Reflections from the Parent’s Night Out Fundraiser
As a graduate student, I don’t get to spend time with kids too often. At least, not as often as I’d like. Parents Night Out was a great way to get that “kid fix” and spend time with fellow Campus Edge members. The best part about Parents Night Out- seeing graduate students in fields of law, music, medicine and many others becoming kids again by giving kids piggy-back rides, “playing house,” and using “baby talk” around the infants. Whether you felt comfortable around kids, or were first-time babysitters, there was something for everyone to get involved in. Students who didn’t have as much babysitting experience coming in to the night, were seen ending the night holding babies until they fell asleep, or watching “Brave” alongside all the kids, equally as entertained. The night consisted of activities for children of each age range, good food, and good company. It certainly was entertaining to see how graduate students and kids combined their creativity to play bizarre games and act out TV or movie characters we haven’t even heard of. From nine-year-olds to two-month olds, there were enough laughs, smiles, screams, and cries to keep all the volunteers busy! By the end of the night- midterms, long nights at the library, and papers didn’t seem as chaotic as they did before! Students seemed to really enjoy getting to spend time with kids, as well as with each other.
Last fall at CEF, we started the “Animate” group. After our weekly dinners on Saturday nights, we spent time discussing the idea of “community”. We began to ask questions about community: What is community? Why is it so elusive? How do we find, foster, and build community? As a group we began to consider these questions, how we envisioned community, and what we sought from community.
As these are questions that I have asked personally, I was excited to enter into this dialogue with others. As the group became more comfortable with each other and delved into these questions more deeply, we began to shift gears. Rather than just talk about community, we wanted to begin to experiment with these ideas. Opening up dialogue about community was an initial step, but we wanted it to be more than just a discussion.
So this spring we have retitled and become the Community (Enacted) Group. Our goal is to take the next step and explore what community in action would look like. This will include exploring our connection with God, growing together as a community with various activities and spending time together, and also extending these ideas to the broader community of Michigan State and East Lansing.
Overall, I see the biggest impact of our time together has been the gradual movement of a collection of people towards becoming a community. Simply by creating an environment conducive to community and being open to exploring this further, we have been able to move towards this goal. Often this has taken place in spontaneous ways through conversations over dinner or hanging out after discussions with coffee or board games. I’m sure the group will continue to evolve and I’m excited to see where it goes! And we are glad to welcome others that might be interested in joining us in this experiment!
Knitting anyone? Laura Hubbard in the act of teaching the group one of her hobbies.
Knitting Lessons 101 with any success?
When you go to a Big 10 school, it’s imperative that you attend some basketball games. When Kory told me there were some extra tickets for the game on January 31, I jumped at the opportunity to go with CEF. Not only did I enjoy the game, but it was great getting to know others from CEF.
We started off the evening with a tour of the Breslin Center. The Big 10 and NCAA Tournament trophies are legit and the rings are quite the bling. We saw “the den” where the coaches (yay Izzo) spend all their time deliberating and making game plans. We also saw the film room where athletes from all sports come to plot against their opponents.
We made our way to the concession area, after running into Travis Trice, and had a pizza party amidst plastic crates and concrete walls. I doubt that the basement of the Breslin has ever experienced such an influx of laughter and fun. The conversations were interesting too. I enjoyed getting to know about other’s areas of interest and study as well as debating how to make a spell-binding TV series featuring accountants. (Any ideas anyone?)
For someone who doesn’t watch college basketball until March Madness, the game was a chance for me to learn about our team and actually get to know who the team is. After a poorly played first half, the Spartans bounced back to win 80-75 against Illinois. Thanks enthusiatic sports fans for making the game interesting.
Overall, attending this game was a great way to spend a blustery winter evening. Spending time with CEF and fellow Spartan fans energized me and made me excited for March. Come March Madness, get ready for some great basketball and bracket challenges!
~ Anna Mooi