Pockmarked for Life

Gobble gobble gobble! Happy Thanksgiving everyone :) . Thanksgiving reminds me of the beginning of the holiday season, which means a lot of traveling! With a swift harsh winter coming up, safety issues such as pot holes, a pet peeve of mine, are bound to become inevitable fixtures of not just the ubiquitous pockmarked streets in Baltimore but all over the interstate. So I wanted to find out how pot holes form. Lets take a look (from pothole.info):

Northerners swear potholes are the product of winter’s freeze-thaw cycles. And they are correct. But even subtropical areas that rarely experience freezing temperatures have notorious road repair problems too. According to “Rough Roads Ahead,” a report from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, an industry trade group, more than 60 percent of streets and highways in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and Honolulu provide a “poor quality ride.”

To understand how those potholes form in either climate, it helps to know how roads are built in the first place. All streets and highways since the 19th century have basically been built the same, by the Macadam method. There are concrete roads and highways, but they are largely out of favor because seams between sections lead to an unpleasant ride. Concrete also has deterioration problems that cause potholes (chuckholes and kettles, by their other names).

A macadam road is built by using angular (not rounded) stones that essentially lock together when compressed. Some roads are built over bedrock, but macadamization (sounds like macadamia…mmmMMM) enables building roads over dirt, which was a fast improvement in its day, widely expanding where roads could be constructed.

All roads are built to avoid an accumulation of water. But water is very insistent. It finds a way in and under pavement. The crown and the emulsifying agents only work at repelling water until there is a compromise in that pavement: cracks due to traffic wear and tear, cuts from utility work and pavement separations due to extreme heat and sunlight. In low areas, such as under railroad viaducts and highway overpasses, water simply accumulates after storms.

Once there is an opening, water seeps into pavement. It might expand and contract in freeze-thaw cycles. Water can also, in sufficient quantities, wash out the lower layers of stone and dirt supporting the surface layer. In warmer climates not subject to freeze-thaw cycles, the problem begins with heat-caused deterioration. Cracks from the heat allow water in, eroding the sub-surface layers. In either case, an air gap is formed in the sub-base of the pavement. As vehicles pass over these sub-surface gaps, the top layer sags, collapses and crumbles. A pothole is born.

Thus my commutes to Essex and Dundalk are filled will intense jaw chattering and shaken-brain syndrome from driving over numerous potholes. Especially at Dundalk. Nevertheless, these ostensible potholes keep us awake on the roads; albeit having us mutter under our breaths.

Well there you have it! Potholes do indeed reflect the deteriorating state of our roads today.

The significance of Mentors

What is a mentor? Is it that person who greatly influences your life that you no longer can forget them – no matter how shot your long term memory is? Is it that person unrelated who, even until now, affects how you live from day-to-day? Is it him or her who inspires you, challenges you, takes you over the edge of your being?

If yes is your answer to all those determinants above, then that encompasses the beginning descriptions of a mentor.

Mentors may generally rub you the wrong ways sometimes; ergo the reason why they influence you so much to achieve is because they’ve irked you on more than one occasions. To put it simple, they care about you to bruise your ego and show you the stupid things you are failing miserably at.

Case in point: Miss T. Miss T was my dorm manager in college (as i am a second courser). She stood out like a sore thumb; commanding tone of voice, haughty expression, and a scary way she carried herself. She chose who she wanted as a resident. Out of 3,500 applicants, she could only accept 518. Families would travel for days from their respective provinces to have an interview with her and to beg that she would accept their kid. Rough as it had seemed having no room would mean losing the chance to study at the premiere university in the country. But Miss T had it her way. Her choice was the only choice and she was revered for that. She taught me one thing: “I dont keep my desk tidy because it shows that I am not busy with anything. I prefer having a creative mess.” No matter how bad that sounded, I still tend to follow this mantra up till now!

But nevertheless, mentors like Miss T may get on your case to make you do your best. Constantly seek for a mentor – the advocate for your success. There are so many mentors at CCBC, it’s refreshing and inspiring. From advisors to teachers and staff, they are there to talk to you and help you clear you path and give advice in times of internal struggles. If you need help, try to talk to them. The new Student Success Center at Y building in Catonsville is there for you. Don’t wait long enough before your problems become out of hand.

CCBC is meant for student success. Without the students, there would be no need for this college, who wants only the greatest success for each and all enrolled.

Alternative Spring Break

Do you have plans yet for April 16-22, 2011, our Spring Break? Do you want to do something different and be part of something memorable? If yes, come with us to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota for an alternative spring break!

