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2013 Recap

I say this every year, but it's so hard to believe that 365 days have gone by and 2013 is almost done. It will probably take me a good month of writing "13" and then attempting to make a 3 look like a 4.

In a classic Writing Center reflection moment, When I look back on 2013, I see a lot of great things. This was by far an amazing year. A lot of it probably had to do with being in New York for the first four months, but the fun definitely didn't stop in April. So here it is, my stroll back through 2013, I've even included some photo slideshows. Enjoy!

I must begin my 2013 recap with New York Term. I managed to write 85 blog posts during my time in the city (that's almost one a day). My internships were out of this world and I'm so incredibly thankful for those opportunities. I also saw some of the best theater, cinema, art, music, and dance NYC had to offer. I became closer to many people on the trip and had some pretty neat professors to show off all that New York had to offer. I was also incredibly fortunate to be near my aunt, uncle, and their family, allowing some great memories with them.

After New York, I came back home for a little bit before embarking on another adventure. This time it was to Germany and Poland. I spent a little under two weeks exploring World War II and Holocaust memorials (dark tourism as I learned on the trip). While it was a tough subject, I was lucky enough to have an amazing professor and solid group to make it a memorable May.

Then it was summertime! I spent my summer at Coe, for the second year in a row. Not only did I have fun at work, helping plan Iowa Private College Week and getting ready for the first-years to arrive on campus, I also had a great apartment! I lived with three other fantastic friends of mine and had the opportunity to become really close with Millie and Hayleigh. We spent almost all of our free time together (and got into lots of shenanigans) and it made for my best summer yet!

And then it was time for senior year. It has already gone by way way way too fast. I had the honor of being on Homecoming Court, ate dinner with the Board of Trustees for being a Clark Merit scholar, had dinner with my professors, kept building relationships with my friends on campus, and learned a lot in my upper level (and lab science) classes. I also started to figure out what I want to do post-graduation. Still waiting to hear from the Fulbright Committee and also began my graduate school search.

I can only imagine what 2014 will bring!


A Few Blogs to Check Out!

Hi everyone!

With the end of the year winding down, everyone starts taking stock in what happened in the previous year. We attempt to catch up with everyone we got behind on so we can start fresh for the new year. I'll have my own end of the year post coming soon (Tuesday to be exact), but I figured if we're catching up on stuff, it might be a good time to check out some other great Kohawk blogs.

If you've read my blog this past year, you know what a life-changing experience my time in New York City was. The opportunity to grow as a professional (at both the New York Public Library and at the Paley Center for Media) as well as a person was out of this world. So, the blogs I'm about to list are from other study abroad kids.

So this semester, Coe featured three great study abroad blogs. First up, is my friend (and fellow senior) Reid. He studied in Scotland for the semester and he had an amazing time. I was always so jealous of the photos he shared because the landscape was stunning. It often reminded me of the Lake District and of course, made me miss it more. Then, the other two bloggers from this past fall both participated in Coe's New York Term twin sister (fraternal of course), Washington DC term. Just like NYC, the students that go to DC have an internship, take a class, and attend cultural events. Brianna and Hayden, both juniors had internships and seemed to have a fantastic time.

As these students come back to campus, other students are leaving for their own great adventures in 2014. Fellow Writing Center consultant and junior English major, Julia, is headed to London and Florence with an Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) program. Another good friend of mine, Peter, is headed to Asia for Coe's Asia Term. And finally, Max (who I've gotten to know through Senate and the Presidential Search Committee) is doing his student teaching in Chicago through another ACM program.

You'll definitely want to check these blogs out and I hope with some time on your hands at the end of the year, you'll stop on by and read about their adventures or upcoming travels!


I'm Published!

Happy holidays!

Hope the holiday season is treating you well and you're not dealing with too much snow. In Wisconsin, we were fortunate enough to have a white Christmas. The cold temperatures and accumulating snow have made the weather perfect for ice skating and lots of shoveling.

But the point of this post is not to describe the weather in Mt. Horeb. Instead, my good news is that I was published on an online blog.


The blog is called the Silver Tongue Times, Rhetorical criticism for the engaged citizen. Basically, it's a blog run by rhetoric scholars committed to explaining cultural messages in today's world through the lens of rhetoric. The blog aims to explain rhetoric in layman terms, so that anyone, no matter their knowledge of the "great rhetors" (think Plato, Aristotle, Gorgias, etc), they can understand what the author is doing in their message.

I found this blog through my Rhetorical Theory and Practice class. Taught by Jane Nesmith, a professor who I've had before, we examined what rhetoric is and how we use it today. It was an excellent class and I definitely learned a lot. One of the overarching messages from this class was that rhetoric allows you to be a spectator of a message. It allows you to step back and see how the moving parts are working together. So think of watching a sporting event, like baseball, football, soccer, etc. For most of those events, you are sitting above the field, looking down on the game. You can see each individual player and watching their singular movements and then the movements of the team as a whole.

Our final project of the semester was to write a post that fit the submission guidelines for the Silver Tongue Times. We had to take an article/speech or video and write about what the rhetor was doing and if they were doing it effectively. I chose an article I found at one of my favorite online websites, The Slate. It was an article that was pro-selfie (you know, the popular thing to do on social media now a days. It's also an official word, thanks to the Oxford English Dictionary). So I wrote the piece and thought, "Why not submit?"

I emailed the piece to the blog and heard back fairly quickly. Matt, the founding editor, said they would love to publish the piece. We emailed back and forth with some revisions and submitting a brief bio and they published it on Monday.

My article is "The Selfie Culture: Where A Picture Is Worth A Million Likes" (yeah, you should definitely click on this). I'm really proud with how it turned out and so far, my family and friends have really enjoyed it. Let me know what you think!

I really enjoyed writing this and analyzing current culture is something I like doing in my spare time (when I can find it). I hope to write some more articles for the Silver Tongue Times and Winter Break is the perfect time to do that!


Sign Up Now For Scholarship Weekend!

I don't know about you, but currently, a steady snow is falling in Mt. Horeb. It's the sort of snow that reminds me of February 2010.

I know, call me crazy, but lightly falling snow reminds me of visiting Coe during Scholarship Weekend. It's a special weekend where admitted students can compete for additional scholarship money in their department of interest. Don't worry, if you interview for one area and end up coming to Coe and majoring in something else, your scholarship still stays. Woot!

For me, Scholarship Weekend was a huge part of my college search. I got to see Coe in full swing, sit in on several classes, meet with several professors, and meet so many great Coe students. I met my roommate of three years, Heidi, in a History of English Literature class with Gina, and also met Whitney when she was on a panel in the Clark Racquet Center. When we walked over to the panel, it was snowing, and the boy I was walking next to was from Texas and had never seen snow like that before.

It was crazy.

So as I continue to get sentimental about that weekend several years ago, YOU should go sign up for it. Make some memories! Learn more about Coe.

And remember, if you come, you'll get to meet me and all my other Kohawk friends.


Heyo Mt. Horeb!

I'm writing this blog post while sitting at my kitchen Mt. Horeb.

That's right, my finals are over, I've survived them and now I'm home for a couple of weeks. Finals weren't nearly as bad as I expected. I think that means I was prepared to take them (or write them as demonstrated in the originally 15 page turned 25 page paper I turned in).

And this past week, I accomplished a lot more than taking two tests and finishing off one 25 page paper. I also...

