Posts tagged Marion Gloor
Posts tagged Marion Gloor
It’s that time of the year again where tennis players among other athletes cannot have enough t-shirts, shorts, and socks in their closet. Let’s do the math real quick: conditioning or lifting in the morning, practice in the afternoon, that makes a total of two shirts, two shorts, two pair of socks a day; times five for each day of the week and it adds up to a pile of laundry consisting of 10 shirts, 10 shorts, and 10 pair of socks by the end of Friday. Yes, we are in season!
Let’s go back to August 2012, because for CNU men’s and women’s tennis this past fall marked the beginning of a new era: Eric Christiansen was hired as the first Director of Tennis at Christopher Newport University. Coach Eric hired a team of three assistant coaches, Dave Weiner being the assistant Head Coach, and Tori Ford and Eric Shulman being the assistant coaches for the women’s and for the men’s program. Among many changes there is one that I would like to share with you here: Coach Eric merged the men’s and women’s team to one big team that practices together on Saturdays, travels together to matches, and – here comes the best part – gets to go on Spring Break together to Orlando, Florida. If this doesn’t make you jealous, then let me introduce you to our practice schedule.
Sunday night around 7 pm is the prime time for us girls to get a text from Dave saying “hi girls, practice at Center Court at 630 AM, see you then”. Well, let’s set our alarm for 550 a.m. and start off the week with an intense 2 hour practice before sunrise, followed by a team breakfast at the Commons, and we are ready to either go to class, or take a nap. You pick! Whenever we have practice during the early morning hours (which is only due to weather conditions) we get together for conditioning in the afternoon. Spring Break is approaching quickly, and I may proudly announce that not a single person on the women’s team has showed up to practice late, or has not showed up at all (which may or may not be due to the fact that it would result in a team punishment). Either way, 100% attendance, all the way through thus far! And why? We all work toward one goal: winning the conference championship title.
Over the course of the school year we have quadrupled our team’s motivation, confidence, and courage on the court and have re-found our belief that we can take home the conference title to bring pride not only to ourselves, but to our coaches, our parents, our school, and to President Trible who has set the foundation for success by signing Coach Eric in August of 2012. Here’s to a hard-working and successful spring 2012 tennis season! Let’s Go Captains!
There are some things that never change, and we are glad they do not change, because we would not want them to be any different. So it happened again that the CNU tennis program traveled to Orlando, Fla. for the fourth consecutive year. However, instead of buying our own plane tickets we got a charter bus with our driver Theresa who stayed with us all week. Additionally the women’s program and the men’s program traveled together for the first time.
The schedule for the week was all planned out. We would leave on Friday to drive to NC Wesleyan, where we would face Mary Washington in a nonconference match on Saturday, followed by NC Wesleyan on Sunday as our first conference match of the season. Sunday night was dedicated to a five-hour drive to Savannah, where we’d stay for the night only to rest up to finish the rest of the drive to Orlando on Monday morning. Once in Florida, we’d practice to prepare for the men’s match and the women’s double header on Tuesday. Another match would then be waiting for both teams on Wednesday. Once the work is done, both teams will get to enjoy their day off at Disney World, Harry Potter World, the mall or the community pool. Departure on Friday was set in the early morning hours, so that we would get back to Newport News at a reasonable time after a 15-hour bus ride.
Overall, the trip was a busy, but fun adventure for both teams. There are a few aspects of it that are worth being shared here. First off, both the men and women faced rival NC Wesleyan on Sunday at Wesleyan’s new tennis facility. The women’s team suffered a tough 7-2 loss in the 2012 season that they were ready to avenge. After an initial argument by the Wesleyan coach to postpone the match, our whole team was even more pumped to show them we were ready to battle. The point of the argument was the “bad weather ,” which was in fact no different from the previous day when both teams competed on the same courts. At the end of the day, the CNU athletic website stated that “On Sunday, CNU (2-2) got back on the right track with a bounce back 9-0 victory over the Bishops, sweeping the conference foe in their last ever regular season matchup.”
