LSC Holds Convocation Ceremony

By Mikayla Schramm

Graphic Designer

 

We all have to start somewhere in the cycle of higher education.

The Alexander Twilight Theatre brimmed with fresh faces and wide eyes Thursday for the annual Convocation ceremonies, which formally welcomed the class of 2019 to Lyndon State College community.

Bagpipe music, played by Willa Bews, echoed in the theater as faculty, staff and students filed in and took their seats followed by new strobe lights of vibrant green.

Guest speaker Aimee Pascale, a newly added assistant professor to the Exercise Science department opened the ceremony with a remark on the elaborate garb of the college’s faculty.

“You will get to see all of the faculty in our awesome Hogwarts clothes,” Pascale said. “Just take it in now, it might not happen for a couple years”

Pascale said she finds the Dalai Lama to be truly inspiring and someone she admires.

“According to the Dalai Lama, ‘compassion is a state of mind that is non-violent, non-harming and non-aggressive,” Pascale said. “ ‘It is a mental attitude based on the wish for others to be free of their suffering and is associated with a sense of commitment, responsibility, and respect.’ ”

“It’s important to comprehend that a strength isn’t necessarily something you’re best at,” she said. “Its something you’re good at in your own unique way”

Pascale urged students to follow in her example, and accept themselves for who they are.

“These next few years are your opportunity,” she said, “so have fun, make the most of this beautiful state that we’re in, discover what compassion means for you and channel your strengths”.

Pascale has been teaching at Lyndon State College for a very brief time, and, she says, she already expresses the qualities of what it means to be a part of the Lyndon community.

The theme for this year’s Convocation was compassion; a theme, which President Joe Bertolino said, will play a large role at LSC throughout the year.

“I challenge each of us to be intentionally kind and intentionally compassionate to one another,” Bertolino said.

Bertolino, who has made a name for himself by telling his many stories, included an excerpt of the story, “Such is the weight of nothing,” in his speech. Through this story he exemplifies the fact that, he says, we should all treat each other as we would like to be treated.

As the ceremonies ended and students poured from the theater, a number of students had things to say.

Allie Grandpre, who is majoring in Cinema Productions said, she decided to apply to LSC because of the film program

“Because it’s new, I will be able to help shape the classes for future generations and also so it can help me to learn what should be learned,” Grandpre said.

However, Grandpre said she was coming into the semester without any expectations.

“I’m just hoping that when I get out into my field, I will be able to do what is told of me,” she said.

Another first-year student, Justin Cortes, who is majoring in Psychology Human Services, said he was drawn to LSC because of the strength of the program he is entering.

“Honestly, the program they had here was really good for me, and the people here are so welcoming.” Cortes said. “I was at a college fair, and I went to a bunch of colleges, and I got accepted to other colleges, but I felt welcomed in this college.”

As far as his expectations for his time at LSC, Cortes said he hopes to become involved in the community.

“Since this is a small school, I am expecting to know many people,” he said. “The teachers are really nice, so far, as the week went by, the education program is really good for me. I like it.”

Lyndon State Student found dead after falling through ice on the Passumpsic River

Written By: Tyler Simpson

News Editor

Student Found Dead

     A Lyndon State College student’s body was found in the Passumpsic River on saturday.

According to the Vermont State Police, Alex Duranleau, 22, of St. Johnsbury was reported missing on thursday at around 2:30 p.m..

On Friday night, Duranleau’s car was found at the Lyndon Park and Ride on Center Street. When Lyndonville Police arrived, they found footprints leading to the Passumpsic River. A State Police K-9 unit tracked Duranleau’s scent from his car to the river.

After a forty-five minute search underneath the ice, on saturday the State Police SCUBA team along with members from the Lyndonville and Sheffield-Wheelock swift water rescue teams were able to locate Duranleau’s body.

According to Police, there is no indication of foul play at this time,

 

 

Chef of the Future

By:  Michael B. Miley

Editor-in-Chief

                                                        Chef of the Future

        There has been a lot of talk going around about the future of Lyndon State. Fears abound concerning classes being cut, graduation requirements not being met, and jobs being lost. Just last week, The Critic reported that President Bertolino himself has given the college a less than optimistic forecast, saying that layoffs and “administrative adjustments” are imminent as we head into the next academic year. Amid all these concerns, it is easy to feel that Lyndon State’s future may be in jeopardy. Fear not, dear reader, for I have seen Lyndon State’s future with my own eyes, and it is very bright.

Like so many nascent revolutionary movements, the one occurring here at LSC is hidden in plain sight among the colorful hallways of the Harvey Building. As I was leaving a class one day before Thanksgiving break, I happened upon a display of several plastic figurines atop a nondescript podium adorned with the simple label: “3-D Printing Demo.”

A 3-D printer, for those of you who are not initiated, is a device that uses plastic filament and a heated extruder to replicate objects created using CAD (computer-aided design) software. 3-D printing has far-reaching implications for the American economy, and Lyndon State is prepared to put its students on the cutting edge by being able to teach them both the technical and design skills necessary to operate this new technology.

