Month: April 2018

Flatbush Zombies release inspiring album

A new album by Flatbush Zombies is a creative, lyrical, and was deftly produced.

Flatbush Zombies are a rap group from the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, in New York City. The group members are Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice, and Eric Arc Elliot, who also serves as their record producer.

They recently released their second album, “Vacation in Hell,” on the Glorious Death Recording label. There are nine features on the album, including Joey Bad***, Asap Twelvy, Bun B, Jadakiss, Portugal the Man, Dave B, DIA, Nyck Caution, and Denzel Curry.

To get their fans pumped up for the album, they have been giving a preview of the album. They released “Headstone” with its music video as a sample for what’s to come. The Zombies also came out with a promotional skit and an album trailer. It excited many of their fans, including me.

Flatbush Zombie’s first album, “A Laced Odyssey,” debuted in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 album chart. So, they hope to strive even farther with their new creation.

My favorite song is “Vacation,” the third track on the album. Joey Bad*** made a star appearance in this song. In an interview with Ebro on Beats1 Radio, Flatbush Zombies said that Joey Bad*** showed up without a pen and spit the verse in the same session when he first heard the beat. They also released an official music video to this song on April 19, with the crew rapping on a yacht. This song is about how hard they worked to get their names out there with their own blood, sweat, and tears. Now they are getting the recognition they deserve and their career feels as if it’s a vacation, because they love what they are doing.

“U&I” is a captivating song second on my favorites list, and track 13 on the album. DIA has a feature in this heartfelt melody. Each member shares a smooth verse over production from member Eric Arc Elliot. Eric states on Twitter, “A lot of people will search for an eternity for unconditional love.” He explains that sometimes you get that love from your family, and other times you don’t. Brothers are bonded by blood first, but friends are bonded by love always. This song really speaks to me, because I was never rich in the family department. I had to build bonds with other people, and they became the family within my heart.flatbush-zombies-logo

“Facts” is a Flatbush Zombies banger on the album. Jadakiss features on this track and discusses with Meechy Darko about the cold hard truth about most rappers. Many rappers in the game are not as hard as they say they are, and that everything is not as it seems on the surface. They stereotype most rappers, saying that they just like to party, spend money, and do drugs instead of focusing on making good music. The group also talks about how just because a woman is attractive does not mean she is a gold digger or a snake. Flatbush Zombies focuses on spreading their message in their music, in a respectable way.

“Misunderstood” is the 17th track on the album and also deserves a spot on my favorites list. The track features Pro Era member Nyck Caution on the hook. The song taps into the dark side of people’s hearts. It details and explains their internal problems, such as anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. It’s a relatable song, because everyone has those dark moments in his or her life, and this song taps into that.

Last, but definitely not least, is “Glory,” the track that closes the album. The Zombies enlist Denzel Curry for a light, introspective song. All four rappers talk about their insecurities, failed relationships, and hardships. They discuss how they contributed to their own difficult situations. Unlike other introspective Zombies songs, this one has a more positive outlook and tone. It was a way for them to tell everyone to be more conscious with their your actions, because only you create the outcome of your future.

There are several more extremely inspiring songs on this album. I recommend that everyone check it out.

“Vacation in Hell” is a very creative and breath-taking album. I rate it a 10 out of 10!

‘Super Troopers 2’ entices fans with nostalgia, original plot

This is a fair warning to anyone who has never watched one of the films made by comedy troupe “Broken Lizard.”

“Broken Lizard” is known for their crude, and often over-the-top style of comedy, which can turn away some movie-goers.  They are the same film makers who have produced movies such as “Beerfest,” “Club Dread,” and “The Smoking Salmon,” just to name a few.

If you enjoy wholesome movies, those the whole family can appreciate, let this be a warning before watching any Broken Lizard films.

With the aforementioned warning out of the way, “Super Troopers 2,” which hit the theaters on April 20, is the direct sequel to 2001’s “Super Troopers.”  The movies follow a group of misfit Vermont Highway Patrolmen who are anything but your typical officers of the peace.

The opening scene doesn’t hold back. The film embraces the absurd.  After a short but quirky appearance by Seann William Scott and Damon Wayans Jr., the movie dives into the story.

After the wild opening is revealed to be a daydream of one of the cast members, the now-fired group of ex-patrolmen are found working a mundane construction job in Vermont.  While their professions have changed, their attitudes and work ethic remain the same.

As the movie progresses, it is revealed that the patrolmen lost their jobs due to the mysterious “Fred Savage Incident.” While this incident is not explained until the mid-scene credits, there are a few well-placed references to the prequel while setting up the story for the remaining of the film.

SUPER-TROOPERS-2-movie  Their former captain sets up a secret fishing meeting in Canada for the group.  They are soon told they will be given temporary jobs as Vermont Highway Patrolmen in a newly-acquired piece of land that was previously Canadian soil.

The formerly disgraced patrolmen are happy to return to their duties, while the locals of the newly “Americanized” area are anything but ecstatic about their new public servants.

The animosity between the local townspeople, including the now displaced Mounties, and Vermont Patrolmen set up some pretty hilarious moments.  The movie does well to play with the pseudo-rivalry that exists between Americans and Canadians.  While some could find some of the jokes flat, for the most part, the comedy that comes from this rivalry is genuinely rib-tickling.

Rob Lowe’s Guy Le Franc, a former hockey player and the current mayor of the ex-Canadian town, is a huge asset to the film.  While he plays a lighter role in the first and second act, he becomes the main player in the film’s third act, all the while supplying laughs and pushing the plot forward.

The hijinks from the first film are alive and well in the sequel.  The actors do a good job at not over-selling the rehashed jokes. In some cases, they expertly mix the film’s new plot  with some of the running jokes from the prequel, while not overstaying their welcome.

The bulk of the film deals with the animosity between the Americans and Canadians, and in typical “Super Trooper” fashion, they are quixotically placed into a massive drug ring. The less-than-ideal group of officers are tasked with foiling the drug ring, but not before the officers partake in some of the narcotics they began seizing.

The film’s third act has the once rivals, of the Mounties and the Vermont Patrolmen, teaming together to tackle the town’s drug ring. The climax of the film is the standoff at a sawmill where the drug ring is busted.

After the bust, it is revealed that the newly-acquired American land will now stay part of Canada, which leads to a prompt and well-placed slew of insults and eventual brawling between the two police departments.

While it may not produce such a following as the first film, and some movie-goers may be put off by the style of comedy, I highly recommend going to see the film. The sequel is full of the crude humor that made the prequel into the cult classic that is today.

I would rate “Super Troopers 2,” eight out of 10.

‘Black Lightning’ offers unique depiction of comic book heroes

Freeland is in shambles, and it is up to one electrifying superhero to save the day.

“Black Lighting” is a new DC Comics television show that airs on the CW. The show centers around a retired superhero with electric powers who gets back into his costume to fight the 100 gang, a criminal organization that causes tyranny within the city of Freeland.

The show recently completed its first season, which delves into the origins of Black Lightning and his desire to rid Freeland of all the drugs, corruption and crime.

Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is a school principal who has given up his past life as a crime fighter. After the 100 gang kidnaps his daughters, Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain), Jefferson suits up as Black Lightning one last time to save them.

After witnessing the negative impact the 100 gang has on Freeland, Jefferson decides to continue his position as the city’s protector with the help of his past mentor and friend Peter Gambi (James Remar), despite his ex-wife, Lynn (Christine Adams), who is disapproving of his efforts. With Tobias Whale (Marvin Jones III), the murderer of Jefferson’s father, leading the 100 gang, Black Lightning will need all the help he can get.

I really enjoyed the first season of this new superhero show. It was interesting seeing Black Lightning, a DC superhero who rarely gets recognition within pop culture, in his own live-action television series.

black lightningThe show does a great job of diving deep into the origins of Black Lightning and presenting the source material with exciting action and interesting characters.

Learning about a superhero I do not normally read about in the comics was very entertaining. I hope to see a second season that reveals more about Black Lightning.

    I really enjoy the overall story arc in this show. Later in the season, Black Lightning discovers that Tobias is behind the distribution of a new drug known as Green Light. This drug is responsible for the appearance of metahumans in Freeland and plays a part in the origins of Black Lightning’s powers.

Seeing Black Lightning facing a huge crime organization was very interesting, as he is a complex character facing many issues. Jefferson is a person who is conflicted by his need to be Black Lightning and his desire to be a role model as a school principal.

I really like how the show represented Black Lightning as a superhero who needs to fight crime in order to find strength within himself to lead his students.

I also like how the show utilizes the rest of the characters. Black Lightning’s allies, such as Gambi, who has a complicated past, and Anissa, who later develops powers and becomes the heroine known as Thunder, develop into intriguing characters as the season progresses.

These two characters were my favorite in this season, as they were not just basic sidekicks to Black Lightning. With Gambi’s experience as a former secret government agent and Anissa’s newfound powers, these characters play an important role in the show by investigating the Green Light distribution.

“Black Lightning” has many intriguing characters who I cannot wait to see again in future seasons. But the acting in this show is one issue that stands out the most.

