Sallyportal: Madly Blogging Reed


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Planting a Legacy, Dave Nielsen Retires

BRANCHING OUT. Groundskeeper Dave Nielsen is retiring after serving Reed for 24 years.

You know Dave Nielsen. You’ve seen him pruning the roses outside Sullivan, pushing a wheelbarrow across the Quad, or riding a lawnmower on the Great Lawn with a bandana over his face. Dave retired last week, having worked at Reed for more than 24 years.

Dave’s first day on the job was December 10, 1991. Before Reed, he had worked at the Gresham parks department, plus done stints as Safeway checker and McDonald’s cook.

Since then, Dave has left an indelible mark on campus. One example is the profusion of rose bushes outside Sullivan. He calls that area “My Mom’s Garden,” because it’s thanks to his mother’s emphasis on education that Reed has the flowers. Several years ago, Dave and his two daughters, who were aged around ten and twelve at the time, were shopping at the Lloyd Center mall when the signs scattered around caught his eye. The mall was holding a promotion: spend $75, bring in your receipt, get a free rose bush.

Monkey Bar Quadrocycle Materializes on Quad

The Monkey Bar Quadrocycle utilizes a distinctive forearm-driven propulsion unit.

Strolling across the Quad in the past couple of days, you might notice a bizarre contraption rolling by, propelled by a clutch of giggling students. The Monkey Bar Quadrocycle is the latest engineering marvel to emerge from the shadowy student group DxOxTxUx (Defenders of the Universe).

The Quadrocycle consists of a platform suspended on four bicycle wheels with a barrel-like cylinder perched on top that users spin with their hands. The cylinder is connected to a long bicycle chain that drives the vehicle’s rear axle, moving it backwards or forwards.

The principal players in the construction of the Quadrocycle were Evan Peairs ’16, Toria Ellis ’19, and Caroline Padula ’19. “It’s a logical extension of one of our earlier projects, the giant hamster wheel in the SU,” says Evan. “Now that there’d been one you power with your feet, the next thing to do was to make a hand-powered one.”

Giant snowball batters Reed dorm

Reed College students, both math majors, roll giant snowball.

Runaway 800-lb snowball puts dent in Reed dorm. Math majors were involved in constructing the icy myriahedron. Photos by Reed College Community Safety Office

A giant runaway snowball crashed into a Reed dorm on Saturday evening, ripping a wall off its studs and narrowly missing a window. No one was injured in the collision.

College officials say the ball was some 40 inches in diameter and weighed from 800 to 900 pounds. “It was a big snowball,” says maintenance manager Steve Yeadon.

The episode started Saturday during a storm that dumped as much as 12 inches of snow on Portland. A couple of students decided to make a large snowball in the quadrangle formed by the Grove dorms, according to an incident report from the Community Safety Office. They rolled it back and forth across the Grove Quad in what must have at first seemed a Sisyphean undertaking. But as time went on, the frozen sphere (technically a myriahedron) picked up more and more snow, gained mass, and grew increasingly ponderous. Soon a rumor sprang up that the Doyle Owl was entombed in its icy heart (a report that had some historical resonance--in 2010, the Owl materialized in the Sallyport encased in a block of ice). By 8 p.m., a crowd had gathered in the Quad and was chanting “Roll it! Roll it!”