It's a Horned Frog World

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Look for the French twist

Our speaker, Julie Boyle, sent me this Wednesday, asking that it be posted on the class blog. Here it is.

I wanted your class to know how terrified I was to speak to them. I'd never tried to tell our story in public to anyone before. And I really appreciate that they didn't hurt me or anything when I was there that night. They were all surprisingly kind and articulate and wise. And good looking, too. Not one of the young men in your class had hair as long as my teenage sons and I came home and told them both that. And they, of course, didn't care in the least.

So Tommy, my 17-year-old, is in French class today, and a girl is thumbing through D Magazine. And Tommy's best friend Kris is in his class. Your student with ties to Midlothian (sorry, I'm kind of ADD, I can't remember her name), might know one of Kris' siblings -- he has a zillion of them -- Maryanne, Amber and B.J. are three of them.

Anyway, Kris speaks up and says, "HEY! You must be reading about Tommy's parents in that magazine!" And the girl says, "Tommy? I'm not reading about Tommy. My cousin is on the cover of this magazine."

She hadn't seen the story! And Tommy's trying to tell Kris to please be quiet about the blasted story, but Kris is the middle of eight kids and he doesn't know how to be quiet. And this girl and the other kids in class think Kris is kidding. So they all turn to page 76 -- and there's the story. And there's Tommy -- long hair and all -- on the next page. [Editor's note: To see Tommy, go here, and scroll down to the second photo.] And the kids in class were so impressed -- not by the story, it had nothing to do with the story -- they didn't read the story and didn't care about the story. It was just that Tommy -- long hair and all -- was in a magazine. And one guy in class says, "That is so cool! I wish I was in a magazine." Still no interest in reading the story. None.

And then Kris says: "And look at his parents! They look totally evil!" And even Tommy agrees that we, his parents -- parents who have raised him and love him and gave him life, not to mention an IPOD for Christmas -- look "freaky."

My point is -- I don't think they're doing a whole lot in French class, do you?

Julie Boyle

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Students flex their power in China again

Student-led movements like the May Fourth Movement, the Cultural Revolution and the freedom bid ended by the Tainanmen Square Massacre have left an impressionable mark on the history of modern China. However, as contoversy brews in the Far East, students can finally say, "Blame it on the textbook."

As Japanese officials approved controversial textbooks that Chinese officials say gloss over many of the attrocities committed against the Chinese people during the Sino-Japanese War, a deep wound was opened between the nations.

Many world experts believe that this textbook controversy could cause the Japanese to lose their bid for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.

Whoever said students are inactive?

Bryce Romero

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Companies that told deadly lies deserve no special protection

Texas is ranked fifth in the nation in deaths related to asbestos.
Two fatal diseases are linked to asbestos exposure, asbestosis and mesothelioma. The cases each year are increasing and scientists are expecting them to peak in 2016, when the people exposed to asbestos in the 1970s, when it was most heavily used, will succumb to the diseases.
People all over the country die from these diseases, but Texas legislators limit Texans’ right to sue asbestos companies for damages. Lying to workers and withholding critical health information from customers, communities and federal health officials was standard asbestos company practice. The Texas legislature has limited the number of people who can sue asbestos companies to only the gravely ill.
All people who have these fatal diseases deserve the right to seek compensation from the companies that exposured them to asbestos.

Corrine Young

All quiet on the hockey fans front

The National Hockey League has canceled their season after a long dispute between the owners and the players. Hockey has a past history of several problems involving the players association and the team owners resulting in strikes and lockouts but never canceling an entire season. As the ice rinks are melted down and put away for the year so are the fans.
The question is can the fans simply be put away for the year and come back to the game as nothing happened? No!
The cancellation of the NHL season will see the largest amount of fans not returning to the game than any other major sport in the nation. Unlike professional baseball and football, hockey does not have the power and prestige to cancel an entire season and not see devastating setbacks to the future of the sport.
The cancellation is a result of labor disputes between the owners and the players. The owners were not generating enough revenue to pay their players and produce profit. The players offered a pay cut however the decrease was not enough to come to an agreement.
Can you imagine what it will be like next season, if there is one?
The game has lost a lot of fans and it will take years to rebuild their loyalty. The players agreed to a huge decrease in salary to play this season, how much of a cut will they have to agree to now to play next season?
Owners will experience a decrease in ticket sales, merchandise and other sources of revenue really putting the game on thin ice. Unless there is a major restructuring of the NHL, you might as well kiss the game goodbye!

Matt Winter

College isn't for everyone, at least not right away

College is no longer a choice. Americans have made attending college directly out of high school such a norm, that students are no longer presented with the alternatives.

It is true that a college graduate is more likely to be successful than a less-educated person. But what is the big hurry for this so-called success?

Many students entering college in the fall, after their high school graduation, have no idea what they are there for. They don’t know what they want to do and can’t fully commit themselves to their studies. This is a waste of time and money.

In Australia, it is strongly encouraged to travel and work after high school graduation. The importance of a college education is not emphasized any less. But there is a greater emphasis on the commitment to college.

The Australian point of view is that once students do go back to school, they are ready. They can choose a major with a better view of the real world.

Also, is college the only alternative? For students who just aren’t made to be students, is their only alternative to struggle through college? I don’t think college is for everyone, and I think alternatives should be emphasized more.

