Campus CSA program takes root

By Anne Elliott

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Sam Roper has taught English at Whatcom for 12 years, and has been a farmer for three. Photo by Zach Barlow.

For the third year in a row, students at Whatcom Community College have the opportunity to receive fresh organic produce for a lower overall price, straight from the farm it was grown on.

This opportunity is available through the program Workplace CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). In CSA arrangements, community members pay a farmer, who uses the funds to buy and plant seeds. In return, the community members receive boxes of fresh vegetables throughout the growing season, usually June through October, lasting 15-20 weeks depending on the season.

Sam Roper, an English instructor at Whatcom and the owner of Sage and Sky Farm in Bellingham, and Whatcom’s IT Director Ward Naf have been teaming up for the past three years to bring farm-fresh produce to Whatcom’s campus. “We want to see more students signing up for it,” Naf said.

With a $225 payment, students and staff can receive a bin of vegetables fit to feed a family for about a week, every two weeks. Participants can pay $425 for a full share, which means they receive a box weekly. Whatcom staff members may sign up to make payments via payroll deduction.

Sage and Sky Farm will be accepting payments until May 1, so that they know how many seeds to plant before June, the start of the growing season. Students and faculty members interested in signing up can do so on Sage and Sky Farm’s website or by emailing sageandskyfarm@hotmail.com.

The boxes will be delivered on Wednesday afternoons to Cascade 125, where Naf checks off names as people come to pick up their produce.

This year the CSA boxes will include carrots, lettuce, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, and more. Each box includes recipes as well as farm updates and varies in content from week to week.

Naf said one of his favorite things about the program is that he never knows exactly what to expect. “The included recipes help, especially when you’ve never cooked with that vegetable before,” he said.

Members will also have access to eggs, chicken, and lamb upon request. “Last year we did about 50 turkeys for Thanksgiving. We also had a few pigs,” Roper said.

Naf said he and Roper wanted to bring CSA to Whatcom in order to make it easier for students and faculty members to pick up their produce, as opposed to the traditional CSA system where participating members pick up their box from the farm.

Roper said eating locally is important because it can reduce your carbon footprint, and gives you a “rich and unique” connection to where you live. “From a ‘foody’ standpoint, it just tastes better,” he added.

Roper, his wife Andrea, and their two sons Jasper and Oliver, moved onto their 30-acre farm in 2009 when real-estate prices were low. “It was something I had always wanted to do,” he said.

Roper said that the farm had been abandoned for about 50 years when he and his family moved there, and that he had to rebuild their house and a few of the barns.

Now Roper and his family own sheep, chickens, geese, greenhouses, and fields for growing crops. He said that they grow more than 40 varieties of vegetables.

Naf said that he likes supporting a member of Whatcom’s own faculty. He said that Sustainable Connections, a non-profit network of local, independently owned Whatcom County businesses and supporters, holds an event each year where community members can meet farmers and make arrangements for CSA deliveries.

He said things have been going well with Sage and Sky Farms and he would like to continue working with them as long as they are willing.

Naf said that he likes knowing where is food comes from. “You wouldn’t just pick something random off the street and eat it,” he said.

In its mission statement Sage and Sky Farm says, “Our animals eat well and live well; our fruits and vegetables grow without harmful chemicals; and we all live happier and healthier lives.”

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Workshops introduce middle schoolers to new career paths

By Christina Latham

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Whatcom Community College is offering a chance for middle school students to explore non-traditional career paths for their future. The “Guys & Guts” and “Girls Go Tech” workshops, aimed towards youth ages 11 to 14, are all-day workshops held by the college to introduce male youth to healthcare professions and female youth to technology fields.

Trish Newbold, Whatcom’s workforce education coordinator, helped to put the workshops together. She said they are intended to help middle school students learn about careers they might not otherwise consider, in part because of gender gaps in the occupational fields.

“Guys & Guts” was held March 15. Nine students and their parents or guardians attended and explored the medical field through a variety of activities. They looked at the roles medical assistants, nurses, physical therapists play in the field.

Ben White, a student in Whatcom’s medical assisting program, showed the boys how an electric cardio gram (ECG) works. Other medical assisting students discussed the importance of proper hand washing and showed them how to use an asthma testing machine.

