March 30, 2010 - 3:23 PM
Starting classes again is never fun, but considering that spring break was only one week long, I still feel like I am in school mode. I am taking four classes this term for a total of 16 credits. I was thinking about only taking 12 credits given that spring term tends to be the one in which most students like to relax, but I figured if I take one extra class then that is just one more class that I won't have to take during my senior year. To continue on in the public relations sequence through the journalism school, I am taking J452 and J453. These classes focus on public relations planning and strategic writing. J452 is a continuation of J440, in which students gain experience creating real life public relations documents, like news releases, media advisories etc. Today I had my first class for J452 and my professor informed us that the class will be more geared towards punctuation and grammar. As I let out a sigh with the rest of the class, I realized that this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Grammar and punctuation aren't exactly two of the most popular aspects of journalism, but knowing both is an absolute must for a success in this field. Not knowing the basic building blocks of writing is one way to find frustration when trying to make it in this career.
As I have mentioned before I am also minoring in business. After taking marketing last term, I only have two more classes to take to complete the minor. I am currently enrolled in BA 316, which is the management class for the minor sequence. I have enjoyed all of the business classes I have taken and I am sure I will enjoy this one as well. I have never take a class that deals with business management so I am rather excited. I personally feel that public relations and business have many similar qualities, so I feel that a minor in this field is a perfect complement to my major.
The last class that I am taking this term is sociology 204. I have taken two sociology classes before and I find it to be a very interesting subject. Before the break my advisor informed me that I need more credits for the College of Arts and Sciences requirement. Sociology falls into this category so I figured I would just take another class. I have always been very interested in social sciences and the study of greater society, in terms of class, race, gender etc. The professor for this class, Chuck Hunt, is the same professor that I had for sociology 207 during the fall term of my sophomore year. He is one of the best professors I have had at Oregon, which is another reason that I decided to enroll in this class.
It has been pretty rainy for these first few days back. The sun hasn't come out yet but I still have faith. It looks like I might have to keep my rain jacket at hand for a little while longer.
March 26, 2010 - 11:35 AM
Finally, after calling Portland International Airport religiously, I was able to get my hands on my lost luggage. They were going to deliver it to Eugene, but I offered to pick up it from the airport instead. Because I saved them some driving time, they rewarded me with a $100 airline credit for any flight I might take in the future. Shortly after receiving this credit I began to wonder what I might use it for. After a couple minutes of thinking I realized that this free $100 would be perfect to use for my flight down to Tennessee in the fall to watch the Oregon Ducks football team take on the Volunteers from the University of Tennessee. For months now my roommates and I have been talking about going down to this game. The Southeastern Conference is arguably the best conference in division one college football. It isn't every game that our football team gets to take on an opponent from this prestigious conference. Tennessee also has one of the most famous stadiums in college football. This massive stadium is packed full every saturday by those who live and die with college football. I have always wanted to travel around the country and visit different college football stadiums. I see them all the time on ESPN but I have never been any other than Autzen and Folsom at the University of Colorado. If our trip plans hold up that should be a very memorable game.
I have been in Portland for the last few days with a few of my roommates. I love Eugene but it is always nice to get away and spend some time in a city that I didn't grow up in. Yesterday we went and relaxed in a park overlooking the Willamette River. There aren't any large rivers near my house in Colorado so I particularly enjoyed this.
We spent a large portion of last night watching the March Madness games. The tournament is currently in the sweet sixteen round and has been nothing short of thrilling. Last night the Kansas State Wildcats defeated Xavier in two overtime periods. I couldn't stay in my seat and I am not even a fan of either team. Butler was able to eliminate Syracuse, one of four number one seeds in the tournament. Today I plan to watch the Northern Iowa game. This team made a name for itself earlier in the week by knocking off the highly-favored Kansas Jayhawks. Now that my bracket is officially destroyed I hope that Northern Iowa will be able to use its built up momentum to move on to the the elite eight.
As of right now I am planning to head back down to Eugene tomorrow. I have a lot of preparation to do before the term starts, including a significant amount of moving. As I may have mentioned before, there are currently six of us living in a five person house. This last term was my designated term to share a room, but now I will have a room to myself again.
As the sun has begun to creep out a little more the last couple of days, it is only a matter of time before I can wear shorts and some flip flops to class!
March 25, 2010 - 11:31 AM
Even after sleeping on both legs of the trip home, I am still exhausted from my trip to Las Vegas. The energy of the city alone is enough to take it out of anyone. The opening rounds of the March Madness tournament were going on during my first two days there, so all of the t.v.s around the majority of the hotels were airing the games. I was over at the Bellagio to watch Northern Iowa knock out Kansas, the team who many picked to be in the national championship game. This game was a bracket buster for many.
I began to get the sense that many people traveled down to Las Vegas because of the fact that their favorite teams happened to be in the tournament. People everywhere were decked out from head to toe in the athletic gear of their favorite teams. The sports lounges were packed full of fans trying to get a glimpse of all of the games. I brought along some of my Oregon clothes, and started to sport my gear shortly after I arrived. Due to the recent off-field issues involving many of our football players, a few people went out of their way to make a comment about the thuggish behavior of Oregon football players. However, despite all of this, while I was walking past the betting booth I couldn't help but notice that Oregon's football team has the third best odds in the country to win the 2011 national championship, despite everything that has occurred recently. The only two teams ahead of us were Alabama and either Texas or Florida if I am not mistaken. This speaks to the character of our football team I think. This suggests that maybe Oregon has one of the better teams in the nation, as opposed to teams who are successful because of individual players. Even with our supposed to be heisman candidate quarterback out for the season, I still feel that the Ducks have enough weapons in their arsenal to win another Pacific 10 title and be successful during bowl season.
