Month: March 2016

Job in radio business begins unexpected career for Moody

[Editor’s note: This story is part of an ongoing project in conjuction with the South Plains College Alumni Association. The project highlights former SPC students and their achievements.]

by BRANDI ORTIZ/News Editor 

Most know what they want to do when they apply to college, but that was not the case for Tania Moody.

Starting out to become an aspiring country singer, the Levelland resident says that she believed South Plains College was a perfect fit for her. Moody liked to call herself a propitious student doing “a little bit of this, a little bit of that.”

Originally in the commercial music department, she also tried mass communications under the supervision of professor John Sparks, performing arts in the Creative Arts Department, and also the SPC broadcast journalism program.

Moody was no stranger to the SPC environment. With both of her parents working for the college, her transition was a breeze.

“My dad came out here, and he is a really incredible piano player and vocalist himself,” Moody says. “So he came and played with me for my audition for a scholarship, and they ended up hiring him and giving me a scholarship.”

Throughout her college career, Moody participated with Country Caravan, a traveling country band that performed many shows around Texas in hopes of bringing in students to SPC. She also was the female vocalist of the year for the Commercial Music Department and was a Tom T. Hall Scholarship recipient.

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After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Kaplan College in computer information systems, Moody began working for Levelland’s local radio station, KLVT AM,1230. Starting out in 2006 as a sales person, she noticed her love for the radio business was growing.

After moving up in the business to a sales manager and then a station manager, Moody leased the station in 2012. It was not until 2013 that Moody bought the station, explaining that the station is her “baby.”

“It was not something I always wanted to do,” Moody explains. “But when I got into the business, I really fell in love with it.”

“Trial by fire” is what Moody uses to describe her experience in starting up the business.

“Just a little learning as I went,” said Moody, “and I had a really good mentor here. The gentleman who sold me the business has taught me throughout the seven years I worked for him.”

Using a network of other station owners, Moody often calls upon them when she is need of a helping hand.

Aside from own and operating the radio station, Moody is also on a plethora of boards throughout the community.

“I really enjoy doing things for the community,” says Moody. “I like community service. I like people and working with them.”

Moody does not let owning a business stop her from her true passion, which is singing.

“I do still sing, but not as much as I would like,” she adds.

Apart from her being a station owner, she is also a full-time mom to her two wonderful children. Her oldest son, Sam, is currently in the Air Force learning to become an airplane mechanic. Her youngest child, Maddy, is studying at Abilene Christian University to become a teacher. Her husband, Stuart Moody, works at SPC, where he is the chairperson of the Creative Arts Department and assistant professor of sound technology. Her mother, Schahara Hudleson, also works for the college as an English professor.

Moody thinks what has really helped her in the business is the great team she has at the station, including the station cat, Hosmer, named after a player for the Kansas City Royals, Eric Hosmer.

“If you can find something you love to do, you never work a day in your life,” is a quote Moody believes that is exemplified through SPC. “I believe that pursuing something that you love with a passion is always worth it.”

Edwards aims to encourage confidence through body image

by MATT MOLINAR/Opinion Editor 

For Emily Edwards, looking good has never felt better.

Edwards, a sophomore biology major from Levelland, Texas,  grew up with one particular goal in her mind, and that was to remain highly confident.

In order to achieve confidence, Edwards spends most of her time in the gym, working herself to her fullest potential. That is the reason she calls herself a “gym rat.”

“I go to the gym more than I go anywhere else,” Edwards says. “I’m obsessed with being the best that I can be. I just want to be better than I was yesterday.”

Edwards says that while exercising, your body produces endorphins, which make you happy. This is what makes her believe that exercise can make her a happier, healthier and more confident person.

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Emily Edwards working out at the PE Complex on March 21. MATT MOLINAR/PLAINSMAN PRESS

However, with powerlifting and other extreme fitness activities being less common among women, Edwards has had her share of negative feedback.

“I was actually walking out of Reese the other day, and this girl looked at me and called me a ‘she-Hulk,’” Edwards said. “A lot of guys tell me not to get too muscular, because they say that guys don’t like to date big girls. But I don’t really care.”

Edwards responds to the criticism by explaining that she is not trying to impress anybody with her strength, but simply working on making her body look the way she wants it to look.

“I also get a lot of positive criticism as well,” Edwards said. “Everyone in the gym is there to support you. We are not here to judge anyone. We are only here to judge ourselves.”

For Edwards’ future, she has set in front of herself a goal to become a plastic surgeon once she graduates from Texas Tech University.

“I’m all about helping people feel better about themselves,” Edwards says. “I feel that with plastic surgery, the surgeon is there to make the patient look better and feel better about their self.”

Edwards also spends her spare time mastering the skill of makeup artistry. She explains that makeup has helped her find what she would want to do for a living.

“I would love to be a makeup artist,” Edwards said. “But that career is a very seasonal thing. You wouldn’t be making that much money at certain times of the year. With plastic surgery, it’s the best of both worlds.”

Edwards says that people who are willing to pay money to look better mean business, and this career path would be the best option for her future.

“I draw inspiration from Sophie Arvebrink, an online fitness personality,” Edwards says. “She’s just so huge. I want to look like her.”

Edwards says that if she could tell anyone anything, it would be to feel as confident as he or she deserves to feel. She also encourages her friends not to care about what other people may think of them.

“Just don’t care,” Edwards says. “Everyone has something to work on. If you enjoy something, get good at it.”

After attending SPC, Edwards plans to transfer to Texas Tech in order to pursue her degree, before moving to Corpus Christi to pursue her dreams.

Wildlife Biology students gain experience through camping trip

by MALLORY CARVER/Feature Editor

Three days of desert camping with 14 college students is not something any average professor would sign up for.

From March 10 – March 13, four exceptional professors at South Plains College volunteered to take a group of students on an educational journey to Black Gap Wildlife Management Area, near Marathon, Texas.

David Etheredge, biology professor, began bringing his Wildlife Biology class on two trips every spring semester in 1990. His enthusiasm was contagious, and his patience with his students is admirable to everyone who went on the trip.

“I don’t know how Mr. E puts up with so many students,” says Dallas Quintanilla, a biology major who went on the trip. “I had him last semester, and he’s the reason I wanted to take Wildlife Biology.”

Jon Marc Moore, chairperson of Physical Education Department, Dr. Megan Keith, instructor in biology, and Leanna Smith, a retired professor of biology, were all eager to help Etheredge oversee all the students through four days with limited technology in a harsh environment.

The purpose of the trip was to give experience to students who are hoping to pursue a career in Wildlife Management. Students were given the opportunity to speak to the biologists who work at Black Gap.

“I have had to turn some professors down who wanted to join us before,” says Etheredge. “I didn’t want to turn this into a teacher trip, because for me, it’s all about the students.”

The professors who Etheredge asked to join him all brought something invaluable to the table—from expertise in species identification to first aid training.

The professors showed the class how to set traps for animals and educated them on the rules of trapping and collecting species. The class was able to catch and identify multiple species, including a variety of rodents, bats, and reptiles.

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Every day, the students would load up on the trailer pulled by the old SPC pickup, and travel around the rough roads of the desert. While on the trailer, students learned about all sorts of cacti and thorns, which often ended up in the skin of unlucky students.

Smith, the bird expert who recently retired from SPC, was able to assist everyone in identifying all sorts of birds.

