FAREWELL, CARELL! ‘The Office’ retires Michael Scott, saying goodbye to the the NBC show that made him a star
Wednesday n April 27, 2011
PUTTING UP A FIGHT: Mixed martial artist Jared Dopp works hard to overcome challenges, succeed on and off the mat
your university n your voice
Speaker offers autism advice Chris Collins Managing Editor
“I can easily figure out, for example, that Oct. 15, 1951, was a Friday,” he said. But that’s not the most interTaylor Crowe, a Missouri native, has a couple unique talents. esting thing about Crowe – the For one, he travels all over the 28-year-old California Institute country, teaching children to of the Arts graduate is autistic. He shared his story of overdraw and paint. He also has an impeccable knack for memoriz- coming the behavioral disorder ing dates and people’s birthdays. and finding success in the face For example, he recalled, Dis- of it with audience members at ney’s Cinderella was released Feb. Akin Auditorium April 16. He 15, 1950. It was a Wednesday. was the keynote speaker for the Taylor Swift was born Dec. 13, region’s fourth annual Autism 1989, which was also a Wednes- Conference of Texoma at MSU. Crowe is a high-functioning day. Garth Brooks was born March 5, 1962. That was a Mon- autistic person. This month he spoke at the Texas Educational day. “Ever since I learned about Diagnosticians Conference in calendars and dates as a child, I East Texas. In March, he taught was really fascinated by them,” an art workshop for Eskimo children in Alaska. He was even Crowe said. As a kid, he taught himself hired by the state of Alaska to how to calculate which days in speak at six schools to discuss the 1980s were Sundays by care- how he overcame autism to lead fully studying illustrations in a rewarding life. Garfield cartoons. See CROWE on page 4
fashion statement Adam Henson is an individual – he sports a kilt and practices paganism. (Photo by Hannah Hofmann)
Kilt-clad junior treasures his unqiue fashion choice Trevor Hunter For the Wichitan Imagine walking into the men’s restroom and spotting a tall figure with long, golden locks and a skirt. What the – ? No, somebody didn’t get the restrooms mixed up. The skirted figure is actually a man and the skirt is actually a kilt. Wearing it is Adam Henson, 21, an MSU junior. It’s become his trademark at-
tire on campus for nearly two years. Henson began wearing a kilt in March 2009, after he journeyed to the Texas Irish Festival in Dallas. There he discovered a Utilikilts vendor at the festival. He found that a kilt was vastly more comfortable than pants because it does not restrict his movement. He ordered his first kilt in April. Since then, he has acquired four more. Some people may think wearing a kilt would cause Henson to be ridiculed, but
this is a misconception. “Mostly people are either really curious or they give me a high-five going down the street,” he said “ I guess overall, people appreciate the individuation.” There are also other reasons that Henson wears a kilt. A traditional kilt does not have pockets. Instead, items are carried in a pouch called a sporran. In a Utilikilt, there can
See KILT on page 4
MSU grants Make-a-Wish dream Chris Collins Managing Editor
Bethany Tarwater felt like a modern-day princess Sunday, April 17. The nine-year-old girl, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2009 and leukemia in 2010, was surprised that afternoon when a white Hummer limousine pulled up to the curb at her Wichita Falls home. It would be a busy day for Bethany – she needed to get her hair and nails done and pick out a dress to wear before she could attend a party at MSU. The send-off party, which was held at the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at MSU that afternoon, was all about her. The party, hosted in partnership with the Make-a-Wish Foundation was only part one of Bethany’s present. Part two will be an all-expense paid vacation for Bethany and her family to Disney World. “I was blown away,” said Bethany’s mother Tonia. “This is so much more than I was expecting. More than 150 people, including community members and MSU students showed up to the museum to send Bethany off.
The event was open to anyone who wanted to attend. MSU Cheerleaders worked out a cheer routine for Bethany and Omega Delta Phi choreographed a special dance routine for the event. Clowns, face-painting, music and friendship bracelets also helped make the party a hit. Chi Omega played a pivotal role in setting up the party, said sorority adviser Joellen Tritton. Chi Omega’s national philanthropy organization is the Make-a-Wish Foundation, which is a grant-wishing organization for sick children. To apply for the program, a physician must deem that a child is stricken with a life-threatening illness. Bethany’s parents said doctors have told them that Bethany currently has a 90 percent chance of defeating the cancer completely. She is currently in remission. Her mother said that although Bethany has suffered a lot in the past couple years, she tries to lead as normal a life as possible. “She’s still a real normal nine year old,” Tonia said. “Thank God the brain surgery hasn’t affected
See WISH on page 3
(Above) Junior Blaire White walks with Bethany Tarwater at her Make-A-Wish party. (Right) Junior Courtney Biard entertained Bethany as a modern-day Cinderella. (Photos by Hannah Hofmann)
Job seekers hunt for summer work Brittney Cottingham Features Editor
Last Wednesday, 145 students met with 26 local businesses to discuss their possible employment at the Summer Employment Fair presented by the Career Management Center. The current economic climate has caused unemployment and raised prices, which leaves some students and businesses worried about the future. “It is so hard to find a job,” senior Debra Barnett said. “Graduation scares me when I have yet to find a full time job and I believe the economy has a lot to do with it.” WDS Global center opened in May 2010 and Brenda Gibson, from their Human Resources department, said they have been a source of jobs in the Wichita Falls community and continue to provide those jobs as they grow. “The benefit we receive from
WDS Global look to hire students at Summer Employment Fair (Photo by Kassie Bruton)
students is the schedule,” Gibson said. “Most students need afternoon or evening jobs, which are the peak house for call centers. Graduates that have a great educational resume but lack a working resume can come to WDS to fill that gap and gain valuable experience.” Lowe’s attended the event to increase applicant pool. According to Betty Yoder,
See JOB FAIR on page 3
It’s a nerd’s world
“Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.” -Bill Gates While Bill Gates’ quote is used by nerds to feel smug about themselves in the face of being constantly mocked by everyone else, it still holds true. It’s because they work hard on what they love, and they really care about it. Plus they’re really smart. They also have higher level of interest about a particular topic. Nerds are made fun of all the time – we all know it. It happens regularly, whether it’s on campus or in whatever sitcom happens to be popular. Even The Big Bang Theory, a show about nerds, is based on making fun of them. It makes sense that nerds would be made fun of in high school. But why does this continue through the
rest of adulthood and even college? College is designed for smart people to learn even more so that they’re better equipped to go work in the ‘real world.’ Or at least it should be. The truth, though, is that many students cheat their way through classes or just take the easy route. To be fair, some of these slackers may be nerds as well. Just because a person has the capacity to excel in school doesn’t mean he or she will. But some people still scoff at smart people. Anyone who denies that is either oblivious or is in denial. We all know that one guy in class who incessantly asks questions and inserts commentary into lectures. Generally, this ins’t a person who asks questions because he or she doens’t understand the material. It’s just somebody who wants a little extra attention from the rest
April 27, 2011
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of the class. Don’t worry – they get it. In spades. We all laugh at that guy. Well, most of us do. But some of us realize that people who are super-invested in classroom discussion aren’t all just attentionhungry pests. They’re just really, really interested in school. We sigh and roll our eyes when we’re kept in class an extra three minutes when the professor answers a last second question. Graduation is in two weeks for both the people we consider nerds and the people we don’t. Let’s be nice to them leading up to that. They’ve earned it. Besides, we’re probably gonna end up working for them some day.
