First Post

While most of my postings will be far shorter than this first one, I wanted to give you several options for your initial commenting, as some of the questions are more sensitive than others. Begin your comment by introducing yourself and telling the other students a few things about you. Then, respond to one of the following questions:

1. The buzzword in every political campaign this year seems to be CHANGE. Some of you may be voting for the first time. As was witnessed by the Barak Obama campaign in Iowa, the power of young voters will undoubtedly affect the outcome of the presidential elections. What are the most important issues to you, in casting support for one candidate or another? As almost no one in the country would like things to stay the way that they are (regardless of your political party allegiances), what things would you like to see changed?

2. NOTE: If you have ear phones, you may watch the video I have linked to this question, otherwise please do not click on the hyperlink. On Sunday night, Mike Wallace of 60 minutes interviewed Roger Clemens regarding his being named in the Mitchell Report as a steroid user (specifically due to accusations that his trainer injected him with steroids over a period of years). Has the recent fallout of players being accused or admitting to steroid use tarnished major league baseball? Why or why not? If you are a fan of baseball or of sports in general, how do these accusations change the way you think about major league sports? Who, if anyone, is to blame?

3. While hiking in 1977 in Oregon, Terry Jentz and a friend were attacked by an ax-wielding madman. In her book, Strange Piece of Paradise, Jentz writes: Women especially felt greater confinement at odds with Americans’ innate sense of personal freedom. A feeling of persistent danger remained in the collective psyche from coast to coast, as though a Phantom Axeman stalked all of America’s beautiful outdoor places.

On Monday night, Meredith Emerson’s body was found 60 miles north of Atlanta. How have you reacted to the news of Meredith Emerson’s disappearance and murder? If you are an outdoor person, do you worry when you go for a hike or bike ride, camping or fishing? What do you worry about? Are their other instances/stories/even myths from our culture that have caused this fear?



  1. Maira Reyes said,

    January 9, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    My name is Maira Reyes. I graduated from Chestatee High School in 2007. I was born in Chicago, Illinois and moved to Gainesville, Georgia in 2003. It was a big change coming from a big city to such a small town like Gainesville. I’ve come to like Gainesville but I’ll always love my hometown, Chicago.

    Meredith Emerson’s disappearance and murder is really scary because it just reminds us how crazy some people can be. As a female it is much scarier because men tend to be more aggressive and fairly stronger than women. A man might have had a better chance of getting away than a female. Her story just proves that we are all vulnerable and you really never know when you might be in danger. You could be performing any everyday task when something terrible happens. Meredith Emerson’s disappearance hasn’t been the first, and it surely won’t be the last. We all feel safe in our everyday lives, and to see things like this happen really makes us question how safe we really are.

  2. Allen Perry said,

    January 9, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    Hi everyone, My name is Allen Perry. I’m in school to become a computer engineer. I enjoy sports a lot, and that is why I chose to comment about the Roger Clemens interview.

    I think the whole situation is starting to get out of hand, not only with Roger Clemens, but everyone. It is hard to tarnish baseball because of the history it has, being one America’s favorite pastimes, and the numerous amounts of players who do not take steroids. But the situation can damage it. Baseball is not the only sport that has players who try to “cheat” their way through their career, but at the same time other sports do a better job of controlling it. I think if baseball putting so much responsibility on the players, the players would not make so many mistakes. I know it is hard to control upwards amounts of players but many can be. In other sports, between coaches, owners, managers, and commissioners players do not really have that much room for error because they know they will get caught by one or the other. On the other hand, baseball puts all the responsibility on the players and does not try to watch over their players, but instead gives them freedom and hope they do not mess up. An old quote was said, “People need control and rules because if they didn’t, they would naturally give into destruction.” The phrase qualifies for athletes too. So I think baseball has to do one of two options;one, become more strict on players and put some the responsibilty on the coaches, teammates, and team owners, or two, allow players to take steroids. If neither action is taken then, this problem will only get worse.

  3. bailey knott said,

    January 9, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    My name is Bailey Knott, and this is my first year at Gainesville State. My major is pre-vet, and after here, hopefully I’ll go onto vet school. I am going to school part time because I work full time as a vet -tech.

    When I heard the news about the missing woman it definitely made me upset, because it seems like to me all you hear now on the news is about murders, wars, and other problems; nothing good. I am usually pretty nervous when I go out anywhere by myself because it seems like everyday someone is getting killed for no reason at all. That is a very scary thought to me. I can think of many cases that I have heard in the past year about young women just going out to do things by themselves and ending up dead.

    The Lacy Peterson case where the pregnant woman was killed one day while out running errands is the first one that pops into my head and perhaps one of the scariest as well. There is always a thought in my head when I’m outside at night alone that if it could happen to them then there is just as much of a chance of it happening to me as well. That is one of the main reasons why when I go out really anytime of day but especially at night I don’t go alone, just to keep myself safe.

  4. Ester Maxwell said,

    January 9, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    Hello My Name is Ester Maxwell
    I’m a Business Management major and I work full time. I can only take classes at night in order to get my degree. I’m 42 years old and I have two boys that are 24 and 23 years of age.
    The word for the all candidates this election is change and they are using it very heavy during all of their campaign travels. For me I like change as long as it for the people. To get my vote someone has to help get our men and women home from Iran and end the war for good. There has to be a better way to help with the cost prescription drugs and a way to stop gas price from being gouged by the big oil men. We need some one to help with low income families that can’t afford medical insurance or the cost of medication for their children and elderly family members. For me this is a big problem that I don’t here being talked about as much as it should be in order to get more attention for the people who will put someone in the Oval Room.

  5. Mindy Boswell said,

    January 9, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    My name is Mindy Boswell. My major is biology, which is needed for entrance to optometry school, which is what I plan to do as a career.

    The finding of Meredith Emerson’s body was especially shocking seeing as how she was abducted in such a small “country” town. Generally you hear of such things in larger cities. Personally I do not hike, fish, camp or participate in these sorts of outdoor activities. However, this does still make me stop and think about the higher risks for women such as abduction, rape, torture and many other things that seem to be happening more commonly. There has always seemed to be a higher risk for these events on women. I believe with these things happening more commonly I need to be more cautious. Thus, always remember to be aware of my surroundings no matter where I may be. Sadly, this does put some fear in the back of my mind especially because these things are happening often. Hearing about stories such as Meredith’s murder makes me somewhat more frightened to walk alone through parking lots or other places where there are not always an abundance of people. I don’t believe that we should let this fear escalate or consume our lives; we just need to be more cautious.
    -Mindy Boswell
    English 1101

  6. Linda Felbaum said,

    January 9, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    Hi my name is Linda Felbaum. I have lived in Georgia for 15 years. I am a very busy mother of seven children ranging in age from 25 to almost three. I have just started back to school with a major in education.
    My initial reaction when I heard the story about the young lady, Meridith Emerson, missing, I felt great sadness. Not only for Meridith, but for her family as well. To have to imagine what may have happened to your child is so frightening. After hearing that they found her killer, and that he had led the police to her body, I felt pure fear and anger. Fear that this could have happened to anyone, even my own children. Anger, because of the sever lack of respect for human life.
    My husband and I had a long discussion on why this young lady was out in the woods by her self. This is something that I would never imagine doing myself. It is also not something that I would every allow my own children to do, and discourage my older children to do. Wether you are a man or a women, it is never a good idea to go out in the wilderness by yourself. Not just because of sick people like this man that took Meridith’s life, but natural disasters or wild animal attacks. Having that second set of eyes or another person their to help fend off attackers, no matter who or what they may be, is truly the only safe way to have an adventure of this kind. I am all for enjoying the outdoors. Our family does a great deal of camping and outdoor activities. I just hope that this story brings more caution to anyone who is planning a trip like this one. Please use extreme caution and bring someone along to enjoy the trip with you.

  7. Dustin Carter said,

    January 9, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Hey, my name is Dustin Carter. I am in my second semester here and getting my degree in civil engineering.
    I have always been a huge sports fan in every sport from soccer to football. The new accusations on steroids in baseball and all other pro sports have not changed my view on that. I do believe that if a player has taken steroids and broke the homerun record or had the highest batting average in history then it should have some kind of astrict on it. If these players had not taken steroids then they would not have been as strong nor had the endurance to make the hurdle it took to break those records. So I think in some ways it has tarnished baseball because, it has taken away from all of the players that have played by the rules. It has almost got to the point in baseball that you have to take steriods to keep up with the competition because if you do not then you will quickly fall behind. If the team owners or commissioner would have been more involved in the past then I do not think as many players would be in the situation that they are now. It has been proven in Jose Canseco’s book Juiced that he was the godfather of steroids. Well someone had to notice him bulking up and wondering how he was doing it and should have done something about it. Instead the players wanted to be like him and I think that is how baseball turned for the worse.
    Dustin Carter

  8. Marilu Benitez said,

    January 9, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    Hi, my name is Marilu Benitez. I’m twenty-five years old. I have a full time job and I have a son named Dylan. My major is early childhood education.
    I wasn’t shocked when I heard the news about Meredith Emerson. I pretty much thought that would be the outcome especially when her dog was found. As most parents I always worry when I’m alone with my son when we are out. I look around but I usually get distracted while putting groceries in the car and trying to put my son in his car seat. As much time as I take getting everything in the car anyone could come and snatch my stuff or my son. It’s very scary! Even when I leave school in the evening I always have my keys in my hand. I try to walk as fast as I can. I always check the inside of the car as I’m getting in to make sure nothing is wrong.

  9. daniel rockwell said,

    January 9, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    Everyone in the world has to be catious. When you are catious there is less of a chance of a terrible thing to happen. Ussually that is not enough to cause even the slightest difference. Say for instance you are at the extreme end of this spectrum of cation, and it has made you paraniod to the point that you stay in your home for the rest of your miserable life. You are still able to be killed without a seconds notice. This world is filled with unpredictable humans. If you can’t find a compromise point within yourself to take chances and stay comfortable there will not be one reason to be any different from this previous mentioned paranoid freak. You must face the truth, everything can be dangerous, everyone can be dangerous, and there are no preconceived notions on what will happen to anybody next. Live your life and have fun before the crazed maniac comes to get you, it might happen, so be aware that anything can happen to you, you might not see another day, and that the “crazies” are everywhere and always looking for a victim.

  10. Amy Thornton said,

    January 9, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    My name is Amy Thornton I am commenting on the murder of Ms. Emerson, the hiker found in Atlanta earlier this week.

    When I hear about an individual that a crime is committed against, I am appalled when I think of the randomness of the act. She didn’t know this individual, she never met him, he did not know her, and he never stalked her, or even held a grudge against her. This is what scares me the most, the thought that I would wake up and go through my day with it ending violently. Never imagining when I woke to a beautiful sunny day what was lying ahead in my future for that day.
    I am sure when Ms. Emerson set out hiking in the beautiful mountains she never imagined she would come across this drifter who would terminate her life. Maybe she had a strange feeling when he started talking to her; the hair on the back of her neck might have stood up. Maybe she brushed the feeling off, saying to herself she was just being overly cautious, or maybe she became frightened. We will never know what transpired in her mind while she was violated. It seems to me when I see a crime committed by a spouse or relative I am not as horrified as a total random act. Perhaps I feel they in some way knew this was a possibility and ignored the violent patterns, and in some way caused their own death.
    Ms Emerson had not caused her death in anyway other then picking that day, that place and that time

  11. Bryan Craig said,

    January 9, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Hi my name is Bryan Craig. This is my first semester here at GSC and im originaly from Suwanee, which is about twenty minutes south of Gainesville. My favorite sport is football and im a huge Oakland Raiders fan. Everyone allways asks me if I have any connections with Oakland, but I don’t. I have allways been a fan since I was a little kid even though they have played horrible for the past five years. The Raiders are what people usually remember about me even if they don’t know me that well. I allways say “win lose or tie, Raiders till I die”.
    1. This year is an exciting year for all of us first time voters. Change is upon this country, and the fact that I get to be a part of historical change is awesome. All the candidates out there seem to have something good to say but never go into to much detail. But the one candidate that stands out in my eyes is Mitt Romney. One crucial issue in the United States is health care and he seemed to have the best answer of the candidates. He said that in his state he had a health care plan where every citizen was able to have free health care. And I think that if he has done that and it was documented to be sucessful, then he definetely is the man that should handle it nationally. He is also a man of his word which is showed by his voting record and is firm in what he believes. Our country needs stability which I think he would bring to the table. He is also a well spoken decent looking man. He in my eyes is the perfect image of how a president should be portrayed.

  12. Diane Holcombe said,

    January 9, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Hi. My name is Diane Holcombe. Currently, I’m working on my four year teaching degree for elementary school.
    I feel that steroid use in major league baseball hasn’t tarnished the sport entirely. Some may stereotype players by assuming that all players are users of steroids to enhance their performance just because of a couple of bad apples in the bunch. But the way I see things, you must look at the sport in general terms. Over the years, the numbers of players that play with no drugs far out ways the number of player that see a need to enhance their talent that they already have. In the 80’s it didn’t seem that many players saw the need to use steroids to enhance their talent. But today, I think you see more drug use because of two reasons. First, the competition level seems to be higher that in the past. Also, some players are only in it for the money, so they may feel that if they use steroids, it would secure their place on the team.

  13. Mayra Garcia said,

    January 9, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    Hi my name is Mayra Garcia. I graduated from Easthall High School, and I decided to come to Gainesville State College to get in the paralegal program. I’m a very friendly person.
    I would like to see many new changes when the new president is choosen. One of the many things I would like to see change is that the United States help control violence and the use of drugs. I think that it is getting to the point were people can just go around the corner and buy drugs from anybody. Some teenagers these days even take there parents or any medications laying around to get high or feel good on. Maybe they could start more programs where children get involved in extra curricular activities and have no time to get into trouble . And come up with a more harder law for those who drive drunk . I think that they should also help control the gangs in the United States so that the communities that are affected can actually live without being scared of getting hurt. And because most of the time some of the worst violence I have seen come from gangs fighting with one another and they don’t care who they hurt. They should make the gang members do community service and clean the mess that they write on the streets.

  14. Michael McDonald said,

    January 9, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Hi, my name is Michael Mcdonald. I am currently attending GSC for mechanical engineering at night and work as an auto mechanic during the day. My goals are to complete my associates at GSC for mechanical engineering, move to Surfside Beach, South Carolina, and pursue my bachelors in mechanical engineering.

