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The student voice of Midwestern State University

The Wichitan page 9 Emotional paths

BFA graduates display their portfolios during senior exhibitions.

page 10 Perfection! Men’s basketball kicks off season with a flawless 7-0 record.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2009

Library keeping it legal Donace Wilkinson For the Wichitan

Theatre department goes beyond tinsel and lights for production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ Emily Arnold For the Wichitan

The MSU theatre department is gearing for its production of “A Christmas Carol” to run Thursday through Sunday. Cast and crew are putting in late nights, countless hours of rehearsal, and polishing British accents. That is what has been consuming most of the cast. Late nights at the theatre and lots of hours studying lines on top of school make for some tired people. MSU freshman Parker Arnold, who plays Marvel, an inventor, and the Ghost of Christmas Future, explained that the play takes the audience through the entire Christmas story people have come to know and love. The main character, Scrooge, played by sophomore Adam Granbury, doesn’t understand Christmas just as he doesn’t understand life. He seeks only the riches of the world and is unable to cherish a moment in itself or respect life. Scrooge clings to harshness and stubbornness while those around him try to convince him to enjoy the day. But when that fails, he’s visited by a series of spirits. The first is the ghost of his dead colleague, Marley (Matt Griffin) See CAROL page 6

Moffett Library permanently bans students who use MSU’s laptops to look up pornographic Web sites and cheat sites. According to Christopher Henderson, electronic access media librarian, Moffett is guided by Texas law. “It’s actually against Texas law to visit porn sites,” Henderson said. “Most people don’t know, but they’re actually using Texas property to break Texas law.” According to circulation department manager Jason BrSee LIBRARY page 5

Classroom drama gets political

Chris Collins Managing Editor

An MSU freshman was blacklisted from a political science class after she gave a controversial presentation last month. Jennifer Craig, 26, did her current events presentation for her American Government class on the outbursts of comedian Michael Richards during a stand-up routine in 2006. During the comedy special, Richards blew up at a group of black audience members who were heckling him. Richards, known best for his character Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld, repeatedly shouted, ‘He’s a nigSee CRAIG page 5

Photo Courtesy MSU Theatre’s production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ is a challenging show for the actors and the techies, who have had to create elaborate sets and effects for the production which opens Thursday at 7:30.

Dropping like flies Cutting courses has consequences Abbie Hunt For the Wichitan

Wreck sends cyclist crashing into kindess of strangers Brady Tyler For the Wichitan

It was midnight, Dec. 7, 2008, when Jeff Waldmuller’s life was forever changed.  The 25-year-old Holliday native was driving home on his Triumph Daytona 375 motorcycle when he entered a construction zone at Kell Boulevard and FM 369. Waldmuller slowed to the posted speed of 30 mph. In front of him an 18-wheeler was plodding along at about 20 mph. As Waldmuller merged

into the left lane to pass the semi, the wheels of his motorcycle suddenly lost traction on loose gravel that covered the road. Waldmuller lost control, sideswiping the guardrail and tumbling off his bike. Had he not been next to the big truck, he would have walked away with maybe a scar on left shin and some nasty bruises. Instead, he looked up to see the truck’s trailer swing over him. The massive wheels crushed his right leg and elbow. At that moment, Waldmuller

thought it might be the end. He survived, though, but not without paying a price. In the process, he would come to discover the kindness and generosity of strangers. Back to that cold, miserable night. Lying in the road, Waldmuller attempted to survey the damage to his body. Pain told him the injuries to his leg and his arm were severe. Fortunately, a friend had been following behind him in a car and was able to call 911 and notify his parents.

A nurse who had just finished a shift at the hospital also pulled over to help. She tried to keep him calm and alert. First Responders arrived about 10 minutes later. Even with all the people there, Waldmuller said he had never felt so alone. “People would come up to me and say help was coming and then walk away,” he said.  At United Regional, doctors went to work trying to find a way to fix the severed tendons in his arm and leg. Most of the surgeries they performed were

experimental, Waldmuller said. And because the pain medication was not working, he had to endure hours of intense suffering.  Waldmuller spent the next six days in the Intensive Care Unit. Once he was moved to the Recovery Room, he began to get to know the people who cared for him. By the time he was released on Dec. 23, he was on a first-name basis with everyone who looked out for him. To his surprise, the See WRECK page 6

The Registrar’s office had processed 682 drop slips for the fall semester as of November 13. The figures from Marilyn Deese, a research analyst in Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment are students who have not withdrawn compeletely for the fall 2009 semester, but are just dropping a class or two. This semester, 84 students have withdrawn from the university (dropped all classes).  Dottie Westbrook with the Registrar’s Office said she did not have access to any information on the percentage of students who dropped courses according to classification, explaining that See DROP page 4


Staff Editorial

Ho-ho-hold your tongue There are three telltale signs that the holidays are approaching: • The scarves and coats break out of the closet • The lawn of the Hardin building is consumed by the Fantasy of Lights • Political correctness rears its ugly head In a recent government survey, 5 out of 5 people are offended by every word ever said by anyone regarding anything that remotely hints at Christianity. Okay, maybe the statistics are a bit off, but you wouldn’t know that by the way people react to “Christ” being in the word “Christmas.” Our people-pleasing ways have gotten the best of us through political correctness. A Christmas tree is now a holiday tree. “Christmas Break” is now “Holiday Break.” The traditional greeting of “Merry Christmas” has been replaced by “Happy Holidays.” Holiday literally means “holy day.” Holy has something to do with Christianity. What’s next? Will the world “holiday” be eliminated too? Political correctness is out of control. While it is important to respect the cultures and religions of every person in this melting pot of culture called the USA, a single culture and religion should not be excluded in the process. Is that not creating isolation, the very thing the whole “political correctness” movement is bent on eliminating? Religious holidays should not be forced on anyone, nor should religion. Nevertheless, these religious holidays should not be suppressed or inhibited. Rather than scold one another for not saying the right holiday title, may we greet one another cheerfully. This is the most wonderful time of the year, after all. Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah. Happy Kwanza. Happy Boxing Day. Merry Christmukkah. Whatever you call it, enjoy it and the long month off school that comes with it.

3410 Taft Blvd. Box 14 • Wichita Falls, Texas 76308 News Desk (940) 397-4704 • Advertising Desk (940) 397-4705 Fax (940) 397-4025 • E-mail WICHITAN@mwsu.edu Web site: http://www.mwsu.edu/~wichitan

Copyright © 2007. The Wichitan is a member of the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. The Wichitan reserves the right to edit any material submitted for publication. Opinions expressed in The Wichitan do not necessarily reflect those of the students, staff, faculty, administration or Board of Regents of Midwestern State University. First copy of the paper is free of charge; additional copies are $1. The Wichitan welcomes letters of opinion from students, faculty and staff submitted by the Friday before intended publication. Letters should be brief and without abusive language or personal attacks. Letters must be typed and signed by the writer and include a telephone number and address for verification purposes. The editor retains the right to edit letters.

Hope for the Holidays the real story of christmas Josh Hoggard Op-Ed Editor

Two thousand and nine years ago, on December 25, time officially began moving forward. BC turned into AD, and Jesus Christ was born. At least, that’s what we’ve been taught. Three wise men came from the East and gave gifts to the Christ-child. To remember this occasion, we give gifts to friends, family, and people we care about. Or, that’s what they taught us in church. But, is that the actual story of Christmas? Are all the traditions we’ve come to accept as religious norms? What if Christmas isn’t really all it’s cracked up to be? History tells us that Christmas traditions we know as ours may not be related to Jesus’ birth at all. While many of us place the birth of Jesus on the exact date of December 25, Year Zero, the actual date of his birth is widely unknown. In fact, oddly enough, historians place the actual birth year of Jesus somewhere between 6 and 4 BC. According to the gospel of Matthew, Jesus was born during the reign of King Herod the Great, who died in 4 BC. Luke, one of Matthew’s three

companion gospels, puts the birth of Jesus sometime before the census taken by the Roman emperor Augustus, while Quirinius was governor of Syria, which was around 6 BC. Jesus was born 4 to 6 years before Christ. Gotta love the irony. Even with no ironclad year of birth, December 25 claims the date. But where did that number come from? Strangely enough, it is believed to have emerged originally from a pagan celebration of the Sun. During the Winter Solstice the Earth’s axis is tilted furthest away from the Sun. This is the shortest day of the year and the Sun is as “low” in the sky as it can possibly be. The Sol Invictus, as it was called by the pagans, was to celebrate the “birthday of the unconquered Sun.” The Solstice now is recognized on December 21 or 22. However, two thousand years ago, it was celebrated on December 25. The Roman Empire, during its Christian reign and its quest for power, picked up this holiday, trading the unconquered Sun to their Unconquered Son of God. Thus, Jesus’ birthday became December 25. The exchange of gifts is often

