Archives for May 2012

Graduation

Well, I’m done. Graduation Sunday was last weekend. It was a really nice day – warm but not unbearable, and just breezy enough to keep us cool, but not blow our mortarboards off! Everyone moved out on Monday, which was not a particularly enjoyable experience, mostly because I knew I wouldn’t be coming back to Bethel.

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“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

No, I’m not actually reading Dickens right now. That would not be a good idea during finals week. It’s more of a general statement regarding the feeling I always have at this time of year.

The crazy, hectic schedule most college students have at this point in the semester brings a lot of stress. Studying is hard. Tests are hard. Studying for a test that could make or break your grade is hard. That’s nothing new.

However, some of the hectic-ness is due to fun activities. Plenty of people are willing to schedule opportunities to feed stressed college students cramming for exams. Different clubs, classes, teams, etc. have end-of-the-year parties. It’s a good kind of busy.

Next year will be completely different. Besides the fact that we’re losing the seniors and gaining new freshmen and transfers, the new academic center that has been under consturction since my freshman year will be completed and used for classes. With only a few buildings on campus, this is a major change. I’ll be a junior, so most of my classes will be for my math major and I’ll be taking the math seminar course.

For now, though, I still have four tests to take for the semester and a lot of studying to do.

Seek. Serve. Grow

I have named the next five weeks or so of my life “The Month of Change.”  Today was my final day of student teaching.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, it’s hard to think of never seeing my precious class again.  I have come to truly love each and every student, hoping and praying for the very best for each individual.  I feel a great sense of accomplishment and pride knowing that I completed all the teacher education program requirements.  Bethel College requires a 4-week full block of responsibilities (where the cooperating teacher is completely out of the room for the entire day).  The other student teacher in my building this semester (from another college) only had a 2-week block.  I think this requirement is a unique and wonderful aspect of Bethel’s program.

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Diary of a Student Teacher Part 4: To Love a Child

I’m pretty sure it hasn’t hit me yet that I’m not going back.  It’s hard to imagine that my routine will be different next Monday.  Instead of returning to 2nd grade I will be lining up to practice graduating!  In the early weeks of student teaching when I looked at the calendar and the weeks and weeks that remained before I would complete my student teaching requirements, I thought it would take FOREVER to get to this day.  It turns out the weeks fly by much faster than I could have imagined.

You may think student teachers go to their placements in order to learn how to teach, but it turns out what I was really learning this semester what how to love a child.  We all know those sparkly, bubbly, happy kids who are easy-going and sweet; it’s easy to love them (especially if someone else is disciplining them, and their parents take them home at night).   And we all know those kids who are just plain naughty and you wish their parents would control them!  In a public school classroom, chances are you will have a nice mixture of the two.  But you soon realize that some of those sparkly, bubbly kids can have an attitude when they aren’t in control, and some of the naughty ones can steal your heart.

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Qualifiying for nationals

“Bradley threw a season best 44.25m in the Discus at the Southwestern Relays. With the mark she finished 1st out of 26 competitors. She currently holds the best throw in the KCAC and ranks 6th in the NAIA.” – KCAC full article

Technically 5th in the nation on everything that I have seen. But I think it is exciting. Two weekends ago, we participated at a meet in Winfield. For one of my throws, everything just fell into place. I threw a 44.25 meter throw, which is about 145ft 2in. This throw did lots for me, lots of exciting things for me. 1. I won first place in the meet. 2. I jumped to first in the KCAC conference. 3. I broke the school record. 4. I qualified for the national meet. And 5. Am currently ranked 5th in the Nation.

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Spring Fling week

Now….to catch-up. Between my last post and now a lot has happened, I was in a movie for Bubbert’s Awards, fell off my bike, Qualified for Nationals and found a job for the summer. First the Bubbert’s Movie, I along with my friends were part of a Bubbert’s movie, I’m a Mennonite (here is the link too it.). For those who don’t know, Bubbert’s is our own little version of the Music Video awards or Movie Awards. Students across campus are encouraged to make their own film and submit it.

