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Community - 2/14 - MNU Blogs

Div Tosinglo

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February 28, 2016

Taking a break from community, but not breaking away from it.

February 28, 2016 | By | No Comments

I love being around people. I love all the sharing that goes on. From sharing stories, frustrations, weird dreams, class discussions, passions, desires, who’s cute, who’s not, the list goes on and on. I believe community makes us better for each other. But could there also be a season of cutting back on people time, and increasing solitude time.

In the book of Ecclesiastes King Solomon has reached old age, and writes what I would call a  “this is what I’ve learned” book. His guidance sound much like one a grandfather would give his grandchildren. My favorite chapter in the book, and possibly even throughout scipture is Ecclesiastes 3:1-6

A Time for Everything

3 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

When I read this I hear Grandpa Solomon say that life is lived out through seasons. I hear him say no one season defines the entirety of your life. I hear him say all is healthy to go through if carefully balanced out.

I needed this truth as I toyed with the idea of solitude. I feared that I would come to enjoy not being around people so much that I’d never want to be social again. But this verse speaks truth to me. We live in and out of seasons. And this is my season to pull back, and find God in the solitude.

I think the comforting understanding that this new season is one God has lead me to, and when it’s time He’ll lead me out of it.

 

 

Div Tosinglo

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February 12, 2016

VALENTINE’S DAY MEANS….

February 12, 2016 | By | 2 Comments

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When we were younger Valentine’s Day meant getting lots of candy, Hannah Montana stickers (pre -wrecking ball Miley was DABOMB.COM) Valentine’s Day meant buying candy the night before, then praying that your classmates didn’t buy the same kind, but most importantly Valentine’s Day was the victorious feeling you felt at the end of the day. You know that feeling you felt when you came home with a backpack full of cavities, I mean candy.

By the time we reached high school it was less about how much candy you could get, but more about if you’d be watching “The Notebook” with a big spoon and a big bucket of ice cream or a significant other.

Now we’re in college and I was curious to know where we stand with Valentine’s Day. So I took to campus, and asked students to share what Valentine’s Day meant to them.

Alexis Cara

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“It isn’t Valentines day, it’s single awareness day.”

Melissa Johnson

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“I hate Valentine’s day.”

Avery Sunnarborg

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“Don’t forget to send a can of crush, and there is hope in chocolate.”

Kelsey Kennedy

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“Why celebrate love one day when you have 364 more days to do so?”

Shay Foster

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“It’s way too Americanized. Don’t blow it out of proportion.”

Emma Bowers

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” I think valentines day is stupid, but I do love the cheap candy on February 15th.”

Jonny Melton

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“I ignore it, because I’ve been single for a very long time.” Like How? He’s a good-looking man! MNU ladies get this man off the market (Low-key shout-out for MNU Mingle)

David Luna

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“Sadly, we live in a culture that makes it all about sex.”

Jazmine Navarro

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“I love it only because I love Chocolate. Campus center goes all out!” She then pops a few chocolate covered M & M’S in her mouth.

Matthew Smith

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“I think Valentines Day is a good way to get guys to spend money on girls. Are you going to use my name in this blog?” HEHEHE….. I’m kidding of course I told him I would… I think.

Leah Messamer

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“This Morning My Professor prayed that this weekend especially we would keep love in the same manner that God intended. I like that one.”

What do I think about Valentine’s Day?

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I love it because growing up this day would always mend the tension between my parents. In its simplest form, when it’s not over-thought, it’s just showing someone that you appreciate and care for them, and like Kelsey said shouldn’t we want to do that every day?

Feel free to leave a comment in box below on your thoughts of what Valentine’s means to you.

 

Katie Linsey

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February 9, 2016

Being Sick in College

February 9, 2016 | By | No Comments

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. 😉

-KT

Lynsie Petersen

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February 4, 2016

MouseTrap: A Behind-the-Scenes Look

February 4, 2016 | By | No Comments

I promised a look behind the scenes of a show in the making, so here it is! :)

“The MouseTrap” by Agatha Christie opens on Feb 25th and runs through the 28th. Get your tickets now, before it sells out!

Renee DeVault

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February 2, 2016

Theatrical Escapades at MidAmerica

February 2, 2016 | By | One Comment

This has been kind of an insane week for me.