Moore, who has been on previous trips with the class, entertained everyone at camp with his guitar. He covered several songs, and even performed two of his own original songs, “Paso Lajitas”, and “Take Me Back to Black Gap.” Etheredge says that he felt safer having Moore, who teaches first aid courses at SPC, to look out for everyone. Moore was a huge help to everyone, and even drove half the class the six hours to the campsite. Despite not being a biology professor, Moore was able to offer a lot of knowledge about traps and the area that was explored by the students.

Dr. Keith joined the class on the trip for the first time, and drove the other half of the class on the long road to Black Gap. She is an expert when it comes to naming species, and she has a lot of experience with wildlife trips.

On March 11, the students and professors spent a morning outside in a constant drizzle of rain. Soaked to the bone, the students were nervous about the weather forecast for the remaining days, says Quintanilla.

“The cold weather definitely dampened the day a little,” says Quintanilla. “But no one let it get them too down. It gave us a reason to keep moving, and the desert was beautiful in that weather.”

All the professors who went were enthusiastic about the trip and not only skilled at wildlife management, but skilled at college student management. The students were provided with delicious food three times a day, and there was an unlimited amount of snacks. They made the trip go smoothly, and the students all recognized their effort and were thankful.

All the students left Black Gap feeling accomplished and pleased with their newfound experience.

On March 12, the rain had cleared up. Eager for a bit of sun, students lathered on sunscreen, packed their lunches, and loaded into the college vehicles to head to the Rio Grande. No one had showered in two days of hard work and dust, so everyone was ready for a dip in the river. Because of Etheredge’s permit, some students were allowed to fish, while the rest of them sunbathed on river rocks and played in the chilly water.

The camping trip gave students an incredible opportunity to experience wildlife biology and make new, interesting friends. Quintanilla says that he wasn’t ready to leave Black Gap, even though he really looked forward to a shower.

The students returned home on March 13 with a car-full of rodents and reptiles.

The students in the biology class are not done with their adventures in the wild, as they are looking forward to another trip to East Texas in late April.

Prophets and Outlaws forge new path with soulful southern music

by MALLORY CARVER/Feature Editor

New styles of music don’t pop up every day, but Prophets and Outlaws have mixed two styles together and created a catchy new sound.

Prophets and Outlaws offers a new and unique sound that blends southern rock with soul.

The sound of Prophets and Outlaws combines several genres, making them a versatile and well-liked by many. Some of their songs include “Country Music Gold,” “Soul Shop,” “Texas Home,” and “Sweet Soft Southern Smile.”

The band is comprised of five members, including two brothers. The band features Matt Boggs on vocals, Steven Guckenheimer on guitar, James Guckenheimer on drums, C.J. Thompson on bass and vocals, and Jamie Ringholm on keyboard and organ. All were raised in Dallas, Texas.

The Guckenheimer brothers grew up with a father who had experience playing drums for a band, and their mother taught preschool music classes.

“We grew up surrounded by music,” says James. “Every family gathering, we would all get together and sing. So that’s how we grew up socializing.”

Boggs attended the same high school as the Guckenheimer brothers, Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, which is how they met. They always played music together, and often had several groups of their own. But the official Prophets and Outlaws band was started about four years ago.

The band recently has been touring through Texas and other surrounding states such as Oklahoma, Kansas, and New Mexico.

They released their new album, “V,” on March 25, playing their new songs for a live crowd for the first time just two days before. The album contains five new songs, “Show Me,” “Lonely,” “Party Like This,” “Outlaw Like Me,” and “We’re Gunna Make It.” All the songs on the new album feature the band’s unique, soulful sound.

Lubbock hosted this new band for a third time on March 4 at The Office Grill and Sports Bar. The show was a hit, according to Matt Boggs, who is the lead vocalist of Prophets and Outlaws. Boggs says that Texan crowds are always fun to play for, since a couple of their songs are written about Texas.

Prophets and Outlaws are just at the beginning of their career it seems. They gain more popularity every day, and are often featured on country music radio stations.

“We are constantly on tour,” says Boggs. “I’m excited to see where we’re headed from here.”

The band will return to Lubbock on May 10. They’ll be performing with several other groups, including Sam Riggs, Shane Smith and the Saints, Dalton Domino, Dolly Shine, and Parker McCollum.

With their new album out and their tour, Prophets and Outlaws say that they’re excited to continue their road to success.

The band encourages young, aspiring musicians to stay true to their own style.

“Play what you want to play,” says Boggs. “You sound like you, so don’t let people tell you how to sound.”

Young basketball fan wins raffled quilt through fundraiser

by MATT MOLINAR/Opinion Editor

Nothing is more exciting than winning a raffle.

At this year’s SPC Foundation Scholarship Gala, $1,830 was raised from selling raffle tickets during and prior to the Gala for a chance to win a quilt made out of T-shirts.

“This year, we sold tickets in advance of the Gala,” said Julie Gerstenberger, director of development and alumni at SPC. “So this year was special. All of the proceeds go to scholarships for SPC students.”

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Reed Hyatt holding his new quilt with Dianne Blume, and her husband, Phelps Blume in the Developmental Office on March 10. MATT MOLINAR/PLAINSMAN PRESS

The winner of the raffle for the quilt was 9-year-old Reed Hyatt, a student at Ropes Elementary School who has been a fan of the Lady Texans for years and has grown up knowing members of the team.

“Cayla Petree, the Lady Texans’ head coach, and Reed have a special bond,” Gerstenberger explained. “They’ve known each other prior to the raffle, so he is a crazy fan of the Lady Texans.”

On March 10 at 3:45 p.m., the quilt was presented to Reed after his parents convinced him that he was on his way to SPC to enroll in a spring break math class. The presentation was a surprise for Reed. Members of the Lady Texans, as well as Petree, presented the queen-sized quilt crafted by Dianne Blume, a Levelland resident, and Vicki Vest, a staff member at SPC. The quilt was comprised of 25 T-shirts on one side. On the other side was a soft, plush fabric.

“We had a community member, who for years and years has been saying that she wanted to make an SPC T-shirt quilt,” explained Gerstenberger “We decided it would be an amazing idea to raffle the quilt off at the basketball games.”

 

As Hyatt walked into the room, his expression lit up. He was very excited to hear that out of hundreds of raffle tickets that were purchased, he had the winning ticket.

“The quilt is amazing,” said Tessa Hyatt, Reed’s mother. “This kid will absolutely love this quilt forever. It’s pretty cool. Reed is pretty excited about it.”

Reed Hyatt says he plans to keep the blanket on his bed for a very long time.

New cast exhibits musical talents with exhilerating performance

by JONATHAN BROOKSHIRE/Social Media Coordinator

Incredible duets, awesome guitar solos, and wonderful displays of musical talent made the  newest edition of Thursday Nite Live a huge success.

The TNL ensemble performed on March 10 at Tom T. Hall in the Commercial Music Building on the Levelland campus.

The main focus of TNL is to showcase the musical talent at the college. This semester’s cast features: Monique Ford and Carly Durham, vocalists and tambourine players; Robert Higgins, guitarist; Jason James Barocio, drummer; Corbin Burget, guitarist and vocalist; and Rian Castillo, vocalist, guitarist, and pianist.

The TNL cast performs songs, new and old, giving each song a unique turn. Some of the songs they performed were from The Eagles, Meghan Trainor, Brad Paisley, Black Crowes, Adele, Elvis, and The Who.

Each young artist put in a variety of songs which they built the set upon. After many rehearsals later, the total of about 30 songs had dwindled down to 10.

