Academics

Stress Busters: Part 2

As promised, here are some more ways to reduce stress! This time, however, I asked my own mod mates what they do to reduce stress.

I compiled some of their answers below:

Writing/Journaling – Writing and reflecting helps to relax and to put things in a new perspective or help them see things that they hadn’t thought before.

Playing Piano – This can also translate into doing something that you enjoy. Whether it is playing an instrument, playing a sport, reading a book, or anything else that is enjoyable to you that can help you relax!

Cuddle – Sometimes all you need to de-stress are some hugs!

Go running – As mentioned in my previous blog, one of the girls said that they run to help get rid of stress. Again, running has been shown to reduce stress by the endorphins that it releases.

Confide in friends/support systems – This is a tip that one of my mod mates mentioned but also one that is an important way that I de-stress as well. Being able to talk to friends or family about what is stressing me out can help me sometimes in ways that writing or journaling does. Sometimes when I am talking it through I can either see things from a new perspective, or think about something I hadn’t before.

Listening to Music - I also mentioned this in my other stress buster blog but it just reinforces that it is a good way to relieve stress! Listening to music/positive music was mentioned by a couple of my mod mates.

Brain breaks- This tip from one of the girls is also another important way that I relieve stress. Taking a break to go have some social time and visit with friends, or catch up on an episode of a favorite show are all ways to get the mind off of studying for a little while so that we can come back and refocus and be productive!

Good luck to everyone on the rest of their school years! Whether it be taking finals, giving finals and grades, or anyone else in stressful situations, I hope these “stress busters” can help get you through!

 

 

Late Night Against Procrastination

IMG_0890This past Wednesday we got to experience a new event on campus which was very successful!

Paige Townley, along with many other faculty helped put on the event “Late Night Against Procrastination”. A college in Germany apparently started this idea.

This event was hosted in the library from 9:00pm – 1:00am. It was designed so that students could come into the library with their unfinished assignments to work on them. Not only this, but there were faculty, tutors, and professors there to help answer questions, edit papers, help with researching, provide moral support and fun brain breaks including Minute to Win it and yoga! Not to mention they provided lots of delicious food and drinks along with free printing all night!

I, along with several of my mod mates went to participate in this event and I was surprised with how many people showed up! I would guess there were about 50 students who came to partake in this event. It was definitely the most amount of people I had ever seen in the library at one time!

When we got there we signed in and wrote down on a sticky note what our goal for the night was. After writing the sticky note, we placed it on a dart board and our goal was to move our sticky note to the “bulls eye” which means we finished our goal. Awaiting us were healthy snacks like carrots, cheese, sugar snap peas, and apples, along with Mojos cookies, coffee, and tea!

There were professors roaming around to see if people needed assistance, ranging from the business, social work, english, and music departments to name a few. Librarians were also there along with Paige Townley and other faculty willing to come out and help.

At 10:00pm they brought in pizza and pop, at 11:00pm we had a yoga break led by Barb Thiesen, at 12:00am people who wanted to played Minute to Win it, and at 1:00am students who were still there got t-shirts for either staying the whole time or completing a goal!

I thought it was a great idea and a fun way to help students get projects done and have assistance there for them if they need it. Since there was so much of a turn out, I (along with everyone I have talked to) hope that this event continues to be a tradition, (maybe even twice a semester?)

Last Bits of Interterm on Campus

As I said before, I took Social Development and Social Justice this Interterm. This class involved many interesting field trips. In Wichita we visited this awesome place called “Dress For Success.” It was by far my favorite place.  I thought it was almost perfect!  I have to admit, before I walked in, I thought it was going to be a shabby little place with a lot of old, sub-par clothing piled up for people to take.  Instead it was super organized and clean, full of beautiful dress clothes, and made to feel like a classy boutique.  There were dress suits, dress skirts, purses, shoes, earrings, scarves, necklaces, and probably much more.  This place does not just give women some clothes to interview in; it gives women a whole outfit and hopefully a huge boost in self confidence.  Not that clothes should define you, but I imagine for many women it is hard not being able to look their best and it is easy to feel not good enough because of the clothing worn.

The women first get one outfit if they have a job interview, and then there are many more opportunities to get another set.  It is not just a one and done kind of deal.  These women are welcomed back to many meetings and events, and most of them include more outfits.  All in all I was very impressed with this social service.  Hopefully there is somewhere equally nice for men to go and get some clothing and hope.

Another place we went to was the “Breakthrough Club.” This is a non profit social and vocational program for people with severe mental illness. They focus on wellness and abilities rather than illness and disabilities. This place was really cool; they try very hard to make every one feel they are on the same level. They do not differentiate between “professionals” and “patients.” This program encompasses many areas for empowerment. They have work out equipment in the building, because they want to focus on the well being of the whole person, not just their mental health.

