All posts by Sophia Drager

Art Exhibit 01-11-18

Describe:

On Thursday, January 11, 2018, Concordia Saint Paul’s Art Program held an exhibit featuring Jennifer Her’s graduating art portfolio and simultaneously held the 15th Annual High School Honors Exhibition. Jennifer Her named her portfolio “Rest” because she is an over thinker and her time to be at rest is when she is making art. She wanted to express to the audience that her art is a representation of her thought processes and a way to find identity and free her mind. For example, in her piece “Rooted,” black, white, and gray yarn was hung from the ceiling as a large mass while having yarn tendrils spilling onto the floor. This piece describes her thinking as being connected and growing so that the roots, while holding her thoughts together, create an opportunity for new thought to stem out, to explore and reach out to create new ideas. The yarn does have an end, symbolizing there is an end and eventual rest to her thoughts. Her whole exhibit was black and white, but the artist did not record her reasoning.

The second exhibit, the 15th Annual High School Honors Exhibit, held a wide variety of art being displayed.  The exhibit contained paintings, drawings, photographs, ceramics, sculptures and some mixed media creations.   Many of the pieces featured and showed great detail which highlight the talent these artists have been given and have fostered. However, two pieces stood out to me: the large sculpture and the Hot Springs painting. Compared to many sculptures displayed in previous art exhibits, A Dreamer’s Worst NIghtmare by Audrey Daul, was assembled together in a rough style and was completed so it looked as if it were done almost carelessly.  This piece was intriguing and very thought provoking. This artistic creation included laminated job, housing, healthcare, and immigration tests. There were two outfits in their piece: an orange jumpsuit that said “illegal alien,” and a soldier’s camouflage pants. Next to the camouflage pants was a board that read, “PROTECT YOUR DREAMS.” On top of the board was a Spanish translation dictionary that had the word “espera”, meaning hope or a wish, circled. Finally, three pairs of shoes: a man’s sandals, a woman’s work shoes, and a toddler’s tennis shoes hung from the painted, wooden structure. The structure was built in an ascending fashion to help the audience understand the phases of an immigrant’s life.

Hot Springs was created by Laura Martin. The small piece of art was not mentioned during the judging process, but I believe it deserves some outside credit. The small painting was of a geyser with trees in the background and steam rising from the water. It was interesting to see how well the transparency of the steam was integrated on the painting and how crisp and clear the art was, considering it was a painting.

Interpret:

The two themes that encompass this high school art exhibit and the graduating portfolio are dreams and the colors of black and white. However, as the Honors class learned in the ways of knowing, information is not black and white, but a variety of grayish colors. Dreams can create reality, but there is also a sense of unknowing, or a gray area, in dreams. What people want does not always align with what is going to happen. That uncertainty can be scary and lived out in many situations. Yet, there are people who can find rest in the unknown and begin to dive into uncertainty through learning.  that is what students in the Honors program are doing this semester by volunteering at different sites in the community to bring positive change to the environment. Before beginning at the volunteer sites, students did not know what to expect, who they would meet, or what situations they would be put into.  Honors students discovered the service sites were nothing to be fearful of and bring good to many people. These sites bring people hope and ease the transition of the unknown whether the unknown is the loss of a job,  homelessness or serving a prison sentence.   One of the sculptures at the exhibit portrayed possible unknowns people may encounter and potential unrest people deal with in life.  This sculpture shows many of the challenges people in the community are facing. Honors students are focused on supporting people with some of the same unknowns and lye challenges so they can take off steps from the ascending challenges they may face, like finding clothing, represented in the shoes.

