Category Archives: Opinions

The Art of Failure: The Benefits of the Arts

by Kaylee R. Hall

Our experiences affect how we view and relate to the Arts. For some, the Arts have always been a safe place where success and failure have minimal consequences. With the Arts mistakes can be painted over and beauty can emerge from failed attempts. The piano can be played poorly until it’s played beautifully; the Arts are the definition of progress. The room for error in the Arts allows room for growth in life. The Arts are the very essence of freedom for some, but for others it seems very intimidating. There is a sense that students of the Arts will fail more often than they succeed. In theory, failure should grow us as individuals and inspire us to persevere until the desired results are obtained. However, the concept of failure seems to paralyze some of its victims with fear.

I had the opportunity to interview a few professors at Judson College on the influence of the Arts. Interestingly enough, in each interview the conversation turned to the concept of failure. Professor Josh Pickens of the Art department had an inspiring take on the subject:

We’re taught that failure is bad, ‘whatever you do don’t fail,’ and that’s just not realistic. If you’re going to fail, fail spectacularly and then learn from it. Sit back and think to yourself, ‘That went horribly. That was a dumpster fire. What can I take away from it?’ The Arts are very good at making people feel bad at something. I think people are afraid of being really bad at something, like doing it and just being awful. That is a learned fear that’s ingrained in them from a very early age. Failure should grow us as a person but sometimes it just destroys people. Sometimes they get so caught up in the fact that they’ve failed, that they don’t think about how they can avoid it in the future.[1]


Perhaps it is not failure itself that causes us to shrink away in fear, it is the way we fail. So how do we learn how to fail correctly or to “fail spectacularly” as Pickens put it? If success is the product of growth, and growth comes from failure, in theory, failure should be the key to success. The Arts have the ability to teach us how to fail in a way that is not detrimental to us. Failure in the Arts is not picking up the pieces like shattered glass; it is simply readjusting the pieces of a puzzle. The Arts and life have many things in common, one of them being ambiguity. Every piece of art can be interpreted different ways depending on the person looking at it. If a painting can be interpreted a million ways, which interpretation is the correct one? Is every interpretation of a painting correct because different people see different beauty? With the art there is not really a right or wrong answer; there is technique, and what works and does not work.  Professor Stephanie Peek of the Religion Department expanded upon this in my interview with her:

[The Arts] opens us up to the fact that the world really isn’t all that black and white, no matter how much we’d like it to be. The world is much more fluid and dynamic, it is shades of gray and everything in between. Art helps us experience that in ways that are more comforting. In a world where you’re like ‘Is this right or wrong?’ and you don’t know, that shade of gray is very disquieting to the soul. [It is like walking] through a gallery and have a painting catch your eye, and you just sit and stare at for half an hour because you can’t quite figure out how you feel about it. ‘Do I love this, or do I hate it? And is that okay that I can’t tell the difference?’ Sometimes I’ll look at the same painting and I’ll love it today and hate it tomorrow, and I can’t always give you a reason why. Art has really helped me accept the ambiguity in life.[2]

Peek continued to share some of her experiences with the arts and how it has influenced her life. It was inspiring to hear how her participation in theatrical performance created a fearless attitude that carried over into her professional career. Peek is able to fearlessly lead and educate her students because of all the times she had to overcome fear on stage. The Arts develop character in a way that other fields do not. The Arts make us brave and build confidence, self-assurance, and humility.  Incredible artists are not just talented people that are immediately good at whatever they try, they are individuals that have perfected their craft over time from failed attempts and critiques from other artists. Professor Peek had a brilliant take on this concept: “Something every student could benefit from is the humility in recognizing that we’re all learners in progress.  People are going to critique our work, and it’s going to hurt because it feels like they’re critiquing us. They’re not, they’re trying to help us grow. Critique is part of growth, if no one critiques what you do, you don’t learn.”[3]

From physical to mental to emotional, studying the Arts changes people for the better. The Arts encourage sympathy, empathy, and establishes and heals connections. The Arts help us understand who we are as individuals and gives the ability to understand and relate to others in a unique way. When we engage in the Arts, we are training our brains how to think in a productive way, and how to effectively solve problems. It helps with memorization, managing time, understanding stress triggers, and how to continue being productive while under stress. The Arts are very powerful and impactful to its students. Dr. Jessica Spafford of the music department is a living testament to the impact of the Arts.

