SAN JACINTO TIMES Rec organizes canoes down Armand Bayou e student publication of the San Jacinto College District
Vol. 24, No. 8
Armand Bayou Nature Center offers students scenic views of wildlife along the protected waters of its preservation center.
Krystina Salazar Staff writer
Cool breeze. Fresh Water. Bald Eagles. Free Lunch? Students won’t have to save up all semester and road-trip to this exotic destination. Instead, head five minutes south of San Jacinto College Central Campus to Armand Bayou Nature Center (ABNC) on April 5 for an outdoor canoe adventure hosted by the Campus Recreation (Rec) department. “Armand Bayou is the best remaining bayou in the Bayou City…” Stewardship Coordinator for ABNC Mark Kramer
said. “ABNC is the most beautiful piece of wild land remaining in Harris County.” The preservation center has offered the community guided canoe tours for over 20 years featuring some of the region’s most bizarre and endangered creatures. “Some of your rarest species that can generally only be seen at ABNC include river otter, bald eagle, American alligator, white pelican, brown pelican,” Kramer said. In addition, outdoor enthusiasts may expect to see herons, egrets and osprey while paddling along the awakening nature tour scheduled for the day. “As we expand our programming oppor-
tunities, we hope to add more outdoor adventures like camping, horse backing riding, and rock climbing,” Campus Rec Staff Assistant Mary Shelley said. “All of these events will be offered to Central students with a nominal fee.” Shelley said the program is offering a “cookout style lunch” at the end of the trip at Bay Area Park. Campus Rec also explained the first-year occurrence has limited space available, and reservations are only open to students at Central campus. However, the Center offers canoe trips year-round on the second and fourth Saturday of each month for students wishing to bring friends and family.
Library renovations prompt mobile Raven Reference to hit visible locations
Michael Leedy Staff writer
San Jacinto College Central Campus library’s renovations may have prompted students to find other means of accessing information and library support. The drop in student use of the college’s resources could have to do with the library’s odd temporary location on the second floor of the Wilburn C. Frels building. In response, the library staff created the mobile Raven Reference team to assist students in other, more visible locations on Central campus. John Brower, the Head of Public
Services said, “If the students won’t come to us for help, then we will come to them.” Brower said the Raven Reference staff is available for assisting any student with questions and concerns about the library, and more specifically methods that yield the most success in research. “The Library's entire reason is to be there to help the students,” Brower said. Raven Reference is available Mondays and Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Interactive Learning Center (ILC), and in the East Classroom (C4) building Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Students taking online classes who can’t make it to the college in
person can ask their questions on the library’s website. The website features Chat with a Librarian, an option available during regular library hours where students can ask questions from a distance. Central Campus student Chris Miller said he is making use of the service. “The Chat with a Librarian feature is an impressive and helpful way to answer my questions when I’m at home,” Miller said. In addition, students without computer access can Text-A-Librarian at 281-809-9928 with their inquiries. The temporary library in the Frels Building will close at the end of the spring semester.
Student Ian Black considers himself an “outdoorsy” type and sees the canoe adventure as a “cool” idea for an alternative date activity. “It’s different 'cause most go to a movie where you can’t talk, or out to dinner where both people are being shy.…” Black said. “It’s just you and them alone. It’s a good way to get to know the other person.” Registration is open to both beginning and experienced visitors who are welcome to bring their own canoe or use the ones provided by the facility that typically hold one to three people. “Recreational canoeing improves physical health by providing fresh air, cardio
March 24, 2014
training and team building,” Kramer said. Canoes will drift off at 7 a.m. Saturday at neighboring Bay Area Park. “This launch spot has the best public accessibility,” Kramer said. The park also provides volunteer opportunities for students wishing to spiff up their resumes. Kramer encourages students to attend “Prairie Friday and Stewardship Saturday,” among the many efforts Armand Bayou offers nature lovers. Kramer added, he hopes students will find, “a greater appreciation of the richness of life that occurs right here in their own backyard.”
