Willamette Wednesday: Hitting my stride

Welcome back for another weekly edition of Willamette Wednesday! Here’s what’s been going on up in Oregon.

Work
Work has picked up pace considerably, and I finally feel like I have at least a few things to show for from my summer here. I’ve started writing assessments for orientation, which has been more challenging than I had anticipated. Sure, I took an entire class on assessment and even did an entire assessment project from start to finish, but y’all, writing questions to prove learning outcomes were met for orientation is hard. That being said, I don’t think I want to be the next Sandi Osters*. Don’t get me wrong; doing all this assessment this summer is a really great chance to practice and get more experience in something that will undoubtably be a part of whatever job I go into. I just don’t want it to be my entire job.

*Sandi Osters was our assessment professor and is the director of Student Life Studies, the student affairs assessment office, at Texas A&M.

Free Time
More of the same! This past weekend I finally stayed in Salem for the weekend, saw Brave, and ate the most delicious berries from the Salem Farmer’s Market. (Side note: Oregon has delicious, fresh berries all the time everywhere, and I’m kind of addicted to them.) I should have spent a good chunk of my Saturday designing the program for my cousin’s wedding next week… but I just watched Felicity instead. Oops. Sounds like I know what I’m doing tonight! I finally got a bike, but I haven’t been able to ride it yet due to a few busy nights and rain

It’s cold.
Speaking of rain… and I know I sound like a huge spoiled jerk here to my friends watching wildfires in Colorado and my melting friends in Texas… BUT IT IS TOO COLD HERE. I can’t move to Oregon long-term. If this is summer, I don’t want to see the other seasons. I don’t really remember what the other side of 65 looks like. It’s been days since I’ve seen the sun in its full glory. I want to wear shorts and Chacos. I miss my hammock. Ok, complaining over. I’m going back to Texas for a few days next week, so I’m sure I’ll get blasted with sweltering heat and humidity then and appreciate the dampness and grey skies when I get back to Oregon… maybe…

Church
I have committed to going to Outward Church for the summer! It was the second church I tried, and though I was skeptical of Acts 29‘s ties to Mark Driscoll (the jury of my mind is still out on him), I’m liking Outward a lot. The atmosphere reminds me a lot of The Rock and Fellowship, and it has a similar demographic of people, though there are a lot more young married people than I’m used to. That’s cool, though, because I get to be in a community group of mostly 20-somethings from all parts of life: in school, working, single, married… it’s nice to hear from so many perspectives in discussion! It’s also pretty cool to see this community group in action because it is allowing me to live out a book my homegroup in College Station is reading this summer. This summer, the leadership team for our group plus a few other people (like me!) are reading Community: Taking Your Small Group Off Life Support by Brad House with hopes to apply some of its theory to Shockwave this fall. Because Brad House is a member of Mars Hill (Mark Driscoll’s church, which is a part of the Acts 29 network), my community group at Outward seems to be modeled off a lot of this book’s principles. It’s nice to have our group in Texas read about it, and then I can report on how it looks in practice! It’s also neat because our friend Dale is currently interning in Seattle and is attending Mars Hill this summer, so he gives us another perspective on the book’s advice!

This summer is going by so fast
I can’t believe July starts next week. This summer is flying by. I made a calendar at work to map out the projects I’m working on, and I can see all the weeks I have left on one page. Less than six weeks left! Six weeks is still sort of a long time, but I need to make sure I’m making the most of the glorious free time I have left!

Well, that’s all for now. Until next week, much love from the Pacific Northwest!

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