A Trip to the Philosophy Club

To many, philosophy may sound like an intimidating field. Many perceive the area of study as either useless or too abstract. Thankfully, the philosophy club at Toccoa Falls College is willing to take in anybody interested in the topic. If planning on majoring in philosophy, then this club is a must. But is it worth attending for any other reason?

On request by the editor, I decided to scout out a group meeting last week to see how the philosophy club portrayed itself. I arrived a few minutes late to find around 20+ students in the midst of talking about the differences between happiness and pleasure. What is their relationship? How can someone tell if the other is truly happy? Is it possible to be truly happy?

The structure of the meeting seems very straight forward and inclusive. The leader asks a question about the subject and somebody tells their opinion. The whole event is basically a structured, open-ended discussion that anybody can join in without getting hectic. Discussion is encouraged and ideas are traded. Even at one point, a heated conversation started up. The questions that were asked and the discussions that were spawned were along the lines of: How does one define happiness? How does both personally and as a society, define it? Is there really a set definition? What is the nature of happiness? Is it external, internal, or a balance between the two? Were people happier generations back rather than today? Is it a feeling or a mindset? What is joy? What is the difference between happiness and joy? How does God contribute to this? The whole group had a great time discussing these topics.

After the meeting, I interviewed the leaders about the philosophy club and what people should expect.  The club is led by Amber Reynolds, as president, and Michael Sculley, as vice-president, and other organizers. The philosophy club was started around the early 2000s and has been going strong for a long while now. The club is all about critical thinking, communication, and community. “It’s about creating a place where people can exchange ideas, but do it in a very loving and unusual kind of way.”

They plan to set up debate nights and other events. The next upcoming debate is scheduled to take place on April 27th at 7:00 P.M. in Timms Hall. The planned topics are whether or not condoms should be passed out in high schools and regulations on guns in public universities. Also, they plan to host a campus-wide scavenger hunt, tomorrow, April 22 at 7 P.M. Everyone will be meeting in the student center.

However, the philosophy club is currently working on a few changes in the future. Amber will no longer be the club president since she is going to be graduating this semester. Michael Sculley and Rosse Karely Velez ran against each other for the president position. Michael won the presidency and Rosse will be vice president.

So, in conclusion, the Philosophy Club is a fine part of Toccoa Falls College with plenty of opportunities to share ideas and make friends. It is a place where one can expand their ideas and formulate opinions. If feeling intimidated, the club still encourages others to attend meetings in order to understand the importance of the topic. If one has a passing interest in the subject or desires to meet new people, the club offers place a community that desires to share interest with one another. This club plans on continuing to grow and educate more people on philosophy. As the year comes to a close, think about joining the club next year to learn about interesting topics and discussion. 

The Trials of Robin Hood

by Mark Westlund

by Mark Westlund

This weekend, gather up your crew of merry men (or women) and prepare yourself for a grand adventure. Starting Friday, the Toccoa Falls College Theatrical Society presents Will Averill’s The Trials of Robin Hood. This semester’s production is a comedic retelling of the classic Robin Hood story from three different perspectives. Robin Hood, Maid Marian, and the Sheriff of Nottingham must present their version of the events to King Richard. The audience will get to participate as the jury who will decide the verdict. There are three nights to come out and see this fun show, so plan to be there!

In addition, there is a chance to win free tickets. Look out for one of five golden arrows hiding around campus. Snap a picture of yourself with it, tagged #TFCTSRobinHood and #tfctheatricalsociety to claim one free ticket to the show.

The cast and crew of this semester’s production have been working together make sure everything is completed with excellence. Theatrical productions at TFC have a lot of different faucets that are all handled by students. This show’s directors, Bradley Weisbarth and Jennifer Doll, are both excited to see their visions come to life on the stage. Keegan Murphey has put together costumes for the show, Angela Warfel will lead a team as the make-up director, Rebekah Sovinsky will have her eyes backstage as stage director, and the gorgeous forest set is due to the efforts of Keven Jensen.

This production’s cast includes approximately twenty-five members ranging from first semester freshmen to last semester seniors. The cast has been rehearsing weekly and is earnest to show the school the product of their dedication. Freshman Callie Langston, who is playing Esmeralda and the Abbess is participating in her second TFCTS production, commented “I’m excited to grow in my acting ability and to bring glory to God through the Theatrical Society. I am apprenticing to be the Props Manager in the Theatrical Society, which is exciting for the future.” Freshman Amber Fincher, who is participating in her first TFCTS production, playing Daniel Boyle and Dani Boyle, says “I’ve enjoyed getting closer with the cast and fighting with the swords. I look forward to everyone seeing the sword fight scenes.”

