November 9, 2009
Austin has drastic need for health, tech grads
ȩȩ see ACC page 4
Campus Activities $43,400.00
Student Assistance Program $74,000.00
The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce released its second annual progress report over the state of ACC last month. Despite enrollment rates already at a record high, the report recommends a drastic increase in the amount of graduates in health and technology related fields by 2015 in order to meet the Metropolitan Austin future workforce needs. Currently, ACC’s enrollment rate is growing slightly faster than the population growth of the Metro Austin area. The currently projected figures show the Austin area creating or replacing more jobs that require an associate or other postsecondary vocational certificate than ACC can provide. The May 2008 annexation of Round Rock into ACC’s taxing district will aid in enrollment rates continuing to mirror the Austin area’s projected 3 percent population growth rate. ACC, along with the Austin Chamber of Commerce and 50 other educational and community organizations have undertaken the “20,010 by 2010” initiative to greatly increase enrollment from Metro Austin into post-secondary education by 30 percent over the 2005 baseline. As of 2008, 25 percent of high school graduates from the Metro Austin area immediately enrolled in ACC post graduation. Course enrollments show that ACC’s two fastest growing enrollment areas over the past 5 years are college-level transfer classes taken by students planning to transfer credits to four-year colleges as well as health science classes taken primarily by students planning to enter the workforce after graduation. Mike Midgley, ACC Vice President of Workforce Education and Business Development, sees all of the goals recommended by the Chamber of Commerce as reachable. “With the addition of our new campus in Round Rock, our enrollment rates should continue to climb through 2015,” said Midgley. Midgley went further to explain that among the factors hindering growth is the college’s limited facilities. The addition of the Round Rock campus will help to alleviate some of this concern as the school plans on it being their largest campus when all development is complete, hosting over 11,000 students. ACC produced 50 percent of the labor market needs in 2008 for allied health and nursing completers and graduates in
Accent Student Newspaper $43,000.000
Leadership & Development $26,200.00
Campus Activity Board & Annual Events $80,674.00
Intramurals & Recreation $46,400.00
Campus Governance $37,900.00 Clubs & Organizations $13,800.00
Diversity Outreach $23,200.00
Communications & Student Life Marketing $45,400.00
Changes at a glance
Student Assistance 41
Student Life is working on reorganizing the current clusters to accommodate for new, longer, mandatory student orientations. Planning is still very preliminary, but some changes are certain.
Each semester success workshops are provided to students in areas such as time management, eliminating stress and starting good financial habits. These are designed to improve a students performance in, and outside of their educational career. But, based on the average attendance, most students are not using these workshops. “I think community college students are very busy. They balance work, school, family. They run to class and run somewhere else,” said counselor Linda Moeller. It is debatable whether students’ busy lives might be the reason they are unable to
Student Participation Student Communications 111 New Student Orientation 2,790 Leadership Development 719
What we know for sure: •
Diversity, Leadership, and Intramural Sports and Recreation will no longer be stand alone programs
Welcomepalooza and Springtini events are cancelled for at least fall 2010. Welcome Week is still on.
Many events that have been scheduled, but that work has not started on, will be cancelled
The Student Life budget will not be cut
Students will be able to complete mandatory orientation online, or on campus.
Some of most successful aspects from eliminated clusters and events will be blended into programs and events that have not been cut.
Intramural Sports and Recreation 715 Diversity Outreach 533
Clubs and Organizations 1,300 Campus Governance 80
Campus Activities 8,539
New mandatory orientation leads to restructuring of Student Life programs Sarah Neve
Student Life (SL) is being reorganized in order to expand The Orientation Program (TOP) as a result of the college deciding to make orientation mandatory. Diversity, Intramural Sports and Recreation and the Leadership programs will no longer be stand-alone clusters. Some of the most successful aspects of these clusters will be blended into remaining programs. Starting fall, 2010, all students new to ACC will have to attend orientation either on campus or online. Currently about 1,600 students attend orientation per year, but under the new mandatory orientation, more like 10,000 will be required to attend. Orientation will also be three hours long instead of two. “The administration didn’t tell me I had to reorganize Student Life, but they told me about orientation, and we couldn’t make it work without moving things around,” Director of Student Life Cheryl Richard said. Richard is working on a proposal outlining the changes to SL that she will share with the SL Coordinators on Nov. 9. After the feedback is in
and any changes to the proposal that come up in the meeting are made, the proposal will go to Student Government so that students can weigh in on the changes. SL is funded through the Student Activities Fee that all students pay. There is some concern about the programs that are being cut, including a decline in the number of the students involved. “Student development is not the administration’s focus, orientation is,” SL Coordinator and head of the leadership program Quevarra Moten said. Leadership had 719 students involved last semester, according to the report from the Student Life office. “I don’t want to say that I’m heartbroken, but I am torn…My whole program is being cut. Leadership is being turned into a club, but I mean it’s better to have something than nothing at all,” Moten said. Part of the proposal that Richard is working on would be to create a Campus Activities Board (CAB) on each campus that would be overseen by the SL Assistant and Coordinator. This would allow
Success workshops poorly attended Brynne Harder
Student Life redesign
Student Life Budget The Orientation Program $44,500.00
Volume 12, Issue 4
attend, or possibly that they are not aware the workshops are offered. Average attendance varies from about one student to 12 students. The best attended workshops are usually those that are offered as part of a scheduled class or as extra credit. The counselors do say that these are valuable workshops that can help students in their current pursuits and also after college. The career services workshops can assist in finding a job and interview and resume writing skills while others help with avoiding burnout or managing a hectic schedule. “Many of these topics help a student juggle other parts of their life. Problems at work, or such, can diminish school,”
said counselor Stewart Sachers. Traditionally workshops were offered at all campuses, however this semester they are only being held through the Northridge and Cypress Creek Campuses. There are an increased number of workshops available online. Moeller said that the online courses have become better attended, probably, because they are more flexible for students. There are still a few more workshops scheduled for the fall semester. Understanding what you need to register successfully at ACC will be held in November at Northridge. ACC’s career services available online 24/7 will be held Nov. 4, 10 and Dec. 5 at Cypress Creek.
students to control what SL is like on each campus. “I’ve always wanted to turn the reins over to the students. This whole thing with TOP gives us a vehicle to do that,” Richard said. Some aspects of the programs that are being cut will be blended in to exist within the remaining clusters. John Jacobs, who runs the Diversity Program, hopes that the Unity Jam event and the Diversity Ambassador Programs stay in place after the diversity cluster is gone. Unity Jam is a college-wide event where each campus is assigned a country, and SL on that campus creates an event showcasing the culture of that country with dancing, food and clothing. “These are experiences that all students need to have. It makes them well rounded,” Jacobs said. While there is some concern that these changes will lead to fewer students being involved with SL, Richard is optimistic. “It’s not true. I don’t know how it won’t be true, but we will figure it out,” she said. “My passion and my goal is to always reach as many students as possible.”
Thousands of Texas jobs created, saved by stimulus Christopher A. Smith Campus Life Editor
Federal stimulus money saved or created almost 4,000 education jobs in Texas according to a report by the US Department of Education (DOE).The report said Texas used almost $30 million of the stimulus money awarded to it by the DOE. A draft of the report was made available on Nov. 2 by the DOE. The report includes information on money awarded to each state in the nation and jobs saved or created in each state. $100 billion from the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was provided to the DOE to deal with state budget shortfalls when President Obama signed the ARRA into law on Feb. 17. The DOE credits the use of that money for the creation of 325,000 education jobs nationwide. That is nearly half of the 640,329 jobs created by the ARRA according to the recovery.gov Web site. Some states have taken full advantage of the money awarded to them while others have not. According to the report, California has saved or created 80,000
jobs with its $5 billion while Wyoming only took $800 thousand and, according to the report, created or saved only three education related jobs. States are required to report the use of stimulus funds quarterly and on Jan. 1 the DOE plans to release another report with more up to date information. “We’ll be able to see its impact for years to come,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan of the stimulus money used to save and create education jobs. “We can educate our way to a better economy.”
The Vatican opens its doors
w w w.the Accent.org
November 9, 2009
Road to mandatory orientation paved with good intentions
Karissa Rodriguez Layout Intern
I am a firm believer in God and faith. I believe that there is a higher authority watching over everyone. That authority creates miracles and allows terrible events to occur worldwide in order to teach us to be better people. Despite my personal beliefs, I have been confused about religion my entire life and have opted to just shut religion and faith out of my life rather than to understand it. However, Pope Benedict XVI’s recent announcement on Oct. 20 inviting Anglicans into the Roman Catholic Church has re-sparked my interest in exploring and understanding religion. By welcoming Anglicans, Benedict is allowing their parishes to retain their unique rights and practices while recognizing the Pope as their religious leader. In other words, the Vatican is poaching disenchanted Anglicans who are upset by the growing number of ordained women bishops, gay priests, and the acceptance of gay marriage among the Anglican Communion. By opening its doors to Anglicans, the Vatican will, without a doubt, strengthens the Catholic Church in numbers, but will also present itself as a more accepting and progressive church to Christian churchgoers, like myself, who are on the bubble about which denomination is right for them. Benedict’s welcoming of the Anglican Communion was a rare sliver of brilliance by a more pragmatic and open-minded Vatican. This Vatican realizes progressive doctrine is the only way to pick itself up from the shameful ashes of centuries of cover-ups. I think this isn’t necessarily a step forward for the Vatican, but more of a way for the church to catch up to the 21st century and evolve their practices into a more modern way of thinking. However brilliant this move is, it still raises a number of questions concerning how the practices between both religious sects will merge together. Yes, it is great that traditionalists within the Anglican Communion have the choice, now, to join a sect that they identify with, but what about the changes that need too, and should occur as a result within the Catholic community? Specifically, changes will need to be made concerning the institution of celibacy within priesthood. I believe that this is of utmost importance, and Catholic priests should be allowed to get married, just like Anglican priests are allowed matrimony.. Married Protestant clergymen have been allowed to convert to Catholic priesthood on a case-by-case basis, and the Vatican’s move to allow married Anglican priests to convert to Catholicism will likely lead to an influx of married men into the Catholic priesthood. Since the Vatican is already making radical changes within the church, they should also take the initiative to abolish celibacy for all Catholic clergy as well. Unfortunately, the Vatican has a tendency to let change happen slowly - as in over the course of hundreds of years - so, in all likelihood, the church will remain as hypocritical as ever. After speaking to several students, I have gotten mixed reactions about this issue. Many, both Catholics and non-Catholics, believe that it makes sense for the Vatican to abolish celibacy. While others who are traditional Catholics feel uneasy with such a radical change. Those against abolishing celibacy support the traditional Catholic view that priests should be married to God. This is a difficult and sensitive issue that the Vatican needs to review swiftly and inform the public about what they believe is best for their parishioners. As for myself, Benedict’s invitation to Anglicans feels like an invitation for me to discover my religious beliefs, and even join the Anglicans who are converting to Catholicism and officially become a member of the Catholic Church.
Devons ’ Sake
Sympathy for the Devil Devon Tincknell Staff Writer
Before we get started, let us make something perfectly clear. I am not sexually attracted to minors. I do not think sex between minors and adults is okay. I do not think child pornography is okay, and when sexual abuse does occur, I think it is a reprehensible tragedy that damages lives. However, the demonization of these offenders has done nothing to mend this problem, and in fact, has made things worse. Rather than hysterically casting pedophiles out of society, we need to provide these offenders with treatment. Harsh punishments and housing restrictions are not effective and single out the mentally ill, while pedophiles who can function in society remain free to perpetrate their abuses. Recently, a student at Eastview Campus misplaced a flash drive containing a video of an eight or nine year old girl performing what has been described as “lewd, sexual acts.” The flash drive also held the student’s resume and so, luckily, he was quickly identified and arrested. The student is not suspected of personally doing anything sexual with children, but nevertheless, the discovery of child pornography provokes feelings of horror, revulsion, and hatred. Sentiments run the gamut from, ‘That’s disgusting,’ to some expletive laden version of ‘That guy should be taken out in the street and shot!’ Such commentary is natural considering the strong cultural taboo against pedophilia and the fear mongering of tabloid-
like TV news programs. These attitudes may feel righteous and justified, but in fact they are part of a vicious cycle that hurts everyone and helps no one. For a long time in this country, sexual molestation was a dirty secret that adults were loathe to admit existed. Children who spoke out against their priests, teachers, fathers and neighbors were often admonished for telling lies and punished further. This cultural denial trapped victims in a world of guilt and isolation where they believed this was only happening to them and was in some way their fault. Over the last few decades, more and more victims of abuse have come forward to tell their stories, breaking through this veil of silence. Blaming the victims of sexual abuse, be it rape or pre-pubescent molestation, for what happened to them is almost as ghastly as the crime itself, but our effort to put an end to these crimes has gotten too caught up in paranoia and retribution. Media, eager for viewers, and politicians hungry for votes understands that fear is an effective motivator, and recently both parties have used it to capitalize on every parent’s worst nightmare: molestation. Despite overwhelming evidence that the vast majority of child sexual abuse is “Acquaintance Molestation,” wherein the pederast is someone the child, and perhaps even the parent, knows this witch hunt has ignored the clear and present danger in favor of chasing after fictitious bogeymen. The mustachioed man in the white van is a
Staff Artist • Karen Kuhn
New policy forces unfortunate cuts in Student Life -Staff EditorialThe administration has decided to expand The Orientation Program (TOP), and to make orientation mandatory for all students before they take their first class at ACC beginning fall, 2010. Student Life (SL) will have to cut the Diversity, Leadership, Intramural Sports and Recreation clusters to compensate. These changes have the potential to make SL more difficult to become involved with and less consistent from campus to campus. The administration, in trying to further the ACC Student Success Initiative (SSI), believes that this new orientation program will be beneficial for students. The SSI states that it supports data driven decision making. In that respect, expanding orientation seems like a good idea if one is looking specifically at data that suggests that attending orientation helps students succeed. However, when looking at the broad implications of that decision, it is clear that it will hurt more students than it
thin sliver of the pedophile population whose presence has been grossly exaggerated by biased media coverage. When uncles and stepfathers are arrested for child rape, it rarely makes the front pages nationwide, but when the suspect is some anonymous creep, it triggers a media blitz. The reasons for this inaccurate portrayal goes back to the original culture of denial that pervaded over this issue for so long. Parents do not want to believe that they might have been culpable in their child’s abuse. When the alleged molester is a spouse, a family friend, or someone else in the adult guardian’s circle of trust, accepting the truth means dealing with guilt over their own ignorance or inaction. An unknown monster, a stranger with candy, is a lot easier to hate, to despise, and to punish unmercifully. This lack of compassion has actually created more problems than it solves. Politicians have succeeded in enacting residency restrictions, registration programs, and other drastic, punitive measures to deal with child molesters because no one objects, due to fear of being labeled pro-pedophile. While these laws might be made with the best intent, many of them have serious side effects and need careful revision. Residency restrictions, such as denying housing or stipulations limiting proximity to churches, schools, playgrounds and other areas, have driven pedophiles underground and made them more of a liability than before. Thanks to the broad application of the term sex offender, minors themselves have been accused of possessing child pornography over consensual pictures they have taken of a girlfriend or boyfriend. Even public urination can land you on this list, making the rest of your life hell as you become a pariah and
helps. Like students who attend orientation, students who are involved in SL programs are more likely to succeed academically. Working with SL creates a connection to the college that helps students stay involved. Losing three SL programs for the sake of expanding TOP is not in the best interest of anyone. Unfortunately, SL does not really have a choice. The administration asked for these changes to TOP, and the only way to create enough funding and man power to support the new orientation program was to cut some of the existing clusters. One of the biggest changes to TOP is that students can complete orientation online. It is expected that many students will use the new option because it is faster, and can be done from home. In no way is three hours looking at a computer screen going to be more helpful to students than semesters spent building their co-curricular profiles and learning skills like leadership, tolerance and team work.
target for irrational hatred. Mahatma Ghandi once said, “Hate the sin, love the sinner,” and perhaps that is the approach we need. Many pederasts were once the victim of sexual abuse themselves who, unfortunately, were never given the means to deal with their trauma in a healthy manner. By focusing on punishing the accused, rather than rescuing the victims, we are creating an endless cycle where yesterday’s victim becomes tomorrow’s evil incarnate. The taboo is so strong that there is nowhere for these people to turn for help before they slip up and give in to their unacceptable desires. Human sexuality is still far from being understood, but we do know that these lusts are powerful forces. Sex offenders have the highest recidivism rate of any criminal and presenting them with a harder existence as a social outcast does not help things one bit. A controversial option is to allow offenders, or people who have yet to offend, to register for voluntary chemical castration. By taking drugs they could neuter their sexual impulses and, with the help of an understanding community, live an ordinary life. Draconian legislation and media sponsored hate speak have only been effective in driving pedophiles further away from society, to the fringes where their isolation encourages inappropriate actions. For the child molesting bogeymen of Fox News fame, this is a sickness, rather than a choice, and they need to have a refuge where they can seek help and treatment instead of scorn and hatred. The ones who have a choice, and need to be exposed for what they are, are the abusers who walk among us and pass as innocent. The touchy uncles, the creepy neighbors, and the drunk family friend all commit crimes in the moment. Unfortunately, they never bother to leave flash drives full of evidence laying around.
While everything is still very preliminary, the focus of the new SL will be to create more student-run SL departments on every campus, which will lead to inconsistency from campus to campus. There are programs in place that help students decide how the money they spend for student activities is used. Student Government, and specifically the Student Activity Fee Advisory Committee, should have been in on this a long time ago. Instead of being able to decide if students wanted this change at all, they will now only have a say in what the changes will look like, and only because SL involved them, not the college. The administration should make data driven decisions that take into account all the available information. When they decide to do things that force the entire SL department, which is funded by fees students pay, to be completely redesigned, students should be involved from the very beginning.
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OFFICE OF STUDENT LIFE RGC, 1212 Rio Grande St., Room 101.1 Austin TX 78701 Editor-in-Chief..................................................................................................................... Sarah Neve Assistant Editor.......................................................................................................... David Rodriguez Photo/Web Editor...............................................................................................................Hanlly Sam Layout Editor.........................................................................................................................Chris Scott Layout Intern............................................................................................................Karissa Rodriguez Campus Editor..................................................................................................... Christopher A. Smith Office Intern................................................................................................................... Teodora Erbes Accent Adviser........................................................................................................ Matthew Connolly Accent Coordinator.......................................................................................................... Lori Blewett Student Life Director................................................................................................... Cheryl Richard Writers Trevor Goodchild, Jason Haydon, Shiphrah Meditz, Michael Needham,Devon Tincknell, Adrienne Annas, Sarah Vasquez, Brynne Harder, Matt Iserman, Elisia Hartin, Anny Ibarra Photographers Teodora Erbes, Tina Schumacher Artists Karen Kuhn, Brock Caron ACC President Dr. Steve Kinslow Board of Trustees Nan McRaven– Chair; Veronica Rivera—Vice Chair; Dr. James McGuffee— Secretary, Dr. Barbara P. Mink, Allen Kaplan, 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 accent@austincc. edu. Individual views, columns, letters to the editor and other opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Accent.
November 9, 2009
Golf Fiesta rescheduled due to rain, registration through Nov.11 The ACC Chapter of Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE) was forced to postpone the first ever Golf Fiesta Team Scramble, because of bad weather. Shari Rodriquez, President of the ACC chapter of TACHE, said “the greens were unplayable,” because of heavy rains. The golf tournament was originally scheduled for Oct. 27 but has been moved to Nov. 13. The tournament will be at Riverside Golf Course and will begin with a shotgun start at 8 a.m.. There will be an award ceremony at 1:30 p.m.. “We’ll take registrations up to Nov. 11,” said Rodriquez. Registration costs $75 per person or $300 per foursome. “The money from the tournament will go toward Hispanic student scholarships here at ACC,” said Rodriquez.
People Fund hosts annual economic conference at ACC People Fund hosted their seventh annual Conference on Economic Opportunity (formerly East Austin Summit) at the Eastview Campus Multipurpose Hall on Oct. 24. Open to all ACC community members, the Conference discussed the economic changes in the Central Texas region and effective ways to further positive and equitable growth. People Fund is an organization that implements strategies to create jobs and affordable homes and promotes good economic policy decisions for communities. It offers loans and small business opportunities in the Central Texas region. “President Barack Obama said that continuing education is fundamental to the future of economy,” said Ayleen Perez, People Fund representative, “and we share his opinion.”
Accent wins multiple awards at national journalism convention At the 2009 TCCJA and ACP / CMA National College Media Convention, the staff of the Accent won 25 awards. The convention lasted from October 28 - Nov. 1. The staff won awards on national and state levels as well as in an on-site competition. The Accent Online was a finalist for the Pacemaker award. The Pacemaker is considered to be the highest national honor for American college journalism. The staff also won second place for Best in Show, and third place for overall general excellence. Individual staff awards were given out for news, editorial, features, and column writing as well as layout and design, headline writing, photography and cartooning. A complete list of awards is available online at the ACC Web site.
Addiction counselor honored Elisia Hartin Staff Writer
ACC Human Services instructor and Advanced Addiction Counselor, Elizabeth Ann Coccia, was awarded the Mel Schulstad Professional of the Year Award on Aug. 21, 2009 for outstanding and sustained contributions to the advancement of the addiction counseling profession. The NAADAC, Association for Addiction Professionals, presents the award each year in recognition of an individual’s leadership, service and contributions to the addiction counseling profession. Elizabeth Ann Coccia, who has been working here at ACC since 1990 and became a full time faculty member in 2001, says that the advice that she would give to the other addiction counselors would be to “get involved” and always be “willing to serve.” The Mel Schulstad Professional of the Year Award was created in November 1979 by Jay Lewis and a select group of his peers and colleagues, and was named after the first President of NAADAC (the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors). Founded in 1972, as the National Association of Alcoholism
Counselors and Trainers (NAACT), evolved and became, in 1982, the organization of the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC), which focuses on uniting professionals who work for positive outcomes in alcohol and drug services. NAADAC’s new name –NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals- reflects the increasing variety of addiction services professionals: counselors, administrators, social workers and others, who are active in counseling, prevention, intervention, treatment education and research. With 10,000 members and forty-six state affiliates, NAADAC has credentialed more than 15,000 counselors, playing an important role in sustaining quality health services and protecting the well being of the public. Richard A. Greene, VicePresident of the Austin Chapter of TAAP, has worked with Coccia for over eight years and said “her hard work in the trenches educating and training the new counselors coming into this field has been a sustained and invaluable contribution to the field of Chemical Dependency counseling, treatment, prevention and intervention.”
Teodora Erbes • Staff Photographer
COUNSELING AWARD — ACC instructor Elizabeth Ann Coccia won Professional of the Year Award for her counseling work.
Mexican authors remembered at Dia de los Muertos Trevor Goodchild Staff Writer
Students honored great Mexican authors at this year’s Dia de los Muertos celebration at the Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC). Thirteen students worked with San Antonio artist, Jane Madrigal, to build a traditional alter. The alter was meant to honor the authors in the Big Read selection “Sun, Stone and Shadows” who have passed away.
“I had a great time. It wasn’t something you get to do every day. It isn’t too often that I get to work on an altar for the Day of the Dead,” said Jenny Dodge, an English major that helped create the altar. “I am not artistic in the least,” said Dodge, but she was still able to help with, “both the candles and the sugar skulls.” Margot Rochon, an Administrative Assistant for the Department of Foreign Languages, also played a part in creating the altar. “Jane was speaking to Rosa
[Davila] about putting things with the altar [that] these writers would’ve enjoyed having like soda pop, cigarettes, or fruit. I gave the cow skull and the typewriter that is part of that altar,” said Rochon. Rochon, Madrigal and the ACC students were not the only ones who enjoyed the festivities of the holiday. Spanish Professor Rosa Davila found it rewarding to see ACC’s The Big Read present at Dia de Los Muertos. “This is our closing day after seven weeks of ACC’s Big Read. We’ve had more than 50 events
throughout the city and today is the culmination of all the hard work,” said Davila. She is the Program Manager for ACC’s Big Read, and she was at the MACC enjoying the Dia de Los Muertos along with people painting faces, showing off their classic cars, decorating sugar skulls, making jewelry and altars. “I feel very satisfied to see ACC students getting involved,” said Davila. “To see the community getting to know more about the Mexican culture; it is the reason I am part of this.”
w w w.the Accent.org
page 4 | News
November 9, 2009
ACC should be able to keep up with job market Graduates needed in Austin
Within the recommendations of the report, the Chamber of Commerce outlined the following goals for ACC by 2015.
3,500 3,000 2,500 3,000 1,500 3,000
Need Total Associates Degrees
students planning to enter the workforce after graduation. Mike Midgley, ACC Vice President of Workforce Education and Business Development, sees all of the goals recommended by the Chamber of Commerce as reachable. “With the addition of our new campus in Round Rock, our enrollment rates should continue to climb through 2015,” said Midgley. Midgley went further to explain that among the factors hindering growth is the college’s limited facilities. The addition of the Round Rock campus will help to alleviate some of this concern as the school plans on it being their largest campus when all development is complete, hosting over 11,000 students. ACC produced 50 percent of the labor market needs in 2008 for allied health and nursing completers and graduates in 2008. To meet its target of
graduating 1,163 students with allied health and nursing associate degrees, certificates or continuing education completions by 2015, ACC must achieve a compound annual growth rate of 3 percent from 2009 to 2011 and 4 percent from 2012 to 2015. According to the report, the addition of 100 nursing slots on the Eastview campus and health training programs planned for the new Round Rock campus should ensure success. The report went on to state that ACC is well positioned to produce enough associate degree and post-secondary certificate earners to meet much of the overall local labor force needs. Other findings in the report include a slight decline in completion of degree and certificate programs from 2004 to 2007. ACC then made up all losses in 2008 with a 16 percent increase, year over year, to 1,994.
ȨȨ jumped from page one
Certificates Continuing Education
• Student enrollment will reach 45,000, a level projected to meet 90 percent of the local labor force need in 2015. • Student completion of associate degrees and/or technical certificates will be 2,790 per year, a level projected to at least meet 90 percent of the projected labor needs in 2015. • Student completion of allied health programs will be at least 1,163 per year, 90 percent of projected labor need in 2015. • Student completion of non-health technical programs will be at least 810 per year, 90 percent of projected labor need, with particular focus on additional computer support specialists.
New ACC mascot search kicks off Legislature: Tweet Talk A quick search for “ACC mascot” on Twitter yields numerous results. The following are a few interesting tweets tweeted... reelscorpion: @ KeepAustinWierd ACC Mascot?? I like the “Zombie” idea though. How about a fruit or veggie? Playdough? Re-living old “Eagles” is better. mikelafloyd: This reeks of last week’s “Community” storyline kid_kansas: Apparently ACC is getting a new mascot, this is exactly like the show
Brock Caron• Staff Artist
Students must submit ideas by Dec. 4
CassWilliams: vote for ACC’s mascot to be ZOMBIES!!!
jjakin: @jeffwardshow: ACC Mascot - “For Nows” . . . I am just going to ACC for now. Then take your slogan . . . take 3 hours, stay a lifetime.
Christopher A. Smith Campus Life Editor
Austin Community College is looking for a mascot and the college is asking everyone in the community to get involved. “We went live on Oct. 29,” said Brette Lea, Executive Director, Public Information and College Marketing at ACC. The college has set up a Web site where people can submit their ideas electronically. People have also gotten a chance to submit their ideas in writing on various ACC campuses and at the Texas Book Festival. “There are some really neat, thoughtful ideas,” said Lea. There is a 12
person committee that is in charge of collecting all the ideas. The committee includes campus managers, professors, alumni, advisors and two students. The committee will continue to take mascot suggestions until Dec. 4. After that, the committee will begin narrowing the field. “We are finalizing a 4 step process for the committee,” said Lea. According to Lea, there have been over 300 submissions and some of the more popular so far are the Bats, Eagles, Stars, Grackles, Armadillos, ACCadillos, and “A’s” for academics.
Step 1: Take in mascot ideas. Step 2: Narrow the field of possible mascots to three to five. The committee will base its choices on frequency of the suggestion and focus group research. Step 3: Those three to five finalists will then be put to a community vote and the top vote-getters will be submitted to the ACC Board of Trustees for final approval. Step 4: Unveil the new ACC mascot in the spring.
bluebeagle2: RT @
HOTLabRescue Austin Community College is looking for a Mascot. PLZ submit Labrador Retriever at www.austincc.edu/mascot Y not a beagle?
m512915: From the “is this really necessary” dept.: Austin Community College is searching for a mascot. Why? It’s not like they have a sports team...
syllabi must be online by fall 2010
Christopher A. Smith Campus Life Editor
The Texas Legislature has given professors at public colleges and universities a little extra homework due by next fall semester. The ACC administration is currently working on a way to implement a new rule that requires the college to post on the web a course syllabus for every credit class offered. The syllabi must be no more than three clicks from the school’s main Web page, and they must be viewable by anyone interested, not just students enrolled in the college. The rule comes from House Bill 2504 passed in the Texas Legislature earlier this year. The bill states that each syllabus must include a list of all required and recommended reading, a brief description of course requirements, a brief synopsis of the subject matter of each lecture or discussion and a curriculum vitae for each instructor that lists where the instructor went to school, and any major publications. The bill also requires that colleges and universities conduct end-of-course evaluations of professors, which ACC already does, and then “develop a plan to make evaluations available on the institution’s website.” The bill only requires schools to develop a plan, but does not oblige the schools to actually post the evaluations. “We began an initial internal discussion,” said Michael Midgley, ACC Vice President and Interim Provost, of how the ACC
administration will deal with the new requirements. “We haven’t finalized the exact committee structure yet, but we will do that and probably by the end of the semester we’ll have our plan in place.” The deadline to have the syllabi online had originally been Jan. 1, but the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has pushed back the implementation date to the start of the fall, 2010 semester. Midgley said that this early in the planning process he was unsure if any new hires would be necessary to deal with the added work. “We just don’t know at this point how extensive it will be.” Midgley added that he hoped that the added “benefit of better information for students, better accessibility to information, better decisions on the parts of students and others, [would balance out] against the increased workload, not just for the faculty members but for other members, other parts of the institution.” Kathleen Christensen, Vice President of Student Support and Success Systems said that all the information the state is requiring is already available in some format, but by putting it online that information would be more readily available. “I think particularly the syllabi will help guide students in understanding what the requirements are for a course and making decisions,” said Christensen.
November 9, 2009
Campus Life s
Threats, fishnets lead to death match victory Michael Needham Staff Writer
English instructor Amelia Gray brought home the plastic dollar store tiara by winning Austin’s first Literary Death Match. Opium Magazine’s literary competition was held at First United Methodist Church on Saturday, October 31, as part of the Texas Book Festival. Four writers competed in front of three celebrity judges, which consisted of two Pulitzer Prize winners and a comedian. “It’s a really cool reading series,” Gray said. “It takes the idea of a boring series and turns it on its head.” The sanctuary held about 150 people for the event. “Everybody was into it,” Gray said. “We got a lot of laughs.” Some of the people involved were surprised to find out that the event was taking place in a church. “It’s usually held in a bar,” Gray said. “So, it’s kind of weird that it was held in a church, weird in a good way.” The competition was divided into two rounds where each writer read for seven minutes. The audience was instructed to boo them off the stage if they went over. After each round, the judges judged literary merit, performance, and intangibles. The intangibles category was basically used as a reason for the comedian judge to make jokes, Gray said. “My intangibles were the fact that I wore a fishnet stocking,” Gray said. The final round was a Texas trivia round with questions like “what soda was invented in Waco?” “I had the upper hand there,” Gray said. Gray read a series of threats that she had printed on little note cards. She dedicated the threats to her competitor, Kyle Beachy.
Where To: Shop?
Felicia’s Scrapbooking, 7010 W Highway 71, Ste 355
Buried in one of the many strip malls near Pinnacle Campus, this small scrapbooking store is packed with a lot of materials such as decorative paper, ribbon, and stamps to accentuate your memories of college life. Have a presentation to give in class? This place has you covered to make your display really stand out. Also with photography classes offered at this campus, they offer the materials needed to put together a portfolio. You will have to make plans to get what you need from this store as they are only open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 6 p.m.
Starbucks, 7015 West US Hwy 290
Yes, I know Starbucks is a chain. Unfortunately, the local coffee shops near this campus are now closed. Nevertheless, this place does offer comfortable places to study and hang out. If you’re running late for class, you can grab your coffee to go through the drive-through window.
Photo Courtesy of Mary Sleddt
DEATH MATCH — Instructor Amelia Gray read a series of
threats to win the first Literary Death Match hosted in Austin.
“He seemed super intimated,” Gray said. “I don’t blame him. They were scary.” One of Gray’s threats included “I will lock you in a room that looks much like your own until it begins to fill with water.” Another one of her threats involved sneaking up behind someone, drilling a hole into their ankle, and draining out the marrow. While some of Gray’s threats seemed intimidating, the event shot for a jovial overtone. “I think their goal was that it’s not supposed to be a fight,” Gray said.
Gray has been teaching for ACC for a year and a half. She plans to compete at a Literary Death Match coming up in Dallas soon. People interested in the event can find more information at literarydeathmatch.com. Gray also runs a reading series known as Five Things. More information about this can be found at fivethingsaustin.com. Gray was happy to win the competition and take home the tiara. “I was the only participant from Austin, so I was happy to win it for the home team,” Gray said.
Students Build a Park for tickets
Donn’s Texas BBQ 7001 Oak Meadow Dr
This BBQ place is actually one of the few places conveniently located near campus. I don’t recommend walking to this place, but theoretically, you could. The prices are a little high for a college student’s budget. This is to be expected for most BBQ places. They do offer lunch specials that have more than enough food to feed you with an affordable price. The staff is friendly, and the wooden tables give the place a homely country feel.
Instructors recruit at festival
Christopher A. Smith Campus Life Editor
The Creative Writing department carved out its own niche at the Texas Book Festival. Department Chair Charlotte Gullick was at the festival letting people know about the unique resource the department represents. ACC is one of a small number of community colleges in the nation to offer an Associate degree in creative writing. “We are a valuable educational institution,” said Gullick, and she wanted “people who read and write books to keep Austin Community College at the forefront of their minds.” The Creative Writing department had a booth in the exhibitor tent where Gullick as well as other department faculty members talked to interested people and sold copies of their books. All of the faculty members in the department are
Sarah Vasquez Staff Writer
The second chapter of the Twilight Saga, “New Moon,” will be released in theatres on Nov. 20, and ACC students will have a chance to attend a special midnight screening. ACC Student Life (SL) has partnered up with Regal Gateway Theatre 16 to bring this private event to students. Students had the opportunity to win one of the 250 free passes through SL by helping out with Project: Build a Park on Nov. 7 or by attending the Diversity Common Experience Series that occurred in September and October. The movie will be shown at 12:01 a.m., however, doors will open at 11 p.m. During the hour-long wait, there will be a taping with ACC’s date doctor, Hasani Pettiford, to give students a chance to ask him questions. Pettiford will not be at the event, but he will use the video questions in his upcomming vist. Following the successful first movie of the saga, “Twilight,” “New Moon” continues the story of young love between an ordinary teenage girl and a 108 year old vampire. After getting her heart broken by vampire Edward Cullen, Bella Swan turns to friend Jacob Black to revive her spirit. The story features Bella’s introduction to Black’s ancestral world of the werewolves who are the vampire’s enemies, and Bella’s loyalties between her friend and her love are tested.
u p m Ca Li fe Pinnacle Campus
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Photo courtesy of Summit Entertainment
November 20, 12:01 a.m. Regal Gatway 16 9700 Stonelake Blvd. Austin, Tx 78759 Doors open Nov. 19 at 11 p.m. Arrive early for best seat selection.
practicing writers. Gullick hopes that the department’s presence at the Book Festival will attract more students to the creative writing department. “I like being at Austin Community College,” said Gullick. “We take all students. People who come into our creative writing program have probably had more challenges in their life to their education, and I find that for those students, the process of telling their stories can be more important than for people who are at the four year institutions.” The Book Festival, which was hosted at the State Capitol on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, featured over 200 authors. The festival was established in 1995 by former First Lady Laura Bush. The first festival took place at the State Capitol in 1996. This year’s Texas Book Festival is the first for Gullick. She moved to Austin from northern California only three
Jason Haydon • Staff Photographer
BOOKS — Instructor Irwin
Tang talks about his book.
months earlier. She says she is amazed by “the fact that [festival attendees] get to go into their state capital as a way to advance literacy. It’s stunning to sit in the House Chamber and have say Colson Whitehead and ZZ Packer talk about fiction and racial identity. It is really amazing feature about this city.”
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page 6 | Campus Life
Go Space Aces go
November 9, 2009
ACC’s Got Talent Shiphrah Meditz Staff Writer
Teodora Erbes• Staff Photographer
SPACE ACES — Dr. Allen Underwood, ACC physics instructor, explains the apparatus setup for the Smart Resistive Exercise Simulator in Microgravity, part of which is shown in the front. Dr. Underwood is the faculty advisor for the group of students that submitted a proposal to NASA’s Microgravity Experiment Opportunities.
Austin Space Aces submit zero gravity experiment to NASA Travis Chapman Staff Writer
The Austin Space Aces have submitted an experiment to NASA and now have to wait until Dec. 9 to find out if they will get a chance test it in zero gravity. The Space Aces are a group of students that every year attempt to come up with an experiment to test a theoretical principle in a microgravity environment. This year’s experiment, according to team member and treasurer Drew Doggett, is free weight mimicry. “It’s a computer that can simulate weight in zero gravity.” Doggett explains, “It’s a way to exercise in space, stay fit, and keep bone density up.” Both muscle atrophy and bone density loss in astronauts are concerns. According to Space.com, bone strength dipped 14 percent in astronauts who spent half-a-year in the orbiting laboratory. Christina Vasquez, ex president and founder of the Space Aces, explained that ACC is one of hundreds of schools that submit
experiment proposals to NASA which selects 50 schools to fly down to Johnston Space Center and perform their experiment. “It’s not a competition, it’s a think tank,” said Vasquez. “It’s an ideal opportunity,” adds Doggett. Vasquez states, “It’s a full year of work.” The group got together in July, submitted their proposal Oct. 28, and on Dec. 9 they find out if they were selected. If they are, they fly down to Johnston Space Center to perform the experiment and write a conclusion. They won’t finish until July. The Space Aces have a diverse group of students from ACC, St. Edwards, Texas State, and local high school students. Explaining the weight machine, Doggett said, “You type in a weight, and the computer relays the information to the machine. So when force is applied, the computer keeps the force constant so it consistently feels like you’re lifting a 30 pound weight instead of a 30 pound, then a 20 pound, then a 40 pound [weight].”
The first ever talent show showcased student skill at the Eastview Campus. On Oct. 22, ACC’s Got Talent-Our Time To Shine, sponsored and hosted by Women of Influence (WOI), featured fourteen acts, including interpretive dances, singing, instrument playing, stand up comedy and rap. The talent show was used to raise funds for students to attend the Southern Black Student Leadership conference in College Station. “We are saving up money for our ten officers to go to the conference at Texas A&M next semester,” WOI President, Jayneese Fitzgerald said. “We’ve had various fund raiser ideas such as a car wash and a bake show, but when Jayneese thought of the talent show, we decided that was our best choice,” Krystal Sheppard, the Executive Director of WOI, said. WOI has raised money in the past, including donating $525 to help a girl undergo an operation to remove a brain tumor. An audience of about 200 attended the talent show where students competed for the top prize of $100 and tickets to the last installment in the Twilight series, “New Moon.” During intermission, local rap artist Saul Paul preformed for the crowd, and refreshments were provided by WOI. Throughout the show, raffle tickets were drawn randomly and a variety of prizes such as flashlights and thumb drives were given away. WOI’s online communications director, Kaneisha Cobbs, closed the evening with poetry as the Talent Committee tallied the votes. Rap performer Diovioni Andrew came in first, followed by Matthew Clark in second and the dance duo Kiera Colbert and Blake Druery winning third.
Teodora Erbes • Staff Photographer
ABOVE — Janeece Calvert won fifth place with her dance partner Karla Vera they both cheered and enthused the audience at this year’s ‘ACC’s Got Talent. On Oct. 22, at Eastview Campus. RIGHT — Rapper Saul Paul animated the intermission act. The talent show was preseneted by Women of Influence. Teodora Erbes • Staff Photographer
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November 9, 2009
Campus Life | page 7
Under the Gaslight comes to ACC
JUMP — Choreography by Shelby Brammer added several dance routines to the play. Brammer is a screenwriting instructor at ACC.
All photos by Teodora Erbes • Staff Photographer
ACC'S PLAY — Anna McConnell (left) and Senait Fessahaye (right). McConnel plays one of the lead characters Laura, the young woman who flees to a suburb in New York in order to escape from her fiance. LEFT —
THE TRIAL — from left to right: Victoria Broughton, Zach Leos, Spirit Mauge and Lizzy Gonzalez.
Villain threatens young woman’s life in the play “Under the Gaslight.”
Augustin Daly’s play was first written in 1867. The play was performed by a cast of 24 including Enoch Tamez (right) Joshua Mays(center) and David Yeakle.
Atkins coaches aspiring musicians at Northridge Sarah Vasquez Staff Writer
“Aim low, get high,” is one of the many tidbits of advice ACC students went home with after spending an evening with Martin Atkins. Organized by the Commercial Music Management program, Atkins shared his experience of life with the aspiring rock stars that gathered in the Northridge Campus lecture room. He spoke about life on the road with bands like Nine Inch Nails and Pigface, running his own independent record label and other experiences in the music business. “Aim low, get high” is not to be mistaken for a pro-drug campaign. Atkins uses this phrase as a reminder to be humble. Most musicians dream of playing sold out arenas and touring around the country on someone else’s dime, but this does not happen overnight. “If you’re wandering around aiming for that, you’re going to miss your next step,” said Atkins. He compared the process to the Great Wall of China
“It’s one of the seven wonders of the world,” said Atkins. “On one hand you can stand there, how did they do this? I mean, how could they? On the other hand, it’s just a f---ing pile of bricks.” “So you can start your own pile and after a couple of weeks, now all you have is kind of a meaningless pile of bricks,” said Atkins. “After maybe six months, you have a bit of a war going on.” That war will then attract outside observers. “Then people will say to you, ‘This is ridiculous, this is insane. How can I help?,’” Atkins continued. “Because that’s what people are into, insane crusades that don’t make any sense. If it all made sense, it’s just a business plan, isn’t it?” One of Atkins’ main points of this whole lecture was to stress that aspiring musicians need to do it themselves. They should learn how to screen-print for merchandise and make cool promotional materials, but keep it authentic. Musicians should accumulate diverse skills whether or not they relate to music to help them get their foot in the door.
He shared a story about a sound engineer from Indianapolis called ‘Squirrel’ who is one of the house engineers for The Pop Machine recording studio. During the hiring process, he had one skill that the other prospective engineers did not that made him valuable for the job. That skill? Aquarium management. He took care of the fish tank in the studio. “Many studios have a fish tank which is a really calming experience before a vocal take, unless it’s a rotting, dead, stinky, maggot-ridden (tank),” explained Atkins. The department Chair, Geoffrey Schulman, felt Atkins was the perfect person to speak to his students as the Commercial Music Management Department stresses the use of classroom education and to do hands-on training outside of the classroom. “Everything he said here is what we try to teach our kids, to pursue your dreams, and get out there and build your audience,” said Schulman. “It follows our philosophy of do it yourself. If you want to do something, do it. Don’t talk about it. Do it, and that’s kind of what we teach.”
Tina Schumacher • Staff Photographer
MUSIC SEMINAR — Martin Atkins, the writer of “TOUR: SMART and Break the Band,” talks about “Music Market Strategy” with intense sense of humor and lot of body language at NRG campus, Tuesday Nov. 3. Atkins used to play for Public Image with John Lydon from the Sex Pistols.
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ant n’ ave
Accent | November 9, 2009
Soccer teams shoot to win Will you use the free student bus passes available next semester? Kevin Forester • Staff Photographer
“Yes, I would use it. I think it’s a good idea because I usually get here by car, but I wrecked it. So now I use a bike, but it’s not reasonable to ride when it rained. And then I used the bus and free bus fair or even reduced bus fair would be fantastic.” – Logan Guerra, Nursing major
Karissa Rodriguez Layout Intern
Eleven soccer teams are attempting to kick their way to a championship in this semester’s soccer tournament. About 60 students in teams like the ACC Warriors, Swag Surfers and Twisters compete and play against each other on Monday evenings in men’s 3v3 Round Robin mini soccer tournaments. “The turnout has been great, and students are really enjoying the season. They bring their friends and family out and have a great time,” Student Life Coordinator Jennifer Flowers said. The last regular season tournament game takes place on Nov. 9 and will be followed by a post-season tournament on Nov. 16 that will crown a champion. First, second and third place winners in the standings will receive giveaways from Student Life. Games are played at SoccerZone, an indoor soccer arena, located near the South Austin Campus off of Manchaca
Karissa Rodriguez • Staff Photographer
FUTBOL — Swag Surfer Ephraim Vertiz defends the ball from an ACC Warrior player before passing it to a teammate. The Swag Surfers went on to defeat the ACC Warriors 12 to 8.
Road and Slaughter Lane. See the Student Life website to find out schedule times. The tournaments are hosted by Student Life’s Sports and Intramurals Program, which
oversees other activities such as golf lessons, Blazer Tag and the upcoming men’s basketball tournament on Nov. 21 at Austin Sports Center.
ACC Soccer League Team Standings “Yes because college students need free stuff.” – Mirella Alvarez Spanish major
“Yes! Awesome opportunity because college students struggle financially and the current monthly bus pass costs are going to rise.” – Brenda Arciniega Early Childhood Education Major
“Yes. Awesome! I never had free buses when I went to college at Texas State.” – John Jacobs Student Life Coordinator
“Yes. That’s my way of transportation, and monthly passes are a too costly.” – Estela Hernandez Accounting major
“Yes, because riding the bus allows more time to study. I currently drive from Cedar Park to Eastview which takes time.” – Jennifer Koepp Occupational Health Therapy major
Data compiled from SoccerZone
November 9, 2009
Life & Arts
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ince 1974, the Texas Renaissance Festival has brought to life knights, pirates, fairies, gypsies, and other magical creatures and mingled with festival goers. Each year, from Oct. 10 to Nov. 29 (8 weekends) from 9 a.m. to dusk, the festival opens to the public and provides a variety of performers, events, games, and vendors. Performances include jousting, juggling, music, magic and more. Each weekend the King's Feast is held. It is a six course meal coupled with an entertaining performance by the festival's acting troupe. During the feast, the diners are visited by pirates, belly dancers, traveling bards, and even King Henry VIII himself. For those who yearn to take a step back in time or who just want to browse some of the finest crafts in the area, the Texas Renaissance Festival will have you covered. If you really want to get into the spirit, grab your finest doublet and tights and go in costume.
Notable, and L iv w e Ne David Rodriguez Assistant Editor
Books “Generation A” is Douglas Coupland’s (“Generation X”) most recent work. Literature in a digital world, paranoia and optimism are themes breached in this ambitious novel. The book will be available Nov. 10 from Scribner. “Interesting Times” is journalist Robert Packer’s investigative examination of the past decade. His essays and narratives span from the Sept. 11 attacks to Barack Obama’s election in 2008. This book looks to be pertinent, necessary and important. The book will be available Nov. 10 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. “Last Words” is the posthumously published memoirs of George Carlin. It is written and put together over a decade by Tony Hedra. Carlin always said other peoples stuff is sh%# and your sh#! is stuff, well this looks to be good sh$@ from the late great comedian. The memoir will be available Nov. 10 from Simon & Schuster.
Ticket prices vary depending
on the weekend . Visit www. texrenfest.com/ for more information.
“Through The Wire” is an unexpected collaboration between Kanye West and Bill Plympton. Plympton is illustrating 12 of West’s songs and inserting his own vision into the renditions. Hopefully no one interrupts the publication of this very intriguing book. The book will be available Nov. 10 from Atria. “Battle Royale” is the controversial graphic novel illustrated and written by Koushun Takami that spawned the equally controversial film by the same title. The book is available for the first time in English and looks to be a true masterpiece of social commentary. It is a 21st century “Lord of the Flies,” but extremely more violent. All 632 pages are highly relevant and sensitive to the direction our culture is heading. The graphic novel will be available Nov. 17 from VizMedia.
Adrienne Annas • Staff Photographer
The Devil Makes Three and Shed Alfred will be playing Sunday, Nov. 15 @ Emo’s Inside. Shed Alfred is straight good ol’ Texas whiskey drinking music. The doors open at 9 p.m. and tickets are $8.
RENAISSANCE FEST — The Great Manolete balances flaming batons and a multi-colored mobile, all while performing gymnastics for the crowd at this year’s Texas Renaissance Festival. All that he is missing is a dragon and a gnome, maybe next year?
Daniel Johnston, still truckin’ Devon Tincknell Staff Writer
After ‘Keep Austin Weird,’ Daniel Johnston’s ‘Hi, How Are You?’ is probably the second most common touristy T-shirt slogan in town. Accompanied by a strange looking, bug-eyed frog, the crude drawing and chipper greeting is best known to Austinites as the mural on the corner of 21st and Guadalupe Street. Though they may drive past it regularly, many residents do not know what it is, why it is there, or who the heck Daniel Johnston is. Raised in West Virginia, Johnston made Austin his home in the early eighties after dropping out of college and working briefly for a touring carnival. Austin’s music scene has always provided refuge for unconventional artists and off beat creative types and Johnston, undoubtedly, falls into both categories. Before computers enabled easy home recording, putting your own music on tape meant dealing with audio hiss and subpar sound quality. Johnston has been making tapes since he was a teenager, but it was not until he reached Austin that those tapes
found an enthusiastic audience. The, now sought-after, tapes recorded by Johnston at home with just a cheap boom-box, were distributed hand to hand by the artist himself. Though the inferior fidelity and silly cover art discouraged all but the most intrepid listeners, those that went home and listened to Johnston’s albums were amazed to find beautifully original pop songs played with painful earnestness on an old chord organ. After appearing on a 1985 MTV special on the Austin scene, Johnston’s cult appeal was elevated to the national level. That weird frog (whose name is actually Jeremiah the Innocent) became his own celebrity when Kurt Cobain (Nirvana), an avowed fan of Johnston’s, wore a ‘Hi, How Are You?’ T-shirt at the 1992 MTV Music Awards. Despite the interest Johnston and his music received from the media, his star never took off the way fans had predicted, due to Johnston’s erratic behavior and his struggles with mental illness. His struggles were chronicled in depth in the award winning documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston (2005). Thanks to the film’s success, interest in
The self titled album is confusing, but it is good and that is important. The eight tracks on “Ideal Soul Mart,” initially sound like very simple garage rock that leads to toe tapping. However, give it another listen, and you will discover there are layers within each song. Adam Luikart and Clay Fain do a very good job at finding the balance between vocals and instruments. They do not overwhelm the listener with a chaotic mess. Little touches like maracas lightly playing in the background and jangly guitar riffs, as shown in “Air To Be Shared,” give their tracks a little more substance.
It is these small but important additions that make Ideal Soul Mart stand out above the rest of their genre. Of course, during a recording process, it is easy for musicians to add layers on top of layers with the help of Pro Tools and other digital recording programs. So, it is curious to see how these two band mates translate their songs into a live show. “Ideal Soul Mart” is a great debut album, but with the band’s musical background (Crawling with Kings and Friends of Lizzy), that came as no surprise. Check them out at www. myspace.com/idealsoulmart for upcoming shows. photo courtesy of John Pesina
The Da Theatre Collective presents Leave It to Beverly, a play on the classic sitcom presented in three maniacal acts. Consumerism, Tupperware and Astroturf all get explored in this bizarre production. The play is at the Off Center, 2211-A Hidalgo, 78702 and it runs Thursdays through Saturdays, Nov. 5-21 at 8 p.m. There is an extra show on Sunday, Nov. 15 at 5 p.m. Tickets are $15-$25; please visit http://www. datheatrecollective.org/ for more information. Capital T Theatre presents Sick, a romp about a family of germaphobes. The message looks awesome and pertinent. Sick is showing at Hyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd St., 78751 from Nov. 5 to Dec. 5 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Please visit http://capitalt.org/ for more information.
Movies Alma Hernandez• Staff Photographer
DANIEL JOHNSTON'S LEGACY — The tentacled eyed frog has been greeting Austinites since the Sound Exchange days. Johnston’s work has piqued, yet again. Johnston performed at this year’s Austin City Limits Festival, and he released the slickly produced “Is And Always Was.” A far cry from the rough edges of Johnston’s early masterpieces “Songs of Pain” and “Hi, How Are You?,” “Is And Always Was” shows an artist growing old and working with new palettes. Iconic cover art aside,
“Hi, How Are You?” is a great starting point for anyone looking to understand more about Austin’s music history and the legacy that is Daniel Johnston. Lo-fi before it was cool, “Hi, How Are You?” is an odd, uneven, and bizarrely captivating album and an important landmark from the days when it was not such a struggle to keep Austin weird.
Ideal Soul Mart’s debut rings up with substance Sarah Vasquez
The Messenger is the newest film starring Woody Harrelson (Zombieland) as the harbinger of death to the families of those fell in battle. This film looks riveting and the topic is very taboo that has warranted attention since our war with Korea. The Messenger also explores the war being fought at home. It premiered last month at our very own Austin Film Festival and it will hit theatres Nov. 13. Oh My God is a very insightful documentary that pops the universal question of what is god. Some of the interviewees include Hugh Jackman (The Prestige), musical artist Seal and famous magician David Copperfield. The approach, style and topic of the film look very captivating. The documentary will hit theatres Nov.13. William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe is a new documentary with the subject being Kunstler, one of the most famous lawyers and defenders of our Bill of Rights the 20th century has ever seen. Off Center media are the producers of this informative film and they also exposed the injustices in Tulia, Texas in the documentary Tulia, Texas: Scenes From the Drug War that led to the exoneration of 46 wrongfully accused victims in the controversial case. The documentary hits theaters sometime after Nov. 13.
Events and Features Stephen Sondheim will be having a rare and unscripted conversation with The Austin Chronicle’s Robert Faires. Sondheim is the man behind the wonderful score of the stage production of Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street along with a myriad of other theatre scores, film songs and television songs. The conversation will take place at The Long Center on Nov. 12. The event is all ages and tickets range from $23 to $79. Three of the greatest living cartoonists, possibly some of the greatest cartoonists ever, Robert Crumb (Fritz the Cat), Art Spieglman (Maus) & Francoise Mouly (RAW) will be holding a rare and one time only event presented by the UT Department of Art and Art History. This event is for mature audiences only, parental discretion is advised. It will be held at the Bass Concert Hall Nov. 13 and tickets are $10 for students, $26, $36 and $52 respectively. For more notable, new and live suggestions visit theaccent.org
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Austin Film Festival
November 9, 2009
he word festival conjures up thoughts of long lines, sport sandals and horrible, yet expensive food. The 16th Annual Austin Film Festival and Conference (AFF), fortunately, lacks most of these traits and ,depending on the film one is viewing, most lines are manageable, if not small. With festivals of this nature pretentiousness seems to pervade everything, the in-the-know usually donning various lanyards and laminates and the comparatively naked know-nots and the obscure facts and amount of stuff that distinguishes them from one another. But, AFF is very approachable not to mention accessible, and this year some amazing films were brought to Central Texas.
photo courtesy of Shan Nicolson
Downtown Calling There is a myriad of documentaries, docudramas and fictionalized accounts relaying the inception of graffiti as it is known today and its collision with hip-hop and the highbrow art world in the late seventies and early eighties in New York City. To name a few, Wild Style (Charlie Ahearn, 1983), Style Wars (Henry Chalfant and Tony Silver, 1983) and Beat Street (Stan Lathan, 1984). Shan Nicholson’s documentary, Downtown Calling, narrated by Deborah Harry (Blondie) is by far the most intelligent, thorough and cohesive effort to date concerning the subject. Nicholson manages to tie in the political climate of New York City during these turbulent times, the history and evolution of the underground disco party too the hip-hop underground dance party lorded over by the dj. Intertwined through all this is the advent of American urban street art and how it became pop-culture influencing the whole world. These are truly complicated subjects and the attempt to explain their overlapping histories has been attempted over and over, but not until Downtown Calling has the story been turned from an amorphous enigma into a complete puzzle. What the documentary has that so many of the others lacked is an outside the box approach, but with inside information and a wealth of really telling interviews including, but not limited to Fab 5 Freddy, former mayor of NYC Ed Koch and the late Dj AM. The film had its world premiere at the AFF and it was awarded runner up in the Documentary Feature Competition of the festival. As of late, there is no official release date for Downtown Calling
photo courtesy of Singletree Productions
Simmons on Vinyl This is truly a guerilla film, funny and raw. Director/writer Mark Potts and writer/actor Cole Selix have produced a gem with under $400 and platinum ambition. The comedy is witty, succinct and slightly arrogant, especially in Dwight’s (Cole Selix) case. Selixs’ delivery is reminiscent of Danny McBride’s deadpan foulmouthed humor in the hilarious HBO miniseries Eastbound and Down (2009). It was a pleasure to stumble across a film of this nature and this is what the Austin Film Festival was created for as far as their mission statement is concerned. The team has made a few films, The Stanton Family Grave Robbery (2008) and For the Love of the Family (2006). They are currently working on a film titled S&M Lawncare-Making Magic and these individuals are proof that you do not need anything to make a film, but determination and the formation of an idea, well, good writing helps. Go to Singletree- Productions.com/ to view clips and find out more about these rouge filmmakers.
photo courtesy of Dimension Films
The Road The anticipation for John Hillcoat’s near verbatim translation of The Road authored by Cormac McCarthy has been mounting since last fall when the film was supposed to be released, and alas, enthusiasts waited, and waited and waited. Finally, The Road was shown at the beautiful Paramount Theater and it was anti-climatic, but still a must see, especially if one is unfamiliar with the novel. The Road is incredibly difficult to translate onto the big-screen. The Man’s (Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises, 2007) utter despair, but determination, the vast apocalyptic wasteland that is now America and all the myriad shades of gray are elements that resonated much more powerfully in the novel, than as a visual interpretation. Regardless, hats off to Mortensen he did a really great job faced with such a daunting task. Kodi Smit-McKee (The Boy) a relative Hollywood outsider was believable most of the time, but whiny at others. The real star of the film is the director of photography Javier Aguirresarobe (Goya’s Ghosts, 2006) and Hillcoat’s (The Proposition, 2005) vision complemented by Nick Cave’s and Warren Eliss’s (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, 2007) eerie score. While hard core McCarthy fans, with all the buildup, might feel a little cheated, The Road is still an entertaining, and relevant film about a man’s undying love for his son, and a son having to separate himself from that love to become a man. The film will be released Nov. 25, 2009, hopefully.
photo courtesy of Carnival Studio
Red Cliff John Woo’s latest effort Red Cliff is a truly beautiful film. Woo gave action junkies Hard Boiled (1992) and The Killer (1989) both riddled with enough bullets to make Michael Mann (Public Enemies, 2009) jealous. With Red Cliff, Woo has traded in a hard edged street theme for a third century dynastic theme, saturated with arrows, sword fights and soldiers getting impaled. Red Cliff is epic. The cast, production and effort conjure memories of Zach Snyder’s 300 (2006), Mel Gibson’s Braveheart (1995) and Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon (1975). The film is a period piece with an incredibly strong militaristic strategy plot, but interwoven with all the philosophy of Chinese culture and bloodshed that Woo is so famous for. The battle scenes are extravagant, the cinematography is captivating and the story line is relatively easy to follow considering it is a subtitled film with a vast array of characters. Red Cliff runs over two hours and has to be read, but fans of Woo will not be disappointed. The stunts are well choreographed and believable, but still fantastic, the set design is phenomenal and the plot, while predictable, is engaging. The film will be released in the US Nov. 20, 2009. There is a Red Cliff II already released overseas, but there has yet to be a release date slated for the US.
Kalua Spanish Rockin’ Anny Ibarra Staff Writer
Kalua is a melting pot of eclectic sound. The local quartet began playing in 2007, and Kalua’s Hispanic roots influence their music with a mix of neofolklore, reggae, and salsa, but their base rhythm is rock. The band consists of vocalists and guitarists Samuel and Juan Diaz from Mexico, Andres Delgado on percussion from Venezuela and vocalist/bass player Andres Acevedo from Colombia. Kalua has been featured on the National Latin TV show Escandalo TV, local music television station ME and local radio station KUT. They have also played in several music festivals including Austin’s Pachanga Latino Music Festival and the Burger King “Tu Ciudad, Tu Musica” annual music contest. The latter, is a yearly competition of Latino rock bands held in the city of Houston. Kalua was selected as the contest’s last two years’ winners. The Spanish rock audience is very difficult to please, and Kalua does it while juggling gigs, school and work.
photo courtesy of Kaluamusic.com
They are currently promoting their new video “La Novedad,” and they also are writing new songs for a future release. Juan Diaz said, “right now we are defining our own style and sound. We are working on a new CD for next year, and we are promoting our new video. You should look for it on YouTube, Facebook and MySpace.” “We have toured Texas, Miami and also Monterrey, Tampico in Mexico. In addition, we have toured cities in Venezuela where we will come
back in Dec. to tour again,” according to J. Diaz. The four have big plans and dreams. Kalua might eventually conquer not only the heart of Austin, but also the Americas, “we have a big commitment not only with ourselves, but also with our fans because we want to please them, not only with our creative talent, but also with our music,” J. Diaz said. Kalua will play at The Saxon Pub (1320 South Lamar Blvd., 78704) Dec. 5 as part of The Fireside Acoustic Creative Showcase.
Ong Bak 2 jump kicks audience to the past Jason Haydon Staff Writer
Ong Bak II: The Beginning is an excellent film. The fighting and action scenes are truly spectacular. The acting and story is greatly improved from 2003’s Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior. Tien (Tony Jaa, director and star) is born as part of a royal household, but when he is 10 he witnesses his family murdered and survives on his own, until he is captured. He survives a brush with death and falls in with a tribe of bandits. He works his way up, learning martial arts, and then, when he is about to be made their leader, he sees a chance to avenge the death of his family. The only thing, it is supposed to be a prequel to 2005’s Ong Bak, however, there is absolutely
Photo Courtesy of Sahamongkol Film International
no connection present between the two films? Regardless, the cinematography is excellent and the score is beautiful. It is subtitled, so be prepared to read between people getting their asses kicked. But, if you
are a martial arts enthusiast, this one is a must see. Ong Bak II is currently playing at Alamo South Lamar (1120 South Lamar Blvd., 78704) until Nov.12, and it is showing in a very limited capacity.