It is really hard to share an apartment with so many people and sometimes we have a difficult time loving each other. One forgets to take out the trash, the other one leaves her dishes on the counter… But It is easy to complain about it.
This is over now (or at least for 30 days)!
Some of us signed a contract for the 30-day-no-complaint-challenge which says that we all can’t complain starting February 11th. We will have a score board in our room to keep track of how many complaints each person has. At the end of the challenge, every person has to buy something of the dollar menu for each tally. So if one person has 20 tallies, the person will have to spend 20$ for the rest of the group.
We started to put an “X” on our pointing fingers which represents that we won’t point at others, but think about ourselves first. We hope that this will help us appreciate everyone a little bit more. Complaints just make our lives negative. How often do we think negatively about homework or school while it actually helps us getting an education? Less complaints means more happiness and more satisfaction! I really hope that at the end we realize how often we complain about situations or others for no reason, but the one that we need someone or something else to blame. I also hope this turns some 8 am classes into more fun and some homework into more desirable tasks. If not, I just can’t complain about it.
This is absolutely voluntarily and we have to promise to keep each other accountable. I think we are old enough to be honest about our mistakes even if that means you spend two or three dollars more!
Maybe I can inspire more people to join me in this challenge. Not because of the food at the end but for the fun of challenging yourself to not spread negativity in this world. It seriously has enough of it! Life is good!
This past week, I’ve been sick. The worst kind of sick I’ve been since being in college.
It’s lasted for 7 days and counting. It started out being a stomach bug and then turned into a terrible cough/cold. I have no clue what’s going on, but lemme tell ya, being sick away from home is not fun.
BUT, people at MNU are awesome and have helped in making it not as bad as it could be.
I had to miss class for a day, so when I e-mailed all my professors, they told me to rest up and get better. One of my professors even offered to get me anything I needed.
My RA is also great. She went out and grabbed ice cream for me because my throat was on fire. I love having friends that care about me enough to sacrifice their time and energy to take care of a sick friend.
MNU always advertises about how the professors here truly care about the students… and it’s so true. I’ve experienced that on multiple occasions. Even when you’re sick and can’t come to class, they understand and are still there to help you get better.
At MNU, it’s about more than academics. It’s about being a community that cares for each other. It’s been a blessing to have people in my life that randomly text me asking if I need anything.
Being sick is not fun, but I couldn’t imagine a better university to be sick at.
Pray that I get better, because I’m getting tired of my couch and Netflix can only entertain so much. 😉
One thing that I absolutely love about MidAmerica is that my professors will lead devotions before class or tie the material that we are learning that day into faith.
This has really helped me to see how faith can be applied really everywhere in life.
I remember sitting in a Communications Class and discussing how the theory of Cognitive Dissonance relates to the Holy Spirit and personal conviction of sin. It caused me to think about how God uses human psychology at times and how he goes against at other times causing us to know it has to be from him.
Dr. Flemming, my professor for my Book of Acts class, lights a candle on his desk before every class as a reminder that the Holy Spirit is in the room and working on our hearts. It is hard to watch him teach without seeing the candle in the corner of your eye and being reminded. He also takes praise reports and prayer requests before class and we pray together.
Our faculty advisor for the Trailblazer does the same thing. She always asks for prayers and praises and she prays for us before we start every class. She also likes to recite a memory verse to us.
This practice from my professors is not only good for my own thoughts, which I get to return to God more often than I probably would have otherwise, but it is also good to see the faith in action of my professors.
It helps me to relate to them because while I am a nineteen year old undergraduate college student and they have their doctorates and live lives very different from my own, I can relate to them through shared faith. It makes the professors seem less distant or so far above me that I can’t talk to them on a personal level.
Quinn has been focusing a lot on discipleship after learning about stages of development and methods of teaching in his Lifespan Development class and since I happen to talk to him a lot I have been thinking about it too.
I think one of the reasons why I love the professors being able to share devotionals and pray with their classes is that I feel discipled in a way from them. I am learning not only about the subject they are teaching, but how that subject relates to my faith and how I can weave my faith into every aspect of my life. Having mentors like that has been an incredible experience and something I don’t believe MNU students should take lightly.
Why do we have stereotypes? And why do we use them? In most cases, they are hurting and not true. They always cause conflict and make situations awkward and complicated. They can be funny sometimes and break the ice, but if you chose the wrong context, they can be insulting and bring you a lot of trouble. So what is it that makes us use these categories daily?