  • Completed my sixth semester of clarinet juries. I played the second movement from Robert Schumann's Fantasy Pieces. While the link I've attached features a cello as the solo instrument, it's such a beautiful piece, I wanted you to hear it. So just imagine the cello magically turns into a clarinet and there I am, playing away! 
  • Mailed out contributor copies of the newest issue of the Coe Review. I can't wait for the authors to get a hold of the issue. Over break, I plan to upload the issue to our website and post some picture from our publication release. Woot! 
  • Watched my roommate, Emily, and several other senior theater majors perform in a student-created and student-produced show for their senior seminar class. It was about body image and very well done. They performed shortly after I turned in my final paper, so it was a nice celebration of sorts. 
  • Had dinner on two separate nights with two of my professors. Wednesday night I ate dinner with Melissa, my thesis advisor, and on Thursday, my sophomore year globalization class had dinner at our professor's house (Kimberly). Both nights were fantastic and such a good way to end the semester. I think this also highlights the strengths of our professors at Coe. They want to know you as a person and this more casual setting allowed us to talk about lots of different topics. I think these relationships we build with our professors are out of this world and help to make Coe feel even more like a family. 
And now I'm back with my Fargo family. It's good to be back and to have a break. Of course, I've got lots of writing to do and can't wait to dig into some books for fun! I've got a few posts I want to write, so don't worry, this blog will be active for the next couple of weeks. 

Happy holidays! 


Last Week of Classes Update

Earlier this afternoon, I had a conference with Dr. Bob for our Writing Center staff development class. Our "final" project of sorts was an online e-Portfolio, a way to preserve our writing during our time at Coe. Another important aspect of this portfolio deals with much self-reflection. While we were looking at my portfolio, Dr. Bob clicked on a link of this blog and I realized I hadn't posted since my 500th post celebration.


So this is my mega post to make up for that. I had a great Thanksgiving Break (although I had lots of work to keep up with so it wasn't much of a break). When I got back to campus, it was December 1st and therefore, time to start gearing up for finals. This past week was my final week of classes and other than one class tomorrow, it's time for finals.

Here's a recap of this past week. In terms of my classes, I took my final astronomy test and kept working on my English seminar paper (a 15 page paper on Toni Morrison's novel, Paradise). These and a few other projects kept me plenty busy and up late at night. 

On Friday we had the Coe Review publication release party for our poetry issue. The issue came in on Wednesday and looked fantastic. I am incredibly proud of this issue and was thrilled to show it off on Friday. Our release was in the PUB, included free coffee drinks, snacks, and a poetry reading. 

A very excited me with the poetry issue
On Friday night, the final Blindspot of 2013 was happening and I went to support my friend, Ariana, who was performing. I also took part in the late-night movie. It's an event sponsored by our Student Activities Committee (SAC) where they essentially "rent out" the movie theater to show a current movie to Coe students, FOR FREE. Yes, for free! The movie was Hunger Games: Catching Fire. I went with Ariana, Peter, Paulina, and Ryan. It was a good group and I enjoyed the movie. Having read the books, I knew the plot and thought it was a good adaptation.

Saturday was composed of working on my seminar paper. Alison P and I escaped to Panera for unlimited coffee and hours of productivity. Ariana, Alison P., and I hung out Saturday night, taking a break from homework and overthinking our finals schedule. 

Then, this morning, I participated in my very first Lumberjack Festival. It was an event sponsored by one of our fraternities on campus, Phi Kappa Tau. They were raising money for Serious Fun, an organization helping kids with serious illnesses. During November, several of the guys had participated in No Shave November so the main event was bidding on shaving their impressive beards. On top of that, the guys had made an excellent brunch: pancakes, sausage, and eggs. After eating, we could play some games and just enjoy a Sunday morning. Flannel was the outfit of choice so the PUB was packed with various colors of flannel and plaid print. It was a lot of fun and for a good cause, so what's not to love?
Angela and I in our flannel!
The rest of my Sunday consisted of homework in the Writing Center; I found a spot, camped out, and had a lot of fun. We also saw how many people who work in the Writing Center supported Lumberjack Fest because of this pretty photo:

A bunch of pretty good lucking consultants
It's been a good week. Still lots to do between tonight and Thursday, when my final paper is due. I'm sure it will go by fast, and I'll be sure to keep you up to date.




On March 11, 2013 I asked myself if I could make it to 500 posts by graduation. 
Wow March Hailley that looks like a challenge.
A challenge I'm laughing at now...

Because yes, I did indeed make it to 500 posts. You're reading the 500th post right now.
I'm a little jazzed to say the least. 
Want to take a quick trip down memory lane? See my other hundredth post celebrations:

I'm incredibly proud of this blog and 500 posts seems like a pretty large milestone. Sometimes it's hard to believe I've been blogging since freshman year, but in other ways, it seems like it was just the other day when my Admission counselor, Chris, emailed me asking me to blog. I can't tell you how happy I am that he asked and that I said yes. 


Blithe Spirit Review

When I'm giving a tour, one of my favorite parts is taking the student into the Dows Fine Arts building. You first walk in and are immediately surrounded by amazing art (all done by Coe students/staff/alums mind you). But instead of milling in the lobby, I make a beeline for our theater.

Our theater is built in a round but what is even cooler is the way we make sets. My favorite tours occur when a set is just beginning to be built or when the set is completed and finished. Our set team at Coe turns out some amazing sets, which makes the play that much more enjoyable.

On Thursday, Hayleigh, Alison P., and I went to see Blithe Spirit, a comedy by Noel Coward. I knew most of the people in the cast and the stage manager was none other than my roommate, Emily.

It was a pretty good performance. Although it did make me miss seeing theater in New York City (hard to believe it's coming up on a year since I first arrived in Manhattan for New York Term!). The show was funny (it's all about a senance bringing back an ex-wife and the shenanigans that occur because of that).

Another neat part of this show (besides the set) was that we had a guest director for this production. Peter Craze, recently retired from working at the Drama Studio of London, knew some of our theater professors and accepted our invitation to direct this show. He had even met Noel Coward once (got to love those program notes). I've heard great things about Peter from Emily and other cast members; it's so neat we were able to bring in someone for a new perspective on this show.

Blithe Spirit ended last night, but no fear, Coe always has more productions coming up. Next on the docket is City of Angels, a musical for your enjoyment in the spring!

Zumba, Zumba, Racquetball!

Usually at this point in the semester, going to the gym is at the bottom of my priority list. I'm usually stressed and with all my homework, can't justify working out.

But not this semester. I've realized I need the break from classes/clubs/readings/homework and going to the gym is exactly what I need.

Sometimes I use the Clark Racquet Center equipment or spend a morning at the pool. I have also been playing more racquetball with a couple of Writing Center friends because it's a nice break to working out by myself and also just a ton of fun.

In addition to that, I've been taking advantage of the fitness classes Coe offers. During the week I usually attended a class on Monday morning (start the week off strong) and then a class on Wednesday night. The Wednesday night class is Zumba.

I. Love. Zumba. Once you get over the fact of making a slight fool of yourself (Zumba is a LOT of dancing), it is so much fun. This past semester, I always looked forward to Wednesday nights, especially once I started to get a hang of the dances. There's a great rush of adrenaline when you know what the next step is going to be. It's just plain fun.

And, last week, I had the opportunity to Zumba for a good cause. One of the rising clubs on campus is the Cedar Rapids Dance Marathon Club (CRDM). They work year round (and with Kirkwood and Mt. Mercy, local colleges in Cedar Rapids) to raise money for the University of Iowa's Children's Hospital. Their big event comes in the spring, where teams pledge to stand for 12 hours. Lots of dancing occurs, along with games and visitors from the hospital. It's a great event and a great cause.

So CRDM hosted a fundraiser Zumba-thon. They asked for a donation and we got to Zumba for TWO HOURS.

