A window inside life at Augustana College

Finals Week – Round 8

I’m just now realizing that I am closer to graduating from college than I am from having started college, as in I’ve completed 2.66 years here and I only have 1.3 years left. It’s amazing how time flies and I can’t believe that this is my eighth finals week at Augustana. This means I only have 4 finals weeks left after this one; and one of those weeks will be spent in Brazil, so does that even count?

Happy birthday to me!

My birthday was last Thursday, and I just want to say that it was amazing. After being able to be back in Minnesota for m birthday last year I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about having my birthday during Week 10 at Augie this year; but it was GREAT! Despite the fact that it was my 21st birthday, I really didn’t go crazy. First, I had to go to four hours of class, just like every other Thursday this term. Then I also had to coach the little kidlets on how to swim. So the actual “day” part of my birthday was pretty normal. However, the morning started off great when my roommates surprised me with a balloon bouquet, a gift basket, gluten free cupcakes, and an awesome sign with a baby on it! The night also ended fantastically when I was able to just lay on the coach and watch UP, may favorite movie and my roommates chosen theme for my birthday gifts.

Happy Birthday

The wonderful gifts my roommates gave me. From left to right: gift basket with UP, my favorite candy and various other awesome things, a tray of gluten free cupcakes decorated like balloons, and a balloon bouquet.

Not Your Average Valentine’s Day Post

The title may be a little deceiving… this will most definitely be a pretty average Valentine’s Day post. But it’s written by yours truly, so it’s just that much better.

Let me just start with a brief history of Valentine’s Day: good ole Wikipedia tells me that Valentine’s Day (or St. Valentine’s Day) began as a liturgical (that means church, it’s fine I didn’t know either) holiday that celebrated saints named Valentinus (why were there more than one…). Some fictitious martyrdom stories were created to further celebrate these Valentines and yada yada yada. So where did all this love stuff come in? That one goes to our good friend, Geoff. Geoffrey Chaucer, of course (Canterbury Tales, ya know what I’m sayin). So the whole 18th century, courtly love thing was in full swing and suddenly V-Day was all about expressing love and giving flowers and stuff. Cool, now you know.

So I could go one of two ways with the rest of this post. One could be about how as a single college girl, Valentine’s Day is the reason that anti-depressants were invented. Or two, I could go all feminist on you guys and tell you today should be about empowering us single women…. But instead I’m going to do both because I’m just that talented.

While not nearly as bad as being a single high school girl, (you know all the kiddos running around, hand in hand, kissing all gross all over your locker?) so far being a single college girl isn’t much better. They’ve got these Vocal Valentine things, super cool… only if you’re the lucky one receiving it. And everything is pink and flowery and there’s so much candy. And while sharing Valentine’s Day with your closet girl friends is great, it’s not the same as a guy buying you loads of stuff you don’t need and telling you’re pretty all day. BUT, I’m a woman, a strong, powerful, independent woman. And I don’t a need a man to do those things for me. I can buy myself things I don’t need! And I can look in the mirror and tell myself I’m pretty whenever I want!

Okay, so if you can’t tell, I’m not the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day. If you’re in a relationship, you should not need an excuse to treat your significant other better, you should do that everyday. And if you aren’t in a relationship, we don’t need a day to remind us we’re alone.

Moral of the story: Make sure you go to Walgreens tomorrow to buy all the Valentine’s Day candy on sale, it’ll be dirt cheap I swear.

Until next time -Caitlin


Loves Me Not

Oh Valentines Day, the one day a year that makes couples “official” and single people ever more depressed. For those in a relationship, I would like to say “Congratulations.” I am truly happy that you found someone that takes away the loneliness, and I hope your love never burns out. But this post isn’t directed at you. No, it’s directed at the majority of us who are (once again) alone on Valentines Day.  Now stop me if you’ve heard this one:

