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 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!

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.

Meet Martha

Hello there!  I’m Martha Mae, and I’m just tickled that you’re here. It isn’t often that I get visitors this far out. But if they do make it out here, nobody leaves with the bout of melancholy they came in with. You see, I just have that special knack for advice givin’. My mama had it, and so did her mama, and well, here I am with the same skills. I always seem to know just what to say to make a soul feel better.

Oh, but there I go, rambling along, but you don’t know nuttin’ about who I really am. I guess the first thing you oughta know is that I moved here from Savannah, GA. I was the prettiest girl in Savannah… Well, at least that’s what daddy said, but then mama would always shoot him a look that let him know she didn’t ‘ppreciate losing the contest. Anywho…

I make the best dang peach tea and pecan pie that will ever grace your taste buds. My pie has won blue ribbon at county fair for the past three years now. My mama and nana have taught me all their household runnin’ secrets. I’ve been married for nearly 50 years now. I’ve worked with people my whole life in different job endeavors, always following dreams. I love to paint and draw overlookin’ my back crick.  I’m just a regular ole southern gal still looking for adventure.

My kids are all grown now trying to give advice to little kiddos of their own. My husband spends his days fishing and cracking some smart aleck jokes in the rocking chair next to me. I’ve got some life under my belt and I want to share it with you, youngins.  It’s time my advice givin’ skills were put to good use.

I say all of that to let you know a little of who I am and why I can help you. All you have to do is ask; I won’t tell nobody your name or who you are. That’ll all be our little secret. So, come and sit a while with me on my porch and I’ll try to help you the best I can with what the Good Lord gave me. I hope we can learn a little from each other.

If you do decide that you would like to contact me to advise you in your time of need, honey, you can reach me by e-mail at: ComeToMartha@gmail.com.

I would love to help you. After all, these grey hairs aren’t just for show. Where else would you find this much knowledge in one place? Come back soon!