By Ali Neese, Staff Writer
When someone mentions Thanksgiving, images of turkey, football and spending time with family come to mind. For many Young Harris College students the annual Thanksgiving Dinner held in the Grace Rollins Dining Hall comes to mind. This well-known tradition took place this past Wednesday and consisted of two shifts- one at 4:45 p.m. and another at 5:45 p.m. Approximately 442 students were served by 23 faculty members. While the event is held annually at YHC, many do not realize the deep roots that this tradition has in YHC’s history.
The dinner involves getting dressed up, going to the dining hall where we are seated with friends and being served family-style by professors and other faculty.
Austin Freeman, a junior theatre major from Hartwell, says that his favorite part of the Thanksgiving Dinner is hanging out with good friends.
While Dr. Sean McGreevey, director of residence life, said that he loves to serve the YHC students at Thanksgiving.
What many do not know is that years ago every meal at YHC used to be served this way.
According to Mr. Bill Fox, YHC alumni and former faculty member, “we had family style meals every meal. Student workers waited tables and would bring out the food to each table, and it would go around like a family.”
While the Thanksgiving tradition was not officially held in those days, it did occur. According to an issue of the Enotah Echoes that was printed on Dec. 10, 1946, some students were unable to go home over the Thanksgiving holiday. To make sure everyone remaining on campus had a pleasant experience and did not get too homesick, faculty and students worked together to prepare the meals. The dinner was as much loved then as it is now, since the article says that everyone had a good time and that there was “not a homesick person to be seen.”
While Thanksgiving dinner did exist in 1946, it is difficult to determine when the tradition began. Some claim it began when Dr. Charles Clegg was president in the 1950s and early 1960s. While others say it started in the 1970s.
Regardless of when it became an official YHC custom, the meal is enjoyed by students and staff, and this year’s dinner was no exception. Allen Clark, general manager of the Grace Rollins Dining Hall, said the dinner went very smoothly.
“There was plenty of food and plenty of people to come eat it. It looked like everybody was enjoying themselves. I enjoyed it,” Clark said.
By Georgiana Sampson, Guest Contribution
Take a quick moment to look around you, right now.What do you see? Probably a television, computer or something else that has a microchip and runs on electricity. Some people see this as a good thing, signifying that access to information has exponentially increased along with the mass production and distribution of technological goods. Technology has allowed humanity to dive deep into the ocean, go out among the stars and improve life here on the ground. However, one must pause and reflect on this. Have scientists gone too far?
Every day there are thousands of men and women with college degrees and stockpiles of knowledge that’s hard to even imagine,working feverishly on some doo-dad or gadget designed to make something easier, faster or unnecessary. At the rate that new products are being made, futures like IRobot or The Matrix no longer seem quite so far fetched. The very scientists creating things to make our lives easier are being crushed by the increasing demand for more; and, every time something new comes out, the creators are already designing the next version of it. Human culture, at least in developed countries, has changed to the point where it revolves around technology. It is the center of daily existence for most people. They feel lost without their phone to keep them connected or their iPod to play music for them. All this ease has allowed people to use less of their brain less often. We’re so spoiled by all the gigabytes and terabytes that the greatest computer of all, the one that birthed all the ideas now floating into our homes and pockets is going to waste: our brains.
Example: Digital clocks are quite commonplace now, almost everywhere. A lot of young kids can’t read analogue-faced clocks because they have no idea how. They’ve become so used to digital, the numbers being screamed so blatantly at them that it would be an insult to human intelligence to misread it, that the big hand and little hand mean nothing. Most people are taught how to read a clock in grade school, if not pre-K. So why have teachers stopped? Because all the analogue clocks are being replaced with digital. There’s no need to teach children a skill they’ll probably never use. The same goes for the use of calculators. For upper-level maths and gigantic numbers, it is perfectly acceptable to use a device designed for exactly such a purpose. However, when a person cannot complete simple math problems, such as 6×8,without plugging it in, there’s an issue. What if there isn’t a calculator handy? What will they do then? Flounder, most likely, which wouldn’t happen if they could do it by hand.
