by Rosieand5

Therapy by Puppies and Pokemon

It’s becoming a trend for some hospitals to bring in dogs as comfort therapy for ill patients. There’s even a whole foundation called Therapy Dogs International, which provides dog “visitors” for terminal patients in select hospitals. Why, you may ask? Because supposedly, animal company really is therapeutic for the human mind. The theory is factually supported.

So, naturally, what does CBU do when their students are in a terrified flurry about the coming finals? They bring in puppies for us to play with, of course!

A couple of weeks ago, just before finals began, ASCBU (CBU student council) put on an event that they happily named “Recess.” This event included a collection of childish games and activities, including swings and puppies, as well as students dressed as childhood TV characters. Onlookers called it a “fair,” because of the loud, energetic music and colorful atmosphere.

And so, students set aside their textbooks and laptops to join in the fun with many of their fellow classmates, celebrating another fantastic year of learning and growth. For some, this would be their last large CBU event before graduation – and what better way to go out “with a bang” than with a puppy in your arms?

When the event ended, the music stopped, and the crazies left to go back to their apartments, we C&E workers stepped out onto the lawn to tear down everything. Fortunately, not much of a mess was made for us to take care of, but one of my coworkers did joke about how all of the trash that was left “smelled so good; like ice cream!” If even the trash smelled tasty, then the intentionally childish event must have been a success!

One of the things I love most about CBU is how much leeway its student leaders have to plan random, unique events such as this one… Because, well, let’s be honest –if the event planning had been left to someone whose childhood happened well before ours, there probably wouldn’t have been a giant Pokemon walking around campus. Just sayin’.

An Artist’s Adventure Up a Mountain

Every spring, CBU’s graphic design and photography department spends a great deal of time planning its annual photo shoot trip. The professors form a sort of team, gather up students and steal them away for a weekend to give them a taste of the effort involved in real-life photography projects. While “effort” unfortunately rings an unwelcomed bell in the ears of many college students, to us, it’s the most fun kind of effort around!  And thanks to God and good timing, I was one of the lucky students who had the opportunity to share in that experience this year.

This year, the professors decided to take us up to the mountains for our shoot. Along with us design students, they also asked a couple of students interested in a modeling career to join our journey and act as the subjects of our work. All design and photography students received an invitation in their Lancermail, which ended with, “And, we will feed you.” How could we say no to that?

This is how CBU rolls.

And so, one beautiful Friday morning, all 40 of us artists loaded up into six large SUVs and took off for an unforgettable overnight adventure!

It took us about an hour and a half to reach CBU’s Tahquitz Pines Conference Center in Idyllwild, where we would be staying. Once we arrived there, we were given a few minutes to find our cabins and unpack, and then it was off to location scouting!

The girls and I outside our homey cabins!

Now, if I’m being honest, I was expecting that the professors had already planned out where exactly we would be caravanning for our shoots… but no, it was just as much a mystery to them as it was to us. So naturally, the first day of our trip involved a whole lot of driving around in circles and getting lost before finding our “perfect” spot to shoot. But again, if I’m being honest, I actually think that was one of the more enjoyable parts of the trip! After all, what fun is a strict schedule to an artist?

After we spent a few hours shooting and observing the techniques of the professors, we headed back to camp for a wonderfully hot meal. But, it wasn’t until after dinner that the real fun began.

With the sun left the warmth, so we all huddled around a glowing bonfire. One of the students pulled out a guitar, and before long, we were all worshipping together, under the stars, as a family. Marveling in the beauty of this, I’d almost forgotten why we were there – and then we were called out into the trees.

One of our professors decided to go out and buy fog machines and colored flashlights to surprise us with. He also brought a hefty outside projector. So as darkness fell over the mountains, we photographers picked up our lights, flipped on the fog and ran the projector – setting the stage for one of the most fantastic shoots I have ever seen.

“Lightwriting” in the trees!

