28 November 2018

Final Stretch!

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Back from Break
Coming back to campus after Thanksgiving break it feels like winter as finally set in. There is a cold crispness to the air, and a creeping stress in the atmosphere. It's hard to believe there are only 3 full weeks left in the semester at this point, and I know it will go fast with all of the essays and projects and studying there is to do between now and then. I thought it might be helpful to share a little bit about what the end of the semester is like and what to expect from finals.
Image result for motivational playlist cover artFirst things first: it's after Thanksgiving which means it's time for lots of Micheal Buble and Mariah Carrey to get in the holiday spirit for the end of the year. Or if Christmas music isn't your thing, a great motivational playlist is key for surviving the end of the semester in my opinion.

To Do 
Related imageRelated imageOnce you're all set with some good music it's time to take on the essays! This semester I'm taking Intro to Comparative Politics, Intro to International Affairs, Intro to Environmental Studies, Exploration and Discovery, and a Spanish conversational class. As you might be able to guess, these classes are mostly reading and writing intensive (math is by far not my strong suit). So as a result, at the end of the year, I have a lot of essays to write, which may be different from people taking more science or math-heavy classes. For me, I have a 6-page literary analysis essay for E&D due first, and then a comparative politics essay comparing and contrasting the regimes two countries, and then I have an environmental studies term paper due where I'm writing about urban development and design policies in the developing world compared to the developed world. I also have a short Spanish powerpoint presentation due about a movie we're watching in class, and a group poster to proposre and environmental engagement project in Environmental Studies. And then finally in the last few days of the semester we have reading days and final exams! Listed out like this it might sound like a lot, and I am a little stressed, to be honest, but there's a lot of resources and strategies I know I can use to make the end of the semester go smoothly.

Study Srategies
Related imageRelated imageMost of these due dates are well spaced out over the next few weeks, so I'm going to focus on time management and accomplishing one thing at a time as the deadlines approach. All of my professors have emphasized over and over how they want to help people during office hours, and they're always flexible about meeting with students. I know if I'm struggling with something I can always go to my professors for help or clarifications. I'm also know that my peers are in the same position that I am, and that we can work together to help eachother make finals less stressful. I've had really helpful stufy groups for my IA class in the past, and in my Spanish class we're having discussions about the movie to aid our personal presentations about it, and doing group work for my environmental engagement project makes things less stressful because we can all pitch it. And overall all of my friends are really supportive and it's nice to have people to complain to and help support each other while we allget things done. Finally, for me keeping a physical calendar with all the important deadlines and events I have coming up is  a great visual way to keep track of how much time have or don't have for different tasks

25 November 2018

Thanksgiving on the Oregon Coast

Hello everyone!

We only have two and a half more weeks of classes and then reading days and finals! Where has the time gone? I can’t wait for winter break and spring semester!

This year I was not able to go home to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family, but I did get to celebrate it with friends on the Oregon coast through a College Outdoors trip.

Wednesday night through Saturday evening was spent with CO. During the trip we stayed at Camp Kiwanilong in northwestern Oregon. The cabin that my friends and I slept in was unheated but we had nice sleeping bags to keep us warm at night. The main lodge was heated and spacious with a large kitchen for all of the Thanksgiving food we made.
Making Thanksgiving Dinner!

Wednesday night when we arrived we stayed up late playing games and solving riddles. Thursday was spent just hanging out in the lodge. It was very relaxing. I helped peel vegetables and make pumpkin pies. People worked on homework, read books, watch movies, played guitar, napped, and played frisbee. It was really fun to hang out in the kitchen because it smelled amazing and we were listening to fun music.

On Friday we drove closer to the coast and did a hike through the forest that overlooked the ocean. The hike was so beautiful. It was very green and had huge trees but it was also very muddy and slippery. After our hike, we stopped to look at the ocean from the beach.

I was definitely feeling a little sad and homesick to not be going home when everyone else was. The CO trip really made me feel much better. I got to hang out with some of my good friends I had already made and I met some new people as well. It was also nice to just have a chance to finally relax and do nothing at all after always being crazy busy with everything at school. I would highly recommend going on the CO Thanksgiving trip if you are ever unable to go home for break.

Have a wonderful day,


18 November 2018

Copeland Quad Life

Hello everyone!

Beautiful trees in Tryon
This past week has been unusual for Portland - we’ve had a week of sunshine and clear skies. I have been soaking up the sun while it’s here. Some people thought the 55-degree weather was a bit chilly but I thought it was great running weather. I started running in Tryon State Park which is located just a few blocks from campus. It has great trails to run and it is really nice to surround yourself in nature after a day full of classes.

