Thursday, March 28, 2013

Weekly Wisdom

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle

I like to consider myself a pretty good student. I am normally good about getting my homework done on time and being prepared for class. In turn I would say that I became an excellent student. But everything changed this semester. I am in a class where all motivation is lost; all habits I once possessed got thrown out the window as soon as I became aware of the "no-so-negative consequences--at least I thought. It turns out now that I have just set myself self up for defeat. I have put off a major paper and am struggling to do everything last minute. This might sound normal for many of you, but for a major research paper like this it is not good for anyone to wait until the last minute to still have research to do. I put this upon myself as soon as I checked my good habits. It will be a struggle, but I am going to work hard to get out of this rut; it is not too late. 

I want to remind you all the same: it is not too late. The semester is coming to a quick close and many things must get done. To be frank, you would be surprised how much you can actually accomplish if you resist taking a two hour nap in the afternoon, find a good study group that motivates you to actually work, shut off the television while you work, and many more... As Aristotle has made plausible, it is not about whether or not you have the ability to do something but rather if you have the will to get it done. These are two different things; don't let you fear of incapability get in the way of trying to be excellent. In this sense you truly can accomplish anything you set you mind on.

-Margaret Gruhler

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Author Spotlight

Dr. Seuss (1904 - 1991)

Famous Works Include: Horton Hears a Who (1954), The Cat in the Hat (1957), Green Eggs and Ham (1960), The Lorax (1971), and The Butter Battle Book (1984).

Born Theodor Seuss Geisel, the famous rhyming Doctor wrote the film Design for Death, which won the 1947 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Over the course of his life, Dr. Seuss published 46 different children's books, which are often characterized by imaginative characters, fantastical rhymes, and the frequent use of anapestic meter (a poetical meter that features two short syllables followed by a long syllable).

Quotes from Dr. Seuss:

"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams."

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

"The more you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go."

Hope you've enjoyed this blast from the past from the March 2009 edition of the WCWC!

- Anna H.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Weekly Wisdom

"Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased consistently, or it vanishes." -Peter Drucker

We have come to a crucial part of the semester. We are ready for not only spring weather to arrive, but for classes to conclude. Some are even waiting every day in anticipation for Flunk Day. While all of these things promise to come, we still have a very important thing to worry about--finishing our classes strong. It may be tough to go to classes when you know the end is in sight (only about 7 weeks left) but that is why I chose this quote.

Our goal of being here at college is to improve our knowledge, but you cannot improve if there is no effort. That is why we need to challenge knowledge. We need to challenge in order to gain a better understanding and thus continually increase our knowledge. It is no one's intention to have their knowledge vanish , but if we do not push through these past 7 weeks that is exactly what will happen. I urge everyone to take this note and work hard this week. Challenge knowledge and watch it increase and improve.

-Margaret Gruhler

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Author Spotlight

Jane Austen (1775 - 1817)

Famous Works Include: Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1815), Northanger Abbey (1817), and Persuasion (1817).

Jane Austen was an English novelist of the early 19th century whose works of romantic fiction have cemented her place as one of the most widely read authors in English Literature. Sequels, prequels, and adaptations of almost every sort have been based on Austen's novels, proving her staying power in the Canon.

Quotes from Jane Austen:

"Business, you know, may bring you money, but friendship hardly ever does."

"There are people, who the more you do for them, the less they will do for themselves."

"If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more."

Hope you've enjoyed this blast from the past from the February 2009 edition of the WCWC!

- Anna H.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Weekly Wisdom

"Humility in our quest for success provides for the strongest sort of sustainable leadership, and facilitates the attainment of true success. It is the core of moral character and is a surprising springboard to both personal and competitive excellence." - Tom Morris

It took be by surprise when I stumbled across this quote because I just finished writing something for a class about how I lack humility. I am a quiet, shy, and highly respectable, and for those reasons when it comes to admitting my faults I freeze. We did this activity in class where we shared mean things we had said so we could see how much our words (no matter how seemingly small) hurt those around us. I, however, could not get past my own insecurities for the purpose of the assignment showing that I had no humility.

I wanted to share this with all of you in the hopes that I can make you think about your interactions with others. I always thought I was the kind of person who could show some humility when it was necessary but had my thoughts broken by one in-class activity. This one activity has caused me to think more critically about what I say and to whom I say things. Humility is not just being able to admit your own faults but to think before you speak that you would not put yourself on the level to hurt someone else. It is all about being considerate and thinking about the needs of those around you before your own. Show a random act of kindness day may have passed, but I urge all of you to keep it going this week and show a little humility.

-Margaret Gruhler

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Author Spotlight

Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)

Famous Works Include: A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), Walden (1854), Autumnal Tints (1862), and The Maine Woods (1864).

Thoreau, a Harvard graduate, is admired for his observations of the natural world and the expression of his social philosophies in such essays as "Resistance to Civil Government" and "Life Without Principle." For two years, two months, and two days, Thoreau living in a small cabin near Walden Pond, using his experience of living the "simple life" as the basis for his book Walden.

Quotes from Henry David Thoreau:

"Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it."

"As if you could kill time without injuring eternity."

"How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live."

"In wildness is the preservation of the world."

Hope you've enjoyed this blast from the past from the January 2009 edition of the WCWC!

- Anna H.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Weekly Wisdom

"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt." -Margaret Atwood

Now that spring break is in full swing for Coe College I am excited to post about the changing of seasons. My favorite season is spring and for the very reason of smelling like dirt as Margaret Atwood has described above. Maybe this sounds gross, but just a few weeks ago I was walking around campus and remember getting excited because it smelled like dirt. It was refreshing, and gave me hope that spring would soon come. It was a glimpse of everything that is to come.

Spring is my favorite season because it is a time of getting rid of the old and bringing in the new. The semester winds down in the spring and our summer break begins during spring. Most of these things happen near the end, but the thought of all of these things comes at the beginning. When it is winter the times seem to drag on and on and is very dreary (especially in February). As soon as spring rolls around my attitude and mood changes; I can feel the end drawing closer and I become motivated to finish strong.

I encourage all of you to do the same--smell the dirt and finish strong because the end is in sight.

-Margaret Gruhler

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Author Spotlight

Shel Silverstein (1930 - 1999)

Famous Works Include: The Giving Tree, A Light in the Attic, Where the Sidewalk Ends, and Falling Up.

Silverstein's work did not include writing for children when he first began his career, but his editor and girlfriend, Ursula Nordstrom, encouraged him to write children's poetry. After having used his clever, silly ideas in his first book, Silverstein decided that he enjoyed the product and wanted to do it again.

He wrote the music and lyrics for "A Boy Named Sue," performed by Johnny Cash, for which Silverstein won a Grammy in 1970.

Silverstein confirmed that he never studied the poetry of others, and therefore developed his own style: laid-back and conversational, occasionally employing profanity and slang.

Hope you've enjoyed this blast from the past from the December 2008 edition of the WCWC!

- Anna H.

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Visit from the WPA!

This past Monday, our weekly staff meeting was given over to a visit from two members of the Council of Writing Program Administrators (WPA). Doug Hesse and Eileen Schell were on campus for a three day visit in order to assess Coe's writing program and wanted to talk to the Writing Center staff in order to get our unique perspective on writing at Coe.

We talked for an hour, discussing the Writing Across the Curriculum program and the Writing Fellow program that so many of us have participated in. After our talk, we were able to take a staff photo with our guests! 

- The Blog Team