Sweepstakes Winner 2006 Texas Intercollegiate Press Association
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Sept. 12, 2007
New ed bill short of common sense Miracle of miracles, a new education bill made its way through the halls of Congress. Last Friday, both the House and Senate voted to increase ﬁnancial aid. Part of the bill boosts the maximum Pel Grant, which goes to families making less than $50,000 per year, from $4,310 to $5,400 over the next ﬁve years. Currently, 65 percent of MSU students receive grants, loans, work-stuwwwdy and academic and athletic scholarships. Not only will the new bill save thousands of dollars for
Admiration issue brings the old to light
low- and middle-class college students, it also gives ﬁnancial relief to students who plan on working in certain public service professions. The government plans on reducing interest rates on federally backed loans from 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent. In addition, a loan-forgiveness program will be instituted for college graduates who work in public service professions like nursing and teaching for 10 years. Starting in 2009, student borrowers will not have to devote more than 15 percent of their income to repay their loans. Right now that percent is arbitrary and could, in extreme cases, top 50 percent. For those choosing to teach math and science in lowincome public schools the government will offer an even sweeter deal. Students can get – while still undergraduates –
CARLY BURRES FOR THE WICHITAN The deﬁnition of admiration is something or somebody who is regarded with a feeling of pleasure or approval, a hero of sorts if you will. But what does it really mean to admire someone and consider someone a hero? How do you really know when you are admiring someone and when you THINK you are admiring someone? In my opinion, admiration can be compared to love and lust. Most people at one point or another have looked at someone that they have been lusting for and been convinced that they were in love. Eventually people are able to decipher that love is not what they are feeling. With admiration, most people have had that person that they have looked up to and thought of as something great. When you are younger, and
up to $16,000 in tuition assistance over four years. Students must maintain a 3.25 grade point average to be eligible and if they experience a change of heart the free money will morph into a full-blown loan. Bush said he plans on signing the bill into law. On the surface, all this sounds great but underneath it’s not so pretty. Grant-wise, a $1,000 rise over the next ﬁve years isn’t much money, especially with tuition constantly going up. Wannabe teachers too often don’t want to be teachers once they enter the classroom jungle. Within the ﬁrst ﬁve years, only 30 to 50 percent stay in the teaching ﬁeld. For others, it will be payback time. All said and done, a new bill sailed through Congress and it appears the president is set to sign it. For most students it will amount to little more than nothing. Thanks a lot.
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.
After these past six months however, I realize that I was wrong. The person in my life I admire most is the one who when he was in his early twenties and I was only sixteen, I had to help him bail his car out of “car jail.” Or the person who tries for two years to get his sister to attend a conference at another school so that I can participate in something special in his life. I can’t help but admire that painin-the-ass girl who is successfully learning how to teach children even though she has her own learning disabilities. Who do I consider to be a hero? I love you Devon Sawa but you are no hero of mine. My heroes are the old couples who have to deal with cancer and Alzheimer’s that just appeared out of nowhere one day. And the friend who will wake up at two in the morning because his friend is standing in the parking lot in 30-degree temperatures drunk
and upset. After letting her cry on his shoulder even though she can’t begin to tell him why she is crying he walks her home and makes sure she gets in bed. I absolutely adore the person who was willing to give up friendships and relationships because someone was making fun of her best friend. The people I admire the most are the people who screw up on a daily basis in big and little ways. The person who began to ﬁnd herself and change so much that I was no longer as big a part in her life, and I used something that she did as an outlet to express my anger and frustration…I still admire her. The people you admire are the people you can’t help but love and hold close to your heart regardless of what they do or say. They don’t have to do anything extraordinary or spectacular, most of the time they just have to be themselves and do the best they can with their life.
Freshman copes with newfound freedom
I took the Rider Raider sticker off the back window of my car the other day and in its place, I stuck my REBECCA FERGUSON n o t - s o - m a roon resident AD MANAGER parking tag. I found it kind of ironic that I was wearing my “Respect Your Elders” senior shirt at the time. I returned to halls of Wichita Falls Rider High School the Friday after my ﬁrst week of classes. I went during lunch so I could sneak a friend Sonic. Leave it to me to get in trouble when I’m not even a student at the school anymore. And no, it was not for the large Sonic cup in my hand. It was for being out of dress code – something I was known for in my four years in high school. The teacher who stopped me was the same one who always stopped me. Although she never sent me to the ofﬁce for anything, she loved to point out every little illegal item of my outﬁt.
