Posts Tagged ‘Hutchinson Community College’

Are 8 a.m. classes too early?

Thursday, September 13th, 2018

Justin Harris tries to stay in a group discussion during his 8 a.m. class, but he’s not a fan of the early start time.

By Brenna Eller
Editor-In-Chief

Early classes aren’t uncommon at Hutchinson Community College. Many students have had, or will possibly attend, an 8 a.m. class at some point if they haven’t already. Some may be dreading it, while others are used to waking up early.

Some colleges have already made it so that classes start later in the morning because the instructors worry about their students not making it to their class and were concerned with the lack of sleep they were getting.

Colleges that disagree with that idea believe early classes help students with time management and prepare them for future careers where they will have to get up early in the morning.

Simon Gadberry, a HutchCC freshman from Little River, described how he felt towards 8 a.m. classes.

“I like the class,” Gadberry said. “It’s a little early, but if you take something easy, that class gets you ready to take on the day.”

It is sometimes assumed that students who would rather have a later class instead of an 8 a.m. tend to slack off a bit more at their first class of the day and pay less attention.

Gadberry agrees to this statement saying, “Yeah they do, you can tell there is always that one person that walks in late and doesn’t put any effort into their work.”

However, there are also students who believe 8 a.m. classes are too early and shouldn’t be allowed due to being involved in sports and other activities on campus.

HutchCC student/athlete, Justin Harris, a sophomore from Louisiana, plays football for the Blue Dragons and admits that it is challenging waking up for his 8 a.m. class.

Harris said that this is his first 8 a.m. in college after transferring from Baylor, so he said  that he has a tough time staying awake in the class, even if he enjoys the material being taught.

When describing his feelings toward 8 a.m. classes, Harris said, “Words can’t even explain, they just suck.”

Consequently, Harris doesn’t think he performs as well as he would’ve if the class was later in the day.

“If I had to choose a good time to start class, my ideal time would be 10 a.m.,” Harris said.

Q&A: Catching up with Badinage

Thursday, September 13th, 2018

Neal Allsup

By Emily Fehrman
Social Media Editor

Hutchinson Community Colleges jazz group Badinage is a group of students lead by director Neal Allsup, the director of choral activities at HutchCC. After sitting down with him and a couple students to see what the Badinage is all about here’s what was found.

Neal Allsup

EF: How long have you been a jazz instructor?

NA: This is my 31st year.

EF: What kind of awards?

NA: The Downbeat Award is the biggest one yet. We have some pretty impressive credentials. Opened for Tyranny Sutton, for a lot of Grammy winners, like New York Voices, Manhattan Transfer, Take Six.

EF: What do they go through at these festivals?

NA: It’s like a mega classroom. I require them to go to workshops and classes. Getting instruction from professionals, Grammy winners and Grammy nominees. You could never have that type of intensity in a classroom. It gives confirmation that what they’re doing is awesome and at an extremely high level.

EF: What is the largest place you have performed?

NA: Carnegie Hall seven times, or maybe eight, I can’t remember anymore. Eight State of Kansas Music Conventions. These are things you have to submit audition tapes to. We have submitted stuff to the Jazz Entertainment Network conference, JEN.

EF: What kind of performances do you guys have this school year?

NA: Three or four each semester just here in Hutchinson alone. We’re singing with the Hutch Symphony in December. There’s no telling how many performances we’ll have because we get invitations all the time. However, we have too many limitations to do all of them. Limitations like travel funds and time.

EF: How hard is it to do this?

NA: This is the most challenging music; as a singing musician they will perform in their lives. Most of our “heroes” on the radio could never sing this stuff. Doesn’t mean that it’s better, it just means that stuff is basic, and this certainly isn’t. I believe that every music, no matter what, it’s about where it is serves it purpose to express what it means to be human.

EF: If you could say anything to those out there thinking about joining the group, what would it be?

NA: It would be a wonderful challenge. They aren’t going to have muscles that are sore, but it works their brain. It will work their character. Expect that, if you don’t dig that? It probably will be a chore to you. If you really dig a challenge and you’re not a quitter, that you have substance within you that says “I will persevere” then that’s a place for you.

Sara Schlicklau, Pretty Prairie Sophomore

EF: How long have you been in it?

SS: This sophomore year.

EF: How long have you been singing?

SS: Since I was little bitty, first time I remember performing was in 4th grade.

EF: How did you join?

SS: Emailed Neal for about a year, saw the group perform and decided I had to be apart of the group.

