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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. :)