Welcome to Splitter Nation!!

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The view of campus from the Hamilton School of Math and Science - photo by Travis Barner

Hello again, readers! I think school pride is one of the most important things a student body can have to really show appreciation for its school. At LMU we have that school pride, and it seems that every semester students and faculty are inventing new ways for the campus to express its school pride. This week I will be meeting with several other students along with the assistant basketball coaches to discuss new ideas for the Student Section at basketball games. There is so much to love about this school, and knowing that your voice does matter and you can make a positive difference on this campus is an incredible feeling!

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Paul V. Hamilton School of Arts and Humanities and J. Frank White              Academy on the Quad - photo taken by Travis Barner

I think Fall is one of the most beautiful seasons we get to experience. I have the best view of the leaves turning colors and lighting up the mountains with awesome colors.  LMU is located in a prime location tucked right against Cumberland Mountain. Throughout this post you will get the chance to see some of the awesome scenery of the LMU Harrogate campus, as well as pictures from sporting events held here!

I am sure you wonder what does scenery have to do with school pride, and I personally think it has a lot to do school pride. I think if I lived on a school campus were I didn’t like to be outside, I probably wouldn’t be able to be at home here, and it would be hard to really care about the school. The pictures in this post have no filters, and were taken with an iPhone so they weren’t staged or doctored. This is exactly how awesome LMU looks. I am proud that I have the chance to wake up on such a beautiful campus. So, yes! LMU’s scenery does effect school pride! Well, at least for me!

I have been writing about all the great activities LMU has to offer, but I failed to mention one very important aspect: SPORTS! LMU has some of the best athletic programs in Division II, and as a student, I have the privilege to attend all the home games for FREE! And, there is nothing I love better than free!

This past weekend was a busy weekend for the Railsplitter Athletic teams. On Friday, both LMU Men’s and Women’s Soccer teams played in the SAC (South Atlantic Conference) Championship Semi-Finals. Unfortunately the men were defeated by Queens, but the Lady Railsplitters pulled through a victory leading them into Sunday’s Championship game! The LMU Volleyball team traveled to Charlotte, NC, on Friday where they were defeated 2-3 by Queens, but the next day traveled to Salisbury, NC, to overcome Catawba 3-1! The Lady Railsplitters will be on the road again Tuesday as they take on LMU’s rival Carson-Newman. Both Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams wrapped-up their seasons this weekend, too. The men took 13th in the Southeast Regional, and the women came in 19th!

Tex Turner Arena exclusively houses the basketball games among other concerts and events. Arena hold 5,000.

Saturday night, I went and cheered on the LMU Men’s Basketball team as they opened their season with a win over Hiwasse 91-66! I am looking forward to another great basketball season here on campus. Before coming to LMU, I really didn’t watch a lot of sports outside of basketball, and a little football. But, now that I am in classes and am friends with these athletes, it makes me want to go support them.

I have said it before in other posts, but LMU is a family campus. We want to see one another succeed, and do well. I was never big into soccer, but now I love to go watch our soccer teams play. I know when I have performances, I want people to come watch and support me, so I try to do the same for the athletes. The more student involved events I go to, such as games or concerts, the more I get excited about LMU.

Below is a video of LMU Men’s Basketball Pre-Season!

And a Video Tour of Campus led by Jeff Sziksai!

LMU is a school that is growing, and it is exciting to be a part of that growth. Since my freshman year (2011), there has not been a time some construction was not happening. The looks may be changing at LMU, and buildings may be bigger, but the heart of LMU has not changed. I am proud of the blue and gray, and the footprints of Lincoln that we follow. So I want to challenge you, my readers, to go support our athletic teams, go to the productions the theatre department puts on, and show your pride for our Lincoln Memorial University!

Please leave comments and tell me what your favorite parts of LMU are! Don’t forget to follow my blog to keep up with all the latest posts!!

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The skyline on LMU’s campus!   -photo by Mason Goad

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LMU Skyline                              -photo by Julie White

You Can’t Recycle Wasted Time

One thing you will learn extremely fast when you start college is how to manage your time. You WANT to read this post all the way through. If I knew about some of this stuff before now or even prior to college, my GPA would have benefited a few points. BUT it is never too late to make positive changes. My schedule is busier than ever, but I have stuck pretty close to my schedule. Here are a few things I have done to keep up with my classes and rehearsals for the Concert Band, Jazz Band, and Tri-State Community Chorus.

