Music of the heart
Dec09

Music of the heart

Jimmy Needham and Downhere entertained Crusaders, Preview students during weekend concert

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Fun, laughter infuse lively Date Auction
Dec09

Fun, laughter infuse lively Date Auction

There was a cool, crisp breeze in the starry night. Lights twinkled in the trees, transforming the usually dull steps of Mabee into a romantic scene. The smell of hot chocolate and warm popcorn lingered in the air. It was the night of Date Auction. Some students were there to find a special someone, while others just wanted to enjoy a night with friends. Sophomore business finance major Lindsey Weaver was the master mind behind it all. “Date Auction is a fundraiser done by First Year Council to raise money for spring formal,” Weaver said. She likes being able to support the university and the school spirit of the student body. “FYC was a doorway for me to get involved and make friends,” she said “I’m excited to be a leader, and I’m proud to have had Date Auction as my fundraiser.” The most eligible bachelors on campus planned dates that the university’s young women could bid on. The girls didn’t know who their date might be, but had to bid based solely on what kind of date activity they wanted. Freshman business management major Stuart Bellan put some deep thought into his decision. “I want a nice romantic evening with a special girl,” he said. “I want to take my date to a fun dinner and then dancing. I want her to feel comfortable. If she doesn’t want to go dancing, then we will go play laser tag. That’s such a sweet game to play.” Sophomore business administration major Michael Beach was also trying to make his date memorable. “I just want my girl to have a comfortable time,” he said. “I want to make her laugh and to be sure that she has fun.” Not all of the men were just looking for a casual evening. Some were looking for love. Freshman business major Tobin Davies was searching for just that. “I want to find a wife,” he said. “My date will go on a scavenger hunt at Belton Lake that will lead her to a picnic.” Junior Christian studies major Tommy Wilson was wearing his heart on his sleeve. “This is a chance for me to meet someone in a deeper way and to have fun while doing it.” The thrill-seeking bidders had choices such as ice skating, rock climbing, bumper cars and even a ticket to see Texas country music star Aaron Watson in concert. Junior computer graphic design major Courtney Pett came to the event ready to bid. “I had my eye on a certain someone,” she said. “I feel that UMHB did a really good job with this fundraiser.” Freshman fine arts major...

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Holidays & Festivities
Dec09

Holidays & Festivities

By Lindsay Schaefer Family and friends gather to observe Christmas all around the world by celebrating the holiday in many different ways. At UMHB, students highlight Christmas with special programs and activities during the holiday season. One of the first events was Crusader Christmas Dec. 4 with the lighting of the Luther Memorial. Students watched the movie Elf, drank hot chocolate, ate Christmas cookies and took pictures with Santa. Each of the women’s dorms hosted a mother-daughter weekend. They had dessert parties, Christmas caroling, various activities and games. Friday night, several male students added to the festivities by singing “Christmas Grams” to the students and moms, starting in Burt Hall. After a calm breakfast together, Saturday was left open for mothers and daughters to go Christmas shopping, watch a movie or participate in any other activity. To continue the Christmas spirit, the music department presented Jewels of the Season, its annual Choral Christmas Gala at First Baptist Church Belton. The night included many traditional Christmas carols such as “Joy to the World,” “Deck the Halls” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” The choir also sang Assistant Professor of music Matt Crosby’s special arrangement of “Jingle Bells.” Tonight, the UMHB Instrumental Christmas Concert will be presented in the Mayborn Campus Center Arena at 7 p.m. It will offer a compilation of pieces by The Conservatory of Music Suzuki Groups and The Bell County Symphonic Band. The traditional pancake supper for students will take place Dec. 11 at 9 p.m. in Hardy Hall. Faculty and staff will serve the breakfast food to students. In the small town of Salado, the Christmas season is altered into a winter wonderland. Hundreds of lights hang from all the local businesses, and shopping and seasonal music are available. Locally there is the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area present, Nature in Lights XII: A Holiday Tradition. This includes five miles of Christmas cheer for all to enjoy. For every car, mini-van and pick-up there is a $5 charge. Wrapping up the season, the College of Visual and Performing Arts recorded “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol,” to air on KNCT radio, 91.3 FM. It will be broadcast on Christmas Eve at 7 p.m. and Christmas Day at 10...