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sometimes older, it is often someone in a celebrity standing. People feel that because celebrities are in the limelight there must be something special enough about them that they deserve all of a person’s admiration and adoration; because they played cool characters on TV, they must be super special. I know, I’m rambling. But I’m getting to my point. Within the past six months or so I have actually thought very hard about admiration and who I consider to be my hero. Excluding the Devon Sawa stage that I went through for a few years, I have never really looked to celebrities to be my heroes. But I never really considered anyone in my life to be a hero. I never really understood what it truly meant to admire someone enough to consider him or her a hero and someone to look up to. I always thought those people had to meet very speciﬁc and high standards that were indeﬁnable.
I’m pretty sure she got on to me the ﬁrst day of my senior year and at least twice more that same week. I lost count soon after that. By the end of the year, we would just end up in friendly arguments about choice in clothing for the day. This time I wasn’t really “in trouble” per say, I was really just scolded for setting a bad example for the younger, less mature highschool kids. I just smiled and said that, no, really I wasn’t. I told her that I was just showing them what they had to look forward to when they graduated high school and moved toward their college career. I ﬁnd it really weird now not to have a dress code anymore. I actually ﬁnd it really weird adjusting to hardly any rules at all. It’s weird not having bells signaling the end of classes. It’s weird having your professor walk into class after you and not just standing there waiting for the bell to ring. It’s weird having students walk in late and not really get in trouble. It’s weird that I still feel like I’m in the classrooms at Rider since a lot of my graduating class stayed here.
THE WICHITAN Editorial Board
Editor-in-Chief Krystle Carey Managing Editor Brittany Norman Entertainment Editor Konnie Sewell Op-Ed Editor Christian McPhate Sports Editor Josh Mujica Photo Editor Patrick Johnston
I think the weirdest thing is not having anyone to report back to. I have no curfew. I have no one to tell when and where to be. I can just as easily ignore the incoming call from “mom” just as easily as I can answer it. (And no, Mom, I would never intentionally ignore a phone call from you!) This freedom thing is deﬁnitely something I have to work on. Three hours of sleep is not a good thing, even on the weekends. I’ve never been good with managing my time, and this past weekend has only further proven that point. I’m already struggling to ﬁt in the time I need for studying amongst my busy social life. I know most of you feel the same way – why should I be studying when I could go watch movies and eat pizza in the lounge with my girlfriends? It’s a tough situation for someone with little experience in keeping up with their own life. As I write this, I should be studying. When I do actually start studying, I should be sleeping. Hopefully this cycle won’t continue for too long. And hopefully it won’t take a
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really bad grade for me to get my act together; my parents are paying way too much for that. Don’t get me wrong, I am deﬁnitely not complaining about the lack of rules or the constant scrutiny of the parental units. It’s just, well, a new stage in life to get used to. It’s only been a week and a half of school and I already feel like I could write a book about the experiences and challanges I’ve faced. I’ve never been one to remember homework assignments and I know my professors won’t hound me to turn things in I’ve already forgotten most of the faces I’ve seen, and there’s no way I can remember that many names. If you wave at me and say hi, I promise I’m not being rude, I honestly just don’t remember meeting you. There are those days when I’d rather live under a rock than deal with the stress and drama that seems to follow me everywhere but at the same time, there are those days that I wish would never end. I am slowly but surely getting ready for whatever college life has to throw at me.
THE WICHITAN Sept. 12, 2007
Bin Laden: true face of evil or scapegoat for America?
As I delved into the wrestling arena of trying to purchase books for classes last week, the CHRISTIAN MCPHATE words of STAFF REPORTER the Bush administration’s response to the infamous Osama Bin Laden’s taped message, which has continued to appear across the media’s radio and airwaves screamed in my mind. “This is about the best he can do,” White House aide Frances Fragos Townsend stated. “This is a man on the run, from a cave, who’s virtually impotent other than these tapes. We know that al-Qaeda is still determined to attack, and we take it seriously, but this tape appears to be nothing more than threats. It’s propaganda on their part.”
