Week One Down

Hello and welcome back! I hope everyone had a good first week. I had field hockey pre-season so my teammates and I have been back for about two weeks now. We actually had our first game at Sewanee in Kentucky yesterday and we won! It was a great way to start out our season. Pre-season kicked our butts but it certainly paid off yesterday! We have a young team with some amazing potential. I can’t wait to see how we all progress.

I’ve never pushed my limits (physically or mentally) as much as I have at Ohio Wesleyan University and I am incredibly grateful for that. In the moment things might seem insurmountable or impossible, but they rarely are. Take, for example, the fact that I am over a thousand miles from my family. For a homebody like me, that is rough. But the family I’ve made for myself here at OWU has been the perfect comfort I need whenever I start thinking about my home in Colorado. Sure, I miss my mountains and there isn’t a ton of Ohio scenery that can overcompensate for that, but my teammates and my friends are able to offer me support and compassion equal to that which I receive at home.

For the new students, just remember that this is a big transition for everyone. Don’t feel uncomfortable talking to upperclassmen about some of those nagging questions you have. They’ve probably had the exact same ones. Frequently. Maybe they still do. And, while you continue to adjust to your new life, remember that this is the time to try new things. Branch out of your comfort zone and work to broaden your cognitive universe. There is no better time to take advantage of these opportunities.

I hope everyone’s weekend has given them whatever they needed thus far, be it sleep, relaxation, a new friend, or just a good time. Don’t forget to spend some time with that growing pile of work.

Until next week,

Karson Stevenson

The final stretch

Happy late Earth Day everyone! If you forgot to celebrate today, try to be extra green tomorrow. That does not mean wear a green shirt or a hat with a tree on it. You can do so if you wish, but also try to recycle everything you use for an entire day. Turn the lights off when you leave a room and use natural light whenever you can. Turn off the water when you are brushing your teeth. Simple little things like that may not seem to make a huge difference but they do add up. If a single person takes a few steps in the right direction, progress has been made.

On a related note, WOW! What completely amazing weather we’ve had the last few days! Sunny with a cool breeze and a blue sky? I almost forgot I was in Ohio for a while there…in the best way possible! This Sunday I was fortunate enough to go with one of my roommates and her boyfriend to his home in Polaris. A few of his relatives also came to visit and we had a wonderful meal and I learned a new card game. It was so nice to be able to spend the special day with such kind people. We were even able to take his dogs to a dog park! There were so many dogs that I almost couldn’t handle the sudden overload of adorable furry creatures.

I hate being the bearer of bad news but finals are fast approaching. For those of you in high school, you still have a bit of time. And for those of you lucky enough to have graduated on to the adult world, breathe a sigh of relief. As for the rest of us college goers, get ready to buckle down and straighten up. There is no better way to go into summer than with a successful week of finals far, far behind you. As much as it may pain you, it’d be helpful to start getting your materials gathered and ready. May the odds be ever in your favor and never forget, luck favors the prepared.

I’m off to finish some papers and study for my own exams so best of luck everyone! I hope the rest of your week goes smoothly and that wherever you are there will be a bright blue sky above you.

Sincerely,

Karson Stevenson

Yoga and a Congressman

Hell everyone! Wow, what an amazing past couple of days! As always, OWU has managed to show me things I’d never have had the opportunity to see otherwise and I continue to have my world view broadened far beyond what I had originally anticipated. For example, last Monday Congressman John Lewis received the Doctorate of Law degree from Ohio Wesleyan, the highest honor the university has to offer. And what a deserving recipient he is. His experiences as a non-violent Civil Rights activist are historic and some of the most heart-wrenching stories I’ve encountered, yet his peaceful and forgiving philosophy is one of the most inspiring. I was honored to have heard him speak and hope that I can emulate a small percent of the greatness he has achieved.

