Month: October 2019

Presidential primaries discussed at Constitution Day

by Autumn Bippert

Every four years, the country begins the nominating process of candidates for United States presidential elections.

The history of presidential primaries and the processes of primaries were the main topics discussed at the Constitution Day event at South Plains College.

The Social Sciences Department hosted the annual panel in honor of Constitution Day, which is a federal observance that recognizes the adoption of the United States Constitution and those who have become U.S. citizens.

Drew Landry, assistant professor of government at SPC, served as the moderator for the discussion held on Sept. 21 in the Sundown Room in the Student Center Building on the Levelland campus.

The panelists included Timothy Holland, assistant professor of government at SPC; Christina Bearden-White, assistant professor of history at SPC; Lubbock County Democratic Chair John Gibson; former and Lubbock County Republican Chair Carl Tepper.

Landry said that primaries are not actually mentioned anywhere in the Constitution.

Holland began the panel by explaining that presidential primaries are unlike any other types of primaries.

“Whenever you vote in a normal primary, whether it’s for Congress or the sheriff, your vote is directly going to choosing who’s going to be the nominee of your party,” Holland explained. “But one of the interesting things with the presidential primaries is you’re actually voting for delegates. And it’s the delegates that get elected to your national party convention that will actually choose who’s going to be your presidential nominee for either the Democratic Party or Republican Party, or any of the various third parties.”

Holland also mentioned that with the upcoming election there will be a lot of coverage of the nomination process.

“There are 22 candidates or so currently running for the Democratic nomination,” explained Holland. “That means that there’s going to be a lot of splitting of delegates from each state. And so the possibility that we might end up at a brokered convention, which we’ll talk about a little bit later, is pretty likely at the moment if we continue to have so many candidates. You are going to have quite a bit about divisions that are going on. In the most recent polls, Biden was only pulling 20 percent nationally, Warren 18 percent, and Sanders 16 percent. They’re nowhere near the majority that they’re ultimately going to need, or to have enough delegates, to win the national convention.”

Bearden-White followed by giving the history of primaries.0Q6A6727

“The Constitution had no provision for political parties to begin with,” Bearden-White explained. “In fact, many of the founding fathers thought that a political party would be the downfall of the new Republic. Even James Madison, who’s considered the father of the Constitution and who wrote the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, and Alexander Hamilton both wrote papers that said what we don’t want is partisanship. Madison believed that there wouldn’t be any one party. He believed that people would have factions and thought that different factions would come together, and that they would form a party briefly in order to get things passed.”

She also explained that later both Hamilton and Madison ended up becoming heads of the first political parties.

“The first elections that happened were not by the people at all,” said Bearden-White. “They went through the electoral college. And they would cast one for president and one for vice president. So the first presidential election where they had two political parties running, John Adams, who had been vice president, became president and then ended up with a person on the opposite ticket, Thomas Jefferson, as his vice president.”

She explained that later the 12th Amendment put into law that presidents and vice presidents had to be in the same parties. Bearden-White also discussed how, historically, primaries were conducted and changed, as well as Abraham Lincoln’s election.

The panel discussed that historically you had to have name recognition in order to run for president.

  Tepper talked about how a lot of the primary process is dictated by state law and election code.

“Which is a bit controversial within the parties,” he added. “We don’t think the state should be telling us how to run. We are independent parties, we’re independent citizens and we don’t believe that they should have any influence over the structure of our political parties.”

Tepper said that state codes don’t mention Republicans or Democrats, but just mentions that a party has to conduct themselves in a certain way. He explained that both parties are obligated to a chairman of the party, a state chairman and the vice chairman. If the chairman is a man, then the vice chairman has to be a woman, or vice versa.

The panel then discussed the upcoming primary battle in 2020.

“There are some states that are wanting to cancel their third GOP primaries. What do you make of that? Do you think that’s a good thing?” Landry asked Tepper.

Tepper said that every party is going to want to have a vote in the primary process.

“There was a big Free the Delegates movement (in the 2016 primaries),” explained Tepper. “As a matter of fact, my vice chairman in Lubbock County was part of the Free the Delegates group. And then there was a lot of relationships broken over that process. The Texas delegation was at almost fisticuffs in hotel lobbies between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump at the time.”

Tepper explained that with the upcoming primary, there could be a lot of tension and division about who will be the candidate like has been seen in the past. Ultimately, it is going to come down to which candidate is better at interacting with the delegates who will decide the nominees, according to Tepper.

Gibson discussed that there are more disagreements in the Democratic Party about policies and procedures rather than the candidates’ stance. They are looking at whether candidates are using rules properly.

The panel also discussed how Texas’s demographics will play a major role in the upcoming election.

“Texas has been a majority minority state for quite some time now, 10 or 12 years,” Tepper said. “The white voters are outnumbered. They have been by the Hispanics, Asians, and Blacks, and some of those groups tend to vote Democratic. We’re starting to see a shift there.”

Tepper also said that Texas is becoming more of a metropolitan state, so the urban areas are growing and tend to vote more Democratic as well.

“The demographics are definitely shifting to make a more competitive state,” Tepper said. “It’s also interesting that Texas has been able to export a lot of resources over the years, money and volunteers (for campaigns.)”

He also explained that Texas has become more and more a two-party state, which makes it a major variable in the upcoming election.

The panelists also answered questions about PACS, voting percentages of the country and ranked voting.

Effects of vaping increasing in young adults

by Victoria De Souza

E-cigarettes may be a possible risk for some new lung illnesses, but the actual cause of these diseases still remains unknown.

With reports of hospitalizations related to vaping, doctors and scientists are scrambling to find the cause.

In the early 1800s, tobacco was one of the most popular vices. Now, in the 21st century, new tobaccoless devices are gaining attention for presenting a negative impact on health.

The marketing of addictions is one of the most lucrative, with around $9.36 billion of profit made in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Even though the first attempts of inventing a smokeless, non-tobacco cigarette started in 1963, they became popular around the mid-2000s.

In 2011, after the invention of the first-modern e-cigarette, the use of an electronic cigarette became part of the mass market in the United States.

Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling aerosol vapor produced by the e-liquids. Most of the e-cigarettes contain glycol, glycerin, nicotine, and different flavoring liquids.

While there is uncertainty surrounding any health benefit from vaping, e-cigarettes have been promoted as safer substitutes for tobacco. But there has been some concern about manufacturers targeting young adults and teenagers as their main consumers.man holding a vape pen and cigarettes

With nine confirmed deaths and more than 300 people hospitalized as a result of vaping, the rising visibility of the effects of vaping is causing the health community to question the safety standards of vape consumption and production.

Dr. Ximera Solis, a fellow in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, said little is known about the effects of vaping.

“The fact is that we do not know much about the effects of vaping on long-term and short-term health,” said Dr. Solis. “As far as I know, there is no regulation on these products by the FDA, and a lot of these products are bought from less than credible sources.”

The CDC has issued a warning about the dangers of vaping and recommends that people stop using this product.

Since vaping only has been around for a short period, there is no research on the long-term effects of e-cigarettes.

“Most of the research now is focused on pathophysiology and learning more about vaping in general,” said Dr. Solis.

E-cigarettes can be helpful to ease the process of quitting the consumption of tobacco cigarettes.

“The only ‘advantage’ (to smoking e-cigarettes) is that it does help some people quit smoking regular cigarettes,” said Dr. Solis, “and they can lower the nicotine content over time to wean themselves off this.”

One of the side effects brought about by the use of e-cigarettes is the new development of a lung disease. So far, the CDC has not been able to identify any specific substance that could be the cause of this illness. But it is known that nicotine can cause very damaging effects to the lungs.

One questionable substance that can be found in the e-cigarettes that has come to the attention of medical specialists is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which can be found in a variety of e-liquids that can be counterfeited without proper regulation.

The lack of information known about the development of this new illness makes it difficult for medical professionals to provide the correct treatment to be given to the patients.

“What we do know is that the patients become ill very quickly,” explained Dr. Solis. “What is important to realize is that this is a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning that we have to rule out other causes that could explain this symptomatology. Each patient must be treated on a case by case basis. What we do see is that patients have required admission to the intensive care unit, intubation and mechanical ventilation, and even chest tubes for pneumothorax (air in the chest wall from a collapsed lung).”

