A new school year begins….

 I’m four weeks in to my new life as a graduate student, and the intensity of OHSU’s program has already become apparent.  I knew that the PA school would be challenging, but I didn’t fully grasp the concept until I actually got here. Even though I no longer have time for watching old episodes of The Office, or going for three hour bike rides several times per week, I’m pretty thrilled by this new endeavor.  Even more importantly, I’m ecstatic that I chose this particular program. I’m so impressed by my classmates and by the faculty and staff–and to make things even better, Portland is an amazing city. Coming from Colorado, I wasn’t quite sure how I would transition to living in the pacific northwest, but it’s been a remarkably easy process.

The rapid pace of the program has definitely been tough, but so far we’ve been able to squeeze in a little time for fun, too. Last Saturday, a large portion of the class volunteered at the Oregon Food Bank.  We spent the morning sorting and packing food, which was slightly reminiscent of the infamous candy factory episode of I Love Lucy. Afterward, we toured the impressive facility, which distributed over 43 million pounds of food last year to Oregon residents.  (No small feat!)

The Food Bank also has some really great sustainable food initiatives as well, including a learning garden, where anyone in the community can come learn how to grow their own food. Their emphasis on fresh food and nutrition was really evident, and it was inspiring to see all the different ways that a person could grow their own vegetables, even without a yard. I filed a few ideas away in my head for next year when I (might) have a little more time to grow a few veggies. Overall, it was truly a fun way to spend a Saturday morning, and I’m sure a lot of us will be back again.