Tag Archives: university

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.

Carrie

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Happy National Pick a Pathologist Pal Day!

IMG_4783Hello!

Ahh, it’s so good to be home to see Eric again. While we’re super good at the independence part of long-distance and we’ve learned how to get on with our lives in the time we’re apart it’s always just the absolute best when we’re back together. I really missed this guy – a whole lot. Why is this national holiday especially perfect? Well, he’s not a speech pathologist yet but this guy is my pal and I know he’ll help a lot of stuttering children down the road when he’s through school. It’s such a great cause and he’ll be great at it. It’s fun to see him get fired up just dreaming (to choose a girly word) about creating emotional connections with kids and helping them overcome rough setbacks to ultimately be more successful. What a guy! Speech pathology, and any medicine-related profession actually, is very interesting to me, in the way math is interesting – it’s just beyond my grasp so I like learning about it but would never devote my life to it – so I’ll just let Eric have this one. Plus he’ll bring home the ‘big bucks’ for us while I pitter patter away with music ed.

Carrie

P.S. It’s technically the ‘tomorrow’ of a very late today but I’m not sure I’ll see this fellow again in the next 24 hours so we’re celebrating technically on time, but actually very early. It’ll be nice to not scramble tomorrow night and mutter those dreadful words, “I haven’t done my blog…!” while I’m closing my eyes to go to sleep ; )

P.S.S. I found this great product on indiegogo, a site like kickstarter to promote start-up businesses, and these are really cute, and affordable mind you, reusable stickers to put on your phone, tablet, and computer webcams or cameras to stop peeping toms. My mom has been a worry wart ever since the webcam age came about those hackers that watch people changing and whatnot and apparently it’s a real thing, as creepy as that is to admit. Even if a person was being overly suspicious or careful the stickers are just so fun, it’s even just an accessory that you can personalize! Check them out at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/elensdots-lens-cap-stickers-for-your-phone-webcam-laptop or http://www.elensdots.com.

Speaking of indiegogo, I always wondered how people got publicity for their projects except through the obvious Facebook friend trees that slowly spread the word with families, friends, and class/work mates. Apparently there is a company called CrowdFund911 that does consulting for building those sites as well as publicizing and using their broad base of social networks to encourage traffic. I bet that would be a lot more successful than my small Facebook social footprint. Remember when I tried to start that scrapbooking business last year and I had about 12 likes (my mother, my pastor, etc.) after 2 months of promotion? Well, this obviously is a much more successful idea. Check them out at http://crowdfund911.com/ because “There is no Crowdfunding without the Crowd!”

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Happy National Put a Pillow on Your Fridge Day!

pillow on fridge

Hello!

If you’re an average Joe like me, which I have to assume that you are, you must be scratching your heads along with me for this one… My goodness, why would I ever put a pillow on my fridge except to celebrate a national holiday? Turns out, it brings good luck and wealth to your household! Alright, I can handle that. I sure wouldn’t mind having some good luck with finals, move out, and my jury right around the corner, but heavens knows that I can always use some wealth! With the price of school skyrocketing every year (another 5% raise by next fall), the extremely high cost of living in Portland, and the ever present job search and scholarship hunt, wealth is very much welcome here. I repeat, very welcome. So if any kind Mr. Warbucks out there are reading this, take note that I have a pillow on my fridge! It’s worth a shot, right?

Carrie

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Happy National Teacher’s Day!

teachers day

Hello!

Today is for the people who have gotten us to where we are today, or at least have taught us the skills to get ourselves here and have encouraged us along the way. As someone who loves to learn and is so excited to be an educator in the future, I’ve had amazing bonds with teachers over the years and have fond memories from all of my school years so far. Sure, some teachers are lazy and useless but in the next classroom over is a person who has devoted their life to improving the lives of students for years and years and goes above and beyond every day. And although I’ve had too many amazing teachers over the years to recount them all, there are a few that jump out as too special to pass up recognition.

