Step out of the Box

When I was asked to write a paper on something of my choosing for my English class, I was very excited but I bet most people had a hard time picking a topic. This was easy for me because I knew right away that I wanted to write about mission trips because that is what I am interested in.  When I read Mike Calhoun’s article “Six Benefits of Short-Term Student Mission Trips,” I realized that mission work has a close place to my heart.  He talks about how serving people makes people come out of their comfort zones and places them in an environment that encourages physical, mental and spiritual change.  I have participated in many local mission events, but the reason this is important to me is because of my two trips to Jamaica.  Both were incredible experience’s and I left with a better heart and many stories. I did a handful of work while I was there like carrying water to the top of the mountain, building and painting houses, I played with kids and made so many friends and much more. Something more significant is that my relationship with the lord grew each day that I was there. It was almost magical. As the Barna Group said in “Despite Benefits, Few Americans Have Experienced Short-Term Mission Trips” that mission work changes people’s hearts because they get closer with the lord, they feel more fulfilled, and they are more grateful for what they have when they see how other people in this world live.  Since there are so many positive outcomes from missionary trips, then why don’t more people go on them?  This question is what made me want to explore and learn more about why people hesitate to serve and go on mission trips.

The bibliography that follows consists of Mike Calhoun’s article, which reminded me of my love and passion for mission trips and reminded me that they are so important in this world. The Barna group explains how people of all ages need to take action and start serving the Lord. We need to help the people in need by going around our communities, the United States, or even another country to do mission work.  It can be as simple as you make it, changing someone’s life does not take much. That can be anything from bringing them food, building or painting houses, healing the sick, or even just having a simple conversation with them.  Anything that will put a smile on their face will change their lives forever. And when you end the day with a big hug that is when you know you impacted a life that day. In “The place of Short-Term Missions” by Urbana talks about why people stress and worry about mission trips, but explains easy ways to solve those problems.  All three articles create a strong case on why more people should go, try to get involved on a mission trip because you will most likely come back with a stronger and better heart.

I will probably be writing about my mission work in a future paper for a religious college class.  I will use my sources and make it an even bigger and better paper writing about each of my sources. I could post the later version of my paper in addition to the revision of my introductory essay and my bibliography to my blog so it encourages people to really get involved with a group and plan to go on mission trips.  For example, I had to find a way to get involved with my mission group.  It took me awhile I just had to do a lot of researching on the Internet and I finally found the perfect group that I would fit in with and really feel comfortable going out of the country with.  I would use my resources and this paper for people to be excited and not be afraid to go on a mission trip because most of the times it can be really nerve racking getting involved and stepping out of your comfort zone because people are doing something they have never done before.  My future blog post about my experiences on my mission trips and explaining why people should get out in the world and serve people, because it really is a life- changing experience.  I want to be able to do that for people because that is where the adventure all starts.

Annotated Bibliography

“Despite Benefits, Few Americans Have Experienced Short-Term Mission Trips.” Barna Group., 6 Oct. 2008. 11 Nov. 2015.

In “Despite Benefits, Few Americans Have Experiences Short-Term Trips,” Barna Group reports that people who have done mission work explain it as a life-changing event.  Barna talks about how people’s hearts change and grow during mission trips because individuals feel more fulfilled and grateful for what they have.  More and more people need to take action and participate in short-term mission events and even long-term.  Usually, the people participating are adults younger than twenty-five or churchgoers and that needs to expand in age and in number.  There are also many ways to serve others like helping out locals who are in need while still staying in the country or even locally.

Calhoun, Mike. “Six Benefits of Short-Term Student Missions Trips.” Mike Calhoun. Mike Calhoun, 6 May 2010. 11 Nov. 2015.

In “The Six Benefits of Short Term Student Mission Trips,” Mike Calhoun helps people realize the need for the gospel globally.  It really makes people rethink their life purposes and giving them reassurance of why they were put on this earth.  It also gives a greater sense of trusting God.  Another benefit is that it takes people out of their comfort zone and places them in an environment that encourages people.

Taylor, Bill. “The Place of Short-Term Missions.” Urbana. Intervarsity, 20 Sept. 2000. 11 Nov. 2015.

