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February 10, 2006


Smoking creates conflict at MCCC Ashley Braden Assistant Editor Smokers at Monroe County Community College (MCCC) can currently light up virtually anywhere on the outdoor campus, but this may be changing at both the main campus and Whitman Center in the near future. Last November, a campus climate survey was sent to faculty and staff asking whether or not they supported a smoke free campus. 38% said yes.

The Health & Safety Committee at MCCC, however, determined that a completely smoke-free campus would not be feasible at this time because it would be taking too big of a step too quickly. With that decision, a subcommittee was formed to brainstorm alternatives to a total banishment of smoking on college grounds. The subcommittee has met twice thus far and has outlined the concerns on smoking at MCCC. With all the information and opinions they have gathered

from smokers, non-smokers, students, employees, and groundskeepers, they have made a recommendation to designate certain “smoking areas” throughout the MCCC campus. Should this proposal be approved, smokers will be required to have their cigarettes in one of the committee’s selected areas. These areas would be strategically placed throughout the grounds to make it comfortable enough for nonsmokers but convenient enough for smokers who only have a

Foreign exchange students join regulars on campus Ines Rutz Reporter Maybe you have already recognized that there are some new faces at Monroe County Community College (MCCC). It could be that they are looking a little bit lonely or that they are searching for something. At the beginning of the semester, MCCC welcomed six foreign exchange students. Every semester, Youth For Understanding (YFU), an organization which is located all over the world, places students at American community colleges. YFU started with the community college program in 1991. The YFU was founded in 1951, but in the beginning they created exchange programs for high school students. At MCCC, the exchange students have a special YFU campus coordinator, Shirley Wyatt. Whenever the students have problems with their “new” life, Shirley helps them. She drops for example classes which are to difficult for the YFU students and she tries to make them a part of the school. Three of the exchange students come from Korea: · Ae- Ran is a 21 year old girl. Her hobbies and interests are volunteering, visiting museums, reading and painting.


short break. “I think it’s a fabulous idea,” Kimberly Ruttenberg, MCCC student and smoker of 8 years, said. “I know people have allergies and asthma, and it’s rude to force cigarette smoke on them and others.” The subcommittee has also suggested providing a sheltered area for smokers, which would ultimately protect them from elements such as wind and rain. “That [designated smoking areas] would be great if it was somewhere where we could get out of the weather,” said smoker Peggy Faunt, administrative assistant to the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences. Several non-smokers agree that assigned smoking areas would be a positive attribute to MCCC.

“I don’t like to walk through clouds of smoke while walking into a building, but it’s unfair to tell someone that they can’t smoke at all. I think the areas would be a good thing,” said Melissa Lederman, MCCC student. Some, however, believe that designated smoking areas are not the best solution to the problem. “Smoking is for cars and bars. I don’t believe that MCCC needs to collude with the tobacco companies by condoning smoking on campus,” said Jack Woltmann, associate professor of Respiratory Therapy. Mythili Iyengar, Whitman Center Business Learning Lab Technician, agrees. “Smoking should be banned on campus with the intention of

see “smoke,” page 7

Free speech comes at cost Michelle Scherlitz Copy Editor

Agora photo courtesy of SHIRLEY WYATT

Three of the six YFU students are Ae-Ran, Joon-Sub, and Da-Young.

· Da- Young is a 21 year old girl. She likes singing, cooking and volunteering. · Joon- Sub is a 20 year old boy. He likes listening to music, watching movies, singing, church activities and volunteering. “I love the American food,” Joon said. They all have different reasons to come to the U.S., but they all said that they like the American dialect more than the British English dialect. But they didn’t have a choice with the college they wanted to attend.

Opinion 2

Valentine’s Day irritation Why is there just one day a year to show how much you care? (2)

It was YFU which made the decision. The three Koreans are staying here for two semesters. They have the opinion that here in America the people are more religious than in Korea. They all went to church here and they were fascinated because the Americans are so opened and warm. They all enjoy their stay in Monroe so far. They like meeting new people every day and learning new things in life or in class. When they return to

see “students,” page 7

Campus News 3

Feature 4-5

Culinary arts excel Students take part in projects that range from ice sculptures to dishes to cooking in the MCCC program. (5)

Ceramic strength Darlin Nothanagel, 53, returned to MCCC to take ceramics and has intentions to become a professional potter. (4)

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” This law applies only to the United States, but what happens if you travel out of this country? Unfortunately, Daniel Pearl, and Jill Carroll have found out the hard way. Daniel Pearl was the Wall Street Journal’s foreign correspondent who was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan in 2002, and Jill Carroll, freelance writer for The Christian Science Monitor, and Ann Arbor native, is now the latest American journalist to be kidnapped while in Iraq. These types of dangerous situations are becoming more

What’s at Meyer? Check out the range of activities going on at the Meyer Theater this semester. (6)

common than not. In order to get a story out to the public journalists are risking their lives, and therefore becoming headline stories themselves. Detroit Free Press ran the story, “In Jill Carroll’s Own Words: Why she went to cover Iraq.” In her article Carroll states, “Her sense of journalistic duty overrides her safety, and that there are much more lucrative ways to work and faster ways to advance a career, but just as athletes do it for the love of the game, freelancers in Iraq seem to do it for the love of the story.” “My feelings are that journalists have throughout history dared to go where others don’t because they are in search of the truth, and in order to pursue truth, one often is making someone, somewhere uncomfortable,” said Ann Orwin, assistant professor of English, education and journalism at Monroe

see “news,” page 7

A&E 6

Spotlight 8

Did you know? Monroe County Community College has been named one of the nation’s Top 50 Fastest-Growing Public Two-Year Colleges for its size by Community College Week.

