There’s a lot about a small campus that’s great.Bethel is smaller than my high school, so I feel like I have a good shot at knowing everyone at the school. I’ve gotten very close to my roommates and modmates in a short period of time, because not only do we room together, we sometimes have classes together, and we often see each other at meals.The largest class I’ve been in was my gen. ed. history class: History of Civilization 2. I think there weren’t quite thirty people in the class. I was in a philosophy class sophomore year that only had four people. Talk about one-on-one attention. It made sure that each of us were on top of our reading. The discussions were so manageable, and we were even assigned our own book to focus on for original papers. Most people don’t get attention like that until graduate school. Read More
Interterm is a Bethel institution of some uniqueness.Before it starts, Interterm is what makes me scowl at my non-Bethel collegiate friends because it makes my winter break dramatically shorter than theirs. The new year has barely begun and mere days later, I’m back at school. It’s such a quick turnaround that I still mess up the year in the dateline of my assignments. Read More
I’m realizing that I will sleep substantially more during winter break (which is short this year–only about 17 days) than I did during the end of semester between Thanksgiving and the end of finals.I haven’t counted the hours or anything, and a lot of the disparity is my fault. I sometimes stay up needlessly at school, not because of homework or anything, but just because that’s when everyone else is doing things. It has honestly become difficult for me to go to sleep before midnight anymore, and towards the end of semester, that stretched to 1:00 a.m. Once again, it’s not that I’m not tired; it’s just that’s when other people are doing things. Sometimes it feels like the campus gets going after midnight. It’s also hard to sleep when other people are talking about how much homework they have to get done; it makes me anxious that I’m forgetting something too. But that’s one of my own little neuroses. Read More
If you would like to see a collage mixed with some videos of my experience in Ecuador, just follow this link or type in BCA Ecuador in video.google.com! WARNING: it is about twenty minutes long, so only watch this if you might want to wait to watch it until you are super bored.http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5013038957026682161&hl=en
27 de diciembre 2008For an English major, it can be pretty frustrating not to be able to describe an experience in words.On the 22nd of December at about 2:30 in the morning I arrived home safe and sound after a long day of flight travel. Our BCA group had different discussions about culture shock in Ecuador and the side effects of adjusting back to life in the U.S. We heard that there might be feelings of depression, disappointment, shock—that it might be harder to go back than it was to arrive in Ecuador. Read More
I love the relationship between students and faculty at Bethel.I’m particularly conscious of it during the holiday/end-of-semester season, because that’s when everybody pulls out the stops. With such a small student population, teachers can more easily get to know each of their students. At Bethel, most students are on first name basis with their teachers. They are friends on Facebook and discuss favorite hobbies/music/whatever outside of the classroom. Even more unique is the fact that, more often than not, students are invited to their teachers’ houses at some point in the semester. Read More
27 de noviembre 2008It is a curious thing what the holiday season can bring about.This Tuesday I had an interesting conversation with my host father. All of the members of my family, I would say that I am least close to him, simply because for the majority of the semester I didn´t see him a lot, and he always seemed a bit more reserved than my host brothers and mom. About three weeks ago he had a minor surgery to remove kidney stones, but it turned out to be a long ordeal from which he is still recovering. The surgery was further complicated by the fact that his stomach was removed four years ago for cancer.So after sleeping two hours past my alarm (don´t worry, I was still on time for classes) I found myself sipping café con leche and eating my wonderful morning dose of fresh fruit (I think that day it was papaya and bananas) and talking with my host father, José o Pepé. Read More
I have one more reason to be thankful this Thanksgiving. It was announced officially the day before Thanksgiving break that Bethel was shifting its biannual musical from Children of Eden to Lucas & Guettel’s The Light in the Piazza. The news was greeted excitedly by those already committed to the musical, and we hope we can spread the excitement.There were a number of reasons for the change. Children of Eden is written by Stephen Schwartz: the composer of Wicked, Godspell and Pippin, but Children of Eden is one of his lesser known pieces. The directors of Bethel’s show had become enthused pedagogically with Children of Eden because it dealt with Genesis subject matter that the senior religion classes at Bethel were tackling. We’re a liberal arts college, so that sort of crossover is always cool to us. Read More
(18 de noviembre 2008)For my first blog post of November, I’m sure you are expecting to hear more descriptions of the places I’ve traveled or some fantastic, surreal experience that I’ve had in Ecuador. But, in contrast to the blue waves of the Galapagos or the wonders of the Amazon Jungle, this month I’ve been surprised by a series of small experiences that are no less important to me than those of extreme grandeur.
My rafting group in Baños–together in one boat we had representatives from London, England, Brazil, the Netherlands, Ecuador and the United States. Pretty neat diversity.
During one of the first weekends of November I did decide to take a short weekend trip to Baños, a city about three hours away from Quito that is absolutely full of tourists and outdoor athletic events. On Saturday morning I went white water rafting, the first time for me, but rather than the rafting I was struck by a conversation that occurred afterward. Read More
I have been engaged for all of four days as I write this blog, so naturally I’m finding it hard to think of little else. So you’ll forgive me if I blog out of that excitement.Getting engaged is pretty exciting at Bethel. On such a small campus, it’s very likely that the people around you are people you know, and are therefore at least somewhat receptive to the overwhelming need the newly-engaged feels to share his or her news. They know you personally, and if your fiance attends too, it’s likely they know him or her too. The celebration that you’re having yourself spreads to the community. It’s a wonderful feeling. Read More