Winter is a Time to Celebrate

Christmas and Hanukkah are major holidays in the United States but they are certainly not the only celebrations that appear on calendars during the winter months. Christians prepare for Christmas by observing Advent beginning on December 1st and many continue the Christmas tradition for the twelve days of Christmas or Epiphany. This ends on January 6 and signifies the arrival of the Three Wise Men at the birthplace of Jesus. Other Christian holidays that are observed in winter are Candlemas on February 2 and Saint Valentine’s Day on February 14.
Hanukkah, also known as the Jewish Festival of Lights lasts eight days and can take place in late November through December, depending on the calendar. Other winter Jewish holidays include Tu Bishvat or New Year of the Trees in January or February and Purim in late February or March.
There are other celebrations in winter that are not specifically religious in nature. Kwanzaa is a celebration of family and African culture that is primarily observed in the United States. First celebrated in 1966, Kwanzaa begins on December 26 and lasts for six days. Boxing Day is a bank holiday that is observed on December 26 or the first Monday after Christmas in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and other countries. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day mark the end and beginning respectively of the calendar year and is celebrated world wide. Yule is the non-religious observation of December 25 and Saturnalia is the Roman festival that marks the winter solstice when the earth is tilted the furtherest away from the sun in the Northern Hemisphere usually December 21 or 22. It is considered a pagan holiday and it is thought that the observation of Christmas was chosen to be December 25 to neutralize the celebrations of Saturnalia.
New Year’s Day does not mark the end of winter celebrations. Martin Luther King Jr. day falls on the third Monday in January and Groundhog Day starts off February with a bang on the 2nd. President’s Day is always the third Monday in February and St. Patrick’s day finishes up the winter holidays on March 17. If you can’t get enough of the winter celebrations, head to South America in June. Winter begins there on the 21st or 22nd.

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Winter is Here. Do You Have NRCC Alert?

New River Community College uses NRCC Alert to contact you immediately for a college closing or other emergency. NRCC Alert delivers important emergency alerts, notifications, and updates to you on all your devices:

E-mail account (work, home, other)
Cell phone
Smartphone/PDA (BlackBerry, Treo & other handhelds)
When a college closing, incident, or emergency occurs, authorized senders will instantly notify you using NRCC Alert. NRCC Alert is your personal connection to real-time updates, instructions on where to go, what to do, or what not to do, who to contact and other important information.

To sign up, or for more information, check out the NRCC Website.

Source:  NRCC Website

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Fiddle and Banjo Club to Host Free Concert December 12

The Fiddle, Banjo and Dance Club at New River Community College will host a free Christmas concert on Saturday, December 12. The concert will showcase performances from Christiansburg bluegrass artist, Danny O’Brien, along with Whitetop Mountain, an old-time band from Grayson County. A special performance from local gospel singers, Partners in Faith, featuring Digger O’Dell, will begin at 5 p.m.

The concert will be held in 117 Edwards Hall at NRCC in Dublin. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m. Admission to the concert is free; however, donations will be accepted to help cover band expenses.
The college hosts monthly bluegrass and old-time concerts October though April. Corporate sponsors of the event include CVS Pharmacy, Dublin; Fine Arts Center for the NRV; King’s Tire Service, Pulaski; Pepsi Cola Bottling Co.; Shoney’s Restaurant, Dublin; Trader’s Emporium & Estate Jewelry Services, Dublin; WNRV Radio, Narrows; and WPSK Radio, Pulaski.

