SU Offers Wicked Summer Classes

An Empty Classroom In FJSNot going anywhere for a while? Grab a summer class! This May term, SU is offering a series of interesting courses for those who are looking for POKs, upper level electives, or even simply something to do over the summer. These classes cover special topics in a variety of fields.

One such class, Great Film, Great Literature, listed under the English department and taught by Professor Nick Courtright, explores the way literature gets adapted into film. As well as discussing mediocre film adaptations of literature (and great adaptations of mediocre literature), students who take this class will study the instances where the translation of literature into film is successful.

“The environment of a summer course tends to be, while more intense academically, pretty laid back and community-oriented,” Courtright said. “There’s a camaraderie that forms more quickly than during Fall and Spring semesters.”

For those who enjoy forensic science or watch shows like CSI and NCIS, Forensic Biology and Forensic Psychology are both classes that are offered this summer. Forensic Psychology focuses on the legal issues concerning insanity and crimes, as well as profiling and some psychological traits applicable to criminals. Because insanity is a legal term, this class provides a study of the role psychologists play in criminal investigations and testimonies.
Forensic Biology, however, offers a study of the science and techniques that go into gathering evidence at a crime scene. These include, DNA analysis, blood splatter analysis, anatomy, and microscopy of fingerprints, hair, and fibers.

“[Students] get into the subject matter and ask really interesting questions,” Dr. Linda Southwick, who teaches Forensic Biology, said “I think the topic is incredibly interesting and great fun. I enjoy teaching the course because I enjoy the subject matter.”

Forensic Biology is a course designed for non-science majors and is only offered in the summer.
Other courses that are unable to be offered next year will be offered during the summer. These courses include Journalism, Professional Communication & Ethics and Road Movies, a special topics course that focuses on the cultural aspects of the Road Movie. These courses are being offered during the summer due to professors leaving during the year on sabbatical.
Several other special topics courses will be offered this May, including German Environmentalism, which focuses on the environmental movement in Germany and how far it has come, 60s Hollywood, Shakespeare in Hollywood and Human Sexuality.

Courses offered in the summer are said to be more academically intense than those offered in the spring or fall. During the May term, a summer class will meet a total of 16 times.

“Your standard Monday, Wednesday, Friday course during the long semester meets almost three times as often,” Courtright said. However, because of the short term, readings are sometimes shortened in order to give students adequate time to absorb the material.
The learning environment during the summer is also different than that of the regular school year.
“Students are more focused and more interested in the topics since they only take one class,” said Dr. Southwick, “They get into the subject matter and ask really interesting questions.”

The typical summer course meets for about three hours per day, Monday through Friday. Laboratory classes are allotted up to four hours per day. According to both Courtright and Southwick, summer classes move very quickly and it can be difficult keeping up with all the material.

Student life is also different during the summer. Because fewer people are here every summer, the campus is more quiet and relaxed.

“The campus is very relaxing during the summer,” senior Matt Maschino said, “Everything is green and the days are warm and sunny.”

However, because there is less activity on campus, campus can get lonely. “This place gets really quiet at night and on weekends,” Maschino said, who lived on campus most of last summer designing a website for the school.

Despite the quietness, students generally enjoy being on campus during the summer. At the very least, campus parking is plentiful. However, if students who do not live in a Lord Center or DLC apartment are not provided with a meal plan and must either find a way to feed themselves or eat at the Commons for lunch along with the various youth that attend summer camps sponsored by SU.

Overall, summer courses offer a way to study something that truly interests students while giving students course credit towards their majors, upper-level electives, or POKs. Although the courses themselves are intense and rigorous, they provide opportunities to learn about something that one would not be able to otherwise. Student life on campus is quiet and relaxed, if a little lonely at times, and provides an excellent environment for studying. If you have nothing else to do this summer, and you want a fun way to earn course credits, consider taking a course at SU.