Opinion Potholes punish drivers 2


Tonya Huffman Photographer While driving throughout Monroe, I can deal with a bump here and a pothole there, but these roads have gotten out of control. It seems as if every other foot there is a carengulfing pothole that’s just waiting there to blow out all of my tires. I understand that fixing these problems cost money, but so does replacing tires. That’s the kind of money a college student like myself cannot afford. There are many different

February 10, 2006

the biggest contribution this year has been the onagain off-again winter. When water becomes ice, it expands underneath the asphalt. This d o e s n ’ t become a problem until it Agora photo by TONYA HUFFMAN and Potholes on Stewart Rd. have made roads thaws hazardous for drivers. leaves what we know as reasons for the roads in Monroe potholes. Since this winter has County ending up this way, but been much warmer than most it

has increased the number of potholes earlier in the year. I will give road workers some credit for venturing out and trying to seal up a number of these potholes that are endangering drivers, but I do not give credit for is the way they fill these holes up. They are sloppy. The fact is that once the hole is filled there is no longer a pothole, but now it is a bump. This bump is just as bad as the pothole problem the road started out with, and suddenly the once smooth road turns into something like Stewart Rd. “That whole road (Stewart)

Breaking the mold

That’s amoré! Ashley Braden Assistant Editor

Rain or snow... which one goes? Heather Wilson Photographer

Dillon’s Dogma Kelyn Dillon Copy Editor Life as an atheist is good. No worries, judgments, or snide remarks from the public, and a general acceptance from the global community. To be religious or spiritual in any form is a chosen path of weakness, indecisiveness, and low self-esteem. The term “Bible-thumper” is part of mainstream vocabulary and mostly directed towards “Christian extremists.” Now as a Christian and (gulp) Southern Baptist, I am on the receiving end of those judgments, snide remarks, and general misunderstanding from the global community. It seems that I have betrayed or disobeyed my atheist past, but instead I am now a prosperous human being. I am not weak. My choice to become a Christian Southern Baptist flew in the face of years of agnostic,

see “religion,” page 7

is horrible. I blew out my tire,” Baltrip said. “We had to drive on the rim,” Kim Harmsen, MCCC student and passenger of Baltrip during the pothole incident, said. It cost him over a hundred dollars just to replace the one tire. I travel Monroe County roads every day and I hate having to worry whether my car or tires will make it there all in one piece. Potholes are a driving hazard and can show up at anytime any place. As one is fixed another is revealed; it is a never ending cycle: either pothole or bump.

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day, little Heather wants to play, rain rain go away. These past few weeks I have found my self singing this song. I have no problem with rain, except the fact that it is the middle of winter. With these recent weeks of a mixture of warm and cold weather, it seems more like spring time than winter. I love the snow. My entire life I have loved to be able to go sledding and have the chance to make snowmen and snow angels. One of my favorite memories of winter was

being able to get my brother and sister in trouble for throwing a snow ball at me. I would run into the house (fake) crying and watch them get in trouble for it. It seems this year that dealing with the rain instead of the snow has turned the winter time into a dreary time. “I am a little upset about the recent weather. I really love snowboarding and I was going to buy a new one, but since the weather has been so warm, not even fake snow can stay around long enough anymore,” Hailey Howard, Monroe County Community College (MCCC) student, said. With the lack of snow there has been a plus for some people.

“When it starts snowing, people tend to drive a little crazy and I see a lot of people get into car accidents,” Brandon Barth, MCCC student said. The recent weather affects everyone. The maintenance staff has had changes in their work load because of snowstorms, rainstorms and other out-of-season weather. “When we have to go out to do snow removal that just means that the work that we normally do will have to be set aside until we get caught up,” Wayne Bezeau, MCCC maintenance foreman, said. Because we live in Michigan, wait five minutes and the weather will change.

The Agora Editorial Policy The Agora is published by the students of Monroe County Community College, 1555 South Raisinville Road, Monroe, Michigan, 48161. The editorial office is located in 202 of the Life Science Building, (734) 384-4186, Editorial Policy: Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the Agora staff. Signed columns represent the opinion of the writer. All letters-to-the-editor must include a signature, address, and phone number for verification purposes. The Agora reserves the right to edit for clarity, accuracy, length, and libel. The Agora is a student-managed newspaper that supports a free student press and is a member of the Michigan Community College Press Association, the Michigan Collegiate Press Association, the Michigan Press Association, the Community College Journalism Association, College Media Advisers, Associated Collegiate Press, and the Student Press Law Center.

