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Vol. XXXIV, Issue 13, November 8, 2011



Meet Pat the Human pg. 4 Financial aid faces federal investigation Page 3

It’s time to d-d-duel Page 5


Class of 2013

MeeT Mary

ary, an Honors College student studying biology, came to Texas A&M UniversityCommerce to take advantage of the Honors College full-ride scholarship and to pursue her dream of becoming a neuroscientist.

For Mary, the Honors College presents many great opportunities that can help her as she strives toward her goals. Because she plans to attend medical school after graduation, she is especially interested in writing the required Honors College thesis to add to her résumé. Along with the academic benefits, Mary enjoys being part of the close-knit A&M-Commerce community and getting to know her professors on a personal level. “Both the Commerce community and the university are relatively small,” Mary said. “And the small class sizes allow students an opportunity to develop close student/teacher relationships.” “My first semester I was only taking plant biology, so I didn’t have a strong vocabulary in genetics and neurology,” Mary said. “In genetics specifically, gel electrophoresis, separating DNA genes based upon their sizes, is extremely important. Here at A&MCommerce, it was one of the first things I got to do.” Mary is positive that A&M-Commerce is a great starting point for a career in science and medicine, and is grateful for the knowledge she has obtained at the university.

LEARn MORE about Mary and how Texas A&M UniversityCommerce can change your future by visiting:


WWW.TAMU-COMMERCE.EDU 903.886.5000 or 888.868.2682 A Member of The Texas A&M University System


DCCCD Financial Aid investigation launched by U.S. Department of Education LAURA GARSEA Editor-in-Chief

An investigation of the DCCCD’s financial aid disbursement methods is in the works. The U.S. Department of Education is following a claim that the DCCCD potentially violated federal regulations. The claim states that violations occurred in fall 2009 when students were faced with ATM and banking fees when accessing their financial aid money. According to published reports in the Dallas Morning News, the allegations were made to the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Education in January by a

former DCCCD employee. DCCCD District Director of Media Relations Ann Hatch said they were not aware of the bank fees investigation. The investigation is looking at the Higher One Inc. system, which is available for DCCCD students receiving financial aid. The Higher One debit card and banking system is promoted as a system to aid students in receiving their funds quicker. Students faced the ATM fees in fall of 2009 because at that time no ATMs Illustration credit Julio Nieto that accommodated the Higher One The Higher One debit card is a method students debit card without charging a fee had can use to receive their financial aid. been installed on campus.

Hatch said that students had an option to choose the Higher One debit card, a check, or direct deposit. However, according to Hatch, a claim has been made that Brookhaven did not give students that option, thus they were forced to pay the ATM fee. DCCCD has a $135,000 contract with Higher One Inc. that began on Jan. 6, 2009 and goes through April 2014. While the district has faced financial aid difficulties and challenges this semester with a new centralized financial aid operation, Hatch said that the claim and problems today have no correlation. Despite the claim, Hatch told the Chronicle she feels there has been no violation.

Brawl ends men’s soccer season ADAM CROUCH Staff Writer

A game-ending brawl that forced the Richland College men’s soccer team to forfeit two games also is costing them a shot at a national championship. The National Junior College Athletic Association, the national governing body for ju-

nior college athletics, suspended the team for two games in response to an in-game fight with rival Mountain View College on Oct. 21. The effect of the ruling, which was handed down Oct. 24, was that Richland was not allowed to play its final regular season game on Oct. 26 or compete in the Region V championship on Oct. 29. Richland appealed the ruling but, so far,

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has had no success. Neither the Richland men’s coach, Sean Worley, nor the school’s athletic director, Tony Summers, could be reached for comment. The fight occurred at Richland College as the teams squared off for the second time this season. Richland, which had defeated Mountain View 6-0 earlier in the season, was leading 3-0 when the incident took place. According to reports filed by the match official, multiple players from both teams left their benches and got involved in the altercation. The result was the two-game suspension for both squads. “If anyone leaves the bench during a fight or altercation, they are immediately suspended from that game and the next two games,” said John Green, the Region V director of men’s sports for the NJCAA. “I did not see the game,” Green said in a telephone interview. “I did not get any video

tape of the game. I got an official’s report that stated that both team’s benches emptied during the event. The officials are the authority at the game.” Two days after the melee, Richland played another home game against Tyler Junior College on Oct. 23. Worley told a physical education class that he sat out at least two players involved in the fight, according to a student in the class. However, the NJCAA ruled, because the official’s game report stated that it was a bench-clearing event, all of the players were suspended for two games. It was a devastating blow for Richland, a top-ranked team which was expected to compete for a national championship. At one point this season, it was the No. 2 team in the nation. The team has captured five national titles since 2002 and will miss the national tournament for only the second time in the past 10 seasons. • November 8, 2011