    Question # 2:
    The recent fallout of major league players either being accused of or admitting to the use of steroids has done irreparable damage to the image of Major League Baseball. Many generations have looked up to MLB athletes as role models, symbols of inspiration to their own personal goals. These role models are supposed to perceive the image of hard work and dedication, not cheating to win. Weather or not these substances enhance one’s performance, the action of widespread illegal substance abuse is enough to heavily tarnishes the image of Major League Baseball. These accusations change the way I think about major league sports for the worse. Many records have not just been broken, but shattered in the “steroid era”; the question arises weather or not these records would have been broken without the use of illegal substances. This question makes all the records held by current player seem corrupt and swayed. Barry Bonds now holds the record for the most homeruns in a career by a major league player. But, Barry Bonds’ record was obtained through the use of illegal substances, corrupting the authenticity of the record. Many people can be held accountable for the surge of illegal substances throughout major league sports, but ultimately it is the players’ responsibility. These players take on the responsibility of a role model when they enter a professional sports league, and it is up to them to uphold a good image, not that of an illegal substance abusing cheater.

    Michael McDonald
    English 1101 CRN #: 1736

  15. Wes Farr said,

    January 9, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    My name is Wes, I’m 19, I’m majoring in Marketing/Business, my main interests are cars and music, I play guitar, and also work as a mechanic and as a used parts salesman. I think of myself as a jack of all trades and a master of none.
    I don’t believe that Mary Emerson’s disappearance, or death, was that much of a shock. It is tragic, and I feel horrible for her family, I don’t know what I’d do if that happened to someone close to me. It’s rare that someone gets abducted and makes it back home alive, at least, it always seems that way based on how the media presents it. But, her death really does make you think about a few things, and makes you question if you should go somewhere alone after dark or late at night, or how cautious you should be in certain areas. I’ve always loved the nightlife, riding through downtown Atlanta past midnight or 1am is probably one of my favorite pastimes, or finding an excuse to be up until sunrise, but, there are places that scare the living hell out of me, and that I just will not go to at night. I’m a huge supporter of the buddy system, and if I were going to be hiking at night, there is no way that I would be out in the woods alone. I mean, look at Deliverance, it was a whole group, and look what happened, just imagine what happened if it was one guy. I sell car parts a lot, and tend to have to meet people at all hours of the day or night, I’ve met people at 3pm and 3am, but, I always meet in a well lit public place, nowhere that it sketchy, and also to have a close friend with me, just in case. I also never let people I don’t know come to my home to pick anything up, sure, I may be at my own home, but you hear the horror stories of strangers coming to your house to buy something, or pretending they got the wrong house, then coming back and robbing or attacking you. The thought of someone close to me being abducted is my worst fear. Not necessarily that I don’t think they can take care of themselves, but, when you aren’t in control, anything can happen.

  16. Charles Thornton said,

    January 9, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    I’m Charles Thornton
    I’m now backing to school after 30 years. My wife got me to start so I will no longer feel the need of more education. This has been a concern of mine for many years. Also my last position with my company was taken by some one with a higher education than I acquired .It is quite different being around much younger students than myself.

    The word chance in politics is a word I have heard many times and believe it is used to get votes. Not the real intention of the candidates. They get to see what the public is most concerned with and can judge the changes they are willing to make not the one they sold you on. Young voters are swayed to vote by the more drastic the change. This will be a good learning for them to see what changes the canadate that gets elected follows though with.
    First time voters must pay close attention to what they hear and what the record shows for each canadate. I would state that change is always something that is needed. The world is always changing. To believe that change is not needed would be a major mistake. But to pick a canadate because he tells you this might be a mistake. Look at who he was before he was running for this high office and compare what changes he made and did not make.

  17. Casey Willis said,

    January 9, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    Hi my name is Casey Willis, I recently moved from Rabun County to Habersham with my friend and her three year old daughter. I am a part time student and work the other half of the time. I worked at Kingwood Resort for four year in the restaurant and I am now at Waterfall Country Club as the Assistant Manager in the dining room.

    As an outdoor person I do worry when jogging on a trail or even out camping because you just never know what could happen. You can’t always think the worst about every situation but, it’s always good to be cautious of your surroundings. Even when I’m out running I carry a small can of mace just to ease my nerves, and hope that I never have to use it

    My first reaction when I heard that she was found was that it was so close to home. Being up in the mountains and surrounded around people that know you like where I’m from you wouldn’t think that you would have to worry about something like that. It’s too bad that things have changed so much that you have to worry about having to protect yourself so much that some might not enjoy their outing

  18. Natalia Gaviria said,

    January 9, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    My name is Natalia Gaviria. I work full time as an inside sales coordinator for Pro-build in Norcross, Ga. My major is in Business Administration, my goal is to transfer to Georgia State University in two years and attend their business school.
    The disappearance and murder of Meredith Emerson have been the headlines of the daily news. It was shocking due to her survival experience in her past hiking trips to these same mountains. When her body was found it was disturbing to hear the condition that her body was in and the fact that she was still alive for three days before she was murdered.
    I’m not a particular outdoor person, but I am now fearful of my surroundings and who could be out there with the wrong intentions to hurt you or anyone else. There should definitely be an increase of security patrolling these areas where single individuals could be staying at. When I’m coming home from a night with my friends I’m worried that my car is going to brake down, my cell phone battery is going to be dead and some stranger is going to pull over to help me and get kidnapped or be in worst danger.
    The murder of Meredith Emerson needs to be kept in mind for those who go hiking or camping, to be more careful and always be accompanied if you do not have the resources for survival.

  19. Hilary Bragg said,

    January 10, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Being the typical high school graduate, I started my first semester of college on Tuesday to pursue a career in psychology. My name is Hilary Bragg and I was born at North East Georgia and I have lived in Flowery Branch my whole life. My major will most likely change, but I know that I am looking for a career where I am helping people and devoting my time to a good cause.

    I feel that the Emerson story is a horriffic eye opening reality. Not just to women, but to everyone. Everyone needs to be aware of others around them and what they are capable of. Today’s society revolves around crime and wrong doing. Let’s think about what we see when we watch the news. Every day we hear of a new crime committed, weather it be murder, abduction, robbery, etc. Another big part of this is media. The media focuses so much on the crime, as unbelievable as this is, it may convince others to be involved in the crimes. I’m not sure what went through Meredith’s mind as she decided to take a hike that day, but I’m sure it didn’t involve the thoughts that it might be her last. Meredith Emerson should not have been hiking that day alone, even if she did have her dog with her to protect her.The exercising hobby of hiking is no longer a safe approach. Now we have to think twice about taking this adventure alone. This has happened in numerous states in the last several years, and she should have recognized that. I could not imagine my life ending in two years, especially if I were to be murdered and I sympathize for her so much. Maybe we should take this as a lesson, a lesson that no one can be trusted. Its sad to think that we can not go take a hike without the possibility of being murdered.
    Hilary Bragg
    English 1101 CRN: 1718

  20. Bryan Delmendo said,

    January 10, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Hello, I’m Bryan Delmendo. I’m in my second semester at Gainesville State and it is great here. I’m responding to question two. I didn’t really see his whole interview, but saw clips of it. I think the game of baseball has been tarnished. Now, everyone in the MLB is being caught for using steroids and it puts a question in my head. I now think that everyone in the MLB has or is on steroids or other human growth drugs. And regards to Roger Clemens, I think to some extent that he has taken some sort of drug to help with his game and how he has stayed on top of the pitching world. I think it is such a big issue because of Roger Clemens. He is a major part of the MLB and is looked up to by most of the fans of baseball. This issue has grown over the years due to more people getting caught. And not only average player, but athletes that have made a name for themselves. Players such as Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, and Sammy Sosa have been accused of using some sort of steroid. And I think it’s good that the commissioner of the MLB has enforced the rules more. I never imagined the game like this, and I think it’s going to ruin the sport if it is not stopped. And the people to blame for all this are the players of the baseball. Most of the players doing steroids are athletes that want to be better then the competition. These athletes are human and they are reacting like humans. When someone is better then you, you want to become better then them. As technology improves so will the drugs. Meaning, there will be some new drug that can’t be identified in a drug test. In the end this has altered my opinion of all the major league sports, and I don’t think it will ever be the same.

    -Bryan Delmendo

  21. Emily Noordhoek said,

    January 10, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    My name is Emily Noordhoek and I am eighteen years old. I graduated early from Chestatee High School. I work and attend college here at GSC as a freshman. My major is nursing. In my free time, I spend time with my friends and I wakeboard.

    Meredith Emerson’s death is extremely tragic. Her murder actually occurred extremely close to my house. (I live in Dawsonville.) It has affected me because it is scary to think that something like that happened so close to home. The other night I went to my house and my father called me. He asked me what I was doing that night and what time I would be home. He actually brought up what happened to Emerson when we were on the phone and he explained that he always worries when I stay out late. Honestly, whenever I walk out of a grocery store or the mall I have my keys in my hand so that as soon as I get to my car, I can open the door and get in. Whenever I jog around my neighborhood, I am not that worried about being alone because I live in a nice neighborhood where I know most of the people. But, there is always that thought in the back of my mind because anyone can drive through my neighborhood. My main concern is that someone might kidnap me or hurt me. It is scary to think about, but it is good to have that mindset so that you are alert. I prefer to not be alone anyway, so I believe it is extremely important to go out with friends and be in a group. Watching the news has increased my fear of going out. I heard about the boy who went to the mall and shot and wounded people. When I heard that, it made me scared to even walk around the mall because anyone could walk into any store and take out people! The news is mostly about, in my opinion, the bad things that happen around here. When we hear about robberies, murders, and kidnappings, it is human instinct to fear going out at night.

    -Emily Noordhoek 1718

  22. Sarah Hackney said,

    January 10, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    My name is Sarah Hackney and I just began my first semester at GSC. In July I plan on following my slightly crazy, but passionate dream of moving to Florida. I’m on my second year at Lake Lanier Islands as a cook in the hotel kitchen. Although my major is undecided, I have a cluster of ideas that I hope the move will help to sort out and lead me in the right direction.

    For the first time in my life, I will be able to participate in electing our nation’s president in the 2008 election. Four years ago I sat and watched the 2004 election go by, which I had no control over. I had strong opinions that I was allowed to voice in my history class, but that never left the walls of my high school. After these long years I’m eager for change, as is most of the nation. I hope that the younger generation will have a strong arm in determining this election. I believe that if everyone pulled the wool from their eyes that their parents have so carefully placed over the years, that this country has no other place to go than up. I want us to concentrate on OUR country and the problems within. I don’t want to hear of corruption and I don’t want to think that our country has anything but the best intentions for its citizens. I don’t want a good politician as our president, I want a good person. The main thing is that the leader that our country chooses should have United States Citizens in mind above everything else.

  23. Madison Davis said,

    January 10, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    My name is Madison Davis. This is my first semester at Gainesville State. I started off my studies at Brenau University, and the change to Gainesville has been a positive one. I am currently an “undeclared” major. I am strongly considering changing my major, or deciding on one for that matter, to communications and marketing.

    I am not much of an outdoor’s person. Hiking, or camping doesn’t sound like my cup of tea, however, I find myself relating to Meredith Emerson. As a female, I must always be cautious of my surroundings. Meredith Emerson’s disappearence made me more on guard. Growing up, my mother never went to the grocery store alone at night or to a part of town she was unfamiliar with. She continued to warn me of the dangers that now take very seriously.

    I recall hearing horror stories when I was growing up about men hiding underneath your car and slicing your ankles in dark parking lots. Perhaps it was a bit of a tall tale, but it was very real to Meredith Emerson. The setting was slightly different but the same monster came after her.

    It is unfortunate that a life that had barely begun was taken from this young woman, but could it all have been avoided if she had a friend with her? Sadly, I don’t believe anyone can go anywhere alone. It’s common in society to believe that women are targets of abductions, but where is Justin Gaines?

    Justin’s been missing since November 1st. Perhaps, if he had a buddy with him aswell, we would know where he is today. It’s aweful that we have to fear what happens in our own neighborhoods and keep looking over our shoulder.

    My roommate and I now will not stay at our apartment if the other one is not there. If she spends the night out, I’ll have a friend come over. You never know who could knock on your door or what their intentions may be.

    But as I stated before, the case of Meredith Emerson made the “madman myths” much more real and I am much more cautious now. The moral of my story is keep a pal with you, and as sad as it is, stay on guard.

  24. Brandon Richardson said,

    January 10, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    HI everyone, my name is Brandon Richardson. This will be my first semester in college; I am pursuing a Civil Engineering degree. I will hopefully be furthering my education at north Georgia after this semester.

    Meredith Emerson’s disappearance wasn’t so much a scary ordeal to me since we live with these types of people everyday, every time you turn the TV on you here about someone getting killed or abducted. Not to say these situations are not unfortunate, but we do nothing to stop these things from happing. We sit in grief for the family’s who have lost loved one’s, but yet when we go on a camping trip with all three dogs, two kids, and your spouse the last thing own your mind is the twenty year old girl you saw on the TV right before you left who was abducted about 5 miles from were your family is going for the weekend! We just don’t think these things will ever happen to us, we are never fully prepared for what life holds and I think this is one of the biggest faults we have as humans have. We all pretend that everything around us is just so nice and peaceful, when we always need to anticipate in the back of our minds what could be the worst thing to happen.

  25. Heather Lasseter said,

    January 10, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    Hello, my name is Heather Rae Lasseter. I graduated from Appalachee high school which is located in Barrow County. This is my second semester at Gainesville State College. I have not decided on a major yet but I am greatly considering Environmental Science. I currently reside in Gainesville with my father and step mother. My hobbies include: kayaking, camping/hiking, scuba diving, and water and snow skiing. Really I enjoy just about anything to do with nature and being outside.

    Question #3:

    Hearing about the discovery of Meredith Emerson’s body sent chills down my spine. I, myself, am a hiker and enjoy going to the north Georgia mountains often. Though I would never go hiking by my self, it still doesn’t mean that it could not happen to me. My mother was the one to tell me the news that day. She reminded again to never go camping or hiking alone. Another man later on that day told me that when he heard about the tragedy, he thought of me. After hearing that it scared me. I always try to let someone know where I am going and who I’m going with, but now I am going to be more cautious of my surroundings and take precautions the next time I go camping.

