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The Life Of Summer Student Staffers


Katie Schmidt doing… something…

During the summer, there is not a lot of life on campus. With the majority of students and faculty gone the classrooms are empty, and the dorms are silent. But there are a few signs of life on campus.

There are few departments who hire students to help out during the summer with a wide range of jobs: from grounds keeping and dorm repair, to running the bookstore and helping out with admissions.

If you were to take a walk through campus today, you would most likely see our summer maintenance workers getting our grounds ready for the start of the next semester. Each morning starting at 7:00, the grounds keeping crew is out pulling weeds, mowing grass and watering flowers, tasks that seem to never end. The maintenance department also has several students helping with getting all of the buildings on campus ready for the start of the fall semester.


Audra Miller trying to get work done, despite the interruptions.

There are also a few students helping in the bookstore this summer, doing more than selling Bethel t-shirts. They are manning the school’s switchboard, taking care of campus mail, organizing campus events, essentially keeping the school running during the summer.

One of the harder working students on staff this summer is Audra Miller, working in the Institutional Communications office. While the office going through a staffing transition, she has taken charge of putting together the latest edition of Context, Bethel’s alumni magazine.

There are also students working the Admissions and Financial Aid, preparing the way for the new students joining the Bethel Community in the fall.

The student staffers of the Information and Media Services office have been keeping busy as well, repairing all of the computers on campus. But in between repair jobs, they have been known to start shenanigans. Like the time they generously offered there assistance to the Maintenance staff in testing a recently repaired golf kart:

Putting aside of the malarkey they get up to, students have been doing a tremendous job this summer helping the BC staff get ready for the coming school year. The next time you see a student staffer, be sure to stop, give them a high five, followed by context as to why you gave them said high five.

When The Students Are Away, The Staff Will Play

My ascent attempt.

Typically summer break at Bethel College means a time to catch up on work, tackle special projects and be productive in a relaxed atmosphere. I’m not sure if this falls into any of those categories, but the staff in the Information and Media Services decided to climb the antenna tower for the campus radio station.

This wasn’t one of those “I double dog dare you” type of situations. We had a legitimate reason to do so, or at least that is what we told ourselves. I had wanted to take some photos of the Bethel campus from a unique perspective to use for the school’s website. And my inner adventurer really wanted to climb the 200 foot radio tower, and prove I had conquered a previous fear of heights.

So on a mild June day I donned my safety gear, strapped on a GoPro camera and began my ascent while a small group of staff, students, and cameras watched on. I made pretty good progress for the first 100 or so feet.

Then the wind began.


My view as the tower began rockin’.

The wind caused a slight rocking of the tower. And the higher I climbed, the more the tower rocked. I was within 30 feet of the top of the tower when my once conquered fear of heights decided to return. I hurriedly snapped a few photos with my camera before making a hasty retreat to the bottom of the tower.

Then one of my student workers decided to show me up.


Dylan Jantz striking a pose during his ascent of the tower.

Dylan Jantz is spending his summer days working in the IMS office. And after I made my attempt to climb the tower, Dylan decided he wanted to give it a try. And he did well. He managed to make it up to the top of the tower despite the wind, and take some beautiful shots of of the campus. He even managed a Snapchat or two from a couple hundred feet above the ground.

The photos have turned out pretty great, and the video from the ascent was even better. But I am wanting to make another attempt later this summer when there isn’t any construction going on (the Fine Arts Center is currently getting a facelift), and another student worker is wanting to make the ascent as well.

Here’s hoping we will make the ascent once 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!)


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.


Meet Your Bloggers

Rachel GaeddertHometown: Larned, KSCurrent Grade: JuniorMajors: Social Work and Spanish major, I’m interested in working with immigrants and immigration policy. I love Spanish culture. I want to help people with my life, and find who people truly are. Involvement on campus: Chapel Planning Committee, Bethel Choir, International Club, Cross-Country, Avenue Eight, Intramural VolleyballHobbies: I love hanging out with friends and listening to music, playing the piano, running, playing volleyball, and stargazing.Why I chose Bethel College: I liked the strong music program, it was relatively close to home (2 hours), and I got the most financial aid here out of the other schools I was looking at.Other interesting facts: I love traveling. I love being challenged.

Heather GarrisonHometown: Hesston, KSCurrent Grade: SeniorMajor: Music Education, because I love music and I love sharing it with others Involvement on campus: band/orchestra, forensics/theatre, SAA, costume assistantHobbies: reading, sewing, mentoringWhy I chose Bethel College: I was unsure of what degree I wanted, and Bethel offered a great music program as well as a great science program. I either wanted to be a veterinarian or a music teacher, but either way, I wanted a well-rounded education with professors I could trust.Other interesting facts: I got married this summer and commute to schoolRyan GoertzenHometown: Goessel, KS Current Grade: SophomoreMajors: My majors are Social Work and a History and Government Teacher Licensure. Reasons for choosing them? Well I guess with Social Work I was just looking for a career path where I could help people (as corny as that sounds) and get something out of my job other than money. I couldn’t imagine just sitting in a cubicle all day every day working for my own wealth, and though that sounds noble, it’s more that I think I’d get bored. As far as the History degree goes, I’ve always loved history and had to face the fact that if I ever want a job in the field it would probably have to be a teaching position. I would prefer secondary education, but we’ll see. Involvement on campus: On campus I’m involved in Concert Choir, Jazz Band, SAA (I think that’s the name…whatever Dave Linscheid is in charge of), Informal Worship, and Radio…I think that’s about it, at least for now. Hobbies: My hobbies include but are not limited to, singing and listening to/playing music, spending time with friends, reading, working on my car, watching movies, etc. Why I chose Bethel College: I chose Bethel rather reluctantly at first, because my whole family wanted me to come here, and I figured I should be a good teenager and rebel. Overall however, I chose Bethel because of the great academic standing it has, the Christian values it tries to teach, and its music program. I wasn’t too sure about it at first, but I love this place now.