The Wichitan Editorial Board

Editor-in-Chief Brittany Norman

the most anticipated and coveted Christmas tradition. Biblical stories tell us of three kings who followed a Star of Bethlehem from the East to worship the newborn Christ. These three wise kings brought with them the gifts of gold, incense, and myrrh. Since then, we’ve accredited our tradition to these three kings. However, the feast of Saturnalia actually has the right to these traditions. The seventeenth day of December, the ancient Romans would celebrate the goddess Saturn by playing jokes and exchanging gifts with each other. Christmas is starting to seem more and more pagan and less and less “Christian.” But, as pagan as this holiday’s roots might be, the centerpiece of the holiday cannot be denied, and that is the birth of Jesus Christ. Santa Claus, presents, mistletoe (and getting sneaky with it), candy canes, stocking stuffing, friends and family... All of those things make the holidays bright and worthwhile. However, the real story of Christmas would not be complete without a story of hope. All the “pagan tradition” that Christian’s claim aside, the truth about Christmas is a glimmer of hope was given to a dark and dy-

ing world. Look around. Grown men and women are living in the street. Husbands are abusing their wives. Mothers are neglecting their children, teenagers are falling into lifestyles of drug abuse and promiscuity. This world is broken. This world is hurting. And Jesus came on some random day between four and six years before Christ, and lived a socially and politically radical life to show us that life doesn’t have to be lived in this brokenness. To those who believe in him, Jesus came to give himself as a sacrifice to give us hope. In this season of giving, think about those who are less fortunate, and need some hope. This world is hurting. And just like Jesus did so many thousands of years ago, we can be a glimmer of hope to this still chaotic world. This Christmas, rather than getting wrapped up in the tradition and commercialism, find a new way to spread love. Some people may never experience hope any other way. Be a “Christmas Miracle” to a hurting friend or complete stranger, and watch the story of hope begin to write upon their faces.

Reporters Richard Carter

Managing Editor Chris Collins

Photographers Loren Eggenschwiler

Advertising Manager Jamie Monroe

Op-Ed Editor Josh Hoggard

Copy Editor Lauren Wood Jamie Monroe

Adviser Randy Pruitt

Entertainment Editor Lauren Wood Sports Editor Kaitlin Morrison Photo Editor Julia Raymond


Op-Ed

The Wichitan December 2, 2009

3

Scruples With Saddleback, Pt. 2 Get back here, Ricky baby!

e L D D A S r o t Up! pas

Yep, it’s the book yo

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pos r u p Theiven dr

He sports a tidy goatee.

Chris Collins Managing Editorg

Thank you for echoosing Saddl ity back Commun gChurch, the bi t gest and baddes er nd de of the O.C. U Bible bitch this si ren, Ricky Baby War of ip sh er ad le e th ng in no time. we’ll get you tithi

the d r a e h u o y e Hav

GOOD

news?

ou are: ant you if y

We w • White lass • Middle c hed • Unchurc te • Despera repressed • Sexually

He wears a beeper on his belt. He listens to Switchfoot. He’s actually an alien.

He plays electric guitar soaringly.

He has a giant forehead.

More like fivehead. He wrote the 10 Rick-mandments.

u’ve all been hearing ab out, written by the true savior of humanity: Rick Warren. Our beloved jack-off-of-all-trad es is capable of guiding you to Christ through group th erapy, but don’t worry - no extra charge for the reach-arou nd.

“Win the lost

at any cost.” - Warren Jesus said that,

right?

• “Our ultimate goal is to turn an audience into an army.” • On Catholics: “I know they acce pt the Bible but probably haven’t read it.” • “There are so me types of peop le you will never reach.” • “If you just pl an to attend serv ices, we’d rather save your seat for an unbe liever.” • “I’m not that smart.”

It’s gonna be A Bumpy rid e!


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The Wichitan December 2, 2009

News

DROPS....................................................................................................................................................................................continued from page 1 their office does not track that information. The Registrar’s office also does not keep track of those students who have been dropped from all of their classes by their instructors, but could say that as of Nov. 13th, there had been 90 instructor drops. 

 Most students list “struggling with course work/bad grades” and “conflicts with work” as their reasons for dropping a course.  For total withdrawals, the most common reason is listed as “personal.” Westbrook said that the most common reason that an instructor drops a student is for nonattendance. As for how many M.S.U. students just stop attending, Westbrook said the university has no records of those numbers.  If an instructor has not processed an instructor drop form, the students are just given the appropriate grade at the end of the semester. If the student has not officially dropped the course, then his or her grade would be a “F.”   The State of Texas limits universities to a “6 drop limit” per student. On M.S.U. drop slips, there is a blank requesting reason for the drop, so that the university can determine if the drop will or will not count against the six drop limit. “On the withdrawal slip, there is a place to list the reason, but it is pretty general.  It doesn’t give any specifics,” said

Letter

to the

editor Dear Wichitan, You’re right; if I don’t like it, I shouldn’t read it. So I won’t. For the last 3 years, I’ve been reading the Wichitan as a way to get information about what’s going on around campus, but lately that’s been difficult. It could be because many of the articles are uninformative, verbally abusive, and very one sided. It could be because the spelling and grammar brings down the level of professionalism. But I think it’s both. So thank you Wichitan, you had a good run, but I won’t be seeing you around. -Rachel Cross, Senior

Letter

to the

editor This letter is regarding Chris Collins's "Crisis of Faith" series. It has caused protest and controversy on campus. It has also caused discussion--which is any author's intent. It has also caused discord, because religious beliefs are such dividing lines and our area of the country is particularly divided by those. I do not personally believe in any one religion. Chris's method of writing may not be to the taste of many of our students. They have the free will to NOT read the series, just as Chris has the freedom of speech granted by the 1st Amendment to write as he sees fit. Chris's style in this series is not to my liking. I still read it. I do enjoy good satire and am a fan of Ambrose Bierce, but am not a fan of this series. While I might be disappointed in the style in which Chris chose to communicate this series, because I hoped for something more mature, I will still defend to the death his right to express himself and his ideas. Thank you, Abbie Scott Hunt

Westbrook. Under section 51.907 of the Texas Education Code, “an institution of higher education may not permit a student to drop more than six courses, including any course a transfer student has dropped at another institution of higher education.”  This statute applies to students who enroll in a public institution of higher education as first-time freshmen in fall 2007 or later.  

Any course that a student drops is counted toward

the six-course limit if: “(1) the student was able to drop the course without receiving a grade or incurring an academic penalty; (2) the student’s transcript indicates or will indicate that the student was enrolled in the course; and (3) the student is not dropping the course in order to withdraw from the institution.”  

 Some exemptions for good cause could allow a student to drop a course without having it counted toward this limit, but it is the responsibility of the

student to establish that good cause. Exemptions include, severe illness or debilitating condition preventing completion of course, responsible for caring for a sick, injured or needy person, death of close family member, active duty service in US Armed Forces or National Guard, or that of an immediate family member, change in student’s work schedule beyond control of student, or other good cause as determined by the institution.







Student responses on the university’s “Withdrawing Student” survey show “Personal” (45-68%), “Work Related” (11-23%), “Health Related” (7-16%), and “Academic Difficulty” (2-15%) as the most commonly-listed reasons for withdrawal. Surprisingly, the class levels with the highest percentage of student withdrawals are upper-level class distinctions. For fall of ’07—the most recent statistics given—the senior withdrawal rate was the

highest, coming in at 25.5%. That same semester the rate of freshmen withdrawals was only 12%—less than half than that of seniors. Enrollment standards have recently been increased at the university, something the Assistant Provost had mentioned was going to happen. This was done in an effort to increase retention rates.  Students may read more indepth about these changes in the Public Information for Board of Regents results. 