  26. kelley mcwhoret said,

    January 10, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    My name is Kelley Mcwhorter. I am nineteen years old and this is my second semester as a freshman at GSC. My declared major is nursing mainly because I love to help people, especially young children. I have just recently move into an apartment and have yet to set up cable and internet, so I had no idea this young women was even missing. I heard the news of meredith emerson’s body being found on Tuesday of this week while in class.that afternoon i was having a conversation with my mother about the news and she was the one who told me all of what had happened, and honestly she shared more details with me than I wanted to know. I am not an outdoors girl in the first place. I think a lot of my fear comes from stories like this. Being a women, I feel that I have to constantly be looking over my sholder; wheather it be walking through a parking lot or the woods; I worry about my safety all the time. I think our society today makes it even more difficult with some of the horror movies and books they put out. Most of them have to do with women being attacked. It is hard to imagine that what we see in the movies actually happens in the real world today. It is such a tragity that meredith emerson was murdered, but I think what mostly scares me is how the killer did it and to think about how many disturbed people are just walking around right in my own backyard.

  27. Jennifer L. Wheeler said,

    January 10, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    Hello There. My name is Jennifer Wheeler and I am 18 years old. I graduated from Buford High School, and this is the second day of my college career. I go to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays and I spend the remaining part of the week working at Hollywood Tans at Mall Of Georgia. Meredith Emerson went missing last Monday in the nearby Georgia Mountains. She was found a few days later about 60 miles of Atlanta, decapitated. She was a routine hiker and was very interested in the outdoors. I have read that she was very well trained in a certain type of self defense, and that she often went into the woods alone. I’m guessing she was very sure that if a predator of some sort came across her, she could defend herself. However, I believe that when you are somewhere such as that where there are not a lot of people, you can never count on that. The attacker could come from behind and use chloriform to knock you out, you could be hit over the head with a blunt object, you could be tricked into beliving someone was there to help you when really they are just manipulting you. I believe this is what happened with Meredith. I believe she was walking along with her dog, when an older man came up and probably introduced a conversation and seemed to be very friendly. She could have associated this man with perhaps her grandfather , or another male figure in her life, and was easily fooled. I think that he got her to a quiet place, away from any passers and completley change. By this time, she was probably “trapped”. The condition that her body was found was terrible, she was apparently alive for 3 days. I personally do not camp often, but a majority of my friends do, and I will not let them go out ANYWHERE alone. We’ve all seen movies like “The Hills Have Eyes” or “Wrong Turn”, where an unfortunate group of teenagers enconters some type of “maniac” in the woods or out in a remote area. I believe movies and media also affect the way people look at going out into the woods or taking a simple walk. But people shouldn’t restrict there paranoia to just hiking, camping, biking, etc. , they should realize it can happen anywhere just as easy. I don’t belive you should automatically assume that when you enter the woods, camping, or hiking that there is a “murderer” of some sort out there waiting to get you. I just think when going into the “woods” people should always bring a weapon that they are familiar with using, as well as a person they feel could protect them in a situation like this, and most of all be prepared.

  28. Chris Tribble said,

    January 10, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    What’s up everybody? My name is Chris Tribble. I’ve lived in Gainesville for the entire nineteen years of my life. My goal is to transfer to the University of Georgia after a couple of semesters here at Gainesville State. From there I will persue a degree in music production. In my many years of studying music I have learned to play many instruments ranging from the guitar, piano, and even the tuba. It is my passion and I have high hopes for my future career.
    Poloticians are not some of my favorite people. They throw words around loosely and as soon as they get what they desire they sometimes don’t back up what they have promised. Many of them have promised us change and left us with despair. Barak Obama promises us change, but I believe that he will fall short of that gaurantee. I feel that I can’t believe him. Recently at a gathering in Iowa, the National Anthem was being played and our Presidential Candidate did not place his hand over his heart. To me that is disrespectful. How can someone even consider being our President if they won’t even participate in one of our oldest traditions? As Americans we have a duty to this country. Our soldiers our fighting to protect this great land. When they play the “Star Spangled Banner” at any sporting event it’s a way of saying thank you to all of those men and women that have served this country. If it weren’t for them then there wouldn’t be any sporting events to go to. They aren’t many things that I see that need to be changed with our country. If he wants to make changes though, first I would like to see a change in him.

  29. Dianna Singleton said,

    January 10, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    Good evening all, my name is Dianna Singleton. I’m majoring in Psychology and am a full time student at GSC.

    I think that any attack on any person should be looked at as a reminder to always be cautious and prepared as possible in case of an emergency. In my family that is a key thing, I was raised to know how to protect myself. I was also raised to not let fear rule over things that I want to do or achieve in life. Most females tend to think that they need a guy to protect them or always are afraid to do certain things because they are afraid of getting hurt or even murdered. I do not, however, think that it is right to think that you will be okay without taking certain precautions. Always do what you think is best for your safety and more. Although I was taught to protect myself and to not be afraid I do still take extra steps to prevent what happened to Meredith or any other person attacked. If I were to go out at night I’d make sure I was in a well lit area, an actual person with me or make your self, to strangers, look as though you are confident yet alert. Before I finish I have one more tip that one of my older sister’s gave me. If you are alone, walking to your car, when you unlock your doors make sure when you get in immediately lock them back before closing your door. This way, if you see someone trying to pull at your doors, they’re already locked. All they can do is pull until resorting to greater acts. I do have to admit though with Meredith’s disappearance I have made myself, not scared, but most definitely more alert to my surroundings. Americans are way more afraid these days than back when because more and more stories are coming up faster. Some people think that it’ll never happen to them but it can happen to anyone. Just don’t seem too scared but make sure to take EXTRA precautions especially if you are single or out alone. Don’t just take them for yourself but for others also.

  30. Robert Epps said,

    January 10, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    My name is Robert Epps. I graduated from North Hall High school last semester. I’m a biology major and plan on going to medical school. This is my first and only semester at GSC as I will be playing football at the Virginia Military Institute in the fall.
    Most would agree that many changes need to be made regarding the fashion in which our country is operated today. Hot topics of debate ranging from gay marriage to war in the Middle East dominate the news every day. One thing that definitely needs to happen soon is that a more realistic and efficient way of dealing with illegal immigration and the payment of taxes should be put into action.
    Don’t go paraphrasing and misinterpreting this just yet. The “problem” of illegal immigration is not that of new people coming to the United States, working hard, and stimulating the economy. That is the opportunity and idea that our country was built on. The problem is that taxes, hospital bills, etc. are going unpaid by many, not all, but many of these newcomers for one reason or another and the damage that is incurred as a result. Everyone in America should do their part, pay their taxes and bills, and participate in bettering the country for the good of everyone. Granted there are citizens even who can’t afford to pay their taxes and bills but most of them find ways of persevering through, not getting around the hard times.
    There has been talk of building a great wall on the border of the United States and Mexico; ridiculous. It isn’t so terrible that people want to be a part of the country is it? But being a part of the country means doing their part for the country as well. Something needs to be done to make tax collecting from millions of illegal immigrants as well as everyone else more effective. One good idea was that of a higher national sales tax coupled with the removal of income taxes. As a result everyone would pay their taxes as they paid for their goods and services. It’s not a bulletproof plan, but it is change and what could be progress for the United States.
    Robert Epps. English 1101 CRN.1718

  31. Candice Wilson said,

    January 10, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    My name is Candice Wilson and I am an administrative assistant at age 22. I have worked for Capital Data Service, a company that focuses on network security, for two years. In my spare time I enjoy dancing hip-hop as a backup dancer for upcoming artist; this has always been my passion. This is my first year here at Gainesville College and I am majoring in Psychology.

    In the beginning of the hunt of missing persons Meredith Emerson, I was not glued to her story. When hearing how everyone around me seemed to know so much about Meredith missing I decided to look more into it. After reading several articles on her story and how her body was found I became interested. The interest did not only come from feeling sorry for what had happened, but because she was simply walking alone like everyday people should be able to do. Unfortunately, in today’s society I think most of us know it is not a safe world out there. This tragedy just proves that point, again! As a woman we know that it is unsafe to be alone whether you are walking, hiking, shopping, or pretty much anything. The woman has a disadvantage when it comes to defending yourself physically against a man. For Meredith I think she may have felt that her dog was a sense of protection. Meredith’s story and others are the exact reason why I know not to be alone, park under a lighted area, do not stop for anyone, and to watch my back at all times.

    Candice WIlson 1101- CR# 1718

  32. Dawn Vickers said,

    January 10, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    My name is Dawn Vickers and I am an early childhood education major. I work during the day as a parapro at a special needs school for preschoolers in Gwinnett County. I have three children of my own a son who has graduated from Georgia Southern University with a Psychology degree, another son who is a freshman student here at Gainesville State and a daughter who is a senior in high school. I have been married for 24 years.

    Question #3
    I have had several reactions to the disappearance of Meredith Emerson. I have a child who is close to her age and find it very easy to feel sorry for her family. I can not imagine losing a child at such an age when they have so much to live for, but I would hope that I taught my child that it is not safe to be out alone hiking or camping. It really does not matter how experience you are things still happen. People in the world today seem to be a little angrier at how they are treated and think that it is their right to take things out on other people.
    It doesn’t matter what your sex is male or female things can happen to you. As a person it is your responsibility to know who and what is around you when you park your car or go for a walk on the street. It is also your responsibility to know when you go on a hike or camping that you need somebody with you that you can trust and be comfortable with.
    It is very said what happened to her and it sounds like the man who did this to her should have been reported to the police long ago so that this didn’t happened. I hope that some young girls and men learn from this that even if it is a nice day you can’t always go off alone to just get away you have to take precautions.

    Dawn Vickers
    English 1101 CRN 1718

  33. Stephanie Williams said,

    January 10, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    My name is Stephanie Williams and I am a first time freshman at Gainesville State College. I am working toward my degree in accounting, but currently majoring in Business Administration. I enjoy camping, hiking and spending time with my family in the outdoors.

    The disappearance and murder of Meredith Emerson has devastated me and my family. I am very familiar with the area from which Meredith disappeared. Often my family and I camp and hike in the area and my fears of doing so has never been more evident. As I stated in a recent discussion of the case, I often take walks alone with our family pet while in remote areas. I now find myself questioning that decision.

    The beautiful outdoors are no longer considered a safe refuge for those who love and enjoy them. In recent days my family and I have talked about taking extra precautions while camping and hiking in remote areas. Precautions such as letting family members know where we are and never leaving our group, even with our faithful canine companion. Though we love the wilderness we must remain on our guard while enjoying the gifts of nature.

    The enjoyment I have while spending time in nature far outweighs my fears. Fears that I often think of, like in the Emerson case, are abduction and physical injury. These are fears that most outdoorsmen have, not only from human predators but as well as wilderness itself. I believe that myths circulate in every part of pleasure one might have in activities such as hiking and camping. However, myths should not spoil ones view of such activities. I believe that though Meredith’s death is a tragedy, she has saved the lives of many who enjoy the Chattahoochee National Forrest and surrounding areas. Thanks to her we can continue to do so without the fear of this predator lingering in our minds.

  34. Noemi Najera said,

    January 10, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    Hi, my name is Noemi Najera. I am a single parent with three children. I work full time as an LPN and continuing my education to bridge over to RN nursing.
    My initial reaction about Meridith Emerson being found made my stomach turn. It seems to me that even if we as women are independent and have strong skills in protecting ourselves we are still weak. Not that a man can overcome us by strength but because we have compassion for others and that is the weakness of us women. As a single parent I don’t have a choice in doing a lot of daily activities by myself. I believe you don’t have to be out in the wilderness to come across people that will harm you. But even out in the mall, libraries and parks we may come across someone that has picked us out from the rest. Women now in days seem to forget that we by nature are compassion and we will always tend to help others. Maybe Meridith helped this man in some way and then befriended him. As a man he knew once he got to her weakness the rest was easy for him. I’ve been told several times that I always look as I’m mad or having a bad day. I feel that’s my shield as a woman to others because I don’t show my weakness unless you’re my children, family or my best friend.

  35. Lauren Smith said,

    January 10, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    Hey everyone. My name is Lauren Smith. I graduated from Peachtree Ridge High School in 2005 and then went on to pursue my business degree at Georgia State University. It didn’t take me very long to realize that commuting from Duluth to Atlanta twice a week wasn’t the best decision for me. I have attended Gainesville State College for three semesters now. I do have to say that I don’t dread commuting to school anymore.

    The disappearance of Meredith Emerson definitely hit home for me. I just recently moved to Dahlonega, which is about a 15-20 minute drive from where Meredith’s body was found. I enjoy hiking and camping in the mountains just like Meredith did. My dogs and I are constantly roaming the rivers and woods behind my house. It never really dawned on me that I could be putting myself in danger. I personally feel that Meredith didn’t do anything wrong. Honestly, I believe that she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. This horrific incident could have happened to anyone. I know that I should be more cautious and aware of how “cruel” our world really is, but I don’t think that the finding of her body will discourage me from enjoying the great outdoors.

  36. Ronald Moua said,

    January 10, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    My name is Ronald Moua and I have lived in Georgia all my life. I have four sisters and one brother which make a total of six children in the family. Things in my life that I enjoy doing are hanging out with friends, playing basketball, eating at waffle house whenever I can. This is my second semester of college and hopefully will finish up my schooling here at Gainesville.

    Question #3
    Hiking is one of the most tremendous ways of spending quality time with nature. Majority of people would go hiking as a family or friends and a few would hike alone with nature. Hiking seems really peaceful and safe to me from experiences, but I was dramatically shocked to hear that Meredith Emerson was murder while hiking alone which now makes me worries in many ways.

    Usually when I go for a hike I have no worries at all until now. When I went camping I practically did everything all by myself without even telling my family. Now I would consider to never go wondering alone anymore due to what had happen to Meredith Emerson. I would even have second thought about going to the restroom all by myself. It is very hard to believe that when hiking can be a dangerous situation, because so many people do it all the time.

    Other reason of why I would be scared of adventuring off by myself is because of myths or stories that I either heard or was told. Such as, in my grandparent’s culture, they believe that ghost are real. My grandparents told me that ghost would usually come out at night for slaves, therefore they change into a form in which is revealing their victims. Also, they are very friendly and can easily treat anyone. My grandparent also said that there are ways around to know if they are real or not. One way is to shine fire or light into their eyes and their true face will be reveal. Another way is to cover your eyesight so that you can only see their feet and if it isn’t human looking type then they are a ghost. Also, they cannot walk like human but stand up against tree. Because of this story I am a bit scared of wondering off at night, even though I do not believe in ghosts at all.