Let me tell you, that was a lot of Zumba. But so so so totally worth it. Not only did I feel better after a solid workout, it was good to know that I was helping to support such a great cause.

My lesson to all: working out is important, especially when you're stressed. I truly believe I've been less stressed this semester because I've focused on balancing school and fun time. It's paying off!


Yep, you read that right. I have officially signed up for my final semester of classes.

Tell me it isn't so.

It's true Hailley, it's true.


So here's how my final semester is shaping up...

  1. Statistics (got to fulfill that non-lab science class)
  2. English seminar with our new professor, Amber Shaw, on manners and marriage (aka the marriage plot)
  3. French History class (final class of my French minor)
  4. Independent study focused on creative nonfiction (final class for my writing minor)
I can't wait. I'll also be working on my senior thesis, which I'll defend hopefully sometime near Spring Break.

With my class load, extracurriculars, and of course, graduation on the horizon, it will be a busy semester. But hopefully, the best one yet! 


Hailley's New Adventure: Volunteering at Taylor Elementary

For faithful readers since 2010, you might remember I spent my first semester volunteering at a local elementary school. It was an incredibly rewarding experience, but unfortunately, my schedule prevented me from continuing to volunteer. It was something I was disappointed in myself for, because not only did I find immense happiness from helping kids read, I know the school and the students appreciated it as well. I also just had a lot of fun.

So when my schedule freed up a bit this year and I heard about a neat volunteering experience, I jumped at the chance.

I now spend my Thursday after school time volunteering at Taylor Elementary School. I am a Reading Buddy, in conjunction with their Boys and Girls Club after school program. I have three buddies, and for this blog they will simply go by L, K, and P.

The Thursday before Thanksgiving Break marked my third week there. When I first went, all three of my buddies were there and we played a game in their cafeteria. They are fourth graders and extremely nice. I promised to bring books the next time I came. The kids asked me to bring Cheese Its too, but I told them that might have to wait a bit.

My haul from the library
Because I was in need of books at a fourth grade reading level, I headed to the Cedar Rapids Public Library and got myself a library card. This means I now have four library cards (Mt. Horeb, Coe, New York Public Library, and now Cedar Rapids). Does this mean I'm going to be a librarian or what?

When I went to the library, I was quickly reminded of the many books I devoured during fourth grade. I was taken back to the days where we got points based on the number of pages we had read during the school year. I was always at the top of my class, often surpassing the 1,000 pages mark. Being in the library, and especially the children's area, only confirmed to me once more that's where I want to spend my days.   

For week two, only L was at the after school program. We began The Absent Author by Ron Roy. It's part of the larger A to Z Mysteries series. It was fun to read with L because she would read a chapter and then I would get to read a chapter. Just seeing her trying to figure out a word was neat to watch. You could so clearly see the gears turning in her brain and then the light bulb when the letters on the page finally made sense to her.

This past week (week three), L, K, and P were absent. Instead, I got three very excited girls. We did a variety of things, from some reading to working in the computer lab researching information on the Bermuda Triangle. It seems every Thursday will be a new adventure...bring it on!

I'm so thankful for the opportunity to volunteer and hope this will continue until May.

Coe Review Update

Good news, the Coe Review is being printed!

It all sort of happened in a rush. The end of the semester kind of crept up on us and we suddenly realized, it was time to really put the issue together.

Lucky for me, as managing editor, I get to work with some of friends and overall fantastic students. Our poetry editor was Ariana, a good friend of mine. So it was no trouble for us to get together, chat about poems, and create an order of the accepted poems. I had a few late nights putting the issue into InDesign (big shout out to one of our production editors, Taylor, who was a rock star and helped with it). With this copy, we were able to have our manuscript readers give it our first edit and find some errors before we even sent it in for a proof.

Errors fixed, we submitted our issue to Cornerstone (the printing company we use). In less than 24 hours (heck, less than 8 hours) later, we got a PDF proof back. It was then time to call in our editors over the weekend to check for those final errors. Once we were confident, we sent it back to Cornerstone and they began to print copies.

I'm extremely proud of the issue. This was definitely a learning semester for me; I gained some important leaderships skills and really began to understand how much I love being managing editor. I know my pride in the Coe Review will increase even more with our publication release (December 6th!).

I'll post more once we get copies and I can geek out on the issue and take photos of it. But I was just too proud to not say anything now!


Connected Youth Forum

During Fall Break, I got an email from Gina about participating in a forum at a local church. The topic was social media and especially, my blog.

Of course I said yes.

So, a few weeks ago, I headed over to the First Presbyterian Church to be a part of their "Connected Forum". It's for adult education (target audience are retired folks). These folks had asked Gina because many of them attend Coe's Thursday Forum, which Gina is in charge of.

I was on the panel with Gina, and two other students, Rachel (sophomore) and Ben (a non-traditional student). Basically, Gina started with asking us a few questions and then based on our answers and the audience's comments and questions, we were able to have a lively discussion for a good hour. While Ben and Rachel were on the skeptical side of the benefits of social media, I seemed to be the only one in the other corner. Sure, social media has negatives (obsessive need to stay "plugged-in" and potential for isolation) but it also has many benefits. I saw these benefits when I worked at the Paley Center this spring and I see it every time I write a post on my blog. It's a way of connecting with each other and sharing news.

The other thing I stressed on the panel was the idea of balance. Someone in the audience asked if we still "wrote letters" and used "snail mail". I do, and I think that's because of the balance I try to use in my everyday life. I was raised on making handmade cards and love writing and receiving snail mail (a big shout out to Millie for providing the BEST cards this semester while she's been away in Chicago). Yes, I'm a fan of social media, but I remember the importance of logging out of Twitter and putting my computer to sleep. To go outside. Read a book. Go for an adventure.

It was a fruitful discussion. The audience was thrilled to know we aren't as "plugged-in" as they had assumed we were. They were impressed with how articulate we were and how much they learned during that hour (one woman wanted to start a Twitter account after the talk. Woot!). Big shout out thanks to Gina for asking me to be on the panel; definitely a highlight of off campus activities during my time at Coe.

Board of Visitors Lunch

This lunch happened a couple of weeks ago, so I apologize for the delayed post. I was asked to come to a lunch with Coe's Board of Visitors. These are people who have Coe connections (mainly that they are alums) and want to be more involved with Coe in the future. During their visit, they needed to eat lunch and what better time to meet some current students and professors?

I was asked to this lunch to discuss my May Term to Germany and Poland with Professor Keenan. She was there as well and two other May Terms were represented along with representation for our Wilderness Field Station.

While it was nice to chat about my May Term (and let me tell you, I never get tired of talking about my experiences in Germany and Poland), I throughly enjoyed hearing about what others did. And (somewhat selfishly) hearing about those experiences helps me gather more stories to tell on tours when the situation arises.

I learned more about the May Term to the Thailand/Burma border where students taught at a local school (my friend Haley went on that trip) as well as the trip to Spain with Monica, the professor I had for my fine arts honors class my sophomore year. Finally, I got to hear more about the benefits of spending a few weeks at Coe's station near the Boundary Waters in Minnesota. Not only do students get to take a class but they also get a credit while canoeing and exploring the wilderness. They all sounded like amazing opportunities and just reminded me of all the cool things my friends and I have the privilege to be a part of.

This lunch was a fantastic opportunity to meet fellow Kohawks and also hear more about the amazing things my peers have done. My pride continues to grow for both Coe and my peers and I'm so happy to be a part of this family.


Cedar Rapids Famous...Sort Of

Well despite the somewhat crappy weather (lots of rain and chilly temps this week) and being sick (I basically lost my voice Monday/Tuesday), I am having a pretty fabulous Thursday.