Our professors then proceeded to teach us the art of what’s called “lightwriting,” which is basically capturing moving lights with one shot. If you’re skilled, you can even “paint” pictures or write words with light, capturing the whole piece with your camera. This might have been the most fascinating thing I’ve learned all semester!

With the following afternoon came time to say goodbye to the camp and head back up to our home away from home. As all the SUVs pulled back into CBU, we said our goodbyes, ready to rest for a while. I’d hardly realized how exhausted I was with all the distraction of ongoing activities!

I’m so blessed to have been able to ride along for this adventure and sure hope I’m able to again in the coming years!

Behind the Scenes

Towards the beginning of this semester, I began working for the CBU’s Conferences and Events team. I work an average of 10 to 15 hours a week, and during those hours I’m usually wrapping cords, setting up tables and chairs, controlling lights, and the like. We set up and tear down everything, from chapel to concerts to club fairs… it’s all us! And the best part? We get to be there.

I wrote in an earlier blog about how no CBU student has any excuse to be bored during the week, because if you’re not working, or studying, or hanging out with friends, then you’ve got to be at the Rec Center, or enjoying an event, or something – there’s always something. In truth, though, I never fully understood just how many “somethings” there are until I began working for C&E.

Last week, I was assigned to set up and help run an open mic night out in Stamps Courtyard. The event was absolutely beautiful, from the flower vases on every table, to the handwritten posters and colored lights – the whole atmosphere was such a pleasure to experience. And the greatest part was having the opportunity to watch fellow Lancers take a deep breath and step up onto the stage, each one gifting us with the show of a unique talent. The event included everything from poetry to singing, from guitar to magic tricks… and even a couple performances done by CBU siblings, which was pretty much the sweetest thing I’d seen all week!

Throughout the show, the student Community Life interns introduced each performer and their talent, cracking a joke every so often to keep the audience’s mind off the cold…. and boy, was it cold. But of course, CBU had it covered! For that evening only, Wanda’s Café was offering coffee for $1! Yum!

The following evening, I was assigned to Office Tech – which basically consists of running around campus filling the gaps of the other jobs, and making sure C&E is ahead of schedule. But during the running around, I noticed a distinct, powdery aroma – and sure enough, CBU was hosting yet another event, out on the front lawn. This event, the name of which escapes me, is an annual get together of students, and guess what they do? They throw bright, colorful powder at each other until everyone looks like they’ve just recovered from falling into a rainbow. Why? I’m not sure, because I didn’t attend, but just because we’re legal adults now doesn’t mean we don’t crave a little childish fun every once in a while!

All that to say, I’m loving my position on the C&E team. Every week, I greet new faces and have the chance to work alongside of familiar ones, while also getting to see the “behind the scenes” of CBU’s crazy, sometimes colorful, schedule.

You know, Lancers, C&E is almost always hiring… Looking for a job? Jump on board! It’s exhausting, but you won’t regret it.

Focus, Then Glance

You know what’s crazy? I just returned from spring break, and suddenly in four weeks I will have officially completed my freshman year of college. That is crazy.

This home stretch is such an interesting one – it’s full of preparing yourself to say goodbye to the routines and comforts you’ve developed over the past seven months, and also time to say hello to countless new opportunities on the horizon. I’m a quarter of the way through… And yet, it feels as though nothing has changed, and I’m still just beginning this college journey.

One example of an opportunity is one that’s been on my mind almost constantly over the past few weeks. A friend of mine and I are looking into studying abroad in Europe next Spring via a program that CBU has an affiliation with—as if CBU needed to add to their list of incredible opportunities!

Since we’re both graphic design majors, Caitlin and I are having so much fun sorting through the various art schools in Rome andFlorence, jittery with excitement at the idea of living in another country for a semester. To wake up, pick up a mug of Italian coffee and some delicious Tuscan pastries before glancing over our shoulder–only to see the silhouette of the coliseum in the distance. What a daydream!

