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TRENDS THE UNIVERSITY STAR

Page B2 - Thursday, November 29, 2007

Trends Contact — Clara Cobb, starentertainment@txstate.edu

Media relations handle strange news By Jaime Kilpatrick Senior Features Reporter

When bizarre news stories happen at Texas State, the media relations department takes control. Whether the questions are about the chupacabra, which turned out to be a coyote, or the proposed body farm forensic research facility, the people who answer media inquires have an interesting job to do. T. Cay Rowe, assistant vice president for university advancement, said her job encompasses a wide range of responsibilities. Rowe is responsible for editing Hillviews magazine, published for Texas State alumni and the university community. Rowe said one aspect of her job is working with alumni relations and the San Marcos community to promote higher education as a public good. She said she helps plan changes and events within the Texas State community, such as Homecoming and the 2008 LBJ centennial.

Rowe said she enjoys working in a collegiate environment, the time off for holidays and the diverse population. “I meet so many interesting people,” Rowe said. Mark Hendricks, university news service director, said his job is to “help the media tell the Texas State story.” He said his duties vary from responding to media inquiries to initiating communication with students, faculty and staff in an emergency. He is able to post information about emergency situations on Texas State’s Web site and e-mail users about bomb threats, school closures or inclement weather situations. He is the senior writer for Hillviews magazine. Hendricks said he and Jayme Blaschke, public information specialist, make up the staff of the university news service, but most universities have more than ten reporters available. Both said they interact with film crews who want to use Texas State facilities to film movies or TV shows such as “Friday

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

Night Lights.” “I didn’t realize Texas State is actively sought after for filming locations,” said Heidi Walden, mass communication graduate student. Walden said she believes the university news department successfully manages emergency situations. “As a student and staff member, I think they handled the dead body story very well,” Walden said. “They kept us updated so we didn’t feel unsafe on campus.” Walden said the prospect of working on a magazine appealed to her, although, she has no interest in university media relations professionally. Rowe and Hendricks said there are no typical days at work for them, but there are pros and cons to working with a university. Hendricks said he never knows what his day will be like, especially when he sees police officers, reporters and school officials in his office. “There is considerably less deadline pressure in this job than in day-to-day journalism,” Rowe said

Solutions on page 8

AbsoluteArts networks artists with buyers By Brett Thorne Features Reporter “The demand exceeds the supply, and art is not a commodity to be produced on deadlines. I am not a machine … I am not a machine.” This begins an episode of the now defunct Comedy Central show “Stella.” The three friends in the show meet their favorite author, Jane Burroughs, played by Janeane Garofalo. She reveals the stress of having an income based on how many units of her work she can move. If Burroughs had a way to present her art to the world, she may not have felt the pressure of having to turn out art as if it were a commodity. Enter www.absolutearts.com. AbsoluteArts began in 1995 when the World Wide Web was just beginning to enter people’s vocabulary. The site is sometimes considered a forerunner of the social networking sites

MySpace and Facebook because of the emphasis the site places on connecting people interested in the arts. According to a news release issued by AbsoluteArts, “The goal is and was to make a site for the visual arts, where collectors ‘meet’ artists and where artists exchange ideas.” The business, which allows artists to upload their work to be viewed by collectors, survived the dot-com collapse when everyone with an Internet connection thought they could make a million dollars by starting a Web site, according to the release. The company believes it owes its success to its ability to develop with artists. According to the news release, “It’s about staying power — continually evolving to be the best tool for artists, no matter what their age, interest or location ... Absolutearts.com is honestly the best all around visual arts site and has been for 12 years.” One person who has experienced

this evolution first-hand is Evelyn Peters, an artist hailing from Alaska and an AbsoluteArts veteran. “I’ve had it since 1995, and I’ve hung onto them because it’s easy for me to show people to the site,” Peters said. “It’s changed a lot. They’ve changed it more to help more emerging artists market their work.” Jodi Melfi, vice president of marketing at AbsoluteArts, believes the site is a valuable resource for any serious artist looking to get their work into the public’s view. “Absolutearts.com is one of the most trafficked arts sites in the world,” Melfi said. “From the marketing perspective, we offer artists the best way to get their work out on the Web. Their work can be seen by thousands, whereas only having an independent site, (artists) would be lucky if collectors happened to find their site.” Peters said she used the site as a

