Page 1


Amanda Russell experience

EDITOR, The Oracle | August - December 2009 ASST MANAGING EDITOR | August 2008 - May 2009


Led staff of 11 in producing weekly student newspaper with nine publications per semester for readership of 10,000. Oversaw layout of all sections and designed front and subsequent news pages. Produced PDFs for printing and delivered them to the printer.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, The Eagle | August - December 2009 CO-EDITOR | August 2008 - May 2009

Hired and supervised staff of 12. Established article deadlines and organized articles and photos. Established theme and cover art and manually constructed pages. Delegated distribution of yearbooks.

PR INTERN, Akins Crisp Public Strategies | May - August 2008

Prepared media kits, media lists and weekly article for newspaper column. Performed follow-up calls to media outlets and compiled news clips for clients. Researched promotional ideas with ACPS team.

INTERN, Oak Ridge National Laboratory | June - August 2007 H.E.R.E PROGRAM INTERN | May - August 2006

Constructed articles for internal publication, The ORNL Reporter. Composed home-town press releases for student interns, and compiled external mailing list for ORNL Reporter. Also digitized paper documents for internal server. Completed Safety and Security Training.

INTERN, Cumberland Business Journal | January - May 2007

Composed articles and constructed Civic Events Calendar and New Business Licenses. Attended Tennessee Press Association 2007 Press Institute & Winter Convention with editor. Only intern to successfully complete internship.

education TENNESSEE TECH UNIVERSITY | August 2006 - December 2009 Bachelor’s of Science in communications, journalism and public relations Mortar Board National Honor Society Cum Laude


skills ADOBE InDesign, Photoshop, Microsoft Office

references Senator Randy McNally Pharmacist, Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge 301 6th Avenue North Suite 307 War Memorial Building Nashville, TN 37243 615.741.6806 Brenda Wilson, Ph.D. Director of Journalism Program and Professor of Journalism Tennessee Technological University TTU Box 5072 Cookeville, TN 38505 931.372.3064 Claudia Johnson Prior Editor-in-chief, The Cumberland Business Journal Executive Director, Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation 931.347.2664 Lauren Burr Jochum Account Executive Akins Crisp Public Strategies 173 Mitchell Road Oak Ridge, TN 37830 865.483.8850

Writing Samples 2010 Amanda Russell

Sample Articles November 13, 2009: Tech to celebrate Dixie College Day September 25, 2009: Mathematics Department receives endowment September 18, 2008: President Bell conveys conference focus to class

Pages 2-4 Pages 5-6 Pages 7-9

Sample Public Relations Work Spring 2009: Oracle Web site press release

Page 10


Tech to celebrate Dixie College Day The 100th anniversary of Dixie College will be an event-filled day filled with speakers, entertainment, displays and more as members of the Tech community come together to participate in the centennial celebration. By Amanda Russell posted November 13, 2009

Tech will celebrate on Nov. 18 the 100th anniversary of Dixie College, the first undergraduate institution established on the University grounds. "We look forward to holding a couple of ceremonies on the Quad that day to celebrate," President Bob Bell said. Scheduled activities for the day include the sealing of a University time capsule and a speech presented by a well-known Tech alumnus. "We expect Representative Lincoln Davis to be our speaker, and we have invited a lot of other dignitaries, including members of Congress," Bell said. "Elementary and middle school children from the area have also been invited to attend this celebration. Dixie College was about furthering the education of the whole Upper Cumberland. And I'm happy to say we have maintained that really close relationship with the schools, even as a university." The month-long celebration offers students the opportunity to learn more about their homeaway-from-home. With currently strained parking conditions and residential situations, it's easy to become overwhelmed by the University's growth, not elated by it.


"In the days of Dixie College, students didn't have cars. Many didn't even have the money to feed themselves," Bell said. "So it's important to understand the vision they had - the commitment those seven or eight men had, and how they changed this region with that vision." The state approved Dixie College's creation in 1909 as a church-supported school. But the school struggled with inadequate funding and low enrollment. By 1915 the school was turned over to the governments of Cookeville and Putnam County in order to attain enough funds to remain open. Governor Thomas Rye signed the act that created Tennessee Polytechnic Institute on March 27, 1915. The school opened its doors in 1916 with only 13 professors and 19 enrolled students, according to the History and Traditions page of the University Web site. From 1916 to 1924, Tennessee Polytechnic only offered classes at high school and junior college levels. But by 1929 the State Board of Education authorized a complete college program and the first class of four-year graduates received bachelor's degrees that June. The five schools of study that made up the Polytechnic Institute were reorganized into colleges in 1965, when Tennessee Polytechnic Institute gained university status, becoming Tennessee Technological University. "Whether you're an engineering major from Florida or an English major from Middle Tennessee, it's important to understand the heritage of your university," Bell said. Each year University enrollment continues to grow. And the students who graduate the everexpanding University exemplify what a Tech diploma and initiative can afford you. According to the History and Traditions page, among the 65,000-plus men and women who have received degrees from Tennessee Tech are the former president of Boeing Corp., a two-time space shuttle astronaut, an NFL pro-bowl player, a New York Times assistant managing editor, a country music superstar, and a four-star general.


All students, faculty and staff are invited to attend the celebratory event to commemorate the establishment of a tiny school turned influential university.

Tech to release commemorative book The Dixie celebration will also serve as a University fundraising campaign. Practical Work: Dixie College to Tennessee Tech University, 1909-2009 is scheduled for release in mid-November to commemorate the establishment of the college. "Susan Elkins, Calvin Dickinson and I, along with 35 to 40 other members of the Tech family, contributed to the book," Bell said. Alumni Relations sponsored the cost of the commemorative book, and proceeds from the sale will benefit the office for the purpose of funding alumni scholarships and meetings. A copy of Practical Work will be encased in the time capsule alongside a letter from President and Mrs. Bell, a golden eagle pin, a Tech flag, and a variety of other University artifacts.

