Academics

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!)

 

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.

 

Snow!!


Well this past week has been pretty crazy and non routine for the Bethel community.

With all the snow that fell upon us there was:

-Cancelled classes

-Snowball fights

-Snowmen/igloo/fort making

-Frisby in the snow

-And lots of gorgeous pictures!

On Thursday, a great number of students were out playing in the snow, bringing out the five year old’s in us again.

Unfortuantely with all of the beautiful snow also came cancellation of some activities. One being the Concert Choir singing at KMEA (Kansas Music Educators Association) on Thursday. The choir had been working very hard for the previous couple of weeks preparing the songs that we were to sing at KMEA. After all the work we put into it I was disappointed that we were not able to travel to Wichita to sing because it was a great privilege to be invited to do so. However, now the choir is looking towards and preparing for the next big activity: the spring break trip!

 

Another activity that was canceled was my tennis practices and a tennis match that was scheduled on Wednesday the day it started snowing. The men’s and women’s tennis teams were supposed to travel to Oklahoma to play Southern Nazarene (women) and Southwestern Christian (men). It was disappointing that we were not able to go because I was ready to play and love tennis trips! However because tennis is an outdoor sport (unless you are fortunate enough to have indoor facilities) our tennis season has been put on hold because of all the snow. We have still been working out and doing cardio but as far as tennis goes we’re at a standstill until we can get all of the snow off the courts! Hopefully we will be able to do this soon so that our season can continue on and we will not have to reshedule any more meets!

Our first possible home tennis meet (depending on the snow) is March 5 against Central Christian at 3:00pm. If that is canceled then the next home meet will be Friday March 8 against John Brown University at 3:00pm.

We would love to have you come watch and support our tennis program!

 

New year, new goals

Hello all! It’s been a while. Well. Interterm is over and we are three weeks into the spring semester. In the interest of not taking too much space telling you about Interterm when everyone else probably has, here it is: One class, one month. Some classes have no or very little homework, some have hours every night. It’s the equivalent of one week in one day, so it can get fairly strenuous. Exciting things that happened over Interterm include lots of basketball games, Martin Luther King, Jr., celebrations, and a feeling like we weren’t actually in school. The lack of convocation and music classes are to blame for that last part.With the new semester starting, the pressure is looming for us juniors. Most majors involve some sort of seminar paper or internship, so everyone is starting to plan research topics or contact potential student teaching placements. These beginnings are exciting because it’s more choices for us, the students. We get to explore a topic of our choice as a seminar in preparation for whatever we choose to do after college. It’s a point where student research at Bethel is an obvious strength. I’m in the process of exploring topics now, and it’s already exciting!

An Awesome Interterm Class

Hello friends!

It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged, but I wanted to let you know about my interterm class Multimedia Production. While some of my friends went on trips over interterm, or took GE classes, I decided to give myself a break and take a fun class.

I love photography, so I jumped at the chance to use a camera, however this time it would be for videos. I also wanted to familiarize myself with Final Cut Pro X, the video editing program we used in the course. The most exciting part though, was the actual shooting and creation of the video. Although we did learn important concepts related to lighting, sound, etc. we all were anxious to check out cameras and get rolling.

After having learned the basics, my group and I drafted a proposal for our video project, created a script, and began shooting scenes. With the help of fellow Bethel students, who were rather willing to star in our film, we developed a unique and entertaining film. I was thrilled because I got to use my own DSLR camera for the project, which enhanced my videography skills and because it was fun to make our own movie! It was also neat to watch our classmates videos as well, they were also very entertaining.

This class was a great choice and I had several jealous friends who took hard classes. If you are interested in multimedia or just want to take a fun course, I would recommend this one if the opportunity approaches itself!

 

~Samantha

Interterm and the Liberal Arts Education

This interterm I chose to take a class through Kipcor called: “Practical Skills for Managing Interpersonal Conflict.” It was an intensive class that lasted four days, which started at 8:30am and went until 5:00pm. In this class we were trained in mediation and took a style profile test to learn more about what our “style” is in every day life and during conflict.

This class has been one of the most rewarding classes of my college career. Not only was I able to learn a lot more about myself and how to improve how I handle conflict in my personal and work life but also how to help other people solve conflict. In this course I really felt like I could connect the information that I learned to my life and use it to become the best person I can be.

This is what a liberal arts education is doing for me. Being able to take classes outside of my social work major requirements has helped me develop life skills and challenged me to think in different ways. I would not have been able to take all the classes such as choir, business, literature and the training through Kipcor if it were not for my liberal arts education. I was surprised at how much all the classes can tie in together. Aspects that I have learned in a business class like “Organizational Behavior” about motivation can tie into social work and what motivates people to change. Learning about my specific “style” in “Practical Skills for Managing Interpersonal Conflict” and learning how to be an active listener can connect with how I will relate and listen to people I am working with and what my strengths are in terms of those ideas in my career as a social worker.

When I first came to college I did not fully appreciate the value of a liberal arts education. The ability to participate in many different classes has opened my eyes to the benefits such an education can provide.

“The basic purpose of a liberal arts education is to liberate the human being to exercise his or her potential to the fullest.”

- Barbara M. White