at 9:00 AM
First semester was fantastic. I had great classes, great professors, and overall a great experience. First semester showed me over and over and over again why Coe was the right choice and the perfect fit for me. I know some of the friends I made this semester will be friends for life and that's such an amazing feeling. Instead of trying to organize and spell out the highlights of the semester, I'm just going to make a top fourteen (because remember I'm part of the 2014 graduating class) list. Enjoy! :)
My list, in no particular order because that would be too challenging (and probably too many ties!)
- Being asked to write a blog for Coe
- Trip to Baltimore
- Having fantastic roommates!
- Christmas party
- Reading Buddies
- Excursions off campus: bowling, ice skating, baseball game, shopping, museums, dragon boat racing
- Activities on campus: Blindspot and Common Hour
- Spending lots of time in the library (especially on second floor, long tables!)
- First year portfolio
- Movie nights
- Making new friends and meeting new people at Coe
- Becoming part of the Coe community
- My first clarinet jury (more on that soon!)
- Work study at the "U" (aka the caf)
at 9:00 AM
Like many other colleges, Coe does support a Greek life. Although I am not part of a sorority, I have friends who are. Coe maintains three sororities and five fraternities.
Sororities: Tri Delta, Alpha Sigma Alpha, and Alpha Omicron Pi
Fraternities: Tau Kappa Epsilon, Lambda Chi Alpha, Sigma Nu, Phi Kappa Tau, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia
Each group has their own wing in Voorhees and Greene, respectively. Sororities have a formal recruitment process while the fraternities are much more causal and laid back in their recruitment.
The sororities at Coe conduct a formal rush process. There is a small fee to rush and for one weekend, girls move from sorority party to sorority party meeting the girls and discussing each sorority and their philanthropy. An interesting aspect of rush is that some girls rush simply to meet people. A few of my friends rushed simply for the experience and they did meet a lot of great girls. The parties are a way for the sorority to get to know all the girls who are rushing and decide who is a good fit for their sorority. Rush is a three day process (usually a Thursday, Friday, Sunday deal) with Thursday being very informal. The parties on Friday are a bit more formal and it's still a getting to know you and the sorority sort of party. Finally, on Sunday there are preference parties. These parties are by invitation and so on Saturday, girls who rushed fill out cards that say what preference parties they would prefer to attend and the sororities fill out cards with what girls they'd like to attend their party. The preference parties are very formal, like Homecoming dress attire, and are held off campus (transportation is provided). After the preference parties, each girl that rushed fills out a card saying what sorority they would like to join. If the sorority they requested also requested them, it's a match. The final part of the rush process is the running of the stairs. The new members are called out, given a sorority t-shirt and run down the main Voorhees stairs into the arms of their new sisters. It's a very loud and exciting ordeal and lots of sisters lose their voices from screaming so loud!
And that's kind of all I know about Coe Greek life; they do a lot for both their philanthropy and Coe. I thought it would be nice to describe a bit about Greek life so prospective students can get a feel for what it's all about. If you have any more questions, let me know and I can ask my friends who are a part of Greek life and get your question answered. Oh and much thanks goes to my friend Briana Fischer who gave me lots of information on the rush experience!
at 10:29 AM
Just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, hope everyone is enjoying today. Also wanted to give a quick update on upcoming blog posts. I'd originally thought that with all my free time over break I'd be able to crank out multiple blog posts. But I've been really busy this past week with catching up with friends, family, and old teachers, reading books (just for fun!), sleeping in, baking and much more. So the next week, expect blog posts, I promise.
To all my Coe friends, I miss you bunch and can't wait to hear about your breaks! To everyone else, I hope you have a Merry Christmas and thanks for taking the time to read my blog, I get a lot of enjoyment writing it and I hope you get enjoyment out of reading it.
at 10:45 AM
On Friday when I left for home, it was the last time I saw my roommate Sabrina. If you remember, Sabrina is a foreign exchange student from Germany and their program to Coe only lasts one semester. She flew out of Cedar Rapids today to New York and then she returns to Germany like the 23rd or 24th of December (just in time for Christmas). Heidi and I are really sad to see her go because she's been a fantastic roommate. Having a foreign exchange roommate is a great experience: I encourage you to have one if you have the opportunity. Heidi and I learned a lot about German culture and college life as well as some German words. It was interesting to compare things between Germany and the United States (you can learn some interesting things).
at 11:59 AM
Well yesterday I had my last two finals (which went splendidly by the way). My first semester at Coe is officially over. It feels great and I can't wait for the next semester. After I explained the foundations of Western Civilization, I headed back to Murray to finish packing, said goodbye to my friends and the campus and headed back to Wisconsin. There is a lot more snow here than at Coe which was definitely a shock. But it's nice to be home.
I'll be home for three weeks and I will keep posting so make sure to check back. I'm planning on putting up some reflections on my first semester of college and also some informative things on different aspects of Coe. It's going to be great!
