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In Memorium

As many of you probably read in Connor’s post yesterday, the Muskingum community suffered a shocking loss this weekend with the passing of Professor John Kuhn. Though this was only his second year at Muskingum, one of the greatest testaments to his life is the difference he made for so many in such a short span. I didn’t realize the number of people he had touched until I saw the outpouring of support amongst our amazing community.

I first worked with Professor Kuhn in the fall of 2013 in the play “Almost, Maine,” which was a charming show about love, loss, and relationships. I have always been the kind of girl who loved musicals: I was all about the big jazzy dance numbers and motivational songs. Plays weren’t necessarily my ‘thing.’ But John connected acting to life and human nature, and those people and experiences that surround us daily. No scene, no moment, was too small to teach something or convey something to the audience. And it was never perfect. He always felt we could go farther, dig deeper, feel more.

After “Almost, Maine” came “Company,” the first musical Muskingum had done in years. Once again, John was a joy to work with. He was passionate and hard working; full of good humor and joy or a little kick in the pants, depending on what we needed at the time. Either way, he was excellent with words and always knew what to say to push us to the next level.

Though we had only rehearsed together for this year’s musical, “Bye, Bye, Birdie” for a few weeks, I was already having the time of my life. John was a director that lived the old adage that “no part is too small.” You can take my word for it: I definitely have a small part in the show. ;) But that didn’t stop John from spending as much time on my few lines and moments of stage time as he did on everyone else’s. He knew that a great show was made up of all of its parts, and needs all of its actors.

John was an inspiring teacher, director, and mentor. One of his favorite sayings was “I need more pain.” It started as a way to get us more emotionally invested in the moving scenes, but it had also become a catchphrase we all joked about together. Well, we miss you, John. And we feel it now. We feel the pain.

Rest in peace, and prayers for your family and all those whose lives you touched. Thank you for the many lessons and the wonderful memories. May our lives be a testament to all you taught us.

Remembering a Muskie

The Muskie community is one that cares about every single one of its Muskies. Yesterday we lost a professor who just recently became a part of the Muskie family but forever will be in our hearts. Professor John Kuhn passed away this Sunday and I count myself lucky to have learned from me not only acting but also about myself. I first met John when he wasn’t a permanent professor at Muskingum last fall, fulfilling my Art LAE with Acting 101.  I was never one to be on stage but as soon as he opened the first class I knew I would be on that stage doing some new, strange activity three times a week. As the weeks went on each activity was more different and equally challenging my self-concept.  Whether it was having us walking around in a way that expressed a certain emotion or mimicking each other with the weirdest sounds, we always did what John told us to do. You just always knew you were in good hands, and weren’t going to be judged.

In fact he got someone like me, a science major, to be on stage for their very first play. Granted in the play I got hit in the head 5 times from a book and ironing board, but I’m still glad he gave me that opportunity. Like I said before I learned a lot of acting tips about him but with that he gave a lot of life lessons, for me the biggest was to be happy. John never told you that you were acting wrong, but he told you to dive deeper into the character’s feelings and reactions based on how we might act. I think that guidance led me to be more comfortable with myself on a more personal level. I can’t describe it with any words better than already said, so I suppose I will leave off with one last thought. Professors don’t just teach us about facts and figures but more importantly they change our lives. John Kuhn will always be remembered as a director and professor that changed lives by being forever a part of the Muskie Community.

Until next week,

Connor

LIFE HACKS!

Hi Everyone!

With the whopping 30 degree temperatures the past 2 days, it almost feels like spring (Haha)! However, the sun has been shining and it has definitely taken away some of the cabin fever blues I have been feeling lately.

For this post, I thought I would share some Life Hacks–with the depression starting to kick in for most people (because Spring has never felt farther away), we all could use a little help in making our lives just a tad more manageable at times! :)

1. Do your most dreaded task of the day as early as possible–this way, you will have pride that you not only completed the task, but you will be more motivated to get other things done during the day as well.

2. The best times to drink water is when you first wake up (helps activate your internal organs), and before a meal to help digestion!

3. Want to stop a sneeze in the middle of class to ward off embarrassment? Press your tongue to the roof of your mouth!

4. Yawns are contagious right? Use this to your advantage–if you think someone is checking you out, yawn and see if they yawn back!

5. Want to lose a quick 100 calories? Do 20 push-ups, 15 squats, 50 jumping jacks, 30 crunches and repeat three times! (Great and quick middle of the day dorm workout!)

6. Don’t quite know what to get that special someone for a holiday? Tell them you got them something and to guess what it is–they will most likely list off a few things they actually would like!

7. Snesfun.com is an entire website of old Nintendo games you can play for free.

8. Poke a fork through the creamy part of an Oreo (carefully)…this way you can dip the entire thing into milk without getting your fingers wet!

9. If you don’t want people to bother you, and you want to get a lot of things accomplished–wear headphones! Even if you’re not listening to anything people will give you your space.

10. Misplace something in your room or on your desk? The brain is used to reading left to right, so try scanning for the object from right to left–you are more likely to find the object this way!

Put some of these to use this week, and keep praying for Spring!