One other really cool place we went was a market-mall type thing. It was very easy to see the Mexican influences in this store. They had a lot of stores that were catered toward the Mexican culture. In one store they had an adorable little bunny! It was the highlight of my trip!

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I got to hold him!

Interterm on campus

This interterm I took a social work class called “Social Development and Social Justice.” We had a great time in class and out of class; for out of class we took five field trips to Wichita. Throughout this class we were challenged to go and experience something that we were not familiar with. A small group of us decided to go to The Muslim Community Center and Masjid (mosque). I am a Mennonite and this was a very different and enlightening trip for me. Here is an except from the journal I wrote for class:

“We did not go in the right door of the mosque, but luckily there was a nice man who showed us to the main office.  We were then picked up there by a different man.  He was extremely warm and welcoming.  He sent the guys over to their part and then took us girls to a stairway.  It was kind of confusing, because he could not actually take us up to the women’s area of worship.  He found a female student to take us up.  We all took off our shoes and then walked up stairs.  We did not really know where to go then, so we sat in some chairs on the side of the room.  I was surprised by how much I liked the space.  I thought I would dislike being away from the main worship area.  But, this room was very peaceful to me.  The openness of it and all of the space were oddly comforting.  The sunlight was shining through the windows and it made me feel very relaxed.  A few young girls came over and asked us if we had any questions they could answer.  They were very sweet.  I asked them the best way to tie our scarves, but they said theirs had two different parts, unlike our scarves.

It was very different to just hear the speaker and see him through a TV screen.  They even had sheets over the railing so the women could not see the men at all and vice versa.  The atmosphere on our upper level was very interesting.  It was very casual; people came in and left whenever they wanted to.  Many of the women checked their cell phones, and some texted.  A young boy was running around the whole service.  I think it is harder for the women to get into the service because they are more physically removed from it.

Their prayers were very interesting.  I liked how they were all together, like they were praying as one.  Later they told us that they don’t like any space to get in between them and they are very physically close during this time”

The Art of Conducting

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Adam Voth conducts in BC Chapel service
Photo by Vada Snider

This semester, I’m enrolled in the conducting class at Bethel. We began the semester simply learning the different patterns and how to cue with our opposite hand. The first major unit that we had in this class was hymn leading. We practiced new hymns each class period. The rest of the class sang parts as one person conducted. There was also a video camera that recorded each class period. This allowed us the opportunity to watch ourselves and comment on our own work. This unit ended with one final opportunity to conduct hymns. Each member of our class was able to conduct a hymn at the hymn sing during chapel. Half of the class conducted a hymn that they had been preparing for a couple of weeks. The other half of the class waited for a request, and then decided whether they could conduct the hymn. This was a good experience for our class to conduct a hymn in front of a congregation larger than our class.

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Christina and Michelle Naughton

Next, we moved onto an instrumental conducting unit. We looked at a number of movements in Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Again, we were able to practice conducting in front of our classmates. This time, a few students brought their instruments to class. Our very small orchestra was made up of a saxophone, bassoon, trumpet, two cellos, and piano. We also went to a rehearsal for the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. They were also performing The Rite of Spring. We got many tips from them and from watching their conductor, Bethel graduate, Dan Hege. We also were able to go to their performance this past weekend. Along with The Rite of Spring, they played Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe: Suite No. 2, and Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos, which featured twins Christina and Michelle Naughton.

Now, we are moving on to a choral conducting project. We each selected one song that we will rehearse with the class until it is ready for performance. We will get the chance to perform our pieces for an audience at the beginning of November. A conducting concert is schedule for Sunday, November 3 at 7:00 in the chapel in the Bethel College Administration Building. Come hear the hard work of BC’s Conducting Class!

The last portion of our class is focusing on Handel’s Messiah for the annual Messiah Sing that happens at the end of each fall semester in Bethel College Mennonite Church. As you can tell, we have had quite a busy semester so far, and it will continue to be busy as we head towards the end of the semester!

The Days Go Slow, The Weeks Go Fast…

Well here we are again, summer is over, classes have started, and the first week has already come and gone! Last week some of my friends and I had been talking about the saying of how: “the days go slow but the weeks go fast.” Now that we are already into our second week of classes I can attest to how true this feels to me. 

I was a blogger for Bethel last year as well, but for those readers who are new to the Bethel Blog I will introduce myself again. My name is Madelyn Weaver, I am from Hesston, KS, a mere seven miles away from the Bethel campus. I am a Junior majoring in Social Work with a minor in Management. I am involved in many activities on campus including: Tennis, Concert Choir, Women’s Chorus, Student Senate, SAA (Student Alumni Association) , SCAN (Student Community Action Network) and the Student Social Work Organization. 

