled with various environment-related activities. On top of that, I went for a hike on Saturday at Silver Falls State Park, which is kind of near Salem.
One of the falls

We got to walk behind some waterfalls, which was an awesome experience
There were theoretically 10 falls on the trail, but we saw way more

Walking behind one of the falls

It was so pretty, and a great day. My friend Gaby and I got up kind of early and drove down to the park. It was rainy, but that just meant there were fewer people out. We went for a 9ish mile hike on the trail of 10 falls, which had way more than 10 falls because of all the snow melt, and the rain. We rented a zipcar, which is this cool system where students can rent cars for a relatively cheap price. Since we had it all evening, we drove up to NE Alberta St on our way back. It's a fun street in NE Portland, and we ate at a restaurant that bases its meals in biscuits and other southern-esque foods. We also got ice cream at Salt & Straw, which is kind of famous for its ice cream.

Once we got back, I had a ukulele orchestra performance in Once Upon a Weekend (the article is kind of old but it gives you the gist of what the event is). It was great! We're down to four people now (hopefully others will rejoin once their schedules open up a bit), but we got a lot of complements on our performance. The plays were all excellent, and it was a good night.

My schedule should lighten up some as the week goes on. Hopefully, at least. We'll see!

If you have any questions, please email me at rekidder@lclark.edu. I will respond!

-Rebecca

12 February 2014

These past few weeks have been crazy...

This last month was our last month of Wintersemester here in Munich. I had to write two final papers (totaling around 25 pages), do a final presentation and take four tests all in German. It was extremely difficult but I finished it! It was more difficult than I thought it would be but once I finished I felt so accomplished especially because I was able to do it all in German. It really shows how far a person can improve and learn a language in just a few months.

Now I am done taking all of my tests etc. and as all of my friends back home are starting spring semester at Lewis & Clark I have just started my two month vacation. I have vacation until the beginning of April when Summer semester starts (almost at the end of spring semester for all the people back home). The University schedule is completely different than the one at LC.

Some people are taking these two months to travel. I have some friends who are actually in Prague right now, and some other people from my program are traveling to France, Istanbul, London etc. I on the other hand am taking this first week of vacation to relax and then I will start my Internship beginning next week. I am going to be doing an internship at a local high school for six weeks. I am extremely excited about it and hope that it all goes well. I don't know much about it yet other than I should be placed in some German, some English and some Spanish classes. I think I will be doing a mixture of observation, helping out the teacher and maybe doing some of my own teaching as well. We'll see.

I am looking forward to traveling as well, but will most likely be doing the most of my traveling in the summer after I have finished my second semester of school here (so in late July/August). For the rest of the break I am looking forward to hopefully going skiing/snowboarding a few times on the weekends, going on a few hikes, getting back into working out (since for the last month I was too busy with school work to do so) and starting to work at a new job. I just got a job at the bar on "campus" where I live in Munich and am really looking forward to it. It'll be a great way for me to keep up with practicing my German over break, to meet some people from Germany and to learn how to bartend.

So many exciting things to look forward to! Will be posting something new every week now that I have time. Hope all is well with all of you and wishing you luck in the college application process. As always let me know if you have any questions about Lewis & Clark. My email is drussosavage@lclark.edu

11 February 2014

Snow!

As you've probably heard by now, it snowed in Portland! And I mean real snow, not the sad, trying-to-hard-to-be-snow-but-is-really-rain snow that we usually get. I think we got about five or six inches up here on the hill, but I know some areas got more. The school was officially closed between 2pm on Thursday and noon on Monday, so I had a lot of unexpected free time to sleep and watch some movies and go outside and play in the snow. I ended up catching a pretty nasty cold that I'm still getting over, so it was good to have that time off to rest.

And it was so pretty!

The view of the reflecting pool and Mt. Hood- you can faintly see the mountain in the background. 
Albany, over in the academic area. It was kind of eerily quiet on campus, but also peaceful
The Manor House (where the admissions office is).
Tryon Creek State Natural Area- I'm so glad I went down here to see the snow. It was extremely pretty- I actually ended up going twice because it was so beautiful.

