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.

  • Spring Semester

    Spring Semester

  • A Late Start To Tennis

    A Late Start To Tennis

Looking Back

Looking Back

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.
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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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Thankfulness For The Little Things

Thankfulness For The Little Things

Today, the theme of our chapel service was Thankfulness. One of the points that was brought up among the speakers was being thankful for the little things. This was a good reminder for me. I get so stressed with school work and the end of the semester that I forget to take time to step back and be thankful for some of the little things that I take for granted.
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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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Alabama Bound!

Results from the conference tournament for men’s and women’s tennis:

The men played McPherson in their semi-finals match who is ranked nationally as a team. They lost 5-2 but they played hard, had some great matches and played them even better than they did in regular season conference play!

After a 5-0 win over Kansas Wesleyan the women’s tennis team is going to Nationals in Alabama!

We leave for Alabama this Friday. That means that we will be missing finals week. Missing finals week means that we need to make sure that we get our finals taken before Friday! Yikes! This makes the ending of the school year twice as stressful for us as we are trying to figure out how we are going to get everything done. However, the up side to this is that we will get the school work out of the way so we can just relax and enjoy Alabama, the beach, and the nationals tournament!

Stress Busters:

- Learn how to say no: Yes we all do need study breaks or social contact once in awhile, but if your friends want to go out but you really need to finish that big project or study for that big test, don’t be afraid to say no. Same with studying in a group. That can be a fun way to study and in some people’s cases very helpful. However, if you are one of those people who do better and learn more by studying by yourself, don’t be afraid to say no to that either.

-Deep breathing: This sounds almost two simple but if you are getting to a state of being really stressed, then stepping back and taking a few deep breaths from your abdomen can really help calm you back down and help you to refocus.

Women’s Tennis Conference Tournament

Well, today is the day of the women’s tennis conference tournament. The winner of this tournament gets to proceed to nationals in Alabama! The Bethel women’s team has won this tournament and gone onto nationals the past four years and we hope to make it a fifth!

The semi final against Southwestern College was this morning at 9:00am in Wichita at Genesis. The Bethel ladies swept the match 5-0. In this tournament, the first to five matches wins. This means that the rest of the matches being played are stopped and are not finished. The girls won the three doubles matches and the two singles matches that finished, getting the last two points, were Bree Honer and Stephanie Shogren.

Because of the poor weather continuing on into May, today we have been playing indoors, however due to a mix-up in communication about courts we will not be able to play our final’s match against Kansas Wesleyan until 7:00pm this evening.

The men will play their semi finals match tomorrow, Friday the 3rd at Wichita Country Club at 9:00am for those who would be interested in coming out and supporting!

 

Now for a few more stress busters like I have promised:

- If you have some bubble wrap, pop it! If not, here is some virtual bubble wrap just for you:) http://www.virtual-bubblewrap.com/

- Stop and take a few deep breaths

- Practice Mindfulness – focus intently on an object such as eating and slowly savoring a piece of chocolate, or noticing the weight or color of your pencil, etc.

Spring Fling Week

While the weather may not have agreed with the name, last week was our Spring Fling.  Campus was busy with many activities including: Minute to Win It, Ultimate Spoons, Iron Chef,  and the ever popular Bubbert Awards.

Other activities scheduled were PowderPuff football and Limeades that had to be postponed because of the weather, which refused to cooperate cancelling the water fight that was scheduled for that Friday as well.

However, Bubbert Awards and the dessert bar was still able to be held! Bubbert Awards is an annual film festival at Bethel that showcases student-made videos. The event was created in spirit of Bethel’s ficticious student, Herman Bubbert, who was known for playing pranks all over campus.

Bubbert Awards takes the form of a Red Carpet event, allowing students to dress up and take part in watching the wide variety of films.

This year there were 11 entries, some inspiring, others hilarious, but all creative. If you would like to watch the video, you can visit this link http://vimeo.com/64145221 which shows the entire show with the hosts and audience members.

Following the Bubbert Awards is a dance that typically lasts a few hours and this year was in the Drama Lab, with student DJ’s.

Spring Fling is always a good time on Bethel’s campus, even if the weather is not “spring” like.

 

Upcoming Tennis And Some More Stress Busters!

