Author Archives: watsonb18

Cassidy Heflin’s hard work pays off.

Playing through the pain, Cassidy Heflin was not expecting to be named USA South Player of the Week, as she was on Mar. 2. Fighting the pain of a polyp on her gallbladder, Heflin played the first four games of the 2020 season as a midfielder with no sub. She often had to send another teammate over the restraining line so she could take a breather. 

Sporting an injury every year of college so far, Heflin was disheartened from not being able to play every game this year and having to sit out for two weeks in order to recover from her surgery. Confident in the surgery and calmed by her passion for medicine, Heflin was not scared to go under. She was more anxious about missing the Meredith and Salem girls’ lacrosse games the following weekend. 

“I’ve been in pain so the best thing is to get the surgery over with, but missing two games is hard,” Heflin said. “Plus that’s an away trip I can’t get back.”

Proving to be a vital teammate, Helfin led the team with 24 assists, 91 draw controls and 26 caused turnovers. This was Heflin’s first time winning the USA Player of the Week award. She received Rookie of the Week her freshman year, and Second Team All-Conference as an attacker her sophomore year and as a midfielder last year. She also won the USA South All-Tournament in 2019 and held a spot on the All-Academic Team for three straight years from 2017-2019. 

“Cassidy’s award was well deserved. She does things behind the scenes that are not always accounted for in the stat book and on the field,” teammate Rowan Bumpass said. “Cassidy is a game changer and it was awesome to see her finally get that recognition.”

Obsessed with doing the draw, Heflin loves playing midfield and has done so for eight years. Heflin began playing lacrosse as a freshman in high school – which is not common for many Maryland prospects. Heflin was recruited by her high school basketball coach to try lacrosse after playing basketball for eight years. Moving from Maryland, Cassidy found herself feeling homesick after the first semester of her freshman year.

“Homesickness manifests in different ways, for me helping others and not taking care of myself and not taking care of my homesickness was a struggle,” Heflin said. “I was also dealing with other things like finding myself.” 

In addition to the regular stress of college, Heflin has managed to succeed in athletics, academics and work. Despite being physically drained from practice and emotionally drained from working as an RA, babysitter and in the learning center, Heflin has maintained a 3.7 GPA while majoring in biology with a cell and molecular concentration. As sports teams are hubs for making close friendships, Heflin has found a great roommate and friend in her fellow senior, Domonique Steele. 

“As a nursing or science major and student athlete, some days are harder than others but you do it because you love it. There’s nothing else I find more rewarding,” Steele said. “I think Cassidy chose PA school because she has a calling for healthcare and a love for wanting to help people. You make a sacrifice so you can do it.”

Recently accepted to PCOM Georgia (a PA school in Gwinnett), Heflin aspires to be a part of a medical team and help those in need. 

“I’m thankful for Piedmont, but I’m ready to be challenged,” Heflin said.

Domonique Steele

Rowan Bumpass

‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ a timeless family comedy

Anna Watson 

Nowhere near outdated, “Arsenic and Old Lace” beautifully expresses the theme of loving your family despite their ridiculousness. Piedmont College’s production of “Arsenic and Old Lace” was performed Feb. 13-16. The plot is circled around two old aunties, Martha and Abby, who can’t help but be charitable to everyone they meet. However, they are ignorant of the danger it could cause. Their story is messily entangled with Mortimer’s, their nephew who wised up to the family business and got caught up in ensuring their safety. 

Set in the 1940s, the stage was well decorated with old furniture, doilies, lace curtains, a stainless steel tea set and a two-piece telephone. Alluding to the aunties’ homemade Elderberry wine, the walls are painted a dark wine red, setting the tone for what’s to come. The costumes were perfectly set to each character regarding personality and age. Martha and Abby had quaint ankle-length skirts with shirts to match, along with over-the-top funeral dresses paired with hats. Elaine is dressed in a fur coat with an elegant white hat adorned with a feather sticking out, emphasizing her brazen personality and shear sass. 

In stage theater, so much more goes on than what you see on stage. Students made the entire set: the walls, doors and staircase that Teddy charges up. True to the experience, the set extended to the walls of the theater–past the curtain–and truly enveloped the audience in the Brewster living area. Backlit with haunting blue lights, the windows make it look like night time when the stage crew comes in the dark to rearrange the props or whenever the characters climb through the window. Despite having set troubles, the cast worked professionally and went with the flow without blinking an eye. Instead of breaking the fourth wall or character, the actors and actresses persevered and delivered an incredible performance. 

