Perhaps you’ve heard the story about the Eliot Circle cherry blossoms. Maybe you’ve been told that they came from a thesis project involving grafting the flowering branches from one species onto the trunks of another species, creating the spectacular burst of light pink blossoms that showers down upon us in the springtime every year. Unfortunately, the origin of the beloved Eliot Circle trees and the spectacle they produce is not so grandiose. There is no record of such a thesis in the library’s database, and the grounds worker who has been at Reed longest, Ed McFarlane, remembers planting the trees but has no recollection of student involvement.
Rebeca Willis-Conger was initially attracted to Reed because of its reputation as a “weird little community of learners.” Generous financial aid convinced her to enroll, and in the fall of 2014 she moved from her Portland apartment into a dorm room in MacNaughton.
Just like for any student entering Reed, O-week is tough for transfer and non-traditional students, though not necessarily for the same reasons. For students coming from other colleges or working full-time jobs, especially older students, many of the Orientation workshops are simply not tailored to their needs. For Rebeca, Orientation at Reed was difficult more because of age differences than the fact of being a transfer. “People confused me for a parent a lot. It was a weird time,” she said.
I feel I should not have to say this to make my feelings valid, accepted, or listened to, but if I don’t, the automatic assumption is that I, the anonymous contributor, am white, upper-class, and a voice of those who history has usually represented. For the record, I am a low-income, first-generation American person of color. That being said, I feel that the protest of Hum 110 is missing the point and making it harder for me to learn.
This is what I remember from a couple days with my family on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua. This region was colonized by the English and the population is mostly indigenous and afrocaribbean, so people speak a mixture of Caribbean English, Miskito, Garifuna and Spanish. I am sorry if there are mistakes. If it’s not because my memory fails then I probably never knew what was going on in the first place.
Executive orders have been prominently featured in the news lately, given Donald Trump’s highly controversial series of orders that characterized his first few weeks in office. During the Obama administration, executive orders received similar treatment—the opposing party constructed a narrative that the executive order once created holidays and was now a way for the President to act unilaterally; that executive orders offset the balance of power among branches; that they are unconstitutional. But after a long news week, in which a large part of the Republican rhetoric was borrowed by the Democrats, I got curious: what is the legal precedent for executive orders? How constitutional are they? Where does the Supreme Court draw the line? Get ready: we’re in for a long series of grey areas and power grabs.
It’s sunset. The long-since blown-out shocks of my vehicle float around the city of Boulder, Colorado. I’m looking for a place to park and sleep in my car for the night. Turn after turn, the traffic pulls the energy from my mind. I hate driving―especially in the city. Perhaps a back-road out of town will yield a pull-out with some privacy. I cruise out of town, breathing the slightly fresher air. The road winds up a canyon, the twilight breeze rushing through the windows as I drive upwards. Floods have washed out large sections of road. Uprooted trees, rocks, and various forms of Nature’s destructive force strew the land, beautifying the road. My lungs suck breath after exhilarating breath, my ears take in rushing wind and water, and my eyes dart from rock to rock with clarity. I see a large dirt pullout created by the force of pure Nature. The car reaches a halt and I hop out to take in the inspiring solitude. Write. I need to sit down and bleed on a page.
Throughout its 49 year history, Paideia has faced two major dilemmas: low attendance and lack of organization. Paideia was originally conceived by a freshman named Michael Lanning in 1967. Lanning proposed a six week hiatus from normal classes, and proposed that students be able to request academic credit for the projects they carried out during the “Unstructured Independent Study.” 850 students signed a petition in support of Lanning’s proposal, and in 1969 a month between winter break and spring semester was set aside for an experimental program known as “Independent Activities Period.” This month long program embodied a very different vision than the week of fun classes held over Paideia today, focusing on bringing administrative and faculty resources to serve student interests beyond the traditional curriculum.
“I think the future of Paideia is an open question,” Chris Lydgate, a Reed alumnus (’90) and the editor of the Reed Magazine, says, leaning back in his chair. He has had a lot of experience with Paideia; he has put on a Reporters’ Bootcamp during Paideia week for the past ten years more or less. This year was a particularly ambitious year for Lydgate’s Bootcamp. Planning a dozen events ranging from a class taught by Zach Dundas, editor of Portland Monthly, on how to write for a magazine, to special workshops on radio news taught by NPR extraordinaire Robert Smith, these events drew the greatest participation in the Bootcamp history yet.
