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We chose Coe, will you?

Watch this.
Now, imagine this: Hailley walks into work on a Monday after spending some quality time in Wisconsin. On her two and a half hour drive back, her mind is reeling in stop motion clips, trying to figure out the "plot" of the second video. By the time she pulled into Coe's parking lot, the top 40 radio station blaring (classic Hailley move), the only shot she has in her mind is the final one. She imagines a golf cart, full of Coe students. They are making one statement, We chose Coe. But instead of ending it there, they challenge the viewer with the question, Will you? The golf cart pulls away, the "bump, bump, bump" of the stop motion as the image fades to black.

With that shot in mind, Hailley brainstormed the rest of the video with her coworker Alex and the other Admission staff members. Finally, a plot comes together.

The rest is history.

Okay, so not really, but it was the only way I could get out of the third person. But seriously, that's how the second promotional IPCW video began. With an idea in the car as I sang along to music I exclusively listen to while I'm driving because I love to sing.

The day we took photos for the majority of the video, was probably one of my all time favorite days in the office. We bopped around campus in that golf cart and shot the scene I pictured some perfectly in my head. It was also a beautiful, non traditional July day, so the weather was definitely rooting for us.

I love this video. One of my best I think, for all sorts of reasons. All and all, I think it captures Coe. It captures the things we are proud of, such as our location, strong and challenging academics (how many books do you bet were mine!?!), and the Kohawk family that is second to none. It captures Coe's quirkiness, our ability to stand out and shine. It captures the spirit of Kohawks, about how we come from all over the place, but once on campus, we're a family.

Moral of the story: sign up for Iowa Private College Week. You won't want to miss this week.


A Weekend of Working Out!

Another weekend came and went, and this one was one active weekend. While I wasn't exploring downtown Cedar Rapids, I did get a chance to put my legs to work!

Saturday was a beautiful day. The sun was out and the humidity was low. My friend Mariah and I went on a bike ride. Our destination was Ely, which, round trip ended up being about 20 miles. The trail was relatively flat and I had never been on that part of the trail before, so that was exciting. When we arrived in Ely, we went for a cup of coffee at The Retreat, a fairly new coffeeshop.

It's my favorite type of coffeeshop, aka built inside an old Victorian house. We ordered our drinks and then sat outside in their gazebo, chatting. When we were ready to hit the road, we made sure to take a picture first to remember the afternoon. 

On Sunday, I biked to the other side of campus to the football field. I wanted to get a little run in and ended up going for three miles! For me, this was a big feat (I'm not a huge runner). Since it was Sunday, all was peaceful and calm. I stood on the football field before I biked home and realized how much I would miss this atmosphere in a couple of weeks. 

My Sunday ended with another bike ride to the library and some roof reading. The library had some live music out on the patio, so it was nice to hear the music rising up to the roof while I read Rebecca Solnit's The Faraway Nearby. After a few hours of reading, I got back on my bike and made my way back to Coe. 

I went to bed on Sunday, tired yet relaxed from such a great weekend. My legs sure got a workout, but I was feeling great!  


Third Time's a Charm!

Woah, it's hard to believe another week has flown by. It seems like just the other day, it was Sunday and I was recovering from an awesome adventure filled weekend. Now it's Friday and I'm even more worn out!

Lots was a happening in Admissions this week. Iowa Private College Week is right around the corner (less than 20 days) and with July being a busy tour month, it seems as soon as I walk in the doors at 8 AM I'm moving! I've had the opportunity to tour some outstanding students this week and also I've been helping tour train some fellow Kohawks. I really enjoy walking around with my peers and chatting about their experience at Coe. It's nice to be able to "bestow" my tour guide wisdom and I feel sort of like a proud Mama Duck, watching her chicks grow.

For our incoming first-years, this was also a pretty big week. They not only found out their First-Year Seminar class, but also their rooming assignments. The Class of 2018 Facebook group blew up the other day as all the students starting posting where they were living and what FYS class they were in. It was fun to watch and I couldn't help but think fondly on my summer before I started Coe (circa 2010 everyone) and how excited I was.

On Thursday, I made my way back to Newbo Market for my third Meet Me at the Market. By coming a third time, I qualified myself for a FREE (yes, free) Meet Me at the Market t-shirt. It's beautiful and I was quite proud. This time around I was invited to do yoga with two Kohawk friends of mine, Mariah and Addy. I had also just acquired a new yoga mat so it was great to start breaking it in. Definitely different than biking but still a lot of fun!

Friday was another busy day in the office and I couldn't believe when 3 PM rolled around. I headed to Clark Racquet Center for my usual workout and then post dinner, attended the final Out Loud! Author Series.

