Archives for March 2013

Spring Break And The Race to The Finish!

As I am writing this blog, I am sitting and watching the “madness” of March Madness. This is what my spring break has looked like so far. Filled with basketball, practicing tennis and procrastinating homework. Needless to say, spring break has been very relaxing which was definitely needed after the packed and hectic week of midterms!

At the end of spring break, (today actually) the tennis team was supposed to have two matches, but the crazy weather of Kansas has done it again, and they were cancelled. It has been disappointing because it feels like we have hardly gotten to play any matches. This will not last for long, however. When we get back from spring break, weather permitting; tennis will really start to pick up.

Not only will tennis pick up, but so will classes and other activities. Before we know it, it will be time for finals! Yikes! That is scary to think about because it feels like there is so much that needs to be done before then. All of the tennis matches, big assignments for classes that have seemed so far away until now, choir performances, finishing up schedules for next year, turning in the documents needed to become an official social work major and figuring out the living situations for next year all have to be done! Then, before you know it, it will be finals, graduation for the seniors and summer!

Well, off to watch some more basketball and to start working on homework!

If you want to watch some tennis, our next home matches will be Friday, March 29 against Hesston College and Saturday, March 30 against Doane College!

 

Student Teaching!

This semester has been so wonderful, but so crazy and overwhelming all at once, which is why I have been terrible about posting regularly on here (oops…sorry!) I feel like I’m living two lives at once- the life of a teacher, who gets up at 6 AM, gets to school at 7:15 AM, teaches students all day, stays after school to work until 5:15 PM or go to meetings, and then takes schoolwork home. That being said, I still feel like I’m living the college sutdent life because I’m still living in the dorms with my friends, I try to make time to hang out with them, and I’m working two part-time jobs on the side, just to have some sort of income. Sound like a crazy life? It is…but I love it!

Student teaching has been incredible! I absolutely loved my placement in 2nd grade at Walton Rural Life Center. At the school, we have many animals in our barn (chickens, sheep, lambs, a donkey, calves, and pigs) and a green house where students work with plants. The school takes a project-based learning approach, so the learning is more hands-on. I love it! My cooperating teacher was phenomal! Our personalities were so alike and we worked so well together as a team. She provided me with so many good ideas, suggestions, and many times we just sat down after school and talked like good friends do. She has really been a huge blessing in my life. My students were fantastic too- such hard workers!

Last Thursday, I made the transition from my general education placement to my special education placement, also at the same school. On my last day in 2nd grade, my class threw a huge surprise party for me! They kicked me out of the classroom for 30 minutes and when they brought me back in, I was blindfolded and led to the other side of the room. On the count of three, all the students screamed and threw A LOT of confetti all over me! I was coated! They made a crown for me to wear, decorated my desk, and we had a party. There was punch, chocolate cupcakes, and each student made a special card for me. It was a wonderful last day!

So far, special education has been a fun environment to work it, but it’s been a hard switch, simply because it is SO different from general education. I enjoy both, but I’m hoping to get a job in a general education elementary classroom. I’m on the job hunt now…wish me luck! :)

Something is missing…

This semester, I haven’t been in Concert Choir because of student teaching. Let me just say that during the time that Concert Choir meets each day, my students are just coming in from recess and then we have sharing bag, read-aloud, and reading groups, and there’s not much time to even think about how much I miss singing in the choir and being with those people.

Now it’s spring break, so I don’t have school, and the Concert Choir is on tour, travelling around Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana, sharing their beautiful music with everyone who wants to listen. My sister is with them and all of my friends keep posting pictures on facebook. I’m realizing how much I miss choir and just how badly I wish I was riding around the U.S. on that tour bus with them. I’m realizing now how much of an impact that choir and those people had on my college experience. They say that “you never know what you had until it’s gone,” and that quote applies perfectly to this situation.

I got lucky and my family decided to take a little spring break vacation to St. Louis. We found out a week after we planned it that the Concert Choir would be singing in a huge cathedral there and that we could go see them! Their music was extravagant. Being able to listen to a full concert of songs that you know and learned is amazing, because you don’t have to listen to try to understand the words; you can just listen and absorb the music. Multiple times, the choir made me smile, laugh, and cry during that concert. It was simply wonderful to hear them sing in such a beautiful setting.

More Reflections From The Road by Kevin Coash

 

Tuesday Morning:

Getting ready travel to Bluffton, Ohio. Home to Bulffton University, a Mennonite LIberal Arts College with a population of 1,198 students. We get to sing with their College group, the Camerata Singers and then have a concert later tonight.

This quote speaks to the current modus operandi of the choir. We must always think ahead. The next note – the next phrasing – the next text articulation. We can’t move on to the next if we can’t get past the past. In the words of Sheldon Cooper (paraphrased) “Look ahead. You can’t look backwards, because that would just be remembering.”