Therein lies the problem. I am so much of a daydreamer that I often struggle to remain firm enough in the present to focus! Focus on the here and now, focus on the present, focus.

I wrote in an earlier blog about how my mom used to tell me when I was in elementary school, after I’d complain about how the school days drag on forever, that, “When you are older, time just seems to go so much faster.” I never believed her… until I did.

With that reflection in mind, and especially realizing that an entire year of college has nearly escaped my reach, I’m learning the importance of balancing what consumes my mind between the present reality and my future daydreams. This is no simple feat for me, as I learned in my FOCUS class earlier this year. We were required to take a personality test which revealed our five top strengths – two of mine were Ideation and Futuristic. Enough said?

So if, having almost completed my first year, I have enough credibility to give some advice to graduating high school seniors, it would be this: when it comes to going to school for the purpose of planning a future, exercise focusing on the here and now so that you may succeed in whatever it is you intend to do.

But also, learn to daydream if you haven’t already, because that’s what will ultimately propel you through every homestretch.

Focus, focus… then glance.

Tick, Tock…

Having hardly announced its arrival, spring break is already right around the corner.

What?

One of the best parts of growing up is gaining the freedom to make your own decisions, and along with spring break suddenly comes that time once again…. So much faster than I had anticipated. In fact, I’m in a little bit of a foggy disbelief as I type this!

Every year when March rolls around, students all over campus are just watching the minutes tick by as we await our class registration and housing selections for the coming fall semester…. Tick, tock, tick, tock…

While to an outsider this whole crazy selection and scheduling process may sound like a hassle, to us students, it’s definitely an exciting time! Class wise, CBU offers hundreds of different types of courses that range from just about every interest to the next… graphic arts, philosophy, marine science, aviation, music, anatomy, etc… I’ve been asked a couple of times, “So how does CBU require their students to set up schedules? Were you required to take ‘this, this and this,’ for example?”

The first time I was asked this, I probably seemed a little bewildered as this thought had not crossed my mind. While students are given plenty of recommendations for how to optimize our schedules each year, the decision is ultimately our own. That’s something I love about being here. If you choose wisely, not only will you have tons of fun in the process (or, maybe that’s just nerds like me), but you will also feel an overwhelming satisfaction with each passing semester!

And as for housing, even we freshmen aren’t limited as freshmen usually are in most colleges. From the dorms to the cottages to Tower Hall, the selection is all ours! But, needless to say, I am definitely excited to have the selection choices of an upperclassman.

I actually didn’t know until a couple weeks ago that for upperclassman housing, CBU offers apartments that range from one-person studios to five-person townhouses! And, you have complete freedom to develop your own “groups” of roommates so that you know exactly whom you will be living with when September rolls around.

Plus, if you’re someone who appreciates perfection (or, obsesses over it) then you’ll probably be just as impressed as I am by CBU’s roommate searching process. If you’re a new student who doesn’t have a clue about who to room with, or if you’re a returning student who can’t think of someone you’d like to room with (what happened?), then this process may just be your rescue. Every student inputs information such as rooming preferences, likes and dislikes, character traits, etc., and CBU then provides you with a list of potential roommates and the percentage of their information that matches up with yours.

Neat, huh? I’m so excited!

Tick, tock, tick, tock…

CBU Doesn’t Care if Your Socks Are Uniform

Screen Shot 2014-03-08 at 11.41.38 AMAs a graphic design and digital media student, a small fraction of my studies is devoted to the art of photography and digital editing. Craving more of it, I enrolled this semester in a brand new Commercial Photography class, where every few weeks I am assigned a new project having to do with an advertisement of some sort.

This past week, I brought my younger sister and cousin to school with me for a night so that they could model for my Saran Wrap campaign ad. Needless to say, we had a great time! While I left the experience with many wonderful memories, something that my cousin mentioned while in chapel on Monday has left a mark in my mind.

