By Callie Stevens, Staff Writer
Callie Stevens is a senior Outdoor Leadership major. This year she will give readers a walk through the adventures, lessons and experiences of an OL major.
As a new year begins, exciting things are going on in the Outdoor Leadership program. The OL program is welcoming its first senior class and the second-ever junior-level “Discovery Semester,” an immersive experience centered on outdoor leadership coursework. This is the first year that the OL program has had upperclassmen, since the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools (SACS) approved Young Harris College to offer a bachelor’s degree in OL.
Because of this, the seniors have an engaging semester in front of them. We are enrolled in both “Wilderness as a Metaphor” and a senior seminar. In “Wilderness as a Metaphor” we read and discuss literature in the outdoor community and learn to make connections between lessons people can experience while in wilderness settings.
In the senior seminar class, we will start preparing for an internship during the summer by creating resumes and critical documents. In both of these classes, we are going on several trips to conferences and festivals. The largest of these are a storytelling festival inTennesseeand the Adventure Education Conference atNorthGreenvilleUniversity. These conferences are going to be fun and educational for me because we will meet a lot of people that could be future employers in the outdoor community. This year should be quite interesting for seniors.
The junior “Discovery Semester” is broken into four classes consisting of group development, water pursuits management, challenge course management and land pursuits management. These classes adhere to a block schedule, meeting on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Each class is three to four weeks long, beginning with group development.
The classes take a toll on students mentally, physically, emotionally and socially. The “Discovery” group went on their first trip last weekend, where they went whitewater rafting, rock climbing and camping, kicking off what promises to be a semester filled with a lot of learning and adventure.
As a new year continues, I am excited to see what unravels in my senior year. Whether it is my own adventure in or out of class or following the juniors in their “Discovery,” I hope that this year is filled with excitement, exploration and education.
By Kathleen Layton, Editor-in-Chief
531 7 3 1
These numbers are not a safe combination, or even fragments of a social security number. Instead, these numbers can be found by scrolling through the list of your 531 friends on Facebook, clicking on your seven friend requests, reading your three messages, and responding to your one notification.
In the past couple of years Facebook has evolved beyond a simple means to contact friends and stay in touch. Now, Facebook is an integral part in our daily lives, with few people going more than a day without checking their profiles.
Facebook’s popularity has managed to eclipse other social networking sites such as Xanga and Myspace. This popularity has even allowed Facebook to capture the attention of Hollywood through the movie The Social Network, which later won three Academy Awards.
With all the accolades and attention, it is no surprise to find that Facebook has slowly and silently crept into our daily routines. Facebook is typically the first website people go to in the morning and the last page they visit before they go to sleep.
While Young Harris College is located in the mountains, its students are not immune to this social trend. At YHC, Facebook is a way of staying informed about what is happening, or going to happen on campus. Invitations to campus events are sent through Facebook, with even Enotah Echoes having a Facebook page.
It keeps students connected with their peers, and while it is not scientifically proven, late-night Facebook chats and creeping through someone’s profile are probably the leading cause of student procrastination and late assignments.
While I currently do not actively use Facebook, I can see why so many people do. Socially, it is a place to see and be seen, a source of gossip and an easy way to catch up on what you missed over the weekend. Professionally, it is an easy way for future employers to check up on potential candidates by sifting through his or her Facebook profile.
Besides these uses, Facebook has grown into a part of our culture and history. In the same way that history studies the pony express and hand-written letters, one day in the future people will look back at the phenomenon called Facebook.
This post copyedited on April 18, 2011.
By Kathleen Layton, Editor-in-Chief
This past weekend the newspaper staff spent Friday and Saturday in Athens at the Georgia College Press Association Conference, which is an annual conference for college newspapers. At this conference the staff experienced the “real world” of journalism and reporting. We were exposed to everything from interviewing classes to lessons in layout and design. My staff and I left this conference on a journalism high. However, as we were weaving through the winding roads, it was all too apparent that that we were leaving the “real world” and entering the “enchanted valley.”
At this conference we witnessed articulate and coherent student arguments, filled with as much passion and zest as logic and reason. We saw students and professors volunteering a wide variety of opinions and offering helpful advice and criticism.
It is sad to say that this atmosphere did not enter into the “enchanted valley” with us. Instead we are confronted with students who are ashamed to put their name to their own words and opinions. Instead my staff is confronted with an ornery and obstinate group of peers, that would rather point fingers and mock the messenger than blaming those actually at fault. Instead, I am standing face to face with a student body that would rather believe false rumors than to wait and hear a published—and accurate—story.