I got up early to run errands and get some work done before my class. I had my normal lunch time break and just as I was about to head into class, I got a text and a tweet saying that a representative from the Cedar Rapids Convention & Visitors Bureau was speaking to our student ambassadors and mentioned how much they enjoyed my blog.

Needless to say, I was flattered. What was even better was coming back to my apartment to find out that the Cedar Rapids CVB had posted on their Facebook page about visiting Coe, along with a link to my blog.

Wow. Wow. Wow. See photo for proof! :)

I'm so jazzed and just another thing to love about today. I love blogging and can't wait to see what new readers arrive on my page. AND, a big shout out to CRCVB for providing that needed motivation to catch up on the posts I'm behind on. I won't let you down! 


English Showcase Day and Poets!

One of the cool things the Coe Admission Department does is have days dedicated to certain majors on campus. It allows prospective students who are interested in those majors to come to campus and really "dig into" that area of study. This digging includes meeting current students involved in that major, sitting in on classes, meeting faculty, and learning about the curriculum.

On Monday (November 18th) it was time for the English and Creative Writing department to shine! I headed over the Clark Alumni House early on Monday morning to greet families and talk with them before my Rhetorical Theory and Practice class. While I was in my class, the prospective students got a chance to sit in on History of English Literature, taught by Gina this semester. Everyone met back up for a panel to discuss the department and answer questions. The panel was followed by lunch.

By 1 PM, everyone had already had a jam-packed day. While some of the students headed to another class, Ryan and I got to give the other students a tour. It was neat to pair up with Ryan because we were able to bounce off each other; highlighting our strengths throughout the tour. I was also lucky to have Ryan on tour because I was losing my voice (darn you cold!).

The day officially ended with a poetry reading. Nick, our new poetry and film professor, is also part of Canarium Books. He invited two of the poets he's helped to publish.

Let me tell you, they were fabulous. First up was Farnoosh Fathi. Her reading was unique; she passed out copies of her books and had each of us read from one poem, aloud, at the same time. It was suppose to represent the din of the marketplace and the source of inspiration for her poetry. She then had some of the audience read some of her poems aloud and read a poem for us.

Farnoosh was followed by Darcie Dennigan. She was another great poet with a lot of spunk. Darcie read several poems along with telling us a lot about where her poetic inspiration comes from.

It was awesome to be able to showcase my major at Coe and have prospective students meet the professors who have been so influential over the years. I hope the students got a good look into our department and decide to come back!


Thanksgiving is almost here!

Hi everyone!

With Thanksgiving Break fast approaching, all my classes are kicking it up a notch. I've been swamped with all sorts of things and have so many blog posts drafted, but no time to post them. Never fear! This week is the week. Check back to hear about all the exciting things I'm up to and if I have gotten any sleep recently. Haha!

Have a wonderful Monday,



A Few Homecoming Links

It seems like Homecoming was weeks ago, but I have a few links to pass on. Sorry for the delay!



As fall is really settling in here in Cedar Rapids, you can't help but wish you were someplace warmer.

I got that opportunity the last week in October.


"I think this must be like my 20th panel..." November Campus Visit Day

Yesterday I was up early and in the library for our November Campus Visit Day. Cedar Rapids and Mother Nature teamed up for some nice weather and the icing on the cake was the exceptionally wonderful families I got to interact with.

Read more


A Long Overdue Post!

I know I'm busy when I get an email from my sister (and also an excellent proof reader of this blog) that says she can't do her "job" if I don't blog!

My apologies to my sister and to my other faithful (or new) readers.

The semester has been crazy per usual. When my friends ask me how I am and I say, "Busy. A little stressed but okay overall." They smile and nod, some chiming in with, "If you weren't busy Hailley, I think something would be wrong with you."


Anywho, I've got lots to tell you about and this weekend blogging is at the top of my list. I'll be rolling out lots of posts which should hopefully keep you happy for at least a week to come!

Oh and enjoy my little photo with my writing inspiration, Sappho. :)


Homecoming Recap Part I

This week FLEW by, especially with Homecoming events at the end of the week. This was one fantastic Homecoming and this is part one of my recap. I've got some photos to share now and I'll have more a little bit later. Besides, there was too much awesomeness to have only one post!

Friday afternoon, I gave a brief presentation of my experiences in New York during a Common Hour. I presented first, followed by Nicki (she did research at CERN in Sweeden) and Aaron (who did both Asia Term and New York Term). It was really neat to have an audience (professors, students, and alums) to share my experiences with, although it made me miss New York and my past internships!

From Coe's Facebook page
Then, on Friday night, I got the chance to hang out with some Lambda Chis and...MILLIE! Yes, Millie returned from Chicago (she's on an ACM program there) for Homecoming weekend. We were at Daniel Arthur's; a nice restaurant in Cedar Rapids about halfway between Coe and downtown. It was oh so wonderful to see her (and don't worry, we got in plenty of Hailley-Millie time later this weekend too!). It was also nice to hang out with the Lambda Chis; they were having a little alumni event so it was nice to see some familiar faces I hadn't seen in a while too!

After Daniel Arthur's, it was back to Coe for the Pep Rally. The cheerleaders got us fired up and the we heard from all the fall sport teams about how their season was going. Then, it was time for the coronation of court. We were all introduced and Palmer and Kobe (a fellow Wisconsinite from Racine) were crowned king and queen.

L to R: Tevin, TJ, Hannah, Andrew, me, Queen Palmer, King Kobe, Chelsea, Keaton, and Anna
Saturday arrived and it was time for the parade! It was my first Coe Homecoming Parade I had been to (just wasn't on top of things the past couple of years). But this year, I got to ride in a corvette! The cars were owned by the Cedar Rapids Corvette Club and it was pretty awesome. This was my ride: 

Anna and I 
Unfortunately, my escort and fellow court member, Andrew, had basketball practice and couldn't be at the parade. So I got a corvette all to myself!

Then it was the football game. We played University of Dubuque and unfortunately, we lost. It was crappy weather, very cold and windy. Regardless, it was still fun to cheer on my fellow Kohawks. The court was also announced at halftime.  

L to R: Anna, Chelsea, me, Andrew, Hannah, Palmer, and Kobe
After the game, I went back to my room, got some homework out of the way and then went out to eat with some friends. We came back to Coe, got ready for the dance, and then danced the night away. I got to see Millie again! We all had a really great time. 

Olivia and I looking fabulous.

Heidi, Haley, and I. Friends since Day 1!

My favorite sophomores Angela and Sam

MORE TO COME. But now it's back to homework!


Homecoming Announcement

Starting Monday, Coe will be entering Homecoming Week. This Homecoming is extra special because it's the 100th anniversary.

So that's neat and so is the fact that I got elected to Homecoming Court! Woot. I found out earlier this week and it was announced on Friday. It's awesome to have been elected and I am looking forward to spending some quality time with the other nine people on court.

Because of this position, I'll get to participate in a lot of neat Homecoming activities. Get ready for some sweet blog posts!


Film Adventure and Literary Extravaganza!

I'm almost all caught up with blog posts!

I've decided to combine two awesome events together. First up, my film professor from NYC, Alan, was in town to promote his film festival, Rural Route Films. Rina, Amy, and I headed to CSPS, a landmark building in Cedar Rapids located in the Newbo District.

Alan had an excellent turnout for his festival. The films he showed were short films from the 2013 film festival (which premiered in NYC). After the main premiere, Alan gets to travel the world, showing off these short films and promoting his festival.