The children also had a chance to practice drawing blood on a mannequin arm, using red Kool-Aid as blood.

Holly Snow, a parent whose son attended the workshop, said her son “came last year and loved it. [It] opens your eyes to all the

different careers as well as the new programs Whatcom offers.”

When they learned about nursing careers, the children were taught how to take their parents’ blood pressure as well as how to work with a medical mannequin that simulates different body functions. They were able to hear healthy breathing compared to wheezing and a regular heartbeat compared to an irregular heartbeat.

Margret Hamalton, who attended the workshop with her son Skylar, said he is interested in a career in the medical field. Skylar is a survivor of brain and spinal cancer and has thought about working at Seattle Children’s Hospital, she said.

Skylar Hamalton said “I didn’t know training for this job could be so exciting!”

The boys were also able to observe a class of nursing students go through a simulated birthing scenario in which the mannequin had just given birth and was still bleeding. The nursing students dealt with post-partum bleeding and inserted a catheter.

Lyle Dollarhide, who is in the nursing program at Whatcom and attended the workshop with his son, spoke during lunch about how he got into the nursing program. “I get choked up because I value nursing, I care so much about caring for other people,” he said as he teared up. “Everyone along the way [at Whatcom] cared about me.”

Whatcom biology instructor Michelle Bennett had a variety of stations set up that the students could explore using their senses. There was a test involving chimes to find out which pitches were audible and which were inaudible as well as a colorblindness test. They also got to touch a real human skeleton and a sheep heart.

Two anatomy students were there to answer any questions the children had and to talk with them about studying anatomy.

To conclude the day, the students and parents split into two groups for the parents to have a chance to learn more about Whatcom and the students to talk about what they had learned and their thoughts on the day.

Funding for the workshops is provided largely by the Carl D. Perkins Grant, said Newbold, which covers areas like Math and Medical Assisting. It is a yearly grant that Whatcom applies for. Other funding is provided by the Bellingham Lion’s Club, Bellingham Kiwanis, and the College Access Challenge Grant.

Mary Vermillion, director for marketing and communications at Whatcom, said the “Guys & Guts” workshop has been held since spring 2011 and “Girls Go Tech” since spring 2010.

The workshops started to help middle school students become interested in these fields early on, Vermillion said.

Parents and guardians have a chance to learn more about Whatcom and what the college has to offer their students, Newbold said. “The workshops are also a chance to educate the parents on what funding and scholarships are available, as well as what a college looks like,” she said.

“Girls Go Tech” will be offered April 19 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. A $10 fee covers one student and her accompanying parent or guardian, and includes lunch for two and a T-shirt from the program. Newbold said the workshop will expose girls to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Computer forensics, robotics and design will be the focus of the workshop. The girls will work with a representative from the Bellingham Police Department as well as a Whatcom criminal justice graduate, Newbold said.

Registration forms for the “Girls Go Tech” are online at whatcom.ctc.edu/girlsgotech. Those interested can also contact Lori Gardner at lgardner@whatcom.ctc.edu or call (360) 383-3190.

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Theater Review: “The Lion King”

By Christina Latham

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One of my musical dreams came true on March 13. I finally was able to go see Disney’s “The Lion King” on stage! Taking an organized trip by Whatcom Community College’s Student Life, I was able to have transportation and my ticket for only $25. I knew the seats would be up and in the back at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre, but it didn’t matter to me.

When I was young, my mom took me to musicals in Seattle: Camelot, The Sound of Music, Phantom of The Opera, and Les Miserables. I also have seen many local community productions. After seeing over 50 other stage productions, this was it!

As the lights dimmed, the excitement built and the music started. It was everything I imagined. The opening scene brought me to tears.

The costumes were unbelievable. People were on stilts walking down the aisle and onto the stage as giraffes. Elephants, rhinos, birds and cheetahs graced the stage.

Hearing the live orchestra play the song “Circle of Life” and the halting boom at the end, I had chills.

I knew this would not be the same as the movie. New musical numbers were introduced that kept right in line with the story and many lines from the movie were brought to life on the stage as well. Africa came to life before my eyes.

While I enjoyed the incredible costumes that made people into savannah grass blowing weightlessly in the wind, I found myself disappointed in other parts of the musical.

