MC Football Returns for Fall Practice/by Elliot Reeder

The MC football team has returned to the practice field for a “fall practice” slate.  They are then scheduled to culminate their offseason practice with a White vs Gold fall game on Saturday, Nov. 7 at noon.  Normally, a football team will have a spring practice slate in the spring, and then play their season in the fall, but due to COVID-19, that has all changed. 

When COVID-19 hit in March, that made spring practice impossible. Then when the NCAA cancelled all fall sport national championships, the GSC postponed football until at least Jan. 1, 2021. With a potential spring season on the horizon, MC opted to have a four-week offseason practice slate in the fall. Practices began on Monday, Oct. 12, and MC will have several practices a week. They will run through Nov. 6 before the fall game on Nov. 7.

Senior linebacker Jonathan Jones says the fall practice will be important for getting the freshman class implemented into the system, while also allowing more time for the team in general to be more prepared, saying, “Our expectations and goals are to get the young guys in and learn quickly. Try to get them to be the best. We have a nice senior class going out, and we had a big freshman class coming in. We just want to teach the guys up and be fellow leaders, the guys that are seniors, to try and get them to come in and learn fast. With COVID taking place, it gives us enough time so they can come in and learn and be able to take it slow, step by step. COVID also allowed us to be prepared and allowed the coaches to gameplan more, allow them to also install new methods so that we can get better in each area that we were weak in last year.”

MC head coach John Bland believes the practices will be good for his team to finally get back on the field, and that they are just trying to make it as normal as possible. “Regarding practice, we’re trying to make it as normal as we can. Some of the things we do usually in the spring, now we’re doing in the fall. Instead of spring ball, we’re calling it ‘fall ball.’ Everything we’re doing is just for us to get better. To be able to evaluate some guys, and it’s good for the mental health of the guys. They come here for school and to get a great degree from Mississippi College, but they also love football. And so to be able to get out there and play is good for morale and for their mental health. That’s been really good for us, although we have to go through the protocols, which is very important for the safety of our players and our community.”

Coach Bland also believes that the pandemic has made communication and leadership with his team difficult with everyone having to be separated so much, saying, “It’s very difficult. It’s a challenge. The leadership has been probably one of the most difficult things to deal with. To be a leader, you have to have followers and be able to see people face to face. You have to work together and show your leadership through hard work. With this pandemic, what it’s done is separate people and it’s made people isolate. It’s been more difficult to lead. It’s hard to lead on a zoom meeting or by messaging through the phones and computers. It’s been very difficult, and it’s made it difficult with school although we are able to get things done online. It’s so much better if you can learn in the classroom. It’s been a challenge for sure, but our guys have done a good job.”

The fall game will give an opportunity for the Choctaws to have a gameday-like experience and will give the coaches an opportunity to see how their players react and play in a game-like situation. Coach Bland says, “We are just going to have some fun. We will also be able to evaluate and see kids play. For the most part, it will be fun for the players to be able to compete. Right now we would be playing ball games …You just have to keep the morale up as best we can, and because of that, that spring game will mean an awful lot.” 

Jones adds, “I’m really hyped up. I’m really looking forward to getting to play. COVID has taken a big toll on everybody, so having the patience and really wanting to get out there and play. We haven’t really done anything besides practice.So that gameday feeling is going to be good and bring some good intensity. Being able to hang with the guys, it’s going to be a wonderful day to get into. I know the coaches are amped up and we are amped up. And I know this whole school, they’re ready to see us play.”

MC is looking to use this fall slate to build off of last year’s 5-5 season where they went 4-4 in the GSC and also went undefeated at home. The GSC has yet to announce whether there will be a football season in the spring or if the Choctaws will have to wait until next fall to play.

Takeaways from the Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates/by Marquisha Mathis

The presidential and vice presidential debates took place beginning on Sept. 30, 2020, with President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden demonstrating their policy views and campaign goals. Their vice presidents debated, too, with Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris sounding off their views as well.

