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Isaac Walker

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January 6, 2016

My New Year Resolutions

January 6, 2016 | By | One Comment

Hey friends!  It is five days into the new year and I have been doing some thinking.  Looking back, last year was not necessarily the best year of my life.  It was actually pretty rough on me.  Through all that, I have grown to be the person I am now and I think I have handled this past year very well. I have grown a lot from all of the trials I faced.  I made amazing new friends and strengthened the relationships of friends I already had.

I want to continue growing and becoming the person God wants to be this year.  With that, I have a few resolutions for this year.  I think I had made some every year and never followed through a single one!  I am kinda lame when it comes to things like that…But I have a good feeling about this year.  So if you all don’t mind, I am going to share some of my resolutions for this year. These are in no particular order and some are not quite as deep and serious as others are, but they all are important to me!

  •  Start a book and actually finish it.
    • I cannot tell you how many I have started reading and never finished.  Some books I started more than once!  I actually am about to finish a book I started a few months ago, but I want to start and finish one in the same year.  And a year is a very long time to give myself for one book!  I really am not that slow of a reader.  I just wont read it often.
  • Learn a new skill and become better at a preexisting skill.
    • I am taking a painting class this upcoming semester and honestly, I am a little scared!  I have never really painted seriously like that before.  I love Bob Ross, but I never even thought about attempting to replicate his visionary masterpieces.  So we will see how that half of this resolution pans out.
    • Some of you may know me as the violin guy that plays in chapel.  Well you are wrong.  It is actually called a viola.  It is similar to a violin, but it sounds better.  That is a skill I would like to be better at.  I literally never practice my viola and I know for a fact that if I did, I could be so much better.  I am not trying to be cocky or conceded, but when one practices, they get better.  I also sing.  I would go far enough to say that I am a good singer, but I know I have a lot of room for improvement.  I could increase my range and I could have better control of my voice.
This is my very own viola. I think I have been playing for about 11 years now.

This is my very own viola. I think I have been playing for about 11 years now.

  • I want to start exercising more regularly.
    • Last summer I took a yoga class at JCCC and the semester before that I took a gym class at JCCC and just used their work out facility.  I dreaded it every day but I felt really good from all the exercise.  Now I do nothing…I get winded walking from Colony to the caf…So many people I know work out regularly.  When they tell that they work out, I can feel the condescending tone in their voice.  What they really are saying is “Yes I know I am better than you”.  I want to be that person.  I will probably just run in the evenings or something.  Nothing too crazy.
  • Start a YouTube channel.
    • As I mentioned before, I love to sing.  I even write song lyrics from time to time.  For years I have wanted to start a YouTube channel where I posted covers.  I even would love to start one with my best friend Chelsea.  I follow a variety of different YouTubers and I know I could do what they do!  Me and Chelsea are just as funny and ridiculous as Grace Helbig and Mamrie Hart.  We just aren’t famous!
For those of you who do not know her, I am sorry. This is Chelsea. We have been froends now for about 10 years now.

For those of you who do not know her, I am sorry. This is Chelsea. We have been friends now for about 10 years now.

  • I want to be more organized.
    • I am the worst procrastinator I know.  Every semester I start out using my planner like a boss.  I write everything I need to do in it, but by the second month I forget that it even exists.  It gets buried far down in my backpack.  That is when I forget about things.  Long term assignments are my worst enemies.  I put them off till the very last minute.  This semester I want to be on top of things better.  I will finish my assignments long before the day they are due.
  • Keep a daily devotional all year.
    • This may seem cliche and basic but I am serious!  I have always been encouraged by my mom to do this.  Over the many years of my short life, I have  accumulated quite a few different devotional books.  I have started a few of them, but not to my surprise, I did not stick with it.  I have My Utmost For His Highest and I have heard a lot of great things about that devotional.  If anyone has any recommendations, shoot them my way!
This is the daily devotional I am going to do every day!

This is the daily devotional I am going to do every day!

Here are some more with less detail:

  • Climb a 14,000 ft < mountain.
This is Mt. Beirstadt. I hiked up this mountain over the summer with Kairos.

This is Mt. Beirstadt. I hiked up this mountain over the summer with Kairos.

  • Get all my assignments in on time.
  • Figure out exactly what I want to do with my life.
  • Get a Chia Pet.
Chia pets are just cool.

