Student amputee shares personal struggles and accomplishments
Apr11

Student amputee shares personal struggles and accomplishments

Emily Parker describes her life beginning after her surgery to remove her leg. She described her childhood as always being in pain, never being able to keep up with her classmates, and constantly dealing with the term “disabled.” Parker was born with a genetic disease, neurofibromatosis, which caused her tibia to break when she was nine months old. Parker and her family tried to fight the disease for 10 years while enduring 14 surgeries in the process. Multiple techniques were used to heal her leg, like casts, braces, bone rods and halo devices. After the second halo device was placed, her leg did actually heal for about a year. It wasn’t until a roller skating accident that it broke again because the bone itself was so brittle and fragile. Emily said she didn’t even realize the bone had broken again because the pain was not excruciating. Emily and her mother both went to the hospital soon after where they were given two options: a third halo device implant or amputation. Emily said she remembers thinking the halo device might have worked but amputation was a definite answer to life without suffering. She knew she would have a life outside her disability. After the surgery, Parker had to learn how to walk again, as if learning how to walk for the first time in her life. As she began this new experience, reality set in. “It was like –‘Wow. This is my life now. And this is how it is going to be forever.’ ” Parker currently serves in an amputee mentorship program. She says serving new amputees is one of her biggest passions in life. When giving them advice, she points out the realization that each amputee’s life is not over, it is a new beginning. She mentioned the hardest part is coping with the fact that a physical limb is now gone from the person’s body. Amputees can look at it as cutting away the wrong that is harming their body. Another piece of advice would be to find a physical activity that the amputee is passionate about. For Parker, that was snow skiing. Snow skiing was the first physical activity she was able to try and overcome. If being an amputee has taught Parker anything, it is that she can do anything she sets her mind to. She will have to make some adjustments in certain activities, but other than minor issues, the sky is the limit. Parker definitely credits amputation as her new form of confidence. “Being an amputee has really given me a true sense of purpose and life to where I am able to...

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UMHB previews Forever My Girl
Jan24

UMHB previews Forever My Girl

A pre-screening of the film Forever My Girl was brought to UMHB before it debuted in theaters by alumna Andi Hale, who helped promote the film. Hale graduated in 2015 with a double major in mass communications and public relations with a marketing minor. She now works for Kyro Center Entertainment, a marketing company in Nashville, Tennessee. Hale’s company has been touring different college campuses across the United States,with UMHB as the last stop. Kyro Center Entertainment made a list of colleges they have worked with in the past. UMHB made the list because of the Red Bus Project that came to the university in 2015. The Red Bus Project is a nonprofit organization in the form of a mobile thrift store. Hale previously interned with the Red Bus Project before moving on with Kyro Centers Entertainment. Sometime back in December, Hale reached out to Tiffany Wurdemann, the director of Student Organizations, to present the project to the student body. Wurdemann expressed how fond she was of Hale, because she was one of the first students Wurdemann met when beginning her career at UMHB. Wurdemann called together resident directors and advisors for thoughts on this opportunity. Because the movie would be aired Friday, January 19, there was question whether it was too soon since the students recently came back from break. Wurdemann thought maybe the romance aspect would be perfect for a Valentine’s Day event, but Hale was very adamant about showing it before the movie hit theatres. In approaching this, Wurdemenn wanted to know the “why” in showing the film. She thought the story of the film was something the student body could benefit from. Forever My Girl is a romance/drama film directed by Bethany Wolf, produced by Railroad Attractions. It is a story about a young father who seeks redemption and forgiveness from the loved ones he left behind. He is called back to the little town after a close friend’s death. He soon discovers he has a young daughter with the woman he left at the altar eight years ago. Hale stressed that this particular movie is one producers are really wanting to get out to college students. The film shows different aspects of relationships and the value a person places on different areas of life. Hale flew down from Tennessee to be here in Texas on January 18 to promote the screening when she and Wurdemann brainstormed areas to set up a table to invite students and ideal venues for the movie. They decided on setting up a table on the first floor of Bawcom Student Union. The logistics part came easily. Andi provided the...

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Big chain vs Local beanery – which is better?
Sep28

Big chain vs Local beanery – which is better?

