First crushes are like a flame. They start out soft as a candle but you always crash and burn in the end.

I’ve been home for less than 24 hours and I’m already leaving. It’s weird. Ever since my family moved, it seems like I can’t stay in the house for longer than a day. I’m always leaving, just to return again.

Or maybe the house is vomiting me out like a poison. I’m the drug that the house keeps welcoming in. It can enjoy my presence but it has to watch the dosage; therefore, it has to spit me back out into the world so it won’t keel over and die.

That’s a morbid thought the day before Thanksgiving.

I saw my little brother for the first time in a few months. I blink and the kid grows a few inches. When I arrived home yesterday evening, his first words to me were:

“Do you like my hair?” He buzzed it on the sides and has a mo-hawk in the center. Very “David Beckham-esque.” One decade under his belt and he already is so grown-up.

Not only that, but he’s got his first crush. A little blonde girl who plays the oboe and is shorter than him. She also plays lacrosse. I guess those are the requirements these days, although he also reassured me that she loved God. He even wrote down a list of 3 non-negotiable traits:

1) Christian
2) Athletic
3) Musical

He didn’t even compromise on the first crush. You gotta admit, the kid has standards.

He even said he has to learn to play the violin better so he can impress her when he plays. Ah, young love.

I may not be my brother’s keeper but I sure wish he would stop growing up so fast.

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Impatience wastes time in repetition and redundancy, in reiteration and repeating ones’ self.

Cranked out this one in one day. Be jealous.

Call me maybe, or maybe not
by Sydney Sheltz

The Bethel College Theatre Department completed one day of auditions for the spring musical, “Seussical.” However, on the final day of auditions, director Richard Young announced that there would be no callbacks.

“It was like a jig-saw puzzle and it just went together,” said Young when asked the reasoning behind the decision. “It went together really well and we just said ‘Yeah, this works! We don’t need to call anybody back.’”

There are 28 roles in the show but the leads include multiple characters from Dr. Suess’s books like Horton, Gertrude McFuzz, The Cat, Jojo, Mayzie LaBird, and the Sour Kangaroo.

When asked about the workload involved Young said, “There were a lot of people and there are a lot of fun roles in the show. Because there are so many roles, we have a crazy rehearsal schedule.”

Since there are so many roles, this musical will require more work and time than the previous shows from 2014 like “The 39 Steps” and “Electra.”

“We looked at it the other day and figured out that we have over 100 hours of rehearsal scheduled,” said Young. “There’s 92 pages of script and it’s a musical so there’s a lot on each page.”

The workload isn’t what is freaking out the students, though.

Amy Liston, a junior majoring in American Sign Language (ASL), auditioned for her first show at Bethel. Liston previously held the role of Gertrude McFuzz in the Suessical performed at Lawrence School in Sagamore Hills, Ohio.

According to Liston, callbacks are a regular part of auditions.

“It definitely threw me off a little bit,” said Liston. “It’s very strange. I mean, usually there are always callbacks. Even on Broadway, there’s always callbacks. I guess they knew what they were looking for and they must’ve found it.”

Liston wasn’t the only one who was surprised by the lack of callbacks.

“Yes, there were no callbacks,” said freshman Joel Lininger, piano performance major. “My only thought about it was that I guess I was a bit surprised, but it must have been pretty decisive. I’m trying not to worry about it too much. I’ll find out tomorrow whether I made it or not.”

The cast list will be released at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. The opening night for the show is on Thursday, March 26, 2014.

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For lack of creativity, this is a title.

Gotcha another one. I’m sure you were dying from lack of an article.

Do it yourself with online registration
by Sydney Sheltz

Bethel College is entertaining the possibility of allowing students to register for classes online instead of requiring that everyone meet with an advisor in order to select classes for the next semester.

Before introducing the program to the entire campus, a few departments would experiment with this option. This would allow students in majors within those departments to register for classes.

There are mixed feelings about allowing online registration.

“I think it’s a good idea for students to sign up for classes themselves, but at the same time I think professors should be available to help if needed,” said Jennifer Ochstein, assistant professor of writing.

It has been suggested in faculty meetings that this option would be more effective in some departments than in others.

Some courses within the science majors have up to six pre-requisite classes and those pre-requisites are only scheduled one semester, every other year. If the students knew exactly what they needed to take, this type of specific schedule wouldn’t be a problem. Students in other rigorous majors like nursing or American Sign Language (ASL) also have this concern.

