Category Archives: Opinion

BREAKING: Student uses school skills in real life, feels ‘nerdy’

I did it. It was crazy. It was weird. But, standing in the middle of Market Street, I realized I had actually done it. I had used chemistry and math outside of class. Let’s rewind back a decade or so to when I was in the third grade. This was the first time I wondered about the importance of school. “Why are we learning this? I’m never going to use this in the real world. Why can’t we learn about stuff I actually need to know, like how to finance a house or budget for food?” OK, so maybe I wasn’t super concerned about housing in the third grade, but I can’t be the only one who’s had similar thoughts. Throughout high school, I can remember students of all ages complaining that it was pointless to learn things like the Pythagorean theorem or how to recognize synecdoche. I can even remember challenging my history teacher to name one practical circumstance in which I would need to know the name of civil war generals in “the real world.” Usually teachers would say some vague statement to hush students’ lack of interest. By the time I got to my senior year, teachers became more honest by stating things like, “You probably won’t use this knowledge unless you become a teacher.” My view of these “excess skills” completely flipped a week ago in Market Street. Recently in my chemistry class, we have been working through conversion factors and equations in which you convert a measurement in one unit to another unit. For example, we have worked through problems in which we convert miles to meters or ounces to liters. My friends and I were buying some food and drinks at Market Street when one of them asked if he should by a case of Coca Cola cans or Coca Cola plastic bottles. The bottles appeared to be slightly cheaper, but the cans and bottles held different amounts of liquid, and the cases had different numbers of bottles and cans. Without even thinking, I utilized my knowledge of conversion factors and quickly calculated Read more [...]

Pro sports lack past grit

It’s hard to make a definitive argument for any sport regarding who is the best when it comes to all-time greatness. One thing that is clear is that professional sports today have a certain lack of toughness when comparing the greats of today with the legends of yesterday. Nobody wants to see anybody get hurt in sports except when it’s the point of the competition (boxing or UFC), but some of the recent rules by some of the leagues have people questioning, “Where is the passion?” The NFL recently has set rules in place to make it less likely that a receiver will get a head injury by handing out fines to any players who aim for or make contact with the ball handler’s helmet. In the NBA, it is becoming harder and harder to not commit a foul on a player, because the rules say if another player grazes the player with the ball, it is a foul. The new rules are for the safety of the players and are in place because of former players who still are affected by injuries years after they have said goodbye to the game. With that being said, by making the games so safe, it takes away from the passion and glory that comes along with the risk those players take when entering the battleground. Players such as Larry Bird (Celtics), Dr. J (76ers), Dick Butkus (Bears) and Chuck Cecil (Cardinals) were known for their awesome play and their vicious attitudes. In the 1984 NBA finals, Kurt Rambis of the Lakers was running down a fast break when out of nowhere, Kevin McHale of the Celtics threw a WWF-like clothesline that knocked Rambis to the floor. As Rambis was getting up, both team’s benches rushed to the court to get a piece of the rumble. If this were to happen nowadays, anyone who left the sideline would be fined and McHale himself would be kicked out of the game and suspended the next few games, depending on how forceful the hit was. The fact that the players of the sports world aren’t able to show their emotions and play the game with Read more [...]

EDITORIAL: P.E. strikes out; students at disadvantage

The next group of Amarillo College freshmen will be at a slight disadvantage to those of us already here. Beginning this fall, students entering AC will follow a new core curriculum - one that doesn’t include any required physical activity or wellness education. That’s because the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, which decides what classes will be required for all undergraduate students in the state, has decided to change our core curriculum. AC administrators submitted a plan that included one semester hour of fitness and wellness education, but even that was too much for the Coordinating Board. It rejected wellness education in favor of requiring an extra hour of First Year Seminar. According to the course description, AC’s Lifetime Fitness class “promotes behavior that encourages students to make responsible choices for lifelong health and wellness through instruction and participation in moderate fitness activities.” The co-board decided that not even one hour of lifelong health and wellness was important enough to be considered essential. It’s an odd decision considering the country’s rising rates of obesity and diabetes and especially considering that in 2013, Texas was ranked the 11th fattest state by a Gallup-Healthways poll.  A similar study by the Centers for Disease Control placed us at No. 15. We have been assured that, although no longer required, fitness and wellness classes will continue to be offered at AC for any student who wishes to take them voluntarily. That’s nice, but it brings us to another problem. Rejecting these classes as part of our core curriculum means financial aid cannot be applied to them. Not only is it no longer required as part of a well-rounded education, the board’s decision actually makes it more difficult for students to make lifetime wellness a part of their education. Add this to the recent trend of offering less physical activity in elementary, middle and high school, Read more [...]

OPINION: ‘Help others to help yourself’

By Buck Mayden Ranger Reporter   I have found that the most gratifying thing I can do in life is to be a benefit to others. Few of us are immune to the frustrations and challenges of daily life—family problems, conflicts at work, illness, stress over money. When we get depressed or anxious, experts may recommend medication and therapy. But a newly emerging school of thought suggests that a simple, age-old principle may be part of both the prevention and the cure: Help others to help yourself. New research suggests there may be a biochemical explanation for the positive emotions associated with doing good. In a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, participants’ brains were monitored by MRI scans while they made decisions about donating part of their research payment to charitable organizations. When participants chose to donate money, the brain’s mesolimbic system was activated, the same part of the brain that’s activated in response to monetary rewards, sex, and other positive stimuli. Choosing to donate also activated the brain’s subgenual area, the part of the brain that produces feel-good chemicals, like oxytocin, that promote social bonding. “The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something,” President Barack Obama said. “Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” This is certainly true in my case. I have spent a good part of my life being selfish and it has been pretty lonely. I found that when I started to volunteer at Faith City Mission I not only brought hope to others but to myself as well. In addition, I have bonded with many people over the years I have been volunteering. "On one hand, it's striking that volunteering even occurs," said Mark Snyder, a psychologist and head of the Center for the Study of the Individual and Society at the University Read more [...]