Thursday, December 8, 2016

Solange: A Seat at the Table

By: Andrea Davis

Solange gave me A Seat at the Table and I was served with a soft, yet essential medley of song after song filled with messages of black empowerment, self-awareness, and honesty. Although the album itself is gentle-sounding, it is one that represents great strength. Solange has released three albums in her musical career and by far this is one of her best works.

            One of my favorite songs on her album, and one I can relate to on a personal level, is the song titled “Don’t Touch My Hair.” Although the instrumentation and melody are simplistic, the message is strong. As a black woman with natural hair, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to reprimand someone for their unrelenting desire to touch my hair without my permission. The lyrics, “Don’t touch my hair/When it’s the feelings I wear/Don’t touch my soul/When it’s the rhythm I know/Don’t touch my crown,” expresses the need for others to respect the natural hair journey and what it represents to a woman of color who has decided to take that journey. Being a natural girl in a relaxer-ridden world is not easy. The standard of beauty in our society calls for bone straight hair – not kinky, curly coils and dreadlocks. Natural hair is an outward expression and direct rejection of the idea that you are only beautiful with straight hair, so it is not something to “play” with, especially without permission. If you don’t understand or find yourself that fascinated with natural hair that you have to touch it, do yourself a favor and resist the urge to disrespect the fro and just have a conversation with a naturalista about her hair journey.

            Solange served some neo-soul, gentle-rhythms, and powerful lyricism in her album A Seat at the Table and I believe this is one of the best albums of the year. In a music scene that now seems to be filled with no substance, Solange’s album is food for the soul.

Managing Your Time

By: Stylicia Bowden

As a student the concept of managing your time well is important. The college lifestyle is filled with papers, deadlines, projects and assignments. It sometimes can become stressful if you do not understand the importance of time.

Time is the wealthiest commodity we own. Whether young or old time does not wait but passes us by if we are not spending it wisely. In order to manage it wisely you have to  organize your time.

The best way to organize your time effectively is by learning how to prioritize your life. When you learn how to prioritize your life you manage your time responsibly. For college students time management is critical especially when there are other demands such as children, a spouse and a job.

Below are five steps to help you manage your time better and implement a plan to be stress free during your college journey.

  • Create a schedule: When life gets in the way it is good to have a schedule or list of all the things you need to do for the week. Figure out which assignments are due that week and how much time you have to dedicate to them.
  • No procrastination: It is never good to procrastinate so if you can complete an assignment early do it to stay ahead.
  • Ask for help: Don’t let your pride get in the way; ask for assistance. Trident Technical College offers tutoring at The Learning Center in Bldg. 920 Rm. 211. They also offer writing assistance as well.
  • Take a break: Sometimes college courses can be overwhelming; always make time to take a break in between your study time. It will help refresh your mind.
  • Study Groups. Creating a study group for accountability can help you manage your time well. It is great to be around other like-minded people to encourage you to succeed.

Your time is precious so make the best out of it and know your college years can be your best years of your life!

Happy Holidays with Autism

By: Andrea Davis

                      Tis the season for loud, noisy Christmas ballads blasting throughout the department stores and seas of people crowding shopping malls to take advantage of those holiday sales. While the combination of the two may become a little annoying at times, it is something I can grin and bear while I’m out partaking in the holiday festivities. For my son Russell, however, this would be a combination that would send him into sensory overload. Since my son was diagnosed with autism at age 3 (he is now 8 years old), we have had years of speech and occupational therapy, along with a little trial and error, to help guide our family through the holidays as smoothly as possible. Sometimes that is easier said than done, but fortunately for us we have managed to master a few tips and tricks I’d love to share with you today to keep your holidays happy.

