Author Archives: camgramm

Everything Changes when it Hits Home

Any test a person gets ready to take likely makes them nervous. Whether a simple drivers’ test or a small five-question quiz, the moments before a test often causes heart rates to rise dramatically.

Every day there is something on the news related to COVID-19. At the beginning of this pandemic, many people didn’t take it seriously, which I admit I didn’t as well. However, I did what I needed to do to avoid causing harm to myself or anyone else I was around. People worldwide are losing their loved ones, but the flu has caused the same destruction each year. My older relatives are making sure I follow the rules, giving my body the right amount of immune support to stay healthy and avoid being around large groups of people. I’m an athlete that runs every day, plus I don’t leave the house unless it’s for something important. I felt that I didn’t need to worry about anything because chances were extremely low for me to get sick.

Life always finds a way to bring us back to reality. When my grandmother tested positive, I wasn’t completely worried since she worked in the medical field and, knew all the right steps to recover from this deadly virus. Everyone has different experiences with COVID, and my grandmother was one of the lucky people who didn’t have a life-threatening battle but, everything started to go downhill from there. Each week someone I knew tested positive, I still didn’t take this disease as seriously as everyone else did since I knew I had a low chance.

My attitude didn’t change until I was required to take a COVID test to return to school. Before taking any test, studying is a priority for passing, but how do you prepare for a test that is life-changing? After taking the test, I had to wait a day for my results. It seemed like those hours took forever, and each hour I repeatedly told myself I was OK because I barely went anywhere. The following morning I received a phone call from my coach, and I got the worst possible news anyone would want to hear during these challenging times. It felt like my heart jumped out of my chest, hearing that I tested positive, especially since I followed all the rules to stay safe. The worst part was the quarantine, where each day I was nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. Even though it felt like my world was ending, my dad was the main person who got me through those rough days.

I’m one of the lucky ones. I didn’t have a bad experience with COVID, but now I take things very seriously.

College Stress

We have all reached that breaking point.

Stressing each week to ensure every assignment is completed and making sure you get enough sleep to repeat another long week. Everyone says that college will be fun, or the best moments in life are going to be in college. People don’t speak about the long hours of studying for a test, long chapters the teachers want the class to read, or a 10-page research paper due the following week. The amount of stress college students endure to receive a simple piece of paper is ridiculous. According to a study from New York University, “55% of students, nationally, claimed their biggest stress or to be academic in nature.” Students should enjoy the subjects they are learning and get excited to return for another day of class. However, students are on the verge of dropping out of college from the amount of stress their assignments cause. “Many of the emotional and physical symptoms that occur commonly in the college population, such as headaches, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and the inability to cope, can be attributed to or exacerbated by stress.”

 Parents will tell their children to work ahead or write stuff in a planner to make days easier. That advice sounds like a great idea, but professors find a way to make that impossible. Professors somehow make multiple assignments due on the same week and forget we are humans just like them. Professors had to forget they went to college because they continue to assign an enormous amount of work to students. With that in mind, papers are college students’ worst nightmare. According to Howtolearn.com, “On average, college students will write about 10 to 15 essays each semester. That averages out to 40 to 60 pages of writing.” For a college student to write this many pages for one semester can drive them crazy, but most importantly cause a ton of stress. Before reaching the halfway point, students are mentally drained and are repeating the same thing in papers.

Hopefully, one day professors will decrease the amount of work they assign, and students will be stress-free. Maybe professors can coordinate with other professors, so assignments don’t fall during the same period. Until that happens, students still have to prepare for war every semester and avoid the breaking point.

Taking a different Trangle on Train Tracks

Everyone learns basic principles of math, which include addition, subtraction, multiplying, and division. However, math becomes more complicated once people move to the next grade. Many people feel discouraged when math gets tough, but Rebeca Bowen and Julia Graham didn’t back down from presenting “Trangles and Train Tracks” at the 2020 Piedmont Symposium.

“As a beginning researcher, it’s nice to work on something original, but yet closely related to your advisor’s research,” said Rebecca Bowen, senior mathematics major at Piedmont College. “I really fell in love with this topic.”

Bowen proved that Trangles are equivalent to polyhexes, which is an assemblage of regular hexagons with adjoining sides. Graham discovered how train tracks work but breaking it down to its purest form.

 “The main problem I encountered was trying to come up with conjectures or proofs, because train tracks have not to my knowledge been researched, so there was a lot that was unknown,” said Julia Graham, senior physics major at Piedmont College.

Having the drive to push through and explain a topic that would leave many clueless can be stressful, but they got plenty of help from their professor Dr. Torrance.

