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It’s My Birthday, I Can Be


I f I Wa n t To P G . 5

Professor Light : A Beacon


Joel Kanitz



Little Nuggets of Entertainment Goodness PG. 22

Of Encouragement P G. 16 Christians P G. 7 In Hollywood





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5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 22 23 24 25 26 27


And Don’t Forget


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meet the staff.


Holiday 2013 • Volume 14 • Issue 2 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Chelsea Hackel


Rebekah Haigh

COPY EDITOR Natalie Redmond Nick Simonis


Joshlyn Booth


Katie Martelle


Sara Beason


Lindsay Baslock


Sarah Roper


Rachel Taylor, Brad Fecteau, Shannon Hendricks, Allyson Huey, Amber Joseph, Madison Kolke, Eston Livingston, Dan Lujan, Philip Powell


Mandi Kuhn, Amber Joseph, Bethany Hagerman, Madison Kolke Between holiday lights, cozy fires that will be keeping us warm this season and spreading joy and light to those around us, it seems the world is aglow this time of year. The Shield decided to run with this idea to create a holiday issue centered on the theme of light. Whether you’re reading about the “Big, Bright Light Show,” Professor Pam Light, ways to “Lighten your Load” or how RC students are being a light in the world, we hope this issue brings a little light to your day. Special thanks to RC students Nick Simonis, Amber Joseph, Sarah Tomkowiak, Madison Hewson and Quamaine Morgan for braving a chilly November night (and even some minor burns!) to capture the sparkler photos, taken by Kayce McClure, on the cover and contents pages.


Lee Xiong, Moni Musial, Rachel Miller, Caroline Huey


Laura Corp Abby Cook Kevin Moore Dan Thomas Seth Michaels Daniel Thomas


Lora Hutson





Liz Fulton Kayce McClure

Carol Cooper

Darren McCullough


This little light (issue) of ours


Welcome to

“It is better to walk with a friend in the


~Helen Keller


Helen Keller suffered from blindness from a very young age. She was unable to see the light of a sunrise, unable to take in the faces of her friends and family, and unable to see colors. She couldn’t watch birds fly. She couldn’t see smiles and tears of joy and God’s creation. Helen’s life consisted of darkness. She lived in her mind, and it must have felt like a cage. There were probably days when she wondered whether her life had any purpose. What can one do trapped in a dark, silent, colorless world with no way of escape and no relief from the strain of trying, trying, trying vainly to see, to hear, to understand? I don’t know about you, but I have had moments like that. I’ve never been blind, and my ears work just fine. I can take in the colors, the smiles and the faces of those around me. I can hear laughter and birds singing.

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photos from google images

photo by chelsea hackel But I have also felt that darkness. See, darkness can also be aloneness. And Helen knew that. She knew the solitary life inside and out, because until her teacher broke through the walls of her cage, Helen was trapped and alone. Her world didn’t make sense to her and no one could explain it, even though they tried. Sometimes our world doesn’t make sense to us either, no matter how hard others try to explain it. But Helen realized something that changed her world, and it should change ours too. When we walk in darkness, we are often alone. But Helen’s teacher was willing to walk that road of darkness with her, and as a result, Helen was able to say that rather than walk alone in the light, she wanted to walk with Annie Sullivan: the one who came into her darkness and brought the light of friendship. Don’t lose hope. It may be a dark road, but we will never walk alone.

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dark than to walk alone in the light.”

More Than A Care Package “Another day in paradise,” said Corporal Mathew Gardner of the U.S. Marine Corps as he walked the battered and thirsty streets of a small town in Afghanistan. It was hot; temperatures frequently rose above 90 degrees in the middle of August. Add the 100 pounds of gear a typical soldier carries with him on a daily basis and the internal temperature skyrockets. After a long, exhausting day out on patrol, Gardner returned to his bunk to find something special waiting for him—a piece of home with the love of his family and friends stuffed inside. This reminder came in the form of a care package sent from the United States. Care packages are filled with non-perishable foods, hygiene products and leisure activity items such as books, cards and magazines. However, just as importantly, they also provide a connection between the hands that prepared the items and the soldier on the other side. “We were surrounded by so much crap out there. It is so easy in the situations that we’re put into to think negatively, but when we saw a box with our name on it from home, that all went away for a little while,” said Gardner. By sending a care package, the sender not only provides for their soldier, but they help the rest of the troop out as well. “Some of the items that are received are never used by that guy. The soldier can throw them in to the community box and some other soldier will pick up that item in seconds,” said Corporal Benjamin Krocket of the U.S. Marine Corps. He adds that some special items are always high in demand. “The letters from my wife and the pictures of my one-year-old daughter that I received in my care packages meant the world to me. Those can never be replaced,” said Krocket. Sending a care package brings the memories of cherished times from home to life. For the loved ones who spend their time and money putting these packages together, every second choosing the items and packing the boxes are cherished. “It makes me feel important. I will do anything to be there for my husband, and even though I can’t be there physically with him, I know that when he receives the packages that I send him, he is thinking of me. Plus, putting these packages together helps me pass the time until he is home in my arms,” said Jessica Gardner. Assembling care packages can be a community effort on bases where the troops and their families live. Significant others, family members and friends of all of the soldiers come together during the process of gathering and shipping the packages. “I get to meet other wives dealing with the same struggles and emptiness that I feel while our husbands are away. I have met many of my current friends through this process,” said Jessica Gardner. As military men and women fight for our country, more than 100,000 of these personal packages are being shipped from all across the country thanks to the U.S. Postal Service. “I still got to be his mom even though he was thousands of miles away fighting for our safety. I felt like I was taking care of him the only way that I could while he was away from me,” said Lori DuLong, Matthew Gardner’s mom. The physical items in these care packages provide only some of the necessities that our military men and women need. It’s important to remember that the feeling of love and connection contained in those packages are qualities that will stay with the soldier long after the provisions run out.

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I Can Be Philanthropic If I Want To

Each year, I eagerly anticipate the coming of my birthday weeks, if not months, in advance. I take great pleasure in thinking about what I’ve done in the past year, by NATALIE REDMOND and I find much hope in dreaming COPY EDITOR about what I will do with my next one. I also look forward to celebrating with family and friends. Holidays of any sort are great excuses to eat way too much cake, and on my birthday, I also get to pick the flavor. On a planet with upwards of seven billion people, however, why do I think my particular birthday worth celebrating? For the most part, I can’t be surprised that I have survived to see my birthday. Clumsy and blockheaded though I may sometimes be, I (thankfully) rarely find myself in life-threatening situations, and I have the good fortune to be in fine health. People of much more importance than I have lived before me, and many of greater influence have yet to be born. With as unexceptional a life as I lead, celebrating my life over anyone else’s seems rather silly. Moreover, receiving gifts merely for continuing my existence seems downright selfish. Perhaps a more universal outlook is called for. To celebrate her 22nd birthday, Hillary Sandlon, a senior at Seton Hall University, came up with a list of 22 random acts of kindness she wanted to do for others. On July 23, she embarked with her best friend and her boyfriend on a five-city, 10-hour tour to celebrate her birthday through such acts as donating blood, bringing donuts to a police station, leaving pennies heads up on the sidewalk, and weeding her grandmother’s yard. Rather than use her birthday as a chance to indulge in gifts and parties, Sandlon instead seized the opportunity to spend the day bringing joy to others. “When we were done, we were in the best mood you could ever imagine,” says Sandlon. “And that’s what I wanted for my birthday. Your birthday is supposed to be a happy day. Making someone else smile makes you want to smile.” On an occasion typically taken to celebrate one’s self, Sandlon instead had the goal of celebrating others. Such selfless goodwill, once undertaken, can begin a chain of effect that begets only more kindness. This generous mentality, more than any birthday, is truly worth celebrating.



