This might be a strange title for a post….I have a confession to make, I love old people. Now perhaps that’s not a politically correct way to say it, but I must confess, I love spending time with retirees. I was extremely close to my grandmother, Anna Margret, and since her death in 2006, I have greatly missed her love, support, guidance and wisdom. It’s amazing how much wisdom and how many stories folks pick up by the time they’re 70 or 80. In addition, retirees often have a different perspective on life and a keen sense of what really matters.
When in college you’re largely surrounded by other college students who may be at the most three or four years older than you. It’s easy to spend an entire week on campus attending class, but interacting largely just with other students. Over the last couple months I have realized that there are many opportunities to get to know some fantastic new folks who have stories and wisdom galore to share. And best of all, those same folks are just as interested in hearing my stories and getting to know me!
So…of course college is fun. Lots of freedom, time with friends, good schedules, fun courses, etc. But one thing about college that you don’t always think about is the down time. Now with your down time you can choose to do one of two things be productive (aka doing homework) or being unproductive. Now more likely than not, if you really have to think about the choice, you will choose unproductive. With this time there are many things to get addicted too. My latest have been tetris battle, stumble upon and pintrest.
Now what is interesting is that all students sort of get hooked on the same thing all at the same time. My friend introduced me to stumble upon, soon all of our friends were stumbling, and then we saw lots of other people were too. Same with games like tetris or cityville. Last year with cityville we would have lunch conversations asking each other to please send us a permit or crops or etc. Now some of you might say wow. That’s pathetic. But really it is a really good way to releive stress. Which trust me, at times there will be lots of it. Now it sometimes will be a waste of time and really sometimes you catch yourself and are like I really should be doing homework. But in all honesty, using the word addiction or unproductive is very loose and not completely descriptive. I am sure every one can admit to needing to do something….well….um….brain numbing or thoughtless. Especially after hours and hours of classes or tests. You need that me time.
Right when midterms, projects, and homework seem to be absolutely overwhelming, the perfect solution appears on the Bethel academic calendar.
A four-day weekend.
Fall break provides the perfect little break from classes for people to go home to get their winter clothes if they live close enough, or go camping for a few nights, or for the really ambitious, head out to Colorado or Missouri for a few days.
I chose the staying on campus option with hopes of getting work done so that the next few weeks would not be too incredibly stressful. That didn’t work quite as well as expected. It was more relaxing and fun than productive, but that’s important as well.
The only downside of fall break is that when Wednesday morning comes, no one wants to go back to class. It’s just a countdown to Thanksgiving break now.
So like Justin said, we’re all probably writing about Fall Fest. That’s just how big it is. I’m making mine unique by doing it a week and a half after.
Fall Festival is one giant fundraiser. Have a club that needs funds to have movie nights? Make some sort of food and sell it. That’s the easiest way to describe what happens on campus. It begins on Thursday with the Taste of Newton in downtown Newton. The Taste of Newton has the same fundraise-through-food concept as Saturday’s on-campus event, but it’s with the wider Newton community groups. On Friday afternoon classes are cancelled, presumably so students can prepare for the next day.
I spent my free afternoon going to lectures. This was the fifth year of the STEM symposium, a celebration of science, technology, engineering and math. At Bethel, the STEM departments are Math, Biology, Chemisty and Psychology. The STEM symposium rotates through each department. This year was Math, so as a math major I was really excited. Important alumni from the math department came back to give guest lectures and have a career panel for students.
Turns out I wasn’t interested in any of the careers they have, but they still had some great insight about how to choose a career. One of the main things they focused on is that math majors from Bethel have gone on to a wide variety of career and graduate school choices. That didn’t help me in narrowing down what I want to do with my life, but at least I know that it really is my choice.
I’m sure the other bloggers will be posting about their Fall Fest experience. And if they’re not, they should be. So I won’t repeat what they’re sure to include. However, I would like to muse about a lesson I learned during this year’s festivities.
