27 March 2018

Spring Break and Looking Forward

Hey friends,

Spring breaks over and we’re onto the last leg of the program! Today was a 10 hour bus ride from Brisbane to Rock Hampton. The bus ride was actually really nice and a good chance to just take a day to ourselves listening to music and sleeping.

Spring break was so awesome :D I learned how to surf in Byron Bay!! It was all around just a really nice relaxing break filled with lots of beach.

So tomorrow we’re going to a horse farm and getting an insight as to what the “old outback farm/ranch” life was like. Then on from there is to Carnavaran Gorge. We’re into the bush for the remainder of this program - and so another reminder, these posts will be posted at RANDOM times. We’re also getting into the leg of the MARINE BIO!!! I’m super excited because we got a taste of it at Maria Island way back when at the beginning of Tassie.  

I don’t have much else to report on, so if you have any questions shoot me an email!



21 March 2018


hey friends! 


This last week I was at an Aboriginal camp in the glass house mountains just west and north (ish) of Brisbane. Out of respect to the elders, and as the program requests I won’t be writing much about what we did because every year is also different. I will say though, it was my favorite part of this program so far. I learned so much, not only about the culture, history, traditions, and trade crafts, but also about myself more. It was a fantastic time and it’s something I will remember for the rest of my life. 

It was the perfect way to leave the stressful Venom Bio + city life, and a good transition into our spring break :D 

I’m spending the break in Byron Bay, NSW! We arrived yesterday and omg I am in love with this town! I wish I could live here. If any of you are California people, think Venice Beach/ Marina Del Ray/ Santa Cruz, plus my friend says it reminds her of Hawaii too - but not the tourist-y parts. We just rented a little air b&b just 5 minutes away from the beach and about 10 mins away from town. We don’t have any solid plans for our time here, besides lots of rest and relaxation, plus BEACH! I’m dying to learn to surf while I’m here :) A lot of people on the program are doing something called a “work away”. Where you basically live with a host family and work 5 hours a day, but then get room and board for free and the work is all low key and chill. It’s another great alternative since we aren’t doing home stays on this program and you can save money. 

We passed the one month mark a few days ago, and are counting down the days of the semester - which is scary! The program has gone by so fast, and it feels like just yesterday we were all arriving in Sydney and gawking at the birds and being freaked out by driving on the left side of the road. 

I don't know what my service looks like for the rest of the program. The house we have now has no wifi, so I'm on a hot spot, and will continue to try to post every week! 

If you have any questions I'll return emails as soon as possible! 



18 March 2018

Stressful Times

Hi everyone! How are you? How's it going?

The past couple days have been so stressful! With spring break next week, it feels as though there's not enough time to get everything done and that this spring semester just barely started! Before I know it, I'll be back in California!

Anywho, the reason life has been stressful is that every single week I have another test to study for! It's like I can never catch a break buuut with spring break coming up I'm sure I can finally be able to 

I don't really have any plans for the break since I'm staying on campus but my friends and I are trying to plan a quick day trip to the coast and just finding ways to keep ourselves occupied so that we aren't just sitting in our rooms and watching shows and just sleeping all day (but it does sound fun).

Buuuut before worrying about what to do for spring break, gotta think about the week ahead! Everyone is ready to just get this week over with and you can feel the need for a break all over campus! You can see all the looks of less than normal sleep because of studying for midterms and exams and just tryna keep it all together. There's like this mutual understanding that all of us are just kinda pooped out and while we enjoy getting an education, we just kinda really need a break and I'm sure the professors and all the amazing staff on campus need it too!

I'm sure all of you are in need of a break too with the school year coming to an end and for some of you, your senior year is coming to an end all it's that time of the year where everyone is deciding what to do after high school. For some, it's going straight to college and right now, you're all feeling the anxiety of waiting for the email or letter to come and know what the answer is. Just know that no matter what that answer is, you're amazing. You got through high school and now you're applying to college and trying to further your education. Yea, it's a big step in your life but you have the support and the encouragement from all of us here on this blog!  Y O U C A N D O I T!

I gotta get back to work so here is a motivational penguin in place of the daily quote!

If you have any questions or just want to talk, you can reach me at:


♥ Jessica

13 March 2018

Bye to Brisbane

Hey Friends,

wowza. I feel like I just posted; long days short weeks is right. Today is Wednesday and we leave Brisbane on Friday. It feels like just yesterday we got here.