It’s My Birthday:


of year he requires his family to eat “typical” American food is during the holidays. The holiday season, for him, is a chance to be a part of a tradition that many American Christians participate in and that he and his family also enjoy. Sophomore Natalie Redmond and her family are Jewish, but they celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah. Her holidays are filled with visiting relatives, opening presents and many other traditional activities. The Messianic tradition, from which Martelle comes, is rooted in both Christian and Jewish faiths. “I use Hanukkah, which is the Festival of Lights, to focus on my Savior, the light of the world,” says Martelle. Her focus may look a little different than opening presents under a Christmas tree, but she doesn’t lose the meaning of the holiday. When asked if any of them ever feel uncomfortable or out of place during the Christmas season, responses varied. “While American society has claimed Christmas as a social holiday as much (or even more than) as a religious one, being at a Christian school during the holidays does sometimes make me feel out of place,” says Redmond. On the other hand, Martelle says she never feels uncomfortable during the holidays and loves the warmth she feels from everyone. Khan also says that his family is perfectly comfortable during the holidays, as they usually

spend them in Orlando, Florida. So, if they don’t celebrate Christmas as mainline Christians, what’s their favorite part of their tradition? Khan enjoys getting to spend the holiday somewhere warm with family. Redmond says her favorite part is decorating the Christmas tree. “During the years when Christmas and Hanukkah coincide, having a menorah at one end of the room and a Christmas tree at the other creates some fun cultural whiplash,” she says. Martelle finds spending time with family is her favorite part of the holidays. Since Hanukkah lasts for eight nights and her family is large, gift giving can sometimes get out of hand, but they make it work. Though Jews don’t have Christmas pageants, Martelle has actually played Antiochus in “Hanukkah: The Musical.” It’s hard to get more into the holiday spirit than that! The holiday traditions of the other two Abrahamic faiths may look different from what Christianity considers traditional, but allowing for religious diversity in your Christmas can actually make your experience richer, deeper and more significant. I challenge you to go outside your comfort zone this Christmas and discover what people do differently, not only all over the world, but in the seat next to you in class. You never know what new, fun and meaningful traditions you can find!



Christmas is a beautiful time of year, both for the fun traditions and for the deeper focus on by ALLYSON HUEY Christ’s birth. Most STAFF WRITER American Christians are accustomed to seeing all sorts of traditions as part of the holidays: Christmas trees, nativity scenes, Christmas pageants and movies such as “Elf.” However, even on our small Christian campus, some students don’t fit into the “typical” American Christian category. Their Christmas celebrations have surprising differences and similarities to mainline traditions. Some, such as senior Katie Martelle, who comes from a Jewish background, do not celebrate Christmas at all. That might sound incredibly sad to some, but her holiday spirit nonetheless remains. “It’s kind of hard not to get pumped up with all the Jewish holidays, especially Hanukkah. But, for me, while other people are opening presents under their trees, I’m at the movies or eating Chinese food,” says Martelle. Other religions, such as Islam, also do not celebrate Christmas. Professor Saeed Khan, a practicing Muslim, says that it is actually disconcerting when Christmas comes, as everything shuts down for the day! However, some similarities remain between faiths. Khan jokes that the one time

Living in the Limelight In the land of the stars, there are a few that shine a little brighter than the rest. Hollywood has a reputation of being filled with alcoholics, wild parties and by RACHEL TAYLOR broken marriages. It is a world STAFF WRITER filled with beautiful people with less than beautiful vices that they turn to under the stress of constantly being in the limelight. For an individual to believe and reflect Christ in this kind of environment is nearly impossible, given the influences that constantly surround them. A few people, however, have remained true to the King and His values despite the beliefs that are pressed upon them in their line of work. Martin Sheen and Denzel Washington are both award-winning actors who have rooted themselves in faith and are not ashamed to shine a genuine light in a sinful part of our world. Martin Sheen returned to his Catholic beliefs after falling deathly ill during filming of “Apocalypse Now.” He credits God alone for the healing and rebuilding of strength that occurred during that time. Denzel Washington grew up as the son of a preacher and has remained rooted in God’s word. “I read from the Bible every day,” said Washington in an October 2012 interview with GQ magazine.

According to Forbes, these two men have a combined net worth of nearly $200 million dollars, but remaining true to their faith regardless of outside influences is priceless. Sheen and Washington are not alone in their Christian beliefs. Debby Ryan is a young actress who frequents the Disney scene and is chasing her own dreams just as much as she is following Christ. When she was younger, Ryan admitted to her parents that God was not an easy concept to accept, and if she was going to answer the call, she needed to do so on her own. With that understanding, Ryan prayed for God to reveal himself to her, and from that moment, she has felt nothing but His presence. Ryan is an energetic actress with an even bigger heart. She has made a big splash in Hollywood by holding Bible studies and intentional prayer in unexpected places. She encourages the Christians around her and attempts to share God’s grace with those who don’t know His name. Just like Washington and Sheen, Ryan is not ashamed to voice the faith that lies within her. She is truly a light and a star that shines with the glory of God. With daily devotion and testimonies of miracles, these three Christians are tried and true lights who remain shining in Hollywood.

A couple years ago there was a controversy involving “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the 1965 Peanuts Christmas special by PHILIP POWELL that airs this time each STAFF WRITER year. The special outlines Charlie Brown’s search for the true meaning of Christmas. In recent airing, a speech given by Linus that details the birth of Jesus as the true meaning of Christmas has been cut short or edited out of the program completely. I understand ABC Network, who currently airs the special, doesn’t want a controversy. However, to me, this decision is a major mistake that destroys the message of the film, and thus destroys the artistic integrity of the special. To understand why removing the speech about the birth of Jesus is such a misguided decision that dilutes the film’s message, let’s examine the major plot points of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” At the beginning of the film, we see a sad and mopey Charlie Brown,

stating that he just can’t seem to get into the Christmas spirit. Everywhere he looks he sees people more concerned about the material elements of Christmas (what presents they will get, winning decorating contests, etc.) Seeking guidance, Charlie Brown visits Lucy for help, and she tells him to become the director of the Christmas pageant. Charlie Brown agrees, but his role as director doesn’t go smoothly. The actors argue over who should play what part, don’t take directions very well and generally seem disinterested in the pageant. This is when Charlie Brown gets an idea; he should buy a Christmas tree to try and get his friends in the mood. However, Charlie Brown buys a small, scrawny-looking tree. When he returns with the tree, all of Charlie Brown’s friends laugh at him for choosing such a pitiful tree. Charlie Brown, now more frustrated than before, screams out, “Arrggh does anyone know the true meaning of Christmas?” At this moment, Linus recites the story of the birth of Jesus. Afterward, Charlie Brown

smiles for the first time in the film, takes his tree and heads home. Unfortunately, Charlie Brown continues to struggle when the decorations weigh his tree down and it tips over. When all hope seems lost, Charlie Brown’s friends show up. Seeing the tree in a new light, they decorate it and everyone celebrates their newfound Christmas spirit. If you remove Linus’s speech about Christ, the film still has a happy ending, but one with less weight. Without the speech from Linus, Charlie Brown’s friends helping decorate the tree is simply an act of pity. The film clearly feels there should be a higher purpose behind giving at Christmas time. We are reciprocating a gift we can never fully repay—the birth, life and sacrifice of Jesus. Christmas joy comes from looking beyond ourselves and the material world to see the light we have been given by Christ our Savior. We should use this light to transform ourselves and the world. When Linus’s speech about Jesus is removed, this message is lost, and with it the true meaning of Christmas.


A Charlie Brown Christmas: Without Christ?





Here’s a brainteaser for you: how can someone be “IN the world, but not OF it”? For a biblical mandate, this sounds pretty vague. Most people interpret “in, not of” as a command to be different. Yet, being “different” can mean anything from wearing a head covering and a jean jumper to dying your hair purple and walking to class on your hands. No wonder

there’s confusion. For many Christians, being “in, not of” means drawing a line in the sand to divide us from “them.” Don’t drink. Don’t swear. Don’t listen to non-Christian music. Don’t go to that party, and don’t even consider dating (heaven forbid!). However, this attitude is exactly the opposite of Jesus’ command to be a light to the world. So if “in, not of” isn’t a line in the sand, then what is it? The Bible tells us of one particular fellow who was an expert at this whole “in, not of” concept. Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers and spent most of his adult life in Egypt’s utterly foreign culture and society. Egyptians worshiped a myriad of gods, wore very little clothing and had distinct social strata that severely looked down on foreigners, including Hebrews like Joseph. Talk about culture shock. As a slave, Joseph had two options: blend in or work in the gold mines for the next 30 years. Yet we don’t see Joseph piously walking around in his Hebrew robes, refusing to shave his beard or telling off the Egyptians for their bizarre pantheon of gods. (If he did, he would have been in the dungeon much sooner, I’m sure). So how was Joseph IN Egypt and yet not OF it? The Bible tells us Joseph was so successful in Egypt that he was made Potiphar’s Chief Steward and, after a brief rough spot in an Egyptian jail, was made Tate by the Pharaoh, which made him the second-most-powerful man in the known world. These positions were supposed to be totally inaccessible to a “barbarian” Hebrew, no matter how great his people skills. Joseph,

however, had shaved his beard, donned a kilt and put kohl around his eyes. According to the Biblical account, Joseph was comfortable throwing an Egyptian party and even married the daughter of a priest. In other words, Joseph no longer looked like a Hebrew. In fact, Joseph became so Egyptian that, when his brothers finally saw him again, they didn’t recognize him. Yet, while Joseph may have maintained an Egyptian’s appearances, his actions were not OF the world because Joseph was living by a different rulebook. When Joseph’s 10 brothers came seeking grain for their starving families, he could have turned them away empty-handed. He could have executed them; after all, they had tried to murder him. He could have even made them slaves as they made him a slave. If he had done any of these things, nobody would have raised an eyebrow. After all, Joseph deserved a bit of vengeance. But Joseph, though living IN the world, was not OF it. Joseph forgave his brothers, saved them and their families, and gave them the best property in Egypt. Joseph’s actions became history’s ultimate example of what it means to forgive. The answer to the riddle of “in, not of” isn’t wearing a coat of many colors, rocking an “I love Jesus” shirt at an atheist convention, refusing to shave your beard in a clean-shaven society or even dying your hair purple. Nope. “In, not of” is about being a part of your world and culture while never forgetting that God’s kingdom has a different rulebook. It’s about dual-citizenship, living OF God’s world while living IN our world. It’s about going the extra mile, turning the other cheek, loving your enemies, giving back good when you receive evil and forgiving those who don’t deserve forgiveness. To be “in, not of” is to live in this world while living by a different rulebook all together. Riddle solved.




