Well we have reached February finally. It’s a new year, new semester, so I thought I would bring you an update from my second semester at MNU.
My classes are relatively more challenging compared to last semester, however I have found them pretty enjoyable. My schedule goes:
MWF: Orientation to Psych, Old Testament, Life Span Development, Human Sexuality (let me tell you that one is quite an interesting/awkward/exciting class, if you are a psych major this may be one you may want to take)
T/Th: Physical Science and Prob and Stats
So that is what I have been up to lately. Between classes, nannying, and school events, you could probably find me in a study room at the library with some good friends. (And as short of a walk as it is… I will most definitely be driving as long as it going to be soooo cold!)
Another place you could find me this semester is watching basketball. Whether it be Sunday/Monday night intramural boys basketball, or our Pioneer boys demolishing Baker, you could find me cheering on the sidelines!
Yes we take pictures of ourselves instead of the game. Go ‘Neers!
Also there are some awesome things to do in Kansas City on the weekends! Last night you could have found me at Winter Jam! And it was awesome! I think my ears may still be ringing!
Ya no big deal or anything, but the drummer for Newsboys was spinning at a 90 degree angle… Crazy!
It was an awesome night of praising the Lord with the talents He has given to us.
Oh hey Lecrae
I also like to watch movies and hangout with some of my favorite girls.
From Left to Right: Mckenna (my roomie), Rachel, Me, and Randi
Also this semester has already consisted of more Applebee’s half-priced apps runs.
So that is about it… nothing too crazy but hopefully you get the idea of a pretty busy but fun semester already!
“We were created with the capacity to live life one day at a time. So make it to where your work load will only be that of one day.”
I confess that lately I have been rather stressed and disheveled with my schedule, roles, and responsibilities. But if the afore mentioned quote is truth, then I believe that with effort, diligence, and discipline-balance and peace of mind are possible.
So, paying attention to my schedules from school, church, and work I’m working to do this.
I have learned friends that in: staying up late (and not being able to sleep in with 8 and 9am classes-the struggle is real), not keeping up with assigned readings for consecutive days at a time, treating studying as a chore and not as an opportunity-an opportunity to please, serve, and worship the Lord-if all those negative things are done, feelings of being overwhelmed, high stress and high potential for breakdown are highly likely to take place.
I’m confident that nobody wants any of that.
Sure there is such a thing as eustress (stress that is actually good for you). Okay, I’ll concede that, but friends if we can manage our time wisely and focus on putting “first things first”, stress that has no benefit will affect us less negatively. Life will be more enjoyable and fuller.
“Take care of yourself.”-Wise words.
Peace in the Middle East friends! Know that you’re loved,
Mario Paul Flores.
PS Here are some moments from the past week I wanted to share with y’all:
This is just a wee bit colder than the 80 degree weather back home. But trust me when I say that I will take 10 degree weather over 100 degrees anytime (anytime as in I have warm enough clothes for it)
I’m continuing to learn Greek! The Top line says “God I love.” and the bottom says “The Lord Christ I love.”
Here’s the man that’s teaching myself and others Greek. And yes, Randy is trying on yet another hat.
I like seeing snow outside the window :D
Let it snow…as long as driving conditions can remain safe that it is.
I’ve mapped out my planner (This is just two pages of the 3 months worth of work I did! Credit to Jamie for her persuading motivational speech to manage my time more efficiently! Organization Station I might be on my way! Maybe… Hopefully…
First off, here’s a pic from the wonderful, coveted by some, loved by most, native to the West Coast: In-N-Out Burger:
Their menus are so simple, yet so efficiently lovely. (not sure if efficiently is a word, but there’s no squiggly red line underneath it so I think I’m good!) AND this was taken just before flying back here to Kansas.
And then when I got back early, for RA training, one of our RE’s who I will just say is from California himself, and also a lover of In-N-Out, shared with us some wisdom over the Spring semester. Wisdom that was only amplified by the wearing of a Spider-Man costume.
