My Wheaton

Wheaton in Germany at Berlin City Mission

Posted by Clementine Kane '18

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Over the summer I spent two months in Germany with Wheaton in Germany, an immersive history, culture, and language program. In late June we began the internship portion of the program, working at the Berlin City Mission, an evangelical organization with functions ranging from neighborhood childcare to a youth hostel.

Along with several others, I worked at the refugee reception center, a temporary structure built to serve the overwhelming numbers of Syrian and Albanian refugees flooding into Berlin. The building housed around 500 people while helping them apply for asylum, learn German, and resettle in government housing. From the moment the refugees arrive--exhausted, tense, and with almost nothing but the clothes on their backs--they are welcomed and treated kindly and respectfully. I worked an evening shift in the kitchen, spending the rest of my days exploring the city’s museums and cafes.

As I became friends with the Syrian children and their families, I began to spend more of my free time at the center, playing soccer, giving the children much needed affection and attention, teaching basic German to the adults, and relaxing outside late into the evening as the family that “adopted” me discussed politics. One evening towards the end of my internship, I became part of the reception process first-hand.

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It was already about 11 p.m., and I was sitting with my adopted Syrian family listening to them talk about Middle Eastern politics and cuddling with the children. Suddenly my friend Amr, an Egyptian Coptic Christian who works at the center, asked me to come with him. A new Syrian family had just arrived and they needed to apply for asylum at the nearby police station before they could stay at the reception center. Amr could speak with the family but he needed me to translate into German. I felt adrenaline rush through me as I realized that for the first time, something important depended on my familiarity with my second language.

My heart went out to the family who had traveled for multiple days with their whole life contained in two bags. Their two young daughters were visibly exhausted, and although the parents were wonderfully patient, it was clear they were also fatigued. We took them to the police station and, working together, Amr and I filled out the necessary paperwork for them. Unfortunately, the family had to wait at the police station for five hours while the papers were processed. It was uncomfortable there, so we returned to the center to retrieve food and blankets for the family. It was a small gesture but their gratitude was evident, and I hope they felt a warmer welcome into their new country than the police station offered. I was joyful to be in the right place at the right time and grateful I worked at a center that allowed me such experiences.

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Clementine Kane ’18 is a sophomore studying art history with a minor in German. Learn more about Wheaton in Germany online. Photo Captions: Clementine and Tim Wruck ’17 working at a summer festival hosted by Berlin City Mission; two refugee children at Berlin City Mission; the refugee center at Berlin City Mission.

Wheaton Passage: From Separation to Integration

Posted by Charlston Ong '19

honeyrock-campfire 

Technology is an essential part of our lives. Well, for my life at least. So when I found out I would not be able to update family and friends during Passage at HoneyRock, my heart sank. However, as the days went by, I was really glad that we didn’t have access to electronic devices. 

When we first arrived at HoneyRock, it was late in the night, and tiki torches illuminated our path to a campfire on top of a hill. Worship music started playing softly and everyone started singing. The stars lit up the night sky and with a glow stick from our cabin leaders, we headed to our cabins to settle in. That is where I met the members of Cabin 18 for the first time. It felt overwhelming to me coming from Singapore, which was has a totally different culture from United States, but as the days went by, the friendliness and the closeness of our group helped not only me but also the group integrate into Wheaton’s community. 

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We were so close that we even had to remind ourselves to go in pairs to sit with others at different groups during meal times, instead of sitting together. We also met Cabin 12, our sister cabin, and bonded over games and activities. Besides getting to know these two groups of people, I slowly opened up and interacted with others at HoneyRock. I would say the absence of technology helped us “live in the moments” of camp and also helped us connect to God on a more personal level. Even the professors helped to break down barriers, which helped tremendously. As Passage came to a close, tiki torches illuminated our paths to the closing ceremony once again, signifying the end with more worship songs around a campfire. Our closeness as whole camp of people was evident. It felt like it was still going to be evident when we arrived back on Wheaton’s campus. 

The members of Cabins 12 and 18 still make it a point to greet each other and have meals with each other on Wheaton’s campus. I am really glad that I attended Passage—the eight days of fun and adventure really eased my process of integration into the Wheaton Community. This is an experience I will never forget, and I wish I could do it all over again. 