EF: How would you get the word out you guys exist?

SS: Have more of a social media presence.

Bailey Graber, Pretty Prairie Sophomore

EF: How long have you been in it?

SS: This is my second year.

EF: How long have you been singing?

SS: I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. I grew up singing with my parents in church and fell in love with it.

EF: How did you join?

SS: I first heard about the jazz groups because my older brother was a part of it. I knew it was something I wanted to do after hearing them the first time. I contacted Neal and set up a time to meet with him and have an audition of sorts.

EF: How would you get the word out you guys exist?

SS: We try to hang up posters around school and places in Hutch to get the word out. It’s sad how many people, on campus even, haven’t heard of us, especially considering all the accomplishments these jazz groups have made through the years.

EF: How many times a week do you guys meet? How long?

SS: We meet Tuesdays and Thursdays for an hour and a half, which really isn’t a ton of time together, so we do a lot of practicing on our own outside of class time.

EF: How many performances this year?

SS: We have a few concerts that we do in the BJ Warner performance hall which are free to students if they bring their ID.   We’d love to have people come to these, and the others around the community!

EF: What do you need to do to join Badinage?

SS: To be in a jazz group, you have to first be in choir. There are choir scholarships available and so if you are in jazz you may just get a bit more money in your choir scholarship, and that counts for jazz. It’s just not separate. If there is anyone out who is interested, don’t hesitate to pursue it. It’s been an amazing experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

High school vs. college security

Friday, September 7th, 2018

By Jared Shuff
Staff writer

In today’s climate, it is nearly impossible to enter a high school without following the proper protocols. The doors remain locked, visitors must sign in and anything suspicious is immediately reported.

After experiencing these levels of security, students may be shocked by how open Hutchinson Community College seems to be. With the current rise of active shootes, students need to stay aware of safety protocols on campus. How do they compare with high school protocols?

Katherine Sheldon, a freshman from Hutchinson, had this to say about her high school security. “I mean, we would lock doors, and only have one entrance where you could actually get in. We didn’t really have any security guards, we just had the local police.”

The school would have drills every so often where the doors would be locked, lights turned off, and all the students would hide so they were not visible through the window on the door.

When asked about the comparison between HutchCC and her high school, she began to notice some possible issues.

“I mean, the doors aren’t locked, like, at all,” Sheldon said. “It’s easier to get into buildings and the teachers haven’t told us safety protocols for a situation like that.”

She said she assumes that students would follow the same protocols at a high school – lock the doors and hide. She doesn’t know for sure though, and that has her worried. She had a few ideas that she believes would make the campus safer.

“I mean, I don’t know if they have video cameras or anything like that in the hallways, but that would help,” Sheldon said. “Maybe make it more difficult for people to get into the buildings.”

Steve Dunmire, Lead Security Officer, shared some of his knowledge on the protocols here, as well as possible security measures that could be added.

“It can get sort of complicated since the students are adults and we can’t force a decision on how to act,” Dunmire said, describing the difficulties of an active shooter situation.

He has the ability to send alerts over the phone, but that can take a few minutes to reach everyone. According to him, the best way to respond is the “run, hide, or fight” response.

If you can escape campus, do so quickly. If not, find a room to hide in and barricade the door. You can kick out a window if the room has one and escape through it. As a last resort, improvise a weapon and fight your way out of the situation.

“Chairs and tables can make good makeshift weapons. Women’s purses can actually be a good source for improvised weapons. They are usually filled with all sorts of sharp objects,” Dunmire said.

Dunmire has his own ideas on how the campus could be made safer for situations like this.

“I’ve talked about having a campus police department, as well as adding more security cameras,” Dunmire said. “However, it all comes down to money.”

There is still a suggested safety protocol to follow in an active shooter situation, and all the information can be found on DragonZone.

“Of course, if they pick up a paper and read this article, that would definitely help,” Dunmire said.

Sports roundup: Last Chance Who? HutchCC beats Independence

Friday, September 7th, 2018

By Amanda Carney
Co-Sports Editor

The Hutchinson Community College football team managed another win Saturday night, against a top-five, nationally-ranked team, as the Blue Dragons won at Independence Community College, 37-27.

This was the first time in 23 years that HutchCC has accomplished beating a top-five nationally ranked team. This puts the Blue Dragons at 2-0 in the Jayhawk Conference.

The Blue Dragons dominated the first half. Tied 7-7, the Dragons went on to score 30-unanswered points.