Ms. Vomocil was one of the most frustrating teachers I’ve ever had and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to truly forgive her for giving me a B just to teach me that it’s okay not to be perfect. However, these 7th grade memories have passed onto immense fondness and any time I’m lucky enough to run into her at functions or get a card in the mail, I miss her so much! I’ve met few people so passionate about such a broad spectrum of things: Africa, salsa dancing, math… And she still owes me some salsa dancing lessons for the summer work setting up her classroom over the years.

Mrs. Kahler is the one who inspired my love of the French language and has given me such an immense, broad, useful base for my adventures in the language now that I’m in college and have traveled. Having exchange students, many of whom were French, I’ve always been interested in the language and the culture but the way that it was presented with so much care and enthusiasm sunk it straight to my heart. She is so supportive of students, and tough on them when they deserve it, and every time I’m in class thinking, “I knew that!” I only have Ms. Godby/Kahler to thank. Every silly unit of vocabulary when I thought, “why would I need to know how to say ‘to vomit’ or ‘maple syrup’ or ‘to punch a ticket?” has come back sometime over the years and I’ve been so grateful to her for insisting it’s worth knowing more than the basics.

Mr. Welsh. Papa Welsh. The Welshinator. The most hard working, devoted, will-kill-himself-for-his-students, band director I’ve ever met and have had the immense privilege of working with for my four, too short, high school years. There’s literally nothing that I could say here that could wrap up everything that he has done, wants to do, and will do to improve the lives of his students, create the most wonderful environment to foster true musicianship and growth, and inspire students to devote themselves to perfecting their crafts. Thanks to him, AP Music Theory was music theory, music history, science, math, architecture, art history, foods, and student teaching all wrapped up in one. I have never met another person that I could learn so much from in one simple conversation and if there is another person out there, I still might not enjoy talking to them as much.

The most recent addition to the all-star is list is my oboe professor Karen Strand. I’ve had other oboe teachers over the years and while I owe them immensely for my growth, nothing compares to the progress I’ve made in this one year here at PSU. She teaches not only through instruction, but by experience. Today in oboe chamber, she said, “You guys sound so good, I’m just going to grab a coffee and come back to see your progress. You don’t need me.” And it’s that freedom to discover and try new things without fear of discipline or finding a ‘right/wrong’ in music that has encouraged me to take chances and find more personal discipline in my musical journey. I cannot wait for the remaining three years to work with her and have quite a few laughs along the way.

And although these amazing people have so immensely impacted my life, there’s still one that tops them all. My mother is the one who has inspired me to follow in her footsteps and go on to teach music, and maybe one day take over her program. As a mother she’s taught me every lesson along the way and helped me avoid pit falls and always supported me climbing some uncertain mountains. And as a teacher I’ve seen, my entire life, how much she loves her job and I want to be just like her.

Carrie

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Happy National Read Me Day!

read me

Hello!

Today’s the day that books are vying for our attention; peeking out of desk drawers, making their way into our thoughts, and wafting their ‘old book’ smell our way. The book pictured here is a French novel that I found at the bottom of a heap in my town’s over crowded, rarely explored, dusty, dark, and surprisingly magical Book Bin. Under the Sun of Satan is a little difficult to get into because I have no idea what it’s about! It was simply a book that I picked up because I love reading the language but I can’t find much of any information about the story-line so all of the background information, flashbacks, and character development at the beginning becomes a little muddled.

It’s interesting how priorities and hobbies change over time, granted I’ve only had 18 years to witness this personal development. I used to be a huge reader. I mean, huge bookie. I set all of the Accelerated Reading records at my elementary school, was best friends with the librarian, and would finish all of my classwork early so I could go to the library to get more books. I think that my childhood reading frenzy is still with me, just in an evolved way. Rather than crack open a novel, I’m eager to read the academic works for class or read new oboe literature; the love of learning is still there, but it’s grown up with me.

Will you answer the cries of your books today? Participate in the poll!

Carrie

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