Visiting the local Christmas store got
Russell into theoay spirit
           When you have a child with autism spectrum disorder, preparing and planning for the holidays can help you relieve some holiday stress in a major way. What my husband and I have learned in raising  Russell is that getting him adapted to the holiday festivities before they occur saves us some major meltdowns on the day of those events. One symptom displayed by children on the autism spectrum is their susceptibility to sensory overload. Overstimulation of light, sound, or texture can sometimes be overwhelming for a child on the spectrum – this can cause them much stress. Unfortunately, the holiday season encompasses all of those things – big, bright Christmas lights, loud holiday music, and tons of textures found in everything from the holiday meals to the decorations. One tip to getting your child used to the decorations that will adorn your home is taking them to a small holiday-themed store. This provides your child the opportunity to look at the lights and decorations in a stress free environment so that when your family is ready to set up a Christmas tree, your child won’t be overwhelmed. Every year, we take our son Russell to a small, local holiday themed store that features toy trains, nutcrackers, and of course Christmas trees. We allow him to touch the lights and decorations on the trees so that he can get used to festive atmosphere and get excited about decorating his own tree. By the time we make it home, he is ready to make his Christmas tree brighter and even more beautiful than the ones he saw in the store.
Russell helping out with the Thanksgiving ham
           When family gets together for the holiday, you better believe there is always food. One challenge we have faced with Russell, and have noticed when speaking to occupational therapists in general, is that children on the autism spectrum tend to be extremely picky eaters. One problem that can arise from such limited food intake is a child may not be getting all the vitamins, calories, and nutrition needed to maintain good health. While we supplement our son’s diet with vitamins he takes daily, the battle of trying new foods continues. However, we think we’ve found a way to win little wars every day, especially during the holiday season. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because I love to cook, but I used to become really frustrated when I would create these elaborate meals only for Russell to pick up a dinner roll and call it a meal. A couple of years ago, my husband and I decided to try something different and from that point on it has brought a lot of joy and full tummies to our holiday meals. If you have a picky eater, try setting up mini meals for them to try before your big holiday feast. What we do is let him see pictures of different types of foods he could try. I suggest using pictures because some children struggle with articulating their wants or needs – this is the case for Russell. We narrow our options down to 2-3 menu items and we prepare them together. Russell prepares meals with me because it allows him to see, touch, and learn the process of cooking and he gets to add his own creativity to certain dishes if he likes. Once he’s tried the items we prepared and he gets used to textures, we’re less likely to have any meltdowns or empty bellies on Thanksgiving Day.

            Traveling during the holidays can be a task in itself. For children with autism,
Road trip from SC to KY with his favorite blue blanket
traveling can bring on feelings of high stress and anxiety for many reasons. One reason Russell had a hard time with travel is because he is very much attached to his routine. Traveling disrupts the flow of his routine and takes him out of the environment he is used to being in. To make traveling much easier for him, we’ve adopted this tip – make sure you plan to have their favorite books, foods, or toys available. When they have something close by that is familiar to them, the anxiety and stress brought on by unfamiliarity to their surroundings may subside – this has saved us many times. In Russell’s case, his prized blue blanket has been faithfully by his side on every holiday trip. As we all know children tend to misplace things, so I always keep a duplicate nearby, just in case.

            If you know one person with autism, then guess what – you know a person with autism. It’s called a spectrum disorder because not all autism is treated the same. Different people may encompass unique aspects of the disorder, but they all have one thing in common. All those living with autism spectrum disorder have hearts of gold and wonderful gifts to share with the world. During the holidays, keep in mind that some things that are meant to be joyful, such as holiday music and decorating a Christmas tree, can be stressful or overwhelming to those who have autism spectrum disorder. Take great care and try some of the tips and tricks talked about in this article to bring a happy holiday to someone with autism. Have any tips of your own? Share them with us and spread some holiday cheer! Happy holidays!

Pictured left from right: Andrea (Creator/Blogger of Crops & Crafts), Russell, Khari (being held by dad), Joshua

Where is Hillary Clinton Now?

By: Mary Kiser

“If I want to knock a story off the front page, I just change my hairstyle.”

Source: Google

            Since President-elect Trump’s victory over the Democratic Party, millions of millennials are dazed and confused. Even though he lost the popular vote, he won the Electoral College through charismatic speeches and unconventional campaigns. Regardless of the Green Party’s Jill Stein’s fundraiser or protests in Portland, Oregon, his relationship with a Republican-controlled Congress will last a minimum of four years (assuming death, disease, or impeachment never occur). While Mr. Trump is prepped for the Oval Office, some people are wondering where Hillary Clinton is, and how she is doing.

