Penultimate Semester Activities

On Saturday, April 29th, Toccoa Falls College was lively with a day full of amusing activities. The reason? The Outdoor Club not only hosted its third annual Cherokee Challenge but the student body also came out to participate in Classapalooza. It was a busy day, but students and community members that came out enjoyed themselves as they competed and fellowshipped together.

In the morning the Cherokee Challenge took place. Volunteers arrived around 7:30 to set up and enroll incoming racers and admit those that pre-registered. A few local gyms had booths set up to advertise their business. For those that arrived early, Michelle—the beloved cafeteria employee—led a Zumba session. It was fun and energetic—a great warmup for the runners.

The race started at the pond. Contestants first ran up behind the guest house, and followed a two-mile trail with obstacles strategically placed all along it that eventually circled back to end at the pond. There were three waves of runners, each sent off fifteen minutes between each other; the first left at 9:00, and the last wave followed behind at 9:30.

The rigorous trail proved to be a challenge, but contestants began to near the end. Spectators cheered as runners performed the last stretch—crawling through the sand of the volleyball court, jumping over a fire, and then swimming across the pond. Runners were received at the finish line with great fanfare.

After the Cherokee Challenge had ended and everything was taken down, Classapalooza began. Sandwiches, chips, treats, and drinks were all set out so that people could eat as the activities went on. A table was set up that had different colored paints on it so that people could patriotically decorate themselves to identify themselves with their particular class. Reds, greens, blues, and yellows—seniors, juniors, sophomores, and freshmen, respectively—could be seen all around.

Activities began with a game called Hungry Hippo. Everyone gathered according to their class at the four corners of a tarp. The tarp was covered with soapy water, and had a pile of small plastic balls in the middle. Two people from each class coupled up to snatch as many balls as possible. One person had the legs of the other and pushed that person along the tarp as they tried to grab balls with a laundry basket. The game was very hilariously aggressive.

Volleyball followed next. The different classes faced each other off to determine who the champion would be. The games were very enjoyable to watch, as all of the teams did an excellent job. It was very competitive, but the juniors ended up winning overall.

The next event was a chalk art competition. The different classes were given chalk and a parking space and prompted to draw something that represented “living large.” The sophomores did not compete in this activity, but the freshmen, juniors, and seniors all had artistic minds working together to win. The freshmen’s sunflowers, the junior’s cityscape, and the seniors space theme were all excellently done, but the seniors pulled out as the winners.

After the chalk art the classes regathered to compete in a tournament of kickball. The ball used was a large beach ball, and to get to the bases—which were pools of water—one had to slide on a tarp covered in soapy water. Like the volleyball, the competition was intense. The classes fought for the victory, but the seniors ended up winning. By popular vote, buck buck was being played as the kickball tournament went on.

After the kickball, two activities then took place at the same time—a game of life that was played around the pond, and dizzy soccer played at the intramural field. Though the game of life was a little more chill and enjoyable, the dizzy soccer was a little more competitive. It was difficult as the players had to continue to spin as they played, but everyone enjoyed themselves. After the initial competition ended—with the seniors winning—the participants started to play a normal game of soccer for fun.

After all of the games had ended and all of the points were added up, it was determined that the juniors and the seniors had tied! The uncertainty of the outcome had been tense as the score was close, but a tie was not expected; it was surely an interesting ending to the classapalooza competition!

Overall the day was pleasantly active and everyone enthusiastically participated in all that was offered. It was exciting to see the Toccoa community and the student body of TFC interact with each other at the Cherokee Challenge, and then see the student body come together for healthy competition. The community was encouraging, as everyone mingled together. Great company, comfortable weather, delicious food, entertaining games—it was a great Saturday for students to spend time with each other at they look forward the end of the spring semester.

Upcoming Junior/Senior Banquet 2017!

The annual Junior/Senior Banquet is one of Toccoa Falls College’s most treasured and anticipated events. It is the last big get together for the graduating class, and the initiation of the juniors into their new place of seniority. It is always a pleasure to attend these events, but the stage has been set this year for, what could be, the most wonderfully intense Jr./Sr. banquet TFC has ever put together. Let me explain.

This past Saturday’s Classapalooza was a dazzling display of random athleticism, dumb luck, and unlikely upsets, but the final scoreboard revealed a troubling problem. The junior class and senior class ended the day in an unprecedented TIE. Yes, a tie. Now we all know that if buck-buck had been counted in the final tally the senior class no doubt would have taken the cake, but that was not the case (no bitterness about it). The juniors started the day strong with a huge win in beach volleyball, but the seniors rallied late to win both super slider kick ball, and dizzy soccer. It was an amazing day, but the important question remains. What will the tie breaker be?

Here are the facts. On May 5th at 7:00pm the gates will open and the event of the year will begin. It is taking place at Larkins Sawmill in Greenville, South Carolina. There is no better place than a sawmill to decide the fate of Classapalooza 2017. The clock is ticking down for the day that could revolutionize the Junior/Senior Banquet experience for years to come. I am not sure that anything like this has ever happened before, or that anything like this will ever happen again. This is a cannot miss event.

Several SGA members have been communicating what this tie breaker will look like. The Student Government has done an incredible job for putting on amazing events this school year, and I am sure that they could not have imagined that something like this would happen. They have shown tremendous leadership, creativity, and thoughtfulness while serving our student body and I am genuinely grateful for that. Thank you SGA!   