According to Toni Aho, Leadership & Civic Engagement Administrator for CCBC:

“An alternative break is your opportunity to engage in community service and experiential learning during spring break. Students, faculty & staff perform short term projects for community agencies and learn about important issues such as literacy, poverty, racism, hunger, homelessness and the environment.”

Why did we choose Pine Ridge Reservation?

Because of the dismal Lakota-Sioux Pine Ridge Statistics as of 2007:

•Unemployment rate of 80-90%
•Per capita income of $4,000
•8 Times the United States rate of diabetes
•5 Times the United States rate of cervical cancer
•Twice the rate of heart disease
•8 Times the United States rate of Tuberculosis
•Alcoholism rate estimated as high as 80%
•1 in 4 infants born with fetal alcohol syndrome or effects
•Suicide rate more than twice the national rate
•Teen suicide rate 4 times the national rate
•Infant mortality is three times the national rate
•Life expectancy on Pine Ridge is the lowest in the United States and the 2nd lowest in the Western Hemisphere. Only Haiti has a lower rate.

Statistics courtesy of Re-member Project and can be found on www.re-member.org

To be a part of the CCBC delegation, you must be able to commit to these dates for preliminary meetings:

•Friday, February 11, 2011 3-4:30 p.m.
•Friday, March 11, 2011 3-4:30 p.m.
•Friday, April 8, 2011 3-4:30 p.m.
•Friday, April 15, 2011 3-4:30 p.m.
•Saturday, February 26, 2011 9 a.m.-4 p.m. for an all-day retreat

You also have to commit:


(in $25 payments each month between December by being accepted as a participant and April)


(in fundraising—fundraising opportunities will be offered throughout the spring semester)


commit to 10 hours of service to the college which include the hours you spend on fundraising events

Eligibility Requirements:

CCBC Students in Good Standing with the college who are taking a minimum of 6 credit hours are eligible.

There is an application process and interested individuals apply and write an essay to be considered. The committee will bring everyone who applies together to determine the 20 people who are able to attend. The interview process is not intended to be punitive, but informative to help potential participants know if this opportunity is really something they will benefit from & what group dynamics will be most effective. It is our goal to have a group that has individuals from all campuses, different majors, different backgrounds and a variety of strengths to benefit the project in Pine Ridge.

Interviews will take place January 13 or 14th.

To get the application, click here!

Hope to see you there!

Are you the next Student Ambassador?

What a flying fantastique semester I’ve had being a student ambassador for CCBC. I’ve been to the President’s house, mentored first-year students on building schedules, represented the student population at the Baltimore County Public Schools Counselor breakfast and most of all, saw firsthand what great things that all three campuses have to offer.

I have certainly opened my eyes to the many positive activities and pursuits that this college has to offer.

With that said, there is still much that we as students can do for the greater good of CCBC. Since this is a fairly new program, the sky is certainly the limit on what things we can achieve as college students. Why not plant a vegetable garden at CCBC Catonsville? Or transform the existing yet unused greenhouse on campus into one that it rightfully should be, just like the other two campus greenhouses? How about extending the CCBC Food Pantry to Catonsville and Essex, from its current home at Dundalk? How about pursuing the planning and implementation of having a no smoking campus?

Although being an ambassador is different from being a Student Government Association member, our job is to encourage others to get involved! With small grassroot efforts, we can achieve a common goal: growth on campus!

If this inspires you, click here to apply. We need great candidates to share their talents for CCBC.

CCBC is where your achievements begin!

CCBC Opens Food Pantry for Students in Need

Such a wonderful cause for such a great school.

CCBC, through the persevering efforts of its Dundalk campus Student Life Office and Student Government Association, are proud to announce the opening of our very first food pantry. This cause is aimed at students currently experiencing hardship in terms of affording decent food, personal care items and other basic human necessities.

Each student is allowed to choose 7 items from the supply per week. Here is a schedule of hours of operations so far:

•         Friday, November 12 from 12pm-2pm

•         Tuesday, November 16 from 10:30am-12:30pm

•         Monday, November 22 from 12pm-2pm

•         Tuesday, November 23 from 6:30pm-8:30pm

•         Thursday, December 2 from 1pm-3pm

•         Friday, December 3 from 10:30am-12:30pm

If you know anyone who needs help especially this Holiday season, direct them to the Food Pantry. The Food Pantry is unlike no other as it is MOBILE! It moves from room to room! Because of this, to find it or to donate more food or to learn more information, please visit the Student Life Office at Dundalk (K-221) and talk to Crissy Fabiszak (Student Life Campus Coordinator) or Moe Brockington (SGA President, Dundalk) to find out more. Also, keep in touch for updates via the Student Life Facebook Page.

I challenge and encourage all clubs on campus to start a campaign and DONATE NOW!!!