Thursday, December 15, 2016

Tyler Seal: Ferrum College Senior and First-generation Cattleman

An Interview by Tyler Van Allen

For Tyler Seal, easy days don’t come often, especially when he is taking 18 credit hours during his senior year. However, four years ago a degree from Ferrum College seemed like an afterthought for him. A year after leaving school, Tyler knew he had to find a way to become successful. He had a conversation with a co-worker about cattle and it sounded like a great way to make an income. Tyler knew he needed to learn the ins and outs of the cattle business. “I ended up checking the Madison County Livestock Market and knew this is what I needed to do,” he said.

By the time he was 18, Tyler had nine head of cattle (six heifers, three steers) and then acquired an additional two heifers by the time he was 20. After a year away from school, Tyler knew he needed to get back to school.  He decided to use his earnings from selling cattle to help further his education. Without his time in the cattle business, Tyler’s educational future would not be where it’s at today.


“I chose cattle for the money purposes at first, and I am now fully invested in the cattle business. Anyone who is a farmer knows that you will sometimes put more into farming than you get out of it and some years it is very profitable. Farming is a passion. It’s not something you can enjoy one day and not the next. If you do that you will not get the moral aspect or the money satisfaction.”


“As of right now I have six cows and one bull. I recently sold six calves ranging from 350-425 pounds. I reduce my herd each fall. That is because of hay prices and it is also a way of grossing more profit each year."


“I hope to be able have multiple farms and continue to grow my herd each year, producing the best beef I can.”


“I will definitely continue to farm. I do not intend on stopping because I have become very involved in the cattle business and have invested a lot of time and money. Secondly, I’m a first generation farmer and I have had to accomplish everything on my own. It has been one of my greatest accomplishments."

Thursday, December 8, 2016

My Health and Human Performance Internship: The Last Chapter

By Haley Overstreet

Seniors lacrosse players Julianne Bove, Brianne Sugatan, Haley Overstreet, and Meghin Martin. Kim Black photograph.
For the first time in my life, I picked up a lacrosse stick and a ball in the spring before my final semester of college and I instantly fell in love with the sport. If it was not for Coach Karen Harvey dedicating her time and effort into teaching me the sport outside of scheduled practices, I would have not been nearly as successful as I was for having only played one season. Fortunately, I was not only able to be one of her players, I was also able to intern under her this semester. I feel as if coaching is such an overlooked career and after spending numerous hours doing work that wasn’t field related, I have developed a newfound appreciation for all coaches. Growing up playing sports I always assumed coaches showed up for practices and games and ideally were only paid to yell at their players and win games. Boy, was I wrong. You will never actually understand and realize what a job entails until you’re placed in it. Stepping on the field and facilitating practices is roughly forty percent of the job, the other sixty percent is considerably a stress-headache and discipline, office work and recruiting.

Through my internship, I was able to see how the recruiting process works, from a coach's perspective not a player's this time; create a strenuous strength and conditioning plan for the offseason; and complete several "behind the scenes" tasks. Although, I have always known I wanted to become a coach at some point, this experience has prepared me as well as increased my desire to influence young athletes on and off the field. Now that my playing days are over and my college experience has come to an end, the next chapter of my life will be dedicated to teaching the game, aiding in the development of respectable well-rounded women, and keeping the passion for the sport alive within my players. I can only hope that one day my future players can look back at the short-lived time they were able to play, and say that I made a positive impact in their lives, just as I can say about Coach Karen Harvey and all the coaches who I was fortunate enough to ever play for. Each and every one of them has influenced my life in some way and helped me become the person I am today and for that I am grateful.