Housing Signups Found Unfair

Lord Center Might Be Unattainable to Some Seniors (But this Senior Got In :) )As I am sure the entire student body knows, we recently had housing sign-ups for the 2009-2010 academic year. Throughout the week, I have heard varying comments of approval and disapproval as to where students will be living next year. On an individual note, I was not at all happy with the prospect of living in the Lord Center (LC) my senior year because I wanted to live in the Dorothy Lord Center (DLC) apartments. After all, who wants to have to go through the trouble of furnishing and squeezing an entire house load into an apartment? Not me and not at this point in my life. Alas, I did not have the prospect of getting into DLC, even as a senior. This, of course, surprised me, but living with a junior next year most likely decreased my chances at living in the DLC, or so I thought. Prior to signing myself up for next year, a friend of mine had told me when he signed up (he was in the first time slot) that he, himself, almost missed the chance to live in the DLC. There were six apartments left by the time he signed up. How is this possible?

In any case, what struck me even more than the DLC filling up so quickly was the fact that a large number of juniors were having trouble even getting into the McCombs apartment complex, a complex that is generally for juniors (there is, apparently, a waiting list for McCombs right now). This baffled me to no end. And, apparently, these upperclassmen are going to have to live in a dormitory like Moody-Shearn, Herman Brown, or live off campus if they want something better. My question is why? Why are we having such trouble accommodating our upperclassmen, juniors and seniors alike, unable to give them what they both want as well as deserve. The answer, in part, to this is the large number of lowerclassmen on campus that have been admitted to SU.

It is a well known fact that SU has wanted to increase their numbers and they did so with the current freshmen as well as sophomore classes. Did administration and admissions not foresee the potential problem that lay ahead? Not only is SU having trouble accommodating students in terms of housing, but parking is absolutely atrocious, but that is another story better left for another time.

The point I want to make, however, is that every incoming junior and senior, at the least, should be able to live where they want on campus. For reasons unbeknown, that will not happen for everyone next year and it is terribly unfortunate. Sure, upperclassmen could live off-campus, but not everyone has the money, resources, or time to do such a thing. Not to mention, the convenience factor of living where you go to school is lost. What are students supposed to do now? I feel it is only fair to let all upperclassmen have the opportunity to live in an apartment setting on campus. After all, for the first two years of our college careers, we lived in a cramped space and, sometimes, with people we either did not know or did not particularly care for. Juniors and seniors have paid their dues and deserve a private space within the campus environment where we can better study as well as relax. It is only fair. Housing sign-ups should not be this difficult and are, by no means, stress worthy, especially not at this point in the school year when students are starting to pull their out—even more—from academic stresses.

Economics, Storage Makes Nuclear Energy Unfeasable

A nuclear power plant in France.

“Nuclear energy.”

It’s got about as many different connotations, opinions, images and ideas attached to it as… say… drugs.

Some call it clean, some call it reliable, and some even call it green.

But as much as I would love to have such an energy source ready and waiting to replace dirty, dirty coal as our main energy source, nuclear generated power just can’t live up to these admirable names.

First and for most, nuclear is far from safe. The entire process of nuclear energy, from the mining of uranium to the milling and enriching of the ore to the process of nuclear fission, to the storage of the radioactive waste puts workers and communities at risk of radiation exposure.

Communities surrounding uranium mines and nuclear plants have been shown to have higher cancer rates from exposure to radiation. Mines especially have a high potential of allowing radioactive contamination to seep into the drinking water of nearby communities.

Waste storage is probably the biggest safety and health concern. Nuclear waste, which includes the processed uranium as well as exposed rags, safety equipment, tools and other materials, stays radioactive and dangerous for millions of years.

Yet no adequate location for a universal storage facility has been found – after 50 years of nuclear history! The Obama administration recently found that the proposed sight at Yucca Mountain was not scientifically sound and too risky. The current alternative, storing waste on sight at the plants, poses a huge security risk – the original plans for 9/11 included flying two airplanes into nuclear power plants.

In addition to safety and health is the simple fact that the nuclear energy industry, by default, encourages nuclear proliferation. In the world today, there is enough enriched uranium and separated plutonium in the world to make more than 100,000 nuclear weapons. Increasing nuclear power would only increase our ability to easily make more nuclear weapons.