nEditor in Chief: Brittany Norman nManaging Editor: Chris Collins n FEATURES/ A&E Editor: Brittney Cottingham nOp-Ed Editor: Cameron Shaffer nSports Editor: Andre Gonzales nPhoto Editor: Hannah Hofmann nAdvertising manager: Rachel Bingham nCopy editors: Kaja Salsman nadviser: Randy Pruitt nReporters: Orlando Flores nPhotographers: Kassie Bruton, Damian Atamenwan
Copyright © 2011. The Wichitan is a member of the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. The Wichitan reserves the right to edit any material submitted for publication. Opinions expressed in The Wichitan do not necessarily reflect those of the students, staff, faculty, administration or Board of Regents of Midwestern State University. The Wichitan welcomes letters of opinion from students, faculty and staff submitted by the Friday before intended publication. Letters should be brief (350 words or less) and without abusive language or personal attacks. Letters must be typed and signed by the writer and include a telephone number and address for verification purposes. The editor retains the right to edit letters.
Get outside your comfort zone Befriend an international student
Cameron Shaffer Opinion Editor
In Christopher Nolan’s 2010 masterpiece, Inception, there is a character named Saito who asks the protagonist Dom Cobb why he would not accepts a business offer. He says, “Don’t you want to take a leap of faith? Or become an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone?” Later in the movie Saito finds himself trapped in a world where he can create anything he wants, but cannot escape. Fueled by his own imagination, he constructs entire cities and societies, and even people that do his bidding. Saito builds a world as he sees it, but it lacks the reality and the depth of the real world. Even the imagined persons in Saito’s universes are unfulfilling. Saito finds himself an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone surrounded by nothing but his imagination and the limits it possesses. While there is a lot of thought-provoking material in those few scenes alone, one of the themes is that ideas and concepts are no replacement for real people. You can visualize them all you want, but they are nothing more than what you can think up, limited by the scope of your experiences. I am an International Studies major, a degree that is a hodgepodge of political science, sociology, and history. I have studied, with varying degrees of success, a handful of different countries and regions around
the world and am decently well traveled, having visited three continents. And I graduate in 17 days, so I like to think I am fairly well educated on pockets of global culture. This past spring break I even found myself in Vancouver, Canada, which is arguably the most ethnically and culturally diverse city on Earth. That said, all of my friends are all from the U.S. Textbooks are no substitute for the people from them. Even visiting those countries and seeing how people live there is nothing more than a front row seat in the theater. It doesn’t make you an actor in the play. This has been driven home to me over the past month or so. Friends that were not close to me invited me into their homes to have food with them, to go to social functions with them, and to take part in events that they put on. And these friends were from different parts of the world, such as Cameroon, Grenada, Haiti, Japan, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. It became increasingly clear to me how much I had thought of people, even students here at MSU, as data points in a textbook rather than individuals. An important presidential election recently took place in Nigeria and regional elections are still on going. The country is divided between a Muslim north and a Christian south and the election tended to go along religious lines. When the Christian presidential candidate was declared the winner, riots broke out in the north, leaving hundreds dead. In America, we are used to hearing stories like this coming from Africa, with a perception of violence and bloodshed occurring regularly. Even with friends from there, it was easy for me just to think of the events as a distant political struggle. One of my Nigerian friends, a student I have known my entire collegiate career, had a birthday last week during the post-elec-
tion riots. His family was living in what was considered a “red zone” in the epicenter of the violence. They called to wish him a happy birthday while hunkered down for protection, ensuring that their lives would be not be taken. Things just got real. Nigeria was no longer just a distant land where people killed each other as a result of democracy, but the besieged home of a friend. I wonder what my friends from Sri Lanka were thinking when a 36-year-old civil war in their country ended in spring 2009. Or how my friends from Haiti, Japan, and New Zealand were handling the earthquakes in their country where their families still live. Last week, the International Monetary Fund revealed that China’s economy will surpass America’s in 2016, signaling an end to the 125 years of the Age of America. I am left wondering if people will make the same mistakes I did for the past several years when the United States is no longer considered number one. I am left wondering how I, as an International Studies major, went to Midwestern for years without making deep friendships with more international students. I was probably too comfortable with the familiarity of my own culture instead of getting to know people from different walks of life. It is worth getting over the initial feeling of discomfort. People are just that - people. People with lives, insights and experiences. Americans, (including students at Midwestern), should make a greater effort to befriend international students. It’s will be worth it. Usually I find myself railing against some element of society that I see that needs fixing. It stings when I am part of that element.
