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Issue 192 | January 27, 2011


2 | MAROON WEEKLY January 27 – February 2 www.maroonweekly.com


News & Views Mojo Jams – bringing music to the people By Megan Roiz College Station is not a town known for being a pioneer when it comes to music. This, however, does not mean that it never features great, top-billing artists. One of the major reasons why is a class of 2012 Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences major who goes simply by “Mojo.” “I am a concert promoter. I book shows and market them to Texas A&M students,” Mojo said. “I also assist several student performing groups with their music, more on the business side.” If you have been to any of the following events, you have seen some of Mojo’s work, firsthand. Haiti Relief Concert, February 2010. Burger Boy’s Patio Open Mic Series, March 2010 BTHO Finals Party ft. Kevin Jack, April 2010 Chip Tha Rapper, August 2010 Travie McCoy, September 2010 Coverfest, November 2010

“Everyone fussed about how boring it is here. I wanted to change that. I wanted to bring cool stuff here,” Mojo said. After tragedy struck Haiti in early January 2010 by way of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake, Mojo had the idea of putting on a relief concert to raise money for UNICEF. “I put the idea out to some of the local bands, and they were down to play. They just wanted someone else to set things up and do the work. I stepped up, and that was my first concert,” he said. From there his passion for the business side of music bloomed. “I was sorta clueless where to start, to be honest. I wanted to raise $3000, and a lot of people were doubtful,” Mojo said. “I kept pushing through and searching for a team that was willing to put in time and effort to make something like this happen, and I was introduced to Jose Arredondo at Defacto Productions and Karthik Venketraj through friends. “Together, we formed a team of 50 plus passionate students that planned and

Chiddy Bang, December 2010

executed a charity concert.”. The relief concert included 13 performing acts (mostly students and former students) and raised $6400 for UNICEF to help children in Haiti. After the experience with such a successful show, Mojo wanted to do more. “My vision was to enhance the party scene here. We have awesome bands that come through downtown Bryan; they’re more eccentric and artsy. I wanted to bring more party music to the students on Northgate.” When asked what kind of music he was most interested in bringing to BCS, Mojo said, “Party music. People want to dance and have fun.” If you have requests, comments or suggestions, you can reach Mojo at mojojamz@gmail.com. “I work with a team of amazing people. We have a lot of fun doing what we do,” Mojo said. “We are always looking for more cool people to join us. Hit me up if you love people, music and good times. We’ll get you involved. “Stay tuned! 2011 will be amazing.”

Once a year, we becOme experts at shipping lOve, tOO.

Mojo helps groups find needed musicians and gigs. He also gives them marketing advice. For the potential that many Texas A&M University students have in showbiz, Mojo seems to be one of the local guys to go to.

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As a singer/songwriter on his own time, Mojo has been around the local music scene for the past couple of years. He has followed bands as a photographer, observing what they do and figuring out what works and what does not work for the groups.

OFF

FED EX AND UPS SHIPPING excludes U.s. mail. Offer expires 2/13/11

12815 Wellborn Road, Suite 120 • (979) 696-6900 www.maroonweekly.com January 27 – February 2

1/6/11

MAROON WEEKLY | 3


News & Views Publisher Mick Maynard

Big Event keeps raising the bar

Caviar Dreams: Font

Business Manager Andrea Maynard

Photos courtesy of Nathan Turner

Editor in Chief Chris Shepperd MANAGING EDITOR Chris Zebo Design/Layout Cara Matocha, C2-Studios Inc. writers Kassie Cessna Autumn Dawson Turner Dawson Mallory Dykowski Josh Howell Nichelle Jaeger Sarabeth Lacy Mara Minsberg

Sherrill Mogonye Gabrielle Nguyen Brandon Nowalk Erica Pitman Megan Roiz Ian Soares Ryan Stone Joey Trevino

Photographers Valerie Clark Distribution Kyler Dillon Andy Nguyen Becca Nelms interns Vladimir Amador

Maggie Dotson Ryan Frische Cameron Gott Lana Rothe

Maroon Weekly is an independent, student-owned publication and is not affiliated with A&M University. Maroon Weekly receives no student fees or university funding. Opinions are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the editor, publisher or the newspaper staff. Maroon Weekly is not liable for omissions, misprints to typographical errors. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the express consent of the publisher. 1st copy is FREE, additional copies are $0.50 each Maroon Weekly 110 Lincoln St. #107 College Station, Texas 77840 ph: 979.696.3971 | fax: 281.312.5160 © Copyright 2010 Legacy Media Inc.

By Erica Pitman As many students are settling into the spring semester, some are in crunch time with planning the largest student run service project: The Big Event. “The Big Event began in 1982 by a Former Student named Joe Nussbaum,” Assistant Director Erin Weaver said. “He was inspired by a speech former President Ronald Reagan gave regarding community service in 1981. Mr. Nussbaum saw an opportunity and need to serve the surrounding community that supported his college. He and his girlfriend, Becky (who is now his wife), named the event ‘The Big Event’ just as a placeholder until they could come up with a better name. From there, The Big Event as we know it now was born.” Being an organization founded on service, The Big Event relies solely on volunteers, and anyone who is willing to lend a helping hand can participate, junior civil engineering major Nathan Turner said. And judging by the way The Big Event has flourished in such a short time, there isn’t a shortage of selflessness in Aggieland. “The Big Event has grown tremendously due to the selfless desire of Aggies wanting to

4 | MAROON WEEKLY January 27 – February 2 www.maroonweekly.com

give back to the community that supports them,” Weaver said. “Over the past 28 years, the support shown by Texas A&M, the Bryan/College Station community and the students has grown The Big Event into the incredible day of service that it is today. The Big Event is a true embodiment of the Aggie family. Without that spirit and camaraderie, The Big Event would not be where it is today.” The Big Event was started, essentially, as a way to say “Thank you” to the surrounding Bryan/College Station area, and today, 29 years later, Aggies turn out in mass to convey that same message. “As students we often take it for granted that we have such a nice place to go to school in and the residents of Bryan/College Station have an extra 50,000 students in the city and we take this day to say ‘Thanks.’ To see the residents get so excited about the help is such a rewarding experience,” Turner said. The Big Event, as an Aggie operation, very much embodies the Aggie spirit of selfless

service. It shows that we, as Aggies, are not just a part of a university, but are a part of a family, the Aggie family. The Big Event shows the community and the world what the Aggie Spirit looks like in action. “The Big Event was one of the first organizations I heard about while in high school and preparing for college,” Turner said. “The idea of students working together for a common goal and devoting their time and effort was just awesome to me. It was part of the reason for me coming to A&M; it is the Aggie Spirit in action. There are not too many other students that would be willing to give up a Saturday to help others.” The Aggie Spirit is exemplified in every way with The Big Event, and through the hard work of many Aggie volunteers, the selfless nature of The Big Event becomes contagious. “The work that is done on March 26th often spreads to neighbors,” Turner said. “City officials often say after the event, there is a movement for the entire city to make the city look better, even those houses we are not able to get to. The Big Event is a day that helps remind each of us that the tasks, even


