Sunday, August 29, 2010

Return of the Good-Guy

Good guy- Ed U. Cation
Place- Cedar Rapids, IA
Contact- Emily Crouch, Coe Junior.

It's nice to be back in Cedar Rapids! After 7 months in Washington, DC, I must admit that I was initially downcast to be returning to the midwest, but Coe has its charms :)
This year, I'm living off campus, which will be a big change. No more late night dashes over to the library to print off a last minute paper, no more crashing in Greene after a movie marathon, and no more running to the PUB for a late night snack. Instead, I'm all about conserving gas, energy, and keeping the electric bill down. Still, I must say that having a fireplace and my own kitchen has some perks :)

Tomorrow is the first day of classes, which ushers in a semester of scrambling from one class to the next, bouncing back and forth between ensemble practice in Marquis to history classes in Hickock. (What was I on when I signed up for Orchestra, Band, Crimson & Gold, AND Concert Choir? ...I don't know, but I don't think that I was sane at the time...) In addition, in all of my free time (note: this is sarcasm) I'm working almost full time at The Blue Strawberry downtown, which is amazing :) You know you're over-scheduled when you see work as a time to relax, but I don't mind. Coffee shops are the best type of therapy, IMHO.

Therefore, let the school year begin, and let our returning hero, good-guy, Ed U. Cation, triumph once more!!!

Off to work,
Your Caffeinated Corpse,

Friday, May 14, 2010

Apathy, Apothecary, A Monestary, A Monkey me

I've been getting those familiar, "ugh, finals" apathetic moments more often now a days, which is ok, because it's a typical college student just doesn't help when your job has you sitting alone in a cubicle all day. Normally, apathy is better handled when in great numbers...but the only company a cubicle provides is that of online friends...who I don't talk to during the day since I'm at work. Ouch (Yes, that was an insanely long sentence filled with many many ellipsis).

Oh well, the weather is amazing in DC during the spring, so I take every chance I can to go outside and chill in the sun :) I LOVE IT HERE!! (in case I haven't mentioned it already) I haven't been posting as many pictures as I used to, but it's mainly due to the fact that I take so many!
curse my habit of insane picture taking!!!
But alas and alack, it's something I cannot change. We're just going to have to suffer through my crazy picture taking skillzzz. ;)

So yes, back to my a word. n3rdy. in two words. awesomely n3rdy.

