24 February 2015

Weekend in Seattle

This week my girlfriend Ava came up to visit me! Having her back up here was great. She got in at 12:30 Friday morning, so my friend Mikey and I went to pick her up. By the time we got back to school, it was already 1:30 and we fell asleep immediately. Within a couple hours, I was already back up for workouts and getting ready for my day. After my workout, Ava and I went to grab breakfast at the Dovecote (the coffee shop on campus). Then I went to class for most of the day while Ava got to hangout and enjoy the beautiful, sunny day on campus.

Later that night, we went downtown to go shopping and, of course, eat at Buffalo Wild Wings. It was so nice being able to go downtown and relax. Pioneer Square is a really nice place to grab a bite to eat and shop, which is why I love that the Pio drops us off so close to it.

Before Ava got there, we had planned to take a trip up to Seattle on Saturday. So on Saturday we we planned to get up early and leave at 6:30 AM. That wasn’t happening. We both overslept and missed the bus! Fortunately we were able to catch the next one and made it downtown in time to catch the Bolt Bus. This company is very convenient for people in the Northwest. It can take you to most major cities up here, and is a pretty fair-priced trip. The best thing about getting to the bus that morning, was that the place to load was right across from where the Pio Express dropped us.  As soon as we were on the bus, we fell back asleep and didn't wake up until we were almost there.

Getting into Seattle was amazing. The bus dropped us off by the Seahawks’ and Mariners’ stadiums. They were so huge- much bigger than Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego where the Chargers play. Once we got off the bus, we made our way to Pike’s Place, the famous market where fish and produce are sold. Walking down the diverse stalls of everyone’s products was an interesting sight. They sold all kinds of things, like salmon, cod, and sturgeon. They also sold almost every kind of fruit and vegetable you could imagine. Right across the street from the market was the first ever Starbucks. It was interesting to see how this little, ordinary shop in Seattle became one of the biggest companies in the entire world. We of course had to stop in and get a small coffee frappuccino.

After spending the morning in Pike’s Place, we started to make our way to the Space Needle. It was quite a walk. Seattle is on a much steeper hill than Portland, which only has very small inclines. As soon as we got there, we were able to buy tickets and go to the top within half an hour of arriving. Lucky for us, it was a clear day, and we could see Puget Sound, the harbor, and the Olympic Mountains all from the top. Some people up there even were having lunch all the way at the top, right below where we were.
After an hour, we came back down and started searching for a place to eat. Naturally, we found a Buffalo Wild Wings to eat at! It wouldn’t be a visit from Ava without eating at Buffalo at least twice. With only a little bit of time left before we had to catch our bus back to Portland, we went down to the Pier and watched the sun set over the mountains. It was an amazing way to close out a great day.

On Sunday before Ava had to go back to San Diego, her brother Bobby came to see us from Bend, which is in the middle of Oregon. He brought his dog Penny, an Australian Shepherd. All of us were able to go downtown and spend a little time together that day. We went over to Powell’s Bookstore and also got some donuts at Blue Star Donuts.. It was such a great weekend!

Now it’s back to busy school. The work is catching up to me, and I need to stay on top of everything. Well, that’s all I have for this week!


Bobby, Ava, and I.

Such a awesome weekend!

23 February 2015


Things are still pretty busy up here in Portland. However, I managed to find time to take what I call a "mental health day" to rejuvenate a little bit. I just needed some time to myself and it was an incredibly beautiful day out, so I took a nice long walk.

In the neighborhood just off-campus.

At Tryon Creek State Park, where I do most of my running. It's just a five minute walk from campus, and it's one of my favorite places. Especially when the sun comes out after a week of clouds and rain to make the moss on the trees shimmer.

Got my music and my dinosaur T shirt... I'm all set.

I picked up some groceries on the way back from my walk and decided to eat dinner on the floor of my room. I just rolled out my yoga mat and enjoyed my dumplings and veggies while listening to music.

