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Kevin

Kevin: An Introduction to Greek Life

In my time here at Linfield I’ve done a lot. I’ve taken classes in a number of subject areas, I’ve done research both on campus and at a top tier university, I’ve attended regional, national, and international conferences, and much more. One of the aspects of college life I had yet to experience was Greek Life. That changed last week as I rushed the Delta Alpha Chapter of the Theta Chi Fraternity here at Linfield. Three brothers from the fraternity were on my study abroad trip to Mexico, and we had a number of conversations about the brotherhood, enough so that I was convinced to check it out. Also, my Dad is a brother of Theta Chi (Epsilon Kappa Chapter, University of Idaho), so I believe this is something that can definitely bring us closer together.

I originally didn’t think joining a fraternity was for me, and this is mainly due to the fact that pop culture has done a great job of creating a stereotype of Greek life that is very inaccurate. All that we ever see is party party party, and there is never any mention of the philanthropy, service, and brotherhood that are pillars of the experience one has in a fraternity. I can’t speak for other fraternities as I don’t know what they are all about, but I can already tell that the gentleman of Theta Chi are a special group. I am honored to be a pledge in one of the most prestigious fraternities on college campuses all over the world, and I definitely plan to write more about this experience!

Til next time,

Kevin

Kevin: Preparing for another Research Conference

I am sorry if this starts to seem redundant, but I find myself yet again in preparation for another research conference that I will attend through the Chemistry Department here at Linfield. Tomorrow we head down to the University of Oregon for the Oregon Academy of Sciences Conference. Colleges and universities from all over the state of Oregon will send students and professors to present about their research and hear presentations from others. We will have three students from the Chemistry Department giving oral presentations in addition to students from the Biology Department giving poster presentations. At this point these things are becoming quite routine which is really weird to think about. It is usually not until graduate school or beyond that students have these kinds of opportunities, and now I feel like I’ve been doing this so long that it’s just become the norm. These types of experiences will be invaluable to me as I continue my career in Chemistry in graduate school and beyond. We talk quite a bit about the “Power of a Small College” here at Linfield, and I’ve experienced this power more times than I may even realize at this point.

I’ll post some pictures from the conference next time I’m in the office!

Til next time,

Kevin

Kevin: An interesting start to the semester

Those of you outside the Pacific Northwest may not know that we had a huge winter storm come through at the end of last week. It started snowing Thursday afternoon, and continued to snow fairly steadily all the way into Saturday. We ended up getting close to a foot of snow here in McMinnville, which was the most snow the town had seen in about 5 years. Needless to say this caused quite a few problems as students had to travel back to campus to start the semester. Thankfully the administration here at Linfield was on top of the forecast and cancelled classes for Monday to allow students more time to return to campus safely. As for me, I had stayed on campus over Jan Term break, so I got to just sit in my apartment and watch the madness. My roommate and I did venture out and make the trek over to Albertson’s to get some supplies, and that was a lot of fun as we trudged through snow up to our shins. All in all it has led to an interesting start to the semester, but I’m definitely glad to be back. While it’s nowhere near as warm as it was in Mexico, I’ve definitely appreciated the return to normalcy.

photo Here’s my view from my apartment as I relaxed and watched the snow.

On another note, I’m really excited for Competitive Scholarship Day this weekend. As a former CSD participant myself it definitely brings back memories of my fantastic visit to Linfield three years ago. I look forward to helping ensure that all of you attending CSD have the same great experience that I did.

Til next time,

Kevin

Kevin: My month in Mexico

I’ve been back from my Jan Term Study Abroad trip Baja California Sur in Mexico for five days now and I still struggle to find words to describe it. It was without a doubt the best three and a half weeks of my life. In retrospect it seems like it was over in the blink of an eye, but as I reflect on each experience I feel like I was there for years.

We hiked, climbed, swam, camped, kayaked, and surfed, all while learning about the world around us and ourselves. We discussed issues and ideas such as the acquisition of knowledge, conservation, ecological change and growth, species differentiation and diversity, and we even learned a little Spanish! We saw beautiful sunrises and sunsets. We swam with whale sharks, sea lions, and many species of fish. We even got our hands dirty by helping with the data collection at a Sea Turtle Research and Conservation Camp.

I am still in the process of going through pictures that my peers and I took while down there, and I am also writing an essay about the class, integrating the texts, discussion, and experiences. I plan to share both the essay and more pictures in the near future.

Until next time enjoy some of my photos from Mexico!

Kevin

IMG_1082 IMG_1099 Photo Jan 20, 1 01 42 PM IMG_1266 IMG_1251 IMG_1236 IMG_1224 IMG_1079

Kevin: Jan Term Travels

It’s finals week here at Linfield which means I am looking for any distraction available to keep me from stressing about my upcoming exams. I have my final for Intro to Theater tomorrow at 8am and my final for Physical Chemistry on Wednesday at 1pm. In addition, I have a final paper to write for my Writing in Chemistry class by Friday and a take home test for my Partial Differential Equations class that’s due Thursday. Thankfully before all of that madness begins I get to focus on my study abroad trip to Mexico for January 2014. Tonight we’ll be meeting for our last class session of the semester to go over final logistics, and then as a class we’ll go out to dinner at Los Molcajetes, a local Mexican restaurant here in McMinnville. We have received our itinerary for the trip, so I’ll share that with you now. We fly into Los Cabos on January 6th and head up to Santiago, where we’ll camp from January 6th to January 10th. Here we’ll get to experience a lot of the natural wildlife inland on the peninsula as we’ll explore the canyons and other environments around Santiago. We’ll then spend January 10th and 11th at Casa Buena in La Paz doing laundry and getting some quick R&R. We then head out for the part of the trip for which I am most excited. From January 11th to January 17th we will be circumnavigating Isla Espiritu Santo in the Sea of Cortez. If the weather is nice enough we may even kayak across the bay from La Paz to the island. We’ll get to experience all of the coastal natural wildlife in its most basic form on this part of the trip, and I’m really excited to get in the water and get my hands dirty. We’ll then spend the 17th – 20th back at Casa Buena in La Paz, and those of us that are scuba certified (3 students and 1 professor) are hoping to set up a dive trip for one of these days. We then go on a kayak trip of Magdalena Bay the 20th-25th, which is on the Pacific Ocean side of the peninsula. Here we’ll be able to compare the coastal wildlife found on each side of the Baja Peninsula. Finally, we’ll camp near La Paz January 25th-28th and stay at the Pescadero Surf Camp the 28th and 29th before heading back to Linfield. I plan on being able to take tons of the pictures that I will definitely share. This will definitely be a trip of a lifetime as we combine science and philosophy to challenge our beliefs about the world we live in by experiencing nature in its most basic form. Needless to say I am very excited, and I will be sure to have more to say about this trip in the future!

Hasta luego,

Kevin