THE WICHITAN The Student Voice of Midwestern State University
Wednesday March 28, 2007
degree in biology. However, a dark side of addiction lurks within Anderson, twisting his college dreams into a nightmare. He is an addict. But not with drugs, alcohol, sex or gambling. His addiction lies in the matrix-like world of the most popular online computer game in history— “World of Warcraft.” “World of Warcraft” (WoW) is a fantasy online game developed by Blizzard Entertainment in early 2003. It is the fourth installment of the “Warcraft” series and retails for $50 with a free month of service. After the time passes, the users must purchase additional playtime with a credit card or a prepaid game card. The game card retails for $30 and includes 60 days of game play. On Nov. 9, 2006, Blizzard announced that the subscriber base for the online role playing game had reached a milestone with a record 7.5 million users worldwide. Two years ago, a friend introduced Anderson to WoW when he was a senior in high school. “I just got hooked,” Anderson said. “Itʼs very addicting and a huge time SUNKYU YOO-NORRIS | THE WICHITAN waster.” As with other online role-playing games like “EverQuest,” “Star Wars Galaxies” and “DDO,” users with stunning graphics and a users control player characters deCHRISTIAN MCPHATE growing addiction. signed by each individual gamer. STAFF REPORTER Sophomore Spencer Anderson, The “heroes” explore a diverse Imagine a game world where Mi- 21, is a typical young college stu- world ﬁlled with warlocks, undead, notaurs, ogres, trolls, zombies and dent. He entered MSU, following goblins, orcs, and an assortment of elves reign supreme, amazing the his childhood dreams of obtaining a See WoW page 6
Game ﬁxation can be costly for addicts
MSU media garner honors KRYSTLE CAREY MANAGING EDITOR
Midwestern State University students won 38 awards, including 12 ﬁrst-place ﬁnishes, at the annual Texas Intercollegiate Press Association conference, held March 22-24 in San Antonio. MSU students won 11 secondplace awards, eight third-place awards and seven honorable mentions. The university also won the on-site sweepstakes. The 10 students competed in 26 on-site competitions, covering areas of newspaper, television, radio and public relations. The contests included editorial writing, television anchoring, newspaper design, feature writing, radio announcing, sports action photography and others. Mass Communication Department Chair Dr. Jim Sernoe said the awards reﬂect the diversity of the curriculum. “Because our degree requirements are so broad, our students are able to excel in several areas. For example, two students whose main interest is broadcasting won awards in advertising. A public relations student won an award for radio newswriting,” he said. Alex Villarreal was awarded with ﬁrst place in all three of her competitions: Television anchoring, radio commercial copy writing and television newswriting. “TIPA really proved that what we learn in class is not only the right way, but also the best way,” she said. Randall Mobley took ﬁrst place in television advertising, and Clint Kirby won second place in television sportswriting. Carrie Sullivan took ﬁrst place in editorial writing. Another newspaper-category award went to Konnie Sewell with second place in copy editing. “I was surprised I won in the copy editing competition,” Sewell said. “But people, like our adviser Randy, are always telling me about what a good job I do at the paper and how many good mistakes I catch. I See TIPA page 6
Theatre troupe takes on Albee KONNIE SEWELL COPY EDITOR
A man and his wife are having a brutal argument. The wife calls her husband a ﬂop. He angrily smashes a bottle of liquor. “I hope that was an empty bottle, George,” Martha says. “You donʼt want to waste good liquor … not on your salary.” The play is Edward Albeeʼs Whoʼs Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and will be performed by the MSU Theatre March 29, 30 and 31 at 7:30 p.m. and April 1 at 2:30 p.m. in the Bea Wood Studio Theatre of Fain Fine Arts. According to Fain Fine Arts Dean Dr. Ron Fischli, who is directing the play, the department ﬁrst wanted to put on a performance of the play Doubt, but they were unable to attain the amateur leasing rights. Fischli said Virginia, which is comprised of three acts and has two
10-minute intermissions, would make most peopleʼs list of the top 10 American plays written through the ages. “Itʼs a well-known play, itʼs a landmark play in American theatre,” Fischli said, “and itʼs a difﬁcult play.” The entire play takes place in George and Marthaʼs living room on the campus of a small New England college during the 1960s. Fischli said this performance is going to be fairly traditional, and the department decided to place the play in the ʼ60s for several reasons. “I donʼt think itʼs necessarily that dated of a play,” he said. “Weʼre setting it in the 1960s sort of as a historical point because the play was so provocative for its time. Also, we decided on that decade because it would give our costume department something else to do besides just contemporary stuff.” With recent performances of
Angels in America and The Vagina Monologues under their belt, a production of Virginia might give some the wrong impression about MSU Theatre. Part of the departmentʼs mission statement is to challenge students with a variety of work. “People sometimes forget we do more entertaining plays like The Boys Next Door, Snoopy and Much Ado About Nothing because works like Angels in America stay indelibly on their mind,” Fischli said. He said the actors want to do really meaningful pieces that challenge them. “I think weʼve established that reputation,” he said. “We do these plays because theyʼre important and interesting.” He said theatre can do one of two things: It can reﬂect society or it can shape society. “We do plays that partake of See Woolf page 6
LAUREN MILLER | THE WICHITAN Theatre students from left to right: Matt Grifﬁn (George), Hannah McKinney (Martha), Natalie Young (Honey) and Jonathan Hartman (Nick) practice a scene in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The play will begin on March 29 at 7:30 p.m. in the Bea Wood Studio Theatre. More pictures on page 7.
Cycling through Asia
This horror movie leaves audience feeling like dummies.
GEICO’s latest character gets ticket to fame.
MSU graduate student Stefan Rothe experiences Asia on two wheels and the open road.
Sweepstakes Winner 2006 Texas Intercollegiate Press Association
Finalist 2004 Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker Award
March 28, 2007
Language barrier Learn to speak English. That is what many immigrants hear after entering the United States. But learning to speak English is becoming a difﬁcult task for most immigrants due to poorly organized English programs. According to the Feb. 27 issue of The New York Times, many immigrants are waiting months or years to get into government-ﬁnanced English classes, which are overcrowded and lack textbooks. These classes are federally funded at varying rates by state, which causes uneven waiting times. In Colorado, for example, the waiting time is a few months, but in Massachusetts, the waiting time can be as long as two years due to the 16,000-person waiting list. The United States government is without a doubt helping some immigrants assimilate into American life by offering free English classes. But more immigrants should be allowed to take the classes because America is a gateway of opportunity for legal immigrants. Those opportunities are growing. Bank of America is now offering credit cards to immigrants without Social Security numbers or credit histories. Although some worry about low-wage immigrants taking American jobs, skilled immigrants also play an important role in the economy. According to the Feb. 2 issue of BusinessWeek online, immigrant-founded companies include Yahoo, Google and eBay. In Houston, a telecommunications ﬁrm started by a Pakistani immigrant topped last yearʼs Houston Small Business 100 list. The Department of Homeland Security even has a section on their Web site for new immigrants, and offers an online, downloadable manual with practical information to help immigrants settle into everyday life in the United States. According to the Department of Homeland Securityʼs Immigration Handbook at www.dhs.gov, about 1.1 million became permanent United States residents in 2005. With such an increasing immigrant population, and economic forces that are steadily increasing the importance of immigrant workers, the structure of government-funded English classes must be changed. The government should move teachers from less immigrant-impacted states into states that are overcrowded with immigrants. For example, the teachers who are not being used in Colorado could be moved to Massachusetts. Of course, the government would have to offer those teachers incentives. The government could also charge a small fee for the English classes. Most immigrants seeking English classes need to speak the language in order to communicate better with an employer or to seek better employment. Hence, most immigrants wanting to learn the language are employed and can therefore afford a reasonable fee. The government-funded system of free English classes is helpful to those who are not stuck on a waiting list. However, with a few changes, the system could be more effective.
