Bursting balloons enthrall audience
Nov04

Bursting balloons enthrall audience

Elementary school children and their parents gathered at the university amphitheater to see glow-in-the-dark liquids, exploding balloons and flames of every color at Demos in the Dark. The chemistry club sponsored event, Oct. 21 and 23, brought in elementary students from around the area, each excited about the things that science can do. Nine-year-old Logan Martenson, a student at Joe M. Pirtle Elementary school in Temple, found the show fascinating. “This is my first time out here, and it was pretty good for my first time,” he said. The fan-favorite at the show was the exploding balloons. Children and their parents cheered and clapped with excitement over the burning, bursting and booming balloons. “It was pretty awesome,” Martenson said. Dean of the College of Sciences Dr. Darrell Watson, the faculty adviser for the chemistry club and emcee for the demonstration, agrees. “No question—the balloons. I like exploding the balloons with hydrogen and oxygen.” Watson thinks the most rewarding thing for the kids is showing them science is cool. “Well, first of all, it excites them and motivates them to learn science. I wish that when I was younger that someone would have (turned) me on to science,” he said. “It lets them know that science can be exciting. Pretty soon they are going to be turned off by adults and other things. They say science is hard and math is hard, but it’s not. It can be fun. It can be exciting, and they are going to be the future.” Demos in the Dark is held one week each year, but the chemistry club visits elementary schools one afternoon each week for the length of the semester to teach kids about the “cool side” of science. However, they are not able to do the same explosions and fire-related demonstrations that they do at the UMHB event. Sophomore cell biology major Viktoria Meadows helped with demonstrations in the show and liked making “slime” for the kids, which consists of polyvinyl alcohol, borax and food coloring. She said, “I think learning to appreciate chemistry is the most rewarding thing for the kids.” Meadows also enjoyed seeing the children’s excitement over the experiments and said her favorite thing about the event was “seeing the kids’ reaction to the chemicals and glow-in-the-dark things.” The results of the demonstrations are positive for both the children and the chemistry club. While the children learn about science, the chemistry club practices experiments and gets to do things they might not otherwise be able to do in the classroom. Meadows said, “I think that it kind of beats the stereotype that chemistry kids are...

Read More
Re-enactors straddle Civil War past, present in mock battles
Nov04

Re-enactors straddle Civil War past, present in mock battles

By Joshua Thiering First Hand Account One would be surprised by the thoughts that run through the mind when lying on the ground playing dead after succumbing for the second time during a Civil War re-enactment. A young recruit to the Confederates was one casualty who just happened to conveniently run into Union soldiers in front of a bleacher full of modern onlookers. I was the young recruit participating in the Battle of Ogletree Bay in Copperas Cove, Texas. While dying, this private wasn’t thinking about home and country, his lady, or who would look after his sister. He was thinking, “Why did I die with my face staring at the sun? I wish they had sunscreen back then. The next time I die, I will be more careful.” Like Lazarus, I died twice. The second time was much more convincing. Though the enemies were aiming above and away from the Confederates (for safety), a rogue Union “bullet,” powered by destiny, struck my chest, causing a violent effect. The redeeming thing about re-enactments is that participants die at their own discretion, and nobody want s to be the first to die. This spat of necrophobia led to 15 minutes of fighting without a single casualty. “It must have taken the soldiers about 15 minutes to perfect their aim,” Noelle Renfro, a spectator, said. The smoke from the rifle and cannon fire put a fog over the hard-fought territory of Ogletree Gap, a city park in Copperas Cove. The smell of sweat and gunpowder assaulted soldiers’ nostrils. As I was loading the rifle, cannon fire startled me. I poured half of the gunpowder down the barrel of the gun and the other half down the collar of my shirt. The blackened collar now served as a badge of rattled nerves. In order to load a Civil War era rifle, infantrymen have to pull a pouch of gun powder out of their back holster, tear a hole in the top, pour it down the barrel, and put a small cap over the pin while half cocked. Many of the men use their teeth to tear the powder pouch. Following their example, as a baby-faced private I earnestly bit a little too hard into my packet, getting a mouthful of gunpowder, which tasted like dirt. Once dead, I watched as Union soldiers walked past after the retreating Confederates. I began to entertain thoughts of last-second heroics. I could just climb to my feet daringly and fire shots with my pistol at the backs of the enemies as if I wasn’t really dead. I could even yell, “Die you bluecoat scum. I was...