It is very true that technology has improved many things, among them the processing and storing of information as well as gaining access to it. Colleges and other institutions used to have entire buildings to house their paper work, now able to be contained in a single hard drive instead. Right along with that, computers have enabled students to use materials from halfway across the world to cite in their research, something impossible for earlier generations.
The list continues, much too long to recount in one sitting. Contrary to saying that technology should be abolished and everyone should become Amish, most people believe that we should simply put a limit on the amount of technology included in our everyday lives along with buckling down and doing some stuff the hard way. Use a calculator in math class? Go ahead and work out a problem by hand first, then check it. This will give your brain exercise, which it probably is in dire need of, and also allow you to be confident in your answer, as well as your ability to get it yourself. A healthy balance of man and machine is needed here, and the scale is just starting to over-balance. It is up to us to even it out again, to exercise the muscle that spawned all the things we now take for granted. If we don’t, it’s quite possible that we’ll be helpless without it, and who wants to be completely dependent on a machine to do everything for them?
By Hailey Silvey, Staff Writer
This year at Young Harris College the English department is putting on a bard fest, a festival dedicated to Renaissance poetry, with a focus on William Shakespeare. The festival was organized by Dr. Jennifer Gianfalla.
When asked about her inspiration for the festival, Gianfalla said, “I am currently teaching a Shakespeare class, and I heard from a lot of my students that they were dreading reading Shakespeare’s work. I wanted to come up with a way for them to realize that Shakespeare is fun.”
When asked if she ever experienced anything like this festival at her college, Gianfalla said, “We had a Renaissance festival at Ohio State, but I never participated in it. YHC is a good size for a festival like this, because it will give everyone a chance to participate.” Gianfalla attended Ohio State University and earned her Ph.D. in English, focusing on the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Bard fest featured a number of unique events.
Tuesday night Disney’s The Lion King was shown in the Wilson Lecture Hall in Goolsby Center, because it is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
After the movie, a poetry slam was scheduled in the student center. The winner was Andreas Von Pechmann. The second place winner was Cedric Epps, who played the piano while reading his poem.
Wednesday, a Renaissance meal was served in the dining hall. Students could eat steamship beef round with oven roasted potatoes covered in a garlic shallot sauce. During lunch, Dr. Gianfalla and some other English professors hosted Shakespeare trivia. There were questions about Shakespeare’s plays and his life. The winner was Dawn Shannon, who won a Bard Fest t-shirt.
Wednesday night, there was a showing of Romeo+ Juliet in the Wilson Lecture Hall and a Glee performance in the chapel at 9 p.m.
Thursday saw an insult contest and a cross-dressing competition that was held in the Susan B. Harris chapel. First was the insult competition, which five students competed in. In the first of two rounds, competitors had to insult celebrities with terms that would have been considered insulting in the time of Shakespeare. In round two, the competitors had to fling, “yo’ mama” jokes at various celebrities including Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Snooki, Tiger Woods, Lindsay Lohan, Justin Beiber and ‘The Situation.’
Cole Crawford won the insult competition. He won a t-shirt and an iTunes gift card. After winning, Crawford said, “it feels like I’ve just found the fountain of youth. Words cannot describe how happy I am.”
The second event of the evening was the cross-dressing competition. There were 15 competitors in all. Three were male and 12 were female. The competitors had to dress like the opposite sex and read a passage in their best male or female voice. The event was highly entertaining; and in the end, the best male dressed as a female was Aaron O’Tule.
“It is an experience I cannot even begin to explain,” O’Tule said. “I feel so pretty, yet so wrong.”
The best female dressed as a male was Elizabeth Land, who joked, “It feels pretty sweet to win. I feel manly.”
By Dillon Sutherland, Staff Writer
This past Friday and Saturday night, Young Harris College’s choir performed “An Evening at the U.S.O.” at First United Methodist Church of Union County in Blairsville, where admission was priced at $10 a person. The tribute to the 1940s big band era was not only a performance by the 83-voice choir, but also a fundraiser for their European Choir Tour, a trip that the choir plans to take after spring graduation.
For those who don’t know what the U.S.O. is, it stands for United Service Organizations, which is a nonprofit organization. It provides services performances to entertain those in and who have been in the service. It originated during World War II and is still going strong today.
