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Matt Meets Gordon: Episode 21

Posted by Matt '13 on Sunday, May 02, 2010
When I was in high school, I would often hear prayer requests for college students who were going through final exams at the end of the semester. As a high school student, I wondered why finals were so hard for college students that they needed so much prayer. After all, I had been taking finals for several years in high school and that had not seemed all that bad to me. Now that I have experienced to different stretches of final exams in college, I can understand why all the prayers were needed. Over last several weeks, I have been as busy as a beaver. Between the LEAD Conference that I mentioned in my last entry, term papers, tests, group presentations and lots of other things , I have barely had time to breathe. In fact, in the last couple of weeks it seems like I have only stop moving to sleep, eat, breathe and pray. When things finally showed down this weekend, I found that I was in serious need of some rest and relaxation. I went to the beach with friends, slept in and managed to be as relaxed and unproductive as possible. This weekend will only be a brief respite for me however, as this week will bring the end of classes and the advent of finals. And in less than two weeks, I will be headed home with my first year of college in the past. I now know why those prayers were needed.


My messy desk as I work on an essay and study for exams.


Even though finals are stressful, the campus is blooming and beautiful.

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Matt Meets Gordon: Episode 20

Posted by Matt '13 on Sunday, May 02, 2010
This past weekend I went on the LEAD Retreat at up in New Hampshire with around 150 other Gordon students leaders. The purpose of this weekend retreat was to begin to prepare Gordon students for the leadership roles that they have been selected for on campus next year. I went as a member of the residence life staff, since I will be a Resident Advisor (RA) in Ferrin Hall next year. When I left for the conference on Friday night, I was already incredibly excited to be an RA next year. I had wanted to be an RA since I arrived on campus in the fall, and when I got the letter telling me that I had been selected I could hardly contain my excitement. I was still remarkably enthusiastic when the LEAD Retreat began and that would not change as the weekend went on. One of the major goals of the conference was for the students to get to know the students that they would be working with next year. As a result, I got to spend a lot of time with the men and women that I will be on staff with this coming year. As I spent more time with them, I myself liking each of them more and more and by the end of the retreat I was even more excited for next year. Even though I was physically exhausted by the end of the weekend, I was spiritually renewed and full of anticipation for next semester.


The beautiful site of the LEAD Conference, the The Brookwoods Conference Center
http://www.christiancamps.net/site/brookwoods_conference_center/facilities.html

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Matt Meets Gordon: Episode 19

Posted by Matt '13 on Sunday, April 11, 2010
I don’t know about all of you, but for me this Easter was very different than usual. Instead of traveling back to Pennsylvania to be with my family or going to the home of a friend on campus, I stayed on campus for the entire four-day break. This was an odd experience, because I was one of the very few people who decided to remain in their dorm. As a result, I lived as a quasi-hermit for several days. While spending a long time alone might seem like torture to many of you, for me it was a welcome change of pace. One of the things that first time college students fail to anticipate when they come to school is that they will very rarely be alone. It was a fact that I myself overlooked, and since I am by nature an introvert it wore on me as time went on. After many months of rarely finding a precious moment of solitude, I was excited to have a weekend to spend largely by myself. For the first two days, it was a pleasant, although slightly boring, experience. However, that all changed on Easter Sunday. I went to church and then went to the home of a family I knew for Easter Dinner. When I came back to campus after that wonderful meal, I realized how much I missed all of the people that I was accustomed to seeing. Time crawled along until people began to return on Monday afternoon. As more and more friendly faces returned, I realized how much they all added to my life. Even though it was all right to live as a quasi-hermit, my life was much richer with other people in it. The almost constant exposure to people that I had experienced since coming to Gordon had not been the nuisance that I thought it was. It was in fact yet another way that God was enriching my life during my time at Gordon College.