File Photo



discover your future

Creative costumes take top prizes LAURA GARSEA Editor-in-Chief

Pirates, princesses and villains owned the stage in the cafeteria seeking the top prize at the Halloween Costume Contest Oct. 31. The contest, sponsored by the Office of Student Life, showcased creative costumes and talented dancers for Halloween entertainment. More than 50 contestants walked the stage taking on different character roles. The prizes for the winners were a $100 gift card to the bookstore, a $50 and a $25 gift card to the bookstore. First place was awarded to Anthony Robledo dressed as a Spartan from “300.” Robledo immediately received cheers and whistles upon walking on the stage and proceeded to scream the famous line from the

movie, “This is Sparta!” Darth Vader graced the audience with his presence taking the second-place prize. While the force wasn’t with John Racek to win him first place, he kept away enough Jedis to place in the contest. Oogie Boogie, also known as the Boogie Man from the “Nightmare Before Christmas,” showed the audience that the Boogie Monster is real, enchanted spectators with a tune and shuffled off the stage. Drew Bramlett, dressed in a homemade Oogie suit, walked away with the third-place prize. From out of nowhere, a girl ran screaming into the crowd of contest spectators followed by a male wearing claw-like gloves. The theatrical entrance was Richland’s Dance Team performing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Joined by zombie dancers, the team flawlessly performed the classic routine. The King of Pop would have been proud. • November 8, 2011

The University of Texas at Arlington is the fastest growing university in the state of Texas and is a nationally-ranked college destination of choice for transfer students. Become a part of the Maverick family, and experience it for yourself. Discover your future by becoming a part of a university that is changing the world through discovery and building a better future for everyone in it! Important Deadlines


More Information

Spring 2012 Priority Application Deadline

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Feb. 15, 2012

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June 1, 2012

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The Richland Dance Team performed to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

Apply for Admission today at Contact your admission counselor, Andrea Shanks at 817-272-7130 or for more information.


Image credit Greg Carboni

Image credit Joyce Asher

Image credit Joyce Asher

Contest winners from left to right: First place: Anthony Robledo as a Spartan. Second place: John Racek as Darth Vadar. Third place: Drew Bramlett as Oogie Boogie.


Everyday they’re shuffling Contributing Writer

Loud whoops erupt through the air as students gather around their respective tables, eyes in front and oblivious to all else around them. The familiar sounds of decks shuffling and the slap of cards on foam mats to some is a welcoming sign, and to these students it is the makings of business as usual. Welcome, one and all, to the card gaming corner, where collectible card games (CCGs) like Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh! are king. “I prefer Yu-Gi-Oh! because I’ve been playing it for so long, and have such fond memories of it growing up,” said Daniel Beltran, 20, a psychology major. “Though Magic is growing on me.” A small, tight-knit group of people tucked away in their corner nearest the Subway in El Paso, these gamers are not of a large group. Perhaps 20 to 30 in size and interspersed over time, there is almost always a game going at some table, or if there are no games going on, there certainly is trading or card selling. Depending on the card, the game and the seller involved, these can sell for anywhere from $1 to $6.

Although in some card shops, there are Magic cards that sell for almost $100, depending on the set and if it is a tournament winner at the time. Student players tend to be available all day on school days, sometimes even attending casual tournaments around the community if they feel competitive enough. Places such as Comic Book Craze, Comic Asylum, or Lone Star Games promote weekly tournaments, in which players compete for

special booster packs and the like, as well as gather with other players to trade cards and build new strategies. “It [Yu-Gi-Oh!]’s not all shiny cards and high attack,” Taylor Barnett, a 19-year-old music major, said. “It makes you think and plan.” Though there are competitive players, there are plenty of others who put little clout in the competitive scene and play just for fun. “Mostly I’m casual because sometimes the games get taken too seriously,” said Juan Cantu, 20, a Japanese language major. “Even by me, when I have a losing streak It’s satisfying to see somethat seems impossible to have happened one go from stumbling in the first place.” On top of that, new competition is alover themselves and the cards ways appreciated. to having the confidence to Even outside their own group, there are always those willing to challenge a play fast and have fun with it. seasoned player, as well as train new players to the game. -Jordan Nichols “I’ve gotten several people into the game,” recalled Jordan Nichols, 20, a psychology major. “It’s satisfying to see someone go from stumbling over themselves and the cards to having the confidence to play fast and have fun with it.” From old to new, the hollers of the card gamers are a clear beacon to the world of CCG within the halls of El Paso. Are you game?

