Sunday, October 4, 2009

having fun

The other night, our friend David was in his room and Krista Anne, Emily, Jack and I decided it would be funny to stack stuff in front of his door so when he opened it he couldn't get out.....

Tonight, David and Jack made a contraption in their room so that anytime anyone opened the door, they would trigger a ball hitting them.... Good for intruders. Easier shown than explained...


Krista Anne and Emily

Krista Anne and Emily are my two best friends here. They live next door to me in our suite- we planned that last year. Krista Anne is from North Carolina and Emily is from Chicago. We have SO much fun together, and they are just as goofy as me.

We went to visit the old Galesburg jail- the jail has been transformed into a campus building, but if you go to the back you can still see the old cells.

Fun stuff.

pictures of my room

My mom wanted to know what my room looked like, since I've moved stuff around since I moved in.....

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fall Term 2009

I'm a sophomore! But I still get mistaken for a freshman. I'm pretty used to it, I think it's a height thing.
My classes this term are Digital Photography, School and Society, and America in the 1960's. I LOVE all of my classes! Digital photography is pretty hard so far, because I'm not very familiar with my camera besides the usual point and shoot. It's been really helpful to have my OWN camera instead of renting one from the school, because I know that everything I'm learning will be 100% applicable after the class ends, because I use this camera for picture taking! Our class is a little dry... we sit in a dark lab for 3 hours twice a week, while our professor reads us Powerpoints. But it could be worse. Our teacher is a really nice guy, so that's a good thing.
School and Society seems like it should be interesting. We are learning about the history of school in American society, and the social/political/economic implications of offering public education. So far so good.
America in the 1960's is SO INTERESTING! Right now we are learn about how events that occured in the '50's triggered events in the 1960's. Our professor is absolutely brilliant, Here's a little info about him. He really knows his stuff, and he is obviously very into it. I love his class. The reading is AWFUL though!!! I am a fast reader, and I've been doing about 3 hours a day doing reading just for his class.
I just found this "wikifire" page about my professor- it's pretty funny. Knox students update it kind of like wikipedia:

Knox is really good about bringing in events. Last week all my friends and I went together and saw Kyle Cease, a comedian who won something or other on Comedy Central. He was hilarious, and he really liked Knox. He was only supposed to stay for an hour but he stayed for 3 hours, and kept saying he "isn't supposed to do this, but Knox is so full of joy, I just love it!!" So we felt really special. He probably says that to all the schools.
Anyway, here's a little taste of what he was like:

It's raining today, I'm planning on going to watch Knox soccer play against McMurry College.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring Term

