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The Vol. 49, Issue 6

March 1, 2007


INSIDE Opinion, 2 & 3 What does it mean to be “straight edge?” One Agora reporter explains. Marriage annullment initiative promotes same-sex unions, equality

Campus News, 4 & 5 MCCC’s radio station Dream 97.5 Several students will be studying overseas this spring

Feature, 6 & 7 Stuck in Monroe on spring break? Look inside for ideas to keep occupied Former MCCC student describes his experience as a soldier fighting in Iraq

Entertainment, 8 & 9 Harry Potter’s all grown up. Read more about Daniel Radcliffe’s latest mature endeavor

Filmmaker David Lynch’s movies analyzed, explained

In the Mix, 10 Foundation awards Family Fun Night at MCCC

Faculty contract ratified Lisa Ghigliazza Copy Editor

On Monday, February 27, 2007, the Monroe County Community College (MCCC) Board of Trustees voted to approve the 2006-2010 Master Agreement between the Community College District of Monroe County and the MCCC Faculty Association (MCCCFA). After many months of negotiations between the district and MCCFA teams, the faculty have a new contract. The contract will be retroactive from August 28, 2006, the date the previous contract expired. Present at the meeting were Board members Joseph Bellino, Jr., William Braunlich, Michael Meyer, Mary Kay Thayer, and Thomas Waldecker. Chair Marjorie Kreps was not present, but participated by phone. The vote was 5-1, with Meyer being the only ‘no’ vote. Before the vote was taken, Board member William Braunlich expressed his disappointment the faculty did not agree to switch to a PPO insurance similar to the Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO insurance which the remaining employee groups have. He said the other employee groups were asked to assist the college in meeting future salary increases by decreasing healthcare costs. MCCC currently pays the total cost of each full time employee’s healthcare premium. Braunlich said healthcare is a significant cost for the college. “One significant way to decrease the healthcare costs is to move away from what has been termed the ‘goldplated plan’ [MCCFA’s current insurance plan] to the PPO, Preferred Provider Network in which the health

Agora photo by Tonya Huffman

Board members and administrators going over the ratified faculty contract.

insurance companies charge substantially less for those programs,” Braunlich, said. “It’s in that context in which I would like to say that it’s truly disappointing that the faculty did not agree to move into a PPO at an earlier date.” The new contract allows for faculty members to select either the MESSA PPO or continue with the current MESSA Super Care I plan until 2009 at which time all faculty members will

move the PPO. Braunlich submitted that there was a possibility the college’s revenues could decrease in the future, due to potential reduction in property values, This, he stated, could have an impact on MCCC’s future financial stability. Faculty present at the meeting were pleased the Board approved the new contract but were not pleased with Braunlich’s remarks.

“I was very happy with the outcome. I think both sides worked hard for this agreement. I’m disappointed, though, that certain Board members used this as a ‘bully pulpit’ without opportunity for any rebuttal,” Dr. William McCloskey, professor of English, said. The contract gives the faculty a three percent salary increase which is the same increase the other employee groups received in their recent contracts.

Michigan, Ohio Canadian studies on campus Jeffrey Kodysh Reporter

MCCC will host the joint meeting of the Michigan and Ohio Canadian Roundtable groups at the La-Z-boy Center on Friday, March 23. The Roundtable is sponsored by the Canadian Studies Center at Bowling Green State University, the Canadian Studies Center at Michigan State University, MCCC, and the Canadian Consulate General in Detroit. These meetings will bring people from a wide variety of backgrounds and interests to talk about issues which affect both Canada and the United States. Many different issues, such as teaching Canadian studies, energy and environmental resource issues, to historical issues such as the War of 1812, will be covered. Students, faculty, and the general community are invited to attend. Why should students attend the roundtables? A better understanding of Canada’s issues and international

relationships is key to forming a strong North American continent. According to Stuart Fike, assistant professor of geography, Americans tend to forget we are not the only nation on the North American continent. “Canada tends to take a back seat to the United States” Fike said. Fike believes we forget about our neighbor to the north and our vital relationships, be it economical, military, or cultural. For example, economically, Canada is our number one trading partner. Militarily, Canada has helped the United States in the war on terror by putting soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan. Canada and the United States have the distinction of having the longest shared unfortified border in the world. Also, our cultures share a tremendous amount of history and heritage, such as both being colonies of the British. “We [Canada and the United

States] can continue to grow and prosper with strong relationships between our countries,” Fike, said. These roundtables will help bring conversation and exchanging of ideas between our two countries. MCCC is hosting the event this year because of our central location between Ohio, Michigan, and Canada. Morning and evening sessions will take place at the La-Z-boy center. Dr. Bruce Way, dean of humanities and social science said. “We have the facilities here and we are virtually a border institution.” Some of the activities scheduled to take place include announcements, discussion of study in Canada opportunities, grant support updates, and general mixing and mingling. Sarah Hubbard, vice president of public affairs at the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, will present an informal discussion on travel security

between Canada and the US during the luncheon break. In the afternoon, transportation is planned for a visit to the River Rasin Battlefield Visitors Center, which will allow participants to see first hand and join in discussion about a piece of the War of 1812 history which took place here in Monroe. “We are going to that site [River Rasin Battlefield Visitors Center] because of the opportunities for comparative studies regarding the War of 1812” Way said. Many MCCC students are interested in the event. “Yes, I think it [the Canadian Roundtable studies] is a good thing. It will help build a better relationship.” Josh Young, said. Registration forms for the roundtables may be found at the college website,, in either a PDF or electronic format. The registration deadline is March 16, 2007. There is no charge for the roundtables and light refreshments will be served in the morning.

College, university transfer fair Wednesday, March 14 - 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Thursday, March 15 - 3:00 - 7:30 p.m.

Spotlight, 11 & 12 “Pick the professor” The Agora staff melts in your mouth, not in your hand

Drop by and talk to representatives from EMU, Findlay, Heidelberg, Lourdes, Siena Heights, Spring Arbor, UT, and Mercy College Learn about available majors, prerequisites, financial aid and scholarships, and distance learning opportunities Event held at MCCC Whitman Center 7777 Lewis Avenue Temperance, MI 48182




March 1, 2007

Holiday celebrations of Saints

Bethany Younglove Page Editor

Roses and candy, drinking green beer, and Santa Claus stuffing stockings are what many people associate with some of the holidays on our calendar. Yet, what was the purpose of setting aside February 14, March 17, and December 25? What began years ago as days to celebrate the men who had dedicated their lives to bettering their community, has now become a day to make out with your sweetie, get drunk, or see how many presents we can get. How many people even know the reason we celebrate these holidays? Most people don’t celebrate these days for the reason they were originally set aside. Saint Valentine was a priest in Rome and with the help of St. Marius and his family, he aided those who were putting themselves in a position of persecution from the Roman emperor, Claudius II. The emperor seized Valentine and made many promises to him if he would renounce his faith. When Valentine refused, he was punished with beatings and ultimately beheaded. He died on February 14, the day we celebrate as Valentine’s Day. Saint Patrick was captured at age 16

by Irish marauders and sold into slavery. His master made him a shepherd and he spent many hours in prayer while tending sheep. While in captivity, he learned how to perfectly speak the language of the Irish, which would help him later in life. He also became familiar with the faith of Druidism, which the Irish people practiced. After serving his master for six years, he ran away to Britain. There, he dedicated himself to serving God in ministry. He became a student of St. Germain and was promoted to the priesthood. He assisted St. Germain battle pagan teachings in Britain and was commended to the Pope, who then sent Patrick to Ireland as a missionary. There, he performed many miracles, was divinely protected when attempts were made on his life, and converted many Irish people to the Catholic faith. Whenever Patrick was not working as a missionary, he would devote his time to prayer. Thus, we now celebrate, St. Patrick’s Day. Saint Nicholas was born to a wealthy family in Turkey, raised a devout Christian, and was orphaned at a young age. He then sold everything he had to assist the needy, sick, and suffering. St. Nicholas is especially remembered for three specific deeds.

First, he gave money to three sisters as dowries in order for them to be married. He threw the money in their window and it landed in their stockings, which had been hanging by the fire to dry. Second, while visiting an inn, he dreamt of a crime which had taken place recently in which the innkeeper had murdered three theological students and hid their remains in a large bucket. After this dream, he asked the innkeeper about it, prayed earnestly to God, and the three boys were raised from the dead. The third deed took place while Nicholas was taking a sea voyage. The ship was struck by a fierce storm, which nearly wrecked the ship. Nicholas prayed and the storm ceased. Many of the things Nicholas did were in secret and he did them without expecting anything in return. Holidays we commonly associate with love, beer, and stuffed stockings were originated to celebrate the life and works of these men whose only desire was to serve their world. These holidays are truly all about the selfless love these men gave to those around them. Each of us should seek to show such love to the people in their own life. No, not everyone needs to sell

No kids, no marriage Marjorie Haliburda Copy Editor

In a direct response to the 2006 State Supreme Court decision upholding the ban on same-sex marriage, advocates of same-sex marriage in Washington are now gathering signatures to get a measure on the November ballot which would require heterosexual, married couples to have children within three years or else—“else” being the annulment of their marriage. The paperwork for the measure was submitted last month. Supporters must gather at least 224,800 valid signatures by July 6 to put the initiative on the next general election ballot. The Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance formed last summer after the upholding of the same-sex marriage ban and Initiative 957 was filed. If the Initiative is passed by Washington voters, the phrase “who are capable of having children with one another” will be added to the legal definition of marriage, married couples in Washington will have to file proof of

procreation within three years of the date of marriage or have their marriage automatically annulled, couples married outside of the state will have to provide proof of procreation within three years of the date of marriage or have their marriage deemed “unrecognized”; and it will be considered a criminal act for people in an unrecognized marriage to receive marriage benefits. Even though most supporters of this proposal are calling it “absurd,” they do feel it proves a point, exposing the hypocrisy of the social conservatives who say the sole purpose of marriage is to procreate. If same-sex couples can be denied marriage because they are unable to have children together, heterosexual couples who are also unable (or unwilling) to have children after a given time period (in this case, three years) should be denied marriage, say supporters. Although this measurement surely will not move past the clipboard, especially with the overwhelming amount of animosity toward gay couples in

the United States, it does make an awfully bold statement—and a true one at that. At the very least, the initiative is thought-provoking and opens up doors for debate. Hopefully, it will get to the bottom of the discrimination and hostility rooted in last year’s decision. Opponents are holding firm to the idea that the measure is an attack on traditional marriage: between a man and woman. Many people are okay with allowing homosexuals equal rights in jobs, housing, and equal protection of the law, but throw equal access to marriage into the mix, and it becomes quite obvious that homosexuals are still isolated from straight America. Let their existence be recognized, but just don’t let their love be recognized in the same way, right? All supporters are saying is this: If conservatives are going to base their case against gay marriage on the fact that same sex-couples cannot have children together, why doesn’t this same argument extend to the straight population?

