I found that classics and English have a lot to do with each other, particularly for someone interested in creative writing. It’s important to know about different cultures and the myths and stories that have influenced and inspired classical writers in the past. I have found that every piece I have read has a connection back to the beginning of literature.
Degree and Class Year
What three words would you use to describe L&C?
What’s your favorite class? How has it expanded your knowledge?
My favorite class that I’ve attended at Lewis & Clark would have to be Medieval Literature with Associate Professor Karen Gross. It taught me how to spend time with a text, appreciating not only the value it has now, but also how it functions as a piece of history. I enjoyed taking the time to puzzle out each piece of the story, and I got to learn more about how the stories we tell ourselves are repeated and altered through the passage of time.
What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?
When I was picking my college there were three major factors that made me decide that Lewis & Clark was the right fit for me. It was a school that valued community and support, with a variety of different clubs that are easy to join, and small enough class sizes that I can connect directly with my teachers. The Overseas and Off-Campus Programs office is exceptional, with easily accessible information, well-structured programs, and opportunities for the majority of students to study abroad. The campus itself was also a huge part of why I chose Lewis & Clark. It is absolutely beautiful, covered in trees and flowers. I wanted to attend a college that was smaller and more personal, but still allowed me to have access to a big city.
How do you describe the liberal arts?
The liberal arts are an opportunity to learn how to build a community. They teach the value of communication, problem solving, and adaptability. By opening myself up to different perspectives and opinions, I have learned how to look beyond myself and understand that there are a million different ways of looking at a problem.
Where do you find community on campus?
At Lewis & Clark, community can be found anywhere on campus. The library is one of my favorite spots for it, with study groups meeting in different areas, or forming naturally right before finals when you see another person from your class, even if you have never talked to each other before. The college clubs also offer the chance to find people with similar interests, as well as receive support from those places. The dorms are designed with communal areas, for cooking or small get togethers.
Which residence halls have you lived in? How would you describe the hall’s personality?
I’ve only lived in one residence hall during my time on campus, Platt-Howard. I loved the community there. The building is definitely older, but it was a comforting and artistic space.
What is/was the best thing about living on campus?
I would say that the best thing about living on campus is the access to community. There are movie nights always being hosted by different clubs or waffle nights in someone’s hall. It’s also useful to have access to the library at night. The campus is just as beautiful at night as it is during the day, and there is something enchanting about walking back to your dorm room at 2 a.m. listening to the frogs croak in the little pond by the reflecting pool.
If you went on a New Student Trip with College Outdoors, how did it shape your experience as an incoming student?
I would highly recommend going on a New Student Trip (NST). I loved getting to make friends before heading into campus, and it gave me a network of support before classes had even started. The ability to detach from any outside stress and connect with Oregon’s natural environment is invaluable. I felt so much more comfortable starting my college experience after my NST was done.
If you have studied or will study overseas while at Lewis & Clark, how did you choose your program? What did your overseas study add to your L&C experience so far?
I knew I wanted to study overseas in Greece while attending college, and out of all the colleges I looked at, the program here was by far the best. The experience of traveling abroad in college is so necessary for personal growth and achieving a greater understanding of how big and varied the world is. I loved getting to explore all across the country, making personal connections with all types of people. The program I attended had a faculty member who came with us, providing support. It made me feel a lot more secure while in a different country, but I was also able to explore and travel on my own.
Have you been involved with one of our symposia, as an organizer or participant? What was the experience like? How did the event complement your academic experience?
I’ve attended several different symposia events! I always leave them with a new understanding, and a new feeling of excitement. In particular, the Gender Studies Symposium is fantastic. It always opens my mind to new understandings. The symposia allow us to hear new voices from professionals, those with personal experience on the subject, or another student’s studies. This creates a different level of awareness, and an open conversation. It allows people to respect and understand others.
Who is your mentor on campus? Why do you consider this person your mentor?
Karen Gross was one of my professors during my first year. I credit her with helping me feel comfortable approaching faculty during office hours for one-on-one conversation and help, a skill that is critical in college. She gave class recommendations, and wanted to help make sure that I was able to get the most out of my time on campus, even signing up to do an independent study with me during the second semester of my first year. I have always been a reserved student, but she helped me learn how to speak out in class discussions. I cannot recommend her enough as a teacher. Her support and compassion were a huge part of my college experience, and an example of how to make a safe environment.
Did you visit campus before deciding to come to L&C? How did your visit influence your decision to attend?
My visit to campus was a big part of the decision to attend L&C. It is so pretty, and you can feel how much the community thrives here. While on tour, I saw people spread out across the lawn in groups, playing guitar, reading, or talking, and it made me want to be part of that environment.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Come visit the campus, and sit in on a class if you have the chance. The teachers here are dynamic. They actively want to teach and have conversations with students. If you want to study abroad, but are nervous about being on your own, the Overseas and Off-Campus programs are extensive, accessible, and designed so you have the support of a faculty member and your fellow students. Definitely think about how involved you want to be in the campus community. When I was looking at colleges the best advice I got was from my dad, who said that I should “attend a college that was staffed with faculty who love teaching and want to be there for each of their students, rather than a big college where the introductory classes are taught by teaching assistants.”
What’s your favorite spot on campus?
I love the rose garden on campus. It’s always quiet and you can sit under the trees and read or watch for wildlife. My first week on campus I got to see a deer and her babies while I was sitting out there.
What’s your favorite thing about living in Portland?
How weird it is, the acceptance of everyone, and that there is a place that will perfectly fit your personality. The cherry blossoms at Waterfront Park help too!
Why are you planning to double major? What relationship do you see between Classics and English?
I wasn’t planning on double majoring until spring semester of my sophomore year, but my academic advisor managed to talk me into it! I found that classics and English have a lot to do with each other, particularly for someone interested in creative writing. I would highly recommend attending a few classics classes. It’s important to know about different cultures and the myths and stories that have influenced and inspired classical writers in the past. I have found that every piece I have read has a connection back to the beginning of literature.