“The Place of Short Term Missions” it talks about overcoming the limitations.  It is all about being willing to change for the better.  People have to balance their efforts.  Short-term missionary events should be seen as more of a hands-on event.  This prepares people to really go into long-term mission trips.  The stress leading into mission trips can be very high.  It can be stressful reaching out to everyone but you are with everyone else and you are committed and ready to serve and show people the gospel.  Making changes as a group and individually breaking down everything step by step while serving people and the Lord will make everything go smooth.


We Are The Zombies Now

Chuck Klosterman is apart of the Lenoir-Rhyne Visiting Writers Series and his article “My Zombie, Myself: Why Modern Life Feels Rather Undead” is about how zombies are very much related to modern day society today.

When we were given this article to read for class and at first I was really confused why we would be reading about zombies and vampires for an English class. At the same time I was really looking forward to it because it was a change of things.  As I began reading, it really made an interesting comparison about Zombies and social media through texting, emailing, and using the internet.

“Zombies are like the internet and the media and every conversation we don’t want to have.  All of it comes at us endlessly (and thoughtlessly), and – if we surrender–  we will be over taken and absorbed.”

This quote is so true especially in today’s world.  A lot of people cannot have a simple conversation face to face.  It is a struggle now a day because of social media and that is how everyone communicates and keeps in contact.  If all of the social media had gotten taken away, we would all be over taken and absorbed like the quote says.  Chuck Klosterman makes a really good point here, but my question is why is the world getting more and more addicted to their phones and social media?  I think we are starting to act more like zombies than us being attacked by them.

I think this was a really great article by Chuck and I think it was even better for a freshman class to read it and realize that this world really is based on the internet or our phones.  It made me want to put my phone down and go out around campus and have a quality conversation with someone because I feel like that doesn’t happen much anymore!


Through Jeff’s Eyes

Jeff Hobbs is apart of the Lenoir-Rhyne Visiting Writers Series and his book “The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace” is about when Jeff Hobbs becomes college roommates with Robert Peace for 4 years.  He learned quickly about Rob’s life and something new and interesting about his past life everyday.

Outside the classroom we have been given a section of the book to read each week and I learn something eye opening every time I open the book.  Robert Peace had a rough life from just living in Newark and dealing with all the crime and violence, from the poverty, to drugs and alcohol.  His mother only made a little money each year.  Not nearly enough to afford a house, child, food, and much more.  All of this was hard being a single mother while Rob’s father was in jail for double murder of two women.  So much was going on in his life and Jeff learned and listen to all about it and then put it on paper.

Jeff knew absolutely everything about this man.

“I had no awareness of this then (of course I didn’t, even though I lived with two black men and spent four hours every afternoon training with my racially mixed track teammates), but a deeper transition affected people of this color in this dazed context.  Before course selections and extracurricular sign-up sheets-before bags could even be unpacked in rooms-black students had to situate themselves within their own race.  The process was complicated, conflicting, usually silent, highly fraught-and wholly invisible to their white classmates, most of whom had never actively had to consider the role of race in their lives, most of whom tended to see black culture as monolithic”(134).

Jeff Hobbs thought going to Yale University he was going to be surrounded by a white community, as of every other white student there.  Instead his two roommates were African Americans he learned a lot of their backgrounds and where they came from especially from Rob. He learned about family, community, love, drugs, and race.  He learned all of these things and more all from Rob’s experiences.  He learned that going from Newark back to Yale was very hard and difficult because they are two different worlds.  He was pretty much living two different lives.

Jeff Hobbs wrote a powerful story and it gives a message that everyone should hear.


The New Term Paper

Writing a blog post can be completely different from writing a term paper. But, which one is better and more effective?  “Blogs vs. Term Papers,” Matt Richtel reports how some educators believe that blog posts take away all of the challenges and time that go into term papers.  Richtel observes that “Of all the challenges faced by college and high school students, few inspire as much angst, profanity, procrastination and caffeine consumption as the academic paper”. These term papers take a huge toll on student’s mind and body and that is very clear.  Many college students still struggle with writing.  Sometimes, you are so overwhelmed by information and it is so difficult to get all of your thoughts together in your head and write a long term paper about it.  Most of the time that is very challenging.  That is why I think blogging is the new term paper.  It is much faster, it allows for more creativity in a variety of ways, and blogging is more useful in this generation.

