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.

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!

Meet Your 2017/2018 ARDs

As the end of the school year approaches and summer shines into view, plans are already being made for the 2017/2018 school year.  In the midst of chaos, cramming, and cups of coffee, faculty and staff are hard at work in order to make next school year even more fantastic and exciting than the present one. One change that takes place annually is the picking of Assistant Resident Assistants. These special people assist Resident Directors behind the scenes in order to guarantee a fun and thriving environment for on campus students. Below is an introduction to your 2017/18 ARDs – Anna Claire Harrison (Fant/LT), Wesley Lavrinc (Forrest), and Julia Raymer (Terraces).

Anna Claire Harrison

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What motivated you to apply for the ARD position?

This past year I got to be an RA on Fant 2 and had an incredible year being a part of young women’s lives. I truly believe in Residence Life and the community it aspires to create. Being an active member in community is an essential part of spiritual formation- learning how to bear one another’s burdens, give grace when it is inconvenient, and love one another even when it is messy. Our RA’s and RD’s have a difficult job practicing these things, so I applied for the ARD position knowing that by serving behind the scenes in indirect ways, I can set up other people for victories. I heard it best said in terms of the famous painter Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo would have been a glorified house painter had it not been for the man who made scaffolding in which Michelangelo might paint from. While his job was not glamorous it was certainly essential in lifting viewers eyes towards the depiction of the gospel.

What is the most exciting thing about this position?

Getting to know next year’s RA’s. They are seriously amazing, and I can’t wait to see how the Lord uses their individual gifts and passions to love and serve their hall, celebrate the big and small victories, and learn to lean into one another during the hard times.

What are three things about you that are interesting?

I love the outdoors and backpacking. Forget long walks on the beach, let’s take a hike under the trees with some squirrels. I took a gap year in between high school and college and spent half the year in Turkey. I hope to one day live overseas again. My favorite food is my momma’s guacamole (no other, it must be made by her hands). If I was trapped on an island and could only eat one food- it would be that heavenly avocado spread.

Wes Lavrinc

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What motivated you to apply for the ARD position?

My main motivation to apply for the ARD position was being able to develop an even deeper relationship with the Resident Director of Forrest Hall, Saylo Lor. He has been extremely influential in my life over the past two years and the opportunity to work side-by-side with him was something I did not want to miss. Also, I know just how valuable of a position the ARD is in supporting the RAs, and I wanted to directly pour into their lives in the same way that Daniel Nally, the first ARD in the history of Forrest Hall, supported me this year.

What is the most exciting thing about this position?

The most exciting thing about this position is that it is a great opportunity to exercise servant leadership in ways that often go unseen by the public. So much goes on behind the scenes that residents do not see that make things here on campus run smoother and far more enjoyable. It is exciting to have a chance to play a part in that.

What are three things about you that are interesting?

The first interesting thing about me is that I love whistling and have been told that I am not too shabby at it. The second interesting thing about me it that I love sports and always thought that I would end up being some sort of professional athlete. God had other plans. Finally, I believe that God has called me overseas (no idea where yet) to do evangelism, biblical and theological training, and church planting.

Julia Raymer
12074669_934376373290349_1397589191837853592_nWhat motivated you to apply for the ARD position?

I applied for ARD because I have loved serving residents as an RA for the last two years, and I wanted to continue to use my experience to benefit students living on campus.

What is the most exciting thing about this position?

I’m excited to see a different side of TFC, to work behind the scenes, and get my hands dirty.

What are three things about you that are interesting?

I love bunnies, tea, and good books.

Mr. TFC 2017!

This past Friday evening, students gathered into Grace Chapel at 8:00 P.M. to watch Mr. TFC. Each year, SGA hosts a competitive event between male representatives from each class. The four selected by the school were assigned to compete in different mindless and silly games that kept the audience laughing the entire hour and a half of the show. The games simply consisted of pure entertainment and hilarious talents. John Thar, Student Body President, and Stephen King cleverly hosted the show that boasted a sense of energy and excitement.

First introduced was freshman representative David Ramirez. As he rushed into Grace Chapel, he pretended that he was running a race. While dramatic music was playing in the background, he ran in slow motion down the aisle. At the end, two students held a banner while Ramirez crashed through and thankfully avoided tragedy. The crowd cheered, as he hopped onto the stage ready for action.

Wes Lavrinc, sophomore representative, was dressed in black with a crazy hairstyle and sunglasses. He came in with a sly walk down to catchy tune while everyone laughed at the dance he performed on stage. It was hilarious!

Dani Maxey, aka “Grilled-cheese Papi,”represented the junior class as he made his famous grilled cheese for the judges. Rolling around on his hover board definitely created laughs that filled the night.

Last, but not least, senior representative, Max Lawrence, marched toward the stage with a TFC flag in hand along with a crew of men dressed in black and white. Lawrence certainly displayed magnificent talent as he was recognized as The Chocolate Fantasy.

The representatives of each class faced each other in a plethora of competitions involving the best pick-up lines, most creative makeup artists, and a unique talent. Lavrinc’s pickup line, “Hey girl, I’ll be the Ahab to your Jezebel” or Lawrence’s dance to the classic “Jump On It” gave the audience an irresistible thrill. Other events like David’s song about TFC, tarantulas, giraffes, xylophones, and other random things or Dani falling off his hover board simply showed that the men at TFC can be quite talented and amusing.

At the end of the show, Thar and King gave the competitors one last competition. They told each representative to take off one sock and hand it to the next man. With confused looks, they did as they were told and waited in anticipation. Afterwards they had to drink a soda filtered through the sock. Whoever finished the soda first, won! Max downed the can extremely fast and smashed it to the ground. The guys seemed troubled by the task, but they completed it without hesitancy.

As the judges handed in their votes for the winner, Thar proclaimed that Dani Maxey won Mr. TFC! Last years winner, Seth Vanhorn, arrived on the stage crowning Maxi and dubbing him with the campus’s famous, golden plunger.

At the end, Maxey screamed “juniors!!” as the crowd cheered. Congratulations Dani for winning this years Mr. TFC!

 

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