Western Nebraska Community College
March 30, 2013
Volume 59, Issue 9
ENTERTAINMENT: Movie Review: Oz is good, not great, pg. 4 SPORTS: Women’s basketball team finishes season at nationals, pg. 5 BACKPAGE: Want a country with lots of diversity? Check out Ireland, pg. 8
Student SPOTLIGHT: Cole Jensen
Trending up: Smartphones continue to grow in popularity WNCC students say they like having access to internet and social media at the tips of their fingers By HEIDI HANCOCK Spectator Reporter Everywhere you look, it seems, there’s a new trend that people are hoping to get in on. Add the smartphone to that list. At first, only the technically-minded seemed to take on the adventure of the Smartphone. But slowly, the overall population picked up the trend. The first smartphone was able to search the internet and do some basic tasks that up until that point only a personal computer was able to perform. Software developers did not stop there, though. New updates and more advanced smartphones are continually being added. Smartphone users range from the basic user to the most new-age, advanced user. There are so many different brands of smartphones now. Each smartphone user has a different reason for owning one. WNCC softball
Photo by Lenzie Cole/Spectator
By LENZIE COLE Spectator Reporter Cole Jensen, a freshman at WNCC, is pursuing a general business degree. He wants to go into real estate. Q: What brought you to WNCC? A: “It was more affordable than all the other schools that I looked at, and it was close to my grandparents that I don’t see very much.” Q: What programs are you in? A: “Chi Alpha and the Art Club.” Q: What do you do in those clubs? A: “I’m a pastoral leader, right under my head pastor, Vaughn Fahrenbruck. And in the Art Club, I’m just a club member. We do art projects.” Q: What do you do in your free time? A: “I go look for houses that are for sale, or I hang out with my friends or my girlfriend, Nathalie Cabarcas.”
See Phones, page 2
Cougars end season at national tournament The WNCC women played ASA College on March 19 at the NJCAA national tournament in Salina, Kan. (top) Jessica Aratani shoots over an ASA player while (bottom left) Laurin Rivera looks for an opening. (bottom right) Maurissa Ortega goes up for a shot. See story on Page 5 Spectator Photos
Q: What are your plans after college? A: “Real estate. I’m hoping to work for Prudential Realty and, hopefully, open my own real estate business. … I also want to flip houses for disabled families–the families that put everything toward the person that is disabled in the family. The house would be free, and the house will also be designed for the disabled person to get around with no trouble.” Q: How long have you wanted to be involved in real estate? A: “Since I was 4 years old.” Q: What TV shows do you watch to help you with your career? A: “Any shows on HGTV that promote anything that relates to houses. I really like to watch Love it or List it.” Q: Do you want to travel after college? A: “Definitely, yes. I would go to Italy.”
us on Facebook
Photo by Lenzie Cole/Spectator
WNCC students use smartphones to stay in touch with friends whether it is using text, Facebook or email.
Poetry Alive! to perform at college April 8 A high energy poetry performance show visits WNCC in celebration of National Poetry Month in April. The visit is sponsored by Emerging Voices, a journal of literature and art. Poetry Alive! from Asheville, N.C., presents two public performances on Monday, April 8. College students, faculty, and staff can enjoy a 12 p.m. “Pit Stop” in the commons area of the main building at WNCC’s Scottsbluff campus. A 7 p.m. public performance will be staged in the WNCC Theater. Both shows are open to the public and there is no admission charge. The performance duo will also visit classrooms during the day. In order to bring poetry from the page to the stage, Poetry Alive! presents verse as theater, transforming the poems into scripts and the audience members into fellow actors. The result is a non-stop tour de force of words with a twist of sorrow and a dash of silliness and every emotion in between, according to the Poetry Alive! website, www. poetryalive.com. “We hope a lot of folks take advantage of the public performances,” said Janet Craven, advisor for Emerging Voices. “Poetry Alive! is an exceptionally creative and engaging form of performance art.” Returning to the bardic tradition of long ago, the Poetry Alive! actors have memorized literally hundreds of poems from the classics to the popular to the contemporary. The company sends out actors in pairs to schools, libraries, festivals, and anywhere there is an audience for “poetry with a twist.” The company also presents teacher workshops, conducts a summer institute for teachers, and offers a celebrated line of educational books, CDs, and audiotapes.
The film ‘Amour’ is certain to leave a mark Best Foreign Film to show at Midwest Theater April 5-6 By ALEXANDRIA MOREE Spectator Reporter With more than 50 award wins, including Best Foreign Film at the 85th Academy Awards, the film “Amour” will be showing at the historic Midwest Theater on Broadway Avenue in Scottsbluff April 5-6. The film begins at 7:30 p.m. both days. The film is both a heart wrenching and bitterly unveiled account of an elderly couple living out the end of their lives in Paris, France, and proves to be the controversial film of the 2013 season. With positive and negative reviews berating the narrative from every possible angle, from story line to directing, the film itself has undoubtedly touched every single person brave enough to sit through the two-hour long torment. America, perhaps more so than any other country, holds movies as an escape, as a place to forget the problems and to – if only for a fleeting moment – break away from the everyday problems of life.
Perhaps for this singular reason, “Amour” has been so widely controversial. While some critics believe it to be far too dark and much too personal, showing a deeply personal grief of an elderly Parisian couple and their daughter up close, others see it as finally shedding light and calling attention to the truth of human heartbreak and hopelessness that is so often downplayed in film. Anne, played by French actress Emmanuelle Riva, and her husband, George, played by French actor Jean-Louis Trintignant, are both retired music teachers well into their 80s who throughout the span of the film seamlessly move the audience through every level of anguish imaginable. Anne and George’s daughter, Eva, played by French actress Isabelle Huppert, fights a losing battle of urging her father to put her mother, who suffers not one but two strokes, into a total care facility. Lost in a flood of emotions, George struggles with his love for his ailing wife and his perceived selfishness until he finally is able to do what he believes to be best for Anne. While the tragedy of this film has acquired, arguably more than its fair share, unimpressive reviews from acclaimed critics, it is worth remembering that the fear of mortality when presented so ferociously can warp even the most courageous of minds. Whether the theme of the film is
See Amour, page 3
Students Taylor Severyn Mitchell, Neb.
Major: “Elementary education and EMT certification” H o n o r s / Awards/Activities: “I’m a Circle K member, a student ambassador, in student government, and in education profession club.” Hobbies: “Physical activities, shooting, and cooking.”
