Things I Did Over Thanksgiving Break: A Memoir

by Lauren Suhi

This Thanksgiving break started like every other Thanksgiving in the past: stopping homework around Tuesday before break even starts with the claim to “do it over break.” When the longest week (yet) of the semester finally ends, its then time to pack up the car with all the dirty laundry I haven’t done in three(-ish) weeks and head home to the land of home cooked meals, free food and family love. While I didn’t get as much homework done as I would’ve  hoped (I knew I wasn’t going to get it done) here’s a few highlights from my week in my hometown over Thanksgiving break.

First, I did some homework for my class. I had to tour a brewery for my Hospitality and Management Class called Beer, Wine and Spirits. I got a great chance to learn more about the chemistry behind brewing beer at a local brewery in my hometown, as well as sample some stuff while spending quality time with my dad!

But, the fun part of break didn’t last too long, because like most college students, my mom had every type of doctor’s appointment squeezed into this short week. Lucky me, I got to spend a lot of time reading magazines in waiting rooms with beige paint and medical ads. Plus, it’s always fun answering questions about “where do you go to school?” and “what are you going to do with that?” while laying down in the dentist chair with sharp metal tools in your mouth.

The greatest part of break is getting to hang out with your parents, who became a lot more fun to hang out with now that you’re no longer in high school. One day, me and my mom got to go shopping, and I tricked her into getting some ice cream even though it was 30 degrees out.

Another favorite activity of mine over break is going grocery shopping with my parents. My parents are truly amazing people because they let me “pick anything you need.” This is especially great because when I’m living in my apartment I am eating ramen noodles and stale crackers before I pick up more food. Plus, you always get to play the game, “how many people will we see that we know?” game in each aisle. My favorite run-ins are elementary school teachers, which usually get you double points in the game.

What’s a Thanksgiving break if you don’t go to Black Friday shopping at Home Depot with your dad at 8 am to pick up some cool tools? Also, home is where the good coffee is! Along with my little grocery shopping, I also am skimpy on buying creamer and sugar for my coffee, so when I come home I refuel my coffee addiction.

All Chicagoland college students can relate: the Portillo’s run is always a must. It’s particularly great to go on the first or last day of break to your local ‘tillos because it’s almost like a mini high school reunion with everyone getting their favorite food. Until winter break, Italian beef and cheese fries. Only three weeks left, right?


The Untold Stories of Jischke

by Madeline Keane

We all know Jischke is a prime place to study between classes or late at night. The pile of pillows, kitchenette, and computer lab are serious perks many students take advantage of. What you might not know is that some students of Honors use the building for things quite different than studying. I set out to find real-life examples of the eccentric uses of Jischke. Here are few activities worth noting:

  • Certain students simply like to cut through the building when it is cold outside.
  • Pillow forts and movie nights in the projector room are a must! Sarah Bennett can attest to this!
  • Brady Nahkala recalls, “Learning Ludovico Enunaudi piano music at 1:00am. No I don’t play piano.”
  • Jackson Voigt says he and some friends watched an entire season of a Game of Thrones while studying in Jischke once.
  • Some students report a more creative outlet wherein they bedazzled the men’s toilet seat.
  • Others used Jischke to hold a talent show to display the special abilities of the members of their Honors house.
  • During a KQ scavenger hunt, students reportedly borrowed the Honors medal off of the wall.

As you can see, Jischke is a place to make memories that go way beyond white board doodling and group project work. I do not suggest reenacting the riskier of these activities because as Hermione reminds us, “We could have all been killed – or worse, expelled.” Nonetheless, Jischke is a great resource we should all be thankful for.

Class Registration

by Edel Aron

Hi everyone! It’s Edel, one of your friendly neighborhood overworked seniors. It’s the time of the season where you can hear many a groan from around campus as students of all majors scratch their heads trying to decide what classes to take next semester. I’m personally in the peculiar position of having only two reqs left for my minors, leaving me with some free time to take some interesting classes. I’ve kept an ever-growing list to share of the unusual ones being offered next semester that I’ve run across for everyone who’s in the same or similar boat as me. Bear in mind, many of these are ones that appeal to my own personal interests and I left most of the more scientific ones out, but hopefully the assortment will inspire some of you faithful honors blog readers to do some catalog spelunking of your own.

