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. 

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.

Battling Defeat During Midterms

It’s here! It’s that time of the year where it becomes progressively harder and harder to persevere. It’s that time of year when professors and parents are giving constant encouragement to “finish strong.” It’s that time of year where assignment after assignment comes due. It’s midterms week.

Before fall break, it is very academically, and emotionally, difficult for students. There is a great deal of pressure and stress involved with finishing final assignments and preparing for the first break of the year. Students lose sleep, and drink more coffee to keep them going. With everything that they have to do, it is easy to give into feeling defeated. It is easy to focus on this one week of academic strain and lose sight of the big picture. God has given each of his children strength for every moment. Anything one could ever need, they already have in Christ. He has given his children enough strength, enough patience, and enough perseverance to overcome anything they may face. With all the anxiety this time of year causes, it is easy to be consumed by defeat. It is difficult for students to juggle the greater amount of responsibilities and obligations given to them. With the high level of stress that accompanies this week, it is even more important to remember to keep one’s eyes set on things above, not on things below. As soon as one is consumed by anxiety, crippling defeat is not far behind.  An anonymous Toccoa Falls College Sophomore wrote a short piece of poetry concerning this week.

 

“Dear defeat,

It’s been a long battle between the two of us. You knock me down, and I’ll recover, then you’ll knock me down again. You haven’t given me a moment’s rest. You’ve come at me with everything you possibly could, but I will not be undone. I am in the palm of the one who crafted the heavens and the earth. You have no power over me. The things you attack me with are temporal. They are ultimately meaningless. You have lost. By the grace of my God and my King, it is YOU who are undone.

Dear defeat, you have been defeated.”

Battling the feeling of defeat is a primary part of spiritual warfare. Once a student stops fighting and succumbs to defeat, it is so much easier to fall into depression and despair. This principle applies not only to midterms week, but in all areas of life. God calls us to “fight the good fight of faith.” We as Christians are to “take hold of the eternal life to which you were called” (1 Timothy 6:12). God has called his people to live courageously and fight with strength and perseverance. This spiritual battle is challenging. After all, if it was easy, God would not have encouraged His people to fight with courage.

It is the midpoint of the semester, fight to finish well! Fall break is in sight, so fight the good fight.

Summer Bucket List

As the masses descend upon the great sandy shores of unfamiliar beaches or besiege the family dwelling with sleepy eyes and the urge to binge Netflix, the time will pass by faster than one might think. Instead of achieving a state of mindless spontaneity, consider this time a chance to explore the unexplored. Enjoy the unknown, and even reinvent the known. I am writing to all who would like to participate in a new kind of fun, a renewable bucket list. A summer “put drops in the bucket,” instead of kicking it.

The following are some ideas to help the summer become an experience to remember:

  • Disc Golf! Even if you cannot throw the discs far, disc golf can be a great stress reliever spending an hour or two chucking objects toward a goal. As for the discs themselves, a surprising amount of people are getting into the sport, and because of this, discs can be found almost anywhere. The discs on the lower end are only a few dollars and would last long enough to determine whether or not the player wants to put a little more money in. Also, courses are generally free and expansive. It has never been a better time to play a new up and coming sport!
  • Star in your own movie! With a good majority of Americans having access to a smartphone and almost a century worth of film ideas, why not make a small movie? First, grab a phone (most shoot HD video), grab a friend, and spend a couple hours in varying locations making stuff up as you go. Next, upload it onto a computer, download a free editing program, and go to work putting in wacky transitions and anything else that could be fun. Finish the product and show it to friends. Laugh, learn a new skill and love the experience.
  • Host a dinner party! So sports are not your thing. Maybe making a movie is too much work. How about hosting a get together with friends and food? Gotta have a break from the beach every now and then, right? What’s better than food, movies, and AC? (credits to Kinsey Whittet for the idea)
  • Servanthood through recycling knowledge! Have you ever wondered how recycling material works? I mean really, what happens? When we toss our cardboard Triscuit boxes, or our electronics away how can they be reused? Maybe, this summer would be a good time to gather up a bunch of recyclables around the house and set up an appointment with a local recycling plant manager. You could possibly see a tour or at least learn a lesson in understanding how recycling works. Its worth a shot, and I am sure that someone out there would be willing to share the process to an interested college student. You never know, by having the knowledge you could really be making a difference. If not, then at least you recycled!

As the summer continues, take the time to focus on building relationships with those around you and exploring God’s creation. Summer is a wonderful time to make memories with the ones you love. Having the opportunity to share a fun idea with a friend may make their day. Relaxing on your summer vacation is great, but remembering the moments of sitting by a bonfire or fishing with your family are the best of memories. The summer bucket list could become a trend for every summer.