SU helps support Senior University

Local seniors return to the classroom with Senior University

Local seniors return to the classroom with Senior University

If you feel like you’ve been seeing a lot more old people around campus lately, you’re observations are not unwarranted. Residents of Sun City are moving in and becoming your classmates. Okay, not really, but they are taking classes here. It’s called Senior University, and 600 residents of Sun City are enrolled.

“The program has been in effect for 12 years,” said Mary Kay Pierson, the president on the board of directors for Senior University. “There were about six or seven people who lived in Sun City that wanted some kind of intellectual stimulation rather than just golfing and cards. So they formed this club where people would come and give lectures.”

The program quickly grew from 200 students to its current 600, and needed a new home for its 38 classes.

“It seemed to me that there was a separation between Sun City and Georgetown. I kept thinking, ‘We can’t have this!’ Sun City is a neighborhood, not a town.”

Pierson quickly met with Ron Swain and President Schrum about the possibility of housing classes here.

“The 10-year plan stated that there would be more community involvement. It’s taken about two years, but it has finally worked. We have this connection with Southwestern, and I’m thrilled.”

Sitting in on one of the Senior University classes was an interesting experience. The class I attended was entitled, “Great Decisions.” It was a discussion-based class taught by Dr. Jay Pierson, and that evening’s topic was Russia’s past and future. It was the sixth week in their semester, which is not particularly far off from our current eighth week. There were 20 or so students in the room, not far off from our 13 student average. In fact, nearly everything about Senior University is the same. Held in Olin 111 from 4:30 to 6 p.m., the room was filled with lively discussion, coffee, note-taking, a Powerpoint presentation and a 15 minute movie.

There were quiet students sitting in the back, talkative students sitting in the front and no texting or ringing phones. Each and every student was actively engaged in the lecture, and the life experiences of each student contributed something amazing to the discussion. At one point, I forgot entirely that I wasn’t sitting in one of my regular classes, and only snapped back to consciousness with the realization that I had begun taking notes.

“We are so fortunate that we have a wealth of retired professors here living in this town as well as in the neighborhood of Sun City,” said Pierson. “Professors from University of Michigan, University of Arizona, New York…it’s just incredible. They love teaching, but they don’t want to do it full-time, because they’re retired. But they miss the classroom dynamics, so they teach for us. Being on the campus with younger students keep them vital, keeps them alive, and that’s something I firmly believe in.”

What do programs like Senior University mean for the rest of us? “When I tell my granddaughter that I’m taking classes and she says, ‘Maymay, you’re still in school?’” Pierson said, laughing. “It makes the grandchildren of these people realize that school is something you value the rest of your life. It’s not something that stops when you’re 23 or 24, and you’ve gotten your degrees behind you. It’s a lifelong thing.”

Post-election Letdown

I, like other election junkies, was somewhat disappointed in the results of last Tuesday’s primaries here in Texas.  The election was billed as the battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party and was supposed to be the clash of the titans with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson taking on Governor Rick Perry.  The ads featured on TV were blistering.  Hutchinson labeled Perry as a hyper-partisan and Perry responded by calling her a Washington insider.  In an election year that will be bad for incumbent Governors, Rick Perry was supposed to crash and burn in a fiery defeat.  Polls from as recent as September of 2009 showed Hutchinson winning the election.  Six months later and she ended up being the one who was destroyed.

On the other side of the isle, Bill White easily won the nomination to be the Democrats’ nominee for Governor.  He is the best candidate the Democrats have fielded since Governor Ann Richards lost to Dubya in 1994.   The national wave in 2010 is likely to favor Republicans, but should Rick Perry breath easy?  I don’t think so.

While Perry won 51.1% of the votes in the primary, this also means that 48.9% of the votes were cast against him.  After 10 years some Republicans are starting to get sick of him.  Bill White was mayor of Houston for 6 years and won re-election with wide margins by appealing to both mainstream Democrats and business-oriented Republicans.  The Democrats also nominated Linda Chavez-Thompson  for Lieutenant Governor.  While I highly doubt that Chavez-Thompson can take down incumbent David Dewhurst, she has the ability to turn out the vote.  Regardless of any way you spin the numbers, Bill White will have to fight an uphill battle to take down Rick Perry.  However, it is undeniable that the ingredients for a Perry defeat exist.

