26 January 2016

The Last First Week

It's almost scary how fast the last four years at Lewis & Clark College has gone. It was an utterly bizarre feeling knowing that this would be my last semester ever at LC, but quite fortunately, my coursework and other commitments quickly made me busy enough not to dwell on it too much.

Being my last semester, I have been trying to take in everything around me - anything I might take for granted and miss otherwise.

One of my favorite things I've been noticing has been the nature around me as I walk on campus. No wonder we're ranked 2nd Most Beautiful Campus in the country. From gorgeous sunsets to misty mornings, there's usually something beautiful to see everyday.

Dusk over Templeton, the main student center.

 It's been very misty the last couple of days.

In addition to stopping to gawk at the nature around me, I've also been taking advantage of going to the on-campus gym - Pamplim Sports Center (we all just call it Pamplin). I've been continuing weight training after taking it as a gym class. I've also started going to Fit Club - an exercise group that meets on weekdays and does a range of core training, circuits, and pilates.

The Pamplim weight room.

As for campus everts, last Friday our slam poetry team - Apocalips - competed in a judged performance to determine the 5 members who would be representing Lewis & Clark at CUPSI - which is the national invitational contest. The poems performed that Friday were beyond powerful - touching topics from gender and sexual identity, racism, sexual assault, family, and even religion. I happened to be one of the audience judges, and was intimidated by the prospect of having to try to objectively score the slams - and it ultimately was pretty challenging given the excellent quality of so many slams.

At the CUPSI qualifying slam contest.

The following day, I was itching for a break from thesis work, so I decided that night to go downtown and wander around trying to find cool things to do. For those who are interested in staying in Portland after graduation, or are older and possibly transferring in, be assured that there are lots of interesting niches available to you once you turn 21. Some friends were at a video game arcade bar, and I tried to meet up with them, but they had already left. Luckily, I heard the distant sounds of guitars, and I followed the music to the Star Theater, where for $10, I was able to listen to three awesome rocks bands (they all sounded a bit like they were influenced by The Cure and Nirvana). Apparently, the theater used to show silent films, so it was very cozy and easy to get up close and personal with the bands.

During the last band's set, a friend called me wanting to hang out, so he picked me up and drove me to SE, where we wanted to get into a RnB tribute night (featuring all the best - Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna). The venue had a line a block long, so we decided to get food at a quirky place called Roadside Attraction. Then, he decided to take me to my first real gay bar, where of course, we got to enjoy a phenomenal drag show and dance well into the early morning to 80's classics like "Footloose" and "Take on Me". It was all-in-all, probably my favorite night ever in Portland.

It's getting a bit late now, come to think of it, so I'll leave you with the iconic (albeit, blurry) picture of the Portland sign welcoming you to Old Town (the oldest part of downtown Portland). I'll talk to you all next week about my thesis and new shifts at Maggie's Cafe.

Take care!