Month: November 2018

Speaker teaches Native American heritage through art of storytelling

by Geneva Natal


As a way to represent the different cultures at South Plains College, there was a Native American Heritage Celebration, featuring a storyteller.

Eldrena Douma (th-ow-oo-ma) talked about Native American heritage and culture during

the event held on Nov. 1 in the Sundown Room of the Student Center on the Levelland campus.

Douma gave insight into how Native Americans live and how important family storytelling is to the culture and history.

Douma’s original name from her grandmother was Coolustahweh, meaning blue corn from the Tewa (ta-oo-a) tribe. She explained that names are different among the people in Native American tribes. According to Douma, there are many different names for one person, one for their youth, one for ceremonies, and one for being a dancing deer, where people dance and can be caught by another family, who then claims them as their own. There may be five or more names, but because of this there is a deeper sense of family within the entire tribe. It creates closer bonds, because with each new name is a new mother, father, sister or brother, until they are all united in some way.

“My father told me once, no matter what happens, if you start something, you finish it and you never give up,” Dourma says.

His advice affects her each day, and the advice also serves as a moral for everyone in the tribe. Everyone has a job and must fulfill it to the best of their abilities, not just for themselves, but for others as well. Douma’s great great grandmother was a potter whose work has made it into museums. Dourma was unaware of this until later in her life. To her, this wasn’t famous. The pottery was just family.

Douma has a different job, one she takes seriously, which is to tell her family’s history, including her grandfather’s namesake, which is not actually Douma. Her grandfather, like many others, were forced to change their names to conform and be less Native American. Now Douma tells this story and many others, to inform younger generations of the real history, where they came from, and how her family came to be where they are now.

“That’s what storytelling teaches you,” Dourma explains. “You listen to people that create, how they decided to become who they are, which inspires thinking about themselves, asking, “what is your purpose?”

Douma is a storyteller. That is her job in the tribe, and it was a huge part in growing up with her family and tribe. She met her husband and went to dinner, where they ate quickly, and then went to watch television. But that isn’t her. Instead, she ate slowly to show her respect, and then sat and asked her in-laws about their stories.

“Through storytelling, I realized that many people don’t know where they came from,” Douma says. “Helping them realize, that’s what grounds us. When we know those family stories of wealth or hardships, those make us stronger.”

Her husband didn’t even know some of the stories that his father was telling during dinner. Douma was raised to value the experiences of her elders so that she can one day pass on their stories and carry on the legacy. The traditions, lessons, and journeys that each person before or after takes is worth remembering, and Douma has taken on the task of sharing stories with as many people as possible. She said she does this because she has learned that, “We were not brought here for ourselves; we were brought here for the greater good of the people, because you are given gifts that should be given to the people you come in contact with.”

“My father was in a burn accident, and he refused treatment to fix his ear because he was homesick,” Dourma says. “He got teased, but he was grateful to have the love of his family that got him through his pain.”

Family is a huge part of Native American tribes, according to Douma. There is not one, but many different stories, about the strength of family or friend love. Many stories of the past have proven that anything is possible if the family sticks together. Where there is equal give and take from each other, everyone in a tribe is considered family. Through the power of the people who believe in each other, they can do anything.

“History plays a big part in the Native American culture because it stays in the stories and moves down through generations from mouth to mouth,” Douma explained. “According to history, there was a person named Popei who confronted the Spaniards who tried to take over by raping, stealing, and hurting the Pueblo people. Him, along with other tribe members banded together to force them out. But they took with them some Pueblo people by force. Some stories say the Pueblo people went willingly; some say that the Spaniards took them by force.”

The history shows the struggle and heartache that the Native American people had to endure before they found peace. The Pueblo tribes today still pass on this horrible story to younger generations to prove the power of the people. Despite the horrific event, the Pueblo tribe has proven there is strength in history, family, in the hearts of each member of the tribe, and a story to go along with each lesson.

“I feel like I am reaching out to more people doing what I am doing,” Dourma explains. “I asked myself, “Am I doing my purpose?” and, “Yes, I was, because it feels good and natural.”

She travels representing many different tribes in the area. She is a former teacher with a master’s degree in early education. Her unique voice as a Native American and her stories affect the audience in many ways.

She uses her gift to teach lessons in the form of a story, including a few stories she told during the event called “The Horny Toad Lady and the Coyote” and “Balancing the Moon.”

The first story was about a coyote who wanted a song so badly from the Horny Toad Lady. He then lost the song, which led him to make rash decisions he regretted. He wished to undo his wrongs. But in the end, he met an untimely demise because he wished for something that cost more than he thought. Throughout the story, Douma used sound effects and explained the meaning behind the stories. “The Horny Toad Lady and the Coyote” is about the consequences of rash decisions and being careful for what you wish for.

The second story was based on friendship, using a roadrunner and a coyote, two enemies in history that are actually friends in her story. The story is a depiction of her external friendship with a friend she calls Coyote Joe, an artist, who likes to meet up with Douma after a long time apart and talk over lunch. The story teaches readers and listeners that two living creatures that are opposites are capable of being friends.

“People come to me and say “Thank You,” because they had forgotten the stories that were told to them,” Douma says. “Others realize they don’t know anything. I tell them if there is anyone alive that can tell them stories, ask them before it’s too late.”

Each story Douma told taught a lesson, allowed for entertainment, and became a reminder of the simpler lessons that are sometimes forgotten as we grow older.

Applying past job skills, new Health and Wellness director empowers coworkers

The Health and Wellness Center at South Plains College has a new director with a goal of helping students.

Crystal Gilster, the new director, explained that she was raised in counseling and therapy because of her parents.

“My mom was the second female psychologist in Lubbock,” Gilster said. “My step dad taught at Texas Tech in Special Education for years.”

Gilster was born and raised in Lubbock and later attended Lubbock Christian University, where she graduated with her Master of Science Degree in counseling.

Gilster has been teaching at SPC part time for years, serving as an adjunct instructor in psychology.

“I never really left SPC,” she said. “I was here in their counseling and advising center, when counseling and advising were together, as a counselor. Then I started adjuncting, teaching general psychology.”

Gilster was a counselor at SPC from 2011-2014, and has a counseling private practice that she started in 2013. She continues to see clients, but is limited to one night a week and Saturdays. Gilster has taught a few other classes besides general psychology, such as Career Assessment class and Learning Frameworks.

She also has worked for the Frenship ISD as a Special Education counselor for four years.

“I definitely wanted the position (at SPC),” she shared. “It worked out perfectly. The timing was just right.”

Gilster’s goal is to encourage and support the divisions for each of the areas of disability services, the health clinic, and the counseling center.

“My personal mission statement is to empower others on their journey, to learn, grow, and heal,” said Gilster, who added that she wants the three divisions to be able to do that as well.

“It kind of works out perfectly,” Gilster said. “That was already my mission statement. Here I am in a place where that’s what we do. We help students learn, grow, and heal.”

Gilster said she feels that her skill set she obtained from previous jobs has really prepared her to work in the different areas.

“I feel like I’m a natural encourager,” she said, “and counseling is my passion.”

She explained that she’s not counseling at the moment unless there is a crisis situation.

“I feel like I’m using those same skills that you use in counseling to help and empower the people who are working with students doing that,” Gilster said.

Gilster has five children, four teenage boys and a girl who is 2 ½ years old.

Gilster acknowledged that the Health and Wellness Center’s hours can be difficult for students sometimes, and said it is something that can be looked at.

“I really want to bring us into the 21st century so we can have more information available via technology,” Gilster said of future plans. “Maybe we could have some apps and other resources that will kind of help guide them (students) if it’s after hours and we can’t connect.”

She said that they are adding different events in order to try to connect with students at different times. However, she said that it also depends on what students are coming in for, such as for counseling, which  would have to be during their normal counseling hours.

