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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!