Sunday, December 28, 2008

change of plans

Tofu and I will be visiting Corvallis for a few days after January 5th so we can stay with our friend Leia in her dorm at OSU. I'm not sure of the exact dates yet, but it will happen. Who's excited?

The snow is finally melting up in Portland. I can't wait to ride my bike all over the place.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

snowpocalypse 2008?

Portland, you fail epicly at dealing with snow. I'm very disappointed with this weather. I want 40 degrees and raining, damn it!

Hey camp folks! I'm coming down to Corvallis sometime soon, but I need a place to stay. Anyone? Aaaanyone? I'll probably be there for 2 nights and I'd like to work a visit to camp in there. (Also: American Dream?) I'm looking for rides on craigslist so that will probably determine when I can actually be there. And if you're up in Portland, don't forget to stop in and say hello.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

28 hours to PDX

I finished moving my stuff out of Merlin and into Hamilton. My new room is much much smaller, but it's a single and it's all mine. Now I just have to finish my Bounder journal, finish my work program evaluation, go to sleep, drive to Burlington in the morning, get on a plane, and LAND IN PORTLAND TOMORROW NIGHT.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm alive. Expedition was epic.




I smell terrible. The only clothing I changed in 4 days was my socks.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Well...

This is it. Tomorrow at 7:30am I'm heading out to the Lowell Mountains for four days of backpacking. I know that everything will turn out ok, but I'm still really nervous. I'm paranoid about the cold. The high temperature for tomorrow is supposed to be 9 degrees. That's right, single digits all day.

I'll do my best to take some pictures. I'll be home in 6 days, and I expect a trip to Corvallis/camp is in order.

Love,
Joanna

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Because my finals are over and I feel like procrastinating.

Reply in a comment if you want.

1. The love of my life:
2. Where you and I met:
3. Take a stab at my middle name:
4. How long you've known me:
5. The last time that we saw each other:
6. Would I ever go sky diving?
7. Your first impression of me upon meeting me/seeing me:
8. Am I funny?
9. My favorite type of music:
10. Can I sing?
11. The best feature about me:
12. What do I want to do more than anything?
13. What is one thing that you think I should do?
14. Do I have any special talents? If so, what are they?
15. Would you call me preppy, average, sporty, punk, hippie, glam, nerdy, snobby, or something else?
16. Have you ever hugged me?
17. My favorite food:
18. Have you ever had a crush on me?
19. If there was one good nickname for me, it would be:
20. Your favorite memory of me:
21. If you and I were stranded on a desert island, I would bring:
22. Do I believe in God?
23. Who is my best friend?
24. Will you re-post this so I can fill this out for you?

I'm a big nerd

I went to a meeting tonight about Vermont Yankee, a nuclear power plant in SE Vermont. I was struck by how much more effective the anti-nuclear activists' arguments would be if they understood what they were talking about. For the most part I agreed with them, but I was so frustrated with what they were leaving out because they didn't understand it. VT Yankee specifically is outdated, operating above safe capacity, and last year one of the cooling towers collapsed. But how can you argue against nuclear energy if you don't understand basic nuclear physics? How can you argue against nuclear energy if you don't know what half life is? Radioactivity? Nuclear fission? Fuel rods? Beta decay? To be clear, I think it makes zero sense to produce nuclear waste that is radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years. The point is that I'm a nerdy perfectionist, and I may have volunteered to teach a physics lesson to a bunch of anti-nuclear activists.

Monday, December 8, 2008

10 days

I'm moving to a different dorm after winter break. The new room is about a quarter the size of my current room, but it's a single. Excellent. No more crazy roommate.

Ten days until I'm home. I've been ready to be done with this semester for about a week now. I have 3 finals tomorrow, then I'm basically done except for Expedition. I can't wait to see everyone in Oregon.

In other news, the low this morning was -9 degrees F. That actually happens, and it's really uncomfortable.