Economically, nuclear doesn’t make any more sense. Nuclear power is more expensive than both wind and solar. The industry would not be feasible without subsidies funded by our tax dollars because Wall Street avoids investing in the risky industry.

Current proposed reactors in Texas at Comanche Peak are expected to cost $22 billion dollars. At a time when Texas is on the threshold of leadership in true renewable energies- wind and solar- spending this excessive amount of money on a dangerous and unhealthy technology is sacrificing our potential to fight climate change. We should be investing smartly, in promising solutions, rather than throwing our money away on an infeasible technology.

Add together all of these issues and you begin to see why nuclear energy is neither clean nor reliable nor green. So call it what you will but never call it an answer to climate change.

For more information about nuclear energy in Texas and current legislation, proposed reactors, and waste dumps visit

New Softball Team Has Many Successess

Safe!This year marked history in the making as Southwestern University embarked on its first ever season of softball in the school’s 150 years of athletic competition. With this being the team’s first year, the team is comprised largely of freshman. Yet, despite this, the Southwestern women’s softball team has taken the SCAC by storm. As Coach Froboese said in the beginning of the season, “We are going to be a lineup that will be hard to stop.”

This last Saturday, the women’s softball team proved their coach right and humiliated despised rival Trinity University, asserting themselves as the team to beat in the SCAC. Fueled by a constant barrage of hits, Southwestern was able to win both games in a double header and gain sole possession of first place in the SCAC. With their victories, the lady Pirates have moved to 18-14 overall and 8-3 in the conference action.

After splitting the previous day’s games with Trinity, Southwestern came out in a fury. In game one, Trinity scored first in the second inning after a hit brought in a runner who narrowly escaped the tag by first year catcher Bre Lewis. With runners at first and second and no outs, Trinity looked poised for a big inning, but Southwestern held them at bay with stingy defensive work. The Pirates picked off a runner at second base and ended the inning with a double play.

The Pirates responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the second. First year pitcher Kaitlyn Pavlicek hit a single to left field to lead off the inning and was eventually moved to third base on a pair of infield grounders. With two outs, first year Taylor Turpin came up with a big hit to bring in Pavlicek and tie the game. Despite their good play, Southwestern then dug themselves into a hole, allowing Trinity to post two more runs in the third due to SU errors.
In the fourth, the ladies got back to work at the plate, taking control of the game. The Pirates loaded the bases multiple times, executed stolen bases, and scored on a wild pitch in an exciting inning to find themselves 6-3. Yet, the Tigers fought back and regained the lead in the fifth, relying on four singles, one triple, and more costly Pirate errors to go up 8-6. First year Lyndsy Maus came in relief for Pavlicek and closed out the inning.

The Pirates then closed in on the Tigers by scoring one run with two outs in the bottom half of the inning, Trinity pushed back and scored one in response to go back up by two, 9-7. Southwestern continued its hitting display, evening it up again on a double by Pavlicek. Pavlicek later scored, giving Southwestern the 10-9 lead. Southwestern closed out the game with some tough defense in the clutch, gaining a victory in a close, hard fought game.
In the second game, the Pirate’s utilized their defense and pitching. The Pirates also brought their bats back out, and lead Trinity 4-0 after two innings. The ladies continued to push their lead, scoring three runs in the fourth, and two more across in the sixth to force the 9-1 run rule and gain a victory.

Maus pitched a fantastic game for Southwestern to improve to 8-8 on the season. She allowed only one run and four hits while striking out three and walking none. Pavlicek, Wallace and Ambrose each had multi-hit games for Southwestern. As Bre Lewis said “Today, our play we proved we deserve to be where we are at. This team not only has a desire to be the first team to play here, we want to be the first team to win here.”

Pride And Prejudice And Zombies…Yes, This is Really a Book!

