There's more to life at Bethel than classes & seminars

Beyond the green is a place students to share the joys and hardships of being a Thresher.

  • Mudslam, AKA The Dirtiest Volleyball You Have Ever Played

    Mudslam, AKA The Dirtiest Volleyball You Have Ever Played

  • Mod Life: Finding Fun Amidst Stress

    Mod Life: Finding Fun Amidst Stress

Concert Choir Tour 2015

Concert Choir Tour 2015

The choir's annual spring break tour took them into churches of various denominations in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, where they experienced amazing hospitality from an equal variety of people.
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Bethel in bloom

Bethel in bloom

It seems like we just turned around and suddenly it's spring all over the Bethel campus.
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Bubbert Awards 2014

Bubbert Awards 2014

The 2015 Bubbert Awards are coming on Saturday, May 2 -- read the post about last year's gala event.
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Getting it all done

Getting it all done

It's that time of year again. Yes, Spring Fling (April 27-May 2) -- but also, when The End is in Sight. Final concerts, senior shows and seminars, exams, graduation -- and then looking forward to what comes next, whether back to Bethel or all new challenges.
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Spring Forward

It is Spring Fling week! This means there will be fun things going on every day on campus.

There will be a cook-off, Olympics, trivia, dance and a showing of student-made movies, just to name a few.

In the back of everyone’s minds are thoughts of what is next. The end of the school year is well within sight. Certainly, the exams that will ensue remain the top priority.

You cannot help but look forward to the summer months and next fall. Some of us will be faced with a new challenge of graduate school or a career into the workforce. Marriage looms on the horizon for others. Those who are returning to Bethel next year look forward to the opportunity for a new beginning. New classes, new experiences and the renewed chance to make an impact on campus and allow Bethel to have an impact on us.

I am personally looking forward to traveling to Europe with my class in May. Upon returning to the States, I would like to work full-time this summer, train for my senior soccer season and prepare for my final nine months as a Bethel student.

Heavy decisions face many students as summer nears. It is a time of anxiety, excitement and, most of all, forward thinking.

– Eric

Looking forward to Interlaken, Switzerland

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MCC Sale

For those from around the area or who identify themselves as Mennonite, you probably are familiar with the MCC Sale. For those who do not know what it is, allow me to explain.

MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) puts on an annual relief sale to aid various causes through MCC. The Kansas sale is located at the fairgrounds in Hutchinson. Over a two-day period, a multitude of people visit and work at the sale to buy and sell food and handmade goods, watch live performances and participate in engaging activities.

I’ve attended the sale before and worked at it as well, but I hadn’t done either in a few years. This year, I was determined to go and indulge in the delicious food and fun activities. I ran into several people I hadn’t seen in a long time too, which was one of my favorite parts of the experience.

Mennonite or non-Mennonite, I would highly recommend attending the MCC Sale next year (it’s usually in mid- to late April). You’re bound to find some yummy food or run across some exotic jewelry that you like. Plus, the best part is that all the proceeds go to a great cause!

 

#SeniorSeminarRush

Seminar. A seven-letter word that brings desperation and dismay to seniors’ lives. Here are some things not to ask these struggling souls:

  • “Are you done with your seminar?”
  • “Have you finished your paper?”
  • “Have you set a date to present?”
  • “You do know that URICA is in two weeks, right?”
  • “Why didn’t you do this in the fall?”
  • “Well, why aren’t you working on it now?”

If you do ask these questions be sure to brace yourself for ugly, rude, smart-aleck comments to be shot back such as:

  • “Are you done talking?”
  • “Of course I am! That’s why I’m slamming my head into this desk — for nothing.”
  • “Set a date? Ha!”
  • “Yes, I do know, but did you know that you’re annoying?”
  • “I clearly had more important things to do like eating and sleeping.”
  • “Obviously I like to induce stress upon myself and live a miserable life.”

For all of you who now know not to pester these dangerous creatures, do not take it personally. We do not mean to be rude. We just have too much stress for us to handle. (Which is why we clearly should have listened to the seniors before us when they told us to finish it in the fall.)

For all you underclassmen — get prepared and GET YOUR SEMINAR DONE IN THE FALL.

For all you seniors out there stress eating, having random mental breakdowns and of course binge watching Netflix, I understand the pain. However, we can power through. One word will help — GRADUATION.

– A Senior Who Wishes She Got Her Seminar Done a Long Time Ago

Bethel in Full Bloom

As I’m sure many of you have noticed, our campus is full of color! It seemed to happen almost overnight. Or maybe it was over spring break. Either way, we suddenly went from dry, crunchy grass and bare trees to a vibrantly colored Green and lush bushes that are bursting with color.