Denise Daly

Graduate a little early or enjoy college a little more?

I was recently faced with the decision whether to graduate this summer or to go ahead and graduate in December. I am already graduating a semester early, but when given the chance to graduate even earlier I was stumped.
This semester has really taken a toll on me and has honestly worn me out. I am interning with a company this semester and work 25 hours a week. After working all day, I rush home to receive some kind of break from my hectic schedule with the burden of knowing my day is not done. My day is completed after I attend one of my three night classes that are part of the 15 hours I am taking this semester.
I am very ready for this semester to be over with, maybe even ready enough to graduate in the summer and be done for life. I marinated on the idea of graduating this summer for quite some time and had to weigh the pros and cons. It was one of the hardest decisions I have had to make because part of me was saying to do it and the other part of me was saying not to.
After much consideration, I decided to wait until December to graduate because college is in fact a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Why should I cut short the best time of my life?
Next semester you will find me taking advantage of my life as a college student for one last semester.

Meredith Moore

Monday, April 25, 2005

My new hometown should be more tidy

Just yesterday I caught myself telling my roommate that I was on my way home. Home? It seems as if my first two years at TCU have been so wonderful that Fort Worth has subconsciously become my home. Of course my family and where I grew up will always be where my heart belongs but my comfort level has set in and I can finally say that I am home.

Since this is the case, I would like to make a plea to spruce up the area around our university. Isn’t a home a place you want to be proud of?

The TCU campus is kept immaculately clean, but my drive up Berry Street earlier this afternoon was appalling. There are empty, rundown buildings, potholes covering the street, and stores that look as if they have been neglected for decades. And this is all just within a mile of our university.

I am grateful that TCU puts a great deal of money, time and effort into the beautification of our campus, but I see this as useless if the drive to get here is so unattractive.

Laura Anderson

Louisiana should copy Texas on dual credits

Dual credit for high school courses is a great way to get a head start on college credits. Texas seems to have a good arrangement for having credit earned in high schools accepted by universities. I wish I would have had that opportunity.

Louisiana is a little behind in terms of education, I would say. I took all AP courses in high school but they did not count for dual credit. My parents could have saved a lot of money if I would have had those hours.

The Louisiana public school systems should come up with a better program so that students are not at a disadvantage when they go to college out of state.

Stephanie Helm

Were TCU athletic director remarks honest?

Eric Hyman, athletic director for TCU, has decided to accept a job with the University of South Carolina. This news came one day after another article had Hyman dismissing any rumors about leaving TCU. He was quoted saying that he was happy at TCU and had no reason to leave.

Something must have drastically occurred within a 24-hour period. If he knew he was going to leave, he should have kept his mouth shut and not led on frog fans. Though I do not blame him for his move to USC. Including potential bonuses, Hyman is likely to earn more than $500,000 annually at USC.

Chris Laverde

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Cathie Adams, Julie Boyle in the news this week

Two of our guest speakers this month have been in the news this week.

Cathie Adams made several appearances in the pages of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram as the state Legislature wrestles with a House bill making Texas the first state in the union to prohibit gay couples from being foster parents. Adams likes the bill.

Julie and Tom Boyle wrote an extensive article on their experience in Midlothian for the new issue of D magazine, which just hit the newsstands. Sorry, Joanna, but D included a photo of the neon sign proclaiming Midlothian as the "Cement Capitol of Texas" (sic) -- which all of my students now know misspells the word that should be "capital." (I guess they don't have AP Stylebooks down Midlothian way.)

Jim Frisiger, YEI

Wrongful executions weaken death penalty law

I completely support the use of the death penalty. I believe that it is effective as a proper punishment for crimes committed, and as a deterrent for future crimes.

However, it is completely necessary to prove, beyond a doubt, that the person who is being punished is actually guilty of the crime of which they are being accused.

If the guilt of someone is even slightly questionable, then the execution should be delayed until that guilt is proven.

Cameron Todd Willingham was executed 14 months ago for a crime that he denied until his death.

He was accused of arson and of burning down his own house along with his three daughters. Now, at the persistence of Willingham’s lawyer and a renowned arson specialist, the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, to see if Willingham was actually guilty, is reviewing this case.

When the death penalty is used incorrectly, not only does an innocent person get punished for a crime that they did not commit, but it also devalues the argument for such a practice to be in place.

Kelsey McIntyre

During 19 years, I never heard of any divorces

The other day I was reading an article on divorce in America. According to the article, 50 percent of American marriages end up in divorce while two-thirds of current marriages are not going to survive.

The number of divorces is definitely overwhelming.

In certain parts of the Middle East and South Asia, women are forced to remain quiet and heed to their husband's wrongdoings. Most of the time, if a woman is a housewife with kids, she is forced to stay with her husband for economic reasons. If a woman leaves her husband, she is condemned by the society. I have seen this happen and I have always wondered what it would be like for these women to get a divorce and still be respected.

I come from a place where I had never heard of anyone getting divorce during my 19 years. On one hand, I think divorce is bad but when I consider other aspects, like the one I mentioned above, it doesn’t look that bad.

I wish people would take their marriage or even a relationship seriously and would not divorce for lame reasons. For there are people out there who are in a horrendous relationship and are forced to live with it.