The films were excellent, a good solid choice of unique films. Some were very short, only a couple minutes long, and the longest was just over 20 minutes. Although they all were "rural" in some way, each had a new twist and topic to think about. And of course, it was good to see Alan and have a mini NYC Term reunion.

Then, today (Saturday), The Coe Review took a bunch of our staff members to Iowa City for the Iowa City Book Festival. Today, there were panels and readings downtown and a literary buzz in the air. It was BEAUTIFUL day in Iowa City. During the day, I went to a panel about fact vs. fiction and then two readings. The second reading was my favorite, mainly due to hearing Tessa Mellas' short story. I had heard Tessa earlier in the day at the panel and was looking forward to hearing one of her short stories. It was fantastic and I ended up buying her book. The best part was, I even got her autographed. We chatted briefly after the reading and it was so cool. Definitely geeking out a bit!

I finished up my time in Iowa City with meeting up with a family friend, Eileen. We got coffee, checked out a great used bookshop, and walked around campus. It was great to see Eileen and a nice way to end the day.


Clark Merit Dinner

One of the most prestigious scholarships you can win during your time at Coe is the Clark Merit Scholarship. This is named after K. Raymond Clark, a Coe student who graduated in 1930 and moved on to become a successful lawyer in Chicago. Clark loved Coe and gave a lot of his money back to the college over the years. When I give tours, Clark comes up at least twice: at the beginning when I talk about the Clark Alumni House and then again at the end of the tour when we go into the Clark Racquet Center.

The Clark Merit Scholarship is a big deal for the upperclassmen at Coe. Each year, five full tuition (for one year) scholarships are awarded to students. Students have to submit an application, composed of a resume and a personal, one page essay. From this batch of applications, the students are narrowed down into semi-finalists who come in for an interview with the three person committee. This year, I was fortunate enough to receive one of the five scholarships.

It was a long process. I wrote the essay and edited my resume in between exploring and working in NYC in the spring. I found out I received an interview the day I went to the Morgan Library with Brigid, only adding to the wonderfulness of the day. Upon returning to Wisconsin after NYC term, I drove down to Coe for my interview. I got the phone call congratulating me on the scholarship about a week after the interview. I remember being the only one in my house when I got the call and a long victory dance commenced when I got off the phone.

I received this scholarship and I also got the privilege to attend a dinner with the Board of Trustee when they come to campus in October to honor the Clark Merit scholars. The dinner was right before Fall Break and probably one of the best nights I've had at Coe.

The scholars: L to R: me, Miles, Abbey, and Kelli. Missing; Chloe. From Coe's Facebook page.
The dinner took place at the Cedar Rapids Country Club. I got to bring along a faculty/staff member who has been important to me during my time at Coe and I invited my FYS professor/advisor/one of my bosses the past two summers, Rick Eichhorn (and he brought his wife, Margaret).

It was a delicious dinner. The best part was seeing all the Trustees I had worked with and gotten to know during the Presidential Search. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday I was helping find Coe's next president and other times, it feels like it was ages ago. We had a chance to catch up and it brought back so many great memories from last year.

During this dinner, I was reminded time and time again how many amazing opportunities I have had at Coe. As I've mentioned before on this blog, I have been a part of so many incredible experiences; many more than I imagined when I first moved to Coe in August 2010. During my time here, I've had amazing mentors to guide and support me and a great group of friends I can always count on. I am so grateful my path has led me to Coe and I can't wait to see what the rest of my senior year has in store for me.


Poetry and Film: Meeting the New Poetry Professor

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, we have a new poetry professor on campus. His name is Nick Twemlow. The English Department decided that he should have a reading and this happened a couple of weeks ago. The cool thing about Nick is that he will not only teach poetry, but he will also teach some film classes because he has an MFA in both poetry and film.

His presentation was a combo of both poetry and film. We began with watching a short film he made with found footage. For many in the audience, I think this concept of found footage was new. For me, I had already had some experience with these sorts of videos from an event in NYC and also, the NYC Term Cinema Professor, Alan, had used a found footage short film in his film festival one year. It was a neat film, focusing on karate and a church healing craze (when people call spirits to them and they faint, have seizures, etc). Much of the found footage came from the Prelinger Archives, a site I am very familiar with through my NYC experience.

Then Nick moved into the poetry section of his presentation. He read five poems, some from his book Palm Trees, others from his new book he is putting together, and then some he had recently written. Nick was a great speaker and read his poems with just the right pace and tone.

Finally, we got to see one final short film of Nick's. This one was very different than the found footage film at the beginning. Trapper was actually a film Nick produced, working with two friends of his. The film is copyrighted 2011 and focuses on three characters and a trap. I won't give away the ending, but it was an eerie film. Nick explained that everything was filmed in the Iowa City area and to this day, the film still sort of freaks him out. Because Nick produced the film, we got a different view of making films, which I liked because I often don't hear about the ups and downs of producing a film.

I was so glad the English Department put on this reading/viewing. Nick looks to be a great addition to the faculty and I look forward to seeing what else he creates during his time at Coe.


Peter and the Plants: Watermelon Fest 2013

Each year, one of Coe's fraternities, Lambda Chi, hosts a Watermelon Fest. A lot of watermelon is involved and all the proceeds they raise goes towards their local philanthropy, Waypoint. It always looked like a lot of fun, but I never got my act together to be on a team and participate.

That was NOT the case this year. Because it's my senior year, I keep trying to check things off a running bucket list in my head. Watermelon Fest was one of those items. So I recruited my friends Olivia, Peter, and Luke to form a Watermelon Fest team.

Our first task was to pick out a team name. We wanted something clever and finally after many possible team costume ideas for groups of four (cardinal directions, humps on a camel, seasons, elements) we came up with this team name:

Peter and the Plants.

Cue this song (thanks YouTube)

Pretty clever is it not? And so this team was born:

L to R: Olivia, Peter, myself, and Luke
So the big day finally came. Peter and the Plants arrived, ready to eat some watermelon. The Lambda Chis got a great turnout and we were in for a lot of fun. Our first test was to carve a watermelon. That was not the easiest task and it wasn't until about half-way through the test did we realize our carving had to be Coe related! Lucky for us, our carving could easily be turned Coe relatable (thanks to my Admission training and Peter's involvement with E-Club). See if you can figure out what we carved:

It's a flower from Coe's permaculture garden in front of Murray Hall, emphasizing Coe's sustainability efforts and our efforts to be eco-friendly. Our nifty carving earned us fourth place! Woot! 

From there, we didn't have the best showing (we didn't win anything else), but we had a lot of fun. And we ate a lot of watermelon. I mean, a lot. Although we never did get the knack of eating watermelon quickly. I think this picture of Olivia shows how much fun we had: 

At the end, we had some fun with the remaining watermelons. The weather was ideal and it was great way to end the fest. Also, everyone left with a prize, which were donated from the various sponsors of the fest! I went home with a stomach full of watermelon and a nice Starbuck mug for my coffee or tea in the morning. 

I was so so glad I participated in the 2013 Watermelon Fest. Not only did I help support an excellent cause, but I got to have a lot of fun with my friends. We had great costumes and a great team and it's something I'll remember for years to come (because how can you forget a team name like Peter and the Plants?!?!). For you prospective students, if you come to Coe you HAVE to participate in Watermelon Fest. It's just too much fun to pass up! 


Common Hour #2: Meet the New Professors

I love my Fridays, especially since I have the afternoons free. This allowed me to attend my second Common Hour of the year. It was a neat one because our new professors had the stage.

This year, Coe has six new, full-time professors across a wide variety of subjects. Terry McNabb, who is in charge of Common Hours, decided it would be nice for them to have a chance to introduce themselves to an audience and talk about why they ended up at Coe.