One of the different events is a program called StepUp, which focuses on stepping up to support others in need, drug and alcohol prevention, as well as prevention for sexual assault, and more. StepUP is hosted by Rachel Montgomery and Vinnie Gomez, who are counselors at South Plains College.

“I feel like what we can do for students is very unique,” Gilster said, adding that SPC has a unique place in helping people.

Gilster also explained that this time in a student’s life is incredibly important.

“It’s very fertile soil, and vulnerable at times,” said Gilster. “Students are transitioning into adulthood or from one career to another, which can be hard, exciting, and scary.”

“What we do here helps to support and make that transition better,” Gilster added. “Some kids can fall through the cracks, and I think we can really help them in that process, so they retain and continue to move forward in their education.”

Nine contestants competing in Miss Caprock Pageant

Beauty pageants are competitions that are traditionally focused on the judging and ranking of physical attributes of contestants.

But the Miss Caprock Scholarship Pageant at South Plains College is more than that. It focuses on personal presentation, poise, and knowledge of current events.

Contestants are selected to represent their club or organization that they participate in.

The 61st Miss Caprock Pageant will be held at 7 p.m. on Nov. 16 in the Tom T. Hall and Production Studio in the Creative Arts Building on the Levelland campus. There is no cost for admission, and the public is invited to attend the event.

Serving as mistress of ceremonies will be Sharon Race, associate professor of English and chairperson of the English Department at SPC.

“I look forward to getting to know the contestants,” says Miranda English, the director of student life at SPC. “It’s always exciting to learn more about our students when we work together on events like this one. It really helps foster lasting relationships.”

Musical entertainment will be provided by students from the Creative Arts Department during the pageant.

This year, nine contestants will compete for the title, with the winner receiving a $750 scholarship and a $500 scholarship for the runner-up.

Those competing include:

Allyssa Almager, 19, a sophomore Pre-Veterinary Medicine major from Levelland, who is the daughter of Jose Almager and Cynthia Camacho, both of Levelland. She is representing the STAR Center; Shannell Alvarez, 20, a sophomore Pre-Nursing Major from Lubbock, who is the daughter of Rudy and Toni Alvarez of Lubbock. She is representing Catholic Student Ministries; Autumn Bippert, 20, a sophomore Photojournalism major from Austin, who is the daughter of Kara Perry of Georgetown and Travis Bippert of Austin. She is representing the Press Club and the Plainsman Press; and Julie Chavez, 19, a freshman English major from Lazbuddie, who is the daughter of Julia and Teodoro Chavez of Muleshoe. She is representing the Residence Hall Association.

Also competing are: Rebecca Gililland, 20, a freshman psychology major from Wolfforth, who is the daughter of Marsha and Tony Gililland of Wolfforth. She is representing the Student Government Association; Dominique Gonzales, 20, a sophomore Accounting major from Whiteface, who is the daughter of Alma and Chris Gonzales, both of Whiteface. She is representing Campus Ambassadors; Ashly Letcher, 20, a sophomore Geology major from Artesia, N.M, who is the daughter of Chad and Tabitha Letcher of Artesia, N.M. She is representing Campus Ambassadors; Danisha Lewis, 18, a freshman Sports Broadcasting major from Lubbock, who is the daughter of Clarence Lewis of Lubbock. She is representing the Black Student Union; and Susannah Reeser, 20, a sophomore Pre-Medical major from Guadalajara, Jalisco, who is the daughter of Kimberly and Don Reeser of Guadalajara, Jalisco. She is representing the Biology Club.

President discusses enrollment during annual address

Enrollment, plans for remodeling the Science Building and a pathway for students to Texas Tech University were among the topics discussed by Dr. Robin Satterwhite during the third annual State of the College Address.

“The purpose of this is to communicate,” Dr. Satterwhite, president of South Plains College, explained during the address held on Nov. 2 in the Sundown Room of the Student Center on the Levelland campus. “One of the initiatives that we identified several years ago in the survey is how can we be more communicative, how can we share more information, how can we make sure that our faculty and our staff and the rest of the college also know what’s going on. Not just know what’s going on on a day-to-day basis, but to understand the strategic outlook of the college.”

Dr. Satterwhite began the address by talking about enrollment. He explained that community college enrollment is directly related to unemployment.

“At a community college, as unemployment rates go up, enrollment goes up,” Dr. Satterwhite said. “That’s something we’re always cautious about. Since 2011, the unemployment rate has dropped significantly. However, our overall enrollment at South Plains College has not. That is a really good thing.”

Dr. Satterwhite said that he attributes the steady rate of students to multiple things. But he mainly attributes it largely to the work on recruiting new students and retaining current ones.

“From fall to fall, we’ve dropped about 28 students,” Dr. Satterwhite said. “We would love not to have a drop, but in consideration of everything else, dropping 28 students is really good.”

Dr. Satterwhite explained SPC is a part of the High Plains Region, even though he considers the college’s demographics and population to fit better in the West Texas Region. The High Plains Region has seen an increase of 5.38 percent in enrollment rates, while the West Texas Region has dropped 4.2 percent.

Dr. Satterwhite also discussed potential plans for renovations to the Science Building on the Levelland Campus.

“We had a donor who contacted us, an alumnus of South Plains College,” Dr. Satterwhite said. “He said he would like to give back to South Plains College. And he wants to be a part of what was going on and a part of making SPC a great place.”

Dr. Satterwhite said that the process of matching the college’s needs with the interest of the donor is really important. He said that the focus began to land on the Science Building.

“It was built in 1964,” Dr. Satterwhite said. “One of the things that’s great about South Plains College is that we have 60 years of tradition. One of the challenges about that 60 years is that we have 60-year-old buildings.”

The building is currently 48,000 square feet, and the proposed renovations include an additional 30,000 square feet and 23,000 square feet of remodeling. Dr. Satterwhite said that the projected cost of the renovation is $13.5 million.

“We are about to embark on the process of a capital campaign,” Dr. Satterwhite said. “We’re going to have to do this largely in donations.”

Dr. Satterwhite said that the capital campaign will be lead with the alum donor, who has committed to half of the $13.5 million.

Dr. Satterwhite also discussed SPC developing a pathway initiative with Texas Tech.

“What we’re trying to do is we’re trying to develop that relationship with Tech so close that Texas Tech sees us as their primary source of students,” Dr. Satterwhite said. “Not just that they will accept our students, but they will see us as our partner in trying to get students to Texas Tech.”

Dr. Satterwhite said that SPC and Texas Tech are close to another agreement, in which students who are not accepted to Tech will be directed to SPC. Tech would encourage students to attend SPC in order to transfer.

Dr. Satterwhite said that he wants students to see this as a pathway, not necessarily two different institutions that are trying to work collaboratively.

Cruz travels to Lubbock for rally before Election Day

by Debra Montandon


“Raider Power” is the chant that began to turn this gathering into a pepped-up rally. The excitement grew as a crowd was waiting for the arrival Senator Ted Cruz.

He has been traveling around, appearing at a live rally anywhere people will come.

Less than a week before the election, Senator Cruz made his final campaign stop in Lubbock for a rally on Oct. 31 at the Four Bar K in Lubbock.

Steve Evans, Lubbock County Republican Chairman, said that even though there is a high number of people voting early, it is not over until the last person has voted.

Dan Smith, state director for Texas Farm Bureau, was given the honor of introducing Senator Cruz. Smith had a Cruz rally scheduled in his barn, but it was cancelled and relocated to Lubbock.

When Senator Cruz came out, there was roaring like you were at a Texas Tech football game.

There was only one protester.  When she was being escorted out, Cruz said with a smile that she was exercising her First Amendment right. However, there were more than 500 people showing up in support.  They cheered everything he talked about in sincere approval.