News

Campus briefs Wednesday

• Toy and Book Drive in the Geosciences and Engineering building until Friday. • Finals Frenzy • Theatre: Adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in the Fain Fine Arts Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Show lasts through Sunday.

Friday

• Gerber’s, Gamers and Ghosts: student-produced documentaries in the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at 3:30 p.m. • Fantasy of Lights on the Hardin lawn at 6 p.m. • Opening reception for senior art exhibition in the Juanita Harvey Art Gallery at 6 p.m. • Christmas Concert in Akin at 7 p.m.

Sunday

• Choir cncert at 7:30 p.m. Location to be announced.

Monday

• Final exams

Tuesday

• SBDC and the Lalani Center: idea W.F. - Finalists Only in Dillard 189. • Toy and Book Drive in the Geosciences and Engineering building • Classic film series: To Sir, With Love in the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at MSU at 7 p.m.

The Wichitan December 2, 2009

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CRAIG........................................................................................................continued from page 1 ger!’ and made a reference to lynching. The instructor, Teaching Assistant Kathryn Wilson, said she was both offended and shocked by the language used in Craig’s presentation. Wilson graduated in 2008 – this is her first semester teaching. She said she didn’t say anything to Craig right away, but went home and mulled the situation over. She decided that Craig’s actions were disrespectful to her and the rest of the class. “While we do have freedom of speech, it’s limited,” Wilson said. “Using racist language is not appropriate unless it’s done academically.” But that’s exactly Craig’s point – she thinks the ‘questionable’ language used was within the confines of the material. “It was controversial,” Craig

said. She said she chose the topic because it was an issue brought up in her Political Science textbook. “She was upset about the presentation, even though I presented it in the most mature manner,” Craig said. Wilson said the next day she told her class that they should be more adult in choosing material for presentations. Craig said she felt like this was her chastisement – a personal call-out in front of her peers. “Racial discrimination has everything to do with politics,” Craig said. She said she approached Wilson after class to discuss the issue, but was told that they shouldn’t discuss it. Wilson, on the other hand, said she told Craig to talk to her after class.

Craig said she again tried to talk to Wilson in her office, but was given the runaround. Wilson said Craig started screaming and cursing at her and she became very upset. She even started to cry. “You just had to be there,” Wilson said. “It made me not want to teach anymore.” Craig denies that she ever yelled at her teacher. She said she was very sick and hoarse at the time, so she couldn’t have raised her voice. Regardless, Craig said she the dean of the department told her she had been dropped from the course. The reason, she said, was because she had disrupted class. She also said she was told that if she returned to class the police would be called. “I guess she was under the impression I would beat her to death after class,” Craig said.

We don’t care how FAR

can TOSS a

We don’t watch sports. But maybe you do. Be our sports editor and make $$$

Call Brittany at 704 - 6670.

“It was all blown out of proportion.” An academic hearing – presided over by administration, faculty and students – was held on Nov. 19 to rule on the incident. “I thought, ‘Oh hell, I just got called into the principal’s office,’” she said. The panel decided in Craig’s favor, she said. They gave her the option of continuing to attend class or doing the work from outside the classroom. She said she opted for the latter. Wilson said Craig won the case because she had gone about booting her in the wrong way. “You have to give someone notice, like reading them their Miranda rights,” she said. Wilson said she was more upset at the wayshe was treated than by the presentation.

you


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The Wichitan December 2, 2009

News

WRECK......................................................................................................continued from page 1

Photo by Julia Raymond Waldmuller plays in the band despite having had his leg amputated after a motorcycle accident.

doctors and the hospital wrote off every penny of his almost $400,000 bill.  He went to North Texas Rehabilitation to start the recovery process ahead of him. Specialists began stretching his damaged leg and arm, trying to get the joints back to normal. They saw to it that Waldmuller focus on regaining his strength and getting his appetite back. He’d lost nearly 25 pounds in the hospital. Again, he got no bill. His rehabilitation cost nothing thanks to sponsorships from North Texas Rehabilitation and funding from his hometown church and friends.  “Everybody in Wichita Falls has been really helpful with getting me the best healthcare, cost free,” he said. Still, Waldmuller was helpless in the months ahead as he continued his physical therapy. He wasn’t able to attend college. He couldn’t eat, use the bathroom, or even shower by himself. He was told it could be almost two years

before he would be able to walk again. Until then, he would remain in a wheelchair.   “I took that as a challenge to prove them wrong. I knew I could do better than that,” he said. Two months later, he was walking with crutches. By May, he no longer needed all the help he once had to rely on.  Waldmuller signed up for summer classes at MSU. He quickly learned that it wasn’t as easy as it was before. He still had wounds that hadn’t healed and he needed surgery on his ankle to make it functional again. But all the surgery in the world would not be able to replace his heel pad, which had been ripped off in the accident. He came to the realization that no matter what, if he kept his foot, he would be much more limited in life.  His leg would have to come off. Waldmuller said the decision was actually pretty easy. “I’m just glad I had a decision. God has bigger things for me,

LIBRARY....................................................................................................continued from page 1 ezina, every time a Midwestern State University computer is turned on, a statement appears on the screen warning faculty and students against using the computers to visit unlawful Web sites. Henderson said there have been cases of students opening up more than six porn sites at a time on the library’s laptops. “There is an intention to promote,” he said. Henderson said before students are allowed to borrow laptops, they must sign a check-out form containing the following cause: “If the hardware of software on this computer is altered or used in any wrongful manner, including visiting ‘cheat sites’ or pornographic Web sites while this laptop is checked out to me, my media privileges will be revoked and I may be turned over to law enforcement if I violate Texas laws.”

Cheat sites refer to Web sites that allow students to use unlawful means, including plagiarism, to complete assignments. According to Henderson, when the laptops are returned, their history has to be cleared in case any viruses have been contracted. If unlawful sites were visited, a ban will be placed on corresponding students’ accounts. Students are not notified of the bans, but are informed by library staff the next time they try to borrow laptops. Most of these unlawful sites have built-in viruses and it takes about a week for technicians to debug the computers, Henderson said. When the laptops are not available, this causes problems for other students who need to borrow them. Moffett library implements fees and fines with reference to other material. According to Brezina, every

two weeks, he e-mails prospective graduates and other students reminding them to pay outstanding fees and fines. Students can access their library accounts online or visit the library circulation desk to find out how much they owe. He said students often use excuses to get out of paying the fees. “One student gave us a professor’s e-mail address so all the reminders went to the professor,” he said. “Another student said ‘I never checked that book out; I never even took a class about that.’” Library staff will check to clear up any mistakes, Brezina said. He said one student was owed some money by another student who would not pay, so he stole the student’s campus identification card, checked out a projector, and incurred a late fee of $3,215. The police found out during their

investigation of the matter. “If items are returned after long periods, even if they had been written off as lost, students would only be required to pay a maximum late fee,” Brezina said. That fee is $10 per book, $10 per tape recorder, $200 per laptop or projector, $2 per day per reserved item and $10 per curriculum materials library textbook. Lost items incur an additional $15 processing fee, plus the cost of the item. According to Brezina, the library is allowed to put holds on the accounts of students who have lost an item or who owe $150 or more. This prevents them from borrowing literature or equipment, registering, accessing their transcripts, and graduating.

especially with this amputation and overcoming all these hard times. I thought people would be scared of me here at MSU. They’re scared about asking about my leg, but it’s all right; I want them to know my story.” Waldmuller had his leg amputated on Sept. 3 and had the stitches removed 20 days later. His main goal is to be running again by the anniversary of his wreck.  Asked if he would ride again, Jeff responded, “Are my parents going to read this?” If he does ride, he plans on only riding on dirt or on the track.  Waldmuller, a music education major, is expected to graduate this

spring. He wants to be a teacher and an inspirational speaker and work with kids and athletes with disabilities. Now, he goes to the hospital every time he hears that a motorcyclist has been in a wreck to talk and comfort him or her. Through this entire experience, Waldmuller has learned of the kindness of strangers. He wants to pass along that kindness whenever he can. “Students with disabilities, my professors, and fellow students have all been a great help and very understanding about my needs,” he said. “They hold doors open and carry my books. I have made so many new friends. It’s easy to stay positive for me. Look at all the people who surround me.”

