Organic Foods Delivered to SU

Written by Alma Aguilar

Greenling is a local Austin company that delivers organic food to your home. They offer a variety of products from fruits and vegetables to meats and breads. Most of their products are grown locally and meet the USDA’s standards for organic products.

In the fall of 2006, Gail Roberson, Associate Director of Admissions, arranged for this company to make special weekly delivers to campus.

“Greenling’s regular delivery area goes up to Round Rock but does not include Georgetown home deliveries. They make an exception for us,” Dana Hendrix-Head,
Collection Development and Acquisition, said.

Most of the products that Greenling offers are grown in Central Texas by local farmers who grow their food without any harmful chemicals, drugs or processes. They use biological systems to enrich their food, bettering the food along with the soil it was grown in.

“Chemicals [are not] used that harm area wildlife and pollute water sources, organic practices are better than conventional practices,” Hendrix said.

Senior Melanie Loop is one of the people who is part of the group that receives shipments on campus. She enjoys the advantages that come along with eating organic foods.

“I like to eat organic products due to the fact that they don’t have all the pesticide and herbicides on them that conventional produce is grown with,” Loop said. “When something is grown organically, it tastes and smells amazing, unlike conventional grown produce that doesn’t really smell much and is lacking flavor as well.”

Greenling, much like a supermarket, offers a variety of products, which run around the same price range.

“I did a price comparison before I signed up last year, and at that time the Greenling prices were just about the same as what I was paying for organic products at local stores,” Hendrix said.

Offering local fresh and healthy organic products to everyone is one of Greenling’s goals. They say that the use of organic growing products make the food tastes crisper because it allows for the food to strengthen its own flavors.

“Definitely better tasting and better for you, and I feel better eating organic,” Hendrix said.

Through its online ordering system, Greenling saves you the time and hassle of shopping for the food at the supermarket.

“It is also nice not to have to fight through a crowded grocery store to buy food for the week,” Loop said.

Since organic products do not have as many chemicals to keep them fresh longer, it is recommended that you eat the produce in about a week or two of purchase.

“It will go bad because it is, thankfully, lacking that outer coating of wax that conventional produce has to keep it fresher longer,” Loop said.

Greenling delivers every Wednesday at the Mood Atrium. To place an order you can go to their website www.sa.greenling.com, or you can talk to Dana Hendrix on how you can get started.

In order to continue this service on campus, 20 people must order for a delivery to be made.

“In the summertime, we fell below the minimum number of participants that Greenling requires so our deliveries stopped for the summer,” Hendrix said.

For this reason, anyone who enjoys eating organic, or those who just want to taste the difference, should participate.

There is a minimum 25-dollar weekly purchase required; however, you can combine orders to meet it. You may also not order one week to offset the cost.

“You can choose a predetermined box, like the local box with only whatever is in season and grown locally, or you can choose each item you want individually so you just get what you want and need,” Hendrix said.

If cost is a concern for you, Greenling offers discounts for people who live “green” or help the mother earth is some way. You get 10% off every time you refer a friend. You can also receive five dollars off your purchase if you drive a hybrid, power your home with green energy or share your stories on what you are doing to help the environment.

If you have any questions or would like more information about this program on campus, contact Dana Hendrix at hendrixd@southwestern.edu.

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Hanson is Back!

Written by Anonymous

Not many people can claim to be Grammy nominees, international superstars and credible musicians in their tweens. Furthermore, not many can boast a solid discography and career spanning a decade in their mid-twenties.

And so the audience was reminded Saturday night at La Zona Rosa when Hanson performed to a crowd of über-eager, dedicated fans.

In the middle of the set, with a laughing glint in his eyes, Zac (the younger Hanson chap, 22 years old) introduced their classic, to say the least, as “a song you all first heard 10 years ago”.

Quite audibly, as my ears have not yet recovered, the crowd knew what was coming. The first strains of “Mmmbop” began.

It had been so long that I had forgotten that I first heard the catchy harmonies of the admittedly effeminate young band in 1997.

