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8.30.2011

Day Two!

Okay, so I promise you that I won't normally be making a post that describes EVERY day of my year at Coe.  But these two are important ones because they are the first two days.  Usually classes meet either Monday, Wednesday, & Friday OR Tuesday & Thursday.  So yesterday I had one group of classes and today I had my final (fourth) class. 

My class on Tuesdays and Thursdays is History of English Literature.  It's a class required for any English major or minor so it's kind of big deal class.  We went over the syllabus (which happens in the first day of any new class) and also went through an abbreviated timeline of English history which is crucial to understand the literature we will be reading this semester. 

Today was also my first day of training for my job at Admissions!  I met all the Admissions staff and started learning about all the ins and outs of being an Admissions worker.  I'm really excited for my new job; I can't wait for my training to continue on Thursday! 

Another first was my clarinet lesson a little later in the afternoon.  Dr. Carson is on sabbatical this semester, so I have a new professor.  We had a great first lesson and I've now got things to work on before my next lesson.  My first seminar (the other component of taking private lessons) will be on Friday.

Of course, during the afternoon, it was pouring rain so I got to walk across campus in my raincoat while my pants and shoes got all wet.  Never fear though, I put up my handy drying rack so the water wouldn't get on stuff it wasn't suppose to!

Now, as I'm writing this post, I'm in the Writing Center, working on homework and waiting for my Writing Fellows.  We are having our first meeting of the semester and I'm excited to get to know them and help them with their papers.

Well, the homework is calling.  Lots going on!  Which for me, is fantastic!   

8.29.2011

First Day of School!

Today was my first day of school and boy, has it been busy!  I work up early to hit up the Clark Racquet Center, had breakfast and headed off to my first class, Introduction to Psychology.  I'm excited to take the class since I studied psychology in high school and really enjoyed it.  Then it was to the caf for my first lunch of the school year.  From there, I caught the tail end of the Nature of Science First Year Seminar class where I met the five kids I'm the Writing Fellow for.  That was all before noon, mind you.

At noon I headed to the Writing Center for my first shift of the year.  I don't if I'll work on Monday normally, but I volunteered to work an hour today since the master schedule is in the process of being created as I write this post.  I'll find out my normal hours tonight at the Writing Center Staff Meeting.

Finally, I had two classes back to back: Honors Style and Arts: Barcelona and Cultural Studies.  Now I'm back in my room, starting on some homework before going to Marquis to audition for Concert Band.  After supper is the Writing Center Staff Meeting and my night ends with a Coe Review meeting.

Busy, right?  It was a good first day, good classes, and it was good seeing everyone on campus again.  

8.28.2011

My First Saturday Night on Campus

Well since I'm all moved in it was time to catch up with friends.  The perfect day to do this was Saturday night after dinner with President Phifer and his wife.  Alison, Haley, and Millie came over to my room and we watched Anastasia while eating my homemade oatmeal raisin cookies and Berry Burst Oreos (which we decided tasted like Berry Kix).  Heidi and a few other friends joined us for parts of the movie; they were going to an Orientation event so couldn't watch the whole movie.  Once Anastasia finished (you know, when Dimitri picks up Anastasia and kisses her), Haley, Alison, and I went out to the quad with a blanket and looked at the stars.  We were just talking, trying to figure out if we knew the people who were walking by using their shadows and outlines as a guide, and looking up at the sky.  It was so simple but made for such a great night.  It made me excited for the adventures I'm going to have with my friends this year and the great school year I'm going to have.

Sophomore Conference Recap

Alison, Haley, and myself
The day started off in Kesler Auditorium (in Hickok Hall) where Vice President for Student Affairs Lou Stark, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Maire Baehr, President Phifer, and Professor of Teacher Education and Associate Dean of Faculty Terry McNabb spoke.  President Phifer's speech was interesting because it was "State of the College" Address.  He addressed the major things that were going on with Coe -- from the remodeling of Peterson to Coe's plan to slowly increase student population to around 1350 students.  Because Coe wants to expand, space becomes an issue.  President Phifer talked of multiple expansion plans that are being laid out for consideration.  It was nice to hear from the President himself what Coe was striving for and what changes we might see in our next three years at Coe.



Then it was off to the first of our three concurrent sessions.  The first one I attended was about planning for graduate school.  As a girl who hopes to be a librarian someday, graduate school is definitely in my future.  The session was run by four graduate students representing a variety of different areas.  Three were new faculty members and one was  a Coe alum.  It was an interesting session because it got me thinking about graduate school and the research I will need to do to find the "perfect" graduate school fit.

My second session was about internship opportunities.  The session was run by Diana Patten, the head of Coe's Career Services.  To graduate from Coe you have to complete an academic practicum requirement (such as an internship, study abroad/off campus study, Honors Thesis, independent project, or research).  Diana was telling us about ways to find an internship and when is the best time to look for one.  Again, this session was a session that got me thinking; I created a to do list of things I need to research or update (such as my resume).

The third and final session was about study abroad opportunities.  John Chaimov, the head of study abroad options, talked about the various programs Coe offers and how to apply to them.  He really encouraged us to find a program we find interesting because the experience will be life-changing.  John told us to come visit him and discuss our options.  I need to stop by sometime soon and discuss potential programs I might be interested in.

Haley, Alison, President Phifer, Linnie, myself, and Millie
All the sophomores got together then and talked about what we liked about Coe and what could be improved.  We all covered a lot of the same topics: the most popular response to what we loved about Coe was the community.  Every sophomore there felt close to their fellow classmates and close to the professors and other staff members of Coe.  And that's a great feeling; one of the great things about Coe.

Our new duffel bags





Our night ended with a steak dinner with President Phifer and his wife, Linnie.  It was a fantastic dinner and we even got a Coe College duffel bag as we were leaving.  Overall, a great day and it got me fired up for this upcoming year.












