I was pretty pumped to start spring term as I had some interesting subjects lined up and let's be honest, I am a nerd and love to study. The first couple of weeks the snow was still good up on Mt Bachelor so I did a day trip in week 2 and then spent the weekend in Bend week 3. Spring skiing is awesome here, really warm and although there wasn't as much snow as the last few visits I'd made (obviously), it was smooth and fun to play around in. I spent Easter weekend in Portland with Corey who was in the US for a motor-cross event in Cali. It was so great to see a friend from home! I met him at the airport and we headed a little bit out of town to Forest Park which is the largest urban park in the country (yep, bigger than Central Park in NY). It is a gorgeous green space with nice easy trails, streams, little water falls and even an old growth forest. It was a nice day so there were lots of people out walking and running. We passed an old stone structure, the witch's castle/cottage as some people call it, which was originally built for the purpose of restrooms and a ranger station but was vandalized and eventually abandoned in the 60's. It is supposed to be haunted and apparently if you go there at midnight you can see weird apparitions in the area. Day time was fine with us as supernatural things are a big NOPE from me.
On our way back from the park we stopped at a McMenamin's in the Pearl District for dinner and a beer and then back to our hotel. Poor Corey had been awake for over 30 hours after travelling from Melbourne so he was needing sleep! Saturday morning we had a quick breakfast then went on a cycle tour of the city. It was a great way to see some of the main sites and to visit the neighbourhoods of Portland. Of course it was raining which was slightly annoying but I am used to the Oregon weather so whatevvzz. After the tour we went to the Oregon Museum of Science and Innovation (OMSI) which was a perfect wet weather activity. We then headed back downtown to get a Go-Pro for Corey, had some dinner and then a quick drink. Corey left really early on Sunday morning so I did a bit of shopping on my own before I headed back to Corvallis.
I went to a couple of baseball games this term which I absolutely loved! The OSU team is pretty good so it is kinda nice to watch games where we win. It is also nice to sit out in the sun and just relax. During mid terms I spent a bit of time studying in the Memorial Union (MU). It is a beautiful building which was erected in the 1920's as a student union. It has its own ballroom, cafes, stores and function rooms. My favourite part is the main lounge which has huge windows looking onto Jefferson Way, nice couches which are usually filled with napping students at any time of the day, some tables and a grand piano where people will come along randomly and play.
I headed over to Eugene for a day trip with Vere and Erika to help out at an exchange workshop for students heading over to Australia, the UK and Ireland. Our role was to talk about our experiences and give a bit of perspective on the culture of our country and some things they could expect. It was a really nice experience because it reminded me of all the reasons I had decided to do an exchange and I got to share some information that I wished I had when I was leaving home. The event was hosted at the University of Oregon which I had wanted to visit anyway. We checked out the campus and maybe I am biased, but it definitely is not as nice as OSU. Hayward Field/Nike TrackTown was cool to see (it is known for its connection with Nike and its founders) as was the huge Autzen Stadium which is the home of the Ducks football team. After getting back to Corvallis, I did an epic 23 mile run which felt great and made me feel like I was prepared for my marathon in two weeks' time. I then headed out for Jessie's birthday which was super fun and great to see a group of people I hadn't seen in a while.
It has been crazy how quickly time had flown by this term. I feel much more at home and settled in and it is really sad to think that soon I will be leaving Oregon and leaving behind all the great friends I have made since I got here in December.