In the evening, I went to a poetry slam featuring Sister Outsider! These incredible, inspirational women are some of the most renowned slam poets in the world. Their coming to campus was a joint effort by several student-run organizations on campus, including the Apocalips Slam Poetry Club, The Queer Resource Center, The Finance Committee, United Genders & Sexuality, IME (Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement), the Black Student Union, Student Activities and the Feminist Student Union. I don't have time to give you information on all of those organizations, but trust me, they're all really great. Anyway, one of my favorite pieces Sister Outsider performed was called No Child Left Behind. You can watch it here (DISCLAIMER: may contain swearing, does not necessarily reflect my views or the views of Lewis and Clark College, etc.).

As (hopefully) a future educator, and therefore as someone who partakes in the dialogue on things like No Child Left Behind and standardized testing and the school-to-prison pipeline, this poem spoke to me in a deep way. I hope you guys like it too. I think the version they performed live for us was better than the link I found though ;)

My other favorite poem was this one.

I have a great love for poetry - both slam and other, more "traditional" forms. My academic advisor, Mary Szybist, won the National Book Award for her poetry. I took a poetry class with her my first year and learned so much about my own writing. I got so much feedback from both her and my classmates, One of the coolest people I got to work with was Samantha Peterson, who recently graduated Lewis and Clark and has performed slam poetry on a national level. Here is one of her performances currently circulating on the Internet (the same disclaimers apply). And of course, one of our most famous alums is the poet William Stafford. I feel so privileged to attend a school so richly immersed in the culture of poetry.

Anyway, I have to go print out an English paper now, but if you have any questions, email me at jessicakostka@lclark.edu!


22 February 2015

¡hola desde Chile!

Hello everyone!

I am writing to you from sunny (and HOT) Viña del Mar, Chile! I finally made it here after more than 20 hours of traveling. Our plane coming down had to divert its route to land in Panama City in order for the police to come on and assist a passenger who was "causing a disturbance" off the plane. The whole thing ended up adding about 2 1/2 hours to our trip, but we eventually made it. The 4 CIEE students on my plane and I ended up getting to the hotel in Valparaíso a bit later than everyone else, which ended up being fine because, as it turns out, Chileans are pretty relaxed about time. Our resident advisor told us that as long as you arrive within a pretty flexible 15-minute window, it's fine. They held our food for us and we got to join everyone else halfway through their lunch.

Which brings me to food- I have eaten SO MUCH FOOD since I got here. It's all really good, too. During the first couple of days of orientation at the hotel, we had a breakfast, a huge lunch, and a big dinner every day. Now that I'm with my host family, I have breakfast (generally bread/cheese/cereal/avocado), lunch (the biggest meal of the day- today it was corn, chicken, rice, avocado, tomato, pasta...), and once (like a late dinner with similar food as breakfast). I love avocados (called paltas here), so it's all good. My host family is also somehow under the impression that I really, really love coffee, so they give it to me with every meal. I can usually take or leave it, but I think they noticed that I had it for two breakfasts in a row, so now they always give it to me. They're too sweet for me to tell them I don't really want it with dinner. I have a feeling I'll leave Chile with a bigger addiction to it that I had in the states, which is funny because people generally don't drink coffee here.

My host family is amazing. My host mom, Claudia, is extremely sweet. She has two daughters who are both in university named Laura and Renata. They're both really sweet and funny. Laura's boyfriend has been hanging out here a lot, and apparently visited Minnesota once, so he was excited to hear that I was from there. Laura has a three year old daughter named Emilia, who also lives with us. Also in the house is Claudia's husband, Jose Luis, who is extremely funny and likes to talk about history. They also have a dog, Benito.

