Hey friends! So this is my first blog post and I am pretty excited! It has been a bit of journey this last year to say the least, but these last five weeks as a freshman have been so worth it!
So my journey starts (at least for the sake of this story) at a private Christian school in Shawnee, Kansas. It was my first day of school (literally I was in preschool). I don’t remember much, but that was the last time I went to a new school.
So you can imagine my excitement, fears, and anxiousness as I was in the process of choosing a college. I honestly had put off looking at schools altogether until around December of my senior year (which if you are in high school do not follow my example…YIKES!) I was blessed enough, however, to know what I wanted to study and do with my life. Around sophomore year of high school I decided I wanted to be some kind of counselor. I didn’t receive a sign, hear a crash of thunder, and the skies definitely did not open but I believed this was where God had given me my talents and passions.
Because of this decision, I felt like I needed to attend some kind of Christian university. I knew very little about different Christian colleges, especially MidAmerica. The only thing I knew about it was that it was some college really close to my house that all my Nazarene friends always talked about.
By March of my senior year, I had not even been on a college visit. As I am sure you can imagine I had a little freak-out. I remember thinking that MidAmerica wasn’t too far; I could just go one morning and visit. I had no intention of attending in the fall, but I didn’t have anything to lose. But after the tour and discussing the MNU experience with people in admissions, I really felt that there was something special about this campus, and I wanted to be apart of it.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy. Money and other obstacles seemed to get in my way. By graduation I had no idea where I was going to end up in the fall. But God is and was faithful to provide and allow me this opportunity! I was extremely nervous to come in August, but I have met so many amazing people and have created so many memories already!
Here are just a few of them I have had so far:
My beautiful hall girls all dressed up for White Light Event!
Part of our freshman seminar group… you know just workin out or maybe more like we found the gym on a scavenger hunt!
Thrift Store Prom!
And this is what I come home to in the dorms :)
Thanks for stopping by—
Follow me on twitter/instagram @haleyraydoo and follow MNU blogs @mnublogs
Once again, I am back in Kansas from California. I passed my Trusted Traveler interview and was granted a Sentri Pass! I was there Thursday-Sunday, and spent about 2 full days in the Amor Office in San Diego, so I kind of felt like I was on my own version of Ferris Bueller’s day off… except I spent my days in a cubicle teaching myself accounting and brainstorming fun ways I can fund-raise…and distracting all my friends in the process.
I got back on Sunday afternoon, so my friends and I visited our other friend who works at Target in Olathe… basically, I make a scene anywhere I go.
I am also campaigning for my good friend, Caitlin Wienck, to be Homecoming Queen! You can track my progress by searching the trending topic #WienckForQueenIn2013.
First things first: Girls will be girls…as boys will be boys…
There will be some nights when you just want to exile everyone in the dorm out onto the streets. There will be loudness; there will be chaos, and you can’t escape it…Uh-huh, nope! That’s the sweetness of living in a community style dorm. You’d think those cinder-block walls will block the sounds, but nah, that doesn’t keep everything out–you will hear your neighbor, whether you’re eavesdropping or you’re just lounging around; trust me, it will happen! There might be a game of hallway Frisbee (I played it last year…it was stinkin awesome!) Or…there might be people lounging in the halls, skyping or watching netflix. Either way, life will be unfolding–EVERYWHERE–right before your eyes. I’d suggest taking a breath, drinking some tea, and forgetting that silence ever even existed. It’s not too bad once you get the hang of it, and if it really bothers you, you can always invest in ear plugs. Or, you could join in–Hey, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!
Here’s a picture of what the hallways will look like!
The truth about the bathrooms.
I can’t say too much about the guys bathroom since I’ve never been inside of one, but I can say that they’ll probably look identical to the pictures I post below.
As you can see, the bathrooms are nice and clean (the cleaning ladies clean everyday, Monday-Friday.) But during those TWO days that the cleaning ladies are away, the bathroom turns into all-chaos! There will be pranks: Once, a few stalls had plastic wrap all over it. Another time, there was guacamole on the toilet seats.