News & Views

(continued) if they are small, are much greater than we might think.” “The community has always shown an overwhelming appreciation,” Weaver said. “Local businesses are more than willing to help support what we do because they believe in our mission and we are extremely grateful for their support.” “Many residents are thankful for the helping hand, while others are grateful to just have someone to talk to. The Big Event provides a way to bridge the gap between residents and students. We always say that if we have helped one person, we have done our job,” Weaver said. While The Big Event is philanthropic in nature, its experience is not without its own rewards. “It’s an event that, as Aggies, we can bond with one another as well as help others. The attitude of each student on the day of is just awesome,” Turner said. “The most rewarding part is seeing every student who is willing to give a few hours on Saturday to give a helping to anyone. Seeing the residents light up with happiness when we come and talk with them is very rewarding.” “When I was a freshman and George Bush Sr. came and spoke, my group and I happened to get there early and got to the stage for kick off,” Turner said. “When we first moved near the stage there were a couple of hundred people there, but in the middle of kick off I looked back and all I could see was students packed from the stage to the back off Lot 100c and all the way to Reed Arena. Looking back at kick off on the morning of and seeing 13,000 of your fellow Aggies ready to serve, it is just indescribable.” Participating in The Big Event not only enables a student to become a part of something much bigger than themselves, the largest student run service organization allows them to experience the real meaning behind the Aggie Spirit. To get involved in The Big Event, Students, A&M Faculty and Staff can sign up starting February 4 at bigevent.tamu.edu.

On campus clubs: African Students Association By Joshua Howell The African Students Association (ASA), as with most on campus cultural organizations, was founded in order to foster connectivity with other African students. The founders were originally graduate students, most of whom had no family in the United States (this is common for foreign graduate students, who must sometimes spend up to three years disconnected from their respective cultures and kinsman). There is often held a slight misconception of Africa, that, despite its size, it is culturally monolithic. However, comprised of fiftytwo autonomous countries, Africa exhibits a level of cultural diversity akin to America with its fifty states. Part of the ASA’s role is to bridge cultural gaps between the many diverse African students as well as the gaps between the African students and the greater TAMU population. To achieve these goals, meetings are held bi-weekly. Meetings can fall into one of two categories, similar to the aforementioned ASA roles: those meetings in which events are planned and put together to showcase themselves to other Aggies, and those meeting which are more internal, in which a speaker is brought in to discuss a topic of interest, the ASA constituents play

AATB

Big Event keeps raising the bar

interactive games, or members discuss the varied African traditions and beliefs, along with what they themselves can do to better the continent. Often, these socials are hindered by the incorrect belief that socio-cultural organizations like the ASA are exclusive, that one can neither join nor participate in a function if they themselves are not African. This could not be further from the truth. The ASA is also involved in a plethora of outreach programs. Every semester, there is organized two to four socials which aim to form strong friendships and educate others on the different cultures present in Africa. Members are encouraged to bring friends, not only so they can learn about the continent, but also so that the ASA can learn about their culture as well. The ASA is affiliated with many similar organizations and colleges across the country. The University of Texas, Baylor University, Stephen F. Austin University, and most other colleges have similar organizations with which they can work. Every semester, many of these groups join together for what the President of our ASA, Omolola Awobokun, refers to as “ASA conventions.” Last semester, Baylor and the University of Houston came together to plan and host a convention respectively.

Aggies at Their Best

This spring, the TAMU ASA will be joining forces with the Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State Universities in order to put on a similar convention scheduled for Feb. 25th-27th. “During the weekend, there is a talent show that showcases the schools, and even some [other] organizations from TAMU, there is a sports tournament and a banquet which includes a pageant [as well],” explained Awobokun, “this is what we do with these other colleges, attend their weekends and vice versa.” Some of the hindrances faced as the ASA tries to achieve these goals are, as Awobokun puts it, “quite expected.” In addition to the previous, one obstacle is that the activities on the A&M campus are so numerous, the ASA occasionally gets lost in the fray. However, they persevere. “I want us to cultivate a bigger presence at A&M. Similar to those organizations you often hear about. I want others to be able to learn more about Africa through us, and hopefully erase their former stereotypes. I want our members to also be as open to other cultures here, especially in the community,” explained Awobokun, “our A.S.A weekend will place us many steps closer to our goals, and I believe that we can achieve them, and we will.”

local talent, while bringing a fresh sound to your ears.

Maroon Weekly is excited about this semester. We have a lot of really cool stuff on tap. Some of the stuff is so secret I can’t even tell you yet. However I can tell you about one new thing we are doing. I would like to introduce you to “The Tap Presents: Maroon Weekly’s Artist Spotlight.” Maroon Weekly has partnered up with The Tap to bring you new artists each and every month. Maroon Weekly will be selecting talent, interviewing them for the paper and putting a free download of their music on our website. But that’s not all; we will then team up with The Tap to present the artist LIVE at The Tap. Some of the music might be familiar, most of it probably won’t. Our goal is to shine a light on some

If you have a band you think we should feature please shoot us an e-mail at events@maroonweekly.com. While there is always something new going on at Maroon Weekly, I would like to remind you of some stuff we will continue to do. We always have lots of stuff to give away. So make sure you are following us on Twitter @MaroonWeekly and on Facebook (search Maroon Weekly). In addition to that we will be tagging people all over town for our “You’ve Been Tagged” promotion. So be looking for that. We are always looking for feedback from you. If you like what we are doing, give us a shout out. If you think something should change, shoot me an e-mail: chris@maroonweekly.com. Either way, we want to hear from you.

www.maroonweekly.com January 27 – February 2

MAROON WEEKLY | 5


By Chris Zebo Last week, MW’s Chris Zebo caught up with Kevin Fowler for an exclusive interview. We say “caught up” with him, but what we really mean is “caught” him. As you’ll see in the conversation below, Fowler seldom sits still. Since 1998, he hasn’t taken a break from the stage longer than two weeks (now think about that for a minute). In December, he released The Best of… So Far, an 18-track album with 15 handselected best/favorite songs chosen by him and the band along with three new songs never before released. We talked about the new album and what it means to be young and releasing a Best of album already. We also found out some interesting facts about the origins of Fowler’s most recent hit, “Pound Sign,”-you know, that song that’s on every radio station and dance hall in Texas? And seeing that it’s a reflective moment with a Best of album out, we probed him about the long road that got him here, from his stints as a hair-band metal head in the ’90s, his unique hunting and fishing connection with fans, and his knack for bankrupting record labels while, ironically, becoming more popular as they fail. MW: You just released your Best of album in December? And it’s not called The Best of Kevin Fowler, it’s called The Best of…So Far. Fowler: So far, yes, assuming I’m not dead or anything yet (laughing). It’s got all kinds of little ditties on it. It’s got three previously unreleased songs on it and fifteen fan favs.

