Diving into the world of photography

May 4, 2012

Image by Anthoy Nations

By MIRANDA JADE PARMANPublic Relations Director

KT THOMPSON, vice president of the Photography Club and a soon-to-be Amarillo College graduate, has some splashy plans for her post-cap-tossing adventures.
“My ultimate goal is to be an underwater photographer and to live in Hawaii,” Thompson said.
Thompson does not simply wish to move out to Hawaii but wants to gain experience through working for a larger entity and establishing her name.
“There’s a Disney resort there, and that’s kind of what I’m looking for: to work for somebody, get a little more experience, become a better photographer,” she said.
“She’s the first one I’ve met that wants to do something different than everybody else,” said Travis Lindow, a photography major.
Thompson said underwater photography essentially is the same as normal photography, but she will need a scuba diving certificate before she can pursue that career.
In her last year at AC, the Photo Club has been busier and more full than it had been in the past several years.
“We’ve basically brought it back,” Thompson said.
The Photo Club appears to be a tight group.
Anthony Nations, Photo Club president, said he is Thompson’s partner in crime.
“She’s considered my sidekick,” Nations said. “KT and I have been together for three years as students. Everything the Photo Club shoots, we’ve shot together. We’re photo buddies.”
The club spent spring break together in Angel Fire, N.M., at a cabin owned by Rachelle Burg, a former AC student.
“We just went up there and just took pictures,” Thompson said. “We walked around downtown and went over to Red River. You know, had fun.”
The Photo Club has taken pictures of other AC club functions and helped professors and instructors with projects.
The club hosted a pinhole photography workshop Sunday in honor of Worldwide Pinhole Day.
The AC community was invited to work with photography students to learn about and create their own pinhole photography, Thompson said.
The Photo Club also shoots photos at AC events such as Badgerama and Spring Fling. The club set up booths at both events to shoot students’ portraits.
“We took photos. We had our little setup and let them take their photos,” Thompson said. “We just messed around.”
Also last month, the club hosted Blue Mitchell, a celebrated photographer.
“He’s pretty awesome,” Thompson said. “We got to spend a lot of time with him. He showed us a new way of exposing photos.”
Thompson and the rest of the Photo Club go to San Jacinto Elementary School every other Friday to work with San Jacinto students.
“We get to share our art with the kids,” Nations said. “We get to see them take joy in learning what we already know.”
The president, vice president, treasurer and secretary of the Photo Club all are graduating this semester.
“There will be people stepping up to the plate,” Thompson.
As San Jacinto students continue to learn with future Photoy Club members, Thompson hopes to be out in a world that is 83 percent water, snapping photos in the deep blue.

Breaking News: Fire near Washington Street Campus

April 18, 2012

Breaking News By Miranda Parman


Photo Courtesy of Brandon Knowles

A structure caught fire this evening on the opposite side of the I-27 from Amarillo College’s Washington Street Campus.

According to two bystanders, the fire was near Anderson Merchandisers and had gotten large enough– based on smoke and distance of the fire trucks — the fire may have spread to Anderson Merchandisers, as well.

“I heard the boom when I got here 30  minutes ago. I was told that it was a powder coat chemical plant. The man that told me that said it had overtaken houses,” said Kirk Lewis, a Toot N Totum employee at 8:25p.m.

At 8:34 there were popping sounds that were consistent for five minutes. Bystanders theorized that it could be the sound of water hitting the fire.

“Whatever it is , it’s right up against the tracks, they said about five minutes ago that BNSF needed to move some cars, but couldn’t,” said Brandon Knowles, a young man with a police scanner.

“It’s not as far back as Sam’s, not even half way,” said Pat Harring, a woman who had been driving on the access road and pulled over to investigate.

Onlookers reported seeing two pole-looking objects  that  appeared to be

red-hot as the smoke was clearing, and they believed that they may be structure beams.

Students exiting the science building believe that if this were a chemical fire the flames would have been larger, hotter, and colored according to what chemical was burning, based off of a knowledge of chemicals.

Spring break do’s and don’ts

February 29, 2012

By Miranda Parman| Ranger Reporter


Most college students have heard stories of girls so drunk on spring break that the bell hop at their hotel has to wheel them up to their rooms on the luggage carrier.

No one wants to be that person. Enjoying spring break doesn’t have to involve a trip to the hospital to get a stomach pump. Here’s how to have a spring break that’s awesome and not deadly.

1. Do: Have fun on the beach. 

“Go out and do something active, and if you wear a bikini, don’t let your goods hang out,” said Stefanee Chevalier, a theater major.

Running around in sand and surf is a common choice for college students who choose to go abroad for their spring break vacation. It can be done with class. “If you’re going to be at the beach, wear a cute swimsuit, modern, but not all your goods hanging out,” said Ashley Ingram, an elementary education major.

Don’t: Go to South Padre Island. “Avoid Padre Island. Everyone I know who has gone down there has come back with alcohol poisoning or a tattoo,” said Aaron Reyes, a history major.

South Padre Island is notorious for tequila binges and girls popping out of their bikinis.

2. Do: Make the week count.

“It’s about enjoying yourself and the people you’re with; that’s what matters,” said Rachael Evans, a nursing major.

After spring break, college students often feel like the rest of the year needs to fly by.

Spring break is a time to kick back before the end-of-the-year rush gets started.

“I think you don’t have to go crazy on spring break, but you don’t have to spend it shut up,” Chevalier said.

That applies wherever spring break vacation may be going on. “Do have fun, that’s the biggest part,” Ingram said.

Don’t: create problems:

Alejandro Fernandez, a mechanical engineering major, said while somewhere with strangers, freedom can create feelings of no consequences. However, herpes comes home.

Drunkenness can cause feelings of no limitations, but there are traffic laws that can be expensive and may result in a jail stay if ignored. “Spend time inside, but not inside jail,” Chevalier said.

Mtv.com has an etiquette list for spring breakers which suggests that while drunk, do not call or text exes, current love interests or potential significant others.

Just like not driving drunk, don’t drunk dial. And there can be another layer of safety added to that advice. “Don’t get drunk around people you don’t know,” Ingram said.

3. Do: Enjoy the break if staying home.

Amarillo College has many students who have full-time jobs, children and significant others. When people stay home for spring break, it still can be enjoyable.

The 806 on Sixth Street will have live music every night of spring break.

A board game or Wii party could be planned to keep it cheap.

Don’t: Forget to look good while staying at home: Just like the kids on the beach are trying to do, “Dress up over spring break so you feel like you did something with your week,” Ingram said.

Ladies: college fashion should be more than pajamas, hoodies

February 21, 2012

By Miranda Parman| Ranger reporter


“I loved your pajamas this morning in class,” said no one. Ever.

As students in a fast-paced world where the job market is rocky, life is tumultuous. The wardrobes of college students should not be affected negatively by it.

Demands on the average Amarillo College student’s time are high. Most work, go to school, attempt to study and attempt to maintain social lives. Many also have children and significant others to take care of.

Sometimes all these demands reach up and tear sensible clothing from our backs and send someone wrapped up in pajamas and a hoodie out the door, instead.

Students of AC, it is time to put the Winnie the Pooh pajamas away and put back on real clothes.

Now, throw those offensive slippers to the wayside and slip into a decent pair of shoes. College kid doesn’t have to equal slob.

How does one do this? Does “classy” or “appropriate” sound foreign?

Let’s walk through this.

1. Ideas – Where would the world be without some inspiration? If Monet hadn’t lived by a pond he never would have painted beautiful lily pads.

Some of the best places to pull outfit ideas from are other people. Thankfully, with the internet people now have the ability to post what they were on web sites.  Because of this there are quality sites filled with good ideas. The following are the best.

http://www.sincerelyjules.com/ — Julie Sarinana is a model who has rather simple, but colorful taste. She often wears pieces of clothing that are interesting shapes.

http://www.thedaybookblog.com/ — Sydney is a new mom who lives in Washington, D.C., where her husband works. She recently graduated from college, as well. She is fun, yet pulled-together in the way she dresses. Every Thursday, she has an Awesome/Awkward post about things that have been happening that week in her life, it’s entertaining. Humor and style? Let her show you the way.

www.thesartorialist.com — The man who runs this blog takes pictures of people on the street all over the world. The outfits featured on this website are often high-end, but the pieces of clothing are often simple in style. They’d be easy to replicate on a tighter budget. Clean, classy, but really unique clothes can be found here.

2. Examples – No one needs to depend only on the Internet… for anything. If that was the only place people talked to their friends, no one would have many friends. The Internet is not the only place to get outfit ideas. There are girls on campus who wear things that are more class appropriate than yoga pants that have never been worn in a yoga class.

Kristen Varela, a general studies major, is one of those girls.

“Don’t worry if people look at you funny, there are just as many people that are out there that think you’re cool,” she said.

Kristen shops at Modcloth, Anthropology and Urban Outfitters.

“Those are probably my favorites,” Varela said. “Forever 21 is good and so is American Apparel.”

She said she gets her outfit ideas from the Sartorialist and people on the street

“Not that I creep on people on the street,” she added.

Sawyer Swindell, a fine arts major, also dresses admirably. She fixes her hair into bows and has “chalked” her tips for events before. On pinterest.com she has a style idea board simply titled “beauty.”

To see what “chalked” hair is, visit http://ericaworzel.com/component/k2/item/4-hairchalking .

Also, an option in the outfit-idea-hunting process would be to purchase a subscription to an established magazine. Vogue would be way over any college kid’s head, but there are others that may not be as swanky, but are far more practical.

InStyle, Marie Claire, and Elle would be three of these type magazines. They have outfit ideas, trend predictions and ways to use what is already in the closet.

InStyle is probably the most practical style-wise. Marie Claire has quality style advice and features everyday women more often. Elle is a high-end, but really cool. The clothes they have are expensive, but the looks that they feature would not be impossible to replicate with some creative flair.

