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iWhat now?: Apple’s iPad, the latest object of obsession for the tech savvy, is the subject of tweets the world over – but is it worth the hype? npage 6

Wednesday n February 3, 2010

thewichitan

Budget cut will cost $2 million Brittany Norman Editor in Chief

The state has asked MSU to return about $2 million over the next two years, and while university president Dr. Jesse Rogers says the prospect of leaner times are cause for concern, there’s no reason to panic. He said that some commitments that were made when the budget for 2010-2011 was laid out will have to be postponed, but that there will be no faculty and staff layoffs and the quality of education students receive will not suffer. Rogers said a “small” tuition increase is likely, but that the promise the Board of Regents has made not to exceed a five percent raise in tu-

ition every year will still be honored. “The first thing I intend to tell the faculty and student government is we’re not cutting back on core services,” Rogers said. “We will not be cutting back positions that have been filled now. No one will lose their jobs due to layoffs.” He feels he can make these promises because the budget cuts have not come as a complete surprise. “I’ll be very honest with you,” Rogers said. “I had great concerns this was coming. I believed all along that the recession would finally hit Texas much harder than it has thus far.” Rogers said that Texas is one of the last states to really feel the strain from the economic crisis, but a dramatic drop in spending on the part of

individuals has put the largely sales tax-funded treasury in a tough spot. With the treasury running about 17 billion dollars behind projections, Governor Rick Perry, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, and Texas Speaker of the House Joe Strauss sent out a letter on Jan. 15 to state agencies, including universities. About a week and a half ago, Rogers said he received the letter, which advised the university to “prepare a plan” to potentially cut five percent of the state-funded portion of the budget for 2010-2011. The situation is made more complicated by the fact that, according to Rogers, the budget year in question is already well underway. The problem, Rogers said, was the

letter didn’t say five percent of what. There are a variety of different stateappropriated funds. One of the initial worries was that the state was asking for five percent of state-designated tuition, the $50 per credit hour designated fee that serves as a baseline for MSU’s total tuition cost. For the current semester, each credit hour at MSU costs instate students about $143, meaning the state-mandated tuition accounts for about 35 percent of what students pay. On Jan. 27, Rogers received some clarification while attending a briefing by Dan Branch, Chair of the Texas House of Representative’s Higher Education committee.

See BUDGET on page 4

your university n your voice

MSU employee Lynn Sharp lost his home to a fire on Jan. 21. His wife, Donna Chandler, was badly burned. (Photo by: Julia Raymond)

MSU reaches out to victim of house fire Chris Collins Managing Editor

With the flick of a light switch, Lynn Sharp’s life changed forever. At about 5 p.m. on Jan. 21 the MSU utility engineer’s girlfriend, Donna Chandler, turned on a light in the back room of the home, located at 1813 Kessler Street. A second later the house erupted in flames, smoke fuming up into the sky over Donna, who was badly burned and running to neighbors for help. Sharp, who was driving home from work, was in for a shocking discovery. “I was headed home for the day and I saw the black smoke, so I called Lynn,” said Dean Price, utility superintendent and Sharp’s boss. “I said, ‘Can you see what’s burning up there?’ and he told me couldn’t get past the emergency vehicles. Then he said to me, ‘I hope it’s not my house,’

See FIRE on page 4

Brittany Norman Editor in Chief Technology has shrunk the gap between places Westerners know and the “faraway world” where war, epidemics and devastating poverty are an everyday reality. But a marked distance still exists, according to a physician who has roamed remote corners of the globe as a field agent for Médecins Sans Frontières, or Doctors Without Borders (MSF). Dr. Richard Heinzl, who founded the Canadian branch of MSF in 1988, spoke

Monday night at MSU as part of its Artist Lecture Series. He talked about his experiences with the people of Cambodia, Iraq, South Africa, Uganda and Haiti. Heinzl was most passionate about dismantling the boundary lines between “us” and “them,” reinforcing the value of even the poorest people and reaffirming their potential. “Technology can change the way health care is delivered,” Heinzl said. “It holds a lot of promise for the less industrialized part of the world.” What has followed him home from the

field, Heinzl said, is not the hopelessness so often perceived by the rest of the world. What he carries with him is the real promise for a better future through technology and the resilience and determination of the people. “Now we can take a sample, stain it, put it under a microscope and take a picture,” Heinzl said. That photo can then be e-mailed to someone with the expertise to give a positive, accurate diagnosis. It wasn’t always so simple. When Heinzl was beginning his fieldwork in the late ’80s

Barry Macha (Photo courtesy)

Cold Case

MSU alum seeks judge position after 26 years serving as DA Brittany Norman Editor in Chief

See BORDERLESS on page 10

Dr. Richard Heinzl has traveled to “faraway lands” while working with Doctors Without Borders, Canada. (Clockwise from top): The field hospital in Cambodia, Heinzl and other aid workers, and Heinzl with Cambodian children. (Photos by Dr. Richard Heinzl)

To this day, when District Attorney Barry Macha drives through the neighborhoods surrounding Wichita Falls High School, he finds himself staring at a house on Bell Street. The house seems nondescript now, but just before Christmas in 1984, it was the site of a hellish nightmare. It was in that house where Terry Sims, an MSU student and employee at Bethania hospital, now part of the United Regional Health Care System, was brutally murdered. Macha, a candidate for 78th District Court Judge, remembers the rape and murder well. It was the first case waiting on his desk the day he walked into the district attorney’s office in January, 1985. The case would haunt him for 15 years and finally lead him to a serial killer. But not before that man murdered four other local women. One would be another MSU student. Despite overseeing the prosecution of an estimated 25,000 felonies, talking about Sims – his first case – still evokes an emotional response from Macha. “She had a tough life,” he said. “Her dad died in a car wreck when she was very young. She had two

See MACHA on page 5


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The Wichitan

campusvoice nour view

Better late than never?

In this fast-paced, techno-savvy era, we kids expect to get our information quickly. It’s not that we’re impatient (not all the time, at least). It’s just that the tools we have in front of us – e.g. the Internet and cell phones – have produced a climate of almost-instant info gathering. Example: who didn’t know Michael Jackson died the day he kicked it? Maybe your grandmother didn’t, but you probably did. That’s why we at The Wichitan were surprised at how long the university decided to wait before letting students know school was cancelled Friday. On Thursday afternoon the MSU Web site told students that we would know if classes were going to be held Friday by no later than 6 a.m. Guess what? We didn’t know. But it wasn’t because we weren’t checking our phones every two seconds like a freshman in Biology lab (because

we were. Except when we were sleeping. Also like Biology lab). It was because nobody told us! Honestly. Even WFISD had their frozen little ducks in a neater row. If you are an old person rather than a student, you may have forgotten the joy and rapture we young whippersnappers feel when school is cancelled due to bad weather. It’s like the feeling you get when you get out of a speeding ticket, or find out your significant other’s parents actually aren’t coming into town. Most of us were praying for snow like it was a divine gift from God himself. As you surely know by now, your prayers were answered. School was cancelled. For some insignificant flurries. But that’s beside the point. MSU Alert, run by the campus police department, is a service many students subscribe to so they can stay up to date with breaking school news. When something important hap-

pens – like, say, a cancellation – we expect you guys to hit us up with a text. That’s why we think the administration dropped the ball when they waited until 7:38 a.m. (according to the text message timestamps, which is almost two whole hours later than promised) to inform the student body that there would be no class Friday. Though it turns most of us into shambling zombies, some weirdos actually do go to class at 8 a.m. And some of us have to drive farther than two blocks to reach campus. So imagine what the students who live in, say, Montague or Clay county said when they found out as they rolled past the Wichita Falls city limit sign that they didn’t need to drive an hour (in the January cold) to MSU that morning. We probably shouldn’t print that.But we bet they were pissed. Remember, bigwigs: we plan our lives around school, like it or not. Don’t leave us waiting in the cold.

February 3, 2010

thewichitan 3410 Taft Blvd. Box 14 n Wichita Falls, Texas 76308 News Desk: (940) 397-4704 n Ads: (940) 397-4705 Fax (940) 397-4025 n E-mail WICHITAN@mwsu.edu

editorial board

nEditor in Chief: Brittany Norman nManaging Editor: Chris Collins nEntertainment Editor: Lauren Wood nOp-Ed Editor: Position open nSports Editor: Josh Hoggard nPhoto Editor: Julia Raymond nAdvertising manager: Jamie Monroe nCopy editorS: Phoebe Kurmi, Amaka Oguchi nadviser: Randy Pruitt nReporters: Ashley Campana, Leah Roberts, Matt Ledesma nPhotographers: Patrick Johnston

Copyright © 2010. The Wichitan is a member of the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. The Wichitan reserves the right to edit any material submitted for publication. Opinions expressed in The Wichitan do not necessarily reflect those of the students, staff, faculty, administration or Board of Regents of Midwestern State University. First copy of the paper is free of charge; additional copies are $1. The Wichitan welcomes letters of opinion from students, faculty and staff submitted by the Friday before intended publication. Letters should be brief and without abusive language or personal attacks. Letters must be typed and signed by the writer and include a telephone number and address for verification purposes. The editor retains the right to edit letters.

nRED INK: THE STUDENT TEACHER DIARIES

Babysitters don’t have to go to college. I did.

Teaching and babysitThe parent does not ting: close in general idea, remember the progress far different in actuality. report they signed, or the I believe there was some email that was sent to confusion last week bethem. They also do not tween the two “jobs,” so remember the website please allow me to take you told them about durthe time to differentiate ing open house that they for you. can use to check their A babysitter cares for student’s grades before children while their parthings get to a point that ents are away. A teacher requires a teacher calling cares for children, teachhome. es children, disciplines They do not remember Ashley Campana children, and mentors that we are there for the For the Wichitan children while their parsuccess of their child and ents are away. that the student is ultiAn adult babysitter with over 5 years mately responsible for his or her own of experience applying for a regular grade. babysitting job in a major city will make, There is also a common misconcepon average, $18 an hour. tion; teachers do not get the summer A teacher in Texas makes about completely off. There are these things $38,857 a year. When that number called workshops that we must attend is broken down, it averages $13.25 an to further our education in education. hour. We have to keep up with the times and Not only do teachers do more, but learn new tricks to bring to the classthey are normally paid less by the hour. room in hopes that we may see a glint of A babysitter doesn’t have to have any motivation in our students’ eyes. years of education. Teachers do not get play time. We do A teacher must have at least 4. Most not get to open up the box of monopoly of the time, if there is a minor involved, on the living room table and play for it will take closer to 5 years. our money. We must find other “fun” Although a babysitter may have to things to weave into the learning prowhip up a batch of macaroni and cheese, cess, which is not always easy. they do not have to handle the children Although I do find that teachers care like we do. They do not have to sit down for students tremendously and moniand do one-on-one sessions about how tor their safety, we do much more than to correctly punctuate a sentence. They a babysitter, sometimes for much less do not have to deal with students com- payoff. ing into their rooms in the middle of I do not care for a child while the class and asking for their phone number parents are away. I teach young adults because the children that they are deal- who are more than capable of staying ing with are just that, children. They are home alone. not teenagers, and during the time the A babysitter can make their own babysitter is with them, at least, they are hours and leave their “job” at the door. not students (Yes, that did happen to The teacher’s job comes with them. me last week). Whether we are planning lessons at the Although a babysitter may have to dinner table while momentarily pausmake an occasional phone call to a par- ing for a bite or grading papers while ent discussing little Johnny’s recently “watching” American Idol, our jobs developed cough, they do not have to do not end when we pass the end-ofask them how to motivate their student school-zone speed limit sign. to learn. They do not have to ask for So for those of you who continue suggestions on how to keep their child, to think that teaching and babysitting who works all night to help their fam- could be exchanged, I urge you to think ily pay bills, awake in class. They do not of these things. Babysitters do not go have to rearrange words so as not to of- through half as much as we do on a fend or tell a parent that their child can- “shift,” and we most definitely do not not play in the baseball playoffs because get to simply sit on the couch and watch they failed, even after repeated attempts reality TV while giggling with our boyto get them to do make-up work. friends on the phone.

