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Josh Oldham

What now? A survival guide after the cap falls

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Image By Anthony Nations
May 3, 2012 By Josh Oldham | Ranger Reporter   With May having come at last, the time for graduation is close at hand. However, a year or two at Amarillo College leads up to one of the most frightening things in life: the so-called “real world.” While many of the graduates this year already have experienced adult life outside the community college, some enrolled at AC fresh out of high school and now are looking toward a future with that lovely certificate, associate degree or those wonderful transfer credits. How does one survive outside AC, though? The majority of the answer depends on where the graduate or transferee is thinking of going next. Those who are setting out on their own, certificate or degree in hand, and looking for a job should remember the basics of job hunting. According to www.theamateurfinancier.com’s blog, one of the most basic parts of job hunting is gaining knowledge that is useful to your chosen field as well as learning to craft an elegant resume and to create a simple cover letter. A good resume can imply organization and forethought on the part of a prospective employee. Demonstrating a great deal of knowledge about your target job can help you to stand out in a crowd of people who have only a general idea of what the job is about. Another tip from the blog is to network. In other words, all those friends you’ve made out of your fellow students and staff? Keep in touch with them. A successful network, according to the blog, can allow you to learn about job offers way before they become public knowledge. Finally, keep positive about your prospects. It is easy to become discouraged at a few failures, but remember that there are jobs out there for you. You just need to give yourself time to find them. What about the people who are going on to a four-year college? There are several things to remember about a university when it’s contrasted with AC life. Expect much bigger classes and less attention Read more [...]

Constitution limits votes to members. The student body votes for Student Government Association general members in the fall. Only active members vote for officers in the spring.

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Courtesy of  SGA
April 19, 2012 By Josh Oldham | Ranger Reporter   ON APRIL 25, the Student Government Association will conduct an election for several club officer positions. The candidates will be elected from the ranks of the SGA. The SGA’s primary function, according to its constitution, is to “provide student development and student activity programming, to act on behalf of the Amarillo College student body, to represent the Amarillo College student body to the College administration and to engage in service to the community.” In the upcoming election, four positions will be decided. “The elected positions are the president, vice president, secretary and parliamentary positions,” said SGA President Anthony Najar. Najar said the regional representative position for the Texas Junior College Student Government Association usually also would be available but that members already have voted on the position. While the names of the positions in the election are available, there is no definite answer as to who will be running for what. “Any of our members now are allowed to run for positions next year,” said SGA Secretary Bryce Robertson. “Not everyone has turned in their stuff to run yet.” While the aforementioned positions are the only elected positions to be voted on this semester, they are not the only positions to be filled. “The new board members and the outgoing choose the committee chairs,” Najar said. The election is not open to the student body at large. Only general members of the SGA will vote on the positions. “If you’re not already a member of student government, you won’t know much about the positions or their responsibilities,” said Adam Nixon, SGA treasurer. Najar said the current system has been put in place to save time and effort on behalf of the student body. The methods for the election of the general members and the board members are outlined in the SGA’s Constitution and Bylaws. Those Read more [...]

Opinion: Religion plays part in social intolerence

in Opinion by
Joshua Oldham
Opinion By: Josh Oldham TWO THOUSAND TWELVE  has seen the marriage equality movement take several steps forward. A California appeals court ruled that Proposition 8, a piece of legislation introduced to voters to ban marriage between same-sex couples, was unconstitutional. Then, the state of Washington became the seventh state in the USA to legalize equal marriage rights. This year has been promising to those who wish to see marriage equality become the accepted norm. Yet in all of this, where is Texas? Texas still remains among the majority of states who have amendments on the books that specifically ban marriage between same-sex couples. What is the reason? Forget the pseudo-scientific studies (which have been debunked by most respectable scientific establishments). The reason our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual friends and family members still are unable to legally wed their partners in the state of Texas boils down to one thing: religion – namely, the predominant religion in Texas: evangelical Christianity. Evangelical Christianity has made the protection of “traditional” marriage one of its most important missions in Texas, and with a host of church members at its back, it has been fairly successful in its goals. One of the most infuriating claims made by evangelical Christians is that any society that supports an “abomination to the Lord” will find itself at the mercy of the Christian God. Prominent members of the evangelical community, such as Pat Robertson, cite the current economic problems facing our country as God’s wrath for being so accepting of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community. Of course, that strand of thought is about as logically convincing as a witch doctor grumbling that the volcano wouldn’t rumble as much if he were allowed to throw in the odd virgin every now and then. However, for quite a few evangelical Christians, it is taken as very convincing evidence. Though such arguments Read more [...]

