April 2020

Sharing the FPU spirit from a distance

Engaging and encouraging media by FPU students and faculty 

This article is all about featuring some of the interesting projects Fresno Pacific students and faculty have been working on. Some of the projects we’ll talk about are done independently by FPU students to engage viewers or listeners in a discussion, while others are joint efforts by students and faculty specifically as a way to encourage the FPU community during the Covid-19 Pandemic. All of these different projects are alike in that they offer good viewing or listening for those of us wanting to connect with our school or country in some way in times of physical separation. 

Matt and Chan Show

“Matt White and Chandler Maciel are conservative college students from California who love talking politics. We’ll cover the news cycle, discuss culture and religion, and host great guests all to inform the listener with truth, facts, and logic.” – The Matt and Chan Show description from Apple Podcasts

The following is a short interview over email with one of the show’s hosts, Matthew White:

Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?

“We started this podcast in early January and [it] was something we had discussed doing for the past 2 years. We both decided to just do it and we aired our first episode on January 17, 2020. This has been one of the most worthwhile things I’ve done in my life.” 

“One thing that has made this show so fun to do is hearing differing opinions and discussing relevant topics that affect us, the American people. We even had the great opportunity to have Andrew Shinn on the show before he left to go be a United States Economic Diplomat. The episode is available on all streaming platforms: ‘Biden Wins Big, Californians Fight Back and Exclusive Interview w/ Andrew Shinn.’ We are grateful for the opportunity to do this each week. Thank you to our loyal listeners! Till next time this is the Matt and Chan Show.”

Their podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, YouTube and SoundCloud.

FPU Live (@fpulife)

The following is an interview with Rayna Harris, Residence Director at FPU:

What is FPU Live?

“FPU Live is a way to keep students virtually connected to one another over Instagram. We had a LIVE event every weekday at noon on our Instagram page @fpulife. It featured events from study tips to cooking tutorials to crafts to educational topics. Any student is welcome to host on any topic they choose.”

How did FPU Live come about?

“Student Life was looking for ways to keep students connected during this strange time. We decided to use social media to our advantage and set up a fun routine students could look forward to each day. We gathered various student leaders and asked them if they would be willing to host some of the first ones, and then spread the word.”

Do you have a favorite moment of FPU Live?

“There have definitely been some good ones. Some of the humorous ones definitely stand out. We had a spicy noodle challenge, cooking with fun facts, and a meme review. However, some were memorable for other reasons. We have had the Kinect team join us for some worship and devotionals; we also had some good dialogue regarding women’s experiences, and topics discussing how we can support the community during this time.”

Will there be more live videos in the future?

“We will continue to host as long as there is an interest. If anyone wants to host feel free to direct message our Instagram or email me to get on our schedule.”

Lastly, what are some ways students can keep in touch with the FPU community?

“Our hope and prayer for this time is that our community stays safe and well, but also stays connected. We need one another during this time. We hope students take advantage of platforms (as silly as FPU Live can be) to stay connected to one another, and stay hopeful.”

Walk With Me (@collegehour)

The following is an interview conducted over email with Brian Davis, Associate Pastor of Spiritual Formation at FPU.

What is Walk With Me? 

“Walk With Me is our online college hour during the time we are sheltering in place and cannot gather as a whole community for worship and spiritual formation. Following the normal college hour rhythm, we publish short videos given by FPU students, faculty, and staff on Wednesday and Friday on our Instagram account.”

How did Walk With Me come about? 

“The idea that we are all on a spiritual journey is a prominent metaphor in the Bible. No matter the circumstances, we are all walking together. When the guidelines for sheltering in place were given and FPU moved to distance learning, we wanted to do something to help guide our community as we journey together toward Christ.”

 What is your hope for the FPU community during this time? 

“I was reading the book of Ephesians recently and was struck at Paul’s prayer in chapter 3. Like Paul, it’s my prayer that during this time the FPU community ‘may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.’ I don’t know of anything that can sustain us during this time other than the love and power of Christ!”

Theater: Drama Ministry team + Theater program 


In FPU theater, the Drama Ministry team has been spreading positivity and using their platform to remind students that despite the chaos that is happening in the world, God is still present in these times. On Instagram @fresnopacifictheater, the Drama Ministry team has been participating in publishing videos called “1 Minute of Hope” that feature members of the Drama Ministry team talking about a verse that has given them hope in a time of need. 

