Let’s talk about sex pg. 5
February 16, 2009
Volume 2, Issue 2
ACC breaks ground on its largest project, will house 11,000 plus campus Kaitlin Neve Staff Writer
The Round Rock Public Library is hosting a public forum to discuss plans and take questions about the new ACC Round Rock Campus, scheduled to open fall 2010. The forum is Monday Feb. 16 at 6 p.m. “This is giving the people of Round Rock an opportunity to look at the plans for the design and talk about the programs offered,” Executive Director of Public Information and College Marketing Brett Lea said. Thursday Feb. 6 there was a groundbreaking ceremony at the campus that was attended by over 400 people. The event had a skydiver, music from the Coyote Senior Choir of Forest Creek Elementary School, and speakers including project developers, Round ȩȩ continued on pg. 6
Over 400 people gathered in Round Rock for the groundbreaking ceremony Thursday morning Feb. 5. The Round Rock Campus is scheduled to open near University Boulevard in 2010 and is the future home of more than 11,000 college students. Hanlly Sam•Staff Photographer
ACC harnesses the sun
Teodora Erbes •Staff Photographer
Riverside and Rio Grande campuses were awarded grants from Austin Energy as part of the Solar For Schools project to raise awareness of ACC’s mission to become a more sustainable district.
New solar panels primarily for instructional purposes Jamie Carpenter Campus Editor
A dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for Mar. 4 on the Riverside Campus. The U.S. Department of Energy, along with Austin
Energy and representatives of ACC, will be at Riverside Campus to help commemorate the completion of the Solar for Schools Program. “We’re being put on a federal platform…we are being recognized for our work with solar energy which is
great because it’s the wave of the future.” said Brette Lea, Executive Director of Public Information and College Marketing. The solar panels on both the Riverside and Rio Grande campuses, funded by the program, are now “nearly complete” according to Project Manager for ACC Paul Mason. Their main purpose is to provide a learning tool for those involved in the solar technology programs. Students in the solar technology program have the ability to track online how much power is being generated. This can vary depending on elements such as the weather. Paul Martinez, technical adviser for Austin Energy, said that the “ACC campus PV [photovoltaic] arrays… only produce about $315 worth of electricity per year… per school [the arrays] are supplementing a very small amount of power that is being consumened by the buildings.” According to ACC’s website, the 20’ tall steel pole supporting a “solar flower array” contain the power cells. A series of underground wires runs between the solar array and the equipment building (connecting to the Grid Point System) the electricity then flows to a main electrical panel in an existing building. This provides the means for depositing electricity onto the grid of the campus. Mason said “it is a small step but it is a giant step in that it is [among] the first ACC is taking towards becoming a more sustainable district and [it’s helping] increase the visibility for the college.”
Kevin Forester•Staff Photographer
Right to Left: Texas Legislature Donna Howard, ACC chair member Nan McRaven and ACC student Ann Sosa discuss issues affecting students attending community colleges throughout Texas. ACC SGA members attended Community College Day on February 4, 2009 at the state capitol.
Tax free textbooks loom Adam Oliphant Staff Writer
ACC’s Student Government Association sent a delegation to speak with the Representatives and Senators in ACC’s taxing area for Texas Community College Day. ACC joined over 1500 students and administrators from 46 community colleges’ districts across Texas to lobby the state Legislature on Feb. 4. “Community College Day is an excellent opportunity to learn about the lobbying process on the state level. It is a great privilege to be able to meet and speak with so many state Legislators at the capitol,” commented John Sack, SGA Northridge Senator. Issues that were brought up by the group included
the appeal of the six-drop rule, tax-free textbooks, and full funding for Community Colleges. Full funding will come up when the Legislature looks at the 2010 state budget, but the first two issues can be addressed now through bills. Twelve students went to tell central Texas Legislators what their concerns were and what legislators can do to solve their problems. “It’s important to let our legislators know what we want,” said Mike Reid, SGA Parliamentarian, “we put a face on the 36,000 students that attend Austin Community College, and there’s power in that”. House Bill 20, introduced by Rep. David Leibowitz, would make textbooks tax-free all year. Many representatives
have said they would not have a problem supporting the bill including Rep. Elliott Naishtat. Representative Diana Maldonado expressed interest in co-authoring the bill. “The Six Drop Rule was instated last session as a way for Texas’ Flagship Universities to fix some of the problems with financial aid and to encourage students to graduate faster,” said Mike Reid. The rule only allows students that started on or after fall of 2007 to drop six classes during their entire undergraduate career. Students that drop more than six classes may receive a variety of severe penalties including reduction of financial aid and loss of in-state tuition rates. Students that started college before fall of 2007 are grandfathered in.
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Rob Palladino Columnist
As I’m sitting here tapping away at the keyboard, way past deadline – and hoping my editor isn’t going to flay me alive - I happened to tune into President Obama’s maiden press conference and I sincerely wished I hadn’t. It was perhaps the most dishonest display I’ve, well, since Obama last said something. This “presser” was nothing more than a stump speech punctuated by meaningless, softball questions asked by his fawning press core – and what a disgrace to journalism they are. He was allowed to meander his way through double-talk and BS and no one batted an eyelid – if they could keep their eyes open during the mogadon bore-fest. When the liveliest member of the press core is Medusa herself, Helen Thomas – who, as Bill O’Reilly amusingly quipped, that if someone poured salt on her she would dissolve – you have a big problem. But, let’s talk taxes here. So far it’s difficult to know, as Dennis Miller beautifully pointed out last week on Fox, that former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich “appears to be the only guy Barack Obama has met in the last five years of his life who has paid his taxes.” Now, while that is funny, it also seems to be a sadly selffulfilling prophecy. Sure, Tom Daschle fell on his own sword, after a little tipping from the New York Times, but somehow Tim Geithner is still going to take charge of the Treasury despite his tax “problems.” Why both of these chumps aren’t being hammered by the IRS is beyond me. If you, I or anyone of us ordinary folk “forgets” to pay any kind of tax, you can be sure you’ll receive that friendly bludgeon at your front door and a comfy prison cell to spend some time in. It’s a “one law for them”
system and all of us will just have to deal. President Obama also came up with this zinger at the National Prayer Breakfast a few days back: “There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being, this much we know.” Oh really? Maybe he should be reminded of the fact that he recently signed the reversal of the Mexico City Policy that so generously “donates” American tax payer dollars to fund abortion overseas. Also, just in case it slipped his mind, he’s about to do the same with the utterly revolting Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) which will basically turn the USA into a 50-state abortion mill. But then, I guess it will make Hollywood zombie Ashley Judd happy that babies, instead of wolves, are being murdered. I feel a warm and fuzzy coming on. Speaking of zombies… MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow is a class act. No, really. Last night on her show, she gave a short “speech” about how she backed all the people that are fighting the good fight against “corrupt” CEOs and so called “Fat Cats.” Ms. Maddow is a hypocrite par excellence. Who does she think she works for? Greenpeace? This bright spark works for MSNBC who are owned by? General Electric! Yes, that pinnacle of left-wing thought and debate works for one of the biggest companies in the United States yet complains about the very system that is making her rich beyond her wildest dreams. It’s all very well to stand there and hold a clenched fist up, act like Amy “Bin” Goodman, go home to a swanky NYC apartment and still claim to be street credible by supporting, not reporting mind you, random acts of evermore pointless demonstration. I think Maddow should at least be honest – although she couldn’t about almost landing a job with Fox News a while back – and admit she’s a champagne socialist. But, if she did that, Keith Olbermann would have to fire her, since he seems to be making all the editorial decisions at MSNBC these days, and she may end up on the next series of “Rock of Love.”
Accent • February 16, 2009
Our View Staff Editorial
Sarah Neve Editor-in-Chief • David Rodriguez Assistant Editor Jamie Carpenter Campus Editor • Alma Hernandez Photo/Web Editor Jana Lelek Layout Editor • Chris Scott Layout Intern
Perry has commitment issues with state tuition
Karen Kuhn • Staff artist
In what amounts to one of the most hypocritical and backwards proposals ever, Gov. Perry in his eighth State of the State Address (Note: now would be a good time to enforce term limits) proposed a four year tuition freeze. Fight the urge to applaud. If it weren’t for Perry, tuition wouldn’t be so absolutely out of control to begin with. The 2003 deregulation of tuition lead to yearly rapid and monumental hikes in tuition state wide. When Texas lawmakers deregulated tuition, they didn’t stipulate that if the economy gets worse and the board of regents goes crazy with the tuition increases, then the Legislature can step in and start regulating again. The way the freeze would work is that the students would start taking classes as freshman, and then when they are sophomores the cost of attending the university might go up, but the cost they
paid as freshmen would be locked in. This continues on so that by the time they are in their fourth year, the school is charging incoming freshmen four years worth of increases, more than the graduating seniors. Neat. Except, not all college students graduate in four years. According to the College Navigator website, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, less than 50% of University of Texas at Austin students graduate in four years. This means that in their fifth year students’ tuition will jump up to accommodate all four years of increases all at once. Supporters of this idea keep saying that it will be a great motivator for students to finish college ‘on time’, which condescendingly implies that students are currently in need of motivation to graduate in four years. College students often take longer
than four years to complete their degrees because of the increasing amount of responsibilities, not to mention the skyrocketing rate of now deregulated tuition that makes taking 12-16 hour semesters financially impossible. The reality is that the Legislature can not have its cake and eat it too. Obviously, they feel like they need control of tuition, but refuse to admit that they made a mistake and wont assert that control in any long standing legal way. Perry’s proposal, which now has majority support in the Senate, wont fix the tuition problems that students are facing, and more over lacks a sense of responsibility for those problems, which he helped create. I propose Perry fund a line of “I’m sorry I ruined the education system” license plates before he starts messing with tuition again.
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Editor-in-Chief.........................................................................................................Sarah Neve Assistant Editor............................................................................................... David Rodriguez Photo/Web Editor...........................................................................................Alma Hernandez Layout Editor..............................................................................................................Jana Lelek Layout Intern............................................................................................................Chris Scott Campus Editor................................................................................................. Jamie Carpenter Copy Editor............................................................................................... Julie Gorkowski-Day Accent Adviser............................................................................................. Matthew Connolly Accent Coordinator................................................................................................Lori Blewett Student Life Director......................................................................................... Cheryl Richard Writers Sarah Vasquez, Shawn Hinojosa, Adam Oliphant, Karissa Rodriguez, Shane Yount, Kaitlin Neve, Rob Palladino, Lindsay Preston,Devon Tincknell, Jon Sack, Scott Richardson, Anne Boyd Photographers Teodora Erbes, Trevor W. Goodchild, Kevin Forester, Enoch Rios, Hanlly Sam Artists Karen Kuhn, Anny Ibarra ACC President Dr. Steve Kinslow Board of Trustees Ms. Nan McRaven– Chair; Ms. Veronica Rivera—Vice Chair; Dr. James McGuffee—Secretary, Dr. Barbara P. Mink, Allen Kaplan, Mr. Jeffrey Richard, John-Michael Cortez, Tim Mahoney, Raul Alvarez All rights reserved. All content is the property of Accent and may not be reproduced, published or retransmitted in any form without written permission from the Office of Student Life. Accent is the student newspaper of Austin Community College and is printed by the Texas Student Publications. Accent is published biweekly. ACC students may submit articles for publication in Accent to RGC’s Office of Student Life Room 101.1; e-mail articles to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax submissions to 223‑3086. ACC does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, political affiliation or disability. Accent offers ACC’s faculty, staff, students and surrounding community a complete source of information about student life. Accent welcomes your input, as well as information about errors. If you notice any information that warrants a correction please e-mail email@example.com. Individual views, columns, letters to the editor and other opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Accent.
R edress of Grievances Jamie Carpenter Campus Editor
As a college student, one of the things I love best is the ability to be able to blame teachers for things that aren’t their fault. Whenever I have a genuine interest in a class and I like my teacher, I will sing praises about the teacher and the class. I love going to class, enjoy doing the homework, and I give the class my best effort. Then of course, there’s my Hyde side. When it’s a core class I am not interested in, but have to take in order to graduate, or a teacher whose
personality I am not particularly fond of, I have nothing good to say whatsoever. Everything that a teacher does or says is without a doubt said to annoy me. I did not get an F because I didn’t study, or because I procrastinated and waited till the last minute. Instead, the grade is clearly the result of my teacher being unreasonable and/or picking on me. I really believe that too many college students do not want to hold themselves accountable for their success or failure in school. It is too easy to blame the teachers, because they don’t know what we are going through.
But really, the truth of the matter is that teachers do know what it’s like. Obviously, in order to be a teacher, they had to go to school. They had to do homework, manage their time, take classes they didn’t want to take, and put up with teachers they might not have liked. They survived and so will we. Were it only so simple that the fault of bad learning lied solely in the hands of the students. I don’t know how many times I have read in a professor’s syllabus that it is important we show up for class on time, and have good attendance/participation, only to have them waste our time by spending the first thirty minutes trying to prepare for lectures, sipping their coffee, or chatting with people that aren’t even in our class. Teachers should be prepared to teach class just as students should be prepared to learn in class. Regardless of whether or
not the issue is a lack of owning up to your procrastination with your homework or hypocritical teachers, there should not be this unspoken war between teachers and students where teachers are tyrants holding our destiny in their hands, and students are bratty kids talking on their cell phones and walking into class late. In order for a learning environment to be successful, neither teacher nor student should be late to class, talk on the cell phone, or chat with other people, because it is disrupting for all parties. The classroom environment should be about learning. Instead, it seems like there is a silent divide between teachers and students which is pointless and unnecessary. A college education is not a petty game with losers or winners. Both teachers and students would benefit from a sense of mutual respect in the learning relationship they share.
February 16, 2009 • Accent
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Accent web poll Readers respond Posted By: Dakotah
Posted By: Ed Perkins
Responding to: Obama=Socialism
Printed in: Issue 1 spring 2009
What is the biggest challenge Obama faces as the new president?
I won’t address the slippery slope and anecdotal fallacies, save pointing out that this article is rife with them. The importance and success of UHC is actually completely unambiguous, as every single other developed nation spends less on better health care due to economies of scale, and due to the simple fact that you ALREADY PAY for others’ uninsured care. (OECD stats-USA=15% of GDP, closest developed nation=8.9%) We are the only developed nation
that does not have some sort of UHC system. Also, there are many kinds of UHC--not all of the systems exclude a private sector. After all the false arguments against UHC are debunked, you are left with nothing but American exceptionalism--a clear fallacy. The rest of your meanderings seem to be derivative talking points, I can only say turn the TV off, perhaps your apparent vitriol would lessen. Read more and write less.
Obama=Socialism Printed in: Issue 1 spring 2009 This country is in trouble. We now have an extreme liberal president with a previous senate voting record that is a joke. We have a democratically controlled house and senate that is liberal and socialism is going to be a fact. If the current republicans do not grow some man parts in a hurry, our constitution will be a nice historical artifact that will mean nothing! Are you scared? You should be!
Posted By: Anonymous ACC student Responding to: Obama proposes funding for students
Printed in: Issue 1 spring 2009
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Vote and view results on TheAccent.org
This Accent poll is not scientific and reflects the opinions of only those Internet users who have chosen to participate. The results cannot be assumed to represent the opinions of Internet users in general, nor the public as a whole.
I, for one, would be MORE than happy, ecstatic even to get financial help in exchange for 100 hours of community service per year. I have spent more hours of my life than I care to think about, trying to get financial aid, filling out papers, searching for scholarships that don’t apply to me, writing essays, doing appeals, etc... Only to finally get the bare minimum for a few years. (And I am very grateful for that!). But now I’m cut off due to having dropped the max number of classes. I don’t know if most people realize, when students say “I’ve been in school forever,” it usually means that it’s taking 14 years instead of 4, to get a degree. Because YOU HAVE TO WORK, and you are already living on your own, paying rent/mortgage, and bills. And you can only go to school as your finances will allow it, not because you’re a lazy, unfocused slacker! Oftentimes school is sacrificed for the sake of work. But with more financial aid, perhaps
Karissa Rodriguez Columnist
College without grades sounds alluring, but what impact would ending the grading system incur? Too many negative consequences I believe. That question was considered at a workshop during the annual meeting of the Association of American Colleges and Universities late last month, reported by Inside Higher Ed. Many professors and college administrators believed this would be a good move and proposed to enact an evaluation system to replace the current grading system. I on the other hand completely disagree. The evaluation system, in one scenario, could replace grades with narrative evaluations, rubrics, and clear learning goals. I can’t imagine ACC abolishing grades and using student evaluations in its place. In order to accommodate an evaluation system, administrators would need to lower class sizes and create more classes. ACC has over 35,000 students trying to get into limited classroom space, an evaluation system would only make the enrollment process more difficult. The more difficult idea to process is that an evaluation system is better than the current grading system. I will admit that there are flaws in the grading system, but completely eliminating
grades is not a solution. I like the grading system, and I am motivated by receiving grades for my work. I attended one class last semester where my teacher did not believe in grades, and it was the most frustrating class I have ever taken. In this class all that was required was that I complete assignments. After two and a half months of doing just that, and not receiving any feedback about my work, I became discouraged and withdrew from the course. I withdrew because I would rather receive a W for a course than an F. I didn’t know how well I was doing in class, because I didn’t receive a grade for my work. The teacher also didn’t explain how we would be graded at the end of the semester despite questions from myself and other classmates. I knew I wasn’t alone in my frustration because my classmates and I communicated with each other on how to express our disappointment with our teacher’s decision to not give us grades for our assignments. I think if ACC and other colleges switched to an evaluation system, it would discourage students rather than motivate them, from my experience. If the AACU really wants to improve how students learn, I suggest integrating evaluations along with grades. Together, they can serve as motivations for students to improve academically.
Say it like you mean it
non-privileged students could have more of a chance to succeed, by having the support to get their education faster. It seems like a no-brainer to us, but one that has to be explained to those in our society who aren’t aware, and obviously ‘don’t get it’ (or, don’t care!). At this point, ANYTHING the govt. can do to help more students get an education would be, truly, a dream come true. However I don’t have Obama on a pedestal. I want to wait to see some results first before getting too excited about him. He has a hard road ahead and he’s going to need all the help he can get. But it IS exciting to think we may actually, FINALLY, have a govt. again, that hasn’t completely abandoned us, like the past nightmarish 8 years, and actually might do something to help workingclass people for a change!! I just hope it really happens, and we don’t get our hopes up for nothing.
These comments have been edited for grammatical errors. Everything is as posted by our online readers. All Accent stories are posted online and available for commentary. Visit our web site, tell us what you think, and look for your best comments in future issues of The Accent.
Rob Palladino Columnist
When actor Christian Bale’s astonishing outburst was unleashed on an unsuspecting public, the reputation of Hollywood celebrities was hardly unsullied. From unfortunates like Marilyn Monroe, survivors like Dennis Hopper, right through to mental midgets like Matt Damon; it’s been a production line of dysfunction, idiocy and criminal selfindulgence. The fact that these people are given a pass by a public who could care less what they do in private is fair enough, I suppose. Thousands of people also make tons of money from promoting this ridiculous gravy train of stupidity and you can’t blame them from making a quick cynical buck or two, and putting their kids through college from the proceeds. But, back to Bale. When he tore Director of Photography Shane Hurlbut a new one, during the filming of “Terminator Salvation,” it was treated as a typical Hollywood “moment.” Someone put the tirade to music, and it was a rather amusing remix it has to be said, but it wasn’t even any of that stuff that really bothered me. You know what bugged the crap out of me about Bale’s stressed hairdresser moment? The way he speaks. Yeah, that’s what has been annoying me most of all about this. Call it trivial if you want, and you probably will, but the way his
accent defies logic. Apparently Bale was born in Wales and spent his childhood in England, Portugal, and the United States. Oh, ok he’s traveled a bit and it’s reasonable to assume that someone would kind of pick up parts of accents along the way. Ok, fine, I can almost understand that. But Bale’s accent does bring up a huge bugbear for me. Now, some of you may know that I’m originally from London – that’s in England for the more geographically challenged – and have been living here in Texas for almost six years. I have not lost one bit of my London accent and I never will. I haven’t struggled to keep it in place either, it’s just remained there naturally, because that’s where I come from. I have met numerous Brits out here since I arrived and I haven’t met one yet that has an accent that hasn’t been mixed up with the American accent they have affected. When I ask them why they put on this accent, they often reply that it happened naturally and this is from people who have been here for less than 20 minutes! Maybe they have the insecure need to assimilate and not stand out, or possibly they are ashamed of where they come from. It’s time to start a “let’s reclaim our accent” petition. Maybe I’m insane, which is not impossible, but if there are any other Brits reading this, drop the fake accent for an hour-
a-day and see how liberating it feels! There could be no more wonderful of a moment than putting the plum right
back into your mouth and becoming British again. I can even envision a website: www. efakeyankaccentforthequeen. co,uk. Yeah, that’s the idea. Oh Christian, you’ve really started something now.
Anny Ibarra • Staff artist
Accent • February 16, 2009
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Art @ ACC
Teodora Erbes • Staff Photographer
Above: Amitis Meshkani, Continuing Education student at ACC in Interior Design, looks at the “Art @ ACC” exhibit on February 10.
Left: Art Professor Brent Baggett explains his creation to Tiffany McMeen, first semester ACC art student, at the “Art @ ACC” exhibit.
Teodora Erbes • Staff Photographer
Teodora Erbes • Staff Photographer
Above: On display as part of the Art @ ACC show are works by ACC faculty members. The show runs through March 4 at the Highland Business Center at 5930 Middle Fiskville Road.
Board members meet with students Jonathan Sack Staff Writer
Campus board forums allow students the opportunity to voice their opinions or concerns about the college directly to members of the ACC’s Board of Trustees. On Wednesday, Feb. 4, ACC’s Student Government Association, with help from Student Life, hosted the Northridge Board Forum. Student Government Senators Juston Braden, Louise Ho, and Jonathan Sack acted as moderators for the event. Dr. James W. McGuffee, Board of Trustees Secretary, as well as Board of Trustees member Tim Mahoney fielded questions from the students in attendance. In addition to those questions, Student Government senators read questions from a paper forum which was available on Feb. 3 and 4 to allow students to ask questions without attending the event. “Can anything be done about people with big trucks parking in compact parking spaces?” asked student Michael Dinh. “If the spot is marked for compact parking… I suggest calling the number for the campus police,” replied Mahoney. “I don’t think you
Photo courtesy of Dot Dearinger
Left to right) SGA Senators Juston Braden and Jonathan Sack pose questions to Board of Trustee members Dr. James McGuffee and Tim Mahoney in the Northridge Student Lounge.
need to call the police,” said McGuffee “If the spot says compact, and trucks are parking there, the solution is education,” Mahoney concluded. Regarding parking, Mahoney said, “We need to think about transportation structurally… in a few years we may not have money to put gas in our cars. Today we think about getting in our car, and spend our time driving where we are going. If you ride the bus, you can spend that time reading or studying,” Mahoney concluded. An anonymous student submitted a question “Can
ACC have a shuttle service like UT?” “Most people don’t realize that UT pays for their shuttle service, and it’s quite expensive,” said Mahoney. “We would have to assess a fee to students,” McGuffee stated. Mahoney suggested working with SGA and Capitol Metro to hold a community forum at Northridge to bring mass transit concerns to Capitol Metro. “Capitol Metro thought long and hard about all their recent service changes, but they didn’t bother to confer with everyone,” said Mahoney.
Photo illustration • Ama Hernadez
The first Springtini event of the spring semester, sponsored by Student Life, was held at the SAC campus on Feb. 10. The event was designed to educate students on the affects of alcohol. Beer goggles, which ranged from .06 to .20 B.A.C. (Blood Alcohol Content), were provided and showed the varying reactions students had while attempting to walk a straight line. In Texas, you’re legally intoxicated at .08 B.A.C. Sponsors of the event included Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, Bank of America, Kapsner Chiropractic, and Justin Gadd from the ACC Carbon Assessment Committee.
Enoch Rios • Staff Photographer
February 16, 2009 • Accent
Students learn about
Students lined up at all campuses to get lollipop condoms, pick up information about sexual health, and get information on pregnancy. Sexual responsibility day, Feb. 10, was a Student Life college wide event that aimed to provide students with facts about all aspects of sexual responsibility. Different campuses had different tables, but all campuses provided information on different types of contraceptives, and had a mock bed made up for students to sign. Popcorn was free and every bag came with a sexual responsibility fact attached to it. The Austin Pregnancy Resource Center, CoA Health and Human Services, Hope Connection, Planned Parenthood, Worth the Wait, and the Pflugerville and Austin Pregnancy Resource center all attended at least one campus and distributed information. Eastview Campus and Riverside Campus had originally planned to offer HIV testing, but the mobile vans used for that service could not make it, and using an empty room would have presented confidentiality issues. Frank Taylor, RVC campus manager, said “I’m fully aware of the importance of testing, if we could work out something to have a mobile testing center on campus regularly I would be all for it…due to the one way in, one way out nature of the room we couldn’t do it.”
(not so) Sexy Facts* Sexually transmitted diseases are passed person-to-person through sexual contact. There are three different ways to engage in sex. These include vaginal intercourse, anal sex, and oral sex. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 19 million new sexually transmitted infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people aged 15 to 24. More than 20 different viruses and bacteria can pass from one partner to another during sex. At least one in four Americans will contract an STI at some point in their lives. Herpes is contagious days preceding an outbreak or the development of sores. Even though most couples protect themselves with condoms, condoms may not necessarily provide protection against herpes. Why? This is because herpes outbreaks often occur on areas not covered by a condom. There are an estimated 700000 new cases of gonorrhea each year, half of them are reported to the Center of Disease control. A pap test will not diagnose Chlamydia The majority of sexually transmitted diseases have no symptoms or mild symptoms. Moreover, some symptoms may be mistaken for other less serious conditions. For example, gonorrhea is often mistaken for a bladder infection. One in five people over 12 years of age have the herpes virus Male condoms, the most common form of birth control, are 99% effective in preventing STD’s if used correctly.
...What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard about sex “Don’t do it” James Gooden
“Make sure you’re in love before you do it” LeeAnn Tacchi “When you have sex with somebody, your body makes a commitment with someone whether you do or not.” Steven Wrightn
“Enjoy!” Kate Stinson
“Be careful when a girl says she’s on birth control. Wear a condom anyway.” Sean Moreno
“Wait ‘till the time is right or wait until you’re married. Don’t let anybody peer pressure you!” Zakeia Allen
Students Gabby Soto and Ashley Cox react to seeing a female condom. Dot Dearinger, the student life assistant at Rio Grande campus shows them the condom and the proper usage of it.
“Save yourself for the one who truly loves you. Don’t have multiple sex partners.” Shena Jackson
* Facts compiled by the office of Student Life and distributed at campus events
ndez • Phot
page design by Jana Lelek
Accent • February 16, 2009
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To Be Brief
Enrollment hits record highs ACC’s enrollment has hit a 14% increase since last spring. Dr. Kinslow, ACC’s President, said, “Clearly, more students are seeing the value of a postsecondary education and getting the proper training for high-demand careers.” The increase in enrollment in community colleges can be attributed to the current state of the economy. Dr. Kathleen Christensen, Vice President of Student Support and Success Systems said, “Once students get engaged, and in college find out that they really enjoy learning, then they will stay with us once the economy gets better. We have been able to optimize the access of our students” The areas with the highest rises in enrollment are the Early College Start Program, Weekend Enrollment, and Round Rock area students who are now able to take advantage of the in district rate.
Bicycle to help developing nations Hanlly Sam•Staff Photographer
A skydiver dropped in on the groundbreaking ceremony to deliver a proclamation and welcome ACC to Round Rock.
The 24 Hours to Empower Bike Ride, sponsored by Students for Environmental Outreach, Fox 7, and Whole Foods, will be on Mar. 5 and 6. The ride will start at the Whole Foods Market west of downtown located at 6th and Lamar. The students are raising money to help support the Grameen Trust, an organization that provides micro lending to developing nations.
Pinnacle hosts Hip Hop showcase Hip Hop into Black History, sponsored by Student Life, will “show the progression of Hip Hop through the years and the impact it’s had on American culture,” said Adam Pfluger, Student Life Assistant. An open mic will also be made available. The event will be on the Pinnacle Student Commons from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 17.
Cypress enables financial literacy The Cypress Creek Campus will be hosting Financial Literacy 101. The workshop is a part of the College Success Workshop and will be Feb. 19 from 2 to 3 p.m. in room 2102.2 . Students attending the event will be provided with information on budgeting, saving, and refraining from attaining bad credit. More information on the workshops can be found at the Advising and Counseling section of the ACC website.
Hellman undaunted Hanlly Sam•Staff Photographer
Ground samples were collected at the end of the groundbreaking ceremony for the new ACC Round Rock campus.
Round Rock Ground-breaking (cont.) ȨȨ continued from pg. 1
Rock Mayor Alan McGraw, and college President/CEO Dr. Stephen B. Kinslow. The campus will be ACC’s largest, accommodating over 11,500 students and filling 275,000 square feet. At the forum, they will discuss with locals some of the
programs that will be offered at the new campus, including transferable education, workforce education, access programs, continuing and adult education, honors programs, and early college start. The Round Rock Campus will also have a state-of-the-art hospital simulation lab. While the college is
exploring options for building in other service areas, like San Marcos, Leander, and Dripping Springs, the focus of ACC is getting the Round Rock Campus open, Lea said “We just hope the weather stays gorgeous between now and fall 2010 so we can open on time.”
Benefitting from the Hope Credit Anne Boyd Staff Writer
Eligible taxpayers can use fees paid to ACC in 2008 as a tax deduction, or if they find they owe money to the government, those amounts can be used to calculate a Hope or Lifetime Learning credit. Credits reduce the tax bill, the amount of taxes a filer owes the government after all deductions have been taken. A deduction reduces the taxable income, the portion of your pay, interest and other income on which taxes are calculated. Specifically listing the amounts and types of deductions on the tax form is called itemizing. Filers who do not itemize are entitled to a standard deduction, the exact amount changes each year to account for inflation, and is based on filing status. For example, on the 2008 Form1040 the standard deduction for a single person is $5,450, but for a married couple filing jointly that deduction increases to $10,900. A taxpayer benefits from itemizing deductions if the total amount itemized is more than the standard deduction. Most students may not think it’s worth the extra effort but deductions can add up when things like charitable contributions, property tax, and sales tax are included. According to the IRS web site, the tuition and fees deduction can be as high as $4,000, and can be taken even
if a taxpayer does not itemize. is claimed as a dependent Only those fees a qualifying cannot utilize the credits or institution requires are elideductions on his own return, gible. This is the amount listed even if the student is actually on Form 1098-T, the tuition paying the bill. However, the statement ACC distributed in person who claims the student Jan. Living expenses, computas a dependent is entitled to ers, school supplies, and books these tax benefits. If a third are not deductible. party pays the tuition, it is If a taxpayer owes the still the person who claims the government money, he may be student as a dependent who able to reduce that tax bill by gets the tax benefit. applying either the Hope or Consult the IRS or a qualiLifetime Learning Educational fied tax preparer to determine Credit. whether you qualify for the The Hope Credit is credit or deduction and which available for only two years option is best in a particular and may provide as much situation. as $1800 in tax credit each For faster refunds and to year. According to certified avoid penalties, Goodspeed Public Accountant and former suggests that taxpayers ACC accounting instructor double-check their returns for Deonette Goodspeed, income completeness and accuracy. level, and filing status are used “If you forget to sign your to determine the exact amount return or write your social of the credit. To qualify, a stuincorrectly, the IRS will send it dent must be enrolled at least back,” Goodspeed said. half time in a program that For uncomplicated returns, leads to an academic credenGoodspeed said that tax tial such as a degree. Students programs like TurboTax may with felony drug convictions be a good option for filing. are not eligible. Taxpayers with more compliUnlike the Hope credit, cated returns might want a the Lifetime Learning Credit professional tax preparer. can be used for any number In Austin, free tax help is of years that the student is available for those who qualify involved in post-secondary through the public library and education, or is taking courses community tax centers. For related to career advancemore help with taxes and tax ment. The maximum benefit questions, please consult the for the lifetime learning credit following websites: is $2,000 per year and www.ci.austin.tx.us/library/taxinfo.htm there is no provision about drug convicwww.communitytaxcenters.org tions, but income levels www.irs.gov/ still impact the amount www.1040.com of the credit. www.goodspeedcpa.com A student who
Trevor Goodchild•Staff Photographer
American Sign Language student Sara Hellman practices Valentine terms in the ASL lab on the Rio Grande Campus.
Jamie Carpenter Campus Editor
Sara Hellman is preparing to throw herself into unfamiliar territory. At seventeen, this ACC student is not your average candidate for admittance into the prestigious Gallaudet University, because of one factor: she’s not deaf. Gallaudet University accepts only up to 5% of their incoming class as hearing students. But, Hellman is not your average hearing person. She’s not really bothered at all about the lack of hearing interaction. “I don’t really think it will be hard at all for me not to talk. I really dislike talking. I’m more of a silent person really,” Hellman said. Hellman first started getting involved in American Sign Language about 3 three and half years ago. Her first ASL (American Sign Language) teacher at McNeil High School,Audrey Nelson, sparked her interest in ASL
“She was a hearing teacher but she was really enthuastic about the language. I think she just presented it to me in a way that really got me moving and inspired me too,” Hellman said. Unlike many hearing people interested in ASL, Hellman does not have deaf parents, siblings, or family members. Early on, her main source of interaction was with the deaf students in her high school, but it was not significant interaction at that point. “A lot of the times I just had classes with them. I worked a lot with interpreters,” Hellman said. The interpreters served as links of communication between the hearing students and the deaf students. Currently, Hellman is working towards her Interpreting Preparation Degree in the American Sign Language Program at ACC. The most rewarding aspect of learning sign, Hellman thinks, is learning “a second language makes you gain a greater
appreciation for society.” According to the ASL website, the “certificate provided by ACC is an educational certificate and not state or national certification. The IPP (Interpreter Preperation Program) is designed to provide the skills and knowledge necessary to become certified at the state level. State Certification is available through the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), Board of Evaluation for Interpreters. National Certification is available through the Registry of Interpreters of the Deaf (RID).” In part, Hellman chose to attend ACC because the “interpreting certificate is pretty intensive,” and “the deaf community is very big.” After attending ACC, and gaining her certificate, she would like to gain an internship while continuing her education at Gallaudet. When asked if she’s concerned about making the transition from a mainly hearing student population to a deaf one, Hellman shrugged her shoulders, “If I play it off right, it shouldn’t be too bad at all. I think initially it will be awkward. I’ve heard some stories that some play pretty loud bass music to wake up too, and I don’t like to wake up like that, but truthfully, I think the deaf students there would be really open to hearing students.” ACC is among the few colleges that not only offers ASL but offers classes taught by deaf teachers and has numerous options, varying from fulfilling a foreign language requirement, learning about the deaf culture, and gaining a degree. Many universities do not consider ASL a foreign language.Hellman thinks this shows that people “have a false conception, that since it’s American Sign Language, it’s instantly a lot easier to translate than Spanish or another language.” ACC is not one of those schools. After all, despite the fact that Hellman jokes that her “spoken vernacular is degrading slowly” her love of learning ASL is not.
February 16, 2009 • Accent
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Neglected glue gun causes third floor fire at Co-op
Trevor Goodchild•Staff Photographer
A notebook lays among the rubble from the fire.
Trevor Goodchild•Staff Photographer
The House of Commons Co-op located at 2610 Rio Grande St. suffered a fire on its third floor Saturday Jan. 31. All 27 of its members are displaced until the house is ready to be re-opened.
Many staudents displaced, no injuries Devon Tincknell Staff Writer
A third floor fire damaged the House of Commons Co-op, a member of the Inter-Cooperative Council (ICC), Saturday, Jan. 31. The fire, believed to have been caused by a hot glue gun, started sometime around 2:30
p.m. and spread quickly. By the time the alarm alerted the residents to the blaze it was already beyond their control. The Austin Fire Department was on the scene by 2:56 p.m. and spent the next hour controlling and extinguishing the flames. The Co-op was safely evacuated of all residents and pets and no one was injured.
ICC’s General Administrator Brian Donovan arrived moments after the firefighters and was busy working with other co-ops within the network and the Red Cross to provide shelter and support for the HOC’s 27 displaced residents. “As soon as the fire had been put out, people from
Soul Fest spruces RGC
Arrakis, people from Royal, people from Seneca were coming with blankets and lawn chairs, offering us places to stay,” said Amelia Raley, a manager at Toy Joy. She was thankful to have a system of co-ops in place to provide assistance, but worries that the damage to the HOC extends far beyond the destruction of property. “We lost much more than a junky old house, we lost our home and our community.” The University of Texas has assisted students who resided in the House of Commons, providing gift cards for Target, notifying professors, and finding ways to replace text books that were damaged or destroyed. ACC has yet to contribute aid to the several ACC students who lived in the House of Commons.
Carol Ann Willhite, the HOC Trustee for the Spring Semester, moved into HOC in June of 2008. She mourns the temporary loss of community, but is optimistic about remaining in contact and rebuilding. “Of course we’re going to stay together,” Willhite said, “it’s a priority for our house to relocate everyone and think about what we want to be like when we re-open.” On Tuesday, Feb. 3, three days after the fire, the displaced co-op members gathered at French House and discussed their options. Raley said, “We asked the question, ‘Who is interested in moving back in to HOC in the fall?’ and everybody raised their hand. It was a really beautiful thing.” Kyle Kaptain, a Social Work Senior at UT, is part of a group of eight HOC residents who banded together to lease a former fraternity to house them in the interim. ICC initially proposed the property, but backed out after concerns about the building being up to code. Kaptain says, “We
put down the deposit on this house independently, so we’ll have a little refugee shelter until HOC is fixed up.” Kaptain served as the HOC education coordinator and plans to continue working to fulfill his position. “I’m definitely going to be doing something different with this officership than has happened in the past. [I’m] going to be geared towards keeping people in contact with each other.” Other officers also plan to continue in their leadership roles and Raley, HOC’s membership coordinator, said, “We’re already busy looking for a place to host pot lucks so we can stay together, and continue recruiting new members for when we open in the fall.” Though his room was the epicenter of the blaze, Kaptain is staying positive. “I lost all my belongings, but it’s not that big a deal. I had a lot of crap,” Kaptain said. “I had a roommate who told me, ‘If you own a rug, you own too much.’ Well, now I’m rug free.”
Immigration education hones on youth
Hanlly Sam•Staff Photographer
Students Liam Doherty and Sha Reed take a look at Dudu Osun African soaps at Rio Grande’s Soul Fest on Feb. 3. African American history was also showcased in the student lounge at the festival.
Shawn Hinojosa•Staff Photographer
Paul Hart, professor of history at Texas State University talks about the economic effects of immigration at the Eastview campus on Feb. 6.
Shawn Hinojosa Staff Writer
Following a registration fee, hundreds of students packed into the multipurpose hall to participate in the second annual Immigration, Education, and Our Future Conference at the Eastview Campus. Austin Community College in partnership with St. Edward’s University invited speakers and students to the conference. On Feb. 6 the nine-hour event began with speakers from all over the country
addressing a full auditorium of students and faculty regarding the effects immigration has on certain facets of American life, or lack thereof. Following the lecture, participants were scattered across a multitude of classrooms for individual workshops. Paul Hart, professor of history at Texas State University, kicked off the event with a PowerPoint presentation which demonstrated the economic effects of immigration with facts and figures, and several graphic images emphasizing the social paranoia that
immigrants endure. Students were glued to presenters like Kevin Appleby, the director of Migration and Refugee Services for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C. Appleby spoke about the stigmas of Catholicism in politics, and how it relates to immigration. Other speakers included Austin’s Immigration Attorney Paul Parsons, Economist John Hockenyos, and House Representative Rick Noriega. “There is an inconsistent application of immigration law,” Dr. Richard Armenta, Associate Vice President, Office of Student Success, at ACC, said that the Supreme Court says that young immigrant children have to be educated, but high education can be hard to attain, and “these families face a great deal of uncertainty.” On an informal survey following the conclusion of last year’s conference, students were asked questions about what ethical dilemmas challenge their community. A common answer presented was an understanding that immigrant students were seen as “obvious targets,” and there was apprehension to discover how many undocumented students are currently enrolled in our institutions. A week later, on Feb. 13, Immigration Attorney Mehron Azarmehr conducted a free seminar, answering student questions regarding how to attain a Work Visa, permanent residency, and the status of the DREAM Act. More events regarding immigration are sure to follow.
Accent • February 16, 2009
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m u sic re v ie w s
Tonight continues party Sarah Vasquez Staff Writer
Franz Ferdinand is back with a new album, “Tonight: Franz Ferdinand” (released late in Jan.), although listening to it doesn’t seem like there was any time or style change in between their previous recording, “You Could Have It So Much Better” (2005). The songs from “Tonight: Franz Ferdinand” could be played right after the preceding album’s tunes, and it would sound like one continuous release. This would be a problem if they were a horrible un-listenable band, but luckily they are not. In fact, one mistake bands tend to make with the follow up to a successful album is fixing what isn’t broken by changing the music genre they originated from, and dragging out songs with over the top bridges, choruses, etc. Fortunately, Franz Ferdinand slightly upgraded their new tunes with minor,
Photo courtesy of Friendly Fire Records
“ Playful Sex’s” dream pop entices Photo courtesy of Sony Records
but subtle changes, and still produced the same characteristic pop goodness that captured their listeners with their second single, “Take Me Out” (Jan. of 2004). “Tonight: Franz Ferdinand” is one non-stop dance party with song after song of infectious beats and feel-good sing along lyrics, with the exception of the last two songs “Dream Again,” and
“Katherine Kiss Me.” “Dream Again” gives the audience a chance to relax their pumping hearts after dancing the night away, while “Katherine Kiss Me” is a surprising change that contradicts the entire energy of the record by inserting an acoustic folksy love lament.
Kweller’s new horse is disingenous Shawn Hinojosa Staff Writer
In Ben Kweller’s 2006 self-titled effort, traces of alt-country were present, but now with the release of 2009’s “Changing Horses,” his transformation to a beer-guzzling, barbeque-cooking, rockabilly persona has now taken form. Ben Kweller burst onto the Dallas local music scene as a teenager in 1994 with the trio and grunge-rock band cultfavorite Radish. He then introduced his solo career with a string of EPs, and singer/songwriter Kweller was prophesized to be the next Kurt Cobain. Now married and a recent father, Kweller is seemingly wiser, and more mature. A pedal-steel has replaced the once catchy angst of his classical piano he played on anthems like “Sha, Sha.” Trying to appease the Americana crowd in Texas seems like a project Kweller has been working at for a while, but unfortunately
Graphic courtesy of Ato Records
his efforts are a little disingenuous. Fans that have followed the redhead’s career since his solo debut won’t be too excited by “Changing Horses,” but fans of classic alt-country will find it refreshing. The track “Fight” is a toetapping hootenanny in the vein of Johnny Cash, and the
best track on the record is due to his great storytelling on “On Her Own.” Kweller reminds his old fans of his penchant for piano-pop with “Sawdust Man,” but he falls short as he is still attached to the thematic elements of countrified indie rock.
Scattergood premiers pristinely her delivery. Every now and then she sings a line that sounds a little too selfpitying, which may turn off some listeners, but Poly Scattergood’s talent is raw, and she shines more often than emits a dull sheen. The music is spot on. “Other Too Endless” is Photo courtesy of Mute Records filled with delicate electronic Shane Yount loops and off the wall instruStaff Writer mentation. The album is a breath of fresh air in a genre English songwriter Polly that is peppered with cookie Scattergood will be releasing cutter bands. her debut album, “Other Too Her first single from her Endless,” on Mar. 9, and her debut album, “Nitrogen Pink,” single by the same name will was released in Sept. of 2007, be released Feb. 23 on Mute and told the tale of how fragile Records. With her sometimes overly life is. The sad song is sung over loud beeps and roaremotional voice, Scattergood ing bubblegum electro-pop. gets an A for effort, but a C on
Scattergood showed perfect control over her voice on “Nitrogen Pink.” “Bunny Club” is a track that stands out. After all, an electro-clash rocker detailing the life of a bunny has to be great. The beat starts off subtle, but really grows into something that will keep you dancing in your seat. “Unforgiving Arms” is a refreshing take on a typical pop song with catchy lyrics and a solid beat. The melody is upbeat and it works its way into your mind until you hum along. Polly Scattergood just may be an artist to keep on the lookout for. She offers plenty of catchy electro-pop for all audiences. Scattergood’s quirky vocals work for the most part, but unfortunately there are a couple of lines that are slightly groan-worthy.
Shane Yount Staff Writer
Asobi Seksu, the band’s name translates to playful sex, made a huge impact on New York City’s indie scene with their second LP “Citrus,” released in 2006. Asobi Seksu’s latest effort, “Hush,” will be released Feb. 17 and is rich with dreamy melodies and soaring vocals. What makes “Hush” such a success is the impressive and inviting dream pop melodies that crawl through the speakers and capture you. “Hush’s” listeners may find themselves
rocking along without even realizing it. The album feels like a dream, and once you wake up from it you’re still smiling. “Me & Mary,” the first single off of the new album (released Nov.. 18 of 2008) is one of the most distinctive indie pop songs to hit the airwaves as of late. The single delivers a rocking chorus including a combination of English and Japanese vocals. “Me & Mary” is one of the best songs in the bands’ catalogue. The track “I Can’t See” sounds like a relaxing 90’s pop rock ballad, complete
with dual vocals and layered guitars, and lead vocalist/ keyboardist Yuki Chikudate sounds particularly impressive on this track. “In the Sky” is a melodic dream with a gorgeous melody and delicate vocals. “Hush’s” outro constantly builds up speed to a satisfying finish, evoking the listeners to bob their heads The album offers twelve pleasurable tracks that should stand out in your collection, and I am finding “Hush” on my “Most Played” list quite often.
February 16, 2009 • Accent
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2666 parts four and five a finales de, pero infinito pervasive, almost deafening, misogynistic dialogue (there are two pages devoted entirely to cops swapping women-intheir-place jokes) as a canvas on which the blood of women is painted with presumed entitlement and impunity. His characters, with Santa Teresa at its core, tread through a precarious existence of ennui, naive promise, anxiety, rage, and the threatening potential of insignificance or obliteration. “The Part About The Crimes” presents the point of impact; an impact which the novels preceding and following tremble beneath, feeling its ripple impressed within the broader masterpiece. The fourth novel provides an ominous center of gravity, although, one resembling a black hole, rather than a sun, to the lives in its orbit.
Lindsay Preston Staff Writer
Near the end of his life, Roberto Bolano became obsessed with the savage murders of hundreds of women that have been occurring in Ciudad Juarez throughout the past two decades. Through extensive research, he compiled an impressive amount of forensic information regarding the history and nature of these brutal crimes, which he has in turn used to craft a true-to-life fictional account of the culture and victims of Juarez (a town he never actually visited) by way of Santa Teresa. His approach, in this regard, is highly original (one that he also employed to create a bibliography of fictional Nazi war-criminals in “Nazi Literature in the Americas”). With “The Part About The Crimes”, one can presume that Bolano intends to give testimony to the countless victims of Juarez through the medium of literature, an art he believed possible of offering fundamental truth. In novel four, we are thoroughly introduced to the central character of “2666”: the fictional border city of Santa Teresa, Mexico, which is based on the actual town of Ciudad Juarez.
5. “The Part About Archimboldi”
David Rodriguez Assistant Editor
4. The Part About The Crimes Novel four begins in Jan. of 1993, with the discovery of a thirteen year old girl who has been raped, beaten, strangled to death, and then abandoned in a dusty lot within the border city of Santa Teresa, just south of Arizona. The following 280 pages (the lengthiest of the novels) are dominated by similar accounts of women and girls (some as young as eleven years old) found raped, tortured, murdered, and mutilated throughout the city and surrounding state of Sonora, Mexico; some are identified by family or neighbors, while
Karen Kuhn•Staff Artist
many remain forever anonymous, fated to be dumped in public mass graves. The majority of victims are workers at local factories (maquiladoras), while others are those who have continued to emigrate north in hopes of finding work, or with dreams of living in the U.S. Many are teenage girls from local schools; some are waitresses, hitchhikers, or dancers. However, most are referred to as whores. These horrific accounts
span five years and the length of the novel, anchoring Bolano’s layered depiction of a community struggling to survive under the menacing shadows of corrupt state officials, drug lords, and a police force predominantly complicit and indifferent to the perpetual acts of exploitation and violence. Bolano breathes both life and death into the sparse desert landscape and cluttered urban industry of factories, taquerias, and strip-joints that Santa Teresa revolves around,
as the mystery unfolds, but never fully reveals its secrets. As some cases (mostly domestic murders) are solved, and others (those bearing the gruesome signature marks of various serial-killers) are not, we are introduced to a sporadic host of characters: reporters, police inspectors, an American sheriff, a psychic, an insane German entrepreneurturned-scapegoat, as well as the fleeting witnesses and inhabitants of Santa Teresa. Through these characters, Bolano draws out the
Reminiscent of the feeling of a friend that hasn’t visited in a long time, but is about to depart from your life indefinitely, the anxiety of a great cinematic masterpiece that has captured your attention for it seems like a lifetime, but it has only been a blink of an eye, or an enrapturing novel of epic proportions that forces its reader to reread the last pages very slowly, over and over again. Roberto Bolano’s “2666” is this novel, unconventional and unexpected. The fifth part is a 262 page chapter, containing an infinite arc that leaves the reader sedated, but in an utter state perplexity on the ways of the physical and ethereal world; mortality, death, writing, toiling, notoriety, love, failure, murder, war. “The Part About Archimboldi” takes “2666’s” audience far back to the first sketches of those obsessed intellectuals, but with a view not from their vantage, the
seekers, but a chronological account of the hunted, Benno Von Archimboldi and his existence, works, and pain. It is hard to imagine holding the attention of an audience for such a time span and through such a zealous project, but this is what the reader has been climbing towards, not an apex, or closure, just more, a slight glimpse. Fiction is the chance to be an innocent bystander in something else that is distant, and possibly nostalgic, a vicarious university of self- realization. Bolano takes the reader and Archimboldi from before his birth to his father’s stay in a destitute hospital ward, before Archimboldi is who he has created, to the virtual present. Undeniably linking his life by blood, to blood, and called to a fated encounter caused from numerous accusations of bloodshed. Bolano takes the reader through the stunningly Aryan boy’s obsession with seaweed (the sea as a symbol of purity), his stint as a thief’s apprentice, his blossoming from a boy into a man as a tortured and wounded soldier in the desolate and ravaged eastern Europe where he finds his inspiration for everything literary, crucifixion, cathartic homicide, a life altering love, and prophesied, but unsought success. Bolano has twisted an epic fairy tale that opposes everything finite. “2666” is who everyone is, a repetition of a theme and the ever eluding completion of something we forgot we started, where we think we are heading, and how in our old age we seem to be at the point of inevitable departure once again. Fates collide with fates, and pass each other during the observation of a painting, or play their respective, but universally polarizing roles in murder. Bolano ultimately and unforgivingly offers that we are painstakingly attached to one another and in essence
PRAISE HA! resuscitates laughter Jamie Carpenter Campus Editor
At just 33 minutes, “PRAISE HA!” is an effective, informative and entertaining documentary directed by Wendy Corn and Andrew Guidone.
The film was shot in 2003 and premiered Jan. 29 at the 2009 Austin Jewish Film Festival at the Regal Arbor Cinema. The short film delivers a strong and timeless message that laughter heals, it relieves stress, and most importantly is
just plain fun. In a multi-media age where almost every documentary is a sour dystopian prediction of the direction we are heading, it was refreshing to hear Corn say, “There are so many dark, heavy, serious documentaries out there. What if there was
one that was light and fun?” Although fun, “PRAISE HA!” also deals with heavy topics like break-ups, cancer, death, and 9-11. The film’s topics are presented in a humorous manner with a touch of comical wisdom. Corn and Guidone offer whimsical advice in the form of quotes from persons such as famed Woodstock comedian Wavy Gravy who said in the short that “laughter is the valve on the pressure cooker of life. Either you laugh and suffer, or you got your beans or brains on the ceiling [and] dare to struggle, dare to grin.” Clearly, this sentiment is expressed best when Cheryl G. Smith, after her husband died of cancer, shaved her head. Later she began to laugh as his corpse was being carried away by friends and she told the audience, “Sometimes when life is really, really hard you have to laugh really, really hard.” Despite being just over a half of an hour, the film contains a range of commentary and opinions on the topic of laughter. One of the most endearing aspects of the film is a story told by Beth Banger, a clown and comedian, who retold the hilariously vulgar way she got a terminally ill teenager to laugh by flashing him in the
Hanlly Sam•Staff Photographer
Director Wendy Corn at the 2009 Austin Jewish Film Festival, Jan. 29.
hospital. At life’s scariest, nothing is more welcomed or needed than a good laugh. Following the film, Corn held a question and answer session with the audience. When asked by a member of the audience how she got the idea for such an incredibly absurd film, Corn replied that the documentary’s original topic was the Phurst Church of Phun. However, throughout the course of making the film, she changed gears because she realized that “sometimes what you go out for and the story that unfolds are two different things.” The short film at first glance appeared mildly entertaining, but what was unexpected was the depth
of information that would be relayed on the subject of laughter. Who knew that laughter clubs even existed, that people do laughter meditation, that Patch Adams, made famous by the Robin Williams movie, was still a practicing clown doctor and public speaker who strongly believed in the healing factor of laughter? If you are looking merely to laugh, I would recommend watching something else. If, however, you are looking for a release from all the stress and woe of a failing economy, then take comfort in the words of Dr. Hunter “Patch” Adams, “Sometimes the tension becomes so horrific, that the only way to release it is to laugh.”