Notes from Under the Oaks

9 a.m.

I am fortunate to have a desk with a window at the Abbott Alumni Center. All year long, I watch the weather change by the hour.

I watch the rain pour down and try to predict the best time to run errands across campus. I watch flurries fall down in the winter and guess how many abandoned cars I’ll pass on my drive home. I watch the sun break through the clouds and smile knowing it’s finally the Oregon summer weather that’s worth waiting for.

Growing up in Massachusetts, I didn’t expect that reaching a temperature of 100 degrees in the summer would be bearable. I was acclimated to 90 percent humidity on an 80 degree day and lounging as close to the coastline as possible for cool down dips. Now, I relish the hot arid summers in Oregon but I know I don’t have it that bad.

I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else in the Unites States right now because of the extreme weather over the last month. Oklahoma was blindsided by tumultuous tornadoes.

Texas suffered both spectrums with twisters and flash floods within a month. West Virginia trapped in massive floods. Chicago struck by unforeseen lightning storms.

Colorado and California fought forest fires earlier in the year than normal. An ice tsunami crept up on Minnesota and an ice wall formed in Alaska causing flooding. The Mid-Atlantic States were thrashed by wind and rain causing sinkholes and power outages.

The worst part is that these events aren’t specific to the United States. We all know someone who is affected by the recent extreme weather.

I’ll say it again. I’m fortunate to be in Oregon where my only typical worry is rain clouding our summer skies—but know that I don’t take it for granted. Members of my family in New Jersey are still struggling to rebuild their home and their business after Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.

To the more than 26,000 alumni worldwide, please know my heart goes out to you especially if you have struggled with issues relating to these weather extremes this year. As members of the Pacific family, we care about your safety and your whereabouts. Please know we are always here to assist in any way we can.

If you wish to write about your experiences with the extreme weather, please submit photos and a 400-word piece for the Boxer and Badger Notes blog to

If you need to update your contact information, please visit

Be safe where ever you are and best wishes,

Rachael Burbank ’09
Assistant Director of Alumni Relations | 503-352-2969 

Posted by Rachael Burbank ( on Jun 18, 2013 at 5:42 PM

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