Want to know more?

Image courtesy

Players are called Planeswalkers Your deck is called a Library The point of the game is to get the opponent’s life (each player starts at 20) to zero. To use the ability of a card, you “tap” it. You use “mana” in order to play cards. You can have as many cards on your field as you want, and can play as many cards as you want, so long as you have the mana to play them. Interesting facts: Magic: The Gathering was first brought about in 1993 by Wizards of the Coast. The most expensive card, a “Black Lotus” from the original Alpha sets, can run you more than $2,400, depending on quality and vendor.

Image courtesy

Pablo Rodriguez gets ready to play a card in Yugioh.

Images credit Julio Nieto

You are called a duelist The point of the game is to get your opponent’s (you start with 8000) life points to 0. There are different kinds of summons, but you can only “normal summon” once per turn. You can only have five monsters and five continuously active spells on the field at a time. You don’t need a mana source to play cards. Yu-Gi-Oh! is published by Konami, the same company that is responsible for video games such as the “Castlevania” series.

Left: A duelist plays a spell card. Right: A Planeswalker “taps” a card.

It’s based on a card game from the Japanese television show and comic book of the same name. • November 8, 2011




Service men at Richland REBECCA BANKS Staff Writer • November 8, 2011

Recently, Richland was named a Military-Friendly school for its various services to its veteran students. Fred Allen, Earl Ward and Rahel Omer are Richland students who contributed years of service to the United States military. Allen is a full-time student among the other military service men and women that attend Richland. He is currently taking classes to major in international business. Allen is in the Marine Corps and has served eight and a half years to date. “The veteran services at Richland provide helpful support for the military students and is helpful for combat soldiers to relate with other soldiers,” Allen said.


He added that combat changes any soldier and can make it hard for them to relate to civilians. Allen strongly believes that everyone should understand how to maintain a good financial standing. “Richland should provide a financial program that teaches about the various aspects to finances and how money works.” Allen really enjoys photography and would like to make it his career. The Veterans Art Show will be displaying two of his photographs in E082-83. Ward is a published photographer and retired Master Sergeant in the Army. He served 38 years and contributed his services in Vietnam, Desert Storm and Afghanistan. “As First Sergeant, I was responsible to take care of the soldiers in my unit,” Ward said.

He is a full-time student and is working toward a degree in digital photography. Some of his previous work has been featured at Richland’s art shows and one was chosen for the cover piece. Currently his artwork has been published in the Dallas Morning News and the Brookhaven Courier. Ward was hired to photograph models and fashion shows along with several other assignments. Ward said his photography is more than a hobby. He has a passion for it. Two of his photographs will be featured at Richland’s Veteran Art Show. Six years ago, Omer was in Iraq serving in the United States Army as a translator. During his service he attended the city council meetings that discussed civil affairs to provide aid for schools, water supply and other standards that needed to be met in the community.

As a translator, it is important to know the native language to provide the appropriate aid needed for the community. “No communication, no achievement,” stated Omer. Omer is attending Richland to obtain an associates degree in criminal justice. As an interpreter, Omer said he is not eligible to receive any financial aid from the GI bill because his service is not recognized to receive aid. In the near future he would like to see a specific financial aid program that will help other service men and women in similar circumstances receive financial benefits to aid in their academic careers.

“The veteran services at Richland provide helpful support for the military students and is helpful for combat soldiers to relate with other soldiers.” - Fred Allen Richland veterans, Fred Allen left and Earl War.

Images credit Rebecca Banks

Upcoming veterans’ events JOYCE JACKSON Copy Editor

The reception for the first Richland Veterans Art Show will take place from noon to 1 p.m. today (Nov. 8) in El Paso Hall, Room E-082. It will include art work done by veterans – students, staff, faculty and/or community members. Everyone is welcome to attend a Veterans Day Observance from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, in the El Paso student lounge.