  37. Lauren Smith said,

    January 10, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Hey everyone. My name is Lauren Smith. I graduated from Peachtree Ridge High School in 2005 and then went on to pursue a business degree at Georgia State University. It didn’t take me very long to realize that commuting from Duluth to Atlanta twice a week wasn’t the best decision for me. I have attended Gainesville State College for three semesters now. I do have to say that I don’t dread commuting to school anymore.

    The disappearance of Meredith Emerson definitely hit home for me. I just recently moved to Dahlonega, which is about a 15-20 minute drive from where Meredith’s body was found. I enjoy hiking and camping in the mountains just like Meredith did. My dogs and I are constantly roaming the rivers and woods behind my house. It never really dawned on me that I could be putting myself in danger. I personally feel that Meredith didn’t do anything wrong. Honestly, I believe that she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. This horrific incident could have happened to anyone. I know that I should be more cautious and aware of how “cruel” our world really is, but I don’t think that the finding of her body will discourage me from enjoying the great outdoors.

    English 1101 CRN #: 1718

  38. Sara Garmon said,

    January 10, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Hi, my name is Sara Garmon. I graduated from North Forsyth High School in 2004. I took a couple of years off to figure out how I wanted my life and career to move forward. Now, I am currently attending GSC as a nursing major. I want to transfer to Georgia Medical College by fall 2009 and get my bachelors in nursing to work at Egelston’s Children’s Hospital in Atlanta.

    Meredith Emerson’s disappearance was a surprise to me, because we live in such a small rural area. From watching the daily news I would only expect something like this to happen in the bigger cities. It is harder to take in when it is close to home. Since this has happened I have been more cautious. At least one day out of the week I am in class until 9:30 or 10:00 at night and where the student parking is designated it is a good walk from the building that my class located. I refuse to park so far away that late at night, especially with so few people around. So, I park in the staff parking, the staff parking is never full at night anyway. I also did this last semester too, but after the Meredith Emerson murder I am definitely parking in the staff parking lot. I am taking as few chances as possible to put myself in danger. Even everyday activities, just as going to the grocery store, going to the park alone to run, or even scarier taking young children to the park for them to be in the same danger has become a fearful task. The things that were once safe and carefree have become the places that we should fear to be alone the most. I have always heard that bad news is told more and travels faster than good news. For example, in comparison, the Meredith Emerson Murder has been all over the T.V. since New Year’s. I can remember just a week ago on the news that it was reported that two armed men tried to rob a convenience store, but the people that they tried to attack fought back and won even though the men had guns. They hit the robbers in the face with baseball bats or something similar. Then they called 911 and held the two men until the police arrived. They were not killed or even really injured and I only heard that story once on the news. Even though the Meredith Emerson Story is horrible and should not at all be over looked or disregarded, it is not the only information that should be told. I think the more positive side is just as important to tell as sad, more negative side.

  39. Chris Zywica said,

    January 10, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    My name is Chris Zywica and I live in Buford, Georgia, near the Mall of Georgia. I am currently in my second semester here at Gainesville State College while perusing a mechanical engineering degree.

    I would like to share my thoughts concerning what has happed to the hiker, Meredith Emmerson. The one thing I can say for sure that would have prevented this tragedy is she should not have gone hiking alone! When hiking in a national forest, county park, or some other places that is secluded, or seldom traveled, it is best to go with at least one other person. A pet or a cell phone will not necessarily cover your needs as far as a way out of trouble should something happen. You have to bear in mind that unexpected things can happen. If for instance you should fall and break your leg, or sustain an injury from a falling tree branch, or some other injury which would otherwise prevent you from leaving the area, you will be out there alone. In mountain areas where most people like to hike, there is relatively poor cell phone service. My cell phone would be useless to me in a situation like this. The next thing you know, nightfall comes, and the temperature starts to fall. Then somebody comes along the next day, or possibly a few days later, and finds you dead because you froze during the night. How would bringing only your dog or cell phone prevent this? People wishing to do you harm are a very seldom instance, if you experience this at all. It is much more likely for some other catastrophe to play out than coming across someone whishing to do you harm. Always go with another person. You will be safer and also have someone to enjoy the sights with.

    Chris Zywica
    ENGL 1100 CRN 1718

  40. cristine cavender said,

    January 10, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    My name is Cristine Cavender; this is my first year attending GSC. I’m studying to become a clinical Psychologist, and hopefully I will transfer to UGA and finish up there. I work part time at a children’s clothing store, if I’m not at school or working I’m working out and hanging with my family and friends.
    When I first heard that Meredith Emerson had been missing, my first thought was why would a young woman go hiking on your own? Then I thought what this world has come to that women can’t leave their own home without being scared that something or someone could hurt them. After hearing that they found her dog I knew it wasn’t going to be a good outcome. I wondered how someone could be so selfish and take a life of someone else. I feel horrible for her family I couldn’t imagine losing someone close to me. It’s scary that you can’t trust anyone these days not even if they seem sincere and kind. My friends and I love going out after dark driving to Athens or bars. Now I understand why my parents use to lecture me & asked me why I want to leave at 12 midnight to go out. They’d say there isn’t anything but crazy people & trouble. My thoughts have changed I still go out but I’m more cautious of my surroundings. I get scared when I leave class at night to my car I always have my keys to my car or make one of my guy friends walk with me. But in all the world we leave in is a pretty scary place if you aren’t aware of where you are and who you trust anything can happen to you.

  41. Chris Napolitano said,

    January 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    My Name is Chris Napolitano. I graduated from Forsyth Central High in 2007 and this is my first semester at Gainesville state after taking a semester off after graduating high school. I am hoping to pursue a career in outdoor education after leaving GSC. I spend most of my time outside of school and work hanging out with friends, skateboarding, and camping and other outdoor activities. When I First heard about Meredith Emerson’s disappearance, I was Very shocked because I live very close to and often go camping around the area where this terrible incident occurred. I was very worried to hear about this because I was actually out camping there a few weeks before all of this occurred. It just makes me realize how careful you really have to be when going out and doing things. After hearing about this I don’t think that I would ever go camping out there by myself. It is just so hard to fathom why someone would even consider doing this to another human being without even feeling remorse for what they did. It just makes you realize that even though you think you’re living in a safe area and that you think nobody will do you harm, there are a ton of psycho people out there who won’t think twice about hurting someone.

  42. Ashley Weinert said,

    January 10, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    My name is Ashley Weinert, and this is my second semester at Gainesville State. I am currently working full time at Starship as well as going to school full time. My major is none other than Early Childhood Education.
    Question #3
    When I first heard on the news about Emerson, I was shocked. There was yet another missing white girl that nobody had heard about before causing a country wide panic. The only reason that people care so much about her and her safety is because she is white. The other day I was in Wal-Mart and for the first time I actually took a minute to stop and look at the missing person’s wall. To my surprise there were a lot of Hispanics as well as African Americans missing. But yet there was no wide spread panic about it, any billboards or blogs. Just a simple sign that people overlook almost every day. Even if some people tried to get on the news, I doubt many people would care as much for Christina Gonzalez (a Hispanic runaway missing since May 07) as they would for little Meredith. Even though she was murdered in the wood, that’s not going to change the mind’s of people that go hiking. One must always be cautious when going out into the wilderness, but that is just common sense. Being cautious is one thing, letting fear you’re your life is another. People have to realize that death is inevitable, if she wasn’t murdered then she could have been hit by a bus instead. If you do decide to go hiking be sure to be safe and always go with a buddy. In conclusion, my heart goes out to the family of Meredith as well as any family that might be missing a loved one.

  43. hannah hawkins said,

    January 10, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Hello, my name is Hannah Hawkins. I will start out by saying that I am a very outgoing kind of person. I just graduated from Jackson County Compressive High School in 2007; I am currently in my second semester at GSC. I love the atmosphere here at Gainesville; I can say that I feel safe here.
    Question # 3
    When I first heard of Emerson missing I was completely shocked that this was happening so close to home. My heart was really hoping that the police would find her alive. When a few days had passed I really started to get worried for this girl. What scares me the most is the fact that if anyone would have come up and started talking to me I would talk right back with just because that is my personality. Then that made me think of how that could very easily be me, and then I started to think how my mom and dad would feel if that was me? The whole Emerson case has really opened my eyes that there is danger out there and now it is at home. I truly feel for the entire Emerson family. I just don’t understand how anyone can kidnap another person and keep them alive for three days, maybe even rape them and then turn around and kill that person. I feel that if he felt the need to kill Emerson then he to should be put to death, for her family a piece of mind.

  44. Tiffany Majors said,

    January 10, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    First of all, my name is Tiffany Majors. I moved here from Danville, VA in July of 2007 and I am a freshman here at Gainesville State. I’m currently pursuing my Early Childhood Education degree by taking night classes and I work for a Mitsubishi Warehouse during the day.
    Question # 3:
    It was shocking to me to find out that Meredith was found dead because I’d heard that she was an outdoors person and was hoping that someone would find her alive. It really makes me cautious of talking to strangers because I know that I am normally a friendly young person and when people or strangers come up to me I don’t usually hesitate to talk to them. It proves to me that you never know what people are up to. She probably didn’t think twice when the old man came up to her and started a conversation because honestly, neither would I. I would have thought that maybe he just needed someone to talk to. Also, when I go on nature trails I am more cautious of animals such as snakes than I am of the people that are walking on the trail. I know now though that I will not be walking on anyone’s trail unless I am with a group. I’ve also started locking my doors when I’m driving alone because you never know what might happen or who might be watching you. Honestly, her story shows that it is hard to trust anyone these days.

    Tiffany R. Majors
    English 1101 CRN# 1727

  45. Jessica Davis said,

    January 10, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    Hey, my name is Jessica Davis. I am an early graduate from Habersham Central High School. This means I graduated in December 2007. So, obviously, this is my first semester at Gainesville State College.
    Question #3:
    I want to talk about Meredith Emerson. How could someone do something like this to a complete stranger? What possess someone to bluntly kill someone and then when confronted about it, just deny it, like it was nothing, or something they have done before and it was no big deal? Not only did he kill her, he decapitated her. The police found her body in two different places. What kind of psychopathic people are there in this world? It is extremely ridiculous that we will not be given the death penalty just because he led them to the body. That’s not good enough! He should be given the worst sentencing ever! I hope that he is linked to the other cases in the North Carolina and Florida. Maybe they will give him the death penalty.

    It is very disturbing to know though, that right now, yes, this is a huge story. But in about 2 or 3 months, no one will remember this. I believe that they have been talking about this since somewhere around New Year’s Day. But again I also remember that a few weeks before New Year’s , it was all over the news about a plant that had blown up and the worker that had survived the blow up had actually died in the hospital about 3 to 6 weeks after the explosion. So terribly, I honestly don’t think that anyone is going to remember that this happened after some time.

    I was already cautious before this incident but now walking to my car is a lot more skittish. A kind of routine for me at night times when I am leaving school, because I am here until 9 at night sometimes, is when I’m walking outside every few minutes I turn around and check to see if anyone is behind me. Once I make it to my car I open the door and pull up the seat, because I only have a 2-door, and look to see if anyone is there. Then I check my trunk, because my backseats lay down and someone could come in through the trunk. I do this every night that I have school or am with friends in Atlanta. I also carry Mace in my car. And I am working on getting a tazer.

    I feel so bad for her parents to have gone through this. I can’t imagine what they are going through. My sincere regrets go out to them.

  46. Yvette Allison said,

    January 10, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    My name is Yvette Allison and I am attending Gainesville State College to obtain my Bachelor’s in Marketing Technology. I live in Murrayville, GA and work at Panduit Corporation in Cumming, GA. I have been married for 22 years and have two daughters, age 21 and 19. My oldest daughter married last May and my youngest daughter also goes to Gainesville State College.

    When Meredith Emerson first went missing I didn’t pay that much attention to the news because there have been so many missing people in the last year or so. After a day or so I started hearing more about her and how she was a black belt in karate and she loved animals. It made me start paying closer attention because my youngest daughter is also a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and loves animals. I kept watching the news hoping to hear they had finally found her. I started worrying more when my oldest daughter started watching the news and calling me and I realized this could have been my family. The story was just so close to home. Usually when you hear about people missing its closer to Atlanta or in another state, but this was close to everyone I knew. When Meredith’s body was found on Monday, my oldest daughter, who lives about 5 minutes from the Dawson Forest area, called me very upset. She was so worried about being by herself. They found clothes in a dumpster close to where my daughter works and then found Meredith’s body close to where she lives; she was no longer feeling safe and needed reassurance that everything was going to be alright. I can only imagine the pain Meredith’s family has gone through since New Year’s when she went missing. My daughters are my life and to lose one of them would kill me. I have cried over Meredith and even posted a note on the guestbook that has been set up for her family to let them know they are in my thoughts and prayers. I have found myself worrying more about my girls than I normally do, and believe me I worry about them a lot. I call them more than I use to and make sure to tell them at least a hundred times a day to pay attention to their surroundings and not to talk to anyone they don’t know. They will probably get tired of this soon, but it gives me comfort in just saying the words to them. I know much too soon the story of Meredith Emerson will fade and people will stop remembering what happened, everyone except her family. I can only hope that no one ever has to go through something like this again and the Emerson family can find some peace after such a horrific ordeal.

    Yvette Allison
    ENGL 1101 #1727

  47. Melissa Jones said,

    January 10, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    My name is Melissa Jones. I am twenty years old and I am originally from Tampa Florida. I moved to Georgia when I was about eight. Im attending GSC to become a pediatric nurse. I work full time during the day at a nursing home in Gainesville and I attend school at night.

    After hearing about the disapperance of Meredith Emerson I became alarmed. I wonder how many murders go on everyday that noone knows about. It is so sad to hear about something like that specially when its so close to home. It scares me to go anywhere alone, you never know whos been watching you and what they are thinking. I feel so sorry for her family, to have to go through the death of a loved one is hard enough, but having to look the person who did it in the eye would kill me. All you can ask is why? What was the point, what kind of satisfaction can you get from hurting someone who never did anything to you, and who had their whole life ahead of them. I will never understand it, it sickens me to even think of something like that happening. This is a wake up call for everyone, its sad to say but you cant trust anyone. Sometimes you don’t want to be rude but sometimes that’s what you have to do. Theres a lot of sick people in this world and I hate to say it, but its only going to get worse.