I'm having a pretty hard time understanding everyone, but it's getting easier even after only being here for four days. I have an especially hard time understanding my host sisters, because they talk really quickly and use even more slang than Claudia and Jose (who use a surprisingly lot of slang themselves). Chilean Spanish is really fast, and they leave the ends of words (especially s's) off a lot of the time. They also have their own words for a lot of things (like palta for avocado, instead of aguacate, and pololo/a for boyfriend/girlfriend, instead of novio/a, which here means fiance/e, and "hill" here is always cerro, not colina, like I learned in high school). I'm learning quickly, but it feels like a very slow process.

Besides living with my host family in Viña del Mar, a city right next to Valparaíso (where the University is), I've been exploring Valparaíso (Valpo) with the program, CIEE. We went on a walking exploration of the city and got to explore a bunch of the nooks and crannies. Valparaíso was described by a professor in the program as an "avalanche of houses tumbling down towards the sea," which is pretty accurate. It's beautiful, and all of the houses seem very precariously perched on the many hills overlooking the Pacific. Everything is really colorful and there is street art everywhere. I think I'm in love with the city.
On top of one of the hills was a slide that both adults and kids were enjoying. My entire group went down it.
Valpo is a port city- before the Panama Canal was built, it was the biggest gateway into Latin America for a lot of products.
One of the many colorful staircases and narrow alleys.
There are so many paths like this to explore that wind up between buildings. 
The view from the top of one of the hills.
Another staircase- this one is one of the most famous ones in the city. Apparently one time Robert Plant was here and saw it and said something about it being like the "Stairway to Heaven."
Another view of the part of the city.
By contrast, Viña has mostly square blocks on most flat land. It's a beautiful beach town, with many palm trees and sandy beaches, and fewer street dogs than Valpo (Valpo has SO MANY street dogs, and they walk with your group for blocks and blocks). Both cities are really neat, and I've already gotten the chance to see some nearby towns with my host family, including Reñaca and Quilpué.

I am having such a good time here! I'm exhausted, but I'm learning so much. Please email me with any questions at rekidder@lclark.edu.


Goodbye Puppies, Hello Thesis

Hello all,

It's been crazy busy these last few weeks. Here are a few updates:

      My housemates and I are all done fostering the puppies. They're old enough to be fixed and adopted, so we had to give them back last week. We're all heartbroken that they're gone, but it's better to have the extra time to do schoolwork. This semester is heating up, and I am starting to write the main body of my thesis. Before I get into that, here's a video of my housemate, Katherine, and I playing with the puppies in our backyard:

Also here's Julia cuddling with Kimble and Mama dog:

    I have settled on a clearer topic for my thesis, and it's a relief to have it narrowed down. I'll be writing about the relationships between language, family, and the landscape in four of André Weckmann's poems. As a supplement to my thesis, I am translating a few of his works. Luckily for me, I get the help of everyone in my Poetry 401 class. Mary Szybist suggested that I ask them to look at my translations to see what works the best as a poem. Here is a pick of all of their comments (plus snacks). I'm in Watzek library going over them right now. So helpful!
    As you can see from the shadows, it's actually very sunny. Portland has had a lot of beautiful sunshine this week. It's been hard to focus because I just want to enjoy all the greenery outside, but at least I can see the trees from the quiet section of the library. I best be getting back to work, but before I do, let me tell you one awesome event that's happening this week. My thesis advisor, Isabelle DeMarte, suggested that I present my thesis topic at a community event called Lake Oswego Reads. It's hosted by Lake Oswego public libraries, and I'll be talking to high schoolers and community members about my project. Anyway, I best be getting back to work now. If you have any questions about LC and what it's like to be a student here, please e-mail me:


Have an awesome week!

17 February 2015

Working Hard

Well I survived the toughest week of the semester so far. I had a test for bio, an E&D paper due, and recruits to host this weekend.Tomorrow I have my last test in chemistry for a while and then I’m free to relax for a little this weekend.

Along with all this homework, I got hired for a job on campus! When I got back I was able to get a job when I got back from break! I am able to make some money through work study that I received in my financial aid package. My friend Mikey recommended me to the lady in charge of the program and I did a quick interview for the job.