Additional information is available at 674-3600, ext. 4307, or

NRCC News Release

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Press Release:Community College Baccalaureate Association Essay Contest

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Exam Survival Guide

The cold hard truth has been there since you first laid eyes on that syllabus back in August. Final exams in December seemed so far away during those first weeks of class, when the tan was still glowing and shorts and tank tops were the wardrobe of choice. The cold mountain wind is blowing now and exams are next week. Are you prepared? Many are not and time is running out. It is possible to survive exams and do reasonably well, even at this late date.
First of all, be realistic. If you have been sliding by all semester doing mediocre work and getting mediocre grades, you will probably not jump to an A with a perfect exam grade. However, a good exam can salvage your GPA and a C in the class is always better than failing. Often a good showing on a final exam will impress a teacher enough to bump a grade up a critical half a point and that can make all the difference in the world when it turns a D in to a C for the semester.
Budget your time so you can use every spare moment to study. Carry your notes with you everywhere so if you get a few minutes waiting in line at the drive-thru, you can make good use of the time. Plan the next few days so that every waking moment is being used constructively. Make short lists that are easily portable so you can memorize while waiting for the microwave to finish.
However, don’t give up sleeping for studying. No matter how tough you think you are, the body always wins in the battle for sleep and that victory may come during the time an exam is being given. Get a reasonable night’s sleep, but make sure you are making the most use of your best time of day. Many people simply cannot wake up and study early in the morning. In that case, it is better to stay up late, set two alarms and then plan on sleeping until time to go to class.
Eat regular, healthy meals. Many organizations offer “exam survival kits” which are boxes of sugary and caffeinated junk food. This abuse of your body will only leave you feeling tired and miserable. Drink plenty of water and snack on fruits, vegetables and low-fat popcorn. Use coffee and energy drinks sparingly and try to exercise for a few minutes each day.
Every semester, some hapless student shows up late for an exam or misses one entirely because they did not double-check their exam schedule. Make sure you know when and where each exam is and arrive with plenty of time to spare. If you are unsure, call a classmate or email the instructor.
Take advantage of any study sessions that are offered and remember that Academic Assistance is available until the college closes for the semester.

Posted in Lead Story | 1 Comment

Student Activities: December 10-18

Registration for Spring 2010 classes (which start January 25th)is in progress, For advising help, please see your faculty advisor,  visit the counseling center in Rooker hall, or the mall site when advisors are scheduled.  Returning students may register for classes from the Student Information System when you access your account from

Thursday, December 10:

Make your own Free Granulated Candle at the Mall site Food Court from 10 am to 2pm. Sponsored by NRCC Student Activities for all to enjoy. Happy Holidays!

The Psychology club will meet at 11:00 am in Godbey 133.  All students are invited to this newly sanctioned club at NRCC. 

The Student Government Association will hold a meeting in Godbey 130 starting at 11:00 am.  For information about the SGA, contact Ben Kramer at

Friday, December 11: Last Day of Regular Fall Classes

Make your own Free Granulated Candle at the Lounge in Martin hall from 10 am to 2pm. Sponsored by NRCC Student Activities for all to enjoy. Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 12:

Cheerleading Practice- 4:00 pm at the Fairgrounds Gym. For more information, contact Coach Belinda Nuckols at

Sunday, December 13:

Men’s Basketball game vs. VT Club Team at Crosspointe Gym Christiansburg starting at 3pm.  Go Knights! Definitely an exciting game to attend! $1.00 admission is a “half and half” random drawing to one lucky fan!


Exam week Information: Retrieved December 3, 2009, from

Exam Schedules

Find the regular meeting time for your class in the table (located in the white boxes). The day and date at the top of that column is the day of the exam, the time at the far left of that row is the time of the exam. Exams for evening classes will be on the same day at the same meeting time as the regular scheduled class time.

Fall 2009

Exam Times

Dec. 14

Dec. 15

Dec. 16

Dec. 17

Dec. 18

8:00 – 10:00

8:00 MWF

8:00 TR

9:05 MWF

9:30 TR

10:30 – 12:30

11:15 MWF

10:10 MWF

1:00 – 3:00

12:20 MWF

12:00 TR

1:25 MWF

1:30 TR

2:30 MWF

3:30 – 5:30

3:00 TR

4:30 TR

3:35 MWF






Also, the following events take place during this week:

Monday December  14 – Friday, December 18:

Free hot drinks from the Godbey & martin hall machines starting at 8:00 am.  They will be placed on “free vending mode”.  NRCC Student activities and Canteen vending Corporation wish you the best of success in your exams and completion of your Fall 2009 class,  and also very Happy Holidays to come!