While in chapel, before the service began, she began telling me about a couple of the colleges she had been looking into. She definitely has a few years to think about it, so I applauded her initiative so early on. After listening to her list of UC schools, I asked, “Have you thought about any private schools?”

She laughed a little and shook her head as though it were an obvious answer, “No, definitely no private schools.”

In all honesty, her response had me taken aback. As I was soon to find out, though, my cousin’s understanding of a “private school” was that they are all uptight, uniformed and strict. She wanted to go somewhere where she could excel academically but also enjoy the uniqueness of a college social life.

So, I set to work.

Now let me be clear, I understand that private school is not the best route for everyone. Certainly, for many reasons, it was the best choice for me and my academic pursuits, but I am not everybody.

Regardless, I think that every high school student should have the benefit of a proper understanding of every option available to them when choosing a university. So over the next day, I was sure to show my cousin every in, out, wall and door that illustrates CBU’s well-rounded offerings. (Actually at one point, she poked fun at my enthusiasm and pointed out a rock and its supposed significance).

CBU teaches humility, not an understanding of uptight religion. CBU endorses plenty of room for students to make their own decisions and grow through that process of independence, rather than being overbearing and strict.  And, most importantly to some, CBU really doesn’t care whether your socks are uniform or not. In fact, CBU encourages God-given individuality and the decision to stray from “worldly” norms.

Certainly, there are a few “private schools” out there that may be considered uptight, uniformed and strict, but CBU is not one of them, and I made it my mission to help her understand that during her stay. And given her state of awe by the end of our time together, I would say that I succeeded!

Get Out and Take Advantage, Lancers!

When I learned for the first time that a college student only has, on average, three hours of class every day, I definitely romanticized that to mean that they must have so much free time. In fact, I was almost worried that I wouldn’t be able to fill all of that time with productive activities.

Looking back now I say… ha ha ha.

In an earlier blog, I wrote about “my 18 pairs of shoes” – all of my different commitments inside and outside of school that keep me plenty busy. But as I’m learning, the average student at CBU has the opportunity to own 18 pairs as well, just within the school itself!

My Residence Assistant for example, is not only an R.A. but she is also a member of CBU’s worship team and works some hours in the International Center. I’ve heard a couple of people say, “I feel like I’ve seen her everywhere!” So opposed to what the rumors may say about limited on-campus jobs in college, CBU definitely offers a plethora of job opportunities to keep their students busy!

But if you’re not someone looking to work, there are so many other activities to keep students busy. If you’re an athlete, recreational sports teams are being formed all throughout the year for different sports and seasons. That’s a fantastic way to get out and meet people with similar interests as you! I just realized last week that I missed soccer signups, which was a definite bummer, but I’m sure I’ll be out to watch a few games!

If you wouldn’t necessarily consider yourself an athlete but enjoy working out and staying fit, the Rec Center could become your new home! My roommates and I have a magnet on our fridge with the daily classes offered by the Rec Center. Every day, at least once if not twice or three times, the center offers group classes such as spinning, and you can also request a personal trainer for no additional cost, who will work with you throughout the semester. All of these services are already included in tuition, so be sure to take advantage of them!

Perhaps you’re not job-hunting, an athlete or someone who particularly enjoys trips to the gym. Well, outside of all of these are CBU’s nearly constant social events. Just last Tuesday, ASCBU hosted a movie night out on the lawn to kick off elections for student offices. Students were invited to come watch “Monsters University” together, and stands were set up with coffee, popcorn and Krispy Kreme donuts! What better way to bond college students than to serve them food?

Also last week, Tower Hall hosted a spaghetti night for Valentine’s Day. Tables were set up out front on the Tower Hall lawn, students came dressed in formal wear to enjoy a fun meal together, and sweet Italian music filled the air. The ambiance was a beautiful spectacle to see!

