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Second Week: A Smörgåsbord

September 23, 2010 at 11:33 am
By Marlena Hartman-Filson


A few images from our women's soccer preseason trip to the Pacific Northwest. We were out there for nine days and played three games - against a Canadian team, Pacific Lutheran University, and University of Puget Sound. For the first few days, we stayed at this HUGE mansion in the hills around Bellington. It really couldn't get much better than that - a dock with kayaks, wild blackberries everywhere, view of the lake... Beautiful. The second half of the trip, we stayed at a hotel down in Tacoma - not as pretty, but we had a couple excursions into downtown Tacoma and Seattle to shop, eat, and walk around.

View from the house:





Ropes course before our game in Canada:

Washington Washington





Canoe House

Room draw is a stressful time for lots of Carleton students. The questions who to live with, which dorm to choose, what kind of room (single? quad?), the uncertainty of which desired rooms will be open, and then the final craziness of room draw itself (hundreds of students packed into the great hall, vying for the best rooms) - the tension is high this time in May.

I, however, completely avoided the entire fiasco by choosing to live in an interest house instead of a dorm. The process of applying to interest houses is different for each one. Canoe house is related to, but not the same thing as, CANOE club (Carleton Association for Nature and Outdoor Enthusiasts) - there is usually overlap among members of the house and the club, but participation in one is in no way dependent on participation in the other. I had participated in a couple CANOE club events last year (ice cream eating contest and Book Across the Bay), but because of soccer, Ultimate, and some other club's I'm in, I couldn't make it to a lot of the trips and activities. And so it was sort of on a whim that I decided to apply to the house. My roommate from last year was applying, and so she sent me the application. The form started out very ordinarily: name, class, off campus any term? Questions about my view of the strengths of weaknesses of CANOE organization, why should an outdoor organization have a communal living group as well, etc. But to my surprise, the questions quickly progressed to things along the lines of, "Rate your cuddliness in the form of an animal. Low cuddliness being a rabid porcupine and high cuddliness being a tickled slow loris. We encourage you to come up with your own animal."

And so now I live in Canoe house. It is off board, meaning we are not on any sort of meal plan. Instead, we buy our own food and cook our own meals. As much as possible, we buy our food in bulk from the Northfield CoOp, and we have "family dinners" five nights a week, cooked by a pair of house members.

Which is good, because one of the first things I learned at Carleton this year is that I am lacking the life skill of feeding myself. For a couple weeks, I struggled mightily with breakfast and lunch. To be fair, until last week we were lacking bread at the house, but breakfasts would consist of cereal (if we had it) and lunches would be perhaps an egg and some cheese. I am proud to say that I am improving (the days of walnuts and chocolate chips for lunch are over), but I still have some ways to go.



I'm not from Seattle, and that might be part of the problem. I just think it has to stop raining at some point! It started yesterday at 3pm and has been raining hard ever since. Not quite twenty-four hours yet, but it's certainly close! I'm used to either a continuous drizzle or a half hour or so of pouring rain, but never a whole day like this. The streets of Northfield were flooded last night - three or four inches of water running down the road.

All this rain called for some sauna time. I'm not sure how many people on campus are aware of our sauna - it's hidden in the women's locker room in the basement of Cowling. Some fellow Canoe house dwellers and I enjoyed the heat last night, and when it became too stiflingly hot, we were ran outside and frolicked in the rain and puddles on Bell field. 


As a general rule, I'm not a big "liker" on Facebook. I don't like to "like" comments or groups or pages. I made an exception with the Carleton College page, only because sometimes my blog is posted up there and I am amused by some of the alumni comments I get there. And I am so glad I did: this morning, Facebook alerted me to an alumnus with this message for us: "I can't believe I didn't find this on this page! Go Russ" and an accompanying YouTube link:

Parents and prospective students, you probably have no idea what any of this is, or why I might have quite honestly had tears running down my face while watching this. Russ is a campus legend, a god among gods. His kingdom is far-reaching, from the hallows of the CMC to the venerated dance studio in Cowling Gym. Stuck on a math problem? Go see Russ, he'll walk you through it (or, in my case, Stuck on lots of math problems? He'll walk you through them. All of them). Need some exercise? Go see Russ, he teaches step aerobics classes in the evenings. And now, apparently, Need info about your Student ID? Go see Russ, he'll talk you through it like a math problem WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY getting a workout. Wow.


Looking forward to Stevie P's Presidential Inaugural Ball, firework display, and live band performances, but mostly looking forward to Presidential trading cards that are promised to appear in our mailboxes tomorrow... Interesting.



  • September 23 2010 at 8:38 pm

    But--but you can't leave us hanging like this! What animal did you choose?

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