According to Senator Cruz, he has worked hand in hand with the President Donald Trump to cut taxes, “the largest in a generation.”  Congress cut taxes for small businesses, farmers, ranchers, working men and women all over the state. The child tax credit was doubled from $1,000 to $2,000 per child per year. The exemption of the death tax was double, which means that two thirds of the small farmers, ranchers, and small business owners are now totally exempt from paying the tax, according to Senator Cruz.

“Where is Beto on tax cuts?” Senator Cruz asked. “He voted against them. He wants to raise your taxes, and he thinks he knows better how to spend your money. He wants to raise your taxes. He was on El Paso City Council. He voted for a rain tax. What is that? Here in Texas, we celebrate when it rains not tax you.”

Senator Cruz helped repeal the Waters of the United States rule, which was hurting farmers and ranchers and giving power to the EPA to regulate.

Senator Cruz reissued H. R. 3004, also known as Kate’s law, which is a law that protects American citizens from people entering the country illegally.

“The fundamental difference between Beto and Cruz is, Beto is open to abolish ICE and I want to abolish the IRS;” said Senator Cruz.

“Beto O’Rourke is the only Democrat who has explicitly come out wanting to impeach President Trump,” he added. “He would vote yes today, right now, to impeach Donald Trump. That is great if you want to raise money from Hollywood liberals, but that is not Texas. In Texas, the economy is booming, more jobs and wages are going up, and kids are coming out of college with hope and opportunity that they can earn a decent living. He wants to stop all of this in its tracks and send it into chaos. That doesn’t make any sense.  Usually, a Democrat running for office runs moderate, but not him. He is running hard left, like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. He is the #1 fund raiser in the country.”

Texas produced 33 percent more oil last year than in 2016. National unemployment is down, at its lowest in 49 years according to Cruz. African American unemployment is at its lowest since it was recorded, and Hispanic unemployment is at it lowest since it was ever recorded.  Youth unemployment is at the lowest in 52 years, Cruz told the crowd.

“You lower prices when you bring in competition on health care” says Senator Cruz.

“We know the left is angry. They are pouring thousands of dollars into Texas trying to

stop our progress we have made. Today, this is the 41st rally in six weeks. At just about every one of them, people will come up to me and say, “Ted, I am a Democrat and have been my whole life. I no longer can stand with the leadership. I am with you.”

Texan ID now available on cell phone

Students at South Plains College now have the option of having their Texan ID card on their cell phones.

The ability to have the IDs on TouchNet OneCard was made available to students at the beginning of the fall semester. Miranda English, the director of student life at SPC, said that the IDs help students because it is easier to access them, and it makes it harder for the IDs to be lost.

“IDs are lost all of the time,” English said. “Students end up paying a lot every semester to replace a card, because it’s a $10 fee to replace it.”

English said that there is a plan in place in the event that the phone is lost. Students will be able to get a new card until they get a new phone and reinstall the app.

The mobile version of the Texan ID can be flipped between the front of the card and the back. The front serves as a normal photo ID and has your ID number on it. The back can be used to scan into places like the Cafeteria and the Technology Center. It can also be used to check out books in the Library.

The only thing the app cannot do as of right now is grant access to the dorms or the Allied Health Building.

“The goal is to eventually be able to use your phones to gain access to the dorms,” English adds. “As soon as the school is able to replace the door readers with optical readers that are able to scan a phone, then students will be able to use the phone for door access.”

In the near future, there will be an app for Texan Connect and Colleague that students will also be able to access their ID on.

“It will be a ‘one-stop shop,’” said English. “You will be able to press a button on the app which will pull up your ID, and there will be no need to double sign in to get the Texan ID.”

English said that it is more cost effective for the College to have electronic IDs, as it costs $5 for prox-access IDs. Non prox-acces IDs are between 30 cents and $3 each.

To get the electronic Texan ID, search for TouchNet OneCard on the App Store or Google Play. Then install TouchNet. Once installed, you will need to search for the school, type “SPC,” and then click on South Plains College. Then log into TouchNet using the same credentials used to log into Texan Connect. Students who do not know their Texan Connect log in can contact the Help Desk at (806)-716-2600.

Despite challenges, alum balances school, work, family

Finishing college and getting a degree seemed like a stretch to Fabiola Muñoz. But it is now a goal within her reach.

Muñoz graduated from Levelland High School in the top 20 of her class in 2009. In high school, she was intimidated by the thought of being part of a “big” club or organization. But she was a part of Spanish Club, Art Club, and National Honor Society.

Muñoz  said her first choice was not to attend South Plains College.

“But I found out I was pregnant the spring of my senior year,” Muñoz explained. “I had my parents’ full support to continue going with school after graduating. It was just easier for me to stay close to home.”

Muñoz explained that without her parents, going to college wouldn’t have been a possibility.

Muñoz  has gone through changing her major a few times. When she started at SPC in 2009, she was set on getting into the Radiology program. Instead, she got her certification in phlebotomy, before changing her major to business.

“In 2011, I decided to put school aside and focus on my kids and husband, at the time,” Muñoz  said. “The fall semester of 2017, I went back to school and started my application to the physical therapist assistant program, then decided that that career was not for me. I decided to talk to professor Lauren Gregory about finishing my associate’s degree for my Business degree.”

Muñoz  plans to graduate with her associate’s degree in December of this year.

Muñoz said that she wants to be an example for her kids that no matter how old they are, or even though they don’t do things the “cookie cutter” way, they can still reach their goals. It will be harder, but not impossible.

“Up to this day, I am worried that I won’t be able to finish college,” Muñoz said. “Even though it’s so close, it still feels a lifetime away. I know I’m going to finish; it’s just something that is in the back of my mind.”

Muñoz said she believes that SPC is helping her achieve her goals by being helpful with any questions and concerns, or any career major change, that she has had.

“I honestly love how I feel like I can get the one-on-one help from the professor or my advisor,” Muñoz  said. “And how I don’t feel like just a ‘number’ but a student.”

Muñoz  said that unfortunately she hasn’t been able to participate in any extra-curricular activities at SPC. She already has her hands full with work, her three kids and college classes.

Muñoz  currently works at SPCAA (South Plains Community Action Association), in the accounting department. She helps her co-workers process invoices so they get paid. She also works at United Supermarkets as a pharmacy technician. Since she started working at the SPCAA, she only works as needed at the pharmacy.

“It has taken me a long time to choose this career,” Muñoz  said, “but I think what finally pushed me toward this career path is the fact that I know I can help more people by helping them with numbers. I have tried careers that help others in other ways, and I believe I can make a bigger change and be a bigger help behind the scenes in accounting or finance than in person and in the forefront.”

Muñoz said that she wants to learn as much as she can with SPCAA and get as much experience as she can while growing with the company.

Muñoz  said that her favorite part about her career has been how challenging it has been, especially when she decided to take a Business Calculus course in the summer.

She plans on attending Lubbock Christian University in the spring to earn her bachelor’s degree in business finance.

“I have learned that no matter what life throws at you, or how old you are, you can still get a career and have the guidance that you need to achieve that goal,” Muñoz  said. “I have three kids and was working two jobs for about a year and was a full-time student. If I can do it, others can too. Everything is possible.”

Instructor values music after overcoming hearing disorder

Devin Collins recalls finding his passion for music at a young age, after overcoming a hearing disorder for the first three years of his life.

Eustachian Tube Dysfunction happens if the Eustachian tube becomes blocked, if the lining of the tube swells, or if the tube is not fully open to allow air to travel to the ear. This can be caused by a cold, flu, a sinus infection, or allergies. Collins’ condition was linked to his sinuses, and he was deaf until he was 4 years old.

“I wasn’t really old enough to remember overcoming it,” Collins said. “I just know from what my parents told me that it was a major improvement. Being able to understand language and hear my environment was crucial to my development as a human being. The fact that I was able to hear music for the first time at age 4 probably contributed a lot to my love for music.”