Adoption trends signal shift in American life Cameron Shaffer Opinion Editor Adoption has become a bit of a vogue topic recently, even though international adoptions to the United States have started dropping off, from 24,000 in 2004, to 12,000 in 2010. Nevertheless, American Christian evangelicalism has begun fueling a resurgence of interest in international adoption. International adoption grabbed the spotlight in America twice in the past year. The first was in Haiti right after the earthquake in January 2010. A group of ten Baptist missionaries from Idaho attempted to move 33 Haitian children across the Haitian-Dominican Republic border to an orphanage. The paperwork the Baptists were using was incomplete and it turned out that many of the children still had parents who did not entirely understand that their kids were going to be permanently gone. In April of 2009, a Tennessee family who had adopted a Russian boy decided that they could not deal with the kid and sent him back to Russia. The seven year old was placed on a plane to Moscow with just a note as an explanation. Russia threatened to halt all adoptions to the United States as a result.
The United Nation’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF) spearheaded a movement in the mid-90s to regulate international adoptions more tightly, which is the main reason that international adoptions to the United States have dropped off over the past decade. If current trends hold, 2012 will see about 7,000 international adoptions. Those trends are likely to reverse in the next few years, since Christian evangelical heavyweights have started pushing the importance of adoption as an expression of social justice. Rick Warren, who wrote one of the best-selling books of all time, The Purpose Driven Life, has pushed heavily for international adoption, pledging 500 adoptions from members of his congregation over the next three years. Warren argues that adoption is an expression of social justice. The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), the largest Protestant religious group in the United States, issued a call to its 16 million members to get more involved in adoption in 2009, with approximately 1,500 congregations taking part in adoption conventions this past year. Bethany Christian Services, an adoption agency, has said that adoption placements had increased 13% since the SBC’s
call. Evangelical Christians view adoption as an analogy or metaphor to being adopted into God’s family and this view has energized the momentum to adopt. Evangelicals are starting to see adoption as part of their Christian duty and are starting to take the cause up. Why should students at Midwestern care about the trends concerning international adoption? The most recent census data has shown that the United States is growing both more religious and more secular at the same time. That may not make sense at first, but what it means is that the people who would normally just go to a church, synagogue, or mosque just because it seems like the thing to do are dropping. People who are just Christians on Sunday are becoming more uncommon. Our culture is becoming increasingly polarized between secular Americans and deeply religious Americans. The entire way our country views the world is drastically shifting. The Christian view on adoption is one of the first expressions of a more radical, pure Christianity in America. In essence, it is a foreshadowing of how an active, radical (don’t read that to mean violent) religious life will look in America in the coming years.
April 27, 2011
The Wichitan n 3
WISH.........................................................................................................................................continued from page 1
MSU Cheerleaders and Chi Omega surround Bethany Tarwater, a nine-year-old girl, who was diagnosed with a brian tumor and leukemia. (Photo by Hannah Hofmann)
her and she’s still able to talk, function and do her schoolwork.” In the last 10 years, Chi Omega has raised $93,000 for Make-a-Wish. All of the expenses for the party came outof-pocket for Chi Omega or were donated. The TKEs donated their snow cone machine for the event and the Museum of Art donated the space for the party. Danielle Hogan, an MSU cheerleader and sophomore in Chi Omega, organized the event. “Make-a-Wish is a great organization,” Hogan said. “That’s why I like being a Chi Omega. Helping them sets us apart.” She said she was especially impressed with by how many people came to support Bethany. “Being Greek is so cool – it’s awesome that everyone came out to help,” she said. “It’s so rewarding.” “She had this big smile on her face all day and it never came off,” said Alexandra Homer, a freshman in Chi Omega. For Bethany, the trip to Disney World is a step on her journey to recovery. “There’s a lot of stories we haven’t been able to share that we want to share,” Tonia said. “There’s gonna be a lot more people who hear about Bethany and her story.”
job fair..................................................................................................................................continued from page 1 Lowe’s Wichita Falls hution; new ideas, man resources manager, innovation,” Lowes has been affected Moreno said. during the current economic North Texas climate with low unemHome Health ployment and low applicant is currently pool. looking to fill “What is difficult about positions for finding a job is figuring out personal care what exactly they are lookattendant, lighting for,” sophomore Justin house keepBillson said. “The interview ing assistants, process terrifies me.” Nurse’s aides, Robin Moreno, adminisLVN’s, student trator for the North Texas nurses and new Home Health, describes her MSU student fills out job application for the Se- nursing graduideal candidate for an open- renity House at the Summer Employment Fair. ates. ing position to have a health- (Photo by Kassie Bruton) “Private care background and the deduty and home “New graduates and students sire to make the community health care is bring a freshness to any posi- one of the venues to address pabetter, “one patient at a time.”
