IMG_7585

Education Abroad

10373989_844446705612551_3373063601715068845_nIn a few short weeks, I will be embarking on my very first international educational experience at the University of Salamanca, Spain. I am all too excited for this wonderful opportunity, and one of the key tasks to accomplish before I leave is study about the area in which I will send a little over a month in.

Let’s take moment to appreciate Salamanca, Spain and its fun facts. Did you know:

  • Salamanca is best known as being a University city; more than 36.000 people, which is nearly 20 percent of the population, are students and a great part of the inhabitants are either directly or indirectly related to the university.
  • The University of Salamanca is one of the most important universities in Spain, dating back to 1218 which makes it the third oldest university in Europe.
  • Spain is home to the world´s largest tomato fight: La Tomatina, celebrated every year in the city of Valencia.
  • The University of Salamanca is one of the important architectural feats in the city. The university building was built by the Emperor Alfonso IX in the year 1218. It is also Spain’s oldest university and has about 36,000 students.

This will be a life changing experience that will affect my perspective and outlook on life. Take the trip with me through each blog post, and explore this beautiful country with me!

ODP jpg

50 Years of Adventure

blog1 (1) By: Xylia Lydgate

How do you like to spend your free time outside? I just hit the slopes of Mt.Hood Meadows with the Outdoor Program a couple months ago, which is now celebrating its 50 years of student-led adventure and services. That marks the longest enduring, university-led outdoor program nationwide!

Rumor has it that the University of Oregon was the first school to officially start an Outdoor Program. However, PSU’s Outdoor Program was established the year before in 1966 by a man named Sam McKinney and second PSU president, Branford Price Millar.

The program is rich with history and stories that have been shared from generation to generation. It has compelled students to get outside and explore, and to extend their university experience beyond campus.

Last week, I sat down with Todd Bauch, Campus Rec’s associate director of operations, and the Outdoor Program’s coordinator in 2002. Reflecting on how it has changed over the years, Todd recalls that it was once lacking in diversity. The office was primarily a “white guy’s place to hang out,” he says. Nowadays, students and community members, young and old, male and female, native-born Oregonians and international students alike share a similar passion for outdoor program activities. More structure has also been added to the program over time, ensuring a wide variety of trips, quality service and leadership opportunities such as the new WiLD program.

So, what does the “Outdoor Program” do exactly? At Campus Rec, the Outdoor Program offers guided trips throughout the Pacific Northwest, including service trips and seminars, discounted equipment rental services, free trip planning and resources, kayak roll sessions, a rock climbing center and more.

Stay up-to-date with the Outdoor Program’s 50 year celebration by visiting our microsite and following the hashtag #ODP50 on social media.

Umpaqua_MissionAcomplished

A happy bunch celebrates victory after braving rapids on their Umpqua River trip (2000).

 

Bernie-Trump

Dirty Words

IMG_2069 by Steph Holton

The Oregon primary is fast approaching (May 17, to be exact), and the presidential candidates have thrown around a lot of political terminology that can be confusing or misleading. These words seem so obvious that they never get explicitly defined, leading to misconceptions across party lines and the actual stigmatization of certain descriptors that shape entire campaigns. I believe that this lack of clarification is a major roadblock in our quest to become informed voters, and the stigmatization of such important terms creates a chasm that halts discourse between parties. So, for myself, for my fellow student voters and for good pub conversation, I have decided to provide here a definition (each compiled and simplified from multiple web sources including Dictionary.com and Encyclopedia Britannica) of two of the most talked-about terms in the 2016 presidential race, which in different social circles have reached profanity-level reproach.

Capitalism is an economic system in which private ownership drives production for profit. Capitalism has several manifestations – free market, welfare, or state, to name a few – all of which exhibit different goals.

Socialism is likewise seen in many forms. Democratic socialism, being the focus of the current presidential race, is an economic and governing principle that supports production in terms of social ownership, alongside governing through political democracy.

The terms and ideologies of capitalism and socialism are both awash with nuances and possible secondary implications, all of which are dependent on the specific politician in question. “Capitalism” is not synonymous with “fascism,” and “socialism” cannot be simplified into “communism.” What I’m really trying to get at, though, is that nothing in this presidential race is as straightforward as “this vs. that,” and knowing where our candidates stand on the issues and even within their own ideologies is a crucial step in feeling confident about our votes come Election Day.

chronicles trump

I Got Fired, Now What?

edit 12By Jesse Turner

For the first time in my life, I got “fired.” I put “fired” in quotation marks because it wasn’t an official firing. It was a volunteer practicum position and I was offered a different, more restricted position for this term but was told that I could no longer continue in the position I had been doing for the last ten weeks. I was told I was causing too many disruptions, enough that the practicum had to end immediately.

