and welcome to my blog!I'm
Brittany, and I'm majoring in Music here at Judson College. I have a passion for Christ, music, and people; and I love
quotes, polka dots, and the color purple. I live about two hours away in the small town of Dadeville,
Alabama, and I like to think of Judson as my home away from home. Some
of you may
have followed me through last year’s blogs as I had my first
experiences as a freshman. I
invite you to join me this year as I share new experiences as a
sophomore, and keep you informed about Judson’s music ensembles.
My first semester at Judson has been new, exciting, fun, and hard all at the same time. I was a little unsure of having so many new teachers and being in a college classroom setting. Being away from home so much was also going to be a new experience. I had only been away from home for shorter times, such as camp and staying with friends or relatives, so the idea of not being home for a month was somewhat hard to comprehend. My family and I have always been close, so I knew moving to Judson would be an interesting experience, but it was something I had to do.
Soon after arriving at Judson, I headed back to my dorm after a full day of classes and sat down to realize the assignments I had to do , how short of a time I had to do them, and how long it would all take. I learned very quickly that life doesn't stop when college calls, and my duties here would include much more than a simple eat, sleep, and study pattern. The myth of college being a time of sleeping in and slacking soon turned into the truth and reality of needing good grades to keep scholarships, attending Judson traditions, working, and balancing my 17 hour load. While I thought I had good time management skills before I left home, I soon found that managing time is a skill that takes constant work, and can always be perfected. I learned how stressful it was to cram assignments in at the last minute, and how good it felt to have those assignments completed. While my time was well spent with friends, I had to find a good balance between social life and schoolwork. I learned how easy it was to waste an hour sitting in the dining hall after a meal, and how significant thirty minutes in front of a TV was out of the day. While I'm sure I'll still be working on time management when I'm 50 years old, it is a skill I have found especially important.
The second valuable lesson I have learned involves relationships. Moving to Judson into a dorm was a new experience. While I was used to the concept of sharing space, it was interesting to move in with a girl I did not know very well and share a bathroom with two girls I had only met once. It was a little strange at first, but my roommate, one of my suitemates, and I soon became close friends. We have been there for each other through each experience during our first semester, and though we had times when we got on each other's nerves, everything always worked out okay.
While friends from home and new friends at Judson were supporting and cheering me on, my family was a great encouragement when I was stressed, overwhelmed, or just wanted to quit. I learned a very valuable lesson through the tougher times this semester - my family will always be full of support and encouragement; true friends will stick around even when life gets tough, and as Winston Churchill once said, to never, never, never give up.
Wanna know what I like about Judson? These are a few of my favorite things :)
Squirrels - There always seems to be a joke about the Judson squirrels (or maybe they really do throw nuts at you). They are pretty amusing to watch; you can get really close and get a glimpse of how amazing God's creatures are.
Traditions - The traditions Judson has brings us all together and helps form a tighter group than at most other schools. We become more like a family than just people with the same classes.
Secrets - Obviously, I can't tell you anything about this one, but several traditions here are top secret stuff, and I've loved every bit of it! There's nothing like a good surprise! :)
Environment - While it may not eliminate it, being in a Christian college setting significantly reduces the worldly issues you would most likely have in a secular college. I have friends that attend secular schools, and the different issues they deal with make me thankful to be in a Christian setting.
Fewer Distractions - The bond Judson has with MMI offers the best of both worlds. Focusing on school is easier when you don't have to worry about what the guy behind you is thinking. On the other hand, MMI balances out the "all girls" part through activities between the two schools. I like to think of it as a win-win situation...you can have as much or as little interaction with guys as you want.
"Help!" - The Teachers I have had so far have been great! There always seems to be a help session going on somewhere. Since the Professors are so willing to help, it makes it a lot easier to succeed in the class.
Smaller Classrooms - The fewer the people in the classroom, the more opportunities there are for interaction. In the smaller classes I've had, it's easier to make sure everyone understands rather than the teacher just covering the material and leaving the students to figure it out on their own.
