The Ultimate Fall Bucket List

October may be coming to a close this week, but fall technically isn’t over until late December. That leaves plenty of time for anyone and everyone to mark off everything from their fall bucket list.

Here are a few ideas for what to do before the season ends.

Corn Maze

There is nothing like getting dizzy with a group of your friends while surrounded by miles of corn. Some options close to Knoxville are Oakes Farm, Deep Well Farm and Kyker Farms Corn Maze. All are relatively low-cost, and feature other activities such as a pumpkin patch, hay rides and petting zoos. Be sure to check this activity off of your bucket list soon, since most of these farms close their fall events at the end of the month.

Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream

My grandmother always said to eat ice cream when it gets colder so that it takes longer to melt. Which is a great ideology, in my opinion. If you haven’t had the chance to visit Cruze Farm’s new permanent location, you now have a great reason to go. Cruze Farm is offering a pumpkin spice flavored ice cream in celebration of fall. It pairs nicely when swirled with the cake batter ice cream the restaurant also offers. All of the ice creams at Cruze Farm are made fresh daily, so check their website to see what flavors they are offering that day. You can also take a pint of your favorite flavor back to your dorm to help get you through late night studying.

Carve a Pumpkin

Pumpkin carving should not be an activity reserved strictly for Halloween. Why not Thanksgiving pumpkins? Find a cute pattern like this one or this one.  Fall is also a popular season for elections, so remind your roommates to vote with this pumpkin pattern. There is honestly so much artistic and creative freedom with pumpkin carving, so feel free to run wild with the idea.

Relax with a Show

On campus, there is almost always a production running at the Clarence Brown Theatre. Currently, The Blue Window is showing at the Lab Theatre until Nov. 12. Beginning Nov. 22, the annual production of A Christmas Carol will begin at the Clarence Brown. Students can see shows for $5 or free on Preview Days (the first Wednesday and Thursday of a show’s run).

Want something to remind you of your childhood? Disney On Ice is coming to the Knoxville Civic Coliseum with their Reach for the Stars show beginning Nov. 1. If you go on the opening night, you can score tickets for just $14!

Go to a U-Pick Patch

Knoxville is full of different agricultural joys. One of the many is U-Pick patches where you can pick your own fruits and veggies. Some popular choices of the season are apples, apricots, brussel sprouts and carrots. You can spend an afternoon picking your own produce, and then spend the evening making apple pies and warm soups. Learn more about picking your own produce on Pick Your Own’s website.

Take a Hike

Right in UT’s backyard are the Smoky Mountains, and fall is one of the best times to visit. The 816-mile state park has plenty to offer to any outdoors enthusiast. Try the Andrews Bald Trail, a 3.5 mile hike in the Clingmans Dome area with a marvelous view of what nature has to offer. Cades Cove is also fun to drive though to see different types of wildlife. If you’re feeling up for it, try biking Cades Cove’s 13 mile loop. You will have a better chance at spotting any bears at close distances (and you’ll be able to brag to your friends about biking 13 miles for fun).

Root for the Vols

Nov. 4 is UT’s homecoming football game against Southern Mississippi. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. in Neyland Stadium. Get a group of friends together and cheer on the Vols. It is also a perfect wrap up to homecoming week, which began on Oct. 29.

 

Hopefully this list of fall activities has something for everyone. Fall is one of the most magical times of the year, so why should we stop celebrating at the end of October?

 

 

Featured image by Randall Billings, courtesy of Creative Commons

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

Tuition increase lowest in three decades at UT

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — After the fall of 2013, the cost of tuition at the University of Tennessee has increased nearly $1,000 for in-state and out-of-state undergraduate students.

Students attending four-year universities across the state of Tennessee pay twice as much in tuition as they did nearly a decade ago, according to the Memphis Daily News. However, percentage increases in tuition used to be in the 6 to 7 percent range, but have since dropped down to 2 or 3 percent.

For the second consecutive year, UT’s tuition increase will be the lowest it has been in over three decades at 2.2 percent, according to UT system news. The last time a tuition increase was less than 3 percent for undergraduate students for two consecutive years was 1978-1979.

At the Board of Trustees meeting in June 2016, UT system president, Joe DiPietro, said the increased financial support from the state over the past few years has helped in “holding down tuition increases.”

“At the same time, it’s also true that we, as an institution, have taken very seriously the need to do all we can to cut out costs and maximize our resources. The good work in this area has made a great impact,” DiPietro said.

Sophomore and out-of-state student, Allyse Sryczynski, said she knows people from her home state of California that cannot go to community college because they cannot afford it.

“I think college anywhere in general is expensive, especially here at UT,” Sryczynski said.

Cassandra McAllister, an in-state student at UT, said she does not think there are enough scholarships for out-of-state students.

“I have a lot of friends that are out-of-state and it’s like crazy amounts, especially compared to what I’m paying for in-state,” McAllister said.

For many students, the Academic Common Market is helpful for tuition costs in the case that the state they reside in does not offer the degree they plan to pursue. This program allows students to attend a school in one of the 15 participating states for the in-state tuition rates through accordance with the states and universities, according to the Southern Regional Education Board.

Andrew Volkovitskiy, a UT student participating in the Academic Common Market program, said tuition did not play a major role in choosing which school he would attend because of the degree he planned to pursue.

“I chose [my school] based off my major because I’m from Kentucky and we don’t have a Nuclear Engineering program there. So, Tennessee was the closest and they had the Common Market,” Volkovitskiy said. “They give me in-state [tuition], so I’m like ‘yeah, I’ll take it.’”