Dr. Ebtesam Islam from the Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine of TTU Health Sciences Center and University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, explained the inflammation in most of the cases is severe and diffuse, affecting both lungs.lungs this one

“It is suspected that the formation of an aerosol (i.e. the combustion of the flavoring, nicotine, and other chemicals) causes stress on respiratory epithelial cells by inducing inflammation,” said Dr. Islam. “What we see on imaging, such as Computed Tomography scans or chest x rays, are signs of severe inflammation, like what we would see with infectious processes.”

Dr. Solis mentions the present symptoms are nonspecific for any respiratory illness, such as coughing, shortness of breath, fatigue, fever, and weight loss.

The repercussions of e-cigarettes have been rising, along with lung disease cases. The symptoms of these cases do not match those of cigarette smoking and highlight an entirely new disease.

“Cigarettes tend to cause damage over time, leading to a chronic illness such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or Emphysema and takes years to develop,” explained Dr. Islam. “Vaping incidents that are being reported now suggest an acuity to the illness. The time to illness from exposure has varied from days to weeks. With vaping, over two thirds of the patients have been young, between the ages of 18 to 34, and otherwise healthy, and the opposite tends to be true for those with chronic pulmonary disease.”

A focus on treating current cases and the causes of the e-cigarette illness will be the main priority of future research, according to Dr. Solis.

Both Dr. Solis and Dr. Islam agree that vaping should not be taken lightly, and avoiding the usage of e-cigarettes is the safer way until there is more information about the subject.

“These otherwise healthy young adults can present in critical condition, requiring prolonged and repeated intubations,” said Dr. Solis. “Since not much is known about how well these patients would recover, the effects from this illness can be damaging and life-long.”

Students leave sexual education event with useful information

by Desiree Lopez

South Plains College students were recently able to ask anonymous questions regarding sex, sexual abuse, STDs, and relationships during an event called Sex in the Dark.

The event was held on Sept. 16 in the Sundown Room of the Student Center on the Levelland campus.

The panel included: Jana Daniel, professor of sociology; Craig Allen, instructor of law enforcement and criminal justice; Dr. Peggy Skinner, chairperson of the Behavioral Science Department and professor of psychology; Samantha Curtis, employee at Texas Department of State Health Services; DeEtte Edens, associate director of health and wellness at SPC;, and Brant Farrar, professor of sociology and sponsor for SPECTRA. Dr. Lynne Cleavinger, dean of students at SPC, served as the emcee for the night.

Students wrote down questions on pieces of paper while one of the panelists came by to pick them up. Questions were hand-picked randomly by Dr. Cleavinger. All lights were turned off for anonymity, and glow sticks were passed around to provide some illumination. Condoms were also given away for free to students in attendance.

Whether students attended for extra credit or voluntarily, they left the event with a lot of useful information.

According to Daniel, there is a great need for sex education, particularly among SPC students.

“What we [department faculty] have found is that students across the state of Texas and other states don’t typically get comprehensive sex education,” explains Daniel. “So when they get here or become sexually active, they think they know everything, and there is so much that they don’t know.”

When discussing sexuality, it is important to have knowledge about it because it involves not only physical health but mental health too.

“It is also important for students to know the resources they have, because a lot of students don’t have a clue that they have them and that they are free,” says Daniel.

Professors and special guests enjoy being on the panel for Sex in the Dark, according to Daniel. They enjoy the interactions they receive from students when they discuss various topics about sex.IMG_0384

Daniel explains that the panelists continue to participate at Sex in the Dark because it is beneficial to students.

“We have a good time doing it [Sex in the Dark],” said Daniel. “Some students may have a little bit of hesitancy, but I think that after the event they begin to feel more open about it. We just want students to be safe.”

Faculty of the Behavioral Science Department and those at the Health and Wellness Center are available to answer any questions that students may have regarding sex, diseases, and sexual assault.

The difference between both departments is that professors are required to report any sexual assault or rape, while the Health and Wellness Center has confidentiality under the HIPAA, which is medical rules and guidelines.

It is encouraged that if someone is a victim of rape or sexual assault and wants to speak with a certified individual, speak with a professional counselor at the SPC Health and Wellness Center or call the Voice of Hope 24-hour crisis hotline, (806)763-RAPE (7273).

Bus driver retires after traveling thousands of miles

by Desiree Lopez

Danny Vest has spent many hours driving hundreds of thousands of miles for students at South Plains College.

He recently retired after 35 years of service as the transportation director. He started working for SPC in 1984 and was employed at the college until August 31, when he officially retired.

A Levelland native, Vest attended junior high and high school in Levelland before enrolling at SPC. While he was an SPC student, he served as the manager for the men’s basketball team. After he graduated, SPC had gotten new “people carriers,” according to Vest, which is another term for bus, and the position for full-time bus driver became available, so he applied for the job.

His favorite memory was when he had the opportunity to drive the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. They came to campus one year, and he had the privilege of picking them up from the airport and driving them to their destinations.

Vest considers his most memorable moment while working at SPC to be when the men’s track and field team won 11 consecutive NJCAA Outdoor National Championships.

Being the bus driver, Vest had the chance to go on multiple trips with many SPC organizations. He drove the students in the Upward Bound Program every summer and went to many places such as Colorado, Ruidoso, N.M., San Antonio, and Austin. He also was able to go to Florida with Country Caravan, which was a band of college students and professors who performed free concerts while traveling around Texas and other parts of the country.IMG_0372.JPG

He drove the basketball and track teams to many of their games and events. He went to San Diego, California with the women’s basketball team, as well as to Detroit, Michigan with the track teams. He also has driven the men’s basketball team to Hutchinson, Kansas, where he watched them win several national championships.

According to Vest, his trip mileage with SPC is about 750,000 miles.

There are a few SPC organizations that are sad to see him go, but wish nothing but the best for him as he starts the new chapter of his life.

As of now, Vest doesn’t have any plans for the near future, but hopes to one day visit Alaska, since it is the only state that he has not been to.

“I actually just thought that it was a good time to just do it now,” says Vest explaining why he chose to retire.

Vest said he is very thankful for South Plains College for the numerous opportunities he had while working here. He made many lifelong friends and intends on keeping those friendships throughout his retirement.

Traveling performer entertains students with hypnosis

by Abi Hernandez

As the volunteers sit quietly in their chairs in a trance on the stage, Tom De Luca tells them their orders to do after he snaps his fingers as the audience watches.

He snaps his fingers and the stage comes to life as the volunteers do as they were told mindlessly. The audience claps and cheers.

De Luca took a three-hour plane ride to perform on Sept. 16 in the P.E. Complex on the Levelland campus of South Plains College.

De Luca has performed in various places for all kinds of people. He was born in Illinois and now lives in Orlando, Florida. De Luca then attended the University of Illinois, where he first began to explore “the Hypno-business.”

“I learned how to deal with difficult situations,” said De Luca. “I also learned it is harder to get an adult volunteer.”

De Luca’s psychology professor is the one who first introduced him to hypnosis. De Luca then hypnotized a guy and found he had a gift. One of his first shows was at a hotel.

“The crowd was tough and called me fake,” he recalled.

His next gig was at a night club every Wednesday, once a week, and sometimes once a month. He has traveled to 13 different states to do a countless number of shows.

De Luca said he has performed in North Carolina, Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Virginia, Georgia, Texas, Alaska, and Kansas. He said he usually does any show where they want him. A lot of colleges call him to ask if he will perform for back-to-school events. So on average, he goes to 13 states a year. When he traveled to Alpine, Texas, he said it was the longest drive “because you feel like your driving forever.”

The most interesting event De Luca performed was at the University of Tennessee during the half-time of a basketball game in front of 22,000 people. He picked out 12 volunteers from the crowd in the stands and hypnotized them. After the show, they hung out with him.IMG_1890

“ It was extremely intense and very scary to perform in front of all those people,” said De Luca.

During his many adventures, De Luca performed for the former president’s daughter and family members. He also did a show at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, and he did show for a lot of CEO’s at their own homes. He also has performed in Anchorage, Alaska and Fairbanks, Alaska, where they have only three hours of daylight each day.

Throughout his career, De Luca has learned that he has to keep adjusting all of his performances to fit the different audiences. He has also observed that as the years have passed, the attention span of people has decreased tremendously and is still decreasing. In saying that, he tries to keep the pace of his performances steady and interactive so the audiences won’t get bored.

“ People are more easily offended nowadays, so I have to watch what I say sometimes,” said De Luca.

The more he performs shows, the more De Luca says he learns about human nature and behavior. The older the audience members are, the less likely they would volunteer to participate in any of the shows.