I even remember the very day I first heard the name “Hanson”. I was about 12 years old in the playroom at day camp, when my friend Diana proudly showed us her new CD of these three brothers who were our age and wrote their own music, played their own instruments and were sooo cute.

Soon I had purchased the CD, fallen in love with the music and had penciled little hearts around the faces of the brothers inside the CD jacket.

A decade later, Hanson has 5 studio LPs and several live records. They broke from their record label in frustration with the industry and formed their own completely independent label, 3CG, where they now produce all of their music.

The band is touted by critics and fellow artists alike. The Village Voice says they are “the finest straight-up rock band in America” and Bono apparently called their music “genius” recently.

Hanson has forged a path not straying from their “straight-up rock” sound. One may be able to pick out blues influences and there is certainly pop appeal but their hearts belong to rock.

This night they were performers as well. After openers Lee Simmons and Ingram Hill left the stage, the buzz was palpable. We wanted Hanson.

Along with Zac, Taylor, 24, and Isaac, 26, ascended to the stage to almost maniacal screaming. But because I contributed to this uproar, I will simply call it “very enthusiastic”.

This would be my second time seeing the guys live, my first being about four years ago in San Antonio. So I had full confidence that I would have at least as much fun as I had that first time.

I had more.

The intimacy of La Zona Rosa was a factor. More so, the obviously flattered brothers didn’t see the edge of the stage as the edge of the band.

Continuously encouraged by the band mates, the crowd served as an instrumental extension, providing time-keeping hand claps in song breakdowns and a chanting chorus where their African children’s choir was absent in the new songs.

Their set began electrically with songs like “A Minute Without You” from their first album, “Can’t Stop” from their second album, “This Time Around”, and new hit “Great Divide”.

“Great Divide” has special significance to the band because it was the result of their trip to Africa to educate themselves on the AIDS epidemic and poverty in the region.

Inspired by friends and fellow musicians in their hometown, Hanson decided it was time they took action and teamed up with Tom’s Shoes. Sold at every show, for each pair of shoes bought another pair would be sent to a person in Africa without any.

In addition, before every show on this tour, Hanson leads a barefoot mile-long walk in each city with fans to raise awareness of this issue.

Meanwhile back at the show, the set turned acoustic. The three sat in chairs closer to the crowd, Taylor traded his keyboards and piano for a guitar and Zac emerged from behind the drum set to beat on a djembe.

Included in this set of about five songs was their most recent single, “Go”; Zac took the lead in this minimalist ballad.

One more set change and we were electric again. The set list covered the spectrum.

“Been There Before”, “Running Man”, “Where’s the Love” (before which, Taylor concluded it was, in fact, in Austin), “Penny & Me”, “Crazy Beautiful”, “Strong Enough to Break” and “Something Goin’ Round”, among others, rounded out the set.

“Whether you believe in God or monkeys, you’ve all got an ass, so shake it,” Taylor said before “Lost Without Each Other”. Dancing ensued.

Seemingly overwhelmed with the crowd’s adoration, Taylor promised before the last song of the encore that they would play all night for us if possible. I’ve no doubt that the audience would have stayed all night for them.

After the final bow, the brothers remained on the stage awaiting the quieting cheers. They spoke of their trip to Africa, their partnership with Tom’s Shoes and the hope and feasibility of positive change in the world.

On that note, they stood with one microphone between them and sang, a capella, the sincerely inspiring chorus to “Great Divide”.

The evening was a triumph in every sense of the word.

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America's Team Once Again

Written by Martin Irish

One play. One yard short. One botched hold and an unsuccessful run to the corner was all it took to end the Cowboys’ season.

Tony Romo had the season slip right through his hands. He single handedly broke the hearts of all of fans in one second. This is the kind of play that could potentially stick with a player for their entire career. Tony Romo should be hated. He should be outlawed from the city of Dallas. And considering that the Cowboys are America’s Team, he should have been deported.

