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Midterm Edition 2013
More Open than the Federal Government: HCC Student Government Get Your Books While You Can
Accomplished Staff Member and Alumna Retires Student Loan Debt Crisis: Tales from the DarkSide
Accomplished Staff Member and Alumna Retires.................................................3 By Jenna Iacurci Staff Writer Thoughts on Fall Fun...............................................................................................3 By Dave Weidenfelle Editor-in-Chief Who’s Ready to get Healthy?...................................................................................4 By Nicole Lazariuk Staff Writer No Card? No Problem!............................................................................................4 By M ary K atherine Clark Staff Writer More Open than the Federal Government:.............................................................4 By Franklin Jusino Jr. Staff Writer
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Editor-in-Chief David Weidenfeller Advisor Prof. Steve Mark Managing Editor Sherly Montes Editor-at-Large Katelyn Avery News Editor Emma Tecun Opinions Editors Neil Knox Online and Social Media Editor Joshua Hamel Staff Writers Lindsey Baldassare, Jocelyn Battle, Zachery Champagne, Mary Clark, Victor Dawson, Shannon Duff, Sekinah Erskine, Tyler Heche, Juan Hernandez, Jenna Iacurci, Franklin Jusino, Ryan Lahiff, Nicole Lazariuk, Raphael Leite,Brenna McIntyre, Ashley Seeto, S tacy Shippee, Matt Wood Senior Staff Writers Kathryn Hanrahan, Tiffany Harvey, Justin Quinn Art and Design Directors Carolina Trinidad, Minerva Tabor, Orlando Martinez Art and Design Staff Guy Charles, Carl Dorvil, David Enriquez, Angel Gonzalez,Brandon Hatcher, Craig Leachman, Kurton Lewis, Isadora Lopez, Anthony Marsilio, Vanessa Morales, Dawitt Pearcy, Mathew Pham, Leigh Thomas, Jhon Vergara, Shawn Walsh Design Advisor Prof. Andy Pinto Front and Back Cover Design Carolina Trinidad Cover Photos Carl Dorvil
Planning for the Future, Today................................................................................5 By Sherly Montes M anaging Editor New Version of Blackboard Causes Problems for Students and Faculty...............5 By Victor Dawson Jr. Staff Writer Mind Readers Conference at HCC..........................................................................5 By R aphael Leite Staff Writer Bridging the Age Gap: .............................................................................................6 By Sekinah Erskine Staff Writer Got Salsa?..................................................................................................................6 By Ashley Seetoo Staff Writer Get Your Books While You Can!.............................................................................6 By Ashley Seetoo Staff Writer Catching the Red Flags Before It’s Too Late...........................................................7 By Tyler Heche Staff Writer The Way We Stay Connected...................................................................................7 By Lindsey Baldassare Staff Writer Are You Looking To Transfer?................................................................................7 By Shannon Duff Staff Writer HCC Hosts Women’s Health Fair............................................................................8 By Emma Tecun News Editor E-ducation.................................................................................................................9 By Justin Quinn Staff Writer More Than Books Smarts........................................................................................9 By Emma Tecun Editor Student Loan Debt Crisis: Tales From The DarkSide..........................................10 By Neil K nox Senior Staff Writer Letters to the Editor................................................................................................11 G Thomas Sheffer: A Life on the Move.................................................................12 By K atelyn Avery Editor-at-Large “Our Fragile Home” Exhibit Recently in Housatonic Museum of Art ..............13 By Brenna McIntyre Staff Writer A Thanks To John Lennon.....................................................................................13 By Neil K nox Staff Writer Hidden Masters: The Housatonic Museum of Art................................................14 By Stacy Shippee Staff Writer Give a Little, Get a Lot...........................................................................................15 By Sherly Montes M anaging Editor HCC Museum of Art Presents Chuck Close and his Turnaround Arts Kids.....15 By Lydia Velardi Staff Writer
Accomplished Staff Member and Alumna Retires
By Jenna Iacurci Staff Writer cancer patient deciding to shave his or her head could be considered common, even ordinary, but for a healthy person to do the same to show support for a cancer patient is something altogether different, and would be better classified as extraordinary. Linda Bayusik is one of these extraordinary people. For the past six years she has volunteered for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a childhood cancer charity, and voluntarily went bald back in June. And that is just one of the many charities in which she takes an active role. Following a stint as an Event Coordinator that was only meant to last a couple of weeks, Bayusik spent 17 years as a staff member at Housatonic Community College, retiring this past summer after her latest position as Director of Student Activities. Her future plans consist of acting as a certified life coach to help people get healthy, traveling with her husband of 44 years, spending time with her three children and six grandchildren, and continuing to volunteer for many charities. Bayusik grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut and continues to live there still (on the same street no less). She attended HCC in 1996 and graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Communications and Journalism. “I wanted to inspire my children to go to college,” Bayusik says, “so I set the example by going to HCC myself.” One of her fondest memories was graduating alongside her son while also being the commencement speaker. While at HCC she was able to maintain a perfect 4.0 as a student, and as a staff member, received a plethora of awards and accolades, her latest being the esteemed Alumni Hall of Fame Award in 2012.
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“It was truly an honor for me to be nominated and receive the award,” Bayusik said. “I was not expecting it, so it was a very nice surprise.” Clearly, Bayusik’s hard work and lifetime achievements did not go unnoticed by the rest of the HCC staff. One person who has worked with Bayusik closely is Kelly Hope, who took over her position as Director of Student Activities after her retirement. Hope describes Bayusik as a “kindhearted, giving, passionate and inquisitive person.” Bayusik’s accomplishments were not earned without overcoming some degree of adversity, however. After her son was involved in a terrible car accident, her father passed away, and a fire caused her and her family to move out of their house for several months, she continued her studies at UCONN Stamford to receive her Bachelor’s Degree. Bayusik then wrote for the Connecticut Post, (formerly the Bridgeport Post), which led to a successful writing career. Bayusik has also been volunteering ever since she can remember. Her recent charity work has been with Ronald McDonald House in New Haven, organizing an event called Line of Hope Connecticut every September, and volunteering at her local church. She even helped with a house-building project for the show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. All the while Bayusik is balancing her family life while even attending HCC as a student (currently taking a digital photography class with her husband). “It’s not easy,” she explains. “I’ve always been a very busy person. I don’t sleep much!” “I am not sad to leave because I haven’t left,” Bayusik continues. “HCC’s motto is, Housatonic is your lifelong connection. It’s true and it will always be mine.”
HORIZONS • News
Linda Bayusik showing her support for children with cancer who are part of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, by shaving her head in June.
Thoughts on Fall Fun
By Dave Weidenfeller Editor-in-Chief he leaves are turning from boisterous greens to warming orange, yellow and red with splashes of purple from Bittersweet Nightshade (Commelina communis) and Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) and sprinkled with innocent whites from such floral beauties as the Arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia) and White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima). These wild flowers and many more can be found all over New England in such places as Rebecca Job’s favorites, “The Adirondacks, Lake Placid, and Saranac lake areas.” But if travel doesn’t fit into your time space calendar there is plenty around here to do. My personal favorite is fall bike rides in the Greenfield Hill section of Fairfield; some how I usually end up at the Connecticut Audubon Society (State Headquarters 2325 Burr Street, Fairfield, CT 06824), which hosts a variety of fun and educational activities for fall fun lovers of all ages, such as the “Enchanted Forest” event on October 25, a Halloween event that is not scary, but fun. Night walks through some of the groomed trails with guides… at night. A little late to spread the word, but you can always create your own enchanted forest just for fun. Many others, like fellow Housatonic
student Angelique Conroy and her daughter Chloe, enjoy family fun at Silverman Farms (451 Sport Hill Rd Easton, CT 06612 (203) 261-3306) picking apples, and other fall favorites like pumpkins and gourds. “The apples taste so much better,” said Chloe as she reached into a bag full for orchard fresh apples, “These are for you.” The pair had spent several hours mulling around the hillside inspecting the trees full of juicy apples. Silverman’s Farms website is now offering Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Empire and Jana Gold for picking. It’s always best to call ahead for the latest information. Still others, like many in my neighborhood in Black Rock, enjoy walks around St. Mary’s By the Sea. There is something to be said about the feeling one can get during fall by the water, the aromas of wood burning in backyard campfires, and chimneys emitting their smoking breath of life. It brings a feeling of companionship and togetherness, and of course fall does ring in the holiday trifecta beginning with Thanksgiving. And what comes with Thanksgiving…besides floods of in-laws and long lost relatives? Food! From the kitchen we usually catch flavors of fall with a selection of edible delights that sometimes sit on the back burner for a lot of the year. One fall favorite is squash; although available all year round it seems to become more fitting during
the fall season. Just look at the number of winter squash: Butternut Squash, Cheese Pumpkins, Hubbard Squash, Red Kuri Pumpkins, and Spaghetti Squash are just some of the winter squash that are popular in the fall months. My personal favorite is Acorn Squash with apple slices, fresh from the orchard, and maple syrup and brown sugar. So whether you enjoy long walks browsing the fall foliage, sharing snapshots of the kids picking apples, or carving pumpkins there is a wondrous time to be had in the fall. But before I end this I want to share my personal Acorn Squash recipe with you. Enjoy! Baked Acorn Squash with Orchard Fresh Apples. What you will need: 1 Acorn Squash 1 half Apple 2 Tablespoon butter 2 tablespoon brown sugar 3 tablespoon maple syrup Pinch of salt Sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees With large kitchen knife, carefully cut squash from top to bottom in half. Next you will want to use a spoon to remove seeds (great baked with butter just like pumpkin seeds!) and the stringy stuff in the center just down to the sweet meat inside. Coat inside of squash with butter and
add brown sugar. Sprinkle Pumpkin pie spice and pinch of salt into centers and drizzle with maple syrup. Now you need to put squash halves in oven safe casserole dish with about ¼ inch water to keep the outsides from burning and the insides moist. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. When there is 45 minutes left place desired size apple slices into the pit with the maple syrup baste slices with liquid in center of squash. And return to oven for remaining 45 minutes. After cooking let cool for a few minutes and serve.