“It’s been rough, but it has been worth it,” De Luca said. “I have met some pretty interesting people.”

Student overcomes obstacle with positive attitude

by Desiree Lopez

For Jonathan Rangel, being involved is an important aspect of attending college.

Rangel, a first-generation college student from Littlefield, Texas, is a sophomore pursuing an Associate of Arts degree in radiology.

He said he chose to attend South Plains College because he enjoys the student-teacher ratio and the affordability.

“I lived in Littlefield, and we have small classes, and that’s where I felt the most comfortable at,” explains Rangel. “I knew SPC was close to home and affordable.”

He enjoys the comfortable environment that is provided at SPC and is proud of his decision to attend classes on the Levelland campus.

Rangel finds most science classes intriguing, such as biology and anatomy and physiology. His love for science quickly became one of the reasons why he chose to major in radiology.

In his hometown, Rangel shadowed a radiologist and became more interested in the field.IMG_0389

“I just loved what he did, and I asked him for his pay,” says Rangel, “but he just said that he was very fortunate. And hopefully I can achieve something like him.”

Rangel also gives credit to his parents for constantly encouraging him to get into the medical field.

He says that his biggest role model is his father, who couldn’t have set a better example for him.

“My dad worked so hard doing outside labor,” explained Rangel, “and he said it made him a hard worker. But he didn’t want me to go through that because he struggled.”

Rangel is very involved on the Levelland campus. Last year, he was voted to serve as president of Catholic Student Ministries and was just recently voted president for the second consecutive year. As president, Rangel was allowed to make changes to CSM to attract students and improve the organization.

“When I went to the first mass, they didn’t really have music,” says Rangel, “and to me, music speaks to a lot of people. So as president, I took the executive decision to make music binders and have a speaker to create an atmosphere where students here know that this is something they can look forward to every Wednesday.”

Rangel wants to encourage students to join CSM and to not get the misconception that all they do is pray.IMG_0390

He is involved with intramural sports on campus as well. He plays kickball, volleyball, and flag football. According to Rangel, being involved in intramural sports has given him the opportunity to meet many new friends.

Last year, Rangel was also a nominee for SPC’s Homecoming king.

Rangel plays in the SPC band and is a member of the Meraki saxophone quartet. He has played the alto saxophone for almost eight years and decided to join the SPC band because he didn’t want to let his talent go to waste.

“I auditioned for the SPC band and I got in,” Rangel said. “My instructors have pushed me to be the greatest I can be, and they’ve pushed me hard enough to let me know the potential I have. They remind me of that every day, even when I don’t see it.”

While on campus, Rangel spends most of his free time hanging out in the Student Life Center. He enjoys making new friends and hanging out with his old ones. He considers himself to be very extroverted and is always finding ways to create new friendships.

“You never know who you’ll meet and how they can help you and influence you when you come here [Student Life] and vice versa,” says Rangel. “But that’s only if you let it happen.”

Rangel also enjoys spending time at home with his family and friends. He explains that keeping his friendships alive is among the many priorities in his life.

Rangel currently works as a waiter at Nopalitos restaurant in Littlefield. He enjoys his job and the environment it provides. He works on weekends and during the summer.

His commitments also include his family. Having a close relationship with his family is something that he tries to sustain on a daily basis.

Rangel considers time management to be one of his biggest obstacles in life. He has learned to sacrifice his time of having fun and replace it with studying and being productive.

Last semester, Rangel applied for the 22-month radiology program at the Reese Center campus. Unfortunately, he did not get accepted, but took that opportunity to respond to failure and not let it bring him down. He said he strongly believes that failure should not define who anybody is, and that all you can do is respond to that failure in a positive manner.IMG_0385

Rangel also explains that his faith plays a huge role in his everyday life. When things get tough, he likes to remind himself that Jesus carried his cross even with so much weight for such a great distance. Who’s to say that he can’t do the same?

Rangel encourages students to make the most out of their time at SPC.

“Put yourself out there,” Rangel explains, “because you never know who you’re going to meet, and you never know what you’re going to do or the friends you’re going to make.”

He met two of his best friends while being involved at SPC. He says that being outgoing and involved has allowed him to meet many lifelong friends, and he encourages others to do the same.

Alum follows family footsteps to college

by Victoria De Souza

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

Like many other students, Kate Jo McCasland found a place to discover her passions in college.

McCasland, who was born in Lubbock, was raised in Clovis, New Mexico, where she was closer to her family.

After graduating from Clovis High School in 2008, McCasland decided to follow her sister and enroll at South Plains College.

McCasland was introduced to SPC through her sister Carli Layton and her neighbors, Jerry and Vanneta Beach, the parents of Jeri Ann Dewbre, director of Human Resources at SPC.

“They encouraged my sister to go to SPC to get her basics,” McCasland recalled. “She enrolled and started school at SPC, and I just followed in her footsteps.”

Moving away from home was a big change in McCasland’s life. Having familiar faces at SPC such as Jeri Ann Dewbre and her husband Dane Dewbre made her be more confident to take the risk.

“I wanted to go to a smaller college so I could take my basic courses and get them completed before I continued my major education courses,” explained McCasland. “I also wanted to go somewhere where it was familiar to me. I felt so safe knowing familiar faces such as Dane and Jeri Ann.”

While attending SPC, McCasland worked as a student assistant at the Office of College Relations and Visitor’s Center, giving tours to incoming freshmen and visitors. She also was involved in the Baptist Student Ministry at SPC.Katy Jo McCasland (FINAL)-1.jpg

During her time on campus. McCasland says she enjoyed being able to meet many people and participate in SPC events.

“The people were so friendly,” she said. “I met some of the sweetest friends at SPC.”

McCasland attended SPC until Spring 2009, when she returned home to finish her basics at Clovis Community College.

“I used that time to work and figure out what I wanted to do after my basics,”  she said.

After finishing her basics McCasland went on to attend Texas Tech University to study Apparel Design & Manufacturing, but later changed majors.

“Within a year of studying ADM, I decided that I needed to change my degree into something more practical,” McCasland said.

In 2013, McCasland graduated from TTU with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Communication.

“I love agriculture, and I’m so grateful I discovered that department at Texas Tech,” she said.

McCasland is currently working in a printing and mailing company as a Sales Representative at Plains Presort Services in Lubbock.

One important activity for McCasland is being involved in the community. She is the Vice President of Programs in AWC (Association of Women in Communications) and a Chamber Ambassador for the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s important to be involved,” said McCasland, “because it will advance your network group and you will meet valuable resources, whether it’s in your professional field or your personal life.”

McCasland continues to be very involved in the SPC community by supporting events held at the school.

“I am still involved because I love the people and the memories I made at SPC,” explained McCasland. “I sincerely believe every student should try a junior college before enrolling in a major university.”

Former professor writes book about life as musician

by Victoria De Souza

For Cary Banks, music has been an important part of his life. Now he is sharing his story with others in his new book, “Almost a Professional.”

Banks, who was born in Big Spring, Texas, says that he was inspired to become a musician at an early age.

“I was inspired to become a professional musician when I saw The Beatles for the first time in 1964,” remembers Banks.

After graduating from high school, Banks moved to Lubbock, Texas, to enroll at Lubbock Christian College, now known as Lubbock Christian University.

After spending a few semesters in college, Banks decided to follow his dream and hit the road as a musician.

“After leaving LCC, I enrolled in the ‘University of Hard Knocks,’ which means that I went on the road to try to make a life playing music,” Banks said, “and there I was off and on for 25 years, traveling around the world.”

During the early 1980s, Banks joined The Maines Brothers Band, which included brothers Lloyd, Donnie, Kenny, and Steven Maines, along with their sister LaTronda Maines, Jerry Brownlow, Randy Brownlow and Banks. The band plays Americana music, now known as Texas Country.41WlXFMFaoL

In the early 1990s, when the band slowed down, Banks became part of the faculty at South Plains College as a music professor in the Creative Arts Department.

Bringing his real-life experiences to the classroom, Banks worked for 23 years as a professor at SPC, including nine spent as the chairperson of the Creative Arts Department.

“Everything I learned in the world about being a professional musician and the music business prepared me to be a teacher,” said Banks.

While working at SPC, Banks was responsible for the establishment of the “Thursday Nite Live” show and was in charge of the event for 15 years.

Since retiring, he has spent time performing music and writing his book. He said that the idea for writing a book came about from the interest of many students and friends who wanted to know about his life on the road.

“People have always asked about how it is being a professional musician and being on stage with many talented artists,” explained Banks.