People will leave their food in the sinks…*Sigh*….and they’ll remain there until a smelly odor arrives. The stalls WILL be clogged. I remember, last year, there was always this one stall that no one could use–it was like the toilet was allergic to toilet paper or something! It was excruciating. (Also, if any of those things do happen, tell your RA! He or She will know what to do!)
Also…please flush…no one wants to see all that nastiness!
The showers are also quite nice.
However, I can not stress enough, PLEASE wear shower shoes–you won’t regret it, I promise!
On each floor in Snowbarger, Lampher, Stockton and Rice, a laundry room will be provided.
There’s usually two washers and two dryers. Doing laundry is FREE–Praise the Lord–so don’t worry about bringing quarters. As long as you take care of the washers and don’t over fill, or under fill them, then they should work perfectly…for the most part.
AS a freshman, you’re freedom is a tad bit limited–not because we don’t trust you, but because we love you, and we want you to make good decisions. With that said, there will be a curfew, and you’ll be required to check in with you’re RA every night. Don’t worry too much, though! It’s not as bad as it seems, and if you’re doing what you’re supposed to do, then you’ll be fine!
Also, there is this thing called open hours; the times fluctuate depending on what year you are in. In other words, the campus has allowed days where the opposite sex can be in your room–which is awesome because you can hang out with your guy friends or girls friends without going to the lobby all the time.
The “Real” Reason Why Pets Aren’t Allowed.
Everyone one wants to bring their pets. Heck, everyday I think about going out and buying a dog. The truth is, life is lonely without your loyal companion, and no person can replace that. But honestly, it’s college! If you really sit down and think about it, when will you have time to feed, and let your animals out? They’ll feel neglected because you’ll never be home, and they’ll use the bathroom all over the place, and your neighbors will begin to complain about the smell coming from inside of your room. All of it is a hassle. If you really need to have someone to tell your inner thoughts to besides your favorite stuffed animal, you can always purchase a fish or a turtle! They don’t exactly have fur, and they don’t demand as much attention.
Meet my roommate and I’s fish. His name is Bubbles!
As always, I hoped my blog enlightened you on something new!
Adjusting to the college life and rhythm was a polite awakening. I remember moving in, meeting the guys in my hall, attending all the NSO (New Student Orientation) and Howdy Week events, going on 7/11 and Wal-Mart runs, and then waking up in the morning to go to class. The first week here was pretty packed, and it quickly began to wear on me. I actually started to get sick since my body was not rested enough! Stuffy and runny noses are no bueno. So, aware of the needs of my body, I made a lifestyle choice that I had never before done. If you read the title, I’m sure you can gather what I am talking about.
I had never done it before because I had never needed to. And besides, why sleep during the day (the exception being sleeping in haha)? Anyway, taking “Nazarene naps” (naps that Nazarenes take on Sundays after church) or naps of any sort for that matter, it never was something that was appealing to me until, I experienced going to sleep late and waking up early for an extended/continued period of time.
Now, at least in the social circles that I have seen and am a part of, staying up late and hanging out by: playing Ping-Pong,
The beloved Ping Pong table.
watching TV or movies,
We watched this last night/early this morning!
playing video games,
Nightwing- my favorite character from the video game: Injustice.
studying (cramming) for tests the next day
A couple pages from my Greek Textbook
, AND getting up in the morning for class, those things are rather normal.
Normal and fun? Without a doubt. Always wise? Well… maybe not. Unless naps are taken!
Let me say this:
The individual needs rest.
Naps provide rest for the individual.
Naps are a good thing.
Scripture says that “every good and perfect gift is from above…” (James 1:17).
Therefore, naps are heavenly.
You’re welcome; I’m a Religion major that is currently taking a philosophy class.
Seriously though, sleep is super!
Conversely, a lack of sleep just stinks! Being tired and sleepy during a lecture or test during the day is also no bueno or pleasant. My parents and I are paying a few pretty pennies for me to attend school here, not being fully present and awake during the actual school part of school is not a wise choice. Hence, rest is important!
