The last week in March, William Woods University students participated in one of college students' most anticipated events of the spring semester... Spring Break!
Every other year, I've always gone home for spring break. It was always wonderful to get to simply lay low for a week, reconnect with my family, and enjoy a week off from deadlines and responsibilities. Since this year was my LAST spring break, though, I decided to go somewhere and do something new and exciting! I went to a charming little town called Madeira Beach in Florida (it's about halfway down the coast of Florida on the Gulf side), near Clearwater. I went with my fiance and another couple from campus. It was such a blast! Our only complaint was that the intense wind all week long made the beach rather chilly, but it was still great fun!
We visited the Clearwater Marine Aquarium one day, home of the famous dolphin named Winter from the movie Dolphin Tale! If you haven't heard of or seen the movie, you should definitely look it up. It tells the beautifully inspiring (and true!) story of a dolphin named Winter who was rescued by this aquarium in 2005. She was found washed up on the beach, her tail tangled in a trap meant for crabs. Her tail had been cut off from circulation for too long, causing parts of it to die and fall off, so her rescuers decided her only chance of survival was to amputate the rest of the tail. The movie shows how Winter learned to swim again, both without a tail at all and with the help of the prosthetic tails built for her. It was so cool to get to walk around the aquarium where so much magic happend! Winter is still at the aquarium, too, so we got to see her in person! We also got to meet some of the other rescue dolphins, along with several sea turtles, sting rays and manta rays, and a few otters! The Marine Aquarium's mission is simple: Rescue - Rehab - Release. If there is any chance of the animal surviving again in the wild, the rescuers keep their interactions with the animals minimal. Some of the dolphins will never be able to stand a good chance in the wild again, though, and they quickly become best friends with the people who work in the aquarium! So many amazing things happen there... I loved getting to visit it!
Darin (my fiance) and I enjoyed several long walks on the beach, too... And I don't mean that in the typical cheesy, romantic sense. We literally HIKED on the beach! We probably covered close to 5 or 6 miles round trip - on three different occasions! On these walks, we saw sharks on three separate occasions! The first two times were when a fisherman reeled in small sharks, and the third time was when we passed a tiny baby shark that had died and washed up on the beach. All three sharks were called Bonnet Head sharks, which look similar to hammerheads but are completely harmless to humans. I've been on beaches several times in my life, but I had never seen a shark out in the wild before!
We were all very grateful to have a week off to relax and reset before our last few weeks of the semester! The first week back was a little rough; it was kind of hard to find our routines again. This week is off to a much better start, though. We really don't have very much longer to go at all - graduation is in 25 short days! I have a feeling that the rest of this semester is going to FLY by. I can't believe how fast it's happening!
You. William Woods University. April 11th, 2014. Be there!
Welcome to WWU 101, our school's biggest admissions event of the year! If you are a high school or college transfer student planning on attending William Woods this August, this event is specifically for you.
WWU 101 is a great opportunity to meet several other incoming students, current students, as well as a bunch of faculty and staff. You will also have the chance to participate in several academic and social activities.
Academically, attending WWU 101 can give you a headstart in preparing for your upcoming semester. You will get to meet with your advisor, so you can talk about which classes you want to take in August. You can sit in on a current class if you would like. You can also learn about the honors program and Freshman Advantage! This is a great time to talk to a bunch of people and find answers to all your questions about your academic life here at The Woods.
WWU 101 will also offer plenty of recreational activities, too! For example, in the afternoon we will have an ice cream social, a tie dye booth, and an opportunity to work with current fraternity and sorority members to make weekend food bags for kids in need. Representatives from WWU's many clubs and organizations will be around, too, so you'll be able to start thinking about how you might want to get involved. You will also have the opportunity to stay overnight on campus with a current student. I would absolutely encourage every single one of you to stay the night if you can! This is a wonderful way to get to know some of the current students a little bit better and get a feel for what it will be like to live here in the fall semester. There are also some great evening activities planned for students that are staying on campus: the show choir will perform their concert, "The Wonderful World of Disney," followed immediately by a hysterical performance from a professional improv team known as Mission IMPROVable!
Throughout the day, you will also be able to get your student ID, sign up for recruitment, and shop the WWU logo store. Be sure to bring your parents along; we are having a parent Q&A session and a parents' reception that evening!
WWU 101 is a wonderful opportunity for every incoming student. I'm so glad I was able to attend when I was still a senior in high school, and I have loved getting to help out with it as a current student every year since! If you are interested in attending, call the admissions office to RSVP at 1-800-995-3159. Let them know how many guests will be attending with you, and be sure to specify whether or not you want to stay the night!
