23 February 2016

Weekend Visit

Well, I survived my week of tests! I think I did well, so now I just have to see how everything goes once the tests are graded. It was such a huge relief to be able to finally relax after everything was done. Fortunately I have a few more weeks until any next  tests, so my classes should be easier until then.

This past weekend my girlfriend Ava came up to visit me from San Diego. It was nice to be  with her once all my classes were over with on Friday. We went downtown after class later that afternoon to  get dinner and see a movie. The movie we saw was Deadpool, which was hilarious. Once we got back from the movies we hung out with a few of my friends for a while before we went to bed.

The next morning we got up and went downtown to have brunch. What I have never known before is that going out for brunch is a very Portland thing to do, and it was super packed everywhere we tried. Fortunately, we found a place in the downtown area where we only had to wait about ten minutes before being seated. There are so many little food places downtown that we had a lot of options to chose from. After being seated, we got our food pretty quickly, and it was delicious. I got an omelette while eggs and chili in it while Ava got a stack of pancakes.

Since it was packed, we left as soon as  we were done and went to the zoo for a couple hours. I really wanted to go to see the cheetahs which are my favorite animals. It is always relaxing to go there and see the animals. The Oregon Zoo has  just recently opened its newly constructed Elephant Lands. When we went in November, it was still under construction. It was amazing to see it completed and the elephants enjoying their new habitat.

After the zoo, we went to Target to get a key lime pie, which is our new favorite, and then headed back to school to relax. That night all we did was eat the pie and watch a show on Netflix which was incredibly nice to relax to do after my stressful week. Sunday we didn’t do much either. We mostly sat around doing homework and relaxing. It’s always nice to have Ava here. It gives me an extra boost to keep doing well persevering!.

This week should be easy since all my tests are over, so all I have to do is a few pieces of homework and keep working out. So until next week…!


The cheetah was pacing right in front of us!

Enjoying the square, pretending to be a model.

22 February 2016

Video Update: Portland Mountain Biking

Hey all!

As you might know, Portland is home to one of the largest urban forests in the world: Forest Park. It's known mostly for hiking and trail running, but there are a few really steep and fun trails to ride if you're all about trails on two wheels. Saturday was my first official ride of the new season, here's an after photo of the muddy mess:

And of course, here's the video of the whole ride down! Really fun ride down.


I’m a biology major.  That being said, I spent most of Saturday writing a program to post Tweets.  I’m not even in a computer science class, but my E&D (Exploration and Discovery) professor is part of the computer science department and one of our assignments is to create a twitter bot.  Honestly I could have done it in about a quarter of the time I spent, but I really enjoyed the assignment.  My program replaces two words in a random quote, attributes it to a random person, and tweets it.  Most end up being nonsense, but occasionally they turn out well.  If you would like to see examples you can find it at @Misattributor ( https://twitter.com/Misattributor ).

I finished both my first chemistry and biology midterms so life is better now, but one of my roommates has an upcoming biopsychology midterm so life in the dorm is staying just as crazy and I haven’t seen another roommate since this morning because she’s been in the library working on a paper almost the entire day.  My weekend has been somewhat saner and the portions that weren’t spent coding were spent baking bread and calling home to celebrate my little brother’s birthday.  The bread worked out fairly well considering I don’t have yeast, and it was nice to catch up with my family for a bit.

L&C Everyday Life: Cooking
Each dorm here gives you access to a kitchen, the sizes and shapes vary, but it’s a kitchen nonetheless.  At the minimum you will have access to a fridge, microwave, stove, sink, and a small amount of counter space.  Most areas have cookware belonging to the dorm such as baking trays and frying pans, but what is there depends a lot on luck and what previous students have left behind.  I definitely would recommend you bring your own bowl, cup, silverware, etc. but personally I would wait until you arrive to go out and by pots and pans.  I do own my own cookie sheet, frying pan, and small pot, but that’s just personal preference because I would rather always be sure where I can find them and be absolutely certain they are clean.

Feel free to send me an email at ameliaberle@lclark.edu if you have any questions

21 February 2016

Intramural Soccer Club

Every Spring semester during the months of February and March Intramural soccer is taking place on campus. The club is a great opportunity for students who share an interest in soccer to come together and play. Whether you've played before or not, anyone is welcomed! Students make there own teams and then leave it up to the club organizers to schedule the games, which are usually two days a week. Roughly about 8-10 different teams are formed and we play against each other. Games started this last Thursday and I was so excited to simply play against other students. I have been doing intramural soccer for 3 years now and I will definitely say it is one of my favorite clubs on campus. It's unfortunate it only happens during the Spring.

