Tag Archives: Student blogs

A generation gap

Well, I’ll admit it. I’m mostly a square, a straight-laced student who doesn’t spend a lot of his time breaking the rules. I also tend to spend my weekends watching movies and playing Cranium, generally avoiding the whole partying scene. Having lived in Potter Hall and currently enjoying an apartment in the Whites, I’ve been privileged to watch stampedes of party-goers for the last year. They confidently stroll down the street a little after dark, the guys in trendy suits and the girls click-clacking on the pavement with their 6-inch heels and not much else. I’m starting to get used to the flashing lights outside my window, too. I’ve begun to grow accustomed to opening blinds and watching Mac PD read people their rights or question a group of red-eyed students. My nights tends to get a lot less boring, especially if I can’t hear them and I do the whole “make up the conversation they might be having” routine with my girlfriend.

I witnessed one such event last night involving a plethora of officers, minors and assorted drunk/high/angry students. There was a lot of yelling and unhappiness, and many of the students felt they were being treated unfairly. I’ll admit I have no great love for authority, and so I naturally took the students side. It wasn’t hard to justify either, since most students behave like normal, intelligent adults at parties. A huge amount of social/responsible drinkers are out there, confused why alcohol is even an issue. For them it’s never been about that. When I occasionally choose to drink (I’m 21), I always question why the drink I’m holding is such a big deal. Aren’t we as students intelligent enough to make our own decisions? Clearly the problem is at hand is not about alcohol, but whether or not teenagers are responsible enough to make their own decisions.

I’m guessing most of my generation would say that they are and most of the generations in authority would say they are not. So what happens? A disjuncture between the generations and rebelliousness against authority. Students no longer care about the law and they no longer care about the consequences. Likewise authorities consider it their solemn duty to stop the lawlessness that’s occurring in houses across America. This is a problem. I can only stand on my side of the tape, but I’m starting to see why the authorities respond so forcefully at times. This is about authority and this is about letting a younger generation understand that they must obey the rules others built before them. Except by doing this they are ensuring this disjuncture continues and are enabling thousands of students to reject their authority. It’s a fine line to walk, but authorities need to connect with those below them respectfully while reminding them they are doing for the community. Too forceful and people get alienated by those trying to protect them.

What I’m implying here is that authorities need to be smarter about how they interact with our students and our generation. Yes, students are going to party and are going to break the law. Instead of charging in every time, perhaps checking in and monitoring a party might be a better idea. Maybe allow a few events to go on and politely ask a few of the crazier get-togethers to disperse. The students are not trying to break the law; they’re trying to have a good time. I’d like for my generation to come into the real world as leaders and as members of society, not as deviants preaching against our system in place. Deal with students as if they were citizens, not as criminals. They’ve been educated for years and years about decision making. Give them a chance to prove it.

Matt Olson
Columnist Matt Olson can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com

Olson: Applauding the unseen

It is difficult to remember when I meet people for the first time. Maybe it’s because I tend not to value first impressions, which basically tell me nothing about a person. Every once in awhile someone sticks out in my mind anyway. Aaron Cody is one of those people. From the very beginning I recognized that Aaron was a guy that had more to him than meets the eye. All I remember about our meeting was thinking that Aaron could do with a dose of confidence. I learned later that he doesn’t lack confidence, he simply exudes patience.

This is a tribute to the man who exemplified success without being on center stage. Now a senior and graduating, I can’t help but feel like Linfield will be losing one of its more valuable pieces. Though he would prefer to disappear in two weeks with no attention paid towards him, I can’t justify letting him walk out without a pat on the back. He’ll be leaving his fingerprints all across campus.

One of the most impactful students of the last four years, Aaron has been an electronic arts major who has forged his own path to success at Linfield. He spent three of his years as an AV Tech, running the sound for numerous comedians, presentations, and movies. Plenty of musicians have gone home happy on Thursday nights because Aaron was there to provide his musical expertise. Events like the recent Battle of the Bands would not have been possible without Aaron. He’s also been the only on-campus DJ for the last few years. All those school dances in FML can be attributed to Aaron’s mixing skills. He worked as a DJ for our own radio and even as their technical director, along with designing tutorials to help the station run effectively.