The Christian ladies were meaningful and proper in everything they did. Whether it be caring for Teddy, their nephew, or strangers, Martha and Abby were simple and sweet; who would question what they did? Playing the aunties, Mikayla Walters and Kaitlin Conner gave a genuine performance, honing their future grandmother selves. Mortimer, played by Tyler Vandiver, was the funniest character for sure. He had the greatest reactions on stage and provided true sass, empathy and fear. As comic relief in a comedy, Teddy thought he was President Roosevelt and was working on the Panama Canal in the basement. Teddy, played by Hunter Blackburn, filled holes in the plot and assisted with the dramatic irony. Garrett Smith, in the role of Einstein, (not that doctor Einstein) had to use a German accent for the entire show – and didn’t slip once. Plus, Preston Welborne played the role of being the dead bodies under the window seat – imagine taking a nap and missing your cue. 

“Arsenic and Old Lace” is a timeless piece that will continue to reach a mass audience when Elaine and Mortimer have grandchildren of their own. All seriousness aside, this show will help you relax and forget about your angst for the next two and a half hours. The humor flows throughout the character interaction and contains seamless and dramatic irony in all the right places. With characters like Elaine, the priest’s daughter who is frisky with Mortimer, and Jonathan, the outcast son who has anger issues, there are no overdramatized jokes – they just fit. While you missed this show, be sure to catch the next one and steer clear of the Brewster wine.

Short Review ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’

Anna Watson

Persevering through broken door knobs, magnetic curtain rods falling and all the drama, Piedmont’s production of “Arsenic and Old Lace” was an incredible show. The plot is circled around two old aunties, Martha and Abby, who can’t help but be charitable to everyone they meet. However, they are ignorant of the danger it could cause. Their story is messily entangled with Mortimer’s, their nephew who wised up to the family business and gets caught up in ensuring their safety. Set in the 1940’s,“Arsenic and Old Lace” beautifully expresses the theme of loving your family despite their ridiculousness.

People at their most beautiful

Anna Watson

I was in the weight room working out with my team when my coach videoed me trying to show me how to improve my form, but the main thing I noticed was that my tummy was poking out so badly. If I noticed it, other people must have been thinking it too. Insecurities are sneaky like that – they burrow in your mind until someone says something, or you see yourself from a different point of view.  

Despite being overweight, there are days I feel so confident and days where I just feel so fat. I can change my thinking about dragging myself to the gym and being more excited about eating healthy and nourishing my body – but there are somethings that I can’t change. I’ve been a diabetic for over 10 years now and I don’t think I have ever fully accepted it mentally. Deep down I keep hoping that it’s just a phase – but it’s not a phase and I have the scar tissue to prove it. It’s scary because it’s not a lie about misconceptions about my body, like calling myself fat. The scars, bumps and scar tissue left behind by the many infusion sets, sensors and pumps won’t go away no matter how many crunches I do. They are real and they are ugly.  

 Insecurities are sneaky little bastards that are rooted mostly in females. A study showed that nearly 91 percent of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape. With social media being a dominant influence in American society, the pressure to look like a model is a major cause of insecurities in younger, college-aged women (and men). In fact, 58 percent of college-aged girls feel pressured to be a certain weight. While women carry most of the burden, they might be better off – at least they have makeup. Men have to face the world with what God gave them.  

It’s hard not to compare yourself to other people with rounder booties, skinnier abs without a pudge and non-jiggly arms – they have everything that you want and work for but can’t seem to get a hold of. Any insecurity stems from a confidence issue that makes people lose their worth and forces them to feel inadequate. People need to show love and not tear each other down. Consider the effects of bullying – besides depression, suicidal thoughts and anxiety – bullied kids have a 33 percent chance of becoming bullies.  

A woman is most beautiful when she is confident and loves who she is. Men are most handsome when they are confident and love who they are. If you don’t love yourself, how can you love others? 

Ratio to Ratio, Piedmont parking spaces don’t add up

Anna Watson  

Currently being used for contracted vehicles, the parking lot between Nieslen Hall and the Graduate Admissions Office is fenced off. Students are allowed to use the black wooden staircase but are not allowed to park in the student lot. Students were made aware of this issue with a short, terse email from Assistant Director of Residential Living, Charlotte Davenport.   

“We have received the following message from Administrative Services,” the email read. “As we prepare to begin the Renovation of Nielsen Hall, we will be closing the Parking Lot between Nielson Hall and Graduate Admissions on January 15th.  Parking will be for contractor vehicles only. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your cooperation.” 

