Cooley Art Gallery

I have a tradition (or at least the beginnings of a tradition) with a good friend of mine here at Reed: at some point during the semester we remove ourselves from our daily schedules and go visit the Cooley Art Gallery.

Luckily for us the Cooley Art Gallery is pretty convenient; it’s literally inside the Reed College Library. Opened in 1988, the Cooley Gallery was born with this mission:

“The mission of the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery is to enhance the academic offerings of Reed College with a diverse range of scholarly exhibitions, lectures, and colloquia in its role as a teaching gallery. . . Exhibitions are coordinated in collaboration with Reed faculty members and courses, with attention to the needs and interests of the larger Portland and Northwest arts communities.”

As stated above, exhibitions are multi-dimensional bringing in such artists as Kara Walker to speak about their work. The fact that an artist whose exhibit I saw in the Whitney Museum in New York had an exhibit inside my college’s library still blows my mind.

My own tradition with the gallery started last year with its “First Hand: Civil War Era Drawings From The Becker Collection” exhibit. My friend and I enjoyed ourselves so much (only partially because of the magnifying glasses they give out to help experience the exhibit) that we spent an hour looking at the gallery’s exhibit, “Qalam: Calligraphy and Islam from the Middle Ages to the Present.” It was awesome.

This exhibit was especially interesting for me, for just last fall I was in Israel studying Arabic. There is a big difference between the Arabic I learned and formal Arabic calligraphy dating back to the Middle Ages, so I did not understand a lot. However, getting to see beautiful works of art in the form of the language I spent a semester studying was one of the highlights of my week.

The first Cooley exhibit I went to, which was a collection of Civil War era drawings.

The first Cooley exhibit I went to, which was a collection of Civil War era drawings.

Kara Walker: More and Less, September 6-November 18, 2012

Kara Walker: More and Less, September 6-November 18, 2012

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Back to the Grind

Summer has come and gone, and while it left some of the heat behind, the school year is now in full swing. I now have a thesis advisor, and a thesis topic, and a lot of books with no place to put them (which may change by the time you read this. Thesis desks are assigned this week!). I have read medieval Islamic texts and started Dante’s Inferno. I have learned how to letterpress and started crafting a text based art project. I have scheduled more meetings than I can count and have several more to go. It’s as if nothing has changed since May, but it’s also entirely different. Because this is my last year. My class load has lightened while my research requirements have intensified. And I am excited! This will be a big year with lots to do, but I feel prepared! At least I think I am.

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Research Opportunities at Reed

Last spring, my chum Emily, who was a freshman at the time, was discussing summer plans with her advisor, Paul Currie in the Psychology department. At the end of their meeting, Emily became a new member of Professor Currie’s research team.

Over the summer, Emily and seven other Reedies explored how, in simple terms, peptide makes people hungry or anxious. After several rat incisions, much testing and pipetting, these Reedie researchers submitted two abstracts to the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, and later went to the Society’s convention in the fall. This experience let Emily and her fellow students practice presenting lectures, and learn about what other undergrads are researching in their labs.

Professors are willing and eager to get their students and advisees to engage in their research over the summer, as well as during the school year.

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Artifacts with No Name

At Reed, there are a number of strange artifacts that have no name and no one, no matter whom I ask, seems to remember how they got there. So, I decided to share them with you:

fig 1.

A stone, installation place. Someone suggested it was a former thesis project. Origins remain unknown

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fig 2.

I have no idea why this was put on campus. I also cannot figure out if it is a dolphin, or a burger. To remedy this, I sometimes will tell people to meet up with me for dinner “near the dolphin burger slide”. The formalization of this nomenclature is pending.

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fig 3.

A people bench. No matter how much time I spend at Reed, I still mistake this bench for actual people from afar.

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If you know the history, please comment below!

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Portland Picks a Wiener!

Early this summer Portland saw the Portland Pug Crawl costume parade, and continued the tradition recently with a second silly dog related event. Sponsored by our local cool newspaper the Portland Mercury and Lucky Labrador Brewing, the Wiener Takes All dachshund race welcomed all dogs under 10 inches tall and at least 16 inches long to prove their might and speed in a 30 meter dash.

The competition was fierce:

A competitor awaits registration

A competitor awaits registration.

Some more competitors

Some more competitors.

super fierce, as you can see

Even more competitors. Super fierce, as you can see.

Assistant Professor of Theatre Kate Bredeson brought her dachshund Tennessee (short for Tennessee Williams) to race. Tennessee didn’t win her heat (she got a little distracted halfway through) but she is still a winner in my heart.