Three more days full of tennis and driving followed the weekend, before a well-deserved day off. Some of us decided to go out and make memories at Disney World. Another group went to Harry Potter World, while the rest decided to rest up and use the day at the pool and in the nearby mall. Those of us who went to Magic Kingdom used the day from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. to explore every single corner of the adventure park, and we happened to be there when Disney interviewed Steve Harvey, who we all know as an actor, radio host and comedian. The day – and the trip – was concluded with a late night birthday celebration for Coach Eric, who celebrated his birthday during spring break together with two of our seniors Melisande Downs and Kyle Tobin. All in all it was a fun, adventurous and unforgettable spring break trip that was made possible by the great work of our coaches. In the name of both tennis teams, I would like to thank Coach Eric, Dave, Eric S., and Tori for all their support and their hard work, we appreciate all you do for us!
When I made the decision to apply to Christopher Newport University in the spring of 2009 I had to start reevaluating my interests. Initially the plan was to study the science of body movement with a concentration in biology and chemistry at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. At the time it was a fairly new program there and I was very interested in it. When I first showed interest in CNU I was disappointed that the same major was not offered. I could not imagine studying anything else. I discussed it with friends and family. People told me to major in Italian, biology, French or Spanish. I told them I would never major in a language, because I don’t want to become a teacher. In terms of majoring in biology, the reason why I was opposed to it was that there was not enough variety. If I would study biology, I would have wanted to combine it with something else, such as the major I was planning to pursue in Zurich.
I started at zero. In order to receive my student visa I had to declare a major. I wrote down lists with topics that interested me, pros and cons of the things I was somewhat interested in. I went through the list of majors offered here at CNU multiple times, until I finally decided to tell the U.S. embassy in Bern that I was going to study communications in Virginia. At that time, this major seemed to be the best fit: the class descriptions showed lots of variety in different fields. There was public speaking, writing intensives, social media, communication rhetoric, gender studies, etc. While none of these interested me as much as my potential major in Zurich, I was curious to find out if I would get into it. The more I talked to my friends at home about CNU, the more often I had to answer the question, “What are you going to do with a degree in communications?” People made me think about it. I came up with new answers every time someone would ask me, because I had no idea. Every answer was just another possibility.
In January of 2010 I started my undergraduate career at CNU. In my first semester I was enrolled in ULLC 100, Italian 202, History 121, English 123 and Math 125. My coach at the time enrolled me into these classes. I had no idea why I had to take some of these classes, because there was no relation to my actual major. I didn’t question it. I assumed it was something foreign students had to do. Over the course of the first semester I learned from friends what the Liberal Learning Curriculum was and what it meant for us students.
Looking back now to my freshman year, I realize how many things I did not understand. I received a lot of help from different people at CNU in terms of my visa, getting into my classes, getting into the school and housing, having a meal plan and receiving my unfunded scholarship. I did not know I could add/drop classes, withdraw from classes, change my major, and other small things until much later in the school year. This is not the school’s fault, but I do believe it is too much information to take in for someone coming from abroad who has never seen the school before, has never been to a college and does not know how the American school system works. In hindsight I believe my freshman year helped me grow into the person I am today. I learned a lot of new things in a short period of time, I learned how to go out and get the information I need. Sometimes I was stranded because I was clueless about what was going on around me, but these are exactly the times that make us grow stronger and more independent.
Jan. 9, 2013 marked the first day of my senior year at Christopher Newport University. Senior Seminar, exit exam, job hunting, graduate school applications – you name it! A lot of work is waiting on me that needs to be taken care of, but is there a reason to panic? Every year a class of many hundred students graduates from CNU, and I have yet to hear from someone who did not find their way through it all. Therefore, let’s talk about all the good aspects of being a senior.
I am a communication major, and since my freshman year I saw the same professors and students again and again, whether it was in prerequisite classes, in elective classes or around campus. All of us shared the same path for almost four years. Now I am sitting in my senior seminar together with only a handful of other seniors who all have to master the same assignment by the end of April: to bring 25 to 40 coherent pages to paper that connect the topic of our choice to political rhetoric. Most of us if not all are intimidated by the task at hand, including myself.