On Sunday OWU hosted it’s annual Yoga Outreach Columbus event. It was amazing! I have been practicing yoga for a few years now but I’ve never been able to do so with an entire room full of people! There were multiple instructors and each had their own unique style that not only expanded our individual repertoires of positions but also allowed us to sink even deeper into the tranquil art. After nearly two full hours of practicing, we were treated to a delicious meal of a quinoa dish and kale salad, courtesy of the Duke of Fork. It was the perfect healthy and  light meal after such a  work-out. Now I just have to figure out how to whip something like that up myself and I’ll be living a healthier life in no time.Loretta Zedella, OWU’s own yoga instructor, had this to say regarding the successful event; “This unique class is co-taught by six professional yoga teachers who each donate the time. Over $7000 has been donated to three charities as a result of these events. It has been in each of its four years the largest yoga class and gathering in the state. It was founded four years ago by me, Loretta Zedella, after I found inspiration from attending a similar class at a yoga and music festival in California. What an inspiring way to reach up in a yoga pose and out to the community!”

Ohio Wesleyan’s orchestra preformed a beautiful concert in Gray Chapel last night. I miss being immersed in music but being able to admire my peers’ exquisite performances from the audience was the best way for me to re-connect with the music I love. There were some amazing vocalist performances from several OWU students and the world premier of a new composition, arranged by OWU’s own Rebecca Larkin. One cellist in particular was beyond phenomenal (I may be a bit biased but seeing as she is one of my roommates, I’m sure you will forgive me).

I’m adding some pictures from these events so please check out my picture page! I hope everyone is having a good week so far and, even if you aren’t, just focus on the weekend coming up. It IS hump day after all!

Sincerely,

Karson Stevenson

Green Week is here! But Spring…not so much

Hello everyone! We had two beautiful days of Spring and now we are back into the chilly teens. As confusing as it may seem to wake up to sun and yet still freeze your fingers off, stay strong. Warmer weather is just around the bend. As of today, March 26th, there are 43 days until May 9th, the last official day of finals. It’s hard to fathom that another year is drawing to a close but before you can start packing up and making summer plans with your friends back home, many more exciting things are happening here at OWU.

This week is Green Week; a week dedicated to the teachings and applications of sustainability and helping improve our world, one eco-friendly action at a time. On top of the fun activities during the lunch hours and the events held after classes, participants receive several useful little gifts and treats, such as delicious fruit smoothies, a vegan dinner made from local ingredients, and a very nice spork! It is actually a lot cooler than it sounds and it is a durable, lasting material to provide more convenient on-the-go eating.

One last thing before I have to go study for my exams; my little sister is coming to visit next week. I am so incredibly excited! She has never been to OWU (or even Ohio, for that matter) and I look forward to showing her as much of the school and the local community as possible!

Alright everyone, stay healthy! Avoid the mumps at all costs and do good work. I’ll talk to you again soon!

 

Sincerely,

Karson Stevenson

A calm has (finally) settled

Greetings and hello everyone! Sorry about my absence; I ended up having quite a full academic schedule for these last couple of weeks. But seven exams and three papers later I can finally take a minute to breathe! Midterms are next week, so my break will indeed be short-lived, but a day or two of mental recovery will do me well. I am taking a film course this semester and have been able to study some amazing films. As a method-student, I feel it would be in my best interest to watch some of these films in order to fully immerse myself in the course material.

I am finally back on my feet and able to start more extensive cardio. While I am thankful that I was able to get my broken foot fixed up, the recovery time was a bit more than I had anticipated. Slowly but surely I am getting back into shape. And just in time for Spring break! One of my friends and I are going to visit New York City for a couple of days and I am ecstatic. I have only ever been there once before and it was only for a few hours, even then. This time I plan on pulling out all of the tourist-stops and trying to get as much out of the city as possible. We will be staying with one of our good friends who lives in the middle of the city so we will have the native guide to help us explore the city that never sleeps!

I am going to be discussing some midterm-related study ideas later this weekend, so if anyone has any questions or thoughts they would like to share, please feel free to do so! I love hearing from you all.

Well everyone, I hope you have a fantastic weekend. Stay safe and try to make someone else’s day. Eat at least one quality meal and see if you can take a nap just for the sake of it. I’ll be with you again soon!

Yours truly,

Karson Stevenson

 

Some cold-weather ramblings

Hello everyone! I hope your week has started off in a productive manner. I usually struggle to be efficient on Mondays, as the result of them being Monday’s.