[The Arts have] impacted me more than anything else outside of family and religious beliefs. It is by far the most impactful thing. It has made me empathetic to others. It has made me resilient; it takes extreme dedication to be in a practice room for hours just to fine tune one little thing. Being able to connect with others, making someone laugh or cry, making them feel something that maybe they didn’t feel before, making somebody understand something about themselves, that has shaped me.[4]

According to Professor Pickens, “[The Arts] can teach you everything you need in order to be good at whatever it is you do in the world. I think it has that potential to help. Even if you have no intention of becoming an artist, just taking an art class is incredibly beneficial.”[5]  The benefits of the Arts for future careers are endless.[6] Dr. Spafford shared about how after college, employers would take one look at her music major and hire her on the spot. Music is among one of the greatest disciplines of the mind and companies are fully aware of the diligence and dedication it takes just to major or minor in music. The Arts help with business, production, advertising, marketing, communications, and many other things.

The Arts train its students to be dedicated individuals in all areas of their life. The Arts are essential to human existence, and the more we ignore that, the more disconnected we become. The Arts deepens our purpose and gives us the ability to reach out to others to bring light to social issues we need to change. The Arts teach us how to be overcomers, how to fail spectacularly, and how to be fearless. Individuals that are students of the Arts are students of life. Perhaps it is true that some skills cannot be taught in a classroom, but most life skills seem to be taught in classrooms belonging to the Arts.

[1] (Pickens, 2019)

[2] (Peek, 2019)

[3] (Peek, 2019)

[4] (Spafford, 2019)

[5] (Pickens, 2019)

[6] (Zuckerman, 2014)

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Dear Anne Curt-ly: Possessed Plumbing

Dear Anne Curt-ly,

 I am currently living on campus in the WMU dorm, and I am having a major problem with my shower. I’ll be standing there just trying to shampoo my hair, and then all of a sudden my shower water will turn either SUPER hot or SUPER cold, and there’s no in-between! I’ll have to stand there and wait until my shower decides to act right again. Do you know why this is happening? Are you just messing with us?


Suds n’ Duds


Dear Anne Curt-ly

Dear Suds n’ Duds,

I must first clarify that as I am a ghost, showers are not an immediate necessity for me, so frankly, it’s been a few decades since my last one. Therefore, unfortunately, I cannot help very much with the understanding of plumbing and whatnot. However, I can assure you that although I’m flattered that I’m the first person that came to mind in your dealings with this phenomenon, the WMU dorms aren’t my favorite places to roam. I rarely go past the elevator–I prefer checking in on the freshmen. I find it pleasantly amusing to take their signs and tapestries off the wall when they aren’t looking. If you’d prefer, I could ask a few of my phantom companions if they are the culprits of the calamity. Perhaps inquiry is key to the incident.

…. Or, perhaps it would be more timely to put in a maintenance request.


Anne Curt-ly


You too can write to Anne Curt-ly for advice at any time night or day @

Please feel free to send any questions and please note that your name will be changed for anonymity’s sake. Thank you to those who have provided such stimulating questions thus far. – The Staff

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Campus Tree Falls Unexpectedly

by Trinity Littleton

Tuesday, October 1, 2019, the quiet campus of Judson College was quickly disrupted. At approximately 3 p.m., right before the first volleyball match against Mississippi University for Women, one of the trees in front of the library fell. AJ McKay happened to be around when the fall occurred.

“I predicted it was going to fall earlier that day, so I wasn’t totally surprised when it did! A few hours later, I was walking over to Tucker and heard an alarmingly loud noise. I looked back in time to see half of the tree crash into the ground right in front of the library. I just kind of stared, shocked. Luckily no one was under it!” she said.

AJ revisited the site with some friends and snapped a few pictures. Kate Wright, editor of “The Triangle,” stood next to the tree for reference of size. Asking around, I received responses from many who believed that the tree may have been a live oak. Whatever type of tree it was, it was beautiful and the change of it being gone was much more drastic than what I imagined. Pictured below are just a couple of pictures taken by students as the tree was in the process of being cleaned up.

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Dream BIG, Little Ones!

