Recent William Jewell College graduate Jonathon Martin, religion, psychology and communications major, told the Hilltop Monitor about his adventures in pumpkin farming, his battle with Crohn’s disease, his experience as House Manager for the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and his beard.
“Since I wasn’t able to live here very much, I figured it’d be fun to live with my brothers after graduation. Plus, it was a job. Another part of why I wanted to be house manager was that I was really frustrated with the lack of respect for the house that I saw and I wanted to be in a position to help change that. It’s been fun so far, and I’m impressed with how everyone’s acting and the responsibility the brothers are taking with the changes in school policies.”
“It’s made my life suck. I found out that I had Crohn’s in the winter of my freshman year. It’s made me rethink my perspective on life. It’s helped me learn to take care of my body and do what I can to stay in a healthy state and it’s made me realize that while things may be out of my control, there are also lots of other things that are in my control. It’s given me a huge sense of compassion for people who are sick and hurting because I’ve been in that position, even though I may not understand others’ situations completely, it’s helped me become more compassionate. It’s also been nice to have a support group of people who have had similar illnesses to me. It’s been a help to me and I know that I’ve also helped others.”
“There was just one day I thought it’d be fun to plant pumpkins. I saw the variety of pumpkins to plant and I just got carried away with it. It gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment to get paid on stuff that I’ve grown. Plus, pumpkins are awesome. Things are going well, I’ve made a profit already, enough to get equipment to do much more in the future. I want to continue to do it because it’s a summer hobby and a fun thing to do…. It’s fun to grow things and see your accomplishments just spring up out of the ground.”
“Although I haven’t grown this beard from being completely clean shaven, I’d approximate that it took a year to grow. I haven’t been clean shaven since my sophomore year in high school, and I turn 23 in two weeks, if that tells you anything. I would never get rid of the beard. Under no circumstances would I ever shave. If my girlfriend ever wanted me to get rid of it, we’d have to sit down and have a conversation about it, and that conversation would probably end in me not shaving. The beard is like my trophy of getting through college. With my illness, all I really had the energy to do was grow a beard. Now everyone knows me as the guy with the big beard. Plus, my pumpkin farming business is called ‘Bearded Pumpkins,’ and ‘Clean Shaven Pumpkins’ doesn’t have the same ring to it. Plus, it’s been cool walking around and finding other guys with beards and giving them the cool ‘beard nod’ like ‘what’s up, dude.’”
Photos by Sofia Arthurs-Schoppe.