For the 10th anniversary of 9/11, it is important that the nation remember those who have given their lives in the global war on terrorism. The Richland VA Department has signed up for the National Roll Call 2011 so that students at community colleges and universities throughout the country can demonstrate a commitment to those who have been lost. Students, faculty, staff, community leaders, family members and veteran supporters will be reading a list of war dead from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring

Freedom. Also, at 11 a.m. PST (1 p.m. Dallas time), there will be a minute of silence to honor the fallen. The time, 1100, is the time the armistice was signed on Nov. 11 to end World War I and is the traditional moment for such events. Pacific Standard Time was chosen so that the minute of silence could be done in all 50 states simultaneously without inconvenience to anyone. For further information, contact RLC VA Coordinator Kim Montes at 972-238-6739 or e-mail her at


Freebies and discounts for veterans Military ID or proof of service will be required It is advised that you call and make sure your local location is participating.


A free meal is offered to veterans on Nov. 11. There will be seven entrees to choose from.


Army-Navy game to be held in nation’s capital The countdown is on for the Army-Navy football game. The game will be held in D.C. on Dec. 10. The Army Black Knights, three-

time national champions from West Point, will face the Navy Midshipmen. Which team will you be rooting for?

Go online to to cast your vote.

All military veterans will be eligible for a free meal on Nov. 11. Six free entree choices will be available.

Krispy Kreme

A free donut will be available for veterans at participating Krispy Kreme locations on Nov. 11.

T.G.I. Friday’s

Buy one get one free menu item. Valid on Nov. 11.


Participating Subways will offer a free six inch sub or flatbread to military veterans. Valid on Nov. 11.

Outback Steakhouse

A free Bloomin’ Onion and CocaCola product will be offered to all veterans through Nov. 11. A free MP3 download of “Veterans Day Honor” will be available to all through Veterans Day. The download includes 12 songs performed by military bands and ensembles of the U.S.


A free small Slurpee will be available to veterans on Nov. 11 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Free car wash

Check your local car wash to see if they will be offering a free car wash for veterans. Many in the area are participating in this offer.

Home Depot

Image courtesy U.S. Navy

Known as “America’s Game,” the Army-Navy football game is a classic fall rivalry played this year in our nation’s capital.

A military discount will be applied to all active duty personnel, retired military veterans and their families. Check a participating Home Depot for more details. • November 8, 2011



A new student loan system on the horizon in Texas?


Students who have interest in student loans may want to take note of this article, as it addresses a proposed amendment to the Texas Constitution that would change the way students attain financial aid at the state level. The ballot text for the proposed amendment to be voted on today (Nov.8) reads as follows: “The constitutional amendment providing for the issuance of general obligation bonds to the State of Texas to finance educational loans to students.” Aaah! Ring the constitutional amendment alarm! The oil-slick fat cats in cowboy hats that comprise the Texas Legislature are after our freedom again! Aaaah! Except for the fact that they’re not, and the upcoming popular vote to amend the constitution of Texas is designed to increase accessibility to financial aid without raising

the amount of money borrowed by the state [taxpayers] to do so. How, you may ask, is it possible for such a system to exist? The solution lies in the way our state issues bonds to finance student loans. Let’s take a look at the issue. At this point, the Texas legislature, by popular vote, has issued $1.86 billion in bonds for the purpose of increasing the accessibility of higher education. Once those bonds are paid in full, voter consent is necessary to issue new bonds. Today, only $275 million in those bonds are unissued and accessible. I just received $1,000 of that this morning. Tick-tock. To add to the situation, the current congressional session is set to cut the amount of state money dedicated to financial aid. Senator Royce West D-Dallas, drafted a solution to this dilemma in the form of Proposition 3: Automatically replace bonds that have been paid in full with new bonds for new borrowers. The debt ceiling remains unchanged, while new students seeking financial aid will be able to access loans with no hiccups in the bureaucracy due to there being no bonds left until an expensive popular vote is carried out. Critics of this proposition cite the alleviation of voter responsibility in the issuance of bonds as an infringement upon voter rights, and cite it as an example of taxation without representation. Whether Proposition 3 is a boon for loan

distribution efficiency or an attack on taxpayer rights is for you, the voter, to decide on November 8. • November 8, 2011


The Richland Chronicle hits campus newsstands.

Music Events:

Each Tuesday, the Music Department of the School of the Division of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts presents its Recital Series. All performances are free and open to the general public. For information, contact Dr. Michael Crawford, associate dean of performing arts, at 972-238-6284.

The Richland Chronicle is proud to honor the Veterans who have served our country and protected our freedom.

COVER AND FONTS Cover Page Design Photo credits:

Tuesday, Nov. 8: 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Performance Hall, Room 108 The Richland College Guitar Ensemble will perform. Tuesday, Nov. 8: 7:30 p.m. Fannin Performance Hall, Room F-102 The Richland Guitar and Early Brass Ensembles entertain.