I ended up having Spanish cancelled (twice) and environmental studies cancelled (once). I was supposed to have a Spanish midterm yesterday, but as class was cancelled the day of the test (and the day before) it's been moved to Friday. I have a lot of work to do for all of my classes, but I think it will calm back down a bit after this weekend. On top of school work I still have Symposium work, Tryon volunteer stuff, and ukulele (our first practice of the semester is tonight!). At least I'm staying busy!

Right now is the time of year when people are trying to figure out what they are doing this summer, and it's exciting. I'm planning on going home and working at the same job I had last summer, which was helping with the summer classes my community center provides for kids. It was really rewarding and I learned a lot, so I'm excited to do that again. Other friends are going abroad (!), doing internships both through LC and other organizations (!), and finding other exciting jobs (!). There are so many great things to do, and I wish I could do them all. Having too many options is definitely better than not having enough, though.

I'm also currently engaged in other future planning- like figuring out where I'm going to live next year. My friends and I are hoping to find a house off campus, which is really exciting. Living on campus is great, but I'm excited to become a bit more independent by having to do things like cook my own food and hand out candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween. I also have officially applied to go abroad, so I'm eagerly awaiting to hear the results of that application.

If you have any questions, please email me! I'm never too busy to answer! My address is rekidder@lclark.edu.

-Rebecca

09 February 2014

Snow Days = Disney Movies!

Hello all! Campus has been closed down for almost four days now, and I can see people cross-country skiing along the street outside my window. Portland as a city seems ill-equipped to deal with the record-breaking levels of snow we've had in the last few days. All the people from mountainous areas or the Midwest are internally laughing. Even though we had less than a foot of snow, everything has shut down – no driving anywhere, no bus service, no classes, limited library and food hours. For the first three days, it was incredible. My whole hall was in a tizzy of high spirits. I felt like I had been transported from all worry and stress, like I'd been placed in a cozy cabin in the snowy wilderness. It was a much-needed vacation. For the duration of the campus shut-down, my friends and I have been having so much fun! When it first started snowing on Thursday, we all raced outside to take pictures.


From left to right: India, Felicia, me, Nicole, Sarah, and Julie, with Annalyn in front!

On Friday, the campus was blanketed in white, and still the snow continued to pile up. I woke up at my usual time (7am), checked my email, saw that my morning classes were cancelled, and went back to sleep for another two hours. Later, I basked in the peaceful, quiet beauty of the campus by taking a solitary walk (with my camera) down to a place I had never been before – the rose garden down past the flagpole and the swimming pool. I discovered a trail that went through the woods there that I had never been on, so, naturally, I took it. My footprints were the first on the trail that morning.
The reflecting pool and the manor house.


Walking in a winter wonderland...


The trails below the rose garden.

 We ended up having a huge painting party in the Akin lounge that evening. My friend Dani had brought paints and brushes to share, and I had some supplies from home. We spent the afternoon listening and singing along to songs from Mulan while we painted! Painting seems to be the new favorite pastime of Akin Hall, as you might have noticed from this entry and the last.



Later in the evening, we all curled up in Sam’s room with the snow flurrying down outside the dark window and watched Disney’s Frozen. Yesterday, we continued watching Disney movies (The Lion King and The Lion King 2), releasing our inner children and singing along to all the songs. We also had a lot of fun on South Campus sledding down the hill there on bits of cardboard and a mattress covered in duct tape that someone had left there.

All in all, it was an incredible couple of days, but I think most everyone is ready to get back to class tomorrow. Bit too much of a good thing, I guess. The snow has frozen into ice and we can’t go sledding anymore. The weather has worn out its welcome, so to speak. We’re not dying of boredom by any means, but some of us are getting a little “cabin fever” from being cooped up so long. I for one can’t wait for the snow to melt so I don’t have to run on a treadmill anymore. I miss running at Tryon Creek State Park! I’m going through trail-running-addiction-withdrawal, and it’s only been a few days!

