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March 1, 2010.
Today is March. The snow is still everywhere you look. What isn’t covered in white is nothing but a mess of puddles and dripping water onto every doorway in Ohio. My coat is wet because of it. Thanks a lot global warming.
This blog is meant to be devoted to my life as a recent MVNU grad. It’s been just over 9 months since I graduated. Talk about insane. As far as where I am now, I’m living a life of mystery. Every day brings something new. The role of Admissions Counselor is pretty unique. For example, last week I came in to work at a different time each day, ranging from 7:30 AM to 1:00PM. I’ve drove about 650 miles in one week, consumed 7 espresso-based drinks, and written over 150 personal emails to people. I have spoke to students, prayed through the night, and attempted to move an oreo from my forehead to my mouth without using my hands. I’ve felt broken and brusied, yet found some of the greatest joys throughout the day.
Enough with the numbers. The community at MVNU is something to dream about. In recent reflection, I realize that of my friends that graduated in the past year, all of us have sent or received a text from each other remembering some of the best times we had as students. I have seen MANY twitter updates simply stating, “I miss MVNU and my friends”. This is the toughest part about the transition from a community-driven campus to a socially uncomfortable apartment complex. I’m very fortunate for my best friends I have made at MVNU, the experiences that we created ourselves to make the best of a small campus, and the pictures and memories that we have to share.
My next point is specifically for current MVNU students and incoming Freshman. What are you going to do in the years of college you have ahead of you to make memories? How will you preserve those memories? I have been a big advocate of the Bucket List concept for some time now. I have about 10 different lists, ranging from short term hopes, to the biggest dreams that may not even be humanly possible. I’ve made it a point to post these lists around my apartment and in various places that I see on a weekly basis. I’m confident that the pursuit of these dreams is half of the fun that we have in life. College just happened to be the point that I realized that.
For more from recent graduates, check out these alumni blogs and websites. The insight of many is certainly better than few.
Troy Current: MVNU Admissions Counselor, B.S. Sports Management
Micki Clark: English teacher by day. Photographer/Blogger by night., B.A. English Education
Jonathan Starr: Graphic Designer, Photographer, B.A. Art and Graphic Design
For more of my writings (and probably more updated) check out http://www.illuminatemedia.blogspot.com
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I just thought I’d share some of the things going on at MVNU for those of you who take a lot of pride and responsibility in the stewardship of our campus, our planet, and our resources. Believe me, MVNU has some incredible things going on.
Single Stream Recycling: Paper, plastics, glass, aluminum, and steal are all collected in 75% of the buildings on campus and sorted by our recycling team to be reused and recycled.
Biodiesel: MVNU’s Facility Services take used cooking oil and turn it into biodiesel fuel, which is ued to power campus equipment and vehicles. This includes our lawnmowers. The oil comes from all over including that big cow made of butter at the Ohio State Fair.
(Here’s a pic of that big cow http://tinyurl.com/ybb4n35
Computer Usage: When computers are updated or changed, equipment that can be used is donated to non-profit organizations of all sorts.
We have multi-pane, Energy Star rated windows in Res Halls.
Fluorescent lights are energy efficient
LEED Approved showed heads and faucets
Fair Trade coffee in the 586 Grill and cafeteria
Campus safety drives around in a fully electric car (sounds like Back to the Future, huh?)
So as you can tell,we take this pretty seriously. We are continuing to find new ways to reduce energy consumption, promote green transportation, and become better stewards of creation.
Now how many campuses are doing all of that?
If you would like more information on MVNU’s “Project Green” and Environmental Stewardship, please comment below with an email address or contact info. I will be sure to get that info out to you as soon as I can.
“The Earth is The Lord’s and everything in it.” Psalms 24:1
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Do you believe in life? Do you believe in hope? These are two pretty general questions I know. But within that is a whole lot more.
My friend and colleague, James Smith, has been spending his entire life changing the world. He and his wife have spent most of their lives sharing Christ’s love, working with young people and impacting those that are becoming today’s leaders, including myself. When I was a young, immature, overwhelming junior high student, James was many of those same things, serving as a youth pastor in my area. His love and passion guided me and was one of many pieces that formed who I became.
As you prepare for the holiday season and consider impacting people through giving, consider gifts with a purpose. James and Kelly are making some incredible hand crocheted scarves, with 100% of the profit going into the adoption process fund. For only $15 or $20 you can have your very own scarf (with your choice of color and style) while helping some amazing people continue to touch the lives of young people.
