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Should Scotland be an Independent Country?

As the vote on the Scottish referendum approaches, the vote to stay or go has drawn near to a 50/50 split. For decades, many of the Scottish people wished to be their own country, separated from England and the Queen. But becoming an independent country is no easy task; there are many details that must be considered in order for independence to be a wise choice. Although Scotland already has their own educational system, health care, and police force run independently of England, questions such as the economy and currency, energy, oil and gas, pensions and welfare, citizenship and immigration, military, and the possibility of obtaining EU membership, must be considered.

Scotts desire to have more control in what takes place within their own government. Currently, with the UK’s system of government and parliament there is devolution (the delegation of power to a lower level) this gives Scotland a certain amount of control within their country. Many Scots are currently arguing that they do not have enough power and that the only way to truly make the best decisions for Scotland they need to have their own government system in place. Others argue, that a No vote for the referendum is better, for with it, they are not giving up the possibility of gaining more control, but rather, from a no vote a greater devolution would take place. 

As of this point, the current polls are:
No - 47%
Yes - 46%
Don’t Know- 7%
There is much or the UK’s system of government that I still yet to fully understand, there are so many different approaches that countries can set in place to be run successfully. Although I may not understand all of what is taking place, it has been fascinating keeping up with this news through the use of The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Wall Street Journal that are both located within the library, along with the BBC’s website. Having both of these newspapers and many more at the library are a wonderful resource to expand out of the “bubble” of college and keep connected with all that is taking place in the world.


Hello Freshmen!

Welcome to Cairn! It’s exciting isn’t it? All of the new people, new places, new sounds, new surroundings can be so exhilarating….. or, if you are like me when I first arrived, completely overwhelming! You suddenly feel like you were thrown into a Twilight Zone setting where you are expected to attend all of your classes, EVERY chapel, do all of the readings, papers, projects for EVERY class, oh and keep up a healthy regime of eating right at EVERY meal and exercising in the gym at the MAC. Not to mention all of the activities that help build community so of course you are obligated to go EVERY single one because who doesn’t want to be part of community?!

Stop. Take a deep breath. Count to ten. Let it out.

Before you get too far into the semester, let me offer you some tips that I have learned (and am still learning!):

Number 1: You don’t have to do it all. Yup I said it. Obviously homework is a must because without it we wouldn’t learn but don’t feel like you have to attend every activity this school has to offer. Think of them as options. If you like music, attend the music events that seem interesting to you. Or maybe you like to participate in sports, there is always a sporting event you can attend and cheer on the Highlanders! Intramurals are also a great way to be involved in sports. You get exercise and community; two for the price of one!

Number 2: Sometimes you have to use your chapel skips. They give us nine for a reason! Maybe you had a long night of studying and really need that 50 minute break in your schedule to recuperate. Take that time by yourself to refocus on the reason why you are doing all of this. Seek God’s strength to help you through. Pray, read the passage of Scripture that is most encouraging to you, and even sing songs that help draw you closer to God.

Number 3: The Library is here for YOU! Remember all of that reading and those papers you need to write? The Library is a great place to accomplish it all! It’s quiet all the time (unlike the dorms) and the Library staff are here to help you with researching topics and finding books.  There are even whole rooms set aside to help keep you focused on your task. Have a question? The student workers and Librarians will do their best to answer them! There are no “stupid” questions and we love to help!

(P.S Did you know we have a movie collection??? Stop in during the Library’s hours and pick up a movie to unwind from all of the homework you are working on!)

]Here’s to you Freshmen in having the best first semester of your college career!

Pray often, Laugh a lot, and hold on tight because college flies by quickly!


A New Perspective of the Library (Part II)

In case you missed the first part of this blog series, I have set out to show Masland Library visitors that the library is a valuable resource for social entertainment. In Part I, I hit on some of the library’s top movies of various genres. While movies are great entertainment for large groups of people, they do not necessarily facilitate great social interaction. If there is much interaction, the movie has probably become background noise and everyone missed an important movie scene. So now I bring you to music, the perfect element to set the mood for your social events. Even you are the loner of the party Taylor Swift once eloquently stated, “People haven’t always been there for me but music always has.” Therefore, I encourage you to check out some of the library’s music and let it permeate the atmosphere of your social life.
*The library’s CD collection can be found on the 2nd floor on your left before entering the computer lab. Although I will not expound upon them here, the Masland Library has some RECORDS available to borrow. If you are retro enough to own a record player, ask us more on how to get your hands on a record.

Romantics Sampler – CD M5 .R663 1995
Let me clarify first by saying this is not a compilation of songs for a passionate date. The word Romantics refers to a time period and genre of classical music from the 18th century. This is music is called romantic because it explored the breadth of emotion in a way music had not before. Therefore, the modern music listener can find great refreshment in these pieces.

Scott Joplin Piano Rags – CD M25 .J81 P53 2004
Now these are some true American originals. Just imagine you and your friends in some small town establishment out west 100 years back, playing cards and listening to an old man tickling the ivories with some good old rag time.