In this post I am going to share my dorm experience so far:
The bridge that connects D wing to E & F wing

I currently live in a quad in Copeland Hall. I really like living in Copeland for the most part. Copeland is the largest dorm on campus and it has an A,B,C,D,E,F, and G wing which are all connected by hallways and even an enclosed bridge thing. Each wing is a little different and kind of has a different vibe to it just based on the mix of people living there each year.

I live in D wing of Copeland and I really enjoy it. My room is on the first floor so I never have to go up any stairs.  D wing is home to the “Xperiment” Living-Learning Community (LLC). When I signed up for housing last spring I did not sign up to be in an LLC, but because I live in D wing of Copeland I have now joined the Xperiment LLC because why not. Xperiment is focused around STEM (the LLC hasn’t done anything yet but it can do group study sessions, fun science experiments & outings, etc)  and I know that there are a lot of STEM majors in D wing, myself included.

Copeland is the furthest
purple pin on the left
Honestly, the only downside to living in Copeland is that it is just a little further away from things. Also, the bridge that crosses the ravine that shortens the distance is still under construction and isn’t supposed to be finished until February or so. And when I say it’s “far” I mean I walk for maybe 6 or 7 minutes to get to class - so in reality it’s not very far but sometimes it feels far. However, I do kind of like that it’s slightly further away because I feel that I get more of a separation between my academics and my home space that way.

My bottom bunk bed with my lights
When I signed up for housing, my first choice was to be put in just a regular double room and then a quad and then a triple as my last choice (since triples at LC are 3 people in a room that’s made for a double). I remember opening my housing packet in July and pulling out the piece of paper and realizing I had been placed in a quad. I was so excited to be in a quad because you get to meet three new people and have a separate bedroom and living space which is super nice. I think LC does a pretty good job at matching roommates up. My roommates and I all get along really well and I am really happy that I get to live with them. 
Our main room

The separate room is nice, especially because we all go to bed at different times and it allows for more flexibility. I go to be pretty early as much as I can since I have morning practices for rowing on some days (I wake up at 5:40am) and the other days I like to wake up at 7am and spend my morning having breakfast in the dining hall before my classes. Also, there is just more space in the quads which is nice. We don’t have closets but we each have a wardrobe to hang and store stuff as well as a stack of drawers with a mirror. In our room, we also have a microwave, mini fridge, and coffee machine that my various roommates brought. A nice thing the school offers is a microwave and mini-fridge rental if you don’t want to buy your own for school.
This is roughly what my layout is like

Currently, our room is all decorated for the holidays! I really like Christmas decorations so I’ve been putting some stuff up. On our door we have a countdown to Christmas thing, we have little Christmas lights and banners up around the room as well as paper snowflakes and a 3ft tree. Decorating is definitely important when it comes to living in a dorm because it makes it more homey and personal. Some of my friends have hung tapestries on their fluorescent ceiling lights to subdue the harsh white light and give off a cozy vibe. Lots of people have plants, string lights, posters, pictures, seasonal decorations, and much more!

Have a wonderful day!


Home for the Holidays

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This weekend I'm getting ready to go home for Thanksgiving and I'm really excited to see all of my family and enjoy the holiday with them. I'm from Albuquerque, NM and I'm also really looking forward to flying in and seeing the Sandia mountains because I've missed them too. The last week I've been talking with all my friends and my roommates and we've all been discussing out plans to go home for Thanksgiving and I think it's a pretty common theme to hear everyone saying how excited they are to go home and see their family, but also how excited they are to return to LC after the break.

I really enjoy going to a school where most of the student body comes from out of state or out of the country, and even most of those that come from Oregon are from outside of Portland.  Talking about where we're all from is a really nice way to bond and learn more about each other. It's also really nice to bond over how excited we all are to go home and see our families. I'm really glad that I looked at the percentage of students from out of state as a factor in where I wanted to go to school because I think it would feel harder to fit in at a school where most of the students come from that area. I like that most of the freshman class had only ever visited Portland once or twice before coming here to go to school. It means that we all get to explore the city together and find all the good restaurants, and the best food truck parks, and the coolest stores, and the best places to go for a walk or a run just off campus. I have loved getting to explore these things about the city will all of my friends.  And because we're all from different states and cities I also feel like I get to learn lots of stuff about other cities that I've never been to. A lot of people are from the Bay Area so I've learned a lot about the different neighborhoods and cities in the bay area. And I have a few friends from Minnesota and I always enjoy hearing their accents. I also like that as it's getting cold we all compare what the weather is like where we're from to the weather here. It's always really nice to have these conversations about home and about how we're adjusting to life here. I think going through this process of adjusting to life here all together and being able to talk about it with lot's of people going through the same experience is really great.

And so, I'm really looking forward to going home and all the things I'll do there: seeing my parents; catching up with my younger brother; playing with my little cousins; sleeping in my bedroom; visiting my old high school; and of course, spending Thanksgiving together with all of the people I love. But as much as I'm excited about that I also know I'll be really happy to come back to my second home at LC because I know there are lots of people I care about here too, and I'm happy here just as much as I am at home. 