The culture of fear and indigence at Young Harris College has fostered a bratty sense of entitlement that is only hindering its own growth. At our conference this weekend, one of the biggest set-backs for our newspaper was the lack of presence and name recognition outside of YHC. Though this reflects our position as a growing academic production, it also mirrors the student body. Many of the stories had the potential to insight change and promote awareness on campus have been either tossed aside or given “no comments” in interviews.
There is a palpable sense of disinterest on campus. In place of students wanting to be informed about the latest issues facing our campus and students, the YHC community would rather believe idle gossip and look down upon the newspaper staff for attempting to report the facts in news articles.
The most disappointing aspect of this predicament is that by not lifting your voice as a student, you are only preventing yourself from being educated, inspired and empowered as a YHC student.
By Callie Stevens, Staff Writer
Think back to elementary school during the winter months. Were you still allowed to go play on the playground when it was frozen? Now imagine having your favorite playground frozen for four months straight. Would you choose to brave the bitter cold or decide to stay inside in the loving heat of your house? This is the vicious decision outdoor enthusiasts have to make during the winter months. Do they care enough to face the cold to explore nature’s beauties or do they crawl back inside and stay warm? To much surprise, there are many activities that people can do during the winter and still be active with the outdoors including rock climbing, caving and snow hikes.
Rock climbing during the cold winter is entirely different than climbing in the summer. The rock is brutally cold, which makes climbing harder because it makes your hands cold and harder to hold onto the rock. Many outdoor enthusiasts still courageously go rock climbing, because they love it so much. But for those who like climbing but don’t love it, I suggest indoor rock climbing. Climbers use indoor rock climbing as a training tool because they can focus on the climbing aspect like learning how to make a new move or building up their strength, without having to worry about environmental issues such as the weather. It’s the perfect compromise of being able to stay warm but still be active in an ‘outdoorsy’ way.
Another great compromise is caving. There are 513 caves in Georgia. Though most are on private property, there are many like Petty John’s Cave in Lafayette that are open and free to the public. The amazing fact about caves is that they stay a constant 58 degrees year round no matter what the temperature is outside. This makes caving perfect in the winter because people can actually go warm up while exploring all the routes and adventures the caves hold. With all the benefits of caving it can also be very dangerous. So, be sure to have a guide that has been to the cave before and knows its passages. This will help prevent getting lost and allowing for a better experience.
One of the best adventures during the winter is snow hikes. Outdoor enthusiasts usually embrace the cold when it has snowed and explore a whole new playground. The mountains are transformed completely when they are covered in snow. What use to be green and noisy, is now quiet, peaceful and elegant when it’s covered in snow. Some of the best adventures are going on day hikes to places you have been before and seeing how it changes during the winter months.
An ancient Chinese poem describes a snow covered mountain as “pure snowflakes blooming on the pine Huangshan Mountain in winter is the snowy heaven on earth.”
The mountains are just as, if not more, beautiful to explore during the winter. So, try taking a day hike and seeing the mountains in a new perspective.
The outdoor enthusiasts’ playground may be frozen during the winter months, but there are still a variety of activities to go explore. The question is, how adventurous are you?
By Kathleen Layton, Editor-in-Chief
While there are numerous outlets for students to become ‘educated, inspired and empowered,’ one opportunity that Young Harris College is severely lacking is the opportunity for students to study abroad. A study abroad program would not only fortify the foreign language department, but it would also bolster the résumés of its students.
Currently, the foreign language department does not have a major or minor in place for Spanish or French; however, the paperwork has been submitted for foreign language minors. Once the minor is approved, the department can work towards preparing the major for approval. Even with approval still pending on the minors, the foreign language department has made arrangements with the University of Barcelona to allow YHC students to spend a few weeks abroad studying at the international university.
The University of Barcelona typically only makes arrangements with Ivy League universities such as Princeton or Harvard. But, through some miracle, YHC was able to secure plans for YHC students to study abroad at this internationally-known university.
Along with being an amazing opportunity for YHC students to travel to Europe, this opportunity would also give YHC students a chance to study in an internationally recognized university that most small schools in Georgia can’t duplicate. This would further distinguish YHC among other schools in the south and potentially increase enrollment numbers for the college.
Yet, as amazing as this opportunity is, the memorandum for the program is currently still being reviewed by YHC lawyers. But, hopefully, this program will push past legal concerns and gain approval. If the program was rejected, this would be a valuable loss not only to the foreign language department but also to YHC in general.
