There's more to life at Bethel than classes & seminars

Beyond the green is a place students to share the joys and hardships of being a Thresher.

  • Mudslam, AKA The Dirtiest Volleyball You Have Ever Played

    Mudslam, AKA The Dirtiest Volleyball You Have Ever Played

  • Mod Life: Finding Fun Amidst Stress

    Mod Life: Finding Fun Amidst Stress

The End of a Tennis Season

The End of a Tennis Season

This past weekend were the conference tournaments for the men's and women's tennis teams. Unfortunately, neither team made it to nationals but that does not discount the great and successful seasons they had.
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Pirates of Penzance

Pirates of Penzance

Over the past month many of Bethel’s students have been working on the opera, The Pirates of Penzance.
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Bubbert Awards 2014

Bubbert Awards 2014

This year’s Bubberts Awards were on the evening of April 12th. Bubberts was great as always! Everyone looked super spiffy and fancy.
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Concert Choir In Europe

Concert Choir In Europe

The Concert Choir gave a bittersweet farewell to our European choir tour with a final concert on Sunday, this time in front of the friendly faces of Bethel’s campus.
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To Berlin We Go!

Playing Dutch Blitz to pass the time at the hotel.

Playing Dutch Blitz to pass the time at the hotel.

Blogging today is Madelyn Weaver.

After three exciting days in Gdansk, Poland and a total of five days in Poland it was time to head to Germany.Yesterday we had one last delicious buffet breakfast from our hotel and then we packed up and headed out. The ride to Berlin was quite a drive, lasting about eight hours. On the bus we filled our time with tales of the tour, listening to a few poems to center ourselves, eating snacks and taking naps!

When we arrived it was about supper time and so we got to go out into Berlin to get something to eat and explore. I tried currywurst for the first time. Currywurst is a bratwurst covered in a ketchup curry seasoning mix and it was delicious!

Poland was a really great experience and I  am excited to see what Germany has in store!

Last Day in Gdansk

Outside view of the Malbork Fortress, a Gothic castle that is the biggest brick fortress in the world (construction beginning in 1274).

Outside view of the Malbork Fortress, a Gothic castle that is the biggest brick fortress in the world (construction beginning in 1274).

Today was our third and final day in Gdańsk, Poland. We spent the morning in Malbork Castle, a castle built by the Teutonic Knights in the 13th century. We had an animated tour through the three castles on the land that lasted almost four hours. Never did we visit one place twice so you can imagine how large this castle really is! The castle is currently being rebuilt and renovated still from the loss of 50% during World War II.

This evening we had our concert in a small little white Mennonite church in Gdańsk. This church was special to quite a few of us in the choir because it is likely the congregation that our ancestors were a part of, even if the church was a different one. Those of us from Whitewater and Elbing (two towns east of Newton) have strong roots in Gdańsk, which used to be West Prussia. The audience for our concert was very receptive, the people are so gracious and delighted to have us sing for them. They even went out of their way to give us dinner after we sang, which was absolutely amazing. It’s a truly humbling experience to be able to sing for people who may not be able to understand but still come and listen because they appreciate us.

After the concert many members of the choir went out into the town to meet people and experience the culture. A few went out to the Baltic Sea, even though it was raining, and from what I hear had a wonderful time. Tomorrow we leave for Berlin, you’ll hear from us soon!

A Memorable Experience in Gdansk, Poland

By Braden Unruh

Dlugi Targ, a street near our hotel in Gdansk, aglow at night.

Dlugi Targ, a street near our hotel in Gdansk, aglow at night.

While in Gdansk, Poland, our choir had the opportunity to explore and learn about the history of the city. We enjoyed a guided tour that highlighted the city’s development throughout history. An especially important stop on the tour was at  St. Mary’s Church, located near our hotel. The church, which began being constructed in the 14th century, is to date the largest brick church in the world. The building is a wonder, architectually and acoustically – just ask any choir member upon return.

We were able to sing two pieces in the space. What followed was incredible. Merle, our tour manager, points out that even though our choir doesn’t speak the language of who we are singing for, we as a choir can connect with them through the universal language of music.

We definitely spoke in such a way when we sang in the space at St. Mary’s. Most of the people who were in the church at the time stopped what they were doing and listened to the sounds we were making – the rich harmonies, melodies; the seemingly everlasting echo that ensued a break in the piece. It is doubtful that many, if any of the people in the church connected with the words we were singing, but we definitely spoke and touched people through the universal language of music. It was an experience that we will likely remember for a long time, if not the rest of our lives.

 

Travel to Gdansk, Poland

By Abby Schrag, sophomore Nursing student, Newton, KS

Choir members Ariel Silva and Aaron Tschetter mimic a statue in Lazienki Park.

