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Joey Alligier

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October 14, 2013

Friendz Fuh Dayz

October 14, 2013 | By | One Comment

Eleanor Roosevelt, in all of her sorta-creepy-I-married-my-fifth-cousin, wisdom tells us,

“Many people will walk in and out of your life, But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart”

While I would respect this opinion and agree that it could hold some weight in a normal person’s view, I would contend that true friends don’t just leave footprints.

True friends come in and jack stuff up.

They decide to rearrange the completely thought out organization of your life. They even like to steal your popcorn maker your mom got you for your birthday or prank you with literal dog poop. See, you don’t always realize the impact these type of friends leave because you’re too busy laughing and having no idea what  is actually happening. You realize the impact when you look back and see how their life has collided with yours and now that’s just the norm. 

I would like to dedicate this blog to one of my great-not-always-mentioned-and-makes-a-big-deal-when-she-isn’t-in-my-blog-obnoxious friends

Annie Huff 

Annie and I met last year at the White Light event. Josh, my roommate, knew her and her roommate Lauren (Josh and Lauren are dating now, totes dorbs). My name tag said, “Yosef”. The beast I am, I pulled it off, at least for about 20 minutes. I am ridiculed to this day about how our friendship is based on lies. I think that’s why Annie and I got on each other’s nerves on and off for a large part of our freshman year. Yet, something changed when we found out we were going to be on the MNU Serve Team together this summer.

This is where Annie and I’s friendship took off. We put aside our differences and Annie even started a count-up of our legitimate friendship. We even reserved the back two seats of the van for all of our shenanigans. Needless to say, it got REAL crazy.

We had endless inside jokes, numerous random photo ops, spurts of energy that annoyed everyone in the van, great deep theological talks, and even some pranks.

IMG_8637 IMG_1118This is just a sample of how we get. I like to classify Annie as THAT friend that brings out the weird in people. It’s literally a phenomena that even the scientific method can’t come close to comprehending it.
Through all of the crazy, off-the-wall ventures of this summer Annie’s and I friendship no longer needed a count-up. I think we became actually friends.

In all reality, Annie is one of the most inspirational to me. She is someone who has a heart for missions and is always seeking God in that. Her insight is typically a breath of fresh air to my typical narrowed-man thinking. She is who she is and she isn’t ashamed of it. I can honestly say she has impacted my life in such a positive manner;  whether keeping me in check or putting things in perspective.

Now, you may be wondering how this reflects MidAmerica; understandable. See, friendships like Annie and I’s are not hard to come by at place like this. You can see the transformation the Lord has done in both of our lives which has allowed our friendship to flourish. To be honest, we have both matured. Which is weird because we are pretty immature. Anyway, this one example just reflects the Lord’s power and is an example of how he uses people to direct your life.

Shortly put, THIS IS MNU

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Keep on and keep God,
Joey

 

Joey Alligier

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October 6, 2013

Run Pumkpin Run!!

October 6, 2013 | By | One Comment

Hearing the roar and cheer of over 2,000 people accompanied by the footsteps of yours and those around. Out of nowhere the corner is rounded to match the noise with bodies and visible encouragement, the unspoken knowledge as well as feeling is that this is the moment. This moment defines the past 22 minutes. The strides get bigger and the breath gets heavier. The mind and body start to focus and run off of pure adrenaline. The focus on that finish line and the one guy left ahead. Pushing harder and harder even when the energy reserves seem to be depleted. The line is crossed and there is partial relief and some aspects of “What if?”.

This past weekend was the 15th annual Jared Coones 5K Pumpkin Run/Walk. This was my 2nd time participating under the 2 year head sponsor team of MNU. This being my 3rd 5K I am obviously a pro…..okay definitely far from! However, this is the one I came the most prepared for. Throughout the week, the forecast seemed to predict my despising of the cold and dropped in temperature day after day. My utility belt the day of the race contained a jacket, long johns, beanie, ear muffs, another hoodie, nasal spray, cough medicine, another shirt, and gloves. Needless to say my body and mind feared “44 and cloudy”, yet I was prepared.