 Being involved in all of these different activities including the obvious responsibility of classes, you could say I have been keeping pretty busy, thus the feeling of the weeks moving so rapidly. It has not been all work and no play however, because I live in a wonderful mod with some wonderful girls who love taking breaks together from all the reading and homework we have:).

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Left: Me; Right: Miranda

 One thing that will be new for me this year is being at Bethel without my sister, Miranda. Miranda is two years older than I, she also attended Bethel College and graduated with a degree in Social Work. It was so special to be able to attend school with her, to be a part of the tennis team together and to sing in the choir together, I was truly blessed to have her as a huge part of my Bethel career the past two years! Although she is no longer a part of my Bethel experience, she and her husband now live in Newton, KS and she will continue to come and support the tennis team and choir by cheering and attending concerts.  

 On a lighter note, the start of this school year has already been so great, I am looking forward to the rest of the year and all the great memories that will be made in every aspect of my Bethel experience!

Well that’s all for now, I welcome all new students, faculty and blog-readers! 

Until next time,

Madelyn Weaver

From Summer to School

Hello! My name is Michelle Unruh. I’m a junior from Goessel, Kansas studying music education. I am pretty involved at Bethel, which keeps me very busy. I’m involved in many musical ensembles on campus. I play bass clarinet in the wind ensemble. I also am an alto in the Concert Choir and Woven, Bethel’s student-led women’s a capella ensemble. I also enjoy taking piano and organ lessons. This year, I am also directing a choir at a church in the area, which I am really looking forward to!

I just finished my second summer in a row at Camp Friedenswald in Cassopolis, Michigan. Last year, I was on rotational staff and worked as a counselor, maintenance, and in the kitchen. I really enjoyed my summer, so I decided to go back for a second summer. This past summer, I spent ten weeks on the leadership staff. I was on the worship team and played guitar for Campfire and Quest, our morning worship time. I also helped to plan skits, devotions that each cabin used daily, and the summer’s theme, Rooted and Growing (Ephesians 3:16-17). In my spare time, I enjoyed leading activities such as Greased Watermelon or Whipped Cream Whiffleball, taking campers on pontoon rides on Lake Shavehead, going on hikes in the Peaceful Woods, or just relaxing on the beach. I had fun getting to know the other staffers as well as the campers that came to Camp Friedenswald. Being at camp was quite exhausting at times, but it was such a rewarding summer job. This was definitely a summer to remember!

I’m so excited for this semester! I have finished my general education courses, and I’m really enjoying all of the music and education classes that I am enrolled in. We’re halfway through our first week of classes, and the homework, assignments, and projects are starting to pile up. I had a really great summer working at Camp Friedenswald, but it is so good to be back at Bethel College with my fellow Threshers. I’m excited to see what this semester has in store for us!

Graduation Weekend

This past weekend was graduation/commencement! Boy, it flew by so quickly. Here’s a recap of the weekend’s events:

Friday- All freshmen, sophomores, and juniors had to be out of the dorms by 6 PM, unless they were in concert choir or helping at commencement. Once they left, campus felt much quieter and empty, as 2/3 of the student body had left.

Saturday- Throughout the day, many class reunions took place at the Goerz House, which is where Bethel’s president, Dr. Perry White and his wife, Dalene live. In the evening was the annaul Alumni Banquet, held in Memorial Hall. The banquet is a formal event where alumni who are passionate about Bethel College come to reminise about the past year and recognize those who have won awards. All graduating seniors were invited to attend. There was a fancy dinner, award ceremony where they recognized Outstanding Alumni of the college, and then a short business meeting. The female a capella group, Woven, sang as well.

Sunday- A Baccalaureate service was held at Bethel College Mennonite Church. It was absolutely packed full of people. Musical seniors shared their gifts and verses were read in 5 different languages. Hymns were sang triumphly. Reflections were shared by seniors and candles were lit, with prayers and hopes being said. The concert choir sang my three favorite pieces from this year, “O Nata Lux,” “Filled With His Voice” (a song that we commissioned a songwriter to write in honor of Bethel’s 125th year), and “The Lord Bless You and Keep You.” Although I didn’t sing in Concert Choir this semester because of student teaching, I was allowed to rejoin them for these three songs and that was extremely special for me. I heard from numerous people that the Baccalaureate service was a very powerful, meaningful service for them.

Commencement was supposed to be held at 4 PM in Thresher Stadium. However, due to the high possibility of severe weather, it was announced that it would be held in Memorial Hall, just like it used to be. The graduates gathered in the Fine Arts Center, like the original plan stated. However, we were quickly moved to the basement of Memorial, due to the fact that we were in a tornado warning. We did not get to process around the green as tradition states. They did move the threshing stone up the steps, so that we could still touch it on our way into the ceremony. Douglas Penner, former professor and president of Bethel College, was the speaker. Even though commencement didn’t go exactly as planned, we still had an incredible day and still recieved our diplomas.