Š Copyright 2009 The Oracle ###


Mathematics Department receives endowment By Amanda Russell posted September 25, 2009

Tennessee Tech's Mathematics Department now has a new scholarship fund thanks to a generous donation made last Wednesday. An endowment for the department has been established to honor Emeritus Professor of Mathematics Richard P. Savage, Sr. Don and Marion Savage, Savage's brother and sister-in-law, gifted the Richard P. Savage, Sr. Endowment to the University to provide financial aid to math students. "It's a testament to Tech's reputation to see someone who didn't even attend the University donate to it, "President Bob Bell said. "We have a fairly large number of endowments, probably one a month, and most are made just like this one - to honor an individual. " Richard Savage, Sr. was a member of the mathematics department from 1962 to his retirement in 1992. According to Don, Richard enjoyed teaching a variety of courses, particularly the Modern Algebra sequence, and he directed the Master's thesis for several students in the area of number theory. Savage, Sr. was the chairperson of the committee established to bring the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi to Tech and served as the chapter's first president. "Endowment donors can back out of the proposed donation until the Letter of Agreement is signed," Director of Development Jim Brock said. "The LOA helps to make sure the University and the donor agree on the way the money is to be used."


The LOA for the Richard P. Savage, Sr. Endowment was signed last Wednesday, making the scholarship's availability official. "It does take at least $10,000 to establish an endowment at Tech," Brock said. "The money is then invested and grows. And this particular endowment has already grown to more than $20,000." But this endowment is only a fraction of that of the entire University. "The entire endowment right now is about $45 million," Bell said. "And that money is used by the University for all sorts of things, from faculty grants and fixing up labs to scholarships." Tech celebrated an enormous fundraising milestone, even in the midst of the current recession. "We had a record fundraising year last fiscal year," Bell said. "It's just wonderful to see people continually wanting to give back." Any mathematics student who meets the following criteria will be eligible to receive a scholarship through the newly-established Richard P. Savage, Sr. Endowment: prospective or current student in good standing in accordance with current institutional policies, undergraduate student or prospective undergraduate student at Tech, majoring in mathematics, and have at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. Recipients who maintain the required GPA are eligible to have the scholarship renewed. Richard's son, Richard Jr., is also a professor of mathematics and is nearing retirement. His retirement will mark some 46 years of continuous service of the Richard Savage family.

Š Copyright 2009 The Oracle


President Bell conveys conference focus to class By Amanda Russell posted September 19, 2009

President Bob Bell attended the 2009 Tennessee Governor's Conference on Economic Development this past Monday and Tuesday. And he hopes to bring such economic awareness into his classroom. The annual conference that was held in Nashville focused on economic development within the state, with many topics focused on bringing more jobs to Tennessee and developing stronger communities and regions. "Assuming Tech students want to remain in Tennessee, the conference was about their current and future jobs," Bell said. "It was also about the state of the economy in our nation and state. And that topic affects all of us every day." As Chairman of the Industrial Development Board for Cookeville and Putnam County and Vice Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Bell is aware of the prominent role the University plays in Middle Tennessee economics. "For example, when Volkswagen came to Chattanooga, Tech was one of five universities listed as a source of engineering talent for the company in helping recruit them," Bell said. "UT Chattanooga, UT Knoxville, Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, and TN Tech were those listed." Now back on campus, Bell is focused on translating such economic realities to students during the Monday night Management and Organizational Behavior class he is currently teaching.


"I've taught business classes for more than 35 years," Bell said. "And it's always fun to get back in the classroom. My Ph.D. is in management, so this is my primary teaching field. "In the class, I hope to share my experiences as a CEO, along with talking about the many other leadership roles I've had." In addition to 10 years as Tech president, Bell's experience includes work as a department chairperson, a director of graduate studies and assistant dean and served 10 years as dean of business administration. His background also includes work in business consulting and assignments in economic development for the nation, state and region for several decades. It also comprises his state trade missions to Japan and work as an economic development consultant to The World Bank in international development. "In the end, I hope that the students will get a solid grounding in management and leadership and take away some fresh perspective about their current and future careers," Bell said. "But teaching this also gives me a chance to get some close interaction with a bright group of students, and I always learn some new things from the experience." But Bell also has a message for all students, regardless if they are enrolled in his class. "My wish for every student is that they remain in school and graduate successfully. I encourage you to work hard in class but to also have fun while you're here," Bell said. "National studies have repeatedly shown that graduation chances are improved when students get involved in some kind of extracurricular activity, in addition to working hard in the classroom. "And lastly I encourage everyone to be safe. Watch out for pedestrians and remember the 24/7 campus speed limit of 15 mph. And don't use cell phones when crossing a street. We don't like airlifting a student, or campus visitor, to a trauma center, but it seems


that we have to do this almost every year. Please just be safe. And best wishes for a successful year."

Š Copyright 2009 The Oracle


The Oracle Phone: (931) 372-3285 TTU Box 5072 Fax: (931) 372-6225 Cookeville, TN 38505 ______________________________________________________________________________________ FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 10, 2009

Contact: Amanda Russell (931) 372-3285

Oracle Launches Premier Web site Cookeville, Tenn. – The Oracle is pleased to announce the launch of its new Web site. This Web site offers the same reliable content as the print version; however, the online edition also features breaking news and exclusive content such as extended interviews and player profiles. “This has been a long-term goal of ours that’s taken over a year to achieve,” Oracle Managing Editor Daniel Flatt said.”I’m excited to provide students with a new news medium.” The Oracle teamed with College Publisher and became a member of the College Media Network. College Publisher supports the Web site mainframe, and the network provides online college newspapers with an interactive network. Now an interactive, online media source, the Oracle welcomes its readers to create user accounts and post comments on the Web site. Online advertisements are also available for purchase. “The Web site provides students with the ability to pick up an Oracle without having to leave their dorm,” Flatt said. “And it’s an interactive platform. Registered users can post comments and participate in polls on the Web site.” The Oracle is Tennessee Technological University’s student-run newspaper. The Oracle began its publication in 1924 when it replaced Dixie College’s prior newspaper, The Tech Dynamo. The newspaper publishes nine times per semester and is distributed on Fridays. The Oracle’s primary distribution bins are located on the basement floor of the Roaden University Center by Starbucks and Swoops Food Court. The Oracle welcomes you to visit its new Web site at



