Now I don’t talk about religion and my personal beliefs in depth very much. I don’t like to mainly because I think what a person feels regarding religion and God is extremely personal and more often than not points to our differences as people rather than the much larger number of things we share in common that bind us together.
However, because Bethel is one of what feels like the few colleges that is active in the religion it is associated with, lists discipleship as one of its four central values, and has played a big role in my faith life the last few years, I’m going to broach a subject I often avoid.
Before I came to Bethel, I quickly and with little thought identified as Quaker whenever someone asked me what religion I was. Throughout my childhood I regularly attended the Friends meeting in San Antonio, Texas where I’m from, but as I got older and entered high school, my attendance dwindled. By the end of high school, I was going to meeting maybe once a month and other than the yearly Quaker retreat, wasn’t really interact with Quakers my own age. So when I started Bethel, I felt like a fish out of water to be surrounded by and have so many friends with a strong faith in God, Jesus, and Christianity.
Throughout my years at Bethel, there is a program that has become very near and dear to my heart. College Buddies is a program where the Bethel College SCAN program pairs up with the Harvey-Marion County CDDO (Community Developmental Disability Organization). Once a month, Bethel students meet with adults who have developmental disabilities in the Bethel College Mennonite Church basement for an evening of socializing, laughing, doing crafts or games, and eating snacks. We also work to break stereotypes that are associated with developmentally disabled people.
As a freshman and sophomore, I participated in College Buddies (then called Circle of Friends), and after two years I was asked to be the leader of the group. I am so passionate about this program. I love it’s mission. I love the college students that are willing to give up an evening out of their busy schedule. I love the community members that come with smiles on their faces and stories to share. I love how these people look forward to this day for an entire month, just as I do. I love their hugs and handshakes. It is an incredible program and an amazing way for Bethel College to reach out to the community.
Last Thursday was our first meeting of the year. We did some get to know you activities, created acrostic poems with our names, and had snack. I think a good time was had by all. Other activities this year will include pumpkin decorating, a Holiday Bash, Valentine’s crafts, a newspaper fashion show, and a Bingo night.
Congratulations! We have reached that wonderful point in the semester where projects, papers, and assignments start piling up and people get really stressed when they think about how little time is left in the semester and how much they have left to do. This is also the time of the semester when people begin to sleep a lot less and get sick much easier. All of this starts to happen and then…BOOM! Fall break arrives!
My fall break was very relaxing and I will admit, I did not do much homework. Instead of sleeping in, like most students would on a Saturday morning during their break, I got up at 3:30 AM to take my sister to Wichita to catch an early morning flight so she could go visit friends in other states for her break. We then ate breakfast at IHOP and snagged some great sales at the early bird Kohl’s sales before heading home. In the evening, I had a barbeque with some of my friends and then caught the tail end of the BC football game.
On Sunday after church, I headed out with 2 of my modmates to a lakehouse in Council Grove that one of the girl’s parents own. We spent the next 45ish hours there relaxing and enjoying our break. The house overlooks a gorgeous lake and we were able to get out the jetski and zoom around on the water on Sunday afternoon. Despite the chilly water, we also decided to go tubing and swimming. We wished we could have said that we went swimming in October, but we were one day too early. During our time there, we also watched movies, cooked so much AMAZING food, did some crafts, and slept A LOT. Needless to say, it was a wonderful, relaxing weekend with friends.
I am so thankful for Fall Break.
This past weekend was one of my favorite weekends on campus-Fall Break. Most colleges in our conference get a five-day weekend, but since we take a day to do service later in the semester our fall break is a Monday and Tuesday without class. It’s a very different experience to be on campus for that amount of time without class, but with friends still around.
I had a goal of getting ahead on homework during my days off, but instead went for the relaxation and fun with friends route. I baked a cookie pie using chickpeas with my friend Erin, played video games that I hadn’t played since middle school with some other friends, and slept in until 11 on Monday and Tuesday. That’s really late for me.
Besides the fact that there was no class, Fall Break also is one of the best weekends on campus because it marks the beginning of a spectacular month to be a Thresher. First of all, fall is finally here, and Kansas does fall right. It’s starting to get cooler and soon the leaves will be changing and falling. I grew up close to campus so fall was always one of my favorite times because there are so many absolutely gorgeous trees around.
October is also special to Bethel because it means Fall Festival is coming. I’m sure there will be many posts about Fall Fest in the next few weeks. This year, the city of North Newton even declared October Bethel College month in honor of the 125th anniversary of the college.
Every once in awhile a string of serendipitous circumstances finds you all at once and you are left with in awe. This happened to me this past Tuesday.
The day began as most Tuesdays do for me – I slept in, enjoying having no obligations till Concert Choir at noon. I then went to my afternoon Social Work class, spent some time in the library, finished up a few assignments. I ate an early supper in preparation for a soccer game later that evening.
We played a tough nationally ranked team and it was an occasion for our team to rise up and pull together. We played our best match of the season even though we ended up losing 0-1. The team defended fiercely and as a unit for 90 minutes. We proved we can hang with any team. During the last twenty minutes or so of the game lightning flickered in the looming storm clouds to the south.