He’s found time to build the Linfield Review website, which recently came in first for Best Website by the ONPA, and is the online editor. He works on the Linfield College website, helped rebuild the Athletics section and has worked on much of the content we see everyday. Many of the logo’s we see, including the ResLife logo, the Linfield Sustainability logo, and the Computer Science department logo were designed by him. ASLC just hired him to create their logo. He does videos too: The “It’s your Linfield” video contest last year was handily won by Aaron and he helped Wildcat productions produce some of its popular content.

Aaron is an electronic master, spending a year working in the faculty development lab teaching professors how to work all the technology around Linfield. And he works everywhere while working as an RA for two years and building numerous websites privately for his friends and colleagues. “It’s what I do” is all he’ll say about his lifetime love of his projects. It started with his freshman orientation, where he attended Will Keim’s speech. The sound system wasn’t working that day and new freshman Aaron Cody just walked onto the stage and fixed it, then turned to Dan Preston and asked for a job.

Aaron is that guy that gets every call when there’s a problem and he’s the guy who has created many of the iconic images that make Linfield feel like home. And through it all he’s maintained a humility that is unparalled, preferring to be invisible to the public eye. Aaron deserves recognition because he’s the only guy I know that will dislike this article; for Aaron, praise has never been what’s important. He’s just doing what he loves. No student has been more involved in the technical on goings of our campus than Aaron and he’s been irreplaceable at Linfield during his time here.

Aaron will be doing his last cat cab when Jack Ruby Presents performs on May 20th and then he’ll be finishing a four year trek at Linfield. So thank you Aaron Cody. You’ve helped make this campus a better place and you’ve helped numerous students and faculty succeed in building this community. And yet you keep ending up in the back, with almost no recognition. This time I’m making sure you’re standing on center stage.

Matt Olson
Columnist Matt Olson can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com

Olson: E-mail has a purpose (besides chain letters)

It’s pretty typical of me to check my e-mail at least five times a day. It takes me about two seconds, and with the amount of e-mails I get per day, it needs to be done. Perhaps I have a project, and the group is bouncing around ideas, or I get a dozen e-mails from ITS explaining the latest mishap, what with the volatile networks on campus. It’s become important for me as a Linfield student to check my e-mail repeatedly to absorb the wealth of information being thrown at me. So why are people not checking their e-mails regularly?

I used to be an RA (don’t judge me), and it was always fun advertising for hall events and hall meetings every month. I usually sent out several sarcastic e-mails, all of which would clearly state their purpose in the subject line to get the attention of those skimming (because who reads stuff from their RA?). I’d still get residents who would miss an event because they “didn’t know about it.” Seriously? This campus runs on e-mail. All the recent campus current events, such as the new school logo and the interviewing process for the new dean of students. Students would have known about them if they had checked their e-mail. If only the student government sent out a big list of all the current events on campus every week, maybe like after Senate … Oh … this is awkward.

Nobody should making excuses anymore. If students want to be informed, they can be informed. Those e-mails, Facebook events, and fliers around campus have been there since all of us arrived as freshman. I’m assuming people don’t see them because they’re too busy playing Farmville and awkwardly starring at the ground as they walk everywhere. Wake up people.

I recently attended, along with 10 other people, one of Robert Cepeda’s discussions on residence hall access and parking issues. He mentioned that the other two discussions had one person attend for both days combined. And how much advertising did he do? He sent out an e-mail to the campus, created a Facebook discussion group and made separate events for each day he was giving a presentation. And he had less than 20 people show up. We have a computer lab open 24/7 for students and wireless access in every residence hall and suburb on campus. People either knew about Cepeda’s discussions or purposely chose not to know about it. A third option could be that students are completely unaware of the Internet’s existence, which is depressing and slightly amusing. Disregarding that group, I refuse to admit that 1,700 people knew about Cepeda’s presentation and less than 15 cared enough to show up.

I’m starting to think that most Linfield students are ignoring their inbox every day. Some are truly apathetic, but the remainder of students can’t keep pretending they are uninformed when they are choosing to be ignorant. You hate the new Linfield logo? Perhaps you should ask yourself where you were when they asked for student input. Stop blocking your most direct line to Linfield, people. Check your e-mail and read those Senate reports. Let yourself be a member of the Linfield community. Try to comprehend why ITS would e-mail you to tell you the Internet is down. Be aware of your surroundings. I’m tired of feeling more informed than everyone else because I took two minutes to check my e-mail.