6 | MAROON WEEKLY January 27 – February 2 www.maroonweekly.com


MW: 18 songs altogether? Fowler: 18 songs for $8.98. What a bargain. [Currently available at most local music retailers and on iTunes] MW: How’s it feel to be releasing an album like this? You’re still young and you’re already releasing a Best of album. Fowler: Heck, we feel old! (laughing) It’s just wild looking back at it. It’s been a heck of a ride down here, with the whole Texas Music thing and watching it grow over the past ten years. The scene--and just being a part of it--has been awesome. MW: Looking at your contributions to the scene musically over the years, and with the Best of release in mind, what’s your favorite song that you’ve released over the years? Fowler: You know, I’ve always been a fan of a “Long Line of Losers.” It’s one of my favorite songs that I’ve ever wrote. Maybe it’s because my family’s a mess (laughing) and it’s kind of autobiographical. MW: Everyone’s loving “Pound Sign” right now. Every time I go into the grocery store, I hear you singing over the speakers, with people pushing their carts through the aisles singing along (laughing). Fowler: (laughing) MW: You changed that song for some funny reason, right? I heard a story where you changed the title of it for your kids or something? Fowler: No. That song, actually, is the only single I’ve ever had that I didn’t write. My buddy, David Lee Murphy, wrote it. He gave it to me on a CD, an--true story: I plugged it in, and my kids heard it, and they would not shut up, singing that song for two weeks. (laughing) It has that kind of infectious chorus that just gets in your head. MW: I want to talk about a couple of other things you have going on in your life, beginning with KevinFowlerOutdoors. com. A lot of people don’t know about that side of you, and I’m hoping you can tell our readers a little bit about why you started the site.

Fowler: The whole thing got started because fans would hear that I was really into hunting and fishing, so they’d bring me pictures of the fish they’d caught or the deer they’d shot. So, I just had this pile of pictures. So we started putting them all on a website, and it just kept growing and growing. And in the next few years, we’d like to do more with that, but we’ve been so busy with the music. I love hunting and fishing and the outdoors. It’s my thing. It’s what I really enjoy the most when I’m off the road. MW: When did you get into it? When you were growing up in Amarillo? Fowler: Oh yeah. My dad was into hunting and fishing when I was growing up. I was kind of just born into it. MW: Do you still have family in Amarillo? I know you’re in Austin now, right? Fowler: Yeah, I’m in Austin. My parents are still living in Amarillo. They’re still hanging on up there. They’re never gonna leave. We can’t get ‘em outta there. MW: So you actually got out of Amarillo yourself at about the age of 20, right? I’ve wondered about this: You went to a music school in LA called the Guitar Institute of Technology. Pretty serious sounding place. Fowler: That’s a fancy name. Really, it’s a guitar school. A lot of the hot pickers of the time went there. It was a cool experience, getting out to LA. You know, I was fresh off the turnip wagon--going from Amarillo, Texas to Hollywood, California. I’d never even seen a homeless person before. It was quite the eye-opener, seeing what’s out there in the world MW: So that experience opened the world up to you. Fowler: Oh yeah. It got me out of Amarillo. It got me out into the world. ‘Cause you know, a lot of people that come from small towns get stuck there. It was really good ‘cause it got me out of there, and I got to learn the hard lessons of the music industry. MW: When you moved back, you moved to Austin.

Fowler: I’ve been in Austin since ‘91.

-any gig I could get just to stay on the road.

MW: And that’s when you started playing with Dangerous Toys, right?

MW: So were you like a big metal head? Did you have metal hair?

Fowler: Yeah. Pretty much from ‘91 to ‘96, you know, just playing in rock bands all over-

To read the entire interview with Kevin Fowler, visit our website at maroonweekly.com

www.maroonweekly.com January 27 – February 2

MAROON WEEKLY | 7


Arts & Entertainment

Fashion Sense: Shopping thrifty

By Sarabeth Lacy As the glass door rattles to a close behind me, my eyes take a moment adjusting to a harsh, neon light while my nose registers a feint scent of a cleaning agent mixed with the stale musk of old perfume. Rows and rows of clothes stretch out before me accompanied by various vignettes of kitchen utensils, assorted pieces of house wares, and random gift items cluttered together in tightly knit aisles. One easily arrives at the quick conclusion that I am not standing in Saks Fifth Avenue, nor have I stumbled into Dillard’s. No, I am not even reaching for a red shopping cart to escort me through Target. A dose of nostalgia and a need for some cheap vintage treasures have drawn me into Goodwill. Mine is not a glamorous excursion, but the journey to the store nestled next to the BCS Asian Food Market at the intersection of Texas Avenue and Harvey Mitchell Parkway bears the promise of potential additions to my wardrobe at exceedingly kind prices. “But why Goodwill?” one may ask. My response is a befuddled, “Why not?” A distinct affinity for vintage hipster chic continues to prevail throughout the fashion world, and shoppers rarely blink at the escalated prices boldly set for recycled clothing by retailers such as Urban Outfitters. I do not suggest boycotting Anthropologie or the like by any means, but what logic prevails in turning our noses up at authentic resale shops? Upon entry I bypass the welcoming jewelry counter filled with sparkling, colorful baubles, as I prefer to save the best hunting for last. I begin sorting through racks of coats and shirts, where I locate a very new American Eagle denim blazer. Bingo! Not five minutes into my scavenger hunt, and I have tracked down a classic staple for any girl’s wardrobe, and it costs a mere $7.50. Compare that to an approximated original cost of $40! My hands begin to detect that “Goodwill grunge” they tend to accumulate shortly after sifting through the store’s racks, but I thank the Lord for hand sanitizer and washing machines and forge ahead on my journey. My next stop is the shoe department, where my eyes settle on a brilliant pair of vintage Enzo Angiolini brown leather booties. Oxford booties captured the heart of many a fashionista this past fall, and another $7.99 discovery like this may very well stop that heart. Mine, on the other hand, begins to frown, as my size 8 claude hoppers refuse to be stuffed into the lithe 7.5 models. Alas, some small-footed bootie lover will certainly enjoy such a steal. I turn to the men’s rack and immediately spot a hardly worn pair of Aldo brown leather loafers. As they are not as “vintage”, i.e. old, as the Angiolini booties, the price jumps to a still modest $22. Juxtaposed by the modern loafers, a pair of…wait for it…tap shoes catches my attention. Even a true renaissance man can find dancing provisions at Goodwill. I round the aisles of glassware and counterfeit handbags and arrive at my final destination, where my eyes are bedazzled by an assortment of costume jewelry, cufflinks, and watches. Be it preparation for Halloween or Ring Dance, an individual short on cash can easily exit the store appropriately bejeweled. I leave the store satisfied that my suspicions prove accurate. Regardless how affluent or broke one may be, a shopper in need of retail therapy can easily release energy and endorphins by visiting the local Goodwill.

