Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Heidi's Blog Update #3

Dishes...dirty coffee canister...dusty tabletops...chewed gum...three spiders (that were spotted at least)...vacuum...very ripe carton of milk...

Any guesses as to what I was doing this morning?...

...If you guessed: Cleaning the Writing Center...then you're right!

The other day when I was looking through the Alumni Newsletters for ideas for this year's newsletter, I noticed some of the summer consultants took it upon themselves to tidy up the place which, as I'm sure Courtney Marti would agree, is always in need of some good ol' TLC...and a clorox wipe. :)

So this morning I woke up, grabbed my iPod and packed a lunch to-go, and headed to the WC prepared to tackle some dirt and dust.  First I emptied out a coffee canister that apparently still had old coffee in it...ew people!...then took care of the dishes, scrubbed all the tabletops, desks, and counters with clorox wipes, sponges, and soap and then took to vacuuming the entire place, moving furniture (no, not the large pieces of furniture which are never to be moved ;) but the small random chairs) and organizing it into specific areas, and then I happened across a carton of milk dated to expire May 13th.  Funny how fast milk spoils, because that thing was soon going to look more like cottage cheese than a liquid, haha...yep...ew!

So needless to say, I believe the WC is slightly cleaner than when I began. :)

  - Heidi Heaton

Friday, May 25, 2012

Heidi's Blog Update #2

So my first week on campus this summer is officially coming to a close today with some final work hours before a weekend away for Memorial Day.  Wow, way too many rhyming words in that sentence, haha.  This week has consisted of...

1. Collecting timesheets and having them signed by the always joyful Steve Singleton while Dr. Bob is away living up England! (We are all very jealous, though my roommate, as well as Manderson, is also in England with Dr. Bob so I'm sure I will hear plenty about the lovely trip!)
2. Watering the plants in the WC before leaving for the weekend (Anna noticed while she was here earlier in May that one is curiously expelling its leaves at an alarming rate...hmm).
3. Blogging...yay!
4. Reviewing the Moodle site for the Summer Writing Exercise for our incoming first-years with Lisa Stroschine, whose computer prowess has never failed to amaze me!
5. Glanced over past Alumni Newsletters for an idea of what Kobe and I will be working on later this summer...mostly hassling you recent graduates to hear about what's keeping you busy post-Coe. :)
6. Sorting through suggestions for how to revamp our WC website submitted by various Topics groups from this past spring.

Manderson and I will be discussing the website suggestions and figuring out how we can implement them when he gets back from England.  Many of the suggestions for the website included easy-to-use tabs across the top of the screen rather than down the side to make navigation easier and maybe even adopting a "nesting" technique so we can utilize subcategories within these tabs.  Comments also included revamping the website so the colors used are bold and captivating.  Other suggestions I read that would really add to the flavor of our website was adding a scrolling consultants' comments bar at the bottom of the page for various consultant quotes, thoughts, and advice to peers or fellow consultants.  This way our website can still have its own personality reflective of the people who work in it, but the information conveyed directly on the website's pages can avoid inside jokes and criticisms that may appear confusing or unprofessional to an outside reader/viewer.  An event calendar with upcoming events, such as our Sunday Night Dinners and Tuesday Teas, would also be nice to include as well as the expectations we have as consultants of conferences and what we may or may not expect from writers looking for assistance.

As I worked this week, what I found particularly interesting were the Alumni Newsletters from years past.  It's really amazing to read stories and comments of consultants from previous years and to notice that your average WC consultant personality--fun-loving, energetic, joyfully unique, passionately involved--has not changed one bit.  Photos that accompany the staff newsletter biographies are still helter-skelter with next to no one looking directly at the camera but blissfully happy nonetheless.  As a future teacher, it's inspiring and encouraging to read about WC alums who live in D.C. and work for the Teach for America program, or who's most fulfilling job is raising her children and teaching high school English.  Not only are the stories and engagements fun to read about, the travel exploits admirable, but there are so many connections out there I don't think most consultants currently working in the WC are even aware of...I certainly wasn't until just the other day!

