Daily Archives: October 2, 2012

Linfield orchestra reassessed, now funded by Linfield

The Linfield Chamber Orchestra has been loved by many in the Linfield and McMinnville communities. It was made up of gifted students, alongside talented professionals and teachers. However, like most great things, its time has come to an end. A new chamber ensemble will be taking its place.

“First it was announced that the Linfield Chamber board would dissolve, and we would start with a new model, where the orchestra type program would work directly with the music program not the college and the board,” said Faun Tiedge, director of the music department.

Economic challenge was the reason for reassessment of the Linfield Chamber Orchestra. Like for most businesses and clubs, maintaining economic stability has proved difficult in the aftermath of the recession.

The orchestra received funding from outside businesses and then that amount was matched by Linfield.

“The college has not reduced the funding, nor reduced the budget for this type of program,” Tiedge said. “To run the orchestra, it took a great deal of outside funding, which was diminishing in these tough economic times. The outside funding was not sustainable for an orchestra of that size.”

The new Chamber ensemble, which will be funded by Linfield, will hopefully bring in more talented Linfield musicians, as well as returning ones.

“We are looking forward to positive changes that will make the program more student-centered and give them more experience,” Tiedge said. “We are hoping now that not only will the students be able to play, but play more than they otherwise would have in the
other program. However, still in this model, students will be able to play next to professionals but in a chamber ensemble.”

This change was based upon stability. Funding for the orchestra program was not sustainable. With the new program, more audiences, and funding will be expected.

“Economically it became hard, and also our audience is a little bit smaller because the classical music audience is an older audience. So, we are finding new ways to get the younger generation to become more involved in this music,” Tiedge said. “We are reducing the ticket prices, have more variety in the concerts, are trying different times of day and taking our musicians out into the community so that there is a change in venues.”

It is hoped that the new chamber ensembles will provide for more opportunities for students to work closely with professionals from all over the area.

“The students love the opportunity to make beautiful music together in a large ensemble, and they love playing for our supportive audiences,” Tiedge said.

Junior Lauren Pak is reminiscent of the orchestra but is excited for the new changes.

“My favorite memory of the orchestra was definitely the children’s concerts. They are so responsive to our music, and it is also a great way to get involved in the community,” Pak said.

The orchestra will finish off its final 2012-13 year, and the new ensemble will start September 2013. Its next concert will be Dec. 2.

The music program at Linfield is embedded in the college’s history. This is why it is important for transformation to happen so that it can grow with the changing times.

“It’s time to do something new,” Tiedge said.

Maddy Bergman

Staff writer

Author discusses ‘Examined Life’ during reading

James Miller, award-winning author and professor of politics at the New School for Social Research, visited Linfield to give a lecture on his book, “Examined Lives: From Socrates to Nietzsche,” on Sept. 25 in Nicholson Library.

The lecture was the second event sponsored by “The Frederick Douglass Forum on Law, Rights and Justice,” a new initiative at Linfield.

“I’m really excited to have this as our second event,” said Nick Buccola, assistant professor of political science. “It captures the essence of what we hope to do; to bring scholars to campus to debate urgent political questions and also to bring wisdom of the past to life.

“There are few people better able to do that, I think, than Jim Miller,” Buccola said.

To begin the lecture, Miller addressed the famous Socrates declaration, “The unexamined life is not worth living,” questioning the famous assertion and its validity and thus raising the focal question of the lecture: “Is the Examined Life worth living?”

“I certainly grew up believing it was true,” Miller said. “My interest in the proposition was a key motive behind the writing of my book.”

His book, “Examined Lives: From Socrates to Nietzsche,” is comprised of 12 biographical short essays, each giving detailed accounts of the lives and principles of great philosophers, including Aristotle, Augustine, Descartes and Emerson.

“Miller, a historian, does an admirable job of piecing together coherent and sometimes fascinating narratives,” Michael Shaub, book reviewer for NPR, said.

Miller questioned the feasibility of self-scrutiny, and evaluated the philosophers’ answers to such questions in order to address an open discussion about, “the potential fruits of examination.”

After the lecture, Miller opened up dialogue with the audience.

Miller has published five other award-winning books: “Flowers in the Dustbin: the Rise of Rock & Roll, 1947-1977,” “The Passion of Michel Foucault,” “Democracy in the Streets: From Port Huron to the Siege of Chicago,” “Rousseau: Dreamer of Democracy” and “History and Human Existence: From Marx to Merleau-Ponty.”