Sona Thapa

End of semester is chaos - and it's not right

I want to know why teachers feel they must wait until the end of the semester to slap down tons of work on students. Do they enjoy watching students stress and lose even more sleep than what they are already sacrificing? From personal experience, I feel that teachers sometime procrastinate as much as students do, and wait to assign the large projects closer toward the end of the semester.

This past week, I worked on four different projects for four different classes, which includes meeting with groups and working with other’s schedules. The sheer size of these projects insist that you spend most of your time on each one, but then how are you to make a good grade on all of them if you focus on one?

I have members of my different groups angry with me because they feel that I am slacking off, when in reality I am desperately trying to manage my time for each project. The horrible reality is that for some of my projects, the members of the group grade each other! So that means I am probably going to get a bad grade from some of the members in my team because they feel that I am not doing my part as fast as they would like.

When you try to talk to some professors about students grading each other, they shrug their shoulders and tell you that is life, and they leave your grade the way it is. I believe that if you can prove with physical evidence that you need extra time on a major project due to conflict of other projects, teachers should work with you and give you extensions.

Some projects I have to do require specific lab hours with specific computers. How am I supposed to utilize those lab hours when students are fighting over the 15 computers that the lab offers, and members from my other groups want to meet during these lab hours? They get mad at me when I have to attend lab instead of attending the meeting.

Professors need to assign large projects at different times in the semester so that students can devote enough time for each project to make a good grade. What do you think?

Cody Kilpatrick

Professors, students need to strike a balance

With final tests approaching, many students are beginning to feel the unwelcome pressure creeping near. As the semester draws to a close, professors tend to load students with projects, assignments, readings, and more tests.

Why can’t these tasks be assigned three or four weeks prior to finals? Why must everything be due during the last two weeks of school? Are professors in desperate need of grades or are they not prepared and quickly trying to squeeze in needed material?

The added stress tends to leave students with deep feelings of despair and hopelessness. Is there a solution to this ongoing problem that could possibly help to alleviate this unwanted strain on students?

Professors and students need to create a fair balance in order for both to be successful. Professors should learn from their experiences what subjects are important for a student to comprehend and what can possibly be left untaught.
This balance would help students grasp their knowledge while also leaving the semester with a positive and energetic attitude.

Joanna McReynolds

Friday, April 22, 2005

Disgust expressed over Adams' speech saddening

I was thoroughly surprised at all of the fuss over Cathie Adams' speech. So many students have expressed disgust toward her views, and it truly saddens me.

As a liberal, I did not agree with much that Adams had to say. I did, however, appreciate her taking time out of her busy schedule to come talk with our class of seven students. She was very polite and had some thought-provoking things to say.

Did I agree with her? Not exactly. But as students I think it is our job to be open-minded enough to hear other people's viewpoints (however extreme they may be) and be able to reflect. Her speech made me re-evaluate some of my ideas and affirm others. It seems to me this is what college is for - to broaden our horizons and expose us to different lifestyles and viewpoints.

It's funny that so many “liberals” who griped about Adams claim to be the ones that are open-minded. It didn't seem to hold true after her visit.

Whitney Little

Late-term workload is unhealthy

Finals week is coming up for TCU students. We all expect it and know it’s coming but why do teachers and professors save all the work for the end of the semester?

Until this week I could probably count on both hands the projects and assignments I’ve had this semester. Now that finals week is just two weeks away, I have almost the same number of projects and papers due in the last week of school.

No one said life was fair, but students should at least have a chance to do their best. Students can’t be expected to have high quality work when the work hours outnumber the sleep hours. It just does not seem right. Papers and projects in classes should be spaced out more instead of being piled right on top of each other at the end of the semester.

Professors expect us to give our all in the last weeks of school but, after a rigorous semester of hard work, it seems almost impossible to get everything done when everything comes all at once, and at the end no less. Maybe I just want to complain because I am over-stressed and overworked and I really just want to go to sleep for three days, but this is not healthy.

Some students have even resorted to drugs to keep themselves awake and alert to do homework. I have heard of students buying Aderol and other such drugs that are usually prescribed for ADD patients so they can take it to stay awake all night long and still be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for class in the morning. The workload for students has gotten so big and become so overwhelming that many can’t pull it off without taking stimulants like caffeine and amphetamines.

Diana Maddox

This blog: Challenging each other -- or just fighting?

What difference a couple of months can make.

The Horned Frog World blog made its debut the second week in February. After two short months, the content of these posts has changed dramatically. Discussions originated on the benefits of posting comments, reactions to news stories, and commentaries on student life. Now, major political and social issues have become the topic of the day. Short paragraphs have turned into full-length editorials.

While some posts have triggered thoughtful discussions on issues prevalent in our society, others have seemed to be merely a cry for attention from the author. I have come to question the motives behind some of these posts and wonder the true intentions behind the comments.

A benefit of these more thought-inducing posts has been the opportunity for the blog regulars to either have their opinions reaffirmed or contested based by the comments of others. I call it an opportunity, as it seems more people are less open to accepting the views of others than they are to fighting with fellow bloggers.