Despite the characters being interesting and complex, the performances of the actors are dull and do not seem natural. The actors do not have a great chemistry with one another when performing dramatic or lighthearted scenes.

The only performance I enjoyed was the acting of Marvin Jones as Tobias Whale. He is a great villain, as his acting is not over the top or bland, as is the acting of the other actors.

“Black Lightning” is a good show that anyone can enjoy. People who do not read comics can appreciate the story, while comic book fans will enjoy seeing Black Lightning on screen.

With a few flaws and an intriguing, original story, “Black Lightning” has some good qualities other super hero shows do not have.

I give “Black Lightning” an eight out of 10.

‘Legends of Tomorrow’ mixes original story, action in new season

The time-traveling misfits are back to fix history and save the world. But it will not be easy with a time demon wreaking havoc.

“DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” is back on the CW with new adventures and characters. The third season, which centers around time-traveling DC Comic characters within the Arrowverse, begins right after the events of the season two finale.

The Legends now have to fix anachronisms, which are historical misplacements throughout time. Whether it be Julius Caesar in modern day Aruba or a sabretooth tiger in P. T. Barnum’s circus, the Legends have a lot on their plate.

This new season brings back the previous cast, such as White Canary (Caity Lotz), the Atom (Brandon Routh), and Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell), along with the addition of new team members such as Kid-Flash (Keiynan Lonsdale) from “The Flash” and Zari (Tala Ashe). The Legends also face many threats, such as the return of the immortal psychic Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), and new enemies, such as Nora Darhk (Courtney Ford) and the time demon Mallus (John Noble).

In order to keep Mallus from escaping his dimensional prison, the Legends must fix anachronisms created by the Darhks.

This new season was very entertaining to watch. I really enjoyed the new characters and the creative plots within each episode.

I really liked how this season utilizes characters from the previous seasons and dives deeper into their backgrounds. The relationship between Citizen Steel (Nick Zano) and Vixen (Maisie Richardson-Sellers), or the return of time traveler Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill), are all characters focused on more during the third season.

With new adventures, such as the Legends fighting in the Vietnam War or facing Black Beard’s pirates, the series continues to be really creative and engaging.

Every episode spotlights the characters’ strengths and abilities by putting them in dangerous and sometimes funny situations. The action this season is great, especially when it is a huge fight scene consisting of most of the characters.

The characters are a big part of what makes this show stand out from its Arrowverse counterparts, such as “Arrow,” “The Flash” and “Supergirl.”

The cast has great chemistry, whether it be a dramatic or comedic scene. The characters have different, fun personalities that work well together.

legendsThe different episodes and plots allow for different combinations of characters to tackle certain situations. This makes each episode stand out and really exciting to watch.

Despite the memorable characters and episodes, the third season has some recurring and new issues.

One thing that has not been fixed from the previous seasons is the abundance of characters. The series’ most loved quality is also a part of its downfall.

With the addition of new characters to a big cast, there is not enough time in each episode to fully represent everyone. One’s favorite character could appear in many episodes and then rarely be seen in the other episodes. This has been a problem for me ever since the first season.

A flaw of the new season is how the old and new villains are utilized.

With the return of Damien Darhk, the selection of villains is bland. I really like Darhk as a main villain. But after appearing in season two of “Legends of Tomorrow” and season four of “Arrow,” Darhk feels overused.

Even with new villains, such as the demon Mallus, the threats do not seem too exciting.

Throughout the majority of the season, Mallus remains trapped in another dimension and does not do much. When he does possess one of the Legends, it feels forced and unnecessary, as the characters quickly stop the minor threat.

Regardless of these flaws, the third season of “Legends of Tomorrow” is still fun and suspenseful. Fans who enjoy the previous two seasons will really like this new chapter in the series.

The characters are great, and the adventures continue to surprise me with their creativity and action.

I give “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” an eight out of 10.

Back Talk: Video games considered as sports controversial

Competition, skill in playing video games similar to sports

by Kendall Rainer

When we think about sports, football and soccer come to mind. But most people don’t think about video games.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a sport is defined as “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”

There is a huge difference between competitive gaming and casual gaming. Casual gaming is when you sit down and play a game for fun. But competitive gaming is a sport, when you group together with your friends and form a team, with your only goal to beat everyone who stands in your way.

Gaming technically requires physical exertion. When you are playing a video, whether it be a shooter or a strategy game, your whole body is in the game. Your brain is racing, processing information and reacting to every detail and move your opponents make.

Sometimes gamers move along with their character, even if they are playing on a controller or keyboard. But with the invention of consoles such as the Wii, or an accessory like the Connect for the Xbox, you can actually physically move your body and the character on screen moves with you. You are physically exerting yourself in any of these scenarios.

It’s no secret that video games require a certain skill set. In shooter games, such as “Call of Duty” or “Battlefield,” the player has to have great hand-eye coordination to process what your eyes are seeing, as well as to move the analog sticks or buttons and eliminate your opponent before they can eliminate you. Gamers also have to have impeccable reaction time to react and counter-react to your opponents. The player also needs the knowledge and strategy to create a weapon loadout that will out-do your opponents every time, along with the skill and training it takes to be better than the other team.

You can play video games as an individual in one-on-one battles, or you can gather a team of your own to play against another team in the game. Some teams that are created are competitive teams, and can be professional gamers. Yes, there is a professional side to the sport, just like football, soccer, and basketball, among others.bt kendall

The sport also has an official title, which is E-Sport. It contains many different leagues across all gaming platforms and across a multitude of games. The leagues consist of Apex League, “Call of Duty” World League and “Overwatch” League, to name a few.

Just like in professional sports such as football and soccer, these professional gamers get paid. They receive sponsors like NASCAR drivers do. Most of them are also Youtubers, which you can get paid for and also sponsored through. There are also hefty grand prizes in league and world final competitions.

Some might say that gaming is one of the most versatile sports in the world, due to its wide variety of games and platforms you can play on.

Sports require physical effort, unlike video games

by Tina Gonzalez

A sport takes physical activity such as running, jumping, and climbing.

But sitting and moving your thumbs back and forth on a controller is not a sport.

Some may argue that playing video games is a sport. But playing video games for hours is not a sport. One may consider it a competition, but it is barely that.

Just because you can make a competition out of it does not make it a sport. You can turn drinking water into a competition, but that doesn’t make it a sport.

Playing “Call of Duty” or whatever video game it is that you play requires no physical movement. All you are doing is sitting there looking at a screen. Even indoor sports such as soccer, swimming, or gymnastics take serious athletic ability.

I understand that some boys take video-game playing seriously. But it cannot be compared to any type of sport.

I know that there are national competitions for that kind of stuff, but the only thing you have to train is your mentality. That is just a quarter of what an athlete has to train for. Athletes have to worry about their body, mind, and image. The only thing a video-game loser worries about is how fast they can move their thumbs.

Playing video games for hours at a time benefits no one. It doesn’t make a person stronger or healthier. In fact, it probably makes them unhealthy and lazy.

All you need to know for video-game playing is the controller and different buttons. Athletes have to train constantly and strategize every game, race, or meet. Video game players can expect the same thing, just another guy or girl on the other side of the screen pushing a few buttons.

In real sports, there is usually human contact. Video games have no human interaction at all besides someone else’s voice.

Almost everything that is considered a real sport is in the Olympics. No where do I see video-game playing in the Olympics. Even Curling is in the Olympics, and that requires little or no athletic ability.

I know firsthand how playing video games all day could hurt more than help a person. My cousin’s husband would sit in front of his little monitor and play games that didn’t even make sense. He gained weight.  He wasn’t involved in his relationships anymore because he was so focused on a video game that wasn’t going to benefit him in any way.

Playing sports at least helps your health.

Yes, playing video games could be a profession. But what kind of profession is that, just sitting there not doing anything but staring at a screen?sportsballs1.png

Playing video games is more of a hobby than a sport or a profession. It is something you should do during your free time, not something that takes up all your time.

If some people can’t even define cheerleading as a sport, how can anyone justify playing video games as a sport?

Even cheerleading requires lots of physical training. With video games, on the other hand, not so much.

In the definition of “sports”, it says that a sport requires physical exertion. That is why there is an “e” in front of Esports, because it is electronic and nothing physical.

All in all, professional video-game playing is not a sport and shouldn’t even be considered close to anything sports related.

Word on the Street

IMG_6827I do not believe that public college or universities should be free, because I feel like that would allow people to go to college for as long as they wanted and take as many classes as they wanted, and there would be no incentive to get out. I also love getting paid for teaching college, and if the students aren’t paying, then who is going to pay my salary?”

Kelley Finley – Assistant professor of speech, Bledsoe

 

 

IMG_2956No, I think instead what we should be doing is giving more money to STEM related majors to bring more people into those types of majors and help grow the economy a little bit more. But the way our economy is shaped right now, making college free wouldn’t help it.”

Nancy Munoz – Sophomore, Pre-Engineering, Levelland

 

 

IMG_6835I think community colleges serve a part of the population that we should be focusing on, on a national level. Having said that, anything you give for free isn’t valued, which is a shame. So I can see both sides. I want higher education to be accessible for all. But at the same time, it probably should cost something so it can be appreciated and so people can work for it.”

