Goodbye Eugene, Hello Portland

I have found an internship and an apartment in Portland.  I have scheduled my last few classes.  I just realized that these next 10 days will be my last at the University of Oregon campus in Eugene.

I have been here for so long now that it is a very bittersweet transition.  I have made lasting relationships and many memories here.  I will be sad to leave it all behind.  However, I have a bright and interesting future to look forward to.  A new chapter.

Fortunately, I can stay connected through social media.  It is great that I will be able to maintain relationships with all of the great people I have met here.  Also, I have started networking in Portland and have established some contacts and potential pals.

Facebook and Twitter will surely help me in my transition from Eugene to Portland.  I will also keep blogging about my experiences with my last few classes and my internship in the city.  I am really excited.

Relocating for an Internship

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am relocating from Eugene, Ore., to Portland, Ore.  I am involved in the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication’s program called Portland Senior Experience, a portfolio-building internship program that allows graduating seniors to finish their remaining coursework in Portland while interning at a company doing journalism and communications-related work.

Relocating is not easy.  I am moving two hours away and I may as well be moving across the country.  I have spent my last three consecutive weekends commuting to Portland to look for a place to live.  I found it difficult, to say the least, to find a place.  Most decent places that are conveniently located are either too expensive or require a long lease.  While I love Portland and see myself establishing a life and career there after college, I am hesitant to commit to a long lease because I don’t yet know what my job situation will be.

The company I will be interning for, Elemental Technologies, a thriving startup company located in the heart of downtown Portland, may decide to hire me after the internship is over.  I am hopeful that they will, but there is always the chance that they won’t at which point I will need to look for other opportunities.  I will focus my job search in Portland, but if I happen to find an offer I can’t refuse somewhere other than in Portland, I will need to relocate…again!

After many grueling trips to Portland and after seeing one awful apartment after the other, I finally found the perfect place to call home.  It is the diamond in the ruff—the needle in the haystack.

I applied for the place and was accepted!  It is a gorgeously redone apartment in a very nice, quiet and safe neighborhood and it is close to downtown.  The place couldn’t be more perfect.  I have, however, run into a few slight obstacles.  First of all, I have a cat and the property owner didn’t want to allow animals.  I was able to talk her into it though—whew!  Of course, I have to pay a hefty pet deposit, but I’m not worried about it.  Secondly, I was told it was a month-to-month rental agreement—this is perfect for me because of my situation—but the landlord is looking for someone long-term.

I wish I could see into the future and know where I will be in four months.  Since that is not doable, I just have to cross my fingers and hope for a series of events that work in my favor…

Wish me luck!

Senioritis

February 28, 2010 Leave a comment

As my second to last term at the University of Oregon quickly comes to a close, I find myself becoming less and less motivated to spend long hours on my schoolwork.

A few sunny days have budded daffodils that line the pavements, and campus is waking up from a long winter nap. The onset of spring and my dwindling motivation can only mean one thing:  I have senioritis.

The main symptoms of senioritis include chronic procrastination, lack of motivation, a drop in academic performance, and “coasting,” which is the act of going through classes with very little concentration or application of intent. This usually happens in the last year of high school, college or graduate school. One of the most notable symptoms of senioritis, is that all attempts by educators to curb senioritis tend to actually increase senioritic symptoms.   -Wikipedia

I have suffered from senioritis before; it is not foreign to me.  Although it has been nine long years since I graduated from high school, I can still remember how it feels to be a senior.  It is a bittersweet feeling.  There is a lot of excitement to be had about ending one chapter and starting anew.  It is very exhilarating; however, it is making these last few weeks of academia a huge challenge.

Although my college experience has put me into the category of “non-traditional,” I still have been infected with senioritis. Does anyone know a cure?

My Weekend of Handheld Computing

February 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve spent the past few weekends searching for a new apartment commuting to and from Portland, Ore., from Eugene, Ore.  Relocating is definitely a complicated process.  With my busy schedule and my many assignments, it is difficult to stay on top of everything while traveling.  However, it is probably a lot easier today than it was just three or four years ago.