No matter how full or how empty I think my schedule is, the first thing I do is write out my schedule so I can physically see it. Not just my class schedule, but all the rehearsals I have, work schedule(s), and other groups that I belong to on/off campus. Laying all of this out in front of me allows me to see where my free time is.

In order to have a handle on my schedule, I need to follow it. Missing classes, rehearsals, etc. will throw off the balance. Once I build the routine of my schedule, it doesn’t seem awful at all. It is just the first few weeks of adjustment that seem unbearable, and I used to allow that mentality to continue into the rest of the semester.

The next thing I do is mentally prepare myself for the semester. Once I see a class I’m not comfortable with or excited about, I try and be as optimistic as I can. There is a reason certain classes are required for every student to take. Believe it or not you WILL apply a lot of the concepts to other aspects of your life during your time here.  Lateral Learning is one of my favorite teaching mechanisms. It takes what I learned already and applies it to other things I am going to learn.

Many things we do can be done so much differently if we change our perception. If we go into a class already thinking it is going to be boring and torturing, then of course that is the outcome we receive. Think of it this way: the classes you are in you have to take, and believe it or not they are relevant to the degree we intend on pursuing. So instead of having a negative mindset for a solid four years and complaining about everything little thing, you can switch it and find the positives in your experience. Four years is a long time to be negative when there are so many opportunities here you may miss out on.

Balancing my time with work and play has been a struggle. Mostly because I wanted to sleep during all the time I should have been studying. I am slowly grasping the concept that sleeping 10 hours straight does not help me much. What does help me is sleeping 6 or 7 hours and taking a short nap. This may seem like an obvious thing, but believe me, when you are wondering where all your time has gone that’s a good place to start.

A common downfall of students (including me) is procrastination. The first time I decide to put something off, the easier and easier it is for me to keep procrastinating. Then I wonder why I am stressed to the max after midterms! Nearly every professor will give you the deadlines to major assignments at the beginning of each semester. There are those students who have already ascended procrastination, but to the most of us who haven’t, those deadlines look so far away on the first week of classes. It is not until after midterms when you actually think back and realize you have papers that are going to be due soon. Some professors attempt to counteract this by setting deadlines for paper topics, outlines, and rough drafts. These professors are saints, and will all have a special place in Heaven because of it.  Once you learn how to not procrastinate, call me because I still have yet to figure it out!

I don’t know about your parents, but when I got home from school my parents always made me do my homework before I could go outside or watch TV. Once I started driving and working in high school, that was no longer enforced, but that same concept is applicable to college. I have more time to hang out with my friends, or to sleep in if I get my homework done first. Of course this isn’t always possible depending on your schedule.

Sometimes I do have to tell my friends I can’t play volleyball, or go to Knoxville with them. Don’t think you have to say ‘yes’ to everything. If you realize you have work to do then be responsible enough to tell them no. They will still be your friends after they’re done harassing you about doing homework!

The best piece of advice I can give is to have fun. Make what you do fun and interesting. If you have been studying all day long, get out and do something. Clear your head. Do not burn your self out on your work! Block out time each day for homework. That way you’re not spending the weekends and days off doing nothing but homework!

Becoming an adult is rough! We have to learn to wake ourselves up, take care of ourselves, and make ourselves do homework or go to practice. We no longer have mom and dad telling us to get ready for practice or asking if our homework is done. This is all part of becoming responsible adults.

Thank you to everyone who has been reading! I do this to help promote this great educational institution, and love being a part of the growth. Please subscribe to this blog and my fellow bloggers that are on the LMU Bloggers web page. Be sure to comment with your procrastination stories or ways to be more productive!

Stand by Me

No matter how busy you may get, and how hard you try to stay on top of everything, life still happens. This semester has been the most demanding semester I have had so far at LMU, but it has been, by far, the most rewarding. Since the fall semester has begun I have become a Sunday School teacher, play in two ensembles on campus (Pep Band and Jazz Ensemble), I am running for positions in STEA, writing for the Splitter Report (LMU’s campus newspaper), writing this blog, and my position in Admissions as a RAILS. Now, I am not complaining about these opportunities, just stating that they, of course, do take time. Today I want to take this time with you all to talk about where I find my strength.

My Youth Group at Lima Missionary Baptist

My Youth Group at Lima Missionary Baptist

As I have stated in my bio God is #1 in my life. I don’t push these beliefs on everyone around me, but my friends do know where I stand. I don’t believe in forcing religion on somebody. I try to just keep it natural, the way it should be. I want people to be able to see that I have God in my life before I have to tell them.

