Adopting a furry friend – tips and tricks
Feb22

Adopting a furry friend – tips and tricks

Published in the February 22, 2017 issue of The Bells One main question someone asks themselves when looking for a pet is: should I adopt from a shelter or buy from a breeder? There are pros and cons to both sides, but I believe that adopting from the shelter is the best way to go once you are prepared and ready to dedicate your time and love to a new friend. Please stay away from pet stores and online services, since most receive their animals from mills, specifically puppy mills. For more information on puppy mills visit: https://positively.com/animal-advocacy/puppy-mills. Buying a puppy or kitten from a breeder can be difficult, but can also be beneficial if you really want to know everything about your new friend. Some benefits to buying your new furry friend this way is that you will be able to see your pet’s mother and the environment they were raised in. Reputable breeders will often provide genetic health testing to make sure your animal is not likely to carry any inherited genetic problems. Buying from a breeder can guarantee that you know exactly what you are getting in terms of breed. However, there are challenges when it comes to buying from breeders. Purebred dogs tend to have more health problems than mixes or shelter dogs, but the same is not known for cats. And buying a pet from a breeder can be extremely expensive. Breeders can be a good choice if you have a certain goal in mind, but if you are looking for a loving companion, I recommend adopting from a local animal shelter. When you adopt from a shelter, you are saving two lives – the life of the dog you adopt and the space that opens up for another dog in the shelter or rescue. A benefit is that most animals will already have all of their shots, and could also have a microchip and be spayed/neutered. This will not happen if they are younger than a few weeks, but the shelter can refer you to a vet where you can have this done. Often times, vets will offer discounts on these services for shelter animals. Shelters often have foster parents for the animal, so if you’re adopting from a rescue group, they will be able to tell you all about the dog’s personality so there are no surprises when you bring the dog home. Because they have foster parents, many dogs are already potty-trained, which can save you a lot of time and frustration. According to health studies, mixed breeds tend to have less inherited genetic health problems and live longer than pure...

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University shows love, reaches out to Belton community
Feb22

University shows love, reaches out to Belton community

Published in the February 22, 2017 issue of The Bells The Belton and Temple communities have been impacted by the university and student-led events, since the university moved to Belton in 1886. As the university grows larger, more and more students are reaching out to the community to provide help and support. Through different programs like Reaching Out and the BSM’s many ministries, the community has benefited from students’ labor and love for the town our university calls home. Students have visited places like Belton Christian Youth Center, Cedar Brake Retreat Center, Temple Animal Shelter, and Hope for the Hungry to help the community and these businesses. “Throughout the years, all the students that have volunteered have been extremely helpful,” said Dawn Hartman, the ACO of the Temple Animal Shelter, “We appreciate all the school has done.” Students have volunteered at the local shelter and have helped clean kennels, clean up the yard area, and spent time loving on the shelter’s animal residents. Recently, the campus organization Circle K went to the shelter and helped with what they could. Students also helped at the Cedar Brake Catholic Retreat Center, which is an area for private retreats for churches. At the last Reaching Out event held in the fall of 2016, 15 students painted many of the large porches on the site. The center would gladly welcome students back in a heartbeat. “We are very fortunate to be a recipient of their help. We got a lot more done with their help,” said Cedar Brake Director Brian Egan, “It is just like the verse on their shirts said, ‘Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.’” Another off-campus site that has greatly benefited from the university is the Miller Spring Nature Center. The nature center is an asset to the community, so the help UMHB students bestow upon it is appreciated. UMHB students have helped mostly with physical labor at the center — removing obstacles so hikers can pass through the trails easily, and restoring the environment by planting and spreading native grass seeds. “The university [students] are the best at doing this work. It’s a partnership that we value,” said Rene Berkhoudt, the Miller Spring Nature Center’s coordinator. Dr. George Loutherback, university chaplain, said the community members often contact him praising the students’ contributions. “We get letters all the time thanking us for coming and doing and being and its put UMHB in a light to where is it helpful and not just existing in its own little boundaries,” said Dr. Loutherback. These businesses...

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Are you Split about  seeing this movie?
Feb08

Are you Split about seeing this movie?