Benjamin G. Kramer

Activities Counselor

New River Community College

P.O. Box 1127

Dublin, VA 24084

540-674-3600, ext. 4431

540-674-3644 (Fax)

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Be An Angel This Holiday Season

Many children and elderly residents of the New River Valley will have  presents under the tree this year with the help of angels from New River Community College.  Student Government Vice President Felicia Hoston is arranging the placement of an Angel Tree at the college for her semester project.  The tree will be covered with dozens of tags with the names of people who need some help to ensure they have a happy holiday.  Faculty, staff and students can select a tag and shop for some of the items that person needs.  Hoston will make sure that the gifts are delivered to the proper agencies who can get them to the grateful recipients.  The tree will be up soon in the Student Lounge but if you would like to get started with your shopping, you can stop by the SGA office or Mr. Kramer’s office for more information.  You can also email Mr. Kramer at or Ms. Hoston at

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NRCC Knights Basketball

Check out these pictures of the latest NRCC Knights mens basketball game by Staff Photographer Jimmy McKenna.

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A Brief History of Thanksgiving in the US

Many adults in America remember November from their childhood as a time to make paper turkeys and learn about some strangely dressed people called Pilgrims.  Celebrating Thanksgiving meant time off from school, parades on television and endless lessons in history class about a distant day of feasting and cooperation among the Native Americans and Pilgrims dressed all in black.  For the fortunate, that Thursday in November culminated in lots of relatives, food that was not seen any other time of the year and leftovers for days.  For many others, it was a time to seek a warm meal at a shelter or church or just another day when no school meant no lunch.

Current research is changing the perception of Thanksgiving for many people.  Despite very little concrete evidence about whether there actually was a first Thanksgiving back in 1621, stories, myths, legends and traditions have evolved over the years as different generations made the holiday what they wanted it to be.  It has become a controversial topic as different groups argue over the accuracy of the origins of the day that most Americans observe as a day to feast, watch football and study the store ads to formulate a game plan for “Black Friday.”

In the early years of United States history, the observation of Thanksgiving was intermittent and often only celebrated in certain areas of the country.  On October 3rd, 1789 George Washington proclaimed the first Thanksgiving Day observation for the brand new country to be observed on Thursday November 26 of that year and he repeated the request in 1795.  There were national Thanksgiving observations under President John Adams in 1797 and 1798 but none from Thomas Jefferson.  James Madison made an attempt to revive the event in 1814 but it was not until 1863 when Abraham Lincoln tried to soothe a war-torn country with a national day of thanksgiving on the last Thursday in November that it became an annual holiday.  In 1939 when November had five Thursdays, President Roosevelt changed the observation from the last Thursday to the fourth Thursday and in 1940 and 1941, Thanksgiving was celebrated on the third Thursday.  President Roosevelt was trying to extend the holiday shopping period to ease the Depression.  This was met with mixed feelings and only half of the states followed the President’s declaration.  The confusion was finally eliminated in December of 1941 when President Roosevelt signed the bill making the fourth Thursday in November a federal holiday.

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No Couples Living Together Before Marriage? No way.

Excuse me Governor McDonnell, but I’m a little pissed off at your ignorance and would like to introduce you to the 21st century. Here in America we are allowed to live with the people we love regardless of a marriage certificate.  I believe we call it freedom.

The Governor’s idea of trying to outlaw couples who are not married from living together is insulting. The fact that the idea was even allowed to be mentioned is ludicrous.

How does a state enforce such a law? Can we consider co-ed dorm rooms?  What do we do about that? Not all men and women living in the same home are a couple. Perhaps they are friends, or one person of that party is not interested in the opposite sex. Are we then to say that all females must live alone or with other females? And those males must live with only males regardless of sexual orientation?

So Governor McDonnell, what you are saying is that if a couple has been together for 45 years and never married, they are not allowed to live together? Or that after a certain amount of time that it is allowed? I’m curious Governor to know whether or not you understand the extent of the statement made?

Is anyone else in an uproar over this?

Posted in Opinion | 5 Comments