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11.28.2011

200th Post

What?  
200 posts? 
It seems like just yesterday, I was reaching 100.  Now I'm at 200.
HECK YES.
Thanks for reading this blog and I hope you continue to read about my adventures. 
Here's to 300!
As I did in my 100th post, I've included a picture to indicate level of excitement.  This is a throw back photo from last year.  I'm holding peppermint ice cream, only my favorite flavor of ice cream in the world.  I was pumped to have it then and I'm pumped to have 200 posts now! :)  (Oh, don't you like my long hair?  It's crazy to think last year it was that long!!)

11.27.2011

Back on Campus! Busy Week Ahead!

Well, as lovely as Thanksgiving Break was, it had to end.  I got back on campus this afternoon, unpacked, and am currently at the library, studying and preparing for the week.  We are in the final stretch of first semester -- two weeks of class left and then finals.  Gosh!  Where did the semester go?  This week is going to be busy for me; I'll be working on papers, projects, and other general homework.  And on Saturday is Budget and Finance Day.  It's going to be a long day since we are reviewing budgets for every club on campus.  So not only am I doing homework for this upcoming week, I will also be attempting to stay ahead of the eight ball since my entire Saturday will be spent in Stuart with club presidents and treasurers and their budgets.

Got to love the end of the semester!  

11.23.2011

Thanksgiving Break!

This post is from Wisconsin!  It's Thanksgiving Break and I'm home!  It's nice to come back and take a few days off.  Don't worry, I still have homework to keep me busy!  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy the time with family and friends!

- Hailley

11.20.2011

Scholars Program (aka the Honors Progam)


As promised, a recap on Coe's Scholar's Program.

Around campus, this program is referred to as the Honors Program but it's official title is the Scholar's Program.  Throughout your years at Coe, you take five honor classes and then you'll have an asterisk next to your name denoting honors at graduation.  These five classes cross all areas of study on campus and help satisfy your general education requirements.  To be accepted into the program, you would submit an application about halfway through your first semester on campus and 20-30 students (from your grade) are chosen.  A rough estimation is that a 28 ACT and being a part of the top 10% of your high school class will greatly increase your chances of making it into the program.  But that's just a guideline and not a strict requirement the committee follows.  Once a part of the program, you would sign up for Honors Composition in the spring of your freshman year.

I took Honors Composition last spring with Gordon Mennenga.  It was probably one of my two favorite classes at Coe (my other top favorite being my First Year Seminar class).  We met twice a week, there were 16 freshman in my class, and we read essays, short stories, articles, and we wrote, a lot.  This class was definitely a deciding factor in how I wanted to lay out my major and minors.  I not only wrote a lot of fantastic things, but I also gained a mentor in Gordon.  It was an outstanding class.

Once Honors Composition is taken, then you have six semesters to take four other honors classes.  These classes have broad subject headings but each semester, the topic of the class and the professor who teaches it changes.  For instance, this semester I'm taking the Style in the Arts Honors class and it's all about Barcelona.  The professor is actually a native from the area and it's fun to hear her talk about her home country.  She's actually headed back to Spain this weekend for a conference.  Next semester I've enrolled to take a class about Tibet taught by our new anthropology professor.

A neat thing about this program is that once you've taken Honors Composition, your class will consist of students sophomore through senior.  It's a nice way to meet other students.  You know these students have that extra level of dedication to school and it's a fun environment to learn in.

Making Your Door Your Own


Throughout the school year, your dorm room evolves from just some space with your stuff in it, to your own room.  Because it's your home, you start adding posters, pictures, notes, cards -- basically anything that gives your home personality.  In the residence halls, doors are also popular to decorate.  On Thursday night Heidi and I took a study break and added some more decorations to our door.  We already had the collages I made for us last year, a whiteboard for messages, and some origami stars (because I did a lot of origami this summer).  It was an adorable door but more could be done.  We ended up coloring Disney Princess pictures, adding a few quotes, making new name signs with where we lived and adding a larger 602 (our room number).  And boy, did they turn out great!  It was good roommate bonding time and a lovely study break!  





11.19.2011

Shakespearean Humor, Attempting to Ice Skate Backwards, and a Roaring Game of Monopoly

Needless to say from the title of this post, I had a great Friday night.

