lundi 31 juillet 2006

Camp Mapleton.

Every summer, my advisor goes up to her house in Oregon. Since she can't keep daily tabs on us during that time, she "requests" that all her students join her for a week at her house. It wouldn't be such a horrible thing if, say, she lived in a city. You know, like Portland. Or even Eugene. But no. She lives OVER the mountain away from Eugene, in a small "unincorporated community" where as of the 1990 census, they had a population of approximately 1100. I think it's even smaller now. Is there anything to do there but commune with nature and write? NO.

However, it wasn't that horrid a time, even with the lack of television and junk food. I'd heard horror stories from last year, when everyone had an ascetic time. Only soup and salad was had for dinner, and there was a lot of hiking and group activities. But, the key part was that my advisor's partner wasn't up in Oregon with them, and my advisor was cranky because of that. This year, the partner was present, which made it a much better time for all of us. For instance - we had meat (organic, of course) and wine (only a glass, but still, it's something) with our dinners, because the partner wanted it. Thank heavens. I think I'd have died otherwise. I am so not meant to live a vegetarian lifestyle.

We worked on our theses (ha! I am a year ahead of schedule!) and conference submissions for part of each day, and then spent the rest of our time exploring our environs.

For instance, we went clamming. And then we ate the clams.

And we went kayaking. And I played with the fun functions - such as the colour isolation one - on my sparkling new camera.

And we sat around a lot and gossiped and read trashy books and magazines.

Unfortunately, we couldn't go fishing because the salmon weren't swimming upriver yet. And unfortunately, we didn't see that many wild animals. Although, I did see this horrendously large bug that kept trying to get into my room. Sorry the picture isn't better, but I was actually mildly scared of it because it was large and made a lot of noise. Look, you can see its beady little eyes.

By the way, I know I had some argument with someone about mosquitos in Oregon, and THEY EXIST. The six large-ass welts I got on my arms after we walked through some blackberry bushes prove their existence. Never try to tell me that there are no mosquitos in Oregon.

Oh, and I have a fair numer of spider bites to complement the mosquito bites. Stick me in nature, and I'm like a feasting ground for insects.

And our advisor largely left us alone, except when we needed guidance with our writings.

However, a week of all multi-grain breads and cereals and super-healthy food, in combination with being in nature, definitely made this experience akin to that of a fancy detox retreat where they try to leach the impurities from your system. I like the impurities in my system, thankyouverymuch. I believe they add character.