|More Photos from Christmas Vigil|
Thursday, December 24, 2015
Monday, December 14, 2015
Finals week at the Mount kicked off Sunday night with the annual Christmas Concert which was held in the D.J. Sokol Memorial Chapel.
MP3 files of the entire concert are available on the student shared drive (T:Drive) Feel free to make copies.
Play Band Snippet 33sec MP3 (Loud) - Play Choir Snippet 38sec MP3(Soft)
Adjust your volume accordingly
Adjust your volume accordingly
Mount Michael Choir
Noel, Sing We Noel!
Music and words by Thomas Juneau
Traditional Latin Hymn Arranged by Greg Gilpin
By Giulio Caccini; Edited and Arranged by Patrick M. Liebergen
A Wreath of Carols
Arranged by Greg Gilpin
Classical Guitar Interlude
Performed by Jack Blaser
Mount Michael Concert Band
There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays
By Robert Allen; Arranged by Carl Strommen
The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on An Open Fire)
Music and Lyric by Mel Torme and Robert Wells;
Arranged By Michael Sweeney
A Carmen Christmas
Arranged by Randall D. Standridge
Mount Michael Choir
Jack Avilla Changgi Kang
Ben Benes Min Chang Kim
Matthew Coghill David Mordan
Nicholas Dogger Jae Jun Park
Garrett Engel Sung Ha Park
Elliott Heineman Nicholas Snyder
Junbin Huang Zhaoliang Xu
Accompanist: Muxuan Tang
Mount Michael Concert Band
Clarinet Alto Sax
Andrew Ahn Samuel Eberle
Broden Kaps Case McNally
Trumpet Muxuan Tang
Kalle Haines Tenor Sax
Christian Keller Levi Kicken
Jeffrey Worms Trombone
Nolan Zeger Matthew Coghill
Percussion Trevin Detwiler
Nicholas Carson Baritone
Jacob Ramaekers Daniel Davies
Shengwei Dai Dylan Herrmann
Music Director: Mrs. Noelle Kunkel
Friday, December 11, 2015
|Holly Toft and Christy Crnkovich prepare and sort packages for pick-up|
We just finished up our annual needy family gift program. We hosted 8 families this year. All of the families come to us from the Mary Our Queen Human Needs Committee, the gifts go out to One World Community Center, Restored Hope and the Heart Ministry, to name a few. Thank you Mount Michael families for your continued support and generosity of this wonderful project. Merry Christmas!
Some Knights show Christmas spirit by showing off their favorite Christmas sweaters
|Photo by Homer Xu|
(previously published in "The Mount")
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
|1983 Mount Michael Alumnus Jeff Jamrog|
FREMONT, Neb. – Midland University has named former NCAA Division II head coach and University of Nebraska-Lincoln assistant Jeff Jamrog as the institution's next head football coach. A proven veteran of the college football ranks, Jamrog brings to Midland more than two decades of collegiate coaching experience, including time as Head Coach at Minnesota State University-Mankato, and most recently, service as the University for Nebraska-Lincoln's Assistant Athletic Director of Football Operations. Read Entire Notice from Midland University
Friday, December 4, 2015
|Colonel Sutton from Creighton University's ROTC program presents a check to John Morrissey|
Congratulations to Jack Morrissey on being awarded a $164,000 ROTC Scholarship. He has been accepted to and will attend either TCU or Baylor. Jack is the son of alumnus Brian "84 and Kris Morrissey. Jack attended St. Patrick's grade school in Elkhorn before coming to Mount Michael as a freshman.
|Brian '84, Jack and Kris Morrissey|
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Congratulations to the following Knights who received recognition for their athletic endeavors in fall sports!
TENNIS (Nebraska Coaches Association)
1st Team All-State Class B
2nd Team All-State Class B
CROSS COUNTRY (Nebraska Coaches Association)
All- State Class B
TENNIS (Nebraska Coaches Association)
1st Team All-State Class B
2nd Team All-State Class B
CROSS COUNTRY (Nebraska Coaches Association)
All- State Class B
|All Class B Honorable Mention
Alex Miklas, Jeremiah Connealy, Caiden Groff
B-3 All District 1st Team
|B-3 All District Honorable Mention|
|River Cities Conference 1st Team|
|River Cities Conference Honorable Mention|
Monday, November 23, 2015
Matthew Lee Dugick | In-Depth Editor for THE MOUNT
DJ Sokol, better known as David Junior to his family, is a name seen on several buildings around town including: the DJ Sokol Arena, which is a student recreational center for the students of Creighton University. But who is DJ Sokol?
|DJ Sokol '99|
DJ is a Mount Michael alum, who graduated in the class of 1999 and soon his name will be on another building, The DJ Sokol Learning for Life Building on the campus. However it is a good bet most students don’t know much more than the name.
