The Magnificent Seven: the last of the rec majors

By Joshua Thiering You may have seen them around campus with Nalgenes dangling from their backpacks and Chocos strapped to their feet. They have an unofficial motto: “Getting paid to do what you would do for free.” But all is not well. They are  an endangered species, nearing extinction as each semester passes—similar to the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander. Only seven recreation majors remain, according to Bethany Chapman, the Institutional Research coordinator. The last granules of sand are filtering through the tear-drop shaped hourglass. The expected graduation date for the official last recreation major is May 2010, according to Jamey Plunk, recreation adviser. The program stopped accepting students in the Spring of 2007 due to accreditation guidelines, Plunk said. Because of the guidelines, “All we could do was have a minor. So we beefed up the minor from 18 to 24 hours, and that was the end of the recreation major.” Plunk added, “I know there were a lot of kids who were disappointed about that. It’s a very marketable field.” With a degree in recreation, students can get a job in resorts and leisure, cruise lines, city parks, National Parks and Wildlife and therapeutic recreation. Only two students were pursuing a degree in recreation in 2002 when Plunk came to UMHB. Upon his arrival, Plunk received permission from the department head to revamp the recreation program. When they pumped up the classes offered, numbers swelled to 35-40 students. They added classes like Adventure Racing, Triathlon Training and Rock Climbing, and the numbers increased. Plunk thought much of this was due to UMHB’s location. It takes “only five minutes to get to one lake, and ten minutes to get to another. We can go down two rivers, and there are camping places everywhere around here. The weather for the most part is cooperative 80-90 percent of the year, and business opportunities are incredible,” he said. Recreation majors may be a dying breed, but they are still incredibly optimistic about their futures. “Even on the worst of days, I will still be surrounded by nature and the activities I love,” senior recreation major Andrew Dickerson said. “In this career, I will be able to not only spend my spare time, but my life doing what I love.” After graduation Dickerson plans to open a bed and breakfast in Brazil. Lindsay Derringer chose the recreation major because she wanted to go into camp ministry. Now her aspirations have shifted. “I want to be Dr. Plunk. I want to go to Colorado State University and teach classes in the recreation field. I would love to go and do what Plunk does,” Derringer...

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Abortion devalues human life, throws away God’s greatest gift

By Laura Beth Gebhardt It’s made the headlines before. A mother is tried for murder after leaving her baby to die in a trash can outside of a hospital. Seeing something like this leaves most people shocked. They can’t understand how someone could be so heartless. Yet, the same people are accepting of abortion. Despite what some may say, they are both murder. The heartbeat of a baby begins between the eighteenth and twenty-fifth days, and brain waves have been recorded as early as 40 days. The baby itself is fully developed, fingernails and eye lashes included, by 11 weeks. This is around the time that the average abortion is done. The definition of murder is, “to kill with premeditated malice.” Is this not the same thing as abortion? Recently, a new form of abortion has been introduced, known as induced labor abortion. In this procedure, labor is prematurely induced as late as six months into the pregnancy, and after the baby is born alive, it is left to die, sometimes in the soiled utility room. Sometimes it takes several hours. How can this not be considered murder? Presidential candidate Barack Obama does not oppose this procedure. On the contrary, he defends it. How a person can not be appalled and completely against this practice is beyond understanding. Voters give the president power, not only power over themselves but over the lives of thousands of defenseless babies. Anyone aspiring to lead this country should be closely scrutinized as to how they value the lives of the unborn. Throughout history, killing another human has never gone by without notice. It is a serious crime, and it has severe consequences. A study done by Elliot Institute of post-abortion patients, found that 61.3% of women experience guilt, 37.9% deal with anxiety, 31.6% have suicidal feelings and 43.6% deal with self-hatred. The guilt that faces post-abortion women is overwhelming and shows that their conscience knows that what they have done is wrong. It affects their thoughts, emotions and the way they live their everyday lives. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” God knew everyone by name before they were conceived, and taking the life of someone He created is something that people shouldn’t have the choice to do. The lives of humans are in His hands, and not something people should try to control.  Every life has a purpose and is precious in the eyes of God. Some would argue that people who are pro-life are against women having a choice....