            According to a USA Today article, “So, here’s where a woman found Hillary Clinton,” a voter informed the public about her whereabouts. A woman, named Margot Gerster, took a selfie with the former presidential-candidate. Her post on Instagram read:

I’ve been feeling so heartbroken since yesterday’s election and decided what better way to relax than take my girls hiking. So I decided to take them to one of favorite places in Chappaqua….As we were leaving, I heard a bit of rustling coming towards me and as I stepped into the clearing there she was, Hillary Clinton and Bill with their dogs doing exactly the same thing as I was….Now, I’m not one for signs but I think ill definitely take this one. So proud.

            Experts suggest that the best way to cope with stressors is through physical exercise. A brisk walk, light jog, and yoga can relieve tension and boost mood. Like over 60 million Americans, Clinton needed a break from politics, too.


Article: “So, here’s where a woman found Hillary Clinton” by William Cummings


Monday, November 21, 2016

Student Organization Fair

By: Andrea Davis

      It is easy to fall victim to a repetitive college routine of stressing about final exams and beating research paper deadlines. College life is more about being involved in your community and making the world around you better. You don’t have to look far to make that impact. Just join a club!
     On Tuesday, November 1st at the main campus in front of the Library (Building 510), representatives from Phi Theta Kappa, International Club, Early Childhood Development, Champions for Change, AITP (Association for Information Technology Professionals), and Student Activities gathered to spread the word about some of the many organizations for students to join at TTC.

      If you’re looking to join a worldwide network of scholastic minds that also place great emphasis on community service, Phi Theta Kappa is where you want to be. Phi Theta Kappa boasts over 1500 chapters in the world, and TTC has the honor of being awarded 5th out of them all! Joining this organization requires you to fill out an application, have a GPA of 3.5, and at least 12 credit hours in your degree program. Acceptance into the honor society grants you access to $87 million in scholarships, travel opportunities, leadership opportunities, and much more. Aside from being one of the best chapters in the world, Phi Theta Kappa is actively helping our students, faculty and staff members of TTC with a food bank. According to Treasurer Lin Ash, in order to utilize the food bank the only requirements are your name, position, and family size. There are no income checks. It is open on Thursday from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM and Friday from Noon – 2:00 PM in building 100 room 140. If you’d like to contribute donations to the food bank, they are accepted at drop off locations at the food bank directly, buildings 200, 300, 410, 510, 900, 920, and 970 on the main campus. If high academic achievement and community service are something that interest you, talk to a representative from Phi Theta Kappa today!
Are you tech savvy? Do you feel like you understand computers a little better than people? If you have an interest in engineering and technology, joining AITP (Association of Information Technology Professionals) is the right move for you. President of the organization, Rick Smith, is focused on building membership and getting ready for great events to come in 2017. Last year AITP hosted a networking class for 6th graders – 8th graders, which was not only a useful skill for them to learn, but a fun one. Joining AITP gives you access to career opportunities in your field, exclusive scholarships, and lifelong relationships built with other technology professionals. Make sure to keep an eye out for more details about upcoming meetings that will take place during the spring 2017 activity period.
For those really looking to make a difference in the world around you, become a Champion for Change. This student organization at TTC is one of the most active on campus. President of Champions for Change, Victor Moscoso, expressed that “everyone has empathy for those in need. It is in everyone to make an impact,” which is why the organization welcomes everyone to join – no GPA requirements or specific program enrollments necessary. All you need is the heart and desire to help others. Last October the organization assisted with the Special Olympics and are currently organizing a Veterans Awareness Program taking place November 15th at the main campus student center. If you have a passion for helping others, attend an upcoming meeting and get involved with Champions for Change.
In speaking to first semester student Jennifer L. Simmons, an attendant of the student organization fair, she expressed one very important reason for her being there. She stated, “I believe there is more to school than going to class. Networking could be the difference between starting a great career or not.” So, what are you waiting for? Connect with a club today and add some excitement to your college experience.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Janet Jackson is Unbreakable!

