• The Commuter: Latest Edition

    The Commuter: Latest Edition
  • Wellness Wednesday: Work/Life Balance?

    Wellness Wednesday: Work/Life Balance?

    There is much written about “work/life balance” (https://www.coursera.org/articles/work-life-balance) which has morphed into “work/life integration,” also known as “work, life, school, family, social life, self-care” — stuff that’s not really balanced at all. Here’s the thing — there’s more to do, be, or think about than is likely to occur in the 168 hours we have per week.  

    Do the chart, plan the patooties of how you’ll spend your time. And then laugh at the ludicrousness of having any plan at all. Especially if your life is linked to any other creature — human, canine, feline or reptile. It just doesn’t go according to plan. Period. But, before you throw up your hands (and count that as two exercise minutes), consider that if you do not plan, none of it will fit.

    Build a daily schedule of what is critical for your daily wellness balance. What makes you your best you? I did say “critical.” The difference between “nice” and “necessary.”  For me, if I don’t get outside or get some exercise, I am unpleasant to be around (same is true for my dogs), and my productivity has nary a creative nanosecond.  

    Here are a few simple ways to integrate a focus on wellness, balance/integration and happiness:

    A.  Use this calendar for some ideas https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/images/uploads/GGSC_Happiness_Calendar_January_2023.pdf

    Look at January 25th – Connect with your surroundings with your five senses.  This can take 5 minutes.  Easy.  Centering.  Useful.

    1. Sound: For a few breaths, pay attention to the sounds around you. Notice where they are in space.
    2. Touch: Put one hand on top of the other. Notice the sensations you feel in your hand as your fingers’ knuckles touch the other, like temperature and texture.. Shift your attention to your cheeks, noticing temperature and the feel of the air.
    3. Taste: Now, pay attention to the taste you are experiencing on your tongue. There may be no taste or the taste of saliva.
    4. Smell: Move your focus to the smell around you as you take a breath. See how many odors you can identify.
    5. Sight: Finally, focus your gaze on a point eight inches in front of you for a few seconds and see what colors, forms, light, and shadow you notice there.   (Source: Greater Good Science Center; https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/podcasts/item/happiness_break_finding_presence_five_senses_meditation)

    B.   Talk about the idea of work/life etc. with a friend, partner or colleague. How do they manage their time and priorities? What tricks work for them to stay balanced?

    C.   Think of your ideal day. What is included? Why? What would/could you give up? What is essential? How can you take the “fun” stuff and get a little bit of that every single day? Every other day?    

    Have an idea for some wellness topic to include in the Commuter?  Write me; hoogesl@linnbenton.edu

    Image by storyset on Freepik

  • Opening of Hostile Terrain Exhibition

    Opening of Hostile Terrain Exhibition

    On Thursday, January 26, the Hostile Terrain Exhibit will be open and accompanied by special programming and brief talks to commemorate the occasion. Professors Anne Magratten and Lauren Visconti will be hosting the event, which will be held in Calapooia Hall, room 103 at 4pm of that day. Perla Torres, visiting from the official Hostile Terrain Organization, will be in attendance and will speak more about this powerful, global exhibit that sheds light on those who have lost their lives trying to cross the Mexico/U.S. border. Yannie Reyes Alvarez, along with other student representatives will brief talks during the opening, as well. A final element to close the event will be a danza Azteca, a traditional Aztec dance, in front of the installation. Light refreshments will be provided.

    To learn more about this powerful, collaborative exhibit, read here: Hostile Terrain Exhibit

  • LB Women’s, Men’s Basketball Team Look for Rebound After Falling to Clackamas

    LB Women’s, Men’s Basketball Team Look for Rebound After Falling to Clackamas

    PORTLAND, Oregon – While it is shaping up to be an incredible season for Linn-Benton basketball, both the men’s and women’s basketball teams hit a stumbling block on the road at Clackamas Community College on Wednesday, Jan. 18. 

    The men’s team kept it competitive in the first half, tying it at 45, before falling behind in the second half as the contest ended with a score of 97-89 in favor of the Cougars. This brought the Men’s Basketball team to a record of  8-10, though still sporting a winning record of 3-2 in NWAC conference play. 

    While home-field advantage proved too much to overcome for the Roadrunners, several players played excellent basketball, including Tyson Parker, who scored 27 points while connecting on 9 of 13 shot attempts and making 7 of 8 free throws. Teammate Ayden Foster collected 11 rebounds, and TJ Zimmermann contributed 24 points on 9 of 20 shooting and making 5 of 6 free throws. 