Photo By Minerva Tabor
HORIZONS • News
Who’s Ready to get Healthy?
By Nicole Lazariuk Staff Writer he Healthy Living Club has been given new life and a new handle, MindBodySoul. The HLC wants to promote the characteristics that create a healthy lifestyle, celebrating the mind, body, and soul. The group faded a little while ago after a changing of the guards left them anemic, “The club was originally started many moons ago by one of our co-advisors, Henry Schissler, Professor of Sociology, but fizzled due to lack of succession and sustainability,” said a representative of HLC in an e-mail interview. But thanks to the effort of Ms. Debbie Montalvo-Green, Henry Schissler, and the club’s new advisor Janice Schaeffler, the club is back, and with fresh blood. The new HLC is especially proud of the
Zumba instructor they were able to bring in for the fall 2013 semester with the help of the Student Life Office, and the feedback has been positive. Every Wednesday at 1 p.m. in the Wellness Center all Housatonic students can take advantage of a free zumba session. The HLC business meetings are a combination of voting, speaker presentations, event programming, and group discussions. The HLC said that another goal of the meetings is, “to teach participants in the Club the effects of a positive lifestyle, but also healthy diet and different modes of activity, i.e., yoga, dance, Zumba, walking, and hikes to name a few.” The club is going to feature a lot of diversity and opportunity for personal input from it’s members. According to the HLC, it will be a supportive environment where members can try new things that inspire the mind, body and soul. They plan on having a system to handle the differing interests
among the group, “In the future, we hope to create a buddy network for segments of members who share a common interest in specific activities and would like a network of support, i.e., MBS Dance, MBS Mindfulness, MBS Gardening, etc.”, the HLC representative wrote. Exercise and healthy eating are incorporated in their meetings, but the club also focuses on a positive mindset as part of a healthy lifestyle. They wrote that one of their goals is, “To increase education past the physical aspects of life and apply positivity in life as it affects vitality.” The club’s upbeat attitude can be seen in this discussion from their Facebook page, “Only positivity, motivation, support, and success allowed! Comment below 1 thing you LOVE about your body since doing HIP HOP ABS!” If interested, the club is easy to join just show up to any of their meetings this semester and sign the attendance sheet.
Students interested in joining can also like their Facebook page to find out about upcoming events. As for the future the club has a lot in the works like, gardening, hikes, apple picking, farm excursions, etc. According to the HLC, part of their mission is to encourage students to become physically, mentally, and socially healthy and develop a support network and lifelong bonds. Their next meeting is scheduled for November 19 at 3:45 in the Student Life Office conference room (Beacon Hall 317D).
Photo By Minerva Tabor
By Mary Katherine Clark Staff Writer
brary. All that’s needed is a photo ID and your Banner ID number. It’s quick. It’s easy, and it will save you lots of time. So, what’s the big deal? According to Jennifer Falasco, Librarian, it’s huge, but to understand how huge, understanding how things were done in the “olden days” helps. According to Falasco, “The olden days were last semester.” Qiming Han, Systems Librarian, is excited about the new system because it is “accurate, current, semester specific, efficient, reduces paperwork and saved the college money.” This new system, according to Han, came about with the recent merger of
eginning this fall semester students no longer need a library card to get books from the li-
Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, also known as Conn SCU. Although this was something librarians like Falasco and Han wanted for years, with the recent merger resources were allocated and designated programmers were assigned to integrate each library system within the state to the Banner system. This integration aided in streamlining, allowing access without a library card; only a photo ID and Banner number are required. To understand the integration and what it means to students, faculty and staff, we have to also understand how things used to work. “Once upon a time,” according to Falasco, “before there was integration, we had two systems. One system was called ‘Voyager’ and the other was called ‘Banner.’” The library used Voyager to input information into their database for students wanting a library card, while Banner was the system used by everyone else. The prob-
No Card? No Problem!
lem was that these two systems did not talk to each other. Not good. Add to this different sets of data often containing duplicate information. Talk about information overload, not to mention lots of extra work, time and expense. Voyager required the purchase of bar codes for each library card issued, according to Han, which was an added expense. During busy times especially at the beginning of each semester, long lines would occur, making getting a new library card a bit of a drag, but librarian sfigured out it would be efficient to use only one system, Banner, to streamline the process and….. “Voila,” a new library system was born! Now, students no longer need a library card to check out anything from the library. A photo ID and your Banner ID number and you are all set, but if you want to experience “true integration,” you might want to go to Beacon Hall to get your student ID
Mary Katherine Clark
from Student Activities. According to Kelly Hope, Acting Director of Student Activities, students can get their student ID’s Monday, Thursday and Friday between the hours of 8:30-9:30 or by appointment by calling the Student Life Office at (203) 332-5094. Bring either a photo ID and your class schedule, and smile for the camera! Editor’s Note: Mary Katherine Clark is also the Director of Academic Advising here at HCC.
More Open than the Federal Government:
HCC Student Government
By Franklin Jusino Jr. Staff Writer ovie nights, wings, karaoke, Wellness Center events, bus trips, and a Thanksgiving dinner. All of these are paid for by the student body of HCC, but who is it that does the organizing? This grand task falls on the shoulders of the small Student Senate. Led by Student Senate President Claudia V. Maldonado and Student Vice President Kenneth M Botunno Jr. the body is a group of 12 students and acts as the bridge between the student body and the Administration. The goal of the Senate, Botunno says, is to “be the voice of the students, that sometimes they don’t know they have.” And it is becoming a big problem that students aren’t aware they have this voice. Student Senate meetings are empty except for the Senators themselves. Events are usually sparsely attended. Some years they
even have trouble maintaining a student government. Many students expressed surprise when they realized that such a body exists. With the drop in student enrollment the student government’s funds have also dropped. To counteract this the government is working on creating fundraisers that will give them a greater budget. Despite the fact that not all students know about them, the Senate maintains a very open door policy, governing with as much transparency as possible. Every Thursday they hold general meetings between the Executive Board and the rest of the Senators. At these meetings they decide how to use the budget they’ve been given by the student activity administrators. They are more than willing to accommodate students who come in and sit in on their meetings, though few take advantage of this privilege. “It makes me feel really bad. Students don’t care and they aren’t taking advantage of what we’re offering,” said Maldonado.
The student government is always willing to take suggestions on how to improve themselves or improve the school community in general. Besides having an open door policy for their meetings, they also encourage students to email them or just to even stop them in the hall. Trying to solve the age old problem of how to get night students involved is one issue they’ve tried to solve. While the student life offices close at 4:30 p.m. the student government tries to have club meeting places for the night students who may wish to participate in the schools various promotions and activities but are unable to due to the time they attend the school. While they have the most amount of senators since Maldonado and Botunno started in the Student Senate, they are always looking for more. The only thing needed is a commitment to the Senate. The two of them are willing to accept almost anyone who wants to join and though experience in some form of administration is
desired, they also mention that the Senate is a great place to learn how to be a leader. In another move to increase participation they have recently added a bylaw that allows officers of other clubs to join the Senate. The bylaw also states that the club members are prohibited from passing motions pertaining to the clubs they are officers of however. This eliminates the risk of conflict of interest. The goal of this is to allow people who are already participating in the school’s activities to become even more active in it. In spite of the uphill battle they may face at times the student government perseveres to make the school year as enjoyable for as many people as possible. They continue to get new aenators. They continue to hold events like Welcome Week and Salsa Night that aim at attracting as many students as possible. “It’s worth it to see them[students] so happy even if it’s a few of them that appreciate it,” said Maldonado.
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HORIZONS • News
Planning for the Future, Today
By Sherly Montes Managing Editor arly Academic Advising is now in preparation in Lafayette Hall (A111). The Academic Advising Center and faculty advisors are ready to talk to students one-on-one about their academic achievements, goals, and graduation. Questions regarding majors and courses that should be taken can now be answered by an academic advisor or faculty advisor. The optimal time for advising from an academic advisor or your faculty advisor would be during the months of November, for the spring semester, and April for the summer, and fall semesters. It is recommended that students plan ahead and try to visit the academic advising center in these months, because January and August are the busiest months with classes getting ready to begin. Students often rush to talk to an advisor in Lafayette hall in January or August and they don’t get a quality experience because there are other students waiting to be advised. While the Academic Advising Center and Counseling Center do their best to assist students, there are only two professional academic advisors, and four professional counselors that take on approxi-
mately 5,800 students. “I encourage continuing students to register for the spring term before January if possible, because then you’ll have a plethora of choices. There’s more opportunity for course selection and most importantly, there’s time to make changes, if needed,” said Director of Academic Advising Mary K. Clark. Students also seek faculty advisors, who are there to help with the degree that the student is pursuing; but in the months of January and August faculty advisors are off-contract and students won’t often find them around on campus. After having the initial meeting with an academic advisor, new students are encouraged to go see their faculty advisor for information regarding classes and degree planning. Students can find out who their faculty advisor is by logging onto MyCommnet. Clark also said, “Degree evaluation is critical for continuing students and it’s extraordinarily useful in terms of knowing where you stand for graduation.” In order to receive a Degree Evaluation, students can go to the Academic Advising Center where Clark can assist with giving you one in a matter of minutes, or students have the option of doing it themselves by simply going on to the Housatonic homepage where it says Academics, then drop-
ping down to the Academic Advising link, Then continue on to the link that says Academic Advising Center (LH A111). From there, students can click on Degree Evaluation, where it gives step by step directions on how to get your Degree Evaluation. On the Degree Evaluation it is important for students to pay attention to areas that say “Not Met” because those are courses that haven’t been taken yet and must be met in order to graduate. Anything under “Courses not applied to the Evaluation” means that those courses listed are not needed for the Degree in your concentration (i.e, courses you took for fun, courses you didn’t need to take for your major). The Academic Advising Center has been helpful to students when it comes to making decisions about a major, transferring, and graduation. HCC Student Melissa Seeger has gone to Academic Advising two times in her time at HCC. First as a part time student and then once again as a full time student. She said that the center was helpful when she wasn’t sure of what classes she should take. “Going to the Academic AdvisingXcenter was definitely more helpful the first time because I didn’t really know what classes to take and they helped me figure it out,” said Seeger. “I’d say it’s definitely helpful for those
looking to graduate with an AA from Housatonic, because they help you pick the right classes that you need, and your faculty advisor can help you check if your credits transfer to other schools you might want to go to,” said Seeger. Seeger plans to transfer out of HCC and ensures that she will visit the academic advising center again before doing so. “Advising was helpful considering it was my first year at Housatonic,” said HCC sophomore Danny Rivera. “I had no clue what courses I needed to take as a General Studies major, and the advising center got me to start thinking about what I need to take for the career I want.” Academic advising is crucial to success at HCC, even when planning to transfer out. “Go to academic advising to prevent taking classes you don’t actually need, and wasting your time and money,” said Rivera. The academic advising center is here to assist students with degree evaluations, course information, degree planning, and any other questions or concerns that might arise while a student is on their academic adventure. Registration for the spring 2014 semester begins on November 5 and on that first day it will go on until 6:30pm for students wishing to get the process started.