By: Stylicia Bowden

At the vibrant age of 50 Janet Jackson is still letting us know who is in control. She is an iconic legend who produces music that creates change, breaks barriers and manifests hit after hit.  In 1986 she made her musical debut with her first album Control. She created other hits such as Rhythm Nation (1989), Janet (1993), Design of a Decade (1995) and The Velvet Rope (1997).

Her musical journey has presented her with multiple nominations and awards. However, in the past seven years Janet Jackson disappeared from the music scene after the death of her brother, Michael Jackson. In her absence the evolution of music changed drastically, but in 2015 rumors began to surface about her return to music.  

Fans around the globe finally got a personal confirmation from the pop icon about a new album. Unbreakable is her most recent CD that was released in October 2015. The album has a powerful message in her journey of healing, finding peace and getting back to making music that matters.

Unbreakable is a collection of music that reminds me of the Janet Jackson I first fell in love with in the 80’s. Songs such as No Sleeep remind of her 1993 hit That’s The Way Love Goes. Other songs on her album include The Great Forever, Broken Hearts Heal, Take Me Away, Lessons Learned, Dream Maker and Burn It Up!

Her album Unbreakable revealed a more refined, wise, mature and peaceful Janet Jackson. Janet’s album debuted as the number one album on Billboard in October 2015.  I enjoyed the album from beginning to end. Although, she has postponed her tour due to her pregnancy, Janet Jackson continues to remind us that she is unbreakable!




By: Lori Zeth
Deer Season

      I have such a flood of memories when the calendar changes over to November. I am blessed to have been born on November 1st, so I immediately celebrate my birthday. I hardly realize it is November until the next day. The month is such a bittersweet month for me. I have several family members who also celebrate birthdays in November. Then, there is Thanksgiving, of course. Black Friday, when the world goes mad for 24 hours. (I think the Purge series was created from a Black Friday nightmare) and…the hunters are preparing for deer season to begin.

      Growing up in Blair County, Pennsylvania meant I had to battle snow from October to April; I learned how to hunt and track well before I was permitted to carry a firearm; and diets do not exist in the fall and winter months (or the spring or summer months, either!). I learned how to bait a hook when I was five and shoot a gun before I turned ten. When all you have is the country, the country is all you have.

      My daddy would take me on his hunting trips every year. We stayed in our camper on the farm we hunted on. We set up our blinds a few days before we could hunt; we would build a fire and drink hot cocoa and roast marshmallows at night. Daddy would always make sure I had fun or I was learning when we weren’t busy preparing to hunt. He taught me a lot, wanting me to know as much as I could.
      I loved the breakfasts and meals that we would make. Sausage, bacon, scrapple, eggs, and home fries. My oldest brother, uncles, and cousin would join us for breakfast the first day of the season. We would all eat and then spread out all over the farm’s hills. My dad and I would stay close to our camper in case I was cold or tired. Thinking back now, that was the sweetest thing my daddy could have done. He wanted to be sure I was safe, whether it was deer season or not.
      I don’t remember a year that the 6 of us didn’t get more than one deer. My very first kill was also the first shot I ever took at a real deer. I accidentally shot a doe in buck season, but I used my doe tag and took her home anyhow. My brother shot a deer one year that we had to track for hours. I remember another deer that my dad carted to our truck on a four-wheeler because the corn field we had our blind sitting in wouldn’t allow Daddy to drag him.
      Being a tomboy of sorts comes with being a Pennsylvanian. I have a lot of experience in the outdoors: hiking, hunting, fishing, sports, camping, and the likes. My daddy would always be sure to include me in whatever he was doing. I was the older child, so I could understand and learn a bit easier than my kid brother – he is two years younger than me. My brother didn’t get to experience as much as I did with our father because he was still very young when Daddy passed away.
      It was February 1996; Daddy had been feeling chest pains for a week but hadn’t gone to the doctor to figure out the cause. He had a heart attack right in front of my kid brother, dying on the spot. He was only 39 years old. This November is the twentieth November without my father. Without hunting season, without my family, and without tradition. How have I gotten through nineteen other Novembers without my father? I feel like I love him so much and miss him so bad that I shouldn’t be able to survive even one November, let alone twenty.
      Twenty deer seasons without you. I just can’t believe it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Voice Your Vote