Also: WTF internet. You suck.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A-yup

Well, I survived overnight. I will never complain about green firewood at camp ever again. Frozen firewood, anyone?

Monday, December 1, 2008

here's hoping I don't freeze to death tonight...

In a couple hours I'm leaving for overnight, which means I'm spending a night out in the woods with my expedition camping group to get ready for expedition. We leave after lunch. No tents, just a tarp. We're cooking dinner over a fire, which you'd think would be no problem after camp, but it's a little more difficult to find dry wood this time of year. I have all the gear, I went to all the trainings, and theoretically I know what I'm doing. But I'm still scared shitless.

Friday, November 28, 2008

aaah

So I'm in Boston for the break. This is the most intense culture shock I've ever felt - way more than when I went to Costa Rica. I think it's because I was expecting Costa Rica to be different and foreign. But other than the last three months, I've lived in a city my whole life. I know cities. I'm comfortable in cities. Well, apparently not anymore. Tuesday was the first time in 3 months I rode an elevator or got more than two floors above the ground. It was the first time in 2 months I saw a stoplight. I've been taking farm animals and forests for granted. Don't get me wrong, I'm really glad that I'm getting to see Kelsey, and it's nice to get out of Craftsbury occasionally, but I'm also realizing how much I love Sterling. I'm so glad I go to school there.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

How to do laundry, college-style

1. Observe that more of your clothing is in your hamper than is in your drawers. More importantly, notice that you are out of clean underwear.
2. Dump the contents of your hamper out on your floor.
3. Turn the socks right-side-out and put them back in the hamper. Put the underwear back in as well.
4. Sort through your shirts. Fold and put away the shirts that can't be smelled at close range. Put the rest back in the hamper.
5. Get out your wallet, and realize you only have enough quarters for one load of laundry. Remove from your hamper all the shirts that can't be smelled at arm's length.
6. Look at your calender and notice that you'll be home in a month, where you can do all your laundry for free. Remove the rest of your shirts from the hamper.
7. Realize that that only clothing in the hamper is your entire collection of socks and underwear. Pants? What pants? Everyone knows Carhartts never need to be washed!

Boston, fungus, and snow

I realize it's been a while since I've updated.

First off, I'm going to Boston for Thanksgiving. I'll be staying with Kelsey at MIT! That city is going to be terrifying. It's huge. MIT is huge. I get overwhelmed just going into Burlington, so Boston is going to be ridiculous culture shock. Eh, I'll get over it. But there are a couple things about cities that I miss. Namely, dumpster diving. Hopefully I can get in some of that.

I harvested some more tinder fungus. This one's huge. I cut it in half and it's drying on my desk right now. I'm excited to try it out. I also attempted to make a basket from Willow that I harvested in the cedar swamp. It didn't turn out so well. I'm going to see if I can get someone to help me.

Aaand the temperature has been below freezing for most of the day for about 4 days now. It's supposed to get below 0 in a couple days. We've had heavy snow a couple times, but it's not sticking. Maybe there will be a bunch waiting for me when I get back from Boston.

I picked out my classes for next semester: Intro to the North, either Woodlot Practices or Fiber Arts, Agricultural Techniques 2, either Indigenous Cultures of the Circumpolar North or Theology & Ethics of Place, Animal Science, and Permaculture. I'm pumped. I've also been looking at places where I could get an internship this summer, and one of the small organic farms in Oregon that I came across was Gathering Together Farm. The name sounded familiar, so I checked it out. Turns out it's in Philomath! Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be able to work at camp this summer. But if I worked at Gathering Together, I could definitely visit lots. Another farm that looked good was in Amity, which is just 30 minutes away from Salem. Hmm. I do know that I want to intern at a farm close enough to Portland for me to go home on breaks.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I'm covered in about three different kinds of animal poop.
Oh, farm chores.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Call me a cynic, but I don't think Obama's going to win. Can we say programmed voting machines? Voter disenfranchisement? People turned away at the polls? This isn't a democracy. Don't get your hopes up, people.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

halloweeeeeen

Last night was mostly fun. A few people made some really stupid decisions, and now it's everyone's business, but other than that, it went pretty smoothly. I really hate drunk people.
I went to the contra dance for a bit, and we danced the Virginia Reel! Fantastic!