Romo was probably the fastest player ever to gain respect in the NFL. If you watched any sports shows after just three weeks of his first start, you would have thought the guy had a couple of Superbowls under his belt already. He also could have lost that respect faster than anyone. Cowboys fans still, to this day, cringe at the thought. After the botched hold it would not have been ridiculous to predict the end of Romo’s career. Somewhere else? Could he become a head case? Will it linger forever? Canada?

It would have been easy for many of these to occur. Somehow, they did not. The Cowboys look more promising than at any other time this decade. They are 6-1 and their only loss has come at the hands of the dominant New England Patriots. Tony Romo and the Cowboys have come from the depths of despair of that missed PAT better and stronger so that there is never even the opportunity for tying field goals.

There were few questions about whether or not the Boys had the talent in the off-season. So far the Cowboys have been dominant. The two back system with Julius Jones and Marion Barber III is working. Tony Romo has coped well without Terry Glenn, who underwent knee surgery during the preseason. He has done this without relying on Terrell Owens. Romo has spread the ball more to Jason Whitten and Patrick Crayton, who have accounted for eight of his 15 touchdown passes so far this season. Romo is completing nearly 60 percent of his passes and has a 93.5 passer rating.

Tony Romo is good once again.

He supposedly has a great relationship with T. O. This looks especially beneficial to the team with the calmest time we have seen from the notorious receiver. While the Cowboys offense is among the leagues best, and picking Tony Romo up for your fantasy team could quite possibly be the pick of the century, the Cowboys defense is surviving.

Terrence Newman and hard-hitting Roy Williams are underachieving, but with the offense clicking, the defense has little pressure. A few stops here and there, and they can chalk another W in the win column.

Tony Romo has officially put last season’s despair behind him. He will not be a Bill Buckner. He has somehow survived his unforgivable mistake. If he had played poorly this season, you would have heard how that one play still messed with his head. You would hear calls for his trade. You would question the management for keeping him. The man that everyone was so quick to praise would have immediately become the man that was impossible to like.

Fortunately for Tony Romo, the Cowboy’s and their fans they will never have to experience that. The Cowboys are set to make another run at the Superbowl. After a few years of mediocrity and disappointment, America’s Team is not a dying franchise. They are back in business and their fans couldn’t be more ready.

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What Does Environmentalism have to do with World Peace?

Written by Sam Allen

Bollocks, I say.

But to what you may ask? Here’s the situation: Mister Albert Arnold Gore Jr. and the United Nations won the Nobel Peace Prize. Sounds good enough. But what did they win it for?

Officially, “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change”.

Now, I will say this: climate change research is nothing to look down upon. The environment and its state is an important issue affecting us today, and it will continue to be an issue so long as we keep driving our America-sized SUVs and leaving our televisions on 24 hours a day.

But I don’t in the least bit think that any of that has to do with world peace. Accordingly, I don’t think that Al Gore and the United Nations should have won a Nobel Peace Prize for climate research and raising awareness of climate change.

As the name implies, the Prize is given to individuals or organizations that are working to resolve an ongoing conflict or promote peace on a larger scale throughout the world. Some past Laureates include Jean Henri Dunant (founder of the Red Cross) and Elie Wiesel (author and Holocaust survivor).

So why are the most recent Laureates any different? Why should I, of all people, be making an argument against a time-honored and century-old award?

Well, for one, the awareness of climate change is certainly not going to stop any other ongoing global crises. I doubt that the overwhelmingly tense political situation in the Middle East will come any closer to a resolution because of the polar ice caps melting.

I doubt the ongoing genocide in Darfur will cease because of New York City reaching the 90’s in mid-October. Environmental activists like Mr. Gore have a hard enough time convincing the average American to give a care about the earth, much less powerful politicians resolved to wipe each other out.

I believe that worldwide war and violence is a bigger issue. The ice caps aren’t at war with each other. The Sunnis and Shiites are. The polar bears have been doing fine for centuries and aren’t trying to kill each other whenever they get the chance, but can the same be said about a thousand different hot spots around the world?

