Cru Culture: Prep for the upcoming finals frenzy
Apr26

Cru Culture: Prep for the upcoming finals frenzy

It’s that time of year again – the time where students frantically search for their notes, study all night for that one hard class, and buy a lot of scantrons. Finals week is coming up. Just the thought of it might make give stomach butterflies. But there is no need to worry. Follow these steps and you will feel much better. Most importantly, you will be prepared for your tests. 1.Make a schedule Planning out when and what you are going to study will help keep you on track. By sticking to the study plan you made, you will eliminate the chance of forgetting what you need to review. Make sure you don’t overwork yourself. Study a little bit each and every day. 2.Use flashcards Flashcards are a great way to study. If you don’t have any flashcards, Quizlet is a great source to use. You can listen to your notes and play games that help you learn terms and definitions. 3.Start early Don’t wait until the last minute to study. Start looking over your notes at least two weeks before your test. It is wise to start studying early so you don’t have to pull an all-nighter and worry about not understanding a concept. 4.Go to tutoring If you need more help understanding certain material in a subject, tutoring is a great place to start. Tutoring is free for students at the university, so there is no reason not to go get extra help. You can schedule an appointment online or walk in to see if there is a tutor to help you. 5.Be healthy Being healthy means getting plenty of sleep (8-10 hours each night), eating nutritious foods, and drinking plenty of water. These steps will help you stay happier and more alert, and ready to take on the day’s...

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Swim into the summer: wet and wild places to visit in Texas
Apr26

Swim into the summer: wet and wild places to visit in Texas

If you’re looking for a great place to cool off and beat the heat during the summer, then find one of these swimming holes right here in the Lone Star State. 1. Barton Springs Pool, Austin This is a natural spring located in Zilker Park. The temperature stays at a nice 70 degrees year-round. The cost to get in is eight dollars plus the cost of parking. 2. Inks Lake State Park, Burnet This state park’s main attraction is the lake. You can rent kayaks and float your way to Devil’s Waterhole. The cost is six dollars to get into the park. 3. Schlitterbahn, New Braunfels This is one of the biggest waterparks in Texas, with lots of different attractions. You can buy a day pass for $50.99 or purchase a variety of other packages. 4. Isla Blanca Park, South Padre Island This park is perfect for surfing and taking a nice little vacation over the summer. It is a beach on the Gulf. The cost is four dollars per vehicle, per day, and you can also get cheap surfing lessons while you’re there. 5. Balmorhea State Park, Toyahvale This park features the only spring-fed pool in the state. The water is clear and cool. The pool can get up to 25ft deep. There is a seven dollars entrance fee per person to get into the park. 6. Pedernales Falls State Park, Johnson City This park features a river that you can swim, tube, canoe or kayak in. There are also beautiful falls that you can look at. However, swimming is not permitted. The entry fee is $6. 7. Blanco State Park, Blanco This park permits swimming in all parts of the river. There is a shallow wading area next to Falls Dam. You can also rent tubes in the afternoon. Cost is...

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Cru Crunch: Desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth in the Belton area
Apr26

Cru Crunch: Desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth in the Belton area

1. Sweet Confections Cafe Price Range: $1.50-$27 Cru Cash accepted: No Location: 2449 N Main St., Belton Seating: Indoor, Sit-down Something to try: Try one of the various flavors of cake balls. Buy one at $1.50, or a dozen for $15. Taste: This is a sweet stop for those looking for a quick sweet tooth fix, and it is conveniently close to campus. Rating: 3.5/5 2. Smallcakes Cupcake & Creamery Price Range: $3.50-$78 Cru Cash accepted: No Location: 6102 W Adams Ave., Temple Something to try: A regular-sized Choco-holic is every chocolate lover’s dream. It is a cupcake topped with chocolate buttercream and chocolate sprinkles, that costs $3.75 per cupcake Seating: Indoor, Sit down Taste: Sweet and filling, the desserts from Smallcakes are sure to leave your tummy full (if you’re willing to leave your wallet empty). Rating: 3.5/5 3. La Unica Michoacana Smoothies Price Range: $2-$10 Cru Cash accepted: No Location: 817 E. 6th Ave., Belton Something to try: Looking for something sweet with a kick? The Mangonada, a traditional latin dessert, is served here with a straw and spoon for only $4.00. Seating: Outdoor, Picnic-style seating Taste: With a wide variety of menu options, there is something sure to please everyone. Latin food lovers are sure to be pleased with these traditional options. They are all sweet and overabundant in portion size. Rating: 4/5 4. Weigh Station Yogurt Price Range: Varies Cru Cash accepted: No Location: 219 S East St, Belton Seating: Dine-in only Something to try: With various flavors of yogurt to choose from and a toppings bar, you can make your favorite combination here. I personally prefer the vanilla yogurt with fresh strawberries and cherries. It’s a sweet treat without a lot of calories. It is sure to please. Taste: Appealing to our independence, the do-it-yourself nature of this shop is sure to please with its always fresh and sweet yogurt. Rating:...