After encountering the 3-D printing display, by luck, I came across Robby Gilbert, assistant professor of animation, and we struck up a conversation about the Visual Art department’s new resources, and their impact on the future of Lyndon State, the American economy, and the world. This is Mr. Gilbert’s first semester at Lyndon State, having come to the Northeast Kingdom from Seattle. Gilbert says one of the things that attracted him to Lyndon State was the blend of experiential learning and liberal arts education that characterizes many of the programs offered here, including Visual Arts. Gilbert describes the overarching vision of the Visual Arts department as being “rooted in traditional design, while also looking forward.” Perhaps no piece of technology embodies that vision more than the 3-D printer; in order to successfully use a 3-D printer, one must first learn the fundamentals of computer-aided design.

Indeed, proficiency with computers and knowledge of specific software programs are increasingly becoming required skills for all types of careers ranging from the executive in the corner office, to the worker on the shop floor. Modern manufacturers are heavily reliant on computerized numerical control (CNC) tools, which include 3-D printers, in their production processes. In fiscal year 2013, the Vermont Training Program—a subset of the Agency of Commerce & Community Development—spent $1,347, 518, or $349.36 per person, on training potential employees in the use of CNC machines. This shows that there is a clear need and desire by potential employers for new hires who have skills and experience operating these machines. Additionally, the growth of 3-D printers has lead to new jobs being created around their operations; Seth Talcott, who rendered the 3-D printed model of The Critic’s logotype being produced in the photos surrounding this article, told me that he does consulting with the Fairbanks Museum on the use of their 3-D printer. As the technology proliferates, these sorts of job opportunities will no doubt increase exponentially as well.

As of this week, China has eclipsed the United States as the world’s largest economy, mostly due to their large manufacturing sector, which produces most of the plastic widgets and gewgaws Americans and westerners are so fond of. But imagine, instead of shelling out five dollars at a Wal-Mart to purchase a new or replacement item, you simply “print” it from the comfort of your own home for a fraction of the cost. This is the promise of 3-D printing: liberation from the corporatist/consumerist (in a word, Keynesian) economic model that has plagued the United States since the Nixon era—at least. 3-D printing is striking a blow against the destructive influence of “globalization,” and offers a real opportunity for local people to take back control over their respective economies.

For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky

“The role of education is changing,” says Gilbert, “as an educator, animator, and a parent, what I’ve learned in the past five years is that students’ minds are different now. They think in ways that professors may not understand.” Gilbert believes that educational systems and educators must adapt to these changes to be successful going into the future. He cites the role that video games have played in fostering the shift in how students think. To Gilbert, someone “who remembers Pong,” a video game is “a form of interactive media where the most important aspect is decision making.” This reliance on decision-making, in Gilbert’s eyes, has created a generation of students who are especially creative and adept at problem solving.  Thus, “instead of top-down pedagogy, we have to re-think what we’re doing in the classroom.” To this end, Gilbert has acquired for the Visual Arts department another revolutionary piece of technology: the enigmatic device known as the Oculus Rift.

Created by a 22-year old, the Oculus is truly something that is difficult to describe in words. Suffice it to say, it is a profoundly immersive experience unlike anything else the author has encountered. One minute I was traversing the decks of the Millennium Falcon, but R2-D2 kept getting underfoot, so I switched to a more calming Tuscan villa, and I watched the sailboats glide across the Tyrrhenian Sea. Gilbert would like to see an interactive media program develop at Lyndon State because it builds upon the aforementioned changes in student thought processes: “creativity and problem solving skills can create new truths and new realities.”

One of those students is Nick Backus, who has created his own “Moculus” out of cardboard, magnifying glass lenses, and a tablet, which acts as the screen. What’s perhaps most incredible about the homemade headset is how slight the differences are between the Oculus—which was recently sold to Facebook for $2 billion—and Backus’ creation; I experienced vertigo while “riding” a rollercoaster with the homemade device.

The “Moculus” is but one representative of the enormous well of talent that exists among Lyndon State’s student body, and shows how innovation, ingenuity, and assimilation of new trends and technologies serve to facilitate educational, professional, and personal growth. These new developments also provide the opportunity for closer co-operation and collaboration between the various departments. “[The Oculus] is a great opportunity to bring together CIS, Visual Arts, Business—all different majors.”

The fascinating new technology that the Visual Arts department has acquired shows their commitment to the future of Lyndon State at a time when morale is rather low. Still, the challenge for them will be to take these germinating technologies and foster strong, serious programs that allow the technology, and the people who use them, to mature into strong, serious professions. While this challenge is real, I see no evidence to suggest that Professor Gilbert and his colleagues are not up to the task. Indeed, I see a bright future for the Visual Arts department, Lyndon State as an institution, and the student body as future leaders and innovators. The next generation of Lyndon State graduates will most certainly carry on the strong tradition of excellence set by our forbearers, they might just look a little different.

President Bertolino tries out The Oculus.
President Bertolino tries out The Oculus.

An update on the investigation into Ed Horan’s death.

News7 ran this graphic at the end of the Monday evening newscast  to honor their former colleague.
News7 ran this graphic at the end of the Monday evening newscast to honor their former colleague.

