A day in the life: a future educator assumes the role of president of Cirque Gamma Phi – News

Jon Fulton is ready for this year Gamma Phi Circus Home Shows. He is really ready.

Fulton, a senior from Peoria with a dual major in early childhood education and English, was a member of the Gamma Phi Circus for all four years of his college career. But it will be the first time the shows have taken place in person since its freshman year due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This year, he is co-actor captain for the clown number, one of the heads of the publicity committee and the president of the nation’s oldest collegiate circus.

“I was completely overwhelmed the very first time I walked into the gym,” Fulton said. “So I wanted to take on those leadership roles and take on more of them so that I could help other members and just help in general, because we do a lot of things and expect a lot from everyone so that we can operate the way we do.

In addition to approximately 10 hours of circus work per week and the heavy course load associated with his double major, Fulton is also president of Queer Ed Birds and a tourist guide for the Admissions Office.

On March 24, Lyndsie Schlink, a senior marketing and college communications photographer, followed Fulton through a day of his life.

Jon Fulton asks a question during a class discussion about the book Mandarin in her Middle Years Literature class with Professor Eileen Bularzick at Stevenson Hall.

After a run to get ready for the day and a quick breakfast, Fulton’s day begins with his 9:35 a.m. Literature class for middle grades.

Fulton is taking the course as part of his English studies.

“The great thing about majoring in English here is that you can really chart your own path, in a way, because you have so many choices available to you,” Fulton said. “So for this elective, I actually chose to focus specifically on books that fall under the genres of children’s literature.”

Jon Fulton, left, tries to get his literacy and language assessment class to guess ‘Taylor Swift’ during a game of charades with Dr Terry Husband, right, at Edwards Hall.

Immediately after his morning class, Fulton heads for literacy and language assessment with early childhood literacy teacher Dr. Terry Husband.

“Dr. Husband structures his class to be very interactive and very engaging. Every day we have some sort of activity where we interact in small groups or walk around the class and interact with each other,” Fulton said. “That day it included a quick game of charades because we were talking about interpreting vocabulary, and I had the great luck of guessing the person in front of me, so I was called to do one of the series of charades.”

Fortunately for Fulton, this section of the course is linked to the cohort program. “For this class and another class of mine, we’re in the same sections together,” Fulton said. “There are about 20 people in the class, and we all see each other twice a day. So you get to know each other better and you know that when they laugh at these activities, they laugh with you.

Jon Fulton, left, enjoys a quick lunch as he chats with Gamma Phi Circus manager Marcus Alouan at the Horton Field House South Gym.

Around 12:30 p.m., Fulton takes time out for a quick lunch.

“Usually I have about an hour break here where I could have lunch and do some reading for my next class, but it was just the circumstances of that day that I was putting a bit more into it. “, said Fulton. .

Fulton spent his usual break between classes at the Horton Field House South Gym, collaborating with University Marketing and Communications (UMC) on promotional content for the circus.

Fulton was a performer in the clown act during the four years of his involvement with Gamma Phi.

“When I first joined the circus, I stuck with what I knew, which was theater and performance,” Fulton said. “Of course, clowns go well with that, so it became a really good choice for me there and I found something that I really enjoy.”

Despite her experience, Fulton had to reaudition for the act during the fall semester.

“Even as an act captain, I have to prepare for an audition, and there’s never a guarantee that I’ll do any of the acts I’m trying out for,” Fulton said. “Everyone in the organization has to work hard and put effort into the audition process because we want to make sure we get the best performers and the best people to represent what we do.”

After filming is over, Fulton removes her makeup and heads to DeGarmo Hall for her second cohort class of the day: Early Childhood Social Studies with Dr. Xiaoying Zhao, assistant professor in the School of Teaching and Learning .

“Originally, when I came to ISU, I was actually a history student,” Fulton said. “So I’m really enjoying the content of this course and enjoying learning how to incorporate social studies into our early childhood classrooms.”

Jon Fulton works on a proposal for his senior seminary class at Studio Teach at DeGarmo Hall.

After her social studies class ends at 3:15 p.m., Fulton works on classwork at Studio Teach at DeGarmo Hall.

“Studio Teach is an educational resource center with technology you can use in your classrooms,” Fulton said. “And it also functions as a study space, so I go there to work.”

The main item on Fulton’s agenda is preparing and reviewing a contract for his senior seminary class with Dr. Tara Lyons, associate professor of English studies.

“In this course, I have to write a capstone project, which is about a 25-page article in which I reflect on the things I learned during my English major,” Fulton said. “For this project, we have a contract outlining all the things we plan to write about so Dr. Lyons knows what we have in the works and what we plan to do.”

Jon Fulton, right, talks with his Senor Seminar class teacher, Dr. Tara Lyons at Stevenson Hall.

Once he has checked his work, Fulton meets with Lyons at Stevenson Hall to discuss his progress.

“We usually meet asynchronously that day, but I wanted to meet her so I could have a one-on-one conversation about what I wanted to talk about in my project,” Fulton said. “I’m revising an article that I had already written for a children’s literature class and I wanted to flesh out what I wrote. So I was getting ideas from her and explaining the process of my writing, and she was a great resource.

“I know she had a really long day too, but she still managed to squeeze it in at the end of her day.”

Jon Fulton passes Hovey Hall on his way to his car so he can get home for a quick dinner before going to Gamma Phi Circus practice. Fulton is an admissions tour guide and works at Hovey Hall on Fridays and Saturdays.

Fulton then returns home for dinner before having to return to campus for evening circus practice.

“I’m a big, tender chicken and a pasta person,” Fulton said. “But I had such a quick turnaround because I wanted to get back to the circus around 5:40 p.m., that I only had 20-30 minutes at home and ended up heating up a cup of soup.”

After his dinner, Fulton returns to the Horton Field House for an all-member circus reunion and acting practice.

As the date for the home show approaches, Fulton becomes increasingly excited about what he has in store.

“There hasn’t been an in-person show since my freshman year and I’m a senior now, so just being able to have this live audience buzzing with excitement will be awesome,” Fulton said. “But for the public, I’m glad they see why we worked so hard.”

The Gamma Phi Circus 2022 home shows will take place Friday, April 22 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 23 at 1 and 7 p.m. at Redbird Arena. Buy your tickets online.