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Opinion - page 4

Drug of choice: Coffee

in Opinion by
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I want to tell you about the substance that fuels my life as a college student. Don’t worry – it’s perfectly legal. I’m simply talking about coffee: the magic elixir that gets me through each day. Not only does coffee help you function in the morning, it possesses many health benefits. To quote the character Lorelai Gilmore, played by Lauren Graham on the hit show Gilmore Girls: “I can’t stop drinking the coffee. I stop drinking the coffee, I stop doing the standing and the walking and the words putting into a sentence doing.” Coffee could be a lifesaver. For all you coffee fanatics, here is some exciting news. A recent study from the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health states that coffee, decaf or regular, could lower the risk of mortality. In an article published by CNN, Ming Ding, a doctoral student in the Harvard nutrition department, said: “The lower risk of mortality is consistent with our hypothesis that coffee consumption could be good for you (because) we have published papers showing that coffee consumption is associated with lower risk of Type 2 diabetes and (heart) disease.” Ding and her colleagues also discovered that “coffee drinkers were about 10 percent less likely to die of heart disease. They also were between 9 percent and 37 percent less likely to die of neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and dementia.” Studies also have shown that people who drank at least one cup of coffee a day had around a 30 percent lower suicide rate. In the CNN article, Ding said, “It is not clear whether chemicals in coffee have a direct effect on mental health or whether people who drink a lot of coffee have higher rates of employment or certain lifestyles that are associated with lower suicide rates.” Along with reducing your risk of heart disease, coffee also provides you with increased attention and memory, increased physical performance and muscle recovery and decreased risk of liver disease. If that’s Read more [...]

Stay alive: Don’t text and drive

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“What do you feel like eating?” I said to my 12-year-old sister, who was sitting in the passenger seat as I was driving home. She did not have a chance to answer. As I was turning under a traffic light, a lady was too busy being entranced by the screen in her hand to pay attention to the red light she was fixing to drive through. Without even a chance to blink, she hit us. It had taken only a moment, but in that moment the world seemed to be played in slow motion. I could see her coming toward us. I could see me trying to turn the wheel. I could see my sister bobbing back and forth as the other car made impact with mine. She had hit my car with so much force, it was pushed into the opposite side of the street. My sister seemed paralyzed in the seat, not sure if she was dreaming or was in reality. I kept asking her, “Are you OK?” “Is anything broken?” She simply stared at me, scared. I did not even get out of the car; I was too scared to see the damage in the front. I could hear the ambulance coming and the police. I decided I should get out to see if I was OK enough to walk. I was fine. But I definitely was going to have a bad case of whiplash for the next couple of days, along with my sister. I tried to go to the other car to see if the lady was OK, but there were too many people around her car. When the ambulance arrived, they had to take the lady out of her car and put her in a stretcher. It threw me off when the policeman said, “The lady who hit you and her brother are saying you ran the red light.” I mean, of course they would say that. And the policeman would have no choice but to believe the adult instead of the 19-year-old, right? Right. Thankfully, a man who was driving behind me had pulled over to give the policeman a statement saying that I did have a green light and the lady who hit me did run a red light. See, I am not mad about the car. I mean, the wreck could have been a billion times worse. I am mad about the fact that the lady knew Read more [...]

With maturity comes knowledge

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Editoral Cartoon by JP Bernal
Brain drain. It’s a term we’ve been hearing a lot lately around campus. For some students, the phrase describes how they are feeling after a long semester as they head into final exams. For others, brain drain refers to a condition that could result from Amarillo College’s upcoming retirement buyout, which is leading many long-time faculty and staff members to leave the college at the same time. The fear is that the simultaneous departure of numerous experienced and knowledgeable employees could hurt the quality of education and services that the college provides. Anticipation of the results of these impending retirements is creating anxiety among some AC employees and students. Many are just panicking because it seems to be the trendy thing to do around here lately; but what comes into question is how much will this upcoming change affect the students?   In pursuit of knowledge and answers regarding the impending changes, Ranger editor Alma Bustamante and Ranger videographer/page editor Christie Rankin met with President Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart to find out exactly what will result from the approaching changes. In meeting with Lowery-Hart, Bustamante and Rankin were assured that the changes will have no negative impact on the students. Lowery-Hart noted that as of last week, 31 of the 85 eligible to retire had announced they are taking the buyout, but he assured The Ranger that student learning will not suffer despite the decrease in the overall number of employees. The goal is to eliminate duplicated roles and move employees to where they are needed most. Students will not receive education of a lesser level due to the buyout. Lowery-Hart assured Bustamante and Rankin that student success is of ultimate importance and will remain so. At The Ranger, we are pleased to hear that the college is committed to ensuring that the upcoming retirements will have no negative impact on students. We urge AC leaders to stay on top of this goal and to make sure Read more [...]