“We picked some songs that we liked and went from there,” Ford said. “Some songs didn’t fit in, so we omitted them.”

The show is influenced by the better-known show, Saturday Nite Live. TNL is less comedy centric and doesn’t have acting skits, but jokes and comedic relief come into play every now and then.

The night started out with Wade McNutt, instructor of commercial music, thanking the audience for coming and also prompting them to cheer when the countdown hit zero. Then a video introduced the cast, and the night was on.

The lights went dark and Burget came out strong with a guitar solo that set the tone for the entire show. With Burget still playing the guitar, the rest of the band began to play as well as Durham rocks the audience with her vocals on “Those Shoes.”

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Thurday Nite Live gave their audience a great show March 10. JONATHAN BROOKSHIRE/PLAINSMAN PRESS

“I had been going to West Texas A&M for three semesters, and I had no idea what I was going to do,” said Durham, who is from Shallowater. “I had gone through five different majors, and finally decided that I really loved singing.”

After the first song, the lights turned off and the next song began.

Burget began with another guitar solo. He started off slow and then really started tearing the strings off his guitar. After his short jam session and a dedication to everybody who likes camo, he began to sing the Brad Paisley song, “Camouflage.”

Burget says that Joe Satriani and Brad Paisley are some of his favorite guitar players, and Josh Turner, Chris Young, and Eric Church are some of his influences for singing.

He said he also enjoys every part of performing.

“When playing live shows, I’m able to really get into the songs and get the audience’s attention,” Burget explains. “I love working the crowd and even pausing for brief seconds during a guitar solo, just to make sure people really turn their ears towards what I’m playing.”

Barocio says that his favorite part about the show was that it all came together because of [their] drive, passion, and professionalism.

“The best part of a show happens when you’re expecting something to go wrong,” Barocio explains. “But the final product is better than you thought it could.”

Also bringing the successful sound of this semester’s TNL show was Higgins, who also played the guitar. At some points during the performance, Higgins was doing windmills on the guitar, really getting into the music.

According to Higgins, music is a peculiar avenue of expression.

“It’s cool how music can manipulate someone’s emotions or trigger certain memories,” Higgins said. “It’s just a fantastic medium for creating art.”

A beautiful example of just how music can trigger emotions came from the duet of Ford and Castillo, singing the song, “Like I’m Gonna Lose You.” The soft lyrics and the two singing to each other instead of just singing the song gave the live performance an extra dimension.

However, the most amazing part of the night featured the Adele song, “Hello.”

The stage was pitch black and the two video screens were playing the YouTube video “Adele Carpool Karaoke.”

The interviewer, James Corden, and Adele began to sing her song “Hello.” Just before the song gets to the chorus the screens turn off and a single stage light shines on Ford as she bursts out the chorus of the song.

The transition from Adele to Ford blew away the crowd.

Following one of the songs, McNutt and Castillo had a battle on the piano. Castillo began striking keys. Then McNutt jumped into the seat next to him, taking over the left side of the piano and strutting his fingers across the keys, showing what he can do.

After each turn, the two got more intense, both racing their fingers on the piano. While the other was playing, the other would make faces and react to the display of talent the other had. At the end of the battle, Castillo kicked McNutt off the piano and off the stage, smiling and showing the crowd who had won.

This scene was just one of the many that showcased  the talent of the TNL cast.

The lighting and audio crews also did a wonderful job, setting the mood and atmosphere for each song. During rock sessions and guitar solos, the lights flashed around the stage. During the soulful songs such as “Hello” and “Like I’m Gonna Lose You,” the lights were soft and focused on the singer to really set the mood.

“We really tried to play to the performers’ strengths,” McNutt said. “And it was one of the top two shows we have ever done, according to long-time audience members.”

Disregard for littering awareness impacting environment

by DARIELLA HERNANDEZ/Editorial Assistant

Littering doesn’t only cause harm to the environment, it also causes harm to everybody living in it.

Littering awareness was always a popular subject when I was growing up. Today, it seems as if nobody makes the extra effort to get the word out or to stop littering.

When I was in elementary school, my school would host events about recycling, littering, and working toward a better environment.

Thanks to those events and hands-on activities, I learned how bad people have been hurting the environment without even noticing.

A couple of days ago, as I was walking to class, I noticed a bird on the ground picking at a foreign object. The bird seemed to be having a hard time, so I carefully approached it.

As I got closer to the bird, I noticed it was trying to eat some gum left on the ground, but it was choking on it. Once I tried to take the gum away, the bird flew away but collapsed just seconds after taking off.

The bird was just going on with its day and was attracted to the gum left by someone who was too lazy to throw his or her gum out. I’m sure the person who just threw the gum away didn’t know that it would potentially harm an innocent living creature- but it did. And that is where the lack of littering awareness comes in.

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If high schools, colleges, and universities focused more on getting the word out about our environment and the dangers it’s facing, this problem wouldn’t be so big.

Instead, students are left to find out on their own.  Honestly, what college student will actually take time out of his or her day to research something he or she’s not well educated on? I think that bringing awareness to campuses will cause many students to have a reality check about what is really going on with the environment.

I don’t see much trash on campus, which is a good thing. I do realize that there are not many recycling bins available for the students to discard their water, juice, and soda bottles. Because of the lack of recycling bins around, students and faculty naturally reach for the regular trash bins to discard their perfectly recyclable bottles.

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Littering doesn’t only apply to throwing trash on the ground. It applies to trash being discarded the wrong way as well. If we had more recycling bins, it would be easier to stop littering, because the medium would be right in front of us.

If we stop taking littering so lightly, we can all make a change in the world. Our campus will be more beautiful, wildlife will remain helping out the ecosystems without any bother, and we will pass on littering awareness to generations to come.

Customer service disappoints at recent event

by JENNY GARZA/Entertainment Editor

When working in jobs that involve working with hundreds of people, a person can sometimes be frustrated.

Fairly recently, I went to an event I had to cover for the paper. I had called ahead to ask for more information, as well as ask if I would be able to take my SLR camera into the event to take photos. I do understand that there are some events that do not allow this.

I also asked if I could take pictures at the event because I was covering it and paying for my way in. They told me, yes, I could. But the story changed when I got to the event.

Long story short, when I got there, they were sending me to several different people, telling me that I had to talk to managers about taking my camera. But they did not know what was happening or how they should be helping people.

I was told that they would not allow me to take pictures at the event, even after I told them that I had received permission from someone I had to talked to earlier in the day.

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But this is not the big problem I had. When working in a job where you must inform customers or guests about what they need to do or not do, I believe you must first be informed of what you must tell people. This event’s personnel were not organized, or at least they showed that they did not know what they should be doing in certain situations.

When attending events, I always assume that they are not only looking out for the  event but also for the people who are paying money to see this event.

When I was asking questions, some of the people who spoke to me did not know what they needed to tell me, but they were nice. When talking to the people who were supposed to be able to help, I tended to get a rude vibe from them that they did not want to waste time on either helping me out or telling me what I could do instead.

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I believe that people should be kind and helpful to customers, as well as be informed about the events and the things you can or cannot do. Also, when people hear what I am doing there, their mood changes because I am part of the press and  it will end badly for them.

But  it can also be good for them, because it can get them publicity so that the next time they do an event it will allow for more people to hear about them. So, yes, I am displeased because there was so many things that I noticed about how the press can be treated, or how customers are sometimes given the run-around that does not help the person.

