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. 

Professor Interview: Dr. David Jalovick

Toccoa Falls College is proud to highlight one of its most beloved history professors, Dr. David Jalovick. During the interview, Dr. Jalovick explains how TFC has changed over the years.
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“How long have you been a professor here at TFC, and what classes do you teach?”

“I first came as a professor back in 1997. So this summer will be 20 years of teaching here, but before I became a professor I graduated from Toccoa Falls College in 1981. Right now, I am teaching 11 history courses, which is the bulk of the history courses that the school offers. For a while, I was basically the only history professor here at TFC, but we now have several adjuncts who teach a few of the courses.”

“So, you have been here for a long time. What kinds changes have you experienced over the years?”

“As a student, you are talking about a history that goes back 42 years. I first came onto this campus in 1975. One of the major things that has changed is the increase of students from Georgia. I noticed that when I came back as a professor the Hope grant had been established, which enabled a number of Georgia students to come to this college who would not have attended because of the tuition. One thing that was especially noticeable to me were the number of cars that were not on campus during the weekend. When I was a student, most of us were from out of state, and as a result nobody left, or very few people, left to go home.

Clothing styles have come and gone. When I was here, jeans were not allowed in the classroom because some of us were not wearing the best quality jeans. In regard to hairstyles for the guys, facial hair was not allowed.  There were rules on hair length and dress length for women. Those things have changed.

Also, we have a much larger minority population. Whether African-American or Asian-American, minority population has grown. We are more ethnically and racially diverse than we were when I was a student. ”

“What was your experience like when you were a student at TFC, and what was your favorite part of being a student?”

“I was a missions cross-cultural major, and I have told plenty of people over the years that I think we had the best experience. We were taught to be world Christians, not worldly Christians. We were encouraged to get out of the American evangelical box. I felt that my studies went along with the biblical training that we were learning, as well as the various liberal arts and other courses.

When I first came as a student, I knew no one. I was 800 miles away from my home in Buffalo, New York. It took a while to get to know fellow students.  I am very thankful for the foundation and experiences that I had here. You can benefit from both the good and the bad; both types of experiences shape you, hopefully for the better.”

“Were you here for the dam break? What was it like for you and how did it effect you?”

“I was not in Toccoa at the time of the dam break. After my sophomore year, which ended in the spring of ’77, my fiancée and I decided that it would be better for me to drop out of school temporarily so that we could get married and I could work while she finished her nursing degree. The school that she was attending was in Fayetteville, North Carolina, 300 miles away. We planned to move back to Toccoa after she graduated so that I could finish my degree as well. Though we were not living in Toccoa at the time, we did come back several times to visit before November of 1977. In fact, my wife’s parents were living in the trailer park on campus because her dad was taking classes at the school. We knew a good number of students who were attending TFC at the time of the dam break, and we were here visiting no less than 3 weeks before the tragedy occurred. We came back the day after it happened, but we were not allowed to cross the bridge.  We knew a good number of the folks that had been killed, as well as the families.

One of my good friends, Jerry Brittan, was killed in the basement of Forrest hall. Jerry was from Western New York, and, since he did not have a car, he and I drove my car to New York several times. His room was where the Communications Department is now, and he was not able to make it out the night of the flood. A number of people that my wife’s family knew were killed in the flood as well. Thankfully, my wife’s parents survived the flood. The flood waters actually carried their trailer, rather than crushing it. After the flood, we stayed in Toccoa for a couple of days and visited some folks. It is hard to believe that this fall it will be 40 years ago since it happened.”

Toccoa Falls is thankful to hear from Professor Jalovick on his experience and vision at the school.

 

 

 

 

The Black Spade Society’s Show Project

Now, the Black Spade Society is not some secret cult or exclusivist, fancy club here at TFC.  This society is a media group that is planning on tackling a huge project just wanted to bare a cool name while doing it. The project? A completely original, full-length, television-worthy video series created here at TFC by the students and they need your help! If one is a media student (yes, it is confirmed that this project can contribute to mass communication practicum courses), into music making, or just interested in making videos, one should consider joining this journey.