The first 1 Minute of Hope video was posted on March 28th, 2020 by the director of the theater department, Mark Tyler Miller. He uses Exodus 14, where the people of Israel are leaving Egypt and running away from Pharaoh, then get to the Red Sea and start to panic. Moses says to them:

“Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent” (Exodus 14:13-14 ESV). 

Professor Miller uses this verse to tell students that God is for them and encourage them to stay patient knowing God is always in control. Other videos showcase students like senior Alexa Heinrich, who used Psalms 27 to tell students to lift their joy and find the good in a situation. Heinrich talks about how she has had time to do some spring cleaning and read a book for pleasure, which she would never have had time to do during a normal semester. More members, like freshman Anna Krumpe, have posted videos of encouragement about God’s calming worries and anxiety in uncertain times. 

Junior Tiana Gabel made her 1 Minuter of Hope with Matthew 9, which is about the bleeding woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ clothing and was healed. She talks about how having faith can free us from the fear of uncertainty. Sophomore Micheal Mason uses Luke 1 in his 1 Minute of Hope video to say to have mercy and posture your heart away from fear.

In troubled times, Drama Ministry is praising God’s word and spreading the message to help calm the FPU community. Professor Miller is very passionate about keeping spirits high and staying grounded with grace for our community. In a recent interview with the Syrinx, Professor Miller said, “I believe that theater is supposed to be a means to move people—to bring joy into others’ lives. This is one way to do that. FPU theater is a place where Jesus reigns in every circumstance, and our students and audience members are deeply loved.” 

The curtain may be drawn for the theater department’s show Spitfire Grill, but the Drama Ministry team sets the stage for building up our community with hope and grace in a time of need.

Authors: Madison Alley and Timothy Myracle

Quaranmeme: Top memes about being quarantined

Sheltering in place and remaining in quarantine at home is the new normal for most people in society. Due to this new lifestyle, our trendy culture has begun to create memes about being quarantined. Here are some of our favorite memes about being quarantined.

Despite all these funny memes about being stuck at home in quarantine giving us a good laugh and an outlet from all the craziness in the world, there is still seriousness in this virus spreading around the world. Remember to take precautions and stay safe during this time! 

Authors: Nikki Campos, Austin Noronha, and John Hipskind

Cleaned out by COVID

Nature’s reclaiming of public spaces in a quarantined world

Living on-campus during the first few months of quarantine made me privy to an experience that others like me may find familiar: walking through the coffee shop, the green, and the forest and seeing no one there.

I imagine that this is a far from uncommon experience nowadays. The effects of the quarantine and social distancing on our usual environments have been well-documented, from the usually tourist-filled streets of Oxford being deserted to penguins being allowed to wander now-empty aquariums. The experience, especially when felt personally, is definitely an eerie one—but that alone seems to sell it a bit short.

Being in places that were ordinarily well-occupied in the midst of this pandemic let me see them in, well, their “natural” state.

Being in places that were ordinarily well-occupied in the midst of this pandemic let me see them in, well, their “natural” state. I noticed things about their architecture and atmosphere that I had never noticed before. The way the evening light slants into and warms up the back of the coffee shop, for instance, was more luminous and relaxing than the times I have been there with people around. The interplay of the warm colors on the walls and accompanying dark furniture made it even cozier. It being without people made it easier to appreciate how the whole place was put together; I was able to enjoy the light and peace fully without any worries about how odd it would look.

There are other places where this same effect applies; being in the Forest late at night, even before the quarantine, was a moment of supreme peace and natural beauty. Walking across the Green with no one there let me take in the full picture of the grass, buildings and sky overhead (especially when it was laden with clouds). I haven’t been to Oxford since the lockdown began, but the thought of exploring those cobblestone streets and ancient architecture without worrying about bumping into or interacting with people is a joyful thought.

We tend to regard things in their so-called “natural state” with a certain amount of reverence and awe—hence all our attempts to leave nature preserves, landmarks and the like as untouched as possible. When it is our own creations, structures and features of our own making, this feeling persists, though it is mixed with the strange, almost scary feeling mentioned earlier. This isn’t any less natural; our buildings tend to be more use-based than, say, a cliff or waterfall. To have that use suddenly taken away from them, to see them without it, is naturally affecting.

And yet we see those outdoors things as art in their own right; they’ve certainly inspired it for countless years. Human architecture is not necessarily different; anyone who’s taken a look at a Gothic cathedral, or even the adobe structures of Mexico and the Southwest United States, can acknowledge that something equal to—if not better—than natural beauty can be found and produced by man.