Aaron Greene – Assistant professor of Geology, Slaton

 

 

IMG_2961I think so, because there are a lot of people out here that need an education, and I know there is a lot of people that go to college but never get their degree. I think giving them a free education would be a good thing.”

Nikolaus Coldrion – Sophomore, Radio Television and Film, Lubbock

 

 

 

IMG_2960If we do make college free, what is going to be the impact on the community itself? Would there be a tax raise? It sounds like a good idea, but I think the prices we are given now is kind of pushing it.”

Ethan Villa – Sophomore, Pre-Engineering, Lubbock

Journalism major recalls learning experiences, close friends

Throughout my life, I was never certain about what I wanted to be when I grew up.

As a kid, I played a lot of video games, read books and graphic novels and watched a lot of television and movies. Growing up, I always imagined I would be creating video games, writing comics and directing movies one day.

But it was not until I started high school that I realized that all these dream careers involved some form of writing.

I have always enjoyed writing, whether it be in school or writing random stories during my free time. I decided to major in print journalism, as there are many opportunities to go to different events, meet new people and to hone my writing skills. Even though it was not one of my dream careers, I knew that the countless opportunities I would get from journalism would introduce me to new experiences that could later form my future.

It was not until I walked into the Plainsman Press Newsroom that my first journalism experience began.

Being a member of the Plainsman Press staff was my first opportunity to escape my comfort zone at South Plains College. Despite being at SPC for only one year, I still achieved a lot working in the Newsroom.

Meeting and working with new people while on the newspaper staff is one experience that I will always cherish.

The first, and most influential, person that I met is Charlie Ehrenfeld, my advisor. I met him at summer orientation when he helped me schedule my first classes and assured me that I was going to like being on the staff.

Attending Charlie’s classes and working with him in the newsroom has been some of my most fulfilling learning experiences.

When I walked into the Newsroom on the first day of class, I only had one high school journalism class under my belt. I thought I had a long, tough journey ahead of me trying to learn the ropes of the Newsroom. But after hearing Charlie’s motivational speech at the beginning of the year, I knew I would be working in an environment where I could learn and hone my skills.

Charlie is one of my most favorite teachers I have ever had. He is always willing to help his students. I really respect how he critiques my work and gives me his most honest opinion.

I have always appreciated when teachers do not sugar coat my mistakes. I wish I could have stayed on the staff for at least one more semester and learned more from Charlie. He is one professor who I will never forget.

Being a print journalism major, I got the opportunity to meet other knowledgeable, passionate professors in the Communications Building.

Billy Alonzo is another teacher who is really passionate about what he does and what he teaches his students.

IMG_6817Whether it be in the classroom or on set in the TV studio, I really enjoyed working with Billy. He is fun and knows how to get his students excited to learn about video production.

Another teacher that I would not have met if I were not a print journalism major is Margaret Kirby.

Mrs. Kirby was next to Charlie helping to schedule my first classes at orientation. Even though I only had one class with her during my time at SPC, I learned a lot about the media field from her intriguing lectures.

These teachers are people who I would have never met if I was not on the newspaper staff. Whether I am attending Texas Tech University or working at my dream job, the knowledge I have acquired from these professors is something that will always be impactful in my life.

These professors are not the only people at SPC who have impacted me and my major.

During my first semester on the staff of the Plainsman Press, I met many student editors and writers who acted as mentors and role models.

I really want to thank Matty Molinar, Riley Golden, Tovi Oyervidez, Brandi Ortiz, Tyler York, Dom Puente and Nicole Lopez for showing me how the Newsroom worked and being examples of how a true reporter acts.

Whether it be answering my simple questions or walking me through the process of how a story is published in the paper, these students were more than happy to help me. Without them acting as role models, my start at the Plainsman Press would have been a lot more difficult.

More importantly, I want to thank the other staff members who I have worked with since my first semester, and the ones who joined during the spring.

Working with Autumn Bippert, Tina Gonzalez and Randi Jines for two semesters has been a blast.

Working with Autumn as a staff writer and an editor has been a great learning experience. She has taught me a lot about InDesign and page layout when I attended my first Paper Night. I know Autumn will do great leading the staff next fall as editor-in-chief.

Tina is the person I have known the longest, since we both attended Coronado High School. Being a quiet, introverted person working with an extrovert, like Tina, has been a fun experience. Working with her has helped me realize to take time to appreciate life and to have fun.

Being on staff with Randi has also been a fun experience. I did not get to know Randi until this spring semester. But through paper nights and a few classes together, I got to know her more and was introduced to her funny demeanor, which I will miss.

I especially want to thank the staff members who I have had the pleasure of meeting this spring semester.

Kendall Rainer, Maddie Benavidez, Meghan Arnold, Jordan Patterson, Caleb Brown and Kyle Ewing are all people who joined the Plainsman Press during the spring.

It is bittersweet that I am transferring to Texas Tech, as I will not be able to work with these individuals at the Plainsman Press for another semester.

I really enjoyed working with Kendall in the Newsroom. Being the only two guys working during paper nights was very interesting. I will miss his sarcastic, hilarious remarks that he makes toward the rest of the staff and Charlie.

Maddie is a person who I am going to miss working with in the Newsroom. Whether it be in other classes or during paper nights, she always cracked me up with her funny roommate stories about Tina.

Meghan is a person who has taught me to look at life with a positive outlook. Her personality makes her great to work with in the Newsroom. Due to her attitude, I am constantly reminded to stay positive during tough or exhausting situations.

Kyle, Caleb and Jordan are people who I wished I could have talked with more. Since they did not attend paper nights, I did not get a good chance to get to know them. I wish them the best, whether they stay on the staff or explore new things.

The people I met during my time at the Plainsman Press gave me my best college experiences so far.

If I had not met these instructors and fellow classmates, I do not think I would have had any great college memories. Whether it be in or out of the Newsroom, these people are what made my SPC journey fun and exciting.

Being on the newspaper staff has given me many other opportunities to grow as a person and a journalist.

One huge benefit of writing for the Plainsman Press is the work environment.

Charlie works to make the SPC newspaper as close to an actual local paper. Working in the newsroom has exposed me to strict deadlines, the news writing process and designing the paper.

These are experiences that are hard to get at other colleges. I am grateful that I have been a member of the Plainsman Press to receive these opportunities.

Without the Plainsman Press, I would not have been able to travel to Dallas for the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association competition and conference and would have missed the opportunity to compete and meet other reporters.

Working in the SPC Newsroom has given me many chances to grow as a journalist and to interact with people in the journalism world. I will never forget the people I have met and the things I have done while at SPC.

I am very grateful that I got to experience everything the Plainsman Press has to offer. Being on the staff has given me memories that I will cherish forever.

Unexpected journey at SPC provides unique friends, experiences

As someone who has lived in one place and been around the same people her entire life, goodbyes are always difficult, unwanted and confusing.

It’s hard to once again say goodbye to a professor who taught me so much and friends who became so close in such a short amount of time.

I graduated from Borden County High School, which is a 1A school in the middle of somewhere. So when it came to picking a college, SPC was not in my plans. I wanted to go to Texas State University or Texas Tech. I thought I would meet more people who were interested in the same things as I am and have more opportunities to try new things.

SPC was a last-minute, ‘parents-begged-me-to-do-it’ decision. They wanted me to stay close to home, which was actually a good choice for me. I still found a place where I could do something I was interested in and around people who are interested in those things too. This place was CM 130, the Plainsman Press Newsroom.

I joined the student newspaper staff at the start of the spring semester. Now, I wish I joined sooner. I came from a school that was limited to UIL events and yearbook staff for journalism classes. I thought I wasn’t ready to write for a college newspaper. In reality, this has been the best platform for me to gain journalism experience.

I wrote feature stories while on the newspaper. I have been able to meet some of SPC’s most interesting students. I was able to take their stories and tell others about the amazing things they’ve done. The things I’ve gotten to learn about these people helped me to learn that I didn’t need to go to a big college to meet unique people. So, I thank every teacher and student who allowed me to tell their story.

Charlie has been the most influential professor during my time at SPC. He has helped me gain knowledge about journalism and reporting. He treats every student like his own child. I can joke around with him, and he’ll tease me endlessly about things like my “boyfriends.” One thing I absolutely respect about Charlie is the effort he puts toward each student. He’ll put his time and money in to make sure his students are taken care of. He goes beyond what’s expected of a professor. I think he’s one professor most students will look back and say, “Yeah, of course I remember Charlie. He’s one professor who impacted my college career the most.” At least, that’s what I’ll say. Thank you, Charlie, for all you’ve done.madison farewell tina

Autumn has been a great friend on the staff. She has helped me whenever I need it. We’ve had some interesting and funny conversations between classes. That’s what I’ll miss the most about her.

Kendall was also helpful in the Newsroom. He edited any photo whenever I needed it and gave me his opinion even when I didn’t. He’s funny in his own way.

Adán is someone I’ve admired in the Newsroom. He’s always on top of what needs to be done. One thing I was surprised about is how funny he is. He’s so quiet, then out of nowhere he’ll say a sarcastic and witty remark to someone’s dumb question. I’ll miss that about him.

