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Crowd-sourced Topics: “Wheelchair Greg”

Posted Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Today I started a somewhat accidental piece to the blog here: crowd-sourced topics. Out of a sheer inability to decide on a specific topic to write about today, I simply posted on my Twitter and Facebook that I needed a topic for the blog and I received a lot of responses. However, the one people thought I should talk the most about today is about a fan favorite GC personality: “Wheelchair Greg.”

Greg Rowden is a very interesting person that many people on campus are very knowledgeable about. Greg was someone that was never afraid to tell you what he was thinking, and always had a witty comment to come at you with. One of my favorite Greg moments included watching three college students pushing his motorized wheelchair up the inclined sidewalk running between Snyder and the neighboring parking lot. It was very cool that no matter how agreeable (or not agreeable in some cases) you thought Greg was, that there were people who were still willing to help him out when he needed it the most. We appreciate your character and personality Greg, and it is people like you who make Greenville College the way it is today.

Let’s hear your favorite Greg Rowden story!

-Matthew

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The Men of Pod 104

Posted Thursday, October 13th, 2011

When I was going through my college search I remember vividly looking at what the campus had to offer me as far as a future husband goes!? These times in our lives we feel the need to begin our search for our future husband. I would like introduce you all to a few boys that hold a special place in my heart. They are very well rounded for the most part and maybe this will give you an idea of what kind of men we have on campus. Also keep in mind that these are all baseball players here at GC. :) Enjoy!

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Where Art Thou Fall

Posted Thursday, October 13th, 2011

My favorite time of the year on the Greenville Campus has got to be the fall. The leaves are changing, we get to wear hoodies, fires are taking place where we can roast marshmallows and make s’mores, football is on during sunday afternoon naps, and most of all it’s such a great feeling after a brisk cold fall night to cuddle up in your blankets and watch a classic movie with your friends and a nice cup of hot chocolate. Well with that being said, if anyone finds this glorious weather i have described please send it to the Midwest! I just do not understand why, in the month of October, as i am walking to class in SHORTS and a hoodie, I begin to SWEAT! It is October! Take a look at this screen shot that does not make ANY sense at all.

I think its about time mother nature start sending us the same stuff we learned in grade school. When we saw October on the front wall with all the months and the pictures that correspond with that month, nice falling leaves are ALWAYS there. Never was the picture a hot sun with those fashionable sunglasses, or a tall glass of lemonade! All I am saying here is I cannot wait for Fall to finally show itself around for longer than 2 days.

 

 

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Greenville College or Greenville University?

Posted Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

There has been talk recently about our higher education facility making an edit to their name, changing from Greenville College to Greenville University. A student-wide email was sent out to us, giving us the reasons to be in favor of either choice:

In favor of “University” because…
1) Less confusion with Junior and Community Colleges. Community colleges in particular have been dropping the “community” from their name, making it all that more confusing in trying to differentiate between a “community college” and a “college.” As “Greenville College,” we are often confused with community or junior colleges.
2) Less confusion internationally about what kind of institution we are. A lot of other cultures think of a “college” as a 2-year vocational school, or a community college, or even a high school! The term “college” is used differently abroad, “university” would clear up some of the confusion that international students experience when considering Greenville.
3) Other institutions that offer graduate programs have changed their name to “university” to reinforce the fact that they also offer advanced education. Greenville not only offers graduate programs but its graduate program is expanding—“university” would reinforce that we’re growing as an institution.

In favor of “College” because…
1) Greenville is known for its emphasis on community and close-knit relationships. Some feel that the word “college” conveys that better.
2) There are institutions that have retained the name “college” and continue to excel in the academic world. Example: Wheaton College.
3) We have been a “college” for 120 years, so why should we change now?

My views personally are that we should stay as Greenville College. When I think of a “University,” I think of a large school with lots of really big buildings, arena sized basketball courts, and students sitting around in classes with 300 other students. To me, that’s not what Greenville College is about. GC is about having a professor that lets you sit in their office and share your faith story and struggle with and they pray with you afterwards. GC is about being able to be a part of a worship experience every day. GC is about having an opportunity to excel and stand out. GC, as much as we hate to say it, is about community. And with such a rich history of community, why try and separate ourselves from that?
Also, GU just has a funny ring to it.

 

-Matthew

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The Apostles’ Creed – The Song

Posted Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 Tagged:

Let’s rewind to the Spring of 2009. I was in my second semester of college and was enrolled in the fan favorite course: COR 102. In my class, we went to Chicago for the legendary COR trip where we stayed in a very disturbing hostel (another story for another day…), visited lots of really cool religious facilities, and I had Chipotle for the first time. COR 102 was also my first introduction to The Apostles’ Creed. Growing up in a Baptist background, I was completely unaware of what this creed was, let alone that it existed. For one of our tests with Dr. Dunnington, we had to write the Apostles’ Creed exactly word for word. And being the incredible college students we were, my roommate and I procrastinated on learning until the last night before the test.

