Engaging with people
Aug29

Engaging with people

It is hard to remember what life was like before laptops were in our laps, cell phones were in our hands and “Google” was a mainstream word. Technology and media are here to stay, whether we like it or not. It is accurate to say that media has made life easier in a multitude of ways. However, has society succumbed to the convenience of and addiction to media to the point that it harms the engagement of meaningful relationships? According to Merriam-Webster, the word ‘engage’ means “to hold the attention of” or “to do or take part in.” Therefore, are we engaging with media, or has it just become mindless scrolling? The majority of media users would most likely agree that the first thing they do when they wake up is grab their phone and start scrolling. It is not something that most users have to even think about, because it has become a part of their morning routines as well as drinking coffee and brushing teeth. Many opponents of the social media craze believe that people are not really engaging with friends and family when communicating via text message or tagging/posting on social media. For the most part, I do not believe that people are really engaged with one another while communicating through social media sites, such as Facebook or Instagram. Media users are not truly communicating with another person through the ‘like’ button. Some people are more used to seeing their friend’s Bitmoji than their actual face. Too often at social events, people are busy communicating through social media rather than interacting with the people around them. The media has not only affected interpersonal communication, but attention spans as well. Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a conversation, smiling and nodding, yet not really knowing what is going on? Instead, have you been thinking about what you will name your future labradoodle and four kids or some other topic unrelated to the conversation? You are not alone. A recent study has shown that since the digital revolution, it has become increasingly more difficult for people to fight off distractions. Microsoft Corp. uncovered that the average attention span has dropped from twelve to eight seconds since 2000. At the first sign of an awkward silence, many people instinctively fumble for their phones to avoid silence’s piercing scream. According to a survey by Time, 77 percent of people between the ages of 18-24 said “when nothing is occupying my attention, the first thing I do is reach for my phone.” Unfortunately, it has become rare to see people sitting down for a meal together without their...

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Is LeBron James out of Cleveland?

By Beau Kemp Since the beginning of this year’s basketball season, many NBA fans and sports analysts have been plagued by one question: What will LeBron James’ future with the Cavaliers be after this season? James’ history indicates that he is not solely devoted to Cleveland, as he has left the team before. Sports enthusiasts have spent this season debating whether or not he will stay with the Cavaliers or move on to a different team. In 2003, James was drafted out of high school by the Cleveland Cavaliers as the first overall pick of the draft. People who have not closely followed his career might believe that he never left, as he currently plays for the same team, but this is not the case. He spent the first seven years of his career in Cleveland, where his team was knocked out of the playoffs year after year. After being knocked out for the fifth year in a row with a loss to the Boston Celtics, he entered free agency at the end of the 2009-2010 season. On July 8, 2010, James declared that he would be playing in South Beach for the Miami Heat. Thus, a dynasty was created. In Miami, he joined his talents with two other superstars from the 2003 draft, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The team made the playoffs every year that he was in Miami, winning two championships in four years, showing Miami Heat to be a force to be reckoned with. However, after a loss in the finals to the San Antonio Spurs in the 2013-2014 season, James decided to leave Miami. In 2014, he took his talents back to Cleveland to join Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, who was the number one overall pick in the 2011 draft. Since then, James and the Cavaliers have made it to the finals every year. With this year’s playoffs coming to an end, James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are currently in the Eastern Conference Finals matching up against the Boston Celtics. If the Cavaliers defeat the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, they will have made it to the championship for the fourth year in a row.  However, James’ contract is over at the end of this season and James has declared that he will be entering free agency after the playoffs, regardless of whether the team wins the championship or not. There may be good reasons for him to consider making a change. Even though James’ agent claims that he is likely to stay in Cleveland, the regular season record for the Cavaliers was sub-par. At the beginning of the season, the Cavaliers...

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Life beyond a diagnosis: UMHB student in remission of leukemia, adjusts to life after regimen of treatments
Jan24

Life beyond a diagnosis: UMHB student in remission of leukemia, adjusts to life after regimen of treatments