Veteran’s Fair reaches SJC
Bradley Croman Staff writer
The San Jacinto College District held its first-ever Veteran’s Fair Feb. 24. at South campus. The Fair aimed to put veterans in touch with job opportunities, offer assistance with their Veteran Administration benefits, and introduce them to organizations dedicated to helping Vets succeed in their post-military life Participating in the fair were representatives from the Texas Veterans Commission, the Work Life Institute, and the Wounded Warrior Project. Eugene Bernard, the Veteran Success Coordinator at South campus’s Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success, organized the event. Bernard is in his ninth year with San Jac and in his third year as Coordinator.
According to Bernard, other than stopping in to submit GI Bill paperwork, most veteran students never visit the Center leaving them unaware of the other services and information available. While the primary focus of the Center is to assist in processing education benefits, Bernard wants to do more. “I have a passion for student success,” Bernard said. In addition to San Jac students, the event was open to anyone looking for information pertaining to veterans’ services. By day’s end, more than 70 students, veterans, and interested members of the community attended the fair. Robert Collins, a Navy Veteran and San Jac HVAC student, said he was very pleased with the fair. “Veterans wouldn’t be as successful without the Veteran’s Center,” Collins said. “[They] work very hard to meet my needs…. I really appreciate them,” he added.
Will Inman, whose wife is an Information Technology student, was also in attendance. He said he was left amazed by the number of organizations represented. “You [just] don’t know the amount of resources and help available,” Inman said. The fair’s organizers considered it a great success, especially because it was the first of its kind. Representatives were “very pleased with the turnout,” Educational Planner for South campus’s Vet Center Jackie McDuffie-Mundine said. She continued,” [the fair] greatly exceeded expectations.” Central and North campuses will follow suit with veterans’ fairs of their own. Central Campus will host its own event April 7 while North campus’s fair will happen May 1 to kick off National Military Appreciation Month.
Central campus re-launches lit and art mag Chrysalis
Emily Wolfe Staff writer
When English major Amanda Bourque enrolled in a writing class, one of the major projects was to construct a literary piece to send to Chrysalis for review. “I took a Creative Writing course in which our final grade was to submit a revised piece for publication,” Bourque said. “I must say it was rewarding to work on a piece all semester and see it sent off for consideration.” Submissions for Chrysalis, the San Jacinto College Central Campus’s online literary and art magazine may be a requirement for certain English courses, but Man-
aging Editor professor Robert Flynn said Chrysalis is open to all students. “All a student needs to do is email their work to firstname.lastname@example.org and the Chrysalis editorial team will evaluate it,” Flynn said. “If it’s accepted for publication, it will be published with the student’s consent. The only thing a student ‘needs’ to submit is a school email account.” According to Flynn, Chrysalis provides more than just entertainment and knowledge to its readers, it also offers students a place where their creativity can shine. “By giving students an outlet for their artistic expression, Chrysalis hopes to not just instill creative
expression in all artistic forms, but also foster a community of unrestricted intellectual and artistic exploration and expression,” Flynn said. “Censor-free artistic expression is essential to educational growth.” Meanwhile, Bourque said the availability of this creative outlet has not gone unnoticed. “As a writer, poet, or artist, you just yearn to have your work acknowledged and shared with as many people as possible, and it’s so cool that San Jac has a publication that allows for that,” Bourque said. “With something like Chrysalis, students can see that some of their peers are very talented, dedicated, and creative.”
Even though the magazine‘s relaunch shifted it presence to the online world, Chrysalis still has the option to run hard copies of the magazine for special occasions. Flynn said the magazine is leaving behind its paper and ink days and is currently found exclusively online in order to move “[the magazine] forward into the world of digital publishing.” “It once was a once-or-twice-peryear print publication,” Flynn said, but “now we are ready to be a once-a-week online publication with the option of additional print collections at various times during the year.” Bourque, who said the switch makes it easier for her and her
peers to access the magazine, does not consider a change from print to online a detriment. “It’s paperless, which is key in this age of ‘going green,' and conveniently accessible,” Bourque said. “An online publication like Chrysalis is something that students can easily submit their work to, and enjoy reading anytime they’re online.” Furthermore, Flynn said San Jac students have an upcoming opportunity to have their work published almost immediately. “We have a themed event coming up in April that’s tied to the Get Lit! event,” Flynn said. “We’ll have a booth where students can write a short story, poem, or draw
a picture based on a prompt, with the possibility of having it published immediately, right in front of them.” Chrysalis is currently accepting submissions for poetry, short fiction, and non-fiction, but it set to expand the types of submissions it receives. All students submitting a piece must be enrolled at San Jac and must have a collegeissued email address. “It is so important to have a place where students with a variety of talents can present their hard work and have it be respected,” Bourque said. “It’s, overall, a great and important publication for every student who wants to partake in it.”
