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President's Corner

by Neil Morris

Student Commission President

Welcome students, I hope you are enjoying your semester. This year is off to a great start! Thanks to all of our hard-working representatives spending volunteer hours planning the events. I need your help, Student Commission is the student's voice to the administration. Please, if survey's come your way from the Student Commission, take a few, and fill it out! Remember Rock Valley College is the students. If you have any comments or questions, come and talk to us in our meetings at 1:00 in the afternoon on Mondays. They are held in the Student Center, classroom G-9.

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Phi Theta Kappa Invites New Members

Amy Winking

Phi Theta Kappa Advisor

This time of year is always exciting for me as the advisor of Phi Theta Kappa International Society. At the beginning of each semester, we invite qualified students to join our organization. To be invited a student must:

1. Have earned at least 12 college credits

2. During the semester of at least 6 college level credits, earn a grade

point average (GPA) of at least 3.5.

3. Have a cumulative grade point of at least 3,25.

If you think you qualify and do not receive an official letter of invitation within the next two weeks, please stop by in counseling and ask me to check for you. Have a great semester!

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Top Ten Favorite Movies

by Bethany Bollman

The Valley Forge

If you had to choose your top ten favorite movies of all times, what would you pick? Think about it, there are no limits. You can select from any movie ever made. Would they be action flicks? Would they be scary?

It isn't easy to take all of those movies and narrow them down to your top ten favorites, but I did! Some of them are funny. Some made me cry. These are the movies I can recite by heart. I could watch them over and over, and never get bored with them. Here are my top ten picks:

10. Star Wars: Everyone likes this movie... right Eric?

9. Goonies: Enough said.

8. Sixteen Candles: Great 80's movie. Molly Ringwald is awesome!

7. Top Gun: Tom Cruise looks good in uniform.

6. Empire Records: I wish my job was this fun.

5. Pretty Woman: I need to find a guy like that.

4. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: It's all about the great family Christmas, right?

3. Rain Man: Dustin Hoffman is one of my favorite actors

2. The Breakfast Club: All detention should be this fun.

1. Billy Madison: Adam Sandler. Need I say more? 

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Sitting on top of the world with my legs hanging free

Carrie Istad

The Valley Forge

Yes, Dave Matthews fans, by some act of God, I have achieved the impossible. I have done the unthinkable. I have stepped into the light.

The story begins with a very important phone call three days prior to DMB's show at the World Music Theater in Tinley Park. The person on the phone was a good friend of mine, who just happens to be the fiancé of a Mr. Carter Beauford. We made plans to have lunch on the day of the first show with at a restaurant close to the venue.

Day 1

Upon completion of our lunch date, she laid out an offer that I could not refuse. She asked me to hang out with her for the day. Needless to say, we went back to the hotel to "freshen up," and were then off to the concert!

The guys were in sound check when we arrived, so we just waited on the bus. Soon thereafter, Carter hopped on the bus. He was really excited to see his fiancé, and I was really excited to see him! Guess what?!? He remembered me! It was like seeing an old friend. We just sat around and chatted. I asked to use the phone, and Carter directed me to one that was actually behind the stage. When I finished up with my call, I rounded the corner and ran smack into Dave. He grabbed me and hugged me. I am not lying when I say that the "embrace" was at least 8 seconds. Oh, and I also got a little kiss. He was a tad sweaty, but I loved it. It smelled like Dave. You may ask what he smells like, this I cannot explain. But, whatever the scent, it is breathtaking. Needless to say, he remembered me too! I talked with him for a few minutes, and then left him to his before show rituals. Anyhow, I went on my merry, and may I emphasize merry, way back to the busses. Carter arranged for us to have really great seats, and we happily danced and sang the warm night air away. I think maybe the best part of the show was when I got to grab my Mom from her seats, and bring her on the side of the stage to watch the last couple songs of the night. We had such a fabulous time, as we jumped up and down in time with her favorite song, "Ants Marching."

After the show concluded, we said good-bye to my Mom, and went back down to the busses to wait for the boys. We hung out for awhile with Dave, Carter, Boyd, Stefan, and Leroi. I also was able to meet Stefan's wife and little baby, "Diggy." My friend that accompanied me on this trip, was quite amused using the bathroom on the bus. When she announced the need for the facilities, Carter said, "Rule number one. No number 2." We cracked up! This did not stop her from partaking in this bathroom exploration.

