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4.16.2014

A Brief Update...More to Come!

Hello readers! It seems the past couple of weeks have melted by and I'm finally out on the other side, looking around to have a grasp about what day it is. I just wanted to let you know things are going well, really well. I will be posting later this week with a variety of updates (and maybe even some muffin adventures). Until then, have a great week and don't worry, I haven't forgotten about this blog!

4.07.2014

Another Admitted Student Weekend in the Books!

I know I've been a little behind on the blogging; it's hard to blog when I've been traveling! Last week, I got to visit Boston to check out of the four graduate schools I'm deciding on. And on Wednesday, it's off to Seattle for another visit. Some might wonder when I go to class. I promise, I go and I do all my homework!

But this post isn't about graduate schools (that's coming later). Instead, I want to talk about how much fun I had meeting admitted students during Coe's annual Admitted Student Weekend!

Just like Scholarship Weekend, Admitted Student Weekend (ASW) has a soft spot in my heart. It was when I competed for a Writing Center Fellowship, met many of friends, and also was "reunited" with Heidi after our families met in February.

I was able to help plan, organize, and run the Writing Center Fellowship Competition this year. It was so much fun and ran so smoothly. It was great to meet 50, excited, passionate, and interesting high school seniors. Some are already Kohawks, ready to come to campus this fall, while others are just like senior-in-high-school-Hailley, who was not sure where she was going to when she came during ASW. We got to share lots of stories and also show off all the neat things they could do at Coe.

Friday night was spent with friends, mainly in the Writing Center, doing a little homework, but mostly unwinding after an intense and fast-paced day. I woke up on Saturday and headed off to a panel. I was representing FYS and was part of a panel that consisted of Melissa Rose, the head of Orientation, Leann, the head of the bookstore, and a fellow student, Taylor, who has been a CAP (College Adjustment Peer). We had two back-to-back presentations, both which were full (the last one was even standing room only!). Again, so many great students and their family members were there. I hope we answered their questions; they sure asked a bunch of great ones! I finished my Admission shift by giving "Decision Made" tours, designed for students who had already deposited. I got to show them the ins and outs of Coe and get some of the business stuff (like their Gmail account) all set up. It was an awesome idea and definitely rose to the top of my favorite types of tours to give.

I did more homework Saturday and Sunday (it never ends!). With the nice weather, there's always a part of me that wants to just go outside, but the academic inside me keeps me on track.

Lots of great things happening in my life right now. More updates coming soon. And hopefully some delicious study break muffins!

3.27.2014

If You Build It, They Will Come: We Built a Fort

This semester has definitely been one-of-a-kind. It's been a great combo of busy, fun, stress, and excitement.

What I love about this semester is that my friends and I value our sanity and therefore, I think our creativity has skyrocketed. We find ways to keep each other sane and be productive.

This past week, based on a suggestion from Professor Keenan, Millie and her roommates (Kat and Sarah) built a fort for us to do homework in. Hence why we have the clever title of this post (shout out to Field of Dreams and We Bought a Zoo). The fort happened post Zumba and we (me, Millie, Kat, Sarah, Tai, and Vanessa) thought the fort was a stellar idea. I have to say, I think we have the best fort around.



As a study break (and after we had been quite productive in our fort), Millie and I made some muffins. This time, we made raisin bran muffins with chocolate covered sunflowers seed (shout out to Grandma Joan for a great purchase). They were different than our past muffins but soft and delicious.



Because Millie and I were a little behind on our muffin making, so yesterday we made some blueberry-lemon muffins with a crumble for a snack in our English seminar class. They might look a little odd, but they were delicious. I've also discovered that my blog and muffin adventures have created quite a following on campus. A big shout out to all the faithful Coe readers, especially Bryce, for keeping up and enjoying our muffins!


In terms of academics, my thesis has been printed and handed out to my committee. We're currently in the process of setting a date to defend. I'm excited for the defense and can't believe it was over a year ago that I first discovered Mary Robinson and began research on her and her sonnets. 

As for my other classes, they are picking up. This weekend will be full of homework, from writing a paper on Jane Eyre, to working on a French translation project, and even watching videos for my statistics class.
  
Well, back to my homework. It might be dull outside today but I've got plenty of pep to conquer today and the rest of this week! 

3.24.2014

Happy Monday!

So funny story. I began writing this post on Friday afternoon, with the little bit of down time that I had. The blog post began, "While I don't want to jinx this good, spring-like weather, I also just can't help but proclaim that it is absolutely gorgeous today in Cedar Rapids..." 

When I woke up this morning and discovered Cedar Rapids had gotten a light (and I mean light) snow dusting, I sort of kicked myself for jinxing the oh so nice weather off. Hopefully those spring like temperatures will return soon because I'm ready to not wear my winter jacket when I step outside.