“Great truths cannot be suppressed… they are like the sun.” -RABBI ISAAC LICHTENSTEIN Imagine growing up in a world that hated everything about you, by REBEKAH HAIGH where being stoned as a child was ASSOCIATE EDITOR commonplace and where Christians were the face of racism and injustice. This was the world of Rabbi Isaac Lichtenstein, an Orthodox Hungarian Jew. It is no wonder that when Lichtenstein was once shown a New Testament, he confiscated it and threw it into a dusty corner, where it would remain for 40 years. After all, for a Jew, Christ represented a dark, hateful world. However, some lights cannot be suppressed, no matter how dark the darkness. In April 1882, the disappearance of a Hungarian teenage girl fueled national anti-Semitism, and Christians falsely accused their Jewish brothers of ritualistic murder. Though the accusation proved false, pogroms raged across Hungry. Horrified by this violence and hatred, Lichtenstein pulled out that forgotten copy of the New Testament to learn of the Christ these people proclaimed: yet he found something entirely unexpected. “I had thought the New Testament to be impure, a source of pride, of overweening selfishness, of hatred, of the worst kind of violence. But as I opened it, I felt myself peculiarly and wonderfully taken possession of…I looked for thorns and gathered roses…instead of hatred, love; instead of vengeance, forgiveness; instead of bondage, freedom… instead of enmity, conciliation; instead of death, life, salvation, resurrection, heavenly treasure,” writes Lichtenstein in his collation, “The Everlasting Jew.” Lichtenstein had found his messiah. In the following years, Lichtenstein continued to officiate as the district rabbi. In 1884, he shocked his community by revealing his allegiance to Jesus as Messiah. “My testimony for the Messiah seems so simple, common, and obvious that if I kept silent about it the rocks would cry out. It overwhelms me,” said Lichtenstein. His community loved him and refused to call for his removal. Yet, outside the community, he came under severe fire by both Jews and Christians. Christians wanted him to

forsake his Jewishness, and Jews wanted him to give up Christ. He refused to do either. “Does not Christ belong to the Jews?” he asked a Christian friend. Lichtenstein and his family suffered great social persecution, were labeled as apostates and sank into poverty. Lichtenstein’s older brother disowned him, and the rabbi’s promising oldest son died tragically at age 28. The Christian community increased the heat, demanding Lichtenstein’s conversion. Yet despite all his troubles, he continued to teach both Torah and Christ in his synagogue, bringing many to the Messiah. In his writings, Lichtenstein attacked Christians who did not live as Christ, and Jews who reviled him for believing in Christ yet themselves failed to live holy lives. In 1892, Lichtenstein stepped down from his position at the synagogue, suffering poor health and desiring greater freedom to proclaim the Gospel. He continued to teach of a Jewish messiah, though persecution followed him. Once, someone even paid a barber to humiliate the rabbi by shaving off his beard. “When we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; when we are slandered, we try to conciliate,” said Lichtenstein, quoting 1 Corinthians 4:12-13. On October 16, 1908, Lichtenstein passed away in his home at the age of 83. “Goodnight, my children; goodnight my enemies, you can injure me no more. We have one God and One Father of all who are called children in heaven and on earth, and one Messiah who gave up his life on the cursed tree for the salvation of men. Into thy hands I commend my spirit,” he said as his last words. The 19th century was an era of smoldering antiSemitism, a dark age just waiting for Hitler’s armies to erect barbed fences between Christian and Jew. Yet Lichtenstein stood as a light. For Christians and Jews, he demonstrated the true face of the Messiah. Not a Messiah who reviled his people for their identity, but a Messiah who embraced his Jewishness. Not a Messiah of hate or violence, but one of love and salvation. Truly, Lichtenstein was a light in an age of darkness.


To See a Great Light



A Bright History


Each Christmas, downtown Rochester is lit up by thousands of light strands. This event is called the “Big Bright Light Show,” and was started in 2006 by BETH HAGERMAN as a way to bring holiday cheer STAFF WRITER into the downtown area. It spans the entire holiday season, running from Dec. 2 to Jan. 5. The display has continued to expand and is now known as the largest light display in the Midwest. Every year, the “Big Bright Light Show” attracts hundreds of people eager to start the Christmas season with a bang. There are celebrations, Santa look-alike contests, carolers and more. With opportunities to drink hot chocolate and check out the stores downtown, there seem to be few reasons not to go check out this event. This light show is a formative part of Rochester Hills’ identity. We all have a unique opportunity be a part of the formation of this city. The lights and activities are all pieces of a larger picture. The history of Rochester is still being developed. The city is younger than most of our parents. Its traditions and legacy are still in formative stages, which is what makes special events like the lighting of downtown so cool. Each year the town is lit up, a bit of history is made. What is even more amazing is the humble way in which Rochester Hills was settled. In 1817, the first settler, James Graham, made this region his home and by 1835, Avon Township had formed. The area grew quickly, but it was not until 1967 that Rochester became an independent city. At a ripe old age of 46, each event Rochester hosts gets written in the history books. Becoming part of Rochester Hills’ history can be as easy as attending events like the “Big Bright Light Show.” Your participation in this holiday cheer contributes to the continuation of downtown Rochester’s newest, brightest tradition.


In a strange twist of events, the first night of Hanukkah 2013 began on Nov. 27—which was also my birthday, just so you all know—and, therefore, coincided with Thanksgiving, which was on Nov. 28. I admit that writing this article after lamenting by KATIE MARTELLE about people who start decorating for Christmas OPINIONS EDITOR right after Halloween seems a bit hypocritical. But, hey, it’s not my fault that my menorahs, white and blue lights, glittery tablecloths and dreidel window clings were up before I even started thinking about the Pilgrims. I can’t control the ever-changing Jewish lunar calendar that doesn’t match up with the modern Gregorian calendar. Blame Julius Caesar. What’s pretty cool is that these holidays, both traditional celebrations, albeit from different cultures, will not coincide again for another 79,000 years. The last time this crossover occurred was in 1888. Families across America took advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by combining the names of the two holidays into one, creating the portmanteau “Thanksgivukkah.” (Seriously? Isn’t “Hanukkah” hard enough to pronounce already? Who decided adding more syllables was a good idea?) Some traditions that people invented for this crazily named holiday include pumpkin doughnuts, substituting latkes (potato pancakes) for mashed potatoes and deep-frying the turkey. However, I’m not sure I like the idea of combining the two holidays into one. After all, both Hanukkah and Thanksgiving commemorate different events from history. Thanksgiving remembers the Pilgrims and their journey to the new world, their struggles after arriving and the help they received from the Native Americans. Hanukkah originated in remembrance of the Jewish temple’s rededication after King Antiochus IV had previously desecrated the sacred building. During the ceremony, the miracle of the oil occurred: there was only enough oil to keep the menorah burning for one day, but it burned for eight. I understand the thought-process behind combining traditions from the two holidays, but where do we draw the line? Should we start blending the stories as well? Once upon a time, the Maccabees and Pilgrims were fighting about whether sweet potatoes are really good or actually disgusting; after a battle that involved the two sides flinging gravy and oil at each other, the Pilgrims overthrew the Maccabees and rededicated Plymouth Rock by sacrificing a pumpkin pie and then the green bean casserole lasted for eight days (because who even likes that dish, anyway?) Also, a little-known fact about William Bradford is that his middle name was Maccabee! No, I’m not sure this works. Besides, we don’t combine Christmas and Hanukkah together when their dates intersect. THAT would be something to see! I can just imagine Chrismukkah, a time when we hang tinsel and dreidels from our Hanukkah bushes and baste our Christmas ham with oil. (Well, okay, it couldn’t be ACTUAL ham; that wouldn’t be kosher. I suppose we could use a turkey ham or something…that would be handy, as it ties Thanksgiving into the mix, as well! Thankschrismukkah!) Regardless of how, or even which, holidays are celebrated, spending quality time with family, friends and loved ones is still most important. I’m pretty sure even Antiochus and the Maccabees would agree on that point (after they stopped trying to kill each other, that is.)


