Keep Texas Beautiful!

Written by Giulia Giuffre

Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) is partnering with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to provide free supplies to any group interested in protecting their local waterways.

Keep Texas Beautiful is a nonprofit organization affiliated with Keep America Beautiful. KTB’s mission is to educate and engage Texans to take responsibility for improving their community environment. Their vision is to make Texas the cleanest, most beautiful state in the nation. KTB focuses on litter prevention, beautification and waste reduction.

In 1967, Texas was preparing for the Hemisfair and was expecting millions of tourists to visit. A nonprofit educational corporation, known as the Beautify Texas Council, was formed to beautify the state for the visitors. The Council became part of the Governor’s office and it grew to include state officials and agencies. In 1985, the Council officially became Keep Texas Beautiful, INC. and a state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. KTB has since grown to an extensive network of affiliate programs, communities and participating organizations.

Keep Texas Beautiful has over 340 affiliates. The title of affiliate is designated to qualifying cities, counties or communities that work with KTB in achieving the goal of improving their community environment. The goal of an affiliate program is to increase the interest in litter prevention, solid waste management and beautification; to enable affiliates already involved in the KTB program to fulfill their commitment; and to encourage and help affiliates apply to the Keep America Beautiful system. Affiliates also help recruit volunteers, such as students, youth groups and organizations, to participate and aid in clean up and conservation efforts.

Communities and organizations that want to become one of KTB affiliates must first submit an application. They must attend an annual KTB training session. The training session can be a local or regional training session or an annual conference. There is an annual due of $75 and a short annual report.

Keep Texas Beautiful sponsors and coordinates many educational and clean-up programs. These include Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup, The Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off, Illegal Dumping Education and Enforcement, The Annual KTB Conference and The Texas Waterway Cleanup Program.

The Texas Waterway Cleanup Program is a partner of KTB and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The program’s goal is to protect, improve and maintain the quality of surface water that provides the state with drinking water, recreation, agricultural irrigation and beauty through litter cleanups and education.

“Cleanups are tiring, but they are also very rewarding and fun, and they go really well,” said Marie Castagna.

Every year, KTB awards individuals and groups for their efforts to enhance their community and protect Texas’ environment. The KTB award winners for 2007 were honored in July at the KTB 40th Annual Conference in San Antonio. Some of the awards bestowed include the Ruthe Jackson Youth Leadership Awards, the Individual Leadership Awards, Sadie Ray Graff Education Leadership Awards, the O.P. Schnabel Senior Citizen Awards, the Ebby Halliday and Maurice Acers Business/ Industry Awards, the Civic Organization Leadership Awards and the Media Awards.

For more information about KTB, its programs and affiliates, call 1-800-CLEAN-TX or visit the website To find out how to participate in the Texas Waterway Cleanup Program, contact Katie Sternberg at 1-800-CLEAN-TX. For more information on making your organization an affiliate of KTB, visit the website and follow the link to the affiliate page, or contact Anne Cunic, Affiliate Services Manager.

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First Issue of the Megaphone Online

It is also the issue of 9/27 – 10/04.

At twilight, nature is not without loveliness, though perhaps its chief use is to illustrate quotations from the poets.-Oscar Wilde


History Colloquium by Leslie Lube.

Director for GLCA New York Arts Program (NYAP) Visits SU by Nicole Licea.


Four Offbeat Ways to Relax by Sam Allen.


Joyous, Beautiful, and Free by Boze Herrington.

Dating by Meg Susong.


SU Tennis Team

Arts & Entertainment

Grey Holiday Concert Review by Hannah Yterdal.


SU: A Party School by Brian Tidwell.

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SU: A Party School

Written by Brian Tidwell

In the midst of an increasingly heated war against the rating system, Southwestern University has gained another honor, being named one of the nation’s top party schools.

Any typical school would celebrate such an occasion with a weekend of drunken revelry to rival anything the world has seen before. However Southwestern students, already known for attending a college with one of the nation’s highest workloads, are reacting with stress.

“I don’t know if I can take the pressure anymore,” a visibly exhausted frat boy slurred after last Wednesday’s “Study Break” party. He was cradling a red cup, the cheap beer within diluted by a tear or two.

“It’s already hard enough with professors giving us egregious amounts of homework to maintain our workload ranking, now all of the fraternities and sororities are going to have to party that much harder; we definitely have to defend our party school ranking.”

