Monday, April 24, 2017

Chivalry is Alive and Well

By: Mary Kiser

In a world of cutthroat, collegiate acceptance rates and career advancements, kindness is difficult to find. However, goodness still prevails. People can find the positive in certain deeds at home, in class, or on the job. Maybe their mother bought them McDonald’s, friend helped them study for a test, or boss let them leave early. Their small favors are a blessing, so how would a life-altering favor feel?

Eugene Yoon was so happy one day that he decided to give away his gratitude; he wanted to help someone in need, and Arthur Renowitzky was in dire need. He was left paralyzed after a beating, so doctors told him he would never walk again. Yoon felt differently.

“He learned about an exoskeleton device that can help some people walk again. It costs about $80,000. So, to pay for it, Eugene quit his job at a research company in Northern California, to hike from the California-Mexico border to Canada. Along the way he posted videos of the adventure and asked people to donate on social media,” an article states.

When Yoon reached Washington, he had also reached his goal of $80,000, and he used the money to aid Renowitzky’s condition. His efforts were not in vain. “A few weeks later, Arthur did walk,” the article states.

The two men are more like brothers than complete strangers now. Yoon was still unsatisfied, though. He wanted to help another person, so he befriended Alberto Velasquez, an impoverished individual who “lives with 24 family members under one roof.” Yoon hired Velasquez to work for his clothing line KIN LOV GRA; while the man will earn money for his family, he will also be an integral part of a much bigger picture: the gift of giving.

Kim Kardashian: Celebrity or Superwoman?

By: Mary Kiser

Not all heroes wear capes.
Courtesy of the ‘Los Angeles Times’

October 3, 2016 at 4:30 a.m. changed Kim Kardashian’s life forever.
She was robbed at gunpoint by two Frenchmen; they stole millions of dollars in jewelry, but not before they traumatized the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star. “They grabbed me and took me into the hallway. I was wearing a bathrobe, naked underneath. Then we went into the room again and they pushed me on the bed. And, it was this time, they tied me up with plastic cables and taped my hands, then they put tape over my mouth and my legs,” she recalls.
She was worried the men were going to rape and kill her, and she thought about the impact her death would have on her family and friends. If she had passed away, she just wanted her loved ones to be okay. She was worried they would be traumatized by the aftermath of the heist. “‘I have a split second in my mind to make this quick decision,’ she recalls. ‘Am I going to run down the stairs and be shot in the back? It makes me so upset to think about it,’” she explains.
Her haunting experience was a wake-up call to not just the Kardashian and Jenner clans, but to men and women across the globe. Her story of survival was a poignant reminder of how people, no matter their status, were never exempt from the horrors of the world.
The newest season of Keeping Up with the Kardashians showed the doyenne talking about the robbery for the first time. She chose to air her trauma in a fashion fit for a Kardashian – cameos. She recollected what she remembers of her experience, and fans felt like they were listening to their friend, and not a lofty celebrity.
While her raw and visceral portrayal of the story helped her heal, she wanted to help others heal, too.
“I took a tragic, horrific experience, and I didn’t let it diminish me; I grew and evolved and allowed the experience to teach me,” she tweets.
Her brutal honesty was like a breath of fresh air; she was talking about the severity of her trauma, and she was talking about her emotions during and after the incident. However, she was doing more than just speaking about her story.
She indirectly gave a voice to every trauma survivor suffering in silence, and she used her voice to let them know that they’re not alone.
Kardashian’s world stopped spinning on October 3, 2016, at 4:30 a.m., but she made her world spin, anyway. Not all superwomen wear capes.   

Kelly Osbourne’s Opiate Addiction’s a Wake-Up Call

By: Mary Kiser

Courtesy of SheKnows
Kelly Osbourne, the daughter of Black Sabbath’s Ozzy Osbourne, recently talked about her own demons. She was addicted to opiates, namely Vicodin. When she was 13 years old, she was prescribed the pill after her tonsils were surgically removed. However, she was just dabbling with the narcotic. She became physically dependent when she was 16 years old. “I was relaxed, tingly and happy. The next morning, I called the guy and bought two or three pills for about $20,” she reveals in her autobiography Fierce.

Her parents only discovered her habit through paparazzi photographs of their daughter buying drugs. They soon admitted her to an expensive rehab. She had no desire to get clean, though. She was in a constant cycle of relapse. However, she was able to get sober in her early twenties.

Osbourne has fame and fortune, but her story of addiction is common among most addicts. Like her, they use drugs as their coping mechanisms. Rehabs, hospitals, and clinical care are costly. While Osbourne was lucky enough to have the money and the means, very few addicts can say the same.

There’s still hope, though.

If people can raise awareness about the global epidemic, then they can find their solution to not just addiction, but to the brain disease’s preexisting conditions, like mental illness and trauma.