The artistry of the actors was wonderful, but the singing was not a strong as I expected. Many words could not be understood and the vocals were drowned out at times by the orchestra.

After reading the biographies of the actors and seeing many of them have been touring with the show, it makes me hope that this was an off night for them. Many of them have been with at least one other tour of Disney’s The Lion King and were not strangers to the stage nor this musical.

I also noticed at times some of the choreography was off, slightly, but still enough to notice one person spin or kick before the rest of the other dancers. Also during several scene changes, the movement of sets could be heard and distracted me from the scene that was being acted out on stage. I have seen stronger high school productions.

After I talked with the group of 45 students and faculty from Whatcom that were able to go to the show, everyone thought I was a bit crazy for being disappointed and maybe I am.

If I had the chance, I would go again in a heartbeat. The way the actors moved like animals in the beautifully done costumes, the mastery of the puppetry and the overall music and story is not to be missed.

If you have the chance to go, don’t miss it. Luckily, live theater allows for a different experience every time. The crowd, the venue, the cast, and even where you sit plays a role in the overall experience.

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“Leader” is just a label

By Greg Lane

 

 

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What’s a leader without followers? In high school when I came home and told my mom I wasn’t a leader, she flat-out refused to believe me and did everything she could to convince me otherwise. Later I would learn that I had no idea what I was talking about, but neither did my mother.

“Leaders” are given equations and labels—a leader does this or that, talks this way, looks like this, stands in this fashion, or has this or that personality type. Huge books are written on the subject of being a leader and how anyone can be one if they just change this or that part of their life. The term “leader” is given mythical representations when vague concepts are tied around it, like “leaders inspire others to dream big” and “leaders show the way and open doors.” What’s a big dream and what is “the way?”

This is all malarkey. Burn the self-help books and erase the mental image of a leader having an almost spiritual-like ability to “inspire those around them.” A leader is another human with his or her own quirks or faults. Why can’t a leader simply be just another man or woman that others have chosen to follow? Whether they have chosen their leader out of respect or some other quality, they are still mortal. Too many put their leaders and the concept of leadership on a pedestal. No one is perfect.

Every parent wants their child to be a “leader” because apparently leaders are the most successful individuals. They get to be in control of career situations and social circles. But not everyone should try to be a leader because then everyone runs around thinking they’re the next big cheese and that everyone should listen to them. The end result is everyone smelling like mold. It’s both hilarious and disastrous to look upon a group in which everyone believes he or she is the “boss.” Can you imagine a board meeting where each member shows up with their own agenda, each of them conflicting with the others? It’s a fury of passive-aggressive complaints and post-it notes.

Through and through, not everyone can be a leader, and that’s okay! If every parent is telling their child that he or she is meant to lead, to be special and great, then we gain an abundance of delusional individuals that have no idea what constitutes a leader. The world needs followers to weed out all the maniacs that claim to be leaders and to support the few who are worth following.

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Technological literacy key to reducing partisanship

by Jeremy Rick

In his 1973 novel “Breakfast of Champions,” the late American author Kurt Vonnegut said, “Ideas on Earth were badges of friendship or enmity. Their content did not matter. Friends agreed with friends, in order to express friendliness. Enemies disagreed with enemies, in order to express enmity.

Nothing more true could be said to explain the rapid growth of American political partisanship in recent years.

 Partisanship, the biased adherence to a person or party, is driving our political culture into the self-destructive vortex of gang-mentality, and the actual content of political ideas no longer matter to many Americans

Republican and Democratic Party leaders, with conflicting ideologies, are whipping the masses into a frenzy and driving them in opposite directions.

“The values gap between Republicans and Democrats is now greater than gender, age, race or class divides,” according to a 25-year-long study published in 2012 by the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan organization that conducts public opinion polls and demographic research to map social attitudes and trends in America.

Democrats agree with Democrats because they’re Democrats, Republicans agree with Republicans because they’re Republicans, and the two sides disagree with each other simply because they are opposing factions.

 The 2013 federal government shutdown exemplified this mindless partisan opposition. To avoid beating a dead horse, the cause of the shutdown can be summarized by saying the Democratic-majority Senate and the Republican-majority House of Representatives refused to compromise on a federal budget appropriations bill before the Sept. 30 deadline.

