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staff editorial

Spring cleaning takes new meaning

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Empty seats, prime parking spots, undivided attention from instructors — three of the many perks the spring semester has to offer for those who still are managing to attend class regularly. Students have taken the term “spring cleaning” to a whole new level this semester by no longer showing up to class—what a novel idea. We, the students who still show up to class, would like to take a moment to thank those of you who gave up long ago for these perks. In the fall semester, classes tend to be full of students ready to learn, which makes parking difficult, seeing the whiteboard a challenge and obtaining the professor’s attention a daunting task. The spring semester not only brings warmer weather (sometimes — it is Amarillo) but an abundance of open parking spots, a perfect view of the whiteboard and one-on-one attention from professors. It’s all thanks to the students who gave into their complete lack of drive and decided, “Why even come?” We appreciate your decision that you are better off staying in bed so your head no longer blocks our view of the projector. We are grateful that you are not sleeping in class to later find you cannot learn by osmosis and not taking away the professor’s time by sharing your irrelevant opinions with the entire class. We are relieved to no longer have to scour the parking lots for an open spot and to be able to glide into nearly any spot of our liking. In deciding to stop showing up altogether, it is likely you will lose your financial aid, cause your GPA to plummet, waste money on tuition for classes you won’t get credit for and generally make your life spiral downward; but hey, we, the students who still show up, appreciate you. You know that you don’t want to complete your work or waste anyone’s time, and you decided to take the necessary actions to reflect your nonexistent drive. Congrats; you know what you want in life. We thank you for the parking, added attention and seating of our choice. Read more [...]

Who runs the world? Women.

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Editoral Cartoon by | Destiny Kranthoven
Susan B. Anthony, Marie Curie, Mother Teresa, Dr. Mae Jemison, Malala Yousafzai, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, Michelle Obama, Ada Lovelace, Hillary Clinton, Audrey Hepburn and Maya Angelou are only 11 of the many women who have changed the world. March is Women’s History Month. Like those incredibly powerful women, it is a big (OK — immense) deal, and there are endless reasons why you should care. According to Time magazine, the first Women’s Day occurred on Feb. 28, 1909. March is a time to recognize and appreciate the countless contributions women have and continue to make in the world. It is women who fought for the right to vote, own property and to be equal with men societally. Unfortunately, despite all the bad-ass women in the world, according to American Association of University Women, women still today receive 21 percent less pay than men, regardless of their abilities. Many individuals may say, “Women have so many more rights than they used to,” and “They are seen as equal today,” but that regrettably is not the case. No matter their level of education, age or experience, women still face a pay gap in comparison to men’s wages. It is unjust and ridiculous. Women have and continue to make scientific discoveries, lead politically, fight as activists, lead organizations, create inventions, and simply: Run. The. World. The feminist movement is a fight for equality. A cry for justice. It is a movement that says women matter and deserve to be seen as equals with men. Women have made huge and substantial strides, but it is time society recognizes the advances as a whole. Actress Emma Watson is the U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador who created the “HeForShe” campaign, which is an incredibly influential campaign to end gender inequality and spread the truth about feminism. Watson and Susan B. Anthony, Marie Curie, Mother Teresa, Dr. Mae Jemison, Malala Yousafzai, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, Michelle Obama, Ada Lovelace, Hillary Clinton, Audrey Hepburn Read more [...]

Learning to learn or learning to memorize

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Photo by | Ella Vasquez
As students, we often find ourselves cramming, memorizing and doing all we can to get that A (or C—you do you.), which begs the question: When did higher education become more about getting by than gaining knowledge? How did an institution built so individuals can learn and grow become focused on quick cramming sessions that end in forgetting what’s been quickly learned directly after the test? The answer: standardized testing. First with the ACT and SAT, then the TAKS, which became the STARR, and let’s not forget the TSI… OK, enough acronyms already. The point is that the acronyms are what education systems put all their focus on as soon as a child reaches the third grade. Higher education stops being about learning and growing as an individual and becomes about memorizing what you are going to be tested over and passing and moving on. This mindset quickly has geared generations and generations to come to lose focus on what really matters in education: learning. Growing up with this mindset being drilled into our heads, it is no wonder that we have all lost track of the true beauty in knowledge. Older generations come back to school simply because they love to learn, and the younger generations look at them like … seriously … you enjoy this? And they do, because they grew up with the true value of higher education instilled in their minds. We do not have to sit back and allow the mindset standardized testing has drilled into us to take over. We too can love learning like our elders. If we decide to learn for the love of gaining knowledge and delve into our studies with passion and an open mind, the As (or Cs; we don’t judge) will follow suit. We, the Ranger staff, implore you to remember the value in learning and forget about all that cramming. OK, so go on — learn with the vigor and the childlike passion you once had. Focus on the learning, and the good (OK … better) grades will follow. It’s worth a try. After all, the cramming hasn’t 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 [...]

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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