San Jacinto Times
March 2, 2014
Ef goes ‘round town: Yum Yum Cha makes diners Cha Cha Cha!
Efren Diosdado Department Editor
YUM YUM CHA! Although “yum” in English means something is delicious, in Cantonese it translates to the word drink and “cha” translates to tea. So when you say yum yum cha, you’re asking someone to have tea with you in Cantonese. So will you have tea with me
at Yum Yum Cha? The dishes are served in a bundle of small portions leaving you with the opportunity to try more than one item on the menu. The toughest part of trying out a new place to eat is figuring out what to order. With new places, you question whether you’ve made the right choice. After all, you want to make sure your first time at a new restaurant is pleasant. Yum Yum Cha has over 50 small dishes on their menu. I usually order about eight of them, but you can knock yourself out and try as many as you please. If you go with a small group, even better! You can order more and just sample off of each other’s plates. There’s not much to look at when you walk in. It’s a pretty simple set up; there are plants,
wooden chairs, and tables. The café is the size of a living room but the food makes it worth the visit. The second time around you might not even pay attention to the environment. It’s a nice spot to have lunch if you’re in shopping in Rice Village and building up an appetite, or if you’re just looking to try some dim sum. Yum Yum Cha is located at 2435 Times Blvd. They’re business hours are Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Wednesday through Saturday they reopen in the evening from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. They are open all day Sundays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and are closed Tuesdays. Next time you want to invite someone to have tea with you, take them to Yum Yum Cha to have some dim sum, and show them a little culture they can appreciate.
Keili’s Korner: Olympians score on and off the field
The scores in Sochi reflect Olympians’ courage, power and determination; and I’m not referring to the scores made in the rinks and on the slopes. Another type of scoring has become quite popular among the elite athletes during the Games, but his type takes place in the bedroom (or perhaps elsewhere). Sochi spectators witnessed Olympic physical activity, but not the kind going on behind the
scenes in the Olympic Village. The mostly secluded close-knit village housed approximately 2,800 athletes competing in the Winter Games. According to multiple media outlets, 100,000 complimentary condoms were distributed to the Olympians. That equals approximately 35 condoms per athlete. I didn’t know human beings are capable of that kind of speed. In an ESPN expose, one Olympian compared the first day in the Village to the first day of college. U.S. Men’s Swimming competitor Ryan Lochte simply stated, “Hey, sometimes you do what you gotta do.” I’m sure he has a genius pick up line sounding quite similar. The Village brought together crazy athletic, best-shape-of-theirlives men and women with raging energy. I’m no rocket scientist, but it seems the fireworks were inevitable. However, is what goes on between the athletes distracting (and at all appropriate) for those
who are supposed to be representing their countries in an all- out fight of the fittest? Some vow not to engage in the vigorous village gatherings until their events have ended while others declare intercourse their lucky pregame ritual. As an athlete, my pregame procedure consists of listening to a little music and self-motivation. I guess I’ve been doing it all wrong; I’m the junior college athlete while the sex fiends, Olympic gods. On the other hand, I find myself empathizing with the athletes as most people experience “wild child” indulgences during their youth. Olympic athletes sacrifice their childhoods for hardcore training most of us common folk cannot fathom. I say allow them the luxury to go a little crazy because we’ve all been there. But thank goodness for the condom committee. If the ever so charming Ryan Lochte’s little swimmers are as fast as he, we could all be in trouble.
formation was great, but my delivery was poor. I registered for the Public Speaking class offered at San Jacinto College, but I still needed improvement. I decided to seek help outside of school, and I wound up at a book store. I purchased a book titled “It’s Your Time to Shine” by Sandra Zimmer. Reading the book helped me identify my problem area and how I developed it. I had stage fright. According to the book, the root of my problem was being ashamed of expressing emotion. “If you had been well-nurtured emotionally and had been given a lot of acceptance for feeling and emotions, then you would have learned to experience being the center of attention as pleasurable and exciting. Stage fright is a fear of feeling in front of others…. In sum, stage fright comes from the belief that you should be perfect,” Zimmer says.