March 30, 2013 — Page 2
Want to make the transfer process go smoothly? Start planning now
ike many of you, I chose to come to WNCC to have a great start into the college experience and to begin working toward my bachelor’s degree. With only about five weeks left before the end of the semester, many students, including me, are finding themselves in the final stretch of planning to transfer to a four-year institution. Whether you are planning to transfer next semester and are almost done with your transfer process or are thinking about transferring next year, you have to put a lot of planning into the process. The best way to deal with a transfer is starting early. If you are planning to transfer next spring, admission deadlines are coming up in the fall. And for anyone planning to transfer during the fall of next year,
admission deadlines are in the spring. Here are a few of the many things to consider when transferring to a four-year institution. First, declare a major. Declaring a major is crucial since you have to know what prerequisite courses to complete before transferring. But also Joy Aniteye tied in with your major and prerequisite courses is that prerequisites are different from one university to another. For instance, if you are a nursing student at WNCC and are planning to transfer to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, your prerequisite courses might be different compared
to someone transferring to a nursing school in another state. So, get in contact with your future college to make sure that you are taking the right classes. Also, make sure to stay in touch with the transfer specialist, as prerequisites may change from year to year. Even if you aren’t sure about your major yet, you still have to make sure that your classes will transfer to the university of your choice. The great thing about studying at a community college is that you are encouraged to continue your education, so you will receive a lot of help during your transfer process. Talk to your advisor, who can help you with which classes and how many classes you can transfer to a four-year institution. Choosing your four-school early is also important since
you will know what to prepare for while you’re studying at WNCC. But also keep in mind that you can be rejected, so it would be ideal to have more than one university in mind with very similar or even better identical prerequisites. As you are looking for a new school, also learn about scholarships and other financial opportunities that are offered. Last, but definitely not least, complete your prerequisite courses as well as you can. Not only are there GPA requirements when transferring, but you can also benefit by being considered as a competitive applicant, giving you a greater chance of getting accepted at the university you most want to attend. — Joy Aniteye is the Features Editor of the Spectator.
WNCC Easter egg hunt
What volunteer work do you do: “I’m a member of the Mitchell volunteer fire department, and I help with the Festival of Hope every year.” Favorite class: “EMT” Where do you hope to find yourself in five years: “Hopefully employed with Valley Ambulance or with Airlink” What job are you wanting to have? “I would like to become a flight paramedic or just a regular paramedic on an ambulance. If I don’t like that, then I would like to continue in the education field.” Favorite book? Any Dr. Suess book Who is your role model and why? “My parents because they are very supportive, and they are behind me 100 percent.” — by Lenzie Cole
Karen Barraza Lexington, Neb. Veterans Upward Bound, TRIO, and the Single Parent Program held an Easter egg hunt for WNCC students and their kids on Thursday, March 28.
Major: Psychology H o n o r s / awards/activities: Dean’s List, Vice President of Residence Hall Council, Art Club member, Chi Alpha member, SI leader for Intermediate Algebra Favorite TV show: “Amor Bravio” Hobbies: “I love to dance.” Favorite book: “A Corner of the Universe” by Ann M. Martin Favorite quote: “Just keep swimming…” – Finding Nemo Favorite class: Mexican American/ Native American Cultures Who is your role model and why?: “My role models are both my mom and dad because they are both hard workers, and I hope to one day become a great supportive parent like they have always been.” What is your motto?: “Dance as though nobody is watching you, love as though you have never been hurt, sing as though no one can hear you, live as though heaven is on earth.” If you had one piece of advice to share with everyone, what would it be?: “Work hard toward your goal and never forget to show appreciation to those who have helped you come this far.” — by Joy Aniteye
Phones Continued from page 1 player Haley Paxton, for example, has an iPhone 4. “I use it to text my teammates to figure out what we are doing and to keep in touch with my parents,” she said. Many smartphone users also spend a lot of time on their phone using social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Paxton is one of them. “I use my iPhone to get on Facebook and Twitter,” she added. There are a multitude of applications and tools on a smartphone. Advances in technology in recent years have made the smartphone become even more popular. “I really like the camera, it is much nicer than my digital camera,” Paxton said. Paxton said she bought her first smartphone last July. Before that, she used a flip phone. Paxton thinks smartphones will become even more advanced. “I think the phones will probably get smaller, and they will all be smart,” she said. “The basic phones will no longer be used.” Each smartphone user is as different as his or her phone. WNCC student Heather Listermann classifies herself as a technology junky. “I have an iPhone 5,” Listermann said. “I use my smartphone for email, texting, phone calls, and Geo-Cashing.” Although many people enjoy having social media right at their fingertips, that does not mean that everyone is interested in keeping up with the latest gossip. “I do not use my phone for games or social media,” Listermann said. “However, [having] internet on my phone is my favorite part.” Listermann likes that there are so many applications available on smartphones.
“My favorite apps are Geo-Cashing and Au- and I am not able to open picture messages that diable,” Listermann said. people send me from smartphones because I am Listermann was part of the large number of not able to get them with this phone,” Rowson people who liked what they saw when the first said. smartphones hit the streets. Rowson added, “Having a smartphone “I have had a smartphone since 2008,” Lis- would be nice, and after my plan is up, I am gotermann said. “Before I had a smartphone, I had ing to get a smartphone such as the Samsung a basic keyboard slider.” Galaxy.” Like Paxton, Listermann believes that smartShe’s excited about what smartphones might phones will continue to change. look like in the future. “I think that our phones are going to dwin“I think that technology will come a long dle to very little,” she said. “I think that in five to way in the next five years,” Rowson said. “It alten years we will see microchips replace phone ready has come a long way with every upgrade calls.” such as the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 5. I think it Although many people own a smartphone, will change a lot and change everybody in the there are still those who have stuck with the old- future just like it has now.” school cell phone. Melanie Rowson, a WNCC softball player, has not officially joined the smartphone group. “Right now, I have a Samsung Gravity,” she said. Rowson was once a proud owner of a Blackberry, but after College is full of lessons, and U.S. Bank can help you with the financial ones – the screen broke, like getting 4 free non-U.S. Bank ATM transactions every statement cycle1. she went back to a Start college a step ahead with U.S. Bank Student Checking. basic phone. Rowson plans to stick Scottsbluff North 308.632.9106 with her basic Gering 308.436.5066 phone for now. Torrington 307.532.7063 “It is rough sometimes when usbank.com/studentchecking 800.771.BANK (2265) people ask me to 1. A surcharge fee will be applied by the ATM owner, unless they are participating in the MoneyPass® network. Deposit products look things up, offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC. ©2012 U.S. Bank. All rights reserved.
One question, many answers! What did you do during Spring Break? “I went to Lincoln to register for classes at UNL; went back to Alliance for my brother’s wedding; spent time with my family; went to Denver and got a tatoo; and then came back to school to work.” — Shawn Gasseling Alliance, Neb.