marketing tool since she became a member more than a decade ago and has had great success with it. “When people want to know what my work is like I direct them to AbsoluteArts,” Peters said. “I’ve sold a number of prints, and I’ve gotten a commission through the site.” Jane Mayer, a pastel artist from Washington, has been a member of AbsoluteArts for just under a year and appreciates the diversity of the internationally trafficked site. “You can see what people from what country are looking at your work,” Mayer said. “I like that it’s worldwide.” Mayer said though she uses another site as her primary marketing tool, she loves the flexibility AbsoluteArts allows her. “I have another Web site, but I like AbsoluteArts because the price is cheap, and they allow me to put up as many pieces as I like.”


Thursday, November 29, 2007

TRENDS

The University Star - Page B3

Lindenwood takes college women from looks to books looking to add another state or two, said Joseph Parisi, who had the brainstorm for the program. “I think it’s cutting edge,” he said. In some ways, Lindenwood’s foray into beauty pageants is not surprising, given the school’s unconventional ways. Parisi, the school’s admissions director and wrestling coach, has recruited students among checkers who ring his groceries and restaurant servers who bring his dinner. Now, he is an occasional judge at beauty pageants. Lindenwood’s first brush with pageant royalty was Shandi Finnessey, the “hottie” and “smarty” (as one state senator described her) who became Miss USA 2004 while a student at Lindenwood. Parisi said a story in a local newspaper about the St. Charles County fair queen piqued his interest in a pageant partnership. The description of the winner made him realize pageants pay tribute to many of the same attributes that he looks for in students: good grades, character, leadership, community service. “Most people think these pageants are just beauty pageants,” he said. “But they’re not. There’s so much more to the candidates. And here at Lindenwood, we look at the total package.” Commercials touting Lindenwood are now shown at the pageants. And there has been talk of bringing the Sarah Conard/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT Miss Missouri USA pageant to LinMorgan Woolard, a freshman at Lindenwood University, and former Miss Oklahoma Teen denwood, once the new performing USA, walks through the Spellman Center on the Lindenwood campus in St. Charles, Mis- arts center is finished. As Woolard picked at a grilled cheese souri. Lindenwood has formed a relationship with beauty pageants, offering scholarships (she leaves the crusts) and a side salto the finalists. ad, she said she had always wanted to go to college far from home. By Kavita Kumar She is a freshman at Lindenwood in St. “But I wasn’t thinking of Missouri St. Louis Post-Dispatch Charles, Mo., as are six Miss Missouri Teen — more like California. But `whatev,’” she USA finalists. Among the student body are said, flashing a smile and rolling her eyes The man serving French fries in the Amber Seyer, Miss Missouri USA 2007; playfully. Lindenwood University cafeteria looks up and LaTasha Lawrie, Miss Kansas Teen She had not heard of Lindenwood before and stares — mouth agape — when Morgan USA 2005. In total, the school reports it she entered the pageant. Woolard passes by in ruffled miniskirt, frost- has about 30 winners or top finishers in “But as soon as I won, my parents were ed pink lipstick and flowing blond hair. beauty pageants. like, `That’s where you are going,’” she Other students follow suit. Necks swivel “There are a lot of pageant girls running said, noting Lindenwood’s scholarship was in a lunchroom chain reaction as she walks around here, and nobody has any idea,” far better than one she was offered to a around “the caf,” as she calls it. Woolard said in amazement. school in Oklahoma. “It’s hard to pass up Jaws drop. Eyes bulge. Smiles spread. Jared Shoemaker, a senior on the Lin- a scholarship.” Words disappear. denwood football team, said he had heard While there are no sun-kissed beaches in She doesn’t seem to notice. Some men “maybe a little bit” about it from his team- St. Charles, she said she has been wowed call out, “Hi, Morgan,” or sheepishly say, mates. But he said he didn’t know the rea- by the number of international students at “Hey.” She smiles sweetly. son for it. Lindenwood. She rattles off the home counShe does not know them all. But they So why has Lindenwood become beauty tries of her friends: Australia, Bosnia, Sweknow her, at least by face. They call her queen central? den, Brazil, Trinidad, Zimbabwe. “Miss Lindenwood,” “Your Majesty,” “PrinFor about three years, the school has “It’s wonderful here,” she said. cess,” “Superstar,” “Hollywood,” “Miss offered nearly full-ride scholarships to the Lawrie is a Lindenwood junior and is enAmerica” and “Oklahoma.” winners and top finishers in the Miss and gaged to a classmate who is a hockey player. Her real title is “Miss Oklahoma Teen Miss Teen statewide pageants in Missouri, In her freshman year, she was a tour guide, USA 2006.” Kansas and Oklahoma. Lindenwood is part of an on-campus job requirement for