Yesterday was a really fun day :) You might have caught some of it on the Lewis and Clark Instagram story. We were scheduled to have a lecture down on the Gold Coast, but the lecturer ended up not being able to make it; however, they weren't able to cancel the bus so we were able to have a few hours off in Surfers Paradise! It was a bit cloudy and windy but still a great day at the beach after finishing one morning lecture :)

Surfer's Paradise is supposedly the Australian version of "Miami Beach" according to our trip leader. I've never been to Miami so I couldn't tell ya, but it's pretty commercial with buildings that go right up to the beach front. The beaches were busy, but not grossly crowded. It's aptly named though, theres surfers everywhere! I even got to try for half a second before the surf rescue (the life guards) told us my friend wasn't allowed to be teaching me.

On the rock wall, getting splashed :)

Walking along the shopping strip

 As our time is wrapping up finishing our time in Brisbane, we're also finishing our Venom Biology projects and research papers. On Friday we travel to an Aboriginal Camp! I'm not sure what to expect yet, besides a very integrated learning experience. From now on we're back in the field and traveling all over the place. (That being said, I'm not sure when I'll be able to post, but I will as often as I can!)

Summing up Brisbane, I didn't explore the city as much as I wish I had, or as much as I did in Sydney. It's definitely a cool city I would come back to though! Taking the City Cat ferry to UQ everyday was for sure one of my highlights. I also spent a bit of time at the Queen street mall, which I'm not a mall person, but it was fun to explore and really cool to people watch. It's always bustling and there's almost always some event happening whether it's a Luggage "yard" sale, farmers market, art's and crafts fair or something else. Davie's Farmers Market is one of the coolest markets I've gone to, comparable to the Boulder Farmers Market. Eat Street was another great spot, but probably more of a "been there done that" place for me; it's a bit over crowded and hyped, but really amazing food options and fun music and things happening.

I'm excited to see what's next, but as always, I'm sad to leave. I'll keep you updated on the next adventures though :)

If you want to check out Lewis and Clark on instagram you can find them here: https://www.instagram.com/lewisandclarkcollege/?hl=en

If you want to ask me any questions, or reach out I'm available at: ksaylor@lclark.edu

Until next time :)

Anon(ymous) Production

Hello all! Hope you have all been having a lovely week!

One of my highlights from last week was going to the Anon(ymous) production here on campus. I do not usually go to plays, but this one had been interesting me for a while. I will make sure not to include any spoilers for any of you that would want to watch or read this play so feel free to keep reading without any worries!! One of the things that was pretty awesome about this production was the set! They used the space very effectively that it really showed the action in the play. The actors were also very committed to the play and had very genuine interpretations of the characters. I LOVED it!! I wish I would have had a chance to see it again!

Other than that, I've been pretty busy with my work at IME (Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement). Our end of the year banquet is coming up, so there are a lot of little details that I am trying to get done. It has been a little bit exhausting but I think that it will all pay off during the banquet when I get to see all my hard work pay off! I am very excited to see how it all turns out!

We also had another Wokeshop yesterday! The topic for yesterday's Wokeshop was Inclusive Leadership. It was a great conversation! I really enjoy having these opportunities to talk about difficult subjects that don't typically come up in our everyday lives. 

Well, gotta go! I'll check in back with you all next week!

-Elvira Ruan
Instagram: evilelvi1995

11 March 2018


Hi everyone! How are you? How's it going?

The past week has been craaaaaaaaazy! It feels like every week I'm studying for a new test or having to grind out another essay! Needless to say, I am in dire need of spring break. It feels like the load of take sooooo many science and math based classes is finally kicking in on top of the research for E&D starting! But, like the title of this post says, Saturday and SUNday were days full of warmth, sunshine, and soaking in that much-needed vitamin D! It was the perfect weather to just sit out in the sun, relax, and just enjoy the weather! The only bad part was because I did that, I kinda, sorta neglected to be productive so tonight is going to be a looooooooooong night of getting some work done! But it's okay because the sun was out and it just felt like the right time to spend the time outside on the beautiful LC campus! It was totally awesome because it was like everyone decided to spend the weekend outside! There were so many people just chilling with their friends, laying on the grass, throwing frisbees and just trying to take in the beautiful day!