According to his father, David Sokol, DJ had a mind of his own coming out of grade school. He was invited out to Mount Michael to look at the school and he really liked it, prompting him in April 1995 to attend Mount Michael.
After being out at Mount Michael for a couple weeks his father remembers DJ coming home, and saying “Oh my gosh, this is a disaster I should have not made this decision.”
But his parents believed that since he chose Mount Michael he should have to stick it out. Come Thanksgiving break, David Sokol asked his son if he still wanted to be at Mount Michael. He remembers clearly his son’s response. DJ looked at his dad, “He gave me this unbelievable look which was ‘what are you talking about, this is the best school ever, these guys are my brothers, and my friends I would never leave this school...After four weeks, he was 100% sure this was the place for him.” David Sokol said.
DJ would be a typical high school student, until he began his battle with Hodgkin’s disease. For almost 18 months he would keep this silent from his classmates and teachers.
David Sokol described DJ as caring person who invested himself in everyone else, including less popular kids. He knew they would become more accepted amongst his friends if he hung out with them.
“DJ had two unique things about his personality. First, he was very easy to get to know; he had an open personality and was always more interested in you, than he was himself. He immediately was engaging himself in the other person. Secondly, DJ had the kindest spirit out of anyone I have ever met.” David Sokol said.
There were “numerous” times that the Sokol basement would be filed with five to ten students from Mount Michael that didn’t have family in Nebraska. After many basketball games, DJ would invite the whole team, fans and family of Mount Michael out to his parents’ house to enjoy each other’s company.
He was also a typical student; he had some favorite teachers such as Abbot Michael, Fr. Louis, and Brother Mel. His first two years at Mount Michael he became a better student and was molded to care more about his grades and his study habits. He played football and basketball and admired Coach Kane.
During his last two years he could not play sports so he helped with the football and basketball programs. Especially his junior and senior year his classmates became his brothers.
An example of DJ’s love for Mount Michael and his brothers could be seen through his unselfish acts. Because of the chemo, he was weak and could not attend school the day after a treatment session. DJ would ask his mom to help make cookies for all the boarders, coming out to school with a mouth mask to deliver the cookies.
DJ did reach his goal and graduate from Mount Michael, unfortunately about two weeks after graduation he lost his battle with cancer, June 11, 1999.
True to his passion for the school, when DJ went into his last treatment he asked his dad that if he was to pass away, he wanted to be buried at Mount Michael.
DJ was an amazing example of what Mount Michael is about. He was always looking out for others and the betterment of those around him. He may be gone but his legacy lives on. Once A Knight Always A Knight.
Friday, November 20, 2015
At the 2015 UNL Math Day, 98 schools and 1523 students participated in the math competitions. In the PROBE I competition, Mount Michael took first place in their division and second place out of all divisions. This marks the 10th time in the last 11 years that Mount Michael placed first in their division. Individually for the Knights Soo Young Choi place 1st overall. Congratulations to all!
All Classes (98 schools)
Lincoln East (78.6)
Mount Michael Benedictine (75.25)
Omaha Creighton Prep (70.6)
Omaha Brownell-Talbot (67)Lincoln Southwest (66.2)
Mount Michael Benedictine (75.25)
Omaha Skutt Catholic (53.5)
Roncalli Catholic (44.25)
Concordia Lutheran (42)
1st Place Individual Probe Test II
Soo Young Choi placed 1st in the Probe II test at the UNL Math Day. The Probe II test combines the Probe I exam (25 multiple choice questions) with a 6 question test (they are graded on their work and answer), then they combine the scores to come up with the overall winners and award scholarships to the top ten individuals. By placing first Soo Young has earned an $8000 scholarship to UNL. This is the first time ever that a Mount Michael student has placed first. Jae Jun Park placed in the top ten, twice, in previous years.