We were toast. We had no idea how we were going to learn this huge creed this quickly. And then it hit us: what if we make it into a song? So Mike picked up his guitar, I picked up my harmonica, and we called over our friend Tony from next door to be our percussionist and completely made up music to this creed on the spot.

This is a video of us playing it together for the first time ever. Maybe this will help you memorize the words like it did us!

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-Matthew

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Parkour – Another thing to do in Greenville

Posted Monday, September 26th, 2011

Hello blogosphere, hope everyone is having a wonderful Monday morning! Being a senior, I realize that the first question people ask once they arrive on campus is “So… what is there to do in Greenville?” Sure, you have your typical answers: “Go check out the coffee shops!”, “Eat at Subway!”, “Go thrift shopping!”, and “Go take pictures with the creepy murals all over the square!” However, I would like to offer a new suggestion to you all. It’s called Parkour. According to Wikipedia, parkour is “a method of movement focused on moving around obstacles with speed and efficiency.” If you’re looking for a great way to exercise while still enjoying the sights of this beautiful city, give Parkour a try. Be sure to check out this instructional video made by some of my friends.

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-Matthew

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Best GC Class: Environmental Science & Stewardship

Posted Monday, August 29th, 2011

I’m reminiscing, and thinking about all of the classes that I’ve enjoyed during my time at GC.  COR classes have always been amazing.  Liberal Arts and the Christian Education (COR 301) was really amazing.  Science and Christianity (COR 302) was riveting.  They both taught me that I really know nothing–that the world is wide open with the things that I can soak up and learn.  However, my all time favorite class is Environmental Science & Stewardship, and the last part (stewardship) is the most important one.  I had always been a biology and science nerd before, taking Honors Bio and loving it in High School, but Earth Sciences put me to sleep in the old days.  It’s all about how it’s presented to you.  Someone who is passionate about Earth Science probably would’ve been able to keep my attention well, but I wanted to fall asleep in high school!

When I transferred to GC as a Junior, I knew that my experiences would be different–that’s why I changed schools.  I didn’t realize how much our faith would be incorporated into our everyday education, and that my professors would truly take it to heart.  During Environmental Science & Stewardship, I learned that the Earth is the Lord’s, and that His views about creation are what matters most.  That humans as a whole generally take what they want from the land and ruin it, instead of taking a small amount and allowing it to replenish itself.  This pattern basically ends in us defeating ourselves with the cycle.  God knew what He was doing when He created all of the eco-systems, the food web, all of the chains that interchangeably rely on one another.  It’s amazing!  This class helped me to gain an appreciation for sustainable living, for God’s creation, and for the Christian call to be “green.”  Not on a trendy thought level, but as a mission in their lives.  Along with learning those things, I got some to have some pretty sweet experiences in this class.  We did vermicomposting, which is composting with worms, and I we went as a class on many field trips around the area.  I got to see a sewage treatment plant (nasty, but shows you that it all goes somewhere!) and a water treatment plant.  We also had many chances to see guest speakers and learn from them.

Please, please take Environmental Science as an elective science class…. You won’t regret it, and you’ll learn so much from a professor who is passionate about what he does!

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The Prayer Room

Posted Monday, August 29th, 2011

One of my favorite places on campus is the prayer chapel.  It’s a little hole in the wall on the backside of the music building that a lot of students don’t even know exists.  This is the story of how I discovered this room. Enjoy!

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I was late to prayer and meditation chapel, having lost track of time. By the time I arrived, there were no more blank chapel cards, so the girl collecting them just told me to fill out my information on hers. Since I was late, everyone cleared out before I had read more than a few Psalms.

After awhile I put down my Bible and started to pray. I bowed my head and closed my eyes for awhile, but after a bit, I opened my eyes and stared into space, fading in and out of actual prayer. At this time, I thought I saw out of the corner of my eye someone walk down the adjacent hallway. However, I quickly realized that the form I saw was still there, and as I turned my head to the doorway, a woman stepped hesitantly into the room.

She asked me if I was okay, and I told her that I was, and that the apparently distressed look on my face was due to being lost in thought. We talked about the chapel for awhile, and then she mentioned that there was a small prayer chapel that she frequented located on the other side of the building.

I had never even heard of this place, and asked her to show it to me.

The room was quite small, with two or three little pews, a Bible-laden altar complete with prayer benches, and various devotional books by well-known authors displayed on some shelves to the side. She went over to the books and picked up a women’s devotional Bible. She said that she had her favorite passage marked, but the bookmark had fallen out. Sometimes, she told me, she would sit in the chapel in the evening, and sing aloud the words of the passage she turned to.