“I played baseball all break in beautiful 85 degree weather in Phoenix, Ariz. I wish we didn’t have to come back” — John Timmins Omaha, Neb.
“Played baseball, [rode] on a bus, and ate food” — Ernesto Punales Miami, Fla.
Annual spring band High school sophomore concert to perform April 6 career fair at Sidney campus Attendees of WNCC’s annual Spring Band Concert will be seeing triple. This year the Western Nebraska Winds will be joined by the Stoneback Sisters, a trumpeting trio of identical triplets. The trumpeters will perform “Por La España Cañi,” a trio arrangement of “Carnival of Venice,” and of course “Bugler’s Holiday.” The Western Nebraska Winds will round out their performance with Leonard Bernstein’s “Three Dance Episodes from On the Town” and the third movement from William Schuman’s “New England Triptych.” The performance is 3 p.m. on April 6 in the WNCC Little Theatre. Admission is free and open to the public. During the concert, The Fire in the Pan Swingers, the College’s jazz band, will be joined by Scottsbluff vocal trio Yes, Ma’am. The two groups will perform three songs made popular by the Andrews Sisters: “Oh, Johnny! Oh, Johnny! Oh!,” “Shoo-Shoo Baby,” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” The Swingers will also perform “Pressure Cooker,” “Almost Like Being In Love,” “Misty” (featuring Nick Brady), and “Clarinade” (featuring Dr. Nathaniel Johnson). In keeping with the “Three of a Kind” theme, WNCC’s saxophone quartet will perform selections from Kurt Weill’s “The Threepenny Opera.” The Stoneback Sisters — Kristin, Mary, and Sarah Stoneback — are considered among the top trumpeters on the professional scene today. The trio has been featured with numerous bands and orchestras throughout the United States and Europe, including the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, John Philip Sousa Band, United States Air Force Band of the West, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, Interlochen Wind Ensemble, and the Arizona State University Symphony Orchestra. The sisters were featured soloists and clinicians at the Iowa Band Masters Conference in the spring of 2005 and have worked with such artists as Richard Hayman, Susan Slaughter, Doc Severinsen, Henry
Amour Continued from page 1 The Midwest Theater 1707 Broadway Ave., Scottsbluff Show Times: Friday, April 5, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6, 7:30 pm
“Played volleyball and hung out with family and friends” —Morgan Broussard, Gering, Neb.
“Went home, spent time at the ranch, and watched basketball with friends” — DreAnna Elmore Guernsey, Wyo
“I hung out with my amazing family and ate lots of ice cream!” — Kimmie Widick Greeley, Colo.
“Went to Arizona and played baseball with my teammates” — Osvaldo Gonzalez Miami, Fla.
brusque tragedy is neither here nor there, as is the opinions and reviews of, ultimately, ordinary people. Austrian writer, director, and co-producer Michael Haneke has created an emotional roller coaster that earned five nominations and one win at the 85th Academy Awards, including Best Film, Best Foreign Film, Best Actress in a Leading Role, and Best Director. With her nomination this year, Riva is to date the oldest actress to ever be nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role at 85 years old. While “Amour” joins the ranks of eight other foreign language films that have ever been nominated for Best Picture, it went even further, joining Costa Gravas’ Z in 1969, Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in 2000, and Life is Beautiful from Roberto Benigni in 1998, all of which were nominated for both Best Picture and Best Foreign Film. The immense humanity poured onto the big screen and into the hearts of audiences around the world from “Amour” may unnerve some while it inspires others, but no matter the reaction, the film is assured to leave a mark.
Calendar of Events “Hung out with family, went hot tubbing, and ate a lot of food” — Lindsey Shiels-Brophy Broomfield, Colo. — Compiled by Danielle Hearn, Spectator
March 30, 2013 — Page 3
— Vocal music graduate concert, April 7, 3 p.m. — Zip Line, Scottsbluff campus, April 8 from 10:30-4:30 p.m. — Poetry Alive, April 8 — District Music Contest, no day classes at Scottsbluff campus only: April 18 — Alliance awards ceremony, April 26, 3 p.m.
Charles Smith. The Stonebacks have been ConnSelmer Inc. clinicians since 1996 and promote music education as pivotal part of life. The Stoneback Sisters will offer educational clinics at Gering Junior High School and Bluffs Middle School on April 5, sponsored by WNCC’s instrumental music program. In 2000, the Stoneback Sisters graduated with honors from the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy for the Arts at Interlochen, Michigan, where they studied with Dr. Stanley Friedman. The ladies each graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor of arts degree in music and trumpet performance from Arizona State University. Currently, the sisters are pursuing diverse careers alongside performing together as Stoneback Sisters and Stoneback Brass (a trumpet quartet & brass quintet). Sarah is pursuing her doctorate in trumpet performance and pedagogy at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Kristin is a supply technician and trumpeter in the 101st Army Band (Colorado National Guard) and guitarist in the Open Range Army Country Band, stationed in Aurora, Colo. And Mary is a faith and youth Formation Director at Ascension Lutheran in Colorado Springs, Colo. Yes Ma’am is a vocal trio that hails from Bayard, Neb., home of Chimney Rock, the most recognized landmark on the Oregon Trail. Formed in 2006, the group performs musical selections from decades gone by. Their most notable tunes are reminiscent of the USO shows from the World War II era and feature the sounds of the Andrew Sisters, McGuire Sisters, Big Band groups, and more. They honor veterans and their families by reliving the music of their time and thank those currently serving remembering the USO motto of “Until Every One Comes Home.” For more information, please contact Dr. Nathaniel Johnson, WNCC director of bands, at 308-635-6046 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
High school sophomores visited the WNCC Sidney campus for career day on Friday, March 22. The students learned about a variety of careers, including retail, daycare, law enforcement, and military.