I hope that one day that people will take their jobs seriously, or if a person needs help they all can be shown a better way of being treated, or be allowed to do the thing they love doing and take pictures of events that could be a big story for them or their publication.

Depression symptoms understood through personal experience

by NICOLE TRUGILLO/Editor-in-Chief

Depression isn’t an easy topic to discuss.

Before you read this, I want people to know that I haven’t been diagnosed with depression. But I have been depressed, and it’s not a great feeling.

I’m not a young adult who thinks life sucks. I’m a cheerful person most of the time, and it takes a lot to trigger the depression. I don’t take medication. I didn’t go to the doctor, and I didn’t self-diagnose myself. I know how I felt, and I felt empty inside.

My depression was triggered by many things that were going on in my life. My first setback was when, Ralph, my fiancé, left for three months to join the Marines. I’m not complaining, because the time we spent apart made me feel independent. I got over it quickly with the help of my friends and family. That wasn’t the worse case of it.

My depression became worse when Ralph and I were going to get married. But things didn’t work out that way. Long story short, we couldn’t get married, and that was a bad time for me. Since I didn’t have medication and my parents don’t believe in going to the doctor, I wouldn’t talk to anyone. I would stay in my room all day and go to school. I got over it a couple weeks later because my family and friends helped me, and, of course, Ralph did as well.

What really made me sink into my depression was when Ralph and I were going to get married the second time and we couldn’t. That’s when I lost it. I felt betrayed. I cried day and night. I didn’t eat; I didn’t sleep. I didn’t talk to anyone. I lay in bed all day and had no motivation to do anything. I had thoughts running through my head, and they weren’t pleasant either. I wondered why the bad things always happened to me. I felt like I was the only one in the world, and no one could understand me.

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When I tried explaining it to my family, they didn’t understand. They tried, but I know they didn’t. Some of my friends told me to get over it. How would that make you feel? It wasn’t just the marriage thing (keep in mind Ralph and I have been long distance for two years). I was looking for a job during that time, and I couldn’t find one. I didn’t have any money, and I almost didn’t attend school. There were family issues as well. I felt like nothing was going right for me.

I can’t even describe the feeling I had for months. There are no words for what depression does to people. I know I’m not diagnosed by a doctor, but I’m not an idiot, and I’m not writing this opinion to gain attention and for anyone to feel sorry for me. I want everyone to be aware that there are unknown battles that people face every day. I still face those battles.

I know there is a big difference between being sad and depression, and I’ve felt both. I always thought that people could fake depression, but I’m absolutely wrong about that because I didn’t fake this. I wish I did, but I didn’t. Depression is real, and honestly it’s the worse feeling I’ve ever experienced.

No one has any idea what I went through (but now they know since this is going to be public). I have no shame in how I feel some days. But there is a key element to what got me through those tough times…my friends and family. My friends and family who tried to help and understand me got me through the tough times. I was very blessed to find a job, and I’m very blessed now that I’m having “another” opportunity to get married to someone I love.

I didn’t want this opinion to be about me, though. I want everyone to know that depression is real. If a friend is sad, mad, depressed…you still listen to them, because they just want to be heard. They want to know that there is someone in this world they can turn to.

I’m speaking from experience. I may still my days of being depressed, but I try to not let it show, because life is too short. I know many people can’t help it, and that’s OK. I know that people have it worse than I do, and that’s completely fine.

For those who have depression, just know that you live for someone, and you do matter.

Back Talk: Admission based on race causes trouble at colleges

Admission focused on race allows diversity in colleges

by NICOLE TRUGILLO/Editor-in-Chief

We will never get away from race.

Whether it’s racial slurs, being a racist, or anything to do with the color of our skin, it will always be a debatable topic.

But now it seems that colleges are being accused of being racist because of raced-based admission practices.

Abigail Fisher asked the Supreme Court to review her case against the University of Texas at Austin for race-based admission on Oct. 10, 2012. The case was reargued on Dec. 9, 2015.

I later did research on the topic, and it turns out that Fisher didn’t get into the University of Texas because her SAT scores were too low, not because she was white.

But some people still question if admission to colleges is race-based, and if admission based on race is necessary.

The question is simple, and it can be explained. I believe that every college has some sort of agenda, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, many colleges welcome other ethnic groups to make up a certain population of the campus.

I know for a fact that South Plains College receives a grant for the enrollment of a certain percentage of Hispanics, and that’s not a bad thing. But, yes, I do believe some colleges use other ethnic groups for their personal gain.

Many can argue that a college can reject someone based on ethnicity. But does anyone have proof that they do? I know many Americans aren’t stupid, and they know that colleges do use ethnicity for their gain. They don’t make you fill out the section that says, “Choose your ethnicity” because they’re bored. They make you fill it out so that way they can see how many Caucasians, Hispanics, African Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans, among others, have enrolled on their campus. It benefits them. So what if they prefer another race?

Colleges aren’t discriminating against another race. They just benefit one over the other. They get funding for a certain population that enrolls in the college. I know that it sounds like it’s being racial. But, it’s the truth. Different colleges prefer different races, and it’s for their benefit.

Some colleges don’t try to have a preference; it just happens. I’ve read that African Americans and Hispanics, since they are more likely to come from lower income families, have a better chance of getting into some colleges than white Americans. I speak from experience (even though I’m half Hispanic).

We say that America is all about diversity. So what’s wrong with colleges selecting a certain number of students of different races?

I personally wouldn’t want to go to a one-race college. That would be boring, and I would get bored really fast. College is supposed to be where you meet new people and make new friends. I think that race-based admission can be a good thing, if it’s done for all the right reasons. Colleges would be diverse, and they should have students of different races attending their campuses.

What if it turned out that there were only a select few who could get into a college, and all of them were white? What if a white person had better scores than the Hispanic or the African American? Who would they choose? The white person with the higher score, or the Hispanic or African American who didn’t?

If they chose the white person, it would look like it was a race issue. But, if they choose the Hispanic or African American, it would seem that they only chose them so they wouldn’t look racist. Either way, some people will still see the flaw in their choice.

The point I’m trying to get across is I would prefer a race that has a low percentage on the college campus. It would help out the college and the race as well.

I’m not a racist, and I’m sure other college campuses aren’t either. But there is nothing wrong with showing diversity.

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Alleged racism in colleges keeping students from being accepted

by MATT MOLINAR/Opinion Editor

Racism has become a growing concern, but now it’s keeping students from being admitted into college

In 2008, Abigail Fisher, like many students, had her heart set on a university she really wanted to attend. However, because of affirmative action, a policy all institutions of higher education must follow regarding the admission of students in order to provide equal opportunity for minorities, Fisher was not accepted into the university. She claims she was not accepted because she is white.

Many say that the case was just that her grades weren’t good enough, or she just hadn’t made herself a good candidate for enrollment. However, that is hardly the case.

Fisher may not have graduated in the top 10 percent in her class, but she claims that students in her class who are of different races other than hers were admitted into the University of Texas with the same test scores and grades as her.

Fisher has since decided to pursue a lawsuit against the university in an attempt to discontinue affirmative action quotas.

Personally, I believe that affirmative action is almost completely useless at this point. While I do believe that there is institutionalized racism all across the United States, I’m sure hardly any college or university is paying any attention to the applicant’s race.

In Fisher v. University of Texas, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg said that universities look at race as one element in the admission process. If that were the case, students who Fisher claims performed at the same level or lower than her would not be enrolled into the university.

