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3.31.2011

Requiem Concert

The Concert Choir and Orchestra have had a busy couple of weeks.  Two weekends ago the Concert Choir joined up with the Cedar Rapids Concert Choral and the Iowa Symphony Orchestra to sing Verdi Requiem.  I heard from my friends the rehearsals were long but in the end, I think everyone had an amazing experience.  To feel peaceful when you're surrounded by music, music from the orchestra, from the voices around you, from the vibrations and echos that ring through the hall, it's a beautiful and must experience feeling. 

Last Saturday they performed Mozart's Requiem with the Orchestra and some special guests.  It was beautiful.  They sang and played to a large audience filled with friends, family, faculty, and other community members.  It was one long continuous piece and of course there were some people who tried to clap between movements (although sometimes I wanted too because the movement was beautiful and I wanted to cheer them on!).  After a hour of being treated to Mozart, the audience rose to its feet and gave the groups a standing ovation.  My choir and orchestra friends were glad to be done with the two requiems and they did a great job!

3.27.2011

Together For Japan @ Coe

Coe hosts students from all over the globe and the students in the spotlight right now are the students from Japan.  It's scary to hear all about the earthquake and the tsunami and see all the damage on the TV screens and in the newspaper.  The Japanese students who are at Coe formed a group called Together For Japan @ Coe to raise money for the relief efforts and had a presentation yesterday to share their stories.

Haley and I went and it was very emotional.  Luckily all the Japanese students' families are all right but they shared moments where they weren't sure if all was okay.  They also shared some movies they created with images from the quake and tsunami.  The presentation took place in Kesler Auditorium, in Hickok.  There were a lot of students and faculty who came to show their support.  After the presentation the group was outside the auditorium collecting donations and giving out rubber bracelets with the words "Together For Japan @ Coe" on them.

I enjoyed the presentation and although I was sad at the destruction there were some inspiring moments.  The students kept talking about the spirit of Japan and how everyone was working together to get through this disaster.  A small boy in a grocery store put his candy bar away and elected to give all his money to a man who owned the store.  Or a lady who was offering her bathroom to strangers walking home since transportation is at a standstill in some places.  It's small acts of kindness such as these that gives me a lot of hope for the people in Japan and for the whole world.  If we could be that way all the time, think about what we could do.  

3.22.2011

An Adventure Lending Itself to Comparisons

Over Spring Break I had a chance to go to the UW-Madison campus to visit a high school friend.  She had class when I was there and I was fortunate enough to attend a Zoology lecture with 400 students (which is larger than my incoming class at Coe!).  It was interesting experience and allowed me to reflect on the advantages Coe has being a smaller school.


  • Small class sizes: This semester my largest class has 17 (I think) kids and my smallest has seven.  I love that because there is a lot of good time with the professor and I also get to know the other students in my class.  
  • Walking distance: My friend said the longest she has to walk to a class is fifteen minutes and she always has to pack her backpack in the morning because there is very little time to go back.  At Coe, that's not the case.  I can walk anywhere on campus in five minutes and only have to take class material for several classes when they are in the same building in back to back hours.  But if I needed, I could run back to Murray and pick up what I forgot.  
  • No set meal plan: At Coe it's simple, 20, 16, or 11 meals.  At Madison you have your WiscCard which is basically a student ID with money on it.  That card is your life (just like our ID card is our life at Coe, we can't get into an residence halls without it or get food in the PUB or caf) and you use it to buy food at the various cafeteria locations.  At Coe the caf is all you can eat but at the cafeteria's on Madison's campus everything has a price so unlimited food is kind of out of the picture.  
  • TAs and two professors: In a bigger school such as Madison, TAs are commonplace.  I don't have anything against TAs but I would prefer to talk to and have my paper and exams graded by the professor who has spent many years learning and discovering more about their area of expertise.  In my friend's Zoology lecture, she told me the professor standing in front of us today wasn't going to be her professor in two weeks and instead a male professor would lead the class until the end of the semester.  I thought this was intriguing because I can't imagine having only Gina (British Literature), Joyce (French), Terry (Fantasy), or Gordon (Honors) for only half a semester.  In a lecture class that big you don't become close to your professor so I guess I can see that having a new one wouldn't totally throw my friend for a loop.  But for me, I like developing a student-teacher interactions with my professors.  I ask them for help when I need it and look to them for advice. 
I had a great day on Madison's campus but it made me appreciate Coe so much more than I already do.  It affirmed my belief that I needed a small college.  Coe is the perfect size for me so I encourage all prospective students to look at both big and small schools to know which one is going to be better for you!

