This week is the last week of our Fall Semester and so naturally it is filled with exams. Many students have been posting on Facebook how hard their classes were, how stressed they are and finally when all is said and done how happy they are to pass and are almost on Christmas Break. As for myself, my last final of the week is here at 2pm and then I just have some loose ends to tie up. I get to enjoy hanging with my friends one more night before moving home (across town) for two weeks. Christmas break is always a welcome thing but it is also bittersweet. Since we are constantly surrounded by friends and loved ones, it is a sad thing to realize we may not see eachother for a couple weeks, a month and a half…or ever again. Some students may leave at semester or are graduating…and so this week is also a week of goodbyes.
In any case, I hope you all enjoy your Christmas break!! Become refreshed and ready to come back to school and dominate the Spring.
“If you relax, it comes. Don’t seek, don’t search, don’t ask, don’t knock, don’t demand. RELAX. If you relax it is there. If you relax…GOD shows you the way.”
Bethel is one of those small colleges that has so much to offer including some things you would not find out about until you get here. The biggest two traditions of the beginning of winter are during the same week. The Lighting of the Green is a powerful event that always occurs on a Sunday night before Finals week. The college students all come out to our beloved Green and are handed a candle to hold. Once the ceremony starts, singing can be heard from all directions. The first candles are lit and then progress around the circle in different directions. You will be lit by your neighbor and get to light your other neighbor’s candle. The whole ceremony is very beautiful and unique and is something everyone must attend at least once! We are usually blessed with nice weather but watch out for the wind! Read More
People usually get very busy and stressed around finals week, but this semester I am looking forward to this finals week! Today is reading day, a day which there are no classes or finals and everyone spends the day studying and preparing for their finals. I have 3 finals, one on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. They are spread out very well, so I do not have much to stress about. I have plenty of time to get all my studying in.
I also look forward to finals week because of all the food and parties that occur during this time. Almost every club schedules a party for Reading day of finals week. There is good food and good times! Also, there are Christmas parties for each dorm, Voth Hall’s being tomorrow night. Also, Voth Hall has a food cart that travels the halls during finals week. If you ever need a break from studying or even a quick “pick me up”, the cart and all its food and drink is available to you. There is also a Christmas Party in the Cafeteria, serving nachos which is held by the Bethel Parents Association. They also give out gifts to every student who attends.
The Christmas season at Bethel is my favorite time of the year. Not only are the students oh-so-close to finishing out the semester, but there are lots of time-honored BC traditions to experience. This past Friday was the Messiah Sing, which is the final (and my personal favorite) convocation of the year. Once again, my penchant for singing in community reveals my bias, for the Messiah Sing is just that – singing Handel’s Messiah in Bethel College Mennonite Church. The BC band and orchestra plays, several of the very best Concert Choir singers perform arias and recitatives, and the audience (segregated into soprano, alto, tenor, bass) sings the rest. It is a beautiful thing, hearing the voices and instruments weave seamlessly together. And when the final “Hallelujah” reverberates around the church, I can’t help feeling a bit sad that I shall have to wait 364 days to hear that moment again. Read More
The Christmas Gala was so delightful. It was full of students from the community dressed in their formal gowns and tuxedos. The administration served the students their evening meal and sang Christmas carols during the meal. Students were so excited to see one another in their formal dress. Many pictures were taken with the Bethel snowman and the lit Christmas trees all around campus.
So today, on Saturday, instead of studying for finals or relaxing with friends I took a six hour long math test. Voluntarily.
See, I’m not as crazy as it would seem though. Donuts were provided for breakfast, curry for lunch, and a buffet at The Breadbasket for supper was courtesy of Bethel’s Math department. Besides the food, I took the test because despite what they may say to the contrary, the students in the math department are incredibly passionate about math. I want to be excited about math like they are, like I was in high school.
As of today, the rest of my first semester of college will consist of a test and a final in Multivariable Math, an essay and a final in History of Civ, an essay and a final in College Issues Colloquy, and a final in Environmental Science. All of that is in the next two weeks. I’m not sure when I will have time to eat and sleep.
On a brighter note, when this semester is over interterm begins in January. Everyone says interterm is a lot of fun because you only take one class for the month and everyone has extra time. I’m taking Linear Methods and also doing observations in a classroom for Education credit so hopefully it will be a nice break from the craziness of the regular semester! Most of the study abroad trips are also during interterm, so groups will be in Mexico, Haiti, Jerusalem and other places. It will be interesting to see campus with less people here!
Bethel has just adopted a new tagline: Seek. Serve. Grow. We try to incorporate and encourage these three aspects into campus life daily. Service is of great importance at Bethel because I think it makes everyone feel good, and it also helps to promote community. During the holiday season, it is often easy to find ways to help serve others. Currently, Bethel is holding a food drive on campus called the Harvest of Love offering. This act of service began the week before thanksgiving break and is still continuing now. This is a very local opportunity for students here on campus to make a big difference in a very easy and simplistic way. Students simply bring non-perishable food items to the Student Life office where they collect them to distribute to the local Newton community. Those of us students who attended Chapel, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving got to help kick off this offering by bringing our food items to the Chapel. Students from all over campus, in every aspect of campus life brought multiple items to give to our local community. So, if you plan to visit in the next couple of weeks, feel free to bring food for our offering of love, or in any case, be ready to be immersed in acts of service on campus.
This past Monday, I attended one of the most phenomenal Convocations of the school year. Convocation is a class at Bethel, which all students are required to take for all 8 semesters they attend BC. It is a class that has no homework, and only requires students to attend and stay awake. The class lasts for an hour, and is held twice a week. During the class, Bethel brings in speakers or entertainers on a variety of topics and they get about forty minutes to speak, with at least an additional ten minutes for all students to ask questions. The topics range anywhere from the death penalty in Kansas (for those of you out of state, this is a pretty hot topic, as the Kansas Legislator is currently working on laws to permit the death penalty), to art, to having music groups come in and sing to us, to Biology. In any case, students undoubtedly find at least one Convo that they enjoy throughout the year, and our Convo this past Monday will definitely be mine! Read More
November has come and gone as I sit here composing this note on the Monday after Thanksgiving break. It was a transition month, as fall sports wound down and winter sports started up. The first basketball games have taken place and now the real season is getting into gear. Those in fall sports had their first taste of free time. The men’s and women’s ensembles at Bethel had their fall concerts (and what fantastic concerts they were!) and now all Bethel students are embarking upon that shared ritual of dread: the last two weeks of the semester when you scramble to finish projects and study for finals. Read More