Emory River Road: broken hearts, dreams By Amanda Russell posted Saturday, April 25, 2009 Mangled pontoon boats are strewn along what once was boat dock timber on the low water of the Emory River in Harriman. While facts about cubic feet of ash and TVA cleanup plans dominate the news, the community of Emory River Road wants to tell another story. Theirs is one of ash that claimed more than a river but a way of life, a sense of pride and a community of friends. In 1991 the community of Emory River Road didn't harbor the booming suburb it did in December 2008 when TVA fly ash consumed the river. Glenn H. Daugherty of the Emory River community recalls a different landscape when he began to build his home in November of that year. "I moved here because I liked the neighborhood and the lake property," Daugherty said. "Only a few other houses were here when we built our house, but then Bobby built his and then they just kept on a'coming." Bobby A. Guy, Daugherty's once neighbor, recalls the community where he chose to build his retirement home nearly 20 years ago. "We wanted to retire on the lake," Guy said. "It was a good place, a good lot and a good neighborhood. Living there, it was great. It was a nice community, good people. The neighbors almost became family."


As Emory River Road's humble roots blossomed into a large community, neighbors took on a new way of life. "We gardened together, cut each other's grass once in a while," Guy said. "We took out each other's garbage. Just about everything we did was a neighbor-type thing." And, while other small river communities exist in the county, Daugherty and Guy believe they are no comparison to the Emory River Road community. "It was quiet, peaceful and handy. It was the best neighborhood in Roane County because it's close to everything," Daugherty said. "You can't find another piece of property right through this place like this here nowhere in Roane County. "It made a whole lot of difference in the neighborhood that everybody looked out after each other. If one of us left, we'd tell one of the neighbors, and they'd all look out after your place while you were gone. " Guy agrees the community is especially exceptional because of its location and overall value and that Daugherty is right about the other matchless community distinction. "The neighbors were closer together in that community, they intermingled more," Guy said. December fly ash delivered unbearable Christmas sorrow to the Daughertys, Guys and other community families. "You can't replace it. You just had good memories here," Daugherty said. "We moved here right before (our son) graduated from high school. It's just been a good neighborhood. It's pitiful that TVA messed it up like they did." Guy shares in Daugherty's pain.


"It was devastating to say the least," Guy said. "The neighborhood is just torn all up. Everybody is selling out and leaving. It'll never be the same. I'm just sorry we had to leave. It just tore our lives up." Along with Guy, other residents of the road find themselves selling out their homes to TVA. "Mark, Ron, Bill, Neil, Bobby, they've all moved," Daugherty said. "I will move. I won't stay here, either. "The neighborhood was changing for the better until this happened. It's went downhill ever since, and it'll be downhill for 10 or 15 more years. You can't use the water now, and why live on the water if you can't use it? That's why I moved here. But now TVA has come along and messed it all up for everybody, all of Roane County." Now instead of meeting at their property lines and mowing the grass along the river, Daugherty and Guy see each other in passing as the Guys occasionally return to move packed boxes to their now second retirement home. "I think we'll enjoy our new home once we get used to it," Guy said. "It's a different life than what we had, though. It's not like you can wake up and go out and look at the lake of a morning. That's what I did every morning - got up and walked to the door and looked out the glass at the lake." Amanda Russell is from Harriman and is a senior communications major with a concentration in journalism and public relations at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville. She currently is assistant managing editor of the university's newspaper, The Oracle.

Š 2009 Scripps Newspaper Group — Online


Ghostwriting August 3, 2008: Strike a balance between education and employment August 10, 2008: Ten mistakes that will ruin your workplace reputation

Pages 15-17 Pages 18-20


Strike a balance between education and employment By Amanda Russell as ghostwriter Publication August 3, 2008 Going to college is a full-time job, so for those who decide to return to school after they have entered the work force, the challenge of managing two jobs can often be overwhelming. The endless list of work responsibilities and school assignments can put a strain on your time, your patience and if you aren’t careful, your personal life. While it may be difficult, continuing your education is an excellent career move. According to the University of Tennessee Center for Business and Economic Research, in Tennessee, someone with a bachelor’s degree, on average, makes nearly $39,000, while someone with a high school diploma only averages around $18,000. Additionally, those with a master’s can expect to average around $40,500; a professional degree, nearly $83,000 and a doctorate around $55,500. Candy Cooke, Staffing Solutions operations manager who returned to college a few years ago to complete her Bachelors degree says, “Although it can be difficult, if you are determined, you can make school, work and home life balanced. It’s all about organization and not being afraid to ask for help.” So if you’ve decided to take the leap and go back to school, here are a few tips to help you have a well-rounded experience and excel in all areas of your life. Prioritize To be successful, you have to look at your life as a whole, and make an honest list of what matters most to you and what you hope to achieve. Create a basic plan and time frame


to achieve these goals. Be realistic in your expectations and prioritize your responsibilities. Having a plan in place and knowing what is important to you will help keep you on track. Set a flexible schedule You will need a schedule to ensure you complete all that you need to do at work, home and school. First, look at your daily calendar, and plan sufficient time for the tasks that you can control, such as work, meetings and class time. Then, plan time for homework, studying, family, household chores and any other responsibilities, as well as the things you would like to do. Look at your long-term calendar and plan for crunch times, such as when a big project at work is due or when you have finals at work, and plan accordingly. Most importantly, realize that things will happen, so flexibility in your routine is key. Manage your stress Work, family and school all have stressful components to them, so when you put them all together, the stress can be overwhelming at times. Make sure you have a plan in place to help you manage this stress. Get family and friends involved in your goals so they can help you when needed and act as your support network. Exercise, get plenty of sleep and eat right. Most importantly, take time for yourself once in a while to regroup and remind yourself why you are doing all that you are doing. Even if the solitude moments of walking to the mailbox are all the time you have, relish it. Organization is key Stop additional stress before it begins by keeping everything separated, detailed and in the proper location. Leave your work projects at the office to avoid having school and job assignments intermixed, and if you must take it home, keep it in files and separate from schoolwork.


