Friday, January 31, 2014

Photo Friday

Another week has gone by and we're back for another Photo Friday!

Have you seen any good artistic ability in the Writing Center lately? Here we have a few quick sketches done by one of our very own Writing Center Consultants -- miss Maddie!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Where Did You Get That Couch? Furniture Feature

It's Hailley, back for another Furniture Feature. This week is a short one, featuring another couch that is all kinds of wonderful:

This pretty green couch is very comfortable with firm cushions and even a little friend to help you study! The couch was acquired from a psychology professor campus. It was donated to us and she and her husband built a new house and got brand new furniture. In their old house, the couch was located near a window and it's quite faded overall. Dr. Bob didn't mind the fade and neither do we! It's the perfect size for one person to kind of spread out themselves and their stuff or ideal for two people to have a conference or life chat. 

Deidre's Doodle #2

To follow up from last week, here's a doodle capturing my feelings after eating free pancakes for my birthday.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Another Round of Topics Tuesday

In case you haven't paid attention to your calendar, today is Tuesday.* In case you haven't paid attention to the Coe College Writing Center blog, today is also Topics Tuesday. And in case you haven't paid attention to your heart, Topics Tuesday is the best day of the week. (Ok, so even I know that might be a stretch... but suspend your disbelief to the end of the post).

*Disclaimer: It's 12:45 AM on Wednesday, but c'mon, I'm on college student time.

In case you missed last week's post, you can get up to speed here.

This week, my Topics group spent a significant amount of time on ePortfolios.

CWC ePortfolio (C-W-C e-port-fol-i-o) noun: A personalized Google website created by every Coe Writing Center Centaur, used to showcase his/her work over the course of college. Includes academic, personal, and writing center work integrated with reflection.

There are mixed feelings about these ePortfolios within the writing center staff. Some Centaurs brave the winds of new technology, finding ways to use the newest Google gadgets and incorporating pictures wherever possible. Other Centaurs are paralyzed by this strange sorcery, sighing in relief when they successfully add a hyperlink. Regardless of affection, we are all creating them.

I am personally quite fond of the ePortfolio. It allows me to organize my work in a way that is accessible to others but personal to me. Whereas only one person can look at a physical portfolio at a time, anyone can look at an ePortfolio at anytime. I hope that I can develop it enough to use it in certain job scenarios because the accessibility would be very helpful. I also appreciate that I can personalize it. I get to pick the template, pick the organization, and pick the content. There are so many options. Most of all, I like that I am multi-tasking: I am learning to showcase and reflect on my work and how to build a website-of-sorts. Those will both be useful skills in the future.

Plus, I think it will be enjoyable to laugh at my papers from my first year of college when I am a senior... and to think how far I have come.

For those of you looking for an example, I have good news! Soon, the CWC plans to publish the links to several centaurs' ePortfolios for the sake of better acquainting our better audience with our staff and with writing practices at Coe College. Keep an eye out -- they should be pretty cool.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Chili Contest and Monster Cookie Recipe!

Hey Writing Center Enthusiasts! 

Kelan here.  You might remember me from some of the posts from last semesters blog. Anywho, in the future I'm going to be doing some Sunday food related posts about a variety of topics including Sunday dinner and baking committee reviews, recipes, reflections, and so much more!

I'm a little late on this post, because some things came up for me.  Better late than never; am I right? 

This last Sunday Dr. Bob and Harlow Hado faced off against each other in a good old fashioned chili-off. From a viewer's perspective, this battle may have looked like a bunch of Writing Center consultants eating dinner.  Knowing the crowd, I could tell there were some fierce arguments ensuing over which chili was indeed better than the other. Upon tasting both concoctions, I can attest that they were both indeed chili. 

For those of you searching for a more nuanced analysis, reporters on staff Gathered that Harlow liked to always make sure that his chili was "full bodied."  To get the flavoring exactly how he wanted, Harlow would do the old faithful "one finger taste test." On the other hand, I got the sense that Dr. Bob used a more collegiate approach and headed to the local Ghettovee to purchase the cheapest materials available.  His recipe the classic blend of beef, onions, beans, and tomato paste. 