And yet, nothing on the tapes suggests a threat from the leader of evil. In fact, the propagrandfather of darkness made no threats against American citizens and does not call on his extremist brothers to attack. However, he does call on Americans to convert to Islam if they want the war in Iraq to stop. That could be considered a threat if you are an over-zealous Christian looking for another reason to not turn the other cheek and instead thump the mastermind of devils in the head with the long arm of a vengeful Christ. Sadly, it would all be for naught—the president is too wrapped up in Iraq to notice the true threat on the border of the dictator-controlled Pakistan, Bush’s friend and ally, and Afghanistan, the place America forgot. And the latest National Intelligence Estimate, if it can still be trusted after previous major screw-ups (weapons of mass de-
struction in Iraq and the bombing of the trade centers in the 20th and 21st centuries), al-Qaeda is intensifying efforts to put operatives in the United States while plotting against targets in the homeland to cause wide-scaled tragedies. Our country has been searching for Osama Bin Laden since the bombing of the Gold Mihor Hotel in Aden, Yemen on Dec. 29, 1992 and the U.S. Embassy bombings in 1998. President Bill Clinton signed an executive order for the arrest or assassination of Osama Bin Laden. And on Nov. 4, 1998, a Federal Grand Jury and the U.S. Department of State offered a $5 million reward for insight into the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden. The Master of Mayhem’s response to this martyrdom-like level of respect bestowed upon his notso humble self? “The International Islamic Front for Jihad against the U.S. and Israel has issued a crystal-clear fatwa calling on the Islamic nation to
carry on Jihad aimed at liberating holy sites. The nation of Muhammad has responded to this appeal. If the instigation for Jihad against the Jews and the Americans in order to liberate Al-Aksa Mosque and the Holy Ka’aba Islamic shrines in the Middle East is considered a crime, then let history be a witness that I am a criminal.” – Osama Bin Laden in an interview with journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai in 1999. Of course, President Bush continues to assert Osama Bin Laden’s guilt and the evilness of his axis of evilness, but my mind wonders why the president didn’t honor Clinton’s executive order and what happened to the little “White Paper” that Secretary of State Colin Powell promised to publish linking the Godfather of terrorists to the horriﬁc episode of 9/11. Or why Rex Tomb of the FBI’s public affairs unit said, “The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Osama Bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard
evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.” Why has the U.S. Justice Department not sought criminal charges on Osama Bin Laden (or anyone else for that matter) for the bombings on 9/11? Especially since two separate grand juries ﬁled two separate indictments against the former hero of the Soviet war for two separate acts of terrorism relating to his involvements with the previous bombings. I thought he was the godfather of propaganda against the freedoms of America, the evil of evildoers, the killer of American soldiers and civilians, the devil of 9/11? Did the president not promise to take the terrorist leader “dead or alive?” According to our government, Osama Bin Laden is the face of evil for the 21st century, and we as Americans cannot turn on the radio or TV without hearing the current color level of threat against our lives and loved ones because of the evil one’s actions.
And why did Osama bin Laden state after the 9/11 attacks on a broadcast on Qatar’s Al Jazeera satellite, “I stress that I have not carried out this act, which appears to have been carried out by individuals with their own motivation. God has struck America at its Achilles heel and destroyed its greatest buildings, praise and blessing to Him.” Why did the Bush administration release a tape that supposedly had Osama bin Laden confessing the planning of the 9/11 attacks to a close friend—only to have expert translators on a German television show state that the government had failed to translate the Arabic correctly and even went as far as to condemn the American government of manipulating the tapes to show Osama bin Laden confess his guilt for the World Trade Center bombings. Why?
