June 12, 2011 - 10:40 PM
Well, I was trying to decide how to go about writting my final blog about graduation, and I feel like there's nothing more to say that hasn't already been said. Earlier today my friends and I held our very own McAlister & Friends Graduation Celebration in Alton Baker Park, and although the real graduation is tomorrow morning I wouldn't feel right ending my blogging career without placing my friends and family as the centerpiece. For my last post I've transcribed the speech I gave at our graduation celebration and embedded the actual video (courtesy of my father) below. Enjoy!
Good morning. Once again, I would like to thank everyone for coming out today... not that there was any chance you would miss this. We hope you've been having fun because we've been having fun for the past four years or so and I think this celebration is a pretty good example of the fun that we've been having.
For those of you that don't know me, my name is Trafton Bean and I am today's Keystone Speaker. That's not a typo. We just enjoy celebrating our favorite cheap beer... a lot.
The speech I'm about to present to you today, I originally wrote it for tomorrow's graduation. I submitted it to the graduation committee, and they turned it down [crowd boos]... their loss.
I would like to speak to you today about "legacies." What does it mean to leave our legacy? And, well, my friends in front of me know what I'm about to say next so I might as well get it out of the way....
YES, I AM THE GUY FROM THE U OF O HOMEPAGE.
And, because she never get's enough credit, Lizzy Kay is the girl from the homepage. She has just been blessed with not having red hair or a beard. But for those of you who were wondering, we were known as "those people from the webpage" for a full 348 days, and I was actually a bit mad because if you do the math that's about a week and a half short of one full year. We were going to have a celebration party for it, but they didn't even give us that respect.
For 348 days, we were the online poster children, the faces of this University. We were recognized by everyone. By professors, by friends, by Dough Co. delivery guys. There's even the story of when we were at a party at the Compound, which for those of you that don't know was the guys' old house last year, and Kelsey overheard one person say to a friend, "Oh my god I just saw the guy from the homepage," and his friend whispered back, "Oh my god I just saw the girl, I think she's here too!!" So, as you can tell, we're a little bit famous I guess.
I thought it would be over after that 348 days when we came down from the webpage, but alas it was not. We just became "the people that used to be on the homepage." It was a simple change in verb-age. Even better, after we were done, it was our own Cam and Trey Norris that replaced us. If you would like to see either of those two pictures you can just open up the McAlister Graduation yearbook. Cam is the one with a, uh, dashiki over his face. Trey is the only one you can actually make out in that second photo. They did in fact climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
The reason I'm mentioning this is because a few weeks ago when I was thinking about graduating, I was wondering is this going to be my legacy? Is this going to be our legacy, as the guy and the girl from the homepage? Is this all I'm going to be remembered for five and ten years down the road...? Probably. I mean I'd like to be remembered for some other things like... a good student, a nice guy, even in the winter...especially in the winter. But, no, it doesn't doesn't work that way. To a lot of people we will always be known as "those people on the webpage."
That's when it donned upon me that you can never really choose your legacy. It just sort of happens. You sort of fall into it, so to speak. For example there's a lot of us that have our own little legacies. I'll start with my own father...
Bruce Bean, the man behind the camera, became "Brucer" after the night when he was seen taking a paint stick and an ice luge and drinking beers with my roommates...on the roof. Brucer, that's his legacy.
How ‘bout Randy, Randy Loftesness. We know him as the tailgate king, but there are some other people that he went to school with that him as the bartender in town that would chug a bottle of Tabasco just for the heck of it...and for money. [Randy, "it was for money."] Okay, for money.
Cam Norris, who you already heard from, holdS the record for the shortest throw in University of Oregon history to actually score points. Check that, world record. Last year in the Oregon-UCLA Duel meet, Cam came down with a bad case of mono, and with a throw of a whopping four feet, six inches and three quarter inches, which if you measure it out is about the length of his arm, he got third place. Legacy.
How about Ross Richards... the winning-est Club Bass Fisherman in University of Oregon history. I don't know if that's true or not, but just go with it. And let's not forget how Ross joined myself and our friends Emma and Kelsey to become the first and only, as of now, Beerylympic Champions! I know that I said the only, but there's still next year.
The U of O is full of legacies. Phil Knight...the shoes and now the sugardaddy. SupWitUGirl, who knew they were going to be such a hit with "I Luv my Ducks." Ashton Eaton and Andy Wheating, world record holder and both Olympians...we partied with them. LaGarrette Blount and Jeremiah Masoli...eh...legacy.
Like I said you never get to choose your legacies. You just fall into them. They may be good ones. They may be not so good ones. Legacies of fame and infamy. But for better or for worse, we have no choice but to embrace them because they are our own personal legacies that we've left here in Eugene and at the University of Oregon.
