August 14, 2011 - 9:46 PM
As of Thursday morning, I am officially an alumnus of the University of Oregon! Around 8:30 am I gave my last presentation of my undergraduate experience, and today I checked duckweb, and my grade is up. While I am still waiting to receive official word that my diploma has been shipped, Thursday was a day to celebrate. After I left my last class at the University of Oregon, I immediately called my mom to share the good news, headed back to the apartment I'm staying at to pack up everything and then it was time to celebrate. My friend Leslie also had her last day of classes, ever, so I had someone to celebrate with.
Some friends joined me in my celebration as I rescheduled my work shift and instead enjoyed a delicious dinner at Evergreen, and Indian restaurant near campus. Most of us had not been to Evergreen before, so it was also great to cross that one off of our Eugene bucket list (which is almost covered in checkmarks!) We took a little break to let the massive food coma that ensued take its course, and then headed over to Sixteen Tons, a pub that has recently opened in Eugene and a new favorite of ours.
It was a wonderful way to celebrate the day! It was a little bit anti-climatic in comparison to the actual commencement ceremony, but it was still spent with someone wonderful friends in two fabulous places in Eugene. The whole day reminded me of how much I love this city and how much I will miss the people that I have spent the last four years with.
This week has also made me excited and nervous about what is to come! I still have about seven months until I leave for the Peace Corps, and I am not quite sure what my plan is until then. I will be moving back in with my parents and the job hunt is on. I am hoping to find something in the healthcare field, but I'm willing to take what I can get in order to put a dent in my student loans until I leave for the Peace Corps.
I am really appreciative of having this blog as an outlet to record and share my experiences from this past year! I really enjoyed deciding what part of week was worth writing about and remembering, and using this blog as an opportunity to hone my writing skills in another area besides lab reports. The University of Oregon has given me an absolutely amazing four years, and I am so thrilled that I was able to share part of my experiences with others.
August 13, 2011 - 11:54 PM
After my last class (of college, ever!) those left in the crew in Eugene and I headed up to our friend Cam's cabin on Lake Merwin. It was a fantastic way to celebrate my graduation from the University of Oregon, and it was made even better by the fact that I was able to see a lot of friends that have moved out of Eugene, so there was a reunion aspect to the whole trip.
We left in the afternoon, after a Skype date with our friend Tracy who is currently in Guatemala. We made several pit stops along the way, once in Oregon City to pick up the tent we will need for our big camping trip in Eastern Oregon next week. We also needed to do a little dress shopping for Leslie, as she is the maid of honor in her sister's wedding this fall. After much searching, we found Leslie a near-perfect dress and then headed off to the lake!
We arrived just in time to start dinner, which was delicious of course. More and more of the McAlister crew showed up, and it was fantastic to be together again. Even some of our friends that couldn't make the weekend because of their scattered locations throughout the country were able to share in the fun via speakerphone calls.
In spite of a rather cold weekend for August, we managed to catch a couple shooting stars of the Perseid Meteor Shower, lots of swimming and boating, and plenty of relaxation. My favorite part was just hanging out with the whole group, with everyone going separate ways we don't get that as often. I was also excited to get some reunion times planned; we're working on getting several football games on the schedule. The worst part about no longer being a student is the lack of availability of football tickets, but we're in the works of making at least of couple of games happen.
It was a pretty fantastic weekend overall, and after it I could not be more excited for football to start. With the flight schedules, it is looking like I will be making it out to the Missouri and Washington State games, so I am excited to have a return date to Eugene.
August 7, 2011 - 10:45 PM
It's been a long day after the long drive back from Seattle and Sunday shift at the call center! I can't complain though, because I had an absolutely amazing weekend visiting a friend, Emily, in Seattle.
Emily, the talented U of O undergraduate student that she is, snagged herself an internship with Starbucks for the summer. Now, I have come to learn this isn't your run-of-the-mill internship. This is the type of internship that provides one with a beautiful apartment in downtown (with a great view!), lots of free coffee and tea, and still manages to pay the interns. Emily is one of the few, hardworking students of the Interior Architecture program here at the U of O, and is working as a design intern for Starbucks.
Having heard bits and pieces about Emily's experience in Seattle this summer, I was really hoping for the chance to visit her and check the whole thing out for myself, and luckily this weekend presented itself with the perfect opportunity. My friend Leslie (from Bainbridge Island) needed to drive up to the area for some family time, so Lydia and I decided to join her for the drive and see Emily. We weren't the only ones who had wanted to get in some time with Emily and her fellow Starbucks intern (and UO Interior Architecture student), so we were joined by a couple of fellow Ducks for the weekend.