But then – you sit around a hotel breakfast table with a group of choir members and talk and laugh and joke and tell stories and listen to stories and dream big dreams and you think, maybe it’s okay to think backwards on these times, or remember. Maybe starting the next Chapter doesn’t mean we completely abandon the one we just finished. See, if we carry this book – to – real – life metaphor, books are like old friends, waiting patiently on the bookshelf to be seen and read and experienced again. Books love to be picked up and laughed at and cried into and loved. If book are like people, then I would like to return, at least in my remembrances, to times like this.

Tuesday Evening:

So I’ve been thinking a lot about space. Maybe outer space, (planets) but more down to earth (cells) I’ve been thinking about the rooms and halls we fill and what, if anything, we do there.

Take the city museum.

A full city block made into a metal jungle gym that even the most cynical college kid could get excited about. Imagine hovering 10 stories in the sky praying that those metal bars could make it through. 7 college kids cramming themselves into a steel ball. All this why? Because it was fun and we were together.

Now see St. Francis Xavier Cathedral.

Dare I say, both of these places (City Museum and Cathedral) are wonders of architecture. But vastly different, right? I’m not so sure. The Cathedral with its high arches, marble statues, and wonderful sound – called us to something higher. That something that theologians have tried to define for centuries.

But the Museum called us higher too. It caused us to raise our voice maybe even in song. So perhaps these two places aren’t that different. Maybe that “thing” that’s so hard to name is at both. North-South-East-West.

 

Musings from the Concert Choir Tour by Kevin Coash


So I’m supposed to be writing a daily blog for the Concert Choir tour. It is hard to shut me up, but it’s also hard to write about bus rides and the same 20 songs every day. SO I thought I would dig deeper see if I could understand what this whole tour business is about. This is my first year, ya know. Is it really just bus rides and the same 20 songs, and if so, why do people get so darn emotional about it. If it’s something more, the curious cat inside of me wants to know that that is.

As I was thinking about this I was mindlessly and aimlessly scrolling through my facebook newsfeed, which more often than not is a call to remembrance than I’m a liberal in a conservative State, but I came across this quote of Bob Marley. “Live for yourself and you will live in vain; live or others, and you will live again.” I found this insightful 1) because Bob said it 2) because when you’re crammed on a bus with 50+ other people you truly have to live this.

Reminds me of my days at the Buddhist temple where my teacher kept saying, “Forget about the “I” put down the “I.” We as a choir, sophomore – junior – and senior members are all on this trek together, like it or else. We have goals and we have jobs and we are having fun. But we’re not doing this for ourselves. No music is for yourself, that would be in vain. We are doing this for our fellow choir mates. The emotional seniors who will never get to tour with the group again, we sing for you. Bill who puts in hours of dedicated work and his immense arsenal of talent, we sing for him. Dale and his dedication and support of this choir – who cries at every show, who loves each of us as his own grandchild, we sing for him. The small but vibrant and loving compassionate congregations that welcome us and bother to stay and listen to a bunch of college kids from Kansas sing, we sing for them. We sing for hope in a troubled world. We sing for love across mankind. We cannot accomplish any of these things own our own. It is everyone living for everybody else, at least just for these 9 days, that makes these things happen. Will we always be successful? – I hope not – Because it is only by falling that we can truly judge how far we have come. But we’ll keep marching (or riding, I guess) on, together, singing for others. Bringing music – a powerful thing – to them as a gift expecting nothing in return. And that is not a endeavor spent in vain.

 

Campus Job

Hey everyone!

Considering how expensive college can be and because Mom and Dad aren’t here to give you a weekly allowance, you might need  to earn some money on your own.

Bethel offers multiple job opportunities, if you are works study eligible you can apply for one of several on-campus jobs. Which simply means you are eligible to earn federal work-study dollars. Preference is given to work-study eligible students when possible, but after that the positions are fair game to all students.

These positions range from working in the cafeteria, being a team manager, a maintenance helper, working on the Collegian, being a resident assistant, and even blogging!

For a more thorough list of campus jobs follow this link, here you can search the database for postions that are available on campus.

Most of these jobs are flexible, because employers understand you will be busy with classes and other activities, so don’t let that be a reason for not applying. With the multitude of positions it is likely that you will find one that fits into your interests and aligns with your class schedule.

There’s an added benefit to having a campus job besides earning some money, it is good work experience to add to a resume. Future employers like to see you have had previous experience and are a reliable person.

If you are not work study eligible or none of the campus jobs sound appealing to you, Career Services has many connections within the surrounding communities and frequently send out emails through student announce about potential jobs. This is also a good place to go if looking for an internship or if you need help creating a resume.

You should pay attention to the database and your emails at the end of each semester, as students come and go positions become available. Others such as the Collegian are always looking for new staff members, so be on the lookout for those too.

Happy job hunting!

~Samantha