Residence Hall Recipes

Let’s face it: cooking in residence halls is almost impossible. And for me, cooking in general is pretty impossible. So when faced with the task of feeding myself in college, the prospects were pretty bleak.

And I’m a student who doesn’t even like to cook. I feel bad for students who love to cook, but don’t have a place to do so successfully. Because let’s be honest, the community fridge is sort of a free for all (although I admit to nothing).

Also, where are you supposed to store cooking utensils? Storage space is limited as it is. Perhaps you could leave your cooking supplies in the floor’s kitchen, but there are definite trust issues there. I wouldn’t necessarily want my pot to become the community pot; that would be plain unsanitary. I’m assuming. Or maybe I’m just selfish with my saucepans.

With all of this in mind, I have scoured the internet, researched for hours and hours, just in order to bring to you the best recipes that would be easy to make in a dorm room, recipes I will be sharing and detailing my own possibly-disastrous experiences with. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

So, first on the list (drum roll please…): Top Ramen!

No, but actually. This recipe is what I will call ‘upscale’ ramen— special ramen made all within the comforts of your own residence hall. This recipe is ridiculously easy, not even I could mess it up this time around.

Needed ingredients:
Ramen (duh)
One egg (or two if you like eggs)
Spice of your choice (I chose a nice Creole seasoning, on sale at the local Fred Meyer)

The first problem I encountered while making this meal was what to cook it in. At first I thought I was going to resort to the microwave, but luckily there was a clean pot in the kitchen unattended on the stove (see, this is why I would have trust issues).

Once you have a pot, it should be relatively smooth sailing.

Step one: boil water. How much water you may ask? Good question. I just eyeballed it, the package says two cups but nobody left any measuring cups in the kitchen for me to use.

Step two: put the block of ramen into the pot. Or crush it up first, whatever works best for your ramen needs.

Step three: beat your egg in a cup, and then remove ramen from stove top when done. Then, (this is the really fun part) pour the egg slowly into the ramen as you stir. This was my first time making ramen with egg in it, and watching the egg cook itself just about blew my mind.

Step four: pour ramen into a bowl, then add spice to taste (I recommend Creole but that’s just me).

Step five: enjoy!

If I’m going to be honest here, I was not expecting this recipe to go well. I thought it was going to be kind of disgusting, but I was ready to try residence hall cooking and see how it worked out. Overall, I was pretty satisfied with the end result. It was a solid 7.8/10, would make again, if only to use more of the large container of Creole seasoning I bought.

The final product. Look at that steaming bowl of mediocrity.

The final product. Look at that steaming bowl of mediocrity.

Needed ingredients: egg, ramen, and seasoning. Simple as that.

Needed ingredients: egg, ramen, and seasoning. Simple as that.

Oregon’s Slice of Middle Earth

The Columbia River Gorge is known for being a giant evergreen playground for hikers, and for scarcely being able to look any direction without seeing a majestic waterfall right in front of your face. It’s also known for being the birthplace of windsurfing which, if you happen to go out there without checking the weather first, will become apparent as soon as you step outside and start chasing your hat: the wind is pretty extraordinary!

But what a lot of people don’t realize is that just past Cascade Locks, Middle Earth makes a small appearance. When heading east on I-84, take exit 44 into Cascade Locks and take a right towards downtown. After continuing on Frontage Rd. and taking a left on Wyeth Rd. you will soon come to a stop where the road ends at a gate.

This place is called Government Cove. There are several paths that go up and around the short cliffs that make up the small peninsula. The rock formations are unlike anything else that can be seen in the area. The short, moss-like grass covering the tops of the cliffs and the small fields on the ground appear to be imported straight from New Zealand or Scotland. At times, it seems as if all that’s missing is Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli riding up to Rohan, or warg riders charging at men on horses.

Government Cove Oregon

All of this lies right in the middle of the Columbia River Gorge, with dramatic mountains that be seen on either side, just so you don’t forget completely that you are still in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to the cliffs there are to explore, there is a jetty that extends out from here, allowing you to get an amazing view of the cove with the mountains in the background. It also give you an opportunity to experience the Gorge from the middle of the river, without having to take a ride on a boat.