While it is impossible to predict elections this far out, pollsters and forecasters are already taking a look at the results here in Texas.  Because of the uncertainty heading into the general election, Charlie Cook, a leading political analyst, changed his race rating for Texas from “leans Republican” to “toss-up.”  When was the last time any state-wide election in Texas was a “toss-up?”  1994.  It’s been 16 years since our last competitive election and I’m personally excited to see what happens.  Regardless if Perry ends up serving till 2014 or we end up welcoming Governor White, this election promises to be exciting.  (Or at least more exciting than the Republican primary.)

High praise for “Urinetown”

Bobby Strong (Evan Faram) leads the rebellion. Photo by Eric Gonzales.

Bobby Strong (Evan Faram) leads the rebellion. Photo by Eric Gonzales.

Sure, it’s a strange title. But it’s also one of the funniest musical satire’s to cross Southwestern’s stage in years. If you have an appreciation for musical theater and off-beat humor, then Urinetown will make you laugh till you have to… well, you’ll laugh a lot. It’s an original and unexpected play from the corrupt cops enforcement on the ban of public urination to the underground sewer hideout of the rebellion.

The premise of the play is rather silly and absurd; the town has been plagued by a never ending drought and private bathrooms have been outlawed. All citizens must pay outrageous fees for public toilets run by a “large monopolizing company” that is utterly ruthless. If you cannot pay, you are taken to Urinetown, and you never come back. Bobby Strong takes over one of these Public Amenities and leads the town in rebellion, but the catch is that he is in love with the daughter of the president of the company!

Matthew Harper as Officer Lockstock (center) with the cast of Urinetown. Photo by Eric Gonzales.

Matthew Harper as Officer Lockstock (center) with the cast of Urinetown. Photo by Eric Gonzales.

The play is a satire of musical theater and was written by Mark Holliman and Greg Kotis. The songs are very enthusiastically choreographed and sang, leading to a very upbeat feeling for the audience. Directed by Rick Roemer, Urinetown pokes fun at Brechtian theater and the ridiculous nature of exposition in musicals. But despite the light-heartedness of the show, a very serious message is conveyed about over-consumption of the earth’s natural resources and the unsustainability of our way of life. Some of the absurdity is almost too much, but it is always counterbalanced with a touch of realism from the love shared by Bobby Strong and Hope Cladwell.

The incredible ensemble is not to be overlooked.

Urinetown enlightens and delights theater-goers. Photo by Eric Gonzales.

Urinetown enlightens and delights theater-goers. Photo by Eric Gonzales.

There are no weak links in the cast. Every person holds their own and contributes to the show making it irresistibly funny and incredible. If you haven’t seen Urinetown yet then you should make time for it right now. Tickets are still available for Friday, Saturday and Sunday’s performance, so make haste! No one should miss this dazzling rendition of Broadway’s Urinetown.

Intro

So I am what my dad calls an ” Angry Little Girl.” And, while I’ll admit that I do harbor some anger, much of my anger leads to insight into some really bizarre things. Through this blog, I will be able to let others in to my angry tirades about everything from boyfriends, roommates, to the “wonderful” place we happily call our school.

I also encourage you to disagree with the things I say in the comment section. Gaining insight into the minds of others about things that affect me is really important. Why should I be the only one with a (usually biting, scathing, and, well, cynical) opinion?  The only thing  I ask is that you do not attack me personally, because I will find you, and probably won’t be too pleasant when I rip you a new one. Attacks on my opinions are one thing, attacks on me are a completely different matter.

So follow me on this little experiment that I have planned for myself. Maybe my cynicism will eventually be  less so, and my dad’s nickname for me will be unnecessary………….or not.

Because I really am this bitchy.

:)

This is me and my boyfriend...all the time.

This is me and my boyfriend...all the time.

SU Track and Field Begins Season

The 2010 track and field season started off with a bang for both the men and women, with various school records being set.  The teams traveled to the Incarnate Word Invitational in San Antonio to face stiff competition against Division 2 schools Incarnate Word, Angelo State, and Tarleton State.  Other schools that showed up to the meet included Trinity, Lon Morris, University of Dallas, Concordia, Sul Ross, and Texas Lutheran.


The day started off with the distance medley relay (DMR).  The men took forth with a time of 10:56.43 behind a team that included Daniel Rudd, Avery Sheppard, Addison English, and Allen Smith.  The women took fifth behind a team that included Tami Warner, Jillian Curran, Laura Kromann, and Christina Hadly. The DMR is not a common event in outdoor meets, but meet officials decided to include this event to “raise excitement in the stadium”.  Since the team has never run this event before, school records were established for both the men and women.


