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In most cases, you pay to be a student. But, sometimes, it pays to be a student. Student discounts are definitely near the top of the list of college perks, so here are a few businesses, locally and nationally, that will offer discounted rates to Mercer Bears.
You won’t have to travel far as several businesses in Macon offer student discounts. Jack & Darcy, a local boutique on Ingleside, offers a 25 percent off student discount every Monday. The Waffle House on Riverside Drive offers a discount to anyone with a valid Bear Card ID. The same goes for Shogun on Northwoods Plaza and Sauced in Mercer Village. The standard discount for food is usually 10 percent off the total. Those are just a few of the local restaurants that offer student discounts!
There are some establishments that offer student discounts at all their locations, in Macon or otherwise. So, whether you’re at Mercer or back at home, it will be helpful to keep your Bear Card on you. Moe’s and Barberito’s offer a student discount with a valid ID as do Texas Roadhouse, Subway and Burger King. Chipotle and Chick-Fil-A offer a free drink at participating locations.
There are also multiple business that offer student discounts on their merchandise. Starting off with one of the lower discounts, Forever 21 offers 10 percent off purchases made online by students. However, TopShop offers a 15 percent discount to students, as do J. Crew, Ann Taylor and Express. On Tuesdays, Goodwill offers students a 25 percent discount on clothing.
While food and clothes discounts are by far the most common, there are also several miscellaneous discounts available to students. Amazon Prime cuts its regular payment in half for students and offers 6 months free. Apple offers up to $200 off new Mac computers for students. Large media companies like The New York Times, The Economist and The Wall Street Journal all offer discounted subscription rates for students. If you’re planning on going to the movies anytime soon, keep in mind that AMC Theaters also provide student discounts on Thursdays with a valid ID.
There are student discounts available in nearly every setting. While they may range from a free drink to 50 percent off—if your budget looks anything like mine—it all helps. These are a few of the most popular discounts, both in Macon and around the nation, but there are still more to be discovered. Take a moment at checkout to ask if a student discount is available. If you have your Bear Card handy, it may just pay off big time.
With the first round of major tests just behind us, fall break could not come at a better time. However, after this weekend, the next break is over a month away for Thanksgiving. So while it may be tempting to spend the weekend on campus or at home, try to make this break one to hold you out until November. Whether you’re looking for something simple or want to go all out, here are a few ideas of how to spend your fall break.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with spending your fall break at home or on campus. Some of the most relaxing weekends are those without a single activity planned. It can be nice to take a break from the noise and hustle of a typical school week.
Take this opportunity to dedicate the weekend to doing whatever will make you most relaxed and prepared to start the next week.
If that means catching up on studying in the library, go for it. If you need to run around town doing errands you’ve pushed to the back burner these last few weeks, make sure your tank is full. Whatever you do, make sure it’s the way you want to spend your weekend. If you do, you won’t have a bad one.
If you decide to stay in Georgia, whether that’s at home or on campus, there are still several fun ways to break up the long weekend.
From the Georgia Zoo to Six Flags, a trip to Atlanta promises a variety of locations and activities. In a single day you could hop from the BeltLine, to the High Museum, and make it in time for dinner at the Varsity. You may feel like a tourist, but a long weekend is a great excuse to cross all of the tasks off your Atlanta bucket list.
But, if you’re staying on campus, don’t forget about Macon. If you still haven’t made your way to the museums downtown or some of the nature sites nearby, take advantage of this break and explore your city.
If you want to kick your day trip up a notch, spend it going to an event rather than a destination. There are plenty of opportunities both locally and out of state to enjoy your weekend this way.
The Georgia State Fair, located at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, will be in full swing over the break. With petting zoos, carnival rides, and magic shows it may take more than just a single day to get through all this event has to offer.
Farther away and more expensive, the Austin City Limits music festival begins Oct. 6 and features artists like Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Head and The Heart, and Tove Lo. Tickets are still available online. Attending a music festival or another large event, is a memorable way to spend the break.
If you don’t want your fall break exploration to be confined to city limits, use the weekend to organize a road trip with some friends.