Online buying, selling the eBay way Troy White Reporter

If you want it, they got it. If you don’t want it, they will sell it. Plus, you determine what you want to pay or sell at. This is what eBay is all about.

This is an example of an eBay screen.

eBay is an online auctioning site which was founded in 1995. This site is bringing people together on a national and international level of buying and selling of anything you can possibly imagine. In its mere beginnings in 1998 they had 8,000 items listed for auctioning; by 2006 it grew to 610 million. This site is great for finding deals on almost anything you can dream of and is very easy to use. I have purchased several items from eBay due to the deals I am getting. Most people are scared of the fact there are possible scammers out there just waiting to steal your money. eBay has a system where you are covered, without charge, up to a certain amount ($500 if obtaining

a PayPal account). Setting up an account is very simple and they walk you right through each step. All you need is your credit or debit card number and you are on your way to buying or selling whatever you wish. Many people are using this auctioning site to save them loads of money and because the site is effortless to use. Just search, bid, and wait to see if you can outbid other users while trying to achieve the best deal possible for the item. “I like eBay for the fact it’s very safe, easy to use, and also I get better deals on the things I buy rather than purchasing them in the store,” Jake Gust, Monroe County Community College (MCCC) student and frequent eBay user, said. eBay is a great site to use on almost anything you would like to purchase or sell. It is very safe and reliable, and Ebay will help you with any problems you have with your experience with them. So, join the 222 million registered users to buy and/or sell 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Many holidays have turned into something that they were not origionally intended to be.

their entire estate and give it to those around them or travel to foreign countries in order to convert the inhabitants to a particular faith. However, we can all work to make the world around us a better place by doing simple things. Making a donation to local charity, becoming involved with an organiza-

tion such as “Big Brothers, Big Sisters,” or even baking some cookies for the old lady down the street are simple yet effective ways to show love to others. Guaranteed, these random acts of kinds will not only bless the receiver with love, but it will be an even bigger blessing to the giver.

The Agora Editorial Policy The Agora is published by the students of Monroe County Community College, 1555 S. Raisinville Rd., Monroe, MI, 48161. The editorial office is located in 202 of the Life Sciences Bldg., (734) 3844186. 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

Wrong turns = lost Tonya Huffman Photo Editor

Not following directions equals getting lost. My dilemma consists of my car, my fiancée, and two free tickets to a movie theatre I’ve never been to, let alone seen, in the middle of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ann Arbor has many site-seeing opportunities, but I really wasn’t in the mood to view all of them. Fate saw it differently. We mapped it out before we left: take 23 to 94 to Jackson Road, which seemed easy enough, right? We merged onto 94 and it was the wrong way. I proceeded to get off at the next exit and change directions. The fiancée said we are to get off at exit 179 and we should be right there, well that would have been great except there wasn’t an exit 179. Great, we hadn’t even made it off the express way yet and we were already lost, but to my surprise this wasn’t even the worst of it, fore we had plenty more getting lost to do. I assumed the next exit would be close enough and we could make it from there. It seemed like a great idea until we pulled out the map, which evidently wasn’t detailed enough for our little excursion, though we thought we could make do. Somehow we went from State Street, which took us straight through the University of Michigan at 30 miles per hour, practically stopping at all 50 lights in the process. Street after street, we still didn’t know where we were, or, more importantly, where to go? We would make a left here, and a right there, and then this road would

turn into that road and all-in-all we were more lost than we were in the first place. At that point in time, I was crying and yelling, “all I wanted to do was go to this movie because I thought it would be fun and it’s free and we have no money and now we aren’t going to have a seat if we ever do make it there” and so on. He was yelling, “it’s all my fault, I should have printed out the directions, I am an idiot, I’m sorry…” Finally, he yelled “turn left here, there’s a gas station and we will stop and ask for directions.” These may just be words to document down in history; a man is asking for directions, I’m quite sure this might have been a miracle. Sure enough, the kind man at the station said: get back onto the expressway; it will lead you right to Jackson Road. So there we went again, merging on the expressway. By the way, it was officially 7:00 p.m. If I forgot to mention this before, the movie started at 7:00 p.m., looks like we are late. As we flew down the e-way I thought to myself, ‘great I’ve seen all of this before and look there’s State Street again.’ We were so lost again. But the fiancée says “lets just keep going” and just as I was about to give up, sure enough, we come upon exit 172, Jackson Road. Nice We made the movie, because it actually began at 7:15. I guess I might want to invest in one of those “Tom, Tom” navigational things, instead of listening to the fiancée: “Chris, Chris.”


March 1, 2007


Internet car insurance Is it the real deal or a real pain? Sarah Straub Page Editor

Is Internet car insurance worth the risks?

Oh joy… another six months has gone by. Car insurance is due, yet again, and all I can think of is my payment is nearly a fifth of what my car is even worth. I am a full-time student and only a part-time worker. I do what I can to get by and I make just slightly more than nothing. Something has to give. Perhaps I will invest in a dazzlingly stylish bicycle. Flipping through the channels on TV, I often see characters offering me help. Be it a pink-haired heroine, a sarcastic gecko, or a couple of helping hands; lowered rates are offered to me at what seems like every commercial break. But who should I believe? The pink-haired Esurance heroine who can offer me the convenience of never having to drive to an insurance office again? The Geico gecko? He says he will save me money, it is his job after all, and he claims to love it. Or the helping hands of Allstate which want to protect me and put me into those good ole hands? None of these advertising ploys really seem to stand out from each other, so I suppose it is now up to some simple searching. By logging onto the Esurance site, putting in the make and model of my car and other basic information, I find my ‘98 Taurus can be covered semiannually for $480. Geico offered similar coverage for $650. Allstate, under the same conditions was quoted at $760.

How I found such varied results was intriguing to me, but I think it is a no-brainer to say which company I would choose. Quotes are likely to change from vehicle to vehicle, but judging by my own personal experiment and Esurance being $170-280 lower than other insurance companies commonly advertised on TV, I will say they do seem to be an inexpensive solution to car insurance. The only problem I have with this company is that they conduct business solely online, by telephone or through the mail. While their offer of convenience sounds amazingly tempting I’m not sure whether they would do me good or not. Currently, my local insurance offers me a slightly higher rate than Esurance does, but makes up for it with a physical location. Sometimes I value the ability to roam into the insurance office with a few days left on my policy to pay on-site and avoid late fees. While it would be nice to, “Quote, Buy, Print” and do nothing more, you never know when the security of a physical location may come in handy. If you are looking to save money on car insurance, I encourage you to set up your own rate-comparison experiment. Done online, it takes less than half an hour or so and is very simple. Perhaps you will find the perfect deal with little work on your part. On the other hand, maybe you will find the extra money you could save can be talked down due to the cost of your own peace of mind. You will never know unless you look into it.

Media emphasizes style over substance Brian Ready

Assistant Editor

We’ve all heard the story by now. Anna Nicole Smith, the former model, reality TV show star, and widower of J. Howard Marshall, died unexpectedly in Florida on February 8. The woman who was famous for being famous, has now reached an even higher level of fame thanks to the constant attention the media has given the situation. Not a news show goes by without the mentioning of the life Smith lived, or the baby girl she left behind. The public is constantly bombarded with tales of Smith and her strange relationship with Marshall, the 90-year-old oil tycoon who was worth an estimated 474 million dollars at the time of their marriage. Or, the media talks about her problems with weight, and drugs. Finally, a new soap opera developed, even better than ones played out on “All My Children,” when the media began to ask: who is Danielynn’s father? Is it Howard K. Stern, Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband Prince Frederik von Anhalt, celebrity photographer Larry Birkhead, or her former bodyguard Alex Denk? There are even rumors that perhaps Marshall could be the baby’s father.

Perhaps an even better question than who Danielynn’s father is, may be, why would the public care? Why is it never enough to let someone simply die? Do people not want to say goodbye to the star? Perhaps we enjoy watching this surreal plot unfold, and realize that even famous people live in a not so perfect world? Whatever the reason, the media will continue to feast on any new story that develops from this sorry tale. In a way, this case reminds me of the aftermath of the death of baseball great Ted Williams. After his death, Williams’s kids battled over whether to cremate him or to freeze his body in a chamber and retain his remains forever. Now, he is remembered as much for his talent on the baseball diamond as he is for his frozen head. Ask yourself, is that how you would want to be remembered? Or would you rather be thought of as a doting parent, spouse, neighbor, sibling, worker, and citizen? Unfortunately, because of the media’s handling of the case, Smith will always be linked to her death as much as she was linked to anything she accomplished in her life. Regardless what one thinks of her, or even if one questions why she is famous in the first place, no one deserves that type of exit

The media brings the news to the public. In some instances, though, the information provided is unnecessary.

from life. Death, after all, should be a celebration of the life one has lived. What type of celebration has Smith received for the life she lived? Besides four men (and a dead one) fighting for

the right to her baby, of course. I say, its time to move on from this episode of “All My Children” and enjoy the present-day stars, while we remember the deceased fondly in our hearts.

To bite your tongue or not bite your tongue Gary Knox Reporter

Controversy is defined as a prolonged public dispute, debate, or contention; concerning a matter of opinion. Controversy can divide friends

and colleagues, or bring people together, merely cause discord, or create change. So, how does someone walk the line between speaking out against injustice, regardless of public opinion, and merely pushing the envelope for the lone purpose of creating buzz? To answer this question, consider a comparison of two individuals, both known to have ruffled the feathers of conventional society. First, Rosa Parks, who caused quite a stir on December 1, 1955, after refusing the request of bus driver James Blake that she relinquish her seat to a white man. Parks was arrested for civil disobedience, but her actions triggered the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which has gone down as one of the largest and most successful mass movements against racial segregation.

