Posts tagged Ryan Asalone
Posts tagged Ryan Asalone
I don’t get as much free time as I would like at CNU, but on the occasions when I am free on a Friday afternoon, I love joining a pick-up game of Ultimate Frisbee with the CNU Frisbee team. There’s nothing like running across a field on a warm afternoon at the end of a long week, jumping as high as you can in the air to intercept a pass intended for your end zone.
As I’ve said before, some of the guys on the CNU Frisbee team are among the most athletically versatile people I’ve encountered. They can run fast, jump high and many of them can throw a Frisbee as naturally as breathing. While I don’t claim to be of their caliber, the best thing about Ultimate Frisbee is that anyone can have a shot at glory if they are in the right place at the right time. All it takes is one great catch and you can look like a hero.
The best part of the CNU Frisbee team being a club team is that all of the players are there because they love it. There are no scholarships on the line, there are no chances to advance to some kind of pro league (unfortunately, there are no professional Ultimate Frisbee teams I know of), everyone there is passionate about the game, and that makes playing even more fun.
One of my fondest CNU Ultimate Frisbee memories was from a Friday this January. The day had warmed up to nearly 60 degrees, so Facebook had blown up about the first Frisbee pick-up games of the new year. So many people showed up we had enough players for two games at once. We found the ground was wet from rain the day before and as we got started the skies became more gray and the temperature dropped.
My friend Ian and I found that our shoes were largely ineffective on the wet grass so we ended up going barefoot. The CNU Frisbee team generally plays shirts versus skins so, naturally, he and I were unlucky and were selected for the shirtless team. I remember lining up across the field from our opponents, a cold wind blowing across our bare backs. We could see our breath as our team launched the Frisbee toward the other team to start the game and we charged across the field like the Scots out of “Braveheart.”
As I have been spending my last couple years at CNU, I have been developing my bucket list. Now, I don’t mean to say I’m going to die anytime soon. I actually think I’ll live forever, based on what I have experienced so far. I have little to suggest otherwise. But I digress …
The purpose of this bucket list is to be able to check off things I definitely want to do before I leave CNU. I can’t think of a student here who does not have a CNU bucket list. Some people want to lead a church small group before they graduate, others want to be able to say they logged more than 400 hours of community service, still others want to be able to say they knew President Trible personally by the end of their senior year.
(By the way: Paul, if you are reading this, let’s do a poker night again real soon.)
By the time I am done with school at CNU I want to be able to say that I:
Other optional goals include, but are not limited to:
Just like in life, there simply is not enough time to do everything you want to do while at CNU. I’d love to be the president of three organizations, but unlike in high school, if you want your organizations to succeed, you really can’t head more than one. This lack of time and realistic restrictions on what you are able to do in your time at CNU can seem constricting. However, the triumph of success and the meeting of goals at CNU can be the greatest feelings of your life.
We all need inspirations now and then to maintain our motivation when we face challenges. At CNU I have found my professors to be exactly the kind of inspiration I need to keep myself going. In my first year at CNU I befriended a couple of professors that have served as an inspiration to me through the years I have been here.
My first leadership professor (Dr. Shollen) and my first honors professor (Professor Bardwell) both made me feel right at home in the classrooms of CNU. As I learned from them, I could tell they love what they do. Both women are highly intelligent and thoughtful, and they clearly enjoy spreading their knowledge to the students of CNU.
I’ve had the pleasure of taking three different leadership classes with Dr. Shollen and two law classes with Professor Bardwell. The classes have been some of my favorites in my time at CNU.
Both professors have revealed how they had a number of different jobs before they came to teach at CNU. These stories remind me that if I work hard and keep my mind open, I will find a place where I belong, doing something I love for a living.
Both professors seem to have a high opinion of me as well. This can be even more of an inspiration. If a professor you respect holds you in high regard, then you are all the more motivated to prove their opinion right. One of the reasons I work hard at CNU is that I want to make people proud. Whether it be my parents, my sister, my girlfriend or my professors; I don’t want people who have high hopes about me to be disappointed.
I hope that, next year, Dr. Shollen and Professor Bardwell will be able to see me graduate and go on to law school with the knowledge that they played a great role in my successes.
I’ve found that groups and organizations around CNU are always looking for people to take leadership positions. In fraternities, singing groups, volunteer organizations and sports teams, leaders are always valuable and desirable. I feel lucky to have become deeply involved in various organizations. In my commitment to these organizations I feel a closer connection to my fellow members and the CNU campus.
I am currently fulfilling my final requirements for CNU’s leadership minor. Through the classes I have taken in the subject, I have been challenged to look at organizations and groups through the lens of leadership. This doesn’t just involve watching the president of every organization, this involves focusing yourself to push the organization to be better regardless of the position you are in.
In Phi Alpha Delta (the pre-law fraternity), Trebled Youth (an a cappella group) and even in CHECS (the student judicial panel) I have seen some of my peers step up to take positions when there is a need for them. In high school it was always frustrating to see individuals pursue leadership positions for the glory or the resume fodder. At CNU I have seen responsible people take on leadership positions when they see a need, and they feel that they can do the best job. It is for this reason that many of CNU’s clubs and activities are very well-run.
The most visible way this leadership maturity can be seen is in students’ willingness to take positions like secretary and treasurer in a group and still deliver their 100 percent even if the position does not offer them bragging rights. I have seen students defer greater leadership positions that they want to other people who they think can do a better job because they want what is best for the organization.
If you have members of student groups and organizations that care as much about the group as the president of the organization, then you have a highly effective group. CNU is filled with these organizations. If you take your time to find a group that follows the same passions that you do, you will find that you become a leader in the group in no time at all.
Since I was in high school I knew I wanted to be an attorney some day. I participated in high school mock trial championships every year, and through those experiences I had drawn my career goal conclusion. That said, choosing what you want to do with your life is often much easier than figuring out how to get there.
When I came to CNU I was dead-set on being a history major. The entry level history classes were informative, fun and surprisingly easy. As a side note: If you ever get a chance to take a class with Dr. Puaca, do it. His approach to presenting history is as entertaining as it is educational. After a couple of classes, however, I was unsure if a history major was going to prepare me for law school. Sometimes the history classes came across case law, but it was a rare occurrence.
After my first semester I started leaning in the direction of being a government major. The classes focused more on law than the history classes I had taken, and some of the professors had worked in the judicial branch in the past. Dr. Carlson used to be a federal prison warden before he began teaching government classes at CNU. I took his Supreme Court in American Politics class and at the end of each class I was disappointed I had to wait two days for the next one.
But halfway through my sophomore year I found out about a new major that had been developed that was only available here at CNU: the American studies major with a Constitution studies focus. It’s perfect for me.
The major has core classes that focus on America’s laws, politics, history, society and culture, while the electives can come from any department (history, government, etc.) so long as it has a legal focus.
On Signing Day I was proud to list myself as an American studies major. I’ve audited some law school classes since taking a year-and-a-half of American studies classes. While there I impressed people when they saw what I had already learned here at CNU. When Supreme Court Justice Antoin Scalia visited CNU this last semester, he decried the fact that so few law school students have read and understand the Federalist Papers. Through the American studies major, I’ve already got them down pat.
Deciding a major seems intimidating to some college students, but at CNU, I got the help of faculty advisers who actually know me, and they were able to help me make the right decision when the time came for me to choose my major.