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Matt Meets Gordon: Episode 18

Posted by Matt '13 on Tuesday, March 23, 2010
“And going back won't feel the same if we aren't staying
Going back to get away after everything has changed”
-Paramore “Franklin” From the Album All We Know is Falling


I realize that quoting song lyrics on a blog is remarkably cheesy, but when this song came up on shuffle mode during the ride back to Gordon, I was struck by how perfectly the above line described how I felt about my spring break. When I went back to Pennsylvania over two weeks ago, I found that something felt odd. Home did not feel like home anymore. This is not to say that I did not enjoy my spring break. I had a great time with my friends and family and I was very glad to be home. As the week progressed however, I felt that something was missing. Just as the song says, home did not feel the same because I was not staying. I was simply going back on vacation after everything had changed. I could not figure out what was amiss, all I knew was that home felt a little different. It was not until I returned to campus and walked onto my floor that it hit me. The reason that things felt amiss at home was because my home in Pennsylvania is now only one of my homes. My other home is Gordon College. This might well be the corniest and must cliched post I have written thus far, but it is a sincere description of my experiences and feelings and one more reason that I am so glad that I choose Gordon.

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Matt Meets Gordon: Episode 17

Posted by Matt '13 on Sunday, March 14, 2010
This time last year, I found myself making a very difficult and important choice. This choice is one that I am sure many of you are in the process of making right now. The choice that I am referring to is the choice of deciding which college to attend. By now, most colleges have sent out their responses and now you all as students have to make a choice. The process of making this choice is what this episode of Matt Meets Gordon is about. First, I do not have all or even some of the answers about how to go about making this decision. In fact, as I think back on how I reached my decision to come to Gordon, there is only one constant, which is what I will offer to you all as advice. The one constant through the entire process for me was asking God over and over again to reveal His will to me. And as I repeatedly prayed for His guidance, He gradually revealed His will to me. You see, in the end it came down to Gordon and another college that had been my first choice ever since I began my college search. However, as I continued to pray and ask God for His guidance, I found that I was liking Gordon more and more. As I prayed, my affection for Gordon grew, until on a visit to the campus in the spring I felt truly wanted and at home. It was in that feeling of comfort and acceptance that God revealed to me His will for where I would attend college. Before I left Gordon that day, I had decided that Gordon was the place for me and looking back now, I can see that God knew that Gordon was a perfect fit for me. If I had not constantly been asking God what His will was for me, I likely would not be as happy as I am today. For that reason, the only advice that I can offer to those of you who are deciding where to attend college is to be constantly asking God what His will is for your life. If you seek His will earnestly, you will wind up where He wants you to be. I truly hope that all of you will seek God as you make this decision, whether you wind up at Gordon or not. Thank you all for reading and God Bless all of you as you make your college decisions.

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Matt Meets Gordon: Episode 16

Posted by Matt '13 on Sunday, March 14, 2010
Hello Readers! On the last day before I left Gordon for Spring Break, I took advantage of Gordon’s proximity to Boston and went exploring in the North End. I met a friend from high school who attends Northeastern at their dorm and headed over to the North End on the T. Before long, I was striding across a few of the seemingly inestimable number of bricks that were used in the construction of North Boston. I do not know why, but I have always loved the look and feel of old brick buildings, so I was happy as a clam in a neighborhood made entirely of bricks. Despite my love of bricks, the part of the North End that I found to be the most interesting was the people who lived there. The neighborhood that we walked through was almost entirely Italian. Not only were Italian bistros as plentiful as the bricks, but also the average person on the street was just as likely to be speaking Italian as they were to be speaking English. I felt almost as if I was in another country. In fact, if not for the cold weather and clouds, I could have been convinced that I was in Italy. I was amazed that a place so remarkably different from Gordon was only an hour away from the campus. As I got on the commuter rail and headed back to campus, I resolved to try to make it into Boston more often so that I could take advantage of Gordon’s wonderful geographic location and proximity a city as vibrant and fascinating as Gordon.



Boston's North End

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Matt Meets Gordon: Episode Fifteen