    Melissa Jones
    English 1101 CRN#: 1727

  48. Nikki Brand said,

    January 10, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    My name is Nikki Brand. This is my second year in college and my first year at GSC. I’m studying to become a Doctor of pharmacy. I have a two year old son, named Kaden. When I’m not working I’m spending time with my son, riding his skate board or playing baseball. I work at Bill Heard Chevrolet as a used car salesman.

    Question # 3
    I haven’t watched the news in quite sometime and hearing about Meredith, makes me remember why. There are so many stories of young girls being killed and rapped. It makes you wonder why we as women go anywhere at all by ourselves. We could carry a gun or a tazer or any sort-of weapon, but what good would it do? If someone is trying to attack you, you aren’t going to be able to grab the gun or the tazer out of your purse in time. Most women are not physically strong enough to fight off a man. So what do we do? There really isn’t a magical answer that is going to keep us protected. We need to watch out for each other. Don’t go to places in the dark by yourself or places that you know are considered to be “bad parts of town”. We shouldn’t have to fear our surrounding, our home, our world, but we do have to protect ourselves and each other. Regardless of your physical condition you should take a self defense class. It’s a good idea for us to protect ourselves in any way we can.

    In another instants that makes me scared and the main reason I don’t watch the news is a young women about three years ago was gutted, by another women, for her unborn child. I watched this when I was seven months pregnant with my own son. I didn’t turn the television on for three weeks. You would never think that someone was capable of such a monstrous act. I didn’t go anywhere the rest of my pregnancy by myself. I will never, for the rest of my life, forget the pain I felt for that women after losing her baby.

    Nikki Brand
    English 1101 CRN 1727

  49. Maria Elia Hernandez said,

    January 10, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    My name is Maria Elia Hernandez and I am working towards my Bachelor’s in Business Technology. I was born in Frankfort, Indiana. When I was five years old my family moved to Texas where I was raised. After my divorce in 2001 I moved to Gainesville to continue my education. I received an Associates Degree in Management at Lanier College. I transferred from Lanier to GSC where I am currently working towards my Bachelor’s in Business.
    Question 3
    The 24 year old Meredith Emerson found just 60 miles from North Atlanta just hit me close to home. I enjoy going to the mountains to hike, motorcycle ride among other things and this tragic news was so discouraging in continuing to do that. When I first heard about this I still thought and hoped that she’d have a chance in not only surviving the frigid cold weather but any circumstances that might occur. Meredith was not only educated but according to her peers and family she had a blue belt in Kofu and was quite athletic and outgoing. As a woman and mother of three teenage daughters I will be continuously more apprehensive with any kind of situations involving communication with an individual or individuals. I will continue to lecture my daughters and hope that nothing like that ever happens to them. We see now that no individual is prepared for something like this to occur to him or her. That’s why I encourage you all to be smart and listen to your gut feelings. For any of you out there be aware of your surroundings and who you engage communication with. It might be your last. I am glad that Meredith Emerson’s family has closure. Although, I was looking forward to a complete different out come unfortunately that was not the case.

    Maria Elia Hernandez
    English 1101 CRN# 1727

  50. John Mcbrayer said,

    January 10, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    My name is John Mcbrayer. My major is Psychology. After obtaining my Associates degree I hope to transfer to a college out of state. I am a part time student and work part time at a drug treatment center.

    I believe that regardless of who is elected, people will continue to complain about they way our country is and there is not one presidential candidate that I can agree with. Because of these things I have completely lost interest in politics and have decided not to vote. If a democrat is elected people will complain about higher taxes. If a republican is elected people will complain about keeping the tax cut in place. There seems to be no middle ground. Personally I can not hold allegiance to any party. The Libertarian party believes in less government, lower taxes, and legalization of most illegal substances. All of this sounds great, but they believe in a very limited military. At this moment in time I think the last thing our country needs is a limited military! The Reform party also stand for a lot of the things that I believe in, but the odds of one of the candidates being elected is very small. I would like to see someone run who is economically conservative and socially liberal. More rights for the citizens and less spending. Will I see this in my life time? I doubt it. So, I choose to stay in my fantasy world where everything is wonderful and let others worry about what is best for our country.

    John Mcbrayer
    ENGL 100 CRN 1727

  51. Chasiti Walden said,

    January 10, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    Hi, my name is Chasiti Walden and I am majoring in Early Childhood Development. I work full time during the day as a nanny for three children ages two months, two years, and seven.

    Question #3
    Meredith Emerson was hiking in the woods with her dog and she was murdered by a mad man. Honestly I am absolutely disgusted by the news of this. Being a small female I think that this is going to change the way I look at things. First of all I don’t like being alone outside anyway but now I will definitely not be going anywhere by myself without some sort of defense. All my life I have been taught to not talk to strangers and when I got older I didn’t think about that as much because I am a friendly person and I talk to people. I can’t possibly go on talking to random people without having the thought, is this person crazy?

    Growing up and still today my mother was always very protective over me. Because I am so small, it would be very easy for someone to attack me. She recently had surgery in Atlanta and I came to visit her one night while she was in the hospital. It was getting really late and I had to go home and my mom begged me not to go. She made me talk to her on the phone the whole way to my car and once I got in my car and had the doors locked she was okay and let me go.

    I feel so horrible for Meredith’s family, but I think her death showed us that we can’t just trust everyone. And when I thought my mother was crazy for making me talk to her, this opened my eyes to see that she isn’t the crazy one!

  52. Lisa ALbano said,

    January 10, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    Hello, my name is Lisa Albano. I am a single parent of three boys ages 16, 13, and 2 years old. I am a part owner in a business with my brother. My major is Pre-Law and I hope to one day be a civil rights attorney. I have a strong belief, inwhich, you can not complain about something if you are not willing to do something to fix and/or change it. I strongly feel our peoples rights are being violated on a daily basis, by our local, state and federal government.

    Question #3
    As to the death of Meredith Emerson, WOW! What a tragic loss of life. I personally do not know the Emerson family; however, I have dealt with the violent death of someone near and dear to me. My heart absolutely breaks for the Emerson family. The grief they are currently feeling and will be feeling for a long time to come will certainly be a struggle for them to learn to cope with. This tragedy, however, can be used as a positive tool.
    When tragic things such as Meredith Emerson’s death occur, as they did nearly in our backyard. It brings me back to a time in my life as a child that I feared the boogie man. You could never see him, you never knew where exactly he was, however you always knew he was near and watching. The only thing you could do then was to run in the house and lock the door as quickly as possible. Now as adults we have the ability to arm ourselves with knowledge and we need to make sure that we take time to pay attention to our surroundings. Make sure when possible we have a friend accompany us on a trip, such as hiking in the woods. Planning ahead, letting people know where and what we are doing, in the event of an emergency. For all of us, who do enjoy the outdoors and do enjoy living life to the fullest, we need to make every effort to not be scared and paranoid of what may be “out there”. Yet, still be diligent in our efforts to be safe and keep those safe around us.

    Lisa Albano
    English 1101 course 1727

  53. Angela Patterson said,

    January 10, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    Hello, my name is Angela Patterson. I am a student at Gainesville State College who is majoring in Dental Hygiene. I have recently finished the Dental Assisting program at Lanier Technical College and work as a full time dental assistant during the day. My long term goal is to further my career in Dentistry.

    Question 3:
    I am commenting on the Meredith Emmerson story. I would first like to express my sympathy towards her family and loved ones. When I first heard of this case I was immediately drawn to it as I was the Natalie Hollaway story a few months ago. I generally try to be optimistic about things, but right away I knew something terrible had happened to this young lady. I would like to say that I believe in another side to life and I also believe in spirits. I believe that some people in life have a gift and sooner or later in life this gift will be revealed to them. I believe that I have a gift to see and feel things; I remember encounters from when I was a child but was not fully aware of this gift until adulthood. I sometimes believe that this gift may possibly be linked with my Native American heritage. When the story of Meredith Emmerson first aired I remember telling a friend that she had been abducted, but of course his reaction was that she had just gotten lost in the woods and could not find her way back. A few days later it was released on the news that witnesses had revealed a person of interest to police. I immediately knew then that my feelings were right. I remember telling my same friend that the man had taken her somewhere and that he had not killed her there. When the news released that the man of interest had been caught and they were releasing evidence found along with her dog I ultimately knew she was dead. Approximately 1-2 days before her body was found, my father and I had gone to this property where a life long friend (elderly man) had lived since I was a little girl. This gentleman had passed so my father and I were just checking on things at his home. Before my father and I left I had this uneasy premonition. I turned to look at the house and I felt as though something evil was staring back at me. I wanted to go in the house, but my father said no. I remember getting in the truck and telling my father that I thought I had saw something, however I did not elaborate on my feelings or thoughts. The next few nights I had scary dreams and felt this terrible darkness hanging over me. The Monday night that this young girl’s body was found my cat was also killed. My father and I found my cat at approximately the same time that this young girl’s body had been recovered. I did not know until the next day she had been found. I wish the outcome were better, however I am grateful that her family may have some closure unlike the family of Natalie Holloway. The world is a scary place and life is very unfair so a person should always have their guard up and be aware of all existence around them. I’m sure this young girl was aware of her surroundings, however I believe that she portrayed this man as being something he was not and the unthinkable happened. Also know that if you ever have a gut instinct always trust yourself. I pray that her soul now rest in peace.

    Angela Patterson
    English 1101/CRN1727

  54. Kaye Cox said,

    January 10, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    My name is Kaye Cox. I am attending GSC for a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I am a full time Engineering Manager for JELD-WEN, Windows and Doors. I love AutoCAD and have been newly introduced to Inventor. It is the coolest 3D drawing program I have ever worked with. I have two children, a 19 year old daughter and a 21 year old son. I love to read, work in the yard and all types of crafts.

    Question #3
    Don’t let fear or negative feelings control your life. If you have been following the Meredith Emerson disappearance as I have from the beginning, you may consider changing the way you live your life.

    I was very hopeful that Meredith would be found alive and well. When her body was discovered it was only a few miles from my house and within a mile of another boy that went missing and was found dead, Levi Frady. There are several missing people that are now believed to have been abducted by this same man. Several of them live within 20 to 25 miles from my home. I can imagine how many times this man has driven by my house.

    There are many sick people in this world that will or would like to cause you harm. The likelihood of being injured or killed in a car accident on your way home is a greater possibility than running into one of these people. You should not let the fear of what could happen control your life. You only have one life and you should live it as safely and happily as you possibly can. If you dwell on things of this nature you are letting this man take your life also.

    I have great sympathy for this family and the others with missing and/or unsolved cases of this nature. I honestly do not think I could live through what these families are going through. I am very sensitive and find I am much happier and healthier if I don’t concentrate on the bad things happening in the world. I guess you could say I live in denial, but I am not. I am aware of these things happening and cautious if walking in a parking lot whether it is dark or not.

    Live your life as if it will be the last time you see your family. You will be happier and so will they. Live your life without the fear of what could happen, but conscious of your surroundings. It is the only life you have, unless reincarnation is real…
    Kaye Cox
    English 1101 CRN# 1727

  55. Gilberto Nanclares said,

    January 10, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    Hello everyone. My name is Gilberto Nanclares, I graduated from Flowery Branch High School and this is my second semester here in GSC. I live with my parents and I have 2 older sisters and a younger brother. I am working full time in the mornings and I am taking two classes in the evenings.

    I do not have the opportunity to vote because I am not a U.S citizen yet. As an immigrant I will like to see changes in the way the U.S government is taking immigration issues. Also I will like to see more improvements in the war in Iraq. I believe that during the new president’s mandate these two problems will have a bigger impact in the U.S; therefore, the new president should put more attention to these problems. I will like to invite young people to vote because this is definitely going to make a huge difference in the U.S presidential elections. In my opinion, I believe that having a female president will be very interesting.

    Gilberto Nanclares
    ENGL1101 CRN 1727

  56. Juan Gomes said,

    January 10, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    Hello, my name is Juan Gomes. I am attending Gainesville State College to become a Mechanical Engineer. I work in a real state company as a maintenance technician during the day. I am very interested in the political landscape because I think it is very important to know in what direction our nation is headed to.

    Question # 1

    Given the different threats our country is facing nowadays, I would vote for a candidate that is strong in national security and the economy. Although it is still too early to speculate who is going to win the presidential nomination (in either party), It is clear that there are many issues by which voters will direct their vote. National security is the most important issue to me because I do not think we can afford another terrorist attack in American soil. The next president has to have a strong international policy to avoid another terrorist attack to America and to its allies.
    The economy is another important issue in this coming election. I think the best candidate should lower taxes and give incentives to the private sector in order to create jobs, and make our country less dependent on foreign oil and products.
    I think the next president has to be committed to make our country the industrial power it once was, and unite the country regardless of party affiliation.

    Juan Gomes
    English 1101
    CRN 1727

  57. Renee Banks-Seawell said,

    January 10, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    My name is Renee Seawell. I am a 44 year old mother of four. This is my first semester in college.
    Question # 3
    How have you reacted to the news of Meredith Emerson’s disappearance? How has it affected you?
    I am very saddened by the recent disappearance and murder of Ms. Emerson. I have children that are very near her age and it brings to light the concern that I constantly have for their safety. Prior to having children, I worked in the law enforcement field and received information regarding the kidnapping and murder of a young woman in Lawrenceville, Georgia. It was in late December that this young woman had gone shopping and upon returning to her car was assaulted and kidnapped. The perpetrator took her to a secluded area outside of town, sexually assaulted her and killed her. She was found several weeks later in the wooded area where he had dumped her body. It was later discovered that the perpetrator had committed a similar crime years earlier when he was still in his teens. In that case however, the victim was able to escape and survived. According to news reports, the perpetrator in Ms. Emerson’s case had probably committed a similar crime in the past as well.
    I find it very interesting that in both cases, the perpetrator had a history of similar crimes and that they seemed to follow a pattern. In the case with Ms. Emerson, the perpetrator had previously kidnapped a woman in a park setting and had then tried to use her credit cards. He also tried to use Ms. Emerson’s credit cards. In comparison, the perpetrator involved in the case in Lawrenceville, Georgia had lurked in waiting for his victim, kidnapped her and sexually assaulted her, just as he had with the woman in Lawrenceville. Unfortunately, the second victim was unable to escape as the first victim had.
    This suggests to me that many criminals follow a similar pattern in their crimes. Perhaps if we studied these patterns, we might be more able to prepare ourselves should an incident like this arise. However, we must not believe that these women could have absolutely protected themselves or survived these brutal attacks. Predators wait for opportunities to attack their victims. In studying these two cases, I surmise that the best thing that we can do to protect ourselves is to always be aware of our surroundings. It is my prayer that through hearing of this case, we will all be more concerned for our safety and aware of who is around us.

