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Common Experience focuses on future of river By Clara Cobb The University Star As students sun themselves on the knoll at Sewell Park, five endangered species hide below in the cool San Marcos River. And there is even more hiding below what Common Experience members hope to discover this year. The river was the inspiration for the 2007-2008 Common Experience theme, A Water Planet: A River Runs Through Us. Pam Wuestenberg, Common Experience co-chair, is excited about this year’s water theme. She said the theme was two years in the making, as the planning for the proposal began in 2005. Committee members agree the theme could not be more timely or relevant. “I think this year will be the best one yet,” said Wuestenberg, assistant dean of University College. “We think this is a theme that is going to resonate.” According to the Common Experience Web site, water as a subject has particular relevance to Texas State. The spring-fed San Marcos River runs through campus as a constant reminder of how water affects our lives. The nexus of the Common Experience parallels this literal flow: it fosters students’ confluent thinking where discovery in one area will lead them to discovery in another. Linda Kelsey-Jones, Common Experience committee member, said she believes water plays an important role in fine arts. “The metaphors we use in poetry like ‘I’m feeling well’ or ‘up the creek without a paddle’ utilize water and illustrate how integral water is in our daily lives,” said KelseyJones, art and design lecturer. “Songs are written about water every day. Artists use water as inspiration. In fact, the colors used in art itself that encompass water are referred to as ‘cool’ colors as water is, indeed, cool.” While the Common Experience event calendar will include several art and culturally oriented events designed to enhance learning, Kelsey-Jones said this theme is important for the surrounding community as well. “Awareness is what it’s about,” she said. “Awareness of water on our planet and our bodies, and how to be responsible with it.” Committee member Ron Coley agrees most Texans are not aware of how water

is consumed. “In San Antonio alone, the average person uses 140 gallons of water a day,” said Coley, director of the Aquarena Center. “Compare that with 75 gallons a day for the average person in the remainder of the U.S., 25 gallons a day in Europe and 2.5 gallons a day in Africa, and the problem becomes clear: we are wasting far too much of our water here in the Edwards Aquifer region.” He said people are dependent on water as Central Texas continues to expand and grow. “The pre-historical presence of human civilization and the modern presence of civilization are 13,000 years of constant occupation of this region around the headwaters of the San Marcos River should illustrate the absolute necessity of the river itself to our community and its citizens,” Coley said. According to the Web site, water is a focus in science, law, history, anthropology, economics, political science and international relations — mainly because it is such a vital part of life and human existence. This wonderment unfolds into aesthetic expression in art, music, poetry, literature, religious rites and cultural rituals, all awash in the world of ideas, according to the site. Coley said the interdisciplinary benefits of Common Experience are unparallel, regardless of major. “If we’re talking about how the theme applies to say a PR major, here’s an example,” he said. “If we could get the message out better about wasting water and the catastrophic effects it has on our local environment through marketing campaigns and the like, we could avoid spending time and money on such things as legislation in the state government to regulate what we can manage ourselves just by making small changes in our lifestyles to be more water conscious.” Coley said there are several ways to learn about water and conservation. “The first Wednesday of every month, we host Catch A Rising Star here at the headwaters to promote the river and ecoawareness,” Coley said. “Another good way to find out more about the river itself and its perils and benefits to our environment is to go to the Alkek Library or to the Aquarena Center’s gift shop and pick up a copy of the documentary River Of Innocence.”


The Common Experience is a yearlong initiative of Texas State UniversitySan Marcos designed to cultivate a common intellectual conversation across the campus, to enhance student participation in the intellectual life of the campus and to foster a sense of community across our entire campus and extended community. For more information, visit the Web site at

Star file photo The San Marcos River runs through campus, but several other local rivers provide outdoor recreation for Texas State students. The Blanco River is a short trip north, while the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers are a few miles south.

Star file photo

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San Marcos tidbits

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Important San Marcos phone numbers

USEFUL Police, Fire, Emergencies 911

Parks and Recreation Department (512) 393-8400

San Marcos Police (Non-emergencies) (512) 753-2108

San Marcos Transit System (512) 353-4768

Hays County Sheriff’s Office (Non-emergencies) (512) 393-7800 San Marcos Fire Rescue (Non-emergencies) (512) 393-8460

Municipal Court (Parking Tickets) (512) 393-8190 Crisis Hotline (512) 396-3939

DIGITS Until 1848, Hays County was part of Travis and Bastrop counties, when it was organized with San Marcos as the county seat. The County was named for Capt. John Coffee Hays, a Texas Ranger. A statue of Hays, by sculptor Jason Scull, now stands on the courthouse grounds. The present Hays County Courthouse is the fourth building to serve that purpose. The first three courthouses were destroyed by arson or damaged by shifting earth caused by underground springs. The present building was erected in 1909 and restored between 1997 and 1999. The Old Hays County Jail (Fredericksburg Street) was built in 1884 and designed by Edward Northcraft, an architect of Old Main. It served as the county jail until 1937, when frequent breakouts and repairs necessitated a new one. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a 55-pound iron triangle hung from a tree on the north side of the courthouse. It was used to summon firefighters. The triangle was struck six times every day at 6 p.m. to signal the end of downtown business hours. Rescued from a scrap heap, the triangle now hangs in Fire Station 1 (114 E. Hutchison). A replica and marker are found on the north side of the courthouse lawn. San Marcos is the one of the oldest continually inhabited sites in North America. Artifacts unearthed near Spring Lake date back more than 11,500 years. The combination of fresh water, abundant wildlife, and the availability of chert (a hard sedimentary rock) for making tools made this area attractive to American Indians. If you travel along Hopkins Street toward New Braunfels, you will be following the original route of El Camino Real, now a traditional trail. El Camino Real, or King’s Highway, connected Mexico with East Texas. Look for the grave of the San Marcos Fire Department mascot, Jack, at the northwest corner of the Fire Station Studios. He was not a dalmatian, as one might expect, but rather a fox terrier. In 1872, when San Marcos was still a country village, hogs running loose in the streets were the town’s most controversial problem. The oldest building on The Square is Harper’s Hall (139 E. Hopkins), built in 1873. W.H. “Willie” Harper operated a highly successful livery stable and blacksmith shop on the ground floor. The 2nd floor was available to the community for dances, church socials and traveling vaudeville shows. The balcony of Harper’s Hall was a popular place for politicians to give heated speeches to the crowds below. The newest building on The Square is the Hays County Records Building at 137 N. Guadalupe Street, built in 1962. Canaquedista was the name local American Indians used for the headwaters of the San Marcos River.