That being said, I love snow and I’m really sad that this doesn't happen in Portland very often. The lack of classes gave me a lot of time to catch up on scholarship application essays and general studying, as well as time to goof off and watch movies and Doctor Who. 

Hope you are all doing well! If you have any questions about life at Lewis and Clark, email me at jessicakostka@lclark.edu.


Jess

05 February 2014

From Watzek

I am writing this post from the lovely Watzek Library. Watzek is like my really, really awesome friend that is awesome and gives me pretty much anything I need, but I see a bit too often. I need the quiet space to be productive, though, and it also offers a variety of different types of spots to do work in. Right now I am sitting in an individual desk stall. The library has lots of those, some with outlets to charge your computer and some without. There are also study rooms (nine total, I believe) where you can work with people. There are a couple of totally quiet sections, where you aren't allowed to talk. Those places are good when you need absolutely no distraction. Downstairs, there are some tables and chairs and couches where you can sit and talk quietly. There are also couches upstairs. Overall, it's a cozy, mostly productive place that most students get to know very well.

It's taken me a long time to figure out how and where I best do work, and I think it varies from time to time depending on how I'm feeling and what type of work I'm doing. Some work, like reading, I need to be alone and in a quiet place or else I can't concentrate. Other work, like math, I like to do with people or with music playing. I also can't stay in one place too long, so I usually move from my bed to my desk to Watzek to Templeton (the student center) to a lounge in an academic building to outside (if it's nice) (and not always in that order). It's definitely easy to find a nook that suits you here, which is awesome.

Today I suddenly felt swamped with a lot of work, so I updated my ongoing to do list on my computer to make sure I don't forget anything. And, no surprise, I am extremely busy.
My to do list.

I'm at the point where I have so much to do that I put things like "haircut?" and "update phone with music" on my to do list or else I honestly will forget to do them. It's bad. Though, at the same time, I do feel extremely accomplished when I get to erase one of my tasks from the list, and at the end of each week when I look back on what I've done. I feel like I am juggling a lot, but successfully, which is a good feeling.

Besides all of my homework, tasks for Symposium, and planning for my future (abroad application! scholarship applications! tickets for spring break! look into finding a house for next year!), I somehow managed to go to the beach on Sunday. It was awesome.
We went to a beach near Manzanita (my dorm's namesake, kind of) and built a fire and hung out.

We also went to Cannon Beach, a classic. It was beautiful.

It was fun to hang out with some of the people I took my WFR with, and nice to get off campus and out of Portland. I'm going hiking again in a couple of weeks, and it's definitely something I continuously jump on the chance to do.

I have to go do more work, but please email me if you have any questions! My email address is rekidder@lclark.edu. I will answer, no matter how busy I am!

Rebecca

04 February 2014

WELCOME BACK!!

Hey friends!!!

Welcome back to my blog! I had a really fantastic winter break full of friends, family, food, laughter and Netflix and I'm back, refreshed, and ready to conquer this semester! 

I've actually been feeling very energetic, which I also chock up to working out almost every day and enjoying the lack of stress the beginning of the semester brings. So, to break my life down for y'all!

What am I taking (classes)? 

Spanish 102: Your typical 2nd semester of beginning Spanish. I'm currently learning the irregular preterite verbs. Plus side: I just started working with a SAAB tutor and he's fantastic and super helpful! (We're given 2 free hours of tutoring a week for any class!)

Pre-Columbian Art History: Took this because it sounded interesting and I've never taken an art history class...all I can say for now is that I"ll never look at a stone the same way again. Fun fact: I'm learning how to interpret the Mayan calendar system!

Perspectives in Mathematics: Honestly, I don't have a very good reason for taking this other than some of my friends are in it and the teacher was highly recommended to me...and it's true, he's great (Paul Allen). This is a fun, general class where we learn about mapping and grids and shapes and stuff..(yeaaaa..clearly I've researched the basis of this class :/ ) So far so good though!