Yes, Parks was undoubtedly a controversial figure. Her actions went against social norms and challenged the thoughts and opinions of those around her. Was it worth the fight? What would have happened to the civil rights movement if she simply agreed to go to the back of the bus? Without Rosa Parks controversial act, would the world have been ready for the dream of Martin Luther King? Think about it. As you continue to ponder, consider another controversial individual: Jerry Springer. Springer has made a name for himself by creating a talk show famous for pushing the limits of decency. Women beating up each other, men beating up each other, cousin lovin, and a man marrying a horse, these were all hijinks on display dur-

ing the famously controversial Jerry Springer Show. Now imagine the world without the Jerry Springer Show. What would be the fate of talk shows if Springer had not discovered that people beating up each other equals big ratings? Think about it. In most cases Rosa Parks and Jerry Springer do not belong in the same sentence. The point of comparing the two however, is this: Controversy has its place. It belongs in places where the status quo is not good enough. It belongs in places where following the rules does society a disservice. Creating controversy is only necessary if the message being preached will leave the world a better place. If it does not, then bite your tongue because the world does not need another Jerry Springer.


Straight-edger faced with challenges, temptations, choices Josh Kraus Page Editor

The life of a straight edger is hard at times. Life is full of choices and temptations. Just simply being straight edge does not make avoiding those temptations easier. What is straight edge you ask? Straight edge, or its abbreviation sXe, it’s a lifestyle choice to abstain from both alcohol and recreational drugs. Along with this, most straight edgers also stay away from promiscuous sex. It should be noted that straight edge is not a religion, it’s more like a self philosophy or a personal commitment, and above all else, it’s a choice. In this sense, no one is born a straight edge nor have they been a straight edge for their entire life. Straight edge has close ties with hardcore punk music. In fact, it’s where it first got started. The idea for the straight edge lifestyle was invented by band member Ian MacKaye of Minority Threat. MacKaye speaks out about living a drug and alcohol free lifestyle in the appropriately named song “Straight Edge.” In the 80’s, when straight edge started to become more popular, edgers marked their hands with black X’s to let others know who they were and what they stood for. You may be wondering why anyone would actually want to do something like this. Perhaps the idea of staying away from alcohol, recreational drug use, and sex seems absolutely insane to you or even worse it seems like a boring way to live. But think for a moment of the benefits of living such a life style, more specifically, physical and mental health. Drugs affect the body in various ways such as brain damage, kidney and liver damage, even physical appearance. The dangers of alcohol are just as varied. Loss of brain cells, liver damage, even death if drinking is combined with driving. It’s pretty much assumed staying away from these toxins is, in fact, a healthier way to live. Along with the health benefits, many straight edgers stay away from drugs, sex, and alcohol simply because they feel as if they don’t need it. They see these things as a crutch and as objects people become dependant on. Personally, I have seen the affects of both drugs and alcohol destroy the lives of personal friends of mine and this is just an unnecessary waste of human life. I believe I can enjoy life without the added affects of both alcohol and recreational drug use. I feel being straight edge helps me to follow my beliefs and not compromise my standards. It’s also comforting to know there are other straight edgers out there who believe the same way I do and they are there to give support. Being a straight edge isn’t simply about staying away from drugs, alcohol or sex, it’s about a personal choice and commitment for yourself. In the end, it’s still your choice.



Campus News

March 1, 2007

Radio students live the ‘Dream 97.5’

Patrick Dunn Reporter

“The best music of the eighties and early nineties!” It sounds like the slogan for a big radio station out of Detroit or Toledo, but it is actually the tagline of WYDM Dream 97.5, Monroe’s radio station. The WYDM facilities, located at Monroe High School (MHS), are operated by Monroe County Community College (MCCC) broadcasting instructor Milward Beaudry. Although the station is licensed to Monroe Public Schools, MCCC has an agreement to assist in WYDM’s operation and programming. All WYDM disc jockeys are students at either MCCC or MHS. WYDM acts as a hands-on facility for students enrolled in MCCC’s introduction to mass media course, as well as its various radio courses. “The hands-on approach is critical to landing that first job in the industry,” Beaudry said, speaking from his twenty-three years of professional experience in broadcasting. Beaudry said all advanced radio students are required to spend two hours a week on air in the studio.

MCCC Advanced Radio student Josh Baltrip, 19, said working at WYDM has helped him in an internship at Tower 98 and in his other communications studies. Baltrip said the favorite part of his Tuesday evening on-air shift is knowing people are out there listening. According to Beaudry, WYDM is not only a teaching tool, but also “… the means to promote the community and provide a service of entertainment along with public service.” WYDM’s music library is comprised of about 1,300 songs from the eighties and early nineties. Beaudry said the format is chosen to appeal to women ages 2554, but he has received feedback from both men and women. “The music is a good mix which works well in an office or business,” Beaudry said. “During the evening hours and on weekends the format is more up tempo.” WYDM recently added some jazz into its mix, partnering with John Patterson of the Monroe County Convention & Tourism Bureau to create the “Jazz Up-Front” program, airing Sundays at 9 p.m. The station also incorporates public service announcements

and community information into its programming. WYDM is also equipped to “take the show on the road” for remote broadcasts. “Remotes are an excellent way to promote the station and the community,” Beaudry said. Live broadcasts can be transmitted from a remote site to the MHS facility via a computer modem. An upcoming remote is MCCC’s Family Fun Night. Advanced radio students will also broadcast all week long from this summer’s Monroe County Fair. Beaudry has big plans for WYDM’s future, continuing to develop its use in the MCCC broadcasting program and researching the possibility of increasing the station’s signal to cover all of Monroe County. Beaudry said he would also love to incorporate news and sports coverage into WYDM’s programming. “Dream 97.5 is the only station licensed to Monroe which provides local programming and community service,” Beaudry said. “I really feel there is a need to provide this type of service to our community.”

Agora photo courtesy of Milward Beaudry

Radio students attend class at Monroe High School.

Lifelong Learning offers educational experiences to all Brian Ready Assistant Editor

Agora photo by Nick Vanderpool

The harsh weather Monroe has experienced has caused icy roads and large snow drifts resulting in delays and cancellations of school.

Inclement weather taken seriously Gary Knox Reporter

Safety is a high priority at Monroe County Community College (MCCC). To ensure the safety of students traveling to and from school, Randy Daniels, vice president of student services, is given the difficult task of deciding weather to close MCCC due to unsafe weather conditions. According to Joe Verkennes, director of marketing, to aid Daniels in his decision, procedure 2.39 of the MCCC Policy and Procedure Manual is used as a guideline. The policy states the following: “Inclement weather is defined as any weather conditions severe enough to threaten the safety of students and employees: for example, snow, ice, flooding rains, and tornadoes.” To make this process more effective, as well as gain feedback from

those affected by such decisions, Daniels takes the time to verbally seek input from students and employees. He also plans on sending out an e-mail asking for feedback, which he hopes will improve any decisions he must make regarding inclement weather in the future. According to Daniels, the most difficult part of dealing with bad weather is trying to predict it. Certain steps are taken to ensure the MCCC grounds are accessible and safe for everyone. Jim Blumberg, director of physical plant, and his maintenance and grounds crews are responsible for carrying out these steps. In addition, a new “late start” option has been utilized at the college. The purpose of implementing a “late start” option is it allows more time to check roads and weather conditions. This gives the maintenance crew more time to clear sidewalks, driveways, and park-

ing lots. It also allows more time for weather conditions to improve. For notification of college closings, an annual fan out system is published. Once it has been determined MCCC should be closed due to unsafe weather conditions, the fan out system is used to notify MCCC employees. Students and the general public are then notified through various media outlets specified by the fan out system, including local television and radio stations. In addition, students may call (734) 384-4223 for cancellation information or visit the MCCC official Web site at and click the link entitled, “College Closing Information,” which is found on the main page. “I use the telephone number to find out about school closings. I am glad there is a way to find out if school is cancelled that is so convenient,” Emily Grummel, MCCC student, said.

College courses offered at Monroe County Community College (MCCC) are taken so one can further their educational development, or prepare for their desired career. Other courses offered at MCCC enable one to learn about everyday life activities and further their knowledge about the world during this technology boom. The latter type of courses are offered as a part of the Lifelong Learning Program available at MCCC. Students as well as many people around the community have taken advantage of this educational opportunity. “I think it’s a good idea. Its helping a lot of people,” Nancy Lambrix, an MCCC graduate of 1982 who is currently enrolled in an intermediate Windows XP course, said. The Lifelong Learning Program offers non-credit and non-degree classes that enhance educational opportunities for adults, in a wide range of fields. Classes are offered in: professional development, computer training, construction and real estate, industrial technology, medical skill training, personal interest, crafts and hobby, sports and recreation, and health and wellness. “Our lifelong learning programs are designed for adult learners, so we try to form classes with their busy schedules in mind—on weekends, weeknights or one-day seminars…The process to register and join our classes is very simple and what most of our students find is that it’s a great way to meet people with similar interests or

a fun way to spend their free time,” Tina Pillarelli, the director of Lifelong Learning, said. Pillarelli believes the classes are beneficial to students, in part, because of the instructors who teach the courses. “Our instructors have a great deal of experience and/or education in their field and many have been with us for years. They are very dedicated to teaching for us and overall find the experience rewarding,” she said. According to Pillarelli, there are over 3,000 students per year served in this program. One of those students is Walt Schwartz who, like Lambrix, is also taking the Intermediate Windows XP course. “I’m an old guy and I’m just taking it to learn about computers,” Schwartz said. “I think it’s a very good class. If you pay attention and take notes you can learn a lot from it.” Lifelong Learning classes are offered during the morning, evening and weekend at the Main Campus, Whitman Center, and online. Students may register for any of the classes via SMART, telephone, mail, fax, in person or on the internet. Schedules for the Lifelong Learning classes are available at various locations on campus, at Monroe County libraries, directly mailed to individuals on the program’s in-house mailing list, mailed to past Lifelong Learning students (who’ve taken classes within the past two years), and placed in the Monroe Evening News, the Bedford Now, and can be found at http://www. W07/index.htm.