CAROL..........................continued from page 1 who had the same aspirations and morals, or lack thereof, as Scrooge. He has come to warn his friend of the afterlife he’s headed toward if he continues his ways. He tells him of his one hope of escaping his fate in which he’ll be visited by three ghosts - the Ghost of Christmas Past (Kristi Mills), the Ghost of Christmas Present (Ryan Moore), and the Ghost of Christmas future (Arnold). The play also places emphasis on the Cratchet family, which represents the family of the world. It is their belief that love is what makes life meaningful. This will be Arnold’s first production to perform in as a college student and being under the direction of Laura Jefferson, theatre department chair. “The best thing about it is getting to work with a totally new cast and implementing all the things I’m learning in my acting classes,” he said. Another thing he’s learning in preparation for these parts: new accents and how to walk on stilts. “I get to walk on stilts. I’m so excited!” he said. “I’ve been working on Cockney and British

accents. British verses Cockney is kind of like general American compared to Southern American speech,” he explained. “Cockney would be like the redneck speech of Britain.” Along with all of the rehearsals and practice, actors and set crews are busy building the set, consisting of buildings and bridges and houses and snow made from soap, Styrofoam and even potatoes Potatoes? “I don’t know...that’s what I heard,” Arnold said. Theatre department shop assistant Ben McKinney has some tricks up his sleeve. “We’ll be using three types of snow in the play,” McKinney said. One is actually a snow machine, which basically makes really fine soap suds. The second is a mixture of potato flakes and glitter. The third is ground Styrofoam like he used in the production of Angels in America: Millenium Approaches a few years ago. Tickets can be picked up now at the box office in the Fain Fine Arts Center.


Entertainment

The Wichitan December 2, 2009

7

the twilight saga

new moon

‘Twilight’ fanatic versus critical skeptic Photo Courtesy

Lauren Wood Entertainment Editor

As an avid fan of the “Twilight” Saga, I have read the books twice and have seen “Twilight” a dozen of times. I admit it. However, I did not buy my ticket to the latest addition of the saga films, “New Moon,” months in advance, nor did I stand in line three hours before the showing time. I did, however, tune in to every “New Moon” preview and read up on all the cast members. So when I went to watch the film I had pretty high expectations, and to be honest, I wasn’t that unsatisfied. I already knew the plot since I had read the book, but some scenes were not consistent with the novel. But since the film can only be about two hours long, it made sense why they condensed some scenes and left others out.

Of course there were some cheesy lines and an amusing scene where Jacob takes off his shirt unexpectedly. (Not that I was complaining or anything.) But lines like “I guess the wolf is out of the bag” and “You’re sort of beautiful” rustled up a chuckle from the majority of the audience. The audience gets a wellrounded look into the lives of both vampires and werewolves, and we get to know some of the old characters more in depth, especially Alice and Jacob. “New Moon” also introduces many new characters, including members of the wolf pack and the Volturi, the ruling vampire coven. However, it just dabbles into both groups, not going too much in-depth into their characters. Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) did an admirable job at playing

Photo Courtesy

helpless and hurt, but still struggled with her natural awkwardness. Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) makes the movie well worth it when you see him half naked on the big screen. Let’s just say he can jump into my window any night. For a young actor, he held his own against the more experienced cast. Lautner did a commendable job with his chemistry with Stewart, making their relationship pretty believable. Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) didn’t play a major part in the middle stretch of the film, but did a convincing job of breaking Bella’s heart. (Don’t worry Edward-lovers, he takes his shirt off too.) Overall, the movie was relatively decent. Nothing awardwinning, but pretty satisfying to this devoted fan.

Jamie Monroe Advertsing Manager

“Twilight,” the novel, is the worst thing to happen to American literature since Ann Coulter found a publisher. Honestly, it’s terrible. Virginia Woolf rolls over in her grave every time teenage girls squeal over lines like, “He lay perfectly still in the grass, his shirt open over his sculpted, incandescent chest, his scintillating arms bare.” Thankfully, the movies exclude the worst thing about Stephanie Meyers’ books: the writing. They leave a lot of slightly less-terrible things in, but I can deal with that. If you’ve never seen it, or need a recap, “Twilight” basically consisted of two hours of staring at Robert Pattinson, who made brooding facial expressions while staring at/stalking Kristen Stewart. Then at the end there was a cool vampire smackdown in a room full of mirrors. “New Moon” is pretty much more of the same, except instead of starting at Robert Pattinson, the audience is subjected to a shirtless Taylor Lautner for most of the film. Oh, and there are vampires plus werewolves this time. From a technical standpoint,

“New Moon” isn’t half bad. A bigger budget means production values are better. For instance, the title card has a really nifty font and a cool transition effect. There are a lot of shots of people running in slow motion through the forest. And after Bella gets dumped by her sexy vampire boyfriend, she hallucinates his disembodied head. It looks pretty stupid, but I’m sure it was expensive. From an entertainment standpoint, “New Moon” is better than “Twilight,” but it’s a mixed bag. If you’ve read the books and somehow managed to enjoy them, you’ll probably enjoy this movie; it’s one of the most direct adaptations of a book to film I’ve ever seen. Nearly everything in the film, from dialogue to action sequences, follows the book religiously. When there are changes, they’re subtle, smarter adaptations of the book. If you haven’t read the books, you’ll probably be confused. Watching this movie definitely makes no sense if you’ve never seen the prequel, and even watching the first movie may not be enough to keep sense of things. A lot of “why” questions go unanswered. For instance: Why does no one institution-

alize Bella when she screams into her pillow night after night, even four months after Edward dumps her? Why does Jacob have to rip off his shirt and show his bulging neck muscles at every opportunity? Why is Dakota Fanning in this movie, and why does she look suspiciously like an Olsen twin? Despite the nagging unanswerables, there’s enough decent entertainment value in this movie to merit sitting through a showing. While some of the effects are ridiculously cheesy, especially on a high-definition screen, there are others that are pretty slick. The same goes for the acting and dialogue. Some of it is decidedly awful, but some of it does tug at the heartstrings and tell a story that has poignant moments, if not minutes. Also, it has Jacob Lautner’s abs. This point may have been beaten to death by now, but no critic with two x chromosomes can resist those glimmering pectorals. They don’t sparkle, but they’re pretty magical. So grab your boyfriend and make him sit through this with you. Even if you hate the movie, you’ll enjoy watching him develop a complex.

VS. Photo Courtesy His images of American life during the Great Depression hold a preeminent place in one of history’s best-known and most useful photographic collections. The photo above was entitled “Yarborough Campaign Onlookers” and was taken in Mount Vernon, TX in 1954.

Depth of Depression

Poverty showcased in photo exhibit Abbie Scott Hunt For the Wichitan

The Great Depression. It began in 1929 and lasted nearly a decade. The U.S. Stock Market crashed, leading to massive unemployment. Then came the Dust Bowl, a drought that shriveled up farmland in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico and Colorado. People were destitute, starving. Russell Lee was there to document it with his camera. Lee, who died in Austin in 1986, is one of several photographers who participated in a project commissioned by the Federal Farm Security Administration (FSA)’s Historical Section. His work is on display at the Wichita Falls Museum of Art until Jan. 20. The photography helped illustrate to the nation what President Franklin D. Roosevelt said in his Second Inaugural Address about the plight of most Americans. “To inform the less impoverished two-thirds of the populace of the plight of the less fortunate one-third,” he said. The exhibit of Lee’s work in Wichita Falls showcases images shot during his time

as well as from his travels in Italy and elsewhere in the world during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. A PBS documentary titled “Documenting the Face of America” is a part of the exhibit. It details the efforts of former Columbia University professor Roy Stryker—who organized the F.S.A. team—and his government-employed band of photographers, who traveled across the U.S. in their efforts to capture the true “face” of America. Besides Lee, other F.S.A. photographers included Dorothea Lange, John Vachon, Arthur Rothstein, and Walker Evans. The images captured by Lee and the other photographers are striking, photos that catalogued the severity of poverty of the average American struggling to survive. It was his interest in painting that led Lee to first pick up a camera. He purchased a 35mm. Contax I in hopes that, through studying photographs, he would better understand how to depict the human body in his art. But after he saw the prints from his first roll of film, Lee realized his medium was not painting but photography. After getting that first camera, Lee never stopped shooting. He first photographed people on

the harsh streets of New York and Harlem, capturing their misery on film. He broadened his scope, photographing farm auctions, county fairs, bootleg coal mining and Father Divine and his followers. Then an art friend told him about the F.S.A. photography project. On his own, Lee did a controversial photographic study of Spanish-speaking people in Texas. He shot political pieces for the Texas Observer. The F.S.A. project led to the birth of the “photo-essay,” an unheard of form of communication. Today, photo-essays are a common way to communicate. If the photographer achieves his goal, the essay will elicit an emotional response from the viewer. While intended to be “documents of propaganda,” the F.S.A. photographs are regarded by many as great works of art. Because World War II began in 1941, the project’s goal was never fully realized. The project’s governmental and societal impact was lessened due to the emergence of a greater evil than poverty that threatened the world – Nazi Germany. You can view much of Lee’s work by visiting his Web site at Russellleephoto.com.

