From green thumbs to little-known sports teams

William Schertz

Some Kent State students have anything but ordinary activities

Amidst the courses, homework and instances of drama students endure during their college careers, finding enjoyable activities to participate in is also very important to the average student.

Hosting Nintendo Wii parties, playing critic to the newest movies and television shows and participating in sports are just a few of what could be considered typical college hobbies.

Not everyone is typical, though.

Some students have taken on interests outside what might be considered the norm of collegiate activities, participating in unusual — but interesting — activities.

Turning tricks

Don Swekoski, a junior English literature major, likes to spend his time manipulating things around him — using magic, of course.

Swekoski has spent 13 years honing his abilities, and now spends time entertaining friends and acquaintances with an array of card tricks and other illusions.

“I like producing my shoe,” he said, referring to his habit of “pulling” foot gear from pen caps, people’s ears and other arbitrary places. “When it comes to magic, no object is sacred from being manipulated.”

He first took to magic after watching famous magician David Copperfield perform at a live event when he was young. Copperfield walked out into the crowd and handed him a piece of rope that he used during an illusion.

“I’ve been inspired to perform magic ever since,” he said.

Swekoski performs magic shows at corporate engagements, birthday parties and for benefit shows.

Out of the (penalty) box

Some students incorporate their schooling into out-of-class activities.

“Me and my friends at home like to research obscure hockey players,” said senior history major Patrick Burke. “We’ll try to find their cards and look up information on them.”

Burke, who is from Buffalo, said his interests stem from being brought up in a big hockey town.

Going along with his interest in hockey players that no one has heard of, Burke said he is also “obsessed” with defunct hockey teams such as the Atlanta Flames and the Cleveland Lumberjacks.

Dungeons and drawings

Possibly one of the most stereotyped hobbies around is the fantasy game Dungeons and Dragons.

Senior theater major Renee Begeot, who used to play regularly, said many people think fans of the game are “four-eyed geeks running around in chain mail.”

Begeot said it has been a year or two since she last played, but one of her current hobbies stems from her interest in the game.

Where most Dungeons and Dragons players are content with acting as their characters, Begeot felt the need to sketch hers out.

“When I played, I used to sit around drawing the whole time,” she said.

Though she has not played in a while, Begeot still spends her free time creating new characters.

Growing interests

Ashley Johns, a graduate student studying school psychology, has a hobby that also requires manipulation.

She enjoys botany, an activity that requires making sure her plants stay watered, have soil with nutrients in it and remain free of weeds.

“I give them a lot of attention,” she said. “I consider them my babies because I don’t have any animals.”

Johns has several plants she keeps both indoors and outdoors.

“I have some plants that are doing very well inside and I’m very proud of them,” she said. “One of them is struggling right now though. He’s just a little guy.”

Contact features reporter William Schertz at [email protected].