At this point, some of you might be angry. Why sit there at your laptop complaining, you might ask. Why not do something about the violence in the Middle East or donate money to the Save Darfur coalition?

I’m not saying that enough is being done to end these and other crises that are going on right now. I applaud every individual who is working to make this world a better place, including Mr. Gore and the United Nations.

But I don’t agree with a committee and a decision that gives an award reserved for peace to a man and an organization whose efforts will ultimately not have much of an effect on peace.

And that’s my two cents.

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The Forgotten Years: Southwestern Neglects Sophomore and Junior Housing

Written by Matthew Maschino

New apartments, new buildings, and new renovations are springing up all over campus, giving Southwestern an incredible facelift. With all this construction, it is unfortunate that some of the university’s most heavily used residence halls are neglected and decaying.

Moody-Shearn and Herman Brown are the primary housing for upperclass students who don’t have enough credit hours to get into the apartments and are not members of Paideia. Essentially, those two “middleyear” buildings are the sophomore and junior residence halls.

Built in the 1960s, Moody-Shearn and Herman Brown have a unique architecture, reminiscent of a cheap motel. While groovy when the buildings were built 40 years ago, they seem antiquated on Southwestern’s modern campus.

More importantly, the buildings have not withstood the test of time as well as other older residences like Kurth and Ruter. The HB-MS complex is in desperate need of renovation.

ResLife has received a plethora of complaints from residents this year regarding leaking bathrooms, beds that don’t fit in rooms, doors that won’t close and poor lighting. Some residents of Moody-Shearn in particular refer to their hall by replacing “Shearn” with a more colorful noun.

In previous years, moving off campus was an attractive option to avoid the HB-MS complex. Unfortunately, the new residency requirements for this year’s first year students will force them to remain on campus for an additional year, subjecting them to the HB-MS housing agony.

The residence halls for middleyears have such a bad reputation that many first-year students have already begun finding inventive ways to escape the system.

As an RA in a first-year hall, I have noticed that an incredibly large number of first-year students are showing interest in becoming RAs in first-year dorms next year primarily as a way to avoid the HB-MS complex. It does not bode well for the university if students refuse to leave their old residence hall because they fear what awaits them as they go up the ladder.

There are many solutions to the middleyear housing debacle. The construction of new residence halls on the west side of campus, possibly in a style more reminiscent of Brown-Cody or Mabee would offer a feel similar to the first-year residences. More basic apartments, similar to the McCombs Center apartments would also be an attractive option.

Above all, the HB-MS complex must be phased out. They are in such disrepair and have such a negative aura surrounding them that no amount of renovation could truly change their reputation.

Why doesn’t the administration take action? Why are sophomores and juniors shoved into the lackluster halls?

The reason is that sophomores and juniors do not have nearly as influential a role in shaping the image and reputation of the university as the first-years and the seniors do.

First-year students typically receive better housing arrangements than their middleyear counterparts because creating positive first impressions is essential to maintaining a high retention rate. Retention doesn’t seem to be as important for sophomores and juniors since they have already paid several semesters worth of tuition to attend Southwestern and now have a vested interest in completing their education here.

Seniors have priority in receiving an on-campus apartment, all of which have been built within the past decade and feature the newest amenities. It is not just their seniority that gives seniors this privilege. The university’s administration wants seniors to leave Southwestern with a positive attitude toward their alma matter. After all, today’s graduates are tomorrow’s wealthy donors.

Both first years and seniors also play an important role in attracting prospective students to the university. Campus tour guides always show prospective students the first year halls and point out the upperclass apartments.

The middleyear residence halls are not showcased by tour guides. They aren’t placed on the front cover of pamphlets. They don’t appear in every edition of the Southwestern Magazine. They are left in obscurity—ignored and neglected.

This is not the way to run a university. As students, we must not let the public relations spinmasters place higher priority on half of the student body and forget about the other half. Every student is worthy of the university’s attention. Every student deserves decent housing, regardless of how many years they’ve been here.