Modern architecture gets a lot of flack for lacking this sort of grace; it seems to have fully embraced the use-oriented nature of our buildings and simplified everything else. But seeing it divorced from that use complicated the picture for me. There’s something in these places, from an empty gymnasium to an abandoned coffee shop. It’s only in the small details, sometimes, and even those can be hidden in the bustle of activity or in their less-noticed corners, but is there. It’s a sort of grace, an openness that allows for the natural environment, if given the chance, to surround, permeate, and become one with it. Inexplicably, in the absence of people, the style accused so much of being unnatural seems to be absorbed into the atmosphere of nature itself.

Different styles will have different effects, though. Medieval and classical buildings, for example, are less assimilated into the environment than they add to it, providing another element that enhances while still seeming to belong. Each kind, however, seems to in some way meld with or contribute to their environment. The connection between human affairs and nature is easily ignored nowadays, but this brings it back to the forefront in an unexpected way.

If safety and health (both present and future) permits, I can’t recommend enough taking the opportunity to spend a few minutes in a once-occupied building that has been left empty by the quarantine. It’s an opportunity to see another side of such places, to let them put on a different (and perhaps purer) face. The uncanny feeling and fear can, sometimes, be hard to overcome (especially all the wild, imagined threats the mind may come up with), but, as they say, “no pain, no gain.” The price of moving through this fear is a sort of literal and figurative enlightenment.

Author: Luke Fredette

How to get through a birthday in quarantine

Party for one, anyone? While we are all struggling to cope with our new virtual reality, for those who are trying to celebrate their birthdays, it can be a bit of a struggle. Although it is easy to pinpoint everything you are missing out on this birthday, it is best to find the positive and focus on that. In the past it was easy to get lost in our typical fast-paced life, stressing about seeing everyone we care about, having the perfect outfit, dinner plans and so much more, that we often forgot to take in the little things. As this is a year no one will ever forget, here are 5 ideas to have a memorable birthday, even in quarantine. 

  1. Use technology to your advantage! In today’s modern society we are extremely fortunate to have technology that allows us to easily communicate with one another. With apps such as Zoom, Google Hangout, Skype and Facetime, it is still possible to see your loved ones on your birthday no matter the distance. An additional bonus is that the apps are all free. For those who are crafty or just simply bored, go onto Canva, a free online design website, and create your own birthday invitation containing directions for when your meeting will begin. Invitations are an easy and fun way to invite your favorite people to join you online!
  2. For those who are now back at home, this one’s for you: a themed dinner night! As it is your birthday, pick a theme and have your family come dressed to dinner as this theme! Not only does it allow you to have a nice family dinner, but hopefully leaves everyone laughing as well. Afterwards break out your favorite board games and keep the themed night going!
  3. If a virtual party is not enough for you, then a car parade may be your best friend! For those who have cars and follow the social distance rules, car parades are an excellent idea to see your friends safely! Have your friends drive separately (this is important), meet at a location that is not your house at an agreed upon time, and once everyone is there, drive to your house singing happy birthday once you can see them! If you really want to kick it up a notch, decorate your car, but don’t forget your mask!
  4. Missing the outdoors? Then try having an at-home camp out. Although the outdoors are closed, your back yard and living room are not! Nothing screams nostalgia quite like forts, blankets, movies and junk food. This is a great way to get your family involved and taking a trip down memory lane. Another great addition is downloading Netflix Party! Netflix Party is an app that allows you to share-screen Netflix with your friends at home so that you can watch together! Family, friends and glamping? What’s better than that!
  5. Lastly, while we wish we were with our friends, we sometimes forget that we should use this time to do what we want to do, and what’s a better day to have a personal day than one’s birthday? Take this day to do what you want to do! Whether you decide to bake your own birthday cake, make Tik-Toks, have a spa day, play video games or read, it’s all up to you! Remember, you only have a birthday one day a year!

Although a quarantine birthday is not what anyone had in mind as we entered 2020, there are still ways to make this a birthday you won’t forget. In these times it is simplicity, good family and friends that remind us of how fortunate we truly are.

Author: Shyanne Mortimer


Hulu Edition

For those who love to binge watch, it is common to get bored on one streaming service once you have seen everything and move on to the next. However, there are people who do not have access to the other streaming services we have written about. Therefore, we thought we would share our favorite Hulu shows and movies. While these times are hard for everybody, now is a good time to binge watch and maybe even find your new favorite TV show.