Team Edward

Pros: Has a hot six-pack and pretty eyes. Can read minds which comes in handy when you don’t want to talk about why you’re mad at him. Cons: He sparkles in the sun. He broke Bella’s heart and left her unprotected.What a jerk. He a pasty white color with hairy nipples. He wants to suck your blood.

Team Jacob

Pros: Can be a great friend when you need one. Is HOT (figuratively and literally). Can scale a wall to get into your bedroom. Oh yeah... Cons: Is kind of needy and pushy when it comes to wanting to be in a relationship. Smells like a wet dog. Still in high school. Bummer. That whole being a werewolf thing.

‘Nightlight’ sinks teeth into‘Twilight’ Jamie Monroe Advertsing Manager

Just in time for Christmas, The Harvard Lampoon has released “Nightlight”- a parody so brutally honest and scathingly funny, it’s sure to offend a “Twilight” fan on your holiday list. “Nightlight” follows the first-person love story of Belle Goose, a pale, klutzy, entrancingly beautiful teenage girl who moves to live with her dad in Switchblade, Oregon. She soon meets the mysterious Edwart Mullen, who sparkles when he sweats, has no apparent interest in females, and most definitely must be a vampire. This book is funny, but it’s only truly hilarious if you’ve read the “Twilight” books and/ or detest them. The Lampoon’s writers match the first-person style, tone, and persona of Stephanie Meyers’ beloved Bella Swan- then exaggerate every character flaw. The real Bella Swan is beautiful, but only Edward can see that.

Belle Goose knows how gorgeous she is, and knows Edwart’s revulsion when she pops pimples with his pencil, is really true love. Bella Swan is clumsy, but endearingly so. By the fifth page, Belle Goose trips over a toddler, somersaults down an escalator, and careens into a luggage rack- then explains that she gained her clumsiness because her father constantly pushed her down when she was learning how to walk. Edward Cullen is perfect, beautiful, and glittery. Edwart Mullen is into priceelasticity, anti-Sega products, and may or may not really be a vampire, but Belle is dead-set on proving that he is. “Nightlight” is the Harvard Lampoon’s first parody published in forty years. The last literary phenomenon to earn the dubious distinction was J.R.R Tolkien’s “Lord of The Rings” Trilogy, parodied in the Lampoon’s “Bored of the Rings.” “‘I typed in a single word:

Photo Courtesy “Nightlight” is published by Vintage Books and is available online and in major bookstores for $13.95.

Vampre. Google asked, “Did you mean ‘vampire?’’’ I said, ‘yes.’” “‘A red-haired woman sat at the desk in the administration office. ‘What can I do for you?’ she asked, eyeing me through her spectacles, trying to judge me by my looks. As a deeply mysterious person, however, I defy such judgements. She was pale, like me, but in a large, obese way.’”


8 Entertainment WINTER WEARS The Wichitan December 2, 2009

What to wear to stay warm this winter Lauren Wood Entertainment Editor

It’s that time of year, time for shorts and tank tops to be tucked away for hibernation and coats and scarves to be pulled out from a long rest. Winter is here and with chilly weather comes a change in one’s wardrobe, which includes some fashion necessities for this cheerful season. Necessity #1: Snazzy Scarves Don’t leave home without one. There are so many colors and styles that can be matched to your outfit. But I recommend always having a black one handy because it tends to go with just about everything. Old Navy had cute basic colored scarves, as well as patterned ones to compliment your winter attire. This smart essential can be worn by both guys and gals and can always be used as a flirtation accessory.

Necessity #2: Cute Coats As the weather starts to turn chilly, most of us are dusting off our jackets that were shoved in the back of the closet for so long. Military style jackets, along with bomber jackets are coming back into style, but pea coats are always a smart choice. Nothing says sophistication like a nice pea coat. You can usually find them at major department stores in black, tan or gray, but if you’re feeling bold, I recommend a red one to draw someone’s attention. Men, definitely invest in a nice coat, or even a simple North Face jacket. Leather jackets can definitely be attractive too. However, don’t try and show off your masculinity and not wear any jacket at all. How can you offer a girl your jacket if you’re not wearing one to begin with? Necessity #3: Lovable Leggings Leggings are coming back

from the 80’s and are making their way into closets everywhere. They are adorable when paired with a long top and tall boots. They come in a variety of colors, but again, I recommend getting black because it goes with practically everything. But be bold and also purchase a pair of brightly colored tights like purple or blue that can add a little pop to a dull outfit. Those are only a few of the winter essentials, but there are some things that will never go out of style like mittens or gloves, berets and beanie hats, and hoodies. Ok, so hoodies are the most stylish of clothes, but they are by far the most comfortable for that 8 a.m. history class.

Winter Woes

Things you should leave in the closet this chilly season

High School Lettermen Jackets

Photos by Julia Raymond (Above) Cora Kuykendall and Lisa Moore don this season’s fashion picks for the winter season.

Getting to know:

the Ghost of Christmas Present

Lauren Wood Entertainment Editor

‘Tis the season to be caring so out of the goodness of our hearts, we have compiled a few reminders on what should stay indoors this holiday season. First: if you were someone who wore their lettermen jackets religiously in high school, super, but remember: you are now in college. Ditch the jacket and grab yourself a cuter, and not so bold, coat. Second: ladies, the winter season generally means it is going to cold outside. So please put some clothes on and don’t wear the Ugg boots with shorts. It honestly doesn’t make sense to wear so little clothing when it is freezing outside. Just because there is fur on the inside of the boots, doesn’t mean it makes up for the couple of feet of clothing that is missing on your legs. Lastly: Leave the flip-flops in your closet! It is cold outside and it is baffling to see someone wear four layers of t-shirts, a coat and scarf, but don sandals. So there you have it. Follow these simple suggestions, and you’re set for a stylish (and smart) winter season.

Lauren Wood Entertainment Editor

The MSU Theatre Department is putting on a production of an adaptation by Michael Wilson of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” This dark twist on a classic tale promises holiday entertainment for the entire family. The play can be seen at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Amongst the talented cast is freshmen theatre major, Ryan Moore.

Ugg Boots with Shorts

Flip-Flops Photos by Julia Raymond

1. What character do you play? My first role is Bert the Cider Vendor. He is a local business owner who took a loan from Mr. Scrooge to open up his vending station. My other role is The Ghost of Christmas Present. He is one of the apparitions trying to change Scrooge’s life before he is damned for all eternity. 2. Why did you want to be in the play? Well mainly for the experience as an actor but I have always enjoyed the show “A Christmas Carol.” 3. Did you originally audition for the character? Well yes and no. When MSU does we audition we don’t do it for a specific part (as far as I know). We go in and they set us up in groups to read for a part that they think we fit best. We may read for a certain part all night and be assigned a completely different role. So yes I did read for the part that I got but no I didn’t necessarily audition for it. 4. What is it like playing your characters? Both characters are a lot of fun to play.

Photo Courtesy Ryan Moore (right) plays the Ghost of Christms Present and Bert the Cider Vendor (above) in “A Christmas Carol.”

