Sustainability @ Reed

Last week, Reed held an open discussion forum to look at sustainability at the college. Focused primarily on the possibility of divesting the school’s endowment from companies that engage in fossil fuel extraction, the forum gave students an opportunity to analyze our dear school’s impact on the environment. If you were to listen to the audio of the forum, you would hear your favorite blogger talking about honor and the environment!

Reed’s commitment to discursive education and decision-making is exemplified in the use of fora to analyze and, hopefully, solve the issues we feel passionately about.

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The cherry blossoms have arrived!

HOORAY! It’s official; my favorite time of year is here. It’s cherry blossom time!

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This would be reason two-million-something that I love my life as a Reed student: for about one week and one week only, Eliot circle is graced with an explosion of white blossoms on our cherry trees. Then in the course of a day or so, all the trees shed their petals in an epic, botanic snowstorm. Then, one must wait until next spring for another glorious show.

Ah, the ephemeral beauty.

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Perfection Incarnate in a RAW Project

Student Emmeline Hill and her dog Nisa experience the awesome-ness that is this RAW Project.

RAW, i.e. Reed Arts Week, is described by its creators as a 5 day long, student-curated arts festival presenting the work of both Reed students and contemporary artists from the United States and abroad. Each student experiences it differently, and this year I found perfection in a project located in the lower level of our Performing Arts Building.

Entitled “Take a Break From Now: Future Youth,” G. Spencer’s art project was dazzling. It was like stepping into my childhood. One side of the structure was completely taken up by a giant Lite-Brite board. Another wall had a built in TV and included a collection of all the 90s VHS tapes your heart could desire. Personally, I chose to spend a blissful 25 minutes watching “Wallace & Gromit”.

The wall opposite the TV was lined with zippered plastic bags. The contents of those bags ranged from Polly Pocket toys to Gushers snacks to bubble mix. My favorite bags included 2 CD walkmen and a bunch of CDs to listen to. I chose “Now 4” while my friend raged to the Backstreet Boys.

Rugs, a lizard-shaped beanbag, a table full of crayons, dinosaur figurines, and shelves of Roald Dahl books completed the scene. All put together, it was the absolute highlight of my week, and just goes to show how amazing student artwork here is.


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A Sneak Preview of RAW, Brought to You by Anna Baker

Paradox manager Anna Baker is a bit of an anomaly herself. Her acute insight into female fury seems to be at odds with Baker’s calm elegance, finesse, and warmth.

Or is it?

We meet at the Admission Office, where she is an intern and represents Reed remarkably well. Baker beams from behind the desk, and greets me cheerily.

Baker has reconstructed Heiner Müller’s Medea for the RAW stage.  “Müller is an avant-garde playwright. His work is postmodern, fragmented, and apocalyptic.” Müller, born in Eppendorf, Saxony directed productions of his own in Berlin, as well as all over Germany and Europe. The playwright joined the Socialist Unity Party of Germany in 1947. In his creations, Heiner Müller “grapples with the clash of communism and capitalism.”

Our emerald-eyed director has divided Müller’s Medea into three sections. “The first and the third scenes are portentous poems.” “In the second one,” Baker says with a playful smile, “Medea describes how she will destroy [Jason]. I have also added a scene from Heiner Müller’s Hamletmachine,” or, Die Hamletmachine.

Baker’s performance will take place in Prexy as “a feminist art installation performance” with a “womblike” structure. There will be four rooms the audience can walk through, like a house tour.” Baker blends “the apocalyptic with the domestic,” in a “dark” yet “slyly humorous” manner.

“I want my audience to feel actively involved in this. I want it to be fun and rambunctious.” Baker remarks Medea was perfected through “collective decisions” among all cast members.

According to Anna, RAW is, “the best week at Reed.  I live for seeing my friends work creatively, and getting to witness what they produce.”

We all look forward to witnessing Baker’s ferocious oeuvre, March 6th, at 9pm.





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Knit Fast Die Warm

Get a gander at my scarf.

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Since I’m a new constitchuent to the club, and my knitting is a little rusty, the garment is both wide and narrow, alternating between two contrasting dimensions. In other words, it’s a curvy scarf, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Meetings are held on Mondays at 6pm in the Student Union.

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Sustainability <3

As a community dedicated to higher learning and honor, Reed is also actively pursuing goals of sustainability and environmental responsibility.