New Version of Blackboard Causes Problems for Students and Faculty
By Victor Dawson Jr. Staff Writer f you attend Housatonic then you are no stranger to the Blackboard system. The latest version called Learn is being met with some apprehension. Unfortunately, some of the student body has been reacting to this new system of Blackboard Learn negatively. “A genius idea, but not well executed,” said HCC student Marshall Fuller. Another student, Daniel Cacchione said Blackboard Learn is, “stupid and pointless.” “It wasn’t put together well. I thought it was hard to navigate and it wouldn’t work a lot,” he added. While the upgrade of Blackboard was intended to help students to access their work, and communicate with their professors, so far it has had many flaws in its de-
but from the 2013 spring semester to now. There have been many complaints, and worries from the college students about Blackboard Learn and its incapabilities and shortcomings thus far, including difficulty logging in and slow performance. “It didn’t work, was slow, not able to log in, the updates did not work, and teachers did not properly explain how to use it,” said Cacchione. Sure, the idea of taking online tests and doing online homework with computer assistance is intriguing, but for one Housatonic student, it was a failure. “I think it was more of teachers not knowing how to use Blackboard Learn, and it became a distraction,” said Fuller. Meanwhile, directors of Distance Education programs throughout the system are meeting to discuss all of Blackboard’s problems and how to improve on its flaws. “I attend a meeting every other Wednesday that discusses Blackboard’s issues and
server issues. There have been discussions for alternative methods of execution. Its conducted by the CSU (Connecticut State Universities) Directors of Distance Education. There has been the some talk about returning to Blackboard [hosting our courses on their servers], but nothing has been concrete at this time,” said Laurel Kessler-Quinones, Director of Education Technology. Kessler-Quiones notes that faculty and students may also be missing some of the features offered in earlier versions of Blackboard. “The prior version of Blackboard was Blackboard Vista. That had many wonderful features. It allowed faculty to organize course content with ease. On the newer version of Blackboard Learn, many of these features are unavailable. Blackboard Learn needs to bring back these features, which would help the students and teachers. In addition, solutions need to be taken
Photo By Minerva Tabor
to address the issues that faculty and the students are experiencing,” she said. It is important that Blackboard Learn users remain patient with the new software, and its deficiencies. “The current program of Blackboard itself has had glitches which needs to be addressed by the company. There are many good elements, but like all new versions of software working out the problems especially with a system as large as the 17 colleges and universities, takes time,” Quinones concluded.
Mind Readers Conference at HCC
By Raphael Leite Staff Writer sychology professors and students from the Northeastern region gathered at Beacon Hall on October 19 for one very exciting and constructive conference. The conference discussed new ways to teach students about how to cope with tragedies such as the one in Virginia Tech, and also how to better improve the teaching of psychology to students including online teaching, psychology in the study abroad, and others subject related to their ways of
teaching students. The North East Conference for Teachers of Psychology was open to students of our college, allowing them to participate in discussions, thus mutually obtaining feedback from each other professors and students. According to their keynote posted on the NEPA’s (New England Psychological Association) website, professors from the northern discussed subjects that related to their activity in the classroom in regards to teaching students. They also discussed how to better introduce the subject of APA style writing to the students who are struggling
with the terminology in their final years of psychology, and how to better improve overall performance in the classroom. In her lecture, Professor Andrea Gurmankin Levi Ph. D., emphasized the importance of the APA style to future upper level course and graduate school. To her understanding the students were in deficit with that subject, thus she recommended the introduction to the APA style to the students right in the intro to psychology courses, that way students were going to be able to obtain better familiarization with the subject. Familiarization was not only brought
up by Professor Levi, but also by the great dinner that was served in the event. Professors and students were able to get to know each other a little bit better and also able to exchange contact information, thus applying the practice to memorize each other’s name and phone number by using the suggestion that Guest Speaker Daniel Schacter, Ph.D suggested on his presentation about the “Seven Sins of Memory: An Update”, where he discussed the wandering of the mind on lectures, supporting the idea that the main attribute of memory “sin” was “conceived as a byproduct of otherwise adaptive features of memory.
HORIZONS • News
Traditional & Non-Traditional Students Teach Each Other
By Sekinah Erskine Staff Writer f you glance into any classroom on HCC’s campus you’ll notice the traditional image of a college student has changed, and almost every classroom is filled with people of different ages. There are young teens transitioning into adulthood, and adult learners switching careers or finding their niche. Each of them are learning together and bridging the age gap. So many different age groups in one place togethe definitely brings some advantages and disadvantages involved. For many of the younger students on campus, technology is second nature. But for many older students, the biggest challenge has been learning new technology.
Bridging the Age Gap:
“When I left school 45 years ago it was notebooks and loose leaf paper. Now it’s a bit more advanced, I’m getting there though,” student and Horizons editor Neil Knox said. Back in 1972, Knox missed his chance to go to college. He had a family to provide for, and college wasn’t an option at the time. Now that Knox is back in school, pursuing a Journalism degree at HCC, he’s adjusting to the new school of teaching. He felt a little awkward and out of place his first semester, but got a little more comfortable as time passed. Many younger students like 21-yearold Dominick Jurkowski believes there’s something to learn from older students like Knox.
“Going to school with older students is a gateway to the past,” Jurkowski said. He sees it as a positive being in school with older adults. “You learn what the world was like when you were not in it,” Jurkowski said. Jurkowski appreciates that teaching is more interactive in college, and that older students are more like teachers because of their life experience. For Sue DelBianco, 54, a History major studying at HCC since 2009, her experience has been positive, and she hasn’t felt any age bias amongst students. “I don’t think anybody is judging anyone,” DelBianco said. Knox has noticed a lot of younger students don’t seem to want to be in school and can be a little disrespectful to the pro-
fessors sometimes, but some of the younger students have taught him a thing or two. “I don’t have a problem at all with students teaching me anything. For me it’s an advantage,” Knox said. “I’ve learned a lot from the young ones regarding technology and such and I’d rather deal with a student who has more going intellectually,” Knox said. “They can only help me get ahead,” he added. For DelBianco, her biggest hurdle has been juggling a full-time job and going to school. She’s noticed a commonality amongst the students, and everyone’s goal is to learn. “You can learn something at any age. Knowledge is not limited to the youth or the elder,” DelBianco said.
By Ashley Seetoo Staff Writer n September 26, HCC students and faculty celebrated Hispanic Cultural Awareness Month with a night of festive salsa dancing. Alisa Bowens, the host and teacher of the event, taught us the basic moves and steps that are involved in salsa dancing. These moves include the basic salsa step,
the side basic salsa step, the outside turn, and the cumbia, along with some partner work. Bowens teaches at her studio in New Haven, Alisa’s House of Salsa, where she holds classes Monday through Thursday. “Music is a universal language and once you put on music that’s maybe a little foreign to people, and they adapt to the steps, it’s just about having fun and bringing people together, ” she says. Bowens says she fell in love with salsa on her first trip to Puerto Rico and has
been dancing ever since. Not only does she teach in Connecticut, but she also travels outside the states and has done back up dancing gigs for artists like Frankie Negron and Charlie Cruz. She explains how she does not consider salsa dancing as her career, but as her life and passion. Dancing for over 13 years, her smooth dance moves and fiery personality will have anybody up on their feet ready to dance the salsa! “The reason why I love participating in Hispanic Heritage Month festivities is be-
cause it allows people to embrace different cultures through dancing. And that’s why I love doing what I do,” Bowns said. Teaching salsa is her life and main passion and she encourages people to open their minds and experience new things that life has in store. Bowens has been on this campus a couple times for different organizations and will be hosting more sessions to come. You can find her studio on Facebook or at her website www.alisashouseofsalsa.com to get more information about her nightly class schedule.
By Ashley Seetoo Staff Writer
Get Your Books While You Can!
textbook in stock? Students may not be able to prevent that, but they can make sure it’s not their fault. According to the bookstore manager Pam Stevens, there was only one book this semester, from the DS 99 category (developmental studies), that was ordered incorrectly. The publisher put in the wrong code and the wrong books were sent in to the bookstore. These books were automatically sent back to the publisher, and the publisher sent back the correct required textbooks. Although there was a one week period that these books were not in stock, the HCC bookstore gave students a chance to pre-pay for the books and allowed them to pick them up when the stock came in. Many student and faculty had issues with this set-back, but Stevens did her best to make sure this situation was dealt with immediately. “The student who wishes to pre-pay for a textbook fills out a pre-pay form with their contact information. When the book comes in, we contact the student to pick it up in the store. We do not charge for textbooks that are not available unless the student wishes to prepay for the text, fills out a form, and physically hands it to a cashier for processing,” said Stevens. Although this setback occurred, students should still make sure they get their books prior to the start of the semester. If students are using their Financial Aid awards to pay for their textbooks, they should make sure they are aware of the Financial Aid deadlines in order to get their books on time. The Financial Aid period for this Fall semester was August 12-September 10. To check for other periods and deadlines, check in with the Financial Aid office located on the first floor in Lafayette Hall. When ordering books online, students should make sure that they give themselves some time to get the textbooks in your hands before the semester. Joanne Anzenberger, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice said, “Every semester I find that there are always students who don’t purchase their books by the first class. The program coordinator for CJ makes sure enough copies are ordered each semester so, as a rule, I don’t have any issues. Other students opt to purchase their books online, which has nothing to do with the bookstore, and ordering late online causes them not to have their books by the first class.” It is the student’s responsibility to get their textbooks in a punctual manner. Sometimes, the bookstore may have issues with having enough books or they accidentally order the wrong books, but it is up to us to make sure we are on top of our game. Don’t wait until the last minute!