I really enjoyed getting to be Christmas Present. He is sort of a Santa character and he is very big so I had a great time with that. I think what it comes down to is whether or not your having fun on stage and I definitely am. 5. Were you a fan of the play growing up? I was a big fan of “A Christmas Carol” as a child growing up. My mother used to read it to me as a bedtime story. I’ve seen practically all the movies on it, except the one that just came out. 6. What has it been like trying to get into character? Getting into character is a long process that takes hours of work. We’ve started learning that process in classes so it’s rather new to me, but there is a lot of

bookwork involved in creating a really good character. Also I believe that character development never really stops until the last show because there is always some part of the character that can be tweaked to make him or her become more realistic. It can be anything from how he or she would say a certain word or how they would react specifically to a certain situation. 7. What is your favorite part of the play? I loved learning the accents. With my parts in the show I had to learn two of them but it really wasn’t all that much extra work. Listening to the instruction tapes on the way to class or in the car going to lunch was a lot of what I did to get them down.


Arts

The Wichitan December 2, 2009

9

five emotional journey's Senior exhibitions display a wild mix of portfolios

Lauren Wood Entertainment Editor Graduating art majors will display their senior exhibitions at the Juanita Art Gallery at MSU and at the Wichita Falls Museum of Art. The exhibits will feature the

works of six artists including Andrea Detmer, Lauren Miller, Mary Yehle, Cody Mason, Jessica B. Johnson and Johnathon Thompson. The show will run from Dec. 4 until Jan. 11 of next year. The opening reception will be held Friday from 6 to 8 p.m.

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1 3 1 Mary Yehle “Every Thursday afternoon, we would drive to the beauty shop for her weekly appointment. The smell of hairspray and numerous quiet conversations filled the air. Yet, this all changed with the addition of one word - cancer. “We no longer made our weekly trip to the salon. Where her hair formerly existed was just a smooth and shiny bald head. This did, however, begin a search for the perfect wig. Once found, we went back to that tiny shop so as to style it to match her long-gone hairstyle. “Although she is no longer with us, my Grandma will always remain in my memory with a bushel and a peck of love, just like she would sign her cards. “Through photographs, I wish

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to portray another woman fighting that same battle. Instead of finding that perfect wig, AnneMarie decorates her head with a rainbow of colored scarves and hats, most of which are gifts from friends. “To her, this is only a bump in the road.”

Lauren Miller

Andrea Detmer

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“My body of work is a compliation of screen prints and ceramic sculptures that are based on different 80’s cartoon characters. “At first glance these characters are innocent, but at a closer look their harmless nature is questioned. Each character still has the look of its adorable charm and lovingness but now are more self-absorbed and walk on the dark side. “My work is an ironic and twisted way to look back. Cute and cuddly are things of the past.

4 “The subject matter I use is close to my heart; they are the homes of my grandmothers as well as my own. All three are located in North Texas. “All the images are processed to extract information from the pixels, especially in the highlights and shadows. Photos prepared in this manner create more life, more color, more contrast, and more drama. “These places are full of the

memories of my favorite people. Traces of their daily life and the changes they made transformed these houses into homes. “It’s not just a building or a piece of land, it’s who lived there and breathed there and worked there. It’s my life, my parent’s lives, and their parents that are so intricately woven into the woodwork and the roots of each place.”

These new deviants and their lack of values show their selfdestructive attitudes at work.”

Cody Mason “My body of work is a variation of this astrological complex. “On one end of the spectrum I’ve sought out analytical understandings of mathematics through geometric structures built of metal and treated with industrial coatings, whereas in another direction I’ve explored the realm of abstraction through suggestive forms in ceramics and painted them with an array of colors as to heighten an illusionary divide between creative and concrete thinking.”

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Jessica Johnson

“This collection of ceramics consists of sculpted females that bear a resemblance to the Venus of Willendorf, a universal sym-

bol of earth mother. “The figures also symbolize the loving, and nurturing relationship I have with my soon to be first child. “This body of work symbolizes my own experiences that have made me into the woman I am at this time and place. I no longer let anything hold me back. Instead I use them as an advantage in dealing with my past, present, and future. “Like modeling clay, I am the one that molds the outcome of each move I make, weighing each decision carefully, painting the picture of my life.”


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The Wichitan December , 2009

Sports

MSU moves to 2-3 on the season with win over St. Edward’s Kaitlin Morrison Sports Editor Midwestern State’s late charge was not enough Sunday afternoon at D.L. Ligon Coliseum as Northeastern State came away with a 56-51 Lone Star Conference crossover win. The Mustangs, which dropped their third straight to fall to 1-3 on the season, play host to St. Edward’s (Texas) Tuesday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. The River Hawks (6-2) led by as many as 16 points in the second half after Jasmine Webb converted a layup in transition to give NSU 47-41 lead with 5:55 to play. The Mustangs rallied with an 8-2 run capped by a Savannah Carver 3-pointer from the left corner with 14 seconds to go to pull MSU within 54-49. The River Hawks hit 2-of-4 free throws the rest of the way, but it was enough to hold on for the five-point win. Sophomore forward Jazman Patterson and junior guard Breeanna Brown paced the Mustangs with a 11 points each. Patterson added five rebounds

and connected on 5-of-7 shots from the field, while Brown completed a solid all-around game with five rebounds and four assits in 30 minutes of play. Junior transfer forward Nolisha Markham added nine points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals, while Aqueelah Watkins had nine points. Midwestern State shot 38 percent from the field. Webb paced Northeastern State with 16 points, while Jessica White pitched in 10 points, six rebounds and three assists. On Tuesday night Midwestern State picked up a solid win over the 0-5 St. Edward’s (Texas) Hilltoppers 68-42 at D. L. Ligon Coliseum. Sophomores Cierra Thompson and Savannah Carver led the way for the Mustangs with 13 points each. Carver finished with seven rebounds, while Thompson added six. Junior guard Aqueelah Watkins added 12 points and six rebounds. Junior forward Nolisha Markham added nine points, while pulling down five boards.

Sophomore Karissa Lang and senior Breeanna Brown played a key part in the Mustangs win with eight points, while senior Andrea Buben added eight. Former MSU volleyball standout Whitney Maxwell, who is playing her last season on the basketball team, came into the game and gave the Mustangs a spark and hit two free throws. St. Edward’s only led seven times throughout the whole game. At the 13:33 mark of the first half of the game, Brittany Ward hit a layup to give St. Edward’s the lead. This was the last time the Hilltoppers would lead in the ball game. Midwestern State’s biggest lead of the night was 29 points. MSU hit 47.4% of their field goals on the night, while hitting 92.3% of their free throws. Senior guard Kelli Payton paced the Hilltoppers with 11 points, while sophomore Brittany Ward added 10 points and four steals. Sarah Head and Monica James pulled down six boards to lead SEU. The Mustangs limited St. Edward’s to 4-of-25 shooting (16

percent) in the second half to turn a 31-26 halftime advantage into a 29-point bulge after junior guard Breeanna Brown hit a pair of free throws with 3:01 remaining to put the Mustangs up, 6637. Carver, a sophomore guard from Amarillo, matched her career high in points and turned in one of her best all-around games as a collegian. She finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists while also contributing three steals and a pair of blocks. With the win, the Mustangs move to 2-3 on the season, while SEU drops to 0-6. The win halted a three-game losing skid for Midwestern State. Midwestern State returns to D.L.Ligon Coliseum on Thursday when they host the University of Central Oklahoma in a Lone Star Conference Crossover match. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. and will be followed with the men’s game. Both teams don’t play again until Dec. 12 when they travel to Southeastern Oklahoma.

