November 1, 2010 - 12:15 AM
I can't remember if I've ever formally mentioned this or not, but during my Sophomore year - before my days of blogging and Facilities Services and the guy on the homepage - I worked for the UO Student Orientation department as a campus tour guide. Student Ambassador was the technical title and we were in charge of leading tours for prospective students and hosting open houses or admissions events. One of those big admissions events, Duck Preview, was today and I arrive home after a morning full of tours.
It's been precisely one year since the last time I gave a tour and I know that because it was for Duck Preview 2009. I had to shake out a few cobwebs on my old Ambassador jacket and polo and scour my mind for all the stories and fun facts that I used to rattle off during the prime of my tour guiding days. I was rusty, I'll admit it, but I had to give three tours back-to-back-to-back and I had it down pat by the third go around.
One parent asked me a question at the end of a tour that I hadn't heard or thought about in a long time. He asked, "So why'd you choose Oregon over all the California schools?"
Like any good Ambassador knows, you have to have something ready for the "Why Oregon?" question because it comes up on just about every tour, a personal story gets you major brownie points. Just hearing him ask made me smile because I hadn't thought about it in so long.
"Well, the first reason is that it's very difficult to get into the UC (University of California) schools. The second reason is that the Bay Area and Eugene are incredibly similar. I felt like I was at home when I first set foot on campus here, and I'd venture to guess that the amount of students from the Bay Area rivals the amount of students from the Portland area. I've actually seen shirts around campus that say ‘UC-Eugene.'"
It usually garners a chuckle or two from the crowd. I doubt I'm right about the Portland vs. Bay Area part, but the more I think about it the more I think the more I believe it, especially nowadays with the Giants colors popping up everywhere on campus.
Ever since San Francisco made the playoffs the true Giants fans are emerging from the shadows. It's tricky being a Giants fan on the UO campus though considering that the Giants' colors are black and orange, just like the Beavers. Nonetheless I've been wearing my Tim Lincecum shirt non-stop and throwing high fives to complete strangers wearing Giants' gear for the past two weeks. And just wait until you see what I'm dressing up for Halloween as tonight. I'll give you a hint...if I already have orange hair, what color to I need to add to turn my face into a billboard for the Giants?
It's a great time to be an Oregon student from the Bay Area. Giants' are up two game s away from winning the 2010 World Series. The Ducks' Football team is on the fast track to the BCS National Championship game. We hopped up to the #1 spot in the BCS rankings this afternoon after thrashing USC 53-32 on Saturday. Even the San Francisco 49ers won today, and those are rare occasions for the Niners these days.
There you have it. If California high school Seniors are trying to find a school with an out-of-state location with an in-state feel, then look no further. Come on up to UC-Eugene. A place where sunglasses and Rainbow sandals meet raincoats and Birkenstocks.