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.
Heroes need cred check to become worthy
Mothers of America, you all have my condolences. Because you really do have the hardest job in the KONNIE SEWELL world. When I COPY EDITOR was younger, I saw a talk show on TV featuring young girls and the inﬂuence popular culture had on them. The girls were each asked who their hero was. Madonna, Cindy Crawford and Keanu Reeves were their answers. I must have been about 10 years old when I saw this. I remember looking at my mom and saying, “Thatʼs pretty dumb. My heroʼs George Washington.” Because really, it is pretty dumb to have a singer, a model or a movie star as your hero. Iʼve tried to reconcile this with the fact that the girls were so young, right around my age. But then, thatʼs the entire point: My hero at the time was the father of our country. Either me or the girls was wrong, and I decided the girls on TV were wrong. I recently saw another show on
TV dealing with the same topic in todayʼs society. These girlsʼ replies were similar: Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and Hilary Duff. And this is why moms have the hardest jobs: Their kids are going look up to people who arenʼt really doing anything heroic. How in the world do you teach your children about the best qualities in humans when theyʼre mainly exposed to people like this? I wonʼt deny that I adore certain singers or actors, and I probably make more of certain people than I should, but my actual respect is hard-earned. What is it, exactly, these girls admire in Madonna, Spears and Lopez? I have nothing against them personally. I just donʼt understand why little girls would look up to them. I mean, at least Barbie was a doctor and Belle from Disneyʼs “Beauty and the Beast” was a bookworm. The girls on TV didnʼt even mention members of their family, when I was quick (and still am) to namedrop my grandfather as another one of my heroes. Even when I was little, I saw through something those girls are blinded by. Singers, actors and athletes are commonly name checked as heroes, but theyʼre not doing anything except getting paid for a
hobby. I can see no reason why professional athletes should be paid millions upon millions of dollars for doing what schoolchildren do every afternoon, nor any reason why actors should be as glamorized and celebrated as they are when their whole “career” is based on pretending. The Founding Fathers are my heroes. Who knows what would have happened if weʼd lost the Revolution … history would be completely different. Itʼs true they all had their personal reasons for entering the war, and some were more aristocratic than others, but some of the greatest minds ever to illuminate the earth illuminated the earth together, at the same time and place. I have modern heroes, too. Josh Bernstein is the host of the History Channelʼs “Digging for the Truth,” a series that dives into the past each week and comes up with new insights into people and places such as Petra, the Mayans, the Egyptians and Atlantis. What could easily have become a show about Bernsteinʼs many travels and adventures (“Hey, look at where I am now! Isnʼt it awesome? The foodʼs good, too”) is instead an intelligent investigation into the past.
Iʼll never forget the episode based on “The Da Vinci Code.” Itʼs too bad for a while there everyone had a Dan Brown-themed episode, but Bernstein looked at the actual facts and came up with his own conclusion. Everyone else who “investigated” the novel went to the same cathedrals, spoke to the same people, and came up with the same answer: We didnʼt really ﬁnd out anything. Oh well! But Bernstein had a different idea. In the novel, the Merovingian line of Frankish kings are descended from Christ. So Bernstein was able to procure a tooth from one of the oldest Merovingian queens. He compared it to modern-day DNA of people who live in the area where Jesus and Mary Magdalene supposedly lived. The two didnʼt match. Is this a deﬁnitive answer to all the ideas Dan Brown proposes? Certainly not, but itʼs the most intelligent delve into the history behind the novel Iʼve ever seen, and Bernstein is to be commended. Itʼs sad how hard it is for me to trust most of the news network personalities out there today, but Bernstein is someone on TV I actually trust. Mothers, I donʼt know what the future holds for your children, but hereʼs hoping they can ﬁnd qualities they admire in people other than the sparkling yet vacant.
I cannot explain m o s t things that occur in my life. O n e question I would love to answer is how I
ly, we were wrong. Rebel jumped effortlessly over our 5-foot fence. We got the bright idea to get a kennel and keep him in the house. Wrong, again. Rebel somehow managed to get out of the kennel without opening the door. I swear that dog is Houdini reincarnated. However, with time and patience, Rebel ﬁnally got it through his thick head that he was going to stay with us no matter what. Shortly after that, my sister decided she could no longer keep our cocker spaniel Chelsea, whom we have had since second grade. So she was shipped to stay at my special little “pet shack.” Maybe I have a sign on my forehead that reads: “SHEʼS A SUCKER AND CANʼT TURN AN ANIMAL DOWN!” A little black cat approached me at my front door the other night and immediately started nudging my leg as if to say, “Hey, you look like youʼll feed me.” Now, the little black cat hangs out at my house every waking moment and drives my dogs insane. A week after the mysterious cat checked in at Adrianʼs Pet Motel, three more stray dogs showed up looking for a one-night stay. I just couldnʼt turn them away. They literally had puppy-dog eyes. The gate to the backyard opened
as if there was a big, neon sign ﬂashing “Vacancy.” There was a gigantic, mangy, older dog that was the “father ﬁgure” to the pit bull and the black lab puppies. The puppies followed him around the yard as he checked it out to determine if the “hotel” was a safe place. After 30 minutes of investigation, the older one laid down. It was evident heʼd been out on his own for a while, unlike the puppies, which looked healthy and well cared for. But the “father ﬁgure” was scrawny and had a defeated look on his sunken face. He intrigued me the most. Looking into his dark brown eyes, I could tell he was friendly, even though his outer appearance was gruff. I was still uneasy because being on the streets for a while can turn on the “ﬂight or ﬁght” mode in any family dog. My husband discovered he had Ohio tags. This made me curious. Did he wander down here all the way from Ohio? Did his family lose him on a family vacation? Did they move and no longer want this docile creature? At that very moment I wished dogs could talk, in particular this dog. I could just see it in his eyes that he had a story to tell. The next day I called Animal Control. My heart told me to keep
the older dog because it was obvious he was not just lost. My mind, however, won the battle and I had to let Animal Control take him in. When the man came into my yard, “Ohio” seemed like he knew the drill. He started barking and running around the half acre of land that makes up my backyard. After ten minutes of endless chasing, he came and stood by my left leg as if to say, “Let me stay here. I am tired of not having a home. I am tired of running.” I knew I couldnʼt keep him and I felt as if I betrayed him by helping the man capture him. As I watched the Animal Control truck drive away, my heart sank. It killed me not knowing what the future held for this gentle creature. Normally, when people adopt a pet from the Humane Society, the scraggly older pets are overlooked time and time again. The moral of this story is simple. There are so many unwanted pets in this world, so spay and neuter your pets. And for Godʼs sake, donʼt get a pet in the spur of the moment. As a pet owner, it is a responsibility to have the time to take care of the pet. Not to mention the fact that my “Pet Inn” is closed.