Naomi Graber
(Center in photo)

Naomi GraberHometown: Elkhart, INCurrent Grade: SophomoreMajors/minor: Psychology & Bible and Religion/ Peace, Justice, Conflict Studies. Reasons? Concisely- I looked at all the classes I wanted to take, and these were the categories most of them fit under. Involvement on campus: Collegian, Student Ambassador, Concert Choir, Women’s Chorus, Wind Ensemble, and different worship gatheringsHobbies: readingWhy I chose Bethel College: Because Bethel is home. Which sounds funny, since I’m one of the few out of staters here, but really, the community feel of Bethel is UNBEATABLE. It’s not perfect, and no one would ever try to tell you it is. But that’s what community is. After a year of service and living in community, I realized that relationships are what make life worth living, and the relationships I saw during my visit and have formed while I’ve been here are some of the most amazing I’ve ever seen.Clint HarrisHometown: Manhattan, KansasCurrent Grade: I am a Junior at Bethel.Major and Minor: I have a deep interest in talking. Hence my Communication Arts Major and English minor. I get to go to classes were I talk about why people talk, what they’re talking about, and their reasons for talking the way they do. Involvement on campus: This interest overflows into my chief extracurricular activities here at Bethel of being in shows and being a section editor at the Collegian, our campus newspaper; talking on stage and talking on the page, I love it. Hobbies: I do other things, sure; I play MarioKart Wii with my modmates and tell bad jokes. I’ve even done a bit of homework here and there. Hey, I’m in college.Why I chose Bethel College: And what a college. Bethel has been an incredible experience for me so far, and I can’t wait for the rest of it. To be honest, I was a little hesitant coming here at first. Being from Manhattan, K-State was the obvious choice (especially since my father is a professor there), but I felt like I needed a little more distance from where I spent the previous 18 years. I’d been raised in a Mennonite church, and had friends there who had gone to Bethel and couldn’t stop recommending it. Ultimately I visited and after staying on campus and eating lunch at a table with a group of people the admissions folks later apologized for letting me meet, I was hooked. There are good people here, smart people, funny people, interesting people who can’t wait to meet you in the dorms, in the classrooms, in the caf (that’s what we call the cafeteria; pretty clever, I know), or even chilling out, playing frisbee on the green. I’m glad you read this far in my bio and hope you’ll continue reading my blogs about my home-away-from-home, my future alma mater, my primary source of entertainment, my leg up in life, my intellectual stimulation, Bethel College.Krishna PhiferHometown:Humble, TexasCurrent Grade: JuniorMajor: Biology – I want to do something with the medical field Involvement on campus: Sports – basketball Hobbies: Watching movies Why I chose Bethel College: Sports and good degree opportunity Other interesting facts: I love to laugh.Kelly ReedHometown: Edinburg, TXCurrent Grade: SeniorMajor and Minor: Social Work, Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies Involvement on campus: concert choir, drama productions, sometimes help with chapel, member of social work and Spanish clubsHobbies: reading, talking with friends, cooking, knitting and crocheting Why I chose Bethel College: I wanted to come to Bethel because I liked the close-knit environment. I liked knowing that I was going to really get to know people on campus, and that they were really going to get to know me. I like that Bethel nurtures all of my talents and interests, regardless of whether they have to do with my major. It was a much more personable environment than any other state school I visited.Monica SchmidtHometown: Haven, KSCurrent Grade: JuniorMajor: English Education–I’ve always felt that teaching is a passion of mine, and I chose English because I enjoy writing and editing papers and want to help kids who struggle with writing improve their written communication skills.Involvement on campus: Concert Choir, Avenue 8, musical/opera, private voice lessons Hobbies: Jogging, riding horses, crocheting, playing acoustic & bass guitarWhy I chose Bethel College: I first heard about Bethel College through my cousin who graduated from here the year before I started. I visited her a couple of times as well as went on a few campus visits and just felt comfortable with the feel of the campus. I also wanted to go to a school where it would be easy to get involved in activities on campus and interact with people from all different disciplines instead of just my own. Bethel has provided me with these opportunities.Other interesting facts: I love to travel and will be studying abroad in Germany spring semester!

Sharayah WilliamsHometown: Kalona, IowaCurrent Grade: SeniorMajor: Elementary EducationInvolvement on campus: I’m a member of Chapel committee, Concert Choir, Avenue 8 (the student led women’s vocal ensemble), and Student Activities CommitteeHobbies: reading for fun, writing poetry, yoga, dancing around with my friends, checking facebook, drinking coffee and enjoying good conversations with friends Why I chose Bethel College: There were many reasons and events that led to my decision, but ultimately it was the faculty that drew me in. I knew that if I was going to be working closely with the Education department, and with the choir, I wanted to be somewhere where I felt supported and cared for by the faculty. Bethel has been that place.Other interesting facts: I’m allergic to cats, but I have 3 at home. I’d rather be wearing a cute blouse and heels than a t-shirt and sneakers. And I love words.

Angela WoodHometown: Wichita, KSCurrent Grade: JuniorMajor and minor: I am majoring in Business with an emphasis in marketing and management, and I am also doing a Communications Minor. I chose to major in business because I believe that it fits me best. I am very interested in the business world and would love to eventually be in that industry after I graduate.Involvement on campus: I am involved in Women’s Basketball, and have participated in Multi-cultural club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.Hobbies: In my free time I love to read, play games, relax, and bake!Why I chose Bethel College: I chose Bethel because it was where I could play basketball and still get a great education. I also love the smallness of the college and the class size. I knew I would not do well at a big school, so I know Bethel is the place for me.