New trustee appointed to board

By Kaila Cove

Teresa Taylor was appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to serve a five-year term as a member on the board of trustees at Whatcom Community College in October.

“Trustees face the exciting challenge to seek out, consider, and balance many diverse values and interests as they engage in the policy-making process that guides the colleges to excellence and success,” Kloke said.

Taylor says that she has been living in Ferndale for 25 years where she is a member on the Ferndale City Council.

Teresa Taylor

Teresa Taylor accepted for position in October

Taylor moved to Whatcom County at the age of 3 after previously living in Chicago.

“I grew up in Bellingham where I attended Roosevelt Elementary, Assumption Catholic School, and Bellingham High School,” Taylor said by email.

Whatcom Community College is familiar grounds to Taylor.

“I am a graduate of Whatcom Community College where I received my AAS [Associate of Applied Science] degree.”

Taylor also was a student of Western Washington University. “I studied accounting and more recently project management,” Taylor said.

Taylor’s educational background also includes attending Washington State University.

“I completed the Master Gardener, Master Composter & Recycler, and Carbon Master programs from Washington State University and the Patient Navigation program at WCC,” she said in her email.

Taylor replaces board member Tim Douglas whom Taylor says she admires. Douglas served for 10 years on the board, Taylor said, but he decided to not continue for another term.

“I filled his position, and he’s a tough act to follow,” she said.

The board consists of five members from the community: John Pedlow, Steve Adelstein, Wendy Bohlke, Rebecca Johnson, and Teresa Taylor.

In addition to the Ferndale City Council, Taylor is an active member in various community groups, including Ferndale Downtown Association and Bellingham International Airport Advisory.

“Involvement with your community is both priceless and invaluable, and the feeling of fulfillment can be endless,” Taylor said.

As a member of the board of trustees, Taylor explained that her job, along with all the members on the board as “setting the college’s strategic direction, establishing policy for the college, awarding tenure, approving the operating budget and hiring the college president.”

Taylor, who is a registered member of the Lummi Nation and active on the Lummi Indian Business council, said she hopes to help contribute to making Whatcom inclusive and diverse by providing “a cultural and environmental feeling of belonging.”

Rafeeka Kloke, who is the special assistant to the president of Whatcom, said that trustees such as Taylor have an essential link with the community.

“They both represent the community to the college and advocate for the college in the community and state,” she said.

Part of Taylor’s role in this process is to establish partnerships with various agencies and organizations.


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See the world, study abroad

By Apple Parry

Students who are interested in seeing the world, meeting new people, and trying new foods should check out the study abroad program at Whatcom Community College.

“It’s definitely worth it. I can almost guarantee it’s something you won’t forget for the rest of your life,” said Ulli Schraml, the associate director of international programs at Whatcom.

Over the next year, Whatcom students can attend study abroad trips around the world, in countries such as France, India, Morocco, and Spain.

Whatcom is not alone in this educational endeavor — it is working with 16 other colleges through the Whatcom Community College Consortium for Study Abroad.

Schraml said that working with the Consortium helps to recruit students, making the overall cost cheaper.

Included in the cost of the trip is housing, insurance, a public transportation pass, and group excursions, such as hiking trips or museum tours.

But students must foot the bill for airfare, a passport, and tuition, along with other less-obvious expenses.

“It definitely is a big challenge,” Schraml said, “plan ahead.”

The change of being abroad can help some struggling students, Schraml said, “Generally students who are not doing that well here are doing better abroad. It’s a new environment. It’s hands-on learning. Basically anyone can go.”

Lyon, France:

Lyon is a hot-spot for student tourism.

Upon arrival, there will be a tour of the ancient city and its 2,000-year-old historic center, plush with Roman architecture.

Students can look forward to cheese tasting, cooking classes, and a day trip to Beaune, a city revered among wine aficionados — also included are visits to the Roman amphitheater and, equally exciting, a chocolate shop.

Study abroad classes are tailored to fit the location by faculty. Professors teach classes that they have taught before in America and infuse them with a new angle appropriate to the country the class is visiting.

The class students who visit Lyon will be taking is “American Literature: Visions of France,” which is a five credit course.

This trip is planned for spring quarter. The application deadline is December 14, 2018.

Himachal Pradesh, India:

There is not much information about the trip to Himachal Pradesh, except that it will be in summer quarter and will be combined with an environmental literature class — the rest is TBD.

The application deadline is Jan 4, 2019.