For my own major, we did get a new English professor, Amber Shaw (American Studies) and a new poetry professor (Nick Twemlow, more on him later!). In the rhetoric department, Terri Donofrio joined the team (although I probably won't have her since I'm close to finishing up my minor); the nursing department welcomed Joan Cooper; the economic department brought back Coe grad Ryan Baranowski; and the biology department welcomed Dave Lo to their faculty.

The audience was mainly composed of faculty and staff but there were a handful of students like myself. It was interesting to hear about how each person had ended up at Coe. Some were grads and the move back was like coming home while others had never even heard of Coe until the open position was brought to their attention.

What was neat to see was that in the six new professors was their passion for their topic. They each talked about their current projects and while I didn't understand everything (that darn science!), it was amazing to see that each of them truly loved what they were doing. Regardless if I end up taking a class from any of them, I know that they are great additions to our faculty. They are all beginning to understand what Coe is all about and I know they will be mentors to many, many students as they continue their time here.


Hailley is Busy: What's New?

Hi readers!

Things are crazy here at Coe as we hit the half-way point of the semester. I'm about to head out to an astronomy test and have some readings to do for tomorrow.

But never fear! The half-way point also signals Fall Break. And of course, during break, I'll be able to write a few more posts. Get ready for a week long blog celebration of all the cool things I'm doing right now.

Stay tuned and happy fall!


Theater Lives in Schlarbaum 2

This fall, I'm living with three fabulous friends of mine. It just so happens that two of them, Alison P. and Emily are heavily involved in the theater department. Especially the first fall production. Alison P had a lead role and Emily designed the lighting for the show. The fall production is Proof and last night Alison W. and I went to the performance.

The play focuses on Catherine, a 25 year old who is adjusting to life after her father's death. Her father, Robert, was a brilliant mathematician but for the past ten years, struggled with a terrible mental illness. The oldest daughter, Claire, escaped the family to head to New York. This leaves Catherine to take care of her father, dropping out of school and basically becoming his rock. The play focuses on the days after Robert's death, with flashbacks to see the relationship between Catherine and her father. The final character is Harold (Hal), a Ph.D. mathematician who is determined to go through Robert's writing to see if anything brilliant has been tucked away. Upon discovering a proof about prime numbers, Hal, Claire, and Catherine must confront who wrote it and how to keep moving forward.

It was a well done play. I knew the actors so it was cool to see them playing different people than they are in real life. The play itself was solid. Good writing and I loved the math and science they sprinkled in (makes sense since I adore the geeky math stuff in The Big Bang Theory). I enjoyed spending my Thursday night in the theater and I'm glad I could go, see, and appreciate all the hard work Emily and Alison P. put into the production!  


A Little Chat About Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice

From University of Iowa's website
I love Coe's English department. But you probably already knew that. This year though, I am extra excited for our English department. We are having so many great speakers and I am jazzed. I love having an active discussion in a classroom setting, but I also love sitting in on a guest lecture or listening to a poetry reading.

The first event of the fall semester was from a guest lecturer who doesn't live too far away from Cedar Rapids. Her name is Miriam Gilbert, also known as Dr. Gilbert, and she taught for 44 years in the English department at the University of Iowa. Dr. Gilbert retired last year and is now on a whirlwind tour, lecturing in the United States and across the ocean. Her specialty is Shakespeare, which is perfect. To top that off, Dr. Gilbert also has a second home in Stratford-Upon-Avon (aka the birthplace of Shakespeare). 

When Gina introduced her, she talked about the first time she heard Dr. Gilbert speak. It was a lecture on Othello (one of my favorite plays) at the Newberry Library in Chicago (where my good buddy Millie is studying right now through an ACM program). Gina said this talk was transformative to Gina and the way she taught her classes. She was thrilled Dr. Gilbert was here to speak to us. 

Dr. Gilbert spoke to a pretty full Kesler auditorium. The topic of the lecture was the character Shylocke in The Merchant of Venice. Shylocke is a Jew, and Dr. Gilbert spoke about the how that label creates this character and how various people have portrayed Shylocke over the years. 

It was a fascinating talk. Dr. Gilbert was an engaging speaker and had a powerpoint with quotes, photos, and video clips to help explain her thesis. I learned more about Jewish stereotypes during Shakespeare's time and we even jumped into the text to see how the text painted a picture of Shylocke. She focused on this spectrum that various Shylockes played by various actors fall into. The last question she left us with is do we consider Shylocke a man with a knife or a man with a daughter? It was a powerful question after her interesting lecture and gave me a lot to think about. 

I am so glad the English department brought Dr. Gilbert to campus and just another reason why I love my major. 


Why Yes I Studied Abroad: Turechek Symposium

If you haven't quite figured it out yet, Coe is pretty big on gaining an experience from study abroad. Around 40% of Coe students will study off campus at least once during their time at Coe. That's pretty neat, is it not?

One of the reasons I think we have the ability to inspire students is due to our amazing study abroad coordinator, John Chaimov. No matter where you want to go, John is going to do his best to make it happen. He's super supportive and understands the transformative power a semester, year, or month off campus can be.

Of course, in some ways, no matter how great John is, real life stories about adventures we went on are going to be even more powerful. So last week, a bunch of us got our opportunity to share our stories.

It was called the Turcheck Symposium and it was a two-hour open house. John had brought together some snacks from all different countries and we set up tables with photos, powerpoints, and souvenirs. Many first-years came to the open house and it was fun talking about my experiences and sharing how they could do that in the future.

And, as a shameless plug for me, I have a whole tab on study abroad on my blog. Learn more about my travels to New York City, the Lake District, Berlin, Krakow, and Warsaw. Some of my best/favorite/most memorable educational moments at Coe have been during these trips. It's worth it to read some of my past posts if you haven't already. And of course, if you want to go elsewhere, you should check out Coe's study abroad portion on our website, or, when you make a visit to campus, set up a meeting with John. You can talk about all sorts of things, and he can give you a great run-down of both Coe and non-Coe study abroad programs you might want to check out!


Post-Graduation: Plan A

A special person in my life is my Grandma Joan. One of her favorite mantras/ideas is that you always have to have more than one plan. So if Plan A doesn't work, you can move to Plan B. Sometimes you know what Plan B is and other times, you make Plan B up as you go. So this little series is for her. Throughout my senior year, I'll be making posts like this, letting you know how my post-graduation plans are shaping up.

Here is Plan A. Coe has had a strong tradition of having students who receive a Fulbright scholarship. These are prestigious scholarships where students (undergraduates, masters, and doctorates) have the opportunity to teach English or conduct a research project for one year almost anywhere on the globe.

We also have the best Fulbright advisor. It's Ann Struthers, a now retired Coe professor. She taught poetry at Coe and has also been awarded two Fulbrights (Syria and Sri Lanka). So Ann is pretty experienced. She works with several students each year, helping us fine tune our essays and get ready to submit our applications.

This summer I considered a Fulbright, a lot. After seeing several Coe students awarded them over the past three years, it seemed like an opportunity/experience I had to try for, otherwise I might regret my inaction later down the road. After looking through several countries' programs, I decided on Greece.

Yes, Greece.

The program I found is an HAEF Teaching Fellowship. If awarded one of the 12 scholarships, I would spend nine months working with elementary to high school students in their English classes, in their library, and after school with their forensics (public speaking) club. This program sounded right up my alley, especially considering my desire to be a children's librarian later on in life.