As I came to realize even more after the beginning of this week, a cheap trip to Las Vegas might be he father of all oxymorons. Everywhere I turned, I owed money to someone else for something else. A simple beverage, in a small glass that was full of ice costed me 11 dollars. It is ridiculous, but I guess Las Vegas as a whole realizes that people will still come and pay to have a good time, so prices can extend higher and higher.
I am sitting in my roommate's house in Portland, wearing the same clothes I have been wearing for almost two days. Southwest airlines lost my suitcase somehow, so I don't have any of my clothes. I have been calling the airport religiously, so hopefully my bag will turn up somewhere. I was able to get a 3.4 this last term, so I am hopeful that I can keep up my academic success for the next ten weeks. I an excited for the spring term to begin-nothing beats Eugene during spring time.
March 20, 2010 - 7:10 AM
This last December after a Broncos games, I sat at my computer at home, browsing orbitz.com for the most inexpensive round-trip flight to Las Vegas, Nevada. After booking a flight and a hotel to stay in, I put all spring break thoughts on hold, realizing that the winter term hadn't even started yet.
Finally, after all of the brutal rain and 10 grueling weeks of school, spring break is finally here, and I am writing this as I sit at gate C13 in the Portland International Airport waiting for my flight to Sin City.
This will be my third time to Las Vegas in my life, but my first time being of the legal drinking age. I had fun the two times I went before, probably just because I was in Las Vegas, but I slowly realized that there is really nothing to do in this city when you aren't 21. I went with the club baseball team, for a tournament last spring, and me and my friends on the team settled with cruising up and down the strip, well, because we really had nowhere else to go. The New York New York casino and hotel has en enormous roller coaster that extends off of the side which is always a great time. However, there are only so many times one can ride a roller coaster before getting sick of it, or literally becoming sick.
I am not a huge gambler and I never have been, and never plan to be. But given the season and the geographical location I will be in, I decided I might place a few wagers on the March Madness basketball games. The tournament is only one round in and already there have been some heart-stopping games. On the first day of the tournament, two-seed Villanova was taking on 15-seed Robert Morris University. Villanova held on to win...after overtime. This is the kind of thing that will drive any fan crazy. For example, it is pretty clear that Villanova is the better team, considering the team's seed in the tournament. Consequently, the majority of fans who get involved in bracket pools most likely chose Villanova to win. Watching the team who is the heavy favorite being drug into overtime is absolutely excruciating. As always, my bracket is already somewhat ruined, because of all of the upsets in the early rounds. I picked Florida to win its first-round game, and they were bounced by the stormin mormons from Provo. I picked Notre Dame to get a win over Old Dominion, but the Fighting Irish were stopped in their tracks, as Luke Harangody, the team's most prized player and one of the best in the nation, scored one basket, that came with no more then one second left in he game.
While sitting here in the airport I have realized that an airport is a great place to people watch. All kinds of people can be seen in an airport, of all sizes, nationalities, cultures etc. It looks like my flight is about to board. Lets hope I can make it home with a little money left over!
March 18, 2010 - 10:00 AM
Finally, I am done with finals. The day that felt like it would never come finally came on Tuesday after I turned in the final paper for my English 260 class. Because I have had no finals to study for, I have been hanging out and relaxing for the last two days. I have been outside playing basketball at the church across the street, and relaxing with a nice beverage or two on my deck.
As I may have stated previously, I am going to Las Vegas for spring break. We all know that a trip like this requires a good deal of money. Because of this, early in the term I began collecting change, cans, and bottles. After every weekend I would walk around my house and pick up every can and bottle I could find, and stuff it into a garbage bag that I kept in my room. As the weeks flew by, my collection started to get bigger and bigger. Yesterday, realizing that time was running out, I ran my collection over to the bottle deposit section at Safeway. After all of this hard work, including digging around in a trash bag with mold all over it, I was only able to scrounge up seven dollars from my collection. I was a little disappointed, but I still had one more option.
Over the year, I also began collecting all of the loose change that I have. Every time I would go eat and pay in cash, I would usually get some change, and I would throw it into a little zip lock baggie in my room. Unlike the can collection, this change collection never seemed to grow. I felt like I was always stuffing change into the bag but was getting nowhere. Yesterday, I looked up where the different coinstar machines are located and I found one in the Wal-Mart down West 11th. I went there with my change and expected it to yield a low profit, like my cans and bottles operation. I threw my change into the machine, and to my surprise, I had $58 worth of change in my little bag. I was astounded. From the look of the bag from the outside it looked like there was no more then $20 in the bag. Of course, these machines have some way of making money, so the coinstar machine took 10 cents of every dollar that I had. so I was only able to take home $51. However, turning a bag of change into $51 was a nice little boost.
One of the best parts of finals week for many students is the point in time at which students can sell back their text books for some money. I did that yesterday and was able to get back $65. That gives me a little more spending money for the break.
I am going up to Portland for the next few days. I always enjoy going up to Portland because I am not from there so it gives me the chance to spend time in another city. March Madness began this morning, and my head is still spinning from choosing my bracket. I have never had a more difficult time picking my teams for this god of all tournaments. I have no idea who is going to win it, but I am going to enjoy watching the games to find out. With every game becoming a thriller, there is no better college sports month than March.