I have an iPhone 3G.  This may sound cliché, but I don’t know what I ever did without it. I used the Craigslist application on the iPhone to research rentals.  I used the iPhone to call on the listings I found.  I used the iPhone’s GPS feature to navigate around the city

to each of the 10 apartments I checked out—and of course to Voodoo Doughnut (a Portland landmark).  I used my iPhone to find entertainment, restaurants and shopping near the hotel I stayed in.  I also used it to post Twitter updates, check my Facebook account and check my e-mail accounts.  And now I am writing this blog post from my iPhone while riding back to Eugene.

There are many other smartphones and handheld devices besides the iPhone that offer the same or similar features.  I just happen to have an iPhone and I love it.  It has been a convenient time-saver for me.  I use it multiple times per day for many different reasons.  It has made my life a lot easier!

Aw Snap!: Two Words I’d Like Never to See Again While Blogging

February 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Blogging is an important part of the public relations curriculum at the University of Oregon.  I started this blog as a requirement for my Strategic Public Relations and Communications class.  I am required to write two posts per week for the term.  I think it is a great assignment and I am really happy it is a part of the required work for the class.

Today, however, I have run into a little bit of trouble.  WordPress users, Do the words “Aw Snap!” ring any bells?  Well, I have made numerous attempts to write new posts, but the program keeps quitting and not saving my work. Instead I get an error message that says, “Aw Snap!  I have logged out and logged back in, restarted my Web browser and even restarted my Mac.  None of these has been a solution.

My frustration level was just about to reach a 10 when I decided I would just write the post in Microsoft Word and e-mail it to my professor as proof I did the work.  If this post appears on my page, please know the trouble I went through to get it there.

Thank you WordPress for your sad-faced file folder—it actually looks quite sympathetic—now fix the bug!

Video in the Classroom

February 13, 2010 Leave a comment

In the grand scheme of things, YouTube hasn’t been around long.  Videos used to be much harder to come by.  Now, in a matter of just a few seconds, pretty much any video about just about any topic can be accessed on the World Wide Web.

This technology has been a great benefit to education.  Each passing year, more and more professors are incorporating video into lectures.  This is great because it helps keep students’ attention by providing variety.  I sometimes find my attention drifting during a long lecture, but when visuals such as videos are used, it puts me back on task.

Sometimes words don’t quite capture what a video does.  The cliché “a picture is worth a thousand words” definitely applies here, except a video is multiple pictures and often has sound, so that would make it worth several thousand words.

I have had very few classes that did not incorporate video into the learning process in some way.  It is great that professors are able to do this because adding different types of media to the curriculum is helpful to students of all ages.

Categories: 1

Rate Your Professors

February 4, 2010 2 comments

As a university student, I have had more than 30 different instructors, each with his or her own very unique teaching style. In order to be successful in my classes, I have had to adapt my way of learning to my instructors’ way of teaching.

Having the ability to adapt well to different environments is a great skill to have, but sometimes it can be time consuming and difficult. For example, I had a wonderful Spanish instructor for three straight terms, then had to change instructors due to scheduling conflicts. She made every effort to suit each student’s learning style–visual, auditory, kinesthetic etc. She made power point presentations for each lecture and made them available to students, she incorporated music and video into the curriculum and did other small things that really suited the individual needs of her students.

My new Spanish instructor, though he is smart and enthusiastic, does not make the same efforts that my previous instructor did. It has been difficult for me to adapt to this new learning environment, and I feel like I haven’t learned as much under his instruction as I have in the previous terms.

In a university environment it is nearly impossible to cherry-pick your instructors. There are some classes that enable this; however, more often than not you are stuck with what you are given. That can be a great thing, or a not-so-great thing.

In the instances where you have some discretion, it would be nice to be able to be able to find information about the instructor, his or her teaching style, and student reviews.

RateMyProfessors.com is a site that offers this service, but many times there is not enough information, or the information provided is unreliable. Most of the student ratings on this site are either written by students who adored their instructor, or are written by students who detested their instructor.

Essentially, this blog entry is a plea to students to rate your professors so that future students can get a better idea of a future instructors teaching style. Remember, you are paying a lot of money to receive instruction from these people. It is up to you to make sure you get as much bang for your buck as you can. Do the research, participate in RateMyProfessors.com and fill out surveys at the end of each term giving as much feedback about each instructor as possible.

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