After he said this, the student fell over and began making slurred references to Will Farrell comedies. By the time a group of supportive students came along to help him to a room, these had descended into references to Ben Stiller comedies, a sure sign of inebriation.

Similar complaints are being repeated in frat houses and dorm rooms across campus. The pressure of being one of the nation’s top party schools has insidiously worked its way into every aspect Southwestern. Parties are being placed on calendars along with tests, students schedule their attendance at various fraternity parties around studying and time budgets now include such entries as “8 to 10, study; 10 to 12 Kappa Alpha party; 12 to 2, memorize Chinese characters.”

“I honestly don’t know what I am supposed to do,” a student said at a Friday night off-campus-party. “I took my laptop on the bus over here so I could work on a few of the essays I have due next week. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a little more work done on the way back. That stupid rating has made everything so hard. I want to party and have a good time, but with both ratings, there is just too much pressure.”

However, a few people are hopeful about Southwestern’s new ratings. SU Police and SU faculty remain confident that the increased workloads and the greater variety of parties stemming from the ratings will allow for students to find new and interesting ways to squeeze in both their academic and social careers.

“I imagine a Southwestern where students, of legal age of course, will not be able to get a beer at a fraternity party without doing a simple calculus problem. As a student wanted more expensive liquors they would be required to do more complex math. Not only would this help students study for their exams, it would cut down on drinking. It’s hard enough to perform integrations in a dorm room, imagine trying to do it at a party.”
After that brief comment the professor resumed creating what I assumed to be an impossibly long and unreasonably difficult exam.

Professors of other disciplines are not quite as enthused. “I think it would be unrealistic to assume that fraternities would require essays from students to gain entrance to parties,” a despondent philosophy professor said.

Meanwhile, those in charge of the ratings system show no signs of slowing down. An anonymous source close to the ratings system had indicated that Southwestern was due for many more honors, whether they were factual or simply made up. “We’ve got a lot in store for Southwestern over the next year.”

I’m not saying anything for certain, but I think we just might place Southwestern on top of lists like “Most Environmentally Friendly Colleges”, “Most Anti-Ninja Institutions” and the bombshell “Colleges Most Friendly to Cat Lovers.” That should teach President Schrum to speak up against the ratings system.

Perhaps an exhausted Southwestern student summed up the situation most adroitly when, in the last fleeting moments of consciousness before collapsing into an alcohol and work induced stupor, said, “Southwestern, couldn’t it be just a little bit easier? I love you though.”

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Grey Holiday Concert Review

Written by Hannah Yterdal

When I first walked into the Cove last Wednesday night, September 26, to hear Grey Holiday for the first time, I was a little deterred by the meager turnout. No more than fifteen students were in the Cove when I arrived, and in the next few minutes, as the band set up their instruments, a handful of those present filtered out with to-go cartons in hand.

“Yikes,” I thought, “Are they really that bad that no one can pop in to listen for a while?” I watched in slight trepidation as the four-man band brought out their various instruments (keyboard, guitars, bass and drums) and did their sound checks.

I needn’t have worried.

I will readily admit that I’m no music expert, but as the band started up their set with “Death by Moonlight”, I started to wish I were. There’s something very captivating about the music. I couldn’t figure out if it was lead singer Matt Minor’s voice, similar to many alternative singers but somehow different, too. It might have been the piano sounds of the keyboard, also played by Minor. Or it might have just been the obvious camaraderie and friendship between the musicians.

Minor, Steven Bedingfield (guitar), R.T. Bodet (bass) and Josh Fenoglio (drums) are friends first and band mates second.

“We have always been willing to sacrifice for our music, but our friendship has, and always will, come first,” says Minor. “When Steven and I knew we wanted to play full-on rock ’n’ roll music and would need a band, we didn’t want to have to go through the process of weeding out musicians that we didn’t have a relationship with, so we asked our friends, R.T. and Josh, if they wanted to join us.”

Bodet and Fenoglio actually had no idea how to play their instruments when Minor and Bedingfield first asked them to join in their musical endeavor. To an untrained ear like mine, though, you really wouldn’t know the difference. The band’s Christian rock classification might deter some listeners, but Grey Holiday strikes a good balance between religion and rock. As someone who is not very religious, I found myself strangely lulled by the lyrics of love and faith and by the band’s overall sound.