    Renee Seawell
    English 1101 CRN 1727

  58. Raquel Hill said,

    January 10, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Hello, my name is Raquel Hill, I am from Ecuador. I work full time at Johnson High School as an ESOL Parapro. I have two wonderful children that keep me busy all the time. I enjoyed outdoors even though I am a scary person.
    Question # 3
    I love to go camping. I was camping last week at Markham Park. It is located in Fort Lauderdale, FL. We stayed three nights in a tent. While I was there I was so worried about walking to the restroom at night. I was telling my husband to keep on eye if I take too long. He was laughing at me. When we were coming back I saw the bulletin board at the rest area in Atlanta about the missing person. I was so concern that somebody was missing on January 1, 2008. During camping I did not hear any news; therefore, I did not know what was going on with Meredith Emerson. After, I watched the news I was shocked. I always am afraid. I always keep on eye on my children. I am afraid that somebody might be watching you and be this person’s victim. Now, one of my children is seven. He does not want to go to the restroom with me anymore. He will go to the men restroom. I am standing outside waiting for him. I worry that might be somebody hiding inside waiting for a victim. I do not know the reason of my fears; however, I know few relatives who are being rape. I heard of a lot of crimes and disappearances on the news. I think that might be the reason and concern. One thing, I am really sure I will not let this keep me indoors. I will not be a happy person.

    Raquel Hill
    English 1101 CRN 1727

  59. Amanda Cronan said,

    January 10, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Hello, my name is Amanda Cronan and I am a full time student and a full time employee. I work as a marketing manager at a local real estate office and I hope to graduate from Georgia State with a degree in Business Administration in Real Estate. I have lived in Georgia my entire life.

    Question #3

    I was very upset to hear about the death of Meredith Emerson. For weeks, I had been praying that through some miraculous intervention she would be ok.

    I love to play paintball, ride four-wheelers, walk, fish and most of all take outdoor photos. I sometimes find myself on some vacant property or a dark parking lot because I want a photo. I have to be honest; I do not always pay close attention to my surroundings. My mind is on the activity and not my well being.

    I grew up in a small town in North Georgia, called Lula. My family and I would go to sleep with our home unlocked! The thought of any one doing us harm was never dreamed of. I feel growing up in this situation has extremely altered my perception of people and the level of danger they can have. I was raised with the mindset that it is polite to make the acquaintance of everyone. If you did not take the time engage in conversation; you were “unfriendly”.

    Due to the situation (with Meredith Emerson) I realize that I have to change my way of thinking. My personal safety needs to come before being polite, being liked or any activity. I sincerely believe that I am not cautious enough and I know it is due to the way I was raised. This is an extremely scary realization for me.

    Amanda Cronan
    English 1101 – Course Number 1727

  60. Maria F Diaz said,

    January 10, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    My name is Maria Diaz. I’m 24 years old. I moved from Orlando, Florida back in 2005. My major is Business Administration.
    Question # 3
    I love outdoor’s activities. I usually try to make plans with my friends during the week, so we can get together spending a lot of fun time in the weekends. When I heard about the Meredith Emerson’s disappearance and murder, I started to think how serious, scary and sad might be. It is very serious to think about this tragic event. I think that improving security in public areas will help in order to prevent these kinds of events. However, I think that a person should never be alone hiking. I would always bring somebody with me. Hiking alone can be really a bad idea. There are chances of getting lost, and even getting hurt without anybody to help. It is scary to think that it could happen to anybody including my self. I can not imagine how scary she was at that moment. I can not imagine how scary was for her dog. The last part of all is how sad this tragic is. I think that her parents and family are dealing with a very hard time. It is sad to know how her body was found. The whole situation is teaching me to take care of my self, and think a little bit more when making decisions, specially, if I’m thinking in going out by my self.
    Maria F. Diaz
    English 1101

  61. Ismael Navarro CRN 1727 said,

    January 10, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Hi, my name is Ismael Navarro Jr. I moved to Georgia about two years ago. Im originally from California. I’m from the San Fernando Valley rite over the hill from Hollywood.
    A new year for change in Politics. Every one running for President is talking about change. But every election is the same thing. Every four year the candidates talk about how they will change the country but it never happens. At least not in the way they promise. Change is the most important thing we need know. We got a War in Iraq that’s out of control in spending and in human lifes. I know that it not rite just to pack up and go. But we need to thing of when and how it’s going to end. Another thing that seem’s to be changing is all the Immigration laws. I understand that our borders need to be secure. I don’t have a problem with that. In fact I agree. Theres a lot of crazy people out there that need to be keept out. What I don’t like is some of the thing that happen here in our back yards. I was lucky even blessed to have been born in the United States. I would not change it for anything. But theres a lot of people in the world that wournt as luck as me. I cant blaim them for wanting a better life. I hear all the time that the immigrants our taking all the jobs. I have yeat to meet any one including me, that wants to work out in the fields picking up fruit for almost no money. I know they don’t want to do does kind of jobs but they have no choice. I have never heard of a Doctor or Politision complaining because a immigrant took his job. This has got to change. That’s what all the candidates should be talking about changing. We cant change the world without changing this country and our selfs first. This is what I think and not every one will agree with me and that’s OK, because everyone has the right to believe and think anything they want. And that’s one thing that should never change.

  62. Landon McDonnell said,

    January 10, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    Hi my name is Landon McDonnell. I have lived in Suwanee, Georgia for most of my life accept for the first year I attended college. During that year I attended Berry College in Rome, Georgia. I am majoring in Architecture and have decided to complete my basic classes locally and will be transferring to the University of Boston next year.
    Question #1
    Change is an important aspect in all of our lives. We will face it regardless of our path in life. Change can take many different forms. It can be unwarranted change or warranted change. It can make us feel any range of emotion from complete despair to utter jubilation. There is one thing change must have, whether it is good or bad, and that is truth. So when I take a look at different Presidential candidates that is what I look at. Is the change they offer non corruptive, non manipulative and most important is their change willing to change. Since everyone is fallible to mistakes will they be able to remain true to the truthfulness of change. Give me truth over all else.
    CRN 1727

  63. Renee Newport said,

    January 10, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    My name is Renee. I graduated from North Gwinnett High School in 2006. I attended NGCSU for my first year and ended up transferring here. This is my last semester here at Gainesville (I hope!) before I transfer to begin my medical classes. I work as a pharmacy technician and when I am not there or here I am most likely just hanging out with friends. I love to be around people and I will try pretty much anything once.

    Question #2
    When I first heard where they had found Meredith Emerson’s body I was terrified. I live very close to there and to think that crazy guys like that man are that close to my home scares me to death. I do believe that she could have been a tad bit more intelligent by not going out into the middle of the woods by herself. Walking around your neighborhood with just your dog is one thing. But hiking up a mountain where no one can see or locate you in an emergency is, in lack of a better word, stupid. I do empathize for her and her family. I think women today are seen as these weak individuals that cannot handle their own. And personally, I can not wait for the day when one of those psychos goes after a woman and she just kicks his butt.

  64. Catherine Daniels said,

    January 10, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    Hello everyone. My name is Catherine Mae Daniels. I had to put my middle name because I love it. It was actually passed down from my fathers mother whom I have not seen since I was eight years old. I love life and believe that each day is a blessing. I am a disciple of Christ. I am not perfect by no means, but I try to learn from my mistakes to grow as an individual. I am twenty-one, and have been happily married for over a year now to an amazing man who is my best friend. He sits right beside me in class and his name is Jeremy Daniels. My husband and I are in a Christian/Rock/Contemporary worship band called “chasing Seven”. Meaning that we are striving to be like the One and only One who is perfect and that is Jesus Christ. I work full time at a company called Panduit. I am currently in transition from a press operator to a tech support job within the company. I am majoring in psychology. I have a heart for reaching out to people and sharing my own testimony with those who may have or have had a hard life.

    When our society goes through tragic times, its amazing how we all can become so close. Meredith Emerson is not only a stranger to me but part of family. It’s amazing how people can become so involved in anothers life, regardless whether one has physically met the individual or not. Meredith Emerson, man, words can not truly explain how I feel. For one, I may not personally know her, but I pray for her family and the ones that loved her so dearly. My heart, feelings, and prayers are with them daily. I know that if someone in my family passed away, or if an incident such as Merediths happened, I would hope that people would pray and love me regardless if they knew me. I recently have been in the area where Meredith’s death occurred. A couple of months back to be precise. I camped out at Vogel State park. It’s one of my favorite places to go just to get away from every day life and just enjoy peace and beauty. Since the incident of Meredith, I am a little skeptical of returning to the state park, but I do not think that it would keep me from every returning.

    Catherine Daniels
    English 1101 CRN:1735

  65. Dana Farmer said,

    January 10, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    My name is Dana Farmer. This is my first semester at GSC. I will be majoring in Psychology. I have lived in Georgia pretty much my whole life. I love outdoor activities; hunting, fishing, etc. I also love sports (GO GATORS) and writing poetry.

    Question #3
    I feel what happened to Meredith Emerson is very tragic and has affected me personally in the way of not feeling safe in any public place. I look at the world today and feel a great sadness. I can remember when I was younger; it wasn’t a big deal for me to play at the park while my parents had lunch at the picnic table across the way. There use to be a sense of freedom, and that has been taken away. It’s hard to feel safe in your own backyard anymore. I just sit back and ask myself, “What is the world coming to?”

    It was also mentioned in the news that Hilton had been caught or suspected in previous crimes. I don’t understand our justice system. They will let someone out free to roam the street that is suspected of rape, etc… but lock another person up for 10 years for a drug possession charge. Please tell me how that makes any sense? I am not saying drugs are okay, but it’s the principal of the matter. One thing learned from this case is definitely to be prepared no matter where you are. You never know what pervert might be out there lurking in the dark waiting to get you.

  66. Allison Brock said,

    January 10, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    Hello, my name is Allison Brock. I graduated from Lanier Tech in December 2007 with my Dental Assisting diploma. I have started working as an assistant and started at GSC to earn my Dental Hygiene Degree.

    The first time I heard about the Meredith Emerson story was from a lady that I work with. Her cousin was Meredith’s boyfriend. I learned that she was missing and that there was a massive search going on. My first thought was “Why would she go off hiking in the woods by herself?” I then learned that she was an avid and experienced hiker and loved the outdoors. I felt really bad that by doing something she loved she put herself in danger. I have always been a cautious person anyway, but hearing stories like that makes me scared to go anywhere alone. I walk my neighborhood for exercise and have altered my route to a less wooded area because I walk alone and am nervous of something happening. I feel safe in my neighborhood but you just never know. I am nervous to walk to my car at night after school. I have nervous thoughts in the back of my mind whenever I go anywhere alone. My husband buying me pepper spray, everyone I know telling me to be careful all the time, the nightly news…….of course I’m freaked out! I wish that this was not the kind of world that we are living in…….but it is. Until I am not hearing about all of these horrific crimes every day on the news, I will continue to watch my back. Being cautious isn’t a bad thing. I don’t assume that something will happen every time that I go out, but I want to be on the lookout in case it does.

  67. Charles Harrington said,

    January 10, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    My name is Charles Harrington, I am a freshman here at gainsville. I enjoy working on cars, or playing/watching sports. My major is still undecided, I’m not sure what I want to do with my life yet, but I plan on declaring my major before my freshman year is over.
    The recent new about Meredith Emerson’s disappearance and murder is really disturbing to me; especially since it was so close to my home. It’s really scary to think that there are people out there that would do something like this to a young girl. It could have easily happened to someone close to me. It makes me feel like I need to be more cautious of my self and loved ones when they go out at night. I don’t think anyone should every go into a secluded area or place where they couldn’t find help if they needed it. Even if you do decide to go someplace like that, you should always go in a group that way if something does happen other people will be there to help. I think that this whole Meredith Emerson situation could have been avoided if she had people with her instead of going into the woods by her self. Other people, especially young women should use this as a learning experience and not let this happen to them.

    Charles Harrington
    English 1101
    Crn: 1735

  68. Cyrena Wamsley said,

    January 10, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    Hi, my name is Cyrena Wamsley. I just recently graduated from Sprayberry High School in May 2007. Right now, this is my second semester at GSC, and then I plan to transfer to UGA to pursue my degree in Pre- Veterinary Medicine with in the nest year or so. Right now I work in a Vet office as a vet tech, and my hobbies are ridding horses and modeling.
    When I first heard about Meredith Emerson missing, I was out of town. At first, it really did not think much about this story, but when I returned home, the story was all over the news and everyone was talking about it. There I then thought to myself that since she was missing for a few days now and still was not found, there was no way that she could have been alive. I am not to much of an outdoor person, but even driving home from work every night and or going to the store by myself, I get paranoid wondering if someone is going to fallow me or come up to me and attack me. Especially when I am at home I am sure to keep my dogs around, especially my Pit, because at any time someone could just break into my house. I do not think that Meredith was at fault by any means, she was just at the wrong place at the wrong time and the unexpected happened to her.

    Cyrena Wamsley
    English 1101
    CRN: 1735

  69. Lucy Terrones said,

    January 10, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Hi, my name is Lucy Terrones. I was born in Mexico; however, I have lived all my life in Gainesville, Georgia. I am currently attending GSC to receive my associate degree and after that transfer to North Georgia. My major is nursing because I enjoy helping others. I work for The Gainesville Housing Authority as an asset manager assistant. On my free time I listen to music or go shopping when I have money.

