September 28, 2009 - 10:45 PM
Hello everyone, my name is Trafton Bean and thanks for tuning in to my student blog for the year. I'm pretty excited to get back into the blogosphere after a few year hiatus. Last time, I was blogging while on a roadtrip around the nation after my senior year of high school. My buddies and I traveled for two months visiting baseball parks, but I'm not here to advertisement my life so I'll get back to business.
To introduce myself, I'm originally from San Mateo, California (just sound of San Francisco) and I'm entering my junior year at the University of Oregon where I'm majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in Chinese. I know those two things really don't have too much to do with each other, but you're quickly going to notice that I like a lot of different things, which is kind of why I came to Oregon in the first place. Contrary to popular belief, I did not come here to get away from the perfect weather in the Bay Area.
There are a couple of reasons I chose the UO. First, the Environmental Studies department is outstanding here. I'm especially excited for this winter and spring term when I get to be a part of the Environmental Leadership Program (ELP), which will have me traveling around Oregon teaching environmental education classes to middle schoolers. More on that when the time comes though. Second, I really wanted to go to a big university. I'd gone to the same school from 6th grade until Senior year, and I had a graduating high school class with a whopping 58 students. All of my classmates were headed off to Stanford, USC and every Ivy League. I said no thanks, I'm going to Oregon and having fun for four years. U of O football games have yet to disappoint me. To anyone from the Berkeley area, 42-3. How does it feel to drop to #24. That hurts.
Let's see this term I'm taking ENVS 435: Environmental Justice, PPPM 325: Community Leadership & Change, LA 361: Land Analysis and CHN 305: Chinese Literature. Overall, I'm pretty excited about classes starting. The summer has been excellent in a whole lot of ways, but it's time to get back to the books. This summer I worked as a summer school teacher for a program called Aim High in the Bay Area. And just last week, I had my last tour of the summer for UO. All last year, I was a Student Ambassador for the university.(Student Ambassador is a really fancy way of saying tour guide.) So, if anyone received a tour of campus from a red headed tour guide, that's me. Sorry, you can't get away from me.
That's me in a nutshell, or at least the recent version of me. I already know that I have a lot more to share with you guys, but I don't want to give it all away at once. I've still got to introduce you to my roommates, Mount Pisgah and some miscellaneous environmental studies majors. In due time, my friend, due time.
Good night and GO DUCKS!
September 27, 2009 - 9:17 PM
You know, after a few weeks of living in Eugene and enjoying sunny days and clear skies ever since I got back, I actually forgot what bad weather felt like. Count on Oregon to refresh my memory. Today was the first day of classes and the beginning of my Junior year, and oh how wet it was.
Well, to be honest it was only raining until about 10 AM, so I really can't complain all that much, but it did happen to be right in the middle of my commute. In these first few posts, I'm going to try to introduce all of you to some of my miscellaneous jobs and activities, because there's much more to college than school.
Through the ENVS (Environmental Studies) department and some friends I heard about an opportunity to be a Nature Guide for nearby Mount Pisgah Arboretum. We're still going through training, so today I shadowed a tour for 1st graders from Edison Elementary. Tom was our tour guide today, and I sincerely hope I get to work with that guy more in the future because we found out today that we had something in common. Both of us are just big kids. We were also amazed at the intelligence that these kids all possessed, and also, not to quote Bill Cosby or anything, but kids really do say the darndest things. One boy named Griffin actually threw out the word "photosynthesis" when Tom asked how trees and plants eat. A girl named Grace just had no interest in anything that had to do with nature until we found a banana slug and she volunteered to eat it. And Calder gave me a full play-by-play on how he's been saving up to get the Eagle Commando Base lego set while I explained that for guys the nearest bathroom was the next tree he set eyes on. There was a time, such as when I was in the middle of riding my bicycle on the rainy 8-mile trek to Mt. Pisgah in the morning, when I actually wondered if volunteering out here was worth it. Man am I glad I decided to go.
I got back around noon, made myself some lunch and a cup of coffee and then headed off to class at two o'clock. Environmental Justice (ENVS 435) was pretty much everything I'd hoped it would be. It's only a 20 person lecture, which was a little daunting, but I seriously cannot express to you how nice it is to be in a class where every single person actually wants to be there. I could tell in the first few minutes that I would be sad when this class ended. Vannia Glasinovic is the professor and aside from the thick Bolivian accent, I think she's going to be awesome. She's an environmental lawyer, and I'm really excited to get the more judicial view of environmental issues, because I've never really experienced it too much. Our first reading is by Robert Bullard, the founding father of Environmental Justice, who I actually was able to see speak when he came the UO last year. I thought that was pretty neat.
Next was Land Analysis (LA 361), another class for the Environmental Studies major. The professor, Robert Ribe, has been at Oregon for a long while now and he's probably one of the most outrageous lecturers I ever seen. He's incredibly knowledgeable and very animated, yet he will not look at the students when he speaks. It's either straight up at the ceiling or down at our shoelaces. It was peculiar. But I should do him a little justice by saying that I'm super excited for the class. We're going to be talking about planning and legal issues that go into site analysis (sorry, I'm kind of a nerd), which goes hand in hand with the 2nd major I'm applying for right now - Planning Public Policy and Management (PPPM). I'll keep you posted on how that goes.
That's all for me today. At 9:15, I can safely say that I'm just about ready for bed. Although the leftover birthday cake from my roommate's 21er might not allow me to do that for a bit. See you all next time.