Local church welcomes with love and food
Nov18

Local church welcomes with love and food

After chapel and classes on Wednesday, about 230 students make the less-than-a-mile trip to the First United Methodist Church on 3rd Avenue. Not for attending services, but to be served a home-cooked meal. The church has been providing lunches to college students in its fellowship hall for the past four years. Volunteers have seen tremendous growth, particularly in this year’s attendance. “We’re the victim of our own success,” said Jack Sykes, the chairman of the witness committee that sponsors the ministry. When they first began serving meals, there were typically 30-40 in attendance. This year, the response has been nearly overwhelming. “We budgeted based on last year’s attendance, which was 75-80 on average,” Sykes said. “This year, we started off with 140.” Due to rising food costs, the church had to make a decision. “We have two choices — either we cut back on the quality of the meal, which we don’t want to do,” Sykes said, “or we need some help.” First United Methodist recently added a donation box to the beginning of the food line, asking for a dollar donation. “The students that are coming seem to enjoy it. We don’t like the idea of having to ask for donations,” Sykes said. “We want to be clear on that. We don’t like it.” Sophomore education major Joanna Schildwachter said, “I think that’s fair enough. You get a good — size meal.” Overall, students seem to be responsive to their request for support. “It tastes good, and the least we can do is give a dollar,” Schildwacther said. Because the donation box has only been there a few weeks, the volunteers anticipate the word will get around in the near future. “We think it’ll get better as we go along,” Sykes said. There are usually 10 volunteers helping with everything from the prep work of browning 50 pounds of beef the day before, to giving students rides to and from campus, to cleaning up afterward. Some volunteers have been a part of the ministry from the get-go, while others willingly step in when needed. “I’m actually emergency help today,” volunteer Paul McKinley said. The kitchen was short staffed, but other members of First United Methodist filled in the gap. “It’s what I’m called to do; it’s part of being a church,” McKinley said. “It’s stepping up to the plate.” Gary Brown, who may be seen driving the bus to and from the church any given Wednesday, has been volunteering for three years. “I think it’s a good mission,” he said. “It keeps me busy. I’m retired twice.” Brown is equally amazed at the expansion. “The first year we...

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Spotlight shines on 12 Angry Jurors
Nov18

Spotlight shines on 12 Angry Jurors

The lights brightened on the stage in Hughes Recital Hall to a trial having just taken place and leaving the jury members to decide whether a boy accused of murder was innocent or guilty. Bickering, turmoil and even some climactic fighting scenes broke out on stage during the first production of the season for the theater department. The play was 12 Angry Jurors and was shown Nov. 7 and 8. With a cast consisting of 13 members, the play was  based on the similiar work, 12 Angry Men. All the actors developed their own personality to the character they were portraying to the point that the audience could feel anger from the cast in the auditorium. Sophomore and juror number five, Marcus Repp, was one of the jurors who began to question the case near the beginning of the play. Repp and the other actors had to become accustomed to their character to make their performance believable. “We had to research . . . our character and adapt to the time period of the late 1950s,” he said. Most of the actors have been on stage before, either at UMHB or in high school. Juror number nine Ashley Ramirez, has been acting in plays ever since high school. She was in Macbeth along with more.As much as being on stage is thrilling, she said there’s a better aspect of acting. “Meeting all of the people is the best,” she said. “We all put so much dedication into it, and along the way we develop great friendships.” With any  production, there are multiple jobs that have to be completed for it to be a smooth showing. There are casting of the roles, set design, costume design, music coordinating and so on. However, there has to be someone in charg. For the 12 Angry Jurors the job belonged to senior Samantha Anderson, the stage director. “Basically I had to make sure everyone was at rehearsal, on time, make sure everyone knew where and when rehearsal was, read parts of missing actors, borrow props from other theaters, make random phone calls, (and) follow the script every night so actors could call for lines,” she said.“Being the stage manager is kind of having to be all over the place. I had to take care of the details and technical things.” With a neraly packed house both nights of parents and friends, the outcome of the production was positive. Sophomore nursing major, Sarah Herriott, went to the Saturday showing and enjoyed the diverse characters on stage. “The best thing about the play was getting to see all of the people I typically interact with...