While striking a balance between time at work, school and home may seem unrealistic, it is possible if you just take a breath and practically evaluate your situation. Continue to focus on the end goal, and you’ll be graduating, receiving that promotion and the “Mom of the Year” award before you know it. ###


Ten mistakes that will ruin your workplace reputation By Amanda Russell as ghostwriter Publication August 10, 2008 While it may seem obvious not to curse in the workplace and to remain calm despite tense situations, there are other actions you need to avoid as well. While you think you can compile a list of no-brainer, bad-idea-to-do-at-work actions, perhaps you should reconsider what employers find to be inappropriate in the workplace. Here is a list of the top 10 mistakes you can make at work. Wearing unsuitable clothing Most companies have bans on short shirts, tank tops and other less than conservative or professional clothing – and for good reason. These items can make you look unprofessional and not worthy of the workplace. So leave the miniskirts, low cut shirts and last night’s party dress at home when dressing for work, you’ll be taken a lot more seriously. Lying While you may have actually received the email to the company event, you said you didn’t because you didn’t want to attend. While little white lies seem to go without repercussion, they lead you down a dark and narrow path. Next, you may say you have work assignments completed when they aren’t, assuming you will have time to play catch-up. Avoid lying at all costs when it comes to how reputable your work is. Never lie about your progress to avoid workplace pandemonium. Slacking off You thought no one noticed the extra 30 minutes you took at lunch every day last week, but they did. Being known as the slacker in the office will not only cause people to 18

lose respect for you, but it’ll also turn people away from asking you for help on projects and other tasks that could boost your position in the company. Start coming back from lunch 10 minutes early, and get to work! Sharing too much Creating a bond with your co-workers is completely normal, and makes for a healthy work atmosphere. However, sharing too many personal details about your long weekend on the beach can affect you professionally. Go ahead, talk about the weather and restaurants, but leave the intimate details for another time and place. Being disrespectful Driving too fast in the parking lot, smoking in a non-smoking area, talking too loudly on your cell phone, or making racist, sexist or discriminatory comments are all disrespectful. Be conscious of what your actions at all times and think of how it may affect others. According to one article, 35 to 40 percent of victims of incivility at work contemplate changing jobs and about 10 to 12 percent actually do. Work to decrease those statistics. Stealing As innocent as it may seem, taking office supplies is not a good idea. A pen that accidentally gets tossed into your briefcase is one thing, but the endless supply of computer paper does not belong to you. Resist the temptation to take company supplies for personal use. This also includes using the office copier and fax machine for non-work related use. If you must use these, most companies will allow you to do so as long as it doesn’t become a habit; however, you should always ask for permission before you assume that printing 100 yard sale signs is okay. Being attached to your BlackBerry


Whether you’re in a meeting, out to lunch, or at your desk, being too attached to your cell phone can make you seem unapproachable and uninterested. Don’t send emails during business meetings, and don’t talk on your cell phone all day. You’ll only end up alienating yourself from your co-workers. Tardiness Consistently showing up late work, a meeting or not being punctual about getting back to someone can cost you. If someone else is making the effort to be on time, you should be too. Having one too many at the holiday party Sure, your company may throw a party during the holidays to help everyone relax outside the office. The full bar may be open all night, but that doesn’t mean you need to be its most frequent customer. Limit yourself to one or two drinks, depending on how long you’re there. Beyond that, you may be the gossip of the office until New Year’s. Gossiping So you may have seen two of your co-workers having dinner together last night, but leave that gossip at the restaurant. Juicy secrets might be tempting to share, but what goes around comes around. Gossiping in the office was so five years ago. Whether you’re aware of it or not, you may be guilty of one or more of these workplace reputation blunders. Take our advice and leave these habits at home. You’re reputation will thank you later. ###


Desktop Publishing Sample 2010 Amanda Russell

TTU Soccer hosts camp - Page 6



Dolce celebrates service award - Page 5


The dangers of comparison - Page 3




Volume 1 | Issue 1 Free in single copy


Your student-run campus news Tennessee Technological University Cookeville, TN | 38505

Facebook update provides alibi

evidence and generally tried to convince them that it would be wrong to proceed to an indictment in light of this evidence.” - - For 19-year-old Rodney BradThe district attorney subpoenaed ford, a simple Facebook status Facebook for documentation that update turned into much more: a would prove Bradford had updated rock-solid alibi after he was accused his account from his father’s home of a crime. in Harlem. It worked. Confirmation of the time stamp “It all corroborated our alibis,” on the update and the location explained Reuland. “The Facebook from which it was entered showed thing was really the icing on the he could not have been at the scene cake. I think, ultimately, it’s what of a robbery in another part of prompted the DA to dismiss.” New York City. After he had spent The district attorney’s office almost two would not weeks in comment on “It all corroborated our alibis. The jail, the case Facebook thing was really the icing the story beagainst him on the cake. I think, ultimately, it’s cause the case was disis sealed. what prompted the DA to dismiss.” missed. Facebook The story officials said -- Robert Reuland, began at they are Attorney 11:49 a.m. “pleased” on Saturday, they were October 17, when Bradford was “able to serve as a constructive part updating his Facebook status at his of the judicial process.” father’s home in Harlem. A minute The online social network is ready later, 12 miles away in Brooklyn, two to join telephone records and video men were mugged at gunpoint. cameras as a means of establishing The next day, Bradford, who is an alibi -- but the implications are facing a separate 2008 robbery in- both good and bad, says an inteldictment, found out police were lectual property attorney versed in looking for him in connection with the medium. the Brooklyn robbery. “We’re in a much more trackBradford turned himself in, confi- able world, and for better and for dent he would be cleared. But after worse,” said attorney Jonathan one of the victims picked him out Handel. “The extent to which it of a lineup, he was charged with means that the right people get robbery in the first degree and sent prosecuted and the innocent get to Rikers Island, home of the New their cases dropped, that’s all of the York City jail. good.” It wasn’t until Rodney Bradford But, he said, the issue of privacy Sr. discovered his son’s Facebook is also at stake. update that the young man’s deAnd he pointed out that it could fense attorney realized he had an be argued the Facebook update was unbeatable alibi. a set-up. “Throughout that week,” said the “On the Internet, nobody reattorney, Robert Reuland, “I worked ally knows it’s you,” he said. “A kid with the district attorney’s office could set up an alibi by setting up a and made them aware of who our alibis were, presented the Facebook >> Continued as Alibi, 2A