Caitlyn Tomasik

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Product placement invading news side

Re: Tuesday Poynter Online:
NBC "Today" show tech editor Corey Greenberg has charged companies thousands of dollars to get their products on local news programs, reports James Bandler. Greenberg has also appeared on CNBC's 'The Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo" to plug products made by Apple Computer and Creative Technology -- companies that have paid him in the past. "It should have been disclosed. He was bound by our policies" which require contributors to disclose such payments to the network, says a CNBC spokeswoman. PLUS: More TV news experts who collect money from companies they 'cover.' "
*

Media ethics are always up for debate, and this is a popular topic. Where is the separation between the editorial church and advertising state? When did we start allowing advertisers into the news-making process?

The corporatization of the media and need for higher revenue is a large cause for the line's blur, and it's a problem across all mediums in the industry. Media conglomerates are consistantly pushing their employees to shave off a cost here and add some revenue there, even though media companies are some of the most profitable in the world. A good profit margin for an average businees is somewhere between 5 (or less) percent and 10 percent. Media corporations enjoy around 22 percent to 29 percent profit margins, and yet they are still asking for more. As a result, we have smaller newsrooms, shallower stories, underpaid employees and a lot of job burnout. In addtion, advertising (the source of most of the revenue) is creeping into the newsroom, influencing editors and publishers to keep bad news out of the paper and good news in.

The article above is a good example of how the pressure for profits has significantly altered media ethics in today's society.

Another example to explore: why you never see a bad story on car dealerships in the media . . .

Emily Housley

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Our TCU neighborhood needs attention

The TCU neighborhood is full of opportunities for students to interact with each other. The lack of people who utilize these opportunities, however, is appalling.

The newest addition to the neighborhood is the Frog Theatre, which offers improvisation (Senseless Acts of Comedy) every Thursday night -- for free! The turnout, while not exactly disappointing, leaves room for improvement. The performers are all TCU students; however, the audience is full of high school students and even some parents. While this is fine, I'm sure the performers would agree with me that it would be nice to see more turnout from the campus every now and then.

The Frog is a great addition to TCU's neighborhood and should be supported by the students.

Whitney Little

Saturday, April 16, 2005

TCU shouldn't brag about this

With all the attention on the journalism department and its new name, it's amazing that no one has noticed how much help it needs.

There is a huge need for more classes and professors. With an increasing number of students, you'd think the department would add classes or do something to alleviate the pain of having every necessary class full upon registration. Why are there required journalism classes that are only taught once a week when there are hundreds of students needing them to graduate?

Some students have to attend an extra semester just to finish. Doesn't TCU brag about the journalism school?

Well, they shouldn't.

Kirby Shiffler

Friday, April 15, 2005

Thoughts on Cathie Adams

Tonight, conservative activist and president of the Texas Eagle Forum, Cathie Adams, spoke to our class about “right to life” issues, which had many in an upheaval.

Mrs. Adams is about my mother's age and is part of the baby boomer generation. She and my mom have conservative views that have not changed with the times. At one time, I too was influenced by my mother to be pro-life and against the death penalty, but as I grew and formed my own opinions, I realized that in the current state of the world, abortion might not be such a bad idea.

Mrs. Adams misstated that the population was not growing at a rate faster than the world could sustain it, which I know for a fact it is. China is doing things to curb its population but few other countries are. Less developed countries are growing exponentially each year because they are not informed of the strain it puts on the world and its carrying capacity.

If unwed mothers or parents are forced to keep children they do not want, they will either abuse them or put them up for adoption. I myself was adopted, but I'm extremely lucky (and I like to think blessed). Many children are not adopted and spend their lives in foster homes. If there is not abortion, what are we going to do with all those children? Without abortion, you would need extensive domestic programs. Are unadopted children better in foster homes, which, as I’m told, is a very unstable life or dead from abortion? That’s a very personal thing, but something we, as a nation that has legalized abortion, must think about.

Elizabeth Berger

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Pope's passing reminds me of Grandma Elisa

[Editor's note: This was written Thursday, April 7]

The pope’s death has had a significant impact on my life over the past week. With today being my birthday, I look forward not to parties or the consumption of mass quantities of adult beverages tonight, but to watching Pope John Paul II’s funeral live from Vatican City on CNN.

The funeral begins at 3 a.m., which is not exactly prime time for television watching, but nonetheless I will be one of the millions of viewers.

While some of my peers may think it is odd that I am so enthralled in the pope’s passing, my interest stems from childhood memories and the relationship I had with my grandmother. My grandmother, Elisa Fernandez de Jonama Zanner, was from Guatemala and lived in Columbus, Ohio, near my family for the last few years of her life. The strongest memory I have of my grandmother, which I realized at her very Catholic funeral in May 2002, was her affinity for Pope John Paul II and Catholicism in general.

Grandma said the rosary in her native Spanish many times throughout the course of the day, attended Mass every Sunday of her life (except one), and had traveled to the Vatican and attended Mass with the huge crowds there many times throughout her life.

With the pope’s passing, I feel like a part of me, and her, has left this world and gone to a better place. I can only hope that her dream will be fulfilled, and my grandma Elisa can finally meet the pope — an important figure in each of our lives — wherever she may be.

Margot Zanner

Abstinence-only education ineffective

Every year, nearly 10 percent of women age 15-19 become pregnant and 3 million teens acquire sexually transmitted infections. Fifty percent of all ninth- through 12th-grade students have already had sexual intercourse.