If you’ve ever been alone on Valentines Day or even February, you begin to notice all the other people who are in relationships. Don’t even get me started on the music. You can’t turn on the radio or go onto YouTube without having love songs shoved into your ears.  And if you’re like me, you know it hurts. You ask yourself all kinds of questions like “Why don’t I have a boyfriend/girlfriend?” or “Will I ever find someone?’ After a while, you enter what’s known as the Lonely Hearts Club. You are now one of millions, if not billions, of people who are alone on Valentines Day. But, what’s funny is, you’re in this Lonely Hearts Club, but aren’t clubs where a group of people, of a similar interest/mindset,  actually get together? But instead of getting together with our single friends, we quietly mop for 24 hours, simply because we don’t have one person all others to give chocolate to? And for the people who either just got over a breakup or is stilling licking their wounds, I know it hurts now, but in time you get over him/her.  Guy/girls are like buses; there’ll be another one in ten minutes.

The point is, you don’t have to be alone on Valentines Day. Make a party of it! Get some friends and have fun, heck give them candy. Personally, I would much rather have fun with some friends than be lonely. So to those broken hearts that play the blues, find each other and play a different tune.



“Love is Matter; it Cannot be Created nor Destroyed”

Due to the special event on February 14th, also known as Valentines Day or as I like to call it Single Awareness Day, I decided to post something to those who find this day their least favorite or for those who have a broken heart. Love is not everything. Even when you have lost someone you have loved, broken up with your boyfriend or just feel like I do, single and depressed, remember this: “Love is matter; it cannot be created or destroyed”. Follow the link (or copy and paste the link, if it is not blue, into your search bar) to read more about this inspirational message. It made me feel better and I am sure it will do the same for you.


The World Needs More Love Letters


I was re-reading Amanda’s latest post the other day (“Love Letters Lessons: Inspiration to Seize the Day”). It reminded me that love letters are still needed in the world, especially since Feb. 14th is coming up. We can’t just let the habit of letter writing die out! Fortunately, I don’t think it will. I mean, I certainly will continue writing letters with pen and paper, and I know these people will:


I’ll let you in on a secret: this is not about writing letters.  This is about making others–people who may be having a bad day, are stressed, have low self-confidence, etc.–smile and feel better. If you explore the MLL website, you’ll find that there are specific people who have been nominated to receive a bundle of letters. If you would like to spread love and make a stranger smile, go ahead and write a letter. It doesn’t have to be long or written beautifully in calligraphy. It just needs to be heart-felt (but if you can write in calligraphy, I vote you do that).

Or if you prefer, simply write a letter and leave it anonymously someplace for someone else to find. Whatever you choose to do is fine. You’re an adult now (even though some of you may not act like it); you can make your own decisions.


P.S. Happy [St.] Valentine’s Day in advance! <3

Augustana People: Mark “Didn’t Gary write about his sister Jenna? Oh, That’s Not His Sister? It’s Spelled Differently? Well Then Whatever!” Hoffmann


Quick quiz for everyone.

Try and see who is smarter in each photo. (Answers below)







1. Tony Stark is a super genius, however, he is a fictional character. First appearing in Tales of Suspense #39. By choosing Tony Stark your skills at determining the “smarterer” one have been called into question. The right answer should have been “It’s Mark Hoffmann”, who also has a robot suit made out of recycled aluminum cans. The technology and logistics surrounding said robot suit far surpass the comprehension of our human brains.

2. I don’t know who that lady is but I’m pretty sure Mark is smarter.

3. What is intelligence? Is the super computer intelligent because of all the information it holds, does it surpass our own capacity for knowledge? I don’t know much about that. But what I do know is that sometimes there just aren’t enough rocks. Green rocks are super hard to find. Kevin Spacey knows this very well.

Well, the answer is Mark Hoffmann.

4. Children are stupid. Ask how many of them still believe that the tooth fairy doesn’t come into their room and pee on their bed. The tooth fairy still comes into my room and pees on my bed. The tooth fair is also Dwayne Johnson. That man on the right is a genius. I believe is name is Billy Brainiac, inventor of the portable blanket warmer. That child on the left is a smarter, younger, more economically efficient Gary Miller. With zero down payments you can have him.

Also, the answer is Mark Hoffmann.