YHC’s “An Evening at the U.S. O.” appeared to be a fun and entertaining event for all, and it certainly seemed to be a good fundraiser for the choir. Jeffrey Bauman, the director of the choir, was pleased with the event.
“I think it was very successful fundraiser. It was good for the community as well. It was also fitting and convenient, [since] it was around Veteran’s Day. I’m very pleased,” Bauman said.
The event consisted of many performances of classic songs that went with the theme of the show including, “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” “It Don’t Mean A Thing” and “As Time Goes By”.
Along with popular songs from the time, the choir also sang a salute to each of the United States Armed Forces. However, the choir wasn’t the only one to perform.
The Brasstown Big Band, which accompanied the choir throughout the night, also performed their own set. While songs were being performed, there were slides on the large TV screens with the song titles and vintage propaganda art to help take the audience back in time.
“I think it was an excellent show,” said Leonard Poole, a retired marine in attendance from the city of Young Harris. “It went well, and was well presented. I have an invested interest too, since I have a daughter performing. [I was a marine], so this is something I hold dear to my heart,” Poole said.
The performance drew in hundreds of patrons. The spectators consisted of veterans of the service, members of the local community and YHC students.
Even with diversity amongst the crowd, all in attendance seemed to have a good time. There were applause and plenty of laughter throughout the night. Those watching were in awe of the musical performances from the performers, and audience members laughed at the comical announcements by Dr. Bauman and Dr. Benny Ferguson, one of the band directors of the evening. Even with the comical relief, the focus of the night remained on the YHC choir.
“I think it was a lot of fun and everyone enjoyed it,” said Rebekah McDevitt, a freshman music major from Meansville. “It definitely raised a good bit of money for the choir,” McDevitt said.
By Christelle Vereb, Staff Writer
A native of Ellijay, Heath Burnett strives to be an inspiration to all he meets.
“When I was born, my dad walked out of the room shaking his head,” said Burnett. “He told my Aunt Mellissa, ‘he was born missing a right arm.’ The feeling in the room was sober until my Aunt said, ‘Wait a minute. This boy was born on Elvis Presley’s birthday. He is going to be a star! You should be excited!’”
Burnett strives to be the best that he can be at everything he does.
“My goal in life is to be inspiring to people, to show them that no matter the circumstances they should keep going,” Burnett said.
When he was growing up, Burnett had a hard time adjusting to not having his arm. But as he got older, he realized that he has been blessed just the way he is.
“You don’t miss something you never had; I wouldn’t know what to do with another arm,” Burnett said.
Burnett was raised with a musical family; therefore he has always surrounded himself with music. A freshman at Young Harris College, he is majoring in musical theater and has written some songs of his own.
“When I was younger, I saw my cousin playing the guitar. I wished I could play as well; but I never thought it was possible, because I could not hold a pick. Then one day I just picked the guitar up and ran my nub over it. It made a sound! From then on I realized that God had built my pick into my arm,” Burnett said.
Burnett likes playing folk music and would love to learn to play blues sometime in the future. Along with enjoying a wide variety of music he also can play the upright base,the bongos and the guitar.
Despite the obstacles life has thrown him, he remains positive.
“In everything I do I pick the path less traveled, and I find my way,” Burnett said.
By Brand Driver, Staff Writer
On Thurs., YHC had their first ever Midnight Madness event to kick off the first basketball season in forty years. This event was well attended with two full student sections which were crazy and excited about the upcoming basketball season, which kicks off Nov. 15.
The event started off with an introduction of the cheerleading squad. Cheer team captain Emmy Caton led the fans in cheers and chants to get the crowd fired up.
President Cathy Cox took the floor to announce the revealing of the name of the new gym. The banner was dropped and the new name was shown, the Valley of Doom. The crowd then went wild in approval of the new name.
YHC sophomore Jordan Johnson was very excited about the event and commented, “The countdown to Midnight Madness was a great way to start off my birthday!”
The Lady Mountain Lions were up next on the schedule for the night and the team was introduced by head coach Brenda Paul. These girls came out with pride for their team and showed their skill by doing a few drills with trick passes and a variety of lay-ups.