The book shares many stories of an artist focusing on his music, his faith in God and, by default, a bit of West Texas music and musicians.

“A lot in the book is my early years in the Church of Christ, playing football, baseball, and picking up music,” said Banks.IMG_9836

After a three-year process of putting stories together, Banks said that he hopes sharing his stories will inspire people with all the angles of his experiences as an entertainer.

“The book shows the good, the bad and the ugly of being an entertainer and what actually happens out in the industry,” mentioned Banks.

“Almost a Professional” will be available for purchase on Amazon starting on Oct. 1. Also, it will be available to purchase on Oct. 17 at a book signing event at Caprock Winery in Lubbock, Texas.

Banks also will be having a book signing event at 6 p.m. on Oct. 24 in Tom T Hall in the Creative Arts Building on the Levelland campus.

“I have a story to tell, and this is my story,” said Banks.

Sociology instructor connects material with the lives of students

by Autumn Bippert

When Sherley Bedore decided she wanted to be a doctor, she set the goal of achieving that dream before the age of 32.

While her path changed from her original goal, she still accomplished becoming a doctor before the age of 32.

Dr. Bedore grew up in El Paso and moved to Lubbock as a teenager because her father was in the military. She attended Estacado High School in Lubbock and graduated two years early.

After graduating, she attended Texas Tech University.

“I got a scholarship for finishing early, but also got a scholarship for being top 10 percent of my class,” said Dr. Bedore, an instructor in Sociology at South Plains College. “And so it just seemed to make sense to just go to a public school that’s near me.”

Dr. Bedore received a multidisciplinary studies bachelor’s degree in mathematics and science in 2011.

“So I had set this goal when I was a teenager to be a (medical) doctor by 32,”Dr. Bedore explained. “When I was an undergrad, I was a first-generation college student. I didn’t know what that entailed, being a college student. I didn’t know how to study for college. I found it to be like just a whole new world of trying to get used to people and having the guts to even talk to my professor.”

Dr. Bedore explained that she almost failed school because of not knowing how to communicate with her professors.

“Actually, I almost dropped out because of that,” Dr. Bedore added. “Because I didn’t feel comfortable being where I was, and I didn’t feel a connection to my college.”

She said that she met a professor who had told her she should go to graduate school. She explained that at the time she wasn’t even sure she was going to finish her bachelor’s degree.

“And that was the first time that I thought that, in some way, I could pursue something beyond a bachelor’s,” Dr. Bedore said. “Like I really thought, ‘OK, get your bachelor’s and then just get a job and live your life. And it was the first time where I think someone else saw the potential in me to move and really develop past my own barriers.”

While pursuing her bachelor’s degree, she met another professor who taught human sciences who helped guide her. She said that her professor had taught her how to research and piqued her interest in an area of study she would later explore in more depth.

“I knew that I liked people,” said Dr. Bedore, “and I knew that I liked language, identity and self. But I didn’t know how I wanted to tie them together. She saw how those all could go together, for me, as maybe a future scientist.”

Dr. Bedore said that even though she didn’t think she would be admitted into graduate school at Texas Tech, she applied anyway.

“I kind of live my life to where, I open as many doors as I can and the ones that stay open, those are the ones I walk through,” Dr. Bedore explained. “At least that’s my perspective on things, because sometimes we can be scared to even open doors and see what’s on the other side, and even just to walk through them. I decided I’ll apply and see what happens. If I don’t get in, I’ll get a job. That’ll be another door. And I got in, and I didn’t get a job, which is funny and I couldn’t believe that I, one was the first person in my family to get a bachelor’s, but also being the first person to pursue a graduate degree.”

She graduated with her master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Tech in 2014. She was given a fellowship to continue her education and earned a PhD in Human Development and Family Studies in 2018.0Q6A9247

“I was going to join the Marines and become an officer,” Dr. Bedore said. “And I applied for scholarships and for fellowships and I didn’t think I would get them, because I rarely ever got these kinds of opportunities. And I got a fellowship to pay for all of my PhD.”

While at Tech, she was a Graduate Teaching Assistant of Theories in Human Development and Family Studies and an instructor of Theories in Human Development and Family Studies courses and a Contemporary Families course.

Dr. Bedore began teaching at SPC in the Behavioral Sciences Department in January of 2019. She said she wanted to apply at SPC because of the reputation for teaching that she had at Tech.

“Apparently, at Tech I got quite a reputation for being a really involved and really good lecturer,” Dr. Bedore explained. “I credit that to the professors that I had, including the one professor that I had that one summer (who had encouraged her to apply to  graduate school) who I don’t think did anything particularly special in the way that he lectured, but the way that he connected the material to whoever was in the class.”

She said that she had a lot of good examples to go by for her teaching style.

“Being the behavioral scientist that I am,” Dr. Bedore said, “I was able to observe other people and then take the attributes that I wanted in their teaching methodology and their teaching style, and incorporated them into my teaching style, which is why I teach the way I teach.”

She explained her teaching style is catered to her students and nurturing their learning experience. She said that she doesn’t want her students to be stressed about learning the material and is as transparent as possible with what she expects from them.

“But I also play on the strengths of the students,” Dr. Bedore added, “like whether or not they are going to be good test takers or good writers, or if you’re going to be able to accomplish all of the things that I am expecting. But I also make sure that the students know that you can always ask questions in class.”

She said that is why she does the style of teaching that she does, always talking about what students are doing in their lives.

“So if I can relate to you in some aspects, I think it’s going to be more understandable, and more relatable when you’re reading about this material and trying to learn it,” Dr. Bedore said. “It’s easier for me to give you ‘you’ as an example. So that’s why I came here, because the student-centered atmosphere here is unlike any other place I’ve ever been.”

She said that she has wonderful support from other faculty members, and even from the department, for being able to do and create what she wants in getting her students to understand the material.

“The environment here is just more supportive for me as a creative,” Dr. Bedore said, “because this is somewhat of an art, to be able to create this learning interaction in the class.”

Dr. Bedore has also done her own research and participated in other sociological research, along with teaching. She said that after getting her degrees, she was very involved in the scientific community, attending conferences and consulting on the research by others.

One of her personal research projects was “An Exploratory Study of Self-Concept: The Self as a Developmental Process Across Cultures.”

“When I was an undergrad, I had done some research with a professor, and I knew that I was interested in identity and self,” Dr. Bedore said. “More specifically, I found out that I was more interested in self concept. I was always interested in the kind of environment that creates these ideas of who we think we are and what makes me so unique from everyone else if we have the same experiences.”

She said that her research was trying to understand if despite one’s environment and despite one’s culture, if the self is something that everyone creates in their mind. Bedore wanted to study who we are based on all these values, thoughts, and perceptions that we all have. As well as to see if there are common themes that go into the creation of who you are in your mind.

She also did research on kids in middle school who were at high risk for not graduating from high school, to see if inverations of mindful meditation and yoga could improve their behavior.

Dr. Bedore said she wanted to continue to look at ideas of self and what happens when those ideas go bad. She studied 20 students from a middle school in Lubbock and gave them a questionnaire before and after to track the change.

“They did six sessions over the course of a month and a half,” explained Dr. Bedore. “It was once a week. So already you think we’re not going to change anything in these kids because they’re (the sessions) too far apart from each other. On top of that, they’re only 35 minutes long. What are you going to change in someone in 35 minutes?”

She said despite everything that she was open to the challenge. She analyzed data on the questionnaires she gave the students to see if their symptoms of depression, anxiety, satisfaction with life and other factors had changed.

“If you want to see if you truly change that person, then I need to be able to capture what you are and how you are beforehand, give you this intervention and then capture it again.,” Dr. Bedore explained. “And if those two moments in time of self are the same, then whatever I did to you didn’t do anything. If they are different, then whatever I did in your environment changed you in some way.”

She said that after she looked at those two moments in time, she saw a significant change for the better.

“When you have developed this idea of self to be deviant, it takes a long time to get that,” Dr. Bedore said. “But what I was able to show was that it doesn’t take very long for someone to learn how to change, and how to change these ideas of who they are and to feel better about themselves.”

Dr. Bedore has also conducted several other studies, including: “Emotional Wellbeing in

Foster Youth: An Exploratory Study,” “Human Capital Development among Immigrant Youth,” and “ An Exploratory Study of the Impacts on the Self-Concept During Major Life Transitions, Police Practice and Research.”