The only limit to a trip like this one would be your budget and your imagination. Cities like Nashville, New Orleans, and Charleston are not too far and would provide a nice change of setting. If you’re looking to leave the city life altogether, there are several locations with a beautiful view. If the weather stays as it is now, a nearby beach or even a trip to the mountains would be a great destination.
Trips like these would fuel stories that could be told over a lifetime, don’t let the planning required scare you from taking a weekend like this on.
I’m not kidding.
If you’re looking to go all out, there is no bigger place than the Magic Kingdom. There are several types of packages available online. Given that life as a Mercer student can become a little stressful, it may just take the happiest place on earth to relax over this break.
Fall break is a perfect opportunity to break free of the boring routine of a typical school week. If that means road tripping to Orlando or just chilling at home, so be it. The break is whatever you make of it, so spend it your own way.
The new school year means a fresh start for everyone on campus. Whether that means joining a Greek organization or trying out for a club sport, here are the five easy ways to get involved on campus this year.
Joining a student organization is a great way to get involved on campus and with over a hundred established groups, it is certainly one of the most popular options.
Mercer has an expansive inventory of student organizations with new groups added every year ranging from academic clubs like the Latin Club to student organizations like Mercer’s International Affairs Organization. Mercer’s website has cataloged all of the official student organizations with contact emails so you can inquire about meeting times, club activities and more.
If you would rather meet with clubs and organizations in person, the annual Bear Fair is a great way to meet face-to-face with representatives from the organization. The event is held in the University Center before the start of the fall semester every year.
Club and Recreation Sports
If you’re looking to be more active this year, there are plenty of groups on campus dedicated to the same goal.
The University Center will continue its summer fitness schedule through Aug 25. The classes offered include yoga, body sculpt, low impact and more.
If you’re looking for something a little more involved, both intramural and club sports will be picking back up at the start of the semester. Club sports usually require tryouts but to join an intramural sport, all you have to do is sign up online. Representatives from club sports will also be available to answer questions at the Bear Fair.
If a new school year means being more social, joining Greek Life is a great way to meet people on campus. According to the University’s annual review of Greek Life, a little over 20 percent of campus was involved with Greek Life last fall. More information about individual organizations is available online.
Mercer has a total of eight sororities and 12 fraternities. However, the process for joining one of these organizations will be different this year. Mercer will now be practicing delayed recruitment. There are significant differences between the old recruitment process and delayed recruitment.
Instead of recruiting the first week of the fall semester, recruitment will start mid-September. The delay recruitment process comes with new contact rules for both current Greek students as well as any interested students. More details on delayed recruitment and the contact rules are available on Mercer’s Greek Life website.
There are several opportunities to be involved on campus and get paid while doing it.
The University’s Office of Student Employment has an online listing of jobs available. Some of the more recent listings include positions in the library, Bursar’s office, and Learning Technology Center. The University’s Admissions team, BearForce and Quadworks also hire at the beginning of each year.
There will also be representatives from those offices available at Bear Fair to answer any questions you may have about the positions. So whether you’re looking for a heavy workload or just occasional hours, there are plenty of jobs available on campus.
If you’re interested in service, there are opportunities to make a difference on and off campus.
A great way to learn about Mercer’s service projects is through the Center for Community Engagement’s Volunteer Fair at Cruz Plaza on Sept 29. The Fair will provide more information about volunteer opportunities throughout the year like Be a Good NeighBEAR and Service Saturdays.
The student organization, MerServe, will also pick back up in the fall with new volunteer opportunities. They will be available at Bear Fair to provide more information about their service projects.
Take advantage of this new school year. Whether that means joining a new club or trying to meet new people, don’t let this year pass by without finding a way to get involved on campus.
With midterms just behind us and finals creeping closer each day, it is easy to get overwhelmed with all the school work that has to be done.That’s why spring is the perfect time to take a break and organize your life.
Thankfully, when it comes to life hacks there is never a shortage of ideas. Here are five cheap and easy ways to get your life back on track this spring.
Bullet journals have taken the internet by storm this past year and have gained a massive cult following.
As far as ease goes, this is definitely at the top of the list. All you need is a journal and a pen.
Departing from the typical style of note taking, bullet journals are meant to be a faster way to organize your life.
