Tag: student opinion

Print journalism major gains new experiences, meets lifelong friends

I’ve stared at a blank Microsoft Word doc for days now.

For someone who struggles very little with writing and putting words on a page, this particular article was difficult to start. I just did not know where to start.

I have spent so many hours in the Newsroom in the Communications Building, since fall 2018. Which stories do I tell, or which ones do I not? Not to mention the emotions that will come with writing this farewell piece.

DSC_0142I started my journey with the Plainsman Press in the fall 2018 semester. We only had six staff members, all who wrote and edited the paper. I was a determined, inspired journalist who wanted a handson experience of every part of the newspaper. Yet I had no idea of the work, time, stress, and fun that would go with it.

My first paper week was rough for several reasons. The main reason was I am not a night person, so when 11 p.m. hit, I took a nap on the floor in between the desks and the whiteboard. I got in trouble for that later. However, Kendall was nice (for once) and waited for me to wake up before getting on to me. He explained that even if you are done with your work, you help others with theirs so everyone can get done sooner.

Another reason was I had no idea what in the world I was doing. Between working with the In Design software and trying to figure out how Apple computers work, I struggled with laying out my first page. I cannot even guess the number of times I asked Autumn for help that week. Through controlled breathing and gritted teeth, she kindly helped me every time.

Now do not get me wrong; everyone loves everyone in the Newsroom. But when it’s 3 57289369_2451997331499208_8184277129916055552_na.m. and everyone is tired, hands tend to go to throats.

You will get glared at and yelled at, but I promise you will be doing just as much glaring and yelling as well.

The strangers in the class become staff members, and the staff members become family. You will find yourself coming into the Newsroom in your spare time to eat, talk, joke, play games, and work on homework with them. That is part of the reason why everyone gets on to others as much as we do, because we are family.

You will get to know people way deeper than you expected. They will share their life stories, even if you do not want them to. They will share the good, bad, funny, and sad ones, but none will be more hilariously sad than either half of Kait’s poor fish.

You will be picked on, and every one will poke you until all your buttons are pushed and you storm out of the room. However, you will never have a group of friends more loyal. If you come in talking about how someone really hurt you and messed up your week, they will come up with a plan for how to kill, who will do the killing, where to bury the 58381199_2465730280125913_8928513452423512064_nbody, and who will pay for the deed. The News crew will be more than willing to back you up, no matter what the cost, and by cost I mean prison for life. (No one was killed, or harmed, in the making of any newspaper).

The girls will have your back when you want to go walking down the haunted hallway, and the guys will do their best to scare the girls as they come back.

I wish I could tell you which part is the best and which part is the worst. However, it changes every week, and every single thing about the Plainsman Press will be your favorite/worst part.

One of my favorite parts that never changes, though, is the people. I go get my nails done with the girls in the Newsroom and go out to eat lunch with Reece, Austin, and Victoria at least once a week, if not more. And on Thursdays, Charlie takes the Newsroom to the BSM, and those who do not have class eat together. Typically, the group will walk to the BSM. That is my most favorite time on Thursdays. The walk to and from lunch consists of stories, laughter and jokes. Not to mention everyone is able to get outside for a bit and breathe in fresh air.

While being on the Plainsman Press staff, I was able to interview author Jodi Thomas, Television News Personality John Stossel, and many more awesome people. I got to write opinion columns and typically got to pick which stories I wanted to write.

Charlie, our instructor and advisor, tries his hardest to make this experience the best for the students. He listens to story ideas, and as long as they will not get the college (or him)56247840_2431591733539768_315491963803533312_n sued, you are able to write/cover it.

Charlie does a lot more than just critique your stories, though. He is also a great mentor. Charlie truly cares for each of his students and tries his best to prepare them and give them what they need in order to move forward in their career.

The Newsroom has been like a second home to me. We laugh, cry, and confide in each other. We know when someone needs a hug, and we know when someone just needs food. I cannot tell you the number of times I have gone into the Newsroom and Autumn, Victoria or someone else has looked at me, and noticed that I am in an off mood, asking “Want to go get food?”

Eventually, everyone will be able to tell when you are hiding your true feelings and will sit you down and tell you to talk.

Sometimes the talk is just about a bad day, or about troubles with a relationship. Other times, the talk requires shutting the Newsroom door (because it locks when it is shut and you cannot get in without a key). Those are the real talks. You know something is going down, typically within the Newsroom, when they get up and shut the door.

Being in the Newsroom, whether you want to be a journalist or not, is so much fun and worth the time. It is a place where you can and will belong.

There will be days when you ask yourself why you ever got into it. But when the paper comes out, you realize the worth of your work and nothing else matter. So you excitedly do it all again.

