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I'm a YouTube Star!

Sort of.
A couple of weeks ago I was asked to be interviewed for Coe's YouTube channel. I said yes because why wouldn't I want to talk about Coe? In a very typical movie-making fashion, the ten minute interview turned into a minute long clip talking about the Writing Center and Coe's Writing Across the Cirrculum. I've included the video below! Make sure to head to Coe's channel and watch other Coe students who are just as excited to be here as me!


Olympics, Schlarbaum, and Week Seven

The weather in Cedar Rapids cooled down a bit for week seven of my summer on campus. Gave several tours (I think I'm up to 42 students for the entire summer) and continued to get ready for Iowa's Private College Week. The next five days should be chock full of IPCW preparation, let's hope Matt and I are ready for it.

Our RAGBRAI guests were here Thursday night and Friday was the opening ceremony for the Olympics. I of course was glued to my TV and have left the games on all weekend while I catch up on various summer projects I've started.

Along with cheering on the swimmers, the gymnasts, and volleyball players, I've also been packing. I'm not going back to Wisconsin, I'm actually moving from Brandt to Schlarbaum (another apartment building on campus) on Wednesday. If you can believe it, the football team starts camp on the 11th. Since students will be returning to campus for the fall, all the summer residents have to move to their fall housing over the next two weeks. Our official move day is Wednesday, although one of my roommates, Alison, will be gone on Wednesday. Therefore, she got one of the keys this weekend and moved all her things into our new apartment. I've brought a few items over to my new room but will do the majority of the moving on Wednesday after work. Heidi will also join us in Schlarbaum, so it will be nice to have her back.

Happy Olympic watching and I'll post again soon!


Successful RAGBRAI

This past week, over 10,000 bike riders participated in the Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI). Around 468 miles, this week long event takes bikers from the west side of Iowa to the Mississippi River on the eastern side of the state. The event this year was extra special for two reasons; first, this is the 40th RAGBRAI and second, this the first time the race has gone through Cedar Rapids since the 2008 flood. Cedar Rapids really pulled out the red carpet for the bikers, throwing a party on Thursday night with musical guests, Counting Crows.

Coe put together a team for the eighth year cleverly named CoeBrai. Campus was a buzz on Thursday as departments either left early to help volunteer or to cheer on their fellow co-workers and Coe friends. I stayed in Admissions, giving tours and enjoying the cooler weather.

After work and a dip in the pool, I returned to my apartment only to be greeted by three house guests, RAGBRAI riders. Whitney had volunteered for the event and opened up our apartment (and comfy futons) to three riders. Our three riders were:

  • John: A professional advertising photographer from Rochester, NY. This is his 18th year participating in the ride.
  • Tim: An IT Manager at Thermo Fisher Scientific in Rochester, NY participating in RAGBRAI for the first time.
  • Karen: A chiropractor from St. Louis completing her 13th RAGBRAI.
The three of them really wanted to get to know the ladies of Brandt 10. They took us out to dinner to thank us for letting them stay the night and we had a lively discussion about ourselves, their life stories, and everything in between. It was great to spend time with my roommates and meet three fantastic people with so many interesting things to share. We enjoyed Mexican food at Hacienda and topped the meal off with ice cream from Parlor City.

Once we got back to campus, we walked downtown just to check out the various festivities. We ended up being a little late, most people were heading out, but it was nice to take a walk and continue talking to John, Tim, and Karen.

When I woke up on Friday morning, our new RAGBRAI friends had already left to pick up their bikes and continue their ride. It was great to meet them and I'm glad I had the opportunity to be a part of the 40th RAGBRAI.


#weeklywednesdaywisdom: First Year Seminar and CAP leader

Why hello first-years! I'm back to pass down some wisdom. You ready?

In my personal opinion, Coe does fantastic things for our first-years to help make the transition from high school to college as smooth as possible. When people ask me on my tours how high school is different from college, I tell them I can't really compare the two, it's not an apples to apples situation. And at Coe, we understand the transition might not be easy, so we have created programs and resources to make your first semester a memorable one. The two key foundations to your First-Year Experience are without a doubt, your College Adjustment Peer (CAP) and your First Year Seminar (FYS).