A great way to cap off the day here is to build a fire in one of the many fire pits dispersed throughout the peninsula. This spot proves to be a great place to get a solid dose of exploration, without being tired after a hike or running into crowds taking selfies. Or running into orcs for that matter, most likely.

The Good Samaritan to International Students

If you mention the name Loren Van Tassel to any of the international students at George Fox University (GFU), you will probably get the same reactions from them: a big smiling face and plenty of compliments.

Loren, almost 79-years-old, is one of the oldest professors on campus, and teaches biblical knowledge to the students with no Christian background.

Loren was born in his grandparents’ farm house, in a rural part of Oregon; he lived in a forested area where wild animals roamed. Coming from an agricultural background and being fully interested in the subject drove him to want to study agriculture and work for Future Farmers of America.

Loren earned his master’s degree in Zoology at Oregan State University. One day, he prayed before he went to the lab section of his Bio-Chemistry class. “God who do you want me to be partners with?” He stood there and waited. “A short girl from Thailand came to me and stood here and so we became friends.”

It seems like God already had a plan for Loren. When he was in college his roommates were from Hong Kong, and he went to the Chinese-Christian fellowship. Then he started working with international students, which opened up his vision to the world. He never expected to live in a big city working with people from around the world.

When Loren was planning to attend Washington State University for his Ph.D. in Bio-Physics he did not pass, instead he was invited to assist in a course for nursing students. He discovered in that situation that he had a gift for teaching. He thought he was going to teach for the rest of his life, but at the time he gradually realized that God was calling him to Christian ministry, and he found out that he wanted to focus on something more significant than biology, and that is people’s spiritual life and the Bible’s message.

“I am a shy, introvert and coming from the rural area, but God was bringing these influences into my life and that gave me confidence. I was always so unsure of myself before. God gave me affirmation through people around me,” said Loren. “It’s ok, I can change.”

About that time Loren met his wife Sylvia, a woman who he found common ground with, and a woman who was willing to go abroad to preach God’s message with him. They left home and went to Hong Kong. For 23 years, the couple dedicated not only their time but also their stamina to churches and schools in Hong Kong. When the churches started getting more and more independent, and they didn’t need foreign missionaries very much, Loren and Sylvia decided it would be better for local people to take over the leadership entirely.

Their journey to the other countries did not just end there. A few years later they went to Guangzhou, China to teach English for three years.

“It was a highlight in our lives because it was so easy to make relationships,” he said. They started a Bible study at their apartment, and several of the students who joined their Bible study became Christians.

When Sylvia started the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and losing her memories, this was the hardest period of time for Loren. Her health was getting worse and worse and Loren had to take her to the health care center.

“She was mad at me, but I had no choice. I could not take care of her by myself,” he said while looking at the floor. Even during that time, Loren was keeping his classes and helping his students.

About seven years ago, George Fox University started a Bible course for mostly international students who have no Christian background. Because some international students were not doing very well in other Bible classes,  they talked to their advisers to see if the school would offer pre-Bible class for them. After having so many years interacting with people from different countries, Loren was the first person that school considered probably would be the best to teach this class.

Every Tuesday and Thursday, Loren comes to class early and prepares for his class, writing down the notes with his frail hands on the board and organizing the chairs carefully for students to get better views. He waits for them while whistling his favorite songs. It was hard for him to teach this class at first, but throughout these years he is just only improving his teaching skills and building intimate relationships with his students.

Besides teaching international students, Loren has been holding Bible studies for students and visiting scholars for many years in Newberg. He also devotes most of his time to international students when any of them need help. He not only remembers all his students’ names, but also their difficulties. Their joys are his joys, their burdens are his burdens.

Building an environment and inviting students to come is something that he loves and enjoys to do. “I am very blessed to have the privilege for this many years with these opportunities to build relationships with international students, the very kind of people I love the most,” Loren said. “This is a gift that God gave me.”

He loves this gift so much, but he knew he had to be realistic because he is not the only one who could do this. And he needed to be ready to turn it over to somebody else who is younger and has more energy. When that time comes , he will do this, even though he knows it will be hard.

“I came to America for a couple years and I have met a lot of nice people, but he is beyond nice,” one of his student said. “I consider him as part of my family here in America; I know he is getting old and his health is not as good as before. I just want to pray for him to be with us international students forever.”