Besides the fact I was more prepared, this race was also different because of my blog about the same event last year. At the annual MNU community fair this year, Jared’s dad and Jayne’s husband, Tom approached me and expressed the gratefulness for what I had wrote. This seems so simple, yet it was powerful. Powerful because it proved that this blog outreach for MNU goes beyond our gorgeous campus, but into the lives of many. Also, it proved the sincerity of this man. He has been through so much and is still so selfless enough to give gratitude to a young man who wrote a blog.

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 I can imagine that I wasn’t the only one who has asked, “What if?” when it comes to a race and this race specifically. Tom Coones has got to be one of my inspirations that definitely continues to tug on my heart strings. This event has gone from simply hundreds of attendants to a record number of 3, 583 race participants. It may be ignorant of me to infer, but I have to think that Tom has faced the breakdown in his own mind of battling with powerful questions similar to, “What if?”. Obviously he has been encouraged and answered those questions with a hopeful heart. A huge heart at that.

Tom’s life was not defined by a moment just as the fact I didn’t catch that darn guy in the blue shirt did not define my success. Success is not win and lose, seems contradictory right?, it is defined by what you say it is. I ran a personal best and finished 7th in my age bracket. Plus, I was met with nothing but love from my MNU family and maybe a hand-fed cupcake from Nate Howard. It was a successful day, except at Baker University….

 The gain and success in this event has not been based on the loss of lives, but found in the living on of those same lives through more than 3,583 people who challenge themselves and fight to find a cure and stand behind a great man who is Tom Coones.

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Keep on and keep God,
Joey

 

Haley Raydo

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October 4, 2013

My Journey…

October 4, 2013 | By | No Comments

 

Hey friends! So this is my first blog post and I am pretty excited! It has been a bit of journey this last year to say the least, but these last five weeks as a freshman have been so worth it!

So my journey starts (at least for the sake of this story) at a private Christian school in Shawnee, Kansas.  It was my first day of school (literally I was in preschool).  I don’t remember much, but that was the last time I went to a new school.

So you can imagine my excitement, fears, and anxiousness as I was in the process of choosing a college.  I honestly had put off looking at schools altogether until around December of my senior year (which if you are in high school do not follow my example…YIKES!)  I was blessed enough, however, to know what I wanted to study and do with my life.  Around sophomore year of high school I decided I wanted to be some kind of counselor.  I didn’t receive a sign, hear a crash of thunder, and the skies definitely did not open but I believed this was where God had given me my talents and passions.

Because of this decision, I felt like I needed to attend some kind of Christian university.  I knew very little about different Christian colleges, especially MidAmerica.  The only thing I knew about it was that it was some college really close to my house that all my Nazarene friends always talked about.

By March of my senior year, I had not even been on a college visit.  As I am sure you can imagine I had a little freak-out.  I remember thinking that MidAmerica wasn’t too far; I could just go one morning and visit.  I had no intention of attending in the fall, but I didn’t have anything to lose.   But after the tour and discussing the MNU experience with people in admissions, I really felt that there was something special about this campus, and I wanted to be apart of it.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy.  Money and other obstacles seemed to get in my way.  By graduation I had no idea where I was going to end up in the fall.  But God is and was faithful to provide and allow me this opportunity!  I was extremely nervous to come in August, but I have met so many amazing people and have created so many memories already!

Here are just a few of them I have had so far:

 

 

My beautiful hall girls all dressed up for White Light Event!

Part of our freshman seminar group... you know just workin out ;) or maybe more like we found the gym on a scavenger hunt!

Part of our freshman seminar group… you know just workin out ;) or maybe more like we found the gym on a scavenger hunt!

Thrift Store Prom!

Thrift Store Prom!

And this is what I come home to in the dorms :)

And this is what I come home to in the dorms :)

 

Thanks for stopping by—

Haley

Follow me on twitter/instagram @haleyraydoo and follow MNU blogs @mnublogs

Joey Alligier

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September 26, 2013

Kickin’ it Old School

September 26, 2013 | By | No Comments

Well, in honor of Throwback Thursday, let’s take a trip down the memory lane of
Joseph Blake Alligier

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Starting off I was born premature at 27 weeks, addicted to illegal substances, and I also had a brain atrophy. In short I wasn’t supposed to live and when I did, I was not supposed to walk, talk, or really function in a sufficient manner. Little did the world know,
this is where my life would start.