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Musings on Honor

This year I will be a member of an Orientation Week panel regarding the Honor Principle. The Honor Principle is a loosely defined concept that governs our community. While we do not have any established definitions, my personal interpretation is that only actions which do not cause harm to the community are acceptable. The goal of the panel is to give incoming students a bit of a primer on what Honor is and how it operates within our community. Discussion is a key component of the Honor Principle, and this panel aims to begin the long conversation that students will engage in during their time here at Reed.

The other day the panelists and members of Honor Council had a meeting to discuss our particular topics and get feedback from other panelists. My topic is Honor and Community Engagement and Involvement. It was really great to have an opportunity to get together and discuss our conceptions of the Honor Principle and how it plays out in our daily lives. Professor of Classics and Humanities Ellen Millender was present for the conversation, and it was truly enlightening to discuss our interpretations with her. Ellen has been at Reed for many years and has served as chair of Honor Council in the past, so this is a subject very near and dear to her heart.

With a community as small as ours, it is great to have such a discussion oriented way of governing our community. The Honor Principle applies to all aspects of our lives at Reed; it does not stop when you leave the classroom. If you find yourself on campus, take a moment to ask one of us about our conception of the Honor Principle. Or email one of the interns at writeareedie@reed.edu. We would all love to share our experiences and thoughts on Honor with you!

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The Weather Machine

I know I have mentioned this before, but Portland is fortunate enough to have a huge, WORKING, weather machine in the center of Downtown Portland, that smokes, sings, and predicts the weather every day at noon. (Feel free to check out the Wikipedia page on it, I find it very fascinating).

Ever since learning about the weather machine this spring, I had been stoked to find it (and hopefully see it in action). Eventually I ventured down to Pioneer Square and trekked around the block to find it. I spent a whole 15 minutes trying to find that beloved weather machine, but ended up leaving, dejected and disappointed.

As it turns out, I wasn’t looking high enough! This last time I was downtown, I once again went searching Pioneer Square, and found that blessed weather machine in mere seconds! I still have yet to see it play, but I’ve at least gotten to see the uber cool machine.

Me, finally having found the Weather Machine (behind me)

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Try Tri-Met

Like many students from California, I have my car with me most of the time that I am in Portland. This has proven quite useful through most of my time here, but it definitely isn’t a necessity. In some cases, I even choose to use public transit to get around town.

Recently, a friend from high school was staying on the west side of town so I went to meet her downtown a good amount. The first time I met up with her, I drove downtown and had to find parking. I quickly realized that it was simpler to take the bus, and it cost about as much as a parking spot downtown.

Public transit in Portland is operated by Tri-Met, which serves the tri-county metropolitan area (thus the name). All light rail trains and most busses converge downtown before branching back out across the metro. Once you get downtown, it is pretty easy to get anywhere you need to be in the city. From Reed there are a number of bus lines that will take you downtown or up to the Hawthorne district and beyond. For $2.50 you get unlimited transfers for 2 hours, and a day pass is only $5. Reed students and staff can also get discounted monthly passes from the business office.

Overall, I think Tri-Met is a great resource here in Portland. If you don’t have a car, don’t fear! Portland remains accessible by public transit, and it also allows you to see the great views the city has to offer!

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Summer Checklist Edition: Multnomah Falls

At 620 feet, Multnomah Falls, in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is the second-highest year-round waterfall in the United States. Luckily for me, it’s also only thirty miles from Portland.

926nkyjUSw11Ef1reHyKIehLWxdyMDUZ7nCW0j4DrdblV0sjy1po7xxkSoNj1xn4cE1Bqg=w1576-h830Multnomah Falls is on pretty much every must-see list for Portland. So, during a visit from my significant other’s parents, we all trekked out to the falls and hiked to the tippy top (Above: us at the tippy top, though you can’t quite tell). I’m not a very experienced hiker, but the trail was easy and the views were fantastic.

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See above: me, perched on a rock near the mouth of the falls. (I even dipped my feet in the water that feeds the falls.) (I might have tasted the water, too.)

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The Dogs Days are (Not Quite) Over

One of the things that I really love about the Reed community is that individuals help support each other all the time in various ways. I think this orientation to help others in the community is really fostered because of Reed’s Honor Principle.

Musings aside, sometimes this allows really fun opportunities to land in your lap! For me, that has come in the form of taking care of someone else’s dog for part of the summer. His name is Lloyd, and he is a mutt whose breed cannot be quite pinned down. Some of his interests are running on the Great Lawn, getting into staring contests with birds, and the occasional belly-rub. Meet Lloyd:

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