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College Reporter Day at the White House

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Written by | Alma Bustamante | The White House organized its first ever College Reporter Day on April 28 for around 50 student journalists from two- and four-year colleges from all over the nation, including Ranger Editor Alma Bustamante. President Barack Obama showed up in the middle of the briefing, surprising the attendees. Obama talked about several topics and announced some breaking news about an important issue among college students: student debt. “Today I want to announce that we’re aiming to enroll 2 million more people in Pay As You Earn by this time next year,” Obama said. The Pay As You Earn Repayment plan is a college loan repayment program that Obama instituted in 2012. The purpose of the plan is to cap student payment rates at 10 percent of their discretionary income with complete forgiveness after 20 to 25 years of payments, depending on the level of education. Student debt is at an all-time record high, with numbers rising to almost $1.3 trillion, according to an analysis at Edvisors.com. Around 43 million borrowers are being affected, which is about 71 percent of college graduates. During the briefing, Obama said he still is pushing his initiative of making community college free. “That’s something that is affordable for most states to do, and we are prepared to help with federal support,” he said. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest mentioned the results some states have had with the initiative. “This is what they’ve done in the state of Tennessee, and it’s been very beneficial to the state,” Earnest said. “They’ve seen an economic benefit associated with a better-educated work force.” Obama also mentioned his Supreme Court nomination after the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia. The Supreme Court still is in the process of selecting its ninth member. “I’ve nominated an individual named Merrick Garland, who’s currently the chief judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the second Read more [...]

Professor to give last recital before retiring

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Written by | Tashana smith |

Before Dr. Jim Rauscher retires after more than three decades of teaching music at Amarillo College, he will perform a farewell recital.
At the event at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 8, in the Concert Hall Theater on the Washington Street Campus, Rauscher will perform some of his favorite pieces from Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven and Debussy on the piano.

“I am happy to be doing this,” Rauscher said. “It is my way of giving back to the community for all they have given me. Music is my passion. It is something that I love to do.” Rauscher, former chairman of the music department, has been at AC for 35 years. Besides his teaching job, he also is a music director with his wife, Vanessa Rauscher, at St. Mary’s Cathedral. He plans to continue at St. Mary’s.

“It’s difficult to think about retiring when you have been with a certain place for so long, but it’s my time, and I am ready,” Rauscher said. “There is a good thing to my retiring, and that is I get to spend more time with my grandkids, and continuing to be music director for St. Mary’s.”

During all his years at AC, Rauscher said he has learned how to listen to the students and has tried to be as attentive as possible to their needs. “It takes many years to become a great teacher, and after all my years here at AC, I am still learning how to become that great teacher,”
he said.

Rauscher has been a music professor and also served as music department chairman from 1988 to 2013. He has been a principal keyboardist for the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra since 1981. He began studying piano at the age of 6 in his hometown Medford, Wisconsin. He received a Ph.D in fine arts in 1991 at Texas Tech University.

My memorable day at the White House attending event for college journalists

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Written by | Alma Bustamante | My eyes couldn’t believe the email I was reading. I was accepted to participate in the inaugural College Reporter Day on April 28 at the White House in Washington, D. C. When I say I couldn’t believe it, I’m not kidding, I thought it probably was a joke, especially after how the application process went. Two weeks prior to the email, I received an email inviting me to be part of this event. I filled out all the information and questions they asked for, and after clicking submit, I saw the awful, “the page you requested is not found,” message. I freaked out. I knew all this wasn’t true. Well, I submitted the application again and again and again, actually like 20 times, hoping it would say otherwise. It never did, so I couldn’t do much but go on with my life. So when I received that email, I immediately forwarded it to Mike Haynes and Jill Gibson, my Student Media advisers and personal mentors. I remember Jill’s response, “Wow!” Yep, that’s how I felt, too. I was extremely lucky that the college was able to afford my trip, thanks to the Office of Student Affairs and President Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart. Thank you again. A month later, I was heading to the nation’s capital with Lynaé Jacob, chairwoman of the communication and theater department, to meet White House senior administration officials and, who knows, maybe President Barack Obama as well. Finally the day came, and I was super nervous. I didn’t know what to expect but finally was able to grasp the idea that I’M GOING TO BE IN THE WHITE HOUSE. Sitting there with college reporters from all over the country, covering important issues, seems surreal to me. It is undeniably an experience I will never forget. I was sitting across from people who are making a difference in this country. That’s empowering. We talked about college issues such as sexual assault and college affordability. As a journalist, meeting White House correspondents from Read more [...]

