Practical Usefulness of Being a Rower

Is my title redundant? Probably. But there are some things that are useful, but not practical to everyday life, e.g., being a rower gives you ugly hands. Useful for rowing and back scratches. Not for anything else.

Also, I’m feeling nostalgic for my days of yore, rowing on American Lake with my girls. And I’m sitting at a coffee shop, getting in and out of my chair with ease… which leads me to my first reason it’s great to be a rower….


We can get in and out of seats with ease.
(Have you ever tried to slide out of a bench seat without scooting your butt 10 times? We can.)
(Unless we just pulled a 2K). (In which case, laying on the ground on the verge of tears is normal).

Our waists always seem small to us (let’s not talk about our thighs).

We have really nice butts.

Actually, let’s talk about our thighs:
They pull us out of bed in the morning and support us all day.
And they look damn good in spandex shorts. (Is this a normal thing? No.)
We don’t think we’re fat. We know we’re muscular. I repeat: we’re not fat. Even if we are. We’re not. (somehow…)

We have clothes our friends can borrow when they want to be crazy (see our assortment of colorful spandex).

We have versatile clothing for every type of weather (except warm weather).

We know how to shower quickly before class.

We know how long we can go without showering.

We can eat on the run (“back to campus by 8 am” is a lie).

We drink a lot of water.

We know what hard work is.

We know what team work is.

We are internally motivated and also care about others (because let’s be real, we don’t pull 2Ks for our coaches…)

We can handle authority. (Slash do what we’re told.. by the coxswains…)

We support our local vendors (Shakabrah, after a long practice, we have brought you tables and tables of patronage).

When we cry, it’s passion, not weakness.

We can sleep. Anywhere. (Mostly in class, but not limited to: the library, coffee shops, standing upright, at the SUB diner, in line for a movie, in a car, on the floor, on a couch, in a chair, in a noisy room, and on a bus).

To be continued…

Ex-Rower Girl in Like (actually, once a rower, always a rower. Hack hack, chop chop).


Beaver Nation

Sifting through my thoughts about the past week is a difficult thing. So I’m hoping writing them out helps me.

I was invited to come interview at Oregon State for their College Student Services Administration graduate school program. The tears I cried over winter break when I realized my Oregon State application would not get there by the deadline are far away. I have my mom to thank for that one: she overnighted my application. Things worked out. Obviously. :]

Last Thursday, less than two months from that anxiety ridden day, I again felt a wave of panic rush over me. It was 3:30, I was just let out of class, and I hadn’t packed anything for my (almost full) week in Oregon. I scrambled to put together 3 professional looking outfits (courtesy of my mother, our White House Black Market trip, and last year’s Target dress pants).

And a friend’s tie.

Classy. I know.

I packed my bags and then realized I needed one of those cool looking leather bound padfolios. It was essential. I could not survive without it. But when I got to the book store I did not want to pay $30. So I bought a plastic one for $10. Score.

I drove the four hours to Corvallis from Tacoma that evening and like clockwork, the gray skies, the mist, the hail, and the torrential downpours ensued.

Fortunately, Oregon State is full of forward thinkers because they hooked us up with these sweet waterproof envelope-like things for our folders with all of our schedules and information about the school in it. That is the one thing about schools in the NorthWest. If you know one climate, you know it all. Like Oregon prepared to protect our folders by giving us waterproof covers, I too prepared for the rain. By not bringing a rain coat.

It made me feel more native. More bad ass.

But I got soaked on the walk back to my host students place.

Which ended most poorly for my shoes.

It was their last hurrah.

OREGON STATE WAS AWESOME. The campus was awesome. Corvallis was awesome. The people were awesome. The applicant pool was awesome. The current cohorts were awesome. What I realized most about the program was that it allows you to be creative. Want an internship? Create it. Need an assistantship? Track it down. Wanna take a hot yoga class but can’t find a good yoga studio in town? Hang shower curtains in your kitchen and buy space heaters. Boom. (Meet Julia, my host for the weekend and current first-year student).

My interviews went well. I interviewed with the Student Conduct department and with a panel of a current student, an alum, and a faculty member. I walked out of both interviews (the first time with a post-interview donut in my hand) feeling good. I had no regrets and couldn’t think of anything that I would have done differently.

At first I was thinking… hmm… this Oregon State experience is going to be good practice for my upcoming trip to UVM’s Higher Education and Student Affairs program interview days. But now, I know it was just an incredible experience in and of itself.

I can see myself in Corvallis and I can see myself in a cohort with the people that I met. Now it’s in Oregon State’s hands.

My fate rests in the hands of beavers.

Dear OSU,

Accept me. I look good in this hat.


Girl in Like with Corvallis

p.s. OSU has a bowling alley on campus. And they sell bedazzled jeans in their student store. I’m sold.