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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Hidden Figures revealed
Jan25

Hidden Figures revealed

Published in the January 25, 2017 issue of The Bells This year’s newest film Hidden figures received out of the world ratings from sources all over the U.S., passing up the recent Rouge one in the box office and keeping the title of number one movie since its national release. This PG drama is based on the true story of three intelligent African-American women and their team who helped provide NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program’s first successful space missions. This film is approximately 127 minutes and shows different real life situations concerning these women and their point of view on the world around them. The Personal rating is eight out of ten stars for the featured film. The main setting of the movie is in Virginia 1961 and the plot primarily focuses on the life of Kathrine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) and her two friends and co-workers Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae). These behind the scenes women were called “computers” by NASA staff and were often overlooked by others because of their skin color. However, the trio did their best to not let setbacks in their journey bring them down. The audience watches as Kathrine, Dorothy, and Mary push through the ranks and cross both gender and racial lines fearlessly. The actresses did a wonderful job portraying these women and their roles were fully embraced by the audience. I believed this film was a cool way to show the different areas behind the scenes for sending a man into space. It was great to see that these women had a major role in achieving one of Americas greatest accomplishments despite being undervalued by their peers. One thing that stuck out me was how the movie didn’t just focus on these women and their personal lives. The movie also made a point to bring in images of the segregation and of peaceful protests that were going on during this time as well as showing how it affected all African Americans during this time. This movie promotes that all genders and all races can do the unthinkable when we work towards the goal together. It is just as the NASA director Al Harrison (Kevin Costner) said during one popular scene, “We either get there together, or we don’t get there at all”. The movie and the message gives the younger audience more understanding and proves to them that there are many opportunities for women to succeed no matter the color of our skin. One thing to look for after watching this movie is the pictures at the beginning of the credits...

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Men and Women’s basketball hope to finish season strong
Jan25

Men and Women’s basketball hope to finish season strong

Published in the January 25, 2017 issue of The Bells The men’s and women’s basketball teams have risen through the ranks this season. Both teams aim to dominate their opponents in their upcoming games. Both the men’s and the women’s teams treat their teammates like their second family, and strive to bring out each other’s best. Women’s The women’s basketball team has accomplished many things since their season began in the fall. The team’s Head Coach Mark Morefield believes the team created a new rhythm with new and old members, and that they played very well in the fall. “The team started off strong and we plan on finishing the season strong as well,” said Haven Neal, a junior math major and third year team member. Alicia Blackwell, a freshmen chemistry major and guard for the team, believes the team can improve some of the defense techniques and dominate the court in their upcoming face-offs. Team member Destini Oakmon, a senior exercise sport science major and point guard, has played with UMHB for all four years. “This was one of the best seasons I’ve seen during my four years playing here,” she said. Unfortunately, Oakmon won’t be playing the rest of the season due to an injury, but she wants to help the team by encouraging them to do their best both on and off court. With five weeks left in the season, Morefield is pushing his team to tighten up their performances before the conference finals. The team will now be facing western district opponents after facing the eastern district opponents last semester. The team hopes to win the chance to host Conference at UMHB. “Hosting after such a long while would bring more confidence to the women and encourage them to go on to the NCAA tournament with that in mind,” Morefield said. Men’s The men’s basketball team has also achieved goals set by the coaches at the beginning of the season. There are 10 games left in the men’s season and all team members aim for one main purpose: to win the next game. “Basketball is an imperfect game and there is always room for improvement,” said the men’s head coach Ken Deweese. Keenan Holdman, a freshmen physical education major and guard, and Braden Hammond, a junior exercise sports science major and guard, both believe the team could improve on their techniques and communication on the court.. “It’s amazing being able to have a chance to help young adults grow and help them in their lessons and their walk and helping them to be the best they can be,” Morefield said. “We do our best to...

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Moana steals hearts nationwide at Grand Opening
Dec07

Moana steals hearts nationwide at Grand Opening

Published in the December 7, 2016 issue of The Bells Walt Disney studios released their newest animated film Moana to theatres nationwide on November 23, and so far, it has been a big hit for all ages. The movie was given a 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, which is the first high rating for a Disney movie in a long time. It is 1 hour and 43 minutes long and is rated PG for its brief scary images. While it was given such a high rating, I personally give it a 8 out of 10 stars. The movie itself had great potential, but I felt like it was missing something. The story is focused on a teenage girl named Moana, who is the daughter of the chieftain on a small island in the Polynesian Islands. From a young age, Moana Waialiki has always wanted to venture out but no one is allowed beyond the reef. Moana takes great pride in her homeland and people and when she discovers her island is dying and her people’s chances of survival are dwindling because of a plague of darkness. She decides to find the Demi-god and master way-finder Maui and restore life to the island What I really liked about the plot is that there are many conflicts the character’s face before reaching the final climax of the movie. It is not a ‘solve one and done’ type of film. Instead, the main characters must overcome multiple challenges before they can succeed. The animation style was gorgeous and has continued to improve and become more realistic with each new Disney film. The elaborate detail is consistent throughout the movie and is mesmerizing. The way the water glistens and rolls as the waves hit the island gives the audience the feeling that they are on this journey with Moana. While Moana’s character development evolved over the film’s entirety, her counterpart Maui didn’t have much improvement. The only noticeable thing was that Maui was a little more considerate to the mortals toward the end of the movie, but was still vain until the end. Also, in the last few scenes, Moana’s father participates in an action he was so against in the beginning of the movie. His participation in the event feels almost random and forced. Sure, he is happy to support his daughter, but he personally has a hatred for the action and so it is strange to see him performing it with his daughter. I’m sure the last few scenes were meant to take place a month or so later but they seemed highly unlikely. What I enjoyed most about this movie was...

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