I was a bumblebee.


There are a bunch of Danish students here for the weekend. They're studying the US political system, although I'm not sure why they would come to Sterling for that. They all speak impeccable English. They're folk school students. After high school in Denmark, you can go straight to college, or you can go to folk school, then college. From what I gather, folk school is a one-year, non-graded program to introduce you to a variety of subjects to help you figure out what you want to do in college.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

snow day #2!




Doing farm chores in the snow this morning was interesting. I'm so excited! Before lunch I skied around the cemetery for a while. Aaaand it's still snowing really hard. And it's supposed to snow even more tomorrow! I don't think I've ever gotten to play in the snow this early. It's not even Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who just cross-country skied around outside her dorm? I did.


I LOVE SNOW.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm a lumberjack and I'm ok

Tools class was fun today, as usual. I did a bunch of work on my axe last night, so it was relatively sharp. Afterward I went to timber sports practice. We did the activity where you stand on top of the log and chop through. I used one of the school's axes because it's about a pound heavier than my little boys' axe. Mine is way too light. Buuut Adam is selling me a heavier axe head that he found at an antique shop and refurbished. And he's going to help me make a new handle for it on Friday. I'm super excited.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I lovermont

Lack of quarters for laundry has significantly lowered my standards for what constitutes "clean." Good thing Carhartts never have to be washed. Oh, college.

Hiking today with Monica and Ruth was super fun. The weather was perfect. The trees have dropped most of their leaves so the ground was covered in a thick layer of color. Aaaand it's supposed to snow on Wednesday! I collected some nettles because the stalks are really fibrous. I'm going to try and make cordage. We hiked up to the top of a mountain on the Long Trail whose name I forgot and we bushwhacked back to the parking lot.

I was looking through the course catalog online and I'm so pumped to take just about every single farming class offered here, as well as a bunch of Northern Studies classes. My goal in life now is to have a self-sustaining organic biointensive farmstead in the woods with some friends. I'll grow just enough food to feed myself and whoever is living with me (and maybe a little extra to sell to pay off my student loans at first). We'll have a little tiny farmhouse and a composting outhouse and maybe a few animals and a woodlot that will provide firewood to keep us warm through the winter. I'll cut the firewood myself with my axe and saw. Oooh and an orchard! We'll make lots of cider. And when the economy goes even further to poop and industrial society collapses it won't matter to us. In Environmental Science on Friday we talked about peak oil and possible solutions and rather than being scared, I was really excited.

I tried raw milk this morning for the first time. DELICIOUS. It's weird how different it tastes from pasteurized milk. Katey had some because she has farm chores this week. It's really a lot better than pasteurized milk. Although milk is weird in general. Hey, let's drink this white stuff that comes out when we squeeze the dangley pink thing!




I love this place.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Can I just say that wizard rock is fantastic?

Seriously. Check out Draco & The Malfoys and Harry & the Potters. Good stuff.

(I'm a dork.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

music!

I got a bunch of new music! I'm having fun making mixes and dancing all over the place: Architecture in Helsinki, The Blow, Man Man, Margot and the Nuclear So and So's, Menomena, Of Montreal, and Starfucker. Also, I'm pretty sure I'm visiting Tim at Brown over thanksgiving. Not much else going on. I've stayed busy. In a week or so, I'll have pictures up here because my mom is sending out my camera.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

brush brush brush

I'm glad I'm the only first-year in my stats class. I'm making friends with 24-year-olds and even though they're 6 years older than me, it's not weird.


Of Montreal has the best song ever about dental hygiene:
I brush my teeth every day
back and forth and up and down
My toothpaste has a minty freshness
My toothbrush never lets me down!