Even outside of all of these are the academic and spiritual seminars CBU offers nearly every week. If students are looking to be further spiritually replenished after chapel, CBU often brings in speakers to give talks on faith-based subjects such as dating, manhood and womanhood, and so on. I receive emails nearly daily announcing yet another academic seminar of some sort, covering subjects such as choosing a major, finding internships in your field, balancing academics with your social life…

And, the list goes on, and on, and on.

No CBU student ever has any excuse to be bored. CBU keeps on its toes, every minute of every day, so that students will receive the best that this education and atmosphere have to offer. So, get out and take advantage, Lancers!

Exposure

One of the things I pat CBU on the back for most is its constant effort to provide students opportunities to be exposed. Now what I mean by this is that, often times, private schools carry the reputation of shielding their students; keeping them inside a bubble, far away from the “real world,” where they’ll be safe and comfortable.

Here’s the thing, though – once those shielded students graduate and leave that bubble, how safe and comfortable can they possibly be, having had no preparation for or exposure to the authentic everyday struggles of our world? The answer is simple: not at all.

I wrote in an earlier blog about how grateful I was to one of my design professors for exposing his students to the “real world” of digital media, and how it is continually finding new ways to degrade women and thereby devalue respectful relationships. Rather than just bragging all semester about how we have chosen the best field, how graphic designers have the most fun (which might be true), and so on… he went into detail about how digital media is in many ways failing our society; and to supplement this, how we emerging Christian designers can survive that impact without contributing to the failure. From this, I became inspired to come to a full understanding of both the positives and negatives of my chosen career path.

But CBU does not only encourage the knowledge of reality within our individual fields of study; rather, CBU encourages a broad understanding of the world’s reality. Each summer, as a part of CBU’s mission to help students “live their purpose,” the school sends off hundreds of them to various states and countries around the world for mission work to spread the Gospel. This program is divided into USP (U.S. Service Projects) and ISP (International Service Projects).

Students in the past have been sent to the east coast, Asia, Europe and so many other places around the globe, each individually equipped to serve in entirely foreign cultures.

Unfortunately, due to a conflict of scheduling, I will not be able to attend an ISP or USP trip this summer. One of my roommates, however, is going through weekly training for her trip in May to Asia, where she will serve on a “coffeehouse” project.

A couple of weeks ago, every ISP and USP participant was required to attend what is known as “Intensive Training Weekend.” During this weekend, CBU plans back-to-back training activities that are meant to expose each student to the culturally shocking realities of the places they will be traveling to.

Although she is not allowed to share details, in order to keep everything secret for next year’s participants, I could not help but notice her absolute, uncontainable thrill when she returned to our apartment afterward. From what little she did say, I am confident that CBU did a fantastic job of both alarming and then exciting her for what is to come. So far as I can tell, she, and every other participant, was very well exposed.

So again I say, CBU deserves a pat on the back for its ability to provide such incredible opportunities. When we Lancers leave this beautiful place, not only will we be molded with a firm understanding of what awaits us in each field, but we will also be culturally and internationally aware of the world around us, and all because we have been exposed.

The Glass of My Education

A couple of weeks ago, a family friend asked me how my schooling was going. When I responded with a big smile and enthusiastic “Great!” he asked, “What’s your major again?”

After reminding him that I am a graphic design major, he asked if I was planning to work toward my master’s degree, since that’s becoming so important for getting a job these days. When I said “No, probably not, because I don’t think a master’s degree is really needed for a job in graphic design,” he smirked a little and said “Probably don’t need a degree at all in your field, huh?”

Taken aback, my instinctively polite response was, “I guess not.”

While I know he didn’t mean it this way, I took some offense to the comment. Was he implying that I am wasting time and money on an expensive Christian education that is only a luxury?

For the next few days, I mulled this brief conversation over in my head, again and again, trying to ignore the tiny voice that kept nagging in my ear, “he could be right.”