As usual, we will be breaking our top picks into six categories, our first category being Reality TV shows. While Reality TV may not be everyone’s first choice, it allows you an hour to simply forget about your own problems. Watching others and what they are doing has the ability to take your mind off of what is currently happening in the real world and transport you to a sometimes more peaceful time. For those who already watch Reality TV or are looking for a show to help escape reality, then this is the category for you. Hulu has a great array of Reality TV shows such as: Real Housewives, with Beverly Hills being a fan favorite, Vanderpump Rules, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Dance Moms, Love Island (UK) and Say Yes to the Dress. From drama, to happiness, to laughter, these shows will have you watching for hours.

Following this, our next category is one that will bring you lots of happiness and laughter as you watch. For this, we have chosen Comedy to be our second category. Struggles around the world have us all needing a bit of laughter at times, and Hulu has the perfect shows to do this. Our top picks for this category are: Brooklyn 99, Black-ish, Grown-ish, How I Met Your Mother and The Goldbergs. During times of struggle, sometimes we just need to sit down and have a good laugh, a thing these shows never fail at causing.

Although everyone needs a good laugh, at times it is helpful to connect to those who are also feeling the same emotions in which we ourselves are struggling with. Having said this, we have decided to make Drama our third category. During a time when there are many emotions to be felt, watching a show in which communication is effective and empathy can be seen allows for one to also stay in touch with emotions they may be feeling. For both new and old Drama watchers, we have selected these shows as our top picks that we feel people will greatly enjoy: One Tree Hill, The Handmaid’s Tale, Little Fires Everywhere, American Horror Story, Desperate Housewives, Looking for Alaska and Station 19. At a time when we need to access our emotions the most, these shows are sure to help you feel them.

While staying inside I’m sure many have begun looking at their childhood photos or reminisced on a time when the world felt normal again, as have we. Therefore, we decided to dedicate our fourth category to Throwback TV Shows. Hulu has an excellent choice of shows that are sure to take you back to your childhood. A few of our favorite Throwback shows include Full House, Drake & Josh, Reba, Gravity Falls, The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Make it or Break it. From laughter, to the reminiscing of memories, to emotions, these shows are sure to give you all the feels you felt as a child.

For our readers who like to feed into their competitive side we also have competition show recommendations. These can be broken down into two main categories: fashion/entertainment and cooking. In terms of the entertainment spectrum Hulu offers shows such as Project Runway, The Voice, Scream Queens and America’s Got Talent. These shows have competitions focused on the entertainment industry and showcase various talents and abilities. Our second category of competitive cooking contains Master Chef’s, Cake Boss, Hell’s Kitchen and Masterchef. Whether you prefer watching people bake monstrous cakes or face challenges in making a five-course meal these shows are sure to satisfy your cravings. 

If TV shows aren’t your jam fret not, we have movies too! There are an endless array of titles and genres of film on Hulu. Our recommendations are A Simple Favor, Heathers, Good Will Hunting, Wonder, Super 8, The Fault in Our Stars and Horton Hears a Who. Movies are a great way to occupy some of your free time during this quarantine. Those we have recommended here vary from scorned women getting justice to a retelling of Dr. Seuss. With our suggestions and the surplus of other options available on the streaming service there’s truly something for everyone.
Binge-Worthy material is available on every type of streaming service and Hulu is no exception. Within television there is reality, comedy, drama, throwback, and competition.
Each of these genres offer an assortment of shows that range in intensity and interest. We also recommended a few films found on Hulu. During the quarantine students and faculty are busy with working on assignments and making deadlines so when you get overwhelmed or need a good distraction from things one of these shows or movies is a great place to turn to. All of these titles and more are available on Hulu. Happy binging!

Authors: Shyanne Mortimer and Dani Mercado

Stay fit while staying safe

How to stay in shape during the quarantine

We are facing so many changes right now. Our current situation has left us unable to leave our homes unless we need essential services. This poses concerns for our health and well-being because we aren’t able to stay as active as we may have been before. Sports we were involved with are suspended, gyms we attended are closed and our local hot spots for other physical fitness activities are not available either. We want to provide you with a few helpful ideas on ways to stay in shape while still staying safe.