It’s a new semester here at MSU and this always seems to rush in a new set of beginJASON KIMBRO nings for FOR THE WICHITAN m a n y across this wondrous campus of ours. Why, I myself have started a new job, have a fairly fresh baby girl (that’s a daughter, not a girlfriend for those stuck in the hip-hop lingo of about four years ago) and, unfortunately, I ﬁnd myself not as involve with The Wichitan. Now I know what most of you are thinking, but no, I did not have a run-in with Randy Pruitt and no I did not cuss out the new editor because she ordered pizza from
Papa John’s again. But alas, my schedule is ﬁlled with the wonders of fatherhood and career. And for those who actually enjoyed my articles, do not fret for I will still supply a column and/or movie review now and again for your sumptuous desires. Now onto the subject of this, my ﬁrst column of the fall 2007 semester: Porn. I’m just kidding folks. I will try my best to keep from delving into the world of porn this semester and hopefully keep it limited in my future semesters as a columnist. Instead I shall provide you an overview of what to expect from my twisted and yet sad little mind. September 11 has just passed us by. With that in mind, there has been a lot of discussion concerning the idea of making September 11 a national holiday. I personally do
not agree. Why? Find out in my next column titled: 9/11: Because Nearly 3,000 Human Beings Did Not Die So I Could Have Another Day Off Of Work. October is about to fall upon us again which means the ﬁrst days of chilly weather as well as one of my favorite events, Halloween. This brings to mind my love of skimpy costumes for women to wear in cold weather. As this is a highly admired act from which the right people could easily make a fun night even better, this gives me an opportunity to continue with my series of what ugly and/or fat people should and should not do, especially concerning the realm of what NOT to wear. So look out for the column which I shall title: Nipples: To Protrude or Not to Protrude. November is kind of a boring
month. Thanksgiving does fall toward the end of this lulling period of time but alas, if you’ve had the experiences I have had then it means very little to you. The beginning of the month will probably bring to mind the impending doom that is the presidential election that will take place about a year from then. I will, of course, throw out my own brand of satire and wit (at least that is what my mommy calls it) with what I will call: Presidential Preview 2008: The Road to Lethargy, or perhaps Ennui 2008. As for my debacles concerning my history with Thanksgiving, that will be a lovely little column all on its own. From food mishaps to lovely family excursions into madness, all will ﬁnd joy in my misery with the Thanksgiving article titled: Attack of the Baked Beans of Olney and Other Freak-
ish Tales. I will, of course, provide a holiday movie preview somewhere in the month of November. I would consider doing a horror movie preview for the Halloween season, but since Rob Zombie’s re-imaging of the ﬁlm “Halloween,” was released in August, a couple weeks before the ﬁrst Wichitan is distributed, this makes this task a little difﬁcult and somewhat stale. I really try not to preview ﬂicks that have already been released. That kind of defeats the purpose of it being a preview. Finally, I will give you all another treat, as I do every year: My holiday wish list. I have had some complaints about past wishes, for instance my desire for G.W. Bush to take skiing lessons due to my belief that he’s on about the same level as Sonny Bono created quite a stir.
This year I promise to be a little more sensitive to the readers of my yearly wish-list column. And since I plan to alienate most everyone by then with my earlier columns, plan on their being about as much controversy and profanity as I can get away with this year. Anyway, I want to welcome you all back to MSU and to all the newbies here, remember that about half of you will probably be gone by next spring so try to pick and choose your friends shrewdly. As for the list of columns that I have just provided, please keep in mind that this is tentative, not unlike every single syllabus you will come across, and it can (and most likely will) change at my own discretion. Thank you for your patronage (that paper is free so I have no idea how that works) and have a nice semester. Adios!
Thoughts of life changes, future stirrings of controversy
In The Clark Student Center
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THE WICHITAN Sept. 12, 2007
2007 VMAs Ten years ago, the last time MTV actually stood for anything, Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.” would have been a lock to take home the Moonman for Video of the Year — instead Rihanna’s crap video for “Umbrella” was voted Video of the Year and Monster Single of the Year during Sunday’s Video Music Awards. Other winners include: Justin Timberlake (Male Artist of the Year, Quadruple Threat of the Year), Fergie (Female Artist of the Year), Gym Glass Heroes (Best New Artist), Fall Out Boy (Best Group) and Beyoncé and Shakira (Most Earthshattering Collaboration).
Cover Me While the video for “Umbrella” may not be a Wichitan favorite, the song itself is undeniably great, though a little overplayed. For a fresh take on a universally loved song, check out covers by Marie Digby, David Sides, Vanilla Sky and Scott Simons, all available over at YouTube.