Evaluate:

Art exhibits are hard to evaluate. Art is vague and can have many meanings behind any given piece. However, the exhibit as a whole tied together the ways of knowing, or unknowing, and my volunteer site. Before I went into Prison Ministry, I was told by friends and family that I was extremely brave and should be certain to be aware of my surroundings, people, and diffusion so I could be safe. After going to the site, I realized it was not as bad as everyone thought it would be.  It was interesting and even enjoyable while meeting with ex-convicts. I lived in an unknown gray area thinking all convicts are mean criminals and not necessarily normal people. I was not fearful and found rest in the unknown by keeping an open mind and serving with an open heart. I am enjoying my service with ex-convicts, am learning to understand their perspective and how they prepare to make the big and often difficult transition into the next stage of their lives.

“Make It A Day On, Not A Day Off” MLK Blog

Describe

On Monday, January 15th, 2018, Concordia Saint Paul hosted the Concordia’s 10th annual MLK Day of Service. The event started with Martin Luther King’s speech spoken by Sumeya Nur, Anthony Herr, and Theodosia Wonlon. Next TraeElle spoke a poem called, “Young, Black, and Gifted” by Walter J. Irvine. TraeElle emphasized the poem’s inspiring words that not only is the character, “Young, Black, and Gifted,” but all people present today are young and gifted. By being at the MLK day of Service, each person is taking on their calling to serve and put their gifts to use.
Finally, Mikayla Smith had a speech about each person’s duty to serve and do something as an individual that they are passionate about. She mentioned that each student at CSP has an opportunity to make a change. The students are the ones who are the driving force of change in society and CSP’s community.

Every volunteer group had the opportunity to choose one of several different sites at which to serve . The green group, my group, went to the Episcopal Church Home and sang praise and worship songs to the elderly in attendance.  The residents sang, clapped, and talked with many of the volunteers. After visiting the MLK Day volunteer sites, all volunteer groups came back to Concordia to debrief and share some of the more inspiring stories of the group encounter from each site.

 

Interpret

Martin Luther King Jr. Day was signed as a federal holiday in 1983 to be a national day of service. The day of service “empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a ‘Beloved Community’” (AASCU). This semester, the Honors class is motivated to stretch the day of service to a more long-term, continued volunteer service. Martin Luther King Jr. wanted to unite people, and through his holiday, many people across the nation can connect to bring hope to the community. An Honors student’s job is to volunteer this semester and bring hope to the community. Although the hope each student will bring is an everlasting hope that is only found in Christ Jesus, it is being accomplished through Honor students serving with prison ministries, homeless shelters, children’s charities, Lutheran Family services, and more.

 

Evaluate

My group, the smallest group, went to Episcopal Church Homes in Saint Paul with the Concordia Gospel Choir to sing praise and entertain residents. I love meeting new people and singing for Christ. As a future educator in the church, I believe local community service is a great focus when preaching the Gospel. Many young adults look overseas to spread the Good News while missing the mission to share the Good News with their neighbors. When I am in a church, I would like to take students, adults (younger and older), college and career age people, or the church choir to a local nursing home regularly to build relationships and share the love of Christ. I understand that not all people are driven to work with children in a daycare setting and not all people are comfortable around older generations, but getting a good mix can ease nerves and form community and faith-based friendships. I loved going to the Church Home. It was a phenomenal experience, and Dr. Chatman made sure everyone felt comfortable, enthusiastic, and focused on Christ.

 

References

Martin Luther King Jr., Day of Service. (n.d.). Retrieved January 15, 2018, from

http://www.aascu.org/programs/ADP/MLKDay/

Martin Luther & the Called Life

Describe:

Chapter three, “Baptism and the Called Life,” from Martin Luther and the Called Life emphasized deep insights into how vocation can be lived out in different contexts and how baptism is tied to vocation. In Martin Luther’s day, people would baptize children to ensure a spot in heaven because the death rate was extremely common for newborns. Later, when Luther was in the monastery, he contemplated his life and the meaning of baptism and vocation. In the sixteenth century, if a person was not called into the monastery, also known as the second baptism, then he or she would not be considered to have a vocation (48). Not only did Martin Luther write about his opposition to the idea of medieval vocation, but he acted by leaving the monastery, recognizing the other roles he had, and explaining the vocations he carried out daily. Martin Luther and the Called Life says,

 

“Leaving the world in the name of achieving one’s own personal salvation is contrary to what God intended for creation. Much better (and holier!) to be a husband, wife, family member, and servant and live in the world in service of the neighbor than to search for a realm where one might seek a selfish purity” (59).

