Willamette Wednesday: Gearing up and settling in

I have officially been in Oregon for 10 days! Plus today is my 8th day of work. So far things are going pretty well.

Most of my time at work last week was spent getting to know Willamette, meeting other professionals, and setting up my office. One of the biggest adjustments for me has been getting used to the tiny size of Willamette! With less than 2000 undergrads, this small school never ceases to make my jaw drop when I try to compare it to A&M. Beyond that adjustment, I feel I’ve settled in, and I’m gearing up to work on my summer projects. For the most part, I will be assessing and writing assessments for Willamette’s Opening Days new student orientation. I was talking about this with my friends Jason and Dustin last night, and they didn’t seem to think it sounded that exciting, but I’m excited to get some assessment experience under my belt! Plus Mike & Sandi would be so proud of me using my assessment class skills, text book, and binder. Thanks for teaching me well, guys!

Free Time
By far the best thing about being here in Oregon is having free time for once in my life. Ok, not for once in my life, but it’s been pretty different from what I’m used to. I have my one online class for the internship experience, but the work for that doesn’t take up much time really,  so for the most part, after 4:30 Monday through Thursday, after 1 on Fridays (summer Fridays are the best!), and weekends are totally open for me to do whatever I want. Holy cow, it is beautiful. I’ve been taking advantage of this time to read for fun (and work on my book challenge!), write letters, schedule Skype and phone dates, blog (sort of?), watch TV (finished Star Trek: Voyager and have since moved onto Felicity), explore Salem and the surrounding area, play guitar, nap in mu hammock, and get some extended quiet times in. It’s such a blessing to be able to rest. This weekend I hope to visit “the coast” (they don’t call it the beach here because you can’t really do “beachy things” along the Pacific Northwest coast) with one of the other interns.

I came to Oregon not knowing anyone, but since moving here, I’ve actually already made a few friends! Fortunately for me there are two other grad interns here, Katie & Amy, so I’ve spent a lot of time hanging out with them, exploring Oregon, watching Modern Family, eating s’mores, and checking out the local Salem cuisine. I’ve tried out a few churches and went to a church community group here, so I’m slowly finding a spiritual home for the summer. Hopefully more friends will come from that! Additionally my free time has given me the chance to have several Skype/phone dates to keep up with friends from home, so that’s really nice as well.

Overall I’m settling into my new summer routine nicely. I got a bike from the campus bike shop yesterday, so I’m hoping to conquer my fear of riding bikes in the street and get around town a little more in the coming weeks. I also want to start taking advantage of my access to Willamette’s rec center and get some exercise! It’s weird to me that it’s almost halfway through June, but I feel like my summer is just beginning. It’s also weird that I’ll be back in Texas for my cousin’s wedding in just 3 weeks. I “only” have 7.5 weeks left here in Oregon, but I know it’s going to fly by. Gotta make the most of it!

Until next week, much love from the Pacific Northwest.


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