Let’s move on to tattoos. If you look around campus, you’re sure to spot somebody with at least one tattoo. Leviticus 19:28 addresses tattoos directly, saying, “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.” Clearly, this verse directly states that both piercings and tattoos are sins against God. However, many often overlook the fact that shortly before addressing tattoos and piercings, clothing is addressed in Leviticus. Leviticus 10:6 reads, “…Do not let your hair become unkempt and do not tear your clothes, or you will die and the LORD will be



angry with the whole community.” Leviticus 19:19 tells us not to wear clothing made of more than one fabric or grow a variety of crops in the same field. Leviticus 19:27 forbids us from shaving or cutting our hair. So if tattoos are sinful, then by association so are piercings, ripped jeans, bad haircuts, your new shirt from American Eagle, beards and farms. In my opinion, these laws were made for an ancient society and hold little to no sway in modern society. In regards to profanity, the Bible addresses language in Ephesians 4:29 when it reads, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths....” But are swear words to be considered

absolutely unwholesome? You’re free to make your own call regarding that, but I believe not. The second part of the same verse instructs us to talk in ways that benefit others, according to their ways. What this means to me is that context plays a large role in deciding if swearing is unwholesome or not. Ultimately, each individual must decide whether he or she believes these behaviors to be sinful or not. When used carefully, though, I think a Christian’s indulgence of such practices can actually further God’s kingdom. Connecting with people in environments in which they’re comfortable can sometimes be the best way of getting through to them. 1 Corinthians 9:1923 says, “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” The apostle Paul writes that it’s good practice to become like those you are ministering to, so that you might be able to relate to them and lead them closer to Christ. Once again, I’m not advocating the consumption of cigarettes or alcohol, or the indulgence of profanity or tattoos; I’m merely saying that if you’re involved with one (or even all) of these things, do so in a way that furthers His kingdom. Do so in a way that causes others not to stumble in their faith, but to grow in it. Don’t smoke to relieve stress. Don’t drink to forget your problems. Don’t swear to put others down. Don’t get tattoos to stand out. If you want to do any of these things at all, do so in a way that builds healthy relationships and honors God.

The views expressed in the following article represent the views of myself, Brad Fecteau, and do not necessarily by BRAD FECTEAU represent those of, nor STAFF WRITER should they be attributed to, The Shield or Rochester College. Unless you agree with me. Then they can be yours, too. How do you feel about alcohol? How do you feel about cigarettes? Tattoos? Profanity? If you’re like a lot of people here at Rochester College, you probably feel that these things have no place in a Christian setting. You would probably even describe these things as sinful. This article is not an endorsement for alcohol, cigarettes, tattoos or drinking; it is merely a defense for Christians who do these things. Though somebody might indulge in behaviors commonly regarded as “risqué,” I still believe they can be great Christians and messengers of the word of God. Let’s start out with alcohol and cigarettes. Many Christians, when preaching against these substances, refer to 1 Corinthians 6:19:. The passage says: “Don’t you know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit? The Spirit is in you. You have received him from God. You do not belong to yourselves.” This verse asserts that our bodies are temples of the Lord and that we should keep them “clean” because they are his. Cigarettes and alcohol are unhealthy, so surely we’re sinning against God because we’re putting bad stuff into our bodies, right? But what about Big Macs, Triple Quarter Pounders with Cheese, Snickers, waffles or ice cream? Those are unhealthy, so are we sinning against God if we consume those, too? I think the message of this verse should be taken less literally. What’s being said in this verse is that we should not harm ourselves because these behaviors ultimately harm God. Though these substances can be abused, in moderation, I don’t think cigarettes or alcohol are directly sinful by nature.


The Upside-Down Christmas Tree Everyone is familiar with the Christmas tree. For many, it is one of the most treasured symbols of the Christmas holiday. What most may not by ALLYSON HUEY know, however, is that the STAFF WRITER Christmas tree’s history is not as straightforward (or right side up) as one may think. The story of the beloved holiday decoration starts in the seventh century, in a place called Thurgia, Germany. There, a missionary named St. Bonafice worked with the people and tried to explain the trinity. To help explain the concept to a mostly pagan people, Bonafice used the triangular shape of the fir tree as an example of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Soon, many started calling it “God’s tree.” But this tree was not set upright! In Europe, it soon became the custom to hang the tree upside down from the ceiling so it could be more easily

distinguished as a Christian symbol. However, the meaning behind the upside-down Christmas tree changed over the years. Many Christians began to think that pointing the tree downwards was a sign of contempt, purposely pointing away from heaven. Ironically, because of the misunderstanding, the upside-down tree actually was used as a sign against Christianity. However, the upside-down tree is coming back in style and not for anti-Christian reasons. Many find the upside-down tree intriguing; it frees up floor space and is edgy and different. Overall, the Christmas tree has made quite the transition: from an upside-down Christian symbol, to a right side up one, and then to a fashion statement. Whether you like your tree right side up or upside down, take some time to think about where the Christmas tree came from, the symbolism behind it and be aware of an old but soon to be returning tradition!


I was in a bookstore the other day, and as I picked out my books, I saw a man who was buying several dozen. by SARAH ROPER The workers helping him EXPRESSIONS EDITOR asked what he planned to do with all of the books. Was he giving them away as Christmas gifts? The man said that he would be giving them away for “Xmas.” “That’s not how it works,” I thought. Xmas isn’t Christmas. So where does the term come from? I did some research and found that X is the Greek letter chi, which is the first letter in Χριστός, Christ’s name. The abbreviation Xmas has actually been in use for hundreds of years. Xmas is not a secular term; Christians have used it throughout history. It turns out that even if someone wants to use Xmas to keep Christ out of Christmas, doing so is impossible. So why was my first reaction to hearing “Xmas” one of indignation? Too often, people brush over Christ as they celebrate Christmas. “Happy Holidays” is a secular term that addresses all the holidays that fall within December, not just Christmas specifically. Christians find this offensive because it takes the focus off Christ, but we often do this ourselves as well. The modern Christmas celebration is

largely focused around gifts, both receiving and giving. Countering this tradition, outcries always erupt around Christmas as people protest materialism and promote giving to others. Christians talk about how Jesus is the greatest gift of all and how we ought to give to others in remembrance of God’s gift to us. Yet often, even by Christians, Christ is left out of the “true meaning of Christmas.” He is the greatest gift, but we focus instead on giving to others and spending time with family. Giving and family traditions are good, but why do they trump Christ? Without Christ, what is Christmas? “Giving to others” too often means buying someone else an expensive present, hoping the favor will be returned. Or perhaps a family spends Christmas Day serving at a soup kitchen rather than opening their own presents. While serving others and giving are worthy actions for a Christian, they are meaningless without Christ. A homeless person may receive a warm coat and a hot meal on Christmas day, but only earthly needs have been met. The gift of Christ is eternal, and that gift changes everything we do. Jesus is the reason for the season: we’ve all heard the saying before. But have we ever stopped to think about it? Without Jesus, would we be celebrating Christmas? We might be celebrating some

winter solstice festival or maybe a Hallmark holiday, but would we have a season of giving to others without Jesus’s example? And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” -Luke 2:10-11 The joy of Christ is for the whole world, and our mission as Christians is to share that joy. Giving the joy of salvation to another is the most important gift we can give for Christmas. Don’t take Christ out of Christmas. Put him in the center.


Finding Christ in Christmas



bright BE MERRY +


God wants us to ask Him questions: hard questions, painful questions and even seemingly obvious questions.