I was really excited for the presidential debate and eager to hear some really great answers from both parties. The debate consisted of several questions dealing with the Supreme Court, economy, pandemic, and more. 

During this debate, the moderator, Chris Wallace, stated that each opponent would have two minutes to make their argument, and they needed to respect the other party while they did it. However, what happened next took the entire nation on a roller coaster, leaving everyone to think about the responses the candidates gave.

Takeaways from the Presidential Debate:

Supreme Court– Donald Trump said that being president of the United States right now, he has the right to choose the next Supreme Court Justice. However, Joe Biden believed that people have a right in choosing who is on the Supreme Court. What will happen in the end remains to be seen.

The Economy– Joe Biden asked Trump if he only paid $750 in taxes. Biden kept pressing him on the matter, and Trump’s response was, “I spent millions.” This began trending on Twitter as people from around the world really wanted an answer to that question. Everyone had their predictions. I was just sitting there listening to the back and forth wondering if we were ever going to specifically discuss the economy.

Race Issues Surrounding Systematic Racism– Biden blamed Trump for racial divides involving protests. They were asked if they believed there is unequal justice among Black people. I’m not certain if they really answered it with all the bickering. However, the question remains: What will they do to make change?

Unnecessary Mayhem– One of the important takeaways I got out of this debate was how both Trump and Biden talked about one another. Using the words “clown,” “liar,” and talking about each other’s families was awful to watch.

After this debate was over, I just couldn’t understand why they had to do all that. It was far from civil, and there was no respect involved. I patiently waited for the vice presidential debate between Harris and Pence which I hoped would help Americans determine their vote.

The vice presidential debate took place on Oct. 7, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Takeaways from the Vice Presidential Debate:

The Coronavirus– Harris believed that Trump’s handling of the virus “was the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of the country.” She saw this as a way that the president couldn’t control the disease at hand. Pence said that Trump took this seriously, and the way Harris and Biden went about it was already done; he called it plagiarism. They both were defending their party even if that meant having a talk about how the other candidate has let the American people down. According to Kamala Harris, one in five businesses closed, 210,000 had the virus, and millions of people filed for unemployment with no plan. Pence said that “Trump put the health of America first.” Clearly each candidate had a strong defense. However, some things should have been made clearer because there are so many things being said online about COVID.

There was a debate, but also interruption– Moderator Susan Page from USA Today was in charge of making sure things were civil between the candidates, and that each one had two minutes to answer their question without any interruptions. However, there were moments when Harris would say something, and then Pence would respond, but she wanted to set the record straight, so she would tell the moderator, “I need to answer this.” This was a reaction when Pence would step on her answer, or take away from her time.
The fly on Pence’s head was the greatest remembrance of all– The debate was better among both the presidents and vice presidents. However, what was trending all over Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram was the fly on Pence’s head. As I was watching the debate, I thought it looked like one, but couldn’t be sure. All across social media, people made jokes and assumptions. Many wondered from where the insect came. It was difficult to ignore.

Question: “Would you rather go to a haunted house or pumpkin patch?”

Question: “Would you rather go to a haunted house or pumpkin patch?”

Will McCarty 

“A haunted house because pumpkin patches are boring. Haunted houses are entertainment.” 

Mary Evelyn McPherson 

“A pumpkin patch because they are family-oriented and the purpose is to make you happy, not scared.”

Mary Katherine Martin 

“Haunted house because pumpkin patches remind me of little kids.”

Lauren Harris 

“Pumpkin patch because of cute pics with the girls. Put 4 s’s on the end of girls.” 

Abigail Vega 

“Pumpkin patch because they are for the daytime when it’s beautiful and enjoyable.”

Fall Fever Week Replaces Homecoming/by Kienna Van Dellen

Homecoming is a longtime fall tradition for schools across the country, serving as a chance for the MC family to connect with their past generations and celebrate new students year after year.