Pride & Prejudice and ZombiesBeing an English major and an all-around book lover, I have been introduced to many classical works of literature as well as many of their copies, influences, and parodies. Jane Austen has had a significant influence on literature, producing such parodies as the 1995 movie hit “Clueless” based off of Austen’s “Emma.”

A new novel written by Seth Grahame Smith has put another spin on a classic Jane Austen tale. This new book is entitled “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” The novel’s title explains exactly what you’re going to get. Smith has described the novel as 85% Jane Austen and 15% zombies. Because what is good novel if it doesn’t include some form of the undead. Maybe that is the secret to the success of Twilight. It wasn’t the horrible love story, or the glittering oppressive boyfriend, it was the fact that he could kill you. Pride and Prejudice and zombies is just following that same format.

The novel follows the same general plot with a few unearthly alterations. Mrs. Bennet is focused on getting her five daughters married but Mr. Bennet is more focused on teaching his daughters proper combat when fighting off zombies. There is really no explanation why these people living in a zombie threathened society, people are still going to balls and concerend with marring men who are wealthy.

Certain subtle words and actions Austen used to further describe what kind of the world the girls live in have been replaced by zombies. Random messages are lost because the messengers are eaten by zombies.

If the title does not clue you in on what to expect the opening line certainly does: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.” This is a truth that Austen may not have been well aware of, but Smith has made sure to include in his rewrite.

The first ball in the novel where Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy meet is interrupted by a horde of zombies. The five sisters must form the pentagram of death in order to destroy the zombies that have crashed the party. A rather gory description of the sisters slicing and dicing the undead proceads. If I wasn’t laughing I most likely would have been vommiting.

Elizabeth and Darcy do have a general dislike for each other until they realize they have a mutual love for zombie slaying. When Bingley decides to leave and go back to London, the Bennet family assumes it is because all his servants have been eaten by zombies.

When Elizabeth learns that Darcy is responsible for Bingley’s departure rather than a battle of words, they have an all-out battle royal in which Elizabeth beats Darcy senseless. This beating is a slight satisfaction for fans who finally see that Elizabeth can beat the jerk out of Darcy.

When Darcy writes Elizabeth his letter, he explains that he broke up Jane and Bingley because he feared Jane was infected by the zombie plague. Of course as the story continues we see the two come together, Lydia marries Wickham, and Bingley and Jane do eventually get engaged.

When Darcy’s aunt Lady Catherine come to confront Elizabeth on the rumors and Elizabeth and Darcy are engaged, she challenges Elizabeth to an ultimate fight. Elizabeth is able to defeat Lady Catherine and her band of ninjas to win Darcy. Another form of satisfaction for “Pride and Prejudice” fans as we see the horribly annoying Lady Cathryn beatin to a bloody pulp.

Reading the first few chapters of this novel, I laughed hysterically. The random mentions of zombies and zombie fighting are so ridiculous it’s hard not to. However, I can say with certainty that I have no desire to spend money on this book. The chapters I read, I found on the internet and I think they sufficed for what I would probably get with the rest of the book. I would most likely read it if I was bored and sitting in a book store.

It seems like it would be a quick, fun read. I don’t think this book will encourage non-Austen enthusiasts to suddenly take an interest in her books, but I would venture to guess this book may be appreciated by the same non-Austen lovers. Austen enthusiast may no be excited to see some of her most famous characters beating each other up, but really when we think about it, when reading “Pride and Prejudice” didn’t we all want Lady Cathryn to get a good smach in the face. Even that Wickham doesn’t get some form of a beat down is a disappointment. Wickham doesn’t get a beat down in Smith’s version either but a reader may close the book with the satisfaction that maybe he was eaten by zombies.

Whether or not people who have not read “Pride and Prejudice” will find the book as funny as I did is up to debate.

Austen’s language mixed with zombies is what makes the book so funny, but the small changes Smith makes to the plot that add to the books hilarity may be lost upon those who have not read the original. This book certainly does not destroy Austen’s work. The social commentary the Austen is making in her original novel is mostly left out of Smith’s new version making it a different book.