8 | MAROON WEEKLY January 27 – February 2 www.maroonweekly.com


Arts & Entertainment

Artist Sp tlight David Needham is right at home

Thursday Jan 27 Tyler Cannon @ La Bodega Original College Night @ Texas Hall of Fame Singer/Songwriter Night @ The Village Café Party on the Patio @ Ozona Grill and Bar Karaoke @ Schotzi’s

By Joey Trevino Not many musicians will admit to having a strong faith. Some acknowledge it while some just ignore the idea that something from beyond has any impact on the way our lives play out. While this is true for many artists who make up our society’s popular culture, for singer/songwriter David Needham, without faith he wouldn’t be the musician he is today. David Needham first picked up the guitar as a young middle school student and was immediately hooked. From this young age he realized that playing guitar would have a significant part in his life. As time went on he found himself sharing the stage with various musicians as a lead guitarist and he enjoyed not always being the center of attention. After years of playing guitar he started to ask himself the question that many 11th and 12th grade students often find themselves asking; he wanted to know what direction he would take his life after he graduated from high school. “I began praying about what I should do after school was done,” Needham said, “and I felt Him saying that he wanted me to be a singer/songwriter. At the end of two years Needham had not seen any progression in his music career so he decided to take his love for music in another direction. After his freshman year at Texas A&M University, Needham decided that his calling was in the field of music production. With help from his brother, he was able to set up a meeting with a producer from Houston. “I remember the meeting vividly,” Needham said. “Something just didn’t feel right about it.” With the meeting still fresh in his mind, Needham was desperately in need of guidance. He once again took to his faith and prayed about the direction his life was going. “Well, right when I got home, I walked in the front door and sitting there was my guitar,”

events Friday Jan 28 Canvas Waiting @ Stafford Main Kyle Park w/ Rosehill @ Texas Hall of Fame Southern Echoes @ Schotzi’s

Needham said. “I picked it up and almost immediately a chord progression, melody and hook all came to me and within the hour I had the framework of my first song, ‘Move’ which is the opening track on my new record.” David Needham’s first record, an EP entitled “Heartbreak,” is scheduled for release on Feb 25th and features music that brings Needham’s “(He) is not through with you” idea to life. In addition to songs that he wrote on his own, the new release incorporates collaborations with well-known song writers such as Jimmy Needham, Los Angeles songwriter Josef Gordon and guitarist Tim Dillon. “This record is written as an honest message to those believers who are in this same quandary as me,” Needham said. “After searching the Scriptures, the Lord revealed to me that I’m not the only one, but just about every hero of the faith went through the same doubts and pains. From David’s honest cries in the Psalms to Jeremiah’s tearfilled pleas with the Lord in Lamentations, the message is clear, we live in a broken place, we all know it, but the glorious news is, there is hope!” Needham along with Logan Samperi on drums, Daniel Parulian on bass and Josh Taylor on guitar will have a CD release show on Friday, Feb. 25th at Mugwalls in College Station. For more information on show dates, the new EP or David Needham himself you can contact him at davidneedhammusic@ gmail.com

Saturday Jan 29 Trashy and the Kid @ Stafford Main The Longhaul Band @ La Bodega Jake Hooker and the Outsiders @ Texas Hall of Fame Nicolas Altobelli @ The Village Café (7pm) Salsa Saturdays @ The Village Café (9pm) Sunday Jan 30 Obannon’s Pub Quiz @ Obannon’s Taphouse Monday Jan 31 Paul Thompson Lecture @ TAMU Tuesday Feb 1 Zack Walther @ Schotzi’s Ron Cheek Lecture @ TAMU Wednesday Feb 2 Salsa Lessons @ The Village Café Comedy Night @ Schotzi’s

Check out maroonweekly.com for more info!

Make sure to submit your events at www.maroonweekly.com www.maroonweekly.com January 27 – February 2

MAROON WEEKLY | 9


Arts & Entertainment

What to watch for this spring

movie review:

By Nichelle Jaeger

what to watch for in BCS this Spring Photo courtesy of Valerie Clark

By Brandon Nowalk I know the impulse to see the absurdly titled Country Strong is closely connected with a supportive and/ or cringing curiosity about how Gwyneth Paltrow acquits herself in this country-fried musical, but rest assured Paltrow’s comeback tour is unaffected by her uneven, uninteresting performance as a loathsome alcoholic songstress, and as camp spectacle, Country Strong isn’t fit to wear Burlesque’s feather boa. The real kicker, though, is that the film is camped out across the dance hall glaring at the very country music history it pretends to venerate. I’m not just talking about the way it namedrops, either—a Loretta Lynn here, a Waylon & Willie there—as if the very invocation of these icons is proof enough of its piety. No, Country Strong is a film that bowdlerizes country legends into a single sob story with no self-awareness, and worse, it stakes out this position of superiority to what passes for country music nowadays—I think they call it country-pop in music circles— while trafficking in just such irrelevance. In Paltrow’s climactic performance, she sings a song called, “Shake That Thang.” You think Loretta or Waylon or Patsy or Johnny would be caught dead flashing their naughty bits for hundreds of screaming fans while singing about how their milkshake brings all the boys to the yard? Me neither. Lest you think Country Strong is completely irredeemable, I should at least give a tour of some highlights. We follow four figures: the aforementioned superstar on a comeback tour after an alcohol-induced miscarriage and a stint in rehab; a spare-time songwriter played by Garrett Hedlund (with a positively atmospheric twangy growl); a young pop starlet played by Leighton Meester; and

Spring festivities are underway in the Brazos Valley. Old Man Winter has kept many people indoors, but as temperatures warm up, community activities are sure to fill your calendar. Maroon Weekly has created a list for families and students of the top places to be this spring Although many activities are associated with campus events, most of them are open to the public and a great way to get families involved in the community. Here are the top three places for family outings this spring. 1 - Aggie basketball games: Whether you root on the women’s or men’s team, the game will be jam-packed with fun. This is a great venue for the whole family because kids can take part in activities throughout the evening. If you show up early to the game, you may be able to meet the players or get their autograph. 2 - George Bush Presidential Library: Of course families can visit former president Bush’s library any time of year. However, this spring the library is hosting many events that you will not want to miss. Open to the public on Feb. 10, the library presents the movie Thoroughly Modern Millie. Refreshments and popcorn are provided and parking is free.

Paltrow’s manager husband, Tim McGraw, the only one not invited to sing for us. McGraw assembles a massive comeback tour for Paltrow and her two new opening acts, culminating—after two other stops in Houston and Austin—in Dallas, because apparently three cities qualifies as a tour. Anyone familiar with any country legend— think Hank Williams—knows what comes next. Some delights are accidental—at times Country Strong acts as a satire of country music’s meretricious cooption of ostensible patriotism—but there remain some intended pleasures, as in Hedlund’s classical gravelly singing. “Chances Are” is a great song, charmingly performed, as long as you don’t think about it too hard. But the clichés, contrivance, and hateful self-indulgence conspire to rob Country Strong of its fleeting joys. The sloppy sound mix obscures dialogue that’s already fuzzy considering all the fake accents and naturalistic mumbling with diegetic music or roaring trains, an unforgivable sin in this genre. Add to this the film’s bizarre stance against pop music, as if music can’t have integrity and be popular, undermined by its own empty spectacles (which the film and its characters treat as triumphs), and confirmed again by its Roger Miller coda. It’s trainwreck-fascinating for the sundry ways it offends country music, but this artless pastiche is just a Crazy Heart rehash without Ryan Bingham’s thoughtful songwriting.

