Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Staff Council

Staff News: September 2012

  • Shades of Fall

    Shades of Fall

    The best season of New England is fall. The leaves turn beautiful shades of red, gold, and green. You can go to the apple orchards with their sweet aroma calling you to pick the most delicious apples fresh off the tree. Pumpkins are waiting to be picked and carved into spooky jack-o-lanterns’ for Halloween and pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving.

    Harvest festivals and country fairs are lots of fun for family and friends. They have baking and craft competitions and pie eating contests for those of you who do not fill up easily. Walk around the fair and you can enjoy looking at farm animals, going on rides, and playing games to win a prize. A hay ride is a treat that children of any age would love. Sitting on a bale of hay in a wagon being pulled buy a pair of beautiful horses is the ideal end to a fun filled day.

    How about a trip to wine country? Did you know that many parts of New England produce wine? I did not know that Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maine all produced wine and offer tours. From what I hear you will even get a chance to sample some of the product at the end of the tour.

    Fall is also a very happy time for most parents. Yes, the start of school. The big yellow buses, crossing guards, children in their new outfits, with their backpacks filled with school supplies. It is also a busy time for Wheaton. The students have returned and classes have resumed.

    I was asked a few weeks ago by someone at Patty’s Place on route 123 when the Wheaton students would return. The return of the students means a lot to the establishments in the town of Norton. We call ourselves the Wheaton bubble, but to the town of Norton, Wheaton it is more like a blanket. It covers the town with Wheaton students and much needed revenue for our economy.

    Fall has many shades, more than just beautiful color and fun things to do, it also means with the return of students, business increases for local merchants and more jobs appear to help with the increase.

    Fall is the best season of New England.
    —submitted by Alice Santos

  • Miracle Boy

    Professor’s film selected for Venice festival

    Professor Jake Mahaffy’s latest film "Miracle Boy" will have its world premiere at the 69th Venice International Film Festival on September 6 and 8. Mahaffy's is the only U.S. film among 14 international short films selected for this year's Orizzonti competition. The world's longest-running annual film festival will also screen 18 feature films (including new films by Paul Thomas Anderson, Terrence Malick, and Brian De Palma) competing for the top award—the Golden Lion.

    The award-winning independent filmmaker’s work has been shown at festivals around the world. In addition to this year's Venice film festival, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts plans to showcase a collection of Mahaffy’s films on September 27 and 28.

    Mahaffy works on his projects throughout the year, sometimes shooting during semester breaks to make critically acclaimed, micro-budgeted films, usually using first-time performers as actors. So far, he has completed two feature-length films and 12 short films, and is developing several other features. Some of his work can be seen at burnbarrelfilms.com.

    Miracle Boy is an adaptation of a story by West Virginia author Pinckney Benedict in which a boy risks his life to apologize to another. Benedict and Mahaffy became friends when they both taught at a small college in Virginia.

    The 17-minute film was shot over six days in August 2011 in West Virginia using eight actors, and Mahaffy has been editing it since. He screened a rough cut of it in his Wheaton screenwriting course as part of lesson on film adaptations.

    Students read the original short story, read Mahaffy’s screenplay adaptation, and then viewed the short film. They also were included in a Skype discussion with the professor and Benedict about the process.

    “This gave them a view of how original material changes from literature to cinema,” said Mahaffy. “Their ideas, questions and suggestions helped me resolve a few things in the edit.”

  • Reading Recommendations: September picks

    Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

    The 1893 World Fair in Chicago has a sinister if relatively unknown side story.  While most of the world marveled at the immense spectacle of the fair a charming doctor enticed the naïve to his World Fair Hotel for nefarious purposes.  Larson brings this factual tale to light weaving the story of the fair and the architects who built it, with the serial killer who used the event as an opportunity to commit crime.

    Read it if: you want a titillating and historically factual tale.

    Skip it if: reading about past killings seems too voyeuristic.

    The Psychopath Test
    by Jon Ronson

    This riveting read takes you into the industry of psychopaths, namely the scientists and doctors who study them in a quest to provide answers to the question of who or what exactly is a psychopath?  Surprisingly full of humor, this piece of investigative journalism will both inform and entertain you.

    Read it if: psychopaths, mental health, and the inherent madness of extremely driven high-performers fascinate you.

    Skip it if: the idea of reading about the “madness industry” seems disturbing rather than delightful.


    Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson

    Following up on her blog success, Lawson has written an uproariously funny memoir.  Rather than shrinking from childhood trauma as subject matter, Lawson recognizes that our cringe-worthy memories are what define us, and if your dad was an amateur taxidermist who liked to bring feral animals home to be rehabilitated, you’d have a lot of material for a book too.