Matt Wladyka set a school record in the shot put with a throw of 8.23m, finishing 15th.  The men’s sprint medley relay (SMR) set a school record as well, taking fourth with a time of 1:44.53.


The men’s 5k proved to be an exciting race, with two runners breaking the previous school record of 16:06.  Rudd and Sam Martinez ran 15:45 and 15:46, respectively, to finish 9th and 10th. Zach Freeland and transfer Stephen Fuentes ran 16:14 and 16:15, respectively.  Both times were personal records.


“We all ran great times and we are really progressing as a group,” Freeland said.  “I’m really excited to see what we can do this season.”


Both the men and women will next compete at the Tarleton Relays on March 11 in Stephenville.

Word Up: Defining liberal and conservative

Conservatism and liberalism have different understandings of human nature.

Conservatism and liberalism have different understandings of human nature.

As a self-avowed environmentalist, gay marriage supporter, pro-choice supporter and reader of The New Yorker, most people would call me a liberal. However, I would disagree with that label. To me, the terms “liberal” and “conservative” have become increasingly confused by the inaccurate nomenclature used by the media. What I will try to do is give you my opinion on what the terms mean, based on generalizations, and how exactly I would define myself.

The difference between liberals and conservatives has nothing to do with the traditional party lines that often divide each other. Furthermore, the tenets of liberalism such as secularism, egalitarianism and governmental control over some aspects of life, are the same values held by conservatives. If we exclude crazy populists, libertarians, the oxymoronic social conservatives, socialists and other sundry political extremists, we will see that the commonly cited schism between the two is a false dichotomy. That is not to say there is no difference between the two, but I would like to rephrase it so we can get a better understanding about what the terms mean. The notions of traditionalism and religiosity that often surround conservatism and the notions of pure freedom that surround liberalism are incorrect ascriptions to say the least. Here is what I think the main distinction is:

To me the difference can be boiled down to one principle idea, which many people fail to recognize, and that is the respective understandings of the qualities of human nature. As it is, liberals tend to believe in a mutable human nature, while conservatives see human nature as more static. Now you might be thinking, “How can that ever produce any of the differences we currently see?”

The answer is that this mode of perception drastically alters the way government interacts with its populace. The reason why conservatives tend to be more antagonistic toward pacifism, large government and socialistic policy has everything to do with this.

Conservatives, for lack of a better stereotype, see human nature as more cynical than liberals do. A chief component of this negativity, or realism as some would like to call it, is humanity’s intrinsic greed and violence. Liberals generally believe that greed, especially the sort favored by capitalism, and violence are social constructions that can be gotten rid of through social progressivism. This is why you often see diplomacy as the general policy of liberals while conservatives tend to see war as a chief consideration, albeit a last resort.

In addition to this, liberals tend to favor more governmental control and socialistic policies because they see that people can be incentivized to act for the general good will of the people. Liberals tend to be more sympathetic to communism for these reasons, while conservatives respond negatively because they see human greed as a perennial facet of all humanity that selfishly destroys all attempts to aid everybody for the good of the whole.

Another chief difference that follows from the more people-centeredness of liberals is their favoring of political correctness and hate crime laws. Conservatives view these as infringements of the very idea of democracy. They generally see political correctness as a denial of an individual’s right to free speech because he or she may offend someone. In addition to this, conservatives tend to view laws against hate crimes as a threat to the notion of true equality because if everybody is equal why do some groups get preferential treatment?

Obviously there are many differences that follow from this; the crux of the difference comes down to a fundamental notion of what constitutes human nature. As far as I’m concerned, after having thought about these issues since I had my first political thought at age 13 or so, I don’t feel like either label fits. Honestly, I agree more with anarchism but that is a horribly connotative notion and nobody is willing to give up their big houses and fine things. As it is, I vehemently disagree with both political labels. In the end though it really doesn’t matter. Corporations run elections. The only thing collegiate about the Electoral College is that it is about as dumb as a crappy state school. If voting did anything, especially for practical ideological reasons such as for liberal and conservative motivations, we would never have had the Bush years. I can guarantee you that.

South by Southwest Must-See Movie List for 2010

Courtesy of Google Image.For those of you interested in music or film South by Southwest is the perfect opportunity to experience artists from all around the world presenting their works.

Here is the Megaphone’s must-see list for film:

Friday March, 12: the Alamo Lamar 1 theater there is a screening of Leaves of Grass, which is the much anticipated film starring Edward Norton who plays an intellectual college professor who moves back to his hometown with his pot-dealing twin brother. Also on Friday is the Indie film Cherry which is about a timid student who enrolls at an Ivy League college in their engineering program.

