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Travel - 2/2 - MNU Blogs

Britney Lewis

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October 22, 2013

So you wanna teach in a small town, eh?

October 22, 2013 | By | 2 Comments

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As an English education Major…as an education major, period, there are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to where you want to teach. I like to divide them into a few categories: suburban, rural, inner-city, and top-notch schools (which can be found in either of the other categories.)

Growing up in the inner-city, I’ve always felt it was my calling to return back home when it was my time to teach. I’ve consistently felt the urge to give back to my community, to show those students love who don’t always receive it at home, and to build relationships there.

I have always known where I want to be, as far as teaching-wise, but I had to be sure. Thus, I found myself venturing off, with the education department, to the South West, Kansas (a good 6 and a half hours away…with a few stops, of course.)

We stayed at a Comfort Inn. It was nice! And it was my first time in a hotel!

We stayed at a Comfort Inn. It was nice! And it was my first time in a hotel!

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As a sophomore, this was a little out of my comfort zone. I haven’t been accepted into the education program, and yet, I was attending a Common Core* meeting with hundreds of other teachers. It was bananas! I could imagine being right there–in that audience full of teachers- in a few years when I receive my teaching diploma and graduate from college. I wasn’t anywhere close to home, but, somehow, this felt like home to me.

A speaker from the Common Core meeting.

A speaker from the Common Core meeting.

I’m not gonna lie, I hadn’t been there for more than three hours when I, along with two other students, were offered a job. We were all stunned. This guy didn’t even know us, but he was willing to take down our name, number, and set up an interview with his superintendent. Sadly, we had to pass up the job offer because, frankly, neither one of us were in the position to be teaching other people.

Surprisingly, I liked the rural town a lot. The longer I stayed there, the quicker I found myself adjusting to the life style (well, sort-of.) On the last day, in the middle-of-nowhere-Kansas, I had the chance to tour a few different schools, and for a short moment, I could almost in-vision myself staying in that little town forever.

Nothing but land for miles!This is a picture outside my hotel. We stayed in a small town called Garden Cityphoto(7)

 

The principles, and superintendents were awesome, and I wouldn’t mind working side-by-side with them. They even joked of marrying us off if I, or any other student, came to work there. They said they were joking, but we all knew they were quite serious about it. If I could keep a fantastic teacher in my school district, I’d find them a spouse, and keep them in my town forever, too! ;)

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But every rural district has its pros and cons

Pros:

-People are friendly (But seriously, I’m not even kidding. They welcomed us with open arms.)

-There’s land everywhere

-Class sizes aren’t too large. (There’s less distractions, and easier to get through an entire lesson plan.)

-Christianity is openly communicated. (Which is stinkin amazing!)

-The cost of living was cheaper. ( I was practically sold on that alone. Two-hundred dollars for rent–that’s heavenly.)

-It’s easier to build relationships with students.

-Great benefits.

Cons:

-There’s too much land. (If land sickness was possible, I probably would have caught that.)

-Some class sizes are way too small. (At an elementary school I had visited, the fourth grade class had four girls. Just imagine if half of your class was gone with the flu.)

-It smelled like animal everywhere!

-It was too far from home.

-teachers had extra duties. (such as coaching, or teaching after school classes, etc.)

 

 

After processing this information, I knew, for sure, that a small town wasn’t for me.

By the end of the trip, I missed the city so much, and once I was back in Olathe, I couldn’t imagine being in a small town ever again.

The rural setting isn’t for everyone–it definitely wasn’t for me–but I’m glad I had the opportunity to do such thing. The trip opened my eyes to new ideas, and I was given the chance that many other students don’t have.

If the opportunity to travel with the education department every arises, I suggest you take it and run!

It’s almost a one-in-a-lifetime kind of thing!

As always, talk to you next week!

Love,

Britney.

 

*The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a U.S. education initiative that seeks to bring diverse state curricula into alignment with each other by following the principles of standards-based education reform

For more Common Core info: http://www.corestandards.org/

Heather Engle

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October 21, 2013

A Warm Welcome Back

October 21, 2013 | By | One Comment

Hey friends!