“Of course, Dr. Torrance helped a lot with the formulation of the proof, but it’s a spectacular feeling to prove something that nobody’s ever proven before,” she said.

The complex topic was born once Dr. Torrance and his son were building toy train tracks and then continued to do further research. Once he developed more questions for his capstone students, he was excited to give them the task to do their research.  

“Working one-on-one with students on interesting math problems is hands down my favorite part of my job. Seeing how they tackled these problems was exciting” said Dr. Torrance, assistant professor of mathematics at Piedmont College.

Learning how to use a certain platform to present their information was another problem they had to face. The team of three worked many weeks learning two different things that would bring everything together.

“I learned a lot about LaTeX in the process of preparing my research for a presentation. Using LaTeX is fantastic, but it’s challenging at first,” said Bowen.

After learning two new things, Rebecca and Julia were ready to present their work. However, all the research they found couldn’t be presented at the Symposium, because they got way more information than intended.

“Coming up with the proof took longer than I would’ve imagined. I was hoping to prove several results, but research is a lot different from regular classwork,” said Graham.

The amount of research that Bowen and Graham had to find would have anyone’s brain burnt out, but with the help of Dr. Torrance, they felt like they conquered the world. Even though this math challenge is complete, they are excited to increase her knowledge even more.

“I was thrilled with the whole research process, and I’m looking forward to continuing to think about Trangles and exploring other new topics in mathematics in the future,” said Bowen.

Overcoming failure, Brain Gawne is the definition of determination

“My childhood growing up, was dysfunctional,” said Brain Gawne, throws coach of Piedmont College Track and Field team.

Battling the game of life, Brain Gawne didn’t let the dark times hold him back. Having parents that didn’t graduate high school and living among five siblings, Gawne taught himself by trial and error. During his time as a kid, he could only be perfect, or there was a chance of being hit. Everything changed once someone finally started to believe in him.

“One of my favorite teachers asked me to do wrestling, and he believed in me, which my parents never did,” he said.

Finally, having someone believe in him ignited the spark to become something great. Other sports wanted him to participate in their sports programs, and from middle school to high school, Gawne collected numerous accolades. After graduating, he used his knowledge to teach youth and coach in a variety of sports until he retired.

“I was miserable at home, and part of being a man is your job,” he said, discussing retired life.

Gawne’s wife made him come out of retirement and challenge himself to find a new job. The new job is Piedmont College, where he already led his throwers to a conference championship and is preparing to win another. Through all the tough times, Gawne appreciates sports being a part of his life.

“I have been very blessed with the coaches I had, they gave structure I didn’t have in the house,” he said.

School and sports were Gawne’s happy place where he learned and got the support he needed to be successful in life. Without sports Gawne wouldn’t be the man he is today.

“You have to find something you like to do and play with passion.”

Cameron Graham: My Story

My name is Cameron Graham, and my life is full of surprises. Every day I wake up, I’m always amazed at the things I have accomplished. I remember the time my dad asked me what I wanted to be when I got older. Once I said comedian, my dad said words I can’t type on this website.

I was born in Tampa, Fl, but in second grade, I moved with grandparents to Augusta, Ga. Moving to Augusta was a big adjustment for me. Everyone is friendly, saying hello, and waving. In Florida, people would think you are trying to do something to them if you stare at them. I remember once I moved to Augusta; I met my second-grade teacher Mrs.Best. She asked me was I ready for second grade, and I responded by saying, “yea.” Well, that didn’t flow with Mrs.Best, so she corrected me quickly. Once again, adjusting to Georgia was difficult for me, because apparently, you can’t say “yea” to teachers.

Once I started middle school, I started living on the wild side. I got in trouble every other week and stayed in my room reading books all the time. My dad would take everything out of my room except for my bed and clothes. I was basically in prison, but with better living conditions. In 7th grade, I had terrible grades, and that made my dad upset. He had a meeting with all my teacher, so I could have my desk sit right next to their desk until my grades improved. Now you might be thinking if my grades improved right. Well, of course, it was either that or death. Around this time of my life, my dad and my stepmother began talking. My beautiful sisters came into my life, as well. When they came into my life, track & field was something I took seriously. Track & field helped me throughout middle school, keeping me away from trouble. I was the best High jumper in the county and performed well in other events.

During High school, I mainly focused on getting my diploma and running track in college. The only fun thing was meeting my best friend in 10th grade. My High school track career was good. I went to the state track & field meet three years, won many medals, and a three-time county champ. Fast forward to the present day; i’m a junior mass communications major. In track, I currently hold multiple records, and I’m a two-time conference champ. Now, if you would’ve told me years ago I would be doing all of this stuff, I would laugh at your face.