IMG_0936Collins, originally from Maryville, Tennessee, moved with his parents at a young age to Dallas, Texas. He spent most of his life growing up southwest of Dallas in Cedar Hill.

Collins graduated from Cedar Hill High School in 2002. He went on to enroll at the University of Houston, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Music Composition in 2007. After graduating from Houston, he transferred to Texas Tech University in 2012, earning his master’s degree in Jazz Performance in 2017.

Collins played music all throughout high school and college, participating in a Wind Ensemble, marching band, Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Orchestra, Brass quintet, and Tuba Ensemble, as well as in a few smaller bands outside of UH. While at TTU, Collins was a part of the Jazz Ensemble and the Jazz Combo.

“I was also gigging frequently as a solo pianist and as a member of my band, The Beat Garden,” Collins added.

Collins began teaching at South Plains College in January of 2018 and has enjoyed his time working here.

“Honestly, I hadn’t been much of a teacher until I started doing this,” Collins said. “I have been playing for a long time, and so teaching in this environment with more pop and commercial music, since that’s what I’m used to playing, I thought maybe this will be a good way for me to get used to teaching.”

Collins primarily plays the keyboard, but he also plays a variety of other instruments, ranging from bass guitar, drums, and ukulele, to brass instruments such as trumpet, mellophone, and tuba.

“I actually started music on the clarinet, but my parents couldn’t afford it, so I had to play something that was free, which happened to be the tuba,” Collins said.

At SPC, Collins teaches private piano lessons and Funk Ensemble, along with serving as the director of the Touring Ensemble which performs at a variety of area schools for students.

“Its purpose is to go to schools in our service area and perform for many students,” Collins said. “Ideally, we try to perform three to four times a semester.”

The ensemble plays a mixture of songs that are popular with the generation that is current for high schoolers, along with a mixture of songs that challenge the band and the vocalists. Not only do they play popular song choices, the ensemble tries to represent various eras of music.

“We mostly try to play genre pop,” Collins explains. “We don’t really play things like classic rock or country. It’s mostly pop, Top 40, or classics that really stood the test of time.”

The touring ensemble features six students who are musicians, along with students in the live sound program, which includes one or two different students to help set up for each performance. They also bring four to five different students who help video the performance. So far, the Touring Ensemble has traveled from Lovington, New Mexico, and to Patton Springs, Texas, which are both about two hours away. The group has only played for grade schools. However, Collins is planning on expanding to other performance opportunities in the future.

“The best part is working with the students,” Collins said. “They are talented, driven, and so much fun to be around.”

The touring Ensemble members include:

Carter Franks, 19, sophomore Commercial Music major from Lubbock, who is a vocalist. He is the son of Lu and Ginny Franks of Lubbock; Gillian Hess, 21, sophomore Commercial Music major from Lovington, N.M., is a vocalist. She is the daughter of Geoff and Kim Hess of Lovington, N.M; and Duncan Newey, 18, freshman Commercial Music major from Hobbs, N.M., is a drummer. He is the son of Paul and Mika Newey of Hobbs, N.M.

Joseph Raney, 20, sophomore Sound Technology major from Lubbock, plays bass. He is the son of Don and Robin Raney; Hannah Scott, 19, sophomore Commercial Music major from Levelland, is a vocalist. She is the daughter of Greg and Julie Scott of Levelland; and Jaden Wells, 18, freshman Commercial Music major from Lubbock, plays guitar. He is the son of Michael Wells and Jamie Pitman, both of Lubbock.

Collin says that it is rewarding to play music with other people who are also at a high level. He explained that there are moments that happen when he’s playing with another person and they both have similar ideas at the same time to add to the music. When the two ideas come together and happen to fit with each other, it sounds amazing.

“That’s one of the moments you live for as a musician,” Collins said. “And of course, bringing music to an audience. For people to have a shared experience with us as we’re providing music, it’s enriching all of our lives.”

Neurotic father arranges marriage of his daughter in ‘Imaginary Invalid’

Students in the theatre program at South Plains College had the audience rolling with laughter with their performances of “The Imaginary Invalid” their first play of the fall semester.

The play, which was held from Nov. 2 – Nov. 4m was written by Molière, who actually collapsed from a coughing fit on stage during his fourth performance as Argan, dying soon after from pulmonary tuberculosis in 1673.

The “Imaginary Invalid” is a French play featuring a hypochondriac named Argan, played by Justin Frayley, who tries to marry his daughter, Angélique, played by Mia Pekowski, to a young and stupid doctor, Thomas Diafoirus, played by Caden Leverton.

Argan wants to do this so that does not have to resolve his past medical bills, and can have cheaper medical bills in the future.

Angélique is in love with the handsome Cléante, played by Ryan Burk, who poses as a substitute music instructor to get closer to her. They even break out into a short song professing their love for each other right in front of Argan, who is too dull to notice what is actually happening.

Meanwhile, Argan’s wife, Beline, played by Kelly Deuvall, has only married Argan for his money, and plots to scam Argan by bringing in her own notary, who is also her lover, convincing Argan to leave his entire wealth and estate to her.

Argan’s  intelligent maid, Toinette, played by Tracie Boyd, notices Beline acting suspicious and chooses to investigate. Beline tells Angélique her plan to try to stay close to Argan, and promises to stop terrorizing him while nobody else is around.

Béralde, played by Joel Palma, is Argan’s brother. He visits Argan in his home to talk to him about his actual illness of hypochondria. Argan is having none of it, and they switch topics a few times between who Angélique is going to marry, whether or not Béline is a disloyal wife.

Argan and Beralde also have a discussion about doctors, and how they prey upon the poor to avoid financial and reputable blowback when they end up killing their patients, which happens often. Argan does not believe any of this, and is convinced he will die of his illnesses.

angeliqueToinette disguises herself as an old, reputable doctor, and confronts Argan about his health, saying his lungs are killing him, and that his left eye is taking nourishment from the right and needs to be removed, along with one of his arms. This further reinforces the idea that Argan is delusional and will believe anything an alleged doctor would tell him.

Toinette then comes up with a scheme for Argan to pretend to be dead when his wife gets home from her errands. They act out the scene, and a bewildered, excited Beline confesses her happiness that her husband is now dead. Argan confronts Beline and she runs off.

Next, Toinette and Argan do the same skit for Angelique, who is horrified and deeply upset at her father’s death, claiming that he is everything she has ever held dear. With these newfound epiphanies, Argan is convinced to become his own doctor. His family tells him that it is as simple as saying a few words, donning doctor clothing, and the knowledge will just spring up into his head.

The play closes with Argan’s ceremony, validating him as a doctor.

The cast enjoyed their experience rehearsing for “The Imaginary Invalid”.

“This year, everybody is getting along,” said Palma. “Everybody is getting to know each other. It feels like more of a family.”

The cast rehearsed almost daily for the past few weeks, putting in time and effort to learn lines, and the set.

“It’s been very stressful and time consuming,” said Leverton. “Dr. Nazworth is an experience to have, and the friends are worth it.”

The play was a pleasure to watch. It was full of witty euphemisms and had (maybe) inadvertently tackled a few modern issues surrounding healthcare.

Thursday Nite Live ensemble showcases diverse music selections.

Having the opportunity to attend a live music performance is not easy for many college students who do not have the time or money to go out for such events.

But for music lovers at South Plains College, there are events held every semester called “Thursday Nite Live (TNL)” which give students a chance to hear a variety of music genres in a live performance by a selected ensemble of SPC students.

  TNL is an event that provides SPC students with an opportunity to audition every semester for a spot in the ensemble. Throughout the semester, the ensemble will make appearances performing songs from different music genres, such as country, rock and roll and R&B. If students are interested in auditioning for certain ensembles, auditions are held at the beginning of every semester in the Creative Arts Building.