Randi and Meghan have kept me on my toes with all their partying stories. They’re both so happy and bubbly. They share that happiness with everyone around them.

Tina, this loud-talkin’, can’t-hardly-ever-breathe girl is something else. She’s probably the bestest (I don’t care that it’s not a word, Charlie) friend I’ve met at SPC. I still remember meeting Tina on the first day of classes during my very first class. Charlie made everyone stand up and introduce themselves. “Hi, my name is Tina Gonzalez. I’m a freshman. I’m a public relations major, and I graduated from Coronado,” she said in a very enthusiastic, extra kind-of-way that only Tina can. My first thought was “Wow. She must be really excited.” And now, we’re roommates. Tina is the kind of person who will always try to make you laugh but knows when you just need to talk or rant. She tells you how she feels and makes no apologies for it. She’s confident in who she is. I can see the amazing person she will become. She’s someone I admire. She’s been a great roommate and friend, one you don’t expect to make in your first year of college but hope is around for a lifetime.

The Plainsman Press has given me friends and a place to belong at SPC. The 4 a.m.’s, endless “no’s” from Charlie, Tina’s creepy comments, Adán’s sarcastic remarks, Kendall and Meghan’s bickering, Randi’s partying tips, and Autumn’s yelling, has all been worth it. It might sound like it’s too much to handle, and trust me, at times it is. But each member of the staff has taught me something valuable or given me journalist or life advice.

Autumn is willing to help and explain anytime you need it. Randi and Meghan tend to give some unusual but hilarious college partying stories. Kendall will edit your photos and help whenever needed. Adán will keep you on your toes with his sarcastic remarks to your obvious questions. Tina will keep you entertained with her overly dramatic stories. Or she’ll keep you awake at 2 a.m. with her coughing. Charlie will pull your best work from you with his redundant “EEhhh” or “Close, but no” or “NO.” It’s a family unlike any other on this staff, and I wouldn’t trade that.

I’m not sure how to say goodbye to any of these people. They all helped me grow to be a student, journalist, and friend. I hope to  go to Texas State in the fall and make great memories like I did here. I want to say a big special thank you to Autumn, Kendall, Adán, Meghan, Randi, Tina, and Charlie. You guys are amazing, and I’ll miss y’all.

Lifelong friendships created through Plainsman Press

The Plainsmen Press has changed my life forever.

I have met some lifelong friends, as well as having experiences that I will keep forever.

These people have made the newspaper class worth it.

The professor, Charlie Ehrenfeld, is my favorite professor of all time, even though sometimes he gets on my nerves. He knows some of my family from Levelland, so I cannot really act up. He is a really good professor and will help anyone in any way that he can. I was not a public relations major or journalism major, so I did not have any other classes with him besides newspaper class. But from what I heard from other people that took his other classes, they told me that he is a great professor. Charlie was always there for me when I needed someone’s advice about anything and would steer me in the right direction, even though sometimes I did not listen the first couple of times. Charlie always pushed me to be the best person,  as well as a student, as I could be.

Then there was Dominic. Dom used to always give me such a hard time about everything that I did. He would always make me laugh. He always used to tell me that I stressed him out all the time because of the crazy things that I did. But Dom was always there for me when I needed him. Dom is a nice person, even though sometimes he would try to play it off that he was a bad guy with a bad-boy attitude. He was actually the first person who convinced me to start taking sports photos and taught me how at a SPC basketball game. He also helped me when I was at TIPA. Dom was not in this class this semester but still would help me take sports photos and I talk to him weekly.

Matty is one my best friends of all time. I first met Matty at the mall when we worked together, and we also met through mutual friends. Matty was the person who introduced me to the Plainsman Press and I honestly never regretted taking this class even though it does not count toward my degree. Matty and I are such opposite people, which is why we got along so well. We kept each other in place while having a good time being friends. Matty transferred to Texas Tech this semester, and I will meet up with him next semester.IMG_0548

Tovi is such a motivating person. I used to sit in the Newsroom with her before class would start. Tovi and I both have English Bulldogs and would always talk about our dogs and send each other pictures of them. We used to talk about random things in that Newsroom. Tovi has such a big heart for life that is so wonderful. She would do anything to save an animal, as well as the Earth. She honestly changed the way that I look at life.

This semester, these people are not here, besides Charlie. But the people who are in this class this semester I am not that close with. But they are all very friendly and nice when I talk to them. They are a good group, even though it is a small group.

Plainsman Press will be something to always remember. I would honestly recommend it to anyone to take this class, even though it can be a lot sometimes. This class will change the way that you look at everything, as well as meet help you meet people who you never thought you would be friends with.

I will miss this class very much, and I wish nothing but the best to the students in this class next semester. I hope they have as much fun as I did.

Track teams prepare for outdoor national champtionships

The South Plains College men’s and women’s track and field teams will be looking to add to their list of national-qualifying marks in their preparation for the upcoming National Junior College Athletic Association Outdoor National Championship.

The track and field teams competed in the West Texas A&M Invitational on April 22 in Canyon.

The Texans finished second overall in the meet with 155 points, and the Lady Texans placed third overall with 86 points.

Mason Weh placed first overall in the men’s 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.61, while Patrick Johnson placed second with a time of 13.94. In the men’s 400-meter hurdles, Myles Scott placed fourth with a time of 53.33.

In the men’s 100-meter dash, Andre Edwards placed second with a time of 10.46. Brandon Letts and Keion Sutton placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in the event. Letts finished with a time of 10.62, while Sutton posted a time of 10.71. In the men’s 200 meters, Willari Watson placed first with a time of 21.75.

In the men’s 3000-meter steeplechase, Jesse Madrid placed first with a time of 10:12.17.

In the men’s 4×100-meter relay, Letts, Andre Edwards, Sutton and Willari Watson placed first with a time of 40.30. In the men’s 4×400-meter relay, Ian Gonzales, Montel Hood, Jordan Atkinson, and Dekaryea Freeman finished with a time of 3:11.34 and placed first.

In the men’s 1500 meters, freshman Andrew Bosquez placed first with a time of 4:01.20, and Filmon Beyene placed third with a time of 4:10.70.

In the men’s 400 meters, Montel Hood placed second with a time of 47.46, while Atkinson placed sixth with a time of 48.53.

 IMG_6886 In the men’s high jump, Bryson Deberry placed second, clearing the bar at 6 feet, 8.75 inches. In the men’s long jump, Holland Martin placed first with a mark of 25 feet, .75 inches. Danylo Molchanov placed fifth with a jump of 22 feet, 10 inches. Molchanov also competed in the men’s triple jump, placing second with a jump of 50 feet, 6.75 inches.

The teams also competed at the 2018 Ross Black Invitational at the Ross Black Field of Champions in Hobbs, New Mexico on April 14.

In the women’s 1,500 meters, sophomore Seselia Dala placed third with a time of 4:50.87, while sophomore Leslie Romero placed fourth with a time of 4:57.19.

In the women’s 400 meters, sophomore Natassha McDonald placed first after finishing with a time of 53.92, and Agnes Abrocquah placed fourth with a time of 55.52. In the women’s 100-meter dash, Omotayo Abolaji placed first with a time of 11.63.

In the women’s 400-meter hurdles, Janiel Moore placed third with a time of 1:02:58.

In the women’s 4×400-meter relay, Abrocquah, Ashley Hughes, McDonald, and Moore placed first with a time of 3:42.75.

In the women’s long jump, freshman Ruth Usoro placed first with a jump of 19 feet, 8 inches, while Cha’Kaylin Gilbert placed fourth with a mark of 18 feet, 5.25 inches. Usoro also placed fourth in the women’s triple jump with a mark of 39 feet, 10 inches. Gilbert placed sixth in the event with a mark of 39 feet, 7.25 inches.

In the women’s pole vault, freshman Kodee Scott earned a national-qualifying mark, clearing the bar at 10 feet, 6 inches.   

In the men’s long jump, sophomore Fabian Edoki placed first with a jump of 26 feet, 2.25 inches. Martin placed second with a leap of 24 feet, 9.25 inches, and Molchanov placed third with a mark of 23 feet, 3.25 inches. All three earned national-qualifying marks with their jumps.

Molchanov also placed first in the men’s triple jump with a mark of 49 feet, 10.5 inches, earning a national-qualifying mark with the jump.

The Texans grabbed the top three spots in the men’s pole vault. Parker Wood placed first after clearing the bar at 14 feet, 7.25 inches. Jonathan Witt placed second by clearing the bar at 13 feet, 7.25 inches, and freshman Asani Hylton place third with a mark of 12 feet, 11.75 inches. All three earned national-qualifying marks.

In the men’s 4×100-meters relays, Letts, Andre Edwards, Sutton and Willari Watson placed first with a time of 40.69, earning a national-qualifying mark. In the men’s 4×400-meter relay, Willari Watson, William Watson, Hylton and Patrick Johnson placed second with a time of 3:17.54, earning a national-qualifying mark.