Mark Bergmooser, Adviser

Valentine’s Day is the day of love. It’s the day of roses, Whitman samplers, and teddy bears. It’s the one day of the year where people really seem to appreciate their relationships. But tell me, why do we need a holiday to celebrate our love for our significant others? Sure, it’s nice to go out for a Valentine’s Day dinner and get cute little gifts from your partner. It’s adorable, really. But isn’t it so predictable? I don’t want someone who is going to go all out for something as commercialized and meaningless as Valentine’s Day, but doesn’t do the nice things any other day. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans are expected to spend over $1.09 billion on Valentine’s candy this year, with the average man spending $126 on other gifts as well. There are a lot of other things that would be worth the $126 far more than flowers that will wilt in a week and candy that will ultimately rot out my pearly whites. Instead of a Valentine’s Day complete with stuffed animals that will collect dust, I could go for my gas tank being randomly filled up when I’m running low on cash. I’ll take practical over pointless any day. It’s the little year-round gestures that seem more important than a one-daya-year, lovey-dovey gift fest. However, if any of you have already gotten me the candy or the stuffed animals, please don’t trouble yourselves to return them. I promise I’ll be accepting gifts all day.

Agora 3 Campus News Strickland bids farewell to teaching

February 10, 2006

Jackie Pacheco Editor-in-Chief For 39 years, Grant Strickland, associate professor of English, has been a staple at Monroe County Community College (MCCC). His eccentric mannerisms and unique style of teaching has made his English classes memorable, but the veteran teacher almost never made it to MCCC. Strickland had six contracts offered to him at the time of his college graduation: three in Michigan, one in St. Louis, Missouri, one in California and one in Chicago, Illinois. However, he chose to make MCCC his home and has taught here ever since. “My wife and I like the cooler climate, so we wanted to stay in Michigan. We came to MCCC because I liked what I saw at this college and I have never been disappointed. I love the trees, the rolling hills, the new theater. It’s just lovely,” Strickland said.

Strickland’s road to teaching began when he was a young

State in 1963. “I remember the office of one of my professors at Wayne State, and it was dark and crummy, and the paint was feeling off the walls. I walked into my office at this college and I was so happy. It was just full of light and air,” Strickland said. Agora photo by HEATHER WILSON After so many years Grant Strickland invested at man. MCCC, Strickland looks forHe picked up a job digging ward to retirement. ditches and can recall working “My wife and I are retiring next to an old man and thinking together. We’re both gourmet to himself, “I’m not going to be vegetarian chefs. We run and doing this all my life.” So he pur- lift together, we plan on studysued teaching, graduating from ing astronomy and helping out Ohio State first, then Wayne our children as well as putzing

around in the flowers. We’ll stay in Monroe because we think it’s just beautiful here,” Strickland said. However, Strickland knows he will always remember the people at MCCC. “I’ll never forget the faces, only names slip a little. I won’t forget the things that the students and the staff have done for me over the years. It was wonderful working at a college where the staff is left free to teach the way that they want,” Strickland said. Strickland recalled an unforgettable event at MCCC after the Kent State shootings took place (four students were gunned down during a demonstration against the Vietnam War in 1970). “I was looking out the window and watching students in the courtyard, and I remember thinking, ‘Bless your hearts, but you’re not going to change the world,’” Strickland said. “I’ve always told my students that they can’t lose their

Faculty confronts plagiarism in hopes of prevention Rebecca Kennedy Page Editor Grading papers one evening, a professor encounters a paper that changes in style from paragraph to paragraph. A brief internet search reveals the websites where the paragraphs were taken from, word for word. Plagiarism. Unfortunately, this scenario is common on college campuses. Dr. Bruce Way, the dean of humanities and social sciences at Monroe County Community College (MCCC), said between two and four students submitted obviously plagiarized papers each semester when he taught at the University of Toledo. Way has faced fewer claims of plagiarism at MCCC, but plagiarism still occurs. Dr. Joanna Sabo, political science professor, said one student submitted a paper from the University of Texas and then tried to convince her that the university actually stole his paper instead. Way said he encounters most plagiarism cases near the end of the semester when students face final exams and term papers. He suggested that students choose to plagiarize because they feel overwhelmed or simply do not want to do the work.

Some professors combat plagiarism by warning students about the consequences of cheating; others design their assignments to make it harder to plagiarize. English professor Lori Jo Couch educates her students on proper citation rules to prevent plagiarism based on ignorance. “It’s a fine line between students who don’t know Dr. Joanna how to document properly and those who blatantly takes parts of their paper off the internet,” she said. Professors have their own methods for detecting plagiarism. Way requests notes and proof of research from a student he suspects of plagiarism. Sabo compares questionable papers to in-class essays and can detect a shift in style fairly easily. “It’s completely and utterly obvious,” she said. Technology provides faculty with additional ways to catch plagiarism. Many professors search Google for suspicious phrases from students’ papers. Often this leads them directly to the plagiarized source. MCCC also subscribes to, a company that maintains an online database of websites, articles, books, and student papers. The company compares submitted papers with other sources stored in the database. When faced with a case of plagiarism, English professor

The vice president meets with both the professor and the student. He asks the professor to recommend a disciplinary action, which can range anywhere from a failing grade on the assignment to the student being expelled from the college. The college maintains an indefinite record of all academic dish o n e s t y c h a r g e s professor brought forth. T h e s e o f f i c i a l accusations are rare, however. Randy Daniels, the current vice president of student and information services, reported that he has investigated only two claims of academic dishonesty since he assumed the position last July. Even when a student goes uncaught, the consequences of plagiarism reach beyond failing grades or failing classes. Many professors feel students are cheating themselves when they plagiarize because they do not learn what the class is trying to teach them. “The tragedy in my mind is that if they put the same amount of effort into doing the assignment, they would have passed the course,” Way said.