Happy Holidays! :)
at 11:36 AM
Well, it's day two of finals. I turned in a paper for my FYS yesterday (it was about the failure of macroeconomics) and today I had my African American Literature final. Now I'm in the process of packing and studying for my French and History of Western Civilization exams which are tomorrow. French is bright and early at 8 AM and History is right after at 11 AM. And then I'm home free for three weeks! Wow, first semester is almost done!! Well just wanted to check in, more later when I'm not busy studying!
at 11:03 AM
Yesterday was our last day of classes for the first semester. It's kind of hard to believe one semester has already flown by. Today is "Reading Day." There are no classes and the goal of the day is to get some good studying in. The campus is quiet and peaceful and the library is full of students. I started my day off with breakfast in the caf and then I hit the library bright and early. Because you know the early bird gets the worm. Studied for a good three hours and then took a study break for lunch. Then back to the library. Hoping to take another study break to play some volleyball with my friend Krista and then dinner. After dinner more studying will be done before going to bed early to make sure I'm all rested for the week ahead. Tomorrow I have a paper due, then on Thursday I have one final and then on Friday I have my last two finals. Then the semester is officially over! Wow!!
Well, got to get back to the books. More later! :)
at 2:17 PM
As Winter Break draws closer there is one thing left: FINALS. Last week was our final week of classes and finals start this Wednesday through Saturday. I've asked some friends and I made a list of the best study strategies my friends use. We're hoping they will work for us this week while we hit the books!
- "Special places" Find a spot that's comfortable to study so you can stay there for the long haul.
- Reward strategies: Commit to a length of study time and then give yourself a reward such as candy, watching a movie or hanging out with friends.
- Order of importance or order of finals: If you look at everything you have to do you'll get overwhelmed easily. So take it easy and order what needs to get done. Study what finals comes first and then move on.
- Don't cram: it never helps. Brain overload is more damaging than helpful.
- Reread your notes everyday: keeps it fresh in your head and so you're less overwhelmed with information when the final rolls around.
- SLEEP. It's crucial. No matter how stressed you are, staying up 'till the wee hours of the morning will not help you in the long run. Your body can't run on only a couple of hours of sleep. My rule is this: you're allowed one late school night a semester, a night staying up past 4:30 AM. That's it; don't put your body or your friends through that and your moodiness/tiredness the next day.
- Comfy clothes. Another crucial element of good studying. Break out those sweats and t-shirts, the hoodies and the boots. If you feel comfy then you'll be comfortable and it will be more fun to study.
- Dog therapy: Coe is offering dog therapy on Reading Day (Tuesday). A lot of my friends have a dog at home or simply love dogs so they're psyched for dog therapy. Petting a cute, furry dog is probably a nice way to de-stress. A dog is a man's best friend you know.
- Cooking. Sometimes after a long study session cooking or baking some cookies is the perfect way to relax. And the best part is when they share! :)
- Exercise. It's a great way to de-stress. I've played volleyball and ultimate frisbee this week as a way of taking a study break. Not only is it fun, you get to hang out with your friends, and you're getting a work out in.
- Good music. A must. Find those songs that pump you up or calm you down, whatever music allows you to study at your best. Plug in those earbuds and let the rest of the world fade away. I find music a good way to get into the zone.
- Group study. This works for some but it's not for everyone. I like group study from time to time as a way of bouncing ideas off of each other. But at the same time it also can be distracting because if you're studying with friends it isn't too hard to get off topic. Balance is key.
- Quiz your friends (and then they can quiz you!) For some classes making notecards is the best way to study the information. Grab a friend who also uses notecards and have a quiz session. Spend 30 minutes quizzing them and then switch so you get a chance to study! Heidi and I do this, I quiz her on Philosophy and she quizzes me on History of Western Civilization. We both find this method beneficial.
at 11:00 AM
Every Monday night from 6-7 P.M. the Writing Center staff piles into the Lynch room (right off from the "U") for our weekly staff meeting. We talk about a lot of different things and we always review the week ahead. This week's meeting was a Christmas special one. The night started off with a gift exchange and then led to a gingerbread house contest. I was in a group with Heidi, Haley, Courtney, Alison and Karin. We made a SWEET house if I do say so myself. We didn't win but we came close and we had a lot of fun.
|House under construction|
|Made with love!|
|Heidi, Courtney, Haley, Karin, and Alison|
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|Harry Potter Uno! :)|
|Heidi and Gretchen|
at 9:25 PM
On Saturday night, my friends and I decided to have a study break and get into the holiday spirit. Our night began with our buddy Rashad reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. It was pretty fun and I even caught it on tape: enjoy! :)
at 10:49 PM
Last night Heidi and I attended Three Sisters. It was a pretty packed house which was fabulous for a Thursday night performance. We were somehow placed in the nosebleed section of Dows, top row on the second level. At first we thought this would be problematic because we were so high up. But as the play went on we actually discovered this wasn't a bad spot: we had lots of leg room and could make commentary if needed because there was no one around us. And some commentary was necessary because we knew pretty much everyone in the play (this point pretty much emphasizes how awesome the Coe community is).
