Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Peaceable Protest

Thursday, March 26, 2009 12:00 PM CDT
Wartburg students stage surprise protest tuition, facilities
By MARY STEGMEIR, Courier Staff Writer
WAVERLY --- The hundreds of miniature neon orange flags planted outside Wartburg College's Luther Hall speak for themselves.

"Lower Tuition," reads one. Its neighbor intones: "Better locker rooms." A third, penned in big block letters screams: "CRAPPY RES HALLS."

The pennants are the only evidence remaining of a protest carried out in Wednesday's pre-dawn hours. More than 1,000 students gathered outside school's administrative offices at 6:30 a.m. with a laundry list of concerns, ranging from the price tag of their education to the sluggish nature of the school's computer network.

"We're students at this institution, but they have to remember that we're also paying customers," said Abhay Nadipuram, student body vice president. "Yes, we know this is a school, but it's also our home for weeks and months at a time."

Student Senate leaders delivered a petition outlining their concerns to Interim President William Hamm. They also declared Wednesday a student-initiated "Outfly," a Wartburg tradition in which classroom learning is called off for a day, allowing students to enjoy campus activities and take part in service projects.

Although Hamm said classes would not be cancelled Wednesday, he later praised the student's demonstration of school spirit and vowed to review the matter.

"Some of the issues we've been working on with students; others are new to me," he said in a statement. "Many of the issues are complex and not unique to Wartburg College. Administrators nationwide are grappling with the need to limit tuition increases, while upgrading facilities; cutting costs, while maintaining the integrity of academic programs."

Last week, 1,377 of Wartburg's 1,799 students signed a petition asking the administration to address tuition inflation, increase energy efficiency on campus, make repairs to aging residence halls, boost technology funding, improve services for international students, open the "W's" member locker room to students, change professor evaluation policies, and review faculty duties and compensation.

"Seniors have said they've been talking about some of these issues since they've been freshman," said Mandie Jones, a first-year student senator. "This was a way to make our voices heard."

Jones is most concerned about the rising price of attending the Lutheran liberal arts school. Next year, tuition and fees will cost $27,450. Students who live on campus will tack on an additional $7,615 in room and board, bringing the total to $35,065. In 2003-04, the school's tuition and fees equaled $18,550, while housing and meal plans cost an additional $5,080. For on-campus learners, which make up more than 80 percent of the student body, the final ticket price was $23,630.

Taking those numbers into account, by the time residence hall students start making payments this fall, the overall cost of a Wartburg education will have increased 48.4 percent in six years. In the same time period at the University of Northern Iowa, comparable services went from $9,834 to $13,596, a 38.3 percent increase.

"It's an expensive school and some people don't think they are getting their money's worth," Jones said of Wartburg. "And some people are leaving because they can't afford it."

Wednesday's demonstration was peaceful. Students recited the school cheer and song before dispersing. Many of the marchers skipped their classes in recognition of the student-declared "outfly." Some used the day to tack up new bulletin boards and touch up the trim in the basement of Waverly's flood-damaged St. John Lutheran Church.

Student leaders had been planning the protest for more than two months, but many participants first learned the details this morning. Senators were phoned around 5:20 a.m. and asked to storm the dorms for supporters.

Sophomore Lacey Stonehocker was awakened by a knock at her door well before sunrise. She and others gathered on the campus mall to make a point, she said.

"I know some people were there for the wrong reasons, but there were a lot of people who were there for the right reasons," said the music major. "We just really wanted to be noticed. You don't crawl out of bed that early in the morning for no reason."

Contact Mary Stegmeir at (319) 291-1482 or

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Things I Forgot

a belt (bought one at the Destin Goodwill)
pj's (bought one some at the Destin Target)
lotion (sheesh, have I never packed before?)
the fact that the sand squeaks sometimes when you walk--sounds like cheese curds
that my husband is a blast!!
how awesome Krispy Kreme donuts are--heavenly and sinful, all at once

Things I Experienced

one GREAT meal a day and snacks galore--not a sustainable, long term diet, btw
a mudslide drink----eeeyew! poured the whole jug down the drain
jet skiing---never again
sleeping with the bedroom's balcony door open--waves, salt air, cool breeze