There may not be a cure for addiction, but there will always be help.

What Bill O’Reilly’s Resignation Means

By: Mary Kiser

Courtesy of Robot Butt

Bill O’Reilly’s no longer the most popular news anchor on Fox News; he’s officially retired with a $25 million check to his name.

After several claims of him sexually harassing guests and interns, he resigned from his position at The O’Reilly Factor, the network’s cash cow. His fans were in mourning, but their loss is a huge win for survivors of sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment’s traumatic. According to a statistics page, the 782 men and women surveyed show the problem’s bigger than people thought. “31% of the female workers claimed to have been harassed at work, [and] 7% of the male workers claimed to have been harassed at work,” the page states. Even places of employment are prey to predators, no matter the size of the company, or the status of the perpetrator.

O’Reilly, a man who made hundreds of millions of dollars for his employers, is no exception. He brought pain and suffering to his victims, and the $13 million Fox News gave to them “to keep quiet” only proves that money can’t heal scars or silence voices. However, good has come from the bad.

The severity of sexual harassment has gained international attention, and people are realizing the damning impact of the crime. Who cares that O’Reilly will no longer be on-air, or that Fox News lost a moneymaker. Here’s who really matters:

Perquita Burgess, Caroline Heldman, Jehmu Greene, Rebecca Diamond, Wendy Walsh, and every other survivor.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

President Trump’s Plans for Planned Parenthood

By: Mary Kiser

President Trump talked with the Freedom Caucus, a conference of conservative representatives, in a last-ditch effort to replace Obamacare with Trumpcare.

The president “offered to repeal Obamacare’s Essential Health Benefits provision, which mandates the health insurers offer coverage for basic care like hospitalizations, prescriptions, and notably for women, pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care.”

He wanted to provide an extra incentive for the group of men’s support, and he hinted at Trumpcare’s primary goal: defunding Planned Parenthood, at least on a federal level.

He and the male representatives were in lengthy, general discussions about women’s health.

Not a single woman was present.

However, Planned Parenthood’s services are inclusive. “[Defunding] Planned Parenthood means preventing low-income and rural women and men who depend on Planned Parenthood for cancer screenings, STD testing, and birth control consultations. In 105 countries, Planned Parenthood is the only birth control clinic. Annually, 2.5 million women and men seek care at Planned Parent-hood clinics.”

If the congressional decision is in favor of Trumpcare, then both women and men will suffer the repercussions, and so will their children.

Planned Parenthood is “one of the nation’s leading providers of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, and the nation’s largest provider of sex education.”

The nonprofit organization’s work focuses on reproductive health. According to its website, 80 percent of their patients want birth control which prevents 579,000 unplanned pregnancies.

But the organization also provides “270,000 Pap tests and more than 360,000 breast exams in a single year, and it provides more than 4.2 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including more than 650,000 HIV tests.”

Planned Parenthood saves lives, but the organization’s pro-life opponents look at other statistics.

The organization performs abortion procedures, but the stats are less than 94 percent and more than 3 percent. “Advocates and opponents of abortion rights have calculated somewhere between 15 percent and 37 percent of the organization’s annual non-government health services revenue comes from abortion services.

Conservatives and liberals have their reasons for either supporting or opposing Planned Parenthood. Religious beliefs, personal experiences, and personal choices can make for a complicated decision.

Before they make one, Congress should look at how Planned Parenthood either helps or hinders their country. The fate of millions of women and men rest in their hands.

Choose wisely.

Trump’s Artistic Vision for America

By: Mary Kiser

Donald Trump will most likely cut funds for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), which comes as a shock to people, especially those in creative fields. Even though the president’s only presenting a proposal, there’s a chance Congress could approve the budget cuts, which would starve artists out of $300 million.

“The Trump administration has revealed a proposal to cut the NEA and NEH in its federal budget plan. The elimination of both agencies would have a serious impact on cultural production, and the artists, musicians, writers, and scholars who rely on it,” Caroline Elbaor, a writer for artnet News, elaborates.

Creatives aren’t the only people who would suffer. The school system would face taxing consequences, too. All students (mainly the ones living in low-income areas) won’t get to enjoy educational trips to “history museums, art exhibits, and music and theater performances. ‘Congress must look out for the millions of American families that can’t always travel to big cities to visit a museum when they want to learn about art and history,’” Kirsten Gillibrand, a senator, states.

The NEA and NEH are vital to the country’s progression, but even if people could thrive without the agencies, at least one student would never get to gaze at Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night, thank veterans at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, or count the stars in Jasper John’s Three Flags.

Art can be expressed through a computer screen, but it can only be experienced in the flesh.

