02 March 2015

Whoa, It's March Already?

It's been so sunny out that it feels like we didn't have a winter. It makes me a little worried because climate change is slowly becoming more and more apparent. Also, because I'm from California where the drought is even worse, I keep thinking about how many forest fires my hometown area is going to have this summer.

Oh well. It's still gorgeous out! Perfect weather for going for a run or a hike, or just relaxing outside somewhere on campus. Over the weekend I took a little time to just sit on a bench and enjoy the sunshine for a while, which was lovely.

This is the view from my room right now. It's nicer when the trees have all their leaves, of course, but it's still beautiful.

So that this doesn't become a really dull entry where I just talk about the weather, I'll talk about some of the awesome events I'm going to be attending this week. The first week of March is apparently a really, really popular time for on-campus activities. First, and foremost, the 50th annual International Fair is on Saturday. One of the reasons I chose Lewis and Clark was actually because of its international focus, and the International Fair is a great example of that. My residence hall, the Multicultural Engagement Living Learning Community, helps put it on every year. I'll probably talk more about it in my next entry, because I think it merits an entry all to itself. But here is a sneak preview anyway!

Also along the lines of Lewis and Clark's international focus, on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, Lewis and Clark is holding its first ever Middle East Studies Symposium. Recently, there has been a push coming from the student body to offer Arabic classes and just have more of an academic focus on the Middle East. Some students created an organization called the Middle East Initiative to achieve these goals. The symposium is just one step they are taking to raise awareness about Middle Eastern culture and issues. I personally do not have time to attend most of the events because they all seem to be scheduled while I'm in class, but I am going to an informal Q&A session over a dinner of Middle Eastern cuisine, and also to a talk on Middle Eastern literature. As an English major with little knowledge of non-British, non-American literature, I'm particularly excited for that discussion.

And while I'm on the topic of literature, there's going to be an author coming to read fiction aloud on campus on Wednesday as well. Her name is Anna Keesey and I don't know much about what she's written, but I'm definitely going to that. Then, I'm going to a dinner that raises funds for an alternative spring break trip to Guatemala. They're serving quesadillas and chocolate-covered bananas, it costs $6, and it's a great cause! How could I pass it up? And finally, the spring main stage theatrical production, Exit the King, opens on Friday. I've been helping build the set as a part of my theatre class for the last month, and I'm so excited to see how everything comes together. But, I can't go to the opening night because I want to see the Fire Arts show, where you get to see your classmates spin flaming objects around! So I'll go to the production the next night.

As you can clearly see, we have so many things to do at Lewis and Clark. To be honest, you won't have time to do everything you want. Such is life. Even though I wrote down all those events, odds are I won't make it to at least one of them. Because, coincidentally, it's also midterms right now. I don't have any actual midterm tests this term because it seems that English classes here do not usually have midterms. However, I do have several long papers, and one of the standard Japanese chapter tests. Couple that with my hours in the scene shop for the theatre and my volunteering in the kindergarten classroom, and I'd be busy even without all those events!

Anyway, that's all for now. I'm off to write a journal entry for my Japanese class. If you have any questions, email me at jessicakostka@lclark.edu!