A lot of catching up

Posted October 02, 2011
Posted by Bekah

It has been a busy two weeks. Though, busy in Oregon is of a different flavor. As a celebration of finishing our first segment of classes, our group went on a hiking trip. We split into 3 separate trips. 

My group went to Yosemite and hiked 45 miles. 'How lovely' you might find yourself thinking or 'isn't that wonderful' and while I am sure your heart is in the right place, these comments do not reflect my experience. WE woke at 3 am Sunday morning, drove 8 hours to California, grabbed a quick lunch, and began hiking at 12:30. My professors wanted to assure us that, although we were going a mere 8 miles on our first day (nothing compared to our upcoming 14 mile days), this day would be the most difficult. After looking around at my fellow students, wondering which one of them had scoffed at the 8 miles (figuring out who to push off a cliff later), I realized that none of them had been the scofferes. A few were already looking faint at the idea of 8 miles of flat walking which wasn't even an option. Nope. We had 8 hours of honest straight uphill and switchbacks. We gained an easy 3000 miles in 2 hours-note: I used the word 'easy' as a modest substitution for other  four letter words I would rather have used. 

In the midst of this death march during a water break, George, a fellow student, began casually doing push ups with his backpack still on. Had there been a breath of air in my severely weakened lungs I would have casually commented to him (using more of those choice four letter words) my opinion of his behavior and perhaps may have even suggested he go on a long walk over the side of a cliff. However, I was lying flat on my back shaking, drenched in sweat, and spontaneously convulsing and was unable to attain a breath of air. 

Arriving at camp that evening (on George's back, my legs having given out around mile 3) we all settled comfortably into warm sleeping bags. I, being one of the few students with previous backpacking experience, had thought ahead to these long cold hours before sleep. Naturally I brought a book to pass the time. Sadly it was not Mcmanus. It was, however, a medieval romance novel of such quality that it is hard to compare. Uncle Pete, you would be proud. 

Unfortunately, this said George character just sat down next to me and I can't finish this post now. I will soon. 

Love from Oregon. 


Third Week Thoughts

Posted September 14, 2011
Posted by Bekah

As you may be able to extrapolate from the last post, life was at a bit of a low point last week. We were reading tons of environmental literature which, in total shameful honesty, I didn’t care about. God was never mentioned by student or faculty and anytime I attempted to bring faith up in a conversation I was only politely nodded at. Worst. Jonathan, you would have hated it- nobody wanted to TALK!!!!GRR.

Then, last Thursday and Friday, we went on a field trip to an old Indian reservation in the valley next to us. We met with 2 cattle ranchers, 1 water conversationalist, 1 biogeomorphologist (yup that is a real word and a real profession-basically they study the effect of rivers on the land and people), 3 Klamath Native Americans, and 1 California famer. The topic was a local river- the Williamson river as it weren(yes, I had gained such prestige in the first two weeks that they named a local river after me nbd)- and who deserved rights to the water. Although interesting, this trip did nothing to build community/friendships. We came back late Friday night and I was a bit bummed. Then I found out a former housemate Tina had gotten engaged as well as Matt Cambridge and Kendahl. The fact that I couldn’t celebrate with them piled on top of being alone and isolated in the mountains thousands of miles away from family (and Puzzle) hit me and I curled into bed hoping to fall into a coma for the next 3 months. Dramatic but true.

Saturday came and so did a good conversation with Mom and Dad. Seriously, if anyone is having problems, call Mom and Dad because they are basically the best listeners and advice givers. They offered me the option of coming home. I wrestled with it until Tuesday and finally decided to stick it out in Oregon. Honestly, there is no logic behind this, as an F I wanted to be home immediately, but there was something about my N that was pushing me to stay. I’m inclined to believe that push is God and so I’m staying. (I still recommend that you all come out for a visit though, just saying).