Rabat, Morocco:

The trip to Rabat offers a new twist on the traditional study abroad experience: students will be staying with a host family.

Students can hope to experience Rabat’s rich and colorful culture by making bread, taking dance lessons, and going on a three-day excursion to the history-soaked city of Marrakesh.

Classes are varied and include subjects such as history, literature, and colloquial Moroccan Arabic lessons, which are taught by a local instructor.

This is the second study abroad opportunity of the summer. The application deadline for Morocco is May 15, 2019.

Barcelona, Spain:

Visiting Barcelona, touted as the most modern city in Spain, is an option for study abroad in the fall.

Students will enjoy weekly cultural activities; an overnight stay in Zaragoza, a city with impressive architecture; and a three-day trip to different Spanish highlights.

This trip is paired with a creative writing class, which involves writing a travel journal, or an English literature class.

The application deadline is June 24, 2019.

Studying abroad is a mix of work and pleasure, and Schraml said it’s important to strike a balance.

“There is always free time, but it’s definitely a commitment,” Schraml said.


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The Olde Fashioned Christmas shines

By Kaila Cove

The Olde Fashioned Christmas, which is held at Pioneer Park, is an event that includes live performances, holiday cookies and refreshments, horse-drawn sleigh rides, games, arts and crafts, baking, and a visit from Santa to kick-start the holiday season for Whatcom County.

This event is held by the Ferndale Heritage Society and attracts visitors from all over.

“Pioneer Park is the world’s largest collection of cedar log-slab cabins,” Linda Harkleroad said, who is coordinator of the Olde Fashioned Christmas at Pioneer Park. These log cabins started arriving in the 70s and contain historic artifacts.

Harkleroad said Pioneer Park was created in 1901. Back then, it was known as a picnic for settlers to gather.

She said that Ferndale owns the park and the log cabins, the Old Settlers own the artifacts, and the Ferndale Heritage society takes care of the park.

One of the parks newest additions is new Americans with Disabilities Act compliant sidewalks.

Dusty Sager, who has been attending the Olde Fashioned Christmas since the 90s says he, “can’t wait to go this year with the new pavement walkway.”

Pioneer Park holds public tours and runs the education program, in the spring, and the Olde Fashioned Christmas, in the fall.

harkleroad

Linda Harkleroad and Dusty Sager at the Olde Fashioned Christmas Festival

Harkleroad said that the Olde Fashioned Christmas is “an annual event. We always do it the first weekend in December. We try to keep it very non-commercial.” Everything is included in the $4 ticket at the door.

During this event, each historic cabin has a theme. “This year’s theme is our ‘favorite collections,’” Harkleroad said.

An example of “favorite collections” are angels, miniature Santas, and toy trains. Each cabin has a separate activity.

Tom Brand, a member of the Ferndale Heritage Society says, “It is nice to have that educational aspect for the younger kids and the reminiscent part for the older folks.”

Last year the park celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Olde Fashioned Christmas, and this year will be the events 26th year.

“It’s the main Christmas event for the community,” Harkleroad said. She says the main goal of this event is to get the holiday season started in a calming manner.

Harkleroad says the Ferndale Christmas tree lighting starts the event.

People come from all over to attend the Olde Fashioned Christmas. The Foresters Association has “pre-ordered 75 tickets already for their group to come in on Saturday,” Harkleroad said.

Brand says, “We get people from Seattle, Everett, Canada that have been here before, and they come back because they say it’s so spectacular. We bring people to town and Whatcom County.”

Harkleroad said that the mayor of Ferndale, Jon Mutchler, is expected to make an appearance and play the piano. At the same time, Ferndale Heritage Society said they hope that this event doesn’t become so large that the Olde Fashioned Christmas loses its intimacy.

The admission price to attend the Olde Fashioned Christmas is $4 for adults and $3 for children. “The cheapest entertainment you’ll ever have,” Harkleroad said.

She says this is an event worth people’s money because it is possible to spend the whole afternoon here.

Brand says, “It’s an easy two-hour amount of time to go through here. You can get as much out of it as you want.” People who attend this event have the option to walk through 12 decorated cabins that each have a holiday activity.

“It’s an outing for four bucks — coming down here and going though these cabins getting some hot coffee or cocoa to drink and cookies while going on a horse drawn ride and enjoying the entertainment,” she said.

Harkleroad said that this year was the last year that the Olde Fashioned Christmas will be able to provide tickets at such a low price.