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Madagascar, successful Escape 2 Africa
Nov18

Madagascar, successful Escape 2 Africa

“I like to move it, move it.” “He likes to move, move it.” “She likes to move it, move it.” “We like to … move it!” The catchy opening song to Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is the most recognizable part of the first movie, in which four New York zoo animals find themselves on a ship headed to the island of Madagascar. In the second movie, however, the animals, in their attempt to make it back to New York, crash land in mainland Africa. The collision forces Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman to learn what their own species do in the wild, and Alex has an improbable encounter with a family member, Zuba, voiced by the late Bernie Mac. The animals’ development in the story is fun to watch, and the humor in the film, although intended for children, can adapt even to the most mature sense of humor. The cross-species love story in the sequel provides backbone to the two characters involved and also shifts the focus away from the dominant nature of Alex’s story. The film does justice to each character, embracing its unique traits, while still showing that it is the same as its ancestors “back home.” The story gives the “cookie-cutter” zoo animals more depth, but reminds them of their love for the zoo they left. The all-star voicing in the sequel is led by Ben Stiller (Alex), Chris Rock (Marty), Jada Pinkett Smith (Gloria) and David Schwimmer (Melman). The cast also includes big names like Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer and Alec Baldwin. The performance by Bernie Mac was one of his last on film. The late actor appears in Soul Men and this sequel to Madagascar. His career began in 1992 in Mo’ Money, as a doorman, but blossomed into a rich portfolio of blockbusters including Transformers, Ocean’s Thirteen and Guess Who, along with his own show. The recognizable voices in the movie, however, are not a distraction from the story. All performers do a great job of encompassing their roles, shedding the stereotypical acting that goes along with their voices. The only downside to the film is the lack of continuity between the minor characters from the first and second movie. The lemur king is silly, but his part in the movie is almost overplayed, and his circumstantial appearances in the stories of the four zoo animals in this movie are seemingly spastic. The plotting penguins are done an injustice in the film. They are underplayed and underutilized in the development of the story. An encounter between the wild animals and the out-of-place penguins would have definitely been interesting to watch....

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Texas Java serves Cru treats
Nov18

Texas Java serves Cru treats

Texas Java is the highly anticipated coffee house that opened its doors in Belton this past July. It’s about a mile from campus, and for many, it has been a godsend. Temple used to be the nearest place to find a coffee house, but now that has changed. Junior Christi Williams said, “I love it because it’s more convenient than driving all the way to Temple for Starbucks.” It’s suitably placed in the Oak Ridge shopping center on Main street, next to a popular sandwich shop. People from the surrounding businesses are always stopping in for a quick cup of coffee. Java is in full operation, and the community has welcomed it with open arms. It is, however, more than a coffee shop. Not only does it have a wide variety of coffee, but they also sell fruit smoothies, soft drinks, an assortment of cakes and pastries and even Blue Bell ice cream. Java is also a good place for students to study and do homework. Charles Rayburn McRae, an alum of the university, said,  “It’s very peaceful, and the staff is learned in their trade.” The mood is laid back, and the urge to get classroom assignments accomplished is strong with the help of an affordable caffeine rush. The shop also offers free wireless Internet for people who bring in their laptops, iPhones or other wireless devices; and with more than 10 tables and a few comfortable couches, there is plenty of space to go around. The atmosphere seems to be a common reason why students enjoy the place. Williams said, “The staff is very friendly and personal. They’re not like (others), who just want to get you in and get you out.” A good reason for that is most of the staff are current students of the university. Senior Asa Crow, an employee said, “all but one” of Java’s employees are UMHB students. The staff is made up of 10 workers. A few of the popular drinks they offer are the Chi Tea Smoothie, White Mocha frap, and flavored pecan coffee. Another feature is that the java can be made hot or chilled. They even have a special cold blend that keeps the frozen coffee from melting too quickly. Customers even have the option of the color straw they would like to drink their coffee or smoothie with. It’s the little things that makes this spot so inviting to college students. Before Texas Java came along, the university had its very own coffee house called The Daily Grind. It was equipped with coffee, treats, various soft drinks and games. Unfortunately, the hours of operation were limited, and...

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Pause for Thought: Bucket list before kicking the can

By Joshua Thiering December graduation is quickly approaching. This collegiate exodus of seniors into the land of new opportunities is a source of terror for some, and for others it is like being a dog that is finally let off his chain. But before the fast-approaching big romp in the world, a final run around the UMHB backyard is in order. Here is a bucket list of things to do before your college career kicks the bucket. Attend a Civil War re-enactment Some things in history are best not to recreate, like the Hindenburg blimp explosion. Others like civil wars and Renaissance festivals are just great opportunities to get dressed up in period garb and use antiquated language. Take lots of photos — they make interesting Christmas cards. Experiment with facial hair College is about experimentation. Call it a social experiment. Why buy a turtle neck, when you can grow your own? Why not grow a throat beard like Henry David Thoreau for the Civil War re-enactment. Speaking of Thoreau… Live in a tent beside the pond “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived,” Thoreau wrote in Walden, a great American classic. And so, taking a page from Walden we will go to UMHB pond, because we wish to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of college, and see if we could learn what it had to teach, and not, when we came to graduate, discover that we had not received a real education. I want to suck the sweet nectar from the fruits of the simple life, to jostle the juice around in my mouth and to feel its sticky dribble on my chin. Speaking of simple pleasures…. Go to a drive-in with your honey Kanoodle the night away together. Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy the simple pleasures in life like a good movie, snuggling and hand-holding. Drive-ins used to be called “passion pits,” but that hardly is demeaning ever since The Passion of the Christ came...

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