NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER ISSUE
Light in the Darkness By: Scott Kozak Writer and Editor
Have you ever wondered why so many the winter months and involves moodiness, different religions and societies have major depression, and lack of energy. It is holidays in the fall and winter? Christmas, generally associated with decreased Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, are but a few of serotonin levels attributed to reduced the more popular. And these are by no sunlight throwing off one’s biological clock. means new. People have been celebrating on There is no doubt that too much darkness or around the winter Solstice (Dec 21 in the can be a bad thing. Northern Hemisphere) for hundreds even Thus, it comes as no surprise that thousands of years. But why, what is so humans through the ages have created significant about this time of year? festivals of light during these dark cold Let us consider what is happening with months to stave off depression and instill the Earth during this time. cheer in their hearts. Bear with me we’re going to Nothing like a few go over some simple science. parties, feasts, and The various seasons are pretty lights to brighten actually determined by the tilt those sullen moods and of the Earth on its axis, so that turn those frowns upside when the Northern down. But one might Hemisphere is tilted towards argue that these holidays the sun it is summer and when have come to represent it is tilted away it is winter. more than just a cure for This, incidentally, explains why the winter blues. The the Southern Hemisphere has winter festivals have Black and White Photo of Clark Hall at Night seasons opposite from ours. In come to represent a time any case, when the Earth is tilted away from for giving, of good will towards one’s fellow the sun the angle of the incoming sunlight is man/woman. It has come to represent a shallower and this results in both shorter and metaphorical battle of light versus dark, cooler days. This necessarily means more good versus evil. One in which we come darkness. In fact, the higher one gets in together with our family and friends united latitude (that’s the horizontal lines) the more and say in one voice, “we will not summit to exaggerated the effect. For example in the night, for in our hearts burns the fire of Alaska days can be as short as four or five joy to light our way through the darkness.” hours with nights lasting up to twenty hours. So as you look out your window in this That is a lot of darkness. coming month, remember your Clark family, Now this decrease in sunlight has here in your home away from home. And some notable physiological and psychological take comfort, for we stand with you united effects on humans. One of which is seasonal against the darkness, a beacon of light for all affective disorder which is prevalent during those in need.
What Holiday is it now? By: The Nondenominational Holiday Man Writer
Christmas (Dec. 25): Christmas is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. For two millennia, people around the world have been observing it with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular in nature. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive. December 25–Christmas Day–has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870. http://www.history.com
Hanukkah (Varies, Dec. 8 – 16 2012): The eight-day Jewish celebration known as Hanukkah or Chanukah commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. Hanukkah, which means "dedication" in Hebrew, begins on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar and usually falls in November or December. Often called the Festival of Lights, the holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games (dreidels) and gifts. http://www.history.com
Kwanzaa (Dec. 26 – Jan. 1): Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chairman of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach, created Kwanzaa in 1966. After the Watts riots in Los Angeles, Dr. Karenga searched for ways to bring African-Americans together as a community. He founded US, a cultural organization, and started to research African "first fruit" (harvest) celebrations. Karenga combined aspects of several different harvest celebrations, such as those of the Ashanti and those of the Zulu, to form the basis of Kwanzaa. It involves a candle lighting ceremony, with seven candles each representing a principle created by Dr. Karenga. http://www.history.com
Diwali (Varies, Nov. 13 2012): Deepawali or Diwali is certainly the biggest and the brightest of all Hindu festivals and can be traced back to ancient India. It's the festival of lights (deep = light and avali = a row i.e., a row of lights) that's marked by four days of celebration, which literally illuminates the country with its brilliance, and dazzles all with its joy. Each of the four days in the festival of Diwali is separated by a different tradition, but what remains true and constant is the celebration of life, its enjoyment and goodness. http://hinduism.about.com
Scott’s Top 3 ½ Classic Movies to get you in the Holiday Spirit 3 ½.) IF YOU CAN FIND IT: A Claymation Christmas Celebration (1987) A little known T.V. special hosted by a wise, clay Tyrannosaurus Rex and a goofy Triceratops that combine humor and music with clay animation and holiday cheer. Best advice, just go with it…. you’ll be glad you did!!
3.) White Christmas (1954) Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney in a 1950s classic about a successful song and dance team that try to save a Vermont Inn owned by an old General from the War. It’s got singing, dancing, romance and comedy, what’s not to love?
2.) A Christmas Carol (1984) Many variations of Charles Dickens classic novel have made it to the big screen. But this rendition with George C. Scott staring as Ebenezer Scrooge is arguably the most true to the book. A tear jerking tale of redemption and what it means to have Christmas in your heart, this movie is sure to fill you with the spirit of giving and reminds us all that even the worst of us can change for the better.
1.) It’s a Wonderful Life (1946): Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed star in a heartwarming tale of the difference one man can make the lives of so many others. Black and white or in color you’re sure to enjoy this Oscar nominated film. Don’t be scared when it gets a little dark, stick through to the end and you’ll find it was well worth it.
Christmas Albums worth a listen: -
Michael Bubles Christmas Sarah Mclachlan’s Christmas Album: Wintersong John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together Andrea Bocelli: My Christmas Pandora Christmas station (if you have a laptop close at hand)
Hall of Heroes: Spotlight Erin Rustin By: Scott Kozak Reporter
Humans are by nature social Is there something in Clark that you need; a creatures. In fact we owe the majority of our new microwave perhaps, or maybe a success to our ability to work together for problem you’ve been having, such as the greater good. We’ve been doing it for washing machines that don’t work. Erin can millions of years. Yet despite our take your concerns to RHA where nature, history and biology has they can work towards solving shown us that working together can your problem. be a very chaotic and inefficient However, that’s not all Erin process without a leader to guide or Hall Council does. They also put and direct. Enter Erin Rustin, on programs for you, such as the Clark’s own Hall Council President. aforementioned ice cream social, Unless you have gone to the hall or a new program in the works for programs, such as the ice cream next semester: Newly Weds. In social, put on a few weeks ago, you which roommates pairs compete may not know Erin. You may not against one another to see who even know what Hall Council is or knows their roommate best. Such what it can do for you. This is programs are always good for a something that Erin would like to prize or free food and generally Erin Rustin change. take no more than a half hour, a Erin Rustin transferred to SUNY good study break activity. Cortland in the Spring of 2011 and became It doesn’t take being a Hall Council the president of Clark Hall right off the bat. president to be active in Clark Hall, or meet That makes this her second semester on the lots of people. It is something open to all job. Erin found that joining Hall Council and who wish to have a little fun and make some attending RHA (Resident Hall Association) friends in the process. Attend programs, meetings, one of the responsibilities of the knock on your neighbor’s door, go to Hall president, helped her get involved, learn Council meetings and let your voice be what was going on around campus, and heard. In the words of Erin Rustin: “go be a make friends. It also allows her to play an part of something.” After all, it’s human integral role as a student/resident advocate. nature.
Upcoming Events SPA NIGHT: December 3, 2012 at 7 PM in the Basement Lounge Finals Week: December 10-14, 2012 final dash before we finish Hall Closing: December 14,2012 at 5 PM See the blue sheets posted on your door for proper sign out procedures and attend your RA’s floor meeting.
From all of us on Clark Staff, HAPPY HOLIDAYS everyone!!!!