Cru Culture: Resolutions

I solemnly swear to stop drinking soda. Except for once a week. Or on special occasions. Or weekends. Have you ever heard a half-hearted New Year’s resolution like this one? To start of 2014, people all over the world have committed to better themselves in some way. In honor of fresh starts, I’ve given my life to Shaun T. Just that name causes feelings of dread and sudden muscle soreness. Shaun instills fear in unfortunate victims through his intense workout videos like Insanity and T-25. Happy New Year to me. Say a quick prayer for those still working on January promises like painful adventures of squats and pushups. But fear not regular gym-goers, Mayborn won’t be packed much longer. It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and chocolate truly trumps any hopes of reformation. Diet? Have you seen the giant Reese’s peanut butter cups shaped as hearts? Let’s be real. Whether it’s losing weight or watching less TV, for a lot of people, resolutions will become like 6:30 a.m. alarms. “I really don’t have to get up until 6:45,” you will convince yourself. Then 15 minutes later you’ll probably say “I can still get ready in time if I get up at 7:15.” Soon, it’s 7:45, class is at 8a.m. and getting ready becomes a dream of the past. You grab a Dr Pepper for breakfast and head out the door, forgetting any motivation you previously had. Many students will vow to start keeping a planner or start homework the day it’s due. But it’s crazy how as soon as you sit down at your computer, tabs will magically open and somehow your fingers type in your Twitter login. Soon, you get lost in the scrolling and the tabs multiply. Hello Facebook, dear friend. Long time no see. YouTube, you want in on this action? Resolutions are hard to keep, but are far more rewarding than finishing an entire Netflix series in one week. Stop procrastinating, people!...

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Chapel speaker shares inspiring story of past struggles
Nov20

Chapel speaker shares inspiring story of past struggles

Sarah Thebarge has a unique story. The soft-spoken cancer survivor, Yale graduate and author made her first trip to Texas from Portland, Ore.,  Nov. 6 to share it with students during chapel. She said, “I missed the day God gave out voices in Heaven.” The distinguishable characteristic had the audience members sitting at the edge of their seats, hanging onto every word that came from the petite woman’s mouth. Thebarge grew up in an Amish community in Pennsylvania where she constantly struggled to overcome social  expectations that limited her as a woman. She attended Yale University and graduated with a master’s degree in medicine. Her next stop was Columbia University to pursue a master’s degree in journalism. While in New York, Thebarge was diagnosed with breast cancer and became very ill. Her lifelong dream of traveling to Africa crumbled apart just as her life seemed to be doing. In the parking lot of Starbucks, her boyfriend of three years broke up with her. Thebarge said, “I wish I could’ve driven cancer to Starbucks and told it ‘we’ve had a good run, but this isn’t working out for me anymore.’” With a broken soul and empty heart, Thebarge thought she was worthless. She bought a one way ticket to Portland, Ore., and landed there with just a suitcase of clothes. On a train, a Somali girl curled up in Thebarge’s lap. She made eye contact with the mother of five girls who turned out to be refugees. Thebarge got their address and visited a few days later. She found the family enduring horrible living conditions. The mother dumpster-dived for food. Many meals consisted of moldy bread and ketchup. They had one blanket to share and inadequate clothing for the winter. Thebarge created a relationship with the Somali family. With the help of her church, she gave them food, clothes and heat. She showed the girls Disney movies. What Thebarge really wanted to give the girls was an opportunity to go to college. Unable to write a check that large, she began turning the blog she had been keeping about the family’s story into a book called Invisible Children. The proceeds would benefit the girls’ college funds. Junior marketing major Joy Watson attended chapel and the question-and-answer session with Thebarge. Watson was most inspired to hear “how Sarah learned to use her past to inspire people.” She said, “It’s a reminder to not let the past get in the way of the future. God uses the broken.” Thebarge is passionate about emphasizing the importance of inner beauty in women. She said, “In fairy tales, women are always waiting to be saved....