10 | MAROON WEEKLY January 27 – February 2 www.maroonweekly.com

3 - Arctic Wolf Ice: Arctic Wolf has so many activities for kids, including a Friday Night Jam for teenagers to skate, rock climb and eat all for a small price. Arctic Wolf has activities for kids of all ages every day of the week. They even have activities for parents, like zamboni driving! If you are a student, you may not be looking for an educational activity for the kids, but Maroon Weekly has you covered too. When you are not in the classroom or studying for that important test, here are the top places to be this spring. 1 - Parents’ weekend: Congratulations go out to all students who are receiving their Aggie Ring in April. Ring day kicks off Parents’ Weekend, where the town is packed with families, BBQ teams and the Aggie Moms’ Boutique. Several colleges and departments will have displays and the Parents of the Year will be announced. 2 – Organizations: Spring is a great time of year to join a new organization. If you missed Spring Open House, visit the student affairs website to find out what organization is best for you. Several groups on campus recruit new members during the spring semester so do not hesitate because deadlines are quickly approaching. 3 - Chili Fest: Thousands of students will trek out to Snook, TX for the headline performers and of course, some great chili. It does not matter your age in the Brazos Valley because this spring there is something for everyone.


Arts & Entertainment

book review: Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks By Autumn Dawson What happens when the person you love turns into the monster you fear? When the man who swore to protect you becomes the one you need protection from? Those are the questions faced by Katie in Nicholas Spark’s latest, and surprising, novel. After numerous best sellers, fans know what to expect from Sparks: a compelling love

ch a rt

story and unforgettable characters. In Safe Haven, readers certainly find that—and so much more. This gripping tale of love and survival opens with Katie, a young woman taking orders and delivering meals, and remembering. Remembering the things she would rather forget. Like the days she’d been without food before landing a job in a small restaurant in a sleep, southern town.

1

Cory Morrow Brand New Me (APEX Nashville/Write On)

2

Josh Abbott Band Oh, Tonight (PDT)

3

No Justice Just Get Going (Carved)

4

Turnpike Troubadours 7 & 7 (Onward Music)

5

Wade Bowen Red Headed Woman (Smith Ent.)

6

Bleu Edmondson No Room for Mercy (American Saint)

7

Jon Wolfe Let A Country Boy Love You (Fool Hearted Prod)

8

Brian Keane I’ll Sing About Mine (Independent)

9

Fred Andrews/Honeybrowne Beautiful Waste of Time (Smith Ent.)

10

Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward Guitars (Smith Ent.)

11

Scott Wiggins Band Best Dress (SWB)

12

Kyle Park All Night (Winding Road)

13

James Lann Every Kiss Goodnight (Ari-Tex)

14

Kevin Fowler Girl In a Truck (Kevin Fowler)

15

Randy Rogers Band Steal You Away (Mercury)

16

Bart Crow Band Should’ve Stayed Away (Smith Ent.)

17

Jeff Allen Can’t Trust Myself (Savvy Recordings)

18

Brandon Rhyder Battery (Reserve)

19

Rosehill Midnight America (Cypress Creek)

20

Django Walker Young Enough to Run (DW)

21

Sunny Sweeney From A Table Away (Republic Nashville)

22

Jake Kellen If Love Was A Road (Horny Toad)

23

Mark McKinney Home (Winding Road)

24

80 Proof Band Tonight (Smith Ent.)

25

Granger Smith 5 More Minutes (GS)

When the mysterious Katie appears in the

Bringing a piece of history to the Brazos Valley By Ryan Stone For only $400,000, you can own a space shuttle engine. For $42 million, you can own an entire shuttle. Hurry though. Supplies are limited. Several years ago, NASA announced that they would be retiring the space shuttle Discovery to the Smithsonian and that the remaining shuttles would be up for sale. Now any institution that can pay to have them stripped, cleaned, and properly stored, will be able to keep them. Since this rules out the pocketbook of most individuals on the planet, museums and educational institutions have jumped on the bandwagon trying to raise funds with which to purchase and display these historic vehicles. Enter the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History. Their campaign to bring one of the retired shuttles to Brazos County involves the building of a new science museum and has the backing of certain notables, including former President George H.W. Bush who calls the project “very exciting.” The museum has made it their premier effort to retire and house one of the orbiters in order to bring prestige, commerce, and educational benefits to the county and surrounding areas. Not to mention, it would be just plain cool to own one. So now plans are underway for a Science and History Museum, and the shuttle would, according to many, make the ideal flagship exhibit. Its presence would complement the prestigious work done at Texas A&M in science and engineering, as well as speak to Texas’ contributions to space flight and exploration. The project could create over a thousand more jobs locally, according to sources at BVMN, and create a steady flow of revenue into the valley. In addition, TAMU reportedly has many shelved artifacts and collections that they do not display or do not have the ability to display. These could be set up in tandem with the shuttle for the general public if and when it comes to the area. Visit www.brazosvalleymuseum.org for more details or to make a contribution. Learn some local cultural history, and help give a home to one of mankind’s pinnacle achievements.

small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the closeknit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family. But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that forever haunts and terrifies her: a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo’s empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards. In this stunning novel Sparks spares little in describing the dark side of love and, as always, underscoring its redeeming powers as he brings to life one of his most poignant characters and also one of his most sinister. Detailing the stark horrors of domestic violence, Sparks creates a stunning novel full of surprises and edge-of-you-seat suspense that will keep you up late into the night, needing to get to that last page. Devotees of Sparks will find this new work a little darker than what they might expect, while new readers will instantly be wrapped up in the saga of a woman struggling to climb the self-protective walls she’s built for herself, and learning to let go of past heart ache. It is not a tale to be missed, and once read, a story never to be forgotten.

www.maroonweekly.com January 27 – February 2

MAROON WEEKLY | 11


Sports Aggies face challenging schedule Photos courtesy of Glen Johnson/Aggie Athletics

By Turner Dawson It was another exciting week of basketball for the Fightin’ Texas Aggie basketball team as they suffered their first loss on the road to rival Texas and picked up a big win at home against Kansas State. And as life in the Big 12 conference goes the Aggies don’t get much of a break as the Aggies travel to Lincoln, Nebraska to take on the improved Nebraska Cornhuskers before their Big Monday match-up on ESPN at home against Texas. The Aggies started off last week with a lot of momentum after entering the top 10 before running into a fired up Texas team. The Aggies were thoroughly demolished in virtually every aspect of the game by the Longhorns as the Aggies dropped their first conference game 81-60. The defense was soft and the offense was anemic. It looked like a completely different team than the one that put together 13 straight wins. The Aggies knew that it would be crucial for them to get back to playing their style of basketball, which is playing defense and rebounding. The Aggies did just that as they returned home to take on the #24 ranked Kansas State Wildcats. It wasn’t a pretty game by any means but the Aggies did an excellent job defensively as they held the Wildcats to 40% shooting from the field and 25% from three point range and allowed just 56 points and they also outrebounded the Wildcats 39-30 on their way to a 64-56 victory. Despite the positive signs and tough, physical play that was seen against Kansas State, there was still plenty of reason for concern. The Aggies turned the ball over 17 times compared to only 12 assists. David Loubeau had his worst game of the season shooting 1 for 9 from the field. Luckily the Aggies have an extended break