Dr. Bedore has worked in many different fields, such as criminology, human development, cognitive science, PSTD, autism intelligence and risky behaviors in sex and adolescents. She has also published research in Spanish as well.

Shorts, feature films screened at Flatland Film Festival

by Autumn Bippert

Lights, Camera, Action.

The 16th annual Flatland Film Festival, which took place on Sept. 19 through Sept. 21 at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts in Lubbock, aims to create an appreciation for film and video, while also supporting artists creating these films.

Jonathan Seaborn, a South Plains College graduate, served as chair of the festival.

“It means a lot to the community,” Seaborn said. “Our sponsors that make this possible are LHUCA, Texas Film Commission, Texas Tech Public Media, Texas Tech Department of Journalism & Creative Media Industries, Thomas Jay Harris Institute for Hispanic & International Communication, Noah David Wakefield Studio, Texas Commission on the Arts, Pioneer Pocket Hotel, Premiere Cinemas, City of Lubbock, Civic Lubbock Inc. Griffin Wink, Advertising, Two Docs Brewing Co., Tech Star Graphics Inc., McDougal Realtors, and Walk On’s Bistreaux & Bar.”

Seaborn also explained that David Wakefield made the awards for Judge’s choice and Audience choice.0Q6A7370

“They are more than we could have asked for,” Seaborn said. “He did an amazing job and are very appreciative of him.”

Day 1 of the festival included a red carpet and filmmaker meet-and-greet in the LHUCA Firehouse Theatre. Following was the screening of the first feature film and a Q&A, in the Firehouse Theatre, “Building the American Dream,” written and directed by Chelsea Hernandez.

Hernandez said that the film took five years to complete. “Building the American Dream” is her first full-length feature film.

“Building the American Dream” tells the story of several immigrant workers in the Texas construction industry who face hardship and are taking action to change the political system in order to protect workers.

“The idea for the film came in 2010,” Hernandez explained. “I grew up in Austin and was going to school at the University of Texas, and on campus, there was a student luxury condominium being constructed and three workers had fallen to their deaths when the scaffolding they were working on collapsed. That was when I recognized that the people who were building the new buildings that were changing the Austin skyline were experiencing exploitations within the construction industry.”0Q6A7421

Day 2’s events began at 6 p.m. at Premiere Cinemas with the first block of short films for the short film competition. The films competed for the Judge’s choice and the Audience’s choice awards. Block one included “Nightshift Screensavers,” “Texas Snow,” “The Beach,” “Hearing the Homeless,” “Abscessed,” “Horrorscope,” “Overnight,” “Revival,” “Made in Heaven,” “As Through Fire,” “Tightly Wound,” “Chicle (Gum),” and “Xctry.”

Following the short films was a screening of the feature film, “Extra Ordinary,” directed by Enda Loughman and Mike Ahern. “Extra Ordinary” is about a woman who has supernatural abilities and must save a possessed girl. A driving instructor, Rose, has a love-hate relationship with her abilities. But she decides to help Martin and his daughter Sarah. The movie was originally released in Ireland, where it was made, and is planned for release in the United States theaters on Sept. 27.

The evening of Day 2 ended with a special screening of the film, “Make Out Party,” and a Q&A with director and writer, Emily Esperanza. “Make Out Party” is a no-budget, high-style comedy that follows three vibrant characters through a day of misadventure as they set out to attend hostess Mary Woah’s Make Out Party.

“I wanted this film to give you an eye cavity,” Esperanza explained about her film. “I wanted it to be so sticky and sweet. I wanted you to feel like you need to brush your eyes afterward.”

Esperanza also explained during the Q&A that she only uses technology for her films that are mid-90’s or older. She also discussed her film inspiration, timeline of the film and how she hopes to one day teach a class on how to make DIY gorilla films.

The final day of the festival began at 11 a.m. at LHUCA with a screening of the feature film, “Jaddoland,” directed by Nadia Shihab, in the Firehouse Theatre. “Jaddoland” explores the meaning of identity and home across three generations of the director’s Iraqi family in Texas. After the screening, there was a Q&A with Shihab.0Q6A7368

The third day continued at 4 p.m., with block two of the short films, including, “Studio,” “Dreams and Visions from the Llano Estacado: Salt/Permeable Earth,” “Rosalind,” “Creeping Autumn,” “Dance With Me, Mija,” “Potential,” “No. 19,” “Origin,” “Now You See Me,” “Chrome Girls,” “Tonight,” and “Panic Attack!” shown in the Firehouse Theatre.

Seaborn served as moderator for a Q&A for the short film makers after the second block. The short film makers answered questions about their film inspiration, casting process, their criticism on their final products, and future plans.

Following block two was a panel discussion on Women in Filmmaking, which was moderated by Casey Ellingson. Panelists included Angela Patters, who was the co-editor of “Seadrift,” Emily Esperanza, Shelby Knox, who starred in “The Education of Shelby Knox,” Nadia Shihab, and Lisa Barrera, writer and director of  “Chicle (gum).”

Some of the topics that the panel discussed was how they got into their filmmaking career, the difference between being in front of the camera and behind the camera, intended audiences and when beginning a new project begins and ends.

They also gave advice for other women wanting to get into filmmaking.

“To up-and-coming documentary filmmakers, tell the story that is most authentic to you, not the one that you think is going to be the most sensational or the next social justice subject,” said Knox, who attended Lubbock High School. “Stories are what connects us as humans. And if you don’t have sort of a personal stake in the story that you’re telling, it’s going to come off as inauthentic. No matter who you are, where you live, what your identities and identifications are, there is a story that is authentic and is it important to you. Why not tell it? All the people in the world who are saying, ‘Well, why would you be the one to tell it?’ It’s probably oppressors telling you not to. So why not? You be the one to tell that story.”

The final feature film, “Seadrift,” is a documentary about the fatal shooting of a white crabber in 1979 in a Texas fishing village that ignites a maelstrom of hostilities against Vietnamese refugee communities along the Gulf Coast.

The three-day event wrapped up with a closing reception and awards party in the LHUCA Plaza.

The winner of the Judges’s Choice Award for the short film competition was “Tightly Wound,” which is an animated short about a woman recounting her experience living with chronic pelvic pain and how health professionals have failed her, men have rejected her, and shame, anger, and hatred have plagued her body.

There were two winners for the Audience Choice Award,  “Made in Heaven” and “Dance With Me, Mija.”

‘IT: Chapter Two’ highlights aspects of community, friendship in horror film

by Kendall Rainer

With the looming threat of “IT,” the “Losers Squad” must re-assemble to take down the monstrous clown once and for all.

“IT: Chapter Two,” directed by Andy Mushietti, is a sequel to “IT,” the cinematic iteration of the Stephen King novel.

“IT: Chapter Two” follows heroes Bill Denbrough (James McAvoy), Richie Tozier (Bill Hader), Beverly Marsh (Jessica Chastain), Mike Hanlon (Isaiah Mustafa), Eddie Kaspbrak (James Ransone), and Stanley Uris (Andy Bean), who make up the “Losers Squad.”MV5BYTJlNjlkZTktNjEwOS00NzI5LTlkNDAtZmEwZDFmYmM2MjU2XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjg2NjQwMDQ@._V1_

The second film picks up 27 years after where the first ended. In “IT,” the group defeated the killer clown, Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård), a demonic entity that has taken the shape of a clown, in an intense battle in “IT’s” storm drain hideaway under the city of Derry, Maine. Or so it seemed that they had defeated him.

The town is hit again 27 years later by the clown’s torment, as mysterious disappearances, murders, and dismemberments wreak havoc on the town of Derry. Mike Hanlon is the only member of the “Losers Squad” who stayed in the small town after the first encounter with the entity. For 27 years, Mike has stayed in waiting for the beast’s return, and that day has finally arrived.

Mike begins the task of reuniting the losers, which proves to be more difficult than it seems. The remaining members have little to no recollection of the events that occurred 27 years prior. The one thing that they all definitively remember is the blood oath that they made to return if the beast ever made an appearance again, and to kill it once and for all.

The heroes reunite in their hometown of Derry with one exception, Stanley has not returned.

Once the Losers are back in Derry, their memories of the events begin to return. Fear, anxiety, and anger all come flooding back to their minds. Mike urges them to join him in defeating the monster once and for all, like they promised they would 27 years ago.try this one 2

Mike takes the group to the forest, to their old hide-away Ben made for them all those years ago. He tells them that in order to defeat Pennywise, they would all have to collect “artifacts” from the one time the group wasn’t together in their first showdown with the clown.

