Monthly Archives: August 2012

HACC remembers Ellen Kessler


Tracy Rennecker, Editor-in-Chief

Ellen Kessler, associate professor of computer information systems at HACC – Lancaster, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, June 29, 2012. Born in York, PA, on May 29, 1948, she was the daughter of the late Jack E.B. and Vernetta M. (Keller) Kessler. A funeral Mass was held to celebrate her life on Thursday, July 5, 2012, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, in Dallastown, PA. Kessler is survived by one sister and three brothers, sister Kathy Ness of Red Lion, PA, brothers, Edward Kessler, Timothy Kessler, and Thomas Kessler all of York, PA; 11 niece and nephews, two great-nieces, and three great-nephews.

According to Judy A. Sherwood, professor of early childhood education, Kessler had strong family ties. Her nieces and nephews were very important  to her.

She was an avid reader and enjoyed the theater and movies. She also loved the beach, visiting Ocean City N.J. and Bethany Beach, Del., with friends several times a year.

“To say Ellen was committed to HACC would be an understatement!” said Sherwood.

HACC remembers Joe Register


Shawn Reed, Assistant Editor

Joe Register, assistant professor and assistant chair of the English department, died in his home on Saturday,  August 4th, ending his battle with cancer. He was 51.

I was tasked with writing about a man I never met. I was not a student of Joe Register. I did not pass him in the hallway, and if I had I might not have noticed. “Joe was an under the radar kind of guy,” said Kim Hall, assistant professor, of English. Register graduated from Temple University in 1986 with a BA in English, and a MA in English from The University of Memphis in 1989, but according to friends, Register was a Philly guy.

He founded and self published a literary magazine in 1998, “The Bucks County Writer,” In a 1998 interview with the Lehigh Valley paper, “The Morning Call,” Register called himself a writer, not “prolifically published,” but a writer. “Our job is to benefit writers,” Register said. “People want to publish; that’s important for them, to be able to share their work.” A Bucks County author, Foster Winans, told “The Morning Call,” that seeing Joe’s magazine in a local book store gave him the idea to open a writer’s lounge; he called it a “sign.” Perhaps the measure of a man is not what he accomplishes, but what he inspires others to accomplish. “Professor Register inspired me to become involved in “Live Wire,” former “Live Wire” editor-in-chief Shawn Shaknitz said. “The students of HACC have lost a great man.”

Interview with SGA President Abraham Arehart

Former SGA President Abe Arehart

Tracy Rennecker, Editor-in-Chief

Every year the student body elects a new president for the Student Government Association (SGA). The student government’s purpose is to promote the educational and social development of the students, to facilitate the activities of student organizations, and to enhance student life at the college through participation and leadership in the student activities program. Recently the incoming president, Abraham Arehart, was interviewed by “Live Wire”.

Arehart, the 2012 – 2013 SGA President, came to HACC Lancaster campus in the spring of 2011 as a psychology major. He originally moved to Lancaster because he was selected to participate in an exclusive training program building intricate watches for the Rolex Company. Although thrilled to be part of this program, he realized after one year that this was not the path he wanted to follow. His current plan is to transfer to Penn State at the end of the 2013 spring semester.

Being new to the area and wanting to get to know people, Arehart got involved in creating the campus Social Club. This introduced him to SGA and the Student Activities office where he was exposed to how things operate; he felt he had something to offer to the process.  When the opening for president came up it was mentioned to him that he should consider running because it could be a good opportunity for him and he could make a difference. When asked what he thinks his qualifications are for this position he stated, “I try to be unbiased and neutral. As SGA president you need to do this quite often. You will hear view points from students, faculty and staff that are often diametrically opposed, and it is very easy to start leading one way or another through bias rather than through actual weighing of the evidence, so I try to foster the unbiased mentality.”

It’s a kind of “Minecraft”

James Farbo, Managing Editor

Each game of “Minecraft” is a randomly generated world of its own, many times the surface area of our little Earth, but built of blocks. That cluster of leaves is a block, you can gather them with the shears that you made from two iron bars, and then you have one block of leaves to do with as you see fit. Those two iron bars were smelted in a furnace built from eight cobblestone blocks and powered by coal, all stripped from the earth with your trusty and worn stone pickaxe. That pickaxe is the successor to the wooden pickaxe assembled from wooden planks broken from a wood block you punched out of a tree and assembled at your crafting table. Creatures are little more than roaming blocks you can hunt for food blocks. Tear down the landscape and turn the yield towards a fortress, a hanging garden, a giant 8-bit likeness of yourself complete with lava eyes. And then monsters come out at night.