  1. Create a routine that fits your schedule. If you are used to a specific gym schedule, plan your day accordingly for exercise during that time. You can use a variety of tools to help you get in a workout straight from home. YouTube is a great source of videos for different types of workouts. See which type fits your style.
  2. Arrange time to stand up and walk around. Avoid being sedentary. We all know binging Netflix, doing our classwork and studying keeps us laying on our bed more than usual, so set an alarm on your phone to make you get up and walk around your house every 30-45 minutes. Stretch your legs and back.
  3. Give yourself time to meditate. Even though we are staying indoors most of the time, this is still a high-stress point in our lives. We need some quiet time to collect our thoughts, take a breath and relax.
  4.  If you are comfortable venturing a short distance outside your house, take a walk around your neighborhood or ride a bike. 30 minutes a day is the recommended amount of cardiovascular exercise recommended. (Being able to respect social distancing outside is easier and you can opt to wear a mask.)
  5. There are many apps on the app store that you can utilize that will offer you exercise programs. Many of these cost money, but they also come with meal plans and will often send equipment to your home. Some apps include: Cardiotrainer, JEFIT, OPENfit.
  6. There are also several streaming services you can use that offer great options. Some suggestions are: plyojam.com, ondemandfhittingroom.com, obefitness.com. All these services have fees, but are very popular and have many different opportunities for keeping yourself in shape and active right now.

We at the Syrinx want to keep all our student athletes in mind right now because we know that the inability to stay active in your sport can be very frustrating and we hope that you will soon be able to get back out and practice, play and enjoy your team and sporting events. At the same time, it is important to remain mindful of looking at the positives and remember there is a plan for our future. Staying active can help us remain patient through these difficult times. 

Author: Janelle Fontaine

Local restaurants to support during shelter in place

15 Local Restaurants to Visit 

Due to the shelter in place, restaurants have been instructed to close dining in and only have takeout orders. However, this doesn’t mean we have to stop supporting local restaurants in our local area. Below is a list of 15 of The Syrinx staff’s top choices for their favorite local restaurants to buy food from. Go out and try a new place to eat to support our local restaurants during the shelter in place!

Maw n Paws

2686 N Clovis Ave 

Fresno, CA 93727

Description: If you’re looking for yummy BBQ that serves tri tip, brisket, pastrami and many more delicious BBQ entrees, this is the place to visit! 

Kabob City 

682 E Nees Avenue #101 

Fresno, CA 93720 

Description: Come enjoy a taste of delicious Mediterranean food! Marinated chicken on a bowl of rice with a delicious garlic sauce is my go to dish at this place! 


7775 N Palm Avenue 

Fresno, CA 93711 

Description: Looking for a burger that satisfies your hungry tummy? Then this is the place to go! 

Antonio’s Mexican Restaurant 

7959 N Blackstone Ave 

Fresno,CA 93720 

605 Herndon Avenue 

Clovis,CA 93612 

Description: If you’re craving some authentic Mexican food, then check out Antonio’s Mexican Restaurant in one of their two locations! 

Rocket Dog Brats and Brew 

88 E Shaw Avenue 

Fresno, CA 93710 

Description: Rocket Dog Brats and Brew serves gourmet hotdogs that are simply delicious! 

Hungry Bear Cookies 

5090 N Palm Avenue 

In Fig Garden Village 

Fresno, CA 93704 

Description: If you’re looking for something sweet while being stuck at home during shelter-in-place, then check out this place! 

Nothing Bundt Cakes 

635 W Herndon Ave Suite 100 

Clovis, CA 93612 

Description: If cookies are not your thing, then maybe bundt cakes are! Try out this place for some delicious bundt cakes! 

La Kebrada Mexican Restaurant

9415 N Fort Washington Rd STE 101 

Fresno, CA 93730 

1175 N Fowler Ave #105 

Clovis,CA 93611  

Description: La Kebrada Mexican Restaurant serves traditional Mexican dishes! 

Big Mama’s 

2431 Jensen Avenue 

Sanger, CA 93657 

Description: For those of you that are still on campus at FPU, take a quick drive down Jensen Avenue and try out Big Mama’s for some yummy burgers and fries! 

Qwench Juice Bar 

1850 Herndon Avenue STE 108 

Clovis, CA 93611 

Description: Wanting something more healthy? Try out Qwench Juice Bar! They serve Açaí bowls and juices! 

Dog House Grill 

2789 E Shaw Avenue 

Fresno,CA 93710 

Description: When I hear Dog House Grill all I think about is a Tri Tip sandwich with some fries! However, they also serve burgers and salads that are delicious! 

Batter Up Pancakes 

8029 N Cedar Avenue 

Fresno, CA 93270 

Description: Don’t want to cook breakfast? Then order Batter Up Pancakes! Personally, I LOVE their Banana Bread French Toast with strawberries, blueberries and bananas! 


75 Bullard Ave 

Clovis, CA 93612 

Description: Bowlzeye serves delicious Asian Fusion and Teriyaki style food! 