For those of you who watched the Super Bowl, I am sorry. That was a rough go about for everyone and I’m still a bit sore about it, in all honesty. I typically am not a huge football fan but it was such a significant game I figured I should pay my respects to my team’s hard work and…yikes. That’s going to leave a mark.

My other team here at OWU, however, is doing amazingly. Field Hockey Spring Season starts up after Spring Break but most of my teammates and I have already begun some work out regiments in preparation. I had foot surgery over break and have to wear a boot until the bone finishes healing up so I am a bit limited in my capacity for physical exercise. But what I am able to do I do to the best of my abilities! I am really excited for next season as I will finally be returning to the field after two seasons of filling in as goalie!

I have received a few more questions regarding college life. I will be addressing them once I have sorted through them all and thought of intelligible enough answers. But if anyone has any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to shoot them my way. I am more than happy to help and eager to listen!

Check out the pictures page as well. I’ve gotten a bit better at uploading pictures so enjoy! I hope you are in good health and are pleased with where you currently find yourself. Do your best!

Sincerely,

Karson Stevenson

The Frozen Tundra

Hello everyone! If you are in a location that has fallen below freezing, stay strong and bundled while thinking of tropical spring break vacation spots.

The American Red Cross came to the school earlier this week to set up a blood donation and I am happy to report that I was able to donate! The idea that such a simple act can save another person’s life is a huge motivating factor for me.

There is going to be a Schubert Honors Competition starting this weekend, so for all of the students who will be visiting, welcome in advance!

I’d like to answer another question from a very special high-schooler. I don’t want to reveal her identity completely but she has the same last name as me and we share the same parents. So, for the anonymous high school senior…

How hard/easy is it to get used to living with roommates? How does it work exactly, living with strangers?

I enjoy this question and feel that it is very important to address it. I haven’t shared a room since I was about four years old. Yet here I am, on the cusp of adulthood, coexisting with three other young ladies. It will seem odd at first, seeing as there is a very good chance that your new roommates will be strangers to you. Even if you aren’t able to become best friends or kindred spirits, make an effort to get to know each other. Understanding those you live with is one of the best opportunities that can be experienced in college.

There will admittedly be some difficulties. Even if you and your roommate become close friends right away, there is a big transition from your old life to college living. The key to remember is that this individual who now lives with you is going through those same transitions. Keep an open mind to their anxieties and concerns. If they really don’t like food in the room, be considerate. If they go to bed long after or before you, work out ways to accommodate each schedule. You will have to practice give and take and LISTEN TO THEM. If you have a problem, voice it to them and ask for them to do the same. Issues that are ignored do not go away.

Rather than looking at it as being forced to live with someone you don’t know, think of it as having a sleepover with a friend that just lasts a bit longer. Your roommates and you will have shared interests; after all, you both picked your school for a reason. Focus on those similarities and enjoy your time together.

I could say a lot more about this and I most likely will, at another time. But for now I wish everyone a good end of the week and a happy weekend! As always, please feel free to contact me with questions or comments. I love hearing from you!

Sincerely,

Karson Stevenson

Welcome to 2014, two weeks late!

Hello all! I hope everyone had a wonderful winter break, whether you had atrocious weather, fantastically chaotic family gatherings, warm beaches, or too many hours logged for work. It’s difficult to believe that the year is actually 2014. To me it sounds like the year out of some futuristic science fiction novel (so far in the future that Bradbury would have enjoyed it). But here it is, well upon us, and there are many exciting events that have been put into action for this year of transition and growth. One such event has been my little sister selecting her university for next year (despite my best efforts, she will not be joining me here at OWU). I myself am attempting to pursue a career in the field of Occupational Therapy with an emphasis on neurological rehabilitation and have begun to look for opportunities to immerse myself into that area of medicine. But more on that later!

I’ll be addressing some more high-school concerns in the next couple of weeks, but I would like to take this time to briefly discuss the amazing and complex field of neuroscience. I will acknowledge that this topic tends to incite very diverse reactions from people, ranging from fascination to utter apathy. But I recently finished up a very interesting course called Physiological Psychology that examined the various structures and components of the brain and the significance of each in relation to human experiences and behaviors. At the end of last semester each student had to find an article describing a new and progressive piece of news within the neuroscience community. My topic was on a new form of neurological training that would allow an individual to improve of physical performances by primarily working on mental exercises and trials. This sounds impossible, but research done by Dr. Sook-Lei Liew and her colleagues at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Maryland, have shown positive results with individuals working to improve their skills at something, such as playing the piano.