Chia pets are just cool.

Now I know I will not accomplish all of these.  I will be happy with myself if I do one of these!  But I am going to try gosh darn it!  But in all seriousness, I am very excited for this new year.  I have a feeling God has a lot in store for me.  And I know that it is not going to be easy.  I am thankful for all the people He has put in my life that have helped me along the way and that are going to be here for me this year.

Happy new year friends!  I hope you all have an awesome year full of God’s blessings!

Until next time.

Renee DeVault

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December 15, 2015

Is there life after finals?

December 15, 2015 | By | No Comments

Yes.

Let’s just clear that up.

Finals, for all the bad mojo we attribute them, do at least one really good thing. They help us to realize how much we have learned over the semester.

I just want to do a quick review of what I’ve learned this semester. I had to shorten it by quite a bit because life happened this semester and life is hard to summarize.

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Don’t be afraid to be busy.

I was incredibly busy this semester but looking back, I wouldn’t have changed any of it. I had incredible experiences in the Honors Program, on Trailblazer staff, being a track/cross country manager, being in the musical, blogging, being on improv team, and doing classes for two majors.

I loved it.

I learned not to be afraid of being busy. Being busy meant I got to meet an incredible amount of people on this campus and when I look back on the semester I know that I got a lot done.

Coach Wiens, the track/cross country coach, said to me this semester that God gave us our bodies and our minds so that we could use them. That really stuck with me.

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Don’t be afraid to have a little school spirit.

“We’re all in this together,” the elementary school girl who was secretly in love with High School Musical in side of me chants.

I love loving this school. I love investing in our community.

When we are proud of this place and show support it is showing support for not only our athletes but for everyone who works to make the school what we know it to be.

We show pride in our coffee shop workers, library staff, the people who make our food, people who make our campus beautiful, professors, student  and professional workers of all kinds who invest their lives in this school.

I have invested my life into this school and I love others who have invested their lives. So yes, I will be MNU’s super fan and actually enjoy every minute of it.

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Don’t be afraid to date an awesome, hilarious, fun-loving, supportive and generally incredible person.

If you find one you happen to like and they happen to like you as well…well then enjoy it. Go through life with another person who makes you smile and who isn’t afraid to tell you what you don’t want to hear.

Find somebody who is willing to fight with you in order to make a relationship work and somebody who is willing to go through life with you desperately seeking God’s help for every step because neither of you have life quite figured out yet and that’s ok.

Don’t be afraid to have a best friend like that. Don’t be afraid to have a romantic relationship like that. People are awesome and letting them into your life can bring out a part of you that you would have never seen on your own.

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Don’t be afraid of things going wrong.

Stuff happens.

The dumb stuff that you do doesn’t define who you are it just explains a moment of time which shaped you. Little things, big things, it doesn’t matter. Our identity is in Christ and a sea of stupid choices is not even a drop compared to the great grace and love of the God we define ourselves by.

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Don’t be afraid to explore.

My friends and I explored down town Kansas City and it led to a huge passion for ministry in that area being awakened.

Exploring new things, ideas, or places can be a bit un-nerving but it’s something we have to do if we ever want anything new to happen in our lives.

Also just explore Kansas City, it’s really cool down there. Be proud of where we are.

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Don’t be afraid to depend on other people.

We were created in the image of a God who by definition is in community with himself. We were thus created to be in a community, created to need one another and when we operate in a way in which we were created to operate God is glorified.

When doing theater, you have to depend on everybody- actors, costumers, light technicians, sound technicians, back stage crew members, the set designer, the set builders, the director, the stage manager, and anybody else whose work went into the show. In the end, the product is something that was previously impossible individually but made possible by working together and depending on each other.

So I will try to make the most of life after finals by remembering what was learned, what relationships were gained this semester. My prayer for this week is that I will be profoundly thankful for the gift of education and what life I have lived.

 

Isaac Walker

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December 11, 2015

It’s OK To Feel Down Sometimes

December 11, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hey friends!

So I wanted to talk about this during mental health awareness week but I obviously missed that chance, but I think that I can tie the subject in pretty well to this upcoming week.

“But Isaac!  What are you even talking about?!”