By: Stylicia Bowden

In the world of politics the old cliché “fighting fair” may not be a reality for this presidential election. If you have been following both candidates you will realize how vital it is to voice your vote for this upcoming election. Everyone has an opinion about each candidate; however, the facts are what count for casting your vote. Once you begin to separate the child’s play involved during the Q&A debate session, then you can begin to filter through the topics that matter to you. This will help you analyze whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be the ideal candidate to vote for.
If you want to vote early you can find information on your county’s website for specific instructions on how to participate in absentee voting. The websites will also list the requirements for voting early. On Charleston County website there are three locations where you can vote early. The three locations are as follows:
North Charleston Church of Christ at Azalea Drive, 3950 Azalea Drive, North Charleston, SC  29405, 10 October to 7 November, M-F 8:30AM to 5:00PM
Saturday Hours: October 22nd and Saturday, October 29th, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
West Ashley Seacoast Church at West Ashley Campus, 2049 Savannah Hwy., Charleston, SC  29407, 24 October to 4 November, M-F 8:30AM to 5:00PM
Saturday, October 29th, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Mt. Pleasant Seacoast Church, Mt. Pleasant Campus, 750 Long Point Rd., Mt. Pleasant, SC  29464. 24 October to 4 November, M-F 8:30AM to 5:00PM
Saturday, October 29th, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
The presidential voting season can be vigorous with endless coverage of debates and commercials clarifying why you should vote for each candidate; however, the most essential aspect of this presidential race is you realizing your vote matters.

Veterans Pay Up for their Service

By: Andrea Davis

            Recently 10,000 California veterans have been ordered to pay back their enlistment bonuses  they earned over a decade ago when they signed up to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. After an audit of the California National Guard from the Pentagon, it was determined that the California Guard handed out bonuses to soldiers who didn’t qualify. These bonuses were given because the California National Guard failed in meeting their recruiting goals. Consequently, they’ve now asked veterans and service members to pay this money back. Although many service members have filed appeals in response to this action, they are still being held responsible for roughly an average of $15,000 each. Those who do not pay face interest charges, tax liens and wage deductions. There may be some who argue that during the time they received the funds, they did not qualify, so they should not have received the money and should pay it back. But the fact of the matter is whether they qualified at the time or not, those men and women have earned every cent. In the time many of these soldiers received the funds, they have risked their lives for our protection; they have served multiple deployments and in many cases risked their lives in war time situations. A decade later and the California National Guard shows their gratitude by placing many of these veterans in financial ruin, with monthly payments that often total about $650 a month! My husband served in the USMC and while I am thankful he was never sent to war, he certainly made sacrifices just like many others. Everything our men and women in uniform have, they earn. These bonuses were not handouts. The contracts signed and fulfilled were not done so lightly. To come after them ten years later for money they have earned through their service is wrong. Those in power are always rallying for our support to keep them in power. It is time for them to intervene and use their power to support our veterans and service members who are being mistreated.

Post Script- Since this article the military has withdrawn their request for these men and women to repay their bonuses, most likely due to overwhelming criticism from all avenues of America.

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Donald and His Groupies

By: Mary Kiser
His defunct shtick is this election's dark comedy.
Trump and the media are in an extramarital affair alien to his wife, campaign, and posse. Their newest bundle of press swathed in the same worn, threadbare cloth of misogynistic contempt is breaking cables across the country. If only money could buy his progeny some subsistence versus microscopic attention. Too bad Tiffany and Co. can only sell his wife artificial apologies in the form of necklaces and rings.