Full O Bull Sandwich Shop 

632 5th Street 

Clovis, CA 93612 

Description: Craving a sandwich? Checking out Full O Bull Sandwich Shop! 

Pita Kabob Mediterranean Fusion Grill

In Rancho Viejo Shopping Center

5101 W Walnut Ave  


Description: If you don’t live in the Fresno area, maybe this restaurant in Visalia will be closer! They serve delicious Mediterranean food! 

Enjoy and have fun trying out a new restaurant! Post a pic of you trying a new restaurant and use the hashtag #fpusyrinx to be shared/reposted on The Syrinx Instagram!

Author: Nikki Campos

Zooming with the Sunbirds

Students are waking up and getting ready for class, in front of their webcams. This is the new normal for us. Since classes have moved to Zoom, students have had to adjust to this change in learning. While it has allowed classes to meet without risk of spreading the virus, it has also drastically altered both the way they’re conducted by the teachers and perceived by the students.

In order to get a grasp of the latter perspective, The Syrinx presents the following testimonies about the feelings and rigors of Zoom-centered courses, from staff members who, as fellow members of the FPU community, are experiencing them alongside you.

Nikki Campos

Getting up 10 minutes before my 8 a.m. class to brush my teeth and then jump on Zoom for class has become my new schedule. Despite how wonderful it is to sleep in, there’s a part of me that misses getting up early to beat the morning traffic and find a parking spot on campus. I miss being able to see my friends on campus and in classes. Zoom allows classes to continue and for all of us to see one another’s faces, but it’s simply not the same. Zoom classes, personally, have made it hard for me to learn. I’m a face-to-face type of person who likes to be in a traditional classroom to learn. Having a virtual classroom through Zoom has been a struggle for me, however, I’ve realized this is only a season of my education. The normal face-to-face classes will resume and college will go back to normal, but until then I’ll continue to wake up 10 minutes before my 8 a.m. class on Zoom and push through this challenging time in my education. 

Luke Fredette 

Given a choice between doing purely online exercises and taking Zoom classes, I would have to choose Zoom classes. For one thing, it helps to keep my schedule consistent if I have to attend classes at the same time. For another, it keeps up, to some degree, the personal interactions that make college courses the special experiences they can be. I’d be lying to say that they were a perfect substitute, though—it’s easier to get distracted when you’re a click away from literally anything else, and this can intrude upon the extra thinking that you can sometimes get done in the lull periods of classes. But those distractions are even more tempting in the case of online exercises; there are no conversations—or any other reason—to pull your attention back to the topic at hand. I understand that the Zoom method doesn’t work for every professor, but in a time where face-to-face classes are impossible, it’s the best substitute we can hope for.

Dani Piper 

Sleeping late is great, but I miss those in-person sessions. I’m glad that Zoom classes offer a way for us students and faculty to interact with each other. I was already taking some of my classes online so the move to online-entirely wasn’t too daunting. I have found out many things about myself as a student through Zoom. I definitely like having a routine and schedule, and when I don’t my productivity falls by the wayside. This is because not all of my classes are required to meet via zoom so my schedule is entirely up to me. This also means remembering due dates and hours—thank goodness for planners! However, there is a silver lining. This experience has forced me to improve my productivity skills. I find Zoom overall as a good alternative for what is going on. It is far from the ideal but it is a way in which we can still come together and learn. 

Nate Van Dyke

Transitioning to Zoom classes was a really strange experience and the transition was definitely more challenging than the Zoom classes themselves. Going from having a firm class schedule, to no class schedule whatsoever, back to having Zoom classes totally messed with my schedule, awareness of when assignments were due, and my attention span. The two weeks after spring break have been rough just because of that transition process. Still, the Zoom calls in themselves have been a minor blessing. It definitely isn’t the same as being in classes with teachers and other students, but it is a close second and it is much better than not having anything at all. The interactive features of Zoom, like the chat and the breakout room discussions, make it more than just a video lecture. Because, honestly, the thing that I miss the most about the classes is interacting with the other students in the classroom and hearing different perspectives from my own and the teacher’s. I could listen to a video lecture and probably get almost as much out of it as I would listening to a lecture in class, but the in class discussions are what made the experience truly valuable. So even though Zoom classes aren’t exactly the same, I find myself very thankful for the technology making my senior year not a complete loss. 