By Vanessa Juarez CNN

Day’s sales anticipated to predict holiday spending By Janet Morrissey Time - - As unemployment rises to the highest level in more than a quarter-century, retailers are readying for one of the country’s biggest shopping days of the year — Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, which marks the official start of the Christmas shopping season — which will likely foretell the success or failure of 2009’s holiday sales season. “It’s a psychological day for us, to have 1,200 stores and 160,000 people ready for the next 35 days

of mayhem,” says Mike Vitelli, executive vice president of Best Buy’s customer operating groups. “It’s the gun start of the race.” (See pictures from Black Friday 2008.) Expect to see heavy price-discounting among most retailers this holiday season, but not as aggressive as last year’s stunning markdowns. “On average you might see 30% to 50% off, but last year was 75% to 80% off,” says Tiffany Co, director of retail at Fitch Ratings. “I don’t think we’re going to see the kind of panic discounting we saw last year,” concurs Richard Jaffe, managing director at Stifel Nicolaus

& Co., although he notes that promotions are starting earlier. Yet it won’t be easy for retailers to hold the line as they face a showdown with frugal shoppers. “Inventories are in good shape, but sales may suffer more than we thought as retailers are forced to blink on promotions to drive traffic,” says Jeff Black, director at Barclays Capital, who expects holiday sales to be flat with year-ago levels. (See 20 tech gadgets you can buy now.) The tee-up to this year’s Black Friday began early, with many retailers

>> Continued as Friday, 5A

‘Significant’ water found on moon By Janet Morrissey Time - - NASA said Friday it had discovered water on the moon, opening “a new chapter” that could allow for the development of a lunar space station. The discovery was announced by project scientist Anthony Colaprete at a midday news conference. “Indeed, yes, we found water,” he said. The find is based on preliminary data collected when

the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, intentionally crashed October 9 into the permanently shadowed region of Cabeus crater near the moon’s south pole. After the satellite struck, a rocket flew through the debris cloud, measuring the amount of water and providing a host of other data, Colaprete said. The project team concentrated on data from the satellite’s spectrometers, which provide the best information about the presence of wa-

ter, Colaprete said. A spectrometer helps identify the composition of materials by examining light they emit or absorb. Although the goal of the $79 million mission was to determine whether there is water on the moon, discoveries in other areas are expected as studies progress, Colaprete and other scientists said at the briefing at NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field near San Francisco, California.

“The discovery opens a new chapter in our understanding of the moon,” the space agency said in a written statement shortly after the briefing began. Michael Wargo, chief lunar scientist at NASA headquarters in Washington, said the latest discovery also could unlock the mysteries of the solar system. He listed several options as sources for the water, including solar winds, comets, giant molecular clouds or even the

NASA Update

moon itself through some kind of internal activity. The Earth also may have a role, Wargo said. “If the water that was formed or deposited is billions of years old, these polar cold traps could hold a key to the history and evolution of the solar system, much as an ice core sample taken on Earth reveals ancient data,” NASA said in its statement. “In addition, water and other compounds represent potential resources that could sustain future lunar exploration.”


Retailers gear up for Black Friday

Tony Webster | flickr

Maple Grove Best Buy customers wait in line for Black Friday












Please recycle your copy of The Oracle.


Yoga classes for children offered nationwide

Poses help school-aged kids channel energy in educational environment By Ashley Fantz CNN - - Gigi reaches up into her sun salutation. She steps back into her high lunge and kicks her legs straight into plank pose, a push-up she holds without wobbling for 10 seconds before looking up impatiently at her yoga teacher. It’s close to 6 p.m. She’s had a long day. She collapses on her mat, rolls on her back and closes her eyes. And then sends one finger digging up her nose. What? C’mon, she’s only 5. This is yoga for kids. Once an oddity reserved for only the crunchiest communities, downward dog for the grade-school set is now being taught in studios from Minnetonka, Minnesota, to Moscow, Russia. And educators, including Chicago’s Namaste School, which serves mostly poor kids who speak a language other than English, are turning to yoga to connect with a generation that many say has been dismissed as deficit this or hyperactive that. At Decatur Yoga and Pilates studio, just outside Atlanta, Georgia, Dylan Laakmann, sits quietly next to his mother. The lanky 12-year-old whose fashionably shorn hair hangs in his face,

>> Alibi from 1A “On the Internet, nobody really knows it’s you,� he said. “A kid could set up an alibi by setting up a Facebook update.� Reuland finds that unlikely. “This is a 19-year-old kid. He’s not a criminal genius setting up an elaborate alibi for himself,� he said. “This is not the kind of thing someone