13 November 2018

College Outdoors!

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Chart of Willapa Bay where we paddled 

College Outdoors is, in my opinion, one of the coolest organizations/extracurriculars on campus and I highly suggest getting involved with CO. This weekend I went on a college outdoors student coordinator training trip to kayak in Willapa Bay. I had a great time and learned a lot, and I'm planning on becoming a student coordinator.

If you don't know that much about college outdoors, it is an organization on campus that organizes outdoor trips (day trips and overnights) throughout the school year. They also organize the New Student Trips (NSTs) at the beginning of each year. CO trains and employs students as trip leaders. They also organize Wilderness First Responder trainings, have weekly skill workshops, and rent out gear to students.

The kayaking trip that I went on this weekend is part of being trained to be a trip leader in the future. CO has a leadership ladder where you work your way up from participants to student coordinator to assistant leader to trip leader. To work your way up this chain you have to complete a number of requirements such as getting certified to drive CO vehicles, and trained to drive with trailers. It's also recommended that you go to the weekly college outdoors "Open Houses" where you learn various camping and outdoors skills and you also learn about all the processes and procedures that CO uses. To be an assistant leader or trip leader you have to be WFR certified, and CO offers courses for that every winter break and right after school lets out in the summer.

Right now I'm attending open houses and I'm planning on getting driver certified so that I can help student coordinate next spring. The kayaking trip that I went on this weekend was a training trip for people who signed up to help lead kayaking or water-related trips. I had an amazing time this weekend. It was a small group of people and we were all super interested in learning as much as we could about how to be student coordinators and all of the kayaking skills we could. We got to stay in cabins with running water and hot showers which was a nice treat after a chilly day. We did a lot of goal setting on the trip and helped eachother work towards those goals. I wanted to improve my turning when paddling and I learned a lot of new ways to do that so I'm excited to keep practicing the new skills I have. The other great part about CO trips is I also met a lot of new people and got to spend a lot of time getting to know them so I'm also excited about seeing them around campus and saying hi, or meeting up with them for dinner or lunch.

If you love the outdoors I highly suggest checking out college outdoors and thinking about how it could fit into your college experience. I personally know that CO is a really great part of my experience in college.

12 November 2018

Fall Updates + Resources

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

I'm so sorry for being super mia lately! Lots of things have been happening in my personal life and a lot of it has put a toll on my academics. I've been struggling to keep up with my assignments and finding time to deal with everything else. What is super nice about professors at LC is that everyone is understanding of your situations. Like, I went to my research professor and she helped me make an appointment with Student Support Services and they guided me in the right direction to find the resources I needed. They made my professors aware of my situation and I have been able to receive extensions on my assignments and I have been able to slowly catch up on all the work that I have.

Other than that, my semester has been pretty well. Thanksgiving break is coming up and I'm flying back home! It's been super windy and cold here lately (but no rain!) and some warmth from the California sun is what I really need. I've also been doing research into with study abroad program I want to apply for! Right now, it's between South Korea for Spring 2020 or Vietnam for Fall 2020! What's stopping me from making a final decision is whether or not I can do senior thesis if I go spend half of my senior year abroad. Lots of meetings have been going on between me, my academic advisors, and my faculty advisor. They have all been super patient and helpful in suggesting what I should do and what my plan would be if I were to choose this or choose that!

Oh! Registration for next semester classes have started and ohh my goodness, registration is at 7 am this year! I mean, I'm usually up before 7 am but being that stressed to register for classes so early in the day just makes me restless! First round went really well last week and I was able to register for my first choice which was physics 142 and second round is this week! Fingers crossed that I'm able to get all the classes that I want!
When registration is finished, I'll make a post about what classes I got!

Anyways, I wanna try to be more consistent on my posting and I will try my best to but life is full of unexpected events and balancing my 20 units has been in the way! I hope you all have an amazing rest of the week! Remember to take care of yourselves!

♥ Jessica

11 November 2018

Fall Classes Update

Hello everyone!

This week I had my second international affairs midterm which I felt really good about. I went to a midterm election viewing party in the library. I got registered in the first round of registrations for Bio 151 for next semester which I am excited about. I really like learning about genetics and evolution so I am really looking forward to bio 151.  I went downtown with my roommate to get fun Christmas decorations. We also got fried rice at one of my favorite food trucks and coffee at this cafe called “Heart” which was really fun!

I am finally done with all of my midterms and there are only 5 weeks till finals. All of my classes have been going really well. We got our assignment for the final in Colonial Latin American History which is to make a museum exhibit regarding race and labor in Latin America. One team gets to curate the museum and the other teams create pieces to help tell answer the historical question. We have been learning about mestizaje and castizaje in Latin America which is so fascinating. The ideas of separations between racial groups but also unifying the people under one label.