Starting the third quarter, Independence slowly started to take over. Independence outscored the Blue Dragons 20-0 in the second half.

Jaylen Erwin and Khalil McClain both had two touchdowns, while Dezmon Jackson had one. Defensively, Monty Montgomery and Josh Reliford both had interceptions.

The Blue Dragons next game is Saturday, against Iowa Western Community College at Gowans Stadium.

Men’s cross country – The men’s cross country team made some Blue Dragon history on Friday. The Blue Dragons won their first team championship since 2016.

Andrew Kibe lead the way for the Blue Dragons winning the 2018 season-opening Terry Masterson Twilight Classic, with a time of 19 minutes, 32.7 seconds.

Hutch then took over having four Blue Dragons place seventh through 10th. Sophomore Connor Kaufman was seventh in a time of 21:13.19. Freshman Brett Hillabrand was eighth in 21:39.83. Sophomore Kade Gerlach was ninth in 21:47.99 and sophomore Jared Stark was 10th in 21:50.81.

Hutchinson lead the way scoring 29 team points. Runner-up Cloud County had 38 points, followed by Dodge City with 81, Pratt with 114 and McPherson College with 115.

Women’s cross country – The women also had six runners finish in the top 10 Friday, allowing them to win the Terry Masterson Twilight Classic.

The Blue Dragons also had the lowest team score last Friday, with a team score of 25 points. Dodge City, followed with 57 points, with Pratt behind them with 62 points and McPherson College was fourth with 91 points.

Hutchinson freshman Lisayo Ewoi pulled away in the last couple yards, finishing with a time of 18:32.8. In fourth place was sophomore Aileen Gomez with a time of 19:49.4, and behind her was Freshman Gabby Collins placing fifth with a time of 19:55.5. Then sophomore Sarah Patteson placed sixth 19:58.6. Sophomore America Garcia finished eighth with a time of 20:20.0. Sophomore Macy Linenberger was 13th with a time of 20:49.2. Sophomore Ashton Schlickau was 17th with a time of 21:32.0. Caitlin Schlickau was 18th with a time of 21:38.0. Carissa Youngs finished 27th with a time of 23:02.

Soccer – The women’s soccer team managed to smash North Iowa, 11-0, on Saturday at Salthawk Sports Complex. The first four goals were scored within the first eight minutes of the game.

Sophomore Brailey Moeder started off the game with a goal, assist from the goalkeeper, Yadira Delgado. After a goal from sophomore Megan Maslak, Moeder followed with a second goal. Then, freshman Addi White scored the third goal, first goal of the season for her.

 

The Blue Dragons are now 2-0, moving on to the next game Wednesday against Northwest Kansas Technical College, at Goodland

Volleyball – The volleyball team started in a struggle to get into its groove in the first two sets against Pratt. The Blue Dragons rebounded and finished with a three-set sweep, as they improved to 3-3 and 2-0 in the Jayhawk West.

Here’s a recap of the three sets.

Set 1 – The Blue Dragons started the first set with a lead of 4-2. Pratt pulled it to 11-10 until Sophomore Lexi Hogan had a kill, allowing the Dragons to bounce back. They won the set 25-23.

Set 2 – Lauren Wilson helped the Blue Dragons to another set victory, coming off the bench with a kill. Later, Wilson had another kill, which gave Hutch a 23-20 lead. Hutch then missed three set points, but yet again Wilson had a kill. The Blue Dragons won 28-26.

Set 3 – The Blue Dragons finally got in a groove with back-to-back blocks from Hydeah Hinesman and Eden Hiebert. Hutch won 25-12.