March 30, 2013 — Page 4
The skinny on why skinny jeans remain popular By CIERRA PEDERSEN Spectator Reporter
ayla Sanchez, a sophomore at WNCC, believes that clothes aren’t just items you put on your back. They also make a statement about yourself. “I definitely think my outfits make certain statements and make me feel a certain way,” she said. “I think the efforts I put into them say a lot and show that I care how I am presented.” Sanchez’s passion for fashion started when she was young, but it wasn’t until her junior year of high school when she really got interested in the different styles of clothing. Sanchez loves to stay up to date on the current trends by reading fashion magazines or watching television. Her inspirations for fashion come from the Kardashian sisters, especially Khloe. Sanchez likes to
Skinny jeans at the Buckle in Scottsbluff Selling Skinnies: 6 years Most Popular Brand of Jeans: Miss Me Price: $50-$190 Colors: green, red, plum, black, and denim Suggested tops to wear with skinny jeans: loose top, crop top, Mongolian sleeve top, and fitted top imitate Khloe’s hair styles, head band styles, and clothing. Sanchez said she maintains pace with current trends by working at the Buckle in Scottsbluff. She’s worked there for five months. “The fashion is great, and getting to see the new styles is fun,” she said. “We are always getting pictures of how to wear their stuff, and the Buckle is pretty update, so
it is fun to see the new styles and how to wear them.” Skinny jeans are one of the styles that Sanchez has merged into her everyday lifestyle. Although it took her awhile to become familiar with the new fad, she loves how skinny jeans make her feel. “I wear skinnies almost every day,” she said. “Now that I work at the Buckle, my skinny styles have broadened. I like to wear a lot of my skinnies with cute, glitzy flats or sometimes boots – pretty much anything. I think skinnies cuffed are the cutest.” Whether you love them or loathe them, skinny jeans are everywhere. So where did they come from? Skinny jeans were introduced in the ’50s by popular figures such as James Dean and Elvis Presley. Back then, wearing jeans was often a sign of rebellion. From then on, skinny jeans have been popular on
and off. In the ’80s, for example, there was a new spin with flash dance that collided with spandex, making it presentable for both men and women to wear skinny jeans. Then after years of boot cut and flared jeans, skinny jeans presented a fresh, new look in the 2000s. Skinny jeans are slim-fitting pants that have a snug fit through the legs and end with a small leg opening. “Finding the perfect pair is a bit like running a marathon. You’ll be disappointed if you give in before you reach the end, which in this case means having the best pair in hand,” Lauran Conrad said in her book “Style.” “I think they are here to stay,” said Lupe Ayala, store manager at the Buckle in Scottsbluff. “They are very universal; you can wear them all year long. You can roll them up in the summer as capris with cute
sandals, and in the winter you can tuck them into your boots.” Comfort is another benefit to wearing skinny jeans, which can be stretched and fitted to one’s body shape and size. “I think they are more comfortable. They are more light weight and fit to your body and curves. They can be very slimming,” Ayala said. Something else to consider when purchasing a pair of skinnies is the shade. Skinny jeans come in a variety of colors. Sanchez owns a number of different-colored skinny jeans herself. “The colors I have accumulated are white, different colors of blue, peach, red, yellow, and maroon,” she said. If you’re interested in buying a pair of skinny jeans, be prepared to fork over some cash. Sanchez, for example, says she spends anywhere from $40 to $80 on a pair of jeans.
‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’ is good, not great
pic fantasy’s pretty big in the 21st century, for with the likes of Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia, it’s apparent that the young and adventurous at heart and in mind are again crawling to the back of their wardrobes or looking for that hidden entrance in the subway to find worlds grander and more fantastical than this one. Now post-Narnia and Hogwarts, people are now looking to the skies and revisiting the world of Oz that lies just over the rainbow. In 1985, Disney released Return to Oz in hopes of bringing the franchise back to the big screen with little success. Now twenty-eight years later, we’re seeing yet another attempt and a whopping $200 million dollar budget to go with it. And while I’m not as swept up and blown away as Dorothy herself, it’s actually pretty good! Now, there’s no way this movie could ever be as ground breaking as the first was back in young 1939 Hollywood, but to my surprise, I walked away not feeling disappointed. And after seeing this first installment in Disney’s new franchise, I feel there’s a lot of potential for it maturing into something great.
Great and Powerful tells the story of the man we saw behind the curtain in the original and how he ended up in Oz. In a lot of ways, Oz reminds me of the Star Trek reboot from a few years back, which is a big compliment. This prequel to the classic sets up everything so perfectly and pays great respect to what came before it by paying homage to all the cherJohnny ished memories “Krr’ej” we have of it. In Escamilla a way, the movie Movie Review tries to inject more meaning and history behind the most memorable things from the first film. It explains why Oz had to hide his true identity, using a projection of his face in a fiery abyss. It fleshes out the character of Oz in a way that tells a more human story behind his reputation. It even explains why the Witch of the West flew on a broom. The movie even reuses a number of timeless lines from the first
movie in a new context like the famous, “What have you done?” line the Witch of the West shouted before she melted—except this time by from Witch of the East! Great and Powerful is rich with symbolism with the characters, like those in the original, representing the faults of the main character. The China girl symbolizing Oz’s mortal frailty in the face of such powerful forces with the subservient flying-monkey representing the loyalty of his friends but his reluctance to reciprocate, etc. The movie even seems to have some simplistic political undertones concerning the nobility of the common people. But the movie’s most interestingly plays on the theme of people’s true intentions and moral alignment—keeping you guessing the whole time as to which witch was good, evil or a combination of the two. On the negative side, the first half of the movie feels very “setup-y,” with everything so cued like a stage production—with characters showing up as soon as they can be introduced, and romantic interests engaging each other as soon as they can. When the movie takes its time, it’s emotional, but when it rushes, it feels
like it’s shoving story elements down your throat. So many could-be powerful moments rushed and spoiled. But what truly was shoved down my throat was a total of five romantic interests the main character took interest in that was just excessive. Disney has always been bad at shoehorning a straight romance in every movie they produce, but there were times when it just got ridiculous. The movie, in my opinion, doesn’t even take its time to slowly fill us with a sense of awe for the world of Oz. Which is sad considering how much effort obviously went into bringing the world to life with so much CGI, which may have been over-utilized. So much of the envi-
ronment is CGI generated that the characters looked super-imposed on their purely green-screen backdrops—and it doesn’t look convincing at all, breaking the illusion. It was further hurt by some over-acting, incomplete characterizations and some humor that I felt was too crude for a sequel to such a prestigious film—sometimes half-expecting a fart joke at times. Great and Powerful won’t disappoint, but it’s apparent that the vision for the franchise isn’t fully realized. But the movie more than succeeds in doing what it set out to do, which was to reimagine Oz for a whole new generation of fantasy lovers. Grade: B