In the men’s 10,000 meters, sophomore Felix Kosgei placed second with a time of 32:37.62, and Bosquez placed third with a time of 33:15.23. In the men’s 5,000 meters, Madrid placed first with a time of 16:03.59. In the men’s 1,500 meters, Gonzales placed sixth with a time of 4:13.49.

Hood earned a national-qualifying mark in the men’s 400 meters with a time of 47.21, placing third overall. In the men’s 200 meters, Hood placed sixth with a time of 22.10. Letts finished seventh with a time of 22.31.

In the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase, Romero placed first with a time of 11:43.64, earning a national-qualifying mark.

In the women’s long jump, Usoro placed third with a jump of 19 feet, 1.7 inches, also earning a national-qualifying mark. Gilbert also earned a national-qualifying mark with a mark of 19 feet and placed fourth.

In the women’s 4×100-meter relay, Usoro, Patrice Moody, Abolaji and Abrocquah earned a national-qualifying mark and placed second with a time of 45.40. In the women’s 4×400-meter relay, Acacia Watson, Breah Powell, Bailey O’Connor and Bosiboro Monsongo also earned a national-qualifying mark with a second-place finish and a time of 3:53.00.

In the women’s 100-meter hurdles, Moody earned a national-qualifying mark and placed third with a time of 14.28.

In the women’s 400 meters, McDonald placed second with a time of 54.09, earning a national-qualifying mark. Abrocquah placed sixth with a time of 55.93, also earning a national-qualifying mark. In the women’s 100-meter dash, Usoro finished 10th with a time of 11.96.

Dala placed second in the women’s 10,000-meter finals with a time of 39:59.84 and earned a national-qualifying mark.

The men’s team will be looking to win their 12th consecutive NJCAA Outdoor National Championship, which will be held May 17-May 19 in El Dorado, Kansas.

Women’s team advances to National Finals Rodeo

The South Plains College women’s rodeo team advanced to the National Finals Rodeo for the first time in program history after finishing the spring season ranked second in the Southwest Region.

The teams competed in the final rodeo of the season at the Tarleton State University Rodeo in Stephenville on April 19-April 21.

For the Lady Texans, Jenna Dallyn and Wyatt Christensen added 60 points to the team total in the team roping competition. They posted a time of 8.1 in the long round and a 10.7 in the finals, grabbing the final points needed to put SPC in second place and advance to nationals.

Sophomore Chet Boren also advanced to nationals, as he placed second in the men’s all-around standings with 785 points. Boren also tied for the region title in steer wrestling with 455 points.

In the steer wrestling finals, Boren finished fourth with a time of 6.4 in the long round and a 4.6 in the short round, ending with 80 points for the Texans.

Stefan Ramone and Jhett Trenary won the team roping event title after posting a time of 5.7 in the long round and a 8.2 in the event finals, adding 170 points for the Texans.

The rodeo teams also competed in the Howard College Rodeo on April 12-April 14 in Big Spring.

Lariat Larner placed sixth in the women’s breakaway roping, while Kade Sherwood placed first in the men’s team roping event.

Larner tied for the fastest time in the long round with a time of 2.3, but didn’t make it to the final round. Sherwood paired with Howard’s Weston Podzemny to win the long round with a time of 4.8, followed up by a time of 5.5 in the finals. They ended the event with an average time of 10.3, collecting 175 points for the Texans.

The Texans finished seventh in the rodeo, while the Lady Texans finished the event in eighth place.

While the teams completed the spring season, the Lady Texans and Boren will be competing at the National Finals Rodeo, which will be held June 8-June 16 in Casper, Wyoming.

College shows growth in enrollment, campus size during six decades

Throughout the past 60 years, dreams have preceded realities at South Plains College. 

In 1957, Dr. Thomas Spencer set out to establish a new two-year college in Texas, the first one in the state in more than a decade.

“The first vote for it was in 1957, and it was defeated,” recalled Nathan Tubb, the college’s first registar who later served as  the academic dean from 1965 to 1981. “So they formed a committee and tried a different way. They put posters in town for it.”

 As president of Blinn College, Dr. Spencer was up to the challenge of starting up a new college in the South Plains region. 

DanceOne of the first faculty to be hired was Earl Gerstenberger, a former Blinn College agriculture and science instructor. Gerstenberger taught agriculture at SPC from 1958 to 1969, then served as Dean of Men from 1967 to 1973. In 1973, he was became Dean of Students, a position he held until 1982 when he became vice president of academic affairs before retiring in 1993.

“I was an assistant football coach, baseball coach and taught physical education at Blinn,” recalled Gerstenberger. “I had a degree in agriculture education, and our president there came up here and started this college, Dr. Spencer.”

Dr. Spencer came to the area before the college started to speak to groups that would be interested in building a college.buildings 1960031

“So he came a year before the college opened and he supervised the forming of the junior college district,” Gerstenberger said, “establishing a tax base for paying for the college, building the campus and hiring the faculty.” 

When Dr. Spencer arrived in Levelland, there was nothing but a field to build a brand new college on. With instructions from the South Plains College Board of Regents, he had $1,086,920.01 to open a college for the fall semester of 1958.

“We were accredited by the Texas Association, but you had to be 5 years old to be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools,” Tubb explained. “They sent out a group and they liked what they saw. So they went back and recommended that we get fully accredited by the Southern Association of College and Schools. That accreditation was the highlight of my career.”IMG_6892

 The land for SPC was acquired from the Post-Montgomery estate. The first five campus buildings were built on 44 acres of land that cost $29,566.85. Contractor Harry E. Miller agreed to complete the construction of the college’s first five buildings, which were the Administration Building, Gym-Student Center, Library-Fine Arts Building, Agricultural Shop Building and Auditorium, by Sept. 10, 1958. 

“Almost all of the faculty, there was 19 faculty and three administrators, nearly all of the faculty were young,” said Gerstenberger. “Even the president at that time was in his 40s. The rest of the faculty was young, in their 20s to 30s. It was a new experience for all of us. Everybody did whatever it took to make it go.”

Gerstenberger arrived in mid-summer in 1958, finding the college uncompleted as the first registration neared and classes were scheduled to begin on Sept. 15. The first faculty helped prepare the college to open for the first registration. 

“We had to go in and nail the windows into the library shelving to keep the window from falling in,” Gerstenberger recalled. “All of the faculty and their spouses, in meeting the deadline for opening up the college, went in and helped clean. I went in and helped put in blackboards. It was a closeknit bunch of people, old friends, and we had classes to teach. But we also did other things, whatever it took. Every faculty member had a club or two that they sponsored. It was just a new experience for all of us. It was fun really, but we worked hard too.”

registrationDespite some naysayers in the community, the first registration was a success with 576 enrolling in both day and night classes.

“It started out pretty small,” said Tubb. “There were 202 or so in the day program, and 258 or so in the evening college. We didn’t have computers. We did it all with pencils. There were people in town that didn’t think we would have eight or more students.”

  Faculty worked all night to process the registration for the 60 classes that would begin the very next day. 

“There was a lot of optimism in the Levelland district that we would grow,” Gerstenberger explained. “But there were some negative feelings that we were over-building, and what would happen if students didn’t show up. We had anxiety about having students show up. We had built the school for 500 or so students. A lot of people said that we would never meet that. We had almost 500 students that first semester. We’ve had so much support from the community over the years. To ever be this size, none of us ever thought that would happen. But it did.”

First commencement at SPC was held on May 25,1959, with two graduates from Levelland, Betty Moore Rowell and Billie G. Alexander. One year later, during spring graduation in 1960, 43 students walked the stage. Forty years later, the number of graduates rose to 707, in 1998.

“The first two or three years were pretty small,” said Tubb. “It wasn’t till the fourth year the enrollment started to grow.”

In 1960, the first three dormitories were constructed. Frazier, Stroud and Sue Spencer halls joined the original five buildings. Later, South Sue Spencer, Gillespie and Magee halls were added in 1962, Lamar hall was added in 1995, and the Smallwood Complex was added in 1981. The construction of residence halls allowed the college to enter a period of growth. 

IMG_6902“I like to think of South Plains as a community college,” explained Tubb. “Most junior colleges then just offered the first two academic years and then it would transfer to a university. We started out as having welding, and machine shop. We had a technical building, so we offered a wide variety of things, and that appealed to students in the area. We had an extension course at Reese Air Force Base, and that attracted a large number of students.”

By 1968, SPC’s enrollment had grown from 574 students to 1,641 students in more than 42 programs. 

“It’s an entirely different institution,” Tubb said proudly. “I retired in 1981. Well, it has changed a good deal.”

As the college entered the 1970s, residents of Levelland, Hockley County, the South Plains and Eastern New Mexico realized that SPC was on the educational map.

“After we got up and running in 10 years, there were several community colleges opening in the state, after they had seen how successful we were,” Tubb added.

Dr. Robin Satterwhite, the fifth president in the history of SPC, said the most significant changes to SPC since he attended in 1988 are to the buildings on campus, including the entire Student Services mall, which was just a grassy area. Tubb and Southwest Halls didn’t exist, and other buildings such as the current Math Building and the PE Complex had not been built.

graduation 1960008“I am very proud of how the college has grown over the years,” said Dr. Satterwhite, the first alum to serve as president. “The size of the college sets it apart from many others in that it rivals many universities. In a way, I believe that speaks to the demand for our educational experience and allows SPC to command a greater respect in the delivery of higher education.”

