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Letter from the Editor

by Matt Benoit

I’ve been watching my fair share of NBC’s Winter Olympics coverage lately. The 21st Winter Olympiad, of course, is going on just north of us in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Winter Games have always been my favorite, more so than the Summer Games.

 I think the reason is the great sense of speed and allure of potential danger that many of its events contain—from speed skating to downhill skiing to bobsled—there is a certain fascination with the spectacle of these events, almost removing some of them from the notion of “game” territory.

That potential danger can be very real, as evidenced by the death of 21-year-old Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, who was killed during a training run on Feb. 12 when he flew off his sled and into an unprotected metal pole at nearly 90 mph.

I realize that some people reading this may not care about the Olympics; there are many people I know who are not much into sports at all. But the Olympics represent more than just a medal count or a series of final scores and statistics—they represent the stories of many people and cultures.

These are stories both heartbreaking and uplifting. They are people’s dreams, and nightmares, realized; their hard work and soft emotion. Their perseverance and dedication.

So many times the Olympics have taken on a greater significance in the light of world events—“The Miracle on Ice” at Lake Placid in 1980, where the US men’s hockey team defeated the USSR in the midst of the Cold War; the horrible tragedy of the 1972 Munich Games, where Palestinian terrorists took most of the Israeli team hostage and killed them.

The Olympics can help us, as human beings, to recognize our differences and try to—at least temporarily—put them aside, and instead embrace our commonality through the spirit and intensity of competitive sport. Perhaps nowhere else is that tired but true phrase, “the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat,” more relevant.

The Games prove that, sometimes, barriers are not meant to hold back, but rather to be broken through (not necessarily literally, mind you; but this too, can happen at the Olympics) in the hopes of greater achievement.

The dreams of the many Olympic athletes remind and inspire me to continue to pursue my dreams, and I suggest you aspire to do the same. Whatever those dreams are, don’t give up on them. Be realistic, but don’t give up. Be not pessimistic, but persistent. Life doesn’t owe you anything, and there are no guarantees, but if you really want something, the effort is always worth it, win or lose.

If you let your dreams slip away, you may regret it. I’ve always felt that the formula for regret is a simple one: missed opportunity plus time equals regret. And that’s one equation that no one wants to be writing.

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Council Notes


The Dance Club has been created at Whatcom. Students will be able to attend the club as a source for information on modern dance. The club hopes to collaborate with the Western Washington University Dance Club, and eventually start a dancing degree program here at Whatcom.


A Comm. Club representative has been approved to receive $500 to attend the International Conference for Social Science in Hawaii during early June.


The Technology Committee is planning to buy 20 new desk-top computers for the new location of the SAL computer lab in Heiner after the summer quarter. In addition, students will be able to rent laptops from the lab using their student I.D. cards.

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The Freedom to Quench My Thirst

By Robert Foxcurran

My name is Lucas Prindle, and for the past four years of High school I have been living a lie. At home I am viewed as the model son and at school a model student. I have a 3.9 accumulative GPA, I’m a two sport athlete, editor of the school newspaper, and Vice President of Roosevelt High School in North Seattle, but the lie? Contrary to my parents’ and teachers’ beliefs, my extracurricular activities off campus aren’t quite so…. healthy. Since my freshman year, I have drunk excessively at least twice a week, every week since I entered High school. Sound unhealthy? Well, it is, but let me make it clear that I’ve never been a fool when it comes to booze. Over the last four years I have never driven drunk, I never drink to a point where I get sick, and to this date, I have never been caught. I’m not an idiot, I just like to have a good time with my friends and alcohol enhances that experience.

            I have always acquired my alcohol through my older brother Chris, who was always willing to help me out and even let me and my buddies drink at his apartment. Unfortunately for me, today Chris told me that he got a job in Portland and that he’s moving out next week. Aside from the immediate shock that my big bro was moving away from me, a realization hit: “Who’s gonna buy me beer now?” Luckily, Chris is the man and had a plan set up for me that he guaranteed would work.

            “All you need to do is go to the DMV and tell them you’re me and that you’ve lost your driver’s license and need a new one,” he said. “They ask you a few questions about me, you answer them right, they take your picture and you got yourself a 100% real I.D. I won’t be a Washington resident anymore, so there will be no issue with my current license because I can get one from Oregon.”

            I liked it, I liked it a lot. The plan sounded simple enough. Chris and I look almost identical, same hair, same eyes, and a similar nose. Chris has two inches on me but no one would be able to tell without him next to me to compare. I spent two days studying everything about Chris that a clerk at the DMV could possibly ask me. I learned his social security number, all of his exact physical features, I finally got down his birthday (October 12th, I missed it last year…), and a whole list of other personal questions that they might ask me to prove I was Chris. Chris even gave me a copy of his birth certificate to help convince the DMV I was him.

Confident and ready to go, I drove to the DMV downtown. I could have driven to the one in Wallingford, which would have been closer to my house, but I didn’t want to take the risk that I might run into anyone who knew me. I paid for street parking and walked into the DMV, where there were a small number of people sitting in chairs waiting for their numbers to be called. I took a number and took a seat. As I sat there in that big room full of strangers, I began to get incredibly nervous. What I am doing is identity theft! How could I have not thought about that before now? I started questioning whether or not I had prepared myself enough to pretend I was Chris, Christopher Rubin Prindle that is. I began repeating all of his personal information in my head over and over. My palms began to sweat; they always sweat when I’m nervous. I reached into my coat pocket to make sure I still had the copy of Chris’s birth certificate, thank God it was there.

