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Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's always raining in Portland

Today was the first day of orientation. I ate some free food, met some classmates and one of my professors (who doesn't seem as scary as I feared - he speaks Norwegian, after all, and nobody who speaks Norwegian can be bad), listened to a lot of boring information that I've generally already heard, and got my first case briefing assignment, due tomorrow. It only took me two and a half hours to brief the one case. I understand that's pretty normal, and it will get faster as I get used to the language and the process of sifting through facts for relevancy and extrapolating rules from indirect statements.

I also discussed with a classmate the abnormally hot weather we're having in Portland (this morning I awoke in a sweat, and our apartment has no air conditioning, because "it doesn't get hot in Portland"), and he said that in another few months we'll forget what the sun looks like. We started then discussing rain, and I said, "It isn't that bad here, though, right? Mostly drizzly and not downpourish."

He paused a moment and said, "Because you're already here, I'll say, no it isn't that bad, but if you weren't here yet, I'd say it's terrible."

"Why is that?" I asked. "Too many people moving in or something?"

"It is damaging the infrastructure." He said.

And, get this, the guy isn't even native to Portland. He's from Massachusetts, lived in NYC for a few years, and has been in Portland for a few years now, but already he subscribes to the no-outsiders-in-Portland! mindset, which I postulated existed back when everyone told me the slummy Hawthorne district was the bees knees of Portland. Surely these people are trying to keep people out, I thought.

Seems like it's true!

But for the record, I want to say that I think this new classmate is cool. Also for the record, I will never tell people not to move somewhere. That's just snobbish.




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6 comments:

sov said...

I work with two people that recently moved OUT of Portland to Salt Lake so they could work at my fancy-schmanzy hotel. Tell your Prof that you're just balancing the numbers.

B.R. said...

And I know for a fact that native Portlanders do move out of Portland. The reason they quote: concern for their serotonin levels and the pursuit of the sun.
Or jobs.
I love the city. Always have. But the rain does get to be tedious and it does take a few points off its general appeal and coolness.
I remain a fan.
And keeping people out of a place by the tactic your describing here is just about as effective as people who narcissistically think they have something to do with language change and they can keep the latter from changing.
But, I suppose, we need naïveté like this, too.
I'd go so far as to call it challenging. Congrats on the first briefing. I'm told it's the single most high-frequency lexeme of your field.

B.R. said...

Not challenging, charming. What is challenging is keeping coherence untouched at 4 AM. Gruesse!

Sra said...

Just to clarify, it was the fellow student I had this conversation with, not the Prof, and to further emphasize, I consider this student a new friend, I'm just alarmed at this prevailing attitude.

I actually like the rain, and I especially like cooler jacket weather. Jackets are so fashionable, after all.

I'm curious as to why you say, B.R., that we need such naivete. Perhaps something you could address in a future post on HetPer? Sounds like an interesting premise.

Sra said...

Just to clarify, it was the fellow student I had this conversation with, not the Prof, and to further emphasize, I consider this student a new friend, I'm just alarmed at this prevailing attitude.

I actually like the rain, and I especially like cooler jacket weather. Jackets are so fashionable, after all.

I'm curious as to why you say, B.R., that we need such naivete. Perhaps something you could address in a future post on HetPer? Sounds like an interesting premise.

B.R. said...

And I know for a fact that native Portlanders do move out of Portland. The reason they quote: concern for their serotonin levels and the pursuit of the sun.
Or jobs.
I love the city. Always have. But the rain does get to be tedious and it does take a few points off its general appeal and coolness.
I remain a fan.
And keeping people out of a place by the tactic your describing here is just about as effective as people who narcissistically think they have something to do with language change and they can keep the latter from changing.
But, I suppose, we need naïveté like this, too.
I'd go so far as to call it challenging. Congrats on the first briefing. I'm told it's the single most high-frequency lexeme of your field.

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