Tag Archives: featured

Sir Jimmie Blog: The School For Me with Paul Gibson

By: Paul Gibson

As an Ohioan, I had little idea of what life would be like here in Jamestown, North Dakota, particularly since unlike most here I had no family or friends nearby.

Despite all of my hesitations, I decided to start college here four years ago, and I have never looked back since.

I have had a great experience here at University of Jamestown, and I could not have imagined I would have enjoyed it as much as I did. My experience here can be broken down into the following three categories: academic, athletic, and social.Academic Experiences

Academically, I could not have asked for a better education than I have received here. When I initially arrived on campus, I wanted to be a History major, but realizing that this would require extra schooling if I wanted to make any serious money in the field, I decided to pursue a double major in Computer Science and History, instead.

I had little experience with computers, so if it were not for the great and patient professors in the Computer Science Department, especially Professors Lemm, Sand, and Reed, I would have probably abandoned that field of study. However, with their help, I have almost attained the computer science degree and have a job lined up in the computer science field upon graduation.

I have greatly enjoyed my studies in history, as well, for it is a subject I love. The History Department’s professors, Dr. Joy and Dr. Weinzierl, have been a joy to learn from (pun intended). Even though I never had a class from him, Dr. Johnson has been a great adviser, and if it was not for him encouraging me to pursue computer science if I wanted to, then I probably never would have entered the program.

Athletic Experiences

Athletically, it was football that initially brought me to this school, and I have participated in it all four years I have been here. I enjoyed my time with the program, but it did not go quite as I thought it would. I played for my freshman and sophomore years, and then during sophomore year spring ball, I hurt my knee and was never to play again.

I decided to pursue the student-coach route, which I have done for the past two years, so I could still be involved with the team. Even after the season, I have continued on staff to help out the best I can in the final months that I am here. I have enjoyed working with Coach Mistro so far, and I look forward to what he will do with the program.

Social Experiences

Socially, I have met a lot of people through football and just across campus. I have made great relationships with many people, and I look forward to keeping in contact with them after graduation. I have even made a few special friendships that I never thought I would have made. I am especially grateful for these relationships, and I am happy to consider them not just friends in college but friends for life.

Thus, we see that, I have had a great experience here, and while I may have doubted this four years ago, I now see that University of Jamestown was certainly the school for me.

Paul Gibson (middle) with his Jimmie Football teammates.

UJ Wind Ensemble Performing Pops Concert

By: Natalie McKenna

University of Jamestown Wind Ensemble will perform a Pops Concert on Feb. 17, 2019 at 2 p.m. in the DeNault Auditorium, located in the Reiland Fine Arts Center. The concert is free and open to the public.

The concert, themed “Heroes,” will feature music from various heroic films, characters, and historical figures. The ensemble will play music about movies like “Captain America,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” “Wonder Woman,” “Star Wars,” and “Black Panther.”

“This is such a fun concert with music from movies and TV shows. Many of the themes will be familiar to audience members of all ages!” said Dr. Laura Lynch, Assistant Professor and Director of Instrumental Music. “There will also be images projected on the screen with quotes from and about the characters. We’re also encouraging people to live-tweet the concert from our Twitter-Rows!”

The Twitter-Rows will be designated rows where attendees can sit and live tweet the concert by following @UJamestownBands and using the hashtag #UJWonderBand.

The concert is expected to last less than an hour.

Cell phones, laundromats, and caramel popcorn: Dead Man’s Cell Phone opens February 14

By: Stephanie Jorritsma

This Thursday through Saturday, the Reiland auditorium will be presenting the play Dead Man’s Cell Phone, written by Sarah Ruhl and directed by Hunter Carpenter. 

Dead Man’s Cell Phone centers around a woman named Jean who answers a dead stranger’s cell phone in a café.  She lies about knowing the man and soon finds herself pulled into a world of mystery, love, and loss through the ever-ringing phone.

Though the play is certainly filled with intriguing settings, characters, and situations (think caramel popcorn and laundromats), Dead Man’s Cell Phone also makes statements about life in the modern world.  Carpenter notes that the play combines elements of drama, romance, comedy, and thriller to create a truly unique genre that engages the audience.  Carpenter believes that the play also raises powerful questions about the role technology has and should have in our lives. 