between games to recover and work on some things before heading to Nebraska. The Cornhuskers are sitting at 14-5 overall and 2-3 in conference play. Nebraska is an interesting team because they don’t have anybody that stands out. They have two players that average double figures but they are averaging 10.4 and 10.2. They have nine players that average 5 or more points per game. They struggle in the sense that they don’t have a go-to player but it can also play in their favor because they have so many guys that can step up and beat you on any given night. This is a very unselfish team that isn’t spectacular at anything but they also don’t have any glaring weaknesses. The Aggies won’t be able to just focus on shutting down one player but will have to guard everyone well. The good news is that the Aggies are a much more athletic and a much more physical team. The key in this game for Aggies will be playing tough defense and forcing the Cornhuskers to make jump shots with a hand in their face. The Cornhuskers aren’t particularly good from three-point range but they have some good size on the inside. It will be crucial not to allow them easy buckets. After traveling to Lincoln the Aggies will come back to Reed Arena for a monster match-up against Texas on ESPN’s Big Monday. Reed will be rocking and the team will be looking for some revenge for the beat down they suffered in Austin. But Texas has been one of the hottest teams in the

12 | MAROON WEEKLY January 27 – February 2 www.maroonweekly.com

country as of late, especially after going on the road and taking down unbeaten Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse. The two biggest keys for the Aggies against the Longhorns will be containing Tristan Thompson on both ends of the court and preventing Jordan Hamilton from going off on the offensive end. Thompson completely dominated the Aggies in Austin and if the Aggies hope to stand a chance, they must do a better job of not leaving him wide open for dunks and also drawing some fouls on him. He has shown a tendency to get in foul trouble this season and if they can get him on the bench, the Longhorns are not the same caliber team. Hamilton is just an interesting player. He doesn’t play a whole lot of defense. And he doesn’t do a whole lot of passing. But he certainly does a lot of shooting. Hamilton has taken 268 shots this season. The next closest player to him on the Longhorn roster

is Gary Johnson with 166. No that’s not a typo. He has taken 102 more shots than the next closest player on the team. Because of his extremely poor shot selection, he can end up hurting his team more than helping at times. But when he starts feeling it he is about as dangerous a scorer as there is in the country. This is a very important week for the Aggie basketball team. The Aggies must win on the road against Nebraska. Against Texas, a win would be huge for the program, especially after the performances Texas has had recently. I think Texas is a much better team than the Aggies at this point but the Aggies are so tough at Reed Arena. I think the Aggies pick up a road win against Nebraska on Saturday 63-59 and I think the Aggies come away with an incredibly hard fought win against the Longhorns on Big Monday, 69-68.


Sports

Women’s Rowdies are the new kid on the block By Kassie Cessna When you have the #5 team in the nation playing in your gym day in and day out you would think it would be standing room only. Well that is exactly what we have at Reed Arena with the Texas A&M Women’s Basketball team. But in recent years finding a seat has been easy. This got the attention of some students. After seeing the great success of the Reed Rowdies for Men’s Basketball, some students joined together to create the Women’s Rowdies to enhance the game day atmosphere for the women and to hopefully increase student awareness and attendance. The main purpose of the Women’s Rowdies is to create awareness for the team, and encourage students to come. That’s the reason Ph.D student Keri Bean joined.

Sports Calendar

11:00 AM Track & Field, Cross Country vs Texas A&M Challenge (Big 12 vs. SEC) at College Station, Tx 12:00 PM Men’s Tennis vs Mississippi State at College Station, Texas

Wednesday, Jan 26 7:00 PM Women’s Basketball vs Oklahoma at Norman, Okla.

Sunday, Jan 30 12:00 PM Women’s Basketball vs Baylor at College Station

Friday, Jan 28 11:00 AM Women’s Equestrian vs SOUTH CAROLINA at BRYAN

1:00 PM vs Tulsa at Durham, N.C.

6:00 PM Track & Field, Cross Country vs Texas A&M Challenge (Big 12 vs. SEC) at College Station, Tx

3:00 PM Men’s Tennis vs Miami or Arizona at College Station, Texas

Saturday, Jan 29 1:00 PM Men’s Basketball vs Nebraska at Lincoln, Neb.

Monday, Jan 31 8:00 PM Men’s Basketball vs TEXAS at COLLEGE STATION

“I joined the Women’s Rowdies to help increase the student attendence at Women’s Basketball games and meet people who were just as excited as me about the team as I was,” Bean said. Women’s Rowdies President Paul Rodgers said that there are many ways to get involved and to support the Women’s basketball team. For starters you can go purchase a Women’s Rowdies t-shirt at Mac Resources on Northgate with cash, for $5 by showing your student I.D. The Women’s Rowdies also announce where they will be before each home game on their Facebook page. Any student who attends the games is a part of the Women’s Rowdies by default. But it is nice to show a united front. The #1 Baylor Bears are headed to College Station on Sunday, Jan. 30. Having the number one ranked team in the country come to our court means that Reed Arena should be sold out. The Women’s Rowdies are doing their best to create a huge home court advantage.

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Who knows if you are being crazy enough maybe you’ll get to Saw ‘Em Off with Coach Blair like Keri Bean did. Women’s Rowdies is in the beginning phase, but it is a great organization on campus to support and encourage our great Aggie Women’s Basketball team. Be sure to checkout their Facebook page or shoot them an email at womensrowdies@gmail.com See you at the next game. Gig ‘Em Ags!

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Rate plans contain a usage level. This is the amount of data you can upload and download during your bill cycle. When the usage level is met, Cricket’s Fair Use Policy will reduce your speed. You can still use the service, but you may only be able to do basic email and web browsing during this time. Please see mycricket.com/fairuse for more details.

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MAROON WEEKLY | 13


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Coverage not available everywhere. We may limit or terminate your service without prior notice if you no longer reside and have a mailing address in a Cricketowned network coverage area or if a majority of your voice and/or data usage is on a partner network during the previous month. Device: Limited time offer; subject to change. Cricket Visa® Prepaid Cards are issued by MetaBank™ pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. This card does not have cash access and can be used at any merchant that accepts Visa debit cards. Card valid through date shown on front of card. Terms, conditions and other restrictions apply. Excludes sales tax. Comparison based on AT&T’s Unlimited Nation Plan plus DataPro smartphone package and Verizon’s Unlimited Nationwide Plan plus smartphone data package. BlackBerry is a registered trademark of Research In Motion Limited and is registered and/or used in the U.S. and countries around the world. Android™ is a trademark of Google, Inc. © 2011 Cricket Communications, Inc.

Coverage not available everywhere. We may limit or terminate your service without prior notice if you no longer reside and have a mailing address in a Cricketowned network coverage area or if a majority of your voice and/or data usage is on a partner network during the previous month. Device: Limited time offer; subject to change. Cricket Visa® Prepaid Cards are issued by MetaBank™ pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. This card does not have cash access and can be used at any merchant that accepts Visa debit cards. Card valid through date shown on front of card. Terms, conditions and other restrictions apply. Excludes sales tax. Comparison based on AT&T’s Unlimited Nation Plan plus DataPro smartphone package and Verizon’s Unlimited Nationwide Plan plus smartphone data package. BlackBerry is a registered trademark of Research In Motion Limited and is registered and/or used in the U.S. and countries around the world. Android™ is a trademark of Google, Inc. © 2011 Cricket Communications, Inc.