I don’t want to go into the details of the firing (maybe dismissal is a better word) but I will tell you that I cried on my drive home, barely restraining myself from crying in front of my supervisor. I felt as though I had lost part of myself in losing that position. I tie my work ethic so centrally to who I am. I take pride in the fact that I work two jobs while going to school full time. I take pride in my exhaustion. I brag about my transformation from a lazy, self-pitying person to someone who has tried her best to take control of my future. Getting fired does not fit into my personal narrative.

This was my first placement in the specific field of study I want to work in. What do I do now? This is the field I want to spend the rest of my life in. Sure, I can study it in a classroom, but maybe I’m truly not good enough. My supervisor told me that he understood my behavior did not come from a place of malicious intent and that with more experience, I would do much better. I cling to his statement because it feels like all I have. This position was so draining, it consumed my waking hours and still I loved it. I miss it.

Now I am in a new practicum position, in a different youth correctional facility. I had my period of mourning but then was forced to take my love for my previous position and work to get a new one. In this position I have met young, incarcerated men who face rejection every day, rejection that is often worse than my own, and yet they continue to persevere. One young man earned his high school diploma, associate’s degree, and two bachelor’s degrees in five years under incarceration. There is no better kick in the pants than seeing people accomplishing more in lockup than you are on the outs. So getting fired is not all bad. It was a hard experience and one I will feel the sting of for a while. But I have to take it as a bump in the road, a learning experience, and not the end. I love this field too much to be done with it now.

Please Hire Me Blog Feature Image

“Please Hire Me.”

Blogger Profile Pic

 

By: Sara Kirkpatrick 

Summer internship application deadlines for 2016 are rapidly coming to a close, and I still haven’t scheduled a single interview. However, I believe that I’ve dotted my i’s and crossed my t’s where necessary. I’ve updated my resume, wrote several personalized company cover letters, and I have even gone through great lengths to create a consistent presence for myself using an online portfolio. Although the stressed student in me is convinced all hope is lost, this is not the case!

I’ve decided to beat my internship frustrations by incorporating the following proactive tools:

  1. Conduct several informational interviews.
  2. Research internship opportunities on CareerConnect.
  3. Attend campus workshops and events.
  4. Meet with an internship advisor on campus.

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 9.16.59 PMIf you’re like me and determined to snag a last minute summer internship, don’t forget to follow Portland State University on Twitter and Facebook! Our university social sites are an important place to check for updates on upcoming career fairs happening on campus. Plus, be sure to save the date and register for our next “All Major Job Fair” on May 10th, 2016.

What are your tips and tricks for landing last minute internships? I would love to read them in the comments below.

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 8.25.39 PM

How Technology Has Improved My Fitness Habits

Self Photos and Post by: James Wilson

Being a full-time student on top of working and maintaining a connection with family and friends is already hard enough. Adding the right time to get any bit of a workout or any form of physical activity adds just another layer.

img2

Technology for me has already made that first part way easier. We all are connected to devices nearly 24/7. We work on the go. We also are maintaining that social connection — maybe while even waiting for the Max — when we check our phones to message close friends or family members. But what about working out? How can technology help with recreation?

img1

Luckily, Android and Apple’s iPhone already have this problem solved. With their built-in pedometers you can see just how active you are in a normal daily routine. Walking 20 minutes to class is now an integrated part of my fitness regimen. Pairing a phone with a wearable device such as the Apple Watch or the Fitbit makes this even better. I’m able to link my smartwatch with my phone and keep tabs on my physical activity at all times. It gets me moving more. I have apps that notify me when I’ve been stationary for too long, and that motivates me to get up and move around. I also have the 7 Minute Workout app on my Pebble watch and phone, so I can optimize my free time when I can’t make it to the gym. For the busy student it really is a habit changer and motivates me when I need it most. 

AWP_Collage_Header

Why I Went to LA Last Weekend

Kellie Doherty By Kellie Doherty

Last February I wrote about Write to Publish 2016 and how it was an awesome networking opportunity. Let me tell you a secret: Write to Publish is a tiny conference. Adorably small, actually. How do I know this? Because last weekend I went to the conference connected to the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, widely known as AWP.

AWP is the largest literary conference in North America. Last year, they had over 800 vendors, 12,000 attendees, and 2,000 presenters. This year, they had the same, if not more. Write to Publish (while amazing) was a mere whisper to all this literary noise.

Plus, AWP was in Los Angeles this year, and I’d never been before. A new city, thousands of writers and publishers, and tons of books? Yes, please! Additionally, I was given a Marie Brown Graduate Student Travel Award to help pay for it. And while I was going as an attendee, I was also there to represent my graduate program in book publishing and Ooligan Press.

I went to panels, readings, and chatted with fellow writers; I tabled, gushing about Ooligan and Portland State University; I visited vendors, doing much of the same; and I even tried Korean waffle pizza. It was three long days, but it was also an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. It was an opportunity PSU helped to pay for, and I wouldn’t have had the same experience without such lovely support.

What kinds of conferences have you been to?