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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Ask a Student: What worries you most about the economy?
Nov18

Ask a Student: What worries you most about the economy?

By Lindsay Shaffer Students speak out about the economy and voice concerns about where the U.S. is...

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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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Student loans bring concern to campus as U.S. crisis continues making an impact on future plans

By Terrance McGee As Congress scrambles to stop the flow of red ink from America’s financial institutions, the economy continues to suffer, and students, parents and financial aid officers keep a close eye on the student loan industry. The recession, largely attributed to an unprecedented number of sub-prime loans, has made money tight at banks and lending institutions across the country. As a result, standards to approve loans have become stricter as interest rates applied to those approved loans have seen major increases. Kay Pearson, the loan administrator for financial aid, said there have been many changes in the student loan industry and market within the last several years. One good thing happened as far as the interest rate is concerned for subsidized Stafford loan. Previously, a fixed rate of 6.8% was applied to loans disbursed July 1, 2006 – June 30, 2008; however, since July 1, 2008, the interest rate for subsidized Stafford loan has decreased to 6%. The interest rate for all subsidized Stafford loans will continue to decrease gradually over the next four years. By July 1, 2011, subsidized Stafford loans will have a fixed interest rate of 3.4%. “This is good news for the class that came in as freshmen this year,” Pearson said. “While you are in school, within your grace period and during your repayment, your interest rate will be a little bit lower than what it was.” One thing that causes concern for most students is the availability of funds for loans. “Even though we have fewer lenders on our list now than in the past, the funds are still there,” Pearson said. “Because we are a private school, our students have a good repayment history, and our school as a whole has a good default rate. Our students should not have to worry about being able to obtain a Stafford loan.” With that said, there have been some problems if the student tries to borrow an alternative or private loan. On a regular Stafford student loan, there is no credit check done on the student. “Any student can get a Stafford loan, but when it comes to the private loans, a credit check is performed on the student’s credit history,” Pearson said. Most students are not yet credit worthy, meaning they have not had enough credit history to obtain a loan in their own name, she said. In that case, they need a co-signer. Due to the financial plunge, most lenders have increased their credit score requirements. This can make it difficult for students to obtain a co-signer, and can also make it difficult for parents who are attempting to obtain...

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Campus students cheer at eighth-grade Tigers game to show support

By Patrick McDonald The quarterback throws the ball, and it lands in the wide receiver’s hot little hands. He runs the ball into the endzone for a touchdown, and as he spikes the pigskin into the ground, you would expect the crowd to go wild. This is not the case for the eighth grade Belton Tigers team, as they have few spectators attending their games. But some students from UMHB decided to make a change for them. They saw the need for encouragement for the young NFL players-to-be and thought of a solution. They would cheer for the Belton Tigers at their game. Junior Lydia Schmidt said, “We got the idea from a similar event that happened in Austin. A small team, like the Tigers, needed help and attention. So some people in the community asked ESPN broadcasters to follow the game and hired the Goodyear blimp to fly overhead. We just wanted to love them.” And love them they did. They came dressed in red T-shirts and carrying paint and noisemakers. Though not many students were able to make it to the game, those who did show made a difference. While the sun shone brightly and increased the temperature of the day, they stuck around the entire time, yelling for the Tigers with sweat pouring down their faces. “It was a great experience to make these kids’ day. Some of the students were really energetic, and they had to be since there were only about ten people from UMHB,” sophomore Mike Kroll said. The students did a great job, cheering that would have rivaled the greatest fans. They were loud and received some weird looks from the parents of players and young cheerleaders on the blacktop. The Tigers would end up winning the game with a shut-out against Midway, 12-0. Coach Josh Davis said, “What the students did for the players was very much appreciated. Apart from parents coming to see their son play or their daughter cheer, there are not many people that do come to see these kids. They were surprised to have people being loud for them and even asked me a couple times who it was cheering for them.” Junior Alanna McFarland said, “It was all worth it. The time was well spent not only with friends from the university, but with kids we did not even know. Everyone should come along when the next game comes around. They may have to pay $2 to get in, but there is nothing else that they would be...

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