Friday, April 27, 2012

Weekly Wisdom

The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed. - Henry Ford

I like how simply profound this quote is. We all have something—a talent, a fortune, a family, an education, and right now time to study for finals. What are you going to do with your something? I charge all of you to be optimistic and think of everything you could do and not just the things you can do. If I was an amazing singer I could say I will use my talent in the shower, however it is much more beneficial to think about the opportunities like joining a choir, auditioning for a talent show. More relevant to most college students, you have to ask yourself what you are going to do with your time this weekend. You can spend your time thinking about what you are going to do, or you could actually study for finals. There is enough time in the day to study for all of your finals, you just have to ask yourself how much can I accomplish in this time. You may have something as big as all the time in the world or as small as a dollar; but just remember that there are no limits to imagination, and imagination can often create something amazing in reality. So study hard and think of all the possibilities.

Thank you,

Framed quotes can be found pretty much anywhere in the WC. Before I started writing this post, I didn’t realize how many there actually were, but once you start looking for them, they show up everywhere.
One of the great things about Coe is the number of guest speakers they’re able to pull in every year. On the walls of the writing center, there are framed quotes or excerpts of some of these guests’ works, along with their own signature. 
Last semester, I, along with the rest of the student body, got the chance to hear from one of the speakers, whose quote now on one of the walls in the new WC. Firoozeh Dumas, Iranian-American author of Funny in Farsi and Laughing Without an Accent, came to Coe back in September.

The first time I heard her speak was during a presentation she gave to all first years. Persepolis, the book all incoming students were required to read, was written her friend, and fellow Iranian, Marjane Satrapi, so she spoke about Persepolis. She also talked about the basics of the Iranian Revolution and the history of Iran. It was a lot more interesting than I’m making it sound, because Mrs. Dumas is hilarious and tied in so many funny personal stories during her talk.
I got to hear her speak a second time during my Writing Center class (Topics in Composition) the next day. This was definitely more personal, since there were only twenty or so of us, versus the entire first-year class. She talked more about her personal life and the process of writing than she had the day before, and I definitely loved being able to hear about things straight from a published author.
After her visit, I went out and bought a copy of her book, Funny in Farsi, and I absolutely loved it and would recommend it to anyone. If my recommendation isn’t convincing enough, because of this book, Firoozeh was nominated for the Thurber Prize for American Humor- the first Iranian author to be nominated. It’s definitely worth the time it takes to read! 

By Rachel Epperly

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Stars and Spools
-Julia Pillard

The forces which come before the poet
Permit the magic of the musician
Shaping pure form in its final state
A perpetual freedom which indulged the dancer
Should I risk what lurks in the mundane
It is not as imaginative as I wondered
The acrobat freely transformed thought
Little pictures remaining cold
I am a safe distance from alarming innovation
“We used to play outside when we were young and full of life”
This river of time settles in rhythm
Nature is a practitioner of the absolute
And will anoint my fear with fantasy
The stars of the universe appear unconfined
And express the power of distance
The sage is drawn to painful art
Susceptible to forces of cloudy power
While parachutes drift in opaque clouds
Words carry me to the holy
And express themselves on a spool of light

Thoughts on Springtime
-Julia Pillard

                Dawn. The light of the sun filters through the misty morning haze, creeping down across the academic buildings, slithering across the lawn, and sweeping through the branches of evergreens, aspens, and oak trees before it hits me full force. A gentle breeze arcs around me. It’s eight a.m.

                I find it is necessary, at this time of the year, to actually sit back and reflect on life. A lot of people do this in the autumn or New Years, but I believe it is far more productive to do it in the spring when everything feels new and remarkable and beautiful. Think about it. On that first day filled with sunshine, everyone around you slips into their tank tops and flip flops, grabbing sunglasses and a Frisbee and heading out to enjoy the warm weather. This is the time of year when everyone comes out from their homes and apartments to say hello to the sky and sun, to their friends, to the world once more. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect time of year to begin again, just as the earth itself is doing?

                Iowa is stickier than where I’m from, but the humidity cools off enough in the evenings that taking walks around campus is just about the most enjoyable thing I can think to do right now. The other night, while walking around campus as the stars were coming out, I listened to people chattering, laughing, walking through quads and tossing footballs to their friends. I heard music spilling from the music hall, watched theatre students run, skip, and hop rambunctiously to rehearsal, and listened to seniors elaborate on how good it felt to be graduating…but how scared they were about what they were going to do next.

                Don’t be scared. If we live our lives wondering what comes next, then we won’t have time to enjoy what comes at this moment. Springtime isn’t the time to think about the future. It’s the time to think about the now; the beautiful sky, the cotton-candy clouds, the flowers peeking out from beneath the hardened earth. So seniors, and everyone, don’t be scared. I have found that, when you need it most, life has a way of pulling you through. For now, why don’t you grab a Frisbee, call up some friends, and head out into the sun again.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Formspring Fun

Hey guys!

Sorry it's been a while since we updated, but we're going to get back on track as soon as we can.  For now, here is our favorite question that you asked us on Formspring:

Q: Why does the sun shine?

A: According to the band They Might Be Giants: "We need it's light, We need it's heat, We need it's energy, Without the sun, without a doubt, There'd be no you and me."

According to me: Because in this crazy, messed up world, we need a constant. We need something to brighten the days and give us hope. We need something beautiful that we have no control over, something that shows us it's possible for the clouds to burn off. Something that shows us we can still shine even if the world seems to be trying to cover us up. Because we need something to look to or wish for even in our darkest days. 

Also - because it does. If we knew why everything in the world was there and how everything worked, what would be the point of living?

  - Kelci de Haas