For whatever reason, God has created us to function as creatures/beings/persons that take hours of every day to be knocked out, helpless, and somewhat unconscious. Grant it, God has used the time of sleep in the past to speak to several people in the form of dreams. So I suppose sleep has that going for it. Now, just based off of that, I’m not sure whether or not there will be sleeping in heaven. On this earth? Of course. In heaven? Eh, I do not think so. But since God did choose to rest after speaking the universe into existence, it could be that in heaven there are at least some comfortable couches lying around!
Well that’s enough from me for today friends. I hope your weekend goes well and that you stay-or if you’re not-get rested. Take a nap or two! Your body and mind (and probably spirit) will thank you!
Peace in the Middle East, farewell, and ’till next time!
Mario Paul Flores
Here are some of my favorite psalms, I especially like to pray them! Hopefully they can be a blessing to you as well!
Psalm 86:15 “You oh Lord are a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”
Psalm 25:4 “Make me to know Your ways oh Lord, teach me Your paths.”
Well, in honor of Throwback Thursday, let’s take a trip down the memory lane of Joseph Blake Alligier
Starting off I was born premature at 27 weeks, addicted to illegal substances, and I also had a brain atrophy. In short I wasn’t supposed to live and when I did, I was not supposed to walk, talk, or really function in a sufficient manner. Little did the world know, this is where my life would start.
*fun fact- my biological mother is 4ft 8in, Caucasian, has blonde hair, green eyes, and no recollection of who my father is. Just let that sink in and then take a gander at my features…
Shortly after I was born I was adopted by my Great Aunt Karen, who from this point on would be; “Mom” and the best one I could ask for at that. Another twist in the plot is that my name changed. It went from being Izrael (Izzy) DeShawn to Joseph Blake (Joey was chosen based on the premise of a nurse’s comment and a babysitter’s dream) after official adoption. I like this change as well. About three years later we adopted my half sister Brieana (same biological mother, different dad). Yes, you got it, my Mom was brave enough to adopt two kids Oh, and did I mention she was 48 at this point and divorced with 2 other kids already basically raised.
Yes, yes, she is a superhero. Mom by day and Mom by night.
As my life progressed I was extremely blessed. I was raised in the church, attended a private school for 6 years, and the Lord always provided.
From the pictures above you can see I may have been a bit too blessed…..
Let’s just say my cup, or in this case plate, runneth over. From 2nd grade to about mid junior year of high school my weight fluctuated. Whether from delicious fast food brought in by the private school to having a “too-comfortable” attitude while having a girlfriend during my sophomore and junior year of high school. Below is the time span of all four years.
Some parts of my story are definitely more serious than others, but they both serve a purpose. My life has been formed by my story and where I have “traveled” in my own little Haysville, Kansas world. Sports, extra-curriculars, clubs, organizations, friends, family, struggles all have played their part in who I am today. In the search to find out who I am, with mistakes and successes, I have learned to lean on the Lord and his promises; even when I wondered off the path of the Christian life and had NO idea what I was doing.
*this is all an overview and not necessarily the depths of my story, FEEL FREE TO ASK QUESTIONS!
Needless to say, I am a changed man today. I owe all of it to the Lord’s choice of vessels in the foundations I obtained when I was younger and through the years and also to MidAmerica. I can truly say my time here has helped me to take a 180 degree turn in a lot of areas. This summer was ESPECIALLY a part of that. The best part is that I’m still growing with no plans of relenting. I’ll keep going where He leads me #fuhdayz.
In the midst of the #throwbackthursday you have seen the past of my life in multiple facets. I hope it gives you some sense of satisfaction; maybe the sick kind of seeing my fat pictures or the joyful kind of seeing my superhero of a mother.
Take a second this week to take a look into your own life and the people who share in the same community and “Kick it Old School” by reminiscing on your fat pictures or hopefully how God has transformed you.
Keep on and keep God,
*for more fat pictures and other information on my life check out my Instagram- @praya_warrior
After nearly 22 years of living, 18 years of schooling, 9 years of serving in Mexico, 4 years of college, 2 years of pursuing a degree in Marketing, and a 2 month application and interview process…
I HAVE A JOB AFTER GRADUATION!