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Charlston Ong ’19 is a freshman at Wheaton. Find out more about the Wheaton Passage program on HoneyRock’s website, and watch HoneyRock’s September 16 chapel service on WETN. Photo captions (from top): Fellowship around a campfire at HoneyRock; Members of Cabins 12 and 18 get ice cream in Three Lakes, Wisconsin, and gather at the Loberg Lodge cafeteria; Charlston (front, center) and fellow members of Cabin 18 arrive at HoneyRock.

Navigating the Competitive World of Journalism

Posted by Kirkland An '17

Tribune-Interns

Dear Reader,

I don’t think that I am the most qualified person to write about journalism from Wheaton College, but I do think I’ve been blessed these past two years to do things that let me speak about journalism in a unique way. I picked up a journalism certificate at the tail end of my freshman year, and nearly simultaneously applied for The Wheaton Record’s editorial staff. I joined as the school newspaper’s associate editor at the start of my second year. Through a somewhat bizarre series of events, I landed an internship with the Chicago Tribune this past summer, editing and designing for the Midwest’s biggest newspaper. As a junior, I’m now the editor in chief of The Wheaton Record. 

It’s still the beginning of a career path, but I’ve learned a lot since my freshman year. I hope that these tips can help you navigate the competitive world of journalism, especially if you’re looking to go down a path similar to mine. 

  1.  Networking is everything. From what I can tell, if you’re not comfortable with a firm handshake/elevator pitch/business card approach, then it will be hard to get what you want. Journalism is crazy competitive. If you’re attending a liberal arts school — or, not a journalism school in general — you’re already at a slight disadvantage. Fortunately, not everyone who attends a journalism school is good at networking; that’s something that is determined by the individual, not the college they attend. Without talking to people who are in-the-know, I wouldn’t have been offered any of the opportunities I’ve received. Ask to shadow, too — it’s probably the smallest commitment for the person you want to shadow and you get that person to yourself for a whole work day! 
  2. Shoeleather journalism is still the best. Yes, emailing your sources is easier and then you don’t have to actually talk to them face-to-face. However, interviews conducted “in real life” will get you the visceral, off-the-cuff responses that are more genuine and less tailored. It will make your piece more believable and you will build trust with the interviewee as a real person, not an email address. 
  3.  Coding knowledge is a necessity. If you’re around my age, and you still don’t know how to code, you should probably jump on that. It’s necessary for you to know the basics of coding to stay relevant in the workplace, especially in journalism. Learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, the basic web design languages as soon as you can – more and more internships are requiring these skills of their interns. 
  4. Internships open AND close early! Journalism internships open around September and close around December — some end even earlier. Make sure you don’t wait to get your application in. 
  5. Learn everything. The more things about journalism that you know, the more attractive you will be to future employers. With its staff size shrinking, each newsroom requires every one of its employees to be able to do more things. Don’t stop at writing — learn design, code, editing, and photography! 

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Kirkland An '17 is a junior studying political science with a journalism certificate. Learn more about The Wheaton Record online. Photo captions (from top): Kirk explores the city of Chicago with his fellow summer 2015 Chicago Tribune interns; the Chicago Tribune masthead editors meet to discuss front-page content this summer.

Student Government 2015-16 in 400 Words

Posted by Morgan Jacob '17, Josh Fort '16

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Hello Wheaton fam!

My name is Morgan Jacob, and I am excited to serve as the Student Body Vice President for the 2015-16 year. Student Body President Josh Fort '16, the rest of the Student Government (SG) team, and I just enjoyed a fulfilling Student Leadership Development week at HoneyRock and a rewarding time of policy development on campus, and we are ready for an incredible year.

While at HoneyRock, we spent some intense time evaluating our vision for the year. Ultimately, we felt that one cohesive statement explained our group’s heart for this year:

“Student Government seeks to embody Christ's love by being a proactive, hospitable family.”

