Thursday, December 9, 2010

This is the Droid you are looking for by Jessica Penland

            Are you looking for an interesting or unique gift to give somebody this holiday season, or maybe just a nice treat for yourself?
            Well, you can stop looking, and check out the “Droid 2” smartphone by Motorola from Verizon Wireless.
            This amazing little device is like holding the world in the palm of your hand.  Not only can you quickly connect to the internet because the phone is 3G and connects to Wireless networks automatically, but you can completely customize the phone to fit your personal tastes.
            For instance, I am an entertainment, buff.  I love watching movies, listening to music, reading and watching the occasional video that has been posted on Youtube.
            Well, there is an application to do each of those things. 

Photo by Sherard Curry
            There is a Blockbuster Application, where you can rent movies and watch them directly on your phone.  There is an Amazon Kindle Application, where you can download books straight to your phone.  You can also hook the phone up to your computer, and transfer any of your music onto the phone.  Last but not least, there is an application that takes you straight to "Youtube". 
            These applications are easy to use as long as you read the guidelines set forth, not only are the applications easy to use, but there are a lot of applications that are free. 
            Many phones now have access to applications, so what makes this phone different?
            The organization of the phone is what interested me. 
            All you have to do is slide your finger to the left or the right, since it is a touchscreen phone, and you have entered a new section for your phone.  There is a section for your calendar, your camera, your social networks and for your news among other things.  It sure beats having to hit the menu button, then clicking on the tools and finally getting to your calendar, when you need to look up an event, like many people have to do with their older phones.
            Imagine having everything you need right in your hand. 
            If you need to know what the weather is going to be like it is just a few swift finger swipes away.
            If you want to know what is happing in the world, you have access to countless news articles with just mere taps of your fingers.
            Or maybe, you are lost while driving.  It happens to me all of the time, and it can turn scary really quickly if you have no sure way of knowing how to get back to where you need to be.  Well, this phone has multiple navigational applications, and you have instant access to maps.
            Honestly, there is almost an application for any need that might arise, and they are easy to use.  Even my eight year-old brother, was able to navigate the phone.
            So far, everything I have told you has been about practicality.  I have told you that this phone has what you need, but what about what you want?
            People usually want the camera on their phone to be decent. 
            The camera on the "Droid 2" is more than just decent.  The photos I took with the camera on the phone were of good quality.  I think it is because the flash is so bright.  Usually, camera phones do not have a bright flash so the pictures turn out dark, but that was not the case with my pictures.  Also, once again you can transfer these photos easily, much like you would from your digital camera to the computer.  The charger for the phone doubles as a USB cord to hook the phone up to the computer.
            Also there is a video camera feature.  When using this aspect of the camera, you will need to be in well-lit areas since there isn’t a flash going off to create extra light, but at least the microphone picks up sound well.  Another perk to this camera, is that you are able to Skype or video chat right from your phone.
            Speaking of chatting, what about texting people?
            The phone has a touchscreen keyboard, but it also has a slide-out keyboard, which makes texting easy and versatile, depending on your personal tastes. 
            There aren’t many flaws with this phone.  The only ones I did find were minor.  For instance, I had to charge the phone up every night, but with how many uses the phone has, it is understandable why the battery drains easily.  The other downside is that the screen gets smudged easily, but that is the same for all touchscreen phones.
            The "Droid 2" is a great phone and very useful.  There is not much you can’t do with this phone because of how accessible it is, and according to Verizon Wireless’ website this phone can be yours for only $149.99 after the mail-in-rebate.

This article has been re-posted from "the Forum" Volume 47 Issue 5.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The paper is out today.

Go check it out!

Scholars Emerge for Awards Dinner by Christine Willbrand

On the night of November 17, 2010, Florissant Valley hosted its fifteenth annual Emerging Scholars Awards Banquet in the Student Center’s Multipurpose Room. The academic achievements of students and their mentors were recognized by their peers and faculty with a formal dinner, and they were each presented with a certificate signed by the school’s President Marcia Pfeiffer to represent their success.
Florissant Valley was also honored to have welcomed Representative Gina Walsh and Representative Margo McNeil, who is also a St. Louis Community College Board of Trustee member. Each student also received resolutions from the House of Representatives.
To become an Emerging Scholar a student needs to complete two developmental courses and twenty-four credit hours while maintaining a 3.5 grade point average. Students also have to be campus and community involved to be considered.
Emerging Scholars is a Florissant Valley campus only program.  It was co-founded in 1996 by retired professors Otis Beard (Reading), Carol Edwards (Mathematics) and Mary Lauburg (English).
According to Adria Werner, Executive Assistant to the President, students are first sorted from a database within the qualified perimeters. They are then notified with a letter and a questionnaire requesting information about their mentors, what their career goals are and what involvement they have on campus and in the community. This information helps them to decide who will be awarded the Emerging Scholar of the Year Award. Werner is part of the program committee that helps narrow the search and puts together the banquet.
English teacher and committee member, Lonetta Oliver, explained that normally there is an average of twelve to fourteen students. This year has been the most at seventeen students. Oliver hopes this number will continue to increase.
The 2010 Emerging Scholar Award went to Patrick Johnson who plans on receiving his Associate’s Degree in Human Service. After that he will be pursuing his Bachelor’s in social work. He would like to use it towards helping veterans with drug and alcohol problems. Johnson said, he was very surprised to have been nominated and feels it is an honor. Upon earning this award, Johnson also received a monetary gift from the St. Louis Community College Foundation. Werner explained that the donations come from the faculty and staff of the college. This year’s award was five hundred dollars.
Joshua Golden, a political science major, said of earning his awards, “[It] feels great, feels wonderful, it feels good to be recognized for work and to know that he or she has a school that so deeply encourages and celebrates those who have started off at the foundational level and who have worked hard to achieve great things.”
Congratulations to the following scholars: Xin Chen, Toi Drummer, Katie Etris, Tyson Foor, Joshua Golden, Muna Heyari, My Huynh, Patrick Johnson, Ryan Lawson, Elizabeth Machens, Tabatha Madding, John Maguire, Ashley Noack, Laura Smart, Brittany Thomas, Angela Viviano, and Jessica Will.