 

Martin Luther understood that a person has more than one calling in life to fulfill God’s will. God’s will is not bound to the isolation inside a monastery, but used actively to spread the Gospel and live out faith through daily vocation.

Interpret:

Martin Luther understands that a person has more than one calling in life as a way to fulfill God’s will. God’s will is not tied to life and service inside a monastery, but is modeled through the active sharing of the Gospel as individuals live faith through daily actions and interactions with others. Baptism is one way to claim identity in Christ. Baptism is not the means to be saved and it is not an “initiation rite” (55). Instead, “baptism not only anchors the believer in Christ; it is also the sacrament of daily life” (54). Baptism is a means of grace and the adoption process into the family of God that physically identifies our status as a child of God. A person who is born does not choose to be a daughter or grow up to be a mother. They are given the role through birth and maturation. Martin Luther recognized that baptism works in a similar way. A person who is baptized not only identifies as a child of God, but also daily rises and dies with Christ through living out his or her faith. Each Honors student is being challenged to live out faith in Christ through their callings and serving those in need. Although not all Honors students are future church workers, each is called to use our unique God-given gifts and talents to share the Gospel and assist to bring beneficial change to the community. Any person can be and is called to live out the Gospel daily, by living a Christ-like life as a mother, daughter, brother, citizen, congregant, employee, and friend.

 

Evaluate:

As a future Director of Christian Education, I could see myself giving this book to new or existing members who are questioning vocation, what baptism means, or have questions about what it means to live missionally on a daily basis. I thought chapter three summarized the meaning of baptism and vocation well by not only tying the two concepts together, but by looking at vocation from a new perspective that Luther had questioned as well. Many congregants and young adults question their calling in life, but do not recognize their role as a citizen as a vocation. This has been helpful to me as I am now much more aware and cognizant of the many callings I have as daughter, student, citizen, musician, and friend. Looking at these other roles helps me apply my identity (and vocation) as a child of God to all of my callings.

 

Networked

Framing

Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman both experts in technology co-wrote the book Networked: The New Social Operating System. Lee Rainie, a graduate of Harvard University and has a master’s degree in political science from Long Island University, is the director of internet and technology at the Pew Research Center. Barry Wellman, researches social network theories and virtual communities. “He directs NetLab, is the S.D. Clark Professor at the Department of Sociology, is a member of the Cities Centre, and the Knowledge Media Design Institute, and is a cross-appointed member of the Faculty of Information”. Networked was written to the general public and those interested in technological advances and connectivity over the internet.

Content and Methodology

Networked is divided into three sections: The Triple Revolution, How the Networked Individualism Works, and How to Operate in a Networked World, Now and in the Future.

The Triple Revolution pertained to the social media revolution, the internet revolution, and the mobile revolution. These three revolutions led to more advances in society and changes in the American culture to implement the use of ICT’s and create more individualism online. Individualism was the reoccurring theme throughout Networked. Rainie and Wellman have a positive outlook on the advancements in technology and reconsider the thought of isolation. Instead of seeing a person on his or her phone as aloof, one “can be physically in one place while their social attention and communication focus is elsewhere.. Called ‘absent presence’”. The authors argue that the emerging opportunities to create individualism in the virtual world has also created more opportunities for individuals to expand connections through common interests.

Although the technological world has advanced and increased the individual’s cultural experiences and broaden the online experience, personal relationships have been neglected and altered. The Networked individualism looks at five aspects of a person’s life: relationships, families, work, creators, and information. Families are able to easily access one another at anytime of day almost anywhere, but now families are potentially identified as core networks. Due to the shift in culture from door-to-door (a network system built in the neighborhood) to person-to-person contacts (a broad range of networks created from the technological advances), family members are spending more time on a screen than in the present. Balancing relationships is now hard to do with the new technology, but balance is possible.