8.27.2011

I'm All Moved In

Good morning readers!  Just wanted to let you know that I moved in yesterday.  The move went well and it's really nice to be back on campus.  It was great seeing old, familiar faces, catching up, and having everyone comment on my short hair (I chopped off eight inches this summer).  Murray is still Murray and Heidi and I really like our new room and our floor.  There are 13 freshman living on sixth floor this year and I'm excited to get to know them all.  There are a few from the Writing Center, Jordan (the girl who knew me during Admitted Students Weekend because she read my blog!!), and other girls I will soon know.  I'm excited to show all my floormates our decorated and moved in room; it's a corner room, it's spacious, although both of us think we will one day this year walk down to Murray 607 (our old room) and just barge right in.  That will be entertaining!

After my mom, dad, and sister helped move me in, I went to the Greek Life Cookout on the PUB Patio for my first dinner at Coe.  I got a big hug from Pam who was excited to see me back on campus.  After dinner, I checked out the rooms of my friends, caught up with people I saw as I walked around campus, and finished rearranging all my stuff in my room.

Today will be a busy day: Sophomore Conference is an all day event ending with dinner with President Phifer and his wife.  I'll be sure to blog about it tomorrow!

8.25.2011

The Last Day

Hey readers!

Well, this is it: my last day in Mt. Horeb.  I've had a great summer but I'm ready to go back to Coe and begin my sophomore year.  Really excited for my classes, seeing my friends, my new jobs, and my new adventures I'm going to share with you on my blog this year.  I should probably get back to packing; I'll check in tomorrow once I'm all moved in!

Hailley

8.23.2011

History of Coe

Wondering how Coe became Coe?  Well, this is the post for you.  The history is located on Coe's website as well, but I thought I would give you an overview.  Also, at the Stewart Memorial Library there is an extensive archives section where you could find out more about Coe's past.

Coe was founded in 1851 making this college 160 years old!  Wow!  It was founded by Reverend Williston Jones.  The original name for Coe was The School of the Prophets because Jones wanted to educate young men who wanted to become ministers.  The other interesting part of Coe's beginnings was the college was first in Jones' parlor room.

It wasn't until 1853 when Daniel Coe, a farmer, pledged $1,500 encouraged Jones to start a college in Cedar Rapids.  Jones agreed and the $1,500 was said to have come from New York, via stagecoach and the money was sewn into a young lady's petticoat.  When Coe gave Jones the money he said he wanted the college to be for both male and female.  Jones agreed.

Thus, the Cedar Rapids Collegiate Institute was born.  A group of men, including Judge George Greene (Greene Hall!) bought two lots in downtown Cedar Rapids as well as 80 acres of farmland, land that the campus sits on today.

Coe went through a few more name changes as well.  In 1868, in an attempt to gain more land, the name was changed to Parsons Seminary.  The attempt failed and the name was changed to Coe Collegiate Institute in 1875.

Another huge step in the making of Coe was when T.M. Sinclair (Sinclair Auditorium!), the founder of the Sinclair Meat Packing Company, decided to pay off all the debt the college had.  This financial gift allowed the college to change its name again (for the last time) to Coe College as well as allowing the Iowa Presbyterian Synod to assume responsibility of the college.  

And now look at Coe!  It's really neat to look back and see where Coe started and then see where Coe is today.  Hope you enjoyed this little history lesson!

8.22.2011

Marquis Series Preview Part V

The final Marquis Series.

* All information in italics is taken from Coe's website and the Coe's News Page.

Group Five: Brentano String Quartet - Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium 

"Since its inception in 1992, the Brentano String Quartet has appeared throughout the world to popular and critical acclaim. The Quartet has performed in the world's most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York; the Library of Congress in Washington; the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; the Konzerthaus in Vienna; Suntory Hall in Tokyo; and the Sydney Opera House in Australia. In addition to performing the entire two-century range of the standard quartet repertoire, the Brentano Quartet has a strong interest in both very old and very new music. The London Independent has called the Quartet “passionate, uninhibited and spellbinding,” while the Philadelphia Inquirer praises its “seemingly infallible instincts for finding the center of gravity in every phrase and musical gesture.”  The group consists of Mark Steinberg and Serena Canin on violin, Misha Amory on viola and Nina Lee on cello."
There are lots of videos of YouTube on them, pick any and I'm sure you'll hear good music!  Here's one I picked out.



8.19.2011

Marquis Series Preview Part IV

Sorry, just a Marquis Preview today, I can't think of any more tips right now.  Probably because I'm in the midsts of packing because I'll be back at Coe in ONE WEEK.  Can't wait!

* All information in italics is taken from Coe's website and the Coe's News Page.

Group Four: The Acting Company: “The Comedy of Errors” - Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012 at 3 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium 

"For nearly 40 years, The Acting Company has been one of the most respected and praised touring repertory theaters in America.  At Coe, The Acting Company will present William Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors,” directed by Ian Belknap.  One of Shakespeare’s earliest plays, “The Comedy of Errors” is also his shortest and one of his most farcical — a major part of the humor derived from slapstick, puns and wordplay. The story of two sets of identical twins accidentally separated at birth involves a series of wild mishaps based on mistaken identities leading to wrongful attacks, a near-seduction, an arrest and accusations of infidelity, theft, madness and demonic possession.  The Acting Company promotes theater and literacy by bringing a touring repertory of classical productions, talented young actors and teaching artists into communities across the country. The group has been honored with the Obie Award, the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, and a Tony Honor for Excellence in theatre." 
Video from YouTube

8.18.2011

Marquis Series Preview Part III

* All information in italics is taken from Coe's website and the Coe's News Page.


Third group: Tonic Sol-fa - Friday, Nov. 11, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium

"The a cappella quartet Tonic Sol-fa has spent the past decade on the road carving their niche as one of the nation’s top vocal ensembles.  In that time, Tonic Sol-fa has been named one of the top five “must see” groups in America, has been awarded numerous original song and album awards in pop, gospel and holiday genres, and has appeared on NBC’s “Today Show” and in the pages of Newsweek magazine.  With album sales of more than two million copies, the group performs in more than 150 shows across the country each year.  In 2010, Tonic Sol-fa won its first Emmy Award in the “Musical Composition/Arrangement” category for a song performed in a Toys for Tots Public Service Annoucement. The New York Times describes Tonic Sol-fa’s sound as, “A vocal kaleidoscope…unique to the human voice.”   Critics and Fans agree: nobody does it like Tonic Sol-fa."
Here's a video off YouTube singing their most popular song Land of 1000 Dances (according to iTunes).  Sorry if the quality isn't top notch, it was the best I could do.  Enjoy!  I personally LOVE a cappella (it's so hard to do so I'm so impressed when groups make a living doing this) so I can't wait!!!