But now what about ‘us'? Those are personal legacies. What about us together as McAlister & Friends. I was thinking about it, and "legacy" just doesn't cut it. We need a better word, and the only one that I could think of that gets even close to describing us is "LEGENDARY."
We are University of Oregon LEGENDS. We've garnered awards and honors. We've traveled to Cal and Stanford, Bumbershoot and Bainbridge, Sasquatch, Dave, the Country Fair, Pasadena and Glendale, and soon to come is Dallas for the LSU game next year. We've come from California and Boston, Seattle, Portland, and Chicago. We've partied at the Compound. We've spun the drink wheel at Agate Alley. We've danced at Taylors. And, yes, we've closed down Max's. For the past four years, we have won the day...EVERY DAY. These are the Legendary Tales of McAlister & Friends.
Some of us will leave after this year. Some of us leave after next year. A select few of us will leave after five years. But the Legends of McAlister & Friends will live on forever, and no one can ever take away from us.
We hope, once again, that you have a wonderful time today and thank you all for coming.
Thanks again to Annual Giving for providing the opportunity to capture these great stories of my college experience over the past two years. Thank you to my family for supporting my educational journey. And, of course, thank you to all my friends for the four best years of my life. It's been an absolute honor to share these moments with you all, and I cannot wait to see where each of us ends up in the future.
Once last time, good night and Go Ducks!
June 9, 2011 - 1:00 PM
This quick story is slowly becoming one of my personal favorites of college, and that's a pretty big statement for me because as you can attest, I've had my fair share of good ones. This one might just be a little bit more memorable, though, because everyone has their "I've officially graduated..." story, and I pretty proud of mine.
My last final of college was this morning at 10:00 AM. It was a breezy fifty multiple-choice questions for my Intro to Planning (PPPM 399) course. All I had to do was answer at least half of them correctly and I would pass the class, so I wasn't incredibly nervous. Nonetheless, I woke up at 7:30 as per usual and headed to Café Roma for a cup of coffee and some last minute studying.
Exam time rolled around and I made sure to take my time. I wanted to savor the last few Scantron bubbles of my undergraduate career. I finished up around 11:00 AM, thanked my professor and Graduate Teaching Fellow, and walked triumphantly out of the lecture hall. But my glorious exit certainly didn't end there.
My first stop after the exam was at the Duck Store on corner of 13th and Kincaid where I sold back my textbook for the class. It's not that I didn't enjoy the book, because it's actual one of the better ones I've had, it's just that I didn't have any use for it anymore. With the money I received from selling the book back, a pleasantly lucrative $55 refund, my first purchase was none other than an "Oregon Alumni" t-shirt, like the one pictured above.
When I found the t-shirt they only had sizes large and extra large, so I brought one up to the cashier and politely asked her if they had any mediums in stock. She checked the computer and said, "Yes, if they aren't already out there, then they might be in the back. Would you like me to go check?"
I responded, "Um, would you mind? I sort of just finished my last final. I graduate on Monday. This is a big moment for me."
"Oh, how wonderful! Congratulations! Let me see what I can do." She strolled to the back and returned with my size medium. It was fate.
After proudly donning my new favorite t-shirt. I walked down Kincaid Street to Renny's Landing where I had a victory drink with some other classmates who had also just completed their Intro to Planning exams. Oakshire's Overcast Espresso Stout never tasted so delicious.
And that's all she wrote. Only a couple ceremonies stand between myself and a diploma, but all the hard stuff is out of the way. I imagine I'll have one final blog post before I officially sign off from my Oregon blogging career. Stay tune for highlights from Graduation Day.
Countdown to Graduation: 4 DAYS!!
June 7, 2011 - 6:14 PM
My last finals week has officially begun and it's probably one of the more unique ones I've had. Yesterday and today have been completely devoted to finishing up the Community Planning Workshop (CPW) in more ways than one with Team Solid and the rest of the class.
Monday morning, Monique and I met at the HEDCO Learning Commons to run through our first of two final presentations for the City of Eugene; for this one we presented on an economic analysis and procurement practices for carpet and asphalt shingles. Monique and I ran through our local market assessment for both waste materials as well as purchasing and procurement practices that other city governments are utilizing in order to reduce the amount of waste they produce.
The idea with this presentation was to provide information about the current status of construction and demolition debris recycling in the local Eugene-Springfield Metro Area (ESMA) and offer some recommendations for how to improve those practices and divert more waste from the landfill. That is after all our overarching goal with this project, diverting waste from the landfill.
