Endless Love: Unfortunately endless boredom
Feb25

Endless Love: Unfortunately endless boredom

THE BELLS — It never fails that a romantic movie comes out right before Valentine’s Day — or in this case, Endless Love producers decided to make the movie’s big screen debut on the romantic holiday to gain more in the box office. That was probably the best move on their part because the movie made $13.4 million its first weekend. That was probably because of all the girls begging their boyfriends to take them for their Valentine’s date night. If you were one of those boyfriends, you get major points for pretending to look over the whopping 14 percent that Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie. Of course the audience gave it a little higher rating, proving that people will have to go see it for themselves to determine how good a film it is. It is undetermined if the audience rating was only higher because of an attractive Alex Pettyfer who is the leading male in the film. Endless Love was a remake from the movie originally made in the ’80s, but the story line this time around is completely different. If you didn’t like the first one, don’t let it make up your mind when thinking about seeing the remake because it’s practically a different movie. “Those of us still scarred by the memory of Franco Zeffirelli’s 1981 mega-dose of romantic sludge … have every right to fear this remake. Thankfully, the only thing it has in common with that film is the title. It’s been scratch-built from the ground up,” reviewer Jim Schembri said on Rotten Tomatoes. Romantic cliches throughout the film are not scarce. Just be ready for the occasional twists and turns  meant to keep the audience on the edge of their seats. Those who’ve seen the movie might have been slightly bored for the first 30 minutes. Yes, the beginning is slow. In fact, it drags on and really does feel endless. As the movie progresses, it starts to pick up. Then the end comes, and it never elaborates on the “oh my gosh” moments. Viewers are left hanging and disappointed. If you’re not confused by the end of this one, you might have to explain it to the rest of us who apparently couldn’t keep up as quickly. The story line is great, aside from all the rush from the middle to end. If you are familiar with Nicholas Sparks movies, this one might make you wonder how he didn’t rewrite this...

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Cru Culture: Twitter
Feb25

Cru Culture: Twitter

It’s just a normal day on campus—a male student walks across the quad with his head down, engrossed in Twitter. Suddenly, an unofficial UMHB account pops up in his list of new followers, so he clicks on his latest activity and views the profile. The odd part of this story isn’t that UMHB does, indeed, have male students, but instead, it’s about what the student sees on the app that surprises him. He proceeds to read tweets that call out secret sins of university goers and offensive remarks about student leadership. These people are mentioned by name, though not with their Twitter handles. The student’s eyes narrow in disbelief, but he keeps reading because the statements are just that outrageous. It’s one of those “this is so disturbing, but I can’t look away” moments– like the Miley Cyrus twerking episode all over again. See no evil. Though such cases rarely happen at the university, this unfortunate trend has wreaked havoc in social circles on campus recently. First of all, does the owner of the scandalous account actually go to class?  Most Crusaders have enough homework or even a job to keep them busy for the rest of their college career. I barely have time to wash behind my ears, much less collect hundreds of pieces of gossip. A high maintenance account like this one would take a lot of effort to maintain. Ain’t nobody got time for that. One thing is certain: Whoever created the profile isn’t a nursing student. Also, the majority of social media accusations involved freshmen. The mysterious tweeter probably didn’t think about the fact he or she would be identified as a member of the class of 2017 as well—unless the person just hangs out with freshmen all the time and then airs their dirty laundry on the site, an even sadder situation. The fact is everyone loves a good piece of juicy gossip, but not at their own expense. Next time a fake UMHB account follows you, block...