Should Fisher win the case against the university, affirmative action, a law that has been standing since the 1960’s, will be discarded. Many people fear that this will lead to racism within educational institutions. But have you ever even thought about affirmative action? Do you ever sit in class and wonder “why are there not more minorities in this class?” You don’t. That’s because nobody is paying attention to race anymore as far as college admission goes.

Our country is so diverse with different races that it has become completely equal. You can throw a nickel into our library and it’s bound to land in front of someone who is a minority. I agree that racism within higher education used to be a very real thing, but you cannot say it still exists.

I highly doubt the Supreme Court of the United States would pass anything banning affirmative action. I can completely understand why. Racism is still a very real thing, and people are still being discriminated against. But this shouldn’t be the reason someone who isn’t a minority isn’t being accepted into his or her school of choice. Admission should be completely based on performance, not the color of your skin.

Dancing with the Texans set for April 14

by MATT MOLINAR/Opinion Editor

Put on your dancing shoes.

The South Plains College Ballroom Dance Team is preparing for a dance show involving the participation of college faculty and staff members.

Dancing with the Texans is a dance competition based on the reality TV show, “Dancing With the Stars.” However, instead of placing celebrities into competition, faculty and and staff members are paired with members of the Ballroom Dance Team in order to win the Mirror Ball trophy.

“Student members of the dance team will take on a faculty member and teach them a choreographed routine,” explains Vanessa Moffett, assistant professor of physical education. “On the night of Dancing with the Texans, the pairs will perform their routines.”

Dancing with the Texans is set for April 14, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Sundown Room of the Student Center on the Levelland campus.

“The show will run until around 9:30 p.m.,” Moffett said. “Seating will start at 6:15 p.m., and the dress is semi-formal. There will also be refreshments that will be served during the event.”

There are a total of eight pairs that will be competing during the evening, with faculty and staff contestants including: Wes Underwood, communications specialist/photographer; Enrique Escamilla, advisor; Tina Lee, associate professor of physical education; Janna Holt-Day, professor of speech; Valorie Duvall, work force development and community programs specialist; Erin Witt, instructor in commercial music; Juan Partida, instructor in cosmetology; and Robin Coler, graduation clerk.

The event will have an intermission that will include all members of the dance team, as well as some faculty and staff competitors returning to the dance floor to perform a dance routine.

According to Moffett, Dancing with the Texans has been an annual event, with this year’s competition being the fourth.

Admission for the event is $10 a person.

“I highly recommend buying your tickets as soon as possible,” Moffett said. “The event tends to sell out fairly quickly. The past three seasons have been sold-out shows. I also highly recommend buying presale tickets, because once the event becomes a fire hazard, they will stop selling tickets at the door and you won’t be able to get inside.”

Aztlan Festival continues legacy through workshops, perfomances

by MARCELLA IVINS/Staff Writer

Dancers in brightly colored dresses, Mariachi performers, and workshops were among the highlights of the recent Viva Aztlan Festival.

The event, which was held on March 11-March 12 at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, featured a special Mariachi showcase, a Ballet Folklorico competition, and several workshops for adults and children.

Groups that performed and competed at the festival were from all over Texas.  Vidal Aguero came up with the idea 22 years ago, and the festival has continued since then, even after his death.  Aguero’s daughter, Zenaida Aguero-Reyes, is the director of the festival. Before the showcase on Friday evening, Reyes paused for a moment of silence to remember and honor her father.  Their purpose for the festival wasn’t just for the competitions, according to Reyes.

“We want to educate,” Reyes explained.  “That was my dad’s primary purpose.  He wanted to educate anybody and everybody that came.  It wasn’t necessarily a competition, even though that’s its label.  That’s just what’s going to draw them (the public) here.”

They continue to educate by having workshops for the performers as well.  This is what makes the festival significant.  They held different workshops for adults and children.  At these workshops you are able to make new friends and meet new people.  At the same time you are learning something new.

“There’s not very many outlets like this around Lubbock.” Reyes explained.  “Our location is a good location for North Texas and New Mexico area.  They are able to come here instead of South Texas, where there’s a lot more networking and a lot more outlets that are able to help them.”

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Area high school students perform at the Aztlan Festival at the Lubbock Civic Center on March 11. MICHAELA CHAMBLEE/ PLAINSMAN PRESS

Performers, and the public, are able to learn new techniques with the workshops.  One of the judges, Jesus “Chuy” Chacon, is also an instructor for the workshop.  He says he loves working with the students, and he learns from them as well.

“The students give us a lot of learning experiences,” Chacon said.  “You learn from them.  You can feel their passion and enthusiasm.”

Chacon is originally from Chihuahua, Mexico.  He now lives in Austin, Texas, where he has his own Folklorico group.   He goes back to Mexico every two years.  He said that this helps him keep his technique. Chacon also said that he has been involved in The Viva Aztlan Festival since its first year.

“My favorite thing about the festival is my new friends,” Chacon explained.  “It’s nice when I come back and get to see the friends I have made from the last time I was here.”

Friday evening started with Folklorico groups performing, and then the Mariachi performed.  On Saturday, the competition was held in the morning.  In the evening, the Mariachi showcase featured Mariachi Los Arrieros of El Paso, Texas, and Sebastian De La Cruz of San Antonio, Texas.

This event was made possible by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and Civic Lubbock, along with other sponsors.

Regents discuss articulation agreements at March meeting

by CHESANIE BRANTLEY/Editor-in-Chief

 

Articulation agreements was among the main topics discussed during the March meeting of the South Plains College Board of Regents.

Dr. Robin Satterwhite, vice president for academic affairs, discussed the current articulation agreements SPC has with surrounding universities. Essentially, students can attend SPC and transfer to any school that has an articulation agreement with SPC.

“Everything is very clearly laid out, like a road map, on how they get to the university and what is actually going to be accepted,” explained Dr. Satterwhite.

According to Dr. Satterwhite, the state requires that there be an equivalent to every core class when the student transfers. Therefore, sometimes the problem is not necessarily if a class transfers, but where it will transfer in regards to the degree program.

“Then, we have specific departmental agreements, for example, engineering or business or education,” said Dr. Satterwhite.

Dr. Satterwhite said that all of the departments at SPC work hard to go out, work with universities and develop these articulation agreements. Some of the universities that SPC has articulation agreements with are Texas Tech University, Wayland Baptist University, and Lubbock Christian University, among others.

“Really, it’s just a demonstration of when students come here and they have that assurance that all of those courses transfer to universities they would like to attend,” said Dr. Satterwhite.

Dr. Satterwhite also discussed a nursing grant that SPC received. In 2015, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board had a grant program called Professional Nursing Shortage Production Program. There were specific outlines given to those who applied, and the outcomes were measured through how many graduated from the program.

“There were a number of universities and colleges that did not meet those outcomes criteria,” said Dr. Satterwhite. “So, there was this large amount of money that was returned to the Coordinating Board, and they redistributed this back out to us.”

Dr. Satterwhite explained that the majority of the grant money has been set to go to clinical education at SPC. So, it will go to paying the faculty members who work in the hospitals with students. There also is money set aside for scholarships for students who are not eligible for financial aid.

“We are very proud of our nursing program for receiving that grant, and for exceeding the outcomes they had projected in the grant process,” Dr. Satterwhite said.

Ronnie Watkins, dean of administrative services, presented the 2016 Joint Election Agreement to the Board.

The Joint Election Agreement is between the County of Hockley, the City of Levelland, Levelland Independent School District and SPC. According to Watkins, if a school system and a city have an election on the same date, they are required to share expenses. As a community college, SPC is not required to, but is allowed to participate in the agreement.

