Attention enrolling students: On Iowa!

I cannot contain my excitement for this year’s BRAND NEW On Iowa! Program for new first-year students.  I can’t contain the excitement, nor can I put that excitement into words… but I’ll try to give you a sneak peak at what you should expect.

You may be asking yourself, “What IS On Iowa!?”  Even if you’ve heard of it, you may still be questioning it. Don’t.  On Iowa! will be an “introduction” to remember.  An introduction to your academic career.  An introduction to faculty and staff.  An introduction to campus life.  An introduction to friendships you’ll maintain for a lifetime.  An introduction to Iowa City. An introduction to a University.  An introduction to your new home; The University of Iowa.

Let’s talk some highlights:

Move-in: Wednesday and Thursday (Aug. 17th/18th): You’ll be moving into your residence hall. You’ll be getting settled with a floor of new faces which will turn to new friends.  This is your new home; a home you share with 40 of your friends. No parents? Awesome; let’s do this…

After moving in, you may pop down to a neighbor’s room to ask for tape to hang one of the few (or 20) posters you packed.  After tossing over some Scotch tape, your neighbor asks, “Hey, my roommate and I are headed to the UI Athletics Hall of Fame Tour, then headed to the dodgeball tournament.  Wanna join?”  Without hesitation you quote the movie Dodgeball saying, “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball. Stop down when you head out.”  You then return to hang your new poster:


Events like these continue throughout the next  few days leading up to the commencement of class. Athletics Hall of Fame not your thing? Don’t play dodgeball? Check out one of the other events like pottery painting, Museum of Art tour, movies or Zumba to name only a few.

Black and Gold Spirit Day – Day 1: (Friday, Aug. 19th) Put your game-face on; it’s time to learn why it’s GREAT to be a Hawkeye!  Your entire class will gather at Kinnick Stadium, but not only will you get to sit in the seats, but you’ll be able to take the field!  Here you’ll be addressed by a keynote speaker before learning a few of Iowa’s traditions.  The fun doesn’t stop there; as you leave Kinnick Stadium thinking your jaw couldn’t drop further, you head over to the Iowa Memorial Union’s Main Lounge to have your mind blown by magician Nate Staniforth. Don’t believe in magic? This will change your mind: Nate Staniforth Magician 2011

Iowa Challenge Day – Day 2: (Saturday, Aug. 20th) What can you expect from Iowa both in and out of the classroom.  You’ll get the opportunity to discuss this with your fellow classmates in both small and large groups.  Learn about the Iowa Challenge here:  Then some downtime and a movie before hitting the DJ White Panda concert in Hubbard Park!

Convocation – Day 3: (Sunday, Aug 21st) You’re ready to start at Iowa?!  Not before hearing from President Sally Mason and one of your fellow classmates (apply to be THAT classmate here).  You’ll gather with the rest of the entering class of 2011 for Convocation.

01 Convocation_Panorama

Following the presentation, you, your friends, and the entire group will head to the President’s residence on Clinton Street for the President’s Block Party.

President's Block Party President's Block Party

The Real Deal -DAY 1 (of classes):  Wake up early for some bacon and eggs at the Marketplace, read the current issue of The Daily Iowan, and off to class.  Time to put all you’ve learned to work.


Again, these are only the highlights.  Check out the full schedule to start planning your days at:

Tis The Season

Tis the season… to celebrate finals week!  I don’t know that students would call it celebrating, but if you think about it, it IS much like other holiday celebrations – a culmination of something in one great event.  This finals season is a culmination of a full semester of work into one thing; the final.   A test of study habits, time management, the immune system, and most importantly, knowledge.

Finals week next week, is a “holiday” in itself.  During many holidays we look forward to eating a lot and following it with a good, long nap (which I call a food coma).  During this celebration students look forward to (insert laugh) lots of caffeine followed by anything but a nap.  While we may clean and decorate for any other holiday, during this upcoming week, students do the opposite.  They neglect cleaning and “decorate” their room with piles of laundry.  While we may listen to spirited holiday music, students will often listen to the music that puts them “in the zone” to study.  At the end of it all though, we do one thing that’s consistent with the holidays; we celebrate with family and friends.

As I look forward to celebrating Christmas with my family, I thought, ” why not get into the holiday mood!?”  So, I’ve been wearing lots of sweaters, drinking lots of holiday themed coffee, and listening to lots of Christmas music.  Most exciting however, might be these three guys:

Carpet of Snow, Grass "Chia," and the holiday SPRUCE!