Jedis + pop music = life lessons

Welcome back to the “I thought we had decidexciting world of Star ed not to fall in love. That Wars! we’d be forced to live a lie As heroic and skilled and that it would destroy of warriors as the Jedi are, our lives.” perhaps they are more Then, Padme says renowned for their wissomething quite prodom. found. “I think our lives This week, however, a are about to be destroyed mere human is going to anyway. I truly... deeply... teach us a thing or two. love you and before we Along with the help die I want you to know.” of Kris Allen and Tim Yes, I thought of the McGraw, unfortunately. Savage Garden song just Josh Hoggard Our story begins on then too. Jedi guru the planet of Geonosis. But, think about it. After receiving a distress The only time she had call from Obi-Wan Kenobi while on the guts to tell Anakin how she truTatooine, Anakin and Padme decide to ly felt was when she thought she was try and rescue him. But, shortly after ar- about to die. riving on the planet, they are captured Not to ruin the surprise, but they and sentenced to a public execution. end up surviving, going against the Jedi Throughout the entire Star Wars story, code and getting married in secret, and Anakin is in love with Padme. Jedi, how- hiding their love from all the people ever, are forbidden to fall in love. Anakin around them. struggles with this throughout Episode But, had the threat of death not 2. After admitting his love to Padme and raised its ugly head at Padme, she may a disgusted response, he has pretty much never have said those words, which she lost hope. truly felt. But, as the two are being wheeled out How many times do we hide how by their captors to be executed, she turns we really feel? How many of us live in to him and says, “I’m not afraid of dying. shells and hide our true selves, for whatI’ve been dying a little bit every day since ever reason… Fear of the unknown, fear you’ve come back into my life.” of rejection, fear of dying… Anakin replies, “What are you talking When we’re actually dying, those about?” things seem to not matter as much. Padme simply says, “I love you.” What if we lived every moment like “You love me?” Anakin asks in shock. we were dying?

I know it’s so cliché and it’s been said before. But really think about it. What words would you say if you knew they’d be your last? Who would you hug, tell them you loved them? Who would you spend your time with? What would you do, where would you go? The narrator of Fight Club got the idea; “In the Tibetan philosophy, Sylvia Plath sense, we’re all dying.” Cause, if you think about it, we’re all really dying. We aren’t promised tomorrow. Any moment literally could be our last. Whose to say you’ll live to see tomorrow? I know it’s kind of a cryptic thought, but it’s true. Kris Allen said “Every moment counts on a clock that’s ticking.” Tim McGraw wrote an entire song about things he’d do if he knew he were dying. There are a lot of things I want to do before I die. Go skydiving, make a real movie, get married and finally get to do it, write a book… And, I’m working towards those things right now, because I know I might die at any point. So, the question is, “How would you live if you knew you were dying?” Think about that long and hard, then go do it. Live your life to the fullest. No excuses. Don’t be scared of the unknown or what people think. Your best days can only be ahead of you if you live like this.


February 3, 2010

op-ed

The Wichitan n 3

Senate should stop bickering, start spurring change A little over a year ago, Barack Obama of the playground politics that seem to was sworn in as the 44th President of be appearing all too often these days. It the United States. During his inaugural seems as if both parties are more conspeech, Obama spoke of the problems cerned with ‘getting one over’ on the he would face as he began his term and other than creating jobs. called upon the members of congress to Without a united government the unite in the face of the economic recesfuture seems to be a little bit less rosy sion that was gripping the world. than the picture the president has In the wake of last week’s State of painted. Imagine being stuck on I-35 The Union address, it seems history is just outside of Dallas and never makdoomed to repeat itself. Offering the ing it to your destination – that’s the “main street Americans” a comprokind of “traffic” party bickering is cremise, President Obama vowed to take ating in the government. Leah Roberts $30 million from the fat cats on Wall So, Mr. President, you may talk a For the Wichitan Street and use it to create jobs, jobs and good game but the fact of the matter more jobs. He will offer small business is we’re never going to get anywhere tax credits to those who hire new workunless we can agree to disagree. I’m ers and raise wages; he will provide tax incentives for sure millions of Americans couldn’t care less what the large businesses who build bigger and better plants, Republicans and Democrats have to say about each and perhaps more importantly, he will begin to build other; they care about what they can do for America for the future by promising more jobs in clean energy and the people. They care about what they’re going to facilities. do to help fight the problems we can’t escape: fiscal Sounds like a good deal for the average Joe, doesn’t dissolution and rising unemployment. it? But there’s just one small thing standing in the way  It seems these elected officials have forgotten what of this new and wonderful future Obama would have it’s like to be an ordinary student paying extortionus envision, and that thing is the Senate. ate tuition fees and barely making minimum wage. We all know about the ruckus surrounding the love- Neither do they appear to know what it’s like to be a ly Scott Brown, his recent election to the Senate and single mom looking for work. the impact it will have on the healthcare bill. UnfortuWhile they’re talking this whole thing out and votnately, that’s only the beginning of the problems. ing against each other, the nation is getting poorer and Truth is the Senate is at a gridlock. Just this week going deeper into despair. It’s sad to see that history a proposal to create a bipartisanship commission to may be doomed to repeat itself. unite the parties and find ways to attack the deficit As the economy continues to go up in smoke, these was – yes, you guessed it – unable to reach a majority politicians remind me of the age old procrastinator vote. Nero, and how much he cared for the people of his Senator John McCain was one of six Republicans empire. The saying goes Nero sat and fiddled while who backed the campaign only to change his mind at Rome burned.  the last second, leading to the failed attempt. This opSorry Mr. President, but Congress just struck the position by the Republican Party is a perfect example first match.

President Obama continues to push for the changes he promised the American people, but Senate remains a hotbed of political rivalries, creating a partisan gridlock for potential legislation. (Photo courtesy MCT)

Freshmen suffer due to poor preparation The people who brought spent the majority of our class us the ACT released a study days watching CSI after a that just might shock anycouple of attempts to do the one who has never taught a required labs were less-thanfreshman level college class. successful. The teacher was Apparently, somewhere planning on leaving my high between that first day of kinschool, and effectively just dergarten and high school gave up on us. graduation, American stuLate work was almost aldents are getting cheated. ways accepted, whether or not A study of 2009 high you had a valid excuse. Someschool grads who took the times the teachers would even ACT revealed that only 23 allow us to hand in assignBrittany Norman percent had the skills rements due weeks prior as long Editor in Chief quired to succeed at a college as it was before the end of the level. And in this case, “sucgrading period. Failed a test? ceed” was defined loosely. In most cases, no problem. ACT gauged preparedness by whether or You could just retake it and get an A the not a student had at least a 75 percent like- second time around, or take it home and do lihood of obtaining a ‘C’ or higher in fresh- corrections for a few extra points. man level college classes. I’m not saying I didn’t get a good high Using a standardized test to determine a school education. On the contrary, I feel student’s potential for success might not be like I was exceptionally prepared for colpolitically correct, but ACT’s study seems lege. Thanks to some really good teachers, to definitely be on to something. By analyz- I learned how to study (when I had to), to ing test responses, ACT determined that 40 write, and to work on deadlines. Of course, percent of high school seniors were unable I did few of those things while actually in to use a correct adjective or adverb to form a high school, but the skills were transferable, sentence. The same 40 percent couldn’t solve regardless. math problems involving fractions. The problem is that school teachers are Obviously, something isn’t getting shackled by TAKS requirements as well as through. policies that keep them from offering any On the first day of my American Histo- negative repercussions. ry course, the classroom was packed. After It seems that most incoming freshmen the professor explained that his exams, all haven’t been taught how to think. A lot of four of them, were completely essay-based, them have never really learned how to learn. the classroom of mostly-freshmen began to Memorizing, yes. Preparing for types of look concerned. questions that will show up on the all-im“So, you’ll tell us what the essays for the portant TAKS, yes. Anything beyond that is test will be over, right?” one student asked. just uncertain. The professor said yes, the 15 possible I still talk with some of my high school exam questions would come from the 50 or teachers on Facebook. One of them, a newsso choices on the review sheet. You just had paper and yearbook adviser, is always frusto learn all of them. trated with her students’ complete lack of Walking out of the class, another student regard for deadlines. The students, up unpulled me aside. She knew that I had taken til joining the newspaper or yearbook staff, a class from the professor before, and asked have probably never come into contact with “so, he really doesn’t tell us which 15 things a due date that means something. If you forwill be on the test?” get your homework, you can turn it in the The answer? No. In college, unlike in high next day. That’s how it tends to work, in my school, you’re not always handed the exact experience. They’re unable to grasp the conitems you need to memorize and regurgitate cept that the production of a real product for an exam. depends on their stories, photographs or Maybe the expectations of multiple guess designs being completed on time, and that tests and pre-test reviews aren’t the student’s ‘next week’ isn’t necessarily good enough fault. It’s what they’ve been trained to ex- when you’re paying money to have a product pect. created in the real world. Two students never showed back up after Outside of high school, even beyond colthe first day of class. lege, saying “I forgot” isn’t an acceptable exWhen I was in high school, despite the cuse. I have had exactly one professor during fact that I took mostly AP classes, I rarely my going on six semesters at MSU who achad to really study. In my AP Biology class, cepted late work. That professor was taken which was supposed to prepare me to pass a advantage of. The rest of the time, if you year-end exam that would exempt me from misplaced a paper, didn’t complete an asone of my college science requirements, we signment, or missed a quiz for an unexcused