Truth in Faces

When art major Nicole Williford makes a portrait, she doesn’t just paint a face. She’s not interested in the split-second capture of two eyes, a nose, and a mouth. Instead, she crafts oil and pigment into the essence of a person’s soul.

Her work was recently on display in Brougher Hall, where viewers could see her exploration of movement and truth in her subjects’ profiles. Portrait painters usually work to accurately render one perspective of a human face, but Williford was unsatisfied with this traditional method.

Her images, at first glance, are a little odd. The eyes of the person are not where they should be, or are not there at all. Faces come out from faces, eyebrows overlap noses, and the overall effect looks like a badly timed photograph with a slow shutter speed.

“We live in a world of visual manipulation and filtration,” she explained in her artist statement. “A large portion of my exploration of portraiture has been an intense pursuit of honesty.”

Williford believes most of our online portrayals of ourselves are not accurate. With a myriad of editing options, filters, and the convenient “untag” button, it has become easy to lie about ourselves. To Williford, a bad photo—where a person is caught in motion—might be more telling about him or her than an edited online image.

“Oftentimes, [that kind of photo] is more real,” she said.

Painting a true image of someone’s essence is not easy, as she’s found. Williford began this portrait project with a painting of her friend Grandpa Roy (Heibert), but realized her large-scale image was not an accurate depiction of his character.

“Grandpa Roy is such a gentle man, and it’s such an aggressive size,” she said about the painting. “I want to be honorable to who the person is.”

Williford often uses more than one artistic method to get closer to an accurate representation of the person. With Grandpa Roy, she first made a series of photographs, then sculpted a bust to work from before beginning to paint.

“I can feel his face, without actually holding his face,” she said with a laugh. “I’m making the actual object, then going back and painting the illusion of that exploration.”

Williford enjoys the kinesthetic experience of sculpting first, and she believes it helps her render the subject more accurately. She finds sculpture very fulfilling and even considers it a spiritual practice.

“There’s this deep sense of ‘I am doing the right thing,’” she said, “and that this is where I’m supposed to be.”

With her portrait series, Williford hopes viewers see that her images are uncomfortable and even a little troubling, but also true. Her paintings may take some time for viewers to understand, and she’s okay with that.

“I hope they cause enough tension … for people to really look at something,” she said. “We are so complex, and there are so many different parts of who we are, even in one moment.”


Culture Corner

By Kosette Isakson,

Crescent Staff

As president of the International Club at George Fox University (GFU), Jack Tan knows the importance of exploring cultural differences: an exploration that will take place with ASC’s new event, Culture Corner.

Culture Corner is a revival of a previous event called English Corner. Both international students and domestic students are invited to attend Culture Corner to take part in games and discussions and learn about other cultures.

“Just sharing the story with each other can fill the gap between them,” said Tan. “So that’s why I wanted to be president of International Club this year, to try and achieve and emphasize that voice on the campus.”

Tan saw the struggles of the international students as an orientation assistant this fall. Having been new to this country six years ago, Tan could put himself in their shoes.

Tan’s family moved here from Guangdong, China, before his freshman year of high school.

“It’s totally different than America,” he said, remembering his first terrifying days at Beavercreek High School in Ohio.

Reflecting on new international students, Tan said, “They’re scared, because they’re by themselves. And they’re here because they want a better life, better job, better opportunity in the future. I know how they feel. So I think having this Culture Corner back can really help them.”

During his first semester at GFU, Tan attended English Corner and saw firsthand the power of having conversations about culture with other students, both domestic and international.

At the beginning of this semester, Tan was one of the multicultural representatives for ASC.

The Vice President of Multicultural Life, Noelle Ho, says the purpose of this new ASC subcommittee is “to represent our multicultural students; cultivate awareness, respect, and appreciation of cultural diversity; and provide students of diverse races and cultures [with] a supportive environment.”

There are three multicultural representatives currently working under Ho, but Tan has since given up his position on ASC to focus on academics and the International Club.

Tan and Ho confirmed that the ownership of Culture Corner will transition from ASC to the International Club starting next semester, in hopes of increasing international students’ attendance.

Culture Corner happens every other Thursday from 7-8 p.m. The first week’s theme was “Get To Know You” and the second theme was “Appreciation,” in honor of Thanksgiving. Students discussed the ways in which they show appreciation to their friends: ways that Tan says are very different in China.