Two years ago, Gov. Bill Haslam signed the Tennessee Promise program into law, which allows graduating high school seniors to attend a community or technical college tuition-free. The program is not funded through tax dollars, but instead through excess lottery funds, according to Haslam’s website.

“Through the Tennessee Promise, we are fighting the rising cost of higher education, and we are raising our expectations as a state,” Haslam said at the ceremonial bill signing.

“I think the Tennessee Promise is probably a good place to start,” McAllister said. “Maybe [we could] extend some kind of program like that to four year colleges, maybe do something with the first two years.”

In regards to what legislators should do to make college more affordable, Sryczynski said it needs to start in senior level economics classes in high school to educate people on where to find the money for loans and scholarships.

For more information on tuition costs, visit UT’s One Stop website.

 

Featured image by Ryan McGill

Edited by McKenzie Manning

Vols defense leads Tennessee to 38-7 win over Aggies

The freshman revolution hasn’t started yet for the Tennessee Volunteers, just ask A.J. Johnson and Cameron Sutton.

The Volunteer defense faced a stiff task in containing Heisman trophy hopeful Chuckie Keeton and the Utah State offense. In Keeton’s last full season, after suffering an ACL injury last year, he compiled 3,992 total yards with 35 touchdowns. Sunday night, he was held to less than 150 yards passing and only 12 yards rushing.

The combination of Johnson and Sutton were seemingly all over the field, whether that involved taking offensive players down behind the line of scrimmage or picking Keeton off.

On offense, quarterback Justin Worley showed why Butch Jones had confidence in him as a starter this season. Worley’s final stat line had him at 27 of 38, 71 percent, with 273 yards, three touchdowns and no turnovers.

Also on offense, running back Jalen Hurd had his first touchdown as a Tennessee Volunteer after he put moves on defenders and took a screen pass to the checkerboard. Hurd didn’t have a great night on the ground averaging around 2.5 yards per carry, but he looked good in space and will only get better over time.

Wide receiver Von Pearson also shined after seemingly catching everything thrown his way. Some of his passes were waved off because of penalties on other players, but his 14-yard catch and go for a touchdown stood. Pearson put on a move that Vols fans haven’t seen since Cordarrelle Patterson and blazed past a defender on the score.

While this is only the first game of the season, the Utah State Aggies are a team that was 9-5 last year, including a bowl win. The Vols look faster as a unit, and fans are getting their usual case of September optimism, possibly for the right reason this year.

Edited by Maggie Jones

5 movies to see this weekend (1/31)

As the Oscar train gets closer and closer, it’s the time of year to catch up on some of the Best Picture nominations and see if what the critics are saying line up with your own thoughts. Knoxville is carrying many of the nominations with a handful of new releases and re-releases that should pique the interest of everyone looking for a cinematic escape this weekend.

1) “Her”

Spike Jonze’s fantastic drama is showing at the Downtown West theater and is a must-see for those looking for 2013’s finest. The best film I saw all year, “Her” is an emotional romance that leaves you with many questions to ask yourself but can also be a spark or challenge to do more in life. Joaquin Phoenix is in his most vulnerable role yet and completely sells the role, but Scarlett Johansson steals the show with her voice work as the OS device that Phoenix’s character falls in love with. If you are looking to take in one of the year’s best films, this is one you can’t miss.

Theater(s): Downtown West

 

2) “Frozen” Sing-Along

While “Frozen” has gone on to dominate the box office and become one of 2013’s biggest hits, it will make a triumphant return to cinemas in the form of a sing-along version of the film. If that doesn’t say their fans know the songs too well already, then I don’t know what it means. This version of the film is exactly the same but will allow the Broadway star in all of us the opportunity to show our stuff in the midst of complete strangers, so sing at your own risk.

Theater(s): West Town Mall, Carmike 10 on Millertown Pike, Carmike Foothills 12 in Maryville

 

3) “Lone Survivor”

A hit with both critics and audiences, “Lone Survivor” seems to be a movie that doesn’t care about the stigma of bad products coming out in January. Led by Mark Wahlberg, the cast includes Ben Foster, Taylor Kitsch and Eric Bana in the story of four Navy SEALs on an ill-fated covert mission to neutralize a high-level Taliban operative who are ambushed by enemy forces in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan. The action is intense and the story is incredibly powerful and is one not to miss.

Theater(s): Carmike Wynnsong on North Peters Road, Carmike Foothills in Maryville

 

4) “Inside Llewyn Davis”

A film that I will continue to try and promote because it has been grossly under seen to this point, “Inside Llewyn Davis” is one of the best representations of a struggling musician to ever hit the screen. One of the best work by some of America’s best directors, the Coen Brothers, “Inside Llewyn Davis” is a driving force of melancholy that coupled with an amazing soundtrack is one of 2013’s best films. Oscar Isaac was snubbed at the Oscars for his work in this film as he completely sells the sad sack Llewyn as not all the bad that people think he is. Add in scene-stealing turns by John Goodman and Justin Timberlake and you have an amazing film.

Theater(s): Downtown West

 

5) “Gravity” IMAX Experience

In a return to theaters to help with its Oscar push, “Gravity” is once again gracing IMAX screens, which is the best way to see one of 2013’s best films. An ambitious masterpiece by director Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity” is a film that was made for the giant screen and is well worth the high price to go see it in IMAX 3D. The scenes feel real and the feeling of being space is not something that is overstated about the experience. Unlike anything you’ve experienced at a movie theater, “Gravity” is worth the money.

Theater(s): Regal Pinnacle at Turkey Creek

 

Edited by Jennifer Brake