any common causes can delay getting textbooks in on time and/or spending too much money on them, whether it’s because students wait until the last minute, bookstore issues with wrong books, or paying too much for a book you can get cheaper. Trying to prevent these issues is easier than you think. Bookstore prices too high? Do you buy books and end up never using them in class? Try an alternative like renting instead of buying textbooks from the HCC bookstore or online. Rae Ann Nezat, psychology major student at HCC, is currently going to school full-time. All of her classes required textbooks, and she used up her financial aid already. Nezat went to the HCC bookstore to check out prices and found out she would be spending way over her budget. “I went to the bookstore to get my three or four required textbooks and it was just too expensive, especially because I would have to pay with my own money. So I looked a bit online and found a website (chegg.com) that had a few of my books for almost half the price of the bookstore. They even had the option to rent the books instead of buying them which is really helpful,” said Nezat. Nezat opted out of buying her books and rented them instead and is very pleased with her decision. “Before you head straight to the school bookstore, research where you can rent or buy books for cheaper, if you are paying out of pocket,” she added. What if you have financial aid available, but the bookstore does not have your
Courtesy of Carl Dorvil
HORIZONS • News
Catching the Red Flags Before It’s Too Late
By Tyler Heche Staff Writer ass shootings and other violent acts with tragic ends are increasing in frequency all over the nation, and there seems to be a higher death toll with each event. An alarmingly high number of the assailants committing these massacres were discovered to have a history of mental illness, which raises the question, why aren’t we nipping these ticking timebombs in the bud? Obviously, mental illness is not a prerequisite to be a mass shooter. However, many do have major or minor hints of mental instability, and the burden falls on others to fix the problem before it gets to a breaking point. Aaron Alexis, who was the Washington Navy Yard shooter, had a history of violent outbursts and acute mental illness. In an article published in The New Yorker, Andrew Solomon writes, “The story of his [Alexis] complaining that microwaves were being sent through the hotel ceiling to keep him awake is a story of someone with escalating psychosis.” Solomon brings up the point that Alexis went consistently unchecked and even gained security clearance when he was clearly not well. Samantha Mannion, a Criminal Justice professor here at Housatonic who is also a former federal government employ-
ee, said,”His past red flags should have warranted against hiring him, somebody dropped the ball or overlooked them.” Alexis had been arrested before for violence and he probably should have received help instead of just being written off. Victoria Michalek, a Psychology professor at Housatonic and a private psy-
numerous different categorizations and severity, and Michalek proposes that less severe mental health issues are not focused on enough during screenings. This becomes even more important in regards to Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook shooter. As Adam Clark Estes of The Atlantic Wire reporterd, “Adam Lanza suf-
Courtesy of Psudo Poltics chologist, said, fered from Sen“Screening is sory Integration properly done with major symptoms such Disorder, which may have enhanced his as hallucinations or hearing voices, but not senses to such a level that normal amounts for less apparent conditions such as As- of noise or certain lighting was overwhelmpergers.” ing to his brain. This may have caused She points out that mental health has Lanza’s episodes where he would get an-
gry if another kid touched him.” Lanza’s disorder may have made normal sounds or sights unbearable and it is recorded that he had instances of outbursts, therefore why wasn’t he followed up upon? Michalek also states that a major reason that some people go undiagnosed about their mental illness is if they do not “display any overt behavior to support it.” In cases like Lanza’s, apparently his semi-violent behavior was not overt enough to warrant concern. It is not just behavior, but also the stigma that is placed upon mental illness, that is a setback to diagnosing problems early. Michalek says that, “We have the resources to help people, yet they are stigmatized for their illness, and it makes them resist seeking attention and aid.” It is sometimes overlooked just how many people struggle with a mental health problem every day in our country. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in every four adults, or about 61.5 million Americans experience mental illness in a given year. The same study also states that 50% of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14, and 75% by age 24. If mental illness begins to appear so early on in life, could it be that the stigma against mental health issues, or the lack of thorough screening is hindering the detection of these problems? It is at least worth looking into if there are lives to possibly be saved.
The Way We Stay Connected
By Lindsey Baldassare Staff Writer id you know that HCC has a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a Pinterest account? The accounts tell you what events are going on, show you photos of people and events from the college, and can connect you to other students. Housatonic has recently partnered with a Social Media Specialist at Hearst Media Services. Hearst Media publishes the Connecticut Post. In fact, The Connecticut Post was going around on the first day of classes to take photos of students for the school`s
Instagram. Megan Federico, who works in Advertising and Creative Services here at HCC, said, “We have had social media sites set up now for three years. At first, they really had no plan of managing the sites, and would only be updated whenever they had time or when an event was coming up. Now we have a partnership with the Connecticut Post. It helps update the social media accounts more often than the school would be able to. The college pays only a small fee for their services.” Yet some students still don’t know that HCC has social media sites. Rachel Reyes, a student here, says, “I didn’t know that the school was on Facebook or Twitter.” When asked if they knew
that HCC was on social media sites, some students will know but other will give a face like “What!? I didn’t know that.” Ashley Kisly, a student at HCC said, “I knew that they had a Facebook and Twitter, but I didn’t know about the other ones.” Most people only know about one or two of the social media sites that the college is on. Housatonic has always had a Facebook account, but they just recently created a Twitter account last year. This year, they created an Instagram account, and they now have a Pinterest account. If you like Housatonic on Facebook or follow another one of the other accounts, you probably have noticed that they are updating more often by posting statuses,
and adding photos. The accounts are connected to students, and staff to inform them of what events are taking place or what is happening in the college. According to Federico, the social media accounts show when there is emergency information or closings in the school. They always post helpful information such as study tips. Students can ask questions and receive information during off hours. You can go on the school website and on the left hand side, you can connect to Facebook and the other social media accounts that HCC is on. Another way you can connect to social media is going to their Facebook page where you can find a link to the other accounts that the college has.
Get Your Questions Answered at the Transfer Fair
By Shannon Duff Staff Writer Hall Event Center on the second floor. Marilyn L Wehr, the transfer counselor here, made some suggestions for student who will be attending. “Students can print their transcripts to hand out to the schools they are interested in. Each school will have at least one person from the transfer administration rep,” she said. The transfer administration representative is usually a person or people who review your application after you’ve submitted it. “Students might want to take advantage of this opportunity to broaden their network and to take in useful information from colleges that will be attending; usually 30 to 35 schools come to talk to students,” said Wehr. Many students attend an in state community college to save money, because they didn’t get good grades in high school, or to transfer. It’s great for students to know the requirements to even be eligible to transfer. Before students get their hopes up on transferring, they should always do some research and ask plenty of questions. “Students should visit the schools they want to transfer to; figure out what you want a degree in and pick the schools that fits your needs,” said Wehr. “Even if you’re new to the college it would still be in your best interest to explore your transfer options,” Wehr said. “Students should also look at the situation from this standpoint, spend less on undergrad so that you can have more money for your masters,” said Wehr. Western Connecticut State University Admissions Director Steven Goetsch agrees. In an article in the News Times, he said, “We get a lot of transfer students who go to big-name schools and find they can’t afford them. At Western they find the same or better academic quality at a much more affordable cost.” Some schools that have attended the transfer fair in the previous years are: Central Connecticut State University, Eastern Connecticut State University, Iona College, Long Island University (post campus and Brooklyn campus), Mercy College, NYU, Post University, Quinnipiac University, Sacred Heart, Southern Connecticut University, St. Johns University, University of Bridgeport, University of Connecticut (Storrs & Stamford Campus) etc.
Are You Looking To Transfer?
tudent Jessica Smith wants to transfer, but she isn’t sure where to begin. “I want to transfer to UB and take Criminal Justice. They have a great criminal justice program. But I don’t have any time to get the application and the whole transfer process is nerve wrecking to me,” she said. For students like Smith, the upcoming Transfer Fair could help. On Wednesday November 6, Housatonic will be holding their annual Transfer Fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the Beacon
HORIZONS • News
HCC Hosts Women’s Health Fair
By Emma Tecun News Editor very year Housatonic hosts a Women’s Health Fair, which may sound inapplicable to many, but this year proved to cater to so many different students. On October 16, the Beacon Hall Events Center was flooded with tables and people running the tables and taking an interest in the fair. The organizations that attended the fair came from all over the state of Connecticut and included agencies ranging from Planned Parenthood to Southwest Community Health Center to Mental Health. Each table came with a clear purpose to educate students and supply them with goodie bags. Anisha Thomas came to HCC with an agenda to address mental health among students. She says, “I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback especially from the literature during this midterm week.” It was Thomas’ first time at an HCC health fair and says that she can see students reacting to what she is advertising and wants to come back to further educate on mental health. Jennifer Cruz from Planned Parenthood says, “Planned Parenthood is promoting safe sex and decreasing the statistic of early pregnancies.” Cruz explains that she has been at HCC
for many different health fairs, promoting the same message from Planned Parenthood each time. Tables at the health fair ranged from looking to give free STD screening to simply informing students of the long term effects of smoking. Each table offered extensive literature and a someone to answer questions. A massage table was even brought into the events center which exhibited the benefits of massage therapy. Most of the companies and health organizations that attended the Women’s Health Fair explained that they had been to HCC for similar events many times. Nick Celio from Southwest Community Health Center said he had been to HCC many times and continues to share with students the company’s complete health care opportunity for those who are in need. The Southwest Regional Health Board supplied the fair with information about healthy produce and foods which will make your body healthy and create a better immune and functioning system. Briana Trudell says that she lets people know of new ways which can increase women’s health such as produce of the week and recipes. Every table came to Housatonic to inform students and create a health-oriented mindset in students. Depression, STDs, smoking, and drugs are important issues that the health fair aimed to inform and address each student of.