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Jesus before America
Sep30

Jesus before America

By Dennis Greeson “My first allegiance is not to a flag, a country, or a man. My first allegiance is not to democracy or blood. It’s to a King and a Kingdom.” So sings Derek Webb in a counter-culture anthem that challenges the mistake of exalting America above all else. This fervent nationalism is held by many, but it conflicts with everything Jesus stands for. The love of Christ for people of all nations and races, his unshakable love for people, is the model for all who follow him. Yet there has been a subtle arrogance woven into our faith that tells us we have the freedom to pick and choose who to love. Jesus died for Muslims, for communists, and for all who we have been convinced to hate. Countless numbers of my own friends, people I’ve cried for, would be scorned the moment they stepped off the plane into an American airport, let alone into an American church. Nationalism makes distinctions, sees borders and throws up barriers between people. We who claim to be following after Jesus have a call to be different, revolutionaries who love beyond man’s delineation. In 1994, my family and I found ourselves on an airplane bound for Asia. Just after my fifth birthday, my parents yielded to a call to give up their lives for foreign missions, and we moved to Bangladesh, a small country on India’s eastern border. I spent the next 13 years of my life amidst swollen cities and ripening rice patties, in three countries and countless houses. I watched my family step out across cultural and linguistic barriers, serving passionately a people they did not know with a love the world does not understand. Upon returning to the United States at the beginning of my freshman year of college, I discovered what my Asian experience had stolen from me. I had lost any ties to a country that I might have once had; America did not quite fit me. What I gained, however, was a sense of homelessness, which I count a blessing. Through Jesus we become adopted sons and daughters of God, born into his Kingdom. Therefore, at the deepest part of our identity, we are neither American nor Bolivian; we are neither Anglo nor African-American; we are neither Republican nor Democrat; we are, above all else, children of God. Nationalism is not wrong in itself. Commitment and submission to one’s country is important and even biblical. However, nationalism that eclipses our identity as people born into a Kingdom “not of this world” needs to be reconsidered (John 18:36). Paul told us not to be “conformed to...

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Performances to feature faculty and special guest
Sep30

Performances to feature faculty and special guest

By Krystle Danuz See the music. Hear the artwork. Great artists are known to captivate and intrigue audiences with their ability to represent ideas in ways many cannot express. On Oct. 2 and 3 the English, art and music departments are going to be on center stage that also includes a guest performance by 2008 Texas Poet Laureate, Larry D. Thomas. The event is free of charge and open to the public. The art department is hosting a show displaying a few of the campus’ most creative professors and guests from the area. Called a “cross-discipline arts event,” the production will combine poetry, music and visual pieces. “It’s going to be fun,” chair of the music department, Dr. Lon W. Chaffin, said. “This is a unique event—something we’ve never tried before … that will become a regular event for the College of Visual and Performing Arts.” Since last spring, he has been working with artists, musicians and writers to develop the event. In the program, the title “Faraway Nearby” is described as “something (that) can be distant but remain close; foreign, but near at hand; long gone, but ever present.” The art exhibit will begin at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 2 in Hughes Recital Hall. Immediately following, the concert will commence with a screen displaying images to illustrate music and readings, as others perform. The reading will feature new and original poetry from three English professors: Assistant Professor Dr. Brady Peterson; Professor Dr. Cleatus Rattan; and English Chair Dr. Audell Shelburne. Musical accompaniment is composed by Chaffin and Justin Raines and performed with the assistance of special guests from New Mexico State University, Celeste Shearer, James E. Shearer and Martha Rowe. Visual images will be provided by six art professors: College of Visual and Performing Arts Dean,  Ted Barnes; Associate Professor,  Helen Kwiatkowski; Professor Phil Dunham; Associate Professor John Hancock;  Art Chair Hershall Seals; and Associate Professor Barbara Fontaine-White. Serious consideration went into the creation of each piece of art. Each poem describes a scene which is brought to life by music and art. “The objective of the series was to work from a piece of music and interpret it as a story in a nonobjective manner with a beginning, middle and an end,” Fontaine-White said. “The music I chose for inspiration was from the movie Fantasia. The colors work in harmony because they are complementary. Together the colors and shapes are meant to flow from panel to panel much as music would.” Acting as a guest poet in the production, is Larry D. Thomas. On Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. in Hughes he will read from his latest book, Larry D....

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