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Blog posts by kara

They See Us Bowlin’, They Hatin’

This past weekend the men’s and women’s bowling teams qualified for the NAIA National tournament. For those of you who aren’t avid bowlers, let me give you a quick history of AQ Bowling.
In 2011
As I was looking at schools as a senior in high school, I came to visit Aquinas right after the Conference bowling tournament in high school. As I was a little late, I gave my explanation to the admissions counselors, and they stated “Oh! You bowl! You know we are going to get a bowling team in a year or two!” I was stoked! I mean, not only was this school perfect for me, but they were going to get a bowling team.
As I was done with my visit to Aquinas, I got into the car with my dad and he said, “You know, they probably are just saying that they are getting a bowling team to make you come here.”  Regardless of the bowling team or not, I truly fell in love with Aquinas that day. I knew I wanted to come here.
After I had one semester under my belt, I saw an announcement on the MOOSE (the AQ new website). AQUINAS WAS GETTING A BOWLING TEAM AND HAVING OPEN TRYOUTS!! After tryout happened, I found out that I made the team!! I couldn’t wait for the season to start.
In 2012-2013
As a sophomore, I was so honored to be on the first AQ Women’s Bowling team. It was definitely a learning experience. However, it was an experience I would never forget.
In 2013-2014
Though I don’t have a picture of the full team, five of the original team returned and as the coach moved to North Carolina, Marliss and Charlie Tapp became our coaches. This year we definitely improved. We learned how to bowl as a team, and knew the type of pressure we would be under.
This past year was definitely a year to remember. All of my teammates were fantastic. We got two new transfer students, two new freshmen on the varsity team, and four returners, and our bowling team did the best it ever has. Marliss won the WHAC Coach of the Year, and Raychel won both Newcomer and Bowler of the year. The talent of our team grew to the point where we qualified for the USBC sectionals in Smyrna, TN. Though we decided to go to the NAIA Nationals instead, we definitely became an unexpected threat to bowling teams across the country.
As the tournament was my last, the team definitely went in prepared to blow people’s minds. During match play (best 3 out of 5 baker games, double elimination), we beat the team that ranked second. We tied the second game 184-184. Then we beat the third game making the score 1.5-1.5. Then the fourth game we tied again 214-214. At this time, everyone was going crazy. No one has tied a team twice in one round! Then finally, into game 5, we sent St Francis to the loser’s bracket. We. Went. Nuts.
The team that was expected to be eliminated within the first two rounds, won their first two matches! We were stoked!!
Even though we didn’t win the tournament, our team knows how strong they are and how much stronger they will become. With many new recruits, a strong sophomore and junior class, I know we will become a team to be reckoned with!
The girls I have met these past few years will definitely be my friends for a lifetime. They truly have made my experience at Aquinas the greatest! As I graduate, I know I miss the practices, team dinners, and weekend long tournaments. Through all of the times we have had together, I have come to know these girls through and through, and I am so happy I joined the bowling team.

First Day of School

In college, the first day of school was a little different than high school. I didn’t have to wake up at 6:00am, pack a lunch, or even drive to class.
I was like Nemo, ecstatic for my first day of class! As a senior, I had my schedule copied into my Google calendar. “Editing My Own Writing” was scheduled to be my first class. To get first pick of seats, I arrived to my class about ten minutes early. As people were arriving for class, I noted that they looked really young.
The professor wrote “Inquiry and Expression” on the board. I looked at the board and thought to myself, “Oh! He must be writing the prerequisites for this class on the board.” So I sat there until class started.
The professor was Dr. Chelsey. As he does everyday, standing in the middle of the room, waiting for eyes to be on him. Randomly he shouts “Bonjourno! Hello persons of quality!” I jumped! The student next to me giggled. Then he goes on to state how thrilled he is to teach Inquiry and Expression.
At this point, I was thinking that he got his classes mixed up. I knew I was in the correct room. He interrupts my thoughts stating, “If anyone is not here for Inquiry and Expression, now is the time to leave without being looked at.”
Awkwardly, I left. I ran to the computers in the middle of the hallway. I was still in disbelief, half of me wanting to go to the professor to ensure he had the right classroom, the other half embarrassed. I looked up on MyAQ what class I actually had. I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE IN CHEMISTRY!
In massive panic, I ran to Albertus and found the classroom I was supposed to be in. As I entered the classroom, completely out of breath, my professor states, “You must be Kara. Don’t worry, its typical for someone to go to the wrong classroom on the first day. All you missed was attendance.” Needless to say, showing up late, out-of-breath, and eyes wide open ensures your professor will know your name within the first 10 minutes of class.