As the name suggests, bullet journals are supposed to be made of compartmentalized short bulleted sentences. The key is to keep the entries short and keep an accurate table of contents at the beginning of the journal.
Bullet journals are meant to be a fun and individualized way to regain control of your daily schedule. And, they’re pretty too!
If you need inspiration, there are countless tutorial videos on YouTube about how to get your bullet journal started.
The cheapest way to get organized this semester is to use what’s already in your room. There are several basic dorm room items that can be repurposed and used to tidy up your life.
An existing over the door shoe holder can be used to hold anything from toiletries to snacks, all within a hand’s reach.
Using it to store toiletries is a great option for anyone whose residence hall offers a personal restroom.
Color coding is a great organizational tool to repurpose items in your room for a more specific purpose. Binders, drawers, and other containers can all be color coded and given a new more distinct function.
Apps, Apps, and more Apps!
If you’re looking for an option that will take the least amount of effort possibly, look no farther than your cell phone’s app store.
There are several apps available,for both Apple and Android users, which can help you stay on top of everything from fitness to school work.
My Fitness Pal is perfect for anyone who always plans to go the gym but never actually finds the time. It tracks your fitness goals and time spent exercising. It can also keep track of meals, steps and other important information.
Clear is a more basic app but by no means any less useful. It organizes tasks and allows users to tick them off one by one.
There are plenty more great apps available so browse around and find one that works for you.
Command Strip Hooks
This should be a college no-brainer.
What we are lacking in actual storage capacities, we can make up for by filling any available wall space.
Command strips are especially useful. Several hooks in a row can be used to store necklaces, ties and more.
You can also secure a string laundry bag to the wall using a command hook. This will clear up your closet and allow for even more storage space.
And those are only a few ideas. As far as command strips go, the possibilities are limitless.
Some people don’t need to introduce any new habits or DIYs into their lives, but should actually spend a little time doing the opposite.
Decluttering is a more direct approach to spring cleaning.
Dedicating a few hours to thoroughly cleaning and organizing your room will be worth it in the long run.
Empty out your drawers, throw away all those old nonessential assignments, even go through your closet and see if there is clothing that could be donated.
Life and school can feel overwhelming at times, there is no reason for your room to feel the same way.
For most families, the darkest secrets and conflicts are kept in the confines of the home.
In Mercer’s production of “August: Osage County,” those secrets are being drawn from one family and displayed onstage for all to see.
Mercer’s theatre department is performing “August: Osage County” at Tattnall Square Center for the Arts March 30 to April 2 and April 6 to April 9.
“August: Osage County” is a dark comedy about the dysfunctional Weston family. After tragedy strikes, the Weston women are suddenly brought back to their Midwest home.
Meant to be a reflection of real families and their conflicts, this play features flawed characters who must come to terms with the present as it has been shaped by not only their choices, but their relatives’ choices.
“This production tackles one of modern drama’s true masterpieces,” said Scot Mann, director of Mercer Theatre.
The play excelled after its debut in 2008, winning both the Tony Award for Best Play as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It was adapted into a film starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts in 2013.
Mann said he knew Mercer Theatre had to perform this show following its positive critical reception.
“It was just a matter of waiting for the right time for us,” Mann said.
According to Mann, the right time is now.
“We have the right mix of professional actors, students, alumni and faculty right now to make a quality ensemble for the maturity of the play,” Mann said.
Ashley Greene, a junior theatre major who will appear in the show, said she thinks Mercer students will easily be able to relate to this play.
“Everyone has some sort of dysfunction in their family,” Greene said. “It’s a funny show because of the way people are able to relate to these dysfunctional family relations.”
Mann also believes this is a show that people will be able to relate to.
“It is a dark comedy that reaches into the soul of anyone who has experienced a family-wide dilemma,” Mann said.
Tickets are available for $15, but students can get them at a discounted rate of $10 with a valid student I.D. This drama is intended for mature audiences only and contains adult content and language.
While there are plenty of good movies and television series to watch, nothing is quite like live theater.
On March 14-15 at 7:30 p.m., the Grand Opera House will host the touring production of the acclaimed Broadway musical “Once.”
“Once” is being performed as part of the Grand’s Broadway series, which has been a staple at the Opera House for over 20 years.