Even though Zoom classes just don’t measure up to in-person classes, it is still a blessing in disguise. Students even ten years ago wouldn’t have had the same opportunities in a global situation like this. So even though we keep having those awkward silences, lagged out screens and we are never quite sure if people are wearing pants, Zoom allows us to still stay as connected as possible while we fight the pandemic together.

Lent for the Layman

How both spiritual and non-spiritual people can benefit from Lenten observance

Lent is a common practice in our society due to us being founded and established on Judeo-Christian values. As a Christian campus, there are many students who partake in this practice, for religious reasons and health reasons. But what is Lent? 

No matter our spiritual beliefs, Lent can give us an opportunity to try to better our lives in some way and so has something for everyone.

According to 40acts.org, “Lent is the six week period leading up to Easter. It’s one of the most important times of year for many Christians around the world, particularly those within the Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox traditions, held at a similar level of importance to Advent – the build up to Christmas.” The tradition of Lent is giving up something that is meaningful to someone, like sweets, video games or social media, and not having any access to it until Easter. The significance of that is when Jesus did not eat for forty days while wandering the desert. There are students of Catholic backgrounds on our campus that practice Lent, and usually wear ash on their forehead on Ash Wednesday, which is the start of Lent. 

In Catholic and similar traditions, the emphasis is often a spiritual one; it is a time for removing those loves and desires that might separate us from or otherwise get in the way of our relationship with God. It is easy to get caught up in worldly pleasures and seeming needs, but Lent offers us the opportunity, through voluntarily giving up something that holds that significance for us, to realize that it is faith and fidelity to God that is the ultimate source of happiness. Everyone has experienced the feeling of having something you are used to taken away; it often surprises us how much panic or anger this can prompt, and how dependent we have grown on the given thing. Regardless of whether it is, in and of itself, good or bad, sacrificing it for the forty days of Lent allows us to see clearly how fleeting that sort of thing really is.

What exactly is given up will therefore naturally vary by person, based on their personal desires and failings. Sometimes it is a sinful (or borderline-sinful) practice that is abandoned; at other times, it is something (like chocolate or a certain kind of drink) that we may like a bit too much—it doesn’t necessarily damage our relationship, but it is a significant enough presence in our lives that we would notice (and miss it) if it were gone. It is a highly personal choice and, in the Catholic faith, at least, a largely voluntary one—while avoiding meat on Fridays and fasting on certain holy days is required, the Lenten sacrifice is an exercise of purley personal devotion. That it is encouraged so strongly (and seen by so many) as a requirement is, perhaps, evidence of the spiritual importance it can have for us.

For those who for one reason or another cannot give something up, there is also the option of taking something up. This can amount to extra daily prayers, regular (or increased) donations to charity or any amount of volunteer work during the Lenten season. The focus is still the same—to bring ourselves closer to God—but rather than doing it by removing a potential distraction, it is done by adding something more spiritual or beneficial to others into our lives, to try and live actively more like Christ. 

In both of these cases, it is hoped that the lesson, either of something’s importance or its unimportance, is carried with and acted upon by us in the months between the end of this Lent and the start of the next. It is fundamentally a season of spiritual self-improvement.

While Lent is a common practice in the Christian faith, however, it has also started to gain popularity for those who aren’t especially religious. There are many health benefits to Lent, as giving up something that would normally be considered unhealthy obviously will help to produce a healthier lifestyle. One of the most popular things given up for Lent is sweets; we all know that too many sweets are not at all healthy for the body. According to an article from Talking Points Memo, “Like any religious fast, Lent forces you to think about what you’re eating, why you’re eating it, and whether it’s tied to your goodness as a person. It provides an opportunity to believe you can start fresh.”

A part of that starting fresh may also involve the addition of new behaviors. You could spend more time with your family, or finally start that exercise regimen you’ve been planning. In the same vein as the religiously-inclined, you could also use this opportunity to help others through charity and volunteering. All of these activities have been shown to improve and enrich both our lives and the lives of those around us, and Lent offers a convenient season for us to pursue this especially. Many other religious seasons have been used for great good even by those who do not happen to believe—there is no reason that the time leading up to Easter should be any different.  

No matter our spiritual beliefs, Lent can give us an opportunity to try to better our lives in some way and so has something for everyone. There is always room for improving our lives in any dimension, and trying to make some sort of sacrifice is a way to push our minds and bodies towards that end.