Countdown ‘Til Christmas

Halloween is finally over, and now beings the COUNTDOWN ‘TIL CHRISTMAS! Don’t get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving, but it has too many fruits and vegetables (I’m not the healthiest eater). But really, listening to Christmas music can just brighten anyone’s day.
Freshman year, I wanted to put up a mini Christmas tree before Halloween. I mean, who wouldn’t want a Christmas tree up then? Well, the answer to that question would be my roommate, Mary. Mary was very adamant that she did not want a tree up until after Thanksgiving. I mean by that time, we would be way too far behind in the celebration process. After much negotiation, we made a deal. I would try five fruits/vegetables, and in exchange I can put up my Christmas tree AND lights!
The trek began, and my friends from my floor all went to Meijer and I ended up eating carrots, apples, a kiwi, raspberries, and my first ever salad. These were all awful. However, I still got to put up my Christmas tree AND lights! This dedication to Christmas was definitely worth it. Our room was the best decorated room on the floor, and we were definitely prepared for the snow that fell.
Merry Christmas everyone! (41 days!!)

Two Spring Breaks

For Spring Break last year, I got the opportunity to go on a Service Learning trip to the Dominican Republic. This experience was something that I couldn’t ever imagine. We were able to volunteer at the health clinic, supervise children at an orphanage, and bring milk and other necessities to different villages. Through Aquinas I was able to touch the lives of many. I “brushed up” on my Spanish, and was able to have conversations with some of the people we were helping. Through this experience I met so many people, but also I was able to get connected to people from Aquinas that I had never had the opportunity of knowing on campus.
As many people have complained about, this winter has been a cold one. So this Spring Break, I was able to go to Florida with my freshman year roommate. Needless to say, I got burnt. However, it wasn’t a wind burn, it was a sun burn (which makes it a little bit better). We were able to spend the week with her aunt and uncle. We got to swim with manatees and go to a Detroit Tigers game. It was a great way to de-stress from midterms, and think about nothing school related. However, I am excited to be back in Michigan and at Aquinas to see my friends, and talk about our Spring Breaks.

The Long Winter

Even though winter hasn’t ended, bowling season officially ended a couple weeks ago. I started bowling my sophomore year in high school. I thought it was the weirdest sport ever, so I joined it. However, the experience I gained from it is indescribable. Aquinas did not have a bowling team my freshman year of college. The admissions counselors told me Aquinas has the possibility of getting one, but I didn’t believe them. (Now I know they don’t lie!)
Mid-way through my freshman year, I started to understand what college was all about. I got a handle on my homework, and what was expected of me as a student. I joined many clubs and organizations and really found my niche at Aquinas. One day, a friend from my floor e-mailed me a link to a post on the Moose (AQ’s on-line forum) about bowling tryouts (she knew I bowled in high school and could be interested in trying out). So I e-mailed the coach my availability and try outs were scheduled.
I didn’t think I would make it. However, after two sets of tryouts, I received an e-mail and I made Aquinas’s first ever bowling team. I was so excited! Our first season (last year) was definitely a learning experience. I remember going to our first tournament and feeling completely overwhelmed. This year was a lot better. We got a brand new coaching staff, and had been through everything once before as a team.
At the WHAC championship tournament, after the qualifying Baker games, we placed fourth out of six. This was a huge accomplishment for our team. Through the many weekend tournaments, hotel sleep overs, and practices, we became more than team members, we became friends. This friendship will never end, and we cannot wait for next season to start. I know we will finish better than we ended this year.

The Long Board Rescue

Two Christmases ago, my mom thought it would be the greatest idea to get me a long board for Christmas. Our campus is small and I didn’t want to bring a bike to campus, so she thought this is the next best thing.

 I thought so too…. Until I fell… a lot.
The first couple times I fell it wasn’t that big of a deal. However, there were two big wipe outs that will go down in history. They happened in the same place on campus. I fell really early in the morning the first time (8:13am to be exact). I started up the hill by The Moose, and was planning on making it to the Spirit Rock. However, about half way down, I started to lose control. I jumped off my long board and landed in the leaves. They cushioned my fall very well. Wouldn’t you know, as soon as I look up, I see a groundskeeper right there to help me. He asked if I was okay, and I said yes. He told me to keep trying and we both went on our separate ways.
The second time was not as graceful. I was coming back from a sleepover in my friend’s apartment on campus. I decided that I was going to take the same way to get to the Gatehouse on the edge of campus. I stopped my longboard at the top of the hill. I mentally prepared myself and said, “You can do it Kara! You got this!” So I grabbed my blankets and pillows and held them tight and pushed off. As I got about a quarter of the way down the hill, I knew something was about to go terribly wrong. All of a sudden, I started weaving back and forth, unable to control where I was going. My instinct was to jump off. My jump this time was not that graceful. I fell hard on my side and felt immense pain as I hit the pavement. But wouldn’t you know the same groundskeeper, now on a golf cart, was riding right by. He stopped his golfcart immediately and yelled out, “Are you alright?” Being the stubborn person that I am, I said yes. He didn’t believe me. (I was bleeding in three different places on my right side). He then asked if I wanted a ride back to my house. With my bruised ego, I put my long board, blankets and pillows in the back, and hopping in.
“You wouldn’t happen to be the girl from last week do you?” he said. Laughing, I said yes. He then proceeded to tell me about how his nephew brought a unicycle to MSU, not knowing how to ride it either. However, the groundskeeper (I found out his name is Ted), said that he was pro by the end of his freshman year. He brought me back to my house, and told me to take care of my cuts.
I didn’t see Ted again until about a week ago. He was plowing my driveway due to the immense snow storm. I was looking for my snowbrush so I could wipe off my car, and leave for work. However, I couldn’t find it (where it ran off to I have no idea). So instead of watching me try to wipe off three inches of snow with my arm, he got out with his snow brush and helped me. After we were done, he plowed a special way for me to get out, and then stated he would clear my parking space so I would have an easier time getting even. Even though Ted had been working since 3am, he took the time to help me out.
Help is the one thing I hate asking for. I love the fact that at Aquinas, I don’t have to ask. People just end up being there. I truly appreciate everything Ted has done for me these past two years, and I can’t wait to see him again!