My Chinese 201 class has been going well too. I like the class because it is really easy and mostly speaking based so class time is spent reading the textbook aloud and practicing sentence patterns. Taking a language through the 201 level completes the language requirement at LC so I won’t be taking Chinese anymore - mainly because I don’t have any available time to continue Chinese classes as I am planning on double majoring in international affairs and biology.

I really love my IA 100 class which is Intro to International Relations. It is so cool to learn about all the different aspects of the international system. IA is something I definitely want to pursue as a career. We just had a midterm that was open notes so that was super helpful. There’s a lot of reading for the class and we read the New York Times every morning to prepare for class. It’s awesome to read the paper every morning and be informed about what’s happening.

In my Exploration & Discovery, we just finished reading Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own and are starting the Communist Manifesto. I just wrote an essay comparing incrementalism and radicalism in relation to the Arab Spring. My E&D class is really interesting because we spend most classes discussing current events and issues in depth and relating them to our readings. Next semester I am in an E&D class called Understanding How We Understand the Maya which I hope will be cool because I like history and learning about the ancient civilizations in Latin America.

Have a wonderful day!


04 November 2018

Satan's Circus

Every fall semester around Halloween Fire Arts puts on the Danced of the Damned, our big fall show.   This year’s theme was Satan’s Circus.  It went great!  We have a bunch of new members who only joined this semester and everyone did a really good job with their numbers.  We had hypnotists, jugglers, acrobats, snake charmers, clowns, demons, and a peanut vendor among others.  There was quite an audience the first night, it was over 100 (probably around 120), and the second night had about 60 people. 

We had been preparing for this show since mid-September and it was great to see it come out so well.  I was in two of the numbers: the intro to get everyone’s attention and later I tortured a damned soul with my rope dart.  (Really, I threw a ball of fire close to her face and she fell over as if she’d been hit.)  It took a lot of practice, but I think it was worthwhile.

Our shows are usually planned by picking a theme and then all our members choose an idea related to that theme that they want to pursue.  The different numbers are then stitched together in a way that makes sense.  We decided that since it was our Halloween show we wanted to do an evil circus theme.  From there it developed into Satan’s circus in which he tortures his damned souls.

Here’s the lineup:
An intro to get everyone’s attention (a “Pink Elephants On Parade” remix)
Satan’s dance with demon backup dancers (“I’m the Bad Guy”)
An evil clown attacks a damned soul (“That Laughing Track”)
An acrobatic Succubus (“Seven Devils”)
A hypnotist (“Sacred Somnom Woods”)
The fight between the hypnotized victim and a demon (“Adventure’s End”)
A peanut vendor from a circus in New York accidentally wanders into hell and is made to perform (“Take It Off”)
Some demons decide they like the peanut vendor and have her join them (a “highway to Hell” edit)
My torturing of a damned soul (“Gods and Monsters”)
A juggling act (“The Jitters”)
A martial artist (“Evil”)
A famous knife thrower who has now swapped to the more satisfying hobby of just stabbing people (“Father of Victory March”)
Satan’s goodnight (“Blood on My Name”)

Do you have any questions? Please email me at ameliaberle@lclark.edu

A New Job & More Rowing

Hello everyone!

This week has been really fun!

I started my new job as an assistant to the English & History departments here on campus. The job is cool because I get to have office experience, work with some graphic design things, and get to know the faculty. I get to create the flyers for upcoming events that are hosted by the departments. So now I am an office assistant, a lunch host, blogger, and notetaker. There are lots of opportunities for different kinds of jobs on campus which is really nice.

View from the UW boathouse
This weekend was filled with rowing. On Saturday we had our  Orange vs. Black Regatta which is where our crew team is split in half and we get to create the lineups and race against each other. My team, the black team, won! We raced a mixed 8 that won the first round, my women’s 4 won the second round, and our final best mixed 8 won the last round. Then later on Saturday night, the varsity boats got on a bus and we headed up to Seattle for the Head of the Lake Regatta on Sunday. I have been rowing for about 7 weeks and it was so amazing to be able to be a part of the women’s varsity 8 boat today. We rowed with purpose and came in 6th place - beating the University of Oregon! The course was super cool and very beautiful. We rowed under bridges and past the Seattle skyline and through the famous Montlake Cut. 
The race course

Also a fun note: this summer I read The Boys in the Boat (10/10 would recommend you read it!!) which is about the true story of how the University of Washington team went to the Berlin Olympics and won gold. So there’s a lot of history in the rowing program at UW and it was cool to see the old boat house and the racing shell the boys won the Olympics in.

Have a wonderful day,