Harkleroad believes that this event is “as close as you’re going to get” to an old fashioned Christmas. “It is definitely authentic. There is nothing phony about it,” she said.

Harkleroads says, “For those interested in history, this is a gold mine.” Also if you enjoy Christmas lights, Harkleroad said that the park provides a beautiful visual display when the lights brighten up the park at night.

“It’s a treasure to have something like this all in one place,” Brand says.

Harkleroad says she appreciates the heartfelt spirit, the cabins, and the lights.

She also enjoys “the glee in some of these little kids — some of them concentrate so hard on writing that letter to Santa, and they are so cute.”

Brand says his favorite part of this event is seeing the joy of kids and learning about the artifacts. “I just think it’s neat to give back to the community and to keep a focus for people to have in this troubled time,” he said. Both volunteers feel this event is a great way to indulge in the atmosphere holiday spirit.

Harkleroad says live performances from local performers happen throughout the weekend and Rainbow Ranch brings their horses for horse-drawn carriage rides at no extra cost. Refreshments and cookies will be provided at no charge and old-fashioned games will be available. Crafts will be provided in every cabin and Santa Claus will be there to visit. Cookie baking and applesauce will be at the Jenny House and the Shields.

Harkleroad said some people have attended this event since they were children, and now they bring their own children along as a family tradition.

Sager says, “It’s a family tradition to see the park decorated for Christmas.” Sager says he brings his children to visit Santa and enjoys the tastiest applesauce.

“I think it brings the best of our small town together for a few nights,” Sager says. He says some of their favorite parts about the event is singing Christmas songs and going on horse-drawn carriage rides.

Harkleroad says that the “real Santa” visits the Olde Fashioned Christmas at Pioneer Park. “We have the real Santa, just saying,” Harkleroad said. It has also been noted that Santa writes back every single person that writes a letter to him at the Olde Fashioned Christmas.


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Unwrapping the gift of Christmas cinema

By Apple Parry

This holiday season is upon us, folks. So grab your cocoa, sit back, and get critical. I picked five different movies that don’t have anything in common except for the time of year they were set in, and I rated them.

‘Elf’

elf

Will Ferrell gave his most wholesome performance as Buddy the Elf in “Elf.” As far as Christmas movies go, this is the perfect balance between comedic and extravagant.

Without going totally over the top, this movie still hits all the marks of a feel-good show.

Early on, Buddy discovers he is adopted, and this is quite a shock to Buddy because he is delusional. So he heads out to find his dad.

While Buddy is navigating his way through New York, he gets hit by a car, demonstrates the proper way to go up an escalator, how to really make spaghetti, and teaches the youth how to win a snowball fight.

Rated G, this movie is perfect for watching with your entire family, especially if someone is adopted, and you need to find a way to tell them. — just send them to a worldwide crime hot-spot, alone, wearing an elf costume, and I think they’ll get the message.

I give this movie 10 out of 10 candy canes.

‘Love Actually’

love actually

If you haven’t seen “Love Actually,” you’ll be just fine.

With nine different story lines, this movie shows us how to actually love.

It stars Professor Snape, Nanny McPhee, the guy from “Taken,” and a bunch of other British people.

Take away a few scenes and the Christmas theme, and this movie could have been set at any time of the year.

Kirsten Parry, my mom, said, “The entire movie caters to the male ego” and “It’s annoying.” But if you like unnecessarily complicated and inappropriate movies, give this rom-com a watch.

I give this movie 9 out of 10 trash cans

‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’

grinch

The Christmas movie that basically raised me was Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

We all know the story of how a bitter, former Who tried to ruin Christmas for the hopeful town folk, and how in the end, his heart grew three sizes.

But with the help of relatable teens, a new side of the Grinch was uncovered. When the Grinch ate glass and struggled to find something to wear, we all felt that.

Jim Carrey made a hashtag-relatable character. The only bad thing about this movie is how creepy the makeup and hair make the actors look.

If you’ve ever wanted to be inside a snowflake for an hour and 50 minutes, just head on down to Whoville. But don’t stay too long, the whole town revolves around Christmas, and that’s why the Grinch left in the first place.

I give this movie 38 out of 37 Who puddings.

‘The Princess Switch’

princess switch

Netflix debuted their newest original this holiday season, “The Princess Switch,” and it is bad.

If you’ve ever wanted to see a Christmas version of “The Parent Trap,” just log onto Netflix and search this title.

