Monthly Archives: February 2011

My Drum, My Beat. And I’m Not Marching.

Looming graduation

[For the record, this was only supposed to be about 150 words. I'm a simple man with complex tastes]

Looming graduation

"I won’t suddenly lose all chance at happiness if I ignore the plan I’ve been following for years and years."

I might be really stupid.

I’m not even sure I can rationalize this at 2 a.m.

I’m sitting in my apartment as college senior doing exactly what everybody else is not doing: nothing. Most college students will walk out of Linfield with a plan and a degree in something the world respects, while I’m gonna be dragging my feet and muttering something about intangibles.

Truth is, I haven’t quite made up my mind what I’m doing yet.

College was for me a very natural choice planned from the beginning in the same way high school was. I’m here because I didn’t really have any other choice. With expectations comes success, and with success comes more expectations. Nobody hoped I would be here; it was assumed. I couldn’t suddenly decide I wanted to move to Texas and wrangle cows. Or become a bus driver. Those jobs would be below my life ceiling. I would be missing out on something “greater”. I’ve been trapped in the cycle of the American dream my entire life, one of money and happiness and prestige and oh so many expectations.

Be the best to become the best.

So from the beginning it’s been school school school. Need to reach that peak, hit that ceiling, conquer that mountain. Phase one was filled with preparation for phase two, college, where I began to prepare for the career and family phases. It’s a rigid system that’s been rammed into my head since the beginning, a thirty year plan aimed at fulfilling one’s own soul.

What they don’t tell you is that failure can push you forward just as strongly as success can. I wouldn’t have burst into flame if I’d dropped out of college or rejected that job offer. I won’t suddenly lose all chance at happiness if I ignore the plan I’ve been following for years and years. It took me a long time to realize just how stuck within the system I was, so afraid I might not be all I can be. Turns out it was me trying to be all they think I can be. And that’s just not the only way. I think I’d rather just jump off this train and walk to happiness.

So I’m not going to make a plan for after college. I’m going to take everything I’ve learned and see where it takes me. And I’ll get the satisfaction of knowing that I carried myself there, which is way more important to me than being pushed into being something I never felt I had a choice about. I believe my happiness should never be contingent on somebody else’s expectations.

A lot of Americans would call that really stupid.

Matt Olson/Columnist
Matt Olson can be reached at

ASLC Senate meeting — Feb. 28, 2011


Machine warms up for repairs

The frozen yogurt machine has returned to Catty Shack and is undergoing repairs. But General Manager of Linfield Dining Services Bill Masullo said he isn’t sure why the fix is suddenly occurring.

The machine broke early in the fall, and Masullo said then that the student demand for frozen yogurt wasn’t high enough for the administration to justify replacing or repairing the machine (“Tumult freezes repair process,” TLR, Oct. 17, 2010). He said there doesn’t seem to be a rise in this demand even now as the machine is being fixed.

In the fall, Masullo estimated that the fix could cost the college $14,000. But he said doesn’t know how much it’s costing to fix it now.

So while there is some mystery surrounding the frozen yogurt machine and its repairs, students can still get excited about seeing their favorite frozen treats soon returned to the Catty Shack.

~Compiled by Kelley Hungerford/Editor-in-chief

Students encourage others to give blood

The American Red Cross will be on campus for its second annual blood drive with Linfield on Feb. 25.

Order of Omega president senior Michael Eldredge was in charge of sending out e-mails and setting up tables inside Dillin Hall to gain publicity for the blood drive. He also had the responsibility of contacting Red Cross members and reserving spots for two buses outside of the Rutschman Field House.

“Our goal is 108 sign-ups, but we want at least 84 students actually giving blood,” Eldredge said.

The ideal outcome for the American Red Cross would be to draw 84 pints of blood, he said.

“It’s a great cause, and there are certain blood types that are more rare than others,” he said.

