Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Camille D.G. Mustachio's 'Language of Dr. Who' makes linguistics fun

Jason Barr, an English instructor at Blue Ridge Community College, wore a  “Run DLK” t-shirt to breakfast at a Virginia Community College System Chancellor’s Developmental Education Institute event.
Everyone looked at Barr blankly except for Camille D.G. Mustachio, an English instructor at Germanna Community College who happens to be a huge "Dr. Who" fan
Camille D. G. Mustachio
Camille D. G. Mustachio
She cracked up.
The shirt put a hip hop, Run DMC twist on Dr. Who’s arch enemy the cyborg Dalek race--an inside joke for ardent fans of the longest-running science fiction show on television.
The pair hit it off and began exchanging messages via email and Facebook about a possible project related to "Dr. Who."
They pitched the idea for a book to Scarecrow Press in Maryland and it was accepted.
Then they sent out a call for essays and the response was “overwhelming—fantastic in a way.”
The result is Barr and Mustachio's new book, “The Language of Dr. Who: From Shakespeare to Alien Tongues,” on sale now at
Every incarnation of Dr. Who’s 11 “regenerations” and all 50 years of the show are covered. The book targets an audience of science fiction scholars and serious fans of the show seeking new perspectives.
According to the book description, it presents essays that: “explore how written and spoken language have been used to define the Doctor’s ever-changing identities, shape his relationships with his many companions, and give him power over his enemies—even the implacable Daleks.”
The book deals with the shows use of fairy tales, myths, nursery rhymes and Shakespeare, among other things. “Contributors consider how the Doctor’s companions speak with him through graffiti, how the Doctor himself uses postmodern linguistics to communicate with alien species, and how language both unites and divides fans of classic ‘Who’ and new ‘Who’ as they try to converse with each other,” according to the description.
Why does "Dr. Who," a story about the powerful lone survivor of an advanced civilization traveling the universe, have such staying power?
“It’s a fun story of adventure,” Mustachio said, ushering “the audience through space and time,” that’s capable of bridging the gap between generations.
“My kids and I have favorite episodes,” she said, adding that she and her husband have their own favorite episodes dating back to when they were children.
“ 'Dr. Who' is timeless,” Mustachio said, but added, “from a feminist standpoint, I like seeing how the companions have evolved over the years.”
She said there was a learning curve in working on the book that “put me back in the position of what my English 111 students are going through… I had a moment of vulnerability my students have when they bring papers into a workshop.”
Mustachio said that while she loves Shakespeare, “sometimes it’s difficult to connect with students with dead writers as opposed to [characters] they can tune into… I would love to see "Dr. Who" used in the classroom. That would be beyond fun.”

Sales of Germanna President Sam's new book to benefit GCC Educational Foundation

Sales of Germanna Community College President David A. Sam's new semi-autobiographical book of poetry, “Memories in Clay, Dreams of Wolves," go to the GCC Educational Foundation. The book officially launches this Sunday, June 15. It's on prelease sale now on

It’s Dr. Sam's first full-length collection of poetry.

He has readings and signings set for 2 p.m. next Sunday, June 22 at The Griffin Bookstore and Coffee Bar in downtown Fredericksburg and for 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 11 at The Raven's Nest Coffee House in downtown Culpeper.

 Here’s what two respected poets have to say about “Memories in Clay, Dreams of Wolves”:

 “David Sam is a poet of deep identity with the natural world. In these intimate narratives of discovery and awe, the poems speak often with an almost breathless urgency, reminding us of the inexhaustible life within life, testaments to a unique sensitivity, in a boy and then a man. In journeys both actual and metaphorical, the self is not different than rivers or sunrise. ‘I am made of water and wild air,’ one poem says.  The lucky reader breathes deeply.”
- Allan Peterson, author of “Fragile Acts” and “All the Lavish in Common”

David Anthony Sam’s poems are literally rooted in the earth, seeded in the rich, dark soil.  Whether he’s writing about childhood or the rivers of Pennsylvania, these poems are filled with fields, mountains, lakes, snow and stars; they remind us that human life is found in the morning air, in the golden rays of the rising sun, in a bird’s call as dusk arrives.  Memories in Clay, Dreams of Wolves is an impressive book that will transport you into the natural world where, as Sam writes, you will become ‘forgetful and human again.’”

- David James, author of “She Dances Like Mussolini,” winner of the 2010 Next Generation Indie book award in poetry

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Germanna student's modeling career gets a boost

Congratulations to Germanna student Charnee Long, who has won online voting for a modeling contest and will appear in a national ad for Ambi, a skin care product. She's a general studies major planning to complete her last course this summer and transfer to George Mason University to major in early childhood education with a minor in communications.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Germanna Center for Workforce CEO training boosts startups

Startup CEO training cited as example of GCC responding to region’s workforce needs

During a roundtable discussion about college affordability at Germanna Community College this week, Sen. Tim Kaine praised the way Virginia’s Community Colleges in general—and GCC in particular—tailor workforce training to meet needs in their service regions.
Sen. Tim Kaine watches an unmanned aerial vehicle built by Germanna engineering students take off during a visit to the college this week. The UAV design won a recent  Philadelphia competition for the GCC student team, besting Drexel, Yale and more than a dozen other universities.
Sen. Tim Kaine watches an unmanned aerial vehicle built by Germanna engineering students take off during a visit to the college this week. The UAV design won a recent Philadelphia competition for the GCC student team, besting Drexel, Yale and more than a dozen other universities.
“I just stuck my head in a CEO seminar down the hall,” he said.  ”It’s for local CEOs—mostly from startup technology companies. They get together with a  teacher-facilitator to share best practices and become more productive.”
The CEO offering is part of SkillUpVA, a Germanna Center for Workforce and Community Education program that provides individuals with the skills to make the most of career opportunities in an economic environment shaped by rapid technological change and increasing global competition.
He noted that each community college works to address business climate needs unique to its region.
“Community colleges do a great job not only in educating individual students, but also in thinking about what the workforce trends are here and then taking an approach that meets the region’s needs. That flexibility is really important.”