Friday, Nov. 11: 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. El Paso Hall Live on Jones Street presents “One Mic Stand” Everyone is welcome to enjoy this free R&B/poetry event. No drugs, alcohol or vulgar language. Saturday, Nov. 12: 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. 13th Annual Pow Wow – Richland gym This American-Indian cultural celebration features traditional drumming, dancing, singing, food and art. The event is free and open to the public. It’s sponsored by the Office of Student Life and the Dallas ISD PAC. For information, call 972-238-6130.

Benjamin Guthrie Julio Nieto

Certain fonts are provided by the following: -

STUDENT MEDIA STAFF Rebecca Banks Terry Blend Mary Channell Adam Crouch Sean Dunbar Tannia Garcia Mary Jane Higginbotham Benjamin Guthrie

Image credit AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Dressed as the “Master of Degrees,” Gan Golan of Los Angeles holds a ball and chain representing his debt during Occupy DC activities on Oct. 6 in Washington.

Scott Jackson John Kosanke Julio Nieto Dennis Q. Ly Joe Stumpo Patricia Villacin Timothy Potter

STUDENT MEDIA ADVISERS Esther Cho Erica Edwards Jack Fletcher David Goodloe

Tim Jones Steve Noviello James Ragland Larry Ratliff Marshall Siegel

FALL 2011 ISSUES August 16 August 23 August 30 September 6 September 13 September 20 September 27 October 4 October 11

Tuesday, Nov. 8 : Noon to 1 p.m. El Paso Hall, Room E-082 Richland College First Veterans Art Show Thursday, Nov. 10: 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Student Lounge American Indian Dancers

Laura Garsea TBA Dacota Taylor Adrien Merliss TBA TBA Carla Davis TBA TBA TBA Joyce Jackson TBA Tannia Garcia Mary Channell


Upcoming Events Tuesdays:

STUDENT MEDIA LEADERS Richland Chronicle Editor-in-Chief KDUX Web Radio Station Manager Chronicle-TV Station Manager Chronicle-Online Editor Asst. Managing Editor News Editor Radio News Director Sports Editor Photo Editor Viewpoints Editor Copy Editor Radio Sport Director Layout Editor Gaming Editor

October 18 October 25 November 1 November 8 November 15 November 29 December 6 December 13

AWARDS ACP Pacemaker Winner, 2000, 2001, 2007 ACP Pacemaker Finalist, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007 ACP Online Pacemaker Finalist, 2007, 2008 1st Place - TIPA Sweepstakes, 2005 3rd Place - TIPA Online, 2005 & 2006 Over 150 Texas college journalism awards since 2000

Newly Renovated Apartment Homes Built in Microwaves Fireplaces Covered Parking Courtesy Patrol Forest Cove Apartments 214-341-4298

CONTACT INFORMATION El Paso Hall, Room E-020, 12800 Abrams Rd. Dallas, 75243 Newsroom: 972-238-6079 E-mail: Advertising: 972-238-6068 E-mail: Fax: 972-238-6037

MEETINGS & POLICIES Staff meetings: Monday and Wednesday 2 p.m. in E-020 ------Letter Policy Letters to the editor may be edited for space. They will be edited for spelling, grammar and malicious or libelous statements. Letters must be the work of the writer and must be signed. For identification and verification purposes, letters also must include the writer’s classification (grade level), full name, address and telephone number, although address and telephone number will not be published. Editorial Policy The Chronicle is the official student-produced newspaper of Richland College. Editorials, cartoons, columns and letters are the opinions of individual students and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of other individual student writers, editors, advisers or the college administration. © Richland Chronicle 2011

Dancers take the stage



The Richland College School of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts presented “Momentum Dance Fall 2011” on Nov. 4, in Fannin Hall theater with a variety of diverse

dance pieces, including hip hop, belly dance and Spanish ballet. The concert combined student and faculty choreography.