For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. -Eph. 5:8-11 This passage draws a curtain between darkness and light, separating the two and signifying opposite sides of a scale. Paul tells his readers that the word darkness once defined them. But now, Christ has entered their lives and they are defined by a different word: light. What does it mean to be defined by light? This passage explains the answer in a straightforward manner. First, to live as a child of light means to bear fruit: not just any fruit but the fruit that comes from light. Think of “light” as the presence of God. Once we were in darkness, separated from the presence of God, but now we are in both the light and the presence of God. The presence of God in our lives should cause us to act differently than we did when we were in darkness. This is what it means to bear fruit. Second, the passage tells us what kind of fruit we should be bearing: goodness, righteousness and truth. To bear the fruit of these things means that when someone looks at our lives, they see our actions and can define them by these terms. This does not mean that we make no mistakes. It means we rely on the strength of God to help us bear the fruit of light. No one is good, righteous or truthful on his or her own. Third, we are to find out what pleases the Lord. The best way to do this is, of course, to ask. God wants us to

ask Him questions: hard questions, painful questions and even seemingly obvious questions. Prayer is more than just giving God a list of things we want or need. It is interaction and dialogue. The more time we spend dialoguing with God, the more we will understand His voice. Another aspect of finding out what pleases the Lord is to search His word. Scripture is full of statements about God and the things that please Him. How do you get to know what makes your best friend or significant other happy? You spend time with them. It is the same way with God. Fourth, we are to have nothing to do with the deeds of darkness. This is an imperative, wherein God commands those who are children of light to no longer participate in anything associated with their old lives. Remember, darkness equals the absence of God’s presence. Therefore, the deeds of darkness are anything that is separate from God, and we should never get involved with something that takes us away from God. Not only will this weaken our own faith, but it can also be detrimental to the faiths of others near to us. Living as children of light comes with a responsibility to our brothers and sisters. A few verses later in this chapter, Paul continues encouraging the Ephesians by reminding them to live carefully. Living carefully also means living intentionally. Children of light think about their actions and words and measure them by the proper standard. Drawing comparisons among friends and peers is very easy, but we need to remember that the only standard we should be measuring ourselves by, if we are children of light, is Jesus Christ. Keep shining.


of Light

RC Students Serve As

LIGHTS TO THE NATIONS “I just want to serve God,” says Snyder. She is leaving the rest of her plan up to the Creator. Brandon Anderich, freshman, has taken advantage of mission opportunities with Rochester Church of Christ’s youth group, including a reoccurring outreach trip near Cincinnati, Ohio. While there, the group offered prayer and a meal to impoverished families in the community and spent time with kids at a local Christianbased community center. There, Anderich became personally attached to the children. “I wanted to have an impact on them,” says Anderich. Anderich wishes to do more for the children in Ohio and is anxiously waiting for his chance to return next summer and continue to shine God’s light into the lives of little ones. Hannah Kwiecinski, junior, had a similar experience when she traveled to Belize for a mission trip in 2010. She says she loved “just being in a different culture and working with kids who were so happy.” Despite language barriers, Kwiecinski was able to encourage a shy young boy to participate in the worship that was offered by her church every night. Once he did join in on the fun, she says, “it built a friendship that led the two of us to be completely inseparable the rest of the week.” Even though she has also been to Detroit and Wisconsin with her church, she confesses that Belize “was a completely different world we stepped into.” Stepping into uncertainty can be a terrifying commitment, but it is one that has created opportunities for Kwiecinski and many other students at Rochester College to share the light of Christ. Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. —Matthew 5:16 Thanks to bold acts of faith by multiple students at Rochester, God has been glorified both near and far, and his light continues to shine in all corners of the globe.


When Jesus sent out his 12 disciples, he both warned them of the dangers to come on the battlefields of faith and reassured them they would be taken care of at all times. They were given the words to speak during by RACHEL TAYLOR the times they were tested and had the power to STAFF WRITER drive out demons and heal the sick. They were filled with the help of the spirit, and this was a gift that was heaven-sent and Earth-tested. Christ says in Matthew 10:8, “Freely you have received; freely give.” Even though the Gospels were composed many, many years ago, Christians today are still called to share the good news of Christ. As Christians, we are encouraged to step outside our comfort zones and pursue conversation and action that will lead others to a faith that knows no boundaries. Choosing to go on a mission trip is no easy decision. Many financial, spiritual and physical obstacles must be overcome before an individual can set out to serve Christ. Despite these instances of adversity, many Rochester College students have still chosen to leave behind the comforts of home and serve God’s people around the world. Senior Sarah Snyder has been to Mexico, Turkey, Nicaragua, New York City and Kyrgyzstan. Her first adventure was to Mexico with her family when she was seven-years-old, and she has since returned with her church to the same location five years in a row. During her time there, Snyder has helped build an orphanage and handed out food and supplies to local families. Snyder’s most recent prayer and fundraising efforts led her to the heart of Oklahoma where she was able to assist with disaster relief after June’s tornado disasters. This trip led Snyder to realize this is the kind of element she wants to thrive in for the rest of her days. Committing to a life of servanthood is both terrifying and exciting, but Snyder is well prepared.





With “being a light” as the theme of this Shield issue, interviewing English professor Pamela Light is a clear choice. She is more than just a radiant name, however; she is also one of the brightest professors on Rochester’s campus. by KATIE MARTELLE Anyone who has ever had a class with her OPINIONS EDITOR can testify to the love, care and warmth she has toward all of her students. Light’s past education history is quite impressive; she triple majored during her undergrad work at the University of Arkansas and finished her bachelor’s degree in Michigan at Oakland University. From OU, she also attained her master’s degree in English with a concentration in romantic poets. Light says her love of knowledge started at quite a young age. “I was always reading at home,” says Light. “My parents always complained that their kids read ‘too much.’ They would tell me to go outside to play and I would read a book on the swing set.” She says she loved learning in high school, so it was natural that she would go on to further her education and become involved in teaching. Light began teaching at Rochester College nearly 16 years ago. “And I’ve never left!” she says. “There’s something about Rochester College; the students have a value system that makes them good people, and they feel serious about what they’re learning. I’ve taught at enough places to know you can’t take that for granted.” Her passion for both teaching and for her students is clearly seen in her teaching style. Light says she tries to nurture a classroom environment where students can think and discuss ideas. “The classes where we are trying to answer a question together are the best classes for me,” says Light. “I love when students put their heads together and explore; I want them to think independently. I love when there is a spirit of exploration and students are asking questions


rather than just finding answers.” Chelsea Hackel, senior, says she loves the approach Light takes with her classes. “One of the things I like best about [Professor Light] is that she’s not afraid to think outside of the box and do things differently,” says Hackel. “I also love how excited she gets when we come up with ideas on our own. She loves letting us think about new ideas and ways of doing things.” In addition to teaching, Light is actively involved in Ex Libris, a group for creative writers on campus that fosters community and participation in writing, as well as Blackberry Winter, the yearly literary publication that showcases creative work from both students and faculty. “Professor Light is such a creative person, and I love being able to learn and participate in her classes,” says Hackel. “As a writer, having a professor who appreciates creativity is so valuable!” When asked what her favorite class to teach is, Light could not settle on an answer; she loves teaching everything from Film Appreciation to Creative Writing to World Literature. “They’re all my favorite classes!” she exclaimed and then paused to laugh. “How can you make that sound less cheesy? Truly, though, all of my classes are my favorite classes because they’re all about my students.” This is seen in whatever class a student takes with Light. Hackel sums it up best: “I love her because she loves us. She really cares about our lives.” Classes with Light are guaranteed to not only be an educational adventure but also an inspiring time. She is a motivating professor who is lively without fail and looks at the world through rose-colored glasses. And I mean that both figuratively and literally. Have you seen her pink specs?!



Cathryn Mankiewicz

Alexander Ball

“Hey What is that? Like... albino broccoli or something...?” Me: “Uh, Cauliflower...? Haha!”

Almost got sprayed by a skunk walking down to get the basketball jerseys from the gym -feeling Blessed

#deadserious #forgotAboutCauliflower -with Nick Rossetti

Mercedes Hostetler

Emily Polet-Monterosso

Walking down the hallway at work and I hear one of my residents singing to his wife... You are as bald as can be but you are still pretty to me! You are really old now but I love you more than a cow! Made my whole day lol :)

I am thankful how God has worked, is working and will continue to work to redeem the world and everyone who has ever lived.

Monday Like Comment

Samuel Berry *Jesus at the bar* “I’ll Just have a water” *Winks at the camera*

a few seconds ago Like Comment


Thursday Like Comment

1 day ago Like Comment

Robert Williams It’s always nice knowing that you have your friends behind you no matter what’s going on. I can’t tell you how much it means to me

6 hours ago Like Comment

Compiled by Bethany Hagerman. The Shield prints Facebook statuses as they appear when posted. To see yourself in the ”What’s New on Facebook?” recap next issue, become a fan of The Shield Online.