If the name sounds familiar, it’s because the show won eight Tony Awards in 2012, including Best Musical, and received a Grammy award for Best Musical Theatre Album the following year.
The musical tells the story of a Dublin singer-songwriter who is about to abandon his dreams when he meets a woman drawn to his music. “Once” takes place over the timespan of a single week and shows the growth of their friendship, musical collaboration and eventual romance.
Gram Slaton, the Executive Director of the Grand Opera House, said he believes “Once” is a great show to close out the season.
“Anyone who saw the movie version, which preceded its being adapted for the stage, could not fail to be charmed by its story and incredibly beautiful music,” Slaton said.
Unlike the pit orchestra of most Broadway shows, the accompanying music performed in “Once” is played onstage by the actors.
“It's a different sort of stage experience,” Slaton said. “It can speak to both a younger audience while holding an older audience that likes the more traditional Broadway fare.”
Mercer students can take advantage of The Grand’s student rush tickets, which are $20 on the day of the show with a valid student I.D.
While the Broadway series has been a part of the Grand for decades, Slaton said they have struggled lately to get the turnout they want.
He said the fact that most of the shows in the past season had cycled through the Grand’s series several times could be to blame.
“We’re glad to have ‘Once’ in the season because it is a new title that’s never been on a national tour before,” Slaton said.
The Grand selects shows for their Broadway series based on what the best available titles are, when they could be presented, whether the show offers any variety, and how much the overall costs would be for the Grand and their audience.
Slaton, having recently taken responsibility for organizing the Broadway series, is hopeful about the success of next year’s series.
“The titles for next year should really excite our audiences and recapture that momentum we’ve been building for many years now,” Slaton said.
“Once” is the star of that shifting momentum.
From its opening shot until the last credit rolls, “The Lego Batman Movie” is energetic, witty and just plain fun.
As the successor to the 2014 hit, “The Lego Movie”, this film had high expectations.
With a star-studded cast, major studio funding and state-of-the-art animation, this movie was created to be a hit. However, just like all spin-offs, there is still room for failure. I’m looking at you, “X Men Origins: Wolverine”.
Thankfully for the audiences, Director Chris McKay beautifully crafts a film that will leave parents, children, and even teenagers like me smiling.
Smiling, however, is one thing Batman (voiced by Will Arnett) will not be found doing in this film. Instead, the supposed hero is much more likely to be found complaining, brooding, or lashing out at those around him.
Still scarred from the loss of his parents, Batman’s less-than-admirable behavior can be attributed to his greatest fear of being a part of a family and forming meaningful relationships. This directly translates to the film’s main focus, that it is better to work as a team than to work alone.
Because of his phobia, Batman avoids commitment at every opportunity.
The Joker, a surprisingly sensitive character, simply wants Batman to recognize him as his greatest enemy, but Batman refuses even that. Instead, after his job security is threatened by the new pro-policy Police Commissioner, Barbara Gordon, voiced by Rosario Dawson, Batman sends the Joker into the Phantom Zone, a prison in the sky where only the worst villains are kept.
The Joker, in classic fashion, wanted to be sent to the Phantom Zone all along to advance his plan of recruiting the only the most elite villains to end Batman once and for all. To defeat the bad guys and save Gotham City, Batman must face his greatest fear and work as a team.
Batman’s team, which is more like a family, is comprised of himself, his butler, Alfred, voiced by Ralph Fiennes, and the son he accidentally adopted, Dick Grayson — also known in the Batverse as Robin — voiced by Michael Cera. The chemistry between the actors is expertly conveyed through digital animation, which is one of the film’s strong points.
Despite the entire world being made of Lego bricks, this film is anything but static. Thanks to the magic of digital animation, “The Lego Batman Movie” is a whirlwind of movement, color and sound. Its action scenes are nearly too fast to process, but still not fast enough that they aren’t enjoyed.
Still, the film’s greatest strength, by far, is its self-awareness. There are at least two montages solely dedicated to the ever-changing portrayal of Batman on the silver screen. The film manages to take one of the most-portrayed characters of all time and reimagine him in a way audiences have never seen before.