Monday, December 5, 2016

CommUnity Event 2016: Diversity Quiz Show

By Michael Gauldin

On Thursday, November 17, 2016, students from the Recreation 341 class held a CommUnity-theme event in the form of a Diversity Quiz Show in the Panthers Den. The Recreation 341 students chose to do the quiz to show the diversity throughout the Ferrum College family as well as diversity worldwide. The quiz show consisted of five rounds of diversity based questions through the website. The quiz show was designed to draw on the competitive side of the participating students in order to keep their attention with the main goal of providing knowledge about both common and uncommon diversity-related facts.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

My Health and Human Performance Internship: A New Road

By Takeshia Hairston '16

I remember when I was a little girl back in elementary school, I always wanted to play teacher. When I started high school, my passion started to change because I was always into sports and that led to me to pursue a career as an athletic trainer or a physical therapist. Being that it is my last semester, I decided to do my internship with Dr. Christopher Harnish. The reason why I decided to become his intern is because he has experience with personal training and he knows what it takes to fulfill the requirements behind the degree of Exercise and Sports Studies.

In this internship, I get to help out with the data he is collecting from the women’s soccer and volleyball teams, assisting in both of the night classes that deal with labs, and practicing running VO2 max and body fat testing. By practicing both of these tests, the Health and Human Performance department will soon be offering free tests to students, faculty, and staff. I am thrilled that I have the experience being able to help with testing process. One thing that I learned from Dr. Harnish from being in his classes is that doing things hands on and doing them more than once helps out a lot. After all, practice makes perfect.

In my opinion, this is a challenging internship, but it is one that will prepare me for an actual on job in a field that I am excited about doing. This experience has made me want to have a teaching degree as a background and being able to help my students like Dr. Harnish is helping me.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

My Health and Human Performance Internship: A Change of Perspective

By Haley Overstreet '16

Coach Karen Harvey and Health and Human Performance
Exercise and Sports Studies major Haley Overstreet '16.
Haley is minoring in Coaching and will graduate in December.
I’ve never seen a day where there wasn’t a ball at my feet, or in my hand, or where I wasn’t on the field or in a gym. I’ve spent a great portion of my life being an athlete. I grew up playing two sports, basketball and soccer, until I decided to solely focus on soccer when it came time to make the big decision of where to go to college. Spending seventeen years heavily involved in sports I’ve had my fair share of coaches, some good and some bad, with lessons learned from each and every one of them. I’ve played college soccer at two different institutions. I’ve also played college lacrosse and field hockey, two sports I was never introduced to until recently, when my soccer career ended. I’ve had four different college coaches; four different coaching philosophies and values, four different teams, and four different jerseys I’ve worn throughout my college career. Now, some of you may understand what playing sports growing up is like, particularly in high school and even into college, while others may not. It’s not always big wins, trophies, and championship rings. Being an athlete is certainly not as pretty from the outside looking in. It’s sacrifice, determination, early mornings, late nights, long trips, missed parties and holidays. It’s painful, it’s ugly, and it’s the typical cliché of blood, sweat and tears. However, I believe it’s something everyone should experience and despite how rough it really is I certainly wouldn’t have changed one second of this crazy hectic lifestyle.

That’s why I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to intern under Coach Karen Harvey, head women’s lacrosse coach. These past five weeks have truly been eye opening. I really do not believe that athlete’s realize the amount of time and effort that coaches put into their every day job. It’s not just planning practices and facilitating them. There is so much more to being a coach, especially at the college level. Being a coach is demanding, stressful, and time consuming but at the end of the day it probably is one of the most rewarding jobs. I’ve realized that sports all around build character, create team players and instill discipline in individuals. That’s exactly what Karen is doing. Along with teaching these young women the game of lacrosse she’s also teaching them better time management, self-accountability, and the will to persevere even when times (practices, games, classes, etc.) get tough. I never really looked at it this way until I started my internship. It’s funny how when you put yourself in someone else’s shoes the things you will be able to see. Observing things from a coaching aspect is way different than from a player’s. I’ve learned that as an athlete we often get caught up in the choices a coach makes and how they affect us individually. Rather than being selfish and focusing on oneself, players need to understand that a coaches choices are made to benefit the team as a whole, not just to target a single player. Being a coach goes far beyond the field and some lessons that coaches teach players benefit them in all walks of life, this is the rewarding part. One of the greatest parts I’ve learned about being a coach is having successful players beyond their playing years. It’s a great feeling for a coach to receive a phone call from a former player and have them talk about their current lives and accomplishments and I can only hope to one day play a huge role in my players' lives and hear about how successful they have become.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

