This Sunday, my “Mennonite History, Life, and Thought” class had the opportunity to visit an Amish congregation in Yoder, Kansas. The service started at 9:00, so we had to leave at 8:00am. Add in time to get ready and the time change and it was a pretty early morning. The Amish hold their services on the property of congregants, often in homes, but sometimes in barns or sheds. This particular one was held in a church member’s basement. When we arrived, all the men were standing in the barn talking, all of the children were staring at us from the windows of the house, and all the women were sitting and talking on the benches in the basement. The basement was set up so that men and women sat separately on backless wooden benches, with youngest boys in the front, oldest women in folding chairs in front, gender-separated families in the middle, and young women and men in the backs of their respective sections.
For the past three-and-a-half years, I have been the self-proclaimed sports photographer at Bethel College. I really love photographing the passion that people have for a particular activity, and sports photography is one way of doing that. I usually try to attend at least one tournament/match/meet/game per season for each sport, and usually attend far more. I enjoy seeing the passion that my classmates have for their respective sport and the camaraderie that exists between teammates. And it is so wonderful to be present when something truly legendary happens, such as the basketball win that recently occurred over Southwestern, the football team’s “bouquet toss” in 2010, or the inaugural game (and win!) of Bethel’s new softball team.
We’ve had awesome weather the past week here in North Newton. It’ s been a little on the windy side, but for February it’s fabulous. The downside of having nice weather, of course, is that when you have class all afternoon it’s hard to get out and appreciate it.
Luckily, some of Bethel’s professors feel the same way about nice weather. On one of the days last week when it was shorts weather my two math classes took place outside. The math department has a portable chalkboard in one of the classrooms that we take outside on nice days. Since the classes are so small it’s not hard to hold a lecture outside in the afternoon sunshine.
We saw a history class heading outside as well for a discussion. The discussion-based classes go outside quite often when the weather is appropriate. It’s common to see a group of students sitting on benches by the fountain, enjoying weather that would otherwise be lost to them, while discussion religion, history or literature.
I just hope this early spring doesn’t turn into a March full of blizzards!
This was a weekend of fun and games. To start off the weekend, Voth Hall held a dance on their top floor; the Cowboys and Indians Dance. It was different than most dances because it had 3 different dance floors with different types of music. One was a dub-step, another country and the last hip-hop. The three floors made it fun because you could go from floor to floor and have a different taste of things from each floor.
It was also fun because everyone was able to dress up. I was an Indian and many of my friends were split between cowboys and indians. (The pictures below do not portray this fact but trust me they were there.)
Right as I was just starting to get used to my second semester schedule, a flurry of very important distractions began. There is an opera, The Tender Land, being performed on campus next weekend, the spring sports season has begun, and the KMEA convention is going on right now in Wichita.
KMEA, the Kansas Music Educators Association, is an organization that I don’t really know much about except for the fact that it’s on organization of music teachers and they host a convention every year. The convention has all sorts of exhibits and talks for members to attend, but the most public parts of the convention are the honor groups and the performances by Kansas groups. The honor groups are select groups of high school and middle school orchestra, choir, wind ensemble and jazz band students who spend the day with a clinician and then perform what they learned. There are also performances throughout the day from school groups across Kansas.
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