“As many of you know, LISD cancelled the three elections of their board members, and the city has no election,” explained Watkins. “So, we are entering this agreement with them. They have already signed it; we want to sign it.”

According to Watkins, the three entities that signed the agreement will share the expenses of any future elections, and will have Cheryl Smart as the County Joint Elections Administrator.

The early elections location will be the Business Office at SPC, while the regular election location is not set in stone, but it could be in Texan Dome or in the Business Office at SPC again.

Julie Gerstenberger, director of development at SPC, discussed the outcome of the Scholarship Gala. The alums who presented and performed were Christy Hartin of KCBD-TV and country musician Jerrod Niemann.

“This (the Scholarship Gala) is a friend builder, and helps get the word out about South Plains College,” explained Gerstenberger. “This year, I was very excited to have some new attendees.”

She presented a financial report comparing the numbers this year to those in 2014, because that was the year that the Scholarship Gala had the best numbers. She said that this year came pretty close to 2014. A total of $181,398 was donated, not including the $10,000 scholarship endowment donated by Niemann.

There was a quilt raffle done at the Scholarship Gala, and the winner was 9-year-old Reed Hyatt from Smyer. He is a huge Lady Texans fan, and a surprise party was held for him March 10.

“His mom and dad wanted it to be a surprise, but his dad was out of town when we drew at the Gala,” explained Gerstenberger. “Unbeknownst to 9-year-old Reed, he’s coming to our offices, and I believe our Lady Texan basketball team is going to be there with me to surprise him.”

Dr. Kelvin Sharp, president of SPC, presented the faculty rank and tenure recommendations. He pointed out that each person who presented to the Board made a comment about the quality of faculty that is at SPC.

He explained that with rank promotion, a faculty member progresses from instructor to assistant professor, then associate professor and eventually professor.

“To move through those levels, it’s a combination of two things,” explained Dr. Sharp, “It’s a combination of education and also of experience at South Plains College.”

He said there is a group of people with no other educational opportunities left, but their leadership and time at SPC speaks volumes. Therefore, those faculty members are also recommended for rank promotion. The process begins with the chairs of each department, then goes to the deans, then it goes to Dr. Satterwhite, and then he recommends the faculty to Dr. Sharp, who presents it to the Board.

“Virtually, these people are all agreed upon by the leadership of the college that this rank promotion would be appropriate,” said Dr. Sharp.

Dr. Sharp explained that when an instructor comes to SPC, he or she goes through a four-year “probationary period” when his or her instruction is evaluated each semester. After those four years, faculty members become eligible for tenure.

Dr. Sharp also gave an update on the Lubbock Center. There were several meetings conducted during the past several weeks trying to get the floor plan to its final stage.

“Once we can get the floor plans set, according to the architects, it will take them about 60 days to draw up the bid documents,” explained Dr. Sharp.

According to Dr. Sharp, during those 60 days that the documents are being drawn, the demolition of all the walls that are not going to stay in the building will begin to be coordinated.

“We’re on a pretty tight timeline,” Dr. Sharp explained, “because our goal at the end is to be in there by Fall 2017. I think it’s going really well.

Cascarones tradition ties Hispanic heritage to Easter holiday

by: NICOLE TRUGILLO/Editor-in-Chief

Around Easter time, many may have seen children, or adults, run around with colored eggs filled with confetti in their hand, or they may have seen them at the stores.

But many people don’t realize where the confetti egg originated from and why.

The Hispanic Student Organization at South Plains College hosted a panel discussion on March 23 in the Founder’s Room of the Student Center on the Levelland campus to explain the origin of cascarones (confetti egg).

“In Spanish, cascara means shell, and cascaron means eggshell,” explains Celeste Franco, president of the Hispanic Student Organization. “Confetti eggs are rumored to have originated in China and were brought to Europe by Marco Polo. In Italy, they were used as a courting ritual. It was for dating, and they didn’t hand them to the women they liked, they threw them.”

According to Franco, the men would fill the eggs with perfume, and the eggs were capped with wax.

“Men would throw them at women who they found attractive,” says Franco. “It eventually moved into Spain, and it was brought to Mexico.”

Maria Lopez-Strong, multicultural services coordinator at SPC, says that when you break a cascarone over someone’s head, it can stand for good fortune or good luck.

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Celeste Franco, president of the Hispanic Student Organization, in the Founders Room on March 23. CHESANIE BRANTLEY/PLAINSMAN PRESS

“The historical part of it is when Marco Polo did go to China,” explains Lopez-Strong. “Then he came with the egg and it smelled good. Then it spread from there to Spain, and Spain brought it to Mexico. Of course, everything that is in Mexico spills over into America and particularly in Texas, because after the War of the Alamo, that’s when they wanted to start the tradition again with the cascarone because it died down like most things do in history.”

Strong recalls a time when her husband was first hit with a cascarone.

“My husband didn’t know anything about the Spanish culture,” explains Strong. “He told me, ‘Your brother just hit me on the head with an egg. He doesn’t like me.’ And I said to him, ‘he does like you, and it’s something that we do every year.’ He said that he never heard of it. It’s something we have taught our kids, like the coloring confetti.”

Miranda English, an advisor on the Levelland campus, also recalls a time when she was visiting her boyfriend’s family in Galveston and they celebrated Easter with cascarones.

“All of this family was going to be there for this Easter,” recalls English, “and when we pull up, there’s about 75 people at this farm house. They are standing around looking at me. I get out of the car, and I start to go towards them. When that happened, they all started to run at me. They have cascarones and they start cracking them and throwing them at me. But that was them welcoming me to the family.”

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Lola Hernandez, director of Advising and Testing , says that cascarones mean something more spiritual to her.

“When you get an egg and it’s white, and you look at the colors, and you think of the beauty of spring,” says Hernandez. “You think of the emptiness of the egg. When we were kids, they taught us in church that it signified the tomb of Christ. For us, it took on a religious role, because we were taught these things as kids. We weren’t taught necessarily about where they came from. We came and broke the cascarones at the people that we love, because it signified love.”

After the panel, members of the HSO passed around papers explaining more in depth where cascarones came from and how to make them for those interested in making them during the Easter holiday.

For more information about joining the Hispanic Student Organization, or for more future events, contact Strong at mstrong@southplainscollege.edu

 

Marine shares lifelong battle with depression

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(Editor’s note: This story is the fourth part of a multi-part series “Mind Wars,” examining the struggles of the mental illness, depression, that began with Issue #7 and concludes in Issue #12. Several staff members took it upon themselves to interview, take photographs and conduct research. The results of their combined efforts follow.)

by: NICOLE TRUGILLO/Editor-in-Chief

Depression can be a battle that many people face alone.

It can be a battle that someone deals with at a younger age and ends up being a part of them forever.

Dakota Ewart, a Lance Corporal 0311 rifleman Marine who is currently deployed in Kuwait, says that deployment has been the recent cause of his depression since he is away from his family and loved ones.

Ewart says that he was diagnosed with depression when he was younger.

“It’s kind of hard for me to remember, obviously because I was younger,” says Ewart. “But when I talked to my mom, she used to tell me about it a lot. My parents got divorced when I was 7, and my mom also got diagnosed with cancer around the same time. So you can say it wasn’t a good time.”

Ewart recalls the time when he was younger when he had to take Strattera (a type of medication) for his ADHD which gave kids from ages 5 to 15 symptoms of depression as side effects.