Another great opportunity I’ve had hear at MNU is to work in the Office of University Advancement. It’s lovely white collar work for me, a mere assistant: Making thank you calls to donors, taking out trash, emptying shredders, folding thank you letters, vacuuming, etc. Oh and taking a selfie since I dressed up for fancy Friday (though that’s not necessarily a real thing…)
Of course, Randy Cloud fears not trying on new things as head gear. Even if it’s KC Wolf and one that belongs to one of his students-which it wasn’t mine.
He was helping me review my Greek Alphabet while I took this pic.
This is the book that Bo Cassel, the Department Chair of Sociology, wrote.
That’s it for this week folks! For now, Peace in the Middle East!
And there will be peace when He returns:D
Oh and here’s an American Idol contestant that I’ve had a few people say looks like me…
Obviously he sings better than me though, and is more handsome…
Blog world: It’s finals week. I’m not going to bore you with another post about it, but I did just kill my Strategic Management final. Whoop!
Strategic Management is the business capstone, and I learned so much in it that I couldn’t even begin to tell you about how awesome of a class it was. However, after taking my final, I feel pretty confident about the information I learned.
Has anyone been on Facebook lately? Can anyone tell me why I’ve read more about yoga pants than the fight for world peace in the last 3 months? I’ve seen so many religious/Biblical arguments on the subject, most of which are against wearing the polyester/spandex blend articles of clothing.
First of all, I don’t know why everyone has to agree one way or another about everything all the time. But since I’m forced to pick a side, I’m going to refrain from using Biblical references to manipulate my audience. The word of God doesn’t have much to say on Yoga pants specifically, so I’m not going to mold it to defend what I think it should defend. Instead, I’m going to walk you through everything I’ve learned in my Strategic Management class and bring hopefully a refreshing perspective.
Without further adieu, I present
What Strategic Management taught me about Yoga Pants
So in my class, we had to read 1. a text book, 2. Seven Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen Covey, and 3. Good to Great by Jim Collins. The source of my information comes from those three books and the infinite wisdom of Dr. Jamie Myrtle.
In Covey’s book, the first habit of 7 is Be Proactive. The big idea is that our basic nature is to act, not to be acted upon. Holding people responsible for their actions is not demeaning, it is affirming. Don’t be scared off because of the language I’m about to use, because I’ll break it all down. Covey talks about the theories of determinism, aka, why we become who we become. Genetic determinism says “I am who I am because of my heritage or genetic makeup,” Psychic determinism says “I am who I am because of my upbringing and childhood circumstances,” and Environmental determinism says “I am who I am because of the environment around me.”
So there are a lot of things that can determine who we are if we allow them to. When we live using a reactive paradigm, this is essentially what it looks like.
“Something else caused my reaction.” This is a victim mentality.
Covey talks about the space between the Stimulus and the Response. We have the freedom to choose. This is called being proactive. The model looks like this:All that to say, no one can force you to do anything. You have the opportunity to choose. Just because your mother makes chocolate chip cookies doesn’t mean you have to eat them. Just because someone cuts you off in traffic doesn’t mean your day is ruined. Just because a girl wears yoga pants doesn’t mean you have to lust after her. Similarly, just because a girl is wearing yoga pants doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable. The freedom to choose, friends. Look away. Are yoga pants form fitting? Yes. Are skinny jeans? Yes. The thing here is that they cover more than most shorts, skirts, or dresses. I’m not seeking to condemn, I’m just telling you how it is. People are going to wear these pants whether you rant about it on Facebook or not. Nobody’s forcing you to wear them, therefore: let’s not waste time and energy trying to force people out of them either.
In the book Good to Great, Collins talks about good vs. great leaders. There are 5 levels of leadership, as pictured below.
Throughout the text, Collins compares level 4 and level 5 leaders. When things are going wrong inside an organization, a Level 4 Leader will “look out the window” to find it, or push blame on others. He/She will also “look in the mirror” when things are going well. This is where Level 4 and 5 leaders contrast.
Level 5 leaders look out the window to apportion credit to factors outside themselves when things go well (and if they cannot find a specific person or event to give credit to, they credit good luck). At the same time, they look in the mirror to apportion responsibility, never blaming bad luck when things go poorly.
