31 October 2016

Mushroom Hunting

I spent this Saturday hunting mushrooms on a College Outdoors trip.  Fourteen of us loaded up in their vans to drive a little over an hour to Tillamook State Forest.  The goal of the trip was to help everyone learn some mycology as well as be able to identify a certain species of edible mushroom, the chanterelle.  Chanterelles are easy to identify and hard to mix up with poisonous species so they’re the perfect mushroom to teach beginners.  The vans pulled into a gravel patch on the side of the road and from there we hiked through dense brush to an ATV track.  After following the track for a bit, we split off into groups to travel through the woods.  Pretty soon you could hear people exclaiming “I got one!” or “chanterelles!” to let their groupmates know to come closer and hunt that area for more.  The species of chanterelle that we were hunting is orange so they stand out well when you can see them, but they have a habit of growing inside brush and under logs so it’s a lot like an Easter egg hunt.  

The weather was fantastic, especially for a mushroom trip.  Normally mushroom hunts are poured on just because the rainy season is the best time for mushrooms and we have bad luck.  It was sunny out, a bit cool, but we were in the mountains so that much should be expected.  We were quite successful and managed to bring out two buckets of edible mushrooms, plus a few inedible
 specimens we wanted to
identify.  After arriving back on campus we had a cooking party. We sautéed mushrooms, roasted them, grilled them, cooked them with rice, sugared them, and made cream of mushroom soup.  It was a great way to end a day in the woods.

Feel free to contact me at ameliaberle@lclark.edu if you have any questions.

30 October 2016

Halloweekend and Spooky Homecoming

Hello All,

Tomorrow us Pioneers begin Week 10 of the Fall Semester, and I cannot personally believe how quickly the year has passed!  We are almost to November already, and that can only mean one thing: Halloween.  Spooky.

In addition to Halloween, this weekend was also Homecoming Weekend.  Families from around the world visited and enjoyed a weekend’s worth of events on campus.  The football game against Willamette was a fun one to watch, and even though we didn't win, it was still a really interesting experience with all the parents and alumni at the game.  The stadium decorated in orange and black for our school’s colors, but also coincidently Halloween.

My family came and visited on Saturday, and we spent the day in downtown Portland.  It was great to see them and they were a great addition to the Halloweekend.  Halloween is unfortunately on a Monday this week, as many of us know, so we shall see what sort of spooky weekday festivities there will be on campus.

My family and I in front of Frank Manor House, attempting to fit six
people into a selfie (5 1/2 success)
For those of you who missed my last posts, I finish each post with a cheap joke, as I believe humorous puns are the spice of life.  Additionally, I add a “Song of the Week” in order for you readers to get to know me more personally.

Cheap Joke Sunday: How do you put a baby alien to sleep?
                   You rocket.

Song of the Week: “Cute” by D.R.A.M.

I’ll be posting weekly on the Real Life Blog, on either Saturday or Sunday.  For any questions, comments, or cheap jokes you’d like to share with me, you may contact me via email at zack@lclark.edu. 

29 October 2016

Homecoming and Coming Home

Hi friends! 

       I’m trying to think of what I even did this week; it was one of those weeks when you blink and it’s gone and you can’t remember anything that happened. I had an organic chemistry quiz on Friday, I have my calculus exam Monday and the following week I have my organic chemistry and biology exam. We’re in sort of a “busy lull” and next week I’ll be very busy studying. We’re already at the halfway point in the semester and it’s already Homecoming weekend.

Leaving Portland (THERE WAS SUN!)

       Last year my mom was still on the east coast for Parent’s Weekend/Homecoming but since she’s in Seattle now it made it easy for me to see her, so I'm going home for homecoming. I normally take the Bolt bus – which is where I am while I write this post - and it's really convenient and sometimes you can find deals like a 1$ ticket. Another option though, is that the school also has these great Facebook groups you can join once you get your LC email. One of them is a “Ride and Share” group and you can post something like “looking for a ride to Seattle or the airport or wherever, offer some gas money if you want” or post that you’re driving somewhere and ask for gas money if you want to make a little extra money. If you don’t live within driving distance there are also always people headed to the airport around breaks and sometimes there’s an LC Shuttle too. Anyways I hope to have a more exciting business to tell y'all next week. 

As always, if you have any questions or want to just chat, you can always reach me at ksaylor@lclark.edu 


25 October 2016

Half Way Done

The semester is halfway over, which is crazy to think about. The past two and a half months have flown by here at Lewis and Clark. So far school has been keeping me extremely busy, and I have to stay focused most of the time. This past week I was finally able to complete the last of my midterms, so it feels really good to have that finally over with. It was for my Political Science class, and I think I did okay on it. I am not too sure though, since that class is something outside of what I normally take. However, it fills my International Affairs requirement, so I am taking it because I thought it looked easy.

Other than that class, all my other ones are chugging along. The main thing that helps me manage my time here is coming to the library, where I can sit down and do my homework without any distractions. It is open 24 hours a day on the weekdays and only closes for about 12 hours or so on the weekends. The library even has study rooms so that you can meet with groups there or study with some friends. I really enjoy going there because it forces me to just focus on doing homework.

This past weekend we played the University of Puget Sound. The game was super close. We jumped out to a 14-3 lead, but then gave up a couple touchdowns. However, we battled back and made the game very close. Even though we lost, we were super competitive the whole time and were always engaged in it. I feel like this game showed how far we have come as a team. The atmosphere around the team is incredibly confident, and we all feel like we can get a win this week. It was nice, also, after the game, to see a classmate of my brother’s from high school who plays on the Puget Sound team. His parents were there at the gamel, and it was fun to visit with friends from back home.

This next weekend is Homecoming and Family Weekend. My parents and grandmother will be coming from Southern California, so my brother and I will get a second dose of home!

