Ebony is alive! Oregon Ext. continued

It has been almost two months since I came to Oregon, and boy, have I had some culture shock!

First, there is the “no TV, radio or cell phone” rule that absolutely kills me, and second, there are the cows.

In fact there are so many cows, snakes and yellow-jackets that it’s hard to decide who really has the run of the place.

So here we all are, 40 students from around the U.S. in the mountains for four months.

Most of us came to study, read and think without interruptions, but a few came because they thought Oregon would remind them of home in a way their own colleges had failed to do.

The most amazing thing about this experience is that, although we come from completely difference backgrounds, there are none of the cliques that one typically finds in college.

Everyone seems to recognize that spending time trying to figure out who’s “cool” and who’s not is simply a waste of time.

Plus, there isn’t much time for anything but study. Our classes run for about three hours a day but we are assigned almost five hours of reading and writing a night. The subjects are intense and many of the people, myself included, have found that we have done more thinking than in any classes prior to this program. We marvel at the fact that we have only been here for a few months and yet have done the equivalent of a semester’s work.

But it definitely hasn’t been all work.

Weekend trips include rafting, hiking and backpacking, and there is no homework assigned for Monday, which gives students a much-needed break from an intense week of work.

And for brief respites from reading and lectures, there are plenty of hiking trails where we can go to clear our heads.

So I’m off now to do some more reading, writing and thinking. And who knows, maybe I will take a hike with my friendly neighbor, the omnipresent cow.

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