My hands felt damp as I smoothed down the brown skirt of my new dress and stepped a foot closer to the stage as another name was read. I looked around the crowded banquet hall and nervously smiled. I heard Bethel College announced and Dorothy’s name called. I’m next, I thought as I took a deep breath and stepped onto the stage, smiling as I accepted my certificate and shook the Kansas commissioner of education’s hand.
This year, Dorothy Voth and I were named Bethel’s two “Teachers of Promise”. Every year each college in Kansas with an accredited teacher education program gets to name two of their pre-service teachers with this distinction. We spent a day in Wichita and had a wonderful time. We attended a workshop for several hours in the morning with the 2011 Teacher of Year Team (this was the 2011 Teacher of the Year as well as the 7 other finalists). They lead an active workshop on the importance of creativity in the classroom with lots of fun and engaging ideas I hope to try out in the spring as I student teach, and someday in my own classroom.
After the meal we all ventured back outside. While in conversation with her father I was summoned by her cousins and uncles to join in a football game. Clad in a business-casual longsleeved polo, my favorite jeans, and the nicest pair of sneakers I owned, I was hoping that this game would be nothing more than “tossing the ol’ pigskin around” or at worst a game of two-hand touch.
A full-scale tackle football game ensued. One that put me on a team with some pretty sizable men, but against my girlfriend, her father, and two brothers. If they didn’t like me, they weren’t going to get a better opportunity than this to prove it.
I volunteered to be quarterback, after no one else on the team seemed to be incredibly enthused about the prospect of doing it themselves.
My rationale was: I won’t get hit as much, thus not ruining my clothes. Wrong. My other rationale was: It’s an opportunity to showcase my athletic prowess in front of the future inlaws. Didn’t matter.
For the second time in the last three years, I was unable to share the Thanksgiving holiday with my family back home in Dallas. That is because of my commitment to playing on the basketball team. A personal choice, no doubt, and one I would never take back. However, with the season lasting 6 months long, missing holidays, having shortened breaks, and not seeing family for extended amounts of time becomes the norm, however crummy.
This year we were allowed two days off from practice. Thanksgiving and the day before. We were to report back on Friday for practice before our game on Saturday. Considering the drive time to get home and back, it was most convenient to stay near campus for the holiday.
I would be amiss if I didn’t mention the myriad of invites from close (and even not-so-close) friends and acquaintances that were extended for me to join them at their Thanksgiving celebrations. It was truly heart-warming to have such generosity be offered. I had, however, back in September, made plans to attend my girlfriend’s family reunion/Thanksgiving.
Tis the season to be thankful, and I am so thankful for so many things, my family, my friends, my health, my shelter, everything I have is such a blessing. This year has been so great. I have lots of friends who I love and care for, I have an amazing boyfriend who has made this year awesome, a family who is always there for me when I need them, and everything I could possibly need. I feel so blessed.
This time of season is also the season for giving. Not just to others who you care for but also to those who are in need. Not quite sure what we will be doing, but I can’t wait to get involved in some kind of service. I know my family is doing a homeless shelter meal and I know as RA we will be doing something but I am not sure when we ill be doing it. Whatever it is it fills my heart to know I’m helping those in need.
So its a little delayed, but about two weeks ago the basketball team had their first game. We went to play Central Christian in McPherson. The weather wasn’t the greatest, but it didn’t seem worrisome. After the game it was snowing, hard. It was sticking like alot. It was so bad if it would have stayed we would have been seeing a lot more of winter. It was crazy. Well we stopped at a girls house who is on the team for dinner. They live out in the country and we had to park in their gravel/dirt drive way. I am sure you can see where this is possibly going.
It’s 10:20pm and I’m headed to the football field. What was I thinking? I asked myself as I shivered in my shorts and hoodie. It’s too cold for this. I reached the football field to see my team standing in a huddle as the other team warmed up on the field kicking around a soccer ball. Great, I thought. It’s the guys I was hoping not to face on the soccer field.
soccer game with an eclectic group of freshmen, transfers, and all other classes. When we started playing I didn’t ever know most of the others on my team. That particular night we stood around in our circle discussing whether or not we should forfeit. As we waited for our other teammates to show up, we knew we would be up for a fight. We finally decided to start the game even though we were a person down with no subs facing a super competitive team. I’m so glad we decided to play!
Our team worked harder than ever, and (I at least) had more fun than ever! I don’t remember the final score anymore. It was somewhere around 7 to 3. We lost of course, but we played very well.
This past weekend, twelve Bethel College students partnered with the Peace and Social Justice Center and traveled to Fort Benning, Georgia for a human-rights protest at the School of the Americas (SOA). The school is a military training facility that trains foreign soldiers (from Latin America, predominantly) to commit human-rights abuses against their own people once they have returned to their home country. Many of the graduates have participated in coups and genocides in Honduras, Guatemala and Columbia, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians. A committee that tracks the activity of the school has organized a protest every year at the gates of the fort for the last twenty years or more. This year was particularly interesting for us in that the founding members of the protest (Father Roy Bougeois) had come to speak to Bethel last year as part of a Peace and Justice lecture series.
Bethel is a very, very musical campus. Many students are involved in at least one of the musical groups on campus or, in the case of the music majors, at least 4 groups. There’s the Concert Choir, the premiere mixed choir on campus that tours every year and goes to Europe every 4 years during interterm. For those who don’t want to audition or don’t make it in, there’s the Women’s Chorus and Men’s Ensemble. These two groups have grown substantially in the past few years. There’s even a gospel choir that was started this semester.
Instrumental groups are also quite numerous. Two jazz groups, Jazz Ensembles I and II, regularly hold concerts including at Fall Fest and during the holiday Gala celebration. Jazz Combo, made up of a few members of Jazz I, also performs regularly whether it be on campus or at venues in town.
Well, once you’ve gone through the difficult decision of where to attend college, all the hard decisions are done, right?
Turns out after college, we’re expected to get a job that can be synonymous with a career, instead of just a job to pay for coffee and Newell’s food. For some, this decision was made at the same time as the college decision, when they determined a plan for life. I didn’t really do that.
Bethel gives some help in this area. Alumni have gone to do great things, and some who stayed close by come to campus once a year for the Career Night. Doctors, lawyers, businessmen, teachers, pastors, and all sorts of careers are represented at Career Night. Students walk around the hall, stopping at booths of anyone they find with a career they are interested in.
Well, I survived another year of Elimination. What in the world does that mean? You may be asking. That means that I survived the most paranoid week on campus without getting water splashed on me. But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me back up and explain what I’m talking about. Every fall, Student Life organizes a campus-wide game called Elimination. It happened a few months ago, but since no one’s written about it this fall I thought I’d share about it with you. You sign up to play Elimination and receive the name of your first “target” Sunday night. (The game begins at midnight Sunday night). Your goal is to “eliminate” your “target” by getting that target wet somehow. Of course there are rules about when and where you can do this eliminating. The most popular way to eliminate someone is with water from a water bottle or cup from the cafeteria.