Crime Stoppers (800) 324-TIPS (8477)

Texas Department of Public Safety (512) 353-7000

Tanger Outlets Center (512) 396-7446

Central Texas Medical Center (512) 353-8979

Prime Outlets (512) 396-2200

San Marcos Municipal Airport (512) 393-8160

San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce (512) 393-5900

City Information Line (512) 393-8488

Hispanic Chamber Of Commerce (512) 353-1103

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Goodbye to a River A journey through Texan folk history Editor’s Note: The University Star has included this review of the summer reading book, Goodbye to a River, to assist incoming freshmen. We chose to use this academic review as opposed to a more traditional news style review to better serve our freshman audience. John Graves’ most significant work is Goodbye MARK BUSBY to a River — part history, part memoir and part travelogue — based on his canoe trip down the Guest Columnist Brazos River in 1957. He had written a number of magazine pieces for various publications at that point, and he had a contract with Sports Illustrated to do a piece on the canoe trip. (The piece become more philosophy than sport and was published in Holiday instead of Sports Illustrated.) Graves’ strong sense of history was inspired by summers visiting his grandfather in Cuero in South Texas and merged with his keen feelings for the natural world developed during the time he spent in the Trinity River bottom near his home in Fort Worth. He knew that if the five proposed dams were built along the Brazos, the area would be irreparably changed. The Brazos is the third largest river in Texas and the largest between the Red River and the Rio Grande. Called “el Rio de los Brazos de Dios” (the River of the Arms of God) by the early Spanish explorers, it flows for 840 miles from its source until emptying into the Gulf of Mexico near Freeport, just south of Galveston Island. Drawing from a long tradition of nature writing about rivers, from Henry David Thoreau’s A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers to the Rivers of America series to Paul Horgan’s Great River: The Rio Grande in North American History and from the elegiac pastoral tradition, Graves brings his unique approach and concerns to writing, much of which reveals a deep ambivalence about his being identified as a nature writer in the Thoreauvian tradition or being perceived as a polemical writer, single-mindedly pursuing a transitory agenda. The detached position Graves stakes out leads to subtle persuasion in Goodbye to a River. He adopts a rhetorical stance similar to the one Shakespeare’s Mark Antony takes in his famous eulogy for Caesar, saying he comes just to bury the former king, not to commend him and then sets about to move his audience in his subtle praise. That is what Graves does with his piece of the Brazos, and it is profound persuasion. As the book begins, for example, Graves seemingly disarms a reluctant reader by saying he holds no bitterness about the proposed series of dams. “In a region like the Southwest, scorched to begin with, alternating between floods and droughts, its absorbent cities quadrupling their censuses every few years, electrical power and flood control and moisture conservation and water skiing are praiseworthy projects. “More than that, they are essential. We river-minded ones can’t say much against them — nor, probably, should we want to.” The clue to his real stance here is the placement of water skiing in the last and emphatic position and saying, tongue firmly in cheek, that it is “essential.” He then goes on to announce it is not his fight and he is just going down the Brazos to “wrap it up” before the river and “Satanta the White Bear and Mr. Charlie Goodnight” disappear under the “CrissCrafts and the tinkle of portable radios.” This contrast between the high significance of Texas history and the brittle inconsequence of skiing to the sounds of portable radios heightens his position through verbal irony and allows him to achieve the detached position he seeks. Goodbye to a River, like many Texas narratives, uses the journey for structure, and the journey takes on symbolic significance as well. This journey is a personal process, a trip to recover a wanderer’s sense of history and place. By returning to places that have meaning, the persona-narrator demonstrates how one regains a rootedness that gives life significance. Although the narrator does not mention Ishmael’s travels undertaken during a “damp, drizzly November in my soul” from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, by leaving on a gray, threatening November day, Graves connects Goodbye to a River to the classic novel, another work that uses the water journey of escape and return to suggest the powerful personal insights that the experience provides. It is the vividness and intensity of Graves’ observations presented in his recognizable style that make the book memorable. This casual and folksy yet philosophical and literate canoeist with his Dachshund pup, Passenger, spins out stories connected to the history of places like Poke Stalk Bend, Old Painted Campground, Thorp Spring, Mitchell Bend and others. By revisiting these places and recovering the stories the countrymen and women tell and by examining the natural history of the area, Graves constructs and dramatizes how a single individual can “know” a river, understand himself and symbolize the process of achieving awareness of self through valuing place. With the river journey to provide the structure, Graves moves back and forth from the river to the larger world through references to his own wandering past and through epigraphs and allusions to one of Graves’ favorite writers, Juan Ramón Jiménez. From these and other references to the “the world’s air,” Graves shifts to stories of the homeland, recalling the times he and his friend Hale and their massive black companion Bill Briggs spent on

the river in their youth (with echoes of Huck Finn) to stories about the Comanches, who called themselves “the People”. The Mitchell-Truitt feud that ended with Cooney Mitchell’s hanging in Granbury; the time the hermit Sam Sowell was almost burned up by thoughtless kids and was saved by Graves’ friend, Davis Birdsong; and the time Birdsong tried to impress a French diplomat by putting his leg behind his head. The human history is complemented by careful examination of natural history, as Graves observes the plants and animals along the trip and reproduces in hieroglyphic the birdcall of redbirds and Carolina wrens. Along the way, Graves returns to several important concerns such as his relationship to Thoreau, to hunting and to the persistent Puritanism of the people who live along the river. Anticipating critics would note Thoreau’s influence, Graves attempts to provide some distance between himself and his strong forebear. Graves makes it clear he finds Thoreau, too rooted in the world’s air, too transcendently “ascetic,” and consistently refers to him as “Saint Henry.” The Texan’s distance from his river-traveling ancestor is especially clear when it comes to hunting. Graves notes that even though “Saint Henry had impulses to gobble woodchucks raw,” he eventually concluded, “blood sports were for juveniles.” Although Graves wavers along the way, he ultimately aligns himself with “Prince Ernest Hemingway” and asserts killing itself can be reverent. To see and kill and pluck and gut and cook and eat a wild creature, all with some knowledge and the pleasure that knowledge gives, implies a closeness to the creature that is to me more honorable than the candle-lit consumption of rare prime steaks from a steer bludgeoned to death in a packinghouse chute while tranquilizers course his veins. Later considering the Puritan outlook of the people who live along the River, Graves makes a similar point, noting that if “wrong is sharply wrong enough, its edge digs deeper down into the core of that sweet fruit, pleasure, than hedonism ever thought to go.” Later he makes the same point symbolically, when he has Davis Birdsong tell a story about following Sam Sowell through the shin oak brush one day and finding a coiled diamondback rattlesnake. As Birdsong raises his axe to dispatch the snake, Sowell stops him and acknowledges the human connection to the snake’s symbolic evil. Good and evil intertwine in Graves’ world, and his trip down the river reinforces this knowledge for him in personal, historical and natural ways. This awareness suggests how Graves differs from some other Western nature writers. Graves’ world is one with good and evil intertwined, ultimately a “fallen” world and unlike the innocent one that Thomas Lyon describes as the terrain of other Western nature writers in “The Nature Essay in the West.” The function of the nature writer, Lyon suggests, is “to reforge a fundamental continuity between inner and outer, so that for the reader the world is alive again, seen precisely for what it is, and the mind is alive to it.” Lyon continues, “to have known the beauty of the world, seen with unclouded eyes the sheer wonder of a clear river or a mesa or a cottonwood tree, is to be in some sense and for that time, psychologically whole. “The deepest attraction of the nature essay, probably, is this basic rightness of gestalt. Good nature writing is a recapturing of the child’s world, the world before fragmentation, the world as poets and artists can see it.” Although the elegiac tone of Goodbye to a River suggests nostalgia, Graves does not look back to an innocent world devoid of evil. Rather, his piece of the Brazos reinforces and becomes the vehicle for his understanding of human complexity.

In an insightful observation of Graves’ style in 1981, Larry McMurtry, who taught with Graves at Texas Christian University in the early 1960s, points out that “one of his most frequent rhetorical devices … is to undercut himself: questioning a story he has just retold, doubting an observation he has just made, twisting out from under a position. Often he simply reverses his field and abandons whatever line of thought he has been pursuing.” This technique highlights the complexity and mystery of human truth rather than clarifying it. McMurtry continues, “he is popularly thought to be a kind of country explainer, when in fact he seems more interested in increasing our store of mysteries than our store of knowledge. “He loves the obscure, indeterminate nature of rural legend and likes nothing better than to retell stories the full truth of which can never be known. If nature continues to stimulate him it may be because it too is elusive, feminine, never completely knowable.” Certainly he is not looking forward to becoming the Sage of Glen Rose. His best writing is based on doubt and ambivalence — or at least two sidedness; he is not eager to arrive at too many certainties, or any certainty too quickly. The persona he adopts most frequently is that of the man who considers. He may choose to consider a goat, a book, an anecdote, or some vagary of nature, but the process of considering is more important to the texture of his books than any conclusions that may get drawn. Goodbye to a River demonstrates clearly the reluctant trumpeter considering, in this case, the human and natural history of a small piece of the Brazos River. Through his emphasis on using the natural world to consider the human history associated with it and his own consciousness, Graves provides a clear example of the process Scott Slovic describes in Seeking AwareWriting. ness in American Nature Writing Slovic notes the tradition of nature writing from Thoreau through Annie Dillard, Edward Abbey, Wendell Berry and Barry Lopez reveals an emphasis on the relationship between nature and the considering writer’s mental state: “Nature writers are constantly probing, traumatizing, thrilling, and soothing their own minds — and by extension those of their readers — in quest not only of consciousness itself, but of an understanding of consciousness.” Graves’ consciousness results from a combination of personal experience, history, folklore, nature, and philosophy — a unique mixture that led to numerous positive reviews. Paul Horgan in the New York Herald Tribune Book Review hailed Graves as a new talent: “This highly original book bears witness to the appearance of an excellent literary talent not previously seen in book form.” Wayne Gard in The New York Times Book Review called it “a memorable saga … a warm, moving book with many rewards for the reader.” And Edward Weeks in The Atlantic Monthly pointed out the connection between the specific and the general: “as you read, you have the feeling that the whole colorful, brutal tapestry of the Lone Star State is being unrolled for you out of the biography of this one stream.” This colum was adapted from the introduction to John Graves, Writer, edited by Mark Busby.

✯ FYI John Graves, the author of the novel Goodbye to a River, is immortalized in statue outside of Alkek Library.

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Local Flavor Try one of these Hill Country originals for a taste of San Marcos restaurant offerings

AMERICAN Cancun Rob’s 311 E Hopkins St. (512) 392-5171 Center Point Station No. 801 3946 S IH 35 (512) 392-1103 Gill’s Fried Chicken 714 E Hopkins St. (512) 353-3911 Gil’s Broiler 328 N. LBJ Dr. (512) 392-4595 Gordo’s Burgers & Stuff 804 Chestnut St. (512) 878-0653 Grins Restaurant 802 N. LBJ Dr. (512) 396-0909 Spud Ranch 1330 Aquarena Springs (512) 805-7783

BARBECUE Branding Iron 3939 S IH 35 Suite F-6 (512) 396-7004 Fuschak’s Pit Bar-B-Q 1701 S. IH 35 (512) 353-2712 Kip’s Texas Barbecue 690 Centerpoint Rd. (512) 392-4424 Southwest Market Barbecue 2601 Hunter Rd. (512) 353-0837

CAFES & DELIS Alvin Ord’s Sandwich Shop 204 University Dr. (512) 353-8042 Cafe On The Square 126 N LBJ Dr. (512) 396-9999 Cool Mint Cafe 415 Burleson (512) 396-2665 Cottage Kitchen 400 E. Hopkins St. (512) 392-4295 The Blue Goat Gourmet 310 Mary St. (512) 392-4628 Jive Turkey 1400 Ranch Road 12 (512) 396-1970 Katie’s Kitchen 208 E Main St. (254) 793-8100

Kids Cafe 820 Sturgeon St. (512) 392-6273

Hill Country Grill 100 W Hopkins St. (512) 396-6100

El Gulfo De Mexico 900 N IH 35 (512) 805-8530

Lolita’s Cafe 1501 Aquarena Springs Dr. (512) 392-3441

J’s Bistro 202 N LBJ Dr. (512) 392-3031

El Primo’s Tacos 1310 Alamo St. (512) 353-2323

Rivendell Restaurant & Gardens 817 Chestnut St. (512) 392-8733

Palmer’s Restaurant Bar & Courtyard 218 Moore St. (512) 353-3500

Garcia’s Mexican Food Restaurant 403 S LBJ Dr. (512) 353-0099

Root Cellar Cafe 215 N LBJ Dr. (512) 392-5158

Rogelio’s Restaurant 625 S LBJ Dr. (512) 392-4141

Herbert’s Taco Hut 419 Riverside Dr. (512) 353-7440

Sean Patrick’s 202 E. San Antonio St. (512) 392-7310

Janie’s Gorditas 920 Hwy 80. (512) 392-6292

San Marcos River Pub & Grill 701 Cheatham St. (512) 353-3747

JL Mexican Restaurant 307 W MLK Dr. (512) 878-1184

COFFEE HOUSES Cafe On The Square 126 N LBJ Dr. (512) 396-9999 The Coffee Pot 129 E Hopkins St. (512) 396-1689 Jo On The Go 312 University Dr. (512) 353-4880 Tantra Coffeehouse 217 W Hopkins St. (512) 558-2233 The Stratosphere Lounge 235B N LBJ Dr. (512) 393-5001

FAST FOOD Chili Dog 1140 Invasion St (512) 396-0900 1501 Aquarena Springs Dr. (512) 396-0502 Burger Works 3939 S IH 35 (512) 396-4010 Gordo’s Burgers 804 Chestnut St. (512) 878-0653 M & M Taco Corner 1303 W Hopkins St. (512) 392-9308

GREEK Cedars Mediterranean Cafe 220 N. Edward Gary (512) 754-9861

GRILLS & PUBS Big Daddy’s Back Yard Grill 315 W San Antonio St. (512) 392-7775 Bucket’s Bar & Grill 315 W San Antonio St. (512) 392-7775

The Tap Room 129 E Hopkins St. (512) 392-9824

MEXICAN Casa Maria Mexican Restaurant 706 S Guadalupe St. (512) 392-9302 Cervantez Tacos 1310 Alamo St. (512) 353-2323 Chica’s Mexican Restaurant 206 W San Antonio St. (512) 396-8242 Desert Rose Cafe and Bar 173 LBJ Dr. (512) 392-3511 Dos Flores Tex-Mex & Grill 1328 N IH 35 (512) 878-2398

The LS Martinez Restaurant 1101 Thorpe Lane (512) 392-3567 Mamacita’s Restaurant & Cantina 1400 Aquarena Springs Dr. (512) 353-0070 Mana’s Groceries & Grill 624 S LBJ Dr. (512) 392-7263 Mana’s Restaurant (Mana’s II) 807 Alabama St. (512) 392-4068 Ta Moles y Mas 1101 Thorpe Lane (512) 392-3500 Taqueria El Rancho 2050 Ash St. (512) 353-0758 Taqueria Mazatlan 1210 S IH 35 (512) 754-2155

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Zooka’s Burritos 312 University Dr. (512) 353-3913

ORIENTAL August Moon 149 Springtown Way (512) 396-7200 Hong Kong Restaurant 812 S Guadalupe St. (512) 392-5665 Imperial Garden Chinese Restaurant 1104 Thorpe Lane (512) 353-3355 Rose Garden Chinese Restaurant 700 N LBJ Dr. (512) 805-0880 Thai Thai Cafe 829 N LBJ Suite 101 (512) 395-8424

PIZZA & ITALIAN Craig O’s Pizza & Pastaria 690 Centerpoint Rd. (512) 558-2220

D’Blazios 1904 Ranch Road 12 (512) 392-5234 Italian Garden 415 N LBJ (512) 395-8424 Pizza Classics 205 University Dr (512) 392-6005 Sunny’s Pizza 507 Craddock Ave. (512) 392-7437 Valentino’s Pizza 110 N LBJ Dr. (512) 396-8888 Villa Italian Pizza & Pasta 3939 S IH 35 (512) 392-2279

SEAFOOD El Gulfo De Mexico 900 N IH 35 (512) 805-8530

STEAK Texas Reds Steakhouse 120 W Grove St. (512) 754-8808

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Local live music venues Cheatham Street Warehouse 119 Cheatham St. San Marcos, TX, 78666 (512) 353-3777 The music: Country/Folk/Americana Texas Music icon Kent Finlay owns and operates this bar and hosts a songwriter’s circle every Wednesday.

Gordo’s on The Square 120 E. San Antonio St. San Marcos, TX, 78666 (512) 392-7782 The music: Texas Country An old converted movie theater, Gordo’s boasts a Texas country lineup featuring artists like Roger Creager and the Bart Crow Band.

Gruene Hall

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1281 Gruene Rd. New Braunfels, TX, 78130 (830) 606-1281 The music: Texas Country, Americana Built in the 1880s, this dance hall over has hosted the legends of country music and the stars of to morrow alike during its tenure as the oldest con tinually operating dancehall in Texas.

Jack’s Roadhouse 1625 W. Hopkins St. San Marcos, TX, 78666 (512) 392-3340 The music: Local Country, Rock, Karaoke This place is a simple beer joint featuring local bands and a karaoke bar.

Lucy’s San Marcos 141 E Hopkins (On The Square) San Marcos, TX, 78666 (512) 558-7399 The music: Rock, Indie Rock, Experimental, HipHop, Southern Rock Rowdy shows are complemented by plenty of alcohol at this venue.

Nephews 100 N. Guadalupe St. San Marcos, TX, 78666 (512) 558-2337 The music: Country Cheap drinks and no cover are the college bar’s main attraction. George Strait’s Ace In The Hole Band’s Tuesday shows offer another lure.

Riley’s Tavern 8894 FM 1102 New Braunfels, TX, 78132 (512) 392-3132 The music: Country, Americana, Singer/Songwriters This classic bar was the first in the state of Texas to get its liquor license in 1933, and still brings in Texas music talent seven times a week.

The Triple Crown 206 N. Edward Gary San Marcos, TX, 78666 (512) 396-2236 The music: Rock, Singer/Songwriters Underground music fans will enjoy this bar’s unique live music lineup.

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FACT : By Brian Alexander The Seattle Times

SEATTLE — Throughout her highschool years, Christina Olson never really worried about her weight. She ate and exercised when she wanted and didn’t put on extra pounds. So she didn’t think anything would change when she moved to Virginia to attend college. But after her first semester, she came home to discover her old clothes didn’t fit as well. Blame the “freshman 15” — a notorious bit of college lore where freshmen gain 15 pounds in their first year away from home. Though it’s not hard fact, a few studies join nutritionists and college fitness experts in saying on average students actually do gain weight in their first year away. The reason? It’s the many parts of a lifestyle change said Judy Simon, a clinical dietitian at the University of Washington Medical Center Roosevelt clinic. It’s staying up late, snacking while studying, drinking beer and having irregular meals, not to mention a lack of physicaleducation classes and after-school sports, among other things, she said. College students don’t give enough thought to nutrition or their weight when they’re ordering that meat pizza at midnight, she said. Nor do they think about the calories in beer when they go to a party. “They wouldn’t drink six regular sodas, but they’re drinking six regular beers,” Simon said. Weight gain for students who graduate from high school but do not go to college differs from those who do, said David Levitsky, a professor of nutrition and psychology at Cornell University. Those who do not go to college usually will not gain weight. One of the key reasons for freshman weight gain is emotional eating, Simon said. When students get stressed, break up with a boyfriend or girlfriend or have a big test coming up, they often chow down on comfort food: cookies, chips, ice cream and anything else that can be found at the convenience store down the street, she said. For Olson, who is now a senior, it was the cooking in Virginia. “They fry everything, and you can only eat so many salads,” she said.

Olson found herself staying up late and snacking, but didn’t start worrying about it until she tried on an old swimsuit in preparation for a spring break trip. So Olson started looking for a way out. And that’s a typical experience, Simon said. Though some students come to Simon before they start putting on pounds, she said many patients approach her only after the jeans stop fitting. “I don’t think the freshman 15 is inevitable, not everybody gains it, and not everybody has to,” Simon said. Simon’s advice is aimed at busy college students: Go to the gym. Or at least walk a lot. Eat a good breakfast and don’t skip meals. Skip fast food and fatty lattes, and eat reasonable portions. Drink alcohol in moderation. Drink lots of water all day long. Levitsky, at Cornell, found in his research if freshmen watch their weight, it keeps them from eating too much. If they’re educated about proper portion sizes, they will be less likely to gain weight, he said. There’s another danger, the experts warn: Some students become obsessive about their weight, and it turns into a control issue, Simon said. Olson, for example, said her worries about losing weight for spring break led her to create her own diet. She started counting calories and signed up for a kickboxing class. But she said she took it too far. “If I consume 1,000 calories a day, I should lose pounds in no time, but no time was taking too long,” Olson said she told herself. She was down to 700 calories a day, and started getting lightheaded at her kickboxing classes. Olson was becoming obsessive about weight loss and was developing an eating disorder, she said. Simon suggests students shouldn’t create their own diets, and said they should try to stop obsessing about their weight or the calories they’re consuming. “If there’s so much focus on your weight, then there’s definitely some other issues going on,” she said. Olson was fortunate to have friends who noticed she was not eating and helped her snap out of it. She said she finally realized college was not about being a certain size or looking good. It was — is — about getting an education. “I decided it’s OK if I don’t wear a size 2 anymore,” she said. “I don’t need to look like I’m in junior high.”

Friday, June 1, 2007

Freshman students put on extra pounds

Jamie Oppenheimer/Wichita Eagle/MCT PUTTING ON THE POUNDS: Researchers at Tufts University studied the eating habits of college students for four years and found weight gain during the freshman year is common, with men gaining an average of 6 pounds and women gaining 4.5.

FYI: Avoid the ‘freshman 15’ “Front-load” calories: Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. Eating a slice of last night’s leftover pizza is better than not fueling your body for the day. The idea is to take in calories before you need them, not afterward, when your body is drained. Try walking: Walk to school if you live off campus. If you live on campus, make time for hiking, mountain biking or the gym — most schools have good exercise facilities. Find alternatives to unhealthy food: Get pizza with less cheese and more vegetables. Order a nonfat latte. Ask for less rice with that teriyaki meal and more salad. Drink less alcohol, more water: A 12-ounce

beer has about as many calories as the samesized soft drink. Carry a water bottle — it’s trendy, and being hydrated is part of being healthy. Don’t go hungry: If you eat small, regular portions, you shouldn’t be hungry. Keep a healthy snack nearby. Beware late-night meals: Studying late can mean your body will need an extra meal — calories you probably won’t burn off unless you add extra exercise the next day. SOURCE: Judy Simon, clinical dietitian at the University of Washington Medical Center Roosevelt clinic, and David Levitsky, a professor of nutrition and psychology at Cornell University.


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Dormitory Incoming on-campus dwellers should know these facts

Before moving in:

1. Each room is furnished with two standard twin beds (except for single-bed rooms), closets, desks, bookcases and dressers.


Beds can be bunked in all dorms and certain residence halls allow loft beds. Loft bed kits may be leased through the university.


Be sure to consult your roommate to avoid buying two common items, such as trashcans.

Pillows add personality and comfort.


Each dormitory has a fullsized refrigerator in the community kitchen. One personal refrigerator (no larger than 4.2 cubic ft.) is allowed in each room.

5. Residents are required to

Extra seating is great for guests and heavy reading. Star graphic

A mini fridge is a snack time essential and good for cool drinks on hot days. Star file graphic

set up and maintain a phone line in their room.


Blanco, San Jacinto and San Marcos Halls feature carpet in their rooms. If you are assigned to a different hall, consider bringing an area rug or carpet remnant to cover the tile floor. Incoming freshmen, leave these at home: — Microwaves — Blenders — Hot plates — Crock pots — Toasters — Electric grills — George Foreman Grills — Weapons — Candles — Incense — Alcohol — Alcohol Containers — Pets — Illegal Drugs — Medicines not prescribed to you

Desk lamps are a great study aid.

Hand vacuums keep rooms clean and prevent allergies.

An iPod alarm clock plays hip tunes and keeps you on time to class. www.ubergizmo.

Star file graphic


Chris Clontz/Star graphic


Page C12 - The University Star

Friday, June 1, 2007

Must see

San Marcos WHAT WILDNESS IS THIS: Women Write About the Southwest. Celebrating the publication of the next volume in its book series, the Southwestern Writers Collection presents this special exhibition of manuscripts, photographs, excerpts from the anthology, biographies of selected writers, and numerous books that showcase women’s writing in the Southwest. The book helps raise public awareness of the importance of women’s personal histories.

Alumnus G his start at eorge Strait got Check out this legendary bar. songwriter’sowner Kent Finlay’s circle Wedn esday.

and, it’s regular b George Stra , d e Hole Ban the Ace in th ay. r every Tuesd plays this ba

on an Aquarena Beat the heat —ottom Boat Tour, Center Glass B learn is as cool as where what youegree temperature. the river’s 71-d

Chris Clontz/Star graphic

The nine-hole Texas State Golf Course is a favorite Wednesdays with its two-for-one student rates.

LITTLE HEROES: Regarding the child as subject, this exhibition reflects the breadth and depth of the Wittliff Gallery’s permanent collection of contemporary Mexican photography. Exhibits are located on the seventh floor of the Alkek Library, open Monday, Tuesday and Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 2 to 6 p.m. For more information, call (512) 245-2313.


Friday, June 1, 2007

The University Star - Page C13

Sequels, blockbusters define summer movie season By Todd Schaaf The University Star Summertime is the official season for the box-office rollout of warm weather hits. Trilogies and series continuations are the order of the summer. Spider-Man 3 — May 4 The long awaited third installment in Marvel’s Spider-Man franchise is upon us. Spider-Man 3 will feature veterans of the franchise as well as several newcomers. Thomas Haden Church will fill the role of Flint Marko, known as Sandman, a villain who uses sand as a weapon. Probably the most anticipated aspect of this movie to diehard fans is Topher Grace’s character Eddie Brock, who becomes the symbiotic villain, Venom. Expect the movie to be a little darker than Spider-Man films of the past both cinematically and in terms of subject matter. If it does well enough, expect a Spider-Man 4 in the future. Shrek the Third — May 18 The film is another third installment, this time from the people at DreamWorks. Shrek the Third follows Shrek, Princess Fiona, Donkey and Puss in Boots taking part in more zany adventures. This time around King Harold, voiced by John Cleese, is removed from his duties due to illness. Shrek, the rightful heir, does not want the job and tries to persuade Artie, voiced by Justin Timberlake to take the position. Princess Fiona and her team of classic fairytale damsels, including Rapunzel and Cinderella, fight off an attempt by Prince Charming to overthrow the royal family. With Shrek 4 already announced, the franchise needs to wow audiences to keep the characters from getting stale, so look forward to big things from this movie. The Ex — May 18 The Ex, starring Zach Braff, Amanda Peet and Jason Bateman, promises to be one of the funniest films of the summer. Tom Reilly (Braff) goes to work for his father-in-law when his wife (Peet) gets pregnant. His first day on the job, Reilly crosses wheelchair-bound Chip Sanders (Bateman), who happens to be his wife’s ex-boyfriend. Reilly’s competitiveness and awkwardness get the best of him time and again, landing him in embarrassing situations. This is the first big directing gig for Jesse Peretz, former bassist for The Lemonheads. This movie will not disappoint fans of Meet the Parents or the American Pie frachise. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End — May 25 It has been less than a year since the release of Dead Man’s Chest, and At World’s End couldn’t get here soon enough. Gore Verbinski, Johnny Depp and company are back to out do last summer’s Pirates of the Caribbean flick, which is one of top-five grossing movies of all time. This installment brings our heroes around the world to the seas of the Far East to rescue their despicable yet charming leader, Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp). This year’s Pirates brings back quite possibly from the dead Captain Barbossa, along with two new cast members, Chow Yun-Fat and as Sparrow’s father (and Depp’s inspiration for the character), Keith Richards. Evan Almighty — June 22 In this sequel to Bruce Almighty, Evan Baxter, played by Steve Carell, is chosen to save the world two animals at a time. God, played again by Morgan Freeman, visits Baxter and tells him a flood is coming and he must build an ark to save the world. Baxter, who begins