Things I Learned

Whataburger is not my friend
Vannoys Tire Service rocks for the second year in a row!!
I trust my husband with my life (related to the jet ski. If that sounds dramatic, so be it--hahaha)
I missed my kids more than they missed me
I missed my dog; not sure how she feels about me
Changes in Latitude really do result in Changes in Attitude
I do not like alcohol very much, unless it tastes remarkably not like alcohol
Steinmart is too expensive for a penny pincher like me

Trip Highlights

no daily agenda
car time---tunes, talking and Mark Levin
sunsets as an 'event'
our DIY couples photos--such fun
looking at affordable and POSH RV's---dozens of them. It is nice to dream... adults only vacation. It had been awhile. And the memories from this one will make me smile for a long time.

The Last Hours of Vacay

To view the photos and captions without the effects, just click on the photos. To turn off the music, please scroll down and turn off the player (or hit mute on your computer).

Yeah, yeah, yeah. There's a ton of sunset photos. Some of them even look alike. Well, on *my* vacation, sunsets are an event. Every. single. night.

Re-entry to normal life is hard. Uploading photos is great therapy.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Menopause Slapstick

So, some readers may recall the post about the herbal supplement I am taking for my myriad of menopause symptoms. If not, you can find it here. It really is essential that you read it, in order to understand today's joke.

On vacay, I find my mind works better. I have time to actually follow through on things that, when I am embroiled in my real life, get wispy in my little puddin' head, before they simply float away entirely, only to be replaced by the nagging feeling that I am forgetting 'something'.

Actually, it is more likely I am forgetting entire scrolled documents of information, but hey. It is what it is. I mean, being that it is the way it is and all. (<------ what did she just say?)

Anywhoo. Now that I am on vacation and my mind is less encumbered, I remembered to tell my husband about my awful PM medication. I proceeded to shove the pill under his nose (without warning--how rude) and demended that he, "Smell this".

His response immediately reminded me of this video. And I laughed then, quite heartily.

And I have laughed every night since.

I would guess that the laughter would continue indefinitely, except I will be forgetting buckets and quarts of information, beginning Monday, March 23rd, when my real life re-commences.

You have been warned.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I'm not in Iiii-OOO--waaaah!

If you'd like to see the photos and captions, please click on the photos.

We are having fun, just the two of us.

I heart my husband. :~)

Friday, March 13, 2009


I have never been so ready, felt so claustrophobic, chomped so hard at the reins.

I have got to get out of this weary town, my monotonous routine, this dreary winter weather, beyond the confines of my job, away from the dust bunnies in my kitchen---AGGGGGHHHH!
Where's the cooler?

Load the van.

Pensacola Beach, here we come!!

Adults Only.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Photo Caption?

I know some really cool blogs that have contests with giveaways to see who can most cleverly caption a photo.

This is not a really cool blog with giveaways. Here, in my land, I am a DIY photo caption-er.

And this one, in which an apple core is browning nicely in MY bathroom sink, is entitled,

"I'll miss her when she's gone".

Never mind she has her very own bathroom two steps from her bedroom. Never mind that I have a wastebasket in MY bathroom. Never mind all of that.

Just never mind.

How My Brain Works

I have been taking this product for about three weeks now. I do think it is helping with the symptoms of menopause (chemically induced). Yay for that.

However, each time I pop a pill
in my mouth (even though there are several pills being washed down my gullet simultaneously), I can taste the new supplement. It has a very unpleasant taste that I could not quite identify until yesterday.

But yesterday, when I yet again tossed the pill combo into my mouth, it hit me. These pills taste like...ok, this is gross now...

I don't even know if this thing still exists, but once upon a time, when I was a young mom, there was such a thing as blanket sleeper, which were footed, one piece zip up the front numbers, designed to keep your baby warm, when they inevitably kicked off their covers in the night.

The feet were made of a white plastic-y substance. Surely, they do not make these any more. Surely, they have improved children's sleepwear technology to include a friendlier footy substance??

Because that, my friends, is the taste/smell.

Small toddler feet that have sweated and baked in plastic all night long.

I know, right? (shudders)

(my lulu, who hated blanket sleepers and would doff them as soon after I had zipped her in, as possible. thus, the deer in the headlights look---busted!)