Understandably, the Education department needs their own space rather than being stuffed on the bottom floor of the library. However, in the midst of a snowy, cold, sickly, wet, windy winter, students should not be coerced to walk to class with the removal of one of the two student lots surrounding the quad. Students already have to fight for spots that are first-come, first-serve. Parking at Piedmont is already a hot topic among students and is known for being a weakness the school possesses. With over double the amount of parking spaces as students, faculty and staff have priority with a large number of spaces available – yet, Piedmont brags about their student to faculty ratio. 

Before the Nielsen lot was shut down, there was a total of 39 parking spaces available for students around the quad (including handicap spots) – now there are 19. There are 203 spaces available for faculty and staff. Over 80 percent of parking is red lots. Piedmont has an 11-to-1 ratio for students to faculty and had a ratio of 1-to-5 for parking spaces before Nielsen closed. Now the ratio is 1-to-11. Around the quad, Piedmont student parking has been cut in half due to the closure of the Nielsen lot and nothing has been done about it.  

Knowing there is no quick fix to the parking issue at Piedmont, some sort of accommodation is warranted. Faculty and staff are living in parking luxury as students are being thanked for their cooperation and fighting over 19 parking spots. The least Piedmont could do is open some of the red lots to students to apologize for the inconvenience and inequality.   

Jaime Lannister: From Byronic to Ironic Hero

Michael Adams went from long-time Game of Thrones fan to researching Jaime Lannister’s transition from Kingslayer to Oathkeeper.  

From noon to 5 p.m. last Wednesday, the Swanson Center was stocked full of students presenting for the Lion’s Pride research day. There were different categories including health sciences, business relations and literature. Michael Adams, a non-traditional student, presented his research project titled “Jaime Lannister: From Byronic to Ironic Hero” during the first session from 1:45 p.m. to 2 p.m.  

“Mike attended the Popular Culture Association of the South conference last year but didn’t present,” said Associate Professor of English and Chair of the Department of Humanities, Hugh Davis. “He expressed an interest in doing a Game of Thrones panel this year, so I encouraged him to use Pride Day as a test run.” 

Adams began his presentation warning the audience about gore and spoilers, followed by a video that showed the entire character arc for Jaime Lannister. From getting caught having sexual relations with his twin sister and pushing young Bran Stark out the window, saying “The things I do for love,” in season one to charging on Daenarys in season seven, one would not expect Jaime to be considered a hero.  

“A Byronic hero is a hero that stands out as an anti-hero,” Adams said. “He is not a normal hero.” 

Adams presented his “Hand theory” – given to him by his sponsor, Professor Davis – claiming that Tyrion Lannister, Hand to the Queen Daenarys Targaryen and Jaime’s younger brother, and handless Jaime Lannister complete each other as a whole person.  

“The Hand theory was interesting because they complete each other with Jamie being the brawn and Tyrion the brains,” Ian Bourret, Game of Thrones fan, said. “They were each other’s only true friends and trusted each other the most.” 

Adams also presented the use of Mimetic Desire to characterize Tyrion and Cersei Lannister where “two people desire the same thing, they being to mirror each other as they compete to possess it,” said Professor Davis in an email. Cersei and Tyrion are both after the power they believe Jaime has behind Casterly Rock. They are clever, conniving and ruthless. 

“Tyrion and Cersei both escaped their trial – Cersei blew them up and Tyrion escaped like a snake,” Ian Bourret said. “They have quick come backs and are always seen with a glass of wine.”  

 Jaime suffers through his “symbolic castration” during his hero’s journey. Jaime was the finest swordsman in all the Seven Kingdoms, where he “whoops some serious booty” then lost his sword hand. Jaime turns his desire from Cersei to Brienne the Beauty on his journey, leaving his vicious past behind. Brienne expresses what it means to be a true knight. Brienne is gifted with Jaime’s sword Oathbreaker and renames it Oathkeeper. 

“Jamie has been through the biggest journey in a literary sense, outside the norms of being a hero and fulfilling his duty as a knight,” Adams said.  

Having read the Game of Thrones books three times, watched the television series twice, and been a fan since high school, Adams claims Jaime to be one of his favorite characters. Adams ended his presentation with a few predictions for the final season, giving Jaime a 30 percent chance of surviving until the end of story, a 20 percent chance to end up sitting on the Iron Throne and a whopping 80 percent chance that no one gets the Throne.  

Disaster Drill 2019

Triage is the Name of the Game

If you are able to save only one of the following: a baby, a young woman, an old woman or an old man, whom do you pick?