When you first get to campus, you'll move in and before you can ring the Victory Bell, you'll meet with your CAP leader and the other students in your FYS. Your CAP leader is an upperclassmen who is your buddy and guide through the first semester. You'll be spending a lot of time with them during Orientation week. They are your go-to person if you have any questions or concerns. During the semester, they will be coordinating CAP events such as seeing the theater production or having a pizza party after your first FYS exam or something like that.

By the looks of the Facebook page, it seems you have discovered your First Year Seminar class is up. And you're wondering what the heck did I get assigned to? Except for two classes, Nature of Science, and Music, Theater and Film from the Harlem Renissance, your class will be about 16-17 students. The two expections are because two faculty members are teaching the class so there will be about 30 students in your class. This will be probably the first group of people you really meet on campus. The topic of the class is a subject the professor(s) is/are really passionate about. I loved my FYS class; it was called a Tempestuous Season taught by Rick Eichhorn (Econ department). It was all about the 2008 finanical crisis. Not only did I learn a lot, I was also finally able to talk shop with my dad (who works in the financial sector) when I went home for breaks. So get ready for an awesome class. Even if the class wasn't your top top choice (believe me, economics was not my first pick) the class ended up being one of the best classes I've taken at Coe and this summer I'm working for Eichhorn. Nice how things work out? Also, by taking an economic class, I was taking advantage of my liberal arts education from day one.

Your FYS class will meet four times a week, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for an hour. You guys will do a variety of things, some stuff in the classroom and some stuff outside the classroom. You might take some field trips to the library, Career Services, or Academic Achievement Program office. You'll also write some papers, three of which will end up in your portfolio that you'll turn in around Thanksgiving. Your FYS is the class that prepares you for the other three classes you will be taking and also helps you familarize yourself with the academic side of Coe.

Keep your eyes out for letters from both your CAP leader and FYS professor in the next couple of weeks. They are excited to meet you and we're excited August is almost here!



Another week of summer completed

Week six.
You went by fast.

If I thought the last couple of weeks were busy with prospective students, week six brought even more smiling faces into the Nassif House! It was an especially crazy week since I jetted home to Mt. Horeb for about one day. My parents were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary and I just had to be home for that! I gave a tour Wednesday morning, met my great aunt and uncle coming from Kansas, and was back in Mt. Horeb by three. I had the pleasure of being driven back to Cedar Rapids by my brother, sister, and cousin on Thursday morning. Arrived in Cedar Rapids around 12:30 PM, ate lunch at Panchero's and showed off my apartment. Then it was back to Admissions and I even ended my day with at 3:00 PM tour!

So another week gone and we're one week closer to starting classes again. Woah. I did find out this week I'll be moving from Brandt to my fall housing in Schlarbaum on August 1st. I'll keep two of my current roommates, Whitney and Alison, while Kristine, our fourth roommate will head home (aka Cedar Rapids) and start preparing for her Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) Program at the Newberry Library for the fall semester. She's pumped.

Nothing major planned for this weekend. I've got a little work to do for Admissions and I'm also starting to seriously look at New York Term applications. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but this spring I'm hoping to go to NYC on Coe's New York Term. I've wanted to go since I first toured Coe and heard about it. I'm hoping to have an internship at the New York Public Library, a literary magazine, or a publishing house. Wish me luck!


#weeklywednesdaywisdom: Alcohol Edu

Good morning!

So how is your July going? Summer still treating you well?

I'm back for another week of wisdom. On top of reading a book, completing a writing exercise, chatting with your roommate(s), and starting to buy dorm items, you will also have to complete Alcohol Edu. I know it might seem like you guys have to do a lot of stuff but it's all prep work for the fun you'll have once you're on campus. And believe me, you want to do this all now, when you actually have some time. Nothing stinks more than wanting to hang out with your friends during Orientation Week but having instead to be in a computer lab, finishing your Alcohol Edu. You'll be getting a letter in the next few weeks with login information and more details.

Some of you might not have heard of Alcohol Edu before. It's an online alcohol prevention program. The goal of the course is to challenge your expectations of alcohol on college campuses and give you accurate information to help you make safe and healthy choices about alcohol. It's a pretty interactive program; complete with videos and staged scenarios to prepare you. Now yes, some of it is a little cheesy (I had to do the program when I was an incoming first year) but you should still take it seriously. And complete it.