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Cru Crunch: Burger joints around the BTX area
Mar29

Cru Crunch: Burger joints around the BTX area

Published in the March 29, 2017 issue of The Bells 1. B Town Burgers Price Range: $2-$8 Cru Cash accepted: No Location: 508 Sparta Rd, Belton Seating: Indoor, Drive Thru Something to try: The cheeseburger special comes with fries and a drink for the low cost of $6.25. Taste: The food here is well-priced and sure to please many low-budget college students with big appetites. With a bit of variety, the homestyle cooking has great flavor. Rating: 3.5/5 2. Crow’s Burger Shop Price Range: $3-$7 Cru Cash accepted: No Location: 613 Waco Rd, Belton Something to try: A large shake costs a $2.59, and comes in four different flavors. With a homemade feel, this place really can’t be beat. Seating: To-go stand only. Taste: The menu is simple, but the taste is unbeatable. At such a low cost, a lunch here leaves customers feeling nostalgic for homemade burgers and fries. Rating: 3.5/5 3. Big Chew Chew’s Burgers Price Range: $2-$9 Cru Cash accepted: No Location: 8150 W Adams Ave, Temple Something to try: The Cajun Burger is a good choice for those looking for something on the spicier side. It is reasonaly priced at $3.89. Seating: Dine-in only Taste: With a wide variety of menu options, there is something sure to please everyone. But being diverse doesn’t take away from the flavor — smoky and savory is the overall impression diners get after having a meal here. Rating: 3/5 4. Black Meg’s Price Range: $1-$7 Cru Cash accepted: No Location: 572 E Central Texas Expy, Harker Heights Seating: Dine-in only Something to try: The Cowboy is sure to leave all southern comfort food lovers full. The burger comes with an onion ring and barbeque sauce on the burger and leaves you craving this unique dish for weeks. Taste: Savory, juicy, and mouth watering, Black Meg’s burgers and fries will leave you wanting more. With a wide variety of menu options, the possibilities of taste bud-approving meals are endless. Rating:...

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Nintendo Switch console new  favorite for gamers everywhere
Mar29

Nintendo Switch console new favorite for gamers everywhere

Published in the March 29, 2017 issue of The Bells At a first glance, the new Nintendo console isn’t much to look at. A small, tablet-like screen, and a docking station with ports for an AC adapter and and HDMI cable. But what this small, unassuming console is hiding can only be described as breathtaking. It costs $300 for the console itself, and a majority of the games will cost $60. The release titles included Bomberman, a puzzle-based game, 1-2 Switch, a multiplayer game that consists of many different minigames, and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, an RPG that includes both puzzles and action. Immediately upon turning it on, the system walks you through setup; time zone, user profile information, standard setup actions. All of it is very user-friendly. It asks for you to connect to the internet, but that’s mostly to provide access to things like the help center and the Nintendo store. All in all, the console is very easy to navigate and to use. In the interest of full disclosure, I was excited about the Switch from the time it was announced that Nintendo was working on a new console, at that time under the codename NX. I checked up for new information on it weekly. Similarly, Breath of the Wild caused a great deal of excitement for me, because I’ve played the series for years. I have never been let down by one of the Legend of Zelda titles. From the minute I booted the game up I was impressed. The graphics were simply amazing. There was a level of detail that none of the previous titles could deliver. And as with any game, there was a segment that served as a tutorial for the controls and an introduction to the story. Breath of the Wild had a tutorial like no other game I’ve ever played. The map size alone was comparable to some other games I’ve played, and the controls were easy to handle. The one complaint I even come close to having is that controlling the camera angle took some getting used to. I refuse to give any spoilers for the game, but I can tell you that there is just so much to do. Whether it’s side quests or the main storyline, there are all kinds of things to keep you busy. I took two weeks to beat the main story, and I could have taken longer if I had done more in the way of the side action to begin with. I can’t say enough about the Switch. It’s amazing. And the upcoming titles are something to be excited...

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‘Tale as old as time’ holds audiences captive
Mar29

‘Tale as old as time’ holds audiences captive

Published in the March 29, 2017 issue of The Bells A ‘tale as old as time’ debuted as a live-action film on the silver screen Friday March 17. Beauty and the Beast starred Emma Watson (Harry Potter franchise) as Belle and Dan Stevens (Downtown Abbey, Night of the Musuem 3) as the Beast. The Plot The movie follows the classic storyline of the original animated film that was released in 1991. The film begins with an enchantress transforming the arrogant, party-throwing prince (Stevens) into a hideous beast and his staff into household objects. Fast-forward many years later, and we are introduced to Belle (Watson), a sweet, book-lover yearning to leave her quiet town. Handsome, but vain, war hero Gaston (Luke Evans) wants to marry Belle, but she will have nothing to do with this pompous man. Belle finds herself at the beast’s castle after her father, Maurice (Kevin Kline) is imprisoned for stealing a rose. Belle takes her father’s place, and becomes a prisoner in the beast’s castle. The castle staff, led by the candelabra, Lumiere (Ewan MCGregor), the clock, Cogsworth (Ian McKellen), and the teapot, Mrs. Potts (Emma Thompson) scheme to get Belle and the beast to fall in love and break the curse. Was it any good? In a word, yes. Watson’s Belle was charming. In the market scene where we first meet Belle, Watson does a remarkable job of proving to the audience how ‘strange yet special’ she really is compared to the rest of the villagers. She even teaches a child to read, while her invention involving a donkey does laundry for her. One of my favorite performances was by Evans as Gaston. In the beginning, we start to sympathize with Gaston as he tries to win Belle’s hand. But as Gaston’s nastiness unfolds throughout the film we find ourselves wishing for his demise. Evans’ Gaston is humorous at times but truly despicable. He is a villain in every sense of the word. His treatment of Maurice is much harsher in this film. The costumes, the set, and the songs were flawless. “Be Our Guest,” a fan favorite song in the original, is a spectacle to behold with plates dancing, fireworks, and colors galore. What was new? Unlike the animated version, the film added in a few scenes that explain both Belle and the beast’s growing up years. The film gives us a glimpse of why Belle only grew up with a single parent and why the prince is so nasty. The film not only has the original songs, but there are also a few new ones. One of the new songs, “Evermore,” performed by...

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