Even though Donald and broadcasts are witness to the births of his racist, sexist, and xenophobic comments, slurs, and mannerisms, these repulsive scions only affirm the demagogue's sordid legacy. However, the 2005 audio clip really is the return of his prodigal son. The television trumpets, and the world is in ears. Even though those comments are eleven years young, the video shows the stability of Trump's abhorrent viewpoints. At that solid age of fifty-nine, Trump proves that an adolescent carries more respect and regard for his female classmates, friends, and family members. Unfortunately, he riles the crowd, and his fans cheer in unison. As a sister, daughter, and woman, I will never comprehend the trend that is Donald Trump. He is a husband. He is a father. He is a grandfather. He should not run for president. He should run to therapy.

If anyone would like to learn more about this topic, then click on the link below.

"These Might Be Donald Trump's Most Disgusting Comments Yet About Women" by Paige Lavender

American Horror Story

If you really want a thrill, watch this series.
By: Mary Kiser
 Season 2: Asylum
I'm not easily scared. Movies like Carrie or Let the Right One In are disturbing and bizarre at best. Because this world brims with nightmarish realities like robbery, violence, rape and murder, viewers are numb to the idea of pig blood and vampires. Teenagers judge their classmates, but they do not douse their rivals with a bucket of red, and vampires belong between the pages of seamy romance novels. The hit television series American Horror Story redefines the entire genre of horror, and the contemporary scenes of panic, fear and dread resonate with its audience. Even though some seasons toy with fiction, the presentation of raw emotion hypnotizes anyone with eyes. Halloween is not complete without costumes and candy, but don't forget to watch Season 6 in between the tricks and treats.

The latest season is just as brilliant as the others. However, my favorite season is the second. Asylum is a mental institution for all degrees of insanity. Anything from chronic masturbation to murder are human sins that require repentance. The beautiful and gifted Jessica Lange stars as Sister Jude Martin, a nasty nun with an ill temperament and gnawing secret. She oversees the psychiatric hospital, Briarcliff, with Bibles and belts. An innocent husband, lesbian journalist and murderer invoke disruption. With selfish staff, a sinister scientist, killers and demonic forces, this season explodes dynamite. American Horror Story designs Halloween with more than just pumpkins and plastic decorations. October 31st finally has scare.

Holiday Cards

The 2016 Holiday Season is fast approaching! Santa is scheduled to arrive in less than 71 days. We’re going to be stuffing turkeys, carving hams, wrapping gifts, and sending cards to our loved ones real soon! As you are spending time with your loved ones, eating pumpkin pie, reminiscing of holidays past, and singing Christmas carols at the top of your lungs - please consider taking just a few minutes to address an extra card or greeting for an elderly member of our community.

I know that a simple card, some holiday blessings, and a small message can do wonders to brighten the day of a resident this holiday season --- so… I am organizing a holiday card drive for the residents in several different assisted living homes in our area.  Drop boxes will be in (building 410) and the library (building 510) for you to place the cards you are sending. Postage is not required, as I’ll be delivering the greetings.

You can put as many cards in the boxes as you wish, but please do not write anything on the envelope (unless it is just a Merry Christmas, etc. message). Do not put anything in the envelope but a card….no pictures, money, work from home advertisements, Scentsy party invitations, etc. The deadline to place cards in the drop boxes is December 16. For more information or to nominate a residential facility to receive cards, please do not hesitate to contact:

 Lori Zeth at 843-489-6096 or


By: Lori Zeth
Journal Entry #113
Date 10/16/16

            What started out as a family reunion vacation ended a lesson learned well. Hurricane Matthew was aiming straight for Charleston, so we thought we would get stuck in evacuation traffic on the way out or be barricaded in. Either way we looked at it, our trip was going to be at risk if we didn’t make some sort of decision soon.

We weighed the pros and cons, and ultimately decided that leaving Charleston would be our best plan. Headed to the Outer Banks in North Carolina; my family of three started out on our road trip adventure on Friday, October 7, 2016, around 6 p.m. We spent some time at different spots along the way - stopping to nap here and there, and charging our electronics everywhere! We made it to Windsor, North Carolina on Saturday during the wee hours of the morning. As we drove down King Street, we found that the flooding river was rushing across the road.