The band’s second number, “Where You Want Me,” is a song off of their newly released album “Great Revolution”. Although played at the “leisurely” pace that would persist through most of the performance (“It’s a coffee house,” Fenoglio insisted), the lively beat carried easily into the next few songs. “Let Go”, another song off of their new album, has a quirky melody and a sing-songy chorus that made me want to sing along with Minor.

“Revolution” speaks of the uniformity we find ourselves living in, while “You Belong To Me” is a ballad about, as Minor puts it, “coming back to the Father after straying.”

“You Belong To Me” is a prime example of how the religious themes can also be interpreted as personal themes. As I listened to the lyrics of the song, I did not think about renewing faith in a religious sense, but in always being able to find love in the arms of friends and family.

The last song of the set, “We Need You Tonight”, Minor performed solo on the keyboard. While the other three members sprawled around a music case containing CDs and other promotional items, Minor set out to prove that sometimes, less is more. His passion for the music was obvious, and I found myself oddly comforted by the melody and his voice.

Grey Holiday has been compared to other Christian rock bands, but, not being an avid listener of that type of music, I cannot comment on the band’s similarities to other bands of the genre. Fans of Christian rock would certainly enjoy the band’s sound, and other listeners, if they can get past the Christian aspect, would find a treat in Grey Holiday, too.

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SU Tennis Team

The SU tennis team has already had an active pre-season. The team started the year with a match against Howard-Payne in Brownwood on September 8. In Brownwood, the Howard-Payne Yellow Jackets overtook both the girls and boys teams by an overall 4-5 score.

The Bucs followed this match with the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor Fall Classic in Temple on September 21 and September 22. The Pirates competed against Schreiner University, the University of Mary- Hardin Baylor, and Temple University. At the tournament, senior Leslie Smith and sophomore Emily Gutzmer represented the Pirates well by taking first in doubles, defeating Whitney Wolz and Amber Long with a solid 8-0 score. The next competition for the team is on September 29 in Abilene where they will play in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regional Tournament. The pre-season will end in October, at which time the players will be responsible for their own conditioning, until the actual season starts next semester.

The Pirates are coming off an impressive season. Last year, Southwestern had five players receive All-SCAC honors, including sophomore Mary Pennington who was also named to the All-SCAC Tennis Team.

Pennignton posted a 13-7 record both in singles and also as half of a doubles team with Michelle Tompkins. The other Pirates earning recognition were Laura Evanoff, Amy Somerford, Jay Shroff and Sean Kissinger. Of this group only Pennington and Evanoff are returning for the upcoming season. This group also represents the greatest number of players the school has had named to the All-SCAC honors list since 2003, when six players received honors.

The team finished last year with the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship Tournament in late April, where they placed fifth with a record of 2-1. At the tournament, the Pirates bounced back from a loss to Rhodes with two victories over Colorado College and Millsaps College. The team ended the season with an overall record of 14-6.

The team this year has several new faces joining the ranks, including a total of 11 freshmen, four on the boy’s team and seven on the girl’s team. The team has already joined together to become a cohesive unit, and a strong dynamic has emerged both on and off the court.

“The team is really close, and we play well together. We play well on the court as players, and then we hang out off the court as friends,” Freshman Charlotte Huskey, who has participated in the past two competitions with the team, said.

The team’s practice schedule is intensive, with practices every day of the week, varying for each team. The girl’s team practices Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 6:30 a.m., and Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the afternoons, where they hone their technique and focus a great deal of effort into improving player physical fitness. “Right now, the team is putting a lot of effort into conditioning, and just making sure our bodies are in top shape. We want our skills to determine the outcome of a match, not inferior conditioning,” Huskey said. “Normally, we run an average of five miles a week, if not more. It’s a lot of work, but in the end it’s incredibly rewarding, and I think it will make such a difference when it comes to winning matches.”

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Written by Meg Susong

Dating in high school is one thing. And college? A whole different game (literally and figuratively). The location is different, the people are different, and ultimately, you end up different.

So, in that sense, is it a good idea to try and stay together with you high school sweetheart? In short answer, yes. Personally, I have tried – and succeeded. In the wide view of things though, it can be and is tough. I know people who have tried and been unsuccessful. Sometimes it’s the distance. Sometimes it’s lack of commitment. And sometimes it’s just for a change of pace.

I also know people who haven’t tried at all. I’ve had friends who broke with their significant other before heading off to their school of choice for various reasons as well.