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Deck the halls with boughs of duck calls
Nov20

Deck the halls with boughs of duck calls

The Robertson family from the hit show Duck Dynasty is at it again. They showed the world that their talents don’t end with making duck calls and hilarious television. On Oct. 29 they released their first Christmas album, Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas. Listen to one song, and you will quickly see that the humor in the show has transitioned into fun Christmas carols. The album has 14 songs, with some of the more popular  being “Ragin’ Cajun Redneck Christmas,” “Hairy Christmas” and “Duck the Halls.” Every song on the track has its own personality. For instance, in the song “Christmas Cookies,” Phil Robertson talks about Miss Kay’s Christmas cookies, which will surely bring some laughter. You might think that the songs would be poorly done, but in reality the Robertson family can sing. Not only do they do a fantastic job themselves, but they brought in some of the most notable and sought-after voices in the country music industry to accompany them in this album. Luke Bryan, Josh Turner, Alison Krauss and last, but not least, the king of country music himself, George Strait, make an appearance. The songs are a mixture of traditional Christmas hymns with a southern twist, to the Robertsons’ very own construction of Christmas carols.  As many know, they are a religious family and not afraid to confess their love for Christ. This is evident throughout the album. It is currently #1 on the Top Country Albums chart. This should be encouraging—that people who may never listen to Christmas music are getting a true feel of the season The album ends with Phil Robertson saying a prayer that  emphasizes what  Christmas  is all about. Yes, some of the songs are a bit goofy, but a number of songs on the track clearly point out the reason for the season. There is a song for everyone on this album. It mixes country music and Christmas carols perfectly with relevant and meaningful lyrics. I am usually not a fan of Christmas music, but this album is different. “Camouflage and Christmas Lights” stood out to me because it paints a picture of the Christmas season that only people from a small, southern town can appreciate. As well done as these songs are, they could stick around for some time and maybe even become Christmas carols your kids will be listening to. Really, how do you make a better Christmas album than one that has Si Robertson and George Strait in the same song? If you don’t want to buy the whole album, which I strongly encourage, make sure you at least check out some of their...

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Thor smashes big screen
Nov20

Thor smashes big screen

In Thor: The Dark World, the god of thunder takes on ancient foes thought to be long extinct. The Dark Elves of Svartalfheim, led by their ruler Malekith (played by Christopher Eccleston of Doctor Who), have been awakened from a long slumber and have returned to see the Nine Realms fall into darkness. To make things more problematic, astrophysicist Dr. Jane Foster, Thor’s human love interest, has become infected with a deadly substance known as the Aether and may not survive much longer without Asgardian help. With enemies at the gate and a damsel in distress, Thor must fight to bring balance back to the Nine Realms before Malekith uses the imminent approach of the Convergence (a rare alignment of the Nine Realms) to wreak havoc on the entire universe. From the very beginning, this movie is big. The landscapes are huge, the cities (including a larger, revamped Asgard) are magnificent, and the battles have an epic feel to them; the movie as a whole is noticeably bigger in scale than the first Thor. However, while it may provide some great eye-candy and make for a few solid battle sequences, the frequent Lord-of-the-Rings-esque tones cause TTDW to feel as though it lacks an identity. The film switches between superhero, action, and epic fantasy feels and never quite gets them to synchronize perfectly. The other main issue of the movie is that it seems to contradict the first film concerning the character of Odin, who, after standing firm for peace in the first film, seems overly anxious to ride into war this time around. The inconsistencies aren’t glaring, but they do create a small gap in the usually steady storyline of the Marvel universe. On the plus side, the film features plenty of what viewers have come to love about Marvel films. The humor, a good portion of which is contributed by Dr. Foster’s intern, Darcy, is far and above that of most other action films, and Darcy’s interaction with her own intern, Ian (yes, the intern has an intern) provides laughs that range from needed comic relief to rolling in the aisles. The storyline features just enough surprises to keep the viewer intrigued (don’t worry, no spoilers here) and the battles, as CGI-heavy as they are, are ultimately enjoyable; the final battle, in particular, is especially thrilling. The best part of the film comes once Thor recruits Loki to help him complete his task. While this part of the movie, unfortunately, doesn’t come around as early as it should, watching the brothers’ witty banter and god-sized quarreling is endlessly entertaining, and Tom Hiddleston’s performance as Loki is nothing short...