            After about twenty minutes, my number was finally called. I stood up and walked to the counter with my number overhead. There was a heavy-set black woman at the counter who seemed nice enough. Her name tag said “Christine” and she greeted me with a smile and asked what she could do for me. I tried to force a smile and paused awkwardly for a moment before I told her, “My name is Christopher Rubin Prindle and I lost my driver’s license and need a new one.” She stared at me for a moment and then asked:

“Okay Mr. Prindle, if you’ll just give me a copy of your birth certificate and your social security number we can get you your new license.”

I reached into my pocket and pulled out the birth certificate. My palms were sweating more than ever as I handed it over and it made the paper a little damp, I think Christine noticed. 

“Do you have your social security card with you, sir?” asked Christine.

“My social security card was in my wallet along with my old driver’s license,” I told her, “My wallet was stolen yesterday.” I was briefly proud of myself for thinking so quickly on my feet. She asked me for my social security number and I told her quickly, rattling it off as I had done a hundred times in my head the past two days. She began typing on her computer and clicking away on her mouse. She then paused for a moment and looked up at me, straight into my eyes. Then she glanced back again at her computer, before turning her head back again and giving me another long stare.

“Mark, could you come over here for a moment?” When she said that, I swear, my stomach lurched. She was waving to someone who was probably a supervisor to come over to her window. I thought to myself, “Should I run? No. Stick to the plan, they’ll figure it out if you run and call the police, be confident.”  The supervisor came over and looked at the computer screen. He then looked up and just like Christine gave me a long stare. “They must have Chris’s old picture up on the screen! They’re definitely comparing me to Chris right now!” I’m sure I looked guilty just standing there at that moment. Not only were my palms sweating, but now my face was dripping with sweat. “Is there a problem?” I asked, my voice wavering as I said it. The supervisor looked one more time at me then at the computer screen then looked back at Christine.

“No problem, sir. Go ahead and give Mr. Prindle his license, Chrissie,” he said.

I couldn’t believe it, had I just done it? Did it really just work? Before, the plan had seemed so simple and straightforward, I couldn’t imagine how much stress it would put me under. Christine then continued to type away for a moment before she told me to walk over to the line on my right to get my picture taken. I thanked her for her help, my voice slightly more confident now, and walked over to have my picture taken and be handed the paper copy of my new driver’s license, complete with my picture, Chris’s name, and Chris’s legal birthday. Contemplating how dangerous this plan actually was, how much trouble I would have been in if things had gone south, I thought to myself, “Was this really worth all that risk?” Hell yeah it was. Next stop: the liquor store.

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The Many Faces of Work Study

By Reed Klein

You might not notice a Work Study student around campus, but they are everywhere. The library, the copy center, the registration office – Work Study offers job positions at these places and more for students who wish to work on campus.

The reason you may not notice them is because they are so well integrated into their jobs. The offices they work in would have tremendous labor if not for Work Study.

Governor Gregoire’s budget proposal plans to cut the program. To one Work Study student, Kirstina Blake, that is detrimental.

“I’m a first generation college student,” says Blake. The first one in my family to go to college. Statistically I should not be in school. But Work Sudy allows me to do this.” To see who else is affected, here are just some of the other Work Study students at WCC.

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Valentine’s Day Celebrations at WCC

By Kelly Sullivan

Valentines made in the school library, Spanish club baking contests and dating games in the cafeteria? Not the usual list of suspects that come to mind when planning your Valentines Day activities. However, this year on the Whatcom campus we found a few thoughtful and creative alternatives besides the usual trips to crowded restaurants, for couples and singles alike.

The annual Dating Game will take place Wednesday, Feb. 10, sponsored by the Activities Committee students. It will be held in the Syre Auditorium from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Prizes will be awarded and students may still sign up in the Student Programs Office on the second floor of Syre.

A “Bellingham chic” option could be the art trading cards made by student members of Whatcom’s Art Awareness Club, WAAC. They are small paper prints that student members will have uniquely created. The club will be selling them on campus for about $1 to $2 apiece, in the Syre Center, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 10.

For an event to attend with friends or your significant other, the Spanish club is having a celebration on Feb. 16, called “El dia de los enamorados.” There will be arts and crafts, making valentines for friends, family or your partner. There will be a baking contest with prizes for best smelling, best tasting and best presentation. Prizes will be awarded. There will also be games: Love Hangman and Love Pictionary in Spanish. Any and all are welcome, and encouraged to join in the festivities. Show up in Laidlaw 208 at 4 p.m.

More valentine-making will take place in the Library. There will be a table set up with every possible decorative craft imaginable. There will be glitter pens, doilies, markers, construction paper, you name it. The event is sponsored by the Library Marketing Committee. The table will be up from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11, and on Friday, Feb. 12.

“We like to see smiles on students’ faces and making valentines generates some pretty good grins,” said Library director Linda Lambert. “I still remember this one guy, easily 6-foot, 4 inches, sitting on knees, backpack on his back, gluing on pieces of lace and cut-out hearts on a metallic sheet.”

Sally Sheedy will be running the Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt in the library. It is an opportunity for students to learn about the content of Whatcom’s library, where to find the content, as well as learn some interesting facts about Valentine’s Day. “It should be a no brainer,” promised Sheedy.

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