My Health and Human Performance Internship: A Summer Well Spent

By Brandon Hooks '17

As a student majoring in Health and Human Performance, I had the great opportunity to serve as intern at Athletic Lab, in Cary, North Carolina during this past summer. The experience under Athletic Lab’s founder, Dr. Michael Young was phenomenal. The hands-on work, independent research, and workshops afforded me the opportunity to grasp many skills and ideologies about being an athletic performance coach. I also had the opportunity to design and defend a program to raise athletic performance for a certain type of college prospect athlete.

Dr. Young gave lectures weekly about things he has learned and strategies for helping a client out when trying to reach a goal such as if somebody was trying to learn how to be faster and sprint better. I learned a lot about CrossFit, which was new to me because I have never been in a primarily CrossFit type gym before. Also during the course of my internship, I did research and wrote a total of four blogs on various topics. I wrote about whether kettlebell swings are effective in a full body workout; whether CrossFit is really good for you; whether using gymnastic rings is the new way of improving body strength; and whether adrenaline enhances athletic performance.

The entire internship was very challenging and rewarding. I was able to utilize a combination of kinesthetic, social, and solitary learning styles to successfully navigate the internship. The internship experience as a part of my academic plan at Ferrum College will certainly assist me in making career choices as I approach graduation.

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Spirit of Adventure E-Term 2016: As The Journey Ends, Our Spirits Thrive

By Michael Gauldin

Today was the last leg of the Spirit of Adventure E-Term. We began the day at Yogaville in Buckingham, Virginia with a sunrise yoga and meditation session at 6 AM. Seeing a group of twenty college students going from warriors to trees and then to cobras and pigeons was a sight to behold. With our muscles stretched, minds cleared, and not to mention, for those as inflexible as me, bodies sore, we moved along to a breakfast consisting a fresh picked fruits, vegetables, and other organic options. Following breakfast, we did Karma Yoga, which was a form of yoga that involves doing a service that helps others and makes them feel good also, in return, you gain peace. For our Karma Yoga, we helped clean yoga mats, garden, and spread mulch. After our last yoga session, we went to the Lotus Temple for a 30 minute meditation before heading back up to the vans to depart back to Ferrum.

As the journey ends for our Spirit of Adventure E-Term, we look back on what we have accomplished and how we’ve grown throughout the experience. I came in expecting both thrill and excitement to be accompanied with relaxation and peace and this E-Term came far from falling below expectation. From our activities such as, zip lining, rafting, and hiking to the peace of yoga and meditation, we each found a way to grow in our vocational and spiritual calling during this E-Term while acquiring friendships, peace, and excitement along the way. Although, it wasn’t always easy we still managed to learn and expand ourselves. Furthermore, as we leave for the summer, we all will be taking away different experiences that have made each of us grow differently but also in unity and with that, as the journey ends, our spirits thrive.

The Spirit of Adventure E-term 2016: Interfaith Comparison

By Tyler Belcher

The Spirit of Adventure E-Term was a very exciting and interesting course. The course began by learning the roots of Ferrum College in the classroom. We learned how the college was established as a part of the United Methodist Church. We then learned more about the Methodist faith. This lead us to our first place of adventure, Lake Junaluska. Lake Junaluska is a beautiful place that is associated with the United Methodist. The World Methodist Museum is located there. The museum was filled with all kinds of interesting things from the past related to the Methodist faith. We also were able to experience different types of prayers and meditations there. The peacefulness of the lake really made a difference for everyone and helped contribute to our learning. During our stay at Lake Junaluska, we visited Cherokee. At Cherokee we were able to see how the Cherokee people lived both past and present, as well as learn their spiritual background. The speakers there stated how accepting the Cherokee are of all kinds of people and this relates to the Methodist faith. It was very interesting to see how the faiths relate to one another. 