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JUST Today, I changed a light bulb, crossed the road and walked into a bar. Then I realized: my life is a joke. by NATALIE REDMOND I spend an awful lot COPY EDITOR of my life feeling foolish. From making social faux pas to answering questions wrong in class to being a clumsy son-of-a-gun, opportunity for embarrassing failure is everywhere. I know, however, that I can’t possibly be the only one who feels this way. Since these feelings of awkwardness are universal, I propose we figure out how to embrace them. Too often, people become hung up with looking their best to impress others and strive to present to the world an airbrushed picture of themselves: sans faults, idiosyncrasies or preferences. We like to think (or at least we

would like others think) that we are perfect. Well, I’ve watched “Black Swan,” and the pursuit of perfection didn’t work out so well for Nina. Finding the hardships in life is easy. Turn on your TV to any news channel. Read any book considered “classic literature.” (If the author’s last name is Russian, bonus tragedy points!) Focus on how weird your feet smell or how strange your face feels or how odd your outfit looks today. No one can be blamed for feeling overwhelmed by how intimidating the world seems when viewed through such a lens. Pessimism, as a culture, is our default system and not without ample reason. Our inadequacies, if we cared to count them, are undoubtedly numerous. To be able to find the humor in situations, therefore, is a perspective that must be learned, but I contest that making this change

is immensely helpful. Being able to laugh off a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable brings relief to onlookers who have also had that same experience. Remarking to someone how insecure you feel elicits a sympathetic “Me, too!” more often than it does a “Hah! Sucks to suck!” At moments where one can face hardship or embarrassment with laughter and grace, the people around that individual can also breathe sighs of relief. Just as tragedies are rooted in what English majors love to call “aspects of the human condition,” great comedies also spring from such themes. Humor unites people. Through laughter, we break through the walls we put up to keep the harshness of the world out, and we discover that life is richer when we experience it together.


To be honest, when I used to think of optimism, I thought of people who dream of unicorns jumping over rainbows. People who never stop smiling or telling you that “Everything will work; you’ll see.” For a pessimist like me, appreciating or understanding that perspective is hard. Yet here by LAURA CORP STAFF WRITER I am, writing an article on optimism, because some part of my mind told me to volunteer for it. I experimented by being optimistic for a week to see the changes it made to my happiness level, my stress level and my interactions with others. While I wasn’t able to be perfectly optimistic the entire week, I noticed several changes when I was. I discovered that when negative things happen, I get worked up photo by Cathryn Mankiewicz about them for hours on end. I act as if every little setback is the end of the world. However, during my week of optimism, I found myself taking a breath, going to God in prayer and immediately working toward a solution. If I believed that things were going to work out, then there was no point in dwelling on my frustration or others’ wrongdoings. I just needed to move on. This made my stress level decrease considerably, and I found myself able to get tasks done quicker. I even had time to have a social life for

the first time this year. (Weird, right?) Throughout the week of my experiment, I found that optimism does not mean having an exorbitant amount of energy 24/7 or that I could never stop smiling. Instead, optimism is defined in the dictionary as “the belief that good ultimately predominates over evil in the world.” Upon reading the definition and trying to be optimistic for a few days, it is now hard for me to understand how a Christian could be anything but optimistic. Optimism is having confidence in God’s plan for us and knowing that things may not go the way we intend them to but that God will make a way for us to serve him and be happy. When I started the week, I could not comprehend why anyone would ever want to practice optimism. I thought their dreams would be continually crushed. Along the way, however, I discovered that optimism is a way to follow God and live a stress-free, successful life. Even in the midst of tripping off my porch, having plans fall through for Student Government, spilling a melted candle all over my dorm room, hitting my head on my bed hard enough to leave a giant lump and having a ridiculous amount of homework, I was able to see the good in my week. I learned that negative events will not ruin my life, and that things will always get better.


Mission Optimism: The Pessimistic Perspective

The Real

Santa Claus

THE MOST FAMOUS REINDEER OF ALL We know Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and etcetera, but do we recall the most famous red-nosed reindeer of all? We sing a song in honor of him every year, but do we ever take time to pull meaning from Rudolph’s story? The most that we generally pick by MADISON KOLKE up is something about Monopoly and going down in STAFF WRITER history like George Washington. At the heart of Rudolph’s story, however, is that he saved Christmas by being a light. Rudolph’s nose, which once embarrassed him and had others calling him names, was suddenly the source of great pride. We,

Of course, St. Nicholas could not fly and didn’t actually travel the world himself. However, the story of St. Nicholas’s kindness did spread all around the world and traditions were made around him. Dec. 6 soon became known as St. Nicholas Day, and in the 12th century, French nuns began to set candy and gifts outside the doors of children in need. This tradition spread quickly through Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland and England. It also took root across most of Northern Europe, spreading as far east as Romania. If I still haven’t won you over with the real St. Nicholas’s story, then you need to hear about the three condemned innocents. In the early 300s AD, when Constantine was Emperor, the empire was not a peaceful place. During times of unrest, soldiers were sent to break up disputes that disturbed the peace. On one of these occasions, the soldiers were on shore leave and St. Nicholas was sent to settle the problems. When St. Nicholas arrived, he was told that three innocent men were going to be put to death. St. Nicholas ran to the site where the men were going to be killed and fearlessly grabbed the sword of the executioner, throwing it to the ground. The three men were set free and St. Nicholas sought to have the charges against them cleared. St. Nicholas was a great man who loved Jesus and tried to spread light wherever he could. He managed to go as far as Romania, and Santa Claus eventually picked up the rest of the way. So before you write Santa on the naughty list, look at the real saint behind the myth.

too, hide things about ourselves so that others will not see them and have the chance to make fun of us. Before Santa came along, Rudolph was so troubled by his appearance that he even took to covering his nose with dirt to try and keep the light hidden. Matthew 5:15 says, “Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under a bushel, but on a stand; and it shines unto all that are in the house.” In other words, when Rudolph finally let his nose be shown, he found a great purpose for his unusual gift. Coming across Rudolph and his amazing light, Santa was overjoyed by his appearance; he then asked Rudolph to guide his sleigh so that Christmas could continue. Far too often, we cover up our light because we are afraid of being unique. We’d much rather blend into the background with everyone else as long as it means we will be accepted the right away. What we fail to see is when we cover ourselves up, we are not only hiding our light, but also the light of God that shines through us. If we just think about our lights in that sense, then who are we to cover them up? Just like Rudolph’s red nose that was there to light the way, we must be there to light the way for others.


Most of you have already been told by your parents that Santa Claus does not exist. While in present day this may be true, good ole’ St. Nick actually happens to be a prominent figure in Christmas’ history. You are probably thinking, “OK sure, a chubby, redby MADISON KOLKE suited guy with a magic sleigh? Go ahead and pull my STAFF WRITER other leg!” However, there truly is a man behind the ho-ho-hoing. Before we knew him as present-day Santa, people in the 4th century called him Saint Nicholas. St. Nicholas was the bishop of Myra, which is a city on the southern Mediterranean seacoast of what is now Turkey. He was a lover of the poor, a patron saint of children and an ideal picture of what a Christian should be. St. Nicholas showed his devotion to God by spreading kindness and generosity to those in need, whereas our Santa Claus seems to give his gifts only to the wealthy. If you just peel back the layers, though, our Santa is the same as Myra’s St. Nicholas, as they both model true giving and faithfulness. In this day and age, many Christian parents have decided not to partake in the “Santa tradition” with their children because they feel it leaves out the reason for the season: the birth of Jesus Christ. While it may be that our Santa does not effectively cover that aspect of Christmas, St. Nicholas had Jesus at the center of his life, ministry and entire existence. With this in mind, why not celebrate Christmas with St. Nicholas? He is all that and a bag of presents! Speaking of presents, you might be wondering how a saint got mixed up with the myth of traveling around the world in one night.





hield staff writer, Brad Fecteau, recently sat down for an exclusive interview via Skype with Joel Kanitz of This Century. Although Brad was surprised the band’s lead singer would take time out of his busy schedule of prepping to headline a national tour to chat with him, he was even more taken aback by Joel’s palpable love for Christ and the impact their conversation had on him. “He’s genuinely one of the most down-to-earth, kind people you could ever meet, and he’s an exemplary model for the Christian faith. His passion for God is infectious,” said Brad. Take a minute to read how this frontman is using his voice to spread the light of the gospel.

When he’s not opening for Selena Gomez or Yellowcard, or touring with Good Charlotte, Taking Back Sunday, Augustana, The Maine, Forever The Sickest Kids, or the season three winner of “The Voice,” Joel Kanitz, frontman of the alternative pop/rock band, This Century, spends a lot of time volunteering at his church in Tempe, AZ. In fact, Kanitz, who grew up in the church and even attended a private Christian school, says he had to decide whether to go into full-time worship ministry or continue playing with This Century. “I struggled with this for a long time,” Kanitz said. “I could be spending all of my time at church, helping out the church…but if I’m in {This Century}, I’m in {it} for a reason. I think God has a bigger plan for me here.” Kanitz says that plan involves traveling the country, talking with people who don’t know about God and giving them an opportunity to have discussions about faith. “My goal is for people to be like, ‘there’s something different about that guy, and I wanna know what it is,’ ” said Joel. Kanitz referred Matthew 9:11, where Jesus says, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” “God’s purpose is for me to have this platform in a secular world, in a band that’s considered secular, because those are the people that need (to hear about God),” he said.