*fun fact- my biological mother is 4ft 8in, Caucasian, has blonde hair, green eyes, and no recollection of who my father is. Just let that sink in and then take a gander at my features…

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Shortly after I was born I was adopted by my Great Aunt Karen, who from this point on would be; “Mom” and the best one I could ask for at that. Another twist in the plot is that my name changed. It went from being Izrael (Izzy) DeShawn to Joseph Blake (Joey was chosen based on the premise of a nurse’s comment and a babysitter’s dream) after official adoption. I like this change as well. About three years later we adopted my half sister Brieana (same biological mother, different dad). Yes, you got it, my Mom was brave enough to adopt two kids Oh, and did I mention she was 48 at this point and divorced with 2 other kids already basically raised.

Yes, yes, she is a superhero.
Mom by day and Mom by night.

As my life progressed I was extremely blessed. I was raised in the church, attended a private school for 6 years, and the Lord always provided. 


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From the pictures above you can see I may have been a bit too blessed…..
Let’s just say my cup, or in this case plate, runneth over. From 2nd grade to about mid junior year of high school my weight fluctuated. Whether from delicious fast food brought in by the private school to having a “too-comfortable” attitude while having a girlfriend during my sophomore and junior year of high school. Below is the time span of all four years.

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Some parts of my story are definitely more serious than others, but they both serve a purpose. My life has been formed by my story and where I have “traveled” in my own little Haysville, Kansas world. Sports, extra-curriculars, clubs, organizations, friends, family, struggles all have played their part in who I am today. In the search to find out who I am, with mistakes and successes, I have learned to lean on the Lord and his promises; even when I wondered off the path of the Christian life and had NO idea what I was doing.

*this is all an overview and not necessarily the depths of my story,
FEEL FREE TO ASK QUESTIONS!

Needless to say, I am a changed man today. I owe all of it to the Lord’s choice of vessels in the foundations I obtained when I was younger and through the years and also to MidAmerica. I can truly say my time here has helped me to take a 180 degree turn in a lot of areas. This summer was ESPECIALLY a part of that. The best part is that I’m still growing with no plans of relenting. I’ll keep going where He leads me #fuhdayz 

IMG_1739In the midst of the #throwbackthursday you have seen the past of my life in multiple facets. I hope it gives you some sense of satisfaction; maybe the sick kind of seeing my fat pictures or the joyful kind of seeing my superhero of a mother.

Take a second this week to take a look into your own life and the people who share in the same community and “Kick it Old School” by reminiscing on your fat pictures or hopefully how God has transformed you.

Keep on and keep God,
Joey

*for more fat pictures and other information on my life check out my Instagram- @praya_warrior

Allegra Vieux

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September 17, 2013

The Society: Dallas Conference

September 17, 2013 | By | One Comment

IMG_2168Greetings blog fam.

For those of you just tuning in, I’m the President of The National Society of Leadership and Success: MNU Chapter. Last year I did an internship and started our chapter, and this is our second semester in the making. Holla!

Over the weekend, one of our amazing advisers, Dr. Clark, took us to the regional leadership retreat in Dallas, TX. Dallas is about 8 hours away from Olathe, and the conference was from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon. Pictured above is Dr. Clark, me, Savannah Hoit (treasurer,) and Katy Ward (Secretary.) [Not pictured: Ron Jackson (Co-Adviser) Emily DeLong (VP) and Stephen Rowell (IT Coordinator.) They couldn't make it this weekend and we missed them dearly!]

We are STOKED on the new direction our chapter is going. We have Orientation tomorrow (Wednesday night) at 9pm in Smith. Anyone is welcome and encouraged to come! A little preview: Glow sticks and balloons are involved!

No road trip would be complete without a super sketchy hotel experience! On our way to Dallas we stayed the night in Oklahoma City. I won’t go into grave detail, but I will say we are happy we made it out with our lives.