So what makes me so special and gifted that I can “keep us together”? Well, starting with the notion of it only taking one person to make a relationship, it doesn’t. You can’t hold it together if only one of the two participating parties is interested. Luckily, despite my earliest notions, we were both keen on staying with it. We had also been dating for over a year and a half, so we had already built a good relationship up before putting strain on it by going off to college.

Which is another thing to note: If you have only been dating for the summer or a couple of months, then maybe you should think about just being friends while looking around. As odd at that seems, if it’s meant to be, then it will be. If not, no harm done thus far.

As for distance being a factor, my significant other is also only thirty minutes away (twenty-five if I speed). Despite what you might think, long distance relationships (in the dating sense, marriage and being together for a decent period of time are a different situation) hardly ever work out. Keep in mind that this isn’t due to lack of commitment or deep feelings for one another. If I only got to see them every month or less, I would start to grow apart in a sense. It’s natural, and at times, evitable.

More often than not though, it’s in young relationships, and keep in mind I’m not the adult telling you you’re too young. You’re not. A fair number of people get married in college and soon after. The “too young” card can’t be pulled anymore. However, that does mean the stakes are higher.

With that said though, dating just for the heck of it is not a bad thing either. Ever heard of playing the field?

But should you break up just because you’re going off to college? The answer is a resounding no. College is a big thing in life, and a lot of the time it’s nice to be able to call them and hear them on the other line, telling you everything is going to be okay. And if you can survive the distance – I applaud you.

Instead of simply calling it splitsville when heading off, sit down and think about it. If you both have a relationship worthy (and this is all subjective, case-by-case thing) of hanging on to, hang onto it. And if you have someone worth hanging onto, hang on to him or her for dear life,because one of these days you will need to. If you can compensate and cope with the distance, great.

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Joyous, Beautiful, and Free

Written by Boze Herrington

I’ve always been impressed that Harry Potter wasn’t slightly more dysfunctional. In spite of the fact that he spent ten years of his life beneath the stairs within his wretched aunt and uncle’s house, you must admit he turned out rather well.

I have a feeling that it has a lot to do with his ability to face the evils in his life and handle his emotions properly. The reason I enjoy the Potter books so much is not because of all the magic (which is slightly mechanistic), but because his feelings and experiences are so intensely vivid and so real.

For a fantasy novel, it’s a great deal more realistic than the works of Joel Osteen, who is living in a dream-world all his own.

There are far too many problems with “Your Best Life Now” for me to write about it here, though any cursory skimming of the pages should suffice to give you an idea. My favorite part was when he wrote about his feelings following his father’s death. At first, he tells us, he was very sad. For several days he skulked about the house.

But then he realized that he needed to get over it.

According to Mr. Osteen, living in our suffering is a sin because it keeps us from appreciating all the joy of God. Since God desires our happiness, we need to shun the wicked emotions such as grief and sorrow that can keep us from a Godly life.

This is utter nonsense, and I worry for the long-term health and happiness of Joel Osteen.

I don’t worry at all about Harry, though, primarily because of the manner in which Dumbledore consoled him following the death in the fourth novel.

“If I thought I could help you,” he says gently, “by putting you into an enchanted sleep and allowing you to postpone the moment when you would have to think about what has happened tonight, I would do it. But I know better. Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it. You have shown bravery beyond anything I could have expected of you. I ask you to demonstrate your courage one more time. I ask you to tell us what happened.”

For much of my own life, I was more of an Osteen than a Dumbledore, I’m sad to say. It seemed to me that there was happiness in everything, if only we could find it out. What’s more, a number of my past experiences were so unfortunate that I continually wondered why it was that everybody found the Dursleys so detestable.

I’ve come to find that when a child’s first experiences are almost wholly negative, the child’s first reaction is to shut off all of their emotions. They begin to think that it would be much better to deny their pain than go on living in it when to live is misery. But in the case of many people, what this does is merely to delay the day of reckoning. We have to face our demons in the end, and we can put it off as long as we would like, but in the meantime they’ll destroy our lives and ruin every chance that we might have at love or meaningful relationships.

You’ll grow up numb to pain and human sympathy; unable to sustain romantic love for very long; continually running from the people who would love you most because you cannot handle love.

I think that Wormtongue says it best: “Oh, but you are alone. Who knows what you have spoken to the darkness, in bitter watches of the night? When all your life seems to shrink, the walls of your bower closing in about you. A hutch to trammel some wild thing in.”