The second half of our adventure led us to Washington D.C. During our stay at D.C. we visited Foundry Methodist Church. This church had several different beliefs than what most of our class had, but it was interesting to learn how things are done differently in different areas. We also attended several seminars and went on a nature hike along the Potomac River. Along the hike several of my classmates had to face some of their fears, whether it being the fear of snakes or the fear of heights, they still faced their fears and completed the hike. After the adventures around D.C. we traveled to Yogaville for the last two days of our E-Term. Several of us were skeptical of Yogaville, but we all decided to stay positive and be open minded. I personally did not agree with some of the practices that the people there followed, but I was respectful of their faiths. Although, their beliefs were different, they were still open to all beliefs no matter what it was. The people there are very respectful to everyone just like the Methodist and Cherokee.

The Spirit of Adventure E-term 2016: It’s Yoga Time

By Keith Ricks

Today was awesome; we started off with leaving the nation’s capital and it took almost 4 hours to arrive to Yogaville located in Buckingham, Virginia. My first take on this community was that everyone here was very open minded and free spirited, and I was right! After getting settled in we had orientation and it was long but informational. The instructor Shankari gave us everything we needed to know and she was very clear that this location is filled with vegetarians and shoes are not necessary. After the orientation we had a successful 2 hour long yoga session. In the session we were able to engage our spiritual and physical well-being. Even though it was very hot in the room the class still enjoyed the wonderful experience.

Dinner was not so appealing coming from nothing but a meat eater however, the salad was the best part. Trying out new things has been a wonderful experience but the only time I was able to truly connect with myself was during yoga. To wrap up a very interesting day, we had a lovely speaker who discussed health, wellness and spirituality and their connections. The class really seemed to enjoy it. The first day at Yogaville was eventful and we all look forward to this new opportunity to step outside our comfort zone and learn and experience new things.

The Spirit of Adventure E-term 2016: The Rocks, the River, and the Snakes

By Austin Winkles

May 24, 2016 - Today we took our adventure to Great Falls Park in Maryland. Here we met up with our guide, Beth Norcross the Founding Director of the Center for Spirituality in Nature. She took us on a nature hike through the woods on Billy Goat Trail B. Our walk began with a simple trail, and then began to follow the river. Once we could stop and sit, Beth has us do some spiritual exercises. The first spiritual exercise required the group to find a peaceful place near the trail, to sit, and to write down the things around that caught their attention. I wrote about the trees, and how the woods looked like a good place to climb a tree with my tree stand and hunt.

After the first exercise we continued down the trail. Then Sarah screamed when we came across the first of several snakes on our hike. This snake was a copperhead snake that was about a foot long. Seeing this snake really scared a lot of people, including myself. When I saw that particular snake my first instinct was to run the other way. I deal with a lot of copperheads back home, and I know they can be dangerous. I can usually get away with cutting them up with the lawnmower, but not this time. This time I had nowhere to go other than back the other way. Once I calmed down and gathered myself, with the help of the group, I conquered my fears and went past the snake. Only to find out there were three more snakes up ahead! These snakes were at a distance by the river lying on rocks, but I know that if I can see them they can see me.

Once we finished our trip through Billy Goat Trail B, we met up and went down the road to see what is known as Great Falls. This place, on the Potomac River, was beautiful, and I have never seen anything like it. Seeing the way the water flows, and how it hit the rocks was truly majestic. I am not a big fan of snakes, or climbing over rocks like goats, also I have hiked before, but nothing like today. The point of adventures is to try something new and to face our fears, so in the Spirit of Adventure we took on those challenges today.

The Spirit of Adventure E-term 2016: Jerry Wolf and the Spirit of Adventure Tribe!!