@ THE PIKE ROOM // PONTIAC, MI // DEC. 6 TICKETS $12 // 7 p.m.



Not only does Kanitz keep the lyrics clean, he also tries to inspire people. He says “We don’t have some huge message, but we {want to play} something that’s going to uplift people and tell them ‘keep your head up and stay positive,’ ” said Kanitz. He continues, “I feel like there’s a lot of artists that… have such an incredible platform to say something important and they don’t do it. Instead they tell you ‘get drunk’ and ‘go party’ and ‘live with no regrets’ and ‘be crazy’. {They} could say anything and that’s what {they} tell people?” he said in confusion. In their recently released album, “Biography of Heartbreak,” Kanitz said the group wanted to focus less on heartbreak and more on the good that can come from heartbreak: in other words, on restoration. “That’s part of my Christian faith,” he said. “I believe every trial and painful experience that you go through...God will take and use that for good. There’s a dark side, but there’s also a light side.” Whatever the reason for the rising success of the group, it is evident that Kanitz is a unique individual—a white light in the dark, twisted world that is the secular music industry. Give someone like that a microphone and it’s safe to assume This Century is a band with a bright future ahead.

Colossians 4:5-6 also serves as inspiration for Joel’s ministry through This Century. The passage says, “Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity.” As This Century continues to garner attention, the opportunities to be a light to the world are certainly increasing. The band has amassed over 50,000 fans on Facebook and 28,000 followers on Twitter, and “#thiscentury” has been tagged on over 11,000 Instagram photos. The single, “Sound of Fire” hit number one in the Philippines in 2011 and they’ve had several other tunes reach the top of music charts elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Perhaps the band’s growing popularity is because, like Entertainment Weekly recently commented, they’re “wizards of oohs” with a sound that can be compared to Maroon 5. Or perhaps it’s the messages portrayed within the music. As the group’s main songwriter, Kanitz acknowledges that his faith is an integral part of his craft, despite the secular nature of the art. Faith is what encourages him to write music about the “light side,” while trying to focus on “bringing positivity to a music industry filled with a lot of negativity.”





little baby

ALBUM: Escapade - EP Callum Burrows is Saint Raymond - A solo indie acoustic artist based out of the United Kingdom.


ALBUM: Biography of Heartbreak

You can find a full description and profile of the band on the previous page.


SONG: Little Baby Loved Cathryn Joanna, a junior at RC, wrote and recorded an original Christmas song entitled “Little Baby Loved” in 2011. “My heart for this song is that it will be spread far and wide, and that because of this, many will be blessed, come to salvation, and hear the real meaning of Christmas,” said Cathryn, who both sings and plays the piano in the released recording.

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THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE The much anticipated sequel in the Hunger Games saga arrived in theaters Nov. 22. Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem.



A day-dreamer escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job, along with that of his co-worker, is threatened, he takes action in the real world by embarking on a global journey that turns into an extraordinary adventure.


The first in a series of three: In a dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, designated by a particular virtue—the honest, the selfless, the brave, the peaceful, and the intelligent. Beatrice must choose between staying with her family and being who she really is, but she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

START “Wall Street Journal” best-selling author Jon Acuff reveals the steps to getting unstuck and back onto the path of being awesome.



Nothing Annoys Me More Than: Christmas Lights in September I love the holidays. I’m the kind of person who goes all out when it comes to decorating and holiday spirit. I think my family resents me a bit once Dec. 1 hits because I turn into Cindy Lou-Who, throwing lights and glitter and by KATIE MARTELLE decorations everywhere. OPINIONS EDITOR Sometimes, I even start singing that creepy Who song. (I’m not entirely sure what “fahoo forays” even means, but that doesn’t stop me from singing it, regardless.) However, I turn Grinch-like when I’m walking down the street in September, enjoying the autumn colors and the newly-chilly weather, when I’m suddenly assaulted by a giant inflatable snow globe with Santa and dancing reindeer inside. Some of my neighbors don’t even wait for Halloween to end before they start decorating for Christmas! All this premature holiday revelry is enough to turn me into Dr. Seuss…but my message is slightly different than his: I quite enjoy the holidays; no, really, it’s true. But Christmas lights so early? What’s a poor girl to do? We should just be enjoying each season in its course, But Thanksgiving gets trampled by the prompt Christmas force. I stand on the sidewalk without any snow, Puzzling at lights. How can it be so? Maybe Christmas, I think, doesn’t come in December. With decorations up early, it’s hard to remember! “They’re hanging their lights up?” I snarl with a sneer. “It’s only September! Winter’s not even here!” But they have their ribbons and bright Christmas tags, While pulling lights out of their boxes and bags. “But wait!” I call out. “We still have some time!” But nobody listens, so I write this rhyme. ‘Cause they pull out their wreaths and their bows and their holly, And hang them up in September, all Christmas-y jolly.

I’d like to turn Grinch-like and snatch lights away, Returning them on the appropriate day. A bare street with no lights till December! What then? But swords are not mightier than my little pen. For we all saw what happened to our dear Grinchy friend: When he stole the Who’s stuff, he gave it back in the end. So I sigh and put up with Christmas so soon, And hope someday, someone listens to my tune. My friends, welcome Christmas in its assigned term, ‘Cause lights before Thanksgiving just make me squirm. So seriously, guys, let’s take one holiday at a time.

In every school, there seems to be at least one person who can do everything effortlessly: maintain a 4.0 while also being student body president, star in the school play while also developing a cure for cancer, and get eight hours by NATALIE REDMOND of sleep every night while also still turning COPY EDITOR homework in on time. This article is not for that type of person, whom we all know and probably all hate. This article is for the rest of us, the hoi polloi who, when thinking about balancing course loads with extracurricular activities, have occasional panic attacks that can only be ended by consuming copious amounts of chocolate. This article is for people who, lacking a better way to deal with frustrating people, sometimes write the names of bothersome individuals on watermelons and proceed to throw said watermelons off of bridges. Of course, I don’t have any personal experience with that particular stress reliever, nor do I advocate for the senseless destruction of perfectly good fruit. I can only imagine, in this totally hypothetical scenario, how satisfying the crunching sound would be. All this being said, as a perpetually stressed individual, I feel entirely authorized to offer up a non-exhaustive list of some of my favorite relaxation techniques: Have a soulful heart-to-heart with yourself. My particular preference is to have an inspirational chat with my reflection, a la The Help: “You is kind. You is smart. You is…majoring in English.” Get all Thoreau up in here. The woods surrounding Rochester are close enough to campus to stay connected, but peaceful enough to provide sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Go outside once in awhile to take a walk, read a book, or appreciate both the beauty of nature and the unnatural coloration of Lake Norcentra. Go to a yoga class. Yoga might seem like a weird new age-y way to relax, but giving your body a chance to unwind and rejuvenate is actually vital to staying healthy. For on campus students, Lifetime Fitness yoga classes are free with your membership. Plus, you don’t feel like a bum if you’re wearing yoga pants to actually, you know, do yoga. photos by CATHRYN MANKIEWICZ


What happens then? In Rochester, they say, Katie’s warm heart shrinks three sizes that day. Decorations are good, knick-knacks a wonder; But let’s not steal poor Thanksgiving’s thunder.

Lighten Your Load



Get To Know Coach Murphy Laura Murphy joined the Rochester College community this semester as the women’s cross country coach after connecting with Athletic Director Klint Pleasant through a mutual friend. Murphy helped coach several years ago at Oakland by SARA BEASON University when the school was starting up its cross-country SPORTS EDITOR program. She says she is excited to be helping at RC with its new program as well. “It’s been a lot different than what I thought it was going to be, mostly in good ways,” says Murphy. “It has been a very relatable experience… just getting to know the girls.” Before college coaching, she started a running club at North Hill Elementary for roughly 100 third through fifth grade students. The students ran a mile and a half every Friday before school, and the coaches provided them with bagels. Murphy said she wanted to teach them the physical, social and communal elements of running through what she called “managed chaos.” She also participated in cross-country and track and field at Bowling Green State University for four years after participating in both sports while attending high school in Williamsville, New York.