Most people who are in this situation aren’t aware of it. The first step out of the cave is recognizing that you have a scarred and broken heart; that there are depths of pain and feeling deep inside of you you’ve never known about; and that the days are over when you could have handled it all on your own.

The real world is the world outside the cave, the world of love and feeling, pain and bitter-sweetness, longing and remorse. And in the end, I think the only thing that rescued Frodo from becoming Gollum was this: that when the burden grew too much for him to bear, he had a Samwise there to carry him.

The reason why the old tales still have power to affect us deeply is because they speak primarily about reality: the ordinary, Muggle world which we inhabit starts to look a little like a mythic landscape when we gain real friends, and when we know real suffering and when we find the bravery to face our deepest darknesses and fears.

And have you heard the cry of the seagulls? Have you seen the light? That is the land of pain and growth and love and of the highest human bliss. And are you willing to begin the journey from the cave? The world is waiting there for you.

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On Commenting (Rules and Things)

Hello, your friendly neighborhood Web Editor here.
If you plan to comment on an article, feel free to do so! However, here are a few rules to abide by:

1. Please post comments relevant to the article at hand.

2. Please refrain from using curse words that you would not use in front of your grand mother.

3. Please no trolling. This essentially means posting controversial statements in an article just for others to either argue with you or just flame you. For instance, posting “The iPhone sucks.” in an article about the iPhone, is trolling.

4. Please do not flame anyone. Flaming is essentially attacking someone for their beliefs or who they are. This will NOT be tolerated.

These rules can essentially be summed up as “Don’t be a jerk”. Following these rules, you will make my life (and yours) much easier.

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Turn off Your Mind, Relax and Float Downstream

Written by Sam Allen

Stress. It rhymes with “dress”, and it’s monosyllabic. It sucks. It’s so terrible that it makes Rice football look like NCAA championship material by comparison. It’s the bane of college students and responsible adults everywhere. It’s pan-cultural; from Georgetown to Helsinki to Burundi, everyone has his or her fair share (and perhaps more) of stress these days.

Southwestern students are no exception. From our allegedly “third-highest workload in the nation” to the three-dozen organizations each of us seem to be in (UPC! APO! Finnish Heritage Association!) . We, as a campus, all need to chill out for a bit. But how?

At some point, most people grow tired of taking shelter in the Cove or the SLC, and some of us are loathe to drive out to the local Starbucks for fear of losing a precious parking space. Knowing of this, here are four off-kilter ways to kick back:

1.Sit out on the mall.
It’s big. It’s green. And there’s free WiFi. Why sit inside cold, dark residence halls when you can get your Facebook fix in the sun? Grab your favorite tasty beverage and get some (supposedly) delicious to-go food from the Commons and have a picnic. You know you came to a liberal arts school just for the scenic campus.

2.Late night bike rides.
Despite the overwhelming abuse, the Pirate Bikes are still holding up strong. Why not utilize them when they aren’t in high demand? The sidewalks around campus are mostly empty at night. Gently ride around, or grab a friend and have death-defying races. Nothing cures stress like nearly breaking your neck in front of the Perkins Chapel.

3.Enjoy a new coffee place.
Don’t get me wrong; I love everyone’s favorite Seattle-based empire. But it’s not the sum of all coffeehouses. For something that’s deliciously local, try Cianfrani in the Georgetown courthouse square. It’s barely five minutes off of campus and they have delightful frozen drinks as well as your run-of-the-mill drips and cappuccinos. Sipping a warm hazelnut drip while taking in the strangely serene ambience of the square is quite a way to spend an hour.

4.Nerf Guns
This is the reason that I have not simply gone insane this year. Some of you may have been captivated with these gifts from God as a child. If such were this case, then I would highly encourage you to get in touch with your past. If not, then you have quite a surprise in store. For only seven dollars at the local Wal-Mart, you can have all the stress relief you’ll ever need. Nothing clears the mind quite like rapidly shooting off six foam darts at, say, a roommate, or if you’re especially sadistic, an unsuspecting library patron.

These are just a few ideas. If all else fails, just remember to breath.

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Director for GLCA New York Arts Program (NYAP) Visits SU

Written by Nicole Licea

Director of the GLCA New York Arts Program, Alvin Sher, visited the campus on Thursday to conduct informative sessions for students and faculty and to show a short film pertaining to this interdisciplinary internship opportunity.

