Women’s Volleyball Falls to Kenyon in NCAC Playoffs

Photo courtesy of Wooster Athletics
Langston Hood, Senior Sports Writer

The Wooster volleyball team traveled to Wittenberg University on Friday, Nov. 4 to partake in the NCAC tournament against a familiar foe, the Kenyon Owls. Last year, Wooster took part in a historic conference tournament run that lives on in the memory of volleyball fans far and wide, as they engineered a title run against all odds, defeating perennial powerhouses Denison and Wittenberg thanks to heroic performances across the board. However, each year is different and this year, Wooster would have to escape the Owls’ talons before dreaming of accomplishing a similar feat.

The matchup with Kenyon was one that favored Wooster, as the Scots defeated them in their final home game on Wednesday, Oct. 19. The stars were on full display in that match, with Sydney Fitzcharles ’23 and Emily Gail ’23, delivering season-best performances in digs and kills. On Saturday, Wooster jumped out to an early 4-1 lead thanks to a kill from Caroline Dillard ’24. The teams battled to 11-11 tie, 15-15, 19-19 and all the way up to 21-21 ties in a match that was anyone’s for the taking. Kenyon, however, responded to Tamara Turner’s ’25 kill with two of their own to take the set in 25-22. 

In the second set, Wooster responded well, jumping out to a 4-0 lead, but the resilient Owls battled back and tied the score at 11. Thanks to a collection of Kenyon errors, Wooster went on another run to take a 17-12 lead by way of kills from Gail and Turner. Kenyon then clawed their way back to a 22-22 tie before taking a 25-24 lead. Wooster, however, showcased their guts and guile this time, with a Gail kill locking the game at 25, before two errors gave the Scots a victory in set two, 27-25. 

The third set began like the other two, with Wooster racing out to a 12-4 lead thanks to a Fitzcharles service ace. Kenyon, however, put a run together and brought the game to an inevitable tie at 16. But this time, they refused to let the Scots back in the game, eventually prevailing by a score of 25-20. The Scots were well aware of Kenyon’s desperation. “I think Kenyon came into this game knowing that losing would be the end of their season,” said Dillard, “and they played with a lot more grit and determination this time around which changed the game significantly for them.”

At the beginning of set four, Kenyon took a 10-5 lead, seeming to beat out the more experienced Scots. This lead proved too large for the Scots, as they struggled to string together consistent passages of play. A Kenyon service error brought the game to 13-9, but that was as close as the Scots got in set four, losing to Kenyon 25-18 and ending Wooster’s season with a 3-1 defeat. Nash praised the mentality and ability of Kenyon. “I think Kenyon came prepared to do whatever they had to do to win. Once they found a weakness on our side of the court, they would capitalize on it until we adjusted… we made a few more errors than when we played them before and in a conference tournament you cannot afford to make too many mistakes.”

All was not doom and gloom, as Turner shared her thoughts on the season. “I think I’ll remember this season as a persevering season individually and as a group,” said Turner. “I know we all at times felt like throwing in the towel whether we were personally going through something or just not getting the results we wanted as a whole, but we still showed up and worked hard every single day and set new goals each week to try and be better in a new area and I think that shows more about our team than anything else.” Though sports may seem like a results-based business at times, it is important to reflect on the journey. Maley Tintsman ’23 also spoke to the overwhelmingly positive experience. “Even though this season did not go how we planned,” said Tintsman, “the women on this team continued to have strength and perseverance throughout.” Reflecting on the season, Tintsman added that “every day, we were excited to come to practice and games ready to compete and get better. This mindset made the season genuinely very fun and allowed for great, core memories to be made.”

Congratulations to the Wooster volleyball team on finishing out their season and a special thanks to the class of 2023 seniors for their extended dedication and contributions to Wooster Athletics.

Monthly Campus Climate Report for October Released

The campus climate report reflects real dangers facing students

Graph depicting campus climate reports over the last three academic years. Graph courtesy of Kaylee Liu.
Kaylee Liu, News Editor

On Thursday, Nov. 3, the October 2022 campus climate report published by the Title IX Office was released. The campus climate report is a monthly report recording the number of student incidents involving sexual misconduct, bias, alcohol and drug incidents and other violations of the campus Community Care Agreement. In the last month, there was one report of sexual assault, two reports of sexual harassment, one report of non-consensual sexual contact and one report of stalking, which fall under the umbrella of sexual misconduct. There were also three alcohol incidents, four drug incidents and seven bias reports. 