    Read it if: you want to know how her boyfriend responded when he was greeted by having a bobcat thrown in his lap.

    Skip it if: reading about awkward situations doesn’t make you laugh it just makes you feel uncomfortable.


    The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

    This debut novel is heartbreaking and mesmerizing.  The central character, Vanessa Jones, grew up in foster care and is scarred emotionally by her experiences.  While she is unable to connect with people, she has amazing abilities with flowers and using their hidden meanings to communicate and help others.

    Read it if: you want a well-crafted story ripe with symbolism.

    Skip it if: you find it difficult to read about damaged characters and childhood trauma.

     Submitted by: Lauren Slingluff, Social Sciences Liaison/LIS

  • Google Tools

    Don’t know what Google is? You’ve probably been living in the wilderness for the past ten years. Whether it’s your favorite search engine or you are a devout Gmail user for email, most people are familiar with Google in some capacity.  Google isn’t just for searching the Internet though; they also have a whole suite of productivity tools.

    Launched earlier this year, Google Drive stores your documents and allows you to edit and share them online. You can even have multiple people collaborate on one document at the same time. Google Docs lives within Google drive and contains the applications that allow you to create a document, presentation, spreadsheet, form, or drawing.

    Google Calendar has some of the same great options as other Google productivity tools: your calendar can be accessed online from anywhere and it can easily be shared with others.  You also have the ability to color code different activities and include a task list along with your daily appointments.

    Perhaps one of the least utilized Google tool is Google Sites. With a Google account you can use Sites to create websites that have multiple pages and a sophisticated appearance, all without you having to learn HTML or do any coding. The sites can have different permissions on them, meaning that you can make them available to the whole wide world, shared with just a few people, or private so that only you can access it.

    Google prides itself on making products that are intuitive to use and easily accessible, so rather than reading about how easy they are to use, go and try some today.

    Submitted by: Lauren Slingluff
    Social Sciences Liaison/LIS

  • Congratulations to David Brown of the Grounds Department on completing his first triathlon!

    On Sunday, August 12th, Dave participated in the "Tri to Crush Cancer" triathlon held in North Attleboro. The triathlon consisted of a 300 yard swim, a 10 mile bike ride, followed by a 3 mile
    run. Dave finished 3rd in his age group with a great time of 1:18:52.

    Nice job Dave!

  • Luck is spelled W-O-R-K!

    I have just treated my entire office to breakfast, complements of Wendy’s and 95.5, and the chance to be one of 100 people eligible to win a two-year lease on a car at Paw Sox McCoy Stadium. I got to see the Paw Sox game but was not chosen to be a finalist to try a key for the car lease.

    This opportunity was a result of my hobby: entering contests. It is fun to share my winnings and show what can be done with a simple 3x5 piece of paper or a facebook entry. Later that week I won an Xbox with Kennect and 20,000 points to purchase Microsoft merchandise and a $50.00 check from Darden Restaurants. My hobby is fun and I share the benefits with friends and family on a constant basis. My family gets at least $500.00 in gift cards each Christmas as a result of my “part-time job.”

    Many people say I am lucky. I can only say that luck is spelled W-O-R-K and I spend at least 1 hour a day entering contests. I reserve the hour of 9-10 pm for this work. It basically is a part-time job. There are so many ways to win prizes and many of these are big. My largest prizes have been trips, cruises and $5,000.00, $2,000 and $1,000 checks. I win lots of small checks, gift cards, T-shirts, mugs, tickets to patriots and Red Sox games, etc. Most of my prizes are small but plentiful and it is fun to know the UPS and FEDEX men by name as they arrive on my doorstep at least once a week.
    One of the many ways you can win prizes is through rewards programs. Of all the rewards programs out there, My Coke Rewards is my favorite. Their prizes are phenomenal and no other company comes close to their Customer Service level. Okay, there are a few others, but Coca-Cola is at the top of my list when it comes to awarding prizes. I have won many gift cards, tickets to theme parks, and sporting events from My Coke Rewards and several of my friends who do contesting have reported winning trips, appliances, cameras, TVs and more. If you ever want to get on my good side...just hand me an ice cold Coke! The caps on those cokes contain pure gold in my opinion. I just plug them in to my Rewards account and then use my points to enter the multitude of My Coke Rewards sweepstakes and instant win games.