Truth is, staffer canʼt get away from pets
ADRIAN MCCANDLESS PHOTO EDITOR
attract unwanted pets. For starters, after my great-grandmother passed away there were two options for her cat Trouble: Come live with me or go to an animal shelter. So I took him in. Then Rebel came along. His ﬁrst family loved him, the only problem was they moved to a nice house in a gated community and could no longer keep him. I love Rebel to death, but he is a lot of work. Being bounced from home to home really messed with his head. We decided he needed to stay inside after many phone calls from neighbors telling us Rebel came to visit them. After a few weeks in the house, Rebel scratched on the front and back door. My husband and I decided to get an electric fence. Surely that would contain our rambunctious dog. Sad-
THE WICHITAN Editorial Board
Editor-in-Chief Carrie Sullivan Managing Editor Krystle Carey Entertainment Editor Jason Kimbro Sports Editor Josh Mujica Photo Editor Adrian McCandless
Reporters Richard Carter Christian McPhate Melissa dos-Prazeres Silva Rachel Tompkins Photographers Hershel Self Lauren Miller Graphic Artist SunKyu Yoo-Norris
Advertising Manager Christian McPhate Copy Editor Konnie Sewell
Adviser Randy Pruitt
History repeats because of oil
An international race has blasted across the notso-frozen northlands of the ArcCHRISTIAN MCPHATE tic. STAFF REPORTER It is a race that has gone full throttle since the awakening of political minds on global warming. The United States, Russia, Norway, Denmark and Canada have extended their capitalistic fangs and turned their dollarshot eyes toward the ﬁsh-, diamond- and oilﬁlled region. Associated Press writer Doug Mellgren reported the defrosting land is in such high demand that Canada and Denmark have both laid their claims to a Frisbee-shaped island in the Arctic with ﬂags and warships. Russia has been squabbling with Norway over the Barents Sea while slapping off the United States claims to the Beaufort Sea. The United States and Canada have been ﬁghting over rights to the Northwest Passage as well as disputing the offshore boundary of the Yukon. Canada said the melting lands of the Northwest Passage belong to them, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper pledged to put “military icebreakers” in the frosty waters. Canada, Russia, Norway and Denmark are laying claim to the waters extending from their borders
toward the North Pole, stating that the seabed belongs to their continental shelf, according to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. An estimated 25 percent of the Earthʼs untouched oil and gases lay within the Arctic. In 2004, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the sovereignty issue is “a serious, competitive battle that will unfold more and more ﬁercely.” On March 25, 2007, the United Nation Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that the ice caps are heating up faster than the rest of the planet in part due to the greenhouse gases. According to the panelʼs latest report, the accelerated impact of global warming has unveiled riches for the shipping industry in the form of new lanes of navigation for prospective diamond miners and oil mongers. The ﬁrst ship to reach the North Pole without icebreaker help was the Akademik Fyodorov of Russia in 2005. And now with the advancement in technology, the Norwegian shipyard Aker Yards has begun to create “innovative vessels” that can sail through clear waters and then turn around and plow through heavier ice with their sterns. The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, an intergovernmental group, said the global warming of the Arctic would cut sailing time from Germany to Alaska by 60 percent for ﬁve months out of the year by allowing ships lanes of navigation through the not-so-fro-
zen waters of Russiaʼs arctic region instead of the Panama Canal. And while the rest of the political world turns its focus on the possible promise of trillions of dollars increasing governmental budgets, the indigenous peoples of the Arctic, the Inuit and Sami, are being overlooked and pushed down to the bottom of the G8ʼs agenda. “Everybody is talking about the potential for minerals, diamonds, oil and gas, but we mustnʼt forget that people live there, all the way across the Arctic,” Tristin Pearce, the University of Guelphʼs Global Environmental Change Group in Canadaʼs research associate, said. “Theyʼve always been there and they have a major role to play.” And yet the Canadian Inuit communities are suffering from overcrowding in housing, high rates of unemployment, substance abuse, violence and suicide much like the derelict communities of the Native Americans. The Sami communities are the largest group of indigenous people in Europe and encompass the northern parts of Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. The Sami Parliaments have very weak political inﬂuence; the Scandinavian governments rule the political bodies despite democratically elected politicians. Russia does not recognize the minority of Samis. So where does the indigenous peopleʼs power lie exactly? What kind of role are the Inuits and the Samis really going to play? What has history shown us?
Life joyful despite Momʼs moles
Life is a bowl of cherries. Let me ﬁx my typographical error: Life is a bowel of cherries, thouJASON KIMBRO sands of ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR them meticulously stuffed in the most painful manner, be it in groups of 10 or 20. Yes, life is a tough piece of leather which to chew upon, but imagine if those cherries were instead pineapples with extra-stiff leaves poking from atop the rough exteriors. The cherries donʼt sound so bad then, do they? Whatʼs the point of being metaphorically sodomized by fruit? Well, it goes back to the old suggestion that no matter how bad life may get, it can get worse. When one wants to moan and groan, then ﬁnd another who likes to partake in such asinine conversations, and the inevitable competition of the downtrodden begins, we are all that much more worse off for letting that sort of verbal and emotional stink cloud our atmospheres to a point that we are all crapping red and wondering what ever happened to the good ole days. As much as you may not want to hear it, Iʼm afraid to tell you that you are in the good ole days, no matter how craptacular they may be. If you are so unhappy with yourself and your life, short of a psychological condition that some pill could either make better or worse, then take a step or two back and ﬁnd the source. There is such a thing as a source to your inner and/or outer turmoil: No money, no honey, no gold, nobody to hold - other than perhaps yourself, if youʼre into that sort of thing. (On that note, if youʼre not into it, you really should be. It can really improve what little hope you have for a sex life, especially if youʼre a female.) There is always a source to your pain. This is such a “duh” idea but sometimes we forget how simple it really is. Unfortunately, the most simple of things can be the most complicated to eradicate. Itʼs like the various causes of many diseases. The simpler the organism causing the disease, the
harder it is to cure, if it can be cured at all. Virus? Sorry Charlie, little luck in the cure department. Bacteria, a little more complicated of an organism, a bit easier to destroy. Protozoa and beyond, hey, you got it licked in no time. If multiple items are causing your distress, it might be more realistic to attack the protozoan-type problems ﬁrst. They seem to be complicated situations but more than likely they have the easiest resolve. For instance: Your mother calls you nightly to tell you about her mole. Her mole is growing. It seems to change color with her moods. It seems to change places. For one day it is on the index ﬁnger of her right hand and on the next, itʼs on the index ﬁnger of her left. All this talk of ﬁnger-focuses mole-ery is causing slight contribution to your saddened state. What do you do? Well, you tell her that it isnʼt a mole after all, but that instead it is the mood ring she found in her attic during her mid-life crisis and due to its nostalgic value she decided to put it on but now that Alzheimerʼs is setting in she keeps forgetting that she puts it on in the mornings and some bits of dementia are making her think that it is a strange colorchanging mole that loves to bounce around from one ﬁnger to another. Okay, bad example. That situation would probably make it worse, but hey, the pill thatʼs suppose to get rid of yellow toe nails can cause liver failure, but apparently there are enough people out there buying it to keep it on the market. You would be hard-pressed to ﬁnd many situations that you yourself could keep from bringing you down. Youʼve got to train your mind the right way. This concept took me nearly 26 years to achieve. Throughout high school I was picked on for being fat, poor and visually impaired. I always took it hard. I was sad at school and I was sad at home from time to time because I seemed to disappoint my father a lot. After high school things didnʼt change much for me. I was constantly feeling down because I could not drive, I could not get women, I could not get money and I could not seem to do well at my ﬁrst attempt at college. It was a bottomless pit of quicksand but I ﬁnally realized that the only one who could throw me a vine so that I could climb out was me. And climb out I did. With a ven-
geance! I went on a killing spree. Well, not really. As a matter of fact I had no intentions of revenge at all. Well, except for maybe a few who happened to get in the way of me and my drunken wit along the way. I am a happy person. I do not let the demons that used to tear me apart even scathe me now. There are times in which I am even able to make such things make me look good, even though it may only be in the realm of glorious arse-ness. The other night at Tobyʼs, for example, I was in the bathroom taking care of business, saying goodbye to the beer I had just a few minutes before when I could hear a guy outside say, “Is there someone in the bathroom?” Then I heard a female voice pronounce: “Yeah, thereʼs some fat guy in the bathroom. Heʼs really fat. You should see him. Oh, my God, this guy is fat. If he were any fatter, Parkay would be mining his ass.” Okay, okay, she didnʼt go that far. Anywho, when I walked out of the bathroom I simply stated with a nice grin on my face, “The fat guy is done, you can use the toilet now.” The girl, trying to save something, as if there was anything to save since I was being fairly cordial about it all, said: “What were you doing in there, taking a shit?” To this I responded: “You have nothing to worry about, maʼam. I do not plan to take you anywhere.” As far as I can tell it seemed to achieve something among all the alcoholics around me. It wasnʼt that big of a deal after all. When I told the story to my friends back at the table they really didnʼt care about what I had to say, they (being female) wanted to ﬁnd the girl and kick her ass, or so they say. I kept them calm with more beer and the night continued as always. In the past that wouldʼve been the end of my evening. Now, it was just a minor part of a wonderful night. I guess what I am trying to say with all of this is that if you are unable to do what I have done, then try harder. If you still canʼt seem to achieve this level of conﬁdence in yourself and in your world, then I will just have to admit that Iʼm better than you. Maybe the next time I see ya, you will be checking on my reservation. Thank you very much.