At the end of last semester, Lori Makin-Byrd, the previous Title IX Coordinator left the College. The position is currently being filled by an interim coordinator, Joe Hall. Other members of the Title IX team include Emily Hiner, the Director of Prevention and Advocacy and Jeff Scott, Civil Rights and Title IX Investigator. The College is still in the process of searching for a permanent replacement.

New Title IX regulations were proposed in June this year, and are expected to be finalised by the Department of Education by this winter. Changes include expanding coverage to incidents that occur at off-campus educational events, expanding mandatory reporting requirements, creating new eligibility for retroactive complaints after a student has left the educational institution, requiring shorter time frames between a report and investigation for discrimination cases, elimination for cross-examinations and live hearing requirements for campus hearings, allowing students to participate remotely in hearings, allowing for informal resolutions of incidents without a formal complaint submission and required protections for pregnant people. The changes of the discrimination and informal resolution regulations are of particular note, as the Trump administration required discrimination to be documented on campus, and required the submission s of formal complaints. 

This graph depicts the number of non-consensual sexual intercourse, sexual misconduct, drug and bias incidents over the last three academic years. Sexual misconduct encompasses sexual harassment, non-consensual sexual intercourse, non-consensual sexual contact, sexual exploitation, stalking, intimate partner violence and indecent exposure. This includes incidents that occur on-campus,  off-campus during college programs like internships or trips organised by the College and off-campus. Off-campus is defined as an incident occurring on property not controlled by the College but that creates adverse effects for a member of the College community. It is important to note that the drop observed during the 2020 to 2021 academic year can be at least partly attributed to the pandemic that resulted in many students learning remotely and on-campus students having little opportunity to interact with each other.

All students have the right to report an incident to both security and law enforcement, and to receive assistance from College staff in doing so. Felonies reported to the Title IX office or to the College must be reported to the local police department, but students may decline to participate in the official police investigation. Students may also seek orders of protection, no-contact orders, restraining orders and similar orders of protection from the courts. The College can help with requesting such orders and enforcing those orders on campus. Allegations will also be investigated by the College and may be resolved internally. For more information on Title IX regulations,  inside.wooster.edu/title-ix has comprehensive information on regulations and student rights.

Fall into step at the Fall Dance Concert

Fall Dance Concert (Photo courtesy of The College of Wooster)
Izzie Corley, Contributing Writer

College of Wooster students who want a smorgasbord of all that the field of modern dance has to offer should look no further than this year’s Fall Dance Concert. This show will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 17, 18 and 19 at Freedlander Theater. The concert will be directed by Professor of Theatre and Dance Emily Baird, and will feature ten different performances choreographed and performed by a diverse group of students.

In order to get a sneak peek at what this variety concert has in store for us, I spoke to two of its choreographers, Abby Aitken ’24 (she/her) and Co Clark ’25 (they/he). As Clark explains, each performance reflects the culmination of a unique creative process, and involves a number of different themes and narratives. “There’s something for everyone,” Clark stated, “I really believe that.” Based on the wide range of themes that will be covered, attendees can expect a mixture of thought-provoking and delightful experiences.

Both Clark and Aitken remarked that their life experiences were a source of inspiration for the dances they created. Clark says that they set out to make a dance that “draws on [their own] disabled experience,” that will make “the audience feel seen,” with the goal of showing them “that dance is for everyone.” Interested students can look forward to a beautiful spatial and emotional representation of the ideas Clark is trying to convey.