            We were unable to take any other roads out of the area because water was overflowing them all. Thinking the flooded waters would recede soon, we pulled in to a parking lot and accepted that we would simply have to wait it out. We were already a day early for check-in at the rental house, so we weren’t upset and decided to make the most of it. After all, we left Charleston in order to ensure we weren’t going to miss precious days of our vacation; so we have to be patient and grateful that we’re just west of our destination!

The water was coming closer to our vehicle with every passing moment. The parking lot was filling with uncontrolled water everywhere. The rain drops weren’t slowing and the water was wickedly flowing. I was becoming more concerned that maybe we should try to drive through the intersection that had the lowest water levels – but my husband didn’t think we should put the vehicle at risk by driving it through water while the engine and computer was running.

Saturday was a bit of a blur to me, as I kept falling in and out of short naps. My husband and son kept busy by watching cartoons on Hulu and eating up all of the lunches and snacks we packed. When I was awake, I was studying my math skills for my upcoming math class in Fall’s second term. I remember eating a sandwich and taking photos. We slept until Sunday morning.
On Sunday, our son Jonathan woke us up to tell us we were completely barricaded in by water coming from every direction. We were sure the water would go away by now, but we couldn’t have been more wrong. We spent almost 36 hours in one spot, surrounded by water. I lost count after the first ten naps, so it doesn’t surprise me that I was asleep when the rescue boat came to help us.
On Sunday evening, Joe called for me with urgency in his voice. I awoke hazily but aware of the fact that there was a rescue team standing in hip boots in the waist deep waters right outside the car. The men asked us to come with them in the rescue boat, to a Red Cross shelter at the nearby high school gymnasium. We certainly agreed, so I called for Jonathan to wake up, and had him gather his things. We were being rescued and needed to hurry. The rescue boat took us and our belongings to safety, abandoning our vehicle in the overflowing parking lot all by itself.

The shelter volunteers were extra nice to us, understanding that we were accidentally stranded yet very grateful for the rescue workers and their efforts to keep us safe. We had to stay in the shelter Sunday and Monday nights. The director of the Red Cross in Bertie County, NC put us in a hotel and bought us Domino’s on Tuesday.

Wednesday morning, my husband called the gas station that is in the area our car was parked. He asked the cashier if the water was off the roads yet, if the nearby bridge was still overflowed, if it was safe to drive there. The cashier said the water was gone, so the director of the Red Cross drove us to the vehicle to assess the damages.

The total amount of damages and items that were lost or ruined by the flood was ZERO! The water never got inside the vehicle, nothing was wet inside, everything was still in perfect condition. We had stressed for three days straight that the car had filled with water, floated away, or smashed into the building it was parked beside.

Thankfully the rescue team of Bertie County NC knew to travel up and down the flooded zones and look for people who needed help. The man inside our rescue boat told us that he was 90% sure that we saved our lives by getting in the lifeboat with them. The Red Cross volunteers were from all over both North Carolina and South Carolina. They had been running this specific shelter for 3 days before we arrived to it. There had been a running total of 34 people come to them for food, shelter, and a warm place to sleep just during the few days of Hurricane Matthew.

I am ever so grateful to the men and women who put their lives on the line every single day, in order to protect my life and the lives of my loved ones. A special thank you goes out to Bertie County’s Rescue Teams and Volunteers.


By: Lori Zeth

Journal Entry 112
October 15, 2016

FAFSA has some exciting news this year. Beginning back on October 1, 2016, all students applying for financial aid are now able to submit FAFSA for the 2017-18 school year (Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Summer 2018). The 2017-18 application uses information from your 2015 tax return, since 2016 hasn’t been filed yet. FAFSA applications as of October 1, 2017 will be calculated using 2016’s tax return for the 2018-19 (Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Summer 2019) school year.

The TTC Bookstore’s open charge period for Fall 2 began on October 3, and ends October 25. This is the only time to use financial aid awards in the Bookstore. You can use your Bookstore credit at any of the TTC bookstores. Bookstore credit can be applied to the balance of anything sold in the TTC Bookstore. Textbooks, supplies, uniforms, TTC apparel, book bags, jewelry, snacks, and even computers and headphones are available for sale in the bookstores at each of the campuses. Ask a cashier for help purchasing CARTA bus passes (good for six months at a time: Jan-June and July-Dec), print cards for any TTC computer, and more.

