Academic Support Center↓
Academic Support Center↓
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Reach out by emailing Jess or calling 304-242-3144
‘Tis a few weeks before Christmas and all across campus
Students are dragging themselves from exam-to-exam with a look
of beleaguered madness,
Their essays are typed in Times New Roman 12-point font with care,
In hopes they will not be caught in a professor’s crosshairs.
Their parking tickets are nestled all snug in the glovebox,
While days of sleeping-in and nights of Netflix-binges seem closer
than the Chapline Street crosswalk;
Faculty “off-contract” for the holiday break and staff in our jeans,
Have not finished our fall assessments, by any means…
When out in the courtyard there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my office to see what was the matter.
Down the old stairs (with a handy new rail) I walked really slow,
But still much faster than the B & O elevator can go.
The tree on the courtyard twinkled because it gets dark at five o’clock
And ‘Happy Hour’ at Starbucks was calling from just across the block,
But before I made it across, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a Thundering Chicken (who looked very sincere),
With a pronounced beak so crooked and orange,
I knew right away this Chicken was not foreign.
Very deliberate, not “running around like his head was cut off,”
He strutted, cock-a-doodle-doo’ed and started calling out students by name:
“Now, Bettie! now, Dara! now, Oscar and Cara!
And you, Monica! and Andrew! And Brandon, Vicki, and Sarah!
To the Service Center! To the front of the line!
Now move it! Today! What are you waiting for…Christmas time?!?”
As the silent halls after the students have gone,
Seem so empty and dark and frowned upon,
So thundered the Chicken as night on the courtyard fell,
With his wings full spread, his chest started to swell.
And then in a flap, I heard on the ground
The scratching and spurring of each long claw.
As I drew in my lip and got turned around,
That Chicken started twerking like Nicki & Nas.
His cape was all ruffled from his comb to his shank,
When he tilted his head, I couldn’t help thinking-How Swank!
A bundle of green cards he had strapped to his back-
He looked just like a carrier pigeon delivering a plan of attack.
His eyes–how they glowed with a laser-like focus
And his hackles bloomed like wild snow-crocus.
His long beak pointed up like the needle of a compass
And his wattle was red, as red as a Starbucks Christmas crumpet
The stump of a pencil he held tight in his beak,
And the lead was dull from overuse all week;
He had a determined strut and a powerful thigh
That tightened up-almost like he could fly.
He was chubby and plump, a right tasty lookin’ Chicken
And I reprimanded myself right away for that kind of thinkin’
A blink of his third eyelid and a twist of his head,
Let me know I was forgiven for picturing him with a side of cornbread
He ruffled some feathers by going straight to his work
Handing out green tickets and saying “Don’t be a jerk…”
And flapping a wing at every student he saw,
He reminded them-semester’s end is no time to hem & haw.
The Thundering Chicken commanded the courtyard all night
Until daybreak, with his green cards all gone,
Away he ran like a large, feathered, advising-phenomenon,
But I heard him crow, ere he flapped and waddled out of sight,
STUDENTS…REGISTER NOW! DO NOT WAIT ONE MORE NIGHT!!!
Merry Christmas Chickens!!
for women who do not help other women.Says Madeleine Albright and my mother-in-law…from time to time…or, ya’know, all the time.
This quote has been at the front of my mind recently…maybe as a result of #MeToo…or maybe just because as a woman, it should be.
Just yesterday I thought about it as I was leaving our gym…yes, Chickens, we have a gym on campus and if you haven’t checked it out…you are missing out…because it is becoming ‘the’ place to be. Every time I head over for an after-work-workout, we (women) are ‘reppin’ in the gym and it always makes me so satisfied in some way.
Regardless of age, body type or shape, clothes, musical preferences (not-so-subtle hint, you-totally-know-who-you-are Pat Benatar) …it’s just pickin’ up good juju as a place where we Chicks (as in the ‘Chicken’ sense of the word not the MadMen ‘chics’ sense of the word) are heading to feel good and strong and totally supportive and nonjudgemental…and not in a “Heeeey gurrl, let’s get a pedi…” kind of cliche…but in a real I see you kind of way…
I’ve never been one for sentiment, or even girl-friends for that matter, but I am coming to a greater appreciation of what it means to be a woman in a world created by and for men.
