Friday, March 30, 2012

Sunset on daylight saving time?

Lindsey Treffry | Argonaut 

If approved, a recent bill introduced to the Idaho legislature would exempt Idaho from participating in daylight saving time.

Sponsored by Democratic House Rep. Wendy Jaquet and other Republican representatives, the bill would encompass the entire state of Idaho — both Pacific and Mountain time zones.

“Idaho seems inclined to go its own way as regards (to) other federal practices, so this interest in HB 692 to exempt itself from what other states are doing seems fitting,” Moscow Mayor Nancy Chaney said. “I am skeptical that it will go very far this legislative session.”

For six months out of the year, areas like Coeur d’Alene and Spokane, as well as Moscow and Pullman, would be an hour apart.

“Locals would eventually adjust, although the many visitors to our universities might be baffled,” Chaney said.

The only states that disregard daylight saving time in the U.S. are Arizona and Hawaii.

Time zone confusions would include daycares and workplaces in the neighboring states, as well as Washington State University and University of Idaho students with cross-border farming jobs who would be required to wake at “obscenely early hours,” Chaney said.

UI Food Science major Jenny Lim said the last two years of her degree require classes at both WSU and UI, despite the school in which a student is registered. Travel between the two schools is constant.

“(Some Food Science majors) joked about that,” Lim said. “Because I think Idaho is (one of a few) split states where we have two different time zones. We were saying that would suck completely if we were under the Mountain Time zone, where it’s an hour ahead.”

Lim said the Food Science program recently switched registration processes and prospective majors have to register under both UI and WSU to enroll in desired classes.

Problems in border communities like ours would not be insurmountable and cross-listed class schedules at WSU and UI could be worked out Chaney said.

“(The time zone switch) would depend on the faculty and departments, for just figuring out scheduling and making sure that classes can’t overlap,” Lim said. “I can’t even imagine if one place is one hour ahead of the other.”

As seen in March 31 issue of the Argonaut.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Stress, tests and tutors

Alyssa Creason sits in the back of the library knitting and waiting for the next student to arrive. On average, three students show up. On a bad day — none. Once, she had 22 students come to her table.

“It was the day before a final,” she said.

Creason is a University of Idaho psychology tutor, and has been for three semesters. She helps psychology students from all class levels during individual and drop-in tutoring sessions as part of the Tutoring and Academic Assistance Programs.

Philip Vukelich | Argonaut
TAAP is comprised of Student Support Services, Tutoring and College Success and Disability Support Services. SSS offers 250 financially limited, disabled or first-generation students individual tutoring services as part of a federal grant, while DSS offers accommodations, like note-taking and captioning, to students with documented disabilities.

TCS is where drop-in and small group tutoring comes in — free for any UI student.

“We’re here,” Creason said of tutors in the library. “We’re waiting.”

According to Sara Stout, TCS programs manager, any student can stop by the library on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Sunday for tutoring sessions.

Drop-in session topics range from Chinese to chemistry, from biology to economics and more. A pilot program called thinkTANK offers tutoring for engineering-specific classes Tuesday through Thursday in the Janssen Engineering Building.

Students can request any class topic for focus in small group tutoring and are not limited to the subjects offered by drop-ins.

“(Small group tutoring) is like a structured study group,” Stout said.

All individual, small group and drop-in tutors take part in a College Reading and Learning Association training certification program. Headed by TCS, Stout said, the certification ensures tutors are following FERPA guidelines, acting professionally and are empathetic and encouraging to students. While services are free, individual tutors are paid a minimum of $8 per hour, while small group and drop-in tutors are paid $12 per hour.

Creason tutors for five hours each week.

“It’s not a big money maker,” Creason said. “But I would do it for free.”

Creason said since tutoring at UI, she decided that it would make a good career choice.

“You make such a connection with your students,” she said.

TCS also offers College Success Classes, taught by Stout and Programs Specialist June Clevy, for students on academic probation or those who want to hone strategic studying and classroom skills. Time management, classroom and study skill workshops are available by request.

Stout said students often think they don’t need tutoring.

“It’s hard to admit they need help,” Stout said. “It’s hard to ask questions … especially for first-year students.”

Stout said she hopes to make other department-specific tutoring sessions available, and by fall 2012, “master tutors” will be available to mentor tutors in student assistance. For now, Clevy observes tutors twice a week.

“College exists to provide people with an education,” Creason said. “If you need a little help, there’s no shame in that.”

As seen in March 22 issue of the Argonaut.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Please, touch the art

Lindsey Treffry | blot

Jon Harty can’t keep his hands off art.

“Working with my hands was the main reason why I got into doing sculpture,” Harty said.

The 40-year-old University of Idaho graduate likes to play with clay, wood and metal.

Working with these materials has left Harty’s hands cracked and covered in calluses. Manual labor, splinters and sanding wood have reduced his fingernails to stubs.

“You want that dexterity and to be able to grab things and work with things,” Harty said. “My nails seem to be something I use a lot — scratching at things, pulling things, twisting a bolt or nut.”

Of his fingernails, his index and thumb are damaged the most. He said it is instinctual for him to use those fingers, which wears on the skin.

“My hands get tired and stiff,” he said. “The pain connects me to my work even more.”

The motion of turning a clay pot, Harty said, allows him to focus through discomfort.

“I get in there and do anything with it,” Harty said. “You can put your hands in it, squeeze it, hit it, throw it.”

As for sculpting with metal, Harty said there is still a connection between his hands and his work, despite the tool between them. He once produced a 5-foot-5-inch metal sculpture for people to walk through that ended in a 24-inch crawling hole. When he welds, he can see the form taking place — from the bead, to the color, to how it cools. 

But his most organic work grows from the relationship between art and people. 

“My interest is in the body,” Harty said. “How we interact within the environment — where we live, where we spend our work, our school or play or whatever — (and) how our bodies are connected to the environment.”

Harty’s installation, “Body Space,” stemmed from this idea. He said the sculptures focused on how personal space is not universally compatible.

Harty built three wooden boxes based on the physical dimensions of people he knew, including himself. The first box was based off a female friend with a small physical frame.

“I can’t fit in that box,” Harty said. “A lot (of people) can’t. Her space maybe isn’t always accessible to other people — and other people’s (spaces) are more accessible.”

The second box was inspired by a male friend with a larger frame, and the third was designed specifically for Harty, perfectly measured to accommodate only him in a sitting position.

Even though his sculptures are designed to portray personal space, Harty wants to ensure his art allows others to connect with it.

Harty showcased “Body Space” as part of the 2011 Moscow Artwalk.

“(Touch is) something that is taboo when you go into an art gallery,” Harty said. “‘Don’t touch the artwork.’”

But Harty said he wants to draw the viewer in more than a regular gallery does. He doesn’t want people to feel limited to looking, thinking and comprehending artwork.

“That’s more of a mental interaction,” he said. “I want something more physical.”

When he saw people touching his art and parents shutting kids’ fingers in the doors of his wooden work, Harty deemed his showcase a success. People were interacting.

“Open your mind a little bit and think about what you’re looking at a little bit more,” Harty said. “(Think) about what the artist is trying to get across to you.”

As seen in March issue of blot.