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Monthly Archives: May 2010
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!
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.
After a dream of cold quients and peach
pancakes I’ve awoken to greet the day with death:
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?
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 : email@example.com, or visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/trumansuccess. And please, help support the Success Center!
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.
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
gulping liquid and bluegill.
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.