Academics

Tourin’ Italy and Beyond

On May 19, the class Renaissance Art History embarks on a journey to Italy. Myself included, there will be about 12 of us going.

The class is led by David Long, who has done this before, and is bound to be a great one. We will be visiting Venice, Padova, Florence, Rome and the Vatican, among other destinations in Italy.

After 10 days of fun in Europe the trip will conclude…BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! If you choose to stay in Europe and travel, you may!

I will have the pleasure of going to Munich, Interlaken (Switzerland) and Paris. This trip is sure to be one full of memories and new experiences. I hope to take many pictures like the one below in Florence.

Until next time America,

Eric

(I hope everyone caught the Toy Story reference in the title.)

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Brooke’s Declassified Finals Survival Guide

Here is THE guide to a successful week of finals….

First off, study the heck out of the material. Seems kind of obvious, doesn’t it? Well, that’s because that is all you can do.

Second off, put off studying. Go outside and play disc golf with your friends. Choose a movie over looking at your notes. These are the time you’re going to remember, trust me (I’ve been through this for four years now).

Third off, drink TONS of coffee. It helps,  I promise.

Fourth off, counteract the coffee with lots of water. Please be sure to stay hydrated.

Fifth off, go out and binge on fast food, ice cream, soda, and all other absolutely terrible food choices.

Lastly, love the fact that you are studying or taking a study break. These are the moments that are going to be with you for the rest of your life, and they are important. Friends mean everything and you would not be surviving this hellish week without them. Enjoy the stress and bask in the glow of sleep deprivation.

Every minute of this week is glorious.

Live it. Cry a bit during it. Love it.

Brooke

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The Week Before Finals Week

This week is literally death for everyone involved. Why this week is so much worse than actual finals week? No one knows except the professors.

All of us students go through hell the week before finals because for some odd reason every professor decides it’s a good time to pile up the assignments due. For example, I have two papers, two exams, one presentation, and of course the usual homework all due the week before finals.

My load isn’t even that bad. Others have it way worse than I do. I have a friend who has a biochemistry exam on Friday! What is the point in that?! The students don’t get the exam back in time to study it and it just stresses them out more. It isn’t helpful.

Another thing I do not understand is why professors want to grade these things? Why in the world would someone make all of these assignments due? I know for a fact each professor has at least two classes they are teaching. So that means even more work! Professors should conduct study groups all week instead of assigning projects. This way kids actually pass their finals.

The only way to get through this week and make it to the next is by lots of coffee, lots of laughter, a little bit of crying and zero sleep.

Good luck to all of you enduring this week of stress.

Brooke

 

Getting the Job

Okay, followers, this post here is a biggie.

Recently in convocation, we had a presenter come speak to us about ways to excel in interviews. It helped. Kind of. Most of the things he mentioned a lot of us knew already and it didn’t quite “fit our fancy” on what we thought we would like to hear about. So with my marvelous interview experience (an experience of less than 10 interviews), here are my 10 tips for you.

1. Make sure you pee beforehand! This is clearly number one, because you do not want to go through your entire interview needing to take a whizz and not being able to concentrate on the task at hand. (If you do need to pee, don’t be embarrassed, just use the bathroom so there are no accidents.)

2. Brush your teeth REALLY well. No one likes stinky breath.

3. LAYER on the deodorant. You will be sweating like a pig.

4. Wear comfortable shoes. Nothing is worse than aching feet all day (but of course make them comfortable “professional” shoes).

5. Brag about yourself. What you are there for is for them to better understand who you are and how successful you are. This is not a time to be modest.

6. Lunch time: Eat everything on your plate. You did not pay for it, so why not? (Also, it shows the money spent on you was well worth it.) Note: Do not eat so much you need to puke.

7. Tell jokes. Be humorous. No one likes a Debbie Downer. Showing you have a personality is key.

8. Be personable. Tell them interesting things about your life that show you HAVE a life outside of the workplace. Allow them to see the real you (as long as the real you isn’t awful).

9. Do not only ask questions about the company. Ask questions about them, too. Where they are from, how many kids do they have, etc. This shows you’re interested in them as a person, not just an interviewer.

10. Send a thank-you note in the mail. This shows that you actually care. An e-mail is impersonal, and shows zero effort.

I hope this helped. Good luck to all of you seniors (and others) trying to make it in the real world.

Brooke

 

#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

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!