From her website

The author of this final summer series was Elizabeth Berg. She is a well known and well published author. Up on stage, she was graceful and honest about all sorts of things. What I loved about her reading was how she bookended it. After reading a short section from her most recent novel, she talked about what it means to be a writer and the story behind many of her book titles. Finally, she ended with an essay about reading and writing. It was a great reading and while I definitely felt very young in the crowd, it was a nice way to end the series and Berg's books are being put on my summer reading list!


Reading Guide

Every incoming Coe student has a summer reading assignment. In my opinion, it's a great way to do a little homework over the summer to gear up for college, and also the book becomes this common talking point for the 400 some incoming students. I still fondly remember reading Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers, and I know I've made or heard Outlier jokes up until graduation (it doesn't go away!).

My various Coe connections allowed me to sit on the First Year Experience (FYE) Book Committee and I'm proud to say I've helped picked the first-year common reading for four incoming classes. Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis followed Gladwell's book the following year and then I became more involved with the first-year experience.

The following year, as the first-years read the infamous "baboon book" aka A Primate's Memoir by Robert Sapolsky, I was able to create a reading guide for them. I completed the same project the following year for Peter Godwin's When the Crocodile Eats the Sun

And this year is no different.

The book for this year's incoming class is Sarah Vowell's A Partly Cloudy Patriot. Now, I've seen Vowell this summer, and seeing her was just the motivation I needed to help finish off the reading guide for summer 2014.

However, this year, I stepped up my reading guide game. While I do have the reading guide, complete with enough questions to keep you discussing the books for hours, I also created a Storify story with some additional media.

Storify is a neat website I've been plugging since my experience at the Paley Center for Media. I think it's a great way to pull media and information across so many different platforms. In a Storify story, I can pull tweets, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, Instagram photos, and articles from the entire web. It creates a story that moves you around the web and also contains all the information in one handy spot. I've embedded the story below, it might be something cool to see, just to have a taste for what A Partly Cloudy Patriot is all about!

Sunday: Sun and Rain Always Go Together

I woke up on Sunday, well rested from a day of adventures on Saturday. Despite the fact having walked everywhere in downtown Cedar Rapids, I still felt a workout was needed before the sun got too high in the sky. I biked over to the track and field, which is open for Coe students. I ran a couple of miles, all before lunch!

Post lunch, I packed my bag and biked down to the public library. It was a beautiful day outside, a little hot, but better than all the rain we have been getting. My destination at the library: the green roof. The roof is all eco-friendly and has a nice view of Cedar Rapids.

Stunning, am I right? 

I was out there for about two hours (with sunscreen on of course). As I got close to the end of my book, I headed inside for some shade. Inside, as I was settling in, two things happened. One, my friend Rachel texted me about hanging out with her family at Newbo (who were visiting for the day) and the storm clouds began to roll in. 

There wasn't suppose to be rain! 

I thought, I'll just back back to Coe before the rain. As I walked outside, I began to feel sprinkles. Throwing my backpack cover on, I quickly unlocked my bike. The rain started to fall faster and I pedaled faster. Usually, I take the trail from the library to Coe, which isn't quite the most direct route. Sunday, I ignored rules. 

Up First Avenue I went, the rain coming down. I was soaked and never pedaled so quickly up a hill before. 

So it was an adventure. Back at Coe, I dried off and as I walked out, the rain was done. It was sunny again and as Rachel, her family, and I walked to Parlor City for appetizers (right across from Newbo Market) there wasn't a sign it had been raining. 

Midwest weather, what can we do about it? 

Appetizers were lovely and it was a lot of fun to get to know some of Rachel's family. My day ended with some summer reading and once again, I feel asleep in an instant, clearly exhausted. 

Definitely one of my favorite weekends this summer! 


Cedar Rapids Extravaganza Part II

The adventures continued on Saturday. While I had gone to the Wally Lamb event solo, Saturday was a friend-filled day. Earlier in the week, I had made up a fun invitation and sent it along to many of my friends in Cedar Rapids for the summer. A long list of places to go and things to see was on the invitation with the disclaimer that my friends could come to what they wanted (many had work or other commitments throughout the day). I would be happy for whatever they could come to and no matter where we went, fun would be had!

My day began with my friend Alexis. The two of us walked from Coe to the downtown area. Our first stop was the Blue Strawberry, a local coffeeshop. We grabbed some much needed coffee and a muffin to start our day. With beverages and food in hand, we chose a spot at the window so we could people watch. From there, we walked a few blocks over to the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art.