 The federal budget debate had become an all-or-nothing partisan competition rather than the bipartisan compromise it should have been.

An infamous scene from this dilemma was leaked to the public by WPSD 6, a Kentucky news outlet, when their microphones recorded a conversation between Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

 Addressing the federal budget debate’s progress before McConnell’s interview with WPSD 6, Paul said, “I know we don’t want to be here, but we’re going to win this, I think.”

 This statement was infuriating and disheartening because Paul, a member of Congress, explicitly framed the debate as a competition by using the term ‘win.’

 Furthermore, admitting they “don’t want to be here” implied Congress saw the debate as a battle between individuals reluctantly obliged to the cause of their respective party rather than a discussion between free-thinking individuals willingly working toward a common good.

The actual content of each party’s agenda faded into the background and an ego-battle came to the fore. Friends agreed with friends and enemies disagreed with enemies for the sake of winning.

Gang-mentality took Congress by the throat and suffocated it until the government shut down. Thankfully, it was resuscitated when the bill was passed on Oct. 16.

Making matters worse, this gang-mentality cascaded from Congress down to the public via partisan media sources, as it often does during heated political conversations.

Media sources are supposed to report the news objectively and without subjective interpretation. To remain politically neutral, reporters must only present the facts of an event. Sources such as the Associated Press and Reuters diligently seek neutrality, but many others do not.

The facts of an event become muddied with subjective interpretations and laden with personal opinions when they are discussed, and some media sources discuss events repeatedly, perpetuating their subjective interpretations until people believe them to be facts.

Once people begin believing particular interpretations, media sources utilize these beliefs to claim opposing interpretations are false, when, in reality, they are simply different opinions about the basic facts of the event.

Complicating the issue further, individuals self-select which media sources they are exposed to. Democrats often choose liberal-biased media such as MSNBC, while Republicans choose conservative-biased media such as Fox News, effectively affirming their preexisting personal biases.

Partisan media sources make little effort to understand the opinions of their counterparts, vilifying them as the enemy and prompting the public to do likewise. If common ground was found and the compromise led to a negative outcome, both sides would be somewhat at fault. The refusal to compromise ensures each side will have an enemy to blame entirely.

People tend to surround themselves with like-minded individuals who affirm their opinions in order to gain a sense of belonging. The more affirmation, the more solidarity amongst the group. Consequently, as groups become larger they become more convinced their opinions are correct.

This can be productive when people independently choose their opinions and then seek out others who share similarities. In contrast, this can be destructive when people dependently adopt the opinions of a group simply because they desire a sense of belonging, which seems to be the case in America’s recent political culture.

A well-known proverb says ‘great minds think alike,’ and another says ‘great minds think for themselves.’ Well, I say that great minds think alike inasmuch as they think for themselves.

Many Americans between the ages of 18 and 33 years old, referred to as ‘Millennials,’ seem to agree with me. “Surveys show that half of Millennials (50%) now describe themselves as political independents,” according to a 2014 article published by the Pew Research Center.

The article also said, “The Millennial generation is forging a distinctive path into adulthood … They are relatively unattached to organized politics and religion, linked by social media, burdened by debt, distrustful of people, in no rush to marry— and optimistic about the future.”

So, why are Millennials distinctive from older generations? I believe it is because they are more capable of navigating modern society’s information communication technologies (ICTs).

Between television and the internet, vast amounts of information are constantly and rapidly disseminated around the globe.

The older generations, much of whom came into adulthood before the internet was invented and before television featured the numerous networks it does today, are not as well equipped to handle the amount of information available, causing them to limit their content-intake to a few sources.

Rather than exposing themselves to the plethora of sources, interpreting them, and creating their own opinions, the older generations tend to invest themselves in a few sources that vaguely resemble their preexisting beliefs.

These sources affirm their preexisting beliefs, gaining validity in their eyes. Once this validity has been established, these sources continue promoting subjective opinions that the older generations blindly agree with.

Partisan media sources effectively sway the older generations into wholeheartedly following either the Republican or Democratic Party. This is why our political culture has begun reflecting the mindlessly competitive nature of gang-mentality.

Millennials, on the other hand, are much more capable of navigating ICTs. They can easily maneuver through the multitude of sources, cross-reference for accuracy, and investigate events from many angles. This allows Millennials to gain a more transparent, unbiased perception of events, and an understanding that many things presented as facts are actually opinions.