Ian and Satchel as Viola and Olivia, respectively.  Photo from Coe's website.
Yesterday was opening night of Twelfth Night.  As you can see from the picture of the left, guys played girls and girls played guys.  It was hilarious.  The cast did a fantastic job and I was laughing for most of the production.  Two of my good friends, Alison P. and Anna, were both in it, and both played guys.  Alison was Sir Toby, a jolly old drunk who loves meddling with other people while Anna played Sebastian, Viola's sister who ends up with Olivia.  If you're near Cedar Rapids the weekend after Thanksgiving, you should definitely come over to Dows Theatre and check out this production; you don't want to miss it!

The next part of my night consisted of going to the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena for free late night ice skating (sponsored by SAC).  If you don't already know this about me, I LOVE TO ICE SKATE.  I even brought my skates from home!  I was pumped and had been waiting for this event all week.  There were a fair amount of Coe students there and we had an awesome time.  I didn't even fall down!  We also got a small show from my friend Nicki, who has been ice skating since she was a little kid.  Nicki teaches ice skating so she spent some of her time trying to help us skate backwards and spin.  I made progress!

Unfortunately, ice skating had to end sometime, so my friends and I ended up grabbing my game of Monopoly (thank you Mom and Dad for the birthday gift, it's being put to good use!) and tried our luck at nabbing the four railroads and Boardwalk.  I didn't do too well, ended up in jail on my first trip around the board, but it was still fun.  Once we deemed the game over, it was almost 2 AM so we all decided sleep was probably a good idea.

Probably one of my favorite Friday nights here at Coe.  :)        

11.14.2011

Putting Together the Coe Review

Last night I spent a few hours in Hickok helping put the Coe Review together.  We read all our poetry submissions, picked out the very best, and assembled the order last night.  The cover has been completed and just this morning, all the poems were scanned into Adobe Design.  That means our issue is that much closer to publication!  Now begins the process of sending it to the printer, receiving a proof back, editing it for any mistakes, returning it to the printer and having around 300 copies published.  There will be a release party in December to celebrate the issue and any Coe students featured in the publication will have the opportunity to read their poems!  This is always a neat part of putting together the Coe Review -- suddenly all these poems come together in a blink of an eye, we have a publication.  It's exciting and rewarding. 

Fall Band Concert

After a successful campus visit day, I also had a band concert to play in.  It was our annual Fall Concert which we split with the Jazz Band.

This semester Dr. Carson, who usually directs the Concert Band, is on sabbatical.  His substitute is Earl Dickinson, a former, but now retired, Coe professor.  Mr. Dickinson picked out some really interesting and complicated pieces of music that we played on Saturday night.  We played five songs, and our lips were definitely sore by the last song.  I even had a small eight measure solo in one of the pieces.  The solo went well and then I got to stand up as a soloist at the conclusion of the piece.  I was quite proud of my overall performance and the performance by the entire Concert Band.

There was a short intermission after we played so the Jazz Band could be set up.  The Jazz Band also played five songs and I was thoroughly impressed by the solos from multiple members of the ensemble.  I love listening to jazz music, so it was lovely way to end the concert.

Since we did such a nice job on Saturday, I don't have band rehearsal today; the extra hour and a half will be greatly appreciated.  Starting on Wednesday, the students in the conducting class will be coming in to work on their conducting skills.  This is a pretty low key rehearsal and we try to help out our peers as much as we can.      


Campus Visit Day

This past Saturday, we had over 200 people visit Coe's campus for our November Visit Day.  I started my morning off early (I had to be ready to go at the library by 8 AM).  After a quick pep talk, I headed up to the Perrine Gallery to man the College Scholar's Program Table (this is Coe's Honors Program).  David Nordmann, the director of the Scholar's Program, was also there and we spent an hour talking to prospective students about the program.  I will do a post all about the Scholar's Program in the upcoming week.

After chatting, we had another pep talk while the families were in Cherry Auditorium listening to a student panel.  Then it was time for tours.  I showed four students and their families Coe's campus and told them all about the neat things they can do here.  The tour went well and I hope the families had an enjoyable time.

Once the tour was over, I helped out Natalie and Josh (two Admission counselors) with an informational session.  I got to talk about my Coe experience and some of my favorite parts of Coe.  That was fun and I was glad I was able to share my love of Coe with even more prospective students. 