tient care while keeping costs low,” Moreno said. “Home health is much less expensive ER visits, so home healthcare and private duty services is one of the tools to use to keep overall healthcare expenses down.” Dane Coenen, director of operations for Subway of Wichita Falls, finds college students who are ambitious and self-motivated are the best employees. Students tend to be go-getters, Coenen said. “At Subway we focus a lot value,” Coenen said. “We love for students to work for Subway of Wichita Falls for their entire time at Midwestern.” BOB. FM is one of the many employers who were not just
campus briefs n today: Tsunami Relief Effort: CSC Atrium at noon. All Greek Forum: CSC Shawnee at 6 p.m. n tHURSDAY: Jewish Heritage Month Movie: Avalon: CSC Shawnee at 11:30 a.m. n FRIDAY: Community Health Fair: Wichita Falls Museum of Art at 9 a.m. Student Honors Recognition Banquet: D.L. Ligon Coliseum at 6:30 p.m. n SUNDAY: Priority Deadline for Admission Application Summer I. n tuesday: Didzun Honors Recital: Akin Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
looking for summer employment but more long-term positions. “BOB FM is always recruiting good sales people, plus we have openings in other departments,” co-owner Dan Bella said. “Our company is growing and it is important to be in front of college grads who are serious about their career.” Raw skills are what Bella is looking for in future employees along with someone who is motived by the rewards that can be reaped if he or she works hard. “Some new students have the raw skills and ability to sell advertising, so it is beneficial to us
if we find good new employees with the ability and potential for a rewarding career in radio sales.” Bella said. CMC’s employee relations coordinator, Randi Roanhaus, calls the event a great success especially since this is the first type of fair the center has ever organized. “It is impossible to apply at 26 companies in one day,” Roanhaus said. “So fairs like these make it convenient for students to fill out applications on the spot and meet employers face to face. We make it pretty easy for students to find a job.”
April 27, 2011
crowe.........................................................................................................................................................................................................continued from page 1 In addition to this, Crowe has authored and illustrated a children’s book about dealing with autism. “Autism is a lot of different things. Kids with autism – there’s something in the nursery that’s just different about them,” said Taylor’s father, David, who also spoke at the conference. Many children who are diagnosed with autism may lead a completely normal life until they reach a certain age. Then they just change, like a switch has been flipped in their heads, David said. “By all accounts, Taylor was a normal kid. He loved to be cuddled and held and played with,” David said. But when Taylor was about two-and-a-half years old, his parents noticed a change in his behavior. David said he remembers vividly that one morning
at the breakfast table, Taylor dropped a spoon on the floor and started crying. “‘My mouth won’t say the words,’” the toddler sputtered. “He was profoundly upset,” David said. “We had no idea what was happening.” Within six months of this incident, Taylor’s language and social skills had almost completely deteriorated. “Only when he was upset he could get three or four words together, while he was screaming,” David said. Taylor said his first childhood memory is one of terrible frustration. In his head, he knew what words he wanted to say. He was just unable to say them. In a video shown during the presentation, Taylor’s mother said that her son was crying or screaming about 30 minutes of every hour he was awake.
“Our whole family dynamic changed,” she said. “And it’s been changed ever since.” It was the early 1980s, and autism was poorly understood by the general public. There were few support groups in the nation and the Internet had not been invented yet. “Autism wasn’t even a household word in those days,” David said. “I had read the word, I had heard the word, but I really didn’t know anything other than the conventional wisdom about the disorder. The Crowe family decided they needed to see a physician about Taylor’s sudden personality change. When a doctor in their small Missouri community was baffled by the child’s behavior, he referred them to a specialist in St. Louis. Upon arriving in the city, a psychiatrist at a hospital diag-
nosed Taylor with autism. David said the doctor told them that their son would never have any meaningful social relationships or friends, would never be able to attend public school, have a job, or get married. “Never. Never. Never. Like waves crashing over us,” David said. The doctor said the Crowes should consider institutionalizing the boy, because it was likely he would become violent and hard to control as a teenager. It turned out that the doctor was wrong – Taylor grew into a loving, expressive teenager who just needed some extra attention. One of the things that helped him through his toughest times was his ability to paint and draw. Taylor said one of the most important things for a child with autism is to find a group of
accepting, ‘normal’ friends. You can only learn to act like the rest of the people in society if you’re constantly around them. Too often, he said, children with autism are ostracized from other kids. “We may be smart – sometimes really smart – but that doesn’t mean we know how to interact with other people,” Taylor said. People with autism often feel overwhelmed by their senses of touch, taste, sight and smell, Taylor said. Swing sets and dimmed lights have always helped him, but everyone’s different. Although some parents who have children with autism suspect their kids have hearing problems, they are probably misled, he said. The problem is just that the child isn’t responding. No one should ever talk badly of an autistic person – and
especially in front of him or her. Though it may appear they can’t hear what you’re saying, they can. Taylor also has trouble understanding metaphorical language, such as ‘Keep your eye on the ball’ and ‘Last one there’s a rotten egg.’ He said he wishes people would just always speak literally. Taylor also has problems interpreting body language, tone of voice and facial expressions. “It’s difficult for me when people don’t say what they mean,” he said. Taylor’s parting advice to any autistic audience members was to focus on their strengths and find success in them. It worked for him. “Everyone has something they’re good at, and that’s what you need to concentrate on to be happy in life,” Taylor said.