Authors: John Hipskind and Luke Fredette

Have Game – Won’t Travel

Games to play online with friends and family while social distancing

While sheltering in place to curtail the spread of the Corona virus, many of us are unable to stay in contact with friends and family as much as we’d like. Thankfully there are conversations to be had by phone call, texting and over webcam. However, sometimes there’s not much to talk about and those conversations just don’t end up happening. What’s a potential solution for this problem? Video games! People often interact best while doing a mutual task together. That’s why online video games can be a great way to connect with your pals and loved ones, hanging out while doing something together. Aside from just being a blast, video games also offer a great way to make some memories and stay in touch. 

In case you’re new to video games or just might be looking for some ideas, we’ve got a convenient little list here for you to check out. Some count as full-fledged “video games” while others are just apps, and not all of them are of the same quality or price. What do they have in common? They can all be played with friends and family online while you stay safe at home.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare: Warzone

-Platforms: (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

-ESRB Rating: Mature 17+

-Price: Free

Call of Duty returns with a free game mode (Warzone) accompanying Modern Warfare. This is their second Battle Royale style of online multiplayer, the first being only available with Black Ops III. Warzone joins PUBG, Fortnite and Apex Legends in today’s lineup of popular Battle Royale games. Warzone is completely free to play and offers crossplay via Activision account with PS4, Xbox One and Windows 10 on PC.

Imagine Games Network (better known as IGN), a popular video game-related media website and news source, gives Warzone a rating of 7/10.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

-Platform: Nintendo Switch 

-4 players local co-op on the same system and online multiplayer with additional game copies and systems

-Price: $59.99

What’s not to love about living in a village populated with cute, friendly anthropomorphic animals? That’s the question Animal Crossing asks and apparently it really hits the spot for some people. Animal Crossing games are very fun and relaxing if you enjoy fishing, cutting down trees and running small errands while customizing your house and more. This particular Animal Crossing game was just released a little over a week ago and takes place on your own personal island. Non-local online play requires a Nintendo Online subscription.

IGN Rating: 9/10

IGN has a great YouTube video that explains how to join your friends on Animal Crossing: New Horizons or invite them to your Island! (Here’s the link).

Space Team

-Platform: Smart phone (available on the App Store and Google Play)

-Play with people in the room with you or online with Bunch


An enjoyably stressful game, Space Team can be played by downloading the app then making at least one other person download the app. Then, shout directions at each other and push buttons and levers to keep your spaceship working and your team alive. 

You can also play while video chatting with friends or family outside the home by downloading another app called Bunch

No IGN rating

Brawl Stars

-Platform: Smart phone (available on App Store and Google Play)

-Play with friends in person or with those farther away online


Brawl Stars is a team battle game played from a top-down perspective that is about as action packed as possible. It has a cute and cartoony look to it that is coupled with a fun and rewarding gameplay loop. Unlock new characters with unique abilities and strategize with your friends, or skip that part and just run into the fray, Leeroy Jenkins style.

This game also supports playing while talking with friends via the Bunch app!

No IGN rating


-Platform: PC   

-Co-op (Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game) 


Runescape is a game where you continuously level up your character in an effort to go on towards bigger quests that often involve fighting monsters and using magic. The game can be played with friends and teammates or against friends in duels and castle siege-type games. You can level up your character skills all the way up to level 99, and as you level up you should be seeking to make money at the same time. Money in the game can buy your character new armor, weapons, houses and much more. Speaking of money, this game is also completely free to play. Runescape is available as an app on some devices but is mostly played as a PC game. 

This game involves a lot of interaction with random players. Always exercise caution with your personal information when playing multiplayer games online.

No IGN rating

NBA 2K20

-Platform: Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One

-Local Co-op (shared screen) on some platforms and online multiplayer

-$29.99 – $59.99

Looking to turn virtual sports into a reality? NBA 2K20 offers a simulation experience like no other. You can customize a basketball player and be drafted to different teams in which you will work on different skills and play various games against other top-rated basketball teams. If you don’t have enough time on your hands, don’t worry! You can also play quick games where you can pick a team and play against your friends instead of going through a campaign. 

IGN Rating: 7.8/10

League Of Legends

-Platform: PC

-Online Multiplayer


League of legends is a competition-based strategy game that utilizes three lanes. You have choices as to which champion to play and which lane you are choosing to defend. The main goal of the game is to push the lanes, forcing your way into the enemies’ territory and destroying their base. While this is going on you have opportunities to fight dragons and a monster called Baron in attempts to level up the whole team. The goal is to strategize in the best way possible while helping your team. The stronger you are as a team, the faster you can dominate the playing field and lanes.

IGN Rating: 8/10

Authors: Timothy Myracle and Austin Noronha