Retiring EMS advisor reflects on teaching career

Monday, May 7th, 2018

By Pablo Sanchez
Online Editor

Dan Jones is a Hutchinson Community College Emergency Medical Service advisor and has been helping out students and helping them make their dreams come true.
Jones has worked at the college for more than 20 years, teaching even as he continued to work in hospitals and with patients.
“I was ready for a change in that point in my life, and so I become a clinical coordinator, and so I would go around Wichita, Salina and Hutch and take students to their clinical settings in the hospital, because that was my area of expertise,” Jones said. “Then I got interested in the classroom, I got my instructor license, in the state to teach in. I got that in 1986, and so I kind of liked going in the classroom, and that was around 2000.
Jones said he worked in the Emergency Medical Technician field, and EMS was the embodiment of medical.
“Doing it on the wing and a prayer, and you don’t have the doctors and the people in the field to help you, and I thought it was interesting,” Jones said. “EMS is more of a specialty area, a jack-of-all-trades. They were the specialty in the crisis situation, so I was always thought that was interesting within EMS.
Jones said he had a lot of students through the years, and he had to change his approach on how kids learned. He said it was a challenge at times, that’s one reason why he wanted to retire.
“It’s getting harder, all the changes, one thing in especially in EMS and medicine and education is that there’s change, and it’s getting a bit harder on the change. I still go with the flow, but it’s been an interesting 23 years at the college. I’ve had different roles, but my favorite would be the classroom.”
Not to say the classroom was easy, but Jones said it was rewarding.
“I’ve had kids with challenges, and they overcome the challenges to get through, and you knew that they wouldn’t be a paramedic. They knew their spot, and would be a good EMT. With specific ones – there have been too many to pick out – but I had one and you could tell she was smart, and it went in the classroom socially inept, and through the class, she really came a long way, and I’ve helped her along the way with that. She’s a paramedic now, and there was a time where I thought I don’t know if she was going to make it or not. But if it’s something I learned, it’s not to give up too early.”

Baseball keeps up offensive tear; softball finishes regular season with easy sweep

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

By Lucas Barlow
Sports Editor

The Hutchinson Community College baseball team won its ninth-straight game, after the Blue Dragons easily handled Pratt Community College in two games last Sunday.

The Blue Dragons outscored the Beavers 38-12, as they won 18-8 in game one, and 20-4 in game two. That’s also Hutchinson’s 18th-straight win over Pratt, dating back to the 2014 season.

Freshman Dylan Nedved tied two Blue Dragon single-game records that day. He tied the school record for total bases in a single game with 12. Nedved also scored four runs in game two, which ties the single-game school record.

Sophomore Julian Rip also had himself a day, as he cranked three doubles in game one. That also ties a Blue Dragon single-game record.

This is now the fifth-straight season that the Blue Dragons have reached 30 wins, and is the 25th time in program history.

Hutchinson is now 31-17 overall and 17-11 in the Jayhawk West conference. The Blue Dragons are only one game behind Butler Community College for second place.

Softball – The Blue Dragons sophomores finished the regular season in style, pounding the Bethany junior varsity 21-0 and 14-0 on Tuesday at Fun Valley Sports Complex.

Sophomore Raven Bass belted three home runs in the first game, as HutchCC set a single-game record with seven home runs.

The Blue Dragons smashed three more home runs in the second game, with Natalie Semmel smacked two more home runs, including a grand slam.

The sophomore class have won 71 percent of their games so far, going into this weekend’s Region 6 first-round best-of-three series against Hesston at Fun Valley. They also combined for a 3.54 GPA.

Morgensen has been driving force

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

This is “The Bus”, Bobby Morgensen.

This is a bus.

By Lucas Barlow
Sports Editor

During his first year at Hutchinson Community College, Bobby Morgensen quickly became one of the best baseball players in the conference.

He helped the Blue Dragons get deep into the Region 6 Tournament, until they lost to Neosho County Community College in the semifinals.

He had a great season. But Morgensen did have one mistake that landed him his lasting nickname, “The Bus.”

“Last year, we had a road series at Seward and I accidently missed the bus early in the

morning,” Morgensen said. “I ended up having to drive and catch the bus. Fortunately, I was

allowed to get on. I did get a one-game suspension, but all was forgiven after that.”

As the school year comes to a close at HutchCC, so does the baseball season. But before that, the Blue Dragons have postseason play.

This year’s Blue Dragon squad is once again a top team in the conference as they currently sit third. They’ve also compiled a 32-17 overall record going to the weekend four-game series against Seward County.

With the Region 6 Tournament starting next week, Hutchinson will not only be playing for a

regional championship, but also for a chance to secure a spot in the NJCAA World Series.

With the addition of some solid freshmen this year, the Blue Dragons look dangerous heading into the competition, but experience is a big part of playing well in tournament games, and that’s where Morgensen comes in.

Morgensen grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, where he graduated from Creighton Prep High School in 2016. He committed to Hutchinson to play baseball because he loved the coaching staff, and Hobart-Detter Field was “just beautiful.”

After his outstanding first year, Morgensen was named Jayhawk West freshman of the year, along with All-Region 6 first team. This year is no different, as he is once again playing at a high level. Morgensen currently has the second most runs (56), second most home runs (9), third most RBIs (44) and third most hits (57) on the team. He leads all other sophomores in those categories.

