Moonball!

One of the sororities here at CNU, Gamma Phi Beta (GPhi), recently held its moonball fundraiser event. It was a great experience that attracted a lot of teams and raised tons of money. Most all of the sisters were in attendance and were all very excited to host. Similarly, all the teams participating and audience members had a great time at the event.

Most of you will be unfamiliar with the term “moonball,” but this is one of GPhi’s signature fundraisers. Essentially, it’s a volleyball tournament. It’s called moonball because one of Gamma Phi’s emblems is a crescent moon. The fundraiser went on without a hitch, thanks to the sisters. Every team had to pay a small fee to enter, which went toward GPhi’s philanthropy. GPhi’s philanthropy is to empower and strengthen young women across the nation. The funds raised will be donated to Girls on the Run. It was a tough tournament, but Sigma Phi Epsilon ended up placing first.

Dancing Through College

My freshman year at Christopher Newport, I decided to sign up for Ballroom Dance Society. I wanted a challenge, something to push me to the edge of my comfort zone. My initial idea of ballroom dancing involved glamour, dramatic tangos and skirts that would fly around me in a perfect circle as I spun. My first lesson involved dancing in jeans, a T-shirt and polka-dot socks to an upbeat swing, surrounded by 20 or so students. The instructor who came to teach once a week would teach us a move and then have us dance it in pairs.

I was initially terrified, having no dance experience and being exceptionally good at face-planting. But the older students encouraged me to have fun regardless, and coaxed me out of my shell. I began to open up to my new family, thanks to their guidance, silliness and ardent love for dancing. Jump to today, and I am still an active member of the club, and now one of the more experienced dancers. I love getting the opportunity to encourage new students and help them find their passion for ballroom. I love going to dance competitions in other states, and bonding with the CNU club while meeting new ones. And more than anything, I love that one day our newest, shyest freshmen will one day be leading the club, teaching people to love dance. The circle never ends. And even when I graduate, leaving my beautiful school and ballroom family behind, I will never stop dancing.

Sewing the Stress Away

As a theater minor, I was required to take either scene design or costume design. Both classes are beneficial and highly enjoyable, but I chose to take costuming because it seemed more interesting to me. We’re nearing the end of the semester, and I thought it would be fun to reflect on my experience in this incredibly rewarding class.

Professor Kathy Jaremski is a wonderfully talented, caring, hardworking individual who really cares about her students and their success. She taught us that no matter what position you hold in the theatrical world (actor, director, scene designer, etc.) it is important to have at least a general understanding of all the other cogs in the machine. This allows for a broader understanding of theater as a whole, and makes the whole production process run a lot smoother.

Not only has this class helped me to understand the work that goes into costuming a production, but it has helped me gain life skills such as sewing on buttons and zippers, ironing/pressing garments, and making a garment based on a commercial pattern. Because of this, this class is beneficial to all students, not just those interested in pursuing a career in theater.

As part of this class, students are required to participate in about three lab hours per week. During these hours, we come into the costume shop and work on projects. This allows us to learn in a hands-on way with more one-on-one time with the professor than we would otherwise receive. This time is highly beneficial and is a fun, relaxing way to take your mind off the stress of other courses.

I would recommend this class to anyone looking to gain real-life skills and have fun doing it!

The Dramatic Impulse

My favorite class this semester is The Dramatic Impulse. It’s an introductory course to all things theater, which is right up my alley. While the subject matter is important, it’s not the only reason why I love the class. The main reason I love the class is the way the curriculum is presented. Rather than traditional lectures, the class is entirely group based. Professor Ishee prompts the class, and then promptly waits for the discussion to begin. He does not egg on students; he lets the class take as long as they please to begin discussion. This forces class participation, and everyone benefits from this.

Similarly, rather than traditional tests and homework, grades are made up, almost exclusively, of group presentations. These vary from assignment to assignment, including all aspects of theater (acting, sound, design, scenery, directing, thematic elements, etc). The class is very much what you make of it. Everyone is free to interpret the assignments as they wish, and this has made for some very interesting decisions creatively. They’re fun to watch and even more fun to participate in.

CNU facilitates this sort of learning environment. The University allows and encourages faculty to be unorthodox and experimental. College is a time to try new things, and with thoughtful and creative professors, students are exposed to just as many new things in the classroom as out.

Beach Trips While in School

There is a lot more to Christopher Newport University than just laying on the Great Lawn or watching the sunset at the Lion’s Gate Bridge. Because of its location on the Peninsula, we Captains have access to several beaches nearby. Some of you may be thinking our only option is Virginia Beach. Nope, there is much more than that! Some smaller beaches nearby are Buckroe Beach, located in Hampton, Yorktown Beach and Huntington Beach in Newport News.

The one that most CNU students choose to go to is Buckroe Beach. Personally, I have gone to some of these beaches just to spend a day out in the sun and relax. I have also gone to get out of the norm and study with a nice view. If you are someone who loves history and small historic towns, Yorktown Beach is your best bet.

There are so many fun places to go to that we sometimes do not know about. Now that finals week is approaching, I suggest grabbing your study materials and heading to the beach to study on one of the warm days that is coming up. Enjoy it while the somewhat warm weather lasts!