I’m not afraid to identify a student very openly who cheats.

“” Sabo, political science Timothy Dillon often gives the student a chance to rewrite the paper. Not all professors are so lenient. Sabo sometimes lets students rewrite paper if she thinks the plagiarism was unintentional and the student is honest about it, but she decides that on a case-bycase basis. Usually she presses academic dishonesty charges against the student. “I’m pretty strict,” she said. “I’m not afraid to identify a student very openly who cheats.” When a professor formally accuses a student of academic dishonesty, the appropriate dean reviews the case and then reports it to the vice president of student and information services.

personal peace worrying about world events. Those will never change. Find somebody to love and find a job you love as well, and everything else will dwindle into nonexistence.”

MCCC loses Faunt Kelyn Dillon Page Editor The facts of life: vertebrates cannot live without a backbone, a nation is reduced to chaos without a strong leader, and Monroe County Community College (MCCC) will seem bleak without Peggy Faunt. Laurel Johnston, administrative assistant for the math and science division and a friend of Peggy Faunt, recalled a fond memory of Faunt. It was Johnston’s first support staff in-service day. The Hawaiian theme of the meeting contrasted with the brisk March weather. Despite the chill, from the Whitman Center to Main Campus, Johnston and Faunt, in full Hawaiian garb, rode in Faunt’s convertible with the top down. As MCCC Humanities Division Administrative Assistant, Faunt announced her retirement in mid-January. She served the Humanities Division for over 18 years and previously worked at the Whitman Center. “Whenever you have a question she knows the answer,” Joe McIntyre, MCCC student, said. “She’s a good listener… I’m going to miss her.” She gave two reasons for her departure: taking care of her father’s medical needs and running her animal sanctuary. When she is not working for the college, she administers an animal rescue sanctuary. Indian Creek Sanctuary in Temperance houses numerous cats, dogs, one pig called Petunia, and a few horses. Faunt is optimistic about her future. “When you retire, you shouldn’t retire from something you should retire to something… that’s what I’m doing,” Faunt said.




February 10, 2006

Aspiring potter gets hands dirty Angel Ellison Photographer Some students choose to wait years to return to college. Darlin Nothanagel, a local Detroit Dredge Operator, waited 25. He did not come back at the age of 53 to get an academic degree either- he is attending Monroe County Community College (MCCC) to get his hands dirtywith clay. “I am trying to get my act together and become a professional potter,” Darlin said while hunched over a lump of clay on his potter’s wheel. “I am glad that I chose to come to MCCC to do this. I like how Mr. Wilson runs the class. He allows for flexibility and

freedom in projects- something Wilson is working one on one with showing me how to make that I don’t think I professional would get if I went p o t t e r y, anywhere else,” commercially said Darlin. b u t Since 2003, artistically. Darlin has worked Once I to build up a feel I have collection of varying reached a types of original maximum functional pottery ability and such as lidded knowledge vases, planters, o f serving platters, ceramics, and casserole I will start dishes, many which branching are very large in out to size. different “Right now I’m venues,” Agora photo by REBECCA KENNEDY just strengthening said Darlin. my skills, and not Darlin Nothanagel works on a clay project in class. Darlin selling any of my pottery. Mr. me, critiquing my work and plans to start out by selling his

work at art fairs, such as the one held annually during July in Ann Arbor. He eventually wants to work with high-end interior designers, or have his work put in a gallery. Isaac Gould, a Ceramics III student at MCCC said: “Even though Darlin is just a student, he is still a great teacher. He is always willing to sit down with a new student and show them something he has learned in the past to help them out.” Until Darlin branches out and begins selling his pottery, he will continue to treat studio ceramics as a full-time job. “Even if it does not work out for me in this business, I won’t regret trying. I just had to get it out of my system,” he said.

History Students turn to internet for bargain books of New Year’s Rebecca Kennedy Page Editor

Ashley Johnson Copy Editor A new year is a time for everyone to improve themselves. After completing the traditions of gorging on fattening foods and drinking until forgetting what year it actually did turn, we promise to fulfill our new year’s resolutions. Some of us may wonder, though, just where some of the New Year traditions originate from and what some of the other resolutions flying around Monroe County Community College’s (MCCC) campus are. According to the book Celebrations: The Complete Book of American Holidays by Robert Myers, there is a history of intoxication for the New Year. Intoxication “represents the chaos that existed before God created the ordered universe.” The book also states “The various New Year rites…were performed with the purpose of abolishing the past.” Try these reasons the next time someone disapproves of drinking and partying on New Year’s. You would simply be celebrating your primitive ancestral heritage as a human after all. In recent history, MCCC’s population has added to these traditions with individual resolutions. MCCC’s student and faculty resolutions varied far and wide

see “new,” page 7

In the flurry of preparation for a new semester, Monroe County Community College (MCCC) students embark on a quest for textbooks. For some, this means a stop at the MCCC bookstore; for others, books are just a few clicks away as many students turn to the internet for their textbooks. MCCC student Mike Moore bought all his books from E-bay and this semester. He said he usually saves at least 50 percent buying books online.