IMG_2163When we arrived to our hotel in Dallas (the Hilton) all memory of the Ramada was erased. This hotel was 5 star in my book. The decor was beautiful, the staff helpful, the elevators glass (ignore my reflection above,) …I felt like a PRINCESS! We were on floor 11 (Except Savannah who was technically in room 1408- muahaha!) it was AWESOME!

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IMG_2170The pictures above are with the national executive officers from the office in Hoboken, NJ. The top photo is with Reema and Claire and the bottom is with Dede (WHO IS FROM OVERLAND PARK. AND A JAYHAWK FAN. ROCK CHALK!) We had to take a Kansas Picture!

Finally, what we’ve all been waiting for: The Sleeping Selfies!

IMG_2173 IMG_2175Oh, and the #SNAPCHATS of the week!

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This is my friend Greg who is from New Jersey but I met him in Mexico doing an internship. He has nothing to do with MidAmerica but he def is a true friend. Look at that snapchat!

Peace and Blessins

KUHKAW

 

Phillip Prado

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May 10, 2013

3 More Years!

May 10, 2013 | By | No Comments

A year later, and here we are,  finishing the school year off and continuing on with our lives.  Finals are finishing up, and we are tying all of the loose ends of our assignments up and getting them all turned it. Some of us will be back next year, and some of us won’t be. We all have memories we will never forget, people we will never let go of, experiences we will never get the chance to be a part of again, and it all plays into our life we have encountered here at MNU.

As the hallways clear out, as the people pack their things, and as all of my friends drive away, it’s kind of sad. I think of the times I spent with people studying, messing around in the dorm late at night, going on  midnight Taco Bell runs, and just living a college life, and it is pretty upsetting.  Summer is here and all of that is gone.  A new path is unfolding and I’m still caught up on the last one.  I’m still wishing I didn’t have to leave even though I am excited that I am DONE with homework!  I will have no more of that!  No more ridiculous papers, no more 2 hour tests, or 4 hour study sessions! I…get…to..SLEEP!  But no matter how excited I am about less work, I will still miss this life more.

But, despite the constant weight of the end of the school year, even though summer is here, MNU isn’t going anywhere! The home of the Pioneers will be right here where we left it.  So I’m gonna keep my head up, keep my hopes high, and await the storm (by storm I mean summer :P)!!  So get ready MNU!  Cause I’m not done with you just yet!  I still have 3 more years of this place;  3 more years of memories, 3 more years of people, and 3 more years of experiences;  3 more years of studying and 3 more years homework for hours on end :(;  3 more years of the college life and 3 more years sleepless nights.  I still have 3 more years of living life as a Pioneer!

3 more years!!

So here we are, saying goodbye to freshman year!  And hello to the rest of our lives!

Phillip Prado

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April 18, 2013

Life Lessons From the Mouth of an English Teacher

April 18, 2013 | By | No Comments

Stock Photo of the Consitution of the United States and Feather Quill

HEY GUYS!! Lately I’ve been sharing some of my classroom stories with you guys, and I think it is about time for another one.  Don’t you?  OF COURSE YOU DO!  So here goes! :P

The other day I was in class, English Composition II, and we were talking about our government.  The professor handed out a citizens test to see if we were knowledgable on our government and it’s history.  A series of groans and mumbles echoed across the room as he began telling us about this test we were about to take.  The class wanted no part of this.  I heard some students say things like “Why do we need to know this for English class?”  or “We’re not even getting a grade so I’m not doing this” and even a few “This is pointless” remarks.  The professor just laughed and continued to hand out the test. We got into groups, filled out the test, and the the professor gathered out attention again to go over the answers.

At first it seemed like this did, in fact, have no relevance to the rest of the class.  Some of us know a lot about our government, while others not so much.  But after we had gone over the answers, and after we had wrapped up the test the teacher asked us “So why did I have you go over this?  What was the point of this?”

The class had no idea.  We were all under the assumption that this had no relevance to the other papers we were writing and essays we were analyzing.  This test seemed to stick out like a sore thumb, and to have no place in our regular curriculum. Then the professor began to explain that it wasn’t to just see how much we knew about our government, but that we need to make ourselves knowledgable.  Knowledgeable about our government, about our essay topics, about the culture and situation behind the essays we are reading, even about our faith and our own lives.