Campus News

March 1, 2007



Watercolorist to present work to MCCC Courtney Sisung Copy Editor

Agora photo courtesy of

“Stream View” by Christopher Leeper, watercolor, 21 x 21.

Award-winning artist, Christopher Leeper, will be coming to Monroe County Community College (MCCC) on March 14 at 7:00 p.m. in room A173. He will present a slide show on his watercolors and give a lecture on his life and his work. His work will also be displayed in the MCCC library from March 14 to April 6. Leeper has won two gold medals from the Ohio Watercolor Society for his watercolors. He has also illustrated many childrens’ books, such as “River Otter at Autumn Lane,” “Ema the Rhino,” and “Norman the Lion.” Recently, he wrote and published his own book, “Realism in Watermedia,” which teaches different styles of artwork to beginning artists. “We’re really excited about having Chris come here,” Ted Vassar, assistant professor of art, said. “It’s always great to get a successful artist to come visit the school.” Leeper is coming to MCCC as part of the visiting artist series. “The visiting artist series at the college is when artists come to the school, give a lecture, and display their work,” Vassar said. “We usually pick about

two artists a year to come. Then, after they come, the college buys a piece of the work and it is displayed on the campus.” The visiting artist series, which is sponsored by the Campus Community Events, has been part of MCCC for over a decade. All art on the campus, except for a few done by the college’s art professors, has come from the visiting artist series. Most artists who present are local artists who live in the tri-state area. “Most of the artists who come to the series are artists we have met,” Gary Wilson, assistant professor of art, said. “I have done street fairs for over 40 years and I have met a lot of artists. Ted [Vassar] does the exhibition circuit and is deeply involved in the Ohio Watercolor Society. That’s how he met Chris [Leeper]. Plus, we know what kind of art we want to add to our collection and what artists will be good demonstrators for our students.” Vassar says that many artists want to come to MCCC because of its good reputation. According to Vassar, artists who come to the college “pass the word to other artists.” “Our school has a great collection and welcomes many artists,” Vassar said. “Many volunteer to come here

because they know their art will be appreciated here. A few years ago, when our artwork was audited by the government, they said we had the finest original collection of art of any college in Michigan. Artists want to be a part of that.” Leeper will also be bringing copies of his book to be signed for visitors. His lecture will include a slide show, details about his life and early work, and how he developed into an artist. According to Wilson, admission is free and open to the public. “Anyone who wants to come is welcome,” Vassar said. “Chris [Leeper] is a great artists and a great guy. He’ll have a very interesting presentation.” However, even with the free admission and the months of planning that go into each series, many students have no idea about the event. Todd Williams, an art students at MCCC, had no idea that the visiting artist series even existed. “I had no idea that artist visited the school, much less famous ones,” Williams said. “I mean, I’m kind of a hermit, but I think I should have heard about this. I would like to be more informed about these things, that way I can decide if I want to go see them.”

Students prepare

to study overseas

Nick Vanderpool

Assistant Photo Editor

Students interested in spending spring semester in Europe earning nine credits can still talk to Dr. Joanna Sabo to sign up for this year’s wait list. Students can also sign up in advance for the possible trip again in 2008 or 2009. The Study Abroad program will be taking 32 students, three faculty members, and three chaperones to Europe for this spring semester. There, they will be taking three classes for nine academic credits, more credits than a normal spring semester gives. These classes are Art 155, Art Appreciation, taught by Gary Wilson, Humanities 151, Intro to Humanities, taught by Ann Orwin, and Political Science 211, Comparative Politics, taught by Joanna Sabo. Orwin, who has been to Europe before and teaches Intro to Humanities often, said this will make the class a completely different experience for students. “When studying the Parthenon, instead of reading or looking at pictures, they will actually be standing there,” Orwin said. Art Appreciation is a class that is already heavily visual and reliant on Wilson’s storytelling, but Wilson him-

self has never been to Europe. The big difference for his class is actually being able to see the artwork he tells so many stories about. Orwin also emphasizes there is no better growth experience than a different culture. Students will be able to interpret everything better by taking what they learned in Europe and applying it at home. While the trip to Europe alone is enticing to students, Sabo emphasizes the other benefits this trip could have for history majors, art majors, future teachers, and any job where international exposure might help on their resumes. “When I asked [students] informally, most cited nine credits as the reason for going instead of the trip itself,” Sabo said. The program was also designed so classes would be transferable. Students will start their semester by having some instruction on campus. These classes will be offered three nights a week from 6-10 p.m. for three weeks. There will also be some online instruction. The remaining three weeks of the semester will then be spent in Europe, where the group will be visiting London, Paris, Lucerne, and Italy, including Rome and Florence. The trip ends with a cruise through the Greek Isles. Stops will be made along the way at the Vatican and

the Louvre. The students are expected to leave around May 23 and return June 11. Sabo stresses students will still be going to class throughout this time. Classes will be held in hotel lobbies and rooms, as well as on the busses. Sabo explained that in order for a student to sign up to leave this year they must have the full down payment of $4,100 right away. This covers everything except for the books required and any extra spending money. Students should do their own research on how much extra money to bring, but Sabo points out that in Europe things are more expensive. Students should still be able to get by on a relatively small amount of money. To qualify to go on the trip a student must have two letters of recommendation from faculty and three from personal references. A good academic standing and a full background check are also required. If a student is on academic probation or is found to have any kind of minor in possession charges or drug possession charges, then they are instantly unable to go. These charges can date as far back as high school. Drinking is also prohibited for the most part on the trip, as with any other kind of drug abuse. A student risks being sent back if this is found to be the case.

Agora photo courtesy of Lisa Ghigliazza

Charlotte Ghigliazza was selected to attend the Grassroots Legislative Conference and National Student Lobby Day which will take place in Washington D.C. from March 3 to March 6. All expenses for the conference are being paid for by a Scholarship award from the Unied States Student Association.

MCCC Re-accredidation update: Defining the Areas of Greatest Opportunity, Continued Dr. David Nixon MCCC President

In the last issue of the Agora, I reported that Monroe County Community College’s Higher Learning Commission Re-accreditation Steering Committee utilized data collected from every employee at MCCC to identify six initial areas of greatest opportunity at MCCC. Each area was assigned a subcommittee charged with formally defining the area based on that data.

The areas include: Effective Communication Employee Partnerships Visioning/Planning Budget Employee Training Decision-making Due to space limitations, I provided you with the definitions of two of these

areas last issue – Effective Communication and Visioning/Planning. In this issue, I will provide you with the definition of Employee Partnership. Employee Partnership means: We all need to work together in a climate of mutual respect and engagement toward common, unifying goals and then head together in the same direction. The college’s success becomes everyone’s success. The goals and direction need to be clear, so that everyone knows his or her individual

role and how he or she can work together with others for the good of students and the institution. Successes at the college should be based on collective “team” efforts, where people are able to express ideas, be listened to and have their ideas taken into consideration. “Partnership” involves everyone working together to make the college what it is today and what it will become in the future. I encourage you to e-mail me your comments at dnixon@monroeccc. edu, or just stop by my office.




March 1, 2007

Understanding the Misunderstood

Sarah Wills Page Editor

People in Monroe seem to have skewed views on many of today’s most prevalent religions. Christianity is the United States’ most practiced religion, (roughly 86.2% of the population) according to The majority of Monroe’s population is Christian so its doctrine is fairly well understood. However, it is astonishing how few people know about Islam or Buddhism, or rather, what they encompass as a belief system. Here is a list of the United States’ other practiced religions, philosophies, and spiritual paths. They are in alphabetical order: 1. Agnosticism- (.7%) The word “Agnostic” is derived from Greek; “a” meaning “without” and “gnosis” meaning “knowledge.” The people who say they are agnostic are voicing they don’t necessarily refute the presence of a universal omnipotent entity, but they don’t honestly know. If there is a God, metaphysics or an afterlife, it is currently unknown and perhaps

inherently unknowable. 2. Atheism-(7.5%) Atheist can also be broken down as “without the belief of god/gods.” Atheists do not believe in the presence of a universal being. Even so, atheists are not necessarily against spirituality. Atheists can be very spiritual, just without the need of a deity or deities. 3. Buddhism-(.5%) It was founded by Siddhartha Gautama who was the first to become Buddha. Buddha is a title which simply means “one who is awake” and refers to being aware of the suffering of the world. It is the fourth largest religion in the world and is founded on four noble truths: “There is suffering, there is cause for suffering, there is cessation for suffering, there is a path leading to the cessation of suffering.” The last truth speaks of the noble eight-fold path: “Right view, intention, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness and concentration.” 4. Hinduism-(.4%) It is the world’s oldest religion, with no known founder and the oldest religious texts in the world, dating practically millennia be-

fore the Old Testament. Hindu is seen as being henotheistic or believing in a triad which combines to make one ultimate being called Brahman, these being Brahma, the creator, Vishnu (Krishna), the preserver, and Shiva, the destroyer. Hindus believe in Karma; one’s good or bad deeds determine one’s fates. They also believe in reincarnation. According to, Hindus are normally very tolerant of other religions. They have a saying, “The truth is One, but different Sages call it by different names.” 5. Islam-(.5%) The word “Islam” derives from the Arabic word for “peace.” It is a monotheistic belief in Allah and it recognizes great prophets such as Moses, Abraham, Jesus, and Mohammed, although Muslims do not believe God takes on corporeal form. They follow the Quran which was written and compiled by the prophet Mohammed. It is the only Quran which exists for them. 6. Judaism- (1.3%) People of the Jewish faith follow the Tanakh, which corresponds as the Old Testament for

Christians. A famous Jewish scholar in the medieval times wrote thirteen principles of faith. They have been generally accepted by Jews for centuries, however, liberal Jews today debate their relevance. These thirteen

principles are: “God exists, God is one and unique, God is incorporeal, God is eternal, Prayer is directed to God and no other, the words of the proph See "Religion," page 10