Established in 1937, the Chelsea-based NYAP provides students from 12 schools across the nation with opportunities to experience working with a diverse array of professional artists and organizations. The three main areas of study are Media Arts (Television & Radio, Video, Film & Performance Art, Advertising & Marketing, Creative Writing, Journalism and Literature), Performing Arts (Theatre, Acting, Directing, Stage Management, Production, Music Performance/Composition, Dance & Choreography) and Visual Arts (Studio Arts, Design, Art History and Arts Administration). There are also apprenticeships available that focus on Gender Issues and Minorities and Ethnicity.

Sher was available from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for any students with questions about the program. In the early afternoon, Sher showed a half-hour film in the Fine Arts Center that included brief testimonials from students at schools across the nation who took part in the New York Arts Program (NYAP), introduced the four main advisors of the program and gave a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes life students living and working in New York.

“We don’t heavily advertise the program,” Sher said. “Our turnout every year depends mainly upon how much publicity we get through the grapevine.”

Students who apply do not have to be art majors as long as they’re able to demonstrate previous experience and interest in a particular field focused upon by the NYAP. Generally, the accepted students are either juniors or seniors.

“We have the occasional second-semester sophomore every now and then,” Sher said, “but it really depends if the student has had sufficient preparation and demonstrates their desire strongly enough within their application and interviews.”

While Southwestern usually sends about four students a year to complete the semester in New York, last year there were ten, including three who interned in the music field. Students currently participating in the program are working with different companies, including Saturday Night Live and the Chelsea Museum. Former NYAP students have interned with such big-name publications as “Glamour”, “Teen Vogue” and “Rolling Stone Magazine”.

“Going to the program in New York gave me experience to supplement my focus in photography, but this is an amazing resource for people in the fields of theatre, music and communications,” Carling Hale, Senior, said. “If you feel like you don’t have adequate facilities or professors or resources for your area of study here at school, then going to New York is great idea. It was inspiring getting to be around so many gallery openings and art shows.”

After being accepted into the program and arriving in New York, students begin a series of interviews arranged by their advisors based on what kind of internship or they want. They also have the freedom to arrange for their own apprenticeships. Hale split her time in New York between apprenticing for fashion photographer Jordan Doner and working with freelance artist-photographer Sarah Small.

“The program is so flexible,” Hale said. “If you don’t like what you’re doing or feel uncomfortable with who you’re working with, you have the power and control to switch up what you’re doing.”

The fifteen-week fall and spring semesters are spent in the program’s mid-town Manhattan townhouse, usually with about 45 other students from different schools. Although the NYAP also offers a shorter spring term of ten weeks, students from Southwestern have to attend one of the full-term fifteen-week semesters.

Hale considered the opportunity to develop a more personal relationship with a boss one of the main benefits of on-the-job training away from the conventional classroom environment.

“You are not going to get this kind of learning in a university setting,” Hale said. “There isn’t a class that teaches you how to deal with clients and the business aspect of the industry. I got to see how being a photographer affected someone’s personal life and relationships.”

Sher advised that students speak with Southwestern’s on-campus representative and Internship Recruiter, Maria Kruger, if they want to find out about the technicalities of the program, like transfer of financial aid and keeping track of credit requirements for different majors.

“I am here to support students through the entire process of application to the NYAP, from the very beginning when they get the idea in their head that this might be just the thing for them,” Mrs. Kruger said. “I’ve been to the program site in New York and spoken to the students who come back; I even have photos of the house that they stay in. I’m the person you need to contact if you want to learn more.”

Deadline applications for the internships beginning in September of the fall semester are due March 31 and those for the spring term beginning in January are due October 31. Maria Kruger can be contacted via e-mail at or by calling ext. 1671 to set up an appointment. More detailed information about the program, application requirements and deadlines, tuition costs and the background information about the program staff is available at their website.

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History Colloquium

Written by Leslie Lube

“Ewww! I am never having babies!” This comment, in various forms, could be overheard at the reception following this year’s History Colloquium, which took place September 27 in Olin 105. An annual event sponsored by the history department, the colloquium occurs each fall when the department selects a noted historian to speak on campus.

Dr. Elizabeth Green-Musselman organized the 2007 colloquium and invited Dr. Monica Green, professor of history at Arizona State University, to discuss her research on medieval midwifery. Students and staff gathered last Thursday to listen to Dr. Green’s lecture over “The Trial of Floreta d’Ays (1403): Jews, Christians, and Obstetrics in Later Medieval Marseille.” The accused, Floreta d’Ays, was a Jewish midwife working in Marseille, France who was charged with the murder of a Christian woman who died during childbirth.

A brief explanation of what is known about birthing techniques of the time elicited the opening quote from more than one student overcome by PowerPoint slides depicting childbirth in all of its medieval glory. The majority of the lecture, however, described, in Dr. Green’s words, “an interesting collaboration by a legal and a medical historian to study an exciting yet problematic text.”

Green began her lecture by relating how her collaborator, Daniel Lord Small, walked up to her at Cambridge University and said, “I have the transcript of the trial of a Jewish midwife. Want to work on it with me?”

Having spent over twenty-five years compiling information about women’s health, Green jumped at the chance to work with “not simply the first case but the only case [pertaining to medieval midwifery],” which she and her colleges know about.

She and Small, an expert on the Marseille legal system, studied the document together in an effort to discover the answers to a number of questions including why Floreta was charged in the first place. As Green pointed out, “If it’s not unusual for women to die in childbirth and it’s not unusual for a midwife to be there during childbirth, why was she charged [when the woman died]?”

They had to do a large amount of research utilizing sources other than the case transcript because all they had was the text of an appeals case, which took place because the judge of the criminal case gave orders for Floreta to be tortured. The records of the criminal trial and the follow-up after the appeals case have been lost.

To organize her presentation, Green focused on explaining the conclusions she and Small have reached regarding what exactly the charge against Floreta was, what happened the day the woman died and why the judge of the criminal trial decided that Floreta should be tortured.

The answers to all of these questions are complicated because of the lack of information the two historians have to work with. The first question seeks to understand whether the charge against Floreta was a malpractice suit or a case of anti-Judaic sentiment.

Although Jews and Christians living in Marseille at this time coexisted fairly peacefully, Green read a portion of the text containing “a strong rhetoric against her [Floreta’s] apathy towards God.”

The paragraph, which includes the claim that Floreta lacked the proper fear of the almighty, means that “this was not just a case of ‘whoops, you made a mistake,’” Green said.

She and Small believe that a Christian midwife who was also present at the birth was the one who accused Floreta of killing the mother. Her testimony, along with the testimonies of four other women who attended the birth, claimed that Floreta stuck her arm up to the elbow into the birth canal, ripping the woman’s womb and killing her. The five women also claimed that the dying woman accused Floreta of murdering her before she died. Green said, “In Medieval law, a dying person’s accusation carries a lot of weight.”

Green and Small say that the woman died of complications from a retained placenta. Typically, the placenta is expelled from the woman’s body about half an hour after the baby is born, but in this case, two hours after the birth the placenta was still inside the mother’s body. The Christian midwife, who was present during the birth, tied the umbilical cord to the woman’s leg according to a common practice of the time. Floreta, who was brought in after the birth by the woman’s brother-in-law, probably attempted a manual extraction of the placenta, a painful process that would explain the charge that she reached into the woman and caused her pain.

According to Green and Small the decision to torture someone at this time was usually reserved for “outsiders and those of the lower classes considered being untrustworthy.” A judge ordered that Floreta be tortured when her story of the events did not match that of the five witnesses. She appealed the ruling, but the outcome of that appeal is not known. No other records exist to reveal whether or not Floreta won or lost, whether or not she was tortured or what her punishment was if she was found guilty.

Green and Small believe that this case resulted out of a dispute between two midwives and that the case was “picked up by a cleric who was influenced by the teachings of Vincent Ferrer,” a Dominican preacher who spoke against the cohabitation of Jews and Christians.

Green said, “It would not be unusual for a dramatic change in mindset to have occurred after Ferrer’s visit to Marseille.”

She and Small have not found any evidence of “a change in relations between Jews and Christians” after 1403, at least not in male medicinal practice. The problem they face is that there is so little documentation of midwives during this era.

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The Megaphone is the official, student-run newspaper of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. It is published every Thursday when classes are in session. Please send submissions to SU Box 7444, Georgetown, TX 78626 or email one of the editors. For more information call (512) 863-1347. Placement of advertisements from campus organizations will be printed contingent upon the availability of space. The views expressed herein do not necessarily express the views of Southwestern University, its faculty, its trustees or its administration. All submissions must be approved by the editors of the Megaphone, and are subject to editing to accommodate brevity and clarity. No article will be printed if it is not accompanied by the real name and title of the author. Please direct any comments, complaints, or suggestions to any member of the Megaphone staff as listed above.

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