Once I knew it was Greece, I set to work on writing the two essays needed for the application. The first is a statement of grant purpose, basically, what I would bring to the program and country and my previous teaching experience. The second essay is a personal statement, an explanation of who I am and other traits I want the Fulbright Committee to know. I spent the end of my summer and the first few weeks of the school year fine tuning my essays and sending them to Ann for suggested revisions.

With several-times-over revised essays, I then had to meet with a Coe committee. They asked about my desires to go to Greece and pursue a Fulbright scholarship. This committee also gave me excellent feedback on my essays, which I then revised (a shout out to Julia and Ethan in the WC for their out-of-this-world conferences!).

Then, with everything revised, transcripts uploaded, three excellent letters of recommendations sent in, I was ready to hit "submit." It was an incredible feeling; I am very proud how the essays and application turned out.

But now I wait. It won't be until December if I know if I've made the first cut. I'm sure the tension will build, but I'm hoping for the best! And that's Plan A. Stay tuned for Plan B (and maybe even C!).


Spending Some Quality Time With My Dad: Family Weekend 2013

Every year, Coe hosts a Family Weekend. It happens early in the first semester and allows families to head to campus to see what their students are doing. The event lasts all weekend and families can sit in on classes, participate in a service project, check out a football game, and eat food in our cafeteria.

For the past three years, I haven't been able to take part in this weekend. Lucky for me, this was my year! My dad made the now oh-so-familiar trip to Cedar Rapids. He arrived bright and early this morning. We headed over to the Clark Alumni House to check-in and have breakfast.

Then it was service project time. Originally, they were going to limit their volunteers to only about 75 people. But, due to the tremendous amount of people who signed up, Coe pulled together several more projects. My dad and I went with about 50 other volunteers to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

It was a phenomenal experience. The store was hustling and bustling. You can walk down any aisle and find just about anything home improvement related. We got our instructions from one of the managers of the store. He said that our help today (and it was just two hours) would help put him at least three months ahead. It was neat to hear that our volunteering would really make an impact.

The group divided up and I worked with a mom and sister. Our first assignment was bringing extra paint cans from the storeroom. We then had to organize the paint cans and make all the extras from the storeroom fit on the shelves in the front. I learned some neat paint colors like "Safari Tan" or "Green Sage."

Our second task was organizing light bulbs. Such as small task (organizing was not too complicated) meant so much to the store. It was one of those moments where I was reminded how important community service is. I was so thrilled that Coe had this project, it felt great to give back to Cedar Rapids.

The father-daugher day continued with lunch in the caf (the chicken parmesan was perfecto!), a trip to the bookstore (we saw Heidi!), and then to the football game. Our seats were great (right behind the field goal on one side and Olivia joined us). Since my dad played football in high school and college, it was awesome to have a play-by-play analysis. Coe won, beating Washington University (St. Louis) 10-0.

The day ended with returning to the Clark Alumni House for a Presidential Reception. My dad finally got to meet Dave and Janice McInally. It was awesome to see these two world "collides" so to speak. My dad has heard a lot about the process of finding President McInally and the McInally have heard a lot about my dad so it was neat for them to meet in person.

In general, that was my favorite part of the day: my dad getting to meet the people I interact with, talk to, and care about on campus. This is another one of those days where I see how great my Coe education has been.

Unfortunately, my dad had to head back home for my high school's Homecoming. Nevertheless, it was so so so amazing to see him. I had the best day and this was definitely the best family weekend yet!


Three Years Later, Finally Presenting at Common Hour

Alright, so for my faithful readers from the beginning, do you remember my post in December of 2010 (I know, a while ago!) about going with Heidi to our first Common Hour? (You can click on that link to read that particular blog post).

For those who didn't remember, Common Hour is a weekly event at Coe on Friday afternoons where students, faculty, and staff get together to discuss a chosen topic of the week. When Heidi and I went, we discussed academic rigor. I really enjoyed Common Hour, but for the past couple of years, my clarinet seminar has always met smack dab in the middle of it.

But not this semester. And good thing too because I am not presenting at one, but TWO, yes two, Common Hours. That really shouldn't surprise anyone.

My first Common Hour presentation was on Friday (the 13th). It was a group presentation on the May Term I took to Germany and Poland. Not only did we get to present and share our experiences, we also got to have a mini reunion.

Brian and I made a slideshow for the presentation, so we hung out a few times earlier last week to put it together. While no Scrabble was played (our go-to game during the trip; probably a good thing we didn't play since I would lose despite me being an English major), it was good to see him and catch up a little bit.

Along with Brian and myself, our reunion included Professor Keenan, Ryan, Kallie, and Braydon. We pretty much put up the slideshow and talked about what we did and what we saw. Our slideshow presentation took about 45 minutes and then we had fifteen minutes for questions. The audience (which had grown since my first Common Hour three years ago) asked some really good questions.

I love that Coe has a forum for that sort of sharing and it was so nice to let the audience know that we not only enjoyed our trip, but also learned a lot about World War II, the Holocaust, and frankly, ourselves.

My second Common Hour will be Homecoming weekend. I'm talking about my study abroad experiences, mainly New York Term but also the Lake District and Germany and Poland will naturally be talked about as well.  


Peter Godwin Visits Campus

Does everyone remember the post I did earlier this summer about the summer common reading book for this year's first-years? It was When a Crocodile Eats the Sun by Peter Godwin.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that Coe tries to bring in the author of the summer common reading book or, if the author is out of our price range (such as Malcolm Gladwell for my year's Outliers), an author that can speak on the themes of the book.

This year, we were lucky enough to be able to bring Peter Godwin to campus. 

Photo from Coe College's Facebook page
He came on Monday and I had several opportunities to talk with him. Godwin started his day with the first-years, speaking to them about his book during their First Year Seminar class time. I sat in on the speech because I had the hour free and was interested in what he had to say. I was very impressed with our first-years; they asked him a lot of interesting and complex questions relating to the book.

I then got to take Godwin to lunch. Four other students joined us and some of them you know. My summer roommate Hayleigh, my friend and fellow blogger Ryan, Hannah, a peer from my FYS class with Rick Eichhorn three years ago, and Luke, a sophomore CAP leader and Writing Center consultant. It was a good lunch and we definitely didn't just talk about Zimbabwe; Godwin was super interested in Coe and things that are important to us. It was awesome. 

Godwin had some down time, so I took him around campus. It was a sort-of impromptu tour and very easy going. Our final destination was the Writing Center, where we hosted a tea. Lots of people showed up and it seemed that Godwin enjoyed getting to know even more Coe students.

The visit ended with Godwin speaking once more, for our first 2013-2014 Marquis Series event. It was a very interesting talk; kind of going over some of the same stuff he covered in the morning, but also, adding in some new stuff too. 

Once again, another neat opportunity thanks to Coe College. Woot.


A Toasty Saturday in Cedar Rapids

Sorry for the delay in this post, but already it seems the weeks are going by way too fast! Also, this post is dedicated to my sophomore buddy Sam Patterson, who will be making a guest appearance a little later on!

On Saturday, I decided to show my friends some of what they had been missing by not spending the summer in Cedar Rapids. Our route was one I had walked several times this summer: downtown for the Farmer's Market and then to Newbo Market right near the Cedar River.

We had so much fun. It was hot, Cedar Rapids has been quite toasty the past two weeks or so. When we go to the Farmer's Market, it was in full swing. I loved being able to have the inside scoop on where speciality booths were and how to navigate downtown. For me, my big purchase was outside the new Cedar Rapids Public Library. They had a book sale and when you have gently used books for only one dollar, you can't stop me!

We also ran into Dr. Bob, and since we were all Writing Center consultants, a photo had to be taken!

Yes, Dr. Bob is holding a wedge of cheese!