absence, you simply failed that assignment. And never, never, have I encountered a professor who would let you retake a final exam for a higher grade because you didn’t prepare adequately. But what do we expect? College freshmen are coming in from a world where there are no final exams if you manage to have nearperfect attendance and keep above a B average, where the only thing that determines whether or not you get to move on to the next grade is passing the TAKS test, and where a grade of ‘F’ is only a failure until you find the time between after school sports practice and hanging out with friends to actually complete the assignment. It shouldn’t be any surprise that the first exam in freshman level classes results in a large number of failures. It also shouldn’t come as a shock that parents of freshmen, upon hearing of this failing grade, start attempting to call professors indignantly arguing that their student would never fail, and demanding that their child be given the opportunity for a retest. Or that, in a case where a parent doesn’t suffer from helicopter-syndrome, the student comes in and asks for extra credit, some way to raise their grade, after a semester of slacking and texting through class periods. It’s not all laziness, though that’s certainly a part of it. Something needs to change at the high school level to make kids understand that there’s not always a do-over. That sometimes, you do fail, and failures have consequences that not only cost you time and tuition money, but also wastes the time of your professors and sometimes even your peers. Getting rid of TAKS in favor of year-end exams is definitely a start, but it’s going to have to go farther than that. Finals exemptions may be fun for juniors and seniors – I know I loved being able to leave early and not take tests ­– but they’re not doing students any favors. And maybe the quickest way to get the point across that due dates do matter would be making sure that the zero for the assignment stands. If a student doesn’t manage to pull out straight A’s without trying for the first time in his life, maybe he’ll start putting forth the effort. There are tons of high schoolers graduating with perfect GPAs and going off to college only to find out that they have no clue how to study, write an essay, read critically, or formulate original thought. If the ACT study is right, it’s no surprise that nationwide college drop-out rates are up. The problem is, the fix can’t happen at the college or university level. Until something changes in the way high schools are doing business, colleges will need to keep multiple sections of remedial courses open. They’ll need them.

nLetter to the Editor After reading the article about the on-campus smoking ban we are quite shocked. We know of many faculty and students, including ourselves, who do not agree with this policy. Most of these students do not even exercise their right to use tobacco. Additionally, the quote from Dr. Greenwood and Dr. Williamson in the news paper that states that they haven’t heard any complaints about the policy is bothersome to us. We would like to register your first official complaints. These complaints were registered previously with little consideration at the beginning of this process a year ago, and we will reiterate them here: 1. It is not the university’s job to act in a parental manner by dictating what behavior is acceptable for students at this campus. 2. The policy manual for MSU states that the university will not tolerate any kind of student coercion. However, as written, the smoking policy would be enforced through exactly that. Therefore, the smoking policy as we see it is in violation of a previously approved policy. Thus, we argue that any legislation that restricts the rights of tuition paying students is unacceptable and discriminatory. Furthermore, the encouragement of student regulation of a smoking policy only serves to increasingly vilify smokers as second class citizens. This goes against the basic foundation of higher education as an institution of free thought and open mindedness. We would like to think the Student Government Association and its affiliates would consider the aforementioned facts and allow the student body to have a voice in the matter before endorsing a piece of legislation that affects so many students. “It’s not up to the government to decide what are people’s worst instincts.” - Justice Antonin Scalia. Again disappointed in administrative bureacracy, Chase Thornton, graduate student Zak Carlton, graduate student


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news

The Wichitan

February 3, 2010

FIRE...............................................................................................................................................................................................................continued from page 1

kind of jokin’.” Price said Sharp hung up so he could push through the crowd and return home for the day. Sharp called Price about 15 minutes later, Price said. “He said, ‘Dean, that was my house. The house blowed up.” Price said he didn’t believe him at first. “I said, ‘Aw, that’s not funny, Lynn.’ But I could tell by the fear in his voice that he was very serious.” Price said that when Sharp arrived home firefighters were already dousing the burning embers of the structure. Chandler had already been rushed to the hospital. “The neighbors said that Donna ran out of the house right after the explosion, and she was bleeding and had been burnt,” Price said. The burns were so severe that Chandler was airlifted to Parkland Hospital in Dallas, where she is currently in critical but stable condition, Price said. “At first they had a ventilator tube in her, which is standard for most burn victims,” Price said. “You get burned and you swell up and your body starts expelling fluid. A lot of times it goes to the lungs. Plus if the swelling gets too in-

tense it would close her throat off so she couldn’t breathe.” Price said Sharp has been in Dallas with Chandler since the explosion. “His whole life revolves around Donna,” Price said. Sharp stays with her during the day in the hospital and sleeps in a nearby motel at night. Price said he has been in contact with him every day since the accident. According to Price, Chandler started breathing without the ventilator tube Saturday. It was two more days before she was able to eat. “The burns were confined to the top half of her body,” Price said. “She has pretty substantial burns. The worst are on her arms and her face.” He said doctors told Chandler the damage to her face was probably superficial enough to not scar. “That tells us the burning on the face was pretty minor,” Price said. “It was more like a flash than a full-on burn.” The third-degree burns on Chandler’s arms are a different story, however. Price said she will probably have to undergo surgery to repair the damage. “Right now, their house is a total loss,” Price said. “There’s nothin’. It’s gone. Just

like everything in it. The only clothes Lynn had were the clothes on his back. We’re looking at a family here who has absolutely nothing.” Sharp’s homeowner insurance should cover the loss, Price said, but it may not be enough. Price estimated the total damage could have been as high as $70,000. Price said the next day he and other MSU personnel began to gather donations for Sharp. They collected enough money for Chandler’s 13-year-old son, Colton, to get a few changes of clothes, school supplies and food. Colton was not inside the home when it caught fire. Price said Sharp was humble by taking the gift. “I told him, ‘We’re all family out here. When something happens we take it personal because we’re all in this mess together.’ Then he said to me that he didn’t know how many people knew, thought, or cared about him.” The day of the explosion, Sharp went home to eat lunch with his wife like he did every day, Price said. He told Price didn’t spot anything out of the ordinary. Price, a master plumber, said that gas has to be at a 5 – 14 percent concentration to explode. “The conditions have to

be exactly right,” Price said. “Unfortunately, enough was in that range where she hit the light switch that it caught a spark and went off. “If you leave anything in the ground long enough, it will deteriorate,” Price said. “The pipe coating can get a knick in it or something then it just erodes and gets a hole in it.” At MSU there are only a few specially trained personnel who deal with the natural gas, Price said. “Gas can be very, very dangerous – like a snake waiting to bite you,” Price said. “We got some hundred pound steam here in the plant that’ll kill you. It’ll cook you right there on the spot. Price said anyone can donate money to Sharp and Chandler at the MSU credit union. He also said Woodhaven Church, where Sharp’s mother attends, threw a luncheon fundraiser this weekend to support the family. “Lynn’s a man trying to make a living for his family,” Price said. “They do the best they can with the money they make. Then all of the sudden you get whacked and knocked on the ground again.” Price said he didn’t know who was claiming responsibility for the accident,

but Atmos Energy contacted Sharp soon after the accident. “They sent their condolences, said they were sorry and so forth,” Price said. “They said they would try to help.” Price said the fire marshal had conducted a search of the house, but doesn’t yet know the outcome. He said the gas line was buried under concrete slab. “What happened to Lynn crushed everybody here,” Price said. “We didn’t know what to say. You’re just at a loss of words when something like that happens. But I think now he has a totally different view of what a having a work family is all about. And that’s what we are. I told him, ‘Don’t worry about the stuff that was in the house – almost all of it is replaceable. But some things, like your family, aren’t.’ The whole MSU family is here for him, from the students up through the administration,” Price said. “You think, ‘Okay, if this was some kind of drug addict or bad person you could say it was God gettin’ even with you or whatever, humbling you down somewhat,’” Price said. “It doesn’t make sense sometimes.”

“He had words of caution,” Rogers said. “Obviously, the legislature is concerned. They don’t want to go into the next session with that kind of defect.” In fact, Rogers said the plan is to cut the projected $17 billion defect to about $10 billion. “The Board (of Regents) and I had anticipated this type of situation,” Rogers said. “I think we’ve been prudent in our expenditures and in putting this budget together. But now it’s clear that we’re going to have to return $2 million over this year and next year to the state.” Coming up with that kind of money will require reevaluating many of the items on the current budget. “We’re a long way into this budget year,” Rogers said. “We’ve made a lot of commitments to everything from adjunct faculty to supplies to projects. I don’t think there’s any way we’ll be able to send half of the money back this year.” Rogers said he hopes to send at least

1/3 of the money back this year and 2/3 next. While it’s not clear where exactly the money will come from, Rogers was emphatic on items he is unwilling to compromise in the name of savings. “We will not cut summer school,” Rogers said. “We will not cut classes. Our students depend on these things, so they will not be cut.” On the chopping block are utilities expenditures, which Rogers hopes to cut down on even more. He said the university will also be instating a “limited hiring freeze.” “We’re putting a hold on new positions,” he said. “We will fill only what we consider to be critical positions. We will put non-essential positions on hold. If we have decided to fill them, we will eventually fill them when we’re able to afford it.” Rogers also said there will be a partial freeze on out of state travel funded with state money. This doesn’t include any

trips paid for by grants or other private sources. “Only the most critical travel from state funds will be approved,” he said. As for the construction taking place all around campus, Rogers said anything that is already in process will be finished, but anything beyond that is uncertain. “There are numerous projects we wanted to complete or get started on that we’re going to have to hold off on,” he said. A future measure that Rogers hopes to avoid would be a small, across-the-board cut in maintenance and operation funds. This would include the money allocated to departments for “paper, pencils, printing, that sort of thing.” He said that kind of cut might free up $50,000 or more. Rogers said that the university could be much worse off. Foundation earnings have come back up since the stock market’s deepest drop, and higher-thanexpected enrollment figures provided for more income.

Unfortunately, wallets belonging to faculty and students alike will probably feel the effects of the budget cuts. “I anticipate the 3 percent raise (faculty and staff received mid-year) will have to be for 18 months,” Rogers said. “I had hoped we could add some to that amount, but it really remains to be seen.” He said that the university is going to try its best to keep any tuition increase to a minimum, but the income from students is vital to coming up with enough money to send back to the state. “We’re going to stick with the five percent cap,” Rogers said, but he added that he would recommend a small tuition increase. Any potential tuition changes will be discussed at the Board of Regents meeting on Feb. 11 and 12, just three days before the university is required to submit its plan to the state. If tuition is raised by one percent, students paying in-state tuition and taking 12 hours will see an increase of about

$10 per semester. If the raise hits the maximum five percent mark, the same student will pay about $51 more. Rogers said he has been meeting with his vice presidents to determine where the money can come from. “I gave every vice president an assignment to look at everything you’re doing. Look at the positions you have that are open. Make a case for the ones that are critical,” Rogers said. “We also talked about expected revenues next year, but I’m not going to walk in and say to our Board that we’re going to raise tuition high enough to cover that. That would be breaking the faith of the student body.” As far as any projects or new hires that might be deferred until a later date, Rogers said simply: “We’ll get there.” “I feel fortunate for this state, for this university and its faculty and staff,” Rogers said. “I feel fortunate for this student body. If everyone knew what universities in this nation have been going through for years, they’d feel fortunate too.”