KILT..............................................................................................................................................................................................................continued from page 1 ets inside the kilt, outside the kilt, or both. Henson also likes being different. Henson uses the kilt as a tie to his heritage. There is strong Scottish heritage on his mother’s side of the family. His mother’s side of the family, the Reid family, was incorporated into the Robertson clan of Scotland. One day, Henson hopes to get a tartan kilt in the pattern of the Robertson clan. Hanging on his wall in his room, there is a large cloth tapestry of a Celtic Cross, a equal armed cross. It symbolizes the four ele-
ments within the Circle of Life. It is designed with Celtic knot work. But wearing a kilt is not the only example of Henson’s uniqueness. He is also a practicing Pagan. “The first thing people think of is ‘Oh, that’s devil worship’,” said Henson. But that is a false concept perpetrated by the media, he explained. Henson discovered that Paganism is based on natural changes and the idea that humans are natural creatures. Henson was raised in the Presbyterian Church. He began his journey to Paganism in mid-
dle school. After researching the religion, he decided it was a good fit for him. “Instead of having to force myself into a religious category, I found that Paganism fit me. Instead of forcing myself to fit a certain puzzle, I found a puzzle that I went in,” said Henson. “My parents were a little weirded out by it at first, for the same reason I was when I first saw it (Paganism).” He discovered an online community of Pagans that helped him discover more about the faith, what it meant, and what it stood for in his life. Henson made new friends. He said, “The ones (friends)
who were not accepting of me in any form or fashion just kinda drifted away because we didn’t have that connection anymore.” In his room is a small library of books on mythology and Paganism. Also within his room, displays of Henson’s pastimes abound. In one corner is a variety of musical instruments. There are drums, flutes, and a violin, as well as several didgeridoos. He began playing the didgeridoo in 6th grade with a piece of PVC pipe. He realized that he enjoyed the instrument and he acquired a real didgeridoo from an import shop in the Grapevine Mills
Mall. His favorite didgeridoo creates a deep base sound, with an ground-shaking, almost primal tone. Next to the didgeridoos is a pile of yoga mats. Practicing yoga helps him connect with himself as a natural being and with nature. He started practicing yoga in fall 2007 for a P.E. credit. Henson discovered that he was quite good at yoga. After encouragement from his instructors, he attained his teacher’s certificate from YogaFit. Henson then received his level two teacher’s certification and now teaches at Breath Yoga Studio. Because of difficulties per-
forming yoga in a kilt, it is one of the few times he wears pants. Henson loves the languages and the arts. He is an English major, with a French minor. His love of the arts and digital media led to him being one of the editors for Voices magazine, he has worked on the 2010 and the 2011 editions. Henson said it is not uncommon for him to receive strange looks walking down the halls of MSU or down the street. “I like to be honest when people ask me what’s under my kilt,” he said smiling. “Usually the answer is boots.”
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April 27, 2011
The Wichitan n 5
Easter moviegoers choose ‘Rio’ over ‘Madea,’ ‘Elephants’ Amy Kaufman MCT
Over Easter weekend at the box office, moviegoers were more interested in “Rio,” an animated
family film, than “Madea’s Big Happy Family.” “Rio,” the 3-D cartoon about tropical birds, which was No. 1 when it debuted last weekend, was the top pick again with $26.8 million in ticket sales, ac-
cording to an estimate from distributor 20th Century Fox. That was only a bit more than the solid $25.8 million collected by Tyler Perry’s new film starring his loud-mouthed grandmother character, Madea. “Water for El-
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ephants,” a romantic drama starring Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon, got off to a betterthan-expected start, grossing $17.5 million. The weekend’s other new wide release, the wildlife documentary “African Cats,” did $6.4 million in ticket sales. Overall, ticket sales this weekend were up roughly 39 percent compared with the same weekend last year. That’s the first time the box office has been up a substantial amount this year. Heading into the weekend, “Rio” had already made just over $50 million at the box office. The film, which features the voices of actors Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway, saw only a 32 percent drop in sales from last weekend. With its domestic total now standing at $81.3 million and the film already over the $200 million mark overseas, the $90 million-budgeted movie will likely end up as a financial success for Fox. Perry’s latest movie — his fourth starring Madea as a protagonist — opened to less than the two most recent films featuring the famous cross-dressing character. “Madea’s Family Reunion” debuted in 2006 to $30
million, while 2009’s “Madea Goes to Jail” launched with $41 million. Both of those films opened in February, but Perry’s films have seen success in April as well: Last Easter weekend, his ensemble drama “Why Did I Get Married Too?” debuted to $29.3 million — his biggest opening for a movie not starring the recognizable character. “Madea’s Big Happy Family” drew in Perry’s core audience — older African-American women. The crowd who saw the movie this weekend was 72 percent female and 81 percent African-American and they loved the movie, giving it an average grade of A, according to market research firm CinemaScore. Strong word-of-mouth will be important for the film, which cost Lionsgate about $25 million to produce, as Perry’s fans typically rush out to see his movies on their opening weekends. “Water for Elephants,” based on Sara Gruen’s best-selling novel about a 1930s traveling circus, had a budget of about $40 million. Most of those who saw the film seemed to be either older women familiar with the book or fans of young “Twilight” heartthrob Pattinson, as the au-
dience was 70 percent female. And those moviegoers enjoyed the picture, giving it an average grade of A-minus. In any event, the movie is off to a far better start than Pattinson’s last nonvampire movie. In March 2010, his Sept. 11 drama “Remember Me” opened only to a modest $8.1 million. The “Water for Elephants” results could mean that he’s being taken more seriously as a dramatic actor — or perhaps just that he should star in more films alongside popular leading ladies with box office clout, like Witherspoon. “Rio’s” international success continued this weekend, as the film crossed the $200 million mark overseas. The movie grossed $44.2 million in 67 foreign markets, pushing its international total to $204.7 million. As in previous weekends, the movie performed best in Brazil — where it is set — only falling 7 percent from last weekend and collecting $6.7 million. 20th Century Fox also opened “Water for Elephants” in 14 foreign markets, where it earned $1.7 million. The only major market the film debuted in was Russia, where it grossed $1 million.
In theaters this week... Fast Five starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. This is the fifth film in The Fast and the Furious series taking place in Rio de Janeiro. This movie is rated PG-13 for sexual content, intense sequences of violence, language and intense sequences of action.
Just in time for prom season, the teen movie Prom hits theaters Friday. With a cast of virtual unknowns this film tells the stories of high school seniors preparing for the “biggest night in their lives - prom.” Directed by Joe Nussbaum (Sydney White), this film is rated PG for mild language and a brief fight.
