It’s Senior Seminar Season!! That wonderful time of the year when the campus community is invited to a variety of presentations with titles such as:
“9:00 appointments. It’s time for 9:00 appointments. Proceed to the gym if you have a 9:00 appointment. ”
I joined the crowd of professionally dressed college students rushing down the hall to the gym. The crowd was nervously straightening skits and blazers as they tried to smile at classmates while sizing up the competition moving down the hall with them. It was ACCK’s [Associated Colleges of Central Kansas which Bethel is a part of] annual Teacher Interview Day.
We were told that registration for Teacher Interview Day would open on a certain day at 5:00pm. I made sure I was home early that day, sitting in front of my computer, and logged onto the website at 5:00 sharp (registration didn’t open until 5:02 according to the clock in my kitchen and on my computer by the way). I had already looked through the list of school districts that would be at the event to see who I would be interested in meeting with. In class we were told to sign up for as many interviews as possible in order to get our names out and gain experience interviewing. I decided that 9 interviews would really be enough for me even though we could sign up for more.
Bethel’s motto of “Seek, serve, grow” is lived out by its students every day, but every spring we set out one day to focus on the middle of that motto. On Service Day, daytime classes are cancelled so that students, faculty and staff can participate in a variety of service projects.
The projects range from on-campus service to working at Newton area agencies and traditionally a group also goes out to Camp Mennoscah, a Mennonite church camp about an hour away.
The projects are organized so that students can spend anywhere from one hour to the whole day on a project. The Camp Mennoscah group lasts until late afternoon, while many on campus projects are finished by lunch. This year projects included painting an equipment shed, cleaning windows, painting other things on campus, working at the homeless shelter and women’s shelter, and many others.
While service is not required of students, the community atmosphere highly encourages it. It’s hard to not join in when all of your friends are out giving back to the community!
Well, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged, and a lot has happened. Spring was right on the horizon back already at the end of February and now it’s in full swing. Spring break has come and gone and we are officially on the downhill side of the semester.
This would seem like a good thing, but it actually means that the honeymoon period of each class is over and the time for projects, term papers and cumulative tests is approaching. The library has a growing population each day, and Mojo’s Coffee Bar is gaining customers as some students are realizing the benefits of caffeine when studying for a test.
Seniors are presenting seminars after months of stress, so gradually the campus is becoming a calmer place to be for a week or two before final exams begin. The end is in sight!
This past Friday, sophomore Wes Goodrich hosted a Passover seder for a small group of students. Wes is one of the few Jewish individuals on campus, and he was interested in bringing together a variety of religions and denominations for discussion and a meal. When I arrived, the table had already been set, and food presentation was just starting. The fact that the table was already set (with a tablecloth AND cloth napkins!) was a bit startling for a student who eats nearly every meal buffet-style in the Cafeteria. Once everyone had been seated, Wes recited a Hebrew blessing and lit the candles on the table. We then passed around a plate of matzoh crackers (flat crackers symbolizing the unleaved bread baked by Hebrew slaves as they fled Egypt), green bean pate to spread on the matzoh, gefilte fish and horseradish, a relish plate, couscous, baked chicken, and some incredibly delicious asparagus. There was also matzoh ball soup, apples and cheese, and a chocolate cake for dessert. During the meal, we caught up on each other’s lives, discussed our classes, issues on campus, and just had a good time in general. This meal was a prime example of the kind of community that occurs at Bethel – students preparing and eating a meal together in a mutually respectful space, recognizing differences and commonalities, and enjoying each other’s company.
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