Alongside personal experience, Aitken explained that one of her other major sources of inspiration was collaborating with her co-choreographer Aliza Sosin ’25. She described a loose, flowing creative process, where she and Sosin worked to make an experience that was “very positive, fun, and carefree,” both for the audience and for the performers. In contrast to the particular response Clark set out to elicit in their performance, Aitken expressed how she “think[s it] is beautiful” how, ultimately, each individual will interpret her piece differently. She instead placed the emphasis on the overarching emotional flow of her work. These two different approaches are both intriguing to me. I am excited to see how each of the 10 dances will reflect the unique characteristics of the people who conceived of and performed them. Art shows like this are amazing vectors for communicating the inner realities of different people. They allow artists to pull something from inside of themselves and display it to the audience in a way that is not just digestible, but downright delightful.

Both Wooster students and members of the broader community are welcome to attend. The show is free to all students at the College, but in order to ensure a seat, attendees should reserve tickets in advance, starting on Nov. 14. This may be done through the box office in Freedlander Theater, or at wooster.edu/tickets. Come out and support all of the hard work from our college community!

Lose her? I hardly know her! Drake and 21 Savage’s new album

Cover art for Drake and 21 Savage’s recent album, “Her Loss” (Photo courtesy of Complex)
Zach Napora, Contributing Writer

Six years after their first collaboration “Sneakin’,” 21 Savage and Drake have linked up for a joint album. In “Her Loss,” Drake and 21 Savage fall into their natural roles while still sounding like they compete on every song. Drake takes the leading role on the album, as he contributed two-thirds of the vocals. While many fans seemed upset at this split, it allowed 21 Savage to shine in the feature position, something he has done consistently for years.

While “Her Loss” is far from a perfect album, it is Drake’s best release in a couple of years. Whether it was the negative response he got from his last couple of releases, or Savage igniting his fire again, there are flashes of vintage Drake on the album. On one of Drake’s solo tracks, “Middle of the Ocean,” we are treated to three minutes of Drake in his rapping bag, with no melodic singing or techno noise to be found. The instrumental track is also a much more classic style, as it is more reminiscent of something Jay-Z would rhyme on his yacht than a flashy Drake-style beat, giving Drake all the room he needs to flex his lyrical muscles.

One of the strengths of this album is that Drake is not afraid to blend the styles of his previous releases. On “Circo Loco,” they sample Daft Punk’s “One More Time.” The result is a beat that sounds like it could belong to Drake’s recent house-inspired album “Honestly Nevermind” (2022). Instead of the R&B sound we got on that album, however, we get a Drake that sounds a lot more like the one on the more rap-heavy “Certified Lover Boy,” (2021). It’s a combination that works great, clouded only by Drake’s mystifying decision to wade into the Megan the Stallion and Tory Lanez trial, claiming that Megan lied about being shot. Drake was certainly not shy about dissing people throughout the album, even Serena William’s husband was not safe from catching a stray on “Spin Bout U.”

A collaborative album lives or dies on the artists’ chemistry with one another, and Drake and Savage’s chemistry is apparent. Drake’s R&B sensibilities mesh perfectly with Savage’s roughneck rhymes. For example, on “Spin Bout U,” Drake’s smooth melodic hook flows naturally into 21 Savage’s menacing response, showing this duo’s lethal potential. While this album is not always a deep one, it is still very enjoyable. Punchy rhymes over hard beats with a twinge of introspection will always be a fun listen. Overall, “Her Loss” is our gain.

Wooster Adoptee Student Union holds First Meeting

Zoe Seymour ’23 and Maud Bulman ’23 at the first Wooster Adoptee Student Union Meeting (Photo Courtesy: Sam Boudreau ’23).
Samuel Boudreau, Editor in Chief

Growing up in the predominantly white farming community of Meadville, Pa., Maud Bulman ’23, an adoptee born in China, was identified by many as a person with one identity. “Growing up, I lived in a very white, rural community,” said Bulman, “so I was always labeled as a ‘Chinese-girl’ for 18 years.” After leaving Meadville for The College of Wooster, Bulman noticed a profound shift in her identity as an adoptee. “And then I came to [the] College and we have a large international student body here, and I was straight up-to-my face called an American, [which] kind of sent me through a spiral of ‘who am I?’” Bulman’s life experiences, particularly at the College, inspired her and Zoe Seymore ’23 to start up a new student group on campus. 