Gas prices continue to seesaw Spring break alternatives

Jeffrey Kodysh Reporter

Gasoline prices in Monroe County have continued their roller-coaster ride. Currently, prices are running about $2.40 a gallon, which is an increase of forty cents from this past December when gasoline prices were running right around the $2.00 a gallon mark. Prices of crude oil on the future markets, from which gasoline is derived, have remained volatile, running about $50 to $65 a barrel on future markets around the world. This volatility in crude oil prices, an increase in heating oil consumption, increased tension in the oil producing areas of the Middle East and Venezuela, and the burden of switching over to winter Environmental Protection Agency formulations of gasoline have all been factors in the increased cost of gasoline. Monroe County Community College (MCCC) students have found numerous ways to fight back against the increased gasoline prices. Some students have decided to try to drive less. “I try to limit my driving, just to school and work,” Chris Kinney, MCCC student said. Others try to save on gasoline by

combing resources and improving maintenance. Still, others try to save on gas by driving smaller, more energy efficient cars. “I carpool and make sure my car is maintained” said Hannah ZollaSchucart, MCCC student, said. According to energy industry analysts, there is more bad news for your wallet. The price of gasoline has most likely already passed its lowest price for the year. Gasoline prices will be on the rise over the next few months, as demand increases for the spring and summer driving seasons. Brent Wood, employee at the BP service station in Temperance said, “I have a feeling that it rise a lot, maybe over $3.00 a gallon.” No one knows if gas prices will reach over last’s year high of over $3.20 a gallon. “I sure hope not, because I will not be able to afford [my trips to] northern Michigan this next summer” said Josh Smith, a motorist at the BP gas station.

Troy White Reporter

Spring Break is nearing and what is there to do? The only way to get down south where the “party” is at is to schedule your vacation months in advance. It is coming down to the wire and there is nothing to do for break, what do you do? There are plenty of things you can entertain yourself with over your ten day break and not need to plan in advance. Here are a few suggestions: 1) Throw a party. If impossible to attend the parties down in Panama City or Cancun, then bring the party here. Everyone’s friends are home from college and if they are coming home for break, they usually no plans other than sitting at home. 2) Go snowboarding, skiing or sledding. Michigan has finally been hit pretty hard with the snow so take advantage of it. Hit the slopes to snowboard or ski for a day. Steve Uhl, Monroe County Community College (MCCC) student, said “I enjoy skiing and plan on going over spring break. I really hope I can get out west sometime soon and hit the slopes, that’s always a good time.” If you don’t have

the gear, you can always rent it. If cash is a problem then stick to sledding. 3) Go on a road trip. Spring break is a break so make use of it. Do not worry about school for a few days. Get a group of people together and go on a trip somewhere you have never been. The possibilities are endless. 4) Start a new hobby. If there is anything that sounds interesting but have never tried, due to the lack of time, start it now. Spring break is a week long and is just enough time to start those jobs, run the errands, or even begin something you never had time to do in the past. Jake Gust, MCCC student said “The break allows me time to help out around the farm and earn some extra cash.” 5) Take a trip to Canada. The drive is only about an hour and who wouldn’t want to go to the “big state” to the north? Just rent a room for the night and have the party there. Kevin Carroll, MCCC student, said “Canada is always a good time; you can drink legally and try your luck at the casino. I don’t know if it gets any better than that.” Remember, the legal drinking age in Canada is only nineteen. If that’s not of interest, then there is always the casino.

Libraries across county join in reading

Kristin Booth Copy Editor

The Monroe County Library System (MCLS) is teaming up with Monroe County Community College (MCCC) and the National Endowment for the Arts to take part in the Big Read project. Doris Sheldon, the Summerfield-Petersburg branch community librarian, heard about the project last November. “I heard about the project in November 2006 through Margo Zieske and Judy Murray [co-chairpersons for the Book Group Subcommittee],” Sheldon said. “For MCLS to take part in the program, we all needed to facilitate a book discussion in each branch. I think partnering with the community and the schools has been a lot of fun. It has been good for the County. It is nice seeing everyone doing the same thing at the same time,” she said. Nancy Colpaert, the director of the library system, has been in full sup-

port and encouraged the entire staff to read the book and watch the movie. Sheldon has already read the novel. “The book is science fiction. I am not a fan of science fiction, but once you get past that part of the book, I think, the community will enjoy it. It has a really good message to it,” Sheldon said. Bernie Smith, public relations officer, feels this book is an even better read now than when she read it back in high school. “I reread the book and it was more powerful today than 30 years ago. I feel people in the community will read the book and see the parallels in today’s society,” Smith said. Smith believes reading is especially important for children and young adults and feels this book is extremely important for people to read, especially in today’s society. “It is a good example of how censorship goes on in the country. People should see the list of books that are banned from library shelves,” Smith

said. MCCC sophomore Jillian Stafford feels the Big Read program sounds like a good idea and would possibly be interested in attending the library discussions. She said she does not take many trips to the library, but would be interested in the program. “I visit the library about once a month. I might be interested in doing the discussions which will be going on at the library, if it is a book I would like to discuss,” Stafford said. The library system has been recently advertising the program, by posting up flyers about the Big Read. They are planning on hanging up posters, having enough copies of the book for the community, wearing pins, talking to schools around the area to see what grades are actually going to be reading the novel, and developing a reader’s guide to help the discussions along. “State Representative Kathy Angerer has even created some of the posters for the program. Just getting the word out and getting everyone

into the library is a fantastic thought,” Sheldon said. Stephanie Rubley, the youth service technician for both Petersburg and Ida branches, feels the program is a great way for the entire community to come together. “I think it’s great everyone is coming together over a book. We are putting posters up all over town and we are having a book discussion for the Petersburg branch on April 20 at 1 p.m.” Rubley said. “I think the community will enjoy the story. It’s very thought provoking.” Rubley’s desire is to change the reading statistics in America. She has been reading to kindergartners for the past couple years to encourage them to read more. “They may not remember me while I am reading the story to them, but when I go over to their schools on reading trips, they recognize me as the person from the library,” she said. With a national survey saying See "Big Read," page 10


March 1, 2007



Local soldier opens up about Iraq

Courtney Sisung Copy Editor

Imagine a place where the sun is so hot and bright the eyes burn and the skin is scorched. Imagine the wind blowing so hard it whips across the body, leaving little red lines. Imagine a place which is so lonely and scary only an M4 semi-automatic rifle can keep a person alive. “This is exactly the place I found myself in the last few months,” Gary Queen, an Army National Guard reservist currently serving in Iraq and former Monroe County Community College (MCCC) student, said. Queen, 22, has been in Iraq for three months and is currently home on a two week leave. “I love being home with my friends and family, doing what I want to do,” Queen said, “but I really miss my squad. I worry about them while I’m away.” Queen says he’s “constantly worried, every minute of the day” as his comrades face the struggles of war without him. He prays no one is getting injured or killed as he waits for a call from his comrades everyday. “When one of our own gets hurt or killed,” Queen said, “it is the worst feeling in the world. I do not know how to explain it. No one in my company has been killed but there have been some major injuries. I can’t go into details on what happened, but the feeling afterwards is a mixture of anger, fear, and sorrow. You’re angry that one of your own got hurt and sad about it, too, but then the ‘what if’ questions start flowing. ‘What if that had been me?’ ‘What if they had died?’ We picture what happened and

try to come up with ideas on how to prevent it.” Although Queen cannot go into detail about ambushes or attacks, he did give his opinion on having to fire his weapon. “We never go out looking to shoot our weapons. However, when we’re forced to engage, it’s not about killing people, it’s about eliminating a threat to protect our brothers and sisters in the squad.” Despite the dangers and worries of war, Queen says he has made friendships which will last a lifetime. He also says the Iraqi children make what he is doing feel right. “The children in Iraq are so sweet, but helpless,” Queen says. “One girl, who limps because a roadside bomb hurt her leg, once came up to me with her school work. She was so proud of it that she showed every page to me. When I gave her a pen so she could actually write in the book, her eyes lit up, and she ran to her mom to show her. I never felt so happy and all I did was give a pen to a child who couldn’t afford one. The children make it all worth it.” However, as much as he loves his comrades, Queen is enjoying spending time with his family. “I missed them so much,” Queen said. “I want to spend every waking moment with them until I go back.” Michael Kohlman, a former MCCC student and Queen’s cousin, is also a member of the Army National Guard. “Although I haven’t been to Iraq yet,” Kohlman said, “I may be deploying there at the end of the year. But I’m not worried about going there. I can see the pride in my cousin’s

Agora photo courtesy of Gary Queen

Former MCCC student Gary Queen serves in the Army.

eyes and I figure it can’t be too bad. I think I would like having that sense of pride.” “Mike is my best friend.” Queen said. “We signed up for the Army together over a year ago. Although I didn’t expect us to go to Iraq separately, I know he’ll be fine when he does go there.” In two weeks, Queen will return to Iraq to finish his one year deploy-

ment. “I’m not that nervous about going back,” Queen said. “It’s not like when I first left. This time, I know what I’m going into and what it’s like over there. Besides, it is weird being here. I worry about my comrades, knowing that I can’t help them. I want to go back and fight along side them, even though it makes me homesick.” Queen says the Army is the best ac-

complishment of his life. He would sign up again and go to Iraq again “in a heartbeat” if it was with the right person. “Yeah, I’m glad to be going back,” Queen said. “But, I’ll miss my friends and family very much. And although I usually hate Michigan weather and the snow, I think I’m going to miss those, too. Did you know that it gets up to 130° F in the summer in Iraq?”