The book suggested a threestep solution to transforming my stage fright. “It all boils down to three steps. Feel your feelings. Accept your feelings. Share your feelings,” the book states. I learned to accept my fear, and I adopted the three-step solution. I trained my mind to repeat the advice the book gave me and by the time my next presentation was due, I was ready. I delivered my oral presentation with confidence and without the fear of being judged for simply “feeling.” I received a grade of 96. Bookstores are filled with selfimprovement books. If there is an area I feel needs enhancement and the world of YouTube isn’t quite helping, I turn to books. They help identify the root of a problem, and they provide detailed solutions. Reading the book helped become an efficient public speaker and in turn, I’ve received good grades for every oral presentation.
phones, what do we miss in class, at work, and one-on-one conversations? Both professors’ and students’ perspectives on this cellphone dilemma was quite interesting. Some students feel it’s impossible to get through the day without it, and some wish there was less dependence on technology, particularly the cell phone. San Jacinto College Central Campus philosophy professor Steven E. Pena said, “Phones don't bother me, so long as they are used discreetly…. But that's a personal choice, and that's the price of freedom and technology. Again, they're adults and should be treated as such.” San Jac student Tyler Martin said he actually appreciates when professors tell students to put away cell phones.
“I am so distracted by that phone. I will be honest and say that I have no discipline when it comes to putting it away on my own. I do like it when professors ask to put them away so we can all really pay attention and retain the information,” Martin said. Similarly, student Nathan Utzman said he has trouble paying attention. “You have your email and internet constantly needed in school. I feel so dependent on it that I don’t know how to just sit and pay attention. I rather just record what happens in class; which I know is not how you retain information,” Utzman said. Cell phones can be a huge asset, but also a huge barrier in the classroom. Sit down and actually engage in the conversation. Put away your distraction and see the difference unfold.
Giovann’s quest for mind cultivation: books still help readers reap rewards
Giovann Rosales Department Editor
You’ve prepared for days. You feel confident in delivering your speech but just as you walk toward the front of the classroom, your confidence level drops. You begin to feel nervous, and the oxygen rapidly escapes from your body. You are overwhelmed by the fear of public speaking. Like many people, I feared public speaking. It was beginning to affect my grades. My professors would tell me my in-
Davlin’s tips: put the phones away
Editor-in-chief Has the little computer in our hands taken over the classroom? You walk into class and don’t make any eye contact with the person next you. As you sit down, and the professor walks in, you take a quick look up, and then your eyes fall back down to the little screen in your hands. We spend so much time on these
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The San Jacinto Times is published five times a semester by the journalism students at San Jacinto College Central, 8060 Spencer Highway, Pasadena, TX 77505. Opinions expressed herein are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the staff, its adviser, the administration or the Board of Regents. The Times encourages letters to the editor. Letters must be in good taste, accurate, free from libel, malice or personal controversy. Letters must be limited to 200 words in length. Letters submitted
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March 24, 2014
North gallery exhibit features Channelview faculty
San Jacinto Times
Lifestyle & Entertainment
Robert Harris Jr. Staff writer
In honor of Black History month, Singer Liz Vaughn and musical her group The Donald Johnson Experience, performed at San Jacinto College North Campus Feb. 28 for an event called Fine Arts Friday. North campus Event Coordinator Charlotte Jackson said, “There are a variety of concerts. With today being the final day of Black history month, Dr. Snyder wanted to tie in this Fine Arts Friday concert with Black History Month.” Working along with Jackson is North campus Fine Arts Department chair Dr. Randy Snyder. Jackson said, “Dr. Snyder does an incredible job, early each fall, planning Fine Arts Friday.” According to Jackson, Johnson is a North campus alumnus. “Donald Johnson, who brought the group to the college today, is actually a former student of Dr. Snyder's here on the North campus,” Jackson said. Lead singer Liz Vaughn performed different music genres, one of which was gospel. She performs with the group and on her own as “part of the musicians from St. John's United Methodist Church downtown, as well as St. John's United Methodist Church Northwest,” Jackson said. Guillermo Hernandez, a music professor at North campus said, “Fine Arts Friday is hosted three times a semester and on average 150-200 students or children come watch the performances.” Furthermore, Hernandez said Fine Art Fridays started about six years ago. Originally it was intended for San Jac students, but then the event expanded to invite elementary and middle schools from Galena Park Independent School District. In addition to school children, faculty and students are welcome to watch the shows, as well. Hernandez refers to the performances as informational performances or “informances.” After the concerts, the children have the opportunity to ask the performers questions and sometimes participate on stage. “All performances have an educational component where they learn not only about the specific musical style, but also about the instruments and what it means to be a musician,” Hernandez said. Meanwhile, Galena Park ISD sixth graders attended this performance and cheered during the entire performance. “One of the partnerships that San Jacinto College has with the Galena Park ISD is working with their Scholars Academy,” Jackson said. The Academy seeks out the District’s brightest students and places them into programs where they can explore a wide variety of interests including the fine arts. Jackson said, “If we teach children at a young age to appreciate music, studies that show they do better in school by being well-rounded.”