to physically resemble Noah, starts attracting pairs of wild animals, loses his job and reluctantly decides to build the ark. Do not expect too much from this movie. With any other actor, this probably would have never made it to the big screen, but Steve Carell can do no wrong in the eyes of Hollywood, so on with the show. Transformers — July 4 It’s the classic tale. Two factions of space robots crash on Earth and do battle with the fate of humanity hanging in the balance. Quite possibly the most talked about movie of the summer is Michael Bay’s Transformers. Unfortunately with such hype, it will not be hard for the movie to be a let down. Other than Autobots and Decepticons shooting at each other, no real story line is discernable. Transformers raises many questions, one being: How does a robot from space know how to transform into a Ford Mustang? Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix — July 13 Harry Potter is back with its fifth — yes, fifth installment — with two more in the works. This one appears to be another typical Harry Potter movie. Living at Hogwarts, gaining the admiration of Dumbledore, fearing Voldemort and dealing with quite possibly the longest bout with puberty in recorded history, are just some of the issues Harry has to deal with this time. This Potter movie claims to be the darkest and most intense yet. As usual, fans of the previous books and movies will love this one, those who are not will again be listening to their friends tell them about it anyway. The Simpsons Movie — July 27 People have been asking for it for years, and now it is here. The Simpsons Movie, which follows America’s favorite yellow family through some crazy misadventures, was announced April 1 last year, in what most people believed to be a cruel April fool’s joke. Rumors have speculated the plot is based around a nuclear crisis in Springfield, which may spell the end of the series. People lucky enough to have seen test screenings earlier this year have nothing but good things to say about the film. Expect this movie to jump the shark. Bourne Ultimatum — August 3 Identity, Supremacy and lastly Ultimatum Photo courtesy MCT … Bourne can do no wrong. Fans of high speed, high intensity spy thrillers rejoice. Matt Damon returns as Jason Bourne, recovering amnesiac and spy extraordinaire. The first movie of the trilogy caught audiences by surprise, reminding them spy movies can still be mind-blowing thrillers. The Bourne Supremacy lived up to its predecessor, but kept audiences wanting more. Here it is. Possibly the last movie in the franchise, the Bourne Ultimatum picks up right where the last one left off: Bourne hunting down his former employers, trying to find out exactly who he is. Expect to once again be blown away by Paul Greengrass’ vision of the Robert Ludlum spy novels. Movies flying under the radar Look out for two movies this summer that may not be blockbusters, but worthy of time and attention. The first movie is Knocked Up, directed by Judd Apatow, who directed The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Starring Seth Rogen as a guy who impregnates a one-night stand, this will either be huge or the sleeper comedy of the summer. The other under-mentioned film is an import from New Zealand called Black Sheep. When a genetic experiment goes awry, herds of sheep become mutated and deadly. Also watch out for were-sheep. This movie will be a hit or miss; think Shaun of the Dead, except with sheep.

Study finds increase in prescription drug abuse By Julian Kesner and Joe Babcock New York Daily News NEW YORK — College students might as well be majoring in pharmacology these days, with students illicitly popping pills in record droves, according to a new report. Columbia University’s National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse’s four-year “Wasting the Best and Brightest” study says 49 percent of U.S. college students binge drink or abuse drugs, both prescription and illegal. And more than 22 percent of students meet drug/alcohol addiction criteria — almost three times the national average among all ages, the study found. The biggest popularity increase is among prescription painkillers OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet and tranquilizers Xanax and Valium. Student abuse of these drugs increased three to four times from 1993 to 2005, the study found.


hree-fourths of the kids who drink and use drugs in college were doing so in high school or middle school.”

—JJoseph Califano Chairman, president National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse

During that time, the number of students reporting daily marijuana use doubled to 310,000. And while the number of bin gedrinking students hasn’t changed, it’s happening 16 percent more of the time. Joseph Califano, the center’s chairman and president, called on universities to identify high-risk students and limit alcohol

exposure on and near campus. He added parents should “look at themselves in the mirror.” “Three-fourths of the kids who drink and use drugs in college were doing so in high school or middle school,” he said. Rutgers University substance abuse program director Lisa Laitman, who founded the nation’s first on-campus addiction recovery home in 1988, says most student users buy pills on the street. “We have to get the message across that they don’t know what they’re taking,” she said. “We’ve got kids who see themselves as pharmacists.” “At one of my friend’s schools, they all smoke (pot) on the lawn in the middle of the day — they know the administration won’t do anything about it,” said Juliane Corman, 19, a Columbia sophomore. And at Columbia, “I know people who’ll smoke pot before going to class,” she added.

Third time around

Total box office grosses for some blockbusters whose third version is opening this summer, in millions, with release dates: U.S.

Other countries

Spider-Man ... May 3, 2002

June 30, 2004


May 4, 2007


Shrek ... May 16, 2001

May 18, 2007

May 19, 2004



Pirates of the Caribbean ... July 9, 2003

July 7, 2006



Ocean’s ... Dec. 7, 2001


June 8, 2007

Dec. 10, 2004


Bourne ... June 14, 2002


Aug. 3, 2007

July 23, 2004


Rush Hour ... Sept. 18, 1998


Aug. 10, 2007

Aug. 3, 2001


Resident Evil... March 15, 2002

Sept. 21, 2007

Sept. 10, 2004



May 25, 2007

Note: The fifth Harry Potter movie is also opening this summer Source: Box Office Mojo

© 2007 MCT

Graphic: Pat Carr, Lee Hulteng

BoRED?!? Dive into the movies. Rock out in the park. Ride back into time. Visit

y T i s R UniVE STò R

. com

for a complete listing of San Marcos and Texas State summer calendar events.

Page C14 - The University Star


Friday, June 1, 2007


Friday, June 1, 2007

The University Star - Page C15

Texas State technology options abundant for students Texas State offers — majors have to deal students and faculty a with the occasional wide array of computcrash and network probing services. Comlems. Thankfully, there puter labs, wireless are several computer Internet and discounts labs on campus that proon brand-name comvide students and faculty puters and peripherals with near 24/7 access. BILL RIX are among the ameniStudents more comStar Columnist ties provided by the fortable with Macs can university. find G4s at the comDiscounts on both Apple puting lab in Math Computer and Dell computers and accesScience, Rooms 362, Jowers sories are offered to students. Computer Lab, Room 201, and A special link at the computer lab in Academic edu/get-started/purchase-perServices Building, Room 201. sonal-computer.html allows users The Mac labs have Windows to navigate to the specialized XP machines as well, all of which Dell and Apple sites. Users can are Dell Optiplexes. Installed on find discounts on everything the Windows machines are all of from iPods to laptops to software the software found on the Macs packages. — the Adobe products, MicroBefore buying any software, soft Office and an FTP program however, users should check the — and other software such as Supported Desktop Software Visual Studio and Mathematica. Initiative, which Technology Mac fans will be happy to Resources says is “designed to know there is a Custom Apple identify a core set of desktop Store in the Bookstore. At this software that faculty and staff location, students will find fresh use to accomplish everyday and exciting Apple products for work activities.” Texas State has sale, such as the iPod nano and acquired licenses for several the new MacBooks. software applications such as Even when the Internet is Microsoft Word, Aladdin Stuffit, down for whole weekends, which QVT and Roxio, so students can it is irritatingly prone to do, stuinstall these programs on their dents can find what they need at computers. the Alkek Library, which never Sometimes even computer seems to be fazed by network science — and computer-related maladies. The library has several

banks of computers on both the second and third floors. While some banks are for specialty use — some don’t have the Internet, some are for groups of people to use — there are general use computers for students who wish to check their e-mail or post at their favorite forums. Students can check out Dell laptops at the library. There is usually a waiting list, but being able to use a laptop anywhere in the library makes the delay worthwhile. Texas State has increased the areas in which wireless connections are available. According to the Computing Support Services Web site, there are both open (unencrypted) and secure (encrypted) connections available. All one needs to get on the wireless network is a Texas State NetID and password, a laptop running Windows 98 SE or Mac OS X 10.3.8 or better, a wireless card and applicable patches to your operation system. Students must be in range of a wireless access point, which can be found at buildings and locations such as Alkek Library, Commons Dining Hall and Old Main, just to name a few. Students can check www. wireless.html for more information on access points and how to configure laptops.

