Blog: New year’s resolutions
Feb02

Blog: New year’s resolutions

I love the start of the new year because everything seems so hopeful, so full of life, and so full of opportunity. New year’s resolutions are made and loved ones find a reason to reunite and get a fresh start at once-damaged relationships. January is a huge symbol in the lives of so many Americans because it resembles the opportunity to leave the mistakes of the past year behind and set goals to make the year better than the last. Some start a diet so they can shed the weight, along with insecurities that come along with being overweight, and some make their best efforts to correct tose late-night study sessions so they can get up earlier and be more productive. Overspending is a force in almost every college student’s life, mostly because we don’t have much money in the first place, but spending less and saving more is always a good goal for those looking to set themselves up for the future. Even though most won’t stick to the diet, go to sleep earlier or spend less money on junk they don’t need (guilty on all charges), the goals still give each of us a chance to feel like we are breaking out of our mold and like we are making a conscious effort to better ourselves. So I challenge each person, whether 2008 was magical or a nightmare, to welcome the new year with your own personal goals and that you pursue them...

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Blog: College life
Jan27

Blog: College life

What is college? It’s an education of higher learning. Right? Or maybe it’s about going out and partying. Perhaps college is where people go to find their one true love, or at least a lifelong friend. Which one is it? The truth is, college is all of these. It’s not just about going to class and making the appropriate grades, but it’s an overall experience. For some people, the first time they see someone of a different race is in their freshman English class. Sad, but true. And for a lot of students, college is the first time they do their own laundry. It’s here that people have those experiences, big or small, that have a valuable impact on their life. College is about growing up, maturing as a person, figuring out who you are and what you want to do with the rest of your life. It’s about getting to know people different from yourself, learning how to live with roommates and finding your “BFF.” It’s about trying new things, participating in special events on campus, supporting athletic programs and yes, even parties. Of course, parties at UMHB might not be as wild as they are on other campuses, but we still know how to have fun. When people graduate and look back on the last four years of their life, they shouldn’t have any regrets. They should reminisce about all the great experiences they’ve had rather than the grades they did or didn’t get. Now, don’t get me wrong. I strongly believe that making good grades is important. How else would you graduate? But there’s so much more to it than that. You gain knowledge and wisdom over the college years, and I feel like you have a responsibility to pass on what you have learned to the next generation of undergrads. This is in a way, giving back. Everyone doesn’t come out of school with a six-figure job waiting for them and is able to donate thousands of dollars to the university. But taking a young adult under your wing and passing on the knowledge that you have learned over the years is just as...

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Blog: Immigration
Jan20

Blog: Immigration

Two Bells staffers and I, along with our adviser, Vicky Kendig, just returned last week from the border city, Laredo, Texas. When we arrived in the city of Laredo, a population of about 220,000, it was clear we entered a culture different from that of many other Texas cities. Even Police Chief Carlos Maldonado likened Laredo to an island, since there are virtually no other large United States cities within a 200-mile radius. Only the winding Rio Grande separates the city from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, a place virtually cohesive with its United States counterpart by culture. After meandering through downtown Laredo (in our van) with only a couple of quick stops to snap pictures, we headed to a small park on the riverfront. Two bridges grant legal passage from one country to another, creating much hustle and bustle. A constant flow of people crossed the bridge carrying cardboard boxes, shopping bags and rolling suitcases behind them – full of the day’s purchases or personal belongings. Hundreds of people crossed the Rio Grande on the bridge after going through the United States checkpoint. A mother walked through downtown with children following close behind. One child wore a backpack decorated with Dora the Explorer and carried a plastic sack from Church’s Chicken, perhaps the family’s dinner. Seeing the various shops that carried everything from Nike sneakers to party favors to candles for rosaries made the Hispanic culture unmistakable. We talked with a border patrolman about his daily routine on the Rio Grande. He shared a trend in trickery used by undocumented immigrants who make it across the river, unknowingly being detected. One time they apprehended a mother and two daughters who had run for about 10 yards as fast as they could and then stopped in the middle of park, pretending they’d come there to play and had been there a while. Others try to blend in with Laredo families as they have barbecue on the park grounds. Hearing these stories put the process of legalization in a different light. Countless times I’ve heard it asked (and we even asked ourselves while there), “Why do undocumented immigrants take the risk of the river crossing, of being caught and of deportation? Why not just come the legal way?” It turns out, the legal way is a long way – taking nearly seven years after paperwork and a series of tests. Looking from “our side of the river,” to the other, Mexico is noticeably different economically. Even with all our media hay day cries of the “economic crisis” in America seeing the dusty roads and homes made of scrap metal in Mexico, where...

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Ask a Student: What are your plans for Christmas break?

Students share their plans for the much-anticipated Christmas...

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A Crusader Christmas

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Blog: Pleasure reading isn’t so bad
Nov20

Blog: Pleasure reading isn’t so bad

Toward the end of any semester, it is difficult to pick up a book that isn’t a textbook or reading material for a class. With finals looming and stress rising, it’s unlikely to have a few minutes to do any “pleasure reading,” as some may call it. It wasn’t until my British literature professor challenged my class to read something the book club was featuring and write a report on it for extra credit, that I even thought about reading any text outside of the classroom curriculum. I remember sitting in class thinking “There’s no way I am going to have time to read any more literature for this class!” It didn’t help that the book was titled, The Last Lecture, which quite honestly sounded like the most boring topic ever. After sitting in classes all day, the last thing I wanted to glue my eyes to was yet another lecture. To my surprise, I managed to get the book, figuring I could scan through it and pull out enough details to write a paper. I began reading the first chapter. And then the second. The next thing I knew, I was 81 pages in and couldn’t stop from turning the pages. By 3 a.m., I realized I had to finish the book before I could go to bed–and for once–I was excited to write the report. There were so many topics I wanted to discuss with someone. Randy Pausch, the author of the book, wrote “Brick walls are there for a reason. They give us a chance to show how badly we want something.” His words really inspired me because during a busy time of year, when school seems endlessly demanding, any sort of a social life is dwindling and work is overwhelming, they are all just factors, simple bricks in the wall. Pausch couldn’t have said it any better. That wall just makes us prove to ourselves how badly we really want something. I challenge everyone during these last few weeks of school to realize the brick walls that stand in your paths, but rather than seeing them as an obstacle, view them as a reminder of what you’re working so hard for. Best of luck! And lastly, pick up a good book to read. You’d be surprised by what it will do for you. Sometimes breaks are the caffeine for...

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