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.

  1. Mousetrap

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.

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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.12605331_1127347973945180_1940716450105923383_o

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.

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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.

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They’re silly.

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.

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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.

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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.

Katie Linsey

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January 27, 2016

The Truth About Community

January 27, 2016 | By | No Comments

Going to MNU has definitely taught me a lot about what it means to live in community.

Coming into my freshman year, I had a lot of unrealistic expectations about the community at MNU. For example, I expected to be best friends with everyone. I didn’t expect cliques, drama, or really any hardships at all.

I’ve now been going to MNU for 3 full semesters, and in that time I’ve learned some simple truths about community.

Truth #1: You won’t be best friends with everyone

The community at MNU is unique because it’s giant. When I hear the word “community,” I think of a small group of people. But the community at MNU is made up of over 1,000 people.

When you’re living in a community of 1,000+ people, expecting to know everyone is unrealistic… and exhausting. I tried to do that my freshman year and it was brutal. It was great to walk into Campus Center and know I’d have someone to sit with all the time, but the relationships I formed couldn’t be deeper than surface level. You simply can’t have that many close friendships without going on at least 29 coffee dates every week.

I think of community as a big family. You’ve got your “siblings,” or your closest friends, that you see all the time and tell everything to. Then you have your “cousins,” who you love to talk to when you see them, but don’t keep up daily. And then there’s your “second cousins who live far away,” who you really don’t ever see, but if they ever needed anything, you’d be there simply because you’re family.

I would classify a majority of the students on this campus as my “second cousins who live far away.” I love them and would do anything for them, simply because we live in the same community, but I wouldn’t call them close friends. The cool thing about the community at MNU is that we can come together to worship, laugh, and cry together without being best friends. There’s a special connection you have with people when you share a community with them.

Truth #2: Community is made up of human beings

I have had drama at MNU. I have strained relationships on campus. There have been times when I’ve been frustrated with the community. But, I should’ve expected that, because anything made up of human beings is going to be imperfect. People don’t love the community at MNU because it’s perfect. They love it because it’s real. Because, at the end of the day, even with all the imperfections, it’s beautiful. Being a part of this community has taught me love, forgiveness, and grace on deeper levels than ever before.

Truth #3: You won’t love everything about it

I don’t love everything about MNU. I hope I don’t get fired for saying that. But in all honesty, if you’re planning on coming to MNU, chances are you won’t love everything either. I don’t know if there’s any community that you’ll love absolutely everything about. Sometimes I don’t feel like going to chapel. Sometimes I sit in my room while everyone else is at an ASG event. Sometimes I need to get away. And that’s okay. I had the expectation coming to MNU that I would love every second of every day. That it would be rainbows and butterflies all the time. But I thank God that’s not the case. Living in community with imperfect people creates great opportunity for growth. And that’s exactly what I’ve done while I’ve been at MNU. I’ve grown so much.

If you’re thinking about coming to MNU, I hope that being honest and vulnerable with you has opened your eyes to what community is all about. I hope that this excites you about the possibility of attending a university with an authentic community.

-KT

Renee DeVault

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January 25, 2016

Them there Crazy Christian People

January 25, 2016 | By | One Comment

Sunday night my small group gathered together in Weatherby chapel, sat in a small circle on the floor at the front, and spent the next two hours praying together and singing worship songs. I wish this was more normal for us and in time I hope it will be.

It got me thinking though…why isn’t this more normal?

Why do I feel uncomfortable praying for more than thirty seconds or worshiping without a leader or even a single guitar?

Jesus said in John 15 that the world will hate us as Christians because they hated him. We have been chosen out of the world. This is a theme all through the bible. In Exodus 19 God describes his people as a holy nation, a people set apart for him.

Being set apart naturally means that we will not fit into what is considered “normal” in this culture.

In 1st Peter we are called (depending on translation) aliens, foreigners, sojourners, and exiles and are told that we will be spoken against by the gentiles, or, metaphorically, people who haven’t accepted God’s Kingdom. As aliens, members of God’s kingdom living in this earthly kingdom, our actions will naturally be different because we are of a different people group.

