Author Archives: Meg '11

recent life

First block break in Aspen, CO, at the Maroon Bells:

2nd block break in San Luis Obispo, CA, visiting my best friend from home at Cal Poly:

Lupe Fiasco’s new single for your listening pleasure:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q91LonKd2hs[/youtube]

I hope everyone is enjoying fall and that college applications are going well!

Homeward Bound

I know I haven’t blogged recently, and I’m sorry – my mom has even emailed, telling me to blog more! As Sarah Berry said, it has been really happening in the Admission office lately. Starting this Friday, I get a nice little break from work and I am headed home to Seattle for a week. I’m really excited!

 As wonderful as Colorado is, I miss summertime in the Northwest – hanging out at the lakes with old friends – so I’m pumped to hit the beach.

lake washington

Here is my friend from home, swimming in Lake Washington with Mt. Rainier in the background.

Also, this first weekend I’m home, there is 3-day music festival in a neighborhood near mine, which I’m hoping to attend, called Capitol Hill Block Party. Although I will miss some artists I want to see on Friday, I’m looking forward to potentially going on Satuday and Sunday.

After a few fun days in Seattle, I plan on heading to Northern Idaho Wednesday for my family reunion. Idaho just may be the most underrated state in the country; it’s beautiful – lots of mountains, great summer weather, and a huge lake to play in!

This is me and my pup, Keegan, on my cousin's dock on Lake Pend Oreille.

Always plenty of tubing!

My family is obsessed with kayaking.

This is me and Keegan on top of Scotchman Peak - one of the more challenging, but rewarding hikes in the area.

I also just wanted to share this crazy picture I saw online today of a 40-ton whale jumping out of the water onto a small yacht near Cape Town, South Africa:

Yikes!

 

Until next time- I hope you all are having great summers!

The Incline

One of my goals this summer is to climb the Incline once a week. If you’re not familiar with the trail, it’s located about fifteen minutes from campus in nearby Manitou Springs. Formerly an old railway line built in 1907 to help in the construction of a hydroelectric plant, the Incline now serves as a strenuous hike for athletes looking for some pain. It’s composed of about 5,000 steps (or old railway ties) that stretch up the base of Pikes Peak. From the bottom to the top, you travel about 1.5 miles and gain 2,011 feet in elevation – it’s steep, but worth it! At the end of the trek, you’re treated to awesome views of the Colorado Springs area and the satisfaction of completing one of the most challenging staircases in the country.

Some of the best completion times I’ve heard of fall between 20 and 25 minutes, while mine hovers just under 40. I’ve never taken the Incline too seriously, but this summer I hope to get as close to 30 minutes as possible. I didn’t take my camera last time I did it due to a crazy Colorado rainstorm, but next time I’ll share my own pictures. Until then, enjoy these few shots of the Incline:

Courtesy of justhiking.com: looking up the Incline.

Courtesy of justhiking.com: looking down the Incline.

This is me and my friend at the top of Pikes Peak - where you'd end up if you kept going another 9 miles after the Incline.

Eating Stuff in South Asia. And West Africa.

Unlike my illustrious colleague Sarah Berry, I don’t have a series of blogs that I follow daily, but there is one that I regularly check – my sister’s. Ever since graduating college in 2008 with a degree in political science, my sister Katie has spent her time interning in Washington D.C., working at farmers’ markets in Seattle, learning about organic farming and yoga in India, and monitoring elections in Sri Lanka.

Last farm lunch. Typical farm lunch.

This is her typical lunch at the farm in India.

Have you been to summer camp before? Cool, then you already know exactly what an ashram is like. There is the same waking up early to a bell and singing songs together and then eating group meals in a rackety dining hall and doing some physical activity during which someone inevitably cries and then using your one free hour a day to run around your communal living area like a complete maniac and scream and yell and get up to crazy hijinks and all with no alcohol. Some of specifics are different. Instead of singing fight songs about wagon riding you are chanting Hindu stuff in Sanskrit while a bunch of hippies around you get extremely emotionally absorbed in drum beating and head nodding. (Tamara: Do you ever have moments here where you feel like you’re in a cult? Jo: You mean like last night when I looked down at my hands and saw I was banging a tambourine to Jaya Ganesha?) The food is less grilled cheese and bug juice and more Keralan classics reinterpreted to be “purely vegetarian” which means garlic/onion/spice-less to avoid any heating of the blood that could lead to impure behavior. And I don’t even know what people were crying about during yoga class although I’m pretty sure it wasn’t because they were afraid of being eaten by an orca whale (true story from my camp counselor days). But, the crazy time—that is pretty much the same as summer camp. Our last night there was a talent show (seriously) so we spent our free hour prepping our skit that was one you have definitely seen before and might have felt a little bit stale back in the States, but we totally killed it because that is a easy thing to do when your competition is Indian teenagers singing devotional songs. The winning was only in our impure hearts though, because I’m pretty sure Swami Sivanada doesn’t believe in that kind of competition. (That’s my bunk in that picture up there.)

 Here is her bed at the ashram, where she did yoga.

I decided just to leave that “spiritual name” portion blank.

This is some paperwork she had to fill out at the ashram – it asks for her spiritual name, which she decided to leave blank. Our parents didn’t provide either of us with spiritual names.

