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Thursday, July 7, 2005

A visit to Blugene

Just got back to the Rose City from the lovely burg of Eugene, where I rumbled through a four-hour standup lecture on income tax this morning. The audience was made up of some of the poor souls who will be taking the Oregon Bar Exam in a few weeks. This was their last cram lecture. Now they get some time to try to pull it all together before they come up to Portland Airport for the test.

It's the last segment of another summer ritual for me, giving these bar review talks in Portland, Salem, and Eugene. It's draining for everybody involved -- both the candidates and me -- but my end of it is done now. Time for a celebratory glass of fine Oregon wine.

Eugene looked good and felt good in the 20 hours or so I spent there. I took a nice run along the Willamette last night -- even jogged around that absurdly large football stadium. It was funny: I saw exactly two other runners in the whole hour I was out on the trail. This in the running capital of the world?

There were quite a few harriers out there harrying(?) around the U of O campus this morning, though. And my speech was just across the street from the famed Hayward Field, a true track and field mecca.

I'm sure things are changing in that neck of the woods, but the changes are so slow as to be imperceptible from year to year. The people down there seem to like it that way. Can't say as I blame them.

I've been more or less oblivious to the news today -- I even had country music on the radio a lot of the time -- but I did catch a glimpse of the grim headlines on the laptop of one of the audience members. What a world.

Comments (2)

Eugene has changed hugely ... but not so's you'd notice much on the south (college) side of the river. North side and surrounds, including many surrounding communities, have changed enormously, and traffic is big whooshes (though largely polite) on multiplicity of highways-cum-freeways.

You missed 'em, but there are tons of runners in Eugene, and cyclists, too. In the old (college/downtown) part of town, pedestrians are treated largely as they were everywhere in Oregon in the past. Cars slow down if they even see you coming half a block away.

As much as it has changed, it hasn't been coldly Californicated as has so much of Portlandia.

That pedestrian right-of-way is an acculturation more than in it is a law. Laws can try to save Portland from its worst now, but they will not bring back what used to be and in parts of Eugene still is.

If people who want to take flock there, they will ruin even that part of Eugene, too.

In re: the news - is violence and terrorism endemic to the human condition? What gives. I thought the terrorists were supposed to be so involved with the insurgency that their reach was stunted? Yeah, right - there goes another lame justification for continued occupation out the window.
Eugene is a cool college town with an authentic activist mentality, which simmers just below the surface and boils up occasionally.

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