November 29, 2009 - 11:38 PM
It's Thanksgiving weekend. Expressing gratitude happens to be one of my favorite pastimes. Therefore, I feel as thought I should keep the sense of "thanks" going in my blogs posts while it is still socially hip. Fall term 2009 has been a beautiful term for me, so, here, in my blog, I would like to pay it tribute by counting down my top five reasons for why I am grateful for it. Here goes.
5. Portland Adventures
There is just something about hitting the road, mid-term, mid-week, on an adventure to Portland. It spices up the otherwise consistent student days. This term I have had three very exciting sprints to Portland. The first trip was with my fabulous pal, Kate, to go see Snow Patrol and the Plain White T's in concert. I remember standing there, watching these musicians passionately strum chords upon their guitars and feeling all kinds of warm fuzzies. Hearing "Hey There Delilah" live might've been a kind of surreal experience for me. That song always has the ability to remind me of that year in my life. However, as always, I think it was the company that truly made the adventure. It was on this concert trip that I went to VooDoo Donuts for the first time and got to appreciate some good conversation with Kate and her brother over a chocolate donut that was covered in Cocoa Puffs. My second trip to Portland was with the same amazing people, but a new setting. We went and saw the Portland Winterhawks hockey team play. It was my first hockey game and was very exciting! It felt fabulous to be doing something completely new to me. My final fall term Portland adventure was to go meet up with my friend, Tracy, and see Al Gore speak about his work with the climate crisis. It was amazing watching someone talk about what they are passionate about. I may not have understood all of his scientific jargon, but I did feel the message that he was sending out to the audience. After Al Gore, Tracy and I adventured into downtown for some beverages and conversation. Once again, it was the company that made the night. I loved hearing her talk about her experiences as a first year graduate student at Lewis and Clark College and we covered some other fabulous topics as well. I think Tracy summed it up by saying, "Ok, Al, fine, the world is melting, but also there are swoons and tender hearts the world over are melting." My Portland adventures this term have been plentiful, diverse, and have all included great company. This is why I am awarding them the fifth spot on my fall term 2009 gratitudes list.
4. Fall Leaves
Let's get real. This is my fourth year at the University of Oregon and yes, the leaves change beautiful colors every year. However, for some reason, I am completely convinced that this was the most beautiful they have looked out of any of the other years. In October, I was so drunk with the beauty and love of each tree's oranges, reds, yellows, and purples. I would walk through campus, especially the old education building's courtyard, and feel so tingly and happy with all of the snowing leaves. Their brightness would reflect so gloriously upon the white walls of the building. Falls leaves remind you that there is something incredibly magnificent that happens in the world every single year. This is why fall leaves are getting the fourth spot on my fall term 2009 gratitudes list. I know that they will accept the honor with great humility because that's just how they do. They are gorgeous, but they don't go out of their way to flaunt it.
3. Amazing Classes
This term, I had the extreme privilege of experiencing what it is like to have three very good classes placed in a very convenient schedule. I can sing nothing, but praises for each of my courses this term. This has been my first of six total terms of American Sign Language. Jo Larson, the instructor, is incredible. I am inspired by her enthusiasm and knowledge every single day. Sign language in itself has become very meaningful to me as well, as it helps me to appreciate the different aspects in which we try to communicate with each other. I am also in nonprofit management this term and although it is not always the richest material to learn, it still excites me for the opportunities I hope to face upon graduation. The nonprofit world is a very special place. The teacher, Bob Choquette, also never ceases to make me laugh, which is good for an evening class. My third course is Mental Illness in Literature, an Honors College colloquia class. This class has opened my mind to an entirely new way of thinking about and viewing literature. It has sparked a sense of creativity within me. When I think of the liberal arts education I hoped to acquire along with my major work at the UO, this class is a prime example of exactly that. It may not be part of my focused coursework, but gives me the opportunity to explore new topics outside of my specialized zone. Due to the fact that my fall term 2009 classes have been rich and inspiring in their content and instruction, I must award them the third place on my top five gratitudes.
2. New People
Maybe this section can be summed up in one word. Bingo. Ok, maybe not, but I do believe that Wednesday night Bingo at the Eugene City Brewery is where it all began. From that first night of Bingo, my friend and I have been meeting new people left and right and completely indulging ourselves in their company and fresh perspectives. I have had so many fabulous conversations this term and learned so many new things from the new people I have gotten the privilege to meet. There is not much else to say here, besides that I am thankful for each and every new person that has come into my life this term. You are all amazing, beautiful, and inspire me. You get spot number two.