That’s all I have for this week.

Studying in the library. 

Our friend Isaiah from home in the middle, my brother Alex on the right, and I 

23 October 2016

A Biologist in a Cybersecurity Competition?

One of the nice things about attending a small school is that you’re guaranteed to have friends with a wide range of interests.  There is no way that all your friends will be entirely within your major (unless you decide to make only one friend). One of my better friends is a CS (Computer Science) major who is excellent at cybersecurity; she convinced both me and my roommate to participate in NCL (National Cyber League), a cybersecurity competition. Despite the fact that we know nothing about cybersecurity and have minimal background in computer science, we both agreed after being assured that it’s intended as a teaching tool and even those of us with no experience can join. This weekend was the first time the stadium opened.  It starts with a preseason game to separate the participants into brackets based on their skill level. The preseason game lasts for a week so I still have awhile to finish the challenges, but I have a pretty good start so far. Six of us hung out in a classroom yesterday working on the challenges and I really enjoyed it.

See the little orange dot? I'm doing pretty well seeing as I know nothing and haven't finished yet.

The other thing I have been working on this week is the upcoming fire show. Every fall we host a Halloween show known as the Dance of the Damned and this year we’re doing the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This show will be called “Once More, with Fire” after the episode’s title of “Once More, with Feeling.” In case you didn't notice, we have members who like bad puns. Anyway, we held two extra practices this weekend to work on our choreography and it’s turning out pretty well so far. I’ll admit though, these songs will be stuck in my head for at least the rest of the semester. I can already sing along with other people’s parts and my roommate was humming at 3am last night...

Want to ask a question? Shoot me an email at ameliaberle@lclark.edu

Midterms and Fall Ball

Hello All,

With the Presidential Election just around the corner, L&C held a viewing of the third and final debate in the Council Chamber, a smaller theater in the student center.  The school had shown all the previous debates, and each time the auditorium was packed.  There were efforts from political clubs on campus—College Democrats and College Conservatives—to register L&C students to vote, and it sounds like a large group of students were registered.  It was very interesting to see students so excited about politics!

Midterms are on Monday—tomorrow—for me, so most of my time has been spent studying for those.  However, Fall Ball was on Saturday, and it was a blast.  It was held at the Crystal Ballroom, a local venue for concerts, and was incredibly fun.  Many students attended, as there were offerings other than just the music.  There was good food, a photo booth, and a great DJ.

For those of you who missed my first couple of posts, I finish each post with a cheap joke, as I believe humorous puns are the spice of life.  Additionally, I add a “Song of the Week” in order for you readers to get to know me more personally.

Cheap Joke Sunday: What did the buffalo say to his child when he went off to college?

Song of the Week: “Drum” by MØ

I’ll be posting weekly on the Real Life Blog, on either Saturday or Sunday.  For any questions, comments, or cheap jokes you’d like to share with me, you may contact me via email at zack@lclark.edu. 

Days of the Week

Hi friends!

This weeks been really good and didn’t actually go too slowly. I had my last set of midterms last week so this week it’s been a pretty standard week. I’ve been able to just focusing on classes, extracurriculars and work - it’s been a typical college student life.

Monday nights I go to the Pugilism Club. I think I mentioned it in one of my earlier posts, but it’s a club where we learn all sorts of really cool self defense and fighting skills. Depending on who comes we learn different things ranging from boxing, kick boxing, Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu or Taekwondo. I had always wanted to learn how to box and learning martial arts is really interesting. This semester it’s been a bit different since two of the three original leaders are abroad, but we’ve been able to bring in some other people. For instance, this past Monday we had James Gamet. He’s an undefeated and world renowned fighter and trainer. We learned a boxing combo and then how to do a jiu jitsu joint hold.

Muay Thai kicking with Jay (some of you will recognize him! He was a blogger last year)

Tuesday nights I go to Hip Hop Club - both the beginners group and the performance group. In the beginners group we just finished learning a dance to “Closer” by the Chainsmokers and started a new dance to Rihanna’s “Right Now”. It’s a really great group of people, choreographed by two current LC students. For the beginner’s group there is no previous required knowledge of any dance, it’s just a fun, safe, and unjudged place to learn how to dance and feel confident.  The performance group is working on a dance we’re all working together to choreograph and hoping to perform at the end of the year with the accapella groups. (Not yet confirmed, but that’s the hope :) )  

Wednesdays are normally Dance X, but we got the week off and I went downtown to do some homework. My friend met me downtown and we went out for Ichiban sushi :D Ichiban is a super cute hole in the wall sushi place that is very inexpensive but still really great quality. (It’s on the corner of Burnside and 6th).

The rest of the week was normal classes and everything, chem lab on Thursday and bio lan on Friday. In Chem lab we’re finishing up understanding what makes a nucleophile worst or better for completing an SN1 or an SN2 reaction. (I still don’t understand >.< but a great thing about LC is I get help at the SQRC every week and I have a SAAB (Student Academic Affairs Board) tutor that will help me one on one. Bio lab we moved on to hexapods and dissected an Orthoptera (a freaking ginormous grasshopper) and we’ve begun our independent projects.

Last night was FALL BALL! :) I normally don’t go to these types of things but I had a really fun time last night. I worked a volunteer for a shift and actually got to go for free too. It was my first time being in the Crystal Ballroom. There were two floors, the first one was Lola’s room which had a photo booth and food and just a bunch of places to hang out and sit if the music was too loud. Upstairs is just a giant dance floor, we had LC student DJs the whole night. I just danced all night and has a blast :)

Fall Ball!

This is getting really long so sorry folks! If you read it all thanks :)
If you have any questions feel free to email me at ksaylor@lclark.edu
Cheers and happy Sunday folks!