Photo by Emma Tecun
HORIZONS • Opinions
The Future in Education Is Here
By Justin Quinn Staff Writer The same technique is being utilized by the likes of Salman Khan who started Khan Academy, a completely online educational website that teaches everything from Finance to Art and strives to build the student’s skills from the ground up. He himself does many of the lectures online through YouTube. You literally can go from basic multiplication and division to complex analysis, which just happens to be one of the hardest math courses to take in the country. All for free. I can see why some students would be hesitant to try it though. The lack of a personal, individual, one on one teaching format can be a strong deterrent for many. These teaching techniques do appear to be a big part of the future of education here in America, as well as the future for many HCC students in the future. I feel secure taking courses like these online from an educational perspective thanks to Accredited Colleges delving more and more into distance education and people like Salman Khan who believe that education should be free for all. Such sites as Openculture.com film classes and lectures from all over the nation, from schools such as Yale and UCLA, and post them online so people who are not used to the college system can actually get a feel for the courses and try them. This would also work great for any student here at HCC that is planning on being a lawyer, physician, nurse, architect. It would afford them a chance to see how courses they might be planning to attend would be suited to them. If it is still something that they would like to do they can prepare better and eventually get better grades as a result, allowing them to transfer out to do bigger and better things. I would highly recommend these types of online classes to anyone at HCC.
t is possible to teach every branch of human knowledge with the motion picture”, observed Thomas Edison in 1913, predicting that books in the classroom would soon be obsolete. He had come close to predicting correctly that the classroom will soon be completely taught by machines. I personally am getting a taste of it now by doing Publications online and I have to say I enjoy it a lot. That doesn’t mean to say that I don’t miss going to the classroom, but for people like me who have just landed a second job, this style of education is really useful. “I believe that distance education is growing nationally,” says Michael K. Busby of Mississippi State University. He also believes that the days of going to a college campus and having dorms will be a thing of the past but that the education level will remain the same. It will be something of just a computer lab with rows and rows of computers running 24/7. This is is a frightening thought for some, kind of Orwellian in nature. Students in future generations will be able to understand distance education a lot better than previous generations. I do miss the classroom environment. It feels much more education friendly than being at your house having to force yourself onto the computer. Understand this, it is not always fun. It is not as simple as just fixing your schedule like you would at college, it’s as if you just get situated, fix your schedule then life somehow intervenes. You’ll rearrange your schedule yet again, then life again throws you a curveball. Before you know it you might find
Photo by Caithy Doyle
yourself spending much more time online taking classes then you would on campus. The required daily 2 hours and 40 minutes in the classroom a week can soon amount to more time at home but can be broken up into smaller time allotments. I will say this, though. I feel like I learn a lot more from taking classes at home online. As opposed to just rummaging through a 2 hour and 40 minute class and getting information crammed into my head. Being given the complete details of your final project is a big plus as well, instead of waiting for it to be announced in the class. Now I can go at a more relaxed pace and get the education that I want. Now I’m not saying self-paced, that is something com-
pletely different. Regular online classes can be fun and relaxed and in a calmer, stable environment than that of the classroom. At the same time I’m not trying to deny a professor the opportunity of educating their students in a classroom environment. Professor Jennifer Galluzzi, who wanted to teach on campus this semester but moved to California, and now only teaches online here at HCC uses the online method effectively to the point where some students on ratemyprofessor.com graded it highjer then her in-class lectures. You are given the entire course layout from the outset and actually could complete the course in its entirety if you wanted to before semester’s end.
More Than Books Smarts
By Emma Tecun Editor n today’s world, the bachelors degree is the new high school diploma. There is not much work to be found without the bare minimum of a four year degree. Many might want to argue and explain that there are plenty of career choices and opportunities which make a decent amount of money to support a family and a future. I firmly believe that although school may not be a catalyst to finding a career, it does not hurt the search. Book smarts eventually will pay off to be in a successful career, which eventually does pay out. Book smarts and street smarts have been compared time and time again. In regards to college and higher education, book smarts continue to outweigh street smarts and in turn begin to play a role in opening doors for a better life, where street smarts many times fall short. Housatonic’s Director of Admissions, Deloris Curtis, has had much experience and hard battles, which have had to be fought against the survival mode mentality. As a working female, a minority, and a single mother, there was much reason to fall into the mindset of having time only
to make money and support her child. Yet the seven years it took Curtis to obtain her associates degree as a part time student, she says, ultimately led her to where she is today, and she reaps the full benefits. The idea of finding work straight out of high school and building a life without any extra learning many times will lead into a survival mode. As Curtis put it, “The shortest route is not always the best route. Let your job be supplementary to a career.” Often times I have heard people say that being going to college is for suckers, and that there are plenty of ways to get ahead in life by finding a career at an early age, learning a trade of some sort, or getting involved with a family business. I strongly disagree. In the long run a career and education to back up the knowledge which you have invested time and effort into is going to come full circle and support you. If you are working full time because of personal or wavering circumstances, according to Curits, “It’s okay to put the goal on hold and have a goal deferred, but not lost.” “I can understand why students would put off school, to continue in a job, but it’s a trade-off. When you make one decision, you must know the other will not happen,”
said 26-year-old Boyce Antrim, a full-time financial accounting major. Antrim took time off after high school himself, and worked for two years before going back to school and beginning as a part time student here at HCC. Antrim said,”I prefer going to school, and getting the financial aid and help I need to get my two-year degree to get the higher pay in the end.” A college degree is the recognition of hard work, effort, and time which have all been put into furthering your education. This is something no one will ever be able to take away from you. It is permanent, unlike any job. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that in 2012 the average salary of those who completed high school was $34,000 a year, as opposed to those who graduated college with a bachelor’s degree who make an average of $63,000 a year. The four years it takes to obtain a bachelors degree is what stands between that 29,000 dollar gap. 18-year-old Nancy Altema, a full time, first generation college student said, ”Personally I find school important. I’ve seen my parents struggle to support me and my  siblings because they are immigrants from Haiti. I want to be able to look back in
20 years and see the benefits of my work.” There is a large population that will agree with Altema in wanting to work for their success, and receive the full benefits later in their lives. Many will argue there is work to be found without holding a bachelor’s degree. This may hold true for a small sliver of society and those very rare cases of the Steve Jobs and Bill Gates of the world, but it is not very common. In many different job opportunities such as trades, or a family business which do not require higher education, the thought of obtaining a college degree may sound ridiculous. The long term effects of going into a survivor mode and having to make quick money, do eventually hit hard. Not being able to enter or even apply for a job because you do not have a college degree becomes even more trying when you have a family that is depending on your financial support. Being able to obtain your bachelor’s or even associate’s degree before entering a life long career is going to reveal itself in benefits over the course of one’s lifetime. Although going through school may not be the easiest route, there is much to be said for someone who has achieved more than just book smarts.
HORIZONS • Opinions
Student Loan Debt Crisis: Tales From The DarkSide
By Neil Knox Senior Staff Writer ant to make yourself better? Do you seek a fulfilling career in your particular field of interest? Do you hope for a better life doing what it is you want to do and being paid well for it? Strap yourself in for a bumpy and costly ride; the road is paved with financial landmines that are unavoidable. This game is rigged and not by who you might normally think either. You might want to consider some interesting numbers while deciding just how much loan debt you are willing to accumulate. The average student now leaves school $27,000 in debt while preparing to enter a very slow job market that really isn’t showing any signs of recovery. This is according to the New America Foundation, a nonprofit bipartisan public policy organization . That’s just an average number; the longer you stay in school obviously the bigger the financial load. In a recent article in Rolling Stone Magazine, several graduates had an opportunity to express their frustration regarding their student loan experiences. Andrew Geliebter, who attended Temple University and graduated with what he calls “ a degree in bulls..” claims his loan payments are fifty percent of his gross annual income. That same article goes on to list several examples of people who have suffered physical and mental difficulties relating to the financial burdens they assumed through student loan debts. Marcus Gelina, a 38 -year-old attorney from Seattle who suffered a pulmonary embolism and eventually went into default on his loans as a result, is now carrying a debt of over $100,000. He is currently bedridden and fully disabled. He has accepted the fact that he will probably be in debt for the rest of his life. Seeking anonymity for that same article fearing government retribution, the worst part of his story was that after receiving federal disability in 2009 the Department of Education is now garnishing his disability payments for $170 a month from his disability. From that very same article, Senator Elizabeth Warren is quoted saying “Student loan debt collectors have powers that would make a mobster envious.” You see, it’s just not the lenders who are responsible for situations like the one
Student Debt Crisis courtesy of zmindWideOpen
that graduate student Danielle Ivan-Pall has had to deal with every month for the past 12 years. She is just one of the 38 million Americans now carrying student loan debt. When she was asked just how heavy a loan burden she bares, her facial expression and verbal tone changed significantly, as she noted, “ I did the right thing, I wanted a better life for myself with a fulfilling career. Here I am still after 12 years paying as much as I can bi-weekly to get these loans off my back, it just feels like I can’t catch up to the principal. The interest is not the issue, it’s the actual principal of the loans,the tuition.” Ivan-Pall is a Fordham University Graduate with a B.A. in Sociology who is now the parent of three-year-old twins hoping for the day when the loans are finally off the monthly budget and the money can be put towards her own children’s education. “ I hope when their time comes I and my husband are in a position to help them significantly, I’m sure they will need some help and thats what the loans are for, but the tuitions schools are charging now are out of control, imagine what they’ll be in 15 or so years. I don’t know, maybe they ( institutions) will come to their senses,” she said. When President Obama stated in May of 2013 “ We cannot price the middle-class or folks who are trying to work hard at getting into the middle-class out of a college education” he was appealing to the Congress in the hope of establishing new interest rates on government loans. Since July of 2013 interest rates for certain government loan programs will now be tied to Treasury rates. This means that undergrads would be assured interest rates would not rise above 3.34 percent this year. This, however, is only a temporary solution as this law is only in effect until the end of 2013.