As a Spanish minor, I not only want to study abroad, but I need to as well. Through a study abroad program YHC students could be immersed in a foreign language and culture. Through complete immersion students can learn the inner workings of a foreign language, something that would be a valuable tool in today’s society. So, what better way could a student learn a language than through studying abroad?
By Callie Stevens, Staff Writer
This past week, the Discovery students started the land pursuits section of the semester with a three-day backpacking trip. We went to the Cohutta Wilderness in Blue Ridge. The trail was 13 miles and followed the Jakes River, a famous fly fishing river. The trail itself is rather easy for the level of experience the group has. So, our minds were left to float with only the care of the river crossings and the beauty around us.
The trail was flat for the majority of the hike and crossed the river 18 times. This was my first experience river crossing with packs on. The average pack weighs 25 to 40 pounds, so crossing a knee-deep river is quiet different with all the extra weight. The crossings certainly increased the risk in the hike, because if we fell, our packs and the gear inside would get wet -especially bad on a cold night. So, the river crossings increased our awareness of what we were doing.
At the beginning of the river crossing I picked up a walking stick to use for extra balance. There were many times when the force of the water almost pushed me backwards.
I would make sure one foot was set on the bottom of the river. Then, I would carefully slide my other foot over to set it, but I found my foot on a large rock that was slippery. I would slide my foot around trying to find the edge of the rock before my one foot slipped, which would result into me falling into cold water. Then, I would find the edge of the rock with my foot and get it settled so I wouldn’t fall. Almost every river crossing was like this where we snaked our way across the river taking each step with care.
Once we got past all the river crossings, which ended up being on our last day of the trip, we were able to be amazed at nature’s natural beauty during the fall. As the trail climbed away from the river and to the ridge where we had parked, we were able to see the trees in all of their glory of the leaves changing to the fall’s natural colors. As we looked about we were captured by auburn colors that would take anyone’s breath away.
The trail was a steady climb at this point, which allowed me to let my mind wonder instead of focusing on the trial. I thought about how peaceful the moment was. I was surrounded by some of my best friends in the middle of the woods with only the sound of our feet on the ground and the natural wood sounds of birds chirping, squirrels running on the leaves and the wind whistling through the trees. I closed my eyes and listened to the peaceful noises and wondered why people would want to live in the middle of cities. The woods provide a peaceful safe haven for the mind, body and soul.
I watched the mountains roll around us and thought back on the trip and the semester. With only two weeks left in the semester for the Discovery students, we continue to be immersed in the woods, which provided us with the peace needed to allow us to grow as students, educators and individuals as a whole.
By Christelle Vereb, Staff Writer
A native of Athens, freshman Molly Blaschke chose to come to Young Harris College because of the number of students in classes and because of the beautiful campus.
Though an undecided on her major, Blaschke hopes to decide the occupation she desires to pursue in the coming months.
“I want to live in New York City for a couple of years. I also want to be successful; and therefore, I know I am going to need a decent job.”
Blaschke would also like to travel to Italy, Australia and Bali, India.
“The Movie Eat, Pray, Love has inspired me to want to re-invent myself through traveling and understanding other cultures,” Blaschke said.
Blaschke is involved with numerous activities on campus such as Bible study and Third World First.
Along with being involved in these activities, Blaschke is also eager for the return of basketball on campus.
Blaschke said, “I also cannot wait for basketball season to begin.”
When she is not doing school work or participating in campus activities, Blaschke can be found shopping, having fun with friends or catching up with old friends on Facebook.
“I love my friends. We spend lots of time together, and I also love my roommate, Erica Brooks. She is my alarm clock,” joked Blaschke.
Born on December 6, 1991, Blaschke cites her most interesting memory as a day she ended up in the hospital from playing in a fountain.
“Last spring break, a friend and I decided to go spend the day in Madison. The day was so pretty and we were having a great time. Then I saw a fountain that I decided I wanted to walk in,” Blaschke said. “I got in and started walking without paying attention. I ended up stepping on broken glass. It was horrible! I walked out saying it hurt; [but] my friend thought I was joking, until he saw blood spewing from my foot. A woman passing by used her son’s polo to tie around my foot to stop the bleeding. Then I had to go to the hospital for it. It was a most interesting day.”
Despite this minor setback Blaschke continues to have aspirations of being a successful woman. As motivation, she remembers a quote by Benjamin Franklin.
“Do the best with what you have and where you are.”