President Schrum’s residence is the posh Turner-Fleming House on the far east side of campus. Drop by sometime and let him know how you feel.

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The Megaphone Plays Guitar Hero 3

Written by Brian Tidwell

On October 28, a Megaphone writer discovered that he could play guitar almost as well as Carlos Santana, that Bloc Party’s “Helicopter” is incredibly fun to play and that playing the epic “Knights of Cydonia” by Muse is as good of an arm workout as any trip to the Robertson Center.

As much as I would wish it were so, I did not suddenly become a better guitar player, I just started playing Guitar Hero III.

If you have played and enjoyed the Guitar Hero games in the past, then, in short, there really is not much of a point to you reading the rest of this review. Guitar Hero III has the same great Guitar Hero gameplay that you have been enjoying through two full games and one expansion pack.

If the previous Guitar Hero games were your crazy metal head cousin, Guitar Hero III is what happens when that cousin takes a shower, combs his hair and puts on some nice clothes. He looks quite slick, but he still knows how to rock hard.

If you are new to the series, then the gameplay of Guitar Hero seems fairly simple. You hold down a colored button, matching the one on the screen and strum the guitar controller’s strum bar. It sounds fairly simple, and through most of easy and normal difficulties on Guitar Hero III it is. However, once you move beyond those basic difficulty levels the game gets very hard very quickly.

The difficulty of Guitar Hero III is one of its greatest assets for serious fans of the series, and it is also one of its largest problems for those who are not quite as accustomed to feats of guitar heroism.

Songs like “Raining Blood”, “Through the Fire and the Flames” and the new metal themed “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” require players who could compete on expert in the previous two games to push the limits of their skill, and are utterly demoralizing to new players.

The game grows on you however, and when you finally manage to make your hands fly up and down the guitar controller fast enough to nail just a little bit of the solo in “Cult of Personality”, it’s a glorious feeling.

The list of songs in Guitar Hero is also a bit of a mixed bag. A number of songs are the master tracks from the bands themselves, and some bands, including the Sex Pistols, came into the studio to record songs for the game.

The quality of the cover versions that substitute in for the non-master track songs vary widely however, the Pat Benatar and Stevie Ray Vaughn impersonators being particularly painful.

The song list contains a little bit of something for everyone, even Metallica’s “One for those of the Drop D” persuasion, and no song seems genuinely terrible. However the track list under new developer Neversoft lacks the quirk of the tracks chosen by Harmonix, the series’ previous developer, and with that the bonus tracks lack the new and interesting sounds offered by previous Guitar Hero games.

There really isn’t much of a reason to dislike Guitar Hero III. It is, despite a few minor quibbles, just another Guitar Hero game. If the President of Finland can take time off of his busy schedule to celebrate Lordi’s monstrous win in the Eurovision Song Contest, than any self-respecting Southwestern student can take a little time off to play some Guitar Hero III. It’s as simple as that.

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California Is on Fire

Written by Caitlyn Buckley

Over the past week, Southern California experienced more than 23 wildfires that went uncontained for days. Over a five day period, over 500,000 acres burned, damaging forests as well as commercial and personal property.

By Saturday, firefighters were able to contain and extinguish the majority of the fires due to slowed wind speed and cooler temperatures. Still, incredible amounts of damage have been done, with eight people presumed dead, 1,800 homes destroyed and 640,000 people displaced. There are still more than 20,000 properties that are still threatened, while the firefighters remain optimistic that the worst is over. It is being reported that has been one of the worst fire disasters in California’s history. Conservative damage estimates are being placed at 1.6 billion dollars.

California often experiences wildfires during this time of year due to the Santa Anas winds developing a small fire into one that is out of control. The majority of this week’s fires were caused by the high wind speeds snapping power lines.

However, two of the worst fires, located in Orange and Riverside Counties, were suspected to be the result of arson. A $50,000 reward has been announced to capture those responsible for the arsons. California experienced an incredibly dry summer, which contributed to the severity of the fires, making them spread more rapidly and much more difficult to control.