The recipe for this week comes from the Writing Center's very talented baker Marissa Bouska!  Sunday night she prepared delicious Monster Cookies in the Writing Center kitchen.  Cookie
Monster would have approved. 

The Ingredients for this recipe include: 
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 12 -ounce jar creamy peanut butter
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup multi-colored chocolate candies
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal (not instant)

Once you have your ingredients, the instructions for preparation are as follows:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.

In a very large mixing bowl, combine the eggs and sugars. Mix well. Add the salt, vanilla, peanut butter, and butter. Mix well. Stir in the chocolate candies, baking soda, and oatmeal. Drop by tablespoons 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Do not overbake. Let stand for about 3 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool. When cool, store in large resealable plastic bags.

And that's all I have for you this week! Look this coming Sunday for another food related post. 
Thanks for reading,

Friday, January 24, 2014

Photo Friday!

Happy Friday, folks! Every Friday we'll be featuring a photo from the one, the only, Coe College Writing Center! Hopefully these photos will capture the unique space, awesome staff, and oh so many fun activities. This week....

We're honored to capture a glimpse at some good ol' Tuesday Tea shenanigans! If you haven't stopped by for some good food and and random conversation, be sure to visit the back table Tuesday's at 3:30 every week.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Deidre's Doodle Day

Wow! That was a lot of alliteration. Wednesdays will usually be Doodle Days, and I promise I had a decent (enough) reason for my forgetfulness. I saw the doodle file, I saw it, but before I was going to post it, I decided to print out my IHOP coupon for my free birthday meal. And then I printed out three more birthday related coupons, and that was just too much for my attention span to handle. Sorry.

But wait! I have the doodle today! I thought it would be fun to do a Coe-themed mug for my first doodle post. Mugs are all around the writing center, so it was even more fitting. I even did it on notebook paper for doodle authenticity.

See you next week!

Furniture Feature

Happy Thursday and welcome to our second installment of Furniture Feature. Bringing you fun stories about the furniture in our place.

Today, we focus on two pieces of furniture, bought as a set. Sam Patterson claims this couch is the "comfiest one in the Writing Center." Pretty bold claim, but I think we should trust her on it.

Sam likes the couch because you sink into in it. It seems like an ideal spot to do some homework, yet still take part in a conversation if you want. 

Dr. Bob got both the couch Sam is sitting on along with the chair (broken but still functional) for $25 (I see a trend here) at a garage sale. This sale was on the same street Dr. Bob and his wife live on (north of their house). Dr. Bob chuckled as he explained that this furniture was purchased north of his house and the table and chairs featured last week were bought on the same street, but south of his house

What was also funny about this purchase was that the woman holding the garage sale had not originally priced the couch and chair for only $25. Dr. Bob arrived at the very end of the sale and it appeared that the woman simply did not want to bring anything back inside the house. While Dr. Bob had began by bidding on only the couch, the chair was somewhat of an added bonus. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Inaugural "Topics Tuesday"

Well, hello there!

A few brief snippets you should know before we get into this blog post:

1. I'm Angela, a sophomore Coe Writing Center consultant. Some hobbies include drinking lots of tea, reading the old-school poet John Donne, and analyzing the psychological profiles of every Star Wars character repeatedly.

2. Tuesdays are my favorite day of the week. Why, you ask? 2 tried and true reasons: Tuesdays aren't Mondays, and the cafeteria has my favorite menu, tacos. A new fantastic reason: I get to write a blog post about Topics in Composition (our staff development course) every Tuesday until the end of the term.


This post will attempt to inform you about what Topics in Composition (hereby referred to as "Topics") is and how I feel it benefits our consultants. In later posts, you will hear about my group's research this semester (yep, like what you do with a microscope -- only without the microscope) and our inevitable, unintentionally fun moments.

Topics is a course designed solely for writing center consultants. We are required to take it four times throughout our four years -- twice in the first year, once in the second or third year, and once in the fourth year. The course allows us to think about the most effective ways to conference in addition to fostering our growth as writers. (AKA we write lots of things, though not necessarily papers).

Since the CWC likes to shake things up, the fall term and spring term versions of Topics differ significantly. The fall term focuses on orienting our super-cool new first years into this whole new world (cue Aladdin) while encouraging seasoned consultants to re-evaluate how they conference. The spring term is usually centered on a research project using our databases, where we record how we feel about each individual conference we have completed. This semester, Topics also includes recording self-portrait videos for a consultant collage and updating our e-portfolios.