For my work study, I assist with the other sports games since I am not in season for football. This two weekends ago for work I went to the softball game and kept the stats for their game. The system I was using was so old that using a mouse would do nothing to help me. It is similar to the system Pong was designed on, but it was super easy to use and efficient for keeping stats on the game. It was almost like being in the 90’s! Working the game was pretty fun. Once I picked up how to keep track of all different stats like hits, runs, and strikeouts for the game, it was really just to sit there and watch the game.

After the craziness of last week, I had to work again on Saturday. This time I was scheduled to work the boys’ and girls’ basketball games. For the girls’ game I did the shot clock. Every time the ball hits the rim, there’s a foul, or there’s a change of possession I press a button that resets the shot clock. It’s a lot harder than it actually sounds. You have to pay attention the entire and make sure that you don’t screw up. For the guys’ game, I ran the game clock. It was similar to the shot clock, but instead I only stopped it when there was a foul, timeout, or when the ball went out of bounds. To me, running the game clock was harder because it was easier to zone out from the game.

While working does take up time, I am really glad to be making money again. It will be nice to have some spending money and start paying off my student loans. Now it’s time to study for my chemistry test and get this week over with!

A beautiful morning in Portland!

Mens Basketball team warming up. 

Adios, Estados Unidos!

Tomorrow, after two months of being home and almost a year of various applications and hoops to jump through, I am finally leaving for Chile!

It feels unreal. I've been waiting for so long, but it feels like it snuck up on me. I have a flight from Minneapolis to Dallas in the early evening, and then an overnight flight (9 and a half hours long!) to Santiago. There, I'll meet up with other people on my program and we will travel as a group to Valparaíso, about an hour and a half away by bus.

my approximate route of travel
All in all, it will be about 19 hours of travel before I make it to the hotel in Valparaíso. I'm sure I'll be exhausted by the time I get there, but we are jumping right into orientation as soon as we get there. We have about a week and a half of orientation before classes start, during which time we'll take some intro classes to learn about the area, get our visas registered with the local police station, explore the city, eat a lot of food, register for classes, and, after a few days, move in with our host families.

I know absolutely nothing about my host family, which is a little bit intimidating. I'm really excited to meet them. I hope I have younger host siblings- I've heard that they can be very helpful in terms of helping you learn the language. I'll know soon enough.

I'm pretty much packed. I'm bringing a medium sized rolling suitcase and a 70L backpacking backpack, as well as my school backpack. I feel like I'm walking the line between bringing too much and too little, so I should be fine. It's hard to anticipate what all I'll need for five months, as well as plan for what may be hard to find down there. I feel like I'm set, though!

It's weird to think how I'll change throughout this trip. I'm sure I'll grow and learn a lot and improve my Spanish, but there's no way to know how much until it's happened. It's especially hard to predict what will happen because I feel like I know so little about my program. We'll just have to see!

So, I'm spending today hanging out with my pets at home, and going to my favorite Chinese restaurant one last time before I leave. Next time you hear from me, I'll be in Chile!

If you have any questions about life at Lewis & Clark, going abroad, or how to fill your time when you have nothing to do at home for two months, shoot me an email! My address is rekidder@lclark.edu.


16 February 2015

February 16, 2015

This semester, I’m busier than ever before. And sometimes, after a really hard day, I like to give myself a little pat on the back and just feel a little proud of the work I’ve done. That’s what I’m going to do right now, because even though today was a challenge, I think I really pulled through. I had a Japanese exam in the morning and an English quiz on a really hefty chunk of reading afterwards. Both of them were difficult, but I feel like I did really well. I didn’t get a chance to practice for the speaking section of the Japanese exam, so I was really nervous, but the words actually came really easily. It was just me, my professor, and the language assistant, and it was over really quickly! There were no awkward pauses or terrible grammar mistakes on my part as far as I could tell.