The last section, How to Operate in a Networked World, Now and in the Future, focuses on the warnings of technology. The warning guidelines are helpful reminders to to be more conscientious of the existing relationships and balance life on and off line. Some of the warnings include: controlling your social media to manage your reputation, manage time well on social media (have a purpose to be online.) , do not overshare (oversharing enforces the feeling of zero privacy.), and be aware of the invisible audience (there are sinister people online, business competitors, and others who want to know many things about the individual. Although these audience members have gathered plenty of data to target the individual, he or she should not overshare and stay conscious of how social media is used.). The coauthors also highlighted six literacies to help the individual become more aware, nimble, and focused on oneself and his or her online usage in the ever changing culture today.

Analysis

Networked provided great insight on personal identity on technology. However, Rainie and Wellman also discussed the negative effects technology has on family structures and relationships today. Networked mainly focused on the positive effects and briefly looked at the negative effects. The chapter Networked Creators resonated with me well. This chapter reflected me and the American culture’s perception of social media to express one’s self, connecting with a community, and some individuals’ hope to gain glory. While the individual creates his or her own network, filtering information is equally important. Through the use of statistics, the coauthors were able to articulate the accelerated shift in the the technology and America’s culture. They brought up many points to support and awaken the individual to these changes. Technology will not be going away anytime soon, one should take the opportunity to learn about the future and how to grow with technology in a healthy way, rather than allowing technology to control everyday life.

Work Cited

“Barry Wellman.” NetLab, WordPress, groups.chass.utoronto.ca/netlab/barry-wellman/.

Suh, Michael. “Lee Rainie.” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 24 Jan. 2015, www.pewresearch.org/staff/lee-rainie/.

 

The Shallows Book Review

FRAMING

Nicholas Carr is a journalist, blogger, and author of books and articles about technology and today’s culture. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a Masters from Harvard University in English, American Literature, and Language. When Carr was first starting his career, he became the editor of the Harvard Business Review and then joined “the steering board of the World Economic Forum’s cloud computing project” (Nicholas Carr).

Carr wrote several books about technology including The Shallow, to educate the public interested in the advancements in technology and how culture and human behavior has adapted to these changes. Through the combination of Carr’s personal experience and selective citation of scientific data, he created The Shallows, an argumentative paper about the importance to understand, “a medium’s content matters less than the medium itself in influencing how we think and act. As our window onto the world, and ourselves, a popular medium molds what we see and how we see it—and eventually, if we use it enough, it changes who we are, as individuals and as a society” (page 3).

CONTENT AND METHODOLOGY

Nicholas Carr took another approach at exploring the evolution of publicizing information, language, and how new technologies has impacted today’s culture. Carr argues that the medium is the message and that the brain is not determined by technology, but the internet has a strong impact on the brain and society. The Shallows begin by reflecting on Marshal MacLuhan’s prophesies about technology in the 1960’s. MacLuhan first stated that the medium is the message and Carr would agree. From radio to color television, technology has shaped the American culture. Throughout this book, Carr explains the pros and cons to technology and the implications can be drawn from each chapter. The chapter “Hal and Me” raises a common fear among Americans—that robots will take jobs away and eventually obliterate the human race. Although this is a common fear in America, some would argue that this will not happen for centuries down the line or at all.

MacLuhan, an author from the 1960’s, would say, “The mediums content matters less than the medium itself in influencing how we think and act” (page 3). This statement supports Carr’s claim that technology is just a tool, but the brain is in control. Through Nietzsche, Freud, William James, and Merzenich studies on the brain, Carr concluded that the brain is not plastic, but elastic.

