Tag Archives: college

Happy National College Colors Day!

national college colors dayHello!

Portland State happens to be the largest public university in the state by a mile but it’s far from well-known. That seems like a paradox, you might suggest, but it happens to be sucked into a dark pit of apathy stemming mainly from the city and overall attitude that it’s nestled in. I’ll be honest, I’m pretty apathetic about my school too but it actually seems like being an active participant in the usual ‘college’ activities at PSU is out of the ordinary. Pretty sad, actually. While most other colleges or universities are in ‘college towns’ we are plopped right in the middle of hustling, bustling downtown Portland where no one knows your name or cares to. We don’t own our own stadiums, of any kind as far as I know, and that cuts out the biggest amount of buzz that could be generated because no one cheers for us. I’m not a sports fan anyway but there’s no way I’m going to go to a 20 person tailgater and then watch our team lose in an empty stadium. The dorms, which usually signify the place to experience the real ‘college experience’ are far from it with dead hallways, bolted doors, and an extreme lack of connection. Greek life parties? Forget it – with a dismal Greek community and no houses there isn’t anything going on; or if there is, most people aren’t inclined to go. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of things that I do really like about my school but they are almost entirely tied into ‘school’ not ‘atmosphere’; aka. academics. I have some incredibly talented peers who inspire me, amazing faculty who have stretched me (with some bad apples thrown in, like anywhere else), and there have been a lot of opportunities that I’m pleased to have experienced. However, you won’t see me repping my one free PSU shirt and lanyard very often. I’ll get my degree, snag a rewarding job in my field, and move on in life thinking fondly of some memories but probably not hooting about my alma mater. Do I own a pair of viking horns, you ask? I’ll stop you right there.


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Happy National Donut Day!


“We go nuts for donuts!” That’s my (un)official slogan for today’s holiday! You may remember some other posts in the past when I showcased the beautiful treats that I grabbed from Bluestar Donuts in downtown Portland. I’m not a huge donut fan but there’s something special and kind of grown up about the ones that they serve and I can’t get enough of it. Hence the unquestionable trip over there this morning. Nick and Jason went with me to celebrate the holiday and it was a lovely way to start the day. I don’t know if I’ve introduced the blog to Jason yet, probably not, he’s a clarinetist and a grad student at PSU and it’s a pleasure playing with him in my ensembles. We chatted for an extra minute or two this morning before we set off walking north to the donut shop because Nick slept through his alarm, like a silly guy.

The one donut that I’ve gotten every single time and has never disappointed me is the blueberry bourbon basil. It’s just so refreshing and elegant. Two toned flavor with the sweet and savory… You just can’t go wrong. I also opted to try a lemon poppy donut because it sounded interesting and the lemon frosting was to die for. Heaven in my mouth. The donuts were really fresh, still warm even, so the ‘shell’ of the donut collapsed under the pressure to pick it up and the frosting just oozed all over your fingers. It was scrumptious! Sure, a little messy to eat on the walk back to class, but worth every finger licking moment. Nick said he wasn’t too much of a fan of his maple bacon donut but I warned him that maple bacon is only good for the trend value. Even a high class place can’t magically solve innate imperfection.

Another momentous event, besides the amazing holiday, is the fact that it’s the last school day of the term! Technically, I’ve finished all of my classes for Spring term and now I’m just off to the dress rehearsal for our Orchestra concert tonight, I’m moving out this weekend, and then driving back up for three days of finals next week. On one hand I can’t believe that Eric and I can finally be finished with two excruciating years of long distance but it’s also a little sad to think that the friends I’ve made here won’t be around in the fall, like Nick who’s going off to Texas to be successful. Psshh. I just can’t imagine wind symphony without Allison making faces at me or Sam and Sarah in the hall. Crazy. Life moves on, though, right? I guess… Luckily I won’t be starting completely at square one next year, there will be some familiar faces, but considering how tiny my social circle is right now I’m basically at square one. – But we won’t think about that right now. Instead, we’ll munch on a sweet donut and think of simpler times. Happy holidays!


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Happy National Thank God it’s Monday Day!


We’re back for the last time this year – week 10! I’ve been counting down since … Oh, I don’t know – week 1. Never mind that though, we’re here. TGIM! Really the worst day of the week for me has always been Sunday when I had to hop on a bus and leave everyone again. I really do actually love school and enjoy my time in class and with everyone up here but Albany is my real home. Once I get off the Bolt there’s not much I can do to escape from reality but make a cup of tea and charge on. Throw on a polka dot sweater and just do it. For anyone who’s a little skeptical about this holiday, or even the concept, just think… it could be Tuesday and then you really know there’s no turning back! Best of all, it’s only four more days until Friday and we can start checking things off of the do-to list right now. Productivity, efficiency, happiness, success – it all starts somewhere and right now that somewhere is called Monday. Happy holidays and TGIM!