Unfortunately, we didn't arrive in time to check out her work space, but we did get to hear all about it and the exciting stuff that she is doing. She even had a few examples of her work on her laptop, so we got to see some of it firsthand. I was especially impressed with her lamp designs, which will be options for use in a whole bunch of new stores opening in Brazil! I am so impressed by the whole architecture program here at the UO, and especially by Emily! She is so hardworking and talented and it's great to see her with such a great internship.
The fun city that Seattle is brought us lots of entertainment, and after a few months of living in the city, Emily had plenty of fun places to take us. We ate some delicious food, enjoyed a gorgeous hike around the Sound, and had some fun in with the nightlife. Lydia and I both were especially excited to spend lots of time with Emily, who we haven't seen since graduation. It was great to catch up with her, which I appreciate even more now that we are all going separate ways after graduation!
August 4, 2011 - 3:45 PM
This work week provided something a little different at the Annual Giving Program. All of the student callers were offered the opportunity to participate in the AGP photo shoot! What exactly does this entail? Well, a lot of wandering around campus with a bunch of the AGP caller crew and a lot of smiling.
The pictures are used for the mailings that the Annual Giving Program sends out every year and may be posted on the AGP website as well. So, you may be seeing my face along with 15-20 other AGP callers as well in the near future!
Over two days, about 15-20 student callers hung out around campus, along with a photographer. Not every single person was needed for each shot, so there was a lot of sitting and watching, which was almost as much fun. We would mix in and out, and the rest of us were able to chat, enjoy the sunshine and watch our peers get their picture taken.
I arrived just before 9 am in the EMU, where we took a whole bunch of pictures, myself involved in a couple inside and out of the building. I'm really happy that out of all of the places, many of my pictures were taken at the EMU. The building is the heart of campus, and will soon be under renovation, so it was neat for me to get to document the EMU that I experienced while a student.
From the EMU, we moved on through the rest of campus, stopping at Willamette (the science building, and one of my favorites on campus), the chemistry lab, the main quad etc. We were fed some delicious food courtesy of the U of O's catering service, and then I had to dip out for an hour for peer advising with the Human Physiology department for an hour. But, then I returned and the photos continued. Mine, and many others last photos for the day took place in the Lillis Business complex. The next morning brought a similar routine, starting out in Condon Hall and the Knight Library.
The whole experience was a lot of fun. I got to hang out with a bunch of my work friends, eat some delicious U of O catering, and while I felt a little silly at times, smiled for some pictures. It should be pretty fun to see which pictures they end up choosing to use through this next year!
July 31, 2011 - 10:58 PM
It has been a busy week! Lots of parts of it have been a ton of fun, and an equal amount been a ton of work. I moved out of my house of the last year this week and I started work on the big group project we have due at the end of the term for my psychology class. I also headed up north to Portland this weekend for the Brewfest and went camping for a night to celebrate our friend Natalie's birthday.
Moving out started on Wednesday, when my mom came down to help move all of my big belongings back to my parents' home in Oregon City. Her and my youngest sister helped me finish packing up and loading a whole bunch of heavy furniture into our truck and trailer and hauled the whole thing back to Oregon City. It was a very long day, full of lots of sweat, some frustration, and a delicious dinner at Agate Alley to celebrate our hard work. It was also incredibly sad to see our house slowly disappear, and was made worse when the next day Kate and her dad moved her furniture out the next day. Thursday was spent cleaning around Kate and Randy, working at AGP, and finishing up details for our group project outline.
After all of the hard work of the week, the weekend finally arrived and we had big plans. Leslie, Kevin, Lydia, Lizzy and I left in the early afternoon for Oregon Brew Fest in Portland. We arrived in that afternoon, spending a few minutes and tastes inside until we met Kate there. She came bearing the gifts of a bag of free tokens (the beer tastes work on a wooden token system), and we promptly enjoyed a wide array of beers. Some of the other McAlister gang met us there as well, and we enjoyed sampling beer into the evening. Then, the girls retreated back to Kate's home in Vancouver to eat some pizza and get ready for an evening out in downtown. We met back up with a couple of the guys, enjoyed the night and headed back to Kate's for the rest of the evening.
The next morning was spent laying around Kate's pool and enjoying an amazing breakfast thanks to Sue, Kate's mom. It was a perfect lazy Saturday morning, and was followed by a quick drive our friend Natalie's home on the Colombia River. We joined a few other friends already there for a camp out on her family's property of about 1600 acres, much of it filled with beautiful wetlands and a reserve for white tailed deer. It was an absolutely gorgeous area, and with the exception of some forgotten tent poles (which led to a night spent with some of the most ferocious mosquitoes I have ever seen in the Pacific Northwest), a wonderful evening was spent with great friends in a incredibly beautiful place.
This busy week ended in the same way it started, packing up the last of my belongings and taking them to the room I'll be subletting for the next two weeks while I finish up my classes. I can feel my time in Eugene ticking away, and I intend to make the most of the last few days I have here!