We left a little later, and went back to the hotel to spend the night with my friends. We had our own little slumber party! The next morning, me and my friend drove back to Rockford to get ready for the Alpine Valley show that evening.

Day 2

Myself, accompanied by another close pal and 2 batches of homemade cookies for the boys (one chocolate chip, and one oatmeal raisin-I had special requests) made the trek to meet everybody in Wisconsin at the hotel. We arrived a tad on the late side, due to my lack of any sort of direction following skills. Upon arrival at the show, we had a picnic with everyone. The food was wonderful, they now have Bob Dylan's ex-catering service. I had to use the phone again, so I made my way to the restroom. There is always a phone by the bathrooms, right? I ran into Dave on my way to the facilities. Right away, he asked, "Do you have to pee?" I said, "Actually, I have to use the phone." He responded, "I think someone took the kids to the pool in here, why don't you follow me and I'll take you to another phone." I happily obliged. What a nice guy! The room he took me to was cool-looking. When I finally got a hold of my brother-hence the phone call- I was standing next to the practice room. He could hear Leroi tuning up all 30 million (exaggeration) of his instruments in the next room. How cool is that?

Eventually we went out to the venue to watch the show. It was the best I have ever seen, and this was my 6th time at a Dave Matthews concert. Carter arranged for great seats once again, and we ate, drank, and were quite merry. They played "Dancing Nancies" that night, which is my all-time most favorite DMB song. It was weird, but I felt like if I died right then, that it wouldn't matter. It was the happiest that I have ever been. It was a smile in my soul.

After the show, we went backstage and drank some Heineken. Carter turned on some sort of scary voodoo movie. I went to the car to grab the cookies that my friend, and accomplice for the night, Kelly, had baked especially for the boys. The oatmeal raisin especially for Carter. (They are his favorite.) The chocolate chip for everyone else. Chocolate chip is really the universal cookie! Well, I tried to pawn the Oatmeal raisin off on Dave, and then he yelled out, "I am a chocolate chip man!" With that he grabbed 2 more out of the box. We watched the creepy movie, with Dave explaining the entire thing in detail to ME! It was so unbelievable. We were just friends, pals if I may. The evening ended with me capturing some of the great moments with my fun saver camera, and a couple of friendly kisses from Dave.

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Best Movies of the Year

by Jeff Bergstrom

The Valley Forge

The two best films of 1998 are playing simultaneously in the fair heartland town of Rockford, Saving Private Ryan, and Smoke Signals. These two movies are well acted, so well written, and so well directed that it reminds you, after a summer of Armageddons and Godzillas, and sappy Hope Floats, and that one about Stella Groovin' again, of just what a movie is supposed to do.

A movies chief purpose is to entertain. Perhaps the entertainment industry has forgotten what that means. Boys and girls, let us look up the word in the dictionary and see what old Websters has to say about this. entertain: To receive into or keep in the mind; to consider or dwell upon; to engage the attention of agreeably. Keep. Consider. Dwell. Engage. Not a shock or wow or blow-up things every five seconds. OK, maybe the last definition was mine.

However, these two magnificent films here, Saving Private Ryan and Smoke Signals , happen to have things to say, things to hear. The first, Ryan, speaks on a more grand level than Signals, which has a more simpler, to the heart message. Obviously these were the correct approaches concerning the subject matter each film contains.

Ryan is an epic. A sobering, three hour, loud, gory, realistic movie about war. About a war that has never really gotten full respect from Hollywood. The Civil War has been told, Vietnam, many times, but the story of- as the trailer said- the last great war has never realistically been captured. The old war movies with John Wayne and the Green Berets don't count. And, of course, the master of human emotion, Mr. Steven Speilberg, gives us such human characters to relate to, as he did in Schindler's List, that he pays an amazing tribute to the people that dies for our freedom. Also showing, how senseless war truly is. Mr. Spielberg knows humans, human emotion, and the art of film-making better than anyone ever has. He truly is the best director we've ever seen.

Smoke Signals is a story about families. More specifically, fathers and sons. It tells the story of a young man who has to face the past and learn to forgive his father after he learns of his death. More importantly, he must face himself. The two lead characters of this movie are so memorable that I guarantee within hours of watching it, you will want to watch it again. This movie was written, produced, directed, and acted by Native Americans. But that is mostly besides the point. This is not Dances with Wolves, as an ingenious scene in the movie points out. Smoke Signals also has, like last year's The Ice Storm, a beautiful ending scene that truly could not have been done better. This is an amazing movie about families. More specifically, fathers and sons.