Move-in Day: Washington, DC January 31, 2010
 D-Day of my whole semester, went better than I thought it would. Pulling up to the house in my yellow taxi, I was expecting to see it crawling with college students lugging suitcases and boxes up and down stairs, in and out doors, the hallway being filled with shouts and laughter, but I was met by the quiet brick exterior of 510 C. There were no scrambling coeds, or stray suitcases lying on the steps, just the Sunday morning calmness of the Capitol Hill neighborhood, and the open door of 510 C. My mom and I were spared the task of carrying all of my luggage up the stairs by a smiling guy who introduced himself as Brandon. With Brandon’s help, the three of us managed to move my luggage from the sidewalk into the apartment 2F. Two hours later, after meeting my new roommates and settling in as much as I could, it was time for my mom to go. This was the moment I’d been dreading; I wasn’t sure how I would react. Would I be upset, nonchalant, or a blubbering mess? Thankfully, it was like any other goodbye at school: a quick hug, peck on the cheek, an “I love you” and she was gone.
   The next few weeks, being expected to fly by, moved at more of a banana slug’s pace due to the infamous winter storm, Snowpocalypse. Being house bound for around two weeks was tough, especially because it also meant that the paperwork necessary for me to become an official intern at the National Archives would be delayed. However, the snow finally melted, and I was able to start my internship soon after. The trek up to College Park, Maryland, was a long one, but on the morning of my first day, it was welcome. Using the forty-five minutes to collect my thoughts and prepare myself for the first day of my first truly life-changing experience was overwhelming in one aspect, but comforting in another. I knew there was no going back. I look at that day, February 16, 2010, as the first true day of my Washington DC Semester. My first day was considerably less hectic than I was expecting due to the fact that the Snowpocalypse had so delayed my paperwork that they had to start me off as a volunteer on the Deck Log Project. When applying for the internship at the National Archives, I knew that I would be doing archival work all day- organizing, unbinding, reboxing, describing documents, etc. but I wasn’t expecting to be working on a project such as the Deck Logs. Having the opportunity to hold and organize Navy Deck Logs from World War II was any history major’s dream. I was in nerd heaven, and I knew at that moment that I wouldn’t want to leave Washington when the time came.
   The first of March ushered in my first pay period as an official employee of the National Archives and Records Administration. In the mere two weeks I had been at the Archives, I had been made to feel completely at home. The work environment resembled a huge family- conversations about the weekend, movies, books and shows over cubicle walls, laughing rising up from the desks every five minutes, spontaneous lunch outings to a nearby restaurant. Student employees weren’t treated any differently than the full-time employees. No matter what your experience, you were given a project that actually meant something. “Student Employee” wasn’t a synonym for “office runner” or “coffee grabber.” I was surprised at the amount of college students who worked at the Archives. Most of them go to the University of Maryland, with a few American University students in the mix, as well as the occasional high school student. I found out within the first week that often times, the Archives hire directly out of the different Graduate programs at the neighboring University. This idea awoke an excitement in me that knew no bounds. I had already fallen in love with the work and the city, and now there was an opportunity I could do this for a living for the rest of my life! Curious and excited, I began to ask around about the Graduate Programs at Maryland. My team leader on the Deck Log Project proved to be a treasure chest of information. She told me the little known fact that the University of Maryland is home to one of the most intense, rewarding Information Science programs in the country: the HiLS Program. The same program was mentioned to my roommate, Malinda, by the Senate historian while doing an interview. The Senate historian said that anyone who graduates from this program is almost guaranteed a job wherever he decides to apply. This statement intrigued me, and I asked my team leader to tell me more of the program. Herself being a graduate, she gladly provided more information and encouraged me to work towards getting accepted as a grad student. Over the next few weeks I began researching the HiLS Program and found the grad program of my dreams. When I first heard of the program, I thought it was “h-i-l-l-s” program, such as Capitol Hill, but the program is actually a combination of both the History Program and the Library Science Program. Within the normal two year grad period, a student in the HiLS program would achieve a Master’s Degree in History and a Master’s Degree in Library Science. This program also serves as the pool from which NARA hires many new employees as well, or “specs.” The more I was learning about this city, this internship, and the life associated with it, I could feel my feet turning away from Kansas City and begin walking towards DC. I had started to see myself living here for the rest of my life.
Soon, I was moved away from the Deck Log Project and began to get projects of my own. My supervisors showed me how to navigate the stacks, pull the appropriate boxes of documents, and begin organizing, describing, and organizing the document series I had been put in charge of. More computer training was in my future – the email system, online database, hard drive database, and other programs I needed to become familiar with in order to properly enter in the document information for researchers. Little did I know when first applying for internships, the Archives II facility in College Park was about three times the size of the Archives I facility in downtown Washington. Here, tucked away from the tourists, is the facility built in 1993 by President Clinton as an additional storage and archive facility for our country’s history. The building is home to the documents from the 1900s to the present, which means that a great deal of the collection is comprised of videos, photographs, maps, drawings, posters, and other multimedia. I hardly ever come across any of these documents, as I work in the Textual Archive Division, one which deals only with paper documents. Because we are the larger of the two Archive facilities, we are also home to the research facility. Starting at 8 am, researchers file in through the double glass doors of the lobby, pass through security, and begin researching. Whether it be family genealogy, war records for military pensions, research for a book or a thesis, researchers of all ages come to Archives II to find their answers. They are the main reason archivists have their job. Without people interested in history, there would be no reason to record it, which would nullify the need for a National Archives. 