Here's what to expect:

  •  Once you're logged in (remember, letter will be coming your way in the nearish future), you are ready to complete Part I. They estimate it will take 1.5-2.5 hours to complete the program. But don't freak out! You can do Part I in chunks so maybe a little bit one day, then come back a few days later for some more, and then one final day to finish it up. Part I is divided into four modules and if you're going to break up this part, it's better to complete a module before taking a break. 
  • At the end of Module One there is a survey and pre-test. Don't worry, the pre-test isn't graded; it's just a benchmark to see how much you know.
  • Modules Two and Three give you some information and ask for your input. There's a bit of goal hashing and typing your opinions. Remember, all information you enter is confidential, so there's no need to shy away from the truth. Be honest.
  • Module Four is a review and then a final exam. In order to finish Part I, you have to pass the exam. If for some reason you don't pass the first time you can take the exam again.
Once you finish the four modules and pass the test, you're done...for now. There is a 35-40 day wait period; a period in which you'll come to Coe and start college. The fifth and final module gives you another survey and allows you to reflect on what you answered during the summer. I remember some of my answers changed, which is totally acceptable! At the end of the module, you'll be able to print a nice certificate that states you've completed the program. Yippee!

So get ready for some mail from Coe! Do complete Alcohol Edu and do take it seriously. It's a program Coe believes is important for you so find a way to fit it in during your busy summer. Remember, August is almost here! :)



Discover the Kohawk Spirit!!

Charlie the Kohawk from Deviant Art
I know I mentioned this in my last post, but I can't help but plug Iowa's Private College Week (IPCW)! As I say on my tours, I first toured Coe during IPCW. I came with my mom and younger sister, Hannah, on a warm Friday in August. We started off on the first floor of the library, talking to current students. Then we headed up to a gallery on the second floor for a panel presentation. My now English advisor, Gina Hausknecht, spoke and I remember frantically scribbling down facts in my "college search" notebook. The large group split into tour groups and I explored campus for the first time.

So another summer is going by which means another Iowa's Private College Week is almost here. If you're a prospective student and want to see Coe, August 6-10th is the PERFECT opportunity. Sign up here, for either a morning or afternoon session. We'd love to have you on campus and I'd love to meet you and your family!

Check out my flashback video or my flashback photo as well! I made these posts last year; they do a nice job of explaining my experience during IPCW.


Recap: Week Five (What? Five weeks already?)

So five weeks here? Woah. Sure doesn't feel that way.

My co-worker Matt came back this past week so it was nice to have two people giving tours. Lots of prospective students came in this week and there will be even more this upcoming week. Bring it on! I'm ready.

This was another good week. Obama on Tuesday morning, went and saw The Amazing Spiderman with Haley on Tuesday night. We saw it at the Wehrenberg Theater. Coe actually uses this theater a lot; any SAC late night movie is held here. It's only about a ten minute drive from Coe. And the movie was FANTASTIC, definitely check it out if you have time. I've developed quite a soft spot for Peter Parker!

I gave a tour to an incoming freshman and her family on Saturday and then went to Iowa City with Haley for a free progressive dinner. We decided on ice cream first approach with ice cream at Whitey's. Then it was off to Bluebird, a nearby diner. I've been there before with my dad and his college friend, Eileen. Tasty.

I ended my weekend doing some writing in the apartment in the morning, walking to Parlor City Ice Cream with Heidi in the afternoon (a nice 6 mile hike!) and then we had dinner in my apartment. I finished the night by going for a swim (I just love the pool here) and then doing some reading to finish the night.  

Oh, the big jobs this week in Admissions will be getting ready for Iowa's Private College Week. It's a great, great, great time to check out Coe, hear from current faculty and staff, and meet Charlie the Kohawk! If you haven't signed up, you can do it here. If you come, you can meet me and maybe even get a tour from me!


A day off of work to see our President!!

Late last week it was announced that President Obama would make another visit to Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, July 10th.

Cedar Rapids you say? Some of you might be wondering what Obama would be doing in this lovely city. Well, Iowa is a huge swing state, even Obama claimed Iowans never take a break from politics. Cedar Rapids also holds a special place in Obama's heart because after he announced his intention to run for President in 2007, the first stop on his campaign was at Kennedy High School, in, you guessed it, Cedar Rapids. So he decided to make another visit.

Lucky for me, Whitney had a connection and was able to secure tickets for herself and four Coe friends. So I took a day off of work to see our President speak at Kirkwood College, about ten minutes from Coe.