Vanessa Hudgens, who plays both main roles, does not make a classy comeback.

Every plot point is overdone and, in 2018, is redundant. Hudgens’ British accent alone is reason enough to not watch this movie.

93 percent of Google users liked this movie, which means 93 percent of Google users are idiots.

There are reasons humans have the ability to imagine and create, and this isn’t one of them.

I give this movie a “multiply by zero” rating, because it will never be good.

 ‘Die Hard’

die hard poster

Bruce Willis stars as John McClane, “a hard man to kill,” in “Die Hard.”

When McClane flies to L.A. to visit family on Christmas Eve, everything goes terribly wrong. Alan Rickman, who plays the villain in this movie as well, takes McClane’s wife as a hostage.

McClane sneaks his way around the building unseen, like a badass, and breaks a lot of things. The film includes terrorists, elevator shafts, walkie talkies, and iconic one liners. There will always be controversy when it comes to whether this is a Christmas movie or not, but I think we can all agree It’s a nice break from literally any Hallmark movie.

I give this movie 1 out of 1 “yippee ki yays.”

Happy holidays to all, and to all a good quarter.


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Give me education or give me debt!

By Ken Johnson

Community college helps to bridge the chasm between the American dream and the American reality.

The United States, more than most other countries, prescribes a narrative over the lives of its citizens: grade school, university, career, retirement, and then an uncomfortable death at an unfamiliar hospital, doped up on morphine.

In most of the country, high-school graduates are expected to go to college, and about 70 percent of them do, according to Pew Research Center — that’s up 20 percent from 1970.

Many jobs that didn’t previously require a university degree, such as salesperson or pilot, now require some sort of degree. And that’s a little weird because a bachelor’s degree in history has nothing to do with flying a plane.

Even if someone manages to find a job that doesn’t require some sort of degree, people with degrees look down their noses at people without degrees, especially in cities like Bellingham.

A college degree might as well be the star on the belly of a sneetch.

So a university degree is a status symbol, as well as a prerequisite for landing a job. On the surface, that doesn’t seem like such a bad thing: a liberal arts education can provide context to an otherwise confusing life and help people become more informed citizens. It seems like that, if everyone was educated, there would be fewer problems in the world — fewer Donald Trumps.

Except that college is dangerously expensive.

In 2017, according to Pew Research Center, there was over $1.3 trillion in American student debt, and the average recipient of a bachelor’s degree was over $25,000 in collegiate debt. Roughly half of the people who have bachelor’s degrees do not think that the benefit of the degree outweighs the financial cost. That’s a 50 percent college-regret rate.

And some organizations, such the Huffington Post, have found a connection between student loans and suicide.

Is a liberal arts degree really worth all that?

No. It’s not.

Especially when the reason why anyone would get a liberal arts education is considered. I mean, think about the phrase “liberal arts.” In Latin “liberal” is generally synonymous with “freedom” or “the pursuit of a freeman” — think about the word “liberty.”

I’m not a linguist, but the point I’m trying to make is that a liberal arts education is all about being free. It’s about being able to think for yourself and engage with the world on your own terms.

But there is absolutely nothing liberating about being crushed and churned around in a Sisyphean cycle of debt.

So on one hand, a liberal arts education is a nice thing to have, but on the other hand, getting one ruins lives.

That brings me to community college: the happy medium between an irreparable credit score and being able to name the impacts of climate change.

Community college has two main benefits: it’s cheaper, and everybody is accepted.

There is a special kind of dumb hypocrisy in wanting everyone to go to college, but then turning away a lot of potential students, because, however high an acceptance rate is, some people are still being denied.

Community college is pragmatic where most American universities are elitist. The realization that community colleges have made is that most Americans are not 18 years old and wealthy.

Some people need to work while they’re in school. Some people grow old, not Neil Patrick Harris, but some people.

Community college has flaws and in no way fixes everything. It’s kind of like putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound… it helps, a little.

It keeps the good part of going to university — the education — and mitigates the bad parts — the debt and self-loathing.

Community college should expand, and it should become free.

I’m no financial analyst, but maybe we should spend money on educating people before we spend money on shiny Star Wars-style military jets.

Hell, with 1.3 trillion in debt, a crafty government could really get cracking on some state-sponsored terrorism. And if it’s lucky, even topple a democratically elected socialist.

Or educate its citizens.


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The official student newspaper of Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Washington