14 | MAROON WEEKLY January 27 – February 2 www.maroonweekly.com


Sports

Catherine Snow knows her roll By Ian Sores The Texas A&M Women’s Basketball program is definitely on a roll. The team just recorded its 11th straight win in a tough road win against Iowa State; bringing its’ season record to 17-1 overall and 5-0 in conference play. As the #5 team in the nation, the Aggies have been building quite a reputation and are chock-full of big names. But even on a team that is receiving so much attention, there are still many stories to be told. One such story is that of Catherine Snow. The senior guard from Temple, Texas has had a much different journey than many of her teammates. Although she lettered in four sports at Troy High School, she was not recruited to play at Texas A&M. So, when she arrived on campus for the first time as a freshman she arrived much like everyone else; as a student. “Although I have always loved sports, I didn’t originally come here as an athlete, I chose Texas A&M because it’s one of the most respected schools in the country” Snow said. Instead she was content to spend her first year in college focusing on her academics and having fun playing intramural sports. It was not until very early in her sophomore year that Catherine saw an ad In the Battalion newspaper announcing open tryouts for the Women’s Basketball team. Even though the odds of walking onto a Division I team (especially one as highly touted as Texas A&M’s) are very low, she decided that her love of sports was worth the effort. “[The tryouts] were kind of intense. They had us go through ball handling drills and shooting drills, but mainly they were interested in what kind of condition we were in,” she said. Fortunately she had kept in great condition working out on her own and competing in intramurals. She also mentions all of the experience she had gained lettering in so many sports while in high school. “I lettered in basketball, volleyball,

softball, track & field & cross country,” then she said with a big laugh “I pretty much played everything except for golf and tennis.” The experience and conditioning must have paid off, because not long after trying outs she received a call asking if she would like to be part of the team. Catherine Snow was the only walk-on player accepted. Being the only walk-on player to join the team was an accomplishment in and of itself, but the intensity did not end there. For one, the practice squad that Catherine was placed on is comprised almost entirely of male athletes, known as the “Guys.” According to Charlee Miller, a staff member on the Women’s Basketball team, “players that are placed on the practice squad are not only expected to compete against some of the best female athletes in the country for playing time, but they are also expected to compete against the guys for practice time.” According to Snow, being on the practice squad is not all that glamorous. “Once on the practice squad, it’s all about the doing dirty work,” she said with a smile, “It’s all about doing what you are needed to do for the team.” That being said, Snow was still a member of the team and therefore expected to suit up for every game and stand ready if the opportunity ever arose. The opportunity finally presented itself during a game against Rice, her junior year, when she finally got the nod to play. “It was exhilarating,” she said. “I didn’t want to go in and mess anything up, so I really worked at protecting the ball and taking care of the little things.” When asked about the circumstances under which she finally got playing time, she begins laughing and answers, “We were probably up by like 50 points!” She then goes on to say “I am by no means first off the bench. In order for me to get in, we have to be up by a large margin.” But even as she says that, it’s clear that she

is happy to be part of the team and very proud of her role. “I’m not necessarily seeking out playing time. I want to make those that are getting playing time, better.” And by embracing her role on the practice squad, she has the opportunity to help out the most. “I am good at putting my team mates in game like situations that they are going to face. This way, when it does come to that during a game they will be ready and prepared,” Snow said. When it comes time to help the team prepare, she can always be depended on to utilize her incredible speed and her determination. When asked how she sees herself as a player, she pauses for a while and then bursts out “I guess I’m kind of like the Energizer Bunny. I keep on going and doing whatever I’m asked.” In fact, she is one of the fastest players on the team and led the team this year in the mile run. That’s saying a lot considering that this is the fifth highest ranked basketball team in the country.

The hard work and determination that Catherine Snow has demonstrated over the past three seasons has earned her the respect of her teammates and coaches alike. Snow graduated this past December with a degree in Kinesiology, but was asked by Coach Blair to finish out the season with the team. As a result, she is enrolled in post baccalaureate non-degree (G6) classes this spring and has earned her first scholarship with the team. Snow isn’t looking too far into the future. She is quick to note that right now she’s focusing on the current season and along with helping the team succeed, she would really like to see more fans fill Reed Arena for the upcoming conference games. Perhaps if the team can continue to keep its winning ways up, we’ll get a chance to see and appreciate Catherine Snow during the next big route.

“She brings a lot of commitment and speed to the team. She may not outshoot everyone, but she’ll definitely outrun them,” Miller said. “She’s truly inspirational. She’s been out there working hard and contributing over the years with hard work as its only reward. Her dedication really shines through when you consider that walk-on players have to try out every year. This year she was the only one to make the team, again.” www.maroonweekly.com January 27 – February 2

MAROON WEEKLY | 15


Diversions Sojourner: Finding your inner peace By Mara Minsberg While I wish I was the type of endlessly open minded person who approaches new experiences without judgment, I often find it difficult to suspend my impulse to act contrarily. I have long aspired to be a person who can throw her full buy-in and support behind unfamiliar practices and jump in with solely positive intentions. In reality, however, when someone offers an unsolicited testimonial on his or her latest life changing endeavor, my initial instinct is to respond with thinly veiled cynicism. In the spirit of the New Year, however, I decide to withhold my usual nay-saying instincts and follow the admirable example of my more open-minded acquaintances. A close friend of mine swears by her daily yoga practice, praising its ability to create a sense of inner balance and enhanced spiritual clarity. Her descriptions sounded like a fitting remedy for quelling my instinctive natural doubt, so I find a drop-in class that fits my schedule on a Thursday evening at Brazos Healing Center at The Med in College Station. My friend’s recommendation suggests the experience could afford me an opportunity to stretch both my body and mind: a fitting prescription for a perpetual sideline skeptic. With a decidedly more open mind than usual, I drag my ever-cooperative fiancé along for Kundalini yoga, a class touted by Brazos Healing Center’s website as a great entry point for yoga beginners. After a long and exhausting day work followed by a quick clothes change in the office bathroom, we meet at The Med for our first session. Upon entering the room, I see a small group of men and women sitting cross legged on mats set up evenly spaced around the small studio. Observing the Zenlike decor, completely frosted windows, and calming music, it is hard to believe we’re still inside The Med. The ambience is soothing and inviting, and we assume our positions awaiting the leader’s instructions.