With the most important part of the season on the near horizon, “The Bus” is tuned-up, locked in and ready to go.

“My only goals for the rest of the year are to win Region VI and to advance to NJCAA

World Series in Colorado,” Morgensen said.

If the Blue Dragons can accomplish this feat, it would be the third time in program history,

and the first since 2010.

The talented left fielder has also committed to Florida Atlantic University to further his baseball career. There he can continue to grow and improve himself as a player, because he has potential to be playing the sport he loves for a long time.

Student publications rake in awards after hard year’s work

Friday, April 20th, 2018

By Merissa Anderson
Collegian Editor

The Hutchinson Community College publications, the Dragon’s Tale magazine and The Hutchinson Collegian has made its mark on Kansas journalism after receiving multiple high awards at the April 8-9 Kansas Collegiate Media conference.

The Hutchinson Collegian and Dragon’s Tale Magazine rallied their staff members to attend the conference during a two day stay at the Drury Inn in Wichita.

In addition to several staff awards, many individual staff members received recognition for their hard work throughout the school year.

College newspapers, yearbooks, and magazines throughout Kansas submit their top works, ranging from news stories to web design, in hopes of being selected as the top entry in each category.

All two year colleges compete against one another, while four year colleges and four year private colleges have their own separate divisions. However, several overall awards were also given which allow schools of all sizes to compete against one another.

In addition to the awards ceremonies, which took place over the course of dinner on Saturday and lunch on Sunday, students were encouraged to mingle with other student journalists from across the state and attend different lectures from local professional journalists.

AWARDS WON

Two-Year College Division Journalist of the Year

Winner – Merissa Anderson

Runner-up – Allie Schweizer

All School Individual Awards

Honorable Mention in Ad Design – Monica Pulliam (Dragon’s Tale)

Honorable Mention in Illustration & Infographics – Kourtney Sweet (Collegian)

Honorable Mention in Printed Photo Essay – Allie Schweizer (Dragon’s Tale)

Two-Year College Division

2nd Place in Copy Editing – Merissa Anderson (Collegian)

Two-Year Newspaper

2nd Place in Column Writing – Merissa Anderson

2nd Place in Feature Writing – Merissa Anderson

2nd Place in News Writing & Reporting – Merissa Anderson

1st Place in News Writing & Reporting – Merissa Anderson

2nd Place in Page Design – Brenna Eller

Honorable Mention in Special Sections – Collegian Staff

3rd Place in Sports Feature Writing – Lucas Barlow

1st Place in Sports Feature Writing – Lucas Barlow

Honorable Mention in Sports/Action Photography – Allie Schweizer

Honorable Mention in Sports/Action Photography – Allie Schweizer

2nd Place in Sports/Action Photography – Merissa Anderson

1st Place in Sports/Action Photography – Allie Schweizer

The Hutchinson Collegian newspaper

Overall Silver Medalist in the two-year newspaper division

Yearbook & Magazine

Honorable Mention in Feature Photography – Taryn Gillespie

Honorable Mention in Headlines – Dustin Curiel

Honorable Mention in News & Event Writing – Megan Ryan

Honorable Mention in News/Event Photography – Allie Schweizer

3rd Place in News/Event Photography – Allie Schweizer

3rd Place in Table of Contents – Dustin Curiel

2nd Place in Table of Contents – Dustin Curiel

Honorable Mention in Sports/Action Photography – Allie Schweizer

3rd Place in Sports/Action Photography – Allie Schweizer

 

Dragon’s Tale magazine

Overall Gold Medalist & All-Kansas Award in the magazine division

What are the HutchCC Honors Projects? The students share their ideas

Friday, April 20th, 2018

Student: Garrett Allee’
Hometown: Viola
Major: Engineering
Honors project: Designing an auto-cap program and 3D printing for an iPhone 7 case.
Project explanation: Garret ale- I am designing an auto cap program and 3D printing for an IPhone 7 cases, in high school my engineering teacher actually decided to 3D print phone cases with the school logo and I wanted to try for myself and it just sparked it for me as well. Mine is more physical meaning I have all my past prints like physical done and I can show people them and show what went wrong and what I needed to change and I can also show pictures of my auto cap program. after I am done with Hutchinson I plan on transferring to K-state once I get there hopefully I’ll make a choice because at hutch they only have pre-engineering and as far as KSU has classes that offer that degree and so that’s what I hope to experience when I go to KSU

Student: Bianca Gutierrez
Hometown: Halstead
Major: Pre-Nursing
Honors project: Researching immunotherapy.
Project explanation: I have a partner and we are researching immunotherapy we are interviewing an oncologist and putting that in our paper so we get someone in the medical field perspective on that. Immunotherapy is the treatment of cancer cells using one’s own immune system cells and normally It’s your own body’s cell that go rouge and it’s injecting the body with a certain disease that the immune system, can recognize and you use to attack the cancer cells. immunotherapy did spark our interested because it’s not something that is being used, not widely and It’s being improved and so we are doing the research on how it works, and why it works and it can impact cancer patients in the future.