Spring term started Wednesday. It is going to be a VERY fun term!! I am taking Social Psychology, College Writing II, and Public Speaking. Those subjects are my fortes, so it will be enjoyable work. I can’t wait to see how things go. My social psych professor is really funny and his lectures are very interesting. He has written articles for Newsweek, and had his work discussed in different tv-shows, so the stuff he is talking about is relevant and he knows his stuff.
I am still in Alpha Phi Omega. I got nominated and voted to be Public Relations Chair- which mainly means I advertise for all of our events. It is going to fun to decorate our club bulletin board too- right now it is really boring!
Tonight at our weekly Alpha Phi Omega chapter meeting, we talked about our plans for spring term. We are having a run-a-thon to (I think) raise money for the jail in the city. The money goes to the literacy program, which teaches classes at the jail. We also have a program at Knox that donates old textbooks to be used for teaching. Some of the students in Alpha Phi Omega go over there and teach classes as well. It’s a really cool program. We are also raising money to send several members of our group to Guatemala this summer. In Guatemala, they are going to be volunteering in communities for (I think) 6 weeks to do two things: A) teach English- the average Guatemala has very little formal education, and they have a hard time with good teachers, much less English teachers. The second things my brothers are doing over there is working to build new stoves. The ones that are primarily used in the country are (and I don’t know the specifics) open wood-burning in their homes, which is terrible for their lungs and the environment. I am really excited to send them to Guatemala; we have spent all school year fundraising to make it possible for those that can’t pay.
Alpha Phi Omega also does a book co-op. Since the bookstore’s prices are so ridiculous, and when students sell back old textbooks they get about 10% of what they paid for it, Alpha Phi Omega created a program where students bring in their old textbooks, decide how much they want to sell them for, and we put them on categorized shelves. Then, at the start of every term, students can come in, knowing what their classes are, and buy books for their classes that are used and they can get them for a fraction of the prices (a used book at the co-op might be $20, while in the bookstore it might be $80). The money that is made goes right back to the student that sold it-all 100%. So this is a non-profit program that keeps prices low for textbooks. It is a really helpful thing.
At our meeting tonight, we talked about other projects to do this term. We had $200 to do a service project of our choosing. People suggested really cool things, and I had an idea too: because Galesburg has a terrible relationship with Knox (all they hear are the bad things, and all they see are drunk students walking in the middle of the street on Friday nights), we should create a positive relationship between the Galesburg community and Alpha Phi Omega. This way, we can show a positive aspect of Knox AND Alpha Phi Omega itself, because we do SO many cool things for Galesburg (including but not limited to work at the jail, work at the elementary school reading with the kids, volunteer in preschool classrooms, walk dogs bi-weekly at the Humane Society, volunteer our time at the food pantry and women’s shelter, have ice ceram socials and Bingo nights at the senior home, and do fundraising to raise money for ALL of these places). We do so much for Galesburg that they never hear about, because many don’t know we even exist! So I thought it would be fun if we do some advertising at the community center, and (once the weather gets warm) we have a picnic where all of Alpha Phi Omega’s members go and talk to Galesburg residents that want to meet us/know more about us. Most importantly, after they meet us and learn what we are about and what we do and our place at Knox, we can find out what THEY want us to do in their community. Where do they see the need? What do they want us to spend our time and energy doing? Do they want to be involved? I just feel that if we are spending 80% of our energy doing off-campus service activities, those that are affected by our work should have a say in gets done.
ANYWAY- that was long winded!- everyone voted and my idea passed! So I am heading a committee to put this on. I’m really excited- the way this goes really defines our future relationship with the community! I can’t wait.
Another cool thing we talked about is our mascot- Frank the rubber chicken. At the end of every chapter we nominate people for “chicken”- if someone did something dumb, we say it to the chapter and we vote on who did the stupidest thing. Whoever wins has to carry Frank the Chicken around for the week. If you want, you can do something to Frank to show that you had him. In the past, people have painted Frank’s toenails, tied a ribbon around his leg, given him a “tattoo,” etc. Anyway, the last girl that had him for a week drew a Jesus fish on him (often seen on cars/bumper stickers). Many members of Alpha Phi Omega were really upset/offended. So we talked about it as a group, and had a forum discussing how we felt about the issue. Most people spoke, but the main idea was this: Knox is not affiliated with a religion, and Alpha Phi Omega is also non-demoninational. If people have to carry around a chicken that represents both their organization and them (they’re carrying it), they shouldn’t feel uncomfortable. This conversation lasted about 45 minutes, and it was really interesting to listen to both sides. End result: the Jesus Fish got turned into a sun.

So that’s all for Alpha Phi Omega. Other stuff this term? I am volunteering at a preschool for one day a week to be an assistant- help the teacher with whatever he/she needs. I am VERY excited!
Jack and I also signed up for a radio show. Knox has a really good college radio station that is nationally ranked (I think 6th in the country), and I wanted to be a part of it. Jack and I don’t know exactly what time it is going to be, but we it will be a late night slot- after 10 PM, so when people are getting ready to go to bed. So we are calling it: Hit the Sack with Kate and Jack! So people understand that it is bedtime music. Should be interesting.
I am also doing intramural dodgeball with a bunch of my really good friends. It’s a spring intramural sport, so we might practice outside. My idea for our team name: The Bodge Dallers. Get it? Think about it. Say it out loud. Play around with it. It’s funny.


p.s. Jack and I went to Boston for spring break. I'll post about it in the next couple days, with pictures.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Long Overdue