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Happy National Great American Grump Out Day!

grump outHello!

Somehow the curse of my holidays continues to follow me through my daily life. I should just completely ignore the negative ones because of the curse but alas that is how things go! My morning started out all peachy and I had a whole nice day planned out. Turns out I don’t really like it when people tell me ‘no’. Yeah, I started to say something a little more euphemistic but that’s the real truth. Once I set my mind on something I have officially decided that’s the way things are going to be. Unfortunately, very few people support my plans and so I’m stuck at the current state of where I am no – going nowhere, or educational purgatory as Eric likes to call it. Working with unprofessional people always brings my mood way down and my Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedules always leave me in a major schlump. You can definitely say I am grumpin’ out today. I hope that everyone else had a better day and I know that there is still room for a pleasant evening ahead, but sometimes you gotta just buckle down and celebrate.


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Happy National No Diet Day!

photo (1)


Hellooooo breakfast! This morning I finally lugged myself out of bed about 20 minutes after my alarm went off and was really not feeling ready to take on the day. I turned on the shower and was checking my emails when I got my favorite early morning notification: class is cancelled! No conducting this morning! Yes! So I hopped back in bed and slept again for longer than I needed to but it was great to have the option. I also didn’t have my ear training class this morning because I’ve already taken my one-on-one performance midterm. That cut down my day’s obligations by quite a bit and has given me some extra time before my lesson at noon to get some articles written for work.

It’s also National No Homework Day and I think I will mostly live up to that one. I rarely have to sit myself down for hours studying or furiously pounding out a term paper as my obligations are more performance based. Either I listened to the theory lectures and understand or I don’t; either I made reeds and practiced or my jury will suck; either I practiced my trumpet for high brass or I won’t hit the partials. Technically that’s all homework but it’s not the traditional format that we all hate after all of these years of schooling. Being a music major rocks! Now to munch on jumbo rainbow chip cookies, drink my tea, and inhale some birthday cake ice cream before my lesson. Everyday is National No Diet Day for me, just when the calling comes I choose to indulge. Happy holidays!


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Happy National Worker’s Memorial Day!


This last summer I had a really lucrative opportunity to work at a particle board wood mill for the summer as a college summer hire. I was scared to death of the environment and although I had been assured that it was not only safe but also something that I could do, I knew quite well that I was unfit for the task. I got my steel toed boots, safety gear, and lunch pail and trudged off to the war zone, quite afraid. It was only through an absolute miracle and the very present hand of God that I landed my dream job. I mean, ‘dream’ for working in a mill. Worst case scenario would have been shoveling saw dust under a whirring wood saw on the line during the grave yard shift and instead I was able to work as an organizer, mapper, planner, and the occasional painter during baker’s hours; things that I actually could do. My hats are off to laborers who work dangerous jobs! Compared to a middle school band room, that mill was a thousand times more dangerous. I know that the idea of 50 sixth graders honking away on new instruments might be more terrifying for some than proximity to a saw blade, but that’s my home. Moral of the story is, I met some of the nicest guys at the mill and it made me really appreciate the other occupations that are out there. I wasn’t the only woman there but I can tell that’s not my natural line of work. Today’s holiday pays tribute to every worker who has lost their life or been injured at work in unsafe conditions and is meant to raise awareness about practiced safety measures and improved workplace safety. While I am thrilled to have created other sources of income for myself so that I’m not obliged to go back to the mill again, it did teach me a lot, gave me strong financial footing for this school year, and showed me (for the millionth time) that if I pray about something and give it to God he will provide. Here I am today with all of my fingers and toes! Happy National Worker’s Memorial Day and I hope that everyone gets back from work safe and sound!


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Happy International Amateur Radio Day!


Did you know that PSU has a radio station? To be perfectly honest I haven’t ever listened to it but I do know that one exists and that’s half the battle, right? Check out the KPSU schedule and turn it on to end the silence! I always have some sound going on. The clicking of my keyboard alone is just too much to bear so I always have some background noise. It rotates between Netflix and Spotify, depending on the amount of work I actually have to get done. I love speed watching shows so I’m already in Season 7 of The Office and I started it a week ago… It’s my third run of it but I’m still in love. Whenever I’m awake, Netflix is on. I suppose just for today I could turn on the radio instead, but I think I’m far too invested in the usual Office antics to stop, I’m basically addicted. Happy holidays everyone and get into some amateur radio today! Actually, fun fact – the couple who lived in our house before us had a HAM radio station and there was a huge pole in our front yard where he had the radio tower! I didn’t even know people could dabble in radio because it seems like such a far off concept; however, I guess people also think that musicians just ‘know’ what to play and that the conductors are only there for show so it just proves that every hobby is a little different and unless you’re trained and invested in it, it can seem a little impossible.


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