Tag Archive | "Valentine’s Day"

Ring by spring? Not so fast, say some IWU students

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Love is in the air, or so we’re led to believe.

Each year on Feb. 14, many people from kids to adults exchange cards, candies, gifts and flowers for their special “valentine.” In recent years however, it seems Cupid has been taking his sweet time to shoot his arrows of love as Indiana Wesleyan University students are waiting until their late 20’s to consider serious romance.

Single and ready to mingle?

To further celebrate singleness at IWU, the IWU Game Room staff developed a Valentine’s Day UNO tournament to foster fun and community. The event took place Friday night, and provided a cheerful and welcoming atmosphere for IWU students not particularly interested in dating relationshi_MG_7872 copyps.

Game Room desk attendant Jake Doll (jr) explained the event, based on the popular card game named after the Spanish word for “one,” is a satirical metaphor for single students on Valentine’s Day who wants something to do.

“The game room exists because we want opportunities for students to stay on campus” said Doll. “We want them to have fun, so we’re just going with the idea that if you’re not dating anyone that’s totally OK. Just come here by yourself or with friends, no one needs to be alone on Valentine’s Day.”

Participants in the event were treated to red and white décor which lined the windows and walls. Classy nostalgic love tunes livened up the atmosphere as the sweet smell of sugar cookies and colorful frosting enticed both the nose and eyes. 30 singles packed out the event,  enjoying their Friday night, and for those participating, they wouldn’t have it any other way.

But why are IWU students and millennials so content with singleness?

International Relations student Rachel Abrego (jr) attended the UNO tournament with friends, sporting red lipstick and a unique world atlas top. Abrego said she believes millennials are content simply because of the complexity of the student situation.

“For Christian students that attend IWU, we have these strict values that are idealized,” said Abrego. “When it comes to dating, if someone doesn’t meet our preconceived standards we set in our minds, we automatically shut the idea of dating down. Serious relationships freak people out because we don’t always know our future, and we don’t want to limit our paths.”

Statistics from the United States Census Bureau prove professional security and financial stability are two major reasons why millenials are waiting. According to the most recent research in 2013 from the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green University, the marriage rate is at the lowest it’s ever been in more than a century.

The current rate is 31.1 percent, which means as of 2013, there were only 31 marriages per 1,000 unmarried women. This number is averaged out of the over 2 million marriages that took place in 2013. Compare that to 1920, when the marriage rate was at 92.3 percent. The current National average age for women to wed is 27, while men are patiently waiting until age 29, according to the United States Census Bureau.

IWU Professor of Sociology, Dr. Kersten Priest explains the current marriage and dating statistics for IWU students and millennials are completely reflective of current societal norms.

“Marriage is no longer the only option,” explained Priest. “There are so many options available because culturally, marriage no longer defines success and security, independence however, does.”

Priest leads a course directed towards family and sexuality and has spent time looking into the changing patterns of sexuality and marriage. She highlighted education as a factor discerning the reasoning behind why women are (prolonging their desire) extending their patience to wedlock.

“Women have been getting more education, and there’s a sense that this education means marriage may not be the only option,” said Priest. “So from that standpoint there has been a bit of a shift in the thinking of women. There’s this idea if women have an education, maybe they should be getting into the workforce and having a sound professional career before settling down.”

_MG_7881 copyIWU men’s soccer standout Sam Kane (jr) also participated in the UNO tournament, attending the event with friends. Kane said he thinks relationships are hard work and believes students are just too busy to date, which is why he has decided to remain single.

“I have a lot of homework to focus on,” said Kane. “If a relationship happens it happens, but I just need some good grades and I think other people are in the same boat.”

Societal norms also provide an extension for opportunity, explained Priest. It’s now culturally acceptable to cohabit an apartment and partake in sexual relationships outside of marriage. While this is not always reflective of Christians in dating relationships, this non-permanent commitment means couples can sample compatibility and further delay marriage.

A 2013 report from the Pew Research Center in Washington D.C. says marriage encourages a partnership which shares a plan for the future, shares assets and builds wealth. Men who completed the Pew survey stated that following a college education, men would much prefer to launch their careers, so they can financially provide for a family before getting married.

So where are we headed?

According to a post from the Wall Street Journal in September 2013, the U.S. is gradually shaking off the effects of the 2007-2009 recession. This means Americans are paying off debts and freeing up cash to spend, insinuating millenials are beginning to trust the market and leverage the idea of marriage.