Customize by choosing your color (most colors available) and style (skinny, wide, fringe, no fringe). Skinny scarves are $15 and wide are $20
To place an order today email Kelly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s your color? Mine is gray. Perfect for the shirt and tie of a work day, but casual for the weekends out.
Read more about their journey at http://lifeafterelijah.blogspot.com
“For in you, O Lord, the fatherless find love, pity, and mercy” –Hosea 14:3
There are many incredible ways for your holiday giving to mean a little more. For other ways to get involved in conscious holiday shopping, check out some of these other resources.
Sponsor a Child through http://www.worldvision.org/
Help with Social Justice awareness through the Love Alliance at http://www.thelovealliance.net/
Buy an assortment of home-made gifts, all of which are fair trade at Ten Thousand Villages: http://www.tenthousandvillages.com/
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I am a big fan of the Fall. It’s actually one of the only things I can really brag about in Ohio. The leaves are absolutely beautiful, gracing every shade of yellow, orange, and red in a matter of a few large trees. You can feel the anticipation as the leaves are teeter tottering between branch and ground. Then finally, they all begin to fall, faster than a homeowner can rake them up. On evening drives through the country to and from work, I usually roll down my window hoping to smell someone burning their leaves, one of the most extraordinary scents known to my nasal passages. Ahh, the nasal passages. All of this beauty also comes with some consequences, including the introductions to allergies, sinuses, and the sickness that travels during weather changes.
I decided to take some pictures of the Fall in Ohio. I plan to add on to this in the process, but I want to share those with you. http://www.flickr.com/photos/organize/?start_tab=sets
In the midst of all of the beauty, I spend frequent hours wondering about the depths of self. It typically starts out as basic as
“what am I good at?”.
It quickly elevates beyond that into deeper thoughts like,
“Am I good at these things because God wants me to succeed at them, or because I personally decided that it would be best for myself to excel in these areas?”
From here, there are many directions to go in my thoughts. I think about growing up being told that God does everything for a reason. Yet on the other hand, we are all given free will. With that free will in mind, would you say that we have the ability of pursuing our ‘talents’ so that we can further advance ourselves? Perhaps for selfish ambitions or desires? A conversation similar to this led into an interesting example of the stereotypical rock and roll artist. Let’s say he spend years partying, indulging in sexual immorality, and drinking and smoking everything that was placed in his hand. After a near-death experience, he turns his life around. He stumbled into a church, he accepts Christ into his life and things start to change. The local church hears that a former rock star is in the congregation, and encourages him to “use his talents for the Lord”. In a matter of months, he is signed by a Christian music label as a once-demonic, now-risen rocker that travels around the USA telling his story. Thousands of young people gather in local amphitheaters and music halls to hear the story of the risen angel. Conservative Christian parents rush to the ticket office to grab tickets for their button-up shirt-wearing kids and their closest unsaved friends, hoping that he will say the perfect thing to get them to raise their hand at the end of the show. The front row of fans is crowded with mock t-shirts embellished to represent Christian principles rather than consumer products and services.
Now this all seems to make a lot of sense, and it may actually identify with a few artists out there… But I ask this question. What if God didn’t desire this man to become a rock star? What if he was meant to be something else? What if his biggest struggle wasn’t the drugs and sex, but the attention and media that he received? So he crashes and burns, ends up in the church, but then the church puts him back into the spotlight because “God gave him the ability to play that guitar”. It wasn’t until recently that I actually started thinking about the possibility that all of that talent came out of selfish desires. The need to be needed, the cry’s to be on the stage with thousands of people screaming your name, it all comes from our own desires. But then when we find God and begin to serve him, our closest peers encourage us to get back on that stage, but this time in the name of the Lord.
A very wise person once reminded me that when I am struggling with these selfish desires, I must break myself down to the bare. The naked. The ugly. The uncomfortable. It is not until this point that I can unselfishly pursue God’s direction for me. Before the talents and self-proclaiming gifts, God may have had another plan for me.
May you be challenged spiritually by the grace that God has given you. May your heart be filled with the glory of God. May you know that He has prepared a path for you, and through Him we may find the meaning and purpose which we all desire.
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This weekend I was fortunate enough to spend some time at my apartment, aka the home dwelling. Unfortunately, it was only two nights, and less than 48 full hours.
A highlight of my weekend was seeing, “Where the Wild Things Are”. This was a movie event that I was looking forward to seeing from the moment the first trailer came out last year. The desire was so much more than just the opportunity to see a new movie with an incredible soundtrack and a unique story.