Moore discovered that other students are eager for similar savings. He now buys and sells books online for students, charging 10 percent of the selling price. “I sold over a thousand dollars worth of books for people,” he said. Student Kelli Massa purchased her books from the college bookstore this semester because she received a bookstore voucher for her work in the MCCC Writing Center. She said she would have bought her books online if she had not received the voucher, though. Jean Ford, who supervises the college bookstore, said she

discourages students from buying books online. She explained that students who buy their books online often end up with the wrong edition or the books do not arrive on time. “I understand that they want to get the best price but it’s not always the best choice,” she said. Despite the popularity of buying books online, many students still buy their books from the college bookstore for the sake of convenience. They lament the high prices of the bookstore’s textbooks, though. Student John Burkardt said he spent over $400 on just three

books at the bookstore. Ford said the college understands that books are a money issue for students. The bookstore tries to provide more affordable alternatives by buying used books from students and wholesalers. Tracy Vogt, the director of financial aid, reported that the college also offers two scholarships designed specifically to cover books. The scholarships vary in amount and are based on financial need. Despite these measures, students continue to venture into the internet each semester in their quest for bargain textbooks.

Tercentennial afterthoughts journeyman, writer, and philanthropist. He developed or Copy Editor Do you recognize the names improved many of today’s Caelia Shortface, Martha important public services Careful, Anthony Afterwit, Alice including circulating libraries, Addertongue, Richard Saunders, public hospitals, mutual insurance or Polly B a k e r ? If you would not be forgotten, as soon For the as you are dead and rotten, either write history b u f f s things worth reading, or do things reading worth the writing. this, the n a m e -Benjamin Franklin Silence Dogood should be slightly more companies, fire departments, and familiar. Perhaps not all of these municipal police forces. He pseudonyms are recognizable, invented bifocals, the lightening but his true name, Benjamin rod (not to mention his famous Franklin, rings clear in the minds discoveries about electricity), an of many Americans - especially iron furnace stove known as the this past January 17, the 300th Franklin Stove, a simple birthday of this famous Founding odometer, and even less Father. significant items like the long Franklin was a scientist, arm, a long pole with a grasping inventor, statesman, printer, claw at the end. philosopher, musician, Franklin once said, “I now

Amanda Lundy


take up a resolution to do for the future all that lies in my way for the service of my countrymen.” And he did exactly that. Besides his many sea voyages to compromise and delegate with our over sea adversaries, Franklin had a profound influence in creating the United States, and the documents which made this country possible. He stands alone as the only Agora photo courtesy of NAPROOM.MU.NU Benjamin Franklin person to have signed the Declaration of Independence France, and the United States (1776), the Treaty of Alliance, (1782), and the Constitution Amity, and Commerce with (1787). France (1778), the Treaty of see “Ben,” page 7 Peace between England,

Agora Feature Music downloads skyrocket February 10, 2006

legality of programs questioned

Tonya Huffman Page Editor Between iPods, mp3 players, and satellite radio music today’s society has been taken over. Downloading music from the internet has been around for many years, but within the past year it has skyrocketed. Whether downloading music is legal or illegal, many companies are available for those who wish to use them.

“I download music from LimeWire because it’s free,” Samantha Kelly, Monroe County Community College (MCCC) student, said. There are many different programs available online that are used to download music. Everything from rap to country is accessible to those willing to search. Some of the programs most used today include Rhapsody, Napster,

Motivation is key for art classes Angel Ellison Reporter Art classes at Monroe County Community College (MCCC) are often difficult to get into due to limited class capacities. Yet with the famous phrase “starving artist” looming overhead, some wonder what the appeal to careers in the arts even are.

There are advantages to pursuing art, according to Mr. Theodore Vassar, assistant professor of art. “Art is more than a career, because it’s something you can use throughout your whole life,” he said. “Unlike other short lived careers, art is a life-long learning experience and expands your world if you choose to take

Talent can be learned, but without motivation and good work ethic, you won’t make it.


Gary Wilson, associate professor of art For some students, art is their life and a way of expressing themselves. One MCCC student, Kat Pierson, art is more of a calling. “I know I’m going to be an artist. I feel that it is something that I have to do,” she said. Pierson is currently taking a variety of art classes to help expand her knowledge base as she searches for her niche in the art world. “I chose to come to MCCC to pursue an art career because of the convenience and affordability. Most importantly I feel that this college has an excellent art program,” Pierson said.


advantage of it.” The Occupational Outlook Handbook (2006-07 edition) says the employment of artists is expected to grow, but competition for jobs is expected to increase for both salary and freelance jobs. This is why Vassar highly recommends art students to seek higher education beyond an associate’s degree. Otherwise, they will be competing with artists holding higher degrees for job opportunities. According to Vassar, not all artists starve. Some can make up to six figure incomes traveling

see “art” page 7

WinMX, iTunes, LimeWire, Morpheus, and Kazaa. A few of these programs require either paid monthly access or per song payments. Other programs require no payments whatsoever and are basically free. ·Rhapsody has a $9.99 monthly unlimited access or a $.89 per song rate. ·Napster has a $9.95 monthly unlimited access or a $.99 per song rate. ·WinMX offers a lifetime unlimited for $22.46, 2 year unlimited at $.88 per month, or a year unlimited at $1.49 per month rate.