Just think about the insanity that we are accused with when we obey God. Isaiah 55 explains that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways are not our ways. When we become obedient and align our thoughts with God’s thoughts and our ways with God’s ways we cannot help but look foolish to the world because God’s thoughts and ways are different from what is traditionally accepted.

We’re freaks and weirdoes.

At least I believe we should be.

I began to wonder, while in my worship and prayer session, about something my pastor asked us this Sunday. He asked if all of our decisions made sense. He asked if the way we live appeared completely normal by worldly standards. Do we put our own interests first, do what seems logical, and spend our free time enjoying ourselves or are we something radically different; a wild, exotic freak.

Think about quitting a high paying job to pastor a small church. That doesn’t make sense.

Think about spending hours on end in prayer and worship. That doesn’t make sense.

Think about giving generously and without even thinking even when you don’t logically have the money to spare. That doesn’t make sense.

Putting others above yourself, loving your enemy, and taking care of the poor don’t really make sense.

Even talking about God in everyday conversation seems odd to me at times. I could go for days without bringing up God in my personal conversations with my friends and it would be perfectly normal by cultural standards.

Christianity doesn’t make sense within the value system of our culture because these actions put value on something other than personal gain, enjoyment of life, comfort, and money.

These are the kind of crazy things that I want to be normal for me. I want a new normal. To do this I believe I need to reconnect with my homeland, with a God utterly rejected by this world, and begin to think thoughts that that aren’t my thoughts by nature and live in ways which would not be my traditional ways.

This requires a flipping of the perception of what is valuable. Prayer and worship is valuable. Other people are valuable. Generosity, following God’s instructions no matter what, and trusting in him are valuable. I want it to be normal for me to discuss him with my friends in casual conversation because he is what I want to be the most important to me. And people talk about what is important to them.

This is all simple obedience which stems from the joy of catching a glimpse of the greatness of our God and the magnitude of the mercy he has on us. That messes with a person.

It’s about obedience. These “crazy” things may seem impossible to do, but if God has called us to them, we can do anything because he will give us strength (Philippians 4) and we will find contentment in our lives. Plus, God’s plans are to prosper you, to give you a hope and a future (Jerimiah 29) so that “crazy” thing is for your good…I’d say it’s probably best to do it.

So at least in myself and with my friends I’m going to try to make that a reality. I want to be seen as illogical and crazy. I’m praying for that right now. It’s scary, but also very fun. I’d challenge you to do the same.

 

Katie Linsey

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January 21, 2016

A Passion to Serve at MNU

January 21, 2016 | By | No Comments

MNU has lots of wonderful ministries that give students the opportunity to go into the community and serve others.

To be honest, I’ve been to a few ministries, but haven’t found time in my schedule to regularly commit to attend a ministry.

Last week, I was hired to create the MNU Ministries launch video for this Spring 2016. It was such a blessing to me because it allowed me to hear impactful stories from students who have been investing in ministries for a full semester. It’s encouraging to know that there is a group of students at MNU that devote time to ministries every week.

I love attending a school that equips students to serve in the community, and do it with the passions and talents that the Lord has given them. There are many different ministries, which I’ve listed below in case you’re curious about them.

LOL (Loving on Littles) – A group of students that goes to an apartment complex and plays with children.

Deep Cries Out – An anti-human trafficking ministry that educates themselves, brainstorms ways to help, and prays for the victims.

Freedom Fire – A group of students that goes to a community center to play with children and tell them the Gospel.

EMT (Emergency Mission Team) – This is a new ministry this semester. This group will be available for any “emergencies” that come up in the community.

SMILE (Students Ministering in the Lives of the Elderly) – This group of students goes to a nursing home and sings hymns to the elderly.

Center of Grace – This group of students goes to a soup kitchen and serves people in the community.

I’ve attached the video below so that you can hear from the students yourselves. I hope that you’re inspired and encouraged like I was!

If you’re an MNU student, it’s never too late to sign up for a ministry, or simply attend for a week. :)

If you’re not an MNU student yet, this is what you have to look forward to! A university with a passion to serve, that encourages and equips students to go out and be the hands and feet of Jesus.

-KT

Renee DeVault

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January 18, 2016

The Awkward Dinosaur Tries New Things

January 18, 2016 | By | No Comments

It’s a new semester, a new year, with new classes, a new job, and a time to try new things and start new habits.