The founder of the website StudentLoanJustice.org.Alan Collinge has his own horror story, which was featured in a 60 Minutes interview. Colinge, graduated in 1999 from USC with a degree in aerospace engineering. He ended up employed at CalTech as a researcher. After losing his job there and unable to find employment that matched the salary he received at CalTech he soon discovered that his original $38,000 student loan had soon ballooned into a $100,000 in a period of just five years. His primary creditor Sallie Mae would not allow him to refinance nor would they even broach the subject of forgiveness of the debt while considering his situation. It is now impossible for former students to refinance or seek debt forgiveness through bankruptcy thanks to recent laws passed in Congress which allow lenders to use the same collection tactics that credit card companies employ. Even certain types of student loans are exempted from the Truth in Lending Act requirements. This act is designed to allow potential borrowers to see exactly what the full amount owed to a lender will be over a certain time period. Gambling debts are allowed to claimed in bankruptcy proceedings, but student loan debt is not. Individuals with student loan debt can be barred from serving in the military, they can lose professional licenses, and also be subjected to tactics that no private lending company could ever employ. We are all aware that in order to pre-
pare for the future most roads will have to lead through the higher learning institutions. There was a time when a basic high school education would have been enough to satisfy the requirements of most potential employers. Now, according to a recent article in the New York Times, a Bachelor’s Degree is now the “new high school diploma.” Of course, if one is fortunate enough and talented enough or better yet decides that working in trades like carpentry, electrical or HVAC, a high school diploma could still be enough to meet some employer’s qualifications. These jobs are always in demand however they depend mainly on a robust economy and rely on the rise and fall of the housing market which since 2008 has suffered substantial setbacks. So, for most students leaving high school the only alternative is higher education. And therein lies the trap that most fall into, some willingly with eye’s wide open, others unknowingly signing on with predatory lenders believing that the path they’ve chosen is for the greater good. For far too many though unimagined financial burdens await as they embark on their trip into the real world. No one can deny that anything worth having in this world is going to require sacrifice, hard work, and yes, in most cases vast sums of money to meet their educational needs. Making sure that the proper steps are taken before you sign on the dotted line when borrowing money for college is an individual.
Student Debt Crisis Photo 2 courtesy of joe_brown
Please Recycle This Newspaper
Most of the classrooms at HCC have both a garbage bin and a blue recycling bin. There are only two things that you should put in those bins: - Printer Paper/Notebook Paper - Newspaper These items CANNOT go in the recycling bins: - Food - Plastic of any kind, including bottles - Other packaging Any non-paper items that you throw out while in class must go in the regular trash. The cleaners will not separate our waste for us. Any time you dispose of regular garbage in the recycling bins, the entire contents of that bin goes to the landfill. Horizons remains committed to assisting in efforts that will result in a cleaner campus and community. Please help us help you by recycling responsibly.
HORIZONS • Opinions
he following letter, written by Professor Smith’s English 101 class, addresses you and your staff about your ambitious publication, Horizons. The Articles we read were informative in regards to homelessness, Facebook, and though unnecessarily, gun control. We deem it essential that you all review the constructive criticism we provide you in order to improve future publications. Informative of school activities, Horizons made various organizations, group meeting times, and locations available to the HCC community. This helps if you are an incoming freshman or simply interested in exploring the extracurricular activities HCC has to offer. Encouraging an articulate and well rounded mentality, Horizons guides the HCC community through the maze of the first day. The articles that we read in Horizons met our expectations in multiple ways.The authors clearly informed the class in regards to school activities, national issues such as gun control, and a fight that took place in the dining hall. They described all involved in the fight, how the argument originated, and specified the repercussions. They also deeply researched the event and provided references by quoting various witnesses present at the time. Horizons is descriptive and provides more of a community’s view as opposed to a political perspective due to lack of statistical analysis.“Ghosts Will Walk,” a very thought-provoking article, focuses on homelessness from the eyes of the savvy rather than the government’s perspective. The articles forces a person to look from the eyes of someone hungry and cold. The article “Guns on Campus” is not pro or con gun, but it focuses on the people with the gun and how we can change and affect people through culture. In the article “Facebook: The Dark Side,” we agreed with the author that Facebook
Letters to the Editor
can be dangerous depending on “how you use it.” It can be used to keep connected or to build precarious friendships. On the contrary; the article, “Gun Control: The Debate Continues,” did not meet our expectations; we feel it did not provide a new angle on an already existent argument. The article engages the reader towards the events that caused the debate about gun control in comparison to the actual debate itself. Guns are not safe under any circumstances. Overall, the article in the Horizons paper was very informative and had a lot of facts on life, along with the current issues that are taking place in the country. In addition, these articles for the most part were well written, detailed, oriented,and very informative. We also found some weaknesses such as The Gun Control article; however, we did not judge it by the writing but just by the topic. In conclusion, Horizons has the potential to gain more interest of the readers. Sincerely, Robert, Davide, Michael, Krystalle Amanda, Christopher Steinberg, Marielena, Almendra, Samantha Summer, Sushma Michelle, Corretta Christopher, Andrea
he students of Housatonic Community College are not pleased with Horizons. The Horizons lack of color and pictures were the most pressing issues.We also thought the paper was very poorly constructed in its layout. Some of the articles were just black and white with little to no pictures. Horizons main issue is that it is plain to the eye, but its content is quite interesting. It grabs attention with detail . Many students feel the pages do not “pop”. The paper’s presentation does not match its content. The Horizons has a lot to offer although it may not be as satisfying as it can be. Horizons fact based articles consistently maintain satisfactory titles, promotes unique plots, and includes common life junctures. Current events appear throughout, however the photos disappoint and withdrawal from overall presentation. Although Horizons is not popular, its strengths fit the criteria of what a good newspaper should contain. “The Dark Side, A Violent Culture Must confront itself, and The Ghost WIll Walk,” are perfect examples of articles that had a draconian perspective on current events. We felt a real connection with the content within the articles, that gave us an urge to keep reading. The titles themselves kept us captivated in a way that helped us see their point of view. With only the cover colored, Horizon appears a little bland. The entire inside of the newspaper looks like a 1940’s cartoon. More colors or pictures would have been a wise option. A common color scheme that would attract the attention of people passing by, as well as the avid reader, would most likely captivate more of an audience. Horizons can reconstruct the page’s appearance by properly proportioning the articles, titles, and pictures (if any). Thankfully their content makes up for the displeasing appearance. Although Horizons appears interesting to the HCC community, it lacks in taste. A few titles caught our attention, such as a current event, “Gun Control”. The article featured a lot of conflict/drama due to the opinions. However, it lacked color and in draconian
fashion. Some of the articles remained dull. We strongly believe that all the articles posted in the Horizons are fact based. However, the paper ultimately fails to grab the readers’ undivided attention. Though each of the articles hold good titles while informing the student body, the overall message is lost due to monotonous images. The efficiency of information being passed on relates back to the idea of an attractive visual presentation. Sincerely, Jasmine Lucas Ngozi Nicholas Lawrence Dilawar Andy Marloune Casey Christian Alexander Kemesha Patience Jocelynn Luisa Christina Dustin
Image courtesy of clkr.com
To The Students of Karyn Smiths English 101
irst and foremost, on behalf of myself and the Staff of Horizons, I would like to thank you for taking the time to write letters to your school paper. The honesty that you put into these letters is rather refreshing even with your admitted dissatisfaction. However, this only strengthens our resolve to give you the best possible paper, and invite your comments and suggestions any time. I would also like to share that submission to the school paper is not limited to just to Horizons staff. Horizons is a collaboration between the students of Publications Workshop classes and Graphic Design. Therefore, the design is left largely to those students, who, for three semesters I have overseen as Editor in Chief. There is a lot of work that goes into the development of each story and no less work into the design and formatting either. With your comments we have tried to elevate the “Eye-Popping” aspect and of course will continue to work in that area, however the concern for more color, well that’s simply addressed with a single
word: Budget. To print more color, however much it may improve Horizons, it simply isn’t in the budget. Should the task be undertaken with private donation and support from our student body, that may be one way to get around such an issue. Should we get approval to do so, and students are up to the challenge then I am certainly open to this suggestion. Until then we can only work with what we have. It is our goal to show interest and pride in our school and the students as well as provide interesting and informative articles that are both thought provoking and entertaining. Tell us about events you’re interested in, or issues that concern you as students or a part of our community. Thank you for your continued support and loyal readership. Sincerely, David Weidenfeller Editor in Chief Housatonic Horizons.
Photo By: David Weidenfeller
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HORIZONS • Profiles
G Thomas Sheffer: A Life on the Move
By Katelyn Avery Editor-at-Large kind but strong willed man is interrupted four times, all within an hour and a half time frame. This makes sense however, as work mate and webmaster for Housatonic Community College Susan Greene explains, “He’s taken on some new responsibilities.” The plaque outside this man’s office says G. Thomas Sheffer, and he is the Work Force Development Coordinator at Housatonic. Sheffer’s work pauses the interview as he is brought to the events center to go over signs for an anniversary reception. He possesses a happy and confident attitude as he explains business but it is obviously hard work. Green comments that “He’s [Sheffer] a natural for that kind of responsibility.” Today Sheffer is a resident of Stonington, Conn,, but he grew up in Emlenton, Penn, a small town compared to his current workplace of Bridgeport. However, Sheffer stated, “I like the small town environment…there is a sense of great community”. “You had friends that in some cases you kept all your life,” he added. Emlenton may not have given Sheffer a lot of people to meet, but when it came to music, the town did not fall short. In fourth grade some of the students took part in the band. His small town made it difficult to get recruits. Sheffer explained,“We didn’t have enough people to be in the band.”