Yup. I love my job. I love my life. I love my SCHOOL FOR HAVING THIS PROGRAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and now i'm done. I turned in my last paper today, and the summer is FINALLY here!!! 

and I'm a junior


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Love Life a Latte

:) Yes, in case you didn't know that about me, I'm one for puns. Not the "oops, that was an accident" pun, but the "ohmygod, i can't believe you said that on purpose" puns. (I'm so pun-y)

Captain's Row. Once the major port on the Potomac. Scottish merchant city. battle ground of that slightly pushy Brit, Lt. Col. W. Braddock's "The Grandest Congress" of the French/Indian War in 1755. Home of numerous ghosties, goulies, and vampires.

wait, WHAT?!??!

Vampires in Alexandria??

Yes, Vampires in Alexandria. And no, you do NOT want to date them. They do NOT sparkle, smell good, look "god-like," or eat animals rather than dear Aunt Eunice.  ...but I digress

Friday and Saturday were spent walking the streets of Old Town Alexandria. My friend Amanda and I took the metro to the city, then a bus down to the waterfront. It was beautiful!.
We walked all around the area, from Union Street, where we ate at the awesome Union Street Public House, to the metro station, which eventually took us home. The area is absolutely thriving with life, families, businesses, and amazing smells! There is a restaurant practically every other storefront, each one with a different cuisine or theme. From Casablanca Moroccan Cuisine to the entirely Lord of the Rings themed Bilbo Baggins Restaurant, the downstairs of which was transformed into the Green Dragon Pub, the number of restaurants and eateries is staggering! ...just the way I like it :)
me + food = match made in Heaven

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Me Again

Hey. It's me again.
To Write Love on Her Arms is an amazing organization committed to raising awareness about and preventing teen suicide, addiction, and depression. Within the past 4 years, they've done an amazing job. Recently, they began a 24/7 suicide counseling hotline, where teens can talk to other teens and volunteers about their thoughts of suicide, depression, addictions, etc.

I've recently joined their Street Team, which means it's my job to promote the organization, and I figured, why not use by blog as an outlet? I don't know how many people even see the blog, but at least I can try :)

So here's the newest post:

TWLOHA has come out with a new shirt, "Wild Things." take a look!

you can get it at


Hey all!

This isn't a "real" post, just a shout out. I'm on the Street Team for To Write Love On Her Arms, and they are trying to win a full page, colour add in USA Today. Please help them win by tweeting the following update on twitter:

"Please Tweet: #AmericaWants @TWLOHA to get a full-page ad in USA TODAY."

It would help SO much!!! Their message needs to get out to the world! Suicide is a growing tragedy in our society, and they're doing all they can to help, but if no one knows about their cause, then what good would it do?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I've FINALLY been to the ocean!!!

This past weekend, a group of about 30somthing college students and interns from my church went on a weekend retreat to Rehoboth Beach, DE. It was amazing!!!!!!! I'd never been to the ocean before, so I was totally freaked out of my mind!!

I've seen lakes, seas of grain, and oceans of cattle, but no natural body of water, and certainly no beaches. 

So the weekend started by leaving the church parking lot at around 10:15, then picking up students from GW and Georgetown and heading out on the open road!! We ate at Harris Crab House for lunch, which is amazing! It's right on the Chesapeke Bay, and everything served is caught fresh! NOTHING like the "seafood" we get in the midwest.

The drive from Harris Crab House to Rehoboth took about 3 hours, so we arrived at the beach houses around 3:30-4, relaxed a bit, explored, & started on the weekend!