The weather was absolutely perfect for jeans and a t-shirt today. Fantastic.


A couple nights ago (whenever the latest presidential debate was), I was walking back to school from John and Farley's house, where I watched the debate. I didn't have a flashlight and there are no street lamps. I have a slight fear of the dark, but I'm fine if I sing loudly. So I was belting out Gypsy Rover when I realized that at the exact same time, 3000 miles away, hundreds of 6th graders and a bunch of SLs and ODS staff were probably singing the exact same song. I had a minor freak-out/happy dance. Then I sang a bunch of other ODS quiet songs. The stars were really bright so I sang Big Dipper. Aaah I really wish I'd done more weeks at ODS.

Ooh I got intense quilt-lined overalls in the mail today! I can't wait for it to get colder.

In Environmental Science today we did a lab about specific heat. I did the exact same thing in physics last year so I totally knew what we were doing. I kind of miss that class. But today we did it in silly American units and it was stupid. Also: I'm a physics nerd.

I no longer have fermenting cabbage in my room, but this week I have rotting tomato seeds. Yum.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Just for fun

TEN HOWS:

1] How did you get one of your scars?
A tongs fight with Jujube!

2] How did you celebrate your last birthday?
With friends in my backyard, a tent, and a nearby soccer field.

3] How are you feeling at this moment?
Pretty good. Although my stomach is kind of rumbly.

6] How did you get the shirt you're wearing?
My mom bought it for me so I'd be warm in Vermont.

7] How often do you see the person you're into?
I'm not really into anyone at the moment.

8] How much money did you spend last month?
Too much on school stuff.

9] How old do you want to be when you get married?
I don't even know if I want to get married.

10] How old will you be at your next birthday?
19

NINE WHATS:
1] What is your favorite color?
It varies.

2] What is the next thing you desire?
Umm I'm pretty content right now. I have to get a lighter for my Bounder class.

3] What is the most important part of your life?
Friends, being outdoor, etc.

4] What would you rather be doing?
Adventuring.

6] What always makes you feel better when you're upset?
Music.

7] What is your cell phone background?
I don't have a cell phone anymore!

8] What are you worried about?
Being completely overwhelmed by the number of people when I go back to Portland for winter break.

9] What is your favorite season?
Winter.

EIGHT HAVE YOUS:
1] Have you ever liked someone while you had a girlfriend/boyfriend?
Yep.

2] Have you ever had your heart broken?
Not really.

3] Have you ever been out of the country?
Costa Rica and Canada!

4] Have you ever done something outrageously dumb?
Every day of my life.

5] Have you ever been back stabbed by a friend?
I don't think so.

6] Have you ever had sex on the beach?
No thank you!

7] Have you ever dated someone younger than you?
Nope.

8] Have you ever read an entire book in one day?
Many many times.

SEVEN WHOS:
1] Who was the last person you saw?
My roommate.

2] Who was the last person you texted?
Ummm Tuna Fish right before I left? I don't remember.

3] Who was the last person you hung out with?
Adam and I sat out in the common room reading for quite a while last night.

4] Who was the last person to call you?
Biscuits!

6] Who is the last person who texted you?
Maybe Tuna. I don't really remember. That was back in August.

7] Who was the last person you said 'I love you' to?
I don't remember?

SIX WHERES:
1] Where does your best friend live?
I have a lot of close friends rather than one best friend. Most of them live in Portland.

2] Where did you last go?
The dining hall for breakfast.

3] Where did you last hang out?
The common room of Merlin dorm.

4] Where do you go to school?
Sterling College!

5] Where is your favorite place to be?
Outside

6] Where did you sleep last night?
In my bed in my dorm room.

FIVE DOS:
1] Do you like someone right now?
I like lots of people.

2] Do they like you too?
I hope so.

3] Do you ever wish you were someone else?
Occasionally.

4] Do you know the muffin man?
I've met him. I wouldn't say I know him personally though.