Distance learning program: profitable or detrimental? Steven Sonoras Copy Editor

Money and time: these are two things nearly all college students are lacking. Monroe County Community College (MCCC) may have a solution: the Instructional Video Network (IVN) Distance Learning Program. Students are now able to take classes which are available in the distance learning center at the Monroe County Intermediate School District (ISD) from one of several remote locations at most Monroe County high schools. Since students have the opportunity to take certain classes closer to their homes, they can cut down on commuting, helping them to reduce spending

time and money driving to campus. But students and teachers are finding some problems with the program. Could these complications outweigh the program’s benefits? Students are finding themselves distracted by the unusual layout of IVN classes, which includes several televisions, cameras and microphones set up around the room to allow students to interact with students located at remote locations. This interaction is often key to communicating ideas in the classroom, but some students find the technology to be distracting. Kyle Miller, a student in Vinnie Maltese’s math explorations course, said, “It’s irritating that you have to choose to look at either the professor or the

screen and not both. The fact that you can see the other class [on the television screen] is harmful. There’s only one student at the remote location and it’s a distraction. I can’t imagine if there were a dozen or more.” For teachers, the cameras in the room are both a blessing and a burden. They replace the traditional dry-erase board and allow them to broadcast demonstrations and information from the Internet on the class television monitors. Using cameras to transmit ideas to students at remote locations can spell trouble, though. Vinnie Maltese, dean of the science and mathematics department, will have to find new ways to communicate some ideas.

“I have used a large globe in the past to demonstrate how the distance between two points is not necessarily a straight line,” he said. “I will not be able to do this in the IVN setting and will have to find a way, probably through the use of the available technology to demonstrate this.” Despite the minor problems the distance learning environment causes, the program appears to have immense possibilities. The equipment allows for students all over the county to take the same class without traveling more than a couple of miles away from home. The program also allows for the enrollment of more students than can fit in one single classroom because of availability of the remote

locations. If 25 students were to take a class at Jefferson High School, another 25 at Monroe High, 25 more at Summerfield High, also 25 at the ISD, 100 students could take the same class. This provides a great opportunity for students who are required to take a course that is being offered in the distance-learning program, because without the program, the class would fill up much faster. Maltese predicts that with improved technology, the minor downfalls of the distance learning technique will be reduced to a minimum, and the possibilities for the program will be limitless.

Pleasure reading a thing of the past? Kristin Booth Copy Editor

Before the Nintendo Wii, the movies, the Internet, the radio, the television, the telephone, or the iPod, there was an extremely relaxing past time: reading. Reading has been around for thousands of years. It is easy to become a book addict and books are readily available to anyone who desires a real inexpensive adventure. Reading allows people of any age to experience a thrilling adventure, a sassy romance, take a trip into outer space, go back into history, or experience a terrifying mystery. Yet, over the past couple decades has America as a whole lost its desire to read? According to a recent survey conducted by the National Endowment for the Arts, less than 50 percent of Americans read literature of any kind. With numbers for reading literature so

low, what do reading enthusiasts think about it? Monroe County Community College (MCCC) sophomore Karley Stanton, who is an avid reader, was not shocked by the news. She believes technology is one of the factors responsible for the decline in reading. “I am not really surprised. In a world with so much technology, children miss out and do not use their imaginations like in the past. I think it’s very sad because people who don’t read are losing out on so many things,” Stanton said. “I love reading because it is a stress-reliever. It is a way for me to unwind after a long day and lose myself,” she said. Lori Jo Couch, professor of English, loves to read and desires to incorporate good reading material throughout her courses in the hope it will allow students to enjoy their work throughout the semester.

“I try to choose reading assignments students will enjoy, but it is often difficult. In a class of 25 students, for example, each student has his/her own preferences. Then, it is up to each student to decide how he or she approaches the work. If a student is determined to learn and grow, every assignment becomes part of the process,” Couch said. “In addition, I find the works I am most excited about, my class will grow to like also. I think enthusiasm for reading can be contagious,” she said. There are many benefits for those who love to read. People will broaden their vocabularies, use their imaginations in ways video games do not allow them to, stimulate their brain, and learn important information. “Reading benefited me as a person by broadening my vocabulary and stimulating my imagination. It is very special to me and I love sharing it with

others. Being a good reading model is a goal that I have for my life,” Stanton said. MCCC sophomore Amber Morris, doesn’t read as much as she should and feels America should take these numbers to heart and start reading. “I didn’t know there were so few who read. I think it’s sad. I also think people, including myself, should read more. I know reading used to be the main source of entertainment. It helps with literacy. I think these numbers explain why test scores are so low in America,” Morris said. There are many different genres out there for the reading enthusiast. They range from contemporary realistic fiction, romance, science fiction, mystery, historical fiction, biographies, and more. It doesn’t take long for a person to become an avid reader. MCCC freshman Jeremiah Werstein

also reads for pleasure and feels reading is important in defining America as a culture. “Reading is the basis of our culture. Anything of substance we know about ancient cultures is garnered from their writing, if they had any. If you want to get ahead in the world today, being able to read and being literate are a must. Everything in our culture revolves around being able to read. Even the Internet with all its video streaming capabilities still requires a great deal of reading. Besides, you’ll never know what you’ll learn when you pick up a book,” he said. In a world saturated by so many technological advancements, curling up in a cozy chair and picking up a good book to read is always relaxing. It allows human beings throughout the world to go on adventures without leaving the comfort of their own homes.




March 1, 2007

Harry Potter grows up, tones up Charlene Hunt Reporter

He is recognized by millions as “The Boy Who Lived,” but will Daniel Radcliffe’s reputation survive the storm of criticism following his controversial role in the Tony award-winning play Equus? Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter in the series of Harry Potter (HP) films, is battling with more than wizard’s chess this season. Radcliffe has starred in five Harry Potter films so far, with the fifth to be released this summer, but he has never starred in a professional stage production before. Critics and Radcliffe’s spokesmen have been arguing this was Radcliffe’s attempt to “be seen as someone other than Harry Potter.” With the last installment of the HP books coming out this summer as well, an aspiring actor like Radcliffe

would need to take his profession a bit more seriously in order to have a career outside of the wizarding world. Determined not to fall into the list of lost child actors such as Gary Coleman and Macaulay Culkin, Radcliffe is diversifying his talents to include numerous films and plays at one time. The seventeen-year-old Radcliffe told the Times Online, “Better sooner than later. To some people, I will only ever be Harry. I know that, I don’t fight it. I don’t want to distance myself from him. I’m proud of that work. But I do want to show them I am not Harry Potter. I am an actor.” Equus revolves around young stable-hand Alan Strang, played by Radcliffe, and his not-so-innocent obsession with horses. Equus teeters on the delicate topics of psychology, religion, and social norms. Horseshoe spikes periodically blind horses, and the boy, mentally unstable and damaged, undergoes a series of psychiatric evaluations. Strang is portrayed stark naked in the closing scene and partially nude for other portions, even with his girlfriend, whom in this production is played by Joanna Cristie. On February 1, racy photos of Radcliffe and Cristie lit magazine stands on fire to promote Equus’ release and production. The play has won countless awards in the past and, despite controversy and gossip, tickets for the shows have often sold out. However, the pictures have people in many countries speaking out about the sudden change

Agora photos courtesy of

Daniel Radcliffe as Alan Strang in Equus. (left) Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter.

to the HP image. “We had never seen him with his clothes off before. We all went ‘wow’. […] He has a confidence in his own appearance. With the performances

that I’ve witnessed, when that boy takes his shirt off, Harry Potter has flown out of Hogwarts for good,” producer of Equus, David Pugh, said. However shocked the world seems

by Radcliffe’s nudity, critics see it as “artistic expression” and “mature decision making.”

see “Potter,” page 10

Apples In Stereo discover ‘New Magnetic Wonder’ Steve Sonoras Copy Editor

Chris Slat Copy Editor

River Raisin Ice Harvest Festival

The first River Raisin Ice Harvest Festival took place in downtown Monroe on February 23 and 24. The focus of the festival was on ice carvings, produced by professional ice sculptors who gave live demonstrations. The carvings included depictions of area business logos, animals, and local landmarks like the Custer statue. They were displayed around downtown Monroe and in front of the Loranger Square pavilion. The nearby Dorsch library, currently under renovation, opened its doors for the occasion and offered free hot chocolate and coffee, as well as craft tables. Monroe County Community College currently offers an ice-carving course, but was not represented in the festival, although Monroe County Convention and Tourism Bureau Director John Patterson expressed interest in getting more college involvement next year.

Winter is a time normally associated with cold weather, shivering, staying at home in seclusion on the weekends, and utter unhappiness for most people. Musically, winter is seen as a time for dirges, gothic ballads, and annoying Christmas carols. Robert Schneider and his Apples in Stereo have created the anecdote to this unfortunate season. The band’s latest release, New Magnetic Wonder, is packed with sunny pop tunes and warm, soothing melodies which will help get your mind off the blizzard-like weather outside. However, despite overall catchiness, the album lacks consistency. New Magnetic Wonder, the first release on actor and part-time Hobbit Elijah Wood’s Simian label, marks a sloppy return for The Apples. This comes as no shock, since they appeared to be losing their touch at the time their last record was released five years ago. The record makes a cringe-inducing start with “Can You Feel It?” The tune is a repetitious bash on the hypocrisy of FM radio, but ironically, the song itself features more pop hooks than lyrics, making it just as mind-numb-

ing as anything else on the radio. Schneider redeems himself immediately by the second track, Skyway. The song is the first in a series of cleverly instrumented power-pop tunes which would make Ric Ocasek proud. While the lyrical content of Schneider’s songs is often uninspired, he makes up for it with the passion in his delivery. His band, made up of several members of the Elephant 6 label collective, provide a perfect, seamless backing for Schneider’s pop vocals and guitar. The album on a whole is a bit muddled. The 24 tracks on the disc are at once intimidating, but only 12 of the songs are actually over three minutes. The other half are unnecessary, irritating instrumentals. These minor set-backs don’t get in the way of the stronger material on the album. The band weaves in and out of emotionally charged rock and slick, upbeat pop tunes. They also merge different sonic styles to show off their range of abilities. The most powerful song on New Magnetic Wonder, “7 Stars,” finds The Apples sounding like Eno-produced U2, and the album’s current single, “Energy,” should have even the shyest listener singing along to its irresistible melody.

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March 1, 2007



Academy Award politics Chris Slat Copy Editor

The 79th Annual Academy Awards ceremony was held and telecast on February 25, drawing attention from film fans and followers worldwide. Since 1929, the Oscars have supposedly honored the highest cinematic achievements. But is that what they really do? It seems the majority of people at Monroe County Community College (MCCC) do not think so. “It’s not about what the best movie is,” said MCCC student Cary St. Charles, 33, who has very little interest in Oscar night. “It’s more about political statements and sociological statements.” Historically, there has been controversy surrounding the films that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences commends.