After that, came the parties. I had a party with the 6 other girls from my mod who were graduating in the basement of Bethel College Mennonite Church. We worked together to get food and we ended up having a little over 250 people in attendance. There were many parties happening, both on and off campus.

Monday- We had to be moved out of the dorms by noon. The morning went quickly, full of taking countless loads of belongings to the car, cramming everything in and hoping you’ll have enough room, saying goodbyes to all the friends that you made along the way- some that you will see again and some that you will not, turning in your keys, and leaving the place that you’ve called home for the past 4 years.

It was a very bittersweet weekend, full of much excitement and some sadness too. The weekend is over now though, and I can offically say that I am an alumnus of Bethel College and that I have my Bachelor of Arts degree and diploma! Woohoo! :)

Life’s a Great Balancing Act

Well, it has been a while since I’ve posted. My incredibly busy life has often gotten ahead of me this semester! This semester, while student teaching, it’s almost like I’m living two lives, all within the time of one.

I live the teacher lifestyle, who gets to school early in the morning, teaches all day, stays late after school for meetings or to prepare, and then still takes additional school work home. Then there’s the other lifestyle – the college student lifestyle. Ya know, the one where you stay up late with your friends talking in your mod lounge, going to half price apps at Applebees’s, or dining at Druber’s Donuts, which doesn’t open until 11:30 PM. The college student lifestyle where you work a lot to try to help cover student loans and still have spending money.

It’s been crazy this semester trying to balance everything, but I have loved every second of it. I loved spending my days with students in the classroom, who were excited about learning and truly wanted to be there. I loved being able to spend the majority of my days doing something that I love more than anything- working with children. I loved still being able to work on campus to earn money with a job that had flexible evening hours (yay, library!) and being able to live with my friends.  Student teaching is a balancing act and the best of both worlds!

Stress Busters: What To Do When Stress Grabs You

070Now that the school year is done, I like many others I am sure have realized how much work we have yet to do. So, I have decided over these next coming weeks to include stress buster tips in my blogs. Since I am currently going through the stressors of college, some of these tips will be geared more towards students, but there are some and maybe all you could apply in diffferent ways that would be helpful for faculty members or anyone else who is dealing with stress right now (which should account for everyone because unfortuantely there is no such thing as a total stress free life).

Here are some stress busters that have helped me so far:

1.Schedule your day. The few times I have tries this has really helped me. Scheduling your day makes you realize one: how much time you acutally have available to do homework and two: it helps you to manage and use your time so much better.

2.Make a to-do list and prioritize. Doing this helps you visualize what you need to get done and helps you be able to put things in order of importance.

3.Make smaller and more attainable goals. This has really helped me. Making smaller goals within goals helps them seem more attainable to you and also helps because you can cross more things off your list. Being able to cross more things off makes you feel more accomplished!

4.Schedule in small breaks. After you schedule your day and are working on homework, make sure to take some small breaks every once in awhile to rejuvinate your mind! This also gives you something to work towards or look forward to. Whether that be taking a power nap, checking social networking sites, or talking with friends, whatever you would like to do in that 15 minutes of free time before you go back to work. Scheduling the breaks also helps keep you from taking longer breaks than necessary to procrastinate doing homework (I have been guilty of this).

5.Make sure to get enough sleep. Yes you have a lot of things to do, and so yes you may feel like you need to stay up until two or three in the morning to finish them when you also have to get up early for class. However, if you are able to successfully schedule your day to make more time for homework earlier in the day, then you will be able to go to bed earlier, therefore getting more sleep. At least for me, if I do not get enough sleep, I am tired during the day and then definitely do not feel motivated to do homework whereas if I am rested and rejuvenated I will feel more motivated to get things done!

6. Have your roommate or mod mates help you stay on task. And vise versa. Having someone there to check in with you to make sure you are doing homework and staying on task can really help especially when you can both keep each other accountable!

Here are some other stress busters that you could try:

1. Exercise. Exercising helps reduce stress, so if you have been working on homework and feel like you are about to explode then go run up and down the stairwells a few times, or if the spring weather ever decides to show up and to stay then go for a walk or a jog outdoors!

2. Laugter. Don’t forget to laugh! Laughing can help relieve stress and lighten the mood.

3. Extend an extra measure of grace to those around you. Don’t forget, we are all stressed right now so keep that in mind while interacting with others!

That’s all I have for now, I will continue this theme in my next blog using other resources, possibly even other student’s tips with how they deal with stress (if they can take time out of their stressful and busy day to talk to me!)