Valentine’s Day ideas for the student on a budget
Feb16

Valentine’s Day ideas for the student on a budget

Valentine’s Day is just a few days away, and we know what that means—heart-shaped Reese’s peanut butter cups, long-stemmed red roses, chocolate-covered strawberries, dates, and sometimes even a marriage proposal. As a college student, funds are limited. So, if you’re looking for a way to treat your Valentine to a romantic night without spending a fortune, here are a few ideas that won’t break your budget. 1. Don’t have money to spend on a fancy restaurant? Either order take-out from a local restaurant or cook for your significant other. Women love when you cook for them, and it’s cheaper than going to a fancy restaurant. Next, go to That Art Place here in Belton, and paint pieces of pottery together. The shop offers mugs, plates, figurines, and more with various designs ranging from $10 to $20. If you call ahead on Saturday night and mention you’re on a date, you will get a 10 percent off discount. Or if you want to pay a little more, the shop is offering couple’s canvas painting or fused glass projects that comes with a complimentary rose and desserts. Finish off the day by watching the stars and drinking hot chocolate in the Quad. 2. Do you and your sweetheart like being outdoors? You can check out a kayak or a canoe for less than $20 at Recreation Equipment Checkout at BLORA and take a romantic kayak or canoe ride down Belton Lake. Bring along a guitar and play a special song for your special someone. After you finish kayaking, explore the trails by the lake together, before enjoying appetizers at Dead Fish Grill, The Gin, or BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse. 3. Would you rather see a movie? The Grand Avenue Theater is showing classic romantic comedies Sunday night for $5 a person. You may not be a huge fan of chick flicks, but you will score huge points with your date if you’re willing to sit through one. The theater’s café’ will be offering Valentine’s Day-themed entrees. After the movie, indulge in The Gin’s special red velvet cheesecake with a chocolate-covered strawberry on the side for $5.95 or make your own frozen yogurt concoction at the Weigh Station next to The Gin in downtown Belton. You can mix and match these ideas, check out Pinterest and Groupon.com, or create your own unique idea. No matter what you decide to do for Valentine’s Day, choose something from the heart, and I can guarantee that she’ll like it. You don’t have to spend a fortune to make a memory that your special someone will remember for years to...

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Media to blame for body image issues
Feb16

Media to blame for body image issues

Barbie, known for her blonde hair, blue eyes, thick makeup, and disproportionate body, is debuting a new look in 2016. Due to the growing opinion that Barbie’s unrealistic body has a negative influence on children, Mattel recently announced they are releasing three new body types this year: curvy, tall, and petite. While this is a novel idea, I don’t believe Barbies are behind the ongoing problem of eating disorders and distorted body image for children, teens, and young adults. The root of the problem is the media– not a heel-wearing, able-to-do-every-job-under-the-sun plastic toy. According to nationaleatingdisorders.org, 8 to 18-year-olds spend approximately 7.5 hours on some form of media every day. During this time, individuals are bombarded with ads featuring gorgeous paper-thin, photo-shopped women and handsome, muscular men selling everything from cars to hamburgers, sending a message to impressionable 5 to 25-year-olds that we must go beyond the natural look and strive to be like them. While I don’t think the media should portray women as slobs, I do believe they should show average looking women with wrinkles and cellulite. The average woman weighs about 140 pounds and is 5’4” tall. Most models weigh 23% less than most America women. Other countries are beginning to recognize the problem before the United States. In fact, in Israel, models are required to have a healthy BMI to be featured in magazines and ads. In the United States, the magazines and newspapers slam companies such as Mattel, but yet, they feature a size 0 woman on their next front cover with a feature story about how to lose weight in just 10 days. This is setting a double standard that needs to be addressed. Heavily advertised weight loss programs have become a $33 billion dollar industry, although studies show that half of people dieting don’t need to be dieting. Movies and TV shows are guilty as well. TV shows such as NBC’s The Biggest Loser, ABC’s The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, and many other shows focus on physical appearance. Characters who don’t fit the “ideal” look are generally ridiculed for their appearance while on screen. Dr. Anne Becker, a Harvard alum and professor, conducted a study of Fijian girls and women who had gone their entire life without Western TV until 1995. After just three years with television, 29% of the females were at high risk of eating disorders, compared to the only 13% before the study. Beauty contests such as Miss America and Miss Universe are televised glorifying beauty through evening gown and swim suit competitions. Miss Universe 2016 earned 6.2 million viewers when the show aired in Dec. of 2015. So,...

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Star Wars makes the big bucks
Jan28