Tips for Freshman: Caf Edition

You'll be spending a lot of time in the caf this year; most likely way more than you think.  I remember some meals where I would look at the clock and an hour would have gone by -- my friends and I were simply talking and having good conversations.  For a full overview of the caf, check out a written tour of the caf I did early this year.  

TIP ONE: Be creative with creating your meals.

After a few weeks, you might fall into a caf rut: you eat the same things for each meal.  Change it up by thinking outside the box.  Mix stations together such as chicken from the hot food line with a salad or chicken in the pasta.  Yum!  Or if that doesn't work, try cereal for dinner (that's always a nice change of pace).

TIP TWO: You must try the hot sandwiches at lunch.
THEY. ARE. DELICIOUS.  Pizza Bob is the chef who whips them up and boy, are they worth standing in line for.  It's a perfect lunch food, especially if you pair it with a cup of soup once it gets chilly outside.  Or, for these first few weeks, try a sandwich and a salad.  

TIP THREE: The different sized tables create different eating atmospheres so pick what you're feeling.
Let me explain.  Round tables are great for a large group of people who don't mind getting cozy.  My friends and I have crowded 15 or so people around a round table a few times last year.  People just grab chairs and pile around.  There are lots of conversations going on at once and lots of laughter.  If you're looking for something a bit quieter, try a small square table (for four or so) or even more quiet, a booth.  There are also the long tables in the middle of the caf which are also for big groups but since you're spaced more out, it becomes a lot of mini groups at one large table.  Try sitting everywhere and find out what you like best!

TIP FOUR: Always say hi to Pam during the week.
Pam is the lady who scans your card during the week for lunch and dinner.  She is a FANTASTIC woman; she loves the students of Coe.  She even came to Pres Ball last year, took pictures, had them all developed and put them on boards we could check out on Monday morning!  Pam learns everyone names and she loves talking to us.  Make sure you get to know her and catch up with her when you can.     
 

8.17.2011

Marquis Series Preview Part II

* All information in italics is taken from Coe's website and the Coe's News Page.

Second group: Spectral Scriabin - Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium

"Award-winning Georgian pianist Eteri Anjaparidze and renowned American lighting designer Jennifer Tipton have teamed up to devise a stimulating music-theatre event, which received its recent premiere at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City.  In this unique production, Anjaparidze performs Alexander Scriabin's mystical piano music, which simultaneously interplays with Tipton's intricate color and light display.  Andjaparidze has gained international recognition as an exceptionally versatile and insightful musician whose artistic undertakings embrace all genres and styles of piano repertoire.  A Grammy nominee, she has extensive knowledge of Scriabin’s compositions. Tipton is an award-winning lighting designer whose novel and effective ideas about lighting have turned countless Broadway shows, ballets and operas into hits."
I couldn't find a video clip for this group, only reviews from the show they performed in New York.  The show sounds exciting and different.

Tips for Freshman: Living in Dorms Edition

Here are some tips to make the most of your dorm life.

TIP ONE: Get to know the people on your floor.

If you're living in Armstrong, this statement will definitely come true.  When I was in Armstrong last year, most doors on the floor were open if the roommates were there and girls bounced back and forth between rooms on their study breaks.  Large groups formed right before dinner and blobs headed to the  caf.  There was a lot of floor bonding.  In Murray, I probably see everyone on my floor everyday, either waiting for an elevator, in the bathroom, or at the entrance of Murray.  So say hi, ask how they're doing, talk about classes or weekend plans.  Part of the Coe experience is getting to know a lot of people on campus and why not start with some of the people you see the most: the people who live on your floor.

TIP TWO: Keep common areas clean.
It's common sense really.  Areas like the bathroom, showers, or utility sinks (in Murray).  If you make a mess, clean it up.  There are janitors who clean the dorms during the week but they shouldn't have to be responsible for a large mess you created.  

TIP THREE: Communicate with your roommate when you're leaving the room so someone doesn't get locked out.
I never got locked out, but I knew of friends who did.  You just have to call security and they will let you in, but it's embarrassing and unnecessary if you communicate with your roommate.  But this doesn't happen too often; by the end of the first week, you'll be connect with your ID card and key -- it will become an extension of you.  But oversights can happen from time to time.      

TIP FOUR: Communication with your roommate is key and will make sure the both of you have a successful and fun year.
More communication tips I know but listen to this one.  Your roommate is an important part of your college experience and you want to make sure things go well on this front.  You'll make a contract at the beginning of the year with them laying out guidelines such as a guest policy, a cleaning policy, etc.  If something comes up later in the year, make sure you say something to your roommate.  For instance, if they bring friends in to watch a movie at 1:00 AM on a Saturday morning and you need to be up in five hours for something, let your roommate know they will have to alter their plans.  Remember, you are sharing a room so try to keep both you and your roommate happy.  

TIP FIVE: Be prompt on your laundry.
In Murray it takes around 45 minutes for a wash and then the dry is whatever you set it as.  Nothing annoys me more than trying to wash my clothes but all the washers are full but have already completed their cycle.  I normally avoid moving peoples' clothes to the dryer or onto a nearby chair (if they are dry and occupying a dryer I need) but will if I really need to get wash done.  Set a watch when you start your laundry so you can change the load and open up a washer for someone new.  
   

8.16.2011

Marquis Series Preview Part I

What is the Marquis Series?  Well it's where Coe brings in some amazing groups for Coe students and members of the Cedar Rapids community to see.  You may remember me talking about Frank Warren, which was part of the Marquis Series of 2010-2011.  They've published the line-up for this year, so I'll be featuring each group this week.

* All information in italics is taken from Coe's website and the Coe's News Page.