Although partisanship has increased during the past quarter-century, I believe this will change in the coming years. Millennials, with time, will become increasingly involved in politics, as voters and as candidates. With 50 percent of Millennials self-describing as political independents, the polarization of America’s political culture will eventually become neutralized by a growing middle.

The partisan boundary is being crossed. Enemies are becoming friends.

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College publication features creative and academic student work

By Anne Elliott

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“The Noisy Water Review,” an annual publication of Whatcom Community College students’ academic and creative works, is currently accepting pieces from students who wish to submit any form of academic or creative writing, visual art, or music.

“The deadline is May 9, but we’d love to see work before then,” said Joanna Kenyon, who teaches creative writing and composition at Whatcom and helps coordinate the publication.

For the past four years, Noisy Water has published student works online, which allows for music submissions via mp3. This includes pieces composed for a class, spoken-word poetry, and songs written and performed by students or student bands, among other works.

In past publications, visual arts selections have included photography, paintings, sketches, and graphic works.

Academic works may include essays, articles, and research papers, while creative writing encompasses poetry, short stories, creative nonfiction, and even short plays.

“If you think that you have a work that is good enough, send it in,” Kenyon said. “We like to see a wide variety. I would love to see more coming from the writing-intensive biology classes.”

Kenyon said submissions go through a screening process where they are looked over by a team of volunteer students and teachers. They are then ranked on a scale from one to five via a private online survey.

“Every submission gets two readers at least, some get three or four depending on how many volunteers we get,” Kenyon said.

The pieces that rank highest are then reviewed and proofread by a smaller group of volunteers during a panel meeting, which was held last year at Kulshan Brewery.

Proofreader marks are then typed up by Kenyon, who sends the revised version to the student that submitted it, who then accept the edits or make changes.

Kenyon said that Karen Blakely of Whatcom’s Art Department processes all of the art pieces.

She added that Whatcom’s Music Department has been shifting, and that there will be a new music teacher in charge of musical submissions this year.

“Writing is where we get the bulk of submissions,” Kenyon said, adding that she would love to find more student volunteers.

The president of Whatcom’s Student Senate, Lucas Nydam, hopes to turn the entire operation into a mostly student-directed publication, and has hopes to bring back a hard-copy publication in addition to the online version, she said.

Nydam said he would like to see more frequent publications of Noisy Water in the future, with more student submissions for each publication. He said he would like to see an issue of Noisy Water come out twice a year if not quarterly.

Nydam said that he will be vice president of a new writing club, The Writers of Whatcom, currently forming under direction of the club’s president, Greg Lane. Nydam said he hopes that the club will have a large part in the creation of future Noisy Water Reviews.

Nydam had a piece published in last year’s Noisy Water publication, a free-verse poem called “Scrap.” He said the best part about being published is “putting a piece of yourself out there” and having other people read your work.

Kenyon said she hopes to see more student involvement and increased readership, although she also enjoys the way that students and teachers currently work together. “I would also love for Noisy Water to get its own URL in order for easier access,” she said. “Right now it’s kind of buried under other webpages.”

There will be a reading of selected written pieces from The Noisy Water Review at Village Books in Fairhaven at the end of spring quarter. Students interested in participating should email noisywater@whatcom.ctc.edu. Submissions can be sent as an email attachment.

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The rockin’ role of music in society

By Zach Barlow

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Ed Chatterton said he knew he wanted to teach a class about “drugs, sex and rock and roll” when he was 18 after attending the 1970 Atlantic Pop Festival. Photo by Zach Barlow.

Edward Chatterton, 62, got his master’s degree in history at Western Washington University and is now a history instructor at Whatcom Community College. What separates Chatterton from most other teachers, however, are not the steps he took to get to where he is. Chatterton’s uniqueness lies in what he has done since then. Chatterton is the creator and instructor of the second-year honors history class titled “Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll: The Role of Popular Music in Societal Change in The U.S. 1954-2013,” or History 295.

“My goal is that students will not take their music at face value but start looking at the deeper meaning, not just in music but how they experience it,” Chatterton said.

The class explores rock music in the 50s and the effect it had on American society and young Americans, as well as how rock music has changed over time and the rock music industry today.

