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

Christmas Banquet 2016!

On December 3rd, Toccoa Falls College will host the annual Christmas Banquet at the Classic Center in Athens, GA. The event is a time for students to de-stress from the last full week of school, and relax among friends while celebrating Christmas. There is much anticipation for this upcoming Christmas Banquet as all of the tickets have been sold out. The Campus Life division of the Student Government Association will host the banquet. Heavenly Dacus, the director of Campus Life, expressed her excitement for spearheading this event.

“I’m excited for the Christmas Banquet, and to be in charge of something that brings so much life to the TFC community. It is definitely a different feeling being in charge of a party instead of attending. It definitely takes away the mystery of the night, but I am honored to be able to bless my student body by putting in the work. I also genuinely love working with my team, so I am very thankful.”

This is not the first time a Christmas Banquet has been held in the Classic Center. It was also held on December 7, 2013. This particular time became a historical event for the students of the college because it allowed dancing to be sanctioned. While the banquet is a normal event hosted by TFC, it was the first event where dancing was fully sanctioned. The event was a great success while drawing in a greater following where more lasting memories were made. “When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.” –Bob Hope

A couple of TFC alumni were asked about their thoughts on their past experiences with the Christmas Banquet and have expressed their opinion that dancing being allowed at TFC.

Dr. Bill Quarterman, class of 1976, and current head of the Department of Counseling and Psychology remembers general events within TFC, such as music skits, speakers and games. Dr. Quarterman says, “It would be a great thing to incorporate” toward allowing dancing at TFC events.

Shari Jalovick, class of 1981, is the wife of current history professor, Dr.David Jalovick. She remembers how hard of a time she experienced picking a dress for the banquet. However, Mrs. Jalovick grew up in an environment where dancing was allowed, line dancing to be specific. If anything, she claims that she would still enjoy the dancing as a student.  

Semi-formal attire is preferred for this event, and all classes are welcome to be a part of the banquet. There will be activities for all students after the banquet, such as exploring the city of Athens. SGA will provide information for key landmarks of Athens to visit that night. SGA is excited for students to come out and experience a beautiful night in Athens! 

Toccoa Falls College presents The Jungle Book

This Thursday will be opening night of this semester’s Toccoa Falls College Theatrical Society’s production: The Jungle Book.  A large number of TFC students have dedicated their time, effort, and talents into making this semester’s production an even bigger success, and continuing the tradition of the Theatrical Society.

Bagheera: captured by Mark Westlund

Bagheera: captured by Mark Westlund

This semester’s play is an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s famous work by Monica Flory. The play retains all of the fun and liveliness from popular adaptations, with a few more ties back to the original work. For example, this adaptation will elaborate on the content and importance of jungle law, as outlined in the jungle book. As well, this adaptation will feature characters that appeared in the original work that audience members might not be as familiar with, such as, Tabaqui the Jackal. The Jungle Book will be family friendly, at times funny, at times dark and intense, and heartwarming all the same.

The Jungle Book will star Gavin Brain as Mowgli. Gavin is 11 and the oldest son of the Brains, a contributing family to TFC. This semester’s play will also star students, Cameron McIntyre as the bear Baloo, Keojah McBryde as the panther Bagheera, and alumni Robert Mayo as the tiger Shere Khan. The entire team, cast, and production has put in countless hours to make this play a success. When asked about the play and what things she has enjoyed most from this experience, Keojah McBryde answered, “It’s been really fun getting to know all of the new cast members.” Indeed, the theatrical society gained a huge turnout of incoming students. “We’ve had a lot of laughs and a lot of bounding time”, McBryde finished.

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Shere Khan: Captured by Mark Westlund

This year’s production is due to the leadership of students, Angela Warfel and Abigail Dority, two MKs with an extraordinary vision for this production and a vigorous drive to carry it out. Upon interviewing the directors, Abigail Dority was able to share one of the rewarding things about directing a play. “One of the most rewarding things is being able to take my ideas for something and seeing it executed the way I want it to be done. Everybody has different views. Somebody else would have read this script and thought of totally different things than I did. Seeing something portrayed the way I visioned and having it come to fruition has been really cool.” The vision will be grand, as the play will be performed on a beautiful jungle set, which was designed and built under the leadership of Keven Jensen and Karely Velez. The directors are excited to see everything come together. “This definitely takes a lot more work than I expected, but it was easier because I had Angela as my co-director,” Dority admits. “She and I work really well together, so it wasn’t quite as hard as I was expecting it to be. It’s been really fun.”

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Mowgli: Captured by Mark Westlund

The Jungle Book will be this Thursday and Friday at 7:00 PM, and this Saturday at 3:00 PM at The Pointe Church in Toccoa. Tickets are $5 for students, $7 for adults, and $3 for children at the door. If you buy early in the Student Center, every ticket is $1 off. Doors open half-an-hour before each show and the show lasts about an hour and a half. Come out and prepare yourself to delve into the warm, dark, heart of the jungle.