After more than a semester of waiting, the Jr-Sophs’ search to find the perfect little to join their family has finally ended. Freshwomen, Jr-Sophs, and seniors alike congregated excitedly in Ramsey-McCrummen Chapel on the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 8, to witness the growth of their beloved families. All new members of each family were greeted with loud applause and excited whoops as they signed their names next to their new big sisters. Following the signing ceremony, families were treated to a banquet in the dining hall, where each table was decorated with a plethora of balloons, candles, glitter, and family animals.

For some Jr-Sophs, this day had been greatly anticipated since they first signed their names with their big sisters in their freshman year. For others, the joy of finding a little was doubled by the excitement of finding a big sister of their very own!

Traditions can be truly confusing for transfer students at first. Kaley Patteson, who transferred to Judson College last semester, gives her own personal experience with this.

“At first when I came to Judson, I was so nervous about Big/Little traditions,” Kaley explained. “It was a little confusing. As I’ve been here and gone through traditions, I’ve started getting close to people. Their names are Chasely Matmanivong, Abbie Livingston, and Charlie Sturdivant. Chasely was my LAMP when I transferred in. Hanging out with her during my first week, I grew close to her and this past weekend she adopted me into the Turtle family. As kind as Chasely has been to me, I am hoping that I can give Charlie and Abbie the same great start to Big/Little traditions like she has done for me.”

Gracie Hutto and Molly Grace Register, members of the Parrot and Elephant families respectively, both expressed the initial concern that they would have trouble with finding a little. However, that thought seemed to be little more than worry—both Gracie and Molly welcomed new members to their family, also!

“The first time I met [Tammie Hanlon], I knew that she was going to be my little,” said Molly. “When I saw her, my brain was instantly like, ‘that’s the one.’ Even though she didn’t sit with me at every single serenade, I knew that she would find her way back to the herd. And Baloo loves Tammie too, so that’s a bonus!”

Baloo, Molly’s service dog (and an honorary elephant!), affirmed this comment by wagging his tail enthusiastically.

Gracie became the big sister of two new little Parrots—Jaylyn Martin and Ryann Troxell. “I’m kind of an introvert, so I was afraid to find anyone until I found Jaylyn. I first picked up Ryann because her potential big sister left, and we really hit it off since then!” she bubbled excitedly. “Jaylyn and Ryann both have different characteristics that link up with my own. It’s so great that I found little sisters just like me!!”

Big/Little is about more than just simply finding a big or little sister; it’s about finding where you belong. It’s about finding the perfect piece to fit in the puzzle of your family’s legacy. The Big/Little Ceremony was a total blast, but that Friday evening is just the beginning of the many wonderful memories that each big and little will share together in the times to come.


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Karaoke Night

by Aqui Lacy, Staffwriter

Judson and Marion Military Institute joined together to hold a karaoke night at Judson’s’ student center “The J” on January 24.  Groups of students from MMI and Judson all joined in The J with their friends and their favorite songs in their heads.

“My favorite part was Hannah Woods opening up the night by singing ‘Irreplaceable’ by Beyonce then being an MC the whole night. I also really enjoyed listening to one of the cadets at MMI sing ‘Chicken Fried.’ Overall it was a fun break from school and all the work. It was nice to have other people around laughing and singing along to songs we all pretty much knew. I think everyone had a great time. We also got to sell snacks for spring break missions, too!” says Cassidy Padgett, a junior at Judson.

During the hour-and-a-half or so of karaoke, there were duets, solos and even some trios. Even a portion of the softball team decided to sing a song together and a portion of third floor Kirtley sang “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus together.

While some students saw the event as a break from homework and their way to de-stress themselves, others say it was a way to support their friends who were there to sing and to sing themselves. Judson student Jordan Hooks said, “My favorite part was when Kelsey got up to sing ‘Take a Bow’ by Rihanna—I loved that song! I also thought it was cool hearing one of the cadets rap ‘Ice Ice Baby.’ It was really fun altogether.”

Students that performed a song at karaoke night had until the day before the event to choose a song so all their songs would be on the playlist and prepared. When people got up to sing, it did not seem as if the singers were nervous. However, the crowd knew all the songs, so when the person missed a spot in the song, the crowd responded with the right lyrics and the song continued.