Saturday March, 13: Saturday features great shorts such as Televisnu, which is an Indian film about a woman who works in a call center. Some other quirkier shorts are features such as Star Wars: Retold which is a retelling of the Star Wars mythos through the eyes of a young girl who is unaware of the premise of the story.

Sunday March, 14: Google Baby is a haunting Gattaca-like sci-fi story about artificial baby production as guided through an online service. The Myth of the American Sleepover also looks like a must-see teenage angst movie in the style of John Hughes.

Monday March, 15: Honorarium is like a Dead Poets Society at the college level. The film is pertinent to anybody in college who is open-minded and tries to tolerate people of different viewpoints. Some Days Are Better Than Others is a hard-to-define film that is a highly character-driven with a backdrop of existential confusion and other philosophically related issues such as communication and how one fulfills their desires.

Tuesday March, 16: Anybody who is plugged into the developments must see the documentary Beijing Taxi which focuses on the changes occurring in the Chinese economy and how three Beijing taxi drivers are living their lives in response to these societal progressions. Another excellent documentary feature is American Grindhouse,which shows the nitty-gritty world and history of the American Explotiation film. This specifically for lovers of the genre.

Wednesday March, 17: On the Other Side of Life is an emotionally gripping story about the lives of two young men who have to survive in a rough area in Africa filled with gangsterism and violence. The Work of Alan Govenar: Part 2 offers a fascinating documentarian look into the world of circuses.

Thursday March, 18: The film 6 is a must-see for any football fan. The film looks like similar to the story structure of Friday Night Lights as the film looks into the lives of individuals on a 6-man football team in a Texan town.

Friday March, 19: Friday is a great day to catch up on the films that you missed during their premieres as most of the films will be rerun during this time as well as on Saturday. Since there are so many features being run it is hard to see all the great work during one visit to the festival, but the repeat days offer you a chance to get caught up on what you missed.

To read more about the locations of the film venues and also what music shows will be taking place, visit South-by-Southwest’s website at http://www.sxsw.com.

Suck: Southwestern breeding ground for new psychological disorder

The place where it all begins...and then spirals downward

The place where it all begins...and then spirals downward

This week the American Psychological Association is updating its diagnosis manual, the DSM-V, with an updated list of new disorders. Among the newest maladies is one that is observed almost exclusively on the Southwestern University campus. It is called the “Southwestern University Condition of Kookyness” otherwise known as the SUCK.

Noted American psychologist, Shodden Freuda, had this to say about the SUCK: “We noticed this disorder while observing students of Southwestern University. It appears to be endemic to the region of Georgetown in particular but on campus it is the most noticeable. The disorder is one of the worst we’ve ever catalogued. Symptoms include: gossiping, an obsessive need to fit in, a disconnect with the outside world, an obsession with Yogobowl, aggressive boredom on Friday and Saturday nights, a dislike for the university newspaper, occasionally self-induced starvation due to poor food in the Commons, a case of senioritis the first week of school, massive regret over attendance, and alcoholism.”

There is a lot of debate in the contemporaneous psychological community as to what the best course of treatment would be. Some contend that studying abroad will cure it, yet others are skeptical. Dr. Jose Cuervo of the University of Pennsylvania stated, “Studying abroad works great for a semester, but symptoms quickly set back in once students return to school. I would say that the best course of action would be even more alcohol than what is already consumed. That will block out the misery.”

There has been little attention given to the disorder but many in the profession have started to take a more focused look at it, but of course at a distance due to the disorder’s incredible contagiousness. When a panel of psychologists came on campus, they immediately came down with a case of the SUCK and started viciously spreading rumors about each other and then retreated to the frat houses for a night of binge drinking. They later updated their Facebook photo albums of the event almost compulsively despite the fact their party outing was absolutely no different from any other college party in the history of time.

The symptoms of the disorder are most profoundly exhibited in philosophy majors who feel stuck in one spot for too long and begin to obsessively chant portions of Nietzsche’s “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” as they pine about how life is entirely meaningless and how Southwestern University is the only place they know and the real world will be as petty and boring as it.

Jake Schrum, the university president, said that the school will be including more activities to keep the students engaged and less nihilistic. According to Schrum, “Our current attraction is the cemetery near the school. So henceforth, we will be including more activities to combat this awful disorder. The current activities under consideration are: golf-cart racing using the carts that are driven by the groundskeepers, spot the douchebag (a game that involves taking pictures of d-bags and posting them on a student wall for points), and an eating contest over the Commons food (whoever can just stand to eat just Sunday’s crappy casserole dinner will automatically win).