Now, I've blogged (briefly) about this museum before. I went with Heidi to it back when I was a freshman. I returned to the museum at a later date, with different exhibits. It is a neat place and I always wished I could have spent more time there. One of the perks of being a Coe student is free admission, all day, every day to the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. What is even cooler, is that from now until August 31st, anyone can see all the neat art for free!

And if you're in the area, you should definitely take advantage of it. Currently there is a lot of Grant Wood displayed (and he is such a great artist with the ability to paint in so many different styles) along with an exhibit on American life, photography of stars, beautiful ceramic pots, and a printmaker. Of course, the permanent collection of Roman life is also there for you to enjoy. Alexis and I had a great time walking around exploring and seeing all the neat work.

Some Grant Wood
Post museum, Alexis and I stopped by the library briefly so I could drop off a few books and pick up a couple. Then, my friend Kat joined us and we stopped by the Lost Cuban to grab lunch. This was one of the top Cedar Rapids restaurants I hadn't been to yet. It was delicious and I would definitely put it on the list of great places for food in CR!
The three of us, food in hand, then walked to Newbo Market. The market was busy and it was Kat's first time there. I took her through the various booths and we ended up buying some cupcakes (aka the best cupcakes I've ever had, shoutout to That One Cupcake Place). At Newbo, we met up with Peter, Connor, Rachel, and Tim while Alexis left us to go work at Hyvee. While we sat outside, soaking up the sun, we chatted with a young boy whose parents owned the Caribbean Kitchen (the same place I had so throughly enjoyed on Thursday). He was on his scooter and was having a blast zipping along on the sidewalk. Somehow I was challenged to a race and had a blast trying to ride his scooter (see photo of me in a skirt). \

Nourished and ready to go, the group walked across the bridge to the Czech Village. The National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library was celebrating their 40th anniversary on Saturday. Their celebration consisted of family activities, live music at night, and free admission into the museum. This museum has been on my bucket list since 2010 when I visited Coe. Needless to say, this was a long overdue trip. 

This museum is legit. So much great information and displayed in such engaging and interactive ways. My mom's side of my family has some Czech heritage so there were many times where I could relate to the artifacts in front of me. I got really sentimental over the various lamb cake molds I saw. It was something my mom always made for Easter and I even got to make with my aunt when I was on New York Term and spent Easter with my family in New Jersey.
Lamb cake with my Aunt Julie

Again, definitely a place I would recommend checking out if you're in Cedar Rapids. They currently have an exhibit called Faces of Freedom that talk about Czechs and Slovaks coming to the United States along with a great and informative history about Czechoslovakia.

The rain looked probable, so the group elected to grab a drink at a restaurant in the Czech Village called the Red Barron. Then we ate dinner at another restaurant in the village called Smuggler's Wharf. Both places were great and it was nice to enjoy the outside and catch up with my friends. Olivia also joined us by the time we ate dinner.

As the storm clouds moved in, we headed back to Newbo to pick up cars and then it was back to Coe. I was so happy how the day turned out and so glad I got to spend so much time exploring Cedar Rapids. I fell asleep just like that, clearly exhausted from all the walking and FUN!

Weekend Extravaganza Part I: Cedar Rapids, Friday Night

If you know me, you probably know I like adventures. Really, any sort of trip where I get to move about, see things, talk to people, and maybe even learn a fact or two.

This past weekend ended up being the perfect three days to see all parts of Cedar Rapids. I went to bed on Sunday completely exhausted, but so darn happy from all the fun I had. Since I had so many adventures, I've broken it up. In this installment you get Friday night and you'll have to check back for Saturday and Sunday.

From Lamb's website
So let's begin...Friday night. I attended the second Out Loud! Author Series event of the summer. This time around it was author Wally Lamb. Now, I didn't know much about Lamb; I went to hear a little of his writing and also just to hear an author.

When I arrived, the place was packed. Most people seemed to be Lamb fans and it was hard to find someone without at least two of his (large) books. These were dedicated fans and as seven drew nearer, I got more excited to hear him talk.

As Lamb got up on stage, he seemed comfortable and relaxed. He wore jeans with a t-shirt, and a sports jacket on top, just to spice up his outfit a bit. The final piece of Lamb's outfit was his baseball cap, which he took off about half-way through his reading.

The reading was fantastic and Lamb's novels are moving to the top of my summer reading list (once they get returned to the library, I think every copy is currently checked out). Lamb read from his most recent novel, We Are Water. I think this novel was even more significant to many of the audience members because it is about a flood, something very relatable to Cedar Rapidians. It's a novel that takes place in Connecticut, where Lamb grew up. It's a story told in eight voices and Lamb read a section about the flood from one character's point of view.