"The Coe College Marquis Series has a long tradition of bringing high quality entertainment to the Cedar Rapids community.  The 2011-2012 Coe College Marquis Series features events representing the best in diverse talent, ranging from humorous speaker and author Frioozeh Dumas and the stimulating music-theater work Spectral Sciabin to Tonic Sol-fa, one of the nation’s top vocal groups, Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors,” and the critically acclaimed Brentano String Quartet.
Marquis Series patrons can purchase individual tickets and reserve seats for $15 for the general public, $10 for students and seniors.  For ticket information, call the Coe College Box Office at 319-399-8600, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. (summer hours).
The Coe College Lecture and Performance Series is funded in part by a gift from the estate of Sarah Marquis in honor of her father, Dr. John A. Marquis, who was president of Coe College from 1909-1920.  The purpose of the series is to bring entertainment and educational experiences to the Coe campus for the benefit of the entire community."

 The first speaker: Firoozeh Dumas - Monday, Sept. 12, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium 
"Firoozeh Dumas is the author of “Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America” and “Laughing Without an Accent.”  A native of Iran, Dumas grew up listening to her father, a former Fulbright Scholar, recount the many colorful stories of his life in both Iran and America.  She moved to southern California with her family in the 1970s, and later attended University of California - Berkeley.  In 2001, with no prior writing experience, Dumas decided to write her stories as a gift for her two children.  “Funny in Farsi” was a bestseller and a finalist for the PEN/USA Award, the Audie Award and the prestigious Thurber Prize for American Humor.  For the past seven years, Dumas has traveled the country reminding us that our commonalities far outweigh our differences, and does so with humor. She has spoken at conferences, schools, churches, Jewish Temples and Islamic centers.  This event is co-sponsored by the First-Year Experience and the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs."
This book goes well with Persepolis.  Enjoy this video clip of Firoozeh Dumas.  Courtesy of YouTube.


Tips for Freshman: Library Edition

Well, my tips last week went over well so I decided to continue them.  I'll try to focus on buildings this week.  I will also get another feature going about the Marquis Series this year so stay tuned!

TIP ONE: Study rooms are awesome but they are in high demand.

The second floor has some great study rooms complete with whiteboards.  The only problem is that they are usually occupied when you want them.  So get there early if you want a room for the night.  For instance, getting to the library right after dinner, so 5:30 PM or so, should give you a fighting chance for a room.  And if you're studying during the day, morning or early afternoon is a good time to nab a room.  

TIP TWO: Find multiple spots in the library that are your favorites.
I am a library lover and have found many favorite places in Stewart Memorial Library; each place has been designated for a certain type of studying.  If I'm feeling sociable, I like sitting at the long tables on the second floor because I can see friends and get work done.  If I want an area less used, then I might go to the Reading Room on the right hand side of the first floor.  It's usually pretty quiet.  And if I really need to get things done, then I'll go up to the third floor and find a cubicle in a corner not near a window (because I will get distracted at watching people walk by!).  The first week at Coe, you'll visit the library a lot and you'll quickly figure out what areas of the library you like the best.

TIP THREE: Use the library for just more than studying.
The Stewart Memorial Library is a fantastic library.  It has so much more to offer than just study space and computers.  Although a lot of students want to go for the internet sites when working on a paper, there are great books out in the stacks for you to use.  And, we do have some great movies for you to check out too.  A reference librarian is on the first floor during the day and can answer any questions you have and help you find anything.  Make sure to use them as a resource -- you won't be sorry.   

TIP FOUR: Don't be scared when you look at the call numbers in the stacks and go, "THAT ISN'T THE DEWY DECIMAL SYSTEM!"
Our library is organized by the Library of Congress Classification (LCC).  Now, I'm going to geek out in library facts.  Enjoy the history lesson.  The LCC was developed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century by the Library of Congress.  Today, the LCC is used most frequently over the world and can be found in many academic libraries in the United States (aka Coe).  The LCC is made up of 21 classes, each assigned a letter of the alphabet.  These classes are then divided into subcategories and these subcategories can be subdivided and so on.  The numbers might look scary at first, but it's not that bad.  If you need help, ask a librarian or find me!  (No seriously, if you need help in the library, I would be more than happy to help)

TIP FIVE: If you're looking for movies, look no further than the basement of the library.
Our AV collection is pretty intense.  We've got basically everything from cartoons, to action, to romance, to foreign, to documentaries, to TV series to, well, you get my drift.  Just be aware the movies are arranged in the LCC system so they might be hard to find at first.  But once you're in there a few times you start to figure things out. 
  
I'm sure I have more library tips but I can't think of them all right now.  I'll add if I think of any more!
 

8.12.2011

Tips for Freshman: College Class Edition

All right, my final tips of the week are about classes at Coe!  Hope they're helpful!

TIP ONE: Don't worry if you don't get the classes you want because they are full.

In your academic advising session with your FYS professor, you'll pick out a bunch of classes that interest you.  Basically every freshman will pick out a class that will fill up quickly.  Don't worry, you'll be able to take that class another semester.  Sign up for another class that's on your list and who knows, that might end up being your favorite class.  There is no need to stress about a class you didn't get; look at it as an opportunity to try and learn something new!

TIP TWO: Expect long lines at the bookstore.
This makes total sense because all the freshman will need books for the first day of class.  Make sure to go into the bookstore with the name and class number of all your classes; that makes it way easier for a bookstore worker to help you find your books.  Go with your friends so when you're waiting in line you have someone to talk to and you can compare books!

TIP THREE: Give yourself a little extra time on your first day of classes.
Hopefully by the first day, you've looked at your fall schedule, posted on your MyCoe.edu account.  To find it, click on On-Line Registration, then Student Schedule.  All your classes show up along with the professor's name, the day (oh and remember TR means the class meets both Tuesday and Thursday.  Some people forgot about that!), the time, and classroom.  If you give yourself a little time on the first day, you'll be able to find your classroom and be ready to go, instead of running in late. 

TIP FOUR: Come prepared to your classes.
That might seem obvious but it's good to remember.  Have at least a pencil and notebook.  The first day will most likely be class expectations but being prepared is an expectation all teachers require!  You don't want to start off on the wrong foot because you didn't bring anything to class!
 

8.11.2011

Tips for Freshman: More Orientation Week

Got a few more tips to remember during Orientation Week!

TIP ONE: Make sure to explore Coe when you have down time.