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Get some sun and earn class credit with paddle boarding
Feb25

Get some sun and earn class credit with paddle boarding

THE BELLS — As spring break approaches, so does the thought that the semester is halfway over, steering minds to  summer. Some students think about the relaxing three-month break they will have, while others stress over the credits they still need to register for to take during the summer. Of course, students can take classes on campus, but why stay in Belton to take courses when one can take the same course in a more vacation-like place? The university will be taking 10 students to South Padre Island to enjoy a little bit of fishing and paddle boarding in the sea while receiving two hours of P.E. credit that all students need. The trip is conveniently placed the Sunday after graduation and will be back the Wednesday after, just in time for students to get back who are planning to take the first May mini-mester. The van will leave at 5 a.m. to embark on the journey, and they expect to arrive on the island around noon. Then the students will start their first paddle boarding adventure on the coast of South Padre. Not just any student can go, though. Students will have to show they are good swimmers and prove they can carry a paddle board. They also  have to have a physical before going on this four-day trip. Dr. Jamey Plunk, a professor in the exercise and sport science department, will host the trip and instruct both fishing and paddle boarding. “This is the first year that we have actually had this class. It works out really, really well for most students because it starts the day after graduation and ends the day before the mini-mester starts,” Plunk said. “It’s a pretty intense four days because you’re having to knock out two hours.” He also made it known that the classes will be listed as a spring class so that students can use financial aid from this year to go toward the trip. Junior nursing major Chaley Shiffler saw the advertisement on MyCampus, which sparked her interest in the trip. “I’m most excited to learn how to fish and paddle board for the first time,” Shiffler said. “I’ve also never been to the Padre Islands, so that’ll be a first as well.” The 10 students will wake up at around 5 a.m. every day to fish off the coast. After a few hours, the students will go back to the condos to eat lunch and get ready to paddle board for the rest of the afternoon in calm and rougher waters. Once done with that at around 8:30 at night, students will prepare to spend the rest...

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Holly Tucker shares talent, Voice
Feb25

Holly Tucker shares talent, Voice

THE BELLS — Two years ago, 21-year-old Baylor student Holly Tucker auditioned for the TV show, The Voice, in Dallas, persuading each of the four coaches to turn around (indicating they wanted her on their team) while she sang. Tucker chose Blake Shelton as her coach, headed to California and eventually placed in the show’s final six. Tucker took the stage Feb. 12 for chapel before a crowd of Crusaders. She flaunted black, glittery cowboy boots, which she explained were mailed to her by a supportive fan to wear on the show. She said was “excited to do a gig for people her own age.” Sophomore marketing major Jessica Pitcaithly said the word passion best describes Tucker. “Not only does she work hard towards her music, she is a Christian, and it is very inspiring,” Pitcaithly said. Pitcaithly shares Tucker’s love for music and hopes to achieve songwriting success of her own one day. “I definitely feel like I can relate to Holly Tucker. She’s in school like me, and I’m also an aspiring musician in the song writing department,” Pitcaithly said. Tucker, a junior double speech communication and Spanish major, sang many well-known country songs, some of which she competed with on The Voice. Accompanied by her guitarist, she belted out Sugarland’s hit, “Settling.” The captivated audience’s response encouraged her to speak about herself and her story in between songs. Just days before one round of competition on The Voice, a vicious tornado ripped through Moore, Okla., devastating the town and calling for help and support from the rest of the country. Even though the potential for sizeable backlash was likely, Shelton and Tucker decided to use Tucker’s opening performance as an opportunity for prayer. She performed Carrie Underwood’s rendition of “How Great Thou Art” to remind a distressed country about God’s unceasing presence. Tucker said her faith is “a big part of who I am.” She wanted to be her most authentic self throughout the TV competition. Tucker performed the same song before dismissing students at chapel. Sophomore nursing major Lauren Garcia followed Tucker’s journey from start to finish that season on The Voice. She was excited when she met Tucker after chapel. “She is so sweet and is an amazing role model for young women,” Garcia said. “Her audition blew me away. I even have some of her covers on my phone.” Although Tucker is just a little older than she, Garcia said, “It’s not weird, but amazing. To manage school and a music career … that’s a lot of work.” In a post-elimination interview after her last appearance on the show, Tucker was gracious and...

