28 March 2016

Spring Break

Spring break sure did fly right by! It was really nice to go home for a few days to relax and recharge myself for school. With only six more weeks total, it sure is going to be a very busy time for a little while. Fortunately, the break helped me destress and take my mind off school for a bit.

While I was home, I was able to do quite a bit instead of sitting around. Last Monday and Tuesday I went up to San Diego to visit my girlfriend and spend some time with her there. She goes to San Diego State University, so it was really interesting to visit her there and see what it is like at a much bigger school. I can’t believe how many people are there! Here at Lewis & Clark, I usually  get a sense of who everyone is after a while, but there it was a different face every minute. It definitely has a different feeling. Mostly though we stayed in her apartment and did work since she was still in school.

On Wednesday and Thursday, I rode  around and shadowed a large animal veterinarian at home in the Imperial Valley. It was such an awesome experience to see what he did and help hi. Wednesday morning, we started off by vaccinating 150 head of heifers that were being shipped  back to Utah and needed the vaccination to travel. Once we finished with that, we spent the rest of day gathering data on an Excel file in order to track calves that were coming in from different places. While that wasn’t as exciting, it was still neat to see all the different feedlots in my area. Thursday, we spent most of the morning riding around the feedlot where I work when I am home, looking at the various lots of cattle, just glancing over them and observing their health. After we had lunch, we then went to put a cast on a calf that had broken its back leg. Before we were able to anesthetize it though (give it a sleeping shot), the calf charged me  and almost took off with me even though it could only run on three legs! Once we had finally roped it and given it the shot, we were able to put the cast on. The procedure was very similar to a human broken bone, the vet told me. Once that was done, we called it a day. I am looking forward to going again in the summer.

On Saturday, my family and I left to drive here to Portland. What a long drive! It took us two days to get all the way up here. It was amazing being able to see the entire state of California and see how different each part of the state really is. Driving through the Central Valley was the toughest part, since it was almost flat all around us. The variety of crops growing was interesting though. Once we made it into Northern California and Oregon, it was so pretty to drive through. I had driven through once before, but it was a long time ago so I don’t remember much was amazing to see it all over again.

Now that I am back here at school, it is straight back to work. I have an o-chem test on Wednesday already, and a lab paper due Friday. I am busy with study and work groups. The end of the year can’t come soon enough.

Until next week,
One of the many steers at the feedlot.
My cat, Jax. 

My boss's dog, Nic, loves to crawl into my lap.

Here is the cast we put on the calf.
Mt. Shasta. 


The weather was unusually nice for a Saturday, so I decided it was time to go to Portland and finally visit OMSI (the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry).  I boarded the Pio (Lewis and Clark’s shuttle) amid grocery-hunting students recently back from their trips and headed downtown.  The museum is a twenty-to-thirty minute walk from the bus stop, traveling through a park and across the Willamette before finally getting there.

Inside the museum, well, that depends on when you go there.  They currently have a huge exhibit on videogames.  The games start with some of the traditional arcade games (Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Tempest, etc.) and go all the way through some of the newest technology (generally rhythm and dance games).  There are also tons of games in-between. Think games such as Legend of Zelda, Sim City, Sonic the Hedgehog, etc.  In addition to the featured exhibit, there are plenty of things that stay year-round.  They have a planetarium and a submarine in addition to exhibits on life, climate change, and robotics.  The museum backs against the Willamette and out there you can find information on salmon, a decent pathway, and the submarine.

The other thing I did was take a trip to Powell’s Books.  They are arguably the largest new & used bookstore in the world and take up an entire city block.  I was not able to spend a whole lot of time there, but I did manage end up buying two novels before I had to catch the Pio back.  (The Android’s Dream by John Scalzi and The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett, by the way). 

27 March 2016

1 Week in Instagrams

Hey all,

Spring break has come and gone, far too quickly. To keep things mixed up, I'm going to try using as little text to describe how my spring break went. Themes: hiking, food, drinks, campfires, sunsets. Enjoy! :')

A photo posted by jay (@jayhidekichu) on

All in all, an absolutely killer spring break with my adventure buddy/shenanigans buddy Jeremy Joo. Now it's back to L&C for another month & half until summer!

Questions, comments, in Portland for the weekend? Tag me @jayhidekichu on instagram or email me at jaychu@lclark.edu

Cheers everybody! Jay

About me: Transfer sophomore Lewis & Clark College. Major: Environmental Studies, Minor: Japanese

22 March 2016

Spring Has Come

Flowers outside of Tamarack (Forest's lounge)

Spring is here and spring break along with it.  Most students are either at home right now or off on a College Outdoors adventure.  I am one of the few that are left.  Getting home is quite complicated and I had work I needed to do so I did not end up on a College Outdoors trip either.  I’m hoping to do something adventurous in these next couple days, but I haven’t finalized any of my plans yet.