Playing in most of the difficulty settings, a character death simply results in a resurrection by the last bed you slept in. Then there is “hardcore” mode, which is “hard” mode with the terrifying penalty of deleting your world should you perish. That is what my “Minecraft” experience has been: ingenuity, exploration, tension, survival, and the cozy satisfaction of making it back to the one safe place in the whole world. But here I have set out to highlight horrible implications of the game’s pre-narrative. As in, the game doesn’t tell you what happened before you were dropped into the wilderness as the last human alive (I find the “villagers” unsettlingly human-like), the game doesn’t really tell you any story at all. It shows you.

Confessions of a registered nursing student

Shawn Reed, Assistant Editor

I wish I could say that my summer was uneventful. I wish I could say that I spent almost every single day playing Diablo 3. I wish I could say that I spent the time wisely cleaning and organizing my home in such a way that reminds us all of country décor and cinnamon, but for the most part I was still nursing in my head.

I’ve come to the conclusion that head nursing should be some sort of new specialty. I don’t need patients or illnesses; I just need to be the patient. We fight a lot of wars here in America – the war on terrorism, the war on drugs, the war on Christmas, but the one I am most interested in is the war on obesity.  I like the general idea of fighting fat. I imagine my fat sometimes in a corner, wearing boxing trunks, and being announced as something like, “Annie Adipose,” and in every match we fight, I lose.

It’s not for lack of trying. I spent the better part of five years exercising and dieting. I created the mythological “calorie deficit” and worked out in ways that no woman should ever ask for, let alone pay someone else to inflict. Through hard work and memorizing the calorie content of things like one large egg and two ounces of cheddar cheese, in five short years I lost almost a hundred pounds. That’s like losing an Olsen twin.

What I learned from my 10-year-old

Heather Roark, Contributing Writer

I was sitting in math class one day this summer listening to the professor talk about the rules of exponents. Once again I found myself in a foreign place. I found myself sweating with a wrinkled scowl, intently trying to understand the world of algebra. It was as if I were in an ancient Egyptian tomb with my torch in hand illuminating the sacred scripts of hieroglyphics, trying to decipher what each picture meant so that I could understand the bigger picture. There is just one problem though: I was not in Ancient Egypt, I was in Main 329, and hieroglyphics suddenly seemed like a piece of cake in comparison to  exponent rules. “ X to the power of A, times X to the power of B equals X to the power of A+B” and X to the power of 0 equals 1,” I heard the professor state in the distance. I scribbled the notes down in my notebook. I scribbled down every last word that I could hang onto in fear that I might miss something. Anxiety radiated through my body, and I could feel the rise of panic bubbling up to my throat. “ I am never going to get this,” I thought to myself. “I am doomed to fail the rest of my life because I cannot pass Math 051.”

Cross Counter: Gun Control

Each month our “Live Wire” editors will be sharing their unique views on current media events and pressing issues. Tracy Rennecker, editor-in-chief, James Farbo, managing editor, and Shawn Reed, assistant editor contributed.

This month we address gun control issues surrounding the worst mass shooting in United States history. On July 20th, 2012 James Holmes allegedly opened fire in a crowded movie premier of “The Dark Knight Rises,” in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12, and injuring 58, rekindling a nation-wide dialogue on gun control,and violence in the media.

I “choose” civility

James Farbo, Managing Editor

Reading through the Civility Task Force proposals left me mildly nervous about its goals, and I certainly brought those concerns to my interview with Dr. Washington. I found the answers unsatisfactory, obfuscated at worst, but I cannot attribute to conspiracy what I can simply attribute to lack of preparedness. To be clear, I don’t think that the Task Force will come to fruition. For two years this committee has been incubating a document of wishful thinking. They had slated a Task Force presentation for the student orientations but have failed to do so. Despite the lack of hard data on the extent and operations of the Task Force, and the reassurances that it will have no disciplinary authority, I still find the concept unnerving.

Physical violence is so much easier to handle. My right to swing my fist around ends where your nose begins. Should I violate your nose, I forfeit my right of protection. Resolving a verbal affront can be problematic, but not so complicated that it requires a campus-wide initiative to mitigate. If I were to call someone “as pretty as an inside-out platypus and half as useful,” I own that. Whether or not it is an accurate judge of aesthetics and character is irrelevant; I stepped forward and said it. And so I forfeited my right to protection. Like anything else in life, pick your battles.

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