“Thursday Nite Live has traditionally been a variety ensemble, meaning we don’t just play one style or genre,” says Brian Tate, instructor in Commercial Music at SPC and director of the ensemble. “The old intro song that used to open every show included the lyrics, ‘It’s rock n’ roll, it’s country, it’s R&B…it’s Thursday Nite Live at SPC!’ I have tried to maintain those styles in each show. There are other ensembles that focus on a particular genre, like jazz, rock, country, and R&B. We even have a funk ensemble, which is one of my personal favorites.”

TNL gives students the opportunity to showcase their musical talent at the college. This semester the ensemble features: Brandon Baldwin, who plays electric guitar; Matt Cross, who plays bass guitar; Cristian Casas, who is a vocalist; Emily George, who is a vocalist; Kailey Amos, who is a vocalist; Kameryn Stanaland, who is a vocalist, plays guitar and keyboards; and Brian Tate, who plays drums.

IMG_7617This group of students also performs at least two televised shows each semester, and will sometimes perform at other community events and venues. The live campus performances are in the Tom T. Hall Recording and Production Studio and streamed live on

The ensemble also performs at events such as the Boss’s Day Luncheon, which takes place each October. Typically, during the fall semester, the ensemble will perform for the president, the deans, administrators, and other staff who help run the campus.

The music performed at TNL events allows for individuals with different music tastes to come together and enjoy the same concert. The various songs and easy accessibility to each performance are among the things that make “Thursday Nite Live” stand out from other concerts. This event has provided the SPC community with an opportunity to relax and enjoy a quality music experience.

“Primarily, the students in the ensemble are responsible for bringing two or three song IMG_7636suggestions to play for the performance,” Tate said. “We all sit around and write down the best choices, and usually it is pretty evident which songs we want to perform.”

The ensemble also participates in Fest Week, featuring a different style of music each night. Monday night is Country Fest; Tuesday night is Rock Fest; Wednesday night is Groove Fest, which entails more jazz ensembles, R&B, and funk ensemble, and Thursday is the Thursday Night Showcase,    

The next TNL performance will be part of the Thursday Night Showcase, which will be Dec. 6 in the Creative Arts Building. The TNL Showcase is the final night of the end-of-semester performances of the student ensembles. The concert will begin at 6 p.m. and will feature three different ensembles: The Touring Ensemble, Alterna TV and Thursday Nite Live.

Tate also explains that the TNL events are open to anyone. The performances are all-age inclusive, with students and the community are welcome to attend. No admission is charged.

‘American Horror Story: Apocalypse’ blends two past seasons with future

The newest season of “American Horror Story” has brought back previous seasons and beloved characters to go along with new ones.

“AHS: Apocalypse” premiered on September 12, 2018. It is a crossover between the first and third seasons of the series, with many of the cast members playing multiple roles within the season. Returning cast members include Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Evan Peters, Adina Porter, Emma Roberts, Billie Lourd, and Jessica Lange, among others.

“Apocalypse” takes place on the West Coast of the United States in the near future. Following a nuclear blast that wipes out the world, Outpost Three, an underground bunker, is constructed in order to shelter specific survivors with strong genetic makeup. Wilhemina Venable, played by Sarah Paulson, and Miriam Mead, played by Kathy Bates, both command the bunker, torturing the people inside the bunker.

People inside the bunker include: hairdresser Mr. Gallant, played by Evan Peters; his grandmother Evie, played by Joan Collins; talk show host Dinah Stevens, played by Adina Porter; her son Andre, played by Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman; the billionaire, Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt, played by Leslie Grossman; her assistant Mallory, played by Billie Lourd; and couple Timothy Campbell, played by Kyle Allen, and Emily, played by Ash Santos. All face the wrath of the two women.

79255_pplIn the second and third episodes, Michael Langdon, played by Cody Fern, who is also the Antichrist, arrives and begins to throw the order into chaos, as he intends to bring those who are worthy to a “sanctuary.” Michael’s arrival causes a domino effect of lust, betrayal, and self-destruction.

The fourth episode takes place three years before the bombs drop. It shows what is Outpost Three as the Hawthorne School for Exceptional Young Men. Its inhabitants are warlocks living in the shadow of the coven of Cordelia Goode, played by Sarah Paulson. The warlocks have placed their hopes on a new, troubled apprentice, Michael Langdon. It was interesting seeing the flashback to the past and learning how it all started. When the series starts, the world is ending and there’s a lot of confusion about why and what is really happening. I think it was a very clever way of telling the story and pulling previous seasons back into the show.

Despite Cordelia’s visions of a terrifying future, she lets Michael attempt the Seven Wonders in the fifth episode. Michael is successful, which fills this episode with suspense that made me eager for the next. It was a very well shot episode, with different cinematic styles.

landscape-1536765821-ahs-codyIn the sixth episode, Behold, played by Billy Porter, and Madison, played by Emma Roberts, are sent on a mission to Murder House to uncover the truth about Michael’s past. The revelations about their next Supreme paint a bleak picture for the future and confirm Cordelia’s fears. This is by far my favorite episode. I love that the series took the viewers back to where everything started. It’s amazing that these seemingly unrelated seasons lead up to this one. I never thought what happened to the family of Murder House would be seen or known.

In the seventh episode, the witches recruit a clairvoyant friend to expose the traitors in the male coven. Mallory’s powers also are tested and reveal more about the future Supreme. Both covens unite to send Michael a message by getting rid of his conspirators.

After the deaths of his most trusted advisors, Michael goes on a vision quest in the eighth episode to find his place in the world. A group of followers devoted to his unholy father point him toward his destiny. I found this episode pointless. It didn’t do much for the story line. Not much happened or was revealed. The season could have gone on without this episode.

In the ninth episode Michael is still trying to figure out his purpose and how to end the world. He also seeks revenge for the deaths of  his trusted advisors and sends the Coven into their darkest hour, forcing them to gamble their hopes on Mallory’s developing powers. Michael met up with some of the world’s most powerful people, known as The Compound. They discuss the beginning of the end of the world.  This was another lackluster episode that only got interesting during the last 10 minutes.

This season has surpassed all of the previous seasons. It pays homage to beloved past seasons of the series by bringing back old characters and continuing their stories. I really enjoy this season. It has my favorite characters from previous seasons, along with some new favorites.

I give this season of “American Horror Story” a nine out of 10 so far.

Legendary bandit faces moral crisis in ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’

Arthur Morgan and his posse of outlaws jump a moving train from horseback. Guns drawn, Arthur yells, “Your money or your lives!”

Robbing trains becomes a bit of a past time in Rockstar’s “Red Dead Redemption 2” a western-themed adventure game, set in 1899, just before the decline of the American frontier. “Red Dead Redemption 2” made more than $725 million on opening weekend. The only other game to beat this record was “Grand Theft Auto V,” another RockStar game.

RDR3It begins with a character named Arthur Morgan, a legendary bandit, who is loyal to the Van der Linde gang. The Van der Linde gang is run by Dutch Van der Linde and is full of other bandits who loosely try to follow a moral code to not kill innocents or rob those who are making legitimate money.

There are a few spoilers ahead, but I’m not going to try to focus on too much of the story. Also, I have not played any other Red Dead series either. I do know a nutshell’s worth of knowledge about the first “Red Dead Redemption” story. So any nostalgia or excitement to see reappearing characters are lost on me. But I do not think that takes away from my gameplay experience.

Arthur and the rest of the Van der Linde gang were pushed out of their old base, losing everything, including a handful of members. The game starts with the gang trying to find another place to set up base and survive while doing it.

While playing Arthur Morgan, the game presents a plethora of decisions to make. The player can choose to rob, greet, or antagonize most people in the game. I suspect there are hidden cues if you want to be successful at robbing people, because 99 percent of the people I try to rob just pull guns out on me. For the few people I have successfully robbed on the road, I aimed my weapon at them before they drew theirs, during Arthur’s dialogue, “Yer being robbed, son.”