Images credit Julio Nieto

Above Riley Lundberg, left, and Kathia Cano do the contemporary piece “Generations.” The music, “Four Women” is by Nina Simone, choreographed by Jazmine Coats. Top Right Dancers Kenna Emert, Katie Navarro, Kathia Cano, Amy Hampton and Riley Lundberg do a jazz piece to Adele’s “Rumor Has it.” Bottom Right Tyler Patterson choreographed and danced to a modern piece titled “Bent Semblance.” Music was Gabriel Prokofiev’s “String Quartet No. 2 (Vex’d Remix).”

bring their best

Staff Writer

Image courtesy Universal


“Tower Heist” is the newest comedy from Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy, both formerly known for being funny. Obviously I thought these guys had lost their edge. Stiller plays the building manager of a high-rise apartment tower that seems to be unknowingly housing a high-stakes criminal. The plot unfolds and the tenant is caught in the middle of his little Ponzi scheme. The feds get involved and no one is too pleased with the situation. The hotel staff becomes involved as they find out the character played by silly old Ben Stiller invested all of their pension money with the man. To get the money back, Stiller enlists the help of his thuggish neighbor, played by Murphy, and a few of the hotel’s employees. And so begins the heist of the tower. Along for the journey are Casey Affleck, Michael Peña, and Matthew Broderick. Each awkwardly finds their way to mesh into the film and hits the hilarity cues right on target. Especially Broderick, who plays a soon to be


homeless employee of Meryl Lynch. He pulls off some of the funniest lines in the entire flick. Surprisingly, this is where I tell you how great Stiller and Murphy are in “Tower Heist.” Yes, they get the job done beautifully and remind everyone that they are still relevant. Maybe it was just the fantastic supporting cast that surrounds the two, but their performances were a pleasant surprise. Murphy is as funny as he use to be and Stiller, well, he’s just not overdoing it like usual. It’s as if he isn’t trying to impress everyone here. In turn, watching him is much less of an annoyance. His humor in “Tower Heist” is much more subtle and hilarious, if you can pick up on it. “Tower Heist” is a movie I dreaded viewing for a long time. When I sat down in the theater, I figured the only thing I’d enjoy was my popcorn. After it was over, I couldn’t believe how much I laughed and enjoyed myself. The movie feels like a breath of fresh air to the comedy genre and is simply refreshing.

Years ago, if someone had told me there was a market for a Justin Bieber Christmas album, I would have made sure they got proper medical attention. Now tweens everywhere will have a happy holidays courtesy of Bieber’s new album, “Under the Mistletoe.” Thankfully, some of the tracks are just covers of Christmas classics. Well-known songs like “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” are actually done quite well. It can be refreshing to hear a modern pop twist on songs that sometimes remain untouched. That being said, they’re not all gems on this album. I never thought I’d see a cover of “Drummer Boy” featuring Busta Rhymes. This song is simply a painful mixture of overproduced traditional lyrics and out-of-place rapping. From bad to worse, the original pieces are just what you’d expect. There are multiple tracks of Bieber letting every girl out there know that she is all he wants for Christmas this year. Listening to these songs, it’s easy to see who this album is designed for. After listening to “Mistletoe,” I now know to stay away

from Justin Bieber if there is any mistletoe in the room. One song I have absolutely no qualms with is the cover of “Silent Night.” This track reminds that beyond all the hype and screaming girls, Justin Bieber is a very talented singer. Even the slight echo placed in this song isn’t necessary. With just the standard lyrics and piano accompaniment, this song drops all the needless synthesizers and voice autotuners. No matter what people think of this album, there’s no doubt that it’s going to be a top seller this holiday season.

Image credit Island, Def Jam Records • November 8, 2011

Bieber wants you Stiller and Murphy this Christmas



Dallas Children’s Theater founder began on a shoestring JOYCE JACKSON November 8 • 2011

Copy Editor


Robyn Flatt has had a long and successful career in drama – starting from the third grade. As founder and artistic director of the Dallas Children’s Theater, Flatt was on campus Oct. 21 to share her experiences with aspiring student actors. Andy Long, chair of the Drama Department, took part in the discussion and said Flatt has won more directing awards than any person in Dallas history. Last month, The Dallas Morning News nominated her for Texan of the Year. “The truly fantastic thing about her is she funded the DCT in 1984 with $500,” Long said. “This year their annual operating budget was over $3 million.” The idea for the DCT was conceived in 1976 when Dallas began to promote the arts in the community as much as possible, Flatt said. Symphonies and dance in the parks were popular, but the city wanted to find a way to add theater outdoors. At the time, Flatt was at the Dallas Theater Center and put together people she worked with to form a mime acting group. But, she knew it would be difficult to do drama in the park because people needed to hear it as well as see it being performed. “We spent several months developing a very visual kind of theater that would play well in the parks,” Flatt said. “From 1976 to 1982, we performed at almost every park in the city of Dallas.” It was then that the bottom fell out. New leadership took over the Dallas Theater Center and they wanted a clean slate. With a new director and employees, Flatt said she thought about starting a theater, but didn’t have much money to do so.