BUDGET........................................................................................................................................................................................................continued from page 1

COMING SOON TO A CAMPUS NEAR YOU… Saturday, Feb. 6 6pm & 8pm, Ligon Coliseum

MSU Basketball vs. rival Tarleton State Women at 6:00pm and Men at 8:00pm. Wear maroon!

Sunday, Feb. 7 5:00pm, CSC Shawnee

Superbowl Party! Watch the Saints and Colts on the BIG screen! Free food.

Tuesday, Feb. 9 5:00pm, CSC Multicultural

University Programming Board Meeting Help plan exciting activities for the entire campus!

Thursday, Feb. 11 4-9pm, Wellness Center

Student Wellness Center Spring Kick-Off Learn about MSU wellness programs. Lots of free stuff!

Thursday, Feb. 11 7:00pm, CSC Shawnee

ThinkFast Black History Month Game Show Win a $200 cash prize and maybe even learn something!

Friday, Feb. 12 10:00pm, CSC Shawnee

Movie: He’s Just Not That Into You Sponsored by the University Programming Board. Free popcorn!

Saturday, Feb. 13 8am-1pm, MSU Campus

Mustangs Rally Help welcome potential new Mustangs and their families to MSU.

Tuesday, Feb. 16 7:00pm, Bolin 127

Student Government Association Meeting Your campus; your voice. Open to all MSU students.

Wednesday, Feb. 17 6:00pm, CSC Shawnee

Greek Forum Share your thoughts and ideas regarding Greek Life at MSU.

February 18-20 11am & 7:30pm, Fain Theater

MSU Theater: And The Rain Came to Mayfield A powerful cultural drama set in a small town in Mississippi.

Spotlight

Has your organization done something worthy of recognition in the Spotlight? (performed community service, presented a program, traveled to a conference, received an award, etc.) Let us know! Call 397-4500 so your organization can be featured in a future issue.

Scholarships Available! Are you interested in developing your leadership skills, assisting new students during orientation and registration, and making a positive impact at MSU? If so, then apply to be a 2010 Spirit Days Peer Counselor! Applications are available in the Office of Student Development and Orientation in the Clark Student Center. Completed applications are due February 5th. Help new students reach their goals!

Mandatory Student Organization Trainings The spring 2010 Student Organization Training Meetings have been scheduled. Every registered student organization at MSU must have a representative attend a session. All sessions will be held in CSC Shawnee Theater. Wednesday, February 3 at 12:00pm & 5:30pm Wednesday, February 10 at 2:00pm Thursday, February 11 at 12:00pm & 5:30pm

the

A SPECIAL CONGRATULATIONS... -To all of the students who have been elected into a new leadership position within a registered student organization for the spring 2010 semester or 2010 calendar year! -To the MSU Cheerleaders for receiving a bid to compete for the NCAA Division II National Collegiate Cheerleading Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida! -To the members of fraternities and sororities in the Greek system at MSU who collected food for the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank during the cold holiday season.

MUSTANGS RALLY!

The Spotlight is brought to you by

On Saturday, February 13, 2010 hundreds of potential Mustangs and their families will converge on the MSU campus to learn what college life at Midwestern State University is all about! Be on the lookout for these future students as well as their parents and guests and show your Mustangs Pride by wearing maroon and gold.

The Office of Student Development & Orientation Endless Opportunities. Lifelong Connections. Clark Student Center, Room 194 (940) 397-4500 http://activities.mwsu.edu

Look for the next Spotlight on Wednesday, February 17, 2010!


feature

February 3, 2010

The Wichitan n 5

Back on her own two feet Chris Collins Managing Editor

When Michelle Montgomery graduated from MSU in the spring of 2009, it was the best day of her life. This wasn’t because she had just earned her degree in criminal justice. The postgraduate studying criminal justice and psychology said it was because she was able to walk across the stage. Two years ago, Montgomery was diagnosed with a rare form of multiple sclerosis. Doctors told her it might be 10 years before she could use her legs again, if she was ever able to. Now she can’t even remember the last time she needed the aid of her chair or cane, she said. “Walking across that stage was exhilarating,” she said. “I loved it because it felt like freedom.” Montgomery said she was diagnosed with MS two years ago, but has been battling it for eight. Until this semester, the disease has confined her to a wheelchair. She has been working hard to keep pace with the degenerative condition, but she said her life is pretty much normal. “I still have to take special medication at certain times every day and have to eat at certain times every day,” she said. “It’s just a different lifestyle. It’s a healthier lifestyle.” She said she feels better now than she did when she was healthy, but every small victory has come as the result of long, tough battles. “There was a lot of screaming, a lot of hard work,” she said. Montgomery said she still has to wake up early every day to make sure her

wheelchair is ready, even if she doesn’t need to use it. Cold weather means she needs to wake up even earlier. “If my legs aren’t working I’ll have to use the wheelchair,” she said. “Usually I just have to use it when it’s really, really cold.” She said she wears special compression socks to keep her legs from cramping while she walks around campus. Montgomery, 38, said she started to get sick about eight years ago while she was attending Diablo Valley College in California. “It kind of came suddenly,” Montgomery said. Montgomery said at this point she relocated to MSU partly because of family and partly because treatment for her condition was too expensive in California. She said doctors diagnosed her with many other illnesses before they concluded she had MS. “It’s a very hard diagnosis to come up with,” she said. “You go through a whole gamut of diagnoses, from lupus to lymphoma. I went through every test known to man. I’ve been poked, prodded at – things that involve long needles.” Montgomery said she didn’t know what to think when she started to get sick. “I thought, ‘what did I do wrong?’” she said. “But when the first doctor told me I wouldn’t be able to walk for another 10 years, I got real defiant and said, ‘watch me.’” She said the next day she took two steps before collapsing back into bed. “People couldn’t even touch me because it was so painful,” Montgomery said. “I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t walk. I

couldn’t feed myself,” she said. Two years ago Montgomery relapsed. She said the medication her old doctor had been giving her was making her sicker. She said it almost killed her. “It’s a disease that causes havoc with your body,” Montgomery said. MS wears away at the sheath that protects a person’s nerves, she said, which causes the body to attack itself. Montgomery has a rare progressive form of the disease. She said it requires that she stay very active to battle it. Since then Montgomery has been making a lot of progress, she said. Now she rehabilitates at Health South and maintains a high level of activity, even compared to life before she was sick. She said heredity might be to blame for the MS. “Genetics have a lot to do with it,” Montgomery said. Montgomery said doctors told her that her Native American ancestry, along with being female, increased her likelihood for getting the disease. Montgomery said her boyfriend, Russell Collins, has been a big help in her rehabilitation. “He goes walking with me and just makes sure I stay active,” she said. The two have been dating since November, they said, though they’ve known each other for six years. “MS is a lot more common than people realize,” Collins said. “It’s just very episodic.” Montgomery said the disease affects everyone differently. Two people with the condition may exhibit very different

symptoms. She said she doesn’t feel like she was stigmatized on campus by the disability – almost everyone she’s encountered has been very supportive of her. “At MSU, I feel like I’m family,” she said. “Everybody talks about stigma – and yeah, there is some. But there’s stigma with any difference in anybody.” She said she is independent of her wheelchair, at least for the time being. “I’m more reliant on a cane than the wheelchair,” she said. She said she still doesn’t take being able to walk for granted anymore. Michelle Montgomery (Photo by: Julia Raymond) “It’s a whole different perspective walkprogressive, hereditary diseases. ing around MSU at a different height,” Her advice to others who are strugMontgomery said. “I like that perspec- gling with MS is to find a good doctor tive. It’s a new one.” and to never give up. Nowadays Montgomery focuses on “No matter how crazy you think you’re maintaining a good diet and getting going, don’t take ‘no’ for an answer,” she plenty of exercise to stay healthy. She vis- said. “Your doctor needs to listen to you its her rehab clinic about once a month. and your body. If he isn’t listening, you’ve “I learned that I’m a lot stronger than I got a problem.” thought I was,” Montgomery said. “I also Even though life isn’t completely norlearned that people are a lot nicer than I mal for Montgomery, she said she doesn’t thought they were. I thought I was alone fixate on her disability anymore – rather, in this journey and I found out – espe- she focuses on her ability. cially here at MSU – that I had a family. “I don’t think about it anymore,” That touched my heart.” Montgomery said. “If it happens, it hapMontgomery said she worked with pens. I’ve dealt with it before and I can Alzheimer’s patients in California, which deal with it again. Look where I am may have taught her some valuable les- today – I’m better off than I used to be sons about dealing with people who have when I was healthy.”

MACHA..........................................................................................................................................................................................................continued from page 1

younger sisters and was basically the matriarch of the family. She was pulling herself up by the bootstraps, putting herself through college and working. She was doing everything right, and then this happened.” This occurred on Dec. 21, 1984, when she and her friend Leza

Boone, a classmate and coworker, returned to Boone’s house from a Christmas party. “She was going to spend the night at Leza’s,” Macha said. “Terry didn’t even live there. Leza was going to go back (to work) and pull a double. When Leza got back that morning they were go-

ing to study for an exam.” When Leza got home, Terry was dead. “The killer was nearby and he saw Terry get out of the car and go into her friend’s house (alone),” Macha said. “He came in right behind her, and from the struggle that we saw, he was on her right

away” Macha said there was blood in the entryway of the house and a table was overturned. “He just starts jerking her clothes off, just ripping them off,” Macha said. “She was wearing her (hospital) uniform. Her pants were pulled inside out. There was blood on her shoes.” The attacker then dragged her into the bedroom. Blood was found on the waterbed’s sheets. “There was an extension cord that I think was used to heat the waterbed. He cut that and used it to tie her hands behind her back with four or five knots. She had self-defense wounds, and the pathologist thinks at one point in time she actually grabbed the knife with her hands.” Macha said the evidence indicated Sims was “fighting for her life.” The attacker then sexually assaulted the young woman before dragging her down the hall to the bathroom. Blood, Macha said, was everywhere. “He stabbed her in the chest, stabbed her in the back. There were blood spatters on the bathtub, all over. It was one of the worst (crime scenes) I’d ever seen,” the DA recalled. In his years as a prosecutor, Macha said he has visited more than a hundred crime scenes, including those of two more murders committed by the same man who killed Terry Sims. Less than a month later, on Jan. 19, 1985, Toni Gibbs, a 23-yearold nurse, was reported missing. Her body was found almost a month later, stabbed to death and with evidence of sexual assault. In October, the body of 21-year-old waitress and MSU student Ellen Blau’s was found by a county employee mowing alongside a Wichita County road. “The body was so badly decomposed the pathologist couldn’t determine an exact cause of death,” Macha said. Investigators collected evidence in all the killings but back then DNA technology was in its infancy. Blood and other body samples sat useless. Investigators spent years working on the murders. Though no official connection had been drawn, Macha had a suspicion that the string of homicides were connected. “I always had a feeling that those cases might be related because of