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Cru Culture
Nov20

Cru Culture

People say if he puts down his Xbox controller to text you back, it’s love. But at UMHB, don’t be so sure. When he pauses Call of Duty or puts down his book on statistics to pick up your phone call, you probably shouldn’t call a wedding planner. While it could be a simple matter, it’s just not. If only there was an EASY button for real life. With sound effects. That would be amazing. Instead, Crusaders have a difficult time navigating the signs and obstacles of relationships. He likes her. She likes him. In a normal world, this would mean they start dating or pursuing each other in some way. But on this campus, the “couple” mutually hangs out and talks constantly, yet never classifies the relationship. Do relationships scare Crusaders? What about the ring by spring? It starts with a “d” and rhymes with hate. The unmentionable word usually gets replaced with “hanging out,” because that sounds like less of a commitment. UMHB probs. So many students spend months together, not defining the relationship or even questioning it. Are those two going out? Who knows? They could just be best friends…. Right. Does Thor’s hair look luscious? Of course it does— he should be in a shampoo commercial. Knowing whether or not a couple is dating should be that simple, too. It’s not rocket science, folks. UMHB doesn’t have that major anyway. Don’t be fooled by your significant other’s Crusader “dating lingo,” either. Some phrases might need some translation. “Let’s go for a walk around the quad tonight,” usually means he likes you. Friends don’t walk with friends on the same sidewalks over and over again at midnight. “I heard you can drown in Burt Pond. We should go check it out.” As lame as this statement is, it also means he likes you. Burt Pond itself screams “Ring by Spring,” and should be avoided at all costs unless you want to get hitched. “You should come to Own the Night,” always means he wants to dance with you. While friends can, indeed, dance with each other, if he invites you and takes your hand on the concrete dance floor, consider that a step closer to the unspoken word. The only foolproof plan for decoding confusing relationships, though, is to ask. Ask him or her what exactly is going on because that’s the only way to stop this mutually confused Crusader epidemic. After all, you can always go to Hardy and soothe your disappointment with a pizza cookie or two. Or...

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Cru Culture
Nov05

Cru Culture

What do you get when you combine Chacos and Toms? Tacos. And the best part about tacos is you don’t have to worry about whether or not you have to wear socks with them. With so many different trendy shoe options, how do students decide which ones to sport? Many Crusaders combine their favorite outfits with a pair of Chacos, a Z-strap sandal originally made for whitewater rafting guides because of their durability and waterproof material. Instead of being used for their original purpose, though, people all over the world wear Chacos for all outdoor activities. That’s fine, as long as the strappy shoes never walk indoors. Just as certain breeds of dogs should be kept inside, some recreational wear doesn’t belong in suburban life. Chacos are not the Chihuahuas of the shoe world. Keep those puppies outside, folks. People who choose to wear the outdoorsy sandals call themselves Chaconians, which pretty much speaks for itself. It’s like a professional athlete giving himself his own nickname—kind of lame. Sorry, Ochocinco, but Kobe and Lebron didn’t need to name themselves, and neither should Chaco-wearers. I stumbled upon a blog by a woman from Arkansas. It is dedicated completely to bedazzled Chacos. Let’s just add some toe socks to the unfortunate equation and throw a tacky party, shall we? Another popular pick, Toms, can be a dangerous fashion faux pas as well. Though the company that manufactures the comfy shoes seeks to help the non-profit subsidiary, Friends of Toms, not all the ways Crusaders wear the sneakers are fashion friendly. Socks or no socks? Here lies the problem. Socks ruin the look completely, but no socks ruin any hopes of keeping your footwear fresh. Bare feet inside your Toms creates a situation that everyone around you will resent. It stinks. Literally. So go with some cutoff socks, but please, for the sake of everyone at the university, do not wear long socks. That’s almost as bad as bedazzled sandals, and that’s enough to scare the socks right off of ya. God bless your...

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