History 295 isn’t like many 100 or survey-level classes that are held on campus, Chatterton said. “It’s a 295 level class which means there’s a certain type of student that’s targeted. We try to explore topics in greater depth and I strongly encourage more interactions between students both in and out of classroom,” Chatterton said.

The concept of an honors class may seem daunting to some, Chatterton said, but if students are interested in the class and are not honor students, or students with a GPA of 3.50 or above, Chatterton will still consider them for the course.

Jen Shore, 25, is a Whatcom student enrolled in the class.

“I was underneath the required GPA level but had taken a class with Mr. Chatterton before. He asked me if I would be interested in taking history 295. I wanted to be a part of the class but told him I didn’t think it was possible. Ed got me in anyway,” Shore said. “I think he’s just looking for people who can make meaningful contributions to his class.”

When Chatterton was 18 years old he attended the 1970 Atlanta Pop Festival in Byron, Ga. The festival held performances by artist such as B.B. King, The Allman Brothers Band, and Jimi Hendrix.

The festival proved to be a monumental moment in Chatterton’s life, he said, and years later he would end up writing his master’s thesis on those experiences.

“Our relationship with music shapes who we are as a society. [Music] shapes interactions between cultural groups; music changes culture and culture changes music,” Chatterton said. “It’s only as I get older and start to look back at that cultural event [the Atlanta Pop Festival] that I start to wonder why most other historians have never heard of it,” Chatterton said.

Chatterton runs the class like an “honors seminar,” he said, where he lets the students themselves be a large part of the driving force behind the curriculum.

“There are no exams all quarter, the majority of your grade comes from your final research paper,” Chatterton said.

The class is focused largely on narrowing down a topic for the students’ research papers and class discussions or “think pieces,” he said.

“My objective with the research papers is to have no one on this campus know more about your topic than you do,” Chatterton said.

He said one of his favorite “think pieces” he does is playing his students the song “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd and asking them what they think the song is about. “It’s really cool to hear what people have to say,” he said.

Shore said after taking the class her musical experience has drastically changed.

“I never really grasped the concept that music was so reflective of society. I mean, I had an idea, but a lot of people take it for granted,” Shore said.

As for research papers this quarter, Chatterton said he was excited about the number of directions his students have chosen to go.

“One student is looking at the phenomenon that is ‘American Idol’ and how it’s changed pop culture, while another student is exploring the links between classical music and metal,” Chatterton said. There’s also a student exploring Grunge Rock in the early 90s in Seattle and another looking at the relationship between musicianship and IQ.

Along with research papers and “think pieces” the class discusses in depth the effects of rock music on racist and sexist cultural norms, he said.

“Part of what I’m seeing is how rock music explodes these racist ideas, and to some degree gender roles too,” Chatterton said. “Look at Chuck Berry, who was a middle-aged, lecherous black dude writing music for 15-year-old white girls.”

The class will also look throughout the quarter at the conflict that arises between rock music as an art form and rock music as an enterprise.

“One example is ‘Tutti Frutti’ sang by Little Richard; here you have this makeup-wearing, loud, screaming, scare-the-hell-out-of-white-people African American dude. Then you have Pat Boone, who is this lily-white dude. Who, later, re-recorded exactly the same song, same words, and same beat,” Chatterton said. “Pat Boone ‘sanitized’ ‘Tutti Frutti.’ The conflict is between sincere music that comes from the heart and music the industry is just trying to make money with.”

Another example Chatterton used is the song “Spend the Night Together” by the Rolling Stones. By the time that song got on the radio they had to change their lyrics to “I want to spend some time together.”

“They had to change their lyrics, but we all know what they meant,” Chatterton said.

Chatterton also compares and contrasts the marketability or “corporation control” of music from the mid-to late-1900s to now, he said.

“Right now something major is happening within the music industry. It’s being democratized through things like YouTube and Pandora,” Chatterton said. “Allen Stone and Macklemore have no record deal. They’re not packaged like some bands and I think that’s a great thing. It takes me back to the 60s when musicians were experimenting all over the place.”

However, Chatterton said he still doesn’t deny the power of marketability and the corporate grasp on some areas of modern music.