All or nothing

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Here at The Ranger, we are big believers in doing something only if you are fully committed. Hey, we do not judge what it is you are committing to, whether it’s watching Netflix instead of studying or sleeping instead of going to class; you do what makes you happy (of course, you probably will fail … but we do not judge). That being said … Do not lead a lukewarm, halfway life. Be all in or all out. Enough with this in-between, wishy-washy mindset. Nothing is truly accomplished if it is done partially or halfheartedly. So go forth and lead a full-force, all-the-way life. Be passionate and certain of your choices. We dare you. Dear academic advisers: Please take into account this mindset. It was hard enough just to get registered, let alone try to make a coherent schedule with a random mix of eight-week and 16-week classes. We are all good with the whole embracing change thing regarding these eight-week classes … but please pick eight or 16. Please. We beg you. It is so confusing having both. In having the option of a mixture of both eight and 16 classes, it makes scheduling nearly impossible, because one class that is eight weeks most likely will conflict with another that is 16, and then fitting in a work schedule is next to impossible. Quite frankly, it just does not work or make sense. There are many benefits to deciding on having all eight- or all 16-week courses. If it is decided, there will be no confusion on when courses meet, conflict and how to fit it all together. Life will make sense again. We understand that having both is like a free sample – a trial, if you will – but Amarillo College already has announced that 80 percent of courses will become eight-week courses, so why not commit fully now? What kind of trial is it if you already have made up your mind? That is not real or efficient. Another concern is that there now is no consistency with courses. It is like the professors have free rein to do whatever – which we get, that probably Read more [...]

Being a parent in college is a hardship

in Opinion by
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One of the most admirable things when it comes to continuing education is when parents and working students do it. It’s never too late to better your education and have career goals. Although it also adds quite a bit of stress. Keeping up with classes while working full-time or being a parent is very hard work. However, getting a degree will pay off at the end. Bridie Lindsay, a Clarendon resident, is enrolled in school to become a dental assistant. She has a daughter named Avorie. Her situation is particularly stressful because she is taking an eight-month program. “We test every day and have four hours of homework every day,” Lindsay said. “The best stress reliever is definitely sleeping. Every chance I get.” Parents who attend college sacrifice many things, including time with their kids. “Help from family members and close friends definitely is welcomed,” Lindsay said. “Luckily, I have my parents to help out. It’s stressful some days when I don’t get to spend time with Avorie because of the mountain of homework. I just remind myself of my graduation date and know that after that, I can not only provide for her but also spend more time with her.” Brooklyn Farmer, a student at Clarendon College, has two girls to take care of. “I take it one day at a time,” Farmer said. “Most days are good, but on my bad days, I color with them for a little bit until they are good on their own or turn a movie on to keep them occupied so I can do homework,” she said. Farmer’s daughters are 2 years and 18 months old. “It feels good to be going to school for them,” she said. “My education will be part of their future.” Farmer is majoring in nursing and aiming to receive her RN certification. Jodie Lockeby, enrolled in courses at Clarendon College, also is working full-time as an assistant manager at Family Dollar. Her story is one of self-improvement, because she is trying to move on after personal problems. Lockeby is majoring in psychology Read more [...]

Common Reader may lose funding

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Amarillo College launched the Common Reader program in 2008. For those of you who still are unsure what it is or why you should care despite the fact that this program has existed for seven years, we are here to tell you the what and why. The Common Reader is a book given with no cost to newly enrolling students. The book is to be read by all students and employees and then used to ignite a discussion about it and in return, provide all involved with a sense of community. Faculty and staff get together, read various books and then deliberate in order to choose the book they believe will impact AC’s community in the most powerful and influential manner. The Common Readers have been: 2008-2009, All Over but the Shoutin’, by Rick Bragg; 2009-2010, Miracle in the Andes, by Nando Parado; 2010-2011, Flags of Our Fathers, by James Bradley; 2011-2012, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer; 2012-2013, The Worst Hard Time, by Timothy Egan; 2013-2014, Wine to Water, by Doc Hendley; 2014-2015, Blue Hole Back Home, by Joy Jordan-Lake; and 2015-2016, Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys. AC’s first Common Reader, All Over but the Shoutin’, was chosen because it discusses themes many can relate to such as poverty, class differences and alcohol and drug abuse. Courtney Milleson, student success coordinator and in charge of all things Common Reader, said on the AC website, “We hope students see the value in reading about someone else’s struggles and triumphs.” It is a fact that societally, we are not interested unless we are somehow involved, and the Common Reader seeks to relate to all kinds of individuals from various backgrounds. If you still do not see why you should care, how many of you can say you would not care to meet a famous author?None of you would not care; yeah, that’s what we thought. AC brings the author of the chosen book to campus for exclusive events such as a public reading, a question-and-answer session, a lecture, Read more [...]
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