October 30, 2010 - 5:00 PM
At the end of last term, I had to face the sad reality that if I wanted to graduate in the spring of 2011 without completely stressing myself out with 21 credit terms, I had to drop my recently added art minor. As much as I had wanted it, I realized that there was just no way to pull off an entire minor in one year. Letting go of my hope for an art minor was disappointing, but it also took a lot of stress off of myself. This was good as well because I was starting to feel like the stress wasn't really helping my art in the way that I was hoping the minor would. However, determined to continue to practice and love art, I looked for some other outlets. For the past year, I have been on Oregon Art Supply's email list and remembered that they send out a monthly email about classes they were doing. I decided that this would be my outlet. This would be a stress-free and fun way to continue to do and enjoy art despite dropping my minor.
Luckily, one of the October classes they were offering was the one that I had always looked at longingly - Introduction to Acrylic Painting. When at home doing my own art, I often paint with acrylics, but I have not had too much formal instruction on them. I thought this class would be a nice way to learn some more of the techniques, as well as have an excuse to set aside three hours each Saturday to paint.
This weekend was my final class and I am so happy that I decided to do it. I learned quite a lot from a very wonderful teacher. She was supportive and great at answering questions and taking new concepts step by step. I think one of the most important things I learned from the class was how to get back to just enjoying painting and not worrying so much about details, but just being free and having fun with it.
Our first class, we learned about different kinds of brushes and different times we might want to use them. I got the chance to fall in love with a rounded brush type that I had never used before. We also talked about mixing colors and complimentary colors and ended the class by painting something just using two complimentary colors.
Our second class focused more on the consistency of our paints and how to change them to get different kinds of covers with them by adding things like glosses or water. We also talked about how to compose a painting and how to sketch it in paint. We did a still life painting in this class and I remember being quite pleased with the way that my colors turned out. Our "homework" for the class was to try another still life only this time on canvas board instead of acrylic paper. It was interesting doing this activity at home and realizing how much more the paper soaks up the paint than the canvas board does.
The homework prepared us for our third and final class in which we composed and painted a scene on a studio canvas. Before doing so however, we talked about different mediums that could be added to the paint to create texture. These were a lot of fun to play with and created textures that looked sandy or bumpy or thick. I would definitely like to explore some more with them on my own. We also talked about how to do implied details where not everything is extremely detailed, but certain details help the viewer's eye fill in the rest. I tried this technique in the scene I ended up painting on my studio canvas and I think it went pretty well.
Overall, I am happy with my decision to drop my art minor, but to continue to pursue art on my own. I noticed every time I was in class how happy and calm it made me feel. While I paint, I just don't have to think about anything else and that is quite nice. I looked at Oregon Art Supply's classes for the next few months and I am thinking of possibly taking screen-printing or marbling. I am waiting for my teacher to have her intermediate acrylic painting class now!
October 24, 2010 - 7:00 PM
This term, I have a work-study position with the Planning, Public Policy and Management department's Internship Program. Some of my main responsibilities include helping plan PPPM events, encouraging undergraduate participation in department events, updating the student news board, and researching internship funding resources. My most recent task included helping to plan for the PPPM 2010 Distinguished Alumna Event and I think that it was quite a success!
Last year, Mariza A. Rogers was awarded the PPPM 2010 Distinguished Alumna award at the PPPM 2010 Annual Awards Event. Unfortunately, she was unable to attend the event because she was working in Haiti at the time on humanitarian aid projects after the devastating earthquake. Fortunately, however, she was able to visit our department this year and speak to students about her experiences. I think that students left the event inspired with what a degree in our program can lead to.
Mariza graduated from the PPPM Department in 1993 with a master's in public affairs, as well as one in international studies. After graduation, Mariza served as a Presidential Management Intern with the U.S. State Department and then went on to work for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Mariza's past 14 years of work with the USAID have taken her all over the world, including Kosovo, Bosnia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Philippines, East Timor, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Darfur, and, most recently, Haiti.
There are a lot of students interested in taking their work around the world after graduation and I think that Mariza's talk showed students that this dream is possible. After her talk, students had the opportunity to ask questions and Mariza did a wonderful job providing meaningful, thoughtful responses to each of them.
It is moments like these that remind me why I chose to be a Planning, Public Policy and Management major in the first place. It is a wonderful department full of knowledgeable professors, supportive staff, endless opportunities, and inspiring alumni to back it all up. I am looking forward to working with the PPPM Department for the rest of this year, planning more events for undergraduates, and promoting the Department's work throughout the University.
October 23, 2010 - 6:00 PM
The Healthy Campus Initiative
Taken from the Healthy Campus Initiative Website:
"The Healthy Campus Initiative is based on the belief that healthy students, faculty, and staff are more likely to achieve the ambitious goals set forth in campus strategic and academic plans. Through collaborative efforts across campus, the Healthy Campus Initiative hopes to create a culture in which the pursuit of a balanced lifestyle is valued, physical and mental health is fostered, and all members of the university community are encouraged to take responsibility for choosing to be well.
This past Friday, I took part in the Healthy Campus Initiative by participating in the Fun Run and Walk with the President. I attended as part of the PPPM Internship Program team! This was an unofficial team, but nevertheless awesome. The event was a lot of fun and it was neat to learn more about this program starting up at the University of Oregon.
The event started with some opening remarks. The microphone was being powered by students riding bicycles, creating kinetic energy that way. It was so Eugene and so very beautiful. In the opening remarks, I learned that the University is currently looking to hire someone to lead this Healthy Campus Initiative. I also like that the initiative isn't just focused on exercising, but also emotional and physical health as well. It aims to create well-balanced individuals, which will help us all to excel in life even more. President Lariviere also spoke, reminding us to exercise, get sleep, wear sunscreen, and, with a chuckle, wear a hat.