Carpenter states, “We idealize our phone, our technology, more than we realize.  When Jean, our main character, finds herself so attached to this cell phone, it causes her to distance herself from what is her actually reality.”  Carpenter believes that this play will leave audiences pondering ideas about technology, society, and life as a whole.

While this is Hunter Carpenter’s first experience directing a play of full length, he is far from new to the theatre stage.  Carpenter is a senior at UJ majoring in Fine Arts Theatre and Fine Arts Music.  In his last four years, he has acted in ten University productions and three regional professional productions, and has directed two one-act plays.  Carpenter says that he enjoys directing because he gets to observe the growth the actors experience throughout the entire process.  He loves watching a cohesive production come to life.

In speaking about the play, Carpenter notes that strong language is present in the play and advises against bringing young audiences.  However, for mature audiences who are interested, he says, “What better place to spend Valentine’s day weekend than the theatre?  This show has laughs, mystery, love, and drama.  If you like a story that makes you stop and think about society and your own personal life, then this is a must see.”

Dead Man’s Cell Phone will run February 14-16 at 7:30 pm.  Tickets can be purchased in advance at the UJ box office by emailing tickets@uj.edu, or by visiting the box office (open Mon-Fri 3-6pm in Reiland 130).

Tickets are free for students and staff.

UJ Choir Touring North Dakota; Minnesota

By: Jacob Just

Stops through North Dakota and Minnesota are scheduled as part of the University of Jamestown Concert Choir’s tour during spring break.

The UJ Concert Choir, consisting of students of a variety of academic fields, will be touring across the two states March 3rd through 10th. Stops in North Dakota include Bismarck, Harvey, and Whapeton. Minnesota stops comprise of Crookston, Maple Grove, and Willmar. They will end their trip in Fargo.

The choir will be performing seven times during the week-long period.

There will also be a stop in Valley City on February 24th and in Jamestown on March 17th.

For a complete list of stops, as well as show times and locations, click here.

There is no cost to attend the concerts, but there will be a free-will offering available to offset costs.

Rensmon Overcomes Life Obstacles to Play Softball for Jimmies

By Kelly Halverson

At the age of 17, Toree Rensmon was diagnosed with a heart defect.

She was lucky enough at the time that it did not prevent her from coming to the University of Jamestown to play softball for the Jimmies. However, in 2018 just before her sophomore season Toree began having intense chest pains and was sleeping for extended periods of time. These symptoms prompted a visit to the doctor and at the age of 20 she was diagnosed with two more heart defects.

This combination of defects results in a leaky mitral valve, an irregular heart beat, and an enlarged left ventricle which works at a very low level. At the time of this diagnosis her heart was only functioning at 33%. Since a healthy heart should never function below 55% her doctor delivered the news that she was no longer healthy enough to play softball.

Despite the severity of the diagnosis she responded by saying “Okay this is my life I’m going to learn and grow from this and keep moving forward working on getting healthy again.” And that is exactly what she did.

Toree gets an extra bullpen session in, to prepare for her return to the field. Photo: Kelly Halverson

Nearly a year after her diagnosis, Toree’s heart is now functioning at 42% and she has been cleared to return to softball. Since her heart is still below the healthy level she is limited to the pitching mound, but that doesn’t bother her.

When asked how she felt about returning Toree says “The goal was to always make it back to softball. I think I appreciate it more now. Like no one likes 6:00 am practice but I’m grateful I get to be there. It’s more fun now for me being able to do what I love again.”

Her health issues have given her a new outlook and appreciation for the sport, “That phone call of ‘you aren’t healthy enough to play anymore’ was really hard. I had been playing softball for so long and I wasn’t able to go out on my terms which was awful.”

Now, she gets a second chance to finish her journey with the Jimmie softball team on her own terms. As far as her outlook for the upcoming season.

“We have a really good team this year with a lot of talent,” Rensmon says. “I think we will have a good season for sure. I’m excited to be able to play with these girls again they have all become like family.”

Toree’s comeback season will begin on February 8th, in a double-header against Valley City State University at the Presentation College Dome in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

Toree Rensmon makes a comeback for her junior season after being sidelined her sophomore year due to a combination of heart defects. Photo: Kelly Halverson