For being the number one reason why I am thankful for fall term 2009, this is kind of vague, isn't it? Originally I was thinking "creative renaissance," but then I also thought of the many ways in which I have become inspired academically this term and I could not bear to leave them out. This is when it dawned on me that it is because overall, in all aspects, this term has begun a renaissance in the little life of Korrin. Artistically, I have blossomed. I am painting again and on the search for perfect canvas all the time. I am poetically covering my fridge with thoughts in dry erase marker to show the things that create a person beyond the primal needs. Academically, I am focused and oddly looking forward to starting my thesis in the spring. I am communicating frequently with the PPPM internship director to find the perfect summer internship to further my career interests and gain valuable experience. I am attending lectures on campus that just seem interesting enough to engage my mind in new thoughts. I am gazing at trees and the little sunlight we still get this time of year and smiling. Fall term 2009 has been a term full of bliss for me. It has begun the next stage of self-growth in my life that I am convinced can only lead to something awesome. Fall term 2009 has been a renaissance and for this reason, I title my number one gratitude by that word.
See, this is why I like this time of the year. It is always good to gives thanks. I think I'll do this at the end of winter term as well. I can't wait to see what it brings me.
November 28, 2009 - 5:10 PM
In past years, the holiday season has always sprung upon me with a certain sense of impending doom. Despite Thanksgiving being one of my absolute favorite holidays, it is, in fact, also the opening act for the main events of December. I have come to associate this time of the year with dark and dreary weather, stress in multiple directions, and consumer waste. Grinch? Maybe.
This all being said, this year's holiday season for me is off to a quite beautiful start. For the first time, I think I drove by the setting up of one of Eugene's first Christmas tree lots and didn't get consumed with bitterness. For the first time, I sat in a car with a friend and watched her face light up with joy as she listened to Christmas songs and I felt a small amount of peace myself. I think somewhere throughout these years I have finally been able to come to a place of understanding with the holidays. Perhaps my thoughts and feelings toward December have changed within me on a cellular level. Or, more likely, the cellular change has just begun. However, another hypothesis could be that, well, this holiday season, I will not be here.
So, Thanksgiving. I love it! I feel as though food is one of the things in life that no matter what happens, cannot fail you too bad. This is especially true when it is being cooked by the master chef that my mother happens to be. In previous years, I have spent Thanksgiving bopping from place to place, trying to visit as many people as I can. It has been a stressful process. This year, I had a gigantic feast with just me, my mother, and the dogs. Despite it being just the two of us, my mother still created four gorgeous desserts, a pan of stuffing that weighed more than the turkey, and countless tasty side dishes. We split a bottle of Californian red wine and relaxed.
There was no need for a big show, no need to break out fine china. This year, Thanksgiving taught me what the true meaning of this time of the year is all about. It should be about relaxing with people you love, feeling comfortable and in sync. I read a list I had written of things I was thankful for to my mother. I enjoyed listening to her laugh at some of my more "creative" ones, such as being incredibly good looking, which I rightfully followed up by being thankful for modesty. Her spoken words on gratitude also warmed my heart and we spent the last moments of the night collapsed on the sofa and smiling.
In about two weeks, I will be boarding a plane to Israel where I will be spending the rest of the holiday season. I have never felt so relaxed going into the holidays. I have a feeling that this trip is going to teach me something about this time of the year that I will be able to look back on forever and find peace within. I'm not sure yet what that lesson will be, but then again we never do.
November 22, 2009 - 10:47 PM
Endings naturally make friends with light melancholic feelings. Everyone experiences a moment in life when they just can't wait for something to be over, to move on to something new. As a self-diagnosed wanderer, I have felt these pulls toward change several times. However, this means that I have felt their after workings as well. I've gazed off a ferryboat and watched my Greek island vanish into a hazy horizon. I've looked up at the dark night stars and wondered about the kids I worked with in New York. I've spent many holiday seasons thinking about the joyous nature of being a kid during that time of year. Life seems to come in phases, each of which presents itself as some sort of lesson. The lesson may be one that you understand right away or one that some day, twenty years down the road, finally clicks. No matter the nature of the lesson, the time in which it is presented is just a moment. When its end comes near is when the pensive mood arrives, beckoning reflection. Tomorrow begins week nine of the 2009 fall term at the University of Oregon, the first term of my first senior year.
I have seen this fall term as a somewhat mini-renaissance in my life. It began with my moving into my monastic abode in the south Eugene hills. It continued with my meeting with the internship director of the PPPM department and having her encourage me to make the most out of my gift as a student. It blossomed in the unexpected environment of Wednesday night bingo at the Eugene City Brewery where I met and conversed with real people. It was this term that I started painting again. It was this term that I traveled to Portland to meet with a friend for a lecture by Al Gore, after which we stopped for a couple of beers and some needed catching up. During our discussion, we noticed the more important topic of conversation that night was not necessarily how to solve the climate crisis, but rather how to properly define the word "swoon." The passions I have found within me and the incredible people who have come into my life this term have indeed caused my heart to swoon.