As I was walking back from the game I ran into a friend. We both commented on the fact that it had been raining, that we loved the rich, loamy smell that rain brings, and that we like walks in such circumstances. Plans were made to go on such a walk. Another friend joined us. The three of us headed for the Sand Creek Trails, the wood chip trails that run through the woods adjacent to Bethel College. Here the lightning illuminated our way through the dark trees.
Wow! It’s hard to believe it is already October! Only a little over a week ago did Memorial Hall have a hoard of young children with their parents and grandparents, the Bethel forensics students, the Bethel education students, the Bethel Wind Ensemble, and the Women’s Association for the first ever “Tales and Tunes — Adventures with Aesop” children’s concert. The Women’s Association had the idea to try out a concert just for children. The Wind Ensemble played a piece that included four of Aesop’s Fables that had a narrative part as each movement was played. Before every movement one of the forensics students told the story dramatically to the children and after the movement the elementary education students led various movement and craft activities that connected to the fable. Timothy Shade, the Wind Ensemble conductor, also talked about parts of the songs with the kids. For example, for the story the Tortoise and the Hare, he pointed out the different instruments that played the part of the tortoise and the instruments that represented the hare.
The turn out ended up being excellent. Since I was in the Wind Ensemble I did not get the opportunity to work with any of the kids but it sure looked like they enjoyed their afternoon. One of the little boys even tried to direct the Wind Ensemble during one of their activities! Even though it was a pretty chaotic afternoon it ended up being just another one of the awesome experiences Bethel has to offer.
Greetings from Athens! I have been here for just over 2 weeks now and life is starting to reach some sense of normalcy again. Classes start in a week and the group of American students I’m here with has really started to bond. All in all, things are going very well.
Athens is a city cloaked in white. Buildings rarely seem to be less than 4 stories tall so many of the streets are blessed with shade except for around noon. Everywhere you look there are balconies and plants and cars and motorcycles and kiosks. Walking out onto the street, you are surrounded by constant noise, movement, and smells. There seems to be a little cafe, bakery, or take-away souvlaki place every 20 feet and you quickly learn which are the best and which aren’t.
Walking around the city, it isn’t hard to get lost since much of it looks largely the same. In the monotony of the streets glows the occasional landmark, a welcome relief. Parliament marks the center of life in Athens, the place where demonstrations and negotiations occur. If you find Parliament and Syntagma Square, you can get anywhere. Not far away is the Acropolis which overlooks the new center for government from its ancient home. It’s almost as if it’s watching over present-day Greece, judging both things good and bad. Read More
Yes, we all have been there. We all have been that person with a map in hand, desperately clinging to that one building by Gaudí left on our list of must-sees. We are the man with the ridiculous tan line, the woman photographing every inch of La Sagrada Familia and the couple looking for a postcard with the word “Spain” on it at Las Ramblas. But what happens when we have visited every place imaginable and find ourselves with nothing left to fill our afternoon schedules? Then, my friends, we do what the locals do and learn to marvel at the curious ways of the city.
Barcelona is a place for the Spanish Avant-garde. It is inquisitive, creative and full of innovation in every aspect of its daily life. From the flawless performance of its subway system to the unspoken agreement between musicians working on the streets of the same block, Barcelona operates in strategic elegance. Sometimes it comes in the form of taxi drivers letting students cross the street past the red light. Others, it comes in the shape of compost bins, magazine bending machines and clothing recycling centers. In the city, the Spanish Avant-garde proves its talent by transforming an ice-cream shopping experience into a visit to a luxurious museum or by decorating high-class restaurants with lanterns made with popsicle sticks and straws. In apartment buildings, people use retractable wires as clothing lines to make up for the lack of space and have learned to hold conversations with their neighbors through closed doors and kitchen windows.
Remember all those naps you skipped out on as a child? Well let me tell you, when you’re in college you truly regret not taking those opportunities to sleep. While you may have had to wake up for high school classes, early mornings in college are a different story.
Once you get to college your sleep schedule will change drastically. You will stay up late studying, hanging out with friends, or attending activities on campus. Trust me, your level of procrastination increases due to your new social life. Not only that, but most events are planned later in the evening. Don’t be surprised when you have meetings at 10 o’clock or intramural games at 11, sometimes later. Of course there’s also the occasional donut run to Druber’s at 11:30 and maybe a stop at Newell’s for cheesy fries and a milkshake.
If you have ever wanted to take part in a club on campus, the student-run newspaper, the Collegian is a great place to start! As the sports section editor I am always looking for new writers and photographers to add on staff. I know writing articles, doing interviews, and making deadlines all sounds a little scary at first, but trust me it’s not. While it is nerve-racking in the beginning, after the first issue it is really simple and you become more confident in your abilities.
I started out as a staff writer my freshman year, then last year was a co-section editor for the entertainment section, and finally decided to take on the role of sports editor. With two great leaders as co-editor in chiefs who bring an array of ideas, the Collegian is a fun club to be a part of. Not only do you work with interesting and entertaining people (such as myself) you learn what’s happening around campus. If that doesn’t convince you, then another perk is that these are paid positions. Awesome, right?!