The runners started off on the course first and then the walkers began their mile. The walk was a nice one that looped around the campus. It reminded me how short a mile can feel and how easy it is to add a little activity into your day. It is also very nice to have a walking partner to chat with.
At the end of the mile, walkers and runners received raffle tickets for some great prizes and I am still crossing my fingers that I will receive an email saying that I have won! There were also many booths set up throughout the EMU that revolved around different parts of health and wellness. One of my favorites had to have been the free massage table. After I received my massage, the people around me laughed, saying I looked like I was glowing. Needless to say, it convinced me to set up a full massage at the UO Student Health Center. It is just such a great way to relax and get rejuvenated during one of the toughest parts of the term. I also received some great freebies at the booths, including a reusable water bottle to replace my beloved one that I lost within three uses. I vow to have a longer relationship with this one.
While the booths were going on, the amphitheater was filled with students enjoying the entertainment of the student a cappella group, On the Rocks. I was filled with the endorphins of exercise and wellness and the soul-nourishing connection of the campus environment and I soaked up the moment. This is my last year here. It is such a special place. It felt good to be a student that day and I hope to take some of what I learned from this Healthy Campus Initiative event Friday and carry it with me throughout the rest of the term. I think this initiative had its intended effect on at least one campus member that day.
October 17, 2010 - 8:00 PM
I love the West Coast. I love its laid back nature, its beautiful scenery, and its general sense of soul. I believe the West Coast could quite possibly be the best region on earth. I mean, it has been said that when the Buddha died, his head was pointing north and his face was turned to the west. Northwest. Pacific Northwest? Anyway, despite this truth, the West Coast has also been plagued with what is called "East Coast Bias" since what seems like the dawn of time.
What is East Coast Bias? East Coast Bias is what happens when the rest of the country decides to forget about us over here in Pacific Standard Time. We get treated as the underdog. We are seen as a joke. Though East Coast Bias can manifest itself in various ways, one very prominent example of its presence is in the world of sports.
Being in the South this past summer, I found myself having to stick up for the PAC-10 quite a bit, as fans of the SEC ruthlessly declared their supreme dominance in all things. We were deemed to be good, but by that they meant USC was good. Oregon, who? It wore on me as an open-minded Pacific Northwesterner who just wants to love everyone, feel acknowledged, and come together in peace. How could this East Coast Bias not see the beauty we add to the world of sports? Our soul? Our care?
College sports aside, this bias happens in the professional realm of sports as well. Teams like the Yankees and the Braves dominate year after year, stealing shine from anything else that also glitters. No one starts the season thinking, wow, those San Francisco Giants sure will do it again this year!
This year is presenting itself as the perfect year to establish ourselves, to prove that we too can compete, to silence the haters of the beautiful thing we have going on out here in the West!
After this weekend, the Oregon Ducks have moved into the number one ranked spot in the nation! The San Francisco Giants are the NL West Division Champions and moving on! I hope this year the West Coast can keep this momentum going and sweep the world of sports. We deserve to be heard! It is time to end this East Coast Bias!
Go Ducks! Go Giants! Go West Coast!
October 13, 2010 - 3:00 PM
As I stated in a previous post, my first thesis deadline for the term was to fill out my application to get Human Subjects Research approval. Since I will be interviewing people as part of my thesis research, I needed to get this approval prior to contacting my interviewees. I thought that this would be a fairly simple process, but it ended up taking quite a bit more effort than I originally expected!
The first part of the process was to pass the Institutional Review Board (IRB) test to be certified as a human subjects researcher. This involved doing a lot of reading about the history of human subjects research and the ethical standards that must be followed while conducting such research. I learned about confidentiality, consent, recruitment, and a lot more. The information was all very good stuff to know. In order to pass the test, I had to take four different quizzes each covering different topics related to doing human subjects research. I had to have a total score of 80% or above.
After passing this certification, it was on to the actual application to be submitted for review. Since a lot of human subjects research assumes medical testing and is more geared toward students in the sciences, I had to answer a lot of questions that weren't relevant to my study at all. These included questions about the use of human body fluids, psychological testing, and drug interactions.
In addition to filling out the main meat of the application, I also had to fill out two attachments to the application since I plan on using email to communicate with my subjects and use tape recording devices for the interviews.
Along with the attachments, I had to supply samples of all of my documents that would be included in the research. The first of these was my recruitment document. I had to type up what the letter would look like that I would be emailing to my interviewees to ask for an interview. The second document was a consent form. All of my interviewees will have to sign this lengthy document consenting to participate. The language of it and all of the warnings and such end up making my research seem a lot more intense than it really is! My final document was a list of all of the questions that I plan on asking the participants.
Once everything was all together, I took it in to have my thesis advisor look it over and sign it. Next, I put it in campus mail to be sent off for review. My advisor said I should hear back within about two weeks and then I can get started on contacting people for interviews. It was a really good process for me to go through despite being so tedious. It taught me a lot about professional standards to researching.
While in my advising appointment, we also outlined my thesis and set my next deadline for two weeks when we meet again. My next deadline is to write the first draft of the background section of my thesis. I felt good after we outlined it because I realized that I am pretty on top of it so far and have most of the research I need to write at least half of it now. I also got the second member of my thesis committee last week. Professor Louise Bishop will be my honors college thesis advisor. Now all I need for my thesis committee is a second reader. I am hoping to get this person from somewhere in the city or county government who deals directly with this policy area. It is all so exciting!