Junior Sarah Wilder has helped with the blood drive before and will be working in the front of the bus, which is called the canteen. Wilder will help students recover after they have given blood by giving them juice and crackers.

“Most people recover in 10 to 15 minutes,” Wilder said.

Wilder, who has also given blood in the past, said she suggests that a person should refrain from looking at the needle if he or she is feeling nervous about giving blood.

Junior Kathryn Baker has been giving blood since she was 16 and said she would like to see others contribute as well.

“To encourage students, I would make sure they understand that their small donation of one pint of blood can save up to three lives and that it is a very important cause,” Baker said. “Many people are afraid of needles and having their blood drawn; I myself used to by terrified of giving blood, but I would encourage those people to overcome their fear because not only does it help with personal growth, but it also helps save lives.”

Baker said in an e-mail that she has no problem giving blood.

Territory representative for the American Red Cross Kelly O’Rourke works with partners to set up blood drives.

“Linfield is one our bigger McMinnville drives,” she said.

On top of having students donate blood, another mission of the American Red Cross is to educate students.

“Every two seconds someone in the country needs blood,” she said.

For more information about the American Red Cross contact Michael Eldredge at

Chelsea Bowen/Opinion editor
Chelsea Bowen can be reached at

Activism, music to briefly share hub

Students on Linfield’s Sustainability Team recommend that the Observatory become a sustainability center in a proposal dated Jan. 10. But the project will need to find a different home because Observatory Rocks, a rehearsal venue and musical outlet for students, was promised the space by President Thomas Hellie’s Administrative Cabinet.

Senior David Kellner-Rode, junior Kit Crane, sophomore Collin Morris and freshman Katy Shewmaker worked on the proposal for a Linfield Center of Sustainability as a side project to their main objective: a green house gas inventory for Advisory Committee on Environment and Sustainability (ACES).

The group wanted to house the center in the Observatory because of its heavy foot traffic and proximity to students.

Dean of Students Susan Hopp said that the creators of Observatory Rocks are willing to share the Observatory space until the center finds a more suitable venue. She said in an e-mail that the sustainability project is temporarily being referred to as a sustainability hub, as Linfield Center for Sustainability could be confused with Linfield Center for the Northwest.

According to the proposal, sustainability efforts on campus are so numerous and affiliated with so many different organizations that the overall sustainability effort is suffering.

“[T]hese actions [for sustainability] have sometimes been disjointed and often the people carrying them out have had trouble communicating effectively between each other, or do not know where to turn on campus for support,” the proposal states.

The proposal laid out examples of sustainability initiatives on campus including ACES, Power Shift Linfield, Sodexo’s waste reduction program and the community garden.

The hub would become a centralized place for sustainability across campus and, the proposal states, is “a collaborative working space and community resource center” that would coordinate and support goals and initiatives of sustainability groups and help disseminate information about them.

“It incorporates faculty, students, staff and community efforts so that there is synergy, and [it] supports sustainability as a campus objective,” Hopp said in an e-mail.

According to the proposal, “the Student Sustainability Intern and the ASLC Community Outreach and Environmental Education Coordinator (CORE) would manage the office’s everyday activities,” communicate with ACES, ASLC and the Office of Community Engagement and Service. Rob Gardner, associate professor of sociology, would be the center’s adviser and faculty liaison.

The Sustainability Team also proposed that the hub have a minimal budget, which could be achieved through a grant from the ASLC Sustainability Council. The proposal does not specifically indicate what a budget would be used for.

The sustainability hub is not associated with any sustainability initiatives of the Associated Student of Linfield College, ASLC President senior Colin Jones said. He said he thinks the hub simply moves the college toward a sustainable sustainability movement.

“I don’t think we’ve quite hit a point where we’re duplicating the work, but the sustainability movement on campus has moved so fast in the last four years that we’re just trying to get our feet under ourselves,” Jones said.

Kelley Hungerford/Editor-in-chief
Kelley Hungerford can be reached at