According to TimeHop today is the three year anniversary of being bestowed with an Outstanding Writer Award from my school’s student newspaper. My editors deemed me to be the best writer for my beat, and I was blown away. I had no expectation of winning anything. When I became a staff writer I just wanted to practice my writing, become more connected with campus happenings, plus there was a nice $75 direct deposit for each issue. Getting an award made me think I had potential in journalism.
I was a Senior the following year and between semesters I applied to University of Oregon’s Journalism program. Within a week of sending in my finished application packet I got accepted. Then towards the end of my last undergrad semester I was bestowed the Best News Writer Award. This was even more unexpected. In two school year’s time I went from being a fresh recruit, to being best writer in my beat, to the best writer in the whole publication. Winning Best News Writer made me even more excited to start J School, and I was already pumped.
Hadn’t even finished my Bachelor’s and I was already an award winning journalist. I thought I had a promising future ahead of me in journalism. Within six months I knew I was wrong (check earlier entries for details).
During undergrad I lived in the dorms. Doing so provided the perfect mixture of both community and convenience. Now that I’m in grad school at the University of Oregon I live in an apartment off campus, UO does have graduate dorms but they fill up quickly with preferential treatment given to those with spouses and/or kids. My apartment complex is exclusively for college students. However it doesn’t remotely feel like a dorm. You don’t really know your neighbors, there are no RAs, educational bulletin boards, or halls decorated in a theme that changes every term. Lacking RAs is a real problem, because there are obnoxious assholes who scream and holler for no apparent reason between 10:00 PM and 2:00 AM without any consequence. Had there been RAs those loudasses would probably get fined and written up.
Unfortunately the complex is located right next door to a Holiday Inn and they are building an additional wing. My room is located right next to the construction. Fortunately the construction stops around sunset, so I only have to hear the aforementioned hollering imbeciles. However if I wake up early I will hear the construction load and clear. Having just ended dead week and currently entering finals week, I just get out of bed and begin working on assignments.
This year I’m spending my Thanksgiving all alone. I was going to go back home and had a round trip Amtrak booked to go to Washington and back, but my mom told me she thought it would be wise if I cancelled the ticket and stated in Oregon. She’s right. I’ve been busy and stressed out, with barely enough hours in a day and days in a week to stay on top of my homework. That train departed on Tuesday and I had a revision draft of an article due yesterday. Tuesday was also the day I gave a student presentation that forms 35% of my grade in that class, I hadn’t been scheduled when the ticket was bought.
I always found Thanksgiving break to be ill timed, since the semester/quarter is usually only for like two more weeks or so not counting finals week. During undergrad the break generally helped me charge my batteries to soldier through the last leg of the semester. Now that I’m in grad school I simply can’t afford to take almost a weekend off, let alone an extended one. Especially when home is a six hour train trip away, compared to a half hour car ride.
As for my Selfsgiving dinner I’m having turkey breast, cranberry sauce, Brussels sprouts, marshmallow yams, and stuffing.
One thing I love about living in Eugene are all of the characters that I see on a regular basis. Almost all UO students dress totally normally, but lots of the other denizens in Eugene are rather unusual. Hippies are the most obvious subculture visible, but there are also a lot of others like punks and the occasional lite Goth. Some notable individuals include a barefoot, dreadlocked, mandolin growing pot farmer, a guy in a fox skin hat who plays the didgeridoo, and a leprechaun.
Yes, you read that correctly. A leprechaun. He wears a green bowler, a vest, shorts with striped knee socks, has a pointy goatee and smokes a pipe. His backpack has a bong sticking out of it and a cauldron attached. I’m honestly uncertain whether he intentionally dresses like a leprechaun or if it’s all a crazy coincidence.
I’ve been tempted to ask him about his pot of gold.