their proximity,” he said. “Where Sims was murdered was only less than a mile from where Gibbs’ car had been abandoned. When I got an investigator (back on the case), I told him I thought the guy who did this has some connection to this neighborhood.” With the birth of DNA technology came an opportunity. Macha asked people in the crime lab if they had compared the semen collected from Sims and Gibbs to see if it had come from the same person. They hadn’t. Macha got a call from the lab director. The DNA was a match. He said he just knew the Blau case was connected as well. The circumstances were too similar. Macha put investigator John Little on the case. After studying the case files, Little came into Macha’s office and uttered the name “Faryion Wardrip.” Not only had Wardrip lived just blocks from where Sims was murdered, but he had worked at the hospital as well. Wardrip had already been convicted of a previous murder, the 1996 death of 21-year-old Tina Kimbrew, whom he had smothered with a pillow. After serving 11 years of a 35-year sentence, he was let out on parole. The investigator discovered that Wardrip was now a married man, living in Olney, a small town about 40 miles from Wichita Falls. He was a Sunday School teacher at a local church. Macha urged Little to go out and get DNA from Wardrip since a hunch wasn’t enough for an arrest warrant. The murderer’s undoing would be a discarded coffee cup . After weeks of staking out a Laundromat across the street from where Wardrip worked, Little saw him toss a used Styrofoam coffee cup into a trash can. Little asked Wardrip if he could have the cup to spit his chewing tobacco in, and received permission. DNA from the rim of the cup confirmed that Faryion Wardrip was the same man who raped and murdered Sims and Gibbs. “We wanted to see if he would give it up,” Macha said. “Before we arrested him, I wanted him to confess to (killing) Blau.” Wardrip denied everything and his family and friends backed him up – at least until the newspaper came out the following Monday. The article reported that the DA’s office had matched his DNA to the first two victims.

“Then, he confessed to all of them,” Macha said. “He even confessed to (killing) a girl from Fort Worth (25-year-old Debra Taylor, who was murdered in March 1985). We didn’t even know about her at the time.” Macha sought the death penalty after Wardrip pleaded guilty to Sims’ murder. A death sentence was handed down in January 1999. He pleaded guilty to the other three murders, but never admitted to sexually assaulting any of the women he killed. “With these cases, these girls, it was about power and control over them,” Macha said. “He admitted to murdering them, but sex? (He always said) ‘I don’t remember.’ At his trial, he didn’t take the stand because he knew I would have been all over him about that.” Wardrip’s case is one of three in which Macha has sought the death penalty. In all three cases, he succeeded, and he has no regrets, especially when it comes to Wardrip. “It’s not an easy thing, and it’s not something I take lightly,” Macha said. “You’re asking a jury to take someone’s life. My thought was: if this state has a death penalty, this is a death penalty case. ” Wardrip sits on Death Row in Huntsville today. He’s still in the process of appealing his sentence. “The remorse he has is that he got caught,” Macha said. “It’s all about him. It’s always been about him, and today it’s still about him.” And for Macha, through this harrowing case and all of the others he’s either prosecuted or overseen throughout the years, it’s about keeping the community he lives in safe. Macha was born and raised in Wichita Falls, graduated from Notre Dame High School and MSU, and then returned to his hometown after law school to practice. After just two and a half years as an assistant district attorney, he won the first of seven consecutive elections to DA. During his time as DA, he aided in founding Patsy’s House, a place where children who are victims of abuse or neglect can go for safe haven and counseling. His daughter, Hannah, is a graduate of Rider High School and his wife, Jane, is a MSU alumnae. Leaving the DA’s office for the judge position he hopes to be elected to, he said, is “the next challenge.”


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The Wichitan

February 3, 2010

Apple iPad: iPerfect or iPass?

The Apple iPad’s range in price from $499 for a Wi-fi 16 GB product, to $829 for a Wi-fi and 3G 64 GB one. (Photo Courtesy)

iPad: Sexy Upgrade

iPad: Overpriced Gadget

The iPad does exactly what it was intended to do: it’s a tablet, touchscreen computer that bridges the gap between Apple’s already existing products. The Macbook Air, Apple’s closest thing to a netbook, is ridiculously expensive, and obviously not for everyone. The iPhone is awesome, but not everyone wants to be locked in a contract with AT&T or be limited to mobile apps. Some people just want a shiny touchscreen computer with a big screen, portability, and a decent price point. (Also, it looks really cool.) That said, people are still going to complain until Apple delivers a truly magical product that prints money and craps moonbeams. Here are three of the major complaints against the iPad, and why those complaints are stupid. “It’s just a big iPhone! What can I do on the iPad that I can’t do on my iPhone?” Uh, it’s not just a big iPhone. It’s six iPhones (dimensionally, two iPhones high by three iPhones wide) all melted together with a huge shiny touch screen. You can type on it- with your fingers! It can view full web pages and run modified iWork applications. The iPad doesn’t do a lot that your iPhone can’tbut it does everything that your iPhone can do, way sexier. “It doesn’t run OSX!” Why would the iPad run OSX? That’s like looking at a Blackberry and complaining that it doesn’t run Windows 7. The iPad is a touchscreen optimized device. It runs on iPhone

hits shelves and the over-excited mobs get in Twitter wars with one another while camping outside the nearest Apple Store. My fellow Mac addicts might demand to know why I would pass up (at least for now) what promises to be the most amazingly wonderful gadget ever. Steve Jobs even used the word “magical” to describe it – and I’m not kidding. Unfortunately, I just don’t see the point in dishing out between $499 and $829 for something that simply doesn’t do anything new. I mean, it would look really cool sitting with my Macbook Pro, iPhone and iPod. And if, unlike this semester, any of my textbooks were available in downloadable formats, I could carry it to class instead of lugging an overstuffed backpack. As far as the amazing way that Jobs presented the price – starting it out at $1000 and ending with a ‘just kidding guys! You’re gonna get a bargain!’ was pretty much genius. Everyone was already trying to come up with a grand to drop on the gadget, and when they found out they could get the cheapest version for HALF that price? HOW COOL IS STEVE JOBS? Except not really. Go to apple. com and look at the price specs. For just under five hundred dollars, you get basically a big iPod Touch. Except, you pay $100 less for 64 gigabytes of Touch memory than you do for just 16 – yes, SIXTEEN – gigs of iPad space. What can you do with 16 gigs? Not a lot, according to Apple’s own stats, given for the iPod. Without taking into account any pre-installed programs, you could put 4000 songs or 16 hours of video on the iPad base model. So, you’re spending over $800 on something that replaces none of the other devices you own. Yeah, it has an onscreen keyboard, but can you really imagine attempting to hammer out a 10 page term paper with a larger version of an iPhone keyboard? I can’t. Also, you can’t run multiple programs at the same time, so switching between writing your paper and looking up more information on the

Jamie Monroe Advertising Manager Apple debuted its latest creation, the iPad tablet, last week. Since then, Apple fanboys have done nothing but whine about it on the internet. Check any Mac-related or tech forum, type iPad in the search engine, and you’ll generally find two things: Really bad menstrual or adult diaper jokes, and/or, “I am underwhelmed. The iPad can’t do... (insert whining here).” I’m not really sure what people were expecting. Since when do we define products by what they don’t do? I don’t look at my stove and go, “Well, I suppose it cooks food okay, but it doesn’t slice/dice/stir or keep water from boiling over. WHAT A STUPID USELESS STOVE.” Same goes with Apple. Yes, they create tech products that are the trendsetters. However, that doesn’t mean they are capable of creating any one product that is going to make every idiotic consumer happy. They are capable of creating niche products that are tailored to a certain consumer group.

software, because the iPhone operating system has proven to be user-friendly, intuitive, and successful. I know this means you can’t play Warcraft on your iPad, but grow a pair and deal with it. “It doesn’t run Flash!” Flash isn’t all that great. It’s old, it’s buggy, and if any site is worth browsing, it’ll have nonFlash alternatives. And if Apple and Adobe do get together and decide to be friends, it’ll probably be a software update, not hardware. I’m not saying that the iPad is perfect- it’s obviously got a few problems. First off, it has a stupid name. Its base specs are pretty weak too, for what Apple is charging. It also lacks a stylus, something you’d inherently expect from a tablet device. Hopefully Apple fixes at least some of these problems in the future. But what I’m getting at is that this is an important device. You personally may not want one or care either way, but Apple is moving in a really cool direction with this. The iPad isn’t a stagnant machine- with apps and thirdparty developers, there are a lot of possibilities. In five years, we won’t be talking about whether or not the iPad was a stupid product, we’ll be talking about whatever cool thing the iPad inevitably inspired. However, for the present audience: If you hate the iPad, it was never intended for you, don’t buy it, quit bitching. It’s that simple.

Brittany Norman Editor in Chief Just taking into account the sheer volume of Mac products I have purchased since the invention of the iPod, I assumed that the long-rumored ‘Apple tablet,’ discussed online by tech geeks for years, would be another must-have. While watching Steve Jobs describe the iPad, finally a reality for anticipative Apple addicts worldwide, I was initially impressed. After all, when all the hype was combined with the rhetoric in Jobs’ announcement, it sounded more like a mythical creature had finally been discovered, and not only was it real, but it could send e-mails! Not only that, but it’s thin, shiny, perfectly styled and ready for accessories, just like a classy fashion model. And when Jobs strutted the iPad down the metaphorical live-streaming runway, everyone momentarily forgot about just how stupid the name sounds and focused instead on the cool factor. Unfortunately, my collection of Mac products will be incomplete as soon as the iPad

$385

75 * Free Wi-Fi

Percentage of students who received some form of nancial aid assistance in 2008-2009.