G. Thomas Sheffer at work in his office. Photo by Katelyn Avery
The band grew on Sheffer and the drums kept their hold on him. “In college I was involved in the drum and bugle corps,” he said. Instruments were not the only kind of sound Sheffer dabbled in as choral music came into his life in ninth grade, another skill that didn’t fade out too soon. “I would sing in semi-professional choral organizations,” said Sheffer, as he remembered his musical past. Chorus stayed in Sheffer’s life until a few years ago as he moved from Gales Ferry to Stonington, making the distance to meetings too far. His current job starts his
day at 8:48 and it ends at 5:45, which left no time to make it to practice. This move was not the farthest Sheffer had traveled, though, as the Navy made him a worldly man. Sheffer served during the Vietnam era but did not have his destiny completely decided by the draft. In college Sheffer studied for four years in the ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Core), even though only two years were mandatory for all male students. The four years of training were not a surprise, as Sheffer said, “It was a given. It was either that or Vietnam.” Directly after college graduation, from
ages 21 to 26, Sheffer would spend time in the Navy on a Guided Missile Cruiser and then two Fleet Oilers, which refueled ships at sea. Sheffer was able to see places like Japan, the Philippines, Spain and Greece during his service. Sheffer really meant it when he said the move to Stonington “wasn’t a stretch.” After the Navy Sheffer went back to helping the high school band in Clarion, Penn. He had volunteered with them for two years in college until he graduated in 1964. He created the half- time numbers and field shows for the football games. After the Navy, one summer was spent with the band, and then he looked for a job in the fall. He started in Connecticut at Pratt & Whitney and married his wife of now 40 years Roberta. After 5 years Syracuse was his next city of employment. However the Sheffers raised their one daughter in a suburban neighborhood of Detroit, a city that has had a recent downfall but was in a much different position from the 80’s. Scheffer had sorrow and pity in his eyes as commented on the now bankrupt city. “It’s sad because I worked there from 1981-2004, and in those days the automotive industry was robust, and the work I was doing was busy, but a lot of the symptoms for what is happening now were evident, but not as severe,” he said. Time in Detroit ended when his daughter graduated college. His eyes were full of pride as he spoke about his daughter, a graphic designer living in South Carolina. After many moves during Sheffer’s life he now calls Stonington, Conn his home. Sheffer commented his wife and he are “here for the duration”.
HORIZONS • Arts & Entertainment
arts & entertainment e
“Our Fragile Home” Exhibit Recently in Housatonic Museum of Art
work. We all have an obligation to care for our world...each in his or her own way.” Lydia Viscardi, the collections manager and media coordinator of the Housatonic Museum of Art, says, “... It is pretty cool to have real artworks displayed everywhere on our college campus - this is most unusual for a college. I hope that more students will exhibit the Burt Chernow Galleries to see ‘Our Fragile Home,’ and it would be great if they would ‘like us’ on Facebook. The show provides us with an opportunity to think about the world from the point of view of an astronaut who has witnessed the planet earth in its entirety from outer space.” Housatonic student Teresa Wirtemburg says, “I thought it was really interesting how they tied the words together through the whole gallery. I think everyone should see the museum every time it changes because you never know what you are going to see.” Housatonic puts an emphasis on art, as put in the mission statement of the museum, “Reflection of HCC Philosophy is that art is a daily part of life for every student and staff member. Paintings, drawings, sculpture, photographs, and artifacts are on display throughout the campus. The belief that the environment filled with visual art enhances learning, develops critical thinking, and sparks debate, remains the guiding principle of the museum”. Musick has a similar feeling: “I think art is important in education, but also in our daily lives wherever we are. It was humankind’s first form of communication and has not lost it’s power for connection, one to another, throughout time.” Musick says, that she has a long relationship with the College. “Our friend Dale Ward, who was a former professor at the College gave a work that I created to the collection...we brought the piece to the college and that first visit was inspiring to us. In addition you are enriched by Bert Chernow’s collection and the wonderful gallery space. Over the years we have told many about these riches. It is an honor to be asked to exhibit here,” she said. By Brenna McIntyre Staff Writer new art exhibit that examines humanity’s relationship with the environment, entitled “Our Fragile Home”, ran from September 5 until October 20 at the Housatonic Museum of Art. “Our Fragile Home” was created by Pat Musick and Jerry Carr, a husband and wife duo. Carr did the engineer work while Musick worked on the artistic aspect of the show. Carr is a retired astronaut, most notable for his position as commander of Skylab 4, which was the longest manned flight in history. In 1990, Carr and Musick were invited to an Earth Day assembly in which six astronauts from different countries were brought on stage to talk. The audience had translations of what was being said, but the astronauts had no idea what the other ones were saying. To the great surprise of everyone there, they all used the same nine words to describe the earth: sustain, protect, balance, harmony, nurture, fragile, steward, and beauty. As the press release desribes it, “This exhibit, which exhorts us to take care of, nurture and respect our fragile planet, contains a message that has universal appeal. Based on inspiration from the words space travelers use to describe their first glimpse of the earth from outer space, it is a testament to a shared worldview and understanding of how vulnerable we all are. Amazingly, the sight of our earth from space inspires the same words no matter the differences in nationality, language, social, religious or political values of the viewer.” In regards to what students and the general public should take away from the exhibit, Musick says “My hope is that they ‘will get it.’ ‘It’ being the salvation of our planet-home. Each person brings their own interpretation to artwork, so there is no guarantee that they will feel what the artist feels. So I tried to make my feelings as clear as I could without compromising the
“Our Fragile Home” by Pat Musick photo credit Jerry Carr
“Comfort” by Pat Musick photo credit Jerry Carr
“Rain Songs” by Pat Musick photo credit Jerry Carr
A Thanks To John Lennon
By Neil Knox Staff Writer t was just another crowded smoke filled bar room in Manhattan on a Monday night in April 1975, with no cover charge and free music from 8 p.m. till closing. It had become a favorite haunt for me and some of the friends, almost a ritual for us. There were no major responsibilities for any of us back then. No families to look after, college wasn’t on the horizon for any of us either. We worked hard and played the same way. All of us being big music fans, we would come here to the Home Cafe on Mondays knowing it was pot luck. What would it be tonight? Jazz? Rock? Blues? It didn’t matter. We enjoyed it all. Besides that, the place was always packed with women. Certain memories fade over time, but this night would not be one of them. It has lasted a lifetime and been shared more
times than I can recall. A night that started out as a drag ended up as surreal, passing drinks, exchanging wisecracks, and getting an up close personal look at of one of the music industry’s biggest icons, John Lennon. Not exactly an ordinary night for four city boys. We were familiar faces to the owners and bartenders. The waitresses were quite used to our awkward flirtations, and a couple of us had at times even lent a hand around the place taking on jobs behind the bar or working the door on weekends. So it wasn’t out of the ordinary for one of the waitresses to ask for help carrying an extra tray to a table. And this is where the night turned into a dreamlike state. Musicians were known to frequent the Home Cafe on weeknights, perhaps to hear a friend who might be playing there or to just sit around with other music people and blow off some steam. We had seen some before, Dave Mason from Traffic, Harry Nillson, who had had some number one hits in that
time. They would gather in the famous back room, separated from the rest of us by a see through wooden partition, visible but unreachable. Most times their need for privacy was respected and protected. None of us met the gender requirements that could gain you inside access anyway. We weren’t really fazed by their stardom and status anyway, maybe that’s what helped us in that particular evening, we’ve often wondered why we were so fortunate that night. I had helped Lauren, one of the regular waitresses, carry in several trays of drinks and food and pick up the empties when I heard that familiar voice, a nasally bend to it, a Brit to be sure, and nearly broke my neck when I did the double take to check out the face sitting in the corner of the back booth.I had always been a huge fan and it wasn’t as if you could not recognize the face that had graced hundreds of magazine covers. I almost yelled out like some lovesick groupie when the absolute recognition set in, Holy S… John Lennon looked right
back at me and ordered a gin and tonic and smiled at the looked registered on my face. “It’s okay man, it’s just me and I’m one of you guys tonight, just here to have some fun and listen to some music,” he said. I don’t know how I got the words out, but as I was looking at one of the ten most recognizable faces in the world I mumbled something like “It’s cool. I’m here doing the same thing with some of my guys from the Bronx.” Those magic words or that one word “Bronx” got me into good graces. “Well, when you and the boys are ready, head on back here, and we’ll have one together, as long as there’s no fuss.” No fuss? Are you kidding? In my best, cool under fire James Bond impersonation I somehow got back to the table and told the others what had just happened. I can’t print some of the responses I got in a school newspaper, lets just say there were some colorful words exchanged, the kind usually associated with mob movies. One by one each of continued on page 14
the others got up from the table to do some low profile reconnaissance of the back area, and lo and behold they were convinced that he was there anyway. It wasn’t until I loosened up a bit after a few beers that I gathered the nerve to stick my head back behind the partition. When he saw my melon peeking through, Lennon offered the invitation. “Thought you and the boys were coming back.” You don’t have to ask me twice! I found a way to squeeze into an old four-person bar booth as coolly as if I belonged. Didn’t even spill a drink and tried my best not to stare. ‘From the Bronx eh?, is it as bad I hear on the telly?” Back then in the early seventies it seemed the Bronx was in the news every day, the poster boy for urban decay. From there the conversation just seemed to flow. Comparisons to his childhood days in Liverpool, references to the sounds emanating from the small stage up front, everything from the state of New York City to the New York Yankees ensued. The topics varied, the drinks flowed, we laughed and tried our best to look as if we fit. We taught him some slang, words that can’t be printed here. We yelled over the music to him. Hoping to make an impression, we sat for what seemed much too short a time, but almost three hours had passed before he said he had to leave. He was there with some members of a band he had an interest in, local guys who seemed
HORIZONS • Arts & Entertainment
our best not to alienate anyone at the table that night. What struck me most after I’d had a couple of days to regroup was the normalcy of the man. Not at all full of himself, just someone out on a Monday night trying to go unnoticed, and trying to just hang out and enjoy some music. It took weeks and countless recollections to friends to convince anyone that this episode had actually happened. They tried their best to trip us up over the smallest details, but the story soon began to spread like wildfire through that neighborhood. We had become temporary celebrities for having sat for a few hours with one of the biggest names in the world for a night none of us will ever forget. Fast forward to that tragic night in Manhattan when his murder would rule the headlines for months. We gathered in my Bronx apartment, each of us who had sat with him that night and recalled. One or two may have cried; I can’t be sure. He had taken some time to make this group feel special for a night, to feel like one of his mates. We mourned and toasted him, thought of his young son, now fatherless. Senseless acts often go unexplained or satisfactorily anyway, so we took a second to remember him, his work, his friendly demeanor that evening and hoped he had found that special “Peace” he had so often wished for this crazy world we live in. Thanks John!