Sophomore forward Cierra Thompson notched 13 points and six rebounds in Tuesday night’s 68-42 win over St. Edward’s at D. L. Ligon Coliseum. (Photo by Patrick Johnston)

Cowboys clobber Oakland on Thanksgiving Day 24-7 David Moore MCT

Felix Jones of the Dallas Cowboys (28) breaks free for a gain against the Oakland Raiders on Thursday, November 26, 2009, in Arlington, Texas. (Ron T. Ennis/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT)

Memorable games and compelling opponents spice the Cowboys’ rich Thanksgiving tradition. This one failed to qualify on both counts. Dallas 24, Oakland 7 didn’t spark the imagination or weave its way into holiday lore. But as you’ve heard time and time again, these Cowboys aren’t about drama and style points. They are about taking care of business. That’s what the Cowboys did on this beautiful fall afternoon at Cowboys Stadium. They jumped on an inferior opponent early to eliminate any thought of an upset. They shook off their offensive lethargy, maintained their defensive equilibrium and enter December with an 8-3 record. “This was a feel-good game for us,� coach Wade Phillips said. “It was a game where we did a lot of things well. “It just gives us that confidence. We played like we did on our winning streak.� The Cowboys control their destiny. The team enters the final five weeks of the regular season as the top team in the NFC East. But that status will be challenged. Forget the team’s December troubles for a moment. The five teams left on the Cowboys schedule have a combined

record of 32-19 for a winning percentage of .627. Three of those games are on the road and two of those are in the division. “Whatever we do from now on, we have to do for ourselves,� Phillips said. “We probably have as tough of a schedule as anybody. “But I think we feel good about it if we can play well.� A crisp offense is essential for the Cowboys to play well. Tony Romo and Co. had that in abundance. The Cowboys amassed 494 yards. A staggering 384 of those came on 10 plays as the team made the Raiders pay for their insistence on man-to-man coverage. The Cowboys became the third team this season to have 10 plays of 20 or more yards in a game. Eight of those plays traveled 25 or more yards. That’s the most in the NFL in three years. Talk about pent-up frustration. The Cowboys totaled only five plays of 20 or more yards in the previous two games. “That was huge for us, especially coming off the last two weeks,� said tight end Jason Witten, who came up with his biggest game of the season (five catches for 107 yards) despite playing with a bruised foot. “To be able to bounce back, it gives us a lot of confidence and momentum going forward.� It began on the Cowboys’ second play from scrimmage when Romo hit Miles Austin with a slant for 49 yards. It continued with a 46-yard touchdown run by Felix Jones early in the sec-

ond quarter. That marked only the third time in 34 possessions that the Cowboys had found the end zone. The dam had burst. Five players took part in the big-play explosion, led by Austin’s seven catches for 145 yards and a touchdown. “He is hard to cover in bump and run,� Phillips said. No kidding. There was more to this win that offensive fireworks. Special teams were strong except for another missed field goal attempt by Nick Folk, his fourth in the last five games. The defense held an opponent to seven points or less for the second time in five days. Outside linebacker Anthony Spencer had his first two sacks. Greg Ellis, the man he replaced who now plays for Oakland, had none. “It feels good,� said Spencer, who also made a tackle on third down early in the fourth quarter to force Oakland to punt from its 11-yard line and led to the Cowboys’ final touchdown. “I’ve been trying to get a lot of pressure all year but have been coming up short.� The Cowboys have come up short in December for longer than they care to remember. But they have put themselves in position to succeed with an 8-3 record and the belief that they are playing as well as they have at any point of the season. Next up is a road game Dec. 6 against a New York Giants team that has already beaten the Cowboys.

$385

900

NJTTJOHDVTUPNFST Number of employers registered on MSU’s www.mustangshire.org job posting website.

"%7&35*4&XJUIUIF8JDIJUBO  

* Free Wi-Fi


Sports

The Wichitan December 2, 2009

11

No. 3 Longhorns escape unranked Texas A&M 49-39 McCoy’s performance makes him a favorite for Heisman

Jimmy Burch MCT

Texas quarterback Colt McCoy headed into Thursday night’s regular-season finale against Texas A&M with a relatively skimpy supply of signature moments from high-profile games this season to sway Heisman Trophy voters. That changed in a huge way at Kyle Field on a night when the third-ranked Longhorns needed every bit of McCoy’s 479 yards of total offense, including 341 yards during a jaw-dropping first half, to keep the Aggies in check 49-39 and keep their dreams of a perfect season intact. Texas (12-0, 8-0 in Big 12) outlasted A&M (6-6, 3-5) because McCoy stepped up when the Longhorns’ defense, for the first time since September, did not. He rushed for a career-high 175 yards and a touchdown. He threw for 304 yards and four touchdowns, without an interception. Yet it barely was enough to win. For that, credit A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson, who finished with 439 yards of total offense and threw more touchdown passes against the Texas defense (four) than any quarterback this season. Johnson and the Aggies matched the Longhorns haymaker-for-haymaker throughout the highest-scoring game in series history. It began with a first half that included seven touchdowns (four by Texas, three by A&M) and 643 yards. And it only got crazier after intermission. Texas did not pull away from the Aggies until Marquise Goodwin’s 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown with 7:10 remaining, after A&M had closed the gap to 42-39. Goodwin’s score made it 4939. It followed a 78-yard touch-

down drive on Texas’ previous possession in which McCoy scrambled for 43 yards and connected on a 47-yard touchdown strike to James Kirkendoll to convert a third-and-13 situation. Those plays came on top of a career-high 65-yard touchdown run and three first-half touchdown passes, two of them to Jordan Shipley, during a 304-yard passing performance. Texas needed every bit of it because A&M shredded a Longhorns defense that entered the game ranked third nationally in total defense (238.7 yards per game) and first in rushing defense (50.1 yards per game). A&M racked up 532 yards, including 190 on the ground, and converted 9-of-16 third-down situations. Texas could not breathe easy until A&M kicker Randy Bullock missed a 23-yard field goal attempt with 3:21 remaining, allowing McCoy and the offense to regain possession with a 10-point lead. The Longhorns used up the remaining time, providing Texas coach Mack Brown with a hard-fought triumph and another step toward the team’s goal of playing in the BCS National Championship Game. “This team, to me - they know who they are. They want to be the best team in the country. And they know they have to prove that,” Brown said. “I think they understand what’s at stake here at the end.” What could be at stake, along with a national title opportunity, is a Heisman Trophy for McCoy. The senior, who is one of three finalists for the 2009 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award, struggled in previous showcase opportunities against Oklahoma and Texas Tech. But not against A&M. During the first half, McCoy sizzled. He rushed six times for

Texas quarterback Colt McCoy threw for 304 yards and four touchdowns. He rushed for a career-high 175 yards and a touchdown in a Thanksgiving win over Texas A&M in College Station. (Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT)

46 yards in the first quarter, then scripted a significant addition to

his Heisman highlight reel with a 65-yard touchdown burst on

the second play of the second quarter. It marked the longest

“We kinda got lulled to sleep after the start of the game,” McCasland said. “They have some good guards who will spread you out. They like to take you one-on-one a lot.” Lewis, who finished with 12 points, joined senior Catrell Curry to give the Lions formidable one-two punch at the guard position. Curry canned five 3-pointers to finish with a game-high 17 points. But that would be the last Langston would threaten as the Mustangs scored the final 14 points of the first half and led 34-26 after Michael Godwin knocked down a trey off of Ebie’s third steal of the game with 1:45 to go until intermission. Ironically, those were the only points Midwestern State scored off of Ebie’s four first-half steals. That would change after halftime. “He (Ebie) struggled in the first half and found another gear in the second,” McCasland said. “He plays so hard and has the will to win.” The Mustangs scored on seven of his eight second-half thefts which netted a total of 15 points and allowed MSU to lead by as many as 22 points in the final stanza. Hagan, a junior transfer from Rice via Blinn College, went 5-for-12 from the field including three 3-pointers to lead Midwestern with 14 points. Godwin, a senior from Rockwall, dropped in 11 points and pulled in five rebounds off of

the bench, while senior forward Rashad Austin narrowly missed his first double-double of the season with nine points and nine rebounds in 23 minutes of play. Senior guard Anthony Moore pitched in eight points and led the Mustangs with 11 rebounds. Saturday night Chris Hagan connected on a season-high four 3-pointers and scored 18 points to lead Midwestern State to an 89-71 win over St. Mary’s (Texas) in the finale of the River City Classic at Bill Greehey Arena. The win improved the Mustangs to 6-0 on the season as MSU is off to its best start since the 1998-99 squad peeled off 11-straight victories. “We’ve got a tough basketball team right now,” Midwestern State coach Grant McCasland said. “We have a lot of juniors and seniors. We go on the road expecting tough conditions and calls. I’m proud of the way we’ve been able to overcome that.” Midwestern, which has won five of its six games away from the comfortable confines of D.L. Ligon Coliseum, returns to the dome for a pair of home contests beginning with Jarvis Christian (Texas) Monday night before taking on defending LSC North Division champion Central Oklahoma on Thursday. The Mustangs have won their last 14 on Stockton Court at D. L. Ligon Coliseum. MSU overcame another slow start as the Rattlers (2-4) led by as many as eight points in the opening half before the Mus-