Saving Private Ryan and Smoke Signals are two very different movies. Yet, they are the two best movies Hollywood has produced in 1998. They emplore the basics of good film-making, and make them great: writing, directing, and acting. These two movies are important. They show that important movies can be made by a big budget, major-studio types, and the low-fi independent Sundance-types. They will grip you. They have something to say, something to hear. Now that's entertainment.

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Music Reviews

by Justin Skattum

The Valley Forge

The Rating Scale:

1. Upon listening for the first time, hop back in your vehicle, and sell it to Disc-Go-Round

2. Feel Ripped off.

3. Might listen to more than once a month.

4. Tell all of your friends about it.

5. Can't take it out of your car stereo.

We all excitedly waited for the first shipment of CDs from Sony Music to arrive at the Valley Forge. Upon arrival, I took Adam Cohen's self titled CD home to listen to what he had to offer to the music world. Well, seeing as I had no prior knowledge of this artist I didn't really know what to expect. I just popped it in my car stereo and gave it a whirl. The first song blew my senses with its upbeat, almost melancholy piano and drums. This really set the mood for the rest of the album. Cohen's debut is everything but a happy, pop driven type of CD. When listening, I felt as though he was telling stories of his life. Songs like, "Tell Me Everything," "This Pain," and "Beautiful as You", have a sort of crestfallen feel. While, "Sister," "It's Alright," and "How the Mighty Have Fallen," sound practically pop. This CD has a few good songs that draw you in, but then slowly loses you. That is, until the last song pulls you back in, and makes the whole experience somewhat worthwhile.

Music album it can be compared to: "The Eels," doing a cover of Eric Clapton

Best way to listen: Hanging around the house on a rainy day. That is, for a change from the in your face, guitar blaring, base hitten' grooves that we have all heard before.

When not to listen: Cramming for a big chemistry final.

RATING- 3

 Review of "Sun Machine" Carrie Istad

The Valley Forge

Morely's album, "Sun Machine," has a very different sound in comparison with the music dominating the popular market. The case shows a bright faced Morely looking up to the sky, contrasted with a picture of a dark city lit up by bright sunlight. This is exactly what this album did for me. It was a nice surprise. With all of the same genre of music heading up the charts, Morely breaks the mold and the product is a very pleasant sound. The first song on the CD, "Just Like You," sets the mood for the entire disc. It has a smooth jazz tone, and even incorporates violins within the sound. Throughout the album an easy to listen to quality remains constant. The disc ties up all of its mesmerizing ends with the fabulous title track, "Sun Machine." In a world of one hit wonders, Morely delivers quality music that is enjoyed from beginning to end.

Musical artist it can be compared to: Sade

Best way to listen: Over a romantic dinner with your special someone

When not to listen: At a big house party!

RATING- 4

The Valley Forge would like to review some local original bands. If you, or someone you know, has some decent material, put it in a big envelope with a press release, and slip it under the Valley Forge office door. It is located in the ground floor of the Student Center. Please direct all inquiries to Quinn.

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Funnies

by John Spaine

The Valley Forge

Superman

Here's something I've noticed: Whenever Clark Kent gets ready to change into Superman, no matter where he's at -be it in Metropolis or abroad- he always seems to know where the nearest phone booth is. What if the one he found was in use? Imagine Clark Kent running up to a phone booth yelling, "Excuse me, you have to hang up, because I need this booth. It is an emergency!" What would Clark do if the phone rang when he was changing into Superman? Would he pick it up? "Yeah, hi this is Superman, I can't talk now. I have to stop this meteor that's headed towards earth. I have to go, bye."

The Easiest Job in the World

How many of you watch Dollars and Sense on CNN? When they show a live shot of the stock exchange floor, you can see the person who stands high up of the floor. This person must be pretty important because they get to stand in their own little balcony. As far as I can see, the only job this person has is to ring the bell and bang the gavel. This has to be one of the easiest jobs in the world. How does one actually get paid for accomplishing this type of service? What if someone hid the gavel? Would the gavel banger be forced to use his shoe as a substitute? What if the shoe fell to the floor? Would everyone be waiting for the other shoe to drop? On days when the stock market hits a new high, the gavel banger's space is invaded by a swarm of people who cheer and applaud wildly. Are they cheering for the gavel banger, or the people on the floor? I wonder what the gavel banger does on the weekend? Do they go to auctions or watch court TV so they can practice in the mirror? Do they send you to school to be a gavel banger?