Wow sorry it's been a VERY long time since I have updated this! This term has been HELL- more homework and studying than I thought was humanly possible. So far my hardest class has been atmosphere and weather. Next Thursday we are taking a field trip to a climatology center in Moline, Illinois. That should be fun!
I'll give you the full update, starting with Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day was excellent! Jack's roommate (also named Jack) procrastinates doing homework by playing with his Nerf gun. They play together, one Jack will give the other Jack a "target"-- for example, a glass or a book- and the other Jack has to hit it with the gun. They procrastinate for hours playing together. Sometimes they get their whole floor involved in a huge Nerf gun fight and they run around trying to shoot eachother. These shootouts usually happen around midnight or one in the morning. It was a shock to me to learn that over half the guys on the floor had Nerf guns with them- that must be a guy thing, to bring Nerf guns to college. I haven't heard of any girls doing it. Anyway, (my) Jack always waits patiently for his turn to play with his roommate's gun. Also, when I come over and visit him without telling him first, usually he is playing with his roommate's Nerf gun (secretly). So...naturally for Valentine's Day I had to get him a top of the line Nerf gun. You should have seen his face when he opened it! I have never seen anyone happier. He put the (HUGE) cardboard box in the recycling in the main room, where everyone walks through. Within a day, rumors were circulating that "someone got the CS-longshooter, but no one knows who." Eventually it leaked that it was Jack, and it was from me, and for about a week, every time I would walk onto their floor, guys I didn't know would high-five me, saying I was the "coolest girlfriend EVER" and that gun was "SO COOL." and "Sometimes Jack lets me play with it!" It honestly feels like their floor is a kindergarten classroom.
His present to me was a really good cd of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong duets. It's called "Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong for Lovers." I HIGHLY recommend it!
We went out to dinner at a place in town and had crab cakes and filet mignon. No picture, but I did my hair really cute!
The rest of the month has really been me scrambling to get my work done, always a little behind.
Last Thursday night Jack and I went to jazz night at McGuillicudies (sp), a pub in town. Knox jazz ensembles (there are several) play there every Thursday night, and the 15% the proceeds of drinks go to the jazz program. We stayed for a while at a table in the back with a guy from France. It was a really fun night.

Our suite is getting cabin fever, and they have taken to creating "modern art". Here is a piece that they are very proud of. Visitors are often skeptical.

Today our suite decided to have a henna day! So the most creative and artsy girl, Claire, is giving everyone henna tattoos! Here's my foot- ivy wraps all the way around my ankle. Isn't that COOL?!

Here is a picture of my roommate in the middle of getting a parrot henna-d on her back:

Our suite has also been working very hard this term- it seems EVERYONE has ridiculously hard classes. So, to motivate ourselves, we created a "Sellew Smarties" wall (Sellew is our dorm name). On this wall, everyone who took a test or wrote a paper or did something that they are proud of and got a good grade on puts it up on the wall! It's like a big refrigerator.

Another funny side-note story: Jack is a favorite of all the girls on my floor. He is such a charmer, and so goofy, that sometimes I'll call him to come visit, and an hour and a half will pass and he won't have arrived yet. I'll walk out into our living room area of our suite, and he'll be sitting there watching TV and talking to all the girls sitting out there.
So anyway, we had a wheelchair floating around our floor for awhile, and one day I came out of my room to see this:

I felt like I was in a retirement home. The worst part was, he was watching Wheel of Fortune.

All for now. Homework to do! I promise I will update more regularly!


Monday, January 19, 2009

Birthday Weekend

This Sunday (jan 18) I turned 19! It was a wonderful day- Jack took me to Chicago. We hopped on the train at 7:30 AM for about a 2 1/2 hour train ride, and spent the day wandering Chicago. We went to the Institute of Art, which was AMAZING. There was a HUGE impressionist exhibit which was awesome! It is so cool to see original Monet pieces in person. Then we walked around and shopped on Michigan Avenue. Finally, we went to a pizza place to get some real deep dish Chicago pizza! It was SO GOOD! Jack's roommate is from the inner city, so he recommended this place to us. It was absolutely freezing the whole day we were there, and by the time we were at the pizza place, it was almost time to take the train home, and we were out of time. So instead of walking back we had to take a taxi halfway.
It was such a wonderful day, and so sweet of Jack to take me. It means so much more to me to go to a cool place or have a new experience than get a material gift. Jack and I were frustrated because there was SO much to see at the museum, but both of our favorite exhibits were closed/under construction (modern art and photography), so we decided we would go again next year. Hopefully next time we can go for the weekend and stay in a hostel, and then see more of the city.
Here are some pictures! They are from around Chicago, but most of them are the art museum and one is us with our deep dish pizza! enjoy