Notable Mount Michael individual results out of 1523 students taking Probe I test
Notable Mount Michael individual results out of 1523 students taking Probe I test
Soo Young Choi – 4th place - 1st Place Probe II exam. Wins $8,000 UNL Scholarship
Junbin Huang – 13th place
Jae Jun Park – 17th place
Junho Ho – 24th place
Yixie Chin – 29th place
Zach Cairney – 30th place
Bokai Zhang – 30th place
Min Chang Kim – 38th place
More information can be found at http://www.math.unl.edu/programs/mathday/results/getResults.php?year=2015
Jae Jun Park Garrett Gloeb
Yixie Chin Lukas Williams
Junbin Huang Nolan Huetter
Min Chang Kim Dash Wedergren
Christian Keller Matthew Thiele
Juniors Leo Li
Shengwei Dai Oscar Dong
Junho Ho Freshmen
Jin Seok Jung Soo Young Choi
Alex Earsley Sebastian Esquivel
Ryuta Kure Patrick Collins
Jihwan Shin Leihao Fang
Dylan Herrman Bokai Zhang
Andrew Ahn JP Jensen
Labels: Academic Competition
Thursday, November 19, 2015
- No Shave November: Mount Michael raised $150 via No Shave November for the Open Door Mission.
- The student council will be holding a canned soup drive starting on Monday, Nov. 23rd and running through Monday, Dec. 14th. There will be collection boxes in each grade level dorm area. The class with the most canned soup items donated will earn a dress down day during the 2nd semester. Please support the student council and Operation Others in our effort to serve the materially poor.
- The total weight of recycling collecting during the Recycle Bowl was 1665.7 pounds! Great work!
Monday, November 16, 2015
|Daniel Jewell, Michael Ecker, Ben Murray, Joe Budd, Patrick Halpin|
Joe Budd, Daniel Jewell, Michael Ecker, and Ben Murray got honorable mentions in the follow categories:
Daniel Jewell-Feature Writing
Michael Ecker-News Writing
Ben Murray- Editorial Writing
|"One Monday Next" - More Photos|
It is the story of a repertory company which is holding the second rehearsal for next week's play and things are proceeding in customary confusion. The star is in a hassle with her husband, who also plays the part of her husband in the play within a play. This by play adds plentifully to the confusion of the dialogue. The author, of course, shows up to offer his invaluable talent to the poor producer who is a pretty worried guy at this point. He has just been fished out of the orchestra pit into which he fell after a sally with a left handed carpenter and an amateur electrician who switched off the lights. An imperturbable old trouper does her best to pacify all hands, but prospects are not hopeful. There are further maladroit inventions by the carpenter and the stage manager departs in a temper as the remainder settle down noisily to resume the rehearsal. (Description from samuelfrench.com)
|The Producer (Harry Blacker)||Elliott Heineman||George||Ben Benes|
|Maud Baron||Katie Evans||Jerry Winterton||Robert Baxley|
|The Author||J. P. Jensen||Daphne Way||McKenzie DuVal|
|Avis Clare||Cerise Trawicki||Jackson Harley||Thomas D'Aquila|
|Mary Manners||Kelsey Keres||Sandra Layton||Alejandra Garcia|
|Norwood Beverly||David Mordan||A Doctor||Michael Kim|
|Ambulance Man||Jean-Marie Djidjoho||Ambulance Man||Jeff Prince|
|Dumpy the Dog||Cajun the Dog|
|Stange Manager||Luka Mixan||Stage Manager||Patrick Fayad|
|Drama Sponsors||Bro. Roger Mangels||Drama Sponsor||Noelle Kunkel|
Saturday, November 14, 2015
Ben Murray | Assistant Editor Freelance
A: Right now I am studying abroad for one semester at The University of Ghana at Legon in Accra, Ghana, West Africa. I am primarily taking graduate classes in Public Health. I’ve been in Ghana for almost three months now. My term only lasts four months though, so I will be heading back to the U.S. fairly soon.
|Steier catches some rays on a typical fishing boat in the estuary |
where Lake Volta meets the ocean. He was a with a group that
was headed to check out how traditional fishermen cast their nets
A: Often times I believe we, as Americans, view the United States as the extent of the world when, in fact, it is only a microcosm of the much larger fabric of humanity. I felt that studying in Africa would allow me to achieve a more robust worldview, and consequently kick start my desire to live abroad later in life.There is value in experiencing a foreign culture that is, in many ways, in stark contrast to your own. It gives you a critical eye to your own culture, and it helps you to be more tolerant of differences.