Throughout time, the medium of messages has changed, which greatly influenced society. Many cultures used oral language before advancing to written languages on papyrus and stone tablet. This lead to correct grammar and eventually the creation of the television, radio, and phonograph. Now, there is two-way communication called the internet. The internet is not only transmitting messages to the general public, but the public can input messages back. The internet has changed society significantly and tricks people into thinking that they can multitask. Carr would infer that this idea of multitasking leads to more distractions and searching the internet can best be related to a jet skier, who never gets into the water to explore because they skim over information. The rise in Taylorism led to common act of skimming over information and the creation of google search. The internet, google search, and computers allowed the brain to have an external hard-drive on hand, so there is no need to do extensive research or the brain to hold large amount of information.

ANALYSIS 

Although The Shallows argues the brain is elastic and not determined by technology, it is shaped by the technological advances in society. I would agree with Nichols Carr, that the brain is not dependent on technology, but through the advances in society there is less need to store information within one’s brain. Rather, an external hard-drive like the internet has accommodated people to search new information almost simultaneously at a rapid pace, not requiring them to fully be immersed into a topic. The technological advances that have been made in society are great, but they can hinder an individual’s ability to fully grasp concepts without being distracted.

Work Cited

“Nicholas Carr.” Nicholas Carr, Word Press, www.nicholascarr.com/

Who’s In Charge? Book Review

FRAMING

Although Gazzaniga believes in evolution, he puts into question if people have free will in Who’s In Charge? In relation to the science of the brain. Michael S. Gazzaniga, the author of Who’s In Charge?, is a neuroscientist who is very in-tune with his passions and a part of many elite organizations.  He is director of the SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind at the University of California, the president of the Cognitive Neuroscience Institution, the founding director of the MacArthur Foundation’s Law and Neuroscience Project, and a member of many other organizations. Gazzaniga wrote, “I will maintain that the mind, which is somehow generated by the physical processes of the brain, constrains the brain” (Gazzaniga, 4). His book answers the tough questions of how people make decisions, why people behave the way they do, and if people actually have free will and to what extent.

CONTENT AND METHODOLOGY 

Who’s In Charge? explains theories of brain development to gain a better understanding of the complexity of the human mind and brain. These theories led to Gazzaniga’s conclusion of the brain’s function and the extent of free will a person has. Throughout time, processes of the brain developed and ideas such as equipotentiality, neural specificity, and activity dependent processes emerged. Gazzaniga knows that even though the brain has many different parts, each part is dependent of the other to function as a whole. He goes on to state that interconnectivity of neuronal functions varies from person to person. Throughout the book, Gazzaniga gives empirical data and shares case studies to argue that, “Years of split brain research have made clear to us that the brain is not an all purpose computing device, but a device made up of an enormous number of serially wires specialty circuits, all running in parallel and distributed across the brain to make those better decisions” (69). He supports this quote by explaining that a person’s actions can not be predicted because of the chaos theory (117).

Gazzaniga argues that consciousness, which comes from the mind, is an illusion (75). Later, he states that free will does not emerge from the brain, yet the mind comes from the brain. “Responsibility and freedom are found… in the space between the brains, in the interactions between people” (137). Therefore, free will is an illusion as well and morality, choices, and responsibility comes from outside source. In the chapter of the Social Mind, Gazzaniga mentions, “Neurons that fire together, wire together” but somethings are innate (13). The five cognitive abilities, moral modules, and mirror neurons are all examples of influences of outside sources to create the idea of free will.

ANALYSIS

Gazzaniga is a neuroscientist who believes in evolution and explained theories with extremely gruesome stories like the man who altered monkey’s brains. In the beginning, I felt skeptical of this book, but kept an open-mind due to his credentials. Through the many stories Gazzaniga shared, he took the reader through many adventures to understand their own mind and brain. As the book progressed he added ideas that supported his claim such as the chapter of the social mind. Gazzaniga built on his data, that consciousness comes from the mind and is an illusion. The mind comes from the brain, but free will does not. Therefore, free will is also an illusion because it is not an innate context (193). I did not fully grasp this concept until putting it in parallel with Freedom of a Christian. Martin Luther also rejects the idea of absolute free will, even though Christians are free from the law through Christ. Overall, the book revealed many insights on how the mind and brain work in relation to one another, but also how free will and responsibility comes from social interactions.