By Brandon Bailey

May 24, 2016 - On May 15th we had the honor of going to a Cherokee Methodist church. We had the opportunity to talk to the most beloved man Jerry Wolf that gave us some really great stories about his childhood, his time at war, and a game that the Cherokee played called stick ball. Jerry said that when he was a child that he had to go to boarding school and it was in the 8th grade when he first heard about the war (WWII) and elected to enroll when he turned 18. During his time at war he was moved to a bunch of different duties and one of his first jobs was to teach the new navy members how to march properly. In addition, he fought at D-Day and was sent to Pearl Harbor.

Stick ball to Jerry was a very intense game and he told us a story about how a women came to him about trying to play back in 1999 and Jerry said, “Those women did not play easy it was one of the most aggressive games that he had ever seen”. This was a very great experience for all of us and helped us to understand the Cherokee. We also visited one of the oldest houses in the area. The small cabin housed the reverend and his family, 14 people total and it dated back to the 18th century.

After we talked to Jerry Wolf about his childhood and war memories we ate at a very good meal at Grandma’s Diner. We were greeted by the owner with open arms, and he actually treated us with a little bit of a discount which we all liked. All in all today was a very spiritual awakening for all of us; where we got to pray and give our blessings to one another and some of us shed tears but they were tears of joy and happiness. The Spirit of Adventure group is having a ton of fun and growing closer to one another, and we are looking forward to the rest of our adventures together.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Spirit of Adventure E-term 2016: His Creation, Ours to Protect

By Anthony Konieczka

May 23, 2016 - Today the Spirit of Adventure e-term class woke up to go for a walk down Pennsylvania Avenue past the Capital Building to the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS). This building is one of the oldest on Capital Hill built in 1913. The General Board of Church and Society overlooks the Capital Building and the Supreme Court Justice Building (which was actually built after 1913).

Once we arrived at the GBCS we had an interesting lecture and seminar about some hot button issues that relate to our course. Spirit of Adventure, as I am sure many of my fellow classmates have explained, is all about finding ourselves in our own vocation through the soul searching adventures that we are a part of. First up was Aimee Hong, the Director of United Methodist Seminar Programs, and Amber Feezor, the Seminar Designer, to talk about the Social Principles and the Natural World. Through a film and discussion we really focused in on how the Methodist church helps on the global and local levels in some of the most need based communities. The examples ranged from West Virginia coal miners and the environmental danger of coal mining is, to Kenya and the change from tobacco crops to chili plants to boost farmer profit, to the Congo where a pastor helped build and manage canals to move stagnant water and thus dropping malaria by 70%.

After the discussion Shantha Alonso, the Executive Director of Creation Justice Ministries (CJM), came in to talk about what CJM is and what it does in the world around us. In short CJM protects, restores and serves Gods' works through four faith principles; justice, stewardship, sustainability and sufficiency. CJM is a collection of Christian religions that work together to help shape government policies. They have helped with legislation such as the Green Climate Fund which states that the U.S federal government has donated 3 billion dollars, and the Clean Power Plan which is a policy that will play a major role in energy conservation as our country moves toward renewable energy.

Our third and final seminar was on Climate Change with Rebecca "Reba" Elliot, the Executive Director of Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions in Northern VA. She really hit home with the shocking truth that climate change isn't just far off with the penguins and melting ice caps of the South Pole or in Nigeria where the desert grows by 40 miles each year. She showed us insight on how the increasing water levels are destroying homes in Miami due to the absorbing limestone rock that the city is built on. More importantly she taught us ways we can help, some of these ways we have already implemented in our Ferrum community with our energy saving contests. Just turning the AC down one notch helps!

After the seminar we ended with a great stroll through the beautiful Botanical Garden. I don't think I've ever witnessed so many gorgeous flowers and wildlife in one setting. This location housed every color, shape, texture and plant you could think of. It was truly a perfect gallery for all of God's artwork.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Spirit of Adventure E-term 2016: Moonlight Memorial Tour

By Andrew Todd

May 22, 2016 - Today as a class, we had the rare luxury of riding the trolley for our own tour of the Nation's Capital. Our tour guide Barry aka Slim B was not only very informative, but he brought a unique enthusiasm to the tour itself. We drove by the Capitol building, Washington Monument, the Holocaust Museum, and many other interesting sites around the city. We got out to get a better look at the FDR and MLK memorial sites. This was at dusk, so the dimming light brought an ominous effect around the area.