I also have a younger brother, Bereket, adopted from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. His roots were a catalyst for my decision to come to Africa.
|A view of the Lake Volta near the Akosombo Dam. |
Lake Volta is the largest man-made lake in the world.
A: I have actually only been in Ghana and in the small neighbouring country of Togo since coming to Africa; however, I have travelled extensively domestically, and later this month I will be travelling to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa and, briefly, Nairobi, Kenya.
Q: What is your favorite thing that you have done so far?
A: Ghana is a coastal country so I’ve spent a good amount of time at various beaches. But, my favorite experience was traveling to the north of Ghana and hiking to the largest waterfall in West Africa called Wli Falls. I think it was the most remote and beautiful place I had been in my life.
Q: What is something that has surprised you in your time there?
A: I really had no conception of what Ghana would be like prior to coming, so everything was a surprise in a way. The way school works here is certainly surprising: the University follows the British System (Ghana was a British colony) so almost the entirety of your grade is contingent on one final exam. As a result, there is virtually no work required throughout the semester, which is the direct inverse of the workload at American colleges. This is very conducive to travel, but also gives me a creeping feeling of idleness.
|Steier, along with the rest of the students in his exchange program, |
most of who are American attended a traditional twinning ceremony
A: I think it is a difficult proposition to put an ongoing life experience into perspective, but if I could give one answer, it is that this trip has spurred my aspiration to travel the world.
Q: What influence has your education at Mount Michael made on your experience?
A: I believe Mount Michael gave me a foundational look into many subjects, which helped to locate my areas of interest. Mount Michael also whetted my interest in other cultures via its international students.
Q What are the people like there?
A: I don’t want to typecast an entire population of people, but generally Ghanaians are friendly and very outgoing—always introducing themselves and trying to be your friend. The words “brother” and “sister” are used to describe any acquaintances; I am called “Oburoni”, a word used to describe a foreigner or ‘white person’ in the native language of Twi.
In many ways, the culture is antiquated, though. Ghanaians are often intolerant of too much deviation in dress or action, and conformity is seen as virtuous. Productivity is also not always at the forefront, as time is not seen as a commodity. I often become frustrated with these differences, but viewing the culture through the lens of Western principles isn’t always reasonable.
Q: What is one funny or touching story that you have witnessed or been a part of?
A: I began playing soccer, or “football” they call it in Ghana, for a semi-pro team. The team volunteers with groups of young boys from low-income families. The boys all want new cleats because they have second or third-use rubber boots. My mom is visiting in two weeks, bringing with her many pairs of cleats and new soccer balls for the boys. I will be very happy to give them the new equipment.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Brian Schneider | Staff Writer
It is amazing what students can come up with when they live at school, from warball games, to pillow fights, to making videos of popular songs with unexpected dancers. Juniors Broden Kaps and Eric Zhang did just that.
Zhang, who transferred to Mount Michael in the second semester of the 2013-2014 school year, is a studious, kind individual who works hard and tries to do his best at all times. However, a different side came out of him in this video which may have been inspired by his roommate. Zhang is rooming with Broden Kaps this year, and their fun is just beginning.
“Broden is a really good friend. He is helpful and funny and he comes up with fantastic ideas,” Zhang said.
One of Kap’s greatest ideas was to have Zhang dance. Ever since the song “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” by Silento came out, it has been a hit, taking the pop culture genre by storm. However, the dance moves are what made each of these songs so popular.
The Whip is a dance move where the movement consists of nearly making contact between opposite knee and elbow, dropping the knee, and pushing the arm forward like driving a car one handed. The Nae Nae is waving back and forth while walking backwards, which is a continuation of the Whip.
Kaps and Zhang worked hard for two weeks shooting the video.
“We were shooting everyday after study hall for around twenty minutes,” video editor and fellow junior Homer Xu said. According to Kaps, Zhang held off on calling his parents every night to work on the video, something that is normally important to Zhang.
“Sometimes it was hard to not call my parents when we filmed but the video was a good way to relax and get my mind off of studying,” Zhang said.
While the three worked on the video, the hype kept building. “I was excited to see what Kaps would come up with,” junior Joe Coldiron said.
They had to be creative to make the best possible video, using different places inside the school, primarily Zhang and Kaps’ dorm and the gym, Shots of Zhang wearing sunglasses and headphones while dribbling basketballs or hanging his arms around his friends also added a creative aspect to this extremely cheap production, according to Xu.