Though this was my third Fall Fest, it was just my first time to have the pleasure of “working” the KBCU (radio station) booth. I call it “work”, however, it was nothing of the sort. I got the rundown earlier in the week of what was expected during my one hour shift. Play music, talk to passersby, hand out free stuff. Easy. Read More
One of the most anticipated events on campus occurred earlier today. Beginning on Friday afternoon, Bethel College invites community members to campus to hear speakers, listen to musical groups, walk through student-created booths, play games, and eat food. The main day of Fall Fest is Saturday, and beginning earlier than 8 am, students, staff, faculty and community members were setting up booths and selling food and handicrafts.
I began my day at the Students for Social Change booth, where my friend Emilie and I gathered signatures for a petition involving the recent Palestinian bid to the UN for statehood. In the same booth, other students sold arroz con leche (rice with milk, raisins and cinnamon) and distributed information regarding the School of the Americas. Other booths sold newspaper subscriptions, held contests to win prizes, sold cookies and verenike, held a Free Sale, and offered tie-dying.
It’s fall on campus and I frequently stop on my way across campus to watch two squirrels chase each other or to watch one hurriedly run to and fro with a nut in its mouth. The leaves are falling and the mod air conditioner no longer runs continuously.
With the fresh fall weather and continuing classes, mods (and residence halls) are starting to plan some of their own fun events. Last year the lovely ladies of mod 4C decided that to celebrate birthdays we would go out to eat at a restaurant of the birthday gal’s choice. Recently we celebrated a half-birthday (her actual birthday is in the summer) with a trip to Montana Mike’s it was a great time to relax and laugh together as we caught up on all the crazy things that we don’t always have time to talk about when we meet in the mod bathroom at 2:00 in the morning when we’re getting ready for bed. It’s amazing how you can live together and be so busy that you don’t have time to catch up with everyone. We had a blast together (check the pictures if you don’t believe me).
This year, the theater department is kicking off its season with a farce for Fall Fest called Charley’s Aunt. For those of you who don’t know, a farce is a type of comedy where everything is exaggerated and physical comedy reigns supreme. I won’t bother telling you the plot of the show, but I will tell you all about the making of the production.How am I going to do this, you ask? Easily. I am stage managing the show, meaning I have been involved with the show since auditions and have been at nearly every rehearsal and production meeting, and I can give you the inside scoop. This show, like the Fall Concerts, is an exciting moment for the theatre department because, not only is it the first show of the season, but it is the first time we get to show off new talent in the department as well as see returning talent on the stage. Read More
The professors at Bethel College are a dedicated and diverse bunch. Many of them have spent nearly their entire career here – a span of 25 years or more. A couple of them have been present at very pivotal moments in history, such as the history professor who was in Berlin in 1989. He witnessed and participated in peaceful gatherings and church prayer services in opposition to the Berlin Wall and was present when it came down. Our Bible professor spent several years as a Service Worker with Mennonite Central Committee (denominational relief organization) in Jerusalem and was privy to the political happenings concerning the conflicts between Palestinians and Israelis. At least one professor speaks over ten languages, and many others are at least bi- or trilingual. Interterm trips are a reflection of the diversity of the faculty experience – Israel, Costa Rica, Lesotho, Germany, France, Poland, and Mexico are just a few of the places that professors have spent significant amounts of time in and are excited to share their experiences and expertise with students. One of the Chemistry professors trains dogs in her spare time and takes them to agility contests; the other Chemistry professor runs marathons with the cross country runners. Read More
I don’t write in first person. Ever. (For those of you who haven’t passed the 8th grade that’s I, me, we…) I have been advised by English teachers past not to. So I haven’t. Until now. After being asked to blog for Bethel, I decided it was time to break the rule.
I’m not suggesting that I referred to myself in writings without the use of personal pronouns as if I were a professional athlete with half a million followers on Twitter. Justin Baldia would never consider such an antic. However, I digress.
Now in my junior year and relfecting on my arrival and time spent at Bethel, I realize that I’ve done things that I swore I would never do or never thought I would do. Most, if not all, of these things are positive, sans the 2 AM trip to the emergency room after falling from my bed during a game of “nut ball” and the trip to the orthopedic specialist after jumping from the cafeteria roof and injuring both of my heels so badly that I could hardly walk. (Both freshman mistakes) There are opportunities and experiences that I have had at Bethel that I wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else. Read More