An interview I did with my friend who speaks Japanese.

As soon as all that was over, I spent the afternoon editing my Keats paper. I really wanted this one to be perfect. I spent Saturday in the library analyzing the poem and writing a really terrible, rambling, scatterbrained draft just to get my ideas on paper.

I took a picture of my annotations because they just look impressive.

Holed up in the quiet section late at night...

I returned to the library on Sunday to spend around seven hours coalescing those ideas into an outline, writing the actual paper, and editing it as I went along. Today was just the last push to the finish. I looked it over, changed some words, clarified some vague transitions, moved some things around, made a works cited page, printed it out, dashed up to my professor’s office and turned it in just a half-hour before the deadline. But even though it’s out of my hands, it’s still weighing on my mind. I hate that. I don’t want to think about it anymore. I’m proud of what I’ve done, but I know that it’s not perfect. I understand the poem so well now, and I just wish that I could have transferred my understanding of it a little more eloquently to the paper. The really daunting part is that I’ve got to do all that again next weekend for the next paper!

Besides all that, I also managed to find time to do some non-academic things over the weekend, which was a relief. One can only be in the library so much. My friend Molly and I went out to Shigezo for Valentine’s Day, which is a Japanese Izakaya-style restaurant near the Pioneer Express bus stop downtown. Normally I get sushi there, but this time, I got the samurai udon and it was fantastic. Afterwards, we went to Tartberry, which is a frozen yogurt shop with a really cool and colorful vibe. And that night, a bunch of my friends and I went to see Once Upon a Weekend. Once Upon, as it’s often abbreviated to, is a unique event that involves creating a production from the bottom up in just a week. The playwrights get a week to submit the scripts, then, over the course of 24 hours, actors get cast and the plays are rehearsed, and performed! I had never been before, but I knew some people who were performing in it and I had heard that it was a really good event. I was not disappointed. There were live bands and crazy costumes and at the end of one of the plays, a bunch of zombies stormed the stage, and it was just great. I will definitely go again next semester. Maybe I’ll even participate!

Another fun thing that happened recently was when last week, my residence hall organized a little poetry reading. I read some things I had written for my poetry class last year, and other people just read their favorite poems or even excerpts from books they really liked. Campus Safety helped us make a fire in the common room so we could have s'mores!

Well, that’s all for now. I have another long and busy day tomorrow. Also, there are so many prospective students on campus right now – hopefully some of you are reading this blog! Good luck making your decisions.



10 February 2015

Keeping Busy With School

This semester is shaping up to be a tough one. Instead of three classes like last semester, I have four this term. Most of the classes are similar in nature, but with some differences in content compared  to last semester’s. Along with Chemistry, Biology, and Exploration & Discovery like first semester, I have added on Spanish 102 as well. I took Spanish 101(and Art History) at my local junior college while I was in high school so that I could clear up a spots for sports PE and agriculture, but still meet college requirements for California colleges.

In Bio 151 this semester, we are going to be focusing on genetics and its functions in life. It feels very similar to my AP Bio class I took in high school. For  our first lab investigation, we will be examining fruit flies and how genetics shape their phenotypes (physical appearance). This type of biology is what interests me the most. With this type of science, I can really see how genetics works, and it is very concrete.

My other science class is Chem 120. This class is a huge step up from last semester, which was a review of my high school chemistry class. All the material so far has been completely new with a lot more math involved. At times it is very confusing; however, I have a good enough background with math to handle it. We even went back to basic algebra by using the quadratic equation. It certainly gives math a practical application!

For the first time since my junior year of high school, I am taking a Spanish class again. Now languages have never been my strong suit , and I am pretty rusty at it, even though I live 30 minutes from Mexico;however, I  think I will enjoy that class. It’s always been a goal of mine to learn Spanish, so I’m really trying to grasp it and put it to use.. It’s those darn verb tenses I have to learn!