For Thursday's game, I was actually feeling about anxious. I had not played soccer in months! I tried to stay behind and play defense to observe my teammates playing skills simultaneously testing mine. My team won 8-5 (I scored no goals), and I gained some of the confidence I was lacking before the game started. I am excited to keep playing for the next month and will keep you updated on how far my team makes it. We do have quarter finals, semi-finals and a final, which makes it even more fun!

18 February 2016

Why I'm an RA and What I Do

Ok so I've still been super busy lately and haven't done much of interest.  However, right now we are hiring the RA's for next year and that is a pretty exciting time.  It's really fun to see all the students who are excited about Student Life and want to make this school a better place.  So today I wanted to take some time to talk about the RA role and why I became one.

The first role of an RA is to formulate a community in their hall.  This is one of the hardest tasks because you cannot simply tell people to "GO BE FRIENDS!"  That doesn't work super well so you have to be creative and make sure that everyone has the ability to grow together.  We put on monthly Community Builders that have different themes ranging from Movie Night to a complex wide Harvest Festival.  This has been my favorite task as an RA because we get to be so creative and make events that are super fun and make everyone in our little community happy.

Another big role for RA's is resident safety and happiness.  This is why I became an RA.  College is hard and stressful but with help it becomes so much easier and fun and that is what I wanted people to feel.  Almost daily I have residents coming to my door asking to talk about just about anything and it has been amazing.  They tell me of their successes and failures, and how they just met someone super cool, or how they love (and sometimes hate) the paper that they are writing.  Seeing my residents be happy and love what they are doing makes me want to work harder to make myself and everyone else I see, happier.

That's what we're looking for right now and it is what I get to see when I interview candidates for next year's RA positions.  I know that next year, students of Lewis & Clark will do well because of all the amazing (returning and new) RA's we will have.  I talk to a lot of the other RA's every day and even though I have only known some of them for a semester and a half, I feel as though I have known them forever.

I know that the coming weeks will be more exciting and I will be able to post more about what I'm doing on a weekly basis.  If you would like to ask about the RA job or anything else about life at Lewis & Clark, feel free to email me at jprovost@lclark.edu.

Hope you all have a lovely week,

16 February 2016

Outside the Classroom: L&C Clubs & Activities

Hey all!

I want to take some time this week talking about the scene at LC outside the classroom and lecture halls. For our smaller size, LC in my opinion has a dedicated and strong student club and activities scene. A variety of clubs cater to students of all backgrounds: from visual arts to music, yoga to martial art, gardening and surfing.
At my previous college (University of Aberdeen), clubs and student activities differed significantly from what they look like here. Clubs at big universities are, understandably, BIG and will take some time to get to know the feel and members of each club, and at LC, clubs are usually just small groups of friends who are dedicated to what they do. There is no good or bad here, just different!
The Pugilism and MMA Club, of which I'm a part of!
If you happen to be interested in an activity that isn't offered at LC either through the curriculum or the clubs, there's always PORTLAND. One of my good friends here Jack goes a few times a week to a local Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym 10th Planet in Southeast Portland, and I go twice a week to my Aikido Dojo near Downtown. Many students get involved in various local scenes: music, poetry, or any other activity. 

Regardless of what you're looking for, you'll almost certainly be able to find it at L&C or in Portland. 

Portland Aikikai: my dojo

Busy Week

View out of an upper-level window in Watzek

I’ll admit it, I haven’t exactly done anything interesting recently.  I have both biology and chemistry midterms this week so my weekend was spent preparing for those.  One benefit to studying last weekend over any other weekend was that it was both Valentine’s Day and Oregon’s Birthday so the food was unusually nice and they were handing out free cake in Templeton.  I did make it out for a short walk in Tryon during a gap in the rain though, which was beautiful.  Next week shouldn’t be nearly so busy so with luck I'll be able to write more then.

The one adventure I had involved a lot of time one the MAX (Portland’s light rail system).  I took the Pio (L&C’s shuttle) to downtown Portland and took the MAX for about an hour to get to Hillsboro, Oregon. Once there, I visited the local Venturing Crew (a coed scouting group) and joined them for a meeting.  Scouting is a really small world and it turns out that one of my friends from a summer camp in New Mexico is a member of this crew.  It was nice getting out for a bit and seeing old friends.

