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#weeklywednesdaywisdom: Writing Exercise

Happy Wednesday!

I don't know if you guys can tell, but I love writing #weeklywednesdaywisdom. Maybe it's from working in Admissions for two weeks now or helping Professor Eichhorn get the FYS program ready. I'm excited to meet you all in the fall and I'm also excited that I get to write this weekly post to help you guys get ready for all the fun you'll have on campus.

But enough about me, time to focus on you. That's the point of this feature, is it not? Today's topic: the writing exercise. I'm sure some of you have already completed it, and if you have, good work! Way to get an early start. For those of you who have not, never fear, there are still two more sessions this summer; one in July (16-19) and in August (3-6).

Since I did my writing exercise on campus, handwritten, during Orientation Week, I hopped onto Moodle to check out what your format is. It looks like it's the same thing I did when I was a freshman, but online and you are able to type it up and think about it. Lucky you! Here are my pointers for those who have not taken the online writing exercise.

Read the guidelines ahead of time: On the bottom of the Moodle page is a link to a page of guidelines. READ THEM. Doesn't seem that hard but people sometimes skip over that step. Make sure you understand how you need to submit your document and what the committee is looking for.

Utilize as many days as you can: What's nice about this assignment is that you have several days to complete this assignment. For me, some of my best writing is done when I write the paper the first day and then come back the next day or even the day after that and review what I've written. Just an eight to ten hour span between writing the section and then rereading it gives your brain enough time to refresh itself and give you a new (and better) perspective on what you've written. Or, don't even write anything on the first day; use that first day to read the prompts and start to think about how you're going to tackle them.

Reread what you've written before you submit it: This might seem self-explanatory, but after working with first-years last year as a Writing Fellow, revision isn't always covered in high school curriculum. I am a firm believer in revision; yes, your first draft is good but it's simply that, a draft. A reread and revision allows you to better define what you're trying to say and clear up anything that isn't as polished the first time around. REVISION IS OKAY. Throughout your years at Coe, revision is going to be a big deal. Many professors let you write a paper and then give you the opportunity to revise it and submit it again for a better grade. Might as well get into the practice of revision before you even step foot on campus.

Don't stress out about the writing exercise: If I were to guess, some of you are freaking out about the writing exercise. Yes, this is important, an exercise you should take seriously, but at the same time, a freakout is not necessary. If you are freaking out, take a deep breath. Everything will be okay. Do your best, because that's all we are asking for.

And, if you have more questions or concerns, Heidi Heaton ( is just the person to ask. She's actually my roommate (been my roommate for the past two years) and is an all around wonderful person. Heidi is the student overseeing the three writing exercises so she has the low-down if anyone has any concerns or problems.

Best of luck on the writing exercise. I hope you're all having a good summer and if you have any questions, let me know! :)



Another (warm) week at Coe!

Here's another update. Week two has gone by and it has been a busy one! The beginning of the week was quite toasty and really humid. Thankfully, it rained Wednesday and it cooled down.

Tours are starting to pick up; I gave five this week to fantastic prospective students. I love meeting these students and their families and showing them how much I love Coe and how Coe might be the right fit for them. My favorite part of a tour is when I really figure out what they are passionate about. Once I know that, I can cater my tour to show them exactly what they want to see. For instance, I showed one girl the art studios on the second floor of Dows, another, the indoor and outdoor track, and a third, the swimming pool. It makes the tour more fun and allows for both myself and the family to share stories.

Summer living has fallen into a routine; I go to work at eight, work until four-thirty and then either go swimming or work out at Clark, return to Brandt for dinner, and then either work on projects for Professor Eichhorn or do some reading and writing.

More updates to come!


#weeklywednesdaywisdom: A Primate's Memoir

First years!