South Plains College has been a wonderful college for me. I was homeschooled my whole 55489158_2421469114552030_6289754600245297152_olife, and although I was active in sports and extra activities, transitioning from homeschooling to public school terrified me.

SPC is a great place for people who are nervous about transitioning into college. There are wonderful professors who are willing to help you when you have trouble with your assignments, and some professors try to get to know you personally as well.

Emily Brunson, who is an English instructor, would bring M&M’s in a bowl and pass it around. We could only grab one M&M, and depending on what color we got, we would have to answer a question, such as “What’s your favorite color?” Then we would be able to get more M&M’s afterword.

Dave Cleavenger, an agriculture professor, enjoyed talking with students after class. He also cared about the students’ health. Once I went into class with sunglasses on and just kept my head down because I had a really bad migraine. Cleavenger noticed me not being myself and asked if I was OK. When I told him about my migraine, he massaged a pressure point in my hands that relieves migraine pressure. Because of that, my migraine continued to get better for the next few hours. By the middle of the day, my head was fine.

SPC has been a great twoyear college for me, and I will forever be grateful for this college, the professors, and friends that I made here.

Traveling frequently promotes personal growth

Traveling is a great way to learn and gain new experiences throughout life.

I enjoy traveling very much. I have traveled so much growing up, and every time I travel or go somewhere new I learn something new.

I think every student should have a travel bucket list, whether it’s a town only 50 miles away or in a different country. Traveling is an experience everyone should get to have. On of my first trips was to visit family who lived six hours away, and I still haven’t forgotten that time. My first plane ride also is a memory that has stuck with me.

IMG_7856Traveling has taught me many lessons. I have learned how important it is to save up for trips, and how to budget while on my trips. I have met new people, seen new places, and have amazing memories from the places I have visited. I have been to so many places in the United States, and each trip has always been different. Every trip has a unique story with it.

Growing up traveling, I have learned my way around Texas and how to go to where I want to go. I love traveling out of state on road trips, especially west. California is fun to visit. I always make sure to visit the beaches.

I have traveled to many monumental places. I went to Washington, D.C, and the history there is so interesting. There are so many places to go and things to see. The White House, the Arlington National Cemetery and even George Washington’s house are among my favorites. On every trip I go on, I always make sure to get a souvenir and take tons of pictures.

Travel is also a great way to just get away and relax. Resorts are great for having a peaceful getaway. I favor resorts because I had such great experience, and I like how everything you want is there. Great food, pools, and fun activities are available to do with your family. Last summer, I went to Italy, and it was so awesome. I wrote down a list and saved up money. I gave myself enough time to plan everything and get everything paid for.

I really encourage students to travel. It’s so much fun going to places you’ve never been 586F9986-F1EB-490A-AC3C-6B8029E28B52-2before. Visiting the Colosseum in Rome was so crazy. I couldn’t believe I was actually there. Being in places you see on TV or in movies is so breath-taking to me.

I like accomplishing my traveling goals, and I hope you start a travel bucket list for yourself. Learning history and visiting Europe was a great experience, and I highly recommend students travel to wherever you desire.

Making memories and going to new places will even teach you things about yourself. You will learn how you are in new places, and whether you are good with directions or how well you do budgeting with your money.

Green New Deal aiming to reduce carbon emissions entirely

A bill to reduce America’s impact on global climate change is being developed by Democrats, much to the dismay of the many Republicans who claim it isn’t feasible or even that it’s radical.

The Green New Deal (GND) echoes a portion of Obama’s stimulus package from roughly 10 years ago, which primarily focused on improving the economy and avoiding a depression. Tens of billions of dollars, however, created jobs and infrastructure to produce clean energy. While many Republicans don’t afford much attention to climate change, some Democrats have talked about the Green New Deal in a radical way, suggesting changes that are beyond reasonable considering our country’s dependency on fossil fuel.

AOC photoAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez, upcoming Democrat and state representative of New York, has repeatedly said on the record that the goal of the Green New Deal policy is to reach 100 percent emissions-free energy production, a noble goal with a caveat. Reaching zero carbon emissions just isn’t achievable overnight. Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) pushes it as a goal, making Republicans nervous that a green energy initiative will prove a costly, radical undertaking in which Democrats bite off more than they can chew.

Details about what the new policies will look like, and if they will affect other energy resources, are slim. But to much Republican delight, AOC is not on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s committee to create the GND.

Despite Democrats praising the green initiative, AOC has been given most of the credit, since she has acted as the catalyst for it and fanned its flames through interviews and social media. AOC has released a preamble to the GND, boasting goals of creating jobs, focusing on renewable energy and charging companies for carbon emissions. Her intense support has led to her having to shelter the majority of the criticism for the concept, though. Her Socialist affiliation also has left a sour taste in the mouths of many Republicans.