Blogging is fast.  Students still have to prepare and plan out what they are going to say in their blogs. However, scheduling time to write blogs is more flexible than for a term paper because it is a lot more time efficient. Today, people are busy with athletics, working their jobs, or crammed and studying with all the other work from their classes.  It is hard to find time to sit down and write a term paper about a topic for hours and hours.  That is exhausting!  Sitting at a computer or even your phone, typing your thoughts away is much easier and more efficient. You still have to think and have the same concept in a blog as you would in a term paper, it’s just a more efficient way of getting it done.

Creativity is the big difference between the two.  With term papers you can’t really open up and say how you feel about a certain topic, but with blog posts you can go any direction with it and it will be acceptable.  “Pointedly, why punish with a paper when a blog is, relatively fun” (Richtel)?  I agree, using your imagination and creativity makes a blog enjoyable. There is just something rewarding about finishing a blog post because you get to take it your own route.  With term papers, you have to follow a lot of guidelines but with blogs you get to say how you really feel and your thoughts and feelings about a certain topic.

In “Blogs vs. Term,” Matt Richtel explains how students are feeling more proud of their work.

His conclusion is that students feel much more impassioned by the new literacy.  They love writing for an audience, engaging with it.  They feel as if they’re actually producing something personally rewarding and valuable, whereas when they write a term paper, they feel as if they do so only to produce a grade.

I understand that teachers want to make their students think and collaborate their thoughts and produce a paper; this is understandable.  I think it is ridiculous for a teacher to make their students write a fifteen-page paper.  It more than likely going to be boring and dull, and that is why a blog post can more thrilling and entertaining to a student while also getting their point across.  In a student’s head there is a lot of creativity and imagination, so let them express that through blogging.

Term papers have been around for many many years; it is time for a change.  “Across the country, blog writing has become a basic requirement in everything from M.B.A to literature courses” (Richtel).  If you go to a mall, and you just sit there in a chair and look around and observe everyone; the majority of people will be on their cellular devices texting and browsing.  Electronics are taking over this world and that is why students feel like it is easier for them to relate and write blog posts because they are so technology savvy.  This generation has a special relationship with technology and I think that we should take advantage of it and express our thoughts through blog posting because it’s more reasonable then getting out a pen and a paper for an exhausting amount of time.  Blog posting is in, and term papers are out. That is our generation and from here out, technology is going to get used more and more often.

“And blogs, a platform that seems to encourage rambling exercises in personal expression, can also be well crafted and meticulously researched” (Richtel).  Some people are totally against blogging, and others love it. With blog posting you still have to research and put together a post with what you know and have learned.  The same thing is used for term papers it is just more planning and time.  That is the great thing about blogs, you can take it on your own route and make it fun while still showing and explaining that you know the topic you are blogging about.  Blogging makes you confident in your work and I would say there is not a greater feeling of feeling confident in a topic about which you feel strongly. A blog post IS the new term paper.



Richtel, Matt.  “Blogs vs. Term Papers.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 20 Jan. 2012. Web. (17 September 2015)

i know the grandmother one had hands

Jackie Shelton Green is part of the Lenoir-Rhyne Visiting Writers Series and her poem “i know the grandmother one had hands” is about a grandmother who is always working hard and using her hands.

When we read this poem in class I thought it was really unique.  This poem doesn’t have sentences, punctuation, or capital letters.  When we read it aloud we were all in a circle and each went around and read the really short lines.  It was interesting to see how people read their lines and how they said it and see their facial expressions.  It is a different poem but a good one and I think the class thought the same thing.

This poem can be taken a couple different ways. To me, it is about a grandmother who is always getting work done and always keeping busy.  She sounds like she is non stop.  She is working hard from doing things like making bread, removing weeds, sifting rice, and planting seeds.  Her hands were always in something.

“i know the grandmother one had hands but they were always inside the clouds poking holes for the rain to fall”

I think this quote means that she was always looking for something to do.  Her hands were inside the clouds poking around for more things to do.  And when she would finally poke enough and find something to do, that is when the rain would fall.