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b2ap3_thumbnail_Kayla_Painting.jpgHow art courses at Waynesburg have changed my life (as a non-major).

1. The first time I picked up a paintbrush was my sophomore year at Waynesburg. It was the fall term and as I scoured the thin book of offered courses, I stumbled upon an acrylics class, open to all majors. Aside from some sketching here and there, I had never put much effort in to becoming an artist; all I wanted to draw were horses. I had spent my childhood drawing horses until I nearly mastered them. They ran, jumped and reared on the page, never accompanied by a scene of any sort, just a ghost on a sheet of printer paper. Simply put, I couldn’t draw anything else. It was difficult for me to envision myself painting, but I had heard the professor graded based on progress not talent (friendly to anyone with a true interest in learning) so I joined. In a few short weeks, I found myself consumed in the technique of putting paint to canvas— the smooth, gentle glide of a brush and the act of finishing my own work-of-art. It was after my first painting that I (reluctantly) called myself an artist.

2. That fall semester my sophomore year proved to be a challenge, yet, when my feet found their way to the art room time stopped. I sat at the long table with my easel, pushing my brush against the canvas sheet, and I felt my mind lift from the haze of upcoming exams and papers. I couldn’t get enough of the freedom I felt when I was covered in paint, leaving fingerprints on the things I touched. When I realized just how therapeutic painting had become for me, I decided to order more supplies and bring the studio to my own kitchen. The sink, table and floor quickly became their own masterpieces, dripping with paint to my mother’s disliking, while I worked on my paintings. I allowed my thoughts to drift off to happier places where the world I envisioned was the world I became a part of, not the one I actually lived in.

3. Art, I have found, is not always realistic or the popular definition of beauty, yet as I stand in front of a sculpture or a painting with its odd limbs and colors, suspended in midair, I find myself lost in it amidst a lack of understanding. I wander toward it, staring, hoping I’ll have that “ah ha” moment where it becomes clear what exactly is in front of me. I never do, but the interest remains. I continue to look, hopelessly. Questions fill my mind, pressing me to think outside of my normal worldviews. Picasso, Warhol, Kandinsky, what dreamlike places did you travel while you transposed your thoughts to paper and paint to canvas? I want to know where you’ve been.

4. There are nights when I look at the blue and orange sky shifting to pinks and purples over tree branched mountain tops and I want to scoop them up and spread them over a fresh, white canvas, letting the colors mold into one another as they kiss the corners of the page. I want to mark that image forever in my mind, hang it on the wall or mount it in a gallery for the world to see the things I have seen in that very moment. Sometimes I grab my camera to keep that image tucked away, somewhere, for a second glance, but what I have found, through my art courses, is nothing can quite capture an image the same as an artist’s eye.

5. When I think about the peculiarity in the nature of a piece of art, I think of God and His own designs. What inspires God to mold, cut, mix and scrape his creations into their final forms? With infinite amounts of color, materials and tools, the possibilities are endless, yet he chose to create me. What greater, peculiar, humbling love could a person ever encounter?

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This past weekend I had the immense pleasure of spending time in the Republic of Ireland's capital, Dublin City. Among the many things we saw, one of the b2ap3_thumbnail_P1040283.JPGplaces that I had the opportunity to experience was, what I consider, a physical embodiment knowledge and study- a visit to the Trinity College, containing the Book of Kells and the old library's "long room."

The Book of Kells is an Ancient Irish text, a beautifully illustrated Latin rendition of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Trinity has an extensive exhibit leading up to the book, telling all one could wish to know about the book, even down to the ink and the binding. The book is incredibly well preserved after over 1000 years and shows with clarity the devotion of the artists and the  calligraphers in their creation of this copy of the gospels. It's a very unique and special feeling, reading- the little I could understand- out of the word of God, penned so long ago and with so much care, to see the reverence for the words in the flawless presentation of them.

The old library is a whole other experience, one that I don't think I'll ever forget. Walking into that majestic room, I literally had to catch my breath. Books, thousands of wonderfully old books, fill shelves that reach to the ceiling while dozens of busts of doctors, writers, and philosophers silently keep guard along the edges of the room. Among the many things knowledge and learning can be, a powerful and important tool that people have been striving for throughout the ages, something that is a monumental  part of our lives, especially in the first 18-25 years, a force to be reckoned with- it can also be absolutely beautiful. I don't think I've ever seen anything that so clearly encompasses that in any tangible sort of way, but Trinity's library certainly does. Looking into it, you can almost see the centuries of study and the tremendous amount of learning presented in the long room of Trinity College's old library.

These are some of the things I find spectacular, things that ignite my imagination and desire for that same passion and knowledge that the people who made these things, who penned and painted the Book of Kells, who built and maintained the library, even the figures represented in marble and the many books that line the shelves. These, and things like them, are some of the most wonderful sights for a scholar's heart.

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John 1:1-3, 14

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God... And the Word became flesh and dwelt b2ap3_thumbnail_John1-1.pngamong us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

This morning on the way to work, it seemed like a strange combination to be stepping over snow piles while listening to birds chirping. The birds know that spring is coming, even though the storms haven’t quite figured it out yet. The birds are evidence of the promise of spring.

