Blog: Girl Scout Cookies
Feb03

Blog: Girl Scout Cookies

This time of year as girls in green skirts, blue vests or patched blue-jean jackets stand outside of big businesses and gas stations alike, it’s impossible not to retrace my childhood memories. Girl Scout cookie time. It is of the most unpleasant recollections stored in the back of my mind. Daisies, Brownies and Cadets swarm like bees as Wal-Marts open their entryways to young entrepreneurs with over-priced goods. Many years ago, I was one of them. I never fully understood the concept behind the idea of selling cookies to strangers when I wasn’t even supposed to talk to people I didn’t know, much less take their money. But there I was. My fellow troop members and I stood outside no matter if it was raining or cold. (which is why we hated the businesses that had paper towels in their restrooms rather than hand dryers). Hours passed as we watched shoppers go in and out of the automatic doors, our young legs tired and our overactive minds bored. Our leader always said good business women didn’t sit on the job, nor did they bring toys to distract them from their work, so you can imagine how entertaining it became to count how many blue cars were in the parking lot or to sing “I know a song that gets on everybody’s nerves,” the most without messing up. However, every once in awhile, someone would come by who we knew, and they would purchase a box or two and give us the motivation we needed to keep selling. Or there was the sweet lady who came by to buy a box for her friend as a gift and told us how cute we were. But she would leave fairly quickly because we had bombarded her, all trying to render our helpful services. Then there were those customers who pretended they couldn’t hear us. “Would you like to buy a box of Girl Scout cookies? They’re only $3.” Nothing. “Ma’am, ma’am.” Nothing. Now I was only 7 years old and still had a lot of growing up to do, but even at my young age, I knew ignoring a person was disrespectful. People could at least take the time to say “no thank you,” or give us a polite reason, which some did. We heard some good ones. Teachers think students have too many excuses, but they haven’t sold a box of cookies. “I’m on a diet.” “I’m allergic to chocolate.” “My children can’t have peanut butter.” “I don’t carry cash.” “I’ll buy them on my way out of the store.” “I’m a diabetic.” We heard them all! It takes a...

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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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