With the start of this spring semester, I am adjusting to having a full course load in the US after having been in Costa Rica for the fall semester. I am taking Environmental Economics, Environmental Problem Solving (the capstone class for Environmental Studies majors), Environmental Policy, Bioethics, and Women’s Ensemble. I am glad I can be in the women’s ensemble because it is a lot of fun and I sadly could not rejoin the concert choir due to scheduling conflicts. I am enjoying all of my classes so far. In Environmental Problem Solving we are continuing a project started in the class last year, in which we are measuring all of the trees on campus and calculating how much carbon is stored in them. I chose to take Bioethics because I wanted to take at least one philosophy class at Linfield to see what it was like, and I am finding it interesting. The one thing I don’t love about my class schedule is that Environmental Economics is at 8:15 Monday through Thursday. College life is just not conducive to going to bed early enough to get a good eight hours of sleep. I really can’t complain though, because I don’t have class at all on Fridays, which is really nice!
I came back from Costa Rica and got straight into the pool to get back into shape for the end of the swimming season, which was hard but fun. I caught a persistent cold over Jan term break, so I didn’t go into Conference Championships feeling top notch, but non-the-less did better than I expected myself to given the circumstances. Conference was the first weekend of the semester at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Washington. It was the only overnight travel meet I got to attend with the team this year because of being abroad. Now that swimming is over, I am working again with the Kids on the Block afterschool care program at Columbus Elementary two days a week. I love having a job that gets me off campus for a few hours, and I love getting to unwind with some good old-fashioned dodge ball.
I volunteered to be one of three co-presidents of Greenfield, the environmental club on campus, this semester. I am extremely excited about this and I really want to see the club make significant achievements this semester and build its membership base. We are currently researching for a campaign to replace leaf blower use at Linfield with more sustainable alternatives. Leaf blowers are very environmentally unsound, and people strongly dislike them because they’re simply annoying, too. This will be a challenging project, since grounds keeping does not at present have the capacity to rake up all the leaves that accumulate during the fall. They must keep the sidewalks meticulously clear for liability reasons. But I hope that we can figure out a way to eliminate the need for the leaf blowers, because it would make our campus more serene and reduce the school’s carbon footprint. We are also planning Earth Week, a week full of educational and fun activities centered around Earth Day in April.
Between classes, work, and Greenfield, I am very busy. The swim team is wrapping up our intramural basketball season, which is always great fun and slightly embarrassing because we play basketball so terribly. I am also going to be moderating the panel of returnees from study abroad trips at the study abroad orientation for the students going abroad next fall and spring. I am excited to be involved with the orientation because I loved my study abroad experience so much. It’s hard to believe that I’ve gone and come back already, after spending so much time dreaming about going!