What does this have to do w/Northern? Um. Everything. If you’re a woman. And we are the bulk of the WVNCC community…and academic communities nationwide. In this vane, let’s play a game…fact or fiction. Below I’ve listed 10 statements. Your task is to identify which is historical fact and which is fiction. Ready? Yes-you are.
Okay – so it isn’t much of a game – these are all fact.
So to my sisters, though we may have markedly different stories and experiences, our gender is a narrative we share. I recognize, now, that each of us has to be part of shaping the next chapter and the next…adding to the evolutionary work of so many women who came before.
If it is to be a work of significance, it can’t be written by one or two individuals…
So…to my Northern ‘Chicks’ (see above)↑…if you haven’t yet visited the gym for your personal health and wellness, I’ll see you there…where the ceiling is not made of glass.
I’ve heard it called a miracle, a life-saver, a game-changer…today, I used dry shampoo for the first time. I mean, is there no end to the wonders of our world, Chickens? Consider me woke.
But we just never know, do we, what event – what disregarded detail of our day – may come back around, in some way, to stay.
Speaking of game-changing events, we’ve got one lined up for you tomorrow. But first…a word about transformative experiences↓
Man has been creating since prehistoric times…lest you buy into the fallacy that art is a feminine domain. If Captain Cave Man was compelled by instinct to etch gods and beasts on cave walls…don’t think for a minute that art isn’t in our collective, unisexual blood.
ANNNDDD…lest you think we are absent art here at Northern…je vous prie de différer, mon ami artiste! Any job can become a career when performed with artistry. Not to mention the actual craft involved in welding, cooking, manufacturing…
The employment of art and creativity in work and life has been a game-changer for me and science now asserts it is, indeed, a life-saver for many:
In 2010, a review of existing literature on the benefits of the arts by Stuckey and Noble considered more than 100 studies, concluding that creative expression has a powerful impact on health and well-being … Most of these studies concur that participation and/or engagement in the arts have a variety of outcomes including a decrease in depressive symptoms, an increase in positive emotions, reduction in stress responses, and, in some cases, even improvements in immune system functioning…
As of 2015, additional studies indicate that creative self-expression and exposure to the arts have wide-ranging effects…not only cognitive and psychosocial health but also physical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, various forms of dementia and cancer. One of the most compelling studies was recently conducted by the Mayo Clinic and proposed that people who engage in art activities in middle and old age may delay cognitive decline in very old age.
*Psychology Today, 2015
There you have it, Chickens. Art and creativity are not elitist endeavors…rise up with me, Chickens, I will gladly lead the populist charge to bring art back to the people, to its roots, to the streets, alleys, bars, and basements where it has so often flourished…
So…I know you totally stopped reading after dry shampoo…but the point (finally) of my uprising is to say, take time tomorrow to release your inner cave (wo)man:
Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares
about doing it right or better.
Well looks can be deceiving…because we are ears…we are all ears…big, beautiful auricle-canal-tympanic membranes, Chickens.
I mean if we could bug the place, ya’know, listen-in on the innocent, everyday confabulations of righteous, groovy Chickens like you…kind of how ‘big-brother’ keeps tabs on all of us through our cell-phones and Google search history…
Wait. What?!? No, I mean…I’m totally not a cuckoo-for-cocoa-puffs conspiracy theorist or anything…but we are uber-interested in everything you say, Chickens! I mean, it’s kind of like a side-hustle we’re runnin’…
Because we are totally out to get you…get you graduated, get you a job, get your bags packed for a trip on the U.S.S. Happiness & Success.
And your experiences and perceptions are what help us set that ship a sail; our main gig is your success. So anything you can feed-back that may help us do better by you…well we are tuned-in.
Hoisting the sail each semester, I try to throw out some of the ‘feed’ gathered from our FYS students…so without further blather…(reprinted exactly):
That’s right, Chickens, Halloween is upon us. The day each year when it’s fun to be afraid because our fears are fantasies.
My son gave me the ‘REALLY?!?!’ face when I asked him to consider staying home with his family for the holiday.
But we need to, right? Use every opportunity for community – at home, at work, at school. Day-to-day can be scary. Life can be a real Frankenstein. So let’s claim Halloween as a day to have fun with some fear-fiction, high-fructose-corn-syrup-induced flights of fancy, and good ole’-fashioned playin’ make-believe.
Northern is a spirited community and All Hallow’s Eve festivities abound…be sure to take a few minutes out of your monster-schedule to tune-in and walkabout…it’s hard to know what specters may be seen!
BY MICHAEL COLLIER