Mushrooms in Tryon

After classes ended on Friday, I joined a friend to do another of the typical tourist things in Portland, Voodoo Doughnuts.  It is a rather famous doughnut store in Portland and if you arrive during peak times there will be a decent line. Luckily, only a handful of people were there on a Friday afternoon and we hardly had to wait.  Their signature doughnut is called the voodoo doll and is, unsurprisingly, a human shaped jelly doughnut stabbed with a pretzel stick.  I quite enjoyed myself.


While I have yet to do anything big, I haven’t forgotten to enjoy my break.  I have done a decent bit of exploring the woods around here including Lewis & Clark’s gorge and Tryon Creek State Natural Area. There are flowers blooming everywhere, the birds are all cheerful, and squirrels are doing their spring cleaning and gathering fresh bedding for their nests.  It is beautiful out even considering the rain. 

Trail in Tryon

15 March 2016

Spring Break Plans?

Hey all,

So this is the final week before Spring break, and needless to say, many in the L&C community are itching to begin their spring break adventures. Because L&C has only a one-week spring break (made up for by the fact that we have nearly 4 months of summer break!), the school leaves an option for students who live on-campus to stay on campus over break. While many of the amenities like food options (dining halls and cafes) are closed, a good number of L&C students choose to stay on campus over break for various reasons. Because the Pioneer Express still runs from campus to downtown Portland, spring break is a great opportunity to take all-day trips into Portland to explore places not as easy to reach as downtown. Of course, your option to stay on campus and catch up on some well-deserved rest is a wise choice too. Many get together to host movie nights, cook dinners, and generally take a breath.
College Outdoors, the wonderful L&C student-run organization that takes us on all kinds of outdoor trips, also hosts a variety of spring break trips. Because of the wealth of adventures to be had in the Pacific Northwest, few of my friends actually return to their homes for Spring Break. Most are out adventuring the cities and mountains!

Life tip: Pay attention to colors, even in winter.

A photo posted by jay (@jayhidekichu) on

Questions, comments, in Portland for the weekend? Tag me @jayhidekichu on instagram or email me at jaychu@lclark.edu

Cheers everybody! Jay

About me: Transfer sophomore Lewis & Clark College. Major: Environmental Studies, Minor: Japanese

Spring storm

Almost spring break! I am very happy that I get a week off. I really need it. It will be relaxing to go home, take some time off school, and not think about anything for a week. I just have to get through this week. I have a bio test on Friday, right before I fly home for the break. This past week I have had  a lot of studying. Thankfully, it is helping the time fly by.

Last weekend, to take a break from studying, I went snowboarding on Sunday at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood. The lodge itself is very old and large. The outside of it was used in shots in the movie The Shining starring Jack Nicholson., As my friend Dylan and I drove up to the mountain, it began to dump snow!. All day it continued. We even had wind gusts up to 80 miles per hour, but thankfully they passed fairly quickly and the mountain wasn't shut down at all. Fortunately, there were not a lot of people there that day, so we never had to wait to get on the lifts. Overall these past few days, the mountain has gotten almost 40 inches of new snow, which is crazy because it is spring time.

All the snow on the way up. 
Also this past week, our spring ball started for football. This is the time where we actually slow down the pace and work to improve  our assignments over  last year. It is really helpful for me because I can build upon all that I learned last year during the season, such as improving myself for next season. In addition to improving myself, it gives me a chance to help teach some of the younger players who are on my team.

An interesting side note:  during practice this morning, I  saw two bald eagles fly right over the stadium, which was so amazing!

Well that’s all I have for this week. I am looking forward to getting a break very much.


Dylan, on the right, and I snowboarding.

14 March 2016

More Fire!

You have been hearing a lot about Fire Arts recently and you will probably continue to do so for the next while. Since we have a show this Thursday and are preforming at the Luau after spring break, Fire Arts is the main thing (other than schoolwork) that I have been focused on. Yesterday we held a “prop party” and spent hours fixing our props (fire knives, staffs, etc.) and making new ones. It is a somewhat involved process. People were hammering, using drills, sawing, and wiring wick to blades. Other than building stuff, we had a pizza break and played a game called card game called Fire Knife created by one of our members.