INSIDE: WNCC’s Gritt Ryder earns MVC honors while helping team win regional title. — Page 6 March 30, 2013
Athletic trainers deserve their time in the spotlight
WNCC’s Duran signs to play softball at Louisiana Technical University
Sophomore excelling in the circle this season for 28-7 Cougars
arch has a fondness in my heart, and it’s not just because it’s spring. March is National Athletic Trainers Month. With a profession in athletic training in my future, this month means recognition in an area that I am passionate about. The job of an athletic trainer is sometimes misunderstood, and there’s no one better to help clear up any discrepancies than WNCC’s athletic trainer, Doug Jones. The job of an athletic trainer consists of so much more than taping ankles. “The athletic trainer is primarily concerned with the prevention and care of acute and chronic injuries in physically active populations such as athletes but also in different professions, corporations, industrial, military, and high schools,” Jones stated. Heidi Jones Hancock obtained his Commentary bachelor’s degree in exercise science with a specialization in athletic training from Creighton University in 2001. “Now,” he said, “you have to graduate from an accredited four-year school with a degree in athletic training in order to sit for the national exam.” The size of the college or university where an athletic trainer works plays a huge part in the athletic trainer’s role, and WNCC is no different. “At most colleges and universities, [athletic trainers] are there for the prevention and care of the athletes and/or the intramural participants, maybe even the students depending on the size of the university,” Jones added. “Here at WNCC, I am here under the idea of having many hats. I am here as the athletic trainer for our seven sports teams as well as an instructor in the science, math, and P.E. departments.” The recognition of athletic trainers comes each March, and there are a plethora of activities and events that promote the profession of an athletic trainer. National Athletic Trainers Month was created about 12 years ago, Jones said. “National Athletic Trainers Month was designed to create public awareness about athletic trainers,” Jones added. “A lot of times when people ask what I do for a living, they think that due to the name that I actually train the athletes. The name athletic trainer is a misrepresentation of what we really do. A lot of people think that we are the ones who do the strength training or the physical training out on the field or court with these teams and it’s not the prevention and care aspect.” “We as athletic trainers are just trying to get our job out into the public and get them to see what we do,” Jones said. “Most times, people only see athletic trainers on TV handing out water or towels or when someone is seriously injured. The role that the athletic trainer plays starts well before the game starts and long after the game ends.” During March there are activities that trainers are able to take part in to represent their work area. “We have a national public relations contest as well as a student public relations contest which involves social media such as Twitter and Facebook
See Heidi, page 6
By HEIDI HANCOCK Spectator Reporter WNCC sophomore pitcher Bianca Duran is in her final season on the WNCC softball team, but that does not mean she’ll be done playing after this season ends. Duran has decided to sign with Louisiana Technical University in Ruston, La. Duran said WNCC coach Maria Winn-Ratliff played a big role in her college decision. “I took a lot of Coach Winn’s philosophy on being a good person and player,” Duran said. “She has helped me mature as a person and a player. Being at WNCC has helped me mature a lot.” Offensively, Duran has a .571 batting average with 10 home runs and 46 runs batted in in 12 doubles. In the circle, Duran is 17-1-1 with 85 strikeouts and has a 1.18 ERA. Opponents are hitting just .201 against the right-hander. Duran, from Westminster, Colo., said she picked LTU over several other schools, including Emporia State in Emporia, Kan., and the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colo. Photo by Heidi Hancock/Spectator One of the reasons Duran chose LTU was to be in its balmy climate. She doesn’t mind that LTU is far away from her hometown. WNCC sophomore Bianca Duran pitches the ball during a game against See Duran, Page 6 Northeastern Junior College on Wednesday.
A season to remember Cougar women’s season highlights include regional title, national tournament berth By DANIELLE HEARN Spectator Sports Editor The Western Nebraska Community College women’s basketball team said goodbye to a very eventful, successful season a couple weeks ago. The Cougars started the season strongly and eventually proved that they are the best team in Region IX, capturing the Region IX Tournament with a 62-54 win over Gillette College in the championship game. It was the Cougars’ first regional title since 2008 and their 10th overall. WNCC ended its season with a hardfought contest at the NJCAA National
The WNCC women’s basketball team celebrates its Region IX championship after beating Gillete on March 7. Photo by Heidi Hancock/ Spectator
Tournament on March 19 when it faced ASA College out of Brooklyn, N.Y. The Cougar women led most of the game, but in the end fell 74-68. “As a whole, I think the season was a success because we only technically lost two games out of 35,” sophomore Kelsey Doddridge said. “That is a pretty great achieve-
ment when you step back and look at it all.” The Cougars had a tough loss in the first round of nationals. Doddridge stated that it was overwhelming when the game came down to the wire. WNCC beat almost all of its opponents by over 10 points except in the regional championship game, when
See Women, Page 6
IN the HUDDLE: Charles Ward By DANIELLE HEARN Spectator Sports Editor Charles Ward is from Phoenix, Ariz., and is a sophomore at WNCC. Ward was the team’s leading scorer at 19.7 points a game and shot 38.3 percent from beyond the 3-point line, connecting on 46 treys to lead the team. Ward had 12 games of 20 or more points. His highest outputs was 37 points twice against Otero Junior College on Jan. 19 and against Sheridan. Q: How do you feel about how the season went? A: “It was a year of disappointment.” Q: What was your best memory from this season? A: “Beating Coach [Yahosh] Bonner in multiple games on one-on-one.” Q: If you could give advice to incoming basketball players, what would it be? A: “Stay focused and work hard.” Q: What do you plan to do after you leave WNCC? A: “Transfer and play ball.” Q: What do you plan to do after you’re done with college? A: “Playing basketball overseas. If that fails, be a cop.” Q: What will you miss most about WNCC? A: “The people, staff, and community.”
WNCC sophomore Charles Ward, from Phoenix, Ariz., dribbles the ball in a game against Northeastern Junior College on Feb. 9. WNCC won, 84-76.
Q: What advice would you give to next year’s sophomores? A: “Trust others and everything else will fall into place.” Q: What is one thing you want people to know about you? A: “I love my mom.”
March 30, 2013 — Page 6
Cougars enjoy success during Spring Break trip
Continued from page 5 to try to get people more involved,” Jones stated. Athletic trainers are asked to try to do something at their schools to promote the areas that they work in. “Across the state of Nebraska, we have a great PR person in Jessica O’Neal who has gone out in towns that have athletic training and has the mayor of that city designate March as National Athletic Training Month,” Jones noted. “[Scottsbluff Mayor] Randy Meininger has been so helpful in doing that for the past two years. He has gotten together with us and has signed a proclamation that states that March is National Athletic Training Month in the city of Scottsbluff. To me, it is one of the great things, being able to reach the people in the community. I would like to do more, but with my schedule in the month of March that is really hard to do.” The National Athletic Training Association is the main promoter of National Athletic Training Month. The association’s website is www.nata.org.