My friends and I found the racquet ball courts at the Clark Racquet Center.  I think we played racquet ball three or four days in a row.  It was sort of a hidden gem we didn't know about.  There are lots of cool places on campus just waiting for you to find.  Grab a group of friends and go exploring!  And there are things around the campus that you should check out too.  Grab a frostie from Wendy's, a smoothie or coffee from Brewed, or grab some last minute groceries from the Hy-Vee a block or so down.  Everything I just mentioned is within walking distance so not having a car is no problem.  

TIP TWO: Make an effort to remember as many names as you can.
You are going to meet so many people, I know.  But make a solid effort at remembering as many as you can.  It's super nice to be greeted by someone I met the other day and who remembered my name.  But, at the same time, don't be afraid to ask someone what their name is if you forgot.  Remember, everyone is in the same boat -- you're all meeting a ton a new people and you're all going through your first week at college.  

TIP THREE: Wear sunscreen!
Because no one wants to get burned.  Especially Dragon Boat Racing day, sunscreen is a must!  Personally, I hate getting sunburned so when I knew I would be out in the sun, I made sure to lather up!


8.10.2011

Tips for Freshman: Orientation Week Edition

All right, I have a fair amount of tips to make sure you have a successful Orientation Week.  I'll give a few today and some tomorrow and round off the week talking about how to have a great first year!

TIP ONE: Think of Orientation Week as the finale of your summer.

Orientation Week is a fantastic week.  You get to do a ton of cool things, meet so many neat and interesting people, and have just a great time.  But the fun you have during this week is more like summer fun.  On one of the first days I was at Coe, I went bowling with my friends.  We all had a blast and said to each other multiple times, "Let's do this EVERY Monday."  Everyone agreed.  Then school actually started and my Monday nights were full of band practices, Writing Center Staff Meetings, Coe Review meetings, and homework.  There was no time for bowling.  College is super fun, don't get me wrong.  I love it.  But the fun I have is different fun than I had during Orientation Week.  There's nothing wrong with that.  So enjoy Orientation Week but just remember things will be different once your classes start.  

TIP TWO: Participate in as many Orientation Week activities as you can.  
Because Orientation Week is fun!  And you get to do a lot of neat things that you can't just normally do.  It's all planned out for you so why not take advantage of it.  These activities are also the place to meet your peers.  So go ahead and introduce yourself to others, talk about your summers, discuss what you're interested in majoring in, and compare notes on Persepolis.  You'll be glad you participated and you'll have memories that will last you quite some time.

TIP THREE: A follow up to Tip 2...Not only go to Orientation Week but get into the activities there.  Because they might be silly but it's all in good fun.
I remember during my Orientation Week each FYS group had to do a skit in front of all the freshman.  My FYS were not into it and our skit was average.  I did take pictures of the other skits and looking back on them sends me into a fit of giggles.  The skits were silly but you could tell by the photos everyone in the skits were enjoying themselves.  Sure, some of them did some ridiculous things or talked in an outrageous accent.  But they got some great laughs and entertained most of the freshman class.  Some people might think they are "too cool" but don't let them stop you from having fun.   

TIP FOUR: Don't expect a ton of sleep during Orientation Week!
They keep the freshman pretty busy during your first week.  It's an earlier morning then some summer sleepers are use to and you're doing stuff all day and well into the night.  I know that once I started making some friends we would often stay up even later, after the official Orientation activities were over, watching a movie or just hanging around and talking.  It was a really nice way to get to know my friends.  For me, Orientation Week was a crucial base in terms of friends and overall comfortableness of being a college student.  Once the week was over, I knew I was ready to start classes and being an official college student!

8.09.2011

Tips for Freshman: Moving In Edition

So yesterday I talked about packing and today is all about moving in.

TIP ONE: Wear comfortable clothes.

Because you're going to get all hot and sweaty.  I mean it.  Especially if you are living in Armstrong this year.  Armstrong has no elevators so if you are living on the fifth floor, well, you'll be taking a few stairs.  Luckily, there are nice upperclassmen who are helping with move-in and would love to take up your belongings.  And once your stuff is in your room, it will need to be rearranged so if you're in something comfy, moving in won't be too bad.
TIP TWO: A hand truck dolly is a helpful thing.
My dad brought one of these lovely things to both move me in and out and it worked wonders!  You can move so many more things into your room!

TIP THREE: Take your time moving in and have a good time.
Moving in is a big deal.  Seriously.  So have fun, let your parents help you, and try to enjoy yourself.  Make that empty room look amazing.  Try moving things around, stacking your beds if you can (remember you gain a lot of space with bunked beds!) and testing everything so you know it works.  

Orientation tips tomorrow!  :)

8.08.2011

Tips for Freshman: Packing Edition

The feature this week will be tips for incoming freshman.  I'll try to cover everything from packing to moving in to Orientation Week to anything else I can think of.  Hope they are helpful tips!

TIP ONE: Don't bring the entire contents of your room to Coe.

There is no need.  I promise you.  First off, your dorm room isn't incredibly large and second, you'll most likely be sharing said room with at least one roommate.  Bring what you absolutely need.  Remember, anything you leave at home can be brought back to your dorm room after a break.  If you realize that you forgot something vital when you get to Cedar Rapids, you'll be able to find it at Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Walmart, etc.    
TIP TWO:  You don't need to buy everything in your hometown.
No matter how many hours you spend planning the layout of your room, you won't know anything for sure until you step inside it when you move in.  When I first moved in, my family and I unpacked what I brought and then made a run to Target and a few other stores to pick up the final dorm pieces. One of the best dorm items I had in my room was from the Cedar Rapids' Target -- it's the shelf that holds my microwave and fridge (photo below).  

TIP THREE: Make a list.
This is extremely helpful.  Especially if you're feeling overwhelmed.  What I did was collaborate with other dorm shopping lists from Target, Shopko, and Bed Bath & Beyond.  From their lists and my own thoughts on what I need I made the master list.  With space to check out items I bought, it was the perfect way for me and my family to know what I had and what I still needed.  The best part is that I saved it on my computer so this year I just have to open it up, save as the document, tweak it a bit and I'm ready to go dorm shopping for this year!
TIP FOUR: Sterilite Storage containers work wonders.
To transport my things to Coe I mainly used 56 quart Sterilite containers (pictured above).  Since they are clear it's easy to see what's inside of them.  I could stack and rearrange as much as I wanted and they fit nicely into the back of my dad's truck.  Super simple to unload and I didn't have to worry about having a million boxes.  I kept some at Coe but sent the rest of them back home with my parents.      