Star Wars makes the big bucks

“Luke, I am your father.” Darth Vader’s gravelly voice echoes through the chamber. “No, that’s not true,” one-handed Luke Skywalker screams in disbelief and agony before he jumps down a hole into the abyss. Most Americans instantly recognize this iconic scene from the franchise that changed the course of cinema. Star Wars, directed by George Lucas, pushed its way into the box office in May of 1977. Considered a low budget B-movie, Star Wars opened to only 43 theaters. However, each week more theaters began to show the movie. Star Wars remained in theaters for almost 70 weeks, and made more than $460 million. “The first Star Wars was so appealing because it brought a new genre to the big screen with a great storyline that hadn’t been heard before,” sophomore Christian studies major Franklin Groseclose said. From this point on, Lucasfilms began licensing the brand to other companies for merchandise. In addition to the usual action figures and T-shirts, some rather unorthodox items have been spotted including airsickness bags, Darth Vader toasters, and fishing gear. During the next 28 years, Lucasfilms released five more Star Wars films, including three prequels to the original Star Wars movie. Star Wars was renamed as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope when these prequels were released. Disney bought the franchise in 2012 for $4 billion from George Lucas. Once they acquired the franchise, Disney instantly expressed interest in adding onto the Star Wars saga. “When I heard that Disney owned Star Wars, I was angry, because it seems like they own almost everything. But when I saw the new Star Wars movie, I was very pleasantly surprised,” freshman nursing major Michaela Williams said. In December of 2015, Disney released Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Thousands of moviegoers of all ages flocked to see the new movie featuring old characters such Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and Han Solo, and new characters such as Finn and Rey. “Star Wars is a movie franchise that a generation has been able to pass to the next,” Groseclose said. “Since our parents grew up on it, they understood what it would be like to see Star Wars once again, and it is appealing to the younger generation because of the action and that it was probably part of their childhood as well.” After just 20 days in theaters, Star Wars: The Force Awakens beat Avatar’s $760,507,625 domestic gross to become the #1 grossing movie in the nation. For those of you who have not seen the newest movie, let’s just say that Disney left everyone with a cliffhanger. I guess we’ll have to wait until...

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Program connects students with career mentors
Jan28

Program connects students with career mentors

The Apprentice Belton program hosted their kickoff for the semester in Bawcom Student Union in the McLane Great Hall Jan. 21. The program is a partnership between Belton’s Chamber of Commerce and the university’s career center that provides mentors to students. Director of Career Services Don Owens and the chamber came to each other with the same idea about Apprentice Belton roughly four years ago when they heard about the Apprentice Austin program in Austin, TX. “It was certainly God’s being involved and us all being on the same page at the same time that made the program possible,” Owens said. Sophomore, junior and senior students must submit an application and a reference letter by mid-October to be considered for the program in the spring semester. Once a student applies, they will be contacted for an interview by the university and chamber. The university and the chamber then find mentors in each of the students’ chosen majors. Owens believes that students should be involved with this program so they can get a true feel for their profession before they walk across the stage. “I think students should apply to get a bird’s eye view of what it’s really like in that field,” Owens said. “A lot of us have these concepts of certain careers but we don’t realize it’s a lot of hard work. There’s the good, the bad, and the ugly of every job. There’s an old saying that says if you love what you do, you won’t have to work a day of your life. We want our students to have a passion and a calling for their career.” Thirteen students have been paired with professionals from the Belton and Temple area for this semester’s Apprentice Belton. The students will be required to meet with their mentor six times throughout the spring semester, whether it’s to discuss how the student’s semester is going over coffee or to shadow the professional on the job. At the end of April there will be a closing ceremony where participants will receive a certificate and they will be able to speak about their experience. “Through Apprentice Belton, I was able to gain a mentor in the medical field who has been able to help me navigate through my journey towards becoming a physician. While I also gained many hours of shadowing experience, what stood out to me more is the practical knowledge I gained through talking with Dr. Wooldridge about her experiences in the medical field,” said senior cell biology pre-med major and Apprentice Belton alumni Autumn Brewer. Junior BCIS major with a minor in Christian studies Ashli Adams is participating...

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Faith important in path to healing from mental illness
Dec08

Faith important in path to healing from mental illness

People struggling with mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, OCD, and ADD may feel that having faith in God is hopeless. However, faith can play a huge role in overcoming these illnesses. The Cru Counseling Center encourages students to join a church, a local ministry or see a Christian therapist or counselor if they feel they are struggling through mental illness. Therapist, and UMHB almuna, Leslie L. Brown, MA, LPC intern, said it is important for people to discuss mental illness from a spiritual standpoint. She believes that through faith people can believe that they are battling mental illness for a reason and that one day they will no longer struggle with these illnesses. “Most importantly, those who have faith also have hope,” Brown said. “First they have hope that God is with them as they go through their battle with mental illness. Second they have hope that even if they struggle with their mental illness for the rest of their life, one day in Heaven they will be free of it. Third they have hope that their struggle has a purpose since God does not waste.” Brown wants people with mental illness to realize that medication and godly counsel are helpful tools in finding a cure for mental illness. “I believe in some cases the Bible and prayer alone are sufficient, but not in every case. Sometimes godly counsel is necessary,” she said. “I believe some medications are a gift from God, and I have seen medication lift a person’s mood just enough for counseling to be effective.” Senior pre-med biology major Kia Torres has seen firsthand the effects of faith on mental illness. Torres has struggled with depression and anxiety since she was diagnosed at the age of 10. Throughout Torres’ middle school and high school years, she struggled with suicide, drugs, partying, and various other vices. In Torres’ freshman year at UMHB, she attended church with her Cru leader. This church service changed her life forever. “The pastor was speaking on Psalms 139, and how you’re made for a purpose. I busted out crying, and I finally decided You’ve proven yourself to me.” Once Torres became a Christian, she underwent counseling where she learned that although someone may be a Christian, they can still have a mental illness. “I realized that depression is something I’m going to struggle with whether I’m a Christian or not,” Torres said. “You can be a strong, solid Christian and still have depression.” In Genesis, the Bible says that what Satan used for evil in Joseph’s story, God used for good to save many people’s lives. Torres has a tattoo...

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