These studies focused on increasing the communication and connectivity between the premotor cortex and the supplementary motor cortex as these are the ares of the brains most associated with motor skills. I will spare you the more complex details, but just imagine in the years ahead being able to learn a new instrument or improve at a sport by simply playing brain stimulating computer games. That is crazy! This is still just a small pilot study, but the very notion that it could be possible to develop a physical skill by mental exercises is amazing.

Thank you for sticking with me through that little geek-out. Second semester has just begun and I have some work to do, so I will bid you all adieu and wish you a wonderful rest of the week and a belated happy new year!

Sincerely,

Karson A. Stevenson

And onto Finals

Hello everyone! I would like to begin by saying the President’s Ball was a huge success and to offer congratulations to everyone who helped set it up. My friends and I had a wonderful time! I also hope everyone had a safe, healthy Thanksgiving (or any holiday akin to it) from the past few weeks. I was able to go home for the first time since August and it was exactly what I needed. I was able to come back to school with recharged batteries and a laundry list of things to accomplish prior to returning home again on the 19th. And the energy that I felt coming back was only further accentuated by the energies brewing in Delaware, OH.

There is something about the holiday season that seems to electrify the air, sending an underlying current buzzing alongside the people as they bustle about in their daily lives. It is a contagious feeling that cannot be stifled and it has definitely set in at OWU.  Just in time for finals! Yay!

Not to worry. Though finals do  indeed pose a legitimate threat, they can easily be conquered by efficient time usage and proactive study measures. It is also helpful that, with such a short time span between the return from Thanksgiving Break to the return home at Winter Break, these next few weeks can be seen as being dedicated solely to studying and wrapping up this semester with elegance and poise (and a rather impressive GPA). Use the upcoming holidays as a means of motivation. Harness that excitement and energy to propel yourselves forward into success!

I am off to finish up a few research papers but best of luck to everyone and all of their endeavors! Stay warm, wherever you are, and do the best that you are capable of.

Yours,

Karson Stevenson

I can smell the pumpkin pie already

Hello all! I hope the less than favorable weather conditions currently blowing through this region have been kind enough to you. I am going to try very hard to contain my enthusiasm but I will be breathing the sweet, crisp, very-thin air of Colorado in a mere 6 days! I am so excited I just want to run around in circles! But, until Friday afternoon, I must remain a dutiful student with quite a heavy workload on my plate.

This past weekend saw the very first Circle K dance which, with the ever helpful hosts at Alpha Sigma Phi, was a success! All donations will be given to the ELIMINATE Project which works to eliminate MNT (Maternal Neonatal Tetanus) from the few countries where it still remains. This is an absolutely wonderful program, supported by UNICEF and the International Kiwanis Club, and has been incredibly successful over the past few years. These organizations are working together to eradicate this disease once and for all.

Monday night will be OWAC’s (Ohio Wesleyan’s Athletic Council) first ever Talent Show with a bevy of the varsity athletic teams preforming their various “talents” in the Gray Chapel. All proceeds will go towards helping improve the athletic programs here at OWU!

Wednesday night will be the annual P.H.A.T. (Peer Health Advocate Team) dinner in the Benes room with guest Chef Mark Zedella preparing a full-course, plant based meal for all of those in attendance! I have already sampled the pumpkin pie…Sweet Gourds was it wonderful.

Then there are a few papers due, some lab assignments, an exam or two, a composition, and a few other academic duties. So my focus must remain intact until all of this has been accomplished.

This has been  brief update with more to come! I might as well throw in a bit of advertising for the OWU quarterly magazine while I have your attention. There will be another article, written by me, that will be featured in it and it’s theme is one that is relevant to all of you. As always, please feel free to send me questions or comments about just about anything! Best of luck with all of your current endeavors, drink lots of water, and try to get decent sleep every night.

Yours,

Karson A. Stevenson