V-Day and Vagina Monologues

What is V-Day?  That's the first question I asked when I heard about it last February when I was visiting Coe.  Well, V-Day is a "global movement to end violence against women and girls" (from the website).  Coe is actively involved in the cause and this week did a variety of events to support the cause.  At the end of the week the Vagina Monologues were performed in the PUB.  Again I bet you're wondering what the Vagina Monologues are.  The Vagina Monologues are a bunch of monologues promoting and celebrating female sexuality.  There are funny ones and sad ones but the girls at Coe who read them did a fantastic job.  They were excited to be reading them and gave the monologues life.  It was $3 to get in with all proceeds going to Waypoint in Cedar Rapids.  This was their third performance and there were a fair amount of people there.  I wish more people would have showed up, the money is going to a great cause and the issue is something that isn't regularly discussed in everyday conversation.  The performance reminded me of my good old forensics (or speech, depending on what state you're from).  I miss reading prose such as the monologues aloud and hope I get opportunities through the next three years to get a forensics fix in.  

3.21.2011

Frank Warren At Coe

In 2007, Frank Warren created a website called Post Secret where anyone can send postcards to Frank with their deepest, darkest secrets.  Or funny secrets, he accepts those too.  Every Sunday he posts them and the website has taken off with thousands of people sending him secrets.  Student Senate was able to book him on Saturday night as part of the Marquis Series they host each year.  As a fellow blogger I felt it was important to attend.  It was a full house in Sinclair Auditorium, some of the people in attendance driving four to five hours to see Warren; he's big stuff.  He was an excellent speaker and shared a lot of interesting things with us.  The biggest part of Post Secret to him is helping people who are thinking about committing suicide; he has been personally affected by it and has received multiple postcards from people.  Warren has published five books filled with secrets and much of the proceeds have gone to help with suicide awareness and prevention.  He shared his story, why he started the website, some secrets that were unable to be published in his books for various reasons and also allowed people to share their own secrets.  It was an interesting experience because I really thought about my secrets.  Warren encouraged us to share our secrets because he believes the secrets are keeping us from being ourselves.  He has a point and I spent the rest of the night thinking of random secrets.  Warren also talked about doing something you believe in; he believed strongly in a place to share secrets and look where he is today.  I think the most interesting thing Warren said was that secret means "come closer" in Hebrew.  I thought that was interesting because I think in today's society we feel the need to keep secrets close to us and never let anyone know.  Warren was telling us it's okay to share our secrets because when we do, we know we are not alone.  Just knowing you don't have to carry a burden of secret all alone is a good feeling.  Overall, I thought Warren was a good choice for Marquis Series and I'm glad so many people came out to support him and hear what he had to say!  

3.18.2011

Back at Coe: Final Push Until the End of the Year

Hey everyone!

I'm back and I'm BUSY.  Professors are really kicking it up for the end of the semester and I've been doing a lot of writing (which I LOVE).  It's hard to believe there is only two months left of school before I'm done with my first year at college.  President's Ball is coming up along with BEAUTIFUL spring weather.  Class schedules also came out for next semester so I'm planning my sophomore year classes too!  Here's what's on tap in my classes:

French: More history: we moved onto 17th century in France and are discussing Louis XIV also known as the Sun King.
Fantasy: We are focusing on two stories we have written and are workshopping them.  Both stories will be turned in at the end of the semester as part of our portfolio.  It's cool to see my two stories evolving and becoming stronger.
British Literature: We are deep in 17th century poets, finishing up discussing John Donne today and will move onto George Herbert next week.
Honors Composition: Probably the class I favor the most this semester; we are working on our "Know It All" Essays, a 15 page essay on a topic of our choice.  I'm also working on revising past essays I've written and working on new material which I can include in my end-of-semester portfolio.
Band: Still chugging along on music, our big concert is April 17th.

There's a Blindspot tonight as well as a Midnight Movie (Hall Pass) so we'll see what the night brings!

3.10.2011

Coe's Girls Basketball Team to Sweet Sixteen in NCAA Division III Tournament

GOOD NEWS.  The girls basketball team has been doing extremely well this year; they are playing on Friday (tomorrow) vs. Illinois Wesleyan.  They are one of the 16 Division III teams left in the tournament!  I attended their game against Simpson College on Saturday, February 26th.  I think it's really exciting the girls are making it this far and I wish them the best of luck tomorrow!  If they win on Friday, their season continues and they'll play again on Saturday night!  Good luck! :)

3.08.2011

The Wonders of Spring Break

Hey everyone!