So midterms have come and gone and this weekend we finally got a break! So I decided to take a trip back home! It was really nice to finally see my family and friends after a few weeks. It was also my brothers 22nd birthday, so his girlfriend threw him a surprise party! I thought I’d share with you some pictures of my endeavors this weekend and also some pictures of my family and friends! oliver being cute This is my really cute dog. His name is Oliver and he is the best dog ever. My heart was overjoyed when I saw him. :]

katie and libby and i

These are my two little sisters, Libby (left side), and Katie (Middle)! I know, they are adorable!

zac and syd

These are my two friends, Zac and Sydney! They are pretty wonderful. I saw them the first night I got back home and we went to this place called the Donut Whole. They have the best donuts, ever.

aimee collage

This is my lovely friend Aimee. She likes to take selfies on my phone, so I decided I would be nice and let the world see her pretty face. :] She is so beautiful, on the inside and out.

aimee and i!

Here’s a better one of us both!

rachel and i 2

Rachel is my other lovely friend! She’s pretty wonderful. :]

Even though this weekend was super awesome and I always love visiting home, the best part was coming back and being welcomed by my super awesome friends that I’ve made here at MNU. When I pulled into the parking lot I saw a few girls sprinting at my car like they were about to attack me or something. It was wonderful. They actually did attack me, in the best way, in the form of hugs and screaming. I was definitely overjoyed in that moment. I am so blessed by the awesome community here at MNU and I know that these friends that I am making. I know that they will definitely be lifelong friends that I will never forget.

Thanks for reading!

-Heather Rose :]

Allegra Vieux

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October 1, 2013

Trusted Traveler, Homecoming Nominations, and Adventures in Target

October 1, 2013 | By | No Comments

Greetings Blog World.

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Once again, I am back in Kansas from California. I passed my Trusted Traveler interview and was granted a Sentri Pass! I was there Thursday-Sunday, and spent about 2 full days in the Amor Office in San Diego, so I kind of felt like I was on my own version of Ferris Bueller’s day off… except I spent my days in a cubicle teaching myself accounting and brainstorming fun ways I can fund-raise…and distracting all my friends in the process.

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I got back on Sunday afternoon, so my friends and I visited our other friend who works at Target in Olathe… basically, I make a scene anywhere I go.

IMG_2268 IMG_2269 IMG_2271 IMG_2272I am also campaigning for my good friend, Caitlin Wienck, to be Homecoming Queen! You can track my progress by searching the trending topic #WienckForQueenIn2013.

she's beauty and she's graceTune in Next week for: Meet Kassidy Ritchell!

Allegra Vieux

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September 25, 2013

¡Viva Mexico!

September 25, 2013 | By | 6 Comments

Blogging world: it is a week of celebration.

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(cupcake party with my friend Emily!)

After nearly 22 years of living, 18 years of schooling, 9 years of serving in Mexico, 4 years of college, 2 years of pursuing a degree in Marketing, and a 2 month application and interview process…

 I HAVE A JOB AFTER GRADUATION!

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This all started as a dream when I was 13. I went on a missions trip with my church to Juarez to build a house and decided that was what I wanted to do with my life. After my freshman year, I did an internship called Project Nexus (read about it here: http://www.amor.org/join/field/nexus.) It was the best decision of my life. Here is me as a Nexus with a Seasonal Staff Member, Jono (who is from Australia!)

IMG_2092I loved Nexus so much that I came back as a Seasonal (just like Jono) and worked managing various house-building projects for about 3 months.

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IMG_1812I loved my time in Mexico as a Seasonal, and I wanted to go back, but I had to spend last summer doing a marketing internship… So Amor created one for me! and I still got to work in Mexico! My dad and brother and brother’s friend came to visit me this time and built a house in 3 days- Read more here! http://www.amor.org/trips/individual/mexico

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IMG_1976I decided at the end of my internship to apply for a full time position, and got it! whoop! soooo… tomorrow I’m flying to San Diego for a Sentri interview (trusted traveler) to help out with getting across the border and to visit the office and get some fundraising materials. My position is 100% support raised and I’m so excited!! (if you can’t tell)

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iHasta la pasta!

 

 

 

 

Joey Alligier

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September 12, 2013

The End is Where We Begin

September 12, 2013 | By | No Comments

Everyone….

It’s the moment you have all been waiting for..

I would go as far to say the most anticipated event within the last 3 minutes!

No, it’s not any other scandalous happening with Miley Cyrus, thankfully.

However, the window into my life is open once again!