We left pretty early from Coe, around 8 AM. Whitney drove, along with myself, Chelsea, and Reid. Once we got to Kirkwood we met up with the fifth member of the group, Antoine. Here's a picture we had the women next to us snap while we were waiting.

L to R: Reid, myself, Whitney, Chelsea, and Antoine
And let me tell you, we had to wait a while. We were actually pretty lucky; we got there right before the rush. We were about ten people from the front of the line. Doors didn't open until 10:15 AM so we had to wait around two hours until we could even get into the building. As the time passed, the line just kept getting longer.

That gave the five of us plenty of time to talk. And boy, do we get along well. Whitney picked just the right people because we all sort of clicked. Suddenly, it was 10:15 and time to enter the building!! Since we were at the front we snagged some pretty nice seats.

Of course, just because we got nice seats didn't mean that Obama was almost here; he wasn't due on the stage until 1 PM! So more waiting. Again, the five of us starting talking. In the time we were waiting, we decided the five of us should become the newest sitcom on television (we even started mapping out episodes!) and then we started a chant. That was fun. It made the time pass quite quickly. A band from the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area played, a few speakers spoke, and finally, 1 PM arrived and Obama made his appearance. 

He talked for about 45 minutes. It's one thing to hear the President speak on TV but something entirely different to actually HEAR him speak. He is so elegant and fluid; nothing can disrupt him. His public speaking skills are superb and being a fairly decent public speaker, he was inspirational. 

We finally emerged from Kirkwood around 2:30 PM, our stomachs grumbling from the lack of lunch. With food on our minds, we made a stop at Jimmy Johns for sandwiches and discussion on what we had just heard. The five of us crammed into one of the small booths and just talked for half an hour or so on the upcoming election and the state of our country. It was fantastic; we all had interesting points to add since we come from all different backgrounds. It was a lively discussion and as we headed back to Coe, we decided the five (now known as The Troop) must get back together for more political discussion and fun times. 

Such a fantastic experience and another reason I'm so glad I'm in Cedar Rapids this summer!

#weeklywednesdaywisdom: Roommates

Okay, let's face it, you guys are ready to discover who your roommate will be in the fall. You've been calling Coe (a lot mind you, I've already fielded countless calls in the Admission office) wondering when it will be announced. BE PATIENT. We're working on it. Promise.

But, once the portal has been opened and roommates have been announced, here are a few tips that might be helpful as you start to get to know your new buddy.

  • Contact them and introduce yourself. Yes, this seems like common sense but hey, I'm just putting it out there. Maybe mention where you're from, what you're thinking about majoring in, and why you chose Coe. Or mention what you'd like to be involved with at Coe. The first email/correspondance doesn't need to be a novel email, pouring your life story out and all. It's just a "Hey we're going to be roommates and I'd like to say hello." 
  • If you're a Facebook person, friend your roommate. BUT, here's my warning. DO NOT MAKE QUICK JUDGEMENTS ON YOUR NEW ROOMMATE. Yes, you're going to want to troll through their pictures and see what they've been up to. That's sort of how Facebook works. But don't be so quick to decide that you "know what type of person they are." Remember, college is a time to be whoever you want to be, to maybe leave that high school version of yourself behind and be someone new. You only see the photos, you don't know the whole story. 
  • Kind of on the same note, be optimistic. We've handpicked your roommate so we pride ourselves on doing a good job. Be ready for whoever we've placed you with; the two of you are about to go on a pretty fantastic journey together (aka your first semester of college) together. 
  • As the weeks go on, keep talking to your roommate. Find out more about them, what they're up to this summer, and what they've started to buy for your room. Divide up "big ticket" items if you want. Figure out what day you will each be moving in. Talk about orientation week. Or A Primate's Memoir
  • Finally, realize that your roommate does not need to be your best friend on campus. Yes, sometimes it works out that way, but not every time. For me, I was extremely lucky that I met my roommate, Heidi, on campus visit days and we decided to be roommates. We are good roommates together. Sometimes it is better to go into dorm life understanding this person could become your best friend but at the same time, they could just be a friend you live well with. 
Until next week Kohawks! Can't wait! :)


You're in for a treat!

Things have been just so exciting here that I am proud to say that Wednesday is a double feature day!

Check back at 8 AM (Central time) for #weeklywednesdaywisdom. Topic of discussion: ROOMMATES. Yippee!!