I was also shocked by the photos included in several of the newsletters of the various homes our Writing Center staff has had on Coe's campus.  From what is now Stuart's basement bathroom, to the Peterson tunnel, to the most recent location in Gage annex, it's amazing to see how the consultants quickly adapt to each new space and how it is really the people and not the space itself that truly make the Writing Center the welcoming community it is.  I'd love to include in this year's Alumni Newsletter a glance back at the past with all of these photos and maybe some reflection from Dr. Bob of what he has experienced over the years.  It would also be great to include a section for "Making Connections" where WC alums can be grouped according to areas of study and work and new/current consultants have an idea of how graduates ahead of them are involved in their prospective communities.

Well that seems like enough to get me thinking for the day and hopefully for you readers as well. :)  Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and I'll check-in again next week!

   - Heidi Heaton

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Heidi's Blog Update: #1

I noticed in Anna's last blog she mentioned how absolutely silent the WC is now that it's summer break.  I couldn't agree more!  I just got back to campus yesterday and it seems strange that all the buildings and chubby Coe squirrels are still present while the students are not.  Along with Anna, Manderson, and Kobe, I'll be working in the Writing Center from May through August as one of my three summer jobs.  Lucky you, you get to hear me babble once a week about all the amazingly exciting (let's hope for all of us WC staffers' sanity) activities that are taking place in the WC and on campus this summer!

My jobs this summer in the WC consist of updating the WC website, making sure people get paid (verrry important stuff there), blogging once a week of course, assisting in the publication of our Alumni Newsletter, formatting and working on the summer exercise for incoming freshman (any questions freshman and prospies...ask your's truly), and keeping our lively group of three plants in the WC healthy and happy (which could be quite a challenge seeing as I am to be blamed for the death of one unlucky flower in my dorm room last year).

Aside from those jobs, if you're interested in a few fun facts about me, here goes...

Over the course of this summer and the fall I will be working for the Writing Center, Upward Bound, the Heritage Office, working as a CAP leader, bookstore employee...yep, I think that's it.  This fall I will be a LIGHT team leader for Intervarsity, our Christian organization on campus, play ultimate frisbee like it's one of my many jobs, and will also be working as a Writing Fellow again this year for an FYS class.

As for the spring semester, I am incredibly excited to be traveling abroad in Paris, France!  I cannot wait!  Although I am incredibly nervous at the same time to be dropped into a new country, with a different language, new family (I'll be staying with a host family), and new school (the Sorbonne- heck yes!), I can't wait to try something completely new!  I am a French major, Secondary Education minor, with an English endorsement and hope to teach high school French, so what better way to be more knowledgeable on my subject than to go to the lovely and vibrant country itself!  Anyone seen Ratatouille?  It's going to be exactly like that, swap the cooking for school work, subtract a talking rat and add a fumbling French-speaking American student, and yep, that's basically my life in the spring! ;)

Well here's to an amazing summer and hopefully exciting updates to come!  Enjoy these sunny skies and hot days. :)

  - Heidi Heaton

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Anna's Blog Post #1

Who would have thought that the Writing Center would ever be quiet? It's amazing, really. With the academic year at Coe finished and the majority of students at home, the Writing Center has been silent for days. As one of this year's summer staffers, I've taken it upon myself to remedy that situation (mostly for my sanity, but also because it just doesn't feel right to be in a quiet WC). However I'm not particularly creative right now, so "making sure the Writing Center isn't too quiet" has turned into "play all the Whitney Houston songs."

One of my tasks this summer is to put together the Summer Staff Newsletter. Every year, the student in charge of the newsletter gets to pick a new set of questions for staff members to answer, interview-style, in order to introduce the current staff to the incoming staff and vice versa. I'm posting this year's questions below so that all you alums (and whoever else happens to be reading) can play along at home. I'll also be posting a PDF copy of the newsletter once it comes out in mid-June, so you'll get to compare your answers with those of our staff.

So without further ado, our newsletter interview questions:

1. Name:
2. Year at Coe:
3. Major:
4. Hometown:
5. Summer Plans:
6. Weirdest Thing You've Ever Eaten:

So far there have been plenty of interesting answers to question six, ranging from playground pebbles to "my grandfather's cooking" to mac 'n cheese with chocolate chips. What an interesting bunch of people we've got here in the good old CWC.

  - Anna H.