Kansas State University


Student Stories

Month: October 2012

Culture in the Classroom – Shakespeare Style

I apologize for missing my post last week, but I have an excellent reason for my absence. I was busy taking in all of the opportunities presented on K-State’s campus last week in relation to Shakespeare’s play Merchant of Venice. Below is a brief rundown of my week.

Monday Afternoon/Night: My Law, Politics, and Literature class recently finished reading Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. To add a little more culture to our classroom experience, our professor was able to have one of the cast members from a London traveling troupe visit our class! He plays Shylock (for those of you familiar with the play) so we spent our class time going over different portions of the play and analyzing their meaning. It was such a unique opportunity to learn from someone who has studied the play for a living!

Tuesday Night: Over the last couple of months, I worked with K-State’s Pre-Law advisor, three distinguished judges, and four attorneys from the Manhattan area to host a mock trial involving Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. The United States Supreme Court hosts a similar event where a few members of the bench preside over the trial of a Shakespearean character. With Merchant of Venice showing on our campus, we were inspired! We selected a character from the play to bring suit against another with each side being represented by two attorneys. Nichols theatre was nearly full! The audience and participants alike were laughing and having a wonderful time. It was truly a success and such a memorable experience.

The Mock Trial Program

Wednesday Night: One of my closest friends and I attended the opening night performance of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice as performed by Actors from the London Stage. After reading the play for class, I had a new found appreciation for the storyline. It was amazing to see the actors interpretation of the play and witness all of the characters coming to life. Receiving discounted tickets for being students was not too bad either! Every performance at K-State offers tickets for at least half price to students.

Although last week was busy, it ended with many wonderful experiences! Once again K-State surprises me with the unique opportunities it presents students. It made reading through some of Shakespeare’s less than clear vocabulary much more enjoyable!


Leadership Appreciation

Last night was Blue Key’s annual Leadership Appreciation Reception. The leaders and advisors of all student organizations at K-State are invited to the event, and after Mr. K-State himself (Dr. Pat Bosco, Vice President of Student Life) spoke, an award was given out for Advisor of the Year.

I’ve heard Dr. Bosco speak many times, but last night he made a few points that especially stood out to me. When he speaks with alumni of K-State, it’s often not the in-the-classroom, textbook learning they remember most about their time in Manhattan; no, it’s the knowledge they gained through student leadership experiences at K-State, outside-the-classroom involvement opportunities, and real-world experiences that they remember most.

So far during my time at K-State, I feel like many of the most beneficial concepts and skills I’ve gained have come because of organizations represented at the Leadership Appreciation Reception last night. What’s more, many of the individuals I’ve been most influenced by attended the Reception, and the reasons I love K-State were on full display: here, students are trusted with responsibilities and duties they aren’t offered elsewhere. If involvement is your thing or influencing your peers is a desire you have, K-State is the place to be. Leadership is appreciated across campus, and learning in the classroom is just the start.


One Size Fits All

Spring enrollment is upon us! After two academic advising appointments and three rough drafts of my schedule, I am ready to enroll. In high school, enrollment wasn’t very exciting for me. I had to be in exactly 7 courses and the curriculum dictated what I had to do with almost all of them. Everyone took the same courses. College is different. Sure, you have major requirements. However, within your major there are many course offerings.

This is one reason I chose K-State. I am currently Open Option and I feel fortunate to have opportunities to try out many different kinds of courses taught by professors with different backgrounds. I looked at some smaller schools but discovered after looking at their course catalogs that I would have less opportunity to explore my various interests. K-State simply had more resources to offer. However, it almost seemed overwhelming at first. Luckily, we have academic advisors!

As I mentioned, it took a few different advisors to help me figure out my schedule. My Open Option advisor listened to my ideas for my schedule and helped me pick courses with professors that fit my learning style. I took this information home and filled my “shopping cart” on ISIS with courses offered in compatible times. With this schedule, I went to my Pre-Law advisor who helped me sift through the various options and build a schedule that allows me to begin narrowing down options for a major. What I think is awesome about this process is that your advisors do not tell you what to do. They listen and make suggestions accordingly but understand that education is NOT one size fits all.

Honored, Yet Humbled

Through out my time here at K-State, I have come to find that some of the best moments of growth aren’t necessarily the ones that are labeled successful. This past Homecoming week, I had an adventure filled with growth, support, and memories that will be a highlight of my K-State career.

During homecoming week at K-State, 3 males and 3 females have the opportunity to be a finalist for the position as a Student Ambassador for K-State. I was granted the distinct honor to be one of the female candidates. After going through a rigourous application proccess of submitting an application and being interviewed by a student and faculty panel, myself and 5 other students were given the opportunity to be finalists.

Througout the week, we spoke at different events during Homecoming to the student body, sharing our passion for K-State. We ended the week riding in the parade (The best memory of the week by far!). I have never felt more blessed than my time spent with my fellow ambassador candidates. It was so great to be among students who truly have a passion for our university and willing to put forth the effort to continually make the university great.