As a communication major, I learn a lot about how to talk to people. It makes me really aware of what kind of words I use and what topics I address. Although I am not that good or experienced yet, I pay closer attention to somebody’s body language, how often somebody uses cluttered language as “uhm” or “like”, or how somebody perceives me or other people. I hope that one day this will not only help me to have a better understanding of people, but I also hope that I can share my knowledge, so that everyone can avoid conflict that resolves from bad communication. Reading the title, one would think that stereotypes is one type of bad communication, but it is not that black and white. Like everything, these perceptions have a good and a negative side, and like everything else, we should take a closer look at it before making a decision about it whether we should keep stereotypes or stay away from them.
First of all, it is interesting to see why we use these stereotypes and who uses them. It is natural for human to mistrust the unknown. Knowledge makes us feel powerful and that we have control over a situation. Everyone has probably experienced that weird feeling when you are surrounded by strangers like the first day of class. We don’t know what to talk about or who to sit with because we are surrounded by uncertainties. As a human, we want to reduce these uncertainties as quickly as possible and there are a lot of ways to do that. Someone might look up a person on social media, other might engage in small talk, and another one might ask classmates what they know about a certain person. Whatever way, once we have that information, we feel that we got to know that person a little bit better and this certainty helps us to communicate more easily. While we are receiving these information about a classmate, a new boss, a teacher, the new girlfriend of your brother, etc., our brain makes cognitive connections. There are familiar categories established in this world (athletes, nerds, musicians, dumb blonde, European, Republican, etc. – a never ending list), so we start finding characteristics and match them with known categories. Why? It is easy and fast and our brain is lazy. It would be much harder to see everyone as an individual and find out what makes this person unique. It takes a lot of time that we don’t necessarily invest when we are in a big group. That’s why we use the stereotypes: with them, we fill the blanks for a person’s character. Sometimes, it fits, and sometimes it doesn’t based on how good somebody’s perception of people are. As we can see, the reason is certainly not the problem, but the way we use stereotypes can be.
A kid’s logic
Kids usually don’t make these connections because their logic is way simpler and they haven’t learned to make these connections yet because of the lack of experience. But they will learn from time to time how to use stereotypes, the probably first one being how to distinguish between boy and girl by colors or toys they play with. Sadly, a lot of stereotypes are used to separate groups and seek distance from someone: “You are a girl; you can’t play with boys!” It is true that people who share a characteristic are found in groups, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have other characteristics as well. For example, I always sit with the women soccer team during breakfast, lunch, or dinner because I play soccer. But I could as well sit with my roommates, or the videographers, the blogging staff, other tutors, or my Public Relations group. In this case, I spend most of the time with the soccer girls and since we are a big group of people, the chance that somebody from my team is sitting in the cafeteria is wa
y higher than a videographer for example. If somebody thinks of me as an athlete who is only at university because of the sports, he or she would be wrong and should probably take a closer look. I love going to school and getting good grades. Everyone fits in different categories, but people tend to see only one and I have done it myself too.
Soccerplayer or Nerd??
Why not both?
My brother used to ask me when I was little what an alien and an intelligent blonde had in common. The answer was that both of them had never been seen before. I don’t consider myself intelligent, but my grades were always better than his. Also, I meet a lot of people who are surprised that I am from another country because their perception told them something else. And then, they ask if I drink a lot beer and speed on the “Autobahn” which are both misperceptions as well. Despite that, I fit other typical German traits, as being overly punctual or not liking to tip. And I know everyone has these characteristics that fit in some groups, but not in others and I also know how hard it is not to stereotype others. In fact, people surprise me all the time (in a good way).
Stereotypes shouldn’t be meant to be mean, but to be helpful (at least at the beginning). That means that they are good to use in a general content, but when it comes down to personal preferences and identification (like religion, politics, and ethnicity). Yeah, you can joke around with them like my brother, but you have to be careful who is around you. The same goes for the receiver. Tolerance is an important thing. We shouldn’t take everything literally and don’t get upset too quickly just because someone said the wrong thing. In the end, it always comes down to the nonverbal communication. Both, sender and receiver, try to find a way to communicate the message, but it can get lost on the way due to so many factors, just know that both are responsible for it. With communication, I should never say: “You said the wrong thing!”, because maybe I was the person that misinterpreted it!?