I’m glad you asked!  I am talking about depression.

depression

“But Isaac!  How does this subject tie into this upcoming week?!”

Ok, calm down I’ll tell you.

Finals week is stressful.  For some people, probably more than you think, it is a make it or break it time.  For some people, these tests are a matter of pass or fail.  This can put a ton of pressure on one person.  This school is a pricey place and failing a class means you have to take it again, and that means paying again.

money-stress

This kind of pressure can mess with a person’s emotions for the worse.  Especially someone who is more prone and susceptible to depressive tendencies.  There are lots of things that can cause or poke at someones depression.

There can be biological or genetic things.  It can run in the family or someone can be on a certain medication that can worsen things.  There can be psychological factors or even environmental things.  And that is how this ties in.  The things I mentioned above are definitely environmental factors.

Something else that can be an external trigger is the work load that tends to pile up on students. I am sure you all know that things can pile up fast.  Especially if you are  a procrastinator like me!  For someone with depression or depressive tendencies, this can cause them to shut down.

Depression is the most common mental disorder in the United States.  Females are more likely to suffer from depression than males are.  As of now, the average age of diagnosis is about thirty two years old, but youth are definitely known to suffer from it.  And I think that as mental health is becoming something more and more people talk about, more people are going to be diagnosed and helped at a sooner age now.

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That leads me on to my next point.

“But Isaac!  How do I know if someone I am close to is suffering from this?!”

Good question.  There are signs you can be aware of.

A lot of the information I am presenting can be found in the website for the Nation Institute of Mental Health.

So back to the signs.  It can be a little tricky because there really are not universal signs.  It affects everyone differently.  But there are some common signs/symptoms.  They include:

  • Feelings of anxiety, sadness, or a hollow feeling that won’t leave.
  • Eating a ton, or losing your appetite.
  • Sleeping a ton, or not being able to sleep.

man in bed with eyes opened suffering insomnia sleep disorder

  • Having a bad memory, and not being able to concentrate.
  • Losing interest in the things you once enjoyed.

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You can view the full list on their website.  But as you can see there, there is a wide range of signs.  Some that are even the opposite of each other.

Well friends!  I am glad I could share this with you.  This is something, for whatever reason, I have been wanting to talk about for a while.

Until next time friends!

Lynsie Petersen

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December 9, 2015

Procrastin…I’ll Get Back to it Later…

December 9, 2015 | By | One Comment

T’was the night before finals week and all through the dorms, not a creature was stirring.. except for you because you spent too much time procrastinating and now you have to cram all night.

twas

I’m not here to judge, I’ve been doing the same thing all week. And now, I’m here to give you some ideas about what not to do before Monday, just like all your fellow MNU students.

1. Watch Netflix — Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, ChromeCast, whatever you use to watch your favorite reality series or rewatch classics like Friends and Parks and Rec, use it wisely this week! I find that one episode of Parks and Rec really helps me to refocus on that big project — the Pawnee Commons! I literally can’t get out of Pawnee and, like Lesile Knope would say, why would I want to?

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yes

netflix

2. Take Walmart Runs For Absolutely No Reason — This also includes trips to McDonald’s, Burger King, and Starbucks. Let’s be real, you don’t need to go any of these places at 2 AM (or PM), you just don’t want to keep studying and going to bed just seems wrong.

3. Stress Eat — Did you avoid that Freshman 15? Well good thing the semester isn’t over. This is the one time that eating your feelings is completely okay. That whole cake won’t judge you for eating the whole thing. It also won’t ask you to find X2-9x+20=0 (the answer is X=4,5, by the way. #NerdLife).

4. Take a Nap or 2 or 3. Finals are hard and you know you aren’t sleeping at night.

elf

5. Watch YouTube videos of cats or babies, or whatever you enjoy. Check out this adorable video of babies eating lemons I found instead of studying!

6. Spend Hours on Pinterest or Facebook or Tumblr or BuzzFeed. Whatever social media you partake in, use it wisely! You might accidentally end up “liking” a photo of your crush from 3 years ago and they definitely can’t know that you’ve been stalking them for 6 straight hours…

Hours on Pinterest lead to amazing things like this...

Hours on Pinterest lead to amazing things like this…

7. Read Something Not School-Related — When was the last time you picked up a book for fun? Maybe you need to read the Divergent series for a fourth time or there’s a new fanfiction you haven’t had the time to read. Go do it!