This all started as a dream when I was 13. I went on a missions trip with my church to Juarez to build a house and decided that was what I wanted to do with my life. After my freshman year, I did an internship called Project Nexus (read about it here: http://www.amor.org/join/field/nexus.) It was the best decision of my life. Here is me as a Nexus with a Seasonal Staff Member, Jono (who is from Australia!)
I loved Nexus so much that I came back as a Seasonal (just like Jono) and worked managing various house-building projects for about 3 months.
I loved my time in Mexico as a Seasonal, and I wanted to go back, but I had to spend last summer doing a marketing internship… So Amor created one for me! and I still got to work in Mexico! My dad and brother and brother’s friend came to visit me this time and built a house in 3 days- Read more here! http://www.amor.org/trips/individual/mexico
I decided at the end of my internship to apply for a full time position, and got it! whoop! soooo… tomorrow I’m flying to San Diego for a Sentri interview (trusted traveler) to help out with getting across the border and to visit the office and get some fundraising materials. My position is 100% support raised and I’m so excited!! (if you can’t tell)
Blog World, it’s true: Today, my blog has no direct theme and is full of random information.
Random information, in which, I hope you find helpful…
I think the scariest thing about moving away from home, and onto a college campus, would be living with someone you don’t know.
For the next nine months, you get to share your personal space with a complete, and total, stranger. However, it’s not as scary as it seems. A roommate can be someone you confide in, someone you share many laughs with, and someone you will remember for the rest of your life. When It comes to choosing a roomie, I’d suggest choosing wisely. I’ve heard sooo many terrible stories about rooming with a best friend. It turns out, living with someone you already know, can create a dent in a good friendship. I’m not saying it won’t work out, but I’d be very careful when it comes to rooming with a best friend. When filling out your housing information for MNU, there is an option to choose a random roommate! There, you are given the option to find a roommate who–hopefully–has the same qualities as you. For example: Messy/Super organized, Early-bird/Night owl ect. Again, these things aren’t exact, but at least you get some say in your rooming situation.
Communication is Key: If your roommate does something that bugs you, let him/her know immediately. Mis-communication is one of the BIGGEST problems people face.
Create a list of rules together: That way, nothing is left unsaid. If you feel like your room is messy and needs to be cleaned, create a chart! If you think there should be certain hours to have friends over, write it down!
Build friendships outside of the room: The MNU community is insanely amazing. The people here are nice–most of them ;)–and I’m sure they wouldn’t mind having you tag along. It’s good to have a few friends to fall back on–just in case life gets sour with your roommate.
Have Fun: Throw parties together! Invite friends over! Get creative. Remember: college only happens once in a lifetime–for most people–make the most of it!
Also: Your college experience probably won’t be anything like the movie, The Roommate…Just saying.
Academics At MNU are no joke! The professors here are incredible, and have been taught to teach to everyone’s needs.
The class options are almost endless. With it being my second year here as an English Education major, the reality of being an “actual” college student is finally sinking in on me. As a freshman, it was so easy to slack of, and procrastinate till I couldn’t procrastinate anymore. I was the queen of staying up late and getting work done…or not doing anything at all. It took me a year to realize that I was the only person paying for my college education. My parents weren’t helping, distant relatives weren’t helping, It was ALL me (plus the scholarships that MIdAmerica had offered.) But I realized, It’s not like public school, when I graduate, I will have loans to pay off, and I want those loans to be something I worked hard for! With that said, I’ve been spending long hours in the library doing homework and studying. I’m trying my best to get everything done on time!
Caffeine and I have officially became best friends!
This actually isn’t even coffee, It’s Apple Cider from Dewey’s (The Campus Starbucks!)
I felt the need to share a piece of my life with you! I spent my first weekend off campus this week. It was weird because I didn’t actually go home, I was staying with a woman who attends my church. She lives by herself–for now anyway. Her husband is in Serbia!–in a little cottage in Kansas City, and she has this really BIG dog named Malena–she was such a sweetheart. Anyway, I guess there really is no moral to this story. The entire weekend I watched the TV show, Bones. I enjoyed it; it has a great story line and all…but I’d rather watch Supernatural! (Woot! Woot!) I’m probably mildly obsessed with that show–I don’t know if that’s healthy or not…but who cares? Also, this weekend I took a ton of pictures! I’ll post some of them below.