Particularly, the most coveted award, the award for Best Picture, has often been given to films that some believe are unworthy or have not stood the test of time. For example, Citizen Kane, the film the American Film Institute (AFI) called the greatest movie of the 20th century, lost the Best Picture award in 1941. The winner was a film called How Green Was My Valley, which few people today have even heard of. “There are some really good movies which don’t get as much attention as they should,” said student Veronica Terry, 23, who believes that the Academy Awards focuses too much on “high-budget” and “A-list actors.” Still, sometimes even great filmmakers have been overlooked. Alfred Hitchcock, recognized as one of the greatest directors ever, responsible for classic films like Psycho, North by Northwest, and Rear Window, was

nominated for the Best Director Oscar six times and lost every time. Is there more to the Oscars than honoring great films? Monroe County Community College (MCCC) faculty member Lori Jo Couch said she has only a casual interest in the Academy Awards, but sees both sides of the argument. “I do think you have to be talented to win an Academy Award,” Couch said, “but they’re also voted on by [the nominees’] peers, so I’m sure there are some politics involved.” MCCC student Jay Melich, 19, doubts the integrity of the Academy Awards and says they do not affect what he thinks of movies or which ones he sees. “It’s not a way of rewarding quality movie-making,” Melich said. “It’s a way of getting people to see movies.” Generating early buzz about potential Oscar nominations is a tool “if you

want to sell a lot of tickets in the first week,” Melich said. He also added many great movies, particularly comedies such as Office Space, receive no Oscar recognition even though they are well received by much of the public. Faculty member Timothy Dillon, a movie buff, believes the awards ceremony has its benefits, although he admits that some politics are involved. “I think it exposes good movies to people who don’t know of them,” Dillon said. “And I like that filmmakers are awarded for their accomplishments.” Whether the Academy Awards truly honor the best film achievements, or if the decisions are solely political, one thing is for sure: the annual event will continue to hold the attention of movie fans and the media for years to come.

Agora photo courtesy of BBC

Filmmaker David Lynch Debunking the “trip” Nick Vanderpool Assistant Photo Editor

Agora photo by Sarah Straub

Go Ask Ogre

Letters from a deathrock cutter Sarah Straub Page Editor

Many people write letters to musicians, actors and the like, hoping for, but not expecting any correspondence back. Writing to someone you do not know, who you feel has changed your life considerably through their art can be oddly therapeutic. It is often easier to pour out your soul into a letter meant for a perfect stranger than it is to your best friend. You listen to their music, watch their movies, or read their books and feel they are speaking to you; that they, in some way, knew exactly how you were feeling and created this piece with you in mind. Granted, these people have never met you, but through their thoughts and work, they make you realize that you are not alone in the world. Go Ask Ogre is the story of just that. The book chronicles the life of author and former Toledo resident Jolene Siana between the ages of 17 to 20 through personal journal entries and correspondence with her famous pen-pal, Skinny Puppy band-member, Nivek Ogre (Kevin Oglivie). By responding to Siana’s letters, Ogre helped her through the war of life and took part in the realization that it truly is worth living. She wrote letters, sent personal artwork, and let her emotions flow out like wine, unaware, at first, of the rewarding relationship that would follow. She wrote to a man she had never met, but considered one of her favorite rock stars and reached out for a friend in someone she hardly knew.

As time went on, she would meet up with Ogre at shows, where he was the understanding friend she so desperately needed at some particular point in her life. This is not the sob story of a depressed teenager. Nor is it the story of an obsessed fan meeting her rock and roll idol. It is not a story at all. It is a book about life, written as such. By sharing these letters with her readers, Siana gives hope to those who may feel there is none. She tells the story of an illness not many talk about and gives a voice to a group of people who, until recently, did not have one. Years ago, not many knew what a cutter was, or what the illness was about. Today, however, through people speaking-out about their experiences, and writing book such as this one, the world is beginning to gain understanding as to why people do these things to themselves. Unbeknownst to Siana, Ogre had managed to keep all of the letters she had written to him over the years and returned them to her in 2002. “Revisiting the letters has been a gift in many ways. I observed patterns in my behaviors and my relationships that have helped me to become more self-aware,” Siana wrote. “I’m thankful I had writing and drawing as an outlet during my darkest times. I am certain that when I was feeling suicidal, expressing my feelings on paper and looking forward to seemingly small things, such as seeing my favorite bands perform, literally kept me alive.”

David Lynch deserves some respect. No one can quite get into the human mind the way he can. Lynch has a way of twisting and bending his characters close to the breaking point and witnessing that, “snap from the inside,” is the most horrible feeling expressed by an actor or actress on screen, a feeling the viewer shares as well. Lynch’s films are undeniably horrifying, yet, they are not horror films. His films express true human feelings on backdrops which seem so bizarre. The characters’ lives almost appear to shatter and reassemble physically on screen. There is never a useless scene, if something is shown, Lynch wants you to see it. His films have been considered difficult to understand, and rightfully so. In order to understand Lynch’s newest three hour film, INLAND EMPIRE, the following three films should be seen before the movie’s release. 1. Mulholland Dr. Lynch’s modern masterpiece, Mulholland Dr. is a love story, a psychological thriller, and a luring tale about corrupt success portrayed in Lynch’s non-linear (non-sequential) fashion. While it’s definitely a Lynch film, it’s the easiest of his films to comprehend. The movie revolves around actresses Naomi Watts and Laura Elena Harring, who both play women tangled in an affair, plagued by inconceivable events which all, somehow, lead to the mysterious Mulholland Drive that circles around the “Hollywood” sign. In their chance meeting, by way of a car accident, the two become a larger part of each other’s lives. Eventually, like everything good portrayed in a Lynch film, their relationship does not last. Without a doubt it is a movie which is best seen twice, with a very open mind. Many of Lynch’s critics complain there’s really no story or point in Mulholland Dr. However, there is and it’s far truer than one force fed to us through an immediately gratifying tale. Mulholland Dr. is a surreal adventure into the human psyche and despite its difficult presentation and somewhat disjointed scene transitions, it is the perfect Lynch movie to start with.

2. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. For most people who don’t even know who Lynch is, Twin Peaks, the television series, was his most memorable work. The prequel film, however, received less praise. The critics universally berated it and by the fans of the Twin Peaks series, it was out rightly disregarded. The film, Twin Peaks, was a prequel to the television series. The TV show chronicled Agent Dale Cooper’s (Kyle MacLachlan) time spent in the small town of Twin Peaks, attempting to discover who murdered the high school prom queen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). The movie, on the other hand, recounts the last seven days of Laura Palmer’s life. Sheryl Lee’s performance in the movie is outstanding. Lee’s character, Laura, is a young girl who has been raped since she was 12. As a result, she tries to subdue the pain of continuously being abused, by seeking solace in drugs and selling her body. Although this is difficult to watch, the film gets harder to stomach as she begins to snap and starts to realize what has really been going on. Without having seen an episode of the series, the movie is still comprehensible enough to feel for the character of Laura Palmer. Lynch somehow captures the torment in living the double life of a young girl who means well, but has to crawl through life under a heavy weight. While the surreal elements of the film are the most bizarre of any ofhis other works, it’s sufficiently grounded in reality for the viewer to connect with the film enough to want to do something about the world around us. 3. Eraserhead. It is redundant to call a Lynch film weird, but undeniably Eraserhead may very well be the weirdest of the bunch. Released in 1977, Eraserhead was his first film and, quite possibly, his most important work. However, it was also his most difficult to understand. The film is broken up by extremely odd dream sequences and the dialogue is about as present as it was in Tom Hank’s Cast Away. The film is a black and white endeavor set in one of Lynch’s oddest fantasy worlds. The music, following the pattern of weirdness, is limited to industrial hums in the background.

Agora photo courtesy of Wire Image

The world of Eraserhead is filled with many abandoned factories. Its dissonant industrial sounds help to create the perfect atmosphere in which to tell the disheartening tale of Henry Spencer (Jack Nance). Henry is a lonely young man with a sort of “Kramer” hairdo who unexpectedly becomes a father. The baby is born with an extreme birth defect; I mean it is one of the scariest props ever filmed. To this day, Lynch will not say how the baby was made, it’s that bizarre. Eraserhead, is about the atmosphere and the sympathy for poor Henry, a normal man stuck in an abnormal world. Any prospective parents can relate, as the seeds for the film came from Lynch’s first child and his fear of parenting. The setting perfectly exemplifies the desolate feeling in being a single parent, bringing a child into a cruel world, especially one the parent does not even understand themselves. Lynch is often thought to dwell only in worlds other than our own, far off places in his head the average person could never reach. What he really portrays is the most real, satisfying, and abnormal feelings humans experience. These feelings are just contorted through kaleidoscopes, lenses with which Lynch views his world, showing even in the darkest corner there’s something amongst the shadows. In Lynch’s new film, Inland Empire, this is no different. The story, which he describes as being about a woman in trouble, captures Laura Dern as just that, an actress in a cursed film which slowly becomes her life. Critics have called it difficult, again claiming the film is nothing more than a 3 hour drug induced trip with no purpose. However, if it’s anything like these three films, that could be a very good thing.


In the Mix


From “Big Read,” page 6

From “religion” page 6

From “Potter,” page 8

Americans are not reading much literature               “With the computer age, I think people are getting away from books. But I do think it is fun everyone is getting together to read as a community project,” she said. Sheldon also feels this program will help the County to want to read more literature as a whole. “I think it’s sad. If someone is not reading, they are missing out on so much. The more you read, the more you think, the more you think, the more you are able to develop your own thoughts,” she said. “I love to read. When I have a day off, I go to the bookstore.” For any information on the Big Read visit any of the MCLS library branches and information will be gladly provided.

ets are true, Moses was the greatest prophet and his prophecies are true, the Written Torah and the Oral Torah were given to Moses, there will be no other Torah, God knows the thoughts and deeds of men, God will reward the good and punish the wicked, the Messiah will come, the dead will be resurrected.” 7. Native American-(.05%) The interesting thing about Native American spirituality is they do not view it as a “religion,” but as a seamless and integral way of life. Though there are many different variations of Native American spirituality, they generally tend to promote growth of staple crops and luck in hunt. There is a deep bond with the Earth and Sky and between male and female. 8. Pagan/Neo-pagan-(.1%) The word “pagan” comes from the Latin word “pagani” which means “country-dwelling, nature worshippers.” There are many forms of Paganism, but most, if not all, recognize either a unity of God and Goddess or a multitude of gods and goddesses. One of the most common forms of Neopaganism is Wicca, which embraces the unity between male and female. A common mistake is thinking all Wiccans practice witchcraft which not all do. It is a nature-based polytheistic spirituality which follows the rule, “An ye harm none, do what ye will,” and was founded by Gerald Gardner in the early 1900s as an offshoot of Celtic and early British paganism and is now called Gardnerian Wicca. Hopefully this list has cleared some of the misrepresentations and provided a basic understanding of the world’s many religions, philosophies, and spiritual paths.