A friend trying out one of the new knives

L&C Everyday Life: E&D

It is about presentation time for most E&D classes, so I think now is a good time to cover it. E&D stands for Exploration & Discovery, it’s Lewis and Clark’s version of a freshman seminar. Instead of just having you write a billion papers like a few other colleges do, E&D classes tend to focus on a certain topic and fully explore that theme.  Last semester my class was exploring the question “what makes us human?” and this semester I’m in a class working with probability and strategy.  The first semester of E&D involves a fair amount of reading and writing to hone your skills and the second semester you will be doing a research project on something related to the theme of your class.  Both of my E&D professors have been fantastic to work with and I have really enjoyed both classes.

If you have questions, feel free to email me at ameliaberle@lclark.edu

10 March 2016

How to Deal with the Midnight Munchies

Hey all,

Many of the students here at L&C are in mid-term season again, and that can call for a few late nights of studying. Like most colleges, LC has an option for you if you're especially inclined to get the midnight munchies! It's called, MAGGIE'S.

Maggie's: for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and second-dinner. Open 830am-midnight 

Maggie's serves all kinds of food from hot sandwiches to donuts, bagels and pastries, pre-packaged snacks (from chocolate to cheez-its!) and an array of "health" foods, like apple chips and rice crackers. Drinks are served of course, choose from sodas, Naked smoothies, kombucha, Yerba Mate teas, fresh coffee and made-to-order espresso drinks, even beer on the monthly Pub Trivia Nights hosted at Maggie's (prizes for winning teams!). Of course, sometimes the best thing to do is deny yourself of a midnight intake of 1000 Calories, drink some water and wait for breakfast (this may have been the inspiration behind this post), but rest assured for campus-dwellers, Maggie's and all its wonderfulness is never too far away. 

09 March 2016

International Fair : a lot of creativity, delicious dishes, dancing etc.

Performers (photo credits to ISLC)
 One of my favorite events on campus happened this last weekend! That is, the International Fair. It is a show put on by ISLC (International Students of Lewis & Clark) every spring semester. It is an opportunity for students to come together and put on a performance that represents a region or country. Some regions/countries that are represented are South East Asia, Japan, China, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa and more. While some regions prepare weeks in advance for there performance, others prepare in 2 weeks or less. Yet they all manage to put on a great show. There is a lot of student creativity involved in the performances and especially when it comes to food! Yes, even the food is prepared and cooked by students (there is always a vegetarian option). You would be surprised how amazingly good the food taste. That is because students take importance in keeping the recipes authentic as possible. The deserts are the best part of the meals (of course). One of my favorite deserts that has been made by students is coconut rice pudding. It is a Thai desert so it was prepared by South East Asia.

Also, when you enter the dining hall(s), there is information tables set up where students are waiting to talk about how amazing the particular country or region they are representing is. The whole event is designed to share a glimpse of the different cultures that are represented on campus. That is what makes the International Fair a special event for many students.

Last year I performed a Korean-Pop choreography and danced for India as well. This year, I was part of the Latin America region. You are not expected to have a connection to a country or region to help prepare, perform, and represent it, all you need is an interest and enthusiasm and you're in!
Vallenato Colombiano -Put on by Latin America (photo credits to ISLC)

Students from Japan singing (photo credits to ISLC) 
Students representing Africa (Photo credits to ISLC)

08 March 2016

Easier Week

This week was relatively easy for me, thankfully! I just had the usual homework assignments for my classes. That meant that I was able to have a bit more down-time to  relax and enjoy my week. It was very peaceful, especially since this week we are starting spring ball for football which will help me become more focused on school. I tend to better in school whenever I am constantly busy, since I have to stay on top of everything. Thankfully, our practices are in the mornings, which I prefer since I like to get up early and start my day.

Since I had a bit more free time this week, I was able to go out with my friends Anthony and Cale to play intramural soccer that the school hosts during the week. Even though they already had a team, they let me join in and play for them. Even though I never really played soccer except  when I was 6 and 7 years old, it was really enjoyable. to get out there and run around. Thankfully Cale and Anthony were nice enough to let me play on their team, and it was a lot of fun even though we lost. I actually was able to play decently and not suck too much. I played with their team on Thursday and Sunday. On Friday Cale, my friend Mikey who attended Lewis & Clark last year, and I all went up Mt. Hood to go snowboarding, which was relaxing. It is always exciting to go up the mountain to snowboard, even though the snow isn’t the best right now since it has been only raining up there the past few days. That made it really clear for us on Friday, because hardly anyone was there and we didn’t have to wait in line at all to get on the lift. Hopefully though, this week we should get a lot of snow. The temperature has really dropped in the past few days, and it has been raining here in Portland all week, which should mean snow on the mountain.