So here is a class, not wanting to cooperate, complaining, and neglecting to open up to this teacher. Then all of the sudden, this professor comes out and gets really deep and meaningful with us.  It made us feel kind of shallow and mean.  What the professor said was true, and real, and we needed to hear that for the class; we needed to hear that for life in general; we needed to put our own assumptions aside and just listen for once.

This was awesome!  I’ve never been in a class that has been as personal as this one before.  We talk off topic, we communicate, both by listening and speaking.  Most classes are just lecture, lecture, lecture.  But this class we learn by conversation, by sharing stories, opinions, and beliefs.  In this case the professor showed us an important life lesson that was intended to make us more successful in our curriculum, yet that’s not where it stayed.  I believe the point of class is not to learn a subject enough to pass a test and then go on with our lives, but to gain useable, applicable life lessons and knowledge that we can use to make us better holistically.

I am thankful that MNU has professors like this.  Professors that aren’t afraid to actually communicate with us, to bring us in, and to send us out of the class with a lesson we can apply.  You had to be there to really understand what I am trying to say, I just hope you can see how important this is to me, and how important it should be to any college student across America.  So don’t shut off these opportunities.  They are really vital to you. Especially in college, the time of your life when you are really trying to find out who you are and where your place is in this vast world. Just pay attention. You might learn something here and there. :)

 

Joey Alligier

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April 10, 2013

Revealing the Gifts Within Them

April 10, 2013 | By | No Comments

Leadership. It seems like a very simple word that indicates a head of an operation of some sorts. There are so many different types of leaders in today’s society and plenty in the past as well. The president of the United States, CEO’s of businesses, you, me, Hitler.

Stay with me here :)

Good leadership is more than a title. I could have my doctorate and still waste away as a human being. Leadership is largely about influence. As weird as it does sound, Hitler was one of the greatest leaders! The way he communicated his beliefs and spread his ideals was crazy! Was it COMPLETELY WRONG, YES! But I think you know what I mean.

While everyone is a leader in some facet, there are those who are more outspoken or simply seen more. Within most schools there are typically leaders who take on the challenge of representing their school and trying to help connect, develop, and establish the school as a whole. In high school is was StuCo, here at MNU it’s ASG.

Here is a video that is too good to miss by Mr. Blake Nelson, RE of Snowbarger! It is about NSLC 2013! The National Student Leadership Conference hosted schools from all over the country, and Canada, here at MNU. A 3 day experience that I’m sure was amazing!

I leave you with a quote that changed the way I looked at leadership. “Leadership is not about revealing to others your gifts, but revealing the gifts within them.” -Joe Sailors

Leadership is not about being in front of the group as much as it is about coming alongside people and helping them develop. Leaders are the ones who stand out to help others find their fit. I encourage you to have a positive influence and seize the leadership opportunities that are awaiting at the end of your fingertips.

Keep on and Keep God!

Phillip Prado

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March 28, 2013

Hiking? In Tennessee? I think so :)

March 28, 2013 | By | No Comments

YES! It happened! Through Kairos, our wednesday night chapel service, we went hiking at Savage Gulch in Tennessee over spring break! It was a week of amazingness, let me tell you! I don’t even know where to start. There was hiking (obviously :P), beautiful scenery, amazing fellowship, and plus Savage Gulch is only 2 hours north of Nashville! So not only did we see some of America’s most amazing landscapes, but we also got the chance to see one of America’s best cities.  But before I get a head of myself, how about I start from the beginning?

