Properly Using Coffee During Finals Week:


coffeeCoffee is a great thing.  It is also a powerful thing. So, to best use the marvelous gift that God has given us, let’s learn about when coffee is the most effective.

So, not to get too scientific, but your body produces this thing called cortisol. It is a stress hormone and is associated with your alertness levels. So, at the times that your cortisol levels are high, drinking coffee will have no added effect, because your alertness levels are at their peak. However, when your cortisol levels fall, coffee can serve as a much needed reinforcement.

Here are the times where the body’s cortisol levels are at their peak (meaning coffee will have no added effect):

Between 8-9 AM

Noon – 1PM

5:30 – 6:30 PM


There is also a time where coffee serves as the most effective and that is from 9:30 – 11:30AM.

Now, the Library will have coffee during finals week, and it will be when your cortisol levels are low, so be sure to come on out and enjoy the free coffee to help you find that motivation to finish the semester!

~Kristen Holmes

Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast


Plenty of children grow up faithfully watching Disney musicals such as the 1991 version of Beauty and the Beast, and become inspired by the book-loving character of Belle.  However, many kids are now getting the chance to experience the story in both animated and live-action movies, thanks to Bill Condon, director of the 2017 Beauty and the Beast. The movie that came out just this March is quite an exciting experience, but certainly not without its flaws.   The musical motifs of Beauty and the Beast in both versions express themes such as love, magic, triumph, and even evil. However, there are several differences and additions to the music of the new version.  The original music created for this year’s movie seemed quite disjoint to me at first, but it became clear to me as the movie progressed that it actually was very reflective of the movie’s mood because a few things had been changed and added in the story.  The song that seemed to tether the different attitudes of the songs was the Beast’s solo called “Evermore”, which displays the Beast coming to terms with his decision to do the right thing and free Belle.  In addition to being comprehensively creative, all of the the new music was much more rhythmically free – for example, Emma Thompson took some tasteful rhythmic liberties when singing the iconic, “Beauty and the Beast”.  While on the whole it was freer rhythmically, it was certainly also a trend with this cast to sing Senza Vibrato, or in English, straight tone (a vocal technique more closely identified with pop singing).  For some voices, such as Ewan McGregor’s Character Lumiere, this worked quite well – possibly due to this style being a distinctive that has worked for him before in musicals.  However, the technique did not treat Emma Watson as well; her auto-tuned melodies seemed to have no growth, and it seemed she could not produce any sound worth listening to for longer than a few bars.  Her timid vocal interpretation of Belle was bland and frankly disappointing for me, despite her sensational acting.

A few other actors’ voices also stood out to me as I watched this movie.  Gaston (Luke Evans) and LeFou (Josh Gad) stole the show as they put on a number celebrating the character Gaston. While Gaston was different from the original movie in that Luke Evans created a character who I grew to hate more and more over time, the song “Gaston” remains an extremely fun scene with astounding improvement in energy from the original version. In both this number and later on in the movie, Josh Gad creates even more character depth than before for the character LeFou, as well as utilizing his incredible upper range and impeccable comedic timing. Finally, it is necessary to restate the brilliance of the heart-wrenching solo by the Beast called “Evermore”.  His outstanding vocals crafted a beautiful piece of music that, to me, was imperative to the pinnacle of the story.  Alan Menken quite literally outdid himself with these pieces, both vocal and instrumental,  as he composed for the 1991 version, as well as the 2017 version.

Now what does Beauty and the Beast have to do with a library? Over the past 25 years, much has changed about Beauty and the Beast, but certainly not Belle’s love of books, learning, and the thirst for knowledge that drew the Beast and Belle together.  It’s a “tale as old as time” that learning new things can help us know each other better, and inspire us to love each other deeper.

For a Juvenile version of the book click here.

~Maya Neal

*Image linked from

10 Anonymous Suggestions for the Library

  1. Social Hour (reverse quiet hours) one night a week, where students can come in and talk while they do their work or just hang out.
  2. On Mondays, the Library should have a coffee and tea bar, because Mondays are hard, and who doesn’t love coffee and tea while doing homework?
  3. The Library should provide standing desks for those who wish to burn more calories while doing their homework. These desks also improve posture, and help the student to stay awake when they are extremely tired and doing homework.
  4. On Thursday nights, the Library should have “Story Time with Scotty” in the juvenile book section. He would pick or tell a story that he has crafted to an audience of students, faculty, professors, and their children.
  5. On Tuesday nights the Library should turn on Looney Toons in the upstairs computer lab, so when students need a study break they can go and watch Looney Toons. Call it “Looney Toons Tuesday”.
  6. The Library should have therapy tea cups pigs for stressed out students to spend time with. Pigs are an animal that very few people are allergic to, so there would be no worry of allergic reactions. Pigs are also becoming more and more popular as therapy animals. With the teacup pig, it would be easier to handle and potty train, it would also not be as loud as a larger pig.
  7. There should be an (soft sounding) intercom system throughout the library. This way when the library is closing, the student workers can announce the amount of time that the patrons have left in the library.
  8. Student workers and supervisors should have interconnected headsets. These headsets would allow the student workers and supervisors to communicate, even when they are not all in the immediate vicinity.
  9. In the Library, there should be a small door separating the lobby from the main library, that way, there could be soft study music playing in the lobby. This would send a comforting welcome to both the staff and patrons.
  10. The options of movies should be updated a little more frequently. They should also be more advertised so that the students are more aware that they have the opportunity to borrow movies to watch in their free time.

