Category Archives: Frosty Feb 2013

A Blast into the Past

By Taylor Hudson

There is no denying that Carrier Library holds a lot of history and meaning on the JMU campus. As the first free-standing library on campus, completed in 1939, Carrier library has become a JMU landmark and will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2014.

In order to commemorate the library’s 75th birthday, library employees created an exhibit entitled “Observe Our Library.” This exhibit—on display in the hallway outside of Special Collections—focuses on the need, planning, construction, and completion of the original section of the present day Carrier Library. It was originally called Madison Memorial Library, and the exhibit displays many interesting artifacts and items, such as photographs, blueprints, and articles from the Breeze about the new library. There are also many older items that were used in the original library on display. Julia Merkel, the library Preservation Officer, says, “The little porcelain water well roller for moistening due date slips in the back of books is so charmingly anachronistic that many folks don’t know what it is.”

Alyssa Fisher, the Graduate assistant for Special Collections and Preservation, spent all last semester researching for the “Observe Our Library” exhibit. Then, during the last three weeks of the Fall semester, the exhibit was finalized and constructed. It has been on display ever since and will end on March 11th.

Fisher believes that it is important for students to learn the history of their school. “Understanding the history of JMU allows students to have a greater sense of the community in which they spend four or more years of their lives learning and growing into the individuals they hope to become,” says Fisher.

And Merkel agrees, saying, “There is no substitute for a sense of place and history. Thinking about the footsteps of the students and faculty who tread the same steps years ago. That’s powerful.”

Carrier Library hopes to create a larger exhibit for the library’s 75th anniversary. But, until then, check out the “Observe Our Library” exhibit anytime during the Special Collection’s normal operating hours—Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. It is completely free and open to everyone.

Geography and Why it’s Awesome

by Lauren Privette

Do you want to gain a hard skill in college—one that will make you extremely marketable? Do you want to get a meaningful job after graduation? Do you want grad school to be an option, not a necessity? Then allow me to introduce you to the Geographic Science major.

Clear away any stereotypes you may have; being a Geographic Science major does not mean that you will be memorizing all the countries and cities of the world. And, for the love of God, if someone tells you they are a Geography major, do not ask them if they know where this city or that country is; we are much more than walking maps and compasses.

I don’t know if you had trouble deciding on a major (maybe you were one of the lucky ones who knew coming in), but I certainly did. I was interested in graphic design, cinematography, philosophy, writing, and humanitarian affairs; but, most of all, I was interested in obtaining a hard skill— something to make me stand out when job searching. I looked at SMAD, Graphic Design, Justice Studies, Anthropology, but they all seemed to focus on maybe one or two of my interests. Then I found Geographic Science.

After doing some research about the major, it hit me like a slap in the face; I had found everything I wanted in a major. GIS (Geographic Information Systems) is the hard skill taught in this major. It opens up a whole new world for you. Primarily, GIS is map-making; this is an aspect that may appeal to you graphic designers out there. With GIS, you are using software to make beautiful maps that can be published in newspapers, magazines, presentations, etc. The maps you make can also be used to display a problem, like the frequency of crime in sections of New York City or to display a solution, like how to transport water to a refugee camp. By using GIS skills in situations like those you can make a difference in people’s lives.

Geographic Science is such a broad program that you can go practically anywhere with it. Whether you’re interested in graphic design, writing/editing, videography, the environment, humanitarian affairs, political science, intelligence analysis, or computer science— it incorporates all of these.

Graduates with this degree now possess jobs such as:

  • Park rangers, cartographers, and writers for National Geographic
  • Analysts for the NSA, CIA, FBI
  • Urban planners
  • Analysts for major corporations
  • Professors
  • Emergency management specialists
  •  Lobbyists
  • Climatologists
  • Writer/editors
  • Interpreter/translators

Am I saying that everyone needs to drop what they’re doing and become a Geographic Science major? In a word, no. What I am saying is directed to the undeclared, unsatisfied, and unaware souls who don’t have a predominate interest leading them to a particular major or career. Geographic Science is frequently overlooked at JMU because it is relatively unknown and sometimes misconstrued. But, as a smaller university program, the learning experience between students and faculty is more intimate, meaningful, and effective—you will not be lost in the crowd. So check it out. It’s your world, get to know it.

Mind Your Body

by Molly Robinson

Eating Disorder Awareness is not as popular of a topic as other illnesses such as Breast Cancer Awareness. However, it should be viewed in equally high importance, at least to some populations and ages.