Alright everyone, strap on your seatbelts because things are about to get crazy. At least they are for the Bethel Men’s and Women’s tennis teams. Scheduled to play today and three of the next four days the bulk of our season is on the line. The women are the defending conference champions and are hoping to repeat again this year. The men are looking for a shot at the end of the season tournament and both are off to an excellent start. The women are 5 and 0 with convincing victories over Southwestern, McPherson, Tabor, Bethany and Friends. The men are 3 and 2, their only losses coming at the hands of the nationally ranked teams McPherson and Bethany. All of the matches remaining in our conference schedule are at home as well as a few more non-conference matches. We would love to have you come out and support us. Both squads offer a peak at some of the best tennis around. Here is the schedule for the rest of the week:

Tuesday: Baker @ 2pm (Home) *****(Edit: this match was cancelled due by Baker due to possible bad weather)

Wednesday: Hesston @ 6pm (Hesston College) (JV) *****(Edit: this match was also cancelled due to rain)

Thursday: Kansas Wesleyan @ 3pm (Home) ****(Edit: this match might also be postponed until Tuesday because of possible rain)

***** Hopefully we will have some nice weather one of these days for those who are interested in coming out and supporting the Men’s and Women’s tennis teams!

Also as promised I have a few more stress buster tips thanks to a few of my willing mod mates!

- Make time for a fun activity. Do this so you can take your mind off of your homework for a little while!

- Eat a piece of chocolate. Chocolate makes everything better! (Plus it really does release endorphins in your body!)

- Take a nap. Another way to relax and help get your mind off of all you need to do while on a break!

- Go on a run. Sometimes doing a fun activity with friends helps reduce stress but other times or for other people making some alone time for yourself helps, along with exercise as I mentioned in my last blog. (Running release endorphins into your body, too!)

That’s all the stress busters for today, look for my next blog which will include some more!

 

Stress Busters: What To Do When Stress Grabs You

070Now that the school year is done, I like many others I am sure have realized how much work we have yet to do. So, I have decided over these next coming weeks to include stress buster tips in my blogs. Since I am currently going through the stressors of college, some of these tips will be geared more towards students, but there are some and maybe all you could apply in diffferent ways that would be helpful for faculty members or anyone else who is dealing with stress right now (which should account for everyone because unfortuantely there is no such thing as a total stress free life).

Here are some stress busters that have helped me so far:

1.Schedule your day. The few times I have tries this has really helped me. Scheduling your day makes you realize one: how much time you acutally have available to do homework and two: it helps you to manage and use your time so much better.

2.Make a to-do list and prioritize. Doing this helps you visualize what you need to get done and helps you be able to put things in order of importance.

3.Make smaller and more attainable goals. This has really helped me. Making smaller goals within goals helps them seem more attainable to you and also helps because you can cross more things off your list. Being able to cross more things off makes you feel more accomplished!

4.Schedule in small breaks. After you schedule your day and are working on homework, make sure to take some small breaks every once in awhile to rejuvinate your mind! This also gives you something to work towards or look forward to. Whether that be taking a power nap, checking social networking sites, or talking with friends, whatever you would like to do in that 15 minutes of free time before you go back to work. Scheduling the breaks also helps keep you from taking longer breaks than necessary to procrastinate doing homework (I have been guilty of this).

5.Make sure to get enough sleep. Yes you have a lot of things to do, and so yes you may feel like you need to stay up until two or three in the morning to finish them when you also have to get up early for class. However, if you are able to successfully schedule your day to make more time for homework earlier in the day, then you will be able to go to bed earlier, therefore getting more sleep. At least for me, if I do not get enough sleep, I am tired during the day and then definitely do not feel motivated to do homework whereas if I am rested and rejuvenated I will feel more motivated to get things done!

6. Have your roommate or mod mates help you stay on task. And vise versa. Having someone there to check in with you to make sure you are doing homework and staying on task can really help especially when you can both keep each other accountable!

Here are some other stress busters that you could try:

1. Exercise. Exercising helps reduce stress, so if you have been working on homework and feel like you are about to explode then go run up and down the stairwells a few times, or if the spring weather ever decides to show up and to stay then go for a walk or a jog outdoors!

2. Laugter. Don’t forget to laugh! Laughing can help relieve stress and lighten the mood.

3. Extend an extra measure of grace to those around you. Don’t forget, we are all stressed right now so keep that in mind while interacting with others!