When I was in elementary school in Holgate, Ohio, I had the best librarian in the entire world. Mrs. Westrick was the most encouraging, fun, and loving person in the entire town. For all I knew, she was the best librarian in the entire world. Every year we would have the opportunity to listen as Mrs. Westrick read her favorite traditional books, including the Polar Express and Where the Wild Things Are. She had the most incredible way of telling a story. Her emotions were soaring, so much that we all sat on the edge of our small wooden chairs in anticipation for what happened next. The movements of her voice gave an almost eerie feeling, like we were roaming the jungles with Max and the monsters, or awaiting a visit from Santa Claus on the Polar Express. Mrs. Westrick taught me the power of imagination, creativity, and written literature, all of which have been a large part of who I am personally and professionally.
Now, many years and books since, I found myself sitting in the movie theater with that same excitement. Throughout many times in the film, I felt like I was Max. His adventurous attitude, and his ability to create a wild story on location without a second thought or doubt. His creativity helped him to make impossible things realistic. I won’t spoil the movie for anyone, but Max goes through a lot of conflicts and trials, and he is forced to act very quickly. I empathize for Max, as I too can struggle to make big decisions that must be made in leadership positions (although I have never been the King before). And concerning the Wild Thing’s, we are all looking for someone or something to guide us. The film does an excellent job of recreating the images I had in my own head as Mrs. Westrick read the story to our class. The music of Karen O and the Kids fits perfectly into the free-spirited attitude of Max, and captures the simplicities of noise, of the voice, and simply of expression. Despite the stress, the tears, and the pain, Max is able to learn some lessons that remind him of the important things and people in his life. His values are slowly revealed and adjusted as he roams with the Wild Things. The film is simply beautiful, and was the perfect reminder that inside each of us is a Wild Thing trying to understand the world.
Where I’m Located: Sidney, Ohio
Where I’m Headed: Piqua, Urbana, Paulding, Wayne Trace, Holgate.
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Reporting for duty…
Here’s a look at the past few weeks of travel. I have rotated back and forth between East Ohio travel and Northwest Ohio driving. I am fortunate enough to have the most college fairs and some of the craziest travel of all MVNU Admissions Counselors. It is definitely draining, however there is something special about traveling around to tell your story and share it with high school students.
Tonight was my first youth group visit at New Philadelphia Church of the Nazarene. I extended a challenge to them that I hope they follow up on. I even met a former MVNU Admissions Counselor who did the travel for four straight years. That is legendary in our history. The job really is a mix of emotions. The connection with students is amazing, but the travel, staying in a new hotel every night, and being unable to connect with your home church make it a true challenge.
I have been meeting a lot of students from all walks of life. An interesting observation has been looking at the differences between public and private high schools. I grew up in a small public high school with a graduating class of 32. (Yes, 32 in a public school!) I can not imagine being in a graduating class of 600+ students, or to the other extreme of 12. This diversity really shows what MVNU is all about. We have students coming from all over the world, from schools of many sizes, some of which are in their own homes.
In other news, I recently snagged another Intramural Championship T-Shirt, with a 13-10 victory over another Intramural softball team. We fought through a tough road of wins and losses (a few more losses than we were hoping for) but we were more than happy to win some t-shirts to several guys who had never won in their college experience so far. Sand Volleyball was a great season as we fought through a great season but came up short in the semi-finals to an amazing team of Mennonite girls and high school male volleyball players.
Taking a look at all of the different hotels I stay in has been pretty interesting as well. Tonight I am staying in a Comfort Inn in Hubbard, Ohio. This hotel screamed “Grandpa and Grandma” from the moment I walked in. As I checked in, I was welcomed by a half dozen older gentlemen and one gray-haired woman sitting in the lobby talking about the newspaper in front of them. The hallways smelled of musk and were about two times the size of a normal hotel hallway. On the walk to my room, I even passed a pair of elderly heading towards the indoor pool and spa, vacation style swimsuits included. I thought for sure I was in a retirement home, and it was confirmed as I opened my door and spotted my very own Lazy Boy recliner sitting next to my window. Yep, this is it. The mecca of elderly. The haven for the gray-haired. For those like my friend Bethany, this would be heaven.
Garaway HS, Claymont College Fair, Lake Center Christian School, Sidney, Piqua, Urbana, Paulding, and more..
I can’t lie, I like to dance a little bit when it comes to the celebrations of marriage with friends. This is my friend Brian Sofia (in the all white) busting some moves at his wedding this summer. He and his wife, Michelle, had a beautiful wedding!