While getting coffee with some friends, I noticed there were advocates for both the global chains and the local establishments. I wanted to take a deeper look into what decisions we all have to make before deciding which coffee place to choose. Whether we are visiting the world’s largest coffee brand or a local beanery, it is safe to say everyone has their own unique opinion. Starbucks, for example, is a well-known brand with almost 24,000 locations around the globe. The coffee chain is clearly a contender for best coffee shop no matter the location. But if you’re looking for a great local beanery, you can’t forget about an equally important contender, Arusha’s Coffee and Tea. First impressions mean everything to a newcomer. Returning customers will always come back for the experience and atmosphere. Customers know what to expect from Starbucks – free high-speed internet and Wi-Fi. Most Starbucks work at a very fast-pace, making personal interactions unlikely. Some customers would even argue Starbucks is losing its edge because of how commonly they are found. Arusha’s is a stylish coffee house serving beverages in an inviting space. They offer something unique to the general public in order to keep guests circulating in and out. “Arusha’s is a one-of-a-kind coffee shop,” said former Arusha’s employee Emily Maulding. “Their extensive menu has something for everybody. They connect well with their community.” First comes the aroma of coffee, but then, the moment of truth – the taste. Starbucks sources, roasts, and delivers the highest quality coffee in the world. They aim for a consistent blend with every visit. They follow strict measurements with certain ingredients on a regular basis. “It’s exactly the same no matter where I travel in the world,” said Starbucks enthusiast Erin Atchley. “I ordered my usual when I traveled to Barcelona, Spain and it tasted exactly the same as it had in the states.” Before stepping foot into a local coffee shop, customers can expect paying anywhere from $3.50-$5.00 for a drink. Contrary to popular belief, Starbucks charges similar prices. The difference comes into play when the same dollar amount goes back to the community rather than the global scope. The ability to use Cru Cash as a student is also an advantage. I come from a huge city where global chains overshadow local businesses. Now that I live in a small town for college, I am surrounded by lots of small businesses. So, I almost feel obligated to try every little establishment until I have conquered them all. However, I will confess I give in to the global establishment more often than I should. Maybe one day...

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Private education provides quality over quantity
Mar29

Private education provides quality over quantity

Published in the March 29, 2017 issue of The Bells Parents must decide where their children will excel and prosper. The debate between private and public schools has been an ongoing dispute since the beginning of time. As any parent who has toured both sides of the spectrum, there are very distinct differences. I have attended a private institution my entire academic career, and I will admit I am completely biased toward private education. My biased opinion stems from my multiple encounters in a public school environment. The most obvious difference between private and public school is the money. The good news for public schools is that they cannot charge tuition. The bad news is that they are funded through federal, state, and local taxes. The limited funds may not be dispersed evenly or where the needs are most necessary. For private schools, the money comes from tuition, donations and funding. Since private schools generate their own funding, they do not have to follow certain regulations like public schools. Private schools control when and where their assets come into play. The next obvious distinction between private and public schools comes through the admissions process. Public schools cannot deny a student into a public education system. By law, public schools must accept a student. Unfortunately, public schools do not take into consideration a parent’s choice in where their child goes. The residency of the family determines what school the child will be enrolled in. Private schools are not required to accept every candidate. The process for admission is selective and determined through interviews, essays, and tests. Requirements for teachers also differ between private and public schools. Public school teachers must be certified through the state, including a completed course load and student teaching. They must teach a standard curriculum within the state guidelines. Private school teachers, on the other hand, do not necessarily have to have certification, but more of a display of expertise in their specific field. They have the freedom to teach whatever curriculum they see fit. The choice to decide what to teach may strengthen or hinder the student’s education. Alongside teachers and curriculum comes class size. Public schools tend to keep class size small during the early elementary years. Once they transition into high school, the class sizes grow in numbers. Private schools tend to keep the student-to-teacher ratio relatively low. I will always choose a private education over public education for the simple fact of quality over quantity. I have seen the classroom size exceeding its limit, ultimately taking away individual attention. Private school teachers interact with students enough to sense a problem, either emotionally...

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