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Inauguration’s a Bust

By: Mary Kiser
Courtesy of ABC News

Donald J. Trump is officially the President of the United States. While his supporters are happy, his critics share a different sentiment. Between the performers (or lack thereof), protests and pot, the former “Republican” candidate is not just defining history. He’s recreating it.
Nobody wants to revisit the past. It’s too late, though. The country rips open scabbed wounds, and rubs in fresh salt. With a demagogic chameleon as Commander-in-Chief, change is already here.
Before President Trump’s inauguration, violence disrupts Washington. The New York Times relays, “Protestors began breaking shop windows…A Bank of America branch had all its windows shattered, and a Starbucks was left with a gaping hole in its glass front door.” Anger swells in numbers, as support wanes. The Gray Lady informs, “As of 11 a.m., Metro logged 193,000…At Mr. Obama’s first inauguration, the number was 513,000.” Regardless of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s loss, the nation’s state is pitiful. Americans live in the twenty-first century now. People have Wi-Fi, Apple products, Uber and Postmates, yet the country’s regressed. And it makes me wonder: did we ever really move forward?

Dylann Roof Copycat Detained in South Carolina

By: Mary Kiser

Courtesy of Salon

At almost thirty-years-old, Benjamin McDowel was arrested after buying a gun from an undercover FBI agent. He told law enforcement that he wanted to conduct an attack similar to Dylann Roof’s. According to Salon, McDowel was inspired by the shooter, and he urged other white supremacists to follow in the felon’s footsteps. “McDowel divulged his intention to write ‘In the spirit of Dylann Roof’ on the building of the crime scene. He said he wanted to carry out an attack that was on a big scale and requested a handgun in a later phone call,” according to the online source.

The South Carolina native even wrote about his desires on his Facebook page. He encouraged white people to attack people of color. His wall reads,  

I wish the day we all get off Facebook and white Warriors like we was born to be like Dylan Roof but we gotta do it in a smart away and it takes a team it takes no drugs and party and more planning for the real Victory and not just saying it but should want Bloodshet 2 crave it and be a fanatic for your white race.

On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof brutally shot and killed members of a Charleston church, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. He was sentenced to death earlier this year, but for criminals, like McDowel, the sentencing’s not a deterrent.

He bought the gun, and he planned to kill people.

In the midst of an uncertain and unsafe time in the United States, it’s difficult for people to hold on to hope. The deepest roots of hatred still grow, but we can cut them down – as a nation united, not divided.

Exciting Things Happening in the English Department

By: Dr. Roger West
While South Carolina’s state bird, the mosquito, thrives in stagnant, smelly water, we in the the halls of the English department have been working hard to offer free-flowing, continuously changing waters. We strive to provide students with new and exciting courses that keep pace with the ever changing academic tide.  The 2016-2017 academic year will bring several courses never offered before, which are structured to elevate you, our students, to meet the writing demands of the digital-age professional world.

In Summer 2016, you can sign up for ENG 299.001, a Special Topics in English course, “Film and the American Novel,” taught by Ed Macy.  This course will examine some significant 20th century American novels and the films that these novels inspired. Among the novels and films that will be assigned are Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men and Stephen King’s The Shining. Don’t miss out on a great learning experience and an entertaining way to earn college credits.

In Fall 2016, ENG 214, the Fiction genre class, will be titled “Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n Roll.”  The readings will focus on novels from the 1960’s, with some lyrics from the music of that era, especially those written by Bob Dylan and Jim Morrison, added to enhance the experience.  Novels assigned for the class will include Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Richard Farina’s Been Down So Long It Looks like Up to Me.  And no course on the literature of that decade can ignore Hunter S. Thompson and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. While there will not be a dress code for the class, bell bottoms and tie-dyed shirts are encouraged.

Some other changes that are coming in Fall 2016 involve the Professional Writing Certificate, which students may earn by taking additional courses focusing on creative and workplace writing instruction.  The certificate program still has ENG 238 (Creative Writing), ENG 260 (Advanced Technical Communication), and JOU 101 (Introduction to Journalism), there have been additional courses added to the curriculum.  ENG 242 (Advanced Creative Writing) will allow interested students to take an additional course related to some aspect of writing fiction or poetry.  The emphasis of the course will change from semester to semester and will provide a more focused study of various aspects of writing, such as narration or character development, or types of writing, such as memoir or creative non-fiction.

Another new course will be ENG 265, Advanced Professional Communication. This course will focus on various types of workplace writing outside of that covered in ENG 260.  The course will focus on writing proposals and the various types of business-related reports students will need the skills to do as they enter the job market.  Students will also learn how to make effective workplace presentations as a part of the course curriculum.

Probably the most exciting course addition to the Professional Writing Certificate curriculum is ENG 263, Writing for Social Media. Social media, whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or any of the other platforms, provide the most pervasive method to communicate with a large audience.  The course will provide instruction in how to write for social media to achieve your desired outcomes.  Just look closely at how Facebook exposes its many users to ads for a plethora of products and services, just as many organizations and individuals get people to “like” or support them, through their posts.  It is all about written communication, and the skills to be able to do this will continue to be important in the job market.