Emails were sent to students requesting that we complete an evaluation for each class we attended in Fall 1. It only takes a few minutes to complete the evaluations, and helps TTC plan how to educate students in the best way possible. The course instructors can use information from the evaluations to better plan their lessons and possibly even their teaching style. Fall 2 classes begin on October 20 and end on December 13.

As we say “goodbye” to Hurricane Matthew and our mid-term break, we should prepare ourselves for the 2017-2018 school year to anxiously wave great big “hello” in our direction. Trident Tech’s SPRING SEMESTER ACTION PERIOD will begin on October 21. If you aren’t enrolled for Spring semester yet, you still have time to get everything in order and be seat ready on Day #1.

The enrollment and registration process is fairly simple and can be done in one trip to the main campus if you want to complete all of the steps in the same day. First, you need to show proof of your high school diploma or GED, complete an application, and pay the $30 fee. Next, you can provide qualifying SAT scores or take the TTC placement test (Accuplacer). Upon completion of placement scoring, you will go to orientation and then be assigned an advisor. Contact your advisor to set up a registration meeting with him/her. First-year students are unable to register themselves for classes; only an advisor can – so be sure to make contact as soon as your advisor is assigned. The last step in the enrollment process is meeting with the Financial Aid office and having your award package explained to you. You will receive a letter in the mail with your student identification number and user name/password information. Pick up your student identification card at Student Activities. When you have your class schedule and list of required materials, you can finally purchase textbooks and supplies in the TTC Bookstores.

Returning students should refer to their advisor for more information on any of the deadlines, requirements, or any other questions. First-year students should direct any questions to the admissions office. The admissions office and TTC advisors should be able to lead you on the right path if they are unable to assist you directly.

In closing, I want to stress that you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to start the enrollment process. Your award package will be better the earlier you begin the process. There are plenty of different resources on campus for the prospect, the student, or the alumni. Don’t hesitate to ask for more information at the Academic Resource Center, Scholar’s Network, Educational Opportunity Center, learning centers (math, reading, writing, and more), tutoring, librarian, information desk at library, computer labs, an instructor’s office hours, plus several more avenues to explore while on campus.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Portman, Kunis, and Aronofsky: A Ménage à trois

By: Mary Kiser

Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis star in the 2010 Black Swan. Their performances both solo and together are the resonance to this movie's symphony with Darren Aronofsky as their orchestrator. The two actresses and director create a psychologically-thrilling masterpiece that leaves their audience in nail-biting trepidation. In true Aronofsky style, the final performance curtains with the spotlight on the aftershocks of mental illness.

Portman plays Nina, a fragile and frigid woman who embodies the stereotypical ballerina look and lifestyle. She has a petite stature, gaunt build, and pristine features. However, her mental state is in complete disarray. Anorexic and bulimic tendencies appear like pivotal drops of rain before a thunderstorm, but the stress of her new role, mother, and competition transform Nina's manageable issues into a train wreck of schizophrenic delusions.

Kunis plays Lilly, an edgy young woman who is less like a ballerina and more like a dancer. She is the Black Swan to Nina's White Swan, but Lilly is not Nina’s latent enemy. The two meet, and Nina spirals faster. Instead of sweaty palms or a faster pulse, she experiences extreme paranoia, heightened affliction, and rebarbative visions. Despite their transcendent ecstasy, Nina and Lilly are two rivals that come to a deadly crossroads. Aronofsky has his eye on their affair the entire time, and his direction leads them to their final act.

On IMDb, close to 600,000 people rate Black Swan with an 8/10. Portman and Kunis enamor onscreen and Aronofsky conducts his talents off screen. This trio produces, in my opinion, one of the best films about the gravity of mental illness. Put on your best suit or prepossessing dress because Swan Lake is a gripping tale no longer exclusive to the stage.