It is final exam week at Lees-McRae College!! As the students prepare for and move through this stressful week, the Student Development Office does its best to offer opportunities for stress relief. As I look forward to this week and reflect on the past week, I think about the opportunities that our students have had and will have, and I feel that I too am blessed to have the chance to “be a student again” and participate in these events.
None of these opportunities would happen without the SDO staff. I am lucky to work with an amazing staff that works hard to reach out to our students. They put in countless hours, never complain and are always smiling.
We had one of our first snow falls last Tuesday (11-29-11), and to properly kick off the winter season, the Outdoor Program’s students and staff lit up a fire pit on Nebel Green and offered students the chance to roast marshmallows, drink a cup of hot chocolate, and enjoy being outside in the beautiful snow. I was able to participate myself and I remember laughing with students as they learned the art of roasting the perfect marshmallow. As I took my coat off for the evening, I remember noting, “Wow, I smell like a campfire. What a great smell!”
The final “Worship on Wednesday” took place (11-30-11) last Wednesday. Graduating senior, Mary McDaniel, shared a message from John 1:1 and John 14. We had over 60 students gather to worship and hear Mary speak. The Tate Hall Residence Life Staff offered “comfort food” at the end of WOW.
The final match of the indoor soccer season took place on Wednesday (11-30-11) night. The winning team was awarded the new LMC Intramural Champion T-shirt. A new coveted item on the LMC campus! Students also have the opportunity to excerise or shoot some baskets in the Student Recreation Complex every evening until midnight.
On Thursday evening (12-1-11), our Counseling and Campus Life Offices offered the “Stress Free Zone” for our students. Students were able to take a break in Wily’s and eat cheesecake and drink coffee. If they wanted, students could make a “stress free” kit and then walk over to King-Shivell for a fifteen minute chair message, offered at no cost by the massage therapy students at Caldwell Community College. This is where I count myself lucky, because I was able to participate and I thoroughly enjoyed my fifteen minute massage!! Thank you Wade McGinnis, Director of Counseling Services, and Justin Kitts, Director Campus Life and Recreation.
On Friday afternoon (12-2-11), students were given the opportunity to participate in a blood drive. Give blood during a stressful time? That is what they did!! We had 40 students volunteer to donate blood. The Red Cross Volunteers even commented that our students were such a joy to be around and were very appreciative of their donations!
On Friday evening (12-2-11), students could take a “mental” break and watch the movie “Cowboys and Aliens” on the big screen Evans Auditorium. It is nice for the students to be able to turn off their study brain and just relax and escape into the world of fiction.
On Sunday evening (12-4-11), we offered our traditional exam breakfast. Our faculty and staff teamed up to serve 340 students breakfast food from 10 pm – 12 am in the MacDonald Dining Hall. It was fun to serve food and see the smiles on our student’s faces. They were so appreciative of the “break”fast. Thank you to the David Phillips and the Aramark Staff, and the LMC faculty and staff who helped make this event possible… Kacy Crabtree, Carl Griewisch Michael Hannah, Ginger Hansen, Bradley Huff, Mike Hughett, Justin Kitts, Scott Polsgrove, Sandy Ramsey, Rita Smith, Tasha Taylor, Dee Thomas, Sebastian Wild, Luke Winger, and Scott Woodward.
Tonight (12-5-11) is the famous “Banner Elk Presbyterian Church Spaghetti Dinner.” The members of this church, located in the middle of our campus, offer a yummy spaghetti dinner free to all students. Honestly, students start asking me about this dinner a month before exams. We are blessed to have a church community that offers this great exam break for our students! Thank you Joe Washburn, Pastor of Banner Elk Presbyterian Church.
Yes, the week leading up to exam week and exam week itself are stressful, but it is also the time when great memories are made and students are allowed to have “fun” in the midst of stress. Final Exams…FOOD, FELLOWSHIP, and FUN…these are what make the best memories!!