Cognitive Neuroscience (with lab): Now, I totally need to geek out for a second because I LOVE THIS CLASS!!! The teacher, Todd Watson, is one of my two favorite professors in the psychology department (Jerusha Detweiler-Bedell is also a gem) and he makes everything incredibly relatable. Plus, there isn't really any way to make your brain UN relatable. Today during lab, we got to dissect sheep brains! (there was also a cow, pig, and human brain but we didn't dissect those #don'tcutthehumanbrain!! So this is my only 300-level class this semester which is odd because I usually take 3 or 4 upper-level classes so my work load will be even enough that I can focus a lot of energy on this class!

Ok, enough about classes, quick synopsis of what else I'm doing:

1) My play! This semester I'm directing a play called "For Colored Girls" by Ntozake Shange and I am so excited-more details to come. 

2) RA: I did decide to re-apply to be an RA and not apply to go abroad to Strasbourg but I will also be devoting the next blog to talking about that decision and the benefits/ drawbacks of both of these programs. 

3) Exercise! Like I said, I've been exercising almost every day and it's been fantastic! I love switching between running outside in Tryon (our local state park) when it's nice out, going to the weight room, swimming in the indoor pool, and leading my kickboxing class in the mat room. I have a great exercise playlist and I'll give y'all a taste of my current favorites. 

Music/ Exercise Playlist
1) Partition- Beyonce
2) Do It Like A Dude- Jessie J
3) Wings- Little Mix
4) Counting Stars- One Republic
5) La Tortura- Shakira
6) Caught Up- Usher
7) Jumpin Jumpin- Destiny's Child
8) Burn- Ellie Goulding
9) Good Girl- Carrie Underwood
10) Oh My- Haley Reinhart ft. B.O.B
*bonus(guilty pleasures) Timber- Pitbull ft. Kesha AND Dark Horse- Katy Perry

~~That should keep y'all busy for a while!!! Enjoy :)

Happy Tuesday,

Chelsea the RA

February Fun

Hi everyone! Hard to believe it’s already February. I have been going on plenty of on- and off-campus adventures this week with more planned for the next few days. I made it a personal goal to be more social this semester now that I’ve settled into the college groove a little bit in comparison to my first semester, and I think I’m off to a good start. One fun thing that I did wasn't anything too elaborate: just hanging out in my friend Sarah’s dorm with both of our roommates, Dani and Sully. We took a break from studying to stay up late painting with these cool shimmery watercolors and watch Don Jon on Lewis and Clark’s video streaming website – Pioflix. Pioflix has a small selection of movies available each month, and their offerings change to fit the season. So, in October, they had more horror movies than usual, because of Halloween. During the month of December, they offered a couple of holiday-themed movies. Now that it’s February, there are several movies about love and romance and similar things because of Valentine’s Day. I think Don Jon was supposed to fall under that category. Honestly, I thought it was a terrible movie, but hanging out with friends and making art turned out to be really relaxing and therapeutic. It was so much fun, in fact, that I asked my family to send some paints and paper in their next care package so I can do more art!

Behold – our gallery!!




Another fun thing I did this week was a Friday night excursion to Voodoo Doughnut. I had eaten plenty of doughnuts before at various events, but I had never actually gone there and waited in line. About 14 or 15 people from my residence hall, Akin, all took the 9:00 bus and made the journey to Voodoo – about fifteen minutes’ walk from the bus stop. There were so many of us that we made up the majority of people on the bus! I love the feel of community in my dorm that allows us to all hang out together. There's always a friend to talk to or just sit with as you do your homework in the lounge. In fact, I love living in Akin so much that I am going to try and “squat” in the same room so I can live in the same place next year. I know a lot of my neighbors will be leaving, but it seems to me Akin has always had a reputation for community regardless of who lives there. 

Here are some pictures of the Akinites outside Voodoo enjoying a large variety of doughnuts.



At Voodoo, I bought two Old Dirty Bastards, which are doughnuts with chocolate frosting, Oreo pieces, and peanut butter icing drizzled on top; and a Bacon Maple Bar, which is a bar-shaped doughnut with maple frosting and two pieces of bacon on top. Needless to say, it was all delicious.