When things in your life aren’t going well, do you look to yourself first, or to the outside world? If you are struggling with lust, do you first cast blame on all the yoga-pant wearing girls around you that you have no control over, or do you examine your own heart? If you are insecure about your body, do you blame the media or other girls who rock yoga pants, or do you look to the real issue: your own heart?
Don’t be thrown off by what I’m about to say.
The Macro-environment effects you. The external, uncontrollable factors in the environment will influence your decisions. We can evaluate which are the relevant factors in the macro-environment through a PESTEL analysis.
Political factors (taxes)
Economic conditions (local to worldwide, age distribution)
Sociocultural forces (ethnic values, family structure, cultural attitudes)
Technological factors (updates in cellphones, computers, electronics)
Environmental factors (the natural environment)
Legal/regulatory conditions (new legislature)
Hang with me.. it’s about to get easier. Okay so when we think about all of these factors, it totally makes sense that yoga pants are booming in the US of A, specifically in Economic and Sociocultural forces. People are busier than ever. Women are working and child-rearing. With the rise of divorce, there are many single, working moms. One of the things I like about fashion is that it follows societal trends, not the other way around. Due to all of this, women feel more free to wear their workout clothing in the midst of picking up groceries from the store while the kids are at soccer practice after working 8-5 with a 30 minute workout at the gym over lunch. Fashion followed this- it is now trendy to wear yoga pants in public. The factors in the macro-environment have led to the popularity of comfortable, chic, informal clothing. If you just don’t like the trend, that’s a completely other argument. If you think there is a moral issue with the trend, then you are saying there is a moral issue with the entire society, and your yoga-pants argument is illogical. Fight what the real issue is here, such as women raising children on their own- volunteer to help some single moms in your community.
Okay it’s time to land this plane. As I know that everyone will continue to argue this subject, I would like to assist you in doing so. In Covey’s novel, he discusses a Win-Win character. Here are the 6 fundamental attitudes about conflict you can have in life.
Win-Win: Both interests are met
Win-Lose: I win, you lose
Lose-Win: Victim mentality, people pleasing
Lose-Lose: War. 2 people who won’t back down from their interests
Win: I don’t care what you lose, I just win
Win-Win or no deal: Both interests are met regardless of how long it takes to work it out
The point is this. People are more likely to hear your point of view if you listen to theirs first. There is difference between listening and waiting to respond. Be sure to stop formulating your argument to listen to the interests of those around you. Maybe we can find common ground this way instead of an ageless argument.
Okay so that’s what I learned this semester. I’d like to thank Professor Myrtle for the wisdom. Peace, Love and Yoga Pants.
So, right now I am currently at Starbucks.. drinking coffee.. and studying for the 4 finals, added on with 3 unit tests that I have.
In college, for me at least, coffee shops and MNU’s library are two of my favorite places to be. Lately, I have spent a lot of my time at both of these places. For me today, Starbucks has taken a little bit of the stress off of the insane amount of information I have to cram into my brain this week. So thank you Starbucks!
Also, this is maybe one of the only places that I get wifi…so that’s cool.
This past week/weekend was just full of everything Christmas! Let me show you guys some pictures:
SANTA! He came to the Merc! If you don’t know what the Merc is, it’s our merchandise store located in our Campus Center.
On this past Thursday night, my friend Jazmine and I had a movie night and we made coffee in our room! It might have been a slight mistake though because it was around 10:00 p.m. when we made it. Lets just say that I was up pretty late that night. But it was delicious, so it was definitely worth it! This isn’t really Christmassy, but I thought i’d share with you guys my coffee masterpiece.
This is a picture from our Freshman Christmas sweater party! I came a little late so I missed out on the dance party, which was really upsetting, but other than that it was a wonderful time! There was hot cocoa, egg nog, snacks, and our MNU improv team (Action Pact) came and did an improv show for us! Okay, I know what you’re thinking.. “Who is this super attractive lady with a Rudolf nose coming out of her mouth?” Well my friends, this is my RA Faith Koker. She is the bomb. I mean just look at her. :]
To start the Christmas season off right, some of my friends and I decided to watch Elf this weekend! I think I have maybe seen this movie 15 times, but it never ever gets old. :]
MNU also got some snow this weekend! It was a really light snow so we barely got any at all, but it was still snow! Which makes it feel even more like Christmas! I also took this picture in our piano rooms and I thought it really captured just how beautiful they are. Well, I think they’re beautiful at least. I do find myself spending a lot of my time in here as well as in the library and Starbucks. :] You can also kind of see the little bit of snow we got on top of the roof of my dorm outside the window.