8. Pick Up Extra Shifts at Work — Okay, it’s not the most fun thing, but hey, if you aren’t going to study anyway, you might as well make some extra cash.

Treat yoself

9. Think to Yourself, “At Least I Made it to Class Today” Enough said…

I snapped this pic in Intro to Human Communication of my fellow MNU Bloggers, Hailey, Steffi, and Renee. Steffi was giving an example about the topic and we were all listening intently.

I snapped this pic in Intro to Human Communication of my fellow MNU Bloggers, Hailey, Steffi, and Renee. Steffi was giving an example about the topic and we were all listening intently.

10. Complain About How Much You’ve Procrastinated. Then just keep going. You’ll study eventually and everyone knows you do better when you cram the night before, right?

sparta

 

 

***DISCLAIMER*** Please know that this blog post is all in good fun. I highly recommend studying way before, avoiding cram sessions, and getting plenty of sleep the night before.

calm

No matter how hard your finals may be, just remember that once they’re over, it’s Christmas.

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What’s your favorite way to procrastinate? Obviously, you are right now because you’re reading this, but tell me any “Procrastination Techniques” you have! :)

Mackenzie Theiler

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December 5, 2015

Fall Semester Is Almost Over 📚

December 5, 2015 | By | No Comments

There are only two weeks left of our fall semester. We call this period of the semester “crunch time.” This is where a lot of students are trying to do anything and everything to get their letter grade from a B to an A; or for those students struggling to pass that tough class, with a C or better. This is when, students start asking their professors for extra credit, or if there is anything else they can do to get their grade up.

A biology professor of mine, ounce said . . .

“Why would I trust and spend my hard earned money on someone who ‘half-worked’ their way through class and cheated on exams, just to get by? This student who, half-work’s their way through their degree only, ‘half-knows’ their field of study. Would you have faith in that person to be able to preform at the highest level of their job?”

An example this professor used, was a doctor . . .

“Lets say, you need surgery or medical attention of some kind, and the doctor YOU receive, ‘half-worked’ his way through school. As he examines you, he has to google, what it is that could possibly be wrong with you; or he has to look up, what and how much medication, he should give you. This doctor probably did not try very hard in his undergraduate and/or graduate classes. Two, he probably only majored in this field of study for the good pay.”

He is simply stating that the field of study you are majoring in, you should known like the back of your hand, without having to look it up. It should be second nature to you. Find something that is exciting to you, that you can wake up every morning 9 times out of 10, and be excited about what you are studying/majoring in, and one day do for work. If you are majoring in something that doesn’t excite you, then, maybe you should find something that does. At the end of the day, your grades really do matter.

Most internships look at your grades, to see what kind of student you are. They want to know how serious you are about your field and if you truly want to preform well in this field. Your grades reflect that. I understand not everyone is perfect, but if it looks like you are giving it your all, it will show.

After you receive your degree and have worked internships, you are now ready, to be hired by the company or facility you want to work for. They look more at your internships, rather than your grades, because they want to see if you have work experience, in that field or in fields related to that. Most students do not realize, and I believe this is the point, my professor was trying to make, if you have good grades, you have a good work ethic, if you have good work ethic, then the your employer can count on you to get things done. If you have okay, but not good grades, you may have a good work ethic, but just not try as hard; so, you may do well but it is harder for you to get things done.

With all this being said, YOUR GRADES are important. The amount of effort and care you put into them reflect, your determination and dedication to your major and field of study. Find something exciting and interesting to learn, that you can be proud about!


 

Facebook: /kenzie.theiler
Twitter: @kenzietheiler
Instagram: @kenzie_theiler

Hailey Kendrick

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November 24, 2015

What Thanksgiving means to me

November 24, 2015 | By | No Comments

After working retail most of my adolescent life, I talk about what Thanksgiving has meant to me and what I’m truly thankful for this year; while challenging you all to count your blessings, as we come upon the holiday season.

Isaac Walker

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November 23, 2015

MNU Serve Team

November 23, 2015 | By | No Comments

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Hey friends!

