Tag: Vallean Jackson

Local Jacksonville family competes on Family Feud

Criminal Justice professor Harald Duncan and his family got the chance to experience something few ever do—competing on Family Feud.

“You can sit at home and it looks so easy, but when you’re on stage it’s not as easy,” said Duncan. His experience on the show has proven to him the difference between watching at home for leisure compared to being on stage trying to beat the buzzer before time runs out.

The auditions, trial runs and watching other families attest that it does not matter how smart you are when it becomes your turn and the pressure is on you not to get an incorrect answer. It is easy to freeze up and go blank when the pressure is on. It is not a lack of education or intelligence, but the ability to think quickly and answer accurately. “With Family Feud, it’s not what you know, but more so how you entertain,” said Duncan.

After submitting his homemade family video to Family Feud’s headquarters in California in March 2014, Duncan was excited when he received the call two months later for his family to come and do a test run for the game show.

“The first person I called after telling my wife and son was the secretary of the Criminal Justice Department,” said Duncan.

“I was beyond thrilled, especially to have the chance to honor my mother,” said Duncan when thinking back to the first edition that was filmed on Mother’s Day. The exact date is uncertain, but the urge to be on the show came about a year ago.

“I called up my brother one day and said, ‘Hey! Let’s go on Family Feud,’” said Duncan. As a result, one phone call turned into a reality after months of auditions. The Duncan family was selected from thousands who tried chosen for the 2015 season.

There are replications of the game show available for download on mobile devices, board games, online and video games, but those versions are nothing in comparison to what it is like being on the actual show.

“Being on stage, you have to have more than one answer prepared in case your answer is taken,” said Duncan.

According to Duncan, there is no way to prepare for this game show.

“There is no strategy to it! You’re wasting your time trying to practice,” said Duncan. The only thing that Duncan and his family planned was who was going to be on the show. This included Harald Duncan, his brother Jeff, sister-in-law Debra, his daughter Amy, and his sister Angie, who served as the family’s team captain.

After months of auditions, two days in Atlanta, Georgia, and two hours of filming each day, the Duncan family time has finally come for the reveal of the episode.

The Duncan family is all Jacksonville affiliated, but will be wearing German attire in respect to their mother’s heritage, as she passed away twenty years ago.

The Duncans are looking forward to the reveal of this episode.

“We had to sign documents agreeing to not tell people about exact details about the show as far as the competing family or henceforth until the episode has completely aired,” said Duncan.
To find out what family they competed against, and whether the Duncans won or not cannot be revealed either.

However, game show host Steve Harvey encouraged the Duncan family and others that, “it’s not about who wins or lose, but more so of a major accomplishment.”

There is no way to capture the excitement and intensity of the show without watching the episode.
“The most that I can say is to watch the episode on Thursday at 6 p.m.” and to stay tuned,” said Duncan.

Vallean Jackson
Staff Writer

Jacksonville car wash provides surprise service

Tucked away in the bustling area between Loco Mex and Pizza Hut on Highway 21, there is a place that serves as a one stop self-serve wash, but it isn’t just an ordinary car wash. This facility allows people to also wash man’s best friend—their pets.
It is easy to miss this concealed building that sits back from the highway. Though this seemingly random piece of architecture is away from the main strip, it serves a great purpose to the Jacksonville area. The Pet Wash/Car Wash caters to those who love their cars and their pets.
Everyone who owns a pet knows what it is like to have Fido smell slightly like outdated milk. The Pet Wash/Car Wash is a one-stop spot for pet grooming and car washing needs.
As customers eliminate the animal hair on the seats or paw prints that seem to have their perpetual mark on the windows, they can also clean the animal that caused the mess.
There is no need for an employee to be present to wash and clean the car because all the equipment to do so is on-site.
When customers enter the parking lot of the Pet Wash/Car Wash, the option to go left or right will determine the price for service.
The cost of the car wash is $1.75 in quarters and the entire vehicle can be cleaned inside and out. The equipment is offered along with seven steps to clean and detail the car.
The business might not appear to be the forefront of the small business district due to all the restaurants surrounding it, but it is certainly a convenience for students and surrounding Jacksonville residents.

Vallean Jackson
Staff Writer

Thanksgiving: the true meaning behind the forgotten tradition

When the month of November rolls around, everyone gets excited about the Thanksgiving holiday. Most people focus on all the mediocre luxuries and overlook the value and meaning of why Thanksgiving is even considered a holiday.

As a society, we are so highly influenced by what we see that our judgment is thrown off and easily persuaded. One example would be retail stores that advertise the Thanksgiving holiday with symbols that “represent” the holiday.

Decorations of turkeys, fall leaves and pilgrims hang in stores to welcome the holiday of thanks. Grocery stores join in on this and mark down the prices of Thanksgiving favorites like turkey, stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes, and so on. These things are done to emphasize the meaning of this traditional holiday, but not done to represent thanks.

There is nothing wrong with tradition, but tradition becomes irrelevant when the meaning of something is forgotten. People are caught up in the food, sales and the representation of Thanksgiving that the true meaning of why Thanksgiving is even celebrated becomes a thing of the past.

Society has become more consumed with fitting the mood of Thanksgiving more so than the history and values of the day. Thanksgiving should be honored just as any other holiday and not just a day to eat good food and watch television. Just like shooting fireworks is a representation of the Fourth of July to celebrate America gaining its independence—Thanksgiving is of no less importance; it is the day for thanks to be given.

The first Thanksgiving was in Plymouth Colony, which is in present day Massachusetts, in 1621. President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving centuries later.