This year, MC will be hosting a Fall Fever Week for its students rather than a traditional homecoming.  This will include different events taking place each day during the week of Oct. 19-24. Trivia night, brick painting, pumpkin painting, live music, worship night, and a fall festival are just a few things students can start to look forward to. “All events will be socially distanced and come and go to make sure we are distanced to keep our COVID numbers extraordinarily low,” said Homecoming Director Logan Barnard. The board is also in the process of working with clubs and tribes on campus in order to include them in the festivities. 

Although MC is not able to physically say “welcome home” to our alumni this semester in order to stay within the COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, there will still be an assortment of classic events. These will include various virtual reunions, the Hap Hudson 5K, and the homecoming golf tournament. 

The homecoming board is working hard to transition and plan smoothly with all of the changes this year so freshmen and upperclassmen alike are able to experience something new this semester. Although things will look different, the MC spirit of strength and courage will carry on in order to put the health and safety of the students first.

Mulan (2020): What Does Its Reflection Show?/by Bryan Matthews

I love the original Mulan. It was and still is why I love movies. The magic, the power, the fun. What’s not to like?

Well, the Mouse House has recently released a live-action version with an all-Asian cast that focuses on realism separate from songs and supernatural elements, presenting it as a female-led war film. Should be good, right? Well, I’m here to save you $30. It’s not.

The positives: the film is trying to achieve a different tone than the original, attempting a grittier approach with its PG-13 rating. While the execution is not great, the film is trying, which is something that can be admired. Next, the performances of Jet Li and Donnie Yen as the emperor and the main general were incredible. Both of these martial arts legends are doing their best with what they have been given, and it shows.

One good sequence is when the soldiers are training in the camp, and they must yell a mantra in unison. When the commander tells them to say “true,” Mulan hesitates, knowing that she can’t say it. It’s a pretty cool character moment.

Unfortunately, that’s where the positives for the film end for me. The negatives are as follows:

First, the film has no heart. One of the most enduring qualities of the original animation is that it had a lot of soul, ranging from the comedy to the characters to the songs. In this adaptation, all of that is taken out and replaced with content that has nothing else to replace it. The film takes out all of the fun, makes things a tad boring, and then slaps a big budget onto it. The fact that $200 million was spent on this project blows my mind. 

Second, the special effects are surprisingly not very good given the studio and the money behind them. Most landscapes look like a video game cutscene instead of the real world, and the fight scenes that require CGI are not rendered well. The fight scenes can be entertaining at times, but then again, they aren’t. They don’t really amount to much, and by my calculations, there are only three or four in the entire movie. The “war” in this war film does not get the attention that it deserves. 

Third, the attempt at realism is undercut by a host of reasons. There is a witch that uses “ribbons” as weapons (still a bit confused), and she can transform into a bird or a group of bats. Her hands can also be bird claws. This is all made possible by the presence of Chi, a magical force that resides in all living things. There is also a flying, mythical Phoenix that is Mulan’s GPS (yes, I said GPS). All of these things undermine the attempt at realism, and it gives us unnecessary supernatural elements that don’t do anything to improve the story. 

As a warning, this last point is a very minor spoiler. Fourth, the messages of the film are flawed. Mulan and the witch are the only two female characters of merit, and they are only more powerful than the men of the story because they both have a high concentration of Chi. The magic system is the only thing that makes them more skilled than the men instead of who they are as individuals. To me, the film failed to portray women because they had to be given a “head start” to be better than the men that surround them. In their attempt to “empower women,” they have shown that girls have to be born special instead of seeing their own self-worth in who they are.

Ultimately, the film fails to provide us with anything new, give us an entertaining or engaging story, or live up to its predecessor. I do encourage people to watch this movie to make their own personal opinions on it. That being said, do yourself a favor and wait until December when you won’t have to pay $30.

Time for a Cross-Cultural Understanding Class/by Marquisha Mathis

Mississippi College is a great university that offers some very unique classes for students to take over the course of four years.

However, it’s important that students really take classes that will shape their future and give them the knowledge they will need when they graduate.

