Bike around Menomonie

gjerda

Last week during the beautiful 70-degree weather, my roommate Clay and I went on an invigorating bike ride through the rural roads outside of Menomonie. We rode our bikes from campus, to the red cedar, up into the nearby countryside, and then back to campus. The whole ride was about 45 minutes long, and it was wonderful.

If you want to try taking my path, but don’t have a bike, check out the StoutBikes program. It’s a great way to rent a bike while you’re at UW-Stout.

Here’s a picture of our route, starting at the Memorial Student Center.

map
First, Clay and I rode to the intersection of 11th Avenue and Broadway street, and rode towards the Red Cedar river. After crossing the bridge over the Red Cedar, we turned left on County Road P, and rode through the winding country roads.
countryside
We saw very little cars, and a few other bikers, and the hills weren’t too bad, either. There were several farms along the side of the road with cows, a duck pond, and some wild turkey. Clay told me he’s also seen deer on other bike rides he’s taken in the area. Then, we came to the intersection of County Road P and 400th Street, where we took a left, and sped down a big hill.
hill
After pedaling up the other side, we came to the top of a hill with an amazing view of the countryside surrounding Menomonie. You could just barely see the clock tower from where we were, and a bit of the smokestack. The air was fresh and clear, and the sun was shining through the clouds. I was on top of the world.
panorama
After enjoying the view and the air, Clay and I took a selfie, as is appropriate in such occasions, and then continued on our way.
selfie
We then biked downhill towards 410th street, where we took a left. This street runs along the Red Cedar river, and winds through more of the classic beautiful rolling countryside hills. I even saw a sign that advertised “SYRUP” so Clay and I stopped and bought some- it was some of the most delicious maple syrup I’ve ever tasted.
After biking for a while, we noticed that the Red Cedar trail was just to our left, so we went off-road for a moment and joined the trail. This carried us back to Riverside Park- a beautiful park just off campus next to the Red Cedar river. Then, we took a right on Hudson road, which carried us back to campus.
The ride was awesome, and really relaxing. I think a lot of people don’t realize the beauty and simplicity of the scenery surrounding us. There’s always so much happening on campus that it’s easy to forget about our natural surroundings. If you get the chance to take a bike ride similar to mine, I promise it’ll be worth it. Or, if you don’t have a bike just try walking along the Red Cedar trail, located 5 minutes off campus. 2 cute bikesThere are some beautiful sights out there just waiting to be discovered.
See ya later Stout!
– Gjerda

Prometheus: Literary Magazine

Barbara YoungThis year I had the honor of having a few pieces of writing published in Prometheus, the UW-Stout literary magazine, and I couldn’t have been more excited. It’s not a well known magazine on campus, but it is certainly worth notice.

The magazine consists of all forms of art, sculpture and literary works. One issue is published each year by a group of students who work throughout the year to create the contest, select pieces, edit and publish the magazine. Joan Menefee and Robert Atwell are the advisors for this group. I sat down with Joan Menefee to get the low-down on how the magazine gets published each year.

What is Prometheus and how did it get started?

There’s been a literary magazine in some form since 1935. It was originally called Little Wings 10996643_1067857773227668_4069308269080274145_nand I think it’s had maybe 6 or 7 name changes since then. Prometheus as a name came about in the late 80’s or early 90s. It became a dual arts and literature magazine sometime in the early 2000’s. That helped us change the form of the magazine. We went to smaller print runs and a glossy look after I took it over sometime in ’07 or ’08. When all those things came together I think it became a graphic designer’s magazine as much as of a writers’ magazine. That’s kind of where we’ve been hanging. We’ve increased the production values steadily since 2009 because we’ve had graphic designers as editors.

What is the process of putting the magazine together?

The editors come up with the theme since sometime in the early fall each year. I get them comfortable with the routine so they know they have to put together a contest, establish a theme, market the contest and set the deadline for sometime near the end of fall term. At the same time on the art side, you’ve got that theme and you’ve got a contest that gets judged in early spring. Entries usually come through the Fundamentals of Design course those students who are doing a lot of drawing and sometimes ceramics.  Sometimes I’m heavily involved in all aspects of production, but this year I wasn’t, I think Bob Atwell did a lot more of the day-to-day overseeing of the editorial and production process.

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Then the editors use InDesign to assemble the text and they get someone to photograph the material. They look at the images they have and they think of the big structure. The editors think of what it would be like to read this magazine, what makes a reading and viewing experience beautiful in 2015 and I think that has changed a lot.

We always seem to come up with people that are still interested in analog culture and artifacts and things that you can hold in your hand. They get really involved in that process and they work with two cross media graphics teams fall and spring semester. The first is more theoretical and speculative because there’s no hands-on print work fall semester. They just work through the editors’ concept, the theme, think about what went well and what didn’t do well in previous magazines. They look at maybe bringing new technologies such as, perforations or cut-outs. The two teams kind of work together to create a concept and that gets to delivered to the hands on CMG team and they actually execute the production of the magazine in the basement of Fryklund.

How do you decide which pieces will be placed in the magazine?

There are faculty judges for both the visual arts and the literary arts. I recruit those every year; I just put a call out sometime in December or January asking if there is anyone who wants to judge this year. I haven’t judged since I took over the advisor-ship and I think that Bob Atwell recruits pretty much the same way in art. Those people come up the decision by mid-February 11150308_1067850423228403_6803493187218083685_nand those pieces go in and then everything else is at the discretion of the editors.

Everything is blind to authorship as far as the prizes are concerned. I was asked to provide a rubric so that there was a standard and I came up with something that was pretty open ended, but I included things like adherence to the theme, excellence of writing and clarity, grammar, sentence structure variety, and variety of theme.

Who prints the magazine?

It’s the Cross Media Graphics team on the UW-Stout equipment on campus and it’s always been done in house.

It’s a student run organization so we need to both let people express themselves at this stage of life and learn how to do things the most practical and hands-on way possible. For most of us that is making you [students] as independent as possible and then seeing and watching you solve problems and stepping in if things get complicated, but that’s so rare to see that with this magazine. Once you have a system and can predict a few things that can definitely go wrong, your sense of owning and understanding the process is very different.

What is the role of a literary and arts magazine at a polytechnic?

I like to think that because of the strength of the art and design program, 10407861_1067850416561737_8903222789086131078_nand because of the strength of the PCEM program, we show that some of those divisions that we make between the technical, the material sciences, and all of the other types of knowledge that exist, is overstated and that there are lots of interesting ways that people interact. The humanities has never been purely theoretical, but there always has been a practical production component to it. People who respect both fields of learning, I think, are the most flexible people moving out of college. They don’t have as many blind spots as people that think they know what they need to know; in my opinion, that ‘s the point at which people stop learning—when they think they know all they need to. I think having the ability to say, ‘Here’s why this is a beautiful piece of art’ is very parallel with ‘Here’s why this machine works most efficiently for the particular purpose.’ We make that visible on the campus and we, as Prometheus, do a good job of showing the kind of creative arts among students who are drawn to a polytechnic, so it’s sort of an interesting paradox to me. I think it is necessary when we get into these polarized debates about what we need on campus. What we really need is to show students is that their flexibility and their creativity can surface in any discipline on this campus.