President of the Population Reference Bureau, Sam Sturgeon sees modest increases in fertility rates for millennials in 2014 and 2015 linking the low averages from marriages and births during the recession to the current stability of the economic market.

Perhaps times are changing once more, and the familiar term “ring by spring” will be in full effect for students across campuses nationwide in the next few years.

UNO enthusiasts Lydia Schumick (fr) and Michelle Biehle (so) believe the dating scene at IWU is basically non-existent, giggling in between shuffles of  “reverse” and “wild” playing cards.

“I’m just trying to figure out my own life,” said Schumick collecting nods from Michelle as she swapped cards with the top deck.

Biehle agreed.

_MG_7858 copy“I just want to figure out where I’m going; there’s no need for someone else to help,” Biehle said. “Everyone is different, so we’ll just see what happens. College is busy as it is.”

In the end, UNO night was a success. Single students gathered, conversed and enjoyed their time in fellowship, sarcastically taking advantage of culture’s praise of Valentine’s Day.

“Maybe it’s just time to make fun of ourselves,” reflected Doll. “There’s a lot of pressure to date, so maybe it’s just time to sit back, cut the pressure and enjoy life.”

For some single students at IWU, they would not argue with Doll’s philosophy. But let’s not forget, “Uno” is the loneliest number that will ever be.

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Valentine’s Day weekend in Grant County

Idyl Wyld
Nothing says “adorably old-fashioned” quite like roller skating. Picture yourself circling the rink thousands of times, holding hands and laughing at how bad you’ve become at skating. When you need a break, there’s a full arcade to impress your significant other with ski ball skills and win a stuffed bear to forever commemorate the date. The Marion skate rink also has a snack bar with nachos, pizza, candy and more. Even better, Friday night is dollar skate night. Go to www.idylwyldskate.com for more information.

Matter Park/Eugene “Beaner” Linn Park
If you’re up for adventure, there are several local opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Matter Park in Marion boasts more than a hundred acres of playgrounds, shelters and walking paths. Additionally, the Eugene “Beaner” Linn Park in Gas City sits on the Mississinewa River. Take a walk along the water, check out the playgrounds, relive your childhood.

Swayzee Antique Mall
If you’re a shopper, try the Swayzee Antique Mall. You never know what treasures you might find as great mementos of your day together. Look at the new items and old antiques, from books to toys to furniture to jewelry to Coca-Cola memorabilia. It’s certainly not your average trip to Wal-Mart.

CSA Art Gallery
If you enjoy the finer things in life, such as art, check out the Community School of the Arts Gallery. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Here you can view the talents of local artists. The Marion gallery features a different artist every month. This month, view Dayne Bonta’s photography from Ireland, Scotland and England. Go to www.csa-marion.com for further details.

Walnut Creek Archery
If you saw “Hunger Games,” which we know you did, you might want to learn how to shoot a bow and arrow like Katniss. At Walnut Creek Archery in Upland, visitors can shoot on both indoor and outdoor ranges for less than $10. It’s not open on Valentine’s Day, but is open the next weekend for a possible post-holiday date. Check out www.walnutcreekarchery.com for the details and location.

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Edito[real]: It’s only February

As the day dedicated to “coupledom” approaches, so do the sad looks given to those still classified as single.

Apparently, the only way to be a respectable and happy human being is to be in a relationship, or so says all those who are in relationships. But, if you are of a certain age (20-plus) and of a certain denomination (Wesleyan) and are not married, well, you, my friend, have been blessed with the gift of singleness. Or so one lady once told me. Welcome.

Now would be a good time to stop reading and soak in the awesomeness that is your destiny of being alone.

Because you have reached an age and are not dating someone, the mindset is you have lost all hope. People don’t tell you all the things you’re missing out on, for fear of hurting your delicate single feelings.

But just think of all the things you may avoid by not having to constantly worry about another person. Never will you have to share desserts, covers or toothbrushes, which I would advise against whether you have been given the gift or not … it really takes the pressure off.

Some people scoff at being patted and told that “some people are just blessed with the gift of singleness.”

But really, when this happens people should reply, “I know, right, it’s awesome,” and go on to tell them that they love not having to change their driver’s licenses or open joint bank accounts.

