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Longboarders skate to relieve stress

By Heather Cox, contributing writer

It’s a breezy, early morning as Ruth Wooster (fr) comes out of Beckett Hall, steps onto her longboard and rolls down the sidewalk toward class—the fresh morning air waking her up and melting away her stress.

Colin Jensen (so) rides his longboard outside the Philippe Performing Arts Center.

Colin Jensen (so) rides his longboard outside the Philippe Performing Arts Center. // Photo by Becka Roth

Hundreds of students on campus have taken up longboarding over the past several years for those same reasons: it’s a relaxing mode of building-to-building transportation on the university’s ever-expanding campus.

Longboarding began as a sport called “downhill skateboarding” in the late 1970s, and the first longboards began appearing on IWU’s campus around 1998 and 1999, according to Joel Cash (sr).

Cash has been longboarding since 2000, when he first attended IWU before taking a multi-year break from his studies, which he recently resumed.

Wooster, who has been longboarding for around 3 weeks now, said “it’s super relaxing and gets you places faster.”

Jonathan Daugherty (so), who has been longboarding for close to a year, agrees and adds: “it’s a stress release, and it’s a fun thing to do with friends.”

The Midwest Longboarding Association states longboarding began picking up popularity around 2010. The Ripple, a longboarding shop in Carmel, Ind., said its board sales began rapidly increasing around 2006.

Though Indiana doesn’t have many steep hills, there are still ways for people in the Midwest to get more involved and serious about downhill skateboarding. The MLA advertises and organizes events for the sport and recently had one at Indiana University.

The longboarding culture is improving and moving rapidly and constantly, on and off campus.

“I think a lot of people would find it fun and stress relieving like I do. I definitely like seeing a culture of longboarding,” Daugherty said.

Jesse Turcott (sr) explained, “I like the challenge of learning a new trick or skill. I also love going on solo rides late at night if I need to get away or think or just enjoy a nice evening breeze.”

As colder weather is rounding the corner, longboarding might get put on hold for some people.

“My longboard usually gets put up once it gets cold, as I only use it for recreation,” Daugherty said.

Some, such as Turcott, will continue with the love for longboarding throughout the cold seasons.

“I actually board throughout the year,” Turcott said. “As long as there isn’t snow on the sidewalks, I’ll still go out and board. I just have to layer up a little more.”

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Cabe brings magic to IWU

Stephen Cabe (jr) started training to be a magician when he was seven years old and now brings his talent to Indiana Wesleyan University.

Stephen Cabe displays his tricks to IWU students at JuJuBerry // Photo taken by Kelly Reed

Stephen Cabe displays his tricks to IWU students at JuJuBerry // Photo taken by Kelly Reed

Cabe became interested in performing magic the moment he saw his older brother do a simple trick as a first grader. His other family members entertained through music, but he decided to entertain through magic.

“I didn’t have the money for any cool trick sets or even trick cards, so I bought my first deck of normal cards and started learning skills,” Cabe said.

He started performing for shows at the age of 12 for the Kids Club at his church.

“It was my first and definitely my worst show, but I learned a lot about performing magic at a young age,” he said.

By the time he was 14 he was already helping Niles Haunted House Scream Park design props for their magic shows. Cabe’s passion and talent grew, and he took his magic to school with him at Hesston College before transferring to IWU.

His tricks now include props such as razor blades and straitjackets.

“I’ve done too many shows to count. Two of my biggest shows were at Hesston where I held fundraisers for the baseball team,” he said.

Since being at IWU, Cabe has become increasingly more known as a magician or illusionist. Last week, he performed magic three days at McConn and once at JuJuBerry.

Corinne Metzger (so) was at McConn one of the nights he performed.

“I was an innocent bystander just working on accounting when I heard screams, so I turned around and there was a man standing in front of the McConn counter legitimately pulling a card out of his mouth. I was so shocked,” she said.

The next night, Mia Anderson (so) was at JuJuBerry while Cabe was performing and got to participate in a few of his tricks.

“He showed me two cards and then put them in each of my hands. When he finished his trick, he told me to flip the cards over, and they were different,” she said. “It was amazing because I didn’t expect him to be that good.”

These little performances might not be enough for Cabe, though. He’s considering doing another show at IWU in his near future, only this time he would like to raise money for charity.

Photo taken by Kelly Reed

Cabe hopes to use his magic as an opportunity for evangelism in the future // Photo taken by Kelly Reed

“My ultimate goal would be to travel across the United States performing on different stages as a motivational speaker and magician,” he said. “I would do escapes because it would give me the opportunity to present a gospel message that people would not normally hear at a magic show.”

He escapes from straight jackets right now, but his next goal is to master underwater escapes.