THE WICHITAN March 28, 2007
Q: How many hours a day do you spend playing video games? “I have better things to do. Even if I had a console I still wouldnʼt play very much. When I go home and have time, when Iʼm not working, if I could I would. Itʼs not worth it because of the amount of money involved.” – Patrick Johnson, 20, sophomore business management major
“I just started really playing again. I stopped playing games in January and February because school just got so busy. Averaged out over the week, I play about three hours now.” – Kevin Seman, 18, freshman education major
“During the whole week Iʼll play less than 10 minutes. I go to school, have a job and enjoy riding my motorcycle. If I pick up a game and start playing it, Iʼll usually get bored with it and end up giving it to my little brother. I spend too much money on stupid stuff as it is.” – Tony Banner, 22, junior engineering major
“If Iʼm around an X-box 360, I play around three hours a day. My friends say I play more than that, but theyʼre just hating because they know they play more than me.” – Dionte Johnson, 19, sophomore computer science major
Enjoy Cool Colorful Colorado Summer employment now available! Fun Valley Family Resort in South Fork, Colo. needs STUDENTS for full or part-time employment for the 2007 season for all types of jobs: kitchen, dining room, housekeeping, stores, maintenance, horse wrangler, ofﬁce. Students will live in the girls or boys dorms. For information and application write: Student Employment Fun Valley Family Resort 6315 Westover Drive, Granbury, Texas 76049
Please recycle this paper!
THE WICHITAN March 28, 2007
Evil dolls fail to terrorize in ʻDead Silenceʼ
Faculty Forum Faculty Forum presents Dr. Lynn Hoggard, Coordinator of Humanities and Professor of English and Foreign Languages, at 7 p.m. in Clark Student Center Shawnee Theater. She will present “The Abbey Program: Study Abroad as a Vision Quest.” Having spent the spring semester of 2006 teaching in France, Hoggard will explore the issues and questions with the university and community audience in the hope of answering the underlying question: “Why should our students study abroad?” For more information, call 397-4155 or 397-4145.
Foreign Film Continuing Education and Ruth Morrow present “A Brief Vacation” for the Foreign Film Series at 7 p.m. at the Kemp Center for the Arts. Italian director Vittorio De Sica offers this uplifting tale of a woman who travels on a long journey to ﬁnd peace and romance. Clara is an exhausted woman who works long hours in a local factory. One day she collapses at work, only to discover she has severe lung problems. Sent to a sanitarium in the mountains, Clara discovers what it means to ﬁnd true companionship and love. Admission is free; donations are welcome. For more information, call 397-4756.
Speak Up– Speak Out! Disability Support Services and First Step, Inc., of Wichita Falls present the Sixth Annual Speak Up--Speak Out! conference. Community experts, faculty members and area professionals will present sessions ranging from cybersex addiction, violence among athletes, substance abuse and assault to human trafﬁcking and many more topics. For more information, call 397-4120 or 397-4140.
Artist-Lecture Series Artist-Lecture series presents award-winning director Wes Craven on April 13 at 7 p.m. in Akin Auditorium. After employment as a college humanities teacher and a taxi driver, Cravan became a sound editor for a postproduction company in New York. He went on to direct such movies as “The Hills Have Eyes” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” Craven holds a masterʼs degree in writing and philosophy from John Hopkins University. A ticket purchased for the postponed Oct. 23 appearance will be honored. A limited number of standing room only tickets will be available two weeks prior to the event. For ticket information, call 397-4223 or 397-4291.
Mary Shaw shows viewers what can happen if they forget to use a daily moisturizer.
JASON KIMBRO ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR DIRECTOR JAM ES WAN HAS RECENTLY FOUND SOM E FAM E BY DIRECTING THE
P RODUCING THE SEQUELS TO
THE RECENT SP LASH OF GORE KNOWN AS
THIS, ONE WOULD
EXP ECT TO COM E INTO HIS NEWEST ﬁLM ,
“DEAD SILENCE,” EXP ECTING ALL SORTS
OF BLOOD AND GUTS.
DECIDED TO SET THE BUCKETS
OF BLOOD ASIDE THIS TIM E AROUND AND GO FOR CLASSIC ATTEM P TS AT CHILLS AND SCREAM -INDUCING THRILLS.
NATELY THIS FAILS M ISERABLY, BUT THE
ﬁLM ISNʼT A COM P LETE LOSS. “DEAD SILENCE” TAKES US INTO THE WORLD OF VENTRILOQUISM AND EARNESTLY TRIES TO EXP LOIT THE CREEP INESS THAT SEEM S TO BEFALL THE WORLD OF THE WOODEN DUM M Y.
AP P ARENTLY HAS A THING FOR
DOLLS SINCE ONE IS FAIRLY P REVALENT IN HIS
“SAW ” ﬂICKS, BUT THIS ATTEM P T
GOES FOR A SORT OF BE -ALL-END-ALL OF KILLER DOLL M OVIES.
NITELY LACKS ANY TRUE M OM ENTS OF
remembrance and will soon be forgotten. Jamie Ashen (continuing up-andcomer Ryan Kwanten) is enjoying a nice city life with his wife Lisa (Laura Regan of “They”). On one romantic evening they get a ring at the door but when they answer all they ﬁnd is a package at their feet wrapped in a plain brown wrapper. Inside is a ventriloquist dummy. They crack a joke or two and bring up a scary poem about a woman named Mary Shaw from their hometown and toss the doll aside. Jamie decides to go pick up some Chinese takeout. While gone, Lisa is mysteriously attacked. Jamie returns home to ﬁnd blood all over the hallway ﬂoor. He then hears his wife call him into the room just to ﬁnd her with her lower jaw yanked down to her tatas and her tongue missing. The police are called and Jamie is automatically their number one suspect. Detective Jim Lipton (Donnie Wahlberg) is put on the
case and automatically begins to question Jamieʼs innocence. Jamie tries to explain that it had to have something to do with the strange creepy doll they received just moments before her brutal death. Upon the doll, Jamie ﬁnds evidence of it once belonging to the infamous Mary Shaw from their hometown of Ravenʼs Fair. Thus he returns home to ﬁnd out what exactly is going on before the cops decide to arrest him for a murder he didnʼt commit. The town keeps to themselves when it comes to the story of Mary Shaw. Most wonʼt even mention her name in fear of the deadly curse that has ravaged their town since her death many years ago. Jamie meets up with his estranged father (Bob Gunton) who has little to offer in the way of help, at ﬁrst. His father is now wheelchair bound since having a stroke and claims to be changed man, far from the ogre of a parent he was before.