5] Does the future scare you?
Not really.

FOUR WHY'S:
1] Why do you have a crush on the person you do?
I don't.

2] Why is the sky blue?
I made it that way.

3] Why did your parents give you the name you have?
I had a grandfather named Jacob.

4] Why are you obsessed with tires?
Weeeeell I'm not.

THREE IFS:
1] If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I'd like to be able to fly or breathe underwater.

3] If you were stranded on a deserted island and could bring only one thing what would you bring?
Friends.

TWO WOULD-YOU-EVERS:
1] Would you ever get back together with any of your ex's if they asked you?
Theoretically, as a concept? Yes. Specifically? Not under current circumstances.

2] Would you ever shave your head to save someone you love?
Sure!

ONE LAST QUESTION:
1] Are you happy?
Yes.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

thunder and lightning!

I have so much energy right now. It started pouring, complete with thunder and lightning, so I decided that homework could wait. I bolted outside and into the woods. I ran fast enough that the cedars looked like Western Reds, and the hemlocks and ferns looked like mine too. I pretended I was back in Oregon. I don't like to admit how much I miss that place. I plashed through puddles and runoff streams (rill erosion!) and was promptly soaked. It was amazing. About twenty minutes in, the shoes and socks came off. I got my feet perfectly numb: I could feel all the rocks and sticks and pine needles, but they didn't hurt. I was grinning like crazy and I felt wild and feral. I wanted to meet a catamount to run away and winter with. I passed the creepy shack in the woods but it wasn't so creepy; it looked cozy. Every squish of the water into the ground was perfect and it sounded like the earth was breathing. I slowed to a walk and I could still feel the ground squishing but it was silent, like my breath. I discovered that as amazing as puddle jumping is in rain boots, it's even better barefoot. I was also perfectly lost: I didn't recognize that area of the woods at all, but I could figure out how to get back somewhere that I would. Eventually, after some semi-bushwhacking, I made it back to a lean-to. I walked back up through the farm and greeted the cows. I need more adventures like that. Mike said he'd go running with me tonight if it starts raining again.

Monday, September 29, 2008

take your time, hurry up

Finally some pictures! (Courtesy of Kate - my camera's still in Oregon.)














The weekend was relatively uneventful. Saturday I didn't do much other than take a bike ride up Rt. 14. (Side note: the next time I play Ten Fingers, I can't use "never ridden a bike on a state highway.) I found a bike that has both working gears AND working brakes. That was exciting. Unfortunately it's a super heavy mountain bike. I'm definitely bringing my road bike back here after winter break. Sunday I cooked brunch in the morning, as usual, then took a nap all afternoon. It was altogether a slow weekend. I did watch Zoolander after dinner, though. I love that movie and have seen it way too many times.

I started running again. It feels great, even though I'm only doing about three miles a day. Hopefully Jack's shoulder will heal soon so he can give me boxing workouts. That way I won't puke when I visit the wrestling team over winter break.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I want to get caught in a torrential downpour.

Biscy and Brain, you'll both enjoy this one.

I love my agriculture techniques class. Yesterday we sampled the apple preservation projects that everyone did as homework from last week - I ate lots of ice cream, muffins, apple sauce, apple chutney, and apple butter. Then we made kim chi to preserve the cabbage, beets, rutabaga, ginger, garlic, and carrots from the school garden. I have a nice jar of fermenting cabbage on my floor. It smells... interesting, and it'll be there for the next month or so.

Today I had Bounder. We built shelters in the woods out of tarps and rope. The whole purpose of that class is to prepare for Winter Expedition: three nights of backpacking in the mountains in December right before winter break. Who's excited?

The leaves are changing color and it's absolutely gorgeous. I wish I had my camera.

I went running in the rain tonight. I love coming back inside dripping wet and steaming. It's my favorite. It'll be even better when it starts snowing.