By: Tyler Simpson

Evidence suggests that it is a food allergy that caused Horan’s death.

According to a press release issue by Detective Sgt. Darren Annis of the Vermont State Police State. Horan was reported by family to have a severe specific food allergy and may have accidentally ingested an item of food causing a fatal allergic reaction.

According to the police report.  Police received a call at 11:20 PM  on Sunday of a man  who had collapsed from an allergic reaction in Lyndonville.

EMS arrived and tried to resuscitate Horan, however their attempts were unsuccessful, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

On Monday  Detective Sgt. Darren Annis told The Critic that there was evidence of drug and alcohol use. A  second call to the same detective revealed that evidence of drug and alcohol use was omitted from the police report given that an official cause of death has not been  determined.

The Medical Examiner is conducting an autopsy to determine an exact cause of death.

A toxicology  report must be completed in order to determine an official cause of death.

The results should be completed within six to eight weeks.  However, the result of the autopsy will not be available to the public but Detective Sgt. Darren Annis plans to issue a press release with the official cause of death.

Horan was in Lyndonville visiting friends at the time of the incident.

 

SGA Roundup

By: Joe Gluck

On Wednesday, the Student Government Association voted unanimously to approve representative Dan Weiner’s request for $2,850 for the Santa Fund. The Santa Fund is a charitable donation to H.O.P.E., providing monies towards underprivileged children in the area.

The SGA session began with a presentation from Sheilah Evans and Darlene Johnson of the Student Services office regarding the nature of their office and position. When they opened the floor for questions, several representatives had questions about the unavailability of class registration services shortly after midnight. Due to the VSC software, every night at midnight, the web portal reboots and locks out access for some time. Various ideas were floated, regarding a change in software policy, an altered timeframe, and other options.

The discussion then turned towards ideas on how to warn students that the financial clearance date is approaching. Reps suggested a text-message blast, large, highlighted text on the portal, and specifically timed emails. Johnson mentioned the Student Services suggestion box, and reminded the SGA of the ten dollar Hornet’s Nest gift card, which will be raffled off to a random student suggestion.

Erin Rosetti then took the podium, following up on the smoking survey from last session. It drew mixed reactions, with one representative calling for a “ban-hammer” to be brought down upon those who choose to enjoy tobacco products, while others advocated a more measured response.

Rosetti segued to a discussion of the possibility of ending the campus cable television. While representatives were open to the potential money savings, several sports fans advocated caution, fearing for the loss of the live broadcasts. Streaming options were discussed, and Rosetti made clear that she wishes to avoid Castleton’s controversial decision to drop their cable service without warning or discussion. The SPJ rep urged special caution, mentioning that News 7’s current software only supports ten viewers simultaneously streaming.

SGA Financial Controller Matt Green took the floor, and clarified the fundraising and accounting procedures for clubs. He introduced the cash boxes that will be available for clubs to check out to aid in their money management.

Having been added to the agenda at the beginning of the meeting, Ashley McGrath was elected as representative to the first-year class. The Critical Criminal Justice club, having revised their constitution from the last meeting, was also approved.

First Time Fornication

By: Alex Salot

Having to go through the process of building a comfort level with a new partner can be pretty… obnoxious. And for some, you can attest to the fact that the first time sleeping with someone can be a little awkward. Admit it, the first time you end up seeing someone naked sort of goes like, “Whoa… wait… wait, do you like this? You, uh, you like what you see?” Obviously, being said in your mind, of course. Not out loud—unless you’re one of those guys—well, then you should probably read my last article.

 

Becoming comfortable in front of someone new takes a while, too. Everyone knows that you slowly have to inch your way towards getting to know that person and the newly discovered treasures of their body. You can’t just full out release the beast and expect that person to know how to take it and, well, handle it.

The first time having sex with someone is sort of like a test run. “Is this the right spot?” And then each additional time, you add more techniques, satisfying your curiosity with this new partner.

 

A majority of the time, what happens is that most people get too caught up in wanting to please the other person that they tend to overthink the action. “Will they like this, should I put my leg here, is this working?”

 

But maybe over thinking something isn’t a bad move. After all, you don’t want to bump heads with them (literally) or change the rhythm all of a sudden and then what was the “motion of the ocean” has now turned into a rocky… shipwreck. But, sometimes, you do have to sacrifice and just go with an idea when it pops into your head. Picturing the different outcomes and saying, “Alright, yeah, I can go with this,” may seem awarding after all.

 

While overthinking in this certain type of situation can help out, it can also have some downfalls. When overthinking sex, it tends to lead to paranoia and judgment. Some first timers feel timid and start to second-guess themselves, as well as the possible strategies they could come up with—“Do you like it here? Do you like this speed?” Which can be understood, because if the first experience with someone isn’t that good… then, it might be your first and last time with that person.

Being in that mindset first starts off with many, many thoughts on their physical appearance. “Oh no, turn the lights off, don’t look at me, let me get under the blankets first.”

There have been situations where a male may be thinking too much about his appearance or “performance,” that they end up “relaxed” and can no longer continue… before the job is even done.