However, the result is a fairly high quality video. Some of the lighting was just a flashlight being waved around. Xu had the idea to use the flashlight to add a dance floor vibe to the music video, simulating the flashing lights of a dance floor.
Editing also helped improve the visual appeal. Using Windows Movie Maker, Xu made the final edit of the music video in around five to six hours.
Zhang was disappointed when Kaps was not in the video with him, after Kaps told him they would be dancing together. However, once Zhang got into the video and started to dance, he had a good time making it.
Watch Zhang Whip was an instant hit the night it came out, soaring above 300 views in the first week.
Zhang is considering doing another video, but for now he is focusing on more typical evening activities like studying.
Kaps enjoyed the film making as well, making sure he made time for the video every night after study hall.
When Kaps began to film, he knew right away that the film would not be a serious video. Kaps was inspired to do this video when he asked himself, “What would happen if we made a video of Eric dancing to this song?” The end result made many people laugh, deans included.
“Eric’s whip form is on point,” sophomore Luke Van Haute said. Junior Keylan Beller agreed “The video was very creative and very funny,” junior Keylan Bellar said.
Kaps is thinking about doing another video. However, he wants to keep all of his ideas for new videos a surprise. Perhaps one of these surprise videos will come in the second quarter.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Cade Johnson | Staff Writer for THE MOUNT
|J.P Jensen / Photo by Cade Johnson|
As the 2015 school year rolls around, the class of 2019 begins their journey of high school. However, Mount Michael isn’t just a school, it’s a brotherhood. This brotherhood is built upon the relationships you make freshman year and getting to know your classmates on a deeper level. This deeper level is what makes the Mount different. Every class has their characters and personalities. The class of 2019 brings J.P. Jensen for example.
Jensen graduated from Saint Margaret Mary in 2014, and has a wide range of interests. He enjoys computers, cars, and game shows to name a few of his enthusiasms. His favorite computers are Apple computers.
“I think personally they’re better than PC’s,” Jensen said. One of his favorite shows is a 1970’s show called Match Game which is a revival of an earlier show called The Match Game from the late 1960’s.
Jensen participates in cross country on the junior varsity team. He chose cross country because, as he jokingly pointed out, he “wouldn’t last too long in football.” Jensen is not a fan of tennis either, although he has played tennis before for fun. According to Jensen tennis “would be a lot more fun when you can hit the ball.”
He plans on trying out for bowling in the winter, a sport he has lots of experience in. Jensen used to go bowling with his mom when he was younger. He would tag along on weekday mornings. In the spring, Jensen will try out for the golf team. His reasoning is straightforward: “I’m not a fan of baseball, soccer, or track.” He has high hopes for the golf season this year.
The transition from grade school to high school can be tough for some people. Especially if your new home is Mount Michael. Judging by the first couple of weeks, Jensen has transitioned well. One of his favorite teachers, similar to the majority of his classmates, is English teacher John Gathje.
“He’s very funny, and makes class fun!” Jensen said enthusiastically. This is not a surprise as Gathje makes the sudden and somewhat intimidating shift into high school a fun experience.
Jensen enjoys being a day student but is thinking about trying out boarding. He especially likes the brotherhood that his classmates and him are building in their first year and hopes it will only grow as his time at the Mount continues.
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Patrick Halpin | Features Editor for THE MOUNT
As students turn the corner heading east into the Science wing they will more than likely hear the enthusiastic voice of Mrs. Zohner (more commonly known as Ms. Z), speaking on and on about the wonders of chemistry. Whether it’s memorizing the periodic table or discussing the outcome of chemical reactions her voice can be heard loud and clear throughout the hall.
|Chemistry Teacher Leah Zohner on Maternity Leave |
photo by Homer Xu
However, to many students dismay, sometime around September 25 that loud voice and those long drives in from Lincoln will be temporarily absent from our halls. Zohner is pregnant. She is due September 25 and says, “I plan on working until the baby has other plans.”
But the big question people are asking is, “What are we going to do without Zohner?”
Junior Joe Coldiron, is currently in AP Chemistry with Zohner. He says the class is fun but it definitely takes a lot of hard work. “She cares enough to stay late after school and make sure her students fully understand the subject and because she drives in from Lincoln everyday, it’s even more of a commitment.”