Mike tells them that he learned of a ritual from the Shokopiwah people, the people who first encountered the being millions of years ago, which would lock Pennywise away forever.

Each member of the group re-lives an encounter with the beast that they experienced on their own and retrieved an item from that “revisitation.”It-Chapter-Two-Review

After Bill’s encounter, he runs into a boy who lived in his old house and reminded him of his younger brother Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott) who was killed by the clown in the first movie.

After reuniting with the group at the Inn where they were staying, Bill realizes that Pennywise was going to go after the boy. In a clown-themed house of horrors, Pennywise consumes the boy in front of Bill, which was the last straw for him. He knew there was only one thing left to do.

The band of losers charged the beasts’ hideaway and charged deeper into its depths, farther than they had ever traveled, to the “crash site,” where the entity had first made contact with the Shokopiwah tribe.

Mike leads the group in a ritual, which proved to be doomed from the start. The ensuing battle against the giant demonic entity proves to be too much for the team, and heavy losses ensue.

With what remains of the group, they discover that in order to defeat the beast, they have to make it small. They begin belittling the clown, which shrinks its size, eventually making the entity so small it is all but a husk.

The heroes prove to be victorious and finally defeat the being once and for all.

“IT: Chapter Two” proves to be everything I expected it to be. It was a visually stunning, scary, gut-wrenching, adrenaline-pumping horror film.itchaptertwo_slide-d30ab3ec3159129bac2953ee59c5538bcb3f0d6a-s1600-c85

However, the story is more than just pure terror. There is a deeper meaning to the film than just a scary clown.

It highlights aspects of self endearment and persistence. It proves that no obstacle, whether it seems larger than life or not, is insurmountable.

The film provides the jumpy, horrifying action that was evident in the first film. It is what is expected of a horror film. However, it is intertwined with a deeper meaning and a story that is, at times, loving and empathetic to a feeling of friendship and community that we all strive to have. For this reason, I give “IT: Chapter Two,” a 10 out of 10.

Romance novel highlights separation of lovers, distrust

by Abi Hernandez

As Madeline picks her bathing suit on this forbidden trip, Olly gazes at her beauty and stares in awe. They walk on the beach and jump into the water as Madeline has her first beach experience.

“Everything Everything” by Nicola Yoon takes readers on a romantic and twisting journey. Madeline Whittier was diagnosed with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID). The 18-year-old has a nonexistent immune system, so her mother seals her off inside their house. The only other person who has contact with her is her nurse, Carla.

Every day, she lives the same life on repeat with the same routines over and over again. She wears the same white t-shirts and the same color of clothes. Madeline has lived indoors her entire life, passing time by reading books and doing her school work. All this changes once a teenage boy and his family move in next door.

Oliver, also known as Olly, tries many times to get Madeline’s attention and become friends with her. Eventually, they exchange emails and begin communicating via email. As they communicate more, they arrange little face-to-face meetings with the help of Carla, with the condition of no touching. But eventually, the two teens end up kissing each other and falling deeply in love.everything3

One day, Olly’s dad is abusing him and they start fighting in the front yard. Madeline hears this and leaves the safety of the house without a second thought, going out to protect him. Then her extremely overprotective mother finds out about the two teens and their face-to-face meetings and fires Carla after finding out that she allowed it. She then forbids Madeline from emailing or talking to Olly in any kind of way.

Madeline decides to leave with Olly so she can finally live and be with him, even if that means risking her life. They go to Hawaii, where they jump off a cliff, snorkel, and eat Hawaiian food on the first day. Soon after, they prove their love to each other verbally and physically. The second day, Madeline wakes up with a bad fever and her heart stops. She is rushed to a hospital in Hawaii, where she is revived.

A few months pass and Madeline tries to tell herself just to go back to reality in seclusion. Then she gets an email from the doctor in Hawaii who treated her. He explains to Madeline that she does not suffer from SCIDs. Madeline then goes and sees a local SCIDs specialist, who confirms the suspicions.

Madeline then confronts her mother. Her mother explains how she invented her diseases to protect her, and because she doesn’t want to lose Madeline like she lost Madeline’s brother and father in a car wreck. Since Madeline was sick as an infant, she used that to keep her in a sterile environment to “protect her.”

Madeline is frustrated that her mother has basically stolen her life from her, even though she said she was doing it in the best interest of Madeline. She then flies to New York, where Olly and his family went to escape his abusive father. She meets him in an old book store to fix things. She leaves a copy of the book, “The Prince,” and Olly sees it, recognizes it and smiles.

This book ends beautifully and peacefully with the two reuniting. I would definitely recommend that anyone read this heartwarming book. This book received a lot of backlash from parents concerned about their kids reading it because of the little sex scene between Madeline and Olly in Hawaii. I would recommend that 15 and older is an appropriate age range to read this book.

For a love story, I would give “ Everything Everything” a 10 out of 10.

‘Jane the Virgin’ captivates viewers with final season

by Desiree Lopez

An aspiring writer is faced with an unfortunate predicament. But as time goes on, her world changes for the better.

“Jane the Virgin” follows the exciting saga of Jane Gloriana Villanueva, a young woman in her 20s, raised by her mother and grandmother, who was accidentally inseminated by a heartbroken and distracted gynecologist.

This show has so many twists and turns, from kidnappings to murders to maimings, the threat of deportation and so many crushing breakups that I almost wept to death. But thankfully, everything ended just as I had hoped, with even more excitement and tears than I had anticipated.

“Jane” first aired in 2014 on the television network, The CW. The actress who plays Jane, Gina Rodriguez, is the reason why this show comes together so perfectly. She played Jane with absolute originality. The show also takes into consideration every side character, background design, and literally every detail from costumes to one-liners. This made the show so meaningful and well thought out. It proves that there was so much work put into this show to make it just right.list_page_p10781393_b_v9_af

The American telenovela takes place in present day Miami, Florida. Jane is 23 years old and enjoying her life as she studies to become a teacher. She is engaged to a handsome detective.

After a routine visit to a clinic, Jane is told that her gynecologist accidentally inseminated her. The news becomes more intense when she finds out that the unintentional sperm donor is her boss. Once the news comes out, Jane’s life begins to fill with many complications.

The show’s director, Jennie Snyder Urman, played around with different kinds of format, tone, and form. It utilized different styles that worked together perfectly to create such interesting content. Because of its dramatic style, the show was a true telenovela. Even the characters – Jane, Xo, and Alba –  loved to watch telenovelas, and they even implemented them into their lives on the show.

Jane is all about family, love, and romance. The whole concept of the show is how the ways of childhood affect the ways of adulthood. It is also about how many people create patterns in their day to day lives, but they’re not always healthy ones. There are many lessons learned by the characters, and even the audience, because of this series.

I cannot think of any other show that I love so much. It’s so sustaining and comforting, as well as dramatic, that it’s easy for it to capture the audience’s attention and keep it for the entire 45 minutes of each episode. There are other series to watch to get this kind of hype and content, but “Jane” is the show that gives the audience what they want… eventually. It is the show where family is a priority, love is in every corner, and romance is essential.merlin_158606955_d147d142-ef3e-4580-8700-03968bef3727-articleLarge

The series finale was, as most people would say, “straight out of a telenovela.” I was so worried that somebody would die, or that Michael would die again, or that Rafael’s discovery of his biological parents would ruin something or everything. I wasn’t expecting to be so unscathed by this finale, but I was. That is how every telenovela should end, and I enjoyed it wholeheartedly.

I definitely will miss Jane’s strong will, Rogelio’s tenderness, and Rafael’s sense of hope. I will miss Alba’s advice, Xo’s adaptability, and Petra’s loyalty. I will really miss how much the show’s director loves television.

I will forever treasure “Jane.” Maybe the reason “Jane” is so easy for me to love is because it’s the rare kind of show that made me feel like it actually loved me back.

‘This is Where it Ends’ tells story of mass shooting from four perspectives

by Autumn Bippert

Many see the effects of mass shootings. But only those who live through them know what it is like to experience the horror that has occurred in front of them.

“This is Where it Ends,” written by Markeke Nijkamp, tells the story of a school shooting from four different points of view of those who experienced the atrocity. This emotional story is told by characters Claire, Toḿas, Autumn and Sylv during  the course of 54 minutes.0Q6A7421

The book was #1 on the New York Times bestsellers list, on the National Indie bestsellers list, and several other acclaimed listings.