8.05.2011

A New Countdown Begins

It's the end of the week and Iowa's Private College Week is winding down today.  If you visited Coe this week I hope your visit was FANTASTIC and you come back to visit real soon.  Maybe I can even walk you to a class!  That would be fun.  Anyways, as IPCW is finishing up, I'm beginning a new countdown...a countdown to returning to Coe.  I mean, I love Mt. Horeb and being with my family but I'm excited to go back to my new family, all my friends at Coe.  I know there are a lot of exciting adventures waiting for me in Cedar Rapids and I can't wait to start them.  As of today, I've got three weeks left in Wisconsin.  Wow, summer has just FLOWN by.  


When I move back in I start doing college stuff right away.  I move in on a Friday and then that night there's a sophomore picnic.  Then, bright and early on Saturday morning I will be attending Coe's Sophomore Conference.  It's a way for sophomores like myself to move in a bit early and then attend three seminars to help us be fired up about our second year.  The seminars cover a ton of material from graduate school to study abroad to better studying for better grades.  I think it should be an informative and fun day.  After a day of seminar fun, we will be having dinner with President Phifer.  A fitting way to end the conference, don't you think?  Then Sunday is a free day and Monday the 29th classes begin.  

Well, must get back to making back to school lists and thinking about the various ways I can arrange my dorm room while still enjoying my time in Mt. Horeb.  Keeping busy as always! :)

Persepolis: FYS 2011 Common Reading

Every incoming class at Coe is assigned a common book for the summer.  The goal is to read the book, which will be used in some way in each First Year Seminar (FYS) class and it's a way for students to connect during Orientation Week.  It's one thing every incoming student has in common and I think it's more fun to talk about the book then ask the same standard questions (such as where are you from or what's your major?).  Not only is the book used for conversation starters, most FYS classes write papers relating to the book and finally, about halfway through the semester, a speaker related to the book comes in to speak to the entire incoming class.  For me and my peers, we read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.  My first paper for A Tempestuous Season was to compare Outliers to the Neoclassical Solution (which was a little more difficult than it might seem).  Our speaker was Marv Levy.

But back to the current incoming class.  They read the book Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.  It's a comic book memoir telling about Satrapi's life in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution.  I read it as well since I'm a Writing Fellow.  It was a quick read, not only because it was a comic book but because the story was interesting.  I know very little about the Islamic Revolution since it started before I was born and it wasn't a topic heavily discussed in my previous history classes.  Satrapi did a nice job of showing the innocence she had when she was younger and how slowly that veil was removed so she could really see what was happening in her country.

After reading the book, I checked out the movie Satrapi made to compare the two.  The movie very closely followed the book although the timeline was a bit different in each.  For me, the movie was a way to reinforce the major points of the book and remember sections I might have forgotten since the drawings were the same in both the book and the movie.

I'm excited to talk to other students who read this book and hear their opinions on it.  I'm also not sure who their speaker will be but that too should be interesting.  And I wonder how the Islamic Revolution and Nature of Science will tie together.  This Writing Fellow better be on her toes!

Image from Barnes and Noble's website.

8.04.2011

Greece, Smile for the Camera!: Max's Basketball Escapade IV

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As I woke up on my last day in Greece I was both sad and terribly excited at the same time. Even though I would never be back to Greece, at least not in the near future, I hadn’t been back to Colorado for more than five days at a time. Actually overall, both semesters combined, I spent a total of 11 days at home. I was ready to see my family and my mountains again.
            
But before I could see my family, I had to see Athens. Our first stop was the Parthenon, ancient and modern Greece’s crown jewel. Here is a fun fact about the Parthenon: it took a total of eight days to build the entire Parthenon. When we were standing there looking up in awe of the sheer size of this massive temple, a man walked up next to us and said that he had visited Greece when he graduated from college 60 years prior and since his first trip, the scaffolding that has been put up for the restoration team to use hasn’t moved an inch. In 60 years. So it took all of eight years to build, and in 60 the restoration team hadn’t made enough progress to move the scaffolding that covered one end of the structure. That speaks, I believe, not only to the level of caution the restoration team uses everyday, but it also speaks to the quality of the construction. Built in eight, survived for thousands of years, and restored literally inch by inch. That is something else.
            
Our final day in Greece was capped first by visiting the National Museum and second by playing our final game. The National Museum was pretty awesome. Not as spectacular as the museum in Delphi, but pretty spectacular nonetheless. I did see the other two famous bronze sculptures at this museum though: the sculpture of Zeus or Poseidon (they’re not sure who it is because the lighting bolt or trident is missing from the sculpture) and the famous Jockey Artémision.

The Jockey is the first sculpture traveling or foreign artists see when they’re in Greece. They choose to visit it first because it is the only sculpture from the ancient world where a horse is actually in motion. In all the other sculptures, worldwide, the horses are always standing. But in the Jockey, the horse is in a sprinting motion, with a young boy riding bareback. What makes this so attractive to artists is that, without the help of cameras, the Greek sculptures perfectly captured the image of a sprinting horse. From the flexing of the leg muscles, to the straining of the facial tendons, to the bulging veins around the eyes. The Greeks got it perfect. In fact, they got it so perfect that when a photograph was compared to that of the sculpture, the images were exactly the same. Now those were true artists!

Our final scheduled event was our final game. We played an American college in Greece. The team we played was a scrappy one, and the officiating was questionable, but we still played hard. Even though we lost, we could care less. We were ticked at the result but after five minutes we remembered where we were and who we were with and the anger and emotion went out the window. We spent our final night exploring downtown Athens and celebrating two of our teammates’ birthdays. Then it was all over.

Looking back now, almost two months after my return flight to Denver, I can’t help but think how lucky I was to have been a member of the 42 person party that traveled to Greece to explore and play basketball. I was truly blessed to have an experience like this during my entire college career, let alone my Freshman year. Thank you for reading my thoughts and following my stories. I know they can get random, but that’s just the way I am. I’m a random guy. Also a special thanks to Hailley for letting me write this piece for her blog. It means a lot!!!