Of course, before we could hear the excerpt (which was quite moving and left the audience silent), we got some humor from Lamb. He started off with a hilarious tale at a Costco on one of his book tours and then some more background on how he came up with the plot for We Are Water. Then, after the reading, Lamb took some questions from the audience.

While a long line formed as Lamb signed books after the talk, I slipped out. I didn't have a book for him to sign and decided to just check out some of his books in the nearish future. I was very happy I went to the talk; I always love to hear authors talk about writing. It fires me up about writing and provides always helpful and needed inspiration.

The final Out Loud! author is Elizabeth Berg and she comes to town this upcoming Friday. I hope to make it (then I'd be three for three). I think it's great Cedar Rapids can bring such great authors to town and it's so great to see so many community members at these readings.

A Trek Up Mount Trashmore

Now what is Mount Trashmore you may ask? And why on earth would I go to place named so...elegantly?

Well, this is a fun story. Last week, I attended my second Meet Me at the Market. I biked down to Newbo and found the place hopping with people, all ready for an adventure. It was warm outside, but not too bad. No rain, thank goodness!

The bike ride was to Mount Trashmore, which is just around the corner from the Czech Village. It use to be a landfill and now is closed, yet open to the public to hike up. Back in 2008, Mount Trashmore became the home for debris from the flood and closed once the city was relatively picked up. Today, it's open for people to walk/run/bike and offers a neat view of the city.

There were about 20 bikers who decided to make the ride. It was quite a sight to watch us bike towards Mount Trashmore. We held up traffic a bit as we made our way along the bridge across the river, headed towards the Czech Village. The bugs came upon us as we made our way along the river towards the entrance of the landfill. The road turned from smooth pavement to pebbly gravel. I was bound and determined to make it up the hill, which gradually got steeper as it wound its way up to the top.

I didn't quite make it.

But I came close, about 3/4s of the way. I was huffing and puffing, while being eaten alive by bugs. However, I got this view at the top.

You could see Cedar Rapids, from the river to the Czech Village, and even Coe! It was a clear day and everyone took out their phones to snap a photo from the top. After chit chatting and rehydrating, it was time to head back down the hill.

It was a lot more fun than going up. While I was constantly braking, the wind helped keep the bugs away and cool me off after biking up! 

I arrived back at Newbo, hot and sweaty, with several new bug bites to prove it. I thought about biking home and cooking dinner, but decided to treat myself to something from the market. Upon a friend recommendation, I went to the Caribbean Kitchen. I ordered a Billy Goat wrap with their homemade pineapple coconut lemonade. I took my food outside and saw a few friends from Coe. We chatted while I ate my meal (SO DELICIOUS, highly recommend). With a full stomach, I put my bike helmet back on and made my way back to Coe. 

Meet Me at the Market has been by far one of my favorite parts of this summer. I'm headed back there on Thursday and I believe this time I'll get a free t-shirt! Woot woot!  


#StudentTakeover Video #1

I'm pleased to announce that the first promotional video for our Iowa Private College Week #StudentTakeover has been uploaded and emailed out. Here it is for your viewing pleasure. This movie was a blast to make and I couldn't have done it without my amazing cast of Kohawks who appeared in the video. So a huge shoutout to Rachel, Sarah, Ryan, Alex, Bryce, and Alexis.

Video #2 is currently being made, so get ready for even more stop motion! And don't forget to sign up for this incredible #StudentTakeover, it's definitely a visit you won't want to miss.


The Moviemaking Life

If you were following my blog last summer, you know I played a role in the creation of two Admission videos to help promote Iowa Private College Week. The videos were fun to make and Millie and I definitely gained a lot of inside jokes as we made them.

In case you haven't seen them...

This year, my coworker Alex and I are back at planning Coe's version of Iowa Private College Week. Our theme is still #StudentTakeover and let me tell you, Alex and I have lots of planning ahead of us. Lucky for me, I've got a year of planning under my belt, so I know the ropes.

We also begun another video series promoting our visit days. I got to try out some stop motion video making. It was a new technique for me, so I used stop motion expert, photographer Petra Cross, as my source of inspiration. After a few tries, I think I got the hang of it.

So here's a little snippet of my stop motion. The movie is just about done, and soon it will be published!

On top of this moviemaking, we've also been taking some photos for a variety of Admission things. We got Charlie the Kohawk out and about and went around Cedar Rapids taking photos. It was a lot of fun and more jumping photos occurred!