Senior Rebecca Colson, who is likely performing in her last production, reflected on her time in The Trials of Robin Hood, as well as her past years in the Theatrical Society. “I’ve been involved in the Theatrical Society since freshman year,” she reminisced, having portrayed roles including Cordelia of King Lear and the March Hare of Alice in Wonderland. “I’m playing Dave the Honest Tinker and Alan Adele. I am cross dressing. It is my first time doing that,” she laughed. “It’s fun to get to know a lot of different people from different parts of campus that I would have never interacted with otherwise. It is nice to get to be a blessing in the lives of freshmen.” When asked what she was looking forward to for The Trials of Robin Hood, she responded “you need to come see it. It is witty, clever, and you are going to have lots of laughs.”

Tickets for The Trials of Robin Hood go on sale this week. Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for students, and $3 for children, but you can get a dollar off when you buy in the student center. Both cards and cash are accepted. The dates are Friday April 7 at 7PM, Saturday April 8 at 7PM, and Sunday April 9 at 3PM. All performances are in Grace Chapel Center of Performing Arts. The Theatrical Society can’t wait to see you there.

Living in the Arts

Looking Outside the Frame is “A photography club themed off of community. Experiencing things while opening our eyes with a different perspective other than societies.” Club president, Samara Spence, developer of the photography club, has a passion for the art of photography, painting, and other art practices. Samara plans on graduating this spring with an Associates Degree in Arts and Sciences. After graduating, she wishes to pursue a degree in film. Samara has greatly enjoyed guiding the photography club at TFC with great effort and a contagious desire for people to learn photography.

Taken by: Samara Spence

This year, Samara started the club and hosted an art festival, their first big event, on February 3rd. For Samara, she wished to demonstrate how the photography club is an important part of the arts that captures beauty. Looking Outside the Frame offers a place for people to grow in their photography skills. Samara explains that she never knew how to start the club, but with the help of her vice-president, she learned how to network and market herself. She looks at the club as “adventuring out” in a small community to share each other’s experience in the subject of photography. Toccoa Falls College students have a wonderful opportunity to join the club as they are looking for members and leaders.

Samara gained her love for picture taking when she found a book, Humans of New York, a collection of stories and photographs of different people throughout New York City. She was fascinated that the author  walked around to different strangers asking for their photograph. She was interested to see how the author was going around to meet new people. However, her vice-president helped Samara shape her perspective for the club as he explained that photography was more than just portraits.

One of the portrait examples she loved was how people showed before and after pictures of losing weight. “It was amazing how their bodies completely transformed”, she stated. Another example that was fascinating to Samara was of a women piercing her bottom lip in another culture to show a sign of beauty. As she looks at these specific instances, Samara is inspired to one day travel and capture Syrian refuges overseas. In addition, photojournalist Jim Loring, at North Georgia Technical College, greatly impacted her and others with his presentation on Syrian refuges. Her favorite part about guiding the community of TFC students in the art of photography is having fun and creating memories. “It’s hard” she explained, “but when everyone has been busy, it is fun to get a group of people together.”

If your interested in joining the photography club Looking Outside the Frame, please contact Samara Spence at SamaraSpence@tfc.edu

Looking Outside the Frame

A new Toccoa Falls College student organization, Looking Outside the Frame has flourished under the leadership of Samara Spence.

Looking Outside the Frame is a photography-focused student organization on the campus of Toccoa Falls College. Officially notarized by the Student Government Association in September, Looking Outside the Frame has quickly developed an active role on campus. The organization’s mission is “to enable photographers to develop both passion and skill for photography by taking risks and engaging in communities around and beyond them.”

Picture taken by Abby VanWye.

Picture taken by Abby VanWye.

Samara Spence, a sophomore at TFC and founder of Looking Outside the Frame, developed an interest in photography and was inspired by Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York. Spence loves that people are the focal point of the popular photography project. Through Humans of New York, Stanton highlights everyday people and their stories. It is a simple concept with a huge impact. Spence said that photography can be used as a method of anthropology. She desires to authentically portray people and their lives through Looking Outside the Frame and its photographs.



Picture taken by Samara Spence.

Spence also enjoys nature photography. When in nature, she feels as though she can experience God and learn more about His character. “I find peace; all my worries are washed away with the sounds of the wind against the trees and water running down a stream.” Spence photographs moments like these so that she can look back and remember them. She hopes that the members of Looking Outside the Frame can experience and share the beauty of nature through photography.


