Posture of Learning Inspires Greatness

Biokinetics major Marcus Krupke ’22 has learned a lot over his last four years at Bethel. His worldview has expanded, his faith has grown, and the relationships he’s developed have proven priceless as he prepares for a life greatly shaped by his Bethel experience.

By Katie Johnson ’19, content specialist

May 11, 2022 | 10:30 a.m.

Marcus Krupke '22 found a home on the Bethel Royals baseball team.

Marcus Krupke '22 found a home on the Bethel Royals baseball team.

“What about 219 plus 110?” Marcus Krupke ’22 asked the student sitting across from him at Centennial Community Education’s YouthWay Center in Blaine, Minnesota.

The second grader offered the right answer with little effort. Krupke asked another three-digit addition problem with same results. He moved onto four-, then five-, six-, seven-digit addition problems, and the student flew through the questions with ease. When Krupke stood to help another student in the after-school tutoring program, the boy’s mother approached him, asking if her son was good at math. Krupke responded enthusiastically, and he realized then that he was learning from these students as much as they were learning from him. 

This posture of learning has shaped Krupke’s Bethel experience more than he could’ve ever imagined, especially as he took a course called Educational Equity with Assistant Professor of Education Elisabeth Lefebvre. The biokinetics major took Educational Equity to fulfill some of his general education requirements involving community connection and collaboration. They’ve explored various human rights topics that teachers will inevitably encounter in their classrooms, such as gender equality, the LGBTQ+ community, racism, Native American culture, and more. Krupke, who grew up in a predominantly white community in St. Michael, Minnesota, found his worldview expanding as he learned about others with different life experiences. 

Part of the course involves a service hours requirement, which is how Krupke connected with Centennial Community Education. He works with first- through fourth-graders looking for homework help. Because most of the students are part of the Twin Cities’ Somali community, Krupke maintained that posture of learning as he moved from his college classroom to the tutoring space in the YouthWay Center. Through one conversation with a fourth-grader, he discovered that she talked about working through the Quran the same way he had experienced the Bible through confirmation. This experience is helping him broaden and personalize his perception of the Somali community, because every student he interacts with has a personal story steeped in a culture different from his.

“The biggest shift for me was that even if these people don't have the same faith as me, don't have the same life as me, they are still God's people. I had that mental shift, saying to myself, ‘I'm going to love everyone as best I can.’”

— Marcus Krupke

Along with his experiences in his Education Equity course, Krupke has learned more about himself and his faith through the relationships he’s developed with his roommates and fellow players on the baseball team. A recent Chapel message highlighted the importance of growing closer in one’s relationships, using the example of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. His roommate said offhandedly, “I don’t know if I’d want to wash your feet.” And Krupke responded, “Well, I’d wash yours. Maybe we have to talk about this.” Krupke’s roommates provide a space to wrestle with tough questions and concepts they’re encountering in their classes and Chapel. Their long conversations have helped Krupke deepen his faith over his last four years at Bethel.

Being on the baseball team has also fueled his growth as a person of faith. The camaraderie on the team is unlike any other, as they spend at least two to three hours a day throughout preseason training, lifting, J-term practices, and games in the spring. There’s always someone to eat lunch with in the Monson Dining Center. Outside of their work on the team, they hang out on Friday nights and play Mario Kart at someone’s house or watch games together. “I would say I have my core friends, and then I have a bunch of brothers on the baseball team. That’s how we explain it,” Krupke says. Being on the baseball team has been a significant highlight of his Bethel experience, especially since his teammates challenge him in his faith, encouraging him to push forward and supporting him along the way.

Marcus Krupke '22 with brother and fellow teammate Jordan Krupke '24 (left)

Marcus Krupke '22 with brother and fellow teammate Jordan Krupke '24 (left)

When asked what dreams he carries with him, Krupke didn’t reference his plans to start a chiropractic practice or secret hopes of making it in the major leagues. “The first thing that came to mind—and I didn't want to shape it any more than this—I want to be a great husband, a great father, and a great friend,” Krupke says. He has been working toward this dream, intentionally shaping his Bethel experience around learning what it means to be a great friend—an idea that usually includes answering the 2 a.m. phone call to be there for someone who needs help or just someone to talk to. When he thinks of his future roles as a husband, father, and friend, he hopes he’ll be willing to sacrifice for those he cares about most.

Though, really, there’s no doubt that Krupke will do great things, as he’s already impacting the community around him.

"The highlight of being on the team has just been the camaraderie. We have done so much together. We have been through so much together," Krupke says.

"The highlight of being on the team has just been the camaraderie. We have done so much together. We have been through so much together," Krupke says.

Community Life at Bethel

Whether you’re in the classroom, on the baseball field, or in a residence hall, you’ll experience a community unlike any other. You’ll walk through life with roommates, friends, classmates, teammates, faculty, and staff who will challenge and support you through the highs and lows of your time at Bethel. You’ll grow as a whole person, learning about yourself, your faith, and your potential during some of the most transformative years of your life.

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