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staff editorial

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 [...]

Power through… Or at least try

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Power through…or something like that. We are approaching that time of year, folks. Christmas? Not exactly … the time of year when everything seems to be stress-inducing. Whether we are studying for exams or choosing where to eat, it’s inevitable that stress is involved. Do not fret, for we are here to provide you with the necessary tools to de-stress your life. So kick back and read on, and soon your problems all will be solved. If you find yourself feeling so overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks you must accomplish, make a list. Then just go through the list and check off each thing, and before you know it, you are done. Or make this oh-so-useful list and then proceed to stare at it, still overwhelmed by the number of things you must accomplish, and become paralyzed with anxiety. It’s your choice. Another helpful tip is to stop procrastinating. It’s easy; just turn off all your technology and tell yourself it’s worth it. Wow. How simple is that? Hey, let’s be honest: we all have tried that, and seconds later our hands cramp up at the need to text or surf the Web as our fingers stretch toward the “on” button. You tried, and that is what counts. (Not really.) Ah … the ever so useful tip to channel your stress into exercise. What a good idea. Just go for a jog or pump some weights, and suddenly you will be stress-free. There is a possibility that as you jog and pump those weights, your brain will remain consumed with all you have to do and you’ll think … what am I doing exercising when I have so much to accomplish? We do not know the solution, but this method is all over the Web as a good method, so there you go. OK, time to be serious. What? The above words were not meant to be taken wholeheartedly you ask? Stress is inevitable, but guess what … you are in college. Try our tips or begin by contemplating your pillow. It's soft and luxurious. Just lie down for a little while. That homework can wait. After all, you're not sleeping, Read more [...]

To vote or not to vote?

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The typical college student has a long “to do” list, but “vote in midterm election” rarely makes the top 10. Despite that, we want to urge every Amarillo College student to take the time to vote.The most important item in this next election revolves around the new multi-purpose event venue that apparently is coming to downtown Amarillo. The debate is whether the city should build a baseball park as part of the venue. The issue has motivated some college and high school age residents to become more engaged in city politics.  It even has sparked a new group called the Amarillo Millennial Movement where young people have banded together in hopes of winning the vote to build the highly debated ballpark. The vote for the ballpark is a nonbinding referendum, meaning the city of Amarillo will decide whether to build the ballpark regardless of your vote. This vote is essentially a survey to gauge the opinions of the people. You may argue, if it’s just a survey, why should I vote? And you may find yourself wondering, what else is on the ballot, you know, besides the ballpark? Well … a number of propositions regarding things you probably don’t care about. We understand your lack of interest, but we still urge you to vote. College students who don’t vote have become a statistic. According to The Economist, in 2010 only 24 percent of millennials (18-29 year-olds) voted, compared to 51 percent of Americans age 30 or over. Why don’t young people vote? It has been reported that 12 percent said they don’t know enough about the candidates, 11 percent said they weren’t interested, 8 percent said they weren’t registered, 7 percent said they don’t trust or like the candidates or politicians in general and another 7 percent said their vote doesn’t make a difference. Generally, college students don’t put much faith in politics and politicians. “Young people have believed that politics doesn’t have the tangible results that they wish that it Read more [...]

Pumpkin spice

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Pumpkin Spice: Is it nice? You are in luck if you find yourself with a void that only pumpkin spice can fill. From drinks to fettuccini, pumpkin spice dominates this fall as the trendy flavor for all. Whether you find pumpkin spice products to be something you anxiously anticipate each fall or reel with disgust at the thought, there is no question that the pumpkin spice possibilities are endless. Starbucks’ trademark Pumpkin Spice latte has quite a following, cultivating its own Twitter account so you can keep up to date on the exact time the drink that is liquefied fall makes its long-awaited return. Why are Americans suddenly so obsessed with the flavor of pumpkin? Or rather, why are we fixated on a taste sensation reminiscent of artificial pumpkin and potpourri? For some reason, retailers have decided that pumpkin spice is the most marketable gimmick of the autumn season. This fall, there are at least 100 pumpkin spice products adorning store shelves. Still not satisfied? Tried amusing yourself with some online quizzes that tempt readers to guess whether pumpkin spice products are real or fake. Regrettably, most of the more ridiculous products are real. Pumpkin spice beer, dog treats, Pop-Tarts, Oreos, potato chips and hummus all are vying for a piece of the (no pun intended) pie. Speaking of pie – remember when that used to be the pumpkin product that dominated the fall season – now it is a thing of the past … pumpkin past. Here’s a novel and life-altering idea: that the oh-so-coveted and long-awaited Starbucks Pumpkin Spice latte would contain…REAL PUMPKIN. What? Now that is just insanity. Real pumpkin in a beverage that has been claiming to have pumpkin in the title. Disturbing or exciting? You decide.You know what’s next? Peppermint season. That is right, folks; Christmas season is approaching (or, if you ask Hobby Lobby, it already is here.) Soon the shelves will be stocked to the brim with every peppermint or vaguely peppermint-resembling Read more [...]
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