Some people say an avocado from the farmer’s market is better for the palate, the conscience, and the planet
It was a joke or an impromptu skit—I’m not sure what you’d call it—but at most it received a polite chuckle or two.
It’s in the mundane moments that the big picture becomes visible.
by Sally Rudi As a senior and a history major, I’ve done my fair share of research in the past three and a half years at PLNU. So, when the opportunity to work on an honors project presented itself, I thought to myself, “Why not? I research all the time anyway.” I had no idea that I was embarking on a journey completely different from any research paper for any class I have ever taken. I quickly learned that the honors project was meant to be an opportunity for self-motivated research. For the first time, I would not be required to write about a particular topic tailored to a specific class. I could essentially choose anything from thousands of years of history. The prospect of having to choose one topic out of all of human history was overwhelming. Luckily, the honors project requires a mentor and committee for each student, and my mentor helped me figure out what I could start considering as a topic. The honors project faculty and the professors in my department have been so helpful through this whole process. Drs. Mark Mann and Hadley Wood helped show me the tools required for a successful presentation, and my mentor, Dr. Kelli McCoy, helped guide my research. The faculty at PLNU makes this honors project experience something truly unique. One thing this project has reinforced for me is how deeply the professors at PLNU care about the education of their students. The professors here work hard to help […]
Catching the Rocket by Michael Dean Clark Early on the evening of Aug. 25, seven-time Cy Young winner and steroid-era lightning rod Roger Clemens sat in the locker room of the Sugar Land Skeeters, preparing, at the age of 50, to pitch professionally for the first time in five years. But before he took the mound for the Skeeters, an independent professional team, and struck out two in three and a third shutout innings in front of just under 8,000 fans, Clemens dashed off a quick text message to PLNU senior catcher Kyle Cameron. “Hey buddy … Arm doesn’t feel as good as when I was throwing to you … but we will make it happen some way. Anyway, hope to go a couple innings and put a few smiles on some faces. Rocket.” Two weeks earlier … Cameron, as part of his summer position at PLNU, was working on the soccer field with the grounds crew when a call came in. Rumor had it that Roger Clemens—in town to watch his son play in the Aflac All- American Baseball Classic at Petco Park— was going to be on campus since the high school all stars were using Carroll B. Land Stadium to practice and compete in a home run derby. Rumor further had it that Clemens was looking to throw a practice session while he was there. Cameron didn’t buy it, even when he saw Clemens on the field later that day. “I’m thinking, ‘There’s no way. I’m not […]
by Lucy Rojas “La Posada” is a tradition that has been celebrated in Mexico going back as far as 400 years, where people go from door to door asking for lodging and being denied, recreating the journey of Joseph and Mary. La Posada Sin Fronteras (sin fronteras means “without borders”) is held each year at Christmastime at Friendship Park along the San Ysidro/Tijuana border. Friendship Park is a unique place along the border where people can interact and even touch through the fence. La Posada Sin Fronteras is a Christmas service that brings people on both sides of the border fence together to share prayer, stories, and songs as well as to remember those who have died crossing the border. This was my first time to attend La Posada Sin Fronteras. This event was a new experience where I questioned my identity, as a U.S. citizen, as a Mexican descendant, as a child of God. As a student and as an intern for PLNU’s Center for Justice and Reconciliation (CJR), this is my experience. Saturday, December 8 The Gathering I was filled with an overwhelming joy to see dozens and dozens of people gathering. Mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, teenagers, students—even dogs! They were all coming, with hope, with questions, with stories, and most importantly with a sense of unity and love. There were individuals from Los Angeles, Orange County, and all over San Diego who had gathered. It made all the difference to me to know that this many people […]
by Sharon Ayala Handel’s Messiah is, as PLNU professor of music and choir conductor Dr. Keith Pedersen puts it, “without doubt, the most widely performed piece in Western, or certainly English-speaking, culture, with thousands of presentations around the world every year.” PLNU has been performing Messiah for decades, for and with its surrounding community, first in Pasadena and then in San Diego. We asked Pedersen a bit about the history and meaning of this traditional and treasured performance. Q: Where did the inspiration come from to begin performing Messiah? A: I was hired to continue this tradition inherited from Dr. Keith Pagan and previous conductors. It is a masterwork that has been in the repertoire continuously from at least the 1780s. Q: How long has PLNU been performing Messiah? A: I believe Messiah was performed in the 1940s and has been performed regularly, with a few interruptions, ever since. Q: What is unique about Messiah as a Christmas performance? A: Messiah is a unique work from a specific historical time, written by one composer, and with a text taken entirely from Scripture. It does not tell a story, like an opera or theater piece, but it is based entirely upon carefully selected Scriptures that reflect on different elements of the redemption story. While Messiah was originally called an “entertainment” and intended to replace opera performances when they were banned during Lent, its focus on God’s great plan for reconciliation through Christ lends a deep element of spiritual focus and contemplation […]
by Christine Spicer At sea off Santa Cruz Island headed toward Santa Barbara, six students and a professor are reading aloud to one another from Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana. They are in history class, albeit a quite unconventional one. For the past 10 years, Dr. Rick Kennedy, professor of history at PLNU, has been taking a group of six to eight students on a California history course where they also learn to sail. Passionate about both history and sailing, Kennedy calls the course “intense” and “experimental.” His students call it “beyond extraordinary.” “Dr. Rick Kennedy, or as my fellow sailor scholars and I call him, Captain Rick, led us on a whirlwind of an adventure at sea,” recalled Kelsey Motis, who participated in the 2012 class. “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity with a professor with as much wit and enthusiasm as you have ever seen. A truly unique and fun learning experience for all of us!” Kennedy relishes the time of close community with his students without TV and with limited cell phone use, intensely connected to nature, physically observing historical sites, and reading and singing together. “It’s a great experiential class,” he said. “This university is tremendously supportive of such ideas. I’m very grateful for that.” In fact, PLNU’s supportive environment is part of what’s kept him here so long. In 1995, Kennedy came from Indiana University Southeast to PLNU to teach as a visiting history professor. He intended to stay […]
by Brian Becker Each year, San Diego Metro Magazine recognizes 40 of the most influential leaders in San Diego under age 40. Among the awardees are individuals who have made outstanding contributions to their profession, industry, and/or community. SD Metro’s 40 Under 40 is a unique program in San Diego. The winners are vetted through a nomination and judging process. The result? A list it’s an honor to join. In the past two years, two young PLNU alumni have been recognized as 40 Under 40 recipients. Their strong work ethics and service-oriented, forward-thinking, and sharp minds helped them make the list. Job Nelson (pref. 94) When Lorie Zapf was elected to the San Diego City Council last year, she was a newcomer to city politics, so she chose a chief of staff who knew the corridors of city hall well: Job Nelson. Nelson, named to the 2012 40 Under 40 list, already has a long and impressive career in local San Diego public policy and governance. Nelson caught early glimpses of deep commitment to community service from his father, a pastor who was always waist-deep in local community life and needs. “My parents showed us the idea of giving back to the larger community,” Nelson said. “It was absolutely who we were and what we did.” Nelson came to PLNU at an opportune time. He joined the speech and debate team just as it began an upward push to national rank and prominence. “Debating policy questions competitively for PLNU, I […]