The Old Maid and The Thief: An uncomfortable situation that “dominoes”
Apr11

The Old Maid and The Thief: An uncomfortable situation that “dominoes”

UMHB music professors George and Penny Hogan are once again to conduct the theatre’s newest opera, The Lady and the Thief. This is the first opera to be performed in the new Sue & Frank Mayborn Performing Art Center on Friday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Alumni will also be performing in this year’s show. The Lady and the Thief is a one-act grotesque, radio opera that takes place in 1939. NBC Radio commissioned Gian Carlo Menotti to write this opera for their radio program. Professor George Hogan said there’s a lot to learn from the opera. “This [opera] is situationally grotesque,” George Hogan said. “There’s life lessons you can take away. We’re looking at the human condition in this. It’s basically grotesque hospitality.” Hogan describes the plot of the opera and how situational hospitality plays a part in it. Hogan said that there is an old spinster, Miss Todd, who has a younger maid. There’s also a town gossip named Miss Pinkerton, who comes over one night to talk about the new minister. Hogan said that they’re having tea, there’s a knock at the door and a man who’s drenched from the storm outside. Hogan said the first grotesque hospitality occurs when the two women do what nobody in their right mind would do- invite the strange man into the house. He said the situation dominoes from there with one uncomfortable decision after another. The Hogans are trying something new with this Opera since it was originally on the radio before it was ever performed live. “We’re going to have a foley artist (someone who creates all the sounds on the radio),” George Hogan said. “We’re setting up the pit to be the NBC radio studio… then we’re running two scrims, which is like a veil.” George Hogan said that while the singers are in the pit, the actors will be up on stage. The Hogans said that the actors are supposed to be a part of your imagination as you listen to a radio program. “It’s been really exciting to see this unfold, because it’s a new way to present this,” Penny Hogan said. George Hogan hopes that the opera provides more than just entertainment. “I hope it’s thought-provoking like a sermon would be.” George Hogan says that it’s been different being in the PAC this year instead of at the Cultural Activities Center in Temple. “This has been a learning curve, but there’s been some really wonderful blessings… We’re excited about being in our new building. It’s kind of a freshman year for all of us.” The performances will be tonight...

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Ready Player One: A critical  film review by a true film buff
Apr11

Ready Player One: A critical film review by a true film buff

Disclaimer: this review is coming from a film nerd who has not read the book this film was adapted from. That being said, I walked into the showing of this movie with only a moderate level of anticipation. The trailers enticed me to a point, but I was not dying to see the movie. The most exciting aspect was that Steven Spielberg was the director. The plot revolves around a young man living in the year 2045, where the real world is reduced to slums and extreme poverty. However, an escape from this dreadful future exists in the form of a free, virtual reality game called the Oasis, and nearly everyone plays it daily. Wade Watts, the protagonist, goes on a journey in the game to find an Easter egg hidden by the inventor of the game. The Easter egg promises a large sum of money and complete control of the Oasis. A villainous company, wanting to monopolize the game world, is trying to reach the egg first. This movie is a roller-coaster. There is a wonderfully fast-paced flow to the film, with only one scene bogging down that pacing. Back-to-back, exciting sequences are filled with breathtaking visuals, which really come as a surprise, given that the majority of the film is completely CGI (Computer Generated Imagery). With CGI however, no angle is out of the question. As a result, certain chase sequences provide such a high level of immersion and intensity that it almost seems like virtual reality, sitting in the theater. Some character development is sacrificed to advance the plot, but all of the lead characters have a natural charisma to them, both in reality and in the Oasis, where they can choose their own customizable avatar. The humor hits the mark most of time, and the action is spot on every time. It ranges from being close-quarter firefights to explosive duels at a colossal size. All the while, 80’s rock anthems blare in the background, so the music elevates everything to another level of energy. With the film switching between a completely CGI world and the physical world constantly, my fear is that it would be too jarring. That is not the case with Ready Player One. Spielberg, the director, brilliantly starts off the movie with very infrequent cuts between both realities, and increases them as the film progresses. This gets the viewer adjusted to the transitions, and by the time the climax is switching between realities at a seconds pace, the experience is not confusing and muddled to the audience. certain plot points made it seem a bit too convenient and easy for the characters....