Shift in currency increases equality

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A civil rights activist, an abolitionist, a leader, Harriet Tubman has undeniably impacted history in tremendous ways. The shift from Andrew Jackson being the face of the $20 bill to Harriet Tubman has led to varied opinions. We, the Ranger staff, are here to tell you ours — and that is Harriet Tubman soon becoming the face of the $20 bill represents great strides in social, political and gender equality. Andrew Jackson has been the face of this bill since 1928, but does that make him the right choice? Jackson is known for being a ruthless slave holder and for signing and putting the Indian removal act into effect. Those facts raise the question: Is he really the individual we want to represent the nation on our currency? No. This history undeniably calls for change, and Tubman is the perfect candidate. Harriet Tubman is known for helping countless slaves escape via the Underground Railroad, and she even altered the path to continue to help slaves when the fugitive slave law was passed. She later also worked as a nurse, cook, scout and spy for the Union Army. According to biography.com, referring to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, “Secretary Lew’s choice of the freed slave and freedom fighter Harriet Tubman to one day feature on the $20 note is an exciting one, especially given that she emerged as the choice of more than half a million voters in our online poll last Spring.” We could not agree more. Jackson is not the man we can proudly say is worthy of representation on our currency despite the fact that he has for so long. Tubman taking over is a shift we can stand behind with great pride and conviction. Not only is she an individual worthy of great respect, but Tubman will be the only woman to be on the front of U.S. currency with the short-lived exception of Martha Washington on the $1 silver certificate in the late 19th century. According to theatlantic.com, native American Pocahontas appeared on the back of the $1 bill in the 1860s. Read more [...]

Redefining the meaning of love

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Written by | MAGGIE TINOCO | Have you ever thought to wonder about the true meaning behind love and whether the significance still is the same as it was ages ago? Love is an intense feeling of deep affection for a person or thing or a deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone. There are so many definitions for one simple word, but the meaning is greater. In ancient times, love was to be fought for and was very sincere – for example, the two characters in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Love is being able to do whatever it takes to be with a person and just being happy and feeling as if life has a new meaning. Nowadays, love is just a word one says when in a relationship that lasts for three days and you move on to the next one. Not only has it lost its meaning, but how people really see it is confusing. It’s now more a verb. You have to do something in order to be loved instead of having emotions showing how one really feels. If you are in a current relationship, when was the first time you told your partner you loved him but actually meant it? Love is losing power through the centuries, and in some way the form of how love is changing affects marriages today. Back in the day, it was normal for young adults to get married and actually stay together ’til death do they part, because love actually was a part of the relationship. Now couples who are married at a young age are not truly in love. Most are forced to be married because of pregnancy or just because they feel it’s a good way to escape from home. Francois de La Rochefoucauld knows exactly what I am talking about when it comes to love. “True love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen,” he said. I am no love guru, but I do believe love is a huge emotion. It combines everything from fear to hate as well as happiness and sadness. That is what love is; having all those emotions throughout the journey and being able to experience them gives a Read more [...]

Auto collision technology program helps students gain multiple skills

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Written by | SALVADOR GUTIERREZ |

The auto collision technology program has been a part of Amarillo College for three years. The program has existed before but went into a break for a long period of time. Eddie Casias, a 23-year industry veteran, leads the program.

“Kids can come in and learn to do body work like painting,” Casias said. “Some students come in and want to do it as a career and others to help their parents on their own family business.”  Courses involve painting, welding and general auto body repair.

The program lasts two semesters, and it does not require students to have any knowledge about auto body repair. When students enroll in the program, they do not have to buy any books. Students enrolled in the program describe the hands-on experience as better than reading books because they get physical with what they are learning.

According to program coordinator Brian Jacob, there are more job opportunities for auto body technology majors than in the past. Few new people are entering the auto collision business to take the place of people who are retiring. Casias said he is ready to take students and make them job-ready for any body shop.

For more information, check out the video at acranger.com.

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