The presentation went off without a hitch. Monique probably spoke about 75% of the time for the presentation, seeing as she did the majority of the work for this section of our team's project, and she absolutely killed it. The City representatives that we spoke with were thrilled with our recommendations, and I felt privileged to presenting with Monique.
One final presentation done and one to go, but after a long day of working it was time for a quick break. After our presentation ended I hopped on my bike and raced home from the Atrium Building - where the City of Eugene's central office is located in downtown Eugene - to change clothes for our CPW kickball game. That's right, I said KICKBALL!
I have to remind myself that CPW was my graduate level class, yet I often found myself doing seemingly non-graduate level activities, e.g., writing rap lyrics for a music video about solid waste and playing kickball. Nonetheless, it was a perfect way to decompress after a very serious presentation.
It was nothing but smiles yesterday afternoon at the CPW kickball game. I don't think there was a single time the ball was kicked that I didn't end up laughing out loud. There were great catches in the outfield, bobbled balls in the infield and horrible miss throws to every base. There was a good deal of time trying to explain the rules of kickball to Nan Zhao, our classmate that grew up in China. Somehow she always ended up kicking for her team first. Then our opponents devised a new strategy where they would line up together at home plate so that we wouldn't know who was kicking until we pitched the ball. I think my favorite part of the game was that we didn't keep score. We barely even paid attention to how many outs we recorded every half inning, and I actually couldn't tell you how many innings we played. Like I said, it was loads of fun.
Joanna pitches to Mark in the CPW kickball game.
After the kickball game, we moved the party over to Bethany and Erik's house - Bethany was one of three professors for CPW. The dinner was our way of celebrating the end of an arduous six months of CPW, and it was a grand way to put a close to our time together. We ate outside on their deck, cracked jokes, enjoyed each other's company and met Bethany and Erik's daughter, Sabine. We asked Mark, our project manager, some of the burning questions we had that we couldn't ask him during the project, such as ‘were there any times when you had no idea what was going on?' The answer, of course, was ‘yes.' The CPW was more than just a class for all of us. It was a family. And it's a family of fiends that I'm going to miss a whole lot next year.
This morning, my team met for our oral final with Bethany and Bob Parker, the director of CPW. The Oral Final was more or less an hour-long reflection on our team's successes. Normally, I would say "successes" and "failures," but Team Solid didn't really have too many shortcomings. I've worked on my fair share of team projects and Team Solid was by-far-and-away the most cohesive and effective team I've had the honor to work with. And I wouldn't be saying this to you all if my sentiments weren't shared by my teammates and, more importantly, by Bethany and Bob. Simply put, Team Solid kicked butt and took names, and we can only hope that the work we have completed for the City of Eugene will be lead to real results in the near future.
After our oral final, we headed over to the Atrium Building again for our second final presentation for the City. This time we were presenting the other three end products we've been working on this term, and once again our recommendations were well received. Monica and Joanna presented the finding from their research on waste recycling policies. Dana presenting talked about his work on assessing the Building and Permitting Service department's online permitting web site. And I closed with my work and suggestions for developing an online locator for material recycling and reuse facilities around Lane County.
With that presentation, the Community Planning Workshop was over. We the City a two hefty binders filled will all of the memos and reports we'd written over the past six months and breathed a sigh of relief. Our work here is finished.
Final breakfast at Studio One with Team Solid.
(Conterclockwise from the bottom left, Joanna, me, Monica, Dana, Mark, and Monique.)
To close, I'd like to give one final appreciation to my teammates - Dana, Joanna, Monica, Monique, and Mark - for an amazing six months that I will not soon forget. I have learned something from each and every one of you and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I wish you all the best of luck as you finish you studies and I cannot wait to see what you will all accomplish in the future.
Thanks, Team Solid. You're the best!
June 2, 2011 - 7:30 PM
Earlier today the UO Annual Giving Program - i.e., the department that I've been writing these blogs for over the past two years - put on a final send off for all the graduating seniors. For me it was yet another reminder that graduation is steadily approaching, which, at least for now, is something to cherish.
The grad fair was held in the EMU Amphitheater. There were several tents set up with representatives from the Annual Giving Program, the Career Center, and the International Ducks, which is the study abroad office. I found out that all graduates still have access to the career services until six months after graduation day, so that's nice to know that the support system is still in place for alumni.
The big draw for most students was the free pint glass and root beer float courtesy of the Student Alumni Association. It was the perfect treat on a warm day on campus. There was popcorn, more free giveaways, and photo opportunities with the Duck. Unfortunately, my celebration was cut short because I had a meeting with my teammates for the Community Planning Workshop, but they were all pretty jealous of me as I sipped down the last bit of my root beer float.
