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Mackenzie Frambes

April 12th

Senior Seminar

Russell Smelley

Trial & Error

As I reflect upon my mission statement, written three years ago, I have found that

many of my desires and goals at that time have become aligned with things I am pursuing

today. At the time I wrote the statement, I was striving to see more fully how God sees

the broken, reacts towards injustice, and loves without hesitation. I declared myself to be

a person that persisted in athletic and academic endeavors welcoming challenges along

the way. When envisioning myself stride across the stage at commencement, I aspired to

be a woman that cherishes her relationship with God above all else. While it is

probable my mission statement was written without hours of thought to back it up, I am

proud to see my pursuits today aligning with my intended goals of the past.

My first couple of years at Westmont College presented a drastic amount of

change in my thought process, character, and overall self-esteem. In hindsight, the

mission statement written many moons ago in Foundations seems to have been a period

of my life where my faith was in tune with my actions. As much as I wish it were always

that way, I will honestly tell anyone that my undergraduate years have served as a

spiritual rollercoaster to say the least. It was a beautiful thing for me to be reminded of

hopes for my future through this mission statement that I had long forgotten.

From longing to be nearer to God and knowing Him more deeply, to pursuing my

passions, what drove me then is what drives me now. Simply put, I have always longed to

glorify God by drawing nearer to Him while simultaneously pursuing my passions and

the joys they bring. Many of the goals I wrote of in my mission statement, both trivial

(becoming a better snowboarder) and focal (striving to leave my comfort zone and mend

broken ties), involved aspects of discomfort. While the end goal of having mended a

broken relationship or taking a risk will be satiating, the process it takes to get there is

undoubtedly painful. I have found this out along the way and am grateful for the trials

and storms God has seen me through. The Lord has restored, and sheltered, me from evil

in times of suffering that I am thankful for beyond belief.

Sad to say, not long after my mission statement was written I headed into another

storm, one I was not prepared to bear. In brief, after many years of pain, I acknowledged

my self-destructive thought processes, my dangerous habits, and my susceptibility to

addiction. Acknowledging my problems was the first step to a painful yet redeeming

journey that has brought me where I am now. While I am nowhere near complete I

have seen Gods faithfulness and redemption like never before, along with the healing

power of empathetic listeners I have been blessed to know.

My old and new mission statements seem to function as bookends to seasons of

highs and lows in my undergrad years. The beauty is that my goals remain the same in

both mission statements, even though I forgot some of them along the way. I may have

forgotten my dreams in the midst of spiritual storms, but God remained faithful and I see

very clearly now, as through a mirror, that my years in college were pristinely

orchestrated for my own good. God tends to work that way; I have come to find out time

and time again.

While I would not change many of my goals from those I had three years ago to

now, I do hope that in my next chapter of life I seek these things more steadily,

consistently, compassionately, and gracefully. I recognize that I have the tendency to slip

away from God, and therefore must be more diligent in humbling myself before Him day

by day. I strive this time around to have a mission statement that I take more seriously,

one that pushes me to make my actions and desires synchronized. I hope that people can

clearly see what I value through my actions and that I can clearly express my beliefs

when called upon. As Alan Hopkins so beautifully put it, At the end of the day, you

should be able to articulate who you are.

My new personal statement is as follows: My name is Mackenzie Sloan Frambes

and I am confident in the fact that my life is hidden with God in Christ. I will strive to be

no less than what is expected of me, to be faithful and trustworthy to my family, friends,

significant other, professors, coaches, and those in the workplace. I will have compassion

on myself, and empathy for those I come in contact with. I will love, serve, and bring

justice to injustices as much as is in my power to do so. My diligent and fiery personality

will stop fighting for what I know to be good and right at no cost. My fulfillment comes

through Christ and the hard work I strive to do in every aspect of what has been given to

me. I will utilize my talents to better the world around me and to serve the broken