Tan hopes to increase attendance so that “eventually this event can be a symbolic event on the campus.”

Tan’s desire to help connect cultures extends outside GFU as well. He is a junior finance major and has been working for a nonprofit in Portland called IRCO (Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization).

“I want my life to be meaningful to people by serving others,” Tan said.

The Bodyguard

I was walking on the street in complete silence that night. I heard some voices ahead of me. There were a few young men hanging out on the street; they were smoking, laughing, and talking to each other. As I was walked closer to them, they said something that I didn’t understand, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t something decent. And they laughed again.

I felt scared. I look at them and walked faster and faster; all the horrible scenes that I had seen from movies and the news came through my mind.

“Please, God, send me home safely,” I prayed all the way home.

Living off campus is one of the biggest changes I made this year. I was so grateful I could find a place to live and it costs less money than living on campus. However, I gradually realized the fact that the distance from campus to my place is a bit far, especially when the dark approaches sooner every day.

I try to go home early, but some days are occupied with late classes or work, and so I have to walk in the dark. I need to change this situation, but what can I do? I don’t have a car; I can’t find another place for now; the only thing that I can do is pray.

God listened to me; he sent me a bodyguard.

I was doing homework at the den when I heard someone talking behind me. I noticed him because he sort of reminded me of myself. I was curious about him.

“I am from Myanmar,” he said, giving me a big smile. Then our following conversations took place. His name is Thang, he immigrated to America five years ago, and is a freshman here at George Fox.

We became friends that day.

“Is there anything that I can pray for you?” he said before I left. I told him my worries about the safety problems.

He looked at me seriously, “Would it be helpful if I walk with you?” All of a sudden, I didn’t know what to say. I just met him that day, and he even offered to help me.

“This is what Jesus would do, and I am doing exactly what he did for his friends,” he says. He always reminds me when I feel bad for letting him walk with me.

I believe that God sent him to protect me. And I am so grateful that I can be friends with someone like him, who has the strong personality to be so caring and kind to everyone.IMG_6486

Some Say Star, Others Say Samantha Biever

Imagine someone with enough energy to light every building. Did Samantha Biever come to your mind? Because she steals that title.

From Redmond, Ore., Biever is a first generation college student in her family. Naturally inclined to push herself, Biever majors in Organizational Communication and minors in Marketing, with extra responsibilities such as working for residence life, dancing for the Christmas concert team, and working as an employee for the Idea Center. She also plans on joining the Communication Honor Society, called Lambda Pi Eta.

“I want to become a public relations specialist,” said Biever. “Basically representing a company to the public and being the person that creates the relationship between a company and the people it associates with. That’s my career goal.”

Behind the goals and sheer ambition of Biever is someone who wants to ensure other women are encouraged and confident in their individuality.

“I love it when a girl knows how loved and valued she is,” said Biever. “I want to continue in that and really be everyone’s friend, especially people who don’t really have friends. I want to be there for them.”

This drive then led to the hard to forget stellar performance by The Matchmakers during this year’s Lip Sync Battle at George Fox University (GFU), choreographed by none other than Biever. As a dancer for eight years before coming to GFU, Biever also played seven years of volleyball and five years of basketball, making her the perfect fit for an ambitious task.

The idea of approaching life with such love and determination is hard for anyone without someone to inspire them.

“My mom is really good at loving all of my family members,” said Biever. “Even the ones who aren’t saved. I love the way she relates to people, even when she doesn’t necessarily agree with their life style.”

Energy, kindness, and commitment are some of the many words that make up Biever’s world, and turn it into a spotlight for others to be moved by.

Self-Defense 101

George Fox University (GFU) provided a one-day self-defense class on Nov. 7 for any female students who want to take control of their own safety.

The class is designed for students with a wide range of experience and capability.

The Newberg, Ore., police officer who teaches has been practicing martial arts for 15 years and has earned a third degree black belt.

The class focuses on basic physical self-defense techniques which can be modified for people of all ability levels.

As well as the hands-on instruction, participants are taught how to stay aware of their environment.

This is the first year the class has been full, and Student Life will possibly offer the course each semester if interest holds.

Whatever the reason for the uptick in sign-ups, Associate Dean of Students Dave Johnstone hopes female students can increase their abilities to keep themselves safer.