Xbox malfunction causes crisis of faith

burning xbox

The God of Abraham and Isaac exacting his wrath on Bill Gate's plaything

Area Christian, Blane Harrison, experienced a crisis of faith Thursday after discovering the infamous “Red Ring of Death” on his Xbox 360. According to friends closest to Harrison, the permanent malfunction of the Xbox gaming system has triggered “serious doubts in terms of the goodness or even the existence of God.”

Harrison first encountered the fortuitous red ring early Thursday afternoon, while attempting to start his gaming system for a long anticipated, afternoon-long session of “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.” Upon pressing the system’s power button, Harrison expected to see the usual flashing green lights (a signal that the system is initializing properly). Instead, the 20-year-old Pre-Ministry student was stunned to see the ominous flashing red lights. His worst nightmare was realized when the flashing red light became a permanent red light, indicating that the Xbox 360 system was now in a state of permanent disrepair and that Harrison’s faith was now in a state of crisis.

“I just wanted to play a little ‘Call of Duty’ you know? I had no idea that the Lord would turn his back on me,” said Harrison. According to his roommates, shortly after the tragic discovery Harrison was seen running from his room screaming “WHY DO YOU KEEP [expletive] ON ME LORD? WHEN DOES IT END!? “ Harrison then reportedly went into a 15 minute tirade, comparing himself to Job, the oft-mentioned Old Testament character who’s faith in God was tested in order for the Almighty to achieve victory in a wager against Satan.

“I just don’t understand why the Lord has chosen to leave me in my hour of need,” said a visibly distraught Harrison. “It just doesn’t make sense why He would choose to afflict me.” The student went on to describe the ways in which he used the live-chat feature of Xbox Live to proselytize: “I know when the other players told me to ‘lick a nutsack,’ what they really meant was ‘Thanks Blane. Thanks for showing me the truth about how truly lost I am.’”

According to local pastor Pete Beauregard, serious doubt often arises from the loss of a loved one (or, in this case, a loved Xbox). “I know that ultimately the Lord is good, I just hope that Blane can find his way through this dark, dark time.” As of Friday, Harrison was still too distraught to participate in his church’s mission trip to Haiti.

Is your favorite professor award-winning?

From now until spring break students can nominate their favorite professor for an SU Teaching Award.

From now until spring break students can nominate their favorite professor for an SU Teaching Award.

We have all had professors who have profoundly affected us, whether we have been at Southwestern University for one year or five. These instructors have blown our minds, have exceeded their statuses as mentors to become our friends and changed the course of our lives. These professors have poured tireless effort into our learning, going above and beyond their call of duty to ensure us the best education available. We find ourselves awed by these professors achievements, and strive to be half as great in our professional and personal lives. It’s time to give back and offer your nomination for the Southwestern University Teaching Award.

The tradition of The Southwestern University Teaching Award goes back more than 10 years. “We had three different faculty members, Dr. Dirk Early in Economics and Business, Dr. Tracy Guiliano in Psychology, and Dr. Maria Lowe in Sociology and Anthropology were very interested in honoring what Southwestern is most proud of, which is teaching undergraduate students,” said Julie Cowley, the associate vice president for Academic Administration. “We felt like we had programs in place to acknowledge research and scholarship, but not really anything to recognize the teaching that our faculty do.”

After propositioning for the award and securing a $2,000 award prize, the tradition was set in stone. Two Southwestern University Teaching Awards are presented each year  one to a tenured professor and another to a nontenured professor. Nontenured faculty members include visiting professors and part-time professors. An Honorary Degrees Committee, comprised of eight professors from the Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and the School of Fine Arts, serve two-year alternating terms and make the decision as to which professors earn the honor. Previous winners of the award include the award’s three founders, Dr. Rebecca Sheller, Dr. Phil Hopkins, and two-time winner Dr. Shannon Winnubst.

“[Selection] is a hard process because we have such good faculty here,” said Cowley. “In fact, each year when the Honorary Degree Committee is having their meetings, we always talk about how they can’t really make the wrong decision, because they’re choosing among great people.” The nomination process is simple. Click the link on the Southwestern website and follow the clearly labeled directions on the form. “We want to hear what that student’s opinion and experience is with the professor’s different ways of teaching, what makes them different in the classroom,” said Cowley. It’s easy, it’s not time-consuming, and it can make the world of difference to any number of professors on campus.