4/26 solutions:

© Pappocom

Complete the grid so that every row, column, and 3-by-3 box contains every digit from one through nine inclusively. 4/26 solutions:

Page C16 - The University Star


Friday, June 1, 2007

Spotted: A wandering Bobcat turns heads across campus By Clara Cobb The University Star Turn any corner on campus and the last thing you’d expect to see is Bob. Bob, a stuffed mascot at Texas State University, can be found “prowling” campus in different locations, getting various reactions from his “spotters.” Dusty Vaught, coordinator of marketing and promotions for the LBJ Student Center, explains why a little fez hat and Texas State pride are giving students something to smile about. Q: Can you tell me a little about the “Where’s Bob?” campaign and what it means to the campus community? A: The LBJ Student Center, wanting to show our Bobcat Pride and learning that Bob needed

a home once he reached Texas State, offered to become the “official” home to Bob. We wanted Texas State students to share in our pride, so we created a website to track his journey, post all “Bob spottings” and list all of the great events on campus where he might be spotted. It is our hope Bob may inspire others to make the most of their Texas State experience and always hold their alma mater close to their hearts. Q: Where did the inspiration for the “Where’s Bob?” campaign stem from? A: We don’t exactly know what inspired Bob to begin his journey. Perhaps all Bobcats have a natural instinct to come home to Texas State, but we can say that we did learn from Bob that his name stands for “Back Our Bobcats.” Q: What exactly is a “spotter” and how do I

become one? A: Bob spotting is defined as the act of observing and capturing on film or video the Bobcat known as Bob. Send your photo or video of Bob to the LBJ Student Center Web master (trentonboyd@txstate. edu). Authenticated sightings will be posted to the Where is Bob Web site (www.lbjsc.txstate. edu/bob) and the Bob spotter will receive an official Bob spotter T-shirt. Beware of imposters! There are many Texas State Bobcats walking around on campus, but only one of them is Bob. Remember to look for a Bobcat with a maroon fez and a penchant for wandering. If you see the same Bobcat in the same spot for too long, chances are it is not Bob. Q: What kind of funny stories or feedback have you been receiving from spotters?

A: Bob decided to ride the Campus Loop bus one day and a few spotters reported that students (expressed) fright upon entering the bus. Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share with the incoming student body about the Bob? A: Bob has a generous nature, in addition to his great Bobcat Pride. He loves to provide students with free things when he comes to events. Be sure to look for him at Paws Preview, Texas State football tailgates and many other activities. Q: So...where IS Bob? (wink, wink) A: Right now, Bob is hanging out in his home located in George’s on the first floor of the LBJ Student Center. But Bob has the true roaming spirit of a Bobcat, and whenever, wherever Texas State Bobcats congregate, you may find him there.

Photos courtesy of

LBJ statue has 132 friends at Texas State By Maira Garcia The University Star

a modified picture of the LBJ statue in front of Flowers Hall with the words “Spring Break His Facebook profile says 1929!” above him and a keg to he is a single Texas State his left. alum from around Johnson “The original picture was City with liberal views. just a picture of the statue One of Texas State’s most and then Spring Break came famous alumni, Lyndon B. around and I decided to PhoJohnson, graduated almost toshop it a little bit,” he said. 80 years ago, but it hasn’t “I think the statue is pretty stopped him from popping cool.” —Charlie Kramsky up on the popular social netCurrently, the profile lists sound recording working site. 155 friends and is part of technology senior Charlie Kramsky, sound groups such as Texas State recording technology senior, Students for Barack Obama said he was inspired to create a profile for and WW2 International. Kramsky said he LBJ around the time some of his friends were would ultimately like for all Texas State stugraduating. dents to add LBJ on Facebook. “Their profiles changed to Texas State alum “It would be great if everyone at Texas State and somehow I got to thinking who else gradu- was LBJ’s friend,” he said. “That would be a ated from there and LBJ graduated,” he said. pretty cool thing if the guy in The Quad had “I went to see if he had a profile and he didn’t 50,000 friends.” so I made a Texas State alum one for him.” Kramsky said the profile is a joint effort between him, his friend Matt Renard, marketing junior and his roommate Daniel Gray, management senior. The three have access to the Enrolled in Southwest Texas State profile to add friends, comment and reply to messages. Teachers College in 1927, served on “It’s just whenever we get bored, to pass the debate team, edited The College Star time,” Kramsky said “We reply to anything, Graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in any message, any comment.” 1930 Some of the wall posts include, “Yo LynElected to House of Representatives in don, I tried talking to you the other day in 1931 The Quad but you just ignored me. I thought Elected vice president in 1960 we were cool man,” and “So I felt really bad Received honorary doctorate from because yesterday it was raining and you Southwest Texas State College in 1962 didn’t have an umbrella or a rain jacket or Became 36th president of the United anything.” Kramsky said the LBJ profile gets a regular States in 1963 after John F. Kennedy was number of comments, messages and pokes. assassinated Since April 2, he has 28 wall posts. Source: LBJ Biography www.lbjlib.utexas. “It’s usually by the same people over and edu/johnson/archives.hom/biographys. over. He does tend to get a number of pokes,” hom/lbj_bio.asp Kramsky said. The photo Kramsky uses on the profile is


t’s just whenever we get bored, to pass the time. We reply to anything, any message, any comment.”

✯ FYI: LBJ Facts

Star file photo

06 01 2007 Section C  
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