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George ‘W’ Bush story told by Hollywood screen
Nov04

George ‘W’ Bush story told by Hollywood screen

Although many speculated that the film directed by well-known liberal Oliver Stone on the life  of the current president, George W. Bush, would be a cheap jab at the president in his last few months as commander in chief, they could not have been more wrong. Stone himself admitted during an interview on the popular television program The Colbert Report, his motives for making the movie were not entirely pure. However, during the making of the film, Stone said that he had a change of heart. During the televised interview Stone said, “Making the movie really kind of opened my eyes to this guy Bush. I really started to like him. He’s a great man, and I believe he’s on his way to being a great president.” The film stars Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men, American Gangster) portraying “W” from his childhood to the Iraq war. The star- studded cast includes, Elizabeth Banks as Laura Bush, Richard Dreyfuss as Dick Cheney, James Cromwell as George Herbert Walker Bush, Ellen Burstyn as Barbara Bush, Scott Glenn as Donald Rumsfeld and Toby Jones as Karl Rove. While Brolin comes away with an astounding performance as the film’s protagonist, it is perhaps the rest of the cast that truly brings the story to life, particularly the performances of both Jeffrey Wright, who portrays Gen. Colin Powell, and Thandie Newton as Condoleezza Rice. “W” chronicles the life of Bush, traveling back and forth between flashbacks of young Bush attempting to escape from his father’s shadow to behind closed doors in the cabinet of the President of the United States. The film is designed to give audiences a new perspective on the current administration from the viewpoint of the presidency. It has both lighthearted moments and those of high drama and should be considered one of the best films of the year. The film runs for 129 minutes and is rated PG-13 for language, including sexual references, some alcohol abuse, smoking and brief disturbing war images. The film is a must see, if not simply for the breathtaking performances — for the even-handed glance at the highest office in the United States. Its message of hope and redemption speaks to the lost American dream. For those who hate Bush, this is a chance to understand him. For those who love him, this is a chance to see him for the man he truly...

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Students take stage, publish works
Nov04

Students take stage, publish works

Even though it’s not the typical coffee house setting, a hushed audience and a list of performers packed the SUB for a night filled with creativity and student participation. The first Open Mic Nite of the semester was preceded by the unveiling of the university’s annual publication, the Baylorian. “It’s great that we’re getting to see a lot more of the arts publicized around campus,” assistant campus activities director, Jeff Sutton, said. “And the best part is that students are showing up and wanting more.” In October, the 2008-09 edition of the Baylorian was made available for purchase. That evening, a small group of students gathered at the amphitheater to read aloud some of the recently published work. Immediately after, Open Mic Nite commenced. Last semester Open Mic Nite was introduced to the students as a venue allowing musicians, writers and storytellers to showcase their talents in front of an audience. Now, the event is returning with the same vision. “It’s cool because we’re not affiliated with anything — with any organization. Open Mic Nite is totally student-led and relies on us to participate for it to be a success. I think it has been,” senior philosophy and theology major, Andy Wayland, said. Almost in the same vein, the Baylorian is a published collection of short stories, poetry, artwork and literary criticism that can only be possible through the submissions of faculty, alumni and students. “There are so many great voices from people at our school, and without those voices, we wouldn’t have our publication,” senior managing editor, Russel Dotson said. “We thoroughly evaluate every submission and try our best to give the authors and artists a chance to see their work in print.” Last year’s editor, senior English major Kaylynn Bishop, hosted the Baylorian unveiling and also performed in Open Mic. “I feel like Open Mic Nite and the Baylorian are two visions that cohabitate very well,” Bishop said. “Both involve artistic endeavors going public, and I think it’s great that our school body is taking more involvement in those areas.” Next year’s publication of the Baylorian is already accepting submissions. Students or alumni interested should send their work as an attached document to baylorian2009@yahoo.com. The deadline is Jan....