There are plenty of study areas available for all group sizes

L&C Everyday Life: Watzek

At the moment I am sitting in one of the more hidden study areas in Watzek Library.  Watzek is located on the undergraduate campus and houses over 300,000 volumes.  If that’s not enough books for you, we are also part of the Summit (a group of both public and private libraries which share their collections) and have access to the collections of at least 35 other libraries.

15 February 2016

Midterm Week

This upcoming week is  going to be so incredibly busy for me. I have three tests and a presentation all in the span of a couple days. It will definitely be a very crazy week for me since I have to study for all of them. Thankfully there are tons of resources here at Lewis & Clark that will help me be prepared for this week.

One resource is the library. the library is open at all times of the day during the week except for Saturday night when it closes for the the night and reopens on Saturday morning. Most of this next week will be spent in here working and getting prepared. What I like the most is that there are small study rooms where you and a friend can study but still be able to talk without disrupting others. These are my favorite places to go and study because it is usually very quiet in the study rooms, and I can really focus on my work without distractions.

Another great thing here is how available the professors are during the week. During the week of tests, most even schedule extra office hours in order for everyone to be able to make it at least once. I find it super helpful to always go in and at least ask questions on something I don’t quite understand. They are always  supportive in making sure I understand what I am asking. I will definitely be going into my O-Chem professor’s office hours at least a couple times.

This past weekend was pretty busy for me. I worked on Saturday and Sunday, which took up a lot of time. I work the scoreboards for the basketball teams, the softball team, and the baseball team. It is part of my work study, and I really enjoy that I am able to work on the weekends. It keeps me busy and allows me to watch the other sports teams play as well. Sadly, both our basketball teams lost this weekend in really close games. However, the baseball team was able to win both of its games on Sunday, so that’s a plus. Other than that, this weekend was pretty boring for me. When I wasn’t working, I was either relaxing in my room or studying. Next weekend will be much better because my girlfriend, Ava, will be here visiting me. For now though, it’s back to studying!


Studying on Sunday night.

Blake joined me to study.

10 February 2016

Busy Busy Busy

So it's my final semester of College and it looks like its going to be a busy one.  There isn't one large task that is taking up a lot of my time, instead I'm doing a lot of different things around campus.  So today I decided to talk about everything I do and will do this semester.

First off I am a student.  I am lucky that I got all of my General Education requirements out of the way early so that now I have a lot of freedom to choose what classes I want to to take.  This semester I am taking Drawing 1, Astronomy, Prevention and Care of Injuries, and Behavioral Genetics.  All of these but the last one are for fun and are not required for my Major or for any other Gen-Ed requirements.  If there is one tip that I give to anyone starting college it is that you get your Gen-Ed's out of the way as fast as you can so you don't have to worry about them and you can take classes that are fun and interest you that are out of your field of study.

The second largest commitment that I have is being an Resident Advisor.  This task hasn't changed much from last semester other that I now know everyone in my hall very well and the community that we have is very close.  It is surprising how close my residents have become even after living each other for a few short months.  The big thing now is that we are in the middle of hiring RA's for next year.  This means that I'm helping conduct interviews, along with other tasks to filter candidates. Along with this a few of my residents are applying and I'm attempting to help them through the process as well.

Another large commitment I have is being a Varsity Athlete again.  I decided to join the Track & Field team again (I came to L&C in part to be a hurdler) and I'm super excited to be competing again.  This season I will most likely be running the 400m, 800m, and doing long and triple jump.  It's been strange running again because I haven't actually ran track since my Senior Year of High School.  However it has also been super fun and the ream is full of great people that I am excited to be able to compete with for the next few months.

My final and strangest commitment is planning my life. I have 86 (no I'm not counting) days until Graduation and I have no clue what I will be doing next year.  My only plan right now is to hike the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) this summer.  For those of you who don't know what that is, it is a Hiking Trail that runs 2,650(ish) miles from Mexico to Canada, and I plan on walking through all of it.  In my free time (of which I have very little) I am planning how I will get to and from the trail, how I will get my food resupplies, meet-ups with friends and family along the way, as well as surviving the entire ordeal.  Mixed in is some planning and applying for Jobs and Internships but I haven't started stressing about those too much yet.

Anyway that is how my semester is shaping out to be.  If you have any questions about whatever I am doing or just life at Lewis & Clark in general, feel free to shoot me an email at jprovost@lclark.edu.

Hope you all have a wonderful week!