Congress made Thanksgiving Day an official national holiday in 1941.

This means the national recognition of Thanksgiving as a holiday is only a few decades old. When things turned around it was only right for “Days of Thanksgiving”. Thus bringing the reason and meaning of why thanksgiving is celebrated.

November 27, 2014 and every last Thursday that will follow is a day that would be for giving thanks to the harvest of the past year under previous conceptions.

There are many traditions carried out as the day gets closer, but the most important aspect of the holiday is to give thanks. It is a time to show one’s appreciation as well as a time to come together with one another as generations before have done.

According to history, the first Thanksgiving was not perfect, but the chance to come together and thanks was close enough.

There is nothing wrong with Black Friday shopping or the preparation of the classic Iron Bowl game; it just adds to the growing tradition of Thanksgiving.

Vallean Jackson
Staff Writer

Flying pies on the TMB lawn

The Public Relations Organization hosted its first of three events for this semester. Pie a PROud Gamecock took place on October 24.

“The organization is working really hard,” says PRO President Rebecca Batchelder. This is Batchelder’s first semester as president of the organization, and so far, she is proud of what she is seeing. “We have three events scheduled for the remainder of this semester,” says Batchelder. Pie a PROud Gamecock was a huge success, and was highly supported.

PRO members, advisors, and about twenty-five other organizations from around campus also participated in this event. Pie a PROud Gamecock was “a way to get people involved, and interact among other organizations,” says publicity representative and member Christina MacDonald. Besides the goal of becoming a part of the Public Relations Students Society of America, the recent event was a way to make fundraising fun and get the campus involved.

“What better way to get people to come out then to pay three dollars for the chance to pie your friend or fellow member in the face for a good laugh, and to show support of the event,” says MacDonald. “However, the biggest motivate of this event and those to come are to build better relationships around campus. Which is also a great way for JSU to become more unified,” MacDonald said.

The International Student Organization (ISO) and advisors of PRO have been working closely to put the last event and future events together.

future events together. One of the advisors of PRO, Dr. Jeffery Hedrick came to the event on Friday, and certainly received his share of the pie with a pie to the face by Rebecca Batchelder.

“Dr. Ihator is the main advisor of PRO, and he has been a great help with the planning of the event, and the PRSSA process. He is a wonderful advisor and such an inspiration to me and all of our members,” Batchelder says.

Prior to the last event on Friday, PRO has volunteered in the community by cleaning up school playgrounds and working with local high schools.

PRO is not just focused on their goal of recognition as PRSSA, but the goal to bring others together and help throughout the community. The organization focuses on diversity and unification.

PRO is working to achieve acceptance into the PRSSA. PRO is working to pay for the cost of application fees and increase funding to reach their goal of becoming PRSSA. Being a part of the PRSSA organization helps students gain exposure across the state, nationwide, and possibly open doors to their future career goals and endeavors.

PRO has been accepted into PRSSA and is a few steps away from officially becoming a part of the organization. “I think that the event was a great turn out, and it would be awesome to see this event continue in the future,” says Batchhelder.

Vallean Jackson
Staff Writer

‘October Blitz’ is a new beginning for degree evaluation

Each year, seniors (or “super seniors,” as some are referred to) scramble to get ready for graduation. Did I take all the right tests? Did I get every credit I needed for my degree? What about my cap and gown? Thanks to the Registrar’s office and Academic Advisement office, at least one part of this seemingly tedious process has been made much simpler.

The two departments located in Bibb Graves have orchestrate a month-long event dedicated to Degree Evaluation called October Blitz, and its main objective it to increase students’ knowledge of what Degree Evaluation is all about. JSU’s online degree evaluation makes it easier for undergraduate students to stay on track for degree completion.

Dr. Turner, Provost Vice President of Academic and Student affairs directs Registrar Emily White and Director of Academic Advisement Michelle Green to assist in making this cause recognized and improved.

“This is a month long event because we started this project last October and would like to end it this October. This idea has been a year long process, and we are excited to see it flourish,” Green said.

“The purpose of this event is to educate students on how to use Degree Evaluation and to have students graduate on time,” said White.

These two women have provided clips and tutorials to reiterate the importance of degree evaluation.

Getting on board is simple. All it takes is logging into your MyJSU account. There is a tutorial that gives step-by-step instructions.

Another helpful tool being offered is the mobile stations that will be set up in Merrill Hall, Martin Hall and the TMB on days of October 22, 23, 27-30 from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. These mobile stations will have computer access and someone there to assist students in the process or answer any questions they might have about using Degree Evaluation.

“We have already seen an increase in students accessing their degree evaluations,” stated White.

“We are starting early with first year students to get them adjusted to the process,” said Green in regard to freshmen familiarizing themselves with the degree evaluation program, too.

For more information on the program, various faculty members mentioned above (as well as academic advisors,) can be contacted about this quick and easy process.

“I look forward to a long-term process that goes beyond just a month in the goal to help students graduate,” Green said, “By being the person that puts together the graduation process, to see more students graduate, and achieve their goals would mean the most to me.”

This event puts the stress of graduation into perspective, but the process is long-term. Students have to be willing to help themselves before the degree evaluation program can help them.

“It is a collaborative effort on everyone’s part to see this through,” White reminded students. Besides the prize of a stress-free graduation when the time comes, candy will given to those who participate at the October Blitz. In addition to this, the first 150 students get a free T-shirt. In the words of the program, “Do not hesitate, just evaluate!”

Vallean Jackson
Staff Writer