Matt Olson
Columnist Matt Olson can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com

ASLC Senate meeting – May 17, 2010

Jacobo: Jack Ruby Presents arrive in high fidelity, as they were meant to be heard

The release of Jack Ruby Presents’ debut LP, “Over Wires and White Plains,” could not have come at a better time. During my time at Linfield, they have consistently been at the top of the campus music scene. It’s been fun to watch their music evolve, take on a grander scope, accept the influences of more and more genres; in short, the music has become more complicated, ambitious, and as a result, it has continued to improve on itself. And now, as the band’s four members (seniors Chris Hernandez, Melissa Davaz, Aaron Owens and Jesse Hughey) prepare for graduation, the release of their debut comes as a bittersweet goodbye to the place that brought them together.

Jack Ruby Presents challenges listeners with a sound that doesn’t mimic something on the radio. It’s not simply a variation on what’s popular in indie or pop music circles. They don’t sing the usual set of John Mayer, Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz covers. They don’t steal their sound from MGMT or Vampire Weekend or Fleet Foxes, some of the most widely enjoyed and popular bands in indie right now.

They take risks, drawing inspiration from folk Americana, in the tradition of Guthrie and Dylan, yet neither of the two seem apt descriptions; the music is infused it with the sounds of the roots of rock and roll, a twist of modernity. They sing songs of whiskey, of death, of grimey cities full of lights on beautiful summer nights. They pay tribute to the Western sense of adventure in pine-filled woods and a greater consciousness, of Southern lynchings, of travels in London and Antwerp.

Five of the songs on the twelve-track album are tracks you’ve heard before on earlier releases; much of the material has been played at CatCabs, house parties, and bars in Portland.

But the secret to this album lies in the fidelity. Listen to the “Fingers” track from the “Strange Fruit single that was released last year: The song has a tinny, cold sound; the vocals are too soft, they don’t do justice to Hughey’s voice, hoarse and strained, worn down and raw like it’s the last song after a long night of yelling at the top of his lungs. The volume is too low: you can’t turn it up loud enough to get into the song. It doesn’t quite affect you in the way it should.

Now listen to the version of “Fingers” on “Over Wires and White Plains.” It sounds totally different: The guitar is dense, warm, full; Hughey’s vocals come alive, thicker and richer; you feel like he’s playing live in the corner of the room where the sound booms out of the speakers, loud like it was meant to be.

For the concentrated listener, it makes a world of difference. The range and emotion found in Davaz’s striking, soulful singing isn’t masked behind the lo-fidelity of a cheap recording. This is the song the way it was meant to be heard, almost as good as the band’s live shows, where the feelings are worn on their faces and the blasting speakers reverberating the music around the room, filling it something magical because it’s honest, not convoluted or relentlessly sophisticated or dumbed down; something true of human emotion, of sadness, of longing, of headaches and heartbreaks.

When you listen to this album, pay attention to the mixing and sound quality; the songs come alive here in the way that they couldn’t quite make it on “The Cardboard EP” and “Strange Fruit” single. The instrumentation fades and returns in layers of sound that add complexity to the band’s sound. The songs are as loud as you want them to be, with no degradation of quality. It’s like they are playing inside your head, taking the form of something larger than their combined personas, like this band is one that’s here to stay, if there’s anything right with the world.

In short, the album is stunning, allowing the listener to fall into the essence of the songs, to fall into the emotions related. And when the last vocals of the album’s final track fade and you can hear the squeaking hinge of a door opening and closing, you know they are leaving, but you want them to stay. You want them to play you a few more songs. You want an encore.

It seems fitting considering the band’s three members are all graduating in a few weeks; you certainly wonder where they’ll go and what they’ll do with all that musical talent.

Over Wires and White Plains is available for $10 via Jack Ruby Presents’ website, jackrubypresents.com

You can see them play their final Cat Cab show in Fred Meyer Lounge at 9 p.m. May 20.

Jordan Jacobo
Columnist Jordan Jacobo can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com