Finally, my E&D class. The topic of this particular course is The War to End All Wars, a course about the history, causes, and results of the First World War. I love history! If I could find a job in history that wasn’t being a teacher or professor, I would major in it. Also if I  were a better writer too, that would be helpful!. So far this class has really been interesting . My professor, Dr. David Campion, is very intelligent.. Along with his fascinating lectures about the War, he has brought in artifacts that really are awesome to inspect. One day he even brought in a French helmet that still had the leather lining inside the helmet.

For now, all these classes are keeping me super busy. I have a Bio and Spanish test on Friday and an essay due Monday. I can’t wait for the weekend to get here!

Mikey getting too excited for Spikeball...
Dylan setting up the next. 

getting ready

I leave for Valparaíso in eight days. Eight days! After almost two months at home, it’s snuck up on me pretty quickly. Because I’m leaving so soon, I’m working on preparing everything to make sure it’s all ready to go by the time I leave.
The most exciting preparation was earlier this afternoon- I had my official "pre-departure" orientation. The residential director down in Chile gave about an hour long presentation via a webinar, then we were given the chance to ask questions. He gave us an outline of what would happen once we get down there (with details about our intensive orientation before classes start), as well as details about some excursions we'll make (including a biking tour of Santiago, and a trip to a "surprise location" north of Valparaíso. He wouldn't give any hints as to where it will be, except to "bring a nice camera").
The orientation was all in Spanish, and I got pretty exhausted just listening to it. I hadn't really felt nervous up to this point, but following along with the Spanish and getting all of these details made it suddenly seem more real to me, and now I'm feeling a little bit nervous. I know it will be great, and once I'm settled in it will be no big deal, but I'm anxious to meet my host family and choose my classes and meet everyone on my program. There are 9 LC students, some of whom I know well and others of whom I don't know at all, as well as about 30 other students from around the US. Not to mention all of the thousands of students attending the university I'll be going to, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. That's a lot of people! I am very excited, though. I've never lived anywhere besides Minnesota and Portland, never lived by the ocean, never gone to a big university- there are a lot of new things I'll experience, but I think I'm ready.
I've been working on other preparations, too. For one, I have been anxiously waiting to get my visa. People going to Chile for longer than 90 days are required to get some kind of a visa, so I applied for a student visa back in the beginning of January. The application process itself was stressful, since it required me to send fingerprints to the FBI, go to the doctor, get things notarized, and wait for weeks for documents from the school in Valparaíso. It turns out that was only the half of it- once I sent it in, I was in communication with both the consulate in Chicago and the honorary consul in Minneapolis to make sure that I was able to pick up my visa here. Yesterday, I finally (!) heard back from the honorary consul, and she has my visa. I’m getting it on Saturday. I’m so so so glad it is all here and ready to be picked up.
Now, I have to pack (I’m going to try to fit everything into a new backpack I got from REI, plus my school backpack and one medium sized rolling suitcase). I really should start that soon- it'll be interesting to try and fit 5 months worth of stuff into that amount of space. I guess when you think about it, though, you really don't need anything more for five months than you do for a couple of weeks.
a google image of Valparaíso, the city where I'll be!
If you have any questions about my program, or about Lewis & Clark, please email me at rekidder@lclark.edu.

09 February 2015

Shopping and Papers

On Saturday, I went on an adventure! My friend Jiayan and I caught the Pioneer Express downtown, which is the bus that is specifically for Lewis and Clark students and runs every hour to downtown Portland and to the grocery store Fred Meyer. Then we took the MAX tram to Beaverton, which is pretty cheap and took about fifteen or twenty minutes. Our destination was Uwajimaya, a grocery store specializing in Asian cuisine. But as we found out, Uwajimaya was kind of a long walk from the Beaverton Transit Center, and there happened to be another Asian grocery store right next to us. So we went to that one instead!