Grilled Cheese Day

The biggest tradition I have at Aquinas is GCD aka Grilled Cheese Day. Since my freshman year, my friends and I have made a point to get together and have lunch every Wednesday. We call it Grilled Cheese Day, because during my freshman year we would eat grilled cheese. Now, I am not the biggest fan of grilled cheese, so instead I would eat nachos.

This may seem little to most people. However, small traditions mean a lot to me. As a junior, my friends and I still keep this tradition. The Wege employees know my name, and my order. We talk about life, all while my nachos are being made. These friends used to live in Saint Joseph Hall, but now we are all spread around campus. This is a way we all can keep connected, and enjoy life. I made these friends during freshman year, and I intend to keep them for a life time.

AQ Family

Family. That is what is created at Aquinas. If you ask any student here, they will all respond with the same answer. When I am making the 7-minute walk (or 4-minute run!) to class, I say hi to everyone who walks by. I know each individual in a different way. Some lived on my floor (3rd floor St Joseph Hall) freshman year, some I met in my classes or clubs that I joined, and some I just got the pleasure of meeting randomly. However, we all treat each other the same.

When I enter my classes, the professor is the first person to say “Hi Kara!” They know my name by the end of the first class, and they get to know the real me. I enjoy stopping into a professor’s office just to say hi (Professor Cantley has candy!).

After class I usually head to The Moose to get the needed cup of coffee, and to see my friends. At night, I accomplish some of my homework and either go to a fun program that our Campus Life Department puts on, or my friends and I make our own fun.

My two favorite programs to go to are AQ Idol and to see our improv troupe perform. During both occasions I get to laugh and cheer for my friends who are showcasing their talents. Freshman year my roommate and I would go to everything together and while walking back to our residence hall, we would rehash and laugh about the events of that night.

Aquinas College makes it really easy to “love where I live.” And because I love where I live, I thrive here with my new family. I know when I graduate I will make all the difference in the world, just as our motto says.

My First Internship

I recently went through orientation for my first internship with Spectrum Health in one of the “big blue buildings” in downtown Grand Rapids. You can imagine my excitement when I finally got to go into one of the coolest looking buildings downtown. It has been my dream since I was a little kid.

I am, officially, an internal audit intern at Spectrum Health. For the accounting program at Aquinas, students need an internship in order for to graduate. This internship really helps me learn about the profession I am getting into once I graduate. Even though I found this internship through my own connections, Aquinas has truly prepared me for this opportunity. The information I have learned through my classes and from on campus experiences have helped me tremendously. However, the best part of my internship is the support from the Aquinas faculty.

The day before I started my internship, I met with my academic advisor, Professor Burdick. During this appointment, I told him about what I was going to do. The first thing he asked was, “Are there any roadblocks in your way to keep you from achieving your goals?” I realized that he was completely behind me with my career. We had a discussion about how this internship could affect my involvement in clubs/organizations activities as well my grades. Currently, I am on the bowling team, a resident assistant, student ambassador as well as the Becker campus representative, and I need to make sure school is my first focus. He gave me advice on what I can do to succeed and helped me realize that this accounting experience will help me figure out the rest of my life. Toward the end of our conversation, he asked if there was anything that he could do to help me. I honestly don’t believe that I would receive this type support anywhere else. Being a junior and expected to graduate December of 2015, this support I’ve received from my professors has been so valuable to my life beyond college.

Next week, Prof. Burdick and I are meeting again to see how I am adjusting to my internship and go over additional steps that I can take to be the best student and employee possible. Without the support of Professor Burdick, I would not be the student I am. He makes sure that I am okay physically and spiritually and gets to know me individually. Professor Burdick is a great attribute to Aquinas and shows that Aquinas truly makes all the difference in the world.

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