As I continue to pursue my passions both spiritually and physically, I hope to look

back on what I learned at Westmont College as incentive to maintain a hard-work ethic in

all aspects of my life. My undergraduate years presented me with an environment that

cherished hard work not only in the academic realm but also the spiritual, physical, and

emotional. My college experience has by no means been perfect, however, the liberal arts

education has taught and changed me a great deal for the better. I am proud to have

received an education that places value in learning about a variety of fields and has

pushed me to think critically and ask challenging and often uncomfortable questions

regarding difficult subject matters. At Westmont I have found most of my professors are

able to discuss civilly with their students on topics of disagreement without making

things personal. The liberal arts are indeed unique, even more reason for my gratitude

towards them.

Throughout history, a liberal arts education was considered to be the

quintessential form of learning. The Ancient Greeks (ii) in particular highly exalted the

education that birthed multi-versed people with knowledge and experience in a variety of

subjects. The liberally educated were those who could discuss and debate issues beyond

their specific trade: ranging from the sciences to the humanities. Being involved with the

liberal arts has the capacity to open ones perspective to a variety of issues. While our

forefathers held the liberal arts to a prize standard of education, the irony stands in that

the idea of a liberally educated student today is far from normal and is in fact often

disputed (x).

My process of becoming liberally educated was one that involved hard work,

difficult subject matters, and critical thinking. Overall it changed me (and is continually

shaping me) from being a person who saw through a narrow field of vision on a variety

of issues to being someone who is able to listen to perspectives from multiple angles

without jumping to conclusions. Thinking critically and listening before speaking has led

to a greater number of relationships and opportunities. Due to the liberal arts critical

thinking mindset, I am now able to have conversations over a variety of topics more

easily. I am thankful that I was forced to take classes I might not have chosen in the

liberal arts because through every course I have learned something that has served to

shape and challenge me in some way.

As I began my hunt for colleges in my late High School years, I did not

particularly prize the idea of a liberal arts education but was, indeed, intrigued by it.

Entering Westmont with little idea of what I wanted to pursue in regards to a major, gave

me a greater appreciation for the mix of courses offered in Westmonts liberal arts

education. Although I did not thrive off of certain classes such as Statistics, and

Composition, in hindsight I am glad I took each and every one of those General

Education courses because of the way they forced me out of my comfort zone; again,

learning and success do not come easily.

Some of my greatest takeaways in my four years at Westmont have stemmed

from courses and/or experiences apart from Kinesiology (although some major courses

apply). My experiences in Northern Europe in two-thousand fourteen, led by the Chris

and Cheri Larson Hoeckley, and the opportunity to teach English as a Second Language

in South East Asia through Emmaus Road, shaped me in ways staying on campus could

not have. I have not only seen transformation through being away, but I have also seen

my character shaped through participating in collegiate sports, taking part in College-

level Orchestra, and persevering in the classroom.

One class that forced me to work particularly hard freshman year was Studies in

Literature, taught by Paul Delaney. I went into the class with little experience in writing

and less confidence in being a college student. Professor Delaney not only improved my

writing, but he encouraged me and my fellow classmates to work hard, pursue things of

faith (even and especially when we are not feeling like it), and to never lose a good

sense of humor. Some of my favorite readings and plays came out of that class, including

My Name is Asher Lev written by Chaim Potok and Electra by Sophocles. While

Delaneys class left a lasting impact, many more did as well.

Another class that stands out from the rest is Professor Toms Special Populations.

Through that course my eyes were opened to the injustices done to disabled communities

by able-bodied communities. We learned the significance of the language we use in our

every day lives and how it can impact others. In order to build respect in our

communities, it is crucial that we use Person First Language. Other courses and

professors that left an impression are Dr. Afman through Anatomy, Chris Hoeckley

through Philosophy, and Scott Anderson through Figure Drawing.