He is married to a young, beautiful blonde named Ella (Amber Valleta) who now takes very good care of the wealthy old man. As Jamie continues to investigate, gaining a little insight from the old funeral director and his dementia-ridden wife, he discovers that he is being followed by detective Lipton. All the while he gets visions of the wicked doll that marked his world with death. Lies are told, secrets are kept, and many things just arenʼt what they seem in the once quaint little town of Ravenʼs Fair. Soon Jamie stumbles upon a deadly secret that has been killing entire families within and around the community for generations. For an R-rated modern horror ﬂick, this ﬁlm was surprisingly dull. There were a complete lack of actual deaths within the ﬁlm and the bits of gore that were presented were upon the screen far too quickly, going for a more subtle style of horriﬁc ﬁlmmaking.
I kept waiting for something to happen but the ﬁlm basically relied on the idea that something deﬁnitely could happen at any time with silly little plays on the mind, such as scary music to complete silence to the inevitable jumpy occurrence, a basic formula for horror ﬁlms since the days of Vincent Price. The atmosphere of this ﬁlm was a bit on the gothic side with smalltown ﬂavor, yet was completely ruined by the use of sepia tones with an emphasis on the color red. Whenever something red was on the screen, such as Jamieʼs typical muscle car, the rest of the screen seemed black and white. Supposedly attempting to add to the “American Gothic”-sense of small-town horror stories it basically causes annoyance and optical irritation. Performances were a bit stiff. Wahlberg will never achieve what his brother Mark has been able to grasp in the realms of fame due to the fact that he always seems to pick the most annoying characters around. If the character isnʼt annoying, then the portrayal of them by Wahlberg is (i.e., Duddits from “Dreamcatcher”). The only one who seems to be on top of his game as he always is and unfortunately always overlooked is Bob Gunton, most famously known as the prison warden in “Shawshank Redemption.” The story is a simple one, thus we are given a simple plot. One of the ﬁlmʼs redeeming qualities is the completely unexpected, albeit silly, twist at the very end of the ﬁlm. The creators of this ﬂick were apparently hoping for a franchise from this, but with such low box ofﬁce revenue, if any sequel is made expect it to be straight-to-video. Horror ﬁlms these days have either been nothing but attempts at shocking audiences or PG-13 plops and ﬂops that wanted to make a buck or two. Either way you look at it, this is a business and all we can do is hope that they someday ﬁnd a decent inbetween like good horror ﬂicks of the past 30 years have been able to achieve. By the way, if youʼre in the mood for a purely enjoyable, funny, gory and intensely amusing horror ﬁlm, then check out “Feast.” Otherwise it would probably be best not to waste your time or money on “Dead Silence.”
GEICO caveman signed for new TV sitcom MCCLATCHY TRIBUNE The GEICO caveman is one of the ﬁrst memorable TV ad characters of the 21st century. Thatʼs why someone should pick up a crude wooden club and pound some sense into whoever at ABC greenlighted a pilot for a deriva-
tive sitcom about three cavemen in modern-day Atlanta. On the scale of great ideas, this one isnʼt quite as promising as, say, ﬁre. Now just to be clear, Iʼm not suggesting someone should literally clobber an ABC executive. Thatʼs a cartoon image, exaggerated to get your attention. And so is the GEICO caveman. Heʼs not Fred Flintstone, a regular guy who happens to live in the Stone Age. Heʼs a cartoon, someone we meet for 30 or 60 sec-
onds, exactly enough time for us to savor the hilarious contrast between our stereotype of grunting, “Alley Oop”-type cavemen and this guy in a stylish, modern outﬁt speaking well-reasoned English. Spending more time with an ad character is like deciding that since the Exxon attendant is good at ﬁlling ʼer up, we should stay at the gas station for dinner. Good ads are tightly focused. They tell one joke well, and part of their appeal is what they donʼt spell
out. The caveman ads throw insurance agents, PR people, shrinks, billboards and high-end restaurant menus in front of us, and let us overlay what we already know about them. A sitcom, in contrast, spells out many of those details because it must ﬁll 30 minutes. To be blunt, more is less. Another speciﬁc problem lies in this cavemanʼs attitude, which falls somewhere between sullen and angry. Fine for 60 seconds. For 30 minutes, not so good. Will he turn accusatory in a singles bar? Will he explain the sophistication of cave wall paintings to a co-worker in the ﬁnancial services game?
We donʼt know. All we know is that since GEICO has leased the character, ABC can do what it wants with him and his friends. And maybe ABCʼs writers will deliver something brilliant. Maybe theyʼll ﬁnd a way to turn “Jurassic Park” upside down - characters from an ancient world navigating the modern world - and have a sitcom tumble out. Frankly, I think our better hope lies in the fact that only a tiny percentage of commissioned pilots ever become TV shows. If this one quietly expires, maybe both the GEICO caveman and Fred Flintstone can leave with their dignity intact.
THE WICHITAN March 28, 2007
Holmanʼs novel an enthralling read, driven by unique storyline KONNIE SEWELL COPY EDITOR
“Grave: A place where the dead are laid to await the coming of the medical student.” Any novel that uses Ambrose Bierceʼs “The Devilʼs Dictionary” for its epigraph had better be good. And Sheri Holmanʼs “The Dress Lodger” is very, very good. The problem with modern historical ﬁction is that the author usually never does a good job at describing the time period and setting. Letʼs not forget that the past wasnʼt so pretty or romantic as the movies would have us believe. In “The Dress Lodger,” Holman does an amazing job at directing us through Sunderland, England, circa 1831. Every smell, the hints of dirt and disease, dozens of social injustices and every other detestable and perverse variant of human living conditions is rendered in gritty, believable detail. Youʼll almost want to take a shower after reading this novel. But Holmanʼs descriptions of the past neither overtake nor compete with her characterizations and plot. She could have really went overboard with certain aspects of this novel, but she keeps it all in an elegant and beautiful stride. The protagonist of the novel is 15-year-old Gustine, the dress lodger of the title. By day sheʼs a meager potterʼs assistant, by night, a prostitute. Her pimp, Whilky Robinson, also happens to be her landlord. He allows her to stay in his run-down inn by letting her rent a beautiful blue gown to wear while sheʼs walking the streets. The idea is that by pretending to be a high class lady, sheʼll attract high-class (i.e., rich) clients. Whilky doesnʼt completely trust Gustine with the dress, though, so he has a mysterious old woman — known simply as the Eye — follow her while she works, making sure sheʼs staying on task and not ruining the expensive gown. Gustine eventually crosses paths with Henry Chiver, an overly ambitious young surgeon whoʼs obsessed with the human heart. Henry recently ﬂed from Edinburgh under a cloud of doubt after his name was implicated with murderers and grave robbers. Henry is quite desperate to have his reputation cleansed by almost any means necessary. He hopes to make some sort great medical discovery, but in order to do experiments and keep his restless young students interested in their studies, he needs a fresh body to work on. Unfortunately for Henry, the Anatomy Act, which would allow doctors to legally obtain corpses,
has yet to be passed in Parliament. To make things worse, the cholera-stricken public is suspicious of seemingly all doctors and is terrifying itself with all the grave-robbing gossip. Gustine eventually helps Henry out by directing him to a corpse sheʼs found washed up on the beach. But later, Henry demands something else of her: Her nameless baby has a strange heart condition that sets Henryʼs mouth watering at the very thought of treating him. This is just the sort of case that would make his name, but Gustine is protective of her son to a fault. The relationship between Gustine and Henry, and how they each perceive their relationship, is well developed and thought provoking. There are several moral questions attached to this relationship, and Gustineʼs and Henryʼs true characters are revealed through their interactions with each other. Holman has a way with her characters. None are stereotypical and each has a surprise waiting for them. Itʼs especially amazing to see Henryʼs downfall unraveling right before him, though heʼs oblivious to it. Heʼs a character that starts out amiably enough—heʼs a snob, but he still wants to keep the town safe
from cholera—but when we ﬁnally see his true colors, and how heʼs made to pay for them, itʼs nothing short of genius. Gustine is a true heroine, one we constantly hope the best for. She has a hard life but she lives it entirely for her young son. Her attachment to him is endearing, as is Gustine herself. The rest of the characters are great, from Whilkyʼs mentally-retarded daughter Pink (who thinks sheʼs a rat) to the Student of Life, who adds some well-timed comic relief to the tale. Even the mute and dogged Eye, we learn, was once a happy lass. There are delightfully ironic twists and turns throughout the novel, and the ending ties everything up nicely. Holmanʼs narration is clear and tight and wonderfully evocative. Once you realize who the narrator is, youʼll be ﬂoored, as you will be during the second chapter, when we learn all about Henryʼs unpleasant past. “The Dress Lodger” is simply amazing in every sense of the word. With this novel, Holman shows not only can she create a bunch of interesting (and intersecting) ideas, but she can really tell a great story about interesting (and intersecting) people.