Web is going to require you to completely close down the word processor. Not very efficient. So, you’re still going to need your laptop (By the way, a 13 inch Macbook with a 250 gig hard drive is only about $150 more than the iPad). And unless among the iPad’s “magical” qualities is the ability to be shrunk down, you’re still going to want your iPod to carry around in your pocket, unless you have really huge pockets. An iPod touch will run you between about $200 and $400. Since the iPad can’t make calls, you still need your phone. If it’s an iPhone 3GS and you bought it with an AT&T plan, it cost you about $200. Then there’s the pesky monthly data plan fee of $30. Say you’re conservative and buy the mid-range iPad with 3G connectivity. That’s about $730 right up front. A monthly unlimited data plan with AT&T (the only carrier you can use) will add another $29.99 to your monthly bill. When it’s all said and done, without any accessories (an external keyboard as well as protective cases will probably be the absolute MINIMUM), if you own a basic Macbook, the cheapest iPod Touch, iPhone 3GS and the new iPad, you’re looking at a grand total of $2130 worth of Apple products, plus $60 a month to AT&T for 3G access (which Wichita Falls still doesn’t have). Personally, I can do without the extra $730 expenditure, especially when there will probably be a new, de-bugged and better iPad out within a year and a half. Maybe one that you can do video chat on, put DVDs in (kind of puts a damper on watching movies when you have to buy them from iTunes) and work in multiple programs at the same time. And not to nitpick, but they really could have come up with a better name. Mr. Jobs, iPad? Really? I know it’s only one letter off from iPod, but was tradition really worth making your new, magical, mythical gadget sound like a high-tech feminine hygiene product?


a&e

February 3, 2010

The Wichitan n 7

Miss Virginia crowned as new Miss America Lauren Wood Entertainment Editor

The Miss America Pageant aired live Sunday evening on TLC. It began with 53 beautiful women and ended with one of them being crowned the 2010 Miss America. Now I have never watched this event before so my only previous experience with the competition is what I have gathered from Miss Congeniality. It is actually pretty similar, minus the whole undercover F.B.I. agent and crazy pageant director thing. The competition took place at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas where hosts Mario Lopez, who seems to host everything nowadays, and What Not to Wear’s Clinton Kelly, led the evening relatively smoothly. The evening started off quickly with the group dance and the clever introductions of all 53 contestants. The judges ranged from Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson to actress Vivica A. Fox to radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh. One judge said they just wanted to see a “real girl” stand out from the group of ladies, which made me chuckle. If they wanted that then they should have put someone who weighed over 100 pounds in the show. The first elimination took place, cutting the group down to the top 15. However, it wasn’t that simple. Lopez announced the top 14, but the remaining 39 women were given a ballot and chose who they thought should be the 15 contestant. And since they weren’t allowed to vote for themselves, it made the decision a little harder. In case you were wondering, Miss Texas (the only one you should be rooting for) was one of these lucky 15. After the top 15 were chosen, they made haste to the dressing room and changed into their black bikinis. How appropriate for national

television. They strutted down the stage in heels, shaking their hips and grinning ear to ear. The group was then cut to 12 and the ladies 2009 Miss America, Katie Stam, crowns scrambled to get Miss Virginia Caressa Cameron as the new in their evening Miss America. (Photo Courtesy) gowns. (Miss Texas is still in!) song that was good, but not Each woman pranced down good enough to move her into the stairs in their dresses, some the next round. Three more left beautiful, others just mediocre. the stage, and the remaining But we are supposed to be seven answered questions from judging on personality, right? random people in Las Vegas. My personal favorite was The questions ranged from Miss Hawaii’s red dress. It was ‘should foreign languages be a gorgeous gown that showed required for students’ to ‘why just the right amount of skin. should we send money to Miss District of Columbia Haiti’ to a question involving could have taken a lesson from something about Tiger Woods Hawaii because her girls were and role models. front and center and ready for After the questions were their television debut. answered, the judges had to Miss Texas donned a black make their pick. Who would dress, which was unique to say be the next Miss America? the least. I’m pretty sure the But before that is revealed, bottom half was made of fur. the 2009 Miss America, Yes, fur. Katie Stam, made her final And Texas was the only appearance with the crown and girl to stumble in her entrance. declared how wonderful it has Everyone else managed not to been to be Miss America this trip over their tall heels. past year. Blah, blah. My least favorite was Miss Finally, after several Virginia’s dress. It was Big Bird commercials and a very dramatic yellow and an odd cut, but she pause from Lopez, the winner made it up in the next round, was announced: Miss Virginia, talent. Caressa Cameron. After another two were She stared opened mouthed eliminated, the top ten perform as the crown was pinned to her their talents. head, just repeating the phrase Sorry, nothing out of the ‘Oh my gosh!’ usual. There was a lot of singing, She walked up and down a couple of dances and one the stage, waving and smiling, intense piano performance. but sadly there was no crying. I Miss Virginia blew me away personally wanted to see some with her version of Beyonce’s blubbering, but none occurred. Listen from Dreamgirls, and As winner of the pageant, Miss California impressed me which is in its 88th year, she is to with her ballet dance. receive a $50,000 scholarship. However, Miss Nebraska So good luck Miss Virginia. gave an awful performance of a May you fulfill your duties, jazz dance routine, ending with wear that crown proudly and her bag turning into a coat. please work on that world Never a good idea. peace thing. Miss Texas sang an opera

Ke$ha and Mayer albums: Jamie Monroe Advertising Manager

hit or misses?

Welcome to your February music roundup, a review of current chart-toppers, albums you may have missed, and albums you should probably skip altogether. Look in next week’s issue for more reviews! Artist: John Mayer Album: Battle Studies Sounds like: Jacob Dylan, Michelle Branch, Jason Mraz Recommended for: the recently dumped, guys who think it’s cool to play acoustic covers of John Mayer songs, Jessica Simpson. Synopsis: John Mayer possesses talent with a pen and a six-string; he writes a lot of beautiful songs about love and relationships. Listen to him for half an hour and you’ll wish he was your boyfriend... except in real life, he’s quite possibly the biggest douche-nozzle on the planet. However, personal life aside, this album does not stray far from his usual fare. Mayer’s first single, Heartbreak Warfare, is a beautiful and evocative psuedo-ballad in which he croons about “making it work” and keeping his relationship together. He also sings a lot about the pain and beauty of life, finding happiness, etcetera Aside from his usual soft-rock beats and guitar, Mayer does attempt to be edgy with lyrics about smoking pot in his apartment and a duet with music’s golden girl, Taylor Swift. However, he largely fails in this attempt. Verdict: If you like John Mayer, you’ll probably like this. If you don’t really care about John Mayer, you probably won’t really care about this album. John Mayer’s “Battle Studies,” and Ke$ha’s “Animal” are new albums topping the music charts. (Photo Courtesy)

Danny Huston and Mel Gibson star in “Edge of Darkness,” which opened January 29, 2010. (Photo Courtesy)

‘Darkness’ launches return of Mad Mel Lauren Wood Entertainment Editor

Mel Gibson made his name in movies like Mad Max and the Lethal Weapon series. The after his career was established as an actor, he got into directing and scored big with The Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto. Gibson is back in full acting mode on the big screen as a man with a mission in Edge of Darkness. Adapted by Casino Royale director Martin Campbell from his own 1985 BBC TV series, Edge Of Darkness tells the story of a Boston policeman Thomas Craven who hunts down his daughter’s killers after she is gunned down on his front doorstep. Gibson stars as the policeman, Thomas Craven in Darkness, his first major role since his character in Signs. For those of you in the dark on this matter, here is a recap. Gibson got pulled over while drinking while driving and made some smart remarks about the Jewish community. Bad idea. So Gibson has stayed off the big screen for the past couple seven years. But now the seasoned actor is back in action. If you liked Taken, this movie is definitely up your alley. It is full of guns, suspense and a twisty-turvy plot that leaves you surprised. The first scene shows you a couple of bodies bobbing in a river in the dead of night. Of course you are not meant to understand this until of the film, so pay attention and connect the dots. Within the first five minutes of the film, Gibson’s daughter, Emma Craven, played by Bojana Novakovic, comes home to visit her father and immediately is killed by a masked man on his

Bojana Novakovic plays Emma Craven, Gibson’s daughter in “Edge of Darkness.” (Photo Courtesy)

doorstep. I take that back, she wasn’t killed – she was blown to pieces. It was a pretty gruesome way to open up the movie, and it didn’t soften throughout the film. The film follows Gibson as he knocks down doors and investigates his daughter’s murder. Originally it is believed that he was the intended target, but he quickly learns his daughter wasn’t who he thought she was. Throughout the movie, everyone who aids Gibson conveniently ends up dead. However, Gibson actually doesn’t do too much of the killing. The plot twists and turns leaving the audience wondering what actually happened, but in the end actually leaves us with unanswered questions. It also leaves us a little unsatisfied and wanting more out of the film. Gibson did a great job portraying a father with a vengeance, and the cast was not bad, it was the script that disappointed. It was sometimes hard to follow and understand. Edge of Darkness is a movie with a lot of edge and most of it comes from Gibson’s performance. He is very effective

as a distraught father looking for his daughter’s killer. In order to play this grieving, stressed man Gibson lets the age lines show and the bleary eyes work for him. Novakovic, who plays Emma, did a great job playing Gibson’s daughter. Her chemistry with the older actor was very convincing. She appeared in her first film Blackrock at the age of 15 and has since been cast in a number of Australian features, including The Monkey’s Mask, Thunderstruck and Solo. She also worked extensively in the theatre in Sydney and Melbourne, where she is now based, before landing a small part in the Sam Raimi horror film Drag Me To Hell. The actress has just finished filming Devil, based on a story by M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense). She has a lead role in the horror film, about people trapped in a lift. It is good to see Gibson back on the big screen. He may look a little older and a little more worn around the edges, but he is still Mel and audiences have not forgotten him. The movie is rated R for profanity and violence.

Artist: Ke$ha Album: Animal Sounds like: Cobra Starship, Imogen Heap, (a wasted) Miley Cyrus Recommended for: angsty teenagers, alcoholics, drag queens. Synopsis: Tik Tok is possibly one of the most annoying and pointless dance songs in the history of music. Ke$ha (a blonde-haired, blue eyed Nashville native) whines throughout most of the song, verbally rapes the word “everybody,” and makes illegal activities and alcoholism sound, like, super fun. That doesn’t mean I don’t love it, along with the rest of the album. Though admitting it makes me want to throw up a little bit, this may be one of my favorite albums ever. It’s infectious, creative, catchy. Despite her nasal debut single, Ke$ha has a solid set of pipes, and the title track “Animal” is driving and beautiful. There isn’t one song I dislike on this album, just songs I like more than others. Even the absolutely stupid songs (“D-I-N-OS-A- You are a dinosaur!”) have me singing along. Autotune is applied liberally, but it’s definitely not because of lack of vocals, and is never overdone. The album is cohesive and clever, and while you probably won’t feel good about yourself, my bet is you’ll like it. Verdict: It’ll make you want to steal your mom’s car and crash a high school party.