3. Action – After spending some precious down-time scrolling through fashion blogs and people watching to get good outfit ideas, it’s time to shop with a woefully tight college student’s clothing budget. It could also be time to stand in front of the closet and consider what’s already there.

Before any shopping sprees happen, consider the fact that the color company Pantone releases a “color of the year” every year. This year is Tangerine Tango. This is a color that will show up every season this year from lacey undies all the way up to swirly, twirly maxi dresses.

Embrace it. It has been shown in scientific studies that men are attracted to red. Take it or leave it, it’s been proven. Cheetah print also is awesome to pepper here and there – fun, feisty and interesting in small doses.

Some trends to keep in mind while browsing through clothing options are sheer and cropped tops, both of which can be tricky to pull off.

If something sheer is to be worn, might it be suggested that a bright, fitted tank top be worn underneath. Cropped tops also need a fitted tank top underneath. Cropped tops need to hit at the waist for girls with full hips. Girls with narrower hips would do well with one that hits above the hip bone. Narrow-waisted girls and thin girls can pull off in-between lengths better.

Go forth and don’t wear pajamas to Farmer’s government class.

Parents: Be proud

Miranda Parman - Photo by Mike Haynes

Young parents can seem to take their children for granted


Opinion By Miranda Parman

A side-eye glance from behind a sippy cup. A gentle arch of the eyebrows that accompanies an honest question. Retellings of events that are dramatic and glorious, even though it was just a trip to the park or supermarket. The steady stream of “whys” that feels so good to answer, getting through them all is a feat of epic proportions.

Children are so important, yet so many young parents seem to cast this luxury aside. When parents are young themselves, it would be so easy to disregard the role of parents in favor of being young and fun.

It is in no way fair to the child. The little one did not ask to be born, but it was, just the same.

Young parents should look for new ways to be fun and supportive of their child. Take walks through the park or get a baby seat for the bike and take rides.

Children who get good exercise are more confident and outgoing, and it also helps to wear them out so they sleep better at night.Simply having a conversation with a small one helps build language connections in their brain, helping them develop words better.

It may seem funny having a conversation with a 1-year-old who can’t answer, but chatting to them helps them learn how to talk more quickly and more clearly. It also prepares children for social situations.

If a kid is used to having talks or conversations at home, he or she won’t be scared to share in class or on the playground. When the old ladies at the mall stop them and ask questions, they won’t be too freaked out, because they talk to grownups all the time at home. Head out on a hunt to find leaves and glue them to something; maybe even get really wild and use glitter.

Showing a kid how to make something or explore something new is fantastic. Add on the fact that it is helping show them that they can make beautiful things and that they can be good at it.

Letting children try new things shows them the beauty in the often sad world we live in. Parents’ belief in this beauty often is renewed as well. Frame a drawing and hang it next to a picture of the child.

Take pride in the child you produced. Take pride in the things he or she creates.

Both of you have done such a good job at making something great.

Attention to kids should be celebrated. Children should know they are important and loved. Their artwork on the walls is a great way to display the fact that they are useful. If nothing else, they provide color pops in mom’s decorating.

Starbucks and Roasters both have kids’ drinks. Go read the newspaper together or get really fun, illustrated books from the library and read together at the coffee shop.

Kids get jazzed about doing “grownup” stuff. Make a Sunday afternoon into a beautiful memory – by both helping your children become more literate and by paying attention to them.

Be there, be present and raise kids in ways previous parents never thought to. Love the child you took the time to make.


Originally published: Friday, September 16, 2011

Amarillo College students rave over intramural soccer

Image courtesy of actx.edu

Students take part in the world’s sport

By Miranda Parman

Every Tuesday and Thursday at 1:30 intramural soccer meets in the gym at the Carter Fitness Center. There is a soccer class at this time and anyone who wants to play is welcome to join the class.

Play normally lasts until about 2:30, with people filtering out slowly until around 2:45.

“It’s not competitive college, where I could get a scholarship, but it’s fun,” said Darrik Randell, an education major. Generally, there are several teams assembled and they rotate. One point and a team wins. The winner gets to play the next team in the rotation.

Johan Guerrero, a general studies major said his favorite thing about intramurals is to get to play, like he, and many others there, did in high school. “I come to play,” Guerrero said.

Soccer , or futbol in most other countries, is the most commonly played sport in the world. It has yet to catch on in as big in the US. One of the players, a student named Stuart, said “I wish people wouldn’t be down on soccer.”

There are, however, some very passionate fans stateside. Some of them play intramural soccer. “It’s just fun. I have a good time wasting time,” Randell said.

One young man who told Trena Rider he just liked playing sports had not played soccer before. After three weeks his handle on the ball has become notably better. Randell said, “It’s a place you can come and build skill.”

Three of the players directly expressed their happiness for having intramural soccer. “I’m very glad,” Logan said of having the program.

Most of these students played all four years in high school. “It was awesome,” said Lorraine Logan, a physical therapy major. Intramural sports helps extend that awesomeness into the time spent at Amarillo College.


Originally published: Friday, September 16, 2011