The point of that exercise is to show that Mark is supremely smart and also humble about it. He tells me how humble he is about his genius level intellect while telepathically planting memories of me losing the little league championship in Japan every weekend. I know that if I had just caught that last out my parents would still be around. Instead they renounced my lineage and I had to grow up in the streets of Japan until I opened the hit sandwich shop, “Sam O Rye Guy”. I think that’s all true. I’m kind of bleeding out of my ears and nose due to all the fake implanted memories.

Reality is a lie and were all living in a figment of Mark Hoffmann’s mind.st_elsewhere-show

Get to know Mark Hoffmann!

Waiting to fight the ocean

Waiting to fight the ocean

1. What made you want to come to Augie?
 “I love the way the great fields of corn sway in the wind.  I gave up the big city life of lights and fancy cars to watch the barren flatlands in the nice city of Rock Island.”
2. What do you study?
  “I’m majoring in physics and pre-medicine and minoring in underwater basket weaving.”
3. What are you involved in at Augustana?
 “ I am part of phi omega phi, club soccer, and am the president of Augustana’s own Brittany Spears fan club”
4. Would you rather turn me into Robo Cop or Wolverine?
 “Wolverine hands down”
5. What’s the scariest thing about the dark?
  “I don’t like the fact that the dark doesn’t have light.  It sort of really sucks”
6. What did you want to be when you grew up?
 “For the longest time I wanted to be Chuck Norris, until I realized I would be too awesome to be hired anywhere.”
7. What’s the most romantic thing you’ve done for your girlfriend?
  “I put on some christmas carols and dressed up like Will Farrell from Elf.  Lets just say the rest is self explanatory.”

8. Any advice for younger kids at Augustana?
 “Yes, no matter how cute you find the wildlife around here, do not try and domesticate the raccoons.”
9. What has been your favorite thing about Augie?
“ My favorite thing is the fact that I can wake up every morning and see Gary Miller’s stunning face walking around campus.  That tattoo . . . ;) yum!!”
10. Are we human or are we dancer?
 “I am not sure about others, but as far as I can say for myself dancer all the way”


Hats! Hats for Sale!

Hello! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? If you are in the Midwest, you know it is pretty cold. And when I say that, I mean it is absolutely freezing outside. Absolute zero would be warmer…maybe. If you live somewhere warm (AKA not the Midwest), here’s a picture:

cold girl with city behind her

(No, I don’t know this person nor the city behind her.)

Now, I’ve noticed that Augustana students are a pretty crafty bunch. Usually, there are art fairs to showcase these artists’ talents and sell some  of their pieces (Speaking of that, how come there wasn’t one fall term? Did I miss it? Is there going to be one this  term? What about spring term? Who isn’t giving me my memos?). I bring this up because I believe weaving is a type of art form. I know many students own and use hat looms. In fact, I am one of them.

But if you lack the time, money, or ability (the last I doubt since the hat loom is pretty simple), and want a hat to keep you warm, I am selling some of the hats I’ve made.

004 (7)

I’m  thinking about selling these on etsy, but until I do, you can email me at kayleewagner10@augustana.edu with “Home-made Hat” in the subject line  if you would like to purchase one.

Price: $5 (maybe $7 if you request a certain pattern/style/color)
Types of yarn I use: Irish wool, Lion Brand Homespun yarn (98% Acrylic, 2% Polyester), Lion Brand Hometown USA yarn (100% Acrylic), Lion Brand Wool-Ease (80% Acrylic, 20% Wool), whatever yarn I find at home, etc…
Colors available (you may also request a specific color): Black, Blue/Navy, Grey, Tan/Brown, Yellow, Pink, Augie colors (blue and yellow), Green, Multicolored…

This is the first hat I made on the loom


P.S. Bonus points for those of you who figure out what the title is a reference to! :)

Who Needs Sleep Anyway?

aplus11 Firends dormbed

Last year, a friend told me, “You know, I heard that you can only have two of the three at college: good grades, a social life or sleep.”

The further you get in your college career, the more you’ll realize how true this is.