This past weekend was a pretty wild weekend for me, a few other MNU students, and a whole bunch of teens!  The youth groups of Grace Community Church of the Nazarene and KC First Church of the Nazarene left Friday evening and came together to have a joint fall retreat in Oklahoma.  And I am still exhausted!  Also a little sick…But it was totally worth it!  We saw God move this weekend and it was awesome!

The theme for the weekend was Christ Like Leadership.  The first night, Angie from First Church spoke about dealing with our pride, and as leaders, we should be willing to do whatever we ask of those we are leading.

I went as a sponsor with Grace Community and I also played on the worship team with other students from MNU. There were 8 MNU students total that went on this retreat.  Lizzy Atwell, Amanda Lampley, Thomson and Chi Ticum, Blake Owings, Mark Hall, and I were on the band. Maddie Carson came as well and was a sponsor. Lizzy, Blake and I were also sponsors for Grace Community.

MNU gang minus Maddie.

MNU gang minus Maddie.

On Saturday, our very own Blake spoke!  He told the story of Moses and when we are Christians, we are automatically called to be leaders.

We had a lot of free time Saturday between meals and services just to hang out and get to know each other.  There were a few different activities we could do. A lot of people played soccer, some played gaga ball, and others played basket ball.  But one of the most fun things we did was the massive zip line.  After we all got our harnesses on, we walked over to a suspended bridge.  Now I don’t really have a fear of heights but there were a few people there (Mark Hall) who were pretty scared!  I almost fell just from how hard I was laughing!

The suspended bridge.

The suspended bridge.

Once we made it across the bridge we had to walk up a massive, rocky hill to the tower.  It was about that time I noticed how cold it was.  And the farther we went up the tower the windier it got. It was ridiculous how windy it ended up being at the top!  It was worth it though because it was so fun!

Walking to the tower.

Walking to the tower.

Our youth group ready for the zip line!

Our youth group ready for the zip line!

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Sunday, we all woke up early, had breakfast, and went over to the chapel for the final service.  There Roland, who is the youth pastor for KC First Church spoke.  The sermons were all great.  We are fortunate to know these gifted people who are passionate for knowing God and delivering His word, but I got the most from a conversation I had with an old friend.

I worked at a summer camp two summers ago in Colorado.  When I walked into the mess hall for the first time, I saw someone that looked familiar.  Her name was Danielle and she was on my team when I was in Colorado!  I was so excited to see her!  During free time on Saturday I went over to her room and we drank coffee and caught up on life.  I opened up to her about how my life after working in Colorado hasn’t turned out the way I expected and how it was actually a pretty hard time for me and my family.  She told me her story, her struggles and how her life before working in Colorado was turned upside down.  She said something to me that really resonated.  She said “You can tell God you are mad with Him.  He already knows, but it is good to get it out on the table.”  She then went on to say that when we do that, we allow God to walk with us through these trials.  Our conversation really meant a lot to me.

Overall, even though I feel pretty awful now, the retreat was a really good escape from life and school. Even though it was only a few days.  I know I’m not the only one that got something good from it.

The whole GC gang...

The whole GC gang…

No caption needed.

No caption needed.

Until next time friends!

Mackenzie Theiler

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November 23, 2015

Living ON Campus vs. Living OFF Campus

November 23, 2015 | By | One Comment

Living ON Campus:

It has its perks, but it also, has its downsides. Being a freshman, it can be super exciting coming in, fresh out of high school, excited to be on your own and have a roommate. You get to meet new people and make new friendships. You get to experience, what it means, to be a true college kid. On this campus, for both, men and women, there are three styles of dorm living. The first style, is the freshman and sophomore dorms. In them, there are one to two roommates per room. They share a community shower with the rest of the hall. The second and third style are both, considered, upper class-men dorms, but are two different styles. In them, there are six roommates, with three bedrooms (two roommates to a room). The differences between the two upper class-men dorms are, one is an apartment style dorm (upstairs/downstairs, two bathrooms, and a kitchen); and the other dorm just has three rooms and a bathroom. Being a transfer student, I am used to living in an apartment. I was lucky enough, to live in an apartment style dorm. Living in the dorms is not always pleasant. A lot of the times it is hard for students to adjust to a dorm life. Especially, if they are not used to living with new/random people. With that being said, not everyone gets along all the time. People are human, meaning they are not perfect. Living with five or even one to two roommates, peoples personality can create conflict. This could cause roommates to have arguments and disagreements. Also, with going to a school that has a small campus, a lot of people try to know your business, when you live on campus. The school is very on campus living, oriented. They like the idea of a community. Living on campus is not all that bad, the school tries to do a good job with having different dorm activities to make it fun and feel at home.