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Without Borders, an International Love
Apr11

Without Borders, an International Love

With 8,597 miles, a 7 hour time difference, and native languages between them, a love between crusader Regina Hauser and Belgium resident Mathis Deville was unlikely. However, now three years strong, the pair has a bond between them that no ocean could break. Sophomore Clinical Lab Scientist Regina Hauser is originally from Bynum, Texas, population 199. Being from this tiny farm town, Hauser grew close to many in the student body and participated in many school activities and sports. Mathias Deville is originally from Brussels, Belgium with a population of 1.175 million people. Bynum residents usually flocked to meet any new foreign exchange students that would be living and studying for the school year, but Hauser noticed girls especially flocked to one new foreign exchange student in particular. She noticed this at one of the first football games of the fall 2014 season. “I remember noticing how strange that most of the girls were surrounding him like bees with honey on the bleachers, but I didn’t know who he was so I didn’t care,” Hauser said. “I was dressed in my volleyball uniform, sitting on one side of the gym, and weirdly enough, I remember what he was wearing. Mathias was wearing a pink polo shirt with khakis. Then I saw everyone adding this guy on Facebook so I added him and saw his pictures but didn’t talk to him.” After a few months of glances and flirtatious smiles, Deville messaged Hauser on Facebook, and a whirlwind romance bloomed. Soon, the two began hanging out together outside of school and on social media, and they quickly became inseparable. “The first time I saw him outside of a school setting and we spoke… I struggled understanding his French/Flemish accent,” Hauser said as she laughed about it. “We dated for about two months after that, and it was awesome. We became close and usually pretty inseparable. But then, he started listening to all of the negative comments school boys were saying about me. Since I had rejected all of them and instantly started dating the new boy in school, they started spreading awful rumors about me, so we decided to break up.” Weeks went by, and Hauser began dreading her encounters with her former boyfriend. Stolen glances and lingering tension was all that seemed to remain between the two, until one day Hauser suspected her sister of withholding information. “One night my sister told me he approached her to ask about me and that he’d been keeping up with me through her the whole time,” Hauser remembered with a smile. “Mathias started texting me again and we started to become good...

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AIGA: a design club that enhances skills and networking
Apr11

AIGA: a design club that enhances skills and networking

Design is a relevant topic in this day and age. Many companies are looking for those who have strong design skills to brand their product appropriately. Getting involved in a club that suits your major is important for networking and interacting with those who share your same passions and goals. American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) is a professional organization for design and its members practice all forms of communication design, including graphic design, typography, interaction design, branding and identity. UMHB is lucky to have our very own chapter on campus that caters to those interested in graphic design or digital art. The organization’s aim is to be the standard bearer for professional ethics and practices for the design profession. The official website for AIGA states that it is the profession’s oldest and largest professional membership organization for design—with more than 70 chapters and more than 25,000 members. AIGA advances design as a professional craft, strategic advantage, and vital cultural force. The AIGA website states: “From content that defines the global practice to events that connect and catalyze, we work to enhance the value and deepen the impact of design across all disciplines on business, society, and our collective future. From design fans to the profession’s leading practitioners, AIGA members come from all backgrounds, all fields, and all levels of experience—from all around the world. Whether you’re a design enthusiast, student, freelance designer, in-house designer, design educator, design thinker, or a business owner, AIGA is here to welcome you into the wider world of design.” Recently, members of the organization came up with a logo design that resembles The Incredibles title. Chriscina Lampkin, a junior graphic design major, produced the design. She is actively involved in creating digital art. She explains that in her graphic design class, the students had to make a logo for another person. “I eventually got to do a product mockup of a tattoo ink bottle, because the guy I did the logo for was into tattoos,” Lampkin said. “AIGA has really helped me gain progress in my designs.” Alexandra Boivin is a senior fine arts major and the current president of AIGA. She is looking for someone to take the reins over the organization after she graduates in May. She has many visions for the future of AIGA. She explained that one purpose of the organization is to make and develop connections that students can have long after graduation. Boivin says it’s important to “have that crowd of people” to go back and connect with later on in your career. Any students who enjoy collaborating on art, coming up with ideas for their projects,...