Remember: This event is a formal event, and is designed for community and fellowship. While there may be some type of misplaced pride at stake, this is a time to enjoy the company of fellow classmates. Jr./Sr. is important for the student body to appreciate the hard work of graduating Seniors, and acknowledge the future success of aspiring Juniors. Do not let the heart of competition (whatever that looks like) ruin the beauty of the Jr./Sr. experience. With that being said, show up ready for amazing food, fellowship, and (more than likely) dancing. Study hard over the next few days and then come celebrate the end of another wonderful year! Cannot wait to see you there!

The Joyful JOYEUX Premier

Earlier in this semester, the Black Spade Society: a media group, headed by James Hutton,  created a TV-worthy video series by TFC students about TFC students for TFC students. Their first step on this journey was to create a pilot (a proof-of-concept episode) by the end of this semester. Well, after weeks and months of auditioning, shooting, and editing, the cast and crew finally bring to TFC the first episode of JOYEUX.

JOYEUX can be best described as dialogue driven a non-traditional comedy-drama. It will focus on character interaction, bond building, and music. Music is planned to play a big role in this series. It will contain not only stock music but an original track created by the music students and hobbyists here at the college. Character relations are going to be the main focus and this pilot’s goal is to set up the characters and character dynamics for the series.

Having been given the privilege of being able to see it early with the group, I can say that it succeeds at this purpose and is something that I would recommend checking out. It may be dialogue-driven but the interactions are amusing and there are plenty of atmospheric and comedic silent moments with good cinematography. There will be many comedic moments, mostly awkward and relatable things. Many volunteers at the college have participate in creating the film. Those residing in Forrest Hall will definitely take notice. The ending may seem to come sudden and might make one yearn for more, However, it reminds those that JOYEUX will be an ongoing series to support. Be sure to come and make that a reality!

One can discover the secret origin of this mysterious symbol that appeared on the cafeteria chalkboard a while back.

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The premier will be taking place in the Student Center TONIGHT at 8:00 p.m.! Make sure to bring your friends and any visiting loved ones. Spread the word! If you miss the pilot, it will be made available online sometime next week on YouTube. If you have any questions about the premier or want to ask about joining the production next semester, contact the head via email at blackspadesociety@gmail.com.

The production of the main series will begin this fall semester. Whether that will be a single episode or multiple ones, it all depends on how many members there will be and their determination. So, if interested in acting, shooting, music-making, and/or video editing (or even planning on taking a Mass Communications practicum course), be prepared to send an email now or in the fall. Remember, the premier will be 8:00 p.m. Friday, April 28th, at the Student Center. Come out TONIGHT!

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The Future of TFC’s Cross-Country Team

Did anyone really know Toccoa Falls College had a Cross Country (XC) team anyways? That might be a harsh question to ask, but I ran on the Cross-Country team at Toccoa and it was amazing how many people did not realize we had a team. Now I use the word “had” for a specific purpose. The Athletic Department has decided to cut the Cross-Country program indefinitely. Athletic Director Kevin Hall said in response to a question, “Decisions like this never come easy as it always deeply affects someone.” Kevin Hall and I have had several in-depth conversations about the state of the Cross-Country program, and about the ideas that are in place to keep this a valuable part of the TFC community. Here is a brief synopsis of what he said:

  1. The Athletic Department cares about this program and desires to see it succeed
  2. Cross-Country is not totally gone, it will be a club sport (I’ll explain more on that later)
  3. During this hiatus, the Athletic Department will continue to build the foundation for providing Toccoa with quality/stable coaches.

I have no doubt that the Athletic Department desires to see Cross-Country flourish as a collegiate sport in the future. In one of the conversations I had with Coach Hall, he laid out the groundwork for the future of the program and how he envisions the rebuilding process taking place. They will be moving Cross-Country out of the intercollegiate role and into a club sport. This club sport status will (hopefully) allow runners to continue to compete in intercollegiate races if it gets approved by the NCCAA. These races will allow those who are interested in running to compete against other schools, and will also allow TFC to continue to train athletes for the future team. I believe this may be necessary for the XC team. This brief step away from intercollegiate status could be the test of who really cares enough about this program to keep it going. Runners do not care if they are a club sport or a team sport. They want to compete. The truth of the matter is that the truly dedicated few will stick this out and compete knowing that there is a future in store for a very successful program.

Cross-Country is important to me, and it really does change people. In my considerably long tenure as an athlete, I have spent a substantial amount of time conditioning. I have run wind sprints for basketball and countless numbers of laps around the baseball field, but nothing changed my life like Cross Country. I understand why people question the sanity of cross country runners. We are doing something that most people hate doing, and we are doing it for fun! The running joke (pun intended) in cross country is that “the sport we do for fun is considered punishment to everyone else.” It takes a unique group of people to form a cross country team, but I can personally testify that my years of running have changed my work ethic, mindset, and overall attitude toward life. Cross Country showed me how to push past mental barriers and accomplish things that I never thought possible.

I write this article simply to give credit where credit is due. Hang in their runners! Do not give up on this journey. You have an opportunity to pave the way for a bigger and brighter future for Toccoa Falls College Athletics. Face the challenges ahead and run the race well!

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.