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WoW_____from page 1 player charters and computer-controlled characters. The users must perform quests, defeat monsters and save maidens to gain experience points and magical items, which enhance their characters by granting higher levels and skills. Anderson explained the biggest reason for his interest in WoW was the interaction with real people behind the computer characters. He would usually try to only play the game on Fridays, but then the habit turned into a nightly session. “The problem was that I would start playing, and I just didnʼt want to stop,” he said. “If you have a girlfriend, she better be pretty understanding.” His gaming sessions became intense after a couple of months of playing. And yet, as his character began to achieve higher levels, the time-consuming raiding and pillaging began to interfere with his relationship. “ʻSorry, honey, I canʼt go out tonight. I have to go out on a raid,ʼ ” Anderson explained and laughed as he related the strains of his relationship from the growing addiction. Junior education major Jessica Russell, 21, can relate to Andersonʼs other half. She was in a oneyear relationship with a man who became addicted to WoW. “I know that guys grow up playing video games,” she explained. “My brother plays games. It didnʼt bother me — until ʻWorld of Warcraft.ʼ ” She said the frustrating experience started when her boyfriend received a free trial copy of the “Warcraft” game. “I supported his gaming habit,” she said. “But I didnʼt know it was going to be zombie zone for four months of our relationship.” Anderson said the problem is that the characters start out gaining the lower levels in a short amount of time, but the higher the hero
Woolf____________________________________________continued from page 1
goes, the longer it takes to level. “It usually takes six to seven months to reach level 60 and thatʼs playing pretty regularly,” he said. “The game consumes your life.” Russell agreed and said that her long-distance relationship became strained from her boyfriendʼs constant gaming. “I had to call him at certain times,” she said. “He would meet his friends online and put me off!” She said her boyfriend was ﬁxated in front of the computer when she would go and visit him. He had not taken a shower, and when she said something to him, he wouldnʼt hear what she had to say. “He was too busy ﬁghting a war,” she said. In addition, the problems got so bad that he didnʼt have a job, go to class or go out. “He didnʼt want anyone to know he played the game,” Russell said. Anderson, however, faced serious consequences with his growing
habit, for his all-night gaming sessions began to catch up with him. And his sleep time began to take place during his classes. “I didnʼt have my parents there telling me to get off the computer,” Anderson said. “I would go to class and fall asleep.” This semester, Anderson had to drop all of his classes at MSU and move out of the dorms. “I wouldnʼt say it was the gaming alone, but ʻWorld of Warcraftʼ was a huge contributor,” he said. Russell said itʼs like an alternate universe. A couple of support groups are available on the web for people with gaming addictions: www.olganon.org, an online support group, Anti-Warcraft Association (AWA) and Girlfriends Against WoW, a Facebook organization and www. gamerwidow.com, a site for people left behind by their gaming partners.
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both,” he said. Anything else, according to Fischli, would be detrimental to students. “All theatre programs in all campuses in the country have an obligation to expose students to all different facets of theatre,” he said. “If we just did light entertainment pieces here, or pieces we thought would draw large audiences, we wouldnʼt be serving our students well.” The play centers around the marriage of George and Martha, played by Matt Grifﬁn and Hannah McKinney, respectively. The play is a dissection of an American marriage drained of all compassion. “Itʼs sort of a knock-out-drag-out between this husband and wife,” Fischli said. “The point is we feel saddened by this relationship: ʻWhat has gone wrong here? What on earth happened?ʼ And, maybe, what on earth is happening to our culture.” He said the point is not that theyʼre trying to propagate marital inﬁdelity and profanity. “The point is this marriage is not one we admire,” he said. According to Grifﬁn, George and Martha still love each other, but the audience will see their digression throughout the play. “George is emotionally scared by his wife and covers it by being very smug and very ﬂippant,” he said. “He is very passive but his weapon is his words and his ability to mold those words.” The ironic symbolism of George and Marthaʼs names is obvious, referring to the names of the United Statesʼ ﬁrst President and First Lady. Not only does Whoʼs Afraid of Virginia Woolf? focus on the delusion and disillusionment in a marriage, it is also a depiction of the American Dream turned nightmare. The playʼs title is a parody of “Whoʼs Afraid of the Big Bag Wolf?” from Walt Disneyʼs animated version of “The Three Little Pigs.” Virginia Woolf herself was an English author, feminist, essayist, publisher and critic who suffered with bi-polar disorder and eventually drowned herself. Throughout the play, Martha is
associated with Woolf. “Martha is about 53 years old and she is highly sexually frustrated,” McKinney said. “Sex is a weapon she uses in arguments with her husband. She is biting and vicious, but she is not a soulless witch.” McKinney said Martha is probably the oldest character sheʼs played at MSU. “I probably love Martha the most out of all of the characters Iʼve played,” she said. “She does have a soul and I like that.” Jonathan Hartman, who plays Nick, said his character is a big wimp. “I get antagonized the whole play by the other characters and do nothing about it,” he said. “Aside from being a pansy, heʼs a lot like me, but most of the other stuff I have done have been a different type of character.” Natalie Young plays Nickʼs wife Honey. Young said she usually plays “bitchy, conﬁdent women,” and Honey is anything but. “She is pretty innocent and dimwitted,” Young said. “She is allAmerican in a sense. She wants the ideal home life and a hubby and a baby. There are a lot of models for this character in todayʼs society.” The play ﬁrst opened on Broadway in 1962. It won both the 1963 Tony Award and the 1962-1963 New York Drama Criticsʼ Circle Award for Best Play. It was also selected for the 1963 Pulitzer Prize for Drama by that awardʼs committee, but the committeeʼs selection was overruled by the awardʼs advisory board (the trustees of Columbia University) because of the playʼs controversial use of profanity and sexual themes. A groundbreaking ﬁlm was released in 1966 starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. The ﬁlm was nominated for and won several awards. Whoʼs Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is notoriously emotionally draining for its actors, and MSUʼs actors are no different from those on Broadway. “When we ﬁnished rehearsals the other night, I looked over at Hannah and said, ʻThat last scene kind
never really believed it, though.” Three awards were won in the radio categories. Mobley took second place with both radio sportswriting and radio announcing. Carly Burres won second place in radio newswriting. The Wichitan took third place in the newspaper general excellence category and third place in the overall newspaper sweepstakes. Adrian McCandless, photo editor on The Wichitan and secondyear participant to TIPA, was happy to place in four contests of pre-sub-
mitted works. “The Wichitan staff works really hard to put out the best paper we can each week,” she said. “So itʼs nice to be acknowledged for all of the hard work.” Voices took third place in the general excellence category for literary magazines, along with a ﬁfth place ﬁnish in the overall literary magazine sweepstakes. MSU-2 placed fourth among college television stations in the state, while the yearbook, the Wai-Kun, placed ﬁfth overall.