While the singing was happening there was also food available. After all, what’s a college hangout with no food?  There were cookies, brownies, and hot dogs all for sale at karaoke to raise money for spring break missions—with all the soda for free.

There was not only singing at karaoke night. There was also dancing. Between songs and intermissions, both schools’ students danced together with line dances. These line dances included the “Cha Cha Slide” and “Cupid Shuffle.” There was also a line dance that many Judson students love called the “Church Clap.” While the MMI students did not really know this dance, it was not going to stop them from going out and dancing to it.

One of my personal favorite parts was watching the Judson students teach a few of the MMI students to do the “Church Clap.” Watching it was like watching the two schools come together to have fun — that was the best part.


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Snowmageddon: The Snow That Wasn’t

by Bama Porter, Opinion Editor

On  January 29, the people of small town Marion, Alabama, experienced a blizzard that shall not be easily forgotten.

All activities had been cancelled for that day. Students stayed up to watch as they were slowly buried in their frozen tomb, the windows slowly being covered by snow. Those few who were brave enough to venture out of their rooms were met with a blistering cold that made them regret their decisions.

I, for one, could not find myself leaving my room for anything. I stayed inside while constantly increasing the temperature in my room until it was a toasty eighty-five, which was barely enough to keep the frozen snow at bay.

I watched as my window slowly became a blank canvas, promising me that this would indeed be the foretold “snowmageddon” that they had promised. I could not see an end in sight. The snow had slowly became something more than snow. It had taken on a life of its own, suffocating everything that it could touch. It wanted revenge on the Southerners who had boasted to be immune to its frozen force. We thought we were safe. We had never seen anything like this. We were unprepared. There was no plan, no emergency protocols to take when Mother Nature decided that enough was enough. She wanted us to fear her. She wanted us to learn to respect her and acknowledge that we were in her mercy. I do not believe that we would have made it if it were not for the fact that we showed fear. We were afraid for our lives, so she took pity upon us. When she left, she left a message. The Southerners would never again believe themselves to be immune to the influence of Mother Nature.

At least that is what we were expecting to happen. What really happened was the combination of disappointment, boredom, and freedom. At first, people were disappointed by the lack of the fluffy white snow. Snowball fights had already been planned in anticipation for the snow. Now those plans were cancelled. The only thing that actually happened between the day before and then was the drop in temperature. It was cold enough for snow, but, without rain, there was none. Students now had an entire day free from class.

What did the students do with so much free time on their hands? Some of them ventured out to play Pokémon Go, while others stayed warm and comfortable inside their dorm rooms. Many of the students spent their free time either watching Netflix or studying for upcoming tests.

Although this day was wasted, it is better to be safe than sorry. Students were grateful for a surprise day of freedom from class. It was a chance for them to catch up on some much needed sleep, studying, or homework.

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Professor Opinions of Freshmen

by Bama Porter

Now that the professors have had time to get to know the new freshmen, I thought it would be a good time to get their impressions of them to see how they compare to other classes. Upon asking for their overall opinions of the freshmen, the professors agreed that the freshmen are doing well in their classes. Ray Price, Ph.D, states that the freshmen are “very diverse with a variety of interests and talents with aspirations for the future.” Laura Crawford, Ph.D, comments that “several of the freshmen are very interactive in a good way.” She told me about an instance in her class where a student asked a question about the lesson that she had not thought about herself. She also notes that students had “good attendance” and that “all of the absences that the students have had were excused.” So far, the freshmen have proved that they will be a great addition to the Judson family in the coming years because they have the drive and the passion for learning that has been a characteristic of Judson women for generations.

Professors were reluctant about comparing classes; however, some commented on how the students were doing in their classes. Jeremy Olson, Ph.D, revealed that it is hard to compare classes but all of the freshmen in his class seem to be interested in chemistry and do well. Joe Frazer, Ph.D, states that “a large group of freshmen are making the transition from high school to college, and is a part of the maturing process.” Frazer later on mentions that “it is difficult to tell who will still be here in the spring. If a student makes it to the end of their sophomore year, they will likely stay here. If we lose students, it is usually from their first or second semester here.” Price commented that “professors don’t try to stifle interests and they all frequently work with the students;” however he cannot compare classes because “too much is missing to talk.” He did state; however, that the freshmen had “integrity (which includes doing their job and being on time for class) and empathy for others (which is promoted at Judson).” Price did reveal that the students “are not taking advantage of the help that is offered at Judson,” which can help the grades that students are less than proud of. Frazer stated that “I believe that students can get help from any professor.”