Cabe’s vision is to give his testimony to his audience and then get tied up underwater. Once he frees himself, he will relate his escape to the gospel message by saying one can escape from sin and be set free through Jesus Christ.

“It gives me the opportunity to share my faith with a captive audience,” he said. “It brings the message to them instead of them having to go to church to hear the message.”

Cabe has three specific goals in mind whenever he performs a show. He thinks of the acronym EIM, which stands for encourage, inspire and motivate.

“I want to encourage others, inspire them to find truth and motivate them to apply that truth to every aspect of their lives,” he said.

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@IWUpresident: David Wright engages community on social media

Dr. David Wright, Indiana Wesleyan University’s president for nearly a full academic year, is no stranger to the social media scene.

Dr. Wright posting a tweet about his interview with The Sojourn

Dr. Wright posting a tweet about his interview with The Sojourn

Though not much of a Facebook or Twitter buff before taking on the title of president, Wright now consistently runs two Facebook pages – one personal and one presidential, a Twitter page and a blog.

“It really struck me that that’s an important way of maintaining a connection today,” he said. “People don’t have a lot of time to sit and read things,”

Wright decided to become more active on social media for his presidency partially as a result of a conference with other university presidents who talked about various ways they were connecting with their communities.

“They all had thought purposefully about the way they would use media today to connect on behalf of the university,” Wright said. “Not so much a personal contact, but how would they communicate on behalf of the university as the president with the multiple publics.”

Wright shared that his Twitter account is connected to both of his Facebook accounts, so anything he tweets gets automatically posted to Facebook as well, increasing the interaction with other media users.

His blog is also connected with both his Twitter and Facebook accounts, giving easy access to his thoughts. photo

Wright says that he, for the most part, uses his Twitter and Facebook posts for brief updates that he tries to share a few times each day. His blog posts come less frequently – usually once every week or two, but he adds much more content.

“The blog posts tend to be longer and more substantive,” he said. “People feel like it’s a more immediate kind of connection with my philosophy or where I think the university’s going or things that are going on in our context.”

“The power of that connection has been pretty amazing to me,” he added.

IMG_6699Wright sees his use of social media as a great way to connect with students and others in the community. He said he has had people start conversations with him about his posts, finding them as an area of common ground with him.

Although readers have given Wright a lot of positive feedback from his various posts, he admitted there has been some negative feedback, usually in regards to something he has shared that someone does not agree with. He realizes though, that people disagreeing occasionally come with the territory.

“If everybody agreed, you probably aren’t doing your job,” Wright said

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McConn hosts student art competition

The IWU community enjoyed homemade artwork along with their coffee, thanks to the first annual McConn Art Competition Feb. 7.

The contest prompted students of all majors to submit original coffee-themed art to be displayed at McConn.

Submitted works spanned a range of media, from photography to pencil to espresso. First place winner Jessi Rodman (sr) used pen and ink to draw a McConn cup brandished with the image of a bear.IMG_1397

Marissa Witchger (sr) and Brynn Stewart (sr) tied for second place with paired photos of ceramic McConn mugs surrounded by coffee beans. Amanda Reller (sr) explored the coffee bean itself, repeating the shape in an achromatic abstract painting which took third place.

Winners received McConn gift cards and Nalgene water bottles, but participants, judges and McConn staff agreed the real reward was the art itself.

For Reller, a graphic design major, the competition offered a chance to try new techniques.

“I haven’t done a lot of painting, but I really love it, and that’s why I chose to do painting instead of graphic design,” Reller said. “It’s a medium I’d love to get better at, so I figured this would be a fun time to explore it more and just have fun.”

Another participant, illustration major Cortez Neumann (jr), also took a few risks in his artistic process.

“The contest theme was coffee, so I figured, what’s better to paint it with than actual coffee?” Neumann said as he dipped his brush into a glass of double-dark fresh brew.

Neumann perched at a McConn table for an hour and a half before the competition deadline, painting a flavorful interpretation of a steaming coffee cup.

“For me, the contest is not about whether I win or lose. It’s about showing our campus what we do,” Neumann said. “It’s cool our art can be in McConn, not just in the hallway of Beard or in the 1920 Gallery.”

IMG_1406McConn Marketing Manager Jake Smith (jr) organized the competition with that purpose in mind.

“I love showcasing and demonstrating the talents of the students on campus,” Smith said.

Smith hopes to display as many of this year’s entries as possible, because “all of them are fantastic, not just the three winners” and said he would like to see the event become a campus tradition.

Will Carpenter, associate professor of art, judged the entries along with art instructor Carl Rudy.

“I think the greatest benefit will be to McConn,” Carpenter said. “Other organizations on campus could improve their spaces if they acquired or at least displayed high quality student artwork.”

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