Topics also provides us the great service of making us BE the student writers. We are required to receive -- not give, but receive -- a number of conferences every semester. Though many of us do this anyway, the experience forces us to remember what it's like to be a student writer. It still feels a little nerve-wracking to show someone else my writing, but the consultant always calms me to a level of cool, comfortable, and controlled vulnerability. Receiving a conference and then reflecting on it rekindles my goal of making student writers feel comfortable enough to share their (often quite insightful) papers with me.

Next week, we'll move on from this syllabus of sorts into some real material. If you have any questions about Topics or about the writing center, make sure to tweet @CoeWC.

Terrifically Tuesdayedly Yours,

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Furniture Feature

Welcome to the first installment of our newest weekly feature. As you've probably guessed by the title, we're talking about furniture.

For those who are new the place known fondly as the "WC," we have a quite random (at least to us) collection of furniture. As I say on my tours, "It doesn't match, but it's all comfy!"

Each week, come back for a new picture and brief story about a piece of furniture in the Writing Center. Most furniture has been purchased by Dr. Bob, so the history of the furniture belongs to him, but we as consultants make a new history for the furniture once it makes it into our place.

First, up, the newest piece of furniture to the Writing Center. It arrived mid-way through the fall 2013 semester. It's a lovely table with four chairs, located near the front. Situated between the tanish couch and the zebra painting, it looks something like this:

According to Dr. Bob, this table set was purchased at an estate sale. It was for a house right near Dr. Bob's house. He and Margie knew the man, but never stepped foot inside his house until the owner's death. As Dr. Bob entered the kitchen, he saw this table. It seemed to be just the right fit for the front of a the Writing Center, a space that Dr. Bob was never really a fan of. The table and four chairs were only $25 so Dr. Bob purchased the set and loaded it up in his truck. 

At first, the consultants weren't too keen on this table. It felt a little weird, location wise, and we weren't sure if it was going to get in the way as people entered the Writing Center. To our surprise, the table and chairs have been an excellent addition to our furniture. The table is just the right size for a single person to spread out their books and homework, and a good size for four people to eat dinner together. Location close to an outlet, it's key for computer work, and right near the comfy couch makes for additional seating when you're with many friends. 

Check back next week for a new piece of furniture! 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Tybee Day 5/6 - The Crab Shack and Bonaventure Cemetery

We've been back to our regular and busy schedule so here's a post to catch you up on the last two days. 

Yesterday Dr. Bob didn't show up until 11 am and we didn't meet for class. I took that opportunity to catch up on sleep. After Dr. Bob arrived, we all piled into the vans to explore some of the small shops around Tybee Island. There were some very interesting stores with local art and products. 

Once everyone was hungry, we headed over to The Crab Shack, also located on Tybee. It was a very interesting place filled with gators, cats, and excellent food. I've never been a big sea food eater, so I was glad Dr. Bob ordered a sampler plate. I nibbled on some shrimp and crab legs, which I enjoyed a lot. After the food, we went into the gift shack were I found an awesome shirt that I purchased. There was also a section devoted to birds, one of which would dance if you sang "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean" to it. Of course we all gathered around to watch as Dr. Bob serenaded the bird and it did indeed bob it's head to the music. 

The rest of the night was spent cooking, giving and receiving conferences, working on my paper, and celebrating Connor Swanson's birthday. 

Today we went back into Savannah. First, we stopped at the Bonaventure Cemetery. It's the sight where Johnny Mercer and Conrad Aiken are buried. We spent about 30 minutes walking around and exploring the Cemetery. Then we went back to the historical downtown to one of Paula Deen's restaurants, where we ate lunch. It was a lot of very good food. The rest of the time Margaret, Maddie, and I walked around the River District and checked out shops. 

I can't believe we leave in two days. Tomorrow looks to be the warmest day yet, so I'm hoping to get to the beach to hang out and maybe brave the water. Hopefully the weather holds out!

Stay classy,


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tybee Day 3/4 - Savannah

Yesterday was such a busy day that I didn't have time to write a post, so here's a combined one for today as well. 