2A | Monday, November 23, 2009 | The Oracle

describes himself as a “downer� before he started taking yoga two years ago. “I wasn’t really that happy a kid, I guess, and my grades, they weren’t that good,� he says, his taut mouth easing as he relaxes in conversation. “I wasn’t that joyful.� Dylan goes to an Atlanta school known for its highly serious curriculum that offers German to first graders and lessons in “circle games� and “beeswax modeling.� His mother, Hanlie Laakmann, wanted her son to get involved in something and thought his sensitive nature might take to yoga. She’s been especially glad about the move lately since she and her husband told Dylan that they are divorcing. “Like, it’s hard, with the divorce,� he says, sitting on a yoga mat, r e plying to a stranger

asking him to open up in front of a television camera. He tunes it all out for a moment, crosses his legs and closes his eyes. He begins to breathe deeply and then slowly lifts himself into a headstand. When he comes down, he’s ready to answer more questions. Dylan’s stoicism is broken for a moment by a dozen miniature yogis who’ve been unleashed in the studio. Kids like Gigi, some as young as 3, can take seven-week long sessions with names such as Charlie and the Chakra Factory and the Wizard of Ohm. Watching a class is like watching puppies. It’s adorable. They bark in Downward Dog and hiss on their bellies in Snake pose. They imagine aloud what color their gum would be while repeatedly breathing deeply for “Bubble Gum Breath.� They act out “Go To Your Room� by bending over, grabbing their ankles and stomping backward, squatting down and mimicking slamming a door. Except for a few tears and a brief tug-of-war over a mat, it all seems nothing more than cute until this stunning moment: Many of these first and second-graders remain completely still and quiet, in a med-

Meredith Purcell | The Oracle

would fake.� And if someone were going to fake it, he said, “They’d do it in a lot clearer way� than the inside joke that Bradford posted: “On the phone with this fat chick... where my IHOP.� The message was met with some incomprehension by reporters first writing about the story, who didn’t quite understand the reference to

>> Continued as Yoga, 3A

the International House of Pancakes. Reuland explained it this way: The “fat chick� was a playful reference to Bradford’s pregnant girlfriend who was irked that he, his father and his stepmother had gone to an IHOP without her the night before. The update teased that she wondered where her pancakes were.

Google poised to become your phone company to make ultracheap outgoing calls to domestic and international phone numbers, and free calls to Skype, - - Google is set to become your Google Talk, Yahoo and AIM usnew phone company, perhaps re- ers. You could make and receive ducing your phone bill to zilch in calls that bypass the per-minute billing on your smartphone. the process. Then layer on deluxe phone Seriously. Google has bought Gizmo5, an services like free SMS, voicemail transcription, cusonline phone comtomized call pany that is akin routing, free to Skype _ conference but based on calls and voiceopen protocols mails sent as and with a lot recordings to fewer users. your e-mail acTe c h C r u n c h , count, and you which broke the have a phone news on Monservice that day, reported competes with that Google Skype, landspent $30 millines and the Used by permission | Google lion on the comInternet telepany. Google announced the Gizmo phone offerings from Vonage and acquisition on Thursday afternoon cable companies. That’s not just pie in-the-sky Pacific Time. Gizmo5’s founder Michael Robertson, a brash serial dreaming. Ask longtime VOIP watcher and entrepreneur, will become an Adconsultant Andy Abramson, who viser to Google Voice. It’s a potent recipe -- take Giz- introduced the idea of integrating mo5’s open standards-based online Gizmo5 and Grand Central (now calling system. Add to it the new Google Voice), long before Google ability to route calls on Google’s bought either. “If AT&T is Coca-Cola, Google massive network of cheap fiber. Toss in Google Voice’s free phone is now 7-UP.� --Andy Abramson number, which will ring your mo“Google is now the the uncombile phone, your home phone and your Gizmo5 client on your laptop. Meanwhile you can use Gizmo5 >> Continued as Google, 5A

By Ryan Singel

“He was just kind of taunting her playfully about having been to IHOP,� Reuland said. “I know it sounds not very nice but it’s sort of a reference to her because she’s pregnant. But they actually have a very good relationship. She’s cute as a button.� Now that his innocence has been demonstrated, Bradford has hired

Up & dyed

Hi, Mom!

DON’T send money! (&'

$5 off any hat

civil attorney Herbert L. Schmell, who said they are “99.9 percent sure� that they will be filing a civil suit against the city. “Based upon what I see, there was no probable cause to arrest him at the time,� Schmell said. “And to put him in Rikers for 12 or 13 days. ... We’re seeking money damages. He’s shook up.�

No NeeD for A LoAN WITh The NeW Starting at


$10 off any skirt -%+*o('


• NeW STuffeD PIzzA roLLS • NeW 9" PerSoNAL PANorMouS™ PIzzA (1-ToPPINg) • P’zoNeŽ • PIzzA MIA™ PIzzA (MeDIuM 12" 1-ToPPINg)

All Day, Every Day College Special

232 West 7th Street 931-993-1669

No coupon required, just a valid Student ID.


Large 1-Topping Pizza  Add 10 Wings for $6.49 More


Delivery • Carryout

931-372-7277 641 N Willow Ave

Limited time offer. Minimum purchase, which may vary by location, is required for delivery. Prices and participation may vary. Not all Menu items are $5. Tax extra. 1.10 lbs. avg. weight of post-baked Classic P’ZoneŽ. Meaty and Pepperoni weights may vary. The Pizza Hut name, logos and related marks are trademarks of Pizza Hut, Inc. Š 2009 Pizza Hut, Inc. 28750_0901NP_TNTECH

NPE_28750_0901NP_TNTECH.indd 1

9/4/09 3:31:09 PM


| Monday, November 23, 2009 | The Oracle

Palin keynote speaker at Nashville Tea Party convention - - Sarah Palin will be the main attraction at what’s being billed as the “First National Tea Party Convention.” Tea Party Nation announced Wednesday that last year’s Republican vice presidential candidate will serve as keynote speaker for the conference, scheduled to take place in Nashville, Tennessee February 4-6. A representative for Palin has confirmed the former Alaska governor’s speaking role at the gathering. The group also announced that Rep. Michele Bachmann will be

speaking at the gathering as well. The Minnesota Republican has become a hero among many in the conservative movement. A representative for Bachmann confirms her speaking role. The event could focus the political spotlight on both women. Bachmann has become a rising star, her ascent fueled in part by major support from Tea Party activists. For Palin - currently taking a brief Thanksgiving break from a national tour for her new book, “Going Rogue: An American Life” - serving as headliner at a tea party convention could increase speculation that she is weighing a run for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.