Scientific evidence shows that students are becoming more sexually active; however, studies are now showing that abstinence-only programs are ineffective.

It is no wonder that these courses show no effect considering the flawed nature of proponents' arguments. Abstinence-only proponents argue that giving a clear and unequivocal directive is the best and most effective strategy. Adults, especially those in positions to influence children, must insist that refraining from sex until marriage is the only safe and moral course.

But proponents of abstinence-only education fail to offer a sufficient answer to an adolescent’s question of the difference between “normal” behavior and "culturally accepted behavior." Proponents advocate a norm that is contradicted by almost every television show, movie, popular magazine, song or music video that young people see, hear or read.

Sexual expression is nearly everywhere in society, yet adolescents do not learn about responsible sexual expression in abstinence-only programs. Instead, they learn a congressionally mandated standard that is at odds with nearly every other sexuality message they have received from society.

The refusal of abstinence-only proponents to accept the reality of adolescents' lives creates a vacuum for youth.

At risk are thousands of adolescents who, confused by the mixed messages, seek out sex, often unprotected, as they try to identify themselves within the sexual aspect of adulthood.

Bryce Romero

Are you hiding behind your screen name?

My experience posting blogs is limited to our class site. In the past, I have read the blogs of friends of mine, in addition to blogs of people I have never met before. These online discussion sites can be fascinating, regardless of who is behind the writing.

However, recently I have begun to wonder more about the people responding to these posts, particularly on our class blog site, than the people writing the posts. Many debates have resulted between the commentators, some of which have reached an unfriendly level at times. I have to wonder if the people leaving the comments are more free in their opinions because much of their identity is concealed to the class, with the exception of their name.

Would you make these comments to someone's face if you held the same discussion with a stranger on an airplane, or in line at the grocery store?

Is there more freedom of expression when you are hiding behind a computer screen and a keyboard?

Caitlyn Tomasik

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

There's something wrong with Michael Schiavo

The week before Terri Schiavo passed away, I was glued to the television finding out some very interesting information that I had not yet heard about.

What I want to know is why was Michael Schiavo so uncooperative throughout this whole process?

I heard over the news that he would not let Terri receive a swallowing test, and would not let her get a recent brain scan to help further explain her injuries. I also heard that Michael wanted her body cremated after death and that no autopsy could be performed to really see the extent of the damage to her brain.

If the cause of injury was due to lack of oxygen, could it be possible that Michael might have had a fight with Terri one night and personally stopped her oxygen flow? Might he want Terri dead because she is the only witness/victim to what really happened?

I listened to several radio news stations on my five-hour trip back to school, and I heard several doctors say that if Terri could get a recent brain scan that would take a few minutes to administer, there would be no arguments as to whether or not she is brain dead or just retarded. But as I mentioned above, Michael allowed no such scan to take place even after many desperate pleas from Terri’s parents.

On a personal note, I think there is something very wrong with Michael Schiavo. I look at him on television, and something doesn’t feel right. What do you think?

Cody Kilpatrick

Quality of life in Midlothian

Quality of life is more important than a new football stadium. After reading Julie Boyle’s column, "The Dallas Cowboys Challenge," I agree with her. It seems cruel to subject people to the pollution that is caused by the cement plant. It is scary to me that money could be more important than the health of people. What good is money or a new football stadium, if people are not healthy enough to enjoy them?

Melissa Brown

No sex equality in South Asia

I think America is one of the few countries in the world that has successfully managed to provide equal opportunities for both sexes. Even though there was enough freedom in my upbringing, I had observed harsh discrimination toward women in the rest of society. There were restrictions on every single way they behaved. Parties, night outs and drinking (which comes with a part of some people's culture) were considered “cool” for guys. If a girl did it, it would give her names you definitely didn’t want to hear. Fortunately, it was not that way in my family.
Even today, many follow the caste system, many still undergo arranged marriage and worst of all - there is no life for a woman after her husband dies. A widow is bound to wear white and there is no such thing as second marriage. This is applicable in most of the South Asian countries, especially in the rural community.
I love the way these people have managed to preserve their culture. If they could only change their dogma a little bit, girls could have a better life.

Sona Thapa

Monday, April 11, 2005

Gatorade, steroids and creatine

Who’s to say where the end of enhancing drugs in sports will be? I do not know when Gatorade was invented, but for me, I see that as an enhancing product as well as something as simple as water.

If you have two people competing in a sport, no matter what it is, preparation is part of the battle. Athletes do not eat fatty meals the day of the game, nor do they go out drinking until the wee hours of the morning. It is up to them to decide what is best for them and their team.

Steroids are obviously the biggest concern in athletes, especially among baseball players. For now, it seems safe to say that not many athletes will get in trouble for steroid use, compared to those who have been taking these enhancing drugs. Overall, I see no end to this trend except for stronger testing, which is slowly occurring. But, what is holding these athletes back from taking more of another drug such as creatine?

Steroids weren’t around until the early 1980s and before that there were other enhancing powders, which eventually turned into steroids.

