On Friday night at Cumberland Springs Bible Camp, the communication department gathered once again for its annual retreat on Feb. 3. Caravanning from campus, they ascended Dayton Mountain.
The retreat began with associate professor, Michael Palmer, teaching the African game of leggy and communication chair and professor, Reginald Ecarma, playing ping-pong with students. After the games came the food, and then the seminar began.
The department instructors spoke to the group. Film adjunct and Bryan alumnus, Matt Samsel, opened the seminar by asking: “What are you communicating with your life?” and, “How are you embodying Christ with your words and actions?”
After Samsel developed a tense, thoughtful atmosphere, Palmer, lightened the mood by explaining the American Dialectic Society’s Word of the Year—“Dumpster Fire”—and how it embodies the current culture in America.
Communication alumna and admissions counselor Maggie Brown, spoke of the time she spent as a student at Bryan. Brown invested in many extracurricular opportunities like the Student Government Association, theater, and volleyball, and they pushed her out of her comfort zone, but resulted in her finding “hidden gems” in the lives of others. She said, “I just want to encourage you to invest in the other people around you.”
Ecarma spoke briefly on the rarities that Bryan offers. Ecarma said, “I’ve worked for 20 universities, and Bryan College is the best one.” He went on to explain the competition of the job environment and said, “We want to build you so you can persevere.”
Film professor, D.R. Fraley, began his talk with an anecdote explaining how Dr. Livesay agreed to give 88,000 pennies a day to each student, before revising, “Did I say pennies? I meant seconds. 88,000 seconds.” He then asked, “What are you doing with the seconds deposited in your account?”
Another communication alumnus and new admissions counselor, Caleb Julin, spoke as well. “You’re going to fail” Julin warned, “and it’s going to be alright.” He then explained why, and how he has failed in his life outside of Bryan, and the lessons it taught him. He concluded: “In that failure, God can shine through and show his provision. Take heart when it happens. Lean into Him.”
Bryan’s scholarship fund director, David Holcomb, shared his family’s history and explained why no one should have a spirit of timidity because “everyone puts pants on the same way.” He said, “When you communicate with a human being, it’s a fight.” He continued, if the communicator lashes out at everyone who debates them because of their ego, their communication skills are subpar.
Two students, Kalina Hyde, a communication minor, and Jesse Mullinax, a communication major, also shared. Hyde explained her love of “the story.” Jesse explained her growth into the art of communication. Kimberly Meadors ended the seminar with parody songs she wrote.
Grace Graves, a political communication major, reflected on the retreat: “It is an awesome time of fellowship, as well as helpful to hear how Bryan alumni are adjusting to the world and the wisdom they can share with us.”
The communication retreat ended as it began, with a cult-esque ritual; that is, enjoying a bonfire.
Nathan Ecarma studies Bible, culture, and language. He serves on the Worldview Initiative and as a managing Editor for the school newspaper, the Bryan Triangle. In between theological conversations, he enjoys binge watching Netflix and attempting to sing his favorite songs.
Follow his Twitter: ecarmanathan
For comments or questions email him: necarma4773@Bryan.edu