Heritage arts, music, skills and history were showcased at Saturday’s event.
Doug Hubbs, right, of Cave Creek Pottery demonstrates the art of “throwing a pot” at the 11th annual Folk Festival in downtown Franklin.
Photo by Betsey Gooder
View more pics and the full gallery after the jump!
Superintendent addresses concerns regarding move to digital textbooks
After members of the community voiced concern regarding the Macon County School District’s decision to move to a 1:1 format for digital textbooks in high school across the district, Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin reached out to members of the media to share information regarding the process.
In this coming school year, all high school students in Macon County will take part in the initiative to provide 1:1 digital learning devices (iPads) fully equipped with textbooks to students.
“State funding allocated toward purchasing new textbooks has been steadily reduced from $297,726 in 2008-2009 to $62,773 in 2013-2014,” explained Dr. Baldwin.
MEC teacher invents electronics kits for students
Talking to a former student about her experience learning electronics in college, Macon Early College teacher Dan Alich began wondering why basic electronics were not taught in high school and younger grades. Alich, who acquired a passion for finding out what made things tick while growing up working with electronic kits, wanted to find a way to bring electronics into his classroom at MEC.
“While struggling in my classroom/club to help students learn and understand electronics and programming, I started to look for a complete process and design for building and teaching,” said Alich.
Last month, World War II veteran and Macon County resident, Herb Simmons, 92, returned to the D-day battlefields of Normandy where he had been a part of the invasion that had driven back and ultimately stopped the German war machine. Within a year, Hitler had committed suicide and the German armies surrendered, ending the war in Europe.
The 70th Anniversary of the invasion was commemorated at Omaha Beach¸ on June 6, 2014. Both the U.S President Barack Obama and President of the French Republic, Francois Hollande, spoke at the ceremony honoring the Allied soldiers who fought and died there to preserve the liberties Americans enjoy each day.
The 17th Annual Burns Night Dinner will be held at Tartan Hall on Saturday, Jan. 19. This supper, with a traditional five course menu, is held world wide on Jan. 25 or as close to the date as possible. This year is the 254th anniversary of Robert Burns’ birth.
Celtic customs are dramatic and colorful and contributed to the politics of Great Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries. After centuries of fighting across the border, the English monarchy conquered the clans of the Scottish Highlands in 1745. Every attempt was made to eradicate Scottish customs. Speaking Gaelic and Olde Scots was forbidden, for example, and schools and businesses were required to use only English. Born a generation after the Battle of Culloden, Robert Burns, a farmer and a poet from Ayrshire in Scotland, wrote down many of the Gaelic folk songs and pub melodies that were almost forgotten. He also set many of his poems to old tunes.
Burns was a handsome, musical young fellow and not a very good farmer. Instead, he became an entertainer in the salons of Edinburgh.
Although he died in his 40s in 1796, he is considered the National Poet of modern Scotland to this day for retaining a rich musical culture that was almost lost. Robert Burns suppers are now held on every continent. It is often asked, “How did a country musician become a worldwide celebrity?” During the 19th century, Great Britain was an imperialist super power. Its military was largely staffed by Scots. Wherever these soldiers were stationed (India, Australia, South Africa, Canada. etc), they loved and taught Burns’ songs around the campfires and in the classrooms until the songs were known universally.
The Burns Night meal incorporates a number of Scottish events including the “Calling Out of the Clans,” a parade of present guests carry their clan banners, form a pattern, a circle or an “x” and call out the name of their district or clan. The Haggis, a meatloaf of liver, other meat and oats is carried at the head of a parade of officials and the “Ode to the Haggis” by Robert Burns is performed in Scots dialect. Arthur Hays, a lawyer from Murphy, does this at the dinner here. Other recitations may include the “Immortal Memory of Robert Burns,” and Scottish songs by local vocalists. This year, an octet from the “Carolines” and “Men Macon Music” will perform. The entertainment is held together with piping by Jean Hayes and music by the “Caledonia Swing Band” from Georgia. Scottish Dancing completes the evening (Elaine and Bob McCollum will be instructing) and concluding with “Auld Lang Syne.”