There are also random events, when a non-player character (NPC) may be spouting off a few lines of dialogue out of the norm. For example, I was riding around on my newly tamed, stark-white Arabian horse. My horse’s name is Digiorno, and he receives many compliments from the local populace. A man asked me to race Digiorno in the opposite direction that I was headed. Since I was in a hurry to track down whatever was at the end of my treasure map, I declined. The man called Arthur a coward. A quick execution sent this disrespectful do-gooder into the afterlife while his own prized race-horse dragged his body from the stirrups down a hill.

One of my favorite things about the game is Arthur’s dialogue. While exploring the map, you can find “Collectors.” Collectors ask you to be on the lookout for all sorts of things, such as rare, collectable cigarette trading cards, dinosaur bones, and rock carvings. A paleontologist asks Arthur to collect bones in search of a specific dinosaur.

Arthur says, “Wait, they’re REAL?!”

Almost everything about Arthur’s dialogue depicts him as an uneducated outlaw, but he is not stupid. He is always out to make a buck, regardless of the legality of that dollar he is making. He is known throughout his gang for his sarcasm and witty insults.

I would say that Rockstar Games did a wonderful job of forging Arthur’s personality within the cut scenes of the game. But the Arthur in the cut scenes, versus the Arthur that roams the world, are two different people.

In an early story mission, Dutch Van der Linde, the leader of the gang, has Arthur rob a train. Arthur is expected to open fire and beat on anybody who does not fork over that sweet loot. At the end of the mission, the player is presented with a choice, to spare, or kill, the remaining occupants.

The Arthur that chooses to spare the occupants does not make much sense, considering he is, and acknowledges, that he is a cold-blooded killer. Yet Arthur justifies his actions through the Van der Linde gang on the premise of freedom and lawlessness. Arthur is against unnecessary killing, especially if it puts his friends in danger. Some might say that a lot of the killing required in missions is unnecessary.

The Arthur in the story is rough, cold, and ruthless. But in the open world, Arthur can choose to be friendly and helpful to complete strangers. For example, there is an encounter where Arthur is given the choice to suck the rattlesnake venom out of a dying man’s leg. This reaches toward the realm of disbelief when understanding Arthur’s character. I feel myself having to keep a bit of distance from the story version of Arthur, while I play my own version of him out in the open world.

The game has an Honor system, where your deeds may affect certain people or encounters later in the game. Murder, looting bodies, killing domesticated animals, and good ole fashioned thievery will usually receive negative honor. Talking to strangers, helping people, and giving to the poor net positive honor. I plan on playing through the game twice, one with the lowest honor score and one with the highest, to see if the story changes at all.

I have not finished the story missions. I’ve heard rumors of content being locked after certain chapters, and I want my first play-through to be slow and full of exploration.

The characters of the Van der Linde gang are fleshed out very well, with each having their own opinions about Arthur. Arthur also has his own opinions about everyone in the gang as well, which makes for interesting banter around camp.

My favorite part of the game is being able to roam the country freely. As far as I can tell, there is not much content gated behind the story so far. I’ve reached two out of the four corners of the map, and there is still so much more to explore. I’ve come across a massive crater, where a meteor had crashed into the earth. Upon finding this scene, Arthur documents it in his journal, and draws a pretty neat picture.

I recommend finding the Arabian horse early on. It’s quick, and quite pretty to boot. It can be found in all of its wild glory just west of Lake Isabella, usually within eyesight of the lake. This is wolf country, and the horse is spooked easily, so approach with caution.

I can’t wait to play this game more. Roaming the world as a legendary bandit has never been such a fun experience. I give “Red Dead Redemption 2” a 9/10.

‘Black Ops4’ has repetitive aspects from previous titles

Buying and playing “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4” was a poor way to kill time while waiting for the release of “Red Dead Redemption 2.”

“Call of Duty: Black Ops 4” is the latest title in Treyarch’s “Call of Duty” franchise. “Black Ops 4,” or, “BO4,” has some issues that are seen throughout the Triple-A gaming industry as of late. Treyarch does redeem itself a bit, by catering to the fad of  “Battle Royal” type games that have been dominating the gaming industry in the few past years by adding a “new” game mode called “Black Out.”

top__id1535111616_343178It is hardly a redeeming feature, though. The game mode, “Black Out,” is by far the most boring way to play “Call of Duty.” The entire experience is 40 minutes of chasing a closing map and trying to find fights with other players, and then dying at the hands of an enemy that happened to spot you first. I have never been much of a fan of “Battle Royal” games, such as “Fortnite” or “PUBG.” However, my friends almost exclusively play “Black Out.”

My biggest issue with “BO4” is the “Multiplayer” game mode. This is how the classic “Call of Duty” experience comes into fruition. Only, there is no fruit. Treyarch had the grand idea of reusing old maps from previous “Call of Duty” titles. When I spend $60 on a “NEW” game, I expect new content. Other than the weapons and a few perks, (most of the perks are ALSO reused) there is simply not enough new content to make me want to keep playing the game.

The only time I feel any satisfaction playing “Multiplayer” is when I join “Hardcore” lobbies. The time-to-kill, or TTK in “Core” modes, is simply too long. I feel like I am playing “Halo” with as much lead that I have to pump into my enemies before they fall down. But even in “Hardcore” lobbies, since the maps are reused, veteran players of the series have a huge edge on the competition for people new to the franchise, because they already have so many hours on the same maps. Much of the time, playing “Hardcore” is either getting spawn-camped, or, spawn camping.

What would “Black Ops” titles be without ZOMBIES? The new Zombies is yet another map and story of the same, old, repetitive survival mode. I hate fighting unending waves of AI in any game. It is brainless, just like the zombies. And planting some Easter eggs in a new map is not going to sell me on boring gameplay. With almost every “Zombies” lobby I’ve joined, the other players make it very clear, “We are just going for the Easter Egg.”

At first, I loved the new “BO4.” New game modes, new zombies, cool weapons — and How could I forget, the Operators? — “BO4” features a group of tragically hip, tacti-cool meat heads that use different equipment to give players an edge in combat.

I find myself relying on good ole’ fashioned gun skills more than anything. But the abilities are kind of neat. If only the Operators weren’t so boring looking and so “geared” with too much MOLLE system on every piece of equipment they wear.

I won’t play “BO4” any more until I see new maps released. Even then, I doubt I will feel any better about this copy-pasted junk I wasted my money on. Until then, I give “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4” a 3/10.

Word On the Street

by Makayla Kneisley and Geneva Natal


miguel galiano socialogy of art soph“Spending time with family, and being in the United States, Because I’m from Spain. We don’t have Thanksgiving in Spain. So it’s pretty cool to have this celebration here and be a part of it. I love it. I love to have celebrations here that I’m not able to have in my country, and it’s interesting to learn about the culture as well.”

Miguel Galiano





sara marin business marketing soph“I think food. I love turkey, and I like potatoes. I’m from Columbia. In Columbia, we don’t have Thanksgiving in November. It’s in December, so my tradition is kind of different. Everything starts on December 1. So on December 1 to December 31, it’s like celebrations and meeting and reunions with your family in Columbia. But here I just go to my parents’ house and eat turkey and potatoes.”

Sara Marin

Business marketing



Jorge“We really just sleep. There’s food sometimes, but I always treat myself to cheese cake or pumpkin pie.”

Jorge Osuna

Mechanical Engineering






daniella Toledo“My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is just getting with family and we all do something special like I bake the green bean casserole, and then my parents do the rest of the cooking. But mainly just getting together and spending time, because it’s a really busy the world we live in.”

Daniella Taledo

Nursing Major




Alazea DouglasMeeting up with everyone at the grandparents’ house, celebrating, eating food. We play games and watch football.”