Before I left, though, I was able to send a quick shout out to my former supervisor, Teri Jones, at the Celebrating Champions table. They had a camera set up and were asking that students say a quick thank you to any professors or staff members that have helped us along the way. So, my appreciations went to Teri and the rest of the Facilities Services crew that don't receive nearly enough credit for keeping this gorgeous campus of ours running. In return for speaking in front of their camera I received two "OU Champion" t-shirts, one for me and one for Teri, and as fate would have it I ran into Teri in Lawrence Hall a few hours later.
Well, I'm not done blogging yet, but I'd like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the Anne Greenfield, and everyone else in the Annual Giving program that I've worked with over the past two years.
Being able to share these stories with everyone has been very special for me, as well as my friends and family who have been following the blog since my first post in September of 2009. My time here in Eugene and at the University of Oregon has been nothing short of spectacular and I'm thankful that I will have these blog posts to look back on and reminisce.
Countdown to Graduation Day: 11 DAYS!
May 30, 2011 - 11:05 AM
Thank goodness for one last holiday weekend before summer and it just so happens to be my favorite one of the year. Memorial Day has become synonymous with Bainbridge Island and the Jones Family for McAlister & Friends, and once again this year was a grand success.
My car blasted out of Eugene a little after noon on Friday and began our journey north on I-5. Six hours, two wrong turns and one Burgerville cheeseburger later and we'd touched down at the Jones' seaside villa on the Puget Sound. The joke of the weekend was that the Rapture had actually occurred and we had all been chosen to go up to heaven.
We were all pretty pooped after the drive, so Friday night was fairly low-key, except we played a great camp game called "Do You Know Your Roomate?" It's sort of like the old game show, "Newlyweds," except it tested how well we've all gotten to know our roommates over the past few years. Each round a roommate would leave the room for each team and answer a question, such as what was your favorite dorm food, how many times did you change your major, what's your favorite television show, and so forth. Then that person's roommates would try to match their answer with their own. It was a little tough because we've all swapped roommates over the past few years and not all of us have known each other since freshman year, but I think we all had a bunch of laughs. It was very appropriate for our last Memorial Day weekend together.
Explaining the rules of "Do You Know Your Roommate?" to the group on Friday night.
Saturday was Gym Day. Leslie's father, Jon, teaches P.E. at Vinland Elementary School in nearby Paulsbo, Washington. So just like last year he opened up his gymnasium for the afternoon and we played just about every fun game you remember from P.E. class. First it was Star Wars, and Keys & Locks, which were two different versions of dodge ball interspersed with miscellaneous objectives. After a quick lunch we played a few rounds of Prism Ball and Air Square. Then there were also some random games of knockout and tips throughout the day.
We smartened up after last year when we all found ourselves hungry and drained of energy mid way through Gym Day, so this time we made sure to take a pizza break halfway though. It felt like we were either at camp or at a children's birthday party, I'm not sure which is more accurate. Either way it was great fun. Too bad none of us are in as good of shape as we were in elementary school, so four hours of P.E. class took a toll on us that lasted the rest of the weekend.
Kelsey, Lydia, Leslie and the girls were jumping double-dutch during our lunch break, while the guys were off playing basketball. Just like elementary school recess.
After we were all sufficiently exhausted from Gym Day we headed home to the Jones' house to rest up. Well, actually before that, Ross, Emma and I went to a couple local breweries for beer tasting with Mr. and Mrs. Jones. It was Laura's (Leslie's mother) birthday so everyone decided to chip in for a pony keg to treat her. That's one of those gifts that everybody can enjoy, so it worked out great! We ended up going with Hood Canal Brewing's Bywater Bay ESB (Extra Special Bitter). Excellent choice.
Okay, then after the brief pit stop, we headed back to decompress from our exciting afternoon. Ross and I chose to take a swim in the Puget Sound to cool down. It was our version of an ice bath to ease our aching muscles, and at about 30°F it did just the trick. Then it was up to the hot tub for a more relaxing pain relief.
Our night ended with a bonfire down by the water as we watched the sun set behind the Mount Olympus mountain range to the west. We ate s'mores as we moaned and groaned about how sore each of us were and how much worse it was going to be then next day.
Me, Derek, and Winston sitting around the bonfire on the bank of the Puget Sound.
That's the end of my portion of the story, but our weekend didn't stop there. I've never told you this explicitly, readers, but there's more than one UO Annual Giving Program blogger in our friend group. Brianna, or Boo as we know her, was also on this Bainbridge Island trip and she will let you know all about the next two days of our Memorial Day Weekend. Just follow the link below to hear the end of the story....
Memorial Day 2011 on Bainbridge Island (Part 2) by Brianna G