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THIS REVIEW IS NOT SONY MUSIC!!!!!!!

It has been nearly three years since Cracker's last album, the excellent, sprawling, "Golden Age." Now comes, "Gentleman's Blues," an excellent, not-so sprawling album that might be Cracker's best work yet.

Blues begins with a Cracker tradition, an opener that is a fist-pumpin', rockin' good time, sing along, in the likes of "Teen Angst," "Low," and "I Hate My Generation." This time it is the good life.

On "Seven Days," David Lowery basically sums up the Cracker philosophy when he sings: "It's all green fields"/"Yellow flowers"/ "And brown liquor"/ "Brown liquor." Try to stop singing the chorus of, "Seven Days."

Lowery's keyboard playing adds a lot to the music, especially on, "Been Around the World." The addition of gospel singers on this album, makes you wonder why they never used them before.

Guitarist Johnny Hickman, adds three terrific tracks to the mix, the standout being "Trials and Tribulations." Try to stop tapping that toe.

"Gentleman's Blues" finds Lowery and Hickman in top form, lyrically and musically. The album is pretty much in standard Cracker format: rockin' anthems, ("The World is Mine, Wild One") reflective spacy ballads ("James River Lullaby") and whisky tippin' tunes ("Wedding Day," and "Gentleman's Blues.")

Lowery even tosses in a song, "I Want out of the Circus," that is a throw-back to the Camper Van Beethoven days. CVB was the 80's band Lowery started before leaving to form Cracker. This track should appease the most hard-core Camper fans, who still resent the more mainstream Cracker.

Blues ends with the beautiful, "Hallelujah," no not the Leonard Cohen- Jeff Buckley version, but Lowery's very own. But wait, the album doesn't stop there. It's time for another Cracker tradition: the hidden track. This one, sung by a female, who incidentally I don't know the identity of. The song is good enough, but it holds no ground to the most famous of Cracker hidden tracks, perhaps all tracks, the legendary, "Eurotrash Girl." Yet, how could any track compare?

My suggestion: buy "Gentleman's Blues." Put it in your car stereo on song number 7, "The World is Mine," find yourself an open road, roll down your window, and just drive (wave to me as I pass). Sing along now, "The World is Mine."

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Blade Review

by Matt Sauer

The Valley Forge

Astonishingly enough, there is an action movie this summer that has critics raving. Blade, starring Wesley Snipes and Stephen Dorff, has taken off with astounding reviews, making it the number one movie in the country. Oddly enough, this heart-stopping flick has done better than any other movie of this type; it has taken an age-old legend and turned it into a modern-day medley of business, technology, and evil.

The battle between good and evil in Blade, is waged on the streets of New York City, (where else?) where vampires have control of corporations, small businesses, and law enforcement. For thousand's of years, this ancient Mafia-like race had been working their best to blend in with the dominant human society. However, this silent underground race of evil is greatly threatened by both a rebellious vampire, Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff) and the infamous Daywalker Blade (Wesley Snipes).

A freak occurrence caused the birth of a daywalker, a term coined by vampires for vampires born with all of their strengths, yet none of their weaknesses. Along with the man who saved him from a life of preying on the homeless, Blade has vowed to be the threat to end every threat, kicking fangs and immortal butt until the demise of blood suckers everywhere.

This movie kept this critic wide-eyed and unblinking as I watched some incredible special effects, powerful moves, and an intriguing story-line. Blade delivers what is promised: definite heart-racing action. See it. Love it. I dare you to look away.

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Poetry

by Quinn Nadig

The Valley Forge

 

Lights & Sirens

Don't know what I'll see

No, I don't know what I'll see

Heaven hold my hand

Tonight

'cause I don't know what I'll see

energizHER

young women

in love with

running

I can still see her

running

go home before the cars

stop driving

away

Charcoal Skies

We could watch

the fiery sun retreat

(down the backside of the earth)

we could dance

'neath the charcoal skies

You and I

You and I

Salutations, greetings, and what-not. Thanks for reading my little nugget of the Valley Forge. She's a little rusty, with a few loose bolts, and a squeaky door. I know that, but I'll fix 'er up! You'll see.

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