Before I started at LMU, I wasn’t worried so much about my spiritual life here on campus. I knew of several great churches in the tri-state, and I just assumed that would be the extent of my spiritual life. I assumed college ministries would be weird with a lot of people who are “in your face” about Jesus that would turn me off from it. I was 110% wrong.

I was raised in one faith my entire life, and I am so thankful I had parents that took me to church every time the doors were open. At the time I wasn’t so thrilled about it, but now that I am on my own it is just built into me that I go to church. At LMU I was not spiritually active much of my freshman year. I made friends that

Brother's in Christ

Brothers in Christ

attended BCM, but I wasn’t sure that was something I wanted to do. During the spring semester of that year I read a Facebook post from a buddy of mine. He was asking if there were any guys that wanted to get together for a bible study. Something just felt right about this so I joined. This group would later be named Brothers in Christ. Over the course of that semester, through most of my sophomore year, we met once or twice a week. Through this small group, I was able to make amazing friends, which lead me to going to several of the other ministries on campus.

Thursdays @7pm in the Chapel

Several weeks ago my sister in Ohio gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Within 12-14 hours the baby passed away. This was a situation I had never faced before. I had experienced seeing my grandparents pass, but it is impossible to compare situations like this. My heart had broken for my sister and her husband, and when I saw a picture of my niece my heart broke for me. Even a month later thinking about something so innocent passing away is heart-breaking.

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Tuesdays @ 8pm in the Chapel

Of course as soon as I heard the news I packed and headed home.  I stayed with my family for five days before I came back to campus. While I was there, though, my LMU family didn’t forget me. All those friends that I worship with at BCM or The Hill, and those that are in Small Groups with me were constantly texting and calling, checking on my family. I felt so much love and support and it made a difference for my family.

Times like these are why I serve God. You probably wonder, “Why would you serve a God that took an innocent baby away?” This may all sound cliché, but it is the honest truth. God has a plan for everything, and I fully believe that. I may not always know why, but what I do know is it will work out for our good. It is incredible how God works. When I watched the movie “Evan Almighty”, where God commands Evan (Steve Carell) to build an ark, the end had an amazing message. Morgan Freeman’s character (God) explained that when we pray for patience or strength God doesn’t just grant us these traits, he gives us opportunities to use those traits. I have learned a lot from Morgan Freeman, but that day something just clicked and I had my epiphany. Now when I go into hard times and struggles I remember that statement. I have never been more happy and satisfied in my life than now.

I started writing this post Wednesday night after going to a Small Group Discussion. The guys in the group just started to get together, but the first night was awesome. We shared what we are struggling with, and we had prayer for each other. If we gave people advice, we backed it up with Scripture, and what we say in that discussion will stay in that discussion. We’re just a bunch of guys that get together to work through our problems and forget about our work loads for about an hour.

My strength essentially comes from God, and He has given me so many different outlets to utilize Him. If you feel like you are struggling spiritually, there are people and places on campus you can go to. There is no one too busy to take a few minutes to talk to you, and to pray with you. All these ministries are open to the entire campus so go check them out!

When did Education become so much fun?

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LMU students at the S.T.E.A. Leadership Conference

As you all know by now(hopefully) I am a Music Education major here at LMU. If you didn’t…well now you do! Each semester there is a S.T.E.A. Leadership conference in Nashville, TN. S.T.E.A. is the Student Tennessee Education Association. Each state has its own respective association, and each post-secondary school that has a teacher preparatory program is a member.
Last Friday and Saturday I, along with other LMU students, took part in the Fall 2013 Leadership Conference.

The LMU Education program does not require attendance to the S.T.E.A. conferences, but highly recommend education majors attend. Not only was it a great experience to see other students from across the state going through similar programs as me, but I also went to 3 Professional Development Seminars. S.T.E.A. brought in professors from across the state to teach sessions on topics such as Classroom Management, Praxis Testing, and Whole Brain Teaching. Read the rest of this entry

Quidditch, Foam, and Bluegrass?

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Sand volleyball court at The Village

One of the most exciting parts of life here at LMU is the Student Activities. Each and every year more and more has been taking place, and this year is no different. Rick Stowe is our Director of Student Activities and has been doing a fantastic job! Not only is there so much to do, there is something to spark anyone’s interest.

Just last weekend there was a Quidditch Match on the Quad. I had no idea what to expect considering Quidditch is a sport brought to life in the Harry Potter novels. We may have lacked the “magic” to fly and have a Golden Snitch with a mind of its own, but the muggle form of Quidditch was still fun and competitive.

The game was laid out like this:

Read the rest of this entry

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