This week I have begun all sorts of new things.

First of all I began my new job as Managing Editor and News Editor of the Trailblazer. I have a new office on campus and brand new coworkers.

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I got to decorate my office which was awesome and it’s really nice to have a place of my own to get some work done during the day.

I’ve been loving my new classes but probably my favorite so far is Hebrew. I have been missing learning languages. In High School I took French and American Sign Language but neither were nearly as challenging as I predict Hebrew is going to be.

First of all, it reads right to left and the written version has no vowels. I’ve been kind of obsessive about learning the alphabet and it’s one of the most fun things I’ve had to do for a class in a while. It sounds crazy but I love languages and writing. Learning how to write in completely new characters has been awesome.

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It’s good to take on new challenges. Isn’t that what college is for? Learning new things and challenging ourselves in order to grow? Hard classes are some of my favorite things. Next to raindrops on roses of course.

Speaking of a challenge, I have been looking for new things to do with friends on campus. Just because we live in Olathe, Kansas and attend a smaller private school doesn’t mean we can’t have wild and crazy times.

So naturally we have taken to starting fires, setting up hammocks, and playing Dungeons and Dragons.

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Fire is fun.

Contained and mostly safe fire is probably the best for our uses. It’s a really good winter activity, especially if one has a craving for marshmallows and allergy friendly hot dogs.

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Gabe hung a hammock in his suit in Uphaus. It is incredibly fun and added some much needed extra seating to the suit for watching movies, and Youtube, and Netflix, and really anything. It’s like camping…but with air conditioning and a bathroom with running water.

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Dungeons and Dragons is awesome. I very much enjoy it much more than I thought that I would. It reminds me of pretend games that I would play when I was a little kid, except for with dice…and five other nerds on the same quest.

Basically Alex wrote a game for us and helped us create characters and we all learned how to play. I’ve played twice now and have absolutely loved it so far. it’s something I never would have tried before but I very much enjoyed it.

Try new things, especially when it’s harmless fun like using fictional characters to explore magical elf scholar caves and fight skeletons.

Another new thing I’m trying this semester is being more intentional about date nights.

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There are lots of great places to go on cheapish dates around MNU. Quinn and I went to Black Dog Coffee house in Lenexa on Thursday. They have some awesome specialty latte’s and the atmosphere is just so cute. Quinn and I sat in the bakery next door.

I really want to make sure that in this semester I take care of things that are really important to me. One of those things is definitely Quinn. Setting aside a date night out of our weeks keeps our schedules from getting too busy to make time for each other.

This semester is going to be full of new challenges and new things to enjoy, but I want to always have time in my life for my friends, Quinn, my family, and God.

Oh…and messing with Jordan.

I want to always have time to mess with Jordan.

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Katie Linsey

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January 12, 2016

Welcome to the Suite Life

January 12, 2016 | By | No Comments

Living in Spindle 306 is so fun… and strange at times. Our living area is full of crazy and weird things. Here’s a virtual tour of our suite… and why you should come visit sometime. :)

Paper snowflakes on the ceiling.

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Christmas time in Spindle 306 is a blast, including these homemade snowflakes that stay up all winter.

A scooter garage.

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Yes, we actually use them. Scooter rides in the parking lot happen often.

Lamps with no bulbs in them.

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I honestly have no clue why we don’t have lightbulbs in some of our lamps. Decoration, I guess?

A toilet paper pyramid in the bathroom.

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You never know when MNU is going to run out of toilet paper, so you stock up when you can.

Mounted deer head.

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This was a perfect find in the Target dollar section. It looks like a combination of a moose, dog, and pig.

Ken dolls. 

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We started out with just Chad (on left), and then Justin Bieber came to live with us for this semester. They’re a blast to have around!

Hairy floor.

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No matter how many times we vacuum, there will always be hair on the floor. It’s great when we’re working out and finish with hair all over our leggings.

A coat tree that looks like a person in the dark.

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I swear this thing has scared me so many times. Definitely convenient though.

Enough canned soup to last a year.

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It seems like everyone in our suite enjoys eating soup often. There is so much of it. It’s great for those nights when Campus Center just doesn’t cut it.

So… there you have it! A little tour of Spindle 306 and how fun the dorm life can be. :)

-KT