Read More
Professor’s art inspires, raises money for organization
Oct21

Professor’s art inspires, raises money for organization

No one would have guessed the boy playing in the mud during recess would go to grad school, become an art professor and sell some of his ceramic creations for upwards of $65 each. “Mud and boys go together,” Professor of art Dr. Philip Dunham, said. “(I) immediately fell in love with mud.” Dunham has been at the university for the past 22 years. He teaches ceramics I and II, 3D design and sculpture. “There is a parallel perception in my teaching to address a number of problems that focus on formal and psychological issues while stimulating the students to consider and clarify tactics of learning on their own.” During the past 10 years, Dunham has been working to perfect a method for creating unique ceramic crosses. Each cross has intricate swirls or flowers. Once the clay has been formed and becomes “bone dry,” it undergoes the firing process that turns the clay into stone. Dunham said, “When you fire, if you don’t use your technique properly, things can go wrong.” Five pieces Dunham donated were auctioned during family weekend. The $245 raised went to the Crusader Parent Organization, which purchases items such as the big screen TVs in the Mabee Student Center for the use of students. Administrative assistant of Student Affairs Joy Childress said, “To me, (the crosses) make me think of how God is with us. We’re all cracked clay in His hands, and He can take something that is cracked and make something unique and beautiful out of it.” The most common problems in the process are when air bubbles are captured within the clay, or when the clay is too thick or too wet when it is fired. “It will explode … and you will lose your pieces,” Dunham said. When he began making ceramic crosses, he was trying to better his own skills. Because the firing process is particularly risky, he had to learn to take chances. “The technique I had to study on several different types of approaches … in order to see what my percentage of danger would be in firing.” Students in Dunham’s ceramics class agree that the technique takes time to develop. Senior psychology major Meghan Bray said, “So far, my favorite piece to do is the cross. It’s so hard, but it still looks kind of cool … when it’s not sitting next to Dr. Dunham’s.” Sometimes molding the clay takes patience. “It’s very frustrating when you have an image in your head, and you can’t make your clay look like that image,” Bray said. “I imagine that it’s very frustrating when your sculptures blow up in the...

Read More
Couple tag-teams in Chapel
Oct21

Couple tag-teams in Chapel

By Joshua Thiering Students’ attentions were wrangled and corralled when Candice Meyers, a Christian country singer and former Miss Kansas, and her husband, Rope, a world champion steer wrestler, spoke to students recently during chapel services. Candice Meyers sang and interjected personal words of wisdom to the students. Her first song was dedicated to the “World Changers.” “Have a little faith. You can move a mountain,” she sang. Rope Meyers, whose father was also a world champion steer wrestler, spoke about his history of roping when he was a young adult. He also jokingly dispensed a little marriage advice saying, “When you get married, you find that you lose half of your vocabulary, because your wife has the other half.” Using the illustration of Jesus as a river flowing forth, he emphasized that Christians should have a bottomless faith. “God needs you at a place where you are not ankle deep … you need to move to that place where there is no bottom, where you cannot stand.” With a name like Rope, one could say Meyers was destined to become a cowboy. He said, “It is on my birth certificate: Rope Meyers. My sister’s name is Tie and brother’s name is Cash. They named us that way because you rope the calf, you tie the calf, and you win the cash.” He added, “My dad was a world champion steer wrestler when I grew up. So I wanted to do the same thing. Every little kid wants to play cowboys and Indians. I just got to do it with a real horse.” Where Meyers draws inspiration from his father, Candice Meyers finds inspiration from her favorite country music artist, Martina McBride, and her heroes from her hometown who have walked with God successfully for a long time. “I look at them, and they are 40 years married, their children are raised and grown and they are just as passionate about God as they ever were,” Candice said. Senior history education major Amanda Jane Foss said of the hour—long performance, “I liked that she explained the meaning of her songs, and the significance that they had in her own life.” She also enjoyed listening to Rope’s talk. Foss said, “I really liked that Rope talked about it being a long journey, of just walking day by day, moment by moment with Jesus—that you might walk a thousand steps and only be ankle deep, and keep going and walk another thousand steps until you get to that place where Christ is in control of every aspect of your life.” Other students were a bit more critical. “I thought she wasn’t...

