Tag Archives: Jami Joiner

Local man showcases Texas Board of Education issues, premieres work in New York City festival

Image courtesy of Scott Thurman
May 3, 2012 BY JAMI JOINER and ANDREA GODOY | Ranger Staff The films shown at the Tribeca Film Festival have a more natural feel rather than the commercialized and airbrushed quality of blockbuster hits. Tribeca gives artists the ability to show off their craft at the height of its creativity. Less than 2 percent of the thousands of films that apply to be part of the festival each year make it. This year director Scott Thurman, a graduate of Amarillo High School and Amarillo College, showed the world the product of four years of work with the Texas Board of Education. But while attending AC, Thurman didn’t always know he one day would end up at the independent film mecca. “I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with my life when I started AC,” said Thurman. “I didn’t really get into film and editing until after I started college.” Thurman said Dr. Paul Matney, now the AC president, made a big impression on him in the mass communication department. “Dr. Matney was one of my instructors, and I think he saw potential in me and sort of pushed me to pursue something in this field,” he said. Thurman’s newest project, The Revisionaries, follows the lives of members of the Texas State Board of Education seeking re-election. Members of the board choose the curriculum that students from kindergarten through the 12th grade will learn. Thurman’s film focuses on the board members who are more socially conservative and whose Christian values have a strong effect on their politics. The Revisionaries is not Thurman’s first documentary. In 2008, he produced and directed his first documentary short, titled, Smokey. Smokey follows the life of Stinnett city employee Smokey Binion Jr., who by day performs maintenance and other support jobs for the city, but in his time off performs as an Elvis impersonator. While attending AC Thurman, along with other members of the mass communication department, was approached by then professor Read more [...]

Attention, Internet music lovers ‘Pitchfy is golden’

Graphic by Brittney Richerson | The Ranger
April 19, 2012 By JAMI JOINER | Opinion Editor   When it comes to finding the type of music you’re looking for, there are numerous websites to cater to those searches. Internet radio providers such as Pandora and Spotify will play songs according to your specific requests. They allow listeners to create radio stations based on an artist or band, song, album or genre. Once radio stations are created, you can approve or disapprove of a song, skip a limited number of tracks each hour and mix stations to add variety. While listeners can download applications for their smart phone, tablet or computer for Pandora, they can access and listen to their stations simply using their preferred Internet browser. Spotify, on the other hand, must be downloaded. Unlike Pandora, Spotify also allows users to share playlists, giving people with similar tastes in music the opportunity to network. Maybe Pandora and Spotify are a little too mainstream for you. For the average hipster, finding underground music and bands is like finding the white diamond. Pitchfork.com is an avid music listener’s paradise. It features album and track reviews, artist interviews and touring information on every band you’ve never heard of. Like the idea of all of the above? So, what if there was a website that combined the best of both worlds? A site where you could dig for bands like you would on Pitchfork and then listen to those bands like you would on Spotify? You’re in luck, because there is. It’s called Pitchify. I’m not big on Internet radio, but this is legit. It has Pitchfork album reviews for each album it promotes and tracks to listen to. It also has selected listens from other users, which is comparable to a playlist. A lot of music blogs tend to be biased, and there isn’t always a means to listen to tracks that said blogger is blogging about. So after already digging and researching bands and reading about them on certain blogs, a Read more [...]

Student Support Services on West Campus offers students unique resources to health science majors

Photo courtesy of actx.edu
March 28,2012 By Jami Joiner| Opinion editor   A NEW program offered by Amarillo College’s Student Support Services on the West Campus is one of six of its kind in the nation and is designed to help health science majors. First-generation students, low-income students and students with a registered disability qualify for assistance from the program. Up to 120 students can be accepted. “Students can apply at any time throughout the year,” said Melissa Eder, project coordinator for Student Support Services. “We want to encourage students to take advantage of this program.” Eder said applications are available online. The program offers a number of benefits, including the opportunity to visit a four-year university, a mentor program and career counseling. The primary purpose of the program is to help students succeed, said Kathy Martin, data management assistant for Student Support Services. “Our aim is to give academic and personal encouragement for the students,” Martin said. “We try to build up and encourage a well-rounded way of life.” Both Eder and Martin work one-on-one with students in the program to connect them with the right people to help them reach their individual goals. Sherri Toliver, a nursing major, is in her second semester with the program. She said it has provided assistance in several aspects as she pursues her education and career. “It’s helped me financially, and one huge aspect of that is free printing,” Toliver said. “Being a nursing major, we have to print a lot of documents and forms for clinicals. Not having to buy paper or ink has really helped.” She also said being able to print notes and take them with her wherever she goes helps her study. Toliver said the program has put her in touch with retired and experienced nurses who are on campus, giving her the opportunity to talk to them about her classes and goals. Toliver qualified for the program Read more [...]

Professor by day …rocker and ‘blues guy’ on the weekend

Photo by Joshua Wagner | The Ranger
February 29, 2012 By JAMI JOINER | Opinion Editor   Dr. Brian Farmer, a social sciences professor, teaches a number of government and history classes throughout the week at Amarillo College. His students may not always find him to be politically correct and usually are either found chuckling at his comments or left completely silent, wondering, “Did he really just say that?” That certainly does not keep people from enrolling for his classes, however. Farmer is among AC’s most popular professors and, aside from the comedic nature of his lectures, he seems to be a lot like his colleagues. Other than laughing a little more and possibly being subjects of lighthearted, good-natured ridicule, his students are expected to do the same things any other professor’s students would be expected to do: attend lectures, read the textbook and take exams. Farmer even has written several books, including the textbooks required for most of his classes. Seeing him sit in his Durrett Hall office, decked out in a suit and tie in front of shelves packed with books, anyone might guess Farmer leads a pretty standard professor’s life. So what does he do in his spare time that sets him apart from the rest of the pack? T he Bentwood Rockers, a local rock/blues trio, can be seen around town on weekends playing at establishments such as D’Vine Wines, Fireslice Pizzeria and FatCats. “Weekends are ours,” says their Facebook page. The band’s members are lead guitarist Homero Campos, drummer Perry Justus and bassist, rhythm guitarist and vocalist Dr. Brian Farmer. Farmer said he has been in a band off and on for 42 years. The Bentwood Rockers have been together since 2005. The AC professor is a multi-instrumentalist but said he most frequently plays rhythm guitar or bass for the band’s gigs. The Bentwood Rockers tend to play a variety of well-known classic rock covers, Farmer said. And the band does not rehearse regularly for its Read more [...]