Since the ’60s, Miller has written and critiqued music. He worked as the editor of “The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll” in 1976.

Miller has also contributed to a number of reference works, as well as publishing in peer-reviewed academic journals.

For 20 years, Miller worked as the Chair of Liberal Studies at the New School for Social Research. The Chicago native was educated at Pomona College of California.

In 1976, he received his doctorate in the History of Ideas at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass.

For the full lecture video, as well as more information regarding the mission of “The Fredrick Douglass Forum on Law, Rights and Justice,” visit: http://www.linfield.edu/frederick-douglass-forum.html.

Chrissy Shane

Feature editor

Student improves town via service

When a student takes action into their own hands, it deserves to be recognized, and that is exactly what the Debra Olsen Public Service Scholarship did for Linfield senior Katharine Holm.

As an environment studies major, Holm decided to apply for the scholarship after receiving a campus-wide email.

“This scholarship is for really talented students, giving them a chance at intellectually-advancing summers. I wanted to help them grow as people and professionals,” said Debra Olsen, founder of the scholarship and past competitive scholarship adviser at Linfield.

Olsen slowly contributed money until she could get a scholarship of her own endowed.

“This was my gift to Linfield after the many wonderful years I spent here,” Olsen said.

This particular scholarship was created for students whose majors don’t have many internship opportunities.

The scholarship gives students from different majors, like French and history, the chance to prepare for life after college.

Liberal arts majors now have a chance to be equally prepared for competitive career fields thanks to opportunities like the Debra Olsen Public Service Scholarship.

After completing an application and interviewing with Olsen, Holm was selected for the chance to have a career-enriching summer that she was able to define for herself.

Holm decided to use the scholarship to work with a nonprofit that deals with reducing pesticide usage in her hometown.

“I did projects dealing with environmental policy and community organizing,” Holm said.

“I was able to work on a large county project, meeting with county, decision makers and ensuring that the least toxic pest management was being used throughout the county.

“This was a big project because the decisions they made on how to deal with pests impacts everyone in the county and all things in the ecosystem as well,” Holm said.

“We wanted to make sure the county wasn’t doing unnecessary damage.”

In addition to this, Holm tried to create awareness on the harmful side effects of pesticides by doing community outreach and petitions at different venues.

She also contacted large organizations to help get more political support for the cause.

“Winning this scholarship was a huge validation that what I was doing was important and that it needed to be done,” Holm said.

“My hope is that others will be able to use the scholarship for a rewarding experience, as I did.”

Alyssa Townsend

Opinion editor

Preparedness fair teaches community how to survive zombie apocalypse

As the rumored end of the world nears in December, disaster readiness and the threat of apocalypse are on many people’s minds. The McMinnville Preparedness Fair explored the topic of survival on Sept. 29 at Duniway Middle School. The keynote speaker, Erick Holdeman, spoke about “surviving the zombie apocalypse, and other, real hazards.”

Kicking off his presentation, Holdeman presented his key point that “if you are prepared for a zombie apocalypse, then you are ready for just about any natural disaster or threat there will ever be.”

Holdeman is a nationally known writer and consultant on emergency management. A Washington state native, Holdeman also writes for Emergency Management magazine and worked for the Washington State Division of Emergency Management for five years.

In the past, Holdeman said that people have not been prepared for disaster situations due to being in various stages of denial.

“People either think its never going to happen, or if it does, it won’t happen to them,” Holdeman said. “Then there are the people who think if it does happen to them, there’s nothing they can do to stop it anyway.”

Holdeman is working to dislodge this idea, stating that there are many things people can do to be prepared. According to Holdeman, provisions should be made with the long-term in mind.

“While making a 72-hour kit will help, people need to be planning for longer,” Holdeman said. “If something happens, then more than likely we’ll need to plan for at least a week.”

Bringing the topic closer to home, Holdeman talked about the circumstances when Mount Saint Helens erupted for the first time.

“People were not prepared,” Holdeman said. “Then when it happened again, things went a little differently.”

Holdeman also brought up that people should be asking institutions, such as hospitals, schools and other large facilities what their emergency action plans are for different situations.

“It’s not enough to just have fire drills anymore,” Holdeman said. “So if you go in and ask to see [an institution’s] emergency action plan, see how long it takes for them to find it. That’s often a good indicator in how prepared they are.”

Making light of a serious topic, Holdeman talked about the repelling of zombies with the help of some local middle school student volunteers.