I hope every single one of you can come! I look forward to meeting you there!
Last weekend, the William Woods University Theatre Department performed its third mainstage show this year: a drama called All My Sons by Arthur Miller. This was a unique production because it involved several members from the community in addition to the William Woods students who auditioned. The community members, ranging in age from twelve to over sixty-five, helped make the characters' age ranges much more believable.
All My Sons is about two families from the World War II era. Joe Keller and Steve Deever, the two fathers, ran a successful business that manufactured many products used in the war, until one day Joe authorized Steve to process a shipment of faulty airplane cylinders which, once put into use, caused over twenty airplane pilots to crash. While both men were originally convicted, Joe Keller was soon exonerated and allowed to return home. Steve, on the other hand, had to continue serving time behind bars. In reality, Joe was the truly guilty party - remember, he instructed Steve to process the shipment - but he successfully placed the blame on his partner for selfish reasons.
The play tells the stories of the children of the two families, along with Mr. and Mrs. Keller, being reunited three years after one of the Keller sons' plane went missing and he was deemed MIA. The remaining son is now determined to marry the other family's daughter, Ann, who had previously been in a relationship with the now-missing son. Mrs. Keller was greatly opposed to this union, as she firmly believed her missing son was still alive somewhere and that, therefore, it was absolutely wrong of her other son to take the former's girl. Obviously, these intertwined familial relationships caused great stress for everyone involved. Tensions continue to rise and more information is gradually revealed until finally, at the end of the show, the audience learns that Joe Keller is truly the guilty one; Mr. Deever, the man who had been serving time for the past three years, was, in fact, innocent.
As you've probably guessed by now, this was a very serious play. Everyone involved did a wonderful job - dedicating three hours a night to rehearsal for such a heavy show can be incredibly draining, but the entire cast kept their energy up and delivered four successful performances. It sounds like the audience was very appreciative of the show every single night, too, which is always good!
Monday and Tuesday, auditions were held for the fourth and final mainstage production, a hilarious farce called Perfect Wedding. I did audition for this one, and I got cast as Rachel, the bride! We had our first read-through last night. I'm so excited for this show! It's going to be absolutely hysterical. This show isn't until the last weekend in April, though, so I will write more about it when we get closer!
Perhaps a little backstory would be helpful. Every sorority and fraternity on campus has an organization (or "philanthropy") that they support, and each sorority and fraternity gets one week out of the school year dedicated to raising money and awareness for their cause. This week was Lyrefest, the philanthropy week for Alpha Chi Omega!! We held several fun events this week to rally support for our organization, CARDV (Coalition Against Rape and Domestic Violence).
Tuesday night the other sororities and fraternities at WWU and Westminster College played Capture The Flag in the gym! First the girls competed, and then the guys. I have to say, some of the fraternity guys got a little intense at times! My sisters and I had a blast cheering on all the players. One of WWU's very own fraternities, Phi Gamma Delta (affectionately known as "Fiji") came home with first place for the guys, and WWU's Chi Omega chapter won first for the girls!
Wednesday night was my favorite event: serenades! For this event, each participating sorority and fraternity picked a couple well-known songs and changed some of the lyrics to make them specifically about Alpha Chi Omega and/or the fight against domestic violence. Every year, they ways to work the seniors' names into the songs, which is always fun! After attending serenades for four years, it was pretty crazy to finally get to sit in the front row and hear people throw my name out! We basically got to sit in our basement and be serenaded for several hours... It was a great time! Fiji won first again for the guys, and this time Alpha Phi took home first for the girls!
Thursday we held the final event: Lyre Lord and Lyre Lady. Each sorority and fraternity picks one or two people to represent them in this event, which is kind of similar to a pageant. The contestants answer questions about domestic violence statistics and show off one of their unique talents. Sometimes people sing, juggle, dance, recite poetry... The talents people possess are practically endless! This year, Chasah from Delta Gamma was crowned Lyre Lady for interpreting a song into American Sign Language as it played over the loudspeakers. Keegan from Kappa Alpha at Westminster was crowned Lyre Lord for his robotic dance moves.
Everyone at Alpha Chi counts down to this week for a really long time, and it always goes by way too quickly! While ours only comes once a year, there are enough sororities and fraternities at WWU and Westminster that we usually don't have to wait very long for the next group's philanthropy week to come around, and then we get to return the favor by participating in all of their events! Philanthropy weeks are a wonderful way to get out of your comfort zone and try new things while hanging out with a bunch of wonderful people. They are definitely going to be one of the things I miss the most about my experience here at WWU!