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.
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.
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.
Considering how expensive college can be and because Mom and Dad aren’t here to give you a weekly allowance, you might need to earn some money on your own.
Bethel offers multiple job opportunities, if you are works study eligible you can apply for one of several on-campus jobs. Which simply means you are eligible to earn federal work-study dollars. Preference is given to work-study eligible students when possible, but after that the positions are fair game to all students.
These positions range from working in the cafeteria, being a team manager, a maintenance helper, working on the Collegian, being a resident assistant, and even blogging!
For a more thorough list of campus jobs follow this link, here you can search the database for postions that are available on campus.
Most of these jobs are flexible, because employers understand you will be busy with classes and other activities, so don’t let that be a reason for not applying. With the multitude of positions it is likely that you will find one that fits into your interests and aligns with your class schedule.
There’s an added benefit to having a campus job besides earning some money, it is good work experience to add to a resume. Future employers like to see you have had previous experience and are a reliable person.
If you are not work study eligible or none of the campus jobs sound appealing to you, Career Services has many connections within the surrounding communities and frequently send out emails through student announce about potential jobs. This is also a good place to go if looking for an internship or if you need help creating a resume.
You should pay attention to the database and your emails at the end of each semester, as students come and go positions become available. Others such as the Collegian are always looking for new staff members, so be on the lookout for those too.
Happy job hunting!
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:
-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!
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!
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