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her scholarship. Admissions staff members often told visitors that she had been Miss Kansas Teen USA. “You blush, you smile,” she said. “And you say thank you, and you move on.” The next year, she found an on-campus job that she said suited her better: residential assistant. Some of her friends know about her crown. Others don’t. Like many of Lindenwood’s beauty queens, she quickly learned some classmates react badly when they learn her title earned her a scholarship more generous than some athletes and scholars receive. “People are like, `Why would you get a scholarship for that?’” she said. “A lot of people think you just put on a bathing suit and walk across the stage. But it’s so much more than that.” Now when she is queried, she said, she mentions the title but focuses more on her hundreds of hours of community service, including working with children who have been physically or sexually abused, helping to raise money to build schools in Africa and volunteering at a home for female runaways in Wichita. Woolard said she didn’t go out of her way to tell friends about her beauty queen past when she arrived on campus in August. But word traveled fast when her volleyball teammates saw pictures of her in a sash and crown on her social networking Web site Facebook page. She said most people thought it was cool. Some were snotty. She shrugs. “There’s always going to be people like that,” she said. “I am a really nice person. I just get prejudged a lot. I’m sure they think I’m not smart, which is funny because I make straight A’s.” Woolard, a mass communications major, soon will have a small role in a movie with Steve Carell and Hugh Grant. She also has signed with modeling agencies and has talked with TV producers about some sitcom pilots. Other than those activities, she promised she is a “big geek.” “I don’t go out like ever,” she said. “Seriously. When I’m not playing volleyball, I have my nose in my books.” She does not drink, smoke or curse, she said. And she has never had a boyfriend. Does she get asked out a lot? She nods. “I guess.” She turns them all down. “It’s nothing personal,” she said. “But my standards are very, very high.” Just then a male student sits down at her table. “How come I run into you in this same spot every day?” he asked as if they are old friends. They had just met that morning at breakfast, at the same table. She smiled. So does he.


Page B4 - The University Star

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Thursday, November 29, 2007


TRENDS/DIVERSIONS

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The University Star - Page C5

Study habits vary Online tutoring could be less effective

among students

By Shannon Daily The Lariat (Baylor U.) WACO, Texas — The most recent trend in tutoring is coming from India. Along with jobs for telephone operators, financial advisers and medical analysts, jobs for tutors are being outsourced. Companies like TutorVista, a two-year-old Indian tutoring company, use the Internet to communicate with customers all over the world. Students can receive tutoring in subjects such as English, calculus or economics, as well as help for standardized tests, such as the SAT or GRE. Online tutoring has been successful according to an article in the New York Times, but the lack of human contact may have some negative effects said Margaret Thomson, a curriculum and instruction lecturer.

