Beaver Service Day

October 16, 2008

You know what… October 11th, 2008 was cold and rainy.  It was one of those days where some people get up, look out the window, shake their head, and lay right back in the warm spot on their bed before it gets cold.  The key word, my friends, is some people.  We had a small militia’s worth of people (which translates to about 70 people…I think) come to the Hobson Union’s Crying Wolf Room to load up on muffins and juice to fuel up to sate their drive to serve.  I don’t think I’d be wrong to categorize Oct. 11, 2008 as amazing! 

Despite the rain, we shipped vans full of beavers throughout the Bemidji community.  These industrious students were placing their stamp on the world in various places like Gold Pine, Habitat for Humanity, Humane Society, State Park, Boys and Girls Club and more.  We even had a group finish their project early and go to join another group instead of heading home early.  It’s always exhilarating to meet students, to meet people, who don’t hesitate to put themselves in an uncomfortable position to alleviate another’s uncomfortable position. 

So, at the end of the day, Beaver Service Day was a success!  I am grateful we had such a great group of students pariticpate.  They not only did great work but enjoyed doing the work (that bodes well for any future employers!)  Job well done, Beavers.  We’ll see you next semester for “Beaver Service Day 2 – When Spring Springs” (that’s not really the name, it’s artistic license).

P.S.  Next time, we’ll eat earlier!  Promise!

*Guest written by Chinwuba Okafor



September 22, 2008

Wow, can you believe how fast the end of summer has come and gone . . .today is the first day of Autumn. Although it doesn’t feel like fall is here, with the warm weather, sun shining, etc. but the leaves are starting to turn.  The brilliant colors of yellow, orange and red signify that fall is on its way. 

The fall semester has begun fast and furious and here we are already at the beginning of Homecoming week.  I hope that we have great weather this week for all of the great activities and we all can enjoy these last rays of warm weather before the cold winter sets in. 

I imagine, the first round of tests in most classes have begun or are occurring around this time. It makes it hard to study when the weather is great and the nip of fall is in the air, when we may want to take one last bike ride around the lake or sit under a tree and enjoy a hot beverage.  I certainly know on days like today, I would like to be out enjoying the weather.   However, I will get out to enjoy some of the great homecoming activities this week.

I hope you have an opportunity to attend an activity or two this week, take that bike ride around Lake Bemidji, or enjoy the natural surroundings around you. For soon, the winter activity time will be here with skiing and skating and many more!

Enjoy and see you out and about!

Summer Fun!

July 31, 2008

     It seems like summer and festivals go hand in hand. This weekend, Bemidji is celebrating with the Dragon Boat races, Crazy Days and the Beltrami County Fair.  What would summer be without the local festivals, fairs, etc.  It’s a chance to discover or re-discover something about the community.  Recently, I had a chance to visit the Headwaters at Lake Itasca and saw it again through someone else’s eyes who hadn’t been in northern Minnesota since they were 8 years old. It reminded me of my first visit to Lake Itasca, two years ago, and my wonderment at how something so small can grow into something quite large.  The trip provided a renewed sense of joy and re-discovering a fond memory.  It also reminded me of how perseverance can pay off.   Just as the mighty Mississippi once forged its path to the Gulf of Mexico, the journey is continued every day.   As we think about the summer festivals and fairs, the organizations and volunteers who make these events happen each year, work at it each day of the year so all may enjoy the event.  My applause to you!  Your perseverance each year create memories for folks and enhance the community.  The summer fun continues each year because of your committment. Thank you!

     Of course the BSU Beavertails are paddling again and have entered the Dragon boat race for a third year.  If you are out and about this weekend, stop by to cheer on the team!   Discover or re-discover Bemidji this weekend; it has a lot to offer.

Summer fun . . .

July 3, 2008

Well, I realized I haven’t been keeping up to date with keeping everyone informed on the happenings’ in HMU.  Summer programming is the place to be!  Lots of fun activities at BSU and in Bemidji occur all summer.  This week, we’ve been bowling and celebrated the upcoming holiday at the Red, White & Blue Bash.  Last month, it was a trip to Duluth, wet Wednesday’s, a movie night and many more events.  Join the HMU facebook group to get the latest updates on events.