Sustainability committee (an association of students, faculty, and staff) is actively seeking to address sustainability concerns of the student body and the wider Reed community, to fix unsustainable practices, and to establish a more robust discourse on environmental stewardship. Committee member and Student Body Vice President, Rennie Meyers, is focusing student attention and leading this conversation on campus.

Commons, our campus dining hall, is an exemplar of these sustainability efforts, much to the delight of the student body.

Reed’s Environmental Studies program leads the conversation on sustainability within the academic sphere. Through interdisciplinary study, environmental studies majors can come to holistically understand the environment.

Situated in a lush and thriving ecosystem, Reed foregrounds environmental concerns and asks students to deeply examine the ways in which we interact with the natural world.

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Nothing Like Those 60 Degree Fridays in February

Imagine this scene: it’s Friday, you’ve just had one of your hardest weeks assignment-wise of the year so far, it’s officially the weekend… And then the sun comes out.

This was life for me last Friday. For one glorious, vitamin-D drenched day it was 60 and sunny in the middle of February here at Reed. Students flocked to the Front Lawn. Iced caffeinated beverages were purchased. A general feeling of euphoria was pervasive throughout campus. It was perfection.

This is one of the wonders of living in Portland. Yes, it’s cold and rainy a lot of the time. Yet, just when you need it, Portland gives you a day like Friday.

And then of course it got rainy and freezing just in time for my rugby game the next day, but I’ll always have that Friday (plus we won 52-10, so I’m certainly not complaining).


Photo taken by illustrious student photographer and sunny day appreciator Rachel Fox.



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The admission office, buttons, and you!

If you have visited Reed’s admission office, you may have noticed our little collection of Reed-themed buttons.

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Created for you, dear visitor/reader, by the student workers of the office, these buttons gave me an unexpected opportunity to delve into some documentation of “Olde Reed.”

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Using images and bits of text from older promotional pamphlets and editions of The Quest (Reed’s premier student publication), two other student workers and I spent some time this afternoon refilling our button-bucket.

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Super Bowl Funday

I know, I know. This post is super late. But I just became a blogger, and while the fever is mostly over, I wanted to write about this!

Anyway: NFL mania might be the last thing you think of when Reed college comes to mind. So you might be surprised to know that my friends and I actually observed the American holiday known as Super Bowl Sunday.


Reed’s reputation paints the student body as disinterested in sports, both recreational and professional. But if you’ve ever seen pictures of a women’s rugby game, you’ll notice that our players look anything but indifferent. Same goes for my friends and I on game day.

In the traditional fashion, we ate guacamole, tortilla chips, two kinds of salsa, and Buffalo wings (tofu dogs for us veg-heads). We gathered in one of the bigger campus common rooms, with several couches and a flatscreen TV. We yelled, we cheered, albeit often at the commercials rather than the game. Luckily we had a few Seattletonians (Seattleites?) to keep us focused on cheering the Seahawks to victory. This got derailed once or twice when we tried to figure out just what a Seahawk is (a gull? a pelican?), but that’s to be expected. We’re a distractible group.

So while I wouldn’t call myself an NFL fan — and let’s be honest, I never will — I can admit that we had some fun getting riled up in the name of football.

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A Reedie Saturday Night

This past Saturday night, much to the mirth and envy of my friends, I attended “The Dinner Detective,” a murder mystery dinner show, with a delicious three-course meal included. There was even a prize basket valued at $100 for whoever solved the mystery. How could a modest college student such as myself afford such extravagance, you ask? Easy: the Gray Fund, I say. It’s a fund whose sole goal is substance-free fun for students like me in the form of adventure outings, cultural trips, ticket subsidies, and movies on campus.

Other Gray Fund events in recent memory:

- Roller derby
- Zoo Snooze (a nighttime trip to the Oregon Zoo)
- Ziplining
- Downtown food cart trip
- Skydiving
- The Princess Bride shown on campus (free donuts and soda included!)
- Subsidized tickets to a Janelle Monae concert
- Dim sum in Chinatown
- Spring break in Joshua Tree National Park

I myself have seen Maya Angelou speak, watched Office Space with free popcorn in a lecture hall, and seen Prince Poppycock perform (on campus!), all through the Gray Fund. It’s nice to know that your school really, really, really wants you to have fun.

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