We are constantly flooded with ‘ideal’ images that society teaches us to value, such as actors/actresses with a specific physique. At the same time, some of us may also be flooded with phrases on the JMU campus such as ‘Our first and last love is self love’ and ‘the prettiest girls are the happiest girls.’ But what if you’re not happy at this point in your life? Does the idea of ‘self love’ sound cliché and a little conceited to you? These are just examples of ideals that can cause us to question our views of body image personally and societally.

Each individual faces the challenge of accepting his or her body, learning to like it, building confidence in one’s inner self, and finally, fully embracing one’s self and opening up to happiness. Positive body image is an issue that most people struggle with, no matter your body type or gender. Eating Disorder Awareness Month serves to remind us that body image extremes can lead to unhealthy habits and, eventually, can even compromise our ability to function.

Awareness on the health issue can facilitate us, as college students, to recognize symptoms of someone who could be suffering from an eating disorder. According to the National Eating Disorder Association, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some tine in their life including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or otherwise not specified. Thus, it is likely that you may come across someone with an eating disorder.

You may ask the question: What can I do to help my friend/family member with an eating disorder? The simplest answer is just to genuinely support them, encourage healthy meals with healthy proportions, and normal workout habits.

At JMU, the Hope (Help Overcome Problems with Eating and Exercise) team is available for any student. UREC’s Nutritional Analysis, is another resource at students’ disposal that offers a nutritional analyst who can meet with you to discuss decencies and excesses in your diet and how to approach a healthy meal plan.

This February—Eating Disorder Awareness month—embrace this quote by Amy Bloom, an American writer: “You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.”

Valentines Day: For Both the Single and Taken

by Taylor Hudson

I’ll admit it: I am Valentine’s Day scrooge. There’s just something about the commercialism of the holiday that I find extraordinarily forced and synthetic.

As cliché as it may it sound, I am a firm believe in love that isn’t earned by purchasing a Texas-sized teddy bear that has no sole purpose other than to collect dust. Or, a massive heart shaped box filled with chocolates that will only produce diabetes, not affection. Or, a dozen roses that, honestly, just get depressing after a week—like the rose in Beauty and the Beast that slowly shrivels away and insinuates the death of their possible love story. You get my point.

It just doesn’t make sense to me. But, don’t get me wrong—I genuinely don’t hate the holiday. The idea of a day of devoted solely to expressing love is refreshing and romantic. I do not hate the holiday—I hate the fact that it’s synonymous with a trip to Hallmark.

Shouldn’t we attempt to stray away from the norm, and think out side of the pink and heart-shaped box? I know critical thinking is hard, but it can be done; I promise.

Guys, if you really want to impress your girlfriend, refrain from spending money. Yes, you read that correctly. Find a way to show how much you care for her without spending a dime—or at least very little. It shows that you actually put thought into your gift or date and didn’t rely on wallet to speak your feelings for you. Some ideas could be going on a hike together, sticky noting her entire dorm room with cheesy love notes, or surprising her during her work shift with her favorite Starbucks drink. You could even call up that friend of yours with a nice a DSLR camera, do a quick photo shoot with her and surprise her with the printed pictures in a nice frame.

Of course, the burden shouldn’t only be put on the guys. Girls, you have to step it up to! Imagine if you devoted a whole date to learning how to do all the stuff that your boyfriend does: video games, sports, or anything else that he loves, but you don’t. He’ll appreciate the effort, and have fun trying to teach you[PL1] . Maybe he will even let you win a time or two.

If you’re single, don’t get down in the dumps. Valentine’s Day is always advertised as the holiday that is reserved for people in relationships; this idea is wrong. Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about love, right? So, why not still celebrate it with people you love?

Girls, don’t be afraid to call up your girlfriends who also are victims of JMU’s poor boy to girl ratio and plan a day together. JMU offers several Valentine’s Day events, like movies and food , both for free! What can be better? Or, you could plan a single girl’s party—a full night of romantic comedy’s, extremely fattening food, and 90s music.

As far as you single guys go, I may not be of much help—being a girl myself, I may not have the best advice. But, I see nothing wrong with organizing a game of basketball with your friends. Or, a video game tournament?

Whether you are a girl or a guy, the trick to hanging out with other single friends on Valentine’s Day is to avoid the pity party. Don’t let your singleness be a downer; own it and have fun!

If all else fails, and you still need an idea for Valentine’s—regardless if you are in a relationship or not—there is one place that will always be a guaranteed love-fest. Volunteer at the SPCA; those dogs will lift your spirits by showering you with loving kisses and wagging tails. Perfect for Valentine’s Day, right?

Hallmark may not agree, Valentine’s Day is not about what your wallet can offer. It’s about the genuine effort.