Monthly Archives: May 2010

Queen Astra

your horoscopes, provided by the monitor’s resident soothsayer

You will have to choose between a shirt that is far too small and a shirt that is far too large, if not today then the next day or the day after.
Brooding emotional Taurus, you will get back into that nu-metal band you liked in high school this week. Best of luck.
The twins sign, you will soon learn that that bump on the back of your neck is in fact a conjoined twin that only partially ever was. Cool, right?
You will undoubtedly regret what you just did.
Just keep telling yourself that everyone goes through that stage. It might work out, I think.
Your future is very cloudy.
Your sign has something to do with weights. Maybe you should work out or something.
The planets are aligning in your favor. Physically threaten the next person you see to capitalize on your good luck.
Avoid all foods 7 to 13 letters long. I can’t say why, but trust me on this one.
The symbol of your sign is a goat with a fish tail. That is hilarious.
Google Zeitgeist and watch it.
It will be in your best interests to skip class all this week. Honestly, I have a good gut feeling here.

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Letter From the Editor

Well hey there, Monitorites!  Sorry that this issue is so far behind and so intangible here in its electronic form.  But this has been a great semester for the Monitor and we’ve got some fantastic stuff to share here.   Let’s unofficially call this loose collection of web articles  the “Kirksville’s Not Boring” issue.  Why?  Because we feel that it’s our duty as a paper to get YOU involved in this community.  You’re already at least halfway there if you’re reading this.  It must be true, because you decided to pick up the alternative paper.  More than that—it’s because you weren’t one of those people who decided to ditch your Midwestern roots the minute you graduated high school and head off to a big city where entertainment and culture would be handed to you from on high.  Instead, you came to the kind of place where interesting shit doesn’t just happen on its own—we have to make it happen ourselves.  It’s a responsibility of citizenship and part of what makes Kirksville such a great place.  The burden of being fun, informed, hip, creative, and productive rests on each and every one of us and from what we’ve seen there are a lot of people around here living up to that burden.  What’s that you say, you haven’t seen any of this?  You’re still bitching about the dull drag of small-town life?  Stop complaining and do something!  Look a little harder at what people are up to.  You should actually go to those events you see advertised around campus!  Make an appearance at Tom Thumb.  Start a band, start a club, start a party.  Figure out what’s going on in university politics—those things affect all of us, and if you think of yourself as some kind of passive customer here, you aren’t thinking hard enough.  Write a letter to the editor (see below).  Get out on the square and see what there is to do here beyond Wal-Mart shopping and Pancake City loitering.  A small community like Truman is a half-blank slate with space for anything you can come up with.   There’s always an idea that hasn’t been thought up before, a leadership position waiting to be filled, an issue that no one’s advocating for, and a boring night that could use for somebody like you to head out and start shit.  Maybe you’re already doing all of that stuff, and for that, we commend you.  But maybe you still need a little bit of prodding.  This is our plea to you.  Be interesting.  Do something.  Make things.  GO!

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Three poems

all by Richard Smith.

For the parents of a drowned son

We regret our vulgar tools:

A long, two-pronged ice pick,

An aluminum canoe.

We regret our barbaric process:

We only know to row and jab and row

And jab into the lake’s black. Saving

Is a thin chapter in the book of putting

Out fire—that job, too, is rare. So a drowning

becomes our business for the day. But, over coffee,

Afterwards, we were glad to remember that

Even after hours of combing

The bottom, we lugged him up

Checked his pulse, blew two breaths,

Pumped his chest once, for you.


Patrick: a freestanding tree in the city

I do not know the name of this tree

whose dark bark bursts through

a skin of lighter bark whose

frayed almond shaped leaves

show dark green to the sun

but white underneath

whose limbs seem infected

by heart rot whose roots

show signs of a common disease

so I will name it myself.


The Daily

After a dream of cold quients and peach

pancakes I’ve awoken to greet the day with death:

Asian beetles,

Pat Robertson,

newspapers. A scrum of clouds

slates in the sky. When there is no one

to take care of myself for, I don’t.

So I go for the mail in bare feet

stepping over Olde English glass

I’ve stepped over for three days now,

over the ice which reeks of gasoline,

which looks like water, feels like water, is frozen acid rain,

it’s Sunday. I have a letter dated Oct. 3, 2065

which is probably from myself telling

me not to live my life of coulds and weathers and beats,

to see the pest a ladybug

and not an invasive species,

to keep schedules and budgets and love holy and often,

to not humph discipline into obscurity!

I wanted to write back: Listen future me, I too am rooting for America…

but I pitched the envelope in with the banana peels and coffee filters.

Has my future me found a fucking puppy to spoil misery

with hindsight? By then he should know

that there has never been a scrim of philosophy

that held me through the day long enough not to think:

what keeps me from brushing my teeth,

answering all calls?

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Tutoring Underfunded

story by Anna Hoyt

“Most students who come [to Truman] have never had any academic trouble before,” said Director of the Truman Student Success Center, Todd Phillips.  Most students come to Truman from high schools where they have been successful academically; it is a surprise to find themselves struggling in a course. Where can a student turn when such problems arise? Try the Success Center, which recently began a peer tutoring program that allows stressed students to be tutored by their fellow Truman-goers.