As you can tell, I do not have the same gift for writing as our spring intern Traci, but I’m going to “make it work” ala Tim Gunn!  I can’t wait for Project Runway’s new season to return.  I admit; it’s my guilty summer pleasure.  I enjoy watching the designers squirm under that Tim Gunn gaze, when he gives that look of “what is going on here?”  : ) 

Another one of my summer pleasures is the Bemidji Water Carnival. I just have to indulge in some cheese curds, checking out the art fair and the fire works.   It reminds me of the lazy summer days when I was a kid and the excitement of the local festivals.  If you are around Bemidji this week, check out all the activities and booths at the Water Carnival.  Hope to see you there!

I’m Movin’ On…

May 6, 2008

My parents came up to help me begin moving out a few weeks ago.  This is something that happens when you graduate.  I mean, it happens every year, but there is a much stronger sense of finality when it happens your last semester.  I have never been a clean person, and my parents know this, so I don’t think they were surprised when they arrived in my basement room and saw it lined with binders, papers, boxes, and trinkets.  Before I opened the door, I warned them of the imminent disappointment in me that they would have—after all, I’d known they were coming for a week—and when I finally allowed them to look, my dad just let out a little laugh and said, “Yes, well, knew you’d been busy.”
Then the packing began.  The plan was for them to take all the big things—bed, futon, foosball table, and desk.  I now sleep on my futon mattresses (anyone need futon mattresses after May 16th?). They made numerous trips outside as I attempted to move enough to have sufficient room to get things out.  Eventually, the plan resulted in moving numerous bags of papers, binders, and notebooks onto my bed, moving my bed closer to the futon in the narrow part of my room, transporting everything from the bed to the futon, compacting the bed and removing it and the mattress, transporting the items from the futon to the floor, then putting the futon mattresses in the area where the bed was.  At one point, I stood behind the bed between it and the wall, one foot up on the mattress, bent at an awkwardly forward angle to enable the tossing of “things” to the futon.
I never throw anything away.  I have an undying empathy for every object in my room—every scrap piece of paper, every broken binder, every old pair of jeans.  They would feel hurt or ridiculed or shamed or worthless if I threw them away.  Most everything I keep is worthless, and I should probably bring this to their attention for their own good if not for mine, but really, what a horrible note to end a relationship on.  There’s also a little voice inside me saying, “I’m from the future, and I’m not going to tell you what to do, but you may or may not need this item at some point.”  And then it stares at me with one eyebrow raised, waiting for me to make the wrong decision.
I’d filled an entire garbage bag before they even arrived.  I’d thrown away five pairs of jeans. Five.  They’d been lurking in my closet with holes in the thighs, and I’d been planning on patching them up to save money.   I kept one pair with very small nickel-sized holes, but the rest really were too far gone to even want to save.  They’d been living on life support on the closet shelf all year before I finally let them go.
Yet through all of this, my parents were the manifestation of patience and, well, unsurprisedness (not a word, but I liked how it fit with this sentence).  They were not angry or frustrated.  As I darted around the room like a squirrel moving nuts, they systematically removed item after item up the stairs, out the door, and onto either the truck bed or the trailer.  Perhaps it was the realization that this was the last time they’d be moving me (which is silly, since I will more than likely employ their assistance when moving to Boston), or perhaps it was the fact that they have no more children at home and are therefore more willing to put in effort since it’s their own choice, or perhaps it was the thought that there is only one more child to move out of college now, or perhaps they are just nice people—whatever the case, there was not the usual furrowed brow and pronunciation that my room “looked like a tornado had gone through it” that usually accompanied a foray into my living space.  My parents had matured and grown to understand my ways.  It had only taken 22 years.  Maybe, in another 22, I will finally learn theirs.

A Partial Future

April 8, 2008

Here’s the thing about being involved: You never stop. There is always something more to do, more to give, more to practice, more to improve or perfect. Nothing ends.

But this summer, it will end. I will proudly bestow the reigns of two organizations onto two as-of-yet-undecided new presidents who will inherit all of my pent-up knowledge (or lack thereof), and the future of Homecoming, events, and publications will no longer rest on my shoulders. No more letters, no more emails (and trust me–I send a lot of emails). And what will I do with my proteges basking in the wisdom I have hopefully conferred upon them?