Additionally, Dr. Satterwhite said that the growth of the college has allowed SPC to meet a greater number of educational needs of students in both technical and transfer education areas. The growth of the physical plant has also allowed SPC to be a larger part of the Levelland community.

Today, the enrollment has grown to more than 9,000 students across four campuses, with 42 buildings on the Levelland campus. The faculty number nearly 400. 

“South Plains College must focus most on maintaining the culture of student-centerdness and the quality of education that has always been a cornerstone of our success,” Dr. Satterwhite explained. “However, we also need to look at ways to grow our student numbers and continue to identify programs that meet student and industry demand. Also, while having a 60-year-old campus allows for a great amount of maturity across the campus landscape, it also presents some issues for many of the original buildings.”

Dr. Satterwhite added that the college will need to identify opportunities to make improvements to facilities so SPC can continue to provide the best educational experience to our students.Class room

“South Plains College remains a very special place for so many students, employees, and community members,” Dr Satterwhite explained. “The thing that impressed me most about my time at SPC was the faculty that took a genuine interest in my success. After all of my educational experiences, I was able to point back to faculty members such as Ann Gregory, David Etheredge, Larry Norris, and others who have left since I was here, and reflect on the outstanding impact that each of them had on my educational and personal life. That is what makes SPC a great college.”

Regents approve Memorandum of Understanding regarding Lubbock City Hall

The Board of Regents at South Plains College approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the college, the City of Lubbock, and Lubbock Economic Development Alliance to explore the possibility of using Lubbock City Hall as a future campus during their April meeting.

“The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is for the consideration of conveyance and remodeling of the building that is currently being used for the Lubbock City Hall,” explained Dr. Robin Satterwhite, president of SPC.

The proposal includes the City Hall building, located at 1625 13th Street in Lubbock, and a smaller building on the corner lot. The City Hall building is 101,000 square feet, and in its current configuration, 83,000 square feet of it is usable.

“The purpose of this MOU is to create a 12-month time period for all of the different entities to investigate the cost of what this might be and the extent of renovation that needs to occur,” explained Dr. Satterwhite. “And then for the potential for what type of financial support we can gain for the remodeling of this building.”

The MOU includes a commitment from the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance (LEDA) for $5 million for the acquisition and renovation of the building. It also includes a commitment from the LEDA of $500,000 per year for funding for administrative, educational and infrastructure costs that are proposed with the Downtown Center.

“What we recognized is that the facilities at Reese, specifically buildings 4 and 5, are in a position where they’re going to need some future significant repairs,” reported Dr. Satterwhite, “and they are located on a location of the Reese campus that is also identified as needing significant future repairs. The college is going to have to make the strategic decision in investing our funds, our reserves, towards those renovations or identifying an alternative to that. And this MOU is also related to that alternative.”

IMG_2402If the Downtown Center came to fruition, programs that are currently located in buildings 4 and 5 at Reese Center, which are largely health occupation programs, would be shifted to the buildings that are in better condition on the other side of the campus, near the state-of-the-art Simulation Center in Building 1. Dr. Satterwhite explained that the goal would be to move the health occupations programs into those buildings and relocate the Arts and Sciences classes to the Downtown Center.

“We believe that this building will better service our students,” Dr. Satterwhite said of Lubbock City Hall. “It is closely located to Texas Tech University; it’s seven blocks away. It will probably support the co-enrollment students much more effectively than what we currently have.

“We’re expecting our co-enrollment students to grow,” he added. “That’s what our hope is, because of our increased relationship with Texas Tech University, and our Memorandum of Understanding with Texas Tech.”

Dr. Satterwhite told the Regents that there are distinct needs that are going to have to be addressed sooner or later on the Reese Center campus, and the MOU provides another option to look at.

Stephen John, vice president for institutional advancement, presented resolutions on behalf of the Board of Regents, commending Erik Vance, head track coach at SPC, Justin Hobbs, assistant coach, and the 2017-2018 Texan and Lady Texan Track and Field teams for their 2018 NJCAA Division I Men’s Indoor National Championship.

A resolution also was presented commending Steve Green, head men’s basketball coach at SPC, Assistant Coach Justin Brown and the 2017-2018 Texan Basketball team for their NJCAA National Championship, the third for the program in the 60-year history of SPC athletics.

In addition, a resolution was approved commending SPC alum Rear Admiral Ronny L. Jackson for distinguishing himself within his chosen profession.

Also discussed during the meeting held April 12 was an Analysis of the Economic Impact and Return on Investment of Education. Emsi, a leading provider of economic impact studies, collected information for fiscal year of 2015 to 2016.

John explained to the Regents what the report yielded, such as SPC produces significant returns for the area’s economy, students, business and taxpayers. According to the study, SPC and its students stimulate the local economy by $399.2 million in added annual income, which is roughly 2.6 percent of the South Plains region’s total gross regional product.

It also states that students who leave SPC with an associate degree increase their lifetime earning potential by $387,000 more than a student with just a high school diploma or GED. SPC provides a benefit-to-cost ratio of 5.2, John said, meaning for every dollar invested in an SPC education, the student will receive a cumulative of $5.20 in higher future earnings during the next 30 years.

“We wanted to learn how much SPC contributes to the area’s economy after 60 years of providing higher education opportunities,” said John.

As an important employer in the region, the college’s payroll and day-to-day operations add $49.7 million in income to the region, equivalent of supporting 922 jobs. The spending impact of students who live outside the region and relocated to attend SPC is estimated to be $36.7 million in added income annually, the equivalent of supporting 604 jobs.

Every dollar invested in the college by state and local taxpayers produces a real-money annual return of 13 percent in the form of higher tax revenues and avoided social costs attributable to education, according to the report.

The full report has also been published on SPC’s website.

Student Government Association placing recycling bins on campus

The Student Government Association at South Plains College recently has decided recycling bins needed to be placed around campus to improve recycling on campus.

The idea came to Jeremiah Patterson, SGA delegate, after his friends would give him all of their recyclable trash to take to the bins in the Science Building. He would collect plastic bottles and cans from his friends until he had enough to take.

Patterson, a commercial music major, said that he came up with the idea to place more recycling bins around campus to make it more accessible for students and talked about his idea with other SGA members, who all agreed it was a good idea.

“I have been here at SPC for four years,” explained Patterson, a Killeen native. “For a while, we had recycling bins in the dorms. But people would mistake them for trash cans and stuff, so it wasn’t really successful. My friends still continued to collect their recyclable material, and I would take it to the Science Building. But I’m getting ready to graduate, so I thought why not make it easier for future students to recycle before I leave?”

There are now recycling bins in the Student Life Office, as well as in the Science Building. There are three different bins in the Science Building and two smaller ones in the Student Life Center. They are available for all students, faculty and staff.

IMG_3492The SGA and other organizations will take what is in the bins to the Recycling Center in Levelland and Lubbock.

“The Science Building has aluminum can recycling bins,” explained Patterson. “Unfortunately, the Levelland Recycle Center has stopped taking plastic bottles. But the Student Life Center has both cans and plastic bins, and we take the plastic to Lubbock to be recycled.”

The SGA is looking to make the Levelland campus greener and have started the process by placing bins around campus. Patterson noticed how successful the Science Building’s recycling program was, so the SGA decided to expand the program.

“The Science Building has had a successful recycling program, so the Student Government’s plans for recycling is to put a few more bins in a few more buildings,” said Patterson. “Student Life and a few other organizations will collect the material and take it to the Recycling Center for it to be recycled.”

The SGA is encouraging all students to recycle. They have set out to make it easier for students to recycle and hope to see success in recycling around the campus.

“I think people should get involved in recycling partially because why not?” Patterson said. “We use the materials once, and we can reuse them. So why not start now? If we recycle, we won’t have to dig up new things to use, because eventually you will get to the bottom of the barrel.”

Two alums Honored as TRIO achievers

National TRIO Day acknowledges the importance of TRIO programs and their impact on students.

For two South Plains College alums, this day marks their success as TRIO achievers.

National TRIO Day, which is designated as Feb. 28, is a day dedicated to celebrating and advocating TRIO programs, which are federally-funded student service organizations with the intent to offer help and resources to disadvantaged students. TRIO programs, such as Upward Bound, Talent Search and Student Support Services, are offered at many schools and universities to ensure the success of low-income students, first-generation students and students with disabilities.

On March 29 in the Sundown Room on the SPC Levelland campus, the National TRIO Day Luncheon was held to promote local TRIO programs, including SPC Upward Bound, the SPC Success Through Academic Resources Center, Texas Tech University Upward Bound, Texas Tech Student Support Services and LEARN Inc. Educational Opportunity Center and Talent Search.

IMG_4419During the luncheon, two SPC alums and former participants in TRIO programs, Lupe Hinojosa of the SPC STAR Center and Emily Olvera of SPC Upward Bound, were honored as TRIO achievers for their respective programs. These alums were honored for their work while in TRIO programs and their success after completing college.