Welcome to your second installment of #weeklywednesdaywisdom. Glad you're reading this. Today's topic: A Primate's Memoir. Or as I heard some of you call it, "the baboon book." Yes, that lovely book we mailed to you at the beginning of June. For those of you who might be a little out of the loop, every year Coe picks a summer reading for the incoming first-years. They read the book over the summer and participate in a discussion during orientation week. FYS professors have the option of integrating the book into their course material or just leaving it at the book discussion. Along with reading the book, Coe tries to bring either the author or someone related to the theme of the book to campus in September to talk to the first-years. This year we are lucky enough to have the author of A Primate's Memoir, Robert Sapolsky come to campus. Sapolsky is a professor at Stanford and has spent over 30 years in Africa studying baboons and stress. I think he will be a fascinating visitor.

I remember receiving my common reading, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. As an avid reader, I was really excited, so excited I read the book within the first seven days of receiving my copy. But I understand that this book might not be what you were looking forward to during your summer.

Never fear, A Primate's Memoir is really good. I actually was part of the committee to chose the book and I wouldn't have chosen it if I didn't think it was worth your time. One of the things that drew the committee to the book was Robert Sapolsky's voice. He's funny. If you don't laugh out loud at some point, then you're not reading the book. Because it's amusing. Sapolsky goes through his adventures in Kenya, researching baboons and adventuring through Kenya, Sudan, Uganda, and Rwanda. You learn a lot -- about baboons, about Africa, and about how Sapolsky really grew up by living in the bush.

So this is my advice: READ IT. Even if it's a chapter at a time. Sit down, twenty minutes. Read a little. Come back the next day. Or the day after that. If you start now, you'll have plenty of time to finish it before the end of August rolls around. And, I'm pretty sure that a lovely reading guide on the book will appear within the next week or so. Remember, a reading guide doesn't mean you can skimp out on reading the actual book, it just means that there is something to help you through the book. Use it if it's useful.

Venture out into Kenya and see what you can find. I can't wait to hear what you guys think of it.



First week recap, Farmers' Market, and catching up!

I've successfully gotten one full week of working under my belt. It feels nice to have a routine started; it wasn't too hard to get back into the swing of things in Admissions and I'm so glad to be working there. I gave a tour on Monday and did a fair amount of data entry and spreadsheet creation the rest of the week. Tours pick up next week; I think I have four lined up already. Along with a work routine, I've hit the pool a few more times, have fully settled into my room (it's clean and organized!), and have gotten the hang of apartment living (and cooking!).

Today, Whitney and I woke up extra early to hit up the Farmers' Market in downtown Cedar Rapids. With over 200 stalls, there were many, many options. I purchased some fresh strawberries (they are in season) along with some lefse. We were there at the perfect time: not too busy and before everyone came downtown to check out the fresh produce and other goodies. Whitney had our picture taken at the booth advertising the big bike race going through Cedar Rapids in late July. The race is called the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI). It's seven days and a huge summer event. It will also be a big deal this year because this is RAGBRAI's 40th year!

We came back, Whitney headed off for work and I spent a few hours soaking in the sun, wearing sunscreen of course! Nice to just read a book and relax! Heidi came over around noon and we FINALLY caught up.

Last semester was pretty busy for both Heidi and I. We were running around all the time and usually only saw each other in the morning getting ready or going to bed at night. Which is sort of weird since we are roommates. I was then gone for the month of May, she was on campus, then I came back and she started Upward Bound. Basically from Sunday night until Friday afternoon, her schedule is jam-packed, escorting the kids to various activities or teaching French to some students, or being a dorm monitor. The program runs into the middle of July so she is going to be busy for a while! But luckily, our schedules worked out and we had some time to hang out today. We ate lunch in my apartment and just talked for several hours. So glad that happened, I missed Heidi. The rest of my weekend looks pretty relaxed. Have some work to get done tonight and tomorrow I'll probably try to go swimming again. So overall, a good, solid first week back on campus.


#weeklywednesdaywisdom: Hello!