All photos by Mark Westlund.

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.

 

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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.”

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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.

An Interview with Toccoa Falls For Life

At Toccoa Falls College there are numerous campus clubs which assist in highlighting the various heart cries and passions that the Lord has uniquely positioned inside of each student here. Below is an interview of Seth VanHorn, President of campus club Toccoa Falls for Life, providing insight into the heart of the club itself, its purpose, goals, and upcoming events.

Could you explain the general overview of Toccoa Falls for Life?

Toccoa Falls for Life is a student organization that is centered around the Pro-Life movement. Our hearts are to foster a community on campus that values human life no matter what stage it’s at and sees that all life is precious. We also have a desire to give students more than the knowledge of what it means to be a part of the Pro-Life movement by providing proactive events where they can step into this belief for themselves. We want to help people realize that if this is what they say they believe in, that a baby is a human life at conception, then something has to be done about it.

Do you have a specific missions statement for the club?

There are three key words in the statement that we filter club behavior and choices through. Those are: awareness, action, and advocacy. Awareness is about creating an environment that is aware of what the Pro-Life movement is as well as what it involves. Action, once you understand what’s going on, how baby’s lives are being taken unjustly, the fact that something must be done comes into play. And advocacy, this is essentially what the previous two words are pointing towards. We want to be advocates for the babies who can’t do anything for themselves, for the mothers who are in crisis pregnancies and need help, and those who are faced with the difficulties of wondering if they should get an abortion.

What was your motivation for starting the club?

I have a story that’s similar to most, I grew up Pro-Life because my parents were. I thought that to be a Christian you had to be Pro-Life, so I said I was but didn’t really know what that meant. It seems like a good idea to support babies, you know? As I got older I became frustrated with my views regarding the sanctity of life. People would start talking about it and I’d get frustrated and argue, but I didn’t know what I was arguing about. I realized my frustration was stemming from apathy. I was telling people I believed life begins at conception and that abortion is murder, but I wasn’t doing anything about it. That’s when I realized I needed to get involved. If I’m saying this is the worst social injustice that’s ever faced anyone in the history of the world – statistically more lives have been ended through abortion than anything else – then as the body of Christ we can’t sit by and not be actively engaged. That was convicting to me so I wanted to provide a way for students to get involved with the Pro-Life movement at TFC.

You had an event last Friday, October 21st. Can you talk a little about it?

On Friday we got involved in a movement with an international organization called Forty Days for Life. They create prayer vigils across the world, uniting Christians to go and pray in front of abortion clinics nonstop for forty days straight. Our event was in partnership with them, we signed up for a shift to go spend two hours in front of an abortion clinic in Greenville. It was a cool time to spend with some other students from TFC in prayer for the Pro-Life cause. We prayed for preborn babies, that God’s hand of protection would be over them, for mothers who are currently or will face an unplanned pregnancy, those who are dealing with the grief of abortion, for abortion workers themselves, and for our nation as a whole to be reawakened. There were only a few others there from another group who were all Catholic. When we got there I asked if we could pray with them, so we prayed a Rosary with a specific lady. We went through about fifty hail Mary’s. I could tell quite a few people were uncomfortable from our group, not exactly sure what was going on. The cool part was, afterwards, she asked to pray with us and we all went around in a circle praying. It was cool to see the body of Christ, the universal church, coming together as one body united for a particular cause regardless of different traditions and theological views. That was probably the most impacting part of the night for me. The event ended with a little bit of worship.

Do you have any upcoming events?

We’re hoping to hold an apologetics training course where you can learn how to articulate your beliefs and argue effectively that a pre-born baby is actually a human life. That will be sometime in November so be on the lookout for that.

What would you say to people who are skeptical about Pro-Life?

I don’t have all the answers, but I would love to discuss this issue and hopefully find answers with you. In regard to being skeptical about Pro-Life, I think that comes down to looking at the core of what the Pro-Life movement actually is: valuing life. We look at life and say regardless of size, level of dependency, location, etc. human life is important. Defending innocent lives and looking out for the vulnerable matters. I think something a lot of people miss is that the Pro-Life movement needs to also be Pro-Woman. When people think of Pro-Life, often they see old Christian haters, holding signs that say “God hates you” or “you’re going to hell for having an abortion,” but the Pro-Life movement needs to be a holistic environment that looks out for the lives of mothers too. If we’re going to say that these babies need to make it to birth, then we need to provide for them afterwards whether its adoption or helping a mom get back on her feet. It’s about valuing human life no matter what.

What does it look like to be a member?

If you want to get involved we’d love to have you. We have a group of officers, and next semester we will put out information about officer positions. Treasurer, secretary, community outreach, whatever it is we have a spot for you. If interested, contact with me or Sydney, the Vice President, we will keep you in the loop of when we’re going to do things or have events. Anyone can join. We’re also on Facebook, Toccoa Falls for Life.