“If Katy Perry weighed 300 pounds and had buck teeth she probably wouldn’t be where she is today. Corporations will always try to package music to make a profit,” he said. But due to the internet, record companies can’t say, “‘this is what you’re going to buy’ anymore,” he added.

Another major topic the class covers is the British Invasion, or the popularization of British bands in America.

“The simple answer to what the British Invasion was is The Beatles,” Chatterton explained. “By the 60s our rock was very ‘sugar coated,’ whereas The Beatles had been influenced by our music in the 50s. So in a sense, The Beatles brought American music back to America through a British filter,” Chatterton said.

Chatterton admits that when The Beatles first gained popularity he wasn’t the biggest fan, but later in life he discovered the cultural significance of their music.

“When ‘Sgt. Pepper’ came out I was still into Hendrix, I thought that was ‘wimpo’ music,” Chatterton said. “Later, I did a research paper while I was studying for my masters and I got footage of kids from all around the world talking about what they thought about The Beatles. They all said the same thing, they loved it. The music transcended language. It transcended communism and capitalism,” Chatterton said. “I don’t think we’ll have cultural impact in music like that again.”

Chatterton said he was concerned with today’s music growing into more of an individualistic experience.

“In the 1900s music was more social,” Chatterton said. “Today you have 37 kids getting off a bus and each one of them have a set of ear buds in. There’s no common musical experience with that.” At rock festivals Chatterton said there are a number of bands playing on 4 or 5 different stages. People are then forced to pick and choose who they want to see, dividing themselves. It’s not the same as “if you’re one band and have 400,000 people digging you,” he said.

“The soundtrack to our lives is heard solo. Whether that’s good or bad I don’t know, but I do think that something is lost,” Chatterton said.

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Reading beyond the lines

By Jeremy Rick

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Marie Matteson, a professional psychic and licensed massage practitioner, says everyone is intuitive and can strenghthen these abilities through practice. Photo by Zach Barlow.

During the first half of March Whatcom Community College’s Community and Continuing Education (CCE) program offered a chance for people to discover and explore their psychic abilities in a course entitled “Developing Your Psychic Intelligence.”

“We’re always looking for course trends. What’s ‘hot’ now?” said Linda Howson, the CCE program specialist. “We’ve offered a class for many years called ‘Awaken Your Intuition,’” she said, adding that the class was quite popular and inspired the CCE program to create the class about psychic intelligence.

The course, which met Mondays between March 3 and March 17, was led by Marie Matteson, a licensed massage practitioner and professional psychic who has been an instructor with the CCE program since 2005.

Matteson said she introduced students to the topic with the book “Psychic Intelligence” by Terry and Linda Jamison, identical twins who gained public attention through their predictions of future events such as the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

In their book, the Jamison sisters describe psychic abilities as products of intuition, the ability to sense things through means other than the five physical senses alone.

“A lot of moms are like psychics on steroids,” Matteson said, because they often “know” things about their children that they did not perceive directly.

Matteson described this as “gut feelings taken to the next level.”

During course sessions, Matteson led students through exercises to help eradicate mental inhibitions that often prevent people from utilizing their intuition, she said.

One of these exercises involved “putting a thought, a feeling, or a color into a cotton-ball and passing it along,” she said. The person to whom the cotton-ball was passed then guessed what the previous person put into it.

The key to this exercise is “getting out of your own head and tuning in” to the world around you, Matteson said. There is no way for a person to rationalize their guess, she said, they must simply intuit it.

“Everyone is intuitive. Some people have stronger intuitive abilities than others because they use it like a muscle,” she said.

By using her intuition and tuning in to the world around her, Matteson said she has been developing her psychic intelligence since she was 4-years-old.

“I can remember hearing a distinctly different voice, and that started at age four,” she said.

Over time, the voices she heard began telling her information about things she did not otherwise see or hear about, which did not always turn out well, she said.

“I started getting in trouble for knowing things because I started saying them,” she said. “I knew in 5th grade that my teacher was pregnant. I didn’t see anything, I just knew. It was like the thought just popped into my head.”

Because Matteson could not explain how she knew, she said she was accused of eavesdropping and punished.

That was the “pivotal point where I decided ‘I’m not saying anything,’” she said.