Which is your favorite?

~Sierra Kiekel

Book Review: The Stork is Dead

Throughout the library, there are many books. Most of which do not get checked out very often. The other day, I was straightening out some books in the back of the Mezzanine. Here, I saw a book that caught my eye. The book is titled, The Stork is Dead. Now as one can infer from the title, it is about something that has to do with babies, or, yes I’m going to go there, the conception of babies. Now if you don’t know how that process works, please go talk to Nurse Allison. I’m sure she would be happy to sit down and discuss it with you. When I started reading the book, I honestly could not put it down.

This book is aimed towards the audience of teenagers who are struggling with the temptation of sex. Even if you are not at a point in your life where this topic could apply to you, I highly recommend reading the book. Not only is the book very well written, but it also honest. For me, honesty is something that is very important. I would rather someone be blunt and honest with me than beat aro51zc6e3gf8l-_ac_ul320_sr188320_und the bush and approach a situation passive aggressively. Not only does this book openly discuss the forms of sexual temptation that teenagers go through, but it also uses real questions that have been asked and real situations to answer them. The author of the book is also Christian, so that’s always a plus! The way he approaches the answers about sex and sexual activities is honest and in a way that is glorifying to God. This book talks about what most churches tend to avoid, especially around teenagers. Sex is something that is enjoyable, but within the context of marriage. The Stork is Dead explains this in an open, honest, and actually helpful way. If you yourself are curious about this topic, or plan on having many interactions with teenagers in the near future, I highly recommend this book. But also remember, sex is natural. It’s something that we do need to talk about, but in an appropriate and helpful context. All of which this book does.

~Kara Williams


The other day, I was down in the stacks shelving some books (as I do most days) when I came across a book on the shelf. This was no ordinary book though! This book had a little slip of paper coming out of the top, just barely noticeable to the common person browsing the shelves. BUT! Having been trained in the skill of noticing things that are out of place, I noticed this little slip. Carefully, I pulled the book off the shelf. Making sure none of the other books got out of place as I did so. Once I got the book off the shelf, I slowly opened the book to reveal the slip so preciously placed between the pages. I cautiously removed the slip from the book and began to read the words so meticulously typed on the paper. I didn’t know it then, but the words I read would change my life forever. “Now I know why Solomon had 700 wives… He never met you!”

I returned to the front desk with this slip in hand. I decided it was too important to just toss aside into the trash can, so this little slip can currently be found framed between my phone and its case.

~KC Carothers


Finals week is here…


Finals week is incredibly stressful, I get it.

No seriously, I get it.

But we are here to help. The library has extended its hours for finals week and we also have coffee, tea, and hot chocolate to encourage you to come in and stay focused once you’re here. We have survived 15 grueling weeks of the semester and we only have one week left. That’s nothing. So come into the library and get to studying.

Also, don’t forget to take a break this week too. Go out with friends, exercise, have devotional time, or of course, TAKE A NAP. This week is all about using your time wisely and staying focused when needed.

Another way to brighten your day through this dreary week of finals is to brighten someone else’s. Take your friends a coffee when you know they’re studying. Send them a word of encouragement. Just be friendly. Don’t let this week drag you down, lift up someone else and you’ll be surprised how much it helps you too.

Hang in there everyone, we’re almost done. We’re all in this together.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 12…..7:30 AM-12:00 AM

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13…..7:30 AM-12:00 AM


THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15…..7:30 AM- 11:00 PM

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16…..7:30 AM- 5:00 PM



~Payton Emerick

Introducing Karl Barth

I have no idea who Karl Barth is.

I spent the majority of this past summer working in the Masland Library.  Okay, insert reader commentary:

Reader: “WHATTT? The library is open during the summer???”

Why, yes, dear reader!  The library is open for Monday-Saturday during summer classes and Monday-Friday for the rest of the summer.  If you do decide to stop in anytime after summer classes are completed, you will likely see student workers among the bookshelves, preparing the library for the coming school year.  This past summer, myself and several other student workers were given the task of shifting almost every book in the main section of the library.  In the course of this tedious-but-necessary task, one man’s name seemed to appear over and over:


No matter what section we were shifting that day, Karl Barth had either written a book on it or someone had written a book about Karl Barth’s thoughts on the matter.  I have done no research on who exactly Karl Barth is and why he has so many opinions about everything, so it does not really make sense that I am writing a blog post about him.  However, I believe in you, reader, and your researching ability.  I just searched his name in the library catalog and was given over 300 results, so he is probably an important person.  So, go! Find out who this man is!  Maybe write him a letter asking him to please calm down and stop writing so many books that I have to shelve.  Here’s a couple books that are in our library collection about good ol’ Karl:

Karl Barth in the theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer –  BX4827.B57 P3615  2000


How Karl Barth changed my mind –  BX4827.B3 H59 1986


The Humanity of God –  BT28 .B273 1996

*This one is actually by the man himself!*


Christianity and Barthianism –  BX4827.B3 V36 1962

Okay, so apparently Barth has a whole school of thought named after him.