·iTunes does not offer a monthly rate, but has a $.99 per song rate. ·LimeWire, Morpheus, Aires, and Kazaa are all free. The government is still trying to regulate what they consider illegal downloading. The free downloading programs do not consider the music as illegal, but “file-sharing.” Although these companies call it “file-sharing,” music corporations aren’t letting users get away with downloading song after song. If a person is caught downloading music illegally they can be fined up to $150,000 per

song. Some parents don’t like their kids using these free programs in fear that they might be one of the few who do get sued for illegal downloading. “I liked Aires, but my mom deleted that so I went with LimeWire. We just deleted that. My mom doesn’t like downloading music,” Derek Bezeau, MCCC student, said. Downloading music is available from many different sources on the internet; some are legal and some are illegal. Without serious government action, the continuation of downloads is unstoppable.

Students spice up campus Rebecca Kennedy Page Editor At 11:00 a.m. the kitchen bustles. A man swings through the door, whistling as he straightens his black bow tie. Nearby, another man in a white coat stirs a steaming pot. Voices bounce off huge ovens and rows of pots and pans. For the second-year culinary art students at Monroe County Community College (MCCC), class is just starting. Each fall semester the students run Cuisine 1300, a reservation-only restaurant. Directed by Chef Kevin Thomas, the program offers the students practical food service experience. The restaurant opens at 11:30 a.m., but the day begins at 8:00 a.m. for the first-year culinary students. At that time, they start preparing everything for the second-year students to serve. By 11:00 a.m., however, the second-year students have taken over and are busy with last minute preparations. At the beginning of the semester, each second-year student submitted recipe ideas to

Agora photo by REBECCA KENNEDY

Part of studying culinary arts requires students to learn how to sculpt ice. Culinary student Amiee Steffes works on perfecting her ice sculpting skills.

Chef Thomas. He chose the best ones to serve in Cuisine 1300. “Every second-year student has an item on the menu,” Vicki LaValle, assistant chef, said. The students follow a rotation to determine who washes the

dishes. Amy Steffes, MCCC student is not fond of that duty. “This is the worst job, I think,” she said. According to Thomas, Cuisine 1300 serves approximately 600 people each semester.

Googlewhacking popular with internet surfers Allyson Wallace Web Page Editor What hangs over the mantle of the gold-plated fireplace at Enron’s corporate retreat in Texas? Fertishized Armadillos (a Googlewhack). But what is Googlewhacking? Google is a popular search engine on the rise, and Googlewhack is a brand new game invented by bored web

surfers. However, it is quickly spreading across the web to include everyone. The rules of the game are simple: type two words into the Google search page and, with hope, try and get just one hit, or where it says ‘Results 1-1.’ Seems easy? Well, think again… Due to all the rising web sites, people will type in nearly thousands of words in hopes to gain

the title of ‘Googlewhacker,’ only to be deflated in their hopes. After all, Google is legend to have well over three billion pages and growing with every passing day. But, with every great idea and game, there is a creator and Gary Stocks. Although Gary claims to have coined the phrase, he admits that people have been ‘Googlewhacking’ for

years…just no one knew it. Basically, anytime someone puts a weird search in, it is a Googlewhack if you achieve for a hit (even if you are actually looking for more then one this time). But, there is always a catch: the reason for why you search the combination. After all, what is the chance of you typing in fertishized armadillos with out a purpose?

So, follow the rules and you too can be a supreme Googlewhacker of 2006: choose a combination of two words that would see like it would answer a question (such as the armadilloone) and search for it, praying for that legendary one hit result. With luck, it may only takeyou a few days to do it, instead of millions still trying to get their ‘one hit wonder.’




February 10, 2006

Fame still America’s idol Michelle Schleritz Copy Editor In 2002, a British television show called “Pop Idol” reached the Americas with public enthusiasm. This well publicized singing competition has turned everyday people into household names, with previous winners such as Kelly Clarkson, Reuben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, and 2004’s winner Carrie

Underwood. According to, over a billion votes were received last year, and this year many more are expected to join the “American Idol” phenomena. According to the television rating company of Nielsen Media Research, American Idol has still posted it’s best ever numbers for

a season premiere, and Fox Television Network’s best numbers for any prog r a m other than the Super Bowl, with an average estimate of approximately 35.4 million viewers. This is up by 6 per-

cent from last years viewing audience. American Idol has become much more than a show that turns great singers into potential stars. It involves the audience with the judging and capitalizes on those who severely lack talent in the singing arena. “American Idol is my favorite show,” Stephanie Jones, Monroe County Community College (MCCC) student, said. “Unfortunately, I will have to

miss most of this next season due to my work schedule, but I feel that the reason it is still successful after four years is because it gives the average person the chance to go to Hollywood to pursue their dreams that might not otherwise have this opportunity,” Jones said. This show not only has millions of viewers, but now has its own line of merchandise. Ameri