Choir members Ariel Silva and Aaron Tschetter mimic a statue in Lazienki Park.

Today we left Warsaw and traveled 5 hours by bus to Gdansk. We kept ourselves occupied during the ride by doing our first installment of “Tales of the Tour,” a time for us to share random funny, embarrassing, or meaningful experiences with the whole group. We heard stories ranging from several males unexpectedly finding themselves in the women’s restrooms to getting yelled at by policemen for jaywalking in Warsaw, to meeting very gracious and welcoming audience members after the Warsaw concert. We also learned a bit more about the history of Poland and sang lots of loud, silly songs.

We arrived in Gdansk around 15:00 (that’s 3 pm for you who don’t read European time, as we are becoming accustomed to!). Gdansk is a port city on the Gulf of Danzig and boasts of having the largest brick church in Poland. After we arrived we were able to explore the city a bit on our own. Tomorrow will consist of a formal tour. I can’t wait to see what all the city has to offer!

And so it begins!

By Allison Rudeen

 

Choir members pose for a picture at the base of a Christmas tree that is next to the Royal Castle.

Choir members pose for a picture at the base of a Christmas tree that is next to the Royal Castle.

It’s hard to believe that today is already our 3rd full day of tour. Between the jet lag, the sightseeing and our first concert, the time seems to be moving so quickly!

I know that I personally want to take in as much as I possibly can of the cities and the cultures that we are visiting. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I want to make the most of it! As we depart Warsaw and travel to Gdansk today, I think we all are thinking of ways to make the most of the time we have left on this tour.

For me personally, one of my promises I made to myself was to seek out new experiences- whether that be new foods, places, or people. I want to do things that I can’t experience in the U.S.

I asked a few others what they were looking forward to on the rest of the tour. Following are a few of their responses:

“One of the best parts of choir tour is getting to know everyone in the choir. That’s what I’m looking forward to the most”- Casey Schunn

“I would like to share new meals with lots of different people”- Renee Reimer

“I can already tell that we’re growing closer as an ensemble and I’m excited to see that continues. Also I’m excited to be out of country for the first time!” -Jill Siebert

“I hope to get to know choir people a lot more. I also don’t want to go into stores that I can go to in America. I want it all to be different.”

Warsaw, Poland

By Emily Harder (Senior Soical Work Student, Hesston, KS)

A square in the Old Town district, Warsaw.

A square in the Old Town district, Warsaw.

Today was our first full day in Poland. The weather was actually warmer than it was when we left Kansas, which I think we all appreciated.  We started the day with a wonderful breakfast from the hotel (full of breads, cheeses, and fruit), then were off for a tour of Warsaw.  Kris, our tour guide, was pretty wonderful, giving us a brief history of Poland and helpful tips such as “the squirrels in Poland can be worse than an angry woman” and also “go to a University close to a park so you can take your significant other on romatic walks”.  We also learned quite a bit about Warsaw, the capital city of Poland, which was almost completely leveled during the second World War.

The tour was followed by a free afternoon before our concert in the evening.  Our concert was at 6pm at the Sienna Church located just a few minutes away from our hotel. Some church members were gracious enough to provide us with drinks and snacks before we sang.  It was nice to finally get in front of an audience and show them what we have been working so hard at for the last 5 months. While not all of our audience members spoke English, they showed their appreciation by giving us a standing ovation.  Words can’t describe the feeling that comes from completing a concert and seeing an entire audience stand up and clap for you.  It was a beautiful evening and a great first concert.  That’s all for now. More to come soon.

 

Choir Tour Day One: In flight!

IMG_20140103_180742_502By Madelyn Weaver

Today is the start of the wonderful thing we call Europe choir tour 2014!

Writing today is Madelyn Weaver, a junior social work major, management minor from from Hesston, KS.

We started today off by a 9:00am rehearsal back at Bethel before meeting at the Wichita airport at 1:00pm to get checked in!

Our first flight left at 2:55 for Dallas where we are now waiting for our flight leaving for London in a few hours. In the meantime we have been passing time by rehearsing our songs in the airport and then performing a few of them for passing strangers and a good handful of people actually stopped to listen. It was a lot of fun!

We were also able to grab a bite to eat and it is going to be time to be time to board here in a little. Up next we have our nine hour flight upon which I hope to get some good sleep in. 

There should be new blogs close to every day from different members of the choir who were assigned to the blogging task.

That’s it for now!