    The difference for the men’s team appears to have been partly in blocked shots, of which Clackamas recorded 8 and Linn-Benton recorded 3. The Cougars also nabbed 11 steals to the Roadrunners’ 4. 

    The Women’s Basketball team fell to the Cougars as well, with Clackamas prevailing 76-67. This dropped the Beaks’ sterling record to 14-2, including a brilliant 4-1 in NWAC conference play. The Roadrunners’ performance was not without some excellent play from the Beaks, however, as Brooklynn Hankwitz scored 24 points on 8 of 14 shooting with 8 made free throws on 9 attempts, in addition to 14 rebounds. Teammate Ruby Krebs added 12 points and made 3 out of 5 three-pointers. 

    For the women’s team, turnovers were the biggest difference in the contest, with the Roadrunners committing 18 turnovers to the Cougars’ 7. This allowed the Cougars to attempt 70 field goals to the Roadrunners’ 53, where the final differential in the contest was nine points. 

    What’s Next

    Both teams will seek to rebound in spirit and on the court, as the Women’s Basketball team plays Wednesday, Jan. 25 against Lane Community College at the Activities Center on the Albany campus at 5:30 p.m. while the Men’s Basketball team follows at 7:30 p.m. 

  • The Library’s Book Display – Anti Racism and Racism

    The Library’s Book Display – Anti Racism and Racism

    In commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and National Day of Racial Healing, both taking place in January, the library has announced their library book display theme is Anti-Racism and Racism. Bryan Miyagishima, a reference and instruction librarian invites you, “… to engage with the current wave of thinkers regarding race, racism, and racial equity by checking out this selection of the books available to you.” There are many books which you can check out by either placing a hold online and/or coming onto the campus and checking them out! To view the large selection of books available for your reading pleasure, check out the library’s guide: https://linnbenton.libguides.com/c.php?g=1267266&p=9494132.

    Remember too that the LBCC Reads contest is still up and running. Pick a book from the library’s monthly reading list, fill out an online form, and get entered in a raffle to win sweet prizes! Take a look at the library’s website for the reading lists and the form to enter: https://linnbenton.libguides.com/lbccreads 

    Happy reading! 

  • Summer Study Abroad Opportunities: Linn-Benton Goes Global

    Summer Study Abroad Opportunities: Linn-Benton Goes Global

    The opportunities to be found at Linn-Benton seem to be limitless, and for those looking to broaden their cultural horizons and travel, this summer offers lucrative opportunities to do just that. For those interested in improving their Spanish-speaking skills in a Spanish-speaking country, building upon their culinary skills, or bringing song to the British Isles, Linn-Benton is offering students tales to tell for a lifetime. These study-abroad opportunities, all of which offer college credit, are available to students at the college, and the time to apply is drawing near.

    One of these study-abroad adventures is to Costa Rica and will be led by faculty member Margarita Casas. During the voyage, students will be housed at the Monteverde Institute, which is located in the lush rainforests of the Central American nation. A requirement for attendance is that one must be registered in any Spanish class at Linn-Benton. The cost will be between $2,200 and $2,600. During the experience, students will stay with a host family, take tours of sustainable farms and fisheries, enjoy a guided tour of Monteverde Cloud Forest, and enjoy free time to explore the area and local culture. The Costa Rica experience is scheduled to take place from June 23 to July 9. 

    Another study-abroad option is a voyage to the Czech Republic, which will be led by culinary faculty member Josh Green. There will be walking tours of the city, including its restaurants, breweries, and cathedrals. This includes a tour of the famous “Bone Church.” The trip is scheduled to take place from July 7 to July 19. Needing no registry or acceptance into the culinary program, the trip counts as an elective. Students will share apartment accommodations, estimating four people per apartment, which will include a shared kitchen. The cost will be between $1,700 and $2,300 per student.

    The final of the three study-abroad programs is a tour of Ireland, Wales, and England. It is a performance tour taken by the choir, and led by Raymund Ocampo. The choirs will travel between London, Dublin, Cardiff, Oxford, and Cambridge to bring the international award winning music of the Linn-Benton choir program to the United Kingdom. Choir members will visit Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the Tower of London, as well as other British landmarks. They will perform at St. Mary’s Church, and students will stay overnight in multiple cities during the excursion. Students should contact choral director Raymund Ocampo for more information. 

    Applications for the three journeys are due March 15, 2023 and students can expect acceptance letters on April 3rd, 2023. Payments will be due in installments starting on April 15th, with final payments due mid-May. 

