Daily Archives: May 16, 2009

Elementary students discover storytelling inspiration

Claire Oliver
Celebrating writing in all forms, the Linfield Department of Education will host its second writing camp
May 16.
The camp is an offshoot of a pilot program created last summer by Mindy Larson, assistant professor of education and elementary education coordinator.
Eight elementary education majors became involved with the project through a collaborative research grant and helped run the camp, worked with students and observed their writing skills.
“The idea was to give students an opportunity to have access to time to write and to get feedback and encouragement,” Larson said.
She said some campers would otherwise have little chance to do so.
About 50 students attended the first camp held May 2, which was divided into two sessions: a morning camp for Pre-K and kindergarteners and an afternoon session for first through fifth graders. The May 16 camp will follow the same format.
Both sessions featured a variety of stations with materials and activities that campers could interact with and be inspired by.
For example, younger students in the morning session could play with bubbles and liquids of different densities at a science center, build structures out of blocks at a building center or write letters to be mailed from a post office station.
Student teachers said they then asked their students to share the stories they had written.
“We encouraged them to write how they think they could write,” senior Laurel Newberry, one of Larson’s assistants, said.
Because most children of this age view writing as pictures and scribbles, Newberry said she encouraged her campers to see how this form of storytelling is also a form of writing.
“We’re looking for them to be able to take what they’ve made and make it something bigger — to see how they see writing,” she said.
Larson agreed and said the program is meant to help students develop their identities as writers by honoring all forms of it.
In the afternoon session, student teachers also observed this type of creativity.
Newberry, for example, said she ran a how-to station where participants could create sculptures with Popsicle sticks and then describe the steps they took to complete them.
She said she didn’t always see the same final results as the students do, but she was impressed with their ability to explain their method.
First through fifth graders could also choose from a variety of stations where they could write poetry, tell fiction or non-fiction stories or even create a graphic novel on a computer.
Newberry said the camp was a learning experience for student teachers as well as for campers, as it put into practice many of the concepts she learned about in Larson’s classes. She has already re-created her how-to station for the kindergarteners she works with as part of her part-time student teaching.
Although Newberry worked primarily with second and third graders at the writing camp, she said she was surprised with the proficiency her kindergarteners demonstrated when completing the same task.
“It’s amazing; I never knew how much [writing] impacted a child,” she said.
Larson said that the information collected from the team’s observations will help tailor future programs. She hopes to expand the camps in the future and is hoping to eventually fuse them with local public schools as part of the Kids on the Block program.
With 60 students registered for this weekend’s camp, Larson said she considers the camps successful.
While the events have provided a valuable research opportunity for Linfield students, Larson said the team’s ultimate goal is to be a part of improving the skills of the camp’s attendees.
“[We] want them to leave knowing that they arewriters,” she said.

No parking on the yellow brick road

Septembre Russell
Students can temporarily park their vehicles in the yellow lane on Keck Street while unloading their cars or making a brief trip to their apartments or residence halls to retrieve an item, according to Linfield Campus Safety.
The yellow curbs are meant to allow access for Linfield vehicles and vendors, George Lemon, assistant director of campus safety, said.
Despite the unmistakable purpose of these marked curbs, students still disagree with parking regulations.
“[While] unloading groceries we have to park so far away,” senior Amanda DeHass said. “I’m not making six trips to my car; this shouldn’t be that big of a deal.”
Campus Safety frequently issues tickets to the students who choose this behavior despite the rationale behind it, she said.
“The only reason I’m so annoyed is because I have received tickets,” DeHaas said. “The people that haven’t received tickets don’t really know.”
Each student who was issued a parking permit received a packet of information regarding parking regulations, Lemon said. Students are responsible for understanding the regulations inside of the packet provided. The regulations clearly assert that parking is not allowed in areas marked by yellow or red curbs, and that “you may not stop or park your vehicle in a no-parking area for any reason, even if it is ‘just for a minute.’” However, as a courtesy of Campus Safety, parking in the yellow lane is temporarily permissible if students need to load or unload their cars and if they call LCS to make them aware of it.
“I don’t think anybody’s going to do it,” DeHaas said. “I mean, who’s going to take time out of their day to [say] ‘Listen, I’m going to be here.’”
All a student would need to do, Lemon said, is call Campus Safety and describe his or her car and its location.
However pressing the issue of parking along the curbs that are marked with yellow lane may be, other issues require attention. For example, it is ambiguous whether parking is permitted outside of Taylor Hall, Lemon said.
DeHaas said the issue lately has been parking and the lack of overnight spaces.
“If you try to park overnight, and you forget your car is there — I’ve done that, and I got a ticket because they jump on it — they’re out at 7:30 a.m., and they give you a ticket right away,” she said.
The conflict, ASLC Presdent Ashlee Carter said, is one that has been ongoing.
“Since I’ve lived in the HPs this year, I feel like it’s an even bigger issue because parking out there is so minimal,” she said. “Paying that much to live on campus in an apartment, you should have a really good parking spot or at least not have to park way out by the library.”
Carter said she spoke with Lemon about a parking proposal three weeks ago that would have to be appraised by the board of trustees, which meets twice each semester, to be approved. The board of trustees met May 8 and 9; however, the proposal went unmentioned because there was not enough time to accumulate faculty support.
Carter also said she is waiting for the arrival of the new director of campus safety, Bob Cepeda, who will replace the Interim Director of Campus Safety Bill Curtin on May 25.
“I’m going to hopefully meet with him during finals week sometime and at least get an idea of where he’s at,” Carter said. “I want to see what his idea is on our parking situation.”
Campus Safety is working to find additional spots for students to park, Lemon said, and to make parking spaces more definitive, easier and accessible.