Sidenote-Jonathan one of my housemates ( a tall and beautiful blonde Texan) has your favorite Eleanor Roosevelt quote on her door, she is also a Philosophy minor and loves discussing deep abstract concepts…… did I mention she was attractive and funny and loves deep discussions….. perhaps another reason for you to come visit……


Another sidenote-focused on boosting the Williamson ego because we really need it- I am coming to realized how incredible our family is. We talk about everything. We discuss and converse and articulate. From talking with students out here I’m coming to the conclusion that we are the rarity of the world.

I love you all. Very much.

Second Week Blues

Posted September 14, 2011
Posted by Bekah

Disclaimer- I wrote this last week. This isn't my current situation, but I felt it necessary to provide the full experience of life out here.

The worst aspect of Lincoln is loneliness. I’m experiencing new landscape, foods, accents, books, concepts, and beliefs utterly alone. I’ve adventured a fair amount in my short life and, as Mom and Dad can surely attest to by many sob-filled phone calls; all of my adventures have had rough patches. However, this rough patch feels a bit different-it’s a desert and I’m alone in it.

When I left for college I had Matt and Ben, Sam and Michele were down the road. My first summer household was mere blocks away from David. In Ethiopia I was with Kelsey. In short, all of my adventures were experienced with good friends with whom I had shared beliefs. Though the mountains here are breath taking (literally, the elevation is killer) and I take daily naps in hammock I am far from any friends-no phone or internet during the week- and I am far from people of shared beliefs.

This is NOT meant to be a cry out for pity. There are a lot worse places to be than Lincoln Oregon. I know I am going to blessed by this experiencing and, most likely in 3 months, I will be tearing up in the airport at the prospect of having to leave this place and its people. But, does the knowledge of future companionship alter the isolation I feel now? Should it? I’m not sure. I know that I often try and rationalize myself out of emotion. It can be a positive form of self-preservation but sometimes it can leave me feeling numb.


First Week

Posted September 02, 2011
Posted by Bekah

Sorry. Limited time online. 

Different than I thought it would be. 

Not everyone was as hipster as I originally predicted, however, most everyone wears flannel everyday and listen to indie bands that no one has ever heard of before (and I predict don't actually exist). 

We live high high in the mountains. 

Everyday has a different schedule. Mostly, we have lectures at 9 until 10:30 and discussion groups from 11:15 from 12:30. Every afternoon is filled with reading and note taking for the next day. LOTS of reading. Being a Williamson I have felt that it is my duty to distract my fellow students from getting too involved in their studies. This week I have planned an 2 mile walk to the local general store for root beer floats. Also, my cabin hosted a potluck dinner. My cabin( which is the size of our living room) of girls is the most social by far and have already been targeted as the laid back place to hang out- good for socializing, not so great for the introvert in me, ah well, life goes on. 

There are 14 girls and 5 guys, not the best of odds :)

The boys pranked my cabin on Thursday by placing a 4 foot wall of seaweed in front of our door. However, they may be the worst prankers ever. Not only did one of the boys tell us the on Wednesday the exact form and time that they would prank us, they also apologized immediately the next morning and then proceeded to invite us to dinner on Monday. They need a few pointers in my opinion. 

Discussions are going well. A lot less intimidating then I expected. Thank you family for always talking, without this constant presence of conversation in my life I would be much less comfortable discussing. Mostly we talk about the abstract, I find myself wanted to push past this to the practical. This week we read about American economics and developing countries. My group lingered on how awful Americans are. Fine. Great. Whatever. However you view the American system, stop complaining about how everyone else messes us up and actually do something about it..... sorry. I 've been frustrated. I really really do enjoy the discussion time though. 

Jonathan, you WOULD LOVE it. All we talk about is big ideas (not people). 

I have very different opinions than the majority of people here. Most of the students are very postmodern in their philosophies. 

Agh. Sorry this has been so fragmented. I had literally 10 minutes of internet. 

I love you all. I have internet access once a weekend and I will try to keep this updated. 

Oregon Blessings