Image courtesy

“I had $500 to start off with,” Flatt said. Flatt said she was able to pull together people in the acting field who could do scenery and create costumes. She even found some space – an empty public school with classrooms. The Theater Center gave her some subscribers. “I didn’t have money, but I had people,” she said. “What I did have was a whole family of theater friends who had worked together for a long time,” Flatt said. “I had help. I had a lot of fantastic talent.” About that time, Janet James, now executive assistant to the president at Richland, who worked at El Centro College then, told Flatt she could use their theater. Flatt and her acting staff developed four plays, had the support of El Centro and the subscribers who had paid their money to the Theater Center. “That first year we managed to bring in $40,000 in ticket sales and class tuitions and $40,000 in contributions. I hardly ever slept. I didn’t pay myself anything for the first several years. It was like, very hard to start something,” Flatt said. But, success eventually came in 2000 when the DCT bought its own home in Dallas and opened in 2003. The 58,000-square-foot facility boasts two theaters, props, a costume and puppet shop, scene storage offices and a faculty. They have about 12 resident actors, a full-time staff of almost 30 and use about 150 contractors – actors, designers, teachers and people for the box office. Flatt discussed a play the DCT produced on Holocaust survivor Eva Schloss titled “And Then They Came For Me ...” It’s the story of how Schloss and her mother survived the Holocaust. “She’s [Schloss] absolutely one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met,” Flatt said. “The wonderful thing about theater is you get to meet so many different people.” Schloss celebrated her 80th birthday on the DCT stage in Spring 2009 as they were putting on her production. Flatt said she believes the DCT should work on issues that people are facing today, such as bullying. Six years ago, Linda Daugherty developed “The Secret Life of Girls,” which the DCT did as a reading. They will bring it back in February. “One of the roles theater plays is helping publicize a problem that everybody’s facing,” Flatt said. If you can do it in a play, it opens the door to dialogue. “I’m such an advocate for theater. It helps with community, too.” Since people spend so much time these days on iphones, computers and Twitter, Flatt said, people need “face time.” In a theater performance, when there’s something funny and everybody laughs together, you feel the force of that energy. “That play will never be exactly the same a second time,” Flatt said. “It’s always

going to be a little different according to how the audience is responding. Those are ‘electric moments.’” Flatt still remembers seeing “West Side Story” on stage in New York City in 1957 during its first run. “It was a magical moment in my life,” she said. “We’re trying at the DCT to give many electric moments like that to young people, parents, teachers and grandparents. “It’s a big mission. I think it’s important. I hope that you will search for something that you feel is important to do,” Flatt told the audience. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s also rewarding.” Flatt said she has made a living in theater all her life except for the first few years. She’s been in such notable plays as “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” played Gwendolen in “The Importance of Being Earnest” and played Bessie in “Tobacco Road,” among many others. “I love acting. I’m sorry I don’t get to do much more of it anymore,” she said. “There’s the fun of rehearsing, getting to know the material, getting to know the intentions of the different characters, studying the era and the period.” As far as opportunities for students, Flatt said the DCT has a lot of part-time positions available and all of their plays have open auditions.

Image credit Joyce Jackson

Robyn Flatt is the founder and artistic director of the Dallas Children’s Theater. She was nominated by The Dallas Morning News for Texan of the Year. For more information go to

Get on Board!!! Looking For Steel Band Players Members Wanted C.C. Island House Seeking Talented Steel Band Members and Drummers. All Interested Candidates Please Contact Trini Phone: 214-622-7819 Email: Or mail resume to: 2205 Foreman St. Dallas, TX. 75210


Gadhafi on list of most colorful real-life villains Columnist

I think I learned more humorous tidbits about former Libyan dictator Col. Moammar Gadhafi this year since the downfall of his 42-year regime began last March than I ever did in decades past. It all ended with his much-publicized bloody death at the hands of his own people in his hometown of Sirte Oct. 20. I suppose I should thank a friend of mine who posted a blog link on Facebook last March about the dictator’s “All-Female Virgin Bodyguard Retinue” which was reposted again as part of an ABC News story recently titled “The Seven Weirdest Things About Moammar Gadhafi.” Apparently the Mad Dog of the Middle East, a name President Ronald Reagan (19811989) called him back then, surrounded himself with female bodyguards who were called “Amazons,” took vows of chastity and wore battalion type uniforms and high-heeled boots. Up until an interview last March, the only Gadhafi quote which proved to me that the leader was having delusions of grandeur was