Here are a few pictures from the week:


Thought I was not selected as the female ambassador, I was completely humbled to be standing there with my fellow students. Looking back on the experience of being a finalist, I realized that the journey is as much important as the end result. Throughout Homecoming week, I learned humility, respect for my fellow students, and a deeper pride in my university I had yet to feel until that point. During the week, my friends and family were a huge support network for me. My fellow ambassador finalists were enthusiastic for the week’s events and showed true humility as well. I wouldn’t have traded that week for anything.

There have been times college and in life where the end result was unknown. These times, I saw the true value in appreciating what I have been given and the great support network around me. As I look toward my future goals, I know that my family, friends, and university will be proud of me and support me, no matter what the outcome.

On a final note, a HUGE congratulations to Tyler Johnson and Jordan Priddle for being named the 2013 Ambassador Finalists. K-State will flourish under your leadership and I am proud to have been given the chance to get to know you this past week. Good luck in the upcoming year!!

Dorm Life is Good.

I will be honest, when I first moved into my dorm room I wasn’t sure how it would ever actually feel like my home. It seemed like even if I had all of my stuff in the room it would be too small, too uncomfortable or just too unfamiliar. But now that I have been living here for almost three months it really does feel like home. Of course my home in Overland Park still feels like home – but my little room in Manhattan is home as well.

I have definitely learned to do things in a smaller space. For example, my bed can be utilized as a table, a study space, a couch, and of course a bed. Also I have discovered that art of packing food into a small refrigerator – it is truly amazing how much you can cram into a tiny little refrigerator.  I also realized that decorations go a long way in a dorm room. Just a few pictures, a few holidaydecorations, or just some bright colors can make all of the difference.

However what I have really learned is that it is not the things in the room that make it feel like home, it is the people around the room that make it feel like home. All of the friends you make, your RA, your roommate and everyone you get to know are really what makes your tiny little corner of the world feel like home!

Calling All Outdoorsmen and Exercise Enthusiasts

This past weekend, my roommates (who also happen to be my cousins) ran a half marathon in Kansas City. I really admired them for doing this, and this made me almost want to try it as well. I have been running myself for a little while, but I have only been able to run 2 to 3 miles at a time. So here is the challenge that I am proposing for myself: Run a half marathon within the next year. Can I do it? Yes…maybe… Any advice for me?

Manhattan is going to be the perfect place to help me to “train” for this half marathon at least. It is a nice, easygoing town that sees runners all day long and in really in all hours of the night (which includes me). Being the very much anti-morning person that I am, there is no way that you will ever see me running before my classes begin. (There is a reason I try to schedule all my classes to start 10:30 a.m. or later.) So, the only other reasonable time for me to go running is after I get done with my day, which is typically around 1 or 2 in the morning. There are great places, including a variety of trials to exercise in and around Manhattan whether you are looking to walk, run, or even bike. And if it too cold outside to do your exercise, the K-State Recreation Center is a great alternative. The Rec Center is free to K-State students and includes an indoor running track, various weight-training machines, basketball and volleyball courts, rock climbing wall, indoor soccer fields, and much more. The Rec Center also offers a variety of exercise classes available to students as well.

Not only is Manhattan and K-State a great place to get in shape, but it is also a great spot for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether it is fishing, boating, golfing, or outdoor photography, Manhattan is the place to find it all. There are two of the states premier reservoirs within 30 miles of campus, one of the best public golf courses in the state, and the Konza prairie offers excellent photo opportunities along with great hiking trials.

I will make sure to keep you all updated on my “training” progress. (Wish me luck!) And make sure to support the Cats this homecoming weekend as our #3 and undefeated football team plays Texas Tech, and our #16 volleyball team plays volleyball against Baylor Go State!

K-State Proud,



Oh the Weather Outside is…

Being a Kansas native, I am no stranger to wacky weather conditions. But this week seems to have thrown me for a loop. We went from shorts and sandals to sweaters in mittens all within a 24 hour period. I can’t say I’m shocked at this sudden turn of temperatures, but it sure does make me think twice before picking an outfit in the morning.

For those of you who are in the same boat, here are some ideas on keeping cozy on campus:

  •  The Dress-in-Layers Method: They were onto something in elementary school. You may feel a bit strange (or bulky) at first, but dressing in layers will keep you comfy indoors and outside. You never know what temp you may be walking into when you get to class. Better to be safe than sweaty, I always say 🙂  
  • Be Prepared: I keep an arsenal of items in my book bag including an umbrella, jacket and gloves/mittens so I’m ready for whatever comes our way. I have walked into class with bright blue skies and sunshine and come out in the midst of a snowstorm. Believe me, you don’t want to get caught without the right gear.
  • Check before you Dress: The weather app on your phone or computer will be your best friend. It will keep you from wearing shorts when it’s below 30 degrees outside, helping you avoid a visit to Lafene. Get to know it well. It’s not always right (nobody’s perfect), but it sure will keep you in the know about what’s on the weather menu for the day.

