Corvallis: my new home for the next few months or so. Not normally one for small towns and cold weather, it will be interesting to see how long it takes me to go crazy and be found washing my hair in the river or singing karaoke at a bar...
Corvallis is a university town, located in the Willamette Valley about 140km south of Portland and is where Oregon State University is located. Most people living here either work at or are students of OSU. Of course it is the academic side of things that bring me to this pocket of Oregon because not much else could drag me to a town of 55,000 people - I am a city gal.
So anyway,I am here to do some of my Master of Public Health (MPH) and hopefully sneak in some snowboarding, hiking and meet some fun and interesting people. The campus is really big and quite unlike universities in Aus: OSU is a little town in itself. There are obviously the academic halls, admin buildings etc., but there are also the living halls, dining areas, recreation areas, a gym, 2 climbing centres, sports fields, indoor tennis centre, library, Beaver store (where you can buy almost anything OSU Beaver branded. Such as a dog bandana, gumboots or bar stools), health centre, bowling alley, cultural centres and other things I don't even know about yet.
The first couple of days on campus were spent doing orientation with the other internationals, getting adjusted to living in the dorms (teeny-tiny living space!) and just getting, well, oriented. The other international students are from Denmark, Sweden, Thailand, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Germany, China, Korea, and Australia and are all really nice! To break the ice a bit between our newly formed group, we headed out on the Friday night to Peacock, a local bar where let's just say, the ice was definitely broken. After some cheap beers ($1.50!) and wayyyy too much tequila and jaeger, I was peer pressured into singing 'I come from a land down under' with back up from my new friend Maria. It was a disgusting performance but whatevvz.
Unfortunately all the travelling, jet lag, bad food and the couple of big nights out hit me and like most of the other internationals, I got sick. So my poor roomies, Brittany and Courtney, who I finally got to meet (after several email conversations) have had to put up with some random sniffily Australian breathing heavily in their room while they sleep. I am very thankful that my roomies are super lovely, easy going and love a laugh (even if it is at me saying 'banana' repeatedly).
My first day of classes was really interesting but also overwhelming as there is SO much reading already I need to get through in addition to getting used to a different style of teaching and assessment. My philosophy class (Classic Moral Theories), which is pretty much about ethics, will be my biggest challenge as I am not experienced in writing philosophy papers. Our class is held in 'seminar' style, we sit in a kind of board room, and there are only six students in the class - me being the only one without having done formal philosophy courses before. Sooooooo.....I will be learning lots!
Song of the moment - Team, Lorde.
Food of the moment - This amazing granola cereal with raspberries and blueberries I've had every morning.
Missing right now - My sweetie NEFFS, John and Alexander. My heart absolutely melted when Chelsea told me John had been going into the room I stayed at while at their place, looking for me. He also told Chels he is going in a rocket ship to see 'Aunty Missa'. TOO CUTE! Alex also just started to walk properly just after I left home so I am disappointed I missed out on seeing that live.