On Nov. 8, the Wooster Adoptee Student Union held their first meeting. The union identifies itself as “an inclusive student organization that aims at creating a safe space for adoptees on campus,” the Union wrote on their Instagram page. Maud Bulman ’23 and Zoe Seymore ’23 collaboratively founded the Union. “We both kind of had the idea separately because we wanted to create a community and we both started to do it informally with people we knew,” said Bulman. Both Bulman and Seymore were born in China and adopted at a young age. Seymour grew up in Texas and Bulman grew up in Pennsylvania. Sarah Epstein ’24, Lily Bulman ’25, Abby Kusher Benson ’23, Katie Spence ’23, Evelyn Trumpey ’24 and Lilly Hinkley ’25 are all members of the Union’s inaugural board.  

Bulman and Seymore met when Seymore interviewed Bulman for her sophomore research assistant position with Ziying You, an associate professor of East Asian studies and women’s gender and sexuality studies. The research project focused on the discrimination faced by Chinese women and adoptees in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic. Seymore said, “I interviewed [Bulman] and she went to Wooster here, and I was like ‘Oh my god, it’s another adoptee and she’s in my grade’ and so we went to get lunch one day and it started from there.” 

Bulman and Seymore joke that they are doing the same I.S. Seymore’s explores how anti-Asian racism during COVID-19 pandemic impacted the psychological wellbeing of Chinese adoptees in America while Bulman’s examines transcultural East-Asian adoptees and their adoption experiences in general, as well as how they formed identity, what kind of cultures they identify with and how they celebrate those and how those were affected during the anti-Asian hate sentiment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic and anti-Asian racism, as horrifically enacted during the Atlanta spa shootings that killed six women of Asian descent, made a significant impact on Seymore and Bulman’s academic, personal and professional lives. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, with the anti-Asian hate sentiment that came out, there was all of this news about Asian solidarity and supporting our elders,” said Bulman, “but a lot of specifically Asian-adoptees can’t relate to that because a lot of us didn’t grow up with Asian elders, so there is kind of that dual aspect.”

Since the club’s inception, Bulman and Seymore have noticed adoptees reaching out to them about the club and sharing their own experiences. “Seymore said that one of the main reasons she picked Wooster over her top schools was because of this adoptee organization, because the other schools didn’t have it, and she thought it was just something very important to her.” 

The club is open to all adoptees. “There are more than just Chinese adoptees,” said Bulman. 

Seymour followed up with Bulman. “That’s a very wide demographic in our age, but we are open to all adoptees.” 

The club also hopes to make connections with faculty, staff and the broader Wooster community. 

Scotlight: Douglas Richardson

Features Editor Emilie Eustace ’24 sits down with Douglas Richardson ’23 to discuss favorite new albums, busy life at Wooster and plans after graduation.

Introduce yourself!

Hi, I am Douglas Richardson, a senior communication studies major and sociology minor from Chattanooga, Tenn. I am the president of Shades of Gold, the president of Xi Chi Psi, the treasurer of the communications club and the treasurer of Lambda Pi Eta, the communications honors society. 

Wow, you are super busy!

Indeed. It is a lot, but it is nice to have a consistent, busy schedule. 

And I know you work at Boo Bears…how is that?

So, I work the morning shift at Boo Bears most mornings. I really like the environment and lowkey pace of working there. It is also nice to see everyone, different students and professors, throughout the day. I like that people come to Boo Bears to study, and really enjoy the atmosphere created by our playlists.

What’s your go-to Boo Bears drink?

A peppermint cappuccino. 

What is something that you can talk about for thirty minutes straight?

I could go on an extensive rant about why I think that country music is actually good. To preface this rant: I am not talking about the cheesy country music that is about beers and tractors, but instead, I would argue that the folky kind of country music that has similar themes to those of pop music is good. 

What are you listening to right now?

Obviously, Taylor Swift’s new album. I also have been listening to a lot of Noah Kahan’s new album, The 1975’s new album and Carly Rae Jepsen. I feel like it’s been hard lately, as a lot of my favorite artists have been recently dropping really good albums. It is great, though, to have so much to listen to. 

As a senior, what advice would you give a college first-year?