I have no idea. At least, I didn’t, but now my future is partially planned out. I now know I will be attending Emerson College in Boston, MA (yes, Boston. I love my B-towns). My summer, however, is currently still undecided. Will I find a job in Bemidji? The Cities? My hometown of Eyota, in southern Minnesota? (If anyone knows of jobs–I’m very willing to do something below my degree level.)

As of two weeks ago, I didn’t even have Emerson planned out, so I figure I’ve made leaps and bounds recently. I hadn’t been confident in confirming so quickly my attendance at a school I’d never seen in a city I’d never been to, so I decided to forego my responsibilities for a few days to hop on a plane to Boston. Discussing planes a few days before leaving, my friend Martha told me about a plane that had landed in an Iowa cornfield. Apparently, it had just stopped working after takeoff–first the lights, then the air, then…and down they went. I felt better after hearing that the pilot was able to land them in the field and I calmly reassured myself that I could trust the mechanics and physics of planes to help me return to ground safely; then Martha added, “And one wing tipped and hit the ground so the plane spun over and blew up.”

Equipped with this knowledge, I departed northern Minnesota on a brisk spring afternoon and, after a brief hiatus in the cities, flew to Boston for the Emerson College Graduate Open House, where they considered a windy 45-degree-Fahrenheit day to be cold enough to warrant an explanation of “This is spring” and a few hoots of laughter at their wit (after which I returned to a snow advisory and the current 20-inch addition of snow with power outages that astonishingly didn’t warrant a cancellation of classes). Now, after a whirlwind tour of the area and its foreign-friendly visitor areas, I feel much more comfortable and am happy to say that I am pleased with my choice. Boston has a rich history and active arts area, so if nothing else, it will be an interesting two and a half years.

To my fellow almost-grads, keep it up. We have six weeks left.

I promise my next blog will be a bit shorter.

P.S. Hi Nathan 🙂

All About Traci :-)

March 6, 2008

Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.” ~Alan Watts (special thanks to my friend Andy for the quote)


Any smattering of words would not be sufficient to define an entire person, so please forgive my furtive attempt at eloquence here.

The basics: I am a senior and will graduate in May with a BA in English and a BFA in Creative and Professional Writing. I acquired the position of HMU Blogger by being one credit short of graduating (make note, people: to graduate with two degrees [not majors], you need 158 credits) and cajoling my way into the hearts of the HUPB advisor and Associate Director of HMU, Mary Tosch, and the chair of the Department of English, Susan Hauser. I hail from Eyota, MN (which is down by Rochester) and am 22 years old.

My BSU life: I spend way too much time Facebooking, but I still manage to accomplish a bit here and there. I work in the Writing Center (need help with anything written? Brainstorming a paper? Outlines? Cover letters? Resumes?) and also am a writer for the Office of Marketing and Communication. I am also currently president of two organizations—Hobson Union Programming Board (HUPB) and Rivers Meeting. HUPB programs events for students (Homecoming, movies, free food in the union, etc.) and Rivers Meeting publishes an anthology of BSU student writing and art. Oh, and I take classes, too.

My post-BSU life: still in question.

Other than that, there’s really not much to know. I like to have fun, I like to talk, and I like to meet people, so I give you permission to comment freely on whatever I write—especially if you have ideas on how to improve. Thanks!

~Traci 🙂

New Blogger for HMU

February 27, 2008

We welcome Traci Nigon as our new HMU blogger.  Watch for her thoughts and reflections as the semester races on.

What a Great Week It Was and Is

February 5, 2008

Hope you had a chance to catch all the action last week during “A Week to Remember”.  We had a great time celebrating our 40th.  And if you didn’t get to HUPB’s concert with Red Umbrella, you missed a great show with a cool band. 

This week’s theme should be leadership given the opportunities for students to make a difference at Tuesday’s Caucus gatherings in Beaux Arts, the Bemidji High School and other sites around town.  Civic engagement is one of our sig themes and this is your chance to get engaged.  Campus leaders will participate in the Leadership Kickoff on Thursday as well. 

So…get involved and enjoy the “balmy” weather this week…it’s finally above zero!

In on the action today?

January 29, 2008

Did you catch the action in the Union today?  Free “40” cookies and cool pic frames for everyone coming by. 

There’s more to come as the birthday week continues.  Stop by and check out the action today.

 T. Todd