Then she walked over to the corner of the room and showed me a book that was displayed on a stand there. It was a journal. As we thumbed through the pages, she told me that they were prayers, mostly written by the same handful of regular visitors to the little room.

I sat down then, and we talked briefly about matters of faith. Then she told me that it was nice to meet me and left. I sat in the pew for a few seconds, and then I stood up, retrieved the journal, and began reading.

The words I found there broke my heart, each entry a poignant Psalm of trust, anguish, or hope.

A man asking God to show him guidance as his weary heart ached from unrequited love.

A woman asking God to help her put aside her trepidation and take her last semester at college one step at a time.

A man giving thanks that his family was willing to talk to one another, even as they all reeled from the death of the mother after her long battle with an “ugly disease.”

A woman asking God for forgiveness for giving in to her lust, and confiding in Him that she just wants someone to tell her she is beautiful for who she is.

I read these words and more, and felt blessed to have the chance to peer into the hearts of these believers, every one of them struggling valiantly to please God and find His will for their life. I felt that I too, ought to contribute to this precious collection.

But what to write?

I once worked with a group of missionaries from Texas, some of the most brilliant men and women I have ever encountered. One of their number was named David. David suffered some minor brain damage after his selfish, out of control life reached a climax as he was thrown, helmet-less head first, over the handlebars of his sports bike. After the accident, he became a Christian, and devoted his life to reaching the lost.

Sitting in that little pew, I remembered a group prayer with those missionaries. As the prayers went around the circle, the missionaries spoke eloquent, powerfully worded prayers.

Then it was David’s turn, and he spoke words that I have never forgotten. Given my struggles of late, I felt his words represented exactly what I wanted to say. I put pen to paper, replaced the journal on the stand, and left feeling a little renewed.

“God,
Please keep me from being too fleshy.
Amen”

 

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Exhortation

Posted Monday, August 29th, 2011

I am a pretty practical guy.  Although I do enjoy discussing more abstract ideas of philosophy and theology, at the end of the day, when I just really need some peace or direction, it is the more straightforward parts of scripture that resonate the most with me.

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
naked I’ll return to the womb of the earth.
God gives, God takes.
God’s name be ever blessed.”

“We take the good days from God- why not also the bad days?”

“Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over.
Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends.
The body is put back in the same ground it came from.
The spirit returns to God, who first breathed it.”

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“The words of the wise prod us to live well.
They’re like nails hammered home, holding life together.
They are given by God, the one Shepherd.  But regarding anything beyond this, dear friend, go easy. There’s no end to the publishing
of books, and constant study wears you out so you’re no good for anything else. The last and final word is this:

Fear God.
Do what he tells you.

And that’s it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it’s good or evil.”

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From Job and Ecclesiastes

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Top 5 Strengths

Posted Monday, August 29th, 2011

Greenville College is proud of its reputation as the only strengths-based school in the country.  What this means practically is that we require all new students to take Gallup’s Strengthsfinder test.  The test reveals what your top five strengths are (out of a possible 32).  The test taker is not given all of their strengths because Gallup feels that our weaknesses will always be relatively weak, and that our time is better served by developing those areas where we already possess strength (makes sense).

I am fairly ambivalent about the test and personality tests in general, really.

On the one hand, I feel that all personality tests are too dependent on how the taker is feeling at the time of the test.  Sure, the test may instruct the taker to answer questions based on what is true most of the time, but it is human nature to allow current circumstances to color perception.  This is evidenced when a person takes the same personality test twice in a relatively short amount of time and gets significantly different results.

On the other hand, personality tests can be a fun thing to have a conversation about. Additionally, tests like this can be useful for the less introspective among us.  Following the Greek maxim to “Know Thyself” isn’t easy for some people, and tests like these can be an excellent tool to that end.

To further illustrate the hit-and-miss nature of the test, a brief discussion of my own top 5 is in order.  Here they are, in order, along with short descriptions:

Input: People strong in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.

Woo: People strong in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over.  They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with another person.

Harmony: People strong in the Harmony theme look for consensus.  They don’t enjoy conflict; rather, they seek areas of agreement.

Communication: People strong in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words.  They are good conversationalists and presenters.

Positivity: People strong in the Positivity theme have an enthusiasm that is contagious.  They are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do.

Of these, input, woo, and communication are spot on.  I love collecting everything from facts to Magic cards, I make friends wherever I go, and I am adept at conversation and public speaking.  When I told my friends about my results, these were the ones they weren’t surprised about.

However, I feel that the strength of adaptability is a huge omission from my top 5.  I am the poster boy for the “go with the flow” mentality, a personality aspect that defines me more than harmony or positivity ever could.

In fact, I think the test misread that strength, possibly due to the wording of questions.  Harmony and positivity both have elements of adaptability, and that is where the mistake occurred, methinks.

So, what are your top strengths?

 

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