For the last couple of years, I mostly chose good grades and sleep. I’m kind of a shy person anyway, so it’s not like I have a huge friend circle, but I was pretty happy to spend time doing homework. Saturday nights last year were movie nights with a couple of my friends, but I didn’t hang out much with friends during the week. There were the occasional 1 am nights, the week 8s, week 9s and week 10s when I stayed up late to finish a paper, a project, a presentation or (sometimes) all three. But mostly, I got my good grades and I got my sleep.

There’s been a shift in my priorities this year.

In ten years, heck, even five, I’m not going to fondly remember the luxuriousness of my narrow bed in Arbaugh.

I’m not going to think, “Ah yes, the first day of February. That was a night of sleep to remember.”

No, I’m going to remember the time I got home at 3 am from a cast party (which didn’t feel like the best decision the next morning when I had to wake up at 8:30 to volunteer). I’m going to remember meals and conversations at Arthur’s Deli and Osaka Buffet. I’m going to remember watching bad movies with my friends from Alpha Psi Omega (and seriously, if you’re into bad movies Chillerama is the worst). I’m even going to remember just doing homework with my roommates.

The last time I saw the right side of midnight was probably the last day of winter break. I’ve slept less this term than ever before. But you know what? I’ll probably remember this term for a long, long time.

Sometimes You Just Need A Nap

Between classes, managing a tutoring organization, work, and getting ready to go to Japan (T-minus 16 days!!), I often find myself in desperate need of some sleep. I live in Erickson, so trekking back to upper campus just for a nap isn’t always feasible. As a result, I’ve made myself familiar with the coziest spots on campus and present to you my list of Augustana’s top five nap spots!


#5: The back of the CSL’s 4th floor

A common location for those looking to get some studying done, the spot I’m referencing is on the CSL’s 4th floor near the study group tables and the computer lab. When it’s not midterms or finals time, you can often find an empty couch or chair to sprawl across and take a quick snooze. The noise level can be a little too high depending on how many people are in the area. However, I find that the noise level is balanced out by the unrivaled view of Old Main that you see while you drift off to sleep.

#4: The Andreen lobby

Although I haven’t personally slept in the Andreen lobby (yet), I’ve been around there enough to know that it would make an ideal napping spot, depending on the time of day. Yes, there are those moments when someone is plunking something out at the piano or groups of students are hanging out. However, there are times when almost no one in the lobby, and if they are, they’re studying quietly (or even silently). Welcome to nap time!

#3: 1st floor of the Library

Ah, sweet silence. If you’re really feeling the stress of an upcoming paper or test and just need some peace and quiet for a few minutes, the first floor of the library is the place to go. In case you’re unfamiliar with the first floor, it houses those super cool moving stacks, a quiet computer/study lab, and Special Collections. There are some comfy chairs in the corner that are prime napping real estate, so park yourself in one of those and head off to Dreamland.

#2: Evald’s Great Hall

I find myself spending a lot of time in Evald for one reason or another, so this is a frequent nap spot for me. The Great Hall might not seem like the best place to get some rest, but you’d be surprised at how quiet it can be! When you have some downtime and classes are going on, there are only a few people in the Great Hall at a time, and they’re rarely talking. The couches and chairs are some of the comfiest on campus, as well, which is why the Great Hall ranks so high on my list!

And, finally…

#1: 4th Floor of the CSL, by the Game Room and Gavle Room

If I had to pick my favorite thing about the CSL renovations, it would be this specific location. No, I’m not talking about the couches by the fireplace. Although they’re comfy, they’re too out in the open. The couches I’m talking about are under the stairs that lead to the 5th floor/dining area. If you can get past listening to the constant humming of conversation and people walking up and down those stairs, you’ll be golden. No one goes into the Game Room or Gavle Room if there’s not an event going on, and the only guests I’ve had were library or facility workers. I can easily fit in a 30-60 minute nap without any distractions. The best part is that if you’re still sleepy when you wake up and have to head to class, the Brew is right there to give you a little pick-me-up. Do yourself a favor and nap here some time; just don’t wake me up!


Any favorite spots of yours that I missed or have something to say about my spots? Let me know in the comments!