Peace, love, and happiness,
Max Stanford
Coe College 2014


Want to see Max's whole video?  Check it out, without interruptions, here

Two New Campus Jobs This Fall

Good news! Not only will I be taking new and exciting classes, enjoying all the privileges of being a sophomore, and having an all around good time, I'll be working two new jobs this semester.


  1. I'll be working in the Admissions Department!  I was hired at the end of my Freshman year and starting this fall I'll be giving tours, escorting prospective students, answering questions, and helping Admissions wherever they need it.  Needless to say but I'm pumped for this new job.  When I was on my college search process I always thought being a tour guide would be fun; it was something I really hoped to do once I chose a college.  And now that is happening.  Once school starts I will be trained and then I'll be all set to go.  Make sure to check back later this year to hear all about my new job!
  2. I will still be in the Writing Center although my responsibilities will have changed a bit.  At Coe, every First Year Seminar class is paired with a Writing Fellow.  This Writing Center consultant is responsible for helping their FYS students navigate the college paper.  All incoming freshman know at least one Writing Center consultant so when they are having difficulties or just want to check in when working on a paper, there is a consultant ready for them.  I will be a Writing Fellow for the FYS entitled Nature of Science.  This summer I've been reading the Nature of Science textbooks so I'll be ready to help my FYSers.  Again, be on the lookout for Writing Fellow updates!    
Well I'm sure these two new jobs will keep me busy but that's fine by me!  I move back to Coe in less than a month!   WOW.

8.03.2011

Greece, Smile for the Camera!: Max's Basketball Escapade III

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When we awoke the next morning we were back in Athens. Our tour bus was waiting to take us four hours north of Athens to the ruins of Delphi. Delphi is home to one of the largest collections of ancient Greek artifacts and sculptures. This is because Delphi used to be the religious capital of the ancient Greek empire. The archeological site sits nestled against a mountain looking out over a sprawling landscape of mountain peaks and steep valleys.
            
Again, as we did in Santorini, we hiked up and down and all around the ruins of Delphi. We saw ancient temples, treasuries, theaters, tracks, and most importantly, the navel, or belly button, of Zeus. It was said that thousands of monks and religious figures made the pilgrimage to worship and touch the navel of Zeus, the most powerful God of all.  And so flash forward thousands of years and here I am, touching the most important, religiously speaking, piece of stone in ancient Greece. It was a pretty spectacular experience.
            
After we had hiked around for what seemed like forever in the hot and humid climate, we went inside to the site’s museum. The museum at Delphi was the greatest museum I have ever visited. And I have been to all the museums in Washington, I’ve walked the Freedom Trail in Boston, I’ve been to the Atomic Bomb memorial in Hiroshima, Japan and this museum blew those guys out of the water. The collection of marble statues, carvings, ceramic pots, bronze shields and helmets, jewelry, and weapons was unreal.
            
My favorite piece from the museum at Delphi also happens to be one of the three most important bronze sculptures in the world: The Charioteer. The Charioteer is world famous because of the condition it is in. I know I have included one, if not two or three, photos of this sculpture in my slideshow because it was so stunning to me. This sculpture survived thousands of years of baking sun, rain, snow, and wind and yet it stands as if it was sculpted yesterday. Although one hand as well as the chariot and horse are missing, the body of the Charioteer remained completely intact. From its flowing robe, to its eyelashes. That’s right, the sculpture had visible eyelashes. How cool is that? Eyelashes that had been carved and sculpted thousands of years ago still visible and intact today? I will never see anything like it the rest of my life.
            
The archeological site and museum at Delphi were spectacular. But we couldn’t stay there forever. The next day we had to travel almost seven hours on the bus. We were headed to the town of Kalamata. To get there we had to go back through Athens and head another couple of hours south through the mountains and olive fields. On our way, we stopped at Epidaurus, the most famous, yet unknown, amphitheater in the world.
            
The acoustics are so exact at Epidaurus that no matter which seat you choose out of the nearly 15,000 available, you will be able to hear the actors voices perfectly. Our tour guide actually demonstrated the acoustics for us on our visit. We all climbed to the highest seats possible all the way in the back row and listened as we heard her tear a piece of paper, drop coins, and whisper. It was absolutely incredible knowing that our modern movie theaters don’t even compare to the theater at Epidaurus.
           
Here is a fun activity for you to do now. It also gives you a chance to stretch your legs and your eyes. Get up and go find your bottle of olive oil. Chances are it says the olives are a product of Kalamata, Greece. If your bottle doesn’t say that, I’m sorry. You’re not tasting the world’s finest olives.
            
After a long day of traveling, we were ready to sleep. Our 7 AM wake up call was only a few hours away and we wanted to be awake and ready for our visit to Olympia, home of the original Olympic games and the oldest Olympic track in the world.
            
The Olympic track at Olympia is a giant stretch of dirt in the middle of an ancient city. It wouldn’t be different from any other track except for the fact that our modern Olympics blossomed and bloomed from its foundations. Track and Field, actually sports as we know them today can be traced back to the track at Olympia. As a college athlete, it was quite a spectacular and humbling experience. “Just think,” I thought to myself, “all those wind sprints you run at practice laid their roots here. Awesome!”
            
After pondering the very essence of sports at Olympia, it was time to bus ourselves back to Kalamata. We had a game to play. Our first of three. I won’t spend a whole lot of time talking about the games we played in Greece because it’s not very appealing to those of you who aren’t basketball players, but I’ll give you the highlights. Game one: Location: Kalamata, Greece. Opponent: Kalamata All Stars. Outcome: We beat ‘em. Last thoughts: It was so cool to play overseas!
            
The next day we woke up and were bussed back to Athens. Overall it was an uneventful bus ride. One stop for lunch and that was it. Not a whole lot to talk about. I listened to my entire 80 song playlist and that’s about it.
            
However, the entire day wasn’t completely boring. We played our second of three games in Greece. This time the opponent was a Greek professional team. That’s right, we played a bunch of paid professionals. Even though we lost, it was only by 15. And we played against professional athletes! It was pretty awesome to know that we could hang with a professional team.

