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AHHH Midterms

So it's been a crazy week at Coe. I have two tests tomorrow and all of my time today and tonight will be devoted to getting ready for those tests. 

Will write again and explain my week more fully once these tests are over and Spring Break is here! 


Warm Up Week

After way too much snow, the weather warmed up (the 30s). This meant lighter jackets and lots of puddle hopping. We keep crossing our fingers for spring to arrive earlier, especially since our Spring Break is around the corner.

Midterms are next week, so it's no wonder what my weekend adventures will be (aka homework parties). I've also been up to some extra fun stuff including:
  • Hearing a presentation by Monica, my professor who taught the class on Barcelona, about her life in Spain and how she ended up in Iowa.
  • Been hard at work on my clarinet solo for this semester (it's a piece by Mendelssohn). 
  • My love for being an English major grows with each seminar class I attend. Currently we are talking about Jane Eyre, and I really have to integrate all my knowledge from my previous classes into discussion. I love making new points and really pushing myself in discussion. It really confirms why I decided to be an English major (it was most definitely the right choice).
  • Zumba is still going super well. Such a great study break.
  • The Writing Center blog is off and running. I love writing my weekly Thursday Furniture Feature.
Well, better get back to preparing for those midterms. I have two tests on my birthday (the 28th) so once they are done, I can celebrate! 


Cold and Snow Won't Stop Me!

So a few weeks back, I was giving my family back in Wisconsin crap that they were getting all this snow while it was not too bad in Cedar Rapids.

Karma came back to Cedar Rapids this past week. It heavily snowed on Saturday (during Scholars Weekend no less) and then again multiple times this week. It even started Valentine's Day off with one to two inches of snow.

Despite the snow and colder temperatures, I've been quite determined to wear a version of red/pink this entire week. I've succeeded and haven't let the cold and snow stop me from pulling out my favorite winter dresses (don't worry I wear boots while I zoom around campus). 

And lots of good stuff has been happening. Classes are just going swimmingly, with tests/papers/homework assignments keeping me plenty busy. Lucky for me, I've got some great classes and many of my friends are in my classes, which makes for a great atmosphere.

Millie and I made more muffins, as expected. This time, we tried a banana crumble recipe. They were DELICIOUS.

On Wednesday night, I got the opportunity to hear Michele Norris (some might know of her when she hosted NPR's All Things Considered). Michele was there to discuss her memoir as well as her project that her memoir lead her to, The Race Card Project. She asks people to write down the first sentence they think of when they think of race. Oh and the sentence can only be six letters long. The project grew from that one idea and really took off. Here's a clip of Michele talking about her book (it's 15 minutes long but Michele is such an articulate and graceful speaker)

It was such a great presentation. She gave me a lot to think about and Coe was so lucky to have her visit campus.

On Thursday, I got to spend time with Chloe and Millie (my two English major buddy old pals) as well as two of our English professors, Amber and Melissa. This semester seems to be the semester where I have made an even deeper connection with faculty members on campus. When I went to talk to Melissa about my thesis, our conversation moved into a variety of other topics, including how my semester was going, graduate school planning, and the future. It was so nice to have that conversation because it really calmed me down and helped me focus on finishing the week strong and gearing up for a productive weekend.

I also had one of my best tutoring sessions on Thursday afternoon at Taylor Elementary. I've begun to work really closely with two students, L & K as I'll call them. A few weeks ago, we finished our first book, The Absent Author by Ron Roy (an excellent book, especially for young readers). I went back to the Cedar Rapids Public Library to grab some new reading material including a few nonfiction books on the 1930s (K & L are learning about the Great Depression in their fourth grade class right now) along with Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse (it's a great book about the Dust Bowl and one I fondly remember reading as a fourth grader with Mrs. Lins). This past week, we really dug into the nonfiction book about the 1930s as a whole. As we were reading, the girls and I encountered new words and new ideas. We learned about economy, economists, economic, and how to actually say those words. We talked about the economic cycle and supply and demand, discussed the US timeline from 1929 to 1939 and figured out what the heck Roman numerals were. The entire lesson was conducted on the back side of a library receipt:

Pretty neat, right? Just a hour that reminded me that I am very passionate about teaching children and being a librarian, especially through reading. 