MVC Most Valuable Cougar
By DANIELLE HEARN Spectator Sports Editor The WNCC baseball team reached the halfway point of its season proving that it can battle through hard times. Even though the Cougars are just 1-5 in conference play, they remain upbeat with more tough games coming up. WNCC, which is 8-20 overall, ended its Spring Break trip in Arizona playing well. “We played well in Arizona. We competed with good teams and proved we can keep up with them,” said sophomore Osvaldo Gonzalez. The past two weeks the team has faced some extremely tough competition. On March 14 the team had a doubleheader against Iowa Western. The Cougars lost both games, 8-5 and 2-1. In Arizona WNCC first faced the Canada All-Stars in a high-scoring game, winning 9-7. Gonzalez had one home run and three RBIs. WNCC also faced Glendale Community College, losing a close game 9-8. The game went into extra innings. WNCC had 10 hits. “We faced Glendale, which has a good
pitching staff and hitting, and we competed with them,” said Gonzalez. WNCC faced Seminole Community College three times. The Cougars lost 8-6 before suffering a 14-2 setback. In the last game, WNCC came out on top 11-9. JT Core led WNCC with four hits and four RBIs, and Gonzalez had a home run. That next day WNCC faced a doubleheader against Yavapai College and lost both, 8-6 and then 15-6. WNCC finished that week in Arizona with a 2-5 record. “We played good. We played teams that are ranked, and we kept up with them. We won two games against really good teams,” said Gonzalez. Gonzalez pointed out that Arizona can be a turning point for the Cougars’ season, as WNCC finally started playing well as a team. Although WNCC lost some games in Arizona, the Cougars competed well. WNCC has some big games coming up. The Cougars will face Trinidad State Junior College at home on March 29-30. In April WNCC will follow up with the second half of conference play facing McCook Community
WNCC’s Challis Wright delivers a pitch during a game this season. College, Otero Junior College, Northeastern Junior College, and No. 1-ranked Lamar Community College. “We all have strengths on the team. It just all depends on who steps up and backs each other up. But when we are on, we are definitely a strong team with a lot of potential,” said Gonzalez.
Women Continued from page 5 the Cougars downed Gillette by eight points. Doddridge said the Cougars won most of their games handily, but at nationals they were thrown into a pressure situation. Still, WNCC continued to play hard as a team. “The best part about my team was that we were able to set aside drama and be able to step on the court and play ball, and that’s exactly what we did,” she said. Although the Cougars lost, they still finished with some great accomplishments. The team worked well together. Throughout
the season, the Cougars had a different leading scorer. The season never depended on one player; it was all a team effort, Doddridge said. “Our coach kept us humble,” Doddridge said. “Even though we were winning, he always told us there was more to strive for. In our first meeting of the year coach told us we’re going to win regionals, so we set it in our heads and strived for that goal.” The Cougars finished with a 2015 official record, but in the minds of the players, they actually were 332. This year’s team was young,
with just three players returning from a year ago. Although they were young, the team learned to play together and come out on top. Sophomore Gritt Ryder, who was named to the All-Regional and Region IX All-Tournament teams, led the Cougars with 13.6 points a game, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.9 assists a game. The Cougars had plenty of other players who were near the 10-point scoring mark. Sophomore Jessica Aratani averaged 8.5 points and 4.9 rebounds a game. Freshmen Ashley Stevens, Mikayla Brower, and Shalisa Moffit all averaged over eight points a game.
Stevens averaged 8.6 points and 7.1 rebounds a contest, while Moffit averaged 8.2 points. Brower averaged 8.2 points a game, but it was her sharp-shooting from beyond the 3-point arc that really stood out. She led the nation in 3-point shooting at 53.7 percent. Doddridge said the season was certainly one to remember. “Getting the chance to play at the national level is something only a few athletes get the chance to do,” Doddridge said. “So, we were really excited and honored to get to go to nationals, and we wanted to represent WNCC and ourselves well.”
Duran Continued from page 5
Gritt Ryder Sport: Basketball Grade: Sophomore Position: Point guard Hobbies/interests: I like spending time with my friend and going to the movies. That is mostly what we do here. At home I like to hang out with my Danish friends, going to the movies and shopping. I love shopping a lot. Favorite movie: I honestly do not have a favorite movie, but I like the “Twilight” movies and funny movies in general – the ones that make me laugh. Nickname: I don’t really have a nickname. What do you like best about WNCC: Definitely my team. Biggest motivation in your sport: To win. I hate losing, so I want to do everything I can so that we are able to win and for me to succeed. We have games during practice, and I hate losing, so it’s a motivation. Reason for choosing WNCC: I signed really late, within a week. Coach [Dave] Harnish said good things about this school and other coaches said good things about the program. Favorite quote: “People succeed because they know where they are going.” By Heidi Hancock, Spectator
“I am an explore-the-world type of person, and I like to stay away from home sometimes and meet new people,” she said. “I went out there, and it clicked. I really liked it. It felt right.” The coaching staff at LTU also played a big role in Duran’s decision to go there. “I really liked Coach Montgomery. I like his coaching style because it is a lot like Coach
Winn’s,” she said. Duran believes that she will benefit greatly from attending a junior college. “It helped me realize the things that I really needed to work on because coming out of high school you do not really know where you are at because you have played the sport for so long,” Duran said. “In juco, it was a good way for me to get to know what my strengths and weaknesses are and ways to make my weaknesses my strengths.” Duran said she expects to see immediate
playing time in the circle at LTU. Although Duran has spent the majority of her time at WNCC in the circle, she expects to bolster LTU in other areas, too. “He [Montgomery] said that he really likes how I swing the bat, and that if I can keep doing what I’m doing I would get a chance to swing,” she said. In addition to playing softball at LTU, Duran also looks forward to pursuing a degree in business management. She hopes to someday coach softball.
Stirring up some dirt WNCC sophomore Kasey Cash goes head first into third base in a game against North Platte Community College recently. Baseball Schedule 2/7-8 McCook C.C., home Lost 11-0 — McCook C.C. Lost 7-1 — McCook C.C. Won 5-1 — McCook C.C. Lost 13-5 — McCook C.C. Lost 15-0 — @ Odessa College Lost 9-2 — @ Odessa College Won 12-2 — @ Odessa College Lost 3-1 — @ Odessa College Won 6-5 — Northeastern JC Lost 7-2 — Northeastern JC 3/1 @ Lamar C.C. Lost 6-2 — Lamar C.C. 3/2-3 @ Trinidad State College Lost 5-0 — Trinidad State College Lost 5-1 — Trinidad State College Won 9-2 — Trinidad State College Won 7-5 — Trinidad State College 3/7 Lamar C.C., home Lost 11-1 — Lamar C.C. Lost 13-1 — Lamar C.C. 3/8 Otero J.C., home Lost 5-2 — Otero J.C. Won 4-3 — Otero J.C. 3/13-14 @ Iowa Western C.C. Lost 8-5 — Iowa Western C.C. Lost 2-1 —Iowa Western C.C. 3/17 @ Canada All-Star Team Won 9-7 — Canada All-star Team 3/18 @ Glendale C.C.