While the immediate threat is mostly over, concern still remains about the dangers posed by the smoke. California’s coast already experiences a high level of pollution, but after the fires, the amount of air pollution is three times greater than normal. People in the more highly affected areas are being encouraged to stay indoors and avoid prolonged exercise—particularly the elderly, children and those with respiratory problems.

Volunteers are aiding Californians in various ways. More than 1,000 volunteers from other states headed to Southern California to assist in wide-ranging fields from medicine to yoga instruction. Volunteer fire crews have come to the area from Mexico, Northern California, Oregon, Idaho, and Washington to give a rest to those who had spent several days trying to control the fires. 950 more volunteer firefighters are reported to be on their way to assist in extinguishing the few remaining trouble spots. 3,000 volunteers are currently being trained by the Red Cross to help the evacuees in the upcoming weeks. So much food and water has been donated that officials have asked for monetary donations instead as there is no longer room to accommodate more physical donations.

Even 1,300 miles away from California, the fires have made a significant impact on the SU campus.

“It makes you a lot more grateful for what you have,” Sophomore Linda Peña said. “When you think of the people that lost everything, it really puts things in perspective.”
Several classes on campus have discussed the fires in the context of what is being learned.

“We talked about it in my Earth Science class as well as in International Studies. We learned that people are insisting on building in danger zones that historically have had fires every year, yet they continue to build homes there. We talked about how this happens every year, but this one stood out more than most. It just reminds you to be grateful for what you have and that we aren’t having those same problems here in Texas right now,” Peña said.

In response to the possibility of some of the fires being set by arsonists, Peña said, “If people really did that, I hope they get caught. It is crazy to think that you can get away with destroying so many peoples’ homes and whole lives. I hope that all the people who were somehow impacted by the fires will be okay. It’s so sad and scary to think that something so dangerous and so damaging can happen anywhere.”

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IMPORTANT NOTICE

While we still don’t have articles to post, there will be some next week (or heads will roll!), I just want everyone to know that I, Lane Hill, only wrote one article that had been included in any issue of Megaphone Online (and that was the Segway Hacking one).   The rest have been done by our hard-working authors who are credited in the article itself, and in the “front page” of any update. This will be standardized in the next issue. 

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Lateness Apology

Hello, dear reader.’ You’re probably wondering where the next issue of the Megaphone online is.  We are working on it, and will notify you when it is up. Until then, give a hoot and read! -Lane HillWeb Editor 

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Who is Barbara Kingslover?

Written by Hannah Yterdal.

What makes a great writer? Is it the number of books they sell? The messages they deliver? Their skill with words? Or their uncanny ability to examine humanity in a way that makes us re-examine ourselves?

If any or all of these makes a great writer, few are on a level with Barbara Kingsolver. She is the author of 12 books, the first of which was published in 1988, that range from novels to essay collections to poetry. Her books have been adopted into high school and college curriculums across the country and translated into several languages. Her flowing, poetic style and insightful prose have made her one of the most influential modern authors.

Kingsolver was born in 1955 in Annapolis, Maryland and grew up in the Kentucky countryside. Beginning at age nine, she kept a journal and entered every essay contest she could. She graduated from DePauw University with a degree in Biology. She then spent the years after college in Greece, France and England, and later moved to Tucson, Arizona and earned her graduate degree in evolutionary biology from the University of Arizona. After graduate school she worked as a scientific writer for the University of Arizona before becoming a freelance journalist.

Kingsolver’s short stories and poetry began to be published in the mid-1980’s. She wrote her first novel, “The Bean Trees,” while pregnant with her first child. The novel was published in 1988 and has since been adopted into the core curriculum of high school and college literature classes across the U.S., and has been translated into more than a dozen languages.

Her other novels include “The Poisonwood Bible”, “Pigs in Heaven”, and “Animal Dreams”. Her collection of essays “High Tide in Tucson: Essays from Now and Never” was published in 1995 and became a bestseller.

In 1997 Kingsolver established the Bellwether Prize, awarded in even-numbered years to a first novel that exemplifies outstanding literary quality and a commitment to literature as a tool for social change. In 2000, in addition to the major medals and honors her books had won, Kingsolver was awarded with the National Humanities Medal, the United State’s highest honor for service through the arts.

In 1998 a special edition 10-year anniversary hardcover of “The Bean Trees” was issued. Although the book was received enthusiastically by critics, the most important thing to Kingsolver is that the ordinary reader enjoys her novels.

“A novel can educate to some extent,” she told “Publishers Weekly”. “But first, a novel has to entertain—that’s the contract with the reader: you give me ten hours and I’ll give you a reason to turn every page. I have a commitment to accessibility. I believe in plot. I want an English professor to understand the symbolism while at the same time I want the people I grew up with—who may not often read anything but the Sears catalogue—to read my books.”

Barbara is the mother of two daughters, Camille and Lily, and is married to Steven Hopp, a professor of Environmental Sciences.  In 2004, after more than 25 years in Tucson, Arizona, Barbara left the southwest to return to her native terrain.  She now lives with her family on a farm in southwestern Virginia where they raise free-range chickens, turkeys, Icelandic sheep, and an enormous vegetable garden.

Many of Kingsolver’s novels are set in the physical and psychological locations that the author is most familiar with, but readers would be mistaken to assume that her work is autobiographical.

“There are little things that people who know me might recognize in my novels,” she said, “but my work is not about me. I don’t ever write about real people. That would be stealing, first of all. And second of all, art is supposed to be better than that. If you want a slice of life, look out the window. An artist has to look out that window, isolate one or two suggestive things, and embroider them together with poetry and fabrication, to create a revelation. If we can’t, as artists, improve on real life, we should put down our pencils and go bake bread.”

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Cross Country Prepares for Conference

Written by Allen Smith.

The SU Men’s and Women’s cross country teams have been working hard to prepare for the SCAC Conference Championships this Saturday at the SU Golf Course. The course features a steep 300-m hill that is sure to slow many of the runner’s times, and make it a strength race. The women will race at 9 a.m. and the men will race at 10 a.m.

The women have been battling injuries late this season, but still remain one of the top teams in the conference. Tami Warner led the team to a 6th place finish at the Texas Lutheran Invitational with a 6k time of 25:20. Jessica Ratclife, Kristin Lahaie, Ursula James and Elly Martinez are expected to contribute greatly to the team on Saturday.
Despite losing Junior Kelly Parmet and First-year Lili McEntire to injury, the girls are still optimistic about conference.

DePauw comes in as the favorite on the women’s side after being ranked 13th in the nation in the latest NCAA D3 poll. Trinity is another team that is picked to do well, though Southwestern is hoping to battle it out for 3rd.

On the men’s side, Colorado College comes in as the favorite after being ranked in the top 35 nationally. DePauw, Centre, Trinity, Sewanee and Rhodes are expected to be tough as well.

Southwestern is hoping to take advantage of their pack running strategy that has worked well all season. At the Texas Lutheran Invitational, the top five men for Southwestern finished within 1:07 of each other to grab 4th place in a meet that featured D1 schools Texas State and Prairie View A&M. Junior Ben Sloan led the Pirates at TLU with a season best time of 28:36. Josh Gideon, Addison English, Allen Smith and David Pruit rounded out the top five.

“Conference is going to out of this world,” Sophomore David Pruit, who has finished as the Pirates 5th runner the last two races, said. “It will be quite an adrenaline rush for all parties involved.”

This monumental meet marks the second time Southwestern has hosted the conference championships in the last 10 years. The team has been training regularly on the course to prepare for the challenges it will provide. The course is undergoing some final preparations this week to get rid of certain rocky areas.

Southwestern students and faculty are encouraged to come out and support the men’s and women’s cross country teams this Saturday morning. Once conference is over, the Pirates will participate in the Jameson 5k road race next Saturday, which will take place on the Southwestern campus. The following week, they will travel to Williamsburg, Virginia for the South/Southeast Regional Championships.