The Men’s basketball team was last, but certainly not least, on the itinerary for the night. When the team was announced, there was a lot of love and excitement in the air after the name of every player.
The team started out with a quick passing drill and then jumped into layup lines. After a few minutes of warming up, the players decided to have a dunk contest. The contest consisted of Philip Uys, Bryson Robertson and Jamil Saaka. With one dunk allowed per participant, each player made sure to show their skills for the crowd. The vote for the best dunk was made obvious by a roar of applause from the crowd when Saaka jumped completely over one of the team’s managers to slam dunk the ball in the net.
This spectacle left students and fans anxious for the Nov. 15 return of YHC basketball.
By Stephanie Sexton, Staff Writer
The Majors Fair was held on Thursday for Young Harris College students. It was held in Enotah Hall on both the main and second levels.
“The program [Majors Fair] is directed to all undecided students as well as to decided students who still may be uncertain about their choice of major or looking at options for minors, etc. The intent of this program is to provide a centralized opportunity for students to investigate various curricular and career options in one place at one time,” said Niki Fjeldal, director of orientation and first year experience.
The majors and minors that set up tables in Enotah Hall were: music, theatre/musical theatre, history, English, biology, outdoor leadership, astronomy minor, communication studies, business and public policy and education and math, which will be proposed in 2011.
The set-up was very easy. The majors, minors and groups were put in one large semi-circle on the bottom floor. A few majors or minors were set up on the second floor, and some were set up outside. Each table had a pamphlet about the major, minor or group and other brochures, videos and papers for students to read over.
While talking with Danae Turchyn, instructor of outdoor leadership and assistant director of the outdoor leadership center, Turchyn stated that, “one of the biggest things for us right now is that we went from being called outdoor education to outdoor leadership.”
This change actually took place the day of the Majors Fair, and it is a big step for the program, as it becomes one of the majors offered to YHC students and prospective students.
All professors that were present were nothing less than excited about the Majors Fair. Each professor seemed enthusiastic about sharing information to students about their degree program.
By Dillon Sutherland, Staff Writer
This past Wednesday, the Cinematheque film series featured a screening and discussion of Quentin Tarantino’s film Pulp Fiction. Perhaps due to the popularity of this film among college students, this installment of the ongoing film series enticed many more students than the last meeting.
Following the film screening, Director of Residence Life Dr. Sean McGreevey–a long-time fan of the film eagerly—discussed the movie with other students after the movie’s showing.
The students and the leaders of the event discussed a number of things such as character development in the story, underlying themes in the movie and more.
One of the biggest questions asked is the notorious one of what is in the briefcase. The students gladly gave their input on the question. Students volunteered their opinions for the critical questions the event leaders asked.
McGreevey, a fan of the movie, felt that the “film is such an accessible way for students to have intellectual discussions, especially thought-provoking ones.”
“It allows students to think critically,” McGreevey added, “and [I definitely want to see] the event prosper and grow.”
The event is set up to indeed get students to think critically, and it helps to bridge and demonstrate problems students have in real life with those in film. Most importantly, the event is intended to be fun. It is a light, entertaining atmosphere where students can come in and enjoy a good movie and discussion.
While the attendance numbers– around a dozen students attended the screening– might seem small to some, they represent a large increase over past discussions. Nonetheless, the attendance numbers are not a concern of the event coordinator, Mike Elrod, research librarian at Young Harris College.
“I just think the event is still finding its groundings,” Elrod said. “I’m not real concerned about the numbers though. We hope that the event [is a good thing for the students]. I enjoy doing it.”
At the end of this month, Cinematheque will feature horror movies in honor of Halloween. One of the movies, Session 9, was described by Elrod as “absolutely terrifying.”
By Kathleen Layton, Editor-in-Chief
On Thurs. Oct. 14, the Outdoor Education Program was renamed Outdoor Leadership. This semantic change was announced to the students majoring in outdoor leadership prior to the official announcement, which was sent out through an M.E.T.A. e-mail to YHC faculty and staff. Students not majoring in outdoor leadership learned of the change at the Majors Fair held in Enotah Hall also on Oct. 14.