P.S. I know I said I was going to post a Spindle room tour this week, but my apartment is a mess! My suite-mates and I have been uberly busy! Next week I’ll have two videos up–I promise!
Till Next Time!
While I was waiting for my ride on Friday afternoon, I took this snap shot!
Malena: The dog that followed me around all weekend!
The Sunday morning sun! I guess I was feeling really inspired…
FIRST OF ALL, you gotta watch the video. Then read the text below.
So Tuesday I forgot to say was Dodgeball! Also, Dumpster diving is legal, and Krispy Kreme throws away perfectly packaged donuts every night……. All I’ll add to that is that my sweet tooth has been satisfied…. Be well friends and make good decisions!
I haven’t ever been a huge fan of the idea of “Shew-lll”
I mean, the idea of going to a brick, cement building at a time my eyes longed to observe the intricate design of my eyelids just sounds like… (Insert pun of boring, meticulous, soul-stealingventure).
NOT A CHOICE FAVORITE.
However, if school could be the social aspect, I think I would be down. If it could be similar to New Student Orientation week here at MNU, I would love it. Volleyball tournaments and slip n’ slides FUHDAYZ! Or maybe if it were similar to Bayside High, that would be awesome! Have you ever seen Saved by the Bell? The homework is minimal, the principal is the bomb, and it has events all the time. PLUS the shenanigans.
Now, I know this isn’t Bayside, home of the Tigers and no, we don’t have The Max as an after school hangout. BUT this is MidAmerica and we do have Campus Center and Spicy Chicken Thursdays; I’d say it’s a good trade-off.
Besides that we have diverse, interactive classes, an amazing president in Dr. Spittal, and coincidentally we have events all the time. Plus, have you seen some of the pranks? FUHDAYZ! Maybe we are similar to Bayside and maybe I do look like Mario Lopez…
At least a little…?
I know, I know, the main difference is that our hair is molded different directions!
As I said I never really liked the whole idea of organized schooling and the work associated. So, I decided to take all major-specific classes this semester:
Arabic, Randy Cloud: We are learning about the culture and intricasies of the Arabic people along with some language, but not very much. It’s so interesting to separate my preconceived ideas from what is true. We have guest speakers, field trips, and FOOD!
Introduction to Christian Mission, Dean Flemming: The basis of this class is not just international missionary work. It’s about digging deeper into what our mission is, no matter the area we are called to. The discussion here is superb along with Dr. Dean’s fashion choices. (Follow the trend on Twitter: #drdeanfashionshow)
Organizational Leadership, Yorton Clark: This is an upper level class where I am the only sophomore.. It was pretty intimidating at first, but I absolutely love leadership and business so now I fit pretty well (I think..) We are reading interesting books and simply defining different types of leaders and how success is brought about.
Social and Cultural Anthropology, Bo Cassell: This class is all about learning how to dig into other cultures and what it looks like to make connections between past, present, and future. We watch alllll kinds of videos and have group forums.
Urban Ministries, Tammy Condon: I love the idea of an urban setting! We are learning what that setting looks like, where it came from, and where our place is in it. I love observing the different mindsets we all have toward another group of individuals God’s love is sometimes far from, or at least they think so. We have a lot of discussion and we have field trips planned as well!
So, I guess school isn’t too bad now. It’s so cool to see how all my classes fit together and feed off of each other. I’ll learn something in Intro to Christian Mission that is COMPLETELY applicable in Urban Ministries. My professors are awesome and my class sizes help me to get involved. The best part, however, is that these classes are helping me find out more about Christ, His people, and what my actions should look like in regards to that.
So I may not get the chance to be stacked like Mario Lopez or be a Bayside Tiger,
but Land Gym is my where I’m on my workout flow and I’m proud to be a Pioneer
Keep on and keep God,
*Once again, let me know if you have any topics you would like to have discussed or what parts of my inner most being you want me to spill on here rather than just on Twitter!