Broadcast Video Featuring The Wesley Foundation feeding the students on campus.
Broadcast Video Featuring The Wesley Foundation feeding the students on campus.
By: Kristen Young (Billingsley)
(This article contains interviews from relatives.)
Some students have decided that marrying in college is not as big of a deal as people think, and in some cases it has even helped the students.
“My wife did not qualify for the full Pell Grant before we married,” said Patrick Billingsley, UNA student. “Her dad made too much according to the government, but still she was on her own. She paid all of her own bills, school books, and even tuition. She had no help from her family at all. It was almost too much for her. However, once we married she no longer had to include them, which helped her qualify.”
Billingsley said that now his wife does not have to take out as many student loans, and he helps her so she does not have to work so much.
However, that does not apply to every relationship.
“I got married the summer after we graduated high school,” said Carly Waid, North West Shoals Community College student. “At that time I had already applied for financial aid, so I got a full Pell Grant based on my parent’s income. During my second year of college, my financial aid was based on my income and Josh’s income. Based on our income, I didn’t receive any financial aid.”
“To be eligible for Pell for the 2012-2013 year, a student must be an undergraduate student with an expected family contribution (EFC number) between $0 and $4,995” Nikki Yarber, with financial aid department, told Joy Willow for her article Students Sacrifice for Education and Dream Job.
Being married and being in school does take out some time though said Samantha Allen, UNA graduate.
“The hardest part was finding time to study in between doing housework and working. I can definitely say it affected my sleep patterns! One thing Kyle and I had to get used to was not having much time for dates. We had to pretty much make time to spend together.”
Getting married during college should not be a light decision; however college should not always be an obstacle.
“We loved each other and knew that we would be getting married anyways,” said Billingsley “We won’t be starting a family in college, but why not go ahead and put the promise to love my wife forever.”
“I don’t think you should let other people’s opinion effect your decision,” said Waid “You do what you feel is right for you. I don’t know how many times I heard, ‘You ARE still going to college, right?’ or ‘You won’t finish college, because you’re married.’ I will be finished with my first degree in 8 months. You can do anything you set your mind to, and I have to say that it was a blessing to have my spouse there to encourage and support me.”
This past Friday, UNA’s Wesley Foundation hosted its annual fall costume party. Surprisingly even without any publicity of it, the members were happy with the turnout.
“You know, we had flyers, but those boys never sent them out.” said Linda Williamson, Director of the Wesley Foundation.
Students walked through the doors wearing some crafty costumes: a jack-in-the-box, silly whim (from We Sing in Sillyville), pirate, and even star wars out fits.
The jack-in-the-box took the prize for best all around.
“Best all around was determined by creativity, look, and crowds pick,” said Tess Evans, President of the Wesley Foundation Leadership Team.
The students danced the night away Halloween themed music, and ate snacks created to look like eyeballs and fingers.
The theme was set to look like an abandoned mansion, decorated with chandeliers, ripped canopies overhead, and even a projector premiering black and white movies.
“Black and white not only works with the theme, but it also insured that the movies were more or less clean and not to show anything inappropriate,” said Matt Williams, a Wesley Foundation member and UNA student.
The Wesley Foundation is a Methodist student organization set between Covington and the parking deck.
November the Wesley Foundation will be hosting their bi-monthly Sundown Coffee, designed to premier some of UNA’s talented students from music, poetry, book readings, and other talents.
UNA has many student writers unaware of how to publish their written works. Now, student writers are speaking out about the importance of the school educating the writing community.
Jessie Lambert, a professional writing major, has finished one novel and hopes to find an agent to represent her. She acknowledges, though, that she is one of the few writers on campus who knows how to become traditionally published, because the university is not teaching them how.
“Students do not know the first thing about publishing!” Lambert said. “I spoke to one student who had finished her novel. I asked her if she was finished with the querying process yet. She didn’t know what the querying process even was. I later mentioned that I was working on my long synopsis. She didn’t know what a synopsis was, either. I then realized that all that I know about the traditional route of publication I learned through extensive Google searches and personal research”
Today, there are many possibilities for an author to publish their works. Authors are not limited to getting read by being published traditionally. Writers can self-publish, too, without being branded by it.
Today, e-books have created a new gateway to authors and readers alike. It’s fast and affordable. Companies such as Amazon and Createspace opened a new door for physical books with print on demand.
Ariel Jones, a professional writing major, said how she struggled between choosing between traditionally publishing and the revamped self-publishing.
“The idea is certainly promising; authors get to keep more of their earnings, but then how much advertising do they really get,” Jones said.
Jones as well is learning that there is not a particular class that teaches the behind the scenes of actually trying to get a book published.
“The whole reason I started as a professional writing major was to learn how to get published,” said Jones.
Traditional publishing and self-publishing both have completely unique aspects for student writers to be educated in.
Both Lambert and Jones are taking their first steps to getting their novels out the public.
SCM Electrix and Cheap Thrill Deville are just two of the bands taking advantage of the lime light being put on Muscle Shoals due to the Civil Wars’ recent big break. Although both bands play actively in the shoals, they are also branching out. Cheap Thrill Deville has a gig in October in Atlanta.
Local musicians are not the only people taking an interest in the shoals, either. Mariah Carey, the Black Keys, and even a member of the Back Street Boys have recently paid a visit to work in the local recording studios such as Fame and Noise Block.
During the 80s and early 90s, the Shoals was a big name in the recording in the music industry. Somewhere along the line, there was less news about the Shoals helping hand in the music scene.
Of course, there are those who think the Shoals will regain some popularity in the music industry.
“I think it’s only a matter of time. It might take some time before a band is as big as the Civil Wars, but it’s very possible,” band member from Cheap Thrill Deville, Luke Hunter, said.
Cheap Thrill Deville’s has an upcoming show in Atlanta.
“I like using this experience to showcase our work from the south in a major city,” Hunter said.
SCM Electrix band member, Ivannoel Geonzalez, said how the band was featured in the September issue of Relix Magazine. The band had played at JD’s, and when the journalist asked the club owner who had a cool sound in the music scene around the area, she told her SCM Electrix.
Geonzalez also had a few words about the Shoals new spotlight.
“It’s in the water,” Geonzalez said. “ There’s something mystical about the shoals.”
Music is so much a part of the Shoals, that the Indians named the Muscle Shoals Tennessee River, the Singing River, Geonzalez said.
Just because two or three people play music does not mean we deserve the lime light, Geonzalez said. It takes all of the musicians together to produce more music coming out of the area.
“If we can be competitive about football, we can be competitive about music,” Geonzalez said.
Both Cheap Thrill Deville and SCM Electrix are working on getting albums out in the near future. So be on the look out!