It was a lot of fun. I honestly wanted to try everything, but Jiayan helped me narrow it down. He knows a lot about the multitude of Asian cuisines. I got mochi, ramen, matcha Kit Kats, Pocky, pork and mushroom dumplings, congee cereal, and wakame salad. Mmmmm! 

Strolling the aisles...

Dragon fruit!

My haul.

Besides that, I've been working on my English papers, which I mentioned last time. I chose the poem I'm going to write about for my first paper -  Keats' "Sonnet to Sleep." I also finalized my other paper topic. I'm comparing the role of education in Thomas Elyot's A Book Named the Governor and Roger Ascham's The Schoolmaster to that Thomas More's Utopia. I want to focus on room for creativity and the arts in the classroom (or the lack thereof). I am really excited about it because it works really nicely with my love of education! One of the things I love about going to a liberal arts college is how many connections I get to make between subjects - whether it's between education and literature, or between poetry and anthropology, or astronomy and philosophy. Meanwhile, in my Education class, we're hosting a speaker from Teach for America to hopefully have some interesting discussions, and we're currently reading about the role of male teachers in education. Did you know that something like only 16% of American middle and elementary school teachers are male? And in Japanese we're learning short form, which is the speech patterns normally used in conversation between friends.

Anyway, I have to go now. I can't believe it's Sunday night already. Time for a long and busy week. If you have any questions, email me at jessicakostka@lclark.edu.


03 February 2015

Eating in College

Hello, everyone!

Because I'm still hanging out at home, waiting for February 18th to arrive (when I can finally go to Chile), I'm going to continue to write posts regarding specific topics relating to college. I asked my younger sister (who will be a college first-year this fall) what she, as an incoming first-year, wants to know about college. She said she wants to know more about food, and how eating stuff works, so that will be my topic this week.

Lewis & Clark's food and dining services are provided by Bon Appetit. The food is really very good, and I've had friends visit from other schools tell me how great our food it compared to theirs. LC has four main places to get food: Fields Dining Hall (known as the Bon around campus), the Trail Room, the Dovecote, and Maggie's. I'll go through each one below:

The Bon is the go-to place for meals. They generally 3-4 different options for each meal, as well as a salad bar, dessert area, cereal, and peanut butter and jelly fixings. They almost always have a vegetarian or vegan equivalent for each main dish, and there are usually gluten free options as well. It's set up as an all-you-can-eat type thing, so once you pay to get in, you can eat all you want. It's in Templeton, the student center, located between the residential and academic sides of campus.

The Trail Room is the other place people will generally go for lunch or dinner. The options are more stationary here: there's always pizza, soup, sandwiches, burgers, and a variety of sides (like fries, vegetables, and pasta). While you can pay using a meal swipe, the Trail Room is more a-la-carte than the Bon. You don't need to pay to get into the seating area, so it's also a good area to do homework in or meet with classmates or professors. It is also in Templeton, right underneath the Bon.

The Dovecote is one of two cafes on campus. I personally think they have the best coffee on campus. They mainly do drinks like coffee and tea, but you can also buy pastries, sandwiches, soups, and prepackaged things like soda and candy. There's usually a big rush between classes, but other than that it's pretty quiet and a good place to get work done. It's over on the academic side of campus.

Finally, there's Maggie's. This is also a cafe, and also kind of a convenience-store-type-thing. Besides the type of food you can get at the Dovecote, you can also buy things like milk, chips, butter, a variety of drinks, flour, and crackers. It's good if you spontaneously decide to bake something, or if you just want something to snack on. Maggie's is over on the residential side of campus.

As a student who lives on campus, you will get a meal plan (different types and prices shown here).  I had the 14-flex plan both years I lived on campus. In the Bon and in the Trail Room, you can pay for your food using a meal. You pay using your student ID, which makes it very easy. Flex points are great because they act as cash in each of the dining places. If you'd rather pay with flex points or cash, you can get a meal in the Bon for $7 (or $4 for breakfast!), or pay for whatever you want in the Trail Room, the Dovecote, or Maggie's. It's a really convenient system.