This book simply combines two words that are so ridiculously opposite that the only result is to laugh. Maybe Smith will help some other classics move into modern times. One can only hope that such great works like “Sense and Senibility” may be changed to “Sense and Sensibility and Braaaaains!”

Tuition increase necessitates greater financial aid for incoming first years

Will students go into debt because of recent economic crisii?More of Southwestern’s incoming class has applied for financial aid than the classes before it. Because of this and increases in tuitions, Southwestern had increased the quantity and value of scholarships. James Gaeta, Southwestern’s director of financial aid, said that he will not know how many people will be accepting these until after the students’ May 1 deadline.

“The university has made a commitment to increase the amount of funding available for helping out students,” Gaeta said. “As tuition increases, we do see an increase in the amount of dollars allocated for student assistance – grants and scholarship – through the university.”

Tom Oliver, Southwestern’s vice president of enrollment services, said that the incoming class will be about 38% men, a number that hoovers around what other recent classes have been. Efforts to increase the number of men have been made, such as men’s lacrosse has been made a varsity sport and making most of the 150,000 potential students that it recruits men. The current student body as a whole is currently 39 percent men. and 61 percent women.

“We’ve had one year in the five (that he has worked at Southwestern) where we dropped to the thirty-sixth percent,” Oliver said on incoming classes.

In addition to aid given by the university, which Gaeta said adds up to around $12 million, many students also receive government and private scholarships. He estimated that, currently, 200 current SU students receive Pell grants of $400-$500 a piece, 400 students receive Tutition Equilization Grants for about $3300 (the largest form of state aid for students).

Gaeta mentioned that he has been monitoring major banks pulling out of federally-sponsored lending programs would hurt incoming students ability to obtain federal loans like the Stafford loan that about half of SU students receive. He says that Southwestern has a plan if situation arises.

“If it looks like our major lenders are pulling out, and that if there could be an issue with our students getting loans, we are prepared to participate in the direct loan program,” Gaeta said, referencing the direct loan program where the government directly lends money to students, rather than banks lending money that is backed by the federal government.

Rising tuition costs has not only led to an increase in first-years trying to get financial aid, it has also stressed the pockets of current students. Gaeta said that SU is committed to allowing students to continue their education here.

“We hate to lose a student, so we’re going to work to keep them here – realizing our limitations.”

Tuition prices increase every year, but an especially turbulent economy has caused an especially high spike in next year’s tuition.

“The endowment has dropped around 75 million just in the last nine-to-twelve months,” President Jake Schrum said at a town hall meeting earlier this semester

Schrum mentioned that it is the endowment as well as gifts that largely make up the operating budget that is not covered by students’ tuition.

“When I first came to Southwestern, the operating budget of Southwestern was helped to the tune of 18 million dollars a year coming into the operating budget, in the next couple of years, we are counting on about $12 million,” Schrum said. “So there are only a few things that we can do when that (the decrease) happens, and one of those things is tuition increases.”

This problem has been compounded by the fact that the budget for on-campus jobs was frozen two years ago, remaining the same even as minimum wage increased.

“The decision was made that the student budget would remain flat,” Gaeta said.

To stay within this budget, the number of hours for student workers has been reduced, meaning that students take-home pay is the same as it was before the increase in minimum wage. There have also been several student-worker positions cut despite the increased demand for them.

Southwestern says that it is committed to making the university affordable, with 40 percent of its revenue being used for financial aid programs.

“We don’t want to pull back on financial aid, because that would surely mean a decrease in students, and we don’t want that,” Oliver said.

Symposium Provides Forum for Students to Provide Work With Campus

Southwestern University will hold the “Student Works Symposium, From Every Voice” the evening of Wednesday, April 15, 2009 at 5:00 p.m. in the Red and Charline McCombs Campus Center. This is the tenth year of the Student Works Symposium, which features Southwestern students’ undergraduate presentations. The presentations can be speeches about a paper, power-point presentations or posters. It is sponsored by all the university departments and considered one of the highest achievements of the liberal arts education at Southwestern University.

“Truly, the symposium is a direct outcome of the breadth and depth of the education students receive at Southwestern,” senior Jenny Howell, director of the Symposium, said. “We have 21 disciplines (and 119 students) represented at the Symposium ranging everywhere from fine arts to natural sciences. This kind of venue is not only rare for most schools, but it is a remarkable testament to the diversity of interests at Southwestern and the success of our students in each of their areas of study.”

The Symposium is a grand opportunity for students here at Southwestern to display their technical research. But it does even more than that.

“The symposium lets students learn presentation skills and get some experience under their belt before they pursue other venues for presentations (e.g., national conferences),” Howell commented. “Additionally, because there are no graduate-level students at Southwestern, the symposium allows undergraduates to present in a forum that is sometimes reserved only for graduate students at other schools.”

Lili McEntry, a sophomore, commented that the Symposium “is a great opportunity for people to show off what they have been working on and for other people to find out what other students are working on.”

The Symposium adds a lot for non-Southwestern students, also, because it allows the community to see the effort students at Southwestern are making in their respective academic fields.

Howell said that being in charge of this year’s symposium has been a fun experience.

“My sophomore year I was a volunteer time-keeper at an oral presentation, my junior year I presented two posters, and now I am a senior in charge of the whole shindig,” Howell said. “It’s actually really eye opening to be in charge of something like this. Because I am a psychology student (going on to get my PhD), I have been and will be involved in academic conferences for the rest of my life.”

First-year Carissa Nash agreed with all the aforementioned thoughts on the Symposium. “I think it’s an excellent opportunity for students to show what they’ve done,” Nash said. “As a student at Southwestern, I want to see this—I want to see what how my fellow classmates have succeeded in academics. This isn’t just something for the public; I want to be able to view the academic progress that is (or is not) occurring in academic departments other than my own.

“On a final note,” Howell added, “this Symposium is a huge event for our campus. Indeed, faculty, staff, and students from every area of southwestern are a part of this event. I am really excited to be the chair, but when it comes down to it, the credit goes to the students, the volunteers and the professors. They are really the ones that make the symposium happen. Without them caring about making this event successful, we’d be sunk.”

Please come and show your support for Southwestern at the 10th annual Student Works Symposium, being held in the McCombs Center April 15th, at 5:00 PM.

Bednar Quits As Advisor of Megaphone

ednar in his glamorous younger years, when he campaigned for Reagan and wasn?t tarnished with the stubborn stain on his reputation that is The Megaphone. Note billowing tuft of chest hair.

It is with sincere regret that The Megaphone announces the resignation of its long-time advisor, Bob Bednar.

Bednar – who is the chair of three departments, all of which he created when he started at SU – cited various reasons for the departure.

“Why? Have you seen The Megaphone in the past year and a half?!”

“Seven-colored graphs that don’t tell anyone anything, stories on events that didn’t even happen, pictures of bestiality being distributed to the whole Georgetown community – and I have to take the heat for all of it,” Bednar said.

Before taking over as advisor of The Megaphone, Bednar was an SU student who worked at the paper as an editor and was known for his strange article choices.

“Bob Bednar! Yeah I remember Bob Bednar! He was always running weird (expletive) in the paper,” a man claiming to work on the paper at the same time as Bednar said at a recent alumni reunion at the Loading Dock.

“One week there would be pictures of a new student organization that streaked from the Pike house every morning, the next week he would publish a list of places on campus where general illegalities were overlooked.”

After graduating from SU, Bednar spent 12 years exploring the United States on the back of a motorcycle, taking pictures with antiquated cameras along the way. Many of these pictures would eventually be published into a book: “Middle America: It’s not as bad as you think.”

Upon hearing about this book, the powers-to-be at SU offered Bednar a professorship position immediately.

“This was during a period when the university was not concerned about higher degrees and legitimate research as much as books of fancy pictures and aimless wanderings,” James Rademanivich, official Southwestern historian, said.

