This past weekend, twelve Bethel College students partnered with the Peace and Social Justice Center and traveled to Fort Benning, Georgia for a human-rights protest at the School of the Americas (SOA). The school is a military training facility that trains foreign soldiers (from Latin America, predominantly) to commit human-rights abuses against their own people once they have returned to their home country. Many of the graduates have participated in coups and genocides in Honduras, Guatemala and Columbia, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians. A committee that tracks the activity of the school has organized a protest every year at the gates of the fort for the last twenty years or more. This year was particularly interesting for us in that the founding members of the protest (Father Roy Bougeois) had come to speak to Bethel last year as part of a Peace and Justice lecture series.
Bethel is a very, very musical campus. Many students are involved in at least one of the musical groups on campus or, in the case of the music majors, at least 4 groups. There’s the Concert Choir, the premiere mixed choir on campus that tours every year and goes to Europe every 4 years during interterm. For those who don’t want to audition or don’t make it in, there’s the Women’s Chorus and Men’s Ensemble. These two groups have grown substantially in the past few years. There’s even a gospel choir that was started this semester.
Instrumental groups are also quite numerous. Two jazz groups, Jazz Ensembles I and II, regularly hold concerts including at Fall Fest and during the holiday Gala celebration. Jazz Combo, made up of a few members of Jazz I, also performs regularly whether it be on campus or at venues in town.
Well, once you’ve gone through the difficult decision of where to attend college, all the hard decisions are done, right?
Turns out after college, we’re expected to get a job that can be synonymous with a career, instead of just a job to pay for coffee and Newell’s food. For some, this decision was made at the same time as the college decision, when they determined a plan for life. I didn’t really do that.
Bethel gives some help in this area. Alumni have gone to do great things, and some who stayed close by come to campus once a year for the Career Night. Doctors, lawyers, businessmen, teachers, pastors, and all sorts of careers are represented at Career Night. Students walk around the hall, stopping at booths of anyone they find with a career they are interested in.
Well, I survived another year of Elimination. What in the world does that mean? You may be asking. That means that I survived the most paranoid week on campus without getting water splashed on me. But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me back up and explain what I’m talking about. Every fall, Student Life organizes a campus-wide game called Elimination. It happened a few months ago, but since no one’s written about it this fall I thought I’d share about it with you. You sign up to play Elimination and receive the name of your first “target” Sunday night. (The game begins at midnight Sunday night). Your goal is to “eliminate” your “target” by getting that target wet somehow. Of course there are rules about when and where you can do this eliminating. The most popular way to eliminate someone is with water from a water bottle or cup from the cafeteria.
So, this year I am an Resident Assistant (RA) in Haury. Which means I am responsible for the needs of a hallway of girls and get to plan activities for them. Also this year, the entire campus is having a theme of Olympics, so we each chose a country to represent.
My hall is Korea. And I was so excited that a girl from Korea lives on campus. My friend who is also an RA is doing a hall of Korea in Voth. So we asked the girl and we are doing a event today where we will go and cook a Korean dinner and learn some information about Korea. It should be interesting and fun. We are cooking something called Bibimbap, which is a meal of rice, meat and vegetables. I am very excited because many girls are coming and we are going to the house of a family who works here, who are also very excited. It should be really, really fun. I am really glad because I was given a amazing hall. They are all fun and willing to try new things and have fun.
Daylight savings was this weekend. Or is it the end of daylight savings? I don’t know. Regardless, “fall back” happened.
That’s how they teach you to remember how to set your clocks- fall back, spring forward. Clever.
However don’t ask me if it’s darker or brighter out in the morning because with a chunk of sleep falling from the corner of my eyelid and the fuzzy haze clouding my vision as I lumber to my 9 a.m. it all looks the same. Some days I’m just wearing thermal leggings, ski coat, cap and gloves, other days the cap isn’t necessary.
The time change doesn’t affect me though. Nor, by and large, most college students. Sure we get an extra hour of sleep tonight, but it’s on a Saturday night. For most of us that’s just another drop in the sleeping til noon bucket.
This Saturday was the final Bethel cross country meet of the regular season. All of the teams in the KCAC league (McPherson, St. Mary’s, Ottawa, Tabor, Bethel, Friends, Southwestern, Kansas Wesleyan) ran in the meet, which was to determine which individuals and which teams would head to the national race in Vancouver, Washington. Bethel supporters turned out in droves – there were at least 3 cars full of students, as well as parents, past teammates, and coaches. In addition to encouraging our fellow classmates during the race, several of the students erected “cheer pyramids” at strategic points along the course!
Well, folks, it happened. The first snow of the year.
Last year at this time I was dealing with lots of excited out-of-state people who either
a. had never seen snow before
b. had seen snow, but didn’t get it on a regular basis.
This year, those people were not so excited about the first snow, knowing that it brings lots of cold, wet days. Last winter we had the first snow day in over 30 years. Since Bethel is a residential campus, the only thing that keeps classes from meeting is if the professor can’t get to campus. Since a lot of professors live within walking distance, this doesn’t happen often.
The annual Halloween dance and costume contest was held this past weekend. The dance was absolutely packed – it seemed like all of campus was there having a good time! And the costume contest was full of creativity and flat-out brilliance. From Curious George and the Man with the Yellow Hat to Beatles’ Songs to A Formal Apology to Tetris, everyone that I saw put lots of time and effort into their costumes. My mod dressed as a flock of birds. I was an owl, and my modmates each represented a canary, a swan, a blue-footed booby, a peacock, a parrot, a penguin, and a flamingo. We spent nearly a week on our costumes, sewing tutus and jazzing them up with feathers, sequins, or glitter glue. It was a great way to exercise our creativity and flair for arts and crafts as well as a mod bonding activity.
I just checked the extended forecast. No temperatures above 70º for a while. Or at least until I check it again tomorrow morning and it’s completely changed. And again by the time I leave my 9 o’clock class and go to lunch. I’ll be ok though, my mom taught me to layer my clothing: thermal T, longsleeve T, zip-up hoodie, peacoat. Thanks mom.
If you couldn’t guess, I’m from the south.
I know what you’re thinking, “Only three blogs in and he’s already talking about the weather…” But give me a chance here. It’s called an introduction, and apparently it’s the appropriate way to lead into the main point of the text. Future Lit Studies majors take note.