Hopefully those books can get you started on the journey of Barth knowledge on which I have never traveled.


~Valarie Meiser

Four tips for a Successful Job Interview:

1. Show up in the office 15 minutes before your appointment time:

Does not mean park 15 minutes before the interview or get in the building security line with five minutes to spare. It means walk through the office or suite door five minutes before your appointment. Because it may ask you to fill out an application and it gives you more time to do so.

2. Look Your Best:

For you well-dressed people, I’m sure you’re rolling your eyes at those two words, because you assume everyone knows that. However, after interviewing thousands of people, I can assure you that the majority of job seekers are not fully aware of the impact of their image.

Also, maybe choose a fragrance that is fairly light neutral scent, like baby powder or vanilla, can work well, but anything stronger could be an issue for the interviewer.

3. Arrive prepared:

Bring a pen, notebook or portfolio with paper, several resume copies and a list of questions you would like to ask the interviewer.

Finally, remember to look up at least as much as you look at the paper. Writing notes is important, but ACTIVE eye contact tells the interviewer that you are paying attention.


4. Have a conversation:

Come prepared to discuss the company, the role, your background, current trends in the industry, the reason for the opening and any recent business events that may impact the interviewer, role, company or industry.

Companies want to hire engaged employees who have taken the time to learn about themselves and the roles for which they are applying.

~Nicole Vila

Live Gladly


“Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.” (Philippians 2:14-15)

5 a.m. Jolted awake by yet another fire alarm. The Heritage Hall microwaves are at it again. As the residents of Heritage gathered outside the building in 30 degree air – some wrapped in blankets, some wearing shorts and t-shirts, some fully dressed and ready to take on the day – there were many conversations going on, but as I sat shivering on the curb, there was a theme that kept jumping out at me as I overheard snippets of conversations: complaining.

“I have to be up in two hours!” “I have to go to class!” “I just want to be back in bed.” “Who makes popcorn at 5 a.m?!” “I’m gonna hunt down whoever set it off this time.”

I’m tired.

I’m cold.

I’m this.

I’m that.

Fellow Cairn students, I have a newsflash for you: We’re all tired.

Throughout the past few weeks, conversations around campus have been marked with the consistent theme of complaints – about the food in the MAC, about professors, about due dates, papers, lack of sleep, friend drama, Student Life, you name it. The fact is that we’re all struggling. It’s November! It’s the time of the semester when huge papers start piling up, daunting reading assignments take forever to finish, and getting any amount of decent sleep seems impossible. It is so easy to begin to believe that you are the only person who is experiencing stress, exhaustion and the feeling of being completely overwhelmed. But the truth is, you’re not the only one.

This fact presents a point of encouragement and a challenge. Be encouraged that you are not alone. You are not the only one who is buried by life, and therefore, we are buried together. We can take this opportunity to walk alongside one another, to point each other back to Jesus, to remind each other that our strength and joy in each day comes only from HIM, not from ourselves. We are a community of believers. We have the amazing opportunity to live together, eat together, learn together, grow together, and experience 5 a.m. fire alarms together.

A couple weeks ago in chapel, Dr. Williams challenged us to practice encouraging one another. Giving each other courage, empowering one another. Can I ask you to do just that? Think twice about the words that you speak. There is value in being honest with each other concerning the condition of our hearts and in sharing our burdens, but there is equal value in building one another up. There needs to be a balance of the two.

Friends, we have this hope that Christ sustains us. He sustains us through each day, each moment, each assignment, each sleepless night. Because of this hope, we have the freedom to be filled with joy. But we have to choose it. Choose to be joyful rather than pessimistic. Choose to look on the bright side. Choose to notice the beautiful fall leaves. Choose to be thankful for the fact that we are here, doing life together. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it’s stressful. Sometimes it involves shivering outside at an ungodly hour rather than catching a few more hours of sleep. But this stressful and overwhelming college life is where God has called each of us. It is in this season of stress that He can best teach us to surrender our schedules to Him and to look to Him for strength to get everything done on time. Let’s choose to make the best of it, and to help each other to see this time as a blessing, instead of a burden.

As John Piper wisely stated: “If you live gladly to make other glad in God, your life will be hard, your risks will be high, and your joy will be full.”

~Emily Tielmann

*Image not owned by Masland Library, Creative Commons usage