Emmy winner Glenn Close stars in the animated film, Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil. The sequel to 2006’s Hoodwinked!, follows Red (Hayden Penettiere) and the Wolf as they team up to investigate the disappearance of Hansel and Gretel (Bill Hader and Amy Poeheler). This is rated PG for mild humor and is in 3D.
‘16 and Pregnant,’ ‘Teen Mom’ girls become tabloid stars
gritty documentary style, trailing the girls as they balanced the demands of motherhood while working low-paying jobs, At the newsstand this month, going to school or dealing with the usual slew of tabloid staples their kids’ absent fathers. (“Teen appeared on magazine cov- Mom” selects four “16 and Pregers: Angelina Jolie, at least one nant” cast members to follow Kardashian and the most re- each season.) cent couple to come out of “The Last week, a third season of Bachelor.” “16 and Pregnant” kicked off. But also featured was a new The franchise has been a ratings class of tabloid star: a handful of boon for MTV — the finale of young teenage girls whose big- “Teen Mom 2” attracted 4.7 milgest claim to fame is being on lion viewers last month — and if a reality television show about the current iteration is successgetting pregnant at age 16. ful, it will likely lead to yet an“Teen Moms Addicted to other “Teen Mom” spinoff. Surgery,” read a recent In Touch Somewhere along the way, Weekly headline, which went on these shows became a launchto purport that three of the stars ing pad for the next round of of MTV’s series “16 and Preg- tabloid stars. Once perceived as nant” — who later graduated to near-role models who harbored the show’s spinoff, “Teen Mom” a can-do attitude in the face of — are thinking of getting breast adversity, many of the program’s implants, liposuction and nose stars now have a reputation for jobs. bad behavior, including drug arWhen “16 and Pregnant” rests and domestic violence. first launched in June 2009, the Attempts to contact the stars reality show was billed by the of both “16 and Pregnant” and cable network as an inspirational “Teen Mom” were rebuffed by cautionary tale. It was shot in a MTV, which also declined to Amy Kaufman MCT
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comment for this story. But when interviewed in February 2010 — less than a year after “16 and Pregnant” began — one of the program’s initial cast members, Maci Bookout, said she was already beginning to notice the effect of celebrity. Us Weekly was one of the first magazines to feature Bookout and a few other girls from the MTV series on its cover. Ian Drew, a senior editor at the publication, said the decision to spotlight the young mothers came from a desire to focus on figures outside of Hollywood. But emphasizing the girls’ plucky attitudes quickly changed when Amber Portwood — who appeared on both “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” along with Bookout — was shown on the latter program aggressively hitting the father of her child, Gary Shirley. The physical altercation prompted both the police department and child protective services in her hometown, Anderson, Ind., to investigate her conduct. Last November, she was charged with three counts of domestic violence. Portwood’s saga began popping up in the tabloids and on websites like TMZ. Galo Ramirez, a Los Angeles-based paparazzo for GSI Media, was
dispatched to Indiana last December to snap pictures of Portwood at the courthouse. “It’s cheaper for magazines to pay the paparazzi for pictures of the girls from ‘Teen Mom’ than Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt,” said Pozner. “The magazines have cultivated a market for stories about reality stars, but it’s a market based on a much cheaper set of stars.” And they’re stars who keep feeding the tabloid machine. Already, one of the new cast members from “16 and Pregnant” has popped up on TMZ, where the father of her child claimed she got pregnant as a way to get onto the show. The tabloid website also posted a violent video of “Teen Mom 2” star Evans brawling with another young woman. Yet many of the programs’ fans continue to sympathize with these young women. In October, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy published the findings of a survey it had commissioned, in which 93 percent of youth surveyed at various Boys and Girls Clubs of America said they agreed that they learned teen parenthood was “harder than (they) imagined” after watching an episode of “16 and Pregnant.” That message, says Amy Kramer,
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director of the campaign, is the show’s important takeaway. “I don’t fault these girls for wanting to be on TV. I think what they have done by taking part in this show is extraordinarily generous because they are allowing other people to look at them at their most vulner-
things,” In Touch’s Lee said. “Now they’re thinking, ‘We have our 15 minutes of fame, what do we do next?’” Indeed, at least two of the teen moms are working on books, a few have booking agents, and another has posed scantily clad to become a fashion model.
able and emotional moments,” Kramer said. Meanwhile, “16 and Pregnant” is tasked with a balancing act: Keep the show real and avoid glamorizing teen pregnancy, even as its stars become increasingly notorious. “These were girls who had not had a taste of anything, and now you see them on red carpets, getting modeling gigs and agents — it definitely changes
“I always say to parents, you shouldn’t go running screaming from the room saying, ‘My kid is watching a show about teen pregnancy on MTV!’ This is a show they should watch with their kids,” she said. “Parents who just see the girls on the front of tabloids are drawing the conclusion that the show is giving off a glamorous depiction of teen motherhood. And it’s really not.”
