Category Archives: Uncategorized

shut it down!

I spent the morning doing a whole lot of digital tidying: categorizing RSS feeds, updating professional profiles, and working on some old mapping projects. Then I came here, looked around, and decided that it’s time to shut it down.


Way back in another another stage of life and epoch of internet norms, this was a good place to share a weird mix of personal and academic thoughts and questions, but these days, that stuff is far more dispersed and differentiated, probably for the better.

So, some of the various places you can keep creepy tabs on me:  
My personal website 
& although it is probably doomed to die the same painfully slow death as this thing, Tumblr.


Cheers y’all. 


Quick life update

I mastered Geography.

I’m living in Detroit for the summer, working all day and loving all night.

I’m moving to Seattle in a couple of weeks to start the PhD program in Geography at the University of Washington.

So there you have it.

Letting some things go

I’m gearing up for the grind of another school year, and this one is sure to be especially hard. In the face of a little bit of anxiety about this and recognizing the need to prioritize, I’m letting some of my lesser pursuits slide this year. This blog is one of them. I probably won’t be posting anything here, but those of you who know me in “real life” will probably be able to find other ways to keep up with me. Follow me on Twitter for more professional musings (@EmmaSlager) or on Instagram for occasional glimpses of my life in Eugene (@emrie19). Send me emails and letters and I promise to respond.

See you on the other side (of the thesis),

A recent project

I made this map for a final project for a cultural geography course this spring, and it comes with a request for viewers to submit markers of their own content, so check it out.

The idea of the map is to share stories or artifacts about places that are a little rough around the edges but that still inspire affection and pride. It’s not a radical map; it’s not connected to any goals for social change or political progress; it’s just a very simple testament to the places we love.

I’ve been feeling a little guilty lately that so few (if any) of my maps actually have that kind of goal—and that I’m not involved in more of the activism that a good map could be useful for. How do I balance the expectations and responsibilities of my grad program for me to do work that will advance my career and their reputation with what I think is the actually important work of fighting for justice? Lately, I’ve been failing on the side of too little of the latter.

Lots of good things to think about after this weekend, though:

Living good in the neighborhood

I apologize for the lack of posting this term; the rubber is hitting the road thesis-wise. I’ve also been pretty bad about this whole journaling Eugene thing, but I’ve been making the most of what little free time I have, and I’ve made some progress (pics or it didn’t happen, I know. Posts to follow). 

Really the highlight of the quarter, though, was a visit from my sister. She came last week and stayed from Thursday to Sunday, and we got to explore Oak Ridge, OR and environs on a field trip for one of my courses, do a bit of hiking, and make our traditional Slager sisters minestrone soup. I’ve been on a bit of a low since she left. 

We also did some exploring of my neighborhood, which is terrific by the way—I guess I haven’t been making the most of living downtown. So, in honor of my sister and of my great neighborhood, which I will probably have to move out of next year (bummer!), here are three recently discovered gems near the Skinner’s Butte Historic District in Eugene. 

1) The Fifth Street Market

My impression of this place has always been that it’s an upscale, holier (and more gentrified) than thou kind of a lifestyle mall where scruffy grad students like this gal would not be welcome. Turns out I’m not too far off. However, after two glasses of wine and in search of French bread within walking distance to accompany our minestrone, Leah and I put on our best sweatpants and cardigans and waltzed in to find Marche Provisions, the deli version of a very nice restaurant that I will probably never eat at, however much I might want to. Walk past the (locally sourced!) mulch display, around the classical fountain, and step quickly past the be-pearled older diners into a ground-floor shop that somewhat resembles G.B. Russo’s in GR, except that instead of imports (other than the extensive wine collection, of course), the breads, deli spread, and oven-fired pizza is all made from local grains, veggies, and dairy products. We bought ourselves a very nice bottle of wine and a $3 baguette, et voila! We walked home for such a scrumptious dinner that we repeated the ceremony the next night! Honestly, best. baguette. ever. There’s a lot that still intimidates me about this place, but I think I think now that I’ve been in a few times I’ll be able to screw up enough courage to try out the coffee shop on the upper level. 

2) The Steelhead Brewery

On my street, front porch gossip has it that the Steelhead has gone grossly commercial and inauthentic ever since the Hilton opened up in the neighborhood. Too many televisions and not enough familiar faces. So of course I opted for the dive down the street, the Jackalope (think of the Derby for a GR reference point), and never found a reason to wander in to the Steelhead. But I’ve been trying to go to more Meetup gatherings as some of my friends are regulars, and they had a happy hour at this place just yesterday. So I went. And yes, the British telephone booth in the middle of the restaurant was a little cheesy, and the baseball games on the dozen televisions were a little distracting (come on, Mariners, get your act together!). But the IPA was pretty darn good, and this may be my neighborhood sports bar of choice from now on. Not that I have time to watch baseball…

3) The David Minor Theatre

So I actually discovered this place a while ago now, but it’s such a gem. It’s a tiny little movie theatre just down the street that has exactly two screening rooms, one of which seats only about 15 people. They show movies that have been out for a while, and on Sundays and Tuesdays, tickets are only $2. You can also order in food from a nearby restaurant and text-a-beer (which before you think I drink too much I have not attempted to use). In place of theater seats, you can sit on couches, which inevitably leads to conversations with the strangers next to you. Pure Eugene, this place. 

There’s a lot more to love about the neighborhood, from the Butte itself, to the yet-unexplored-by-me Shelton McMurphy house, to the running path along the river. Definitely going to miss it. 


Critter on the front porch.

Post recovered!

Oh people: California? I get it now. I went to San Francisco for a few days during spring break last week, and now all the hemming and hawing people around this world do in honor of the great state of California is beginning to make sense. Sure, you might say it’s because I’m comparing it to Eugene’s wettest March on record ever, but San Francisco really is a terrific city, and I had a blast. I’ve written before about how proud I am to be a Michigander, even as things seem to get worse and worse there, and I’m not alone. The flip side of that is to be naturally inclined to hate places most people love, so please understand how difficult it was for me to come to this conclusion about SF. 

But I’m not alone in this feeling either. I met up with a friend who moved to the States from Ireland (hence, she too is inclined to hate sunny, well-loved climes) to work as a traveling physical therapist. She said for the first number of years, she refused to go to California until finally the company she worked for made her visit San Francisco. She fell in love, moved there, and stayed for 15 years. 

Is it the salty breeze from the ocean? The proliferation of magnificent parks? The ease of using public transportation? The strong sense of neighborhood identity and camaraderie? The fact that I heard more Chinese, Spanish, and Russian than English? I can’t say for sure, but San Fran has my heart. 

It was a three-night stay, quite brief, but just what I needed. I travelled alone, which is my favorite way to travel, and I met up with some (really great) old friends and met some (really great) new ones. I ate my heart out, hung out in bookstores, cemeteries, churches and cafes, and walked through the Richmond, the Mission, South of Market, the Castro, and more. I want to make the most of my time on the West Coast, and while I’ve still got a PNW bias, I think I might have to spend a little more time in the state to the south. 



California? I get it.


I just wrote a nice long post about my trip to San Fran. WordPress deleted it. Instead, please enjoy this photo and be jealous.