8 n

The Wichitan

On Deck This Week n

WEDNESDAY, february 3

sports

February 3, 2010

KEEPING IT CLOSE

BASKETBALL

Women @ Tarleton State* 6:00 PM Men @ Tarleton State* 8:00 PM n

thursday, february 4

5 PM vs. Tarleton State** 7 PM vs. Angelo state**

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Softball

friday, february 5 Softball

1:45 pm vs. e. new mexico** 6 pm vs. tAMU - Kingsville**

Tennis

Men & women @ ACU Quad

n

saturday, february 6

Softball

2:00 pm - Tournament** Semi finals / finals

Tennis Men & women @ ACU Quad

BASKETBALL Women vs. Tarleton State* 6:00 PM Men vs. Tarleton State* 8:00 PM n

n

tuesday, february 9 Softball

1:00 pm vs. abilene christian

WEDNESDAY, february10

BASKETBALL

Women @ west texas a&m* 6:00 PM Men @ west texas a&m* 8:00 PM

bold denotes home game * denotes conference game ** Denotes st. mary’s NCAA div. ii Tourn.

Senior Guard Craig Green takes the ball down court and goes up for a lay-up. (Photos courtesy: Patrick Johnson)

Mustangs win another tight one, 78-77 MSUMustangs.com For the Wichitan

Craig Green’s tip-in at the buzzer lifted Midwestern State to an improbable 78-77 win over Abilene Christian Saturday night at Moody Coliseum. His heroics foiled an incredible shooting night by ACU’s Eddie Thompson, whose sixth 3-pointer gave the Wildcats a one-point lead with 2.87 seconds remaining. “Craig made an unbelievable play to win,” MSU coach Grant McCasland said. “If you’re going to be a championship team, you have to figure out a way to win games like this.” All it took was a set play from the far baseline as Anthony Moore launched a baseball pass the length of the floor which was slapped out of bounds by an

ACU player to set the Mustangs up with an inbounds play off of their own baseline with 1.87 seconds to go. “It was a set play we call “bomb,” McCasland said. “Anthony threw a great pass and I really thought it might have gone off of ‘Shad (Austin), but it went so fast it was hard to tell.” The call went MSU’s way and Jason Ebie triggered the ball into a wide open Moore, who put the ball off of the back rim from 12 feet on the baseline. “I told everyone to go get it because we were going to have a lot of time,” McCasland said. “(Craig) just tipped it in and went to the house.” Green came free with a clean, two-hand tip in before the buzzer and was immediately mobbed by his teammates. The Mustangs extended their

most current winning streak to five games while improving to 19-1 on the season and 4-1 in the Lone Star Conference South Division. “Give ACU a lot of credit for being ready to go from the jump,” McCasland said. “They kinda punched us in the mouth early and got it going on.” The Wildcats used a 17-3 run midway through the first half to take a 23-12 lead on Kevin White’s transition layup with 10:26 to play in the first half. The Mustangs battled back to within 35-31 at the half and tied the game on five occasions before using an 8-0 run culminated by Chris Hagan’s steal and layup with 2:26 to play to take a 74-66 lead. But ACU hit three 3-pointers and a transition layup to take a 77-76 lead with less than 3 sec-

onds to go. Thompson, who played for McCasland at Midland College, hit 6-of-7 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 26 points to pace the Wildcats. Senior forward Michael Godwin finished with a career-high 20 points and grabbed five rebounds to lead the Mustangs, while Green added 13 points and five rebounds. Moore completed a terrific all-around game with 10 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. “We played bad and we just figured out a way to win,” McCasland said. The Mustangs take on Tarleton State Wednesday night in Stephenville. Tipoff at Wisdom Gym is set for 8 p.m. or 25 minutes after the conclusion of the women’s game which begins at 6.

Despite last minute effort, Lady Mustangs fall MSUMustangs.com For the Wichitan

Freshman Alicia Houston keyed a late surge for Midwestern State Saturday afternoon at Moody Coliseum. The point guard dropped in a career-high 14 points and pulled in four rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Abilene Christian as the Wildcats held on for a 73-66 Lone Star Conference South Division win. The Mustangs suffered their fifth-straight loss to fall to 6-12 on the season and to 0-5 in the LSC South, while ACU snapped a two-game skid to improve to 13-7 and 3-2.

MSU used a 14-2 surge early in the first half as Cierra Thompson collected a pair of buckets in the paint before Michelle Duff went coast-to-coast on a driving layup before feeding Andrea Buben for a 10-foot jumper to give the Mustangs a 12-9 lead with 14:22 to go int he first half. ACU’s Jody Meyer answered with a score in the paint before Aqueelah Watkins hit two of the next three shots to give Midwestern its biggest lead of the contest at 18-11 with 12:35 to go in the opening half. But the Wildcats connected on 17-of-19 free throws before halftime to whittle away and took the lead for good on a Kat

Kundmueller free throw with 2.7 seconds to go in the first half. Abilene Christian took command in the second half and built a 66-54 lead when Courtney Laing hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 4:38 to play. But the Mustangs responded as Houston found her way to the charity strip to hit one of two shots before Thompson canned the team’s lone trey of the game and Jazman Patterson hit a follow layup to pull MSU within 66-60 with 2:09 to play, but that’s as close as it would get. Houston hit 4-of-9 shot from the field and was 6-of-8 from the charity stripe to complete

her career game, while Thompson finished with 15 points and two rebounds. Patterson had 13 points and eight rebounds while making her second consecutive start. Jamie Meyer led a quartet of Wildcats in double figures with a game-high 20 points, while twin sister Jody Meyer completed a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Kelsey Darby-Holson joined Laing with 10 points each. Midwestern State hits the road to face Tarleton State Wednesday night in Stephenville. Tipoff at Wisdom Gym is set for 6 p.m.


sports

February 3, 2010

The Wichitan n 9

Mustang softball shows big potential Matt Ledesma For the Wichitan

In 2004, then newly hired Midwestern State softball coach Brady Tigert was given eight months to put together the university’s inaugural team. Tigert admitted he had few expectations that first year under such a tight deadline. But those expectations were quickly surpassed as the Mustangs went on to make the postseason that year, and the next four years straight. Now in his seventh season, coach Tigert sees just how far things have come since those first eight months. “When I got here in January (MSU) wanted a team by August, so we threw together a team,” he said. “I didn’t have a lot of goals that first year, but we did so well that we really started to have to change the way we thought. “Now it’s just a matter of finding the right kids for the program, doing the little things to get better and adjust, and I think we’ve done that.” The Mustangs (31-17) finished fourth in the Lone Star Conference North Division last season. Back to back losses to end the year placed them seventh in the South Central Regional

son for each to want to go out in style. “We’ve both been here the past four years and we’ve seen the program expand and change in different ways,” Craig said. “We really think since this is our last year it’s going to be a big legacy to leave behind. “There’s going to be a lot of changes this year that are going to help take us further than we’ve ever gone.” Petersen noted the team’s overall good MSU softball player slides on base (Photo courtesy: Patrick Johnson) chemistry as another reason Rankings, just out of reach for a they know they could be passed for success. sixth-consecutive regional tour- up quickly.” “Personally, I think we all nament berth. Leading the charge are the enjoy being around everybody But with five starters return- team’s only two seniors, desig- on this team,” she said. “That’s ing, the Mustangs look to use nated hitter/infielder, Lauren showing on the field, so I’m reveteran experience -- along with Craig, and right-handed pitcher, ally excited about this year.” some newly acquired depth -- to Katie Petersen. Last season Craig Other returning players inget back on track this season. made the All-LSC North Diviclude three juniors, righty“What’s exciting to me is that sion First Team, hitting .315 at pitcher Brittney Tanner (14-8, I have options and that’s some- the plate with 10 doubles, three 3.00 ERA, 135 Ks), catcher/ thing we haven’t had a lot of in homeruns and 23 RBIs. the past six years,” Tigert said. Petersen compiled a 15-7 re- infielder Amanda Potysman and “Now I’ve got problems decid- cord in the circle (2.09 ERA), catcher/outfielder Alyson Reyning who to start, which is a good tossed four shutouts and lead olds (.404, 7 home runs). Sophomores Mallory Mooney (.341, problem to have. the team with 185 strikeouts. “But it makes sure that the Both are in their final seasons 25 RBIs), third base; and Nicki girls are on top of their games or with the team, which gives rea- Duff (.366, 17 stolen bases),

outfielder, also rejoin the starting lineup. Tigert also sees opportunities for a handful of the team’s freshman players to earn starting roles in both the infield and outfield. “We have a young team, but all the new kids are very good,” he said. “I don’t have any qualms about starting any of them. The Mustangs enter 2010 picked first in the LSC North Division preseason poll. Additional team speed, along with consistent batting and a quality pitching staff, will be the main factors in the Mustangs’ desire to be around the 50-win mark this season. Maintaining both mental and physical toughness is something Tigert also expects his team will need throughout the year. “Last season we were very disappointed not to make the regional tournament for the first time, but we’ve addressed a lot of the issues we had towards the end of the year,” Tigert said. “We really feel good about what we’re doing and where this team is heading now. “We’re excited and looking forward to what we can do this season.” The Mustangs open the 2010 season on Thursday, Feb. 4 at the St. Mary’s NCAA Division II Classic in San Antonio, Texas.

scores Women’s B.Ball 1/27 Texas A&M Kingsville 83 Midwestern 76 Final/OT

Mens’s B.Ball

1/27

Texas A&M Kingsville 66 Midwestern 85 Final

Women’s B.Ball 1/30 Midwestern Abilene Christian

66 73 Final

Mens’s B.Ball

1/30

Midwestern Abilene Christian

78 77 Final

Pro Bowl

1/31

AFC All-Stars NFC All-Stars

41 34 Final

AFC: Schaub - 13/17, 189, 2 TD Jones-Drew - 30 yd, 1 TD Jackson - 122 yd, 1 TD NFC: Rodgers - 15/19, 197, 2 TD Peterson - 17 yd Jackson - 101 yd, 2 TD MVP: Schaub (AFC)

No. 10 men’s hoops off to record breaking start Matt Ledesma For the Wichitan

Fans of Midwestern State basketball might be surprised to see the men’s team enjoying its best season ever this year. But there were some who expected nothing less when the season began -- the team itself and first-year head coach Grant McCasland. “I wouldn’t say that I’m surprised, because these guys have believed all along we could win every game,” McCasland said. “Things haven’t been perfect by any stretch. But everybody involved in this program believes we can win every game, and you have to have that if you want to be successful.” It’s true the Mustangs (19-1, 4-1) aren’t perfect. Their undefeated season came to an end on Jan. 13 at Angelo State, after the team reeled off a program-best 14 straight regular-season wins to start the year. But MSU bounced back from that lone blemish in Lone Star

Conference South Division play to win their next five games. Naturally, that success has brought recognition. The Mustangs sit at No. 10 on the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ Division II poll. More recently, they ranked third in the first South Central Regional poll released last Wednesday. The top eight teams from each of the eight regions will advance to the postseason. McCasland attributes this dream season to the team’s work ethic -- not only in games, but more importantly in practice. “I think we started working really hard in practice early on, and we’ve continued to improve throughout the year,” he said. “Good teams don’t get better just by playing games. Our practices are competitive in that in everything we do there is a winner and a loser. “Even if it’s just a shooting drill, a passing drill or a defensive drill, it’s competitive. We try not to do too many things that won’t help us in that regard.”