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April 27, 2011
Goodbye, Michael Scott
After seven seasons, a Golden Globe and countless die-hard fans, Steve Carell clears out his “Office”
Michael Scott bids farewell to his employees in this week’s episode of “The Office.” (Photos courtesy)
Orlando Flores, Jr For The Wichitan April 28 will go down as a great, but sad day in television history as Steve Carell will end his seven year run as Michael Scott on NBC’s popular mockumentary sitcom, The Office. The Office is one of the many great, and usually underrated, sitcoms that NBC has hosted within the last few years from laugh-out-loud funny (30 Rock, Parks and Recreation) to deeply introspective (Scrubs, Community). The Office, however, has set itself apart from the rest of the pack with its realistic nature and ability to relate to everyday people, as well as being filled with gut-busting comedic antics. Where shows like Scrubs found success by showcasing life lessons in the grim and unpredictable world of health care, and Com-
munity’s critical acclaim comes from its sarcastic criticism of pop culture and community college life, The Office found success in the least likely of places - everyday, middle class office workers. The depth of each character and the development they’ve gone through over the last seven seasons has remained true to real life. Everyone can think of the “Stanleys” who are just at their job for the paycheck, the uptight “Angelas”, the obnoxious and self-driven “Dwights” and the office darlings like Jim and Pam. Of all these characters the one that has undoubtedly stood out has been Carell’s Michael Scott. While some have seen Michael as a whiny, under-qualified excuse for a boss, those who really watch the show see him as the glue that keeps the entire Scranton branch (at times even all of Dunder Mifflin) in tact. Michael’s unorthodox practice of
both business and management has not only credited him with great success in the show, but also leant to him being one of the most deeply defined and well developed television characters of the last decade. Whether you love him or hate him, you cannot help but feel for Michael. As an audience, he is one of the few characters that by each shows end you feel as if you personally know him. You laugh at, or with, every hilarious and embarrassing situation he puts himself in, yet can’t help to feel his pain as he battles personal demons from the past, present or future. With his quirky, comedic timing, open heart and classic catchphrase (“That’s what she said!”), Michael Scott has truly put a mark in not just television history, but pop culture history as well. I cannot count the number of times I’ve heard the phrase “Did you see what Michael did last
Five Best Michael Scott-isms 5. “Yeah, I’m trying to lure these kids into my booth. But uh, kids are very wary of being lured these days... Thank you, Dateline.” - Season 4, Episode 17 4. [dictating want-ad for Stanley’s replacement] Party Headquar for: Wanted: middle-aged black manYour with sass. Big ters Butt. Domestic and Specialty Beers Bigger heart. I can’t...do...this...” - Season 4, Episode Liquor Wine 6: Branch Wars. Kegs Cigars Lottery
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night?” from numerous friends as if they were physically there as it happened, and I’m sure the same will be said Friday morning. As an ode to one of television’s greats, the following is a list of Michael Scott’s greatest moments that helped define his character. 4. 3.1 ‘Gay Witch Hunt’ As funny as it is awkward, this episode finds Michael in his most naive state not realizing Oscar is gay, then thinking if he kisses him in front of the rest of the office it will make everything okay. As crazy as it may be, you can’t help but admire the length he will go to help fix everything, even though it makes things worse. 3. 3.10/11 ‘A Benihana Christmas’
Michael’s impulsive side is on full display in one of the most hilarious episodes in the show’s seven year run. Not only does he ruin his relationship with Carol by overstepping his boundaries, he quickly tries turning a drunken rebound into a real relationship (which he has to mark with a Sharpie to tell who she is). When it doesn’t work out, he offers a trip to Sandals to an unknown caller, who turns out to be Jan, because he didn’t know who else to call. 2. 2.1 ‘The Dundies’ The episode that really got the ball rolling for the show. Michael’s lame attempts at popular songs rebuffed to fit into Dunder Mifflin context along with crude jokes equal out to be comedy gold. We also see how much he
cares for his employees by wanting to reward them for various attributes, work related or not. The Bushiest (supposed to be busiest) Beaver and the Spicy Curry awards stand at the top of the list. 1.2 ‘Diversity Day’ The one golden egg laid during a lackluster first season, “Diversity Day” gave us a good understanding of Michael Scott’s comedy; it’s brash, inappropriate and at the same time dimwitted and unaware of itself. Classic lines like “Abraham Lincoln once said, ‘If you are a racist, I will attack you with the North.’” proved The Office had staying power and skyrocketed it’s popularity.
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HARD KNOCK LIFE
Senior Jared Dopp displays the mixed martial art move known as the Peruvian Neck Tie. Dopp has practiced mixed martial arts for nearly three years and holds a MMA amateur record of 1-0. (Photo by Tolu Agunbiade)
MMA fighter reflects on past and battles outside the ring
Tolu Agunbiade For The Wichitan
Jared Dopp, 215 pounds, 6’1”, struggled on his knees in the grappling arena, his neck and arm trapped in the painful grip of a triangle choke. His opponent squeezed the carotid artery in Dopp’s neck with his powerful thigh muscles. In seconds, the technique could cut off the circulation of blood to Dopp’s brain and everything would go black. That didn’t happen, the situation was reversed. In seconds he trapped his opponent with the same chokehold that had him in jeopardy. A few more seconds and the match was over. Dopp, 21, a chemistry major, had just placed first in the National American Grappling Association tournament held in Dallas. This was Dopp’s first NAGA tournament but he is not new to
competing. He had an amateur cage fighting record of 1-0 and a professional cage fighting record of 0-1 when he fought Randy Blake, the X-treme Fighting League Heavyweight Kickboxing champion. “My kickboxing match was the toughest,” said Dopp. “We were just brawling, trying to beat each other senseless.” One of Dopp’s great passions in life is Mixed Martial Arts. MMA, commonly known as cage fighting, is a combat sport that incorporates a wide range of techniques from different disciplines such as boxing, Muy Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and wrestling. “I like mixed martial arts because it is a one-on-one sport where you can’t blame anyone for your mistakes,” he said. Dopp feels his advantages are strength, quickness and cardio. “I am stronger than most heavyweights and as quick as a
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The focus is to finish the fight on the ground with the use of jointlocks and chokeholds. It provides an avenue for a smaller, weaker individual to defend against a bigger, stronger opponent using leverage and proper technique. Dopp is a hard worker and is not only accomplished in mixed martial arts, but in other areas of his life as well. He was his high school’s valedictorian in Commerce Okla., two-time runner up in a power lifting competition, and the state champion on a 400m relay team. In his high school football career he was All-District Linebacker every year, District Linebacker of the year, District Co-MVP, First Team AllState Linebacker and a finalist for Outstanding All-Stater. He played football for MSU from his freshman year up until last semester. Besides being quite the athlete, Dopp thrives academically. He currently holds a 3.5 GPA. He is a member of the Juco National Honor Society (Phi Theta Kappa), American Chemical Society, and president of the Fel-
lowship of Christian Athletes. “I think the main force that drives me is my competitive nature,” he said. “I like to be the best at everything and I don’t stop until I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished.” Dopp was born in Tahlequah, Okla., but lived most of his life in Commerce, Okla. “To be honest, I didn’t really like my childhood much,” he said. His mother and father separated when he was about 3. It wasn’t even a shock to him when his father was sentenced to life in prison for distribution of marijuana. His father had served prison sentences multiple times beforehand and the judge insisted on a life term. “I just assumed that was the way life was suppose to go,” said Dopp. “Living with a single parent is all I know. I never had anyone to play catch with or hunt with, but I didn’t really care.” Dopp relied on the advice of his teachers and coaches. He grew up poor and learned to live without a lot of things. He said his relationship with his mother
is strained. She took the frustrations of being a single parent out on him. “Needless to say, I had to grow up young,” he said, “accept the world for what it was, and be optimistic.” Dopp’s optimism and hard work has manifested into the impressive accomplishments he has today. He expects to graduate May 2012. “I plan on pursuing a Ph.D. in chemistry once I graduate from MSU,” he said. “Five years from now I see myself in my last year of graduate school, about to get my Ph.D. and still training MMA.” He would love to pursue MMA to its limits but at the moment school is his top priority. Dopp feels life is all about being happy and enjoying what you do. He believes in God and tries to live a Christian life. “A lot of people talk about being successful, but success is relative to the observer,” he said. “If you’re happy with what you’ve accomplished, how are you anything but successful?”
