Student Life

April 29, 2004

Studying Made Easier|  Cost of College Puts Student Debt on the Rise | Interning at the Advance Monticellonian| Rough and Ready Day Festival Preparation


Rough and Ready Day Festival Preparations

DaQuita Hardeman and Bonita Harden

Dr. Gary Marshall of the University of Arkansas at Monticello, and his Performance Studies class have been preparing all semester for Monticello’s Rough and Ready Days Festival.

The purpose of the project is to connect UAM with the community, the community with the past, and the history with the Rough and Ready Celebration. The class purpose is to do research, write scripts, rehearse and perform things that happened in the past.

“This project encourages students to do research in the real world,” said Dr. Marshall.

After receiving a $5,000 Heritage Month grant from the Department of Arkansas Heritage, the Performance Studies class began to make plans to organize their participation in this historical event. The class has made a substantial amount of progress since the beginning of the semester.

Alice Guffey-Miller, an artist in residence, has been working with the Boys and Girls Club, The Other Way adults and UAM art students, while Chandrika Taylor worked with the performer’s costumes. They will be drawing pictures of buildings that are no longer standing and there will also be a cornerstone of future wishes. The cornerstone will represent the desires of what the children in the Monticello community wish to see in their future.

Throughout the semester Dr. Marshall’s students conducted interviews with senior citizens who have lived through specified time periods, visited museums, and archives. “The script will actually be produced for Rough and Ready Days to dedicate the mural ‘Main Street Monticello’. The mural will be there long after the grades are in and the students have graduated. I look for it to be there over 15 years or more,” commented Marshall.

The name of the script is “Alive on Main Street”. It is focused on the most precious building, the Court House. The main characters that will be impersonated are Dr. Poe, Wiley Trotter, Hannah Hyatt, V.J. Trotter and Harriet Wells. The performance studies students will be playing these characters preceding the dedication of the mural.

The class has been working hard researching the history of fallen Main Street Monticello’s buildings and the history of many families that made a major impact on Drew County’s history. Brooke Bowles, a senior at UAM from Crossett adds “This has been a great experience and I have met many local people since starting this project."

On April 13th, Dr. Gary Marshall, Bonita Harden, Machell Hegler and DaQuita Hardeman visited the Arkansas Historical Commission in Little Rock to research characters and events that existed from 1870 to 1932. “I learned a lot of things about Monticello that I never knew before. We came across a lot of it in the Arkansas Historical Commission in Little Rock.” said Machell Hegler. "I was surprised that there was so much history about Monticello in print."

Participants will have the opportunity to put all of their hard work in to action on May 8, 2004 at McCloy Park at 1:30p.m. It’s a great way to gather history on things in the past, present and the future.

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Jane-Marie Herron

Student debt is a plague that hits hard and often students do not know how much the debt obtained over a college career can be. A survey that was taken in early part of the year 2004 found that the average debt of undergraduate students is $18,900 and $31,700 for graduate students.

Some studies place the blame of high student debt on the decline in Pell Grants, the transition from paying for college with loans rather than savings, and inflation in tuition levels.

Even if students receive a full paid scholarship, they will still end up paying somebody, somewhere for something during their college career.  If students have all of their tuition paid, they still have fees and books that they are required to pay for. Students always think, “Oh, I can pay it off later.”  But what happens when “later” arrives?

Damion Herron, a recent graduate from UAM stated, “I will be paying back student loans from my education for the next 20 years. I know getting an education is worth the price, but that is just something you don’t want to be paying for when you are in your 40’s.” According to the United States Department of Education, 39 % of student borrowers graduate with unmanageable levels of debt.  This means their monthly payments absorb more than eight percent of their take-home pay.

Herron says “Even with a low interest rate I still had to pay a pretty penny every month. I have a three percent interest rate on my loans and still pay $150 a month.”

The only way that a student can make this big problem a small avoidable one is if they pay a little at a time or apply for more scholarships and grants. However, in the end we will all still owe money to someone for something.

Brandi Morgan, an UAM junior, currently has a Pell Grant, but still owes money from previous years. Brandi comments “I don’t even want to think about paying back student loans. I still have to take out a loan every year to pay for various fees. I am scared when I finally get out of school I am never going to get out from underneath all the money I owe.”

Hence the saying “A mind is a terrible thing to waste,” college tuition is the main reason why students drop out of school for “no apparent” reason. The burden of college tuition is the reason as to why there are so many non-traditional students enrolled in college today. They did not drop out when they were younger just for the sake of coming back 20 and 30 years later they dropped out because they may have thought that by now, the price of something as important as a secondary education would have dropped. In actuality  as time passed and ranks rose, so did tuition.    

For questions and concerns about how to help students, please contact the UAM Financial Aid office.