Students learn ins and outs of local wine industry

Brianne Ries
With a booming wine industry in Linfield’s backyard, administrators and vintners worked to inform students about internship positions at local wineries through panel discussions May 12 and 14.
Kristi Mackay, career services program coordinator, said she was asked to coordinate the panels by Victoria McGillin, creator of the Wine Education Advisory Group and dean of faculty.
“Because the wine industry is this dynamic, amazing industry, and we’re in the middle of it, we’re trying to figure out how Linfield and the wine industry can work together to help each other out,” Mackay said.
The panel consisted of six Linfield alumni who graduated between 1995-2007.
The May 12 panel focused on the ownership structure of wineries, and alumni discussed what qualities they seek in their staff employees. Mackay said this discussion made it apparent that these alumni appreciate liberal arts students, and Linfield students in general, because they know how to think.
The May 14 panel hosted what Mackay described as younger alumni, or those who graduated within the last 10 years, and focused on how they got started in the wine industry. Mackay said the panel members discussed traits they look for in an employee, such as assertiveness, the ability to multitask, willingness to get your hands dirty and the importance of networking.
KC Marold, direct sales manager of Panther Creek Cellars and a 2007 Linfield graduate, also stressed the importance of networking in the wine industry profession.
Marold said she is happy to help others interested in the profession and that she likes to talk to people about it, especially college students.
Residence Life will offer a wine seminar to students at Panther Creek Cellars on May 17. Marold said she is excited to talk to Linfield students about the basics of wine tasting and help them understand its complexities.
Mackay and Marold said they would like to see the relationship between the wine industry and the college grow in the future.
“It’s really exciting that we might be able to develop some sort of program that would involve Linfield and the wine industry and some sort of experiences for our students,” Mackay said.
Regardless of how the relationship develops, both agree it is a shame something hasn’t developed sooner.
“To look at what we’re doing now and to think, ‘Why weren’t we doing this five years ago?’ just seems like such a natural fit together,” Mackay said.
While panel attendance wasn’t as high Mackay had hoped, she said that the low numbers weren’t because of a lack of student interest but because of scheduling conflicts.
Several internships in the wine industry are available to students. More information can be found by going to the Career Services Web page or by contacting Mackay.