I'm watching the McCain/Obama debate tonight at the Dean of Students' house. He extended an open invitation to the entire school (all 100 of us). I'm prepared to narrate the whole thing a la Harry Potter #5. Oooh yeah.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Kelsey, you'll appreciate this.

I cut down my first tree today with my ax. It was a good twelve inches in diameter.
(All this and modest, too!)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

hiking and more

Hiking yesterday was lots of fun. We went to the White Mountains in New Hampshire. It was my first time in NH other than briefly passing through last year on the way back to Boston from visiting Sterling. The hike was only about four miles, but it was really cool. I don't remember which mountain we were on but a lot of the hike was above the tree line, on these solid granite rock faces. I did a lot of scrambling up rocks. There were a couple points where we had complete 360-degree views and it was gorgeous. The only signs of civilization we could see were a couple roads down in the valley (and the other people around us). I wish I had my camera. I went with Kate, Andy, and Andy's girlfriend Abby. I was the youngest by four years - that was weird. Abby is almost 24. I'm still getting used to having friends in their 20s. Abby and Andy are adorable and vegan and they go hiking lots.

I slept outside again last night, this time at the lean-to. That was actually a major accomplishment for me. I don't like to admit it, but I'm fairly afraid of the dark. If I have someone else with me, I'm fine. I just don't like being alone in the woods after sunset. I've realized that I'm not afraid of the woods themselves; I'm afraid that there will be lurking people who I can't see. The lean-to is out past the farm, about a mile away from the main campus. When everyone went in for the night, I stayed. It actually wasn't too bad, other than three drunken upper-classmen wandering down around midnight and telling me they were Condi Rice and George Bush, then reminding me to vote. My sleeping bag is really warm.

Sarah and I cooked brunch today. We did pretty well considering I had only done brunch once and she hadn't done it at all. Yeah.

There's an amateur boxing club in Hardwick, and I may start going. I want my muscles back. They kind of disappeared since I stopped wrestling.

Also: just because I listen to YACHT doesn't mean I'm a hipster. Here is why I'm not a hipster:
1. I don't dress well enough.
2. My bike has gears.
3. I don't read Pitchfork.
4. I have never bought anything from American Apparel.
5. I don't have ironic shirts from thrift stores.

The end.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The rain, it fell. The story went on

My attempt to sleep outside two nights ago didn't go so well. It didn't get as cold as I thought it would, and when they say it's a -20 degree bag, they're not kidding. So my layers ended up on the ground outside of the sleeping bag, in prime location to get rained on. Which they did. As did I. It wouldn't have been so bad; the water wasn't soaking through the fabric. But I wasn't all the way at the top of the sleeping bag, so rain accumulated in the hood. When I sat up to look for my watch and check the time, a big puddle of water ran down to my head/back/feet. Wet wet wet. I ran inside Hamilton dorm (not mine) because I didn't feel like walking back to the upper dorms. Richie let me sleep in his room. My sleeping bag was dry by morning, though. Last night worked much better: we had our first good frost and I didn't wear as many layers so I didn't roast, and it didn't rain. However, maneuvering in a mummy bag on a hammock can be difficult. I woke up half on the ground.

Yesterday I had classes from 8:30 in the morning to 5:30 in the evening. During statistics, I graphed functions and found the area under their curves on my calculator to stay awake. TI-83+, I love you.

Yesterday was my first Agriculture Techniques class. I'm really excited for that one. The first half of the semester will be focused on vegetable harvesting and preservation, and the second half will be focused on animal ag. We picked a ton of apples and pressed cider, which was served at dinner. It was delicious. For my long term project, I think I'm going to make cheese. That should be interesting. My homework for next week is to make apple pie with Matt - everyone is demonstrating various apple preservation techniques.

Today I just have Experiential Education after lunch. We're going canoeing. Fun fun.

Here's the amazing thing about Carhartts: The dirtier they get, the better they look and feel. I bought my overalls in early August and have not washed them once, and they've been worn a ton.