Dear Freshman,

Hi! If you haven't read my blog before, my name is Hailley and I'll be a junior this year. I'm an English major with minors in French and Writing hailing from Mt. Horeb, WI. On campus, I work as a consultant in the Writing Center, a tour guide for Admissions, play the clarinet in the band and take private lessons with Dr. Carson, am the managing editor of the Coe Review, the Treasurer for Student Senate, a member of Alpha Nu Literary Society and Off Stage Players, and of course, go to class and do my homework! I came to Coe for a variety of reasons such as the community atmosphere and the English department opportunities (the literary publications and experiences such as New York Term).

This summer has been quite busy so far. I spent 26 days in England on one of Coe's May Terms. If you go through any of my May posts, you can read about all the adventures I had. Now I'm back on campus working in Admissions and helping Professor Eichhorn get the First Year Seminar program ready for when you arrive on campus in August.

Which brings me to the point of these weekly features: to get you ready and excited for orientation and Coe in general. Although two years have flown by, I can still vividly remember my orientation week. I moved into Murray Hall on a Sunday, participated in a Writing Center orientation, and then met the rest of my incoming class on a Tuesday in late August. I was in an FYS class entitled: A Tempestuous Season, taught by Professor Eichhorn. The class was all about the 2008 financial recession and although way outside my humanities major, it was one of the best classes I've had on campus thus far. During orientation week, I went late night ice skating, made a bunch of new friends, played racquet ball in the Clark Racquet Center, and fell asleep instantly every night because I was so tired. For me, orientation week was the perfect transition from summer into college life.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. It's only June and having recently graduated from high school, I'm sure you are ready to enjoy your summer. Enjoy it. But I'll be here, posting every Wednesday with information that you might find helpful as you get ready to come to campus. Don't be afraid to comment on my posts and ask questions; I'd love to answer them. Throw whatever you are wondering at me, I'm ready! If you don't feel comfortable publicly posting your question, I'll also be accepting questions at my email: So ask away!

As you probably know, the theme of this year's orientation is Twitter. I myself was pretty skeptical about Twitter at first but I got my own account this past year to follow Student Senate. And then I really got into it, especially the hashtags. So although this would be SO many tweets, I'll end with some classic hashtags.

I'm so glad you chose Coe and I'm excited for your journey to begin in August.



What's on tap for this summer!

I had my second successful day of work today.  It's great to be getting back into the swing of things; I even got to give a tour to a great group of kids on Monday.  I love apartment living and summer life at Coe (yes, I know I've only had a few days but they have been fantastic so far).  Just wanted to give you a heads up on what I'll be blogging about.

First, my regular blogging will still occur.  I'll write about things I'm doing in Admissions and for the FYS program as well as the various adventures I will have.  You'll be able to see what a Coe student does when they are on campus during the summer.  I'll try to post at least once a week with an update, and hopefully more when I do something extra special.

Second, starting tomorrow I'll be beginning a weekly feature for incoming freshman Kohawks.  Since this year's theme is Twitter based, the feature is aptly named #weeklywednesdaywisdom (coined by Anna Barton).  Expect a post every Wednesday about anything related to orientation, FYS, roommates, summer reading, packing, and more.  Hashtags will of course be included.  Oh, and if you're a freshman, keep up to date with orientation news and trivia by following Coe Orientation on Twitter.

Enjoy! :)


All Settled and Ready to Go!

On Saturday my dad and I made the two and a half hour journey back to campus.  It was time to move me from Murray Hall to my summer housing, an apartment in Brandt House.  We also had my dad's college friend, Eileen, come and help us.  She lives in Iowa City and it was great to see her!

It wasn't too bad packing up my room in Murray; luckily, I had done some packing before I left for England.  We loaded up my dad's truck and then drove around to Brandt.  We checked out my room and decided we wanted to rearrange the furniture to give me some more space.  Once the furniture was moved, we could start unpacking things.  Currently, I'm almost all unpacked.  It takes a lot of time!

Getting situated in Brandt was an all day job.  Once I checked out of Murray and got my new key, we had to run a few errands to pick up some essentials.  But when my dad left later that night, I was all set to go.  I really like the set-up of my room and I've spent part of today hanging up stuff so my room has a very homey feel to it.  Just the way I like it.