I know the class learned a lot from the tour, and the tour guide's unique expression added to the experience. Slim B offered unique facts like the significance of the number 38. A couple interesting facts are that the Korean War was fought on 38th parallel north formed which formed the border between North and South Korea and coincidentally lasted exactly 38 months. He offered a detailed analysis of the sites around the city. Many people have seen the Washington Monument and renowned sites around the city of DC, however, not many people know the stories behind the history of this great city. Our e-term class now knows a lot that we previously wouldn't have. Thank you Slim B for entertaining and informing our class during the Moonlight Memorial Tour.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Spirit of Adventure E-term 2016: Night at the Museum

By Brian Mcelwee

May 22, 2016 - Today we visited the American History Museum in Washington D.C. I was amazed at the size of the museum and by the amount of exhibits. When we first walked in we were greeted by a display of the current 2016 presidential race. In the display it had the history of past American presidential candidates and how much the voting process has changed. The walls of the lobby had a vast array of American pop culture references. As you keep walking you saw everything from past American technologies like the first lawn mower to the evolution of the skate board. We then took a left and entered the "History of Travel in America" which brought us to a large display of American locomotives. It was cool to see how far America’s transit system has come since the 1920s.

My favorite part of the museum were the two escalator rides up on the top floor called "America at War". It was a large exhibit with artifacts and history from all American war conflicts. The exhibit gave great justice to all of the sacrifices that past generations gave in order to protect the freedoms we have today. The most memorable part of the museum was the Vietnam War section. To me the Vietnam War was a forgotten conflict by America that many people don't understand. The men who served never had a welcome home party, so to see such an amazing exhibit with uniforms and weapons from that time period was truly awesome. It also gave great detail to how the war began and showed domestic events at home that took place during that time. Overall I would highly recommend the American History Museum to anyone and I would love to go back one day.

The Spirit of Adventure E-term 2016: We All Have Access to God’s Love

By Jayson Shurland

May 22, 2016 - I woke up this morning feeling great. Today was the day our class visited the Foundry United Methodist Church; Hillary Clinton also attends this church but she was absent. We all gathered in the lobby of the hotel at 10AM before we made our departure. Turned out that we had to walk about 25 minutes before we arrived at the church. On the way, we saw some homeless people so we handed out care packs, which contained personal hygiene items, snacks, and money.

Once the church was in sight, I was relieved because that meant it was time to stop walking but also amazed at the building. The church looked like a castle, which I thought was very cool. Walking into the church, I was taking in all of the beautiful things like the window paintings and the design. My church at home looks nothing like this one so the differences in this church were interesting. The service was nice; narrowing it down, the pastor said that no matter who you are, we all have access to God’s love. I agree with this because we are all equal in God’s eyes no matter our differences.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Spirit of Adventure E-term 2016: Classroom Adventures

By Jordan Brown

May 20, 2016 -
In The Spirit of Adventure E-term we have spent the last week or so having many extraordinary experiences. We visited and explored Lake Junaluska, we met the Cherokee people, and we studied the history of Ferrum College’s Methodist roots. We had many adventures at Lake Junaluska ranging from paddle boarding, high ropes courses, and white water rafting to crafting arrow heads and walking spiritual labyrinths but during all of these adventures we were always reading on our own and learning. This experiential learning that we accomplished is what makes class time so important because this time is to used tie together, review, and discuss all the things we have covered so far.