Upon my arrival to Westmont I was unprepared to take these courses and I came

to realize that such an education is by no means easy, however, as I look back on my four

year undergraduate liberal arts education, I am left feeling confident that I am a well

rounded person who can think critically on many subject matters apart from my field of


I would describe my overall growth over the past four years as slow and steady,

with a great number of roadblocks along the way. The person I am now is far from who I

was freshman year and I am very thankful for that change. My greatest challenge at

Westmont has been accepting myself regardless of how different I may be from my

fellow peers. After returning from being abroad I struggled to know who my friends were

and where I fit at Westmont. I never truly felt like I fit in throughout my four years but I

came to accept that and be ok with the fact that Westmont is not the perfect place for

everyone. Struggling with my faith and identity went along with the need to fit in and

were, all together, the hardest parts of my past four years. I still strive and hope to grow

in the areas I have grown in already such as faith, self-confidence, and hard work. I know

that the Lord can change any part of me and I hope he takes away my addiction but in the

meantime I endeavor to trust Him day by day.

If my undergraduate career has done nothing else, it has served to shift my

perspective in regards to character, social justice, personal wellness, education, and faith.

Something I greatly appreciate about Westmont is the importance they place on raising

awareness on vital issues within our community and communities worldwide. In regards

to character, I was influenced more so by individuals within Westmonts community than

by Westmont as an institution. Through hours of hard work on the track, time spent with

my nose in the books, and quality time with professors, I unknowingly was growing in

character. The little things added up are what serve to create people who have good

inherently good qualities. The things I used to find excruciatingly painful and difficult, I

now often enjoy. I have seen myself go from someone who hated writing papers and did

not enjoy reading, to someone who actually desires sitting down at the table and studying

for hours. Hard work in academics has now become my norm and I can see that the

perseverance I put into my academics overflows into every other aspect of my life.

While some of my professors have greatly influenced me, I have also changed

through books and articles I have read along the way. One such book is The Power of

Habit by Charles Duhigg. The book is based on research found on the Habit Cycle,

inherent to all cognitively capable, living creatures. It involves three steps, 1. Cue 2.

Routine 3. Reward (iv). Our brains automatically link cue and reward together, creating

often-unconscious habits that we then find hard to break. This book pushed me to

acknowledge and uproot unhealthy aspects of my life where bad habits have been formed

which in turn has shaped my character.

Readings that have been both assigned, and read by choice, have challenged my

perspectives and pushed me to change things in my life I was unaware of (such as the

way I speak about communities I know little about). One such assigned reading is

Deafness as Culture (iii), given to me by Professor Cynthia Toms. I did not know that my

current thought pattern could be a hindrance to certain populations in our midst such as

the Deaf Community. My Westernized thought process of helping by fixing how I see

fit, was challenged when I read that the deaf community wants something far different

from what the hearing community believes they do Well-meaning efforts to integrate

deaf people into conventional schools and to help them learn to speak English are

provoking fierce resistance from activists who favor sign language and an

acknowledgement that the world of deafness is distinctive, rewarding, and worth

preservation (iii). Throughout college my eyes have been opened to people groups I

knew little about previously and I now have a greater empathy towards those who are far

different from me.

In regards to social justice I have grown in my knowledge of issues I feel

passionate about and yet have not been as involved in as I would like. My first step in

helping those in need within our Santa Barbara community was volunteering to help kids

at Franklin Elementary with their homework. I thoroughly enjoyed it but was a freshman

and ended up not committing after one semester. I also was involved for a semester with

Bread of Life, a ministry built around helping the homeless of our community. A topic of

Social Justice that has particularly caught my attention, however, has been the fight

against human trafficking. I am currently working on a film photography project for a

non-profit (v) in hopes of raising money to fund housing for women leaving the sex-

trade. I recently watched the screening Nefarious: Merchant of Souls hosted by Not For

Sale and was profoundly impacted by the realities of human trafficking that are occuring

in our own backyards so to speak. The sex trafficking industrys profits are skyrocketing

and prostitution is running rampant across the globe (vii). I hope to put into action my

desire to help free girls from the sex-trade as I pursue this next chapter in life.