And then today was my one day to start catching up with friends staying on campus this summer and get ready for my two jobs to start tomorrow!  I also took in some of the nice weather; part of the Trailblazing Trio reunited (Mike and I) for a bike ride/roller blading excursion around Cedar Lake.  I also FINALLY did some swimming in the pool.  I don't know why it took me so long.

After an eventful, yet relaxing day, I'm ready to go to bed.  I start in Admissions bright and early tomorrow and will meet with Professor Eichhorn to talk about what projects I need to start (or continue on).  I can't wait; it's time for this summer to really begin!


Back Safe and Sound

I have returned to the United States!  Our flight got back to Chicago around 3:30 PM yesterday and then we arrived in Cedar Rapids around 7 PM.  My friend Whitney picked me up and I spent the rest of the night catching up with her and Heidi.  It was nice.  Surprisingly, jet lag has not kicked in (although I'm sure it will soon) so I got up early to start some laundry and packing to go home.  My recently high school graduate brother and cousin will be picking me up today.  I'll spend a few days in Mt. Horeb and then come back to campus to start my summer employment!


Back in London

Hello friends,

I made it back to London safe and sound. The eight hour bus ride was a real treat, got a little delayed due to the fact that it is a holiday weekend. Yesterday marked the start of the celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, sixty years on the throne. Not only were the roads full, but the Tube too once we made it to London.

But never fear, our group luckily stayed calm and made our way to familiar Earls Court. Arriving at our hotel (different than the one we stayed in the first time), Courtney and I took off for some last minute items. A quite successful trip. We nabbed dinner along the way at a popular chain called Costa and then headed back to the hotel.

A celebration for the Queen was going on at the park across the street from our hotel, complete with jazz music. It was no surprise to find Mike sitting out the hotel, tea in hand, enjoying his final night in London. Courtney and I returned, repacked our suitcases and showered. While waiting for Katie, our third roommate, to return from exploring London with Colin, we watched Notting Hill on the TV. For both of us, it was weird to have time to just watch TV! The movie was pretty good and I think I'll have to watch all of it when I get back. Katie returned and we all went to bed.

Now, it's about 6:15 AM here and I'm up and almost packed. The group will grab breakfast and then take off for the airport at 8 AM. A one thousand boat parade will be happening on the River Thames today, another event to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. Apparently, it's the biggest event the Thames has seen in CENTURIES. Hopefully that means that everyone will be watching it and not be in the airport.


One more thing...FINAL PORTFOLIO

In my dash to clean and pack, I forgot to talk about the most important thing I did yesterday; finish my final portfolio. Mine ended up being 21 pages long, complete with a preface, excerpts from my journal, and a segmented essay. This blog was also one of the projects I worked on for this trip, but it only appeared as a link in my portfolio. Overall, I am impressed and pleased with how everything turned out, especially the segmented essay. I will have to post some of it in the near future.

Well, it's almost time to leave the cottage so I better finish all the wonderful last minute packing!!


Just me and Loughrigg

Well, I can't believe I'm saying this but today was our last day in Grasmere. Two weeks have flown by and tomorrow we ship out early for London. We leave England Sunday afternoon and I'll be back in Cedar Rapids Sunday night.


So in honor of today being the last day, I climbed up Loughrigg Fell one final time. It was by far my favorite and since it's literally in my backyard, it seemed appropriate to hike again. I woke up extra early and made my way up.

The marker that means you've reached the top!

I attempted a full, 360 degree panorama, but not entirely sure if it turned out super well.

After writing for a bit, I headed into town, picked up a few final things and made my way back to Dale End. The house is in full cleaning mode to be ready to leave at 7 AM tomorrow.

Speaking of which, I should go do. I don't know how internet access will work the next couple of days, so I'll post once I've made it back to the States. Needless to say, this has been a fantastic trip; I've learned a lot and have gotten to know a lot of great people.