Today, Valentine's Day has been chilly but busy. I've been around campus, gone to class, and even sat in on a Common Hour about the role of media in today's world. The lecture was given by Chuck Peters, a member of the Cedar Rapids community as well as a member on Coe's Board of Trustees. 

Well, French/Statistics/Mary Robinson/Jane Eyre are calling to me! More updates to come!



Coffee, Good News, and Prospective Students

Another week has gone by, way too fast of course. This week was especially busy as the Admission Office and campus in general prepared for Scholars Weekend. If you've read my blog before, you know that Scholars Weekend will always hold a special place in my heart. It was my second visit to Coe and a lot of great things occurred on that Friday and Saturday back in 2010.

But before the weekend could begin, I had to (of course) focus on schoolwork. I had a lot on my plate and so coffee became a very important part of my routine. I liked to brew a few cups of coffee, sometimes even late at night, before digging into some homework. The coffee keeps me awake and it's delicious.

The good news of the week was that I received acceptance letters into two graduate programs. Woot! While I have not decided where I would like to go next year, it's nice to know that I have options. My path to become a children's librarian has shifted into focus a little bit more.

And then came Scholars Weekend. It's so great to see so many prospective students on campus. Campus is abuzz with excitement. I also had the privilege to help out with the students competing for the Williston Jones Scholarship. This scholarship provides full tuition for four years to three high school seniors. It's one of Coe's most prestigious awards. The candidates who competed this weekend were outstanding students and people. I had a great time getting to know both the students and their families.

The rest of the weekend will be spent doing homework and catching up. Some more muffins will most likely be made, so be on the lookout!


Massive List of Things A-Happening!

So I'm a little behind on blogging, so enjoy a list of things I've been up to and look forward to more frequent updates in the month of February.

  • Last weekend, I studied at a variety of places. Friday night, Millie, Kat (Millie's roommate), and I spent some time at Starbucks for that coffeeshop atmosphere. Then on Saturday, I introduced Millie to the Cedar Rapid Public Library (and we got some good studying in). 
  • On top of studying last weekend, we also had a great group come to campus. On Saturday night, I attended a concert by Imani Winds, a wind quintet. They were stunning. I was mesmerized by the clarinet player. She had a clarinet that I had never seen before, using lighter color wood, with her own special bell and barrel. Every player was amazing and they worked so well as a group. They only played music written for their group, which was neat to hear; their pieces were truly one of a kind. Here's a clip of them playing, while this wasn't a song they played at our concert, it still shows off their talent and passion.

  • Last Sunday, the Writing Center hosted its annual Chili Cookoff. It's one of my favorite Sunday Dinners in the WC because I love chili and the point of the event. We show off the Wilderness Field Station and have current students who have spent time up there promote the station and the opportunities that come with it. The Field Station is one opportunity at Coe that I wished I could have experienced during my time at Coe, and therefore, will promote it whenever I can! 
  • For a mid-week study break, Millie and I made more muffins! This time, based on the ingredients we had, chose a recipe from the world-wide-web. A blueberry one. They turned out well (look at us gaining experience) and were delicious. Can't wait for this week and what we'll make.
  • Got to burn off steam and stress with Zumba this week. I enjoy the catchy music and it's good for me!
  • Heard about the Fulbright. Unfortunately, I did not make the first round. While I am disappointed, it simply means a greater and grander adventure and Plan B awaits me post-graduation.
  • Watched a great movie for French class called Bienvenue Chez les Ch'tis. It's a wonderful, hilarious movie that plays off the French north and south stereotyping each other. Enjoy the trailer!

  • Over in the Admission Department, we are getting ready for Scholars Weekend. It's crazy but we are so excited to welcome so many excellent prospective students to campus! 
  • On Friday, I headed home for a weekend visit. My brother is back from some international travel and my sister has started a new semester of her junior year of high school. After some snow tubing yesterday, we are looking forward to an excellent Super Bowl Sunday! 
  • I think those are all my updates. Stay tuned for more news soon!