While Matteson kept quiet about her intuitive abilities for quite some time after this, she eventually began incorporating them into her holistic medical practices, she said.

“We are moving into an age of new acceptance of things we previously couldn’t explain or has been limited by society,” she said, adding “there are psychics in every culture,” but they are judged differently.

“Our society tends to want to put labels on things. Our brains want to put labels on things. Our brains want to categorize things,” Matteson said. It is because of this, she said, that intuition and the scientifically inexplicable nature of its workings have been labeled as “psychic,” causing much skepticism around the topic.

Matteson also said that the human brain is incapable of processing all of the information it receives from the environment, and people must choose which information to pay attention to.

“Intuition is the general perception of all of it,” she said. Humans live in time and space, Matteson said, but there is a “different dimension with no time” or space. Intuition allows an individual to tune in to this other dimension and perceive information not available in this dimension, she said.

“I recommend people go sit in nature and just be,” Matteson said, because this allows them to perceive the intuitive thoughts and feelings that normally go unnoticed in everyday life.

While this is just one example of how to get in touch with one’s intuition, Matteson said to “figure out what works for you and use it to your advantage.”

Howson said students taking CCE courses are surveyed afterwards, and future courses depend on their reviews. Classes about intuition have received positive reviews in the past, she said, and the CCE program will likely offer more on the topic.

Course offerings in this field can be found on Whatcom’s Community and Continuing Education website under “current classes” and “self-exploration.”

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A crowning achievment

By Jake Knight

After competing in the Miss Whatcom County Pageant for three years, Western Washington University student Lizzi Jackson, 22, was finally crowned Miss Whatcom County 2014. The pageant was held Sat. March 9 in Whatcom Community College’s Syre Student Center auditorium. Jackson beat six other contestants for the four-pointed crown.

“I’m still in shock and freaking out,” Jackson said. “I finally won!”

The Miss Whatcom County Scholarship Program is a contest where young women ages 17 to 24 compete for scholarships. “The young women showcase their talents, leadership skills and involvement in community service,” they said on their website.

Contestants must be high school seniors or enrolled full-time at a college in Whatcom County and must work full-time. Each woman chooses a philanthropic project to pursue and develop if she wins.

Nine scholarships are awarded to contestants, and each non-finalist is awarded $200.

In addition to being crowned Miss Whatcom County, Jackson won the Interview Scholarship and the Four Points of the Crown Award, amounting to $2,550 in scholarships total.

According to the Miss Whatcom County website, contestants are judged based on their performances in the five portions of the pageant: talent, private interview, evening wear, lifestyle and fitness in swimsuit, and their on stage responses to questions.

“You definitely get an adrenaline rush” when on stage, said pageant contestant Veronica Coughlin, 18.

Other than the evening wear and swimsuit portions, there were many notable performances in the talent section of the pageant.

Delaney Byrd, 19, a Whatcom student and pageant contestant who won the Talent Scholarship for her rendition of Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind,” put on a show for the audience.

“It was so nerve-wracking, but thrilling. I was so nervous getting up there,” said Byrd. She also mentioned that she almost tripped during her performance, but persevered through the rest of her song.

Jackson gained loud applause from the crowd during her performance of Klaus Bedelt’s “He’s a Pirate,” on clarinet. “He’s a Pirate” is the theme song from “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

Jackson’s philanthropic project is Compass to Campus: Investing in Our Future, a program at Western where college students mentor students in fifth through twelfth grade. Jackson will visit classrooms around Whatcom County to talk about the importance of mentors and mentorship programs and how people can get involved. She will graduate from Western in June, with a double major in Marketing and Management Information Systems. She wants to become a digital marketing manager at Disney Interactive.

As Miss Whatcom County 2014, Jackson will meet with with city and state officials, community leaders, and volunteer at Whatcom County events. She will also compete in the Miss Washington Scholarship Pageant in June.

“Miss Whatcom County makes many appearances throughout the year, at all of our community festivals. Ski-to-Sea, Pioneer Days, Birch Bay Days, Lynden Farmers Parade, Bellingham Children’s Festival, just to name a few. She also goes into schools, senior citizens centers, speaks at business events and works on her platform,” said Jim Swartos, the master of ceremonies for the pageant this year.

“Lizzi is my role model,” said Coughlin. “I think that she deserves it.”

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