Bartling Lecture on The War on Poverty

Describe

On November 15, 2017, John Bouman spoke at the Bartling lecture. Bouman is a lawyer and the founder of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law in Illinois. His educational lecture focused on the prevention of poverty and reflected on the history of The War on Poverty. In 1962, Michael Harent wrote a book called, The Other American, which stated that 22% of the American population was in poverty in 1959. That is roughly every one in five people in America. This was a shock to many Americans, including presidents Kennedy and Johnson. The War on Poverty all began during the Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. President Johnson spoke to Shriver, who ran The Peace Core at the time, and wanted him to run The War on Poverty as well. Eventually, he ran became “The President of Poverty”. Shriver and other political leaders had specific requirements in order for this War on Poverty to be successful. This included: 1. the knowledge that fighting poverty does not mean America needs a spending spree; 2. The key stakeholders are to bring hope and opportunity, not free handouts; 3. People will receive equity; 4. This war will help everyone, not just the poor.

Shriver supported the idea that all people, even the poor, have access to legal services. This created a legal reform around the time of President Nixon. In the 1990’s the government disputed if they should continue their funding of legal services. After six months of debating and stalling the policy work, the government decided to continue legal services. After this event, Bouman left Legal Services and founded Shriver Center. Through the rapidly growing business and impact the Shriver Center has had, lawyers can continue to humbly work with community leaders by advocating for the poor and working on policies to uplift those in poverty in America. Bouman ended with the statistic that poverty in America has decreased to 12.7%, but this does not mean that the government is done fighting and that Americans should ignore these concerns.

 

Integrate

Bouman discussed the effects poverty has on children and the stress it brings on brain development. Children do not have a choice of what social class they are born into, which influences their future as well. A child that is born into deep poverty can experience large amounts of trauma and stress, due to the overwhelming financial burden their parents may experience. Bouman stated that the stress is released by hormones that effect the developing brain. The Honors class talked about the brain and the reaction the body has to specific stimuli in relation to the brain and mind.

Evaluate

I liked the this lecture. I was not expecting it to be focused on the historical standpoint of a lawyer and the history of his company intertwining with the history relating to the previous presidency. Knowing this new information has given me a different perspective on the impact the government and influential people in America have to fight poverty. Bouman addressed in his lecture that poverty will not be eliminated, but it can be reduced significantly. He proved that history has been a reliable source to show Americans the impacts we have to reduce Poverty and make a difference in our economy.

Luther Play 10/27/17

Describe:

        From October 26-29, 2017, Concordia University presented the play Luther written by John Osborne.  The play was performed in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. Luther focuses on the Martin Luther becoming a monk and being a stakeholder in the Protestant Reformation. Luther does not solely focus on his traditional story. The play also focuses on the fatherly relationships in his life, even though it does not completely align with his original story. However, Luther covers his life from the beginning, his life in the monastery, the Peasant’s Revolt, and ends on him beginning his life with his wife Katherine Von Bora.

Integrate:

        The Honors class learned about building communities and what different groups of people look like when gathered together. The play showed many dynamics of groups. Although Luther was not a group, he was a leader and an individual reformer in the crowd of Catholic believers who created a new group. The monks were also a crowd of people within the monastery and the peasants during the revolt who became a mob. All of these groups experienced isolation, whether social from the monks being in the monastery, educational with the peasants being restricted from a higher education, or religious when the peasants did not understand the gospel and needed someone to teach them the Word.