    For all three of these trips, students can apply for the Gilman Scholarship. Information sessions on this will be held on January 30 and January 31 in Forum 220, both at noon. Additional Zoom sessions will take place on February 1 at 2pm and February 2 at 3pm. In early May there is a pre-departure orientation. Links to the aforementioned Zoom meetings and a resource for more information are found below.



  • Volleyball and Baseball Teams Celebrate Conference Titles

    Volleyball and Baseball Teams Celebrate Conference Titles

    It was an electric crowd at the Benton Center on Wednesday, Jan. 11 when the Women’s Volleyball and Men’s Baseball teams celebrated their conference championships. 

    The banners were revealed to the victorious athletes of Linn-Benton Community College during the half-time ceremony of the men’s basketball game, crowning the efforts of Women’s Volleyball and Men’s Baseball at the college during their respective seasons. Athletes from both teams gathered beneath the banners to celebrate their seasons while the coaches huddled in as well.

    The Men’s Baseball team, who finished 38-12-1, defeated the Mt. Hood Bulldogs 4-1 in the NWAC Championship Game on May 31, 2022. The Women’s Volleyball team defeated the Columbia Basin Hawks 3-2 to finish with an incredible 32-1 record, including 16-0 in conference play. The volleyball team also won the title in the previous season, meaning a celebration of back-to-back championships for the Roadrunners.

    While it was a rainy night, the weather did not match the celebratory mood as the students and faculty of LB accompanied the athletes on a night when the Women’s Basketball team improved to 13-1 (3-0 conference) and the Men’s basketball team fell to 7-9 (2-1 conference). 

    When interviewed during the championship ceremony, Volleyball Coach Jayme Frazier said that the team’s keys to victory were “resilience and competitiveness, as well as team spirit.” Frazier also said she hopes to bring home a third consecutive conference title next year with six returning starters for the Beaks.

    Zaley Bennet, meanwhile, said that she believed that “having fun” was a major part of the team’s ability to succeed and take home the title.

    On a night when the campus community came together to celebrate the hard work and victories of their classmates, it was easy for the crowd to cheer. With the triumphs of the season in hand and a banner to beam at, the players, coaches, and students only have more success to look forward to in the future.

  • Wellness Wednesday: Inspiration

    Wellness Wednesday: Inspiration

    I grew up in the Midwest. I did my bachelor’s degree in Oregon and my master’s degree in Massachusetts. After my graduate program, I was looking for inspiration to decide if I should stay on the East Coast or move back to Oregon. I came out of the local grocery store and saw a car with an Oregon license plate (rare to see in western MA). I thought, “there’s the sign?!! I should go back to Oregon.” And I was pretty elated for about . . .  a minute. Then I thought, “wait, maybe that means it’s like Oregon here and I should stay in Massachusetts!” 

    I’ve been talking with folks about what inspires them, where they find inspiration, and what inspiration may look and feel like. A common thread I’ve been hearing is that it comes from within –  something I’ve heard and read related to “motivation,” as well. So even though inspiration can be intentional, it isn’t really something that is “done unto” you.   

    A colleague of mine, who has just retired from LBCC, relayed this tidbit about others who make a difference for us. He said, “I’m reminded of something I read about Fred Rogers (aka Mr. Rogers). While accepting a lifetime achievement award at the Emmys, he asked his audience for a moment of silence to remember those who’d made a difference.”

    Here’s what Mr. Rogers said:

    So many people have helped me to come here to this night. Some of you are here, some are far away and some are even in Heaven. All of us have special ones who loved us into being. Would you just take, along with me, 10 seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are, those who cared about you and wanted what was best for you in life. Ten seconds, I’ll watch the time. Whomever you’ve been thinking about, how pleased they must be to know the difference you feel they have made.

    For me, even reading that was inspiring. Thinking about people who have inspired or contributed to my life reminds me that inspiration is often seen and felt after time has passed.  

    What else do folks say is inspiring or where do they find inspiration? 

    • Being outdoors
    • Doing something with energy
    • Focusing internally
    • Reading books from successful folks
    • Watching Ted Talks or YouTube inspirational videos
    • Going on an adventure
    • Meditation
    • Talking to friends, family or random others
    • Writing out goals
    • Being daring – skydive, scuba dive, bungee jump, learn to square dance
    • Learning a new language or craft
    • Writing a song, poem or both
    • Saying yes to something you usually say no to
    • Being silent for a whole day
    • Turning off electronics for a week
    • Going for a solo hike 
    • Practicing deep breathing
    • Picking a point on the globe and going there
    • Talking to 100 other people about inspiration

    All of these are good ideas, and any of them might lead to your personal inspiration. I do think you have to go looking, though. Keep searching. And remember to laugh at yourself.

