Softball taking care of business in ASC play
Apr02

Softball taking care of business in ASC play

THE BELLS — The softball team completed a sweep of the University of Texas at Dallas over the weekend, winning the games 8-0, 4-3 and 7-5. The series improves the team’s record to 11-10 on the season and 9-9 in American Southwest Conference play.  The wins broke a five-game losing streak for the Cru and provided a surge of life to take the team into the back half of the season. “I think the ‘x-factor’ that we have as a team is that we never give up,” said senior education major Chandler Henson. “We are not giving up, and this second half of the schedule we plan to climb back up to the top one game at a time.” The team has experienced both victory and defeat in streaks this season. After starting off with losses in five of the first six games, the Cru bounced back with a seven-game winning streak before suffering five straight losses, which led into the weekend’s match-ups against UTD. The biggest adjustment for the Cru at this point is on offense, and players believe that the key to second-half success is to score more runs, especially in strategic situations. “A lot of times this year we have left runners in scoring positions,” Henson said. “If we were to string hits together at those crucial times, we could be scoring more runs.” Getting runs early in the game is another point of focus, said freshman pre-physical therapy major Emily Marrs. She is also quick to point out the deep talent on the roster and the pool of strong freshmen. “All the hard work we put in, in the fall season and the help of great coaches and teammates have prepared us to play.” Marrs said, “The x-factor that this team has is the deep talent that we have…. Any person can step up at any time and get the job done.” Much of the credit for the team’s work ethic and resilience is directed toward the upperclassmen on the squad, as well as the team’s solid chemistry. “The upperclassmen push us to work hard and make us better,” Marrs said. “We play really well together on the field, and everyone is supportive of each other. We have a lot of fun together on and off the field.” The team feels optimistic that the struggles of the early part of the season are passing and that the back half of the spring shows promise. “Whenever we play to the best of our ability, we have the potential to be … one of the best teams out there,” Henson said. “This team has overcome many things...

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College of Humanities feeling left out, un-Heard
Apr02

College of Humanities feeling left out, un-Heard

THE BELLS — When people think of the College of Christian Studies, they think of the Meyer Christian Studies Center; when they think of the College of Nursing, they think of the Isabelle Rutherford Meyer Nursing Education Center. But when the College of Humanities is mentioned, no specific place comes to mind. The only building the humanities have now is Heard, which is designed for offices, not classes. “I have heard it said about this building that everyone does a stint in purgatory,” said Dean of the College of Humanities, Dr. Daniel Mynatt. “We’re here now while we’re waiting to see what sort of opportunities open for the humanities. … At the minute, there’s nothing on the drawing board.” It’s time for the university to consider a building for the College of Humanities that houses offices and classes. Without one, the humanities may get left behind as the school continues to grow. This is a dangerous prospect as the value of the humanities is irreplaceable in a college education, a fact that Mynatt points out. “The humanities were designed to teach people how to live better. … They teach students how to think critically and be aware of a large body of knowledge.” The power of having a building to associate with a college cannot be understated, and when there is none, the influence of that college lessens among the student body. “It undermines the importance of the humanities,” said Kelzye Isham, a freshman public relations/political science major. “It undermines the value, which is funny since the humanities are the foundation for all the others.” And not only that, but “Everyone will have to take courses in the College of Humanities,” she said. “… It’s going to affect their education in some way.” Each new semester brings another announcement about record numbers of students, and even though the study of the humanities may be declining nationally,  Mynatt said, “Enrollment for the College of Humanities has been holding its own.” Even so, the college can sometimes feel like an afterthought in the grand scope of the university’s growth. Audrey McCambridge, a freshman English major said, “You say College of Humanities, and you have no mental image. We don’t have a building. … It’s like we don’t have a home.” UMHB is growing like never before, and it’s time to take another look at where the College of Humanities fits in the grand scheme of the university’s master...

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Paranoia puts McLane residents on their toes
Feb25

Paranoia puts McLane residents on their toes

THE BELLS — McLane dormitory was a war zone this February as its signature game, the annual Paranoia competition, was in full swing. The game is a favorite among McLane residents, said junior finance/accounting major Cody Lee, who is an RA in the dorm and is in his third year playing Paranoia. “Paranoia is awesome,” Lee said, “It’s one of the more fun things to do at McLane and one of the best opportunities that is offered anywhere at UMHB.” The game turns highlighters into weapons as those who play the game attempt to mark the skin of their “target” at any location on campus except for classrooms and Hardy Hall. No marking on the face is allowed, but everything else is fair game; strategizing, cutting people off at entrances and exits, tackling, almost anything goes when someone is trying to take out a target. A unique aspect of the game is its nature of confidentiality. When residents sign up to play, they put their name down quietly and individually so other residents are in the dark about their participation. When the game begins, each player receives a “target”—the name of the person they have to mark. If they mark that target, the target then hands them the name they were going after, and the game continues this way until only one is left standing. Although competitors know whom they are going after, they don’t know who’s after them, creating the feeling of paranoia. “It literally makes you paranoid, which can be fun sometimes,” said Ross Phipps, a sophomore criminal justice major. He has a word of advice for those who play in the future: “If it seems like someone’s after you, they probably are.” The inspiration to play the game can come from different purposes, but one common goal rises above the others as a primary motivator: victory. “I wanted to win… I wanted to rub it in everybody’s faces,” said Kyle Woods, a freshman criminal justice major. “I didn’t last too long, though. I got out, like the second day.” Stories like Woods’ are common, as few residents make it past two weeks. However, some survive for several more weeks, which means the game could last for months. Senior Christian Ministries major Jesse Malina won this year’s competition officially ending the Paranoia. There can only be one competitor left standing but even participants who did not win are quick to talk about how much fun the game was. As Phipps said, whether or not you win, the paranoia – and accompanying adrenaline – are worth it. He tells those who are curious about the experience, “If you...

