January 2017

Skis, Frozen Lakes, and Jesus

Posted January 25, 2017 by Silas Wade '18

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honeyrockI couldn’t describe it adequately to anybody for days.

At least, not until I sat next to Dr. Rob Ribbe, director of HoneyRock and assistant professor of Christian formation and ministry, at lunch yesterday. I regaled him about the ski trip the retreat group and I went on, and when it came time to offer a description of the experience, I grasped for words.

 “Rob, it was…”

 Nothing came. Rob looked at me patiently as I went to try again.

 “It was..”

 Nothing. I had no words. Then Rob spoke:

 “Perfect.”

And that was it. I was finally able to describe the clear night when the Wheaton Undergraduate Admissions group of Diakonoi—“Dekes”—and I went skiing on a frozen lake under the light of the moon and a billion stars. The awe that I felt when I saw the moonlight being refracted off a plethora of tiny water crystals, or when the tree line couldn’t have been more clear against the sky, was perfect—just like my Creator. Is that what the ski trip was about? Not to downplay my duties as a retreat host, which I loved (shout out to the Dekes!), but out there on my flimsy skis, I was reduced to awe and wonder before the one who loves me. Some of us can go our whole lives studying scripture and going to church without meeting God in a way that leaves us speechless.

But God wants to meet of us where we are, even if that is on an unscheduled ski trip, during a retreat, having consumed far too much coffee. The place where all of the devices that we use to prop ourselves up fall apart, that's where Jesus is. That’s where we see His perfection and are made perfect ourselves. It’s really something.

I didn’t have the words to describe a ski trip, but I wonder if, in my attempts to do so, I was trying to describe something else—if I was trying to describe someone else.

winter-at-honeyrock

Silas Wade M.A. '18 is a graduate student seeking a master's degree in Christian Formation and Ministry with an emphasis in Outdoor Adventure Leadership at HoneyRock, Wheaton’s Outdoor Center for Leadership Development. Photo captions (top to bottom): the Wisconsin night sky over Long Lake; students prepare to snowshoe through the miles of wooded trails at HoneyRock, Wheaton's Outdoor Center for Leadership Development.

To learn more about Wheaton, connect with Wheaton College Undergraduate Admissions. Set up a visit, or apply now.

New Year's Resolutions at Wheaton

Posted January 13, 2017 by Kelsey Plankeel '18

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new-years-resolutions

It’s students’ first week back on Wheaton’s campus in 2017, and New Year’s resolutions—the written embodiment of hope for a “better you” after holiday season culinary and financial splurging—are upon us. Whether you fall into the 80 percent of individuals who fail by the second week in February—thanks for that, U.S. News—or whether you are among the top 20 percent who succeed, the symbolic turn of the year can spark in each of us the motivation to start, stop, or change our daily routines. Wheaton students are no different from the general public. 

I have only been back for three days, and already I have noticed the increased traffic at the Sports and Recreation Complex, a busier salad bar, and more resistance in responding to late-night bowling invites. 

Over lunch in Anderson Commons this week, I decided to ask my tablemates and those around us about their New Year’s resolutions. I was impressed by the variety of responses, and below are the highlights.

The Anti-Resolutionist

Alex Garcia ’18 said he did not have a New Year’s resolution and was not planning on making one because he never follows through. 

“I would make a New Year’s resolution of things I don’t want to do, like ‘fail classes’,” he said mischievously. “I’d be like ‘let’s do this!’ and I wouldn’t do it.”

The Health Nut

David Sell ’19 has resolved to completely cut dairy and gluten from his diet for the calendar year. “Just to be healthy. There are some bad things about dairy… it gives you calcium and that’s good though.” David started this mission in late autumn 2016 and celebrates 100 percent success so far.

The Schedule Seeker 

“It’s more of a school resolution—I want to sleep more,” says Rebecca Plankeel ’20.

“I want to be social and then I realize I have work so I’m staying up doing my homework,” she admitted to her beaming older sister (me). I did warn her!

Overall, Rebecca hopes to have a defined daily schedule for working out, homework, and sleep. When asked how her first eleven days of the New Year had gone, she smartly replied, “You know, I haven’t started yet, but it’s going to happen eventually.”

The Hydration Hound

Kara Chen ’20 has joined the many who seek to improve health via hydration. “I even have an app for it!” she exclaimed as she excitedly grabbed her iPhone.

The app, called MyWater, allows users to log their water consumption in ounces throughout the day. It also provides calculations for the recommended amount of daily water consumption and lets users set personal intake goals.

“I have to drink 55.44 ounces every day, and I have reached it every day!” she said.

 The Other Guys

“My resolution is, well… it’s to watch more movies,” said John Limkeman ’17. John, a senior, feels that his final semester is the time to catch up on the classics that he has never seen. 

“Mine is to not break any more limbs,” laughed Peter Zhao ’17 as he balanced on a pair of crutches. Last semester, Peter broke his fibula during a video shoot with the Taekwondo Club here at Wheaton. He is happy to report that he has not yet broken any more bones.

And myself? I’m with my sister. Though I haven’t officially declared it a “resolution,” I hope that 2017 will be the year of organization for me. No more Stupe apples hiding among the inkless pens and crumpled quizzes in the bottom of my backpack, and certainly no more locking my keys in the car (I think I’ve reached the 10 free locksmith visits offered by insurance). 

To all resolution-makers: I wish you good luck and admire your success, whether it lasts one day or twelve months. Happy New Year!

Kelsey Plankeel ’18 is an Applied Health Science major and is also completing the Journalism Certificate at Wheaton. Photo caption (left to right): Peter Zhao' 17, Rebecca Plankeel '20, John Limkeman '17, Alex Garcia '18, Kara Chen '20.

To learn more about Wheaton, connect with Wheaton College Undergraduate Admissions. Set up a visit, or apply now.

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