‘Purported to be Dark’ lights up Black Box theater at South Dance students improvise to complement living art installation.
Stephanie Jones Staff writer
The intersection of the unknown and the scientific is the focus of the collaborative works by artists Matthew Weedman and Annie Strader currently on display until March 28 as part of the Purported to be Dark art installation in the Black Box Theater at San Jacinto College South Campus. According to Strader, Purported to be Dark takes from the artists’
research into the history of the connections between early twentieth century technology, modern spiritualism, cartography, and magic. “The phrase ‘science of the soul’ was developed by turn of the century scientists attempting to understand the soul through scientific inquiry and then map its location to the material world,” Strader said. “This new installation work roots out of an interest in these, and similar attempts to build relationships with things we cannot
Photo courtesy of Martin Wnuk
see or define through scientific method and reason.” Martin Wnuk, an art professor at South campus said the purpose of the event is to introduce San Jac students, faculty and staff to high-quality installation art. “Matthew is a photographer and Annie is a performance artist. They have come together to create an installation consisting of sound, organic material and constructed materials,” Wnuk said. According to South campus Department Chair of Visual and Performing arts Christina Potts
this installation is unique in that, “it will change throughout the month it is on view.” “The once living Holly trees will start to dry up and die,” Potts said. “Leaves and berries will likely fall from the upside down trees creating patterns on the floor.” Furthermore, Potts said even the mechanical elements change to complement their living counterparts. “The buzzing crackling soundtrack hints at these subtle changes that are taking place in this created environment. Moving through the space, and around the objects, gives participants the opportunity to experience a topsy-turvy A l i c e - i n - Wo n d e r l a n d - l i k e world,” Potts said. Meanwhile, South campus dance professor Diane Bedford, along with her students lent their talents to the collaboration by performing “improvisational dance around the installation to mimic, through movement, the qualities and characteristics they found to be present in the installation,” Bedford said. “The collaboration was a successful venture that layered visual art with the art of movement and hopefully brought a multilayered perspective to the viewers of the installation,” she said. Weedman and Strader are part of the art faculty at Sam Houston State University, but they stage their work at different venues around the country. “We hope people are curious about the work, spend time in the installation, and have their own experience of it to make associations with their own lives and understandings,” Stader said. “We don’t think anyone will have the same experience of the installation, and that is part of what we are interested in.”