The group took a little break, sitting in Greene Square Park (in between the library and art museum) to eat some food and attempt to escape the hot sun.

Sam with her apple!
  With food in our stomachs, we decided to make our way to Newbo. Lucky for us, Newbo was pretty calm when we got there. The main crowd from the Farmer's Market hadn't made it's way to Newbo yet, so for the first-timers at Newbo, they got to enjoy with not a whole lot of people.

After a little bit in Newbo and our wallets a little lighter, we figured we best head back to Coe. It was a lovely walk back. I love weekends like these because I get to know my peers better. We all share working in the Writing Center and now we have this adventure to remember.

My Saturday ended with a trip to Clark Field to watch our boys' soccer team and then hanging out with friends. Despite the heat, it was still a cool weekend!

Newbo Newbies
Peter enjoying a sandwich 

Laura, Olivia, and Alexis
Olivia and I at Newbo! Woot :)


Week Two: Cedar Rapids Public Library Adventure

It's week two of my senior year and things are moving right along! More classes, more schoolwork, and more time with my Kohawk family.

It's a little surprising how quickly I'm falling into my groove. My schedule is pretty much set and I move efficiently and confidently across campus. I sort of love being a senior!

My big adventure of the week was definitely on Wednesday. After class, myself, Olivia, and Peter all took a trip to the new downtown Cedar Rapids Public Library. It opened at the end of August (during Orientation Week) and we decided it was time for a change of pace.

Let me tell you, THIS LIBRARY IS AWESOME. The three of us probably spent a good chunk of time exploring every aspect of the library. This library is very modern yet functional. There are lots of big, open windows that really help to lighten up the space. There's a cafe on the first floor for coffee beverages (how smart is that!?!?!). The three of us ended up on the second floor patio; we were outside and studying. Not only was it a beautiful day, but also very peaceful to study outside. We had a nice view of the street outside the library and of Green Square Park (right across the street). After a few hours of studying, we made our way to the third floor, which is a rooftop garden complete with chairs to sit on. We sort of wished we had come up there first!

A small photo of the outside of the place. Taken from the Cedar Rapids Public Library website:

It was nice to get off campus and study. There will be plenty more trips to CRPL throughout the rest of the school year; why not take advantage of this beautiful new library?


Dear 2010 Hailley: A Letter From Your Senior Self

Dear 2010 Hailley,

Howdy. This is your senior self, just checking in with you. Three years ago, you were just starting classes at Coe. Your time at Coe seemed endless but trust me, it will go by too quickly. I remember that you are excited and jumping at the bit to get involved on campus. There's a skip in your step as you head to Hickok for your first English class at Coe but a little pause as you walk into the Writing Center, mentally trying to remember all the upperclassmens' names.

My advice to you: keep that energy. What you don't realize at the time is that you're going to do amazing things over the next three years. You will make a name for yourself on campus. You'll get involved and learn more about Coe than you thought was possible. Your love for English will grow and you'll even fall in love with poetry (I know, crazy thought, but just wait and see). Your passion will set you apart and your follow-through will help you gain responsibility.

Now, don't get me wrong. You're going to stress out. There will be days when you take on too much and you have to learn to say no. There will be days when you want to sit in your room, not doing anything. As the popular saying goes, "Keep Calm and Carry On." You'll get it all done.

Oh and Hailley, the friends you are making are lifelong friends. Don't forget that. Especially when your academic life becomes your only life. Don't be afraid to take a break. Hang out with friends. Go grab froyo at Orange Leaf (that will come to Cedar Rapids sophomore's delicious but be careful, they charge by the pound).

I guess I'll end this letter with just be yourself. I don't want to give away any more spoilers. I just want you to know that everything you want to accomplish at Coe can and most likely will happen. It just takes a little patience and elbow grease.

Good luck and see you in three years!

2013 Hailley


Why I Love My Summer Jobs

I would have to say that this was the best summer I've ever had. There were many reasons that made it so great and I would say one of the biggest reasons were my two summer jobs.

Luckily for me, my two jobs overlapped each other quite nicely. These jobs, along with my previous experience on campus, allowed me to move into a more semi-professional student. I know a lot about Coe and was able to serve as a connector between different areas on campus. For me, my jobs never really stopped this summer (even when I wasn't working, I was still thinking about work!), but I actually really liked that aspect.

First, being the assistant to the First-Year Experience (FYE) Director allowed me to know the ins and outs of the FYE and develop a passion for the program. I firmly believe that Coe has a great first-year program and each year, we continue to fine-tune and improve it for our students. I liked the opportunity to work with faculty I normally wouldn't work with and I throughly enjoyed the chance of taking the lead on the summer common reading, from making the reading guide to talking to both the faculty and CAP (College Adjustment Peers) about how to lead an engaging book discussion.

Second, I love being an Admission Assistant. Despite the weird Iowa weather we had this summer, I loved going out on tour. Each student is different and I enjoy finding out their passions and letting them know how they can grow their passions at Coe. And when I'm not giving tours, I am able to work with the best group of Admission staff around. From data entry to coloring territory maps to taking out recycling, the jobs I did helped the office run more smoothly and I'm all for that! In many ways, this department became another family for me on campus. On my last full, eight hour day, they bought ice-cream and surprised me with a small "going-away" celebration. It was the sweetest thing and who doesn't love ice cream in August?

Now of course, schoolwork takes over, but I was so fortunate to have two great jobs on campus this past summer. The experience I gained is invaluable and definitely helped me see what life after college will look like.


Orientation Week Aka THE FINAL WEEK

So I knew that once last week started, it would go by fast, but little did I know it would that fast.


I've spent the last week both working in Admissions and helping out with our first-year orientation. It has been a lot of fun and it's been great to see familiar faces (aka students I've toured) and meeting more of our incoming class. They are great and have a ton of energy which I hope lasts the rest of the year.

The week (August 19) began with Writing Center Orientation. Since I didn't help with our competition in the spring because I was in NYC, I was looking forward to getting to know the new people we hired. We made our yearly trip to Xavier's, the pizza place on First Ave, only about a five minute walk from Coe. The pizza was delicious, per usual, and I liked interacting and getting to know our newbies. I had to work in Admissions on the second day of orientation (Tuesday), but visited them and sat in on a panel during my lunch break.

The rest of the incoming class moved in on Tuesday night and orientation "officially" began on Wednesday.

The rest of my week looked like this like: worked in Admissions during the day (so my normal eight hours), come back to my apartment, take a quick breather, and then volunteer my time with the first-year orientation. I got to sit in on our events in Dows and help out with the annual dragon boat races.

My favorite part of orientation was definitely during the weekend. On Saturday, I was in charge of loading up the buses with our first-year to head out to Palo Beach. Max, the orientation student coordinator, gave me a megaphone to use and it was quite helpful. While waiting for these buses, I did meet a pretty incredible Coe alum from the 1960s. He was a student when President McCabe led Coe (he's one incredible man and did great things for Coe) and also had Ben Peterson (an amazing professor who the science building is named after). Just another reason I love being a Kohawk.

Anyways, once all the students were loaded on the buses, it was off to Palo and the dragon boats. I spent the day in the sun and we were blessed with great weather.

Sunday was the last day of orientation and overall, pretty low-key for our first-years. I had another pretty cool job; I drove 15 passenger vans to Target so first-years could pick up those final items they needed before the first day of classes. Once again, I loved getting to know the new students and I am now extremely comfortable driving large vans.

For me, orientation week is not only a great opportunity to meet the new Kohawks, but also to reflect back on my orientation week three years ago and be able to give back.  I hope the students I met had a positive and fun week and knowing I could have been a part of their experience is very rewarding.