A shot of the sun when walking back!

Karli and I decided to do the same and took Roxie with us. Like I said, our original plan was to get some reading done but that didn't really happen. Instead I did some knitting, Karli just laid in the sun, and we had some chill conversation time!
Just getting some knitting done!
Karli and Roxie!
Okay, now I think it is time that I be productive and try to get some work done! This time change has me wide awake right now so I think I should use it to my advantage! I hope you all have a beautiful week and remember to get enough sleep and to set an alarm ( I know I will )!

If you have any questions or just want to talk, you can reach me at:


Here's the quote of the week:

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Gandhi

♥ Jessica

08 March 2018

Long Days Short Weeks

Hey friends,

Short post tonight.

We've been elbow deep in LOADS of work. We're essentially doing our entire 400 level venom biology course in 2 1/2 weeks... I got the 'go ahead' on my idea proposal 6 days ago. We had about 5 hours in the lab over Tuesday and Wednesday and tomorrow (Friday) I have a presentation in front of my professor, TA, class and the high up experts of UQ's IMB whose research is the foundation for all our projects.  My final paper is due in 1 week. AHH there is so much stuff and everyone is a big ball of stress - including myself. We're all being held to this post doc level work but we're still undergrads kind of floating in the dark with extremely little guidance...

Last weekend we had our 5th and 6th free day of this program; this weekend is my 7th and 8th/ last free day aside from spring break. I spent them mostly catching up on sleep; but I did explore the city a bit. On Friday night the whole program went to a Rugby Union game - which was actually super fun and interesting. Saturday night I went to a night market called Eat Street and Sunday I went to a Koala Sanctuary called "Lone Pine". 

We officially passed the half way mark of this program, and as much as this is an incredible trip I am ready to go home (but probably want to come back after a week lol)

Image may contain: 21 people, people smiling
We saw the Queensland Reds vs. the NZ Brumbies (We won by the way :D)
Anyways, that's really my only news, it's been a rainy busy week (lol, starting to sound like a regular LC week) But I'm in a break from writing and rehearsing my presentation and final paper and everything else for this venom class. We have another week in Brisbane and then it's off to an Aboriginal camp which I am really excited for :) Then we have a short break and then its back on the grind for roughly 35 days without any days off. .... so. Until then I'm a busy busy bee. Long days short weeks, the time for sure flies in the long term, but each day has so much packed in.

Until next week :) I will have *hopefully* more fun and exciting things to report back.
If you have any questions always feel free to reach out :)



06 March 2018

Pio Log Feature

Hello All!! It's been a long week but I'm glad to have a chance to share a bit of with you all! 

I spent my Saturday morning interviewing for the Eli summer internship program with some of my classmates.  I wasn't too nervous because I had practiced with other students earlier in the week, but,  sadly,  it meant that I missed most of the international fair.  This is the first time in two years that I haven't been part of the fair and was really looking to attending the whole week.  I got back from the interview and ran over to the Chapel. It was great! Everyone always works so hard for this show!

The rest of the weekend was chill.  I mostly did Homework. Monday was exciting tho! My coworker and I were featured in the schools newspaper,  The Pio Log! They talked about our Wokeshop a few Mondays ago and what we hoped to achieve a with these Wokeshops.  It was pretty awesome seeing us in the newspaper!!  

We also had an exciting day at work today!  We celebrated our boss's birthday today! It was a great way to end the day and a great way to show our appreciation for all she's does for us on campus. 

Well,  gotta get back to work! I'll check in with you all later next week! 

Elvira Ruan

04 March 2018

International Fair!

Hey everyone! How are you? How's it going?

This past week can be summarized by the following:



It has felt like I've been studying back to back to back to back and every day I am studying for another test! Well, I think after this week of two more tests, I will finally be able to get a little bit of a lighter study week. On top of that, this week, well more like the past 3 days, have been SUUUUUUUUUUUUPER busy because of preparations for the International Fair that was on Saturday!

International Fair is a celebration of diversity and multicultural identities! On Saturday, the fair consisted of food from multiple regions that students prepared along with a fashion show and performances choreographed by students! I volunteered with Southeast Asia and we made pork and veggie eggrolls, chicken satay, and mango sticky rice! It was soooooo stressful trying to make sure that we got everything done by Saturday like rolling about 300-400 eggrolls buuut we got it done and I guess you could say that our food was a hit!