As a freshman, I can agree that sometimes more is needed than the repetition of the material and that students can and should seek out help whenever they need it. This is especially true around midterms and finals, when classes have back-to-back tests that count for a good percentage of your grade. Sometimes all it takes is for the professor to go back over the material in a one-on-one study session. Other times, students need to learn from another student who has previously taken that class. Then there are the times when you could turn to other students who are in the same class to explain it in such a way that you can do it yourself. No matter how you learn, there are ways that your needs can be met here at Judson, if you are willing to find them.

To wrap up the interviews with the professors, I asked them if there was anything in particular that stood out about the freshmen class. Each of the professors I interviewed had different opinions, and all of them were good. Crawford states that the students “invest time in things that are not their major.” This is a key part of being a good student in any school. Just because you do not like the subject or the subject is not a part of your major does not mean that you should not try your best in that class. Olson observes that “the students [in his chemistry class] are talkative.” This can be either a good or a bad thing, according to how much talking is done and what they are talking about. If the students are being engaging and asking questions or discussing the material, then this is a good thing; however if students are just talking about the latest gossip, then this is a distraction. Frazer noticed that freshmen had “a good Marion Matters, and participation in activities outside of the classroom.” This is a core element of what being a Judson girl means because we care about the community we live in. Multiple activities occur throughout the year where students can get involved with their community. Price said that freshmen were “individually outstanding students in general. While some students are outstanding in academics, some are outstanding in athletics, and others stand out in other areas.” This goes back to the diversity amongst the freshmen.

Each student has her own uniqueness that sets her apart from the rest of the students. Just because a student is not the best at academics does not mean that the student cannot be excellent at something else. Albert Einstein once said that “Everyone is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” These are words that I believe people should try to live by. If people compare themselves to what others say is the “ideal” person, then they will never be happy with themselves. They will spend their whole lives believing that they are not good enough, but somewhere inside every person is the ability to be a genius in their own way. A genius does not necessarily have to be good at statistics or string theory, a genius can be good at art or music, or in anything that a person excels at. The whole point of living is to find what you are a genius at and show the world what makes you unique, and Judson is the perfect place to do that.

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Operation: Fall Semester Recovery

For many students, the fall semester of college is a time of new beginnings: it’s a time for freshwomen to first experience their college career, a time for Jr.-Sophs. to experience the excitement of Pageant and little-sister hunting, and a time for seniors to reflect on their tenure at Judson and embrace their inevitable graduation. Consequently, fall semester (and college as a whole!) has the tendency to become a bit overwhelming for any student, but with Christmas break on the horizon, students finally have the opportunity to “kick back” and relax. As a result, the staff of “The Triangle” would like to provide a few different ways for you (yes, you, the reader!) to relieve some stress after the close of the semester.

1 Grab a buddy and take a late-night drive to admire some stunning Christmas lights!

2 Curl up with a hot drink, a furry friend, and some Netflix (or a good book, if you’d rather!).

3 Have a bonfire and invite all your friends! Roast some hot dogs, make some s’mores, and use your class notes as kindling!

4 Host an ugly sweater party with your family and don the    ugliest of your ugly sweaters!

5 Eat until you drop at your family reunion. Who cares if this is your fifth plate of Aunt Fanny’s Famous Christmas Dressing? You’re in college; you deserve that dressing. Bon appetit!

Congratulations, reader! You’ve almost made it through the semester!! No matter what the fall semester has thrown at you, Christmas break is a time to de-stress, regroup, and spend time with those closest to you. Be sure to treat yourself well, and use your break from college to recover and prepare for the next step in your college career. Have a wonderful, relaxing Christmas break!

bonus | kassi’s fancy hot cocoa

Few things soothe the soul like a cup of fancy hot cocoa! Photo by Cassidy Padgett.
Few things soothe the soul like a cup of fancy hot cocoa! Photo by Cassidy Padgett.
  1. Heat a half-cup of water and a half-cup of milk in your favorite mug.
  2. Pour in one packet of hot chocolate mix (preferably the kind with marshmallows!).
  3. Add a spoonful of chocolate hazelnut spread; mix well.
  4. Add a swirl of whipped cream on top.
  5. Drizzle a little caramel syrup over the whipped cream.
  6. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy!
  7. Enjoy!