Our instructor has a very calming presence about her, dictating our poses and breathing patterns with simple commands and helpful explanations, the ideal combination for a pair of novices like us. We begin our practice with a krya, a mantra to focus our minds. We concentrate on feeling the vibration of the individual words, and while I’m characteristically doubtful at first, I give it a try and am surprised to find myself feeling increasingly relaxed and focused. Our hour and fifteen minutes of yoga consists of various body-stretching poses with incorporated breathing techniques. I am somewhat surprised to see our instructor working off of her notes, but she explains that yoga is more of a science than people typically assume. She refers to the sequences as “prescribed” and takes time to explain how yoga focuses on stimulating our glands, particularly in our endocrine systems. This is not the approach I was expecting, and I appreciate learning about the theory that formed the basis of our practice. As we move through the various poses, the teacher instructs us to keep our eyes closed and concentrate on achieving proper technique. While at first I feel a bit silly sitting with my eyes closed in a room full of people, I soon realized its benefit. It prevents my selfconsciousness from acting up, forcing me to focus only on what I am doing and allowing me to ignore all other external stimuli. It is harder to feel silly when you know that no one is watching you or judging your movements. I feel myself relax, focusing so completing the designated tasks that I no longer have the mind space to worry about my pride. The sound of the groups’ collective deep or rapid breathing has a profoundly calming effect. For the first time in months, I feel a rare sense of clarity and focus accented by a noticeable lack of mental clutter. Generally my mind is swimming with a persistent hum of mundane daily thoughts, but during yoga

16 | MAROON WEEKLY January 27 – February 2 www.maroonweekly.com

I am surprised to observe an unusual quiet in my head. Following our session, I take some time to reflect on the experience. The class has me thinking about how rarely we take the opportunity to truly clear our minds; instead, we allow the buzz of inner noise and our mental manifestations of stress overtake us. The noise is underwhelming, often so omnipresent we don’t even notice the buzz until we take a meditative effort to flip our personal off switch. As promised by my yogi friend, yoga provided an outlet for clearing my mind and resetting all of the negativity

I had acquired and of which I had borne the burden all week long. While my natural instincts may veer toward skepticism, yoga provided the necessary clarity to overcome this usual judgment and just focus on creating a positive personal experience, both physically and mentally. Brazos Healing Center is located at the Medical Center in College Station at 1602 Rock Prairie Road Suite 1000 in College Station. For more information on sessions, services, workshops, and classes, visit their website at www.brazoshealingcenter.com or call (979) 402-3595.

Graduate School for dummies By Sherrill Mogonye As a junior or senior, you are on the cusp of the next phase in your life. You are contemplating the options for your future, and these decisions will be critical. Option number one: graduate school. If you want to pursue advanced coursework in a specific subject or focus on specialized training such as law, medicine, or social work then graduate school may be a good choice for you. In today’s economy there are also many careers in high demand and having an advanced degree will increase the likelihood of obtaining a job. If you are sitting on the fence about graduate school, use a calculator to weigh your pros and cons. Most people discover that the cost of tuition and loss of income being made are worth the increased future earnings. There are several steps to getting in, and a major prerequisite for graduate school is the entrance exam. The GRE is a common

entrance exam, and is similar to the SAT. Many suggest taking the exam upon graduation from undergraduate school even if you are unsure about continuing your education at that time. The test scores will be accepted for up to five years, and it would be better to do while test-taking habits are fresh in your mind. Other common exams that may be necessary for admission are the GMAT, MCAT, and LSAT. Contact the college that you are interested in to ask questions and express your intentions for applying while inquiring about which exam would be necessary for your graduate studies. There are many books, on-line resources, and prep courses to get ready for each test. It is recommended that the exam should be taken more than once! Submit your highest score as it will be important for your admission to the school and for potential scholarships. When applying for graduate school, obtain letters of recommendation and (continued on page 17)


Diversions Photo courtesy of Valerie Clark

Cheap and easy Glazed Chicken and Sweet Yams By Autumn Dawson This week’s delicious meal for the non-gourmet chefs, on the average broke college student’s budget: Glazed Chicken and Sweet Yams If you’re tired of the same old salt and pepper routine, give this recipe a shot. It’s a simple, inexpensive way to create a delicious, refreshing spin on an old favorite. Serving Size: 4-5 girls, or 2-3 guys Preparation Method: Stove or Microwave; Oven Preparation Time: 15 minutes Total Cook Time: 30-35 minutes Difficulty Level: My husband, who I’m not entirely certain knows how to turn the oven on… Ingredients: • 4 bone-in chicken breast halves (about 2 ½ pounds), skinned • 4 Tablespoons butter • 1 teaspoon paprika • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon • ½ teaspoon ground cumin • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar • 1 large can yams in syrup (drained), or 2-3 fresh yams *cinnamon and brown sugar for yams

Graduate School for dummies (continued) official college transcripts. Submit your GRE or other test scores along with an essay, if required. Be sure to complete and submit all necessary documentation before the deadlines. After you have sent everything, call your prospective college to be sure they have received each of the documents. Paying for school may seem like a fearful feat; however it doesn’t have to be. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as possible. This will determine how much financial aid is available to you. Pell grants, federal loans, and many other funds are offered, making it extremely beneficial. If possible, it is wise to pay as much of the tuition costs without having to borrow from a lender. Part-time work is manageable during graduate school, but a full-time job is not recommended. If you need some income, try to find a job with a flexible schedule,

such as tutoring undergraduates in your field of study. Workstudy programs may also be available in your college. Workstudy is partially funded by the federal government and does not have to be repaid. Check with your university’s financial aid office for positions, deadlines, and procedures. If you have been offered a full-time job or are searching for one, find out if the business offers tuition reimbursement. Many companies will pay for a portion of graduate school based on terms of an agreement. There are so many choices at this point in your life, but I encourage you not to dismiss the idea of graduate school. It may be harder than undergraduate school, but it will be more rewarding.

Directions: 1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray. 2. If you are using fresh sweet potatoes, slice them in to thin slices (the thinner the slice, the faster they will cook), place sliced pieces in a microwavable bowl and set to the side. If you are using the can variety, don’t worry about them yet. 3. In a medium sized bowl, combine the paprika, cinnamon, and cumin (I usually sprinkle in pepper and salt, but if you don’t have any, it’s not a big deal) Rub the mixture over the chicken breasts, then place on the baking sheet. Position the baking sheet in the upper one-third of the oven and bake 15 minutes. 4. If you’re using fresh yams, put them in the microwave. (I usually stir in 2-3 tablespoons worth of butter, but it isn’t absolutely necessary)Turn the microwave on bake for 5 minutes. At the end of that time, check the consistency. If they aren’t completely tender, put back in microwave until cooked through. 5. While the chicken and yams are cooking, combine the brown sugar and butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir frequently until butter melts and the mixture is well combined. 6. After the chicken has baked for 15 minutes, brush over with brown sugar glaze and bake 5 minutes longer. Then, one last time, brush the chicken again and bake until cooked through (usually another 5-7 minutes). 7. If you decided to use the can variety of yams, now would be the time to put them in a medium-sized pot on the stove. Heat until they reach desired temperature, stir occasionally. Once the canned yams are the appropriate temperature—or the fresh yams are fully cooked (a.k.a. you can stir them as easily as hot oatmeal)—sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar to taste. 8. Remove the chicken from oven, let cool for several minutes, then serve and enjoy! www.maroonweekly.com January 27 – February 2

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