Published in the February 8, 2017 issue of The Bells The recent PG-13 film Split made a grand entrance to theaters Jan. 20. Split is a psychological horror film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. This two-hour thriller keeps the audience on the edge of their seats as they wait to see how the story will progress. A quick fun fact is that at the end of the movie, there is a surprise reference to Shyamalan’s 2000 film Unbreakable. The movie revolves around three teenage girls who are kidnapped by a man who experiences associative identity disorder (D.I.D), which is also known as multiple personality disorder. Actor James McAvoy’s personalities in the movie are Dennis, Patricia, and Hedwig. As Marcia (Jessica Sula), Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Claire (Haley Lu Richardson) try to understand what’s happening and plan their escape, they must also figure out how to manipulate each personality that threatens their safety. The actors selected did a wonderful job portraying their characters. McAvoy did a spectacular job transitioning between personalities and gave each personality its own essence of reality. The character design for each personality was so detailed. From the way they dressed, to the manner in which they talked or walked, to the quirks each personality had, everything was specific to that personality. Each of the girls played their parts really well. The troubled teen and main character Casey Cooke hints at a mysterious past that the audience learns more about throughout the movie. The dialog between characters was very well designed. Each line is tailored to a specific personality and is crucial to the plot. The set design was also well thought out. There were separate spaces where each personality resided while they were conscious. This movie also has a smaller theme embedded into the story–how powerful someone’s beliefs can be. This belief system is a constant re-occurrence in the movie. One thing that really made this movie stand out from the rest was that it brought three different social issues into the spotlight. D.I.D. is controversial among mental health professionals, but the movie provided some information about the disorder and the personalities in a way that the audience can understand. The other two issues that are also brought up are sexual abuse and child abuse. The issues are seen in the flashbacks of the characters and explain why the characters have turned out to be who they are during the movie. All-in-all, this movie is a definite must-see for those who enjoy the suspense and are curious about the peculiar situation the characters find themselves in. I would give this film a nine out...

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Where are they now- Barry Elkins
Feb08

Where are they now- Barry Elkins

Published in the February 8, 2017 issue of The Bells Barry Elkins entered UMHB as a freshman in 1992 and graduated with a Physical Education major and a biology minor in 1997. He received his teaching certificate from the university and went on to teach biology in public school while coaching soccer. While at UMHB, Elkins played soccer from 1992-1995 as no. 15 and tennis from 1993-1995. It was during this time that he met his wife. They now have two teenage boys and live here in Belton. Elkins attended UMHB before it had a football program and the school was considered an NIA school instead of an NCAA school. After graduating, Elkins taught biology for 15 years in Belton ISD and coached soccer for the school system. Then, in 2012, there was an opening as the women’s soccer coach here at UMHB. Elkins said he knew some of the coaches who worked at UMHB and believed the university was a great place to work. He applied for the position and was offered the job. Elkins claims that when he first moved jobs it was weird getting used to not having over 100 students to teach. Now he could just focus on his team of around 30 girls. He says that interacting with the students was his favorite part of his teaching career, but he adjusted easily to coaching his team instead of teaching 200 students. And he says he enjoys what he does here at UMHB. Elkins has worked as the head coach for the past five years and says he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. He wants to continue coaching for as long as he can. As head soccer coach for the women’s team, he is required to coach them in soccer, but he also helps them grow and become the best students they can be when they are not on the field. Elkins believes being an alumnus of UMHB has helped him when it comes to the recruiting part of his job. Knowing the students’ side has helped him to understand the school and what makes the school enjoyable to students. He tries to help new recruits fall in love with the school like he did. “I came to play soccer, but I stayed because I enjoyed the school,” Elkins...

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Embracing more multilingualism in schools
Feb08

Embracing more multilingualism in schools

Published in the February 8, 2017 issue of The Bells With the new president elect Donald Trump entering the White House this January, there have been a lot of concerns over the decisions he’s made at the start of his presidency. One decision that was not reported on by the media was that a California law that forced school districts to teach only English, was lifted after a 20-year ban. I believe that children should have the chance to learn different languages than the one they speak at home, especially in America, where freedom of expression applies to everyone. The United States of America has never had an official language. If you Google ‘America’s official language’, you will find statements like, “The United States does not have a national official language, but English is the most commonly used.” But just because English is the most commonly-used language doesn’t mean we should ban students from learning about foreign languages and cultures. There are many reasons why multilingualism should be encouraged nationwide in both schools and society. The first reason has to do with our ancestry. Early on in American history English was one of the least spoken languages. German was actually widely used throughout the colonies. In the early 20th Century, German was the most-widely studied foreign language in the United States, and prior to World War I, more than six percent of American school children received their primary education exclusively in German and not English. French and Spanish are also some of the most common languages used in America and are still spoken fluently in many states today. French is spoken mainly by the Louisiana Creole, Native French, Cajun, Haitian, and French-Canadian populations and is widely spoken in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and in Louisiana, including some areas in St. Clair County, and many rural areas of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the northern San Francisco Bay area. A study in 2012 found that roughly two million people speak French or a French-Creole language at home here in America. Spanish is taught as a second language, especially in areas with large Hispanic populations. A 2009 American Community Survey conducted by the United States Census Bureau showed that Spanish is the primary language spoken at home by over 35 million people aged five years or older, making the United States the world’s fifth-largest Spanish-speaking community, outnumbered only by Mexico, Colombia, Spain, and Argentina. In Hispanic communities across the country, there are signs in both English and Spanish for bilingual purposes. Our ancestry as Americans is not mainly European, but also other cultures that have been suppressed by English speakers....

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