Letter from the Editor

By Matt Benoit

The fragrant aroma of chili wafted prominently down the hallway from Syre 108 last Wednesday, Feb. 4. It enticed many, including myself, to get heartburn (or, perhaps, worse) for a good cause. To those of you who may be eating as you read this, I apologize for that last bit.

This event, of course, was Whatcom’s second Annual Combined Fund Drive Chili Cook-Off Challenge, with donations from the event going to several charities for Haiti earthquake relief. All told, there were 18 chilis to be tasted, and, being such a chili fanatic, I tasted all of them. Then I threw up.

No, actually, I’m only joking, although I did briefly kind of feel like I was going to die. I drank cup after cup of ice water. I sweated profusely through my shirt. I went to the bathroom, and stayed there for several hours. To those of you who may be eating as you read this, I once again apologize for that last part.

Seriously, though, there were chilis of many kinds. There was seafood chili, wimpy chili, wild chili (there was no domesticated chili, from what I saw), springtime chili, and five-pepper chili.

There was a no-name chili and chilis with great names, including: “Black Beans and Consequences,” the “Best Damn Chili You’ll Ever Taste…and Then Some,”  “Some Kind of Chili,” Linda Lambert’s library-inspired “Dewey Decimator Chili 641,”and, conjuring up images of Al Gore, Jim Hollingsworth’s “Global Warming, It is Here,” chili.

There was, as comedian Ron White once eloquently put it, “chili everywhere.” Even hours after the event, the smell of chili lingered in the air of the classroom as if it had been permanently absorbed into the paint on the walls.

In the end, $1,671 was raised, and Cindy Woods’ “Chiang Mai High” chili took home the coveted Trustee’s Award. Cindy Hoskins also won for the “Best Damn Chili You’ll Ever Eat,” and the People’s Choice Award (everyone had the chance to vote for their favorite chili) will be announced on Professional Development Day on Feb. 26.

I have just used the word “chili” 22 times in an editor’s column. Now it’s 23 times. That is a record that will, one imagines, never be eclipsed as long as the Horizon continues to be published. Did I mention that I love chili? I think I’m getting hungry.

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Letter from the Editor

It’s a new year, a new decade, and a new quarter here at the Horizon. After all, it wouldn’t be an old one, would it?

We’ve got a great staff this quarter, and I am once again your editor-in-chief, which I think is kind of an odd title. I mean, I think that if that is my title, I should get to wear one of those large, traditional Native American headdresses.

On a more serious note, though, there is a lot of concern these days over potential budget cuts in higher education for the next school year. For some students, state financial aid will probably be reduced if not eliminated all together. Other students may lose Work Study positions.

With all of this potentially looming, it’s as important as ever to apply as early as possible for financial aid and scholarships, and to really concentrate on making your winter quarter at Whatcom a success.

I’d also like to take the time to wish those of you who’ve recently applied or are in the process of applying for transfers to universities the best of luck. May you be accepted to the college of your dreams.

Finally, if you have yet to contribute to the Haiti relief effort, now would be a great time to start. Take a few minutes out of your day to donate some money via text message or the Internet—whatever you can give—to the Red Cross, Doctors without Borders, or some other quality aid organizations.

Looking at the devastation in Haiti makes one realize how fortunate most of us are. If worrying about grades, getting accepted into universities, and how to pay for school are our biggest concerns, then we’re doing pretty darn good.

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