A new year! Thank goodness! The summer is a great time to earn money and relax and whatnot, but there’s nothing quite the same as another year here. Personally, I’m always ready to be back at it when summer finally comes to its end. My name is Jocelyn Wilkinson. I’m a junior communication arts and history major from San Antonio, Texas. This is technically my second year blogging but due to my less than spectacular track record last year, I consider this my first. I am going to do my best to not do what I did last year, which was nothing.Blogging for me this semester will be a little different than my fellow bloggers because I will be studying abroad in Athens, Greece this semester! Needless to say, I’m super excited. I really hope to be able to shed some light on the wonders of study abroad, especially seeing as it’s something that can often be overlooked here at Bethel. But I plan on changing that, so have no fear! =) (Yes, I use emoticons.) In addition to this blog, I will also be sharing posts from my personal blog, so that you can get both the academic and social feel for a semester abroad because both aspects are important. Read More
Well, we’re back.
The campus is once again crawling with young men and women from all over the Midwest and some from other parts of the country and the world. There are students in their fifth (or more) year. There are students fresh out of high school. There is even a healthy contingent of students who spent the past year doing service and are now starting college.
My name is Megan Leary, and I am a junior from North Newton. I’m one of those students who knows someone no matter where I go in Newton. It’s one of those double-edged sword situations, where I love being an expert on Newton but I can’t go incognito anywhere.
This will be my third year of blogging for Bethel, so there are plenty of posts about me for you to go back and see. I’m a math major with a computer science minor. I’m also the vice president of both Math Club and Student Alumni Association, Web Editor for The Collegian (the school newspaper), and I work at the campus bookstore.
I’m really, really excited about this semester. All of my classes are fascinating subjects in small seminar settings and the other students seem just as excited as I am. In the past I’ve had at least one bigger general education class each semester full of students who didn’t want to be there so it’s really exciting to be done with all of those.
My busy schedule with jobs and classes keeps me sane. All I need is just enough work to keep something on my to-do list at all times without being overwhelmed. Bethel’s a great place for this to happen, and I missed that over the summer.
Hello all! I am Cris Nelson, and I will be a junior this year at Bethel College. I grew up in the neighborhood, spending three years living in North Newton from the 4th grade on up to the end of my 6th grade year. I attended high school at Wichita Heights for four years, all the while making frequent trips back to North Newton to see friends and attend Bethel College Mennonite Church. My mother and my grandmother both used to be members of the church until they moved to Marietta, GA not to long before I would set off for my freshman college. My father and my sister both joined them in the trek to their new digs and took my two dogs, Bear and Shadow with them. Though I have not been to Georgia for any extended amount of time, it is where my family resides and thus my home, though it did not take long for me to find a second home here at Bethel.
We’ve all seen them. Those *ahem* elderly people that look like their 80+ years of life have been the most difficult anyone has had to endure in the history of the earth. When they go out in public they no longer care if their socks don’t match. They’ll wear plaid shorts with striped shirts. Matted hair and an open fly indicate either supreme ignorance or incredible apathy. I think it’s the latter. What are you going to say to someone who has been alive for more presidents than you have years? They’ve heard it all, seen it all, done it all. As a senior in college, that’s about how I feel… to an extent. I always marveled at the upperclassmen at Bethel. The way their pride in the school was displayed in the most carefree ways. Whether it was a flamewar, a challenging question in convocation, a prank, or at a sporting event. Boisterous. Incisive. Excessive. Even down right belligerent at times. But what I didn’t know before now was that they were preserving something sacred.
As a senior, I’ve lost any sensation of self-conciousness. Who’s going to tell me that I’m cheering too loud or asking the wrong questions? I’ve paid my dues, now it’s my turn to take over the ship and help lead a student body in the ways that are innovative and relevant to the changing campus demographic but with respect to the classic Bethel culture. This is a responsibility that I and the rest of my senior class should take with great care. We’re now on the pedestal to be the crazy, outgoing, loud, ignorant-to-normal social cues individuals that eliminate any sort of embarrassment of others by bearing it all on ourselves. In this way we break down the barriers that would normally exist and instead create the “community” that is so often referred to at this place. I’ll paint my face and run across the stage shirtless at convo if that means even one freshman feels less aware of themselves as an individual and feels comforted in the collective. I appreciate the times in the last three years in which a senior did that for me. Perhaps unknowingly. But regardless, the effect was the same. My voice became louder as the collective voice grew because of the long list of leaders that went before me. I don’t remember all the names of those ridiculous individuals that paved the way for my position today, just as I’m sure mine won’t be remembered. There were countless individuals before me and, I hope, there will countless after me, continuing the long tradition of creating and molding the community at Bethel.