  • H S 105: First Aid and Emergency Care (2 credits)
    Discussion and application of the basic techniques of utilizing bloodborne pathogen safety measures, administering first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. ARC layperson certification available.
    You never know when skills like this will be useful
  • ENGL 330: Science Fiction (3 credits)
    Study of science fiction from its origins in nineteenth-century to the present. May include study of specific types of science fiction, such as classic, cyberpunk, feminist, or apocalyptic narratives; and may include consideration of science fiction film and/or theory.
  • ENGL 370: Shakespeare (3 credits)
    Reading and analysis of selected plays. Development of Shakespeare’s dramatic art in its social and intellectual context. Meets International Perspectives Requirement.
  • HIST/CL ST 403: Roman Civilization (3 credits)
    Ancient Rome from the Regal Period to the fall of the Western Empire; evolution of Roman institutions and Rome’s cultural contributions studied through original sources.
  • DANCE 120/130/140/160: Modern Dance I, Ballet I, Jazz I, Ballroom Dance I (1 credit)
    Dance classes in the real world tend to be on the expensive side, so take a free one while you can (especially when they are pass/fail)
  • KIN 101-185: Swimming, Bowling and Judo, Oh My! (1 credit)
    Along a similar vein, there are a lot of kines classes which teach the basics of various sports on a pass/fail basis
  • BIOL 355: Plants and People (3 credits)
    Uses of plants and fungi by humans and the importance of plants in the past, present, and future. Discussion of fruits, vegetables, grains, herbs, spices, beverages, oils, fibers, wood, medicines, and drugs, in the context of their agricultural, cultural, and economic roles in modern societies. Emphasis on origins and worldwide diversity of culturally important plants, their characteristics, and uses.
    I took this class last semester; the biology doesn’t go too far beyond plant structures (only BIOL 211 and 212 are required) and you get a lot of practical knowledge as you can imagine based on the course description. The professor is also a fun spirit and his enthusiasm can be infectious.
  • HSP M 383: Introduction to Wine, Beer, and Spirits (2 credits)
    Introduction to history and methods of production for a variety of wines, beers, spirits, and other beverages. Beverage tasting and sensory analysis; product knowledge; service techniques; sales; and alcohol service related to the hospitality industry.
    I sadly am not and will not be old enough to take this class so I can’t recommend it personally, but a lot of my friends have taken it and learned a lot
  • MATH 439: Mathematics of Fractals and Chaos (3 credits)
    Iteration of maps; classification of periodic points; bifurcation theory; chaos; Julia sets and the Mandelbrot set; fractals and fractal dimension.
    This is the last time that this class will ever be offered, so I feel the need to plug it out of loyalty to the math department. If you take it, there’s a small chance you’ll become Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) from Jurassic Park and who doesn’t want that?
  • POL S 334: Politics and Society (3 credits)
    Examines the history and political dynamics of public science and technology policies. Examines differences in political and technological orientations. Assessment of the roles of politics, media, engineering, science, and private business in the formation public policies that put heavy reliance on or seek to advance science and technology.
  • RELIG/ANTHR 340: Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion (3 credits)
    Survey of global religious belief and practice from an anthropological perspective. Emphasis on myth and ritual, shamanism, magic, witchcraft, beliefs in spirits, conceptions of the soul, mind and body relationships, and healing and therapeutic practices. Discussion of religious response to dramatic political and social change; effects of globalization on religious practice. Meets International Perspectives Requirement.
  • THTRE 251: Acting I (3 credits)
    Theory and practice in fundamentals of acting.
  • CJ ST/ENT 220X. Introduction to Forensic Science (3 credits)
    Study of fundamental forensic science techniques and procedures covering types of physical, chemical, and biological evidence and how this information is used in the legal system. Assessment of crime scenes and various forensic specialties will be introduced.
    There are a veritable ton of experimental classes being offered ( When successful, many of these classes get upgraded into mainstream classes; I’m the undergrad TA for a class that was experimental two years ago and is now one of the choices of requirements for genetics majors, so you never know. They are definitely worth looking through.
  • Honors Seminars (1-2 credits)!
    Registration opens this Wednesday, so be ready!