see “Idol,” page 7

“Brokeback Mountain” breaks hearts Jackie Pacheco Editor-in-Chief Love it or hate it, “Brokeback Mountain” has revolutionized movies. The movie’s tagline “love is a force of nature” rings true as we watch two grown men struggle to come to terms with their own homosexuality, as well as maintain their married lives with children. The story begins in 1963, with Ennis Del Mar (a ranch hand played by Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (a rodeo cowboy played by Jake Gyllenhaal) given the job of taking a herd of sheep

up a Wyoming mountain to graze. The infamous Brokeback Mountain is where their love story begins. After a night of drinking, the two men have their first sex encounter, beginning a relationship that spans over 20 years. And like any other relationship, the ups and downs keep viewers eagerly watching. Michelle Williams is incredible in her role of Ennis’s wife, Alma, who is the first to find out about her husband’s love affair. Devastated, their marriage eventually ends in divorce, but

still Ennis will not allow himself to commit to Jack. This film’s ability to shed light on such a touchy subject was impressive. Ledger and Gyllenhaal are more than convincing in their roles, as are the rest of the supporting cast. Nominated for 42 different awards, “Brokeback Mountain” reminds female viewers how much a good love story will move you. However, male viewers may not appreciate the stabbing reality of such a heavily homosexual movie. Myself being a female, I give this movie 5 stars.

Photo courtesy of CNN.COM

Ennis Del Mar (a ranch hand played by Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (a rodeo cowboy played by Jake Gyllenhaal).

Marinelli makes the cut Gary Knox Reporter


Rod Marinelli

There’s an old adage that says, “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” In the case of the Detroit Lions, they would be the child, and the rod would be new tough as nails head coach, Rod Marinelli. Previously, Marinelli served as assistant head coach and defensive line coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “I don’t want Pro Bowl players, I want championship play-

ers,” Marinelli said during his first address as head coach. This statement is exactly what Lions fans wanted to hear, considering their team has only one playoff win in the last 52 years. Fans who pledges their allegiance to the Honolulu Blue and Silver hopes Marinelli can add defensive toughness and a ‘nononsense attitude’ to the Lions. Skeptics point not so much to Marinelli himself, but to the man who hired him, Lion’s president

Matt Millen. Millen has posted an abysmal 20 and 59 record in his five years as president of the Detroit Lions, one of his most notable flaws being the ability to hire a head coach, (Marty Morningwig and recently fired Steve Mariucci being the unfortunate evidence.) It would seem that Rod Marinelli possesses the tools to bring success to the Lion’s organization. He dealt with very colorful personalities and transformed them into great players,

most notably Warren Sapp and Simeon Rice, who are now feared defensive players in the NFL. Marinelli talks tough, however, something he also said in his first address as head coach, rings true now more then ever. “The key is not to talk. The key is to show results.” Results? Wow what a concept! As reluctant Lion’s fans let us keep our paws crossed and hope to see just that.

Meyer Theater hosts myriad artists free. The concert is intended to create awareness of Black History Month. “We often call the series a history lesson with a backbeat,” Bill Reiser, Circulation Coordinator, said. The library system

night concerts, have always and will always remain free and open Copy Editor to anyone and everyone who’s January 14, Livingston Tayinterested in attending also grows lor played to a sold out audience from that credo,” Reiser said. at Monroe County Community There are four blues musiCollege’s (MCCC) Meyer Thecians playing for the “4 on the ater. The Meyer Floor” event; Theater will host E.G. Kight, more upcoming Ellis Hooks, events that should E.G. Kight, “4 on the Floor” performer Guy Davis, satisfy music and and Rev. Robdrama lovers. ert Jones. is one of the main creators of Jazz is not the only upcoming E.G. Kight described blues as attraction; Blues will also be this year’s Blues Series. music that “has no boundaries. “The Blues Series grew out It has everything to do with how making its way to the college. The ‘4 on the Floor’ Concert: of the library’s mission-Informa- you feel.” Kight has integrated Blues Songwriters in the Round tion Education Recreation-and genres such as country, jazz, is coming to MCCC Feb. 4 at 7 the fact that all events in the sesee “Meyer,” page 7 p.m. Admission to the show is ries, including the big Saturday

Linda Whiteside

“ ”

It’s the fans that keep musicians going.

Visiting Artists’ Series Steven Olszewski Sculptor CLRC - Free February 1-17 COLLEGE/COMMUNITY SYMPHONY BAND AND AGORA CHORALE CONCERT Monday, February 13, 2005 at 7:30 p.m. Meyer Theater General Admission: Free SINGER/SONGWRITER JOHN GORKA With Special Guests, “Mustard’s Retreat” Saturday, March 11, 2006 at 7:30 p.m. Meyer Theater General Admission: $15.00 THE MOTOR CITY BRASS BAND Saturday, April 8, 2006 at 7:30 p.m. Meyer Theater General Admission: $10.00

In the Mix

February 10, 2006 from “smoke,” page 1

from “news,” page 1

from “religion,” page 2

from “Meyer,” page 6

aiding the smokers to quit smoking. In its place, we can probably offer some programs to facilitate this process for the smokers,” she said. The subcommittee has, in fact, looked into proposing smoking secession programs for the smokers at MCCC. The subcommittee will assemble at the next Health & Safety Committee meeting and report on their recommendation. All MCCC personnel and students are welcome to attend. A decision should be made within the next few weeks.