Posted by Matt '13 on Monday, February 22, 2010
Hello everyone. As I told you all in my last post, this semester as part of my Great Conversation class I have been given the opportunity to spend my Monday afternoons volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club in Lynn. The Boys and Girls Club is one of the community partners of the Gordon in Lynn Program (go to http://www.gordon.edu/gordoninlynn for more info) which oversees the service learning portion of the Great Conversations course. I have been to the Boys and Girls club around a half dozen times thus far, and each time I go there, I enjoy myself more than I did the last time. I came into my volunteering experience not knowing what to expect. I had no idea what it would be like to be thrown into the midst of 400 children, and I was nervous about it. However, within my first few minutes at the Boys and Girls Club, my fears were alleviated. I was given a fascinating and complete tour of the facilities by one of the boys and I met many of the wonderful staff members. As I was led around the Boys and Girls Club by my younger guide, I was amazed at the amount of activity, the kindness of the children and the boundless energy and compassion of the staff. My initial impressions of the Boys and Girls Club have not been altered by my subsequent visits; rather, they have been reinforced by my new experiences. Whether I am officiating a foursquare game, being defeated by one of the kids at bumper pool or just talking with a child or staff member, I keep finding that I am genuinely enjoying myself. In fact, my visit to the Boys and Girls Club is often one of the highlights of my week. Below are some pictures of the Boys and Girls Club, sorry if they are a bit blurry. Thanks for reading and God bless.


The Boys and Girls Club of Lynn


The Downstairs Gameroom

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Matt Meets Gordon: Episode Fourteen

Posted by Matt '13 on Monday, February 08, 2010
As I watched this year’s Superbowl, I found myself facing a conflict over which team to root for. Even though I have always liked Peyton Manning and the Colts, I found myself drawn to the Saints. The main reason I felt this way was because I thought that it would mean so much to the people of New Orleans to win the Superbowl after all they had been through. When the final whistle blew and the Saints were declared champions, I thought about all of work that volunteers and residents have put into rebuilding and improving the city the Saints represent. As I thought of the need that continues to exist in New Orleans, my found myself thinking about a place very close to Gordon that faces many of the same issues as The Big Easy. The city that I was thinking of was Lynn, a city full of people in need that is located not even 30 minutes from Gordon’s campus. Gordon has created the Gordon in Lynn program (go to http://www.gordon.edu/gordoninlynn for more info) to work with the wonderful people of Lynn to improve the community. Students are given many opportunities to serve and learn from those in Lynn during their time at Gordon, the first of these opportunities coming in the freshman seminar class The Great Conversation. Students can choose whether to not to enroll in the Service Learning section of the course, and if they do they will be placed in a volunteer position with one of our many wonderful community partners in Lynn. I am in the service learning class and I was placed at the Boys and Girls Club of Lynn. This experience has become one of the highlights of my week, and in my next post, I will give you all a detailed account of a day at the Boys and Girls Club. Thank you for reading, and God Bless.

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Matt Meets Gordon: Episode Thirteen

Posted by Matt '13 on Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Hello readers! As I have mentioned before, one of my favorite aspects of my Gordon experience thus far has been the wonderful community and fellowship that can be found all over campus. Last week I told you all about floor fellowship, an example of planned fellowship within my residence hall that I have experienced. This week, I experienced a more spontaneous but equally beneficial kind of fellowship with my fellow Evans inhabitants. This fellowship centered around an unusual event, an inter-mural basketball game. This particular game featured my team, made up of freshman from Evans, against a team made up mainly of sophomores from Evans. This was our third game and third loss of the season, but even though the my team did not win, I genuinely enjoyed myself. In fact, I would count Monday night’s game among my most enjoyable experiences playing basketball. I was rather surprised by how much I enjoyed myself, especially as someone who has many good memories of shooting hoops and someone who played organized basketball well into high school. However, when I thought about it, I quickly realized why I found this particular game to be such a pleasant experience. The reason is what I mentioned earlier, fellowship. Monday night, I was able to play a fun game with and against good friends of mine. I was given a chance to not only get some exercise and blow off some steam, but I was able to spend time with friends whom I truly respect and care for in a different context than I usually do. As our group was walking back to Evans, someone said that the game might as well have been a hall event because so many people from the dorm showed up. When I heard those words, the community and fellowship that I had unexpectedly found myself in the midst of struck me and the fact that I was a part of that community filled me with joy. I walked the rest of the way with a smile on my face as I thought about how blessed I am to be part of the wonderful community of Gordon College.