This list could have been much longer, but the rest is up to you all. One of the many perks of attending such a large school is that we have these options available to us so break up your schedule a bit if you can. Don’t just take classes that are required for your major(s) or minor(s); live a little! Good luck with making or altering your schedules and happy early Thanksgiving!

Congratulations to Brooke and Amy!

CONGRATULATIONS to Honors students Brooke Almasi and Amy Kurr, recently crowned ISU Homecoming royalty!

Brooke is a senior studying public relations with a minor in American Indian Studies. She is involved with the University Honors Program, Student Admissions Representatives (STARS), Greek Community Ambassadors, Alpha Delta Pi sorority, the Iowa State Daily, Cardinal Key Honor Society, Order of Omega Honor society, Advocates for the Alzheimer’s Association and Pre-Law Club. She volunteers with Raising Readers in Story County, Project Linus, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Feeding Lunch to Youth and Students Helping Our Peers. Brooke will attend law school after graduation.

Amy Kurr is a materials engineering major, with a biomedical engineering minor, from Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota. During her time at Iowa State, Amy has been a part of the ISU Honors Program, a membership retention officer for Tau Beta Pi, an ambassador for Women in Science and Engineering, an ISU Weight Club addict, and the founder of the student organization Ladies in Fitness Training. Amy is an advocate for women who lift weights and has competed in strongman and powerlifting, both locally and internationally. Upon graduation, Amy will pursue a technical career focusing on giving back to others and further appreciating the beautiful mystery of life.

Brooke and Amy will both receive a $1,000 scholarship, which is funded by a silent auction hosted by the ISU Alumni Association and the Homecoming Central Committee.

Ways to Get in the Halloween Spirit (And Take a Study Break)

by Allison Steinebrey

With a chill in the air and leaves covering the ground, you know it’s fall. But this isn’t a normal fall week: Halloween is finally here! It’s time to take a break from textbooks and celebrate Halloween with these fun activities.

  1. Decorate pumpkins: Halloween doesn’t feel complete without pumpkins. There are so many different options from small or large to orange or white. Each pumpkin has tremendous potential and you need to pick out the right one for the design you want to do. You can carve your pumpkin into a classic jack-o-lantern or pick a fun design like your favorite animal. Or if you want to keep it simple, you can paint your pumpkin a cool pattern like I did this year.
  2. Do Halloween crafts: Crafts are a great way to relax and be creative. I recommend Pinterest for Halloween-inspired craft ideas, but you can also go to a craft store to buy a craft kit. The bonus of making a craft is you can display it on your desk which adds Halloween spirit to your room. This Halloween, I made a blue beaded spider which I keep it on my desk.
  3. Watch Halloween movies: Movies are a great way to get in the mood for Halloween. You can get cozy with blankets and you don’t have to go outside in the cold. Picking the right movie to watch is an important decision. You need to decide if you are in mood for a classic, scary movie like A Nightmare on Elm Street or if you are nostalgic for a movie from your childhood like Hocus Pocus.
  4. Wear a costume: You’re never too old to dress up for Halloween. There are plenty of simple, clever costume ideas you can do with supplies you already have. Or you could go to a thrift store and buy a few items to complete a specific costume idea. Either way, getting dressed up is an important part of Halloween and it’s fun to walk around all day in a costume.

These Personality-Based Study Spaces At Parks Library Will Blow Your Mind

by Megan Rogers

Walking into Parks Library can be kind of intimidating, especially when you haven’t yet secured a personal study spot that you feel comfortable studying at. To help you find the right place to study, I created a Buzzfeed-esque analysis of four different personality types and the general area in Parks Library that would appeal to each of them!