Well guys, I don’t know about you, but I am ready to be done with this week, not just because it’s finals week, but because that means next week is the start of Christmas break! It’s going to be wonderful having a whole month off to see my family and friends again. I will definitely miss my MNU family though.
Yup, that’s where I’ve been for the last two weeks.
I’ve been talking myself out of endless assignments because if it’s due tomorrow, I’ll do it tomorrow–not joking.
I mean, the art of procrastination is an intense skill. I’ve been trying to procrastinate procrastinating, but I’m even failing at that. It’s just that procrastinating has become such a huge part of my life…I’m not sure what my world would be like without it.
It would just be weird…you know?
So with the help of a few Tumblr Gifs, I can accurately walk you through the current phases of my life as I brace finals week head-on.
As we all know, procrastination is a cycle that looks a lot like this:
Now, once you’ve entered the cycle, it’s obvious that there are no exits. I can admit, I’ve actually tried to break the cycle–it’s harder than it looks, seriously–but somehow I get sucked back in. Just the other day I was telling myself how I was going to write my speech three days before hand.
But then this happened…
Now three days have passed, and here I am…writing my speech less than twenty-four hours before it’s due.
It’s like no one understands! I can’t help that I get distracted and suddenly develop ADD while I’m doing homework….It just happens…okay.
And we’re not even going to mention those assignments that profs slip in at the end of class….
Like, was that even on the syllabus? IT’S DUE TOMORROW? WHAT IS LIFE????!!!
Then I find myself like this…
Because I don’t want to stay up all night writing a twenty-page book report.
And If I get that paper done before midnight….
Welp, you’re darn skippy that I’m going to look a whole lot like that image above because no one wants to pull an all-nighter, and if they say they do….well, then they obviously don’t value sleeping like the rest of the college students I know.
So, there you have it, folks! Here’s Procrasti-Nation at it’s finest…have you joined yet? Ha, I know I sure have.
But, seriously, I really have to get off this blog because even as we speak, I have a whole lot homework to do.
The following pics of trees and their leaves may not be interesting to those of y’all who are familiar with the Midwestern Fall seasons, if that’s the case with you, good for you that you got to live and experience such beauty for so long!!
Look at that color that contrasts so well with the tree right beside it!
So this photo and the one right before it were actually the first fall pics I took and I even sent home last year to my folks! Even though this wasn’t so new to them:P Also, right behind the orangey pinkish tree is Lunn, that’s where I work! To the left of the photo is where I walked past in my first vlog on my way to Campus Center!
So here’s pic1 of a red leaved tree right outside Weatherby chapel.
Here’s pic2 of that same tree right outside Weatherby. Friends even the leaves die beautifully here!
Here’s one in transition that’s just outside Metz.
Anyone else think this is shweeet!?
And just a taste of winter with this frozen leaf!
Now some of you may be thinking, “This guy is just another typical California tree hugger…” Well… for the record I have never hugged a tree. But I am proud to say that I recycle paper!! Genesis 1:29-30, God had Adam and Eve take care of the earth with all its living creatures, so I’m secure in whatever judgments you make:P
Onto to Randy Cloud:
Here’s Randy in Philosophy. He never hesitates to do things out of the ordinary in order to help us remember that which we need to.
In this case we were learning about Emmanuel Kant. Kant helped introduce people to the idea that it is our reason that interprets what our senses tells us regarding reality. Yes, I was paying attention
As astonishingly intelligent Prof Randy is, he said that “I just grabbed the first marker available” It wasn’t so bad having a sharpie mark on his forehead, but he was going to be meeting with some higher-up administration people that afternoon. I’m sure it went well regardless:P
“I know where everything is in my office. If you moved something, I’d know.” I still haven’t gotten the courage to test his proud proclamation. Also my friend Tyler Hall is in this pic. We were both waiting for Randy (Our Advisor) to help us with scheduling next semester’s classes.