Living OFF Campus:

You have to be 22 or older to live off campus. You can also, live off campus, if you are living at home, with your parents. Every college has their own set of rules, and not all of them have the same rules. They very, when students can and cannot live off campus. This school has a lot of diversity, from international students to students all over the USA. The majority of the population on campus, are student athletes. The reason for student athletes staying on campus, instead of off campus, is because a lot of these athletes are here on scholarship. This means, depending on the size of the scholarship, there living expenses are paid for. If they live off of campus, the school does not provide them with off campus housing coverage. Most students wish they could live off campus, but they are a college student and/or student athlete; and most cannot afford to live off campus. If you decide to live off campus, a lot of them say, they like living off better, than living on. They feel as though, they have more privacy in their life and people tend to be less in there business. Living off campus does not exclude them getting to enjoy the fun activities that the school hosts, throughout the year.

I would say your first year here wether a freshman or a transfer, feel out both, living on campus vs. living off campus. Everyone is different and has their own acquired taste, of what they like. I know, next year, I will be living off campus, once I turn 22. Being from California, where everything is so expensive, things out here are much cheaper. Figure out what floats your boat and offers you the best experience; because everyone has a different experience, wether it is living off or on campus.


Facebook: /kenzie.theiler
Twitter: @kenzietheiler
Instagram: @kenzie_theiler

Hailey Kendrick

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November 20, 2015

Terms You Learn in College

November 20, 2015 | By | No Comments

Last week it dawned on me that my vocabulary has recently expanded. Upon coming to college, there are several new terms that I’ve had to learn and use in my every day vocabulary. I wanted to share those with you all in hopes that you don’t have to stare blankly back at those would use them on you in your years to come.

Love Language: This is the verbal and nonverbal communication between you and your significant other in which you express how you feel. I’d never heard anyone say this until this year…and now everyone does. The hard part is everyone has a different way of expressing that they love you. For some it’s time, others it’s gifts…so on and so forth.

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Final Exam Schedule: You actually have a set schedule for when you take each final AND this is decided by the university AND it’s probably not the normal class time. This is new to highschoolers. When finals come, there will be a totally different schedule for when you’re allowed to take them.

 

 

Chapel Points: Spiritual formation credits that you have to complete. You must have 40 points each semester. Period.

Mark Hamilton is my academic advisor.

Mark Hamilton is my academic advisor.

Academic Advisor: This is basically your new best friend. Get to know them so they can best help you in your academic needs. This is the person in charge of your major and you will meet with each other to help plan your schedule.

kingdom com

 

Kingdom Come: Once a month, on a Tuesday, there is another chapel opportunity. It’s a late night chapel service that serves as a communion service for anyone and everyone. It can be more hype than regular chapel and is a blast to attend.

 

No, but really?

No, but really?

 

 

Twirp: Whaaaaaat? This is the girls-ask-the-guys out dance. That’s right ladies, go get your men!

 

 

 

 

legendsLegends Village West: If you’re from the area, then you know. If you’re not from here, you might be confused. Legends is the outdoor mall in Kansas City. I worked there for 3-4 years…so don’t expect parking on weekends. It’s fun and has lots of things to do!

Registrar: These are the college officials that are responsible for your schedule. Their office is located in Lunn (then take a right).

CLEP Tests: It’s this magical thing where if you’re smart, have an extra $100, you can pay to take a test. If you obtain a certain grade, then BANG, you get the credit for that course and DO NOT need to actually take the course. Magic.

Renee DeVault

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November 17, 2015

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! I attempt to blog about newspaper!

November 17, 2015 | By | No Comments

When I decided to come to MNU, one of the first things I did was grab one of the newspapers from Bell Center when I went to a choir concert. I’m not even sure I read the whole thing, to be honest, but right from the beginning I knew that an element of my life was going to be wrapped up in this paper.

At MNU the paper is called The Trailblazer. The print edition comes out roughly three times a semester, and the online version is usually updated every week.