Triage is fighting the initial instinct of saving the most helpless in order to save more people in the limited amount of time a rescuer has before the building collapses. Nursing Professor Vincent Pair said the Disaster Drill tests the students’ ability to asses patients’ injuries, as well as their ability to care for them. Floyd Canup, Captain of the Sheriff’s Department, said, “The Disaster Drill exposes the student to life-like situations, however, in the field there are more civilians and it moves quicker.”
The annual drill is a mock trial, with roughly 200 nursing students, where the juniors act injured and the seniors rescue them from a common disaster that the Theater Department puts on display. They provide the lights, pyrotechnics and make-up. The city of Demorest and Habersham County send almost all available first responders, including the city of Demorest police and fire departments, Habersham County Medical Center and EMS, Habersham County Fire Department, Sheriff’s Office, 911/Emergency Management Agency, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, Homeland Security, Habersham Search and Rescue and the District Two Public Health Administration, according to Piedmont Police Chief Jim Andrews.
“The event has evolved and come a long way. It involves more agencies, more students and more departments,” Nursing Professor Jamie Johnson-Huff said. She has participated in the Disaster Drill for over 13 years. The students involved include high schoolers, theater, mass communications, athletic training and nursing students, each combining their skills to simulate a life-like disaster. “It is good to see them step up and watch how well they interact.”
Many of the nurses and athletic trainers felt prepared conducting the Disaster Drill, focusing on saving the lives of their classmates.

Profile: Dr. Kathy Blandin

Anna Watson  

Media Writing 1 

Dr. Joe Dennis  

23 February 2019 

Profile 1: Dr. Kathy Blandin 


Phone: 678-575-3982 (cell) 

Many people search happiness and contentment in their careers, and Dr. Kathy Blandin found it at Piedmont College.  

 Blandin worked at Sautee Nacoochee, an arts center near Helen, Georgia, in 2007 when she was contacted by the former chair of the theater department at Piedmont College to teach children’s theater. She took the job as an adjunct teacher, commuting back and forth from Sautee Nacoochee to Piedmont College, daily. After four years, Blandin realized she enjoyed teaching at Piedmont more than working at Sautee Nacoochee. She transferred full-time to the college after someone stepped down.  

“Every day is a little bit different,” Blandin said, describing her job as something that’s “meant to be.”  

Directing, teaching and occasionally acting, Blandin enjoys letting her creative juices flow. In the first year of the Make Mom Proud fundraiser – a fundraiser started by a student who lost his mother to cancer and wanted to raise money for a local organization – Blandin performed the role of the mother in the student-written play. She also used the leftover show posters from her first summer season here to create her own wallpaper in her office. 

Since teaching theater for more than seven years at Piedmont, Blandin has had a direct impact on the students and coworkers she works with.  

“I am always inspired by her ability to not only teach the subject, but the students themselves,” said Dr. William Gabelhausen, chair of the theater department, “Dr. Blandin is detail oriented and focused on student success.”  

Blandin encourages students to define their own success. One of her goals is to help open up her students’ worlds. She does this by making her classes enjoyable and engaging for all.  

“I was never really interested in theater, but she definitely found a way to make it fun for every student,” said sophomore Macy Higgins, who was in her intro to theater class. “She has a great personality that flows well with her teaching techniques.” 

As Blandin wants her students to have their own measuring stick for success, she has her own as well, being the “happiest ever and really content.” 

Anna Watson: Overcoming myself.

At the age of seven, I believed the Pledge of Allegiance was home to Fairfax, Virginia only. It was not until I moved to Georgia and heard it at my elementary school where I was rudely awakened. This was a pattern in my life – believing something only to find it to be false or altered. It came with growing up, of course, but I never wanted to grow up. I was gullible, I was stubborn, and I loved cartoon shows (classics like Tom and Jerry and Scooby Doo).

Being gullible, I often made a fool of myself. As I thought I had befriended someone, I was just the butt of their joke. Though it was often disappointing, there were no grudges to be held. For I am where I am now because of it. I am not as gullible now, I am more stubborn actually. You cannot tell me something ridiculous and find that I believe you, I will always believe myself first.

I have dipped my toes in many friend groups throughout the years and have found a friend that I can cannonball right into – in a good way. My best friend/boyfriend/partner and I have developed an amazing relationship where we both hold each other accountable, love each other, and have loads of fun together. My family is large and ever-growing with my older brother getting engaged to his girlfriend and my aunt adopting a second or third child (it’s complicated). I love all of them dearly and love watching my family grow. They have always supported me and helped guide me through life and my diabetes, telling me not to stress and that everything would be okay.

I apologize if you have read a different autobiography about me somewhere and I have not mentioned some of these things, for my life has been great and I never know how to fully articulate it into a few paragraphs.