Other than that, it has been the usual stuff. I am already preparing for my next round of tests, which are right before spring break. I am really looking forward to going home for spring break and taking a week off of school to relax and gather myself before the final month of school. So for now, it’s back to studying. Until next week…!

Intramural soccer out on the field here at L&C. 

Mikey riding the lift behind me.

Cale trying to hit a jump. 

06 March 2016

That Girl with the Staff

This morning involved a lot of wandering around Portland with a 5 ½ foot metal pole.  There was an ex Cirque du Soleil performer running a fire staff workshop downtown so I did actually have a reason to be doing this.  The workshop was a bit less than a mile-and-a-half from the Pio stop (L&C’s shuttle) and there was plenty of opportunity for strangers to be bemused by a girl carrying around a staff as tall as herself.  The workshop was a lot of fun and I’m sure some of those moves will be incorporated into our spring show later this semester.

After the workshop, I stopped at a lovely park along the Willamette (called, I believe, Waterfront Park).  During weekends it’s the home of the Portland Saturday Market (though, it’s open on Sunday too) which has lots of strange gifts and doodads.  Last time I was there they had fancy soaps that looked like candy. I digress, I stopped at the park and enjoyed the sunshine for a while before catching the Pio back.

On the way back to campus I had a nice talk with the bus driver.  He has a friend who does fire staff on stilts and was surprised to see someone carrying one around Portland.  After that we talked about other sports and forms of gymnastics as well as about Portland drivers and how eco-friendly busses are (very). 

Useful sites:

If you have any questions please feel free to email me at ameliaberle@lclark.edu

02 March 2016

Spring Has Sprung, and Everyone Loves It

Springtime in Portland is an interesting and fun time.  In most places, spring means mild showers, some warm days, and some chilly, and a lot of flowers everywhere.  In Portland, all of those things and more will show up in one afternoon.  On Monday, it started off a beautiful sunny and mid 50's day, but then quickly started to rain, then back to sun, then suddenly hailed for a few minutes, and then became sunny again; all in a span of 30 minutes.  Portland Spring keeps you on your toes and reminds everyone to make sure that they are wearing layers and bring a raincoat everywhere they go.

                          Students hanging out outside                                 Beautiful flowers popping out outside my residence hall

Because it is warming up and being more spring-like, there have been more and more people hanging out outside doing work, tanning, throwing frisbees, or just getting a little Vitamin D.  It's amazing how quickly campus transforms when the sun comes out, it feels more alive and active and I (and everyone that I've seen) loves it.  Our campus is already ridiculously beautiful (we get ranked very highly in that category in most rankings) but when the sun comes out, I look around and can't believe where I am staying.  It amazes me daily that I go to school here and it isn't some place that people just visit because it's so pretty.

If you have any questions about L&C or life at college in general, feel free to email me at jprovost@lclark.edu.  Hope you all have a wonderful and beautiful week!

01 March 2016

In Perspective: The College Life

Hey all!

Take a look at my past week. Looks busy? (and that's not including half of my weekly schedule)

There's no doubt that the college life can be full of stress. Classes can be demanding, money can be tight, jobs need working, friends will be calling, applications need doing. It's easy to loose sight of why we're even in college, indeed many do and decide to pursue other paths, and as someone who's strayed from the prescribed highschool-to-college path, I can tell you that some time out of school can be the most valuable time. And I don't even mean taking a gap year. Of course that's a great option if possible, but what I emphasize on is the summer break. If you're lucky during the summer, you can stay at home and relax all day doing whatever you'd like to do, but for most people including myself, working in the summer is a reality. It's not bad news though: having a full-time summer job or internship can ironically leave you more prepared for the fall when school begins again. Unlike certain jobs, college provides you with variety; it challenges you mentally and promotes personal growth as well as skill-set growth; it surrounds you with like-minded people who are aspiring you-name-it's. The people I know who understand this simple distinction approach college differently. Suddenly, that college schedule-book full of fun-but-challenging-things-to-do seems like a walk in the park against another 10 hour shift washing dishes. So if you haven't already, go find yourself a summer job!

Questions, comments, in Portland for the weekend? Tag me @jayhidekichu on instagram or email me at jaychu@lclark.edu

Cheers everybody! Jay

About me: Transfer sophomore Lewis & Clark College. Major: Environmental Studies, Minor: Japanese