The program began as conversations between now Director Todd Phillips, Lou Ann Gilchrist (Dean of Student Affairs), Garry Gordon (Professor of Arts), Maria Di Stefano (Dean of Graduate Studies), and Martin Eisenberg (Associate Provost/Dean of New Student Programs). They realized the need for an academic support system for Truman students, and believed that having said system would improve retention rates, as well as help the student body. Another idea was the centralized training of tutors; they are now trained the same way, which lends consistency to the program.

This department is headed by Phillips, hired in fall of 2008 with the specific purpose of creating and nurturing programs that help Truman students achieve academically. “I’m responsible for all the academic support and services offered: tutoring, training tutors, SMaCS, MAC, STEP”, he said.  The department is growing, too. It now offers tutoring and other services in 80-90 different courses offered at Truman (except for writing, which is handled by anther department). In the fall, the tutoring program helped 120 students with nearly 400 tutoring sessions. This semester, as of week 10, the program boasts 200 students, and is close to surpassing 400 sessions and counting. Phillips said, “I think we’ve been very successful”.

The tutoring program aims to provide an “academic support program” for those in need, and to encourage the growth of success and learning, states the website. A student can meet with a tutor one-on-one, online, or in a group setting, as well as attend Supplemental Instruction sessions (a larger group for studying a specific class) and TruSuccess Workshops (workshops to improve learning and study skills).  Their main goal is to provide help to anyone who needs it, and improve learning “…One student at a time” said Todd.

With such numerous programs and important goals, it is hard to believe how steeply underfunded the Center is. When asked why this was, Phillips replied, “I feel lucky to even be here”, and explained that the lack of funding has two major causes: the fact that it is a new program, and the drastic Federal budget cuts for higher education. Unfortunately, there is not much the Center can do about either of these things but “[Be] patient,” said Phillips. According to Todd, 75-80% of his tutors are scholarship workers, which helps with the budget issues because the college helps with their pay. Truman’s soon-to-be president Troy Paino (to take office May 10, 2010) is “…Aware of what’s happening,” states Phillips, and is doing what he can to help including helping find funds for institutional workers in the program. They meet often in order to discuss what is happening in the department, and how to make improvements.

A student needing help academically should seek out the services of the Success Center’s tutoring programs. The Success center office is located in Kirk Building, room 112; also, check out the Success Center Pickler in (you guessed it) Pickler library 104. Tutoring in Kirk is available, with appointment,  Monday  – Friday, 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. , and sessions are available by appointment for the Success Center in Pickler.

To contact the Truman Student Success Center, visit their office in the Kirk building (112), or call at (660) 785-5148. Also, email any questions to :, or visit their Facebook page at And please, help support the Success Center!

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Classes at the Possibility Alliance

via Michelle Martin

Haven’t you always wanted to learn how to can your own food so you can have organic, locally grown tomatoes even in the middle of winter? How about how to build your own house out of adobe or cob? Fix your bike? Make cheese and sourdough bread?

I present to you the Possibility Alliance’s schedule for spring, summer, and autumn classes. If you haven’t heard of the Possibility Alliance, they call themselves  “an educational center practicing simplicity, self-reliance, service and gratitude.” In a nutshell, it’s a homesteading experiment in La Plata that values sustainability and service to the community. The home runs on no electricity and they make almost everything they use, down to their candlewax. These people have hosted thousands of visitors at their home who wanted to learn from them. Their guiding statement is to live so that all life can thrive. Simple and powerful. If you haven’t visited, I’d highly recommend it. They are very down to earth and enthusiastic about their mission. But just a warning-your overall perception and values might shift a little!

In addition to these classes, which last just a few hours each, you can also head over for a tour on the second Saturday of each month starting in April and ending in November. And if you want to spend some time learning hands-on, come by on the last Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a Volunteer Day. Remember to call the folks at the Alliance for registration and to pack a bagged lunch.

*click on the schedules to enlarge.

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Thoughts on a Frozen Walden Pond

An empty blue hemisphere capdome

casts thirty-foot shadows of dwarves

In this giant’s hometown.

Pygmies knock on Polyphemus’  rockcabin door

demanding to be gulped through epiglottis waterslide

splashing headfirst on oxygenated platelet tubes

into small intestines.

Stabbing sickled-cells, anemic,

prick with acupuncture bites,

emitting prejudice and obstinacy oozing out pores.

Soaking up acidic knowledge-juices

in the blinding tract.

Falling off precipice guts, biases broken down,

passed out through coughing asshole

covered in chunked viscera.

Shat into the empty blue bowldome

Grasping landward

gulping liquid and bluegill.

Alveoli pop!

screeching bubbles and muffles into the up

breeching mossy patina spouting excess out blowholes.

You know – laptops, fossil fuels, drugs, fashion –

An eruption of junk and stuck and habit.

Stand tall, basking anew on frozen countertop surfaces.

Gazing up,


-J. Milton

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cover photo

‘winter’ by hannah hemmelgarn

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