Today started off bright and early at 9AM with a session of yoga to give the class some time to relax and let loose before the classroom. Once we finished yoga, class began right after and we began to discuss our reading from the last couple days and made our preparations for the trip to DC that we will be undergoing on Saturday. Before breaking for lunch Dr Nicholson assigned some more reading to complete before returning to class at 1PM in Parker Palme’s Book Let Your Life Speak. We all showed up for class and completed the reading before Dr Nicholson arrived so we then took it upon ourselves to go ahead and break into small groups and present to our fellow classmates the sections that we were assigned to read which in all honesty went pretty well and by the time Dr Nicholson arrived to class we had all already become familiar with everyone else's material. While classroom time isn't quite the adventure as say, ziplining, that’s not to say that it wasn't enjoyable and meaningful.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Spirit of Adventure E-term 2016: Planting Seeds for Those in Need

By Keegan Howver

May 19, 2016 - An experience in our Spirit of Adventure e-term course was to help those who are less fortunate by spending our time working in the Giving Garden.  Our group helped out by pulling weeds, planting potatoes, watering greenhouse plants, and maintaining the health and growth of the tomato plants.  The group was at the Giving Garden providing our services for approximately an hour and a half. We learned that what we were planting and maintaining was distributed to those who are less fortunate and need healthy nutrients instead of spending the little money available on processed foods.

It is important to understand that no matter what situation you find yourself in, it is essential to look at the others in our community and find out how we can help those in need.  Today was a good example of not neglecting or losing sight of how there are others in our community struggling and they could use some help.  Our work on the garden today allowed me to have a sense of giving back to the community I have spent 4 years living in.  The importance of healthy food options for all families and people is what will keep the community healthy and thriving.  The group I worked with today was very happy to give back to the community and do our part to help those who are less fortunate. We practiced Ferrum’ s motto today, Not Self But Others, and it felt great.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Spirit of Adventure E-term 2016: Building Trust, One Obstacle at a Time

By Christopher Clarke 

May 16, 2016 - Today we were fortunate enough to experience zip lining as well as high and low ropes course obstacles. We began the day with a nice breakfast at Lake Junaluska and left around 8:30 a.m. with intentions to start zip lining at 10:00 a.m. Around that time we found out that we were a little lost. Luckily they were able to reschedule us to 1:00 p.m. We spent the next hour or so traveling back to our intended destination to start our outdoor adventure.

Once we arrived at Nantahala Outdoor Center, we had a quick lunch and made our way to the high ropes course. We were all fairly surprised once we saw how high the obstacle course was set up. The instructors gave us a quick rundown and then we were off. Each individual struggled once or twice and looked to other members of the group on how to complete the obstacles. With the courage from other classmates we were all able to accomplish everything we put our minds to. Without the trust of one another many of us would not have been able to complete most of the things we attempted. The strong bond of this E-Term group has allowed us to grow farther than just friends. In just one week we have been able to lean on one another while also looking to our professors for guidance and advice.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Spirit of Adventure E-term 2016: The Spirit of Cherokee

By Matthew Shaw

Today we ventured into something that was new for all of us. We all drove to the Cherokee Indian Reservation and had a museum tour and listened to a speaker talk about how the Cherokees have lived throughout the years. We learned that the diseases from Europe killed 95% of American Indian people in the Americas from 1500-1650. After we walked around the museum and saw a bunch of the different artifacts, we went into the woods to see how these were made. We walked through the forest where the Indians had little huts set up to show the skills they use each day. At the end of the tour they showed us how the houses were made, and explained up to twelve people lived and worked as one.

Afterward, we all then took a trip back to the museum where two Indians took us outside and then explained to us how arrowheads were made. He said that it could take up to twenty years to have the skills to be able to craft a knife from flint. Then they broke off little pieces of the flint and gave them to everyone and that’s when we all had the chance to try and make our own arrowheads which was a great experience. The last part of our trip involved learning some of the dances that they did for spiritual and social reasons. This was very fun for all of us because it got everyone involved and we all ended up singing, dancing, walking around the class and having fun. Learning the culture of these Indians was very interesting, and one of the best experiences I believe we have been through. I would love to go back there and learn more about how they lived everyday life.