“One of the messages we want to get out is that there is no such thing as too many nominations, and to not assume that I’m sure my friends will nominate Fill in the blank’,” said Cowley. “It’s okay for a person to have multiple nominations, and that, in fact, gives the committee a broader look at the faculty member because students are talking about that faculty member from different perspectives.”

Once professors are nominated for the award, the Honorary Degrees Committee requests that they submit additional material for review, such as syllabi, descriptions of assignments and projects used in class, and research involving students. Even end-of-the-semester course evaluations of professors are counted. “It really starts with them [the students],” said Cowley. “It really starts with what they write and what they tell us about the person, because something about that nomination kind of catches the interest of the committee, then it’s whittled down from there.”

The deadline for the nominations will be the Friday before Spring Break, March 12. The awards will be presented at the last faculty meeting of the semester. “The faculty who have been chosen for this tell me consistently that this is the most important honor that they’ve received,” said Cowley. “They say this is why they chose to come to a school like this, this is why they stay at a school like this, and so to know that this is coming from the students just means the world to them.”

Go to http://www.southwestern.edu/offices/provost/teachingawards.php to fill out the nomination form.

SU Student Trains for CapTex Olympic Triathlon

Triathlons are named for combining biking, running, and swimming into one sporting event.

Triathlons are named for combining biking, running, and swimming into one sporting event.

What are you doing at 5:45 in the morning on an average day? Most people would answer that question with the obvious, “I’m still sleeping” response, but if you were to talk to junior Rachel Freeman, she would give a different answer.

At 5:45 a.m. most mornings, Freeman is out running. She doesn’t just do it for fun, although she does enjoy it. Rather, she’s in training. In May, the CapTex Olympic Triathlon will take place, and Freeman plans to be among those who are competing.

An Olympic Triathlon is a hardcore event. Longer distances than the normal sprint triathlon, the Olympic triathlon’s events include a 1.5k swim, a 40k bike ride and a 10k run.

“When I started training for this thing, I could only run half a mile. No joke, I was pretty terrible,” said Freeman.

She began her training this past September, based on her decision to participate in the triathlon after returning from her study abroad to Argentina this summer. Because she’s never participated in a triathlon before, the training is a whole new experience.

“I wanted to devote myself to a project that would last all year long. That’s why I decided to train for the Olympic distance and not just the sprint,” Freeman added.

And train she does. She usually trains on her own, but starting this semester, Freeman has found enjoyment in joining the local RunTex running group, a pretty intimidating bunch. A few are seasoned marathon runners, one woman is training for an Ironman in Idaho, and another man is a former five-time member of the Olympic team (who happens to be a coach here at SU). Freeman likes to run with them from time to time because they have the same level of commitment to training as she does, although she also enjoys just going out running with friends.

Because she trains for three events, Freeman finds herself splitting her time during workouts.

“I spent the first semester just working on endurance, making sure I could complete the required distance for each sport. Now I’m

Rachel Freeman trains for swimming portion of triathlon.

Rachel Freeman trains for swimming portion of triathlon.

working on building up my speed and putting the events together,” she said.

In order to do this, Freeman trains five to six days a week, alternating between swimming, biking, running and putting them all together. She’s been doing an increasing amount of bridge training where she’ll train for two events back to back, such as by doing a swimming workout and then jumping out and immediately going for a four mile run.

“It’s all about finding a balance between all three events,” she commented.

With training being such a full-time job, it’s a wonder that Freeman has time for the other demands placed upon her from attending a school like Southwestern. When asked about this, Freeman admitted it is indeed difficult to juggle everything.

“If I’m going to be completely honest here, there have been quite a few times when I’ve been seriously close to quitting this whole thing. You don’t just decide to train for a triathlon and then be done with it. I mean you actually have to do it. And that is the hardest and best part.”

Between training, an 18-hour course load, two jobs and a multitude of extracurriculars, it’s a wonder that Freeman still even has time to sleep.

“I told myself I couldn’t do this, just so I could prove myself wrong. I’ve had to give up a lot of the socializing I did in the past for something that I knew would require a lot of discipline on my part,” she said.

Despite the hardship, there have been some definite positives to her months long dedication to training.

“It’s been one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve met tons of amazing new people, become closer with friends I already had and have just grown so much in general. Not to mention I’ve really come to love the event of the triathlon. Not going to lie, you kind of get obsessed with it over time.”

Obsessed she may be, but the sense of accomplishment that Freeman will get from completing this triathlon will be amazing and worth the wait.