tangs closed the half on a 10-3 run to go to intermission knotted at 38-38. The Mustangs used the quickness of Hagan and senior point guard Jason Ebie, who finished with seven points, six rebounds and five assists, to get loose on the break and bury St. Mary’s in the second half. “You won’t find two faster guards off of the break,” McCasland said. “We needed to secure rebounds before we took off, though. That was a point of emphasis today and we were off to the races.” The Mustangs owned a 13-2 edge in transition points in the second half and the duo also proved stingy on the offense as well by combining for just a pair of turnovers in 59 minutes of court time. MSU committed just nine turnovers as a team. Midwestern State outscored St. Mary’s 30-12 over the opening 11 minutes of the second half to close out the Rattlers for the second time this month after thumping them 83-72 on Nov. 18 in Wichita Falls. Junior guard Adrian Van Buren gave the Mustangs a lift off of the bench with 14 points, five rebounds and four assists, while junior forward Charlie Logan had 10 points and six rebounds in a reserve role. Senior guard Craig Green added 13 points as the Mustangs set a season high in points production. Redshirt freshman Kevin Kotzur paced St. Mary’s with 20

run of McCoy’s career and the third-longest by a quarterback in school history. McCoy punctuated that by throwing for three first-half touchdowns, without an interception, while racking up 222 yards. He followed in the second half with a huge touchdown strike to Kirkendoll and kept the ball away from the A&M offense down the stretch when the Texas defense proved incapable of stopping Johnson, who completed 26 of 33 passes and rushed for 97 yards. A&M coach Mike Sherman characterized it as Johnson’s coming-out party on the national stage. “He was going head-to-head with a Heisman Trophy candidate, a possible Heisman Trophy winner, and played neck-andneck (with McCoy),” Sherman said. No question. Johnson began building his campaign for the 2010 Heisman with his effort Thursday. McCoy embellished his run for the 2009 Heisman on a night when A&M lived up to all of McCoy’s pregame concerns about them. “They’ve been hot and cold. But when they’re hot, they’re tough to beat,” McCoy said of the Aggies. “But when we’re hot, we’re pretty tough, too.” McCoy proved that, again, Thursday night by getting the Longhorns out of Kyle Field with a 12-0 record. He may not have won the Heisman with Thursday’s effort. But he certainly boosted his candidacy. The Big 12 named McCoy the Player of the Week for his performance on Thanksgiving Day. He was also named the Walter Camp Football Foundation National Offensive Player of the Week.

Men’s basketball scores big at River City Classic

MSUMustangs.com For The Wichitan

Midwestern State men’s basketball team stole one from the Langston (Okla.) Lions in the River City Classic opener Friday afternoon at Bill Greehey Arena. The Mustangs did come from behind to erase an early sevenpoint advantage, but led comfortably throughout the second half to cruise to a 74-56 win to improve to 5-0 on the season. But oh how Midwestern depended on the cat-quick hands of senior guard Jason Ebie, who set a school record with 12 steals and fell two assists shy of the program’s third triple-double. The transfer from Texas Christian University pitched in 10 points and added eight helpers as the Mustangs flustered Langston into 35 turnovers which led to

a 39-10 advantage in points of miscues. The tenacious defensive effort allowed Midwestern State to overcome a 34.1-percent shooting night. “Pretty would not be an adjective to describe this game on the offensive end,” MSU coach Grant McCasland said. “We had too many selfish plays and too many guys trying to do it on their own. I am proud they finished strong and found a way to win.” Langston ran out to a 9-2 lead before the Mustangs peeled of a 10-2 run to take their first lead of the game on a 3-pointer by Chris Hagan to up 12-11 with 13:45 remaining in the first half. The Lions regained the lead and pushed it back out to 26-20 when Alvin Lewis buried one of his two treys for the game with 8:06.

points and eight rebounds. Midwestern State made its debut at No. 23 in the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ Division II poll released Tuesday afternoon. Under first-year coach Grant McCasland, the Mustangs are off to a 7-0 start for the first time since 1998-99. Midwestern received its first national ranking since finishing 21st in the final NABC Division II poll last season. The Mustangs are one of six teams in the rugged South Central Region to receive mention in this week’s poll. The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) boasts a pair of ranked teams including No. 2 Central Missouri and No. 7 Southwest Baptist (Mo.), while Fort Hays State (Kan.) is receiving votes. Midwestern is the lone ranked LSC team, while Tarleton State (Texas) and Texas A&M-Commerce are receiving votes. BYU-Hawaii sits at No. 1 in the rankings followed by Valdosta State (Ga.) at No. 3 and Florida Southern at No. 4. Augusta State (Ga.) rounds out the top five. The Mustangs play host to defending Lone Star North Division champion Central Oklahoma Thursday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. or 25 minutes after the conclusion of the women’s game which begins at 6.


12

The Wichitan December 2, 2009

On Deck this week... Tuesday December 1 Women’s Basketball

Tuesday

vs. St. Edward’s 7 p.m.

Thursday December 3 Women’s Basketball vs. University of Central Oklahoma 6 p.m. Men’s Basketball vs. University of Central Oklahoma 8 p.m.

Home Events are bolded

Sports

Mustangs run past Jarvis Christian 97-64 MSUMustangs.com For the Wichitan

Jarvis Christian’s Phillip Gavin converted a pair of free throws before the opening tip after Midwestern State was caught dunking in pregame warm-ups Monday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. The NAIA Bulldogs held the lead for exactly 44 seconds before Rashad Austin proved the Mustangs could dunk just as well during the run of play. Midwestern then held Jarvis Christian without a score for nearly 10 minutes in the first half to pull away for an easy 97-64 win. The Mustangs claimed their 15th-straight win at home while improving their best start since

the 1998-99 team broke out of the blocks with 11-straight wins to 7-0. MSU plays host to defending LSC North Division champion Central Oklahoma Thursday night at Ligon Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. or 25 minutes after the conclusion of the women’s game which begins at 6. Jarvis Christian’s Ron Pruitt hit a jumper with 18:43 to go in the opening half to knot the game at 4-4, but it was all Midwestern after that. By the time Brian Lockett hit a 3-pointer from the right corner 9:18 later to cut a 22-0 MSU, the Mustangs led 26-7 and would carry a 48-16 lead into intermission. Midwestern State would lead by as many as 39 in the second

half after Charlie Logan hit a pair of free throws with 14:13 remaining. All 13 Mustangs who suited out would score led by senior guard Jason Ebie’s 17 points, four-rebound, five-assist performance. He was joined in double figures by Chris Hagan (13 points, 4 steals) and Rashad Austin (12 points, 4 rebounds). Seniors Anthony Moore and Michael Godwin paced the rebounding effort with eight board apiece. Mahershal Simonet paced Jarvis Christian with 16 points and six rebounds. The Bulldogs, who compete in the Red River Athletic Conference, fell to 1-7

Rashad Austin had 12 points and four rebounds in MSU’s 9764 win over Jarvis Christian. Photo by Patrick Johnston.

Mustangs to watch... Football Midwestern State junior quarterback Zack Eskridge headlined a group of five Midwestern State players on the Daktronics All-Super Region 4 team released Tuesday by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Eskridge, a 2009 Harlon Hill finalist, gained top offensive honors after leading NCAA Division II with a 180.2 pass efficiency rating for the Lone Star Conference trichampion Mustangs. Eskridge, a Rockwall High School product, completed 71.3 percent of his passes for a school-record 3,295 yards. The junior signal caller connected for 29 touchdowns and threw six interceptions. Joining Eskridge on the first team is senior wide receiver Andy Tanner, senior center Lance Calloway and senior cornerback Micah Hill. Tanner, another Rockwall High product, rewrote all of MSU’s single-season receiving record by making 75 receptions for 1,186 yards and 12 touchdowns. Calloway made 44 starts over the past four years at guard and center for units which averaged more than 400 yards per game. Hill, a senior cornerback from Houston, served as the cornerstone of the LSC’s best pass efficiency defenses. Senior tight end J.J. Ford garnered second-team honors after making seven receptions for 61 yards. The Garden City, Kan. product was a first-team All-LSC South Division selection.

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Dec 2, 2009