San Jacinto Times
March 24, 2014
South workshops offer self-defense training
Brandon Peña Staff Writer
Self-confidence, self-control, and self-esteem. The words not only share a prefix, but they are built up by learning self-defense. San Jacinto College South Campus Physical Education Professor, Recreational Sports Coordinator, and MMA Club Advisor Trenton Denton, co-instructs a personal self-defense workshop. The workshops aim to get participants active while training them effectively to defend themselves. Based on the Krav Maga self-defense system, the workshops feature techniques derived “from various styles including Karate, Taekwondo, Krav Maga, Ju Jitsu, and MMA,” Denton said. The workshops are open to college faculty and staff who can register through the Spark system. “Adjunct instructor Jimmy Tabares, and myself provide a multilayered self-defense workshop centered around effective martial arts techniques,” Denton said. “MMA club members assist us in the demonstration of these techniques.” According to Denton, the workshops are divided into two levels, with Level One primarily focusing on basic movement drills. Training begins in the classroom, “then we move them into the gym,” Denton said. Meanwhile, Tabares said the workshops teach participants “simple techniques that can be used as a basic response to develop muscle memory” Level Two begins with “a complete review of Level One, then we add some techniques,” Denton said. “Level Two is when they start working with a live partner.” To ensure safety and build confi-
dence, Tabares said the workshops use pads “so students can try out their techniques and overcome any hesitations on what tools to use in defense situations.” Benefits to learning self-defense include maintaining physical wellness, and according to Denton, “it can be empowering. It can increase your self-confidence, and your self-awareness.” In addition, the workshops function as “a way of getting people motivated to workout,” Tabares said. The workshops are only available to San Jac faculty and staff, but Denton recommends other ways for San Jac students to learn to protect themselves. “The P.E. department offers martial arts classes in three different areas: MMA, Taekwondo, and Aikido,” Denton said. “In those classes students learn self-defense techniques.” Participation in the P.E. classes offers students the opportunity to earn an hour of extra credit while gaining “the skills more quickly,” Denton said. Also, the MMA club is an additional avenue students can consider which Denton said, “is a free resource to students to learn marital arts techniques and self-defense.” The club meets Mondays from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the South campus gymnasium. As coordinator of recreational sports for South campus, Denton said a small group of participants meets for a session of martial arts from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. With twenty-two years of experience under his belt, Denton said he likes MMA because “It’s very effective. It’s the most complete style, the most well-rounded style of fighting.”
Sports & Fitness
Coyotes covet conference crown
Andrea Vasquez San Jacinto College Marketing, Public Relations, and Government Affairs Department
Left fielder Sarah Ragsdale takes an intense swing against McLennon Community College during a home game.
A pack of eager Coyotes scour South campus as they prepare to brawl with the other mobs. Ferocity furrows their faces with intentions of frightening and ultimately defeating their enemies. Prepared with bats, balls and helmets, this tough group of ladies is about to battle with teeth baring, and claws… I mean bats, swinging. The fierce ladies of the San Jacinto College Softball team are beginning their Conference play, a long and tremendous fight that will determine the outcome of their 2014 season. The team fell short in the Regional Tournament last season, leaving the girls with empty “disappointment.” “We don’t want that feeling again, so we are working hard to reach and win the regional tournament, and our ultimate goal of a national championship,” San Jac left fielder Sarah Ragsdale said.
The team’s first conference game is where their hard work and preparation were tested. On March 7, the Coyotes took on Lamar State College – Port Arthur, kicking off conference play with home field advantage. “I hope that we play up to our potential, and contend for a Conference and Regional title,” Head Coach Kelly Saenz said. Saenz is in her eleventh season as head coach and was recently inducted into the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame for her high school softball achievements. Kelsey McClain, a former San Jac Coyote, is the team’s Assistant Coach. McClain was a pitcher for the Coyotes in 2008 and 2009. During her two-year reign, she stacked up numerous honors including achieving the NFCA All-American Team and NJCAA AllRegion First Team. “Coach McClain brings tradition to our team,” Ragsdale said, “She knows what it takes to be successful at this level.” Success is what every team wants and so
far the Coyotes have shown promise of reaching that goal. Their current record is 16-5 with game leaders being Ragsdale, Jesse Rodriguez, Karri Smith and Lauren Von Boeckmann, according to the stats. Saenz credits last inning clinches as this season’s trend. Despite blood pressure-raising, palm-sweating games, a “W” goes in the record books, and that’s all that’s needed for the Coyotes’ desired Conference title. However, past wins are irrelevant in Conference play. The playing fields are even as every team begins a new record of 0-0. Before heading into the competition, the team needs to work on taking the season, “one game at a time and one pitch at a time,” Ragsdale said. “We just have to stay focused at practice to make our weaknesses our strengths,” she added. With their guards and gloves up, the pack begins their hunt ready to prey on those ill warned of the cleated Coyote attack.