Later this week, I have two on-campus academic events to look forward to – an archaeology lecture given by my history professor, who went to Rome on a dig over the summer and discovered human remains on the site he was working at, and a talk on gender and sexuality. Then, I’ve got a College Outdoors trip this weekend that I am totally excited for! We’re going snowshoeing at Mount Hood. I saw some pictures from last weekend’s snowshoe trip and it was gorgeous, so I am really stoked to go up there.

Well, that’s enough for now. I need to go write a paper on the ancient town of Çatalhöyük and do some history reading and logic problems. To all you lovely prospective students: don’t forget to come and visit sometime to help you make your decision! Have a great day.


Jess

02 February 2014

Superb Owl Sunday

Today, the day the Broncos were supposed to beat the Seahawks, was a beautiful, sunny day in Portland.  Projected on the wall of my teammate's house, a devastating football game was played on the other side of the country.  We watched, a mixture of diehard Seattle fans, loyal Denver fans, a handful of San Fransisco fans and some extras tagging along for fun.  This, surprisingly, is an accurate analogy for the rest of LC's student body - it seems like most people you meet on campus are from either from Washington, California or Colorado; and Oregon, too but they don't have a majority by any means. Anyway, today as we watched the Broncos throw away their championship rings, I got to thinking about how much of who we are comes from where we are from.  As soon as I moved to Portland, I became Kaitlyn from Colorado.  I love that part of my identity but it had never mattered much before I left the place.  The first questions everyone asks when meeting new people inevitably include name and where you're from.  We categorize each other according to this piece of identity, and even though it's very surface level, knowing where someone is from helps to facilitate getting to know them.  It gives you something to talk about, maybe you're from the same state and can bond over that.  Today, I bonded with my track teammate as we commiserated over the Broncos' defeat.  The loss today was a sad one for a lot of football fans around the country but that is something that brings people together.  Whether or not they're from Colorado or just have a passion for this football team, we share in a community larger than ourselves.  On LC campus, I'm beginning to realize just how big our community really is. All the current students, staff and faculty on campus plus all those who have come before us and will come after us.  I am forever loyal to Colorado as my hometown but Portland and LC are now solidified as my second home. 

01 February 2014

Seraphie's Study Abroad: Highlights of Sydney

 Hey y'all!

We have now been in Sydney for exactly 20 days and are leaving tomorrow for North Stradbroke Island. After a weekend in Straddie, we will be spending a week in an Aboriginal camp to listen and learn. All of us are sad to leave Sydney, but also super stoked for new adventures!

Travel tends to do this to you: while these 20 days seem to have flashed by, I also feel like we have been here forever. Sydney has been non-stop. Since we arrived to now, we've been to numerous historical and public sights in New South Wales. I've highlighted some of the places with some pictures.

Taronga Zoo:
Echidna
Koala

The Blue Mountains, Three Sisters: 
Can you see the three sisters behind me?

Jenolan Caves:  
The Pool of Reflections

Theater Performance at Sydney Opera House- Black Diggers:
Seated in the theater

Australia Day (Also known as Invasion Day): 
Fireworks to celebrate Australia Day

Australian Museum: 
Shannon and Becca in the Dinosaur Exhibit 

New South Wales Art Gallery: 
Aboriginal Art Piece #1
Aboriginal Art Piece #2


















We couldn't resist the irony
This was just a snap shot of my last couple weeks! I am so grateful to have such an awesome group. While we are diverse in our interests, majors, and personalities, we've really stuck together and had some awesome adventures!

 If you are interested in a seriously a brilliant political mockumentary, which is reversing the situation in Australia, where blacks landed in a white culture and took over. We watched this in class and while it is hilarious, it is also sad because of how accurately they portray the history.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7QGPXEycNQ

 To anyone who is interested in studying abroad or want to know more about the Australia program, please let me know!

Sorry for not writing that much, but I am trying to hurry about the door to go clubbing with the groups!

Cheers!

Seraphie