Lennon Photo courtesy of Julia27, deviant art
impressed with our casualness. One even remarked how we weren’t the “usual star
struck, please sign an autograph type.” Truth be told we were, but we were trying
Hidden Masters: The Housatonic Museum of Art
By Stacy Shippee Staff Writer ablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Renoir, Rodin, and Chagall, just the names of these late nineteenth to early twentieth century greats conjures images of Paris, the avant garde, and sprawling museums filled with priceless works of art, not the bustling halls of a community college. Yet students at Housatonic walk past these famous artists’ work every day on their way to class. Hanging on the walls and artfully placed in display cases throughout the halls of the college are a veritable who’s who of famous eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth century artists. There is no need to take a trip to a major museum and pay high entrance fees to immerse yourself in the work of some of the world’s greatest artists or even to explore ethnographic objects from Africa, Oceania and the Americas. All you have to do is walk into the college and take a look around, the art is everywhere. At a time when museums are charging $20.00 per person minimum, the opportunity to see these priceless works of art for free is invaluable. It is even more valuable to experience it as part of a dynamic atmosphere, not just something untouchable and distant. It allows people to experience the art as it was intended to be experienced, as a part of the everyday environment of where people work, live, and learn. It is also a useful tool for artists to be able to study these master craftsmen’s work, daily if so inclined, without the prohibitive cost of most museums. This world class collection is also open to the community as well as students. Why then is this valuable cultural resource virtually unknown? ”I had no idea there was a museum at the college,”said Samantha Cheatham, a lifelong Bridgeport resident. The existence of these works and their easy accessi-
bility for study or enjoyment should be as well-known as Grand Central Terminal is for architecture. But it’s not. Why? The answer to that question could have many facets. Maybe it is the lack of funding and security to bring larger and more ambitious shows to the Museum’s gallery. Maybe it is the fact that the experience is free so people don’t value it, or maybe it is perception. Robin Zella, Director of the museum touched on each of these reasons but believed the most prominent reason had a social context to it. She said she “wished people could overcome their biases” regarding Bridgeport. The geographical location of this museum is something to be considered. Bridgeport is struggling to develop an arts and cultural community. This has been difficult due in part to all of the negative press it receives and the preconceived ideas people have about the city. Jamie Moxham, former Marketing Director for the Bridgeport Arts and Cultural Council (BACC), said, “It is difficult to get people to come to Bridgeport for the arts. People have the idea that it isn’t safe to come downtown at night and prefer to go to places like Westport.” The city has developed a negative reputation and this affects people’s perception of it and their decision of whether or not to enjoy activities within its city limits. The greatest facet to the Housatonic Museum’s anonymity however, seems to be the lack of support for the arts, an integral and necessary part of our cultural expression. Where would we be without it? This cultural oasis in a desert of the mundane is a wonderful resource for both the community and the students. There aren’t many people in America who can freely wander the halls of their local college and see works of art by so many famous artists. This hiddn gem and its collection of masterpieces is something to be marveled at, explored. and appreciated.
Art Collection at Housatonic Photo Credit David Enriquez
Art Collection at Housatonic Community College Photo Credit David Enriquez
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HORIZONS • Arts & Entertainment
Give a Little, Get a Lot
By Sherly Montes Managing Editor t some point or another in our lives we’re encouraged or inspired to give back to our community. There isn’t a right way to do this. Community service can be picking up trash at the beach, or it can be giving to the less fortunate. There isn’t a limit on what you can do to give back. In fact, sometimes the smallest things, make the biggest difference and community service brings it’s own benefits to your life. When I was 12 years old I started hanging out at my mom’s job (ABCD Inc. Day Care facility). ABCD Inc. stands for Action for Bridgeport Community Development Inc. whose main building is located on Park Ave. in Bridgeport, Conn. ABCD Inc. serves the community by being a well known child day care facility that works towards being able to provide care for the children of working parents, as well as prepare young children of different ages for Kindergarten. ABCD Inc. offers a variety of helpful programs to the families they work, as well as the community to benefit the lives of children and families. After school and I would help with small things like making copies of paperwork, cutting out art projects, and watching the kids while they played in the classroom. I didn’t ever think of this as community service or volunteer work, but I was told that
it was because I was dedicating time after school to help out at the Daycare. I enjoyed the time spent with the children and I felt genuinely happy volunteering my time and assistance. Volunteering to work with children taught me something very important. It taught me to have patience because not everyone learns at the same pace and sometimes you have to go over things a few times before the concept is grasped. Many times with children you have to repeat directions or show visuals in order for them to understand what you want them to do. When possible, you have to give them oneon-one attention. Patience was key. Children make mistakes just like anyone else and I had to learn to say that it was okay and I would have to try again with the child or group of children whenever they were engaged in an art project, or a game. Having patience doesn’t only apply to working with children. I find that patience is something needed all the time, whether you’re engaging in an activity with a group of people or even patience with yourself. In this time frame of my life, community service was encouraged to all students. It was something that would look nice on our college applications. Every little bit could help. I do believe that community service is a good thing to put on a college application, job application, or resume because it shows that you have interest in your community and you’re involved in something bigger than yourself.
Fortunately, I got involved in other community service projects. I got involved in an after school club called buildOn. buildOn is a non-profit organization that works to build schools in third world countries that have less resources than we do such as Haiti, Malawi, Mali, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Senegal. I enjoyed volunteering my time to work with my buildOn group because I really appreciated the work they were doing for Nicaragua at the time. With my family being from Nicaragua, I was already familiar with the poverty and educational struggles that were present in that country. In order to raise money, I had to bring awareness to school members and community members. Our group was able to achieve this and we were able to send two students to Nicaragua during our winter break. While in Nicaragua, they stayed with two different host families and they were able to assist in the construction of the school. Over the 14 day period they worked on the construction site and got to experience a taste of what the poverty and educational levels were like. When they came back they felt completely changed by the struggles that they saw and lived through. Aside from working to raise money to build schools in these other countries, buildOn also gave me the opportunity to work within the Bridgeport community. Throughout the year I was able to participate in beach cleanups, and food pantries, as well as rallies for peace.
One of my favorite experiences with buildOn was being able to work an evening at Homes for the Brave on Park Ave. in Bridgeport. My group from buildOn was given the opportunity to cook a meal for these war veterans. We went right after school and began cooking the 3 course meal. It was a fun experience and a truly heartwarming one. I was able to join some of the veterans at the table to talk. They were so thankful for the meal my group prepared for them. I remember them saying that this was a good thing for us to be doing with our time and that we should seize every opportunity we get to help someone else. To this day I try to keep that in the back of my mind, helping someone in need is something that should be done out of the kindness of ones heart. Helping someone else and simply seeing them smile or say “Thank you” is a reward in itself. It makes you feel good inside and I believe it’s important. We’re so fortunate to be able to go on and pursue higher education, while we sometimes forget that others haven’t been able to advance from grade school. We get so picky about what we want to eat, forgetting that someone out there hasn’t had a decent meal in days. We take so much for granted in our country and community. Community service should be one of the things at the top of our list because it gives us a chance to give back to the community we live in, but it also teaches us valuable life lessons.
Housatonic Museum of Art Presents Chuck Close and his Turnaround Arts Kids
By Lydia Velardi Staff Writter huck Close and his Turnaround Arts Kids will be on view in the Burt Chernow Galleries at Housatonic from November 7 through December 15, 2013 with a reception on November 7 from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. The exhibit will feature five (5) largescale archival watercolor pigment prints provided by the artist in association with Magnolia Editions, Oakland, courtesy Pace Gallery. Chuck Close’s monumental portraits explore the intersection of photography and painting, providing an arresting experience. To create his photo-based work, Close places a grid on the photo and on the canvas, and working systematically, in incremental units, he builds his images by applying small strokes of paint in multiple colors. When viewed from afar, each cell is perceived as an average hue creating a unified image, albeit in near abstraction when viewed from a
close distance. The prints emphasize the cell structure underlying the image which blurs into soft focus, affording an altered spin on the traditional genre of portraiture. Manhattan-based visual artist Chuck Close recently mentored 34 students in the sixth through eighth grades at Bridgeport’s Roosevelt School, one of eight schools in the nation to participate in President Barack Obama’s Turnaround Arts initiative which aims to improve low-performing schools by increasing student “engagement” through the arts. The public-private partnership was developed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education and the White House Domestic Policy Council. Close was one of the eight high-profile creative talents who volunteered for the program, working closely with the selected school students, faculty and surrounding communities. Turnaround Arts tests the hypothesis that high-quality and integrated arts education can be an effective tool to strengthen school reform efforts-boosting academic achievement and increasing student motivation in schools
facing some of the toughest educational challenges in the country. Follow up studies confirm the value of an arts rich education, especially for low socio-economic status students, in academic achievement, completion of high school and college, and becoming contributing members of their community. Yet recent Department of Education Surveys indicate that students from low income areas are being disproportionately short-changed on arts education opportunities in their schools. Every child deserves a chance to feel special and to excel in something, especially when they are not performing well in other areas, (i.e. reading, writing and arithmetic). Charles Thomas “Chuck” Close was born in 1940 in Monroe, Washington. He received his B.A. from the University of Washington, a coveted scholarship to the Yale Summer School of Music and Art, and his BFA and MFA from Yale in 1964. Close achieved early fame as a painter through his large-scale painted portraits, mostly of family and artist friends. Throughout his career, Chuck Close has
expanded his artistic contribution to portraiture through the mastery of varied drawing, painting, printmaking, handmade paper collage, photography and Jacquard tapestries. Although a catastrophic spinal artery collapse in 1988 left him severely paralyzed and he relies on a wheelchair, Close has continued to work with a brush strapped to his wrist. His work has since been the subject of more than 150 solo exhibitions including a number of major museum retrospectives. Close’s work is in the collections of most of the great international museums of contemporary art, including the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Tate Modern in London, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He is represented by Pace Gallery and Pace/ MacGill Gallery, New York, White Cube, London and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles. For further information contact Robbin Zella, Director of the Housatonic Museum of Art at RZella@hcc.commnet.edu or (203) 332-5052. Visit the HMA website at www.HousatonicMuseum.com
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