Alazea Douglas

General Studies





Fabian Acosta 3“Go black Friday shopping as soon as sales go up. Me and my brother, we just get up and are like ‘lets go black Friday shopping’”

Fabian Acosta

Radio production






Government obscures misuse if Social Security money by renaming it

by Debra Mentandon


A man dies at age 65 before collecting one benefit check.

He and his employer paid into the system for almost 50 years, and he collected NOTHING. Bare this in mind: there are lots of people who die every year and get nothing.

And the money was mismanaged, and someone then stole from the system. So what do we have now? It’s going broke.

Now they have the gall to call seniors “vultures.” This is an attempt to cover their theft.

The secret behind renaming our Social Security payments is so the government can claim that we are receiving entitlements. Thus, it is putting those who paid into Social Security in the same category as welfare and food stamp recipients. But is it really?

8TA6bjKpcI just learned they are changing the name.  It gives them a means to disclaim this program in the future. It becomes free money for the government to spend under this new name.

The Social Security check is (or soon will be) referred to as a “Federal Benefit Payment.” This is NOT, nor has it ever been, a benefit. It is OUR money, paid out of our hard-earned money! Those who have paid into Social Security are not the only ones who contributed to Social Security. Their employers did too! It became 15 percent of our income before taxes.

If you averaged $30K per year during your working life, that’s close to $180,000 invested in Social Security.

If you calculate the future value of your monthly investment in Social Security ($375/month, including both you and your employer’s contributions) at a meager 1 percent interest rate compounded monthly, after 40 years of working, you would have more than $1.3 million saved.

This is your personal investment. Upon retirement, if you took out only 3 percent per year, you would receive $39,318 per year, or $3,277 per month.

That’s almost three times more than today’s average Social Security benefit of $1,230 per month, according to the Social Security Administration. (Google it – it’s a fact). And your retirement fund would last more than 33 years (until you’re 98 if you retire at age 65)! I can only imagine how much better most average-income people could live in retirement if our government had just invested our money in low-risk, interest-earning accounts.

But NO, the folks in Washington pulled off a bigger *Ponzi scheme* than Bernie Madoff ever did (or Lyndon Johnson).

They took our money and used it elsewhere. I know this practice at least goes back to when Bill Clinton was president, as he used it to say we were in the red.  Guess what he was counting? The money from the Social Security.

  They did not ask if we were OK with them using our money. They also did not ask if it is OK for them to not pay it back. It is bad enough that they have the audacity to say it won’t support us much longer. I don’t understand why they never refer to the welfare money that is paid out being about to run out. They gave welfare money to people who have not earned it, nor have they worked for it. Yet it is their money with no questions asked. No one ever says welfare is running out of money.

They would like citizens to think that it is the workers’ fault this is happening. If tax- paying citizens sit back and let it happen, then we are to blame. It is our money, and workers should be fighting mad to try to hang on to it. If the multitudes will rise up and speak out, there is a chance to turn this nightmare around and fix a huge problem with something that is owed to us.

It is time citizens, young and old, demand this.

Americans need to find a way to keep Medicare and Social Security viable. It affects a lot of people. The stats show that about 90 percent of the population are affected by this, which is the majority.   

Lady texans start 2018-2019 season with impressive showings

IMG_0883The South Plains College women’s basketball team started off the 2018-2019 season by dominating their first three games.

The Lady Texans, ranked No. 15 in NJCAA Pre-Season Poll, improve to 3-0 after a 56-38 victory against Mesa Community College on Nov. 3 at the OC Sports Center in Odessa.

Sophomore Kiki Hunter grabbed her third consecutive double-double of the season, hitting six of her 12 shots from the field for 13 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Freshman Ruth Koang also chipped in 13 points, hitting five of eight shots from the floor to go along with six rebounds.

Freshman Oceane Robin hit three of her five shots, totalling eight points, while freshman Caroline Germond tossed in seven points to go along with three assists and three steals. Sophomore Chantel Govan added six points for the Lady Texans in her 33 minutes on the court.

SPC shot 39.7 percent from the floor, including 10 points off of 14 forced turnovers. The Lady Texans put up 34 points inside the paint and pulled down 36 rebounds.    

The SPC women’s basketball team grabbed their second victory of the season on Nov. 2 against Colorado Northwestern at the OC Sports Center in Odessa.

IMG_0890Hunter posted her second double-double, popping in 24 points and grabbing 17 rebounds, while helping the Lady Texans to an 82-23 victory.

Hunter hit 10 of her 16 shots from the field to go along with four blocked shots and three steals. Freshman Sarah Shematsi went seven-for-16 from the field, finishing with 17 points and two assists.

Koang hit six of her eight attempts from the floor, adding 12 points and grabbing eight rebounds, while Germond put up nine points and four rebounds.

SPC shot 50 percent from the field and played a tight defense, allowing only six points in the first half, including no points in the second quarter.

The Lady Texans started off the season on Nov. 1 with a 75-59 victory against Tohono O’odham Nation at the OC Sports Center in Odessa.

Hunter recorded her first double-double of the season, as she shot 6-for-9 from the field and was 4-for-5 from the free-throw line, totaling 16 points. Govan put up 13 points to go along with three assists and two steals, hitting four of 10 shots from the field, with two three-pointers.

Robin added 12 points with three assists and two steals, while freshman Romola Dominguez added 10 points with four assists, going 4-for-10 from the field.   

SPC shot 44.6 percent for the game, and out-rebounded their opponent 40-25.

The Lady Texans returned to action on Nov.9 against Seward Community College and on Nov. 10 against Dodge City Community College. Results were not available at press time.

Texans tip off the season with impressive victories

The No. 2-ranked South Plains College men’s basketball team is looking for another national title to add to the trophy case after kicking off the 2018-2019 season with a pair of impressive showings.

The Texans took on Panloa College on Nov. 4 at the Farmer Activity Center in Lewisville.

SPC trailed Panloa 37-34 at the end of the first half, but utilized a 16-2 run at the start of the second half to gain the lead, which the Texans would hold on to for the remainder of the game, improving their record to 2-0 after the 79-64 victory.

Chris Orlina, a 6-foot-7 sophomore forward, led the Texans in scoring with 25 points and was a perfect 12-for-12 from the free throw line. Sophomore Gaige Prim, a 6-9 forward, added 19 points, 10 of which were in the second half.

Sophomore Trey Wade, a 6-7 forward, dumped two three-pointers early in the second half to help push the Texans ahead. Wade contributed 14 points, 10 of which came in the crucial final moments of the contest.      

SPC came away with an 87-65 victory against Jacksonville College in Lewisville on Nov. 3, improving their record to 1-0 following the season-opener.

Prim led all scorers with 28 points in his debut for the Texans. He went 10-for-10 from the free throw line. Sophomore Jonah Antonio, a 6-4 guard, and Wade each put up 13 points, while sophomore Koray Gilbert, a 6-3 guard, added 11. Orlina chipped in 10 points, hitting two three-pointers in the first quarter.

SPC went into the locker room at the half with a 43-28 advantage, as Prim and Orlina combined for 18 points in the first half.

The Texans continued their dominance in the second half, as Gilbert put up 10 points and Antonio hit two three-pointers in the final 20 minutes of play, helping SPC secure their first victory of the season.

The Texans returned to action on Nov. 9 against Seward County Community College and Dodge City Community College on Nov. 10. Results were not available at press time.

Rodeo teams impress at final competition fall season

The South Plains College men’s and women’s rodeo teams finished the 2018 fall season with strong showings at the Texas Tech University Rodeo.

The Lady Texans and Texans placed third and fourth, respectively, during the event held Oct. 25 – Oct. 27 at the Texas Tech Equestrian Center in Lubbock.