I found these “grow kits” at Target for only a dollar a piece.  *in a boxer’s announcing voice*  On the left we have a “Carpet of Snow.”  In the Santa-themed pot, we have “rye grass” which hopes to grow up to be Santa’s hair/hat, and on the right is my “Christmas Tree Grow Kit.” I planted these gems on Sunday as a test of my green thumb.  So far, you might be able to see, the carpet of snow and Santa’s hair have started to grow, but we’re still waiting on the Christmas tree.

Other than these three exciting “experiments” as we’ll call them, our work is shifting here in the office.  All of us counselors are off the road for the most part, done with the great fall travel season.  While we’re still hosting visitors on campus and encouraging seniors to apply, many students are now focused on housing and financial aid.  This means we’re taking a number of phone calls from students asking how to apply to scholarships and how to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  For those high achieving seniors – the Presidential Scholarship application is DUE TOMORROW!  As a counseling staff we’re balancing these tasks amongst our other projects and responsibilities, all while looking at where we’ll be traveling this spring.

Tis the season –  Travel safely, and have a very warm and happy holiday!

Iowa: Fields of Opportunity

As you consider Iowa, whether prospective student, visitor, family or friend, I know you may be asking yourself (or others may be asking YOU), “What is there to do in Iowa?!”  I, much like my Iowa Admissions colleague, Tom, have heard many perceptions of Iowa.  Tom wrote a great blog post in response to the ever-popular question, “What is there to do in Iowa.”  To read his post, and find what there is to do in Iowa, check out his blog at: What can you do in Iowa?

To compliment what Tom said in his blog about activities, I’d simply state, Iowa City is an oasis of fun.  In addition to the fun things you’re already doing (video games, pick-up basketball at the rec, ultimate frisbee in Hubbard Park, board games at Java House, people watching on the Pentacrest, socializing on your dorm floor) you’ll find plenty of free or discounted events, activities, and performances happening all the time..  You’ll see these events/activities advertised all around campus, but there are a few places you can always look to see what’s happening.  I recommend the following:

Office of Student Life website – Highlight: (CAB Weekend Movie: The Switch)

The Iowa Memorial Union’s (IMU) website: Highlight: Campus Activities Board (CAB): Comedian: Chris Strait – December 2nd @10pm IMU Black Box Theater

The University of Iowa Events Page: Highlight: Fiddler on the Roof

“Today’s Events” section of the The Daily Iowan newspaper:

Facebook – Like/Join different facebook pages to receive updates about what’s happening around campus:


HawksNest –

Office of Student Life –

Recreational Services:

All this said, we do have lots of corn, and also some of the best sweet corn in the country.  Therefore come to Iowa for the corn rather than letting it deter you! I challenge you; Come to Iowa City.  I bet you leave wanting more!

Tailgate from your Couch

I know many of you who have been following my blog have learned I’m a huge Hawkeye fan (born and bred – thanks Dad).  I also know many of you are not able to enjoy all of the home Iowa football games and/or Hawkeye Tailgating.  Fortunately, for you, ESPN U recently visited campus to highlight Iowa on their show ESPN Road Trip.  You can watch the show TONIGHT on ESPN U at 6:30 pm CST (7:30 EST).  Cue the highlight reel:

ESPN Pregame Road Trip:

ESPN GameDay:

Note the Time

Please note the time – 3:56 am.  I’m awake?  I haven’t seen 3AM since? I can’t specifically remember.  Not even at the wedding I attended this past weekend, was I up at this time.  These are the only occasions that time that quickly come to mind: The University of Iowa’s Dance Marathon, watching for shooting stars in Northern Wisconsin, and, well that’s it. I’m not upset about it; 3AM is not a time I care to see.

Regardless, now I’m awake, and can’t fall back to sleep.  I’ve started thinking about my day on campus…

Work.  Another busy day planning fall travel, in addition to the other tasks and projects needing attention. Skip thinking about work.

Campus speaker.  Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh is to speak tonight at the Englert Theater, downtown Iowa City.  Coincidently, the same friend who brought this to my attention was the same friend with whom I attended the Aasif Mandvi (hilarious correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) lecture last week.  This friend rocks; as did the Mandvi lecture.  From what I’ve read, I understand Hsieh agreed to speak to one of the courses offered here on campus, titled Life Design: Building Your Future. I’d never be able to do Hsieh justice in trying to describe his accomplishments here in this short blog.  I’d rather you read all about him, the event, and the course from a UI press release at:  If you’d like to read about the notes from tonight, check out the course’s website following.  It’s available here:

4:14. Back to bed for 2 hours.  But first, a drink of water.  *Crossing my fingers* Please don’t wake up, Oliver (the dog and one of my roommates).