Weekend Roundup: Forest Grove campus teeming with activity

courtesy of Mark Fukui

March 8, 2011

I only wish I could enjoy the many campus activities planned over the next four days at Pacific. Music, theatre, poetry, sports and service—there's something for everyone!

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For not the first time, I find myself wishing today that I lived a little closer to Pacific.

I drive about an hour in each direction to get to campus each day, and the commute presents a myriad of challenges, from weather delays to keeping the groceries cold en route to delays like today’s puttering tractor.

But the real reason I’d like to be closer is for the host of great events that happen on campus outside of business hours. Just check out a few of the activities that students and neighbors can enjoy in the next few days:

Tonight, renowned slam poet Patricia Smith is in Forest Grove for the Slam Poetry Festival at La Hacienda. Students, faculty, staff and community members are invited to read their own poetry in a café setting, and Smith will help judge the contest. She also will read and talk about some of her own works. I’ll be the first to admit that I rarely pick up a book of poetry for casual reading, but I always find it fun and insightful to listen to people read their own. The event is at 7:30 p.m. at 2020 Main St. in Forest Grove. It’s open to all, and refreshments will be served, but reading slots are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Meanwhile, over on campus, Pacific’s theatre and dance department will be staging opening night of A Doll’s House. My understanding is that the play is a new take on a the 19th century classic, updated in a 1960s setting, with an “aesthetic familiar from recent films and television shows like Mad Men.” A Doll’s House is primarily the tale of a young wife and mother who discovers that she has her own dreams and desires that aren’t necessarily in line with her husband’s professional success and financial stability. It may be an old story, but it’s certainly one that continues to resonate today. The cast and crew will host a question-and-answer session following tonight’s show, and additional performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, as well as at 2 p.m. for a Sunday matinee. Tickets are available through the University’s Box Office (503-352-2918 or boxoffice@pacificu.edu).

On Saturday, Pacific’s Performing Arts Series continues with Karan Casey and John Doyle, a pair of folk artists who have gained recent acclaim. Casey is an Irish vocalist (which I always love) and Doyle is a guitar virtuoso. They were founding members of the folk group Solas and have gone on to careers independently and as a duo. Tickets to this, too, are available through Pacific’s Box Office.

Finally, you may notice a little more midnight activity on campus this weekend as students engage in the 24-Hour Service Fair. I actually think this is the most exciting event of the weekend, as student groups each will host an hour-long service project, and projects will continue back-to-back from noon Saturday to noon Sunday, including all the way through the night. Groups will do everything from prepare a Little League field for spring games to collect money and goods for charity groups to stuff envelopes for a nonprofit. A complete list of activities is available here, and I’ll have more information about the great work on campus early next week.

Finally, there’s lots of Boxer sports action coming up this weekend. Pacific’s baseball team picks up an extra home stand, thanks to wet field conditions in Newberg. The Boxers will face the George Fox Bruins in a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m. Saturday  and again at 12 p.m. Sunday at Chuck Bafaro Stadium in Forest Grove. Meanwhile, the softball team hosts Whitworth at noon Saturday and on Sunday, at Sherman/Larkins Satidum in Forest Grove. Men’s tennis hosts Whitman at 3 p.m. Saturday and hosts Pacific Lutheran at 10 a.m. Sunday at the Holce Tennis Courts. Women’s wrestling is out of town at the NCWA national tournament, and both track and field and the women’s golf team are at Pacific Lutheran in Washington.