With this week marking midterm exams, the first half of this semester at LCC International University is drawing to a close. To be honest, it has felt like a marathon of events: Community Day, International Week of Peace, Servant Leadership Week, Serve Day, Ugly Duckling Cup, Neumann East RA Retreat, and Art Week.

Why so many events? To get students out of their rooms. To get them interacting. To get them off the Internet and into each other's lives. When we lived in the Goldensun community in Phoenix, it erased any part of us that desired to live out the "American Dream." For us, it's too self centered. Community is where it's at.

And that's what we're trying to demonstrate at LCC. Learn more about how we nudge (and sometimes shove) the students in the direction of community below.

Community Day

Enormous group Twister competition? Check.
A tradition since the early days of LCC, Community Day happens at the beginning of each school year.

The event began with an effort by LCC staff and faculty in its early years to introduce American-style hot dogs and cold Pepsi to the students. It has now expanded to include everything from a 5K fun run, ethnic dancing, lots and lots of games, dancing, and plenty of free giveaways.

DJ Cheburashka and his poser mixer station. Can't ague with "free."
Although the event is intended for the LCC community, it's always exciting to see members of the surrounding come a check out what is going on.

This year Alisha headed up hot dog detail and Josh took the role of DJ. The hot dogs were thoroughly enjoyed. And did the students dance? Oh yes, they danced.

International Day of Peace

The International Week of Peace panel members included perspectives from the
disciplines of psychology, teaching, theology, activism (Josh), and business.
This year, LCC decided it wanted to participate in the United Nations's International Day of Peace. It turned out we were on the short list of people to ask to help plan the event.

Because the actual International Day of Peace was on Saturday, Sept. 21 -- the weekend, we planned a few extra events during the week so students would be more likely to participate.

Alisha, Josh, and Amanda Entz perform at a local coffeehouse on the International day
of Peace. The group, Amanda and the Love Cannons, will also be performing at a
Lithuanian Christian music festival on November 9.
Events included handing out "Peace ribbons" by representatives to explain the purpose of the week, a scavenger hunt around campus for doves listing 100 of the 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action, a peaceful dialogue between a group of students and us -- the managers of the residence halls -- in an attempt to repair a rift that had developed, a panel discussion by members of LCC's various academic disciplines (and Josh), and an off-campus coffeehouse event to raise awareness in the community.

While the pursuit of peace makes sense in Lithuania, which has a history of being occupied by various countries throughout its history, application is a different story.

Servant Leadership Week/Serve Day

Servant Leadership is one of LCC's core values. Each student who attends LCC learns about these values when they first arrive. One of the first shared experiences they have is participating in Serve Day.

During Serve Day, LCC students travel different parts of Klaipėda and volunteer for a few hours. While on the service this may not sound like a lot, it's worth considering volunteerism doesn't really exist here.

You read that last sentence correctly. The culture here tends to lend itself to close connections and deeper relationships, so helping a total stranger doesn't make a lot of sense.

As part of her position as Director of Community Life, Alisha spent quite a bit of time helping find groups in town who could use some extra help. Sites included an orphanage, special needs school, a local park, some errands on campus, a cancer center, and many others.
Ugly Duckling Cup

What happens when you have a pond, give students a wooden pallet, a couple roles of tape, and tell them first team to make it across in a relay fashion wins?

Ugly Duckling Cup happens.

Student can use any borrowed or found items to construct their crafts. The idea is to build unity through a common goal and encourage new thinking when it comes to the things that are typically throw away.

Neumann East RA Retreat

LCC has three residence halls (Neumann East, Neumann West, and Enns), each with its own Resident Director (RD).

Josh took his team, Neumann East, camping. Last year his team went camping in a RA's grandparent's backyard on the Curonian Spit (the strip of land that runs alongside Lithuania's coast). This year he took his team camping at a place north of the city called Olandu Kapure, which means the Dutchman's cap. More pictures will be posted to Facebook.

Art Week

Last year, LCC celebrated its first Art Education Week. Last week, LCC celebrated its second. This is noteworthy because the university does not have a formal arts program. It was great to see student and staff creativity come out of the woodwork!
For fall break, we're taking to the road/skies and going to London. We're planning on connecting with members of the Anabaptist community there, attending a seminar, connecting with William -- Alisha's school chum -- and hopefully catch a football match in a pub. After the break-neck pace of the past four months, we're really looking forward to this trip!

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