So as Alison warned me, the play was long. Along with two intermissions the play lasted a good three and a half hours. But it was unique. Chekhov had a lot of narration, sometimes people are just describing events but not really having any dialogue. Also, every character had multiple Russian names which confused me from time to time. There was no rhyme or reason to when each name was used so that got complicated. And sometimes the action was really slow, the characters would just talk and talk. But I figure that's part of Chekhov's charm.
The strongest part of the play was its cast. Even if Alison wouldn't have told me her favorite part was becoming close with the cast, I could still tell the cast was close. You could tell everyone wanted to be in the play and everyone got along well. The dynamic between all the characters was fantastic; the three sisters acted like real sisters which really enhanced the play. Their relationships seemed real which made the play more interesting and more entertaining to watch.
Heidi and I also just loved the play because we knew a lot of the people in it. It was composed of people from the Writing Center, mutual friends or just people we see around campus all the time. We were entertained last night and also knew we were supporting our friends. Great feeling.
at 2:41 PM
You might have noticed I've been playing around with the blog features. I'd like to highlight an addition I've made. The big additions are pages (which are located on the left hand side of the blog below the picture of myself). Pages are stand alone posts pretty much that don't appear in the blog reel. I'm still working on some pages but my hope is that these pages will be a mixture of fun and interesting information. The two pages that are up as I'm writing this post are "Books Read" and "Movies Watched." I thought it would be a fun way to document what I've done and seen while I've been at Coe. I'm also working on a few other pages but I won't spoil the surprise.
I'm also looking for suggestions. Because it's the end of semester I'm filling out evaluations for every class I'm in. So I decided to conduct an evaluation for my blog. Do you have any things you'd like to see in the future or anything you'd like to learn? What do you like about the blog, what keeps you coming back? Are there features that I should do away with or should I just keep adding to what I've got?
Let me know, I believe (fingers crossed) I've got comments enables so post a comment, I'd love to hear what you have to say. Thanks for reading!!
at 8:39 PM
at 8:23 PM
So with finals approaching, I'm a little short on time. But I don't want to let my audience down and not post a video. I've decided to show you a project I made for my FYS; we had to make a whiteboard presentation with a partner about a economics concept that is related to the current recession. We were suppose to present it in a clear way so that anyone could understand the concept. My video was on the Liquidity Trap and I made the video with Austin. Enjoy and I hope you understand what the Liquidity Trap is after it!
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at 4:51 PM
With winter in the air and Christmas just around the corner what would be a better way to spend my Friday than going ice skating? SAC hosted free ice skating at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena. This was my second trip to the arena because for Orientation week we also got the opportunity to ice skate. I had so much fun the first time I wasn't sure if this trip could top it or not.
|Heidi and I|
|Tyler and Daken|
|Claudia, Haley and Heidi|
at 2:00 AM
Heidi and I had an adventure today; we attended Coe's Common Hour for the first time. What is Common Hour you may ask? Well according to Terry McNabb, who is in charge of Common Hour it's
" Common Hour is meant to bring faculty, students and staff together to learn about issues of common interest to all members of the campus community."
Today's topic was about academic rigor and culture at Coe. Heidi and I sat at a table with a sophomore at Coe, three faculty members and one administrator. Our question we were suppose to discuss was
"Where else on campus, besides in the classrooms, does academic rigor 'live'? How are academic expectations communicated by other members of the college community? How can members of the campus community support each other in their attempts to be rigorous?"
at 7:51 PM
All right, so here's the video of the week. I've entitled this series "Caf Creations" and I hope over the next few months, you'll get to meet a lot of my friends showing you how they spice up the food they see everyday at the caf. First up is Krista and she's here to show you the industrial easy bake oven the caf owns. Enjoy! :)
at 6:59 PM
Well it's snowing in Cedar Rapids and the first snow parallels what I was doing this morning. Part of my first year experience requires me to volunteer 20 hours at a site of my choice. I chose Garfield Elementary School, just a ten minute drive from Coe. I volunteer every Thursday and I usually read books to kindergardeners. They are so adorable, exciting and full of life. I've read some great books to them so far, my all time favorite is Fancy Nancy. But today I did something a bit different; the kids read to me. They've gotten to the point where they know their alphabet and know small words. The books they read to me were short and often rhymed, but it was exciting. All the kids I worked with wanted to read to me, they were excited to show me what they knew. To see them pushing through the words, making sentences, understanding that each letter has a sound, it was mind blowing. We take reading as a simple thing but at one point we were at that stage, sounding words outs and feeling the accomplishment of figuring out that "tricky" word. And none of them gave up. I might have given them some helpful hints along the way but in the end, it was all their work. I was so proud of them. And I'm so glad I chose Garfield as my service site. I've accomplished the goal the Service Learning Program gives each first year student: find a place where you can be passionate about what you're doing. Because then the service doesn't really seem like service at all; it's just something you love to do.
at 11:02 AM