The title of the series is JOYEUX (French for “happy” or “joyful” and pronounced as “zha-why-YOU”) and is headed, written, and will be directed by James Hutton and assisted by Seth Renicks, the head of audio and visuals. It is a dialogue-driven, non-traditional comedy-drama about a group of students here at TFC attempting to make it through the college grind while attempting to find normality, spirituality, happiness, and, as the title suggests, joy. That is only scratching the surface and more will be revealed in time.

Right now, the group’s focus is on creating a pilot episode to get a handle on how they will approach the rest of the series. For anyone who does not know, a “pilot” is practically a single episode of a potential series. The pilot  serves as a proof of concept on what the series will be like, what it is about, and is practice for how the team will create the rest of the series. So, the team is making only one episode in order to figure out how they will approach the rest of the series. The episode is planned to be screened in the auditorium and possibly uploaded online.

The society is looking for creative and dedicated people who are artistically or technically minded to help with the many different tasks of movie/show making. Everything is open. They need people for acting, camerawork, lighting, equipment handling, screenwriting, storyboarding, wardrobe managing/costume designing, art, sound equipment, audio engineering, and soundtrack compositing. Yes, if you are a music major or a hobbyist musician that is good with an instrument, they plan on having a completely original soundtrack and score. More characters will be introduced throughout the series so there is always a chance to get a role. The story revolves a bit around music as well. They desire to use people who have their own video equipment as well. The society does have some funding and administration from the communication department, but there is a limited budget. The other reason for having a pilot is proving ground to be funded for a series.

The society is still on the verge of getting on its feet and it could use as many volunteers as possible to make this ambitious project a reality. The group had their first meeting a couple of weeks ago and they are currently hosting auditions. If you are interested in joining, they plan on having meetings every Saturday and Monday at 7:00 PM. For more details, email blackspadesociety@gmail.com. There will be plenty of opportunities to create an extraordinary production!

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

Sadie Hawkins: March Masquerade

Grab a dance partner as quick as you can, ladies, because this March, SGA will be hosting a spring Sadie Hawkins dance. This event, open to all students, is a great way to meet new people, form relationships, and have fun with the entire campus.

This year’s theme is March Masquerade. The celebration will include dance music, colorful decorations, and even a parade float holding a variety of chips and dips. This event will be a great way for everyone on campus to step outside of their comfort zone and find that it is rewarded with new friendships.

SGA is going off of the success of this event from previous years. Already, students of TFC have been coming up with creative ways to ask their dates to the Sadie Hawkins. Mandy Silker of SGA, with a piece of chocolate and a bag of Bugles, told her friend, “It would be sweet if you would boogie woogie bugle boy with me at the Sadie Hawkins”. Other proposals around campus have strangely involved food puns, including “Will you tagalong with me to Sadie Hawkins,” made by Rachel Johnson or “I know it’s cheesy, but it would be grate if you would go to Sadie Hawkins with me”. Students have commented on how impressed they are with the ladies of TFC for not shying away.

Heavenly Dacus, Campus Life Chair for SGA, shared her vision and excitement for this year’s Sadie Hawkins. Heavenly wants to offer a dance that the entire student body can enjoy each semester. “Christmas banquet is normally the only dance open to the entire student body. Junior Senior is a place to celebrate the achievements of the upperclassman,” she explains. “I think that it is an important aspect of life, however, I wanted to give everyone an equal opportunity to celebrate together”. Based off of student’s great memories from previous years, the Sadie Hawkins is definitely an event that everyone on campus can be involved in and enjoy.

Tickets go on sale next week in the Student Center. Grab yours between 12-2 PM for $3 a person. The dance takes place on March 3rd in Gate Cottage from 7:30 – 10:00 PM. Students are encouraged to create and wear colorful masks, but a mask isn’t required for the event. Attire is anywhere from casual to casual formal, so come in what you want! It’s going to be a good time and SGA can’t wait to see you there.