Video of the Week Nov. 17 – Nov. 23

I think I enjoyed seeing the guy getting hit in the face with a water balloon way too...

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Blog: Movie extra
Nov18

Blog: Movie extra

By Laura Beth Gebhardt I absolutely love movies. One could even say that I am addicted to them, so you can imagine how excited I was to be given the opportunity to be in one, especially one that starred Claire Danes, David Strathairn, Catherine O’Hara and Julia Ormond. Yet, being an extra in a film is not for everyone. Most of the time a person will either love it or hate it. I personally loved the experience and would do it again in a heartbeat. This opportunity I had to be a part of the Temple Grandin project was not a normal one, because like most extra work, I wasn’t just seen as a blurb in the background. I was, instead, working on set for four days, and had many scenes where I was right in front of the camera. Being on a legit movie set was unlike anything else I have experienced. It was absolutely amazing to see how much detail and work went into getting a simple scene done. For example, on the first day, we were shooting a scene where all we were doing was playing outside in front of the school. It couldn’t have been more than a 40-second shot, and it took us almost four hours. This is one of the reasons some people are not so fond of extra work. A phrase that describes it well is, “hurry up and wait.” The first hour you get there everyone is in a hurry to get your make up and wardrobe done, and then rush you off to set. Yet, when you get to the set, you wait and wait some more. One day we actually waited 10 hours before we started filming our first scene. But as frustrating as this sitting around was, it ended up bonding everyone who went. Since most everyone who was involved was from UMHB, we all already knew each other, but being stuck in a log cabin together for 10 hours brought us a lot closer. In spite of the long waits and sleep deprivation, the experience was so rewarding. In the film business, it sometimes comes down to whom you know. Being a performance studies major and wanting to someday be involved with movies, networking is extremely important. I believe I got a good start by being a part of this film. The director talked with me one on one several times, and the assistant director knew me by name and always made a point to say hi to me. What a great...

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Salsa class video

Here is a video from the Thursday night salsa class. Come and check it out at 9 p.m. in the Shannon...

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Blog: Election Expostulation
Nov05

Blog: Election Expostulation

Let me preface the following statements by admitting to be a strong advocate of the Republican Party during this last election. While disappointed about the final results, there are limits to expressing these feelings and emotions to the general public. Sadly, many people have crossed this line-on both sides. Facebook Wars While Facebook statuses are a marvelous way of letting people know the emotions and thoughts of their friends, it has been taken to the extreme. It now blasphemes, ridicules, belittles and annoys others. Why are Facebook wars necessary? Can these things not be civilly discussed in person? I have many friends who voted for Obama. While we disagreed on many levels, we had several enlightening conversations without raising our voices or calling people names that cannot be repeated in front of Shawn Shannon. Doing these things in private with trusted friends can be acceptable. However, the line is drawn when these opinions are made to purposefully ridicule and demean others in an attempt to prove oneself, or one’s opinions, better. If you cannot say it without yelling, can it really stand on its own? The Racist Remarks Why is it that race is still a factor when the truly important issues are in a person’s credentials, experience and moral issues? I have a problem with some of these qualifying factors, but race has no place in deciding this election. The only time it should come up is during an attempt to eliminate racist behaviors. Race is a huge issue, but it is not a deciding factor. People should not cast racial judgments. Many racist jokes or slurs have been made, but it really only makes those people look like loud, pighe aded jerks. On the flip side, many people voted solely on basis of the pigment of the candidates’ skin. While it makes history, it will make no other trivial difference. Racist issues still exist, but it is a dying factor that belongs to people who cannot think outside their little box. Benefits to Cheer the Mournful One of the amazing benefits of this election was that Obama is this nation’s first black president. This is a truly amazing feat, considering the segregation issues that were considered normal and acceptable less than a century ago. Another important result was the rise in voting turn-outs across the nation. The final outcome of voters went from 55.3 percent in the 2004 election to 64.1 percent in the 2008 election. While I actually like some of the words President Bush created, it irritated many. Now we won’t have to worry about listening to comedians mock the president’s latest verbal mishap. With...

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Video of the Week Nov. 3 – Nov. 9

The most epic computer game movie I have ever...

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Blog: Three steps to help keep your sanity
Oct30

Blog: Three steps to help keep your sanity

Amid the myriad of voices in the student publications lab, it can be hard to gather thoughts in an orderly way. Students are drowning in the noise − from cell phones ringing, the neighbor’s television and seemingly constant conversations. There are worries about graduating on time with the course plan that is so easily misread. Anxiety caused by the process of getting three internships (needed as a mass communication/journalism major) aligned for the summer and getting hired for them in the first place. With all the activities held on campus, it’s easy to stretch yourself too thin. This problem of “over-commitment” strikes with force. To end this problem and the stress it causes, I have a few techniques for finding relief. Number one: learn to say “No.” Too many students find themselves over involved in activities that all the while may be good, but are just too much for the 24 hours in a day. Just like Thanksgiving dinner offers many wonderfully tasting options, but if too much is eaten it results in a stomach ache, rather than a “happy cat” nap. No one can do everything. Accept the best and let the good keep passing by. It’s better to be deeply and fully committed to a few things, rather than overwhelm yourself doing nothing well by trying to undertake too much. Between full-time student status, a work study job, intramural sports and church commitments I find myself running out of breath more than once a semester. Sometimes I think it’s time to leave campus and sit in Texas Java to sip a nice coffee with a friend. Number two: plan a time to get away. For me, this meant missing out on a couple of religious meetings that I enjoy, but knew was too much for my schedule. I found myself attending three meetings in addition to Sunday morning services, yet feeling guilty for not attending the new Sunday night Bible study led by college students. I had no reason to feel remorse for not being able to attend every thing that crossed my path. Even the desire to go didn’t mean I needed to take on yet another weekly time commitment. Especially during the middle of the semester, when academics become particularly burdensome, it’s important to leave enough time to study and rest. Getting away to a local park for a walk or finding a secluded place to read a book for leisure are a couple of ways to let the mind rest. Leaving the daily routine will also provide the chance for spiritual renewal. Leave the phone in the car. Leave the laptop along with its...

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