On Friday, January 20th, a coalition of groups, coming together under the auspices of the new Direct Action Alliance, rallied in Pioneer Square and marched through downtown Portland in protest of Donald Trump’s inauguration. The rally began early in the day, with a student walkout and march leaving from PSU at 2 p.m. and meeting up with members of an anarchist block in Pioneer Square who were burning US flags.
No matter where you come from or where you stand, this semester has been an intense one. Political tensions over issues such as institutional racism, a disturbingly divisive election season, and sustained demonstrations on campus have scattered the community and made it difficult to keep track of events and their nuances. At The Grail believe it’s critical to do our part in reestablishing constructive dialogue and making sure a variety of voices and perspectives are represented and heard. How have this semester’s political events, demonstrations, and tensions shaped our community? We asked student protest organizers, staff, faculty, administrators, and students currently taking Hum 110 in an attempt to find an answer.
Sustainability is primarily associated with environmentalism, but it encompasses so much more. Any institution, be it collegiate or otherwise, needs to keep a balanced focus on all three pillars of sustainability: environmental, yes, but also social and economic. Reed’s sustainability coordinator (yes, it’s an actual position at Reed!), Bellamy Brownwood, along with environmental groups on campus and around the Pacific Northwest, spent a weekend working together at a conference of the Climate Cascade Network to attempt to tackle problems of environmentalism and activism.
Since ye olden days of Reed, the wooded ravine bisecting what was once Crystal Springs Farm has been a section of land of turbulent change, going from cow pasture to prospective development site to neglected wildlife refuge and eventually the urban sanctuary we know today. Since 1914, Canyon Day, known originally as Campus Day, has been an active Reed tradition, surviving through almost all of Reed’s existence. Canyon Day has always been a celebratory occasion, a day to engage the community with the grounds surrounding the college and get them involved its maintenance.
If something can be learned from the history of Reed’s canyon, it’s that the land is constantly changing. The summer of 2016 was no different: a new trail has been built in the southeastern corner of the 40-acre urban wildlife refuge. The area was a wall of blackberries just last spring; since then it has been cleared of invasive species, and can now be explored along a meandering 670 feet of trail that connects to the path leading up toward 38th Street, and another entering the Canyon from behind the Art Building. The clearing and construction of the path took about a month of on and off work by the summer Canyon Crew, and was this summer’s big canyon project.
Our iconic bridge was built in 1991, but what stood before? This particular stretch of canyon has a history rooted in the early 20th century, so listen in. The earliest bridge was a rudimentary structure built in the '30s, before the Cross Canyons or any other structures were built on the far side. Purely for the utility of getting across, and never commuting, this bridge evaporated practically without a trace. One of the only surviving records of this bridge is a grainy 1957 photograph documenting one of Portland's infrequent snow dustings.
- Walk the entire canyon trail (1.5 miles)
- Find a favorite picnic table for doing homework
- Get to know one of the neighborhood dog-walkers and befriend their dog
- Eat an apple or plum from the orchard
- Spot the canyon crew symbol on benches and stairs
- Sit on the stumps at the new east end loop with friends
- Walk the canyon at dusk and try to spot a beaver
- Read a book on the island: try to not get too distracted by the cattails and ducks
- How many different ways can you use the canyon to get to class
- Play a game of chess under the blue bridge using leaves as chesspieces
- Watch bees flying into their nest in the amphitheatre
- Watch salmon spawning in the fish ladder
- Spot one of the elusive canyon cats
- Observe the tree canopy from the bouncy bridge
- Attend Canyon Day!
The blue bridge bears a rich history. this particular rendition was commissioned in 1991 as a replacement for the old and rotting bridge that preceded it. With the expansion of the Cross Canyon dorms, Reed needed a new bridge that would conform to codes for disability access and last for many years with minimal impact on the canyon.
Today the Scrounge is a cafeteria quirk praised for reducing waste while feeding hungry students who don’t have board plans. But this source of free food was not always so favored, and for many decades scrounging was considered a questionable and even disgusting practice. Some accounts claim that versions of scrounging began as early as the 1960s, though reliable records in the Reed library archives don’t begin until about a decade later.