Off for Christmas Break

Thursday afternoon I left Bethel for Christmas Break. This break is also the end of fall semester at Bethel College. I left Bethel about 3pm on Thursday, went home for about 10 minutes, and then went to my youngest sister’s basketball game in Whitewater. I got home late that evening and had a little bit of time to relax. The next day, Friday, I left at 1pm for my Camp Mennoscah summer staff reunion. I just got back from that a few hours ago. Of course, if was super fun! But, I am now back at home and do not have to go anywhere. I can sit and read a book or take a nap if I want to. While I have many things I need to do this week, for now I am just reveling in this time off.

chrstmasAs I think back on this past semester at Bethel, I realize that I grew in many ways. This was a very busy semester for me. My classes were no harder than usual, but I had a lot more hours than I was used to. At times I was very challenged deciding how to keep a good balance between school work and socializing. There were many days that I went to class, went to work, and then studied the rest of the evening. Sometimes this frustrated me. But, I am very happy with how my semester went. Hard work may be boring at times, but worth it in the end.

pumpkinThough I was not able to socialize as much as I wanted, I still grew a lot closer to many people. I had never lived with four of the girls in my mod, and did not know very much about them. I grew to appreciate these four girls not just as nice people, but for the unique aspects that I soon learned about each one of them. I also expanded my overall friendships at Bethel; some people I did not know very well have become very good friends.

End Of semester Review

As the end of the semester winds down, a lot of us find ourselves reflecting over what happened over the course of the semester. From memories made, those laugh-until-your-face hurt moments, to maybe even those that you wish you could forget, now is the time a lot of us do that. And I was doing that today as well. After I took my one and only final of the day, I started thinking about this semester, how it all began, and what I thought at the beginning of the semester, compared to what I think now.

The first day I was on campus, I had told myself that I wasn’t going to let anyone know that I was any different than any other student on campus. I wasn’t going to let them find out I was 26 years old. I wasn’t going to let them find out that I am a single mother to two kids. I wasn’t going to let them know that my college history of getting to the point where I am now was a rough road. As well, I never thought that I’d make real friends here…..

So what changed? Shortly after the first few weeks, people started coming out of their shell. As did I. I still wasn’t able to open up to a lot of people, but there were starting to be cracks in my cover-up and conseal. I met two other students who were moms. One of them confided to me that only a few other people knew. That’s when it struck me. Since when is being a mom so bad? Why was I trying to hide my children from this part of my life? When did having children, suddenly seem like the worst thing ever?

As time progressed, I lost my mask that I was so adamant about having the first few weeks of school. I told people I was a mom to two wonderful children named Emma and Luke. After I let them know, they could see that I put them as a top priority in my life. I brought them to a football game, and brought them to trick-or-treat off the street. And these people that I had been going to school with, were treating my kids as an extension of me. They treated my children with the same kind of kindness and respect that they had treated me with.

And suddenly, I felt like a fool for trying to cover up who I am.

I took off the mask, and started being me. Me…Mallory. Mallory with the kids. Mallory with the curly frizzy red hair. Mallory who is 26, but still feels like I belong here. Mallory who has more than her fair share of blonde moments….. And I came to find out, that people still liked the real Mallory, 26 with two kids, and all.

And I have the students to thank for that. Thank you for making me realize that the shell I had put up to “protect” me, was in fact hindering me from my Bethel experience.

Stress Busters!

As I mentioned in my previous post, this blog contains tips to relieve stress because this is a busy week for Bethel students, staff and faculty as they are wrapping up the end of the semester. Also, even if you aren’t at Bethel, people deal with stress in their lives each and every day. I hope you find this blog relevant and helpful for you! Even if you have heard of these tips before, sometimes it helps me to be reminded of them!

The following are tips that  I found from an online article at Webmd.com.

The first tip is to Meditate. This only takes a few minutes out of your day. In this article it states that there is research that suggests daily meditation may alter the brain’s neural pathways. This altering makes you more resilient to stress. 

The second tip is the simple task of Breathing Deeply. This task also does not take a lot of time out of your day. When you get to the point of very high stress, take a step back from what you’re doing and concentrate on breathing deeply with your eyes closed. Inhale through your nose and then exhale out of your mouth. Breathing deeply helps slow your heart rate and lower blood pressure which helps counter the effects of stress.

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Another helpful hint mentioned in this article was to Reach Out. Being able to talk to people from your support system is a very important resource for dealing with stress and is a tip that I persona

Another easy stress reliever is to Be Grateful. How does being grateful help relieve stress may you ask? Well when you are thinking about the things you are thankful for it cancels out the negative thoughts and worries. I know I have a lot to be thankful for so this is an easy tip for me!lly use a lot. I have a great family and a great mod full of girls that I can talk to when I get stressed and need to vent!

The last fun stress reliever tip that I will leave you with I also found on Webmd.com. This article listed foods that also reduce stress as well! These foods include:

- Complex carbs (whole grain breakfast cereals, breads, pastas)

- Oranges

- Spinach

- Pistachios

- Avocados

- Raw Veggies

-… And More!