Mattress Surfing - I haven't actually done this one yet, but it sure looks like fun. It's on my list of things to do next semester - I will be sure to fill you in on details when I do!
Staff - During my time at Judson so far, the staff at Judson has been very committed to the students. They care about the school as a whole and want the girls to succeed.
The Campus - Flowers, fountains, swings, and shrubbery... our campus is so pretty!
It's not hard to think of a reason I like Judson. Experiencing some of the things mentioned above this semester has been a good reminder that I'm in the right place, and I'm looking forward to the years ahead.
My first college experience with Finals is FINALLY over! This semester has been fun, but I'm glad to be finished with classes for a little while. It will be good to be home with family and relax a little during the Christmas season.
My first final of the week was my piano and voice jury. I had no clue what a jury was at first, and wasn't really sure what to expect even after I knew. During a jury, you perform selected pieces you have learned over the course of the semester in front of the music staff. They each grade you based on your performance, stage presence, and other things they observe. Each piece must be completely memorized...sounds scary, right? It sure was intimidating to me at first. Nevertheless, Monday morning bright and early I headed over to the Tucker building, ready to play and sing the pieces I had prepared. I found out it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but I was still glad to be finished.
I had one more final I was particularly concerned about, along with a paper due as part of a final in my English 101 class, so I spent the rest of my week writing a paper and studying for those tests. I don't particularly like the word "comprehensive"! It sure pays to keep up with studying during the year, and I found out which classes I had and hadn't done that in this week. :)
Thursday night, I headed to Taco Bell with some of my study buddies. We decided it might be a good idea to get away from the books for a couple of hours and have a little break. We headed off to Selma ate, and came back. We weren't gone for too long, but the break sure did help!
My last two finals were today, and thankfully I found myself to be better prepared than I thought I was. I felt like shouting for joy after the last one ended around 3:15. I hurried back to the dorm, and thanks to some friends of mine, was able to leave in time to make it to my siblings recital that I had been asked to open for. Talk about a tight time schedule! I knew it would be tight, but I believe I set a record for the fastest time I have ever packed. :)
In the end, everything turned out okay. I finished my exams, made it to the recital in time to play the piano, and had a great rest of the night at home. Hopefully, my break won't fly by too fast, but I'll be ready for another semester when my break is over.
Wow, what a busy day! Judson's annual Christmas Tea and Vespers was today. For the Christmas Tea, Judson girls get dressed up and head to the Parlors for lots of pictures, finger food, time with friends, and of course, a Step Sing. The day ends with a Christmas concert (Vespers) full of Christmas music performed by the Judson Singers, Faith, and Handbells.
After lunch, we headed back to the dorms to get all dressed up for the Christmas Tea. I thought four girls trying to get ready for the same thing in the same space would be hectic, but it wasn't bad at all. :) After getting ready for the Christmas Tea, I made sure my music and choir outfit was ready to go for Vespers that night. My family made it to Judson about that time, and we walked over to Jewett to mingle with friends. The social committee did such a great job with the decorations - they were so pretty! We took lots of pictures, talked, and of course, had some tasty wassail. :)
Next was the Step Sing. We filled up the Jewett stairs and serenaded our visitors with Christmas songs from Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer to Silent Night, along with a few traditional Step Sing Songs. After we finished the Step Sing, I headed back to the dorm to get ready for Vespers. We all met in the choir room to go over a few last minute things, warm up, and of course, sing some silly songs with Mrs. Leah while we waited to start the concert.
During the concert, the Choir, Faith, and handbells each had a chance to perform and the congregation joined in several hymns as well. At the end, Dr. Potts recognized and spoke a few words of wisdom to the seniors. The choir filled the aisles of the Alumnae Auditorium, and sang one last song with the audience while holding lit candles. The entire service was very touching, and it was a great feeling knowing that all those hours in the choir room preparing for this one night had prepared us well. Before Vespers, I just assumed it would be just like any other performance. After Vespers ended, I realized this was Judson's way of celebrating the birth of Jesus, honoring our graduating seniors, and quite possibly one of the most touching services I've ever been a part of.
"After [Joseph] had considered all these things, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, don't be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."