To any prospective students who attended Campus Visit Day -- I hope you had a wonderful time.  And I hope to see you back on campus soon!  If you have any questions, feel free to post comments here and I'll answer them for you.

11.13.2011

An Eventful Friday Night with Music and Fun!

Boy, was my Friday night busy!  It started off with Tonic Sol Fa, an acapella music group.  It was part of the Marquis Series and they sang to a pretty full Sinclair Auditorium.  It was a nice mixture of cover songs and original songs; you should definitely check them out if you haven't already!

After their performance, it was back to Murray for a game night.  Heidi and I invited some friends over and we ended up playing Catch Phrase for a while.  It got pretty intense at times and in the end, under pressure, we said some silly things.  But that's okay, it was a lot of fun!  It was nice to hang out with my friends since I've been so busy I haven't seen them as frequently as I would like to.

To end the night, we all piled into cars and went bowling!  SAC was sponsoring free midnight bowling and who wouldn't take them up on their offer?  Somehow, the bowling gods were smiling upon me and in my first game, I bowled a 145!  WOAH.  I think that's a new personal best.  The second game didn't go nearly as well, but I did manage to crack 100 (that counts for something, right?).     

11.12.2011

Recital Hour

On Thursday, I attended my first ever Recital Hour.  This hour is for music majors and throughout the semester, they have to perform at least once.  The piece they play is something different than the piece they play for their jury.  It's sort of a big deal. 

My friend and fellow clarinet player, Elise, was performing on Thursday so I made sure to be in Marquis to hear her play.  She did a FANTASTIC job and she's really my peer role model; I hope to play the clarinet as well as her someday.  Also, unknown to me, some of my other friends were performing as well so it was nice to be able to hear them.  


11.11.2011

Reaffirming My English Major


Yesterday I had a usual busy Thursday: class, Admissions, and various club meetings in the afternoon.  After having lunch with a lovely family and giving a tour to fantastic prospective student and his mom, I ended up in Hickok to meet with Melissa, my History of English Literature professor.  

I was meeting with her because our class had received our first papers back.  If we weren't totally satisfied with our grade, we had the option of revising it.  I was interested in revising my paper but I had run into a little problem. 

It’s actually a good problem.  I had met with Melissa last week to discuss my revision.  Oh, but first, some background: my paper was on a sonnet in the Astrophil and Stella sonnet sequence by Sir Philip Sidney.  To make a stronger paper, Melissa suggested that I do another close reading of my sonnet and see if I could find anything new in a second reading. 

So that’s what I did last weekend.  I sat down with a fresh copy of the sonnet, pen in hand, and marked the paper up.  Big time.  I looked up any words I didn’t know, especially ones that have different definitions during the Renaissance than they do now.  And suddenly, the sonnet took on a whole new meaning.  I basically completely changed my mind on what the poem was saying.  The close reading was incredibly rewarding even though it was a slow process.  But then the sonnet made so much more sense.  

That’s great that I got this whole new and better meaning right?  Yes, but that also meant my original thesis was wrong.  So, in order to revise my paper, I would have to completely redo my thesis and eliminate large sections of my paper.  To some, that might be discouraging, but for a writer like me, the challenge excited me.

Anyways, back to yesterday.  I wanted to talk to Melissa about my revelation and get her opinions on it.  We met and she was extremely impressed that I had taken the time to do such a close reading.  She said it’s a well used skill especially in the next class in the sequence for an English major: Literary Analysis.  I’m taking that class in the spring with Melissa (I’m PUMPED).  I was pleased to hear her comments because I’m trying to create a strong base so I’m prepared for whatever is thrown at me during Literary Analysis.  

Melissa and I talked about the various ways I can go about this revision.  I spent a majority of my homework time tonight revising and I plan on looking at the paper with a fresh eye tomorrow.  The revision is due Tuesday, so I have ample time to make a solid and stronger revision.  

Leaving my meeting with Melissa, I was energized.  I love close readings.  I love picking apart literature and pulling a meaning out of it.  And knowing that I will be able to do more of this close examination and discoveries thrills me.  This paper confirmed my desire to earn an English major.  I’m suppose to be doing this.  