In the course catalog at MC, it was previously required that a student take six hours of social sciences. Of those six hours, you could either take Business Skills for Life, American National Government, Introduction to Psychology, Cross-Cultural Understanding, Sociology, Principles of Macroeconomics, or any philosophy course. 

Many students don’t focus excessively about particular classes except what is required to graduate in their subject fields.

If you’re a biology major, you really want to focus on your science classes.  For your social science classes, you may choose to take psychology or sociology rather than government or Cross-Cultural Understanding because it may make more sense for your major.

You may be a communication major, so you may take psychology or Business Skills for Life mainly because you’re interested in the marketing route or may be minoring in psychology.

There were six hours worth of the social sciences where students could choose from a range of options, but the same classes are being taken every semester. Why is that? 

And what makes it even harder to think about the other classes that are offered is that now MC has taken away a number of hours that used to be required. Social sciences comprised six hours, and now it’s down to three hours.

Freshmen and transfers come in ready to start college, and more importantly looking to create their schedule and sit in class. The first two years consist of core classes, which are usually chosen based on how easy they are or having conversations with upperclassmen who may have taken something else. This may sway their decision in some way.

However, what about a class where you can learn more about other cultures? That would be very important in the society in which we live.

Think about taking Cross-Cultural Understanding as your social science course. It’s one that always seems to get overlooked in the catalog because you don’t think about it too much if you’re not a modern languages major.

But this class gives students the chance to meet other students from all walks of life. And if you think about it, we are already learning more as a nation.

A number of students that have taken this cross-cultural class who are not part of that major include Solomon Zinn, who’s a history major; Cranesha Roberson, a social work major; and Taylor Milligan, a nursing major.

MC is doing their part in providing these courses to us. We have to be willing to want to take them. Many of us come in focused so much more on the degree rather than the experience. However, these are the classes that give us some sense of what we see every day in our lives.

Being a student at MC, I always knew I wanted to take Cross-Cultural Understanding by the time I reached my sophomore year of college. It was important for me to know more about the world around me, as well as the different types of cultures that exist.

Professor Ashley Krason, who currently teaches Cross-Cultural Understanding said, “No matter your degree, you will meet people who are not like you.”

Cross-Cultural Understanding is a class that allows you to think critically, to look at things from every perspective. We all have opinions that we need to express. What makes it even more fascinating is that if we have the opportunity to hear what others have to say, we get to share in that company with them.

Many of us want classes that will allow us to see diversity happening on this campus. However, it’s important to note that this class is in the core curriculum for us to see.

Don’t think about your major. Take the class because when you leave MC, you will be interacting cross-culturally with everyone you meet.

Office of Public Safety September Recap/by Kienna Van Dellen

From Sept. 4, 2020, to Oct. 2, 2020, the campus safety officers made a total of 35 dispatches. Officers dispatched to five miscellaneous alarm calls, three walkthroughs, and two dispatches of returned property across campus. Many calls were for information, assistance, or patrolling of the campus. 

However, some were more serious cases. There were five alcohol violations, all of which were referred to the MC Judicial Council. One incident of domestic violence occurred, which was also referred to the MC Judicial Council. The one medical call was closed by transport to the hospital. Multiple investigations are still in progress for the incidents of disorderly conduct, aggravated assault, suspicious activity, and a vehicle accident. 

The aggravated assault case occurred off-campus and was part of a domestic violence situation. Campus safety did a report to get the suspect information into their database in case the suspect ever comes onto campus. The suspect is not a student and has been arrested and charged.  

Contact the public safety office at (601) 925-3204.