Although it is marketed as a children’s movie, “The Lego Batman Movie” introduces a hero with a generous dousing of comedy that benefits the young and old alike to see. Batman is not just a man tormented by his past, but a man with the potential and supportive family to overcome his past.
Given its box office-winning combination of heart and laughter, this movie is, all cliches aside, the perfect film for any audience.
Since New Year’s ended and the heart-shaped candy started going up in shelves, single and taken people everywhere have known what was coming — Valentine’s Day. As a day commonly surrounded by high expectations, making plans can be a daunting task.
With the small budget of an average college student in mind, here are five cheap and easy options to make a big event of this Valentine’s Day.
If it seems like a cliché, that’s because it works. Good food is almost always a guarantee for a good time. Thankfully, Macon offers plenty of dining options outside of those that accept a Bear Card as proper payment.
From the Rookery to Parish, downtown Macon has several great dining options for an enjoyable night. With so many options, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and unable to decide. Avoid all that and check out The Cluster’s Bear Bites page online and to find one that satisfies everyone’s cravings.
Because this is a more traditional date idea, reservations should be made to insure the night goes as smoothly as possible. Dessert won’t hurt either.
Just as food is always a safe bet, quality peaceful time together is never a bad way to go. Thankfully, Macon has just as many beautiful outdoor spaces as it does delicious restaurants.
The Ocmulgee National Monument is a great escape from the stress of a semester in full stride. In fact, the outdoors is the best option for any couple with scheduling issues or later classes. Nature is always available and the park is at its most majestic near sunset.
Given the surrounding beauty and history, there should never be a lull in conversation. With a backdrop straight from a movie, a peaceful walk around this park is sure to provide a memorable evening and impeccable photo lighting.
Sure, dinner is great and nature is beautiful, but maybe you’re looking for something different this Valentine’s Day. Thankfully, even in that case, Macon has it covered.
The Olympia Family Fun Center is just a short drive from campus and equipped with a full skating rink for an evening of fun. A skate date should be incorporated into a Valentine’s weekend celebration rather than the night of as the center’s spring hours are more flexible from Thursday to the weekend.
The Olympia skating rink manages to be a fun date idea without much effort. Even better, the cost of admission and skate rentals is well within a college student’s budget.
Macon Little Theatre
If skating seems like an activity that might require too much coordination, there is nothing wrong with the classic dinner and show. Although the movies are a great source of entertainment, especially with so many choices right around awards season, there is no true replacement for the theatre.
Luckily, Macon Little Theatre is putting on “A Higher Place in Heaven” by Erin Ferrell until Feb. 12. Going on a date just before Valentine’s night means avoiding crowds and changing extravagant plans to more laid back ones.
Tickets are not expensive and the theatre is a brief car ride away. With a story sure to touch the heart, “A Higher Place in Heaven” is a proactive plan for a hectic holiday.
Once again, retreating to the outdoors is always a classic date idea. Given this year’s unusual weather, Lake Tobesofkee should not be ruled out as a Valentine’s Day option.
Not a far drive from campus, a lakeside date would not only be affordable but also convenient. Because this date is fun on a basic level, there is plenty of room to go the extra mile. A candlelit dinner, made by packing the night’s meal in advance, would make for a perfect evening.
Depending on the water’s temperature, swimming may not be the best option. Still, Lake Tobesofkee’s accessibility and versatility make it a good Valentine’s Day choice for nearly any couple.
Inspired by Hollywood’s Golden Era, director Damien Chazelle channels classic movie musicals in a modern day romance starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.
Like its execution, an expression of old and new, “La La Land” manages to find balance by thoroughly exploring the two sides of life. It celebrates dreamers’ optimism while exposing the cost of such dreams. It romanticizes Los Angeles while acknowledging the city’s downfalls. It shows what true love looks like, while refusing to shy away from what it takes to maintain such a love.
Brimming with nostalgia and freshness, “La La Land” is unlike any other movie in theaters.
For all the well-deserved acclaim, the film’s unabashed musical outbursts can startle the typical moviegoer. The film opens on an L.A. traffic jam which seamlessly transitions from an everyday scene to a huge musical number. It is in those first few minutes that audiences are offered a chance to acclimate to a world where jazz is the best way to express emotion and dance the most effective way to convey interaction.