11.08.2011

Just Plugging Along

Readers, I feel so boring right now.  Usually I have lots of exciting things to talk about.  But right now, I'm in a groove.  The semester has finally evened out and I'm staying on top of homework, readings, papers, and other things.  I'm actively involved in multiple groups on campus and they are going swimmingly.  Things gear up in the second half of the week.  Here are some big events I have to look forward to:

  • My friend Elise, a clarinet player, is performing in Recital Hour on Thursday.  Recital Hour is required for music majors and everyone has to have at least one performance a semester.  This is a big deal because each studio (the professor teaching lessons) wants to show off their students and all their talent.  It's also a way to show your fellow peers your skills.  I couldn't go to any Recital Hours last year because I always had schedule conflicts.  This year, I'm free so I'll be there to support Elise!
  • Tonic Sol Fa is coming on Friday night.  It should be a good performance.
  • There's another Campus Visit Day on Saturday.  I'll mingle with families and lead a tour.  
  • The final football game is also on Saturday versus Cornell College.  
  • I'll be playing in the fall band concert on Saturday night.  The Concert Band plays along with the Jazz Band.  I'm really excited for the music Concert Band is playing; I've spent several hours working on my part and I'm proud of my progress.  
So, there's stuff going on, just not right now.  Since the semester is finally settling down, I'm going to try to interview some of my friends to see other aspects of Coe.


11.05.2011

My First Blindspot Performance!

So I did it!  I performed at Blindspot.  I was a little nervous, not going to lie.  But I was performing with Alison (it was also her first Blindspot performance) so I knew we would be awesome.

We were the eighth act of the night.  Our act was simple: a five minute retelling of Beowulf.  A little back story on this selection.  Alison and I are both taking History of English Literature this semester.  I'm taking it as part of my English major and Alison is just taking it because the class sounded interesting.  Melissa Sodeman is our professor and she is FANTASTIC.  We have great discussions and I look at Renaissance poetry and sonnet sequences in a whole new way.  And I'm totally fine with that.  But back to the story.  The first thing we read out of our giant (and I mean GIANT) textbook was Beowulf.  I had read Beowulf this summer and reading it a second time was even better.  Alison and I kind of attached ourselves to this epic poem.  We loved it so much that we thought, "What a fun act in Blindspot!"  And boy, did we have a good time with it.  My friend Anna taped it so enjoy the clip!  Alison and I definitely plan to make another appearance on Blindspot, hopefully with some sonnets in hand.

I was so so so glad I performed tonight.  I love telling stories.  I love sweeping hand gestures, dramatic pauses, funny faces, and oh so much sarcasm.  And I love telling those "classic" stories but with a modern twist.  What a great Friday night.


11.04.2011

Busy Weekend Ahead!

Well, somehow it's Friday again.  My week has FLOWN by.  This weekend is going to be busy for several reasons.  The first and foremost reason is that it's Family Weekend here at Coe.  So there will be lots of parents on campus catching up with their kids and doing family things together.  I myself won't be on campus this weekend but instead be traveling back to Wisconsin to see my family.  My brother, Aaron, and my sister, Hannah, are both in Mt. Horeb High School's production of Seussical this weekend.  Instead of being on campus familyless, I'll be with my family off campus.  But I will be here tonight and it's going to be a fun one.

- We've got a Mind Reader coming to the PUB.
- There's a Blindspot (and I'm performing with Alison P!)
- There's a Midnight movie.
- Play in a Day begins (sponsored by Offstage Players.  A writer writes a play, someone directs it, and there are actors acting.  Performances happen tomorrow night).

Busy right?  Hopefully I'll have someone capture my first Blindspot experience on tape and I'll post it here! :)


11.02.2011

Another Busy Week

Hey there readers!

Well, this week is a pretty normal week.  Class, homework, and various meetings at night for clubs and classes.  My planner is filling up!  The exciting thing I've done this week is talk to my advisor, Gina Hausknecht, about my schedule for next semester.  I'm not entirely set on the classes I'll be taking but Gina and I plotted out potentials and then looked ahead to the other semesters I'll be on campus.  It was a great advising meeting and it was nice catching up with Gina since I don't have a class with her this semester.

But yeah, sorry I don't have something super exciting to share with you.  It's Family Weekend starting Friday so I'll have some updates about that later in the week.

Happy Wednesday! :)