Let’s unpack that a little, with definitions for those last key words. The first word is proactive. We desire to enable thoughtful, positive change toward reformational justice. SG is one of the few student organizations on campus that focuses almost exclusively on change. We have a unique opportunity to change Wheaton for the better, and we wanted to focus on directing change toward reformational justice. So whether it be working to add new discounts to the Wheatie card so students have more access to resources in their community or campaigning for more sustainable waste practices in order to better care for God’s creation, look out for SG to be working for impactful change.

The second word is hospitable. We desire to create spaces to listen to others and help them process. Student Government is most effective when it listens to the wide-ranging views of the student body, but we wanted to take that a little farther. We want to wade into the emotional, personal issues on campus, and to walk alongside our fellow students through their struggles. We want to empower students to tell their stories and interact with each other on an individual level.

Lastly, we want to be a family, a cohesive community that symbiotically enables one another. At the end of the day, we want to be able to come together, bear each other’s burdens, and share in the unique experience that is Student Government. Whether in an SG Fun Night or in a group workout, we’d love to come together outside of the boardroom.

So, that’s this year’s SG in 400 words. If you’ve got questions, thoughts, or ideas for how to make Wheaton better, drop us a note in the suggestion box in Lower Beamer, or use the Wheaton app to enter a suggestion. We’d love to hear from you!

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Morgan Jacob ’17 is the Student Body Vice President for the 2015-16 school year, serving alongside Student Body President Josh Fort ’16. Learn more about Student Government on their website. Photo captions (from top): Morgan and Josh welcome new students at 2015 Orientation's "Mastodon March" outside of Edman Chapel; 2014-15 Student Government members at the 2015 President's Ball.

Welcome to #WheatonOrientation Week: 'To Whom Shall We Go?'

Posted by Dana Henderson '17

2015-OC-HoneyRock

Hey there, new students!! This year I’ve had the privilege to serve on the Orientation Committee (OC), and we are pretty darn excited to finally meet you. We have been planning since January, and have a great Orientation week ahead for you! 

The time has come for you to start writing your story at Wheaton. Amid all the emotions you may be feeling, I hope you are excited and expecting incredible things for these next few years. 

You may be new students now, but soon enough you will be studying for that killer final, “hammocking” on Blanchard lawn, campus golfing, attending “Prez Ball,” and waiting in the seemingly never-ending line for omelets at breakfast (worth it). Before you know it, you will be firmly woven into the fabric of our community. 

Here are a few tips on how to tackle you first week as an official Wheatie:

  1. Ask a different question. “Where are you from?” “What are you majoring in?” Brace yourself for hearing the same 5 questions repeated approximately 217 times. Be the person to think outside of the box and ask something like “What do you want to explore in Chicago?”
  2. Be yourself. This is probably the most cliché but important thing to remind you. Don’t waste your time trying to fit into a mold of who you think you should be. Embrace what makes you different. Celebrate your diversity! Likewise, celebrate those around you.
  3. Pace yourself. Take advantage of the events and the down time. Be all there during the events, no matter how trivial you may think they are. At the same time, don’t pull an all-nighter trying to have an intentional conversation with every single person on your floor. Trust me, you will have plenty of time.
  4. Check out these links to stay connected: Visit our website for all things O-week, including a schedule of events, and use the hashtag #WheatonOrientation on all things social media.

At this point, you probably have answers to a few basic questions: Where are you living? What professors should you choose? How many jackets do you need? As you enter Wheaton, there is one more question to which I would like to draw your attention. This year’s Orientation theme verse, John 6:68-69, asks the question, “To Whom Shall We Go?” Interestingly enough, the question actually functions more as a profound statement of faith. My hope is that we as a community will proclaim with a voice of surrender and trust, “Only to you, Lord.” In a world that is constantly changing, let us hold tightly to our never-changing God. 

On behalf of Orientation Committee and the rest of the Wheaton College family, we can’t wait to finally meet you!

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Dana Henderson ’17 is this year’s Orientation Committee director. She is originally from Fullerton, California, and is a junior studying Applied Health Science and Business/Economics with the hope of pursuing a career in management within the healthcare field. Learn more about Wheaton Orientation on their website. Photo captions (from top): Getting excited for O-week while wearing our Orientation shirts at HoneyRock!; Setting out on our two-hour canoe trip to our overnight campsite during Student Development Week at HoneyRock...talk about team bonding!

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