Unlike last year in which we only had three videos submitted, there were 7 submitted. We got Honorable Mention, but it was a whole lot of fun. The concept is based off the song Swananana by Baby Bash. A alumni had thought the song said I’m a Mennonite, so our fearless director came up with the lyrics and we made a song.

She was using my computer, which unfortunately crashed right before the movie was due so she had to start over. I felt awful but she go the movie done on time, so that’s all that matters.

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Back in Business

So for about three weeks, my laptop has been out of commission. Fortunately for me, there are awesome people who work here and are able to fix almost anything. So today I was able to get my laptop back (happy dance)!! In those weeks that I was without laptop.

I found out a few things: If I really want to get something done, I should go to the computer lab to work on them, I don’t really need my laptop ( but really enjoy having it), I use my iPhone a lot more when I don’t have my laptop, and I get really lazy when I have to walk across campus too much to use the computers.

I know this is short but I am just so happy to have my laptop back I had to let you know. :)

Masterworks

I’ve blogged about music at Bethel many times before, and for good reason. Music is a huge part of campus life with a large portion of the student body involved in choir, wind ensemble, jazz band or orchestra. The end of the semester brings many concerts, including Masterworks, the annual mass choir performance. The choir is made up of the Concert Choir, Men’s Ensemble, Women’s Chorus and community members.

Usually the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony performs with the choir but this year the program on Sunday included James Syler’s Symphony No. 1 ‘Blue’ which uses a wind ensemble instead of a string and wind group. The wind ensemble, comprised of students, community members and professionals, also performed Maslanka’s Symphony No. 4.

As a member of the wind ensemble, I was very excited to be a part of the concert this year. We had been preparing the pieces since March. The Maslanka piece in particular was huge-both musically and in number of players. A symphony written for wind ensemble is rare, and this one in particular is spectacularly awesome and worth looking up online.

The performance in Memorial Hall was unforgettable. For one thing, there is no air conditioning in the performance hall so that made everything more exhausting. With 80-some performers in the wind ensemble and 200+ including the chorus, the sound was incredible.

Masterworks happens every year. It’s a staple in Bethel’s musical tradition, but this year was particularly spectacular.

“Supermoon”

Yesterday’s full moon was the largest and brightest of the year, due to its close proximity to the earth. This is because the moon occupies an oval (rather than round) orbit. Several friends and I decided to go up to the telescope on the Krehbiel Science Center to try and view it.  While we weren’t able to see many stars due to the light pollution from the moon, we did get to see the many craters and rifts on the moon’s surface. Unfortunately, the moon was so reflective that it blinded us for several minutes! Here are a few pictures of the campus from slightly different perspectives than what we’re all used to seeing. Keep in mind that these were all taken between midnight and 1am, and that no editing was done to enhance the lighting or color effects.

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Diary of a Student Teacher Part 3: A Week of My Life

The week of April 16-20 was absolutely crazy!  This was the third week of my “block” which means I am responsible for the entire day totally on my own.  I have done the lesson planning and am supposed to carry out the week from beginning to end.  The first two weeks of my block went very well and I feel comfortable in the classroom with my students.  I really have the confidence necessary for me to teach next year!  Whoo-hoo!  The first two weeks were pretty tiring though, and I know I need to start getting more sleep.  There’s just always so much to do what with lesson planning, prep, or grading to do after school plus working on the KPTP (Kansas Professional Teaching Portfolio, required by the State Department of Education for a teaching license), and don’t even get me started on how far behind schedule I am on wedding planning and shower thank you notes.  There are just not enough hours in the day!

Some of the craziness of this week included an observation by my building’s principal.  I found that I wasn’t nearly as nervous to have him in the classroom as I thought I would.  I really appreciated the fact that he took the time to spend half an hour watching me teach and then 15 minutes the next day to visit about what he had seen and how I can become a better and more effective teacher.  He used the same form and structure for his observation as he does with his yearly review of teachers, so I feel like when it comes time for my first observation next year in my own classroom.

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