“I would come home from school every day just hating life,” explains Ewart. “I wasn’t happy, and I was always angry. I wouldn’t eat, and I told my mom every day from school that I wanted to die. I don’t know if I meant it. But I voiced my opinion to my mom very frequently that I just didn’t want to be alive.”

According to Ewart, when he got older, the depression ceased because his loved ones and his friends helped him with the battle.

“Talking to my dad helps with the situation,” Ewart says. “My dad remarried, and so did my mom. My dad and my step mom had three kids together. So, they’re my half brothers, and I love those guys to death. I know the divorces are bad. But now I have three little brothers, and I’m looking on the bright side of everything that has happened. There are two ways to look at it, and I choose to look on the bright side.”

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Photo courtesy of Ralph Lopez

While being deployed, Ewart says that he feels the depression takes a toll sometimes. But it does not happen as frequently as when he was younger.

“There are times now that I’ve felt that I’m depressed, like I did when I was younger,” says Ewart. “But it’s not constant. I don’t take medication. But there are times that I feel depressed because I’m away from home and being away from my girlfriend. It can be something as simple as my girlfriend is at work and she can’t talk. That will ruin my day. It’s something very simple. But for me, it’s like someone telling me that my grandparents passed away. It’s just a severe overreaction, and it’s an unnecessary reaction to something simple.”

According to a 2010 U.S Department of Defense Medical Surveillance Report, more than 27 percent of deployed service members suffer from symptoms of depression.

According to the ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America), one in five military members who are currently deployed report symptoms of PTSD, major depression, and suicidal thoughts.

Ewart explains that he knows the difference between being sad and depressed, because he feels like he’s not himself.

“For me, I’m a very positive guy,” explains Ewart. “I’m always joking around, and then I’ll get bad news and I’ll be bummed. That’s the sadness. When it comes to the depression side of things, I kind of close off. I get quiet and on edge.”

Ewart continues, “I’m always upbeat. But when that depression hits, I lock up socially. I don’t want to talk, and I don’t want to talk about it, whereas if I’m sad, I’ll vent. But when I’m depressed, I lock it up and I don’t want to talk.”

Ewart says he deals with his depression caused by being away from his significant others by keeping a journal, writing down his thoughts and feelings.

“I was given a journal by my girlfriend three months into deployment, and it’s for when you can’t sleep,” explains Ewart. “I write in it usually if it’s things I don’t want to bother people with. I just want to vent to myself. So, I can look back in my notes and say, ‘This is how I felt, and this is how I got over it.’”

Ewart says that the best way for him or for anyone who is battling with depression is the care and support he gets from his loved ones.

“Talking to people that care about me is the best way for me,” explains Ewart. “There are so many positives to life. When you’re in the negative, you have to take a step back and just say this is happening, and there are a million and one things that are going on, and it could be a lot worse. It might be hard, but it’s not going to last forever.”

Winds of Change…

Turbines creating green energy from West Texas winds

by: NICOLE TRUGILLO/Editor-in- Chief 

Electricity is an everyday necessity.

Electricity is so important that scientists are developing ways to produce energy without harming the planet. Wind energy is one of those developments.

According to Salvador Molinar, Title V instructor in Wind and Solar Energy at the Plainview campus of South Plains College, the program teaches students everything they need to know about wind energy.

“Our program basically contains starting the students off with simple electronics and digital electronics where they get the basics on how electricity starts to work and produced,” says Molinar. “Then we go a little a higher, such as working with electricity. We teach them how the motors are hooked up and the contactors. We teach them things that have to be used to make that motor run. We go over it in great detail and get the students to understand how the motor is going to run with all the components.”

Molinar explains that he also takes his students through troubleshooting classes, which will help the students fix a turbine when they are working on one.

“We teach them how to fix motors and find the faults that are causing the turbines to go haywire,” Molinar says. “ELPT (Electrical and Power Transmission Technology) is a class that we teach about electronic controllers, the sensor, and the motors, everything that is going to be operational. ELPT does read anything that might be going wrong with that turbine.”

The ELPT will read it, and as the technician looks at it, he or she can actually go to the turbine, find the problem and fix it, according to Molinar.

“With the ELPT, they also call it escape assistance,” Molinar explains. “They can actually control the turbines miles away from where it is. So, that’s another reason why we teach the ELPT program. That way the students know how to interface those ELPT with the turbine, and not only that, but let’s just say the students decide to go to another company. In a different type of industry, they use the ELPT towards that.”

The wind energy program also teaches students a networking program, which is the communication in the ELPT, according to Molinar. The networking deals with trying to connect the headquarters of the wind energy farm to communicate to the turbine or any other equipment.

“We will even take them through a climbing scenario out at the Reese campus,” explains Molinar. “We take them there. That way they know that climbing a wind turbine is actually for them or not. Because some people are scared of heights, we take them through those scenarios to let them decide if the wind industry is right for them, or they figure out and think,‘This may not be for me. You have to climb.’ We kind of get them ready for the climbing part of it. We get the students ready for all the aspects of it.”

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According to Molinar, the instructors only let the students climb the little tower, which is located near Building 6 on the Reese Center campus.

“It’s about 30 feet, and we take them through the scenarios and they have to actually repel off of it and do a climb rescue,” says Molinar. “So, they can get the hang of it. If you’re going to be scared of 30 feet, there is no reason why you should be going 200 feet up in the air. Because of safety reasons, we don’t let students go up to the turbine, because there is a lot of liability things that can happen.”

The wind energy program teaches the students how to tie their equipment to themselves.

“We show them how to use the equipment, and when they do go to work, even when they do go through some training on their own, each company will train them on how they want, at least they will know what’s going on,” says Molinar.

Molinar explains that wind energy is produced by magnets rubbing against a wire that is in the generator of the turbine.

“What wind energy does is inside on top of the tower there is a little square box, and then you have the blades right in front of it,” says Molinar. “Inside that square box, there is a generator. When the wind is blowing and making those blades turn, the generator is turning and the generator has magnets in it. When those magnets are turning, they are producing electricity, which is passed on to some transformers. From there, the transformer pushes it up to the electrical lines and sends it and distributes it to different areas.”

According to Molinar, when someone rubs magnets around a piece of wire, they will get some type of electricity.

“That generator has magnets in it, and it has wires inside of it,” explains Molinar. “When you turn those magnets around, the wire will produce some type of electricity. But that’s a lot of magnets and a lot of wires, which produces a lot of electricity. That wind is what’s making that turbine turn.”

Molinar believes that wind energy is becoming more popular, and more companies are trying to build bigger and taller wind turbines.

“The bigger the turbine is, the more wind mass it will capture, and the more energy it will produce,” explains Molinar. “Some companies look into building 500-foot wind turbines. There is also new inventions that they are trying to figure out, such as sending some in an air balloon. They put the turbine way up in the atmosphere, and they produce electricity that way.”

According to Molinar, wind energy is mostly profitable, meaning electric companies won’t lower the electric bill. But there are other ways to benefit from it.

“You can have a small turbine in your yard that will produce electricity for your house,” says Molinar. “A lot of those wind turbines you can get a grant to help pay for it. You can also get the government to help out, and you can get tax breaks. If they put a wind turbine on your property, then you will get a check for them to have it there on your property.”

Molinar says that the reality is that fossil fuels can’t be replenished, and our society needs something to fall back on.

