Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Weekly Wisdom

An average person with average talent, ambition and education, can outstrip the most brilliant genius in our society, if that person has clear, focused Goals. - Brian Tracy

Too often people sell themselves short. They say they aren’t good enough, they don’t have what it takes, and that they aren’t smart enough. But let me tell you…anyone who thinks this way is WRONG! Each and every person is good enough, each and every person has what it takes, and each and every person is smart enough. Don’t sell yourselves short. Set a goal and pursue it. Everyone has a quality inside of them that will “outstrip the most brilliant genius” and if it just takes a goal to bring it out, why wouldn’t we all set those goals (whatever it may be for you)?

In terms college life, this semester is almost over as well as so far from over. At least for me, I am at the point in the semester where getting motivated is hard. I may occasionally even think that I cannot do it because I am not smart enough. However after reading Brian Tracy’s quote, I will have the motivation to finish strong. After writing this, I am going to sit down and make some goals for myself. I may not be the most brilliant, but I certainly can work to bring out whatever brilliance is inside of me.

- Margaret Gruhler

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Book Review

    ‘Salem’s Lot marks my initiation into the more contemporary horror genre, as well as my introduction to the works of Stephen King.
    I must say, if this book is a good representation of his works, King deserves his reputation as an author. His prose is well crafted, dialogue flows nicely, and the characters are undeniably human—they act and think like real, flawed people. They may suffer from a few more flaws than most, especially the secondary characters, but that seems more of the author’s perceptions of human nature than a flaw on the book’s part.
    The beginning, while interesting, was slow because King wanted to introduce his secondary cast before he got to the book’s actual plot. If you’re reading the book at the beginning and it seems boring, at least keep reading until you things move past the initial meet-and-greet with the secondary cast.
This book, despite being in the horror genre, was not scary. I was never afraid while reading this book. Slightly unsettled, at points, but that indicates the book was creepy as opposed to scary. That may be a product of me reading books as a writer, which causes reactions such as surprise to “I see what you did there” or anticipation to “I wonder how [insert author here] is going to play this”. It allows me to better analyze the books I read, but it means that it’s hard—if not impossible—to just sit back and enjoy the ride, and some of the emotional highs suffer because of that. So take my comments regarding them with a grain of salt.
    That being said, I had problems with this book. I will readily admit the book is good. However, given King’s reputation I was excepting something great. I’m going to outline why, but I will give a slight spoiler warning because I have to bring up what the featured monster is to do so.

    Now, the monsters in ‘Salem’s Lot are vampires. Now, I have nothing against vampires that do not sparkle. I’ll even take vampires that aren’t ravenous monsters and are instead people suffering under a terrible curse—so long as it is devoid of any potential fetishism.
    However, I was still disappointed when I realized that King had chosen to use vampires. Horror is dedicated to fear, and one of the strongest fears it can utilize is the fear of the unknown. That sort of fear is not possible with vampires. They vary based upon what mythos they appear in, but even if Vampire A isn’t weak to garlic and Vampire B is, Vampires A-Q are all susceptible to oversized splinters being relocated to the insides of their chest cavities with mallets. Doing something new with vampires has become, for all practical purposes, impossible since Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
    And, while that was not my specific problem with the book, it does demonstrate it. Nothing in the book surprised me. This is a work made by the book, and while King is probably a master when it comes to writing style, the actual content holds the work back. Writers need to take risks to make books that are truly great, and ‘Salem’s Lot does not take those risks.
    That being said, this book is worth reading. It is not a great book, but it’s as close as a book can get without taking serious risks. I haven’t seen many books crafted with the level of writing skill King seems to possess, and that alone is reason enough to read a book. I just wish there had been a bit more.

  - Patrick Johnson

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Weekly Wisdom

  “Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed.” - Dale Carnegie                                                                                                                                                             
  “Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.” - M A Radmacher

     This week I have a couple of quotes for you to think about. I came across the first one and it reminded me of my roommate playing basketball. The team made it far this year, and it took a lot of courage. They had to be in a mindset that would in no way inhibit their teamwork. In the same way, we all need to have that mindset. If we allow ourselves to do everything we can, it will surprise you. You may try new things or try the same things in a different manner; either way, be ambitious. You can accomplish what you set out to do.
    That being said…the second quote definitely needs to be states because sometimes it is scary to try new or different things. Sometimes it is just not the right time to be fully courageous. All I can say is that’s okay too. Sometimes you just need to wait until “tomorrow”, but the important thing is to be thinking about everything you can do. Too many people don’t do things or even think of things (ride rollercoasters, taking hard classes, moving away from home, etc.) because they don’t think they can, but they are wrong. If you really want to do it, and you all have the courage inside of you to do it, you will find a way even if it is “tomorrow”. You need to make a plan and you need to act on that plan. Work up some courage this week, because I know it is inside of each and every one of you.

  - Margaret Gruhler 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Spring Break!

Hey guys!!

It's Spring Break in less than 24 hours here at Coe and believe me, every student knows the exact countdown to their freedom!

The blog team is off this week having merry adventures in our respective hometowns, and the CWC will make it's move to the new writing center in about six short days!

When we get back we'll give you a nice tour of the new place and some exciting stories.  To fill your time while we're gone though, why don't you ask us questions on our Formspring?  You can answer the question below for a chance to win baked goods! (See: The Challenge)

What is consultant Ryan Rey's most shameful moment?

Good luck, and see you in a week!

  - Kelci de Haas