After playing the professional team we were all pretty exhausted. We bussed back to the hotel and got some well-deserved shut-eye. I slept extremely well despite the fact that the next day would be our last in Greece. But we were going to tour the city of Athens on our last day so needless to say I was eager to get going the next morning.


Catch the final part of Max's adventure tomorrow!

Iowa's Private College Week Flashback Video

A homemade video for your viewing pleasure!

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A shout out thanks to my mom and sister for helping make this movie possible! :)

8.02.2011

Greece, Smile for the Camera!: Max's Basketball Escapade II


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We awoke the next morning, or at least I did, porting into Turkey. Specifically Kusadasi, which is actually mainland Turkey. My thoughts about Turkey are very short: tourist trap, annoying merchants with fake American goods, hot, hot heat, getting lost while trying to hike to the top of the city. Turkey was a very interesting experience and I think that I would’ve loved to visit Istanbul.  But Kusadasi just wasn’t my cup of tea, and I love good tea.
           
From Turkey we flew across the sea towards Patmos. We didn’t literally fly, we did about 10 knots or 20 miles per hour. I experienced one of my “cruise ship firsts” while in Patmos. Our cruise ship was far too large to port in the bay at Patmos so we had to anchor outside the seawall and shuttle ourselves on the emergency lifeboats into Patmos. Patmos, for those of you who aren’t familiar with Greece’s thousands of islands, is one the Greece’s smallest inhabited islands. And boy is it a gem. It is also the place where Saint John the Theologian wrote the Apocalypse. An observation about Patmos: my extremely religious and Catholic teammates knew who Saint John was. Everybody else, myself included, had no idea whatsoever. Anyways, Patmos will forever be the first place I ever swam in the Mediterranean Sea. The water was spectacularly clear and the perfect temperature. Not too hot and not too cold. At this point in my vacation I am thinking “I could do this for a living.”
            
My time at this oasis was brought to an end by the echoing of our cruise ship’s fog horn off the hills. “From one oasis to another,” I remember thinking to myself. Tomorrow we port in Crete and then we’re on to the crown jewel of the cruise: Santorini.
            
The following morning I watched the sunrise as we ported in Crete, Greece’s largest island. My time in Crete was wisely spent exploring Europe’s earliest civilization. The Minoan civilization’s crown jewel: the Palace of Knossos. This palace is most famous for the legend of the labyrinth. For those of you who want to learn more about this, look it up on Wikipedia. I, for one, am not the right person to be describing such a historically relevant myth.  I have to say that I had goose-bumps when I thought about the fact that I was walking on stone that was laid during the Bronze Period (3200-600 BCE).
            
After my brain had exploded and I had just began to piece it back together, we dropped anchor in Santorini. My brain exploded and melted all over again. Santorini is THE spot to visit in the Mediterranean. Nothing else even compares. Again, like we did in Patmos, we had to take little boats into the harbor. However, this time it wasn’t because the harbor was to shallow. It was because there wasn’t a harbor at all. The island of Santorini used to be one giant piece of land. But, a long time ago, don’t ask me specifically when, there was a volcanic eruption and part of the island sank into the sea. Now, in the year 2011, the capital city Fira sits atop a giant cliff looking out over the sunken volcanic caldera.
           
I took more pictures in Santorini than anywhere else in Greece. I legitimately took roughly 1,000 pictures over the course of our six hour stay. I was simply mesmerized.
            Because Fira, the capital city of Santorini, sits atop a cliff there are three ways to get there:
Option one: you can take the gondola which will get you to the top in under two minutes. Just pay the reasonable fee of four Euro each way. Here is the catch: everybody chooses this option. So your 2 minute ride can turn into a 20 minute wait in line plus a two minute ride. Now I’m no math major but I think that adds up to 22 minutes, not 2.
Option two: you can ride donkeys, yes donkeys, up the almost vertical trail that leads to the top. This will get you to the top in approximately 20 to 30 minutes. All you have to do is pay the reasonable fee of 3 Euro. Here is the catch: once you hop on your donkey, you’re at its mercy. It is going to do whatever it wishes and you can’t do a thing about it. And it gets better: it only understands Greek. So you can yell and curse all you want in English, Spanish, Portuguese, but the donkey will keep on doing what it was doing. Good luck with that one.
Option three: you can walk. You can walk for free up the nearly vertical, donkey crap covered, sweltering hot path and get there in about 20 minutes, 15 if you speed walk it. Do I really need to tell you which option we, broke college athletes, chose? 
           
Fifteen minutes later, three of my teammates and I stood atop the cliff looking out over the caldera, at our cruise ship anchored in the deep blue water, at the barren and desolate landscape of the lone island in the middle of the caldera covered in volcanic ash and soot. We had made it.
           
In all honesty it wasn’t that hard of a climb. Although it was an intense, almost 45 degree incline, it wasn’t too hard. What made the climb slightly difficult was the sun. We were on a cliff face with no trees to shade our bodies, unprotected against the beating sun. But when we reached the top and stared down at our accomplishment, it made all the sweat worth it. When were we ever going to be here again? Why wouldn’t we make the trek up a cliff face? We’re college students, we love taking risks!
            
For the next three or so hours my teammates and I walked all over Fira. We took countless photographs, shot hours of video, climbed a few walls, and stood on top of a couple rooftops. One time we were chased off a roof by a screaming, rather large Greek man but other than that encounter we pretty much did as we pleased. Santorini truly made the trip for a lot of my teammates.
            
By the time most of us had begun to lose the memory of how we got up to Fira, it was time to go back down. I have to say that nearly every single one of my teammates preferred the climb up over the scramble down. I chose the word scramble on purpose because it literally was a scramble back down the path. The terrain was so steep that most of us gave in and let gravity push us down. It was impossible to walk down without having gravity force you to jog for a few seconds.
            
We sailed away from Santorini with sore legs, but as we watched the sunset on the beautiful blue buildings, it was all worth it. We literally sailed into the sunset when we left Santorini. Most of us couldn’t believe that we still had five more days left in Greece. Our trip felt like it was over when in reality we were just beginning.

To be continued...