Along with being more aware of the needs of my community, I have become

increasingly aware throughout my four years of my personal needs. Emotional wellness

and self-care has shown to be a very important part of my life since I began going to the

Westmont counseling center early junior year. With a few years of hard work and learning

how to rise up after falling, I have overcome many trials. Thanks to professors like Gregg

Afman, counselors in the Westmont counseling center, self-perseverance, encouraging

family members, great books (i) and a faithful God, I have come to be a person of good

character. I strive to be seen as someone who stands for what she believes in and lives

based off of good morals, never giving up on life.

Prior to this semester I thought of the words vocation and career as one in the

same. I imagined that I would find my vocation within my career; as if vocation is the

purpose I would find once entering my field of work. I now see the two as vastly

different. While ones career can change any number of times in ones lifetime, vocation

remains the same. Whether or not vocation is in tune with career is the real question. A

vocation, I believe, is what gives life meaning. As a Christian, I see my vocation as

something that God intends for me to do. The exciting thing about vocation is that I am

not confined to one kind of work but rather can glorify God through a variety of things

while still living out his intentions for me. Currently I am coming to know who I am in

Christ and who I am to those around me. The college years have been a time of fine-

tuning my goals and desires, persistently molding my intended purpose on earth.

Throughout my years of change in college and seeking to discover my vocation

from the Lord, I have been drawn to one of two fields within Kinesiology. The first is

Occupational Therapy, a career path I was eager to take when I learned more about it

sophomore year. I still have an interest in the field however as of late I have been

intrigued by Nursing and the many benefits it offers as a career and to my personality and

lifestyle. For one, Nursing (and Occupational Therapy) is a great way to travel and see

the world. Secondly, it provides an array of opportunities throughout the day that can be

unexpected and require one to think on their feet. Lastly, it is a fast-paced job that is in

need of professionals who are inherently passionate about caring for the sick and the

broken. I believe I would fit well into either Occupational Therapy or nursing, however I

lean towards Nursing due to its fast-paced nature.

If I pursue nursing as a career, I hope to model my values and belief system

through my hard work ethic. I believe ones character shines the brightest through action

and not through words and therefore is what I hope to accomplish in any field I pursue. I

am naturally not an overly talkative individual or someone who throws their ideas into

others faces, which I think will come in handy for me in the work place. I am a good

listener and am empathetic to those who have similar or different belief systems from me,

which can create a positive environment on the job. I believe people should (and hope

they can) be able to tell what I am living for simply by observing me.

As I have mentioned throughout the paper, I want to be seen for my actions and

not my words. I hope to be a person that works hard and is constantly pursuing my

relationship with Christ. While this paper was difficult to write, it brought up many

memories and has motivated me to stay on track with my goals. I must remember that

every good thing comes through hard work and perseverance; two qualities I hope to

constantly strive to achieve. Through trial and error I will continue to pursue what is

good, and true, and right.



i. Brown, Bren. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way

We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. London: Penguin Life, 2015. Print.

ii. Cook, W.S. (2014). A comparative analysis between the nile Valleys liberal arts

tradition and the development of western education. Journal of Black Studies,

45(8), 683-707. Doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0021934714550398

iii. Dolnick, Edward. Deafness as Culture. N.p., 1993. Web. 4 Sept. 2017.

iv. Duhigg, Charles. The Power Of Habit. N.p: Random House USA, 2014. Print.

v. Home. Uffizi Order. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2017.

vi. Palmer, Parker J. Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation. San

Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2000. Print.

vii. Potok, Chaim. My Name Is Asher Lev. New York: Anchor, 2000. Print.

viii. Sanders, T. (2008), Selling sex in the shadow economy. International Journal of

Social Economics, 35(10), 704-716.


ix. Sittser, Gerald Lawson. The Will of God as a Way of Life: How to Make Every

Decision with Peace and Confidence. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004. Print.

x. Strauss, V. (2015). What the 'liberal' in 'liberal arts' actually means. Washington: WP

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