When spring finally arrives at Juniata College, one of the best fundraisers to look forward to is Empty Bowls. One of my favorite parts about Empty Bowls is that all of the proceeds go to the Huntingdon Area Food Bank.
When you go to Empty Bowls, you can expect AMAZING soups and beautiful pottery bowls. Part of the Empty Bowls tradition is that when you arrive at Stone Church, you get to pick out a hand made bowl for yours to keep. All of the bowls look amazing so it can be difficult only choosing one.
After picking your bowl, you then get TONS of soup. Local restaurants donate soup for everyone to enjoy. My favorite was donated from the local Chinese restaurant, Great Dragon. Looking at all of the delicious soups makes me wish that I could have 5 stomachs so I could try them all.
Participating in Empty Bowls makes me feel very connected to the Huntingdon community. Knowing that ALL of the proceeds are donated to the food bank makes me want to continue the tradition of going to Empty Bowls every year. This is an event that EVERYONE should go to. I mean, who doesn’t love soup?
Last Saturday was absolutely gorgeous – the cold winter weather finally broke. And I was lucky enough to spend the entire day outside with my friends, while raising money for a great cause! And I may have even got to wear a tutu, while singing ‘Frozen’ at the top of my lungs.
This day was one of Juniata’s spring traditions, Relay for Life and Springfest. People form teams all to raise money for cancer research, through the Relay for Life organization. Then, all the teams set up booths with activities or things to sell such as crafts, games, food,etc; everyone walks laps around the booths to see what everyone else is selling and to raise awareness. This year we had a Disney theme, so the quad was decorated with Disney character cutouts and all the teams had cartoon inspired names.
I got to spend my time with my friend’s team, called Pascal’s Pals. We sold glasses that were hand-painted and had a “Goodwill for Life” table where an abundance of donated clothes could be purchased.
The happy day was ended with a memorial lap with paper bag lanterns lightening the day, with a slideshow in honor or in memory of those loved ones who have or had cancer. I think that this is one of Juniata’s most uplifting traditions and I’m glad that I could contribute this year.
As a first year at Juniata College, today I experienced my first Liberal Arts Symposium. Liberal Arts Symposium is a day where classes are canceled and the Juniata community is encouraged to go to see presentations about the research done by students. In addition to oral presentations, there were posters in the library and student art in the von Liebig Center for Science. Liberal Arts Symposium is also called “Mountain Day of the Mind,” and while looking at posters and listening to presentations does not sound like the ideal day of canceled classes, I found Mountain Day of the Mind just as exciting as Mountain Day (I also did not have to wake up at 4 in the morning).
I started the day by attending presentations on history and English research, which I found really interesting. After those, I went with some friends to see the art in VLB. The drawings, paintings, ceramics, and everything else were great. One of my friends went with me and she gave me some insight into the symbolism of different colors and styles in some of the pieces, which I really appreciated. We then went to the library to see some of the posters. The posters covered disciplines such as computer science, communications, environmental science, biology, and chemistry. Later in the day, I observed a panel of four students who created videos for an upper level writing class. The videos concerned accurate and ethical portrayals of themselves or others, which led to some moving stories of real people. Finally, I attended the Multicultural Storyfest, which consisted of international students sharing parts of their cultures. Two Russian poems and a dance from Thailand are some examples of the presentations from Multicultural Storyfest.
Students at Juniata work hard. With classes, papers, exams, homework, and other activities, the average student has a decent amount of work at any time. I think that Liberal Arts Symposium is a great way for other students and professors to take a break for a day and recognize and appreciate the impressive research that is being conducted or artwork that is being made throughout the year.
Before spring break, everyone on campus is talking about what they are going to do with their break. I personally heard three main types of spring breaks: the people who sleep through it, the people who go on vacation, and the people who take service trips. I however, was not in any of these categories. As a part of the Juniata Softball team, we took a spring break trip to Florida. As nice as the warm Florida weather sounds and how exciting and fun the trip actually was, it was exhausting. Overall, we were in Florida for a week. We played a total of ten games, two per day. The day we got there, we also practiced. Doing all of this, right out of the gates in the hot Florida sun is exhausting, but the fun parts made it totally worth it.
In my opinion, the best day of the whole spring break trip was Wednesday, March 12th. This day was also known as our only free day. We had to option to either go somewhere with our parents, go with someone else’s parents, or go with one of the coaches to a New York Yankee’s Spring Training game. As a huge Yankee fan, I decided that even though my parents were in Florida, I wanted to go to the game. It was pretty awesome. Not only did I get to sleep in that day, but I also got to see Derek Jeter in person, who is retiring this year. It was pretty exciting.
We did other fun things in Florida too. One night we got to explore Downtown Disney, the huge shopping center in Orlando. Another night, we ended up exploring Orlando trying to find an ice cream place because everyone on the team wanted ice cream. Something huge we also did was community service. Our Coach wants us to help out the community everywhere we go. We ended up helping a local softball park make its park look better by painting the parking stops. Overall, I would say the fun and exciting parts of the trip balanced out the exhausting parts. This kind of trip really helped our team bond as a whole and it was totally worth the experience.
Hi! My name is Leah Jans, and I am a junior studying prek-4th grade education. One of my absolute favorite things about the education program is the fact that I get to work in the Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC)! I never leave the center without a smile on my face and fun stories to tell my classmates.
One of my fondest memories from the center is the trike-a-thon. It’s an event they run every year to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Before the big day, the children get friends and family members to sponsor them so they can raise money individually. More money is raised the day of through community members who stop by and donate money at the event.
As a Juniata student working in the ECEC, I get to help set up the course. We add obstacles such as stop signs and caution tape that the children need to maneuver around while they ride their trikes. At the very beginning to the event, all of the children line their trikes up at the starting line, and we count down before the children start.
It is so much fun to watch the children ride their trikes around. Some race each other, some choose to ride their trikes like a car and obey traffic laws, and some try to run down the Juniata students with their trikes. They spend the whole morning riding their trikes while their parents and family members watch.
Other than fun events like the trike-a-thon, having the opportunity to work in the ECEC has given me many other opportunities as well. I have gotten to attend family nights when I help run activities for the children and their families to participate in. The ECEC also runs a May program for children who want to attend the center for an extra month, and I have to opportunity to work there for the month of May. I will help supervise the children, plan activities, and chaperone a field trip. By starting out as an education student helping out in the ECEC for class credit, I have gotten many other opportunities that will lend themselves to invaluable experiences and will help me with my future career as a teacher!