Anyone can be a body builder. Laura Bobee, personal trainer at the North Oakland YMCA, outlined a simple strength-centered workout routine for beginners. by SARA BEASON Bobbee said when she starts SPORTS EDITOR with a new client, she aims to find a routine that is geared toward him or her. She tells them that starting off with a simple routine is a good way to begin working out, even if it is for only 15 minutes each day. After the individual becomes stronger, aiming closer to an hour-long workout is the goal. The beginner should start with 8-10 reps and move towards 15-20 while increasing strength. Bobbee said that one should feel a burn on the last two reps to the point where he or she can barely finish. These reps should be repeated for three rounds. The workout should also start with the larger muscle groups, such as chest, back, quads and hamstrings because these areas burn the most calories. Bobbee said that every pull exercise one does should be counteracted with a push exercise in order to fully develop the muscles. Also, stretches should start with the legs and move up toward the head, as more oxygen is needed in the bigger muscle groups. She stresses the simplicity of a beginner’s workout because beginners will be more motivated to continue working with an achievable routine.

Q Who is your celebrity crush? A John Stewart from The Daily Show

Q Who is your favorite Harry Potter character? A Ron Weasley

Q What is one thing most people don’t know about you? A I have twin 16-year-olds,

Q What did you want to be when you were little? A A veterinarian

one boy and one girl.

Bobbee’s 15-minute workout:

Coach Murphy’s Stats

10 reps of a pull chest exercise—Keep hands

Height: 5’6’’

on railing and pull away from the railing.


Q Do you have any pets? A A dog named Lucy

Eye color: Blue

15 reps of a push chest exercise—Keep hands on a railing while standing on the balls of the feet and do push-ups.

Events in track:

25 squats—Using a chair or railing, tuck the toes in

Class: Rookie

800 meter and 1500 meter

and squeeze the glutes on the way up.

20 sit-ups—Use the floor or a bench to brace your


jumping rope, jogging and climbing stairs are all good for this. Then repeat the entire process for five rounds. After the workout, do static stretches, starting with legs and working upward. Avoid bouncing while stretching, as it can injure the warm muscles.

Do two minutes of cardio—Jumping jacks,


feet and keep the core tight. Remember to breathe on the way up.

photo by LEE XIONG




Life will always throw us curveballs, but sometimes it’s best to just take a step out of the batter’s box to gain new perspective. There are always games by LINDSAY BASLOCK ASST. SPORTS EDITOR that flash back in an athlete’s mind. There are shots taken, or not taken, that replay in one’s memory. When these triumphs and shortcomings fill your thoughts at night, it’s important to examine how you dealt with them. Character is tested when things do not go as intended. Of course when you’re on top of the world, it’s easy to be a good person. The only downfall is keeping a level head. After all, whatever goes up will eventually come down. The concept of being an athlete, or simply a human being, is to be the best you can possibly be. In sports and life, there is a level of humility that must be maintained throughout. The Bible says in John 5:30, “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.” This means that although we may achieve success in a human-made game, all of our success belongs to God. Keeping humble throughout every situation is the expectation. The one who created you is the very one that can take it all away. When you’re up late and all you can think about are plays of the past, one can find hope knowing that they are memories to be fond of. When looking back on everything in your sports career and life, you should evaluate whether or not it was for the best. Every action you do and every word you say should have a wholesome meaning. There is always that time where you know you could have done better, but from those experiences we learn to become better people and make smarter choices. Living our lives to the highest level of character, yet remaining humble, is what our aim should be as athletes and as Christians.

Women’s Basketball Shoots High This Season When winter hits, Warriors know it is basketball time. The 2013-14 season began with the Travis Bass Classic, a tournament honoring a friend of men’s varsity by LINDSAY BASLOCK basketball coach Klint Pleasant. Travis ASST. SPORTS EDITOR Bass passed away in 2011 from ALS disease. “We were just so close. He meant so much to me. We’ve been wanting to do this for him to honor his memory,” says Pleasant. “I love for people to bring some awareness for this disease and donate some money to research.” The team went 2-1 in the tournament against Robert Morris University-Springfield and Redeemer University College. “It was very important because it was not only in honor of a great man, but it supported a great cause,” says sophomore Emily Hale. From the beginning game of the season, the Warriors have been racking up the points in the scorebook. Seniors Ke’ala Ka’alkala and Jazzmone Russell led inside the paint. The Warriors not only have strong leadership from the seniors on the team, but many talented underclassmen are growing to fill the roles of their leaders. “We are still growing and learning, but we are happy with the direction it is going,” says Hale. Hale says the team’s plan for the season is to attend and win both the NAIA, and USCAA National Tournaments.” The remainder of the season may have its challenges, especially when the Warriors face off against Oakland University on Jan. 4. The team, however, has already grown much stronger this season, and the women’s bond will be hard to break as they pursue a national title at the end of February.

Volleyball Finishes Fourth At Nationals

The Rochester College women’s volleyball team took home a fourth place national title in early November at the 2013 USCAA National Championship. The team headed to Canton, New York to compete with a 21-21 season behind them. After pulling out by RACHEL TAYLOR three wins over the first two days, the women lost to STAFF WRITER Marygrove College during a chance at the third place title. The USCAA, however, recognized several of the ladies this year as excelling both on the court and in the classroom. Senior and outside hitter Breanna Pelloni was honored as a member of the 2013 USCAA Volleyball First All-American Team. Senior and setter Sara Hayes also received recognition as she was titled USCAA Second Team All-American. A USCAA All-American Honorable Mention was given to senior and middle hitter Brittany Alexander. Sophomore and outside hitter Paige TenBrink was also named a member of the USCAA National All-Academic Team for her achievement in the classroom. The entire team should also be recognized this season for persevering as they dealt with an abnormally large number of injuries. Facing part of the season with a pulled thigh muscle, junior and middle hitter Chelsea Potter did all she could to stay tough through every moment. “We knew that we needed to buckle down, so we all pulled together as a team and that’s the time when we got the closest,” Potter said.


Be A Light Unto the World by ESTON LIVINGSTON

Be a light unto the world Shine atop the hill With your strong will Be a light unto the world Show the land God’s great plan Be a light unto the world Show the path Away from God’s wrath Be a light unto the world Illuminate the way To where we shall forever stay Be a light unto the world

Light of Hope by SARA BEASON

Quite like an ailing forlorn heart, No hope that I once knew, I’m trapped inside these walls of doubt, Unable to break through. A glowing Flare, though soft and dim, It sparkles from afar, The beauty haunts my every thought, That eerie, golden Star. And as the sides strain to enclose, This Light, I thought, must fade, But came a day, long past the first, Both bold and bright, It stayed. When walls of doubt begin to fall, Revealing all within, The Light that strengthened at the core, Kept all from caving in. Then with a victory so grand, Conquered by Light above, I’m left to sense that strike of awe, To be compelled by love.


Just Go


You don’t have to stay here, you know, In this place of despair, And disappointment, It doesn’t have to make you scared. This darkness, so chokingly thick, That makes it feel as if there was no light whatsoever. You can go. You can leave it behind forever. Before it’s too late. Run. Search for the light. Grasp it with all you have, Let it abandon all your fright. Because that light, It’s going to change you. The darkness will never again feel like the night. Let it make you new. Go to that light. Let it consume you. No matter how dim, Or long and bright It’s for you. He gave you that light. Don’t let it leave you behind. Don’t you ever wonder why the stars shine? It’s for you, It’s so you can love and learn and find. Don’t let up, don’t relent. This thing that’s holding you down, Is nothing to Him, He’s waiting for you with your crown. He’s calling to you, He won’t leave you alone, Just go. Go to the only light that is truly known.

They say freedom of speech unless you’re a Christian Let’s pound the gavel and sign this petition It’s like we’d rather be silent We’re either cowards or we don’t care letting the world get run by ten thousand Madalyn O’Hairs No wonder I can’t sleep no wonder I dream in black they rob us in our REM and we don’t ask for it back And to the world it’s 2013 but to me it’s A.D. because in this world we’re blind but by His Grace I can see He stands there on Sunday and says if we gave like we should Money would overflow to the poor through the countryside and into the ‘hood It’s not just me, it’s us together Christians who’ve given up the fight and we can come back and spread the word but it won’t happen, not overnight We let them put X’s over our mouths tied our hands and tied our feet on Christ this solid rock we stand and they wonder why we’re getting weak! all I can do is close my eyes wait and see what tomorrow will bring we’re so quick to take Jesus out But then blame him for everything All I want is this solemn vow that someday truth will reside in you and me I’ll wait and I’ll be your light until that truth shall set us free...




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The Shield 2013 Holiday Issue | Volume 14 Issue 2  

The Independent Student Publication of Rochester College