Detailed Report:

9/05/2020 Alcohol Violation (Count 1) New Women’s West (Floor 2)

9/05/2020 Alcohol Violation (Count 2) New Women’s West (Floor 2)

9/08/2020 Alcohol Violation (Count 1) New Women’s West (Floor 5)

9/08/2020 Alcohol Violation (Count 1) New Women’s West (Floor 5)

9/09/2020 Student Conduct Leland Speed Library

9/09/2020 COVID-19 Related Parking Garage (Level 3)

9/12/2020 Domestic Violence Lot R-B

9/12/2020 Disorderly Conduct Lot R-B

9/14/2020 Aggravated Assault Off Campus

9/14/2020 Suspicious Activity A.E. Wood Coliseum 

9/14/2020 Walkthrough Aven Hall

9/15/2020 Suspicious Activity A.E. Wood Coliseum 

9/16/2020 Walkthrough Commons (Floor 1)

9/16/2020 Walkthrough B.C. Rogers Student Center (Cafeteria)

9/16/2020 Vehicle Accident  New Womens West 

9/19/2020 Alcohol Violation New Men’s Hall (Floor 3)

9/21/2020 Vehicle Accident Lot R-C

9/24/2020 Fire- General University Place (Building D)

9/24/2020 Medical Call Mary Nelson Hall

9/29/2020 Fire- General University Place (Building D)

Enola Holmes Blends Mystery with Empowerment/by Marquisha Mathis

“My name is Enola, which backwards spells alone. To be a Holmes, you must find your own path. My brothers have. My mother has. And I must too.”

“Enola Holmes,” starring Millie Bobby Brown, recently dropped on Netflix, and it is already on the streaming site’s Top Ten in the U.S. chart.

Many of us already know Brown from the hit show “Stranger Things” on Netflix, so it’s no surprise that she would create yet another hit for all of us to see.

Enola pedals through this movie on her bike with happiness, with sunshine, and most importantly, with her wits. As she begins a conversation with the audience, you know that she is unstoppable. And that’s just the start of Enola. This movie depicts firsthand what kind of character she’s going to be: the perfect picture of her brother Sherlock Holmes, a true detective.

What happens next would be the beginning of Enola’s journey. It has always been Enola and her mom, Eudoria. Her mother taught her everything, encompassing the center of Enola’s world. That is, until Enola wakes up one morning to find Eudoria gone.

However, her mom left her with all of the necessary skills Enola needs to face life head on. But what Eudoria didn’t know is that her daughter would use those same skills and go on a hunt to find her. The only thing standing in Enola’s way are her brothers Sherlock and Mycroft.

According to them, Enola needs a real education. She needs to be seen in society like every other girl. Mycroft gets in touch with Miss Harrison, the headmistress at a boarding school who tells Enola that she teaches girls how to be ladies and how to be ready for the world.

This film showcases that Enola doesn’t want to be like them. She is who her mom taught her to be. To stand up for herself, to speak up, to fight, to be a Holmes, and to make her own path.

During this time, she experiences much from her travels to England in search of her mother. She meets a young lord by the name of Viscount Tewkesbury, who later becomes one of the most important people on her journey.

They help each other along the way and develop a friendship like no other.

Enola spends the majority of the movie searching for her mother while becoming her own woman. She also learns some words of wisdom while refusing to allow anything to stand in the way of her mission. Her brother Sherlock soon comes to realize that, telling Enola at a pivotal moment, “She always found you quite extraordinary. As do I, Enola Holmes. The choice is always yours. Whatever society may claim, it can’t control you. As Mother has proven.”

He learns that Enola is a force to be reckoned with, finally seeing her for who she is by the film’s end: an extraordinary young woman.

Some of the most special moments of this movie are the ones where Enola allows herself to cry and show emotion, moments where she is truly able to think about her life and how her mother shaped it.

What Enola longs for from the film’s beginning finally comes by its end. Her mother shows up to explain why she chose to leave, telling Enola, “I didn’t leave you because I didn’t love you. I left for you because I couldn’t bear to have this world be your future. So I had to fight. You have to make some noise if you want to be heard.”

What’s really interesting about Enola’s character is that she’s known as an “unbroken soul.” Throughout the movie, she carries this image of having to be on top of things all the time, and that image is put to the test when her mom leaves.