In a matter of a few library visits, a handful of lectures, and a couple of knotted finals, this term will be over. I will be boarding an airplane to Israel to begin my next journey. A term that I know has presented me with some sort of life lesson and most certainly great beauty has indeed lasted for only a moment. The diminishing daylight hours and ice-cold winds of winter term will soon take its place. It will be our job to take the warmth of the autumn with us in our minds to make sure that the next journey is forward and not back.
So, my thoughts on endings? I'm not really sure. They are the driving force of life and yet are also the causes of what make you stop and stand still for just a moment. But, it's ok, it's only week nine, too early for this type of reflection. We still have something to hold onto before we try to grab onto the next phase quick enough to evade the void. We've still got time.
November 21, 2009 - 11:00 PM
Don't get me wrong, I love a good blowout. I mean, if the Oregon Ducks can put up multiple unanswered touchdowns against a team and win, I'm all for it. This is especially the case when playing teams like Oregon State, University of Washington, USC, any team that isn't Oregon, etc. However, I think the games that I enjoy the most are the games that are so close that you can feel your heart racing and your teeth clenching with every attempt for another first down. These are the games that are exciting. They are the ones that truly portray the passion and energy of college football. They are what make those special moments in sports history that you can talk about with your fellow Ducks years from now. The Duck game against the Arizona Wildcats was one of those games.
Many of us here in Eugene have noticed a quite lovely fragrance filling the air recently. Conversations on what this smell could be have been caught murmured all over the city. It's a sweet smell, definitely floral. Ah, I've got it, yes, the unmistakable aroma of roses. That is what has been filling the chilly late autumn air of the Emerald City. The Ducks football team this year has done a splendid job of planting the seeds for a rose garden and the yellow buds can be seen forming on the lush green bushes. However, we all know that roses need extra care and in order for them to bloom, the Ducks need to win all of their remaining games. Which now, after the Arizona game, leaves one.
For those of you who unfortunately missed watching Saturday's game, the Ducks beat the Wildcats in double overtime after a very close game. Arizona fans had already started descending from the bleachers to rush the field when there were less than thirty seconds remaining in the game. However, they ended up looking a little silly when Oregon somehow, someway scored to tie the game. I let out a very excited cheer when this happened. In college football, it's not over until it's over! With the promise of the Rose Bowl on the line, the Ducks pulled through and made every Oregon fan proud.
Our final game is on December 3 at Autzen against Oregon State. I have a feeling that this year's Civil War will most certainly portray the characteristics of a war. Last year, the Ducks beat Oregon State, crushing their dreams of beating USC into the Rose Bowl. I have a feeling that they are going show up with a pretty big chip of their shoulder. However, I have faith. Why? Because we play at Autzen Stadium. Our crowd is our twelfth player. Rose Bowl, here comes Oregon!
November 15, 2009 - 10:02 PM
I just find it appropriate that my mother would come visit me during homecoming weekend. You know, it's like, home came to me...home...coming...to me. Yup.
My mom came up on Friday soon after I got off work. I had actually been anticipating her arrival. I think sometimes you just need some of that motherly love in your life. My mom has a way of visiting for a couple of days and magically getting my life reorganized.
My freshman year, my mother won four tickets to the UO Homecoming football game. This year, she repeated her luck and once again won four tickets to go see the Homecoming game. So, yesterday I went with my mom and two of my fabulous girlfriends to watch as the UO Ducks walked all over the ASU Sun Devils. I don't remember the exact score, but I do believe we won by around 20 points. Good stuff. Are those roses I'm starting to smell? Don't want to jinx it, so that's all I'll say for now.
As always with football games, I think that some of my favorite moments were completely unrelated to football. The four of us sat up high in Autzen, looking down on a rowdy crowd while we each enjoyed eating a Yumm Bowl. We had many conversations that brought me to tears from laughing and we nonchalantly kept finding ways to throw in far too many sexual innuendos into everything we did. We walked to Autzen from campus and then back after the game. The whole time, I kept telling my mom, "Oh, it's like roughly a ten minute walk, give or take a few." My mother and my two friends decided that I had no sense of time. I was pretty exhausted and cold by the time we made it home after the game, but my heart was so warm with love for my mom and friends that nothing else mattered.
Today has been all about shopping! My mom and I have been all around town picking up little things that I need for my place and filling my fridge with groceries. I finally have food again! A girl can only live on canned chicken noodle soup for so long before pining for something more. We ended our evening having a delicious Italian meal at the Excelsior Inn. The Excelsior Inn is an adorable, hidden little restaurant on 13th Street about a block from campus. It was delicious.
Tonight, we're baking some special treats for the kids at my work tomorrow. My mom is going to come with me to work tomorrow as my special guest! She's heading out on Tuesday, so then it will be up to me to keep everything organized and beautiful in my life. I'll probably just get back to 5:00am painting sessions.