Leading up to Holdeman’s presentation, the community was able to attend different workshops and booths to become educated on different ways to be prepared for any disaster or emergency situation. Some of the participants included Yamhill County groups, the American Red Cross and the McMinnville School District. The fair offered workshops on family emergency planning, food storing and making 72-hour kits.

 

Kaylyn Peterson

Copy chief

Colloquium program 
undergoes revisions

Linfield’s Colloquium program, designed to help first-year students ease into college life, has undergone several changes within the last year, including revisions to the final project and the Common Reading Essay and greater recognition of the students who help lead the groups.

Colloquium is a course taught by a faculty member and a student peer adviser that first-year students are required to take during the fall semester. The course provides guidance and support to students as they transition into college. There are 24 groups, spread across different major departments.

This year, students are required to take a faculty member outside of their program to lunch and interview them as part of their final project, said Katharine Holm, lead peer adviser.

“The lunch interview came out of the idea that students need to get to know faculty on a more personal level,” Holm said.

Holm oversees all of the peer advisers and facilitates conversation between peer advisers and the Office of Academic Advising.

In addition to the new requirements for the final project, some of the course’s assignments were changed to make them more valuable. Others were taken out of the program. Peer advisers also now lead a structured reflection session, a five-minute free-write followed by a discussion, Holm explained.

Despite this year’s changes, Janet Peterson, interim director of academic advising and coordinator of Colloquium, said that the most significant change to the program was the addition of the Summer Common Reading in 2006.

“The Summer Common
Reading aims to provide students with an opportunity to connect through a shared intellectual experience,” Peterson explained via email. “[The program] provides students, first year and transfer, with an opportunity to have a shared or common dialogue.”

Upon arriving to Linfield, students read “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot. The book follows the life of Lacks, an impoverished, African-American cancer patient whose cells were used without her permission or knowledge for scientific research.

During the semester, students are required to go to one cultural or intellectual event and one Common Reading event that relate back to the book.

“We like them to connect what events they went to and how they impacted everything,” Holm said.

To go with the reading, students were also required to write a paper relating each of the Linfield Curriculum’s Mode of Inquiries or L.C.s to points in the book.

“We wanted to show how the book relates to the L.C.s and give examples of their goals,” Holm explained.

“The L.C. assignment helped connect the point of the book to school,” freshman Venessa Vigil said.

However, in the future, the program should consider using books to match majors, like the Colloquium faculty and peer advisers do, Vigil added.

Freshman Regan Cox agreed, saying “my adviser is the same major as me so that’s helpful. She helps me figure out what classes I should take.”

The Office of Academic Advising also incorporated more guest speakers into the program this fall. Representatives from the International Programs Office, the counseling center, career hub and student government talked with each Colloquium group.

“We wanted to expand the focus of Colloquium, not just to academics but to college life,” Holm explained. “We want experts to come in and talk to students.”

The Colloquium program was also extended farther into the fall and will include a couple of sessions in the spring semester.

“The sessions in the spring are like reunion sessions. We just want to let students know we are still here as resources,” Holm said.

Senior Haydn Nason said acting as a resource for students is what she enjoys most.

“I look forward to doing it,” Nason said. “I just like being able to help students through difficult situations that I wish I had someone there for when I was a freshman.”

Nason said she was approached about being a peer adviser by Susan Sivek, assistant professor of mass communication.

Sivek and Nason oversee 19 students. Their group is for students interested in mass communication or computer science.

Nason was one of five peer advisers who have been recognized for outstanding work so far this semester. Each week, faculty, peer advisers and Colloquium students can nominate a group leader for the Peer Adviser of the Week Award.

“I love Linfield and want students to like Linfield as much as I do,” Nason said. “I want to make sure students have fun and want to be there. My Colloquium experience wasn’t quite like that.”

A couple weeks ago, Nason planned a spaghetti feed and volleyball social event for her group of students.

Each Colloquium group is allotted $100 from the Office of Academic Advising to fund a social event.

Other Colloquium groups had a combined barbecue at the Hewlett-Packard Apartments on campus. Some groups walked to Serendipity’s and Alf’s for ice cream.

“Colloquium helped with finding friends, especially during the first week of school,” Vigil said. “I look forward to Mondays to see everyone.”

Peterson said the Colloquium curriculum will be up for review by a committee consisting of faculty, academic advising and at least one student at the end of the course.

“[It] will be updated to align with the college-wide strategic plan,” Peterson said.

Jessica Prokop

Editor-in-chief