  1. Lone Wolf: If you prefer studying alone, the tiers at Parks Library is the place for you. Not a lot of students think to study in the tiers, so you won’t have to deal with crowded rooms and general human interaction. The tiers are almost always super-quiet, and there are plenty of nooks and single-person desks to hide away and study at.
  2. Social Butterfly: The most social floor at Parks Library is definitely 3rd. The 3rd floor consists of one big, open room with a bunch of long tables, connected tables: the ideal spot for big study groups to gather. It is also thought to be the most chatter-friendly zone in the library, so you don’t have to worry about being shushed for talking with your friends.
  3. Efficiency Master: Room 198 is the best place to study if you’re really looking to get stuff done. This large, open study space is located on the east side of Parks Library’s first floor, and is a popular spot for group project meetings and tutoring sessions. To promote ultimate productivity levels, this room has big tables with built-in outlets, whiteboard easels, and HDMI-accessible monitors on the walls. However, plan your study sessions wisely – Room 198 is sometimes closed for classes during the daytime.
  4. Hipster Bookworm: If you like a relaxed, coffee shop-esque aesthetic while you study, you should check out the Fireplace Reading Room. Although there isn’t a lot of table-space to work with, the comfy couches and bookshelf-covered walls create perfect book-reading vibes. It’s also conveniently located next-door to Bookends Café, so you don’t have to go far for a coffee break!

Homecoming Traditions

by Lauren Suhi

Iowa State is entering its 105th year of homecoming, and it’s a week full of fun, celebration and competition. Each year, the theme includes a “CY” pun, and this year’s theme is “Sound the CYren.” Here’s a brief overview of some of my favorite traditions:

1. Food on Campus
This is probably my all-time favorite event. For only $5 you can purchase a food button, which gives you access to food served on central campus all week. You can enjoy some good Hickory Park, Fazoli’s, or Papa John’s while gearing up to cheer on the Cyclones.

2. Yell Like Hell
Do you enjoy screaming about ISU traditions at the top of your lungs? Then you should check you Yell Like Hell, a skit put on by students. The top teams get “painted,” literally, and the final three perform at the Friday night Pep Rally! You can catch yours truly at minute 1:27:21 in this youtube link!

3. Mass Campanile-ing
Now everyone knows that you’re not a true Iowa Stater until you’ve been kissed under the campanile. On Friday of Homecoming week, hundreds of students come to partake in the tradition at midnight. There’s also a sweet fireworks display and pancakes!

4. Cardinal Court
Every year, a group of awesome people get nominated for Cardinal Court, a group that gets selected based off of academic achievement, community involvement, and overall character. Here’s the group this year! Wait, do I see some honors students?

5. Homecoming Dance
Another old tradition is the homecoming dance held every year on the Friday before the week begins. It’s a great way to get your dance shoes on and celebrate a decades-old tradition in the MU. Here’s an old picture from a homecoming of the past!

6. Painting Victory Lane
To cheer on our Cyclones at the football game, multiple groups on campus get together and paint the road that leads up to Jack Trice Stadium. We’re hoping for a win this year against TCU!

7. Parade
This is a renewed tradition at Iowa State! The parade features many people from around Ames and campus. Plenty of free candy and ISU spirit!

8. Displays
Greek chapters put on mini skits and construct some serious sets in their front yards for ExCYtement in the Streets on Friday of the week. They’re super fun and creative to see, along with sales of hot chocolate and cider throughout Greekland. If you’re interested, check out the link below the picture that shows what it all looks like!

9. Banners
On central campus, there are tons of banners set up around the sidewalks between Curtiss and Beardshear Halls. Here’s a killer one from this year’s homecoming!

And remember, these are only some of the homecoming events this week! So, get your Homecoming button, red and gold spirit on, and GO CYCLONES!

Here’s a the schedule of events this week!