Lost 9-8 — Glendale C.C. 3/19 @ Seminole State C.C. Lost 8-6 — Seminole State C.C. 3/20 @ Yavapai College Lost 8-6 — Yavapai College Lost 15-6 — Yavapai College 3/21-22 @ Seminole State C.C. Lost 14-2 — Seminole State C.C. Won 11-9 — Seminole State C.C. 3/29 Trinidad State, home 3/30 Trinidad State, home 4/6-7 @ Otero J.C. 4/13-14 Northeastern J.C. 4/17 McCook C.C. 4/20-21 @ Lamar C.C. 4/24 @ Northeastern J.C. 5/3-5 First Round Region IX Playoffs 5/10-12 Region IX Champs 5/16-19 West Districs 5/23-28 College World Series Softball Schedule 2/9-10 @ Colby C.C. Won 9-0 — Colby C.C. Lost 7-5 — Colby C.C. Won 8-1 — Colby C.C. Won 9-7 — Colby C.C. 2/15-17 @ Midland College Torney Won 6-3 — Seminole State College Won 11-3 — Luna C.C. Won 13-0 — University of Chihauhua
Won 10-7 —Odessa College Lost 3-2 — Lubbock Christian J.V. Won 6-3 — Midland College Won 5-3 — Midland College 3/1 @ Lamar C.C. Won 10-0 — Lamar C.C. Won 8-0 — Lamar C.C. 3/2 @ Frank Phillips College Won 9-0 — Frank Phillips College Won 10-1 — Frank Phillips College 3/3 @ Western Texas College Lost 2-0 —Western Texas College Won 13-0 — Western Texas College 3/6 @ North Platte C.C. Won 16-2 — North Platte C.C. Won 13-5 — North Platte C.C. 3/9 @ Otero J.C. Won 5-2 — Otero J.C. Lost 5-0 — Otero J.C. 3/13 McCook C.C., home Won 10-4 — McCook C.C. Won 11-1 — McCook C.C. 3/14 Dawson C.C., home Won 6-0 — Dawson C.C. Won 12-4 — Dawson C.C. 3/16 @ Trinidad State College Won 3-2 — Trinidad State College Lost 11-3 — Trinidad State College 3/17 @ Luna C.C.
Won 11-3 — Luna C.C. Lost 8-2 — Luna C.C. 3/18 @ Adams State College JV Lost 13-1 — Adams State College Won 3-1 — Adams State College 3/20 North Platte C.C., home Won 3-2 — North Platte C.C. Won 11-2 — North Platte C.C. 3/27 Northeaster J.C.. home Won 6-2 — NE Colorado Won 15-11 — NE Colorado 3/29 Lamar C.C., home 4/3 @ North Platte C.C. 4/5 Otero J.C., home 4/6 Trinidad State College, home 4/9 @ McCook C.C. 4/11 Northeaster J.C., home 4/13 @ Colby Tourney 4/16 North Platte C.C., home 4/19 @ Hastings College JV 4/20 @ Muscatline College 4/21 @ Iowa Western C.C. 4/27 Garden City C.C., home 5/ Region XI Tournament 5/ District Playoff 5/ NJCAA National Tournament
Juggling act WNCC’s David Martinez concentrates on catching a fly ball during a game against Otero Junior College.
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March 30, 2013 — Page 8
There’s something for everyone in Ireland
hen Ireland is mentioned, one’s mind undoubtedly drifts to images of rolling green hills, small pubs, and thick, brogue accents. Nearly 84 thousand square kilometers, Ireland sits just northwest of Europe. Although Ireland is one island, it is comprised of two political districts. The Republic of Ireland makes up more than 80 percent of the country, while Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, covers the rest of the nation. Thomas Wright, originally from Portlaoise, Ireland, followed his love of soccer and traveled to Scottsbluff and Western Nebraska Community College (WNCC). “Portlaoise is in the very center of Ireland, like the Nebraska of America,” is how Wright described his hometown. Famous for the globalization of Celtic culture, which truly came about through a chain of incursions of the indigenousness people of
Ireland, citizens of the United States have propagated the culture much more than that of Ireland. With Celtic tattoos weighing in as the second most popular in the United States, second only to hanzi symbols from Mandarin Chinese, the Hallstatt era of Irish history was that
of conquering and not of family and tribal pride, which is generally associated with the symbols in modern American society. With a culture, language, and history completely unique to Ireland, there is a flood of diversity in this seemingly small country. Dublin, located on the eastern coast, is home to a modern and driven populace comparable to that of any other major city. While the city was once home to insurmountably influential writers such as Bates, Shaw, and Beckett, it has emerged as a contemporary urban sprawl complete with theaters, universities, and public transportation. Naturally, the largest airport in Ireland resides just outside of the capitol. The Dublin International Airport, also known as “Aerfort
International Country Spotlight: Ireland By Alexandria Moree Bhaile Atha Claith” in Irish, has two terminals and contracts with nearly 40 airlines based mostly out of Europe and the Americas. While Dublin is perhaps the most well-known city in Ireland, when questioned about the best place to visit in Ireland, Wright, without hesitation, said, “Go down west. There is a small town called Ennis. Go into a pub and say ‘what’s the crack?’” “What’s the crack?” is an Irish phrase meaning “How are you?” and is used so as not to be taken for a run-of-the-mill tourist. “All the castles and cliffs are in the west; there is much more tradition in the west,” elaborated Wright on the many reasons to head west if one ever tours Ireland. Known for its production and distribution, both mass and local, of beers, Ireland is also known
for its tea. “Get a cup of Irish tea,” Wright said declaratively. “It’s three quarters black tea with sugar and milk.” As per most northern European countries, tea is almost a necessity rather than an amenity. Cold winters, chilled springs and falls, and generally rainy summers have fueled the creation of Irish cuisine. Heavy and filling, potato and meat dishes frequent the pages of most cookbooks found in kitchens around Ireland. “I’d say that our best food is a Sunday roast; potatoes, carrots, peas, gravy, and beef or lamb,” Wright said, before explaining that while the dish is called a Sunday roast, “my mum likes to make it two or three times a week.” From urban hotels to country bed and breakfasts, the offerings of Ireland fill the spectra of traveling preferences and bid something to everyone.