As a result of this change, both the department and degree program have changed. YHC’s Outdoor Education Center is now called the Center for Outdoor Leadership. Students who were majoring in outdoor education will now receive a degree in outdoor leadership.
The swift conversion from outdoor education to outdoor leadership has many students and faculty curious about the motives behind the renaming as well as reasons for the suddenness of the title change.
The change to outdoor leadership resulted out of an administrative review of the program. These reviews are lead by administration and are exercised with the intent of finding ways to improve each program of study.
“One thing we talk about is how to improve the education program, and one way we do this is to see how marketable to program is,” said Dr. Ron Roach, vice president of academic affairs.
While doing this review of outdoor education, administration found the definition of the Outdoor Leadership Program varied with each prospective student. Instead of associating the term with experiential education in an outdoor environment, some students mistakenly equated the program with a “classroom or licensure of teaching education,” Roach said.
Though evidence of prospective student confusion is not based on any numerical data, Roach said that evidence of this confusion was “based on word of mouth from the admissions folks, who talked to prospective students, and also from observations from the administration. This decision was a gut-decision.”
Once YHC administration recognized a need for clarification in the department’s title, word was sent to the outdoor education professors. After much debate, the outdoor education professors decided that outdoor leadership would be the new department name.
“We were given complete ownership of the name. And, when we decided on outdoor leadership, [the faculty of the department] all agreed,” said Rob Dussler, professor of outdoor leadership.
Even though the term outdoor leadership is new to YHC, several other colleges and universities have used the term ‘outdoor leadership’ for their own outdoor programs, such as Brevard College. The outdoor program at Brevard College is called Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education, making the name change at YHC in line with other colleges and universities.
This congruency has led Roach to believe that the change is “another positive step.”
However, Roach added that the name change “is not written in stone. We’ll keep assessing it.”
With the rationalization behind the change explained, the next big question concerned the swiftness of the the decision.
The speed of the change is attributed to the publication of promotional material for YHC.
Roach said the speed of the change “has a lot to do with the fact that we are producing a lot of publications. We talked about delays, but we didn’t see a compelling reason to delay. So, we went ahead and made the change now.”
Even though the name of the department has changed, “all the classes and the approach to the degree will remain the same. Even our mission statement is the same as before,” Dussler said.
Though the publication materials are identical, the degree will emphasize leadership roles in an outdoor environment.
“I wouldn’t say that outdoor education and outdoor leadership have the same meaning, but we’re preparing students for leadership roles in outdoor education,” Dussler said.
Both Roach and Dussler believe that the marketability of the Outdoor Leadership degree program will not be harmed by the change. Administration and the Outdoor Leadership Department agree that this is a positive change for the program of study.
However, several of the outdoor leadership majors expressed concern about the change of their degree program.
“It sucks. What’s the point of changing from outdoor education to outdoor leadership? We promote experiential learning so it doesn’t make sense to change it,” said Ben Garner, a senior outdoor leadership major.
Junior outdoor leadership major, Katie Holcomb from Hampton, said, “they didn’t tell us. They didn’t ask us. We just found out it was changed. The school didn’t’ consider us or ask our opinion. It’s kinda disappointing.”
By Haley Hoopingarner, Guest Contributor
Community service has long been a staple in secondary and higher education; some school clubs and organizations exist for the sole purpose of pursuing volunteerism for the greater good of a community. In most situations there is a defined separation between the classroom and volunteer service. This has proven to be a worthwhile system as it allows students to focus their attention on what they can handle.
In recent years, however, a new concept has grown within schools, requiring a class or individual to donate time in order to do well or even, in some select cases, graduate. One must wonder, then, how truly effective mandatory service learning is in the learning environment. It is possible that its usefulness is limited, resulting in a student being no better off and possibly even worse for wear. The conflicts involved, such as time requirement, personal interest and morality, interfere with the success of the program; therefore, an answer must be found satisfying a solution.