(Note: For an extra-festive twist, use a candy-cane as a stirring stick!)


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Dealing with Stress

by Bama Porter

Rejeana Milligan studies for her upcoming exam.
Rejeana Milligan studies for her upcoming exam.

With finals looming ahead, knowing how to deal with stress will be helpful in the coming weeks. In a survey of Judson students, 63% rated their stress to be an 8 or greater on a 1 to 10 scale while 50 percent of them worried about their grades.

When asked which of the following general subjects cause the most stress for them, students answered science, math, history, or English.  Science (followed closely by math) caused students the most stress.

While this was no surprise, considering the amount of complaints  over stress one can hear daily about both classes, the time students actually spent studying for these classes was impressive. While students often spend an average of 6 or more hours studying for science, they only spent an average of 3 to 4 hours studying for math. This revelation might be a bit surprising for some; since both subjects caused a nearly equal amount of stress, one could assume that students would spend the same amount of time studying for each subject.

Knowing how to deal with stress can help students be happier, healthier, and more willing to come back next year. The following list contains a number of ways that Judson students say that they have dealt with stress on a daily basis:

  • Cry
  • Sing/listen to music
  • Pray
  • Nap
  • Breathe
  • Scream
  • Avoid
  • Exercise/walk
  • Call parents
  • Stress eat/stop eating
  • Vent
  • Drink water
  • Write stories
  • Read

From Judson professors….

While the students shared their own methods of dealing with stress, I also gathered suggestions from professors because, as professional adults, they know how to better deal with stress than students. Here are their recommendations:

  • Think positively
  • Exercise/eat healthy
  • Read
  • Give your problems to God
  • Nap
  • Have confidence
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Freshmen Through the Years

by Kate Wright

Your class is the group of people that will follow you all through your college career. I remember sitting in Jewett during step sing practice during my welcome week and thinking, these are the people I will graduate with. Some of us will leave, some of us will be best friends, some of us will have a great time, some of us a hard time, some of us will barely make it all the way.

The Class of 2022 at Rose Sunday. Photo by Sarah Fowler
The Class of 2022 at Rose Sunday. Photo by Sarah Fowler.

Just as the fate of each freshman will vary, her experience will be affected by the overall personality of her class. Each class buys into the Judson culture in a different way. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Kayla Oliver (3rd floor Kirtley RA), her roommate Megan Matthews, and Kirtley RD Sarah Fowler. All of these ladies have spent the past several years living in Kirtley, watching the freshman classes come and go, and I asked them to speak to me about the personality of each class.

The current freshmen are primarily athletes, which is dominating the dorm somewhat. The quieter minority are living on first floor, Kayla and Megan’s “crazy” freshmen are on third, and second floor seems to be a mix. Kayla and Megan agreed that while this year’s class doesn’t necessarily need the upperclassmen, they want them in their lives. As Kayla was discussing this, a freshman burst into the lobby to have Kayla greet a classmate on Snapchat video chat, underlining her point.

Kayla and Megan remember the current Jr-Sophs as being very independent freshmen, primarily staying in their rooms and living their own lives. Hopefully their self-reliance will serve them well as they go through this year’s traditions. The third-years, on the other hand (my class), had some who struggled with transitioning into college life—broken washers may have come up in conversation. Luckily, we have hit our stride, I hope, and taken root in Marion. Katlin Bailey, our class sponsor said one of the things she enjoyed most about the third-years was “watching their service-oriented hearts flourish in our community.”

Both Megan and Kayla are fourth-years, and they reminisced a bit about their own freshman days. They admitted to being a “wild” class, and remembered times when Lorna Wikle would ride a scooter down the hall on second floor.

I asked Sarah Fowler specifically about the class that just graduated, which was tight-knit and involved in many campus activities. Upon some reflection, she said part of the reason may have been that their class saw many improvements on campus and the 175th anniversary activities, and that it may have given them something to be a part of. Maybe that can be a challenge for all of us—to get to know our class a little better and to be a part of the growth of this campus, within both the Judson and Marion communities.


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