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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Video of the Week Oct. 27 – Nov. 2

There are no words to describe the embarrasment Bill Cosby brought on himself in this...

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Blog: What happened to the American Dream?
Oct21

Blog: What happened to the American Dream?

As I listen to the two presidential nominees argue against one another as a way to somehow win the hearts and votes of the populous, I can’t help but wonder what happened to America? When the Founding Fathers laid down the Constitution for the United States, they did so with the great ideals, hopes of freedom and dreams of liberty. Their stance against the tyrannical monarchy of oppression, from which colonists fled, was a radical new idea. The idea that all are created equal. When were liberty and hard work replaced with the socialistic ideas of governmental control and handouts? The current administration as well as the upcoming administration that is to be elected in November have much more in common than they would have us believe. The so-called partisanship of Washington fades away when citizens see the voting records of those running. Both John McCain and Barack Hussein Obama have voted with the Bush administration; they have also both voted against it. When will the American people wake up and realize that the freedoms they once enjoyed in this country have been traded away for a false sense of so-called “safety?” Benjamin Franklin once said, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” The Founding Fathers would never have agreed to things like the recent government buy out or the Patriot Act of 2001. These blatant power grabs are just two examples of the extent of corruption that the powers that be have jumped into. “If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy,” James Madison said. Our government has scared its people into blind submission through threats of terror and foreign enemies. They have policed the world as a way to slowly leech our liberty. They have perverted the very foundation of our nation – the Constitution – into some kind of living document that should be changed instead of followed. “Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government,” Madison said. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of the press as a way for the government to be held in check. Constitutionally, the media should be having a field day with this current way the government is being run. Why is the media so slanted toward pushing one party’s rhetoric or the next? Those who would say that the media should not criticize and critique the government are not in agreement with the Founding Fathers. “To...

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Campus political analysis
Oct21

Campus political analysis

The Bells recently conducted a survey on the 2008 presidential election. A total of 670 students and 148 faculty and staff indicated which candidate they would choose for president. They also rated which national issues were most important and gave their views on a series of questions regarding religion in presidential campaigns. According to the survey, students’ choice for president, most important issues and beliefs on religion in campaigns were nearly identical to those of faculty and staff. Students as well as faculty and staff expressed overwhelming support for Republican presidential candidate John McCain, favoring him over Democratic candidate Barack Obama by nearly 30 percentage points among students and 40 points among faculty and staff. Nationally, most polls show Obama with a slim to moderate lead over McCain. The discrepancy between those numbers and the campus survey could reflect UMHB’s location in a particularly conservative area of Texas, its Baptist affiliation, and a sizeable number of students in the military or with military spouses, groups that tend to vote Republican. Dr. David Chrisman, associate professor and chair of history and political science, speculates the high percentage of McCain supporters among the faculty and staff is related to what they teach. “It’s not surprising due to the size of the business and nursing faculties, which probably have more McCain supporters,” Chrisman said. “Our faculty is probably not as liberal as you might see at other schools.” The economy dominated the issues section of the survey, with more than 64% of students and 82% of faculty and staff selecting it as important to them. This possibly indicates concern over the well-publicized financial meltdown sweeping the credit industry and the resultant rise in unemployment. Chrisman attributes higher economic anxiety among faculty and staff than students to the fact that many students are unemployed and attending school with their parents’ money. “It doesn’t hit home for students as much as faculty. They’re not going to feel the effects until it hits their parents.” Chrisman saw the fact that a majority of students listed the economy among their primary concerns as a positive development for normally apolitical college students. “We try to get students interested in issues beyond the culture wars. This economy will affect us all.” The war in Iraq ranked second, reflecting the university’s proximity to Fort Hood in Killeen and concern over the continued presence of more than 150,000 American soldiers stationed in Iraq. Roughly 45% of faculty and staff and 50% of students marked the issue as important. Health care came in third, with close to a third of all respondents selecting it as important, reflecting worry over the rising...

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Presidential candidate profiles: Barack Obama
Oct21

Presidential candidate profiles: Barack Obama

Barack Obama Democrat Age: 47 years old Education: Law, Harvard University Occupation: Illinois Senator Religion: United Church of Christ Interesting Fact: The first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. Economic Policy -Would provide $50 billion to jumpstart the economy, provide more jobs -Would give middle class tax relief Health Care -Would create a new national health care plan for those who cannot afford coverage. -Supports greater regulation of the private health insurance industry. War in Iraq -Plans a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops engaged in combat operations. -Will keep pressure on Iraq, focusing on training Iraqi security forces. Energy -Acquire energy independence with renewable fuels and clean coal. -Build more hybrids and promote ethanol use. -Implement a national program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Same-sex Marriage -Believes marriage is between a man and woman. -Supports civil unions for same-sex couples Education -Strongly supports pay increases for teachers. -Reform and fund the No Child Left Behind -Will create a new American Opportunity Tax Credit to provide free or low-cost public education for those eligible. Immigration Policy -Wants to extend welfare, Medicaid and Social Security to immigrants. -Voted no on declaring English as the official language of the U.S. -Voted to build border fence and establish guest worker program. -Would allow  undocumented immigrants in good standing to pay a fine and learn English in order to become a U.S. citizen. Abortion -Pro-choice, supports Roe v Wade. -Opposes notifying parents of minors who seek out-of-state abortions. -Would provide $100 million to reduce teen pregnancy through education and...

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Presidential candidate profiles: John McCain
Oct21

Presidential candidate profiles: John McCain

John McCain Republican Age: 72 years old Education: U.S. Naval Academy Occupation: Arizona Senator  Religion: Episcopalian Interesting Fact: As a third generation naval aviator, he was shot down over Vietnam in 1967 and held as a prisoner of war for more than five years. Economic Policy -Plans to keep taxes low and restrain federal spending. -Create good jobs by promoting new markets in the United States Health Care -Plans to provide tax credits for families and individuals to buy health insurance. -Would promote healthy lifestyles to reduce the need for medical care. War in Iraq -Opposes withdrawal until Iraq is stable. Energy -Supports increased oil drilling,  nuclear energy, and alternative fuels -Would work to decrease dependence on foreign oil. Same-sex Marriage -Would let states decide on issues of same-sex marriage. Education -Would provide school vouchers for private education. -Opposes implementing federal testing standards. -Supports increasing teacher salaries. -Supports freedom to choose schools Immigration Policy -Advocates tightening border security. -Supports allowing additional legal immigrants through expanded visa programs. -Electronic employment verification system to screen employees quickly. Abortion -Pro-life, believes Roe v. Wade should be overturned. -Would promote child adoptions. -Opposes creation of human embryos for research...

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