Even before this conversation, because a private education is very expensive and a huge time commitment, I’ve been working this semester on a 3 ½ year plan, so that I can wrap up my degree a semester early. It won’t be hard to do, given that I’m a single major with plenty of extra units under my belt from high school.

But this last week, as I was glancing over my plans, I realized something important: CBU requires that every undergraduate student have 124 units completed by the time of graduation, and only 48 of those units have anything to do with my graphic design major. That means more than half of my college education will be consumed by general education requirements, such as science, math, Christian studies, English, history, communications, et cetera… as well as a social work certificate that I’m working toward to earn more credibility for the Rose Again Foundation.

In discovering this, I decided that he was right: to get a job as a graphic designer, I probably don’t need a degree of any kind. I could easily hop online, pay a few expensive fees for Adobe products and tutorials and maybe attend a seminar or two… but in the end, I wouldn’t be a well rounded, educated young woman. I would never have learned how to give a proper tribute speech, or how to use APA formatting (in case I ever need to know that, for some bizarre reason). I seriously doubt that I’d ever take the time to learn the details regarding the writings of each New Testament book, which in truth is fascinating; and, given how much I paid attention to history in high school, I would probably still think that Pocahontas fell in love with John Smith.

Not to mention, I would never have met all of my fantastic professors, some of whom now act as mentors, guiding me through my design education with the understanding that any discipline, including graphic design, can be used for God’s glory… and not only that, but encouraging me, every day, that designers can change the face of this world, for good.

With all that to say, I know I’m not wasting my time here. When I leave CBU, I will be handed a piece of paper that declares my degree in graphic design. Chances are, no client will ever ask to see it. What they’ll be interested in are my portfolio that shows various skills, my passion, and probably my reliable character – all aspects of my abilities that would be seriously underdeveloped were it not for my time spent here, filling the glass of my education to the very brim.

So at the end of it all, I’ve decided he’s right, but I’m certain I wouldn’t rather have it any other way!

Bring it On, CBU

All this week, the CBU campus was alive and buzzing with students going to and from their student leadership interviews. Interviews for fall positions are done early to allow time for training before the next school year begins, which is a plus, because returning students know early that they will have an on-campus job waiting for them in the fall… and a great one, at that!

At CBU, student leaders are highly valued and a core part of CBU’s community feel. Because of this, it is a privilege to be given one of those positions. Opportunities for student leadership positions range from admissions host to International Center intern, FOCUS leader, resident advisor, Office of Spiritual Life intern, as well as community life intern. For the music student, the Office of Spiritual Life offers a chance to play in next year’s chapel band; for the student with a passion for teaching, FOCUS offers excellent opportunities to lead new CBU students in a classroom setting.

As for me, I’m bent on a few of them and am really struggling to choose just one! But I know that God will send my passions in the direction that I am most well equipped for.

The Bible encourages God’s people to use their talents to serve others, and I believe student leadership at CBU is the beginning of embodying that commission. Students often underestimate what they are able to learn while in the process of leading others. It’s a beautiful tradeoff, and a God-thing for sure!

Besides student leadership opportunities of the week, College of Architecture, Visual Arts and Design students have also had the chance to experience a real treat! CBU brought in Michael Cioni, the CEO of a post-production film company, to give us a lecture on what it means to succeed in his industry.

While at dinner just before the lecture with a design friend of mine, we were called over to another table by one of our professors. Unbeknown to us, a group of fellow design students and professors had formed a gathering around Mr. Cioni to chat with him and get to know him a little before the lecture began – what a neat opportunity that was!

All in all, this week at CBU was definitely full of new opportunities – some expected, some a happy surprise! A family friend smirked at me a couple weeks ago as he said (sarcastically of course), “So it seems from your blogs that you’re not enjoying your time at CBU at all.”

Oh, what a silly thought! It seems that every day, I’m introduced to another beautiful chance to grow and develop as a designer, but also as a woman of God… and for that I’m very grateful!

So as classes become more challenging and schedules get even tighter – I say, bring it on CBU!

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