Stimulus packages have proven necessary to protect the economy from excessive decline in the past, but the huge sums of money put into a select industry does constitute a redistribution of wealth. The GND is already being defamed as a socialist policy before it has taken any shape that will actually pass a vote. While a stimulus package could once again prove necessary in the future, most stimulus packages aren’t so heavily focused on a single industry, but are more diversified. The opposition of the GND has been quick to cite the half a million dollars Obama’s stimulus funneled into a failed solar energy company, Solyndra.

President Donald Trump has already mocked AOC publically, referring to her indirectlyGND speech as a “bartender,” and vowed to oppose the GND in 2020. The plan may prove to be unreasonable, but writing it off so early also is troubling, considering the evidence stacked in favor of climate change. The GND poses the risk of making the nation’s energy production far less efficient than countries with less moral hang-ups and wasting taxpayer money on dying solutions such as Solyndra. But the concept of green energy shouldn’t be written off.

As a military, economic and political superpower, the United States can influence the world and should pursue green energy while encouraging others to do so. Environmental specialists have already predicted that climate change will become somewhat irreversible in less than two decades. This, paired with other countries contributing mass amounts of carbon emissions to the problem, means a complete, instant switch to green energy might not be enough to prevent this.

The world is already behind the curve on the problem, and politicians will fight about solutions for years to come. But the reality is that it is too late to avoid serious repercussions, and green policies can’t reasonably be enacted all at once, but gradually.

Rushed marriages lead to higher divorce rate


There are many important decisions one will make in life, and picking the right mate ranks at the top.

It seems that today so many kids are encouraged to start liking the opposite sex so young. You can hear any parents ask, “Is he your boyfriend? Or do you like him/her?” I was blessed that my parents encouraged me to not rush that. Enjoy just being a kid, they said.

When I was raising my sons, I taught them the same words of wisdom.

couples arguing DebbieIt breaks my heart when I see men and women around 30 years of age breaking up families with divorce. Getting a divorce not long after getting married is so hard on the children.

So, what can be done to avoid that heartbreak? There are several things that can be done to decrease the divorce rate.

Don’t start dating so young. This starts the hormones racing worse than normal. You have plenty of time in your adult life to date. Use your childhood to take in this amazing journey called life. Don’t look for a happy life in another person. Work at being wholly happy on your own.

When you start dating, date long enough to see them in tough situations.  When you rush into marriage or a committed relationship, you don’t get to see them at their worst, and that will bug you later.

Life will be so much better when you are not sucking the life out of the other person. If you date the wrong one, there are some red flags to watch out for.

One big red flag is if you fight all the time. You will make yourself sick. If you have kids, 5b9e33ac250000360036c1fbthey will not be healthy either. An ugly divorce will most likely be in your future.

Another red flag is the feeling of being “ignored.”  He/she doesn’t like to be friendly or cordial. This will set the marriage up for infidelity.

If he/she gives attention to the opposite sex in a “too friendly way,” it will cause jealousy and lots of fights.

Sometimes people are too needy. They need reinforcement of the relationship all the time. This will get “old” fast.

Marriage is about a partnership. If one side is always first, there will be resentment.

When you are in public, does he/she hold your hand, or does he keep his distance? This is a big red flag, because he/she could be ashamed to be seen in public with you.

Another big red flag is when you are in public, do their eyes wonder to the opposite sex, or is their attention on you?

Ask yourself these questions: Is he nice? Is he kind? Is she thoughtful? Is she patient? Does he think of himself first all the time? Listen and trust your heart.

Another question that you need to ask yourself often, and be open to the truth, is “Does his actions match his words?”

Don’t pursue the male. He was created to do the pursuing. If he doesn’t pursue you, he is not “into” you. I promise you do not want to be with someone who doesn’t want you. If he lets you do all the work to stay in touch, he is letting you know how little he thinks of you, or how lazy he will be.  It is a lonely life if you get him.

When he catches you, it will be so much better.

Backtalk: Classic jams, modern tunes clash

Vintage music has more profound, nostalgic lyrics


There has always been a debate between generations about what’s better – new music or the classic oldies.

There are a lot of aspects that spark the debate, but one thing I can say for certain is that music has always entertained, educated, or informed listeners for years.

But during the course of time, music has evolved a lot. Music, along with everything else, changes with society. So the music we hear on the radio today is really a reflection of our cultural evolution, and it shows what our society is actually like.

I would bet anything that people in the 1960’s thought the Beatles were bad and swing was good, or that people in the 1920’s didn’t enjoy Jazz as much as “older” music. Even people during Mozart’s time probably thought that “modern” music would be awful and Bach was more desirable.