No matter the weather, you can’t complain when you have a campus as beautiful as ours. It sure does make journeying across campus a lot more enjoyable.

Halfway Through the Semester

I can’t believe it, but I’m already halfway done with my third semester at K-State.  Time has been flying by before my eyes!  I’ve been keeping busy like always, and the Cats are still winning- not a lot has changed.  There’s been a ton of meetings lately between Silver Key, Honors Exec Board, and the Student Athletic Board.  I’ve also had about a hundred different philanthropies presented to our house that I’ve been getting guys to sign up for and participate in.  Our Dad’s day was last Saturday; it was a lot of fun having my dad here to watch the game.  Homecoming is this week!  The Cats are 7-0!  I’m so scatter-brained that I can’t even stay on one topic right now!  I’ve had two tests and two papers this week- life just doesn’t slow down!

But seriously, the Cats.  Bill Snyder, Collin Klein, and Arthur Brown are making my life unbelievably incredible!  Week after week our football team keeps getting better, and although it won’t be easy, we should be favored to win the rest of our regular season games.  We’re ranked 3rd in the BCS polls behind two teams that will have to play each other, and Collin Klein is the Heisman front-runner.  He scored 7 touchdowns this past Saturday at West Virginia, 7 TOUCHDOWNS!!!  I’m here at K-State while we’re having a historical year, and I get to see it in the front row!  We’re playing a tough Texas Tech team at home this Saturday, but I’m confident that the Cats will be able to pull it off.  This amazing season is a blessing and a curse though.  It’s incredible to be a part of, but all I want to do now is watch our highlight videos and read articles about how good we are!  As if I don’t procrastinate enough already…

Jessica, a Monkey, and a Ring

Tonight I went to see The Merchant of Venice Mock Trial in Nichols Theatre with friends from my CAT Community (The Law and Society) and I can barely put into words the joy it brought to me. My friend Colin was equally overjoyed as he exclaimed “I never knew there were so many lectures on campus!” Indeed I too was surprised how many events were offered, for free, to students.

Learning doesn’t just take place inside the classroom. Professors here at K-State understand that and encourage us to discuss and debate ideas and opinions freely. For example, tonight at the Trial a friend and I sat next to Professor Maner and had a great conversation both before and after the show. The Pre-Law adviser was also there and talking with guests and students. That is another unique thing about going to these events, you get to speak to the guests themselves in an informal environment.

Speaking of guests, tonight we had The Honorable Judges Stephen D. Hill, Maritza Segarra, and Shiela P. Hochhauser were the presiding justices in the trial of Shylock this evening. Representing Shylock we had Jeffery D. Jackson and Jeremiah L. Platt and representing the City-State of Venice were Ryan Rosauer and Britain D. Stites. It was fun to see real judges and lawyers argue a mock case based on a Shakespearean play! Mr. Rosauer even made some great points that were real crowd pleasers concerning  a ring Jessica ran off with, Shylock deemed it priceless, and a forest full of monkeys.

All joking aside, I feel so fortunate to be a part of a community where I am encouraged to grow and develop as a life-long learner!

Happily, Corinna



This week, one of my good friends Phil Harner (a K-State alumnus!) is in town for a brief visit. Now living in Philadelphia, Phil is a great example of a life-long K-Stater who’s passion for our university is obvious. I asked him to reflect on his time in Manhattan and his trip back home! -Eli

As a young alumni one of the first questions I always ask whenever I come back to Manhattan and K-State is “what’s new?”  Since I graduated in May 2011, the Flint Hills Discovery Center, Rec Center expansion, Justin Hall addition, new hotels, changes to Aggieville, Basketball Training Facility, and more all make Manhattan feel quite a bit different than when I left. At the same time, some things feel like they haven’t changed at all.

As I walked through Anderson Hall and saw high school seniors and their families meeting tour guides for campus visits, I was reminded of what a difficult time I had choosing a school. Seeing the Engineering Complex full of people late at night took me back to the days of staying up late trying to finish another Engineering Physics or Calculus assignment.

Listening to Pant the Chant practice in Old Stadium reminded me of working to memorize a complex clapping routine (2007 PTC & Homecoming Champions!). Hearing Kyle Reynolds and Javi Lopez tell the story and impact of K-State Proud made me remember the early years of the campaign.

The faces around campus change with time, but the stories and experiences are as powerful as ever.  Throughout your time at K-State, don’t get so caught up in being busy that you forget to enjoy the things that make college special. Don’t be afraid to seek out opportunities that might cause you to change. You’ll be amazed as you experience college by how some aspects of your character evolve, and how some things stay the same. Above all, enjoy your time in Manhattan- as Eli’s bio says,“YOCO”.

Go State,