Why You Should Be Excited for Leadership Adventure

Honestly, when I first learned I had to attend the summer leadership adventure week as a result of being in the President’s Leadership Program (PLP), I was a little hesitant. The truth is, I was not very eager to spend a week at CNU when I knew I would only have limited time to spend with my friends after graduation. After summer, I likely would not see many of my friends for a very long time, so I wanted to capitalize on the summer and spend it with close friends.

However, I went and I’m so glad I did. summer leadership adventure immediately follows Setting Sail orientation, which is amazing in its own right. However, the leadership adventure portion has a much bigger emphasis on bonding and developing lasting relationships. For example, several days are spent working on team-building exercises. There was room for all kinds in these exercises because every activity required different sets of skills. So, everyone had a chance to offer their own expertise.

In addition, the week was designed to bring people out of their comfort zones. I know this sounds intimidating, and it’s supposed to. It’s important to be ready to accept a challenge or rise to an occasion, but one value the summer leadership adventure week strives to instill is that it’s also important to work with those around you. When you’re out of your comfort zone, never hesitate to lean on a friend for help.

There’s so much more I could go on about, but I wouldn’t want to ruin any of the wonderful surprises the summer leadership adventure week has in store for PLP members. I hope you’re looking forward to it!

Saying Hello

There’s no way around it, Christopher Newport University is a loving community. Most people find this out very quickly, but for others it can take a while to become acclimated. The best part of being such a small campus is becoming a part of it and its culture. So, don’t waste any time!

If you want to meet new people and expand your horizons, start with “hello.” Say hi while you’re in line at Commons, or finally meet the people you sit next to in class. This can sound a little intimidating, and even weird, but you’ll find your peers in this university are very kind and would love to get to know you.

Another great way to meet people is to get involved. Consider joining a club or any other sort of activity. In the David Student Union (DSU), you’ll often find tons of organizations vying for your attention and participation. Check them out! Plus, in the DSU, as well as every other building, you’ll find bulletin boards with tons of opportunities. From book clubs to athletics, there’s something for everyone.

CNU caters to its students with a very accepting atmosphere.Take advantage of it!

Why Everyone Loves President Trible

Christopher Newport University’s president is unlike any other. President Trible is a beacon of cheerfulness and enthusiasm on campus. He is a very charismatic person and uses this skill to inspire students to embrace all they are and can be.

Besides orientation speeches, the first time I met President Trible was outside of Luter Hall. He said “hi” and shook hands with all of the students around. He also asked us to call him “P-Tribs.” I enjoyed finding out he didn’t take himself so seriously that he wouldn’t allow himself to be relational with students. During an event for freshmen hosted at the Trible household with lots of lovely desserts, Paul Trible and his wife Rosemary were extremely pleasant. They genuinely seemed excited to meet all of the students, this is because they genuinely were.

President Trible has been with the university for over 20 years. He has directly impacted heaps of positive change, and never slows down. The campus continues to grow and grow, more buildings come with more opportunities. When Trible visited a Student Assembly meeting, he talked to us about these changes. The man is extremely passionate, and everyone in the room could tell. This is why everyone loves Trible. He is a resource to those on campus, often working behind the scenes, but feverishly passionate. Without President Trible, or “P-Tribs”, CNU would certainly not be what it is today.

My First Registration

Registration is stressful. Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, there’s always the impending fear you won’t get the classes you were hoping for. Though, as a freshman, for some odd reason, I wasn’t too worried. In hindsight, I probably should have been a little more concerned.

As I sat in my communication class, my professor asked us how registration that morning had gone. And that’s when I realized, I had forgotten to register. I very quickly opened up CNU Live to take a look. Sure enough, all of my first-choice classes had been long-since filled. Panic ensued, but only for a moment.

I took a look at what classes I needed and cross-referenced that with which ones were open. With the CNU Live interface, this is an extremely easy task. I was very grateful to find there were still many, many amazing classes still open for registration. While CNU is a small campus, there is no shortage of incredible courses to take and learn from. In addition, all students have the option to request an “override” to get into a class if they feel it is absolutely essential they take the class.

Hopefully, next semester I won’t forget my registration date, but even if I do it’s nice to know that there will always be plenty of options for me and everyone else.

5 Ways to De-Stress on Campus

College is stressful. However, with a supportive and accommodating campus, it’s very easy to conquer stress. Here are a few ways to de-stress on campus:

  1. Hang out with friends! This one should be obvious, but a lot of times it’s far too easy to forget this. Take a break from schoolwork and grab a bite to eat with your roommate or a friend from class! Another great way to spend time is checking out a sports game.
  2. Listen to music. Let’s be honest, music kind of solves everything, right? No matter what you’re feeling, there’s a song for it. Curl up in your bed and play your favorite album.
  3. Volunteer! The notion of taking on more work when stressed sounds ridiculous. If your schedule is already packed, then maybe volunteering isn’t for you right now. Though, if you’ve got some time, giving back to your campus and community is an incredibly rewarding experience that can leave you feeling rejuvenated.
  4. Nap. Nothing feels more refreshing than a midday nap. If you’ve got a busy evening ahead, set an alarm and take a nap for an hour or two. Catching up on sleep is absolutely imperative to being a well-rounded student.
  5. Visit counseling services. If you find yourself feeling extremely overwhelmed, then always remember you can talk to a counselor. Our counselors are here to help us, so be sure to use that resource.

And, of course, there are many, many other ways to de-stress. The most important thing to remember is that everyone deserves a break, so give yourself one!