R.I.P. Luciano Pavarotti may have passed away Sept. 6, but his spirit still lives on. In honor of the master, immerse yourself in some opera. Bizet’s “Carmen” is probably the most popular opera and Puccini’s “La boheme” is the granddaddy of romance. If opera’s not your thing, remember: they make wordless versions of this stuff for cultural slackers. Another great passed away the same day as Pavarotti: Madeline L’Engle. Copies of her works (including favorite “A Wrinkle in Time”) are available at both the Wichita Falls Public Library and the Moffett Library on campus.
Actors add layers to ‘Yuma’ remake RICHARD CARTER FOR THE WICHITAN
Even with radio saturated with country music, it’s not easy to hear any fresh new country songs. It’s red dirt this and progressive country that, and a bunch of southern rock blah blah blah and so forth. What gets left behind is the country music. Which leads me to honest movie westerns. If there used to be hundreds of new westerns released each year — some of which were very good — nowadays they are hard to ﬁnd. I’m not sure why the crowd at the Sikes 10 Theaters Sunday for “3:10 to Yuma” was decidedly older, despite the fact that the two lead characters were being played by young, cool actors. Seriously, the “good” guy in the ﬁlm also happens to be the lead actor in the new Batman, and is playing the conﬂicted role rather well. The ever-charming Russell Crowe plays the “bad” guy. “3:10 to Yuma” is more than a good western; it’s a really good movie. Not only is there good action, there’s complex character development and actual good acting. There’s also a story that allows its characters some room to be human, as opposed to black or white markers in a rote plot. Seriously, the best and most interesting character is the “bad” guy, Ben Wade (Crowe). As the leader of a merciless gang, he knocks over stagecoaches and kills many times over. The more audiences come to understand his character, the more they will see that he lives by a code that is not all that wrong. Most of the people he killed deserved killing, and a lot of the people who pursue him are actually no better than he is when judged on a moral scale. Wade is charming, well read and a victim of circumstance, but he can also play a man or woman any which way he wants to. Sure, after shaking him out, he’s evil, but he’s also a complex character that goes way beyond the trite Bond villain
Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) takes a hostage in the new western “3:10 to Yuma,” co-starring Christian Bale, Ben Foster, Peter Fonda and Gretchen Mol. The ﬁlm is a remake of the 1957 original starring Glenn Ford and Van Heﬂin. Both ﬁlms are adaptations of a 1953 short story written by Elmore Leonard.
evil. Movies need this kind of villain. Wade’s counterpart is a former Union soldier, Dan Evans (Bale), who lost his leg in the war and is about to lose his farm to a ruthless bank. After Evans helps capture Wade, when a robbery goes wrong, he signs up to help deliver the outlaw
to a train to take him to a fort where he will be hung. Evans makes this deal for the money to save his farm and to gain some respect from his wife and his son, William. The cadre of men who take Wade to a small town to catch the train include a sketchy Pinkerton man (Peter Fonda), a spineless railroad suit and a humorous vet.
Not only must this motley crew evade Wade’s gang, led by the ruthless Charlie Prince (Ben Foster), they must also avoid Indians, bounty hunters and their own incompetence and anger. Along the way, viewers begin to see their characters unfold. It’s in the moral and ethical complexities of the characters, especially in
Wade and Evans, that this ﬁlm truly shines. In watching the drama play out, and the choices that each of the characters make, this ﬁlm plays more truly and interestingly than the majority of the sophomoric ﬁlm stock that usually invades our town. And that makes “3:10 to Yuma” entertaining.
IN THE CLARK STUDENT CENTER NEWLY REMODELED AND AN EXPANDED MENU
Pizza, Calzones, Salads, Hot Wings, Cheesesticks, and More!
As of press time... reports show Kanye West’s “Graduation” is outselling 50 Cent’s “Curtis.”
Genre: Rock/Power pop/Alternative Hometown: Bradenton, Fla. Sounds like: Yellowcard, Cartel, All-American Rejects This band has a semi-original sound but is all around feel-good music to listen to. The lead vocalist has a great voice that isn’t overshadowed by too much instrumental noise. With their upbeat sound and tapyour-toe rhythm, this band really does have a likeable sound. On the edge of pop and punk, We the Kings deliver a truly positive experience that’s easy to sing to and quite catchy. Their self-titled album is due October 2 and will be in stores everywhere.