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of plays itself, doesnʼt it?ʼ ” Fischli said. “Sometimes people think that theatre is an easy art form: You learn a few lines and walk around, have a lot of fun, but it really takes a lot of skill and training and dedication, just as it does to play an instrument well.” Grifﬁn said this is the most emotionally demanding role he has ever played. “I normally donʼt cry, and when I do, something must be wrong,” Grifﬁn said. “Georgeʼs character does that too, but when he does cry he canʼt control his emotions. The game he plays gets so complicated he gets lost in his own fantasy.” For Young, the hardest part about being in the play was its ambiguousness. “The hardest part about the play is it doesnʼt completely tell the story,” she said. She said it leaves you guessing on what happens. Directing the play has its own bumps in the road. “The playʼs intensity is the biggest challenge,” Fischli said. “The hardest part of directing this play is getting the students up to its dynamics because I donʼt think thereʼs many other plays with as many sustained, intense moments between only four actors.” The play depicts sexual situations and contains profanity. It is not recommended for junior high students or younger. For high school students, parental knowledge and consent is preferred. Admission is free to all MSU faculty, staff and students with a valid I.D. General admission is $7. Tickets for senior citizens (age 50 or over), military personnel with valid I.D., high school students with a valid I.D., college students who do not attend MSU with a valid I.D. and members of the Ex-Students Association are $6. As with all MSU Theatre productions, no children under the age of six will be admitted. Audience members are asked to turn off cell phones and beepers and no photography will be allowed. No food or beverages are permitted in the theatre.
TIPA_____________________________________________continued from page 1
MSU senior Amanda Veitenheimer was elected TIPA parliamentarian for the 2007-2008 school year. Sernoe also said the size of the program and university is deceiving. “We have shown year after year that our students can compete with students from huge schools like UT-Austin,” he said. “It isnʼt always true that bigger schools have higher quality programs than smaller schools.”
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THE WICHITAN March 28, 2007
Just who is afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Above, Nick (Jonathan Hartman) dips Martha (Hannah McKinney) as their spouses George (Matt Grifﬁn) and Honey (Natalie Young) look on, horriﬁed and disgusted. Below, a ﬁght between Martha and George is broken up by Nick. George and his wife Martha argue as she retreats up the stairs.
Above, Martha engages in a heated ﬁght with her husband George. Below, Nick thinks he is having an innocent conversation with George, but George has more devious plans.
Photos by: Lauren Miller
THE WICHITAN March 28, 2007
MSU graduate student takes a spin through Asia CARLY BURRES STAFF REPORTER
While most MSU students went home or stayed in Wichita Falls to work over Christmas break graduate student Stefan Rothe was cycling his way through Asia. Mercy Cycling, a regional elite amateur cycling team based in Fort Smith, Ark., picked up the Dresden, Germany native as a cyclist after graduation. When the option arose to join three other men from New York on a six-week tour of Asia, he jumped at the opportunity. “It was a really good way for me to practice in my off-season,” said Rothe, 25. Champion System, a company in Hong Kong, wanted to put together a composite team of four to race in the Asia Tour. The four men would wear the companyʼs logo while racing and all of their room and board, traveling expenses and equipment would be provided. The company provided the team with a representative to take care of arrangements and help guide the men. The team was also provided with a mechanic who was in charge of keeping the bikes in good racing form. In every country the team was given a local driver who escorted them around. The races took place in China, Thailand and Malaysia. Each of the races lasted about a week and ran a course total of about 500 miles. Each day, Rothe and the other cyclists rode between 80 and 90 miles, stopping at a station at the end of each day to sleep. Each race had a total of six stations. The team used every other week when there were no races as a training and sightseeing week. During these weeks the team was able to learn a little more about Asia
and discover some of the biggest differences in the various countries. One of the biggest differences was the food. “There is a total difference between Chinese food and Buffet City,” Rothe said with a chuckle. While in Asia, Rothe tried foods such as shark and octopus and he learned how to use chopsticks. Rothe noted that the food in Asia was much cheaper than it is in the U.S. In one country the team ate at a place where it cost $12 total for all four men. Other differences were that Americans use cars and SUVs as the main mode of transportation while in China most of the people ride bicycles. In other places people relied on motor scooters. While racing the team would often zip by monkeys sitting on the side of the road. The cyclists also had to be careful of the motor scooters and semis. Rothe found getting used to which side of the road he was supposed to ride on rather difﬁcult. What was even more difﬁcult was getting used to riding on the roads once he was back in Texas. The four men were categorized as amateur riders because they do not ride as a career. This factor can sometimes lead to a disadvantage for the team because many of the other riders they were up against were professional fulltime riders. Rothe came in third one day in Malaysia. Although the team did not win many of the races they still performed well and were able to promote the company. “You do not always go to win every race. You go in and you know you arenʼt going to win but you also know that you arenʼt going to lose,” Rothe said. “Some of the races were extremely difﬁcult because of the terrain and the weather.” During December and January the weather in Asia is hot and humid which can make for difﬁcult riding
COURTESY MSU graduate student Stefan Rothe, in front, cycles through Malaysia on his bike adventure through Asia over Christmas break. Rothe discovered many differences between the United States and Asia while overseas.
conditions. Rothe was happy when racing in Malaysia because it rained ﬁve out of the six days. “It was a nice change. I prefer rain instead of humidity and heat,” he said. During most of the days hills made riding more difﬁcult. While riding downhill the men were able to reach a speed of about 60 miles per hour. But going uphill, they sometimes struggled to make 10 miles per hour because the inclines
were so steep. Rothe said because the races are traditional there were often people standing on the sidelines watching. In Malaysia and Thailand entire schools often watched the race. In China three lanes of people observed the cyclists. “If you go slow enough you can get some high ﬁves,” Rothe said, a hint of excitement in his voice. But things were not all work and no play while in Asia. While the team had little time to go out and experience the nightlife they did manage to celebrate New Yearʼs Eve in Hong Kong. Rothe also found time to pick up a few souvenirs for him and his ﬁancée. When all of the races were complete Rothe endured a 45-hour ﬂight back to Dallas. It was ﬁve days before he rode
again. Throughout the Asia races Rothe covered a total of 1,900 miles. One of the best things about racing is that he was able to meet people from all over the world. “There were people from Russia, Australia, Denmark, Indonesia, Iran and Ireland. Because many of the same people were in each race, it was easy to talk to people and make friends and connections,” Rothe said. Rothe came to Midwestern in 2003 on a cycling scholarship. In 2005 he graduated with a bachelorʼs degree in kinesiology. He began cycling in 1993 at the age of 11 after watching the Olympic games in Barcelona. In 1994 he took second place in his ﬁrst race in Dresden which encouraged him to continue racing. During his high school years
Rothe competed in races that were the equivalent to the U.S.ʼs state and national championships, going against 150 of the best riders in Germany. Riding for MSU took him all over Texas where he competed against A&M, UT, Baylor and many other high-ranking schools. Rothe is currently acting as one of Mercy Cyclingʼs strongest riders after continuing his three-week winning streak by recently winning a pro/amateur race in the “Primavera at Lago Vista” outside of Austin. Mercy Cyclingʼs season just began in early March so Rothe was happy to have had the Asia trip as training for his upcoming season. Rothe hopes to graduate in August with his masterʼs. He is currently a teacherʼs aide for archery, weightlifting and a physiology lab.
Womenʼs tennis team downed by ACU MELISSA
The MSU womenʼs tennis teamʼs winning streak was brought to an end after suffering a 9-0 loss from Division IIʼs number six ranked Abilene Christian University last Wednesday. The mood was set back when the ladies went down 3-0 in the doubles, passing up on several missed opportunities. In all the singles, the Lady Mustangs were brought down in straightset victories except number four Collean Kinser who went down in
the ﬁnal set super tie break. Following a successful 3-1 spring break trip the Lady Mustangs came back and picked up a huge win by upsetting the 10th ranked Drury University last Monday on the MSU courts. Midwestern started out strong taking an early 2-1 lead after the doubles round. Brynne Chappell and Cilia Muller defeated DUʼs number one pair Thu Ha Mai and Alejandra Miranda-Sanchez, 8-4, while senior Michelle Watson paired up with freshman Berkley Peeples to overcome their Panther opponents 8-6 at the number three spot.