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Ballroom club: A chance to dance
Apr11

Ballroom club: A chance to dance

Cru Ballroom is a new student organization focusing on getting people together to learn ballroom dancing. Club President Storm Garcia defines ballroom dancing as “partner dancing across many different cultures, countries, and types of music.” The club can teach students 32 different types of dances and features country, line, and swing dancing. Since the club is new, it currently averages 10 people who meet to dance. This club allows students to receive hands-on-help and offers new skills for all dancers, beginners and professionals alike. Garcia encourages students to attend meetings. “It’s a great way to meet people and a good way to get your mind off of school and have a good time. [Dancing] is also a very useful skill to have,” Garcia said. During each meeting, members spend time at the beginning talking and getting to know each other while waiting for more people to arrive. With the first dance of the meeting, Garcia will demonstrate the basic steps and then he’ll spend time dancing with each female dancer. Meanwhile, Vice President and senior psychology major Brook Shuck explained that members spend their time going through different dances. “Lately it’s been Swing, various forms of country dancing, and Waltz,” Shuck said. “ We usually break up categories of dance with a fun line dance. This usually gets people to relax a little,” Shuck said. “Our meetings are extremely laid back and it’s kind of like a come and go type thing.” Lauren Floyd, a freshman Christian studies major, is a member of the club. “I like ballroom dancing because it’s an expression of elegance and art that takes energy. It’s really fun when you get into it and the organization is a fun way to make friends,” Floyd said. A few more dance styles included for practice are Latin dancing, swing dancing, spot dancing, and progressive dancing. Students don’t have to worry about being good at a certain style. The club’s atmosphere is an accepting one that allows students to become more confident in their dancing abilities. “Ballroom dancing is a skill that is applicable to life, a fun way to make friends, and it’s a great workout,” Schuck said. “We’d love to see more people join Cru Ballroom, especially some guys.” The organization meets in the Mayborn aerobic room every Friday from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. For more information on how to join, students can contact Storm Garcia at...

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Poverty in the United States
Apr11

Poverty in the United States

When one thinks of poverty, they probably think about countries in the Middle East, Africa or Asia. They picture the commercials of starving children and how $3 can feed them for an entire week. When one thinks of poverty, they do not think of the United States. When people think of the United States, they think of the hustle and bustle of cities like Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. They think of the suburban lifestyle. They think of the “American Dream.” Even people who live in the United States don’t think of the poverty that surrounds us. But the harsh reality is that there are more than 43 million Americans living in poverty. That’s a lot of people in poverty. If you added the populations of California and Oklahoma, you would get around 43 million. It is unacceptable for a country that is as highly developed as America to have a poverty rate that is at nearly 13 percent. According to the CIA, the United States is ranked number 20 for highest gross domestic profit per capita. There are many countries in the world that ranked lower on the list in terms of GDP, yet they have a lower poverty rate. For instance, according to The World Factbook, countries such as Canada, Austria and Serbia have poverty rates that are all under 10 percent. If the United States ranks so high on lists when it comes to statistics regarding economy, why is it that the United States still has such a high poverty rate? According to a 2012 article in the New York Times, one of the greatest causes is because many Americans are working minimum wage jobs. These jobs don’t allow for a livable income for a single person, much less a single person with children. According to that same article, this has been a problem in the United States since the 1970s. America is one of the most developed countries in the world. Yet 13 percent of the population live under the poverty line. Many people are focused on giving charity to other countries. This can be helpful. However, those people focused on charity tend to forget that there are people in their own country that are suffering as well. For the U.S. to help other impoverished countries most effectively, they first need to help their home front. When the poverty rate in America is lowered, it will allow America to be an even more successful...

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