    Image by storyset on Freepik

  • LBCC Hosts “Women in Tech Night” this Thursday, Jan. 19

    LBCC Hosts “Women in Tech Night” this Thursday, Jan. 19

    On a gray drizzly afternoon at LBCC, Forrest Johnson opens the door to room T-229, otherwise known as the MILL. The Maker and Innovation Learning Lab is still under construction, though Johnson assures the space will be looking much more hospitable by the time the guests arrive for the space’s first event, “Women in Tech Night” on Thursday, Jan. 19.  

    The free event, which starts at 5:30 p.m., will include fun, quick tech activities, host a panel discussion with local women working in various tech fields, facilitate student and professional networking, and the opportunity to win prizes. The Women in Tech panel will go from 6:15 to 7 p.m.; and then from 7 to 8 panel speakers will be networking with participants who want to chat. 

    Johnson said women remain severely under-represented in STEM fields. While moving equipment and organizing boxes, Johnson continues, “We want to show young people women working in the tech industry, recognize them, and give them credit.” 

    You can register for the event by following this link. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/women-in-steam-night-computer-science-tickets-495131129537

    Panelist Erin Hyde, a programmer for the Linn Benton Lincoln Education Service District, said the enthusiastic energy from the people organizing the event is contagious. 

    “The MILL is a makerspace that offers tools and resources to the residents of Linn and Benton counties,” Johnson said while sweeping the floor. “This is a space to foster connections through inclusion while building a sense of community.”  

    Once in the space, visitors can find woodworking equipment, 3-D printers, sewing machines, and an audio/visual lab, to name just a few of the MILL’s offerings.

    To find this event – where you can hear LBCC’s own Sisi Virasak and Agility Robotics professional Corey Crowley speak – go to the second floor of Takena Hall on the college’s Albany campus, 6500 Pacific Blvd. SW. The door to get in is facing the courtyard. You’ll see signs that read “Maker and Innovation Learning Lab” in the windows at a size that is hard to miss. 

    What to learn more about this event? Contact Forrest Johnson at Mill@linnbenton.edu.

  • With Chemeketa Win, LB Women Improve to 14-1

    With Chemeketa Win, LB Women Improve to 14-1

    The Linn-Benton Women’s Basketball team defeated Chemeketa Community College 69-46 on Saturday, Jan 14. 

    The Roadrunners improved to 14-1 on the season, and 4-0 in the NWAC South Region. The Storm fell to 7-9 on the season, and 1-3 in the NWAC South Region. 

    The Roadrunners led 23-18  heading into halftime, after shooting only 24% from the field in the first half. In the third quarter the Roadrunners ignited the fire, shooting 72% from the field (13 of 18 shots), outscoring the Storm 31-9. 

    Roadrunner Brooklynn Hankwitz led the scoring for the Beaks with 13 points on 5 of 9 shooting. Madison Dutkiewicz added 10 points off the bench for the Roadrunners, shooting 5 of 10 from the field. Roadrunner Kathleen Hale had another big night on the boards, with 15 rebounds, 5 of them on the offensive glass. Hale now leads the Northwest Athletic Conference in offensive rebounds, and ranks fourth in total rebounds. 

    Next up the Roadrunners travel to Oregon City to take on fifth-ranked Clackamas Community College on Wednesday, Jan 18. 

  • Strong Second Half Leads to LBCC Win over Chemeketa

    Strong Second Half Leads to LBCC Win over Chemeketa

    The Linn-Benton Men’s Basketball team defeated Chemeketa Community College 91–67 on Saturday, Jan 14. 

    The Roadrunners improved to 8-9 on the season, and 3-1 in the NWAC South Region. The Storm fell to 5-9 on the season, and 2-2 in the NWAC South Region. 

    The Roadrunners went into halftime trailing 37-34, after the Storm’s leading scorer Jaden Stanley exploded for 22 points in the first half. 

    In the second half the Roadrunners outscored the Storm 57-30, thanks to a balanced scoring effort; five different Roadrunners ended in double-figure scoring. Roadrunner Ayden Foster finished the game with 21 points, and 9 rebounds. His teammate Kamana Lapina added 10 rebounds and 12 assists.  Tyson Parker finished just short of a triple-double with 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists. 

    Next up the Roadrunners travel to take on Clackamas Community College on Wednesday, Jan 18. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. at Randall Hall, 19600 Molalla Ave. in Oregon City.