This got me thinking about what type of music I preferred (my favorite old-school band, rapper, and singer vs. my favorite new-school band, rapper, and singer, etc…). When it came down to it, it was a hard choice, but I would say that I prefer to listen to old-school music because I feel that it has more meaning behind it and carries more emotion.

When turning on a popular radio station today, there will more than likely only be mainstream music playing. In a way, I can understand how it is likeable. From the good beats and catchy lyrics, it’s the type of music that today’s generation has grown up with.

But one of the biggest reasons many people may like the music that’s heard on the radio is because we are forced to like it. Think about it this way: everyone has listened to a song that seemed ridiculous and didn’t like it at the time. But as it is played more and more on the radio, the song doesn’t seem so bad after awhile.

This is a basic psychology technique. But the issue with this is that people may lose interest faster. With the oldies, I find that they never get boring. When the oldies come on the radio, most people are able to sing along to them, and some may even reminisce about the good times from when the song was so popular.

Researchers have been able to show that old music sells better than newer music. Through numerous experiments, they have been able to prove that listeners are more likely to have positive feelings from a piece of music that they have heard before. Familiar music can also be a trigger for remembering stored memories and can induce good moods.

Another reason why I prefer oldies music is because it was recorded with actual instruments. During the early days of recording, musicians had to know how to play the instruments well before recording. With certain modern music, that’s no longer the case.

Freddie Mercury, the lead vocalist for the rock band Queen, was ahead of his time when he said, “There will be a time when technology becomes so advanced that we’ll rely in them to make music rather than raw talent. Music will lose its soul.”

Many styles of modern music rely heavily on computer programs. By using these programs, artists can choose the sounds they want without having actual instruments at their disposal, or even knowing how to play them.

Older songs relied on melody, so musicians took more time to create their music. Some artists took years to come up with some of their songs, and it is because they composed their music while imagining how they wanted it to sound. These days, musicians are able to create a song in as little as a few hours by using computer systems and other forms of technology.

I will say that not all music today is bad. There are a lot of artists, even some mainstream, that still have the depth and talent in their music as older artists do. It disappoints me, though, when I see more underground artists with more raw talent getting less attention than a more popular artist that constantly uses a synthesizer or has someone else write their songs for them.

During the 20th century, artists had to be amazing to win over their fans. And if they didn’t, they were forgotten. So the music industry was more selective when it came to who they were putting in the spotlight.

But it’s hard to say that about artists today. They are not as unique and only make music that will make them more popular. But there is nothing objective about music quality. We judge music quality by our own personal contexts. We invest in it with the meaning of our own life and present emotional needs.

Modern music is always evolving


I prefer new modern music.

I believe new music is better than old classical music because the music that is created today is learned technique. Therefore, people who created today’s music learned from old music.

These learned skills that have been taught show how music has evolved. Of course, talent is a necessity in this industry. Music is very powerful, and many people rely on music.

People all around the world use music for many different reasons. Music was the power to bring people together. People use music when they workout, study, and for meditation purposes.

Music is a very beneficial tool for teaching as well. Teachers use songs for learning and entertaining. That way children are learning while having fun singing tunes. Expecting mothers play certain music for their baby in the womb to accelerate development.

There are a lot of new music types that help people focus and calm down.Music is a type of medicine for people. The many people who choose to listen to modern music may just prefer modern music because they dislike the characteristics of old classical music.

There are various reasons why people choose modern music over old music. First of all, new music has a different sound. Technology has changed significantly during the past 20 years. Sound production has evolved. Musicians have had to evolve with the time. Artist are creating new sounds and collaborations with different people. Many artists now have freedom to produce the type of music they want people to hear, instead of being forced to produce something their label wants to be produced.

When I listen to musicians talk about how they pour their heart and soul into their music for their fans to hear, that is why I listen to now music. To me, modern music is a way that the artist is able to express a part of themselves to their fans. The fans who support and love modern music appreciate that.

Today’s technology allows musicians to update fans with notifications on social media about music information such as album release dates and performance announcements. This allows modern music information to be shared and more accessible.

Modern music is better to listen to because there are so many amazing emerging new artists in many types of music. There are also a lot more ways to buy music from new artists, such as on iTunes or buying subscriptions for music apps. These opportunities are offered to modern musicians that increase the amount of ways fans can access their music.

I like listening to a lot of different types of modern music. I like listening to new creations that artists come up with and challenging myself to learn the words to new songs. One of my favorite apps for music is Pandora. My top three favorite channels I listen to are Today’s Hits, Today’s Country, and This Year in Country Radio. When I relax or want to calm down, I like to listen to instrumental calming music.

The newest challenge that I am currently overcoming is leaning all the songs on Ariana Grande’s newly-released album titled “Thank You, Next.”

New music can create topics to talk about, because there is always new music dropping and people listening.