Blog: Wisdom teeth removal
Feb05

Blog: Wisdom teeth removal

Besides occasional jitters and feeling a little bit like a cannibalistic vampire for swallowing my own blood, getting my four wisdom teeth removed wasn’t so bad. I heard people’s scary stories, which they were so giddy to tell, as soon as they heard of my dental appointment (thanks guys). But the dental assistant said, “You’re not nervous are you?” when she checked my blood pressure (which I think was 160 over 90, if that’s good). I was in the dental office at 9:25 am and left with a numb mouth stuffed with gauze by 12:30 pm. Speedy, but quality service. Not often do both come together. They sent me home with a list of rules to follow with warnings from the doctor that if I don’t follow them to the “T” I will experience one or more of the vicious diseases listed on the rules-to-follow page. So far, I can compare it to getting pink eye in elementary school. All the teachers say, “Oh, you need to go home.” So you’re happy. You’d rather spend the day on the couch watching cartoons and eating fruit roll ups anyway. Commercial after commercial is for fun things too, like juicy juice and strawberry Jell-O. Your eye doesn’t really hurt. All the tall people just say not to rub it. No harm. No foul. See you classmates in a couple days. As with all surgeries, it isn’t completely pain free. Like having pink eye, you cringe when mom has to put in those freezing cold eye drops that make you cry. You watch the plastic bottle with the meds get right up in your eye’s grill. I equate the cold eye drops to having to eat soft foods and not being able to rinse my mouth out even when all I can taste is blood. So, instead of “rinsing,” or “spiting” (both of which are band in their rule book) I simply chug. I’ve chugged water, tomato soup, and I’m fixing to move to apple juice. So, when I return to UMHB this weekend, you’re welcome to stop by and eat some Jell-O with me because “every diet needs a little wiggle...

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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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Last take: wrapping up presidency, becoming like a ‘normal’citizen
Jan28

Last take: wrapping up presidency, becoming like a ‘normal’citizen

With a final wave, former President George W. Bush left the White House and returned to Texas. While his eight years in office were filled with controversial decisions, one thing is sure: He gave his all and did what he felt was best for the nation. In his final speech to the country from Washington, he said, “I have followed my conscience and done what I thought was right.” After Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony, Bush flew to Midland, Texas, and then to a reception in Waco where he addressed a large crowd on the cold night, thanking them for their support, wishing Obama the best and sharing his relief to be only a U.S. citizen. Bush had several odd moments. Many included humorous sayings or words, such as “misunderestimate,” “hispanically” and “subliminable.” In a traditionally “Southern” way, his jargon entertained many while others scoffed or made his colloquial expressions a source of entertainment. His time in office was quickly disrupted by many issues, forcing him to make several decisions that will remain in the history books. In his final speech, Bush said, “Like all who have held this office before me, I have experienced setbacks. There are things I would do differently if given the chance. Yet I have always acted with the best interests of our country in mind. I have followed my conscience and done what I thought was right. You may not agree with some tough decisions I have made. But I hope you can agree that I was willing to make the tough decisions.” In his first term as president, the U.S. was hit with the largest attack on U.S. soil in our country’s history. The terrorist attacks of 9/11 led to the president’s decision to finish the fight. The war in Iraq has been the main topic of many heated conversations, but Bush stood by his decision and tried to make it as effective as possible. Bush said during his final speech, “As the years passed, most Americans were able to return to life much as it had been before 9/11. But I never did. Every morning, I received a briefing on the threats to our nation. And I vowed to do everything in my power to keep us safe.” Unfortunately, the economy slumped along with his ratings. Even Bush’s final days were met with the final waves of controversy. The president-elect handled the situation carefully. President Barack Obama said, “I thank President Bush for his service to our nation … as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.” Many supported him, or at least respected his position, but...

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Students cover Bush up close for eight years
Jan28

Students cover Bush up close for eight years

For the average person, meeting the president of the United States is unfathomable, but journalists see it as the opportunity of a lifetime. So in theory, if the professional can’t do it, students shouldn’t even try—right? Wrong. Over the past eight years, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s students have used the opportunity to capture and pursue the latest news on the president. With Bush’s ranch just to the north, it would have been a travesty from a journalistic standpoint to ignore UMHB’s proximity and access to the chief. Beginning in December 2000, The Bells staff actively pursued the coverage of former President George W. Bush. J. David Rowley, one of the first students to jump into action and begin capturing the president through a lens, says he spent his Christmas break trying to receive press credentials which would get him into the White House. “I was working on getting press credentials for the (Texas) state legislature. Afterwards, I still had some time left, and I thought, well, the next major event is Bush (being) president. I thought, well, I have state credentials now, which is one of the requirements to get your national press credentials. So I purused it. I don’t know how many hours I spent on the phone, but I spent hours and hours,” Rowley said. After receiving his national press credentials, left for Washington, D.C., which became a place he would often visit in the years to come. During one of his trips, he attended a photography conference. After being assigned a photo essay project, he considered one about the White House, and hours of phone calls later, he was in. He spent the next week in the White House with the national media. Rowley said he’s proud he has captured nearly every type of picture one can get in the White House, including the Oval Office. He said he came face-to-face with the president, became known by the press corps and even snapped the only departure picture of Bush on one occasion. From then on, he covered the Bushes whenever possible, including all arrivals and departures to and from Crawford, dedications and local events. His experience proves that a pursuit can be successful. Rowley said, “What I tell people is the worst thing anyone will tell you as a journalist is no. But don’t give up even on no because for every one person who tells you no, there’s one person to tell you yes. That’s how I ended up in D.C. because I found the one person who would say yes.” He said while he pursued coverage for the opportunities, he also did so...

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