Only as the opening sequences end do the two main characters, Mia (Stone) and Sebastian (Gosling), meet. The entire film is an ode to those willing and crazy enough to pursue their passions fully or, as the tagline reads, “Here’s to the fools who dream.”
Keeping with that theme, Mia is a struggling actress working as a barista, fully confident her big break is just around the corner. Every bit her opposite, Sebastian is a jazz pianist playing music he doesn’t like for a man he can’t stand to save money for a jazz club he wants to open one day.
Just as the old saying goes, the two opposites attract, and what unfolds is one of the best romances in recent years.
As evident in their past collaborations and this film, Stone and Gosling have unbelievable on-screen chemistry. The superior acting in this film has awarded both leads serious recognition in the time since its release. Recently, both Stone and Gosling won Golden Globes for their performances.
Stone has simply never been better. Whether she is goofily dancing with friends on the way to a party or singing her heart out in her final number “Audition,” Stone roots Mia in a sense of surrealism that doesn’t miss a single heart-wrenching emotion.
Gosling is much more understated, but by no means gives a worse performance. Reviving the old Hollywood idea of a “triple threat,” he sings, dances, and acts beautifully throughout the film.
The end result is a film which draws every possible emotion from the audience. Sure, the cinematography is beautiful, the music impeccable, and the acting superb, but the most significant achievement of “La La Land” is its ability to use the qualities so successful in movies past to relate to an audience today.
Whether it’s joy, heartache, or something in between, the film forces people to feel. “La La Land” is a must-see for anyone looking for a movie that will not just entertain, but move them.
Once the holidays start coming they don’t seem to stop. For most Mercer students, that means looking forward to breaks at home with lots of family, down time and food.
However, for Mercer’s student athletes, nothing is guaranteed. As many seasons just start to pick up, scheduling around the holidays can be extremely difficult.
Angel Scandrick, a freshman on the dance team, faced that exact situation. With the football season coming to a close, basketball will now be the dance team’s main focus.
“I sent my dad my schedule, and he worked around it,” Scandrick said.
Although most of her break ended up being free, had there been any conflicts, Scandrick said she would have chosen to dance.
“I wanted to dance in college,” she said, “so we made it work.”
Each year, as tradition, her family picks a destination to celebrate the holidays.
“This year we’re going to Cancun. I’m really excited.”
Scandrick has traveled to Jamaica, the Bahamas and Cancun in years past.
Others, like Sam Walker, a redshirt sophomore football player, will enjoy the holidays at home. After a tough season, Christmas breaks offers the football team a chance to relax, which explains why Walker said he is excited about “not having to do anything” while home over Christmas.
Still, he said he is most looking forward to “eating [his] mom’s cooking.”
As far as traditions go, Walker said he and his family open one present the night before Christmas.
Lela McIntosh, a sophomore beach volleyball player, has a more unique Christmas experience.
Her favorite Christmas tradition pays homage to her hometown Austin, Texas. Each year, she and her family buy a normal sized tree and a small one.
“The little tree is called a Texas Tree,” McIntosh said.
The tree topped with a cowboy hat rather than a star and features cactus ornaments and jalapeño string lights.
It is Texan in every sense. However, its origin is more sentimental than just statehood pride.
“When we lived in an apartment, that was the only tree we had,” McIntosh said.
McIntosh is looking forward to reuniting with her family.
Her brother, who is training to become a police officer, wasn’t able to make it home for Thanksgiving, but will be able to go home for Christmas.
McIntosh predicts she’ll join the majority of college students in “binge watching Netflix” during any free time over the break.
It is only a few minutes past noon, and Mercer University’s Farmer’s Market is nearly filled to the brim.
The movement inside is chaotic. People are looking for their friends. People are rushing to class. People are inexplicably caught up in their own lives and their own schedules.
That is, until they step into the grill line. A singular man, at the end of the line, intently leans over a hot grill as he cooks.
Every day, Carl McCoy serves hundreds of students in Mercer University’s Farmer’s Market. Some will only see the plates he hands them.
Others have noticed his meticulous style and passionate focus has caught the attention of many students who stand in line.