The trend of the time post-Spring seems to be busy. Last week was super fun. For example, Angela and I got rubens and shamrock shakes on St. Patrick's Day, I spent some solid time in the Writing Center both doing homework and catching up with consultants, and really nailing out my thesis. 
Photo compliments of Angela and her iPhone
I also got to have lunch and later listen to a lecture by Dr. Waitman Beorn. He and Professor Keenan actually were in graduate school at the same time. His area of focus, and the topic of his book is about the Wehrmacht (the German army) and the Holocaust in Belarus (country east of Poland). Dr. Beorn is currently the Louis and France Blumkin Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Nebraska - Omaha. Professor Keenan had asked if I was interested in having lunch because of May Term last year. Of course I said yes, I wouldn't dream of passing up an opportuntiy like that.

The lunch was great. Myself and five other students had the pleasure of eating and discussing history for an hour. Dr. Beorn was awesome and we covered all sorts of interesting topics. It was nice to have intense, academic discussion on the memorials our group encountered in Berlin, Krarkow, and Warsaw. Felt pretty good to bring that information back to the front of my brain! 

Friday night, Dr. Beorn had this talk with the Coe community. I learned a lot and as I realized while on my May Term, there is so much we don't know about the Holocaust, especially once you get further east than Poland. The focus of Dr. Beorn's research is on the German army and their complicity. The myth exists that the Wehrmacht were not part of the atrocities of the Holocaust. Dr. Beorn makes us question that myth and ultimately, we are forced to ask some tough questions. 

My weekend was packed with balancing homework and relaxing and letting my brain rest. On Sunday night, one of the sororities on campus, Alpha Sigma Alpha, held their annual Spaghetti Dinner to raise money for one of their philanthropies, Special Olympics. I went with Rina and it was delicious. It was great to see many of my friends who are in ASA in their best red and black and also to support a great cause. 

This week has all the same promises of being equally busy. Will do my best to keep you up to date. Also, Millie and I are long overdue for some muffins, so that's going to happen. We proclaim it! 
 

3.18.2014

Inauguration Weekend!

Last weekend was spectacular. As the title suggests, it was Inauguration Weekend for President McInally. For me, I had been waiting months for the inauguration. While President McInally has been our president since July, this ceremony really sealed the deal (essentially made it official). It was a time for the Coe community to be together as well as a chance for us to show off our new president to colleges across the United States.

I of course broke out my favorite red dress (Kohawk pride) and my new pair of heels. I got a lot of compliments on my very classy ensemble and I would just respond saying, "It's Inauguration Weekend!"

The program from the inauguration
Friday afternoon was the ceremony. It took place in Sinclair and was well done. The Concert Band had a prelude, our International Club brought in flags from the various countries our students are from, and the Concert Choir and Chorale sang. Representatives from different groups both on and off campus made pledges to support President McInally, one of Dave's mentors from Allegheny College gave a great speech about our president, and Dave Carson (Chair of the Board of Trustees and someone I had the opportunity to get to know on the Search Committee) made the whole thing official with the big presidential necklace (excuse me, medallion).
President McInally with his official presidential medallion. Dave Carson is behind him and the man on the left is Richard Cook, Ph.D. and President Emeritus of Allegheny College. Photo from Coe College's Facebook page.
I think the best part of the ceremony was hearing President McInally speak. He directed about 99.9% of the speech towards us, the students. He told us that himself and all the faculty and administration on Coe's campus believes in us and our potential. He discussed what a liberal arts college is not and what it is. The speech was stunning (there were some tears shed by some students and if not tears, definitely goosebumps). 

For me, I spent the entire inauguration thinking back to February 2012 when I got a phone call asking if I might like to be part of the Presidential Search Committee. I said yes, not knowing the adventure I would embark on. I had an interview, was asked to be one of the two student representatives and then on a snowy day in late February, found myself on a conference call with trustees, faculty, staff, and one other student (aka Max) who I would become friends with as the search continued. I thought back to reading files in Stuart Hall on a Saturday afternoon in late July, and I thought back to going to Chicago and meeting Dave McInally for the first time in person. It was incredibly rewarding to see President McInally up on Sinclair's stage. I can't tell you how thrilled I am he is our president. 

There was an extremely nice reception in the caf post inauguration where I got to chat with some Search Committee members who had come back for the occasion, some of my professors, and my peers. 

But Inauguration Weekend was not over. It continued on Saturday night with the Presidential Ball. This year it was held at the convention center at the newly remodeled Double Tree Hotel in downtown Cedar Rapids. It was an excellent event, filled with friends, fun, good conversation, and lots of dancing. Unfortunately, I was having too much fun to take a lot of pictures so this one was the only one I got (good thing it's such an excellent photo)
L to R: Kat, myself, Millie, and Kelsey
So all in all, an excellent weekend. While no muffins were made, I think Inauguration Weekend is pretty darn special all by itself!