Freshman Kaytlyn Miller took home the women’s all-around title after placing third in goat tying. She posted a time of 6.8 in the long round and a 6.6 in the finals, averaging 13.4. In breakaway roping, Miller clocked a time of 2.4 in the long round, but posted no time in the finals.

Miller placed fifth in barrel racing, posting a time of 16.02 in the long round and a 16.25 in the finals. Sophomore Kody Criswell placed seventh in the event, posting a time of 16.14 in the long round and a 16.30 in the finals, averaging 32.44.

For the Texans, sophomore Cooper Bennett placed sixth in bareback riding after posting the top score of 78 in the long round, and a score of 68 in the finals, averaging 146.

In tiedown roping, freshman Colton McCarley placed sixth after posting a time of 8.2 in the long round and a 12.9 in the finals, averaging 21.1.

Sophomore Britton Bedke placed fourth in steer wrestling with a run of 5.0 in the long round and a 4.7 in the finals, averaging 9.7.

In team roping, freshman Grady Quam teamed with Cisco’s Paden Bray. The two placed fourth overall after posting the fastest time in the long round with a 5.4 and a time of 11.6 in the finals. Sophomore Steffan Ramone teamed with former Texan Jhett Trenary, and the two posted a 6.2 in the long round but missed in the finals, finishing seventh overall.

Cross Country tams place second at NJCAA Region V Championship

The South Plains College men’s and women’s cross country teams both placed second at the NJCAA Region V Cross Country Championship.

The meet was held Oct. 27 at Ranger Community College in Ranger.

In the men’s 8-kilometer race, sophomore Filmon Beyene placed third, clocking a time of 26:08. Sophomore Andrew Bosquez placed sixth with a time of 27:20.2.

Alex Kitum and Jesse Madrid placed ninth and 10th, respectively. Kitum clocked a time of 27:42.8, while Madrid posted a time of 27:55.5.

The Texans posted a total team time of 1:41:26, with an average of 20:17, good enough for second place. El Paso Community College placed first with a total time of 2:13:43, averaging 26.44.

In the women’s 5-kilometer race, freshman Gladys Jemaiyo placed second with a time of 18:16.5. Freshman Dorcus Ewoi placed fourth with a time of 19:10.9.

Freshman Angela Rodriguez finished 11th with a time of 21:00.6. Not far behind was freshman Nyia Sena in 13th with a time of 21:12.2.

The cross country teams traveled to Garden City, Kansas for the NJCAA National Championship at Garden City Community College on Nov. 10. Results were not available at press time.   

Dia de los Muertos celebration of life after death

Creating an altar for deceased ancestors in order to keep their memory alive, families celebrate the long practiced rituals of Dia de los Muertos.

Dia de los Muertos was celebrated in the exhibit hall of the Civic Center in Lubbock on Nov. 4.

IMG_1088The event featured the work of Latino artists, offered cultural experiences through both traditional and modern performers, a Dia de Los Muertos cake decorating contest, a few children’s activities that offered cultural understandings, a classic car showcase, and offered some products from participating vendors.

Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican tradition that originated in the pre-Hispanic era and is mostly associated with Mexico. The holiday, which is usually celebrated Nov. 1 and Nov. 2, combines ancient Aztec customs and a celebration that the Spanish invaders brought to Mexico in the early 1500s. This holiday, which brings family and friends together, honors and remembers the dead, celebrating their memory with festivals, lively celebrations, food, and activities the deceased enjoyed in life.

The Spaniards, who saw death as the end of life, tried to abolish the holiday. However, the holiday refused to die. Since the Spaniards could not get rid of the holiday, they decided to make it more Christian by moving the date it was celebrated on so it coincided with All Saints’ Day and All Souls Day. It has been celebrated on Nov. 1 and 2 ever since.

Families set up La Ofrenda (the altar), which is one of the most distinctive ways Dia de Los Muertos is celebrated. The altars pay respect to the Catholic and indigenous beliefs of the afterlife and is dedicated to family and friends. Once La Ofrenda has been made, it will either be displayed at the grave site of deceased family members or in the home. La Ofrenda has three levels: a top level that symbolizes Heaven; a middle level that represents earth; and the bottom level that symbolizes Mictlan, which is the Aztec underworld of the dead.  Food, beverages, marigolds, prized possessions significant of a loved one, pictures of the deceased, Christian iconography, Calacus (skulls), sugar skulls, candles, pan de muerto (bread of the dead), Las mariposas (monarch butterflies), and paper banners are placed on La Ofrenda for different reasons.

The candles, paper banners, beverages, and food represent the four main elements of IMG_1112.jpgnature: fire, wind, water, and earth. However, the items do more than just represent the elements of nature. Candles (fire) attract the spirits to the altar by lighting the way to it. Paper banners represent the wind, beverages (water) are placed to quench the thirst of the spirits who are believed to travel to earth, and food (earth) represents the deceased’s favorite foods.

Pictures of deceased family members are placed on La Ofrenda in order to remember the loved ones who have passed away. Calacus are placed on La Ofrenda as a reminder of the inevitability of death. However, the sugar skulls are sugar candy, which is a reminder of life’s sweetness. Marigolds, also known as cempasuchitl (flower of the dead), represent the fragility of life, and the aroma helps lure the heavenly souls to earth. The petals are sprinkled on the floor leading to the altar to help guide souls to it.

Pan de Muerto is made with a skull and cross bones design on top as a sweet treat for the spirits. Las mariposas are believed to be the spirits of loved ones migrating to Mexico.

The deceased are celebrated because it is thought that the dead would be insulted by their family being sad and mourning their deaths. Families might also bring a huge feast to the graveyard when they visit so they can eat while they clean their loved one’s gravestones.

There are a lot of skeleton decorations during Dia de Los Muertos, including life-size paper skeletons, miniature skeletons, parade skull masks, dolls, and even the skulls of skeletons. Skeletons are posed in many different positions in order to portray the dead enjoying life. They might be positioned playing a guitar, dancing, making tortillas, and more. This helps remind family members of their ancestors, but also reminds themselves that death is a natural part of life, and one day they will be skeletons too. Dia de los Muertos awakens the dead from their eternal sleep so they can share the celebrations with their loved ones as well.

Joey Martinez was among the vendors at the Dia de los Muertos event. Martinez attended SPC in 2012 as a Design Communications major and in 2015 as a General Studies major. He is currently attending Texas Tech University, majoring in Fine Arts – Painting, with plans to graduate in December. Martinez said that he celebrates Dia de los Muertos by “participating in art events by displaying my art work.” He added that “the one thing that stood out were the people who were paying their respects to the Ofrendas.” He shared that his favorite part about the holiday, in general, is “spending time with family and friends to celebrate deceased family and friends.”

Angel Segura, recruitment officer for Lambda Theta Phi (a Latin Fraternity) at Texas Tech University, said they set up a table this year because they participated in the event the year before.

“It’s a great way to show the community that students on campus care about their culture,” said Segura, who added that seeing the large number of people at the event was his favorite part. However, the culture of Dia de los Muertos is what he enjoys most about the holiday.

Mariachi Gema, a mariachi band, has performed at the event the past three years.

“We like to play for this event because we get to celebrate this holiday with the community,” said Jessica Rodriguez, a member of Mariachi Gema. “She also said that their favorite part about the event and the holiday is when they get to perform.

“It’s fun,” Rodriguez added, “and we got a great response from the audience. But also, music is a big part of our culture, and we use it every day and at all life events.”

Rodriguez explained that the music they play is heard through many generations “and we are connected to it.”

“For this particular day, we can play a song that helps remind somebody of their loved one that had passed on , and we get to help celebrate their life,” she added.

Dia de los Muertos is a very sacred day for many families. It is a day when they join together to remember the memories and souls of those people who were – and still are- an important part of the family, even though they have passed on from the earth to continue life elsewhere.