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Matt Meets Gordon: Episode Twelve

Posted by Matt '13 on Monday, January 25, 2010
On a clear and cold night at Gordon College, two groups of young men stand on opposite sides of a clearing between several dormitories. A shout sends both groups into motion and within moments the air is full of snowballs soaring in parabolic arcs towards their intended targets. I am admittedly over dramatizing a snowball fight, but it was more than just a bunch of guys throwing snowballs at each other. This was actually an example of one of the most crucial aspects of Residence Life at Gordon, floor fellowship. The concept of floor fellowship is simple. Once a week, each floor gets together and spends roughly an hour together doing a variety of different activities. This week, my floor had an epic snowball fight on the mini-quad in front of Evans, but we have done lots of things together. We began the year with each roommate pair hosting fellowship for a night and giving their testimonies to the rest of the floor. Going around to each room on my floor not only gave me free food once a week, it also gave me a wonderful opportunity to truly get to know the men that I live with. This experience not only made me feel more at home on my floor and around campus, it allowed me to begin forming friendships that I hope will last for a long time. Along with these more serious benefits, floor fellowship has often just been a good time. Whether dodging snowballs, watching Elf, or just hanging out, spending time with my floor has often been one of the highlights of my week. Floor fellowship has been a wonderful part of my college experience thus far and is just one more reason that I am incredibly happy that I choose to attend Gordon College.

The Evans Snowball Battle Field several days after the skirmish

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Matt Meets Gordon: Episode Eleven

Posted by Matt '13 on Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Happy New Year everyone. After a fun but all too short Christmas break, I have returned to my home away from home, Gordon College. I actually had a couple of Freudian slips over the holidays and referred to Gordon as my home. Whenever I would make one of these slips, I tried to figure out why it had happened. After only a few moments of mulling it over, I had come to the conclusion that the reason I kept calling Gordon home was that it had become a second home to me. This feeling was new to me, a person who had only lived in one house my entire life and had only ever known one home. Gordon felt like home to me not just because it was the roof that had slept under for a few months, but because of the relationships that I had begun during my first semester. As I sat around at home, even though I was enjoying my family, I found myself missing my friends from school. The anticipation only built as I waited at the terminal in Philadelphia, knowing that I was only a few hours from being back at my second home. I realize cliched this sounds, but it is the honest to goodness truth. Over the last two days, as I saw the people that I had missed for the last several weeks, I found myself have the same Freudian slips that I had over break. Only now, I knew it felt like home because it was home.

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Matt Meets Gordon: Episode Ten

Posted by Matt '13 on Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad or for those of you who take Latin like I do, Natale hilare et Annum Faustum! This Christmas was different from any other in my life, it was the first one that I had to travel home to celebrate with my family. This was a whole new experience for me, but it was one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I got to fly on a plane for only the third time in my life and after experiencing the joy of airport security, I flew home and got to see my family at long last. Fortunately, they had waited until I got home to decorate our home for Christmas. I was able to decorate the Christmas tree that you see below. Despite my love for my family, they were not the only the people that I was looking forward to seeing. I got to see all of the people at my home church that I had missed during my time at college and a lot of my friends from high school. As I spoke to people at home, I found myself constantly telling people about Gordon and how much I had loved my first semester. Even though I was enjoying my time with my family, I could not wait to get back to campus and begin the second semester. But for now, I get to enjoy my last couple of days at home with my family before returning to Gordon for my second semester.

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Matt Meets Gordon: Episode Nine

Posted by Matt '13 on Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Hello readers! I hope that you all are preparing for a Merry Christmas and enjoying your winter break. Seeing as I just finished my first semester at Gordon, I would like to take this entry to tell you all about the fantastic fun of finals. While I am being a little sarcastic here, I actually enjoyed some aspects of finals week. One of these enjoyable experiences took place in the last class period of each course that I took. As the class was wrapping up, each professor handed out evaluation sheets not only for the students to grade their teaching performance but the value of the class itself. I did not expect these evaluation sheets, and I was presently surprised when they were passed out. What pleased me about this process was not the evaluation, but the spirit behind it. To me, these evaluations represented a conscious effort on the part of Gordon’s administration to improve the quality of the education that the university provides. While the improvement education on its own is a noble goal, I was even more pleased that the administration desires to actively include its students in this process. This not only demonstrates the college’s deep commitment to providing a great education, but also their humility and willingness to truly make education a partnership between student and faculty. As cliched and corny as that sounds, it is the truth. Even though I did not know about these evaluations, they have given me one more reason to be happy that God led me to Gordon. This brings me to my final point; as college acceptance letters begin to arrive at all of your homes, I hope that you all end up where God wants you to be. If that place is Gordon College, wonderful. If it is not, God bless. Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas.