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Students travel to Ghana

*Planetarium- 3 *Toronto- 5 *STWP- 6 *Basketball- 7

See Ghana, Page 4

Feb. 12, 2010 Vol. 17, No. 6 Laredo, Texas

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Accident raises concern By Stephanie Ibarra Bridge Reporter Many questions regarding campus safety remain unanswered after a police report was filed in early February for an auto-pedestrian accident. Since the case investigation is ongoing, officials handling the incident refused to elaborate on the circumstances that led to the accident. Know the Facts Thomas Smith, Texas A&M International University Police Department Captain maintains that auto-pedestrian accidents are uncommon on campus, “This is the first [case]

I’ve known of since I’ve been here.” Police reports, dating back to 2004, support Smith’s comments. Meanwhile, as enrollment numbers rise, along with the population of student drivers on campus, so does the trend in general automotive related accidents. According to data collected from TAMIU police reports, from 2008 to 2009, TAMIU saw a triple digit increase in hit and run accidents. Although this may be the first autopedestrian accident on file, considering the staggering statistical plausibility of a repeat occurrence, it’s enough to take heed.

Despite driving related accidents commonly associated with high speeds, National Safety Council, NHTSA data, revealed that 47 percent of speed-related fatalities occurred on roads posted at 50 mph or less and a staggering 25 percent occurred on roads signaling 35 mph or less, such as those that can be found around TAMIU. Prevention Vehicular related accidents are, for the most part, preventable. The National Safety Council maintains drivers speed for the obvious reasons: they’re in a hurry, they don’t think of their driving See Accident, Page 8

A night of culture, dance and colors

Ballet Folklórico presents their annual festival Photo by Alyson Martinez Bridge staff photographer

Texas A&M International University Folklorico troupe dances onstage at Center for Fine and Preforming Arts during their festival. By Alyson Martinez Bridge Reporter In the many things that our Mexican culture offers, the art of dance is among one of the most beautiful. The traditional dances of Mexico, better known as ballet folklórico, capture the essence and grace of the culture that we like to call home. Texas A&M International University’s Ballet Folklórico has worked hard to preserve this art and present it to the students of the university. On Saturday, Feb. 6, TAMIU presented

the “Festival Folklórico.” The festival showcased familiar traditional dances of this genre. Sandra Leal, the director of the Ballet Folklórico, took charge of this event and brought it to the TAMIU audience. Returning members of the TAMIU Ballet Folklórico took the stage with many fresh faces making their debuts in full folklórico fashion. First timers, such as TAMIU junior Nahyeli Plasencia, claimed to be nervous about their first performance. “The last time I performed was when I was a kid, and at that time you

don’t really care about the nerves of performing,” stated Plasencia. The first timers aren’t the only ones feeling nervous. TAMIU senior, and Ballet Folklórico president, Nancy De La Fuente explains that the nerves don’t go everywhere. As she puts it, “every performance feels like the first.” Other things contributed to the nerves, especially the difficulty dance that they had to master. “I had to work hard to learn and perform a dance, within a couple of weeks. But, then I also had to dance with See Folklorico, Page 8

FREE

Photo by Stephanie Ibarra staff photographer

Student donates to a worthy cause

Students hustle for Haiti Relief By Stephanie Ibarra Bridge Reporter In observance of Student Awareness Government Week, student government association members dedicated several days to spotlight the Haiti Relief efforts at Texas A&M International University. During Tuesday’s lunch hour, SGA members set up tables to promote the Hotdogs for Haiti event by asking for donations, regardless the amount, for a meal. The hotdogs, free of charge, were provided by Aramark food service. The three-hour event raised $220 dollars. On Wednesday, SGA members volunteered their time going door to door at the Residential Learning Community asking for spare change during the Dorm Donation Drive. The drive resulted in almost $250 in monetary donations. According to SGA Senator and Haiti Relief Organizer, Mark Garner, one resident proceeded to, literally, empty out his own piggy bank. Donations received included clothing, blankets, along with a few miscellaneous items. “I am extremely proud! A huge thank you to Aramark and the TAMIU Housing Staff for being so generous with such short notice,” said Garner. “I know for a fact that if Laredo were to experience a natural disaster on such a tremendous level, we See Relief, Page 8

Five artists explore color and place By Stephanie Ibarra Bridge Reporter Flowing watercolors, intricate ceramic and figurative works engaged students and community members alike at Texas A&M International University’s “Color and PlaceFive Explorations” art exhibit Thursday, Jan. 29. Dr. Ray Keck, President of the university, was present to welcome guests, “I’m so thrilled because the people of Texas built this gorgeous facility at the university and today were using it for exactly that reason, featuring the work of fine artists, and a variety of styles and paintings so the people of Laredo can be

exposed to this beautiful art.” For many of the artists, this is a journey that began years ago. All five artists: Laurie Hickman, Susan Sheils Johnson, Mary Elizabeth Schleier, Marliu Flores Gruben, and Sally Sheils Schupp first met when they attended Southern Methodist University (SMU). “I met Marilu before the others,” explains Mary Elizabeth Schleier, “I was her, quote, “teacher” but, really we were peers.” Schleier details how Marilu enrolled in a freshman life drawing night class. “The professor would usually step out and I was really the one leaching the class. There was Marilu, a lot See Artists, Page 8

Photo by Alan Trevino , Bridge staff photographer

Four artists are pictured with President, Dr. Ray Keck and Alma Haertlein.


TAMIU EN ESPAÑOL

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Feb. 12, 2010

Escritura con luz:

Exhibición de fotografias, poemas, y microcuentos By Patricia González Bridge Contributor Una exhibición de fotografías, poemas y microcuentos se llevó a cabo en el vestíbulo del Edificio de Bellas Artes de la Universidad Texas A & M Internacional. El acto de inauguración comenzó a las once de la mañana del 13 de abril de 2009 Patricia Gonzalez con una asistencia considerable. Se apreció el apoyo de la comunidad de académicos de la universidad, aficionados a las Marcela Moran letras y el arte, amigos y estudiantes, que se llevaron una grata sorpresa por lo inusual de la exhibición. El proyecto es una colaboración de estudiantes de fotografía de la Prof. Marcela Morán y los estudiantes de gramática y composición en español. La idea central del proyecto es construir significado en un medio plagado de limitaciones. La visión y expectativa de los estudiantes al esribir poemas y microcuentos fue basada en las imágenes tomadas por sus compañeros que también comienzan a dar sus primeros pasos en el campo de la fotografía, a fin de abrir nuevas vías, innovadoras maneras e interesantes formas de diálogo e interpretación, a través de sus creaciones. Se expuso una variada gama de estilos y textos que pasaban desde un ingenuo romanticismo a un encantador aproximamiento al conflicto existencial y vacilación ante la muerte, la sensibilidad pop, entre otros temas explícitamente basados en nuestra comunidad fronteriza. El lirismo más coloquial da paso a la lectura de un hermetismo, que potencia los lindes del lenguaje personal de los jóvenes estudiantes. Un estudiante reflexiona y su imagen, reflejada en un ventanal de la universidad, es captada por la lente. Su fotografía inspira el siguiente texto que manifiesta los sentimientos de un joven que pertenece a nuestra comunidad y que se distingue por el dialecto del español fronterizo que habla, y

Photo by Patricia González, Bridge contributing photographer

Manuel Moya observa el mural, los poemas y fotos exhibidos por estudiantes de TAMIU. por lo polisémico de sus escasas palabras. El talento de los estudiantes de fotografía se aprecia en las insólitas imágenes captadas por su lente. Los retratos muestran lo inusual: pacas de ropa usada, un gato silencioso en un rincón, una abuela sonriendo con cara al sol, el rostro

vicecersa; encontraron dolor en el amor y terror en el querer, riqueza en la pobreza y esperanza en la adversidad. Encontraron poesía en lo extraño y a partir de las vivas imágenes, se crearon poemas y microcuentos que luego fueron contados en un estilo diferente: graffiti.

ciales sobre paredes pintadas de color mostaza, en otra interpretación dispar y valiosa por lo tanto. Emotiva y profunda, la edición impactó y conmovió a los asistentes. La exhibición generó un conversatorio que permitió el intercambio de opiniones con el público, generó ciertos

“Hay visión y empresas como

“Escritura con luz” que abre puentes hacia una consolidación de estudiantes de diferentes disiciplinas.” Patricia González de un luchador en plena faena, un joven caminando entre mezquites, jóvenes tragafuegos con los rostros pintados de payasos o un niño rico sentado en los escalones de una casucha, entre muchas más. En estas fotografías, los estudiantes de español, con una perspectiva diferente, lograron ver rostros nuevos, de variadas formas y con un interés en común, nuestra comunidad fronteriza. Encontraron color en fotos en blanco y negro y

Al montar la exhibición de fotografías y textos, los estudiantes a cargo del proyecto se inspiraron en los escritos, algunos manuscritos y otros impresos con tinta negra sobre papel blanco y lograron darle otro vuelco a la imaginación al transcribirlos en los muros. En instantes mágicos, llenos de sentimientos que no captaría una imagen, los estudiantes de fotografía, armados con un rotulador de tinta negra, diseñaron letreros circunstan-

roces entre los estudiantes, los profesores y los asistentes, debido a las posturas y forma de enfrentar la escritura, la fotografía y la realidad. Toda aspereza se limó como por arte de magia ante la magnitud de la muestra como un todo más grande que la suma de sus partes. En este laberíntico campo, el literario y artístico, se encuentran multiplicidad de posturas pero lo importante es saber tolerar y aprender. Hubo un gran esfuerzo para

llevar a cabo este proyecto y esto será ciertamente un punto de partida para nuestro creciente panorama cultural universitario. Los jóvenes estudiantes tienen mucho que decir y aportar. Hay voces con madurez y hay visión y empresas como “Escritura con luz” que abre puentes hacia una consolidación de estudiantes de diferentes disiciplinas. Para estos estudiantes, tanto de fotografía como de español, que tienen en común el español como lengua de herencia, aplicarse en un contexto donde arte y literatura se enlazan, propociona una oportunidad relevante y valiosa. En lo que respecta al semestre de primavera 2010, los estudiantes de Español 3300, sección 201, se prepara para escribir una colección de microcuentos y poemas encaminada a integrar su opinión sobre la actualidad social y la repercusión en su entorno. Esta muestra se planea exhibir en el espacio cultural Estación Palabra en la ciudad de Nuevo Laredo. Para mayores informes favor de comunicarse con la Profesora Patricia González al correo pgonzalez@tamiu.edu .

Recordando lo que es ser mexicano en Laredo By Lilia Eskildsen Bridge Reporter No hay manera de negar que Laredo es una ciudad con gran influencia mexicana. No sólo es común escuchar español en todos los lugares que frecuentamos, sino que la mayoría de nosotros venimos de México, o podemos decir que nuestros padres, abuelos, bisabuelos o tatarabuelos venían del vecino país. Pero la realidad es que en muchos aspectos estamos tan lejos de México como cerca de él. Muchos de nosotros creemos que por el hecho de estar del otro lado del Río Bravo (o Río Grande), lo

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Texas A&M International Student Newspaper

The Bridge is the student newspaper of Texas A&M International University. The writing, articles, pictures, artwork, and layout are the responsibility of the staff, contributors, and editorial board of The Bridge and do not necessarily represent the views of the administration, faculty, staff, or students of TAMIU nor the Texas A&M System. Signed columns represent the opinions of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the editorial position of The Bridge. The Bridge encourages letters to the editor, but to be eligible for publication,

que pasa o pasó en México no nos concierne del todo. Sin embargo, hay que recordar que hasta hace poco, las dos ciudades hermanas, Laredo y Nuevo Laredo, eran prácticamente una: la gente iba y venía a veces simplemente por el gusto de comer del otro lado. Recordemos que muchas de nuestras familias se encuentran divididas también por el río que marca la frontera, y que muchos de nosotros, tanto en cultura como en idioma y tradiciones, llevamos orgullosamente el “nopal en la frente,” como se dice coloquialmente. Con motivo de la celebración del bicentenario de la Independencia de México (movimiento que empieza el 16 de septiembre de 1810), y el centenario de la Revolución

the letters should specifically address an issue raised in a previous Bridge story or an issue of current interest to the university community. Letters should be limited to 300 words or fewer, must be signed, and must include the writer’s telephone number and e-mail address. The Bridge will withhold the writer’s telephone number and, if the writer so requests, the e-mail address as well, but the writer’s name will be published unless the writer shows just cause for its being withheld. The Bridge reserves the right to edit letters for length, clarity, grammar, and libel. In general, The Bridge does not guarantee publication of any material submitted for publication. Advertising revenue is used for stu-

Mexicana (20 de noviembre de 1910), un grupo de orgullosos mexicanos en TAMIU, entre estudiantes, profesores y de más, hemos acordado el compartir con nuestra comunidad universitaria un pedazo de esa cultura mexicana que se ha estado quedando un poco en el olvido. Invitamos a los lectores de The Bridge, sean o no sean mexicanos, que busquen a partir de la siguiente edición del periódico universitario los artículos de la sección de TAMIU en español, que contendrá no sólo esta pequeña serie de artículos sobre México y el ser mexicano en Laredo, sino una gran variedad de artículos a propósito de nuestra hispanidad, sin importar el país de origen.

dent awards and scholarships. To submit letters to the editor or to inquire about editorial or advertising policies, write to The Bridge, Pellegrino Hall 312, Texas A&M International University, 5201 University Blvd., Laredo, Texas 78041 or e-mail journalism@tamiu.edu. The Bridge is housed in and funded by the Department of Language and Literature. The Bridge staff: Ramiro Montoya Editor-in-Chief Stephanie Ibarra Freddy Gonzalez Alyson Martinez Lilia Eskildsen

Assistant Editors Ramiro Montoya Copy Editor Christine Rojas Ramiro Hernandez Graphic Designer Dr. Maria Flores Mr. Mike McIlvain Editorial Advisors Faculty Board: Dr. Manuel Broncano, Dr. Kevin Lindberg, Dr. Lynda Brown, Dr. Maria Flores, Dr. Frances Rhodes, and Ms. Marcela Moran The Bridge, (956) 326-2472 journalism@tamiu.edu www.thebridgenewspaper.com


CAMPUS NEWS

Feb. 12, 2010

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Violent Universe premiers at Planetarium By Christine Rojas Bridge Reporter In a dazzling display of sound and images, Texas A&M International University ushers in a new show at the planetarium entitled, Violent Universe: Catastrophes of the Cosmos. The show opened, Jan. 23 at 5 p.m. to an enthusiastic crowd which was followed by an encore performance at 6 p.m. Violent Universe is not to be missed; the documentary explores the catastrophic events that could occur in the universe and those which have already been experienced on Earth. Happenings such as the Tungaska Event and the possibility of such catastrophes occurring were explained. Collapsing stars, Earth-bound asteroids, and black holes are some of the deadly events that were also featured. The documentary was narrated by Sir Patrick Stewart, aka Professor Charles Xavier, from the XMen films. “Some of the things that we do talk about in this show are things that are actual possibilities of happening,” described Gerardo Perez, director of the planetarium. Perez men-

Photo by Christine Rojas, Bridge staff photographer

Priscilla Gutierrez, Yvette Contreras, and Alejandra Sandoval await movie goers for Violent Universe. tioned the close encounters with asteroids in the future and emphasized a need for public awareness of these intense circumstances.”It was really, really exciting,” said Alejandra Sandoval, a stu-

dent at TAMIU, who was one of the first to watch the latest show. “There are some parts that are really intense but they’re really nice the way the play them and show them,” continued Sandoval.

Tickets are on sale at $6 and $5 for children, seniors, TAMIU faculty, students, and staff. They can be purchased one hour before each show. A complete show schedule can be found at

tamiu.edu/planetarium or call 326-DOME (3663). For more information, contact Gerardo A. Perez, director, LBV Planetarium, at planetarium@tamiu.edu or call 326.2606.

Visiting educators receive warm welcome in Laredo By Christine Rojas Bridge Reporter For the past seven weeks, Kim Jongok, also known as Geni and Hong Youngjoo, also known as Jane, have spent time in both Austin and Laredo, Texas observing American school systems. Geni and Jane are from South Korea and stayed in Laredo with their host families. Geni stayed with Marta Esparza, executive secretary of the provost, and Jane stayed with Dr. Irma Cantu, assistant professor of Spanish at Texas A&M International University. The original program was part of Fullbright Teacher Exchange Program which gives educators the opportunity to visit foreign countries and learn different methods of instructing. “The Fullbright branch recruits from 70 to 90 young American college graduates every year, so the recruits are trained for one month on English teaching methodology and grammar. They allocate all of them into different parts of Korea. So the teachers who are working in the school which accommodate the Fullbright American Teaching assistants are eligible to apply for this program. So that is why we applied for this program,” remarked

Jane. Both Geni and Jane are English teachers in South Korea. While in Laredo they visited Trautmann Middle School and Cigarroa High School. “I found many differences from Korean schools,” Geni said, as she spoke over her stay at Cigarroa High School. “I’m inspired to be a better teacher.” “Students did a lot of presentations in front of other students,” Jane mentioned as she spoke enthusiastically over other differences within the Korean and American education systems. “To inspire the students, a teacher used a hamburger and compared writing to hamburgers, a good hamburger has a lot of ingredients inside of it; I think the examples were interesting,” Jane continued as she gave an example of the different methods she learned at Trautmann Middle School. “In Korea, writing is more difficult than speaking because you didn’t train our students to write because entrance exams to university do not require writing ability,” said Geni. “They concentrated on reading and writing; I felt this is very important,” she emphasized. The culture of Laredo was very interesting to both Geni and Jane. A community who

TAMIU hosting political debates By Stephanie Ibarra Bridge Reporter Student Government Association in alliance with Political Science Association will be hosting a series of political debates at Texas A&M International University. The first debate takes place Friday, Feb. 12 at 6:30p.m. at the Student Center Theater. The debate will spotlight candidates running for County

Judge. Danny Valdez (incumbent), Louis Bruni, Andy Reyes, and Tano Tijerina will be on hand to answer student questions. Students are encouraged to submit questions for the debate. The event is free and open to the public. For more information on the County Judge debate and upcoming debates, contact Alfredo Jimenez.

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Photo by Christine Rojas, Bridge staff photographer

Visiting educators from South Korea, Jane and Geni. speaks both Spanish and English was something they found very unique. Jane motioned her warm welcome she received at Trautmann Middle where a Mariachi band and doughnuts were arranged for her arrival, a kind Laredo gesture for a visiting educator. “While I stayed in Laredo with my host family, Irma and her friend Maria, they were very kind, so I think Laredo’s personality is very good and kind, very similar to

Korea. I found many similarities between Mexicans and Koreans. I talked much about Mexican heritage with Irma, I found many similarities in the family system and the closeness between family members. I was very impressed,” Geni discussed the fascinating similarities between the two cultures. The most significant aspect of the exchange was the experiences both Geni and Jane gained while visiting Laredo. Their inspiration and motiva-

tion increased exponentially through this visit. When they depart back to South Korea, a firm dedication to educating their students is reawakened as they shared their philosophies on learning. “I think becoming a friend of our students is the best aspect; I think if I become a friend to our students, I can show them how to achieve their goals more easily, and then I can inspire them to discover their own talent and purpose,” said Geni.


TRAVEL

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Feb. 12, 2010

Photo by TAMIU Student

Julio Obscura, Texas A&M International student, interacts with children at a local Ghana orphanage.

Students take a tour of Ghana By Silvia Solis Bridge Reporter Visiting developed places can educate a student, but visiting developing countries educates the spirit. This past December, Texas A&M International University freshmen enjoyed the holidays at temperatures up to 90F while learning and vacationing in Ghana, Africa. Fifteen freshmen, along with two chaperons, were selected through the “Reading the Globe” Freshman Experience initiative to participate in a journey through the African continent on Dec. 27, 2009. For two weeks, students worked together examining Ghana’s history and cultural characteristics. The group visited the capital Accra, as well as Kumasi, and Cape Coast, and within the cities, took tours of museums and land marks. They enjoyed the beautiful coast surf of the Gulf of Guinea and the stillness of its southern plains. Also, the students sat through lectures detailing the customs, traditions, and history of Ghana and Sierra Leone.

“I was impressed by the pride the people of Ghana take in their country” Sandra Pruneda observed. The group’s visit to the Cape Coast Castles made a great impact on the students. Ghana is a country full of slavery archives and offered students a brief on their own country’s historic background. The castles, Julio Obscura explains, “Were the last place slaves would see before going across the Atlantic.” The traveling group also visited an orphanage which enlightened their vision of the world. Pruneda said the group wants to start a fundraising effort for the Ghana orphans. “I have new awareness of issues happening around the world, no longer am I limited to caring about what happens in the United States only,” Pruneda said. Pruneda was not alone in that experience. “It made us appreciate what we have back home,” Obscura said. “This trip was a beautiful experience, life changing and it opened my mind in many different ways, it also taught me life

lessons that will make me a better person.” The college experience is one of the last stops before reaching adult maturity. Experiencing one single culture will help students deal with situations in the immediate environment, but learning about other cultures can give them the tools to handle so much more. “You never know when once in -a-lifetime opportunities will come around and change the way you view the world,” Pruneda said. TAMIU, along with the University Seminar courses, have sponsored remarkable personages and his or her experiences from which traveling opportunities have flourished for already two years. In the year 2008-2009, TAMIU introduced the “Reading the Globe” TAMIU Freshman Experience initiative with Gerda Weissmann Klein and her holocaustic story recalled in “All but my life.” This year, the experience shifted towards completely different coordinates. TAMIU chose Ishamel Beah and his biographic book “A long way gone:

Photo by Julio Obscura, Bridge contributing photographer

Professors Haley Kazen, John Hickay, Guide Richard and Conchita Hickay pictured above. memoirs of a boy soldier” for the 2009-2010 school year, from which the Ghana trip was made possible. It is programs of this kind that allow TAMIU to evolve towards great recognition. “I believe that TAMIU really lives up to its name as an international university with this program,” Carolina Gonzalez said. Opportunities of this kind offer students an early motivation to launch their college journey as energized as possible. Pruneda felt like a winner by being allowed to take

the trip. “I never thought I would win, but I figured I had nothing to lose,” Pruneda said. Being able to experience and understand the world as a result of hard work conditions students to keep working harder knowing it will be rewarding. As these kinds of opportunities add up with the years, TAMIU students will be better educated in the academic theories as they will be in their applications in the real world.

Photo by Julio Obscura, Bridge contributing photographer

LEFT: Carolina Gonzalez weaves a traditional Ghana garment with the help of a local craftsman. RIGHT: A cannon overlooks the Ghana coastline at the Cape Coast. Castle


TRAVEL

Feb. 12, 2010

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Photo by Alyson Martinez , Bridge staff photographer

The Maid of the Mist in Niagra Falls

Toronto: A look at Canada’s hot city By Alyson Martinez Bridge Reporter Imagine spending a day under the shadows of immense skyscrapers. Imagine going to the top of one of the world’s tallest towers, or taking a road trip to the nearest attraction. Imagine sipping an espresso at the best coffee shop in town and riding around subways and taxis. Sounds like a day in New York, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not; it’s a day in the beautiful and modern city of Toronto, Canada. Canada is known to be home to bacon, snow, and hockey, but there’s a little more to it. There is a lot of snow during the winter and hockey is the national sport, but the summer weather is nice and not every Canuck, or Canadian, is a puck-head. Toronto has many attractions that can compare to some of the hottest travel spots. There is so much to see in this Canadian city, and it is sure to be a trip of a lifetime. The CN Tower, or La Tour CN, was once the world’s largest tower and one of the Seven Modern Wonders of the World. It resides comfortably in

downtown Toronto. The tower is used as a communication and observation building, but its main purpose is that of tourist attraction. Of course, you have to survive the unbelievable long lines to get to the elevator. But, once you get on and reach the top it is all worth it. You can have lunch overlooking all of Toronto, or step on to the glass floors that give you an extreme case of vertigo. In only a 50-mile drive from Toronto, you enter one of the most beautiful landmarks of the world. The Niagara Falls are seen with all of their glory and strength. Many Hollywood actors, such as Marilyn Monroe, have helped bring fame to these falls. But they didn’t need the glitz and glamour of the media to draw attention to them. The falls alone are a marvel to look at, and if you’re brave enough you will ride the historic Maid of the Mist and get as close to the falls as possible. Hockey is sport largely associated with Canada, but the Canucks seem to embrace it as much as they can. There is no shame in saying that hockey is the national sport. To the amazement of many puckheads, or hockey fans, the Hockey Hall of Fame is

Photo by Alyson Martinez, Bridge staff photographer

The most sacred place for all hockey fans

located in downtown Toronto. The Hall of Fame is mostly known for being the home of the worldfamous Stanley Cup. The championship cup is kept in the building, surrounded by pictures of great hockey hall of famers, until the next NHL Champion arises. The Hall of Fame also showcases many greats, such as Wayne Gretzky, and highlights the greatest moment of the sport. If hockey is your thing, you cannot miss out on such an attraction. The city of Toronto is as modern and historic as any other major city of the world. Walking in the shadows of the amazing buildings of downtown Toronto is a fun way to spend the afternoon. You can have lunch at the nearest Tim Horton’s, and trust me there will be one near you. You can walk around and shop the PATH, Toronto’s underground walkway. Whatever it is that you do, you will not be bored. Toronto, Canada may not be listed under the Top 10 Vacation Spots, but it definitely should be. Have a Toronto story you would like to share? Leave your comments on: www.thebridgenewspaper.com.

Photo by Alyson Martinez, Bridge staff photographer

TOP PHOTO:Toronto from a distance is as beautiful as it is up close BOTTOM PHOTO: Enjoying the view on the top of the CN Tower


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ENTERTAINMENT

Feb. 12, 2010

Writing project enhances classroom success By Jessica Rodriguez Bridge Reporter One-hundred and six instructors visited Texas A&M International University on Nov. 14 as part of the South Texas Writing Project Fall Conference. Instructors from Laredo and United Independent School District, Laredo Community College as well as TAMIU attended the STWP Fall Conference in an effort to enhance their classroom success. STWP Co-Director Daniela Rodriguez explains that “STWP gives the teachers of our community a proactive approach to their student’s learning.” The South Texas Writing Project focuses on improving the teaching of writing through all levels of education and emphasizes the use of different themes and techniques. The theme for this years fall conference was “Reading and writing across content areas though Mexican-American experiences.” The fall conference featured Christine Granados author of Brides and Sinners in El Chuco. Granados spoke about her book and the importance of writing about one’s own experiences. Dr. Bernice Sanchez-Perez

Photo by Jessica Rodriguez , Bridge staff photographer

Educators learn techniques to increase their success in the classroom during a lecture by the South Texas Writing Project. Director of the South Texas Project states, Writing “Author Christine Granados brings a wealth of knowledge to the Laredo community by sharing her Mexican

American experiences through story telling.” The STWP provides both instructors and grade school students with programs that enable them to enhance their

writing skills. Through the Summer Institute the instructors are given the tools necessary to build a higher level of learning in the classroom. The students are offered

summer camps that teach them about writing through different and creative venues like the TAMIU Planetarium shows.

Deer Dilemma! By Sarah Herrera Bridge Reporter

Apple Courtesy Photo

Apple debuts the Ipad By Alfredo Gonzalez Bridge Reporter As many of you have heard or probably seen flashing on televisions around America. Apple Inc. has released their new flagship product a Tablet PC appropriately titled the iPad. The iPad not only shocked critics but also left everyone in amazement when it was discovered that the iPad runs on an Apple created processor. Most thought no other device after the iPhone would be able to capitalize on the mobile device market but after many ereaders came out Apple decided to throw in their gloves in the ring. The A4 as its known to many apple enthusiasts uses a processor not built by any large company but by apple itself. The iPad uses the same software as the current iPhone and iPod Touch and will run any current application in the application store. The iPad utilizes the resources brought on by current devices in the apple lineup and tackles the world of e-readers or online books as their known to most.

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It’s approximately 12:45 a.m., Thursday night, or shall I say Friday morning when I leave my dorm to return a Netflix movie I had rented from Wal-Mart two days before. My roommate decided he’d be so kind as to lend me his very small, 2006 gold Alero being that my vehicle was running low on gas. His car is ridiculously small, I can’t stress that enough. But I guess when you’re 6’6 and go by the name of “Bear,” it doesn’t make it any to get in and out of the car, much less drive it. Nonetheless, he did lend his car to me on the condition that I would be very careful in it. He had never leant out his car to anyone, not even his own mother. I felt so privileged, that was until a deer decided to ram the driver’s side door. Suicidal, I know. Yes, I know what you’re thinking right about now. That I’m stubborn and don’t want to admit that I ran over one of Texas A&M International University’s precious wildlife creatures, but honestly the deer ran into me. For this, I don’t exactly know why, but I have a pretty good guess. You know how they say deer are attracted to the light? Well, it was late at night when this happened, and the lights to the car were on. Or maybe another deer was calling and its first reaction was to run full speed, even if that meant hitting my roommates car head on. I was literally driving 22 mph and I noticed no deer in the street or on the green, it

came out of nowhere. Don’t get me wrong, I love animals and I feel awful for having somewhat been responsible for hurting this innocent deer, but I honestly didn’t see it coming. I was blind sighted. Even worse, I didn’t have the heart or the guts to turn back and see whether or not it was still alive. I just checked the rearview mirror and saw that it rolled a good six, seven times. I really didn’t want to see it suffer, so instead of turning back I picked up my cell phone instead and called my roommate and told him what happened. Once I parked back at the dorms, there my roommate was looking angrier than ever. As I got out of the car I started apologizing right away. It didn’t take us but two seconds to see where the damage was done. The side of the driver’s door was dented just a bit, but not that bad considering this deer was pretty big, and lets not disregard that it was running full speed too. My roommate was upset and I would have been too if it was my car, but luckily for both him and I, he had full coverage insurance. The oncampus police arrived shortly after the incident and filed a police report so that my roommate would be able to get the damages fixed. Of course he said he was driving and that I was in the passenger side for insurance purposes. In a way I guess you can say he did me that favor. After apologizing a thousand times, he finally forgave me. Sadly, the cops were unable to tell us whether or not the deer was alive. On campus, I am now known as the Bear who killed the deer, with a car that is.


Feb. 12, 2010

ATHLETIC NEWS

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Dustdevil basketball face challenges By Felipe “Flip” Romero Bridge Reporter The Texas A&M International University men and women’s basketball programs have had a rollercoaster season thus far. The Lady Dustdevils have been plagued with injuries leaving them with very limited options on the bench. The men’s team is also going through a transitional phase. Compared to last year’s high-octane fastbreak approach, both offensive and defensive play appears to be considerably slower this season. Despite their obstacles, the Dustdevils are hoping to build enough momentum to take flight this season. TAMIU President, Dr. David Keck, and Interim Athletic Director, Claudio Arias, picked the right mix of coaches to harness the players’ talents. “I am really satisfied on what they have brought to TAMIU, not only the ability to coach well, but to bring discipline and character, a new vision to programs that needed it,” Athletic said Interim Director Claudio Arias. Coach Shane Rinner is spearheading the men’s team, and Coach David Beaver is leading the women. They want to improve their current records as they close the season: men’s conference (6-5), overall (9-13) and women’s conference (3-6) Overall (4-18). Both coaches plan to mentor their players to victory. Coach Beaver is urging the women’s team to work

Photo by Felipe Romero, Bridge staff photographer

TAMIU Men’s Basketball team St. Paul Latham, Bernard Burrell and Chris Swan play defense in a recent game. together even when they’re shorthanded. He wants a full forty minutes of hardnosed fundamental basketball and the Lady Dustdevils are showing tremendous composure and persistence under his guidance. Coach Beaver’s eye for recruiting top players is a talent not many coaches possess. Expect the Lady Dustdevils to reload in the off-season. On the men’s side, Alaskan native coach Shane Rinner is using his icy defense to build a fortress on the court that can shut down every type of opponent. Relying on his experience, he has implemented the motion offense at

TAMIU. This type of offense has brought many championships to teams across the nation. With sixteen seasons of collegiate coaching under his belt, Rinner has plenty of resources to pull from. The coaches are hoping to raise the bar and finish strong. If you wish to support the TAMIU basketball athletes, you can catch both men’s and women’s teams in action on Feb. 18 at The TAMIU gymnasium. The Lady Dustdevil’s are tipping off at 5:30PM and the men immediately after going up against UTPermian Basin in the first of the last three home games of the season.

Photo by Felipe Romero , Bridge staff photographer

Mary Tobias flies across the court.

Cheerleaders prepare for WBCA parade By Sarah Herrera Bridge Reporter The 112th Washington’s Birthday Celebration parade is here once again. Founded in 1898, the celebration is one of the largest in the United States with over 200,000 attendees from all over the state. This thirty-day party on the border is filled with many festivities including: a carnival, pageantry, parades, fireworks, concerts, and great tasting food. The celebration shows Laredo’s patriotism and the efforts in getting the community together through their many annual events. The WBCA works closely with many different affiliate organizations including: The Princess Pocahontas Council, LULAC, Laredo Entertainment Center, The International Good Neighbor Council, Laredo Community College, and even Texas A&M International University. Helping to sponsor this fun-filled event are Laredo National Bank, HEB, La Posada, Wells Fargo, AT&T, amongst many others. Counting down the days until the grand parade, the TAMIU Cheerleading Squad is looking at making an appearance in the February 20, event. “They have worked hard all year and have proved so to this university, but also wanted to show our community the great leaders that they are,” said coach/sponsor Edna Mayers about her squad. “It is going to be a busy day for us as we will be cheering at one of the final women’s and men’s basketball games as well,” said cheerleader Briana Alejandro. In preparing for this event, the cheerleading squad will accompany the TAMIU Soccer Team on a float that will be decorated to the nines. Standing on the float, the cheerleaders will proudly be wearing their uniforms and showing their maroon and white pride, while cheering and chanting. With only a few days left until this memorable South Texas event occurs, the cheerleaders are preparing as best as they can. “This is surely an event that we are proud to be a part of,” said Mayers.

Photo by Ramiro Montoya , Bridge staff photographer

2009-2010 WBCA President, Anselmo Castro presents dignitaries at the Commander’s Reception in the LEC.


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CAMPUS NEWS

Feb. 12, 2010

Folklorico, from page 1 a candle on my head, and that only added to the stress” explained Plasencia about her dance “La Bruja.” “La Bruja” was among many of the classical favorites presented at the festival. “Jarabe Tapatío,” “Huasteca Veracruzana,” and traditional huapangos also formed part of the lineup of dances performed. Even though they were the same classics, De La Fuente explains that, “every performance is different, and you have a different feeling for each one. But, they all help me fall in love with the dance, again.” Dances may be the same, but every performance comes with a new emotion. Another factor to the success of the festival was the open invitation to other folklórico programs. TAMIU’s Ballet Folklórico welcomed schools from Laredo, Corpus Christi, and Nuevo Laredo to present their own version of the favorites that make up our colorful culture. “It was such an amazing experience, because I got to meet and get to know people who share the same love of folklórico,” said De La Fuente. Young children, in their colorful costumes, took the stage and gave adorable performances. Teenagers showed their many years of hard work through their impeccable choreography. Everyone, from all shapes and sizes, came together to do something that equals passion for them. For the performers and dancers, it was a lot of hard work. Plasencia could not stress how much practices they had to endure. “We practiced Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 8 am to the middle of the middle of the day, and we would only take lunch breaks,” remarked Plasencia, “I was completely exhausted after the performance.” It is safe to say that the hours taken to present this event completely paid off. The audience was pleased and it made a folklórico fan out of me. I will never miss another folklórico event again. It brought everything that it needed to bring and it was done beautifully. Congrats to TAMIU’s Ballet Folklórico, you are extremely exceptional. You have brilliantly presented a night full of culture, dance, and colors. Any thoughts on the “Festival Folklórico?” Leave your comments on www.thebridgenewspaper.com. Accident, from page 1 as dangerous, or they just don’t expect to get caught. Smith urges students to be aware of their surroundings at all times, not just around the crosswalks. For many drivers, remaining level-headed even when surrounded by inarguably inadequate drivers or simply putting the cell phone down while driving, could save a life or at the very least, save yourself the insurance hassle. Police incidents are public information and can be viewed online at the TAMIU Police Department Web site. (Stephanie Ibarra may be reached at stephie@dusty.tamiu.edu) Relief, from page 1 would all appreciate it if others gave their time and thoughts to help in any way that they can.” For those still wishing to donate, plastic bins are currently located at Dusty’s Diner, Food Court, TAMIU Bookstore, Pizzeria, and Starbucks. SGA hopes to match the total amount of donations received.

Photo by Alan Trevino , Bridge staff photographer

Art student Jackie Escamilla views a painting at the Color in Place- Five Explorations exhibit. Artist, from page 1 older and advanced than these freshmen, and I would hold up her work and go “Look! This is what it’s supposed to look like!”” Schleier utilizes a watercolor medium throughout her current collection of gardens and landscapes, attributing her love for trees to her Atlanta upbringing. For the last twenty years, watercolors have been her medium of choice. “1 really like paintings that are on the edge of abstraction and representation. I love the energy, colors, and all the complexities in [painting] nature. I don’t like buildings,” jokes Schleier. Schleier’s collection of watercolor pieces were a notable favorite for many. “When I came in the watercolors attracted my attention. You usually don’t get to see traditional watercolor work done in Laredo,” explains TAMIU junior art major, Jessica Oviedo, “‘Everything else is just really wonderful, but it was the watercolor that gave a sense that the artist took their time observing the

world, explaining the details and colors of nature itself.” Marilu Gruben, another featured artist in the exhibit, like Schleier, found inspiration from her hometown. Originally from Laredo, she credits Laredo as her muse. “The border inspires me, the river, the homes inspire me,” said Gruben, whose current pieces spotlight Rio Grande. “These are all pieces that represent a certain perspective of both sides of the river As the river turns to the right it appears it’s going to end there but it actually leaves us and turns to the left.” Born into an arts appreciative family, Marilu was surrounded by creativity at a young age. “My father played the piano every morning, my sister studied flamenco, anther sister sings, another sister is a designer,” details Marilu. “I fell in love with art by my family’s introduction and then by my own pursuit.” Between the months of July and October Gruben pursued her latest Rio Grande endeavor by going down to the river

at the same time, from about 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., several days a week. “It was the same time every day but the wind would be different, the light would be different.” Each of the women share equally lively stories of how they first met, what their current art pieces mean to them, maintaining that they all went their separate ways after college, raised children, balanced responsibilities, and through it all managed to stay in touch and create meaningful works of art. It has been nearly 20 years since all five artists have shared an exhibit together. Admission to the art exhibit it free and open for public view at TAMIU Center for the Fine and Performing Arts (CFPA) Gallery.20 percent of sales will go to the CFPA. The exhibit will run through Thursday, Feb. 25. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment. For more information or to make an appointment, contact Alma Haertlein at 326-3041.


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