Free webinar tonight to focus on parenting

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Parents are the solution

March 28, 2012

By Josh Oldham | Ranger Reporter

Parents are the solution

A free webinar sponsored by the Parenting Education Advisory Board is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. today in the Oak Room of the College Union Building.

The webinar will focus on how parents are the solutions to many of the challenges children face.

Psychologist and author Dr. James Garbarino, the keynote speaker at today’s Child Abuse Prevention Conference, will talk about the positive impact parents can have on their children’s lives.

“Parents are the solution,” said Mary Clare Munger, chairwoman of the education and child development department. “Parents can put their families back together with positive experiences.”

Garbarino said he will speak about ways parents can think about who their children are and how to make sense of what they do and need.

“When you reward a child, you build up the feeling inside that they’re good and capable,” Munger said. “If you punish, punish, punish, there is the chance you can have a child who becomes secretive, angry and fearful.”

Attendees will have a chance to ask questions, and the event will be be available on PEAB’s website.

The webinar is part of a community collaboration for Child Abuse Prevention Month.

“I’m always hopeful that parents will receive information that will help them have a safe, happy, healthy home life,” Munger said.

‘Good Book’ aims to help readers better themselves

in Culture by
Humanist Bible
March 28, 2012 By Josh Oldham | Ranger Reporter   THE TASK of putting together a book that instructs the mind and uplifts the spirit is difficult at best, but writer and philosopher A.C. Grayling set out to do just that. The result of his work is The Good Book: A Humanist Bible. Grayling created his “Good Book” by collecting secular works from around the world and putting them together in a format that mimics the Bible and other religious texts in the form of its writing and the divisions of its books and verses. In it, the reader can find the words of authors such as Cicero, Kant and Confucius. Although the book is referred to as a humanist bible, it is not in any way a mockery of the Christians’ holy book. The book itself lacks any mention of God or any appeal for worship on the part of the author or his world view. Instead, The Good Book attempts to be a positive volume, stressing the values of hard work, intelligence and rational thought. It is devoid of dogma and urges the reader instead to lead an examined life. While any person reading The Good Book will not find any mention of God or any desire to create a new religion within its pages, the book still has sparked some outrage at its “arrogant” claim to be another Bible. While The Good Book looks like it is trying to replace the Bible, the methods of instruction used in the two books greatly differ. Where the Bible uses commands and demands to move its readers to a better life, The Good Book makes use of a more gentle instruction. It advises and teaches through parables, proverbs and logic. While some of the words used in The Good Book can be difficult to grasp for the less experienced reader, the language and tone used make up for the intimidating word choice. It is written in poetic way. Its wording is beautiful, and its verses are simple and to the point. Its chapter/books begin with Genesis and move through books like Songs, Histories and Proverbs before ending with a book titled Read more [...]

Smart classrooms provide new ways to learn

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Photo Andrea Godoy | The Ranger
February 29, 2012 By Josh Oldham |Ranger Reporter   Amarillo College’s smart classrooms are the result of an effort to introduce more technology into courses on the campuses, according to the information technology department. A smart classroom includes a ceiling-mounted projector wirelessly connected to a computer console, which includes a variety of audio and visual devices. Each classroom upgraded to a “smart” classroom costs about $15,000, said Jeff Gibson, director of the Information Technology Center. The money is not taken from the AC treasury. Instead, the technology is purchased and installed using funds from the 2007 bond election. “They were budgeted for in the bonds process, “ Gibson said. The faculty and students generally agree that the smart classrooms can lend a new dimension to the learning process. “Every classroom should be a smart classroom, “ said Dr. Deborah Harding, an assistant professor of psychology and social sciences. “We shouldn’t have any class not have that setup.” Margaret Vitale, a senior advising associate, also supports the idea of smart classrooms. “It enhances the lecture,” Vitale said. ”Our job is to educate. The real world is full of technology. Without this, it’s not preparing our students for life.” Unlike Harding and Vitale, Dr. Brian Farmer, a social sciences professor, is among faculty who prefer to leave the technology alone in favor of more traditional teaching methods. “If you use all the smart classroom stuff, your class is going to be highly structured,” Farmer said. “I like to go in whatever direction I feel like. What I do works. Why do I want to mess with something that seems to work?” Farmer does not dismiss smart classroom technology, however. “Some professors use it and use it effectively,” he said. Some students share the opinion that the use of smart classroom technology is more dependent on the subject and the situation. Lance Read more [...]
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