Ashley :)

The February Blues

We’re getting to that point in the winter where it’s just plain depressing. All we want is spring, and it just keeps getting colder. The days feel horribly short with no sunshine. Not much new snow falls, so instead of beautiful fresh snow we have snow that’s been trampled on, plowed, and is turning grey. Christmas was forever ago, as was New Year’s… even Valentine’s Day is fading quickly into the past. On top of that classwork is getting heavier as we head towards mid-semester. Needless to say, late February makes us all a little crazy. We’re grumpy, we’ve been inside for too long, and we find everything we can to complain about, from the weather to the people around us.

One of my professors brought this up in class the other day, and challenged us all to give up negativity. That’s a terribly hard thing to do in February, of all times, but that probably means we need it the most. I thought I’d make a list of things to do to cheer up over the next couple of weeks. Now, I’ll share them with you!

1. Go outside! No, not when it’s -20, but on the rare warmer days. I went sledding and snowman-building on Saturday (bundled appropriately) and it was a much-needed bit of fun and fresh air.

2. Go to the mall, even if it’s just to people watch. A change of scene is nice, wherever you go.

3. Make a list of movies you or a group of friends want to see. Maybe they’re new, or maybe some old classics.

4. Bake cookies! Or cake or pie or steak… whatever you’re craving the most. Make a “summer” food like pasta salad.

5. Get away from campus for a weekend or even an evening. It’s amazing how much better you feel after being “home” for a night. Maybe it’s your own home, maybe you go to a friend’s house for dinner. It works either way!

6. Study different places. This goes back to how helpful a change of scene can be when you’ve been cooped up all winter.

7. Read a book you WANT to read. Snuggle up with blankets and hot cocoa….

8. Find some new, upbeat music to listen to. Upbeat is the key word here.

9. Do something creative! Pinterest is full of ideas… ;)

10. Take alone time, if you need it. It’s better than saying something you don’t mean just because everyone is grumpy.

And if these don’t work, don’t stress too much. Spring break really isn’t that far away…. :)

Muskie jumping out of the water

Welcome to a new week folks! It feels like my first day at Muskingum was only yesterday, but I’m already a junior applying for summer jobs in my career path! Gone has the summers of relaxing, and being content with just a one-time summer job. I had my first interview, of the four I have this week, today and it reminds me on how overwhelming it was to make a decision to go to Muskingum University. The great thing about making this next decision though is I feel more prepared.

About freshmen year spring semester I remember going up to Career Services, wondering if I could get some help writing a resume. I learned two things that day:  I didn’t have much to write on a resume and Jackie Vascura (head of Career Services) is awesome! I didn’t make an appointment to meet with Jackie, but she still invited me into her office anyways and helped me write my first resume. Two years later I have probably been to Career Services at least three times a week for the last three weeks with a resume that is a lot more impressive!

I have Muskingum to thank for most if not all the experiences I have on my resume. Most people think the college experience is something you don’t like telling your parents about, but here at Muskingum the experiences you have are something you can be proud of! For me I am most proud of taking leadership roles in clubs like Equality Alliance, Circle K international and MIND mentoring. Your experience here can be anything from greek life, clubs, challenging academics, many jobs and any combination of them, but you will without a doubt have an experience that will better prepare you for the next step in your life.

Although I still have two more semesters at Muskingum, I can already appreciate what I have learned here and how I have grown into a better-rounded, confident individual. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still terrified for the next big step but this time I know I have the tools now to take the plunge!

That’s all this time!

Connor

NO SCHOOL? NO PROBLEM!

Hi everyone!

I hope everyone is staying warm and hopefully indoors all day today–I don’t know of many people that will go outside today unless they absolutely HAVE to.

The great thing about today regardless of the extremely cold temperatures is that classes at Muskingum were closed for the day! This is something that does not happen very often since Physical Plant always makes sure the sidewalks and roads are salted and plowed every time there is a chance for a snow day. But to my knowledge…there is nothing they can do about the temperature :) So needless to say, today is a good day to lounge around, curl up with a blanket and some tea or hot chocolate and get some major studying and homework done.

I would love to just lay in bed and watch TV all day, but my 19 credit hour course load is kicking my butt, and I need to take advantage of the extra time! Now that the semester is in full-swing, it seems like I have at least one exam a week, a few quizzes, and handfuls of other assignments due throughout the week as well!

I don’t know about you, but I am ready for Spring break and Spring weather!
Now I must bundle up and head over to the dining hall for some breakfast so I can start my day of homework and studying!

Happy Thursday!
Ashley :)

Senior Recital

I apologize for writing so many posts about being a senior… I promise after this week I’ll find a new topic, I just had to share my experience from the weekend first!

This weekend was my senior voice recital, which is the capstone project for music majors. I sang eleven pieces in five languages that spanned centuries of music. I started choosing and learning pieces for my recital as early as sophomore year, so it was definitely an amazing day for me: the culmination of years of hard work. But by years, I don’t just mean college. I started taking voice lessons in the 8th grade, singing in choir in 5th grade, playing piano when I was six…. you get the idea. It all led me here, and let me tell you, Saturday was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Some of you may be sitting here thinking back to Saturday and remembering a snowy day with such strong winds that there was a white out. And you would be correct… after all, what’s live performance without a little blizzard? ;) Due to the weather, some friends and family from out of town weren’t able to make it, but it made me all the more grateful for everyone who fought their way through the storm to support me. Muskingum has given me an amazing group of friends and peers. I could not be more thankful and blessed.

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