The start of my MNU Track and Field career, has taken a turn. What may, some days, feel like a set back, is actually a step forward in the right direction. It has been a while since, I have talked about track and the new team on campus. This last fall, I was hit with some, saddening news. The news was, that, I was going to need surgery on both my ankles; if I wanted to continue running, and be able to walk in the future.
Towards the end of last semester, I found out that my season had come to an end, before my season had begun. I tried to do everything I could, not to go through with the surgery. I tried strengthening, rehab, continuing to run. Nothing was working and the pain continued to grow worse. So, I had to come to the realization that surgery was my only option, if I ever wanted to step back out on the track. As for this season, the first season, of having track and field back at MNU, I am sad that I will not be contributing, physically, to the success of our teams season. Instead, I will be contributing by, supporting, cheering, and rooting my fellow teammates on, at the finish line.
This season, I had set, extremely, high goals and expectations; but now, those goals and expectations are on hold. What I have to focus on, now is, the road to recovery and rehabilitation. It is going to be a long process but I have great doctors, physical therapists, and strength trainers. I am going to have a strong recovery and come back even stronger. Though, I have never had surgery, I am not that nervous, because I know, in the end, it will get rid of the pain and I will be able to be more successful on the track, than, I ever thought imaginable.
My surgery will be taking place tomorrow and I plan to keep you all posted on, how everything goes, and share with you, my journey back to preforming next season! Crossing my fingers, it all goes well!
Hey everyone! So, if you didn’t know, I’m video editor for The Trailblazer at MNU.
This semester, we’re trying something we’ve never done before. We’re launching a video series called “Ask The Trailblazer,” where students can submit anonymous questions regarding anything (yes, anything) about MNU. Then, The Trailblazer chooses questions to find the answers to.
The videographers find the right people to interview, and get the answers to the questions you’ve always wondered, or the questions you’re too worried about asking in public.
We’re hoping to launch our first video in the next week or so.
I’m really excited about this video series, so if you have any questions, ASK!
Here are a few examples of things people have already submitted:
-Why do students have to get the unlimited meal plan?
-How to REs decide when open dorm hours are/why did they choose those times and days?
-Did MNU get Google Fiber? Are we using it?
So… if you have a question to ask, here’s the link to the Google Form that you can submit it anonymously!
This is mostly because I am now a part of four shows at MNU and all four were a part of my week this week.
I am super excited for Mousetrap! It is a show written by one of my favorite authors, Agatha Christie. It’s a murder mystery set in post WWII era London. I play Mollie who owns a guest house with her husband, Giles. The play begins with the opening of their guest house and as the play continues the audience sees how the young couple’s big plans are kind of interrupted by a murder investigation.
It’s an eight person cast which is incredibly fun because we get to know each other but it’s also incredibly difficult because we’re almost all on stage all the time. That means we have to be on our game and completely in control for the whole show.
Some other fun aspects are that Quinn is playing Giles so we get to be a couple on stage. It certainly makes stage kisses less awkward
I also get to talk in a British Accent which has been very difficult but I think I’m getting the hang of it. I’ve never had to do an accent for so long so it’s a nice personal challenge.
The show is going to be February 25th through 28th and tickets can be bought online. It would be a great show to go to if you want to have date night, or friend date night, girls night out, or just if you want to pretend to be Sherlock Holmes for a while and try to figure out “who done it.”
Enjoy some pictures that our director, Heather, took without us really realizing what she was doing.
2. Action Pact Improv Team/ The Complete History of the Old Testament in 20 Minutes
I have combined these two because they’re pretty much the same thing but also completely not. I am on Action Pact, MNU’s improv team that does improvised shows on campus but I am also on the travel team which does scripted shows as well as improv at churches in the area.
Thursday, we had an improv show on campus, which was incredibly fun. We tried Smith 200 as our venue that evening and it was great to have a larger stage.
Improv can really take you anywhere. At one point I was a chicken, another time I was a drunk alien, and of course, miming that I was giving a bath to Justin Bieber’s Demon pet dog was fun.
This is Elisa and Quinn doing a scene together. I honestly do not remember what it was about but this picture says a thousand words about the silliness that happens whenever our improv team gets together.
We also like going out together after shows with any audience members willing to put up with us for any length of time.
The improvised aspects of Action Pact are incredibly fun. The travel team is also fun, but it’s in a completely different ballgame.
This last Sunday night the travel team hoped in a giant white van and rolled down to Pleasanton, Missouri, a very pleasant town about an hour from MNU.