The book begins with the normal everyday mornings of  students in the small town of  Opportunity, Alabama, the setting for the story. The principal of Opportunity High School calls a beginning-of-term assembly, which gathers the entire school into the auditorium.

“10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve. 10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class. 10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won’t open. 10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.”

A gunman, outcast Tyler Browne, uses the occasion to lock the auditorium doors from the outside, using the room as a personal “shooting range” to settle his scores with his classmates.

Autumn, Tyler’s younger sister, wants to leave Opportunity, Alabama, and follow in her mother’s footsteps of dancing around the world. She also wants to be far away from her abusive father. She wants her girlfriend Sylvia, or Sylv, to come with her, but she’s torn between her dreams of the future with Autumn and the need to stay behind and care for her sick mother.

Tomás, Sylv’s twin brother, is the school prankster, which is why he isn’t in the auditorium for the assembly. He is sneaking around the school instead. 

Claire, Tyler’s ex-girlfriend, has a last-minute track practice in the morning. She and her teammates are running outside in the cold January air when the first shots are fired. Claire and Tomás decide to help their trapped friends and family, even if it puts their own lives in danger.

The author uses the four characters to tell the emotions from different perspectives – the family of the shooter, those who used to be close to them, someone from the other side desperate for their loved ones to be safe, and a first-hand witness. There are many secondary characters involved as well, which gives a truer feeling to the story. There are many students at a high school and many people who are affected by mass shootings. Telling the story as only happening to one person wouldn’t be an accurate account.

“This is Where it Ends” is an emotional narrative that pulls the reader into the pages. This story is more than fiction. It is reality, a reality that many have been affected by.

This book draws attention to a major problem in our society that seems to be continually overlooked. With so many mass shootings, it has become the norm to see a story on the news and then forget about it the next day. This book put people in the shoes of students who experience this every month and tells the untold effects of school violence. Hopefully it will help increase awareness, helping prevent more mass shootings at schools.

This is one of the most amazing books I’ve ever read. It is sad and terrifying, yet somehow inspirational and relatable. “This is Where it Ends” is more than action and horror.

I truly could not put down this book until I was done reading it. I give “This is Where it Ends” a 10 out of 10.

Backtalk: Differences of opinion generate debate about coffee

Coffee important source of caffeine

by Kendall Rainer

Java, Joe, Jitter Juice.

Whatever you call it, coffee doesn’t just help you wake up and stay awake. It can have some serious health benefits that will reinforce the position of coffee drinkers and could change the minds of those who have a distaste for the brown bean water.

Coffee helps us stay up late and cram for our midterms. Coffee helps us wake up the following morning after getting little to no sleep. Coffee helps us stay awake during boring jobs or that lecture that just puts you to sleep every day. Coffee is a necessity that we all need in our lives.heart-shape-made-from-coffee-beans-wooden_38705-28

Coffee is the wonderfully amazing brown liquid that has dominated American culture. It is to America as tea is to the United Kingdom.

To some, a cup of joe just tastes good and they enjoy drinking it. To others, it’s an essential part of their morning routine.

Coffee doesn’t only give you energy, it has some serious health benefits as well. According to the American Heart Association, coffee can decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s.

Coffee consumption has also been associated with a lower risk of mortality from heart disease and nervous system disease. It can be a source of antioxidants as well.

Coffee has been linked to a lower risk of coronary heart disease in women. However, these benefits only apply to plain black coffee.

Sugar and artificial sweeteners can negate some of the health benefits coffee provides. So going to Starbucks and ordering yourself a Venti Iced latté isn’t going to do much for you, other than give you a boost of energy. Drinks of this caliber contain mostly milk and flavoring, and they do not actually have a significant amount of coffee.

Federal dietary guidelines say that three to five cups of coffee a day can be a part of a healthy diet, which is good news for habitual coffee drinkers. But again, this only refers to plain black coffee.

Coffee is a significant source of caffeine. In one cup, 8 fluid ounces, there are 95 milligrams of caffeine. Compare that to a 20-fluid-ounce bottle of Coca Cola, which has only 57 milligrams of caffeine, and far more sugar.

In comparison to a 16-fluid-ounce can of Monster Energy, coffee has 190 milligrams of caffeine, four calories, one gram of fat and 5 milligrams of sodium. One 16-ounce can of Monster has 160 milligrams of caffeine, 100 calories per serving (which is 200 calories per can) and 260 milligrams of sodium.

A cup of java has more caffeine and significantly less of the other “bad things” that can lead to disease and overall bad health.

Studies have shown that caffeine can sharpen your mind, improve your mood, and increase your performance during exercise. All of these things can help in daily life, whether it be just getting up in the morning and being able to be a productive member of society, or getting your daily gym crawl in.

So wake up, make a steaming hot cup of your favorite rocket fuel, sip and feel relaxed knowing that coffee is helping to prevent some serious illnesses for you down the road.

Coffee unhealthy beverage choice

by Desiree Lopez

There have been many disputes over the years about whether coffee is good for you.

After the many side effects I have witnessed, I’ve come to the conclusion that coffee is an unhealthy beverage choice.

The many negative side effects of coffee include an increase in heart rate, high blood pressure, anxiety, fatigue, bad oral hygiene, and addiction.

All of these effects should trigger concern, especially since they all hold a negative connotation.

One of the many concerns that strikes most people is the caffeine intake. The abundance of caffeine in coffee is mostly the reason why coffee causes so many negative side effects.

Large doses or frequent small amounts of caffeine in coffee have the possibility of increasing your heartbeat. Of course, every person is different, but a rapid heart rate is still something everybody should be aware of.

            There have been many different reasons why coffee causes high blood pressure. Some believe that caffeine blocks a certain hormone that helps keep your arteries widened, while others believe that adrenaline is released more than usual, which then causes your blood pressure to increase. People who already have high blood pressure have a higher risk of a stroke or heart attack if they consume a great amount of coffee daily.no-coffee (1)

Coffee is mostly used to help people stay awake or have energy throughout their day. However, excessive coffee consumption can also cause anxiety. When people drink coffee, the release of adrenaline is more rapid, which increases one’s energy. To most people, this sounds like a great deal. But little do they know that high doses of coffee can lead to anxiety and even nervousness. Moderate doses can even result in some side effects such as rapid breathing and an increase in stress levels.

Coffee can also cause fatigue. Once the coffee has finally left your system, your body begins to rebound, which means that the opposite of what coffee is supposed to do to you occurs. There have been a few studies done to prove the alertness that coffee causes, but participants more often complained that they felt more tired than usual after the study. This symptom can be easily avoided by drinking smaller doses of caffeine.

Along with all of these other side effects, bad oral hygiene is an underestimated one. Coffee can lead to bad teeth and stinky breath. It can cause bacteria to form in your mouth that can lead to tooth decay. Coffee also can stick to your tongue, which then causes bad breath.

The most concerning effect of coffee is addiction. It’s not as intense as a drug addiction, but it does lead to psychological and physical dependency. Some may call it a habit, while others call it an addiction. After drinking coffee regularly, one may feel like they need it at all times, which leads them to being very dependent on the caffeinated drink. This dependency can later cause the aforementioned side effects.

The caffeine in coffee is mostly the reason why coffee is so unhealthy. The amount of sugar someone puts into their drink is another reason why, but the amount of sugar used in the drink is different for everybody.

To stay away from highly caffeinated coffee, some people prefer to drink decaf. Decaf coffee is an alternative for those who prefer a lower caffeine intake. Although decaf removes more than 90 percent of caffeine, it still leaves behind a small amount of caffeine. Therefore, drinking decaf coffee frequently can still cause side effects.

There are a few beverages that can be used to substitute for coffee, such as chicory coffee, which is a caffeine-free coffee, tea, milk, lemon water, and apple cider vinegar.

As the daughter of someone who has a lot of health concerns, I know first hand how coffee can negatively affect someone’s health. Coffee would increase my father’s blood pressure, and it would do the same to his blood sugar. This caused him to take higher doses of his medication, which then lead to an increase in anxiety and other side effects. My father used to enjoy drinking his daily cups of coffee, but, unfortunately, he had to cut coffee out from his life to improve his health and to avoid any further issues.

Everybody reacts to coffee differently. I advise that people control their coffee intake to stay clear of any complications.

Women’s cross country team opens season with two impressive showings

by Kendall Rainer

The South Plains College women’s cross country team opened the 2019 season by placing first and second at their first two meets.

The Lady Texans placed second at the Texas Tech Cross Country Classic, while the Texans placed ninth.