Because we cannot regularly offer courses in all the types of writing students may be interested in learning the skills for, we will periodically offer ENG 299, Special Topics in English, courses that will provide the opportunities for students to learn how to write for other areas. In Spring 2017, ENG 299 will be Collecting and Writing About Folklore.  This course will focus on the skills for recognizing and gathering folkloric artifacts and then how to present those findings for a reading audience.  Part of the course will have students exploring the rich folkloric tradition of the Lowcountry and then reporting on it.

Because the college has four campuses, it is difficult to provide these courses on each campus.  We will be offering these courses in a Mixed-Mode format at both the Main and Palmer Campuses, but most of these courses will also be available in an online format.  Even if students don’t want to complete the Professional Writing Certificate, they can take any of these courses to enhance their educational experience and marketability in the job search.

The two most important skills any person can have, not only in searching for a career, but in living a full life, are the abilities to read and write.  The Department of English and Journalism at Trident Technical College strives to help all of our students develop those skills.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Three Generations of Extraterrestrial Talent

By: Mary Kiser

People knew Carrie Fisher as the original Princess Leia Organa in Star Wars. Her iconic performance led to critical acclaim and a multitude of fandoms. Unfortunately, she died of a heart attack at only 60-years-old. Her daughter, Billie Lourd, was in pieces. She said of her mother, “She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly.” As Lourd and loved ones coped with the tragedy, they lost Fisher’s mother, Debbie Reynolds, a day later.

Fisher shared a special bond with Reynolds. Their relationship was complicated, but that never diminished their unity. Counselor David Kessler told USA TODAY, “I think it’s extremely underdiagnosed. I think it’s more common than we believe.” Reynolds passed away from overwhelming heartache. With two beautiful women gone too soon, their families were left broken. Reynolds’ son, Todd Fisher, spoke with an Associated Press representative about his mother’s anguish. He stated, “She said, ‘I want to be with Carrie.’ And then she was gone.”

Even though both were pronounced dead, their legacies were still alive. Fisher was less like a princess and more like a warrior. She conquered addiction, and profited from it. For example, her autobiography, Wishful Drinking, evolved into an HBO documentary. Reynolds’ Hollywood accomplishments included lucrative blockbusters, an Oscar nomination, and her two children. The doyennes were powerhouses. Fisher’s own daughter, Lourd, followed suit. Her memorable character, a Chanel, in Scream Queens captivated audiences. She inherited her grandmother’s looks and her mother’s talent. With that killer combination, her potential’s limitless. Fisher and Reynolds were proud, and through Lourd, their spirits still “sur-thrive.”

President Trump’s Wall Won’t Work

By: Mary Kiser

During President Trump’s candidacy, his immigration-reform plans involved construction. Now that he’s Commander-in-Chief, his plans haven’t changed. Other political leaders aren’t as enthusiastic as him, though. An NBC News article reads, “An upcoming meeting between Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and President Donald Trump has been scrapped in the wake of a fiery spat over which nation will pay for a border wall between the two countries.” President Nieto and his country are offended. I don’t blame them. President Trump’s wall reaches beyond border control: it exemplifies the worst of American culture.

While I appreciate the workaholic within President Trump, I can’t appreciate him. He exerts effort into all the wrong projects, and it always backfires – on the working class. Instead of worrying about crowd sizes and walls, he should shift his focus. He’s not a business mogul anymore. He’s the 45th President of the United States.

Will Trump Help or Hinder the Economy?

By: Mary Kiser

Since President-elect Donald Trump defied the political regime, he’s reigned supreme. His message spurred crowds, incited riots, and garnered a monstrous flock. Like moths to a flame, people were drawn to his rich personality and commanding presence. Ultimately, Mr. Trump’s swagger defeated his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. She lacked trustworthy charisma, and she crumbled under her own scandals. As she and her husband, Bill Clinton, retired their bully pulpit, Trump took the stage. As he promoted populism, his covert plans suggested otherwise.

Lionized (or criticized) economist, Paul Krugman, detailed his thoughts about America’s upcoming administration. He commented on chameleon Paul Ryan, and his party’s problem. Krugman wrote, “Republicans like Paul Ryan…liked to warn…about the dangers of budget deficits…now, suddenly, those very same politicians are perfectly happy with the prospect of deficits swollen by tax cuts; the budget resolution they’re considering would, according to their own estimates, add $9 trillion in debt over the next decade.” The wealthy would receive substantial tax breaks, and the working class would shoulder the country’s financial burden (again). Unfortunately, in the past, “trickle-down” economics never flourished. However, Mr. Trump might just surprise his critics. If he can nab the White House, he can accomplish anything.

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.