Corvallis, City at The Heart of Oregon’s Valley (Part One)

Corvallis has taken my heart away since I passed my first lonely, cold and harsh winter in 2008. I believe many of you never heard of Corvallis before, who would have unless they’re from Oregon ?

Just quick and dirty info, Corvallis is a small city with population about 54 thousand, and I swear to God, this number shrinks during the summer because three quarter of them are students who flee outside the “bohwring” city to work or just chill out and spending their parents’ money at bigger metropolitan cities such as Portland, Seattle, San Fransisco, Los Angeles, even New York. At the first week of my staying in Oregon (it was three weeks before the fall term started), I hardly see people. Instead, all I can see is cattle and Illama. Yaiks!

Anyways, a little geographic lesson is about to start. Where is Corvallis?

Corvallis is located in Central Western of Oregon (FYI, the not so famous state of Oregon is a rural treehugger backcountry located in the middle of California and Washington). According to Wikipedia, as they quoted from the US Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.8 square miles. It is as big as Yogyakarta city but way less populated, In compare to other cities around the Oregon’s Valley, Corvallis is among the smallest. In fact, a friend of mine who lived in Eugene- the second metropolitan city in Oregon, one hour drives away from Corvallis, once said (in Bahasa) that,” Corvallis itu kotanya kecil sekali sampai kentut gue pun bisa terbaui diseluruh kota (pardon my translation, Corvallis is sooo tiny weeny that even the whole city can even smell my fart).

Map of Corvallis
What’s so cool about Corvallis

1. Oregon State University (OSU-often mistakenly recognized as Ohio State University)

Yes. OSU has been growing so fast on the last decade from the unknown university in the middle of nowhere to one of the most prestigious university in the Pacific Northwest. OSU is now home for thousands of international students from all around the world, immersing diverse cultures in one small city. OSU offers great programs on Marine Resource Management, Environmental Policy, Geosciences, Environmental Anthropology/Sociology. OSU also enable students to take course from different faculties and tailor it according to their interests.

Looking back, I can really enjoy the hardwork I did during the graduate school. The OSU professors trained their graduates to be able to apply their academic knowledge in the real life/working scenario.

Photo Credit: Cynthia Dewi Maharani
2. The City of Festivals

Among several annual festivities the city held, I had the opportunity to participate in the Davinci Day and the Homecoming. The Davinci Day takes place every July each year since 1989. The festival is inspired by the left brain meets right brain genius of Leonardo, da Vinci Days is a canvas to create a weekend full of creativity and exploration from music and art expo, science and tech expo, race and revelry, etc. What I LOVE THE most from the festival is having to see innovative thing such as robotic demo, all shorts of latest alternative energy technology, the tsunami demonstration (OSU has their very own tsunami lab that tests earthquake event and the tsunami potential as well as damage it may caused). Too bad I couldnt find the pictures.

The Homecoming

For y’all who love American Football, you must be familiar with this very own tradition. Yes, every year (generally) American Universities to welcome back the return of alumni and former residents. The Homecoming helds every late September or early October each year, usually build around the big games event like American Football. Back in 2008, my very first Fall term in OSU, I and my other International Culture Service Program (ICSP) buddies were invited to partake in the homecoming festival. We decided to dress up in our national attire (I am wearing Baju Bodo from Makassar in the middle) and of course, we drew a lot of attention.

Photo Credits: Irawan Gunadi
To be continued to part 2 (as I look for old pictures :P)

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