We had group Bible challenges a few times a day, then some time in small groups of 4-5 to talk and reflect about what was talked about. All of the challenges were amazing. It was nice to get away from it all for a few days and have some quality time with the Lord and His followers. Realizing that you need to re-prioritize you life isn't a very easy thing to do, but when surrounded by other Christians, it becomes slightly less challenging. :)
During free time there were trips to the beach, 

exploring the town & the boardwalk,

AMAZING food, 
and the game "4 on a couch" was introduced to the group, as well as "psychiatrist" and "family," which quickly became the favorites. 
(if you are unfamiliar with these games, you are severely lacking in your life, and must be educated.) :-D 

 Saturday ushered in a VERY full day: Three challenges, group discussions & then personal time to just think about what was said in the challenges, a scavenger hunt that lasted most of the afternoon took up basically the entire day. The Scavenger Hunt was a RIOT! Everything from having strangers randomly point to the sky, taking a picture with a hermit crab, getting buried to your neck in sand (i did that!), jumping in the ocean (did that too!), doing the "Beatle's walk" across the street, and holding hands while crossing a crosswalk. haha Soo much fun!!!!

Mr. Crabs is a Hermit Crab! yay!

Sunday was the saddest day :( We had to leave! Nooo!!! But it was a good end to a good weekend. :) I got up early that morning to watch the rising sun on the beach, and ended up walking along the ocean for about an hour. It was gorgeous! 

I definitely want to stay here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rain, rain rain...

I don't mind umbrellas or Wellies. (I LOVE wearing Wellies, actually.) I don't even mind rain, but dreary days usually usher in a time of over-thinking, which is very inconvenient when you have a book review, experience project, packing, a mid-term, and additional reading to do all before Thursday. At least I was able to get in a fairly relaxing week beforehand!

The week of St. Patty's day was pretty cool. The Friday before, two friends from KC came to visit, Josiah & Caleb. Their welcome to DC experience consisted of the Capitol City Brewing Company for dinner, then a late night Grand Opening of "Dangerously Delicious Pies!", which opened a few blocks from the house. Saturday opened the door to rain again, but Saturdays are grocery days, so I took them to Eastern Market with me. There, they were able to experience DC's most famous farmer's market, craft fair, & flea market (the latter of the three weren't open due to the downpour). After we sucessfully hunted down fresh produce, the rain thankfully stopped.   The parade was on Sunday, a fairly chilly, dreary day, which warded off the usually crushing crowds, giving us a great view of the show! Then, after a bone-warming cup of soup at Cosi (think Panera Bread), Georgetown was calling for pedestrians, so I showed Josiah and Caleb around for a few hours.
Monday ushered in an adventure of a whole new level. My favorite band in the WOLRD (yes, no exaggeration) was playing at Jammin Java in Vienna, VA, a suburb of DC. In order to get to the concert, we had to take the orange line of the metro to its very last stop, and then take a taxi to the concert. We got there all right, and the concert was SLAMMIN!! (pics coming up next) So after the amazing concert, we stayed afterwards for about an hour so I could talk to the band. (The boys were soooo nice to wait while I was freaking out about meeting them again.) By the time we left, it was just 10:30, so we ended up missing that bus, but it runs every 30 minutes, so we were fine, right? HA wrong. We ran down the street to Giant Supermarket to grab a snack, successfully missing the 11pm bus as well. After catching the 11:30 bus back to the station, we were met by a disconcerting sight: the gates were closed.
NOW how are we going to get home?? By taking 3 buses over 2 hours and walking from the Old Post Office Building and Museum to the house...about 2 miles at 2 am. That's how. Work the next morning at 5 am? haha. Oh boy were my coworkers amused :) (I love my bosses, my coworkers, my job, they're all amazing!!) So after getting home from work, going for a run, taking a nap and cooking dinner (spinach, parsley & goat cheese omelets, yum!) I walked the guys over to my church, Capitol Hill Baptist, and we all went bowling at Fort Meyer! :) FUN!! Josiah showed us all up, but who cares who wins when you've smuggled a gallon ziplock bag of homemade blueberry muffins, oreos, pringles, doritos, M&Ms, and twizzlers into the bowling alley? haha