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Reaching Out team to go on special mission to Independence
Feb25

Reaching Out team to go on special mission to Independence

THE BELLS — It’s important to have a connection to the past. Because of this, a group of students will travel to UMHB’s original home, Independence, March 1 as part of Reaching Out. The program gives students a chance to actively serve the community, and taking a trip to Independence shows that the university is still in touch with its origins. “Reaching Out is a university-driven service project,” said Michael Murphy, who is the student director for the event. “Students will partner with the Baptist church in Independence and help with various projects.” Director of Alumni Relations Rebecca O’Banion said Reaching Out gives students a chance to spread the gospel away from campus. “We have the opportunity to work together as faculty, staff and students to show Christ’s love in a tangible way to those outside the university family,” she said. A group of 20 students will participate in the service project, which will primarily take place at the Independence Baptist Church, the oldest continually operating Baptist church in Texas. The church opened in 1839 and was a center for mission work in the Republic of Texas. Aside from its age, the church has historical significance because it is also the congregation of which Sam Houston was a member when he was baptized. O’Banion said the trip will be a unique experience because students will not only have a chance to serve the community of Independence, but will also get a history lesson as well. “Those traveling to Independence will work on restoring the old church,” she said. “This has been an ongoing process, and our students will get to be a part of history by lending a hand to this church.” Even though UMHB moved from Independence to Belton in 1886, O’Banion said there’s still a strong connection between the university  and the town. “We have built a good relationship with the pastor and the community and wanted to do something to help them,” she said. “They are always such gracious hosts to us when we visit, and we wanted to serve them.” Because of this connection, the decision to plan a Reaching Out trip to Independence was easy to make. “It seemed like such a great opportunity to serve the church that was the church family of our students in Independence in the 1800s,” she said. “It feels like we are touching part of our history by serving this church.” Registration for the trip is currently closed, but students can sign up for a waiting list at umhb.edu/reaching-out-independence. Director of Student Organizations, Tiffany Wurdemann, said students who sign up for Reaching Out should be prepared to serve...

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Honky-tonk hero
Feb11

Honky-tonk hero

Jesus, honky-tonks and gunfights. How in the world are these three seemingly unrelated topics connected? Billy Joe Shaver. The rough and rugged songwriter is arguably as big a part of the history of outlaw country as names like Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings. The audience began cheering the minute Shaver’s worn cowboy boots stepped onto the stage of UMHB’s Hughes Hall Jan. 28. He wore Wranglers, a light blue denim shirt and a brown felt hat with a tattered feather on it. He sat down on a stool to talk to associate professor and chairman of the music department, Dr. Mark Aaron Humphrey in the latest installment of the C3 series. Humphrey started the session by acknowledging Shaver’s importance to Texas music. He described the fine arts experience as one with Texas roots. He then asked Shaver about the songwriting process. “I started writing when I was just about 8 years old.… I think it’s a blessing or a curse. Seems like it’s different every time,” Shaver said. “Most of my songs were written trying to stay alive, and the rest were written trying to get back in the house.” The 74-year-old Corsicana native showed his quick wit with numerous jokes but was also ready to impart any wisdom he could. “I think songwriting is the cheapest psychiatrist there is, and I believe everybody ought to write,” he said. “I think everybody is capable of writing. I go through it, and just like I was writing someone I really care about a letter—you know, to make every word count and make sure it all means something.” Shaver has endured his fair share of tough times including several divorces, drug addictions and the loss of his son Eddie to a heroin overdose. Humphrey described Shaver’s story as utterly incredible. “I’ve had a few setbacks here and there, a few bumps in the road,” Shaver said. “Some of them been pretty bad.… Don’t really get to feeling sorry for yourself because everybody gets singled out every now and again…. That’s just the way life goes.” Shaver found himself facing another challenge in 2007. A conflict in a Lorena bar eventually ended with Shaver shooting a man in the face with a .22 caliber pistol. In 2010, Shaver was found innocent of aggravated assault charges. The incident was the inspiration for Shaver’s song, “Wacko from Waco,” that he recorded with Willie Nelson. Shaver told the audience in Hughes that he was innocent and had not returned fire until the other man had shot at him three times. Despite having what some might call a rough demeanor, Shaver claims Jesus Christ...

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