In the singles Collean Kinser, Cilia Muller and Melissa dos Prazeres-Silva picked up devastating victories in positions four, ﬁve and six to secure the teamʼs overall win. Faye dʼHamecourt was stretched a little further at number three but raised her game after dropping the second set to win her match 6-4, 57, 10-6. MSUʼs women will be in action Friday afternoon as they host NCAA Division IIʼs number 28 Tarleton State University. The men will be in action tomorrow as they travel to Lawton, Okla., to take on Cameron at 2 p.m.
THE WICHITAN March 28, 2007
NFL players fumbling their image MCCLACHY TRIBUNE
When Miami Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter punched Bengals offensive tackle Levi Jones in the face after the players exchanged trash talk at a blackjack table in Las Vegas, the NFLʼs off-the-ﬁeld crisis went from the tragic to the absurd. As quick as a roll of the dice, the leagueʼs reputation further degenerated into an image of wildly out-of-control millionaires who are accountable to no one. Nothing is off limits: DWIs, guns, ﬁghts, steroids, drugs, domestic violence, death. “For everybodyʼs beneﬁt, if we are going to stay Americaʼs game, we have to do things right,” Steelers owner Dan Rooney said. The Porter-Jones heavyweight title ﬁght earlier this month was just the latest in a series of disturbing incidents that have rocked the NFL since Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams was shot to death as he sat in a limo on New Yearʼs Eve on a Denver street, in a still unsolved crime. The altercation came just one
month after Titans cornerback Pacman Jones was questioned by police after three people were shot at a Las Vegas strip club during the NBAʼs All-Star weekend, leaving a Long Island man paralyzed. It came just three days after Bears defensive tackle Tank Johnson was thrown in jail for 120 days for violating probation for a weapons violation by having an arsenal in his house. And it came just as commissioner Roger Goodell was ﬁnalizing plans to slam the players with a stricter personal conduct policy in an attempt to prevent criminal behavior from dragging down his massive $6 billion-a-year industry. “I like what he is doing,” one GM said. “The commissioner is saying, ʻYou better stop and think before you drink, before you go to that club.ʼ Heʼs trying to plant the seed. Heʼs saying, ʻHey guys, itʼs over, weʼre not tolerating this anymore. Weʼre coming down real hard on you.ʼ You really got to be stupid then to get in trouble.” Punishments may go as far as one-year suspensions requiring ap-
plication for reinstatement. Penalties could be imposed even before the legal process is complete, especially for repeat offenders. The longest suspension handed out by Goodell last year for a personal conduct violation was four games. Jones could shatter the record when Goodell gets through with him. NFLPA president Troy Vincent acknowledges that the current policy of ﬁning players, put into place in 2000, is not getting the message across: The money players make today is simply “so big, so enormous, it doesnʼt matter,” Vincent said. Taking away jobs for long stretches is a stronger and more effective deterrent. According to reports, as many as 40-50 NFL players have been arrested since the beginning of 2006, a ﬁgure that would essentially make up the entire roster of one team. “You would think that 48 out of the 53 guys on the rosters are thugs and menaces to society,” Pete Kendall the Jets player rep said from the NFLPA meetings last week in Ha-
Mustangs parlay into ﬁfth place JOSH MUJICA SPORTS EDITOR
The MSU golf team competed in the University of Central Oklahomaʼs KickingBird Classic in Edmond, Okla., last Monday and Tuesday and placed ﬁfth with 851 total points. MSU junior Brady Jones shared the lead after two rounds with a stat of ﬁve-under. He ﬁnished the course at oneover 71 and placed fourth individually at four-under par 206. Blake Slaughter of St. Edwardʼs
was named individual champion as he stayed ﬁve shots ahead of Jones with a 201 score. UCOʼs Mitch Boles was second at 204 while St. Maryʼs Jamie Amoretti came in third at 205. Midwesternʼs Logan Scarlett played well as he posted a even-par 70 to ﬁnish at three-over 213 to tie for 16th individually. Junior hunter Linscombe earned a two-over 72 to ﬁnish at ﬁve-over 215 and a tie at 24th place. Gordon Quebodeaux posted the best round of the day for the Mustangs on Tuesday as he ﬁred a three-
under 67 to ﬁnish at seven-over 217. Freshman Eric Thompson added a 76 to ﬁnish at 231. St. Edwardʼs conquered the team competition with a overall score of 836. Host UCO ﬁnished one stroke behind with 837 while Abilene Christian took third with 839. St. Maryʼs was fourth at 843. MSU will be back in action on Monday and Tuesday at the West Texas A&M Subway Invitational at the LaPaloma Country Club in Amarillo.
waii. “That is deﬁnitely not the case. There is certainly an abundance of negative press about our players. There is recognition there is a problem,” Kendall said. Kendall points out that the proliferation of media and the advent of cell phones with cameras “make it harder for players to have a life out of the public eye” although that doesnʼt explain criminal behavior. “Their luck ran out in Vegas,” the GM said. Porter, who just signed a $32 million contract with the Dolphins ($20 million of which is guaranteed) allegedly punched Levi Jones in the face after an argument spilled over from a blackjack table a continuation of the bad blood that developed when they faced each other twice a year when Porter played for the Steelers. Porter was charged with misdemeanor battery. The fear in the NFL of course is that at some point the public may get so fed up that there will be a backlash that could effect bank accounts.
MSU outlasts Savage Storm JOSH MUJICA SPORTS EDITOR
The Midwestern State University softball team traveled to Durant, Okla., to take on Southeastern Oklahoma State University Tuesday afternoon and came away with two wins. The doubleheader was supposed to be played on Monday but was postponed due to inclement weather. The Lady Mustangs (25-11) took advantage of four SOSU errors and cruised to a 6-1 game one victory. MSU outhit SEOSU 10 to 4.
The Zavala Hispanic Cultural Initiative invites all MSU students and faculty to its Hispanic Leadership Banquet When: Saturday Where: Women’s Forum of Wichita Falls Time: 6 p.m. Guest Speaker will be Jimmy Cabreara, author of “Whatʼs in your Backpack, Packing for Success in Life” Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students *This event is not only for Hispanics The Zavala Hispanic Cultural Initiative is a non-proﬁt organization
Lindsey Voigt had two hits and scored twice. Freshman Katie Peterson was the winning pitcher for MSU as she compiled six strikeouts and two walks to improve her season record to 14-9. Carly Goodnight was the losing pitcher for the Savage Storm as she struck out three and walked one to set her season record at 7-8. In game two MSU out hit SOSU 15-12 and beat the Savage Storm 94. Ashley Kuchenski was the winning pitcher as she bettered her season record to 11-2. The Lady Mustangs struck ﬁrst as they loaded the bases with one out in the ﬁrst inning. Shortstop Kelli Shaw brought the ﬁrst of four hits on the day and Tara Stanten hit a two run single to right ﬁeld to put the Lady Mustangs up 40 at the bottom of the ﬁrst. Shaw then added another two-run single in the third to put MSU up 61. Midwestern never looked back as the Savage Storm had trouble keeping up. The loss was the seventh in a row for the Savage Storm which is the longest losing streak in the programʼs 13-year existence. The Lady Mustangs will now take on the Savage Storm today at 2 p.m. in another doubleheader at the Sunrise Optimist Fields.
THE WICHITAN March 28, 2007