But seriously, I don’t think there is any such thing as being “blessed with singleness.” But I do think we put too much pressure on finding someone by a certain age and thinking otherwise we have failed. We live in an environment in which you are  judged for being single as well as  judged for being in a relationship.

Why can’t we just all get along? Some people like making out on the couches in McConn, and some people just don’t feel the need to have a circular band by the fourth month of a new calendar year. Who are we to judge… oh, wait, we are Wesleyan, after all.

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The Fratzkes

Dr. B.J. Fratzke’s office is spacious and open. One side is covered with windows, the other with books. Pictures of her husband and family hang above her desk. Her husband, Dr. Mike Fratzke, the division chair of human and health performance, is running late to the interview.

B.J. Fratzke, the division chair of behavioral sciences, said she met her husband at LeTourneau University more than 40 years ago. She was a professor, and he was an upperclassman. As she was asked how she first met her husband, Mike Fratzke joined the interview. B.J. Fratzke looked at her husband and told him to share his first impression of her.

Mike: “I knew she was the one. I saw her walking across the gymnasium – I was on the far end playing badminton – and I said that is the one right there.”

B.J.:“I was wearing a white tennis outfit, and I was pretty nicely tan at that point in time.”

Mike: “She had an Indiana farm tan, [and] white blouse, white shorts, white socks, white tennis shoes.”

B.J.: “Everything white.”

Mike: “Long hair.”

B.J.: “Long dark hair with white teeth showing up.”

The Fratzkes looked at each other and laughed at the memory. Though Mike Fratzke knew immediately that he had found “the one” it took his wife a little longer to notice him.

B.J.: “Gosh, I don’t remember the first time I saw him.”

B.J. Fratzke said that even though it took some time for her to finally meet Mike Fratzke, she had already heard of him.

B.J.: “The real truth of the matter is the secretary of [my] department said to me, ‘Did you notice so and so?’ And I said, ‘Uh yeah.’ ‘Well, he’s single,’ [she said] and from there on she pushed. She thought she had made the match.”

Mike: “A lot of people like to take credit for it, the baseball coach.”

B.J.: “The baseball coach likes to take credit. The brother-in-law said, ‘Well, if it’s going well, I will take credit for it, otherwise…”

They both laughed at this comment. Mike Fratzke’s brother was partially responsible for B.J. Fratzke getting hired at LeTourneau.

Born and raised in Indiana Fratzke moved to Longview, Texas, to take a job as an instructor of physical education. Mike Fratzke was finishing up his undergrad work. In order to begin dating, the Fratzkes asked for special permission.

B.J.: “I got permission from the president of the university to date this young man – well, because I was a professor and he was a student.”

The Fratzkes went on their first date in October, though they couldn’t remember what exactly they did.

B.J.: “We went bowling.”

Mike: “I thought we went the football game first.”

BJ: “We went on the second [date].”

They got married the following June. The Fratzkes stayed at LeTourneau for the next 14 years, with Mike Fratzke joining the faculty two years later. During this time, the Fratzkes welcomed their two daughters. When they finally decided to head back to the Midwest, B.J. Fratzke was not excited to move.

BJ: “I didn’t even come with him to the interview because I was not interested to moving back to Marion. I was happy in my nice southern, warm climate, but as it turns out, the long and short of it is it was God’s place for Mike. So, I came along dragging my heels behind me, I’m quite sure at the beginning.”

Eventually B.J. Fratzke got on board and soon started working at Indiana Wesleyan University too. The Fratzkes said they have never had a problem working at the same institution.

B.J.: “Because we’re in different departments we have totally been OK with it.”

Mike: “You talk about working at the same place… I won’t accept term papers from her. [We]  maintain that separate identities.”

The Fratzkes talk about how the keys to their marriage are communication, giving and admitting you are wrong… sometimes.

B.J.: “I would [say] you really have to have a connectedness between the three of you: the two of us and God. Marriage is work and marriage is a lot of giving, but it’s joyful giving.”

Mike: “To remain teachable.”

B.J.: “That’s a perfect one: Remaining teachable is important, and having a sense of humor, and honestly being able to on occasion admit that you are wrong.”

Mike: “I was going to say on a rare occasion.”

B.J.: “When you really, really are [wrong], admit it and move on grow from it. Relationships are a lot about communication.”

Mike: “And spending time together.”

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