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I hadn’t really noticed this distinct change until I forced myself to. A painting project required me to do a nature study, and as I looked closely for subjects to recreate, the beauty of nature awestruck me. (Side note: Do not try to paint intricately detailed flowers. I speak from experience — it will be the death of you.)

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I implore you to take a closer look at nature next time you’ve got a few extra minutes on your way to class or headed back from The Caf. You will be pleasantly surprised and maybe even inspired.

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-Ki

Being a Vegetarian in College

Despite popular belief, being a vegetarian IS 100% possible. It has its challenges and setbacks for sure, but for me, the benefits outweigh the consequences.

With that being said, it is significantly harder being meat-free in college than it is while living at home.  Being a vegetarian is a choice, and it is not for everybody. For my fellow herbivores, or for those possibly considering this dietary lifestyle, here are a few tips for going veg in college:

Keep food/snacks in your room. While The Caf does a fine job providing meat-free options at meals, you will most likely get hungry between meals and at night due to a lack of protein. One of my go-to options is a healthy granola bar. These are quick and can be eaten on the way to class or before practice. Try to look for ones with at least 4 grams of protein to fill you up. Peanut butter is also a great protein-packed snack.

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“HOW DO YOU GET YOUR PROTEIN???” This is the question that vegetarians get asked on a daily basis. There are lots of good answers to this question. When someone asks me this, I like to politely and informatively let them know that there are several wonderful protein options other than meat. Peanut butter (one of my faves), walnuts, almonds, Greek yogurt, milk, cheese, beans and tofu are all fantastic protein sources — and that’s only to list a few.

Protein supplements. These are especially important for athletes who are not eating meat. I know I am usually ravenously hungry after practice, so if dinner didn’t quite fill me up, I’ll make a quick protein shake to ensure my muscles are getting the adequate nutrients for proper recovery. After all, protein is essential for building muscle as well as giving you enough energy to power through your workouts. Try to pick out a protein powder that meets your protein needs as well as other specialized dietary needs (carbs, vitamins, calories, etc.). I’m currently using Cellucor Whey Cookies n’ Cream protein powder.IMG_0071

Eat wholesome, nutritious foods. It is so very tempting to just eat French fries and cheese pizza in lieu of meat, especially in The Caf or when going out to eat with friends. While these foods are all right to eat in moderation, be sure to get some good stuff in your belly, too. Throw in a salad a few days a week to your lunch, or go for a PB&J sandwich on whole wheat bread instead of that bag of Doritos.

I am also a huge advocate of organic and local foods. Yes, it’s more expensive to eat naturally and support local farmers but it pays off in so many ways.

Stay healthy, Threshers!

And don’t litter.

-Ki

 

 

 

Profoundly Simple

At Bethel, you are bound to meet people who will take an interest in your life. There are friends you will make that will be there for you when you need someone to lend an ear.

I have seen many examples of students helping out a fellow friend or going out of their way to improve the lives of others. These people serve as role models for others. They are people that are to be looked up to in many respects.

Sometimes there is a person that is willing to do great things for those in need, and they are willing to do so without recognition. This can be very difficult because part of the reward of helping someone is receiving thanks and recognition. I am not taking away from deeds that are noticed. These are a very necessary part of community and certainly still require sacrifice.

Bethel is fortunate enough to have a friend amongst us that was willing to make a profound difference in another student’s life. There is a student that has been traveling back and forth to home almost every other weekend to spend time with his sick mother.

Someone on Bethel’s campus noticed this student’s tough situation. Their attention to the pain of others translated into a profoundly simple gift (a note of thoughtfulness and a bit of cash to help pay for gas). The note was left anonymous in order to keep the focus on the student who could use the money and reassurance that people cared.

The effect is widespread. Everyone who has heard this story and knows the student cannot help but tear up in joy for the selfless act. My hope is that it inspires more acts of generosity. All it took was a watchful eye and a mind determined to help with even most simple, and often overlooked, of burdens.

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The Great Power Outage of 2015

We never expected it to happen. But it did. And we were all unprepared.

My friends and I were sitting around chatting on Thursday night, looking forward to not having school the next day — as it was Good Friday — when all of a sudden, the room went black and we lost all electricity. None of us even knew a storm was headed our way, but we opened the door to find hurricane-like conditions outside.

The power didn’t come back on for another 24 hours. In the meantime, we had to find a way to entertain ourselves without TV or wi-fi (that meant no Netflix!). So we spent our Good Friday walking aimlessly around Walmart, getting fro-yo from a restaurant that somehow still had power and playing board games by the luminescent glow of our phone flashlights.