Student: Alex Ratzlaff
Hometown: Hutchinson
Major: Computer Science
Honors project: Exploring the relationship between news-media choice and your response to the news being reported on.
Project explanation: Mine is about the relationship between your choice of news media and your response to the news being reported on, for example if you were like you were responding to a post to the Washington post about the walk out, you would be more likely to be supportive for them, than you were on fox news.

Student: Bret Sauvage
Hometown: Falun
Major: Pre-Radiology
Honors project: Research on epigenetics and anxiety, and how epigenetics could be used to mediate or eliminate the effects of anxiety.
Project explanation: Brett Sauvage-  I am doing a research paper that as to be 10-15 pages on epigenetics and anxiety, and how the use of epigenetics could be able to mediate or eliminate it entire the effects of anxiety on people, or anxiety disorders for that matter.

Student: Lilly Ward
Hometown: Wichita
Major: History
Honors project: A cultural analysis over the Greek gods Poseidon and Athena.
Project explanation: “The two and how they been portrayed throughout the centuries, how each cultural there portray has been conflicted of the cultural. I love history and especially mythology and ancient history of geek. Basically anything geek or roman, it just fascinates me. And so that’s why I decided to choose mine and make it history related said Ward for mine I have to write a 15 page over it.

Student: Rachel Wright
Hometown: Little River
Major: Accounting
Honors Project: Crocheting, making a corner-to-corner throw, and benefiting the community.
Project Explanation: For the project, I had to write a research paper on crocheting and how it could be beneficial to individuals and their community. I have spent a lot of hours working on this, 50 at least. It seems like I’m finishing a lot, then I look at what I did and it doesn’t seem like much compared to all of the work I’ve put in. I don’t know what made me want to crochet when I was little, but it’s a great and kind of unique skill to have.

Astronaut Capt. Scott Kelly inspires crowd

Friday, April 20th, 2018

By Merissa Anderson
Collegian Editor

On April 17, one of the largest crowds the Dillon Lecture Series has ever seen, more than 4,000 people, gathered to listen to astronaut Capt. Scott Kelly, as he inspired the crowd with his speech and reminded them that “the sky is not the limit”.

From the second Kelly stepped on stage to a standing ovation, he told the story of how he transformed himself from class-skipping college student to a beloved and historic astronaut with nearly six million current twitter followers.

“When I was a kid growing up, I was a really, really bad student,” Kelly said, speaking to the hundreds of elementary to high school students from surrounding school districts. “I wanted to do anything else besides be a student.”

Kelly told of his difficulties with ADD and ADHD throughout his primary schooling before explaining that these issues continued to plague him in his first years of college.

“I was still struggling,” Kelly said. “I couldn’t pay attention. I couldn’t study. Eventually, I’m not even going to class anymore.”

But one book from his campus bookstore transformed his life.

“One day, I’m wandering across campus and happen to go into the bookstore to buy gum or something, and I see this book on the shelf,” Kelly said. “I was interested enough that I took my gum money, purchased the book, went back to my dorm room and laid there for the next three days on my unmade dorm room bed and read the stories.”

The book was “The Right Stuff” by Tom Wolfe which told of how astronauts during earlier space travel reached their success.

“If I could just become a better student, maybe I could one day become an astronaut,” Kelly said.

And he did.

The rest of Kelly’s speech followed his adventures and mishaps that he experienced during his more than 500 days in space, while the crowd, packed shoulder-to-shoulder, listened intently on.

Although a career as an astronaut requires intense focus and drive to study, Kelly certainly kept his humor throughout his travels, and he sprinkled his speech with plenty of jokes to keep the crowd entertained and smiling.

“If we can dream it, we can do it,” Kelly said.

“If we have a plan, if we’re willing to take the the risks and make mistakes, if we focus on the things we can control and ignore what we can’t, if we test the status-quo and if we work as a team, because teamwork makes the dream work, and if we do that, then the sky is definitely not the limit.”