Well, the last time we talked I was about to embark on what I would later learn to be the BEST summer of my life. It was one, if not the greatest, learning and growing experience I have been apart of! I traveled on behalf of MNU as a camp counselor all over the Midwest. 10 strangers, one van, one team, numerous of preconceived ideas, purposeful prayer, and a multitude of personalities all went into the oven of life to bake together! The end result; best friends, numerous incidences of God working, still 10 people shoved in a van, inside jokes #fuhdayz and memories enough for a lifetime or so.

This is where we started….

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And we ended up here…

SergioIt may not look like much a difference, after all what can 3 months really do?

However, a small animal did make its way onto my face :)

The contrast between the pictures is largely symbolic of our relation to each other and vulnerability that we developed as a group. Needless to say, the Lord went before us, with us, and transformed lives from the inside out (mine for certain)!

Yet, with any great experience the question that soon follows is, “What now?”
Where do you take the memories, commitments, and lessons learned?

That’s yet another beautiful part of the community here at MidAmerica! I am surrounded by these same people and you can bet your bottom dollar (one of those sayings you refer to only from previous exposure and NOT because you know the true meaning) that memories and feelings flood back once I catch a glimpse of these beautiful faces around campus. We are all still here to support each other, even though we are all facing different and some pivotal points in our young adult lives; marriage, graduation, jobs, or even deciding what person to reach out to today. The Lord didn’t stay at those camps, He came back with us. If you ask most any MNU student or Faculty member they would contend that something is different this year and it’s not too hard to figure out WHO it is :)

This is the point where this new life begins. The one that Christ has filled me with by the power of His Holy Spirit. I am beginning the next step in the life God is designing for me as I go.

Anyway, that’s a short glimpse of my summer and where I am right now! If you want to know more, have any questions, or would like to suggest a post topic feel free to contact my by:

1)Comment
2)Facebook: Joey Alligier
or
3)Twitter: @praya_warriortwitter

“TUNE IN” NEXT WEEK TO “HEAR” ABOUT MY NEW CLASS SCHEDULE

Keep on and keep God!

Allegra Vieux

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September 9, 2013

Welcome to Senior Year

September 9, 2013 | By | No Comments

Remember that one time when I wrote about living in California/Mexico for the summer? Well, my internship came to a close and I’m back in good ole Kansas. I traded the rolling oceans for this:

Kansas Sky

 

Strangely enough, the blank open space is refreshing after a couple of crowded cities. There’s no place like home! (sorry, I just vomited from my own corny-ness.)

 

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The picture above is of my good friend Stephen and me sitting in Accounting class. Before the lecture started, someone turned around and said “smile!” and snapchatted it to me. Pre-collegiate friends who are reading, take note of 2 things:

  1. SnapChat is permanent, no matter what people say or what updates they send to your smartphone.
  2. Don’t put off your gen-eds until senior year. They may seem awful when you’re a freshman or sophomore, but they’re even worse when you are in your senior year!

 

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Above is one of my roommates, Kassidy. We have already had time for a girl’s night out, event in the craziness of the first two weeks of school. She plays basketball and is like a sister to me already!

 

 

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This is Tara, she is an admissions counselor and she is AMAZING! We also were matching on the first day of school!

 

photo(4)…aaaand then we also had to throw in an impromptu end of the summer pool party!

 

It’s looking like a great year.

Hasta la pasta

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

 

Kelsey Cranford

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January 17, 2013

The Kenyon Cabin.

January 17, 2013 | By | No Comments

Chatting, sleeping, and belting song after song characterized the ten-hour car drive. The ten of us ladies had finally arrived. There we were, up in the mountains, staring at the Kenyon Cabin once again. This same time last year we had made the trip to the cabin for the first time and we were so excited to be able to come again. Katie Kenyon, a good friend of mine, invited us to a week’s stay at her family’s beautiful cabin in nothing less than beautiful Colorado. And this cabin is not located just anywhere in Colorado, but sits in the mountains right outside of Vail—the cream of the crop. Needless to say, we were ESTATIC.

The trip originated with a group of us that had all met working together at Youthfront a few summers ago, which is a Christian youth camp located near the Kansas City area. Ever since we have continued to stay a part of each other’s lives and the trip was eventually created as a way to all spend time together during our Christmas break. Friends were brought along as well and the week together was spent making new friendships just as much as it was spent deepening old ones. It was such a success that the cabin simply had to be revisited again.