A chemistry class without Zohner is somewhat of a foreign idea to Mount Michael. Since 2012 she has been the person to talk to when it comes to her science. However, she says there is no need to worry. Dr. Peck, a friend of Zohner’s, will be subbing in for her during her maternity leave. She has studied general chemistry, forensic chemistry, and inorganic chemistry and Zohner says she is more than qualified to take her place.
In addition to being in charge of all things Chemistry, Zohner has also been the throwing coach for track and field since 2012. But, she has decided to step down from her position this year. She says that she has decided to spend more time with her family considering she has a baby on the way. However, Zohner says she still plans on coming out to track meets to watch her old players compete.
“I really enjoy how many kids get excited about science, which is sometimes hard to find. It makes my job really easy because people actually want to learn,” Zohner said.
Although Zohner says she will not be gone for long, “it will still definitely be a change” Coldiron said. Whether it has been throwing in the spring or learning the basics of chemistry, all students have been impacted by Ms. Z by the end of their sophomore year. Thankfully, she will not be gone for long.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
The DJ Sokol Learning for Life Building, in memory of DJ Sokol ‘99, has been made possible by David and Peggy Sokol along with their daughter Kelly Sokol Avery. The Benedictine Community cannot say thank you enough for their continued support to Mount Michael Benedictine and the $5,000,000 gift that they have made.
In working towards matching the gift provided by the Sokol family, current sophomore parents Steve and Tammy Reynolds have made a gift of $125,000 to the campaign along with a challenge themselves. They have agreed to match their gift in one year, if we are able to match their gift 10 times. This would enable Mount Michael to match the Sokol gift with $1,375,000 if the challenge is met. Thank you very much, Steve and Tammy, for realizing the urgency behind raising these dollars and helping the community pull together to raise the funds needed to complete the academic facility. With this kind of support from our Mount Michael family the school cannot fail to soar to new heights.
- Kimberly A. Volpone Director of Advancement
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Michael Ecker | Staff Writer for THE MOUNT
Throughout the dorms one can hear different languages, smell different foods, and see different clothes. The seven-day boarders add a way to experience cultures that can’t be found anywhere else in Nebraska. Students from South Korea, China, Vietnam, Spain and Belgium, help expand the student bodies’ understanding of other cultures, languages and activities. Sophomores Jack Avilla, Riley Kruse, and Joey Recker got a rare chance to fully immerse in a different culture.
|Joey Recker, Jack Avilla, and Riley Kruse|
On May 22, the three freshmen, now sophomores, left Omaha to begin a two week long adventure. The flight took off early in the morning to Dallas/Fort Worth International. and their final flight arrivied at Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea on May 23.
“It took over 24 hours of traveling,” Recker said, “the time differences gave me horrible headaches.”
The money for the trip didn’t come out of nowhere. The three negotiated with their parents to get the opportunity for this trip. The plane tickets cost around $1,000 one way. After that the sophomores were lucky enough to stay with sophomore Kyeongmin Kim and his family.
The three traveled around South Korea with Kim. One of the places they went to was the border between South and North Korea. there, they visited a Joint Security Area, also known as a Korean Demilitarized Zone, and saw first hand the tension between North and South Korea.
“Going to the Joint Security Area showed me a lot about there being a constant feeling of the possibility of war,” Avilla said.
Even with the tension, the sophomores agreed there is a side to the relationship between South Korea and North Korea that most Americans never hear about. They noticed that there is a lot of respect between the people of the two nations. Many people have family members or know people in the other country.
On May 25 the three experienced one of the most unique Korean cultural events, the celebration of Buddha’s birthday at Jogyesa Temple in Seoul. The temple is the center of Zen Buddhism in South Korea. During the celebration the people celebrate with songs, dances, and traditional clothing.
“I thought it was the most exotic, ancient, and beautiful of all the places we visited,” Recker said, “it was amazing to see the tradition and history at the temple.”
The group also experienced a wedding and a mass at Kim’s parish. Both were in Korean but the three enjoyed the uniqueness compared to the American counterparts.
|Joey Recker, Riley Kruse & Jack Avilla Dressed as Korean Warriors|
The three experienced another unique cultural activity. They dressed up in traditional South Korean clothes, those of warriors in Ancient Korea. They wore the clothes at one of the many palaces in South Korea.
Although they experienced a great deal of traditional culture, the boys also saw the modern side of South Korea. The country has developed a reputation of a culture centered around Korean pop, or “K-Pop”. “K-Pop” is known for its flashing lights, interesting fashion, and crazy music. But outside of the big cities there is a lack of “K-Pop” culture.