This hiring was soon followed by Bednar taking over as the Megaphone’s advisor. He was forced to accept this position after he accidently walked into the Megaphone’s office while trying to find a candy machine, falling victim to the early-‘90s tradition that if a faculty member entered into an organization’s official meeting place, he or she was forced to take over as that group’s advisor.

After a brief period of grief and denial, Bednar came to enjoy the position.

“Yeah man, those were the days. Everything was in black and white, there was a megaphone on the front cover, and no one was complaining about anything because no one was reading it. I had plenty of time to read books written in the 1970s and take pictures of America,” Bednar said of his early years at The Megaphone.

When questioned on his use of the term “America,” he said that he doesn’t care what anyone says, because United States of America is too long.

Recent years have strained Bednar’s relationship with the newspaper, though.

“It has just become too much of a big deal recently. The day that people started reading it, I thought that it should have become a monthly thing. They’re catching on to all the lies and false accusations that we are putting in now,” Bednar said.

“Do you know how unpleasant it is to have a resident – any resident now, not one that is old, religious, a no-good townie or whatever – giving me trouble about how our paper offends and degrades them?”

Bednar’s tenure as Megaphone advisor will come to a close at the end of this year.

“It’s my time. I haven’t seen my wife in months, there is paperwork piling up on my desk and Shiner is introducing a new seasonal beer soon – I just really have better things to do,” Bednar said.

The staff of The Megaphone is unsure of who will take over as the advisor next year.

Editor-in-chief Rachel Rigdon has said repeatedly that the choice will not be made until next year.

“Our next advisor? Like I care, by the time they get to that I’m going to be on a plane going to Ireland to marry my boyfriend so that we can start the life of poverty that awaits every pair of liberal arts graduates,” Rigdon said.

Modest Mouse Concert in Austin was Amazing, Emotional Show

Isaac Brock is a silly man.

Do you remember, as a child, pretending to be an astronaut, launching off into space and fighting the evil Martians?

Well, on March 3rd, my Wednesday night was exactly like that, only with Isaac Brock, lead singer of the indie rock band Modest Mouse, yelling at a microphone for a sold-out show at Stubb’s in Austin and without the fighting.

The audience begrudgingly put up with the unheard-of opening band, Mimicking Birds, as the tension built up for what everyone came to see.

Upon leaving the stage, Mimicking Birds received their most enthusiastic applause all night.

After what felt like hours, but in reality was only a few minutes, Isaac Brock stepped onto stage to thundering applause and shouts of glee.

Modest Mouse opened with their hit song Third Planet from the album “The Moon and Antarctica,” a song that speaks about our relative smallness in this oh-so-big world.

In response, the smell of marijuana was prevalent in the outdoor theater. Stubb’s has the unique feel of being swallowed by some sort of large, sea-bearing mammal, which fit in perfectly when “The Whale Song” played.

One actually felt like a small fish swimming among hundreds of other sea-people, but then again, maybe that was because of the pot-polluted air.

The audience swayed with the music in a drug-induced state of merely being and living until the song “Black Cadillacs” came on. The energy rose and all of the sudden everybody anywhere within 100 yards of the stage was bouncing up and down yelling “and we were done, done, done with all the (expletive) around!”

However, by the time the band played the semi-depressing song “Alone Down There” about togetherness, the audience’s energy morphed into an emotional mess of stoners empathizing with all those who do feel alone in this awful age of electronic communication.

One was surprised, and a bit disappointed, that Isaac Brock did not gather a blade from the audience and cut himself on-stage as he has been known to do some of his earlier performances.

As the band played “Float On,” their first number one hit on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, more joints were lit and more hippie-esque young adults were thrown out by the portly security guard, who was there for the sole purpose of ruining the good time of some attendees.

The band left the stage after playing “The Good Times are Killing Me,” and trust me, it was a good time.

Upon leaving the audience erupted into thunderous applause and pleas for an encore.

Of course Isaac, being the kind, loving soul that he is, came out to play an additional two songs until leaving the audience coming down from a high with ringing ears.

Modest Mouse’s choice to play a smaller venue in Austin reflects the general demeanor of the band: don’t be sellouts (though some would argue they failed that when they released Good News for People Who Love Bad News in 2004).