However, Enola finds her way and herself. “I now see that being alone doesn’t mean I have to be lonely. Mother never wanted that. She wanted me to find my freedom. My future. My purpose. I’m a detective, I’m a decipherer, and I’m a finder of lost souls. My life is my own. And the future is up to us.”

MC Volleyball Looking to Overcome Season Postponement/by Charlie Williams

Volleyball is one of the many sports at MC that cannot compete this semester at the hands of COVID-19.  The team had high expectations going into the season, and although they will not be playing this semester, the team has still been hard at work in practice. Their normal fall season has been postponed, and while the GSC is in the planning stages for a spring season, it will definitely be different from any season we’ve seen before.   

Head Coach Shawna Laurendine said, “… The depth of the team is growing every year …”  As the team has lost just one senior to graduation and brought in three new freshmen, they both return a lot of talent and have new pieces to be excited about.  Finishing seventh in the conference last season may not seem impressive at first glance. However, the season concluded with the Lady Choctaws’ first appearance in the GSC tournament since the return to Division II, making it one of their best seasons ever and giving the young team lots to build upon going into the 2021 season.  When talking about her expectations for the team this season, Laurendine said that she expects the Lady Choctaws to again make the tournament and this time advance past the first round, hopefully competing for a conference title. Junior Lexie Laurendine said that when the team finally gets the chance to play she expects them to “come out swinging and just ball out.”

However the main obstacle this year for the promising young team may not be GSC competition, but all the changes they are seeing compared to a normal volleyball season.  While the GSC is still in planning stages for the season, it is looking like there will be a shortened regular conference season and room to pick up non-conference games during that regular season before the conference tournament. While there will be that bit of normalcy, Coach Laurendine said that “this spring will be a little different” as they are going to miss the tournaments and invitationals they are used to playing in throughout the regular season, but with the conference and non-conference games the team is planning on playing they should still be in top shape in time for bracket play in the tournament.  

Like everything else this semester, the Lady Choctaws’ practice has looked a lot different; however, the distancing measures they are taking seem to work.  By spacing out during practice, not sharing water bottles, and limiting the number of people allowed in the locker room, the team has prevented even a single positive COVID test. So while the season will no doubt look different than any we’ve seen before, the Lady Choctaws will be prepared and ready to have a better season than we’ve seen in a long time.    

A Midterm Check-in with MC’s Nursing Students/by Meredith Stratmann

We’ve made it to the point of the semester where people are frantically studying and scurrying to class. There’s no time for socialization. The commons are packed with people bent over books or at least trying to while their friends distract them. That’s right–it’s midterms.

This can be a stressful time for all students, and the nursing school is no exception. Nursing is widely regarded as one of the most difficult undergraduate majors. As a nursing student myself, let me assure you that it is. I’m not just saying that to complain or try to get your pity. Nursing school is just a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. This semester, I have 18 hours of coursework over seven classes. A small portion of those hours count for the 18 hours I actually spend in clinicals weekly. Combined with organizations, jobs, and a social life, and long story short–I’m overwhelmed. 

When I asked my fellow classmates their feelings regarding how the semester is going so far, I got responses such as “we are drowning,” and “sobbing.” Senior Lane Oxner said, “Every test in nursing school is like a midterm. We struggle on all of them.” Given that it’s after midnight and I took a break from studying to write this article, I have to agree. 

Not only is the array of content difficult, but the questions themselves are challenging. Many ask what the nursing priority is or describe a set of symptoms and then expect you to know the proper intervention. Since we’re still developing nursing critical thinking, what we would do is not always right. 

Even still, the nursing school is a family that binds together to get through. Having clinicals in the hospital and on a behavioral health unit can lead to some crazy times. I don’t know what I would’ve done without my classmates there with me. 

Senior Natalie Russell remains a source of encouragement, saying “For all the nursing students out there, we made it to midterms! Whether you are in your first or fourth semester, this is an accomplishment. We are halfway to the finish line. Stay motivated and keep up the good work.” 

While nursing school can be a trying time full of papers, tests, and clinicals, at least we have our classmates to struggle through it with us.