Anyway, if this doesn’t sound eclectic enough, Katie is now traveling through Senegal and is about to start working for Tostan, an NGO in the Gambia. Tostan’s mission is “to empower African communities to bring about sustainable development and positive social transformation based on respect for human rights.” She will be there for the next six months.

While this outfit may not be the most flattering, it was NO ACCIDENT that I wore sailor pants and nautical stripes the same day I took a ferry. Themed dressing—get with it, guys. Île de Gorée, Senegal

This is her in Senegal.

Since Katie is usually at least 2,000 miles away from where I am, her blog is essentially the only way for me to know what she’s doing. It’s called “Eating Stuff in South Asia. And West Africa.,” with its name arising from a somewhat humerous conversation that her first blog details: 

One time I was at a party with old people and one of them decided to corner me and ask me about my Plans For My Future (as old people love to do) which of course led us to me going abroad and then to how when he’s abroad he really likes bird watching. Just is super into it—lots of books, binoculars, the whole deal. Cool. That’s great for him. We should all be so lucky as to have something we’re that passionate about. But then the conversation took an awkward turn.

“And what kind of activities do you like doing when overseas?”

“Uhhh mostly just wander around and eat things.”

That being said, the blog documents her time in India, Sri Lanka, and now Africa. It’s mainly comprised of photos and short tidbits about what she’s up to – often with a focus on food, obviously.

I may have to write a Venture Grant to go visit her during winter break…

Some Music

After telling my friend Erin that I’m writing a blog this summer, she requested that I post one about music. So here we go…

I primarily listen to hip hop music, and this interest sparked during high school when the underground hip hop scene in my hometown of Seattle, WA, started to explode. Seattle has contributed a lot to music over the last fifty years – from Jimi Hendrix to Sir Mix-A-Lot to Nirvana – and now Northwest hip hop is beginning to gain national recognition. It’s hard to talk about current hip hop in Seattle without mentioning Blue Scholars. The duo consists of Geologic (emcee) and Sabzi (producer), and is pretty well known at CC – they even played nearby campus my freshman year. They started back in 2002 when the two were students at the University of Washington. Blue Scholars are responsible for helping create the politically and socially conscious hip hop image coming from Seattle today.

I’m going to share some groups (and songs of theirs that I think are good introductions to their music) that kicked off my interest in the genre – both from Seattle and other places throughout the country – and some of my favorite artists now, as well.

This is a song called “North by Northwest” by Blue Scholars off their 2007 album, Bayani.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKLgaLBhx68[/youtube]

Common Market is another duo from Seattle, consisting of Blue Scholars producer, Sabzi, and emcee RA Scion. The group formed in 2005, and this song “Tobacco Road” comes off their 2008 album of the same name.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1MUpZAWuFI[/youtube]

Grip Grand is one of my favorite artists coming from the Bay Area. The song “Poppin’ Pockets” is really popular among my friends at CC.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmyIf3m-q3Q[/youtube]

XV is a relatively new artist from Kansas. This song is called “Losing the Signal,” and I believe it will be featured on his new album.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJKxBXCCUAg[/youtube]

Theophilus London is from New York City. “Humdrum Town” is his debut single off of Green Label Sound.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2jBlPml7N4[/youtube]

Here is a sequence of a few other artists on the rise from Seattle:

Grynch & Two Good Men, “I’m A Dreamer”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-uBFTgbK0M[/youtube]

Macklemore, “The Town” (Sabzi Remix)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSH2hGEvLTU[/youtube]

J.Pinder, “Go Far”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Db-M_W51Nac[/youtube]

Ryan Lewis (producer), “Fake Empire” (sampling The National)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdoliLNRlHo[/youtube]

Anyway, I definitely don’t know everything about hip hop – by any means. But these are just some songs that I think are a fairly decent representation of what kind of music I like to listen to. Enjoy!

NACA

Today sophomore students from the Native American Community Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico, visited CC on their college tour of Colorado. I was lucky enough to be able to give these students a tour of campus, eat lunch with them, and learn more about their lives. I had never heard of NACA until today, but was extremely impressed by the mission of the academy and its students.

NACA is a relatively new charter school that serves grades six through twelve, and is graduating its first senior class this year. The academy resulted from a huge collaboration between many community leaders – including educators, parents, and professionals throughout Albuquerque, – who recognized the growing population of Native American communities in urban areas and realized that, through this shift, these people were losing their connections to their heritages. The goal behind NACA is to provide public education to Native American students while sustaining their identities, cultures, and traditions.

The students who visited the CC campus all had really cool perspectives on life and were very in touch with their heritages. When introducing themselves, the students were able to share their names, tribes, clans, schools, and ages in their respective Native tongues. It was an especially awesome and humbling experience for me – hearing languages I had never heard before coming from the mouths of high school sophomores. At NACA, teachers don’t teach the foreign languages that are traditionally taught at the secondary level in U.S. schools (like French, German, and Spanish), but rather focus on three Native languages. While at lunch, I sat with a few students who eagerly talked in Navajo and then translated for me what they said, describing different accents and tones they used.

It was amazing to see these kids so excited about what they were learning and see how connected their identities are to the curriculum. And I have to admit that I’m a little jealous of them – their school sounds so cool. They know so much about who they are and where they come from, in a way that few high school students (or people, for that matter) ever experience. I really hope that I’ll see some of them at CC very soon.