Sept. 12, 2007
Genre: Ambient/Acoustic/Rock Hometown: Sacramento, Calif. Sounds like: Angels and Airwaves Combined with unique orchestral music and expressive lyrics, Broken Iris truly delivers an artistic sound. Their darker and more edgy songs really break from the standard sound of rock and give the listeners something worth hearing. Instead of singing about summer nights and high school lovers, Broken Iris digs deep and actually delivers something new. Their debut is in stores now.
Almost amous by Courtney Foreman, staff reporter
Kenny Chesney, “Just Who I Am: Poets and Pirates” Goo Goo Dolls, “Greatest Hits” Hot Hot Heat, “Happiness Ltd.” Pinback, “Autumn of the Seraphs” Ani DiFranco, “Canon” Jupiter Rising, “Electropop” The Shout Out Louds, “Our Ill Wills” Ann Wilson, “Hope and Glory” The Go! Team, “Proof of Youth”
The After Midnight Project
Genre: Alternative/Rock/Ambient Hometown: Tarzana, Calif. Sounds like: Story of the Year, Evans Blue Using their own life experiences of growing up in Los Angeles, the After Midnight Project conveys a more original sound in the world of alternative rock. Without being too dark or too pop, the After Midnight Project goes back to the basics and is a breath of fresh air in the genre. Combining effortless talent and classic rock sounds, the After Midnight Project really does bring something creative to the table. When asked to interpret the band’s sound in his own words, Spencer Bastian, who plays guitar in AMP, said: “It’s about love and loss, pure emotion.” It’s always nice to have a band singing about emotional things without having to run to the tissue box the ﬁrst chance you get. Overall, the After Midnight Project is gaining exposure. They are on tour now and will be all over Texas from October 17 through 23. The band plans to release their much-anticipated ﬁrst full-length studio album this year.
New releases this week:
You don’t have to be a genius to know what’s buzzing around MTV and what music is hot right now. It seems like every time you turn on the radio these days, you hear the same ﬁve songs played over and over again. It’s almost as if those songs are the only ones to listen to, which brings me to my question: These music sensations had to come from somewhere, so who else is out there undiscovered and deserving of attention? I present to you some new music options in the world of alternative rock. Instead of taking in what MTV has to offer this month, consider checking out these new faces and you just might ﬁnd your new ﬁx.
Genre: Power pop/Pop punk/Pop Hometown: Lyndhurst, N.J. Sounds like: Motion City Soundtrack, Get Up Kids, Hellogoodbye
Finally ﬁnding a band with some passion in their voices, Houston Calls offers a new experience when it comes to listening to music. While telling a story with each song, you really connect and ﬁnd yourself a part of their very personal lyrics. Paired with a unique voice and power pop sounds, Houston Calls gives an upbeat twist to the current era of punk rock we’re in. This New Jersey-based band released their debut album, “A Collection of Short Stories,” in August of 2005 and has gained more coverage since. Some songs that stand out on their latest album are “Bob And Bonnie,” “A Pen and a Piece of Mind,” “Elephant and Castle” and “Amtrak Is For Lovers.” Houston Calls is working on a new album now and due sometime early next year.