Spanish Guitar – CD M126 .S62 2002
This CD is sure to bring that spice that was missing from your life. Do not forget about this one for all of your Cinco de Mayo parties.

Quartets – CD M450 – CD M457.4
While great majority of our CD’s consist of classical music, I wanted to highlight the quartet section of the collection. In Fall of 2013 the world renown Ying String Quartet came and played for our school. Some of the greatest classical music was written for such a group of players on these instruments: two violins, a viola, and a cello. Only four instruments! This music is not only for the sophisticated.

Jazz, Louis Armstrong – CD M1356 .A736 D445 2000

Jazz, Duke Ellington – CD M1366 .E461 D933 2000

Jazz, Coleman Hawkins – CD M1366 .H395 C654 2000
If you have not been sufficiently exposed to big band jazz, you are missing out on one of the greatest musical joys in life. This music may, dare I say it, make you want to dance. To give you a little more direction within these three artists, Louis Armstrong played some mean trumpet (and had a great voice!), Duke Ellington worked the piano, and Coleman Hawkins played some sweet tones on the tenor saxophone.

Star Wars Original Trilogy Soundtrack – CD M1527.2 .W721 S27 2004
                It is Star Wars. Need I say more?

International Music Mix – CD M1627 .I58 1999
A little bit of this. A little bit of that. Musical flavors from all around the globe. Now you can connect with all of your multicultural friends!

Simon and Garfunkel – CD M1630.18 .S55 S5 1972
I have always considered these guys to be the original indie band. They formed a new genre of folk-rock in the 1960’s. That may seem old but their music does not sound it. Simon and Garfunkel is great for the car or chilling at all times of the day.

Soulful Music by Leontyne Price – CD M1670 .P953 1996
I cannot say I have ever listened to this lady, but I do know she was famous. The nature of the music of this album is just as the title suggests.

Manheim Steamroller, Christmas in the Aire – CD M2065 .M354 C475 1995
If you have ever listened to Christmas music on the radio, you must have heard Manheim Steamroller. I would describe them as new age electric orchestra rock going wild on Christmas tunes. These songs could put you in the holiday mood in July.

Michael Card, The Hidden Face of God – CD M2198 .C37 2006
Michael Card is an older but well known Christian artist that came to our school in Fall of 2013. This is only one of several albums we have of his, but check them all out!

~Wayne Hailstone

When homework continually piles up throughout the semester, it is hard to think of doing any independent study for one’s own benefit. But sometimes, some independent study is actually more refreshing than draining.

During this semester, I have had the opportunity to begin studying Islam. For one of the fastest growing religions in the world, it is upsetting how little I knew about it. Once I decided that I desired to know more, I began perusing a few different sections within our library that contained literature on the subject. I found many decent resources, but I must say that my favorite book that I stumbled upon is Unveiling Islam by Ergun Mehmet Caner and Emir Fethi Caner. Although I am currently only 54 pages in, this book has taught me a substantial amount about this belief system.

The authors of Unveiling Islam, Ergun and Emir, are brothers who were raised as Sunni Muslims. Now, highly respected theology professors, Ergun and Emir wrote this book together in order to present the practices, ethics, and beliefs of Islam. Ergun and Emir helpfully present the Islamic beliefs by directly contrasting them to Christianity.

Some other books that were also helpful to me were Islam: A Short Guide to the Faith by Roger Allen and Shawkat M. Toorawa, and A New Anthropology of Islam by John Bowen.

As college students, there is so much to balance, and the idea of adding one more thing onto our plate doesn’t exactly sound like the most appetizing option, but amidst all of the stress of homework and extracurricular activities, it can be nice to set aside some time to invest in an area that is unrelated to your studies that interests you. Balancing time is key, but I encourage you to take a book, fiction or non-fiction, and set aside time during your semester to read for fun. With always reading for classes, the joy of reading tends to disappear. I challenge you to remember that reading can actually be quite an enjoyable endeavor.

~Leia Brunette

Book Review- Mr. Wuffles!

Warning- this post may contain spoilers.

Mr. Wuffles! is a Caldecott Honor winning children’s book by David Wiesner. On the cover, it looks as if it is going to be about a cat. This is true, in a sense. Mr. Wuffles is a cat who has little interest in his toys, at least until a tiny alien UFO lands among them. Fascinated by them, Mr. Wuffles follows them. The rest of the book is shown through the alien’s perspective as they try to escape the curious cat. I say “shown,” as the entire story is told without the use of words. The aliens have speech bubbles, but the language within them is gibberish, allowing the reader to imagine for himself what is being said. As a small child, I liked to make up what the characters were saying in books as I could not read it for myself. This book presents the perfect opportunity to do just that. As a whole, the book provides an explanation for cats’ seemingly inexplicable obsession with whatever is under the furniture, and also entertains cat lovers like me with a near perfect representation of a cat’s behavior and posture.

To see this book, and other Caldecott Honor books, browse the back wall of Juvenile awards in the Juvenile/Curriculum section of the library (Mezzanine level all the way in the back).

~Ryan Eshelman

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