Pictures from the event coming soon!

Proof of Courage by Fatimata Sira Diop

       "I was lost and didn't know what to do. I couldn't reach my family for two weeks after the earthquake." those are the words of Remenson Tenor, a twenty-three year old SEED program student here.
SEED (Scholarship for Education and Economic development) is a two-year technical training program by USAID. The scholarship gives the opportunity to economically disadvantaged students from Haiti, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras to come study in the United States of America for two years.  That time here is all expenses paid, and after the two years are over the students return home to help their community. 
          Tenor was born and raised in Jeal-Rabel, Haiti. After his graduation from high school, he moved to Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti for college. Unfortunately, soon after he arrived, Tenor had to stop school and move back to his hometown due to a lack of money. Once home, he volunteered at his church and also at a radio station.
          When a friend told him about the scholarship, "If they are looking for a leader" said Tenor, "I will be selected," And so he was right.  Tenor was one of twenty-five Haitian Students selected between more than five-hundred others.
          Tenor has been in the United States for sixteen months now, and he is majoring in Quality Control. When he first came he didn't speak English at all and said it helped him a lot to live with a host family. "I was supposed to stay there for nine months, but they couldn't find me an apartment so I ended up staying for ten," he said. It took him six months to add English to the three other languages (Creole, French and Spanish) that he already speaks. He said that 
listening was the hardest part of his learning process, but listening to music and watching television made it a little easier. Now he is living in an apartment with three other SEED Program students.
          One of the biggest adjustment he had to make was with the food, "I couldn't eat anything, the cooking is so different," said Tenor. He still doesn’t like it, but he eventually got used to it.
The weather, is what he is still struggling with, being from a tropical country, Tenor never had to deal with the cold weather.  "While I was freezing, people kept telling me it is not even cold yet," he said, "I was asking myself what am I doing in this place?"
However, what made him almost give up and go back home was the earthquake that hit Haiti earlier this year. “Thank God the damage was just material in my family, but I lost a lot of friends," he explained.  
The University where he went collapsed killing a lot of his childhood friends and classmates.  "I think sometime that maybe if I was in Haiti I would have been dead now," he said.  Before the earthquake Tenor and his family talked once or twice a month, but now he calls them every week.
          "I am thankful to God for taking me here so I can help when I go back," Tenor said explaining his future plans.  Tenor has a lot of projects to help his community once he gets there. He learned computer skills, so he can teach it to children because as he said, "there is a lot of computers at the schools, but nobody to teach the kids how to use it". 

Tenor said he has no interest what so ever on getting involved in politics. When asked about Wyclef Jean running for president he said that he thinks Wyclef Jean could have been a good president but if helping Haiti is what he wants, he doesn't need to be president to do that. “If you are a soldier, stay on the field and fight," he said.
     "We all know Haiti needs help and I would do anything I can to do my part but my priority is to spend time with my family first," said Tenor.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Robots are taking over the school

Well, at least for the weekend.  The FIRST robotics competition is coming to the Florissant Valley campus.   The FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) is for students who are between the ages of 14 and 18.  They will be competing on Saturday, December 4, from 7 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is for students who are between the ages of 9 and 14.  They will be competing Sunday, December 5, from 7 a.m.-4:30 p.m.  Both of these competitions will be held in the gymnasium.

What is the “Droid 2” like?

Our reporter Jessica Penland, tried out the phone, and brings you the review.  To find out what she thought about the phone check out “the Forum” in print, which comes out on Monday, December 6.

Power Plays, a new sports column

"the Forum," is taking the time to get to know some of the athletes, who make up the Florissant Valley Fury.  We ask them questions, and give you their answers. 

Our Last Issue of 2010 Coming Soon

The new print issue of “the Forum” comes out on Monday, December 6.  This one will be the last of the semester, so be sure to check it out.  It includes articles about National AID’s Day, LEGO League, the FV Choir, and much more.