THE WICHITAN Sept. 12, 2007
French_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________continued from page 1 local café.) Wine at most cafés used to be pretty awful unless you went to a specialized wine café. The quality and diversity of both wine and food have improved remarkably. Learning café etiquette is essential. First, there is a sliding price scale based on what space you occupy. If you want a quick coffee or drink, stand at the bar, called le zinc, because it was originally, and often still is, a zinc countertop. Prices at the bar for a drink (although not for food) are usually ﬁfty to sixty percent of the price for the same item once you sit. Most of the French have their morning and after-lunch coffee at the counter because it’s faster and cheaper. Prices are lower because you are not taking up valuable space at a table and because no service charge is included. For these reasons, you never order a drink at the bar and take it to a seat. When you pay, the barman will return your change in a small saucer. Pick up your change quickly, or he will think the change is his tip and will scoop it up. If you want to idle or your feet are tired from walking (which they will undoubtedly be because walking is another pleasure that Paris offers), take a seat in the salle (main room) or on the terrasse (the sidewalk café). Depending upon the café and the neighborhood, where sidewalk space might be at a premium for people-watching, the terrasse is more coveted and therefore can be even costlier than the salle. This difference is rare, however, and really exists only in the priciest cafés, such as those along boulevard SaintGermain like the famous literary cafés, Les Deux Magots or Le Flore. Here, one is paying to watch but also to be seen. Whether sitting in the salle or on the terrasse, the space you occupy is yours for as long as you like. Literally. It is, along with a ﬁrst-rate public health care
system, a natural right that the French enjoy. Dr. Williams, director of International Education, and I spent a good long hour at a café on the rue Bonaparte in April, where tiny tables were at a premium, and we only had a café au lait. No waiters pressured us to consume more or to give up our table. Such pressure would be considered very poor manners indeed. Granted, the coffee cost six dollars each because of the prime location, but we had a pleasant conversation and leisurely watched Parisian life drift by in front of our eyes on a brilliant Saturday morning. It seemed worth it to me. Then there are the bathrooms. Do some reconnaissance when you enter. First, ﬁnd the light switch. Electricity is expensive, and the frugal French often set their lights on a timer, usually three minutes. It’s no fun trying to ﬁnd the light when you are plunged into complete darkness in a tight room you don’t know. Secondly, space is at a premium in a Parisian café’s architectural plan, and the bathroom is where planners skimp. If you’re lucky, your bathroom will have a modern toilet. The entire space will be miniscule, but you will manage. The problem arises when you are faced with the notorious “Turkish toilet”. It is a porcelain mold with two slightly raised platforms for your feet and a hole in its middle over which you crouch. There is no commode on People watchers soak in the ambiance at a Paris sidewalk cafe. which you sit. Before you use one of these, you should take off your jacket plumbing has been modernWhen it comes time to pay, charge of ten to ﬁfteen percent and remove anything from your ized. On my last trip to Paris I you must ask for the check. Just is included (service compris) in pockets that might fall out. was in two very elegant cafés in say “l’addition, s’il vous plaît”. the tab. You need leave nothing When it’s time to ﬂush, position chic neighborhoods and, to my It would, again, be bad manners more. People who are ﬂusher yourself so that you can escape for the waiter or, increasingly in surprise, discovered that they than students usually leave a little the rush of water that inevitably had Turkish toilets. It is ironic Paris, the waitress to give you something extra if the service has spills over where your feet just that such primitive plumbing still your bill before you requested been particularly good. were. exists in a country synonymous it. It would be taken as a hint to With this background, you Unfortunately, the look or with elegance and sophistication. leave. are ready to enjoy one of life’s location of a café is no clue to As in all restaurants and cafés But such are the contradictions pleasures. That is, a semester determining whether the café’s abroad in the Loire valley at that each country has. (except at the counter), a service
Housing___continued from page 1
There’s a possible solution to the housing crunch in the works. The administration is taking the ﬁrst steps toward building a new residence hall that they hope will be open by fall 2009. While the increasing number of students enrolling poses a challenge, it’s one that the administration is happy to face. “We don’t see the housing shortage as a problem,” Reddick said. “It’s a good one to have, because it means a lot of students want to come to MSU.”
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Pontlevoy, France. Ernest Hemingway’s famous quote applies to both young women and young men and to Paris as well as to Pontlevoy. “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”
Calhoun____continued from page 1
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Calhoun said his administration is going to be receptive to student ideas, concerns and initiatives. “When it comes to this year, I just feel our ofﬁce is more inviting,” he said. “I think that’s one of the big differences students will see this year.” He said it will be his perogative to make sure things are taken care of for the students. “We were put here by the students, so we are not doing our job if we are not doing what they want,” he said. Calhoun said he is trying to get student senators involved as much as possible to make sure the students’ voices are heard. “When I say this ofﬁce is going to be more inviting, it’s because we as ofﬁcers know we can’t do this alone,” he said. “We need student involvement and to hear what students have to say because at the end of the day if we don’t know, then we’re not effectively doing what we need to be doing.”
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