Get involved in as much stuff as you possibly can. There are so many social groups on this campus, and it is so resourceful and necessary to dip your toes in lots of different things to enhance your college experience. Getting involved allows you to make connections with other people going through college with you, and also with people that can help you achieve your future goals. Also, do not take yourself too seriously. Nobody is overanalyzing you the way that you are overanalyzing yourself. 

What do you want to do after graduation?

I am not 100% sure. I am looking into working in substance abuse recovery, so I hope to achieve that in some capacity. That is what my I.S. is on. 

Tell me more about your I.S.

I am looking at College of Wooster students whose parents had or are currently experiencing addiction. Specifically, I am using the Communication Resilience Theory to see how these students cope with their experiences of parental substance abuse and/or addiction. Being a child of someone who was addicted to drugs, most literature paints my population in a negative light and I wanted to focus on the positives in these situations and how they overcame them. 

That is so interesting! Tell me more about how you balance all of your executive positions in social clubs with work and school. 

I don’t, really. All I can do is try my best and make sure I am doing what I need to do while also taking care of myself and the people around me. I try to just have fun with it and it really helps that I truly enjoy everything that I am a part of. 

Anything to plug?

Shades of Gold will be performing at an Admissions concert in Scheide this Sunday, Nov. 13 with the Cowbelles and The Dukes. Also, come visit me in Boo Bears! 

The Coziness of Autumn Felt at Fall Fest

Photo of the Chardon Polka Band playing at Wooster Activities Crew’s Fall Fest event. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Heatwole.
Elizabeth Heatwole, Contributing Writer

As the leaves of campus trees continue to drop, the entrance of quintessential fall activities and autumn weather marks the passage of time. Pumpkins, apple cider and an overwhelming feeling of comfort are encased within the essence of fall. Wooster Activities Crew’s (WAC) inaugural Fall Fest, held on Nov. 5, served as a celebration of this season through fall-themed activities. 

Walking amongst the ancient trees that surround the Oak Grove, I felt a sense of calm as the warm, aromatic air swarmed around me. Although the weather was 74 degrees, reminiscent of spring, I follow the philosophy that autumn is felt equally in both the soul and the body. Fall Fest provided activities for all enthusiasts of autumn, as well as a welcome addition to an otherwise uneventful Saturday afternoon. Leaves carpeted the lawn, bordering a mega-sized Jenga set and College of Wooster cornhole set. A pumpkin smashing area located to the right side of Kauke Hall, equipped with rubber mallets, served as a unique addition to the activities.

Live music from the Chardon Polka Band floated through Wooster’s greenspace, drawing students to the festivities. The band’s rendition of songs such as “Edelweiss” from “The Sound of Music,” “Karma Chameleon” by Culture Club and “Wonderwall” by Oasis provided a backdrop for lawn games and socialization. 

“A little-known fact about me is that I grew up on polka music,” said WAC president Ellen McAllister ’24 “There is a local polka band who I’ve seen play several times and I thought that it would be super fun to bring them to campus. After a bit of convincing, WAC decided that it would add another level of fun to Fall Fest and that we should add them to the event.” The Chardon Polka Band is an Ohio original, playing at events ranging from Oktoberfest celebrations to concerts around the country. 

Energy seemed to course through Fall Fest as lighthearted chatter and laughter complemented the autumn-themed activities. Within the Oak Grove, Kauke Hall arched proudly over the band, overseeing the transpiring events. Upon reaching Fall Fest, I stopped first at the apple topping station, choosing to garnish my apple with maple syrup, chocolate chips and leaf-shaped sprinkles. Reminiscent of caramel apples, the station allowed participants to enjoy a similar snack without the mess, since apples were quartered and served in paper bowls. 

Planning for Fall Fest initially began in August, and “as the semester went on, we started to think about what fall staples we wanted to include,” said McAllister. Since its inception in 1980, the Wooster Activities Crew has acted as the primary student event planner, garnering a sense of campus community through its efforts. Discussing the importance of WAC, EB Fluharty ’24, WAC’s social media manager, stated that WAC plans “events where you get to know others and become more integrated…into the Wooster community.”