‘Mr. Fox’ is fantastic

Judson Phillips, a spokesman for Tea Party Nation, says the group is talking with other high-profile political leaders about possible convention roles, though he wouldn’t name any names. “(T)he convention is aimed at bringing the Tea Party Movement

together from around the nation for the purpose of networking and supporting the movements’ multiple organizations (sic) principle goals,” according to a statement from the group. Phillips says the conference will feature workshops, seminars, information centers, and organizational tools for leaders to take back to their respective local tea party organizations. He adds that the Republican Party is not coordinating or organizing with Tea Party Nation in any way. Phillips says Tea Party Nation was launched in April, just before the first tea parties were held across the country on tax deadline day, and

that the group held rallies in Nashville and in other parts of Tennessee on April 15. He added that Tea Party Nation also organized a smaller tea party event in early July, when a second round of events were held around the nation, but did not takepart in the two crosscountry tea party caravans held the past few months. A spokesman for the Tea Party Express, which organized those two cross country tea party caravans, says they are not currently involved in the organization of the convention, but that they are supportive of the gathering’s goals.


Lambert performing at the AMA.

By Jo Piazza CNN

$138.7m $105.3m $100m

- - Adam Lambert’s suggestive American Music Awards performance hasn’t hurt sales of his first album. With stiff competition from a slew of holiday compilations and Susan Boyle’s first album, Lambert’s debut is still managing to sell well online. “For Your Entertainment,” Lambert’s first album after his run on “American Idol,” where he came in second to winner Kris Allen, is the fifth most downloaded album on iTunes behind Lady Gaga, Susan Boyle, the “New


0 2

Stats from Yahoo! Movies

Box Office Cumulative Gross Nov. 27-29 weekend

Associated Press

Lambert album sells well despite AMA controversy


Disney’s A Christmas Carol

The Blind Side

The Men Who Stare at Goats


By Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly - - Who’d have guessed it? Wes Anderson, creator of the rascally stop-motion fable “Fantastic Mr. Fox”, turns out to be born to make animated films. I say that with a bit of mischief, because I’m not a big fan of Anderson’s work (“Rushmore,” “The Darjeeling Limited”). What I now understand, though, is that in essence, he’s always been making cartoons; he just confused the issue by putting real live actors in them. Before, he twisted reality into a permanent ironic pose. Now, in the infectiously primitive talking-animal world of “Fantastic Mr. Fox”, he’s become an ironic realist. Freely adapting Roald Dahl’s 1970 children’s book, Anderson creates an endearingly tactile fairy-tale thrift-shop universe, with quaintly painted backdrops, cotton balls for smoke, and a family of foxes who move in such deliberate fashion that, up close, you can see the hairs on their faces bristle and jerk. Yet Mr. Fox (voiced by George Clooney), Mrs. Fox (Meryl Streep), and their son, Ash (Jason Schwartzman), inhabit a world that’s disarmingly, well, lifelike. There are jokes about flipped real estate (they move from a hole to a tree _ i.e., an upscale condo), plus a very unchildlike soundtrack powered by the Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones. As a hero, Mr. Fox has the arch self-possession to insist to his wife that he poaches poultry ‘’because I’m a wild animal.’’ Against her wishes, he plots to rip off a trio of evil farmers, and the film turns into a modly surreal, undergroundburrowing heist yarn, with Clooney as self-mockingly sympathetic as he is in the Ocean’s films. With its virtuoso tomfoolery, “Fantastic Mr. Fox” is like a homegrown Wallace and Gromit caper. To Wes Anderson: More, please!

Palin and Bachmann

Twilight Saga: New Moon

By Paul Steinhauser CNN


Singer Dilana rocks new album and movie By Lisa France CNN

Moon” soundtrack and John Mayer. Lambert’s 14-song album is also in the top 10 of music purchases as the ninth most purchased album. On Sunday night Lambert shocked America with a performance that included simulated oral sex with a dancer and a gay kiss with his male keyboardist. ABC, the network that aired the awards show, received more than 1500 complaints and canceled Lambert’s follow-up performance on “Good Morning America.” The CBS “Early Show” picked up Lambert after the

ABC cancellation. He was interviewed, performed two songs and took questions from the live audience. Lambert told CBS he thinks much of the uproar over his AMA performance is because he is a gay man. He admitted that he got a little carried away at the awards show, but said that none of his risqué dance moves were planned in advance. “I do see how people got offended, and that was not my intention. My intention was to interpret the lyrics of my song and have a good time with it,” Lambert said.

- - It’s funny that rocker Dilana is not a fan of “American Idol.” The 37-year-old singer [who prefers to go by her first name] who herself participated on a musical competition reality show, admits that she has never liked Idol nor is she a fan of the song choices available to the contestants. But she is nevertheless connected to the popular Fox show. Last season’s runner up Adam Lambert sang a version of “Ring of Fire” that many fans believe was based on Dilana’s version of the Johnny Cash tune and Lambert’s fellow contestant Al-

lison Iraheta covers Dilana’s song, “Holiday,” on her new album. “They are both amazingly talented,” Dilana said of the “American Idol” pair. “And if [Iraheta] can sell a few million records, I’m not going to complain.” The South African native was runner-up on the show “Rock Star: Supernova,” which sought to find a lead singer for that group. Since then, Dilana said she’s been focusing on her music. Her debut U.S. album “Inside Out,” also contains a version of “Holiday” and