So, there are your on-campus food options. The school realizes that their dining facilities may not cover all of your food needs, though, and for that they provide a shuttle to a nearby Fred Meyer (a grocery store). I used this when I lived on campus to get the occasional snack, or to get food to cook in the dorm kitchens (each dorm has a kitchen, and a common refrigerator. You can also get a mini-fridge for your room, and a microwave). Now that I live off campus, I use it to get to school as well as to go to the grocery store. It also stops near Market of Choice, a smaller grocery store closer to campus.

Beyond all of those dining options, you can also eat downtown! Portland is known for its culinary scene, and for good reason. There are a ton of great restaurants, ranging from cheap places to go with your friends to fancier places to go on special occasions. Maybe my favorite thing about eating in Portland are the food carts downtown- they're very easy, fun, and unlike anything I'd experienced before coming to college.

I'll leave you with a series of photos documenting my food experience in college.

the Tillamook cheese factory is just about two hours away from Portland- easy to visit, and get free cheese samples!
Annabel at a restaurant in Portland!
Annabel in the Bon!
Sometimes you get to eat plants! This was on a college outdoors trip where I learned about edible plants. It was fun, I promise. 
a fancy brunch I got downtown- brunch is big here
my first year I participated in the multi-cultural fair by making hotdish with my fellow Minnesotan (and now housemate) Tess
dorm cooking! Emma and Tess baking in Tess (and Annabel)'s first year dorm (Copeland)
a menorah made by Voodoo donuts (a famous and popular donut shop) by Hillel to celebrate Chanukka during my first year 
Annabel carrying a bucket of Voodoo donuts (that we got for $8!) our first year
Please email me if you have any questions! My email is rekidder@lclark.edu.


02 February 2015

Fun at Mt. Hood

As I mentioned last week, my parents got me a snowboard for my birthday and Christmas! So on Sunday I was finally able to go up to Mt. Hood.  Mt. Hood has three places that are available to snowboard. My friends Mikey, Will, and I went to Mt. Hood Meadows. The place we originally wanted to go, Ski Bowl, was closed due to a lack of snow right now. Mt. Hood typically has quite a bit more snow at this time of year. This year has apparently been very dry for Oregon. Of course I have no clue what everyone is talking about. This is way more rain than I've seen in my whole life!

So at 6:30 Sunday morning, Mikey drove us a few miles down to Tualatin to where a Park and Ride bus picked us up and drove us all the way up to the mountain. This was so relaxing to let someone else drive and not have to worry about directions or driving conditions that we got  to sleep on the charter bus all the way up there. It took about an hour and a half. Once we arrived at the mountain, we strapped on our boards and got up on the lifts.

Before it got super cold!
Unfortunately, not all the lifts were open because of the amount of snow; however, the lifts that were open had snow that wasn't too icy and easy to ride. It even started to snow once we got there! It was awesome to be back snowboarding. Usually I go only once a year to Mammoth Mountain in California which is a nine or ten hour drive from my town. Being up on the mountain was a thrilling distraction from school.

As the day wore on, the top of the mountain got very cold and windy. Going up the lift was getting pretty rough. The wind shook the chair around and made it extremely cold. Eventually they had to close the lift I had been using all day because of the high winds. After that, I  headed back in because it was almost time to get back on the bus, and I was absolutely dead tired. I was so happy to be able go that day. It’s great living so close to Mt. Hood and going to Lewis & Clark.

School is really starting to pick back up. It’s going to be a tough semester. Along with my classes, I have two labs that are really going to be time consuming. I am going to have to spend time outside of class working on them if I want a good grade. Four classes this semester will definitely keep me occupied. Being able to get away and snowboard once in awhile will certainly help me relieve stress!


Myself, Mikey, and Will