Evaluate:

        I attended Luther on Friday, October 27, 2017. The play was fabulous! I did think it went on for a long time, but it contained humorous jokes to keep the play somewhat light-hearted. The cast did a fantastic job performing, keeping in character, and transitioning between scenes. Alex Johnson did a great job acting as Luther. The entire cast filled their roles well and made me feel that it was their true identity. Although I cannot say Luther is my favorite play, I thoroughly enjoyed it and it is in my top three.

Reformation Reformed 10-19-17

On October 19, 2017, Concordia’s art department opened their show about the 500 Year anniversary titled Reformed Reformation. Professor Keith Williams, the host of this show, spoke at the art gallery and acknowledged Cate Vermeland for coming up with the theme that “this gallery should look forward and see what Reformation means to people in the next 500 years.” Artwork was shipped in from across the United States to show Concordia the, “natures of what the church has valued going forward in life, in the world around us, in justice issues, and in being stewards of the planet” (Williams).

 

Currently, the Honors class is doing a study of rituals and symbols. The Reformation gallery was filled with many symbols, but Stop Killing Us Here I Sell by Chris Roth intrigued me the most. Here I Sell was a collage of Martin Luther containing images of Luther merchandise and European currency. The items used portray and affirm Luther’s position not only as a major reformer, but also a mascot and a symbol in the Lutheran church. The other image of protestors ties the past with the present and subtly suggests to the audience to look to the future. Stop Killing us is an image of protesters holding a sign labeled, “stop killing us.” This was a message projected to the Chicago Police Department in an effort to reform the corrupted city of Chicago. Both pictures reinforce the constant and necessary reform the church, society, and individuals are participating in today.

 

I enjoyed the art gallery. It had many beautiful symbols that reminds Lutherans of their faith. Three pieces I enjoyed, in particular, was the beautiful banner, the collage of Martin Luther and protests due to the death Laquan McDonald, and the picture of the burning cement block. The Quilted Banner: Luther Rose, by Cecil Margaret Lewis, was originally made to be in the Reformation service, but it’s beauty was so magnificent, it was presented in the at the show as well. The Burning Block: “I Am Who I Am” brings in the surreal nature by presenting a cement block on fire. The irony of this image is almost disturbing. It perfectly portrays the tensions America faces today and the infinite powers and abilities God has to do what He pleases. It also represents how in this time of tension and modernity, God reaches us where we are at in the possibly most absurd ways to show us the Gospel.

Homecoming Weekend 2017

DESCRIBE

On Saturday September 30, 2017, The Concordia Saint Paul Golden Bears played Mankato State University. Football is a good gathering for students at Concordia, but at Homecoming weekend all the bleachers were filled with students and families to celebrate the festivities. Before the game, the National Anthem played. Everyone stood respectfully in silence facing the flag. During the anthem, one player, number 4, from the opposing team started beating his chest and pointed one finger in the air. Then he put his hands in a praying position when the song sang, “The land of the free and the home of the brave.” It was cool to see the players get excited and prepare for the big game. Many people came to Homecoming weekend to help celebrate and join in on the excitement. My father went to Concordia as a student and visits for this special event to gather with his friends. Before the game at 9 am, all his friend started the annual tailgating party. My dad and I joined later and conversed with everyone until 1:30pm. Concordia ended up losing this year, but the loss did not ruin the entertainment and good food the carnival provided.

 

INTEGRATE

The Honors class is learning about rituals. There were many rituals at the football game and the carnival. Some rituals include: the tailgating party, the National Anthem, and getting corn on the cob every year. At the carnival, my dad, his friends, and their children all get together to take an annual picture of the Banchees, the name of my dad’s friend group, and their family. This small event is also a reminder of the interconnected world Concordia people live in, bringing together generations of family members to create a community.

 

EVALUATION

Homecoming weekend was so much fun. This year I talked to more people at the tailgating party and enjoyed meeting up with old friends. Although Concordia lost, the game was good to watch and even better to socialize at. I was so happy to play carnival games, win free Concordia gear, and eat the annual corn, cheese curds, and wings!