“The advisors know best because they’ve been doing it longer but it would be nice for the students have a list of requirements to do it themselves. Of course, then we would need a list of requirements to know what courses we need to take and when. There’s plusses and minuses to both sides,” said Sophie Sexton, sophomore ASL major.

Ryan Bollier, a senior philosophy major, wasn’t sure if he would use the option if it had been available to him.

When asked about the idea of online registration, Bollier said “I mean, yeah it’s convenient but are students responsible enough to know what to take?”

The departments that will experiment with the option of online registration haven’t been selected yet. Although it was suggested that students could sign up for their own classes as early as the spring 2015 semester, this plan has not yet been implemented. It is still up in the air as to whether this option will be available by the 2015-2016 school year.

Quote

My reflection has sadder eyes than I do.

I wanted to write down
exactly what I felt
but somehow
the paper stayed empty.

And I could not have
described it any better.

WTM

I’m not sure what’s going on today, but I’m in a weird funk. I’m apathetic about everything. I was able to sleep in 30 minutes and I had extra time to get ready this morning. I was productive and was actually able to curl my hair and out on cat-eye eyeliner. I love the sweater I’m wearing. I drank two cups of Earl Grey tea (my personal favorite). And yet…somehow my attitude stinks of apathy this afternoon.

I don’t even want to write anymore.

The quality of a man’s life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence.

I’m reading “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” on a Friday night while sipping tea at the campus coffee shop on a Friday night because I’ve been far too busy for far too long and I’m treating myself.

Never let me treat myself again.

The book entertained the following question: what is quality?

I smirked and tipped my tea (which was conveniently enough called, Zen!). Quality is how good or bad something is in comparison to something else.

The book pinched it’s lips together to hide it’s self-assured grin before posing another question: what is quality without comparison?

I stopped smiling. How can you tell how good or bad something is without a comparison? For example, a short story — perhaps the very short story that I turned in for my Creative Writing class. Was it good? Or terrible? How was I to know?

Perhaps it was the writing style, the exquisite details that I used, the fresh dialogue that invoked the perfect emotion at the perfect time without being bogged down my cliches? All of these literary characteristics makes something good, yes?

I suppose they do — but only in comparison to another work that used these characteristics poorly. And yet, the teacher, when grading my work, surely has some scale of quality to which my work is measured against? What is that scale comprised of? I’m not exactly sure. But if I told my teacher to read four short stories submitted for the class and rank them in order of quality, she would be able to do so. AND perhaps most importantly, if we had people in the class (who didn’t write those stories so as to keep them from being biased towards their own work) read those stories, their rankings of quality would be almost, if not exactly, the same as the teachers.

Clearly there is some undefinable characteristic of quality that is instilled in all of us so that we can recognize when we see it even if there is no verbal description for it.

Or perhaps, use beauty. Redefine beauty as “quality of face” and then try to tell me what makes a person beautiful. If my roommates and I stood in our large mirror and ranked our faces by the “most beautiful,” we could most certainly do so (although the conflict resulting from that comparison could get pretty ugly…). However, if only I stood in the mirror and had no one to compare my face to, how could I call myself beautiful? What are the characteristics that make “beauty” and how can they be achieved without comparison to someone who doesn’t possess those characteristics?

This got me thinking.

What if, hypothetically speaking, there was only one person on the face of this earth. They have an unlimited supply of paper and ink, language skills, and all the time in the world. If they wrote a paper, would it be a paper of quality?

With nothing to compare it to, the first paper written would certainly have no basis for quality. However, the second paper could be compared to the first — or vice versa — and all of sudden, we can rank them. Now, don’t think of the two papers as two separate entities, but rather one example of writing from one person. The person could write a million papers and we would still think of them as one collective body of work from one person.

Anything multiplied by one is itself. This holds true for every single number stretching out to infinity. If this body of work demonstrated quality, then there would infinite quality in the work. However, if this work doesn’t represent any sort of quality (like the number 0), then there would be 0 amount of quality in the work.

How can something be infinite and still 0 at the same time?

This is the question that I am wrestling with and one that I don’t currently have an answer to — assuming that eventually I could come up with a satisfactory answer.

This is why I shouldn’t treat myself.