Hi! My name is Nicole Eitzen and I am a junior from Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. I am a Literary Studies and Communication and Culture major and look forward to sharing my college experience with Bethel’s blogging community. This semester I will be studying abroad at the University of Barcelona located in the northeast coast of the region of Catalonia, an autonomous community in Spain. Having lived in Mexico for most of my life, I am thrilled with the opportunity to reconnect with the Spanish roots of my Mexican heritage and learn from the richness of Barcelona’s unique language and culture. My journey with Brethren Colleges Abroad begins September 2nd and until then I will be in the North Newton area to visit with relatives and friends.
Hi! My name is Kristin Unruh. I am a senior here at Bethel, majoring in Elementary Education and receiving a Special Education endorsement. I have always had a heart for working with children and I come from a family of teachers, so it wasn’t a surprise to my family and friends when I decided to major in Elementary Education. Throughout college, I have been involved in Women’s Chorus, Wind Ensemble, Concert Choir, College Buddies participant and now coordinator, Student Activities Committee, Student Alumni Association, and the Student Ambassador program.
Well, I’m done. Graduation Sunday was last weekend. It was a really nice day – warm but not unbearable, and just breezy enough to keep us cool, but not blow our mortarboards off! Everyone moved out on Monday, which was not a particularly enjoyable experience, mostly because I knew I wouldn’t be coming back to Bethel.
No, I’m not actually reading Dickens right now. That would not be a good idea during finals week. It’s more of a general statement regarding the feeling I always have at this time of year.
The crazy, hectic schedule most college students have at this point in the semester brings a lot of stress. Studying is hard. Tests are hard. Studying for a test that could make or break your grade is hard. That’s nothing new.
However, some of the hectic-ness is due to fun activities. Plenty of people are willing to schedule opportunities to feed stressed college students cramming for exams. Different clubs, classes, teams, etc. have end-of-the-year parties. It’s a good kind of busy.
Next year will be completely different. Besides the fact that we’re losing the seniors and gaining new freshmen and transfers, the new academic center that has been under consturction since my freshman year will be completed and used for classes. With only a few buildings on campus, this is a major change. I’ll be a junior, so most of my classes will be for my math major and I’ll be taking the math seminar course.
For now, though, I still have four tests to take for the semester and a lot of studying to do.
I have named the next five weeks or so of my life “The Month of Change.” Today was my final day of student teaching. As I mentioned in an earlier post, it’s hard to think of never seeing my precious class again. I have come to truly love each and every student, hoping and praying for the very best for each individual. I feel a great sense of accomplishment and pride knowing that I completed all the teacher education program requirements. Bethel College requires a 4-week full block of responsibilities (where the cooperating teacher is completely out of the room for the entire day). The other student teacher in my building this semester (from another college) only had a 2-week block. I think this requirement is a unique and wonderful aspect of Bethel’s program.
I’m pretty sure it hasn’t hit me yet that I’m not going back. It’s hard to imagine that my routine will be different next Monday. Instead of returning to 2nd grade I will be lining up to practice graduating! In the early weeks of student teaching when I looked at the calendar and the weeks and weeks that remained before I would complete my student teaching requirements, I thought it would take FOREVER to get to this day. It turns out the weeks fly by much faster than I could have imagined.
You may think student teachers go to their placements in order to learn how to teach, but it turns out what I was really learning this semester what how to love a child. We all know those sparkly, bubbly, happy kids who are easy-going and sweet; it’s easy to love them (especially if someone else is disciplining them, and their parents take them home at night). And we all know those kids who are just plain naughty and you wish their parents would control them! In a public school classroom, chances are you will have a nice mixture of the two. But you soon realize that some of those sparkly, bubbly kids can have an attitude when they aren’t in control, and some of the naughty ones can steal your heart.