That’s all I have for now, I will continue this theme in my next blog using other resources, possibly even other student’s tips with how they deal with stress (if they can take time out of their stressful and busy day to talk to me!)

 

Spring Break And The Race to The Finish!

As I am writing this blog, I am sitting and watching the “madness” of March Madness. This is what my spring break has looked like so far. Filled with basketball, practicing tennis and procrastinating homework. Needless to say, spring break has been very relaxing which was definitely needed after the packed and hectic week of midterms!

At the end of spring break, (today actually) the tennis team was supposed to have two matches, but the crazy weather of Kansas has done it again, and they were cancelled. It has been disappointing because it feels like we have hardly gotten to play any matches. This will not last for long, however. When we get back from spring break, weather permitting; tennis will really start to pick up.

Not only will tennis pick up, but so will classes and other activities. Before we know it, it will be time for finals! Yikes! That is scary to think about because it feels like there is so much that needs to be done before then. All of the tennis matches, big assignments for classes that have seemed so far away until now, choir performances, finishing up schedules for next year, turning in the documents needed to become an official social work major and figuring out the living situations for next year all have to be done! Then, before you know it, it will be finals, graduation for the seniors and summer!

Well, off to watch some more basketball and to start working on homework!

If you want to watch some tennis, our next home matches will be Friday, March 29 against Hesston College and Saturday, March 30 against Doane College!

 

Student Teaching!

This semester has been so wonderful, but so crazy and overwhelming all at once, which is why I have been terrible about posting regularly on here (oops…sorry!) I feel like I’m living two lives at once- the life of a teacher, who gets up at 6 AM, gets to school at 7:15 AM, teaches students all day, stays after school to work until 5:15 PM or go to meetings, and then takes schoolwork home. That being said, I still feel like I’m living the college sutdent life because I’m still living in the dorms with my friends, I try to make time to hang out with them, and I’m working two part-time jobs on the side, just to have some sort of income. Sound like a crazy life? It is…but I love it!

Student teaching has been incredible! I absolutely loved my placement in 2nd grade at Walton Rural Life Center. At the school, we have many animals in our barn (chickens, sheep, lambs, a donkey, calves, and pigs) and a green house where students work with plants. The school takes a project-based learning approach, so the learning is more hands-on. I love it! My cooperating teacher was phenomal! Our personalities were so alike and we worked so well together as a team. She provided me with so many good ideas, suggestions, and many times we just sat down after school and talked like good friends do. She has really been a huge blessing in my life. My students were fantastic too- such hard workers!

Last Thursday, I made the transition from my general education placement to my special education placement, also at the same school. On my last day in 2nd grade, my class threw a huge surprise party for me! They kicked me out of the classroom for 30 minutes and when they brought me back in, I was blindfolded and led to the other side of the room. On the count of three, all the students screamed and threw A LOT of confetti all over me! I was coated! They made a crown for me to wear, decorated my desk, and we had a party. There was punch, chocolate cupcakes, and each student made a special card for me. It was a wonderful last day!

So far, special education has been a fun environment to work it, but it’s been a hard switch, simply because it is SO different from general education. I enjoy both, but I’m hoping to get a job in a general education elementary classroom. I’m on the job hunt now…wish me luck! :)

Something is missing…

This semester, I haven’t been in Concert Choir because of student teaching. Let me just say that during the time that Concert Choir meets each day, my students are just coming in from recess and then we have sharing bag, read-aloud, and reading groups, and there’s not much time to even think about how much I miss singing in the choir and being with those people.

Now it’s spring break, so I don’t have school, and the Concert Choir is on tour, travelling around Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana, sharing their beautiful music with everyone who wants to listen. My sister is with them and all of my friends keep posting pictures on facebook. I’m realizing how much I miss choir and just how badly I wish I was riding around the U.S. on that tour bus with them. I’m realizing now how much of an impact that choir and those people had on my college experience. They say that “you never know what you had until it’s gone,” and that quote applies perfectly to this situation.