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middleweight,” he said. “I have good striking, but I would say my clinch and ground work are superior because of my ability to manipulate an opponent once I’m close to them.” Dopp is a second-degree black belt in Goju karate. It took him 10 years to earn his belt because he only had time to go once a week. “I was in high school at the time, and played a lot of sports which didn’t allow much time,” he said. Goju is a traditional karate style that has its roots in Okinawa, Japan. It incorporates straight punches, palm strikes, elbows and kicks that generally focus on the groin area or taking out an opponent’s knee. “I was originally forced to take karate by my mother,” said Dopp. “But I eventually grew to love it because it helped me develop balance and body control.” Dopp also has a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He received his belt under Renato Tavares, a well known, and respected BJJ black belt. BJJ is a martial art that concentrates on grappling.
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April 27, 2011
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n Saturday: april 30 softball: vs. cameron university (dh) 1 p.m.
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The Wichitan n 9
Tennis comes to an end at LSC tournament Andre Gonzalez Sports Editor
The past weekend set off an upset for the MSU tennis teams as their journey toward Lone Star Conference gold came to a halt at the Oklahoma City Tennis Center. First, the third ranked Aggies from Cameron University defeated the second ranked Mustangs in the semifinals with a 5-3 result. MSU defeated the 19th nationally ranked team just over two weeks ago, 6-3. In doubles, the Mustangs only claimed one victory with Luke Joyce and Mario Urban beating Thomas Peixoto and Patrick Eichler, 9-7. Cameron won both the no.1 and 3 spots as Nicholas Clerc and Santiago Romero beat Vjekoslav Stipanic and Bo Zaputovic, 7-1 in the tie break. Then Duje Janic and Jeff Sasser took down MSU’s Chad Meeks and Jarrod Liston with a score of 7-3 in the tie breaker. In the singles rounds, MSU
only took victory in two matches out of the six played. Romero beat Stipanic at no. 1 in three sets, 6-3, 3-6 and 6-2. Urban claimed the no. 2 position with a win against Peixoto, 4-6, 6-1. The no. 3 match between Joyce and Cameron’s Barroetavena was called off after the Aggies claimed victories in all other matches. Clerc beat Zaputovic at no. 4, 6-1, 6-3. Janjic pulled a win for the Aggies at no. 5, beating Tiago Vilarinho, 6-4, 7-6, 7-5. At no. 6, Rory deBoer defeated Patrick Eicher, 6-4, 3-6, then a 6-3 tiebreaker. The Mustangs (14-6) wait until next week to find out if they will be selected for the NCAA Tournament. The Lady Mustangs were dealt with the same fate when they battled against Abilene Christian on Saturday, 5-1. The Lady Hornets ended up winning the entire LSC tournament, taking their 21st women’s tennis championship.
In doubles, Jaclyn Walker and Julia Mongin defeated Rozike van Rensburg and Alex OdellMichels, 8-4 at no. 1. MSU claimed their only point at no. 2 doubles as Leah Roberts and Abbie Lewis defeated Cassie Carver and Lauren White, 8-2. At the no. 3 spot, ACU’s Hannah Kelley and Micah Hermsdorf beat Lindsey Holcomb and Ashley Huse, 8-3. Singles, ACU claimed all matches. Three of the matches were pulled and left unfinished when the Lady Hornets took majority victory. Those matches included Mongin vs. Rensburg, Carver vs .Roberts, and Friend vs. Holcomb. At no. 2, Walker defeated Odell-Michels, 6-3, 6-0. Hermsdorf beat Lewis, 6-1, 6-0, at no. 3, while no. 6 was won BY ACU’s Emily Conrad who defeated Huse, 6-2, 6-0. Now, the Lady Mustangs await to find out if they qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
Senior right-hand Vjekoslav Stipanic. (Photo by Brittany Norman)
Mario Urban • Junior Tennis
Mallory Mooney • Junior Softball
University in singles and in doubles with team mate Luke Joyce on Friday.
on Friday afternoon against East Central.
• Won points for MSU against Cameron
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• Marketing major from Burgau, Germany
• History major from Mesquite, Texas
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