“There’s something about a five foot tall woman being able to throw a 250-pound man over her shoulder that’s pretty amazing and brings a lot of confidence to her,” said Johnstone. “She has the confidence to say, ‘You’re invading my space, and I’m not going to let you bully me.’”

Since not everyone can take this particular class, there are many ways a student (male or female) can be proactive about their safety.

For instance, try to travel with friends or in groups, especially when it’s dark. If you feel uncomfortable or threatened, try to get to a safe zone like the student union building which every student has card access to 24 hours a day. You can call campus security, even just to keep them on the

Director of Security Ed Gierok advises communication between peers to try and resolve conflicts, but he is well aware not all situations can be solved in such a manner.

If a physical altercation ensues, “Be aggressive, make noise, and try to get away if you can. Just keep telling yourself, ‘I can survive this,’” said Gierok.

“I don’t ever want female students to feel stuck, and this class will provide some skills to help diminish those possibilities,” said Johnstone.

Study Abroad Deadline Approaches

The Study Abroad program offered by George Fox University (GFU) will reach its application deadline on Jan. 15.

By that time, prospective students will need to have filled out an application online, which includes a two-page essay and faculty references, to be considered eligible for a semester-long trip.

This fall, 23 GFU students are participating in the Study Abroad program. Their destinations span from the westward England, Spain, France, Italy, and Lithuania; to southern Americas of Costa Rica and Peru; to serving in the African nations of Rwanda and Uganda.

Paul Chamberlain, the director of the Center for Study Abroad, champions the programs for its opportunity to help students grow culturally and independently.

He once taught overseas in Africa and relays his experience to students in order for them to overcome unexpected challenges and become more confident, rounded individuals.

Assistant Director of the Center for Study Abroad Lynn Scott adds that studying abroad is a positive outlet for students hoping to grow spiritually. Whether in a developed or developing nation, participants are prone to experiencing their faith in places outside of the United States.

Study Abroad differs from the popular Juniors Abroad program because of its length and depth of immersion. If Juniors Abroad is like an introductory class on a culture, Chamberlain believes that Study Abroad is an intermediate class or above. The culture, including the language, are experienced in full.

“Studying Abroad challenges the way you think, teaches you things you never knew you needed to learn, and changes you whether you like it or not,” said Paige Patterson, a junior currently in Lithuania. “In LCC, I’ve met people from all over Eastern Europe, and now when I hear the names of these countries I see the faces of my friends. I 100% recommend it and hope that people consider this amazing program.”

For any students interested in studying abroad, Chamberlain encourages them to check not only the GFU website, but to locate the blogs of current travelers. This, he said, is the best way to gain the most accurate image of these trips.

Nathaniel Burmeister: Mad DJ at Everything

natty burmeister photo


Last Saturday night, George Fox University hosted a talent show where several people were allowed to put their talents in the limelight and bask in the applause. Among those talents (and carrying an impressive amount of praise) was Nathaniel Burmeister. Burmeister beat boxed to the tune his choir team sang and the audience was changed and impressed.

He is a Cinema and Media Communications major with a minor in Computer Science and a member of the William Penn Honors Program. If that doesn’t sound like a plate full, he also juggles photography, singing, choir, and RA Life.

“Ranked from third to first I would love an internship in Portland, Seattle,” said Burmeister, “and my first choice would be going with the CTO program over to Nashville and spending a summer over there working either in the studios or doing a partnership with Belmont University.”

Several people will agree that Burmeister’s natural excitement and passion for life rubs off on the people around him. His drive and hard earned talent gives him energy unique only to him.

“My mom and dad,” said Burmeister, “definitely put a lot of emphasis on, ‘You try a whole bunch of things,’ and did not put any emphasis on, ‘if you fail then it’s just not meant to be.’ Persistence is one of the biggest things they emphasized.”

During the quiet hours Burmeister finds himself turning to his stress relievers. Burmeister calls himself an extraverted-introvert and turns to singing, reading, or watching TV to recharge.

“My favorite book for a while has been The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis,” said Burmeister. “There have been very few books that I’ve read and have kept me up in the very early morning hours reading. That’s one of them.”

Burmeister finds a way to inspire the people around him either with the talent he show’s in his music or the passion he puts into his studies.