Things I have learned in Vermont:
Just because the temperature is below zero doesn't mean you can't sleep outside.
If you can't smell yourself, you don't need a shower.
If you can smell yourself, you still probably don't need a shower.
Hygiene is for suckers.
Carhartts are god's gift to mankind.
Goats are kind of dumb.
If you're on the East Coast, a plant probably isn't called "Western" anything. (Western Hemlock, Western Red Cedar.)

I'm still on an Avett Brothers binge.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I was in love with the place (in my mind, in my mind)

Today was the all-college work day. As part of the garden crew, I readied the vegetable beds for winter (we're expecting the first frost tonight!), picked pears, harvested wheat and winter squash, and worked in the garden of a staff member who's dying of cancer. The last part was a bit of a downer. Gardening is ridiculously satisfying. I think I want to be a farmer when I grow up. I'll buy a piece of land and have a self-sustaining organic farm with a bunch of friends. It will be amazing.

Yesterday we toured a local family-owned organic dairy farm and I PET A COW-COW. I resisted the urge to loco, poke-o, and sing like a coco puff (snap crackle pop rice crispies!). Seriously, baby cows are absolutely adorable.

Sterling operates this place called the Center for Northern Studies. It's about twenty minutes away down a dirt road in Wolcott. It's really pretty out there. It's really pretty everywhere. The CNS is basically a little house in the woods with an amazing anthropology/botany/wildlife/circumpolar studies library on the top floor and a couple classrooms. Some other students and I drove out there tonight to work on our botany projects. It's really cozy. Matt is a 4th-year student who gets a tuition credit for living at the CNS and maintaining it. He helped us find useful books and made us crepes while we drank tea, read, and kept warm by the wood stove. Super super cozy and quiet. That place makes me want to do a self-designed major that mixes sustainable farming, primitive skills, and umm anthropology? Yes. I could totally do that here. Too bad I've never taken an anthropology class.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

that's something I'd use every day!

I'm working on a big research project for school, and part of it is writing about plants from a micro climate that mimics circumpolar boreal forests. Sooo I borrowed this book that everyone said was really helpful called "Plants of the Western Boreal Forest and Aspel Parkland." It looked quite familiar, but I knew I had never seen it before. Then I looked at the authors, and lo and behold, I found that it's a Pojar/MacKinnon! Bahaha! That made me really happy and it made me miss my "Plants of the Pacific Nortwest Coast."

Also: did you know that Black Spruce, also known as Picea mariana, induces abortions in caribou? I'll keep that in mind the next time my pet caribou gets pregnant.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I bought an ax and intense John Deere work gloves yesterday. I need to sharpen the ax so I can actually use it. When I go back to Portland for winter break I'm pretty sure I'm going to get intense reverse culture shock because it's so different here.

The Gordon Stone Band played a show on the front porch of my dorm last night. As I was dancing barefoot on the lawn with a big group of people I realized just how much I love it here.

Friday, September 5, 2008

A day full of water!

My group went canoing today in a lake nearby. We had our tippy tests and everyone passed. The water was a perfect temperature and the sky was clear and I probably got a sunburn. I swear I'm going to get skin cancer by the time I'm 30. I did remember to wear sunscreen today though. When we got back to school a bunch of us decided we wanted to go swimming so we drove to another lake and swam for a while. I haven't swam in a lake for a long time.

This morning we had another map and compass class and learned how to triangulate. Fun stuff.

The Gordon Stone Band is playing a show tonight in the dining hall. They're a local folk/bluegrass/blues group. I'm excited.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hello everyone. This is my public blog.

I found a bike at school yesterday. It's a cruiser that's just my size and it's tons of fun to ride. The only problems: the brakes don't really work, the gears don't shift, the seat isn't too comfortable, and it's majorly in need of a tuneup. Other than that, I love it. I went on two bike rides today: by myself this morning and with Brian from Eugene this afternoon. There are four of us from Oregon here. It's crazy.

More to come later.