By: Sharon Nellist
I was merely ONE among a sold-out crowd listening to the lovely Angela Davis speak her words of great wisdom in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Portland State University on Jan. 21, 2015.
A year ago when I came to PSU, I never would have thought to attend such an event, simply because I never have before. I also have never thought of myself as a very accurate representative of diversity – I am a white female, how would I make a difference?
Angela Davis told me otherwise.
She spoke about changing the way we see the world by thinking beyond our assumptions – having a broader consciousness because what happens to an individual has worldly reverberations.
She helped me to realize that diversity is not the separation of identity but the coming together of every unique individual.
We are privileged at Portland State University to have an abundance of diverse resources and events to expose ourselves to in our campus community.
Lives matter. And the only way to ensure that they matter is to educate yourself, to have a passion and a voice, and people will hear you. As Angela Davis spoke these words, she reminded me that it is my responsibility, our responsibility, simply because we are a member of humanity.
We have to act as if it were possible to change the world – Angela Davis
#PSUdiversity – to see what people said about Angela Davis’ keynote address at PSU
By: Sharon Jackson
I absolutely adore this time of year! See expression below.
Bulky sweaters. Knitted socks. Hot holiday beverages. “I could go on forever baby!”
My dad and I used to pull out several boxes of tangled strings of large light bulbs from the attic and attempt to wrestle them into a straight line.
After many hours and a few curse words, we would finally attach them ever so precisely to the outline of our home. I am certain we had the best looking house in the neighborhood.
For this reason I get a bit nostalgic on Peacock Lane: a block in Southeast Portland where each vintage Tudor home has been entirely decorated since 1920.
My mother and I would watch A Christmas Story every year [I seriously believe the movie is an accurate representation of her childhood holidays] and laugh hysterically at the leg lamp catastrophe and terrible gifts from distant relatives until we would cry.
My first holiday in Portland, I started to feel a bit homesick.
For this reason I am always present at Portland’s Annual Tree Lighting ceremony in Pioneer Square : the official start to the holiday season with the lighting of the 75-foot Douglas fir and a sing-along of all the favorite holiday carols by a family of random strangers, even in the pouring rain!
By: Marilynn Sandoval
I’ve become a huge fan of the new Collaborative Life Sciences Building on the South Waterfront. Sure, the transportation there might not be ideal for some folks. But the new labs, lecture halls, research space and restaurants are really nice.
Photo provided by: Portland State University
I’m a science major, and I started at PSU the same year they began construction in 2011. I didn’t know if they’d be done on time for me to experience having classes in the new building, but they must have had amazing people working on it, because it opened this fall. I’m sure we have broken in this building quite fast. Almost every seat in the 400-student lecture hall is filled from class to class.
The most exciting part about this building is that we get to interact with students from OSU and OHSU. As my chemistry professor put it, “You never know who you can run into in this building.” I hope to experience the new labs and research space and meet more students from other schools next term.
I also enjoy taking the streetcar there for free. You just have to play a game of puzzle trying to fit everyone after class has ended. I’m there around lunchtime, so I’m grateful when my stomach is growling and there is a Starbucks located just right in front of the classroom. Oh, and there is an Elephants Delicatessen, too!
However, one thing the building is missing is a spot to print papers quickly. If anyone does know about a printing spot in there, please share your knowledge! I’m still trying to figure out the building myself.
Has anyone else been able to explore the new building? If so, what did you think about it?
By: Sharon Jackson
Every time I hear drums beat and saxes blow and trumpets wail of classy jazzzzz – I cannot help but to tie up my worn Oxfords and pin up my hair circa 1940’s style for my heart sings ‘in the mood’ to SWING.
East Coast Swing has finally come to PSU. Swing Out is one of the newest additions to Portland State Rec clubs. [We meet every Thursday in the Rec Center room 440, 8:30 – 10PM].
I SWING dance to live in the moment and throw my cares to the wind – I will always have time to write that 10 page essay on British Romanticism later………
We SWING to lose ourselves in rhythm. We SWING to smile. We SWING together.
We also frequent swing socials on Sundays and Wednesdays that offer a complimentary beginner’s lesson and more than 2 hours of hopping dance.
What do you get ‘in the mood’ for?
By: Sharon Jackson
A year ago today I made my way to the streetcar on a very Portland rainy morning. It was packed and muggy – full of people’s breath and their steaming hot coffees. There was a tightening knot in the bottom of my stomach, that my breakfast lay precariously on. We pulled to the Market Street stop, and I stepped down cautiously in my worn brown oxford shoes and brand new dark jeans. I gently placed my hand on my head to check if my recently curled hair was still in place. I was ready, and excessively nervous, as I proceeded up the Park Blocks for the very first time. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship – at Portland State University.
Tomorrow, I will be venturing out on the same route. Streetcar to Park Blocks and to begin with old-fashioned Cramer Hall. I am still nervous, but this time I am comforted with familiarity and wisdom. I will hold on dearly to the most important things I learned last year that made me a successful Viking:
Know PSU – and the various resources available that are usually FREE such as Buddy Up and the PSU Library.
Stay organized – keep your head above water, use Google Calendar or the inexpensive PSU Handbook to stay on top of your work.
Get involved – be a part of a group; Student Organizations and REC Clubs are easy to join and keep your mind from temporary insanity.
Be bold – and open minded; expose yourself to new Events, Performances, Lectures, etc. and be outspoken in your classes – it is the only way to be well-rounded.
Take care of yourself – you only do your best when you are at your best; we are lucky to have Portland Farmer’s Market at our doorstep and a state-of-the-art Campus Rec free with tuition.
What are some other ways that make You a successful Viking?
By: Sharon Jackson
England was absolutely more than I could ever ask for. I have been to London, to the south in Devon, to the north in Chester, and to the phenomenal countryside in Yorkshire. I have seen medieval churches, ancient Roman remains, and pubs that date back to the Domesday Book of 1086. I have eaten Devonshire cream teas, Cornish pasties, and full English breakfasts complete even with a bit of black pudding, and I liked it. My two week venture felt like an accelerated Summer term at Portland State University!
Considering all the splendid things that are England, the memories that I smile at most are the ones that involve spending time with my new family thanks to my boyfriend. From watching a movie around a cozy fire at Grandma’s house, spaghetti bolognese at Uncle Graham’s, a blast to the past in Huyton [the town where my boyfriend grew up] to the 90th birthday party for the man who is responsible for most of this very large and very loving family [seriously, all are not pictured].
Nevertheless, I am glad to be home and anticipating and preparing for another rigorous year at PSU. The most important thing that I gained from this trip is a reminder that in the coming endless hours of studying, gallons of caffeine and white nights that any college student will undoubtedly endure, I will always remember to make time for family and friends. At the end of the day, all we truly have are the people in our lives.
How will you make time for your family and friends this school year?