The physical closeness of the audience to one another and to the stage was a nice parallel to the songs’ meanings.

The multicolored, ever-in-motion lights acted like the iTunes visualizer on acid and proved to be a stimulating addition to the atmosphere of the concert.

The show left us all emotionally drained and and other attendees a little stoned. If the opportunity to catch a Modest Mouse show in the future presents itself, I would encourage you to attend. The entire crowd seemed to enjoy themselves as much as my friends and I did and it’s really doubtful that anyone wouldn’t have a great time.

The 2009 Anchor Awards are Rewarded

An anchor.

Each year the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) presents the Southwestern Athletics Pirate Anchor Award to one male and female athlete who best display the traits that embody the spirit of the Southwestern community as decided by a student vote. Each year the SAAC nominates students according to community involvement, scholastic excellence, athletic and school spirit, and the endorsement of the athletic department.

This year included: Nick Parker from the tennis team, Ben Sloan from cross country, Kevin O’Neil and Eryn Snyder from the men’s and women’s soccer team, Jessie Carrier from the swimming team and Natasha Azizi of the basketball team. All are very accomplished athletes and active members of the community and their respective departments.

Nick Parker is a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa National Honor Society and the Phi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society as well as a Presidential Scholar and recipient of the Mellon Grant for academic research in the spring of 2008. Even as a double major in political science and economics, he finds time to work as part of student congress, the University Council of Discipline, as chairman of the youth advisory committee and as KA president. He has also been a swim coach and has worked as an organizer for Habitat for Humanity and Planned Parenthood.

Currently serving as Chaplain for the KYX Christian Fraternity and treasurer of the Methodist Student Movement, Ben Sloan is also captain of Southwestern’s Cross Country team and member of Pi Mu Epsilon National Math Honors Society, Phi Beta Kappa National Honors Society, and Alpha Chi National Honors Society and was awarded the Norman W. Spellman Award in Religious Studies. A religion major, he has also been a camp counselor, Habitat for Humanity construction volunteer and Member of the St. John UMC Men’s Choir. Off-campus he is a self-employed studio artist with artwork publicly displayed.

A Brown Scholar as well as playing defense for the Pirate Soccer team, Kevin O’Neil was captain of the team for the 2008 season. He is a double major in physics and business and has been named outstanding senior of the year by the physics department. He is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa and three-year ambassador for the SU Admissions Office and Student Foundation member. A member of the PKA fraternity, he served as chapter president for the spring 2008 semester.

Anthropology major, goalkeeper and Captain of the Lady Pirates Soccer Team, Eryn Snyder has also worked with her sorority ZTA on their many breast cancer awareness events where she held several positions over the years including historian, reporter and PR programmer. She has been named MVP all four years has played for the team. She has done volunteer work with destination service as well as work as an intern for ACCION, a micro-lender that helps minority businesses.

Our very own sports photographer Jessie Carrier is also nominated for this award. A major in biology, she has also worked on campus as lifeguard, mentor for Operation Achievement and lab technician for the biology department. Considered a sprint freestyler, she has been the first Southwestern swimmer to go to nationals and holds several records in the team for which she has been co-captain for the past two years. She has volunteered with the Lone Star Circle as well as taught swimming lessons for several schools and YMCAs. Since 2008 she has been shadowing PA’s as she prepares to work in the medical field.

A Ruter scholar, Natasha Azizi is also a member of Alpha Kappa Delta in addition to playing on the women’s basketball team where she was co-captain for two seasons. Majoring in business, she has been a finance teaching assistant on campus and an intern with Green Life Eco-Consulting and Horizon Wind Energy. She has also been an ESL tutor and donation center volunteer at The Caring Place in Georgetown.

From this fine pool of nominees the award went to Eryn Snyder and Kevin O’Neil of the women’s and men’s soccer team. The Megaphone would like to extend their congratulations to these two very deserving winners and wish them and their fellow nominees the best as they get ready to graduate.