I got lucky and my family decided to take a little spring break vacation to St. Louis. We found out a week after we planned it that the Concert Choir would be singing in a huge cathedral there and that we could go see them! Their music was extravagant. Being able to listen to a full concert of songs that you know and learned is amazing, because you don’t have to listen to try to understand the words; you can just listen and absorb the music. Multiple times, the choir made me smile, laugh, and cry during that concert. It was simply wonderful to hear them sing in such a beautiful setting.

More Reflections From The Road by Kevin Coash

 

Tuesday Morning:

Getting ready travel to Bluffton, Ohio. Home to Bulffton University, a Mennonite LIberal Arts College with a population of 1,198 students. We get to sing with their College group, the Camerata Singers and then have a concert later tonight.

This quote speaks to the current modus operandi of the choir. We must always think ahead. The next note – the next phrasing – the next text articulation. We can’t move on to the next if we can’t get past the past. In the words of Sheldon Cooper (paraphrased) “Look ahead. You can’t look backwards, because that would just be remembering.”

But then – you sit around a hotel breakfast table with a group of choir members and talk and laugh and joke and tell stories and listen to stories and dream big dreams and you think, maybe it’s okay to think backwards on these times, or remember. Maybe starting the next Chapter doesn’t mean we completely abandon the one we just finished. See, if we carry this book – to – real – life metaphor, books are like old friends, waiting patiently on the bookshelf to be seen and read and experienced again. Books love to be picked up and laughed at and cried into and loved. If book are like people, then I would like to return, at least in my remembrances, to times like this.

Tuesday Evening:

So I’ve been thinking a lot about space. Maybe outer space, (planets) but more down to earth (cells) I’ve been thinking about the rooms and halls we fill and what, if anything, we do there.

Take the city museum.

A full city block made into a metal jungle gym that even the most cynical college kid could get excited about. Imagine hovering 10 stories in the sky praying that those metal bars could make it through. 7 college kids cramming themselves into a steel ball. All this why? Because it was fun and we were together.

Now see St. Francis Xavier Cathedral.

Dare I say, both of these places (City Museum and Cathedral) are wonders of architecture. But vastly different, right? I’m not so sure. The Cathedral with its high arches, marble statues, and wonderful sound – called us to something higher. That something that theologians have tried to define for centuries.

But the Museum called us higher too. It caused us to raise our voice maybe even in song. So perhaps these two places aren’t that different. Maybe that “thing” that’s so hard to name is at both. North-South-East-West.

 

Musings from the Concert Choir Tour by Kevin Coash


So I’m supposed to be writing a daily blog for the Concert Choir tour. It is hard to shut me up, but it’s also hard to write about bus rides and the same 20 songs every day. SO I thought I would dig deeper see if I could understand what this whole tour business is about. This is my first year, ya know. Is it really just bus rides and the same 20 songs, and if so, why do people get so darn emotional about it. If it’s something more, the curious cat inside of me wants to know that that is.

As I was thinking about this I was mindlessly and aimlessly scrolling through my facebook newsfeed, which more often than not is a call to remembrance than I’m a liberal in a conservative State, but I came across this quote of Bob Marley. “Live for yourself and you will live in vain; live or others, and you will live again.” I found this insightful 1) because Bob said it 2) because when you’re crammed on a bus with 50+ other people you truly have to live this.

Reminds me of my days at the Buddhist temple where my teacher kept saying, “Forget about the “I” put down the “I.” We as a choir, sophomore – junior – and senior members are all on this trek together, like it or else. We have goals and we have jobs and we are having fun. But we’re not doing this for ourselves. No music is for yourself, that would be in vain. We are doing this for our fellow choir mates. The emotional seniors who will never get to tour with the group again, we sing for you. Bill who puts in hours of dedicated work and his immense arsenal of talent, we sing for him. Dale and his dedication and support of this choir – who cries at every show, who loves each of us as his own grandchild, we sing for him. The small but vibrant and loving compassionate congregations that welcome us and bother to stay and listen to a bunch of college kids from Kansas sing, we sing for them. We sing for hope in a troubled world. We sing for love across mankind. We cannot accomplish any of these things own our own. It is everyone living for everybody else, at least just for these 9 days, that makes these things happen. Will we always be successful? – I hope not – Because it is only by falling that we can truly judge how far we have come. But we’ll keep marching (or riding, I guess) on, together, singing for others. Bringing music – a powerful thing – to them as a gift expecting nothing in return. And that is not a endeavor spent in vain.