Parents are arguing Radcliffe is no longer a suitable role model for their children and some HP enthusiasts are growling that he has single-handedly destroyed the entire HP franchise. Destroyed the franchise? In 1999, a barely 17-year-old Thora Birch bared her breasts in the film American Beauty and underwent the same ridicule and stigma, though to a lesser extent. American Beauty went on to win five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The HP books top the best seller’s charts with every release and fans line up outside Barnes and Noble the night before to get their copy as soon as it hits the stands. Book release parties (complete with costumes and false British accents) and posters for the movies, as well as the films, bombard us with the truth that the fans are loyal. They’ve developed a taste for the story. It is doubtful Radcliffe’s acting choices will actually “destroy” a multi-million dollar franchise. Role models are double-edged swords. A child will choose their role model regardless of what their parents have to say about them. However, outside of Radcliffe’s burst of media focused sexual innuendoes, he remains professional, tasteful, educated, and sweet tempered. He suits the overall feel of the character, and if one person were going to represent the good qualities of Harry, it would be Radcliffe. What people tend to forget, in the midst of their fandom and media ridicule that ‘Harry Radcliffe’ does not exist, it is just a character, some cameras, and a really great script. The nudity, violence, and psychological twists which accompany Radcliffe’s decision to play the part of Alan Strang have left a monumental impact on millions. Where some fans turn their backs, others perk up their ears and let their jaws slack open. Harry Potter in the buff? He is… naked? Blasphemy. The face, character, and role are still exactly the same. The only difference now: when people watch Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix this summer, they will consider Equus and realize he is no longer the bumbling ten-year old we met years ago.

Like music? Movies? Books? Entertainment, in general? Want to talk about them? Check out Agora Editor-in-chief Ashley Braden’s Monroe Blog, ‘So Alive,’ at entertainment/ For more awesome blogs, visit

OOPS! Errors made in this issue will be corrected on our website at http:// www.monroeccc. edu/agora/index. html


March 1, 2007

The 22nd Annual Family Fun Night is scheduled for Friday, March 23 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Each year over 700 community members bring their children to this inexpensive family event. It is a carnival with various games, prizes, clowns, magicians, and various other booths. Come join the fun!

Writing Center hours Monday 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Tuesday 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Wednesday 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Thursday 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. The Writing Center is located in the Learning Assistance Lab (C-218) on the second floor of the Campbell Learning Resource Center. You may drop in, but it is best to make an appointment. The Writing Center offers one-toone tutoring for all Monroe County Community College students. A Writing Fellow will demonstrate strategies for prewriting, drafting, revision, and editing.The feedback you receive can make you a more confident writer. To make an appointment, call: (734) 384-4167 Or email for an appointment at: Email and FAX Tutoring are available in fall and winter semesters only: email directions FAX # - 734-384-4338 A Writing Fellow will respond within 48 hours.

Congratulations Winter 2007 MCCC Foundation Award Recipients

Aquarius (20 January-19 February) – This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius. Postpone all drug-induced trips until after the 12th. Your lucky numbers are: 4561, 23, and 2,000,000.

Field Trip of “BodyWorks” Exhibit in Detroit: A Visceral Experience for Anatomy Students to Dr. Chris Boudrie, adjunct instructor of anatomy and physiology, for an award of $2,140.

Pisces (20 February-20 March) – Put on your nose guard, put on the lifeguard, pass the tanning butter. Your lucky numbers are: 59, -713, 1.

Fall National College Media Convention, Washington, D.C., to Mark Bergmooser, assistant professor of speech, journalism and tae kwon do, for an award of $2,100.

Aries (21 March-20 April) – We don’t have a song lyric for you. Sorry. Your lucky numbers are: 0, -0, 2/3 Taurus (21 April-21 May) – Your bologna has a first name, it’s O-SC-A-R. Your bologna has a second name, it’s M-A-Y-E-R. Your lucky numbers are: 86, 32, 11. Gemini (22 May-22 June) – Feelin’ down and dirty, feelin’ kinda mean. You’ve been from one to another extreme.Your lucky numbers are: 66, 99, 44. Cancer (23 June-23 July) – When you start to scream, that’s when you’ll buy the cream. Your lucky numbers are: 56, 937, 257,411. Leo (24 July-23 August) – Rising up to the challenge of our rival and the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night. Your lucky numbers are: 3333, 6, 862,547. Virgo (24 August-23 September) – You made it through the wilderness; you know, you made it through. Your lucky numbers are: 69, 69, 69. Libra (24 September-23 October) – Boy, you’re going to carry that wait, carry that weight a long time. Your lucky numbers are: 458, 7, 12. Scorpio (24 October-22 November) – Sting you to your rotten bones. Your lucky numbers are: 454/812, 9, 666.

MASS Trip to Toronto, Ontario, to Lori Bean, associate professor biology/chemistry, for an award of $2,100. The Humanities Experience, to Ann Orwin, assistant professor of English, education and journalism, for an award of $2,100. Tour of International Machine Tool and Automation Show by Technology Students at MCCC, to Bob Leonard, instructor of manufacturing technology, and Tom Harrill, assistant professor of electronics and computer technology, award $2,100. MCCC Semester Abroad: Europe 2007, to Dr. Joanna Sabo, professor of political science, and Lauren Van Houten, a sophomore at MCCC majoring in pre-speech/language pathology, for an award of $2,100. Respiratory Therapy Sophomore Team to Compete in the Michigan Society for Respiratory Care Sputum Bowl, to Bonnie Boggs, director of respiratory therapy, award $2,060. MCCC College/Community Band Augmentation, to Mark Felder, director of the College/Community Symphony Band, for an award of $1,500. The Big Read Monroe Film Festival, to Dr. Terry Telfer, professor of English, and Beth Kohler, coordinator of alumni and resource development, for an award of $1,200. Project REACT 4, to Dr. Cindy Riedel, coordinator of the Learning Assistance Lab, for an award of $1,000. Holocaust Memorial Center Visit, to Dr. Terri Kovach, professor, reference/technical services librarian, for an award of $750.

Sagittarius (23 November-22 December) – Cupid got you in a chokehold. Your lucky numbers: 420, 3, 85.

Digital Camera Lens, to Mark Bergmooser, assistant professor of speech, journalism and tae kwon do, for an award of $350.

Capricorn (23 December-19 January) – High on a hill was a lonely goatherd. Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo. Your lucky numbers are: 5, 65,468, -14.

Lunch and Learn at the Whitman Center, to Sandy Kosmyna, director of Whitman Center, for an award of $500.


March 1, 2007



Pick that Professor Look for answers in the next issue of the Agora.




Three: • New here • Working as a guidance counselor for the past year • Lives in Monroe • Attended MCCC as well as Eastern and Central Michigan • Can’t stand rude people • Somewhat of a morning person • 6 feet 1 inch tall • Drives a Ford Mustang to work • A fan of all types of music, excluding rap • Likes to golf, play volleyball, and watch “Real Time” with Bill Maher

One: • Teaches English • Lives in Temperance • Married and has four sons • Hobbies: reading, writing, and collecting John Deere paraphernalia • Attended U of M, Western, and Bowling Green • Teaching classes in the basement is starting to get on his nerves • Students may know him for speaking in a southern dialect and using gestures to teach • Never leaves home without music, especially jazz CD’s


Two: • Teaches science • Lives in Dexter, MI • Married with 2 kids, a boy and a girl • Gets annoyed when students whine or complain about assignments • Enjoys soccer, skiing and traveling • Has been all across Europe • Has been told she talks loudly when teaching and generally paces around the room during class • Drives a Ford Escape to work • Likes to listen to Led Zeppelin • Has been a die hard “Survivor” fan since day one


Five: • Enjoys listening to music • Likes to play the guitar • Has a wide collection of armadillos scattered across his office • Is known for constantly taking his glasses on and off while teaching • Carries a thumb pick with him at all times • When he is not listening to music or teaching English, he is probably watching “Boston Legal” • Drives an SUV to work • Biggest pet peeve with the college is there are not enough student activities Story by Joshua Kraus Photos by Nick Vanderpool

Four: • Has taught a foreign language at the college for 15 years • Married and has a son, whom she talks about in class a lot • Enjoys reading, making jewelry, and playing the violin • Is known for talking fast • Has brown hair, green eyes, and is 5 feet 1 inch tall • Attended both Eastern and Michigan State • Likes the shows “24,” and “Little House on the Prairie”




The Agora staff:

March 1, 2007

melts in your mouth, not in your hand

Brian Ready Assistant Editor

Marjorie Haliburda Copy Editor

Nick Vanderpool Assistant Photo Editor

Chris Slat Copy Editor

Kristin Booth Copy Editor Bethany Younglove Page Editor

Sarah Straub Page Editor

Charlene Hunt Reporter

Alan McKee Reporter Troy White Reporter

Steve Sonoras Copy Editor

Ashley Braden Editor-in-Chief

Tonya Huffman Photo Editor

Lisa Ghigliazza Copy Editor

Josh Kraus Page Editor

Courtney Sisung Copy Editor Patrick Dunn Reporter

Jeffrey Kodysh Reporter

Sarah Wills Page Editor

Gary Knox Reporter

The Agora can be sweet, sugar-coated, milk chocolate candy pieces and so can you. Visit to make yours today. Send in your M&M design to for a chance to be published in one of our upcoming issues.