Anyways, today is a beautiful day and it sucks that I have to spend it inside because my back is in pain from standing so much the past couple of days. I also gotta get on with studying for my biology test that is tomorrow. I'm not feeling super confident about it buuuuut I'm gonna give it my best!

If you have any questions or just want to talk, you can reach me at:


Here's the quote of the week:

"A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work." - Colin Powell

♥ Jessica

01 March 2018

North Straddie

Hey Friends!

So I'm not even sure what day it is and how on track or off track I am for blogging... half because we've been going and not had a free day since...leaving Hobart...? Like... 2 1/2 weeks ago...?!

We went to Lamington, then to Brisbane, then last weekend we were on North Stradbroke Island and this past week we've been back in Brisbane.

Stormy views 
North Straddie was AMAZING though!!! At first I wasn't too happy about going away on our first weekend in Brissy (Also, yeah, all these abbreviations are real, AussIES like to end things in that "-y/-ie sound a lot! -- Tassie, Sydney, Brissy, Straddie... the list goes on... even things that aren't places, like sunnies). Anyways, I was even less thrilled because the forcast was 100% chance of thunderstorms Saturday and Sunday and then 100% rain for Monday. When we left on Saturday the forecast was true to it's word. It was POURING. We had to take a ferry over and we couldn't see more than 20m in any direction. We got to the island and they took us on a boardwalk walk. It's was incredibly beautiful and the swell was beautiful.
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Mangroves in North Straddie
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Solider Crabs
While we were there we were staying at the MBRS, the Morton Bay Research Station. We had two incredible tutors with us, Renee and Eliza. We learned all about North Straddie, and how it's a sand island. We learned about the formation and how delicate and unique the different sand island ecosystems are.

The first night we had a lecture and were also able to go out into the bay across the way and practice netting. There were SO many stingrays - we didn't catch any - and for good measure. But we saw a few, which was slightly terrifying. We caught a lot though!

Thankfully the weather turned on Sunday. It was a beautiful sunny day. We explored the mangroves and sea grass flats. I really loved how Eliza and Renee ran the program we had because they let us learn by exploring and just wandering. They would catch certain creatures we'd come across and tell us about them, but we didn't stay packed a group, I didn't take any photos of it, but it was super amazing! We saw HOARDS of soldier crabs and then a ton of sea cucumbers, various fish, a couple stingrays, I even saw some platyhelminths - some flat worms.

The Soldier Crabs are kinda creepy...They look really cool and it was like watching something out of National Geographic. They're appropriately called soldiers because they move like a carpet just scrambling over eachother. It's a bit weird because they almost look like spiders, aund they move in any direction - not just side to side.

We had some more lectures and explored a lot of the island and saw the geographical niches that were there. We went to the beach after lunch and looked at the sand dunes and did a horizontal transect across the island moving inland. Sand islands are very dynamic and are always moving with the cycle of new sand and old sand and nutrient cycling.

When we were there we got to go for a 10 minute swim!! It was like a whole new place, the water was so clear and beautiful and it was warm and sunny. The swell was strong but not too dangerous. It was scary though because we had all run into the water without a second thought, but a few minutes in Nat pointed out a stingray and we all just froze and waiting to find a safe exit out.

After the beach we went to a tea tree lake, called the brown lake. It's a perched lake, above the water table. The water was so clear, and it was sandy and lacked the normal slimy algae stuff. It also felt super nice after the sticky salt water. It was really cool to learn about all the places on the island and then get to go see them. It was also really nice because while we did learn a lot, Eliza and Renee let us be adults. They didn't hold our hands and make us all stop as a group to talk at us. They let us swim and relax a bit but taught us through immersion and discovery. 

The last day we were able to go back to the boardwalk and it was a completely different landscape. The water was SO CLEAR and it was just breathtaking. Looked like something out of instagram or pintrest.  North Straddie ended up being one of my favorite places, and definitely my favorite weekend / thing we've done so far. It was relaxing despite having that 14 hour Sunday, but it was so insanely beautiful and we we're doing marine biology which I find fascinating.

That's all for now,
got to go finish writing my venom bio proposal,
if you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email at ksaylor@lclark.edu