“His technique was really what made me stop and watch him,” said Maddie Reece, a freshman and self-proclaimed fan of Carl’s. “You can just tell he cares about what he’s doing.”
At the grill, Carl is focused and in command. Every detail and ingredient is organized and at his disposal. Sitting down to talk, Carl is less confident. His strong composure fades to reveal a quiet voice and a kind smile.
“I’ve loved cooking ever since I was 12 years old” Carl said with a grin. As a self-taught chef, his first training took place at home. "I’d sit up by my mother at the stove and watch what she did,” he said.
One thing that is immediately clear is that Carl’s family is incredibly important to him.
“My main focus is taking care of my family,” he said. “If my wife and kids are okay, I’m okay.”
With two kids and a wife at home, Carl is busier than any student could’ve guessed. “I get up around 5:30 in the morning,” Carl explained. “The kids are getting ready for school, and I’m getting ready for work.”
Given that Carl must commute nearly an hour to work each morning, his passion for cooking is a driving source of motivation.
“I have always loved cooking,” Carl said.
But Carl wasn’t always the chef people know and love.
“I always was a barber,” Carl revealed. The differences between being a barber and being a chef didn’t seem to strike him as much as the similarities did.
“Either or, it’s all about making people happy,” Carl said. “People always need their hair cut, and they always need to eat.”
If they’re going to eat Carl’s food, he’s going to make sure it’s good.[pullquote speaker="Carl McCoy" photo="" align="left" background="on" border="all" shadow="on"]Either or, it’s all about making people happy.[/pullquote]
“I love serving the students,” Carl said, “I love when someone tells me that the food is good.” He uses those compliments as motivation to keep him cooking.
Looking towards the future is another of Carl’s passions.
“I want to open my own restaurant,” He said.
‘Soul food’ would be his ideal focus, but hasn’t set anything in stone. For now, Carl is perfectly content right where he is.
“I love working at Mercer and with the students.”
Carl’s final advice to Mercer students was heartfelt and reflected in his own life. “Whatever you do, do it with passion,” he said. “I cook with passion, and it tastes better.”
For most students, Thanksgiving offers a much needed break from school and an equally satisfying opportunity to put on stretchy pants and eat to your stomach’s content.
However, for the athletes on campus, this is not always the case.
Whether it be practices, games or tournaments, there are several reasons why some Mercer athletes may be unable to travel home this November.
Mac Brydon, a freshman on the basketball team, isn’t quite sure what he’ll be doing when Nov. 24 rolls around.
“I might be able to go home, but I have nothing confirmed,” Brydon said. There is a basketball tournament over the break, but as a redshirt freshman, Brydon considers himself “a special case” as far as travelling goes.
If he travels with the team, Brydon is sure they will “go out as a team and celebrate together.” Regardless of where and with whom he celebrates, when asked what he was most thankful for this year, Brydon was quick to answer, “God, family and college basketball.”
Austin Barrett, a junior football player, faces a similar situation. As far as being able to go home, “it really depends on how the tail end of our season turns out,” Barrett said. He believes with the team’s current standings, there is “a 50-50 chance” they could make it to the playoffs.
If the football team does make it to the playoffs, Barrett and the rest of the team will have to stay behind during the break. No matter what happens with the end of their season, Barrett said he is most thankful for his “family for always being behind me, no matter what.”
Other athletes, like Jaya Alaan, a junior softball player, are more certain of their plans.
She didn’t get to go home last Thanksgiving, but Alaan will be headed home to southern California this break. “I’m surprising my parents, so they have no idea I’m coming home,” she said.
Although Alaan dealt with homesickness her freshman year, she said “now that I’m a junior, I’ve settled in and know how to manage being away from my family.” One way she has dealt with homesickness is by “decking out” her dorm room with California decorations to remind of her of family, which she is the most thankful for.
Savannah Byrd, a freshman cheerleader, had no doubt that she would be spending Thanksgiving at home with her family. “My family and my friends are a huge part of my life,” Byrd said. Those are more than just words, as she keeps a large collection of Polaroid photos in her room to remind her of home.
Like many athletes at Mercer, Byrd doesn’t know what her schedule will look like in the future, which is why she said, this year “I am most thankful for any time I get to spend with my family.”