Over the summer I met with the advisor, Melinda Ablard-Smith, for coffee at Starbucks. Nervous, I told her that, despite having little to no journalism experience, I was wanting to potentially write for the school paper.

Melinda was incredibly helpful in answering all of my questions, and she assured me I would be able to sign up for–and fit into my schedule–the class.

Basically, how the newspaper works is students enroll in a class, called Multimedia Workshop, which is a one credit hour class that meets at 6:30 Monday nights. This semester Melinda is teaching a journalism workshops at 5:30, before class, where we all get together, eat good food, get chocolate thrown at us for answering questions, and just generally have a good time together while learning the nuts and bolts of journalism.

Advertisement last year for students interested in signing up to work for the Trailblazer

Advertisement last year featuring the modeling talent of Josh Brisco to promote Journalism at MNU.

The actual Multimedia Workshop class splits into students doing Yearbook or Newspaper, and then the Newspaper students further split into three categories: the editors, the reporters, and the video team. This semester I am a reporter.

At the beginning of the actual Trailblazer class session, Melinda sits down with all three groups and goes over a short journalism lesson, recites a bible verse, asks for prayer requests, and then leads the team in a group prayer. Then she dismisses the video team and turns over the class to the Editor-in-Chief, our fearless leader, Robbie Wegley.

Robbie and Josh (Joshua Brisco, Managing/News Editor) usually talk through some specific things the reporters need to work on (like the fact that I keep forgetting to submit pictures with my stories), talk about some current events both in the world and at the school, and then go through story pitches.

Every week the reporters and the editors turn in story pitches–ideas for stories or topics we think the Trailblazer should cover. In class, Robbie reads through the pitches, asks those who pitched them to expand upon their ideas, and decides which stories make the cut. The stories are then assigned to reporters, who usually have the rest of that week to get the story done and sent to their section editor.

I’ve worked mostly with Josh, for news, and Morgan Peiffer, for life stories. Wyatt Stark edits sports, and Sydney Wright edits opinion pieces. Katie Linsey edits the videos, and Hailey Kendrick is the graphic designer.

The Staff

The Staff

When I first started writing stories, I was pretty freaked out. I had never conducted an interview, or wrote any sort of news story before, but the editors really helped me out. If anybody is thinking about being a reporter next semester, I would highly encourage it even if you don’t have any journalism experience. The writing is very different than writing for school papers, or almost any other assignment I’ve been given.

It’s actually a pretty sweet gig, I just get to talk to people about what they’re passionate about, and I help them communicate that passion to people who may not have otherwise been able to hear about it. That’s my favorite way of looking at articles.

For example, I got to talk to people involved in the LQVE Haiti Passion to Serve project for my first article. I got the article done, but I also got to hear their stories about Quincy, their vision for the future, and their passion for what they are doing. I count it as a great privilege.

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And of course not all stories are like that, but I have yet to be assigned story that didn’t require me learning something new in order to write it. Yes, it is a lot of hard work, but I have met so many people I never expected to meet.

How many students have sat down for half of an hour and really talked to the Manager of the IT department or the head of Campus Security? They are incredible people who have a lot of passion for their jobs, and they taught me things about their respective departments that I never knew, ways they are serving the school that I would have otherwise overlooked.

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It took me out of my comfort zone in a lot of ways, but I think that is what makes it one of my favorite things I do on campus. I am forced to learn in order to continue, and I’m forced to work closely with people if I want anything to get done. In the end getting the paper out is a team effort, and I’m incredibly proud of it.

I also think that having a completely student led newspaper that is allowed to talk about tough subjects, present opposing sides to issues, and investigate the school itself speaks incredibly highly of MNU. It is hard to brag about The Trailblazer without bragging about this school.

The Forum is one of my favorite sections of the paper where opposing viewpoints about an issue are discussed.

The Forum is one of my favorite sections of the paper where opposing viewpoints about an issue are discussed.

And most of all The Trailblazer is just fun…at least for me it is 😉

The people who work for the paper know how to talk to people, know how to tell a good story, and tend to enjoy being around each other. I love hearing everybody’s opinions about topics in class, and I also enjoy listening to them talk about what is happening in their lives and around campus.

Plus you get to experience the hilarity of Josh after class ends, and that’s always fun.

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Trailblazer Online Link