    Question number 3
    The news about Meredith’s body being found is absolutely shocking. After being disappeared for so many years, who would have known that her body was going to appear. This story does not surprise me; in fact, I am aware of the dangers in this world. After the September 11 attacks, my opinion about this country’s security faded. I am aware that danger has always existed and that one should be on the look out no matter the situation. As a woman, I am always scared of someone attacking me everywhere I go. It has became a habit to look out for myself; therefore, this problem does not bother me or stop me from enjoying life. One has to enjoy life and not live with fear, but one should be aware of all the danger that exists.

    Lucy Terrones
    English 1101
    CRN # 1730

  70. Kayla Taylor said,

    January 10, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Hello everyone. My name is Kayla Taylor. This is my first semester here at GSC. I am attending GSC to become an RN, specialized in labor and delivery. I graduated from a high school here in Gainesville, where I have lived for the past five years. I am a very athletic person who played sports in high school and loves to be in the outdoors.

    Essay Question #3 :

    With that being said, the past few weeks have been very disturbing to me. The story of Meredith Emerson has deeply shaken me and changed the way I will view things forever. This is a young woman who was just out exercising and walking her dog, when she was abducted by a stranger. The stranger turned out to be a murderer and her body was later found. Like I said earlier, I am a very outdoorsy type of person. I love being outside doing activities and I love to hike. Although I have never been hiking alone, I now never will. Even though there are many similar stories to Meredith’s i guess one just has to hit close to home for you to really realize the danger is really out there. I am always cautious of the things I do alone, I think every woman has to be these days. What kind of world do we live in that we cannot go outside without the fear of being attaked and murdered? It is a scary thing. As much as I love to go outdoors and hike I have to be afraid of it and I can never be alone. This is not the way we should have to live.

    Kayla Taylor
    English 1101-1735

  71. Joseph Hall said,

    January 10, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    My name is Joseph Hall. I am a first year student at GSC. I have been out in the working world and been married for several years. Now I am returning to school to get my bachelors in Business Administration.

    Regarding the question posted about the Meredith Emerson headline. First, let me make it clear that I sympathize with her family and the whole situation. I believe that situations like Emerson’s are sometimes made to seem like more of an epidemic by the media then they really are. Causing people to be so afraid that it may happen to them that they no longer go out and enjoy activities they used to. You can turn your television set on to and news channel and see the headlines. They may say something like “woman abducted while hiking, beaten to death, and mutilated” or something to that effect. While it is a horrible situation, and a very scary one to consider, it is not a very common one. The story dominated the news for nearly two weeks. Making it seem as though it happens all the time. Truthfully, if you were to go hiking this weekend, the chances of you being attacked are slim to none, perhaps a chance of one in half a million. There are people in our society today that are criminals, both violent and nonviolent. There is always a chance you might be abducted or murdered. However; when I go out for a hike, the idea that I may get murdered is not at the forefront of my mind, although it may be in the recesses of my mind. I may decide to carry pepper spray, or some other form of self defense if I feel that the activity I will be doing may come with a chance of being made a victim by some sort of crime. People need to keep into perspective what the chances of this happening to you may be. You are more likely to get in a car wreck and be killed on your way to Gainesville College to attend your English 1101 class(god forbid) then you are to be abducted and murdered while hiking on a mountainside. Do you drop out of class and not take that chance anymore? I will, the chances are too small to keep me in hiding!

  72. Brittany Spallone said,

    January 10, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    My name is Brittany Spallone; I am originally from Brooklyn New York but have lived in Georgia for 14 years. I have been at Gainesville for 2 years now and majoring in business. I work at a tanning salon full time which is the reason I take night classes.

    In today’s world I think that everyone, male or female needs to be careful when they are alone. My favorite thing to do in my spare time is take my dog for a walk on this trail that goes in and out of the woods. I have been going there for over a year now and not once have I walked without my phone in hand and I NEVER walk with head phones. I don’t like the fact that when I am walking I can’t hear what’s going on around me. To me it is very sad that you have to think this way when you are doing something so uncomplicated, as in walking in the park. The one thing I think about the most is crazy people sit back and observe. They watch everything you do as if studying you; you’re habits, actions ECT. So when I am walking alone I try not to walk at the same time or day. That way they can’t figure out that you walk every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 3:00 so they can plan their attack. In closing being aware of what is around you at all times and thinking what if something does happen while I am alone, how can I get help.
    Brittany Spallone
    English 1101, 1735

  73. Ingried Ramirez said,

    January 10, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    My name is Ingried Ramirez, I am originally from Mexico, City and this is my 6th year living in the USA. I am currently in my second semester of college. This is a great challenge for me because all the different things such as the culture, language and even the way of life. I’ve come along pretty good and nothing is going to stop me from succeeding.

    I have chosen the question number 3 for many reasons. First of all because as a female I feel more fear when doing something by myself. I don’t think that now we have that much freedom that many women had. Secondly because I was born in Mexico City a place where there is a lot of crime and the place where I learned that not even when doing an outdoor activity you are at risk of getting kidnapped rob or even murder. I know that the USA is much safer but still that doesn’t mean that we are not at risk of these crimes. Finally because I just want to make a remark, I feel that it doesn’t matter where we are, it doesn’t matter if is day or night also it doesn’t matter if you are male or female we are all at risk of this and I guess that the best thing to do is to be more careful and to try to always have a company.

    Ingried Ramirez
    English 1101
    CRN # 1730

  74. Jessica Dowdle said,

    January 10, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    Hi everyone. My name is Jessica Dowdle. I am currently working as a Dental Assistant and attending GSC majoring in Dental Hygiene. I am a wife and mother of a beautiful little girl whose name is Trinity. She is the reason I chose the topic I did.
    It seems in the news everyday now that you here about some girl being raped or murdered and most of the time, both. This really touches my heart. This probably touches me more so now that I am a mom than before. I pray daily that this horrible thing does not happen to my little girl. It has to be a mother’s absolute worst fear. The disappearance and murder of Meridith Emmerson really hit home to me as I live about 9 miles from where her body was found. I have always been cautious about going out at night alone, but more so now than ever. My husband always tells me, “Make sure you have your pepper spray.” What good will pepper spray do when a man or woman comes up to me and hits me in the back on the head and knocks me unconscious? I’m sure that after this story aired that many women were more scared than before. I think that in today’s world you should consider everyone as someone who can hurt you. I know that sounds harsh, but you never know. We should always be aware and try to be as safe as we can. My thoughts and prayers go out to Meridith’s family and friends. I truly hope an angel of mercy came to her while she was going through this horrible ordeal.
    Jessica Dowdle

  75. juliana medina said,

    January 10, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    Hello my name is Juliana I am a part-time student at Gainesville College my major is Business Administration and I work full time at an insurance agency. I am a mother of two beautiful kids which I love and miss while I am away from home.
    Comment #3
    When I first heard about this story I felt sympathy for the family and hoped that she was found safe and sound. But as the days went on it seemed like things were going for the worse. Then on Monday night I heard the news ..that she was dead. You first have to ask yourself.. why was she hiking by herself on New Year’s Eve? Did she not have family or friends to spend her time with? What ever her reason was I guess we’ll never know..but I must imagine that her family might ask themselves the same question. Hearing stories like that on the news constantly do make you become more cautious about where you go, about your surroundings, and who you talk to, sometimes listening to stories like that make people change, it almost makes you not even want to go out of your house! And you can’t live a productive life being at home . When I do any outdoor activity now I try to make sure that I am with someone or that I at least have my cell phone just in case anything happens and whether we like it or not unfortunately stories like this do make a difference in the way we look at life.

    Juliana Medina
    English 1011 CRN#1735

  76. Jason Simms said,

    January 10, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    Hello everyone, my name is Jason Simms. I moved to Georgia in the summer of 1987 from Monroe, Louisiana. I am married and have two beautiful kids, ages 13 and 5. I have been attending Gainesville State College for 1-1/2 years pursing my Civil Engineering degree.


    The recent accusations of steroid use in Major League Baseball have heavily tarnished the sport of Major League Baseball. Many of these athletes that have been accused or that have admitted to taking some sort of performance enhancing drugs are role model to young kids around the world and from my point of view this tell those young kids it is already to cheat to get ahead in life. Rewards in life should be earned by hard work and dedication not by cheating. Not only are the recent accusations of steroid use in baseball tarnishing the image of Major League Baseball but also the increasing salaries of Major League players.

    One of the main questions asked by many fans, sportswriters and former Major League player is should these records or awards of these players that have admitted to use steroid or performance enhancing drugs stand in the record books. My answer that questions as a fan of Major League Baseball is absolutely no way should these cheaters but acknowledge in any records or rewards in Major League Baseball.

    Jason Simms
    English 1101 CRN# 1735

  77. Sabrina McCollum said,

    January 10, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    Hello everyone,my name is Sabrina McCollum.I moved to Georgia in 1999 from California to persue a nursing career.I am married and have four children,all boys. I am attending GSC for the LPN to RN bridge nursing program.

    The disaperance of Meredith Emerson’s is a tragic but not surprising story.Unfortuntly this often happens in our world today.I think women are more likely to get attacked and murdered than men. Or maybe it’s that the media focuses more on these stories than those of men.I used to live in downtown Los Angeles and I never thought twice about taking a walk at anytime by myself. I’m the type of person that I think things happen for a reason. Not to say that Meredith’s attack is o.k. but things like this happen all the time. It’s sad that some people feel they can’t go anywhere alone without having to watch their back,especially enjoying your favorite activities like Meredith was.

    I think you should be able to go wherever alone(or with the dog).Don’t constatly think the worst of situations,but also be smart about your safety.
    Sabrina McCollum

    English 1101 CRN 1735

  78. Jonathan Poff said,

    January 10, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    I apoligize ahead of time for this long comment and normally I would not type this much but this subject hit my heart so i felt that I must give it it’s fair exposure.

    {Question #1}

    As a devout American citizen, that is not conervative nor liberal by definition, I am disgusted with our current administration as I am with most of the Presidential candidates running in the primaries. I believe in the Constitution and I also believe that not many people in the United States really understand the Constitution any more. For example, we as a country, according to the Constitution, can not go to war without first a declaration of war on an enemy. We are currently occuping Afghanistan and Iraq without a declartion of war on either of those countries. We declared war on “terrorism”, to which is an ideal and not an actual country or enemy. Also, the Constitution states that we are only to go to war in defense and not in aggression. Hence our illeagle war in Iraq. I am not anti-war but I am anti-illeagle wars. I am anti the United States trying to conquer the world by forcing “democracy” on them.
    When I look at the Presidential candidates this is what I want. I want a President that will admit when he or she has been wrong and do what they can to fix the problem. I want a President that will actually have “We the People” in the forefront of their minds and not to continue to keep us on the back burner. I want a President that will tell us the people the truth and not continue to lie to us. I want a President that will make the United States of America the country it was in the 1940’s. What I mean by that is, in the 1940’s other countries respected us as a nation. The people as in you and I were thought of before drastic descions were made. We were a sovergin nation undevided under God. Now it seems all forgotten. Being American today out of the USA is almost like being a leopard. Nobody wants to be your friend for fear that we will get them next. Nobody respects a lying nation and nobody respects a nation of invaders. Back then we were the defenders! Back then we stood for peace, justice and liberty for all! This is not a bash just on our current President but on all of the Presidents that have raped the great United States of America for any reason!
    I mentioned that I am disgusted with most of the Presidential candidates but not all. One stands out head to toe above the rest and that man is, Dr. Ron Paul. He is considered to be a Libertarian with conservative beliefs. All a Libertarian believes in is to strictly follow the Constitution and keep the civil liberties that the founding fathers set for us no matter what. His forgeign and homeland policies are only based off what the Constitution says and the last time I checked that’s what the United States was founded on. His twenty year political record, elected ten times, as a Congressmen from Texas is perfection at it’s finest even if you disagree with his views. He has never voted one way and then gone another. That amazes me! I could go on and on about Dr. Ron Paul but I will leave it at up to you to give him a serious look and not to be another sheep that let’s Fox tell you who to vote for. You can check him out as Also, just to clear the air for some people I am not Republican nor am I Democrat as I first stated. I voted for the Democrat John Kerry in 2004 and in 2008 I will vote for the Republican Ron Paul. I vote for who I think will do the best job and refuse to get mixed up with silly titles such as Democrat or Republican.

    Jonathan Poff 1735

  79. Jeremy Daniels said,

    January 10, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    Hi, my name is Jeremy Daniels and I am attending Gainesville College as a Music major. I will not waste words to explain what I do for a living because I would rather you know who I am as an individual. I am a follower of Christ and my life’s calling is worship music.

    It was about this time last week that I heard news of a young hiker going missing in the North Georgia Mountains. Friends and families alike were praying and giving their hopes to the family of Meredith Emerson. Unlike those hopefuls, I was already convinced that some lunatic had gotten a hold of her. It is unfortunate that I felt this way in a world that God meant to be perfect. One would like to think that someone who goes missing will just pop up out of nowhere, but that just hasn’t been the case. Just recently a young girl was nabbed near her car in a public parking lot at Target, and days later her body was discovered. If it wasn’t enough to have fear of being robbed in your local dairy market now you have to watch out for the crazy man in the woods too. I just recently went on a hiking trip in the Tennessee Nantahala area with my cousins in November. My wife made sure I had all I was going to need to survive for a couple of days. She made sure I packed a flashlight, matches, a camera, and five years of karate to defend myself against a mad man! On a serious note, I do feel remorse for Meredith Emerson and I prayed for her rescue though I thought it was unlikely. I continue to pray for the comfort and peace of her family and friends through this time.

  80. Kamilla Araujo said,

    January 10, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    My name is Kamilla Araujo and I am in school to get a business degree. I have moved to Gainesville area 8 months ago to be closer to school. I currently live in an apartment by myself and sometimes it can be scary. I try not to watch the news sometimes because the media presents news in a way that will put fear on our faces. After learning about Meredith’s murder I realized that I need to be more careful sometimes when I am doing things by myself. We always tend to believe that bad things only happen to other people but the facts show us a different story. Granted that in my opinion the media exaggerates the story but the facts are still there. I am not saying anybody should live in fear because what kind of life would that be. Crimes happens everyday and sometimes the media exaggerates so we can notice them. I don’t believe that a lot of people’s nature is to always walk on fear when they go to the groceries stores at night or to a late night movie. The media tends to make us so fearful that we’ll often feel like our lives is a scary movies. My whole life I watched scary movies so I already have a creative mind and watching actual people getting kidnapped just makes things worse. But I try not to let things get to me so I still find myself shopping at Wall Mart after midnight, getting home alone after three a.m and Swimming at night during the summer. Unfortunately not everybody, especially women are not all like me. The media puts us as fragile and helpless so we get scared and kind of imprison ourselves because of the fear the y put into our minds. Granted we all need to be careful about things we do and watch our surroundings because criminals are out on the streets of every city in the world. I believe once everybody realizes that we will live better. We need to stop believing that criminals are only after the rich, the pretty, the famous, the Americans, etc. If you are a person, you are a target, whether you are white, black, Hispanic, Chinese, rich or homeless. The media might not show us any crimes other than pretty white women got murdered, but we need to at least know better. I myself will keep on biking, swimming and walking in the dark and having a creative mind about things that can be out there but that won’t stop me from living my live. As long as we are careful we can enjoy things early in the morning or late at night.

