Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Can't Stop Thinkin' 'Bout Yoojean!

I sent off my monies. It's headed to Eugene, Oregon. University of Oregon. The tall dark trees and the fluorescent flowers broken open in spring greetings were an instant lure in a direction I already had found myself falling. I am going to begin the Professional Master's Program in the School of Journalism and Communication. It starts soon but not soon enough: June 20th. I will join my "cohort", the other students in my program (amounting to about 15 or 20) to start our journalism adventures in the Willamette Valley of Oregon state.

Not surprising, I'm finding myself now completely immersing myself in Eugene and all its intricacies, via the internet. It's so far away and yet right here next to me as I explore all the possibilities that await: countless parks, and forested areas with trails for hiking and biking, there are gardens and arboretums, a protected span of marshland that migrating waterfowl depend on, the city itself is charming and beautiful with bike friendly roads that I fully intend to take advantage of, there is a river with a path that follows alongside, the University is shrouded in towering fir, spruce and cedar trees...there is just so much that I'm dying to check out right now.

So I satisfy that need with the internet. And, in fact, I've found some really cool things. There is this blogger called EugeneCyclist who, aside from having an awesome sense of humor, really gives a great look into Eugene bike life. Through him, I've learned a lot about not only the bike life but a bit about the political atmosphere there and some local places that I want to check out as well as some of the yearly events and activities that I'll have to look forward to. There is one event they have that is on one of the pedestrian bridges over the river where everyone has a great big picnic to raise money for some deserving cause. How. Cool. He also takes pictures of bikers (unbeknownst to them) on almost a daily basis to illustrate some of his blog topics and so now I'm going to make it my life goal to one day be one of those pictured. Eugene fame is all I ask for.

Oh and I already have a place to LIVE!!! I totally found this woman online who Monica and I visited while I was there. I'll be renting a room with a private bathroom in her house. The house is about 3 1/2 miles away from campus, therefore yielding a decidedly sufficient buffer between me and the disdained undergraduates that form the perimeter of the university. Not only that but I'm going to be living in the "South Hills" which is where the southern end of Willamette Valley gives way to gorgeous dark foothills. There are some stunningly scenic roads that I plan to cycle out from the house. Get these legs a pumpin'. And not only that! The house is basically at the trailhead of a hike that leads up Spencer's Butte, a 2000+ ft hill that is said to be fantastic for sunsets which my housemate makes regular trips up to view. And even further, there's (if you believe it) a raptor rehab center right up the road from here. I will definitely be checking that out and hopefully have some time to volunteer too. Woo!

Ahh, so for now I sit in my coffeeshop and click my way through Eugene from afar. I hope to have some more interesting things to write once I'm there...biking adventures, visiting Monica in Portland, being a master's student (!!!)...