‘Sly Cooper 4’ is more fun nostalgia than evolution
n an earlier issue, I talked about how many franchises don’t survive the passing of the generation they were created in and the reinvention of the medium with the next. Gladly, I’d like to inform gamers that the Sly Cooper franchise successfully made the jump, but just barely. Sly Cooper is a master thief. Why? Well, because he looks like one being a raccoon and all and feels he’s just pursing his calling. But also because he’s from a long line of thieves that stretch far back into history from cultures across the world. But as he would say, there’s no honor, challenge or fun in stealing from innocent people, so he only steals from crime lords—often exposing their corrupt operations in the process. But this time, he must find out who or what is causing his ancestry to disappear from history and must travel back in time to save his ancestors. The Sly Cooper series is a threedimensional adventure platformer. Platforming in the sense of there being a lot of jumping to and fro over and through obstacles—requiring a lot of skill, timing and reflexes. But Sly is unique from all other platformers in how it creatively incorporates stealth into its gameplay: tightrope walking on cables over a hoard
of easily-alerted henchmen; swinging on chandeliers over electrified floors; zip-lining down wires escaping gun-fire; sneaking across ledges while avoiding spotlights—giving gamers a guiltypleasure inducing Johnny sense of exciting tension. “Krr’ej” B u t Escamilla while I can say Game Review that Sly Cooper 4: Thieves in Time is everything fans loved from eight years ago, it’s found guilty of feeling like a game designed that long ago. If Thieves in Time came out back in 2005, it’d be amazing. But the whole game really hold no surprises and at times tedious and even boring compared to how engaging games are today. Even if it’s exactly what fans loved from eight years ago — from how it plays like a spy movie or film noir to its witty humor, bluesy tunes, lovable characters and unforgettable bad guys. Which is amazing considering new studio Sanzaru Games made this game. But most of the time, Thieves in Time feels like it’s stuck somewhere between being
a PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 game even with its beautiful cartoony visuals and giant but non-interactive levels to explore. Playing Sly himself is still a solid experience, and I enjoyed every minute of it. But a whole third of the game consists of so many mini-games and old and tired game design that I became bored of these parts very quickly. Almost all of them involving the push of a single button: like tilting the controller to move a ball around while avoiding bumpers and holes (which it made me play like six times), or playing Sly’s bumbling friend Murray, a pink hippo, that was basically just punching out endless enemies. The worlds even feel like old fashioned levels that follow predictable design rules, mouths don’t move while characters are talking during gameplay, the drama is sometimes awkwardly written, the game sometimes expects you to laugh at really old jokes, the last level feels rushed and the final boss was almost entirely a succession of timed button presses. But Thieves in Time is by no means a bad game; in fact, I really enjoyed it and I felt it was a steal at $40 (that comes with a free portable version for you PlayStation Vita owners). And Sly Cooper fans will love this game because if they wanted
a Sly game that tells a story of espionage, mystery and hilarity in a way that would make them fall in love with the Cooper gang all over again, this game does it bigger and better than any Sly game before it. Just pick it up knowing that you’re not getting a fully realized world with as much engaging depth, exciting liveliness, or stealthy thrills as the worlds in say Batman: Arkham City, Assassins Creed, or Watch Dogs. You’re just getting sixth generation game design at its best, which just isn’t enough. In the end, I can’t help but wonder what a real seventh generation Sly Cooper game could have been like: Sly’s highly-stylized city of Paris fully created where everything is so lively animated—busting out a roof window after pulling a heist with alarms ringing,
spotlights searching frantically and helicopters chasing you through the city, pursued by bouncy cartoony patrol cars with sirens blazing, people in their apartments comically screaming at the sight of you scaling their wall, falling to sling-shot off their clothes line, etc. Indeed, it’s a hard thing to re-imagine established franchises when new technology makes games of a whole new scope possible. And many franchises die trying to compete with the new pioneering franchises that come with every new generation. But Sly Cooper doesn’t need to compete for its style of story-telling, and platforming is still unique after all these years and is in good hands, even if they’ve been caught red-handed for trading nostalgia for evolution. Grade: B-
‘Thomas was alone’ will make you feel for lonely quadrilaterals
Contact the newspaper at: The Spectator WNCC 1601 E. 27th street Scottsbluff, Nebraska 69361 Phone: (308) 635-6058 Email: email@example.com
2012-13 Staff Members Alexandria Moree, Fashion Editor Danielle Hearn, Sports Editor Heidi Hancock, Assistant Sports Editor Johnny Escamilla, Entertainment Editor Joy Aniteye, Feature Editor Kayla Romey, Design Editor Lenzie Cole, Reporter Cierra Pedersen, Reporter Mark Rein, Production Jeff Fielder, Adviser
What do you think?
combination of piano and violin solos and synthesized electronic music. But most of all, it’ll charm you with a completely new sense of personhood you get from the characters you play. Grade: B
Western Nebraska Community College
with a sometimes frustrating system of switching between shapes. Thomas was alone is one well-rounded game (that pun sort of worked) that will charm you from its witty narration to its emotional
theSpectator the Spectator
together to traverse truly puzzling environments with traps and hazards— slowing realizing why they exist and the fact that they’re in a video game designed by humans. But as you do so, a charmingly witty storyteller narrates their adventures, humanizing them to you: talking about the friendships they build, the insecurities they face as they fall off in love, lose friends along the way, etc. It makes you feel for a type of life that you never thought was possible. Thomas was alone is a must buy or at least a must try, and at $10 for the PC, PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Vita, you likely won’t regret supporting an indie game like this despite being a little short, a little simplistic, and a little too easy
ou’ve heard me square away my angle on video games before. The kind of storytelling and creativity they’re capable of is truly unparalleled. They can pull off concepts no book or movie could. And the type of reality you interact with is bound by no rules based on any type of reality we’re familiar with. And their reality can be made to be fully aware of our reality as a player. Thomas was alone (created by Mike Bethell) is a simple puzzle-platformer, but its themes are profound as you play a supposedly uncompleted game with characters in it that seem to be a form
of artificial intelligence. Thomas is a lonely but adventurous fellow with an obsession with note-taking and observation. John is a bit of a show off with a superiority complex but with a strong need for approval. Chris is a cynic with a tendency to get jealous, hiding a sense of inferiority. Oh, and did I mention that Thomas is a red rectangle; John is a long, skinny, yellow rectangle; and Chris is a stubby, green square? Leave it to a video game to make me feel for faceless little shapes, but that’s just what it did. Every level, Thomas, John and Chris meet different shapes with their own personalities, weaknesses and abilities (such as floating on water or falling up) that must work
BY JOHNNY “KRR’EJ” ESCAMILLA Spectator Entertainment Editor
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