And then, check back at 2 PM (Central time) for a special update! You won't want to miss it!



300th post!

Another blog milestone, 300 posts. Wow. Pretty neat, right?

So I'll celebrate this post with telling you all about my past week. Are you pumped?

It was a busy one in Admissions, surprisingly. My co-worker, Matt, was on vacation, and many counselors took part of the week off, so the office was empty and therefore, I was needed more. I gave plenty of tours, to a lot of great prospective students and their families. Although, it was probably the hottest week here so far. I would step outside at the beginning of the tour and I was already sweating! But it was fine, my pleasure to give those tours.

We had Wednesday off, it being the fourth of July and all. I didn't do much during the day, staying inside because it was a little too warm to venture outside! A bunch of us did head downtown later that night for some pretty awesome fireworks. It was a half-hour show of non-stop, fantastic fireworks sponsored by Rockwell-Collins.

And it's a pretty easy weekend too. I went swimming after work on Friday and spent the night reading. I've got a book due back to the library Monday so I'm seeing if I can finish it in a weekend. It's the book Game of Thrones (it's now a pretty popular show on HBO). It's a good book, but a long one; let's see if it will be done by Monday morning!

I also went back to the Farmers Market this morning. My buddies this time were Lynette and Miram. It was pretty toasty at 8:30 AM but there were a lot of people already downtown checking out the produce and other goods.

Probably not the most exciting week and weekend but I'm enjoying it nevertheless. I really do love being here for the summer. More to come!


#weeklywednesdaywisdom: Happy Fourth of July!

Happy fourth!

I hope everyone is staying cool and enjoying this mid-week break. As I was planning my #weeklywednesdaywisdom at the beginning of June, this was the only week I didn't have a solid idea of what I was going to write about. I've thought a lot about it and decided I'm going to keep it short. We've arrived at the halfway point of the summer, seems like it flew by!

Since I know you guys are awesome first years I'm sure you've started reading A Primate's Memoir (heads up, a reading guide is on the way!), thoroughly read the orientation handbook, have submitted all your mandatory forms, figured out when you are taking your writing exercise, and are anxiously awaiting housing assignments. All good things to do! July is an important month for you guys, slowly, you'll start getting more information and the beginning of your time on campus will start to take shape. Oh, and don't worry about registering for classes, that will happen the first week you're on campus.

So have a fabulous Wednesday and I'll be back next week with more wisdom.



Week Three Update

Woah. What happened to June? I mean, seriously. I feel like I was just coming back from England and now June is over and it's July. CRAZY.

Another week at Admissions, and a busy (and hot) one at that. Can I just say that I LOVE giving tours? And what I love about my job at Admissions is that is a new day everyday. Somedays I'll give a couple of tours, maybe take a student to lunch. But then another day, I'll spend the day entering data, stuffing folders, or creating mailers to send out. You never know what's going to happen. And that's the beauty of it. A surprise everyday. This is really a perfect summer job for me.

Friday night was a bit of a wild one, weather wise. Around 5 PM or so, it just started downpouring and then once the rain stopped, the clouds started looking threatning. Cedar Rapids was under a severe weather watch. It was intense. Once the weather cleared, Anna, Lucy, and Tova joined Whitney and I in our apartment for a girls night. We ate popcorn, painted our nails, and caught up after a busy week.

Saturday I woke up naturally (so nice!) and then talked with my family for a while. After that, I went to the Tanger Outlet Mall with Anna and her mom (her parents were in town for the weekend). I had never been to the outlet mall here and let me tell you, it was nice. I found a few good deals. My night ended with dinner at Vino's, an Italian restaurant on First Avenue with Anna and her parents. It was really nice, delicious food, and it was good to hang out with Anna and get to know her parents.

To continue this weekend of fun, I spent most of Sunday afternoon at Lake MacBride. A friend texted me Sunday late morning saying they were putting together a group and wanted to know if I was interested. It was a beautiful day outside and I said count me in! I had never been to Lake MacBride before but it was beautiful! Although a little busy (a bunch of people had the same idea we had), we still had a fantastic time! It was nice to get some sun in. Once we got back to campus, I headed to more water (aka the natatorium) for some swimming.

I now feel refreshed and relaxed for another week in Admissions. We get the fourth off on Wednesday so it should be a more quiet week.