National TRIO Day events, such as the luncheon, are necessary to inform people of TRIO programs and to honor high achievers.

Chris Riley, director of SPC Upward Bound, said that one important quality about the luncheon is being able to recognize the importance of TRIO.

“The main purpose is to honor our past TRIO achievers,” said Riley. “Not only are we honoring our achievers, but we’re just helping spread the word of what is TRIO.”

Since TRIO programs are funded by the federal government, Riley said it is important to spread the word about the programs and the success of its students. Honoring Olvera for her achievements during and after her time in SPC Upward Bound was one thing that Riley said shows the success of TRIO.

“She’s just a perfect example of what can happen when you utilize the resources given to you,” said Riley. “She was a student that benefitted greatly from the academic support that we provided. This truly is an example of what can happen when the student gets the right kind of support and encouragement.”

Olvera, a Levelland native, joined the Upward Bound program during the summer before ninth grade and was a member throughout her attendance at SPC. Wanting to major in nursing, Olvera applied for and got accepted in the Licensed Vocational Nursing program at SPC, where her class received a 100-percent pass rate.

IMG_9976While a student at Levelland High School, Olvera said Upward Bound really helped her focus on her journey to college. She credits Upward Bound for providing her with the resources to become college ready.

“I always knew I wanted to go to SPC for the nursing program because they have a really good reputation,” said Olvera. “Without TRIO, I feel like I would have had trouble getting into SPC, just because I wouldn’t have known to apply for FASFA or all the scholarships. I was just so knowledgeable because of Upward Bound.”

Study skills and a newfound sense of confidence are both things that Olvera said she acquired during her time in SPC’s Upward Bound program. Being honored as the Upward Bound achiever for SPC was something she said excited her, as the program was influential for her education.

“Because of my study skills, I was able to succeed at SPC,” said Olvera. “TRIO programs do work. I’m thankful that SPC allows programs, like Upward Bound, to continue to help students like me.”

Olvera now works at South Plains Rural Health Services, Inc. in Levelland as a LVN supervisor.

Hinojosa, a Levelland native who also attended Levelland High School, began his journey in TRIO through Upward Bound at SPC. As a Business Administration major at SPC, Hinojosa took part in the STAR Center program.

After graduating from SPC, Hinojosa transferred to Texas Tech, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Management Information Systems and later received his master’s degree from West Texas A&M University.

The STAR Center program was something Hinojosa said was beneficial for his education during and after SPC.

“The STAR Center staff were there the entire journey, all the way to my graduate degree,” said Hinojosa.

Being honored at the TRIO Luncheon was something Hinojosa said was a great surprise.

“It was great to see everyone from SPC again,” said Hinojosa.

Hinojosa now works at University Medical Center Health System as a computer systems analyst.

Rita Prieto, director for the SPC STAR Center, said that TRIO events are important to spotlight the achievements of students, such as Hinojosa.

Prieto said that the selection of the TRIO achievers requires a lot consideration, as every student in the program is special.

“Selecting one individual is a hard process,” said Prieto. “The thing about selecting Lupe is that he is the person that the whole staff thought about.”

Through National TRIO Day events and honoring students, Prieto said she hopes to inform the community about TRIO and the success of its members.

“The whole purpose of the program being here is to promote higher education,” said Prieto. “The philosophy of the program is the same philosophy that I have. It’s to help these students achieve their educational goals.”

Alum plans to teach abroad after accomplishing academic goals

Nothing was like Amanda Anders thought it was going to be. But with the help of professors and self-motivation, she has accomplished her goals.

Anders came from a loving home, but things weren’t always so easy financially. She says that she got herself through by working and going to school.

Having lived in Lubbock most of her life, Anders graduated from Lubbock High School in 2002. Then in the following fall, she started her college career at South Plains College.

Her first semester at SPC did not go as planned. She faced a life-changing situation that later made her a better student and person.

“I did not do well my first semester,” explained Anders. “I failed out. I got too wrapped up in things outside of school.”

Anders then decided to take a four-year break from college.

Teacher 2“All I did in those four years was work at a call center in Lubbock,” she said. “I eventually became a supervisor there. But then I realized I needed to go back to school in order to get a better job.”

After having time to reflect on what she wanted, she saw she had a bigger purpose to fulfill and returned to SPC.

“The second time was better,” Anders added. “I was actually serious about going to school.”

Anders took a lot of journalism classes, which was where she had some of her most memorable times.

“My favorite class was with Charlie Ehrenfeld,” she said. “He is the only professor that I have come back to visit over the years. Billy Alonzo from the TV program was also great.”

SPC has always had a special place in Anders’ life. At SPC, you learn a lot, but they also make it fun, according to Anders.

“I have always loved South Plains,” she said. “I loved the smaller classes and affordability.”

She ended up graduating from SPC in 2008 with an Associate of Arts Degree, majoring in public relations. This was a big deal for her, since she was the first in her family to graduate from college.

Right after graduating from SPC, Anders enrolled at Texas Tech University. She graduated from TTU in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Multi Disciplinary Studies, with a minor in math and science. She is still continuing her education at Texas Tech and will graduate with a master’s degree in instructional technology in December.

“I started thinking that teaching was what I wanted to do,” said Anders.

Anders taught math for eighth-graders in Littlefield for four year. During her last two years of teaching, she applied to every job opening on the SPC website.

“I just wanted back at South Plains,” said Anders. “I knew I wanted to work in higher education, but I didn’t want to go anywhere else but South Plains College.”

Coming from a background relatable to most college students, Anders said that she wanted to work where she could interact with the students and show them that they can reach their goal. However, Anders never got a call back for a job offer.

“Finally, I got offer a job in Lubbock for teaching,” Anders recalled. “But two days after, I got a call from SPC for a job in the Business Office as the student refund coordinator.”

Even though the job in Lubbock was going to pay about $12,000 more a year, she still took the offer from SPC.

“I took the pay cut because I thought I would rather be happy with what I’m doing rather than making more money,” said Anders. “It was the best decision.”

Within six months of being in that position, she was promoted to serve as the business services technician.

“South Plains College has given me a sense of belonging and purpose, because I love what I do now,” said Anders. “I love being able to help the nontraditional students, because I came from a background like most students here.”

Anders said that SPC prepared her for the new adventures she is about to embark on. During spring break, Anders traveled by herself to London, England, for eight days, and now she will be moving there.

“I am going to teach abroad,” Anders said. “I feel like I have never left here, even though I love Lubbock and Levelland.”

A company called Point to Point Education recruits teachers to teach in the United Kingdom because it is so short-staffed. Because Anders has a degree in math and science, she is able to pick wherever she wants to live.

“The public relations background from South Plains has helped me when I get in front of groups and talking to people,” said Anders.

She has decided to sign a two-year contract to teach in London, but said she hopes to return to SPC after her adventure.

“Every decision I have made has been well worth it,” said Anders.

Student finds path expressing himself through artwork

With marks of a pencil and strokes of a brush, Christian Garcia fills a blank canvas with his colorful view of the world.

Christian Garcia, sophomore art major at South Plains College, uses his artwork as a form of expression and says he hopes others can find it relatable.

Garcia took his first art classes when he was in the sixth grade, but really immersed himself in the craft at home.

IMG_0004“I would say my art is about 70 percent self-taught,” he said. “I spent most of my time making art at my house, or by watching YouTube videos.”

After spending a semester at Texas Tech University, the Frenship High School graduate transferred to SPC.

“At Tech, I kind of felt like this little bitty fish in this big ol’ sea of students that were better at their craft than me, and professors that didn’t care about me,” Garcia said.

Garcia explains SPC was a much better fit for him.

“When I came here, the classroom size is a bit more manageable,” Garcia said. “The teachers seem to care, and it’s a lot cheaper.” he said.

According to Garcia, he was told by one of his instructors that he is one the best artists on campus.

“I wouldn’t say my expertise comes from one really awesome teacher,” he said. “I think it’s more my thirst for knowledge.”

Garcia credits his collection of teachers as having been a huge part of his success at SPC.

“I get a lot of good advice from the drawing professor, Chris Adams,” he said. “I’m learning a lot from ceramics class, painting class, drawing class.”

Branching out into other art mediums has helped to improve his own painting, according to Garcia.

“The metals teacher, Allison Black, has helped me understand 3D things and expand my horizons,” he said. “As a painting person, a 2D person, it’s really hard to wrap my head around 3D, because it’s not something I work with.”

IMG_0013After receiving his associate’s degree, Garcia hopes to transfer to the University of North Texas or the University of Texas at San Antonio.

“After I get my undergrad, I want to live in San Francisco for a little bit, New York for a little bit, or maybe somewhere in Italy,” Garcia said. “I have a very nomadic personality.”

Garcia has been invited to participate in an art show in San Antonio at the Aztec Theatre on April 25.

“There’s going to be a lot of people, artists, a fashion show, and jewelers,” He said. “It’ll be pretty cool.”

The show is hosted by a non-profit company called Raw Artist.

“A scouter found me on Instagram and really liked my work,” Garcia said. “They set up with their show director for an interview. He thought I’d be a good fit for the show.”