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Studying Made Easier

Bonita Hardeman

We all know that finals are approaching and that it is time to cram for finals. Luckily, the library staff has extended their hours of operation just so that you could have more time to study.

Starting May 5th the library will extend its hours until 12:00 midnight from Sunday through Thursday May 11th and run normal hours on the following weekend.

“I’m glad to be able to have these services and I really hope that students take advantage of the late night hours,” said Mrs. Sandra Campbell, Director of the UAM Library.

The extended hours would be very helpful for students who work late and for those who do not have access to computers or other needed resources that are available at the library. Students use the library as a place to study, and as a resource for references, e-mail and other technology.

“There was a big increase last semester in the number of students using the library during the late night session than the previous semester,” added Campbell. Students thought that it was convenient, and it kept them motivated. This also encourages students to finish the year off right by giving them more time to study with a peer group that they probably could not meet anywhere else.

Ashley Lynn, Director of Student Programs and   Activities said that she is hoping to be able to provide snacks for students who are in the library during finals week, but her decision is pending the availability of funds. In the past, students were treated with pizza, hoagies and drinks.

From The UAM Voice Staff, good luck to all on your spring finals. All of the sources that you will need to prepare are available to you. It is your job to make use of them.

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Interning at the Advance Monticellonian

DaQuita Hardeman

It is weird how one day you have no idea as to what your future holds or what direction you will even lead it and then the next day your destiny is in your face, as obvious as the light of day.

Semester after semester, students struggle to figure out what they are going to do after graduation. There are even more students who are struggling to settle with a major. Day after day, students find themselves in a dreadful situation that makes continuing their education less appealing than it was in the beginning.

Often students fail to realize that their destiny is included in their everyday lives, or at least this is so for me. I started here in the fall of 1998 as a business administration/management student. My sister majored in Business Administration in Fayetteville, so I decided to do the same thing, failing to realize that this was everything but an interest of mine.

Two semesters later, I found myself missing class, homework and avoiding students that I knew from class. I wasn’t happy or comfortable in the BBC at all, so I did everything that I could to stay away from it.

After researching the sensitive topic of incest in adolescents for a composition class, I felt I could help the children who are made victim to this crime and I even thought that I could somehow prevent this crime from happening. It wasn’t long before I changed my major to psychology with a minor in human services.

That didn’t last long at all. It seemed that every professor taught the same thing and I just did not get it. I know that Denise from the Cosby Show is a fictional character, but I began to understand her frame of mind. I knew what I wanted and what I needed to do to get it, but I was not willing to go the lengths for it. I changed my major again.

Before I went to sleep every night, for as long as I can remember, I wrote the events of my day down in a journal. I wrote every day, yet it didn’t dawn on me that writing was what I really wanted to do. It was so natural. I unhesitatingly changed my major to Speech Communications with a minor in Journalism.

The hardest thing was the transition that I had to make from essay writing to news writing. I have been on the student publication staff for three semesters and the only thing that I regret is the fact that I wasn’t there earlier. My composition papers were always long and detailed because that is what my composition teacher asked for. When I started news writing with Dr. Linda Webster, I was in total awe after I turned in my first story. It wasn’t until then I realized the difference between the two.

When you find what you are good at, stick to it and ride it out as far as it will take you. You never know what the future holds. When Ms. Patricia Roberts joined the department, more and more doors opened. I was introduced to a totally different style of writing, one that got straight to the point.

I got used to Dr. Webster’s style of writing, which is very deep and detailed, and then there was Ms. Roberts’ style, short choppy sentences that sort of broke the story down. It was good for me as a writer, but it was difficult having to cater to both of their styles. Though I was learning to do something that I really liked, my grades were my main concern!

This spring, Ms. Roberts connected me with Beverly Burks, the editor of the Advance Monticellonian, so that I could intern there for more extensive writing projects. I started there in the early part of January and finished 80 hours just before spring break.

Through the internship, I was introduced to Apple programs like Simple Text and Quark Express. I learned to write obituaries, wedding, engagement and birth announcements, and I learned to work in a semi-fast paced environment. I was kept up-to-date on all of the current news in town.

The internship was quite an experience. The Apple programs were all Greek to me. I am a master at Microsoft Word and it was embarrassing to have to ask a question as simple as, ‘How do I open this?’ Beverly never made me feel crazy for asking, though.

Interning at the Advance Monticellonian gave me the opportunity to get real hands on experience, something that I could not receive from a classroom.  I learned far more there than I have ever learned in the classrooms. Beverly is laid back and understanding. She never made me feel uncomfortable about anything. She was confident in my work and she seemed comfortable sending me out on assignments. I wrote five articles for the annual hometown reflections publication and they turned out well. They will greatly enhance my portfolio.

I never thought that an internship would have this great of an influence on me. This is truly an experience that I will carry with me through life.

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