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Plastic Surgery: Becoming Barbie

Written by Regan Lemley

Does the name Nicole Scherzinger ring any bells? If her name doesn’t, her face will. She’s the lead singer of raunchy pop group The Pussycat Dolls, and she is in ownership of the ideal American female body. She’s skinny, she’s tall, and she’s still curvaceous. The pathetic part is how she goes about getting it.

Forget the low-carbohydrate diet or just eating small portions of healthy foods, because this diva goes a few days a month without eating. As an alternative to real nourishment, she puts nothing in her malnourished body except water that contains cayenne pepper, honey, lemon, and maple syrup.
Now don’t you worry girls, if you don’t feel like becoming mildly anorexic like Scherzinger, and you’re not that into throwing up partly digested food and stomach acid after every meal, we lazy Americans have the thing for you.

Welcome to the billion-dollar industry that is plastic surgery.

Feeling chubby? Spend a few thousand dollars for a surgeon to insert a hollow tube into your body that is connected to a vacuum unit which sucks out your fat through tiny incisions. Don’t like your nose? There’s always the option of rhinoplasty, but don’t let the thought of a doctor breaking your nose with a hammer and chisel bother you. The bleeding will stop eventually, and the blood that pools around your eyes will recede.

Breasts not as big as they should be as defined by what is shown to you each day through television, movies and magazines? Then you females should thank whatever being you worship for being born in this country in this particular time period, because the FDA just lifted its ban on silicone breast implants in 2006. Now you have the right to pay a man approximately $3,000 for an optional surgery in which he shoves gel thingies into one of the most sensitive areas of your body. It should also be mentioned that the implants were approved despite female health organizations declaring the implants were dangerous to a women’s health, so apparently money and politics hold more weight than health precautions.

Fortunately, plastic surgery has had so much support in recent years, as evidenced by the 7 percent increase in cosmetic plastic surgery between 2005 and 2006, that the field has expanded to fix areas that hardly anyone sees. So girls, if your vagina just doesn’t compare to what our porn-raised boys consider to be normal, then there’s a quick fix surgery to make it perfect.

I wish I was kidding, but there is now a booming market for vaginal rejuvenation surgery. Overseas, this would be considered genital mutilation. In America, this is considered a luxury.

There’s something extremely disgusting and disturbing about plastic surgery. Yes, I know some people need corrective surgery or reconstruction. I am aware. But don’t tell me a woman needs her breasts to be bigger. No one needs that.

Men and women who undergo optional cosmetic surgery are paying someone to mutilate their bodies. They are paying someone to cut and break and bruise and contort their bodies just so that they can fit into some kind of beauty ideal that is both unattainable and unnatural. Something about that just defies logic.

The lesson of plastic surgery is that everything has a quick fix, so long as you have the money for it. The rich, who we are supposed to view as role models, make plastic surgery seem glamorous and desired. This is in direct opposition to the belief that plastic surgery is vapid and wasteful, which it is.
Even worse than reinforcing superficial beauty ideals is the fact that plastic surgery is telling men and women that something in them is sick or broken and in need of fixing. Television shows like “The Swan” and “Extreme Make-Over” seek to “fix” people’s faces, implying that each person has some horrid defect that demands surgical attention if the person ever wishes to be accepted by society.
We’re supposed to pity and even mock the people on these shows that don’t fit into the narrow ideal of what beauty is, and we’re supposed to applaud those that finally “fix” themselves and adhere to societal standards.

In real life, it’s pretty similar. If you’re not constantly trying to improve yourself even in the smallest ways like working out or getting pedicures, then you’re not taking care of yourself.

At the very least, plastic surgery can give you insight into a person’s personality. I refer to my one of my favorite comedians, Daniel Tosh, who said, “I am all for women who decided to get plastic surgery. Plastic surgery allows you the rare opportunity to make your outer appearance resemble your inner appearance. Fake.”

Which, let’s be honest, it is.

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