Service learning, as defined by the organization’s website, is a “teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities.” It is an idea that has existed since the late 19th century during numerous educational movements; but, in recent years, it has become a requirement in the classroom. The entire state of Maryland, for example, mandates every single high school student perform service learning in order to graduate. To date, hundreds of students have failed to graduate from high school for the sole reason of failure to comply. Likewise, numerous schools in varying states require service learning as a condition to graduate. In addition, some students must take certain classes in order to satisfy degree requirements.
Under these settings, students are not ordered into taking a particular course, but when considering other options, it is their only choice. Ideal circumstances involve a student spending a fixed amount of time with a partner, simultaneously contributing and learning from the experience, and then reflecting the results into something meaningful. However, perhaps service learning is not all that it is cracked up to be. There are negatives to every situation, no matter how seemingly flawless they are.
Some students have strenuous difficulty managing the dictated time requirements of service learning.The average college offers an array of different organizations, sports and Greek affiliations to students, and many people decide to partake in what they can. Some are even required to involve themselves with certain things to fulfill a degree or scholarship, thus making it impossible for him or her to reduce their dedication to involvement.
Others yet have work, another necessary evil if one has any hope of supporting themselves. While it could be argued that there is always extra time in the day, this extra time is more often than not filled with either sleeping, eating, or studying, the Holy College Triumvirate. It is safe to say that for every person who does lead a busy life, there is someone else who does not. For this group of people, what time restrictions bind them? Seemingly none. If they are willing, why not encourage them to contribute to society?
This is, after all, the core of the program’s purpose as explained by the organization’s website. If that is it, though, who is to say that we, as a student body, are not already contributing? Our ultimate goal is to finish school with an education that helps make us successful and productive citizens.
A conflict of interest is a strong deterrent that can drive a student into performing a job badly. By entering the education system in the first place, one knowingly concedes to the requirements bound for them. This is typically judged traditionally, however; many students do not consider community service a necessary component for success. Upon receiving the news that he or she must contribute time, work, and money, specifically in regards to car petrol, spirits may not be high. As a result, the effort put forth by the student may not be particularly enriching for either party, even possibly proving to be a negative asset. There is always the “get over it” factor, but there are times when “getting over it” is simply not enough. If one feels strongly enough about something, it will fester.
Service learning may also be determined as morally offensive. At its root it is volunteerism. This fact is duly reinforced by the official service learning website; however, when volunteerism becomes mandatory, service learning quickly falls along the divide of forced labor. Constituents are entered into a work force with no worker’s benefits; furthermore, they must sign away all liability rights. The catch-22 of the matter is that even when one feels so negatively toward a situation–i.e., service learning–there are certain documents, or waivers, demanding to be signed that guarantee no legal leverage against the community partner, yet if said documents go unsigned, the service learning and well-being of the grade received in class enter into danger. In simpler terms, one is forced to promise not to seek legal compensation should injury be accrued even if one does not wish to do so. In addition to this, numerous service learning partners require fingerprints, background checks, or other personal information such as social security numbers in order to work for them. Where does one stand should they not wish to share these personal records? All legal aspects aside, there is not even the option of an alternative assignment in most situations, guaranteeing that, should a student not wish to partake in service learning for any number of reasons, they fail the course they are enrolled in or possibly not even graduate.
One obvious solution, however brash, is to discontinue the program entirely. The purpose of school in itself is to build individuals into successful adults. By entering into the school force in the first place, one is bound to develop. The skills acquired throughout service-learning are arguably one-dimensional – the student is at the whim of whoever his or her boss is.
By allowing a student to dedicate time to other branches or areas, they are able to acquire what is especially useful to them. A second alternative is to give the student the choice. This eliminates many if not all legal repercussions, as well as ensure that all individuals involved are involved by choice and that the work done is carried out positively and well.
The means in which these actions are carried out vary completely by the program and people involved. Just like service learning is not meant for all individuals, no one or two solutions are meant for every participant. Many people have no problems with service learning, and many of these individuals enjoy what they learn. It seems only logical to allow them to continue with their endeavors. These solutions address those who do have problems, whether physical or mental, with the tasks given. In a scenario in which all participants are pleased, service learning will then have the best possible effect. Until then, the program is not performing to its fullest potential.