The coach also credits having a talented and unselfish group of players as a major key to the team’s good fortune. McCasland praised 6-1 senior guard Jason Ebie, a transfer from Texas Christian University. “He’s kind of the heart of our team and he’s developed into a real leader,” McCasland said. “He does everything well; passing, scoring, rebounding... he’s kind of a Mr. Do-it-all for us.” Veteran-returning players like seniors Michael Godwin, forward; Anthony Moore, guard; Craig Green, guard; and junior forward Charlie Logan have all also made significant contributions in McCasland’s first year. “That’s what’s fun about this team. There’s not just one person having to carry the load,” he said. “Talent wise we have what it takes to win every game. We feel like we have all the right pieces, and now the final piece is to work hard. “We’ve got a great group here, and I give all the credit to these guys for buying into this sys-

tem.” McCasland thinks the Mustangs still have to do a better job of rebounding, along with shaking a bit of shooting slump from behind the 3-point line. They also will have to tighten up an already aggressive defensive unit if they hope to remain successful. But with seven conference games left to play, McCasland and the Mustangs know they can control their own playoff destiny by finishing the season strong. “Obviously, you don’t set your sights on anything but winning the national championship every year,” McCasland said. “But our ultimate goal is just to win the next game. You can’t look at the conference tournament or anything else yet, other than knowing you want to be there at the end of year. “Everything truly comes down to winning the next game.” The Mustangs will next take the court tonight at Tarleton State. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.

Senior Forward Michael Godwin throws down a dunk in the face of TAMU-Kingsville last week. (Photo courtesy: Patrick Johnson)

Vancouver Olympics 2010 Calendar of Events

• Fri, Feb 12 - Opening Cerimonies, • Tues, Feb 16 - Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Curling, Figure SkatSki Jumping ing, Hockey, Luge, Snowboarding, Speed Skating • Sat, Feb 13 - Alpine skiing, Biathlon, Freestyle Skiing, Hockey, • Wed, Feb 17 - Alpine Skiing, Luge, Short Track, Skii Jump, Cross Country, Curling, Hockey, Speed Skating Luge, Short Track, Snowboarding, Speed skating • Sun, Feb 14 - Alpine skiing, Biathlon, Figure Skating, Freestyle • Thurs, Feb 18 - Biathlon, Curling, Skiing, Hockey, Luge, Nordic Figure Skating, Hockey, Skeleton, Combined, Speed Skating Snowboarding, Speed Skating • Mon, Feb 15 - Cross Country, Figure Skating, Hockey, Luge, Snowboarding, Speed Skating

• Fri, Feb 19 - Alpine Skiing, Cross Country, Curling, Figure Skating, Hockey, Skeleton, Ski Jumping

• Sat, Feb 20 - Alpine Skiing, Bob- • Wed, Feb 24 - Alpine Skiing, Bobsled, Cross Country, Freesled, Cross Country, Curling, Freestyle Skiing, Hockey, Short Track, style Skiing, Hockey, Short Track, Speed Skating Ski Jumping, Speed Skating • Sun, Feb 21 - Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Bobsled, Curling, Figure Skating, Freestyle Skiing, Hockey, Speed Skating • Mon, Feb 22 - Cross Country, Curling, Figure Skating, Freestyle Skiing, Hockey, Ski Jumping

• Thurs, Feb 25 - Cross Country, Curling, Figure Skating, Freestyle Skiing, Hockey Nordic Combined • Fri, Feb 26 - Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Bobsled, Curling, Hockey, Short Track, Snowboarding, Speed Skating • Sat, Feb 27 - Alpine Skiing, Bobsled, Cross Country, Curling, Hockey, Snowboarding, Speed Skating

• Tues, Feb 23 - Biathlon, Bobsled, Curling, Figure Skating, Freestyle Skiing, Hockey, Nordic Combined, • Sun, Feb 28 - Cross Country, Hockey, Closing Ceremonies Speed Skating


10 n

The Wichitan

feature

February 3, 2010

BORDERLESS..............................................................................................................................................................................................continued from page 1 and early ‘90s, even access to a telephone was a luxury, not a promise. He recalls aiding Kurdish refugees in the wake of the first Gulf War in the early spring of 1991 in the mountainous borderlands between Iraq and Turkey. The Kurds, who today comprise between 15 and 20 percent of Iraq’s population, were forced into refugee camps under Saddam Hussein’s reign. “There are reports that one million people became refugees overnight,” Heinzl said. He flew in as soon as he was able, and remembers looking down on the mountaintops from the helicopter. He said they used to be completely green, but he could see hundreds of thousands of humans living atop each of the formerly deserted mountains. It looked unreal to him. “They didn’t even look like real people,” he said. But they were. He said these very real human beings were in some cases given only a few hours leave their homes forever and head into the mountains to cross the border from Iraq. Heinzl said he remembers more surreal experiences, capped by a feeling of unpreparedness. He recalled “watching 100,000 people, a river of people coming down the mountain” toward a camp he and a meager group of MSF members had set up with the help of American military. These people, he said, were descending into what is rumored to have been the location of the Biblical Garden of Eden “A soldier came up to us and said there was another Doctors Without Borders group waiting,” Heinzl said. Relief washed over him. Heinzl only had one other MSF member with him, and it was clear that the crisis was beyond their abilities. He was shocked when the other MSF group turned out to be two other men. “All they had was a tent, a small fire, some maps and one kind of antibiotics. The army colonel asked us, ‘Where are your teams?’ We laughed and said, ‘This is it.’” He said that despite the fact that they hadn’t done anything like this before and lacked supplies, they found a way. The next day, reinforcements arrived, and bickering between organizations was finally squashed into cooperation by a sit-down dinner of “the world’s worst tuna casserole.” There were volunteers from almost 40 countries, he said. Thousands of people waied outside the medical tents, infected with contagious diseases, malnourished and injured from

(Top) Kurdish refugees huddle together in a camp in the mountains of Iraq where Heinzl provided medical relief in 1991. (Above) Two Cambodian children pose for the

their harrowing journey. Tens of thousands waited outside the medical compound. About 75,000 people waited outside the gates. “After four days we were running out of supplies,” Heinzl said. “Then, we woke up on the fifth day and those thousands waiting (numbered) in the hundreds.” He said things seemed to move in “slow motion” through the realistically harried relief effort. “There were very few serious casualties and deaths at (that) camp,” Heinzl said. “Because of that, we felt a different kind of wealth.” That wealth, completely unconnected with money or material possessions, is something he feels fortunate to understand. Along with technology, Heinzl feels that the world’s youth are among Earth’s most valuable resources. “Children are pretty much the same everywhere,” he said. He drew parallels between the children of America and other industrialized nations and the kids he met while working in Cambodia in the shadow of the genocide and totalitarianism of the Khmer Rouge regime. It is estimated that between one and three million people were murdered during the totalitarian reign on the “Killing

camera in Sisophon, where Heinzl spent a year with MSF working in a low-tech hospital. (Photos courtesy Richard Heinzl)

Fields” and beyond. Heinzl said the children he met while working in Sisophon, Cambodia, though they were “cut off from the world by war and violence,” were not so very different from the children at home in Canada. The kids, he said, had never even seen a Frisbee. After waiting weeks for a Frisbee to be delivered along with necessary supplies, Heinzl and other foreign aid workers demonstrated the toy to the children of Sisophon. After a short while, he said, there were “almost 200 kids chasing us around, trying to get the Frisbee.” Over the next few weeks, Heinzl noticed a strange development. The number of Frisbees in the Cambodian village had mysteriously multiplied almost overnight. “The kids had started smuggling Frisbees in from the Thai border,” he said, laughing. “A little plastic disk had permeated this ancient Khmer culture.” This, he said, is a perfect example of the movement toward a “borderless” world. When he was in Cambodia in the early ‘90s, Heinzl said there weren’t even telephones for the aid workers to call out on. “Now kids are walking around with

cell phones. There are mud-floor Internet cafes with painfully slow dialup connections.” The resilience of the people paired with the advent of accessible technology has given a new, connected life to a formerly isolated corner of the world. Other stories of very human triumph hang in his memory to this day. When helping out with the first truly representative and open elections in South Africa in 1994, Heinzl briefly came into contact with an old woman he still clearly remembers. “You can’t imagine what it meant when people got to vote,” he said. He remembers thinking that the regime in South Africa and the dysfunction and misery it created was somehow “absolute, permanent.” When that first open election was held in ’94, Heinzl saw more than 30,000 people lined up to vote. “There was this 80-year-old woman,” he said. “She couldn’t read, couldn’t write and couldn’t walk. Her three sons put her in a blanket and carried her up (to the poll) so she could vote.” The candidates were identified on the ballots with photographs for those who were illiterate. “In this frail whisper that went off in my head like a bomb, she said ‘Mandela,’” Heinzl said. The woman

cast her vote for Nelson Mandela, who was soon to be the first black president elected in the country. As her sons carried her away, Heinzl said he heard her singing, saying the same thing over and over again in her language, which consisted of clicks rather than words he could understand. He caught up with her sons and asked what she was singing about. They told him she was saying, “I have voted; now I may die.” Heinzl said the crisis left behind in Haiti in the wake of the deadly earthquake is going to be difficult, if not impossible, to truly recover from. And yet, he said there’s hope. “There is a movement underway to re-imagine and transition the nation,” Heinzl said. “There are problems. There were problems before the earthquake with class divisions. I hope Haiti can transform in the wake of this event.” Change, he said, is the new constant for the entire world. Haiti is no exception. The key will be respecting the local knowledge. “In the case of Haiti, the world has to listen (to the Haitian people) or they’ll end up building the wrong kind of country, one that isn’t Haitian, and it will never work,” Heinzl said. Even something as simple as bypassing land line telephones and the difficulty creating such infrastructure requires by bringing cell phones to Haiti could be “transformative,” Heinzl said. As for what students can do to change the world, he said it doesn’t have to be as dramatic as practicing medicine in third world countries while bombs go off in the distance and tyrannical governments seek constantly to keep the people isolated and helpless. He said students should just get out and see the world. “Travel yields so much,” he said. “It doesn’t mean you have to go to a war zone. Just take some risks. Most people take the comfortable route.” When visiting the poorest countries on Earth that Heinzl feels he has found the deepest value. “The true wealth of places like Cambodia and Haiti is in the people,” he said. “You live in a country where there are no land mines on the way to work.” He said westerners have clean water and enough food for every meal, and can’t really comprehend the lives that the “faraway people” lead until they have experienced it for themselves. “The trick is, the most valuable stuff doesn’t cost money,” Heinzl said. “And the most valuable things you do, you don’t always get paid for.”


Feb 3, 2010