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Christina Vazquez: Doing college her way

FabFour

Christina Vazquez gets photo bombed.

By Jaden Lux–It’s hard to find a student at Morningside who came here purely for academics. According to the college, 87 percent of students are involved in something other than academics. This includes sports, band, choir, or other scholarship–based activity.

Extra-curricular activities dominate this small liberal arts campus, but one Morningside student isn’t fazed by the disparity.

Christina Vázquez is proud to attend college for the sole purpose of academics.

“Some think it’s a little weird,” Vázquez says nonchalantly. She sits attentively near the Spoonholder Café admiring the pleasant atmosphere unfolding about her. Life seems to be working out perfectly well for a woman who wasn’t engrossed in the activities that cause stress for students.

“I have the time to devote to what I’m really here for. I’m here to learn and come away with everything that I possibly can. It’s time to take care of myself,” Vázquez says with certainty.

That isn’t to say she isn’t still active in the college community.

“I’m doing theatre this year. I’m in the children’s play; I get a total of four lines which is good because it’s not that much pressure. We’re doing Elves and the Shoemaker and my character is little girl named P.P.” Christina says.

This is the first time she has been an actress in theatre, something that she finds to truly be a learning experience. “I keep worrying that I’m going to break character and start laughing because some people are really funny!” she says with haste.

Joan Mansfield, Communications Department Secretary, witnessed firsthand just how excited Christinsa was about her first performance. “You should hear her talk about it. She was all over; It was entertaining hearing her explain this,” Mansfield expressed.

On the days when Christina isn’t furiously working on creating programs, stories, and promotions for the Communications Department on campus, she sits as the Vice President of the Art Club, which along with other clubs she’s involved in, meets during the time that is coveted by athletes.

“What do you do during the hours from 3 pm to 6 pm?” I asked with curiosity. The thought of using this time for something other than physical activity seems almost like a mythological concept to me. I’m sure all other athletes can agree.

“There are so many things I can do. I can take a nap, grab a snack, do some homework,” Vázquez lists.

“What about the craziest thing you have ever done during that time?” I prodded hoping for some wild story that would blow me away. What could Christina Vázquez possibly have done to raise a few eyebrows?

“You can find me in the kitchen wearing an apron baking a cake. I’m a grandma chasing my kids across the lawn,” Vázquez says jokingly. Yes, my eyebrows definitely rose for a moment; meanwhile I realized that this is exactly what I would imagine her to be doing.

She isn’t kidding though. Christina enjoys knitting, baking, sewing, and (her words) “grandma-ish interests.” Her friend, Morningside student Sara Alexander, sees the individuality in her beyond grandma qualities.

“She’s like Jane Austen was thrust into 2016 and is trying to find her way through modern day life. She doesn’t care how much she stumbles because she doesn’t have time to deal with humiliation,” Alexander explains. The fact this sort of description works with Vázquez shows just how unique she really is.

Mansfield remembers an instance that showcases Christina’s attempt to make a difference. “She came in last fall and introduced the international students [to me]. She probably brought in 7 or 8 of them and they all sat here and talked for 20 minutes. That was cool. I learned more about soccer in that 15 minutes than I have in my entire life,” Mansfield recalled.

Joan and the rest of the department know it’s apparent that Vázquez keeps herself occupied as she lives her life day by day. The communications department has seen many projects from Vázquez both on the radio side and the school newspaper.

Yet these are minor compared to what she has envisioned for MCTV. Vázquez has found a way to leave a legacy behind at Morningside by working on creating a regular newscast. While it is still in the works of getting up off the ground, there is a large amount of potential.

She may not score the game winning point on Saturday, but every student that passes through the communications department or watches MCTV will most likely hear about the articulate girl that was determined to spearhead the challenge.

“If there was a message to be taken from your time at Morningside what would it be?” I ask. More students begin to fill the busy Learning Center as Vázquez considers her word choice. Bouncing her eyes from one student to the next, she found the message she was looking for.

“There are many ways to get involved in life, just being in sports or band, they aren’t the only way. You can put your energy into what you like and if athletics and music isn’t that, it’s totally acceptable,” Christina expresses.

Christina Vázquez is truly living life the way she wants to live it.