    Coca-Cola usually adds about 20-30 new promotions to their website each month, so imagine my surprise when I say that they added a record 144 sweepstakes on August 1, 2012. Well over 100 of these are for football tickets/events to a huge variety of College and Professional games. No matter which teams you cheer for, My Coke Rewards probably has game tickets you will want to win! Of course, since this is a sweepstakes, you DO NOT have to purchase Coke products to enter. There is a mail-in method of entry for each of these. I won Six Flags theme park tickets using the mail-in method of entry and two years of weekly $20 gift cards for my grandson while he was in college. Regardless of how you enter, My Coke Rewards offers some fantastic prizes and we all know that someone will win...hopefully it will be you! Join me in my rewarding hobby. However, beware of what you enter and make sure you read the rules. My suggestion is to join a contest club or subscribe to a contest newsletter.

    —submitted by Judi Razee

Learning opportunities


  • Lunchtime Bingo is back!

    Conference and Events Services is hosting BINGO!  Our bingo games are a big hit with lots of laughs and some great prizes too.  We invite you to join us for another chance to try your luck!  Don't forget to bring your lunch as you will want to stay, play, and maybe even win!

    Monday, October 8, 2012
    12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
    BHCC Atrium

    Brought to you by your friendly staff in Conference and Events Services. 


  • Want to go to NYC to shop?

    We are excited to announce that Conference and Event Services has arranged a bus trip to New York City on Saturday, November 10, 2012! The bus will leave Wheaton at 6:00 AM (sharp!) and depart from NYC at 6:00 PM (sharp!).

    The cost of the trip is $40 per person, and it's due at sign up. Literally: no cash, no seat.

    Open to your friends and family, and the cost is non-refundable. Should you need to cancel you must find a replacement.

    Sign-ups will begin on Monday, September 24, 2012 in the C & E Services Office, lower level of Balfour Hood.

  • Jane-and-Staghorn1

    Greenhouse Open House and Repotting Clinic

    On Tuesday Oct. 9, 2012 11am to 2pm, come browse through the state-of-the-art Wheaton Greenhouses and enjoy the blend of technology and beauty. Walk from the Rainforest to the Desert and then to the Temperate environment and see what each climate has to offer to our senses and the plants that live there. See orchids in bloom, cotton on a cotton bush, succulents galore and primitive Cycads.

    The greenhouses sport automatic shade curtains, fully electronic controls, growth chambers for environmentally monitored plant growth, and a rooftop weather sensor.

    Bring along a pot bound plant for expert assistance in repotting. Soil and non-decorative pots are available on site. Donations will be accepted to cover cost of materials.

  • Indie Arts Fest

    Indie Arts Fest

    Please join us on Fillmore Drive by Meadows for the Indie Arts Fest on Saturday, October 13, 2012 as we celebrate Homecoming and Family Weekend. Local artisans and crafters will be vending their handmade goods. Live music and food trucks will also be part of the Homecoming Lunch.

    If you would like to reserve a table to vend your handmade crafts or art email sail@wheatonma.edu. For all the details visit and SAIL website and look for the Indie Arts link.



  • Items for sale

    We live on campus near the Public Safety office- everything can be carried if you've got help. No deliveries: just pay, take it and god be with you.

    • Classic genuine leather couch: in solid, good shape. Wood frame, removable seat cushion covers. No pets/smokers/smells. Untreated leather is worn, has faded spots. This thing is huge and comfortable: 81" long, 36" deep, 30" high. $100 OBO.
    • Padded rocking chair in great condition, clean, quiet, solid, comfortabulous wooden rocker. Matching rocking ottoman. Pretty straight forward- sit and rock. $40 or B.O.

    Contact Jake Mahaffy at x3645 or by email: mahaffy_jake@wheatoncollege.edu


  • 1985 Yamaha 540 XLV snowmobile for sale

    1985 Yamaha 540 XLV snowmobile for sale

    A great sled with only about 2200 original miles on it! It starts right up every time. Just had a $400 tune-up done on it last fall and was offered $1500 for the sled alone because it is in such amazing shape, and the trailer is easily worth another $400.

    The lights work, it has heated grips (that get so hot you have to turn them off) and it has eletronic ignition. It is oil injected, so you do not have to mix fuel and it had only ever had Yamalube oil used in it.

    The only defect on the whole sled is a very small rip in the seat right on the seam of the two-up seat. It is minor and has black duct tape over it so you can't see it unless you look for it.

    Contact: Kristin Turcotte by email: turcotte_kristen@wheatoncollege.edu

    $1000.00 or B.O.

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