“It seemed like only older people are still practicing traditional Korean,” Kruse said, “they are the only people not enveloped by ‘K-Pop’.”
One of the main things the three noticed was the work ethic. They got the chance to visit Kim’s father’s workplace, where they noticed how hard people worked and the quality of the work done. Workers sometimes also stay at officetel, which is a residential area in a workplace. This lets workers have the chance to work late and get up early to work without the transportation required to go home and back.
“People there aren’t lazy,” Recker explained, “everyone from the adults to the students have incredible work ethic and motivation.”
Another difference they noticed was a lot more respect to elders. This stems from an importance of family. Meals are also more important with more formal meals and less fast food.
Of course the sophomores, like most students know a favorite purchase on weekly outings to Walmart is Ramen noodles, In South Korea the three students tried different foods. One of these foods was a liquid mix of herbs and medicine. The mixture was supposed to give you strength, but Recker just thought it was “funky”. Another dish is called tteokbokki, a dish with meat, rice cakes, and vegetables in a red sauce, which all three enjoyed.
“I was willing to try most foods,” Kruse said, “but there were some really spicy foods that I wouldn’t go anywhere near.”
|Riley Kruse, Kyeongmin Kim, Joey Recker, & Jack Avilla|
There was one part of Korean culture that was familiar to the sophomores: gaming. Some international students spend hours and hours on their computers playing games. In Korea the gaming culture is even stronger. People spend so much time in PC Cafes that there is a law forbidding students to be in a PC Cafe after 10 pm on school nights.
“We as Americans are pretty bad with our overuse of computers,” Recker said, “but in Korea it’s scary how much people spend on their computers. We would walk by PC Cafes and it would be packed with gamers.”
The boys also enjoyed the public transportation system which allowed them to get around easily at just 60 cents a ride.
“The public transportation was great. Both the subways and buses were clean,” Avilla said, “we got everywhere we needed to on public transportation.”
The trip will be a lifelong memory for the three sophomores. . “Traveling is important,” Kruse said, “these experiences can be really cool and you can learn a ton.” No matter if you’re traveling to Iowa or South Korea traveling is fun and brings people together.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Joey Recker | Guest Writer for THE MOUNT
In tight knit communities, such as Mount Michael, people have the chance to really get to know each other, especially if the community is small. People who see each other every day also start to form what they think is a relatively accurate idea of who the others surrounding them are, but in reality, they can be wrong.
Take Nick Snyder for example. He is the ideal student. In fact, one of his goals this year is to make a 4.0 grade point average. He is focused, organized, and extremely relaxed. A calm and collected guy.
“He listens,” said Spanish I teacher Carolina Westling. “There is nothing bad about him.”
Mrs. Wessling also praised him for being very studious when he was in her class as a freshman
“He is a great representative of the Mount Michael community.” she said. Fellow classmate Jacob Idra said something along the same lines.
“Nick is a cool dude, he will listen to anything.” While another classmate, Tommy Weekly, noted that Nick is very tolerant and patient.
“He let’s me steal his Pepsi,” Weekly said. The two clearly get along very well.
But there is so much more to Nick’s character than these things. Idra met Snyder on the tennis courts freshmen year. He made friends with Nick easily, and the two enjoyed the season together.
“We always had a good time, he made it a better experience.” Idra said.
In fact, the two became close enough that Nick persuaded Jacob to join choir sophomore year, an activity that Idra never would have seen himself doing if it was not for Snyder.
Classmate and friend Tommy Weekly appreciates Snyder’s sense of humor, specifically because they find the same things funny. But what is most important to Weekly is that Snyder “is a good friend to keep around.” Tommy remembers sharing shows and books with Nick, and of course, he always listened.
Snyder is also a ‘car guy’ according to his close friends. One of his favorite hobbies is to work on his car on the weekends, a ‘92 Pontiac Firebird.
“It needs some work,” Nick commented. “It has panels coming off, no stereo or air conditioning.” But this does not phase Nick. He is passionate about putting in work on his car, and really enjoys driving on the weekends. One of his idols is Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla Car Company. In Snyder’s eyes, Musk is a visionary and someone to model himself after.
In fact, one of his dreams is to become the CEO of a big company when he gets older, but this is only one of his dreams. He said that he could see himself becoming a doctor or an engineer. Whatever it is that he chooses his ambition and great communication skills will get him there. And he will probably listen to the people around him.