By Rachael Hopson Contributing Writer As a 20-year-old sophomore business management major here at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, my boyfriend Corey Andersen lives a reasonably normal life. Many would never imagine him as a leukemia survivor, but that is a part of his reality. At eighteen years old, he had just graduated from high school and was looking forward to spending the day at Six Flags with our youth group. Unfortunately, his plans were interrupted the night before when an excruciating pain in his hip had been enough to send him to the hospital. He slept in the hospital bed hoping to pass the time before he was released so he could rejoin the group. He awoke from a nap worried only because he was missing out on the roller coasters, but something else was wrong; his parents’ eyes were puffy and bloodshot. The doctor entered the room and Corey soon realized he wouldn’t be riding any roller coasters that day. The doctor had seen a similar case before – a child brought in with excruciating hip pain and some similar blood test results. But, he couldn’t be sure. The doctor recommended taking him to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for an official diagnosis. That wasn’t how Corey, or any of us, had hoped the week would go – who would? Corey and I had spent the week at church camp with our youth group. It was a special trip since our anniversary was that week. Friday, July 24, 2015 was supposed to be our roller coaster day, our anniversary of two years dating. Instead of spending the day riding roller coasters with him, I was left at the park with the rest of the group not knowing what was going on or why he hadn’t been released yet. Our youth pastor, Kirk Godkin, was the one who finally gave me the news. I sat under the shadow of a roller coaster and sobbed. What a terrible way to spend our anniversary. Eventually, Corey’s sister Caitlyn, and I went to the hospital in Longview, Texas – the one that Corey had been taken to from camp the night before. From there, his family and I headed to Houston. Thankfully MD Anderson was only 20 minutes from our hometown of Humble. Going home felt good, but knowing his diagnosis would be made official there made the city seem strange and almost foreign. The next week was lengthy and arduous, but eventually we had an official diagnosis, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Corey’s incredible doctor, Dr. Naveen Pemmaraju, quickly educated us about this type of cancer and how a new treatment,...

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Hershall Seals presents: a Moby Dick Experience
Sep28

Hershall Seals presents: a Moby Dick Experience

By Haylee Jorgensen Contributing Writer As the first Fine Arts Experience of the 2017 fall semester, Mr. Hershall Seals unveiled his exhibition, A Moby Dick Experience, in the Baugh Visual Arts gallery on Monday, Aug. 21. The exhibit ran through Friday, Sept. 22 “I was excited and grateful to all who came to the artist talk at the opening of the exhibit,” Seals said. “Over two hundred people in attendance was easily the largest group I ever presented to. I was pretty nervous and glad I had prepared my thoughts.” Around 15 years ago, Seals began his transition from realistic to abstract painting. “It was as if I had an artistic ‘mid-life crisis.’” Seals said. “Emotional and intellectual stretching was helped by reading what Melville had to say about leaving the safety of the port to explore the ‘howling infinite’ where ‘resides the highest truth.’ This metaphor helped me navigate a different way of making art.” Seals Melville’s “Moby Dick” along with Dr. Phil Dunham, who acted as a coach to Seals in his “voyage into abstraction.” “We taught art together at UMHB for 23 years until his death in December of 2012,” Seals said. “This exhibit is my way of honoring his influence on my life.” Seals’ three exhibition paintings represented the last three chapters of “Moby Dick,” and the gallery was brought to life through his use of sound, light, temperature and scent. Seals enlisted the help Mr. Larry Locke, associate dean of the McLane College of Business and associate professor, to record the gallery’s sound loop reciting the last three chapters of “Moby Dick,” which played alongside whale songs. The lights of the gallery were turned off, only l eaving spotlights on Seal’s three multimedia pieces. An interior wall was installed to keep light from the hallway shine in. The temperature of the gallery was slightly lowered, and a salted Scentsy was placed in it to imitate the smell of the ocean. “One thing I took away from the exhibit was a greater appreciation for abstract work,” sophomore studio art major and psychology minor, Bronwyn Taff, said. “I tend to prefer more realistic pieces, but seeing Mr. Seals’ abstract oceans, with a hint of realism thrown in, was very cool. Also, as a studio artist, I know how intriguing multimedia is to work with, and Mr. Seals used it very effectively.” Taking all of this into consideration, Seals’ exhibit was a huge success. “Personally, I thought the exhibit was well conceived, interesting, well crafted, professional in concept, technique and execution,” Barnes said. “And it was a unique, intelligent take on the last three chapters of Moby...

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Bells staff wins awards at TIPA competition
Apr26

Bells staff wins awards at TIPA competition

The Bells staff recently attended the annual Texas Intercollegiate Press Association conference in Dallas. The staff competed in on-site contests and came home with several awards for articles and page designs from 2016. Individual awards: – Honorable mention, sports news story: Cody Weems – 3rd place, sports action photo: Jake Stamps – 1st place, picture story: Madeline Oden, Lauren Lum, Kaylee Blumenfeld, Tra Shedrick – 2nd place, special edition: Lauren Lum – Honorable mention, single subject presentation: Geri Wissink and Tori Van Hooser – 3rd place, feature story: Tori Van Hooser – 3rd place, illustration: Sarah Ifft – 1st place, headline: Madeline Oden – Honorable mention, general column: Lauren Lum – Honorable mention, infographic: Tori Van Hooser and Geri Wissink – Honorable mention, feature photo: Alex Boivin Staff awards: – Honorable mention, overall excellence – 2nd place, Best of...

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