We headed into Savannah bright and early yesterday to explore the city. Maddie, Margaret, and I started our morning off in a coffee shop run by SCAD, the Savannah College of Art and Design. We spent some time crying over art supplies and browsing books. After that, we walked down one of the main streets of Savannah and checked out a lot of stores. 

Once we were done, it was time to meet up with Dr. Bob and the rest of the group at one of the cemeteries in the city. We wandered and contemplated for a while before heading to Clary's for lunch. They had awesome food. Afterwards, we went as a group to Mercer House and took the tour. The house was really amazing and the interior was decorated in an interesting manner. The house used to be owned by Jim Williams, a key character in "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" by John Berendt. Maddie, Margaret, and I spent our last hour wandering the streets and checking out some antique stores. 

Since it was so cold (for Georgia), we had a lot of free time today. We met for morning class where we had a few fishbowl conferences about our beach walk papers. Maddie, Margaret, and I spent some time after lunch at the library, where I worked on fleshing out my paper. After dinner, we all watched the movie adaption of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." I really enjoyed the movie and am excited to eventually read the book.

Tomorrow everyone is getting up bright and early because Dr. Bob is taking us out for breakfast. 

Stay classy,


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Tybee Day Two - Beach Walking

We had our first Topics of Composition class this morning, and it was definitely not what I expect. Dr. Bob went off on some unbelievable tangents involving Ashton Kutcher, Sandra Bullock, and bachelor parties. We managed to get back on track and covered the three major projects we will be working on during our Tybee stay. The first is an essay/poem about a beach walk and  also involves our thoughts on language and writing. We're supposed to have four conferences on our piece before the end of the week. The next is a 15 second video introducing each of us and talking briefly about anything related to the Writing Center. The last is to make a plan regarding a 30 minute workshop each group will have to present for a staff meeting. 
After our class was over, we went on our first group beach walk. There were lots of shells collected and selfies taken. Everyone eventually ate lunch and then we headed over to the Tybee Lighthouse and museum. Following that, we took a brief break at the North Beach Grill and spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the north shore. I included some pictures from today's excursion for your view pleasure. 

Tomorrow we're spending most of the day in Savannah. I'm super pumped!

Stay classy,


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Tybee Day One - We Made It!

After two days of driving with a total of about 21 hours, we finally arrived on Tybee! Our trip down was pretty uneventful, minus the part where one of the tires on the Odyssey van went bad. Luckily, we were able to stop for lunch and get it fixed in a timely manner so that we were on the road again. Yesterday, we covered the majority of the distance. We left around 7 in the morning from Cedar Rapids and made it to just outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee around 9:30, where we stayed the night. We had another early start this morning. We were on the road a little after 7 and made it to Tybee after 3. 

Once we were at our destination, everyone quickly vacated the vans to check out our beach house and claim bedrooms. I'm happy to report that Doctor Bob chose well. The house is three stories, with tons of bedrooms, bathrooms, and TVs to make everyone happy. After the bedrooms were divided, we had a big group meeting where everyone was split into  smaller groups and put in charge of two meals for our stay. After that, Doctor Bob left to pick up Maddie from the airport. 

We spent most of the time after our meeting just hanging out and waiting for Doctor Bob to get back. We watched some football and played a few card games. Maddie's flight was delayed so she and Doctor Bob didn't get back until it was too late to prepare the first meal, so we ordered pizza instead. Then it was off to the grocery store to pick up food for our meals. Once we got back to the beach house, Doctor Bob left and everyone has been hanging out and doing different things since. Apparently we have our first class session in the morning. I still have no idea what we're doing, but I'm sure my next few posts will be much more interesting!

Honestly, I'm just glad to be away from the -18 degrees with wind chill that Wisconsin has on Monday. Yikes. Apparently some of the US will be reaching Mars-like temperatures. Makes me extra glad I'm here on Tybee. 

Stay classy,


Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Writing Center Goes to the Wilson's Apple Orchard

NOTE: Another post that somehow never got published! Our apologies! 

Hey all! 

It is me Kelan bringing you an update on all things Writing Center related. 