Spence wanted to start a student organization because she was looking for a way to grow as a leader and build a community. While she experienced some difficulties when implementing Looking Outside the Frame, Spence views these bumps in the road as learning lessons.

Working with people is difficult, yet beneficial.  Spence has learned when to stand firm on an idea and when to compromise. She said, “ I’ve learned that you can’t please everyone. And as much as you like your idea, sometimes, you should let it go if other people don’t agree with it.” Strong communication is crucial to an organization’s health. Spence has developed in both speech and listening skills. She has found it important to portray respect even when it is difficult. She said, “Leading a group of people will always be a challenge for me, but it is a learning process.”


Picture taken by Jenalee Hinkle.

Through the commitment and work of Spence and other Looking Outside the Frame leaders, the organization has quickly developed a significant presence in the Toccoa Falls College community. The organization is actively meeting and taking advantage of many photography opportunities on and off campus. A strong bond is growing among the members. Being surrounded by students with similar passions yet unique perspectives has been rewarding for Spence.

Looking Outside The Frame meets on Tuesdays at 9:00pm in the Student Center lounge. The organization is not exclusive to skilled photographers. Anyone from the Toccoa Falls Community is welcome to attend. Photojournalist, Jim Loring, will be hosting a workshop on November 29th. Also, Looking Outside the Frame will be providing an opportunity for students to display their photographs and art on December 2nd. More details regarding these events will be advertised in the coming weeks.

Photographs taken by students are showcased on Looking Outside the Frame’s Instagram account: @looking_outside.the_frame. The account posts weekly themes, not to only connect but challenge followers. Participants  are encouraged to step outside their comfort zones and use creativity.



*Featured image taken by Levi Cornelius.

Murder among the Mateys

This Saturday, the TFC Philosophy Club and the TFC Theatrical Society will be teaming up to bring you this year’s Murder Mystery Dinner Theater: Murder among the Mateys. This year’s Halloween dinner theater will take you to the high seas as participants will interact with the pirates and solve a heinous murder. Meet the crew of the Jaded Jewel, engage in humor, enjoy great food, and dress up in your best pirate gear. Meet Captain Redbeard and his scurvey crew. Meet Governor Napier and his royal family, who despise pirates. Put your detective skills to the test in this interactive set.

Murder Mystery Dinner Theater is a tradition that was started last year. Over a hundred attendees gathered to interact with 1920s mobsters and capture a murderer. This year hopes to be another success, with Philosophy Club President Amber Reynolds at the stern. General Coordinator, Rosse Karely Velez, has been the go-to girl in the process of making this year’s events happen, overseeing props, set, and actors. This year’s event is also due to the efforts of students such as Keegan Murphy, in charge of costuming, and Amber Reynolds in charge of evening’s dinner with the help Dr.Gary Elkins and Paula Elkins. The actors have taken up responsibility for coordinating themselves and have been preparing for weeks while having fun getting to be pirates. Actress Renee Morris commented on the process that has been invovlved in putting on this event; “The cast of Murder among the Mateys is unique because one is not just affiliated with the Philosophy Club or the Theatrical Society. Everyone joins to have fun and be entertained by the students of TFC. One of the actors comments,”I have the privilege to be a pirate with some talented people I didn’t know before this production. It’s been fun to play a pirate and see everyone enjoy the production by playing around with different accents, calling each other pirate insults, and getting to play a character that we might no totherwise be able to portray.” The cast is geared up and excited to put on this production for the student body for the second year.

Saturday’s events will take place October 29th at First Alliance Church in Toccoa – that’s right across the street from Walmart. The doors open at 5:45, and the program begins at 6:00, so don’t be late! Tickets are $3. The Philosophy Club will be selling tickets in the Student Center during lunch and dinner hours this week. Tickets will be sold at the door, but the club asks that you purchase your tickets early so that they can assess the attendance. This year’s attendance will be capped at 100 and last year saw over 100 participants, so get your tickets soon!

A homemade dinner and dessert will be served. Come dressed in your best pirate gear, but if you don’t have a costume, you’re still wholeheartedly welcome to come.  There will be two contests where participants can win prizes: one for best dressed and one for best solution. So buckle your boots, strap on your sword, get out your thinking caps, and join Murder among the Mateys for an extravagant adventure.

Murder among the Mateys

October 29th, First Alliance Church Toccoa

Doors Open: 5:45 – Program Starts 6:00

Tickets $3

Dinner served, Come dressed in your best pirate gear!

For Questions, Contact: amberreynolds@tfc.edu or rossevelez@tfc.edu