Steve Gardner, McBride Center for International Business director, agreed on the importance of face-to-face tutoring. “Certainly for something like tutoring, I think it’s going to be something that’s going to need to develop a lot,” he said. “If you’re looking for someone who can explain clearly to you a difficult theory or help you to get through a reasoning process, the kind of relationship you need with a tutor and a student is difficult to establish over a distance.” Thomson said changes in learning styles for different generations might make a difference. “I think a lot of learning takes place in a social context,” Thomson said. “However, this younger generation is much more computer savvy.” Thomson said while her two older sons would study in group

settings, her youngest son, who just graduated from high school, studied much more through online study groups. “I would suspect that today’s learners would be much better at learning these things than previous generations would be,” she said. Despite the possibility of success for tutoring at a distance, some would prefer to stay close to home. “There’s enough prep here. I don’t know why anyone would want to go anywhere else. The (GRE) is graded by Americans. I would want to be tutored by Americans,” senior Kirstin Hartzell said. With the number of jobs moving across the Pacific Ocean, the possible effect on the economy has been called into question. “I think it’s been a little bit over-hyped on its overall impact,

Spencer Millsap/Star photo illustration

By Jennifer Church Daily Titan (Cal State-Fullerton) FULLERTON, Calif. — Many students are bracing themselves for the looming finals week, as papers and projects are due, and time is quickly running out. Preparation and study tactics can make or break final grades. While Cal State Fullerton students collectively agree time management is the key, they have varying studying strategies. “For science and calculus classes, the biggest part of (studying) is memorizing,” said Bruno Ferreira, electrical engineering junior. He said his professors tipped him and his classmates with the advice at the start of the semester. Ferreira said he tries to study for exams at least a week in advance. Along with time management, prioritizing is key, Ferreira said. “I try to be smart about which class is easiest, such as political science, and study the least for it,” Ferreira said. “It takes me four hours to get it straight. When I study, I write it down, I say it out loud and I hear it. That helps me remember things.” Collaboration can be an effective tool in studying as well. “I study with friends,” said Iris Lee, biology freshman. “When I don’t know something, I just ask, and someone else always has the answers.” Lee said she studies up to two weeks before finals, but she doesn’t have a particular strategy. “I read the book, and I review the vocabulary,” Lee said. “Usually, I already get nervous, even though I’ve been studying for an exam, so I stay up late and wake up early to read my notes.” Studying in groups can sometimes takes the load off the daunting task of reviewing, but it isn’t useful for everyone. “I study by myself because I’m too social,” said Edgar Gomez, history sophomore. “I get distracted studying in groups because I just forget about the task at hand.” Gomez said he uses study

guides to review. He said writing notes as he reads over chapters helps him retain information. He then makes additional bullet points and types it out in his computer. “I study individually and with groups,” said Mey Saephanh, communications junior. She said it helps to have someone there to the answer questions she gets stuck with. Mary Madracki and Jocelyn Barron, psychology graduate students, agree teamwork is the key to successful study sessions. They said review sessions that involve compiling notes, asking questions and going over assigned readings are helpful. Barron said there are studies showing dual study partnerships are best, but she feels comfortable studying in a group of four people. “You have to pick the ‘A’ students, though,” Barron said, laughing. “Hunt down the people who’ve gotten ‘A’s’ in their papers, and see what they’re doing,” Madracki said. They said it is a good idea to set a study schedule. “I have itineraries,” Barron said. Her study timetable is planned up to a month in advance, dividing chunks of times toward projects, papers and exams. Interaction with instructors helps Madracki said. “Have good communication with your instructor,” she said. “Know what they want you to do.” As time runs out, more and more students opt for cramming. “You just stay up ‘till your body can’t go anymore,” Gomez said. He said once he stayed up until 1 a.m. studying at the Titan Student Union and spent the night at a friend’s to wake up at 5 a.m. to study some more. “What sucks is I still got a ‘C’ in that class,” Gomez said. Remembering facts during finals is one thing — retaining information afterward is another story. “Things important to you and your major ... it’ll stick,” Saephanh said.

From page 8

especially the U.S. economy,” Gardner said. “There are some functions that can be outsourced very well. Others can’t be outsourced well at all.” He said the outsourcing of tutoring will only slightly affect the economy. India is under capacity restraints as far as how much work it can take on, even with the enormous population it has, Gardner said. “If you’re outsourcing computer support, it doesn’t magically cause these people — the people that have the technical and education skills needed for the job — to come into existence,” he said. Investors have also been hesitant to invest in these operations Gardner said. “There is a kind of confidence problem with these kind of investors,” he said.


TRENDS

Page B6 - The University Star

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Study claims beer better than water By Alex Lawson The Daily Vidette (Illinois State U.) NORMAL, Ill. — The University of Granada in Spain recently conducted a study showing beer may replenish your fluids better than water after a workout. The subjects for the study were 25 college students. They were asked to do strenuous physical activity in 104-degree temperatures. Afterward, they were split into two groups, one given water and the other beer to refresh themselves after their workout. Manuel Garzon, who conducted the test, reported the group given beer had a “slightly better” hydration effect. The results have been met with skepticism. Christopher Reid, of Reid Chiropractic and Nutrition Center in Springfield, was suspicious of the study’s claims. “Obviously, water is the preferred choice. Personally,

I would always choose to replenish with water because our bodies are 70 percent water,” Reid said. Recent studies have indicated most alcoholic beverages increase the amount of liquid lost through urination. David Thomas, school of exercise science interim director, has not read the detailed results of the study, but concurs with Reid, saying it is unlikely beer could serve to replenish fluids after a workout. “Alcohol can, of course, dehydrate you through causing a diuretic response,” Thomas said. “But secondly, alcohol can also impact your central nervous system. So if you’re consuming too much alcohol, both of those factors will cause a decrease in recovery performance.” Thomas said the accuracy of this study depended on many specific factors in the testing methods, which are not fully available at this time. The different factors

affecting the outcome of the test are how much alcohol is being consumed, over what period of time, how much is had in a sitting and how soon after the workout did the drinking occur. Reid said the idea of beer being a better option for a post-workout beverage is a little dubious when you look at the chemical make up of beer. “Most of the beverages we consume are mostly water anyway — that includes beer or Gatorade or any sport drinks like that,” Reid said. “With beer, you’re getting carbohydrates that are essentially empty.” Even if the study were completely accurate, Reid doubted it would incite any major change in health enthusiasts at large. “I don’t think this study is going to cause people to all of a sudden start downing beers after a workout. I would still think that most people would prefer water,” Reid said.

From page 8


TRENDS

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Reading between the semesters By Michael Noll Guest Columnist Following a long semester, reading may be the last thing on most students’ minds. You’re tired of studying and especially sick of staring at the pages of textbooks. Most likely, nothing sounds better than wallowing for a month in mashed potatoes and VH1. So, enjoy. You earned it. But if after a week your eyes glaze over, and you feel your brain begin to melt like ice cream left on the counter, then maybe a dose of reading is just what the doctor ordered. This list of books, sure to appeal to your cool, curious self — no Beowulf or dead Greek guys, all of them published in the last five years — will keep you smart and entertained.

cute young sleuth. Just warn your family and friends you’ll be out of touch for a few days.

inventively written, it’s a must-read for anyone interested in the craft of fiction.

4. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz. For a small country with an embattled population, the Dominican Republic has produced many terrific writers lately. Of these, Diaz is the best. His novel about the fat, nerdy Oscar, whose inability to fit in is made worse by being a geek and a poor, brown-skinned child, may be one of the best books of the year. It’s the rare epic, complete with historical footnotes — also a page-turner.

8. The Voice at 3 a.m., Charles Simic. This name may sound familiar. He’s the United States Poet Laureate — the nation’s official poet — and he recently read at Texas State. While poetry may not be your cup of tea, give this book a try. First, the poems aren’t puzzles. You can understand them. Two, they’re often funny. And three, your friends and family back home will see you reading poetry and make very strange faces, which alone are worth the price of this slim volume.

The University Star - Page B7

Searching for pleasure, devotion, balance

By Ashley Gwilliam Trends Columnist 1. The History of Love, Nicole Krauss. This story of a lost book and the lives it brings together is one of the most heartwarming novels written in a long time. Read it before the movie is released. Then tell your friends, who will be dying to see the film over and over, “Yeah, it’s pretty good. But the book’s better.”

2. Emporium, Adam Johnson. An off-beat sensibility is on display in this collection of weird stories that includes a post-apocalyptic bulletproof-vest salesman, a teenage police sniper and a trip to the moon gone horribly wrong.