For participant Amy Gabrovsek ’26, Fall Fest was an opportunity to spend time with those close to her. “It’s nice to be able to enjoy a beautiful fall day outside with friends. The live music and games provide a fun atmosphere,” Gabrovsek said, adding that she attended “to partake in a community event.” Though seasons will soon begin to shift from fall to winter, memories of the comfort of autumn will linger. 

For information about upcoming events, follow the WAC Instagram page @wacwooster.

Just Pee in the Shower!

Geoffrey Allen ’23

It’s time to get the wash in. Whether you need it to refresh your day or you’re on the stinky side from a physical activity, you gotta shower it off! However, you also need to use the bathroom! Thankfully it’s just a no. 1 this time, but isn’t the toilet a bit out of the way from showering? The choice you’ll have to make confuses your actions. Do you sacrifice the spare time you have to shower and hold in the excruciating feeling of acidic pee, or do you use the toilet or urinal (depending on your bathroom preferences) first, which may delay some additional time in getting your hygiene period done and over with? Despite the fact that the latter might sound like a better idea at first glance, I would like to paint you, the reader, a picture. Imagine if you were in a rush and there’s little time to waste. Are you really going to think either option of this binary pathway is the best option? No! And it shouldn’t have to be especially when that middle path is always available: just peeing in the shower.

Now that I’ve painted a picture, let me tell you a story while we’re at it. Last April, I had a debate with some friends on my sports team with a GroupMe poll asking, “Real Talk: Do you pee in the shower?” It’s important to know that yes, I am a person who pees in the shower when I’m by myself. However, I kept the knowledge of this practice a secret, not because one might think it’s too much information to know of, but because I genuinely thought it wasn’t an accepted process amongst my peers. My student athlete peers did not take me seriously since I have historically been the one in that group chat to text a lot of ironic statements for banter, but slowly during the day people got really passionate about it, claiming such a practice is disgusting and others believing it’s just a life hack. Honestly, I was quite surprised that I wasn’t as alone as I thought and I felt some real camaraderie which was very nice to discover about my friends through just a text chat conversation.

At this point it was a stalemate. No one knew who would win this online battle over whether peeing in the shower should be taboo or respected. That was until the stream was reversed on the second day. It wasn’t because someone made a super valid point that changed their minds or anything. Nope, it was just the day that happened to the blow anti-shower peeing out of the ring: Earth Day! Like the day we humans celebrate and partake in conservation efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and use of natural resources which includes, but is not limited to, not wasting electricity, cleaning up litter and reducing the use of water through our sewage and shower systems. And isn’t it a bit coincidental that all of the shower peeing haters neglect this fact when they can’t fathom the idea of peeing as you scrub yourself with soap. So, my side of the peeing of the shower debate won and it’s no longer scrutinized as a personal preference of hygiene amongst my friends.

According to a quick Google search, you’ll find that the average shower uses 17 gallons of water. Yep that’s right, 17! I drink that much after a week for simply existing everyday and we waste 17 gallons daily just to clean ourselves for it? While that can’t be avoided, our use of water can. After all, the soap goes down the same drain! So I implore you not to make life harder than it should be! As long as it’s not a no. 2, of course.

Religion as a Relationship, Not as a Means

David Dunn ’24

I have noticed that oftentimes people tend to use very specific language when discussing their religion or faith. Many refer, foremost, to their specific tradition of their faith, and not to the purpose of faith itself. In fact, I daresay that in many instances one could discuss religion with a believer and never hear the word God being said! Further, people often frame their faith as a moral commitment and nothing more. My great concern is that we have boiled religion down to nothing more than a rule based obligation. Sadly, many believers tend to focus on what they are allowed and not allowed to do. This is contrary to what I believe to be the primary objective of one’s faith, being a relationship with the divine, or God and Christ as it is in my case. 

It is deeply concerning that many religious people seem to see religions as purely human institutions. The language that is used is often very sterile or detached, and treats faith as a moral theory as opposed to a religion. Religion is often painted as an institution that one can simply opt in and out of. Even more concerning is the importance that we assign to the human aspect of religion, and that if one encounters those doing evil in the name of good (the highest good, in this instance), that one should abandon the entire faith. 