So 7 am, Monday morning, we loaded up the vans to embark on a 9 hour drive to the city of Nashville, Tennessee where the beginning of our trip took place.  After a few restroom pit stops and a lunch break, we arrived in Nashville at around 3 or 4 in the afternoon.  After a little sight seeing, we stopped at a Nazarene Church where we would stay the first night before we began our hiking endeavors that Tuesday morning.  Later that night, we were taken deeper into Nashville to try out some of the cuisine they had to offer.  A few of us went to this chicken finger restaurant that had been made out of an old house, which was so fun to just be at because it was such a creative place, called “McDougal’s.”  I, honestly, do not think I have had better chicken fingers in my life. So if you are ever in Nashville, you HAVE to try this place! THEN, after we ate, we had the chance to go to this coffee shop called “Fido’s.” Now, there are two reasons I fell in love with this place: one I LOVE coffee (you could say coffee is some what of a passion of mine) and man did they have amazing coffee, and another thing I loved was that we were told that “Fido’s” was one of Taylor Swift’s favorite coffee shops in Nashville.  Now I don’t know about you, but I LOVE Taylor Swift.  Anyone of my close friends will tell you that.  I don’t know why or where it came from, but I do. So that was a really cool experience for me.

So the next night, after sleeping on a hard floor in the middle of a sunday school room, we woke up bright and early, separated into smaller groups, and headed out to Savage Gulch to begin out adventure.  Now I could talk your ear off about the next few days that we had experienced.  It felt SO incredibly good to get out of the classroom, and to experience something fun and new.  That’s one thing I love about MNU.  There are so many opportunities for us to get out in the world and to experience life.  This week was definitely a week I had the chance to experience life. I didn’t want to leave :\.

Now not all of this trip was “fun.”  There were some parts that were pretty…blahhh: sleeping in a tent with below freezing whether (it actually started snowing!), not being able to shower or change, eating dehydrated food, having to trek through ice cold water, carrying a 50+ pound back pack, etc.  It was pretty hard work at times, but overall, despite the little difficulties, I had one of the most fun times of my life.  I got to see intense valleys, some beautiful forests, I got to stand on the edge of some bluffs that were over a 100 ft in the air, and I got to witness several waterfalls, including one of the tallest waterfalls on the eastern half of the US: Fall Creek Falls, measuring in at 256 ft high. It was absolutely breathtaking seeing some of these things.  No picture that could ever be taken by anyone would do any of this landscape justice. In order to really understand you have to get out there and see it for yourself, not just  search on google, or see it in National Geographic, or read it on some college student’s blog, but go there, and be there, and stand in awe at how amazing it is. I couldn’t have had a better spring break!

If you want to learn more about these kind of events here don’t be afraid to ask! There are an infinite amount of students and staff here that are more than willing to keep you up to date, and let you in on some of our events and trips!

MNU is so awesome for letting their students get involved in things like this by teaming up with Kairos and College Church of the Nazarene (which is just across the parking lot where Kairos takes place).  I am so grateful that I am a part of a school that allows it’s students to go out and actually see what God has created.  I made such a great choice coming here, and I know any of you up-in-coming freshman will see you are making the right choice too.  And if you have not made your choice yet, stop looking! I guarantee you will love it here.  It may be a small campus, but it’s a big world, and MNU let’s it’s students be a part of it all.

IMG_20130322_134454Fall Creek Falls

IMG_20130322_134220Waiting To Begin our Hike

IMG_20130322_133852Pantheon Replica in Nashville

IMG_20130322_134914Part of the hiking path leading up to a waterfall

 

Cherith Campbell

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March 13, 2013

The one where MNU loves YOU!

March 13, 2013 | By | No Comments

I know that most of my posts have lots of humor and are light-hearted but this one is gonna take on a more serious feel about myself and the presence/impact of MNU in my life.

A week ago my great-granny died and there were a lot of emotions. Even though her dying was very sad, it was a celebration because we all know that she is in Heaven. When tragedy strikes it is always great to have people who care about you to help and comfort you. Being here on campus gave me such a great support system around me. My roommate and other friends on my hall all comforted me when we found out that she had passed and it felt so good to have them with me.

MNU is such a great place of community. There are so many people on campus that truly care about each of the students that go here. I continually was checked up on by multiple professors about how I was doing since the funeral. Going to any other school would provide professors that either had too many students to even know me personally or just don’t care in general. But here at MidAmerica the professors and staff and students all have such a sense of community and love for one another. MNU is such an amazing place to be.

Learn something new today:  The word koala is aboriginal for “no drink.” Koala get the water they need from their food.

* I love Koalas!