One of the committees that consultants are particularly fond of is the "All Things Fun" Committee.  They are responsible for, well, all things fun.  The committee's most recent event was a trip to Wilson's Apple Orchard for apple picking and consultant bonding.  To double the fun, the Environmental Club joined in on the fun. 

Having never been to this orchard before, I was astonished to see the number of people that decided this was the place to be on a drizzly then out and out rainy September day.  There had to be a couple hundred people at this orchard while we were there.  Part of the reason for the crowd was the sheer size of this place.  My previous experience at the small family run, honor system orchard near my house back in Minnesota did not prepare me for Wilsons.  I was astonished to see a sea of apple tree as far as the eye can see.  From the new Zestar, to the crisp Liberty, and the delicious Jersey Mac, the Wilson Orchard had it all.  Looking at the orchards website, I was informed that they have over 120 different kinds of apples to pick.  Oh, and did I mention that they have pumpkins too?

Something I learned on this excursion was how to be a responsible apple picker.  Yes, there is a right way to tackle this task.   Before we were let loose on the trees the staff at the orchard store made sure we mastered the official "twist and pull technique."  Using this method makes sure that when you remove the apple you take away as little wood along with it as possible.  If nothing else, I'm hoping that by the end of this year readers of this blog will be able to say they picked up at least one useful tidbit, and this may be it. 

As a classic starving college student, one of the highlights of this trip was discovering the apple version of the five second rule.   If you see an apple on the ground that looks good to eat, not only can you take it you don't even have to pay for it!!!  This is one reason you may have seen me prowling around the Jersey Mac section more than once. That sense of finders keepers only makes apples sweeter.  

Being a Minnesota boy, one of my favorite apples is the Honey crisp, which coincidentally was invented at the University of Minnesota.  In my opinion no apple can match the Honeycrisp.  For those of you who have yet to experience apple nirvana, you will have to take it on faith when I say no other apple has the combination of size, crunch, and just the right amount of sweetness as a ripe Honey crisp.  You can imagine my disappointment when I saw that the Honeycrisp is only ripe in the beginning of September.  We had arrived too late!  Oh well...maybe next year. 

After we had had our fill of picking apples off the ground the Writing Center/Environmental Club members converged in the orchard store where everything apple related was sold.  Having heard some insiders tips beforehand, I knew that I had to try the Orchards apple donuts and turnovers.  Ordering six donuts and one turnover, I have to tell you, was the best decision I had made all day.  Who knew that you could infuse the flavor of apples into donuts?  I have no idea how the orchard did it. I  don't particularly care, as long as they keep making more. The apple turnover has to be mentioned too.  Normally I'm actually not that big of a fan of apple turnovers. The ones that I had had before were usually cold, and the apples in them were too sweet.  I never finished them.  Not the case at Wilson's.  Theirs were hot, and mean hot, and the apple filling inside was just the right amount of sweet to keep you wanting more. 

All in all, it was definitely a great way to spend my Saturday afternoon.  I can't wait to see what the "All Things Fun" committee has in store for us next!

Thanks for reading, 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Topics Goes to Tybee

While most Coe students are enjoying their winter break surrounded by snow and keeping warm by the fire, some of the Writing Center Centaurs will be traveling to Tybee Island for Topics class! For those of you that don't know, Topics in Composition is a required class for consultants at the CWC. We are required to take it four times in our four years here, usually both semesters of freshman year, once as a senior, and then one other time of our choosing. For the last time (since Dr. Bob is retiring after this year,) a spring semester of Topics is being held on Tybee Island, not far from Savannah, Georgia. There will be 16 of us taking the 18 - 20 hour drive in two passenger vans.

I'm not entirely sure what we'll be doing during our week there, but we'll be staying in a beach house called "Lazy Dayz." It has good reviews on, so I'm excited. Tybee Island is located roughly 30 minutes from downtown Savannah, which Dr. Bob has said we will be visiting during our stay. The historic square and monuments area sounds like a great place to write, so I'm sure we will be exploring that area of the city. I haven't spent much time in the southern US and have never been to Georgia besides driving through it, so I am very enthusiastic about this trip! Less enthusiastic about the long drive down. If I have time, I will be updating the blog with accounts of our adventures in and around Tybee Island.

Stay classy,