We enjoy singing to the radio loudly on the way to the churches as well as making decisions such as what games we’re going to play (if we need to play games), and where to stop for coffee so we don’t collapse from exhaustion before getting up to perform.
We performed in two services for the church we went to. The first service was in their main sanctuary where we performed “The Complete History of the Old Testament in 20 Minutes” which is an incredibly fun show.
There’s like a hundred characters so the six of us play multiple roles. I narrate a large portion of the show but also get to play fun characters such as Potiphar’s Wife and Delilah (yes, the team makes many jokes about that).
After we performed the show we played an improv game for the congregation and talked a little bit about what God is doing in each of our lives and on the MNU campus.
Their “Youth” service ended up being the youth plus the majority of their adults because so many members of their church wanted to see us do more improv. We played about four games with them and had a giant pizza and dessert party.
It’s great to fellowship with so many different people from different churches and share a little bit of joy with them. I never thought about theater as fitting so well into church until joining this team. It has certainly been an incredible experience.
3. Student Directed One Acts (It’s All About Lewis and Any Body for Tea)
Auditions for Student Directed One Acts were on Friday and the cast list came up on Monday.
Basically there are six students who are taking the “Directing and Play Productions” class that MNU offers so each of these six students are directing a one act play. All six plays will be performed in a huge festival that anybody can attend on March 31st and again on April 1st.
Since Quinn recently switched his major to be a Speech and Theater Education major, he is taking the class. I enjoy writing. Quinn needed a funny one act. It was a match made in heaven.
Over winter break I adapted a mini series that I had written into a one act play. I never really expected for the story to see the light of day so I was incredibly excited for the opportunity to get it up on its feet and in front of people.
It’s called “It’s All About Lewis” and it’s a comedy about a talk show host named Lewis Daily and the dysfunctional relationship he has with his show’s producer, Debora.
It was awesome to watch people audition for this show and see my script come to life. I can’t help but think what an incredible opportunity it is to get a little more exposure for my writing.
I auditioned for all of the one act plays and actually got cast surprisingly as Debora. It’s going to be an interesting challenge playing a character that I created. I also got cast in Elisa’s one act which is about a houseful of old women who begin killing each other off in order to get visited by the cute homicide detective who lives next door.
Both shows are going to be incredibly fun.
Auditions were awesome too. It was a whole bunch of cold readings and I got to play about a dozen different characters and watch others do the same. It was probably the most fun experience I have ever had at auditions.
Here are some guys who were giddy and running around being silly at Bell after auditions.
It’s going to be an awesome semester for theatre at MidAmerica.
I just enjoy the opportunity to be able to serve God through my love of theatre as well as build some great relationships with people from all different walks of life and who are studying in all sorts of different areas. Theatre brings people together and when we get together in joy to celebrate God and the opportunities he’s given us, we bring people joy and show off his amazing creativity.
It took me one and a half year to realize that I need a job. I knew that I was short on money after I saw what kind of books were required, but finding a job and organize it with my schedule took way longer. As an international student, you have to take different steps before you can get enrolled for a job on campus. The golden rule if you don’t want to be deported is: DO NOT WORK OFF CAMPUS!
I only have a student visa which means I can’t make money unless it happens while being involved with the school. I could do an internship since it is required for my classes, but other than that my options are pretty limited. After I figured that out, the Business Office told me that I have to get a Social Security Number – not that Germans don’t have one, but it is different from the system here. So one day, I went to the Social Security Office in Olathe. It opens at 9 am and when I arrived – German punctuality taken to another level – at 9:03 am, there was a line that ended where the street started. I had to fill out different documents (name, name of my parents, major, job on campus, etc.). I also had to bring my passport, my visa, and a letter from MNU. At the end, I received another letter that I had to give to Business Office followed by more and more paperwork, contracts, and signatures. Finally, I signed my Social Security card, and now I am working in the Kresge Center. The process was really long and confusing, but now I am glad that I did it.
I really enjoy working in the Kresge Center. I used to go there a lot during my freshmen year because all the different writing styles were too overwhelming for me and citing sources is not one of my favorite things to do. After a semester of Probability and Statistic, I was recommended as a math tutor. The only problem is that in Germany, we use different calculators and ways to write down equations. Also a decimal is written with a “,” and not a point, and in school I was never taught what the translation for “associative property of addition” is. So sometimes, I am more confused than the people I am supposed to tutor, but I keep learning these things as I go. It is actually really fun because there is nothing better than when somebody has this click-moment when everything makes sense and you know you were the person responsible for it!