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Crusader Knight ’97 in band
Nov04

Crusader Knight ’97 in band

Jason Baird, Mr. Crusader Knight of 1997, used to wear the sought-after crown. Representing Burt Hall, he entertained students with a two-minute video that was voted students’ and judges’ choice for favorite video his sophomore year in college. Now Baird stands on stage for a different crowd. He is a singer and bass player for Austin’s Bridge, an up-and-coming band known for its bluegrass, country feel. According to Christianity Today, their sound can be likened to that of Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts and 33Miles. “Hands down, they’re the best new ‘guy group’ in faith-based country-pop,” Christianity Today’s music review said. Baird met Justin Rivers, the lead singer and guitarist, in Austin, Texas. They wanted to use music to “bridge the gap between   a sinful man and a holy God,” Baird said. The group has been together since 2006 and recently enjoyed the spotlight for receiving the 2008 Dove Award for Bluegrass Recorded Song of the Year, “He’s in Control.” They were nominationed for three awards. Rivers said, “We were shocked because they’re so many people who don’t know who we (are).” The threesome, made of worship pastors Rivers, Baird and Toby Hitchcock, have been involved in music in some form since  childhood. “I knew music was the only thing I was going to do,” Rivers said. “I tried to play football in high school, and I tried to pursue other avenues of interest, but none that I liked as well as music. It just consumed me.” Hitchcock’s parents were musicians, so he grew up travelling. “I remember being on the road and being like 4 years old and singing all their songs in the back seat,” Hitchcock said. For Baird, ministry has been his resounding calling. He was a youth pastor before he became a music minister. “In my worship leading area, I was like ‘This is fun, but I don’t want to stand up and conduct music.’ I want to work with a band,” Baird said. “So I started working with bands. That’s where my passion for music developed.” Each member has traveled a long road to get to the place where he is now. Rivers said he got a kid guitar for Christmas when he was 3 years old. He and the six-stringed instrument were inseparable. “I don’t really recall this,” Rivers said, “but (my mom) said that I would carry it around … day and night, like it was my security blanket.” As a child, he entertained church members nearly every Sunday, trying to play along during worship. Rivers said, “People would be on stage singing, and I would be the little kid on fourth...

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Pause for thought: Roommate Woes
Nov04

Pause for thought: Roommate Woes

By Joshua Thiering The door opens, and in walks old bad news herself. It’s that roommate who always gets on your nerves. She plops down on the sofa, groaning, making a point to let everyone know how miserable her life is. Soon the groans will be drowned out by Lauryn Hill, whining over her laptop speakers. “Killing me softly, with his song, killing me softly,” she sings along with the chorus. Ironically, however, it’s really you she is killing softly. Perhaps you have a roommate like this one. Like a badger, their tracks can be spotted a couple of ways. They usually live in your living room and never leave. They only speak to you negatively, and ask you a lot of questions when you’re walking out the door like: “Where you are going? And why do you never make time for me?” With the housing process quickly approaching, switching roommates can be as difficult and terrifying as undertaking surgery. For those thinking about cutting ties, here are a few quick tips to numb the long-term pain of your roommate woes. Avoidance “The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it,” said best-selling author Dale Carnegie. The best way to avoid conflicts at your apartment is not to be there. Make a schedule of when your roommate is home. Now take a permanent marker, and black out those blocks, and write over them with red ink: study in library, dinner with friends, long walk around campus or dig a hole to China. Be dirty The dirtier you are, the less likely they will want to live with you. Try eating meals in their bed. Leave your dirty dishes on their night stand. If you ever do have to wash any dishes, do it in the toilet bowl. Once the mess piles up, blame them. Take your friends on guided tours through their messy rooms. Be sure to use metaphorical language comparing the room to a pigsty or a tsunami refugee camp. Redecorate the living room Print up bad photos of your roommate and hang them all over your living room walls. You know the one, with the double chin, and the one black and white photo where they tried to be artsy, but just ended up looking like a whitewashed bloated Jabba The Hut with heartburn. Tack it up. These tactics may make matters worse temporarily, but in the long run, they will not put up a fight to move...

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