This week we enter the season of Lent. In our Bible study this week, we are focusing on Jesus as the Word of God, the Word made flesh.  What does it mean to give someone your word? Our word is our promise. Jesus Christ is God’s promise to us – and not just a verbal promise but a promise who came in the flesh so that we could see and know the love that God has for us.

Sometimes it is easy to lose sight of God’s love – we get overwhelmed by the demands of midterms and work and expectations. It is times like these that we need to stop and listen. Listen for the birds chirping, listen for the still small voice, listen for a reminder of the promise that God is with us, God has promised never to leave us or forsake us. It may seem like the storms will never cease, but I promise, spring is around the corner.

 

Blessings,

Rev Carolyn Poteet

cpoteet@waynesburg.edu

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The Yellow Jacket men’s basketball team is enjoying its most successful season in nearly a decade, and if you’re trying to pinpoint how they’ve been able to pull that off, you may want to start in Willison Hall—Room 605 to be exact. That’s the current home of Jacob Fleegle and Thomas Ellis, the team’s second and third leading scorers, respectively. The two started as roommates freshman year after a recommendation from their head coach Mark Christner, and they’ve been living together ever since. Recently, they shared a glimpse into their experience as roommates and even offered a word of advice for incoming students…

 

Thomas Ellis Name Jacob Fleegle
Junior Class Junior
Fresno, Ohio Hometown Jennerstown, Pa.
Christian environment, small class size, family member’s positive experience, ability to play basketball Why WU? Basketball is the main reason I came to WU. Once I came for my visit and tour, I fell
in love with it.
Small Business Management; Marketing minor Major History (Secondary Education); Political Science minor
Basketball, FCA leader,
Student Ambassador
Activities at WU Basketball, FCA, possibly golf
this spring
Coach Christner gave us each other’s numbers, and we began to text over the summer. The more we talked, the more we realized how alike we were and that rooming together would be a good idea. How did you become roommates? Coach Christner helped us to meet each other with basketball, and we were both looking for someone to room with. We have been rooming together ever since.
We overslept for our freshman Fiat Lux trip to Washington, D.C., and had to get ready in record speed to catch the bus. We were literally the last people on the seven buses that went on the trip. Best memory as roommates Helping a friend push their broken down car back to campus from McCracken Pharmacy (about ½ mile away) at midnight one night.
Have your roommate become one of your closest friends because it will make your life much easier. Tips for incoming freshmen
who will be roommates
Communicate in advance if possible to get on the same page and get to know each other in advance.
Snack food, fridge, TV Top item(s) necessary for living in the residence halls Refrigerator
Yes. Being able to live with someone that encourages and challenges me in everything I do is something I would not be able to replace. If you had to do it all over again, would you still live together? Why? Yes. We both get along greatly and are on similar schedules.  We have not had any problems as roommates.

 

When asked if he had anything else to add, Thomas quickly pointed to his freshman year experience in a traditional residence hall. "Living in Martin Hall freshman year made the transition into college much more enjoyable," he said. "The community that our floor had was awesome!"

Thomas, Jacob and the rest of the Yellow Jackets head to Bethany College this Saturday to compete in the ECAC Southwest Tournament. Waynesburg takes on Hood in a semifinal matchup, with the winner advancing to Sunday's championship. It's the first time the men's basketball program has qualified for postseason play since its 2005-06 campaign. Good luck, Jackets!

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One thing that most people expect when traveling is the experiencing “culture shock.” I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but Northern Ireland has been quite an interesting study in that respect. Now, maybe there are parts of Ireland that are astonishingly “other” from what I’m used to- I believe, for instance, there are certain towns and islands that, according to various travel sights’ claims, are “a step into the past;” so far, however, in Northern Ireland, Ireland in general, really, there isn’t so much of a “shock” as much as there is a feeling of “I had never realized that was how it was there,” that hits you in the midst of going about your days.

There are some obvious differences that are noticeable right off, like the wonderful accent of the Irish, using “wee” where Americans would use “small,” and parking lots are referred to as car parks; most things, though, I’ve just been picking up little by little, the longer I spend time here. Some words, for instance, are different, most often as building or street names, or when referring to the Irish government systems, because they use the original Irish language of Gaelic; funnily enough, though, the Irish students seem to have as much difficulty pronouncing those words as the foreign students do. Then there are some truly wonderful differences, such as the vast array of various chocolates, the majority of which I’ve never even heard of- peanut butter Kit Kats are one of my new favorite things. Meanwhile, fries are called chips and chips are called crisps, and fish sticks are called fish fingers.

This is one of the things about studying abroad that I am really loving. It’s a different form of learning; not academic, but rather growing and gaining understanding of another culture, just by picking up these little- sorry, “wee”- differences. It’s much subtler than if I’d gone to any number of other countries, but even so it gives me the feeling that I’m getting this beautifully different understanding of the world. Here, I feel like there is an endless supply of things to discover, like there’s no end to the mystery of the Emerald Isle. There are many magnificent sights to see and there are tantalizingly lilting voices, the things that everyone expects to see when they come here, but there are so many little details until you spend some time. It’s almost like meeting a new person, noticing their appearance and personality first; but then as you get to know them, you learn their little ticks and quirks, and that’s what makes them more, what sets them apart in your mind and your heart. It’s an experience not quite like any other- getting to know a culture.

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