    Kamilla Araujo
    English 1101 CRN#1735

  81. Holly Colgan said,

    January 10, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    Hey , my name is Holly Colgan I was born in Atlantic City, NJ. I moved to Gainesville, GA when I was very young so Ive pretty much grew up here. Im currently attending Gainesville State to pursue a career in nutrition and Gainesville State was my best option. I hope to go to North Georgia after I graduate.

    Question # 3

    I think Meredith Emerson, a women murdered by an ax-wielding madman ,strikes a fear in anyone who goes out in the wilderness now, along with movies like the Blair Witch Project, and just the fear of going anywhere that could potentially be dangerous because you never know whats out there . I think what happened to Meredith proves to everyone the world is full of outragiously insane people or even what happened to her, makes you come to your own realization that fear something you could one day unexpectedly experience. Movies like the Blair Witch Project would scare anyone who is about to go camping, hiking, etc. It ultimately puts that fear in the back of your head that maybe something is out there even if you cant see it. After seeing any scary and attacking movie I do experience fear and worry even if its walking to my car after getting out of a late movie or leaving school to get in my car in the dark. I remember one night I took out the trash to place in the cans behind my house, which is located directly across from the woods, and dropped the bags as quick as I possibily could because some sort of fear struck me. Im not sure why but I think hearing things like what happened to Meredith and seeing Movies such as The Blair Witch often help place that fear somewhere in my mind and its just something that is extremely hard to erase.

  82. Tony Beatty said,

    January 10, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    My Name is Tony Beatty I am a political science major and hopefully one day I will be either a politician or working for one.
    Change…. what does that really mean? The dictionary says to transform or convert, but I think that it really doesn’t matter if you say change I want to know what kind of change. Good change or bad change, which can be viewed in many different ways but the sorry thing, is that most of the candidates aren’t talking about what kind of change. Yes younger voters will probably have an affect on this campaign and that’s not good. Younger voters take one of the most sacred processes we have in this country and screw it up. They listen to rock stars on TV or other celebrities that don’t know anything,(most) other than it just feels good to be protesting something. If I could tell some of these kids anything about voting it would be not to, because there uninformed and just void an informed vote. If I could change things I would get politicians power to collect my income of the table because that is one of the most intrusive things the government is doing forget wire taps on telephones how about you complete financial history. In the Fifth Amendment of out US Constitution it says no person should be deprived of life liberty, or property. The last time I checked my pay check was my property being stolen by the federal government. One of the most important things to change is the tax code from an intrusive theft of taking money to more of a fair way of taking money. Lord knows that taxes aren’t collecting taxes fair now; the top 25 % of income earners in the US pay 86 % of the federal taxes collected!! Now does that seem fair to you. The best way to solve this is the Fair Tax. It is the most researched method of tax reform in the country ( $22 million worth) and instead of tax your income (time, work, and productivity) it taxes your consumption that means you get your whole pay check and only pay taxes on things you buy. It also lets you be the decider on when you want to give money to the government. This would make it fair every one pays the same thing plus drug dealers and illegal immigrants. There is a lot more info at That’s one more thing we should change the heavy flow of illegal immigrants into our country draining our country of resources. I am not saying round up all the illegal’s here just stop the flow and figure a way out to keep them here on a temporary basis. But it would be stupid to try to fix the problem of the being in the country if several more can just take there place. The last thing I would change would be democrats (if I could) they have completely went off the deep end. Democrats want to change our healthcare system to be federally ran, that would be one of the stupidest things we could do as a nation just ask people waiting in Canada for 6 months to get a X-ray because of the long waiting list. The best way to fix healthcare is to get the government out and let the doctors and the corporations (pew) figure it out. Now it is time for me to stop rambling.
    Thank you for reading.
    Tony Beatty English 1101 CRN#1735

  83. Brad Birney said,

    January 10, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    Hi everyone, my name is Brad Birney. I have been a student as GSC for a few years now working towards a degree in Business. I grew up in Rockdale County and have moved to NE Georgia in the last few years where I work full time for an automotive restoration business.

    The outdoors has always held a special place in my heart for most of my life. On any given weekend I can find myself mountain biking at Tsali, camping in Pisgah, four wheeling at Tellico, or hiking the AT in western carolina. The outdoors is what it is, the outdoors. You are open to nature’s fury and it beauty all at the same time, along with everything else that comes along with it.

    Usually when I go somewhere my biggest worry is the weather, food, or first aid if needed. I have had my moments where my personal security has been in question, but never in the way that Meredith’s was in the Appalachian Mountains. While sleeping in a tent on top of a mountain gives a real feel of seclusion, I have wondered about what else is out there while lying on my back looking up at the stars. Precautions are usually taken to avoid bears and mountain lions, but that’s about the extent of my worries on personal bodily harm. Some of the places that we take the Jeeps are hours from the closest hospital or auto parts store. We always carry spare parts, first aid kit, warm clothes, and extra food at the least. I don’t worry about getting stuck in the woods without help, but I do worry about getting stuck in the woods without first aid. It’s simply not worth the risk, period.

    I will defiantly think of what happened to the young girl from Georgia every time I drive up Hwy 129 into the mountains for time to come. I can identify with her as one of my own because that could have been me or someone I love in the same situation. I have always told myself that I can never be too careful; this for me will just serve as a reminder why that statement is so true.

    Brad Birney
    English 1101 CRN 1735

  84. Rick Sakal said,

    January 10, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    My name is Rick Sakal; I am married with two daughters, ages twenty-five and twenty-one. I last attended college in 1980. I am currently a school bus driver and high school football coach. Previous to that I was employed as a Consultant in the Information Technology field for twenty plus years. I love to fish and waterfowl hunt.
    Question #1
    With the upcoming Presidential election in November ’08 and all the talk about change, I believe the question we have to ask ourselves’ is what specific changes do we want to occur? Change in and of itself is not always a good thing. Is the change being driven by the majority or by special interest groups? This will be the 10th Presidential Election I have voted in and I have seen a lot of changes. Some of those changes were driven by a majority mandate and have benefited the entire country while having very little negative impact. I have also seen changes that only a select few received the benefit, while having a major impact on most of the country. So what I think you have to ask yourself; is the change being touted by many of the candidates a change you can live with?

  85. Jung Oh said,

    January 10, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Hello, my name is Jung Oh. This is my thrid semester at Gainseville. My original plan was going medical school and become a doctor. However, things have changed over spring break so I decided to work to support my parents. I did not want to stop learning so I decided to take night classes.

    Question3 :
    Since I am a man, I have nothing to be afraid of. And the main reason is that I believe in destiny. In my culture, people perfer to learn some kind of martial arts to protect themselves. I was co-master in Korean Tigers Tae Kwon Do and many people believe that learning martial arts can prevent them from stranger’s attack. It is very true but, I belive nothing can protect an individual from destiny. Merdeith Emerson was entertaining herself like all other people and got murdered. If she carried somekind of protection weapons or mastered high level in martial arts, she probably increased her percentage to survive. Also, It can be soud very harsh but, it is just a destiny that she cannot escape from. It is just a small event in everyday life. From this event, many people will get scared of going out at night or by themselves for few days, or weeks. However, I am sure that their psychological pressure from the tragic murder will get along as they live because walking, riding, hiking is just a regular entertainments for many people.

  86. Stirling Ricks said,

    January 10, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    My name is Stirling Ricks; this is my first semester back after a 10 year break. I am seeking a degree in business administration am a native of Gainesville and other than a three years in the U.S.Army I have lived here all my life. Meredith Emerson’s disappearance is shocking because of the rarity of such crimes in this area. However it should be a reminder to all female or male, old or young to always be aware of your surroundings. We still don’t know many of the circumstances of the encounter but we can all learn. I don’t know if I have always been this way or if it been since my training in the military, But I find myself always wondering “what if ___ happens”. I constantly think about situations, some good, mostly bad. How would I react? What would instinct tell me to do? What logically should I do to protect my myself, my family and others who may be in the situation also? I think a great deal of tragedies could be avoided if people thought ahead and prepared mentally for defending themselves against violent acts by others. I spent 3 years as an Airborne Ranger. During this time we rehearsed for hundreds of missions. Through these seeming endless rehearsals we went through the entire mission over and over, so that when it came time to do it for real you could almost go with your eyes closed. But there was always the unexpected. If you look at any military handbook there is inevitably a part on a contingency plan. What to do when every thing you have prepared for has changed. This is the worst. This is where self reliance gets going. Mentally you prepare yourself, run endless situations through your head. Prepare mentaly, visualize yourself react in a situation and it can often change the way you instinctively react when placed in that situation. I do not know if this way of thinking might have changed Ms.Emersons Fate or not ,but I see to many people who are totally ill prepared for for even minor situations such as walking through a parking lot. I feel terribly sorry for the family and friends of Ms. Emerson. I never want to the pain they are going through. I have two small children now and I am trying to teach them that there are many dangers in the world. I think that it is important to remember that although we are older and bigger now, some of those dangers seem to have gone away, many more take there place.

  87. Joellen Street said,

    January 10, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    Hi, my name is Joellen Street, a first year non-traditional student at GSC. Currently, I am a Postal Carrier by day and seeker of knowledge two evenings a week. I enjoy most sports and believe a good gut-busting round of laughter each day is good for the soul.

    Question #3

    Food for thought …

    Meridith Emerson, another tragic loss of life in the Headlines. I would like to believe that each and every one of us will use the buddy system, be aware of our surroundings, the people that surround
    us, being just a little bit more circumspect. Admire the blue skies, and blooming flowers, but keep Meridith in mind when the stranger strikes up a conversation with you and the feeling of uneasiness and danger forms in the pit of your stomach. Notice the person who looks a lil’ out of place, step up and offer help to the person who looks in need. I hope we all pay attention, learn from the tragedy of Miss Emerson and so many others who have suffered and perished at the hands of ill will. Unfortunately, we seem to be a “Headline” society.
    Whatever happens in the headlines can create havoc to happiness, until the next headline appears. We seem to discard the story beneath the headline as if it were fictional. We seem to all collectively believe things like this don’t happen in my town, city or neighborhood. My neighbors are nice, look normal, drive nice cars etc. Our parks are beautiful, kept nice, the police even patrol. That couldn’t happen here. We mumble these things as we put the paper in the recycle bin. The headline, the story, the girl, the murderer and the paper all tossed in the recycle bin.
    The recycle bin what an odd place for tragedy.

  88. Brittany Spallone said,

    January 15, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    I think that Global Warming is something to be worried over. We don’t think about this issue on a day to day basis because we have not really experienced the negative affects from it. This makes me wonder; do we have to be affected by it first for something to be done about it? My dad always told me to take care of my things because they will last forever if I do. We only have one Earth and we are not taking care of it! In the science section of the New York Times it states “the release of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases from smokestacks, tailpipes and burning forests has played a central role in raising the average surface temperature of the earth by more than 1 degree Fahrenheit since 1900.” This shows that we know what causes global warming but are not to concerned about doing anything to fix it or make matters better.

    Brittany Spallone
    Engl 1101, 1735

  89. Brad Birney said,

    January 15, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    Many are quick to point out that we are humans contribute to the rise in Global Warming. There is so much information available about this subject that it absolutely boggles my mind; how anyone can determine a clear cut opinion seems challenging in the least. All we can do is individually do our best and plan for the worst. A realistic and individual effort is the best way to corner the expansion of Global Warming.

    With the way that the economy is this days, affordability has a much larger stake in everyone’s lives. All of our technology to combat this problem is still very new and is advancing year by year. Once we can make it obtainable for individuals and industry to be more compliant with mother earth, I believe we will see a drastic change in effort and forward progress. $30,000.00 dollars for a hybrid is what we are looking at now for your low end hybrid automobile. In a society where the mean income is $24,000.00, this green ride is unobtainable for most. As times get better, technology improves, “green” goods become more affordable, I believe that we will see a increase from just saying “go green”, to actually “going green”.

    From Larry West’s article, “Controlling Global Warming is Cost-Effective and Within Reach”, he states “Government funding in real absolute terms for most energy research programs has been flat or declining for nearly two decades, and is now about half of the 1980 level,”.

    This quote brings attention to the fact that the lack of technology is slowing down progress for a better environment. Once we bring someone to the podium that will face this and actually do something about it, it will be a much more obtainable goal for everyone. Unfortunately for us right now, talking about something and actually doing something still remains light-years apart from one another.

    Brad Birney
    1735 English 1101

  90. Carolina Carrion said,

    January 20, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Hi, My Name is Carolina Carrion, I’m 25 years old and I recently came back from a Trip to my homeland Ecuador.
    Being in Ecuador I noticed a few things that contrasted a lot with my day to day conversations here in the United States, one of them was that everywhere you went people had an opinion about the politics of the country. My country’s political history is very disappointing, particularly in the last ten years, however I must say that I liked the fact that people were somewhat aware of what was going on, no matter if they agreed or disagreed, they were aware. I don’t think that happens as much here, and I must say that I myself sin of not knowing quite well what is going on and who is who, but I made an agreement to change that in my experience, even though I can’t vote, at least be aware. It is evident that Change is a big word in these last campaigns, and I think that is a good thing, but far more important than what the candidates offer for change, the responsibility is in us to vote, to be informed, to look beyond the clichés and to have an opinion on the matter. We seem to be passionate about voting for an American Idol, but we don’t seem to put nearly as much interest in learning about what is going on, politically speaking. In other words, I’m exited about Change, but I think that for it to be healthy it needs to occur on us first, so that we may discern wisely what we want for this country.

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