County Community College (MCCC). Dr. David Nixon, former journalist and president of MCCC, believes Carroll demonstrated an immense amount of heroism to cover events that would put her life in jeopardy. “I am confident she was well aware of the dangers, but I admire her courage and bravery to tell the story of the Iraqi people, said Nixon. Journalists are notorious for exposing truth to the light, and occasionally that poses a threat to unscrupulous people who would rather keep their plans, operations or motives hidden. Orwin also makes the point that some journalists thrive on danger and adventure, and that is why they go into this particular field of work. “Ann Carroll is one in a long line of brave souls who are seeking to find the news and report it to the rest of us,” she said.

Catholic, and pious Lutheran tradition in my family. I am not indecisive. My decision to follow Jesus is final. This is the rest of my life and afterlife, a.k.a. big decision. Whether or not it was the right decision is down for argument. I do not have a low self-esteem. I do not accept anything less than my standards as a follower of Jesus. Take this offbeat declaration at your pace, but I am human and that is all I claim.

southern rock, gospel and funk into her music. The singer also expressed appreciation for fans of her work. “It’s the fans that keep musicians going,” Kight, said. Yet more musical variety is introduced by folk singer/writer John Gorka. The musician will be performing March 11 at 7:30. Tickets cost $15. “Mustard’s Retreat,” a local Ann Arbor band will be opening the show. “Folk music is the type that tells a story. People misunderstand what it is. John Gorka is often referred to as the ‘Mr. Folk Man,’” Tom Ryder, Events/ Fitness Activities Coordinator said. Drama will cap off the semester with the “Complete Works of Shakespeare” showing April 21, 22 and 23. Audience members have the option of watching the play with a dinner on Friday for $30 or seeing the show only for $10. Local director Steve Ryder will direct and star in the play. Bill McCloskey and Scott McCloskey will be co-staring. Both are professors at the college and acted in “Picasso at the Lepinagile” last semester.

from “students,” page 1 their country they are studying at the university. The Koreans feel that they are different because of their appearance. “We are living in a global world, you know”, Nixon, college president, said. This is the first time Monroe County Community College have organized international student program wherein students will enroll at MCCC and live with host families. The host families have shown their exchange students the American life and have taken them to places they have never been.

from “Ben,” page 4 In the wake of this tercentennial event Americans might stop for a moment in reflection on this great man and his contributions to the world we now live in. Thanks Ben.

Family Fun Night 6:30 to 8:30 PM

from “new,” page 4 on campus, from the unique to traditional. Craig Ringbloom, a writing fellow and student, resolved “To run every single day for the entire year in hopes of making the Olympics in the years to come.” He has dreams to defeat a long held record held by former Olympic athlete, Steve Prefontaine. Tom Ryder, the Events and Fitness Activities Coordinator, chose a resolution involving his family. “My resolution is to be a better father and husband and to spend more time with my family.” Rob Atkins’, another student, resolution involves working on his goals to build his own dance club in Monroe.

from “Idol,” page 6

Friday, March 24

MCCC Dining Hall

can Idol is not just another show, but is now a corporation, in corporate America making plenty of money. “Simon Cowell has become the mastermind behind the success of American Idol. He has marketed himself as the obnoxious, rude, and outspoken music executive that can either make or break a wanna-be singer, and as strange as it seems, this is working to keep the public interested,” Ed Nowland, MCCC student, said.

Games Prizes Refreshments

Food Drive

Bring a Canned Good

Admission $2.00 Catch Monroe, Michigan’s Detrahis in Toledo!

Sponsored by MCCC Student Government


Reader’s Voice What’s your favorite memory of MCCC? ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○

Bethany Younglove

“When I found out I got a 4.0.”

from “art,” page 5 throughout the United States with art fairs. However, after all the extraneous costs of entering the show, gas, food and lodging, artists are sometimes lucky to break even. “You can make it doing street fairs, but it depends on the product. You might think your product is great, but if nobody else does, you’ll starve,” Mr. Gary Wilson, associate professor of art, said. So what is the key to success in the art field? To Wilson, it is motivation. “Talent can be learned, but without motivation and good work ethic, you won’t make it. That is what determines the artists from the ‘wannabes’.”

Kris Hewitt

“Playing basketball here.”

Timothy Dillon

Win tickets to see Detrahis on February 24!

Face Painting

Special Appearances by BoBo the Clown & Magician Steve Ryder


Regional Superstar Competition Finals Club Bijou, February 24, Doors @ 8 PM

Email the Agora ( by February 21 with comments or suggestions on this issue to be entered to win!

“Walking on to campus and seeing new faces ready to go. It fires me up and I’m ready to teach.”




February 10, 2006

The North American International Auto Show

January 14-22, showcased vehicles from around the world. The auto show took place at the Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan.

Automobiles are: Top Left: Ford Fusion Middle Left: Chevy Kodiak C4500 Middle Right: Chrysler Crossfire Lower Left: Saturn Sky Lower Right: Lamborgini

Agora Photos by TONYA HUFFMAN


Darlin Nothanagel, 53, returned to MCCC to take ceramics and has intentions to become a professional potter. (4) Check out the range of acti...