Garcia said he gains most of his attention from his social media profiles.

“The biggest jump in my following has been from Instagram,” he said. “It’s probably been the biggest thing. There are a couple of people following me that I have no idea what language their profile is in.”

Garcia says he hopes his followers can relate to his artwork.

“I’m working on painting with a purpose,” Garcia said. “I want someone to see it and gather their own personal meaning from it.”

Trauma and personal pain are a few of the things Garcia gathers inspiration from.

“I think a lot of people from any generation can understand and relate to feeling alone,” he said. “Maybe your parents don’t agree with you or support your dreams.”

Garcia’s artistic pseudonym is ‘Toxic Sheep,’ which has an underlying message for those who enjoy his art.

“I want to tell my audience not to be like the toxic sheep in their lives,” Garcia said. “Don’t be a follower. If you want to have this big bold dream, live it. If you want to be an artist, writer, or entertainer, go do it. Don’t do a toxic sheep, and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.”

You can see Garcia’s artwork on Instagram and Twitter @toxic_sheep811 or on Facebook @toxic.sheep.

Professor encourages students to be better comunicators

Hilary Nixon pushes each of her students to be better communicators in their daily lives.

        Nixon, instructor of speech on the Levelland campus of South Plains College, has taught at SPC for two years, one year part-time at Texas Tech University and one year full time.

Nixon says that she never really wanted to be a teacher, and hated public speaking. When she started graduate school, she was thrown into teaching and loved it. Her favorite part of teaching is watching the growth in students during the semester. She sees the improvements they make, even if they cannot recognize them.

Many students refer to Nixon as a really cool and fun professor. She is always helping her students out.

teacher 2 (fixeddd)Nixon attended Midland College and Texas Tech University, majoring in Communications Studies with a minor in Economics.

She tells her students to start thinking about their future early and learn to be better

communicators. She said that she believes this is a skill that will be useful in every career.

Speech is not the only thing she has taught, though.

“I became a gymnastics coach when I attended Midland High School and did that for a part-time job while in school,” said Nixon. “I started doing gymnastics when I was 3 years old.”

Nixon took a break from teaching gymnastics, but just could not stay away. In 2009, she decided to return to coaching in Lubbock.

Larry Nassar, a physician for USA Gymnastics, recently was sentenced to 175-plus years in prison after being accused of sexually assaulting more than 50 female gymnasts. For decades, he was said to have molested athletes under the guidance of his medical treatments. This was one of the worst sexual abuse scandals in the history of sports. It angered parents of many of the young athletes.

“I feel as though this is very disturbing and disgusting,” said Nixon. “Being a gymnastics coach, this was very shocking and difficult to hear about.”

Nixon coached and taught many students who attended the Olympic training camps that Nassar was present at each year. So this scandal hit very close to home for Nixon.

“ It made me wonder if any of my past students may have been hurt by this man,” she said.

Although this did not happen, she still felt very sad for the girls who were involved in the situation. Nixon says that the gymnastics world is very stressful. It’s the kind of environment where everyone works hard to make it. So hearing about a doctor taking advantage of athletes was unimaginable for Nixon.

Nixon also has other activities she enjoys in her spare time.

       “I enjoy traveling with my husband and love outdoor activities with family and friends during my free time,” said Nixon.

Nixon and her husband have been to Mexico, Jamaica, Alaska, and  almost every Western state.

When they are not able to travel, Nixon and her husband enjoy spending time with her family and friends outside, having a BBQ and playing outdoor games.

“I enjoy working for South Plains College,” Nixon said, “and most importantly enjoy making a difference in my students’ lives.”

Student working toward accomplishing goal of playing in NBA

Ever since he first started playing basketball, Deshawn Corprew knew he wanted to play in the NBA.

Since he was 6 years old, Corprew’s goal in life has been to play basketball and have the opportunity to make money and provide for his family. He is on his way to achieving that goal. The 6-foot-6 forward from Norfolk, Virginia, recently committed to play for Texas Tech University, after an outstanding season with the South Plains College men’s basketball team.

“Being on the basketball team was good,” Corprew said. “I met some new friends, and it was good to meet different teammates. I enjoyed the whole season.”

Corprew played a key role in the Texans winning the NJCAA National Championship with 21 points in the championship game on March 24 in Hutchinson, Kansas.

“Winning the championship was really unreal,” Corprew said. “It was my first championship, and i’m glad I was able to be a part of it.”

IMG_2567Corprew said he feels that competing in the national tournament has prepared him more thoroughly for competing at a higher level, even though he says that he was already capable of competing as a NCAA Division I athlete.

  “I feel like it’s made me a little wiser,” explained Corprew.

His decision to commit to Texas Tech was influenced by their coaching staff and their plan they have for him to achieve his goal of playing in the NBA, according to Corprew.

“I’ve been close with one of the coaches on the staff,” said Corprew.

Corprew says that he has learned a lot from Steve Green, SPC’s head men’s basketball coach, during his time with the team.

“I have learned from Coach Green that coaches are going to push you harder as you move higher,” he explained.

The thing that inspires Corprew to play, and the thing that motivates him the most, are his two little sisters, Janine and Rose. Corprew enjoys listening to music and playing video games in his free time. He also likes taking photos and exercising.

Corprew says that he enjoys basketball in many different ways.

“My favorite part about basketball is being able to be a leader on and off the court,” said Corprew.

He says that he would like to play for the Toronto Raptors or the Chicago Bulls in the NBA, but doesn’t see himself declaring for the NBA early.

IMG_9255“I am pursuing a career in the NBA,” Corprew said, “but I do not see myself declaring for the NBA early and will play all three years of my eligibility.”

One thing that someone might not expect about Corprew just by looking at him is that he is goofy and enjoys making friends, and that anyone can get to know him if they want to.

‘Roseanne’ reboot sparks excitement,nostalgia among fans

The great American family is back, and they are more dysfunctional than ever.

“Roseanne” is an old comedic television series that aired in the late 1980s and ended with its ninth season during the late 1990s. The show centers around a middle-class family trying to get through the hardships of life.

The series, which focuses on the titular character’s life as a wife and a mother, has a lot of great characters put in hilarious and dramatic situations. The show has gained a lot of praise during and after its run on television.

After countless demands from fans and many rumors across the media, the series has finally been rebooted.

The premiere for the “Roseanne” reboot, which takes places nearly two decades after the original series, caused a lot of excitement among the “Roseanne” fanbase. The first few episodes of the reboot bring back a lot of the loved qualities of the original series, while introducing new characters and plot elements. 

The premiere begins with Rosanne (Roseanne Barr) and her husband, Dan (John Goodman), living their lives in the same iconic house. After Darlene (Sara Gilbert), Roseanne’s daughter, loses her job, she and her kids, Harris (Emma Kenney) and Mark (Ames McNamara), move into Roseanne’s house.

roseanne-rebootThis story arc was very interesting, as it introduced Darlene’s children and allowed for a lot of hilarious situations. 

Being a fan of the previous series, I really enjoyed seeing Darlene, who is now a mother, deal with her kids and Roseanne. Even though most of the characters have grown, they still have the same, memorable personalities that make them unique.

Seeing Roseanne execute her sarcastic remarks with new supporting characters was very entertaining to watch. The new actors who play Roseanne’s grandkids are really talented and make me excited to see what else is in store for them later in the series.

Despite the performance of the new actors, my favorite characters were still the ones who returned from the original series.

I really enjoyed the return of Jackie (Laurie Metcalf), Roseanne’s sister, as she is my favorite character from the original series. I hope to see her in more episodes, as she did not get enough screen time in the premiere.

Seeing DJ (Michael Fishman) and Becky (Lecy Goranson), Roseanne’s other kids who are now grown adults, acting alongside their co-stars again was very exciting. They are also not utilized in the premiere as much as the main characters.

This is one of my complaints with the premiere, as the supporting characters are the best part of a sitcom. Even though the premiere only consisted of two episodes, I would have liked to learn more about what happened to Jackie, DJ and Becky during the years between the original series and the reboot. I can only hope that the other side characters appear more in future episodes.

Regardless, the interactions between the actors are hilarious. The cast still has the same fun, engaging chemistry that they had in the original series.

Whether it be the characters commenting on running gags from the original series, or the witty, cynical dialogue between the actors, any fan of “Roseanne” or sitcoms will have a fun time with this reboot. 

Set in the 21st century, the “Roseanne” reboot tackles a lot of topics, which allows for more comedic and serious moments that anyone would be interested in seeing in a sitcom.

The reboot is reflective of many recent issues, such as the 2016 presidential election outcome and homosexuality, that people of this generation can relate. It was interesting to see the series progress while retaining the same cynical humor and personality.

The introduction of current events acts as a beneficial plot element, rather than a social barrier that some television shows cannot get past.

The premiere for the “Roseanne” reboot does not have everything a fan wants. But it still holds up to its predecessor with witty humor and memorable characters.

Anyone can find something to relate to in this premiere, whether they have seen the original series or not. This premiere is a clear indicator that past television shows can still thrive years after ending.

I give the premiere for the “Roseanne” reboot a nine out of 10.