Symposium offers insight on connecting African education

Photo by Hans Ogren

Photo by Hans Ogren

Rachel Mills
President Emerita Vivian A. Bull and Martin Dwomoh-Tweneboah, associate professor of computer science, collaborated with faculty, exchange students and the recently approved A Taste of Africa club during the African Symposium presentation, “Linking African Universities to the World,” May 13
The symposium offered students a glimpse into Africa and its struggle for education.
The program featured Bull as the keynote speaker. Dwomoh-Tweneboah began the evening with a slideshow that highlighted the pair’s work in 12 different African nations, and Bull spoke on the concerns she discovered during her work in those countries, primarily discussing issues of development, education and technology.
Bull was a founding member of the Africa University in Zimbabwe, the only university in the country, and is now working to expand it. Dwomoh-Tweneboah said the university can no longer fulfill the students’ demand for education. Bull and Dwomoh-Tweneboah are members of an assessment team for the United Methodist Global Education Fund, attempting to expand the university through distance-learning and radio communication.
Dwomoh-Tweneboah said he and Bull have traveled to Africa multiple times to conduct feasibility studies in various countries. They are exploring the possibility of implementing distance-learning programs that will be based at the Africa University.
“I’ve heard it said that the first half of the 21st century will belong to the Chinese and the Indians,” Bull said in her speech. “Well, the second half will belong to the Africans. They just need a little help getting there.”
She said many countries approached the United Methodist nonprofit group asking for assistance in building another university. But, as Africa University has 26 buildings and no debt because of endowment, the group didn’t think another university would be possible.
“Instead, let’s move into the 21st century,” Bull said.
She said that multiple for-profit, distance-learning groups have recognized the growing need for educational assistance in Africa and are hurrying to establish a presence there. Because the Global Education Fund is a nonprofit organization the African people tend to trust them and work better with them. This has allowed the group to progress as far as it has.
“We’ve taken steps,” Bull said. “The road is long, but we have given many students the education and the leadership to travel it. We see distance-learning as an opportunity to give other students the same
opportunity.”
Dwomoh-Tweneboah said the presenters hope the symposium offered attendants a glimpse at the current issues in Africa. He emphasized that there is always work to be done, and any chance to inform the public about that work is helpful.
Sophomore Lacey Dean, activities coordinator for A Taste of Africa, said that the students who helped coordinate the symposium had similar goals for their open house, which was held in Jonassen Hall following the speeches.
“We are trying to broaden knowledge on campus and show what we are capable of doing,” Dean said. “We want to encourage interest and participation. It’s not as difficult to create these connections as people think.”
A Taste of Africa club members began creating connections by working with exchange students from Africa as well as with students who have participated in January Term trips to Africa to set up displays about the
continent.
The groups prepared poster boards that featured African countries with ties to Linfield, such as the Congo, Zimbabwe and Nigeria. Attendees enjoyed African music and chants, courtesy of freshman Sabrina Coleman, and learned about Africa through the information on boards and displays of artifacts, fabrics and traditional clothing.
In addition, the group provided traditional African snacks for tasting.
A Taste of Africa President sophomore Mary Odunuga said that the students wanted to increase awareness about their homeland.
She said that people often focus upon the negative images of Africa, such as the Somalian pirates. She said she hopes to emphasize the positive aspects of her homeland and introduce Linfield to the many interesting parts of her culture.
“We want people to see our displays and appreciate Africa, but we also want them to realize that there is something going on there,” Odunuga said.
Dean said she wants to inform students about Africa and encourage them to assist with Bull and Dwomoh-Tweneboah’s mission.
“The work they are doing is such an incredible opportunity,” Dean said. “We really have a chance to make a difference.”

New Wildstock focus: music

Katie Armes
Linfield’s annual capstone festival will turn up its emphasis on music May 15 from 4-7 p.m. on the Intramural field. The event will feature two professional bands, jazz musician Jonathan Kingham and the country band Coyote Creek and many student musicians. Linfield clubs and Greek Life will also sponsor a variety of activities.
“We’re really excited about it because so rarely do we ever bring country [music] in,” former Vice President of Programming senior Kasey Richter said.
The main stage, which is created from an unfolding truck, was brought onto the IM field May 14. Kingham, Coyote Creek and Battle of the Bands winner Na Hemo will play on the stage.
Between the professional sets, student musicians will perform on a side stage. Kappa Sigma Fraternity is responsible for the six-hour set-up and take-down of the setting.
Most of the student musicians, including Tal Edman, Jason Molinaro and The Kickers, are seniors this year.
“It’s nice to give them their last hurrah,” Richter said.
Wildstock also features free food from Ribslayer, Chan’s Chinese Restaurant, Runaway Dog, El Primo Mexican Foods and 3rd Street Pizza. T-Shirts and bags will also be for sale.
“[Wildstock] has gotten a really good reputation during the past two years because we’ve incorporated the free food into it,” Richter said.
While the festival has featured more inflatable games and activities such as mechanical bulls in the past, this year Richter said she decided to focus on music. She said she chose to also combine the events into one day instead of dividing the entertainment over two nights.
“Wildstock always seems to change a little bit every year,” Richter said.
Other organizations on campus will supply additional entertainment. The Greenfield club is providing free henna tattoos, Sigma Kappa Phi Sorority will paint faces and S.H.A.P.E. club will bring in an obstacle course from the National Reserves.
Richter said attendance has been steady at about 800 people for the past two years. Although most people in attendance are Linfield students, some people come from the local community.
“We encourage faculty to bring their families if they want to,” Richter said.
Richter has been planning Wildstock since the beginning of the semester but faced a last-minute challenge about a week and a half ago when one of the three professional bands she booked for the event dropped out.
“We just decided we weren’t going to sweat it,” Richter said.
Instead, Na Hemo will play a full 45-minute set on the professional stage to celebrate its title as Battle of the Bands champions.