You can imagine the sort of giddiness and slap-happiness that accrued as a result of the endless amounts of estrogen in house. The mornings were very slow in which some slept in, some read by the fire, and others made headway on coffee and breakfast.  Once noon rolled around, most everyone was ready to conquer the day outside of the house and we would often venture into town and explore or decide on some sort of outdoor excursion. One afternoon we got some ice skates together and drove to a little frozen lake up in the mountains where we skated for hours in awe of the view. Another afternoon, after dressing up like abominable snowmen, we trekked out in the snow and found the absolute perfect sledding location. We flew down time and time again until some part of us was completely frozen and we retreated inside to thaw by the fire. On evenings when we just wanted to relax we would often play different card or board games or would pop in some kind of movie. One of my favorite days on the trip was spent with three of the other gals, including Kai my roommate who I brought along, in which we spent the day exploring Vail Village while a couple others went skiing on the mountain close by. We found a wonderful coffee shop where we talked for a while, went and looked through various art galleries, and eventually ate at an adorable German restaurant. Another highlight was of course all of us going to see Les Miserables together, in which there were many, many tears shed, and the many times following where we would listen to the soundtrack over and over again. Needless to say, there was quite an obsession.

However, above all else, my favorite part was simply catching up with one another and talking about things that matter to us. There is nothing that quite compares to spending such good quality time with some of the most wonderful ladies who never fail to challenge and impact me whenever we get together. I hope you all enjoy the pictures above and that each of you had an amazing Christmas break as well!

Kelsey Cranford

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October 9, 2012

An Arizona Weekend

October 9, 2012 | By | No Comments

This last weekend my paradigm was shifted from cool, fall weather consisting of scarves, boots, and pumpkins to a distant land far, far away filled with sunshine, shades, and desert. I was ready for a mental break, for a shift of gears. I was ready to set aside the college chaos for a weekend and allow my mind to take in something fresh and new.

Arizona is quite different from the epic state of Kansas. It contains a beauty that is quite unique, consisting of cacti, palm trees, red rock, and mountains. My man and I took off for this spectacular place for his daddio’s wedding. We were stoked, not only just to hang out with the Anderson clan, but also to show our support and excitement of a union between a wonderful man and a wonderful woman, both whom honor and love the Lord. The entire weekend was a laugh fest as people simply enjoyed each other’s company, and I was welcomed with open arms to be a part of this family and their celebration as if I had always been. Let’s just say, it was most definitely worth the trip. #realtalk

If we look hard enough, there are examples of redemption all over the place. As fall begins, I am reminded that the leaves will begin to turn and fall, plants will begin to wither and fade, and the cold will soon begin. Snow and the long winter will eventually set in and before we know it all green will cease. Yet, spring will surely come as it has always come, and the new will spring up and flourish. This weekend, as well as this season, is yet another reminder to me of how beautiful it is that God allows us to shed off the old and take on the new. Time and time again the opportunity is provided to become something new, something fresh—a redeemed being. We are never to a point where this opportunity is taken away because it is something not based upon our performance or character, but is something based completely on the character of our Lord—SOLID. We are not bound by our former selves unless we so choose to be bound. This freedom we crave is ours so long as we simply accept it. How beautiful it was to witness a picture of this as I saw a man so filled with love and joy as he awaited his beautiful bride, and as I saw a couple stand before us and commit their lives to each other before the Lord.

Kelsey Cranford

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September 26, 2012

NO RISK. NO FUN. {MNUEurope}

September 26, 2012 | By | No Comments

There is something quite unique about being in a completely new environment. Everything known before is shifted, and every interaction, every detail, every moment is filled with learning. In no other place does it become so clear to you that your only consistency is the Lord, and in no other place are you able to find a mind clear enough to fully examine yourself.

Studying abroad in Europe this summer was the trip of a lifetime. The memories I was able to make in that beautiful place will never be forgotten. Whether it was train rides, long walks in the country, thousand-year old churches, intentional conversation, hiking in the Alps, walking through palaces, eating at street-side cafés, exploring museums, or running in rain, these moments created such a beautiful experience for me. I am so thankful for having had the opportunity to broaden my horizons and take on a new adventure.

Obviously, Europe is freaking cool, but in life, be the one who’s willing to risk and to take on the new challenge. As the Swiss always say, “No Risk, No Fun.”