Richard Wasser

Baylor win brings home more than a trophy

For a university that had banned dancing until 1995, the Baylor Bears certainly made up for it Tuesday night. About 3,000 people gathered in Baylor’s Ferrell center to watch their women’s basketball team win the school’s second national championship ever. The celebration lasted into all hours of the night with food, drinks and fun for all. Although my heart for sports is torn between my own university’s Horned Frogs and my hometown Longhorns, the Lady Bear’s win Tuesday night really warmed my heart.

The school has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons in the last few years, climaxing when one men’s basketball player was charged with the death of a teammate. The football team has struggled in the Big 12 and worked hard to prove it deserves to be a part of the conference, much of the time to no avail. That is why as the green and gold celebrated their 84-62 win over Michigan State, from Indianapolis to Waco, I was proud of our neighboring university and glad that the hard work of these ladies will bring more dignity to Baylor’s school, athletic program and especially the student body.

Laura Anderson

March Madness concludes, lessons learned

If you were a college basketball fanatic, you just had one hell of a month. With the conclusion to March Madness last Monday, college basketball fans can go back to their normal lives. My following of the tournament ended early when my team, the Oklahoma State Cowboys, lost after getting into the Sweet 16. I think everyone performed poorly when it came to filling out their brackets. A perfect example was Kansas. No one in their right mind would have had Bucknell beating a dominant team like Kansas in the first round. I filled out a bracket that was put into my dad's office pool. The person who won this year must have been an individual that had no knowledge of this year's teams. Having the No. 1 and No. 2 team in the regular season go to the championship game is rare. I will definitely have to reevaluate my strategy for next year.

Chris Laverde

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Free agency has weakened storied rivalries

Celtics and Knicks. Red Sox and Yankees. Cowboys and Giants. The list of rivalries goes on.

But do these rivalries really exist anymore? Do any true rivalries exist anymore in professional sports? Not really!

With the growing tendency of professional sports to take advantage of free agency, team loyalty is gone and rivalries seem to be dissipating as a result.

Even with the storied rivalry between the Red Sox and Yankees the games are introduced as "Damon and the Red Sox take on Jeter and the Yankees." It is not merely the Sox versus the Yankees.

Now I’ll admit that the rivalry has been reignited after last year’s American League Championship Series, but I will be surprised if the rival fever lasts another 10 to 20 years as the rivalries of the past did.

Rivalries are what make watching sports so great; they are what develop die-hard fans, and if the trend of professional sports continues I might have to trade my Cowboys’ season tickets in for seats to see the University of Texas play the University of Oklahoma — now that’s a rivalry.

Randy Horne

Start alcohol awareness training in middle school

Too many deaths are caused by drinking alcohol each year. There are more traffic fatalities in the state of Texas due to alcohol than any other state. Most of these deaths are among the ages of 15 to 20. These people aren't even legal!

How can we get across to this age group that alcohol isn't all fun and games and that there is a reason the legal drinking age is 21?

Middle schools should start incorporating an alcohol awareness class to make the younger kids knowledgeable of the risks of drinking alcohol. They should learn of the dangers before having to experience them on their own. All it takes is one time; one time of having one too many drinks.

This can all be stopped if we start warning students in younger age groups. If they don't learn it in school where will they learn it? My parents didn't teach me the dangers of alcohol -- I learned by experience. I was lucky nothing bad ever happened to me, but not everyone is lucky. You can't always take that chance.

Dana Cherry

John Paul II's heart was in Vatican City

I read recently that Catholic Poles want to bury the pope’s heart in Poland while the rest of his body is buried separately in St. Peter’s. I understand that to them it is a gesture of how much he meant to them and that they forever want his heart to be in their country. But it is an obscene idea.

It is a selfish gesture to mutilate the body of a religious figurehead in order to claim that his heart forever belongs to your country. His heart isn’t supposed to belong to any one country, he is supposed to be loving of all, free of geographic bias. He should be buried with the rest of the popes in Vatican City. Being buried in Italy isn't the point, he is being buried in a traditional fashion where he worshipped and led services. This is where his heart was, with the people he helped through Mass. He should be buried there, along with the rest of his body.

Kelsey McIntyre

Praise for a Baylor national championship

The girls NCAA national basketball tournament has come to a close wtih the Baylor Bears winning the title. Baylor has had an outstanding year of basketball with few losses over the season. Though I am sad that they beat out my home state team, the Tigers, I can't help but be excited that such a small school holds this honor. Who would have thought that a team from Waco, Texas, would win the national championship?

This title for Baylor is very special to my family. My cousin is the Baylor team manager and my uncle attended the university as well.

Stephanie Helm

Let's give Catholics respect

Everyone seems to be making a big deal about the pope dying. Let's think about it though, and I know some people will disagree with me. (Tom in Dallas, here you go.)

This is the icon of the Roman Catholic Church who has been pope for 26 years. You might not agree with his policies or even the Catholic Church, but give Catholics some respect. The people of the Catholic Church have the right to mourn their fallen leader, Pope John Paul II.

I didn't hear too many people complaining about the funeral services or period of mourning for Ronald Reagan, and he is considered by many to be an American icon. If anything, after his death there was a surge of nationalism in America.

Granted, we are not all Catholic so news stations should cover more than just the death and burial of the pope. But let's step back and give Catholics time to mourn and find a new pope before we go and accuse them of spending too much time grieving.

Elizabeth Berger

Friday, April 08, 2005

Disrespectful coverage

With all of the media coverage that surrounds the pope's recent death, one thing disturbs me. Why do news cameras show him just lying there -- dead? I was disturbed when I saw this. Isn't there some kind of law that prohibits showing dead people on television? If not, there should be. For starters, it's incredibly disrespectful and is in very poor taste. Something must be done!

Diana Maddox

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Media coverage of pope's death excessive

“And in today's news -- the pope is still dead.”

Today, for my one of my journalism classes, I had to perform a 3-minute broadcast consisting of current events. The problem with today's news, as it has been since Saturday, April 2, is that it is dominated by the pope's death.

There is no denying the fact that John Paul II was a great man who was respected by millions, as manifested during the last few days by the throng of people who waited several hours to view the corpse; but is all this media coverage really necessary?

Throughout this week the media have seemed to squeeze all life out of this story -- no pun intended. They have simply begun rearranging the story content and adding a new headline. That is not news!

There needs to be a line to which a news medium recognizes the absurdity of their reporting -- the pope has passed. Report it. Move on. Report the rest of the world's news. Move on. Report the pope's funeral. MOVE ON.

Instead, I feel like for the past six days I have been trapped in a time warp -- a never-ending obituary. It's time for the media to start acting like real journalists, and the pope to rest in peace.

Ashley Alderman

TCU needs to fix this problem

Excitement was beginning to take over as I thought about finally graduating come December. However, after being advised this past week, my excitement has been shot down. Graduation will not come until May, all because of one class. TCU needs to broaden its scheduling of classes. One class should not hold a student back from graduating on time. Many students have to pay a full semester’s amount and take unnecessary courses all for the sake of one class that only happens to be offered in the spring or in the fall semester. TCU needs to fix this problem by working with students and offering more courses.

Joanna McReynolds

Bush cuts would dump good programs

Federal budget cuts to eliminate TRIO

President Bush stresses the importance of his No Child Left Behind program, but its success is not guaranteed. In proposed 2006 federal budget cuts, $4.3 billion dollars will be reallocated to support No Child Left Behind. I think this is a sour move. Three educational programs on which North Texas relies will be sacrificed in this reallocation. They are Talent Research program (also known as TRIO), the Upward Bound program and the Upward Bound Math and Science program. All of these programs are being eliminated due to lack of data on key performance measures. Aren’t the students that credit these programs for their success enough? TRIO was first introduced by Lyndon Johnson in 1964 and 1965, under a different name, and has targeted low-income children who are not likely to pursue higher education. No Child Left Behind might show success, but it does not have the same reputation of success that TRIO has earned over the years. These programs will be lost forever based on a campaign promise that may not fill the void TRIO leaves behind.

Corrine Young

A guest post

Tom in Dallas sent me this in reaction to an e-mail I sent to him. Since it's so well written, I asked if I could post it, and he agreed. Only those, however, who closely follow current events in Texas will understand it; it's that often funny, shorthand code that contributes to good writing. He knows that his audience - me - would understand it. But only a few Horned Frog World readers will. Here it is:

We actually hit the booby stakes trifecta last week. First, the ethically challenged bug killer from Sugarland proclaimed that the judges who voted against him will get theirs. Then the original pay to play former attorney general tells the Senate that a judge who was shot at and another who saw her husband and mother killed got what they deserved. And finally, Alberto Gonzales wanted the world to believe that he wanted a law that nobody would ever use.

Tom in Dallas

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Joie de journalisme

The discerning reader who casts a wary eye on all things is particularly gladdened each April 1 for a breather.

Fort Worth Councilman Jim Lane, for one, told KRLD listeners last Friday that his city should put giant longhorns atop The Tower -- the new condo high-rise downtown -- and further that he planned to introduce a resolution to change the building's name to the Molly Tower to honor the city's longhorned symbol.

And all hail to my merry colleagues across the pond for keeping April Fool's Day journalism alive for yet another round of rollicking good humour. The New York Times ran this recap of British media's homage to this hoary day. (Registration may be required.) But this link requires no regislation at all and includes the greatest media April Fool's Day story of all time: the 1957 BBC broadcast on the Swiss spaghetti harvest. Enjoy.

Jim Frisinger

Monday, April 04, 2005

My home has no walls

As a junior in high school, I was unhappy after a reluctant move and anxiously awaited the day I could leave and never come back. My “hometown,” Houston, is the place where I have spent the beginning of my college years trying to forget.

During spring break, I had a conversation with my father about all of the places we have been together and the obstacles our family has overcome during my life. It struck me that where I have been trying to run from is really the place I run to when things get rough. I accepted my past and embrace my future. Through so many moves, constant friends are rare; but family is irreplaceable. My single constant is my home.

To some, home is the place where they grew up, home is where their families live, home is a two-story brick house with a white-picket fence. To me, and others like me who spent the majority of their childhood moving around the world/country, home cannot be defined by location. It's a feeling.

Home is knowing that no matter what happens my mom, dad, sister are waiting for me with open arms. It's knowing that when I mess up, I'll be forgiven. It's knowing that I belong somewhere regardless of distance. My home is intangible, but it's constant.

Next spring, after my sister's freshman year at TCU, my parents have plans to move overseas again. “Home” will no longer be that two-story brick house. It'll be the feeling I get when I pass my sister on campus, that e-mail from Dad just to check-in, or that first hug from Mom when I haven't seen her for six months.

Ashley Alderman

Saturday, April 02, 2005

The real world looms

It was exactly a week prior to writing this post that I celebrated my 20th birthday. It was at this point that I realized just how glad I had been to still be a “kid” before this event. Now, at the age of 20, the stress of entering the real world as a college graduate seems to be looming even more than it had before. The small milestone of leaving the teenage world and preparing to enter the adult world has led me to reevaluate what it is that I am working for. In two short years, I will be searching for a real job and leaving my part-time responsibilities behind. I have had many of the same concerns since I entered college, though now they seem to be more pressing, as what was the distant future before is now approaching in just a few semesters. It is a little frightening to think about how different life will become in such a short amount of time, and the different pressures and responsibilities that I will soon be facing.

Caitlyn Tomasik

Friday, April 01, 2005

Another Smokey Joe eruption

My two TCU classes now know all about my run-in with my congressman Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis. We talked about it this week. Now comes a new chapter. While The Dallas Morning News is apparently no longer allowed, even on its opinion page, to refer to him as "Smokey Joe," the representative of the "Cement Capital of Texas" keeps proving the description is indeed a fair and balanced one.

Today's evidence: the Fort Worth Star-Telegram article by Scott Streater (Page 7B). If foot-dragging were an Olympic sport, Smokey Joe could be a gold medalist -- at least when the public health of the air we breathe is contested on the field of life. Outsiders will be incredulous when they read Streater's article in which it said the congressman is pushing legislation to give Dallas-Fort Worth, facing a 2010 deadline, even more time to meet clean air standards. That is no misprint. Five years down the road yet, and Smokey Joe is already asking for an extension. Meeting deadlines is something I teach in class. It's on the syllabus. Maybe we should save a seat for Joe. The media business takes daily deadlines seriously. We have to. But polluters and their fellow travelers?

Perhaps he should ask those DFW citizens suffering from emphysema, asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory diseases if they'd agree to an extension on the smog that is shortening their breath, and maybe their lives. Maybe Joe thinks they should just lay back and enjoy a string of dangerous ozone seasons. For me, this foot-dragging violates my "culture of life." I guess I'll just have to agree to disagree with Joe Barton and those who every two years reward him with re-election.

Jim Frisinger

Here's a petri dish for my culture of life

"Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate, now what's going to happen to us with both a House and a Senate?" Will Rogers is supposed to have said that. I wonder if he ever knew we had a Michigan House, too?

Methinks some folks live in a parallel universe -- not the one I live in. The "culture of life" I'm familiar with is family held dear, not a family at each other's throats.

The dysfunctional Schiavo clan reminds me of some relatives back in Ann Arbor, Mich. They managed some years ago to empty my Grandma Frisinger's house of her furniture while she was in her last days at the nursing home. She was 91 and not able to fend them off. All I got, and some years later, was Grandma's well-worn dictionary. And it was well-worn because it was old, not because she had much cause to use it.

I think I got the better deal.

The "culture of life" that I'm part of thinks the Texas Legislature should have tried a lot harder to fund the Children's Health Insurance Program to subsidize coverage for 250,000 low-income kids in the last session. That saves lives of the helpless little ones who grow up with moms and dads not providing them with the minimum for a healthy launch in life.

And I'm rather partial to helping out first those who need it the most. Our brothers and sisters elsewhere in the world, especially the children, would find a very few of our dollars would go a long way. Each day, water-related diseases kill 3,900 of the world's children, according to wateradvocates.org. Across the world, 1.1 billion people have no access to clean drinking water. More than 2.6 billion people lack basic sanitation. The combination proves deadly. Each year, diseases related to inadequate water and sanitation kill between 2 million and 5 million people.

In that light, I find the American self-absorption with events in Pinellas Park, Fla., to be offensive.

That's my rant. Then again, "All I know is what I read in the papers." Some part-Cherokee from Oklahoma used to say that, too.

And that's the culture of life growing in my petri dish. What's growing in yours?

Jim Frisinger



Comedy from the Oval Office

George Bush is the 21st century's version of Mrs. Malaprop, the comical character in Richard Sheridan's comedy, "The Rivals"; however, unlike the self-taught Malaprop, Bush received an Ivy League education.

A malapropism, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, is a ludicrous misuse of a word, especially by confusion with one of similar sound, and the technical name for George Bush’s oft-quoted mistakes. Whether they are examples of a classical malapropism, which is rooted in ignorance, or just verbal snafus, Bushisms are prime examples of how America’s privileged sons have ridden through Ivy League universities on their family’s coattails.

Bryce Romero

Spring break -- in Abilene

My break, unlike many TCU students, was not spent at one of the exciting spring break destinations that are currently being featured on MTV. I was at home in Abilene for the week and, surprisingly, had a wonderful time. In high school my friends and I always talked about how we couldn't wait to go to college and leave town. But now that we have all moved on, it's surprising how many of us enjoy coming back home. My time spent in college has taught me to appreciate my hometown and the people who grew up with me. Sure, I could have been in Mexico with friends for the break. But really, I was perfectly content in a small town with nothing to do except spend time with the people that I have discovered matter the most.


Whitney Little