Randy: So I think I’ve figured out what I’ll do to my office to allow room for more books. Me: Randy you’re crazy– Randy: I’m just going to remove the ceiling tiles and install shelves that will hang down. It’ll be great. Me: Randy do you think you’re a hoarder? Randy: No. I just really am a lover of books and have a hard time parting with them….which could lead to hoarding…
Here’s him not yet ready for a picture.
And here’s Prof. Cloud, this time ready and posing with his “Miley Cyrus face”.
As an English education Major…as an education major, period, there are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to where you want to teach. I like to divide them into a few categories: suburban, rural, inner-city, and top-notch schools (which can be found in either of the other categories.)
Growing up in the inner-city, I’ve always felt it was my calling to return back home when it was my time to teach. I’ve consistently felt the urge to give back to my community, to show those students love who don’t always receive it at home, and to build relationships there.
I have always known where I want to be, as far as teaching-wise, but I had to be sure. Thus, I found myself venturing off, with the education department, to the South West, Kansas (a good 6 and a half hours away…with a few stops, of course.)
We stayed at a Comfort Inn. It was nice! And it was my first time in a hotel!
As a sophomore, this was a little out of my comfort zone. I haven’t been accepted into the education program, and yet, I was attending a Common Core* meeting with hundreds of other teachers. It was bananas! I could imagine being right there–in that audience full of teachers- in a few years when I receive my teaching diploma and graduate from college. I wasn’t anywhere close to home, but, somehow, this felt like home to me.
A speaker from the Common Core meeting.
I’m not gonna lie, I hadn’t been there for more than three hours when I, along with two other students, were offered a job. We were allstunned. This guy didn’t even know us, but he was willing to take down our name, number, and set up an interview with his superintendent. Sadly, we had to pass up the job offer because, frankly, neither one of us were in the position to be teaching other people.
Surprisingly, I liked the rural town a lot. The longer I stayed there, the quicker I found myself adjusting to the life style (well, sort-of.) On the last day, in the middle-of-nowhere-Kansas, I had the chance to tour a few different schools, and for a short moment, I could almost in-vision myself staying in that little town forever.
The principles, and superintendents were awesome, and I wouldn’t mind working side-by-side with them. They even joked of marrying us off if I, or any other student, came to work there. They said they were joking, but we all knew they were quite serious about it. If I could keep a fantastic teacher in my school district, I’d find them a spouse, and keep them in my town forever, too!
But every rural district has its pros and cons
-People are friendly (But seriously, I’m not even kidding. They welcomed us with open arms.)
-There’s land everywhere
-Class sizes aren’t too large. (There’s less distractions, and easier to get through an entire lesson plan.)
-Christianity is openly communicated. (Which is stinkin amazing!)
-The cost of living was cheaper. ( I was practically sold on that alone. Two-hundred dollars for rent–that’s heavenly.)
-It’s easier to build relationships with students.
-There’s too much land. (If land sickness was possible, I probably would have caught that.)
-Some class sizes are way too small. (At an elementary school I had visited, the fourth grade class had four girls. Just imagine if half of your class was gone with the flu.)
-It smelled like animal everywhere!
-It was too far from home.
-teachers had extra duties. (such as coaching, or teaching after school classes, etc.)
After processing this information, I knew, for sure, that a small town wasn’t for me.
By the end of the trip, I missed the city so much, and once I was back in Olathe, I couldn’t imagine being in a small town ever again.
The rural setting isn’t for everyone–it definitely wasn’t for me–but I’m glad I had the opportunity to do such thing. The trip opened my eyes to new ideas, and I was given the chance that many other students don’t have.
If the opportunity to travel with the education department every arises, I suggest you take it and run!
It’s almost a one-in-a-lifetime kind of thing!
As always, talk to you next week!
*The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a U.S. education initiative that seeks to bring diverse state curricula into alignment with each other by following the principles of standards-based education reform