Read More
University encourages different denominations
Oct21

University encourages different denominations

This institution prides itself on its Christian values and emphasizes the impact that students can make on the world as young adults. The campus is labeled as “Baptist,” but the university embraces thousands of students of diverse backgrounds. The student handbook says that the university prepares students to make a global, positive impact on the world through its “Baptist vision.” Is the Baptist vision that the university instills in each student welcoming to students of other denominations and religions? Sophomore organismal biology major Mike Kroll is Jewish and said that the people on campus have been very accepting and welcoming of his different beliefs. Kroll’s stand-up comedy routine includes Jewish humor, but he is a regular performer and fan favorite at Open Mic Night. His comedy routine and sense of humor have allowed him to have a positive outlook toward people who are critical of his faith. He said, “It keeps me strong in the face of animosity, even though I have not faced too many hard things on campus.” Kroll urges students to “get involved in the other religions, even if it is just a basic knowledge, so that you can strengthen your own faith. It helps you improve as a person.” Sophomore cell biology major Annjelica Madali is Catholic and has encountered discrimination at times because of her beliefs. “Some people are really nice about it and then, of course, there are some that are completely ignorant of the fact that other religions do exist,” she said. Madali also believes that a diverse religion base on campus is beneficial to the student body. She said, “It’s extremely important to have different religions on campus, so that people can learn to not be so close-minded to different ideas and beliefs.” Senior education major Amanda Foss has attended several different types of churches. “I don’t think people think of me any differently knowing that I am or was one denomination or the other,” she said. “I like all three denominations that I have been a part of and love worshiping at all of the different kinds of services.” For the most part, the view on campus is one of acceptance and finding the things each faith shares. Foss said, “I really think we all need to focus on what we have in common among all the different denominations of Christians, rather than focusing on all the differences.” To many students on campus, faith is the cornerstone of who they are and what they do. “My faith affects all of my life. It’s the foundation of who I am, and it impacts the way I try to live my life...

Read More
World War II vets bring insight
Oct21

World War II vets bring insight

In the living room of Troy, Texas resident, Frank Thompson, junior history and political science major Olivia Gustin and senior history major Naomi Johnson recorded the stories of a World War II veteran. Unlike the tales of noble soldiers who went for days without food or water while pulling comrades to safety, Thompson told his story of what each brave soldier did every day. Gustin and Johnson are part of history/political science chair Dr. David Chrisman’s History Inquiry class. Members interviewed vets for the Veterans History Project sponsored by the Library of Congress. “It’s really nice because these are the stories that aren’t being told,” Gustin said. “This is the mass of the military. This is what got us through World War II are guys like him who did their job … ” Thompson was drafted from Texas A&M’s Corps into the Army’s 172nd Infantry Company H and served from February 1943 to September 1945. He fought in the Southern Pacific on the front lines and then returned to Texas to continue farming. Thompson said, “I was glad to give it (his story). I guess if I never give it, nobody will ever know about it.” The interview started for students in the classroom but it quickly grew into pure interest of first-hand experience. Johnson said, “I think what was interesting was a small-town boy from Texas being thrown into a worldwide phenomenon and seeing how he dealt with it.” One of the issues was coping with his brother’s death while he was still fighting in the southern Pacific. The reality of war hit Thompson in a few ways that surprised his interviewers. Johnson said, “There were times where it was very intense. We would ask him questions, anything to do with the combat that he was in. He would put his head down, and we would have to give him about 30 seconds to compose himself because the memories … were still so intense.” The outlook on the war also surprised Gustin and Johnson. “I think the thing that struck me the most, and where I actually expected the opposite, was in how he spoke about the war,” Gustin said. “I think history likes to paint World War II as some sort of patriotic rousing of the country, and that they were all behind it, and that they were all wanting to engage. But (Thompson) said if there hadn’t been a draft, they wouldn’t have gone.” His outlook created a similarity between Thompson and the people he fought. Johnson said, “He didn’t see them as an animalistic enemy. He saw them as boys who were on the front...

Read More
Page 90 of 91« First...102030...8788899091