Stay true to your own convictions

Halloween isn’t a day for Christians to fear. 1 John 4:4 says, “For greater is He who is in me, than he that is in the world.” It’s not wrong for parents and children to participate, but it’s about the motivation and degree of that participation. People should stay true to their own convictions. They should research history of the day and not be naïve – thinking that cults don’t exist anymore. They should know and evaluate the facts against their convictions decide whether their family should participate. When I was in the first grade, my mom made me a purple and white cheerleader costume for Halloween. The white shirt had a big purple ‘K’ across the front. I twirled and jumped in the living room with my pompoms. My terror of a toddler sister wore black sweats with a furry skunk tail stuffed in her diaper bottom. Not exactly the finest pair of outfits to go trick or treating together, but we made it work. Growing up, we toured the neighborhood in our small town, especially Grandma’s road because she had generous candy-giving neighbors. We’d usually end the night at our church’s fall festival before making the rounds of the fair at the church across the street from our house. My favorites were the cake walk and bean bag toss. In the innocence of childhood, where holidays are merely excuses to eat candy, play games and unwrap gifts, I didn’t know Halloween might not be so innocent. My perceptions have changed. Area animal agencies have prohibited the adoption of cats during the fall season in order to protect the felines from cults, or would-be copycats, no pun intended. Many Christian congregations are starting to realizing the significance of the evangelistic opportunities afforded by countless children and families who come knocking on their doors. An article in the Seattle Times reported that evangelical Christians are now embracing the holiday they once avoided by “stamping” it with religious efforts. Some include passing out tracts with the candy and offering to pray with their costumed...

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Homecoming: Up with the Purple!
Oct27

Homecoming: Up with the Purple!

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Call me an entrepreneur

I started the fall semester proud of my newfound place to purchase textbooks. I came across half.com (a subsidy of eBay) my sophomore year. And I’m hooked. I buy and sell online. Beyond saving money I don’t have, another plus is getting and sending mail. When I get an e-mail saying “You’ve made a sale” I whip out the paper, tape and animal stickers. It’s like wrapping Christmas presents. I’m sure to include the paper from the site alerting the buyer to leave positive feedback for me. I’m proud to say that guitarprincess189 has shooting star reviews. The not so good But something not so great happened last semester. I branched out from ordering school textbooks and bought a Becoming Jane on the site. Not only was the item late (sellers have three days to ship an item once it’s been sold), but it turned out to be a pirated copy! I reported that sucker to the half.com authorities. They quickly responded by giving me a complete refund. Talk about good customer service and excellent PR. The extra surprise I used to order my books for my fall classes during the summer. But the upperclassmen in me has gotten this “do I actually need this book” to a science. I waited until the first week of class was over to purchase a book for a certain class (can’t tell you because I’m still in it), but three weeks came and went, and I still hadn’t received the book. Another cool feature on half.com is the ability for sellers and buyers to converse. I had a message from the seller saying she hadn’t received the notice that the book had been sold until recently. I said, “Yeah right” aloud and clicked the reply button. She asked me if I still wanted the book. I’d been charged for it already so of course, I said yes. A couple of days later, I got a really heavy box in the mail. It was the book! Now I could stop mooching off my friend who had the book already. The textbook was in a box marked “World’s Finest Chocolates” – I smiled because my sister and I used to have to sell those for our school fundraiser. Then, when I cut open the taped edges, I found inside … three chocolate bars. It made me laugh out loud. Poor lady who felt sorry for sending the book late! It was worth the wait. Three chocolate bars for not really missing the book too much (tear, tear). Even though it’s not predictable, I’m glad for the funny memories using a Web site to buy...

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No more summer?
Oct13

No more summer?

President Obama recently proposed that American schools shorten summer break. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act is set for renewal. Unfortunately, the Obama administration is hoping to bring more “reform” in early 2010. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporter Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times in an interview that Obama hopes “to go from, say, roughly 180 to closer to 200 school days.” Obama says education in the United States lags behind, claiming other countries have longer days and longer school years and are experiencing success because of it. In an Associated Press article Obama said the proposal is not well liked. “Now, I know longer school days and school years are not wildly popular ideas. Not with Malia and Sasha, not in my family, and probably not in yours. But the challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom.” The Associated Press reported that American school children actually spend more time in school than children from other countries who spend more days in school. However, the United States is consistently out-scored in areas of math and science by many Asian countries. However, keeping children in school longer doesn’t mean higher knowledge will follow. The American education system is flawed, built on public school systems that are rigged to “teach the test” so they can receive more government funding to afford to pay teacher salaries. If children were forced to change to a proposed 8 to 5 schedule, chaos would soon follow. Young children’s attention spans cannot last for such rigor. Older students would lose time from sports and band activities that are normally held before and after classes. Students who work minimum wage jobs at the local restaurants would have to quit. Teachers would have to work longer hours for the same salary; or if Obama had his way, salaries would be fixed, and the taxpayers would pick up the government’s tab once more. Teachers work harder than most other professions, but they are only paid on the basis of their students’ performance rather than on their own. They say their goal is to improve the economy’s future, but what about day cares that would be forced out of business, after-school programs like Big Brother Big Sister that would lose their customers and teens who would lose their jobs? We know our kids are getting too fat, but we’re no longer requiring PE classes. A mock focus group during an advanced public relations class revealed that many Crusaders think dinner would have to be provided for young children. And with the proposed longer school days, there’s sure to be the necessity of a third frozen,...

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Flag Football: Intramurals are not for sissies
Oct13

Flag Football: Intramurals are not for sissies

In the cool of Texas fall nights, students circle in for a huddle. Teams like the Deputy Dawgs and El Fuego are part of the university’s intramural flag football. The league consists of both men’s and co-ed teams, with varying levels of competitiveness. The Frog Giggers, an all-men’s team, created the name from one of the member’s fantasy football leagues. Many of the Giggers not only make plays on the field together but also work together in the university’s financial aid office. Senior marketing major Justen Aguillon said, “All of us in fi nancial aid are playing against each other in a department-wide fantasy football league.” But the men also compete outside cyberspace in real-world football. “Well, we all enjoy each other’s company and interact outside of the office anyway. So this wasn’t a stretch for us to play together,” Aguillon said. Not only are students enjoying the fresh air and playing outdoors, but they’re staying physically fi t. Director of Campus Recreation Sue Weaver said, “There’s a huge obesity problem in our youth, from a very early age up through the twenties.” In addition to overusing the convenience of fast food, Weaver said students are spending too much time in the easy chair. “We do a lot more sedentary things, like sitting at our computers and playing video games,” she said. “So intramurals gives us a chance to get outside and be active.” The best part, Weaver said, is that playing intramurals isn’t like working out. “It’s fun,” she said. “It’s more like playing outside when you were little.” Junior sport management and exercise science major Kelsey Gobin serves as the intramural coordinator. Part of her responsibilities include marketing the many recreation events for students. Intramural sports offers football, softball, volleyball, basketball, tennis and ultimate Frisbee. Gobin thinks intramural sports offer students opportunities to strengthen social skills, and that’s what she enjoys most about her job. “I love watching people have fun,” Gobin said. “To see kids that don’t really fit in a lot, and see them out here with a team having fun (by) being included — that’s always rewarding.” Students shouldn’t let a lack of physical ability or hand-foot coordination get in the way of participating. “You don’t have to be experienced… to come play intramurals,” she said. “It’s a lot less competitive.” Crusaders who like to participate, but don’t have a team, can sign up in the recreation office to be a free agent. Gobin said she has seen more female students participate than in years past, even though “the weather has not been good to us in flag football.” Aguillon encourages students to participate...

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