“We probably won’t see it in our life time when the fossil fuels deplenish,” Molinar explains. “For right now, they are thinking of ways ahead of time to produce electricity for our household and our needs. We will always have the wind. Whether it’s 10-mile-per-hour wind or 50-mile-per-hour wind, we will always be producing some type of electricity. It is something that is going to stay here for a long time, and we’re not going to see it go away anytime soon. It’ll be here for the long haul.”

Auburn running back justifies decision to enter NFL Draft

by: DOMINICK PUENTE/Staff Writer

Auburn running back Peyton Barber was one of the leading rushers for the War Eagle football team last season.

However, the redshirt sophomore running back has decided to skip the final two years of his college career.

A number of underclassmen announced they will enter the 2016 NFL draft. The recent news of Barber announcing his decision to enter the next level of football has turned many heads and left many people questioning why he elected to enter the draft so early, even though he has so much potential to do great things in the final years of what could have been a fantastic college career.

Barber recently explained to the media his decision to enter the draft early was because of his mother. He explained to the media that his mother recently became homeless and had to live with his sister and her children. The news of his mother losing her house influenced Barber’s decision to enter the draft early in hopes of helping his mother get back on her feet with an NFL paycheck.

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Barber also said that this was not the first time his family has faced struggles throughout the years. But it is not devastating to him and his family. Barber’s mother Lori Barber, mentioned that she was proud of her son’s efforts, even though the she was surprised about her son’s decision to go into the draft early.

A son who is willing to sacrifice the final two seasons of his college career as the starting running back for a prestigious SEC college in order to help his family is an honorable choice. Keeping one’s family as a number-one priority should always be the case, in my eyes.

Barber has shown many people across the country that he has the skill to achieve great things at the next level. The team that chooses to take him will have a great player, on and off the field. He shows great athletic ability on the football field, along with great team cohesiveness and excellent moral character off the field.

Barber trying to help his mother and family overcome these tough times is a class act of unselfishness and true love for the ones he cares about. If I was to be put in that situation, I would follow in his footsteps. Doing this for his mother is a wonderful way to set a good example for anyone following him and his story. A family is people someone holds close to them for their entire lives, and Barber proved to be there for his loved ones no matter what the circumstances appear to be. Having that type of mentality can take someone a long way in life, and he has supported that fact with the way he handles himself.

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Barber has come across many obstacles of his own throughout his career college career. In his first two years with Auburn, Barber struggled with the War Eagles play book, due to ADHD and dyslexia.  Media sources explained that Barber was considering the option of transferring to another college when he did not win a starting spot in the beginning. However, he chose to stick through his struggles and put his own desires aside for the love of his team. Having that type of mentality is a great quality in an athlete, and in anybody, for that matter.

As he progressed through his college tenure, Barber proved to be a top-notch athlete for Auburn and earned the Auburn offensive MVP award in 2015. This has shown that he is willing to stick through adversity when it is put in front of him. Barber could have walked away from a great opportunity Auburn gave him. But he chose to grind and battle through his problems and develop great character during his journey.

Following his story from when he is drafted to the skill he displays on the football field will be a great thing for me to watch. But nothing will be better than to hear how he and his family overcome this obstacle they are facing.

Trade necessary for Durant to win championship

by:STEVEN GEHEGAN/Staff Writer

At the end of the National Basketball League season, Kevin Durant needs to make a decision.

Should he stay, or go? Maybe it is time for Durant to say goodbye to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

After all of the seasons that Durant spent with the Thunder, this team should have been more successful. The Thunder have made some questionable moves, such as choosing Serge Ibaka over James Harden, and hiring a coach who had not coached in the NBA. If Durant wants to win an NBA title, then he will need to leave the Thunder behind and move on to greener pastures.

There would be several choices that would make sense for Durant, starting with the Washington Wizards, especially if Durant wants to play for the town that he grew up in, like LeBron James. If his goal is to win a championship, then he needs to head to the West Coast and join one of three teams.

One of them is the Los Angeles Lakers. The team might not have too much now, but that could change during the next few years. The Lakers have a few promising pieces in Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randel to help Durant win some games the first year he is there. The Lakers’ chance to win would change if they can land Russell Westbrook.  If those two still want to play together and do not believe that they cannot win a championship with the Thunder, the Lakers would be the best option. With these two playing together in a city such as Los Angeles, they could draw bigger free agents who want to live there and not in Oklahoma.

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If Durant wants to win during the next NBA season, then he could join the other side of Los Angeles and sign with the Los Angeles Clippers. With Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, plus Doc Rivers as the coach, then Durant joining the team would make them an instant title contender. While the Clippers might need to move some players around to make this happen, it would be a great team. Even if they have to move Griffin in order to get Durant, it would make them better. This team, lead by Paul, could have many successful seasons.

The one team that could almost give Durant a title next season and several years in the future would be the team that won the championship last year, the Golden State Warriors.  With the way the Warriors are playing this season, being on pace to have the most regular-season wins in NBA history, and the money to give to Durant, it just makes sense all the way around.

If Durant cares about winning championships, then Golden State is the place he needs to be.

Abdi looks to continue success on, off track

by: NICK ALVARADO/Editorial Assistant 

Hassan Abdi has been breaking cross country and track records since arriving at South Plains College.

He currently is still breaking school records and looking to achieve more in his running career.

Originating from Ethiopia, Abdi has enjoyed the way of life in the United States after attending high school in Amarillo. He says that he enjoys the campus environment and lifestyle.

“I wish it wasn’t a two-year school,” Abdi said. “This is my fourth semester here at SPC.”

Many people believe that running is a big sport for athletes who originate from Africa. For Abdi, it was different, as he loved and played soccer until making the transition to running. He still enjoys soccer, but prefers watching it.

Abdi says that he has grown accustomed to life in the United States.

“I went to high school here in the U.S.,” said Abdi, “Especially SPC, I like it here a lot.”

Abdi initially played soccer before participating and track. He still watches and keeps up with soccer on television.

“I started running in my junior year of high school, when I was about 17 years old,” Abdi said. “I used to play soccer, but I got out of it because I had some issues with the coach. I tried something new and talked to the cross country coach, and he said that I could come and join them. I ran on the junior varsity level and won that race. So they moved me up to varsity, and since then, I’ve been running.”

Abdi competed in the NJCAA Half Marathon and broke the national record with a time of 1:04:55.67, which he calls his best performance. However, this race wasn’t his most exciting performance.

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Hassan Abdi is ready to compete in the National Indoor meet Winston-Salem, NC. DEVIN REYNA/PLAINSMAN PRESS

“One of the most exciting races that I won was the 10K (at Hutchinson, Kansas) my freshman year when I got second place,” said Abdi.

Abdi never expected to break the national record and never noticed it whenever he checked with his teammates.

“I don’t really know,” Abdi said. “I just finished the race, and I was more worried about my teammates. So I just went back to the line to see where my teammates were. After I saw them finish, and after we won the team championship, I was excited. Then some guy came up to me and said that I ran a 64. That’s a new national record. I’ll take that too.”

When Abdi is not on the track, he likes to watch soccer and enjoys hanging out with friends.

“I enjoy watching soccer, especially the Premier League [in England], but I mostly hang out with friends,” Abdi says.

Abdi’s goal outside of track is studying to become pharmacist and attending a four-year university.

Where I go [after SPC], I’m going to take pre-pharmacy or pre-medicine, one of them,” said Abdi.

Abdi has already qualified for the national indoor track meet on Mar. 4 in Winston-Salem, N.C., and will look to break more records during the outdoor season.