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New building gives closure to First Baptist Temple

A sanctuary, by definition, is a place of shelter or refuge; it is a constant, a place to run to when something goes wrong. But what if that sanctuary is the very place of disaster? On January 19, 2010, the sanctuary of First Baptist Temple burned to the ground. “My dad woke me up at like six in the morning and said, ‘get up son. The church is on fire,’” said Dawson Harmon, a junior Christian studies major at UMHB who has attended First Baptist Temple from birth. The fire damaged more than just the building: it shook many church members who had an emotional connection to the location. Evan Duncan, a UMHB alumnus who now works at the church, remembers the pain that many felt as they were overwhelmed by emotions and memories. “It’s where kids were baptized, where they grew up, where parents saw those same kids married years later. It was rough.” But in the face of trial and tribulation, the church banded together and moved forward, though conditions weren’t optimal. One of the more difficult obstacles was overcoming the difference in worship locations as the traditional worship met at the church’s youth ministry center and the modern worship services met separately at an elementary school in town. “The multi-level worship was disjointed at times,” said Nick Arbuckle, a December 2013 UMHB graduate who leads the modern worship service. The separation of services, however, did little to dampen the faith of members, and their faith was rewarded. On Jan. 19, four years to the day after their old sanctuary burned, the church held its first full service in a new building. “We’re glad to be back home together,” Arbuckle said. “We’re excited to be back on our feet and have the chance to impact the community.” Austin Fields, who plays guitar in the modern worship service, said his favorite thing about the opening of the new building was “seeing people who have hope” and witnessing the growth of the church after the fire. Of everything the church has learned through this trial, Duncan said possibly the most important has been learning how to “do church on the fly,” and realizing that the skills they learned to accomplish it can help them be more effective in ministry in the Temple area and beyond, and that continuing ministry is the number one goal of the church, regardless of the location where they meet. “Seeing God work and lots of different people be a part of it… we’ve learned not to get in the way and just watch God accomplish his will,” Duncan said, reminding folks that “we’re the...

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Thor smashes big screen
Nov20

Thor smashes big screen

In Thor: The Dark World, the god of thunder takes on ancient foes thought to be long extinct. The Dark Elves of Svartalfheim, led by their ruler Malekith (played by Christopher Eccleston of Doctor Who), have been awakened from a long slumber and have returned to see the Nine Realms fall into darkness. To make things more problematic, astrophysicist Dr. Jane Foster, Thor’s human love interest, has become infected with a deadly substance known as the Aether and may not survive much longer without Asgardian help. With enemies at the gate and a damsel in distress, Thor must fight to bring balance back to the Nine Realms before Malekith uses the imminent approach of the Convergence (a rare alignment of the Nine Realms) to wreak havoc on the entire universe. From the very beginning, this movie is big. The landscapes are huge, the cities (including a larger, revamped Asgard) are magnificent, and the battles have an epic feel to them; the movie as a whole is noticeably bigger in scale than the first Thor. However, while it may provide some great eye-candy and make for a few solid battle sequences, the frequent Lord-of-the-Rings-esque tones cause TTDW to feel as though it lacks an identity. The film switches between superhero, action, and epic fantasy feels and never quite gets them to synchronize perfectly. The other main issue of the movie is that it seems to contradict the first film concerning the character of Odin, who, after standing firm for peace in the first film, seems overly anxious to ride into war this time around. The inconsistencies aren’t glaring, but they do create a small gap in the usually steady storyline of the Marvel universe. On the plus side, the film features plenty of what viewers have come to love about Marvel films. The humor, a good portion of which is contributed by Dr. Foster’s intern, Darcy, is far and above that of most other action films, and Darcy’s interaction with her own intern, Ian (yes, the intern has an intern) provides laughs that range from needed comic relief to rolling in the aisles. The storyline features just enough surprises to keep the viewer intrigued (don’t worry, no spoilers here) and the battles, as CGI-heavy as they are, are ultimately enjoyable; the final battle, in particular, is especially thrilling. The best part of the film comes once Thor recruits Loki to help him complete his task. While this part of the movie, unfortunately, doesn’t come around as early as it should, watching the brothers’ witty banter and god-sized quarreling is endlessly entertaining, and Tom Hiddleston’s performance as Loki is nothing short...

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