Part of me was a little disappointed that the power came back on late Friday night. At that point, there was no longer any hope of classes being cancelled the following Monday because of a lack of electricity. With the wi-fi working again as well, I could no longer put off doing my online homework. :(

On the bright side, it was kind of fun to experience a little taste of what life would have been like before electricity. However, this power outage taught the majority of us that we depend on electricity for more than we thought, and we are bored out of our minds without it.

And backup generators are good.

 

Kiley

The Road Home

(Sunday, March 29)

Over the past two days, the Concert Choir has been busy traveling, singing and developing our community with time spent during meals and on the bus. On Saturday afternoon, after a free morning to sleep and grab some lunch in Dallas, we said goodbye to Texas and loaded the bus for the journey to Tulsa, Oklahoma.

That evening, after eating a delicious Italian meal at a local restaurant courtesy of Bethel, we performed at a cathedral in downtown Tulsa. The cathedral provided an incredible, rich housing for our sound to occupy. Each piece sounded different from what we were used to. The sound echoed for what seemed like forever after a crisp release.

Although the crowd was not as large as it had been for previous concerts, we sang just for the pleasure of singing in such a glorious space. This concert, at least for me, was one of the most vocally rewarding experiences during the tour, and I believe others share my opinion.

After our concert, we loaded the bus for a shorter drive to Enid, Oklahoma, where we would perform Sunday morning at Grace Mennonite Church. The next morning, after spending our final night outside Kansas, we headed to the church. We engaged in the worship with the congregation at Grace and then offered a shorter, but still a high-quality performance designed to fit into the worship.

The choir enjoyed singing to such an attentive and involved audience. After the service, the congregation fed us a delicious potluck meal and were able to engage in conversation with the people of Grace Mennonite.

We are currently back on the road for the last time together with this group, headed back to Kansas. The tour has been deeply moving and one of the most powerful experiences of my short college career.

As a freshman in this group, I was unsure of how I would fit in or how a 10-day trip would really go. Before this trip these people were my friends and acquaintances of my college career. However, after traveling with them and giving all these performances together, I can without a doubt say that this is my family.

And as one of our songs asks: “Where is the road that will lead me home?” I can honestly give a reply to this question: I am at home in the Concert Choir.

-Reece Hiebert

Austin, Urban and Rural

(Thursday, March 26)

After having explored downtown Austin the other day, today we got the opportunity to explore Congress Street, an art district that offers, among others, an art gallery, a big thrift store, an antique shop and several private owned clothing, book and gift stores. This area also has got a big variety of food trucks, which made it hard to decide for one only. I tried a meal at one that sells authentic Jamaican food that I really enjoyed a lot.

After spending a few hours on Congress Street, we loaded the bus and headed toward Salado. However, traffic was backed up a couple hours due to an accident involving a semi-truck and a bridge, which kept us from getting to our hotel as scheduled. Instead, we went straight to a ranch a couple of hours earlier than planned.

This ranch is owned by Bethel College alumnus Walter Dyck, who generously let us explore his property. We fed his horses and donkey, took a walk and just enjoyed being in nature.

Kyle made a new friend at the Dyck ranch.

Kyle made a new friend at the Dyck ranch.

In the evening, they fed us a delicious barbeque meal before we watched the impressive sunset and brought the day to a close by singing several songs for Walter Dyck and his friend, who we are very grateful to for letting us experience such a wonderful day.

 

–Daniel Scharwachter

A (Slightly Late) Recap of Our Time in Galveston

(Monday, March 23)

We started out to go on a guided bus tour through Galveston. Leland provided us with interesting historic facts as well as tips for where to go, what to do and where to eat well. After the bus tour, some of us decided to see the historic downtown of the city – the Strand – and do some window-shopping, others went to the state park and others just enjoyed what we don’t have in Kansas: the beach! … some of them suffering the consequences of “seeing some sun today” in the evening…

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At about 4 p.m., we left for Leland’s home congregation – a most beautiful church with tinted windows and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. After a warm-up session, we got some very delicious food and had the opportunity to meet some of Leland’s family members, who were all so welcoming and happy to have us there. It was just a pleasure to see their shiny faces!

Before we gave our concert we gathered in the old sanctuary next to the actual church, where we listened to Leland’s senior reflection. Most of us will probably never forget those touching moments, when we share joy and grief, laughter and tears, and hugs. Those are moments that bind us closer together and that will become memories for a lifetime.

Our concert went well – the congregation was so engaged and encouraged us again and again with their enthusiasm and joy about having us there and listening to our music. We probably enjoyed the evening just as much as they did. After the concert, we had the possibility to greet the church members and again, we were so blessed and touched by their love and gratitude towards us. This evening will never be forgotten, that’s for sure!

An amazing, relaxing, challenging day full of events and new experiences came to an end. We look forward to the next one.

-Janna Braun