Further, it would seem that many view religion under the pretense of “is this useful to my life at this point?” Speaking personally, my faith is built upon my relationship with Christ, not on the rules I feel I ought to follow. This is not to say that I do not believe that there are important rules in the Bible. Rather, I am merely stating that the rules are not the single most important part of my faith. What is most important, then, is my experience and relationship with God. This is, to me, the reason why being religious is so hard to defend in a logical or apologetic context. Unless I am directly able to impart upon you my two decades of phenomenological experience, it will be very difficult to give an account of my faith that would be compelling for those resistant to the notion of religion. 

Another issue that I would like to address is that of seeking out God. I would like to preface this section with a biblical verse that I believe to be applicable to nearly any faith: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7-8). When contending with religion, especially when we go through periods of doubt, or try to seek religion for the first time, it can be easy to be dismissive early on. This is all to say in a metaphorical sense that, sometimes, we perhaps knock once or twice, wait a few seconds, and leave. However, this has not been my experience with faith. Rather, it perhaps ought to be a sharp rapping, as though you were trying to wake a sleeping person in the late hours of the night. It is to yell and shout “Lord, Lord, here I am Lord!” My purpose in writing this is hopefully to provoke some thought as to how we conceive of and discuss our faith. We should not treat religion as a secular, moral set of rules that accompany some social rituals and gatherings. Rather, we should strive to develop a relationship with God, if we are to participate in religion at all. Again, speaking personally, my life would be significantly different (and worse, I should say), should my religious experience not be centered around seeking Christ first and foremost.

Remembering the Significance of Kids’ Books

Ellen McAllister ’24

“Wonder.” “Because of Winn-Dixie.” “Harry Potter.” “Walk Two Moons.” “Charlotte’s Web.” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” These titles might sound familiar to you from when you were a kid. You probably read these in third or sixth grade. All the books have creased covers and all the pages are folded over from so many young and excited readers. A lot of children’s chapter books were made into cheesy remake movies. They have been inspiring children for a very long time, myself included.

I still like to read children’s chapter books as an adult. Some of my all-time favorite books are chapter books for kids. They might be some of the greatest and most fun books you’ll ever encounter. Why? For starters, the books are short and have large print, so you’ll fly through them and then feel accomplished that you finished a book so quickly. And who doesn’t like that feeling? These books almost always have happy endings and will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside after reading. What I love most about them though is that they all teach a lesson. It’s not always glaringly obvious, but it’s there, woven throughout, and most times young readers won’t even realize that they’re learning to stand up for themselves or be resilient. They just think that they’re reading an entertaining book.

There is even a whole book award dedicated to chapter books that are written for kids. The Newbery Award was created in 1922; that’s over one hundred years of chapter book s inspiring young readers to be good people, how to trust others and to do the right thing. It might seem strange that there is such an emphasis put on these early readers, but that’s because these books are incredibly impactful and play a large part in shaping young minds. Without having access to these books, children would not learn important life lessons or feel inspired to read.

As we grow up, we move on to different and more complex books with lies, cheating and deceit. The books get weird and uncomfortable and sometimes are hundreds of pages long. We, as a society, are always trying to grow up and move on very quickly and to be the best in everything. But we don’t realize what we’re missing. You won’t find a young girl going on a cross country trip with her goofy old neighbor to find her lost mother and learn more about herself. You’ll have no idea what it’s like to live in the 1800s and not want to conform to societal standards as a young girl who just wants to play outside. Or the poor boy who has to outsmart and stay calm to win a life-changing fortune. Why are we in such a hurry to read other books that won’t make our days a little brighter or feel a little better about humanity?  

We spend our whole lives trying to grow up as fast as we can, to leave our childhood behind and to get a good job. What we forget about is the magic that reading brings us. College bogs us down with pages and pages of textbooks to read each night, so the last thing our eyes want to focus on is more words. Children’s chapter books, however, might just be the reprieve that you need as they warm your heart with their sweet stories of finding where you belong, how to get through tough times and working through troubled friendships, all written in large print on tiny pages. Couldn’t we all use a bit of that wisdom?