It's only Tuesday but so far my Spring Break has been jammed packed with stuff.  I've been playing catch up and "let's get ahead" in my classes as well as catching up on sleep (yesterday I took a nap which I haven't done in such a long time); I've even picked up a book to read just for fun (shock!).  That's what I love about Spring Break, the ability to rejuvenate and refresh.  I love college: the challenge of balancing classes, homework, work study, Writing Center, band, and my other extra-cirrcular activities without totally stressing myself out.  But at the same time, it's nice to be home and relax, not staying up really late finishing that paper that's due the next day.  It's also hard to believe that once I get back to Coe I'll only have the rest of March and April before my first year of college is over.  WOW.  Seriously can't believe that.

More to come as always.

3.04.2011

Spring Break Has Arrived!

Spring Break starts today!  Midterms are winding down, papers are being turned in, and the sun decided to come to Cedar Rapids to just make the day even brighter!  The weather has been unusually good (well at least for a Wisconsin girl like me, I'm going back to snow which I just can't believe!).  Everyone is happy because of the beautiful weather and that we get a week off of classes.  I'm heading home this afternoon after turning in a British Renaissance Poetry paper (yipee!).  I can't wait to be back home, relax and unwind, and spend some quality time with the family!  We'll be able to celebrate my birthday since it was only on Monday and I'll catch up with what my brother and sister have been up to.


But don't worry, I'll put a few posts up this week; can't let my readers down! :)

3.03.2011

Sunday Night at the Oscars

After taking a film class in high school, I became hooked on films, both the box office hits and the independent ones.  Although time for watching films is rare I still love watching movies when I can.  Of course one of the most important aspects and features of the movies are the Oscars.  If you can win an Oscar you've moved from the large pool of "actors" and leaped to the "Oscar acting caliber" category.  My friend Alison and I decided to host an Oscar party so we could watch the Oscars and take a much deserved study break.



In our pretty dresses: Alison, Haley, Hailley 
Our apple juice impersonating champagne
Our beautifully displayed goodies



Once Alison and I decided to host a little shindig, we made pretty invitations which we placed in our friends' mailboxes and the requirement of our party was a beautiful dress was required just like the actresses wear beautiful dresses for the event.



















The party started out with us salivating over the many dresses; our favorites belonging to Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway, and Halle Berry.  Once the Oscars started we were kept entertained by Anne and Jame's antics and skits as well as Anne's multitude of dress changes.  Throughout the awards presentation there didn't seem to be any big surprises in terms of who won what.  Colin Firth won Best Actor as he should and the King's Speech took home best film.  Toy Story 3 won best original song and we reminisced on seeing Toy Story 3, a movie that coincided perfectly with our own life (we were leaving for college just like Andy).  We were sad once the night was over and now I really want to see both King's Speech and Black Swan (Spring Break adventures perhaps). My last weekend at Coe before Spring Break was probably the best one yet.  

Saturday of Epicness: Basketball, Red Robin, Five Dollar Prom

Saturday was a jammed packed day.  After working at the library, doing homework, and working out at Clarke, Heidi and I went to the girls' basketball game.  This was an important game for them, if they won they would earn a spot in the NCAA Division III Tournament.  The game was a white out and the students were there in full force supporting the team.  And Coe won!  We played Simpson and although it was a close game, we were able to pull away at the end for the victory.  The girls play again this Friday at 7 PM, too bad I'll be back home for Spring Break and won't be able to make it.

L to R: Alison, Caroline, Birthday Girl (me), Claudia, & Heidi
After the game, Heidi and I ran back to our room and then grabbed a few of our friends for a night out.  It was my birthday on Monday (the 28th) so my friends took me out to dinner to celebrate.  We went to Red Robin and on First Avenue, near Lindale Mall.  It was a lot of fun and there were also a bunch of high schoolers there before a dance of theirs and it brought back a lot of good memories.  After dinner we walked over to the conveniently placed Cold Stone for some birthday ice cream.  Delicious.

Once we got back to campus we headed to the PUB for Five Dollar Prom.  It was hosted by ASA and Lambda Chi and the idea was that you wear the most ridiculous "prom" outfits and dance it out; it's Prom Part II.  Sadly, I didn't not have a ridiculous prom outfit so I went in just some jeans and a t-shirt.  The PUB was packed and the music was pumping.  I love when organizations hold dances like this one because I love dancing and it was fun to just bop around with the music flowing through.

So a pretty fantastic Saturday.