The meet was held Sept. 21 at the Lubbock Christian University Golf Course.

In the women’s 5-kilometer run, SPC finished with a total team time of 1:37:07, and an average time of 19:25.38. Texas Tech placed first with an average time of 18:53.32.

Sophomore All-American Gladys Jemaiyo placed second with a time of 18:07.60. Freshman Daisy Kibet was the next Lady Texan to cross the finish line with a time of 18:26.80. Her time was good enough for fourth place.WES_5532

  Sophomore Dorcus Ewoi placed sixth with a time of 18:43.10. Sophomore Itzel Garcia-Santos finished 32nd with a time of 20:36.90.

In the men’s 8-kilometer run, the Texans finished with an overall team time of 2:31:20, and an average of 30:16.16.

Freshman Abdirizak Ibrahim was the first runner across the line for SPC, as he finished 11th overall with a time of 27:00.40. Sophomore Alex Kitum finished 19th with a time of 27:25.20.

Freshman Ryan Robinson finished 51st with a time of 29:35.70, while sophomore Yusuf Mohamud finished with a time of 31:10.60 in 72nd place. Freshman Alejandro Morales finished 92nd after crossing the finish line at 36:08.90.WES_5477

The SPC women’s cross country team placed first in the opening meet of the 2019 cross country season, which was held Sept. 14 at Western Texas College in Snyder.

In the women’s 5-kilometer race, SPC finished with 26 points and a total time of 1:41:42.23, with an average time of 20:20.45. New Mexico Junior College placed second in the team standings with an average of 20:44.27, while Ranger College placed third with an average time of 23:23.91

Jemaiyo was the first Lady Texan across the finish line, placing second with a time of 19:13.92. Kibet wasn’t far behind with a time of 19:41.79, good enough for third place. Ewoi was the fourth runner to cross the line with a time of 20:10:37.

Garcia-Santos placed seventh with a time of 21:08.64. Sophomore Nya Sena finished with a time of 21:27.51, good enough for 11th place. Sophomore Angela Rodriquez finished 14th with a time of 22:16.69.   

The men’s cross country team was unable to place in the team standings, as they only competed with four runners.

Kitum placed third in the men’s 8-kilometer run with a time of 27:18.59. Ibrahim was on Kitum’s heels, crossing the line just a second after him at 27:19.49, and finishing fourth

The SPC men’s and women’s cross country teams competed at the New Mexico Junior College Open which was held on Sept. 27 in Hobbs, New Mexico. Results were not available at press time.

Women’s rodeo team second in first fall competition

by Kendall Rainer

The South Plains College women’s rodeo team placed second in their 2019 season opener at the Eastern New Mexico University Rodeo.

The Rodeo was held Sept. 21 in Portales, New Mexico.

The Lady Texans earned 195 team points to place second, behind Sul Ross State University that placed first with 230 points. Eastern New Mexico placed third with 185 points, and Texas Tech University placed fourth with 120 points.

Sophomore Kaytlyn Miller earned 110 points in the goat tying event. She posted a time of 8.4 seconds in the long round and an 8.5 in the short round, ending with an average time of 16.9 for the event. Sophomore Elle Eagles placed ninth in the event, earning 60 points. She posted a time of 7.4 in the long round and 15.2 in the short round, finishing with an average of 22.6.WES_5196

In breakaway roping, Miller placed eighth, earning 25 points. She posted a time of 2.6 in the long round, but did not post a time in the finals, finishing with an average time of 102.6.

The Texans placed 10th in the team standings with 50 points.online

In steer wrestling, freshman Clay Guthrie posted a time of 4.3 in the long round, but did not post a time in the short round. He finished in eighth place with an average of 104.3. Logan Kenline placed ninth with a time of 4.6 in the long round and no time in the finals, finishing with an average of 104.6. Dawson Stewart placed 10th with a run of 5.1 in the long round and no time in the short round, finishing with an average of 105.1.

Daryan Dominguez paired up with Texas Tech’s David Palma in team roping. The two placed first with a time of 4.9 in the long round. They later ran a 6.0 in the finals, averaging 10.9 for the event.

The SPC teams competed in the Sul Ross State University Rodeo on Sept. 26 – Sept. 28 in Alpine. Results were not available at press time.

Axe throwing entertains all ages

by Victoria De Souza

Axe Throwing is a new urban sport that can help you relieve stress and unleash any pent up anger and aggression.

While axes have been around since the Stone Age as a hunting weapon, modern society has found an interesting way to implement axes as an entertainment activity.

The sport became official in North America in 2011, when Matt Wilson opened what is presumed to be the first axe throwing bar in Toronto, Canada.

In 2016, the National Axe Throwing Federation was founded to establish the rules and safety standards to the sport. It also is responsible for the international and inter-league competitions.0Q6A7031

In axe throwing, the competitors throw an axe at a target to attempt to get the closest to the bullseye. The outer ring is worth one point, the middle ring is worth three and the bullseye is worth five points.

The owners of Bad Axe Raider in Lubbock-Säge Gallaway, John Bankston and Brooke Hughes- say they wanted to provide a new form of entertainment to Lubbock.

The idea started from Gallaway, who graduated with an art degree from Texas Tech University and wanted to figure out what to do next. When he saw the sport becoming more popular in the United States, he decided to take the risk.

“I wanted to do something that would facilitate my art and give an outlet but that would also be able to bring in some money,” said Gallaway.

Starting with a few axes found on the internet, Gallaway opened Bad Axe Raider on 134th Street in November of 2018. With growing demands, they soon needed a bigger location.

In February of 2019, they opened a new facility at 1408 Avenue F. Sessions are $30 per person for one hour. The facility also is available to be booked by groups, and there are parties packages.

Not long after the reopening, the growth and uniqueness of the business caught the attention of a local collector, Ram Campos, who helped the new business increase the variety of axes on display.

“He started showing up frequently and bringing his axes,” Gallaway said, “and with time, he let us use them. A vast majority of the axes that are for display come from his personal antique collection.”

Currently available for throwing are a variety of hatchets, tomahawks of all sorts, modern throwing axes and custom modified. They range in weight from 9 ounces to 3.5 pounds.0Q6A6879

Recommended for anyone age 14 and older, there is no need for previous experience in the sport. But everyone is required to sign a waiver that informs them of safety rules and precautions. Young customers must have parental consent and be accompanied by an adult. Although there are no governmental safety requirements, the owners follow safety guidelines outlined by their insurance, as well as personal safety rules that they came up with themselves.

The instructors are well trained to teach and guarantee safety while you learn the different techniques for each type of axe.

“It is hard to describe in words, but the process is more ‘finess’ and less effort,” explained Bankston. “It is a natural movement, so it is not necessary to overthink the process.”

The axes and tools available for throwing require a different technique.

Most items are either one or two-handed,” Gallaway explained. “There are multiple advanced forms that are not needed to know when starting out.”

Gallaway added that the busiest time is during weekends because of the rising popularity of the sport in the media. Also, word of  mouth from customers who have been there sharing their experiences helps in the promotion of the business.

“A lot of people that walk in come after searching online about axe throwing in town and ended up finding that now there is one here,” said Gallaway.

Bad Axe Raider also has a space for art. Besides having a fun time throwing axes, you also can enjoy the personal art gallery and handicrafts on display.

Bad Axe Raider is a strong supporter of the Lubbock community.

They currently support fundraisers for organizations such as Saving Grace, United Valor and others.0Q6A7298

“We are very big in being part of the community, and more than just our presence as a business,” mentioned Gallaway. “We want to foster Lubbock as a good place to be.”

On October 26, they will be holding a second car show as a fundraiser for the United Valor organization that works to provide support to military veterans in the Lubbock community with financial help and transportation.

To boost their visibility, Bad Axe Raider was a site for The First Friday Art Trail, with small tryout sections. They also host a trivia night, a mini session during lunch time of axe throwing and live music. In the future, they hope to be able to offer art classes.

Sarah Looten recently was at Bad Axe Raider with her friends celebrating a birthday.

“I found this place in ‘Lubbock in the Loop,” Looten said. “It is exciting to see new things coming to Lubbock. It seems to be something out of the ordinary and fun to do.”

Supporting stress relief for the students in Lubbock and surrounding areas, Bad Axe Raider offers a 20-percent discount to students every Thursday night.

Bad Axe Raider is becoming a stress-relieving place for people of all ages and genders where you can compete with your friends while having some fun time.