Saturday, May 31, 2014

Alumni House Garden

     As of now, the aspect of my summer job I'm taking most seriously is the Alumni House Garden. It helps that there are so many wonderful things to look at. Here's a sample. I don't have all the names down, so bear with my ignorance, please. 

     The above photos represent some of the first blossoms in the garden; bleeding hearts and peonies among them. They started to appear about two weeks ago. The batch of photos below is from Wednesday, the 28th. The Siberian Irises are in bloom and the peonies have opened up. In addition to white roses, there are a number of pink roses. The purple flowers are a member of the mint family, and I'm not quite sure what the last photo is, but it's easy on the eyes. 

     After pulling thistle from one of the beds, I realized I'd left quite the trail and couldn't pass up the chance to take a photo. A gardener's self portrait, maybe. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thursday's Ramblings

I'm still not used to the Writing Center being quiet. Granted, it's summer and there's basically no one here to use it. But I'm accustomed to there always being at least 4 people inside it at any given moment (save those rare occasions where my sleep schedule was messed up and I went into the Writing Center at 6 or so in the morning to roast some coffee since I was awake anyway). Still, gives me an alternative to Hickok for places other than my apartment to sit around reading books (currently working through Perdido Street Station and The Savage Detectives). Eventually I might have to look through the Writing Center's collection of books to see if there's anything in there I feel like reading.

I'd try using it for writing, but I have this horrible habit of not starting to write until 11 or so at night when I really should be going to bed and getting some sleep. It makes it a little hard to do it anywhere other than my apartment, since I could end up falling asleep at any moment. Or feel like I'm going to fall asleep, try to go to bed, realize I'm actually not tired, and go back to writing.

Also, my second batch of banana bread turned out well. Unlike the quality of the picture, I'm afraid.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Like a BLT

The WC is infamous for its large kitchen the creativity of bakers and cooks brought upon by having 3/4 of the ingredients the recipe calls for. Some recipes are ways to use all the ingredients you have in the pantry or fridge.
Sometimes, though, inspiration comes in the last moments of the day, before your eyes close and you tumble off to sleep. My breakfast today fits into the second category. Wouldn't it be great, I thought, nearly asleep, to make a BLT, but instead of bacon, asparagus, and instead of lettuce, kale.
I chopped my asparagus, tossed it in a pan with olive oil, salt and pepper, and a touch of lime juice; cut the kale; toasted bread; fried two eggs because I love fried eggs; cut the tomato into slices; and put it all together. It was great.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Greetings, Salutations, and Other Words of Similar Meanings Ad Nauseum

Hello everyone who visits the Writing Center blog! I have no idea who is included in that list and what you're interested in hearing about, so I'm going to feel a little bit like I'm writing to myself. And this might result in a great deal of me rambling on about things. Like I'm doing right now. Should probably stop doing that. Mostly because the banana bread I'm trying to cook is starting to smell oddly and is probably burning as I'm typing this...

I suppose I should begin with an introduction: I'm Patrick. I'm a creative writing and philosophy double major with a potential minor in unemployment. I think professionals call it "freelance writing" and it sounds like it would be fun and conform well to my desire to not get out of bed before noon. It also sounds slightly terrifying with all the college debt I'm lugging around. And the fact I have yet to publish anything outside a single poem in my college literary magazine, the Coe Review. Long-term goal, I guess.

Aside from my writing center and gardening duties, I'm currently gainfully employed at the local Hy-Vee, and am trying to finish a book and do research for a research paper on John Stuart Mill's On Liberty that I shall be writing next semester. And making assorted (potentially vain) attempts to not be a hermit. And, eventually, making expeditions to bookstores because I like books, and libraries because I like books and don't have much in the way of disposable income. More on that if and when those trips happen. Possibly with pictures, if I manage to commandeer a camera.

As for my insights for this piece... well, a glance outside my window tells me it's a beautiful day, I've found a new Ed Sheeran song to listen to, my eyes currently hurt from taking too many notes on a library book I'll need to return soon, and I'll need to get working on my book shortly because I've been lazy about working on it and need to fix that. I have banana bread that I hope is edible cooling on the counter, a chicken in the slow cooker I might have put too much steak sauce on, and a poem I wrote last night that has the potential to not be shit after I rewrite it a few times. Seems like it'll be a good day. And I may need to locate some nonfiction to determine how people write about things in an interesting manner without lying profusely. 


Friday, May 23, 2014

At the Bix Beiderbecke B&B

     Summer is upon the Writing Center: consultants and writers have left, the lights are off, the kitchen doesn't magically get cleaner or dirtier overnight. A few of us are employed over the summer to take care of some tasks. Our first task: attend a faculty retreat at the Bix Beiderbecke Bed and Breakfast in Davenport. Free housing and meals? You got it.
     At the two-day event, Patrick and I, the student representatives, listened and took part in conversations about all things writing at Coe. One of my favorite conversations of the day took place over lunch at Greatest Grains. It was about the medium we write on and how that impacts style. Does writing on a computer or on a notepad or in a composition book make a difference? I think it does and so did a few others. From there, we talked about mood at the time of writing and keeping journals.
     I especially enjoyed the chance to meet Jenna, the new director of the WC, and Allison, a new Rhetoric professor. I'm looking forward to working with Jenna this summer and next year.
     I've also been doing some gardening at the Alumni House and making a few meals in the WC kitchen... more on that later.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Very Special Thursday

Not only is today May 1st, aka May Day, aka the best day in the spring, but this is probably also my last blog post of both the semester and as my time as a Writing Center consultant.

While my blogging skills (and regularity) have not been stellar the past couple of weeks, the blog has always been on my mind. I remember coming in as a first-year and being gung-ho about starting it up and keeping it going. I took a break from the blog my sophomore and junior year and renewed my interest my senior year. I still think the blogging concurrent session at the Tampa conference was a huge turning point in how I think about the blog and blogging in general. I hope you as readers have enjoyed our weekly posts t his semester and I hope that they continue this fall.

Before I sign off as a WC blogger, I wanted to direct you to a couple of links. These are two current juniors, soon-to-be seniors who studied abroad this past semester. Dr. Bob recommended to link this particular post of Julia's, who spent the semester in both Florence AND London. And then on Tuesday, we had a small WC homecoming for two of our consultants who had been on Asia Term. I'm including this link to Peter's blog, who did such a nice job of letting us know about this travels.

So it's time for me to buckle down with finals. It's been a fun ride blogging and more generally, being a part of this writing center community. It helped to make my Coe experience one of a kind and this space (with all the great furniture) will be hard to replace.