3. Special Topics in Calamity Physics, Marisha Pessl. This novel should come with a warning label: you won’t be able to put it down. Not even when your mom is calling you for dinner, and you holler, “Just a couple more pages,” but, really, you plan on reading until she pulls the book out of your cold, dead hands. It has shocking deaths, inexplicable events and a

5. Corpus Christi, Bret Anthony Johnston. The author, a former professional skateboarder from Corpus Christi who now teaches at Harvard, writes about the down and out of his hometown. Not the most uplifting stories in the world, but if you’re from South Texas, this book will make you feel right at home.

6. An Inheritance of Loss, Kiran Desai. In this beautifully written novel, a young Indian girl is forced to live with her uncle and his cook, whose son is an illegal immigrant working as a chef in the bowels of New York restaurants. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, it’s a book about love, fake IDs and political revolution.

7. Then We Came to the End, Joshua Ferris. Set in an office among cubicles and memos, this novel will appeal to anyone who loves the television show “The Office.” Smart and

9. Erasure, Percival Everett. A literature professor and author can’t get his newest novel based on Greek mythology published. So, in frustration, he writes a spoof of the current best seller, We Lives in Da Ghetto. When the manuscript is published under a pseudonym to great acclaim, the author must pretend to be his alter-ego, a dangerous-looking ex-con, and hope no one finds out.

10. Prisoner of Tehran, Marina Nemat. In 1982, the author was arrested in her home in Iran, tortured and sentenced to death. She was saved by her interrogator at the last minute, on the condition she marry him. Nemat’s gripping memoir is exciting enough to have been a thriller, but it is absolutely true. The portrait of her savior and temporary husband is one you won’t soon forget. Editors Note: Michael Noll is Writer-inResidence at the Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center.

Elizabeth Gilbert thought she had everything: a husband, a big house in the country and a job with a successful magazine. Then, Gilbert realized she did not want to have a baby and no longer wanted to be married. “The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying; the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving,” she says. In the first chapter of Gilbert’s memoir, Eat, Pray Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia, she describes internal battles fought at 3 a.m. while sobbing on the bathroom floor of her New York home. Gilbert, who had never spoken to God before, asked him for help during one particularly grueling experience on a cold November night. The night compelled Gilbert to go on a yearlong search for balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence. Gilbert candidly reveals her spiritual, emotional and physical journey after an excruciating divorce at the age of 31. She traveled to three countries, each representing an aspect of her nature: Italy for pleasure, India for devotion and the Indonesian island of Bali for balance. The book is divided into three sections, one for each country, and there are 26 chapters per section. Gilbert’s conversational writing style has an intimate quality, like listening while a best friend divulges secrets over a cup of coffee. While reading, it feels like you are Gilbert, tasting the best pizza in Italy, meditating for hours in an Ashram in India or finding love in the arms of a Brazilian man. Sadly, a hint of envy remains after the book is finished — you were merely a guest on Gilbert’s fantastical journey. Anyone who has thought their life was not the one they were meant to live will be captivated by Gilbert’s courage in trading the safety of financial success for a globe-trotting experience of self-inquiry. Eat, Pray, Love is both a self-help book and a travel memoir. Eat, Pray, Love, published by Penguin Books, was named one of the 100 most notable books of 2006, and Paramount Pictures has acquired the rights to make a film adaptation of the book. Gilbert is the author of Pilgrims (a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award), Stern Me, and The Last American Man (a finalist for the national Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award). Gilbert has been a writer at GQ for five years, and she has earned three National Magazine Award nominations.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

TRENDS/DIVERSIONS

The University Star - Page B8

✯Finals Fun Complete the grid so that every row, column, and 3-by-3 box contains every digit from one through nine inclusively.

Solutions 11/15:

Solutions from page 2:

From page 6

Katie Allinson/Star photo MERRY MESS: Zachary Schofield, political science sophomore, sorts through a pile of lights while decorating for Christmas Monday evening.

From page 5

11 29 2007 Section B  
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