Dr. Connable, who teaches our section of the senior seminar walked in on the first day of class announcing “do not call me Dr. Connable, call me Doc or call me Sean. You guys are seniors, this is your last semester, and we will be working together every day so that by the end of this semester we are going to be friends.” The atmosphere automatically became friendlier, the task at hand less threatening and the feeling of being lost and overwhelmed suddenly minimized.
Dr. Connable’s approach of teaching the senior seminar is based on collective class discussion, where we – the students – come in prepared to discuss the article(s) he assigned us to read for said day. It never happens that he stands in front of the class lecturing for 50 minutes. Instead it is on us to think, interpret and be wrong with our guesses. Why do I say being wrong with our guesses? Thomas Edison responded to the question if it was frustrating to fail so many times before succeeding to invent a functional light bulb with “no, I just found a thousand ways how to not make a light bulb.” This is the mindset we need to have when approaching the senior seminar. What we are doing is a pilot study, something nobody has done before in that exact way. We will be wrong, we will get frustrated, but it is exactly this wrongness that will lead us toward the right path.
I personally believe this perspective needs to be applied in the larger context of life as well. The senior seminar is a small example that shows how rightness is a result that comes from being wrong and figuring out what is right. After college we might end up with a job we don’t love as much as we hoped we would, or maybe we are in graduate school and realize this is not the road we want to go. It all is a process of learning, growing and finding one’s right place in life. Even if we do not exactly find what we wish for, at least we will find out what we do not wish for. My advice to us is to be patient, to stay on roads even if there is a lot of traffic and to get off at an exit that seems to promise something new and more exiting. Even if this exit leads us to another backed up road, let’s not beat ourselves up, because it all is part of the learning process. Imagine if we found our dream job at the age of 23; do we really want to work that same job until we are old enough to retire? The more roads we take, the more experience life will bring to us. So, seniors, let’s stay calm, fill up our gas tanks and be ready to accept the challenges that are waiting for us out there!
The great part about winter break is that everybody gets to go home. I know of nobody who stays at school by themselves, unlike on holidays such as Easter and even Thanksgiving. Winter break means family time, no matter if it’s close to school, across the country or even outside of the country as it is for me. I had the chance to go home for almost three weeks and to really spend time with my family and my friends. Personally I believe this is the best way to get my mind off of school and work and just relax and enjoy the time with the people I am close with.
However, winter break is always too short, just as we like to say about any break we get. And before we even get the chance to get used to being lazy and hanging out with family and friends, the first emails about schedule changes and book orders pop up in our inbox. It’s that time again! Pack up, say your byes and return to school. The first day back is always exciting, because we see all our friends from school who we have not seen “in forever,” we get to catch up and get settled for another exciting, yet tiring semester.
The hardest thing of getting back into school life might be the fact that you cannot push the snooze button as often as you please, because you have responsibilities. Unless your 8 a.m. professor does not take attendance, right? But since we all are good students, we certainly make our way to class on time. All of you out there sharing the joy of having a coach who is an early bird: my alarm goes off around 6 a.m. every morning. My coach likes to say “you will learn to love it! You get up, your body is fresh and you learn the fastest. And after the workout is done, you have the whole day to yourself.” I am still working on coming to that realization. A whole day to myself means I take a three-hour nap after I get out of class and swoosh! My day off is over. Anyone out there feeling the same way?
If we think about it, classes on average do not take away more than five hours from us each day. Is it really that bad being in college? Consider it the time of your life for a number of reasons. First off, chances are high that you go to CNU because you chose to come here. Second, you pick most of your classes yourself, because you pick your major, and many classes have multiple sections to choose from. Third, you get at least three unexcused skips for each class, so you could technically go an entire week without going to classes and you won’t get in trouble for it (presumably). Who can do that with a real job? This is why I am telling myself to take a step back and be grateful, thankful and appreciative of the opportunities I am given here at CNU, the rough times included. Nobody grows when everything is always perfect! Embrace the flaws and learn from them.