>> Continued as Dilana, 3B


| Monday, November 23, 2009 | The Oracle

vs. Mark Dadswell | Getty Images

Tiger Woods’ accident prompts questions

Oklahoma shuts out Oklahoma State

By Gary Van Sickle Sports Illustrated

By Chris Brooks Associated Press

- - There is one thing — and only one thing — that we know for certain: It was not a happy Thanksgiving for Tiger Woods. When Woods was involved in a late-night, one-car accident near the driveway of his home in the wealthy gated community of Isleworth in Windemere, Fla., it took 13 hours for news of it to become public. But when the news did break, it proved that there is no such thing as a “minor accident” (as Tiger’s official website described it) when you are arguably the most famous sportsman on the planet. The incident promptly snowballed into a

you-know-what-storm, fueled by the twenty-first century dynamic duo of the Internet and 24-hour cable news networks. Woods, 33, is famous for zealously guarding his privacy. Associates who break the code of silence are exiled from Camp Tiger, a list that includes former friends and his first caddie. He even named his bighonking yacht “Privacy” in honor of the one thing he values most. Some of his barriers are holding firm, for now. His wife’s parents, reached in Sweden by the Associated Press, declined to comment on the incident. But not even Woods can hide from this news cycle,

>> Continued as Woods, 5C

College Recap Ole Miss lays an Egg, Boise BCS bound,more By Andy Staples Sports Illustrated - - Congratulations to the Boise State Broncos, who might not get stiffed out of a BCS at-large bid after all. Oklahoma’s pounding of Oklahoma State eliminated the Cowboys from contention, so if chalk rules on conference championship weekend, it’s likely Boise State will face a Big Ten opponent in the Fiesta Bowl. The most deserving Big Ten team would be Iowa, but the thought of a Boise State-Iowa matchup probably makes Fox executives glad this is their last year in the BCS biz. Don’t be shocked if the Fiesta takes Penn State, even though the Nittany Lions lost to the Hawkeyes at home.

S E C College Corner By Andy Staples Sports Illustrated

Ole Miss regresses ... again Just when we thought Ole Miss might live up to a fraction of its preseason hype, the Rebels went out and laid an Egg Bowl. Dan Mullen couldn’t lead Mississippi State to a bowl game in his first season, but claiming the Golden Egg with a 41-27 victory will help the Bulldogs win some of the fierce recruiting skirmishes in the talentrich Magnolia State. Since Mullen landed the job, one of his popular talking points has been that the state of Mississippi produced Jerry Rice, Brett Favre and Steve McNair, and none of them went to Mississippi State or Ole Miss. Mullen wants the next Rice, Favre or McNair to play in

- - No. 11 Oklahoma State had everything to play for: the money and exposure of the Bowl Championship Series, another step toward making school history and bragging rights in a rare chance to outshine its traditional in-state rival. Then Oklahoma snatched all that away in making OSU look anything but BCS-worthy. DeMarco Murray ran for two touchdowns, Ryan Broyles returned a punt 88 yards for a score and Oklahoma knocked No. 11 Oklahoma State out of contention for its first BCS appearance with a 27-0 win Saturday. ‘’The only good thing about this is it counts as one loss, and I told the team that,’’ Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said. ‘’To move forward, you have to let go. This team has accomplished a lot. We have an opportunity to go play in a very good bowl game. Where that’ll be, I’m not sure.’’ With representatives of the Fiesta and Orange bowls watching, the

Cowboys (9-3, 6-2 Big 12) fell completely flat with their worst offensive performance of the decade. Oklahoma State was shut out for the first time since 2005 by an Oklahoma defense coming off its worst outing of the year in a 41-13 loss at Texas Tech last week. ‘’That’s the way you finish a season,’’ defensive captain Gerald McCoy said. ‘’We’ve still got a bowl game to play, but that’s the way you come back and finish out.’’ Zac Robinson threw for only 44 yards on 9-for-21 passing after missing last week’s game with injuries to his head and shoulder. He was pulled in the fourth quarter with his lowest pa ing total since taking over as the starting quarterback early in the 2007 season. ‘’Zac wasn’t 100 percent, but that’s certainly not an excuse for what happened,’’ Gundy said. Brandon Weeden , who

led a second-half comeback in last week’s win against Colorado, finally replaced Robinson after Broyles’ punt return put Oklahoma up 27-0 midway through the fourth quarter. The crowd started chanting ‘’Overrated!’’ after he let Quinn Sharp ‘s punt sail over his head, then fielded the bouncing ball, turned around and raced for the score. Oklahoma State didn’t have a single first down in the second half and finished with only 109 yards of total offense. ‘’I guess I’d have to say that most of the game is the physical aspect, and they were the most dominating force on the field,’’ Cowboys left tackle Russell Okung said. ‘’And you see the results of that right now.’’ Broyles, who originally committed to Oklahoma State but instead chose to play for the Sooners, had 103 yards receiving to go with his

>> Continued as Bedlam, 10C

>> Continued as Recap, 6C

Ronald Martinez | Getty Images

Don’t just go and hand Tim Tebow the Heisman - - For his final game in The Swamp, Tim Tebow chose two verses from the book of Hebrews to highlight on his eye black. The first verse said this: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run

with perseverance the race marked out for us. A great cloud indeed. A stadium-record crowd packed Florida Field for the Gators’ 37-10 win against Florida State. Millions more watched expansive coverage on ESPN’s College GameDay that pushed the Tebow lovefest so far past its saturation point that many outside

Gator Nation probably tasted a little bile before they changed the channel. We get it. We do. You hate it when we write so glowingly about Tebow. You hate it when we mention that he might be one of the greatest college football players ever. All the anti-Tebow sentiment is reminiscent of a 2004 profile of

U2 singer Bono that Chuck Klosterman wrote for Spin. Klosterman couldn’t wrap his brain around whether Bono’s saintly aura was just a façade created for and by the media or the inner glow of a genuinely excellent human being. That led to Klosterman asking an inter-

>> Continued as Tebow, 7C

Amanda's Portfolio  

PDF Portfolio of Writing and Desktop Publishing Samples