his comment to “ABC News’ This Week” host Christiane Amanpour, at the height of the unrest going on in Libya. “They love me, all my people. They love me all. They will die to protect me, my people.” When the Chicago Tribune came out with a who-said-it quiz in March with quotes from Gadhafi and Charlie Sheen, who at the time was also going through some much-publicized delusions of grandeur of his own, I failed the test. Reading such quotes from the quiz as “I am like the Queen of England,” “I’m dealing with fools and trolls. I’m dealing with soft targets,” and “If you love with violence and you hate with violence, there’s nothing that can be questioned,” I honestly figured both could have said such comments at one time or another. Today, however, I can add a couple of other quotes to my useless knowledge of Gadhafi trivia that include “Were it not for electricity we would have to watch television in the dark” and “I am not such a dictator that I would shut down Facebook. I’ll merely imprison anyone who logs into it.” Then there’s the wealth of pictures showing the dictator in his many multi-colored ward-

Richland College Music Recital Series All performances are Tuesdays at 12:30 p.m. in Fannin Performance Hall, unless noted otherwise and are free to the general public.

Fall 2011 RECITAL SCHEDULE: Sept. 27 ◆ Dr. Michael Varner “Yoruba Music of Nigeria”

Nov. 8 ◆ Richland College Guitar Ensemble

Oct. 4 ◆ Iridium Brass Quintet (Arena theatre)

Nov. 15 ◆ Richland College Jazz Ensembles

Oct. 11 ◆ “Conquistadors & Composers” (Arena theatre)

Nov.22 ◆ Richland College String Orchestra & Chamber Ensembles

Oct. 18 ◆ Dr. Jerry Wallace Music Scholarship Recital

Nov. 29 ◆ Richland College Choral Ensembles

Oct. 25 ◆ Richland College Wind Symphony & Chamber Ensembles

Dec. 6 ◆ Vocal Honors Recital

Nov. 1

Dec. 8 ◆ Instrumental Honors Recital (Thursday)

◆ Richland College Percussion Group and Steel Bands

For more information about this series, contact Dr. Michael Crawford, Associate Dean of Performing Arts, 972-238-6284

Image courtesy AP Photo/ Abdel Magid Al Fergany, File

In this June 12, 2010 file photo, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi talks during a ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of the evacuation of the American military bases in the country in Tripoli, Libya.

robes at various political functions profiled in an Aug. 12, 2009 issue of Vanity Fair. The Snoopy hat and leather bomber jacket he wore in December 2007 at the Palace of Versailles, for example. “Where does this extraordinary individual get the ideas for his wardrobe? Does he have a team of designers back in Tripoli, working up the hundreds of bizarre looks required of a world leader on official business?” said a caption that came with that magazine photo. “He was without question the strangest foreign leader I had ever interviewed,” said CNN host, columnist and author Fareed Zakaria when he interviewed the leader in 2009. “Gadhafi seemed like he was on drugs – completely out of it. He was bizarre, constantly quoted from his own Green Book and was unaware of what was going on around him. Interviewing Gadhafi was like interviewing Yoda.” I won’t speak for the Libyan people who suffered at the hands of Gadhafi’s oppressive government or the families who lost loved ones when Pan Am flight 103 fell from the skies in December 1988, the result of a bombing, which he allegedly authorized. I know I probably won’t be far off in my assumption that most if not all of them will agree with me when I say I seriously won’t miss the guy. To quote the line from “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982),” “Revenge is a dish best served cold” and I am Catholic, though

I only attend church services at Easter and Christmas. Just don’t mistake Gadhafi’s end as reasons to back slap and give each other high fives something that was apparently going on at the White House the day after he was killed. I agree with Lt. Col. Oliver North when he was interviewed by conservative radio host Sean Hannity Oct. 21, that the celebrations going on in Libya could be premature. “There are at least six armed militias who are part of this Transitional National Council — and not part of it as well — there is no agreement as to who is going to lead the country,” North said. “On top of all of that, you have friction between Arabs and Berbers, and in the southern part of the country between North Africans and all the rest of them. And you’ve still got 20,000 — perhaps even more — surface-to-air, man-portable missiles that are missing from the ordinance depots that Gadhafi had, all of which make a major threat to the United States. This could actually be much worse than what’s already happening in Egypt.” Call me a pessimist or Glum, the Lilliputian from “Gulliver’s Travels,” whose trademark line from that novel was “We’re doomed,” but I believe it’s still too early to tell with Gadhafi gone whether or not this will actually be a good thing for Libya, the United States and the world. • November 8, 2011



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Vol. XXXIV, Issue 13, November 8, 2011

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